Diary no. 9, March 25, 1930-June 24, 1930

ID: SIA RU007148

Creator: Graham, David Crockett

Form/Genre: Fieldbook record

Date: 1930

Citation: David Crockett Graham Papers, 1923-1936

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This field book is a diary from 25 March to 24 June 1930 documenting Graham's field collecting trip to Li Chuang (currently Lizhuang), Chuan Gioh Chi, Chungking (currently Chongyang?), and the Suifu vicinity. Graham provides a narrative description of daily activities including amounts and types of specimen he and associates collected or purchased. This journal seems to focus more on specimens purchased than collected. Graham collected or purchased mammals, birds, insects, snails, and possibly other specimen. Mammal numbers range from 372-424. Graham also describes how specimens were packed for the mail. Graham also collects artifacts and makes takes anthropological measurements of local men and women during this trip. No scientific names are provided.

Date Range


Start Date

Mar 25, 1930

End Date

Jun 24, 1930

Access Information

Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu.


  • Animals
  • Entomology
  • Birds
  • Anthropology
  • Mammalogy
  • Ornithology


  • Yibin
  • Sichuan
  • China
  • Lizhuang
  • Chongyang


  • Fieldbook record
  • Field notes
  • Diary

Accession #

SIA RU007148

Collection name

David Crockett Graham Papers, 1923-1936

Physical Description

1 field book

Physical Location

Smithsonian Institution Archives


1 Box Folder 11

DIARY NUMBER NINE Beginning March 25, 1930, concerning the collection of natural history specimens for the Smithsonian Institution by D. C. Graham There have been 546 boxes labelled and mailed to date, and 371 mammals. March 26. Went by boat to Li Chuang. March 27. Started at daylight. Went 60 li to Gi Tien Ba. I got some yellow butterflies, large, and pale green on the outside, which are only found at this altitude at about this time of the year. At night I got a few good night moths. I saw Chen Gih Yuen. He would like to be hired again, but I can not run the risk. His temper and character are likely to make trouble at any time. I am training a new man to net, named Giang. There is another coolie named Wu along with me, whom I may be able to train up to net by next summer. Killed a magpie but saw no birds really worth collecting. Mosquitoes are not out yet, although it is getting warm. March 28. Went to Li Duan Tsang, stopping at Mu Jia Pin. It was a hot day, but was windy so that the catch of winged insects was not large. I did not see a single bird worth shooting. March 29. Got up early and started for Ngan Lin Chiao.^[[2]] A heavy storm came up and we sought shelter in a farmhouse. It rained hard most of the morning, but cleared up towards night. March 30. Got up early and went to Tong Lo Gin. Killed 4 common birds ^[[at]] two shots. Secured a lot of water insects. It rained, so no day insects were out. [[insertion]] ^[[at night we got a few moths by the night lanterns. March 31. Reached Chang Lin about 11:30. Filled 1 1/2 bottles with shrimp and other water insects. Almost no butterflies were out.]] [[/insertion]] April 1. Filled up the bottle of snails, and one of water insects. There were few butterflies were out.
- 2 - The messenger and Yang Fong Tsang arrived. A mountain that is almost inaccessible and a cave nearly inaccessible, near Yang's home, are in the possession of robbers. Soldiers and militia have surrounded them for some time, but have not captured them. They have threatened the whole district. Troops have been sent in from Luchow and Suifu, and Yang Fong Tsang has not dared to leave. He will come out as soon as the robbers are cleared out, and collect. Meanwhile, he will do what he can at home. the Suifu magistrate has come out especially to straighten this district out, and is now in this town. Yang has not been permitted to shoot, but has over 30 mountain rats and three birds. April 2. Yang returned to his home, and I went to Kongshien. Killed three birds. Secured a few day insects, and used the gas lantern at night. Not many insects came to the lantern. Yesterday I measured two Chuan Miao Aborigines and today I measured two more. There are robbers between here and Suifu