Clarence King: A Biography

By Thurman Wilkins | Go to book overview

Nine
"MOUNTAINEERING. . ."

King found, in December 1869, that the first year of the Grant administration marked no visible improvement in affairs at Washington. This was the season when Henry Adams noted in all departments of government "confusion, cross purposes, and ill temper that would have been scandalous in a boarding school of girls." King felt no deep desire to settle "among the Philistines." He thought of staying only long enough to write and publish the Fortieth Parallel reports, and he hoped with his constitutional optimism to finish the work within two years. Then he might settle down as a teacher of science, perhaps at Cornwell where Andrew White appeared to favor the Fortieth Parallel work.

The immediate future, King realized, was the most significant interval in the life of the Survey. The final impact of the work would depend on the quality of his corps' reports; and for that crucial effort he rented rooms on G Street, in a building where creakings in the dead of night convinced Jim Marryatt, his "man of all work," that poltergeists had joined their ranks.

The noises, apart from effects they had on Jim, interfered in no way with the corps' progress. The topographers continued platting field notes on a scale of two miles to the inch. Ridgway described a total of 262 species of birds, to finish the ornithology by spring. Mining Industry was brought to a satisfactory close. King had contributed a chapter on the Green River Coal Basin, in addition to his paper on the geology of the Comstock Lode; Arnold Hague had

-132-

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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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