SIA RU009513, Oral history interviews with Lucile Quarry Mann 1977

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Mann, Lucile Quarry 1897-1986
Oral history interviews with Lucile Quarry Mann 1977
Mann, Lucile Quarry
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Lucile Quarry Mann (1897-1986) was an editor and writer. After receiving the B.A. in English in 1919 from the University of Michigan, she pursued a career in editing and journalism. In 1926 she married William M. Mann (1886-1960), Director of the National Zoological Park (NZP). William Mann received the Sc.D. from Harvard University in 1915, and was an entomologist specializing in ants and termites. After eight years with the Bureau of Entomology of the United States Department of Agriculture, William Mann was appointed Director of the NZP in 1925. Both the Manns travelled extensively for the NZP, collecting animals and studying other zoological parks. Lucile Mann worked in the administrative offices of the NZP from 1951 to 1971, continuing after William Mann's retirement in 1956 and serving as editor for many zoo publications.
Many animals born at the NZP were raised in the Manns' home across the street from the zoo. Both the Manns published about their lives and interests, and had a wide circle of friends in many walks of life. William Mann was a circus fan as well as an opera enthusiast. Lucile Mann was a specialist in tropical aquarium fishes and wrote for the popular press on that topic.
These interviews of Lucile Mann by Pamela M. Henson cover her education; editorial and administrative careers with the Bureau of Entomology and the NZP; life as wife of the NZP Director; travels and expeditions for the zoo; animals raised in their home; famous residents of the Zoo; and reminiscences about famous scholars and personalities such as Austin H. Clark, Leonhard Stejneger, Noel Coward, and Alexander Woollcott.
Publishing, Entomology, Zoos
Mann, William M. 1886-1960, Mann, Lucile Quarry 1897-1986, Stejneger, Leonhard 1851-1943, Clark, Austin Hobart 1880-1954, Coward, Noel 1899-1973, Woollcott, Alexander 1887-1943, National Zoological Park (U.S.), University of Michigan, Bureau of Entomology (USDA) United States Department of Agriculture, United States Bureau of Entomology
Interviews, Collection descriptions, Audiotapes, Oral history
Local Number:
SIA RU009513
Physical Description:
10 audiotapes (Reference copies). 12 digital .mp3 files (Reference copies)

Finding Aids to Oral Histories in the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 9513

Mann, Lucile Quarry,1897- interviewee

Lucile Quarry Mann Interviews, 1977

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at
Creator: Mann, Lucile Quarry,1897- interviewee
Title: Lucile Quarry Mann Interviews
Dates: 1977
Quantity: 10 audiotapes (Reference copies). 12 digital .mp3 files (Reference copies).
Collection: Record Unit 9513
Language of Materials: English

Historical Note

Lucile Quarry Mann (1897-1986) was an editor and staff member of the National Zoological Park (NZP). She was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and received the B.A. in English from the University of Michigan in 1919. During World War I, she worked in Washington, D.C., with Military Intelligence. After the war, she was appointed assistant editor of the Bureau of Entomology of the United States Department of Agriculture. Lucile Quarry left the bureau in 1922 and became an editor for The Woman's Home Companion. In 1926 she married William M. Mann (1886-1960), an entomologist specializing in ants and termites.

After receiving the Sc.D. from Harvard University in 1915, William Mann collected insects in Fiji and the Solomon Islands as the Sheldon traveling fellow. From 1917 to 1925, he was a specialist in ants for the Bureau of Entomology and, during 1921-1922, participated in the Mulford Biological Exploration of the Amazon Basin. In 1925, he was appointed director of the National Zoological Park, and in 1926 led the Smithsonian Institution-Chrysler Expedition to Africa to collect animals for the NZP. Both the Manns traveled extensively for the NZP: to European zoos in 1929, 1938, and 1948, Central America in 1930, British Guiana in 1931, the National Geographic Society-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to the East Indies in 1937, Argentina in 1939, and the Firestone-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to Liberia in 1940. William Mann represented the Explorers Club and Lucile Mann the Society of Women Geographers in their travels.

Lucile Mann began work in the administrative offices of the NZP in 1951, continuing after William Mann's retirement in 1956 and death in 1960. She was primarily responsible for the NZP's annual report until her retirement in 1971.

Both the Manns published about their lives and interests. In addition to his many scientific monographs, William Mann published Wild Animals in and Out of the Zoo (1929) and Ant Hill Odyssey (1948). Lucile Mann published From Jungle to Zoo, Adventures of a Naturalist's Wife (1934), Tropical Aquarium Fishes (1934), and Friendly Animals, A Book of Unusual Pets (1935). The Manns had a wide circle of friends in many walks of life. William Mann was a circus fan as well as an opera enthusiast.

Lucile Mann kept tropical aquarium fishes and published about her hobby. William Mann founded the Vivarium Society, a group of individuals interested in keeping cold-blooded pets. Many animals born in the NZP were raised in the Manns' home across the street.

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The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives' record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program staff conduct interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. The collection also contains interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Lucile Quarry Mann was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of her long association with the Smithsonian Institution and National Zoological Park spanning 58 years.

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Descriptive Entry

Lucile Mann was interviewed on 9 and 22 June, 14 and 20 July, and 11 and 16 August 1977 by Pamela M. Henson. The interviews cover Lucile Mann's education; editorial and administrative careers with the Bureau of Entomology and National Zoological Park; marriage to William M. Mann and life as wife of the NZP Director; travels and expeditions for the Zoo; animals raised in their home; famous residents of the Zoo, such as N'Gi, the zoo's first gorilla, and Smokey the Bear; and reminiscences about famous scholars and personalities, such as Austin H. Clark, Leonhard Stejneger, Noel Coward and Alexander Woollcott.

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9513, Mann, Lucile Quarry,1897- interviewee, Lucile Quarry Mann Interviews

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Container List

Box 1

Transcripts of Interviews

Interview 1: 9 June 1977

Box 1 of 1
Interview of Lucile Mann covers her youth; education; early career as an editor, especially for the Bureau of Entomology, U.S. Department of Agriculture; marriage to William M. Mann; life as wife of the Director of the National Zoological Park; recollections of Austin H. Clark and Leonhard Stejneger; activities with the Washington Biologists' Field Club, Vivarium Society, and the Snake Society of Liberia; Works Progress Administration and Public Works of Art additions to the Zoo during the Great Depression; and animal collecting, c. 1897-1940.
Transcript, pages 1-56, of audiotape recording, 1.5 hours.

Interview 2: 22 June 1977

Box 1 of 1
Interview of Lucile Mann covers the Manns' 1929 trip to European zoos, 1930 collecting trip to Central America, 1931 collecting trip to British Guiana, and expeditions to Liberia and Sumatra; her role in the Society of Women Geographers; her relationship to the National Geographic Society; and the Manns' annual circus parties; c. 1925-1940.
Transcript, pp. 57-101, of audiotape recording, 2 hours.

Interview 3: 14 July 1977

Box 1 of 1
Interview of Lucile Mann covers the Manns' participation in the National Geographic Society-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to the East Indies in 1937, visit to European zoos in 1938, collecting trip to the Argentine in 1939, acquisition of Indian rhinoceroses, and the Firestone-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to Liberia in 1940, c. 1937-1948.
Transcript, pp. 102-128, of audiotape recording, 1 hour.

Interview 4: 20 July 1977

Box 1 of 1
Interview of Lucile Mann covers the Manns' participation in the Firestone-Smithsonian Expedition to Liberia in 1940; Malcolm Davis' collecting with the Byrd Antarctic Expeditions; the effects of World War II on the NZP, including William Mann's appointment as a "Technical Observer" for the military; and Lucile Mann's recollections of NZP staff, including William H. Blackburne, Head Keeper, and Ernest Pillsbury Walker, Assistant Director, c. 1925-1956.
Transcript, pp. 129-175, of audiotape recording, 1.5 hours.

Interview 5: 11 August 1977

Box 1 of 1
Interview of Lucile Mann covers the Anteaters' Association; the Manns' 1948 trip to European zoos; Ant Hill Odyssey; administration and funding of the NZP; the Friends of the National Zoo; famous zoo residents, including N'Gi, Smokey the Bear, Ham, Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling; Lucile Mann's career in the director's office of the NZP; and recollections of Theodore H. Reed, Director of the NZP, c. 1925-1971.
Transcript, pp. 176-219, of audiotape recording, 1.5 hours.

Interview 6: 16 August 1977

Box 1 of 1
Interview of Lucile Mann includes reminiscences about William M. Mann's life and personality, his retirement from the NZP and founding of the Vivarium Society; reminiscences of Alexander Woollcott and Noel Coward; Theodore H. Reed's administration of the NZP; Lucile Mann's editorial work for the NZP; funding for the zoo; and the history of Holt House, the old NZP administration building; c. 1922-1977.
Transcript, pp. 220-250, of audiotape recording, 1 hour.

Tapes of Interviews

Session 1: 9 June 1977

Box 1 of 1
Total Recording Time: 1.5 hours
Original Masters: 2 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Preservation Masters: 3 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 2 cassette audiotapes; 3 .mp3 files.

Session 2: 22 June 1977

Box 1 of 1
Total Recording Time: 2 hours
Original Masters: 2 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Preservation Masters: 4 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 2 cassette audiotapes; 4 .mp3 files.

Session 3: 14 July 1977

Box 1 of 1
Total Recording Time: 1 hour
Original Masters: 1 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotape
Preservation Masters: 2 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 1 cassette audiotape; 2 .mp3 files.

Session 4: 20 July 1977

Box 1 of 1
Total Recording Time: 1.5 hours
Original Masters: 2 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Preservation Masters: 3 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 2 cassette audiotapes; 3 .mp3 files.

Session 5: 11 August 1977

Box 1 of 1
Total Recording Time: 1.5 hours
Original Masters: 2 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Reference Copies: 2 cassette audiotapes.

Sessions 6: 16 August 1977

Box 1 of 1
Total Recording Time: 1 hour
Original Masters: 1 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotape
Reference Copies: 1 cassette audiotape.

