Clarence King: A Biography

By Thurman Wilkins | Go to book overview

Three THE YALE YEARS

By 1860 immense changes had begun to work in the mental climate of America. To the credit of the nineteenth century, as Clarence King would suggest, were "two intellectual achievements so radically new in kind, so far reaching in consequences, so closely bound up with the future of the human race, that we stand on the greatest dividing-line since the birth of the Christian era." He referred to the growing understanding of two principles--the conservation of energy and biological evolution.

Ingenious men had applied the first law with spectacular success, mastering the industrial uses of energy at an incredible rate. And now that Charles Darwin had published On the Origin of Species the second principle of the century was rapidly crystallizing. Not that young Clarence King could know so soon what iconoclastic power lay in Darwin's work. "But"--as he was to comment later on--"we live in the future tense." And he could sense while yet a boy the limitations of the unscientific point of view which, though entrenched at Yale College, would soon fall obsolete in the wake of Darwin's theory.

The college, with theologians and classical scholars glorifying the past, had few correctives for a curriculum that was so out of joint with the future. Over half a century later King's acquaintance, the publisher Henry Holt, would cite the Yale College of their day as "probably at its worst in mind, body, and estate. In mind it dated

-31-

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Clarence King: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • One - Enter Clarence King 1
  • Two - The Wind's Will 17
  • Three The Yale Years 31
  • Four Shasta, Here We Come 42
  • Five Rooftop Of the West 60
  • Six - End Of Apprenticeship 77
  • Seven - Along The Fortieth Parallel 93
  • Eight From Washoe To The Rockies 112
  • Nine - "Mountaineering. . ." 132
  • Eleven - The Pass Beyond Youtih 173
  • Twelve - "Systematic Geology" 194
  • Thirteen Cattle Baron 217
  • Fourteen - Merging The Surveys 230
  • Fifteen - Director Of Geology 244
  • Sixteen - Treasures Of The Sierra Madre 264
  • Seventeen - European Interlude 283
  • Eighteen - Silver Clouds And Darker Linings 299
  • Nineteen - Panic 323
  • Twenty - Ebb Tide 341
  • Selected Bibliography 357
  • Notes 379
  • Index 417
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