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Full text of "Ralph Works Chaney, Ph.D. : paleobotanist, conservationist : transcript, 1959"



RALPH WORKS CHANEY, Ph. D. 
PALEOBOTANIST, CONSERVATIONIST 
Professor of Paleontology, Emeritus 

Curator of Paleobotanical Collection in the 
Museum of Paleontology, Emeritus 

University of California, Berkeley 



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Ralph W. Chaney pictured in 1955 
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All uses of this manuscript are covered by 
an agreement between the Regents of the University 
of California and Ralph Works Chaney, dated January 
15, I960. The manuscript is thereby made available 
for research purposes. All literary rights in the 
manuscript, including the right to publish, are 
reserved in the General Library of the University 
of California at Berkeley. No part of the manuscript 
may be quoted for publication without the written 
permission of the University Librarian of the 
University of California at Berkeley. 



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INTRODUCTION 

Ralph Works Chaney was born in Brainerd, a suburb of 
Chicago. At that time--l890--Brainerd was in the midst of 
miles of prairie alive with birds. He watched them intently 
and became aware of surrounding elements of nature. He wanted 
to know all the birds, rocks, trees, and stars he saw. His 
ecological interest developed and became particularized in the 
study of zoology, botany, and geology. Later, his research in 
paleobotany combined his interests in botany and geology in de 
veloping one of the largest and most significant collections of 
Cenozoic plants in the world. 

In 1922, as a Research Associate of the Carnegie Insti 
tution, Dr. Chaney was quartered in Berkeley and became at 
tached to the University of California as Honorary Curator of 
the Paleobotanical Collection which he enriched immensely with 
material gleaned from numerous field excursions. He joined the 
faculty of the University as Professor of Paleontology in 1931 
when he became Chairman of the Department of Paleontology. 

His early interest in the surroundings of nature matured 
into close and continuing association with organizations foster 
ing conservation measures. Eis broad interests and enthusiasms 
in other directions carried him into student affairs and local 
community activities. 



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The Regional Cultural History Project of the University 
of California, under the academic supervision of Professor Walton 
E. Bean of the Department of History and the administrative 
supervision of Mr. Marion Milczewski of the General Library, 
is engaged in tape-recording and pres-erving interviews with 
Californians who have participated in the life of their time 
and have made a significant impression on their environment. 
One series of these interviews, for the use of Professor alton 
E. Bean in his preparation of a Centennial History of the Uni 
versity of California, is with individuals identified with the 
University whose faculty or administrative duties have had 
formative significance in the development of University policy 
or distinction. 

Professor Chaney's outstanding teaching and research in 
paleobotany brought him to the attention of the Regional Cul 
tural History project. He was interviewed during the spring 
and summer of 1959 at his residence on a heavily wooded, steep, 
western slope in the Berkeley hills at 1129 Keith Avenue. In 
a room gleaming with smoothly polished wood surfaces and hand- 
somely accented by Oriental pictures and objects, Professor 
Chaney recounted his experiences in field and classroom, Uni 
versity and community. His spare figure, youthful complexion, 
and direct blue eyes reflected his energetic and direct ap 
proach to life. 



Edna Tartaul Daniel, 
Interviewer 



Regional Cultural History Project 
University of California, General Library 
Berkeley, March 25>, I960 





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TABLE OF CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION 
TABLE OF CONTENTS 

I ANCESTORS AND FAMILY 1 

II EARLY ENVIRONMENT, FIELD AND SCHOOL 7 

III THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO AND EXPANDING 

FIELD EXPERIENCE 25 

IV SCHOOL TEACHING AND GRADUATE WORK 46 

World War I - 1914-1918 46 

University of Iowa - 1917-1922 56 

V CARNEGIE INSTITUTION RESEARCH FELLOW 

Paleobotany in the West 

VI PALEOBOTANY ABROAD 79 

Asia 79 

07 

Latin America 

VII ECOLOGICAL AND GEOLOGICAL APPROACH 

TO BOTANY 

Quantitative and Qualitative 
Aspects 

VIII DEVELOPING THE CURRICULUM IN PALEO 

BOTANY 

Course Content 

IX COMMENTS ON EDUCATION 

Examinations 

The Student In a Large University 142 






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Special opportunities in Research 
The Lawrence Radiation Laboratory 
The Atomic Energy Commission 

Installation at Livermore 149 

X RADIATION LABORATORY DUTIES 155 

XI THE LOYALTY OATH 165 

XII NON- ACADEMIC STUDENT RELATIONS 175 

The California Club 175 

Student Government at the 

University of California 177 

XIII THE CONSERVATIONIST 207 

Natural Areas 208 

Separating Resort from Park 

XIV IN THE STREAM OF POLITICAL HISTORY 

Berkeley Municipal League ?47 

XV PORCELAIN 261 

XVI THE RALPH WORKS CHANEY FAMILY 
BIBLIOGRAPHY: RALPH WORKS CHANEY 270 
INDEX 



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I. ANCESTORS AND PARENTS 



Chaney: There were seven American generations on my 
father's side, and ten on my mother's. They 
came over from Prance and England respectively, 
My great-gradfather, Samuel Chaney died leaving 
Anna and some thirteen children, of whom ray grand 
father, Ralph, was in the middle. Great-grand 
mother Anna Davis Chaney moved out from Virginia 
to Ohio, and then to northern Illinois, near 
Rockford, in lQ>3k They lived in a log cabin. 
All the sons, including my grandfather, became 

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farmers. The last of the Chaney farms has been 
sold in the last three years. 

I am now the only landholder of the old 
Chaney property a twenty-acre wood lot, which 
will be used as a forest and flower preserve. 
It's not being used that way now, but at least 
I'm holdirg it, hoplrg that something of the sort 
can be done with it. 

My father, Fred, was born in l85>lj.. 

Daniel: Can we go back just a moment now, to your ances 
tors who came here. Do you have any knowledge 



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Daniel: about why they came? 

Chaney: Anna, the widow of Samuel, was the daughter of a 
tobacco planter. He turned loose his slaves 
around 1800, a little later than 1800 probably, 
and moved to Ohio where he died. His daughter, 
in the meantime, had been widowed and she kept 
on going to Illinois. It was an agriculturally 
productive land. 

Daniel: Yes, it was a land of opportunity then. 

Chaney: They had eight sons. They had facilities for 
farming. 

Daniel: Yes. Well, this is the story of the march across 
the country. 

Chaney: In the meantime my mother's family had settled in 
Massachusetts. 

Daniel: When had they settled there? 

Chaney: The first date that I have is 1622. 

Daniel: For the usual complex of religious and economic 
reasons? 

Chaney: Presumably. I note that he is listed as a "free 
man," which means, I presume, that he paid his way 
over, although I'm not sure that that was it. He 
was one of the original poprietors of Andover, 
Massachusetts, a very early settles 

And down through that group there is a series 



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Chaney: of interesting names: Thomas, Brevier, Phelps, 
Adams, Birge, Butterfield all British Isles, 
you see, 

Suzanna was my great-great-grandmother. My 
great-grandfather was Charles, born in New York; 
and he moved to Illinois where he was an office 
holder, a supervisor, assessor, collector, trea 
surer, justice of the peace, and so on an out 
standing man in the community as were my father's 
people. More of that later. 

The line of Laura Jeanette, my mother, the 
Sanford line, also had nine generations, having 
come from Abran to Connecticut in 1637* And the 
Sanfords have no end of typical names that came 
over on the "Arabella" with Governor Winthrop. 
The family names are Powell, Baldwin, Strong, 
Mitchell, Spencer, and finally Works, which is 
my-- 

Daniel: Yes, that's your middle name. 

Chaney: All Scotch and English in that line. In fact, my 
father's line one never knows about the grand 
mother's was almost entirely Welsh, Scotch, and 
English, though his actual point of origin is aaid 





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Ghaney: to be Prance. I suspect he may have gone from 
Ireland or England to Prance and stayed awhile 

and come on. I am not sure about the actual 
French ancestry. As I grow older I come to re 
cognize a very Irish aspect In my father's fa 
mily. They look more and more like chimpanzees 
as they grow older, (laughter), and so I suspect 
that the French part of it may be family fable. 
All the records show that the point of origin was 
Paris, France. I very much doubt if there is 
much French: possibly a great-great-great-great- 
grandmother. Now Laura, my mother, and Fred were 
married in 1885 and lived in Chicago where my 
father worked for a wholesale house, Marshall 
Field and Company. He did all sorts of things. 

Daniel: Marshall F ield was purely a wholesale house? 

Chaney: No, it was retail as well, but he worked for the 
wholesale part of it, which was a separate store. 
In those days, Marshall Field, the original 
Marshall Field, was on the job. I may or may not 
have seen him, but he was around a great deal and 
building up the business. My father got involved 
in his later years in getting up the catalogues, 
rather than in salesmanship. 



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Daniel: Isn't that sales promotion? 

Chaney: Yes. And neither he nor my mother had college 
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educations. They lived in small towns where such 

things weren't usual in the seventies and eighties, 
when they would have been going to school. 

Daniel: This is true of that time, isn't it? The people 
who went to college went for specific training. 

Chaney: In law and medicine, of course. The professions. 
But there wasn't very much liberal arts. 

Daniel: And there certainly were no curricula in business 
administration. 

Chaney: Oh, no. My mother, in particular, was very well- 
informed. She had several unfortunate hobbies, 
one of which was foreign missions, but it did 
give her a pretty good deal of breadth. 

My father was, in one sense, an educated man. 
He was a freethinker politically, and in 1912, I 
recall, was an ardent Bull Mooser, that was Teddy 
Roosevelt's party, you know. (My first vote was 
for Teddy Roosevelt. ) 

Daniel: A freethinker, in the period in which he was 

thinking politically, had a good deal to think 
about. 

Chaney: There was a very vicious strike railroad strike 



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Ghaney: which took many lives, one of the great labor epi 
sodes. 

Daniel: This tradition of free thinking and free thinking 
in the political sphere would probably have some 
effect on your early childhood. At least you 
were hearing about what was going on. 

Chaney: My parents were not liberals in the sense of 

modern liberals who find it smart to criticize 
everything American. They were liberal-minded 
about accepting new ideas. They were liberal, 
not liberals. There's a distinction. I used to 
be a liberal myself until it seemed to be neces 
sary to be a little disloyal about it. That sort 
of thing I can't stand. 















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II. EARLY ENVIRNOMENT. FIELD AND SCHOOL 



Daniel: You began your schooling at the last part of the 
last century, didn't you? 

Chaney: Yes, in 1896. I went to first grade in the little 
suburb, Brainerd, which was ten or twelve miles 
southwest of the Loop. It was, in effect, a town, 
although it was part of the city of Chicago. In 
those days we had square miles of prairie around 
our home, and there were glacial boulders which 
had floated out into the lake in icebergs and 
settled there. All of our neighbors and even my 
parents assumed that they were meteorites a fan 
tasy, but none of them knew anything about geol 
ogy. They were granite boulders: they stimulated 
my first curiosity about rocks. I remember later 
finding out what they were, realizing that we had 
been in error. 

But essentially, the exactness of science 
didn't matter in those days: there were violets, 
shooting stars, wild strawberries, meadowlarks 1 
nests, and bobolinks' nests on this prairie. The 
prafrie chickens were gone, just barely gone. I 



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Chaney: saw them later in the Chicago area after I grew a 

little older; but it was too late for prairie 
chickens at Brainerd. 

Daniel: I think it would be interesting to hear just a 

little more about the prairie chickens before we 
go on. 

Chaney: The prairie chicken is a relative of the spruce 
partridge or grouse, and also a relative of our 
quail. It is a much larger brd than the California 
quail, not twice as large, but nearly. Living 
on the ppairles Its gray-brown colors fit in well. 
At the time I first saw it, probably around 1908 
It could have been a year or so later it was al 
most extinct in the Chicago area. I found one 
nest with the eggs broken, probably hatched at 
about the same time. Twice I saw prairie chic 
kens very wild--f lying away at a distance. I've 
seen many relatives of the prairie chickens the 
so-called galinaceous birdssince, in various 
parts of the world: Central America, Japan, and 
the Philippines. I had never had a more marvelous 
sight than seeing this quite large bird eighteen 
Inches or thereabouts in length flytog up and 
awa y- -when I was a schoolboy wandering around on 



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Chaney: the area which is now the Chicago-Midway Airport. 
There's nothing left for a prairie chicken there, 
only flying planes. 

Daniel: What about the distribution of the prairie 
chicken? 

Chaney: It's an eastern bird. It's a bird of the prai 
ries. It comes as far west as the high plains, 
the Rocky Mountain foothills, I suppose. I've 
never seen it anywhere but in Illinois, but I'm 
sure there are a few remaining areas where it 
must be fairly common. 

There's the spruce partridge in the moun 
tains of Colorado and elsewhere, which is not 
quite as large as the prairie chicken. Then 
there's the sage hen which is larger, and the 
wild turkey is the largest of all the American 
galinaceous birds. 

Daniel: Returning to your home -surroundings, what domes 
tic creatures claimed your attention? 

Chaney: We had a cow and I started milking her at age 
eight when my father was away. I took charge 
of her and the calves. We had goats and rabbits 
and that sort of thing. 

Quite early, when ray sister was in high 
school, which would have been when I was about 



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Chaney: twelve years old, I began to wonder about the 

birds I didn't know. I knew all the common birds 
like robins and bluejays, of course, and meadow- 
larks and bobolinks. But birds I didn't know I 
described and my sister took the descriptions to 
her zoology teacher, (this was about 1900) and he 
would give her the names of the birds. So I was 
beginning to be aware of the elements of nature 
around me. 

You didn't bring these questions to your teacher? 
I dMn't have any who would know the answers. 
They were grammar school teachers. 
How did you know they wouldn't know? 
We never had science of any sort; you must remem 
ber that this was the curriculum of a wholly dif 
ferent age. 

Daniel: What did it encompass? 

Ghaney: We had geography, if that's a science. It wasn't 

taught as a science. We had physiology, so-called, 
but the principal purpose of it, required by law, 
was to show how the stomach was rotted by cigar 
ettes and liquor. It was a temperance crusade. 

Daniel: It was temperance inspired? 

Chaney: It wasn't physiology. It wasn't really very much. 



Daniel: 
Chaney : 

Daniel: 
Chaney: 






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Daniel: What besides geography, physiology...? 

Chaney: Well, there was arithmetic, of course, and gram 
mar. I've always known a great deal about grammar, 

Daniel: And of course reading. 

Chaney: Reading, spelling, writing. 

Daniel: Was your reading extensive? 

Chaney: I read constantly. 

Daniel: What did you read? 

Chaney: I read Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, 
Beautiful Joe, the Alcott books, and dozens of 
others. 

Daniel: I see. And so your ideas outside the school frame 
work would tend to bring another source of know 
ledge. 

Chaney: Well, any ideas having to do with science I have 
never thought of this until this minute it hever 
occurred to me that ray teachers would know any 
thing about science. They never said anything 
about it. They could have had a secret hobby, but 
it's most unlikely. At any rate, they never told 
us anything told me anything that was helpful in 
terms of my principal interest, which was every 
thing living around me natural history. 






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Chaney: So I got it gradually through my older sister's 
high school teacher. Then when our family moved 
to Hyde Park, a quarter of a mile from tiae univer 
sity in Chicago, I lived in a court, a group of 
hotises side by side, in one of which, quite by 
chance, there was a curator of paleontology at 
the Field Museum. I got acquainted with him. 

Daniel: What a golden opportunity. How old were you at 
this time? 

Chaney: I was thirteen when we moved, and I was fourteen 
in August. 

Daniel: Already at fourteen you had a chance 

Chaney: With him I went to the museum. He never did much 
for me directly because I wasn't interested then 
In fossils, but he took me in and introduced me 
to a man named Ned Dearborn, who was the assist 
ant curator of ornithology. Dearborn is still a 
rather distinguished man in quite a number of dif 
ferent fields. I haven't seen him since 1915. 
Dearborn showed me the collection of birds. For 
the first time I saw scientific specimens. In 
fact, on one occasion I helped unpack a collec 
tion from Central America in the original boxes. 
It was an experience which thrilled me, of course, 



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Chaney: birdskins, they were. 

Daniel: What were your feelings about your new acquaintance? 
Were you fascinated? 

Chaney: This was my first contact with the outside world. 
I was really a country child. Then we moved into 
Hyde Park where I was becoming a city boy, where 
my friends were all much more sophisticated than 
any I had known. 

Daniel: Or so you thought, 

Chaney: Oh, they were] They had more money and experi 
ence, many of them, at least. But throughout it 
all, throughout all of ray high school years, my 
interest was primarily in birds, and trees, and 
other things, but primarily birds, 

Daniel: What about your teachers in high school. Did they 
help you more? 

Chaney: It's an astonishing thing. They helped me by sym 
pathetic attitude, but I didn't take a course in 
zoology when I was in high school. There was one, 
but it was said not to be very good. And it was 

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a laboratory course, and I was interested in field 
zoology. So I didn't take a course in zoology, 
and I did all my work with birds at the Field 
Mus eu m. 



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Daniel: 

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Dr. Dearborn suggested a book, Wild Birds in 
the City Parks, which gave the date of arrival of 
migrating birds. Lake Michigan naturally is a 
barrier to migration. At least half of the birds 
came around on the Chicago side and the other half 
on the Michigan side. We got a terrific concentra 
tion of insectivorous birds, most of our birds 
were vireos, warblers, and flycatchers--in May 
May 13, ll|., and l, I recently wrote to one of 
my few surviving high school teachers, a German 
teacher, oddly enough, who excused me one after 
noon on the ll+th of May, it must have been. I'd 
been out early in the morning. I had to go to 
school at 8:30, I suppose. I had German In the 
afternoon and she excused me. Well, I remember 
to this day the remainder of it the bird, a very 
beautiful, orange -colored warbler (Blackburnian) 
I saw that afternoon, which I wouldn't have seen 
if she hadn't excused me. 
You carried on these activities within your own 






frame of 

Completely within myself. 

--reference, exploring the world around you. But 

you didn't do it through formal education. 






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Chaney: I had no zoology whatever. 

Daniel: And you didn't belong to a youth group or any 
thing of this sort? 

Chaney: There were no Boy Scouts or anything of that sort. 
Daniel: DM you share this with anyone in your family? 

Chaney: No yes, ray mother was highly sympathetic. My 

father was Inclined to think that I would starve 
to death if I didn't learn something useful. 

Daniel: So you went about it quietly, then? 

Chaney: But my mother was highly sympathetic. My father 
was completely cooperative, and with very limited 
means educated me and my sisters at a time when 
college educations were still not at all univer 
sal, although they were coming to be more promi 
nent, of course. 

Daniel: Now, all through high school you were doing this 
on your own, you were exploring. Did you go fur 
ther afield from bird observation, or did you con 
fine your activities to this? 

Chaney: Almost entirely birds, although I was learning a 
good many plants. 

Daniel: Because these were the things that birds had food 
or... 

Chaney: Because I saw them with the birds. 






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Cha ney: 






There were one or two rather Intelligent friends, 
mostly older than I, whom I met looking for birds. 
We didn't call It birdwatching in those days. We 
just called It 'birding. 1 

Sir ding I see. Were these other boys, or were 
they college men? 

There was a married couple--two Quakers. There 
was a physician, who died within the past six 
months, a very old man, a rather eminent eye, 
ear, nose, and throat man from Chicago. There 
was a young girl of about my age who was a pal, 
a wealthy and somewhat ilsstpated but very fine 
boy whom I knew well, and who was pretty inter 
ested but somewhat lazy and didn't get out early 
in the morning. I used to get out at four o'clock. 

Then later I met a man whom I knew in college, 
a year or two older than I, who didnH know any 
more than I did about It but was older, and car- 
rfed a certain weight of authority that comes with 



age, 









In general, I didn't talk much about this In 
high school because none of my good friends knew 
anything about birds or had any Interest In them, 
and when I did mention occasionally that I couldn't 
do something because I was going to look for bircb, 






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Daniel: 

Chaney: 
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I was ridiculed. They were good friends, but there 
was much laughter about the fact that I was going 
to look for birds. 

What was everyone else doing? What was the ac 
cepted activity of a young boy of your age in high 
school? Was the athletic program important? 
A good many of the boys were on athletic teams. 
I was not, in high school. 

And you weren't interested, apparently, in doing 
the things that everybody 

Not very much in girls, though by the time I be 
came a junior I certainly went to the junior prom 
and the senior prom, and I suppose I went to four 
or five dances a year. We used to go to 'call' 
on girls in those days. We used to sit apart, 
not holding hands, or getting anywhere at all in 
terms of what we are told of modern youth. Just 
'calling,' talking, I suppose, which isn't a bad 
idea. Perhaps I was very much more of a bore 
than I realize. I've wondered since. 
What about your studies in high school? Did they 
interest you particularly, or did they just sort 
of slide by? 

Latin, mathematics, and Englishall were ex 
tremely interesting. 



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Daniel: Did you work hard? 

J 

Chaney: Oh, hard enough, I got 

Daniel: You didn't study terribly hard for long hours? 

Chaney: No, I suppose I got as many A's as B's, and prob 
ably not any C's. 

Daniel: School was no problem. You enjoyed it, 

Chaney: None whatever. It's what I expected. Everybody 
did it, I did it as a matter of course. Every 
morning at four, and as soon as school was out, 
I beat it for the Wooded Island, The time belt 
was a little differently placed with regard to 
Chicago so that at four o'clock it was beginning 
to get light. By the time I walked a mile or so 
to the Wooded Island, it was light enough to see 
birds. Early morning was the best time, I have 
written records of all this, I could tell you 
what birds I saw on almost any day of any year 
between 1905 and 191$. 

Daniel: Summer and vacation time you had opportunity for 
more observation. 

Chaney: We went to Michigan. 

Daniel: Why did you go to Michigan, Was this the place 
that everybody went to? 

Chaney: It was cooler, and it was less settled than our 






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Chaney: part of Chicago which was beginning to grow up. 

Of course, living in Hyde Park it was very citi 
fied. Michigan was just in the right place there 
were wild berries and beautiful forests. 

Daniel: You went for the whole summer? 

Chaney: We went for the whole summer. While I was in high 
school I met, through his son, Charles Otis Whit 
man, a very eminent zoologist, whom I discussed 
with your father-in-law [ Professor J. Prank Daniel, 
Chairman, Department of Zoology, 1936-1914-2], Whit 
man was working in a vague way, as they were doing 

in those days, working in genetics, and using doves 
and flickers as his laboratory material. He had 
some red-shafted flickers, the western flicker, but 
oddly enough he didn't have any yellow-hammers, 
the ye How- shafted birds flickers of the Illinois 
area. Well, I got acquainted with Frank Whitman, 
the son, and he told roe his father had some pas 
senger pigeons which were, practically speaking, 
extinct. I went to the Whitman backyard which 
had hundreds of pigeons of many kinds In it, and 
some flickers, and I saw those passenger pigeons. 
I have actually seen two live passenger pigeons, 
though they were sterile olfl females just about 
ready to die. Imethis father, and I learned. 






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Chaney: that his father wanted flickers, and of course 
I kn*w where I could get flickers. So I walked 
out to a flicker's nest that I had found. First 
I took a streetcar ride out lllth Street to the 
outskirts of Chicago and then I walked for at 
least two hours which is certainly amazing to 
think of and brought ba ck those flickers. In 
fact, I went once and they weren't quite ready, 
and I went back again when they were the way 
Professor Whitman said they should be, with 
feathers almost fully grown. To my amazement, 
because I had honestly never thought of such a 
thing I had sold rabbits and all sorts of things, 
cucumbers and garden stuff but I had never thought 
of being paid for anything so delightful as get 
ting flickers. To my astonishment Professor 
Whitman gave me five bucks, which was really an 
enormous amount. It was the first five dollars 
that I had ever had in one lump. 

He told me then that he would give me five 
dollars more for every batch of flickers I got 
him. So that turned me pro, and I got him maybe 
four batches that year, or maybe that year and 






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the next, and I also used to get ant eggs from 
ant nests to feed them. He showed roe how to do 
that 



You were in business. 






Daniel: 



Now, this brought me in contact with a truly great 

man. Dearborn and the curator of paleontology 
were second-raters in science, though Dearborn has 
had a rather eminent career in public life and ser 
vice. But Whlitman was certainly top-flight. He 
was a member of the National Academy, He was an 
old man and a benign man, and often, after I had 
come in all hot and dirty from one of those 
flicker excursions I stayed to luncheon with him 
and he talked to me. 

Did you appreciate his eminence at the time? 
Yes. He was terrific. I appreciated him all 
right. He was different from anybody I had ever 
seen. A very fine -looking man, old, white-haired-- 
Did you ask him questions? Did you feel you were 
in the presence of someone who was really a foun 
tain of knowledge? 

I was very shy. I doubt that I had much of any 
thing to say. I don't remember asking him ques 
tions. 
You were just thrilled to be there. 






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Chaney: Several years later when I was In college I had a 
somewhat similar experience. I knew much more by 
that time. While I was still an undergraduate I 
found a layer of Iron-bearing sand up at one of 
the Michigan summer places where we went. I 
wrote to--I knew enough by that time for I had 
had a course in geology a Michigan geologist, 
and he made an appointment to see me in Chicago 
when I returned. And I saw him. I was at the 
home of Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, Charles J. 
Chamberlain was the botanist who later became 
my teacher. Well, * was an undergraduate then 
and he taught only graduate classes. I had the 
same feeling with Chamberlin, who was a very 
philosophical gentleman, also elderly, much more 
elderly than my parents. He was, I suppose, crowd 
ing seventy. I attended his eightieth birthday 
party shortly before he died. 

So over a space of four years, from Whitman to 
Chamberlin, I had much the same feeling. In fact, 
I could even confuse those two men because they 
represented to me a vastly greater amount of know 
ledge than I had ever met in anyone before. I had 
by that time seen some smart guys who knew all 



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Chaney ; 
Daniel : 

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about everything, but they weren't things I was 
interested in. 

As you were working along, and having this inspir 
ation, did you formulate your ideas about what 
you were going to do next? 

Well, I hopedthis maybe sounds a little 'smarty 1 
--but I remember particularly that in my sophmore 
English composition course, that would be 1913, 
I wrote a theme about what I wanted to get out 
of a college education, the corny subject given 
by the teacher James Weber Linn, a marvelous 
teacher and a well-known author--and I got an 
'A in the course. I got only two 'A's 1 in 
English. Well, that was two out of three, at 
that, because I took only three courses in col 
lege. But the subject of that theme--what I 
wanted to do was to learn to recognize all the 
birds, trees, rocks, insects, stars, everything 
I could. That was my ambition as a sophmore. I 
was taking zoology, just beginning to get going 
in botany. As a junior to college I took geology. 

I got no instruction in high school which had 
anything to do with my major interest. I was 
taught by Dearborn in the Field Museum, indirectly 






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by Whitman, by several older and very fine people 
that I saw, who used some scientific names though 
they didn't know birds as well as I did. 
Then clear through elementary and high school you 



were on your own. 






I was absolutely on my own, except for my mother, 
and a little peripheral help. 

Your sisters didn't walk with you or share your 
interests? 

We used to go to what we called The Woods together 
and they knew the common birds but weren't espe 
cially interested. They picked flowers and straw 
berries, of course. We used to pick flowers for 
Decoration Day and go to the cemetery I remember 
particularly. 

This was the family activity, but your explorations 
were on your own. 
Yes, it was almost all alone 






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III. THE UNIVERSITY OP CHICAGO AND 
EXPANDING FIELD EXPERIENCE 

Daniel: When you went from high school to college did you 



Chaney : 



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Cha ney : 



go to the place that you felt would give you the 



best training in your field? 
Yes. I didn't think very much about where I should 
go. We were living a quarter of a mile from the 
University of Chicago. The tuition was $lj.O a 
semester, and by the time I was a sophomore I had 
a scholarship so I didn't pay any tuition. 
As your interests expanded and you became speci 
fic in your conraana of the attention of distin 
guished people in this field, did your father have 
a growing interest in what you were doing as your 
own interests became more defined? 
The devil of it is my father died when I was 
twenty-seven years old and before I was really es 
tablished professionally, though I was earning my 
living, and earning pretty nearly as much as he 
was. I was teaching at the Francis Parker School 
at the time and it was just a stopgap for me, no 
thing I wanted to do indefinitely. It was inter 
esting and highly valuable. I learned a great deal 









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26 

Cheaney: but it simply was not anything permanent. My 

father never knew what I was going to do. I re 
member one of his friends saying that he was kind 
of worried about whether I'd ever be able to earn 
a living. 

Daniel: Wasn't he aware that you were commanding the at 
tention of men who were really quite outstanding? 

Chaney: I don't think I commanded their attention. They 
commanded mine. 

Daniel: They did have a relationship with you. Didn't 

your father really know what you were thinking? 

Chaney: I suppose not. It's a terrible thing, isn't it? 
Daniel: NO. 

Chaney: Oh, I think so. I think it's strictly terrible. 
Daniel: Well, I know, but this goes on all the time. 

Chaney: My mother knew a good deal about it, my father 
less. Ny father was an extremely hard worker. 
He had a pretty hard time making ends meet on 
what seems a pitifully low salary. It's amaz 
ing what he did with it. He was Investing all 
his savings in some Chicago real estate which he 
bought, and which increased greatly in value. 







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He left to us children far more than I shall leave 
to mine in terras of dollar value on the most- 
meager sort of salary, on , I'll tell you, two 
thousand dollars a year imagine, four children, 
and he put them through college. 
But this was not unusual at that time. 
No, it wasn't. I did a lot of work by the time 
I was a junior. I was assisting in the zoology 
course, the bird course, and by the time I was a 
senior I was assisting in what was called 'general 
biology, 1 botany, zoology, and laboratory, which 
was considered a much higher-level job, although 
I didn't like it as well, but it paid $180, $200. 
A semester? 

They were quarters. I mean $100 a quarter* 
Pour hundred a year. 
It might have been four hundred. 
Well, this was all right. You were living at 
home at the time you were going to college, so 
you just had to meet your tuition expenses, and 
you had a scholarship. You had to have money for 
books. 

Before I got through, when I was a senior in 1911, 
a somewhat older student sold me a camera and I 






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started taking pictures. I don't think I told 
you this the other day. I got the bright idea 
of going to see the Sunday editor of the Chi 
cago Tr ibune . They were running a column on 
birds, and it was terrible, simply terrible 
it was a lot of bughouse folklore. I went down 
and told him so. Burns Mantle, the dramatic 
critic, was with this editor, I now realize 
he was just a young punk himself. So he said 
he would give me ten dollars a week for writ 
ing a certain amount, I suppose five hundred 
words, maybe more, and two or three pictures. 
So I went out every week for about ten, maybe 
twelve weeks the year I was a junior in college 
and took pictures. It was a very long walk. The 
whole day was consumed. Then of course I had to 
write up my story, develop ray pictures, make my 
prints, and take them down to the Tribune in 
the Loopall for ten bucks. It's really amaz 
ing. But it was big money, terribly big money. 
The interesting thing is that you were applying 
what you were learning, 
I was already a pro, you see. 












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29 



Daniel: Did the people with whom you worked In the Univer 
sity live up to your expectations? 

Chaney: They failed me here and there because they were 
more interested, no fault of theirs, in labora 
tory work than in field work, and I was interes 
ted in field work. 

Daniel: Was this true in general of the sciences, more 
interest in the laboratory? 

Chaney: Yes, in those days. My professor, still living, 
Professor R. M. Strong, whom I've seen within 
the year In Chicago, a very old man, was inter 
ested in field work, but even he was primarily 
Interested In bird anatomy. It's a little arro 
gant to say so, but I knew more about live birds 
than he did. 

Daniel: It isn't arrogant at all. 

Chaney: He knew more about the ins ides of birds than I 
will ever know, but I knew birds in those days 
better than I have ever known anything since, 
even my present field. I had complete mastery 
of it. It was, I suppose, in terms of one's 
growing up, a wonderful thing to realize, al 
though I didn't go around singing ray own praises, 
as I am now, but it was probably a good thing to 
realize, when somebody else was with me, that : 






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Chaney: knew as much or more than he did, usually more 
than most of the people who were with me, 

Daniel: You were developing a subject at this time, you 
see. 

Chaney: I have never used it, except for fun. I was told, 
and I believed it, that there was no future in i. 
There would be now in national parks or in zoology 
departments, but in those days there wasn't, and 
I could earn a meager supplement to my living by 
taking rich kids out on Saturday mornings or 
this Chicago Tribune thing, I suppose as an un 
dergraduate I may have earned a total of $1500. 
That's a fairly high estimate. 

Daniel: Yes, I know, but it was still quite a bit of 
money. 

Chaney: And it was all professional. It was income from 
the field in which I had excellence. 

Daniel: It never occurred to you that you were doing some 
thing you shouldn't be doing. I mean, from the 
beginning your interests marched right along 

Chaney: Well, it was what I wanted to do, and 

Daniel: And there was no question about it. 

Chaney: My father never discouraged me and my mother 

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Chane y : 

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actively encouraged me. I know ray father would 
have been glad to have seen me become a lawyer. 
This was the age 

I clerked at Marshall Field's retail during Christ 
mas vacations and before Christmas. I would duck 
out of school early and make a dollar and a quar 
ter a day just imagine, paying carfare and lunch 
--well, anyway, a dollar and a quarter a day, and 
I was real good at it. I was in the basement in 
notions. I outsold most of the regulars there 
I was an eager beaver in my first job--I had a 
wonderful time. They wanted me to stay and wanted 
me to come back when I got through college, but 
of course it was a terrible jungle from my stand 
point. 

And it never occurred to you to do anything but 
what you really wanted? 

I changed from ornithology to botany as I got to 
be a junior and then I changed to geology. I had 
scholarships in all of those subjects. 
How about the transition from one to the other? 
It was natural. Geology is. botany and zoology, 
that is, the paleontology side of it is. I've al 
ways been a paleontologist. There was no break at 
all. The breaks were in French and trigonometry 






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and that sort of thing, which had no immediate, 
no apparent usefulness to me. Of course they 
were useful and I was foolish not to study them 



more. 









But I took, in those days, all the science I 
could take. No one would get away with it nowa 
days in any university. I slighted history and 
never took a course in philosophy or economics, 
for example, never in my life. 

Well, this was true of the curriculum at this time, 
I was just soaking up science. I had enough to 
graduate in botany, probably nearly enough in 
zoology, and I graduated in geology. We had under 
graduate majors. 

Actually, did you feel any lack as your life went 
on? 

Well, my wife is a historian and an economist and 
so I've picked it up from her, and you have 
friends, naturally, and reading. It would have 
been betterbut 
Well, why better? You did get this in some other 



way. 






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I'm satisfied not to have had the philosophy be 
cause it seems that most of It Is just semantics, 












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Chaney: or anyway whatever it is. But the economics I 

had political science, terribly dull, and a course 
in history, extremely dull, yes, it was the wrong 
kind of history, and there was a longwinded talk 
er, and I was the wrong sort of student. 

In fact I got A's in all my sciences and B's 
or C's in all my other subjects, 

Daniel: And you had no inclination to explore except in 
the fields which interested you? 

Chaney: I never took any courses except those required, 
outside of science. 

Daniel: You had a definite interest which carried you on 
outside the framework of your elementary school 
and of your high school. You took the things in 
college which you really wanted to take. You 
manufactured your own curriculum? 