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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION ARCHIVES [[right justified]] P. 1 [[/justified]] ORAL HISTORY PROJECT JUNE–AUGUST 1977 [[right justified]] 9513 [[/justified]] LUCILE QUARRY MANN, 1897 – Lucile Quarry Mann is an editor and former staff member of the National Zoological Park (NZP). She was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and received the B. A. in English from the University of Michigan in 1919. During World War I she worked in Washington, D. C. with Military Intelligence. After the war she was appointed assistant editor of the Bureau of Entomology of the United States Department of Agriculture. Lucile Mann left the Bureau in nineteen twenty-two and became an editor for [[underline]] The Woman's Home Companion [[/underline]] . In 1926 she married William M. Mann (1886 –1960) an entomologist specializing in ants and termites. After receiving the Sc.D. from Harvard in 1915, William Mann collected in Fiji and the Solomon Islands as the Sheldon traveling fellow. From 1917 to 1925, William Mann was a specialist in ants for the Bureau of Entomology and, during 1921–1922, participated in the Mulford Biological Exploration of the Amazon Basin. In 1925 William Mann was appointed director of the National Zoological Park,and in 1926 led the Smithsonian Institution-Chrysler Expedition to Africa to collect animals for the NZP. Both the Manns traveled extensively for the NZP: to European zoos in 1929, 1938, and 1948, Central America in 1930, British Guiana in 1931, the National Geographic Society-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to the East Indies in 1937, Argentina in 1939, and the Firestone-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to Liberia in 1940. William Mann represented the Explorers Club and Lucile Mann the Society of Women Geographers in their travels. Lucile Mann began work in the administrative offices of the NZP in 1951, continuing after William Mann's retirement in 1956 and death in 1960. She was primarily responsible for the NZP's annual report until her retirement in 1971. Both the Manns published about their lives and interests. In addition to his many scientific monographs, William Mann published [[underline]] Wild Animals in and Out Of the Zoo [[/underline]] (1929) and [[underline]] Ant Hill Odyssey [[/underline]] (1948). Lucile Mann published [[underline]] From Jungle to Zoo, Adventures of a Naturalist's Wife [[/underline]] (1934), [[underline]] Tropical Aquarium Fishes [[/underline]] (1934), and [[underline]] Friendly Animals, a Book of Unusual Pets [[/underline]] (1935). The Manns had a wide circle of friends in many walks of life. William Mann was a circus fan as well as an opera enthusiast.
9513 p. 2 Lucile Mann kept tropical aquarium fishes and published about her hobby. William Mann founded the Vivarium Society, a group of individuals interested in keeping cold blooded pets. Many animals born in the NZP were raised in the Manns' home across the street. Lucile Mann was interviewed on 9 and 22 June, 14 and 20 July, and 11 and 16 August 1977 by Pamela M. Henson. The interviews cover Lucile Mann's education; editorial and administrative careers with the Bureau of Entomology and National Zoological Park; marriage to William M. Mann and life as wife of the NZP Director; travels and expeditions for the zoo; animals raised in their home; famous residents of the zoo, such as N'Gi and Smokey; and reminiscences about famous scholars and personalities such as Austin H. Clark, Leonhard Stejneger, Noel Coward and Alexander Woollcott. Lucile Mann was interviewed for the oral history project because of her long association with the Smithsonian Institution and the National Zoological Park spanning 58 years. [[underlined]]Dates:[[underlined]] 1896-1900 1901-1905 1906-1910 1911-1915 1916-1920 1921-1925 1926-1930 1931-1935 1936-1940 1941-1945 1946-1950 1951-1955 1956-1960 1961-1965 1966-1970 1971-1975 1976-1980 [[underlined]]Box 1[[underlined]] Transcript of Interviews 9 Jun 1977 Interview of Lucile Mann covers her youth; education; early career as an editor, especially for the Bureau of Entomology, United States Department of Agriculture; marriage to William M. Mann; life as wife of the Director of the National Zoological Park; recollections of Austin H. Clark and Leonhard Stejneger; activities with the Washington Biologists' Field Club, Vivarium Society, and the Snake Society of Liberia; Works Progress Administration and Public Works of Art additions to the zoo during the depression; and animal collecting; c. 1897-1940, pp. 1-56. 22 June 1977 Interview of Lucile Mann covers the Manns' 1929 trip to European zoos, 1930 collecting trip to Central America, 1931 collecting trip to British Guiana, and expeditions to Liberia and Sumatra; the Society of Women Geographers; the National Geographic Society; and the Manns' annual circus parties; c. 1925-1940, opp. 57-101.
9513 [[right justified]] p. 3 [[/justified]] 14 July 1977 Interview of Lucile Mann covers the Manns' participation in the National Geographic Society-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to the East Indies in 1937, visit to European zoos in 1938, collecting trip to the Argentine in 1939, acquisition of Indian rhinoceroses, and the Firestone-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to Liberia in 1940, c. 1937 – 1948, pp. 102 – 128. 20 July 1977 Interview of Lucile Mann covers the Manns' participation In the Firestone-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to Liberia in 1940, Malcolm Davis' collecting with the Byrd Antarctic Expeditions, the effects of World War II on the NZP, "William Mann's appointment as "Technical Observer" and Lucile Mann's recollections of William H. Blackburne, Head Keeper, and Ernest Pillsbury Walker, Assistant Director, of the NZP, c. 1925-1956, pp. 129-175. 11 August 1977 Interview of Lucile Mann covers the Anteaters' Association; the Manns' 1948 trip to European zoos, especially the effects of World War II on the zoos; [[underline]] Ant Hill Odyssey [[/underline]] ; administration and funding of the NZP; the Friends of the National Zoo; famous zoo residents, including N'Gi, Smokey the Bear, Ham, Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling; Lucile Mann's career in the director's office of the NZP; and recollections of Theodore H. Reed, director of the NZP; c 19.25-1971, pp. 176-219. 16 August 1977 Interview of Lucile Mann covers reminiscences about William M Mann's life and personality, his retirement from the NZP and founding of the Vivarium Society; reminiscences of Alexander Walcott and Noel Coward; Theodore H. Reads administration of the NZP; Lucile Mann's editorial work for the NZP; funding for the zoo; and the history of Holt House, the old NZP administration building; c. 1922-1977, pp. 220-250. Tapes of Interviews 9 June 1977 – 1 1/2 hours 22 June 1977 – 2 hours 14 July 1977 – 1 hour 20 July 1977 – 1 1/2 hours
9513 p. 4 11 August 1977 - 1 1/2 hours 16 August 1977 - 1 hour Pamela M. Henson September 1978
Oral History Interview with Lucile Quarry Mann June 9, 1977 at her home at 3001 Veazey Terrace, N.W., Washington, D.C. by Pamela M. Henson Interviewer for the Smithsonian Institution Archives HENSON: We're going to begin with your biographical background. Maybe we can start with where and when you were born. MANN: I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1897. I was the oldest of five children and grew up in Ann Arbor. Instead of going to High School there, I went to a convent school for five years in Grosse Pointe Farms, outside of Detroit. Then I went to the University of Michigan, and graduated in 1919: [[underlined]] summa cum laude [[/underlined]] and Phi Beta Kappa. In 1918, of course, the war was on. I did have a job in Detroit briefly; but I had a friend in Washington in military intelligence, and the man that she was working for, Captain Hilt, his name was, wanted somebody who knew Italian. I had taken a course in Italian--two years in college, one year just grammar and whatnot--and then I had read all of Dante in the original. So I got a job in Washington, military intelligence, translating Italian newspapers and military dispatches, and Dante was not much help.
2 Henson: No. [Laughter] Mann: That was in September, and of course, the war was over in November, and military intelligence folded up. Military intelligence, by the way, had a small office somewhere on F Street. It was on the second floor, I think, over Jelleff's store. That was our military intelligence in World War I. We had no Pentagon, no CIA [Central Intelligence Agency]. Henson: Just the top of the building? Mann: Yes. Of course, I think there may have been some other buildings, but no special installations for military intelligence. I had taken a [United States] Civil Service [Commission] exam back in Ann Arbor for editorial clerk, and I got a letter from Civil Service asking me if I would accept a position in the Bureau of Entomology, [United States] Department of Agriculture, and I had to look in the dictionary to see what entomology was! So I became the assistant editor of the bureau for four years, and that's how I got to the Bureau of Entomology. Henson: Who was the editor at that time? Mann: Rolla P. Currie. Henson: What was your major in college? Mann: English. I took journalism, history--liberal arts.
3 HENSON: Right, that kind of course. Did you have any really special interests in college you were involved in? MANN: Oh, I was a reporter on the [[underlined]] Michigan Daily [[/underlined]], I was editor of the literary magazine, the [[underlined]] Inlander [[/underlined]], and I wrote for the [[underlined]] Inlander. [[/underlined]] That was my special interest. Of course I had to do other things, too. HENSON: Right. . .[laughter]. . .but that was your area. What were you doing at the Bureau of Entomology, what kind of editing? MANN: Well, there are farmers' bulletins and then there are more scientific publications. Anything that the Bureau of Entomology published went through our office, and it was just Mr. Currie, and me, and one secretary. It was a small office in a small building that doesn't exist anymore. My college course in Dante had been of little use to me in my work in Military Intelligence. My courses in astronomy and geology were of no use at all in Entomology. I remember one noon hour when I was alone in the office, and a young man came in asking if we had a pamphlet on [[underlined]] Cimex lectularius. [[/underlined]] "Do you know the common name?" I asked. The young man turned bright pink. "Bedbug," he said. HENSON: Where was your office? MANN: This was before the new agriculture building was put up. There was an old, red brick agriculture building--good sized, of
4 course. Then there was this little separate building, very small, sitting all by itself out in then lawn. It was nice; it was a very pleasant place. HENSON: Oh, yes. Were most of the entomologists there? MANN: Oh yes. Well, some of them had offices in the [United States Museum of] Natural History building. That's where Dr. [William M.] Mann's office was. He didn't have an office in the same building where I was, which is probably why I didn't meet him for some time. Do you want to know how I met him? HENSON: Yes, let's hear that. MANN: One day I had to take the bibliography of a manuscript over to the central library in the Natural History Museum to check the titles, to be sure the pages were right, and all that sort of thing. The librarian showed me into an office where there were two desks. They were facing each other, right close together, but they had a giant bookcase so I couldn't see who was sitting at the other desk. But there was a little square opening, so that if the two people who were sitting there were friends or colleagues I suppose they could pass books and papers back and forth. I was working on this bibliography, and the man on the other side pushed a box of chocolates through, and he said, "Have a chocolate." I said, "No, thank you,"[Laughter] And he said, "Have a chocolate. They're good for librarians." I said, "I'm not a librarian, I'm an editor." "Well, have a chocolate anyway, " he said. [Laughter]
5 So that was how I met him. Of course I didn't know his name; I didn't see him. HENSON: Right, you didn't know who it was. MANN: So afterwards I asked the librarian, "Who was sitting at the other desk?" She said, "Oh, that was Dr. Mann. Surely you know Dr. Mann." No. Well, I actually met him at a friend's house later at dinner. That was just shortly before I left Washington. In then summer of '22, I went to Europe and then back to Ann Arbor--bored with Ann Arbor, went to New York to seek my fortune. So it was four years later that I got married. That letter you mentioned, that would have been about 1925. One of my friends in the Bureau of Entomology wrote me and told me that Dr. Mann had now been made director of the zoo [National Zoological Park]. I knew how crazy he was about the zoo, wonderful. It just fitted, you know, the square peg in the square hole, so I wrote him a letter. I hadn't seen him then for three years, so the next time he came up to New York he called me up. That was at the time he was getting ready for the Chrysler Expedition to Africa, so he was in New York quite often--arrangements with the Chrysler people, and [[underlined]] Pathe [Review][[underlined]], who sent a movie man along on the expedition. He was up, and then we eventually got engaged, and I would come down to Washington one weekend, and stay at the Dodge Hotel, which was a very proper place for ladies only. He was living at the Cosmos Club, so we did our courting out in Farragut
6 Square, someplace like that. [laughter] Then, of course, he took off for nine months; he was gone on the Chrysler Expedition, and we got married in October when he came back. HENSON: How did you feel about letting him go off to the wilds of East Africa? MANN: I was pretty worried about him, and there were some kind of exciting stories in the newspaper. There was one about him being charged by a herd of buffalo. It was a picture, a drawing that some artist had made that really looked as though poor Bill had no chance at all. [Laughter] HENSON: Yes, he has that story in one of his books. MANN: Yes, he did. HENSON: And that is quite a story. MANN: He said the herd parted and went around him. HENSON: But it was close. MANN: There were some good stories in that book.* I like the one about when they caught a gnu, and they didn't have anything to tie it up with, and he took his belt off, and I think tied the animal's legs together or something, and the animal shook them off and started bounding off over the horizon, and the movie man said, "Oh, Bill, do that all over again." *William M. Mann, [[underlined]] Wild Animals In and Out of the Zoo. [[/underlined]] Smithsonian Science Series, vol. VI.
7 HENSON: Not so easy. Would you at that point--because you mentioned in [[underlined]] From Jungle to Zoo [[/underlined]] that you weren't that interested in that type of thing--would you have wanted to have gone on the trip at that point? MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: You would have, it struck your adventurous spirit. MANN: I didn't know much about zoology or natural history. I'd grown up with dogs and cats and horses, and I loved to ride. But I didn't know anything about wild animals. HENSON: Or being out in the jungle. Did you have a lot of pets while you were growing up, a lot of animals around? MANN: Nothing wild, though. HENSON: Right, but all domestic. MANN: Nowadays, children have hamsters, and gerbils, and parakeets. I just had dogs and cats, and our neighbors had very good riding horses. When I was living in Washington, shortly after World War I, I used to hire a horse in a livery stable and go riding in Rock Creek Park. HENSON: Also, did you attend circuses very much as a child? MANN: No, I went often as my father would take me.
8 HENSON: You never had dreams of running away with the circus? MANN: No, I never did. Bill did, of course. HENSON: I also wanted to ask you, did you ever run away? MANN: No. HENSON: You never ran away from home? MANN: No, never wanted to. HENSON: Right, I thought that would be interesting to ask. MANN: But I liked to read adventure stories, and when I first met Bill Mann, and he would tell stories about the expeditions he'd been on--oh, I just thought it'd be so wonderful to be able to do that sort of thing. And, of course it was, as I found out. HENSON: Yes, If you know what you're doing. What was it like at the Bureau of Entomology when you came there? Was it fairly large or closely knit? MANN: No, it was a small building, not a big force. Dr.[Leland Ossian]] L. O. Howard was the chief, a very dear old man, and [Chester Lester] C. L. Marlatt. I don't know whether he was actually Howard's assistant; he was sort of second in command, and he specialized in the quarantine regulations. Bill was the tropical explorer. They would send him off to Mexico or Spain--he went to Spain a good deal--to
9 investigate, well for instance, the grapes and the Mediterranean fruit fly that they were so afraid would be introduced into this country. That was why Bill went to Spain, because he'd heard that the oranges in Valencia were infested with fruit flies, and he found out they were. So the United States was not allowed to import item. (This was true also of grapes from Almeria.) HENSON: So what he was doing was very agriculturally or food related? MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: Was he doing much systematics also in the museum? MANN: Oh, yes, his real interest was taxonomy. He was a great collector of especially ants--myrmecophiles and termitophiles--but he also had a big collection of beetles. Before he retired from the zoo, sometime in the 1950s, he gave his collection--I think his entire insect collection--to the Smithsonian, and it was estimated there were a hundred thousand specimens of ants and almost as many beetles. It was his lifetime collection. One of the letters I have out to give you today was written to Bill when he was either a freshman or sophomore at Washington State College, in Portland, Washington. It was from an entomologist in the bureau here, who eventually was a great friend of ours, Sievert [Allen] Rohwer, who was a specialist on wasps. This letter was to thank Bill for sending him the species of [[underlined]] Oxybelis,[[/underlined]] and saying that one of them was a new one,
10 and that he had named it [[underlined]] Oxybelis manni [[/underlined]]. So you can imagine what a thrill that was for a kid just starting out. HENSON: That was the first species that got named for him, right? MANN: Yes, that was the first thing that was named for him. HENSON: And he was still in undergraduate school. MANN: I have that letter still. HENSON: You do have that letter? MANN: Yes, you can put it in the archives. HENSON: Yes. You knew Dr. [John Enos] Graf at entomology. What was he doing there then? MANN: What was his specialty? It wasn't ants. I'm sorry, I've forgotten what his specialty was because he didn't really stay with it awfully long; he went into administrative work. [truck crop insects] HENSON: Now, he may even have been in administrative work at that point. Was he in Washington all the time? MANN: Yes. HENSON: He wasn't out in the field as much? MANN: Dr. Mann was theoretically six months in the tropics and then six months here identifying his collections.
11 HENSON: So it was the major part of his job. MANN: Of course, it didn't always work out that way. Mr. Marlatt would call then and say, "Mann, how soon can you leave for Haiti?" Bill would say, "Oh, I could leave tonight." [Laughter] HENSON: Off he'd go. When did you first meet Dr. Graf? When you went to work there? MANN: I suppose when I first went to work there. HENSON: Did you get to know him fairly well or work closely with him? MANN: No, I just used to see him around, and he was always very pleasant. Then after Bill and I were married, and after John and Dorothy Graf were married, we used to see a great deal of each other. HENSON: Were they publishing, let's say, monographs that you would edit, scientific monographs, at that point? MANN: I think so. I probably edited something that Johnnie wrote, but I don't remember it now. I remember a Dr. [Ernest Adna] Back, and he wrote something, and then there was Dr. [Altus Lucius] Quaintance, Dr. [Frank Hurlbut] Chittenden I knew--he was right in the next office to Mr. Currie's--and there was a chief clerk called O'Leary, I remember him very well. HENSON: Did you ever know Harrison [Gray] Dyar?
12 MANN: No, I don't think I ever met him. HENSON: [Laughter] Probably just as well. MANN: Old Dr. [Eugene Amandus] Schwarz--Bill was very fond of him. I didn't know him well, but I did meet him. He was much older than we were. HENSON: Right. How much contact was there back and forth between the Smithsonian and Agriculture? You mentioned going over to the library in the National Museum. Was there that close a contact between the two? MANN: Yes. The men working who were actually hired by the Department of Agriculture very often had offices in the museum. I know that until Dr. Mann went to the zoo in 1925, he was on the payroll of the Department of Agriculture, but his office was in the museum, and he was associate curator of insects. HENSON: Right, Hymenoptera it said in the old [[underlined]] Annual Report [[underlined]]. He retained that all the way through, didn't he? MANN: Yes, when he first came to the zoo, he had a preparator come out one day a week and would work on insects with her, but eventually the zoo was enough to fill up all his days. He wrote a few papers but not so many after he joined the zoo. Eventually he had to give up being a curator, it was too much. But he never lost his interest in insects. Wherever we were, he always had a butterfly net in his hand.
13 HENSON: I noticed too, it mentioned that at that point, when he would go, let's say, to Mexico, or Haiti, or someplace like that, that he would bring back specimens for the National Museum, but also live animals for the zoo. He was collecting for the zoo at the point. MANN: Yes. HENSON: Did he know Ned Hollister and have close ties at the point? MANN: Oh, yes, he knew Ned Hollister. I think he must have known Frank Baker, because if you read [[underlined]]Ant Hill Odyssey, [[/underlined]] you recall that he worked briefly in the zoo when he was seventeen, eighteen years old. Baker would have been director at that time I think. HENSON: That's right, that far back. MANN: He was always very much in love with the zoo and with animals; he loved animals. I was warned when I married him he'd have snakes in the apartment, and frogs, and turtles in the bathtub. [Laughter] HENSON: That was the least of it, considering what you wound up with eventually. [Laughter] Also, was there much contact with the other parts of Agriculture, specifically Bureau of Biological Survey? Did you see those people much? MANN: I didn't when I was in the Bureau of Entomology, but after we were married, Bill knew a great many of them.
14 HENSON: Right, now did you ever meet during that time [Alexander] Wetmore or [Paul] Oehser? MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: You did know them in the early days? Did Dr. Mann know Dr. Wetmore? MANN: Oh, yes. See, Wetmore was director of the zoo for six months before he became. . .did he go from there to be Secretary, no, Assistant Secretary, I think. HENSON: Right, director of the United States National Museum. MANN: Yes, and then eventually Secretary of the Smithsonian. No, I met him almost as soon as we were married. When Bill came back from Africa, from the Chrysler Expedition, of course he had a few very busy days. He had a budget hearing; he was trying to find place in the zoo for sixteen hundred additional animals. The newspapers, of course, were just all over him all the time. He met Dr. Howard one day, and Dr. Howard said, "Well, Mann, I hear you're going to get married. When?" And Bill said, "Oh, as soon as I find an odd moment." Then he went to Dr. Wetmore towards the end of the week--Thursday or Friday-- and said, "Well, I think I'll have time to get married on Saturday. I better go and get a license." And Dr. Wetmore said, "Do you want all the newspaper men in town camped on the church steps?" Bill said, "Heavens no." "Well then, wait until Saturday morning." Dr. Wetmore said.
15 Henson: To get the license? Mann: To get the license-in those days you could do that. So we had a very quiet wedding. My mother and one of Bill's friends were the only witnesses. Then our honeymoon was spent in the Philadelphia Zoo and the New York Zoo, then we came back on Monday. [Laughter] Henson: What a honeymoon! Now is the New York Zoo the one where he had left you outside the reptile house? Mann: Yes. Henson: What a way to overcome your fear of reptiles. What was the Bureau of Entomology like? I've heard the Department of Agriculture was kind of bureaucratic in those days. Was it very civil service or very bureaucratic? Mann: I don't know. I had a very minor position, I wouldn't have known. Henson: Yes, if it was. But you don't recall it being very difficult to get things done or things like that? Mann: Oh, no. Henson: What was D.C. like during the war? Was it much different? Mann: World War I? Henson: Yes.
16 Mann: Well, there were still horses and carriages. It was a small town. There were various boarding houses and cafeterias where we ate, and there was always a long line outside. There was a place with very nice food called Allies Inn, and if you wanted to stand in line for an hour, you could get in there for a meal. [Laughter] The place was crowded of course; when I first arrived, I had trouble finding a place to stay. Henson: Where did you live? Mann: I stayed the first week or two with a friend who had gotten me this job on account of my fluent Italian. [Laughter] She had been a school teacher, and she knew Miss [Lucy] Madeira at Miss Madeira's school. So until the school opened, I had a room at Miss Madeira's school, which in those days was just off Dupont Circle. I met another girl there who had been a pupil at Miss Madeira's school, and she and I became friends. Eventually, when we had to move out of school when the students were coming back, we found an, first we had a room in a boarding house. That was quite an experience. We went through that famous 1918 flu epidemic. She was quite ill, and then two of her friends moved into the same boarding house and had a room there, and they came down with the flu. I managed to escape it, so I was always the one who had to call the doctor, and go out and get prescriptions filled, and that sort of thing. The boarding house was really pretty grim. It was a rooming house really, we got no meals there. So
17 we found an apartment for ourselves and for two of our friends on Seventeenth Street not far from U [Street]. So you can see Washington has changed quite a bit since that time. HENSON: Yes, if you got an apartment there. MANN: Two girls would not want to get an apartment there nowadays. But it was very nice. HENSON: How would you get down to work? Walk? MANN: I know I walked sometimes. I probably went over to Connecticut Avenue and got a streetcar, or probably it'd be Fourteenth Street and got a streetcar. The streetcar would go all the way down, I think it went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and got off and walked across to Agriculture. HENSON: Right. Did you ever visit the zoo in those days? MANN: Occasionally, but I wasn't a zoo fan. HENSON: Did you visit the United States National Museum much? MANN: Yes, I liked that. HENSONL: What was your perception of those places at that time, do you remember? MANN: Sort of overwhelming I think. [Laughter]
18 HENSON: Right. All that stuff. That was still in the case after case full of objects days, right? MANN: Oh, yes. No, I think the exhibition in museums has just improved a thousand percent. They make it much more interesting to people who are interested in other fields. HENSON: Yes, that they're not specialists in. Now when you went to New York City after that what were you doing up in New York? Were you working? MANN: Oh, yes. I was looking for a job, something to do with publishing. My first job was working on a special case for a certified public account. This had nothing whatever to do with editorial work. He had a very famous bankruptcy case, and there was so much correspondence from all the stockholders that he wanted someone just to--he didn't want to send form letters to them, he wanted someone to write them nice letters and cheer them up or break the news to them they were not going to get their money back. So that was the first job I had in New York. He was very nice and very understanding, and anytime I wanted to go or had a letter of introduction to, oh, [[underlined]] Harper's [[/underlined]] or someplace like that, he'd say, "Oh, take the afternoon off." Because he knew I wasn't going to stay with him forever. Then I got a job with Ewing Galloway, and that was a little more in my line. I was writing captions for photographs; he had a photographic news agency. That led to the [[underlined]] Woman's Home Companion [[/underlined]], which was exactly what I wanted. I was there for two or three years.
19 HENSON: What were you doing there? MANN: I was junior editor on what they call the back of the book. I had nothing to do with fashion or fiction, but food, and budgets, and bringing up children, which of course I knew a great deal about, and etiquette, all the different departments. HENSON: Where were you living in New York? Did you live in the city? MANN: Oh, yes. First I was in a boarding house; I got breakfast and dinner there, and had a room, on West Eighty-Sixth Street. Then I moved down to the [Greenwich] Village and I moved I think every year. I know I was on Waverly Place, and Ninth Street, and the last year or two on Manilla Lane which I just loved. I thought it was very picturesque. I was living there when Bill began coming to see me in New York, and he said, "Has your mother seen where you are living?" [Laughter] "What's the matter with it?" HENSON: "It's so nice." [Laughter] MANN: It was very picturesque. It came down through all these Italian pushcarts, you know, loaded with beautiful fruits and vegetables. Then you went through an iron gateway--oh, an archway--and across a paved patio, and the apartment house was built around the patio, and it was very romantic. I had what they called a studio apartment which is called an efficiency today. It was one room with no real kitchen, just a little sort of small room where I had a zinc topped table
20 and an electric plate, and I did quite a lot of cooking on my electric plate. HENSON: Yes, it can be convenient. Did you like New York City more than Washington, or one or the other? How did you feel about coming back to Washington? MANN: Well I enjoyed New York City very much when I was living there, but Washington I think is a much nicer place to live. New York is--or was in those days--a very exciting place to be. There's something in the air that just buoyed me up. HENSON: There was no publishing here at all? MANN: No, there was no publishing here. HENSON: In those days you would not have been able to do too much if you'd be working here. MANN: It didn't occur to me to try for a job on the [[underlined]] National Geographic [[/underlined]], probably couldn't have gotten it, and the [[underlined]] Smithsonian Magazine [[/underlined]], of course, wasn't founded in those days. I had letters of introduction to various publishing houses in New York; the trouble was that to somebody just starting out they didn't pay a salary that you could live on. I said that to one man, I don't know, one of the big editors, and he said, "We know that, but there's so many girls who live here that will work for practically nothing just to say that they've had experience." They lived with their families, and they could work for
21 ten dollars a week. I was offered twenty-five dollars a week. It's a little difficult to live in New York on twenty-five dollars a week. HENSON: Even back then it would still be difficult, yes. MANN: when I left, after two years at the [[underlined]] Woman's Home Companion [[/underlined]], I was getting all of forty-five dollars a week, and I lived very well--got to the theatre, bought my trousseau at Bergdoff Goodman's. [Laughter] HENSON: My goodness. MANN: Yes, there was always money. HENSON: Yes, it depends on what you allot to it. MANN: Prices were different. That was, you see, more than fifty years ago. HENSON: Right. Why had you left Bureau of Entomology? MANN: Why did I leave it? HENSON: Yes. MANN: I was not an entomologist, and eventually it seemed rather dull to me. I wanted something more exciting than bugs. [Laughter] HENSON: Little did you know!
22 MANN: Yes, I finally married a man who didn't think there was anything more exciting than bugs. HENSON: It gave you a whole new perspective on it, right? MANN: Yes. I wanted a magazine or publishing house, a little more variety. Bureau of Entomology was good practice, as far as proofreading and editing and learning all the correct signs. [BEGIN TAPE I, SIDE II] HENSON: Okay, we are in New York City. How did you feel about leaving New York and coming back down, looking forward to it? MANN: I was in love. [Laughter] Yes, it was fine because it wasn't like going to a strange city. I knew Washington and loved it. I'd seen the apartment that Bill had bought, and we were going to move into it. I brought a few sticks of furniture with me from New York and from home in Ann Arbor. Most of the first few weeks we sat around on packing cases; we didn't have chairs. We had a card table for the dining table, and that sort of thing. We made out, and of course, it was very convenient. We were on Adams Mill Road which is near one of the entrances to the zoo, and it took Bill five minutes to walk to his office. Of course he came home for lunch because we were so close, and he always brought people with him. There was never a dull day. HENSON: Oh, I bet. Did you have any trepidation about moving in with a zoo keeper and living just five minutes from the zoo?
23 MANN: No. HENSON: You didn't have any fears about having grown lions running around? MANN: Actually we didn't have much in the way of animals. One day he came home and that evening we were playing bridge with a couple, and he suddenly began looking in all his pockets--first one, then the other, looking a little harassed. I said, "What are you looking for?" "Oh, nothing." he said. So after our guests had gone he said he had brought home a small pet snake, and it was not in his pockets any longer. [Laughter] Oh, it wasn't poisonous, you know. We did keep one snake for a friend for quite a while. It was a very beautiful corn snake named Elaine Cleopatra McGuiness, and Elaine Cleopatra McGuiness had to be fed white mice. Every once in a while Bill would bring home a white mouse--alive, of course. The cage would hold the snake, but the little mouse could sometimes escape before it got eaten. I'd see this little white mouse running around the kitchen and going under the refrigerator, and getting into the dust, and turning grayer and grayer, and finally I'd tell Bill he had to set a mousetrap to catch it, which he did, and of course, if it was killed the corn snake didn't want to eat it. But that's about the only time I had an experience with snakes. I think he tried having a turtle around the house, but that wasn't....So then we graduated to tropical fish. There was something I could really go for.
24 HENSON: Yes, you got very involved in aquaria and aquarium fish, right? MANN: Yes. One time when I was up in New York, I went to see my friends on the [[underlined]] Woman's Home Companion [[/underlined]]. They showed me an article they were working on on keeping goldfish. So I said, "Oh, goldfish. Why don't you have an article on tropical fish, they're much more interesting." They said, "You write us one." which I did. I wrote an article on tropical fish. It was illustrated by Stephen Haweis, who was an artist friend of ours--he did several of the pictures that I have here in the apartment--and illustrated it beautifully. A few weeks later, shortly after the article was published in the [[underlined]] Companion [[/underlined]], I got a letter from an outfit called Leisure League. I said, "Leisure League, I haven't got any leisure." But I opened it and they wanted me to do a book on tropical fish. When Bill came home I said, "Look at this, isn't this the silliest thing you ever saw, they want me to do a book on tropical fish. I don't know enough to write a book." Bill said, "The best way to learn about something is to write a book about it." So he persuaded me to write the book on tropical fish. That was back in the 1930's, and it's just gone out of print in the last year or two. It ran for about forty years, one revision after another. HENSON: Yes, there's a '74 edition I noticed. The one I read had come out in 1974. MANN: Yes, there was a slight revision in 1974. Then they wanted me to do a really complete revision, and I had Dr. [Stanley H.]
25 Weitzman down at the museum to help me, and he made so many suggestions that the publishers got scared off, and they apparently aren't going to do it. Henson: Did you just start when researching tropical fish and got more and more into it? Mann: Yes. Henson: Then you had aquarium at home, right? Mann: We had aquarium all over the house. We had five windows in our front room, and two of them had an aquarium, and we had two windows in the living room, there was an aquarium there, and there was an aquarium in the dining room--we had four or five. One of them was a big tank--ten gallons, fifteen gallons, I forget. Henson: Did you get involved with those soon after you got married? I guess so if you wrote the book in the thirties, yes. Mann: That was after I was married. Henson: Right, did you start keeping fish afterwards fairly soon after you got married? Mann: Oh, yes. I think I kept fish almost until the time I moved out here. There didn't seem to be any good place for them here. Henson: There wasn't as much of that at that point, was there? It later became a very popular thing, didn't it?
26 Mann: No, when Bill first started, there was hardly anybody who really knew anything about them. Henson: Was that journal, I guess the one by [William T., Jr.] Innes was one of the first ones, the magazine that he put out? Mann: Bill Innes in Philadelphia was the great authority on tropical fish. I have his book still; it's very good. He was a good friend of ours. We always went to see him when we were in Philadelphia. Henson: What was the ebb and flow of people in and out visiting like? Mann: Visiting the zoo or our apartment? Henson: Both. Mann: All kinds, really, all kinds. I never knew whether Bill was going to come home with a president of Harvard or a circus clown. He like all sorts of people--everybody. In the zoo if he saw a car with a Montana license, he'd look for somebody from Montana, take them to lunch, and then probably bring them over to the apartment in the afternoon after work. He was very gregarious. I know we had--I was thinking of this just the other day--one of those safety chains on the front door, and he always said that was so if a burglar got in he couldn't get out again, because he'd rather have a burglar than have nobody in house. [Laughter] Yes, we always had company. He'd come home at 4:30, I think that was when his office hours were, maybe five o'clock and bring whoever he had been going around the zoo with. They'd get
27 talking and swapping stories about travel, and time would go on, time would go on--I'd probably have two lamb chops in the frig for dinner. So he'd make signals to me across the room, could I feed them, and I'd shake my head, so then he'd send over to a Chinese restaurant, have food brought in, and that was fine, all I had to do was make the tea, and set the table and wash the dishes afterwards. I always enjoyed the Chinese dinners. I still like Chinese food very much. HENSON: Did you ever fake out that you didn't have food in the frig for a Chinese dinner? [Laughter] MANN: I probably did. I remember one time shortly after we were married, about 1928-29, there was a meeting in Washington of the International Entomological Congress, I think that's what it was called. Anyway, there were people here from all over Europe, and Bill brought a lot of them home for lunch one day. This was before we had proper furniture or anything. He didn't give me any warning, just called up about eleven o'clock and said he was bringing home a Swiss, and a Swede, and I forget who all for lunch. I think I had already started to make a chocolate cake, but I opened a couple of cans of salmon, made some salmon salad, and gave them salmon salad and chocolate cake. A long time afterwards we met one of these men in Europe, and we got talking about. . .I think I said or somebody said, "How did you like being in the United States?" He said, oh, it was a fine place, but he didn't like the food. Of course, I took it personally. [Laughter]
28 HENSON: But that is the casual way, really, of American people. Did you see more now of Smithsonian type people, I guess Dr. Wetmore, and Dr. Graf, and people like that? MANN: Oh, yes, Bill at that time was on a committee. What could it have been? Certainly not the Board of Regents, but some group that met regularly. It was the Committee on Publications. Dr. [Leonard] Stejneger was one of them, and the editor, Marcus Benjamin, and I forget who the others were. Bill wasn't with them very long, but he brought all of them home for lunch one day. That was shortly after we were married. They were, oh, these old men, and Dr. Stejneger with a white beard, I'm sure there were some other beards, you know. I found one rather young man who was easy to talk to, and he and I chatted when I wasn't waiting on table, and he turned out to be somebody's chauffeur. [Laughter] I was so awed by the older scientists. We became great friends with the Stejnegers. HENSON: What was he like? MANN: He was a darling. His birthday and our wedding anniversary were the same date, the thirtieth of October. So one year we would go to the Stejneger's house and celebrate his birthday, then the next year they'd come to our house and celebrate our wedding anniversary. That went on for years. He was remarkable for his age. He lived to be over ninety and still his mind was always good, very active. He loved to dance. He had a party for his eightieth birthday--it was a dance.
29 I remember that was the year that "Parlez-moi d'Amor" was very popular. Dr. Stejneger and I waltzed to that. Henson: Yes, now is he the one did a mazurka? Mann: Probably. Henson: One of them did. Mann: We used to go to the Stejneger's for Christmas Eve dinner. Then they would take hands and dance around the Christmas tree, singing "Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum." He would make a great ceremony out of opening packages. Their kitchen was in the basement their dining room on the first floor. . .oh, no, their dining room was on the second floor--dining room and living room. Anyway I know we spent a good deal of time on the second floor; that certainly is where the Christmas tree was. Dr. Stejneger would run up and down those stairs, bringing glasses of wine, or bottles of beer, or something. [Laughter] Henson: With no problem at all. Mann: No problem at all. He was very active and very well until just the last. Henson: He again was a very broad gauged scientist, wasn't he? Mann: Oh, yes. He was originally an ornithologist; that was his training in Norway. He came here and applied for a job as an ornithologist; and the Smithsonian or the Natural History Museum, I
[[centered]] 30 [[/centered]] forget which one, said they couldn't use an ornithologist, what they wanted was a herpetologist. So he made himself into the best herpetologist in the world. That is a true story. He was a wonderful old man. His wife was German; she was fine too. They were both of them very hospitable. HENSON: Did you also know Austin [Hobart] Clark? MANN: Yes indeed. I met the Austin Clarks on one of those weekends when I came down here from New York, so I met them before we were married. We used to go to their house practically every Sunday evening. Mary would make Welsh Rarebit and have people in. Then Mary died, and Austin married Leila [F.], who was a librarian at the Smithsonian. They were also very good companions. Bill and I used to go on collecting trips with them. Austin had an old Ford, I think it was a Model T. He called it Henrietta. That was when he was writing his book on the butterflies of Virginia. He was doing them by counties. Bill and I went with them weekend after weekend, and sometimes for a week or two at a time. We'd camp out or we'd stay in some dismal little dive for the night. He was wonderful company, and she was too; they were delightful people. While Austin was collecting butterflies, Bill, of course, was collecting ants and beetles. I remember one time it was a Sunday night we were coming back from somewhere and stopped out in the country, in Virginia, quite a while before we got into Washington, turned off into a little lane and Austin turned off the ignition, and Bill said, "What are
31 we doing here?" Austin said, "We are going to hear the whippoorwill." We sat very quietly and pretty soon the whippoorwill began. He knew exactly where to find it. Here's a story about Austin Clark. He was so well-educated, there wasn't a field that he didn't know. One time when the Cosmos Club was having financial difficulties--should they raise the dues or what should they do? Dear old Dr. Howard said, "Well, I suggest we sell the [[underlined]] Encyclopaedia Britannica, [[/underlined]] and put up a notice that Austin Clark will be in the library from two to four every Thursday afternoon." [Laughter] He had an encyclopedic knowledge, he really did. HENSON: I can't imagine those types of minds, because the detail of just anyone of those fields is so staggering--to be able to know more than that. I've heard stories about both him and Stejneger, of younger people going to them-- like Dr. [Harald A.] Rehder going to Stejneger, and Dr. Rehder is in mollusks, yet Stejneger knowing about his field, and going out on collecting trips with Clark, and Clark knowing where to send him for things. It's a remarkable kind of mind. I guess you were getting acquainted faster and faster with natural history then? MANN: Oh, yes. I never studied it really scientifically; I don't know anything about taxonomy, even today. But you can't help but be interested in it. I know enough so I know whether they're talking about insects or birds, reptiles. HENSON: How closely knit at that point were the different societies? Dr. Mann belonged to the Baird Ornithological Club, didn't he? Do you recall that at all?
32 Mann: The name is very familiar. I think he probably did. He belonged to all sorts of things. Of course, he belonged to this Washington Biologists' Field Club up at Plummer's Island, that was one of them. Henson: Oh, would you go out there; have you been out there? Mann: Oh, yes, I was there many times. Henson: For their shad bake? [Laughter] Mann: No, actually the shad bake is for men only. Dr. [Albert Kenrick] A. K. Fisher, he as one of the people we knew in Biological Survey or [United States] Fish and Wildlife [Service]. He was another marvelous character, and a great cook. In fact, he was the one who always prepared the shad for the shad bake. At least once, maybe more than once, he cooked the shad for a small group of us, including the wives. He was not married, but he invited Bill and me, and I forget who else--perhaps Herbert [Spencer] Barber, he'd have five or six people--and he would cook. I loved it up at Plummer's Island, but haven't been out for a long time. Henson: Yes, there's a cabin there too. Mann: But it's still running. I know the same cabin is there; it hasn't fallen down yet.
33 Henson: And Dr. Wetmore would have belonged to that, and Mr. Oehser, and people like that. Did you do any collecting out on that island, I guess, little insects? Mann: I think Dr. Mann did, but Dr. Wetmore couldn't have, I mean he wouldn't be allowed to shoot birds there. But I think Bill could pick up an ant, I know he did. Of course, I've read somewhere how many species have their type locality on Plummer's Island. That is the type locality for species of insects, plants, grasses, all kinds of things. Henson: Because that's where they collected it. Mann: Yes, because that's where they were first found. So that's been in existence for quite a long time, that club. I forget now how long, sixty, seventy years at least. Henson: Then there would have also been the Vivarium Society. Mann: Bill founded the Vivarium Society. Henson: Oh, did he? Mann: Yes, it was for youngsters who like to keep cold-blooded pets. That was one of my introductions to snakes. I went to a meeting of this Vivarium Society--they met in the zoo office--and these young people, mostly boys, would bring in whatever their current pet was, and it was nearly always a snake. At one of my first meetings, one man
34 proudly produced two black snakes that were all coiled around each other, made a big ball--you could hardly make out where was the head and where was the tail on either one. That was passed around the circle from hand to hand. Well, I hadn't been married very long, I didn't want to be foolish, so I didn't scream, but I just said, "Oh, how nice," and took it and passed it on very quickly! [Laughter] But I had to get used to snakes, and I did finally. This is jumping quite a distance, but I was talking about it the other day. I met some people who had spent two and a half years in Liberia with AID [Agency for International Development], and I told them that I had been in Liberia when we were collecting animals out there, and that I had joined the secret snake society. I actually was given a title, I was a Yangwak, and the symbol of my power was an antelope horn which was decorated with cowry shells and dudu feathers--I never found out what dudu feathers were. My special power was to cut a palaver, which means to end an argument, of course. So when we came back, Bill and I showed our pictures at the White House to Franklin [Delano] Roosevelt. When we came to that part, Roosevelt turned to me, because there was a fillibuster going on in the Senate, and he said, "Mrs. Mann, may I appoint you to the Senate next week?" [Laughter] HENSON: That's incredible. MANN: But I didn't have to handle a snake at the initiation into the society. Bill did, it was a horrible looking rhinoceros viper. It didn't bite him fortunately.
