Western United States, 1918 : correspondence, field reports, and reference materials (2 of 2)

ID: SIA RU007006

Creator: Western United States, 1918 : Correspondence, field reports, and reference materials

Form/Genre: Fieldbook record

Date: 1918-1919

Citation: Alexander Wetmore Papers, circa 1848-1979 and undated

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This is the second of two folders that document Alexander Wetmore's work in the western United States investigating crop damage from ducks and blackbirds in 1918 - 1919, while working for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Bureau of Biological Survey. Investigations took place in Arkansas, Washington, California, and Kansas. Materials discuss issues surrounding the options for preventing further crop damage. Allowing duck shooting by farmers and duck bombs the most commonly mentioned solutions. Wetmore visits effected sites, reports to conditions and possible solutions to USDA, and works with California Fish and Gaming Department on implementing decisions. |Letters discuss concerns about indescriminate issuance of duck hunting permits; possible solutions offered by concerned citizens (coal oil and tar on a rice field); some concern among the public about treatment of ducks. Articles discuss the situation in general, official order from the Secretary of Agriculture giving farmers permission to shoot ducks on their farms (copy of order for California is in the folder); appeals to the Federal Food Administration to allow shot ducks to be used as food (according to the article this would be a violation of the Federal game agreement with Canada at the time); and expense and use of duck bombs. Materials include correspondence, field reports, reference materials, articles, telegrams, business cards, news clippings, permits|Reports include Wild Ducks and other Birds in Relation to the Rice Crop in Arkansas in 1918 and Wild Ducks in Relation to Rice Culture in California (includes itinerary).

Date Range


Start Date


End Date

Nov 30, 1918

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.


  • Crop losses
  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Ducks
  • Blackbirds
  • Rice
  • Ornithology


  • United States
  • California
  • Kansas
  • De Witt
  • Arkansas
  • Washington


  • Fieldbook record
  • Field notes
  • Correspondence
  • Reports
  • clippings (information artifacts)

Accession #

SIA RU007006

Collection name

Alexander Wetmore Papers, circa 1848-1979 and undated

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Location

Smithsonian Institution Archives


Box 139 Folder 3