Chaney: Certainly from the time I entered high school 1 
pushed everything else aside. In high school I 
was regimented and I studied my Latin religiously 
and always got superior grades '90s' I think 
there were numbered grades then, and always had 
my grammar cold, which was a good idea. I wish 
I'd studied more language French and German 
but I didn't, but I can manage. 

u 

The only thing I was really interested in was 



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Chaney: getting outdoors and I did it, except in the coldest 
parts of the winter and on rainy days, every day 
of the year. My records would show three hundred 
days a year. 

Daniel: As you went along through the university did you 
consider consciously what you were going to do? 

Ghaney: I had several extremely good teachers: John M. 

Coulter in botany; Rollin D. Salisbury in geology 
--they were outstanding teachers. And a less for 
mal, but even more stimulating man, Henry Chandler 
Cowles in botany and ecology, gave me the first 
concept of ecology, which has been, of course, my 
guiding star, my major interest, and was even 
then, though I had never heard of it before. 
Cowles was a marvelous field man. He was exactly 
what I wanted. That was when I was a junior, or 
a senior, I can't be sure, in college. At any 
rate, those three men are the three men who af 
fected me most; Salisbury was a very exact man, 
a martinet, the pouncing type; Coulter was be 
nign and orderly and his lectures were beautiful 
thirgs, the way he developed a subject, the or 
ganization; Cowles was an expert field man, ex 
tremely well organized, too. His lectures and 



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Chaney: 

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field trips were much less formal. In fact, my 
relationship with him was wholly different than 
with the other two. They were at a distance; 
Bowles was very close. 

You had a bachelor of science, I presume, at the 
end of your university work? 

Yes, and I was given a scholarship paying tuition 
for the next year. 
For graduate study? 

For graduate study. So I went to the university 
a fifth year, taking geology only. Incidentally, 
my physics and chemistry I enjoyed very much, es 
pecially chemistry, and did A work. Well, they 
were completely off the beam (in terms of these 
subjects today), but they were beautifully taught 
courses, e specially one course in chemistry. Phy 
sics was not so well taught. But I got fundamen 
tals in the physical sciences. Never enough math 
ematics, unfortunately. But I haven't really 
missed it. I think that mathematics and statis 
tics should both be hammered down everyone's 
throat. But I was too busy with geology to take 
all the math I should have taken. Fortunately I 
did take plenty of chemistry and an adequate amount 






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36 



Chaney: of physics, barely adequate. As a fifth-year stu 
dent, a first -year graduate student, I was going 
into geology. 



Daniel: 
Chaney: 
Daniel: 
Chaney : 



That summer, the summer of 1913* I went to 
Alaska with the U.S. Geological Survey. I had 
taken the civil service examination for geologic 
aide and failed it by a point or two. There were 
a limited number of people wanted. They took a 
few of the best and failed all the rest of us. I 
failed it anyway I'm not giving any excuses. But 
I was the only one of our group that got a job. 
There just weren't many appointments that year. 
I was appointed to do geologic work but with a 
cook's rating, which evaded the civil service re 
quirement. The head of the party knew me and 
wanted me to go with him. It was one of those 
amusing things. It didn't matter whether I passed 
or not. Well, it's very poor philosophy for the 
young and I haven't told ray children about that. 
I don't know why you say that 
I think they should pass their examinations. 
You'll never know how the examination was arranged. 
There's no discredit in failing it. The passing 
grade was 70, and I got 68.5 or something like 






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37 



Chaney: that. Nevertheless, it ' s a blot on my record. 

Daniel: It isn't at all. I think it's an ornament. Now 
we'll go on from there. 

Chaney: That brought me to the Pacific Coast and through 
the Inland Passage on the "Admiral Simpson," the 
famous old ship. There were several professional 









geologists on board, some of them not so very much 
older than I, some of them much older, some very 
eminent men. They're almost all dead now; Brooks, 
and Martin, and Sargent, and Kapps; well they're 
all gone long ago; wonderful men. We packed in 
to the Matinuska coal field and made a detailed 
map. It was very hard work. That's the region^ 
the Matinuska valley, where the settlement was 
made, the agricultural settlement where there 
are very beautiful farms nowadays. There were no 
roads then. We packed in with ten or a dozen 
horses, and I saw my first bears and moose and 
mountain sheep, and ate most of them at one time 
or another. At Knik, a frontier town that is com 
pletely gone I am sure, we stayed at a roadhouse 
which had accomodations for forty men and a hun 
dred dogs according to the sign outside. It was 
very crude. There would be a platter of moose, 






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an enormous platter of chunks of moose steak, 
which were mostly tough. 

It was primitive and very glamorous as you can 
imagine. 

Was this your first experience away from home? 
No, my first one was at the end of my junior year 
when I went out to South Dakota with the s outh 
Dakota Geological Survey. That was the West in 
a limited sort of way. There were new birds: 
western meadowlarks and different flycatchers and 
so on, and I rode a cow pony for hundreds of miles 
from halfway across South Dakota to the Black 
Hills and back again. 

It was a natural history survey. We were col 
lecting birds and plants and stuff. It wasn't 
very well-organized or important. The man in 
charge of it was this older man, who had been bird- 
ing with me in the old days. I see him still. He 
teaches at the University of Indiana, but that's 
of no consequence here. 



But your excursion then was your first step? 
Yes. The summer I graduated (a year later) I went 
to the Rockies on a geology field trip for about a 
month or six weeks, so I got to the Rocky Mountains 






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the next time. 

Alaska in 1913 was my first sight of the ocean, 
the first sight of tides, the first sight of spruce 
trees in any number, so it was a marvelous experi 
ence. 

Very rich. 

The only other one comparable was my first trip 
to Asia in 1925. 
It opened up a new world. 

The angle of intake was like that (indicates wide 
angle). But the Alaska trip was wonderful. We 
stayed until it snowed, I got back too late to 
get into the university. That's a strange thing. 
^ may be a little mixed on ray dates, but I'm sure 
that was the summer of 1913. 

Anyway, after that trip I knew that I wanted 
to be a geologist and do field work. I knew then 
numerous men who were doing field work in the sum 
mer and teaching. There were only three choices: 
one would be a geological survey, which didn't ap 
peal to me very much; another was teaching; and 
another was oil geology. That was in the big boom 
of Venezuela and we had a teacher, a Calif ornian 
from Stanford, Ralph Arnold, a very eminent man 






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Chaney: still living, I'm sure, although I haven't seen 
him ever in California. Ralph Arnold taught a 
course at Chicago in oil geology, and almost all 
of us who were in the class and did good work had 
a chance to go down to Venezuela with one of his 

companies as oil geologists. That was a promis- 


ing alternative, but when it came along my father 

was mortally ill and I didn't want to leave, and 
by the time he had died and I was free to go I 
was getting Involved with my present wife and so 
I was leaning more to the education side of it as 
the best of the three alternatives. Oil geology 
paid very well; I would have had $25>0 a month, 

and my first job in a university was |l600 for 

. 

ten months. 



I put in another year the year 1913-191it 
studying mostly invertebrate fossils. 

The 1913 summer geological survey job took me 
to the ocean for the first time and I realized how 
little I knew about the fossil invertebrates that 
I had been studying. It also took me into the 
Matinuska coal field where I saw ray first plant 
fossils. The first experience emphasized my lack 






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of knowledge of things marine, as I was an Illi- 
noisan, and the other, the discovery of plant 
fossils in the Matinuska coal field, fossils of 



the general sort that I've been working with ever 
since, that is, the later Cenozoic Age fossils. 
You viewed a new field, unknown to you. 
I had no instruction in it. There was no paleo- 
botany in Chicago in those days, and there was 
very little mention of it in the textbooks. Some, 
but not as much as there is nowadays. 
You apparently developed a burst of interest in 
this subject at this time. 

Well, I liked botany better than zoology. Also, 
I had received, as I told you last week, a ter 
rific inspiration, really a soul-stirring experi 
ence, with Henry Chandler Cowles, with whom I 
took two courses, two or three, and he took us 
off on field trips. For the first time he got me 
in touch with environment as a controlling factor 
in life, ecology, in other words. The ecologic 
idea interested me from the very start, and plant 
ecology interested me more than animal ecology, 
though Victor E. Shulford was then my teacher in 
animal ecology at Chicago, and was a man whom I 






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Chaney: knew and liked very much, I used to assist him 

In class, running the lantern and that sort of 

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thing, so I learned quite a bit about animal eco 
logy* but land animals have the unfortunate habit 
of moving around and getting out of context; plant 
fossils are rooted In the ground. They can't es 
cape, and where they are found, that's where they 
belong. So plant ecology has always had some ad 
vantages, although obviously we couldn't do with 
out both of these fields in any real analysis of 
ecology. 

I use animal ecology whenever I can. For ex 
ample, In my latest paper I have a long, for me, 
theoretical discussion of the place of grass on 
the borders of the deciduous forests in the Mio 
cene. (This is in Oregon. We're fully away from 
Alaska, and I'm talking about the use of animal 
ecology.) All right, In the adjacent deposits 
there are any number of grass-chewing horses, 
rhinoceroses, oreodents, various of the herbi 
vorous mammals which must have had grass, and 
yet there's very little record of grass In the 
rocks. I went back to Daniel Boone's discussions 






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of the undisturbed grasslands of Kentucky and Illi 
nois when he came west Boone and others. I have 
pieced together such inferences as can properly 
be made in a scientific paper and have concluded 
that on the uplands, above the forests and gul 
lies there may have been flats, tablelands with 
grass. Later this was confirmed by the finding 
of pollen in the lowland deposits. One of my 
Ph. D. students later found pollen and confirmed 
the presence of grasses quite definitely. 
Well, this is all part of the development of your 
choice of p.eobotany as your field, and I think 
you've brought out quite clearly the inspiration, 
on the one hand, and on the other hand, the In 
clination to work In a field which has a defi- 
nite framework. 

I had talked to one of my fellow students, at 
least six years older than I, who by this time 
was married and had a child. He was teaching at 
the University of Washington, 

He came back to the University of Chicago about 
19l while I was teaching at the Parker School. 
He was a good friend and sympathetic, and when he 












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Chaney: went out to ^regon with a field class In the sum 
mer of 1916 he told me he would look for fossil 
plants. I'd expressed a great interest in them. 
Before very long I got an enthusiastic letter 
from him saying that he had found a deposit on 
Eagle Creek in the Columbia River gorge which con 
tained what he thought were excellent fossils. 

So I got together the necessary funds (they 
were my own funds) for a trip to Oregon. 

Daniel: Was this the first trip? 

Chaney: That was in the summer of 1916, yes, the first 
trip on a fossil plant quest. 

I spent a few days looking by myself and then 
was joined by Bretz, J. H. Bretz, who is still a 
good friend, and he took me to the very fine lo 
cality which supplied material for ray Ph,D. thesis. 
He knew nothing about fossil plants. I knew a lot 
about plants for example, I found a black oak 
which I have here which is the first good fossil 
I ever found. 

Daniel: This Is it ? (fragment showing imprint of oak leaf) 
Chaney: This is it. I call It the "oak of the covenant." 
We keep It In a sacred place. 

Daniel: It Is a beautiful thing. 






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were the basis of my first writing, a little paper 
In the Journal of Geology. I was facing the pros 
pect, as were all the men of ray age, of going in 
to World War I at that time, so I hustled through 
a paper just to cash in on my results of the sum- 
mar's field work in case I had to leave, in case 
I never came back. 





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IV. SCHOOL TEACHING AND GRADUATE WORK 









Daniel: 
Chaney: 
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Daniel: 
Chaney: 



World War I: 191U-1918 



What was the source of funds for your trip to Ore 
gon? 



I paid for this trip myself. I was teaching at 
the Parker s chool, and had some money. 
Was the Parker School a secondary school or a col 
lege? 

It was from kindergarten through high school 


thirteen grades. 

How did you happen to be there? 

I was recommended by ray professor, Professor Salis 
bury, who was considered one of the best teachers 
in the world, and I guess he was. He thought I 
was a little nuts, I guess, with my interests in 
birds and plants, rather than in invertebrates and 
rocks. I was interested in all these things. He 

told me I'd never amount to very much, so perhaps 


he thought it would be a good idea to get me into 

this rich kids' school. 

This was a private school? 

Oh, very much so. It was subsidized by Mrs. Emmons 



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Harvester and Reaper that family, a very fine wo- 

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Daniel: Was it a large schopl? 

Chaney: No, it was a school of about 00, lj.00 or 5>00. It's 
a little bigger now. 

I was in charge of natural science there in all 
the grades. I was there three years. I organized 
the curriculum. At least I recommended it to the 
teachers. We had a sequence of subjects and fig 
ured out what was best at the outset and what was 
best to finish with. I taught the high school cur 
riculum courses in science, the general sciences, 
we called it then, a mixture of biology, physics, 
chemistry, and meteorology. That w as for three 
years following 191^-, and I made good pay, about 
$1600 a year, which was marvelous. I commuted 
from the South Side up to the North Side. 

One other thing I did was take these kids on 
field trips. There were enough wealthy kids so 
that there always were motor cars. We would go 
to all sorts of places: to a big dairy farm, or 
to a forest somewhere, or out on the beach to see 






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yards to see some of the manufacturing processes. 

Daniel: This was unusual at the time, wasn't it? 

Chaney: Yes, it was. I'd never had a field trip in ray 

life until I got to college, but here kindergarten 
children were taken on field trips. 

On the whole the teachers and the principal 
were high-minded, idealistic, extremely competent 
people. It was fast company in terms of my years. 
For instance, the Parker idea of motivation is now 
what they call the activity program oh, there's 
another word in the jargon for it now. Anyway, 
motivation meant to have a reason for doing every 
thing. 

This is motivational psychology. 

Well, c olonel Parker was the originator of it, in 
writing at least. His followers were many and this 
school was founded by Mrs. Elaine so his ideas could 
be taught, and they still are taught, 

Daniel: Did you have any idea about the extent to which 

your work in this school might have had influence 
on curricula in other schools of the area. 

Chaney: We had a profound influence on curricula all over 
the United States. 



Daniel: 
Chaney: 















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Daniel: Let's hear about It. 

Chaney: We had a series of publications. I have a long re 
port in one of them, I don't suppose I even own 
it any more. I haven't seen It for years. There 
would be a curriculum of teaching in history, a 
curriculum on teaching of science. For all I know, 
these were both in one of these volumes. I'm sure 
science wasn't a complete volume. 

We put forth our ideas not only my own rather 
simple Ideas, because I was just a kid myself, I 
was 2i|. 2lj. to 2? years old. 

Daniel: How did you happen to bring these to publication? 

Chaney: It was done by the school, 

Daniel: And did the school always do this or did this seem 
to be a good idea of something unusual worth pub 
lishing? 

Chaney: They did it while I wa>s there. Whether they're 

still doing it I don't know. I suppose they are. 
These manuals of education have played a very im 
portant part. I think there are perhaps better 
sources now, but in those days this was pioneering. 

Daniel: Who subscribed to the manual? 

Chaney: I suppose they were sold. Maybe they were given 

away. I had nothing to do with it. I was a junior 






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Chaney: member, one of the youngest members of the staff. 
Many oeople on the staff were old enough to be my 
parents, fine, old, and not dried-up teachers. 
They were almost all of them first-class. There 
was music of the finest sort Including special 
programs by first-class musicians who may have 
cost a hundred dollars, a fabulous amount in those 
days to get out to the school. There was drama 
by first-class coaches and plays were put on--a 
Christmas play, and all sorts of plays. 

Every morning, it was at ten o'clock, I guess, 
there was what was called a morning exercise when 
the whole school, as much of it as could be got 
into the auditorium, appeared together for a pro 
gram. Frequently, very frequently, I was emcee 
for those programs. Whenever a program failed, 
as it occasionally did, I was, so to speak, in 
the wings to go on extemporaneously and put on a 
show. 

We always had what were considered important 
visitors. There was scarcely a day that I taught 
that there weren't visitors in my room which was 
kind of rough for a young kid- -from all over the 
United States, 






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Daniel: This, in other words, was rather an example as a 
school. 

Chaney: It was a model school, a modern school with modern 
methods. I am sure that if we wanted to do so we 
could find out from the Parker School how many of 
their publications have been issued, we could get 
a report on their visitors, perhaps over a period 
of forty or fifty years, the numbers and the places, 
It would be a very compelling record. 

Daniel: While you were participating in a teaching experi 
ence, you reached far beyond Chicago, developing 
your specific interest in fossils and paleobotany. 
It seems to me quite a complicated arrangement of 
Ideas. 

Chaney: I would teach there during the daytime, leaving 

about seven or a quarter to seven, get over there 
about eight, get through about two or three, go 
back to the South Side, where the University is 
located, and do a little work before dinner 
had dinner with my girl friend who is now Mrs. 
Chaney and then work in the evening on my fos 
sils. 

Daniel: At the same time you were preparing to qualify 
for the Ph.D. , weren't you? 

Chaney: Definitely moving toward it, yes. 



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Daniel: You were handling this very complicated existence, 
apparently quite handily. 

Chaney: There's one more very comical thing that happened 

to me in the summer of 1915. I hadn't been drafted 
yet. There was a lot of talk about the need for 
agriculture, and I was a little fed up with paleon 
tology, that was before I really got into paleo- 
botany in 1916, so I went down to an employment 
agency down on the bowery of Chicago wearing old 
clothes, and hired out as a farmhand and went to 
work on a farm doing farm labor. I wasn't doing 
it, please be assured, for strictly patriotic 
reasons. I had in the back of my mind the fact 
that I might want to be a farmer. I had always 
been interested in animals and plants from a food 
standpoint and from a crop standpoint, too. Also, 
although I may not have realized it, I think I 
did though, I picked a place in Illinois near 
where my ancestors had settled, the same farming 
area. But I decided I liked geology better af 
ter that summer. You see, I was feeling around 
and it cost me nothing and I made a little money, 
even, and I strengthened my shoulders tossing 
bundles. 

*** 






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Daniel: Your studies there were in abeyance at this time, 

weren't they? 

Chaney: That was during the summer, the summer of 19l5 
Daniel: And you didn't have summer sessions? 
Chaney: I didn't that summer, no 
Daniel: I think it might be interesting to consider the war 

in this period. 

Chaney: That was the summer of 19liu I was down in Mis 
souri working for the Missouri Geological Survey 
invertebrate paleontology- 
Daniel: How did you always slip into these geological sur 
vey jobs? Had you established a reputation? 
Chaney: Well, different people had asked me to go, Stuart 
Weller, my professor, asked me to go on this. He 
was working there for the Missouri Geological Sur 
vey. It was a great place for fossils. So I had 
been there--it was August, wasn't it, when the war 

started?--! had been there for nearly two months 
when we got an old newspaper with the news of the 
war. There was no radio, of course, no other 
source of information. 

The fact that the Germans were marching on 
Belgium, or whatever it was--I don't remember how 
the war started was appalling, of course, because 
we had been raised to think that war was obsolete. 






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Daniel: 
Chaney: 

Daniel: 
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All ray lifetime I'd known only the Spanish- American 

War. which wasn't much of a war. 

It had been a peaceful time. 

It was. It was the finest time that I can think of 

to live in. in terms of security. 

The Spanish- American War was rather romantic, wasn*t 
it? 

Superficially, I'm sure the boys who went, and who 
died of yellow fever, malaria, or whatever for 
them it was a serious matter but it wasn't much 
of a war* The Spaniards were greatly outclassed 
in every way. 

Our neighbors went. I was in the third grade 
in 1898 when the troop trains came back. I remem 
ber the teachers let us out and we ran over to the 
tracks, which were only a hundred yards away, and 
waved at the men coming back presumably from New 
York to Chicago and then on west to wherever they 
were going. That had been my only contact with 
war, and as you say, it was a glamorous sort of 
affair. Nobody I knew got killed. This little 
cousin, hundred-year-old cousin of mine in Oak 
land, was in Puerto Rico. He got malaria. He 
told me some tall tales about it, but it was a 






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Chaney: pretty tame war. I hope he never hears this re 
cord, because he thinks it 'was a wonderful war. 

Daniel: There was a great contrast between the Spanish- 
Am rican War and the first World War. 

Chaney: When the Teutons started marching across the low 
lands of Europe that was really war. I went back 
to Chicago in September to a new job at the Parker 
School, a job for which I would not have been de 
ferred, because it was not an essential job. I 
signed up for selective service. 

Daniel: What about selective service? Did this bother 

people very much? At the time Theodore Roosevelt 
seemed to feel he could bring a volunteer group 
together. 

Chaney: I don't remember anyone objecting to going. Many 
of my friends went as members of the army, of the 
infantry or the engineers. Now, I would have gone 
but by the time we got in--in 1917 wasn't it? I 
had a job teaching in an officers' training pro 
gram. I was teaching them military mapping, based 
on my work in Alaska, incidentally, (laughter) I 
haven't thought of this in years: A very wealthy 
man, member of a wealthy Chicago family, wanted 
to be sure to get into the officers' training 






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Chaney: school. He hired me to take him out with my map- 
ping equipment for a couple of weekends. I think 
I made fifty bucks a day, some fantastic amount, 
showing him just how to map. I never heard whether 
he passed or not, but I hope he got his hundred 
dollars worth. Anyway, how I got the job I haven't 
the faintest idea. 

The fall of 1917 when the war was getting hot, 
my number was up, I was at the University of Iowa 
teaching a course in military mapping and several 
other courses which were in the curriculum for 

A-A 

officers. 

Daniel: How did you get over to the University of Iowa? 

University of Iowa - 1917-1922 

Chaney: I'd been at the Parker School for three years and 
I had my thesis well In hand. I wanted to get 
married and did in 1917 Also I wanted to get out 
of teaching in high school and into a university. 

It was all right professionally to teach on 
the North Side and to do my research on the South 
Side, but I took an awful beating. I was able to 
get from the University of Iowa just the same 
amount as I was getting at the Parker School. I 
had a lighter teaching schedule, fewer responsi- 






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level responsibilities. So I went to a Geological 
Society meeting and met the chairman of the depart 
ment at Iowa, and he asked me if I was looking for 
a job. I said I might be, so he wrote me in the 
following spring, and the upshot of it was I took 
the job. 

Daniel: This placed you in a new circle of teachers and 
students. Do any interesting faculty personali 
ties come to mind? 

Chaney: The University of Iowa was an exceptionally fine 

place for a start in university teaching. Several 
of the older men, Kay, Thomas, Trowbridge, in the 
Geology Department were fine teachers, and stand 
ards were high. I learned a lot from them. The 
University was small in 1917, and so was the town 
of Iowa City. We had no car, but went for long 
walks in the adjoining country. Nearly everyone 
went to church, and so did we. I have sometimes 
wondered since how I might have turned out if we 
had stayed there. There was a pious air smoking 
was frowned uponi and drinking was not even men 
tioned. Perhaps it is just as well that I left 
for the dens of iniquity of Berkeley in 1922. 






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Chaney: But the five years at Iowa were happy, and I 
learned a lot. 

Daniel: What did you contract to teach? 

Chaney: Geology, just geology, 

Daniel: And then, of course, you were put into the array 
courses as the need arose, 

Chaney: Yes, I taught the specialized courses and one of 
the general courses for Letters and Sciencegirls 
and the men who were still there, I taught most 
of the special classes. Students were decreased 
ih number; I had a very heavy schedule. Most of 
the classes were for these young boys who were in 
the army, who were wearing uniforms, just like 
our boys. 

Daniel: Yes, just like the training program during the 
Second World War, 

Chaney: So when my number came up the university asked for 
my deferment, and I never was considered again. 
In other words, -^ did not participate in the war. 
I had been in the National Guard about 1913 and 
1911; in Chicago. I organized the University of 
Chicago graduate students' troop, mostly geology 
students. I was a member of our graduate frat 
ernity, Gamma Alpha. It had chemists and physi- 



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Chaney: cists and biologists in it, too. Quite a number 
of us were in it. That was a cavalry troop, but 
nothing came of it. I think, as a matter of fact, 
there was a lot of trouble in Mexico and some of 
our boys went, but I didn't. 

Daniel: Your contribution in the first war was in teaching 
special courses for the military. 

Chaney: Yes, well, there wasn t anybody else at the univer 
sity who seemed to be ready for it. 

Daniel: Did the work there allow you to continue your the 
sis? 

Chaney: Yes, I had my summers. Oddly enough, I'm sure this 
is true, there was no summer school for soldiers. 
How they managed that I don't know because we al 
ways had summer courses here in the second World 
War. I worked nights and vacations. The build 
ings weren't heated, but I got a university truck 
to carry my specimens home and put them in the big 
kitchen of the house we were living in and worked 
on them. 

Then I went back east in 1916. That was before 
I went to Iowa, to the National Museum to compare 
my plants with others from about the same and ad 
jacent areas. There I met Dr. Prank H. Knowlton, 






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Chaney: a paleobotanist who did a great deal for me in Wash 
ington; Dr. Arthur Rollick, in New York; Dr. Berry 
at Johns Hopkins. There were various others. 

That was my first trip to Washington, and I cer 
tainly was a hayseed. I went there without any hotel 
reservations. In fact, it had never occurred to me 
to get a reservation. I walked up Pennsylvania 
Avenue until I came to a sign and went in and got 
a room for a dollar, probably in a flophouse. The 
building is no longer there. The National Art 
Gallery or something is in that general area. 

Then I moved from there and lived in a house, 
one of the many houses that had roomers, for a very, 
very low price, fifty or seventy-five cents a night. 
I was on my own, paying my expenses* 

Then I went up to New York. On the train I met 
a somewhat older fellow graduate student In geology, 
a rather staid individual. ^ was certainly happy 
to see him because I was all excited about landing 
in New York after dark all by myself. We found a 
cheap hotel and went out to see the town. We wan 
dered into a theater ticket office. By that time 

. 

it was a quarter past eight. The man said, "I 






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61 



Chaney: have tickets for such-and-such a show. I'll give 
them to you for half price because the curtain 
goes up in fifteen minutes." Well, we stood there 
trying to make up our minds, not having much money, 
and finally we talked to him until 8:30. So this 
fellow said, "Listen, you rubes, I'll give you the 
tickets nowl" (Laughter) By that time we were so 
scared we didn't even take them. It's unbelievable, 
but we beat it. We thought we were in the dens of 
sin. So I never did get to go to that free show. 

But I went up to New York not to go to the 
theater but to go to the New ^ork Botanical Gardens 
where Dr. Rollick was, and where I saw some other 
things of great interest, ^he National Museum in 
Washington, D.C., the New York Botanical Gardenfej; 
and the Arnold Arboretum in Boston are places where 
1 have spent hundreds, oh, many hundreds of hours 
in the past thirty or forty years. 

Daniel: Well, you were actually opening communication with 
other people in your field. 

Chaney: Yes, these good friends, all dead, were in a system 
atic stage of paleobotany. Just about all they did 
was describe the plants they found, identify them, 






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Chaney: and indicate their age. 

My first little paper, written when I thought 
I might have to go fight for ray country, was, I 
suppose, the first paper in America, written 
solely from the standpoint of ecology, interpret 
ing the plants in terms of environment. All my 
life, ray interest in plants has been not in plants 
as species, but in plants as members of forests. 

Daniel: Relating the plant to everything else around it. 

Chaney: Vegetation in terms of topography, climate, ani 
mals that eat it. My first little paper was 
based on this oak. My argument, as I look at it 
now, was not altogether sound. No one has ever 
refuted it, at least. That oak was a member of 
a slope forest; therefore, there must have been 
an irregular topography. I set out to find it 
and did find irregularities. I remember this 
vaguely because the paper isn't any good in 
terms of today, but it was the first thing I 
did and I think the first paleo-ecological paper, 
at least in any such detail. I don't know of 
any at all up to that time. Anyhow, it was fun, 
and it was the sort of thing that I've done ever 
since. 






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63 



Daniel: 
Chaney: 






Daniel: 

Chaney: 
Daniel: 
Chaney: 






Well, you might call this gumshoe paleobotany. 
My older friends were concerned with the 'what 1 
of it, what kinds of plant is it, and the 'when' 
of it, when did it live. But I was concerned with 
the 'why 1 of it, why was it there, and whence and 
wherefrom the distribution part of it. Distri 
bution and paleoecology have been ray interests, 
my only interests in paleontology, though of course 
I've had to do a vast amount of systematic and 
stratographic work, because we have to know what 
we're talking about and when it lived. 
Darrah puts forth what he considers to be the 
challenges of p&leo 
It was in his book, wasn t it? 
Yes. 



He was pretty vague. He was an interesting fellow, 
young and good-looking, somewhat effeminate, and 
as it turned out, not wholly honest. As a young 
ster, in his mid-twenties, he got the job at Har 
vard and began writing a textbook which is the 
book you saw. It came out around 1939. It was 
Darrah' s hard luck that I was ill at the time, the 
only time I've ever been ill. He sent me a copy, 



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Chaney: and I read it carefully. Naturally, I turned to 
the chapter on tertiary floras, the plants I'm 
interested in, first. This fellow is marvelous, 
I thought, the way he expresses himself, the lu 
cidity of his ideas I couldn't have done better 
myself...! did it myself I 

Daniel: Oh, good heavensj 

Chaney: The book was a series of plagiarisms. It cost him 
his job. I was only one of the hundred people he 
plagiarized. Two chapters were almost word for 
word without pause my stuff. He was smart. He 
wrote to everyone and said, "I'm going to write 
a book. May I quote such-and-such an idea?" And 
he put quotes on that, and then he quoted every 
thing else, but without the quotation marks and 
without credit. 

It cost the poor boy his job. If he had been 
honest but he was so dishonest I figured I should 
smoke him out, which I did. 

Daniel: He disappeared from the field of paleobotany? 

Chaney: Yes. He has some sort of job in coal geology and 
occasionally writes a paper, but he was rather 
superficial. All the good in his book was already 






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Chaney: In print. He brought it together, of course, in a 
sense that's what a textbook is, but he did it 
without proper citation. It's comical though, 
reading my stuff and having the notion gradually 
come on me that it was my stuff, not his. I would 
catch a phrase, and then the conclusion 
This is known, in vaudeville, as the slow take. 
Yes, it was. It was most amusing, of course, and 
an annoying experience. I wrote to my friends at 
Harvard. They defended him to some extent. They 
said that he had notes on various people's papers 
for use in his lectures and when he came to write 
his textbook he copied his lecture notes into his 
textbook. 

Daniel: Suppose we get back to your work and to completion 
of requirements for the Ph.D. 

Chaney: That was in 1919, when I'd been at Iowa for two 

years, the summer of 1919. That meant meeting re 
quirements from geologists J th junior Chamberlin, 
that is Roll in Chamberlin T.C. Chamberlin was 
still living but did not attend Bretz and Salis 
bury in general geology, Weller In pathology, and 
Cowles in botany. There was no one in paleobotany 
because they had no courses. 






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66 



V. CARNEGIE INS TI TTJTION RESEARCH FELLOW AT BERKELEY 



Paleobotany in the West 









Chaney: My paleobotany was a synthesis of botany and geology, 
which is all it is anyway. 

Daniel: Was this true in general in curricula throughout the 
world in this field? Paleobotany became a concept 
as it grew from geology and botany? 

Chaney: Yes. The invertebrate paleontology had long been 
important because it has so much value in marine 
sediments for dating. But plants are in terres 
trial sediments and in the area where I lived, at 
least, from Chicago eastward all fossil -bear ing 
rocks are marine. Southward down the Mississippi 
there are terrestrial deposits, but I had seen none 
of them, never have seen them. We lived in a ma 
rine area and invertebrate fossils were the only 
important ones. 

When -L came out here to Berkeley, to the West 
Coast, it was to an area which had, in addition to 
invertebrates, the vertebrate fossils which Camp 
and others have worked on, and the plants which I 
had worked on. So we have a much broader picture 






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67 






Chaney: of paleontology. 

The department was reorganized in 1931 when I 
became a member of it the chairman. It was the 
first department in America which had an active 
course in all three fields. 

Daniel: Apparently an accident of surroundings determined 
lack of study in paleobotany before this time. 

Chars y: The eastern United States was an area of marine 

rocks. Trilobites and brachiopods and corals were 
important, but there weren't any land plants. But 
out here, J. P. Smith of Stanford, a marvelous man, 
and John C. Merriam at the University of Califor 
nia, another great man, were both interested not 
only in their fields, animal paleontology, but in 
fossil plants. It was along about 1918, maybe 
191? that I met Merriam at a scientific meeting 
and I sent him my paper, the paper on ecology. 
All his life he had been waiting for somebody to 
work on paleoecology. 

So the first thing I knew in 1920 he offered 
me a job at the University, which I didn't take. 

Daniel: How does this tie in with your Carnegie research? 

Chaney: It does a little later. 






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Daniel: You were not first a member of the Carnegie research 
group? 

Chaney: No, I was at the University of Iowa from 1917 to 
1922. During that time I met Merriam and he of 
fered me a job, and then he said, "Let's wait a 
little." At that time he probably knew that he 
was going to be the president of the Carnegie In 
stitution. That's the tie-up. But he wasn't yet. 
So he said, "instead I'll send you money for field 
expenses. I want you to come out to the John Day 
Basin this summer." So this time, instead of rid 
ing in a day-coach on ray own expenses, I spent 
fe)0 to $00 of research funds from tbe University 
of California my first. 

I had a marvelous summer and met several of 
the men: Chester Stock, Eustace Furlong, and John 
Buwalda, with whom I was to be associated through 
all these years. They are all dead now and Mer 
riam. I'm the only one of the quintette still 
living. 

Charles W. Merriam, JoC.'s second son, is an 
invertebrate paleontologist with the United States 
Geological Survey at Menlo Park. I see him fre- 






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69 



Chaney: quently, but then he was just a youngster. Of the 

grown men of that group I'm the only survivor, 
^t gives ma a very queer feeling. 

Daniel: You said that Merriam offered you a job and you 
didn't take it? 

Chaney: I didn't take it because, actually, he sounded me 
out on a job. Before a decision was reached he 
said he thought we had better wait a little while. 
He was thinking about Carnegie. When he went to 
Carnegie he immediately, or even in 1921, wrote 
and said he wanted me to be a member of the Car 
negie Institution staff, quartered in Berkeley on 
the University of California campus. He was plan 
ning for me, you see, in advance. 

Daniel: You were listed in the Carnegie roster as an indi 
vidual doing research, 

Chaney: Yes, research associate. 

Daniel: But you didn't work in Washington ever. You came 
straight on. 

Chaney: No, I was on the campus throughout, from 1922 to 
1931. 

In 1927, Chester Stock went to Pasadena, or it 
might have been 1926, and I taught his course once 
or twice as a special arrangement. In 1930, W, D. 

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Daniel: 
Chaney : 



Chaney: Matthew, a marvelous man, who came here from New 

York, became fatally ill and I finished his course 
in the fall. He had started it. I finished it. 
He died before the end of the semester. I taught 
it the next semester and by the end of the year I 
had been appointed a regular, so in 1931 I went 
on as a regular University staff member. 
You also had a title with resoect to the museum. 
Yes, I was curator of paleobotanical collections 
during all that time, 

Daniel: Is there more background about your coming to the 
University? 

I continued at Iowa until 1922, but the summers of 
1920 and 1921 I came out here, and with University 

of California research funds I laid the ground 
work of all the paleobotanical work I've done in 
western America ever since. 