35 Henson: Fortunately. You've never had much contact with people who actually do the handling--you know, down South--of poisonous snakes? There are some people, sects--the people handle them? Mann: Well, I never did. I've been to these places where they collect snake serum. That's terrifying. There's that place in Florida--what's his name, Bill [William E. Haast]. Anyway I've seen him collect cobra venom. He'll get this big cobra to stand up and spread its hood, and then he'll grab it just below the hood and close the hood, push his hand up until the hood closes and he has the snake firmly by the neck, and has it bite through a piece of rubber stretched over a glass. Of course he has been bitten several times. Henson: Oh, yes, that would be almost bound to occur. Mann: Yes. There's a place outside of Rio in Brazil, and another one outside of Bangkok, and I watched them there. In Bangkok at that time if a native got bitten handling a snake, nobody made a big fuss over him, they fined him. That was a misdemeanor to let the snake bite you. Henson: You're kidding. That is strange. Mann: Of course they had the serum right there. I never heard of anybody at one of those places actually dying, but that was true that they did fine them. It showed they'd been careless.
36 Henson: I guess from what you said that the zoo at that point did have fairly close contact with the Smithsonian itself? Mann: Yes, of course, at that time the zoo was financed by District of Columbia which made it very difficult. The money came from the District and the administration, of course, was the Smithsonian. So it was hard to get them to work together. The only time that Bill really got a lot of money was during the [Great] Depression, with the WPA [Works Progress Administration], and the PWA [Public Works Administration], and I think there was another one. That was when he built the reptile house--no the reptile house was before that--the small mammal house, and the elephant house, new wing on the bird house, the new shops, and garages, the working places. Then later, in 1940, there was still some money left in the PWA; and he was able to build the zoo restaurant and new police station.* The new police station was something that was quite badly needed. The old one had been a small room upstairs over the lion house. Of course, that led to that famous story about the sign on the grounds "Lost Children Will be Taken to the Lion House!" That was because that was police headquarters. Now the police headquarters are so sophisticated you can hardly believe it. [Sybil E.] Billy Hamlet, who is on the staff of the zoo now, was telling me the other day about coming home--she lives right across the street from the zoo, 3000 Connecticut [Avenue]. Instead of leaving her car on Connecticut Avenue she prefers to leave it in the zoo parking lot. Usually she just leaves it there when she goes home *Police station was not constructed until 1956.
37 from work--walks over to her apartment. But this time she was coming home at ten o'clock at night, so she stopped outside the zoo gates, I think she pressed a button, and then she announced to nobody in particular, "This is Billy Hamlet; I want to put my car on the A parking lot." The gates swung open, and she drove her car in, the gates closed behind her, and she walked out and said again, "This is Billy Hamlet; I'm leaving the zoo." It was all done by pushbutton in the police headquarters which are way on the other side of the park, near Adams Mill Road, and this was Connecticut Avenue. Henson: That would be eerie not seeing anyone, just have it go back and forth. I guess things were a lot more informal in those days. Mann: Oh, they certainly were. Henson: Was the money actually coming from the District of Columbia? It wasn't federal tax money? It was from the District? Mann: Yes, District. The District needed money for other things, of course, firemen, and police, and schools, and hospitals, and it was hard to get enough money for the zoo. Henson: Was that because it was viewed as a District park? Mann: Yes, but it wasn't. It was always the national zoo. In the early days the federal government paid half of the cost and the District paid the other half because, of course, the District residents
38 do enjoy that park, which when the zoo was founded was described as, "a pleasant carriage ride from the heart of the city." About--I forget the year--sometime between 1910 and 1920, it was just dumped completely on the District. It's only gone to the federal government in recent years, as you know. HENSON: Right, and I guess funds were tight for the upkeep, so you really couldn't do any extra building for things? MANN: It ran on a very small budget in those days compared to what they do today. The zoo now is really getting to be beautiful. There are a number of new exhibits that I haven't seen yet, and I must get down there. They say the new polar bear exhibit is very good. Of course, I think the William M. Mann lion and tiger exhibit is the most beautiful building in Washington! [Laughter] HENSON: It is. MANN: Isn't it gorgeous? HENSON: . . .the way it goes up on the side like that. MANN: Yes, those green terraces when the white tigers are disporting, I think it's great. HENSON: Yes, it's just unbelievable. I noticed in the [[underlined]] Annual Reports [[/underlined]] that Dr. Mann wanted that type of display for lions and monkeys almost back to the 1920s. He had seen that in Europe, and he was writing
39 in the [[underlined]] Annual Report [[/underlined]] on the needs for the zoo that he wanted the barless type of enclosure with the moat for them. MANN: Yes. HENSON: So I guess that was a long term achievement to finally get that. Do you know the rest of the story about the myna bird? [BEGIN TAPE II, SIDE I] MANN: The myna bird, when it came to the zoo--it had been brought by Captain [Henry C.] Kellers, in the navy. He brought this back from probably the East Indies. It could say, "Hello boy", "it's been raining all day", "so's your old man", and "goodbye." He said goodbye in two different ways, he said, "goodbye?" And he'd say, "[[underline]] good [[/underline]] -bye!" He was taught to say, "How about the appropriation?" which he said very well. The annual meeting of the Board of Regents came about at the Smithsonian and each branch of the Smithsonian had to have an exhibit. Bill took the myna bird in a cage down to this meeting. After the meeting the men all came out and wandered around looking at the exhibits. There were three Presidents of the United States there, I forget who was the President and which ones were retired. It was [Calvin] Coolidge, [Herbert] Hoover, and I think [William Howard] Taft. There was General [Herbert Mayhew] Lord, head of the budget, Dwight [W.] Morrow, and any number of important people. When they got close to the zoo exhibit, Bill slipped into the enclosure, and well, he said he refreshed the
40 bird's memory. So when the men came in to look at it, the bird spoke up and said, "How about the appropriation?" General Lord gave it a dirty look, and the bird said again, "How about the appropriation?" So General Lord turned to Bill and said, "I call that impertinent." And the bird said, "So's your old man." It really happened just that way. So General Lord said, "Who educated that bird?" Bill said that he had no idea but he would certainly find out and punish him properly. . .[laughter]. . .for being so rude. Henson: General Lord was a rather dour character, wasn't he? Mann: I guess, I never knew him. Henson: I've heard that he was a rather somber person. Mann: Actually I don't think we had much to do with him because we were on the District budget and not the federal one. Henson: Dr. Mann also used to show up with pets for the appropriations hearings, wouldn't he? I read that at one point. Mann: Oh, yes, I suppose so; I should think he would have. Henson: He liked to entertain the appropriation committee with a monkey on his shoulder or something while they were trying to debate the zoo's appropriation. Shortly after you got married he got the money for the bird house, and then the money for the reptile house. How did he manage to get that at that point?
41 MANN: That was a special appropriation from Congress. HENSON: Oh, that was from Congress. MANN: Of course, Congress appropriated, and still appropriates, the money for the District. HENSON: That's right, I see. MANN: This was getting a special appropriation. Dr. Wetmore got the appropriation for the bird house, because that was being built when we were first married. Then Bill went to work on getting an appropriation for the reptile house, and he got that in 1930, as I remember it. Then in the forties, when there was that WPA money, we got an appropriation to finish the bird house, to put that whole new wing on it. Now the whole bird house has been done completely over, and it's a really very beautiful, great improvement on the rows of small cages. I think the big aviary is lovely, a walk-through aviary indoors, and of course, the one outdoors is a walk-through one also. This year they put in all new waterfowl ponds, and large paddocks for cranes and pheasants, and it's really beautiful. HENSON: I've been through that free flight cage, and it's just an incredible experience. MANN: Yes. You've been through them both? HENSON: Yes, and the indoor one with the pools and rocks.
42 MANN: I think that's lovely HENSON: Now Dr. Wetmore would have been interested in that because his field was birds. MANN: Yes. HENSON: He was an ornithologist. Do you know if Dr. Mann went directly himself to the PWA? How did he actually get that, do you know? MANN: He got it through Mrs. [Mary Vaux] Walcott, and Mrs. [Anna W.] Ickes. Mrs. Walcott and Mrs. Ickes were great friends, and [Harold L.] Ickes was Secretary of the Interior, and he had the money. That's how the zoo got that. HENSON: Because none of the other Smithsonian bureaus got quite as much done during that time as the zoo did. MANN: Yes, the zoo did very well. Then of course the war came along and there was no more money for anything. HENSON: And there was quite a period of time there where nothing else was built at all. MANN: Nothing was going on. The last few years it really has made wonderful strides. HENSON: Yes, I guess it runs in cycles like that with the building. MANN: Dr. [Theodore H.] Reed is doing a magnificent job.
[[centered]] 43 [[/centered]] HENSON: What did Dr. Mann see as the major problems for the zoo when he took it over, when you were first there? What plans did he have for it? Did he talk about that much? MANN: Well he always had plans for it, but what he principly had to do was figure out how he could run it on the amount of money he had. The first gorilla that we had, a little animal called N'Gi was collected by a man called J. L. Buck, no relation to Frank Buck. It came from, I think, the Camaroons. He brought the gorilla to our zoo, wanted to sell it to Bill, and of course, Bill was dying to have it. The zoo had never had a gorilla. I forget what Buck wanted for it, I think it was five thousand dollars. That would have depleted our entire budget for animals for the year, that was the way he had to figure. There was money left from the Chrysler expedition, and that was in a special fund for the purchase of animals. When the expedition came back Bill put in an account and said there was this money left, I forget what it was, something like ten or fifteen thousand dollars. Chrysler said, "Keep it for purchase of animals." So that's how we bought the first gorilla. HENSON: I wanted to ask you, it said in that book that he was on his way down to Cuba. Would that have been going to Madame [Dona Rosalia] Abreu? Do you know? He was supposedly bringing it down to Havanna and stopped there. Would Buck have been bringing the gorilla down to sell to her?
44 MANN: Yes, he might have. I think that's what he was going to do--Madame Abreu. I know when I went to Madame Abreu's, as you know, it's a strange place. After she died some of the animals came to the Philadelphia Zoo. I think some sent to that great ape place outside of Jacksonville. HENSON: That must've been a strange experience. One of the things it seemed he wanted to do was increase the range of collections--different animals, exotic animals. MANN: Yes. That wasn't as much thought in those days of the importance of a breeding zoo. A zoo was for exhibition. I remember he always used to say he wanted a breeding trio, but he would settle for one individual of a species. It was rather pathetic to have one very rare animal and not be able to find a mate for it. Nowadays the emphasis is all on having a mate or building up a herd, and the zoos do a great deal more today in exchanging animals and lending animals for breeding purposes. I was reading just the other day about a black leopard that we had, a magnificent animal, the biggest black leopard I've ever seen. He was here for a number of years, and they had several litters, but his mate died. While the house was being built we sent this black leopard, his name was Kalu, to two or three other zoos--I think St. Louis was one of them, perhaps Chicago. He would mate with black leopards and those zoos and then finally came back here when this house was finished. That's something that I thoroughly approve of. Because now the conservationists. . .you know, all these endangered
45 species, and whatnot, and there are a good many instances where species only exist in zoos, such as the Pere David's deer. Well, our new atlas lions, for instance, that we just got a year or so ago for the zoo, they're no longer in the wild. They're beautiful animals. HENSON: Are these descended from other zoo animals? MANN: Yes, these came from a zoo in Morocco, I think M'Rabat. HENSON: Now when you were out in the field then was there as much restriction on bringing animals back? I guess not in those days. MANN: No. Certain things were. Even back as far as the Chrysler expedition, they brought back two giraffes from Africa, and the giraffes had to be quarantined at the station in New Jersey before they could come down here. I don't think there was a quarantine on birds, for instance, that there is now. Anything in the antelope line had to be quarantined because. . . HENSON: Hooved stock, yes. MANN: . . .there were small antelopes as well as big ones. HENSON: Was there much restriction in terms of taking animals out of countries? Would you have had trouble, let's say? Or would you have had to get a lot of permits? MANN: Oh, you always had to get permits. I wasn't on the Chrysler expedition, but I know they did have to have permits. I knew
46 a great deal at the time about getting permits to collect in the East Indies when we were there. We got a letter from some Dutch authority in Java, saying that he approved the expedition "in principle," so we started right for Sumatra, and then found it was only "in principle." When it came down to how many specimens of this, that, and the other we could have, they were being very fussy about it. We did get practically everything we wanted, but we always had to have permits. HENSON: I was just wondering how much there was back then of that type of restriction. MANN: I know in Africa a hunter's license was necessary years and years ago. HENSON: I know at one point they had problems when they wanted a gorilla. They had a gorilla all ready from Africa to bring up, from French Equatorial Africa, and there was a problem with permits so it couldn't be exported. There was something in the correspondence about that. MANN: I suppose there's a lot more of that now. Now you're not allowed to bring in not only a spotted cat--a leopard or jaguar or ocelot--unless it's going to a recognized zoo, but you can't bring in a fur coat from Paris. If you bring in a leopard coat that's been made in Paris, customs men will take it away from you the minute you hit New York.
[[centered]] 47 [[/centered]] HENSON: I didn't realize that it can't even be imported back in any form. MANN: No. HENSON: But there probably wouldn't have been anywhere near as much of that. MANN: There are certain reptiles that are also protected. You can't have alligator shoes anymore. HENSON: Right, things like that. Then in 1929, Dr. Mann published the first edition of [[underlined]] Wild Animals In and Out of the Zoo [[/underlined]]. MANN: Yes. HENSON: How did that get done? I guess you helped him quite a bit with that. MANN: Not very much with that, no. He worked more with John Ellingston, who was the editor of that entire series. The Smithsonian sent Gladys [O.] Visel out to the zoo so many days a week, and she would sit in his office and take dictation. He would say, "Is that enough for a chapter?" She'd say, "No, you better do another paragraph." [Laughter] It finally got done. First he started doing it with a newspaper man here, Thomas [R.] Henry, and that didn't turn out very well. It was journalese. Tom was an excellent writer, of course, and became a very good newspaper man, but the Smithsonian didn't care for the first draft.
48 That was when they sent out Miss Visel, and John Ellingston sort of stood by and told Bill what he should do. What I did for that book was the appendix, there were two appendixes (I saw that word the other day, I always said appendices). One was a list of longevity records for every animal, bird, and reptile that had ever been in the zoo. I went back to the records from 1890 to 1928, and listed everything that we'd had and what was the longest that any one specimen had lived. The other appendix was animals that had been born in the zoo. HENSON: Even at that point you had a fairly good birth rate. MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: But I guess there would not have been at that point very good temperature control, or as good as there is now, let's say, in terms of air conditioning and things like that? MANN: Oh, no, no air condition, and no control of humidity. . . HENSON: . . .things like that. Which would make it much more difficult to try and breed. MANN: I think the first air conditioning the zoo ever had was in the bird house, a cage for the penguins. That was really a great step forward to be able to air condition the cage for the penguins. Those were the ones that came from an Admiral [Richard E.] Byrd expedition. HENSON: Right, Malcolm Davis went on that.
49 MANN: Malcolm Davis went with Byrd to the Antarctic. He went twice, at least twice. HENSON: Now did they request him or did he want to go? How did that come about that he went? MANN: I think Davis wanted to go. [Laughter] HENSON: I would think, yes. He apparently collected some other birds too and the penguins. MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: They seem very hard to keep from what I saw in the [[underlined]] Annual Report [[/underlined]]. MANN: Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. Now the Galapagos penguins, we had them for years and years in an outdoor pond, but the emperors and the kings seem to be more delicate. HENSON: Yes, I noticed at one point they were using some experimental vaporizers they'd gotten from the DeVilbiss Company. I guess that's to use for medication that they were giving them, and I guess that's when they were just beginning to develop these vaporizers. MANN: Yes, I think the birds had that aspergillosis. Of course, I don't think anybody knew how to treat it in those days; they probably do today. In those days we didn't have a veterinarian at the zoo, and today we must have half a dozen of them. Dr. Reed is a vet by training; he's not practicing any more. But there's Dr. [Clinton W.]
50 Gray, and Dr. [R. Mitchell] Bush. I'm always hearing about some new vet on the staff, sometimes they're just interns. We have lots of veterinary help nowadays. HENSON: I noticed at one point apparently a pediatrician was helping with the care for the chimps and the gorillas. NIH--National Institute of Health--would do some autopsies on the animals, but other than that I guess there wasn't too much you could do. Did they do much medicating? MANN: Not NIH as much as the pathology division of Armed Services, from Walter Reed [Army Medical Center], or some connection there; I can't tell you exactly what it was. HENSON: From the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. MANN: Yes, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Yes, they have helped and perhaps they still do, for all I know. HENSON: Their building was located where the Hirshhorn [Museum and Sculpture Garden] is now. MANN: Oh, really? HENSON: They had that museum. MANN: That's right, they did have a museum. HENSON: So probably there was again that close connection, because they had a fairly close connection with the Smithsonian at that
51 point. They had a lot of the collections that went into physical anthropology, and things like that. Also, Benson Moore did the illustrations for that [[underlined]] Wild Animals [[/underlined]] book. MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: Now who is he? Could you tell me a little about him? MANN: He was one of the PWA artists, that's how we got to know him--Public Works of Art. He, [Domenico] Mortellito, and Stephen Haweis--they all got in on the Public Works of Art project, which was headed by Edward Bruce, and that's one of Ned Bruce's paintings over there of the Tuscan farmhouse. I'd forgotten Benson Moore did illustrations for Bill's book, but of course he did. I think he used to just hang around, come to the zoo with a sketchbook, very much as in later years [Atanas] Tasev did. I have that book of Tasev's which is fairly new, you must look at that before you go. Then I did a book called [[underlined]] Friendly Animals, A Book of Unusual Pets [[/underlined]], and Benson Moore illustrated that. That book didn't do too well. It sold all right, but there was never a second edition. Of course, today it would be hopelessly outdated. HENSON: I've read that. I guess because not as many people keep, let's say, cheetahs as would keep an aquarium. MANN: No, of course not. It was fairly autobiographical. I had stories of a little lemur that I had kept, and various little wildcats, that sort of thing.
52 HENSON: That again was through the Leisure League. After you published the first one for them, then they asked you to do that one? MANN: Yes, that was published by the Leisure League. Then Leisure League folded up and Sentinel Books took it over. There were a good many publications besides mine on all kinds of hobbies. A couple of years ago, Sentinel Book sold out to the Arco Publishing Company in New York. They have the copyright now. No, I have the copyright; they have whatever remainders there may be, I don't know, but from their last statement I gather they're just not going to sell anymore, and certainly not going to reprint it. HENSON: Yes, the aquarium book was in press for a long, long time. MANN: But it would have been more work than I want to undertake, and today I couldn't do it because my eyes are not what they used to be. HENSON: Did Benson Moore actually or did any of the PWA people actually work for the zoo? Do you know? MANN: No, I don't think so. They were paid out of PWA funds. HENSON: But were they detailed to the zoo specifically? MANN: Oh yes, they were detailed to the zoo. When that program was first announced in the papers, Bill called up Edward Bruce. I forget how we had met him, we met him through friends. He was a very
53 distinguished and very charming man, a well-known artist. We saw the newspaper story that PWA--Public Works of Art--was going to hire artists to decorate government buildings, such as post offices, court houses, and so forth. Bill thought that would be a wonderful way to get the reptile house decorated and the elephant house. The elephant house was just being built at that time. So he rushed to the phone, called up Ned, and said, "Be sure and send some of these artists to the zoo." His wife told us afterwards that Ned came almost with tears in his eyes because this was such a new thing, and he said, "Well, at least Bill Mann wants some of this work done." He was so pleased. We had several of them working in the reptile house. They did a lot of backgrounds there. It was still fairly new, although it was not a Public Works building. But they did some beautiful illustrations there. A number of men worked in there. Benson Moore could have been one of them, I don't know. I don't think he did. But Mortellito did, and Mortellito also worked in the elephant house. There were two big murals there, one in back of the hippo tank, showing an Egyptian scene with papyrus along the banks and all that. Then there was one in the background for the giraffe cage, which of course showed the accacia trees of Africa, you know, those flat-topped trees that the giraffes browse on. Those were big jobs. Of course, they didn't last forever. It was kind of sad when the paintings in the reptile house were painted over, and the backgrounds just made solid colors. HENSON: Yes, it can't last all that long. I guess then you just continued to know Haweis and Moore?
54 MANN: Oh, yes, that painting was done by Stephen Haweis, who died not long ago in Dominica, at the age of about ninety-six. He started out as a painter of fishes. We have some of his fish paintings. He was on the Chrysler expedition with Bill, went along as artist. He was an artist and there was a movie man (Charles Charlton was the movie-man from [[underlined]] Pathe Review [[/underlined]]) on the expedition. [Laughter] HENSON: Okay, and that's his painting right there. MANN: That African scene is his. HENSON: I guess you had a fair run of people like that wandering through all the time? MANN: Yes. HENSON: How soon after you got married did you start going to circuses? Or was it before? MANN: Oh, immediately. Bill had always been crazy about circuses. When a circus came to Washington we went to every performance, even if they stayed three weeks, we'd see the show twenty-one times. HENSON: Every performance? MANN: Every performance. Not always afternoon and evening every day, but we'd go every day. We'd go out to a dinner party, and Bill would begin telling circus stories about whatever small show was in town and get people interested, and they'd begin looking at their
[[centered]] 55 [[/centered]] watches, "Oh, let's go out, the show won't be over yet." So we'd go out. Sometimes we'd miss the first few acts, but we got to know all the circus people. One of the named a child after me, named it Lucy. Of course, my name is Lucile, but everybody calls me Lucy. I got to ride an elephant once in "spec." I went all the way around the hippodrome track. Many years later I rode an elephant in Nepal, but I wasn't astride the elephant in Nepal, I was riding in a howdah. That was a thrill too. HENSON: There were a fair amount of animals staying at the zoo sometimes? Circus animals during the winter season would be boarded? MANN: That was way before my time, but the Adams Forpaugh show wintered quite a collection here. One of them was a Sumatran rhinoceros, which is a very, very rare animal. I'm sure it's completely extinct now. But the zoo actually had a Sumatran rhino here during the winter. HENSON: I noticed in much later years, around the time that you retired, a new set of rhinoceroses came to the zoo, and they were named Willy and Lucy. Do you remember that? MANN: Oh, yes, those were the white rhinos. That was shortly before Bill retired. HENSON: Did you choose to have those as your namesake? [Laughter]
56 MANN: Of course not. A man called John Seago was the collector, a very nice Englishman, very cultivated. He and a young English assistant, his name was Reggie [Bloom] brought these white rhinos over. We saw them and admired them, and Bill said, "Now we must think of some nice African names for them." They began, "Well now, what was the nearest village to wherever you caught them," that sort of thing. They talked about it for a while and then finally John Seago said, "Well, of course, actually we had named them Bill and Lucy." Bill said, "Oh, you can't do that, they must have a proper African name." So they talked about it for a while and then Seago said, "Well, actually when we landed in New York, the names Bill and Lucy were in big red letters on the crates and photographs appeared in the newspapers." And so they were Bill and Lucy. [END TAPE II, SIDE I]
NAME LIST LUCILE QUARRY MANN INTERVIEW 2 6/22/77 page* name 57 Mann, William M. 58 Chalmers-Mitchell, Sir Peter 58 Ruhe, Heinz 58 Hagenbeck, Heinrich 58 Hagenbeck, Lorenz 58 Hagenbeck, Carl 59 Heck, Ludwig 60 Heck, Hans 60 Brandes, Gustav 60 Brandes, Rudolph 62 Wegeforth, Harry M. 66 Torre, Carlos de la 68 Longworth, Alice Lee Roosevelt 68 Lutz, Frank Eugene 69 Zetek, James 70 Barbour, Thomas 70 Wheeler, William Morton 70 Brues, Charles Thomas 71 Stejneger, Leonhard 71 Stejneger, Marie Reiners *Page number indicates first reference to name for this interview session. Subsequent references may be found in the body of the interview.
NAME LIST LUCILE QUARRY MANN INTERVIEW 2 6/22/77 CONTINUED page name 72 Bates, Marston 72 Fairchild, Nancy Bell 72 Fairchild, David 72 Fairchild Daisy Bell 72 Bell, Alexander Graham 74 Davis, Malcolm 74 Jennier, Roy 75 Lowe, Frank O. 75 Blackburne, William H. 77 Rankin, George Atwater 78 Williams, Maynard Owen 78 Harriman, Karl Edwin 85 Hollister, Gloria 85 Beebe, William 85 Bourke-White, Margaret 86 Grosvenor, Elsie May Bell 86 Grosvenor, Gilbert Hovey 86 Adams, Harriet Chalmers 87 Earhart, Amelia Mary
NAME LIST LUCILE QUARRY MANN INTERVIEW 2 6/22/77 CONTINUED page name 87 Johnson, Osa Helen 91 Roosevelt, Theodore 91 Hitler, Adolf 92 Coenraad, Jacob A. 92 Coenraad, Vera 93 Crowder, Orville 93 Schulz, Christoph 95 Wetmore, Alexander 95 Graf, John Enos 95 Ringling, John 96 Wallace, Henry Agard 96 Warren, Earl 96 Walcott, Mary Vaux 96 Walcott, Charles Doolittle 96 Maverick, Maury
Special Oral History Interview with Lucile Quarry Mann June 22, 1977 at her home at 3001 Veazey Terrance, N.W., Washington, D.C. by Pamela M. Henson Interviewer for the Smithsonian Institution Archives HENSON: We're going to start with the 129 trip to Europe, which is, I guess, your first trip. MANN: Yes, that was the first time I traveled with [William M. Mann] Bill. When we were planning the trip, we were going to London first because it was the hundredth anniversary of the London Zoo, and Bill had been invited. Then we would go to Germany and study some of the German zoos. He was especially interested in looking at reptile houses because we were about to build one here. So in planning, we were going to go to old Munich, Berlin, Vienna, we might even get as far as Budapest, and I said, "Can't we go to Italy. I've never been to Italy." Bill said "No, I've seen the zoo in Rome. From Budapest we will go to Paris." He had seen the zoo in Rome, so I never got to Italy. We got to London; he had decided more or less at the last minute to go. First he thought he couldn't make it, then he decided he just had to go. So we arrived in London without letting them know that we
58 were coming. We went out to Regents Park Zoo and met the director, Sir Peter Chalmers-Mitchell. He was a little upset because we had arrived, and the Prince of Wales was going to be guest of honor at the dinner, and everything was very, very formal. They were going to wear full dress with all orders and decorations. Bill said, "There was I in a tuxedo and a shrine pin." Chalmers-Mitchell said, "Now when I was presented at court, there is a firm called Moss and Company," on-- not Bond street probably--but he gave the address. I made a note of it so Bill went to Moss and Company, and rented tails and a top hat, the whole outfit. He looked just as good as the Prince of Wales did that night. I had cousins out in Golders Green, so I spent the evening at Golders Green playing gin rummy with my cousins while Bill dined with the Prince of Wales! We went from there to Hanover, where we were guests of the Ruhes [Louis Ruhe Inc.], big animal dealers. They were very courteous to us. As a matter of fact, one of the Ruhes, that was Heinz, who was representing the firm in New York, drove us in his car from Hanover to the Hagenbeck's place which is near Hamberg, Stellingen by Hamburg, and we were guests of the Hagenbeck's there. Both Heinrich and Lorenz were still living at that time. They were the two sons of the old Carl who founded the zoo in the first place. They were the first ones to have these moated enclosures for animals. It really is the way to show animals much better than having them behind bars. I remember one thing that happened in Hamburg. We went to a nightclub, and Bill was invited to lead the orchestra, so he conducted while the orchestra played, "Trink, trink, bruderlein trink." That was his favorite German song.
59 From Hamburg we must have gone to Berlin, I think. Yes, that was a beautiful zoo, not on the same style as the Hagenbeck's. Hagenbeck had the only one at that time with all these moats, but of course, other zoos began copying it immediately. But Berlin was a beautiful zoo. I forget who was the director then. HENSON: Would that be Dr. [Ludwig] Heck? MANN: Oh yes, it was Dr. Heck. There were a number of Hecks. There was Ludwig and Hans. Ludwig was the director of the Berlin zoo, and Hans was the director of the Munich zoo. One of them, I think it was Hans, was married to one of the Hagenbeck girls. [Laughter] I remember she said that -- she traveled a good deal around Europe with her husband -- but she said, "All I ever see is a railroad station and the zoo!" [Laughter] HENSON: You must have had a little sympathy there. MANN: Yes, the same with me. We saw Hans Heck in Munich. Munich was a very interesting zoo. He called it the "Geo-zoo," because it was arranged geographically. Here was the continent of Asia, and it would have Asiatic mammals and birds mixed up together in great open paddocks. It was really beautiful. HENSON: That would have been a forerunner of an ecology type of a setting, where you show the animals together?
60 MANN: Yes. They had North American animals, North American continent, South American, that way. One very interesting thing that Hans Heck had done was to breed back the wild horse that was extinct. He got some horses that carried resemblance to the remote ancestors, and he bred this wild horse and also a wild ox, something called the aurochs. They both looked very much like old cave drawings of these animals. That was about all he had to go by. He was quite successful at it. That was what he was really famous for. We were in Dresden on that trip, where Dr. [Gustav] Brandes was the director. About all I remember about Dr. Brandes and the Dresden zoo--Brandes was quite an elderly man, he didn't look very big and husky--but he went into a cage with a full grown orangutan that was absolutely tame. It was kind of a horrifying sight because the orangutan could have just gobbled him up in a minutes. Then Dr. Brandes' son, Rudolph, went with us to Budapest where we stayed for several days. Rudolph acted as interpreter; he knew German, English, and Hungarian. What I remember about the Budapest zoo is that they had an artificial mountain that was an exhibit; it must have been a monkey island or a place for monkeys. Then inside was this big, cool cavern which was a beer garden. It was a curious, but really quite pleasant. Eventually we got to Paris and saw both zoos there. The one out at Vincennes wasn't finished that time. We saw it years later--about ten years later, I think--when it was more nearly finished. They were starting that zoo on the Hagenbeck principle of moats. The zoo in Paris itself, the Jardin d'Acclimatacion, was very old fashioned, just a menagerie really.
61 HENSON: Were most of these zoos older type things? MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: I guess they were many, many years older than the National Zoo[logical Park] at that point. MANN: The oldest zoo is the one in Vienna. That was founded in the days of Maria Theresa, late 1700s, at Schonbrunn. I saw that zoo two years ago; it's really lovely. They're not allowed to modernize it in any way because it is historic, yes. [Laughter] So they were kind of sorry their lions are still behind bars. At any rate, they are beautiful bars, you know, antiques. HENSON: That's an interesting combination there. How much contact had you ever had, or had Dr. Mann had with the directors of these zoos? Did he correspond with them? MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: So they would have known who you were and things like that? MANN: Yes. Let's see, he became director of the zoo here in 1925, this trip was '29. I don't know whether he knew any of the directors on the trips that he had made to Europe before when he was traveling for agriculture. I know that he always went to the zoos wherever he was, but I don't remember his saying that he knew so-and-so in the London zoo. Of course, as soon as he became director, then he was
62 in touch with them all the time. It was probably before '29, I can't give you the exact date, that they started this American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums. It was founded by a small group, just two or three of them, and one of them, Dr. Harry Wegeforth, was the director of the San Diego zoo. Later the International Union of Directors of Zoological Gardens was founded. They meet every year in a different city. They met in Washington two or three years ago. We went to their meeting in Paris, which was in 1948, I think. It was shortly after the war, and food was rationed, and things were pretty grim. Oh that first trip, we went to Antwerp, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Copenhagen. Copenhagen had a very nice monkey exhibit, and also a beautiful exhibit of hummingbirds, first time I'd ever seen an exhibit of hummingbirds. They were lovely. HENSON: Yes, they must be difficult to keep. MANN: Yes, they are. We have tried it here a couple of times without a great deal of success. HENSON: Were they doing much breeding of animals there? I noticed one place had a farm for feeding its own. MANN: Not at that time, no, I don't think so. Later London was to build Whipsnade, which was the country zoo, but that wasn't built in '29. We saw that in, I think, '38, they told us that the zebra paddock was the same acreage as Regents Park Zoo in London, and it had
63 nothing but zebras in it. The tiger exhibit--all of these are moated, of course--the tiger exhibit had something like fifteen or sixteen tigers there, but there wasn't one in sight, there wasn't one that was visible. You give them places to hide, and get out of the sun, and give them plenty of room. The public doesn't get in as close contact with them. HENSON: But they're probably much more likely to breed under those circumstances. MANN: Yes. Whipsnade was really started as a breeding zoo. It's been very successful. HENSON: Was there much exchange of animals back and forth between zoos? MANN: Oh, yes, there always has been. There wasn't as much in the old days, I think, as there is now. Nowadays animals are shipped around just for breeding purposes. Recently our black leopard...we have this beautiful male black leopard, and he's lived here for a good many years, and he had a wife, and the wife died. While the new lion house was being built, we sent the black leopard, his name was Kalu, to St. Louis, and to some other zoo, Cincinnati, possibly--I know St. Louis was one--where he mated and produced litters for both of those zoos. Then he came back here when our lion house was finished. Now I don't think that was done in the old days, because it was too tricky, you know, to cage and put them on a train. Nowadays they tranquilize them and put them in an airplane. It's a lot simpler to travel.
64 HENSON: Yes, I was going to ask, what was the difference when they started flying animals around, in terms of collecting expeditions and everything else? Did it really change? MANN: Oh, it made a lot of difference. You see, when Bill and I used to go, there was one thing that we did especially want--reptiles down in Central America, rhinoceros in India, giraffes in Africa--but we just collected everything that came along. We'd come home with several hundred of one kind of turtles just because the natives kept bringing them to us. Now you'd never do that if you were flying. We'd charter a ship and could bring everything we wanted. We didn't charter the ship, but we'd take a freighter where we'd have all the cargo space we wanted. HENSON: Were there any limits to the amount that you could take of animals? Did you ever have to limit yourself? MANN: Well, if the animal was rather an unusual thing, a rare animal, we'd have to have a special permit for it. HENSON: Right. Looking at the number of animals that you collected on these trips, I wonder, how did you ever get them to the boat? How could you feed them and care for them the whole trip long? Did you ever limit the number of animals you had just for that reason, because you just couldn't transport them? MANN: No, I don't think we did. Bill had a theory that he had to accept anything the natives would bring into our camp. If he
65 started turning the down and saying, "I don't want that," then the word would spread, "Dr. Mann isn't buying any more animals," and they'd lose interest and wouldn't bring us anything, and we might miss out on something good if we turned down just ordinary run-of-the-mill things. HENSON: Yes. Did most collectors do that or was this basically his theory to have the natives do most of the collecting for you? MANN: Oh, yes, most of them do. We would set up traps and catch what we could, but the natives would know where to go, how to catch things, and in most parts of the world they keep a lot of pets. There are lots of pets in the various markets. We'd visit markets in villages, and in big towns too, and see what we could get. HENSON: Why would you go on a collecting expedition rather than just buy them from dealers? Could you get a lot more animals for the same amount of money or different animals? MANN: It's a lot more fun! [Laughter] No, it really is. Bill loved to travel, and loved camp life, and I learned to like it too. He had always traveled and collected. Originally it was simply insects, but then on some of his trips...the Mulford Exploration of the Amazon Basin, he went along to collect insects, but he brought back something like forty cages of monkeys and parrots and all kinds of things. HENSON: Yes, I did notice in the [[underlined]] Annual Reports [[/underlined]] a ways back that he had donated animals to the zoo.
66 MANN: Yes, that was before he was director. HENSON: Right, when he would go on a trip he would bring other animals back. Now your first field trip out in the field yourself would have been the 1930 or '31... MANN: In 1930, to Central America. That was to collect reptiles for the new house, which opened, I think, in either late 1930 or early '31. We started out in Havanna. HENSON: Had you met Carlos de la Torre before? MANN: I hadn't, but Bill knew him. HENSON: Because he worked up here in the summers, didn't he, at the National Museum? MANN: I think he must have, yes. Oh, yes, that was it. We saw him, and he was the one who took us out to Madame [Dona Rosalia] Abreu's to see all the great apes she had--chimps and orangutans. I don't think she had a gorilla--no, I'm quite sure she didn't. She was ill; she was actually dying when we were there. We didn't meet her, but went all around the gardens where she had these animals. They were all just in individual cages, it was kind of sad to see them. A number of them, we were told, she used to bring into the house at night and have them sleep in her bedroom, but still in a cage. She had a big collection. It was a curious setup.
67 HENSON: Now, like Dr. de la Torre, did Dr. Mann maintain a lot of relationships with scientists in the tropics? MANN: Yes, he did. HENSON: Did he correspond much with them and things like that? So you would have known them? MANN: Yes. He was writing to de la Torre for years afterwards. We used to hear from him quite frequently. I think afterwards he came to Washington, and that was when I remember meeting him here, as well as in Havanna. Havanna was my first look at the tropics. I was really thrilled. I don't think I'd ever seen a palm tree before. HENSON: I wanted to ask you, you went to Panama too? MANN: Yes. HENSON: And you stopped at Barro Colorado [Island]? MANN: Yes. HENSON: That would have been before that was part of the Smithsonian, right? I think, it would have just been the Canal Zone Biological Area at Gatun Lake then? MANN: No, I know that American Museum [of Natural History] had something to do with it, because we stayed in the house that belonged to a bird man at the American Museum. I was the second woman
68 allowed to stay on the island overnight. The first one was Alice [Lee] Roosevelt [Longworth]. She'd been allowed to stay and then they let me stay. We were there not very long, three or four days. Of course, I'd never seen anything like that jungle; it was a great thrill for me. I was supposed to be the snake catcher. Bill had made a gadget for me. It was an old umbrella with the ribs removed, and he had it painted white so if I put it down in the grass it would be easy to find again, and there was a noose on the end of it. I was supposed to slip the noose over a snake's head and pull it tight and capture the snake. [Laughter] Well, we didn't see many snakes, but the first day that we were out--this was on Barro Colorado--I pushed a vine away from my face, like that, and it just kept on going; it was a very small tree snake. It was much too small for the noose to go around. Then later--this was the first hike we had taken--a few minutes later I saw another snake, also too small. Bill caught both of those with his forceps that he had used to pick up ants--he collected these little snakes with those. Then we never saw another snake the whole trip, not anywhere, not in Panama, not in Honduras, never saw one out in the wilds. HENSON: Beginners' luck. How big a setup was Barro Colorado then? MANN: There wasn't a great deal. There was this laboratory with a certain number of bedrooms, not very many. I think there were about four people staying there when we were. One was a Dr. [Frank E.] Lutz, from New York, and they had a cook, had a man and his wife to cook and whatnot. The food was mostly beans and rice. They had a great big
69 bunch of bananas always hanging from the ceiling, and if you got hungry you just went and picked yourself a banana. There was one quite nice little house very close by, and they let Bill and me have that. I remember there was very little water available on the island, fresh water. We were told how much we could use in the shower. It had a funny shower too, some sort of tin can on a string and you pull the string, and tipped the tin can, and you got a little water on you. So you got yourself damp, and then put on some soap, and then washed the soap off. That was it. The water supply was very limited. HENSON: Was Dr. [James] Zetek there? MANN: Oh, yes, of course he was. HENSON: He was director at that point? MANN: Oh, yes, he was. He didn't live all the time on the island; he had a house in town. But he went with us and stayed with us while we were there. HENSON: What was he like, because he was in charge of that for quite a long time there? MANN: Yes, very enthusiastic. I like Zetek; he was fine, very friendly. He was from Czechoslovakia originally. I forget what his specialty was, it was something in entomology, I think. [tropical entomology]
70 HENSON: How had you every met Dr. Thomas Barbour? He was up at Harvard [University]. MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: Because he had provided some of the financing for the Canal Zone area. MANN: Yes. HENSON: I believe Dr. Mann knew him up there, didn't he? MANN: Oh, yes. Bill had known Tom Barbour when Bill was there in school. He knew him quite well. Tom Barbour and William Morton Wheeler, well, and Charles Thomas Brues, those were Bill's three great friends when he was a student. Brues was actually a student at the same time that Bill was, I think. No, I think Brues was Bill's professor; the reason Bill went to Harvard was to study under William Morton Wheeler, who was the great authority on ants. Of course, I met them all, either in Boston or in Washington. HENSON: What was Dr. Barbour like? He seems like he was just an interesting character. MANN: [Laughter] Oh, he was. He was an enormous man, tall, very heavy, and quite profane. He would try very hard on special occasions to watch his language, but something was apt to slip out. We just couldn't help liking him--great, big, good natured, wonderful man, and of course, a great herpetologist.
71 HENSON: Did he ever come down this way very much? MANN: He came quite often, yes. We would see him, and of course, he always went to see the [Leonhard] Stejnegers. They were great friends. Marie [Reiners] Stejneger used to make a great point of having something special for dinner, and a lot of it, if Tom Barbour was coming. [Laughter] HENSON: Now was he still spending time down in that area. Do you know? MANN: Yes, I think he went quite often. He wasn't there the time that we were. HENSON: So most of those people really were field people, too? MANN: Oh, yes, they were. [BEGIN TAPE I, SIDE II] HENSON: From Panama you went also to Honduras, and then Guiana. MANN: No, Guiana was another trip. Guiana was a year later. But we went to Honduras. There was a man who made a specialty of collecting snake venom at a little town called San Pedro Sula, which is a little way in the interior. So we went to San Pedro Sula by train and stayed there for a few days--bought out his entire collection of venomous snakes. They were packed in big canvas bags for us, and we got on the train with them, and Bill made me put the bag sort of between the legs and seat of the train and spread my skirts out because he didn't
