Diary E, November 1, 1934-October 25, 1935

ID: SIA RU007148

Creator: Graham, David Crockett

Form/Genre: Fieldbook record

Date: 1934-1935

Citation: David Crockett Graham Papers, 1923-1936

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Graham, David Crockett


This field book is a diary from 1 November 1934 to 25 October 1935. This journal documents Graham's visit to Mt. Omei (currently Emei Shan) vicinity and 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 1371-1434. Graham also collects insects and possibly other types of specimens. Much of these notes relate to packing specimen for shipment.

Date Range


Start Date

Nov 01, 1934

End Date

Oct 25, 1935

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.


  • Entomology
  • Mammalogy


  • Sichuan
  • China
  • Emei Shan
  • 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 5

^[[[Nov. 1, 1934-Oct. 25, 1935]]] [[circled]] ^[[1]] [[/circled]] David C. Graham, Diary No. E. Beginning Nov. 1, 1934. The first skin is mammal No. 1371. The first box of specimens is Box No. 499. Nov.1 - Yaw came in with three boxes of insects. Filled box 499. Snakes - Value $30.00. Nov.10 - Mailed one box of specimens. Filled boxes 500-502. Insects from near Huanshix at Zen Shinhan. Nov.16 - The collector Zen returned last night with two boxes of specimens and the mammal hunter came in today with a big catch of mammals. Filled boxes 503-504. Insects from the fort of Beh Luh Din, altitude about 3000 feet. Box 505, insects and fossils. Value $30.00. Nov.17 - Partly to cut down expense I am sending one collector, Mr. Zen, home for about a three months' vacation without salary. The mammal hunter has brung in a large catch, and an expensive one. I may have to limit what the collector of big mammals does because of shortness of funds. Nov.24 - I am including this red panda with the idea that its skin may be used for patching another red panda hide. I am having these hides and skulls all boxed up for shipment. Dec. 2 - The Smithsonian account is overdrawn at Shanghai, so I am selling all the mammmals mentioned above to Dr. Harold Smith of Upsala, Sweden, to be taken to the Swedish Museum. I am hoping that money will arrive in time so that I can buy and keep the skins the hunter brings back next time. Mammal number 1374 is retained. Mammals 1371, 1372, 1373, 1375, 1376, 1377, 1378 must be renumbered as new mammal skins when they arrive. Dec. 9 - Ho Son^[[u]] Chuen and Yaw ^[[Yao]] have arrived with small catches. There is a porcupine and a very large eagle. Mammal 1371, porcupine, $4.00. There were five good pheasant skins, three useless. [[two columns]] [[first column]] Mammal 1372, Red panda with skeleton, Value - Mammal 1373, Wild cat Mammal 1376, 1377, 1378, Squirrels Mammal 1379, Wild rat, large Mammal 1380, squirrel Mammal 1381, mole Mammal 1382, rat Mammal 1383, mole Mammal 1384, mole Mammal 1385, mole Mammal 1386, mouse Mammal 1387, mole Mammal 1388, mole Mammal 1389, mole Mammal 1390, mole Mammal 1391, mole Mammal 1392, mole [[/first column]] [[second column]] Mammal 1393, mole Mammal 1394, mole Mammal 1395, mole Mammal 1396, mole Mammal 1397, mole Mammal 1398, mouse Mammal 1399, mouse Mammal 1400, mouse Mammal 1401, mole Mammal 1402, mole Mammal 1403, mouse Mammal 1404, mole Six birds. [[/second column]]
^ [[2]] Dec.13 - Reckoned with the skinner, Ho Son ^ [[u]] Chuen, who will go home soon for a months vacation or more. He will be with me on my trips next year. Dec.24 - Labelled boxes 506 - 507. Insects collected near Wen Chuan about Nov. 15th to Dec. 5th, 1934. Mammal 1374 also 1375, left out so far. Dec.31 - Filled and labelled boxes 508 - 509, mice and rats from near Wen Chuan Shien. Carter and Shelden left today for the United States. Just now we are more hampered than we have been for years because of shortage of money. Jan. 1 - Yaw ^ [[o]] has returned, hard up financially to work. I expected him to come back about February first. He says that his uncle has deprived him of his property and driven him away from home. Today I had the carpenter make boxes for shipping specimens. Jan. 7 - Filled box 510. Animal skins, Value - $5.00. Box 511, Animal skins, porcupine, rats. Box 512, birdskins, $5.00. Box 513, animal bones, $5.00. Box 514, package animal skins, Value $3.00. There is a rumor that the communists may attack Southern Szechuar, and they are attacking Northern Szechuar. It is possible that we may have to evacuate Szechuar sooner or later. Box 515, birdskins, Value - $3.00. Jan.11 - There are rumors that the communists from all over China are concentrating on Szechuar Province, and may begin their attack at any time. Jan.12 - The mammal collector has arrived with a collection of mammals. Jan.18 - The collector has a very large collection of large mammals. I have bought them at a cheap price, comparatively. I will sell off some of them that we do not need and send the rest to the Smithsonian Institution as soon as I can. I do not know how soon that will be. I have five white pandas with skeletons and will sell off four of them. I view of the many letters I have sent asking that money be forwarded, I assume that there must be money on hand at Shanghai. Jan.23 - No. 28, Mammal 1405, Musk deer No. 26, Mammal 1406, Musk deer No. 30, Mammal 1407, Musk deer No. 27, Mammal 1409, Musk deer No. 25, Mammal 1410, Musk deer No. 23, Mammal 1411, Cliff goat No. 19, Mammal 1412, Cliff goat No. 24, Mammal 1413, Cliff goat No. 22, Mammal 1414, Cliff goat No. 21, Mammal 1415, Cliff goat
[[circled]] ^[[3]] [[/circled]] No. 20, Mammal 1416, Cliff goat No. 18, Mammal 1417, Zillon martin No. 17, Mammal 1418, Wakair No. 16, Mammal 1419, White panda No. 14, Mammal 1420, White panda No. Mammal 1421, Wild boar No. Mammal 1422, Porcupine No. Mammal 1423, Porcupine No. 3, Mammal 1424, Black deer No. 5, Mammal 1425, Black deer No. 7, Mammal 1426, Black deer No. 2, Mammal 1427, Black deer No. 8, Mammal 1428, Black deer No. 10, Mammal 1429, Cliff ass No. 9, Mammal 1430, Cliff goat No. 11, Mammal 1431, Cliff goat No. 12, Mammal 1432, Cliff goat No. 13, Mammal 1433, Cliff goat No. 4, Mammal 1434, White panda. Jan.25 - Filled Boxes 516 - 517. Mountain goat skins 6 518, Musk deer - $5.00 519, Mountain goat - 6.00 520, Mountain goat - 7.00 521 - 522, Mountain goat 6.00 each 523, Animal skins - 6.00 524, Animal skins - 7.00 525, Animal skins - 5.00 526, Animal skins - 5.00 527, Animal skins - 5.00 528, Animal skins - 7.00 529, Animal skins - 7.00 530, Animal skins - 8.00 531, Animal skins - 6.00 532, Animal skins - 6.00 533, Animal skins - 6.10 534, Animal skins - 6.10 Jan.28 - Mailed sixteen large boxes of specimens, all animal skins. I have fired the hunter who collected animal skins, because he brought in skins I said we did not want. Today I had to fire the netter Yao, who has been getting worse and worse, and today ruined a leopard skin instead of taking time to fix it right. He has been doing ragged work for a long time and. Jan.24 - Box 535, animal skins, $5.00. I have sent recently eighteen boxes of animal skins and skeletons overland to Chungking. The route via Suipir by river was too uncertain because of low water level and brigands. Mar.17 - Tomorrow the collector Zen goes to Beh Luh Din to catch insects. Mar.28 - I have taken a quick trip to Suipe and brought back the skinner whom I will put to work at once. Exchange is the lowest it has been for years. That means I have much less to work with. The hunter has brought in some skins. I will keep two or three that are useful and sell the rest to Yenching University. He has brought a live blue mountain sheep.
Mar.30 - I have purchased a fine big blue mountain sheep with skin and skeleton, and another skin and skeleton. Apr. 6 - Started the netter Zen to Beh Luh Din to net a couple of weeks. Mammal 1435 is an otter - $20.00. Box 536, bones. Box 521. Mammal 1436, mountain goat, value $7.00. Box 537, skins. Box 518, bones. Mammal 1437, blue mountain goat - $20.00. Box 519, skeleton. Box 522, skins. Box 521, blue mountain sheep skeleton. Box 522, insects from Beh Luh Din. Box 523, insects from Beh Luh Din. We are wrapping all these and will ship them as quickly as possible. Apr. 9 - Mailed five boxes of specimens and applied for permission to ship two larger boxes