I visited several scores of localities in 
Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and 
California. For the first time I traveled around 
in an automobile, collecting. These collections 
are still a very important part of our study ma 
terial here, though they have been added to many 
times since, 

Then in 1922, when Merriam was in Washington 



Chaney: 






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Chaney: with the Carnegie Institution, he said that for a 
time, at least, it would be better for me not to 
teach at the University, as he had originally 
planned, but to come here as a member of the Car 
negie staff, without teaching responsibilities, 
so I could devote all my time to research, 

I came to Berkeley in 1922 as a research as 
sociate of the Carnegie Institution, refusing a 
position with the University, a teaching posi 
tion, because it seemed better to spend all my 
time on getting baleobotany established. It 
meant that I could go into the field at any time 
of the year I wished instead of being held in 
Berkeley by classes. As a consequence, I had a 
lot of field work, brought together a very large 
collection of materials which I have been using 
and others will be using. 

However, you were an associate in the University. 
I had an honorary relationship and sat on Ph. D. 
committees. 

But not as an official? 

I had received no salary from the University. I 
simply had quarters. The Carnegie Institution 



Daniel: 
Chaney: 

Daniel: 
Chaney: 






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Chaney : 






Daniel 



Chaney 



favors that arrangement, at least It did at that 
time. There were many people, including several 
others on this campus in other disciplines, who 
were Carnegie staff members but who had the hos 
pitality of various departments. 
This arrangement was developed by the chairman 
of the Department of Paleontology? 
Well, actually, oddly enough at that time there 
wasn't any Department of Pabontology. It had 
been run into the ground. There was a museum 
of paleontology. It was the ^eology Department. 
When ^atthew came in 192? the department was re 
organized. Geology and paleontology were once 
more separated in 1927. They had been separated 
from about 1910 when Merriam founded the Depart 
ment of Paleontology for administrative reasons . 
Around 1921 or 1922 they were merged because there 
was no one in paleontology who could be chairman. 
The men in there were not strong enough men to han 
dle it. 

When Matthew came he was definitely competent. 
The Department of Paleontology was reorganized and 
ever since there has been a department. I'm in- 






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73 



Chaney: clined to think it was a mistake because paleon- 

tology is a part of geology, but that's the way we 
have it here. 

Daniel: This is in line with fragmentation of other depart 
ments, isn't it? 

Chaney: That is the tendency at Berkeley. Time will tell 
whether it is wise or not. Dividing up subjects 
has disadvantages, but there are administrative 
advantages. For example, a very considerable 
amount of funds from outside sources were given 
for paleontology. The only way to be sure that 
geology wouldn't get some of them was to have a 
wholly separate office or a separate department, 
which is the reason 'way back forty years ago, 
nearly fifty years ago, why this was done. 

The present trend in geology is toward phy 
sical and chemical geology geophysics and geo 
chemistry is a better way of putting it. And 
that takes them still further from the life side 
of paleontology science, so it may well be that 
we have this fragmentation. I have no mature 
opinion about it. In general I don't favor it. 
It brings in more difficulties than it solves. 
But anyhow that's the way we do it. 









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While I was around here in the twenties I was 
associated with the Geology Department and the 
Museum of Paleontology, just as there's a Muse 
um of Vertebrate Zoology, from the same source 
of funds, incidentally, so there was a Museum of 
Paleontology. 
Administratively the Museum was not under the 

Geology Department? 

* 

It was wholly separate, yes. During that time 
I taught one or two courses by special arrange 
ment with the University when the men who nor 
mally taught them weren't here. Then when Dr, 
Matthew became seriously ill--in 1930 and was 
unable to meet his classes I finished the semes 



ter for him and taught the course he would have 
taught the next semester. I always had a stand- 
in capacity, for some of the teaching at least, 
and I was associated on seminars and on com 
mittees and other matters. Even then I was some 
what more experienced than some of the others, 
Daniel 1 This arrangement continued until you took over 
the chairmanship of the department? 



Chaney : 

, 



Yes. Of course this enabled me, as I was mention- 

. 

ing, to go to Mongolia and China for a year just 






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Chaney: to pick up and leave. No one had any call on my 
time except myself and Dr. John C. Merriam who 
was directing my work in the Carnegie Institution. 
And at various other times I went away on trips 
during the school year because the University bells 
weren't ringing for my ears. 

Starting out in 1922 as a resident of Berkeley, 
I had an office in Bacon Hall in the Paleontology 
Department, My responsibilities were limited to 
an occasional seminar and to participation on Ph, 
D, committees from time to time. 

When Matthew came in 1927, might have been 
1926, he called upon me for advice. As I say, we 
were old friends, and he had never taught before. 
So I did a good deal, informally, in helping along, 
He did more for me than I ever did for him. He 
advised Roy Andrews to take me along to Mongolia 



in 1925. 

Then around 1929 and 1930 I began going to 
Mexico, and to Central America in 1931 I had my 



schedule so arranged that I could occasionally 



take a semester off without classes. 



Daniel: How could you finance these things? 
Chaney: As a member of the Carnegie staff I had funds I 
used Dr. Merriam' s funds. He sent me anything I 






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76 



Chaney 









needed as long as I was a paid member of the staff. 
I received my salary from Carnegie. When I went 
into the University in 1931 he set up an annual 
allotment, a generous one, which enabled me to hire 
an assistant and do any travel and publication work 
I needed. I suspect that the Carnegie Institution 
altogether, including salary, spent close to a 
quarter of a million dollars on me. 

This is not an inexpensive type of work. The 
taxpayers can't complain about this because it 
was not public funds, but it seems like an enor 
mous amount of money. 

Anyway, all I had to do was to determine whe 
ther I had six OP seven hundred dollars for a trip 
to Venezuela, and I usually did, so I went. They 
bought equipment which the University couldn't 
get for me. 

When I became a member of the University staff 
in 1931 we moved over from Bacon Hall to the Min 
ing Building that was another change in the de 
partment, we moved into the third floor of the 
Mining Building to insure safety for our collec 
tions. Bacon Hall has never burned down. It has 



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77 



Ghaney: caught on fire several times and Is a fire trap. 
Fossils are In general Irreplaceable, these types 
at least, the described specimens like this can't 
be replaced and so we moved over to the Mining 
Building which Is relatively fireproof. We've 
been there ever since and we're moving out in ano 
ther year or so to a new building nearby. 

Daniel: Had you decided when you first came out here what 
your field of exploration would be? 

Chaney: Yes, almost exactly. The John Day Basin, where 
Merrlam worked as a young man in 1900 and 1901, 
has the most complete selection of landlaid terres 
trial deposits In North America and perhaps In the 
world, at least a section containing fossil ani 
mals and fossil plants. Almost every part of the 
Tertiary section is represented here. Merriam was 
an extremely wise man and, even as a beginner, he 
had gone up to the John Day Basin and recognized 
its value and wrote a paper which is still authori 
tative after more than fifty years, and that's going 
some. In geology and paleontology there weren't very 
many that last a half century. 

So Merriam told me in 1920 when I was still at 
Iowa to go to the John Day Basin, which I did. I 








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Chaney: went back In 1921 and 1922 and 1923, and have been 
going there ever since with an occasional year out, 
sometimes twice a year. In 1925 I didn't go because 
I went to iv longolia. 






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Ralph W. Chaney in June 1937 

near the village of Shanwang, Shantung Province, 
China, where he was collecting fossil plants with 
a field party of the Geological Survey of China. 



79 






Daniel: 
Chaney: 



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Daniel 



VI. PALEOBOTANY ABROAD 
Asia 

How did you haopen to go to Asia? 

It was becoming obvious that if my ideas for western 
America were sound they could be tested in Asia. Af 
ter all, this is a global study. It's not an iso 
lated John Day B ag i n n Oregon study. The conditions 
which I was beginning to think had obtained in Oregon 
and California and Washington, must have had corres 
ponding manifestation in Asia, if I was right. 

So I went over there and the results of that 
first year weren't all that they might have been 
for the reason that we were going to Mongolia, 
mostly collecting fossil reptiles and mammals. There 
weren't many fossil plants there. I had a marvelous 
time. We could talk for hours about it. 
How long were you there? 

About five months in Mongolia and a month or two 
at either end. When I got out of Mongolia I went 
to Manchuria where I found a fossil flora almost ex 
actly like one in the John Day Basin. 
Did you have any communication with any people in 
this field? 






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In Asia? 
Yes. 

No. The Chinese were interested Amadeus Grabau, 
a very eminent man, had got into trouble at Colum 
bia during the first World War because he was pro- 
German. He went out to China and founded the 
school of Grabauian philosophy, which is now out 
moded, but which was very useful for over twenty 
years. 

YOU say Grabauian? 

G-R-A-B-A-U, and then just the "ian" for the adjec 
tive. 

Was there some connection between what you were do 
ing and what someone in China may have been doing? 
Not much, no, no, no. 

And how did you happen to go to Mongolia? 
Well, Roy Andrews was collecting dinosaurs in Mon 
golia. He was at the American Museum under Osborne 
and Matthew. In fact, I certainly must have dis 
cussed it with Matthew beforehand and said I wanted 

to go . I don't remember the details. 
To see what you could see, in other words. 
To see whether I could find floras like those of the 
John Day ^asin in Mongolia. Well, I didn't, but in 



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Chaney: Manchuria there was a flora, very much like one in 
the John ^ay Basin. 

Daniel: How did you get into the Manchuria area? 

Chaney: A Swede had written a paper about it around 1921, 
a man I know very well now. He was out of his 
field, but Swedes are great to get around places, 
particularly China. 

Daniel: What was his name. 

Chaney: I'll tell you in a second. I know him. He's a 

close associate. We've had him here lecturing on 
this campus Florin is his name. 

Daniel: You knew about the Manchurian flora ? 

Chaney: Yes, I knew they were there. That was my first 

real contact with the Japanese. My search took me 
to a coal mine The plants were inter-bedded with 
false seams of coal. They confirmed my feeling 
that flora- in Asia would supplement what I knew 
of plants in western North America. So I've been 
back, in 1933 > primarily, to study the plants asso 
ciated with Peking man, Pleistocene; in 1937 at 
the request of the Geological Survey of China, 
which didn't pay my travel expenses. 

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Daniel: Was the Chinese government interested in your 
work? 






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Chaney: Yes. By this time I knew these men well. W. H. 
Wong was to be the Minister of Transportation and 
the Minister of Education in the War Cabinet, a 
very fine man. 

Daniel: Did they become interested because you were inter 
ested, or were there people in the Chinese schol 
astic circle who might have been interested? 

Chaney: There was a botanist named Hu who became inter 
ested. These things get very complicated, all hu 
man relations do. In 1933, working on the Peking 
man deposits I became very well acquainted with 
the Rockefeller group, the Peking Union Medical 
College, who were handling that job. 

Associated with them was a French Jesuit, Pierre 
Teilhard de Chard in. He was not employed by them. 
He was a missionary, but he spent all his time on 
fossils. In many ways he was the most remarkable 
man I have ever known. Well, Pierre and I got well 
acquainted. Pour years later, when the Shantung 
flora, (Shantung is the province that sticksout to 
ward Korea, out into the Yellow Sea), when the flora 
was discovered it was turned over to a Chinese bot 
anist who wasn't who'lly competent. He'd never done 

anything with fossil plants before, and he was 

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sort of butchering the flora. 






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Daniel: Was he primarily a botanist? 

Chaney: Yes, he wasn't a paleontologist at all. There were 
some other reasons why he was having difficulty. 

So, through Pierre, I got the invitation from 
the Geological Survey of China to come out and 
take it over. 

Daniel: This was the Jesuit missionary. Was he primarily a 
missionary or a researcher? 

Chaney: Well, he vjent out as a missionary, but except for 
crossing himself a couple of times a week--he was 
a paleontologist, one of the great men in paleon 
tology. The Jesuits tend to go into non- controver 
sial sciences. Anyway, that was the summer of the 
warthe war in Asia. In fact, on the way out to 
Shantung I stopped and got off the train at Tientsin 
and wandered around as I always do, talking a little 
Chinese. I began talking to a guard of one of the 
troop trains this is China, mind you--and I walked 

up to him and he shoved a bayonet at me. It was 
dark in the train shed. It was a Japanese sentry 
not Chinese at alii That was my first inkling that 
the Japanese were moving troops into North China to 
set up the incident at Lu-ku Chiao, the Marco Polo 
Bridge which was to start the war about two weeks 
later. 






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Chaney: It was a very dramatic introduction to the Japan 
ese military power, on a small scale but a bayo 
net is a bayonet. No Chinese, in those days at 
least, would ever have done such a thing. Now 
adays tiaey probably would have run the bayonet 
through me. This talk about the Japanese being 
more brutal than the Chinese is a lot of baloney. 
The Chinese invented brutality, and they are 
strictly in character these days. They are modi 
fied by some of our western controls but they are 
just exactly the way I would expect them to be, no 
better, no worse, and it's pretty bad. 

But to get back. That was 1937. These were 
just summer trips, you see. I got away during the 
summer vacations, mostly around Peking. We went 
into Shansi and I collected some fossil plants 
there. In 1937 I went to Shantung and around Pe 
king. 

Daniel: Is this Shantung? 

Chaney: Yes. T and D are confused. You're dealing with 
letters that don't exist in the Chinese tongue, 
so when we say "tun" or "duh" they just aren't there 
in Chinese Shantung. It's like "k's" and "g's" 



and "p's" and "b's." 








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Daniel: By the way, did you learn Chinese and other langu- 









Ghaney : 

Daniel: 
Chaney : 



Daniel: 
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Daniel: 
Dhaney: 



ages as you vent? 
No. I don't speak any. I know words in three or 
four, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Mongolian. 
Enough to speak to people who are working? 
Oh, well, yes. Right now, 1 couldn't handle any 
Korean. I haven't been in Korea since 1937. My 
Japanese is pretty sharp, though don't speak it. 
My Chinese I know lots of words. 

I didn't mean to interrupt you, but we did get off 
I 'm not a linguist, unfortunately. If I were I 
might never come back. It would be so fascinating 
to live there, really know what was going on. 
You came back in 1937 

And I rushed that publication into print, giving 
senior authorship to ray Chinese colleague, who 
didn't write any of it, (for obvious reasons). 
It didn't matter to me. For the theoretical sec 
tion I took senior authorship and gave him the 
systematic section. Well, anyhow, the Japanese 
were moving in. I now know they were sending sci 
entific men into all these regions to write papers. 
So I hustled this through under forced draft the 
only paper I've ever done that with and it's quite 






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Chaney; 



Daniel: 



Chaney: 



Daniel 



Chaney: 



a large one, too--so as to prevent any possible 
Japanese beat. They were moving in right across 
ray fossil locality. 

Does this mean that the Japanese had more know 
ledge in the field of paleontology than the Chi 
nese? 

Oh, yes. The Japanese are way ahead of the Chi 
nese in almost every aspect of science. The Chi 
nese have followed classical education. It's sort 
of like some of the eastern schools where Greek and 
Latin and philosophy are emphasized. And I'm not 
saying that they aren't the better for it. I'm 
not saying that the Chinese classics may not have 
raised better Chinese than the world of modern 
science would, but not in the modern world. 
Paleontology was different from the subjects of 
classical study? 

It was, but Grabau, going there around 1920, had 
sent out some of his Chinese students to Germany 
and America. They had come back, as well-trained 
paleontologists, geologists. So there were some 
men, but none in my field, none in paleobotany. 
Just between us, neither the Chinese nor the Japa 
nese average more than middle class as scientists. 






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Chaney: They are mediocre men In both countries who are at 
the very top. The average is way off. 

I'm now working with a group of seven paleo- 
botanists in Japan in a cooperative project. At 
least half of them couldn't hold jobs in America. 

Daniel: It's a new study for them, isn't it? 

Chaney: Yes, it's a matter of getting oriented. The Japa 
nese are way ahead because of their more frequent 
contacts with the West, just as England was way 
ahead of Germany and Prance at the outset. They 
were getting ideas. 

Daniel: The Jesuit certainly had a solid background in this 
field. 

Chaney: Oh, yes. He was trained in France. He's a first- 
class paleontologist, geologist, zoologist, and 
anthropologist. 

Daniel: Who first discovered the deposits in Shantung? 

Chaney: One of the Chinese geological survey men. It was 
a Chinese geological survey job, all of it. They 
didn't In ve a paleobotanist who was interested. 
So they sent the specimens over to H. H. Hu, who 
was a botanist, thinking he might be a little in 
terested in paleobotanjr. He figured he could write 
a paper. He would have written one, but it would 



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88 



Chaney: have been pretty terrible. It would have been like 
his models, the Germans of a hundred years ago. 
They were good then, but they aren't good now. It 
would have been thirty to fifty years behind the 
times. 

Now, during the post-war period, things have 
changed very greatly because we've had scores, hun 
dreds of American scientists there related to the 
Occupation, and the Japanese have jumped ahead and 
let's hope they catch up with us very soon. They 
haven't yet, but there are some young men coming 
on in my field who are decidedly good. 

Daniel: The war simply brought more people to the area and 
stirred it up, so to speak. 

Chaney: Yes, people scream about the G. I. babies, but that's 
just one aspect of an occupation and not necessar 
ily an undesirable one. I'm not competent to dis 
cuss the sociology and economics of it, but the 
biology of it doesn't do anybody any harm. There 
are some dandy half-caste children in most Japanese 

villages I go to jabbering Japanese like everybody 
else. Nobody knows the difference. 

Daniel If you believe in the brotherhood of man this is 
no problem. 






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Chaney: Well, it's no problem to me. As I say to my sob- 
sister Mends who moan about this, at least the 
G.I.s gave the girls cigarettes. The irony of that 
is perhaps not apparent to you, but most of those 
girls who became G.I. consorts, sometimes wives, 
anyway mothers of half -American children, were in 
an economic group which is farmed out as young wo 
men to some male who can afford to pay something 
for them. They accumulated money for their dowries 
and then married village boys and lived happily 
ever afterward. Instead of getting beatings these 
girls got Lucky Strike cigarettes from the G.I.s. 
This is just one of the amusing points that you 
know if you've been in Japan, but you don't know 
if you view things from across the sea. 

Daniel: Do you think the ideas brought by the American oc 
cupation forces were beneficial to Japan? 

Chaney J With the world as it is, with transportation and 
communication the way it is, the sooner they de 
velop relations with the rest of the world, the 
better. I think it might be best of all if we 
could put a fence around some of the countries, 
The way the Danes had a fence around Greenland un 
til about 19^0. One couldn't go ashore. If you 



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Chaney: were shipwrecked and landed on the shore you were 
arrested. They didn't want alien races. They 
wanted an Eskimo National Park. They didn't call 
it that but that's what it was in effect. I al 
most went there in 19^0. I had the money and all 
the preparations, and then the war started. It is 
an important place in my business. 

Anyhow, if they could put a wall around the 
whole of China and leave China the way it was, un 
touched by the West; if there could be some way to 
insulate Japan from the world outside. I'm not al 
together sure the Japanese and Chinese wouldn't be 
happier the way they used to be. I'm far from 
sure this is getting into a pretty complex philo 
sophical drift. They'd die of hunger, and they'd 
have more blindness and misery, but both the Chi 
nese and the Japanese are a very happy people, par 
ticularly the Chinese village people, the Japanese 
village people, too. 

Daniel: You mean in their personal philosophy? 

Chaney: Oh yes, they are very happy and very simple. Al 
though we say they are benefited by having our 
radios, automobiles, television, and canned food, 
in some ways we may be burdening them. 



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Daniel: Unfortunately, we never have choices about these 

things. Inevitabilities arise and-- 
Chaney: and nobody can keep up a fence--the Danes couldn't, 



They had to absolutely seal Greenland. You just 
couldn't get on without high endorsement and then-- 
for all I know, I never got there they might have 
sent a sentry around with me to make sure I never 
would have stopped for the Eskimo girls. They just 
weren't going to have contamination. The San Bias 
Islands, off the coast of Panama, are like that. 
I flew out there once in a navy plane, an amphi 
bian, and those folks have gold mines and agricul 
tural lands on the mainland, not more than four or 
five or maybe ten miles away. They go across in 
canoes. The islands themselves are completely oc 
cupied, and I mean completely, by their houses. 
When you step onto an island, you step into a house. 
The reason they live on these off-shore islands is 
because they don't want their womenfolk mingling 
with Negroes. When a woman goes ashore, if she 
gets out of sight (this was true In the early 
1930s when I was there) if she gets out of sight of 

her men she's never allowed to come back. She 
might have had some Negro semen introduced in the 






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Chaney: Interval, Now that, like the Danes and the Eski- 
raoes, Is a losing fight. You can't keep it up. 
Sooner or later some girl is going to be smart 
enough- -while I was there- there certainly were no 
si?rns of Negroes, but all you have to do is step 
ashore on the mainland and there are Negroes, 
along with the Indians and mixed breeds. The San 
Bias a^e completely Indian, at least in the same 
way others are completely Nordic. Nothing is com 
plete but they thought they were, anyway But all 
those are losing fights. The c hinese tried it and 
kept us out, but the Japanese submitted to Commo 
dore Perry around 185>0. Because they are a small 
country they absorbed our ideas faster and are 
ahead of China. 

Daniel: As you were making your exploration you had agree- 
able relationships with most of the officials. 

Chaney: Oh, very. One has to. My policy with the Chinese 
has always been to treat them as equals. My first 
contacts were not that way. Roy Andrews, who led 
the Mongolia expedition, had a British point of 
view, although he was strictly an American. He 
thought the Chinese were inferior all Orientals 
were an inferior race but I saw the results of it. 
They were unfortunate for him and for the Chinese. 






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93 



Chaney: Anyway, I doubt that I would ever have treated 
them In any other way than as equals because I 
think they are our superiors. 

Daniel: This is your inclination? 

Chaney: Well, I admire the Chinese highly, and the Japa 
nese also. They are the same people, they happen 
to be living a little differently. Well, cer 
tainly I'm not concerned with economics and soci 
ology as an amateur. The Chinese I have had deal 
ings with have always treated me fine. I've had 
no unfortunate experiences with either Chinese or 
Japanese and I have to have very close cooperation 
with them. It's their country, I do what they let 
me do. But I've always been able to do almost 
everything I've wanted. 

The Japanese were a little tough before the 
war but they are no longer that way. 

Daniel: What about China, now? 

Chaney: We get papers occasionally. 

Daniel: What was the last time you were there? 

Chaney: I was there in 19ij-8, and just before communism. 

I had hustled over there that time to get in ahead 
of the Communists and I just made it. 

Daniel: Do you suppose there are people who are well enough 
trained now to handle paleobotanical materials skil 
fully? 






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Chaney: They were coming along. We had a man here a 
Chinese I can't think of his name Tze, Tze 
I think is the Chinese he was here for several 
months studying our collections and discussing 
matters with me. I have had Indians and Hindus 
also. 

Daniel: Is there any indication that Russian paleobotan- 
ists may be interested in this field? 

Chaney: Not in China. There have been Russians right 
alox^ who have been interested in my sort of 
paleobdtany, and there are several who have been 
writing papers and sending them to me in the last 
two or three years. 

Daniel: Had you any communication with them before this 
time? 

Chaney: I've never heard of any of them. 

Daniel: Had they done any work in this field before, that 
you were aware of? 

Chaney: I doubt it. Kryshtofovich was the principal paleo- 
botanist of Russia and he died about four years 
ago. These are probably his students. They prob 
ably took his mailing list and sent me papers. I 
had never heard of any of them before, 

Daniel: You continued your work in that area just as long 
as you could, through 19ij-8? 






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Chaney: In 191+8 I went over to have a look at ^etasequoia. 
I didn't see any fossils on that trip. That's 
the living tree. 

Daniel: That was quite an exploration and had a wonderful 
effect in several ways. 

Chaney: It was of very great interest. Almost everybody 

read about it. Metasequoia was obviously a first- 
order discovery. I didn't discover it. It was 
discovered by a Chinese. As soon as I became as 
sured that the tree was living in China it opened 
up the possibility of seeing a tree, previously 
considered to be extinct, living in its natural 
environment. 

If we could go today to an area where there 
were dinosaurs and see what they ate, which ones 
ate which plants, think how much more we would 
know about dinosaurs. Actually, no one knows what 
dinosaurs ate at all, the herbivorous dinosaurs. 
There's no knowledge, no real knowledge on the 
food of herbivorous dinosaurs. 

This was a chance to apply ideas that I and 
others had been formulating on pa]eo -ecology, to 
check them in the field in central China, to go 
and see a tree that I had guessed might be In 






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Chaney: existence before it was found. I had no idea 

what it would be. I thought it would be a Sequoia. 

Daniel: How did you get the first clue to this? 

Chaney: My collaborator on the Shantung paper, H.E. Hu, 
wrote and told me that redwoods had been discov 
ered in China. 

Daniel: How did he know? 

Chaney: He heard about it from the Forestry Department at 
Nanking University where he had a close friend 
named Cheng. Cheng heard of it from the forester 
who brought out the first specimens of Metasequoia 
around 19^0, 19^1, or 19^2. 

He wrote to me and wrote to Elmer D. Merrill 
at Arnold Arboretum. Mr. Merrill was too old to 
go. We considered it. I'm sure he never con 
sidered going, but it would have been fine if he 
could have. 

I was reading in the papers those days about 
the advances of Communist troops. They were get 
ting perilously close to this area. So I picked 
up and went. 

Daniel: There a notation in one of the sources that you 
went to the Philippine Islands. 

Chaney: I went down to the Philippine Islands after my 
work in Mongolia and Manchuria in 1925, 






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Daniel: Was there material there you wanted to investi 
gate? 

Chaney: Forests. I had never seen a tropical forest and 
I saw a dandy. That was just enlarging my botan 
ical experience. 

Daniel: What about Mongolia? What did you find there? 

Chaney: There weren't many fossil plants, but afterward 
I went to Manchuria where there are very fine 
sources of plants and where I found the dawn 
redwoods without knowing what they really were, 
of course. No one did then. 

Daniel: Now this was in the period before the 1930s when 
you went to Manchuria? 

Chaney: That was after Mongolia in 1925. My next trip 

to China was in 1933 after I had become a member 
of the University. 

Latin America 

Daniel: There's also a mention of your going to Central 
and South America. Did you always go to differ 
ent places? 

Chaney: I went to several places in Latin America, and 

always to Panama. Panama is particularly inter 
esting. 








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Daniel: Why? 

Chaney: Because It has a forest very much like that which 
lived in the Sierra foothills, Dutch Plat, and 
Nevada City, Grass Valley during the Eocene epoch, 
some sixty million years ago. It's readily ac 
cessible because it's a part of the United States 

and has some facilities. There's a fine tropi 
cal research station, Barro Colorado Island, 
there, -where I had accomodations. All in all, 
it was a very fine experience and supplemented 
what I had seen in the Philippines of the Old 
World tropics. 



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VII. ECOLOGICAL AND GEOLOGICAL APPROACH TO PALEOBOTANY 



Qualitative and Quantitative Aspects 






Daniel: Is the material you find in a living forest reli 
ably of the same nature as the fossil remains? 

Chaney: What I'm trying to do is to match fossil spe 
cies and groups of vegetation (floras) with liv 
ing plants and forests of today. That's been my 
whole approach throughout all my life, matching 
the vegetation of the past with that of today, 
and it's been primarily on a vegetation basis 
rather than on a basis of individual plants. 
Most botanically-minded paleobotanists are con 
cerned with the individual plant, the structure 
and the naming, and its evolutionary position. 
They study it as a plant. I study it as part of 
a forest, as an indicator of earth history, a 
geological and ecological approach. 

Daniel: Which is wider 

Chaney: Well, it's different. I think it's more funda 
mental to geology and I think probably taking a 
plant apart and studying all its structures, rela 
tionships, is of more value to botany, at least 
of the old line sort. Modern botany includes, of 








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Chaney: course, distribution and ecology, which comes out 
of my work. 

Most people, back East at least, are inclined 
to think that I am a botanist. I don't know whe 
ther I should mention this here but the National 
Academy section of botany fully expected and as 
sumed that I would join the botany section. I 
joined the geology section without ever having 
considered anything else because I am a geolo 
gist. In many ways the botany section would have 
advantages, but I am primarily a geologist. 

Daniel: Do you think the tendency in the past has been to 
limit study to the structure of plants? 

Chaney: It still is in most parts of the world. Ploris- 
tics, which is the study of whole groups of 
plants, is not an important part of botany as is 
morphology and evolution. I can't say, I'm too 
close to it to say whether there's a trend away 
from the morphologic studies and the systematic 
studies and the evolutionary studies. I wouldn't 
favor abandoning them. They are absolutely es 
sential, but if there is a trend toward emphasiz 
ing some others that will make the subject better- 
rounded, won't it? 








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Daniel: Yes. Do you go on from this point to relate ani 
mals to the plants? 

Chaney: Oh, the biota is involved, all living things, yes, 
The trouble with that is that there is scarcely a 
vertebrate paleontologist who is working on the 
ecological side. They have been largely students 
of structures and evolution, and they have hard 
parts which change rapidly teeth, for example. 
There's nothing in fossil plants which changes 
as rapidly as teeth. The leaves I work with 
have been the same for nearly a hundred million 
years. We don't have evolutionary trends in the 
structures of plants in so short a segment of 
time. So I've had to look for other things. In 
the case of vertebrate paleontologists they have 
the basis for exact and significant evolutionary 
studies, and most of them haven't got around to 
ecology at all. 

One or two of my students, men who have sat 
in my classes, not as paleobotanists, but who 
have taken my course, are beginning to work on 
ecology in vertebrate paleontology, and it may 
be hoped that others will. 

Daniel: Discovery of evolutionary changes keeps the ere- 



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Daniel: ative energy and fascination going, doesn't it? 

Chaney : Yes. It's wholly desirable. It has, though, de 
layed the point of view that is developing in 
paleobotany. They still look at fossils as indi 
vidual animals and not as part of the whole liv 
ing group, the biota. So I think we are also a 
little bit ahead of invertebrate paleontology. 
There is a great deal of work and a great deal 
of talk about ecology, paleo-ecology. The dif 
ficulty there is that we are dealing with marine 
life and we just can't know as much about condi 
tions on the floor of the sea as we know about 
conditions on the land surface, so it's a much 
more difficult study to make. 

But so far as my work is concerned, my point 
of view could be summarized as saying that I've 
been concerned with vegetation, and most paleo- 
botanists still are concerned with plant speci 
mens. Vegetation is a part of the history of 
the earth with which I am concerned. The plant 
is part of the sequence in time, a part of a 
sequence of structures, all essential. It would 
be like saying that one friend was better than 
another friend, or one kind of food was better. 






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Chaney: Now, one is better at one time, another at ano 
ther time. I'm certainly not narrovj-minded 
enough and I'd be very stupid to say that the 
morphological ape ct of botany isn't as important 
as the floristic approach. The British, for ex 
ample, indulge in morphological botany almost to 
the exclusion of everything else, and people in 
the Eastern universities are almost entirely bo 
tanical paleobotanists. What I do say is , 1^ like 
the floristic better, I like vegetation better 
than individual pliant s, and so because I've been 
greatly favored I have been able to work on it. 

If I had in past years gone to some universi 
ties perhaps they'd have told me to study struc 
tures, the petrified structures of ancient plants 
now extinct and meaning nothing, or almost no 
thing in terms of their habitat significance. But 
nobody told me that. I gave myself my orders and 
I also had ample aid from Dr. John C. Merriam. 

I me t him about 1918, and when I published 
the ^agle Creek paper, a small one that I men 
tioned earlier, I sent him a copy. I didn't 
have his support in mind; I sent the paper to 
fifty or sixty people, I didn't have much of a 



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Chaney: mailing list in those days. He had been interes 
ted in paleo-ecology and paleobotany all his life, 
but had never been able to find anyone to work on 
it. As soon as he got that paper he stopped off 
in Iowa City where I was teaching to see me. 

We talked about many things. He asked me if 
I w ould like to work out here. He suggested that 
I come about a year later and two years later I 
did come as a member of the Carnegie staff, 

Merriam throughout aided me financially, and 
even more significantly, in supporting the vege 
tation approach, the use of paleobotany as a tool 
in figuring out earth history. 

In the Carnegie group there was an outstand 
ing man, the outstanding ecologist, botanical eco- 
logist in America at that time, Frederic E, 
Clements, with whom I had become acquainted in 
1916, The first time I ever went to Washington I 
met him, A man full of ideas, not all of them 
good but he had a good percentage throughout his 
life he died during the war, this last war I 
was extremely close to him. I was unable to fol 
low some of his suggestions; sometimes he came 
to realize that he was in error. He thought, for 






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Chaney: example, that the plants of the Eocene were oaks 
and maples and walnuts like those now living. He 
was at first very disdainful, very inhospitable to 
the idea that they were plants unlike any now liv 
ing in temperate North America, but as soon as I 
had worked up the Goshen flora and shown that they 
were tropical plants he accepted the idea and im 
mediately got the point that we had here a tem 
perature gradient from tropical to temperate, and 
this has been one of the most significant tools 
in geology. For example, if I find a plant with 
large thick leaves, often leaves without teeth 
on the margin, often with veins whibh are heavy 
and loop around the margin there's a botanical 
name for it I know that's a tropical flora be 
cause that's the kind of leaf I find in the tro 
pics, in Panama, in the Philippines, and in all 
the tropical places I've^been to. At higher al 
titudes the leaves are smaller, tiiinner, and have 
serrate margins and if the nerves run out to the 
teeth in these margins I'm thinking of a birch 
or an elder leaf now and you can think of leaves 
like that then I know it's temperate. 
Well, the fact remains that in the western United 
States all of those tropical floras are in the 






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Chaney: older rocks. As we come up to the present there 
are fewer and fewer of them and more and more of 
the temperate kind. In other words there Is 
change in climate expressed. 

Where the vertebrate paleontologist sees his 
horse grow from a dog-sized animal with four toes 
and low -crowned teeth up to the present horse with 
only one functioning toe and the very high-crowned 
teth and long jaw and all the rest, where he has 
a morphological sequence, I have a sequence sug 
gesting climatic change and it doesn't make any 
difference what kind of sequence I have. If 
this is absurd but if in the Eocene there * 
white pebbles, in the Oligocene there were red 
pebbles, in the Miocene there were green pebbles 
and so on--it's too silly for words but it's a 
good example--then we would always know the Eocene 
by the white pebbles, wouldn't we? It doesn't 
really make any difference what they are just so 
we have it well-marked. 

So when I find large thick leaves with char 
acteristic venation, I say Eocene and it always 
works out that way, and dating is, of course, an 
important part of any paleontologist's activities 
because we have to know the 'when 1 of the ques- 






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Chaney: tion. It's Important In economic geology, it's 
important even in the pure unapplied phases of 
geology to know the age of the rocks with which 
we are concerned. 

In the western United States, at the present 
time , anyone who has read my papers and other 
papers written by our Berkeley group, can iden 
tify and determine the age of the rocks, even 
without identifying the plants. Some botanists 
say these leaves don't mean anything. You don't 
know whether you have figs or magnolias. All 
right, so what? If they're thick and large, whe 
ther they're figs or magnolias they at least rep 
resent tropical plants--which means Eocene. 

Actually, botanists who say we can't tell are 
showing a lack of knowledge, because anyone who 
knows leaves well can tell nearly as much about 
them as botanists can tell about other structures, 
modern botanists. So I'm not admitting that 
their charge Is correct. I'm saying even if they 
were right we can be pretty sure of our ground. 