72 want anybody on the train to know that we were carrying everything from the snake farm. [Laughter] But we did get a lot of good things from that place. Then there was a United Fruit Company station at Tela, which was right on the coast. That was a very lovely, very beautiful plantation house. We stayed with the manager of the United Fruit plantation. Then we'd go out in the morning just collecting, see what we could get, mostly insects. We went to a place called Lancetilla, that was a sort of research station run by United Fruit, but with some young American students there. One day we turned up there, we'd been hiking all day long, part of the day we were wading a river that was full of rocks, and we were wet and muddy, just looked like a couple of tramps by the time we got to the Lancetilla station. The boys insisted we stay for dinner, so we did. We had beans and rice with them. I first said, "I can't stay looking like this," so one of them loaned me clothes that he had, a nice pair of white duck pants. I think we got some more reptiles there from them. That was not really a very productive trip, except for reptiles. The young man who loaned me clean, dry clothes so that I could stay for dinner was Lancetilla was Marston Bates. He later married Nancy Bell Fairchild, the daughter of David Fairchild and Daisy Bell Fairchild, and of course the granddaughter of Alexander Graham Bell. About forty years after the meeting in Honduras I met Marston Bates again in Ann Arbor, where he had recently retired as professor of zoology and was living in a house with an indoor aviary which contained, as I remember it, hummingbirds.
73 HENSON: But that was a vacation, wasn't it? MANN: Yes, we did it on our own. It wasn't financed by the zoo. When we had stopped in Havana on our way down, we met a bird dealer. Bill told him that we would be coming back in a month, two months, I forget how long we were gone that time, and our ship would stop at Santiago de Cuba, and would the man please see that we had some flamingos on the way back. So on the way back, we stopped at Santiago de Cuba. There was no sign of our friend with the flamingos. We went ashore, and the only thing to do in that town was to visit the rum factory. So we went to the distillery and saw how rum was made, and of course, were given samples, got back to the ship just before it was going to sail, and the captain was delighted to see us. It seems that our bird man had kept his promise. He had brought a dozen, maybe eighteen, flamingos--not caged. HENSON: Not caged? MANN: Not caged. He had a good sized boat, and he had enough men, so each man came on board ship just carrying a flamingo in his hands. Well, the captain had put them all in a funny little sort of storeroom on the upper deck, and we herded them in there, fed them, and kept them in there for two or three days while the ship's carpenter hastily built a big crate for them, and we got them in the crate. So we did come back with a few birds as well as reptiles. I was going to say that that was coming back from British Guiana that we stopped and got the flamingos, but no, that was the first trip.
74 HENSON: What was the range of reactions when you got on these ships with several hundred snakes, or something like that? [Laughter] Was it difficult to transport animals then, or were people pretty cooperative? MANN: Well, they varied. We only once came back on a regular passenger ship. That was coming back from the Argentine. On the trip to British Guiana, we were on what they called a freighter. Some of them were limited to twelve passengers, such as the one from Liberia and Sumatra. Most freighters won't take more that twelve passengers, and they don't carry a doctor. The freighter that we took to British Guiana had about a hundred passengers. The passengers are always interested. We never bragged about how many snakes we had; it was sort of sub rosa. If we let them, the passengers would come into the animal quarters and get in the way, and perhaps, you know, always a chance of their getting hurt by something. We preferred traveling on freighters with very few people. When we came back from Sumatra, there were no other passengers besides Bill, and me, and two men from the zoo, [Malcolm] Davis and [Roy] Jennier, who had been with us the whole nine months, and we brought one native Borneo boy back with us, and we had the whole ship to ourselves. The captain at first was very resentful--we were getting his nice, white ship all dirty and littered up, and he didn't care for it at all. But he finally got interested in them, and before he'd go to bed at night he'd go pet the giraffes on the nose. He got quite interested eventually, but he started out being quite hostile.
75 HENSON: How much work was it, because I noticed you often brought animals with you on the way down to give to the zoos? MANN: Well, it was quite a lot of work. Yes, we took animals to the Argentine, and we took animals to Sumatra, also. I don't think we took any to Liberia, I'm quite sure we didn't. For one thing, there was no zoo in Monrovia, there was no point in taking animals there. But when we went to Sumatra, we wanted to have presents for the crown prince, Tunka Makota, of Johore, because we knew he had a zoo. We gave him a puma, I forget what else we gave him. I know he gave us a black leopard, and cassowaries, and made a good exchange. HENSON: Now your first trip way out in the field would have been the one to British Guiana the year after that? MANN: Yes. HENSON: How much preparation did you need for one of those trips? MANN: Not a great deal. I suppose Bill wrote to the director of the museum in Georgetown, British Guiana. He always did a lot of reading up and studying the geography and the zoology of any place where we were going. We took one keeper with us from the zoo, Frank [O.] Lowe, who later became head keeper here after Mr. [William H.] Blackburne retired. That was the freighter trip where there were about a hundred passengers. It wasn't much of a cruise ship; we felt sorry for people who were taking a Caribbean cruise on it because it was not very
76 elegant. The food was pretty terrible, too. But it was nice because we stopped at so many islands on the way down. We stopped in Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Trinidad, and Paramaribo, Surinam before we got to Georgetown, British Guiana. Most of the passengers were just staying on the ship and going back to New York from Georgetown. We were there for three months, and we made our headquarters at the hotel in town, which was quite a pleasant place, and then organized these trips up the various rivers. We went up all kinds of rivers. I came across some notes on British Guiana yesterday. I'd forgotten the names of some of the rivers--the Pomeroon, the Essequibo I remembered, and then we were at a place called Potaro Landing. I think I'll get that paper now. [Interruption] I found these notes just listing the names of places--mostly places--and some people that we met. The notes are typed, but in the margin are these numbers that have been drawn in pen and ink. I thought at first that this must have been for a radio talk, and Bill was perhaps timing himself. It would take him one minute, for instance, to cover this, that would be five minutes because this next number here is six, then there's seven and eight. It goes on to be forty or fifty, sixty, I believe. . .eighty-seven and then ninety-two. I knew he never gave a radio talk for ninety-two minutes. Then I remembered that, or course, we had a lot of pictures--slides. He carried a Graflex camera that had plates instead of film. . .and had slides either made from them or perhaps those plates themselves could be used as slides. They were black
77 and white because color photography was not known, so all those slides were colored by hand. These must be the numbers of the slides. The first five would cover this part, and then six, seven, eight, nine, all the way down. So when slide number ten came on, he'd have right on the tip of his tongue which particular place that was. I had forgotten about having slides colored by hand. He had a lot of pictures that he took in Fiji and the Solomons, and I know those had all been hand colored. These were colored by a friend of ours, a woman called Dorothy Rankin. Her husband was George [Atwater] Rankin, who was a chemist here in Washington. They were good friends of ours, and she was also an artist. That's something that's gone out of existence now, I'm afraid, with color photography, so I thought it was worth mentioning. HENSON: Oh, yes. Now did you do much photography as you went along? MANN: Yes, Bill did a great deal. He had two of these big Graflex cameras, and later he began taking movies, and I had to learn how to take the stills. But I never carried a Graflex; I had a Roloflex or eventually a Leica, the small cameras. I was never very good at it, because he would tell me just what exposure to use and what time to give it, open it up to such and such. HENSON: But you would take quite a few photographs? MANN: Oh, yes, I took quite a few. After our National Geographic expedition, the Geographic kept a good many of my photographs. Of course, there were the movies also that the Geographic had. They
78 sent a still photographer, Maynard Owen Williams, and Bill did the movies. But we were quite often out without Maynard, the Geographic photographer, and I did a lot of the photography. HENSON: On the trip to Guiana you pretty much went by yourselves with Frank Lowe. MANN: Yes. HENSON: That was just a Smithsonian trip, it wouldn't have been sponsored by anyone else? MANN: No, it came out of the zoo's travel funds for the year. The zoo's travel funds were not very big, but Bill managed to get his expenses and Frank Lowe's, and then he paid for my expenses. HENSON: I noticed afterwards you wrote [[underlined]] From Jungle to Zoo [[/underlined]], in 1934, a couple of years later. MANN: Yes. HENSON: How did you come to write that book? Do you recall? MANN: There was a publishing firm in Philadelphia, I think the name was [J. H.] Sears, Co. The head of it was a man I had known back in Ann Arbor, Karl Harriman. His father had been quite a famous judge. Then Karl went into the publishing business, and he was vice president of this firm in Philadelphia. He had heard about Bill, and I guess he knew that Dr. Mann had married an Ann Arbor girl. He came to
79 Washington one time and looked us up. He wanted Bill to write a book about the zoo. Bill didn't really like to write, he didn't enjoy doing it. "Oh, yes," he said he would, and then he said, "Why don't you let Lucy write it? She's got all these notes already." So that's how I came to write it. Karl Harriman more or less told me how he wanted it written--don't make it a diary type of thing, and pick different topics and treat in separate chapters. HENSON: Yes, now I've noticed going through the papers you kept very detailed notes, a very detailed type of diary when you were traveling. Did you type that up during the days as you went along, or would you have done that when you came back? MANN: Yes, let's see, I know in Sumatra we had a typewriter with us, also in Liberia. I don't think I did in British Guiana. I think in British Guiana I just made notes and then typed it up with I got back. HENSON: What would have been the logistics of getting the animals around? Would you have brought cages with you, or did you have cages made? MANN: We very often took cages with us, yes, because we couldn't always get a carpenter. We'd get cages built in the zoo, and then knocked down so that we could pack them flat, and then put them together again in camp. I don't remember whether we did that in British Guiana or not. I know we did in Sumatra. In Sumatra we ran out of cages
80 quite promptly, and also in Liberia we did. We hired carpenters and had them working full time just making cages, because very often things would just come in with a string around their neck, or tied up in a bandanna, something like that. HENSON: Yes, just being handed over to you like that. MANN: Yes, and we had to have cages ready to pop them into. HENSON: I noticed a fair number of accounts of animals just popping right back out of some of these improvised cages. [Laughter] MANN: They did sometimes. HENSON: I guess the one story I came across--and this is in your notes from Sumatra that you had taken--where they thought that a type of cat had escaped, and you spent a certain amount of time catching it, and brought it back in the room where it was supposed to be and it turned out after all that it hadn't escaped. They were all in there, and I guess, this was another one that had just wandered into your camp. MANN: Oh, yes. One funny thing--this happened in Sumatra. One of our native collectors was so excited, he had found an animal he had never seen before in his life. He had trapped it out in the jungle somewhere, and brought it in expecting, oh, you know, he was going to be the hero. What it was was one of the opossums that we had taken with us from Washington, and it had escaped, and he trapped it and brought it back to us. [Laughter]
81 HENSON: You're kidding. MANN: No, that's a true story. HENSON: All I read in the journal was that the opossums had escaped, and you were kind of disappointed after having brought them that far. But one of the natives trapped it and brought it back? MANN: Yes. HENSON: Poor little animal was not destined to get away. MANN: That was very funny. HENSON: Oh, yes, that must have been. Now how would you have managed the logistics of getting food and taking care of all the animals once you would have collected them? MANN: Well, it was a full time job. When we left Sumatra--we left Medan--we had tons and tons of food because it was going to be a long voyage. It was fifty days. Of course, we stopped in a number of places, I know in Karachi and then Bombay. We saw practically nothing of those cities because we had to go to markets right away and stock up on more food. The ship's cook didn't really enjoy boiling all these eggs and cooking all this rice. I would spend most of my time cutting up bananas and pumpkins, melons, things like that. HENSON: Yes, because it must have just been an enormous job to feed that many.
MANN: Yes, it was a job, we just worked all the time. HENSON: Once you established a base camp, and once the animals came in you just kept them in that one place? MANN: Yes, that's what we did. The hotel in Georgetown, British Guiana, let us keep animals under the hotel. It was built up on posts, up off the ground, so there was a space underneath it. It furnished shelter. We must have hired some little boy to come in and feed the animals when we were going upriver, because we'd be away for two or three weeks at a time. Then we'd come back with a fresh load. We got over briefly to Dutch Guiana too, to Surinam. We were looking for a special kind of frog that Bill wanted. He would wade in all these filthy canals looking for frogs. [Laughter] In those days he was a cigar smoker, and the only job I had was to stay on the bank and keep dry so I could light his cigars for him. [Laughter] He had to smoke even if his hands got wet. HENSON: What tended to be the reaction when you went into one of these areas and told the natives that you wanted to buy these things? MANN: The first thing was that we were there in the wrong season. The general reaction was they just didn't believe us. They thought we were doing something else, missionaries in disguise or spies in disguise. They just couldn't believe, but that was especially true in Liberia, because any animal there is just food. You hit it in the head and eat it, no matter what it is. They could not believe that we
would keep the animals alive and spend money trying to feed the animals. That they couldn't believe. In Liberia they thought that we were probably employees of Firestone and were looking for fresh territory to plant rubber. That made a lot more sense than we just wanted hornbills. HENSON: Yes, because I would imagine that on the economy that some of them would operate on -- the subsistence economy -- they would find it odd to think that you would actually be taking pets. MANN: Yes. HENSON: How about language barriers? Did you usually learn some of the language when you were there or rely on translators? MANN: We did in most places. In Central America and South America my husband spoke Spanish very well; I never learned Spanish. But out in the East Indies, we both studied Malay on the way out. Of course, it's a very simple language -- the what we call bazaar Malay, never learned the written language-- but the grammar that you use in just ordinary conversation is very simple. There's no past, present, or future tense. I go today; I go yesterday; I go tomorrow. You've just got to learn the vocabulary and put it together. The Malay people are very nice about understanding you, you know, they're so pleased that you're trying to speak their language. We finally got pretty good at it. Malcolm Davis, who was one of the zoo men who went with us, was very good because he spent all his time working with the natives. He had to speak Malay to get along with them, to get anything done. He and Jennier
84 would work with the native boys in the big sheds where we kept the animals. So Malcolm could talk Malay very well, and Bill and I could make out with it. It was simple; we'd stop at a rest house for the night and say, "Ada kameer," and that meant is there a room; and the mandoer would say, "Ada." Then he'd say, "Makan blondi, makan malayu?" That meant did we want European food or Malay, the native food. So we nearly always took the Malay, the native food. Rijstaffel, even if it was very simple, was always good and interesting, always different. Now in Liberia we started out on the same principle. Bill had four hammock carriers and I had four hammock carriers, and we learned words from them. When we met and compared notes that evening, his hammock carriers had come from a different tribe than mine. I think we gave up right then and there. That first trip we had about sixty or eighty boys with us--porters, hammock carriers, and whatnot. We had boys from about fourteen different tribes and each one speaking a different language! We had one head boy whose name was Bobo. He spoke quite good English and knew a lot of the dialects, and he could act as interpreter wherever we went. He'd find somebody in the village that knew a dialect that he knew and work from that. HENSON: So you'd have to be doing quite a bit of translating, though, along the way. MANN: Oh, yes.
85 HENSON: Now, British Guiana. . .at that time would many women have been out in the field like that, or was that fairly unusual to go, do you know? MANN: I was trying to think it. . .Gloria Hollister had been there. No, I think she was there after, but she might have been there before, because [William] Beebe had been in British Guiana before Bill and I had. Beebe was up at Bartica, I think. We got to Bartica by small boat from Georgetown. Then we stayed in Bartica for a few days trying to find some way to get farther up the river, which we eventually did. Beebe probably had one of his assistants, some bright, young woman from the American Museum [of Natural History] with him there. Of course, Gloria Hollister made her fame by going down in the bathysphere when he was doing the underwater exploring. But she might have been in British Guiana before I was. I rather doubt it because she's a good deal younger than I am. One time, I guess it was that terrible day in Honduras when I said we'd been out climbing up and down mountains, through the river beds to Lancetilla. . . . [BEGIN TAPE II, SIDE I] HENSON: You were talking about when you had an awful day in Honduras. MANN: Oh, yes. I was pretty tired and worn out, and hadn't really accomplished a great deal, but I said--probably to the boys at the research station where we stopped for dinner--"I wonder if any
86 white woman has ever been over that trail before?" They said probably no woman has ever been over it before because there'd be no reason for a native woman to go that way. Then one time in Liberia, we were stopped on a trail by a curious native. He wanted to know if we would just stay where we were for a few minutes. He wanted to go into his village and bring some friends because they had never seen a white woman before! So I did get into some out of the way places. HENSON: Yes, you were a tourist attraction too. I also noticed that you were a member of the Society of Woman Geographers. How did that come about? MANN: Well, the Society of Woman Geographers is for women who have traveled and done rather unusual traveling. They have put what they have learned into a permanent form. We have artists who are members, musicians who have recorded native songs, a great many writers. There are some professional photographers; Margaret Bourke-White was a Woman Geographer. It's a very interesting group of women; I'm very proud to be one of them. I was elected because some of these early trips that Bill and I made, British Guiana, for instance, and Central America, were publicized, and somebody--well, I know who proposed me, it was Mrs. Gilbert [Hovey] Grosvenor [Elsie May Bell], the senior, the original Gilbert Grosvenor's wife. She had invited me to a luncheon, and one of her friends was Harriet Chalmers Adams, who was a great traveler, a great authority on South America. Mrs. Adams was at the luncheon, so
87 she and Mrs. Grosvenor wanted to know what writing I had done. I had done a couple of articles for [[underlined] Women's Home Companion [[/underlined] and for [[underlined]] Nature [[/underlined] magazine--small articles. I did not do the appendixes to the Smithsonian Science Series, Volume 6 [[underlined]][Wild Animals In and Out of the Zoo][[/underlined]]. That took quite a lot of research and a lot of work, because I went back through the whole history of the zoo up to that time. So they decided I was eligible, and I joined. I've enjoyed it ever since. I've held practically every office except treasurer. I've been executive secretary, and secretary, and been on the council. I've been program chairman, and president for one term. We have our flag, just as the Explorers Club has. In Sumatra and in Liberia, Bill and I took both flags with us, and made a point of photographing them in camp somewhere. You don't carry the flag unless you're going to a really out-of-the-way place. HENSON: You don't put it on the hotel balcony. MANN: Amelia [Mary] Earhart was a Woman Geographer, and she had the Woman Geographer's flag with her when she was lost on a plant. Osa [Helen] Johnson was a Woman Geographer. And then a great many of them are women who work in the [United States] Department of State or in [United Sates Department of] Commerce, and don't do anything really terribly spectacular, but turn out very scholarly work; and of course, there's some travel connected with it. One of our fairly new members is a woman who has been with Department of Commerce and Department of State, and she was economic advisor--I think that's the proper title--to our embassy in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, and she lived there for years.
88 She writes books that I can't even read, all figures, tables, whatnot. It was years that she had lived and traveled in South America, and she's done a great deal of traveling since then. I met her on a trip that she and I both made with Smithsonian Associates to Nepal, so I proposed her for membership. HENSON: The next large trip you went on was the one to the East Indies. Somewhere--I don't know if it was in the journal--you said you'd been planning that for many years, that a lot of years of thinking about it, at least, had gone into that. That had been something you wanted to do for sometime? MANN: Yes. It was partly just because it was as far away as you could get. Medan, the capital of Sumatra, is the exact antipodes of Washington, D. C. So when you get there you're halfway around the world, and when you come back the other way then you've been completely around the world. The collection here at the zoo was very poor in the East Indian things. We wanted orangutans, and of course, Bill wanted a rhinoceros very badly. Well, the Sumatran rhino was practically extinct by the time we got there, and we never saw or heard of one, but we did work very hard on getting an Indian rhino, and eventually did get it. It's a rich fauna, the birds are beautiful, reptiles all over the place. One of the things we brought back was a king cobra which was caught right in our back yard in camp. That used to make me a little nervous. I'd go to bed at night and hope the king cobra stayed in the back yard. We got tigers. We came back with I think three tigers--maybe it was just
89 two--one big one, full-grown one and then this cub that I had raised. That was Hari, it's short for Harimau, which is the Malay word for tiger. I still remember a little Malay. [Laughter] Mrs. Grosvenor said to Dr. Grosvenor one time, "Why haven't you ever sent Dr. Mann on an expedition?" He said, "Why, Dr. Mann never asked me." So the next time we saw them Mrs. Grosvenor said, "Why don't you ask Gilbert? I think he might give you an expedition." I don't suppose Gilbert just gave them himself, but it had to be approved by the board of trustees. Bill said that he wanted above all things to go to the Dutch East Indies. That was about 1924, and we began planning. At the same time Bill got that extra money from WPA [Works Progress Administration]. He got engrossed in building the small mammal house, the elephant house, the new shops, and finishing the bird house. That was all done with that money. It wasn't until 1937 that the buildings were far enough along, they were almost completed. So he said, "Well, let's go out and catch something to put in them." [Laughter] In the meantime, of course, he had worked on getting permits. You had to get all kinds of permits from the Dutch to go there and to collect, and they limited you in the number of, oh, even little dickey birds, you could only have twelve. Sometimes we'd find out we had twenty illegally. It did take a lot of preparation for that trip, because it was a big thing and was for the National Geographic. HENSON: You had Mr. Williams with you?
90 MANN: We took Malcolm Davis and Jennier with us, and the photographer Maynard Owen Williams. He was a wonderful guy. He was very good company and always good natured. I can remember him after a big reis tafel debating whether or not he would have a second helping. He'd get up from his chair, and if he could stand on his head, then he decided he was all right and he could have a second helping! [Laughter] He never touched anything to drink, and he didn't smoke, but he did like to eat and enjoyed good food. Of course, he had traveled a great deal, and was very experienced, and knew just how to do things. He didn't much care for camp life as we did. In Siantar, where we had our headquarters, he stayed at a little hotel in town about a mile and a half away. Then he'd get a pony cart and come out to camp to photograph whatever was going on. He went with us on our trips to the other islands. We went to a number of the other islands, to Java, Bali, and Amboina, and Ceram was the farthest we got. That was the last stop before you got to New Guinea. HENSON: I noticed you traveled through Japan on the way out of there, and Singapore, and all that. Was there any feeling of the war coming at that time, when you were traveling through Japan? MANN: No. HENSON: Yes, because I was looking through your journal and I didn't see anything. . . .
91 MANN: If there was, we certainly didn't know. It never occurred to us. That was one thing that spoiled the book that Theodore Roosevelt had almost published. . .because we'd had a beautiful time in Japan. They were all our friends; Bill knew so many of the scientists there, and they entertained us. We had a wonderful time in Japan. It just never occurred to us. HENSON: That was interesting as I was looking through the beginning of the journal there, I didn't get any feel for that. MANN: No, no, there wasn't. HENSON: I noticed you had written in at one point about a German who was collecting for you somewhere in the islands once you actually got there, who had a picture of [Adolf] Hitler on the wall, et cetera --sort of what triggered my memory--so that maybe you might have been slightly more aware of it there, the German aspect, but not at all of the Japanese. MANN: No, not the Japanese at all. No, there was a big German in Sumatra who got us our biggest orangutan, which was kind of a mistake because we shouldn't have taken it; it hadn't been in captivity long enough. It didn't want to eat anything except durian, and of course, we couldn't take durian on the ship with us. It died at sea. But I don't remember that there was every any suggestion that we'd be at war in a couple of years. Actually it was three years before America got into the war.
92 The people who were most helpful to us in Sumatra, in this little town of Siantar, was a very nice man called [J. A.] Coenraad. He was Dutch and his wife was German. There was no feeling whatever about being German. HENSON: Of course, they were very far removed from Germany. MANN: Yes, they'd lived there for years; I don't remember just how long, but they had been there a long time. Eventually they were both in separate prison camps. They didn't know during war--he didn't know whether Vera was still alive, and she didn't know whether Jacob was still alive. They finally met afterwards and emmigrated to Australia. He was a veterinarian, and they gave him a job in the Sydney zoo in Australia for a while. I remember talking to someone about them several years later, and I said, "What's the news of the Coenraads? You know, Vera Coenraad was one of the most beautiful women I ever saw." The man looked at me in astonishment, and he said, "Well, she isn't today." But I think they're both gone now. I haven't heard any news of them for a long time. HENSON: It's very strange to read things from before a time. From your African trip I came across at one point when you were going through Entebbe. They were referring to going through there. . .no, it was the Chrysler expedition, the earlier one to Africa. Dr. Mann had gone through Entebbe. MANN: Oh, did he? I wasn't on that.
93 HENSON: The city then meant nothing to them, and now it's so sort of an infamous place. It's such a change, you know, before it becomes historically known. MANN: I went to East Africa on my own with a bird watching group headed by Orville Crowder in 1964. We went down the West Coast, we spent a couple of weeks in South Africa, and then we were in Kenya and Tanzania, and some of them were going to Uganda. I thought, well, I've never been there before, I don't know how I'll like it, if I have all this time in South Africa, and Kenya, and Tanzania, I'll be ready to come home. Afterwards I was sorry because I could have gone then, and nowadays I guess you can't. Is there any news today of old [Idi] Amin? HENSON: Not that I have heard. It's such a strange situation. But it was strange to come across the reference to Entebbe. MANN: Yes, I'd forgotten that. HENSON: It's just a town that they were passing through, and I guess it was not as large at that point. MANN: One of the towns that I got to on my bird watching trip was Arusha, and I'd heard Bill talk about that a great deal. There was an old animal dealer at a place there, Christoph Schulz. He had his headquarters in Arusha; that was, of course, before the war. Germany lost Tanganyika in the first World War, didn't they? Yes, I think so.
94 When Bill was there it was called Tanganyika, and Zanzibar was something else again. HENSON: For the East Indies trip, you had the National Geographic photographer along, and you wrote it up. You did do several articles for them on that, right? MANN: We did one article, a joint article, and we gave a lecture in the Geographic series. Maynard Williams had stayed in Europe for a while. He wasn't back at the time of our lecture, but he sent us a cable from wherever he was, saying, "Congratulations on opening the greatest lecture series in the world." [Laughter] We had the first lecture that fall. Then Maynard poked a lot of fun at me because I had made some reference to being called Mrs. Noah. I said I had done better than Mrs. Noah; they only had forty days in the ark, and Bill and I had fifty. So Maynard was a better biblical scholar than we were, and he said it only rained for forty days but they couldn't get off the ark for--I forget now--sixty or so. HENSON: Still outdone. [Laughter] MANN: But for the Geographic everything has to be absolutely accurate, you know, and for me to imply that I'd been on the ark longer than Noah. . . . HENSON: You said you knew Mrs. Grosvenor. Were there close relationships between the Geographic and the zoo at that time? Were they formal, or mostly just knowing each other?
95 MANN: It was mostly just a friendly relationship personally between Bill and Gilbert Grosvenor. All that crowd--the [Alexander] Wetmores, and the [John Enos] Grafs, and the Grosvenors, and the Manns--it was a very nice social arrangement. We were often out at their house. Occasionally they came to our little apartment. They'd come to our circus parties--I think I've told you about the circus parties. HENSON: Not really, no. What were they? MANN: Well, Bill was a circus fan. He loved circuses. Everybody thought it was because of the animals in the circus, but what really interested Bill was the organization of it--how they could move anything as big as the Ringling [Brothers] show, put it up, stay two days, perhaps one day at a place, and move hundreds of people and all that equipment--a great, big train load. He got to know most of the executives, the managers and whatnot. One of the great thrills of his life was when we were in Sarasota, and John Ringling invited us to stay in his house. We had registered at a hotel there, and just hoped to see Mr. John, because we knew John. He had had a stroke; he wasn't too well at that time. He said, "What is Bill Mann doing staying in a hotel in a town where John Ringling has a house?" So we had to move. That was really a great thrill. But here in Washington, Bill would take everybody we knew. Sometimes we'd have seventy-five people for a buffet supper in the zoo, sometimes catered, sometimes I had to cook it, and take them all to the circus.
96 HENSON: Would you do it often? MANN: Once a year, whenever the Ringling show was here. As Bill said, we had to eat hash the rest of the year. That was our big form of entertainment. Vice President Wallace, Henry [Agard] Wallace, and his wife used to go with us, Earl Warren and his family. I remember Mrs. [Mary Vaux] Walcott, the widow of former Secretary of the Smithsonian. . . HENSON: Charles [Doolittle] Walcott. MANN: . . .she was with us one night. There was always some confusion about the tickets, but Bill would insist on getting a block--every seat in this row for as many rows as we needed. It always happened that there was one ticket missing, somebody else had it. There'd be one stranger in our midst. So there was this usual confusion about tickets. Another thing was that people wouldn't hang on to their stubs, you know, they wouldn't pay much attention. "Oh, we're with Dr. Mann, and he'll see we have seats," you know, "We'll just sit wherever Dr. Mann is." One of the ushers said to Mrs. Walcott one night, "How many in your party?" She said, "Seventy-five." He said, "Madame, I wasn't asking your age." Dignified Mrs. Walcott. . . . Well, she was a good sport; she thought that was very funny. [Laughter] Then one time, I forget who it was--some Congressman--it could have been Maury Maverick, do you remember that name? He was a Congressman, anyway, or somebody important arranged a police escort for us all the way from the zoo grounds to the
97 circus grounds. Afterwards, Bill asked one small boy who had been in the party what part of the circus he liked the best. He said, "Going through the red lights." HENSON: The major event of the evening for him. That must have been incredible, to get that many people together for the circus. Were there that many circus enthusiasts around? MANN: No especially, no. Of course, there were a number of circus fans, and there are to this day. It was quite an event, the big circus party. He and I would go to practically every performance. In the early days the circus would only be here a couple of days. Then it got to the point where it would stay for two or three weeks. We'd go over early in the morning, watch them set it up, and were were always invited for breakfast in the cookhouse in the tent. Once a year I used to eat pancakes for breakfast because they did make the best pancakes. [Laughter] We were nearly always invited for lunch or supper, whatever. We'd spend all afternoon out in the backyard visiting with people. On occasion we'd watch a certain act; we very seldom would sit through the whole show. We'd just go in and stand and watch something, and then go back and sit with people. They're very nice, the circus people, when they get to know you. They're standoffish until they do know you. [Interruption] HENSON: You said that he was very interested in the logistics of it, how they got the people, and the animals, and everything else
98 moved around. Was that something he was interested in later for his own purposes for expeditions. MANN: I suppose it was. I never thought of it that way. It was always difficult at the end of any collecting trip to get everything together and get it on the ship. It was just, oh, sometimes it was heartbreaking. You'd see the men--longshoremen--of any nationality, pick up a cage filled with delicate birds, and turn it upside down, or throw it on the deck, you know. It was terrible. The worst time we ever had was in Liberia when we were leaving Monrovia because when we were there, there was no harbor. I believe there is now a pier, or breakwater, or harbor. But in those days the ship anchored about three miles off shore, and you went back and forth in what they called a surf boat that would go through the surf. HENSON: So you would have to have gone back and forth with all the animals. MANN: Yes. The surf boat was about the size, and it had the capacity of, a lifeboat that you would see on a big ship. We had to load delicate antelope, taking them out in this little boat, and then they'd be hauled up by a winch to the deck of the ship. Then we had to stow them away in the hold somehow or other. That was really something. It was always that way. Another thing, the first night at sea, whether we were sailing out of New York with animals that we were taking, say, to the Argentine or anywhere--first day out, as soon as we
99 got out of the harbor it was rough. Trying to get cages in place and get food when you didn't know your way around the ship yet, that sort of thing, was always hard. The same thing happened on our way home, and of course, there was really a problem because we'd have wild animals. I remember when we left Sumatra it was about three days before we got all that cargo straightened. Malcolm Davis just worried himself sick about the birds because there were some he couldn't get to feed. But we didn't lose any--not that time--they all survived. I remember Malcolm saying they were tough. We had eighteen birds of paradise in the lot. HENSON: Maybe they distributed a little luck here and there. Would you have a set plan of how to move all these animals? MANN: You can make all the plans you want, and then the longshoremen, and then the captain of the ship will have entirely different ideas about what you're going to do with things. HENSON: I'm not sure if this is one of your journals or in a book somewhere, you mentioned when the giraffes were brought here. They were unloading them and you couldn't find Dr. Mann, and he had gone inside because he couldn't stand to watch. MANN: Oh, yes, that was after the Chrysler expedition. We didn't have a dock. That was before the elephant house--the big mammal house--was built, and the giraffes were kept in a sort of temporary shed. It was used as a birdhouse because we didn't have a birdhouse
100 then either, not functioning. The birdhouse was being built. So one end of this big barn was fitted up for the two giraffes that he brought back from the Chrysler expedition. They had been quarantined in New Jersey before they could come down here. It wasn't a long quarantine, maybe two weeks, maybe a month. We went over to this barn where they were expected, and suddenly Bill disappeared. Afterwards I said, "Where did you go? I should think you would have just wanted to stay and see your giraffes." He said no, he'd spent all that time, and if one of them fell and broke his leg or broke his neck, he wasn't going to watch it. [BEGIN TAPE II, SIDE II] HENSON: One of them kicked Mr. Blackburne? MANN: Yes, and Bill was terribly upset, and he said, "Oh, Blackie, were you hurt?" Mr. Blackburne said, "No, it is a pleasure to be kicked by a giraffe in my own zoo!" Because they were the first ones that had ever come here. One more story about unloading giraffes: on our trip back from Sumatra we stopped in Egypt, India, made all kinds of stops on the way back, and picked up animals everywhere. We picked up four giraffes in Egypt; they were loaded in Port Said or Port Sudan, I forget which. So we took care of them all the way across the ocean. As I think I've told you, it was a very exciting trip with storms, and mutiny, and what-not. Finally the ship came to Hoboken. The giraffes had to go to
101 Clifton, New Jersey, where the quarantine station was. Jennifer went with them in the truck. Of course, they were crated in good sized crates. They got to the quarantine station and the crates were too tall to go through the door. So Jennifer said, "Well, I think they're tame, I think I can lead them in." And they were tame, and he led them in. [Laughter] HENSON: That's courage. MANN: Yes, because the crates were too tall to go through the door. HENSON: That takes a bit of courage to be willing to do that. MANN: They were young animals, and we had made pets of them for the whole journey. HENSON: Is that about it for you for today? [END TAPE II, SIDE II]
Third Oral History Interview with Lucile Quarry Mann July 14, 1977 at her home at 3001 Veazey Terrace, N. W., Washington, D. C. by Pamela M. Henson Interviewer for the Smithsonian Institution Archives HENSON: We're going to start with the voyage back to the Sumatran trip. You had several hundred animals aboard. MANN: We had nearly a thousand. We had 970 or 980, something like that, when we started [879]. We were on a small British freighter, five thousand tons, for fifty days. We left from Belawan which is the port in Sumatra for Medan, the capital, with all kinds of supplies, tons and tons of bananas, dozens and dozens of eggs, everything we could think of that the animals would need on the ship coming back. In addition, we were counting on going to the market in every place we stopped. We were going to make a good many stops on the way home, and that is what we did. We got ashore in Bombay and Karachi. In fact, we were in Bombay almost a week because we were having engine trouble and had to do some repairs to the ship. But we didn't get to see much of the cities; we'd just go to the market and buy. I remember buying some beautiful
103 melons in India. They had come, I think, from Kashmir--gorgeous melons. We'd cut them up and feed them to the birds and the animals! We had a number of cages on deck, and then we had two or three--I think we had three--holds down below where we had, oh, birds, monkeys, small mammals, all the small fry. We had a big tiger that we had captured in a trap, and we had a baby that I had raised on a bottle. The big tiger was in a cage on deck. We had a black leopard on deck, and some of the antelope. Anyway, the whole ship was given over to us and our animals; we were the only passengers. The baby tiger had never been in a cage; we had him on a chain or a leash or something down in the hold. Everyday I'd pick him up in my arms, and carry him up the ladder, and exercise him on the deck. Eventually the deck got so hot that he would wimper, you know, it would hurt his paws. That's at the steel part of the deck. We had taken two men from the zoo out with us, Roy Jennier and Malcolm Davis. We brought home with as a Borneo Dyak native because he'd been a great help in camp. He had been with another scientific expedition, one that Harold [Jefferson] Coolidge [Jr.] was on. Harold had recommended him to us. The boy was a pretty good taxidermist. We were the only passengers, the five of us. The ship's officers were British and the crew was all Chinese. It wasn't terrible eventful until we got to the Red Sea; the voyage was more than half over then. I do remember that in Bombay we were able to buy some quite rare monkeys, and the dealer was going to send them down to the ship to us and then never did. We kept trying to get in
104 touch with him to find out what the trouble was, and the trouble was that the government had forbidden him to ship animals because it was monsoon season, and he thought they would not survive the trip. Well, here we were with nine hundred other animals, it was kind of a pessimistic view to take. But we did very well until we got to the Red Sea, and there the heat was just unbelievable, especially down in the holds. We'd spend hours just pouring cold water over the animals, trying to cool them off. They just went limp. One bear--of course, a Himalayan bear was kind of out of place in that hold--but Harold Coolidge had given us these two bear cubs, and we'd kept them in camp all the time, they were pets. One of the bears went down and two or three of the monkeys. I think one monkey died, but we managed to pull most of them through. Then we got into Port Sudan. Bill [William M. Mann] had written ahead; he'd been in touch with the game department of Sudan, who had acquired some animals for us, promised us quite a lot of things--we didn't know just what we'd get. So the minute we docked in Port Sudan, Bill went ashore and came back absolutely delighted. There were four beautiful young giraffes, two cape buffalos, and two small shoebill storks. He had made arrangements to have them loaded on board, and he had found a ship's chandler who would sell us, I forget how many, crates of bananas. I guess the game department had arranged for the hay. We had, I think, twenty-two bales of hay, green clover hay, that had come on board. In the morning--of course, working on deck was just terrifically hot, and I guess it was worse down in the hold--but we had to feed the animals. The first thing that happened was that Roy Jennier got snagged by a
105 black leopard--reached through the cage and clawed his leg, not seriously, but any kind of scratch in the tropics can be dangerous. Bill disinfected that and bound it up for him. We had to sign a receipt for the bales of hay, and they all had to be counted. They were strewn all over the deck; we didn't know what we were going to do with them. The boys were stripped to the waist, but wearing sun helmets. Then bill and I were working down in the hold, and he began to feel kind of ill, so he came up and went to bed. When I came up at lunchtime he was running quite a high fever and we were alarmed. The captain sent ashore for a doctor, who came and said that it was heat stroke, not sun stroke but heat stroke. This was still morning. He said the temperature ashore right then in Port Sudan was 117°. So Bill went to bed and the doctor prescribed sweet spirits of nitre for him. We tried to take care of the animals all afternoon, but we were having trouble with visitors. There was a German ship tied up near us with a Chinese crew. They gave all their crew shore leave. Instead of going ashore, they all came over to visit our Chinese crew. We couldn't keep them away from the animals. They were poking their faces right up against the black leopard cage and that sort of thing. It was a hectic afternoon, but finally we appealed to a couple of the officers to get them off the ship, and they did. By that time our crew, our Chinese boys, were all upset because they had not been allowed shore leave. Whether they had managed to get some liquor of their own, or whether the crewmen from the other ship had brought it, I don't know. But by evening they were all pretty drunk and very quarrelsome. They swarmed up on the
106 deck where we had our cabin and where the captain's room was, and began shouting at the captain to know why he had treated them that way. The captain got them off our deck and down to the main deck. One of them kicked the captain. Two of them got off the ship, they went down the ladder and got on the pier, and the captain and the telegraph operator--radio operator--Sparks, went after them, and caught these two men, and brought them back on the ship. Bill, unconscious all the time, missed this, and I was hanging over the rail and watching everything that went on. I can remember seeing Sparks take his man and bend him backward over the rail; I thought he was going to crack his spine. One of the crew threw a bottle of soy sauce at the first mate. Then I heard somebody run up the companionway and into the captain's office, dash out again, and I just knew he'd come up and gotten a gun. I guess the Chinese finally realized that the officers were armed, so they subsided. The officers put two of the crew in chains, and when we got to Port Said they left them there in jail, which couldn't have been a very pleasant experience. HENSON: Had you at that point loaded the giraffes and everything, gotten all those animals on board? MANN: Oh, yes, they were all on board. We had the giraffes and the buffalo. HENSON: Did they all go on the deck too?