so that I may have to take an indirect route to Suifu. April 2. Went to Kongshien. Killed three birds and collected some insects. April 3. Filled up a bottle with water insects and collected a few moths. The stars and the moon are out, so tonight no insects came to the lantern. Word has just come that there is a band of 200 robbers near Shuin Gien Si. people are fleeing from nearby towns. This makes it necessary for us to change our route and go to Suifu by another road. Robber bands are springing up in every direction, so we had better get to Suifu as soon as possible. I took anthropometrical measurements of two Chuan Miao aborigines and of some Chinese yesterday, and of several Chinese today. I have now measured 140 Chinese men and about [[strikethrough]] 85 [[/strikethrough]] ^[[35]] women. I want to increase the number of Chinese men measured to [[strikethrough]] 100 [[/strikethrough]] ^[[200]] as rapidly as possible.
- 3 - April 4. All last night the streets of Kongshien were guarded by soldiers so the robbers could not in some way get possession of the city. We were upstairs at daylight, and left early. We went by a route entirely new to me, to Dong Di or Tong Ti, then to Tai Ping Tsang, and then to Li Duan Tsang. This route took us through some excellent territory for collecting insects. We got a fair catch both of water and air insects. I expect later to send a collector into this territory to collect. Today we travelled 100 li, all of which I walked, a total of over 30 miles. There were so many bypaths that I had to hire a guide part of the way. April 5 We travelled ninety li to Li Chuang. Secured more insects. April 6. Reached Suifu by noon Giang[[strikethrough]], and [[/strikethrough]] nette[[strikethrough]] r [[/strikethrough]]^[[d]] this afternoon ^[[and]] did well. I spent some time taking care of specimens. Filled box 547, winged insects. I saw and took pictures of two executed criminals. They were shot. One was a robber and the other was deserting to be a robber when caught. April 7. Labelled mammals 372-405, all secured by Yang Fong Tsang at Tseo Jia Geo. Filled box 548, ratskins and bones. Box 549 ratskins, 550 rat skeletons. Took three anthropometrical measurements. April 8. Filled box 551, insects, snuff bottle, skeletons. Wrote Franck about Lai's collecting in Chengtu. Mailed one box. Giang got a fair catch of insects. He can learn if he keeps trying. April 9. Filled boxes 552, fish; 553 bird and mammal skins. I took a trip to the mountains with the netter Giang so as to give him more training. We caught some good insects. Mailed some samples of Chinese and aborigine hair to Doctor Hrdlicka. April 10. I purchased three mammal skins, numbers 406-8. One is of little value, but two are of a species I have not seen before. They came from a
- 4 - place called Shih^[[5]] Ban^[[3]] Chi^[[1]], or Stone Slab Creek, between Ki^[[e]]n way and Kiating on the Ming River. Giang the netter got a fair catch of insects. April 11. Filled boxes 554, insects, and 555 mammal skins. Took a trip to Beh So[[strikethrough]]n[[/strikethrough]]^[[u]] Chi and back. I saw some birds, some of which were red. I killed one of the number which was not red. I have never seen these birds at this level before. It seems to me that I must have killed a female, the males being red, and that they are now migrating northward to higher altitudes. Secured a few insects. Mailed two boxes of specimens. April 12. Filled boxes 556-557, fish. Mailed five packages. On account of the heavy rain Giang could do no collecting. Yesterday and today I had a carpenter making boxes. April 13. Mailed three boxes. Spent some time packing for a short trip to the country. April 14. Mailed 2 packages. Captured many bats in the church belfry. Spent considerable time getting ready for the trip to the country. The weather is still cloudy and cool. April 15. I got up fairly early, and went eighty li to Huang^[[2]] Sa^[[1]] Chi^[[1]], At this place are the ancient caves which Faber or Baber described in the British Geographical Journal in 1871 or 72. There are some other caves that are full of dirt, and might have some good relics if they were dug out or excavated. Giang, the netter, got quite a few insects today. We used the gas lantern tonight. The insects were not numerous, but some of them look rare. I saw a Chinese with red whiskers today. I tried to cut off a few as a sample, but he would not consent. April 16. I had an escort of nine soldiers from Wang Tsang to Gi[[strikethrough]]s[[/strikethrough]]^[[o]]h Chi for robbers are met occasionally in this section. We generally pay about $2.00 for such a service, but they tried to collect $9.00. I appealed to the local militia officer, and got out for $3.00. I believe that some of the militia who escorted me