I have applied for a National Science Founda 
tion grant to do in four or five years what I have 
done in America in the past forty; that is, to 

*- 

develop the sequence of vegetation In eastern 








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Chaney : Asia, particularly in Japan. I can do it in a 

few years because there are a half-dozen profes 
sional paleobotanists instead of a group of green 
graduate students, because I've been through it 
once, and also because I don't have forty years 
to spend anyhow, it may be presumed. 

So I'm hoping to go over there once a year 
for the next several years to guide the work of 
Japanese friends and to come up with a sequence 
which is going to be as useful for them as ours 
now is for us . 

Daniel: Where is this? 

Chaney: All over Japan. Japan is a wonderful place. 

There are more plant fossils in Japan than any 
place of its size I have ever seen. 

Daniel: And there is a growing number of people there who 
are interested? 

Chaney: There are a good many. There are almost as many 
as there are in the United States. 

Daniel: Have these people studied here? 

Chaney: Some have. Most of them have studied in Japan, 

With a little guidance they can do very good work, 
a little guidance and some American financial sup 
port. There's one thing about the Japanese. They're 



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Chaney: very good on systematic work, on description, but 
they don't get over into theory very much, inter 
pretation and theory, and without some theoreti 
cal studies you just don't get anywhere. Even 
way back at my start in 1922 I had the benefit 
of Merriara and Clements, who were about twenty 
years older than I, both top-flight men, who had 
suggested these theories to me. I had some of my 
own. They supplemented them, very maturely, and 
guided me . Those two have done more for me than 
any other persons since my college days. I men 
tioned some of my teachers--but these men guided 
me to within the last fifteen years. Merriam 
died in 19^6, Clements died, I suppose, in 19UU, 
and up until the day of their death I was in 
touch with them regularly, receiving ideas from 
them. 

Daniel: At present where do you bring your ideas for 
cross-fertilization? 

Chaney: I don't know. It's different being an old-timer. 
People come to me for ideas now. That doesn't 
mean my ideas are any better than they were when 
I was young, but just as I turned to Merriam and 
Clements, men younger than I turn to me not all 






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Chaney: of them, fortunately. And I don't consider ray- 
self in the least degree an infallible source. 

One or two of my students one of them is 
in his late forties, the other in his early six 
ties, he isn't much younger than I am, in other 
words are the men I talk to most about paleo- 
botany. Both of them are my Ph.D. 's and both 
actually engaged in paleobotany in western 
Ame r ic a . 

And, of course, there are literally scores 
of friends. When I want to find out something 
about conditions of deposition on the ocean floor 
I may talk at lunch with Maurice Ewing of Colum 
bia University who knows more about the ocean 
floor than any other man, guess. He's made a 
lot of deep sea soundings. 

That brings me to an aspect of my work which 
runs through it all the way and which has been 
emphasized more than anyone else has ever empha 
sized it, the quantitative approach. Most paleon 
tologists, past and present, give a list of the 
plants or animals in a flora or a fauna. Some 
times they would say that a certain animal or 

plant was the most abundant. Sometimes they 
,. 

would mention that one was rare. Well, only in 



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Chaney: the most general terms. Very early, in 1923 to 
be exact in fact, even in 1916, my first flora, 
but in 1923 on a large scale I counted, identi 
fied in the field, and tabulated thousands of 
leaves determining the proportion of each spe 
cies in the flora, 

Daniel: How did you define your frame of reference for 
this? 

Chaney: What frame of reference? 

Daniel: Of leaves per what unit area? 

Chaney: I used cubic feet, but it didn't particularly 

matter,, A ten thousand unit, ten thousand leaves, 
is a good workable unit. It's more than I can 
get in many floras. I have studied floras in 
which I had fifty thousand, and after one has 
collected ten thousand or fifty thousand there 
aren't many new things coming in and the percent 
ages hold pretty constant. You can find out 
what's rare and what's abundant, and you also 
can find out what's missing that might be ex 
pected* 

Now, these quantitative studies are a part 
of all of the papers of our group out here and 
of almost no one else's. An Englishman did work 






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Chaney: of this sort, probably before mine, on a carboni 
ferous flora, but it was very different. 

For example, this manuscript I have around 
here has in it an exhausting, not exhaustively, 
an exhaustingly complete discussion of rarity as 
well as abundance. And I find that plants which 
are rare are usually represented by winged seeds, 
which blow through the forest, such as pine, 
spruce, seeds of plants that live in the high 
levels. In other words, these rare plants gave 
me an insight into what was on the hillsides 
above. The abundant plants were those living 
down in the valley near the sites of deposition. 
So it's possible to do quite a little with topo 
graphy. That's one of the tough ones. We've 
always worked on climate, but topography has been 
comparatively little-known. 

I'm working over to topography by means of 
this quantitative tool. I don't think it ' s a 
well-made tool as yet and I'm working on another 
research project now in Japan on methods estab 
lishing sound quantitative procedure, and I'm 
doing it just like this: 

I go to the shore of an ocean or a lake in 






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113 



Chaney : Japan where the sediments are volcanic lite those 
of the past in western America, where the trees 
are more nearly those of the American Tertiary 
than any living anywhere except in China where 
I can't get to them. There I count leaves. I 
sit on the ground, pull out leaves from a foot- 
square unit, and count them by the hundred or 
the thousand. I've been doing this thoroughly 
since 191? but the Japanese work is on an inten- 
sive scale. 

I hope to find out why it is that some leaves 
which we might expect to have been present are 
rare or absent. Poison oak, for example. There 
are quite a good many poison oak seeds but poi 
son oak leaves are rarely present. I recall 
listing it In only one flora. Have you ever 
looked for poison oak leaves the day after they 
blew off the bush? They're beautifully red In 
the late summer. 

I shall never forget the time I went out 
watching them pretty carefully to see what the 
leaves looked like. I couldn't find any. They 
were all shriveled up. Foliage like that doesn't 

get into the record. Azaleas, not the heavy 

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Chaney: evergreen rhododendron, but occidentalis. Azalea 
has a mushy leaf. So does hazel. Neither one of 
them Is common. They are almost entirely absent 
in the fossil record. 

Are we going to assume there weren't any 
hazels, azaleas, and poison oaks? We had to work 
out some way of explaining what we don't have as 
well as what we do have. 

Now, this is getting way over into the theo 
retical side. And I like it. I don't know whe 
ther it's going to amount to anything. I don't 
know whether my work amounts to anything or not. 
I know that someone is 'going to do it sometime. 
If I get enough done someone will start where I 
leave off. If I don't it may be a hundred years 
before someone gets in the mood. There's no rush. 
I'm not in the least impatient to get there. I 
like theoretical paleobotany, that's why I do it, 
but there's no particular reason why all the juice 
should be squeezed out .of the grape in my life 
time. 

Thank God, I got Metasequoia in my lifetime. 
It makes me shudder to think of having died, say 
at fifty-five. I was fifty-eight when I saw it. 



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Chaney: If I had died at fifty-five I would have been prac 
tically unbaptized. Not that it was an earth- 
shaking experience but it certainly has affected 
me profoundly. In the same way if I can tumble 
onto some of the significant facts of accumula 
tion in my lifetime I'll enjoy it, but whether 
I do or not someone will eventually get around 
to it. 

Some of these vertebrate paleontology boys 
whom I mentioned, interested in ecology, are do 
ing quantitative work and watching out for the 
same thing. Incidentally, they're finding lots 
of tiny little jaws of rodents and even teeth, 
individual teeth of rodents so small you can 
hardly--you can see them but they're the size of 
a pinhead, some of them, which have been almost 
completely unknown. In general I've been told 
(it's in the books), rodents were present but 
rare. They are extremely abundant if you look 
for them, look for the little, almost micro-organ 
isms, not quite. They're just too small to find 
readily. 



So the quantitative side of it involving this 
approach of the factors which affect preservation 



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Chaney: interests me very much and probably Interests me 
more now than working up floras does. Other 
people can work up the floras, 

Daniel: It would be interesting to hear about some floras. 

Chaney: Well the Bridge Creek flora has dominant Meta- 

sequoia, with alder, oak, maple, and fifty other 
species, 

Daniel: These are different combinations? 

Chaney: That's the flora. The flora that comes next in 
the John ^ay section is the Mascall, which is 
Miocene. Instead of dominant dawn redwood (Meta- 
sequoia), it has swamp cypress, Taxodium, a dif 
ferent setting, a swampy situation. I've worked 
on floras ever since 191? and I'll doubtless con 
tinue. I'm working on some now. I like to work 
on a lot of floras. The results of what I and 
other people have been doing, for example the 
ge of lor a idea, have come out of that. The fact 
that there have been great units of vegetation 
which lived on the earth for tens of millions of 
years and which shifted their area, not necessar 
ily getting larger, they may even have contracted, 
for the geoflora move from, say Alaska to Cali 
fornia over a period of fifty or sixty million 






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117 



Chaney: years. One has to have a lot of little floras, 

little -units before the geoflora Idea is possible. 

There have to be many dots on the curve. You 
can't draw the curve very well if you have only 
one or two dots, two or three. 

At the present time I'm very much fed up with 
paleontologists, not with paleontology. We have 
in the Paleontology Department a man who should 
never be in the University but who has political 
acumen and plenty of energy, not much education. 
He's running things now and has all the young men 
terribly cowed. When I retired he was all for 
heaving me out. That was a little too raw. So 
I'm in a noisy, dusty little hole where there 
aren't really adequate facilities for work and I 
go there as seldom as possible. I work at the 
Radiation Laboratory. This is a personal matter 
but perhaps it's just as well to get it on tape. 
The man I'm referring to is Stirton, 

This is relevant only because it is entirely 
possible during the next ten or twenty or however 
many years there are of my life I'll do most of 
my work in Japan, or get seriously to work on my 
Japanese porcelain which I've been working with 






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Chaney : 
Daniel : 



Chaney: 

Daniel: 
Chaney : 



Daniel: 
Chaney: 



Danie 1 : 
Chaney : 



for many decades. I have a very large collection. 
Work that goes on in the field to some extent de 
pends on the leadership that is exerted at any 
one time? 

Of course. The leadership of a man like Stir ton 
is preposterous. 
What is his chief interest? 

Vertebrate paleontology. He's a very energetic, 
hard-working man, has many good qualities, cer 
tainly. He is uneducated and lacks good Univer 
sity manners. 

What do you mean 'uneducated? 1 

I mean it literally. He doesn't pronounce techni 
cal words. He's recently written a textbook which 
from all sides is receiving giggles and criticism. 
He doesn't know things but that doesn't bother 
him. Specific little things like this: he calls 
a eye ad a cocoa palm, whereas he means a sago 
palm plants as different as a rabbit and a por 
cupine much more so, a rabbit and a lizard. 

But that means nothing to him. The textbook 
has much merit, incidentally, as does Stirton. 
What is his chief merit? 

He's hard-working and... I guess that's about it. 
I don't think it's appropriate for me to give an 






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119 



Chaney: appraisal of his scholastic achievement. All I 

would say is that it is largely on the systematic 
level. There's very little in the way of ideas 
in it, as far as I know. 

Daniel: When did he come to the department? 

Chaney: He was in the museum and against my earnest ef 
forts 

Daniel: You were chairman, weren't you? 

Chaney: Not at that time. Against my earnest effort he 
got his foot in the tent, like the camel, do you 
remember? So there isn't any room for some of 
the Arabs any more. Now, I don't feel especially 
bitter about it. It's a disgrace for any uni 
versity to have a man like that call the shots, 
but he does. He has a good deal of political 
power. 

Daniel: What is his chief research activity? 

Chaney: I think one would say he's working on mammals of 
Australia. He's found very, very few. I don't 
think there are very many there. 

But he's mostly one of these very busy or 
ganizers. The whole story you can't tell a 
story like this. I'm not even going to hint on 
the tape at where the trouble lies other than to 






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Chaney: say that private contributions may cause more mis 
fortune to a department than as though we went 
slower and depended on public funds, 

Daniel: Is this a problem, in general, in institutions 
receiving money from different sources? 

Chaney: Oh, I guess. It raises the devil with the Zoology 
Department. I talked to your father-in-law about 
it at various times in the thirties. Somebody 
comes along and wants to give money and then in 
dicates how it's to be spent. I read a letter 
once from the person who gave this particular 
money chiding President Sproul for not having 
fired me sooner. Of course, I was never fired 
at all. Private funds may subvert the morals of 
a place and it's pretty hard to have integrity 
if you're interested most of all in getting 
money . 

Of course there are two sides to such a ques 
tion. I'm giving one side. The fact remains that 
as a senior professor I am deprived of the use, 
the ready use, of material I have collected In 
the last forty years, while two graduate students 
sit in the room which I should have. 

It was strictly a matter of revenge because 






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Chaney: Brother Stirton knows that I blocked his entry 
into the University and he waited for his time 
and got even, or maybe a little more than even. 

Daniel: However, I'm convinced this kind of thing does 
not really stop you at all. 

Chaney: I don't have any ulcers either. I rarely think 
about it . 

However, I have the good fortune to work with 
nen like Lawrence and McMillan and Alvarez. I'm 
probably not going to get out of paleontology, 
but I'm more interested in people, in human re 
lations. We are going to have a new building 
soon and maybe I'll have better facilities. 
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VIII. DEVELOPING THE CURRICULUM IN PALEOBOTANY 



Danle 1 : 



Chaney: 



Daniel: 



Chaney: 






You had a large share in opening up the ideas of 
the department when you did take over and you ex 
panded the curriculum in paleontology. 
Yes, The Idea was to have two kinds of paleon 
tologists. The kind I like better was geologic 
ally inclined; the other kind was biologically 
inclined. It was simple enough. I don't know 
that well, anyone would have seen it. But the 
biologically inclined people took more courses 
in zoology or botany. They all took some. The 
geologically inclined people took more courses 
in geology, and the really good ones took more 
courses in both. They are the people who had 
to have everything. 

How did you develop the elements of the expanded 
major? Had you patterned this on the curriculum 
at any other university? 

Oh no, just sat down and looked over the catalog 
and figured out what they should take. I con 
sulted with Bruce Clark who was the invertebrate 
paleontologist at that time about what an inver- 






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Chaney: tebrate paleontologist should take. And I consul 
ted with Charles Camp, the vertebrate paleontolo 
gist, about what vertebrate paleontologists should 
take. And I suppose I had talked, I'm sure I 
had, to W. D. Matthew, ray predecessor, about all 
this. 

Anyway, we worked up a series of course se 
quences which are useful. Most of our students 
take the geologically-emphasized sequence, I'm 
glad to say, because paleontology as I view it 
here is a way of figuring out the history of the 
earth, not the history of the plant kingdom or 
the animal kingdom, but of the earth. Now, I 
repeat, figuring out the history of the animal 
or the plant kingdom Is Just as valuable, maybe 
more so, but I'm Interested in the earth, not in 
kingdoms, so that merely expresses my personal 
pr eference. 

Also it's something more than that because 
most paleontologists earn their living geologic 
ally. A majority of them earn their living work 
ing for oil companies and there's scarcely any 

place there for a strictly biological emphasis 

*. 

at all. That's earth history, applied earth his 
tory. 








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Most universities have paleontology courses 



Daniel: 



Chaney : 






in geology departments. There are some univer 
sities that have paleontology courses in zoology 
or botany. Some have personnel in Zoology and 
botany able to cover zoology and paleontology in 
the or case, and botany and paleontology in the 
other. This is rather a desirable way to do it, 
I think. 

It all comes down to organization. We have 
more departments here than most universities. 
If we straddle our departments there's no disad 
vantage. Actually I have had, because of my em 
phasis, fewer students from the Botany Department 
than from the Geology Department. But that's be 
cause I'm mostly a geologist, I guess. 
This curriculum which took shape in about 1931 has 
remained constant? 

So far as I know. I haven't looked at it care 
fully in the last several years, but I don't think 
it's changed much. I'll do that between now and 
the next time I see you and let you know, but I 
doubt if there's been much change. 






Course Content 

*K. 

Daniel: As department head, you were responsible for the 
arrangement of a suitable curriculm. As a 








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Daniel: 



Chaney : 






teacher, what did you feel you should impart in 
your courses? 

When I came into the University I told Sproul I 
was going to give idea courses, not fact courses. 
When we were talking about it, I said, "If you 
want me to teach a lot of facts you had better 
tell me right now because I don't want the job," 
or words to that effect. I've always taught idea 
courses with a lot of well there was a sort of 
goofy appraisal published and it sold for fifty 
cents or something, it's around here somewhere. 

Well, in professor ratings I was rated very 
high on ideas and social and political point of 
view. Some other people whom you would expect, 
and very popular people, much more popular than 
I, were rated very low on those ideas. Well, 
they had other things to do, in other words, 
which recommended them to students. 

Yes, I've been conscious of it. I've always 
been interested in human relations social, poli 
tical, and economic. I worked conservation in, 
which was certainly, well, economic, if not so 
cial and political; it sure is economic. In all 
my lectures I give lectures frequently to organi- 






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Chaney: zatlons I give conservation talks. 

Daniel: One question apparently leaves quite an impression. 
This has to do with the religious implications of 
geology. 

Chaney: Yes, and the theory of evolution which, in paleo, 
students come up against, kids from the sticks 
who think that makes monkeys of them. I have 
always treated all aspects of the subject, in 
cluding the anatomical names of the body which 
frequently aren't mentioned: anus, and so on. 
If they ' ve fitted into a sentence I've always 
said them without an Instant's hesitation. And 
I've always indicated that there could be well, 
I have put it this way: I'm going to give you the 
evidence; I don't care in the least whether you 
believe in evolution. But if I ask a cfluestion 
in the final about evolution and you don't believe 
in it, that doesn't mean you're to answer the ques 
tion wrong. You Just say, "This is what the pro- 
fessor says, and I don't believe it." That will 
be a correct answer. I don't care what you be 
lieve, but I want you to know what I said about it. 

A number of students have come in and told me, 
not very many, actually, that they don't believe 






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Chaney: In it. Mostly they were pretty dumb. I always 
looked at their grades afterward. Most students 
who are hit for the first time with this consider 
it carefully, and they have the evidence, which 
to me at least and to most people in my field is 
rather conclusive, ^-t has nothing to do with be 
lieving in God or Jesus. It doesn't repudiate 
the Bible; in fact, I read the first book, the 
first chapter of Genesis, and have for years, 
commenting sentence by sentence on its applica 
tion to what I have told them, that in the begin 
ning the Lord created heaven and earth, the earth 
was dark and something or other. Well... okay. I 
point out that the Jews or whoever they were who 
wrote the originals on this couldn't possibly 
have known all we know now about astronomy and 
geology and biology, and they are rather vague in 
spots, but they certainly had the general Idea of 
the cosmogony, the Genesis cosmogony and my cos 
mogony are essentially the same, 

I've always done that. I think it's a good 
idea because I'm not destroying the Bible. Natur 
ally, I guess I have made a few comments about 
the Flood and the Ark, wondering what the dickens 








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128 



Chaney: the lions ate while they were on It, pointing out 
that they must have had four sheep instead of two 
so that the lions could eat two of the sheep. It 
seemed to me desirable to point out that we can't 
be too literal. 

I've never got Into the subject of Jesus in 
class. Outside I tell students or anybody else 
what I think about it, but there's been no occa 
sion to mention the particular tenets of Chris 
tianity in class. I'm obviously no Christian, 
but it's nothing to brag about or to talk about 
except when it's relevant. 

I think we have to give the students some 
thing before we take something else away. You 
can't refuse to take evidence just because It 
doesn't fit your ideas. 

At the end of the course the students have a 
chance to say what they think of the theory of 
evolution. I don't care whether they like it or 
not, but I want them to know how It's developed. 
The course context has nothing to do with the 
student's personal beliefs or faith. The student 
must know the subject matter of the course whe 
ther he believes in my conclusions or not. 



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129 



Daniel: You also talked about minorities. 

Chaney: For years I talked about minorities. I told stu 
dents about the time I was in Manchuria when I 
was the only Caucasian in the theater, a variety 
show, and they were having some sort of skit, and 
in comes the comic of the cast made up as a Cau 
casian, wearing a checked suit, a red tie with 
a diamond stickpin in it, and wearing a derby 
hat. This is the Japanese idea, this was a 
Japanese show, of a Caucasian, and he brought 
down the house. Everything he said was ridicu 
lous . People around me looked at me , more or 
less apologetically. They realized that I was 
being made ridiculous, too. They didn' want to 
make me as an individual ridiculous, but here 
was this silly Caucasian who was the butt of all 
the jokes. Well, I have been in the minority 
more than once. 

I told about one night in Bart lea down in 
British Guiana. Without knowing it was going 
to happen at all I got into a river town on a 
river boat. I had another Caucasian, a paleo- 
botanist, with me, and the man to whom I had a 
letter from William Beebe was a Negro, and 



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130 



Chaney: everyone In town was a Negro! There Just wasn't 
anybody but Negroes there, A British judge who 
was going up to try a case was a Caucasian. But 
the three of us were a very small minority. Well, 
when we walked up the street parents pointed us 
out to their children as something very funny, 
worth taking a look at. 

So my conclusion was that everyone is a mi 
nority, If he happens to be In a certain place. 
It's purely a matter of chance. The mores of 
any group aren't right simply because they are 
mores and they certainly aren't wrong. It's 
just the way we do things. Some of this sounds 
rather fatuous, but remember that in this class 
that we 're speaking of, there were mostly fresh 
men and sophomores, very inexperienced boys and 
girls. 

And a lot of them had, as I had when I was 
in college, an Idea that right was right and 
wrong was wrong. It's just one of the little 
dragons that I've always been trying to slay. 
Conventional standards aren't necessarily right, 
although I think they often are, oftener than 
not. 












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Daniel: The prevailing climate of opinion develops the 
standards. 

Chaney: I'm not opposed to opinions because they're con 
ventional at all. We'd get nowhere If we didn't 
have some conventions. 

Daniel: You want them to understand the derivations of 
conventions, 

Chaney: Yes. Often I have said when I have started a 
course, "This course is listed as a course In 
paleontology. Actually it ' s a course in dis 
crimination and timing. If you believe every 
thing I say you may get a good grade, but you 
won't be very smart, because I'm probaby going 
to make mistakes , n and so on, debunking the 
idea of infallibility. 

I'm perhaps speaking a little more force 
fully than I would to a group, but that's the 
Idea. I'm giving you a thumbnail sketch of It, 

Daniel: Apparently you made your lessons quite clear. 

Chaney: I hope so. A point of view is a lot more impor 
tant than paleontology. As I've said, this be 
ginning course is not a professional course. It 
may become one. Plenty of people who took It 
as freshmen have gone on to be paleontologists, 







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132 



Chaney: very good ones, but the principal benefits are 

habits of thought and attitudes, a general atti 
tude toward life and history. I've often started 
a course by saying, "This is a course in history. 
Maybe you don't like history." Most people don't; 
I didn't. 

Daniel: Paleobotany is a special kind of history, 



Chaney: Very. 

Daniel: Chairmanship of the department didn't curtail your 
field trips, did it? 

Chaney: Well, it was a small department in those days. 


There were only two other men. And we didn't have 

as many students in the University. When I went 
away I handed over the paper-signing duties to 
Professor Louderback with the geology department, 
an old and trusted friend. 

It was satisfactory, to me at least. 

I went to China in 1933 and again in 1937. 
Both times I was still chairman of the depart 
ment. I think my last year as chairman was 1939, 
but it didn't affect my schedule any. Most of 
my field work I did summers anyhow, maybe a long 
summer beginning in May and getting back in Octo 
ber* 









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133 



Daniel: 

Chane y : 
Daniel: 
Chaney: 



Danie 1 : 
Chaney: 



Daniel: You continued to give courses in the department? 

Chaney: Oh yes, I gave my regular courses. Often there 
weren't courses in the second semester; I could 
bunch them into the first half of a semester and 
leave early. 

Are there any other aspects of the paleobotany 
curriculum you would like to discuss? 
We haven't talked about graduate students. 

n -i- j 

Go ahead, 

I never had a great many. It isn't a field that 

attracts a great many students. There aren't 

many jobs. Most of my students were oldish. Some 

of them were quite young, but most of them were 

oldish. 

What do you mean by 'oldish? 1 

Well, they were men who had been out teaching. 

They were in their middle thirties when they came 

to me. I've had some just off the B.S. assembly 

line. Several of my students are within a few 

years of me, as old as I am. 

Daniel: In teaching, do you think you have some of your 

greatest satisfaction among the graduate students? 

Chaney: Oh yes. I've enjoyed the undergraduates very 
much, too. Undergraduates are, a lot of them, 
developing a very receptive frame of mind, and 






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Chaney: they ape getting new ideas, some of which they 

refuse to accept. 

c 

It's very Interesting to talk to them. I've 
had students who came back to me and hoped that 
I had changed their point of view. They hadn't, 
you see, and they hoped that I was going to be 
saved from going to hell. 

Daniel: Oh, I see. 

Chaney: They were fond of me and didn't want me to have 
to continue on the path of course, it's very 
difficult to get me off the path. 

Daniel: This conversion attempt didn't happen very often, 
did it? 

Chaney: Not very often, no. 

Daniel: Do you think there's more interest in paled now, 

for Instance, than there was 15>,20,30, on? lj.0 years 
ago? 

Chaney: No, I don't think so. A man named Lull at Yale 

had a big class there. Richard Lull, forty years 
ago; and William Brewer, though he didn't have a 
course In paleontology, taught at Harvard to a 
full house. It was a small group compared to 
our big classes. 

I don't think there's any great resurgence 
of interest. I think that newspaper publicity 



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135 



Chaney: and the fact that everybody knows about dinosaurs 
may attract some people, but the word 'fossil 1 
is still a terra of opprobrium* 


















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136 






Daniel; 



Chaney : 



Daniel: 



Chaney: 



Daniel: 



IX. COMMENTS ON EDUCATION 

You've no doubt been aware of various comments and 
criticisms about our elementary and secondary 
schools. What changes would you make to avoid 
defects you may have perceived in your children's 
education? 

I'm not altogether clear whether the defects in 
my children's educations are the result of poor 
schooling or poor parental control. Ellen never 
learned to study until she went to a private 
school where she had to. She was the only one 
of the three who knew what it was all about when 
they entered college. 

How was your education different flom that of your 
children? 

When I was a child we came home and did our home 
work. I was interested in knowing my multiplica 
tion tables, and in knowing my spelling. I was 
interested in being the best kid in the class 
and I always was, through grade school. 
Why did you want to be the best kid in the class? 






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137 



Chaney: I don't know. I wanted to be because I wanted to 
be , I guess. My children didn't want to be be 
cause they didn't want to be. 

Daniel: But why do you think they didn't? 

Chaney: I haven't the slightest idea. I don't think my 
parents necessarily instilled in me the desire 
to excel, but I had then, and I have still, a 
competitive spirit which a great many children, 
including mine, most of the time seem to lack. 
I don't know. I'm puzzled by it. I haven't any 
idea. 

Daniel: This is something that puzzles a great many people. 
In retrospect can you think of any children within 
your children's group who did have this desire to 
excel? 

Chaney: I don't remember those children well enough. 

My daughter in college, with good study ha 
bits, did not have sufficient grades for Phi 
Beta Kappa, although she could nave readily 
enough. Her rationalization was that she 
didn't want to be known as a brain. There was 
social pressure in the sorority house. 

Daniel: She was a sorority girl? 

Chaney: She was more interested in being like the other 






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138 



Ghaney: girls. They were very fine girls, and most of 
them whom I know anything about are successful 
and happy, as she is. 

Being a Phi Beta Kappa certainly has meant 
nothing to Mrs. Chaney, not being has meant no 
thing to me. I didn't, as you see, retain my 
ambition to be the best through high school and 
college or I'd have been a Phi Bete, There were 
other things I was more interested in. 

Daniel: You are assuming that "the best" equals Phi Beta; 
there's a difference of opinion about this. 

Chaney: Yes, well, the best grades, then. 

Daniel: Did it ever occur to you to find out about the 
study habits of your daughter's group? 

Chaney: Oh, *'ve talked to hundreds of girls, sorority 
girls, about their study habits, and a girl who 
slips down grade points has a study table and is 
fairly rigidly, only fairly I guess, supervised, 
and they generally try to build them up because 
they don't want girls flunking out and leaving 
the sorority. It's a self -pre serving institu 
tion, this study table. As for the study habits 
of the girls who are getting "C" or better, they 
go out, they go to the library. I have only a 

* 

general knowledge. I've never followed anyone 






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139 



Chaney ; 



Daniel 



Chaney: 



carefully, except my own children, ray sons who 
lived largely at home, rather than in a f rater- 
nity house, where they studied a lot but were 
awfully slow at it. They didn't know how to 
read. They didn't know how to organize, appar 
ently. 

Both of them are bright, especially the older 
one. He has, for example, in qualifying tests in 
engineering, been in the top three or four in 
every examination; and he's taken quite a few. 
He now has a very high rating and has gone stead 
ily up, excelling scholastically, at least excel 
ling in examinations. But he was never able to 
do it in college, 






Examinations 

This leads to some consideration of the ways of 
evaluating students' knowledge. In your Depart 
ment of Paleontology what kind of examinations 
did you have? Did you have objective examinations? 
No. Students used to ask for them so once I gave 
a true and false. And they naturally expected 
that half the questions would be true and half 
false. I gave them all true. 









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Chaney : 



Daniel; 
Chaney: 






. 
Oh dear! 

Almost all the class got zero because they answered 
ten of the twenty false and ten true. I kidded 
the daylights out of them and threw the examina 
tion out, and told them I would never waste their 
time and mine with such a silly examination again, 
and I have never had one since. I occasionally 
have had a question that involved a true-false, 
but that seemed to me an elegant way of showing 
the absurdity of such questions in a developmen 
tal subject. I think there are perhaps some sub 
jects that would be suitable, but science Is not, 
and it was not a memory course. They figured 
they had to have ten right and ten wrong and all 
but a few, as I say, a very few, got zero in the 
examination. It was no test of their ability at 
all. It was a test of their guessing, and they 
guessed very badly. 

What value do you attach to examinations? 
Of course one of rthe values and purposes of an ex 
amination is to force the student to review the 
material. That is perhaps the principal value, 
or the only value to the student. 

There is another value his ability to put 
down what he knows in an organized fashion and 






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Chaney: In a short time. We all have to take examina 
tions of that sort: perhaps when we write a let 
ter, perhaps when we make remarks in court or in 
some other important situation. We're all taking 
what is the equivalent of an examination through 
out our lives. 

And I think that examinations aren't without 
value to the instructor. Of course, they are of 
value in giving him a quantitative basis for as 
signing grades. I have with advanced students, 
given an examination more than once, involving 
their writing an examination in the course. 

Daniel: That sort of examination displays their grasp 
of the entire course. 

Chaney: Yes, it stumps them for awhile, and some of the 
questions are very badly written. But one can 
tell pretty well what they got out of the course 
by the questions that they think are important. 
It might be added that from some of the examina 
tions I've seen of my colleagues they wouldn't 
be graded very high on their examinations either. 
Some of them, in my opinion, are pretty bad. 

Daniel: For the student one of the most helpful tricks is 
to find out what kind of examination the teacher 
gives. 






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Daniel 



Chaney : 



Daniel: 



There was a very clever student of mine, Pred 
Peters, a lawyer, who unfortunately died when he 
was quite a young man, who ran seminars in geol 
ogy and paleo. He knew me. He had had my course. 
He knew me extremely well. I never told him what 
questions I was going to ask, but in his seminar 
he always covered every question that I asked be 
cause he knew so well what my course was like. 
He knew me very well. He was a very clever fel 
low. He would have made a wonderful teacher, in 
cidentally. 

Did all of your children go to the University of 
California? 

Yes. The boys both went to other schools in con 
nection with their army and navy training. David 
went to the University of Indiana. Dick went to 
Columbia. But they graduated from the University 
of California 



The Student in a Large University 



Your children all had experience as undergraduates 
at the University of California at Berkeley. This 
leads to the question about the University, its 
size and its te aching 






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143 



Chaney: I think that ]a rge classes place a premium on 

being aggressive and a penalty on being retiring. 
They place a premium on a strongly-developed com 
petitive spirit and a penalty on an easy-going 
attitude. 

All of my children were rather easy-going. 
None of them was very competitive, and in large 
classes they didn't always show what they knew. 
If they had been in, say, Pomona or Reed College 
their professors doubtless would have been well 
acquainted with them and would have known that 
they had a great deal to offer, and I presume 
their grades would have been better. I think 
there is that aspect of a large university. Of 
course, it's commonplace to say that a larger 
university has a better staff. Compare Gal and 
Stanford, for example. Stanford is a wonderful 
school. Actually in many ways I like it better 
than the University of California. I'm speak 
ing of geology, geological sciences. But it 
doesn't have the staff. Say we have three or 
four tiroes as many students. Say you multiply 
the number of distinguished faculty members by 
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Chaney: three or four, it's still far short of Califor 
nia's. They just don't have It, and almost no 
small school does. An opportunity to study with 
a distinguished man is important if the student 
is receptive. 

I can't seem to remember what my sons and 
daughter got out of distinguished professors. 
I can remember one very distinguished one whom 
they didn't think very much of and presumably 
they didn't get much from, although the fault 
may have been theirs. 

Daniel: I was going to ask you how well you think the 
really gifted and talented faculty members are 
brought into relationship with the students. 

Chaney: There are a number of departments geology, chem 
istry, physics with many first-class men. Zool 
ogy* too, probably. I know it less well these 
days. It had a distinguished faculty. These de 
partments have first-class men giving elementary 
courses. I don't think there's any question that 
a lower division student can profitably take 
courses with outstanding men In science. What 
it's like in English I have no idea whatever. 

In mathematics, teaching assistants, and In 
foreign languages teaching assistants, that Is, 






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Chaney: pre-Ph.D. , graduate students, presumably well- 
selected, are responsible for classes with, I 
suppose, some supervision although I'm inclined 
to think they don 1 t always have much. 

Daniel: You are in a position to say something about the 
relationship of teaching assistants to faculty 
me mbe r s . 

Chaney: In paleo we usually use teaching assistants under 
several instructors and in several subjects. That 
way they learn a good deal. They don't stay Just 
with their specialty but learn a good deal about 
teaching the whole subject, and I think that's a 
very fine plan. Ours is the only department I 
know about in that respect, but I have no doubt 
that other departments do it. 

Of course in English and modern language and 
mathematics teaching assistants give the elemen 
tary course and there is no choice of subject. 
They are independent teachers, 

I have rarely if ever seen a teaching assistant 
in paleo whom I would want to give the chance to 
teach a course for a semester. I have gone away 
and left the class with a teaching assistant for 
one period or maybe two. The results weren't al 
ways good, either. I think our teaching assistants 









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346 



Chaney: are probably as good as those in other departments. 
I rather think our standards in science are higher 
in elementary courses, 

I can't conceive of allowing teaching assist 
ants to take over full charge of courses, although 
a mature one, one who has had teaching experience 
elsewhere, one of these men who comes back at the 
age of thirty, who has been an instructor at the 
University of Kansas or whatever, he'd obviously 
be the eligible member for independent teaching. 

However, we have such men as teaching assist- 
ants in paleo now but they aren't giving indepen 
dent courses. I can't generalize about other de 
partments. I know how it is in paleo. 

Daniel: Do you think that a university of this quality 
might be more effectively used only by graduate 
students? 