107 MANN: Yes, they were on deck. The giraffe crates were nine feet tall. Oh, they just looked beautiful. There were two males, two females, and very tame. We could pat their noses. The captain, up to that point, had not cared very much about having animals all over his ship. After the giraffes came aboard, he weakened. He wouldn't go to bed at night unless he'd been down and said good night to the giraffes. [Laughter] Then I think the next thing that happened--that was the big day, of course, when we had the mutiny and everything. Bill recovered, and by the time we got to Port Said he left the ship. We went to Cairo and out to the pyramids. We hired a car for the whole day. From then on he was all right, and of course, once we got into the Mediterranean the weather was cooler and much better. During all the time that we were in the Red Sea, we slept out on deck because the cabin was just too hot. But the night of the mutiny was funny. I remember Roy and Malcolm came up--their quarters were on the lower deck--and they came up just to sort of pay us a visit and see how Bill was. They hoped that we didn't know anything about the trouble, and finally said that they didn't think that I ought to sleep on deck that night. So I said I hadn't planned to because Bill was sick, he was running a fever, and he would have to stay in bed, and I was going to stay with him. But through the Mediterranean it was fairly calm. We didn't have any bad weather until we got out into the middle of the Atlantic. Then a real storm came along. They put ropes along the deck, you know, to hang on to, so we wouldn't be washed overboard. The waves were just crashing over the deck.
108 HENSON: Did you have to move the animals off the deck then? MANN: No, they stayed on deck. They were all in cages, of course. I was not allowed to go down and feed any of my animals. This was funny--people used to ask me if I was a good sailor, and I used to say, "Well, yes, I think I am. I've never really been seasick." But after that trip I didn't mind saying I was a good sailor because one of my jobs was to go down in the hold and clean monkey cages before breakfast. Then after breakfast I'd go down and feed them. No, that's not quite right. This Borneo boy was supposed to clean the cages before breakfast, and then after breakfast I was to go down and feed the monkeys. The Borneo boy was always seasick, so I had to do all the dirty work as well as feeding them, because down in the hold you really could get dizzy. This storm was so bad that they told me I couldn't go down, I couldn't cross the deck. We sat up most of the night. We shared the captain's quarters. He had a cabin, and we had a cabin, and then we had a sitting room that the three of us shared. We were sitting there when about midnight one of the crew came in and said that the giraffe crates, which had been lashed to the rail, had broken loose and were floating around the deck. HENSON: Oh my! MANN: So the captain stopped the ship; I believe he hoved to, and called out all the crew, and they roped the crates up again. In the morning we were afraid to look, but all the giraffes were all right.
109 HENSON: How did the animals react to the intense heat and then the storm? Did any of them seem upset? MANN: The giraffes had enough sense to lie down. They didn't break necks or legs, which they might very easily have done. There was just barely room for them to lie down, you know, those shipping crates are made to fit, so that the animals can't move around very much or turn around. But there was just enough room for them to lie down. That's what they did, and they were all right. The only thing I remember about the trip by sea was the bananas. Let's see, the last chance we had to buy bananas was in Port Said, after that we didn't stop again until we got to Halifax. So we practically ran out of bananas before we got to Halifax, and radioed ashore to send some out with the pilot. One of the newspaper men that we knew, a man from Washington, had been sent up to Halifax to write the story of our landing. The pilot wasn't going to bring these newspaper men out to the ship with him, but one of them [William] Bill Shippen, had this great big bunch of bananas, and said it was an absolute emergency--he had to get the bananas out to the ship, so he did. We stopped in Halifax, Boston, New York. I think I told you about unloading the giraffes, didn't I? HENSON: Right, that Mr. Jennier walked them in. MANN: Yes, he had to take them out to the crates and lead them into their stalls.
110 HENSON: I guess after everything else that they'd been through that was a fairly tame experience for the giraffes. [Laughter] MANN: Well, they were tame. We'd all petted them all the way. HENSON: But you don't know, they might just break and run. MANN: Still, you don't want to get kicked in the shin by a giraffe. They've got a terrific kick. HENSON: Now was that the largest group of animals that you ever brought back on a ship? MANN: It was the largest that I ever accompanied. When Dr. Mann came back from the Chrysler expedition, he had seventeen hundred. That included a great many small birds, a lot of turtles that were rare turtles, frogs, snakes, everything. He had two giraffes that time, and five leopards, a lot of big animals, a lot of antelope, and gnus or wildebeest. HENSON: That would not have been as long a trip. MANN: I don't remember. I forget now how they got back. They sailed, I think, out of Mombasa, but they had to change to another ship, I think in India. But I wasn't there and I don't remember that. It's probably in his book, [[underlined]]Wild Animals In and Out of the Zoo[[/underlined]], because he has a lot about the Chrysler expedition in that,
111 HENSON: Now you had mentioned something to the effect that you did originally have plans to publish from the Sumatra trip? MANN: Yes, I wrote a book about it, and I rewrote it three times, and it never quite suited the publisher. It was called [[underlined]]The Passengers were Wild[[/underlined]], which I though was a good title. [Laughter] HENSON: Really. Not to mention the crew and everything else along with it. [Interruption] I had noticed, when you were in Sumatra, Dr. [Charles Thomas] C. T. Brues had come and joined you there. Was that the person you mentioned was a good friend of Dr. Mann's from Harvard [University]. MANN: Yes, he was one of Bill's professors at Harvard. They were very, very good friends. He and his wife came out, and they stayed with us in our camp for quite a while. We went on two or three trips together. I think they were with us when we went up to Atjeh, which is the wild part of Sumatra, up in the north. The people in Atjeh resented the Dutch very much, and there was apt to be a little trouble, a little feeling, between the governor, whoever they had, and the native chiefs, sultans. Do they call them sultans? I think so. We had very pleasant housekeeping there outside of Pematang, Siantar. We had this big place that had been a hospital for one of the rubber plantations, and then they had given it up, and it was just vacant there. A man that we knew arranged so that we could rent it. We had four, maybe five, what they call European rooms, and then all these quarters that
112 had been built originally for the coolies working on the rubber plantations. They were just really long, covered sheds, open in the sides, and they made beautiful animal quarters. We had carpenters working full-time on making up cages for us, because the animals would come in, oh, tied up in a handkerchief, or balanced on the handlebars of a bicycle, no cages for them. So we had these men working on cages. On Sunday afternoons, we used to get a lot of visitors, young people from the nearby village. We were about three miles out of town. The people in the nearby village would come out to look at the animals. We had our meals sent out from a little hotel in town. A boy on a bicycle turned up three times a day with hot meals for us. It was really very nice. HENSON: Yes, good service. On that expedition you made quite a few side trips also. MANN: Oh yes. We went to Java, Bali, Macassar, and Amboina. Ceram was the farthest island. The next stop from there would have been New Guinea, and we didn't go there, but we sent a Dutch doctor that we knew, a veterinarian. He went on over to, not actually New Guinea, but an island off the coast. He collected birds of paradise for us. He got thirty birds of paradise in just a week or two. He had a little zoo of his own in Siantar, which was the village that we camped near. The arrangement was that he could have some of the birds of paradise for his zoo, and we'd have the rest. So we came home with eighteen; we didn't lose one of those on the trip home.
113 HENSON: It's amazing that you kept as much as you did on that voyage. MANN: We lost very little. We had a big, full-grown male orangutan, and he hadn't been captured very long. We really shouldn't have tried to bring him home, because he hadn't been trained to eat the kind of food we could give him, you know, he just wasn't used to captivity. He died on the trip. That was the biggest loss. WE had smaller orangs that did all right. HENSON: As I think I mentioned before, that was about two years before Dr. [S. Dillon] Ripley went. Did he ever get in touch with you and talk to you about your trip there? Did you know he was going to go later? MANN: I don't think so. HENSON: He brought back a large bird collection. That must have been a fairly unusual place to be going at that point, though, wasn't it? Quite that far away? MANN: Well, Harold Coolidge was there at the same time we were. He and his wife were both in Sumatra. Harold got sick out there, I remember. We were up at either Brastaggi or Toba, those are the two lovely resorts in Sumatra. Harold was taken sick up there, and we had to get him back down to Medan and find a doctor for him, and whatnot. HENSON: Now, there was a quite a bit of publicity for the expedition when you came back.
114 MANN: Yes. HENSON: Would there normally be much publicity when you came back from those trips? How much time would you wind up with reporters, et cetera, doing stories? MANN: Oh, quite a lot. HENSON: I guess you gave a lot of lectures then? MANN: Yes. Of course, we had to give a lecture at the National Geographic. We had taken movies. We also had movies of the Liberian trip that we showed at the National Geographic. The Sumatran pictures were really very good. We had Maynard Owen Williams with us as a professional photographer. In Liberia, Bill took the movies and I took the stills. HENSON: It must have kept you really busy, with everything else. MANN: You're always busy on a trip like that. There's never a dull moment. You've got the animals to take care of, you've got the natives coming and offering these wild schemes, you've got to keep up your correspondence with officials in whatever the next country is you're going to, to get permits and arrange for things. HENSON: Now the next year you received from the National Geographic something called the Franklin Burr award? MANN: Yes.
115 HENSON: What was that? Was that for that trip? MANN: It was for that trip. I forget just how it was worded, but we had added to the world's store of knowledge. That's more like the Smithsonian's diffusion of knowledge. I think we had "added" to the store of knowledge by our trip. We were given the award, and a check came with it. We got back in the fall--it was September when we got back. We were given this award, I think, the following May. The minute Bill saw the check, he said, "Now where should we go?" I said, "We've just bee. Don't you think it's time that we made a little wise investment with this." "Oh, yes," said Bill. The next Sunday he was looking at the travel section of the paper, and he said, "Oh the [[underlined]] Reliance [[/underlined]] is going to Russia." We had been to Europe once before on the [[underlined]] Reliance [[/underlined]] and liked it very much. So of course we went for a summer in Europe, took the [[underlined]] Reliance [[/underlined]] over. We stayed three months, mostly in Germany, going to zoos. We did see the zoo in Moscow and the zoo in Leningrad. Then we came back later on a Dutch ship. By the time we came home, things were getting pretty unsettled in Europe. [Adolf] Hitler dominated the news. We were kind of glad to be back. HENSON: Yes, now you would have been in Germany rights when things were heating up over there. MANN: Yes, there was a lot of this "Heil, Hitler" business. I know the director of the Nuremburg zoo--we went to the zoo with him, of course--but he could hardly tell us anything about the zoo.
116 [BEGIN TAPE I, SIDE II] HENSON: You were talking about the director of the Nuremburg zoo. MANN: Yes, he could hardly discuss the zoo with us; he was so much more interested in showing us places in town--the hotel where Hitler had stayed or the stadium--there was that big stadium that built during Hitler's time in Nuremburg. That was where der Fuhrer had done this, that, and the other. It was much more interesting to him than what the animals in the zoo were doing. It was kind of strange. We got back to Nuremburg ten years later, in 1948, and it was just heartbreaking to see what had happened to the town during the war; it was terrible. When we revisited Nuremburg and Munich in 1948, they were in very bad shape. HENSON: But did you have any feel for the scope of what was coming at that time? MANN: No, not at all. Our friends in Germany would say, well, of course, they didn't really approve of their children spending so much time in this youth movement, whatever they called it, but that Hitler had done so many wonderful things for the country. HENSON: Right, they supported him for that reason. MANN: Yes. They told us too that he had terrific magnetism when he spoke. I heard him over the radio or something, and it just sounded like--and of course, speaking in German, I didn't know enough
117 German to follow it at all--but it just sounded to me like a harangue, a very excitable man. But they said when you saw him in person and listened to him that he did have a great deal of magnetism. He must have had to have gotten the following that he did. So that was what our friends told us, and we had no idea what was going to happen. But there were other people who were smarter than we were, more politically minded, I guess. HENSON: Yes. Then the next year, not giving yourself too much of a time break, you took off again, for the Argentine? MANN: That's right, we went to the Argentine. That was a very civilized trip compared to these others. We visited the cities and went to see the animal dealers. We took some animals down for the zoo in Buenos Aires, and of course, they gave us some when we left, when we were going to come home. We took a newspaper man from Washington and his wife with us. It was Bill Shippen of the [[underlined]]Star[[/underlined]]. The [[underlined]] Star [[/underlined]] paid his expenses. Our expenses, I think, came out of the zoo's budget fro that year, their travel funds. We stayed a good deal in Buenos Aires, but we got to a number of other places, La Plata, a town called Rosalia, I think. We had a nice trip on a small boat launch on one of the rivers. That was a lot of fun--several days on this boat, tying up at night and traveling in the daytime. We had somebody with us, an American dentist who was practicing in Buenos Aires, and he was an Irishman, and he knew every Irishman who lived up an down the river, and we'd stop and call on them--perfectly delightful time.
118 Then we went down to Nahuel Huapi, which is down in Patagonia. There's a very, very beautiful resort down there. The resort itself--the big resort hotel--was closed, it wasn't the season, but we stayed in a lovely small place built like a Swiss chalet, wonderful food, beautiful view of the snowcapped mountains. It was really lovely. I remember one time we were going to see the resort place, and the man in our hotel wanted to put up a lunch for us, because he said the big hotel was closed. We said, "Yes, but there must be someplace where the workmen eat." He said, "Oh, but they wouldn't have anything but steak and potatoes." We though we could subsist for one day with nothing but steak and potatoes, which we did! HENSON: Why did you pick Argentina at that point? MANN: Oh, I think we just wanted to go. Bill had been to Brazil, Colombia, and Bolivia, but never to Argentina. We had both been to British Guiana, and Dutch Guiana, but Argentina was just one place we hadn't been. He knew the bird life there would be good. HENSON: Did he discuss that, or do you remember discussing the trip with Dr. [Alexander] Wetmore? He had spent quite a bit of time down there in the twenties, right? MANN: Yes, I suppose so. It might have been Dr. Wetmore's influence on Bill. HENSON: Yes, because he had been through Patagonia, the whole area. Did you do quite a bit of collecting of birds?
119 MANN: It was mostly buying them from pet shops and from dealers. There was one frog that Bill was very anxious to get. It was a horned frog, and right at the moment, I can't think of the scientific name. But it was a big thing and quite rare. Everybody knew about it, but everybody said it wasn't the season for them. So one day, Frances Shippen, Bill's wife, came to us at lunch--she'd been out shopping, and she'd been in the Avenida Florida, the most fashionable shopping district in Buenos Aires, a lovely arcade with shops. She said to Bill, "Doc, I don't know, I've never seen one of these frogs that you keep talking about, but I think there're two of them of the Avenida Florida." Bill said, "Well, what would they be doing there?" Well, they were in a pet shop...[[underlined]]Ceratophyrs cornuta [[/underlined]], that was the name of it. So right after lunch, Bill got a taxi and went over there, and sure enough, it was the frog that he wanted. We brought them home, and whenever Frances came to the zoo, she'd want to look at them, because it said on the label, "Collected by Frances Shippen in Argentina." She's very proud of it. [Laughter] That's the way you collect in civilized places like Argentina. HENSON: Did you do any camping out at all? MANN: No, not at all. HENSON: Not at all, so it was mostly an in-town trip. That would have been very different. MANN; Oh, yes, it was.
120 HENSON: It must have been an interesting break, though, in between Sumatra and Liberia, which were really field trips. MANN: Yes, it was. HENSON: I noticed in the notes that I went through, I didn't see the names of any zoo keepers that went along with you. Did you not bring anybody? MANN: Argentina, no. HENSON: No, so that would just been you and the Shippens taking care of the animals? Was that a lot more difficult then? MANN: Both of the Shippens were very good at helping take care of the animals. What was it we had--some large birds--oh, the rheas, the South American ostrich, we had six or eight of them in a sort of makeshift cage, and it was very difficult to keep that cage clean. I can remember Frances and I would work, and work, and work over it, and the next day it'd be just as dirty, of course, as ever. Bill Shippen was feeding the ducks, and he got bitten on the thumb or the forefinger by a duck. Bill Mann said, "We'll put iodine on it right away because you can get an infection in any kind of a small wound like that." Bill Shippen said, "What is my editor going to say to me? Here I've traveled seven thousand miles to be bitten by a duck." [Laughter] HENSON: Not the most exciting trip. Well, actually ducks are fairly strong animals if they get a hold of you. They can give you a good bite.
121 MANN: Yes, they can give you a pretty good nip. HENSON: Did you already know people down there? Did Dr. Mann? MANN: Not actually, no. Of course, he knew the director of the zoo in Buenos Aires by name. There was another man, Dr. C. A. Marelli, in La Plata, and we went to see him. He was an all around naturalist, and he had written quite a lot. Bill knew his publications, but I don't think that he had met either of these people personally. One person we did know was Monnett [B.] Davis, who was Consul General in Buenos Aires. He had been American Consul in Singapore when we were there. So of course, we spent quite a lot of time with the Davises. For a while, we actually stayed in their apartment, but usually we stayed in a hotel. They gave a dinner party for us the night that we arrived. It was very funny because our ship was late getting in, and we'd had this invitation by radio or telegram that we were expected fro dinner at the Davises. Well, we didn't get off the ship until nine or nine thirty, and by that time we'd had dinner on the ship, not realizing that in the Argentine nobody thought of eating before ten or eleven o'clock at night. So we had to go through this formal dinner at the Davises. HENSON: You brought animals down on that trip also, so you couldn't exactly just jump off the ship either. MANN: We took a couple of buffalo, and something else, I forget, maybe a bear. Afterwards, Dr. Marelli came up here, and we
122 went to the World's Fair, either in New York or Chicago--I think it was Chicago--with Dr. Marelli. I don't speak Spanish, and Marelli spoke very little English. I can remember we were having dinner on the train--so it must have been on our way to Chicago--and he finally decided to include me in the conversation. He was cutting up his chicken on his plate and managed to put this sentence together that went, "The cheekin of cold storage, he is not so good as one recently dead." [Laughter] HENSON: Oh, great dinnertime conversation. MANN: Yes, and then he and Bill went on talking in Spanish. HENSON: Right, a major effort. [Interruption] I noticed that same year you went to Argentina, Malcolm Davis went to India to pick up a rhino. How did you get that rhino, do you remember that? MANN: Yes, we worked on that while we were out in the East Indies, had a great deal of correspondence with the American consul, or ambassador--anyway, American officials--probably in New Delhi or Calcutta. There was somebody in Calcutta we had a lot of correspondence with. They couldn't get us a rhino in time for us to bring it home with us, but they did eventually get one. So Malcolm went out to get it. He didn't get that one back. It died just out of New Orleans, I think, after he had taken very good care of it all the way across by ship. Then they got us another one--let's see, that was 1939, wasn't it, the Argentine trip?
123 HENSON: Right. MANN: The same authorities in India got us another Indian rhino, and war broke out, so we couldn't go and get it. It was taken care of in one of the zoos--I'm quite sure it was Calcutta--all during the war. Then Malcolm went out again, later. It was the first time we'd had an Indian rhino. We got a mate for it a good many years later. At that time [J.] Lear Grimmer was assistant director of the zoo. He went out and brought back the other rhinos; Malcolm had retired from the zoo by that time.* But there's some quite amusing correspondence with that man, I think his name was [J.C.] White. He was in the consular service in India, and it's in that correspondence I gave you last time you were here. HENSON: Right. MANN: I remember there was one line about getting insurance on the animal. There was a clause in the policy saying it would not go into effect if the animal was pregnant. The consular officer said, "Of course, it has nothing to do with this case because the animal is a male." [Laughter] HENSON: All the details involved! Then giving yourself not too much of a break, the next year you took off for Liberia. That was sponsored by Mr. [Harvey S.] Firestone of the Firestone company. How did they come to sponsor that? *In 1960 a male and female rhino were given as gifts to the National Zoological Park. While awaiting shipment in India, the female gave birth, so the trio were kept in India until the baby was old enough to travel.
124 MANN: Because we knew a man called George Seybold. We knew George Seybold because he and his wife and two children had lived at one time in Sumatra. We didn't meet them when we were in Sumatra, but we met them later, just because they heard that we had been in Sumatra, we knew they had, and you like to get together and talk about shared experiences. So about 1940, maybe late '39, George Seybold, who had been with one of the rubber companies in Sumatra, was offered a job by Firestone. He was in charge of the Firestone plantation, which was at a place up the river--the Du River--called Harbel. And Harbel--the "Har" stands for Harvey Firestone and the "bel" stands for his wife, whose name was Belle. The Seybolds were at Harbel, and I suppose George said, "Oh, you ought to come out and see us," while we were there. Bill Mann probably said, "Yes, we'll come out and get some animals. Would Firestone finance us?" So George took it up with Mr. Firestone, and the staff, and whatnot, and they agreed to finance the expedition. I think we needed another pygmy hippo; I think that was the excuse for it--it was just one of those places Bill wanted to go to. We took two keepers with us from the zoo, Ralph Norris--I don't think at that time he was head keeper, but he eventually did become head keeper at the zoo--and a nephew of Roy Jennier's, whose name was also Roy [J.] Jennier [Jr.]. We had a young Roy Jennier along in Liberia. We went out on a dinky little freighter, kind of an uncomfortable trip with not very much in the way of good food. We had some rough weather. There was one night when we woke up and found our cabin floor was six inches deep in water that had come in through the porthole. We got to
125 Monrovia. I understand they do have a better harbor now. So you went ashore in what they call a surfboat. It's like a lifeboat, about the same size and shape, with men rowing. To get from our ship, which was call the [[underline]] West Kebar [[/underline]], down into the surfboat they had a mammy chair. It's a chair, sort of like an old-fashioned porch swing, with two seats facing each other and it will carry four people. You get into that on the top deck, and then a winch lifts you up over the rail and lets you down into the boat--quite exciting, lots of fun. [Laughter] We stayed at the Firestone plantation. We went from Monrovia to the plantation, which was about fifty miles--maybe it was fifty kilometers, which would be thirty some miles--mostly through rubber plantations. We stayed with the Sebolds for a week or two, making plans for what we were going to do next. There was a young couple who worked on the plantation who had been on camping trips and knew the country fairly well. They offered to go with us on our first camping trip, and they did. They organized it, they got all of the carriers, the porters, that we would need. We went by truck as far as the road went, which wasn't very far. Then we were met by a truckload--well I guess a couple of truckloads--we had eighty boys with us on that first trip, with hammocks. You had to have eight boys for each hammock; four carried it. The hammock was on a wooden frame which balanced on the boys' heads, two boys in front of you, and the hammock slung between on the frame. We went inland for four days, I think, more or less camping at night. We didn't have tents; we'd commandeer a native hut. We'd just say we want a hut for the night, and some obliging family would move out, and we'd go in and take over
126 just a regular African native hut, with a thatched roof and a dirt floor. We'd spray flit all around, and we took cots with us, and a bath tub, and of course, all our cooking gear, and that sort of thing. We had a very good cook on that first trip because I remember he even made bread. On later trips we just took a box of crackers along. He actually made bread, which I think is a pretty good trick over an open fire. We got to a place called Belleyella, and we stayed there for about ten days, got a pretty good collection, a baby chimp and some hornbills. We got a good many hornbills of different kinds in Liberia. And they have appetites! You just can't fill them up. They open that enormous beak and you pop down bananas, and balls of rice, and everything you can think of, and they open the beaks and howl for more. We had so many animals it took us a day longer to get back; it was five day walk back. We had some interesting experiences. When we were in Belleyella there was a garrison, a small number of soldiers stationed in Belleyella. One of the men there offered to introduce of to members of the snake society, that's one of those secret societies in Liberia. There's a leopard society, and a snake society, and I don't know whatall. We heard quite dreadful things about the leopard society, but I don't know whether they were true or not. Bill thought it would be fun if we could join the snake society because we were collecting reptiles, and thought if we belonged to the snake society maybe the snake men who were accustomed to handling reptiles would do some collecting for us. So we were initiated into the snake society, and it was quite an interesting performance. They have all these little sort of clay figures and each
127 one means something. We learned the password and the secret signs, and all that business. It was at night when we had the initiation; and we just thought it was too bad that we couldn't get any movies of it, so we asked them if they would mind doing the whole thing over again the next day, and so they did it again, so we did get a few pictures of it. HENSON: Was it difficult for a visitor to join the society? MANN: No, I think we made a gift to the society, I don't know, a few pounds, a few dollars, not a great deal. Some of those societies are strictly for the men. They have separate ones for the men and the women, but the snake society women can join, because I remember there was one native woman who was a member. I think I was the only white woman who had ever joined the snake society at that time. They gave me a special title. I was a Yangwak, and my special power was to cut a palaver. So after we came back.... Didn't I tell you this story? HENSON: Is this when you went to the White House? MANN: Yes, I think I did; I think you have that somewhere.* I know I told it not too long ago. I met a woman who is one of the curators at the Museum of African Art here, and she had been in Liberia, so we got talking Liberia and I told her this story. But it seems to me I told it to you also. Henson: Yes, I'll have to check and make sure that we have that on tape. Maybe if you can just describe the ceremony a little more if you remember what went on? *See Interview 1, page 34.
128 MANN: I made notes; I wrote down all the different meanings of all these figures. There were medicinal herbs, and they told us what each one was good for. There was one that was this far out, if you had a broken leg, you would stew up some of these green leaves and drink it, and your leg would heal. A lot of that sort of thing. An herb that they said was emetic, it probably was. One that was good for diarrhea might have been, I don't know. Then they had funny little clay figures and each one meant something. There were certain curses that you could put on your enemies, if you did something or other--tied a piece of string around a stick or whatnot--your enemy would probably fall and break his leg, or he might even die if you dislike him that much. Then they did have a live rhinoceros viper, which they hauled out and passed around. Bill picked it up and held it, but luckily I didn't have to. [END TAPE I, SIDE II]
Fourth Oral History Interview with Lucile Quarry Mann July 20, 1977 at her home of 3001 Veazey Terrace, N.W., Washington, D.C. by Pamela M. Henson Interviewer for the Smithsonian Institution Archives HENSON: We're going to continue talking about the 1940 field trip to Liberia, under the Firestone sponsorship. We had ended the last interview with you talking about the first trip out in the bush and joining the snake society. I guess you made of series of other trips? MANN: Oh, yes. We came back from Belleyella to the plantation and had quite a few animals, including a baby chimp that had pneumonia. We'd had to stop much more frequently along the way to feed and water the animals, and to give them a rest. So it had taken us four days to get to Belleyella, but it took us five to get back. We always stopped in a little village at night and, of course, commandeered somebody's hut. There was one village that we came through that time where the girls had just come back from their three years in the bush. They take the young people--both boys and girls--separately, and the girls had just come back from their three years so it was a great celebration
130 in the village, with the parents welcoming them and all that. They put on a dance. It was really very spectacular. Of course, it wasn't anything that was being done for us, it wasn't a tourist thing, it was a real native dance. There was a woman witch doctor there. She tried to show me some of the dance steps, so there's a very funny movie of me trying to do the African dance in--what was I wearing--I guess shorts and a helmet. The girls were all done up in wonderful costumes with their faces painted. We got back to the plantation with our things, and we went on a number of other expeditions. One notable one was to Cape Mount, which was quite a pretty place. There was a nice, little village right down by the shore--it was on the ocean. We had gotten there by a launch, it was called a fishing boat. Apparently it was the only fishing boat around because it didn't have a name; it was just "the" fishing boat. It was a pretty good size, and there was one small cabin. It was an overnight trip. Usually when we were going into the bush, we took a truck or a car of some sort to the end of the road, to a place call Kakata. Then from Kakata, we'd go on foot or in hammocks to wherever we wanted to go. But this time we went into Monrovia, and went down to the dock, and got the fishing boat. We left in the evening, we were out on the launch all night. It was a pretty rough trip. Bill [William M. Mann] went to sleep in the cabin, but I went down to the cabin and I knew I was going to be seasick if I stayed down there. A Dutch woman [Marie Bodewes] from the plantation had gone with us. She had friends in Cape Mount that she wanted to see, and she asked if she could go
131 along, and we said, "Of course." So she and I slept on a pile of fish nets on deck. We didn't sleep very much but that's where we spent the night. Then we got to Cape Mount in the morning. There was an Episcopal mission there, with a school high up on the cliff. There was a cliff that came up almost straight from the sea. There was room for the village right down on the beach. We stayed at the mission which was quite a comfortable house. There were two very nice missionary women there that we saw quite a bit of. They invited us to their little house for a Sunday night supper. It was rather touching because it was waffles and creamed chicken, quite different from Liberian food! Then we started out from Cape Mount. I think we had three companions, two German traders and a German doctor... the German doctor was attached to the mission. I remember one of these missionary women saying, of course, they would rather have an American doctor come out. They would have a doctor for perhaps a year, sort of an internship of working out there, but they could pay so little they couldn't get American young students to come out, and that was why they had a German. They were, you know, a little apologetic about having a German with us. After all, this was 1940. So there were the German doctor and two of the traders--I think one of the the traders was called Mr. Paul. The other two were named Koch and Kahl. They were going to go into the interior because the traders had a series of little, you could hardly call them shops, but that's what they were, places where you could buy maybe an onion, some little thing. There were a series of dispensaries which the German
132 doctor wanted to inspect. So we were delighted to have them with us because they knew the country. We were a little annoyed because it was the German doctor's first trip into the jungle, and he had brought along his rifle, and he just shot anything that moved, whereas we wanted to get things alive. He did bring down a big bird, I don't remember if it was a hornbill, but some good sized bird that I remember he just winged. It was alive when it hit the ground. We picked it up and nursed it along for weeks. It recovered all right. Then they left us after the end of the string of little shops and dispensaries. Bill and I went on with our boys. By this time we had always the same head boy and the same houseboy. Bobo [Johnson] was the head boy, more than a boy; he was a middle-aged man. Flomo was this youngster that we were training to be a houseboy. One of the porters or carriers was called Paypay. Those three had been on other trips with us. We started out, and that was when we got to Bendaja. Bendaja was quite a village, and there was a famous paramount chief who lived there. His name was Boima Quae. He was famous because he had led a Gola uprising against the government. He had a very nice house, much bigger than the ones we usually stayed in. He turned his house over to us, I don't know where he went to sleep. We had a real bed instead of a cot. Of course, the mattress was stuffed with straw and it kind of rustled at night. I don't know what was inside it besides straw. [Laughter] The hut as I remember it was octagonal, and there were windows on all sides, so it was much more elegant than the native huts we usually stayed in. We were in Bendaja for quite a while. I don't know whether it was there, or
133 whether it was at one of the villages on the way there, where we stopped and there was a sacred crocodile. It was a good sized crocodile. You took a chicken down to the water's edge, and the crocodile would come out and grab the chicken and eat it. It was some sort of ceremony. That same place was near a leper colony on an island, and I remember the lepers came over to see us. Now in another village earlier we had seen the ceremony when the girls came back from their three years in the bush. In Bendaja they were collecting the young boys to take them all from the village. We weren't allowed to watch that at all. We had to stay in our hut with the shutters closed, and we could hear all this screaming and rumpus going on outside. The little boys didn't want to to go, and their parents didn't want them to go. It was a very noisy scene. We were told that we mustn't even look out. Of course, Bill wanted to take pictures, but we were told, "Don't even look out." We said afterwards to someone, "What would they have done to us if we had opened the window and started taking pictures? They wouldn't have dared do anything to us." Whoever this was told us that no, they wouldn't have, but they might have persuaded your cook to poison you. Some of the odds and ends of living in Liberia. It was while we were at Bendaja that old chief Boima Quae came to us with a letter and asked us to read it to him. So I looked at it, and I said, "This is marked personal and confidential." He said yes, he knew that, but please read it to him. Perhaps he couldn't read himself, I don't know, but he seemed as though he'd had some education. So I
134 read it out loud, and it was from the Charge d'Affaire in Monrovia, wanting a full report on everything that Dr. and Mrs. Mann were doing up country, and keep them under surveillance until they start back to Monrovia. We didn't know what was up. We stayed a few days there, and then we got back to Cape Mount. When we got back to Cape Mount there was a letter waiting for us, this had been brought by runner from Monrovia, and it was from the American Charge d'Affaire, telling us to return immediately to Monrovia. There was no way we could get there until the fishing boat came for us, so we just stayed. It was another two or three days, I think, before we went back. While we were waiting we woke up one morning, and German flags were flying here and there from the trading post down below us. Then we found out from one of the German traders that Hitler's armies had invaded Holland. Our Dutch friend was staying with one of these German families, and they didn't want her to know, but of course, she found out. She heard something on the radio, and of course, she could see the German flags, and she wanted to get right back to Monrovia, to the plantation, and there was really no way for her to go unless she walked the whole distance. But she got a surfboat, enough men to row her, and she spent two or three days at sea all by herself with this native crew getting back to Monrovia, and then to the plantation. I remember she said she knew what part of Amsterdam had been bombed, and it was where her parents lived. She said she hoped they were dead, that the alternative would be so terrible. We kept in touch with that Dutch couple after we left Liberia, and they came to see us in Washington. I asked her about her
135 parents, and she said they had survived, they were all right. But it was kind of strange to be there. Eventually the fishing boat came for us. By this time the Episcopal bishop had turned up; he was inspecting various missions. He asked us if we minded if he went back to Monrovia on the fishing boat with us. Of course we said no. That was a daytime trip, and it took all day to get back. He was a charming man, very good company. When we got back to Monrovia, it was pouring, pelting rain, and it was after dark. There was no car to meet us to take us back to the plantation, so Bishop [Leopold] Kroll invited us to spend the night with him and his wife, which we did. While we were at the Bishop's, the Charge d'Affaire came dashing in to see us, soaking wet from head to foot on account of the rain. It seems there'd been all kinds of reports about what we were doing up country. The most serious one was that we had led a band of armed Germans to within three miles of the British frontier, and we were trying to provoke an international crisis incident. [Laughter] HENSON: Now the doctor was armed, you said, but just hunting? MANN: Yes, that was the only rifle. Oh, I suppose Bill had a little game getter, but it was certainly not a party of Germans armed with high powered rifles. HENSON: But, I guess by the time tales come back from the bush. . . traveling with Germans at that point.
136 MANN: I don't know whether the Charge d'Affaire, [Clifford R.] Wharton, said this or whether this was in a letter for the State Department, I forget where it was, but anyway, they were very curious to know what was Dr. Mann looking for in termite nests. What would you find in termites nests, you know? [Laughter] HENSON: Bugs. MANN: He was looking for the queen in all cases, of course, and termitophiles which he was quite an authority on, these little beetles that live with termites. When we got back to Washington, we found there was a file in the State Department six inches thick on the Manns in Liberia. We got back to the plantation the next day and things there were okay. The manager, George Seybold, had a very good radio, and he could get the BBC [British Broadcasting Company] broadcasts. So we spent a lot of time listening to the radio reports. Let's see if I can remember anything about another bush trip. HENSON: I know it said in the journal you had difficult getting permission, but then eventually did go up to something called the Polish plantation. MANN: Oh, yes, we did. That was a small plantation which had belonged to some Poles. I forget what they were raising, possibly cocoa. But they had abandoned it, whether it was because they couldn't get the workers for the fields or possibly they wanted to get back to Poland on
137 account of the war. I think perhaps that was it. But it was a very comfortable little house. We had a nice couple from the plantation with us, a man called [Louis] Chancellor and his wife, Matilda. One of the pygmy hippos that we brought back from the trip, by the way, we named Matilda after Mrs. Chancellor. Chancellor would get up early in the morning before daylight, and go out in the bush, and come back with an antelope. He was an excellent hunter and kept us well supplied with fresh meat. One thing that puzzled me was seeing a refrigerator, because there was no electricity, no gas. I asked one of the boys "How does this work?" He said, "Oh it cooks with kerosene. [Laughter] HENSON: Kerosene for power, yes. MANN: It was very pretty country around the Polish plantation, lovely jungle and big trees. Chancellor knew his way around the woods beautifully. I remember he pointed out what they call a water vine. It was some epiphyte, something that grew on a tree. He slashed it open and there was fresh, good water. It was worth knowing in the jungle where you could get fresh water. On our way to the Polish plantation, we came to a river. We decided to stop and eat our lunch before we crossed the bridge. Since we were going out from the plantation, we had hard boiled eggs and something or other for lunch with us, and we decided to stop and have lunch before we crossed the river. While we were sitting there a native came along, carrying a bundle of something, got to the middle of the bridge and the bridge collapsed, and down he went into the river. We were glad
138 that we hadn't tackled it with all our animals and whatnot. He got up, scrambled up the bank and went his way. Then when we started to go across--fortunately the river was not deep--our boys carried us across in hammocks. Of course, whenever we met natives near a village, our boys would stop and they'd gossip for hours. I mentioned the bridges. There was an incident on another bush trip, because I have this complex about crossing water if there's no hand railing. I could not get across on a log or plank, no matter how little the stream was. If a little creek had water in it and a board I was supposed to cross on, I couldn't do it. So Bobo, our head man, was trained to walk right in front of me and I put my hands on his shoulders, and I watched his feet instead of looking at the water below, and that way I could get across. So one day we crossed one of these bridges and ran into a bunch of natives. There was the usual conversation, exchanging of gossip, and a great deal of laughter. So when we went on, I said, Bobo, what was the joke? He said, "Missy,they say much worse bridge ahead." HENSON: Not too cheering. [Laughter] MANN: That has always bothered me, as far back as British Guiana. I couldn't get across a bridge unless there was something to hang onto. Today I can't go up or down the stairs unless there's a hand railing. HENSON: Yes, and I don't imagine too many of those bridges were very substantial, were they?
139 MANN: None of them. Some of them were these swinging bridges that are just like a woven basket. We have pictures of one of them, and of me crossing on it, and I'm coming along very gingerly. It was basket shaped, and there were sides for me to hang onto, so I hung onto both sides. It is kind of scary to be out over a river and have this thing swaying under you. HENSON: You wonder how long it will stay up again. MANN: I'm sure they come down and have to be repaired quite frequently. HENSON: Now during most of these trips was it the dry season? MANN: Yes. HENSON: I guess the natives were doing a lot of the collecting for you? MANN: Yes. They'd bring in all kinds of things. HENSON: Yes, now I noticed you sent a shipment of animals back fairly early. MANN: Yes, you see, Harvey [S.] Firestone had an exhibit at the World's Fair in New York. He wanted us to get some animals and ship them back so they could be shown at the fair, because they were from Liberia. So we sent young Roy [J.] Jennier [Jr.] back with them. We'd taken [Ralph] Norris and Jennier with us. We sent Jennier back with a shipment which did include one pygmy hippo, maybe two. That would have been in May, I think. So Bill and I stayed out, and Norris stayed
140 on until August. But after the rains began we couldn't do very much. It was very dull. Bridges were washed out; there were no roads; there wasn't anything to do but just sit around the plantation. We'd go over to the rice shed once a day and see how our animals were doing, and we sort of joined in the social life of the plantation. People have dinner parties. George was a very well-educated all around man, and he would put on a special concert or lecture where he would play records and explain what the opera was all about, that sort of thing. HENSON: Really nothing else to do. MANN: Nothing else to do. HENSON: Now during this time you heard about France surrendering, right, and the war was really moving along? MANN: Yes, we actually heard that when we stopped at [Henry Cooper] Henry's place on our way back. He had this little shop near the end of the road to Kakata, and we'd stop always to visit with him and get the news. That's when we heard that Paris had fallen. So we were getting rather anxious to get home. Our ship was delayed coming up the coast collecting lumber, mostly. We'd hear that it was coming in and we'd go down to Monrovia--no sign of it. We'd stay over night with the manager of the bank [George Blowers]. There was no hotel in Monrovia in those days. Then we'd go back to the plantation, and then we'd get word that the ship was really coming this time! We went back and forth.
141 But finally it did come and, of course, anchored offshore, about three miles out, I think. We had to get ourselves out to the ship and get all our cages out, on surfboats. It was a [[underlined]] very [[/underlined]] rough day. I'll never forget it. Finally all the cargo had gone. Then they would pick it up from the surfboat in a crane, I suppose you'd call it, haul the cages up, and put them on deck. Then when we get out there in our surfboat, there was a kind of rickety ladder down the side of the ship, and we were supposed to stand up in the surfboat--which as I've said is very much like a lifeboat that you see on a big ship--stand up in that and then put your foot on the gunnel, and when the ship is up the top of a wave, and you can jump from the ship across to the ladder, you jump! I didn't think I was ever going to make it. I was sure I was going to break a leg. So finally, one of the sailors came down to the rung that I was supposed to jump to. Every once in a while waves would come up that high; I can still see him hanging on with his hands on the rung above him, pulling his feet up out of the water. When he told me to jump, I jumped and he caught me. I went on up the rest of the ladder, and there were a few passengers who'd been watching this performance. I tried to grin and say I was never so scared in my life, and I found my throat was so dry I couldn't say a thing. That really was the most frightening thing I ever had to do. HENSON: I can imagine. MANN: I thought, "Oh, if I break a leg, I'm going to stay in this country another two or three months."
