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Hermon Carey Bumpus, Yankee Naturalist

Hermon Carey Bumpus, Yankee Naturalist

Copyright Date: 1947
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 160
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  • Book Info
    Hermon Carey Bumpus, Yankee Naturalist
    Book Description:

    In this small volume, Dr. Bumpus’ son has outlined the personal history and professional career of his distinguished father, who will be known to countless associates through his work with American museums, and his outstanding career as educator and administrator: as director of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts; as professor of biology at Brown University; as the first director of the American Museum of Natural History; as business manager of the University of Wisconsin; as president of Tufts College; and as chairman of the advisory board of the National Park Service. The trailside museums and natural history shrines that have taught thousands of Americans the story behind the scenic and natural wonders of our national parks are an enduring memorial to this man of enthusiasm and unceasing energy. The habitat exhibits in our museums of natural history bear further witness to the imagination and practical originality of this distinguished American naturalist, who was the first president of the American Association of Museums and who contributed so much to the change of attitude and policy at a time when museums of every type were just thawing out of their ice age.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3646-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-2)
  3. CHAPTER I Ancestry and Boyhood
    (pp. 3-16)

    Like most native New Englanders Hermon Carey Bumpus was much interested in family genealogy. Through many years of careful investigation he discovered that he was of the ninth generation of the descendants of Edouard Bon Passe, a French Huguenot who came to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621 as a member of the so-called Cushman Party of thirty-five persons, including “lusty young men.”

    Since Edouard’s time the family name has undergone various changes. Edouard, like the majority of his contemporaries, could not write even his name. His mark was something like a figure eight. The FrenchBon Passe, translated into the English...

  4. CHAPTER II As Student and Beginning Teacher
    (pp. 17-24)

    Hermon entered Brown University in the autumn of 1879. He was assigned Room 46 in old University Hall, which had served as barracks for Rochambeau’s troops during the Revolutionary War. President Robinson had spoken vigorously of the shocking condition of University Hall. “Its battered doors, its defaced walls, the gaping flooring of its hallways, and the inescapable odor of decay pervading the building” proclaimed its needs, and both within and without it was “an eyesore and a reproach.”

    When students living in the hall wished to build a fire it was common practice to knock more plaster from the gaping...

  5. CHAPTER III Woods Hole
    (pp. 25-34)

    In the same year that Clark University was founded, 1888, the Marine Biological Laboratory was opened at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. It was patterned after the marine station founded in 1872 by Dr. Anton Dohrn at Naples, where biologists from all over the world forgathered, as in an international university.

    The Marine Biological Laboratory had been conceived originally as a graduate institution where biologists could continue their research work during the summer months under the nominal directorship of Charles Otis Whitman. In 1889, however, with the approval of the director, Dr. Bumpus undertook to develop and maintain at the laboratory a...

  6. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  7. CHAPTER IV Brown University, 1890–1900
    (pp. 35-53)

    In his first address to the governing body of Brown University, President E. Benjamin Andrews, who succeeded Ezekiel Robinson as president of the university, gave evidence of his progressive educational policies. It was his opinion that the establishment of graduate work at Brown would have a favorable effect upon both the undergraduate teaching at the university and the intellectual atmosphere of the campus. “Nothing in the world would so inspire our undergraduates,” he said, “as the presence on these grounds of a few score of graduate students, pursuing and discussing their advanced studies and conducting special research in our library...

  8. CHAPTER V The American Museum of Natural History, 1900–1910
    (pp. 54-72)

    Working conditions at the American Museum of Natural History contrasted sharply with those Dr. Bumpus had experienced at Woods Hole and Providence, where the question of adequate funds was always paramount. In his new position this problem was most expeditiously taken care of by the board of trustees, composed of the leading financiers of New York.

    A reciprocal agreement, stimulating both to public expenditure and to private munificence, had been inaugurated at the time the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History were founded. The City of New York, assisted from time to time by state...

  9. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  10. CHAPTER VI Friend to the Gaekwar of Baroda
    (pp. 73-78)

    His Highness the Gaekwar of Baroda, in Gujarat, India, was reputed to be one of the world’s richest men, so wealthy that not even he had much idea of his total fortune. He was the possessor also of magnificent and enormous gems, including carpets made of pearls. De Witt MacKenzie of theBaltimore Sunwrote: “I saw the Gaekwar competing in robes and jewels with two score other great princes one night at a viceregal reception, and my eyesight hasn’t been the same since.” The stairs to the royal palace were flanked by gold cannons.

    Nevertheless, despite his great wealth...

  11. CHAPTER VII University Administrator WISCONSIN 1911–1914, TUFTS 1915–1919
    (pp. 79-91)

    Ten years as director of the American Museum of Natural History, with its ample budgets and generous appropriations from both the municipal and state governments, had given Dr. Bumpus considerable experience not only in handling large sums of public money but also in dealing with legislators and lesser politicians. He had been impressed by the methods of a reformed Tammany. He had expected his New England conscience and upbringing to lead him into clashes with Wigwam members and was surprised when he encountered no difficulties with them. One of the chieftains, realizing that Dr. Bumpus was a newcomer to New...

  12. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  13. CHAPTER VIII Builder and Gardener
    (pp. 92-102)

    Though Dr. Bumpus never criticized others for indulging in such sports as golf and tennis, and on the contrary was always active in support of public playgrounds, he was himself incapable of enjoying any exercise or recreation that was not constructive. Something material and usable must result from his recreation.

    Plants and flowers, birds and trees were a constant source of enjoyment to him. He invariably kept a little grain in his room and would sprinkle it outside the door or window to attract the birds. This he did almost to the last day of his life in California, where...

  14. CHAPTER IX Trailside Museums
    (pp. 103-111)

    Upon his retirement from the presidency of Tufts Dr. Bumpus looked forward to a life of comparative leisure, with opportunity to travel and at the same time keep in touch with those scientific bodies of whose governing boards he was a member. He disliked permitting his name to be associated with an undertaking unless he could pull his share of the load, and so he felt obligated to find the time to attend the numerous meetings demanded by such trusteeships. Obviously it was impossible for him to do so while he was president of a college, but after his retirement,...

  15. CHAPTER X National Park Service and Other Projects
    (pp. 112-120)

    The trailside museum was only one of Dr. Bumpus’ contributions to the development of the educational program of the national parks, which reached its maximum development in the years before World War II began. The first report of an informal educational committee appointed by Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur to consider the educational problems developing so rapidly in the parks proved so significant that he set up an advisory board to deal with the program. In 1931 Dr. Bumpus was elected chairman of this board, which met regularly during the next five years. During these years he worked...

  16. CHAPTER XI Indian Summer
    (pp. 121-127)

    At a banquet at the Providence Art Club on May 5, 1932, in honor of Dr. Bumpus on his seventieth birthday, the librarian of Brown University, H. L. Koopman, read a poem he had written for the occasion.

    He was right. Time did slow down Dr. Bumpus, but not until the next decade had almost passed.

    To his friends Dr. Bumpus often expounded in considerable detail his belief that those who inhabit “this footstool of the Lord’s,” as he liked to call the earth, should not be handicapped in their endeavors by those who had gone before. He felt strongly...

  17. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  18. APPENDIX: Memorials and Resolutions, Memberships and Offices, Papers and Addresses
    (pp. 128-138)
  19. Index
    (pp. 139-141)