Diary D, July 3, 1934-October 31, 1934

ID: SIA RU007148

Creator: Graham, David Crockett

Form/Genre: Fieldbook record

Date: 1934

Citation: David Crockett Graham Papers, 1923-1936

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This field book is a diary from 3 July to 31 October 1934. This journal documents Graham's visit to the Szechuan-Yunnan border region. Graham provides a narrative description of daily activities. More information is provided for mammals including their collector numbers and common names. Mammal numbers range from 1359-1370. Graham also collects birds and possibly other types of specimens. Much of these notes relate to packing specimen for shipment.

Date Range


Start Date

Jul 03, 1934

End Date

Oct 31, 1934

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
  • Birds
  • Mammalogy
  • Ornithology


  • Sichuan
  • China
  • Yunnan
  • Leshan


  • 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


Box 2 Folder 4

DIARY D Summer collecting trip, July and August 1934 Beginning July 3, 1934, and ending [[strikethrough]] October 30, 1934 [[/strikethrough]] ^[[[Oct 31, 1934]]] Relating to the collecting of natural history specimens for the Smithsonain Institution by - David C. Graham First skin of mammal, No. 1359. First box, No. 346 July 3, 1934. Started late in the afternoon from Chengtu by boat. We had some trouble securing passports, because of the inefficiency of some Chinese clerks, but are finally supplied with plenty of passports. We reached Kiating in the afternoon of July 4, and sent the Smithsonian skins up to the Baptist compound for storage. On the morning of July 5 we started for Mount Omei, arriving July 6, about 11 AM. I have with me on Mt. Omei Mr. Pen of the West China Union University and Yao, the netter. July 7. Bought a baby black monkey. We are working at insect catching but luck is medium so far. July 10. We have a few good frogs etc. So far no snakes. The Black monkey is 1359. July 17. Filled Box 346 Insects. value $3.00. Box 347, mammal skin No. 1359. Box 348. Insects, $3.00. This morning my wife had a very bad case of palpitation of the heart. It certainly scared me. I am preparing to leave tomorrow for the summer collecting trip. Yesterday Mr. Pen got a wild rat, mammal 1360. July 18. Went to Kiating. On the way a coolie became so ill. It looked as though he would die. Chinese were going to bleed him and do other things that would probably have injured him or possibly caused his death. I took charge, and had him on his feet in a short time. It looked like a marvellous cure to the Chinese, and they thought I used very fine medicine.
-2- I expected the Suifu boat to be ready for me at Kiating, but there was a bad slip-up and no boat had been engaged. We had to take our loads to the home of the Jensens, and try to hire a boat. The boatmen began to ask exorbitant prices. July 19. The boatmen were so unreasonable in their prices that I took the steamer to Suifu. The steamer turned out to be cheaper by one half, and saved a day's travel for us, excepting that for the shipment of mammal skins I will have to pay extra freight charges. By taking the steamer I reach Suifu today instead of tomorrow afternoon. P.M. We reached Suifu just before dark with Suifu old friends to help. We got off the steamer and through customs nicely. Dr. Tompkins entertained me at his home and helped out in many ways. July 20. I got up early and went to the steamer to forward the specimens. The price charged was very reasonable. Then I called on the Military official and the civil magistrate. They received me very cordially and gave me additional passports. A runner was appointed to escort us. Dr. Tompkins appointed his business manager to help so we were able to travel all afternoon, so we are a day faster than if we started tomorrow. The magistrate gave me some very fine tea leaves. We started right after dinner and took a small boat to L[[underlined]]o[[/underlined]]^[[a]]n Guang. Had to take two boats to Yoh Keo. Arrived after dark. Went to the Yoh Keo [[underlined]] Institute [[/underlined]] ^[[Militia]] to secure an escort. ^[[H]][[underlined]] F [[/underlined]]ired. July 21. Travelled through Sa Ho E (SA-HO-E) Hua Tan^[[1]] Chiao^[[2]], Eighty li. Had a soldier escort most of the way. There is one place called Da-Er-O where robbers occasionally appear. During the day it rained most of the time, so we caught nothing. The rain became a downpour just before we reached our destination. Our bedding and clothing got wet. At Hua Tan Chiao I met some old Chinese friends. I am in territory were I travelled and worked more or less for twenty years, so I meet old friends in nearly every village. There are yellow monkeys a few miles from this place.