142 HENSON: And who knows if at that point you ever would have gotten out, the way things were going. That was the place where there was no harbor that you could actually pull into. MANN: No, no harbor. I believe there is now but there wasn't in our day. HENSON: And the animals had to go out by surf boat? MANN: Yes. HENSON: That must have been absolutely harrowing. MANN: It was. HENSON: Well, the hippopotamuses too, the large animals and the birds? MANN: Sure. They were the pygmy hippos, you know, not big animals, but still they were a couple hundred pounds. We had all kinds of birds, quite a lot of snakes, and some small antelope. We had duikers that we brought back. There was, I think, something called a blue duiker--two or three kinds of duikers. We got those mostly by having a game run right on the plantation, because there was I don't know how much, but a great deal of acreage that had not yet been planted in rubber. It was still wild jungle. We would get from the manager of the plantation perhaps a hundred boys and a lot of nets, and have this drive through the trees. Every once in a while we'd get a nice specimen. We only did that once or twice. That's the way we got our duikers.
143 HENSON: I noticed you also stayed with someone by the name of [B. O.] Vipond? MANN: Yes, we usually stayed at the Seybolds'. George went up to, not Cape Mount, but someplace beyond Cape Mount, and couldn't get a boat back. HENSON: Cape Palmas I think was where it was. MANN: That's right, Cape Palmas. The Seybold household was kind of disrupted, and Vipond was the next man in charge, so he invited us to stay at his house which was also very nice and very pleasant. Those houses are comfortable. Of course, there was no air conditioning, but they were built so that you got a breeze, and there were plenty of servants. [BEGIN TAPE I, SIDE II] HENSON: You were talking about the entertainment on Sunday? MANN: Yes, it was the thing to do to invite your neighbors in for a big lunch in the middle of the day on Sunday, what we would call a Sunday brunch. It was always nearly the native foods, palm oil chop, which was very good. It was chicken cooked with palm oil and served with rice. The rice might have some sort of greens chopped up in it. Everything was native, and it was pretty peppery too. It was hot, sort of like the curries of the East. We got very fond of it and wanted to bring some of the palm oil back with us, but we were afraid
142 it wouldn't get property canned for us, you know, and it would spoil on the way home. Another thing that they used in food were peanuts, what they call ground nuts, and then they chop them up. There were a lot of peanuts grown all down the west coast of Africa. They'd use a lot of peanuts in the food. We both liked it, enjoyed it very much. HENSON: Did you have any fears about whether or not you were going to be able to get back to the United States? MANN: Oh now, we knew we'd get back eventually. Of course, if the United States had gone to war while we were still out there...but we got back before we got into the war. We felt a little nervous at sea, with submarines and whatnot around you. HENSON: Yes, I noticed you stopped at Dakar? MANN: Yes, but we weren't allowed ashore. HENSON: Right, that was I guess French at that point, so under German control? MANN: Well, it was still supposed to be French. There was a big French battleship sunk in the harbor there, not completely sunk, it showed. It had been attacked by Germans. Then our German friends from Cape Mount took the fishing boat, the same one that we had used from Monrovia, and they went all the way up the coast. I think they took that little boat up to North Africa, and somehow or other, they got back to Germany. It was supposed to be a very heroic voyage
145 which, of course, it was. We kept in touch with them, not during the war but after the war. This particular friend of ours was Mr. Paul; we heard from him after the war. He had been captured on the Russian front, had quite an exciting time. We sent them care packages for a while when the war was over. There was something else I was going to tell you about one of the bush trips, someplace where we stopped. After Cape Mount we went to another mission which was on a river. Bishop Kroll and his wife were staying there at that time. It was quite a fine school, a big, brick building, a fine school for girls. So we spent a little time there, but it wasn't especially good collecting. HENSON: I noticed at one point the little boys had gone out into the bush, and they were not allowed to see women, and you had to sing, or the women who went through the jungle had to sing. MANN: Yes. HENSON: Did that last very long? MANN: Well, yes, for the three years that the boys were in the bush. HENSON: They absolutely could not see any women? MANN: There's a lot of stories about what they do in the bush, I don't know. They have these special rites for puberty. I suppose it varies from one part of the country, from one tribe to another. It was customary to all of them down the west coast, they do that sort of
146 an initiation into manhood. In some countries I know they're taught to be good hunters, but in Liberia I don't know that they do much in the way of hunting. As far as we could see, if they saw anything move, they took a machete and whacked it. So they didn't make very good collectors. Any animal to them was food. I don't think they had a word for a living animal. Everything was chop. We got to one place one time and were told that they had killed a baby elephant the day before and had eaten it. Bill said, "Well, that was expensive chop." He told them what he would have paid them for a baby elephant. It was a strange trip, Liberia. I'm glad we did it. I would not want to do it again. I'm a little old to do it now. HENDON: Well, you really were out in the bush there. MANN: Oh, yes, we spent most of our time in the bush at these little villages. We tried to be very careful about what we ate and what we drank. We carried a big porcelain filter with us, and boiled all the drinking water, and then ran it through the filter. It would come out of the filter hot, and we wouldn't wait until it cooled to drink it, we'd be so thirsty by nighttime. We made a lot of it into tea, of course. Bill got quite sick, and he was sick most of the way home on the ship. HENSON: Now what happened to him? Was that malaria? MANN: He had jaundice, a very bad vitamin deficiency, malaria, and dysentery, all at one time, and he was getting more and more
147 ill as we approached Norfolk. We were going to anchor outside Norfolk harbor for the night because we were getting in late, and I asked the captain if he couldn't have a doctor come out from shore. He said no, it wouldn't be possible because we'd have to go through quarantine before anybody could board he ship. He said, "Dr. Mann's lived this long; he'll live till tomorrow." I was pretty upset, so one of the officers, I think it was the purser, heard this conversation, and when the pilot came out--the pilot did meet us and bring us into the harbor--he gave a note to the pilot to take ashore and tell them that there was a sick man on board. The coast guard sent out a rescue team that took Bill off the ship in the middle of the night and put him in the hospital, I guess it was a navy hospital, in Norfolk. I had to stay on the ship; they wouldn't take me. The next morning, of course, all the newspaper men--reporters were there and two men from the zoo. Malcolm Davis and his wife came up to meet us. It just seemed to me that everybody who arrived was a little sadder. I was getting more and more worried. They began asking me questions about the trip, and I'm not used to giving publicity out. Finally an old friend of Bill's turned up. He was a man who had been on the Mulford Biological Exploration of the Amazon Basin back in 1921, and he was now a banker in Norfolk. So he came down to the pier to meet Bill and found, of course, that Bill was in the hospital. So he took me off the ship eventually, took me to his house. I had lunch with him and his wife. His name was [Duval] Brown. In the later afternoon, he took me over to the hospital, and we got Bill and took him down to the dock, and we took the Norfolk boat back to Washington, getting here in the morning.
148 HENSON: How did the animals go? Did you drop them off at Norfolk? MANN: Some of them, yes, because the zoo had sent a truck down. So most of them came back my truck. I don't think we had any on that Norfolk boat. That's strictly a passenger boat, I think. HENSON: Was it more difficult with Dr. Mann ill to care for the animals on the way back? MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: Because I noticed the one thing you said was you didn't really have enough food, you couldn't quite get as much as you had wanted in Dakar? MANN: No, we had counted on picking up food and weren't allowed ashore. We made out, nothing starved to death. The food for ourselves was not very good, because the ship had been delayed so long. We had no fresh vegetables, no fresh fruit, very tough meat. We finally got Bill into the navy hospital here. He spent a month there, and after a day or two he was feeling perfectly fine, really enjoyed it. Everybody was making a big fuss over him, and on account of his vitamin deficiency, they gave him all the fruit, orange juice, and that sort of thing. He perked up in no time. HENSON: I also noticed that you were doing collecting for the National Museum while you were in Liberia?
149 MANN: It would have been insects. HENSON: And fish? MANN: Of, fish, yes. We fished a lot of the fresh water streams. We had this derris root which you put in the water and it paralyzes the fish. Once in a while we'd get a fish that was big enough to eat so our boys were very enthusiastic whenever we decided we were going to fish because they knew they'd get the larger specimens. We found a number of small fish that were new to science. They were described here later by Leonard [P.] Schultz. He wrote a pamphlet on fresh water fishes from Liberia.* I've always been very proud of the fact that one of them is named [[underlined]] Mannichthys lucileae. [[/underlined]] Then one, [[underlined]] Barbus boboi, [[/underlined]] was named after Bobo, our head boy, and I think another one was named [[underlined]] Barbus flomoi, [[/underlined]] and what was the word he had for Firestone--it was a [[underlined]] Paramphilius firestonei, [[/underlined]] of course, and a [[underlined]] Nannocharax seyboldi. [[/underlined]] There were maybe a dozen. Then he had some--perhaps it was pyrex--it was a Greek name for firestone or flint stone. It was Silex. But it appeared in the list of new species, [[underlined]] Barilus silex. [[/underlined]] Of course, [[underlined]] Mannichthys lucileae [[/underlined]] was a new genus also. You're always very proud when you catch a new genus. [Laughter] HENSON: That's right. Because I noticed that you collected quite a bit, and then also the bug collecting which Dr. Mann always did. MANN: Oh yes, he always did that. *Schultz, Leonard P., "The Fresh-Water Fishes of Liberia," [[underlined]] Proceedings of the United States National Museum, [[/underlined]] vol. 92, no. 3152, Washington, D.C., 1942.
150 HENSON: I guess people thought it was rather odd that he was running around taking apart termite nests and things like that. MANN: Oh yes, of course they did. They couldn't imagine why. There were all kinds of theories about what we were doing upcountry. The natives simply wouldn't believe that we wanted animals alive. Food was so scarce that they couldn't believe we wanted to give these animals good chickens or food of any kind. They thought that we either were spies, possibly German spies, or that we were spying for Firestone and looking for new land to plant rubber. There were all kinds of theories. HENSON: I'm sure, because I guess on a subsistence economy it was really hard to figure out what you people were doing. MANN: Yes. HENSON: Also I noticed in your journal mentioning that part of the fear was that Dr. Mann also spoke German, which didn't seem to help matters any? MANN: Oh yes, he did; he didn't speak German very well, but he knew some. MANN: It seemed to add fuel to the fire. MANN: He would occasionally get off a German expression. HENSON: I noticed also Bernice Seybold was apparently ill while you were there. Would have have been Mrs. Seybold?
151 MANN: No, it was the daughter. She was in the hospital for a time while we were there. That's where she met her husband; he was a young employee of the plantation. They got married, I don't know if it was that year or not, probably. Then the Seybolds all came back here and had a house in Rockville. We used to see them out there occasionally. HENSON: Now would that have been the daughter that traveled on the boat over with you? MANN: Yes. HENSON: Because I noticed in the journal a name Bernice. Was that the same person? MANN: Yes, that was the same one. See, Mrs. Seybold's name was Bernice, and the daughter was Bernice, so it was also Big Bernice and Little Bernice. It was Little Bernice who went with us. We left New York in January, and it was cold, and she wore a grey Persian lamb coat. It just struck me as so funny somebody taking a fur coat to Liberia. But she wore it, it was kind of chilly on this little freighter going out there. I still have a picture of her sitting across from me at the table in the dining room, wearing her fur coat, and a big wave came right in through the porthole and doused her and the Persian lamb. [Laughter] HENSON: Oh, my! Not good. That seemed to have been one of the more strenuous trips that you took.
152 MANN: Oh, it was. It was a very hard trip. On other trips we'd have an occasional break where we'd have really luxurious living. But this was all pretty tough. HENSON: Yes, I noticed at one point you had lost some of the animals to an attack by ants? MANN: Yes, that was at the very beginning of the trip. It was army ants, or driver ants, that came in. We had picked up a small antelope in Freetown on our way down--one of the duikers but rather a rare one. We had him under the house where Jennier and Norris were living. The houses, of course, were most built up on stilts. Jennier and Norris didn't stay at the Seybolds' with us, but actually they stayed with the [Silas] Johnsons. Johnson was a young employee of the plantation. There was room for this antelope under their house. In the morning they went down, and it had been killed by the ants, quite horribly. They swarmed into its nose and mouth. So after that we kept all our cages up on tables with the legs of the tables in cans of kerosene so the ants couldn't get up to them. This happened the first night we were there; we'd had no chance to set up anything. That was when George said we could use his rice shed, the place where rice had been stored. There we had the tables set up and never had any more trouble with the ants. I don't believe that we ever had any trouble; I don't think they ever came into a house where we were staying. If they do you just move out and turn it over to them.
153 HENSON: That bad? MANN: Because there are millions of them. I stepped in a nest one time, got a lot of bites, but they never actually moved into a place where we camped. HENSON: It seemed to be one of the really more difficult times. Did you ever--I guess getting on that boat was one of them--but did you ever find yourself in a truly dangerous situation out there? MANN: No. Never charged by a leopard or anything of the sort. Never stepped on a rhinoceros viper. HENSON: I guess that Dr. Mann had traveled so much that you pretty much knew how to conduct yourself out there, and you would [[underlined]] have [[/underlined]] to know. MANN: He was an expert at that sort of thing. I was so thrilled to tag along, even Liberia I enjoyed. I was glad I did it. HENSON: Which would you say was the most successful trip, really, of the field trips that you went on? MANN: Oh, I think the National Geographic one to Sumatra. Yes, that was a good trip, not only what we brought back at the time, but getting the Indian rhino later, you know, we had to set up the whole scheme for getting it.
154 HENSON: Now you continued to get some animals from the Firestone plantation after that, right? MANN: Yes, because they all knew who we were and what we wanted. Every once in a while we'd get a small leopard, or a bird, whatnot. The leopard I remember especially. We did get more animals. Of course, when it came to bringing in antelope or deer of any kind that was difficult because they had to be quarantined in New Jersey before they could be shipped down to Washington. HENSON: And you did get out of this a good stock of pygmy hippos. MANN: Yes. One of them, who turned out to be a very good breeder here, was Matilda. Matilda was named for Mrs. Chancellor, who went on that trip to the Polish plantation with us. I think Matilda is still in the zoo. HENSON: Yes, there's a sign outside one of the pygmy hippo cages listing how many offspring she had, the number is just absolutely incredible. She's very prolific. MANN: The last time I was over there, there was a new hippo, I think it was a new pygmy hippo, and I was told how many pygmy hippos had been born in our zoo, and how many of the Nile hippos. They have very good records on both of them. For a long while this zoo was almost the only raising pygmy hippos. The zoo in Basil, Switzerland, had good luck with them. Zoos know a lot more now about breeding animals.
155 It was just luck before. Now they study when to put them together, what kind of vitamins to give them, all that sort of thing. They make really a scientific study of it. HENSON: And you have that large mammal house, the elephant house, to keep them in. MANN: Yes, we did have that. That had been built just about three years before. That's been all remodeled recently--very beautiful, much bigger outdoor yards. The giraffes can really run around now. They love it. HENSON: Now you didn't bring any giraffes back on that trip, did you? MANN: No. HENSON: You had quite a breeding stock, I guess, at that point. MANN: Yes, we've had lots of giraffes born here. HENSON: Now, that same year Malcolm Davis went on the Byrd expedition. How did he come to go on that? MANN: [Richard Evelyn] Byrd or Admiral [George] Dufek went with him. One of them asked Dr. Mann if he could bring him some penguins. Of course, Dr. Mann said yes. So they asked to have one of our keepers sent, and Malcolm was the bird man. Was that the first time he went? HENSON: Yes, because he went again later.
156 MANN: He went to the Antarctic at least twice. HENSON: I think it was much later. In 1948, almost ten years later he went on the second Antarctic expedition. MANN: Both times he brought back emperor penguins. From one of the trips he brought back skuas. They're a very ferocious seagull, big showy things. He also got a leopard seal, which is a very rare item. That didn't do very well. I forget whether it died on the way back or died shortly after it got here anyway. HENSON: You had told me off the tape a story which be interesting to get down, the one about when he picked up Dr. Mann to go to the radio talk. Do you mind telling that? MANN: Bill was going to give a talk on the radio. It was going to be an early morning show. It was rather doubtful whether or not he could get a taxi at that time. This was back in the days when the zoo did not have all the motor vehicles they have today. But anyway Malcolm Davis said that he would pick Bill up and take him to the radio station. Malcolm arrived in plenty of time. Bill was being very leisurely and finishing his coffee, and Malcolm said, "What are you going to talk about, Doc?" Bill said, "I haven't the remotest idea." So Malcolm said, "Well, if I were going to be on the air, I would certainly know a half an hour ahead of time what I was going to say." So they went off, the two of them, and I turned the radio on to listen. Bill
157 spoke--whatever the subject was--then the announcer said, "And we have in the studio this morning Malcolm Davis, who has just returned from the Antarctic. Malcolm, tell us something about the penguins." [Laughter] He hadn't planned on making a talk, but he did, and he did very well. Bill was an excellent raconteur. In a small group he was good,, but he wasn't a good public speaker. His voice didn't carry. He sort of froze if anybody was listening. Have you heard about Gerrit [Smith] Miller [Jr.]? HENSON: Yes. MANN: He's one of the mammal men from the museum. He and his wife lived just across the street from us on Adams Mill Road. One of Mrs. Miller's remarks that I remember was--in fact, she would say this quite often-we'd be at a dinner party, and whatever the subject was Bill eventually would say, "Oh, that reminds me..." and Mrs. Miller would interrupt and say, "Everybody be quite. Dr. Mann is going to tell a fearfully funny story." Poor Bill would go under the table. It wasn't going to be funny at all. [Laughter] But he had that reputation of being a good storyteller, which he was, of course. HENSON: All he had to do was trigger it off like that. I noticed in the correspondence that you had given me, there was a letter from Eleanor Roosevelt, noting that one of her daughters was going to be down and would like to look at the zoo. She referred to a time when you had stayed with them at Oyster Bay?
158 MANN: Yes, that wasn't Mrs. Franklin Roosevelt, it was Mrs Theodore Roosevelt [Eleanor Butler Alexander], young Teddy's wife. But they were both named Eleanor. That was then [Theodore] Teddy Roosevelt was with Doubleday. They were thinking about publishing a book I had written about Sumatra, which I think they would have if the war hadn't come along, because after that it was out of date. We went up really to talk about the book. I think we just spent one weekend there. We saw Teddy in New York several times. I think both he and Eleanor came down to Washington, and we saw them here also. She was a charming woman, and he, of course, was a charmer too. HENSON: Then World War II came along. To what extent did that impact on the zoo? Quite a bit? I guess it stopped all collections, field work, and it seemed to stop the building program, once the WPA [Works Progress Administration] went out of commission. I also noticed that there seemed to be food shortages, or at least difficulty getting food. MANN: Yes, it affected the zoo--the animals--just the way it affected the rest of the population, hard to get things, hard to get things done. Of course, a good many of the keepers left to go to war, and we had to be short of help. We worked longer hours. I think instead of having all day Saturday off, we just had Saturday afternoon off. We cut down all the way around. I don't think you've seen anything about my husband's war experience, have you?
159 HENSON: No, not at all. MANN: Because he had been in Fiji and the Solomons as a young man, they asked him to go out to the South Pacific as a technical observer, which he did. He was a technical observer for the quartermaster corps. He was gone for three months I think. [BEGIN TAPE II, SIDE I] HENSON: We had just started to talk about Dr. Mann's role in World War II. You said he went out to Fiji, was it, for three months? MANN: Solomons, and also got to New Zealand while he was out there, and Guadalcanal. Was Guadalcanal in Fiji or the Solomons? HENSON: I don't know. MANN: The Solomons. They picked him because they knew he had been out there before, and he could talk that wonderful pidgin English that the natives have all through the islands. He had no commission. He was in uniform, of course, and he had the letters "T O" on his sleeve, "technical observer." He was actually working for the quartermaster corps. As far as I could make out, one of his jobs was to find out if the soldiers liked the food the army was giving them. He came back with suggestions as to how it could be improved. One thing he found, and this was curious, they preferred the canned stew from Australia. He decided it was because the meat and vegetables were in bigger pieces. Some of the soldiers like to know just what they were getting, not a stew that's all chopped up.
160 HENSON: Yes, they felt like there were getting more substantial food. MANN: But he wasn't gone very long. He was very thrilled to be back there again, because he'd spent two years there as a student. He had the Sheldon Traveling Fellowship from Harvard, which I believe, gave him fifteen hundred dollars, and he lived on that for two years! HENSON: For two years? MANN: Yes. Well, there were no deluxe hotels in those days, and he stayed with missionaries, or with British planters, sort of bummed his way from island to island, and loved it. He did a terrific amount of insect collecting out there. He published two big monographs, one on the ants of Fiji, and one on the ants of the Solomons. He discovered all kinds of new species. I never did know much about his war experience. He just didn't talk about it very much. HENSON: I wonder if they would have used his expertise, let's say, in insects, tropical types of insects and things like that? MANN: I suppose. HENSON: I know the Smithsonian, apparently, had a fair amount of information to offer, because the other branches of government didn't seem to know all that much about the tropics, and a lot of the Smithsonian curators seemed to have spent a fair amount of time down there. MANN: Yes, that's true. Bill had a lot of pictures that he had made when he was out in Fiji and the Solomons, as a graduate
161 student. He turned all those over to the war department. They wanted them. I think he gave them the negatives, and they made a lot of prints from them. When we came back from Liberia I told you he was in the Navy hospital here, and of course, that was 1940. He was just a walking exhibit of tropical diseases, and the doctors were delighted to have him. They kept him after he was well enough to come home, just to study him and see what this tropical jaundice did to you, how to fight it. HENSON: Well, that's true; I guess they needed to know. MANN: I think it was the vitamin deficiency--we lived so much on canned goods--that his hair came out in patches and his finger-nails grew long, and yellow, and twisted. He was a mess. Then, of course, he was bright orange when we landed because of the jaundice. You can see why I was worried about him on the ship. HENSON: Oh, yes, you would wonder if he was going to make it. MANN: I was glad the coast guard rescued him. HENSON: Now you didn't get sick at all, did you? MANN: No, at least I didn't think so, but after I'd been back a couple of months I developed amoebic dysentery, so I had to be treated for that. But it didn't show up right away. Then they wouldn't treat me until they were sure that it was amoebic, of all the different kinds of dysentery. They finally found out it was amoebic and gave me emetin. In twenty-four hours I felt better. I had gotten pretty well
162 run down. I remember a friend of mine saying, "Oh, Lucy, you're so slim. How'd you do it? Oh, I remember how you did it. I don't want to do it that way." [Laughter] HENSON: Yes, that's one way to lose weight, but not much fun. I noticed, actually the year after you came back, you got your first full-time vet, by the name of Carter H. Anthony. MANN: Yes, he didn't stay very long. HENSON: He might have gotten drafted. MANN: We had trouble with vets. But nowadays, of course, we've got a whole crew of vets doing research and whatnot. HENSON: I guess it's quite a job for one vet. MANN: Oh, of course it is. I don't remember just why Dr. Anthony didn't stay. I remember the name, but he wasn't here very long. HENSON: In the [[underlined]] Annual Report [[/underlined]], it said he was drafted, so I guess he didn't foresee it. MANN: Bill had tried so hard to get a veterinarian for the zoo. Then I don't think we had a full-time one until Dr. [Theodore H.] Reed's day. That's how Dr. Reed came to the zoo. My husband was still director, and he got Dr. Reed as a veterinarian who had done some work in the Portland, Oregon zoo. So he came to Washington as a vet. Then after Bill retired Dr. Reed was appointed first acting director, then full-time director. He has done a good job.
163 HENSON: It must be a tremendous job to keep all those animals healthy. MANN: Oh, it is. HENSON: I noticed that year, 1941, and I hadn't noticed anything similar to this, there was an actual epidemic in the bird house. The bird house was closed down. MANN: Yes, wasn't that psittacosis? Well, the English word for it is parrot disease. You can get it even from a parakeet. It's aspergillosis that the penguins get. It gives you a fever, and the symptoms are something like pneumonia, and it can be transmitted from parrots to humans. Malcolm Davis actually got it. HENSON: He was the keeper for the bird house. MANN: Yes, he was the head keeper in the bird house. HENSON: The building was closed down for something like three months. MANN: I think it was, yes. HENSON: It was really, I guess, quite a major problem. MANN: Nowadays, when new birds come, they're quarantined before they're ever put on exhibit or allowed to come in contact with the public. HENSON: It's amazing that more epidemics like that don't occur, when you think of all the animals that you do have there.
164 MANN: They're all quarantined now and watched very carefully by any number of vets. I can think of three offhand that are on the zoo staff, there may be another one or two. We get nowadays men who just want to put in a summer, or possibly a year, studying exotic animals, sort of an internship. They're usually graduates and have their degrees, but this gives them practice with exotic animals. HENSON: Yes, I guess there was just no full-time vet all during the war period. MANN: No. We did have another vet somewhere along the line, but I don't think he stayed very long either. But Dr. Reed stayed; he's still there! HENSON: I noticed also that the number of visitors decreased once the war started, because of the gasoline rationing. MANN: Yes. HENSON: I guess the constituency who came changed also. MANN: Yes. One sad story about World War II was that the London zoo had a sea lion which was a great pet. Everybody who went to Regents Park knew this particular sea lion. I think the zoo sold fish from a vending machine, and you could toss a fish to your favorite sea lion. Anyway, the sea lion had a name and a great many friends among the zoo visitors. So they shipped that over to our zoo for us to take care of during the war, because Regents Park was bombed several times.
162 We put it in our sea lion pool, and Washington vandals stoned it and killed it. Why there is vandalism in a zoo I cannot understand. We've had some recently up around the bird house. People throw stones at flamingos. That isn't sport. HENSON: No. MANN: If vandals, for instance, killed a duck and took it home to eat it, that I could understand. "Oh, there's a wild duck. Let's have a wild duck dinner." But just to go and throw stones to break a flamingo's leg, it's maddening. HENSON: And of course, a zoo is such an enormous area to try to patrol. MANN: Yes, we've got loads of police, but they can't be everywhere at once. They're getting more and more monitor systems now, so the police sitting in the headquarters can see what's going on in different parts of the zoo. HENSON: Which would be the only way that you could do it--through automatic devices--because you just physically can't have that many people. MANN: I don't know much about electronics, but I don't think you can monitor the whole zoo, all those acres at once. You'd have to have dozens of little machines. HENSON: Yes, and dozens of people watching them.
166 MANN: Yes, but there is some of that being done nowadays. HENSON: I noticed also in an [[underlined]] Annual Report [[/underlined]] that you had to remove somehow the venomous snakes during the war, I guess in case there was an attack on the zoo? MANN: Yes, we did. That was one of Bill's theories. He said if a a bomb hit the lion house and destroyed a cage, it would destroy the lion. There wouldn't be a chance of the lion getting out and attacking people. But if a bomb landed near the reptile house, it might just crack the glass, and the snake could get out. So we sent some of our poisonous reptiles, perhaps all of them, out to Middle Western zoos. I think some went to St. Louis; I forget where else. That was his theory. HENSON: But I guess contingency plans had to be made for what you would do in case of a bombing. MANN: Oh, yes, of course. There were air raid shelters put up in various basements. There was one in the basement of the elephant house, I remember. That's a good substantial building. They did something about the basement to make it more secure. HENSON: There were also financial cutbacks during the war too, just not as much money to go around? MANN: Yes, there were always being financial cutbacks in the zoo. There was the [Great] Depression, there was the war.
167 HENSON: Then I noticed in 1994, Mr. [William H.] Blackburne retired. Do you think you could talk a little bit more about him, because you had mentioned his special ability with animals? MANN: Yes. Well, he had been with Barnum and Bailey Circus. When Congress actually established the zoo here, the animals that had been kept down behind the Smithsonian as models for taxidermists were brought out to the Rock Creek Park. There was an elephant, and it was walked out from the Smithsonian grounds. It was obvious they had to have a head keeper. They got in touch with, I suppose, Barnum and Bailey Circus, asked for a good animal man. So Blackburne got married, joined the zoo, and stopped drinking all on the same day. As Bill used to say, "He was still married to the same woman, and never had a drink since." Blackburne was just full of stories; there are so many legends about Blackie. Of course, when he was seventy there was a mandatory retirement. Blackie was still very good, going strong at seventy. Bill didn't want him to leave. So through Mrs. [Mary Vaux] Walcott, who was the widow of the Secretary Walcott of the Smithsonian--through Mrs. Walcott he got in touch with Mrs. [Lou Henry] Hoover, they were great friends. Mrs. Hoover told her husband that this wonderful man at the zoo should stay there. I remember Mr. [Ernest Pillsbury] Walker came to Bill late the day of Blackie's birthday, and said, "Perhaps you didn't realize that Blackburne has to retire today?" Dr. Mann said, "President Hoover had extended his time indefinitely." So he stayed until he really got
168 pretty feeble. He was in his eighties, and his memory wasn't quite what it should be, perhaps, he got a little absent-minded. Bill was afraid that he'd forget to lock a cage or something like that. He lived to be ninety, I think, maybe more. He'd come back and visit the zoo occasionally. There was a story that Bill had about Blackburne which we both liked. This was when Bill had left Staunton Military Academy during the winter of the fire, and he worked here in the zoo for two or three months. One of his jobs was cleaning cages, cleaning up the building. Of course, that included cleaning spittoons. Back in those days--well, you'be seen pictures of Congress--everybody had a spittoon handy. So Blackie came into the building one day when Bill was cleaning a spittoon. Blackie said, "Billy, you don't like to clean spittoons, do you?" Bill said, "No, sir." So Blackie took it from him, took a handful of sand, and really polished it up, handed it back to Bill, and he said, "You ought to learn, no matter what job you have, as long as you live, there's always going to be some spittoon connected with it." I think that's a very good philosophy. [Laughter] HENSON: Oh, yes. He did have, from what you said and what I've read, a real special facility with animals. MANN: Yes, I think it was his very quiet, calm manner. He would never do anything jerky or abrupt. He could walk up to a nervous animal that had just been unpacked and uncrated, and calm him down in no time. Of course, what he loved were the big cats, and so did Bill. The two of them would spend hours in the lion house just looking at the
169 lions and tigers, talking about famous animals of the past. He could do wonders with the big cats. He had a lion escape once, this was years before I ever knew the zoo. It got out of the cage somehow or other. Blackie took a broom and just holding the broom, told the lion to get back in his cage, and the lion did. Blackie locked him in safely. HENSON: Didn't you say he had been a lion trainer? MANN: Yes, with the circus. HENSON: So he really knew how to handle them. MANN: Oh, yes, he knew how to handle them. HENSON: How much care needed to be exercised with training keepers for the dangerous animals? MANN: Oh, a great deal should be. Nowadays they have all these training classes for new keepers. But in the old days they just did what Blackburne told them to do and managed well. HENSON: So he had been there basically from the time the zoo was formed, then? MANN: Yes. He was there from 1890 until '44. HENSON: Yes. Fifty-four years. MANN: Yes. And of course, he'd had quite a career before that. He toured Europe with the Barnum and Bailey Circus. So he wasn't a teenager when he came to the zoo.
170 HENSON: No. Now I also noticed that Ernest P. Walker was assistant director. MANN: Yes. [Arthur Benoni] A.B. Baker was the assistant director when Bill became director. A.B. Baker I think was there also from 1890. He probably came in [William Temple] Hornaday's day.* When A.B. Baker died, Ernest Walker replaced him. Walker had been with the Fish and Wildlife Service, and knew a great deal about mammals. Mammals were his specialty. Of course, eventually he wrote that very scholarly work on [[underlined]] The Mammals of the World. [[/underlined]] I think it's two volumes plus an index, something like that. [3 volumes, of which volume 3 is a bibliography.] It's a classic that every zoo has to have in the library today. HENSON: It's a basic reference, yes. MANN: It's published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Mr. Walker died some years ago. HENSON: He was quite a photography buff, wasn't he? MANN: Beautiful photographer, yes. He was interested in sort of unusual studies. He became quite an authority on bats. I think about the only field trip he made while I knew him--of course, before he came to the zoo he had been stationed in Alaska. But there was one time when he was at the zoo, still assistant director, and making a study of bats that Health, Education, and Welfare, or whatever the department was, asked him to go to Mexico, because of these reports of *Arthur B. Baker was hired by Frank Baker in November 1890. Hornaday's resignation became official June 15, 1890.
171 the bats in Mexico carrying rabies. I remember Mr. Walker went out to Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] and took a series of shots that were supposed to prevent rabies, in case he got bitten in the course of his studies. So he went down to Mexico and collected bats, and he brought them back for study to see how many of them were rabid. I forget the outcome of that. Another thing he was interested in, I was reading not too long ago somebody else is interested in this same thing now, the language of monkeys. He had a douricouli, a night monkey, named Muriel that he kept in his apartment. It was a great pet. It was a pretty little monkey, of course, very tame. He made all kinds of records of the voice that Muriel used for different things, you know, the certain voice when she was hungry, and when she was angry, and when she was frightened. He did quite a lot of work on monkey language. I think he published something on it. HENSON: Gerrit Miller was also interested in primates, wasn't he? MANN: Oh yes, he was, but not particularly in their language I don't think. He was more interested in their coloration, probably how much coloration could be used to identify species or something like that. HENSON: Yes, actually I think he read somewhere that he was much more interested in taxonomic work than in live studies. MANN: Yes.
172 HENSON: I noticed both Dr. Mann and Mr. Walker belonged to something called the Baird Ornithological Club. Mr. Walker would take pictures of the group. There are some pictures in the archives of all the different members. He seemed to be quite a photography buff. MANN: Oh, he was. He had terrific photographic equipment. The first time I ever heard of a strobe light it was something that Mr. Walker had. [Laughter] He was a professional, really. A great many of the illustrations in his book are photographs that he made. HENSON: But he was not involved in, let's say, the field expeditions that you all went on. MANN: No. He was more apt to stay here and keep the home fires burning while we were off traipsing around. HENSON: You made it to just about every part of the world you could make it to, really, other than actually, let's say, going to China. MANN: No China. There were two places where I've ever wanted to go and never did. One was Nepal, and the other was Madagascar. I've made it to Nepal since then just as a tourist, as a sightseer. But I'd still like to see Madagascar. It must be just like another world; all the trees, everything, are different, and very old. Evolution sort of stopped. HENSON: Yes, like a lot of the animal species in Australia.
173 MANN: Yes, they've been cut off. HENSON: I noticed after the war you didn't seem to go on collecting expeditions. Did you go on any after that? MANN: After 1940, no. We got to Europe in '48. Along about 1950 or '51, Bill's health began to fail. He retired in '56 and died in 1960. But he had been quite crippled with spinal arthritis for about ten years. So there was no more collecting. HENSON: I guess during the war it was just completely out. MANN: Oh, yes, of course. When he went to the South Pacific as a technical observer, he saw a couple of parrots which some army general was keeping as pets. Bill wanted to get those, and he did get them. He didn't bring them back with him, but finagled it somehow or other through this army officer who had them, so that we eventually got them. HENSON: I would imagine it would be very hard for him to go out in an area like that and not come back with at least something. MANN: I don't think he ever did. HENSON: It would be very difficult. MANN: On the Mulford expedition to Bolivia, that was when he was still with the Department of Agriculture and curator at the museum, he brought back more than forty cages of live animals. His job
174 on the expedition was to collect insects, but he came back with monkeys, and birds, and all kinds of things. That really led to his being appointed director of the zoo three years later. He came back in 1922 from Bolivia, and became director of the zoo in 1925. He succeed [Alexander] Wetmore, who had succeeded [Ned] Hollister. HENSON: He had known Wetmore from the Biological Survey, and then from the U.S. National Museum, when he was working there. MANN: Yes. Wetmore had six months as director of the zoo. HENSON: Yes, and then got moved to the USNM. Well, Hollister died rather suddenly from what I understood. MANN: I think so, yes. I never knew him. I knew his widow, I used to see her, but I never knew Ned Hollister. Bill knew him very well, they were great friends. Bill was in London, in the British Museum doing something or other at the time that Hollister died. He got the news in London, felt very sad about it because he had liked Hollister. HENSON: Wetmore had just about gotten a lab set up at the zoo, and he was sent back to the National Museum. MANN: Wetmore is now ninety-one. HENSON: Someone was saying that he was the oldest member of the Washington Biologists' Field Club.
175 MANN: I guess he would be. They had some famous men and some famous times out at Plummer's Island. I remember old [Albert Kenrick] A.K. Fisher who was a wonderful cook. He'd put on one of those shad bakes in the spring and oyster roasts in the fall. HENSON: Well, it's an interesting group of people that you had, between the different government survey bureaus, and the museum, and the zoo. MANN: They're all naturalists of one sort or another. Bill loved the place, and he used to take me there quite often. We always like to go. HENSON: One of the things we should look into is how that did get formed. [END TAPE II, SIDE I]
Fifth Oral History Interview with Lucile Quarry Mann August 11, 1977 at her home at 3001 Veazey Terrace, N.W., Washington, D.C. by Pamela M. Henson Interviewer for the Smithsonian Institute Archives Henson: Maybe we can start today with the Anteaters Association. Whose idea was that? How did that get formed? Mann: It was late fall or early winter--how many years ago would it have been? It must be close to forty years ago. The zoo restaurant was built in 1940, so it was shortly after that. It would be the early 1940s. The manager of the restaurant, who did a very good job, was [L.] Gordon Leech. We were extremely fond of Gordon. He had two sons who helped him and a very good chef. We always enjoyed the food there. Up until then, there had just been a little shack across from where the small mammal house is now. They had nothing but hotdogs and hamburgers. So this was sometime in the early forties, and Bill [William M. Mann] and Gordon were just sitting in front of the fireplace chatting. Business, of course, was beginning to fall off. All through the summer, he'd been extremely busy, done very well, had a successful season, but now with fall and winter, there wouldn't be so many people
177 coming. They were trying to dream up some way of attracting more people to the zoo restaurant. It was probably Gordon who said, "Well, you know it is possible to buy game in certain markets. How would it be to have a succession of game dinners? We could have venison and pheasant. We could probably, from the Catskill Game Farm, get a young bear and get bear steak...have a series of luncheons through the winter." Bill thought that was a grand idea, so they went ahead with plans for it. What about membership? Well, membership unlimited. What about dues? No dues. Formal meetings? No, no formal meetings, no speeches. That's the way it went, and finally they got around to what they would call it. I don't remember doing this, but they both insisted that I said, "Oh, you're just a bunch of anteaters." So they said, "Let's call it the Anteater's Association." It worked out very well, and became extremely popular. We used to have huge crowds on those days. It was only one day a week at first. In fact, I think it started with just two or three luncheons in the course of the winter, and then eventually they had it every week--every Wednesday as I remember. For the week pheasant was served, it was on both Wednesday and Thursday. Oh, we had elephant steak; we had whale. We did have iguana once. I was asking a little while ago if you'd ever eaten iguana, but that wasn't very popular. [Laughter] It looked all right on the plate, but anybody who'd seen it in the kitchen, I think, kind of lost their appetite. They only eat the tail of the iguana, you know; that's the only part that's edible.
178 HENSON: Oh, I didn't realize that. MANN: And it tastes something like frog legs or the white meat of chicken, although it's not as dry as the white meat of chicken can be. It's very tasty. We had bear several times and different kinds of venison; some imported. I don't know how Gordon found some of these things, but I suppose there are trade journals that list unusual meats. After a good many years, I think it was after 1960, when my husband died, Gordon lost the zoo restaurant management. It was put out to bid every three years. Somebody outbid him, and he built a restaurant on the Rockville Pike. He called that the Explorer, and he transferred the Anteaters Association out there. It didn't last too long. I don't think the restaurant itself was really a financial success, because Gordon sold out eventually. . .maybe to O'Donnell's, one of the big seafood places here. HENSON: What kind of people would come? Was it a very mixed group of people who would come for those meals? MANN: Well, they were mostly businessmen who could take two or three hours off for lunch, bank presidents, government officials, any number of them, Cabinet officers, officials from the [National] Geographic [Society]. HENSON: Yes, that one I can see. MANN: It was always very popular.
179 HENSON: Would you get a core of people that would always show up? MANN: Yes. HENSON: And get to know each other fairly well. MANN: The meals weren't cheap. The average visitor wouldn't have tried to crash the gate. You had to make your reservation ahead of time. Oh, I think the meal was something like seven or eight dollars, which was a lot of money back then. HENSON: Yes, but I guess game like whale steaks or elephant steaks isn't exactly cheap. [Laughter] MANN: No. HENSON: Would Mr. Leech basically determine how it was cooked and things like that? MANN: I think so, but he had a chef at that time who was quite thrilled with this whole idea, bought all the books he could on game cookery. He'd get there at two or three o'clock in the morning if something had to be thawed or marinated or given special treatment. He thought it was a great idea, and naturally, he did it very well, seasoned things nicely, had an interesting assortment of vegetables. It was a four course meal. We always started with soup, which was usually pheasant or venison soup, then the meat with a couple of vegetables, and salad, and then dessert. I think they do today, but in those days