overland. The Communist threat is very serious. We are living in hope. Apr.10 - Mailed one box of specimens. Apr.15 - We have been ordered by the Chengtu general to evacuate because he could not give us protection. The Communists are very strong in North Szechuan and constitute a real threat to the Province. We are not intending to leave unless there is greater evidence of imminent danger. Apr.18 - Zen started on a new trip to Beh Luh Din. He came back two days ago with three boxes of specimens. The Government troops have fought an important battle and have been defeated north of Chengtu and the authorities of Chengtu are advising us to evacuate. We are hanging on hoping that this will not be necessary. I would be sending Ho out on a collecting expedition but there is no telling what may take place within the next few days. Apr.19 - Filled and labelled boxes 524 - 525, insects from Beh Luh Din, altitude 4500 feet. Apr.20 - There is better news from the front, and everybody is more optimistic than before. May 22 - Filled and labelled boxes 526 - 527, insects from Beh Luh Din, altitude 4000 to 6000 feet. June 22 - Filled and labelled boxes 528 - 530, insects from Kuanshien, Szechuan, China, altitude about 4000 feet to 5000 feet.
June 22 - About May 2nd I sent the netter Zen to Kuanshien. About June 1 he started back to Chengtu. Meanwhile the Communists had started back to Kuanshien and had captured Mavchow and Weichow. Some soldiers mistook Zen for a communist spy and put him into prison where he remained for several days. It was with much difficulty that I got him free and the soldiers threatened to execute him as a spy. Later I sent Zen to Mt. [[underlined]] Omer [[/underlined]] ^[[Omei]] to collect on high altitudes until my arrival. I am now collecting birds through Mr. A. P. [[underlined] Inventin [[/underlined]] ^[[Quentin]] of Kiating and expect to continue it during next year. I have been unable to send Ho out to collect because of the communists. July 3 - I am starting for Mt. Omer ^[[Omei]] soon. A netter is working on Mt. Omer ^[[Omei]] now, and I'll have a man working there all summer. Just now I am very busy packing. Exchange is getting lower and lower, so that I have less money to spend this summer than for many years. This compells me to do collecting on a smaller scale than I would otherwise do. July 8 - We arrived at Shin Kai Shi at about 8:30 a.m. Zen has been collecting all over the mountain and says he has about 16 boxes of insects. At the foot of the mountain a big military school is being built by the Chinese government. Generaliasimo Kian[[underlined]] j [[/underlined]]^[[g]] H^[[K]]iai Shih wants to bring his staff to this summer resort but he needs eight bungaloes and there are not that many to spare. San is to come to Mt. [[underlined]] Omer [[/underlined]] ^[[Omei]] and spend the summer collecting here. July 10-11- I am getting the netter Zen ready for a few weeks steady collecting on Mt. [[underlined]] Omer [[/underlined]] ^[[Omei]] at the higher altitudes netting and trapping. I will let Zen and San (the University student) work together, covering Mt. [[underlined]] Omer [[/underlined]] ^[[Omei]] intensively, especially on the higher altitudes. With the skinner Ho I will do such work as I can on the Szechuan-[[underlined]] Zurman [[/underlined]] ^[[Yunnan]] border. I will be as economical as possible, so as to get more money (a balance) on hand for work on the China-[[underlined]] Ribetan [[/underlined]] ^[[Tibetan]] border as soon as the Reds get out and that border is workable. Filled boxes 531 - 546, insects secured on Mt. [[underlined]] Omer [[/underlined]] ^[[Omei]], June and July 1935. July 15 - This morning Mr. San arrived and I [[underlined]] have [[/underlined]] ^[[gave]] him his equipment and arranged that he and Zen should work intensively on the higher altitudes on Mt. [[underlined]] Omer [[/underlined]] ^[[Omei]] this summer. Then I went down the mountain and spent the night at Omeishien. Ho and I are going to the region south of [[underlined]] Sinpi [[/underlined]] ^[[Suifu]]. Generalissimo Kiang Kiai [[underlined]] Shels [[/underlined]] ^[[Shek]] is coming to Shin Hai Sheh within a day or two. Motor roads have been built to the base of Mt. [[underlined]] Omer [[/underlined]] ^[[Omei]] and the roads from there to Shin [[underlined]] Hai Sheh [[/underlined]] ^[[Kai Shih]] are being widened and improved a great deal. Today several loads of officials arrived from Chengtu to stay this summer at Shin [[underlined]] Hai [[/underlined]] ^[[Kai]] Shih.