-3- July 22. Reached Kongshien about 1 PM. Met magistrate and local official at Cheo Jia Geo where I expect to collect first. Also met a Mao Chief. Spent part of the afternoon fixing nets etc. for the insect netting. July 23. We got up at first break of day. The coolies have become very tired, and the road is bad, so I had to stop at Di^[[3]] Dong 4 Pae[[superscript]] 3 [[/superscript]] ^[[?]] for the night. There is evidence of a regular cloudburst in this section. Roads are in bad condition. It was cloudy all day, so there were not many insects. So far it has not been a good time for collecting. After supper the educational director and the military officer of the town came and requested me to let the crowd hear the victrola, which I did. We had quite a long visit. July 24. Reached Cheo Jia Geo. We are living in a temple used by the militia, and the town school is in this. Three months ago some building robbers raided this place, killed four, and wounded many, taking rifles and looting. We got some strange butterflies. In one place, a large stream comes out of the mountain side. There are lots of leopards around here, but they are hard to find. There are also bands of monkeys. I went hunting and found nothing. July 25. This morning I climbed a high mountain to hunt monkeys. I saw them but did not get a shot at them. Then I went down the valley. The four netters have to do only day netting because the moon is at its full and is shining all night. We are in bad luck for night moths, for they can not be caught by night lanterns when the moon is at its full. Robbers made a road only five miles, 15 li, from here today and it is feared that they may raid this place soon. The militia is much excited. We'll have to clear out of here tomorrow afternoon; and seek a safer place in which to collect.
-4- This is a paradise for geologists, as there is a great abundance of fossils. We are gathering a few. July 26. In the morning I went to the home of Yang Tong Tsang who was burnt to death last fall. The four netters worked for day insects. In the afternoon we travelled to Di Dong Pu[[superscript]] 3 [[/superscript]] ^[[?]]. The militia was much scared because of the activity of the.brigands and last night were on the qui ^[[?]] vine all night. Several of the coolies are suffering from sore shoulders. The officials at Cheo Jia Geo and Di Dong Pu^[[?]] have been very friendly. We got a good catch of insects yesterday and today. July 27. We got up at daybreak and travelled to Shang Lo. There was hard climbing part of the way. Two^[[?]] of the netters had a fracus with a next of large wasps or yellow jackets and one got stung above the eye.At first the people of Shang Lo were very suspicious, but they finally became very friendly and invited us to make our headquarters in one of the public schools, where it is quite convenient and clean. This will be a lean year for collecting, one of the leanest I have had, but we will do our best. I sent the Miao guide to the Miao country to get into touch with the Miaos, who are good hunters, and in whose region hunting and collecting ought to be best. July 28. The moon is our arch enemy this trip. It is now at full moon, and out practically all night, making night-moth catching impossible. There is not much to catch during the daytime excepting bees and wasps. Today we moved to Lo[[superscript]] 2 [[/superscript]] Shin[[superscript]] 1 [[/superscript]] Du[[superscript]] 4 [[/superscript]], a better place and center from which to work. I am trying to hard to get into touch with the Chuan Miao aborigines so as to hire some of their hunters. This morning I came to this town and interviewed the head officer of the village. He assured me it would be all right for me to move here and occupy a temple. I went back to Shang Lo and moved everything here. The temple Buddhist in the temple went on a great tirade about our occupying the temple but now she is as nice as pie.