180 there was no alcohol allowed on zoo grounds. Gordon Leech got a license for wine and beer, so wine was served at Anteaters' luncheons but not other times. Well, you can't have zoo keepers sitting around in the afternoon guzzling beer, after all. [Laughter] So it was a good idea to keep beer off the zoo premises. HENSON: Right. I think that it may also have something to do with national parks, and whether or not you can have liquor in a national park area. MANN: Yes, I think it does. HENSON: Now I suppose Dr. Mann was very fond of those? MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: Because you were saying that when you were out traveling, eating out of tin cans for awhile, you had gotten quite willing to experiment with a number of foods. MANN: You get very hungry for fresh food. In British Guiana, we'd go for about two weeks, maybe more, at a time, up river where there'd be no place to buy food. There didn't seem to be much game to shoot. I mean, we didn't go out hunting. So we had something called British army rations, all in tin cans. One can would say corned beef and cabbage; one can would say roast beef and turnips; one can would say something else. You opened them, and they all tasted exactly alike.
181 We had all these different kinds of dried soups. Now today they make a dried soup that's very palatable. I always have some in the kitchen. But in those days it was terrible. It tasted like straw. I remember one place we stayed where there was a tiny little grocery store, and about all they had were dried onions hanging on a string from the ceiling. But they seemed wonderful to us to get hold of an onion that didn't come out of a can! Then one of our Indians one time brought us a tinamou. It's a small game bird, absolutely delicious. He had killed it; I mean, if he'd brought us a live tinamou, of course, we wouldn't have eaten it. But the Indian had shot it. Oh, my, we did enjoy that! It was delicious. HENSON: Yes, well, you mentioned once you got back from Liberia that Dr. Mann was quite ill from having eaten such a limited diet all that time, right? MANN: Yes, he had a very bad vitamin deficiency. When we got back from British Guiana, we came back on a freighter that had very poor food. Friends met us in New York and took us to Luchow's restaurant for lunch. You know the menu there, it's two or three feet tall. I can remember how my eyes smarted, I practically wept to see that I could have any or all of that food, and I knew I couldn't eat it all. I settled, I think, for broiled mushrooms stuffed with spinach. I can still remember what a feeling it was to be that close to good food after about six months. HENSON: Yes, that would be one of the major problems in getting out in the field like that or ever getting stuck out in the field,
182 just getting ill from a lack of really diverse food. Did many Smithsonian people ever come down to the Anteaters that you recall? MANN: Oh, yes, Dr. [Alexander] Wetmore would come, and [John Enos] Johnnie Graf. Bill and I entertained a good deal at those luncheons. There'd be one week when we'd have two or three people from the National Geographic, another week perhaps we'd have the Wetmores and Grafs, and so forth. We used to mix them up, too. HENSON: Right, a few here and a few there. Well, there is a very close connection there between the two organizations. MANN: Oh, yes, between the Geographic and the Smithsonian. HENSON: It seems like after a lot of Smithsonian people retire, they move on up to Geographic. MANN: That's true; a number of them have. Yes, well, Neil [Merton] Judd, [Matthew Williams] Matt Stirling, I guess Alex Wetmore, certainly Dr. [Leonard] Carmichael. HENSON: Paul [H.] Oehser, who had been the editor... MANN: That's right, he's with the Geographic now. HENSON: He's about to retire from that, and [John S.] Jack Lea, who took over the National Museum part of the [Smithsonian Institution] Press when Mr. Oehser left, then moved up to Geographic in the same slot that Mr. Oehser had had. So that it just seems to continue
183 on. And Dr. [Charles Greeley] Abbot also had worked for Geographic afterwards. So there are quite a few people that move from the one to the other. MANN: Some of them, of course, just perhaps write an article or are consultants to the Geographic. My husband was quite often consulted on articles that other people had written, you know, but they'd ask his opinion of anything to do with animals. They do the same with Dr. [Theodore H.] Reed today. Then, of course, the Geographic gave Dr. Mann a big expedition, and they sent Dr. Reed to Africa to study the bongos. So there's always been a close connection. HENSON: Right, because even Dr. [T. Dale] Stewart had worked for them on some of the [Louis Seymour Bazett] Leakey work that they had sponsored. There's quite a close tie there, in terms of people...well, I guess, the research areas are so similar and the location is close that it's just bound to happen. All right, we had talked about World War II and the fact that you went to Europe after World War II. You had said that things were fairly grim in a lot of those zoos afterwards. Did the zoo do anything specifically? Did you have any trade offs, send things over there, that you recall, things like that? MANN: Trading animals? HENSON: No, I meant trades, but not really, but sending some of your stock over there, or anything like that.
184 MANN: I don't think we did, no. HENSON: I guess it would have been pretty hard at that point. MANN: We went in 1948, and there was a meeting of the International Union of Directors of Zoological Gardens in Paris that year. That was why we went. But we went to London first and spent a week or ten days there. A good deal of it was spent in the Regents Park Zoo or out at Whipsnade. The director of the London zoo, Geoffrey Vevers, was a good friend of ours. We went out to Whipsnade and stayed in his little bungalow on the zoo grounds for at least one night, I know. Food was still rationed in London. We didn't have any trouble because we were tourists. If we tried to live on their regulations, we were hungry. We'd have our dinner in the hotel where we were staying, and if we went out for a walk afterwards, we'd end up buying something to eat somewhere we were. It was really very tough. They had one funny regulation: you could have, I think it was three courses, but bread counted as a course. If you had bread, you couldn't have, say, soup or dessert. It could have been that you were only allowed two courses, because of the fact that bread was a course. But bread was strictly rationed then. We came back to London on our way home after we'd been over at the Continent. Geoffry Vevers, the director, met us at the airport, and he said, "Oh, Mann, I have good news for you. Bread went off rationing today." I remember breakfasts in the hotel were really pretty awful. We were there for a week or ten days. I think we had an egg one morning, and a strip of bacon another morning, but most of the time it was kippered herrings,
185 and you could smell them before you got into the dining room. I don't care much about kippered herrings. HENSON: Not first thing in the morning. MANN: Of course, the coffee was terrible. But then we went to Paris. Food was rationed there, of course. The French were especially apologetic because they didn't have white bread. Actually, I like dark bread. I thought it was grand to have this black bread, or rye, or very dark bread, but they were always apologizing for it. We stayed in a little hotel over on the Left Bank, where he had bread and breakfast for the equivalent of a dollar a day. We didn't have meals there, except for the continental breakfast in the morning which was just bread and coffee. It was a delightful place, very small, run by an elderly couple who had two young granddaughters helping them. We became very good friends with the family, and after we came home we used to send them care packages. Somehow or other, the Paris zoo officials or the Zoological Society managed to arrange very elegant outings for us in restaurants and places. I don't know just how they did it. We saw the zoo out at Vincennes which is very lovely. It's the Hagenbeck style that we were talking about, all moated and artificial mountains everywhere, and a very good collection. HENSON: Had they come through the war pretty well?
186 Mann: Yes. In a great many of the zoos the number of animals had been depleted, of course, because they couldn't import anything, and in some cases I think the animals were just killed and eaten because people needed them. But there was still enough, both in the London zoos and in Paris, to make a good showing. From there we went to Munich. Munich was the worst place that we had hit so far. The railroad station there, I remember, had a glass roof. A great many of the European railroad stations have a glass roof over the track, so that if you're getting off the train you don't get wet getting into the station. I guess that's the idea of it. We got in at night, and there seemed to be very little light, very few lights in the station. But there was enough to see that all the glass had been broken and not yet repaired. The place was full of American soldiers. We were put up at an officers' place outside of the city, where we stayed. We didn't stay long in Munich, but we went out to the Munich zoo. The director, Hans Heck, was an old friend of ours. We'd known him since 1928 and seen him not only in Germany but he had been here; we had entertained him here. We sent word to him--he got word that there were two Americans at the gate who wanted to see him. When he saw us, he practically burst into tears. He said it was four years since a friend had been to see him. Oh, he embraced us, couldn't do enough for us. He wanted to get us some food in the zoo restaurant. I think he just offered us a drink, that was it. Bill thought that coffee would be cheaper than beer, and he'd better ask for coffee. Hans
187 said. "Oh, you can't drink the coffee. It's made of acorns." Bill said, "What about the beer?" "Oh, the beer is terrible." It was something like half of one percent. So Germany was really having a terrible time. Bill became very lame. He had this pain in his knee that made it almost impossible for him to walk. He went to a military hospital in Munich to have it treated; they though it was bursitis. I remember the nurse saying to me, "Your husband says that you knew Munich before the war." I said, "Yes, it was a beautiful city, and it's very sad to see it the way it is today." She said, "Oh, you should have seen it when I first arrived. The streets were just full of rubble. You couldn't drive a car through them. We didn't stay there very long. We went on to Switzerland, where, of course, things were normal, practically. By that time Bill couldn't walk at all. I had to order a wheelchair to meet him in the railroad station. We were going to Basil first. We got to Basil and called up a man we knew there whose name was [Rudolph] Geigy. He wasn't director of the zoo, but he was one of the patrons of the zoo, a very wealthy manufacturer, the Geigys of Switzerland. This was Rudolph Geigy. So I managed to get him on the telephone. Today I couldn't face a foreign telephone and drop funny coins into the slots, but when you have to do something, I don't know, you do it. So I managed to get Geigy, and I said that we were going to such and such a hotel, and Bill wasn't well, could he get us a doctor, preferably one who spoke English? So he said that would not be easy, but he would do the best he could. We went to the hotel, and very promptly this doctor arrived who had had his training
188 at the University of Minnesota. He ordered Bill into the hospital. It was a small one; they call it a clinic. A clinic is a private hospital, as opposed to a public one. Then Dr. Gelgy came to see me and he said, "Wouldn't you like to go out and stay with Bill in the hospital, because you'll be lonely here in the hotel all by yourself?" I said, "Yes, I certainly would." So they gave me a lovely room right across the hall from Bill. We had a pretty good time. Bill finally managed to get to the zoo in Basil. I don't believe we went on to Zurich or Bern that year. We were there in '38 and '28, I think. That year I think we just stayed in Basil, and they were treating Bill all the time with these infrared lamps and whatnot for his knee. So we finally got on a train and got to Antwerp. The director of the zoo met us and said that we were invited for lunch with General [Clare Hibbs] Armstrong. We had known General Armstrong here in Washington. He was the great war hero in Antwerp. People stopped on the street and said, "Oh, there goes the saviour of Antwerp." So we had lunch with him, and he saw Bill, and he said, "Mann, you haven't got bursitis, you've got gout." Bill rather doubted it. Armstrong said, "You send over to the chemist and get such and such a thing, and you'll see. You'll be okay. It's from drinking too much red wine at these formal dinners." He was right. HENSON: Really? That was it? MANN: That was it.
189 HENSON: The life of a zoo director. MANN: So this culchacene cured up his knee. The Antwerp zoo was still having a bad time. There's a lot of glass there... also it adjoins the railroad station. The zoo was right in the city. Of course, all the glass in the railroad station has been broken. HENSON: Plus that's a prime location for bombings. MANN: Oh, yes. What was it Hans Heck told us in Munich? We asked him what his losses had been. He had lost a couple of elephants. They were breeding African elephants, probably the only ones in any zoo in the world. They had been bombed. He said one day he saw an American plane bombing an American bison, and he said, "Now the world really has gone mad." The final blow. In the London zoo there was very little lost. Of course, Regents Park is right in the heart of London. There was only one instance of a zoo visitor being hurt. A fire bomb fell, and he stamped on it to put it out and burned his foot. They lost some sort of ancient birdcage; it wasn't parrots. I think it was the cage for jackdaws. It would have been built a hundred years before--very old fashioned. But they restored it, built it exactly the way it had been in the first place, instead of putting up something modern in its place. It had been such a well-known landmark that they restored that. HENSON: From what I've read, the zoos bounced back fairly fast in Europe.
190 MANN: Yes, they have. [BEGIN TAPE I, SIDE II] HENSON: In 1948, Dr. Mann published [[underlined]] Ant Hill Odyssey [[/underlined]],* How did he come to publish that? Whose idea was that? MANN: Little Brown, Atlantic Monthly Press. I don't know really how they heard about Bill, why they thought that he could write a book, because he didn't really like to write. He certainly had never suggested it to them. But a man called Stanley Salmen, who was on their editorial staff, came to see Bill at the zoo and wanted him to write a book. He finally talked Bill into it. Stanley and I had to keep after Bill because, as I say, he really didn't enjoy writing. I would go over to the zoo every morning with my notebook ready, it was in the afternoons I used to go, because in the morning Bill was going around looking at the animals, and taking care of his correspondence, and whatnot. So after lunch I would go over and hope that he would dictate a few words of wisdom. That's the way it got done. I don't know what year he must have started writing it, because it took him quite a while to do. He finally did, and quite a bit of editing had to be done afterwards, working with Stanley. We went up to Boston for awhile, stayed in the Salem's apartment, and worked with Stanley on, you know, cutting out some things and putting in others. It turned out, I think, very well. The American Museum of Natural History in New York chose it as the science book of the year. The Harvard Club chose it as a book to *Mann, William M., [[underlined]] Ant Hill Odyssey [[/underlined]], (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1948).
191 give to the outstanding high school graduate. There were several hundred high school students with top grades--seniors--who were given the book. It was called a prize book. Oh, it never hit the best seller list or anything, but I think it's a very good book. I enjoy it. HENSON: Yes, to describe, really, the development of a naturalist. [Interruption] We were talking about the [[underlined]] Ant Hill Odyssey [[/underlined]]. Let's see if I have any more questions about that. He had worked on that for several years then? MANN: Two or three years. Because it was just done a little at a time in odd moments. I know, it seems so strange to me, he would never look at it after it was published. He wouldn't even read proof when the proof came in. I had to read galley and the page proof for him. Once he'd gotten it off his chest, that was it; he never wanted to hear of it again. HENSON: He didn't want to see it again. Yet you enjoy writing very much. MANN: Yes. HENSON: After he dictated it, would you work with writing it out and rewriting? MANN: I didn't have to do much rewriting. He had a very good style, quite original, and he chose his words carefully. It didn't take much rewriting.
192 HENSON: Because that is a very interesting book, and it really does describe going from different levels of interest in natural history, and then moving into the very scientific aspects. MANN: I remember the way he originally dictated the beginning of it, which I thought was so good, and the editor didn't like it and changed it. But the first sentence in the book was, "In those days, the best way to get to Montana was to be born there." I thought that was a charming beginning. I believe it says in the book his father and mother went out by covered wagon. HENSON: That was quite a rigorous trip. Yes, I remember him talking about that in the book and also about him running away when he was twelve. Well, it was a very different lifestyle, I mean, for him to be able to disappear for that long... MANN: Yes, that was strange. HENSON: ...and not be found. Today I don't think you could disappear quite that easily. MANN: Of course, he was staying on this remote ranch. It wasn't until the rancher, old Ed Chaple, happened to go into town and brought home a newspaper. He didn't subscribe to a newspaper. But he was looking at the paper one night, and he said, "Say, young man, ain't your name Willie Mann?" Whereupon Willie Mann burst into tears. [Laughter]
193 HENSON: That's just an incredible story. I guess he had a wanderlust from the time he was little. MANN: I forget how Ed notified Bill's mother. Something like, didn't he send her a postcard? HENSON: Yes, I think so. MANN: I guess there was no telephone on the ranch, so he sent a postcard. The governor of the state got a private car for Mrs. Mann to come out and pick Willie up. HENSON: Really? MANN: Yes. [Laughter] HENSON: The one newspaper article said that he promised he'd never run away again. MANN: No, well, he never did. HENSON: I noticed sometime after World War II, funding of the zoo finally transferred over from the District of Columbia budget to the Smithsonian federal appropriation. Do you recall that at all? Why was that done? MANN: Oh, yes. Well, it was done for a good many reasons. After all, this is the National Zoological Park; it's not the city zoo. The District of Columbia has enough trouble getting money
194 for schools, fire departments, hospitals, police, and so the zoo just was left out of a decent budget. The only real development of the zoo was done through the WPA [Works Progress Administration] funds. That's when Bill put up the new shops, the small mammal house, finished the bird house, built the elephant house, the restaurant, police station, all of those came out of those public funds from the time of the [Great] Depression. The reptile house was built through a special Congressional appropriation. Bill worked very hard to get that. It just seemed that every time he did get something, such as the reptile house, and he thought he had his Congressional committee right where he wanted them, then the depression would come along, and you couldn't get any money. Then when the depression began to ease up, there was World War II. He had great difficulty financing it. It's wonderful today to see the zoo so prosperous. It's doing extremely well now with the... HENSON: ...expansion. MANN: Yes. They've gotten some beautiful buildings. HENSON: Now did funding improve after World War II? MANN: Not very much, no. HENSON: But for a while after World War II it was still under the D.C. appropriation? MANN: Yes. It began to improve after Smithsonian took it over. Of course, the Smithsonian had always directed the zoo. It was
195 always a branch of the Smithsonian, but the money came from the District. It just was not a fair or workable arrangement. It was very difficult. HENSON: Yes, well, it was an unwieldy way to budget. MANN: But the Friends of the [National] Zoo started about then, in the early 1950s. Bill retired in '56, and it was before he retired that the Friends of the Zoo started in a very small and modest way. HENSON: Now how did that come about? MANN: Well, there were two women with the Cleveland Park Citizens Association who had been debating something; I don't know whether it was a traffic light, or a traffic sign, or whatnot. It had to do with the Connecticut Avenue entrance to the zoo. They appointed a committee or perhaps just one person. There were two women, Mary Ellen Grogan was one and Barbara Robinson was another. They were both active in the Cleveland Park Citizens Association. So they were asked to serve as liaison officers with the zoo, and see if the Citizens Association couldn't work with the zoo for mutual benefit. If the citizens didn't like a new sign or something the zoo had put up, or if there was anything the zoo needed.... They raised the money from dues, got people to join the Friends of the National Zoo--to become a friend of the zoo. Through the money they raised--it must have been dues, there wasn't any other way they could get it--they hired a firm of architects to draw up a master plan for the zoo, and sort of pull it all together, not just
196 put up a little building here and little building there. That plan was never followed out. HENSON: It was a beginning. MANN: It was a beginning. The Friends did quite a bit of lobbying too. They could, you see, because they weren't working for the government. [Laughter] They could work on Congress and the Smithsonian. HENSON: Write letters, things like that, yes. MANN: Yes, to get the zoo transferred to the Smithsonian. There was talk at one time of transferring it to the Interior Department, but inasmuch as the Smithsonian had always directed it, it remained with the Smithsonian. HENSON: I came across reference to that, and as far as I can tell the Interior Department submitted a proposal without ever telling the Smithsonian? MANN: It could have. HENSON: That's the way it appears from the correspondence files, that suddenly it turns out that Interior was thinking about taking in the zoo, and the Smithsonian knew nothing about this, which would have been an odd way to approach it. MANN: Yes, it would. I guess the Smithsonian would have found out.
197 HENSON: Yes, well, everybody saw this in the Congressional testimony. MANN: But there was talk about it for awhile. I don't know if that was in Dr. Mann's day or Dr. Reed's, but I don't think either of them wanted to leave the Smithsonian. I know Dr. Mann preferred to stay with the Smithsonian, because that was where he had had his loyalty for a long time. HENSON: How did the Friends of the National Zoo get to grow to the size that it has? It's a fairly substantial organization now. MANN: Yes, they little by little acquired different concessions in the zoo. It began with the balloon concession. You'd be surprised how much money that brings in. I think that was the first one because before that the balloons had been sold from the zoo restaurant. The Friends got the concession. Perhaps when the zoo restaurant went out for bid again, the balloons were not included in the contract so that Friends could have them. They got very enthusiastic about having a train. I'm sure they borrowed money to establish the train system, but, of course, it's paid off just beautifully. They paid off the loan and are making a large profit. And they started the little gift shop. Now, of course, they're running the restaurant. HENSON: They have that one too? MANN: They have all the food concessions. They've got the Mane Restaurant, and two or three little kiosks where they sell
198 hotdogs, and one, I think, is just for ice cream and soft drinks. So they're a very prosperous organization now and do a lot for the educational program of the zoo. Of course they have these guided tours for school children. That's done with volunteer work--a number of devoted volunteers in the Friends. HENSON: Now had a lot of those people been very closely tied to the zoo for quite a while before, or was it a fairly new constituency? MANN: Most of them are fairly new. Now Mary Ellen Grogan was an old, old personal friend of ours. She brought this Barbara Robinson in to the Friends of the Zoo, and she became a good friend. Let's see, who else? Well, [Russell] Arundels, of course, had always been zoo fans. Russell had been a great friend of the zoo. His oldest son--he had one son and one daughter--whose name was Arthur [W.], we called him Nicky, I don't know why. When Nicky was about ten years old, he ran one of these little newspapers that children love to get out--I think it was the [[underlined]] Thornapple Street News [[/underlined]], something like that. He was working very hard to get giraffes for the zoo. This was before the Sumatran expedition because that's when we did come back with giraffes. So it was before that that Nicky was lobbying to get giraffes for the zoo. So they've always been good zoo friends. When the Friends were established, the FONZ, they were among the first to join. HENSON: I guess Dr. Mann worked pretty closely with that while it was being developed?
199 MANN: Oh, yes. He didn't live to see that master plan. That was drawn up after he died. I remember going to a meeting down at the Smithsonian, and the architect was there and discussed it with Dr. Carmichael. I don't know how many master plans were drawn up and discarded before the one that they're working with now. HENSON: That happens, but it's more of a working paper type of thing were you're just developing plans. MANN: The present building program is very interesting, not the conventional type of building at all. The Mann Memorial, you can hardly see it from a distance, it's so much of an underground. The same is true of the new administration and education building at the Connecticut Avenue gate. You don't see it until you're in it. It's always surprising when you get inside to see how big it is, and how much room there is. The Friends of the Zoo, by the way, have very nice offices in that building now. HENSON: That was a fairly innovative type of thing to have that. Were there any questions about having a private organization with a federal entity or a city? I guess because it was still under the city it might have been okay then. MANN: No, I don't think there were any questions. HENSON: That was before they actually had the Smithsonian Associates, too.
200 MANN: Yes, the Friends of the Zoo thought the Smithsonian was copying the zoo. We had originated it. Now there are friends of practically every zoo and museum and whatnot in the country. HENSON: Had there been many other organizations before that? MANN: I don't think so, no. There were associations of course with zoos; there were zoological societies. But just friends of the zoo, no. Of course, they start out--and I guess today most of them are--volunteer workers. They have a paid executive director. He is paid and paid a pretty good salary, but a great deal of the work is still done by volunteers. HENSON: Right, a lot of the tour work and things like that. MANN: Yes, that's all done by volunteers. I have a brochure that came the other day, and I haven't had time to read it yet. They're planning trips to Europe, and to Africa, and quite a lecture program for the next winter. They're going to be very active. HENSON: It was a very innovative idea for its time. MANN: Yes, I think it was. HENSON: Now you mentioned Mr. Arundel? MANN: Yes. HENSON: Several years later he went on an expedition, right?
201 MANN: Yes, that was the son, the one who had had this newspaper when he was a little boy. HENSON: Because he brought back a pair of baby gorillas. MANN: Yes, now let me see, I believe his father--Russell was the father's name--I believe Russell and Nicky both went to Africa. Russell arranged to get these through the government of Camaroons, I think, so that everything was going to be strictly legal, no smuggling of gorillas! Then Russell came home, and Nicky stayed there awhile, sort of got them aclimated and used to the food that he would be able to give them, and brought them back--landed in New York at night and, I think, in all the chilly weather. I remember one of our keepers went up to meet them, and I remember giving him a blanket to wrap the babies in, because I didn't want them to get chilled. Of course, they've been a great success. One of them is still living. I can't tell you offhand; they've had four or five offspring. In fact, I think there is a second generation now of captive born gorillas. I think it was the Columbus zoo that had the first gorilla born in captivity in this country. Then we were next. Basil, Switzerland has had success with them too. The mother has never raised one. They've all been taken away, and I guess all of them reared by Mrs. [Louise] Gallagher, who's the wife of [Bernard F.] Bernie Gallagher [Jr.], who at that time was one of our keepers. She just loved them. She raised gorillas, and baby chimps, and orangs. They had a great gift for that.
202 HENSON: She must have had a lively household. MANN: Well, she never had them all at once, one at a time. She had a teen-aged daughter. She treated them just like human children and dressed them up, but they'd look so funny. You'd she a pretty little pink and white baby bonnet, and under it this black, hairy face. [Laughter] HENSON: ...looking out at you. Now that's been done a fair amount, hasn't it, where the keepers will bring little baby animals home to be raised with them. MANN: Yes, it's not done very much now in our zoo because we've got a much bigger staff. There's always somebody studying animal behavior who wants to watch the babies and keep twenty-four hour charts on their development. HENSON: Well, going back that far you really wouldn't have had any hospital facilities, would you have? MANN: Oh, no, we didn't. We had a sort of makeshift hospital, a little stone building in back of the reptile house, which had originally been the cookhouse, the kitchen. That was turned into a sort of hospital, I suppose after Dr. Reed came, because he came here as veterinarian and needed something resembling a hospital.* *Dr. Reed converted a two room stone building built in 1915 (area now is Parking Lot B) from a hay barn into a "hospital." In 1963 when Clinton Gray was appointed veterinarian, the old cook house behind the Reptile House was converted into an animal hospital.
203 HENSON: Now how often--I noticed in the [[underlined]] Annual Reports [[/underlined]] it mentioned that you used to get an awful lot of Easter animals, little chicks, and rabbits, and things like that. Would they tend to show up at the zoo, or on your doorstep at home, or was there quite a flow of those? MANN: Oh, at the zoo. HENSON: ...they would show up. Because they were apparently then redistributed. They said that sometimes people would capture local wild animals and turn them over to the zoo also. MANN: Yes. Those would sometimes turn up at our house. But I can't think of any local wild animal that was worth saying, "The zoo is closed now, but bring it over here for the night." That did happen with a rattlesnake or a copperhead. I think it was a rattlesnake. Late Sunday afternoon--the reptile house was closed-- we got this telephone call from somebody who had caught a rattlesnake and wanted to give it to the zoo. So Bill said, "Well, bring it over to the apartment; I'll take care of it until tomorrow." It came.... It was in a mason jar, and Bill just put the mason jar on the living room table. This was the only time he ever did anything like this. I came by a couple of hours later and saw the jar was empty. HENSON: Oh, dear. [Laughter] MANN: I was pretty badly frightened for a few minutes. The he began to laugh. He played a trick on me. He put that jar away and put an empty mason jar out on the table. When we were first married
204 he wouldn't have dreamed of doing anything like that because he knew I was scared to death of reptiles, and he was doing everything he could to persuade me that they were beautiful, and interesting, and I really should go into a reptile house instead of standing outside in a snowstorm while he went in. By that time, of course, he knew that I was more or less used to them. I'd been in the python cage, and he'd draped a python around my neck, and that sort of thing. But the idea of a rattlesnake loose in the apartment was something else. He told me right away when he had done it, but it was just a moment's shock. HENSON: Right, how did it get out! I guess you would get the pet alligators from Florida, too. MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: That would be the other thing that would come up. I noticed in his book on the zoo that he talks a little bit about knowing people who had bought wild pets and them coming to the zoo eventually. Would people come to you for advice if they had bought a wild pet? MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: There was a fair amount of that? MANN: We got a little Malay sunbear that way. Two women that we knew had been out somewhere in Malaya and bought this little thing because it was so cute and cuddly. They got such a pretty cage for it and brought it home.
205 HENSON: They get very big, don't they? MANN: Well, not terribly big, but they're not trustworthy pets. As soon as it wasn't a cute, cuddly little thing, of course, it came to the zoo. It's rather hard on the animal, you know. HENSON: Well, because they're used to being a pet. MANN: Yes, and suddenly they'd be put in a perfectly bare cage and nobody making a big fuss over them. They're, of course, well fed, cleaned, proper temperature and everything. If they get sick, they've got a doctor. At first they must miss the attention they had at home. I know we had a lion and two or three tigers that we raised in the apartment, and they were quite unhappy when they first went to the zoo. They'd always remember me and didn't have to see me; they recognized my voice. When I'd go into the lion house, they'd begin running back and forth and calling to me. HENSON: Oh, yes. Did you ever raise any of Mohini's little tigers? MANN: No. HENSON: They were quite a bit later, I guess. MANN: Mrs. [Elizabeth] Reed did. [BEGIN TAPE II, SIDE I] HENSON: Speaking of animals that go from being fussed over pets to the zoo would be Smokey. How did he come to the zoo?
206 MANN: Well, it's a well-known story that Smokey was discovered--this little bear was discovered--after a forest fire in New Mexico. He had been singed; one paw was slightly burned. The park ranger who found the little thing naturally picked it up and took it home to take care of it, or took it to the [National] Park Service office. He hadn't been badly burned; he really wasn't hurt very much. His mother must have been killed; there was no sign of her. They didn't know just what to do with it as it began to grow. Somebody got this wonderful idea of giving it to the National Zoo and making it a symbol of forest fire prevention. Of course, it was a tremendously successful idea. Smokey was still really in the cuddly stage when he came here. I remember the night that he arrived, and we went over to the zoo to meet him. Dr. Mann held him in his arms. He was, you know, that little. HENSON: Still that small, yes. MANN: He became, really, the most popular animal in the zoo. He was the one the children especially wanted to see. They were so used to seeing the picture of Smokey in the park ranger's uniform, they were kind of disappointed to see a real bear, I mean, a bear with no clothes on. Smokey was exhibited in the zoo, he belonged to the zoo, but the Park Service really took care of his publicity. One Park Service man after another was assigned to take care of Smokey's correspondence. It ran to hundreds of letters a day. HENSON: Really?
207 MANN: Oh, yes. He got letters from children all over the country. They got out something that you could send for, a picture of Smokey, various things, perhaps cards like the ones you get with bubble gum, you know, that sort of thing. They had inducements for children to really consider the dangers of forest fires. But I was speaking of Smokey not wearing clothes, the Park Service put up a special exhibit right next to Smokey's cage that had the Park Service uniform, at least the big hat, and the shovel, and the baggy trousers, and a jar of honey. So that sort of satisfied the children. He didn't have the clothes on at the moment, but there they were. They were the right size and everything. [Laughter] He died just recently, you know. They took him back to New Mexico to bury him. They made quite a ceremony out of that. HENSON: would that have been the most famous animal that you had up to that point, in terms of public response to the zoo? MANN: He was certainly one of them. The first gorilla that we had, N'Gi, was extremely popular. He came as a cuddlesome, loveable baby. Children used to stop on the way home from school; the same ones would go [[underlined]] every [[/underlined]] afternoon just to see this gorilla. He got so that he knew that individual children. He knew that some of them would be there every day. When N'Gi became ill--this is rather an interesting story; it's probably somewhere in the records--but he developed pneumonia or some lung infection. [Eleanor Medill] Cissy Patterson, who was the publisher of the [[underlined]] Times-Herald [[/underlined]], sent to New York for an oxygen tent because there was nothing of the sort in Washington. The first oxygen tent to
208 come here came from N'Gi. After that Children's Hospital started investing in oxygen tents. Of course, now they're common equipment everywhere. What I was going to say was that mothers would call up in the evening and say their little boy wouldn't go to sleep until he knew how N'Gi was. HENSON: And then he did die from that, yes. MANN: He did die, yes. He went through surgery with a very prominent lung surgeon here in Washington. But you can't do that with a baby gorilla, at least you couldn't in those days. So N'Gi was at the time very popular. He certainly didn't have the nation-wide acclaim that Smokey did. The Park Service did a marvelous job on that whole campaign. They tried again to do something with a wild duck, and I've forgotten now what that was supposed to do. It didn't take hold the way Smokey did. HENSON: There were two of them, McMallard and Susie or something like that. I think it was supposed to be for wild fowl protection, maybe it had to do with water. MANN: It might have been. I remember it beginning. I thought it was being done very well, handled properly, but it just sort of died out. HENSON: It didn't follow all the way. MANN: I'd forgotten that entirely until right now. HENSON: I spent my childhood with my favorite toy, a little, stuffed Smokey the Bear. [Laughter]
209 MANN: Oh, really? HENSON: Yes. I think probably every child in the country could easily tell you who Smokey the Bear is. I wonder if at all did you perceive that people became more aware of the National Zoo, having Smokey the Bear? MANN: Yes, I think so. He was the one thing that children wanted to see. Of course, nowadays, the pandas are at least as popular, because all the children want these toy pandas. Some of them are kind of disappointed when they see how big the pandas really are. They're overwhelmed by it. I was able to get very close to one not long ago. It was wasn't on exhibit. I was with someone who wanted to see the panda and got a keeper to take us back. So there was just a fence between us and the panda. I was closer to the panda than I am to you this minute. They really are big now, beautiful. HENSON: And they look so muscular, those forepaws. MANN: I suppose they are, yes. HENSON: Those shoulders, I mean, they look like one swipe and. . . . MANN: They've got claws, and they've got teeth. Anything that can live on bamboo has to have a good set of teeth. HENSON: Yes. When animals were donated to the country, had they previously gone to the zoo? Was that standard policy?
210 MANN: Oh, yes, it's gone way back. Theodore Roosevelt was given a number of animals by the King of Ethiopia, Menelik. He sent something like a pair of lions, and an ostrich, a bird perhaps, as gifts to Theodore Roosevelt, who, of course, was famous as being a lover of wild animals, and a big hunter, and whatnot. They went immediately to the zoo. [Calvin] Coolidge kept a pet racoon at the White House, not in the White House but on the White House grounds. It was quite well-known. The racoon even had a name, Rebecca, I think. So Coolidge became known as an animal lover, which he really wasn't particularly. The zoo in Johannesburg sent him a pair of lions as a gift. They lived for years and had a number of offspring here. So it's been the custom right along for the zoo to get these. When Mrs. [Thelma Catherine Patricia Ryan] Nixon was in China--this was when she was First Lady, of course--and offered the pandas, nothing was said at the time about the National Zoo; they were gifts to America. Oh, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, everybody got into the act. [Laughter] HENSON: Oh, really, yes, everyone wanted them. MANN: Everybody wanted them, of course. But there really wasn't any great discussion about it. It was just taken for granted. . . HENSON: . . .that they would come here. MANN: The white tiger was a gift to [Dwight David] Eisenhower, I think. At least it was a gift to the country during his term, and was first presented to Eisenhower at the White House grounds before it came out to the zoo.
211 HENSON: That was another very popular animal. MANN: Oh, yes. Oh, you'd go into the lion house those first couple of years, and there'd just be a mob in front of the white tiger's cage; you couldn't get close to it. People would come and stand there hour after hour. They'd practically bring their lunch with them and just spend the day standing there to watch this beautiful animal. She's done very well, and now she's nineteen which is old for a tiger. Very few live to be twenty. HENSON: She may set some longevity record. MANN: Those have been really outstanding, the ones that are widely known. HENSON: Also, a different kind of interesting animal that you got, which I mentioned to you off the tape, was the macaques that the Air Force had sent up in the Aerobee rockets. That was the beginning of those types. MANN: Yes, I haven't got a very clear recollection of that, but there were two of them, I'm sure, two Philippine macaques. They didn't get into outer space, but they did get higher than any human being had ever flown. HENSON: Then you also got chimps that had been sent up. MANN: We got one chimp, who became quite famous, and I believe is still living in the zoo. His name is Ham. I think he got into what is considered outer space.
212 HENSON: Yes, because I think he underwent zero gravity, it's called, got outside the force of gravity and things like that. MANN: Yes, he did. I know that as far as these macaques went that the Air Force kept up their interests and wanted reports on them quite regularly as to to their health, and whether or not they were breeding, and all sorts of questions about the behavior, because no man had ever been that high, and they just wondered how the trip would affect them. The macaques showed no signs of any ill effects. Ham certainly didn't. He must be pretty old now. Do you know the year he went up? It was quite a long time ago. HENSON: It would have been the early fifties, I think, maybe '53 or '54. MANN: That would make him up in the twenties. And of course, he wasn't an infant. He wasn't full-grown, but he was a young chimp. HENSON: Yes. That's an interesting new type of animal that you were getting. The Philippine macaques came in 1954. I think the chimp came then also. MANN: I know one of the macaques is dead; probably they both are by now. Since I've left the zoo, since I'm not working on the [[underlined]] Annual Report [[/underlined]] any more, I can't keep track of current statistics. HENSON: Now also during this time they revamped Rock Creek Parkway. How did that come about? How did they decide to do that?
213 MANN: They put that tunnel in. HENSON: Yes, and got rid of the place where you drove through the zoo and where you forded Rock Creek. MANN: Yes. Lots of people enjoyed fording the creek. I know I always did. But of course, if the creek was high the ford was closed, and so you had to turn around and go back to Connecticut Avenue, and start all over again...or wherever you were coming from. HENSON: Or what about when it iced over. MANN: So that a tunnel through there was the sensible solution. They changed the course of the creek, straightened it out, or whatnot, then put this tunnel in. At that time I was living on Adams Mill Road, really just across the street from the tunnel. There was a great deal of blasting, dynamiting, which eventually cracked my dining room wall, and it was kind of startling. There was always a blast on a whistle first before a dynamite charge was set off, and the pigeons soon learned that the blast on a whistle, which was not really alarming at all, meant something terrible was coming. You'd see them all fly up in the trees. HENSON: Interesting. MANN: After the explosion was over, then they'd go back to whatever they'd been doing. But the tunnel saves a great deal of time getting through the park and downtown.
214 HENSON: Is that better, I would imagine, for the animals, not to have cars driving through the park? MANN: Yes, well, that actually was done later. There was still a road from Connecticut Avenue all the way through to Harvard Street, but it's not an automobile road anymore, except for zoo vehicles. It's much better this way. The zoo is not there as a shortcut from Connecticut Avenue to Sixteenth Street. That's what it was for a great many years. HENSON: Where the road had gone through previously, had that in any way disturbed the animals? MANN: Oh, I don't think it had. It was close to the small mammal house, not too close to the lion house. No, the traffic wasn't close enough to the animals. Animals rather like activity. They like visitors, and I'm sure they didn't mind watching automobiles. [Laughter] But the present arrangement is much better. You know, I never thought a tunnel was an especially attractive thing, but this one has a curve in it, and for some reason I think it's a pretty tunnel which sounds kind of silly. HENSON: I think it's the way you go at the entrance, it sort of looks like you're going into the mountain, where you curve around into it. It's in a pretty area, too. MANN: And it's well lighted. Some tunnels are so dark, I don't enjoy driving through them.
215 HENSON: Also around this time, you started working for the zoo? When did you first start? MANN: Yes, about 1951 or '52, I think. . .'50 or '51, somewhere along there. It was because Dr. Mann, who'd had the same secretary for years, lost his secretary. she left because her husband was being transferred out of town. Her replacement had also been a zoo secretary. The two of them were friends and became friends because they were both working in the zoo. One, I think, was Dr. Mann's secretary and one Mr. [Ernest Pillsbury] Walker's officially, but they both worked for whoever needed them. One left because her husband was being transferred, and the other one left because she was getting married. Bill got a new secretary through the personnel office. She wasn't satisfactory. . .got another one and she didn't stay very long. He was just having too much of a turnover in secretaries. I had very often, when his secretary was on vacation, helped out, not necessarily going over to the zoo, but he would dictate letters at home and I typed them at home. I had a typewriter, and supplies, and stationary at home. Or perhaps I would go over to the zoo for awhile. Bill asked me if I would be willing to come in every day for just half day--I never worked anything but part-time--so I said, "Yes, of course," thinking it would be maybe six weeks time before he got a secretary that he liked and properly broken in. Then he said he didn't see why I shouldn't get paid. I never had been for doing the zoo letters. But he thought I ought to get paid, called the Smithsonian--was there any problem because of being his wife? They
216 wanted to know if I would take a civil service examination, I said, "Certainly, not why? I've nothing to lose." So I went down, took the civil service examination, passed, got a job as clerk-typist. Time went on, and instead of six weeks I stayed there twenty years. After Bill retired I went on working for Dr. Reed. I liked it. It got me out of the house for half the day. By the time Bill retired he wasn't very well. I was much happier--we both were--having me go over to the zoo in the morning. He slept most of the mornings. When he became more incapacitated, I'd have a practical nurse come and spend the morning with him, to make sure he was all right. Then I'd come home and I'd have something to talk to him about. Otherwise I would have just sat there while he slept most of the morning. So it worked out very well, and I enjoyed the work. HENSON: Well, you'd been so closely tied to the zoo for so long, and I imagine, in a sense, kept him in touch with the zoo, much closer to it. MANN: When Dr. Reed kept me on, he gave me more responsibility, for instance with the [[underlined]] Annual Report [[/underlined]]. I did the [[underlined]] Annual Report [[/underlined]] for several years. I'd have to write part of it myself, and I'd have to get the rest of it out of various other people. Ted always called me his editorial secretary. There wasn't enough editorial work to have a full-time editor in those days. It was something that I liked doing. HENSON: Well, of course, because you'd had quite a bit of experience in that area, right?