July 16- We reached Kiating, found a steamer leaving tomorrow a.m., bought our tickets and got onto the steamer. We saved money by not taking a room but spreading our cots on the top deck. We have to stay with our baggage in order to guard it and hold our places. July 17- We started about 8 a.m. We delayed an hour on the way trying to pull another steamer loose. It had run upon a shallow place and could not pull loose. We reached [[underline]] Suipn [[/underline]]^[[Suifu]] at two o'clock. I am spending the night at the home of Chester Wood. This afternoon I interviewed the official and secured his passport. July 18- Travelled to Zoh K'lo ^[[Yoh K'eo]] or Yueh K'eo, going most of the way by boat. It was a very hot day with much thunder in the afternoon. July 19- We started at daylight and went on to Shua Lair ^[[Hua Tan]] Ch'iao where we spent the night. Last night there was a thunder storm with a heavy downpour of rain, which changed the sluggish streams into roaring torrents. We are hearing terrible stories about the raids of the reds, and the reds are not far from the Yunnar^[[n]] border. This may affect our journey and places. July 20- We reached Kongshien early this afternoon. It rained nearly all morning and it was muddy and slippery. After reaching Kongshien I went and visited the magistrate, asking him about going on to Lo Biao. We learnt that a force of communists is six miles from Lo Biao and that a fierce battle, as yet undecisive, has been going on several days. The situation is so dangerous that the official will not let us go to Lo Biao. July 21- We sent a messenger to the Miao country. He should arrive there tonight and return with one or two of the Miao tomorrow night. Meanwhile there are rumors that the Reds are strongly reenforced near Lo Biao so we may have to turn back. July 22- The Miao friends arrived saying the Reds have retreated and urging us to go on to Lo Biao. They said that when they heard I probably could not come in on account of the Communists some of them could hardly avoid weeping. I have many deep friends among the Miao. This afternoon we took a trip up on top of a neighboring mountain. July 23- The officials have finally restated their opinion that because of the Reds it is too dangerous to go to Lo Biao, so we are going to Tsang Lin east of here. July 24- Reached Tsang Lin about noon. We were held up at the city gate for a half an hour by some inexperienced soldiers. Later we met the magistrate who is a graduate of Peking University and very friendly. He is an unusually good official.
July 25- Yong Gong Lsang's ^[[Yang Fong Tsang's]] father and brother brought in two mammals and some snakes. The Communists have separated into two bands and one band is between here and Yuim ^[[n]] Lin where we were expecting to go and collect. We will wait a few days and if things do not improve we will go back to Mt. Omer ^[[Omei]] and work there. July 26- More bad rumors. A band of robbers, possibly Communists, are at Kuanguin Lsang ^[[Kuanyin Tsang]], 20 li away. July 27- Dr. Yen and Mr. Zang ^[[Yang]], my Chinese companions, started for Suipn ^[[Suifu]] today. They are afraid of the Communists. I am delaying a day or two longer. July 28- Got a queer snake. Brigands were robbing on a mountain pass 30 li from here today. July 29- We have made plans to leave tomorrow for Mt. Omer ^[[Omei]], where two collectors are working. July 30- In the morning it was exceedingly hot, but we travelled to Li[[superscript]] 3 [[/superscript]] Duan[[superscript]] 1 [[/superscript]] Lsang[[superscript]] 2 [[/superscript]] ^[[Tsang]]. I have a very bad cold and feel punk. This afternoon it clouded up and cooled off a little. July 31- It was very hot day, but we made a