Chaney: Well, we're geared for about 20,000 students and 
that would mean -that we would have 20,000 gradu 
ate students if there were no undergraduates. 
Let's say we wouldn't have quite as many because 
the staff would spend more time on each. Let's 
say we had only 15,000 graduate students as 
against the combination of 20,000 today. That 











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Chaney: would mean, when we got the thing geared up and 
running that every year thousands of advanced 
degree holders would go out into the world. 
What would they do? I don't think there are 
jobs for them. There certainly aren't in pale 
ontology. 

Daniel: I hadn't thought of t he question in that way. 

Chaney: Well, what would we do with the rest of the Uni 
versity? We're built for 20,000. 

Daniel: Is the building program now meeting the needs of 
the University? 

Chaney: There are some soft spots. Economics still has 
Old Soph Hall. But anthro is now out of its 
shack and geology is moving out of Bacon H a n 
in a year or so. We're moving out of the Mining 
Building where we aren't wanted because the space 
is needed for engineers. Mathematics is moving 
into a new building in a matter of months. Dwin- 
elle Hall has been crowded, but I think with 
various departments moving out, there will be 
more room. Math, for example, is moving out 
shortly, 

Daniel: You don't think there is any particular advantage 
or disadvantage to the students with one arrange 
ment or another of undergraduate or graduate 
schools? 






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Most of the students in our sciences who are 
studying as graduates come from other places 
anyway, so It doesn't make any difference to 
them. They wouldn't have been here as under 
graduates anyhow. I think it would be a very 
Interesting study I've never seen any figures 
on it --to go through the whole of the graduate 
enrollment and find out their sources. I'll 
venture to say more than two-thirds of the gradu 
ate students in paleo got v their bachelors of sci 
ence elsewhere than at Berkeley. 

That might be true In paleo and not true In 
English or philosophy. My guess is that a care 
ful study would show it and I think it should be 

made, 

There are some people who feel the student is 
more adequately prepared in smaller undergraduate 
schools than those which exist at Berkeley, and 



Los Angeles. 






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you can make Berkeley the undergraduate and UCLA 
the graduate, or the reverse. This much should 
be said: that all these smaller institutions, 








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Chaney: state and otherwise, which are putting on gradu 
ate programs are going to run Into trouble hand 
ling their physics and chemistry In light of 
modern emphasis. You can't study nuclear phy 
sics or nuclear chemistry on a shoestring. 



Special Opportunities in Research! 

The Lawrence Radiation Laboratory and 
The Atomic Energy Commission 
Installation at Livermore 



Chaney: It's interesting to note that even this great uni 
versity doesn't have the facilities for graduate 
study in physics and chemistry that the Livermore 
laboratory does, a part of the University. We 
have equipment at the Livermore Laboratory which 

is not found in any university, in fact not found 
anywhere else in the world, in some cases. 

Daniel: There are students at the Livermore laboratory? 

Chaney: They may go out. I have been concerned with 

building up the student aspect of Livermore lab 
oratory for several years, and we are just begin 
ning to get a flow of students. It's only a 
trickle at present. 

Daniel: Yes. Graduate courses are offered there aren't 
they? 

Chaney: Yes. Graduate courses leading to a master's de 
gree. 






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Daniel: All the preparation for the master's degree can 
be completed at Livermore? 

Chaney : Only half of it may be done at Livermore , the 
other half in Berkeley. 

Daniel: What about work toward a Ph.D? Is that also al 
lowed there? 

Chaney: No Ph.D. curriculum has been set up, but iji ef 
fect it will be shortly in this way: the students 
enrolled as Ph.D. candidates at Berkeley can go 
to Livermore for their research under the direc 
tion of members of the Berkeley staff or presum 
ably of the Livermore staff. We have more Ph.Ds 
by far in physics and chemistry at Livermore than 
we have at Berkeley. I don't know what the fac 
tor is, but it's four or five times as many. In 
physics and chemistry, to a much lesser extent 
in engineering, members of the Berkeley staff 
are members of the Radiation Laboratory staff, 
and some of them have Livermore duties. Edward 
Teller is at Livermore, And anyone concerned 
with Teller's type of physics, and those who 
wish to study it, would presumably wish to go to 
Livermore, though until recently he might have 
taken a course with Teller on this campus. As 






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151 



Chaney: director of Livermore laboratory I'm sure he no 
longer teaches a formal course here, but that's 
just a very recent development since Director 
York left for Washington. 

We have a number of the Berkeley staff who 
are consultants at Livermore and a number of the 
Livermore staff who regularly come into Berkeley, 
either to teach or to carry on research. Let's 
suppose, to make a very simple case, that a piece 
of research involved electronic computers of a 
very high degree. Our electric computer bat 
tery at Liverraore is, so far as I know at pre 
sent, the most complete in the world. It won't 
be very long, perhaps tomorrow, there'll be a 
better one, but it just happens we have a very 
fine electronic computer, very excellent equip 
ment. The only electronic computer in Berkeley 
is a small, student, very simple affair. It's 
useful but probably wouldn't be useful for re 
search, certainly not in mathematical research. 
A professor who is guiding a student in a field 
that involved either the theory of computation 
or the results of computation would direct his 

student to Livermore if he didn't have facili- 

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152 



Ghaney: Anyone who was involved in a field of phy 

sics which included a need for a reactor would 
send his student to Livermore or to some other 
place where there was a reactor. This is regu 
larly done. Brookhaven--I'ia speaking in a gen 
eral way, not knowing actually must have stu 
dents from Princeton and Pennsylvania, Harvard, 
Yale, c olunibia, and all of the other schools 
that are part of the Brookhaven group. 

Argonne must have many students from the Uni 
versity of Chicago, Northwestern, and other edu 
cational centers of that area. 

And insofar as there are students in the 
South, they would go to Oak Ridge, and so on. 

Daniel: You have been talking about Livermore. Is there 
any more exact explanation of Livermore? 

Chaney: It's an Atomic Energy Commission installation 

which has been turned over to the University to 
operate. Funds are supplied, money is expended 
according to University regulations, for sal 
aries and purchasing, personnel, everything ac 
cording to University regulations. It's part 
of the University. 

Whereas the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in 



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153 



Chaney: Berkeley is almost entirely a research organiza 
tion, Livermore is a research and development. 
Livermore stresses the development side and the 
Lawrence Radiation Laboratory has stressed the 
research side. The materials that are tested in 
Nevada or in the Pacific are developed and manufac 
tured in part at our Livermore laboratory. They 
are also manufactured, no doubt, across the road 
at Sandia. 

There's a great plant, 61^0 acres, I don't 
know how many millions of dollars worth of in 
stallation, into which we moved in 1953* I guess 
it was, and which now has nearly four thousand 
employees. It has a bigger staff than the Uni- 
versity of California at Berkeley. 

Daniel: Is there any particularly aggressive recruitment 
program afoot to attract young men into the stu 
dies leading them to work at Livermore? 

Chaney: We take all kinds. We recruit bachelors of sci 
ence in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and 
engineering, largely. 

Daniel: You do make an attempt to encourage these people 
to come? 

Chaney: We go to their institutions. We look for them 






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Chaney : and offer them jobs and pay the expenses of their 
family up here If they have to move and we do all 
sorts of things. We have to compete to some ex 
tent with the airplane companies and other big 
companies that are interested in similar activi 
ties. 

Livermore has a majority of young men with 
only the bachelor's degree. We're giving them 
opportunities to take graduate work. That's the 
important part of it, so they can become master's 
degree holders. Under some circumstances, the 
best of them come to Berkeley or go elsewhere to 
go on to the doctorate. 

Daniel: Did this program exist befor Sputnik went up? 

Chaney* Oh yes. Sputnik had no effect at all on us. This 
talk of what the Russians are doing is for the 
people who read the newspapers, not for the sci 
entist. 

We are well aware of what's going on. We 
know our strengths and our weaknesses, and we 
have plenty of strength, I can assure you. 



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Ralph W. Chaney during 
the forties 






X. RADIATION LABORATORY DUTIES 






Daniel: When did you develop your relationship with the 
Radiation Laboratory? 

Chaney : It was during the war. 

Daniel: That was during the forties, wasn't it? 

Chaney: It was probably in 19i|-3- I went to work for them 
in 19lll|-, but I had a close working relationship 
before that time. 

Daniel: Were you in administration? 

Chaney I Yes, entirely. I was assistant director. Dr. 

Cooksey was associate director, and Dr. Lawrence, 
director. There were three of us . 

Daniel: What was your particular niche? 

Chaney: Personnel, which during the war was a very broad 
field. We had with us a great many foreign-- 
mostly British physicists and chemists. We had 
representatives of many of the big companies like 
Westinghouse and General Electric who were here 
because they were doing the development work on 
our research. 

We were in a rush then. We couldn't build a 
Livermore laboratory. We had to send our ideas 






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156 



Chaney: to Schenectady, or Rochester, to have them manu 
factured there, and what came out of Dr. Lawrence's 
and the staff's study was made almost entirely 
elsewhere and shipped down to Oak Ridge, the area 
where the actual process of separating the iso 
topes of uranium was carried on. 

That was in 19l*lj. and 19i|-5. I retired from the 
Radiation Laboratory staff a few weeks after the 
bomb was dropped in 19i|5 and went back to paleo, 
but I have retained a close association with the 
Radiation Laboratory, and for about the last ten 
years I have had a consultant status which in 
volves my working regularly if there's a big job. 
For example, the man who was in charge of pro 
fessional personnel died unexpectedly and I took 
over that job for a year or a year and a half, 
I guess it was. 

Various matters relating to manpower come up, 
and I have on occasion 

Daniel: What do you mean, matters having to do with man 
power? 

Chaney: I mean, specifically, in the case of a labora 
tory the use of men in civilian or military acti 
vities, the assignment of men for University and 







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157 



Chaney : 
Daniel: 
Chaney : 
Daniel : 
Chaney : 



Danlelf 



Chaney: 






and research activities, or military duty. 
Is this a sort of priority rating? 
In effect that's what it is, yes. 
You decide? 

Well, we don't decide. The local selective ser 
vice board decides, but we recommend. And there 
have to be laws which guide selective service, 
so at one time, a number of years ago, five or 
six years ago, it must have been, I spent a good 
deal of time in Washington working on the laws 
with members of Congress and others. 
Does selective service tend to keep the young 
men in science with special talent and capacity 
at their work? 

Selective service selects men to serve their 
country in the way they are best fitted. Selec 
tion of a boy who's working on a farm to go into 
the military might seem desirable unless we're 
short of food, in which case he should be kept on 
a farm. 

Selection of an engineering student to go into 
the army would be appropriate unless we're short 
of engineers. If it's going to be a long war, we 
are going to need engineer graduates. All that 






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158 



Chaney: has to be figured out. That Involves manpower 

allocation, the term which is applied to the use 
of the human resources in the best possible way. 
Laws control the activities of selective ser 
vice. And if the laws aren't right, if for 
example we don't have facilities for holding 
first-class physicists in civilian life and 
they are subject to being drafted and sent Into 
the army to do just ordinary infantry work as 
their assignment, the law should be changed. 
The law is changed sometimes, though there's 
never been anything just like that. The law 
must provide means of holding essential men in 
civilian capacity. 

One trouble with a democracy is that every 
mother is sure not only that her son is as good 
as everyone else's son but that he shouldn't be 
placed in any greater danger. 

Daniel: Do you think protective mothers exert a very 
significant force In Washington? 

Chaney: There's no question about It In Washington. In 
wartime I have been in selective service enough 
to know that the fan mail that is received and 






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159 



Chaney: gets down to the state or local board levels is 
tremendous. 

Yes, the public opinion in this country I 
think is an extremely effective factor. It's al 
ways slow and it frequently is too emotional, 
perhaps it's always too emotional. The idea that 
everyone's son is as good as everyone else'g may 
be correct in the eyes of mothers and God, but 
not nearly everyone is as useful in a physics 
laboratory. For that matter not nearly everyone 
is as useful in an infantry company. An effort 
is made it should be and is made to select the 
men who by training and ability can do outstand 
ing jobs. Theoretically, if they can write good 
poetry they should be assigned to poetry, though 
in wartime we usually forget about that. The 
men who are deferred are useful in industry, agri 
culture, training, or in research. 

We very early had to decide, when I took over 
the selective service office in the University in 
19l).2, whether we were going to ask only for the 
people we had to have , or ask for the people we 
would also like to have. We developed our own 
classification of the people we simply had to 






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160 



Chaney: have, whom we couldn't under any circumstances 
spare, and we never lost one of them 8 

We didn't ask for and insist upon all the 
people we might have liked to have. We always 
had a third group that we could replace In a 
fairly short time, In a matter of months, that 
weren't even worth asking for at all, for more 
lhan a brief period of deferment. 

I'm going to see tomorrow two of the men I 
worked with during the war. They are coming down 
to spend the day with me here and at Livermore. 
I and one or two others went to Sacramento to 
talk to those men and give them our philosophy, 
the men we had to have and the men we just wanted. 
Then, as the Manhattan Project began to develop, 
involving the Radiation Laboratory, we had power 
ful aid from the Army and from President Roosevelt, 
who knew what we were doing. Most people did not. 
The Army didn' t know except in a vague way, I 
suppose. Roosevelt knew. So the Manhattan Dis 
trict was able to aid us through selective ser 
vice and at the height of the fight we never 
lost a man we had to have. 








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Chaney : 



Daniel* 
Chaney : 

Daniel: 
Chane y : 



That's a phase of super-selection which "was 
important. It kept me extremely busy during the 
war, 

All this time I was a member and later a 
chairman of a draft board, too. It made it 
rather comical because I was always writing let 
ters to myself. 

You certainly knew in detail the governmental 
regulations on manpower-allocation. 
Well, I'd been catching them in selective service 
so I knew the-- 
You knew what the rules were. 

Yes. And there are laws by which all individuals' 
rights may be protected. Naturally I knew all 
those laws. I was a selective service lawyer. 
And knowing those I knew just what I could in 
sist on, and then I knew how to go and get still 
more. It was extremely interesting, with long 
distance calls to Washington, New York, Oak 
Ridge in specific cases involving a man we had 



to have. 






Or we got cases from various organizations in 
Berkeley, the industries, General Electric, and 
that sort of thing. They were continually get 
ting into trouble, didn't have things organized 






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Chane y : 



Daniel: 
Chaney: 
Daniel: 



Chaney: 



Daniel: 



just the way we did. Men used to come to me for 
advice, generally governmental organizations, for 
help in holding men that were essential. 

The selective service work was extremely in 
teresting. It's remarkable what a wide range of 
people one finds in a university town. We had 
convicted murderers, homosexuals, robbers, and 
all sorts of things. The story is in their file 
and it all has to be looked at and adjusted be 
fore a decision can be reached. 
This is true in social services. 
Yes, It was a phase of social service. 
You did a very important piece of work for the 
Radiation Laboratory as long as the war was on 
and then - 

Then our staff was cut drastically and I wanted 
to get back into my own field anyway. For a 
period of about five years I had only casual and 
informal contact. It was around 19^4-9, I suppose, 
maybe 195>0, that I went back on an appointment 
basis, and I've never had a regular staff basis 
since. It's been much better from every stand 



point to be a consultant. 






Presently, you are the person who is consulted 
when there is a question of manpower selection? 






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Chaney: Yes, It's much more than selective service. The 
whole reserve program is involved. The reserves 
are members of the armed forces and are not sub 
ject to selective service call. We have many prob 
lems, many more than during the war, Involving 
reservists because the reserve has been built 
up. Then, we didn't have a reserve, at least 
not one comparable in size. 

This is one of the laws that I was working 
on, getting reserves. It's a wonderful thing 
to have a large group of reservists and ex-re 
servists and Rational Q-uard. I don't happen to 
know just what the National Guard does. I was a 
member of a National Guard regiment once, but I 
don't know what it amounts to now. I'm sure 
though that the reserve program is a very good 
one, and I'm thoroughly in favor of it. And I'm 
working right now, this afternoon, until the 
minute I came here I was working on it and will 
be tomorrow morning. 

All sorts of things come up. I've been around 
the laboratory now for sixteen year*, not continu 
ously, but in touch, very closely associated with 
various of the men who are running it and I know 



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Daniel: 
Cha ne y : 
Daniel: 
Chaney: 



many aspects of it. Of course I'm neither a phy 
sicist nor a chemist. I know scarcely anything 
about the scientific aspects of it, but the way 
it's run I know pretty well. Until it got so 
large I seemed to know most of the people in it. 



It's altogether too large now to 









How large is it? 
About two thousand. It's crowding two thousand. 
It looks like an industrial establishment. 
It 's a big place. 

















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165 



XI. THE LOYALTY OATH 

Daniel: An episode in the history of the University seems 
to set Itself apart for comment; what part did 
you take in the loyalty oath controversy? 

Chaney: Well, I didn't take much of a part. It was In 
equity that really got me into the loyalty oath 
argument. I was being misrepresented. It an 
noys me; it annoyed me then; it will always an 
noy HE to be misrepresented. I signed it. It 
was a silly sort of thing, but I had signed lots 
of oaths. 

Daniel: You mean the oath was silly, or the general idea? 

Chaney: Well, the idea that it would ever amount to any 
thing was rather silly, but I had before that 
signed a good many oaths. It was a good deal 
like the statement you make on the witness stand: 
"I swear to t ell the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth, so help me God." It was 
in that mood% I thought if it would help I was 
for it, and it didn't seem to me that it could 
do any harm. 

Daniel: You were aware, of course, of the policy of the 
Regents? 



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166 



Chaney: I certainly was, and approved it thoroughly. 

So I found, talking around, that the situ 
ation was getting serious. And I began to hear 
that the faculty, at least a part of the faculty, 
and the Regents were in rather violent opposi 
tion. So I talked to one of the leaders of the 
faculty. He was on the committee appointed, I'm 
sure, by the Academic Senate which was meeting 
with the Regents. I talked to him and asked him 
what the position was. He didn't tell me very 
much but he told me that the position was sound. 
I heard there was going to be a meeting and 
I got myself Invited to it, 

Daniel: This is a meeting of the faculty, the conference 
committee. 

Chaney: It was called "The Committee of 'lj.8 rt or something 
or other. I went to it and I was perfectly ap 
palled at the point of view expressed there. 
Somebody had invited a newsman there to take pic 
tures, and maybe sound movies. They talked about 
a war chest and they talked about a tax. The 
chairman of the meeting was in a nervous emotional 
state. I went there feeling as though I was in a 
foreign country, and so did some other friends of 



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Chaney: mine who were there. 

Now, the next morning I made direct contact 
with an influential Regent by long distance phone, 
and I told him what I had heard the night before, 
and I asked him what his side of the story was. 
I got a reasonably satisfactory answer. But he 
said, "if you want to get the real answer I'll 
phone my secretary and ask her to give you a 
copy of the minutes of the meeting at which this 
disagreement took place." I met her at Dwight 
and Shattuck a few hours later with a complete 
"transcript, a correct one, of the minutes of the 
meeting. There was the most damning stuff in it 
said by my representatives. In fairness to them 
let me add that one of the Regents was a very 
skilled trial lawyer and made suckers of these 
men. He got them into situations where they 
overstated their cases, the way a clever lawyer 
will with a stupid witness whom he wants to dis 
credit. 

Remember that I, and so far as I know, no 
one else of the group in the controversy, saw 
this, these minutes with the consent of the man 
who turned them over to me. I made copies of 








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168 



Chaney: portions of them, and then I did a Paul Revere. 
I met with engineers; I met with the medical 
school; I met with enough people to get a vote 
on the key question, that is, were we going to 
repudiate the 19l|-0 or 19i|l ruling of the ^egents 
that we don't employ communists. One of my col 
leagues at the Regents 1 meeting said that an 
overwhelming majority of the faculty was opposed 
to this, and that's what started the fireworks. 

Now, at that meeting, which took place about 
a week later, 79, about 8 per cent voted to sus 
tain the Regents. That, I should say, is all I 
dido Other people were working on it, too, but 
I got the endorsement of the Regents on a mat 
ter where I had been misrepresented, I'm glad 
that I did. It didn't amount to anything be 
cause, incidentally, the Regents involved weren't 
very smart, either, and they weren't any smarter 
than the faculty. Apparently they loved to fight, 

and so when they could have, by making some sim 
ple concessions, had what amounted to a victory, 
they kept fighting for what they couldn't get 
and got soundly licked. 






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169 



Chaney: 



Daniel: 
Chaney : 
Daniel: 

Chaney: 



And probably it served them right. I tfcke no 
sides as between stupid people in either group, 
and there were stupid R egents and stupid or 
rather unwise Regents and unwise faculty members. 
But it seemed to me desirable to get a clear 
statement as to where the faculty stood on the 
Regents' ruling, because if we were against it 
we should make a statement, not an unauthorized 
statement such as had been made by our represen 
tative. At least it proved to be unauthorized 
because of the fact that the faculty vote repu 
diated that position. 

The whole thing of course became very un 
pleasant. 

Why do you think it became unpleasant? 
Well, we all had to get pretty tough. 
Do you think that academic people don't like to 
be tough? 

They like to be tough themselves but yet they 
don't like someone else who's tough. I had to 
say thiig s about the opposition in order to get 
the engineer and the medical school and the agri 
culture vote. We had to whip this up. It was 
education. I wasn't lobbying, particularly. The 



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Chaney: engineers abominated it from the top dean down; 
the medical school from the top dean down; agri 
culture was opposed to it. We had an awful lot 
of votes there. They took care of the English 
department, the philosophy department, the eco 
nomics theugh it was a big bloc they took care 
of those lads who were on the other side. 

And of course they didn't like it. And the 
graduate students in the English department, I 
am told--this is a laugh, because it made no 
difference to me--agreed that they would have 
no contact, social or otherwise, with me. But 
it never mattered. There are still at least two 
members of the economics department who don't 
speak to me; philosophy.. .well, I guess they all 
speak to me, but it doesn't matter; and so on 
down the well, those were the three particular 
sinners, as I saw them. Political science I 
guess was involved with econ. 

But I'm not concerned with groups or with 
names. I was concerned with being represented 
properly, and I wasn't being represented properly. 

Also, and this is something I'm going to dis 
cuss, the Regents' position was one which was more 



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Chaney: OP less handed to it and then abandoned by some 
elements of the University, and the Regents were 
left holding the sack. And the man with whom I 
had my contacts, whom I admire highly In some 
ways, was In particular holding the sack. I think 
he was in this a very stupid man, but he didn't 
know how to roll with the punches. He wasn't 
willing to make concessions. I think, with the 
advice that I and one or two other people gave 
him, if he had been willing to follow it and con 
cede a little, that the whole thing could have 
been settled. But like the faculty he wasn't 
willing to compromise. So I say there were 
stupid people, or at least unyielding people, 
on both sideso For neither do I have any use. 
Well, you can see plainly enough that as a 
leader of a so-called, and it was, liberal group 
like the Berkeley Municipal League, I was can 
celled out from that point on. Most people who 
were in that group wouldn't admit I ms a liberal 
at all. Maybe I'm not. If being liberal means 
loving the Russians, I'm certainly not. I was 
on the wrong side for the liberals. I figured 
it out and I didn't blunder into this. I knew 
very well which side I was on. Maybe it's about 






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Chaney: the same as picking McCarthy against Bridges. 
Which would you take? Let's hope you never 
have to take one. But I'fl take McCarthy over 
Bridges and I'd take him quick. And I'd take 
a Regent over a red-hot econ professor if it 
came to a choice like that and I did. 

Daniel Was there something about this whole oath con 
troversy that was of use either to the faculty 
or to the Regents or perhaps to both groups? 

Chaney: No. I think it was a complete mess. Every 
thing about it was disgusting. All I did was 
to reiterate what most of us thought all the 
time. The objectors got their pay, to be sure. 
Some of the Regents were discredited. I can't 
see any dividends in it at all. There weren't 
for me and I don't know anybody a high official 
of the University with whom I was discussing 
this in his office Just after it happened said 
to me very sadly, apropos my statement that I 
certainly got ray fingers burned, said, "All of 
us who had anything to do with it made serious 
mistakes." It was a remark of a saddened man 
who took an awful beating, too. I didn't take 
a beating, much of a beating, because I didn't 






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Chaney: amount to much. But if I had been a high Univer 
sity official I would have. 

incidentally, most of the left-wingers kept 
quiet. The men who were most active weren't 
what I would call left-wingers. They were just 
moderate, or off-a-little-to-the-left liberals, 
some a little muddle headed, perhaps. There was 
only one of the group that I suspect of being a 
bit subversive about it, and that's only a sus 
picion and it doesn't matter. 

There wasn't any disloyalty in it, but there 
certainly were differences of opinion. The ob 
jectors objected for all varieties of reasons. 
They were the most muddleheaded and incoherent 
group, I've been told by a man who had a great 
deal to do with them, and who didn't agree with 
me on this. I have many friends who didn't 
agree with me who are still my close friends, in 
cidentally. But I lost a good many friends, or 
at least I don't have close associations with 
most of the groups I mentioned whereas I had 
previously. But heaven knows I have enough 
left. 

These things don't do any good though, and 






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Daniel; 



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so I say we all lost. No, there was no residuum 
of benefit that I could see anywhere. 
Persons who are in academic life seldom have a 
straight-out confrontation with an opposing point 
of view that asserts itself strongly. 
Yes, but professionally we have difference of 
opinion. It isn't necessarily on the campus, 
but I have differences of opinion with other 
paleobotanists. I've never had a violent one, 
but there are violent ones. We live a reason 
ably cloistered life and this was a bit hard, 
Of course, a lot of the boys with their war 
chests and so on were way beyond their depth. 
They dramatized themselves ridiculously. It 
was the first time they had been anywhere near 
the big time, I suppose, and were getting in the 
newspapers, and it was wonderful stuff. 












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175 



XII. NON- ACADEMIC STUDENT RELATIONS 



The California Club 



Daniel 



Chaney ; 



Danie 1 : 
Chaney: 
Daniel: 
Chaney: 



Was the California Club President Sproul's inven 
tion? In 1936 he set forth Its role In the main 
tenance of harmonious relations among University 
of California student bodies, 

I think it was a wonderful idea and I haven't a 
doubt, knowing him well, that President Sproul 
was fully responsible for the idea. It's the 
sort of thing he's particularly good at. 

Anyway, he developed It and it has been use 
ful In relieving tension between the campuses, 
particularly UCLA and the University of Califor 
nia at Berkeley, 

Was UC-UCLA the reason the thing was started? 
There's no doubt about it. 
Other campuses have developed 
Originally we had only Davis, Medical School, 
UCLA, and Berkeley. Then we added Santa Barbara, 
and that was all that were ever around when I was 
in it. Do you have the dates when I was involved? 



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Daniel: December 18, 19Ml-> you became faculty advisor. 
You resigned in 19^8 as the faculty sponsor in 
Berkeley. You must have had an association from 
191*2. 

Chaney: I was the faculty member in charge from 19^ or 
whenever it was until about 1914-8. 

Daniel: Weere you the first? 

Chaney: No. No, there had been several. I can remem 
ber Desmond was one for a very short time. I 
can't tell you who the others were. 

Daniel: Did students develop this group? What did the 
California Club do? 

Chaney: Outstanding students, it could have been twenty 
or more, were selected every year by the club 
and the faculty member. The students' names 
were turned in to the president, who sometimes 
added or subtracted, or asked consideration of 
others. His suggestions were almost always very 
good. Members were sent to an annual meeting at 
Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, or Davis, and we en 
tertained students from the other campuses. There 
were parties that everyone enjoyed. During the 
war, when I went in, the social activities were 
very much restricted; and there were almost no 








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Chaney: student activities. 

California Club was one of the very vigorous 
centers. All of the student leaders were in it, 
are still, no doubt. There were various privi 
leges which were very welcome, especially to the 
boys. And of course, they had an opportunity to 
meet President Sproul; he personally welcomed 
everybody in. He did a wonderful job and made 
everybody feel the importance of the club. He 
gave his usual inspirational talks on the sub 
ject of University unity through students. I 
enjoyed it very much. 

Student Government at the University of California 

Daniel: Who was on the Executive Committee of the ASTJC when 
you were a rrember from the fall of 1914-8 through 
the spring of 1951? 

Chaney: Dean Eurford Stone was the president's representa 
tive throughout. I was classified, and there 
were others who have been since, as a faculty rep 
resentative, but the term is not altogether ac 
curate. The request to represent the faculty came 
from President Sproul. The faculty never checked 

up on me. I never made a report to the faculty. 

- F 

I reported to Sproul. That was an amusing thing 






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Chaney: ard I've never known whether that's the way It was 
supposed to be. Sproul had two representatives, 
and that was just about right. Being a member of 
the faculty I naturally knew something of the 
faculty's point of view, but also I made it a 
point to know the president's point of view. 
And it may be added I had my own point of view 
but it usually coincided with the president's In 
matters of that sort. 

Daniel: Then the Academic Senate didn't take any particu 
lar cognizance of the fact that there was a facul 
ty member on the Ex Committee? 

Chaney: I don't remember ever having any official contact 
with the Academic Senate on this. I don't remem 
ber being asked a question about it. I'm sure I 
wasn't appointed by the Committee on Committees. 
I haven't looked at the file of fifteen years 
ago but I'm perfectly sure my appointment came 
from President Sproul and that I received a let 
ter from him when I finished thanking me for 
what I did. 

There were several alumni representatives 
and they were not always very good. I think I 
won't go into that. 

Daniel: Who were they at the time? 






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Chaney: I sort of hate to put this into the record, my 
opinion, I mean, I think they almost always 
voted right. Being younger, they were a little 
more inclined to bait students* 

Daniel: What were the alumni interests at that time? 

Chaney: Oh, nothing in particular. They just went along 
with the idea that students should have some 
voice in the handling of their affairs, ath 
letics, activities of various sorts including 
elections, the store, dramatics; all of that is 
handled with supervision by the director of acti 
vities and the director of athletics. Eventu 
ally the director of athletics was the more im 
portant one in terms of money because football 

pays the bills, 

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Daniel: At that time how were athletic affairs handled? 

Was there a paid executive? 
Chaney: Yes. Ed Welch was the director of the ASTIC, top 

man, 
Daniel: Do you remember how he was chosen? Did the stu- 

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dents have a voice in choosing him? 
Chaney: It's a strange thing that I can't say, but ha 

certainly cams in on a wave of protest from the 
alumni about how things were going. He was a 






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Chaney: very popular and a very capable man, I don't 
even remember his predecessor. During the war 
things didn't work out particularly well because 
many of the men who had been leaders were given 
other assignments. Kenneth Priestley of whom 
you may have heard, he's no longer living, got 
an assignment in the Radiation Laboratory, and 
the men who handled the job weren't always quite 
up to it. It was a very complex situation with 
out much income because there was no large ath 
letic program. That was just before my day. 

I don't remember any major Issues. I remem 
ber minor issues, and it seems to me that is 
about all that were ever discussed, and that 
those are the sorts of issues that should be dis 
cussed. This is a rather cynical remark, per 
haps, but I don't think members of the student 
body have much basis for policy-making on major 
affairs. 

Daniel: What were the major affairs of the ASUC Ex Com 
mittee? 

Chaney: The football coach and other coaches were hired 
and fired by the Associated Students. That pre 
rogative was summarily taken from the students 






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Chaney: by President Sproul, quite wisely, and given to 
a Board of Athletic Control. These names may be 
inaccurate but that's essentially what it was, 
This board was composed of perhaps four students, 
four alumni, and four faculty members. I was 
never a member of it. That committee, then, with 
a majority of non-students made the decisions. 
There had been some very bad handling. Some 
coaches had been fired in an unfortunate way. 
The president was fed up with it, quite naturally. 
He was able to do these things and carry a major 
ity of ttie student body with him. He's a very 
astute man. 

Whether Kerr will be able to do that I have 
no Idea. He hasn't as yet come up against such 
a problem probably. He's very clever also. He's 
a professional negotiator, maybe even better, but 
time will tell. 

Daniel: Did the Board of Athletic Control carry out the 
steps for engaging athletic coaches? 

Chaney: Yes. The ASTJC athletic manager, who was appointed 
by the Associated Students, was always consulted. 
He was a key man but on his own. He couldn't go 
out and hire, nor could he fire. 






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182 



Daniel: His job was to interpret the work of the athletic 
control board? 

Chaney : Yes, and he was depending upon his strength and 
the board's weakness. He was an important man, 
but I don't think the board was ever weakened, 
nor do I think any of the athletic managers were 
unduly strong. 

Daniel: Were the students inclined to want more authority 
at that time? 

Chaney: Just after the war we were in a mood to go into 

reveries about the heroic Russians, perhaps quite 
properly, but we don't do that anymore, anyway. 
Being pro-Russian was almost patriotic, as you 
know. They were our allies. We were helping 
them and they were helping us, or so we thought. 

Being pro-Russian in the second half off the 
forties carried no stigma whatever. I suppose 
it began to get bad around 19^8. But for a time 
students who were, mind you, not pro-Russian, 
but who were left-wing, very liberal, got just 
about what they wanted. Everyone was in sympathy. 
A lot of these boys who had been through the war. 
Some of the men who were elected had been heroes. 
Then of course came the reaction with our 





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183 



Chaney: disillusionment, when we realized that Stalin had 
been too smart for Roosevelt and Churchill, and 
with that the lines of conflict were drawn. 

Actually I was away. I went to China in 19^8. 
I had a sabbatical and was away most of the year. 
I think the president now has a wise policy of 
not permitting a faculty representative to go 
on as long as I did. My guess is I may have had 
six years. I think there's a four-year period 
now which is far better. Students get awfully 
fed up with a faculty member who's been around 
too long, and heaven knows he gets fed up with 
going to an Ex Committee meeting once a week and 
talking largely about trivia, 

Daniel: We were talking about the president's administra 
tive arrangement for the control of athletics. 
Did any of the students on the Ex Committee re 
sent it? 

Chaney: Actually, this Board of Athletic Control was set 
up before I was a member of the Ex Committee. I 
suspect it was set up around 19lj-6. 

Daniel: While you were on the board the students weren't 

annoyed by this arrangement? 








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Chaney: No, I don't remember that as a point of conflict. 
The points of conflict were largely on social 
and political matters that went outside the campus, 

Daniel: Did the relationship of the student to political 
activity outside the campus ever come up as a 
problem that touched the Ex Committee. 

Chaney : Ye s . 

Daniel: I think you mentioned something about the make-up 
of the student paper. 

Chaney: That was always a difficulty. 

Daniel: What was the problem? 

Chaney: The editor was appointed by the Ex Committee, or 
at least confirmed by the Ex Committee. I think 
he was selected by the Daily Gal group, but al 
ways confirmed, and Ex Committee at that time had 
the right to remove him. And that was a matter 
of resentment. The Sally Gal was always somewhat 
more liberal than the Ex Committee. The presi 
dent had some occasion to discuss with Stone and 
with me, never together, the mistakes that the 
students made in writing unfavorable editorials 
about regents, or about a benefactor of the Uni 
versity, for example. It just wasn't smart. 

Daniel: How was that handled? 

Chaney: How was the curbing of the Daily Gal handled? 











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185 



Daniel: Yes. Supposing an editorial appeared that was 
embarassing to the president of the University. 
What happened then? 

Chaney: He spoke to Stone probably on more than one oc 
casion. He mentioned t to me or asked Stone to 
discuss it with me. Stone was his contact man. 
Of course Stone was then in administration. I 
was not. 

Daniel: What did you do then? 