217 MANN: Oh, yes I had. So eventually, I came to the mandatory retirement age. The zoo gave me a beautiful big party in the restaurant. It was a Friday afternoon. Ted ended up by saying, "Well, happy retirement, Lucy, but don't be late for work on Monday morning." They'd asked me to be a rehired annuitant, so I stayed on for four more years! Then I could see how, after all, I said, "Next year I'll be seventy-five, I think maybe I'd better call it quits." [Laughter] HENSON: Yes, because that's quite a long time you were there. Now what was the daily flow of things in the office there? Were there a lot of crises or did things run fairly smoothly? How did it run? MANN: Oh, it's never the same two days in a row. HENSON: Yes, there's always something up. MANN: Yes, sometimes it was very good, and sometimes it was kind of upsetting. Of course, in Bill's day it was a much smaller institution. There were fewer, shall we say, personal crises. He always wanted to have the curatorial staff that the zoo has now, but he never did. HENSON: That was still when it was under the District, right? MANN: Yes. HENSON: So there wasn't as good funding.
218 MANN: But Dr. Reed has built it up into a really marvelous institution, doing a great deal of scientific work and research. HENSON: On the animals. Now, how did he come to come to the zoo? Had you known Dr. Reed beforehand? MANN: No, but Bill was able to get an appropriation to hire a veterinarian. I think he must have written to other zoos to see who would recommend. Dr. Reed had done some work for the Portland zoo. He was not on their staff, but he was in private practice in Portland, Oregon. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas and came from an army family. He had done, as I say, work for the Portland zoo, and he was highly recommended by them. So he came to Washington for a consultation. They got on very well together; they liked each other, so he was hired as a veterinarian. That would have been two or three years before Dr. Mann retired. The when Dr. Mann retired, there was a year when Dr. Reed was simply acting director, and they were actually looking for somebody else, somebody with more executive experience--administrative experience. But during that year that he was acting director, it must have been rather difficult for him because various people would come to Washington to be interviewed by the Smithsonian to see whether or not they would accept the position of director. Of course, Dr. Reed would have to take them around and explain everything to them, knowing perfectly well that they were after his job. He did so well for that year that we made him full director.
219 HENSON: Right, about a year later. I think I've mentioned this before, it seems like the year that Dr. Mann retired was just a wipe out of the administrative staff, because he retired, Mr. Walker retired, Frank [O.] Lowe, who was the head keeper, retired, and Mr. [Peter] Hilt, who was the head of buildings and grounds--all in one year. Do you recall that at all as being quite an administrative turnover? MANN: No, I hadn't thought of it that way. As far as Frank Lowe leaving, of course he had been there a long time, ever since Mr. [William H.] Blackburne retired and had done a very good job. But Ralph Norris had also been there for a long time and had worked with Frank, and he was able to take over. It was a very smooth transition. Now [J.] Lear Grimmer followed Mr. Walker. He was new. He came here from Chicago. Pete Hilt must have had somebody helping him, you know, who could take over because he had been there a long time. Only Mr. Walker's place was different, because Lear didn't know the zoo, didn't know the personnel. But he did very well until he decided to retire at an early age, go down and be a beachcomber. HENSON: Did he really? MANN: Not really, no. He fell in love with Grand Cayman, which is one of the British islands in the Caribbean, and bought property down there, and built a beautiful home. I haven't heard any news of him lately, but I'm sure he's up to something. He's protecting the turtles or the parrots. He's interested in conservation, and there are plenty of things to conserve down there, that need it. [END TAPE II, SIDE I]
Sixth Oral History Interview with Lucile Quarry Mann August 16, 1977 at her home at 3001 Veazey Terrace, N. W., Washington, D. C. By Pamela M. Henson Interviewer for the Smithsonian Institution Archives HENSON: We're going to start today talking about the multi-retirement year. We had just begun to talk about that last time. Dr. [William M.] Mann, Mr. [Ernest Pillsbury] Walker, Mr. [Frank O.] Lowe, and Mr. [Peter] Hilt all left within the same year. You would have been working there then? MANN: Yes, I was working there. That was '56. I had been working there for about five years as Dr. Mann's secretary. When he retired, of course, I stayed on as Dr. [Theodore H.] Reed's secretary--as his part-time secretary. He had to have a full-time secretary also. I think Mr. Walker retired a little sooner than Dr. Mann did. [J.] Lear Grimmer came here from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago to be the assistant director. HENSON: Had you known him much before?
221 MANN: We had met him. We didn't know him very well, but we had met him and liked him. We met him in Chicago. Then when he came here applying for the job we saw quite a bit of him. Frank Lowe, of course, had Ralph Norris pretty well trained to take over as head keeper. I'm sure Pete Hilt had someone who could take care of the maintenance. The staff in all departments was much smaller than it is today. The zoo has grown a great deal in the last ten to fifteen years. HENSON: Did the year go fairly smoothly? I guess it did because Dr. Reed had been there for a couple of years beforehand . . . . MANN: Yes, he'd been there long enough. It wasn't as though he'd come in from outside and didn't know anybody. He was acting director for a year, and then seemed to fit into the position so well that the Smithsonian made him director. HENSON: Dr. Mann was listed as a research associate. Did he continue to do much work at the zoo afterwards? MANN: He didn't do much. He went to the zoo fairly often, but by that time he was not well. He was very lame, and he limped. Dr Reed was extremely thoughtful and kind. If there was anything special going on, he'd send a zoo car for Bill and make sure that he was in on everything. He kept a desk for him in the office. Occasionally Bill would go over, but he'd sort of get bogged down in looking over papers. He wasn't actually doing any research. You know, if you don't feel well, you don't want to be very active.
222 HENSON: . . . take on any new, major projects. I mentioned this question off the tape. I don't know if you could really answer it much. In a lot of articles, et cetera, Dr. Mann is described as being--I guess the word I was thinking was a puckish character. MANN: Yes, they were always calling him puckish, whimsical, and whatnot. He could be. He was really a serious person. But he was a man for all seasons. He knew more about all sorts of things that were not in his field. He knew a great deal about grand opera, he could recognize any of the arias. We had a friend--this is a typical story--a man in New York, an impresario, called [Alfredo] Salmaggi, brought a whole grand opera company here. It was the one that used to play at the Hippodrome in New York. Salami had started the Brooklyn Opera Guild. He had some very good singers, including Pasquale Amato, after Amato had retired from the Metropolitan [Opera]. Salami wanted to put on [[underlined]] Aida [[/underlined]] in Washington, and he wanted a camel for [[underlined]] Aida [[/underlined]], so of course he called the zoo. He and Bill became great friends. There was one time--he operated on a shoestring--when he called up Dr. Mann and said, "Doctor, doctor, what to do now?" Bill said, "What's the matter?" "Well, the tickets have come, and haven't got enough money to pay for them." So Bill said, "How much money is it?" He told him, and Bill had that much in the bank. Bill called the bank, it was almost three o'clock, and asked them to stay open for another half hour. He went down and got the money and gave it to Salmaggi. That sort of thing was always happening. Well, I was talking about the arias. There was one time when, I can remember we were in a taxi, and Bill said if he could only sing
223 'Demeure chaste et pur" he would die happy. Salami said, "Well, you could sing it if you want to. Go ahead." So Bill tried to sing the first few notes and Salmaggi said, "Oh, better you stay with the drums." [Laughter] Oh, he could recite [Sir William Schwenck] W.S. Gilbert's bad ballads by the yard, and [Rudyard] Kipling. He loved Kipling, and he knew much of it by heart. There was a certain physical resemblance between Bill and Rudyard Kipling--perhaps the mustache and the rimless glasses. At any rate, he was sometimes mistaken for Kipling. There was one time on board ship when Bill, sitting in a deck chair, was writing a letter home. A man stopped beside him and asked what he was working on. "I'm putting down some beautiful thoughts that have just occurred to me," said Bill. "Ah," said the fellow passenger. "Poetry or prose?" He knew rather obscure humorous writers. There was one called W. W. Jacobs. He wrote a short story called [[underlined]] The Monkey's Paw [[/underlined]]. Bill could read that out loud, and everybody wold get goose pimples. It was quite terrible. All sorts of things that have nothing to do with ants or zoology. Yes, he was a very well-rounded personality. Of course, he'd had a good education and had been exposed to all sorts of cultures. As you know, he went back and forth from the East Coast to the West Coast to schools, occasionally stoping off in between to work on a ranch in Montana or a ranch in Texas. He liked all sorts of people. On the ship coming back from British Guiana, a freighter although it carried 125 passengers, the luxuries which most of the passengers had expected on a cruise ship were missing. There was no swimming pool, and
224 the food left a great deal to be desired. Few of the cabins had a private bath. Bill and I had a very nice cabin with a bathroom, and as we became acquainted with the passengers, we let some of our friends come and take a bath at our place. Naturally, the captain was not very popular and did not mingle much with the passengers, but Bill and I sat at his table in the dining room and got to know him very well. One of the last nights we were on board ship, a farewell party was put on for us because we were getting off at Georgetown, British Guiana, and everyone else was taking the ship back to New York. Everyone was supposed to entertain in some way. When they called on Bill, he announced, "Captain Pink of the Peppermint." I simply froze. I knew what was coming. Bill recited the whole poem: Old Capting Pink of the Peppermint Though kindly at heart and good, Had a blunt, bluff way of a-gittin' 'is say That we all of us understood. When he brained a man with a pingle spike Or plastered a seaman flat, We should 'a' been blowed, but we all of us knowed That he didn't mea nothin' by that. For Captng Pink was a bashful man And leary of talk as death, So he easily saw that a crack in the jaw Was better than wastin' 'is breath. Sometimes he'd stroll from the ostrich hatch Jest a-feelin' a trifle rum, Then he'd hang us tars to the masts and spars by a heel or an ear or a thumb. When he done like that, as he oft times did, We winked at each other and smole, And we snickered in glee and says, says we, "Ain't that like the dear old soul!"
225 I was wonderful fond of old Capting Pink, And pink he was fond o' me, (As he frequently said when he battered me head Or sousled me into the sea). When he sewed the carpenter up in a sack, And fired the cook from a gun, We'd a-thunk that 'is rule was a little mite crool, If we hadn't knowed Pink as we done. Old Capting Pink of the Peppermint, We all of us loved 'im so That we waited one night till the tide was right And the funnels was set for a blow. Then we hauled 'im out of 'is feather bed And hammered the dear old bloke; And he understood, (as we knowed he would) That we done what we did as a joke. Then we roguishly tumbled 'im over the side, And quickly reversin' the screws, We hurried away to Mehitabel Bay For a jolly piratical cruise. Old Capting Pink of the Peppermint-- I'm shocked and I'm pained to say That there's few you'll find of the Capting's kind In this here degenerate day. The other passengers were stunned and afraid to laugh, but the captain simply loved it. And we were friends for years afterwards. We went to see him once in New York when his ship was in, and he came to Washington and brought his wife to see us. There was another occasion, however, which did not lead to an enduring friendship. We were at a dinner party where one of the guests was Sir Willmott [H.] Lewis, Washington correspondent for the [[underscore]] Times of London [[/underline]]. He had not been in the U.S. very long, but he had noticed a good many things that were wrong with our country and didn't mind telling us what they were. This resulted in considerable discussion.
226 Toward the end of the evening something that was said reminded Bill of a story. It was about GI's in World War I, and one of them said to the other, "Sam, what's that white man got in his eye?" Sam replied, "Don't you know, that's an Englishman, and he only wears one eyeglass so he won't see more than he can understand!" HENSON: Yes, because one of the contrasts that comes out is a very playful person, but running a zoo is very serious business. It ran so well under him, did he get seriously involved with a lot of the detail in terms of it? MANN: Oh, yes, he knew everything that was going on. He was a great favorite with newspaper people because he could always come up with a story. If it was Monday morning and nothing had happened anywhere in the world on Sunday, you'd call the zoo and Bill could give you a story. One time he was stumped, and he said, "Oh, I can't think of a thing except that I bought a new hat." "Oh, Doc, you got a new hat. That's a story," and it came out on the front page of the news, "Doc Mann Buys New Hat." The news had a wonderful time with him because they used to write these funny headlines and funny captions for pictures. He called one time, some new animal had arrived. Oh, he was so pleased and so thrilled over it. The headline was, "Dr. Mann Beside Himself with Glee." Then they printed his picture twice, side by side, two pictures--the identical picture twice. [Laughter] There he was, beside himself with glee! You can see how he appealed to all sorts of people. He liked them. Well, he liked interesting people, people who were working in all sorts of fields.
227 He began collecting art, for instance. We have one picture there, a picture of salt water fish by Stephen Haweis. Bill met Stephen down in the Bahamas, and admired his work, and wanted to buy one of his pictures, because Stephen was a struggling young artist. But Bill said he was a struggling young naturalist, and he didn't have any money. So he gave Stephen five dollars down and promised to send him another five or ten dollars every time Stephen would write him a dunning letter. So after two or three years the picture belonged to him. He got a number of pictures. Some of them he got were actually given to him by artists who knew him and were friends. That one over there by Edward Bruce . . . Bill said to him one time, "I'd like to have one of your pictures, Ned, but they're too expensive." Ned said, "How much money have you got?" So Bill emptied his pocket, something like twelve, fifteen dollars. New took it, and the next day we got that painting. HENSON: Which is a beautiful painting. MANN: Yes, it is. HENSON: Is that the Tuscany? MANN: It's a Tuscan farmhouse. HENSON: Now where did you two find the time to pursue all of these varied interests? MANN: Oh, there was always time. He had a very active mind. I remember a rather stuffy lawyer who was on a board of directors of
228 the apartment house where we lived. He said one time, "Doc's always making these snap judgements, and he's nearly always right." [Laughter] HENSON: He didn't waste a lot of time agonizing, I guess. He'd just do it. Because there must be a serious range of personality, to be able to deal with some very, very serious types, as he did. I suppose, as you said, he just had a wide range to his personality. MANN: He was a hero worshipper. William Morton Wheeler was one of his heroes. One time when Bill was in England, through some connection, I don't know what, he had an opportunity to meet Rudyard Kipling, and he wouldn't do it! He was afraid that nobody could be a good as he thought Kipling was. HENSON: He had read a lot of those sort of tales when he was younger, right? MANN: Oh, yes. HENSON: That's what had inspired his running away, right? MANN: Yes, he was always a great reader, and he remembered things. He had a good memory. He was a very modest person. He had no sense of self-importance at all. Sometimes when we were in a taxi driving through the zoo or near it, Bill would be telling the driver about the latest acquisition at the zoo, and the driver would ask: "How do you know so much about it?" and Bill would simply say, "I work here." I've heard him say that the only thing he had done of any importance
229 was his work in entomology, because he had discovered and described a great many new species, and a lot of them have his name. He said a hundred years from now nobody would remember him as director of the zoo, but as long as men study entomology they would come across his name. HENSON: Well, even the book that he wrote, [[underlined]] Ant Hill Odyssey [[/underlined]], apparently affected, and I think we've mentioned this, younger scientists underneath him, in terms of reading that and becoming inspired to go on into entomology. Because it's such an engaging book. MANN: He was very good with younger people. He started a society called the Vivarium Society, used to meet in the zoo in the evenings about once a month probably. It was for young people who liked to keep cold-blooded pets. They'd bring their lizards and their snakes and whatnot, which rather horrified me before I was use to having snakes around the house. The first time I ever actually had to touch a snake was at a meeting of the Vivarium Society. It was a king snake. It was just passed around, you know, hand to hand. I couldn't scream or say, "I don't want to touch it," had to take it. I still see some of these youngsters that he was good to. There's one that I see every once in a while. He's now married and has a family. When he was thirteen, he walked into the zoo, went to the office, found Dr. Mann's office, and went in and began talking to him. Bill said to his secretary, "What have I got on today?" She said, "Oh, there's nothing important." So he spent all day long taking this thirteen year old that he'd never seen before around the zoo. One time--the man always tells this story every
230 time he meets any of my friends--he was fourteen years old, and Lear Grimmer was coming to town. Bill was tied up, and Mr. Walker apparently was. Mr. Walker may have retired, I don't remember that. But Bill called this kid and said, "I'll give you a zoo car if you'll go out to the airport and meet Mr. Grimmer.". Well, it made him so important, you know. He was just thrilled to death. He spent quite a bit of time showing Lear Grimmer around the zoo. The boy is now thirty-eight and that's one of his fondest memories! HENSON: Sure, of being a part of something. MANN: There was another boy about the same age who used to go to the zoo every spare moment. The keepers all became very fond of him. He was never in the way, but a good kid and very bright. He finally got himself a uniform, it looked like a keeper's uniform. But he was told he had to stay outside the cages. Naturally you couldn't have him going in the cages. He would make notes on what was going on in the zoo, and come over about once a week, and give a resume of the whole week's events to Bill. This was when Bill was not well enough to go himself. The boy would come and report. He's gone to California, and I don't know what's become of him. But this other man lives here, and I see him once in a while. HENSON: How did Dr. Mann feel about being described as puckish and whimsical and such? Did he regard himself as such?
231 MANN: No, I don't think so. I remember one time he broke his wrist and taken to the hospital. They didn't know whether he'd have to stay overnight. He didn't; they let him come home. Then he came home, of course he was pretty uncomfortable, and I said, "were the doctors nice? Were they good to you?" "Oh, yes, they were all right." Then he was funny, an expression came over his face, and he said, "They didn't know who I was." I said, "Well, if they go home and read the paper tonight you're mentioned in five different stories." [Laughter] HENSON: They'll know now! Well, it must take some getting used to to become that well-known. It must be a strange feeling. MANN: It didn't spoil him. He didn't feel self-important, as I said. No, everybody knew him. One time I came back from Europe, this was the first trip I made by myself after he died, and I came back with a great deal of baggage. It was a six weeks cruise on a ship, so you could have all the trunks and suitcases, and of course, I bought things over there. I got into Washington, the Union Station, at midnight. I was a little worried about getting all this baggage into a Washington taxi. The New York taxis are bigger, and I had no trouble getting from the pier to Pennsylvania Station, but I was worried about it here. But I got a very nice man, and he brought me home, and he wanted to know if I had far to carry the luggage. I said, "Well, there is an elevator, if you could help me get it into the elevator I can manage." So between us we got the baggage in the elevator, and he got down to my door and saw my name on the outside. He said, "Oh, are you [end page]
232 Dr. Mann's wife?" I said, "Yes." He said, "I knew Dr. Mann." I said, "Well, we used taxis a great deal." "Oh, I didn't meet him in a taxi. I'm the head bartender at the Cosmos Club." He was moonlighting. [Laughter] so, all sorts of people knew him. HENSON: Right, wherever you went, you were likely to run into someone who knew him well. Now maybe we could talk a little bit about how you got to know Alexander Woollcott? MANN: Well, it was through friends. It was actually Arthur Krock of the [[underscore]] New York Times [[/underscore]] who brought him to our house. We met Arthur Krock I think through Kyle Palmer, who was a correspondent for the [[underscore]] Los Angeles Times [[/underscore]]. I'm not sure where we met Kyle Palmer. [Laughter] But I know we had invited Arthur Krock for dinner. He called up, after he had accepted, he called back and wanted to know if he could bring Alexander Woollcott with him. I was thrilled, very excited. Bill didn't know who he was. I said, "Oh, he writes for the [[underscore]] New Yorker [[/underscore]]. he does that 'Talk of the Town'." I don't know whether he was on radio at that time or not, but he did eventually become a very well-known radio personality, "Town Crier." But I had read enough about him and by him to know that he was a very fat man. We didn't have a proper dining room in those days or dining room chairs. We had a couple of Windsor chairs that we'd pull up to the table, and they weren't very strong. They were a little feeble. So I said, "Well, we better get the chairs repaired before Alexander Woollcott comes for dinner."
233 He came, and he became a very good friend. He was supposed to be an extremely rude and disagreeable person, but he wasn't to us. He admired Bill. He was especially interested in the way Bill spoke, his choice of words was correct according to Woollcott. He would say, "Now, why do you say different from instead of different than?" You know, little things like that interested him. He did a number of stories or radio broadcasts about the zoo. I remember one of them where he was talking about pets that we had at home, and he said, "The Manns don't keep a giraffe in their apartment because it's not a duplex!" He did maybe two or three in the course of the years. Sometimes--this was a broadcast every Sunday night that Woollcott came on back in the thirties, and every once in a while he would pick out some important personality and do what he called a serenade. He would devote his whole broadcast to one person that he admired. He wanted to do Oliver Wendell Holmes. We knew Oliver Wendell Holmes' nephew, Austin [Hobart] Clark--you remember Austin Clark. Austin wasn't his nephew, but the first Mrs. Austin Clark [Mary] was a Wendell. She was related to the Holmes family, so through Austin Clark we had met the Justice a number of times. He belonged to the Harvard Club. Bill used to see him at the Harvard Club at luncheons, and he quite often came out to the zoo. He liked Bills stories about animals and funny things. At this time, when Woollcott wanted to do the serenade, the Justice was over ninety and quite feeble. I don't believe Woollcott actually went to see him because he wasn't well enough, but at any rate, he did this
234 beautiful braodcast about Holmes' life. We listened, of course, and Austin Clark did. I think the Justice himself did not even hear it. He was in bed and didn't have a radio in the room, or perhaps he was just too feeble. But he died just about a week later, and that was why Woollcott was upset. He wondered if the Justice had heard it and had gotten perhaps too excited, or possibly annoyed, or stirred up in some way, and that that might have hastened his death. Well, it had nothing, of course, to do with it at all. You saw the letter that Bill wrote saying that it was a beautiful broadcast, he had never done anything better, he should be very proud of it, and that the Austin Clarks had listened and approved. HENSON: I noticed also shortly before Holmes passed away that Dr. Mann had gone to see him, and that he was found laughing so loudly that his nurse was alarmed and found out the Dr. Mann had been singing limericks to him. [Laughter] MANN: I remember going to their house. I remember his wife vaguely. I was very much interested when that movie was produced; you know there was a stage play, [[underline]] The Magnificent Yankee [[/underline]], and then it was made into a movie. Some of the movie was filmed in the zoo because Holmes had been a frequent zoo visitor. I've forgotten who played the part, but he was very good. Somebody's playing it now. Is it the same man who did [Harry] Truman? Henson: That was James [Allen] Whitmore.
235 MANN: I hear it's very good. The stage play has been renewed. HENSON: I noticed at one point in the fifties you went up to stay with Woollcott on his little island up there. MANN: Oh, yes. Alex was never married; he was a bachelor. He and some of his friends bought this island, the Nshobi island, just a small island, and built a very nice house on it. It was in Lake Bomoseen in Vermont. We were invited there for a long weekend; I think we were there four or five days. It was one of the most interesting experiences of my life, being with Woollcott, [Arthur] Harpo Marx, Irene Castle, and Neysa MCMein. Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were supposed to be there, and I was disappointed that they didn't make it. It was very interesting. They had a wild game of croquet, big balls, oversized mallets, and the wickets all over the island. It wasn't just a little croquet field. Oh, they played it ferociously. They'd send each other's balls just, you know, up hill, down dale. Then at night they had a parlor game that they played where you thought you were a certain personality, and the rest of the group had to guess who you were by asking you questions. You would say, "No, I'm not Charlemagne," if you were not the person, and were supposed to know who they were referring to. It is probably still played, I don't know. Bill and I used to play it just by ourselves occasionally. I remember, "Did you send an elephant?" if you were Charlemagne. I think it was some very obscure thing. [Laughter] Of course, they were all very bright people. Harpo was brighter than you'd believe and a very nice man, very nice, quiet, dignified. You'd never recognize him because he didn't wear the red wig, of course.
236 HENSON: That would be interesting, to meet someone like that out of costume. Some of them are not substantially different than they are on stage, but he was quite different? MANN: Oh, yes, very different. Did you ever see him on the stage? He never spoke, you know. HENSON: Yes, I've seen him in the movies. I never saw him live. MANN: He played the harp very well, but never spoke, and looked ridiculous in that great wig. Then it was through Woollcott that we later met Noel Coward. That was very interesting. [BEGIN TAPE I, SIDE II] HENSON: You were just talking about meeting Noel Coward? MANN: Yes. He was playing here in that series of nine one act plays. You had to go to three different performances, and you saw three plays each time. It was called [[underline]] Tonight at Eight-thirty [[/underline]], if I remember correctly. It was Woollcott who told him to look up Bill, and be sure and come to the zoo while he was here. So he did, and this was at the time our elephant house was not quite completed. It was built, and it was time to decide what color to paint the walls inside, and there were those columns in the house. Coward had his stage designer with him, a woman, and she picked out the colors to paint the inside of the elephant house. Then Bill brought him home to the apartment for tea. He teased me afterwards; he said he'd never seen me make such fuss over
237 a cup of tea as I did fixing it for Noel Coward. Coward was a charming person, just charming. I remember we had a zebra skin rug on the floor. I can't imagine why, but Noel Coward was down on the floor with this zebra skin over his back! [Laughter] It was about 1936, and we were planning the expedition to the East Indies. Of course, he had been out there, or he'd been in quite a bit of the Orient, and he said, "Oh, to be going east for the first time," how he envied us; it would be a wonderful experience. So I saw all nine one act plays that Coward was in that season, and Bill saw six. Bill and I went two evenings, and I went to one matinee. I went to the matinee and an evening performance on the same day. After the evening performance we went backstage to talk to Coward. Bill, of course, was ready to talk all night, or listen all night, and I finally said, "We'd better go home, remember Mr. Coward had a matinee performance this afternoon as well as tonight. I know he must be tired because I was here." Coward said something about my being a glutton for punishment. [Laughter] I liked him very much. Those plays were very funny. I went to see something not too long ago called [[underline]] The Best of Noel Coward, [[/underline]] but it wasn't very well done; I didn't care for it. HENSON: But he again had that very high intelligence and sharp wit, really active mind. MANN: Oh, yes. He was very witty. I love that record of his about the mad dogs and Englishman go out in the midday sun. I used to know all the words to that, but I never could sing, anymore than Bill could. [end page]
238 Another person we met on account of knowing Woollcott is Grace Eustis, who is interested in the Seeing Eye dog work, you know, up in New Jersey. She had a house in Georgetown. She called us one time, we'd never met her, but she said Woollcott was coming to Washington, he was having dinner with her, and she had asked him who else he would like to have, and he had said, "Dr. and Mrs. Mann," so could we come on a certain evening? Of course, we could. One of the other guests was Alice [Lee] Roosevelt Longworth, and can she make an evening! The first thing she did when she came in was sit down and imitate [Anna] Eleanor [Roosevelt], Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, because they did not get on very well together, so she was imitating her. Alice Longworth could have been a great actress, she was marvelous. HENSON: I have read about her having a tremendous amount of personality. MANN: Oh, she has; it's really terrific. So we became pretty good friends with her. We took her to the circus. She had us at her place for dinner. You meet one nice person, you're apt to meet others. HENSON: Yes, it spirals. Although it seems that you two had an incredibly wide circle of friends. MANN: All kinds of people. HENSON: How did you keep track of them all, or did you not even try to? [end page]
239 MANN: Oh, we kept track of them. One of them was Emmett Kelly, the clown with the Ringling [Brothers Circus] show. I have that Emmett Kelly doll still, which somebody sent me. HENSON: Was he as sad a person as his act? MANN: Oh, no. He was a very serious person though, and he was quite a good artist. He at one time had been a cartoonist for the Baltimore Sun. Clowning was what he wanted to do, and of course, he did it very well. I think he's retired now. His Christmas card he always designed himself. It was usually a picture of himself doing something stupid or something silly. [Laughter] There was one where he was either--this might have been two different Christmases--he was in his shabbiest clothes peering through the gates of the White House. Then there was another one where he was, I think, smelling a branch of cherry blossoms--things that were just very inappropriate, very funny. HENSON: I think in most people's minds, I mean, [[underline]] the [[/underline]] clown. If you think of a clown.... MANN: He was a very famous one. He's still living, but retired from the circus. In his later years he would play the beginning of the season, perhaps go up to Madison Square Garden for the engagement there, but not stay all summer. He had a son. I think his son is clowning now, but I don't know him, never met him. But as I say, I never knew who Bill was going to bring home for dinner. It might be the president of Harvard, it might be a circus [end page]
240 clown, or it might be somebody that he just picked up in the zoo because he saw a car with a Montana license on it. That happened, "Oh, you're from Montana. Come on home." [Laughter] HENSON: How did you find it when you put a very diverse group of people together like that. Did they mostly enjoy each other? MANN: Usually, I can remember a picnic that we had in the zoo. We had some very distinguished people, well, a couple of women that you'd read about in the society columns, and then we had some circus people, and we had a man from the French embassy. They were not getting on together at all well. I think probably it began to rain too, because I remember we ate our lunch under a roof, one of those open air pavilions that the zoo used to have and doesn't any more. So the Frenchman excused himself and came back presently with a bottle of champagne. That was during prohibition...[laughter]...that's why [[underline]] we [[/underline]] didn't have anything. So that sort of pulled the party together. We drank it out of enamel tin mugs! That led to the Frenchman being much taken with one of the circus girls, a very nice girl. Her father and mother were performers. I don't remember that she herself did anything; I think she just traveled with her parents during the summer. She was pretty and she was sweet, a nice girl. The Frenchman was very much taken with her. So every time we went to the circus--this was a small circus that played here for a couple of weeks--we were very apt to see this young man from the French embassy. We'd sit out in the backyard visiting with the circus people, and he would join us. We got off on the subject of perfume one night--French perfume, of course, being superior to anything else. [end page]
241 He said, "The only perfume that American women know is Chanel Number Five, as a result they all smell alike. It is not very interesting." [Laughter] I've always remembered that. HENSON: It's a curious mix to have a Frenchman with that sort of attitude hanging around an American circus. MANN: Yes. [Laughter] HENSON: What a cultural mix! Well, you two must have been very good at stirring up interesting combinations of people. MANN: Yes, he liked that. I got used to it. They were never dull people; they were interesting in their own way. HENSON: Maybe we can move from that to Dr. Reed coming in. You talked a little bit about him becoming director. I wanted to ask you what were the major changes, because you were still working there then, with Dr. Reed? Were there any changes, because he was, in fact, a vet rather than a scientist? Also he mentioned that he was focusing more on North American animals. What were his plans for the zoo? MANN: I can't really remember what they were when he first came in, because he has developed so tremendously. When he was able to get enough money to improve the zoo, he got bigger and better plans and ideas, and carried them out very well, I think. He was concentrating at first on a good collection of North American animals, but he must have given that up quite soon because it's been years since we've had an
242 American bison. He got rid of those. I think the herd just died out, and he didn't replace it. He was very much interested, of course, in exotic animals, such as the white tiger that he went out to India to get and bring home himself. Of course, the pandas are a big thing in his life. The National Geographic Society sent him to Africa to study bongos. He actually was able eventually to get some bongos. He didn't bring them back with him, but this animal collector, John Seago, worked on it for two or three years and managed to get us some--I think he sent us three to start with. They've done pretty well here. We've lost one or two, but we've had several born. Seago is the same one that got us the white rhinos. They were the first ones that ever came to the States. That was back in Dr. Mann's time. We got to know Seago very well. It takes patience to capture something that's scarce, wild. There just aren't that many of them. You can't say, "Well, we'll go out today and get us a white rhino." HENSON: Because it may not be seen for a long time. MANN: It may not be seen. The only white rhinos I've seen have been on reserves, and of course, you can't take them from the reserves. HENSON: Yes. Now I wanted to ask you, eventually the zoo did start getting a little more money for buildings, and things like that, and for research. How, in what way did the mood of Congress change to provide more money? Was that mostly due to the Friends of the Zoo, or were there other changes in mood or atmosphere do you think? [end page]
243 MANN: Well, I think the Friends of the Zoo started the ball rolling. But actually the money became more readily available after the Smithsonian took over the budget, because previously it was difficult to get money from the District, which you can understand. HENSON: Yes, school system to run, things like that. MANN: But the Smithsonian seems to have a way of getting money very easily, when you look at the tremendous museums that they have built. A new lion house or a new office building in the zoo is rather small change compared to what the Smithsonian Institution spends. HENSON: [National Museum of] History and Technology and [National] Air and Space [Museum]. MANN: Oh, yes, and the Air and Space Museum--terrific. HENSON: Now, you were doing the editorial assistance and working on the [[underline]] Annual Reports [[/underline]]. What other types of things were being published during the years that you were working there? MANN: Nothing actually by the zoo. Dr. Reed did an article on some obscure disease in kangaroos, I think, but that wasn't published by the zoo. It was published probably in the [[underline]] Journal of Veterinary Medicine, [[/underline]] or something like that. Dr. Reed also wrote a couple of articles for the [[underline]] National Geographic [Magazine]. [[/underline]] Anything that he wrote, he asked me to look over and sort of edit. Sometimes it needed a lot of editing, sometimes it didn't, it looked pretty good. But the [[underline]] Annual Report [[/underline]] I
244 think is the only publication that the zoo ever had. Many, many years ago, in the early 1900s, they did have a zoo guide book, but then the zoo never published a guide book for years. When [L.] Gordon Leech was running the zoo restaurant, he got out a little guide book just to sell there. It was mostly photographs, not at all a comprehensive guide-- "This is a picture of a bear. The zoo has three bears," or something like that on a page. Recently they've gotten out--the Smithsonian pub-lished this for the zoo--it's called [underlined]Zoo[/underlined], it's a zoo guide in a way. It's mostly a collection of photographs. Have you seen that? HENSON: Is that the one the [underlined]Zoo Book[/underlined]?* MANN: Yes. HENSON: Yes, that's beautiful. MANN: It's very well done. That just came out about a year ago. When I was there I got out the newsletter for the Friends of the Zoo. That came out about, I think, quarterly. They didn't have enough money at that time to get out a really good newsletter the way they do now. This was just mimeographed. The [underlined]Annual Report[/underlined] I did for a number of years. HENSON: So that there wouldn't have been enough time for research where they would have been publishing scientific monographs or things like that? *Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1976.
245 MANN: No, there is now. Now John [F.] Eisenberg is publishing quite a lot. And I think [Clinton W.]Clint Gray has. . .no, I don't suppose he's ever done a monograph, but he writes for some of the veterinary magazines. HENSON: I also wanted to ask you just the one question about the termites destroying the photo file. Were a lot of those Mr. Walker's collection of photographs? MANN: Some of them were Mr. Walker's. Some of them went back to 1890s, 1900s; they were old. HENSON: Oh, irreplaceable. MANN: There was a request for a photograph of a certain animal. We looked in the files--they were kept in the lower part of a wooden cabinet; it wasn't a regular photographic file, a funny sort of piece of office furniture--and found the termites had gotten in. Of course, there were termites all through that old zoo office building. They were always afraid something would fall down; they were always repairing pieces of the ceiling or whatnot. So termites were in the photograph file. We had one of the small anteaters, not the giant anteater but a middle sized one, I think the tamandua, in the collection at the time. So Dr. Reed brought it over to the office and turned it loose in the photograph file. [Laughter] He notified the newspapers at the time. It made a lovely story and a very funny picture, but it was too bad to have the file destroyed.
246 HENSON: Were a lot of the photographs gone? MANN: Oh, no, not a lot, but enough, you know, things that couldn't be replaced. HENSON: I bet the anteater had himself a good time. [Laughter] MANN: I can still see that long tongue licking the manilla envelopes. HENSON: Having a great old time. That's obviously the only office in Washington where you could do that. MANN: Yes. I'm sure there are no termites in the new office building or the new photographic files. The new office building is gorgeous; it's beautiful. I liked the old one though. It was the old Holt mansion that dated back to about 1820. There were some interesting things about it. There was a curious sort of shutter on the windows on the ground floor. They had a special opening in the wood, in the shutter, so that if the house was attacked by Indians you could shoot the Indians but the arrows wouldn't come in and hit you, or something remarkable like that. I may have it a little twisted, but there was a pattern in the shutters that had something to do with being attacked by Indians. HENSON: That dates the building! [Laughter] MANN: There probably were no Indians in Washington, no, of course there weren't in 1820, or 1812, whenever it was. It was a pattern that had survived from the days of the Indian fights. Two or
247 three of the window panes had been scratched on with a diamond with political slogans, "Old Hickory forever," and "Down with Hick's enemies." One of the was dated 1837, I remember, The Smithsonian thought enough of those so that in recent years, I think it was while I was working there after Bill died, they came out and removed the panes, and put them in one of the museums. HENSON: Probably the Division of Political History. . . MANN: Probably, yes. HENSON: . . .at MHT [Museum of History and Technology] I would imagine. They've collected a lot of slogans and campaign memorabilia. MANN: That would be it. But the old glass was interesting, kind of wavy, not perfectly clear. Bill used to say whenever he saw some strange people wandering around his office he knew they were from the antiquarian society. HENSON: Was that building left standing? MANN: Yes, it's still standing. Dr. Eisenberg has it now for his research staff. He was down in the same building as the hospital. That was hospital and research. Now he's in the old admin building. In our day it was a very lovely place. We used to entertain there a great deal. It had several fireplaces, but two that we used, one on the ground floor, one on the second floor. We'd have picnics and grill a steak over the fire or something like that. There's a big reception
248 room on the second floor where we could have quite a formal party, which we did. We celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with a party in the zoo office building. But in more recent years, as the staff grew, they kept chopping up the big rooms and making six offices where there'd only been one before. Well, that big reception room had bookcases, a big table, a table that had belonged to Secretary [Samuel P.] Langley if I remember correctly, I know it was Philippine mahogany, and I think it had been Secretary Langley's, but it was a conference room and library. That became several smaller offices, and the same thing with the big reception room on the ground floor which had a most interesting brick floor. The bricks were laid with vinyl or whatever it is you put on floors. But it was still a very attractive building. It's been declared a National Landmark or Historic Landmark. John Quincy Adams is supposed to have visited there. Of course, Adams Mill Road was so named because one of the Adams, John or John Quincy, did have a mill there right in Rock Creek. HENSON: In the days when it was a pleasant carriage ride from the city. I noticed also, I thought I'd mention this, that in 1959, you and several of the other wives got a certificate from the Smithsonian from Dr. [Leonard] Carmichael for all the critters that you all had raised. [Laughter} MANN: It was a certificate that an artist friend of ours had designed. It had pictures of baby animals on it, and then the handwritten
249 citation--I think I probably got mine for raising a tiger, or a lion, or something. I raised a number of baby animals. Mrs. [Louise] Gallagher, of course, raised so many of the great apes. This was one of Ted Reed's ideas, and he made a little ceremony of it. I think we all had lunch together, and he asked Dr. Carmichael to give out the certificates. They kept that up for a couple of years. But I don't think wives are asked to do that much anymore. It's all done scientifically in the laboratory. HENSON: With the vets I would imagine, yes. MANN: Well, they put baby animals in an incubator if necessary. It's done much more scientifically that the way we used to do it. HENSON: I guess you probably didn't know Dr. Carmichael as well, considering the fact that Dr. [Alexander] Wetmore had been head of the zoo for a while and knew the place quite well, but did Dr. Mann know him fairly well also? MANN: Dr. Carmichael? Yes. Dr. Wetmore, of course, he knew better because, you see, they had both been on the staff of the Natural History Museum for years. Bill wasn't actually on the Smithsonian staff then; he had his office, though, in the Natural History Museum. He was with the Department of Agriculture with an office in the museum. HENSON: Dr. Wetmore had been with Department of Agriculture, with an office in the museum also. MANN: Is that the way he started?
250 HENSON: Yes, and then his first job with the Smithsonian was as director of the zoo. MANN: Wasn't he, he wouldn't have been with [United States Department of] Fish and Wildlife. HENSON: No, it was Bureau of Biological Survey. He was with them, and then his first job actually with the Smithsonian was as director of the zoo, which he had for several months. MANN: Oh, really? I'd forgotten that because, of course, his office had been in the museum all the time. HENSON: Yes, after Ned Hollister died for several months he took over the job. MANN: Yes, about six months. HENSON: Right, but then they appointed him head of the museum, and so he went right back there. Then I guess Dr. Mann came in. MANN: They had known each other because they both worked in the museum, and they were interested in very much the same sort of thing. Dr. Carmichael, I don't think Dr. Mann knew him before, but he was a Harvard man, and he might have met him at a Harvard Club do, something like that. After the Carmichaels came to Washington, we saw them quite frequently. We were at their house for dinner, and they came to our house. He was a very formal sort of person...and you didn't...well, I never felt as much at ease with him. [END TAPE I, SIDE II]