- 5 - are ex-robbers. We got some good insects. April 17. I stayed over today in Gioh Chi. The opium crop is being reaped. I saw a dense crowd on one of the main streets, concerned mostly with selling or buying opium. April 18. This morning at daybreak armed soldiers thoroughly searched the village of Gioh Chi, especially the inns, for it was feared that there might be robbers in the town. Yesterday afternoon there were robberies near the city. I thought it would be very strange if robbers were not operating on the river, robbing boats, between Gioh Chi and Wang Tsang today, in view of the large amount of opium being reaped from this year's opium crop. Below Gioh Chi the river divides into a smaller northern branch and a larger southern branch. Large boats all take the southern branch. Here the robbers practically always make their attacks on the passing boats. I had a small boat, and took the smaller northern branch. A large boat ahead of us went into the southern branch, and failed to come out further down the river. Apparently it met robbers, and we escaped by taking the northern route. At Suifu I saw a soldier being taken out to be executed for desertion. I spent a little time training Giang the netter. Purchased a white flycatcher. April 19. Measured one Chinese (anthropometrical). Prepared to send Giang on a nine day collecting trip to the place that seems specially promising. Purchased mammal No. 409. Filled box 558, insects. April 20. Filled box 559, fish, 560 muscles or clams, 561-563 shrimp and insects. Purchased one mammal. Mammal no. 410. April 21. Filled boxes 564, fish, insects, 565, mammal skin and birdskins. 566 insects, 567 freshwater clams, 568 insects.
- 6 - I began looking over the outfit for the summer collecting trip. It will be^[[|]]quite a task to get everything ready. April 22. Filled box 569, pinned insects. Mailed 12 boxes of specimens. April 23. Purchased some fish. Wrote a letter and sent films to Doctor Wetmore. April 24. I spent some time arranging collecting materials. I am securing instruments for catching water insects more efficiently. I am purchasing carrying boxes for next summer's trip. April 25. Today I took two anthropometrical measurements, making a total of 50 Chinese women. This is doing very well, for all over China it is very hard to measure Chinese women and girls. I'll send reports to Doctor Hrdlicka pretty soon. I am planning to send my carpenter to Mupin to try to secure some good mammal specimens. He will then join us on the Tatsienlu trip. Purchased several good fish. April 26. Purchased some cloth for making oilcloths. Am preparing to send a man into the Mupin district to buy animal specimens. April 27. I find that a number of the foreign missionaries in our mission would like to see me spend all my time in collecting and research work, getting half my salary from or through the Smithsonian Institution and the other half through our mission, spending about half my time collecting for the Smithsonian Institution and the other half building up the museum of the West China Union University. Today I secured a few insects. I had to preach this morning and had an English Bible Class this evening. April 28. Filled boxes 570-573, insects. Giang, the netter, returned from an eight-day collecting trip, filling four boxes with insects. The carpenter-hunter Wang has started to Mupin to secure mammal skins and skeletons.