Chaney: We certainly held discussion with members of Ex 
Committee whom we had reason to believe did not 
approve of such editorials. We debated and dis 
cussed ways and means of curbing them. One of 
them was to set up--this was done after I left 
Ex Committee to set up a control board on pub 
lications. This has been called a muzzling and 
a loss of our freedom of the press, and so on. 
Freedom of the press is all very well, and 
we talk about it and desire it, but freedom of 
students to run a monopoly newspaper. . Remem 
ber, there is no competition to the Daily Gal. 
It's a monopoly. To run a monopoly newspaper 
without some guidance from the administration 
is likely to lead to a good deal of trouble. 






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186 



Chaney: Somebody would come in with a motion to write 

commendatory letters on the faculty's opinion on 
the loyalty oath to all of the schools and all of 
the newspapers; or some political upset would 
take place and a dictator would assume the throne 
or perhaps be driven out. The Ex Committee was 
all for writing a letter to the new liberal 
leader. Now, the paper might run an editorial- 
Daniel: Opposing this? 

Chaney: And it certainly did. I remember vaguely the 
pro-Spanish, I suppose anti-loyalists far back 
in the late thirties. You can imagine the stu 
dents would take the liberal side. Probably I 
would have, too, in that. That was a pretty 
hard one to pick the winner on though. It was 
the sort of thing that would have led it was 
propaganda and it was a representative body of 
the University of California which was issuing 
these statements, but it wasn't a body author 
ized to make such statements. And it was at 
that point that I'm sure the administration felt 
embarassment , and it was at that point that we 
always tried to, well, I think we always were suc 
cessful in voting down any such grandstand play. 
I mentioned before and I'll say again for 











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Chaney: this record that occasionally these requests to 
endorse or condemn a public figure in other parts 
of the world came up simultaneously in the ex 
committees in several parts of the state, which 
led me to surmise, although I've never had any 
direct proof, that an organization was concerned 
with expressing this point of view, an organiza 
tion that reached members of all of the ex com 
mittees of the several schools involved. 

Daniel: Is it possible that certain kinds of activity 
have dramatic appeal to young people? 

Chaney: I think young people should be interested in 

world affairs, in national affairs, and in Uni 
versity affairs. But I was never convinced as 
I sat on Ex Committee that they were competent 
to go beyond University affairs. That's what I 
meant a while ago when I said we handled trivia. 
A bitter debate would come up whether wives 
of ASUC members should have cut-rate rooters' 
tickets to go to UCLA. The members did. They 
got in for !$< instead of $35>0 or whatever the 
scale was, but the wives didn't. So there would 
be a debate for an hour on whether the wives 
should go along and have cut-rate. Well, it's 








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Chaney: rather important to the boys with wives, who 
wanted to take their wives along, but the men 
who were talking for it were mostly unmarried. 

And at one point in the debate I interjected 
the remark; it seemed to me that if Justice were 
to be done we should allow these married men one 
weekend a year without their wives a rather ri 
diculous and perhaps disrespectful remark, and 
it wasn't any profound conviction on my part, 
but the whole thing was getting rather tiresome, 
and I was getting sick of it. That brought the 
matter to a vote shortly thereafter and the wives 
were not allowed the ticket privilege, not by my 
persuasion, of course. There never was any pos 
sibility of it. 

The boys and girls in Ex Committee I also 
knew in California Club. Almost all of them were 
members, or if they were juniors, they were about 
to be. The seniors were almost invariably mem 
bers. Long before I finished on Ex Committee I 
had been through with Cal Club, but they over 
lapped,, And I knew some of them quite intim 
ately to begin with, not always with the same 






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Chaney: point of view, but I had known them. I had known 
student leaders since the eary Forties, actually 
for a couple of decades before that, but espe 
cially around 191^2, I guess. Matters of this 
sort had meant comparatively little to me, at 
least I thought very little about them. That's 
why I was so nonplussed when you asked me what 
some of the issues were. I can't think of any 
but trivia, and not many of them. 

Daniel: Were there deficits in the athletic program when 
you sat on the Ex Committee? 

Chaney: We were in a rather prosperous period financially. 
Those were the good days. I was sitting on the 
Finance Committee, which the faculty representa 
tive and the president's representative always 
did, along with the graduate manager and the 
president and the vice-president, and perhaps 
one other student representative. Also the 
University business manager, Bill Norton, sat 
on it . I suspect the grown-ups had the major 
ity, probably a four to three majority that 
wasn't an accident in making policy decisions 
on funds and budget allocations. 

But things were going very well. There were 






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190 



Chaney: no deficits, though before I got out there were 
threats of deficits. I think bookkeeping can 
keep deficits off the books for a while, as you 
know, 

Daniel: I'm told that for the last ten years there has 
been a deficit in the athletic program. 

Chaney: That would take it to 19l|9 and that would take 
it into the days of my membership in Ex Commit 
tee, and probably there were deficits. I seem 
to remember so. But they weren't especially seri 
ous. 

Of course if the administration were budget 
ing the athletic program it could cut out crew 
and a lot of minor sports which are expensive, 
and there wouldn't be a deficit. You can be 
sure that the University business manager would 
do exactly that. They'd run no deficit athletic 
program. 

Well, I think the students have a pretty fair 
point there: if the University is really running 
athletics it should take the responsibilities. 
But students wouldn't like the decisions that 

would be made to curtail some aspects of the pro- 
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Chaney: The Dally Gal may not pay its way. Maybe -we'd only 
have two Daily Gals a week. I have no idea what 
the results would be, but I can assure you that if 
the University business manager had autonomy there 'd 
be no deficit. There couldn't be. 

Daniel: Were there any complaints about the service of the 
student store when you were on Ex Committee? 

Chaney : Yes, and I think there were shifts in the top men 
from time to time. There unquestionably was in 
efficiency in the store and elsewhere. No one 
thinks that everyone is efficient. Running the 
student store is very difficult, 

Daniel: What are the chief problems? 

Chaney: One of their very great problems was that employees 
stole books. 

Daniel: That was a large problem really? 

Chaney: Well, tens of thousands of dollars a year. The em 
ployees stole books and sold them to their friends 
at cut-rate. 

Daniel: This was criminal action. 

Chaney: It was. 

Daniel: Was this handled as criminal action. 

Chaney: It was discussed never quite as bluntly as I have 
stated it, but I had what I considered the facts. 






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Chaney: One or two students were caught and fired or per 
haps dropped from the University. The details of 
that I can't remember other than that safeguards 
were put on to prevent it. I can't even remember 
the safeguards. 

Daniel: They worked? 

Chaney: I doubt it. Incidentally I saw today or yesterday 
the story about stealing, but that was shoplift 
ing. But I'm talking about stealing by tempor 
ary employees, students who worked for ten or 
twenty hours a week 

Daniel: Who would walk out with the stock and sell it. 

Chaney: Yes, or who would turn it over to friends who came 
in and not ring up the sale. That was one of the 
things that was brought out. Whether all that was 
brought out in open committee I don't know. We 
used to have executive sessions when all salaries 
were discussed, and when this touchy sort of thing 
was discussed. It's a long while ago. I remem 
ber only the bare facts. It was established to my 
satisfaction that the store was losing because of 
stock depletion of that sort. Of course they 
were stealing candy bars, taking up little things 

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and walking out with them. That will always be 

a problem, I suppose, perhaps not a very large one. 






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Chaney: The story In today's Daily Gal indicated 

that 

Daniel: Well, a $20,000 loss in a year is a considerable 
loss. I think that was the figure that was quo 
ted in the paper today. 

Chaney: I would say that the losses from theft by employ 
ees were estimated as being higher than that, but 
it's been so long ago that I can't remember. 

Daniel: In any case, it was as difficult to run a student 
store as it is now. 

What else about the store? 

Chaney: Oh, we'd have a discussion of the Bear's Lair, 

which was the restaurant, the fact that the price 
of hamburgers was going up from 10^ to l5tf. I 
suppose it's 30^ now, but it was at about that 
level in those days. The reason for it was that 
beef cost more and help cost more. This was a pro 
test of inflation which we always protest whenever 
we feel the bite of it. 

Nobody is ever satisfied with the student 
store. I think it's a thankless job. I can't 
imagine anyone wanting to do it, 

Daniel* Now it ' s a self-service arrangement which I think 
has changed matters. 






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Chaney: A gate was put on the book counters so that unless 
a student actually had a book under his clothing 
it could be seen. Even that might not have kept 
the employees from removing books. Suppose the 
gatekeeper was a thief. I know the present gate 
keeper and she certainly is not. I know one of 
them. B ut if the gatekeeper was a thief that would 
be a good place to start things, wouldn't it? 

Daniel: Yes, 1 suppose so. 

The students did not have much to say about 
athletics, but they did have something to say 
about the store, 

Chaney: Oh yes. They had a good deal to say about ath 
letics, about giving raises to coaches. 

Daniel: Did they make decisions like that? 

Chaney: Oh, they suggested it, yes. They certainly did. 
And they went much too far sometimes and the Pi- 
nance Committee had to curb them,, They dldn(t 
have the final say. 

Daniel: You had a controlling vote of adults on the Pi- 
nance Committee? 

Chaney: Yes, in effect it was. Matters of that sort fre 
quently were handled outside. 

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You can see why over the years there has bean 
student resentment towards adult administration 



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Chaney: numbers of the Ex Committee. They were the vil 
lains in this skit. If they'd been $ust students 
they'd have 

Daniel: Well, they needn't be villains. 

Chaney: They are villains from the students' standpoint; 
they aren't villains in fact. They are presum 
ably sensible people who know how many dollars 
we have and how we have to spend them. 

Daniel: If the students are given an accurate picture of 

the possibilities inherent in a situation they're 
not stupid people, they could see what the possi 
bilities are. 

Chaney: Ordinarily it was quite possible to persuade a 

majority of the students. In fact, we never had, 
while I was on Ex Committee, a majority which was 
consistently anti-administration. Occasionally 
there would be something voted through that was 
against administration policy, and by administra 
tion I mean largely Sproul, who was a strong man 
and who was usually right about such things. Prob 
ably always right, as I would view it. 

But only occasionally was there a vote that 
would violate his wishes. I can't speak from 






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Cba ney : 



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memory on this but I have an idea that maybe it 
was changed afterward by another vote. Certain 
ly nothing important ever happened that was 
against his policies. 

What besides the store and student athletics 
claimed the Ex Committee's attention? 
Elections, Judiciary Committee, Student Welfare 
Committee-- 

What about the Student Welfare Committee? Was 
that important? What did it do? 

It was quite important. It watched out for "fair 
Bear" wages and for racial discrimination. All 
these are subjects that would be of great inter 
est to students, and properly so. Housing, 
How could the students take any action in the 
field of housing? 

They couldn't, but they could vote resolutions. 
About what ? 

Probably what they did was to address communica 
tions to the president pointing out what he al 
ready knew, but emphasizing the fact that they 
didn't like it if there were racial discrimina 
tion, or if conditions were unsanitary or danger 
ous. 






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Daniel: Did they try to establish any standard for accep 
table housing facilities? 

Chaney: No, I don't think they ever got that far. The 
University has its ovin standards, and I'm sure 
no student ever got into the technical side of 
housing. 

Daniel: There was no "Pair Bear" stamp of approval on a 
house, let's say. 

Chaney: No, I'm sure there was not. Students were less 
interested in housing than they were in wages 
and in racial discrimination of various sorts. 

Daniel: The students' housing at that time was probably 
poorer than it is now. 

Chaney: There weren't as many dormitories. Yes, there 
were all sorts of houses. 

Daniel: Wasn't better housing a pressing need for the stu 
dents? 

Chaney: Very. But to my knowledge students never got to 
the root of that, to urge the Regents to support 
housing. For years the Regents were unwilling to 
do so. Whether or not that was sound at the time 
I have no idea. They were surely opposed to it 
and now they have accepted this as one of the 
University's responsibilities. I doubt if stu 
dents had anything to do with that change of heart. 






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198 



Daniel: What do you see as the effective role of student 
government? As you saw it working, do you think 
it was a valuable experience to the students who 
were on the Ex Committee? 

Chaney: Oh very. They handled their affairs. They de 
termined the dates when various parties could be 
held, and the budget which the junior class could 
have for its Junior prom. Actually, I think I'm 
wrong about that. I think the junior class de 
termined its budget from its class funds. But 
there was frequently an ASUC subsidy. 

And there were many other types of Univer 
sity affairs, the Glee Club or whatever, in which 
the ASUC set aside $10 or $100 or even a substan 
tial amount on occasion. Whether the band would 
go to Seattle for a football game. These were 
matters that had to be referred to the Finance 
Committee, of course, and the Finance Committee 
didn't always say no by any means. Whether the 
tennis team should be sent to an eastern tourna 
ment in view of its record. If its record was 
poor the students would usually vote not to send 
it. 

Actually, the tennis coach would make the 






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Chaney: recommendation In a case like that. But I'm quite 
sure he didn't always get what he wanted, or at 
least he didn't get as much as he wanted. 

Here's another. There are national and in 
ternational student organizations that held meet 
ings, sometimes even in Europe, and funds had to 
be set aside for delegates to attend those meet 
ings. Affiliation with those organizations was 
discussed. Some of them were left-wing. That 
was brought out and the left-wing element of Ex 
Committee would be all for continuing. The right- 
wing element would be all for breaking with it. 

Daniel: Since right-wing and left-wing character is tics 

change over a period of time, what were the char 
acteristics of the right wing of the Ex Committee 
and what were the characteristics of the left 
wing of the Ex Committee? 

Chaney: I think the left wing wanted to spend the money 
whether we had it or not, and the right wing was 
more likely to look at the balance and see. The 
right wing was certainly not interested in memor 
ializing the legislature of a foreign country 
about some of its acts or the acts of its execu 
tives. The left wing was likely to be interested, 






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Chaney: especially If it were something that was on the 
left side, as it usually was when such things 
were brought up. 

Now these lines are rather easily drawn. 

Daniel: Would the left wing be more critical of the ad 
ministration than the right wing, do you think? 

Chaney: Very much more. 

Daniel: Was the left wing for expanded student services 
in the store, or didn't it care? 

Chaney: I suppose it was but I don't remember, I do re 
member that there were always some students who 
were against the present management, 

Daniel: Are there any other activities 

Chaney: I mentioned the scheduling of parties. Sometimes 
there would be conflicts. Two important organiza 
tions would want a party on the same night, pos 
sibly even in the same place. All these things 
had to be resolved. They were handled first by 
it may have been the Student Affairs Committee 
I've forgotten. And almost always members of 
these committees included not only elected Execu 
tive Committee members but others who were drawn 
in. And then some of those people were elected, 
when they got to be seniors, to Ex Committee if 



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Chaney: they did well politically. The committees were 
a training ground for the Executive Committee. 

There was always something like that and I 
said a while ago, not respectfully, that they 
were trivia. No one really cares whether a 
student club has its initiation on the 13th or 
20th of December. But we might care a good deal, 
it might affect all of us to some extent, at 
least, if we had written letters from an official 

University group praising Stalin or condemning 
de Gaulle, or whatever it might have been. That 
sort of thing may bring lasting harm because it 
gives a certain character to the University. I 
don't think the University should have the repu 
tation of being a group of stalwart conservatives, 
mostly Republicans. But I certainly dbn't think 
that it should have the reputation for being lib 
eral in the extreme sense, left-wing is what I 
mean. That would not be pleasing to our state 
assembly. 

Incidentally, occasionally our students would 
go up and visit the legislature. I don't think we 
ever invited legislators down here but students 
would go up and visit the legislature in Sacra- 






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Chaney: mento and talk to them to show that they were sen 
sible and not a group of irresponsible redhots. 

Daniel: Then you feel that the University as a tax-suppor 
ted university has a different background for the 
students than a non-tax-supported university? 

Chaney: Oh, of oourse. The taxpayer determines whether 
we continue. 

Daniel: In a way then, the faculty representatives are 

sort of watchdogs for the administration, to avoid 
embarassing situations. 

Chaney: Yes. That's why students, for several years, have 
been arguing vigorously against it. They've 
brought up motions In Ex Committee imagine I to 
legislate against having such appointments. Well, 
they can't do it because the president in all 
cases makes the final decision and he has appoin- 
te d them. 

I have to summarize this general feeling that 
there was always a majority of the student members 
of Ex Committee who were in favor of most adminis 
tration policies. There was always a majority 
which acted wisely in strictly student affairs 
having to do with time and place and the alloca 
tion of minor amounts of money. There was always 
a small group which disagreed, quite vocal, often 






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203 



Chare y: of minority races, some of whom may have been dis 
loyal, but all of whom were, by their behavior, 
to be character ized as left-wing, but always a 
minority In my day The vote was never close. 
But the reason why it wasn't was that the three 
adults almost always voted against that group. 
In other words, a student who thinks that 
adults should be removed is quite right if the 
thesis is sound that the students should have 
complete control. The results might be quite 
different with students only. 

Daniel: Were the students voted into student government 
office on their personality or were they voted 
into office because of their ideas on student 
government ? 

Chaney: Certainly both. The high officers of the Associ 
ated Students always had held various posts. They 
had been class officers, they'd been members of 
various committees. Being the chairman of a home 
coming committee is a tremendous job. It takes a 
boy maybe 100 or 200 hours. It's a great respon 
sibility. A boy who does that well is likely to 
receive some recognition. Perhaps he'll run for 
representative-at-large en Ex Committee and be 
elected. He'll always mention his committee 






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appointments and attainments. Then if he is vo 
cal and well thought of he may run for president 
of the ASUC. 

It was identification with his student record 
which put him into office. 



Athletes were encouraged by Waldorf to run 
for office. I always thought that was a good 
thing, except that athletes during their season 
of participation were rather tired and very busy 
and often away on trips, so their attendance rec 
ord wasn't good. W e had a number of top-flight 
athletes on Ex Committee and in California Club 
during my contacts with these organizations. And 
it was always a good idea to have them. In gene 
ral, they are too busy to be as effective as some 
one who has the Executive Committee for his major 

activity. 

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Has it ever occurred to anybody that the students 
in outside activities in these student offices 
put an immense amount of time into what they do? 
Yes, and they generally have to put in another 
semester to get in their units because they take 
a minimum load, twelve units. 






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Daniel: They do reduce the number of units they take? 

Chaney : Oh, the smart ones do. I used to advise them to. 
And a great many members of Ex Committee flunked 
out and weren't back next semester. Maybe they 
couldn't take it. 

Daniel: Do you know if this generally occurs? 

Chaney: I don't know about generally, but it happened 
while I was there. The weaker students flunked 
out, and almost all of them were on a reduced 
schedule, a minimum schedule. They should be. 

There is a small stipend for certain of the 
officers. There is none for representatives-at- 
large. The president and the editor of the Daily 
Cal and the business manager of the Daily Gal, or 
he may be called the advertising manager, all of 
those were salaried positions, or stipend posi 
tions. The amount was perhaps $5>00 for a year 
That was justified fully on the basis that they 
spent an enormous amount of time, and had no qp- 
portunity to work and earn money. I think there 
was never any question about that. There was of 
ten a wish to increase the amount. 

But the details of all this are pretty lar- 
gely gone. My feeling is that most of the matters 



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Chaney: discussed for hours were on a rather low level of 
importance. And often, perhaps, just for the fun 
of arguing. There was a lot of that* Our spirit 
was almost always good. There were rarely quar 
rels which weren't healed by the end of the meet 
ing. 

You asked a while ago about the cliques In 
elections. Some fraternities and sororities would 
often get together for a candidate. I wouldn't 
say that it was fraternities against non-frater 
nities because the non- fraternities would always 
have won, on the basis of the quantity of the 
vote, but there were usually organization and 
non-organization candidates. 






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XIII. THE CONSERVATIONIST 

Daniel: When did your conservation activities, as such, 
begin to take shape? 

Chaney : I was raised in a rural community on the out 
skirts of Chicago and during the time I lived 
there it became rather thickly settled. The na 
tural conditions were gradually destroyed. How 
aware I was of that I don't know. But when I 
came to California to live in 1922 I went up the 
Redwood Highway and there I saw the results of 
over-cutting redwood forests on a wide scale. 

At the same time I saw forests which had not 
been damaged, the finest forests I have ever seen 
or have seen since. So I immediately had the im 
pact of over-cutting in the redwood area. The 
opinions and guidance of John C, Merriam direc 
ted me towards conservation. He was one of the 
founders of the Save-The -Redwoods-league, and one 
of the three men who had first recognized the im 
portance of a conservation organization to save 
the redwoods. 

Gradually, through Dr. Merriam, I became more 



and more related to the Save-The -Redwoods-League 






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Chaney: activities, first as a counselor, presumably in 

the late twenties. At that time I had been doing 
a great deal of speaking for a bond issue in the 
1928 election, a ten million dollar bond issue 
which was to provide money to permit the purchase, 
with equal amounts from private funds, of Bull 
Creek Plat and other much needed areas such as 
Oak Knoll and the Rockefeller redwood grove. 

Natural A reas 

Chaney: At the same time there were other state park pro 
jects. The Save -The -Redwoods -League was Inter 
ested in Point Lobos. Ray Lyman Wilbur was chair 
man of the Point Lobos advisory committee of which 
I was a member with Joseph Grinnell,a famous zool 
ogist. Between us we got across the idea that 
Point Lobos should be kept in as natural a state 
as possible. It had been under private ownership 
for years. Part of it had been intensively used 
by fishermen and picnickers. 

Arguments were advanced to support its re 
turn to a natural state. It was pointed out that 
if a tree falls down in such a place Its trunk 
should be allowed to lie there and rot as a part 
of the environment, providing food for various 








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209 









Dan ie 1 : 



Chaney: micro-organisms and insects, which in turn pro 
vide food for other insects and for birds. The 
idea of natural reserves is becoming much more 
widespread. I recently saw a statement about a 
similar park in Illinois. They develop the same 
ideas. 

I was getting lessons in conservation from 
men like Merriam 

I think it worthwhile to spend a little more time 
on this concept of a natural area. You're think 
ing of a place which is entirely undisturbed. 

Chaney: Undisturbed, Insofar as such a thing is possible, 
by human act iv ties or the imbalances that result 
therefrom. For example, no one knows about the 
carnivores of the Point Lobos area it's named 
for a wolf whether there was ever a wolf there 
I have no means of knowing, and it doesn't matter. 
But if there were carnivores there, bobcats, moun 
tain lions, as there occasionally must have been, 
there are probably some bobcats there still. They 
have been largely destroyed by human neighbors. 
That imbalance means that some other types of life 
become more common as a result of not being kept 
under control. Rodents, for example, and perhaps 






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Chaney: the micro-organisms that affect rodents thereby 

be corns more common. w e nave something of the sort 
going on in the state today, 

Daniel: Well, would you say there is a general movement to 
preserve certain areas throughout the country in 
this undisturbed condition? 

Chaney: Yes, It's unpopular because people want to use 

these areas for picnicking. The reaction is that 
the state has contributed their tax money for the 
purchase of these areas, and therefore ttiey should 
be allowed to enjoy them. 

There are conflicting factors involved in 
the National Park Service and in the Forest Ser 
vice, The latter Is more or less a business or 
ganization, It's in the business of selling lum 
ber, selling grazing rights, and it also regulates 
and regularly permits camping. 

The National Park Service has nothing to sell, 
One of its main purposes is the preservation of 
natural areas on a national scale. 

The taxpayer Is likely to be very restive if 
he can't camp in a national park. He points out 
that the Forest Service for which he pays taxes 
permits him to do so. Why doesn't the National 

i 

Park Service? There is no inconsistency involved. 






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211 



Chaney: The Forest Service is, in effect, a management 

agency. The National Park Service is a conserving 
and esthetic agency. 

Daniel: It's a matter of public education, isn't it? 

Chansy: Yes. We've run into a good deal of criticism in 
the redwood parks for not permitting people to 
camp wherever they pleased. There are hazards, 
very serious hazards in connection with falling 
limbs. People would be killed in considerable 
numbers if they were allowed to camp regularly 
under redwoods because a redwood branch falling 
a hundred feet is really lethal. *t isn't a safe 
place. I've camped under redwoods. I don't think 
I ever want to again. If I did, and other people 
came to that same place, there would be destruc 
tion of the root system of the redwoods nearby. 
The roots come very close to the surface. Even 
walking around on them involves some destruction, 
and putting large numbers of people through, as 
has been the case at Big Basin has resulted in 
the loss of a number of trees; also in Humboldt 
and in the groves to the north. 

Big Basin has been near a metropolitan area 
and has had a longer period as a state park than 






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212 



Chaney: most of the state redwood parks to the north. 

There has been a need for getting over to people 
the Idea that some limited areas should be kept 
in their natural state. I think that the Save- 
The -Redwoods -League and its policies are on sound 
ground. For many years I have been working on 
the committee having to do with the esthetic val 
ues and educational aspects of the state redwood 
parks. On occasion I have gone to Sacramento to 
act as a witness at hearings where laws came up 
which threatened what we consider to be the best 
use of the Redwood and other parks- 
Daniel: This has been an effective organization, you 

think? 

Chaney: Well, yes. It is a model for conservation organi 
zations the world over. It has been very success 
ful financially. It had the direction of the 
Drury brothers; at first Newton, and then after 
wards he went to become director of the National 
Park Service around 19ij-0, a little later, per 
haps; then his brother Aubrey. There has been a 
series of outstanding men: James T. Grant, John 
C. Merriam, Duncan McDuffie, and Arthur Connick. 
I'm sure I've missed one or two of the presidents. 






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Chaney 



Dan ie 1 



Chaney 







Among the directors have been William Colby, Prank 
Wentviorth, and Walter Starr. Most of these men 
have also been Involved with the Sierra Club and 
similar organizations. 

Walter Starr is an outstanding man he's in 
his middle eighties now. He's still very active 
as a director of the Save-The -Redwoods-League . 
In due time, I've forgotten just when it was, 
late Thirties perhaps or early Forties, I was 
asked to be a director, a member of the board of 
seven directors, and have been a director ever 
since. 

Did this limit your activity at the educational 
le vel ? 

Oh, no. It's in addition. The directors mainly 
have to do with policy and with determining how 
funds are to be expended. 

Arthur Connick, the present president, was 
raised in the redwoods, the Humboldt Redwoods, 
and knows a vast amount about values and knows 
the be st way to acquire land. 

Other members of the board of directors are: 
Richard Leonard, a young member, who is a Sierra 
Club man and knows a good deal about land use; 








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Gharry: Walter Starr, who knows both about use and values 
from long experience, and who is presumably one 
of the founders, and a former president of the 
Sierra Club. 

I'm the only college professor in the lot. 
The rest of them are for the most part successful 
business and professional men. Norman Livermore 
was one of the outstanding men who was a director 
during the tims that I was. 

Well, when Newt Drury went to Washington to 
the National Park Service he naturally had vacan 
cies on the advisory board, and I should think 
about 19lj-3 he suggested to Secretary Ickes that 
I be appointed, and I got a letter from the Sec 
retary and accepted. I was very much occupied 
with other matters at that time. 

Daniel: You were then put on the advisory board of the 

National Park Service. How many members are there 
on tii at advisory board? 

Chaney: Eleven, I believe. 

Daniel: And they are drawn from what fields? Do you know? 

Chaney: They're conservationists. 

Daniel: They're all conservationists? 

Chaney: Some of them are state park men. Some are univer 
sity professors. There is almost always an engi- 






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215 



Chaney: neer, and a landscape architect. It's a repre 
sentative group. Other men were Alfred Knopf and 
Bernard DeVoto. They were both members of it 
while I was, men who write and publish books on 
conservation. 

Anyone who has an interest in conservation 
and represents a sound point of view is likely to 
be asked. I had about ten years of it but actu 
ally now they have about five years. Whether 
that's a good idea or not I don't know. 

Daniel: The term of serving on this board has been re 
duced? 

Chaney : Apparently it has, but that was just going into 
effect when I was leaving and I don't know the 
details of it. At any rate I had about ten 
years. It was nearer twelve, probably. 

Daniel: Do you think you brought something of particular 
value because you came from this area or because 
of your experience in conservation or because of 
a combination of all these influences? 

Chaney: I suppose so. Herbert Bolton was a member during 
part of the time. It was interesting that there 
were two U.C. men. 

Daniel: Why was he a member? 






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Chaney: Because of interests in the historical monument s . 
The National Park Service has more historical 
monuments than it has national parks. They are 
smaller but there are very many of them. Bolton 
was an outstanding man in American history and an 
extremely valuable one. 

The emphasis was on geological, paleological 
matters, and park matters. Most of the geological 
parks are in the West. I have visited all of them, 
some of them many times and have made reports 
which I suppose were largely ignored. But gener 
ally the recommendations came through. 

Daniel: What kind of recommendations did you make that 
you think might have been ignored? 

Chaney: (Laughter) One of them, around 19i|i|, has just come 
to light within the last year, a museum over a 
fossil deposit in Utah, Dinosaur National Monument. 
I and my group who went there with me developed 
the idea that we should put a building over one 
of the best fossil localities and then work out 
the dinosaurs and leave them _in situ in the rocks 
enclosed in that building. That's going on right 
now. They've put up the building. It was dedi 
cated within the last year. 



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Chaney: It wasn't, perhaps, that my recommendation 

was Ignored, but that the recommendation in 
volved a couple of million dollars and we had 
to wait until they got it. I'm sure no one 
thought the suggestion was a poor one, but no 
matter how good the suggestion one has to wait 
for funds. 

Daniel: Is Dinosaur National Monument entirely supported 
by federal funds? 

Chaney: It's largely government. It's Project 66, I be 
lieve it's called, a ten-year project which 
started in 1956, and is designed to increase the 
usefulness of parks by adding roads and museums 
and installations of various sorts. The parks 
ran down very badly during the war. This pro 
gram is going on extremely well under the direc 
torship of Director Wirth, who followed Newton 
Drury. 

Now, one of the things I always had allowed 
for was not to interfere with the biota of a park. 
Big Bend is the only park that has mountain lions 
in it, and unfortunately a mountain lion, out of 
curiosity, followed along after some children on 
a trail. It didn't molest them but it scared 






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Chaney: them nearly to death. There was a parent there, 
too, I think. It would be a rather frightening 
experience. The superintendent of the park was 
all for shooting the mountain lions. We immedi 
ately stopped that . A suggestion was made by me 
or someone else that we should fence in the child 
ren. 

Daniel: (Laughter) Yes. That seems more practical. 

Chaney: After all, that was where the mountain lions lived, 
There's no national park elsewhere in the world 
where mountain lions may be regularly seen, and 
the idea of destroying the mountain lions, well, 
It 

Daniel: There are other places where vast areas are re 
served for animals. This is true in Africa and 
everyone accepts the idea there, 

Chaney: There are some very difficult situations which 

arise in a place like Yellowstone, or even Yose- 
mite where there are too many bears, where people 
can't be persuaded not to run risks and make close 
approaches to them. The whole matter of game man 
agement in the national park is difficult because 
of hunters. It seems really too bad to kill four 
or five thousand elk every year, slaughter them 






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Chaney and either throw them out or provide government 
agencies with the meat if it can be handled that 
way. 

Mountain range in Yellowstone just can't sup 
port all the elk that are born every year and 
grow to maturity because the carnivores have been 
killed. It's a matter of imbalance which results 
from our human interference. 

Even the buffalo, the most glamorous animal 
in America, perhaps, and the animal which is on 
the Department of Interior seal, the buffalo had 
been and is in excess in Yellowstone Park, and 
yet it's very difficult to apply any sound rules 
of game management, any population control, be 
cause of the reaction of hunters, who are tax 
payers. 

It's all a very difficult matter and prob 
lems of that sort are the problems the advisory 
board had to meet. I and always someone else who 
knew more about it than I, plus the employees of 
the National Park Service, who were professional 
game -management men, worked at the solution of 
these problems. 

The future of redwood conservation, of the 






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Chaney : conservation movement In California, is rather 

difficult to predict. We don't have all the red 
wood acreage that we should have. There's about 
60,000 acres, which has a value of, o'fl, four or 
five times what has been paid for It. Of course, 
everything has gone up, but it represents an ex 
tremely successful Investment of public and pri- 
va te fund s . 

I am emphasizing in all my reports at an 
nual meetings the need for inaugurating greater 
use of the redwood parks. We bought them. We 
have more to buy. But more people go to see 
Trees of Mystery, which is a sort of vaudeville 
show with corny phonograph records placed here 
and there, more people go there and pay fifty 
cents, or it may be a dollar now, then are likely 
to stop at our educational centers at Richardson 
Grove and elsewhere. 

Incidentally, that is one of the things that 
I have a good deal to do with, getting materials 
for the educational centers and discussing with 
the ranger naturalists what they should say about 
them, not only In the state parks but In the na 
tional parks, too. 

Crater and Grand Canyon are two parks with 






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Chaney: which I've had a great deal to do, in terms of 
their ranger naturalist programs. 

Daniel: Is the ranger public education activity popular? 

Chaney: Yes. It's free service and for many other people 
there isn't anything else to do. It's something 
like going to church, 

Daniel: Most people have questions about the things they 
see in the park. They -want answers. 

Chaney: I think so too. It's a very healthy sign. Ques 
tions are asked, even very simple questions and 
there should be people to answer them and ranger 
naturalists in general are able to answer the 
questions. I'm enthusiastically in favor of it. 
I don't believe that nearly all the people that 
have contacts with rangers have any serious or 
lasting interest, but it's fine just to have a 
preliminary contact if nothing more. 

Daniel: What about the children? 

Chaney: I think that, by and large, the educational pro 
gram in the state and national parks is going to 
introduce a new kind of people when the children 
of today are full-grown and are paying taxes and 
voting. I think they'll be much more willing to 
support state and national parks and other re- 



serves because as you say they had their first 






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Chaney: contacts when they were very young, when the 
world was opening up in a delightful way for 
them. 

Daniel: The National Park Service also handles the ad 
ministration of national monuments as well, 

Chaney: Yes, and historical monuments. 

Daniel: What about Craters of the Moon National Monument? 

Chaney: There wasn't much to do there, except to build a 
few trails. It's a recent lava field. With the 
records that are being kept it's going to be of 
great scientific interest as centuries pass to 
see what happens to it. There will probably be 
some more lava fields in that area. I don't 
think that is the last one. It's what we call 
a drive-in or drive -through park, rather than a 
resort park such as Yosemite and Yellowstone, 

Daniel: Tha?e are no camping facilities? 

Chaney: It isn't a very suitable place for most people to 
camp anyway. I hope camping facilities won't be 
developed at the expense of naturalness. Of 
course, visitor use means more trails and more 
destruction. The Yellowstone Mammoth Hot Springs 
area has been almost ruined by visitors. Actu 
ally, it's possible the hot water has been shut 

* 

off down below anyway and that it would have 






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Chare y: changed without any visitors, but in my own ex 
perience during a period of thirty-five years or 
more it has gone back very badly, 

Daniel: Is the development of the Jackson Hole country 

within the framework of the national park system? 
Chaney: Part of it is in the national park. At Jackson 
Lake there is an arrangement of accommodations 
amid scenery of great beauty. 

Separating Resort from Park 

Chaney: The National Park Service encourages this idea 
and has experts who give good advice to conces 
sionaires as to how to proceed. It is hoped, 
and this is one of the policies that was devel 
oped during the time that I was on the advisory 
board, that gradually all concessions will be 
moved out of the parks, including the Curry es 
tablishment in Yosemite. There are some advan 
tages of a place like Ahwanee and the Lodge where 
beautiful views may be seen. The hotel on the 
rim of Crater Lake has one of the most beautiful 
views in the world for me. 