good long journey and reached Li Chuan. Aug. 1 - It stormed last night and part of the time this morning. The Yangtse River was very high. We arrived at [[strikethrough]] Shen Suipe [[/strikethrough]] ^[[Suifu]] at about two o'clock p.m. much later than we should have. Aug. 3 - Went up to the nearby mountains to spend Sunday. Aug. 5 - Returned to [[underlined]] Suipe [[/underlined]]. ^[[Suifu]] Aug. 9 - Work at his house. ^[[?]] Aug.12 - Starting for Kiating on a steamer, Min Lsi ^[[Tsi]]. Aug.13 - Reached Kiating. Aug.14 - Reached Shin Ka^[[i]]Shih. I have left a University student, Sen Yu Lin, and the netter Zen, on Mt. [[underlined]] Omer [[/underlined]] ^[[Omei]] to work on the high altitudes during the summer. Both were to net and to trap, and Sen Yu Lin was to use the shotgun and to do the skinning. Mr. San shot his foot, nearly cutting a big toe off, making it impossible for him to collect during the rest of the summer and endangering his life. He is not well yet, but is out of danger, and will be well enough to return to Chengtu with us and return to the University. This is one piece of bad luck. Another piece of bad luck is that Zen has taken to opium smoking. This means he is far less dependable. We now fear that he has run off with two gasolene lanterns and with our folding cot and with the gasolene, sold them and skipped off with the money.
Aug.14 - Another piece of bad luck is that the Reds have made collections all along the Western borderland impossible. There are tens of thousands of them there. That region has been blocked for this summer. collecting so we have tried to collect on Mt. [[underlined]] Omer [[/underlined]] ^[[Omei]]. [[strikethrough]] where [[/strikethrough]] ^[[Here]] bad luck has met us. With the skinner Ho I tried to go south to the high mountain on the Szechuan [[underlined]] Zunnar [[/underlined]] ^[[Yunnan]] border. A band of Communists with over 600 rifles and about 1000 people are raiding that section and they are very fond of capturing foreigners and holding them for large ransoms. The officials stopped us and that trip was fruitless, although we went within one day's journey of where the reds and the ordinary Chinese troops were having a battle. But I will probably get about fifty boxes of insects, a few snakes, and a few frogs, the smallest catch for many years, but worth something. This summer's collecting will be the least expensive for many years, which will enable us to accumulate a small balance at Shanghai so as to enable us to work more easily financially in the future. I will soon mail all the insects yet collected up here. I will put Mr. Ho to collecting on the mountain. Aug.19 - Filled 531 to 553. Insects from the summit of Mt. [[underlined]] Omer [[/underlined]] ^[[Omei]] and Gien ^[[Gieu]] Lao De^[[o]]ng, gathered in July, 1935. Aug.21 - Mailed 16 boxes of insects, and prepared seven more boxes to be shipped. It seems certain that Zen, the netter, has stolen the equipment in his hands and skipped the country. Today I sent Ho Son^[[u]] Chuen away to trap, net, and catch frogs,snakes, etc. Aug.28 - Ho Son^[[u]] Chuen came back yesterday with one box of dry insects and several bottles (small) of insects and one frog. He had poor luck as he could trap no rodents. Filled box 554, insects and fossils, and 555, insects from Hong[[superscript]]12[[/superscript]] Chuen[[superscript]]11[[/superscript]] Pin[[superscript]]2[[/superscript]], a temple whose altitude is about 6000 feet. Mr. Ho the skinner has brought in the report that Zen, the netter, ran away with the collecting outfit to sell them, but was arrested as a spy at Omeishien and probably will have all his possessions confiscated including his money, and is even in danger of losing his life. I am having Ho, the skinner, do all kinds of collecting instead of only trapping and skinning. It is much harder to collect on Mt. Omer ^[[Omei]] or anywhere this summer than usual. This is now the main military training camp for all China. Very large electric lights are visible for long distances in several places. This makes moth catching at night much harder in lower altitudes. A very strict guard in kept on the roads and paths on the mountain, and this makes it more difficult for collectors to move about. It is not advisable to do much shooting lest the soldiers get unduly excited.