- 7 - April 29. Giang went again on a three day trip. It is cloudy and raining so he probably will not get much. Mailed four boxes of insects. April 30. I took two more measurements of Chinese men, making a total of 150 men. I have copied all the measurements to date, and will send them off to Doctor Hrdlicka, the last batch, tomorrow. I have already recently mailed two envelop^[[e]]s of measurements to Doctor Hrdlicka. Today it was dark and rainy. Filled box 574 fish, and box 575 bats and skeletons. May 1. Received a telegram requesting me to go to Chungking to meet our foreign secretary, Rev. J. H. Franklin, D. D. Spent some time packing. May 2. Got started at 12 M. No steamers were starting just now, so I went in a small native boat. I took the netter Giang along to net insects in Chung[[strikethrough]]ts[[/strikethrough]]^[[k]]ing. Travelled after dark, reaching Giang an. May 3. Passed Luchow and stopped above Ho Kiang. Soldiers made us cross the river and go ashore. There had been a robbery on the river, and everybody was being searched. We got grounded for a while on the shallows. May 4. Had an up-river wind much of the time. May 5. Reached Chung-king. Faced an up-river wind most of the day. May 6. Sent Giang out to net. Met Doctor Franklin at the wharf. May 7. Sent Giang out to net again. He is to collect here three weeks. Bough^[[t]] ticket and looked after baggage. Made purchase^[[s]] for next summer's trip. May 8. Started for Suifu. The steamer was dreadfully crowded, and there were droves of b[[strikethrough]]a[[/strikethrough]]^[[e]]dbugs in our room. May 9. Reached Luchow. May 10. Reached Suifu.
- 8 - May 11. Labelled box 576, insects. May 12. Mailed two boxes specimens, wrote letters re collecting. Purchased mammal No. 411, worked over accounts. May 16. This week our time is taken up with conferences and committee meetings in connection with the visit of our Foreign Secretary, Doctor Franklin. He has tried to get me to cut out my trip to Tibet next summer, but I have not consented. He is a most likeable man, but he has not a great deal of sympathy with research, especially in the line of natural history. May 19. Purchased a large, elephant-nosed fish, the first caught here for over a year. I'll skin it and send it to the Smithsonian. Our secretary has tried to get me to practically drop my interest in natural science, but I have not consented to do so. May 21. Bought a young owl. Packed box no. 577, fish, 578, mammal skin and snuff bottle. Mailed letter to Doctor Wetmore. May 22. Purchased one rice-paddy hen. May 24. Purchased yesterday two owls of a very large variety, the largest I have ever seen in Szechuan. They were captured in a nest on a high cliff 80 li west of Suifu. Today I purchased mammal no. 412. May 25. Packed box 579. Fish and backbone to large elephant-nose fish. May 26. Purchased a mammal, No. 413. May 27. Purchased some fish, and packed one box of specimens, Box 580, birdskins, box 581, skeletons. May 28. Purchased mammal no. 414, a fox, and an eel, mammal 415. Mailed three boxes of specimens. May 29. Today I began packing for the Tatsienlu trip. May 31. Purchased mammal 416 and some fish.
- 9 - June 1. I measured two Chinese men. I an trying to complete 200 measurements of Chinese men before summer. The weather is hot, and very dry, a draught is threatened. June 2. The netter Giang came back from Chungking with 12 boxes of insects, three snakes, and three bottles of water insects. Boxes 582-593 were insects. I labelled and wrapped these so as to ship them tomorrow. 594, skeletons and insects, 595 snakes, 596 water insects, all the above are are from Chungking excepting the skeletons. The netter has done well in some ways, but poor in one respect. He does not turn back the wings of moths and butterflies when they they are folded the wrong way. Will try to instruct him. June 3. Mailed 15 packages of specimens, nearly all the Chungking catch. June 4. Purchased mammal no. 417, a rabbit. It is a female, about to give birth. June 5. Filled box no. 597, mammal skins. June 6. Mailed box 597, Filled box 598, the skin and nose of the "Elephant-nosed fish." Measured one Chinese male. June 7. Filled box 599, insects. Box 598 is so large that the Postoffice can not accept it. I shall have to send it to Shanghai by a friend or take it myself later when I leave on furlough. I mailed box 599. Purchased mammals nos. 418-419. Filled box 600, snakes etc. Mailed three boxes of specimens in all today, did some packing, and took five measurements. June 9. Filled box no. 601 skeletons. I measured, took anthropometrical measurements of nine Chinese men, making the present total of Chinese men 175. I did some packing. I copied measurements 151-175 and will mail them to Dr. Hrdlicka tomorrow.