-5- July 29. This morning at daybreak I sent a messenger into the Miao country. He returned with no results. I wanted to get an invitation to stay among them and to get their hunters to working. I then went up myself. After awhile I met some old friends. I visited several homes, and then the school. I was given a royal welcome at the Miao school. All the pupils lined up and saluted and sang a special song of welcome they had made up. They used flags or banners, and a bugle. There were many visitors. One of the leading Miao invited us to stay at his house. Then I returned for dinner at the temple at Lo Shin Du. Practically all the officials and gentry of the town came to the temple to visit. I showed them the guns. I saw only one bird worth shooting and it was behind a limb so I did not get it. We got a good catch of bees, but not a great deal else. Two delegates from the Miaos called urging me to go into their district. We received an invitation from the teachers and educational officers of Lo Biao to call on them. I am going there tomorrow. Next day I will move to the Miao home. One reason I am going to Lo Biao is to secure money sufficient to use. The moon came up at 8 oclock tonight, so we got a few night insects. Box 349 Insects from Kongshie district, near Lo Shin. Du alt 1600 to 2200 feet. Box 350 same as above. July 30. Went to Loh Biao to secure money but was unsuccessful. Secured it later in the day at Lo[[superscript]]2[[/superscript]] Shin[[superscript]]1[[/superscript]] Du[[superscript]]4[[/superscript]]. Had a very fine welcome at the school, and [[underlined]]gather[[/underlined]] important people. ^[[by other]] Visited the "white men's graves" on nearby cliffs and took notes and pictures etc. Returned late. Only a fair catch of insects, and one snake. July 31. Several Miao came to act as guides, to lead us to the home of the Chuan Miao. M.^[[r]]. Tao. At the top of the hill the school children and teacher marched out with flags and bugle to welcome us, and escorted us to the home of Mr. Ta^[[']]o. [[note in right margin - Mr. Tao]]
-6- This is the poorest year for catching insects I have seen. Positively, it is a lean year. The netters put out traps in the woods last night. We use the night lanterns every night, but the stars are very bright, and the results are very meagre. There are lots of fossils and we are gathering some, but of course they are very heavy, and complicate the matter of transportation. The collectors are very disappointed and complain of the ill luck. Labelled boxes 351-3, Insects from the Kongshien district. Aug. 1. The Chuan Miao gave me a great ceremonious welcome today. Fourteen years ago I was instrumental in starting the first primary school among them here, and it is still thriving. A graduate has finished high school. The nearby Chinese official was present. There was singing, exercises by the students, folk dancing, etc. The netters have worked hard all day. A good snake was caught. Last night at Loh Biao there was a fight between brigands and the militia. The brigands escaped. Shooting was not advisable today. The collectors are putting out more traps tonight. So far night-moth catching has been very unfruitful, because of unfavorable weather. Aug. 2. We are positively having the worst luck I have ever had collecting. There seem to be no wild mountain mice, and practically no other mammals here. The insects are scarce, and they do not come to the night lanterns. Several times there have been thunder storms in the afternoon, as there was today, but always the stars shine brightly at night. We are getting more bees and wasps than anything else. The altitude here is 3000 feet. Aug. 3. Got a few insects and one snake. Another heavy thunder and rain storm this afternoon, and again tonight the stars are shining brightly. Luck is certainly against us this year. Aug. 4. For the first time tonight we have had a tiny bit of luck. Some fine moths have come to the night lanterns. We are planning to go to Mt. Omei and see what we can catch on the way to the top of Mt. Omei. Maybe we can have better luck there.