Aug.28 - Mammal 1438, a bamboo [[underlined]] rut [[/underlined]] ^[[rat]] [[strikethrough]]1[[/strikethrough]] from Mt. Omer^[[i]]. 1439 - 1440 mice from Mt. Ome[[underlined]]r[[/underlined]] ^[[i]]. I find that I have duplicated 16 boxes, 531 - 546, so I will skip that many numbers, 556 to 571. Fixed box 572, six birds from Mt. Omer^[i]]. Box 573, 3 rats and about 4 birds from Mt. Omer^[[i]]. Aug.31 - Filled box 574, insects, skin etc., value $3.00. Mammal 1441, a weasel with skull, 1442, a layek animal with skull from Kengshien, Szechuian. Ho has been working by day and by night with more meager results than in past years. The many bright electric lamps of the military camp make night collecting harder. In daytime there are guards along the roads in several directions and will not allow people to pass. Yesterday Ho tried to go to the Da O Shih temple, and the guards would not let him pass. The Generalissimo Kiang Hai^[[K]] Shek is now in one of the foreign bungalows not far from here, and also some of his high officers. This is one reason why the roads and paths are so carefully guarded. Ho got a few frogs today. Sept.21- We have returned to Chengtu. Bought a panyang alive and skinned it, mammal 1443. Ho is netting daily and I will soon send him on a trip. I have another netter in training but he has trichomee and this will have to be healed before he can begin active work. I have a few specimens that I will mail soon. The robbers have recently looted Changlinshien, where I stayed a few days last summer. It is fortunate I got out safely. Sept.23- Box 575, eleven birdskins. Box 576, insects. Box 577, animal.skin No.1442. Box 578, insects, etc. Box 579, insects. Box 580, snakes. We have filled the above boxes of specimens and are preparing to forward them to Shanghai.. Sept.28- Ho has been collecting aroun[[strikethrough]]g[[/strikethrough]]^[[d]] Chengtu. The weather has been rainy and he has not caught much. I have sent a messenger to Kuanshien and when he returns I'll know whether Ho can go to Yin Shin Wan, near Wen Chuan, and collect again. If he can, he will get better collections. The Aborigine who has collected so many animal skins for me in the past is accused of being a Communist, and is now in prison at Kuanshien. I am trying to get him out so he can do more collecting. Otherwise I will try to secure a new collector. Oct. 1 - More bad luck. The hunter who has brought me so many valuable animal skins joined the Communists when they were working near Wen Chuan. Recently the Government troops arrested him and executed him so he will collect for me no more. I will find another collector.
Oct. 8 - I have succeeded in getting a passport for Ho Son^[[u]] Chuen to go westward and collect. I will send him off for about a month, and he ought to get some good specimens. Oct. 10- Ho has gone on his trip. Oct.25 - Another hunter of experience, a Chiang Aborigine has come and will begin work soon if the Communists do not prevent. The Communists have come down threatening [[strikethrough]] G [[/strikethrough]] ^[[T]]atsienlin and Mongkong, and MuPin - the whole China - [[strikethrough]] G [[/strikethrough]] ^[[T]]ibetan border. That may hold up our collecting work a short time or a very long time. I will forward this diary to the Smithsonian Institution and begin and new one. Chengtu, Oct. 25, 1935. Dear Dr. Wetmore,- I have just engaged an aborigine hunter to collect large mammals and will set him after the less common large mammals, such as the golden haired [[underlined]] menlsez [[/underlined]]. ^[[? monkey]] Kindly see that the second $500.00 is placed to our credit at Shanghai as early as possible. I hope you can send us soon another shipment of duplicates with their scientific names for the natural history museum. I have the skinner Ho out collecting small mammals and am now adding the Chiang Aborigine to collect large mammals. Very sincerely yours, (Signed) David C. Graham