Tag Archives: scrapbooks

The Captain’s Menageries: Ronald Cheyne-Stout and the Central Park and Prospect Park Zoos

Captain Cheyne-Stout with his favorite zoo animal, Spiny, whom he kept as a pet in his officeDuring the Great Depression, New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses embarked upon a wide-ranging overhaul of the NYC parks system that included the reconstruction of the Central Park Zoo  and the construction of the Prospect Park Zoo.   (Links lead to New York City Parks Department history pages.)  Robert Moses first hired Captain Ronald Cheyne-Stout as an animal consultant for the two zoos, and later took him on as the zoos’ Menagerie Director.  Continue reading

Fighting (and Fanaticism) for Fur Seals

fish7848 Henry W. Elliott, William T. Hornaday, and John Hay spent nearly a decade attempting to save the staggering decimation of the Alaskan fur seals from their mating grounds on the Pribilof Islands. The islands were first discovered by Europeans in 1786 and soon after became part of the Russian Territories. In 1867, they became property of the United States and were later leased to the Alaska Commercial Company, who held the monopoly on seal hunting and pelt trading. The islands were highly sought by hunters for their fur seal rookeries, large areas where thousands of seals gathered to mate, raise their young, and fish.  Continue reading

Scrapbooks and Spies

Letter from Lawrence Macrae to Hornaday, Dec. 20, 1906. Hornaday Wildlife Scrapbook Collection, Vol. 1. WCS Archives Collection 1007.

One never knows what oddities or treasures may turn up when undertaking a cataloging project. Given the variety of ephemera collected in scrapbooks, the possibility for unknown treasures is especially exciting. This was certainly the case while creating descriptive metadata for the first scrapbook from William T. Hornaday’s scrapbook collection on the history of wildlife protection and extermination. An innocent attempt to locate the identity of a correspondent led to a scandalous discovery! (Okay, perhaps not that scandalous–but certainly interesting enough to share.)   Continue reading

Hornaday and the Camp Fire Club of America

Letter from Hornaday to Elihu Root, 1910. Hornaday Wildlife Scrapbook Collection, Vol. 4. WCS Archives Collection 1007.

The brainchild of friends William T. Hornaday and George O. Shields, the Camp Fire Club of America was conceived as a social club–an opportunity for men who loved the outdoors to gather together regularly as they would around a campfire. In particular, Hornaday and Shields (Editor of Recreation magazine, who served briefly in a lobbying role for the New York Zoological Society) intended the CFCA as an outlet for sportsmen who did not meet the high standards of wealth, power, and social ranking required by the Boone and Crockett Club.  [See our earlier post on the B&C Club.]  Continue reading

Putting It All Together: The Hornaday Scrapbook Site Is Now Live

1007-04-01-067.jpgWe are thrilled to announce that our website displaying scrapbooks compiled by William T. Hornaday, covering his various wildlife conservation campaigns, is now live!  Made possible through the generous funding of the Leon Levy Foundation, the project has been the subject of a few WILD THINGS posts over the past few months, and we are pleased to be able to share the finished product with you now.  You’ll find the site hereContinue reading

Kings of the Wild Frontier: Hornaday and Boone & Crockett

1007-04-09-063-c_acc.jpgScattered throughout the scrapbooks of William T. Hornaday is ephemera from the Boone and Crockett Club. Founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell, the Boone and Crockett Club formed, as they later stated in their 1923 certificate of incorporation, “to promote the conservation and management of wildlife, especially big game, and its habitat, to preserve and encourage hunting and to maintain the highest ethical standards of fair chase and sportsmanship in North America.” Boone and Crockett was originally organized as a very exclusive club, accepting only members in high social and cultural standing, all of whom must have personally hunted a pre-requisite breadth of wild game.  Continue reading

Mrs. Charles Cyrus Marshall: Trailblazing Conservationist

As we’ve discussed in a previous post, women became an important force in early campaigns for wildlife protection, and in the early decades of the twentieth century more and more wives, mothers, and daughters joined the cause. One woman in particular, Mrs. Charles Cyrus Marshall, went above and beyond to provide bountiful aid wherever it was needed. Though most of Mrs. Marshall’s documented work with state and national preservation may have been created through local action, her projects most certainly had national and historical impact.  Continue reading

From Bills to Boys: Hornaday’s Appeal to the Boy Scouts of America for Wildlife Protection

1007-04-03-090_acc-ThumbIn 1911, William T. Hornaday was hard at work in his efforts to protect birds from unnecessary slaughter. The Bayne-Blauvelt Bill (more commonly known as the Bayne Bill) to prevent the sale of wild American game in New York State had recently passed in July of 1911. The Bayne Bill, said by journalists at the time to be the most important measure for the protection of game brought before New York legislature, was a notable victory for Hornaday and wildlife conservationists alike. The law prohibited the sale and importation for sale of any species of wild game, regardless of where it may have been killed. The bill passed by the state senate 38 to 1 and unanimously by the assembly. However, there was still much to be done in the fight to protect wildlife. Continue reading

The Nation’s Women Speak Out in Support of Wildlife Conservation

1007-04-09-008-a_acc-ThumbIn the United States, bison once roamed in numbers greater than 20 million. However, over the course of the nineteenth century, the bison population plummeted to barely a thousand due to settlers, railroad development, and hunting.

Although some thought the extinction of the American bison was an inevitable effect of civilized expansion into the West, many others believed that this symbol of American strength and power deserved a chance to thrive. In 1905, members of this latter group came together at the Bronx Zoo to found the American Bison Society with the goal of preventing the extinction of the American bison; the organization’s first success came in 1907 when they sent 15 bison by railway from the Bronx Zoo to Wichita Mountains Wildlife Preserve in Oklahoma to restore the western Plains’ depleted bison population. Continue reading