-7- Aug. 5. Last night for the first time the sky was very cloudy, there was thunder and rain, and moths came to the lanterns. The collectors were delighted and want to delay our departure. We got some strange-looking moths, quite a few of which were large. Filled Box 354, fossils from the limestone hills near Kongshien. Aug. 6. Mr. San took the gun and went hunting. I spent much time packing specimens. We dried three boxes of insects. They are Boxes No. 355-357, Insects. I also filled several boxes with bottled insects, but am not numbering them yet. I killed three birds and Mr. San several. Aug. 7. We got some good day insects today, several snakes, and two bats. Tonight the stars are out. [[underlined]] Filled Box 358, [[/underlined]] Insects alt 3000 feet. Aug. 8. We went to Lo Shin Du, and there took boats to Sang Lo. It was an exceedingly hot day and would have killed off several coolies if they had carried all the way to Di Dong Pcu, where we are tonight. As it is, one coolie is laid off because of the heat. It has not rained here for a long time, so insects are few. We got a small number on the way. The gang of brigands who were at Lo Biao a few days ago are now in this vicinity. They are in striking distance of us tomorrow. We will therefore have a military escort. We had one this morning, as we passed a spot where robbers occasionally appear. Today I saw one of the strangest phenomenon that I ever saw. If I had not actually seen it I would have doubted it. The sky was clear almost everywhere, and the very few clouds to be seen anywhere were so thin you could see the blue sky through them. But it rained, and there was a large and brilliant rainbow to the northeast. It barely sprinkled where we were, but there were no clouds above us for a long distance. Aug. 9. Reached Kongshien. The mother of the robber chief that escaped from Loh Biao is in captivity at Kongshien. The chief and his band are not far from here, and were in striking distance, with his band today, but I had a good escort and he did not strike. I am to have a good
-8- soldier escort tomorrow. The chief would doubtless like to get hold of a foreigner for a ransom, demanding the release of his mother, etc. It behooves the officials to get me out safely. The local official has been very friendly. There is a regular draught here now, and insects are very scarce. This excursion is much like that to Ningyüanfu a few years ago. Aug. 10. The draught continues. The weather is extremely hot. We got up very early and got 80 li to Hara' ^[[?]] Tan[[superscript]] 1 [[/superscript]] Chiao[[superscript]] 2 [[/superscript]] by 12 o'clock. After that we travelled slowly to Sa Ho E. Mr. San, one of the collectors, went to his home at Shuin Guin Sï and rejoined us at Sa Ho E today. He met a man that had just been robbed by three brigands. We have a fine escort of ten soldiers. There are very few insects in this section now. Aug. 11. We got up very early and reached Yoh Ke^[[']]o[[superscript]] 3 [[/superscript]] by three o'clock, and Lan Guang by 12.00 oclock, Suifu by four oclock. Spent the night in the Tompkins home, but left all the baggage in the godown of the Steamship Company. Had a good bath. Aug. 12. After breakfast I went to the steamer, bought tickets, got all the baggage onto the steamer. The steamer started off about eleven o'clock. This was a very large steamer, the Min Chiang. We reached Gioh Ch^[[']]i where we spent the night. The weather was cool and cloudy. Aug. 13. The steamer started at daybreak. An uneventful trip to Kiating. We get to Kiating just at dark. We had a hard time settling with the coolies and boatmen, and finally getting coolies to the mountains. Stayed at Jensens. Aug. 14. Went to Omeishien and stopped for the night in little Buddhist temple just outside the south gate of Omeishien. Fixed the gasolene lanterns and put kerosene in the kerosene lanterns. Aug. 15. Reached Shin Kai Shï about 12 oclock, noon. Prepared collectors for a trip. A fair catch of night moths.
