The View From the Castle: How our dwindling wilderness inspired Secretary Langley to start a zoo-- and how the elephants came, two by two

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Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley describes how, distraught over the imminent closing of the Western frontier, the popular sentiment arose in 19th century America to conserve and preserve. Former Smithsonian Secretary, Samuel Pierpont Langley, incorporated conservation and preservation into the Smithsonian with the opening of the National Zoological Park in 1890. Ripley relates an anecdote about moving two elephants to the new site of the zoo.


  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • Astrophysical Observatory
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • United States Congress
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • National Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian
  • United States National Museum
  • International Catalogue of Scientific Literature


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

Smithsonian Vol. 1, no. 4 (Journal)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


July 1970


  • Conservation and restoration
  • Law
  • Endangered ecosystems
  • Castle View
  • SI, Early History
  • Endangered species
  • Legislation


Mall, The (Washington, D.C.)

Physical description

pp. 65

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