But I think we shall see in the course of a 
few decades all of those buildings removed to 




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Chaney : places outside the parks, and the number of build 
ings, perhaps even the number of roads, greatly 
cut down. There are altogether too many roads. 

Now, here's an Interesting aspect of Yosemite 
showing you how man interferes. The water which 
is taken out of Yosemite Valley, and not only for 
park use but more likely from the Merced River 
for irrigation, has lowered the water table in 
the valley and grasses can no longer compete on 
equal terms with trees. As a result the meadows, 
which used to characterize the floor of the val 
ley, are gradually giving way to forests of oak 
and pine and Douglas fir. Now, serious thought 
has been given to getting rid of them but it's 
almost impossible. The cost of keeping even 
with the forests in the floor of the Yosemite 
Valley is so great that I doubt any appropri 
ation could be made to handle it. At best we 
shall have to have a few beauty spots maintained. 
Yosemite has been changed by man. It may not 
be so simple as that largely by another water 
table. Anyway, for someone who conserves trees, 
here I am urging that they be chopped down, but 
I don't believe in trees where there should be 

* 

grasses. 






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Daniel: The char acter is tics of the place have been chan 
ged because of the changing circumstances, 

Chaney: Just imagine the reception they would get if I 
put forth the idea I'm not even saying I favor 
it--of abandoning the firefall. If you don't 
have a hotel up at Glacier Point you won't have 
a firefall and you won't have a hotel at Glacier 
Point when the hotels are moved out of the park. 
All that's in the future. 

Daniel: The firefall is a gimmick and I think It's en 
tirely out of place. 

Chaney: It's ridiculous, like watching the bears eat 
garbage. 

Daniel: Probably twenty-five years ago the firefall was 
more important than it is now. 

Chaney! I shouldn't wonder. The purists feel that a na 
tional park is a place where there are special 
values. You can dance and go to the movies in 
any city, even town: but Yosemite and places 
like it have values which can't be had anywhere 
else in the world. It isn't possible, to have 
people fill out a questionnaire before they're 
permitted to go to Yosemite saying what their 

* 

purposes are, and to turn them out if they want 



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Chaney: to go to a movie. Nonetheless, the conventional 
amusements should be controlled. In my opinion, 
gradually, as public opinion supports it, they 
should be discouraged. I'm quite sure of this in 
the case of Yosemite. With people like Mrs. 
Tressider and Walter Starr running the conces 
sions I'm sure that changes will come in park 
accomodat ions. 

Don't get the idea that I think the Curry 
Company will ever move out during Mary Tressi 
der 's lifetime, but some time in the future un 
questionably it will, and people like her who 
would be landowners will not be averse to seeing 
the change, but it will take education. 

Daniel: You worked in the Redwood League, and you served 
on the National Park Advisory Board . Have you 
continued a relationship with the National Park 
Service? 

Chaney : I'm a consultant. An occasion doesn't arise of 
ten when they consult me but I have had status 
and I'm still a member of two or three advisory 
boards of smaller areas which don't meet very 
often. I can't even think which ones they are, 






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Chaney: outside of Point Lobos which hasn't met for ten 
or fifteen years. It's well in hand, doesn't 
need any advice. 

Daniel: Have you any other conservation areas which 
interested you? 

Chaney: Not very much. Most of the local groups that I 
have been asked to work with are rather imprac 
tical. 

Daniel: Do they usually tend to be? 

Chaney: The small groups are. They're zealous people but 
they don't have sufficient experience. 

Daniel: Supposing a citizen sitting somewhere becomes 

agitated, perhaps about some changes in park pro 
perty. What can he do about it? 

Chaney: Fremont ia Park is an example, 

Daniel: What can you do as an individual? 

Chaney: Probably not much. The move to preserve Fremont ia 
Park lost. 

Daniel: Why? 

Chaney: Oh, it wasn't much of a case either way. The ar 
gument that somebody's house shouldn't be taken 
away from them is too silly for words. I might 
not think so if it was my house. The man would 
be reimbursed for it. That was a fairly silly 






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228 



Chaney: argument. To say that parks are being taken 

away from us involves a statement of principle, 
and that would have been a reason for voting 
aga ins t it . 

I'm sure I voted against the park being 
used for a firehouse following my conservation 
principles, but it mattered to me so little that 
I could have voted either way, 

Daniel! Do you think the natural resources in our own 
regional parks are being well handled? 

Chaney I'm not sure that land is not being sold for 

residences that should be kept in the parks. I 
hear stories right along which I've never checked. 
I hear stories about Tilden Park and related areas, 
being sold for housing developments. I don't 
know what happens to the money. Obviously it's 
public land and public funds. There Is no cor 
ruption involved. The worst that can be invol 
ved is bad judgment* I don't know to what ex 
tent in other words, I haven't informed myself 
very fully about it. 

These parks have had very little publicity, 
probably not enough. Hardly any of us know much 
about them. 






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229 



Daniel: Do you think there is an increasing awareness about 
our natural resources? 

Chaney: Oh, the whole emphasis is increasing at a tremendous 
rate. No one thought anything about it when I was 
a child. I didn't live in California but I know 
they didn't from the consequences. 

In most parts of the world, over almost all 
of Asia, for example, no attention has been paid 
to conservation. That's the reason China is in 
such a desperate condition. They pray to false 
gods, at the present time. China's economics have 
been ruined by lack of conservation and other fac 
tors. 

If China is ever to be a self-supporting and 
progressive nation, it will have to build back 
its forests and soil and water resources. It 
doesn't make any diffference whether it's commun 
ists or capitalists doing it, whichever can do it 
more effectively. It will have to be done before 
Shina can pay its way, to a high standard of liv 
ing. 

I think that most people in the United States 
are coming to realize that conservation is their 
business, and is profitable. We have to do it if 






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Chaney: we are going to maintain and increase our stand 
ard of living. In Europe, too, it's becoming a 
widespread idea. 

Tree planting and conservation has been done 
in Germany for decades and is being done on a very 
large scale in Japan. There they have crops, tim 
ber crops, just like the wheat crops except it 
takes thirty to forty years for a harvest. It 
has to be a differently run business, of course, 
Cryptonsria, a relative of the redwood, is the 
principal tree in J apan, and bamboo. 

Daniel: Do you think the Civilian Conservation Corps had 
any effect on awakening people's interest in na 
ture? 

Chaney: Oh, * guess so. There were lots of boys who were 
underprivileged, in terms of education, at least, 
whb worked in it. They must have developed some 
of the senese of the value of conservation. We 
were spending money on conservation. This was in 
the thirties wasn't it, during unemployment? 

Those were the better results of the Roosevelt 
administration as I look back on them. 

Daniel: More money was spent tidying up the national parks 
in that period than had been spent in the past? 






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Chaney: Well, it was spent on the C.C.C. 

Daniel: And what did the C.C.C. do in conservation? 

Chaney: They went into parks and did work. They straight 
ened out the creek bed in Muir Woods, for example. 
I don't think they did a very good job, but any 
way they spent a lot of time and money on it. 
They went into public and private lands, mostly 
public, and where the program was well thought 
out they were constructive. A lot of it was just 
a waste of time, of course, as it is with all 
government projects, and I suppose all private 
projects have a little waste, had judgment. That 
is the penalty anywhere, whether it's public or 
private. 

Daniel: Do you think that there's enough natural area for 
nature study? 

Chaney: There is now. Of course there in in any large park 
area that is natural. Yellowstone Park has some 
very unnatural areas, but there are still a lot 
of geysers that no one ever goes close to, that 
are perfectly natural. They don't have any trees 
in the Rockies, any real forests like we have in 
the West, so there aren't any forests to worry 
about in particular, but they have lots of big 






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Chaney: game. That's unnatural in the sense of being too 
numerous and of the wrong kinds. 

Yellowstone is the least natural of the big 
parks. It's the oldest. It's the way they will 
all be if we let our human mismanagement continue. 
Yellowstone can be saved. But it may not be. The 
new concessions are said to be not very attrac 
tive, but we don't need to go into that. 



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233 



XIV. IN THE STREAM OF POLITICAL HISTORY 



Daniel: Going from conservation to citizenship, what were 
your feelings as a young voter? 

Chaney: My political bias was that of most northern res 
pectable people. I was born in a Republican fa 
mily. My father in 1912 was a Bull iVl ooser and I 
voted for Theodore Roosevelt. I voted for Wilson 
in 1916. Wilson was elected in 1912, wasn't he? 
Well, I must have voted for him only once then. 

Then we came to Harding in 1920, and whoever 
it was in 1921}.. Neither of them looked good to 
me. 

Daniel: We can go on from the Wilsonian period. What 
was your first voting experience? 

Chaney: For Teddy Roosevelt in 1912. 

Daniel: Why were you attracted to Roosevelt? 

Chaney: I had very little political experience. * voted 
the way my father did, I suppose. That's the 
only reason I can think of. 

Daniel: The pull of Roosevelt's personality at that time 
wasn't something that commanded your attention? 

Chaney": I suppose he interested me but I can't remember. 



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Chaney: I can remember merely that my father was a very 
enthusiastic Bull Mooser. By the time Wilson 
ran in 1916 I was getting interested in what was 
going on and I voted for him. 

Daniel: What drew you into the Wilson camp? 

Chaney: Hughes was running against him. I liked the Wil- 
sonian philosophy. Wilson had been president for 
four years. 

Daniel: What specifically did you like about the Wilson- 
ian ideas? 

Chaney: It's pretty hard to remember. I was beginning to 
realize that the Republican type of government 
was often prejudiced in favor of the capitalist 
group in America. I was naturally liberal-minded, 
as most young people are. 

Daniel: What were you liberal minded about? 

Chaney: Perhaps inequality of distribution of wealth. I 
remember in my early teaching running into the 
fact that a couple of German butchers in Califor 
nia owned more acreage than the state &f Connec 
ticut or Delaware or some place. It was Miller 
and Lux. It amuses me. Since that time I've 
been entertained on the Miller ranch a number 
of tines. It's just the same old ranch. It's a 








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Chaney: part of the Miller millions. But at any rate, it 
was the inequality. 

Daniel: What inequality? 

Chaney: Inequality of opportunity, inequality of wealth. 
I thought that many people weren't paid enough; 
and that was an economic factor. In capital 
versus labor, I was certainly very strongly pro- 
labor. I continued so until the general strike 
here in the thirties, 

I don't remember details, but I remember that 
I was interested in labor until the Bridges' type 
of labor leader came into prominence. Then I re 
alized there were subversive trends. Even that 
hasn't dampened my interest in labor, but it has 
toward many labor leaders. I thoroughly believe 
in labor unions and in collective bargaining, and 
in certain aspects of social security, social in 
surance. I think that labor is asking for alto 
gether too much, but that doesn't mean that I'm 
opposed to labor movements. One really can't. 
Not even a top capitalist can be opposed to a 
large segment of people who represent labor. 

My negative reaction is towards labor lead 
ers, exemplified by Beck and that type, Reuther, 



and various others. I find it wholly impossible 



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Chaney: to swallow them. In fact, I vigorously oppose 

them and vote against them at every opportunity, 
Daniel: In general you have a strong inclination to feel 
that there should be sharing of economic oppor 
tunity? 

Chaney: Yes. I think we've probably nearly got there so 
far as labor in general is concerned. In fact we 
may have passed the median line, but that would 
fluctuate back and forth and I'm not greatly wor 
ried about that. 

The only thing that bothers me is the subver 
sive element, in the first place; and in the sec 
ond place, the management of labor unions which 
involves corruption, 

Daniel: Who did you support in 1920? 

Cteaney: In 1920 I voted for re it her Cox ror Harding, I 

found them both impossible. I thought the coun 
try needed a better candidate. There wasn't any 
one to vote for, 

Daniel: Better in what way? 

Chaney: Someone who was forward-looking, I was a Vilson- 
ian Democrat, Cox seemed to me I really remem 
ber nothing about him except his name, I guess tt 
was Cox. Harding I had no use for at all. He 






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Chaney: represented the type of Republican that I thorough 
ly disliked. 

In 192i|, I was a very strong La Pollette man, 
and it was the first political work I ever did, 
in Berkeley. LaPollette was of the third party, 
of course. I remember it very well. That's why 
I didn't vote in 1920, because there wasn't any 
body I wanted to vote for. As a matter of fact, 
I'm fibbing; I voted for Eugene Debs, but it was 
really a protest vote against the other parties. 
I was a little hesitant about putting it on my 
record, though I'm certainly not in the least 
ashamed of it. 

Daniel: Not at all. It was a protest vote. 

Chaney: Well, La Pollette was of course a bona fide can 
didate who might have been elected. He didn't 
come close, but there was at least a strong fol 
lowing. There were men I believe Borah was one 
of them whom I admired for reasons which I don't 
remember. They were liberals, I guess, and La 
Pollette appealed to me very strongly. 

In 1928 I worked actively for Smith. 

Daniel: What about that campaign? If you worked actively 
you must have some impression of the problems in 
volved in Smith's candidacy? 






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Chaney: Well, even the fact that he was a Catholic was 
rough. He wasn't anywhere near my choice, but 
he met my choice more nearly than Hoover did, and 
I'm Inclined to think if I were doing it again now 
I'd vote for Hoover. I became rather disappointed 
in Smith later on. 

Daniel: Consideration of Smith always comes to mind when 
Kennedy's possible candidacy for the presidency 
Is discussed. 

Chaney: Yes. He's a ward politician type of candidate 

and not a New Yorker. I presume I shall vote for 
Kennedy if he's nominated, but I'm sure he won't 
be, and because he ' s a Catholic. I would vote for 
him, I think, naturally. I don't know who the 
opposing candidate will be, but presumably I would 
vote for Kennedy if he were nominated. And if he 
were I think that probably he might be beaten, 
even by as weak a man as the Republicans are 
likely to put up. 

Daniel: But one of the problems In the Smith candidacy 
was the fact that he looked as he looked and he 
spoke as he spoke. We like to have very polished 
people, generally, in the White House. Don't you 
think that 's true? 









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Chaney: Yes, but we've had a number since who weren't. 
Ike Is anything but polished. 

Daniel: Oh, but a great many people feel he is exceed 
ingly polished. 

Chaney: In some ways, perhaps. Truman himself was not my 
idea of a well-educated man, although he caught 
onto a lot. I am an admirer of Truman as a per 
son. I never particularly liked him as a presi 
dent, but I voted for him. 

* 

Daniel: Proceeding to the late twenties, what did the 
depression mean to you? 

Chaney: My salary was cut ten percent, but my living costs 
were cut perhaps more than that, so I'll never 
know just how it came out. But the depression 
was, on the whole, an advantage to me. It was at 
time when my children were growing up and were 
quite expensive. Certainly groceries cost less. 

It was during that time that I came into the 
University, and I should say that the depression 
didn't do any particular harm to me. 

Daniel: What did you feel about the measures of the New 
Deal? 

Chaney: Well, ^ was enough for it so I voted for Roosevelt. 
Yes. I voted for him three times and for somebody 
else along there in the middle, I don't think 






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Chaney: ULkie , certainly not London. Norman Thomas was 

in there. I voted for Norman Thomas once just be 
cause It was obvious that Roosevelt was going to 
be elected. At that time I thought it was a good 
idea to strengthen the Socialist vote, the third 
party vote. I wouldn't vote Socialist now because 
the Socialist party has a somewhat different flavor, 
I presume. I really am not very well informed. 

But Norman Thomas was a great man and I admired 
him, and it cost nothing to vote for him. I remem 
ber once voting for Norman Thomas. 

Daniel: The feelings about Roosevelt, either for or against, 
are usually very marked. 

Chaney: I wasn't extreme, but I liked him very much. At 
the end when he was 111 and making mistakes I was 
disillusioned, and now I'm completely disillusioned 
about his foreign policy. He was, as I vfew it, a 
show-off. Rather than watch his step, In order to 
call Stalin 'Joe, 1 he was willing to sign away far 
more of our rights than any president ever should. 

Now, I say that he was ill. He was not getting 
enough blood In his brain, and one can't blame him 
him any more than one can blame Ike, or for that 
matter, Dulles. When I'm ill I don't amount to 
much either. It's a mistake to vote for a sick 






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21*1 



Chaney: man. I voted for Eisenhower because I thoroughly 
dislike Stevenson as a president, and I'm glad I 
did. That is, I'm glad Stevenson was not elected. 
I'd rather have Ike sick than Stevenson well. 

Daniel What is your objection to Stevenson? 

Chaney: I think he's completely impractical, and in inter 
national affairs far too much the way Roosevelt 
was- -probably not well informed and an Incipient 
give-away artist. He had two planks in his last 
campaign, which was a pathetic one: one was to 
abolish selective service; and the other was to 
stop atom bomb testing, as I recall both nutty. 
He got a few votes that way and lost ten times as 
many. 

I say the campaign was silly. I don't know If 
all this was Stevenson's idea or not, but anyone 
silly enough to run a campaign like that one would 
probably make a silly president. Anyway, he was a 
terrible candidate. But whatever sort of presi 
dent he would have made--as a candidate he was 
simply impossible. Ike was a good candidate, and 
also is a good president. 

Daniel: What, in your opinion, is the most judicious for 
eign policy for us to pursue at this time? 






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Chaney: I don't know, because our foreign policy has been 
so different from what I would like for so many 
years. We've got committed to a sort of policy 
which we can't possibly continue, or that we can't 
correct. I would say this. If I thought we could 
get away with it, but of course we can't go back 
and do itithe foreign policy of Teddy Roosevelt- 
carry a big stick and act tough--that ' s the sort 
of foreign policy I would like, but that's whis 
tling against the tornado: it's completely out of 
the question, 

Daniel: What do you think is the role of the United States 
in world affairs? 

Chaney: I think we should quit supporting foreign countries 
whose intentions and record are in the least uncer 
tain. I think we should strengthen our defenses. 
I am not an isolationist in the sense of 100 per 
cent, but I think we've gone far too much in the 
other direction, 

Daniel: You would have us withdraw 

Chaney: Withdraw from places like Egypt and Yugoslavia, 

probably from India. A country that is neutral is 
an enemy nowadays. I would spend that money on 
bigger and deadlier bombs, of course, because we're 
losing, presumably, some friendship and we have 






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21+3 



Chaney: more need of resources of our own. 

It's impossible, looking back on what has hap 
pened to us since 1932, impossible to say at what 
point the major errors were made; certainly the 
Franklin Roosevelt give-aways were horrible mis 
takes. I have read and don't thoroughly approve 
the Wedemeyer Report book. Roosevelt had advice 
from Wedemeyer which would have been better than 
that which he followed. Wedemeyer was a Republi- 
can isolationist on the whole, I should think. 
If his policy could have been followed we wouldn't 
have had the sort of peace we had, the sort of 
Germany and Russia we have, perhaps not even the 
sort of China we have with Marshall messing things 
up with his good Intentions and blundering fashion. 

Daniel: Do you think then that we are responsible for the 
things that have happened in the development of 
communism, for ire tance? 

Chaney: Well, we certainly encouraged it in China. 

Daniel: What do you think Russia would be doing now if we 



had been, as you consider, more effective? 
Chaney: I don't know enough about international affairs 

to reconstruct a picture of Russia. But certainly 
we have allowed Russia to get economic and a 






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Chaney: certain degree of political control of areas. 

Daniel: How can we combat that? 

Chaney: At this point there is perhaps nothing we can do 
except show by our way of living a better way of 
life. We have our agency... 

Daniel: Information services? 

Chaney: Yes. 

Daniel: How can an information service do this? 

Chaney: I've seen it operating in c hina. 

Daniel: What does it do in c hina? 

Chaney: It gives lectures and shows pictures and has a 
library, and gives individual advice. This was 
in Chungking in 19l;8. I think it helps wherever 
it is. I was staying in a consulate and saw a 
lot of it there for se-ue ral weeks. It seems 
desirable . 

Daniel: Who goes to the information center and to whom is 

the information given? 
Chaney: Well, any Chinese -who wants to. They would be 

literate Chinese, presumably. 

Daniel: Ard why would a Chinese person want this, just 
because he's curious or because there's some so 
cial interest? 

Chaney: Well, there's something free, the lectures and 
the movies. 





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Daniel: Those are attractive? 

ChaneyJ I don't know from a Chinese point of view. I never 
saw great crowds around there. There were men 
who went out in the country and gave shows and 
talked about the United States 8 At that time 
China as a whole was friendly to us. 

It's impossible to go back retracing our steps 
to figure what we might have done, and I'm not 
even saying that anyone could have done better 
than Roosevelt under the circumstances, or if 
anyone could have done better than Truman or than 
Eisenhower. The fact remains that we have lost a 
lot of ground. And that is why I say, perhaps 
rather stupidly, if we had had a man like Teddy 
Roosevelt who acted tough and if that sort of 
thing would still go down, and I'm not sure it 
would, if we had the "big stick" foreign policy 
it would be a better world for Americans. 

Whether it would be a better place for Pana 
manians and Lebanese I have no means of knowing. 
Perhaps it wouldn't. Perhaps the plan is going 
to be toward equality of opportunity not only in 
the United States but all over the world. Per 
haps the dark-skinned people are going to get 






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Chaney: their "share," their share in quotes because I 
don't admit that they have a share of what we 
in this country have developed. Their rulers 
and they themselves I'm speaking of Asia and 
Africa now --their rulers have been corrupt, 
they've wasted the resources of Asia, and in Af 
rica they've never developed their resources. 
In Africa they don't have much of a culture, an 
indigenous culture. Asia has a tremendous cul 
ture, of course, but it's been dissipated through 
emperors, and their natural resources have been 
expended and people have stood for it. 

We didn't stand for it. In our part of the 
world we rebelled, starting nearly a thousand 
years ago, longer ago than that. And we're a 
different kind of people in that sense, or we 
had better luck. I'm no historian. I just know 
that we didn't stand for it, didn't stand for what 
the Chinese and Japanese stood for, or what the 
Africans stand for. Whether that makes us better 
or not I'm not saying. It's fortunate that we 
didn't stand for it anyway, isn't it? 

And now to think that a bunch of illiterate 
Arabs or some obscure tribe of Africans should 






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Chaney: have all the opportunities that I or my children 
have, seems to me ridiculous. I think probably 
they should have more than they have, and that is 
where a little more education on ray part or more 
intelligence would give me a better basis for an 
opinion. You see, about this I really don't know 
very much. I don't think the world is being run 
as it should be , but to get right down to cases. 
I don't think we should have swimming pools and 
recreation grounds for every Negro who wants to 
come here from Alabama. In Berkeley I voted 
against it and shall continue to. I'm neither 
a "nigger lover" nor a "nigger hater." (I never 
use the word "nigger" except in this context.) 
But I see no reason for making Berkeley so attrac 
tive to any outsider, including lowans. But, they 
all want to come here. 

Interest in Local Government 

Daniel: This brings us logically to government at the local 
level. When did you first take an active part in 
Berkeley elections? 

Chaney: I got pretty fed up in the late thirties and for 
ties with the group that was running the city. 






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Daniel: There was something called the Council Manager 

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Chaney: Yes. The Council Manager League was originally 
an outfit that favored, I think, a city manager. 
But a group of right-wing Republicans took the 
name and came to life every two years at election 
time. Several of my good friends were in it. 
Amusingly, at a political action committee meet 
ing last night I suggested that this group take 
over the Berkeley Municipal League. It is a very 
different group from the Berkeley Municipal League, 
I can assure you; it is a group opposed to the 
Kent sort, to the left-of-center , Democrat spend- 
it-before-you-get-it philosophy. It would be a 
perfectly ripping joke to have Ed Martin, who is 
a pillar of Republicanism the president of the 
Berkeley Municipal League. 

That is, the suggestion wasn't particularly 
serious and wasn't seriously taken, but I have 
moved away from the group that I worked with in 
the Berkeley Municipal League for much of the time 
because they were much too far to the left for me. 

Daniel: When do you think they departed from a program 
you could support? 






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21|.9 



Chaney: Well, in 19^9 and in 19!?1 the League still had 
money and we had a Republican president part of 
that time, and the Berkeley Municipal League was 
in effect, and actually, non-partisan. It vias 
not like the Kent slate and it was not like the 
council-manager organization. It had representa 
tive men --members of both parties in it. 

I am primarily opposed to the Kent group. I 
mentioned him because he seems to be the leader-- 
because they are strictly Democrats, because they 
use the Democratic party to further their ends. 
I would be as opposed, and incidentally I told 
this group last night, a very small group, that 
I would be opposed to it and would work against 
it if it was a strictly Republican group. I have 
no interest in either. 

Daniel: The point of view of the Berkeley Municipal League 
is quoted here as beirg : 

"formed of citizens who need an organiza 
tion to make themselves heard on balanced 
tax structure, school expansion, city 
planning, waterfront development, and who 
concern themselves with issues wholly non- 
partisan. " 

Chaney: Yes, I'm glad that's in there. I helped write that, 
of course, and I've always been non-partisan at 
this level. Actually, in ray voting I've been 






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250 

Chaney: pretty catholic, haven't I? I'm a Bull Mooser, 

Daniel: You've ranged pretty widely, 

Chaney: I've voted Democrat, twice Socialist, and several 
tiraes Republican. I never voted for a Prohibi 
tionist, but that's about all I haven't. 

Daniel: HOW did Lucy Stebbins get into the group? 

Chaney: She was a middle-of-the-road liberal, a wonder 
ful woman. 

Daniel: Yes. And. Mr. Ross was the editor of the paper 
that was put out. 

Chaneyi He hasn't been active politically in late years. 
Daniel: No. And let's see now. Mr. Benner was on the 

board of directors, Mrs. Chernin, Jeffery Cohelan, 
Lyle Cook, Joseph Harris, Mrs. M.M. Knight now, 
who was she? 

Chaney: Eleanor A. Knight. She was never in it very long 
or very much. 

Daniel: And Donald McNary 

Chaney: That was a student, one of my friends. 

Daniel: --Richard Perkins. 

Chaney: He is a very fine man. Incidentally, I want to 
go see him. He's a good Democrat. 

Daniel: Why hasn't the Berkeley Municipal League con 
tinued to be effective? 







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251 



Chaney: That's what the group asked last night. The 

point is we got what we were after. And sudden 
ly I lost my political effectiveness as a leader 
in the light of my loyalty oath stand. 

Daniel: How did this happen? 

Chaney: Oh, well, my loyalty oath stand was not that of 
the "liberals." The "liberals" were I don't 
consider them liberalsbut that's what they 
thought. Everyone thinks he's the perfect blend; 
the "middle-of-the-road" is what we say, "I'm 
neither right nor left, I'm just the way I am, a 

middle-of-the-roader." Well, obviously that's 
silly. There may be such a thing as the middle 
of the road but most of us are on one side or 
the other. I'm darn careful nowadays, I'm not 
on the left side of the middle of the road, I 
assure you. 

And at a time like this, when the left side 
contains a good many of our enemies, I'm very 
careful with whom I associate. So if I have 
moved to the right too far I hope I haven't 
I still consider myself a liberal in politics. 

Daniel: When you say "left," what do you mean? 

Chaney: I mean the sort of people that I me* on campus, 



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Chaney: and I'm thinking of some, who were always run 
ning down the United States and extolling Russsia. 
Now, that's silly stuff; it's show-off stuff, but 
it reflects a very general point of view, not con 
fined to the campus, but I hear it on campus be 
cause I have many campus friends, 

Daniel: Where would you put the people who are reform- 
oriented? 

Chaney: They are liberals, and they're probably middle- 
of-the-road liberals. Some of them are awful 
muddle-heads. Some are people whose names you 
read. They are reform people, but they're muddle- 
heads. They don't seem to know what they're do 
ing with the Negroes, for example, the Negro 
problem. Don't ask me what to do with it- 
Daniel: (Laughter) I was about to. 

Chaney: I put some time into it and tried to come up with 
an idea, and I have some idea about bettering the 
Negroes politically. Incidentally, the left- 
wingers had three candidates, or two, rather, 
and there was a third, and none of them got elec 
ted. One thing I'd like to do is elect a first- 
class non-left Negro. I did it once with Byron 
Rumford, and he's gone on to higher levels. 



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253 



Daniel: What about Mrs. Mayer, wasn't she running? 

Chaney: She didn't have much support. She Just didn't 
make it; she was high, but she didn't make it. 

Daniel: Yes. Now, you've indicated what you consider 
to be left-oriented; what do you consider to 
be right, very far right? 

Chaney: The right is the McCarthyism type of people. 

That's the classic case. That's what chased a 
lot of people into the Democratic party McCar 
thyism. It was a very hard thing for me to take. 
Of course, I didn't take it. I had no use for 
it. Close friends of mine argued that he was 
the defender of the nation against communism, 
which I think is nonsense, and I have no use for 
that sort of thing. On the other hand, I have 
as much use for it as I have for the point of 
view of the extreme left wingers. I don't like 
either. 

Daniel^ You identify left wing with influences that are 
outside of the United States? 

Chaney: Not necessarily. I identify it with extreme labor 
position. I would use it also for either party 
that use minority races for political purposes 



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Chaney: as the Kent group did in this election. There 
are plenty of aspects I haven't thought about 
very carefully, and I'm saying more about this 
than I've ever said in one breath before. There 
are plenty of things about the extreme leftist 
that I don't like, and there are plenty of things 
other than McCarthy ism that I don't like about 
the extreme rightists. 

The point is, I guess, I'm not complaining 
about either electorate. I'm complaing about 
extremists. 

As between the two, if I had to take one I'd 
take the extreme right, and I'd sure hate myself. 
But the extreme left has so many subversives in 
it that I wouldn't take a chance. In other words, 
I'd rather have the United States gone back, re 
trogressed to the stupidity of the McCarthy sort 
of rule than have it Russianized. Neither of 
those alternatives in imminent and it's rather 
silly to talk that way. But maybe that would 
sort of indicate that I'm a little more to the 
right than to the left. 

Daniel: Concepts of right and left change a good deal. 

Chaney: They sure do. La Pollette's harebrained ideas of 



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255 



Chaney: the early twenties are so commonplace nowadays 

that we'd consider him an arch conservative, 
Daniel: What do you consider are the most pressing 

problems in a local government? 

Chaney: I doubt if I've done very much thinking- 
Daniel: Of course you have, or you wouldn't be partici- 

pat ing . 

Chaney: But I would say this about the local situation. 
I would quit free spending or plans for free 
spending, 

Daniel: What do you mean by free spending? 
Chaney: I've looked around the town quite a lot on the 

school bonds issue. School people say that many 
of the items that are so urgently required are 
not needed at all. A school for example, in 
Berkeley which is listed for a library already 
has one which a teacher in it says is adequate. 

I am not interested in swimming pools in ele 
mentary schools. I doubt that I am in high 
schools, but certainly not in elementary schools. 
I see no reason why we should have free night 
adult education schools. I think it's well 
enough to have tuition charged and give them fa- 

mi 

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Chaney: pay for grown-up education. Free spending in 
education Is one thing I'm opposed to. 

Speaking of free, I'm certainly opposed to 
freeways through residential areas. I'm opposed, 
in general, to taking land off the tax rolls. 

Daniel: This is one of the problems facing Berkeley. 

Chaney: True. And I don't think either the Kent group 

or the opposition has taken a clear stand on it. 
I would take a definitive stand against it and re 
fuse to permit, if I could, if I could legally, 
another sale of private land into public owner 
ship until I knew I was going to get my taxes 
out of it. This is going to be just one big 
public institution. And the few people who 
aren't in it are going to, naturally, leave and 
go somewhere else. Maybe we should have a pub 
lic area here like Washington, D.C. Though they, 
of course, have private property and pay taxes. 
The idea of condemning land is completely wrong; 
incidentally; Kent thinks so, too. What's his 
name, my good friend, Purcell was bitterly op 
posed to it, when he was county supervisor. 

And there's a Republican and a Democrat, each 



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257 



Chaney: one opposed to it; you see, it's not a matter 
of party politics. It's just common sense. 

Daniel: How do you explain the fact that this has been 
a problem that hasn't been resolved very well 
in Berkeley? 

Chaney: This problem hasn't been resolved anywhere. We 
don't have any new taxes. I'm perhaps getting 
beyond ray depth but I'm certain I'm correct about 
this. I'm certain in most parts of the United 
States there aren't any new taxes. I've run into 
this in the Save the Redwoods League. Say the 
League buys and the state buys an acreage in 
Humboldt County. It has a very low tax roll, a 
very low total. We take that out of private 
ownership, and therefore there are more taxes, so 
Humboldt County loses the taxes it's been getting. 

And eventually if we keep on taking public 
land Humboldt County and counties like it are 
going to be in a very serious condition. It 
wouldn't matter in -^lameda County for parks, but 
in H un iboldt it's a very different matter. I 
don't approve of it, though I've been participat 
ing in it. And I think we should get together, 
somebody who knows about this, I don't, and 
figure out the proper way to mee this tax problem. 








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258 



Chaney: It's ridiculous for the University to get 

police and fire service from the city of Ber 
keley and not pay to the hilt for it. And yet 
an attempt was made, an honest--but I think it 
was too low an estimate, it was only about half 
what it should have been some $0,000 O r f 60, 000, 
That was defeated somewhere along the line. I 
don't remember by which side. It's perfectly 
absurd to have the benefits that I pay for go 
ing to an institution or an individual who 
doesn t pay taxes. The inequity of it bothers 
me. 

Daniel: Did you^ vote in the city election bear out your 
point of view in local government? 

Chaney: In this recent election I voted for at least one 
person, a couple of people, whom ^ don't espe 
cially approve of, but I wanted them more than 
I wanted the people running on the Kent slate, 
and so I voted for them. Unfortunately you 
have to take extremes on the two party system, 
just as I would vote for McCarthy over Bridges 
if they were on the ticket. I'm laboring that 
point a bit; maybe I wouldn't vote at all, but 
if I had to choose between those two kinds of 



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259 



Chaney: people, with the greatest reluctance I would 

take the extreme right, because at least it's 
neither one is American, neither one follows the 
ideals of our country but it's more American 
than the Bridges' type, 

Daniel: It was an interesting election. Mrs. May got 
onto the council. Of course Mrs. Thomas had 
been on the council for a long time, she has 
the support of organizations supporting Incum 
bent candidates. 

Chaney: Well, she's a Republican, too. Of course she had 
Republican support. I don't approve of it but 
we know a lot of people vote for both parties. 
As a strong Republican she got a lot of Repub 
lican votes and lost a good many Democrat votes. 
By the same token May got lots of Democrat votes. 
And in addition she got Liberal votes, and she 
had friends and well, she just barely squeaked 
by. And any one of the three, May, DeMello, or 
Whitney could have been elected. 

It makes me kind of sore to realize that 
DeMello 's advertisements, which I sent out, were 
in rather poor taste, and my wife and some other 
women I know didn't want to send those out. If 






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260 



Chaney: we had sent those out we probably would have 
elected DeMello. He missed by only a few 
hundred votes. But he was 'Al 1 and this and 
that, a kind of intimate west-of-the-tracks 
tone, and the ladies didn't go for it. 

Daniel: Well, these are the small things that some 
times add up to a significant difference in 
the result of an election. 









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261 



XV. PORCELAIN 



Daniel: There's another subject we haven't touched: your 
interest in porcelain. 

Chaney: My great-grandmother brought in the horse and 
wagon to Illinois from Ohio to Virginia, some 
beautiful porcelain pieces, of which I have one 
or two. I started in collecting porcelain with 
out knowing anything about that. 