-9- Aug. 16. Sent the four collectors off on collecting trips, the Pen brothers to the top of the mountain, and San and Yao to the Sï[[superscript]] 4 [[/superscript]] Gi Pïn[[superscript]] 2 [[/superscript]]. Spent most of the day getting ready. Aug. 17. Ho and Zen, the two collectors who went to Kueichow and Yunnan, arrived today. They report a moderate catch. Aug. 18. I went hunting with the shotgun and secured only one bird. The moon is coming out, so the catch of night moths is slim. Zen watched the light all night until daylight last night. Aug. 19. Rain and fog. Aug. 20. Filled Box 359, Insects from Shin Kai Shï Mt. Omei in small bottles. Box 362-3 Boxes of insects from Shin Kai Shï Aug. 15-20, 1934. Yao returned from the Sï Gi Pïn[[superscript]] 2 [[/superscript]] and the two Pen brothers from the Golden Summit, with their catches. The Pen brothers report a good catch of snakes and insects. Aug. 21. Yesterday we secured a coral or a small barking deer, or mountain goat. Mammal No. 1361. [[underlined]] Filled boxes 364-7, [[/underlined]] Insects from Mount Omei. Yesterday I mailed nine boxes of specimens. Secured mammal 1362 a male small deer. Aug. 22. Took care of the deer hides. A box of insects came from the Sï Gi Pïn, [[underlined]] Box No. 368. [[/underlined]] Aug. 23. [[underlined]] Filled Box 369, [[/underlined]] from Shin Kai Sï, Mt. Omei, and elsewhere on Mt. Omei. Mr. San and Yao are collecting at the Sï Gi P[[superscript]] c [[/superscript]]in. The other collectors are working here. The catch is not large each day. Last night there was a thunderstorm and after two o'clock we got a few night moths. It is now full moon nearly all the night, so night moth-catching is not very fruitful. Aug. 24. Mailed specimens to Shanghai.
-10- August 25. Filled Boxes 370-371, animal bones, value 3.00 and 4.00 each. Boxes 372-3 animal skins, value $3.00 each. Mr. San and Yao returned from the Sï Gi Pin[[superscript]]2[[/superscript]] with a small number of specimens including the boxes of insects and two good snakes. Aug. 26. Filled boxes 374-5, Insects from the Sï Gi P[[superscript]]c[[/superscript]]in Mt. Omei alt 6000 to 7000 ft. [[underlined]]Filled Box 376,[[/underlined]] insects in bottles & fossils etc. Purchased a female deer or mountain goat without horns, and a black money that is nearly grown. Aug. 27. Mailed total of 22 boxes of specimens. Skinned female deer, [[underlined]]Mammal 1363. Male Monkey, black, 1364.[[/underlined]] Spent much time packing to go down the mountain. Aug. 28. I had to go to Omeishien to secure money for the trip, and we all spent the day getting ready for the trip to Chengtu. There are rumors that the Military governor of Szechuan may be removed, and civil war may ensue. We packed carefully all the specimens not yet forwarded to Shanghai. Aug. 29. Went overland to Tengshu Miao and by boat to Kiating. We had been promised money for the trip to Chengtu by the Bank of China and when we went to get the notes they were Chungking bank notes that could not be used at all. I had to get money from the Postoffice, but finally succeeded in doing so. I have a very large boat, a fine one that does not leak. The six collectors take a lot of space. Aug. 30. We started by moonlight before daybreak, and made 90 li to Han[[superscript]]4[[/superscript]] Yang[[superscript]]2[[/superscript]] Ba[[superscript]]4[[/superscript]]. ^[[?]] Sept. 1, 2. Travelled up the Min River above Mei Chow, towards Chengtu. Sept. 3. Reached Giang K'eo. Sept. 4. Travelled 50 li to Fin[[superscript]]2[[/superscript]] Jia[[superscript]]1[[/superscript]] Ba[[superscript]]4[[/superscript]] (nearly) crossed several bad rapids, made worse by the large number of boats trying to cross. Sept. 5. Made good speed. Sept. 6. Reached Chengtu by sending all baggage overland.
-11- Sept. 7. Much unpacking. Sept. 8. Worked with specimens and accounts. Sept. 9. Today I looked over the skins purchased last summer and find them in much better condition than I expected. I will ship them as soon as I can. Sept. 10. Sent the netter Yao to Kuanshien. Some of the Yunnan insects were dried in the oven. Sept. 11. Prepared to send the netter Ren to Beh Luh ^[[?]] Din. Packed and labelled some of the specimens from Kueichow and Yunnan Province. I find that the summer collection is strong in snakes and frogs and lizzards and insects in formalin, but rather weak in dried insects, birds, and mammals. Sept. 12. Spent much time labelling specimens in bottles. Ren left for Beh Luh Din. Sept. 13. Wrapped two small boxes for shipping. Sept. 14. Wrapped five insect boxes for shipping. Box 377 contains animal bones, value 4.00. Box 378 contains animal bones, value $6.00. Box 379 contains a white panda skin, No. 1347, value $15.00. Box 380 contains Bones value 10.00 Box 381 contains a wild ox skin No. 1348, ^[[?]] value 20.00. Box 382 contains a white panda skin value $15.00, No. 1348.^[[?]] Box 383 contains a white panda skin No. 1349, $15.00. Box 384 contains a wild ox skin, value 20.00, No. 1344. Sept. 15. Filled Box 385, snakes value $3.00, also Boxes 386-8, snakes, value $3.00 each. Mailed seven boxes of specimens. I am trying to get the specimens on hand shipped away as rapidly as possible. Boxes 389-92, Insects from Chengtu July and August 1934.