-10- I hope to finish measurements of Chinese males, nos. 176-200 before leaving for Mt. Omei, so that I can get them mailed, and so that Doctor Hrdlicka can publish the report of the measurements to date if he wishes to. June 10. Mailed box no. 601. [[whiteout]]skeletons.[[/whiteout]] Took four measurements of Chinese men. Did some packing. June 11. Took four anthropometrical measurements. Netter secured some good insects. The messenger to get Yang Fong Tsang returned. There is a battle going on between robbers and soldiers near Yang's home so the messenger did not reach him. I am sending a letter. July 12. packed box 602, fish[[whiteout]]ed[[/whitout]] and 603, fish and bats. Purchased mammal No. 420. Filled box no. 604, insects. The netter Giang got some good insects, and filled box no. 604. June 13. Wrote letters re collecting to Kiating and to Yachow. Filled box 605, skeletons etc. I took five measurements, anthropometrical. I now lack only seven in order to complete two hundred Chinese males. I am buying each day articles to give as presents next summer to officials and others who grant favors and lend help on the trip. I have received word that the carpenter Wang, whom I sent to Mupin, has gone on to Yao Gih in the hopes of buying good mammal skins. I will have him come out to Mt. Omei to collect there for me until we start on to Tatsienlu. It looks as though Yang Fong Tsang may fail to come along for the Tatsienlu trip. That will be a big handicap. Brigands are threatening the vicinity of his home so much that he may not be able to leave. The messenger I sent did not reach him. I am therefore sending additional letters, to be forwarded by messenger and offering every inducement to get Yang to come. I am having a light attack of malaria, apparently. The germs no doubt
-11- were gotten right here in my home, but if I tell the doctor, he and others will make it an excuse to keep me back from the Tatsienlu trip, so I am keeping it to [[whiteout]]to[[/whitout]] myself and healing or doctoring myself. June 14. The carpenter is making boxes for specimens. Today I took seven anthropometrical measurements, completing the first two hundred. I have copied them, and am sending them to Doctor Hrdlicka. The netter got some good moths. It is getting hot. June 15. This morning I got up and started at 5 A.M. for Beh Son Chi 40 li walking all the way. I reached there at eight o'clock. Then I took a boat and returned to Suifu, arriving at 12 M. In the afternoon I attended a feast where there were some officials and girl students of the government normal school. I gave an address on the life of American women. They were much interested. It rained on the way to Beh Son Chi, and the netter Giang became sick this afternoon, so we got few specimens. I brought three young wild rabbits, mammals nos. 421-423. June 15. The netter Giang worked most of the day, but got only a fair catch. It rained in the afternoon. In the evening I had him practice with the gasolene lanterns, especially lighting them. I purchased another small rabbit, mammal no. 424, and a bird. I did a little packing, preparing for the trip to Mt. Omei and Tatsienlu. Tonight it is raining hard. If the rain should keep up long enough, it might save this district from a rice crop failure. I want to render one more collecting account before leaving. There is a flash-light in the Smithsonian collecting outfit. I took it on the street today, and tried to purchase the electric fillers. The flash-light is out of order and will not work.