I don't think there's any connection. Per 
haps I may have inherited good taste, if that is 
in genes, maybe it's mostly environment. I 
really don't know; I haven't any opinion to ex 
press. All I'm saying is that in 192 when my 
wife and I were in Peking one of the first things 
I did was to buy for the equivalent of thirty 
cents a very beautiful Celadon plate at a temple 
fair in Peking. She'd been going to them. I'd 
been out in the Gobi and when i got back she knew 
pretty well what the town was like. And I became 
greatly interested in these porcelains, which were 
within my price range, and bought just a few that 
year. Then in 1933 I bought a good many more, in- 






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262 



Chaney: eluding some very good ones. 

In 1937 we were there together. My -wife was 
with me in China again in 1937, and that was, you 
may recall, the year the war with Japan started, 
and there was a good deal of liquidation of stock, 
so we bought quite a lot of things at bargains in 
Peking In 1937. 

Then in 19^8, well, I was so busy with red 
woods, I sot off once or twice but didn't have 
any time or facilities. 

But starting in with my trips to Japan in 
1950, I became deeply interested in Kutani and 
Imari. 

I collect just for fun, I have bought for 
friends lots of things that they wanted, that 
they asked me to get. But when I see things 
which are beautiful and I like to look at and 
that I can afford--the best things, of course, 
I can't afford, but some of them ^ can, broken 
ones I can almost always buy, like this one. 
Daniels Mrs. Chaney showed me some of the pieces that 

you had mended. 
Chaney: Yes, this one is mended by Chinese, and its pretty 

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263 



Daniel: It's very handsome. 

Chaney: Well, it's fabulously beautiful for a green K-utani. 

Daniel: What does MRutani" rre an? 

Chaney: It's the name of the place where it Is made. 

Daniel: When you make your selection of a piece, what at 
tracts you first? 

Chaney: Color is the primary interest with me. That in 
cludes glaze, which is, I suppose, texture, color, 
and glaze, I've always been interested in color 
and texture in nature. Bright colors I like very 
much, and Kutani is bright red, and bright green, 
and blue. I like color. 

Birds have been a hobby all my life. Birds are 
bright-colored. I certainly don't like the modern 
Japanese pottery and porcelain, which is dull 
brown. I abominate the old masters who were so 
faded. I have a few Sung paintings that are in 
that category, and I don't look at them very often, 
not nearly as often as I look at much later Japan 
ese prints of which I have a great many. 

Daniel: You also have a collection of Japanese 

Chaney: Oh yes, I have several hundred, I guess, Japanese 

prints. 
Daniel: Early eighteenth century? 









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Chaney: Yes. Michener's book describes these prints. 

Daniel: The Ukioye School, I think it's called. 

Chaney: Yes. They're fire things. Because I'm interested 

in Japan I'm interested in seeing the pictures of 


Japan of several centuries ago. 

Daniel: Have you consulted any experts in Oriental art? 

Chaney: I have had a little bit of acquaintance with Dr. 
Less ing, and with Lauffer at Chicago, and vari 
ous others. And I've handled enough Oriental ob 
jects so that I at least have a touch. If I like 
a thing,! buy it. 

Daniel: Is your judgment fairly accurate about porcelain? 

Chaney: Yes, I'd match myself against some of the pros, 
simply because I've handled so much of it, 

Daniel: Porcelain collecting is a perfectly sound economic 
venture, 

Chaney: Yes, I think it is. Eventually, some day, we'll 
make a lot of money out of it. Of course, I have 
no interest in that. I have one piece that I paid 
$35> for. One of my Japanese friends who is per 
haps better able to comment than anyone else on 
its value says it's worth at least a thousand 
dollars now. But it was just a lucky chance, 
knew it was awful good or I wouldn't have paid 
$35? for it because I rarely pay that much. My 






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265 



Chaney: typical purchase is much lower. 

Daniel: What's your top? 

Chaney: Oh, it's around in there, $50. 

Daniel: You're not speculating in porcelain. You buy it 
because you like it. 

Chaney: I buy it because I like it and like to look at it. 
When I get so I don't like to look at it I let 
somebody have it, but mostly I keep it in the 
family. 

Daniel: Have you ever put it out on loan for any e xhibi- 
tion? 

Chaney: Yes, but never with my name on it. 

Daniel: Where have you shown it? 

Chaney: Around the Bay. The curator at the National Mu 
seum in Tokyo who said my piece was worth at least 
a thousand dollars, said no porcelain group in the 
United States would be complete without this. But 
of course I don't want to send it around the coun 
try. Why should I? It's mine. I like to look 
at it. 






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266 



XVI. THE RALPH WORKS CHANEY FAMILY 



Daniel: Since we skipped lightly over your family life 

before coming west, more comment is needed, 
Chaney: Well, I was married in 1917 to Marguerite Seeley, 

a Kentucky girl whose grandfather was a chaplain 

of the Confederacy, a Virginian. 
Daniel: Was she in school? 
Chaney: Yes, she was at the University of Chicago. I met 

her there. 

Daniel: Was she interested in the same field? 
Chaney: Not at that time. She was interested in history 

and economics, I believe. Later she was a Phi 

Bete, which I never was. 
Daniel: Did you meet her in class? 

Chaney: Oh, I met her socially through one of my sisters. 
In those days people didn't get married and 

then decide how they were going to finance it. We 

were engaged for two years before we figured we 

could get married and have some resources. 
Daniel: This was true of the period, wasn't it? 
Chaney: Oh yes. It was no credit to me. Nowadays probably 

I would get married and charge even the preacher's 






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267 



Chaney: fee to the future, but in those days three thousand 
dollars seemed an essential amount. 

Daniel: Was this size bank account essential to the launch 
ing of marriage? 

Chaney: Yes. * invested it and I suppose I've never spent 
it. It's a little hard to tell, (laughter) the way 
ray bookkeeping is carried on. But at any rate it 
was always a resource that could '->e drawn upon. 

The fall after we were married I went to Iowa, 
that was in 1917. We had a baby in 1919, Richard. 
Ellen came along in January. They're two years 
apart--and the last one was born in 1923. Yes, 
that's right. Ellen was born just over into Janu 
ary 1922 and David was born in December 1923. 

We had Ellen and Richard when we came out here, 
David is the only native son. We considered going 
to Nevada to avoid having a native son in the 
family but (laughter) anyway, we have one. 

Daniel: Richard is the oldest child. What is his field? 

Chaney: He studied forestry at the University. Before he 
finished he went out with the Corps of Engineers 
into the Pacific and worked until about 19l|3 
Then he came back and enlisted in the navy and 

4- 

got his ensign commission at Columbia and went 











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Chaney: back into the Pacific on a PT boat, commanding of 
ficer on a PT and later an executive officer of an 
LST. 

Daniel * You say he was in the Corps of Engineers in the 
Pacific. Was this as part , of. the navy? 

Chaney: No, civilian. He was too young at that time. 

Daniel: A Seabee? 

Chaney: Well, the navy called them Seabee s, ^ guess. Any 
way he was building landing strips, gasoline in 
stallations, harbors. He did a lot of heavy con 
struction work. 

So when the war was over and he came back he 
was greatly interested in engineering. He fin 
ished up his forestry and got a degree in civil 
engineering and has been a practicing engineer 
ever since. 

Daniel: In this area? 

Chaney: In various areas. He helped build the freeway out 
of East Oakland. He had a couple of years, more 
than a couple, about four years at Bishop, and now 
he's in charge of a big unit of the State Highway 
Commission Traffic Department in San Diego County. 

Daniel: What about Ellen's schooling? 

Chaney: Ellen was taking up general curriculum with em 
phasis on science. When she graduated she got a 






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269 



Chaney: job with the chemical department of Shell Oil in 
Long Beach. I think she finished up the war 
there. It was an essential occupation, of course. 

Daniel: What about David? 

Chaney: David has studied at the University but went to 

Davis thereafter and studied enology, wine-making. 
He worked for several wineries on graduation. 
Within the last three or four years he has gone 
into agricultural extension in Napa County. He's 
now in Yuba City. His specialty is deciduous 
fruits. 



Z70 



BIBLIOGRAPHY: RALPH WORKS CHANEY 
1910 

Summer and Fall Birds of the Haralin Lake Region, Mason County, 
Michigan, The Auk, Vol. XXVII, No. 3, Jul. '10, 271. 

1916 

With the Whip-poor-wills, Outing, Oot.'l6, 3l4- 

1913 

The Ecological Significance of the Eagle Creek Flora of the Columbia 
River Oorge, Jour. Oeol., Vol. XXVI, Ho. 7, Oct. -Nov. '18, 577. 

1920 

The Flora of the Eagle Creek formation, Contributions from Walker 
Museum, Vol II, No. 5, Jul. '20. 

Further Discussion of the Ecological Composition of the Eagle Creek 
Flora (aba.) Geol. Soc. America, Bull., Vol. 3, Nol. 1, '20, 222. 



Preliminary Notes on Recent Tertiary Collections In the West (abs.) 
Oeol. Soc. America, Bull., Vol. 32, '21, 137. 

A Fossil Flora from the Puente Formation of the Monterey Group, 
Araer. Jour. Sol. 5th Ser. , Vol. 2, '21, 90. 



Flora of the Rancho LaBrea (abs.) Geol. Soc. America, Bull., Vol. 33 
'22, 20k. 

Notes on the Flora of the Payette Formation, Amer. Jour. Sol., 
Vol. IV, Sept. '22, 21!;. 

1923 

Report of Progress In Paleobotanlcal Research In the Tertiary of 
the West during the Year 1922, Cam Inst. Wash., Year Book Ho. 21, 
Jan. "23, UOO. 

Paleobotanlcal Contributions to the Stratigraphy of Central Oregon 
(abs.) Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., Vol. 3k, No. 1, Mar. '23, 129. 

192k 

(Studies In Paleonotany of Pacific Region) Carn. Inst. Wash Year 
Book, No. 23, '2k, 292. 

(Fossil Floras of the John Day Basin) Carn. Inst. Wash., Year Book, 
No. 22, <2k, 3U9. 

Preliminary Report on a Tertiary Flora tram Northwestern Nevada 
(abs.TGeo'l. Sot. America, Bull., Vol. 35, '2U, 162. 



Z7/ 



192U 

Notes on the Occurrence of Terrestrial Plant Dossils In Association 
with Marine Deposit* In the Western United States, Proc. Pan-Pacific 
Sol. Con., Australia, 1923, Vol I, <2k, 882. 

A Note on the Inter-continental Relationships of a Tertiary Flora, 
Proo. Fan-Pacific Sol. Con., Australia, 123; , Vol. 1, '2k, 883. 

Quantitative Studies of the Bridge Creek Flora, Amer. Jour. Scl., 
Vol. VIII, Aug. >2k, 527. 

1925 

Tertiary Forests and Climates In the Oreat Basin. and Great Plains, 
tabs.) Oeol. Soc. America, Bull., Vol. 36, Mar. '25, 218. 

A Comparative Study of the Bridge Creek Flora and the Modern Redwood 
Forest, Carn. Inst. Wash. Pub. 3U9, Aug. '25, 1. 

The Mascall Flora, Its Distribution and Climatic Relation. Carn. 
Inst. Wash. Pub. 3V3, Aug. "25, 23. 

Notes on Two Fossil Hackberrles from the Tertiary of the Western 
United States, Carn. Inst. W asn . Pub. 314.9, Aug. '25, 1*9. 

A Record of the Presence of Umbellularla In the Tertiary of the 
Western United States, Carn Inst. Wash. Pub. 3^9, Aug. '25, 57. 

(Studies of the Tertiary Floras of the Western United States) Carn. 
Inst. Wash Year Book, No. 2k, Dec. '25, 356. 

1926 

Relationships of the Marine and Fresh-water Tertiary of Western 
North America, Based on Current Collections of Fossil Plants (abs.) 
Geol. Soc. America, Bull., Vol. 37, Mar. '26, 213. 

(Report on Peleobotanleal Research ) Carn. Inst. Wash. Year Book 
No. 25, Dec. '26, 399. 

In the Land of the Sheep and the Dinosaur, California Monthly. 
May "26, lj.99. 

Bearing of Paleobotany on Habitat Conditions In Mongolia. Nat 
His., Vol. XXVI, No. 5, '26, 527. 

1927 

Hackberry Seeds from the Pleistocene Loess of Northern China, 
Amer. Mus. Nov., No. 283, Sept. 13, '27. 

Finding of Pleistocene Material In an Asphalt Pit at Carplnterla 
California, Science, Vol, L "XVl, No. 1702, Aug. 12 '27. 



1927 (continued from preceding page) 



ew Poplar (Populus Pllosa) from the Eaatern Altai Mountains, 
(by Alfred Render) With Supplemental Notes on the Distribution and 
Habitat, by R.W. Chaney, Amer. Mus. Nov., No. 292, Nov. 30, '27. 

Geology and Paleontology of the Crooked River Basin, with Special 
Reference to the Bridge Creek Flora, Carn. Inst. Wash. Pub. No. 3U6, 
Pt. IT, '27. 

Report, on the Investigation of Fossil Plants, Carn. Inat. Waah. 
Year Book No. 26, Dec. '27, 361. 

1928 ' 

, ..... , . 

Recent Additions to the Pleistocene History of Western California 
(aba.) Oeol Soc. America Bull. Vol. 39, Mar. '26, 221. 

Distribution and Correlation of Tertlc Floras of the Great Basin 
(abs.) Pan-Amer. Geologist, Vol. U9, May '28, 31U. 

Investigations In Paleobotany, Carn. Inst. Wash. Year Book No. 27, 
Dec. '28, 382. 

Pictures of the Past In Asphalt, Carn. Inst. Wash. News Release, 
Ap. 1, '28. 

1930 

Suggestions Regarding the Age of the Southern Cascade Range (nbs.) 
Geol. Soc. America Bull. Vol. 1*1, Mar. "30, llj.7. 

The Fossil Flora of Goshen, and Its Bearing on the Problem of Climatic 



Change (abs.) Science, N.S. Vol. 72, Oct. 10, '30, 



1.3*5 



A Sequoia Forest of Tertiary Age on St. Lawrence Island, Science, 
Vol. LXXII, No. 1878, Dec. 26, '30, 653. Also in Oeol. Soc. America, 
Vol. U2, Feb. '31, 192. 

and Herbert Louis Mason, A Pleistocene Flora from Santa Cruz 
Island, California, Carn. Inst. Wash. Pub. U15, Pt. I, '30, 1. 

1931 

Remnant of an Ancient Land-bridge, Carn. Inst. Wash. News Service 
Bull. Vol. II, No. 12, Mar. 15, '31. 

Redwoods of the Past. Save-the-Redwoods- League. 1931. 

Research In Paleobotany, Carn. Inst. Wash Year Book, No. 30, 
'31, 27^. 

1932 

Central Oregon, XVI Int. Oeol. Cong. Guldebood 21, Excursion C-2, '32. 

Notes on Occurrence and Aa;e of Fossil piints Found \n the Auriferous 
Gravels of Sierra Nevada, Report XXVIII. State Mineralogist, Calif. 
State Div. of Mines, Jul-Oct, "32. 



2.13 



1932 (continued from preceding page) 
A Jour 



Journey into the Past, Carn. Inst. Wash News Service Bull. Vol. II, 
Ho. 33, Jun. 26, '32. 

Age of the Auriferous Gravels (abs. ) Geol. Soe. America, Bull. 
Vol U3, Mar. '32, 226. 

Elne Reise in die Vergangenhelt, Wlssen und Fortschrltt, Vol. 9, 
Sept. '32, 2U7. 

1933 

Palaobotany, Cain. Inst. Wash. Year Book, No. 32, Dec. '33, 205. 

A Tertiary Flora from Uganda, Jour. Geol. Vol XLI, No. 7, Oct-Mov, '33, 702 

and Lyman H. Daugherty, The Occurrence of Cercls Associated with 
the Remains of Slnanthropus, Bull. Geol. Soc. of China, Vol. XII, 
No. 3, '33. 

A Plelocene Flora from Shansi Province, Bull. Oeol. Soc. of China, 
Vol. XII, No. 2, '33. 

and Herbert Louis Mason, A Pleistocene Flora from the Asphalt 
Deposits at Carplnteria, California, Carn. Inst. Wash. Pub. lil e 
III, Mar. '33, U5. 

and Ethel Ida Sanborn, .The Goshen Flora of West Central Oregon, 
Carn. Inst. Wash. Pub. 1+39, May, '33. 

193k 

Renewing the Days of Forty-Nine, Carn, Inst. Wash. News Service 
Bull. Vol. Ill, No. 17, Sept. 9, "34. 

A Journey into the Past, The Meccano Magazine, Vol. 19, No. li, 
Ap. '3U. 2^8. 

and Erling Dorf, Ecology of the Tertiary Forests of Western North 
America, (abs.) Geol. Soc. America, Proc. '33, Jun. "3U, 3<?7. 

1935 

The Food of Fossil Elephants, Carn. Inst. Wash. News Service Bull. 
Vol. Ill, No. 22, Jun. 9, '35. 

The Food of "Peking Man" Carn. Inst. Wash. News Service Bull. Vol III, 
No. 25, Sept. 22, '35. 

The Kucha Flora in Relation to the Physical Conditions in Central 

Asi During the Late Tertiary, Sven Hedin, (Book printed in Sweden) '35. 

The Occurrence of End&carps of Celtis Barbouri at Choukoutlen, 
Bull. Geol. Soc. of China, Vol. XIV, No. 2, '35. 



Z7+I 



1935 (continued from preceding page) 

An Upper Plelocene Florule from the Sanraenlan Series of Shansl 

Province, Bull. Geol. Soo. of China, Vol. XIV, No. 3, '35. 

The Kucha Flora In Relation to the Physical Conditions in Central 
Asia during the Late Tertiary, Svensk. Sallsk. Antropol. oct Geog- 
raflska Annaler, Vol. 17, "35, 75. 

1936 

Fossil Foods, Radio Talk, Science Service. Scientific Monthly, 
Vol. XLII, Feb. '36, 169. 

The Succession and Distribution of Cenozolc Floras Around the 
Northern Pacific Basin, Essays in Geobotany in Honor of William 
Albert Setchell, Unov of Calif. Press, '36. 

Synopsis of Levtures in Peleontology I, Univ of Calif. Syllabus 260, '36. 

Plant Distribution as a Guide to Age Determination, Jour. Acad. Scl., 
Vol. 26, No. 8, Aug. 15, '36, 311*. 

and Maxim Konradovich Ellas, Late Tertiary Floras from the High 
Plains, Carn Inst. Wash. Pub; 1+76-1, Oct. '36, 1. 

and Herbert Louis Mason, A Pleistocene Flora from Fairbanks, Alaska, 
Amer. Mus. Nov., No. 887, Oct. 15, '36. 

1937 

The Book of Ten Thousand Volumes (The Fossil-bearing Shales of Shantung) 
Carn. Inst. Wash. News Service Bull. Vol. IV, No. 19, Dec. 12, '37. 

Plelocene Flora from Eastern Oregon (abs.) Geol. Soc. America, 
Proc. for 1936, Jun. '37, 356. 

Fossil Plants tn the Making, Carn. Inst. Wash. News Servlc Bull. 
School Ed. Vol. k, No. 11, April '37, 99. 

Use of Tertiary Plants in Correlation (abs.) Geol. Soc. America, Proc. 
for 1936, Jun. '37, 391. 

Cycads from the Upper Eocene of Oregon (abs.) Geol. Soe. America, 
Proc. for 1936, Jun. '37, 397. 

Notes on the Finding of Mammals and Plants in Frozen Pleistocene 
Deposits near Fairbanks, Alaska (abs.) Geol. Soc. America, Proc. 
for 1936, Jun. '37, 399. 

with Dr. Frederic E. Clements, Environment and Life In the Great 
Plains, Carn. Inst. Wash. Supplementary Publication, No. 2k, 
Feb. 15, '37. 

1938 

Paleoecologlcal Interpretations of Cenozolc Plants in Western 
North America, Botanical Rev. Vol. k, Jul. "38, 371. 



1936 (continued from preceding page) 

Ancient Forests of Oregon: A Study of Earth History tn Western 

America, Carn. Inst. Wa-h. Pub. No. 501, '38, 631. 

The Deschltes Flora of Eastern Oregon, Carn. Inst. Wash. Pub. k76, 
'38, 187. 

and M.K. Ellas, Late Tertiary Floras from the High Plains, Carn. 
Inst. Wash. Pub. No. U76, Pt. I, '38. 

and Associates, Dept. of Paleontology, Univ. of Calif. Berkeley, 
Summary of Climatic Data In Papers on Cenozolc Paleontology of 
Western North America, Blue Hill Observatory, Harvard Univ., for 
the American Committee of the International Commission on Climatic 
Variations, Amsterdam, Jul. '38. Also published In Cong. Internet. 
Geographie, Amersterdam, 1938, Comptes Rendus, tome 1, 1938, 579. 

1939 

Discrepancies between the Chronological Testimony of Fossil Plants 
and Animals, Proc. 25th Indian Science Cong. Part IV-Dlscusslons . 
Mar. 21, <39. 

Univ. of Calif. Berk. 
Synopsis of Lectures In Paleontology I, XtXX Syllabus 268, '39. 

Plant Fossils In the Making, Young People, Vol. LIX, No. 9, Mar. 5, '39, 65. 
19itO 

Tertiary Forests and Continental History, Bull. Geol. Soc. America. 
Vol. 51, Mar. 1, "1+0, 1(.69. 

Bearing of Forests on the Theory of Continental Drift. Scientific 
Monthly, Vol. LI, Dec. <kO, W9. 

and Others, Paleobotany, Carn. Inst. Wash. Year Book 39, '39-l;0, Published 

/'l9iil 

Nomenclature and Correlation of the North American Continental Tertiary, 
Bull. Geol. Soc. America. Vol. ?2, Jan. 1, 'la. (Report by Horace 
E. Wood, 2ndl, Ralph W. & haney, John Clark, Edwin H. Colbert, Glenn 
L. Jepsen, John B. Reeslde, Jr., and Chester Stock). 

Living Forests are Ci ue to Climate In Ancient Ti mea Science News 
Letter, Pe*. 1, 'la. 

Fifty Million Years of Redwoods, Oakland Blower ''how Program, 1914.1. 

Notes on Field Studies In the Miocene of Columbia Plateau (abs.) 
Amer. Jour. Botany, Vol. 28, No. 10, Supp, fi, Dee. 'la. 

The A(?e of the Dalles Formation (Oregon) (abs.) Geol. Soc. America. 
Bull. Vol. 52, No. 12, Pt. ?, 19U5, Dec. 1, 'la. 

tUi>, Uso Wo , am*^^ V' lo -^_ ^.^^ ^a~~ c^f P aArvv ^ J .,a^^ L . 



19lil (continued from preceding page) 

and Others, Paleontology, Carn. Inst. Wash, Year Book 40, Dec. 12, l|l, 132 



19li2 

Topographic Significance of Fades Differences In the Miocene Floras 
of Oregon (abs.) Oeol. Soc. America, Bull. Vol 53, No. 12, Pt. 2, 
1798, Dec. 1, '^2. 

and Others, Paleontology, Carn. Inst. Wash. Year Book lj.1, Dec. 18, 
<k2, 138. 



and Others, Paleontology, Carn Inst. Wash. Year Book U2, Dec. 7, 
'U3, 103. 



PHllocene Floras of California and Oregon, Introduction. Carn. Inst. 
Wash. Pub. 553. 'kk, 1. 

The Dalles Flora (Oregon) Carn. Inst. Wash. Pub. 553, 'UU, 280. 
The i routdale Flora (Oregon) Carn. Inst. Wash Pub. ^53, 'kk, 323. 

Plelocene Floras of California and Oregon, Summary and Conclusions, 
Carn. Inst. Wa h. Pub. 553. 'kk, 353. 

A Fossil Cactus from the Eocene of Utah, Amer. Jour. Botany, Vol. 31, 
No. 8, Oct. >kk, 507. 

Trees and History, Science In the University of California, '14;, 2U7. 
19U5 

Paleobotany. Carn. Inst. Wash. Year Book, Vol. kk, 
Dec* 'U5, 86. 



Paleobotany, Carn. Inst. Wash. Year Book, Ho. U5, Dec. '1).6, 121. 

1947 

Paleobotany, Carn. Inst. "ash. Year Book No. W, Dec. 'U7, 10U. 

Origin and Development of Natural Florlstlo Areas with Special 
Reference to North Amerlcn-Te tlary Centers and Migration Routes, 
Ecological Monographs, Vol. 17, No. 2, Apr. 'kit 139. 

Question of Correlation of Continental Tertiary Deposits (abs.) 
Geol. Soc. America, Bull. Vol. 58, No. 12, 121+9, Dec. ' lj-7. 

19JL6 

Plelocer.e Flora from the Rattlesnake Formation of Oregon (abs.) 
Oeol. Soc. America, Bull. Vol. 99, No. 12, Dec. 'U8, 1367. 

Redwoods In China, Nat. Hit. Vol. 57, No. 10, Dec. >\iB, l&O. 



Z77 



19U6 
Fale"< 



(continued from preceding page.) 
ITeobotany, Carn. Inst. Waah. Year Book, No. kit ec. 10, >ko, 110. 

The Bearing of the Living Metasequoli. on Problems of Tertiary 
Paleobotany, Proc. Nat'l. Acad. Scl. Vol. 3k, No. 11, Nov. 'U8, $03. 

The Ancients Porests of Oregon, Condon Lectures, Oregon State """ystera 
of Higher Education, Eugene, Oregon, <k& 

19U9 

Miocene Occurrence of Sequoia and Related Conifers In the John Bay 
Basin, Proc. Nat'l Aoad. Scl. Vol 35, No. 3, Mar. '^9, 125. 

Early Tertiary Ecotones In Western Northftlerlca, Proc. Nat'l. 
Acad. Sol. Vol. 35, No. 7, Jul. 'V?, 356. 

Paleobotany, Carn. Inst. Wash. Year Book N^. US, Dec. 9, 'U9. 106. 

1950 

Paleobotany, Carn. Inst. Wash Year Book No. U9 t Dec. 15, '50, lll^. 

1951 

A Hevlslon of Fossil Sequoia and Taxodlum In Western North America 
Based on the Recent Discovery of Metasequola, Amer. Phllos. Soc. 
Trans, n.s. Vol. kO, Pt. 3, Feb. '51, 171. 



INDEX 



Academic Senate 166, 178 

"Admiral Simpson" 37 

Alaska 38, 39 

American Museum 80 

Andrews, Roy 75, 80, 92 

"Arabella" k 

Argonne laboratory 15>2 

Arnold, Ralph 39-lj-O 

Arnold Arboretum 61, 96 

Asia 79-96, 97 

ASUC 177-206 

Bacon Hall 75,76-77, 

Bartica, British Guiana 129-130 

Bear's Lair 193 

Beck, David 235 

Beebe, Dr. William 

Benner, Mr. 263 

Berkeley Municipal League 171, 2i4-8-25l 

Berry, Dr. E. W. 60 

Big Basin 211 

Big Bend 217 

Blaine, Mrs. Emmons Itf , h& 

Board of Athletic Control 18 1-183 

Bolton, Herbert 216 

Boone, Daniel U2-l|3 

Borah, Senator Win. E. 237 

Bretz, J. H. Ijjj. 65 

Brewer, VTrti. 134 

Bridges, Harry 172, 235, 258 

Brookhaven 152 

Brooks, Sumner Gushing 12lj. 

Bryan, Charles W. 233 

"Bull Moose" Party 5, 233 

Buwalda, Uohn 68 

California Club 175-177, 188, 20ij. 

Camp, Charles 66, 123 

Carnegie Institution 66-78 

Chamberlain, Charles J 22 

Chamberlin, Thomas C. 22, 65 

Chamber 1 in, Roll in 65 



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Index (cont'd) 

Chaney, Anna Davis 

Charle s 

David 

Ellen 

Pred 

Ralph 

Richard 

Samuel 

Cheng (Forestry Dept. , Nanking Univ. ) 

Chicago Tribune 

Churchill, Winston 

Civilian Conservation Corps. (CCC) 

Clark, Bruce 

Clements, Frederic E, 

Cohelan, Jeffery 

Colby, William 

Committee of ! 1;8 

Committee on Committees 

Connick, Arthur 

Cook, Lyle 

Cooksey, Dr. Donald 

Coulter, John M. 
Council Manager League 
Cowles, Henry Chandler 
Cox, James 

Crater National Park 

Craters of the Moon National Monument 
Curry Company 

Dally Gal 

Daniel, J. Prank 

Darrah, William C. 

Davis Campus 

John Day Basin 

Dearborn, Dr Ned 

Debs, Eugene 

de Chardln, Pierre Teilhard 

DeMello, Albert 

DeVoto, Bernard 

Dinosaur National Monument 

Drury, Aubrey 

Newton 

Dulles, John Poster 

Ecology 

'definition of 
Eisenhower, Dviight D. 
Ewing, Maurice 



1,2 

3 

Ilj2,267,269 

267,268 

1,3,5 

1 

11+2, 16? 



230-231 

122 

101;, 109 

250 

213 

166-168 

178 

212 

2^0 

155 

3k 

21+8 

3^-35, lA, 65 
236 

220-221, 223 
222 
223, 226 

181+-186, 191, 193, 205 

19 

63 

175, 176 

68, 77-78, 79, 116 

12, ll;, 21, 23 

237 

82-83 
259-260 

215 

216, 217 

212 

212, 211;, 217 

2l;0 



110 






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Index (cont'd) 

"Pair Bear" 196, 197 

Field, Marshall k 

_ & Company if., 37 

Field Museum 13, 23 

Finance Committee iBfj., 19U, 198 

Florin _ 81 
Forest Service 

definition of 211 

difference from National Park Service 210 

Fremont ia Park 227-228 

Furlong, Eustace 68 



General Electric 

Geological Society 78 

Geological Survey of China 81, 83 

Glacier Point 

Grabau, Amadeus 80, 86 

Grand Canyon National Park 220-221 

Grant, James T. 212 

Grinnell, Joseph 208 

Harding, Warren G. 233, 236 

Harris, Joseph 250 

Hollick, Dr. Arthur 

Hoover, Herbert 

Hu, H. H. 2, 87 

Hughes, Charles Evan 23h 

I ekes, Harold 2!lj. 

Jackson Lake 223 

Journal of C-eology i(-5 

Kay, George M. 57 

Kennedy, Senator Robert 238 

Kent, Thomas J. 2^8, 2l|9, 253, 256 

Kerr, Clark l8l 

Knight, Eleanor (Mrs. M.M. ) 250 

Knopf, Alfred 215 

Knowlton, Dr. Frank H. 59-60 

Krynchtofovich _ 9t 

Kutani 262, 263 



La Follette, Robert 237, 

Landon, Alfred 2l|.0 

Latin America 97-98 

Lauffer _ , 261; 

Lawrence, E. 0. 121, 155, 156 






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Index (cont'd) 

Lawrence Radiation Laboratory l49-l6lj., 180 

Leonard, Richard 

Leasing, Ferdinand D. 264 

Linn, James Weber 

Liver more, Norman 21ij. 

___^ _, Laboratory 

(A. E.G. installation at) lij-9-154, 156 

Louderback, George D. 132 

Loyalty Oath 165-174, 2$1 

Lull, Richard 134 

McCarthy, Senator Joseph 172, 258 

McDuffie, Duncan 212 

McMillan, Edward 121 

McNary, Donald 250 

Manchuria 79, 81 

Manhattan Project 160 

Mantle, Burns 28 

Marshall, General George C. 243 

Martin, Edward 248 

Martin, Richard A. 27 

Matinuska Valley 40 

Matthew, W. D. 70, 72, 74, 80, 123 

May, Mrs. Bernice 253, 259 

Merriam, Charles . 68 

, John C. 67-69,70-72,75-76,77, 

103-104,109,207,212 

Merrill, Elmer D. 96 

Metasequoia 95-96, 114, 116 
see Cheng 
see also H. H.Hu 

Mexico 75 

Michener, James 264 

Mining Building 76, 147 

Missouri Geological Survey 53 

Mongolia 75, 79-80 

Muir Woods 231 

Nanking University 96 

National Academy 

National Museum (Tokyo) 265 

National Art Gallery (Washington, D. C. ) 

National Museum (Washington, D.C.) 59, 6l 

National Park Service 212,21^,219 

and historical monuments 222 

definition of 211 

difference from Forest Service 210 

separation of resort and park 223 









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Index (cont'd) 

National Science Foundation 108 

New Deal 239 

N. Y. Botanical Gardens 61 
Norton, William 

Oak Ridge 152, 156 

Osborn, Clinton Morris 14-8 

Osborne, Dr. Freleigh P. 80 

Paleontology, Museum of 70, 7k 

Parker, Col. Francis l}.8 

School 25, 

Perkins, Richard 250 

Peters, Fred 11^2 

Phillip ine Islands 96-97 

Point Lobos 208-209 

Porcelain 261-265 

see also Kutani 

Prairie chicken 8-9 

Priestley, Kenneth 180 

Pur cell, Kent 256 

Reuther, Walter 235 

Richardson Grove 220 

Roosevelt, Franklin Delano 160, 183,230, 239-2^0, 

2^3,21*5 

Roosevelt, Theodore 5,55233,2l|2,2i|-5 
Ross 

see Berkeley Municipal League 250 

Rumford, Byron 252 

Salisbury, Rollin D. 3ij., lj.6, 65 
Sanford, Laura Jeanette 

, Suzanna 3, 5 

Santa Barbara Campus 175, 176 

Save-The-Redwoods League 207, 212-211]., 257 

Seeley, Marguerite 266 

Selective service 157-163 

Shulford, Victor E. ijl-I|2 

Sierra Club 213, 211; 

Smith, Alfred E. 237-238 

Smith, J.P. 67 

South Dakota Geological Survey 38 

Spanish- American War 5^-55 

Sproul, Robert G. 120, 175, 177-178,181 

Sputnik llj. 

Stalin, Joseph 183, 2lj.O 

Stanford University ll|.3-ll|4 

Starr, Walter 213, 21 U, 226 






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Index (cont'd) 

Stebbins, Lucy 

Stevenson, Adlai 

Stirton, Ruben A. 118-119, 121 

Stock, Chester 68, 69 

Stone, Hurford 177, 185 

Strong, R. M. 

Student Welfare Committee 196 

Student store 191-19lj- 

Teller, Edward 150 

Thomas, Leonard C. 57 

Thomas, Norman 2i|0 

Trees of Mystery 220 

Tressider, Mrs. Mary 226 

Trowbridge, Arthur C. 57 

Truman, Harry 239, 

Tze 9k 

Ukioye School 263 

UCLA 1*4-8, 176 

University of Iowa 56-65 

U.S. Geological Survey 36, 68 

University of Chicago 25-14-3 

Wedemeyer, Joseph (Report) 2ij_3 

Welch, Edward 179 

Weller, Stuart 

Wentworth, Prank 

Westinghouse 155 

Whitman, Charles Otis 19 , 20 , 22 , 2l|. 

Prank 22 

Wilbur, Ray Lyman 208 

Willkie, Wendell 2lj.O 

Wild Birds in the City Parks lij. 

Wilson, Woodrow 

Wiirth, Henry Edgar 217 

Winthrop, Governor John 14- 

Wong, W. H. 

World War I lj.6-58 

Yellowstone National Park 218-219,222,231-232 

York, Dr. ^erbert Prank l5l 

Yo semite National Park 2l8,222,223,22i| 



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