-12- Sept. 16. Labelled boxes 393-399, all insects from Chengtu, Szechuan, China, alt. 1700 ft, (1700 ft.) July and Aug. 1934. Also wrapped eleven boxes of insects for shipping Sept. 17. Filled boxes 400 to 405, Insects from Kueichow and Yunnan Provinces, and wrapped them. Sept. 18. Filled boxes 406 - 411. Mailed six boxes of specimens. Sept. 19. Mailed eleven boxes. Filled boxes 412-422 Snakes, lizards and frogs, value $3.00 each. Mailed eleven boxes of specimens. Sept. 20. Filled boxes 423 - 432 Snakes, lizards, frogs, etc. also snails. Mailed 10 boxes of Specimens. Sept. 21. Mailed 12 boxes of specimens. Packed Box 433, Snake Box 434, Insects Box 435, frogs. Box 436, Snakes and lizards 437, Snake 438, frogs 439-40 Insects Sept. 22. Mailed twelve boxes of specimens. Packed boxes 441-443, Insects 444-446, Snakes. Sept. 24. Mailed 11 boxes, labelled and packed Boxes 447, Snakes, 448-50, Insects. Sept. 25. Labelled and packed boxes 451-464 Insects in bottles. Mailed ten boxes of specimens. Today mailed 10 boxes of specimens. Sept. 26. I bought a snow leopard skin, at $30.00, a low price. Mammal No. 1365. Packed this in Box 365. The Snow leopard is a rare species found in the high mountains on the China-Tibetan border. The netter Yao came back from Kuanshien with four boxes of insects. Boxes Nos. 466-469. Altitude from 2000 to 3000 feet. Filled Box 470, animal skeleton etc. Box 471, Insects and frogs.
-13- Sept. 28. Packed boxes 472, snake and frogs 473, 2 animal skins 474 frogs 475, Snakes 476, Snakes 477, Insects 478, Snakes and Snails. Sept. 30. I am sending a shipment of eight boxes of skins and bones to Shanghai to be forwarded to the United States. I am dropping one of my collectors to save expenses. Oct. 1. Labelled birds and mammals No. 1366, Rat from Shih^[[?]] Men Kan[[superscript]]3[[/superscript]] Kneachow province 1367, 1368, 1369 rats from the same place, also 1370. Labelled some birds from Shih Men Kan Kueichow Province, China. Ren returned from Beh Luh Din. Oct. 5. Got Ho Son Chuen ready for a collecting trip. Ren left Tuesday or Wednesday for Beh Luh Din again. Oct. 8. Skinner Ho went to Yin Shin Wan on a collecting trip. Ren and Yao are both out collecting insects. Oct. 9. Labelled Box 479, 481, Insects from Beh Luh Din Szechuan, China. Boxes 482-484, birdskins. Oct. 10. Filled Box 485, Bird skeleton, value $3.00 Box 486, Birdskins, value 10.00. Oct. 17. I am mailing to Dr. Wetmore my diary until July 1, 1934. Dean C.^[[?]] This diary should be mailed before long. Oct. 18. Yao returned today with some insects and a few frogs. Almost every day has been cold and rainy. Oct. 19. Filled [[underlined]] boxes 487-490, [[/underlined]] Insects from Kuenshien. Oct. 20. Mailed twelve boxes of specimens, one large, to the Smithsonian Institution.
-14- Oct. 26. Filled boxes 491-3, Insects from Beh Luh Din altitude 5000 feet. Boxes 494-7, frogs. 498, Insects from Beh Luh Din. The collector Zen returned yesterday from Beh Luh Din. Oct. 27. We mailed eight packages of specimens. Ren is starting tomorrow on another collecting trip. Oct. 30. I have just checked up to date the financial account. I am absolutely flabbergasted to know that I have used more money than there is on hand at Shanghai. I shall have to further cut down the collecting for the present, and do it on a smaller scale. Oct. 31. I have sent two airmail letters to Dr. Wetmore acquainting him with the situation, and am mailing a lot of receipts tomorrow. I shall have to carry the expenses of collecting out of my own pocket until the next check arrives from Washington, D. C. I will mail these soon so that these will be in Washington, D. C. on account of the Summer collecting trip. I have kept no copies of Diaries B, C D. If there are duplicate copies in Washington, D. C. that can be spared, I'd appreciate them.