-12- June 18. The netter Giang got few insects yesterday. Today is also not a good day. Filled boxes 606, bones; 607 mammal skins, and 608 bird and mammal skins. I sent these boxes to the postoffice. The postmaster told me recently that I mailed more parcel post packages than any other person in Suifu. This is due to the natural history specimens sent to the Smithsonian Institution. I spent part of the time today packing. Giang got a fair catch of night insects. Filled box 609, insects. June 19. Worked on the new Coleman gasoline lantern which is working poorly. It improved a little. June 20. Yesterday I went to Li Chuang. The netter got some night insects. We returned this morning. We spent all the time we had packing. It will hustle us to get through packing so as to get off Tuesday. Giang got a large black snake. Filled boxes 610, 611, insects. The netter Lai has still failed to show up, and he is overdue. He may delay my getting to Mt. Omei. June 21. Mailed three boxes of specimens. Purchased mammal no. 425. Lai arrived with a lot of insects. Boxes from Kuanshien, Szechuan, Chin[[strikethrough]]s[[/strikethrough]]^[[a]] I do not know the exact altitudes. Boxes no. 612-629, arrived. Insects 630-638 water insects, etc. 639 insects in bottles. The netter Lai arrived today, several days' late. He was robbed and relieved of a small sum of money on the way down the river. He had eighteen boxes of insects (winged) and over 20 bottles full of water insects. The foreigner who was watching Lai at Chengtu and Kuanshien had him put too little formalin in the bottles, so some of the insects are practically
-13- spoiled. I have put stronger formalin in the bottles with the hope of saving the specimens. We labelled and wrapped 28 boxes of specimens. I sent 18 of these to the postoffice, and will send the rest tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon I hope to label all those in which I added formalin, sending them to the postoffice Monday morning. I regret very much that Yang Fong Tsang is not here. He is in many ways most useful man in the lot to have along and I will be handicapped without him. I spent a good deal of time reckoning with the collectors. I hoped to get the accounts worked out, and sent to the Smithsonian Institution, but will probably not succeed until after I start for Kiating. I'll probably have to work the account out while on the boat between here and Kiating. June 22. Labelled boxes 640-649, insects secured in the water near Kuanshien, Szechuan, China, and 650, one mammal and one bird skin. 651, bird skeleton and animal skeleton. This morning I got up before five o'clock and left at 5:15 for Beh Sou Chi. We got a few insects on the way. I noticed a peculiar black dragon fly that I have seen before at the large pond or small lake which is about 25 li from Suifu on the road from Suifu to Beh So[[strikethrough]]n[[/strikethrough]]^[[u]] Chi. I have seen it nowhere else. I have tried to catch this dragon fly before, but I think I always failed. Today I caught one and showed it to the netter Giang, and pointed out others fluttering over the lake. I later sent him back to the lake to get as many as possible. There seemed to be an unusual number out today. I promised him ten cents for every five he caught, as a special reward. He went at it with a vim. He took off all his clothing and waded deep into the lake. To my surprise he got thirty. I expect[[strikethrough]]ed[[/strikethrough]] to send them off soon. Jun 23. Filled and labelled boxes 652-655, water insects from Kuanshien. I sent all these packages to the postoffice, a total of forty-four boxes mailed in three days.
-14- Yang Fong Tsang arrived this afternoon. He has been commandeered and compelled to supervise some coolies, so he has been unable to collect. However, he brought in ten snakes and three birds, and one mammal, No. 426. I have packed these, boxes 656-662, snakes and box 663, birds and mammal skin. This makes a total of 52 boxes mailed by me during the past few days-or will when these eight boxes are mailed. Last summer I had five Chinese collectors helping me. This year I will have seven. Besides, I expect to get a few Tibetan hunters to go after large mammals. I'll probably be kept very busy labelling specimens and boxes. June 24. This morning I mailed eight boxes of specimens, making a total of 52 in the last few days. Lai and Giang got good catches of insects last night. This morning I visited the magistrate to see about a soldier escort to Kiating. He is very friendly, and promised to appoint the soldiers all right. I paid the boat captain part of his money to Kiating. I have spent much time today packing. I will mail this Diary tomorrow. I leave Suifu Thursday, June 26. I will spend three or four days on Mt. Omei, then go west to Tibet.