Bibliography Texts

                                   VICTOR WOLFGANG von HAGEN
                                   TREVIGNANO ROMANO 00069
                                   ROMA,    ITALIA.

                                   June 13, 1978.

Mr. G.T. Corley Smith
Greensted Hall
Ongar, Essex CM5 9LD

Dear Mr. Corley Smith:

     I am beholden to you for your gracious letter of May 22, 1978,
wherein you inform me that the Committee has recognized my pioneer
work on the conservation program on the Galapagos.  Please extend my
gratitude to the committee.

     Even more so, I am grateful for the alacrity with which you
responded to my request for cine-film on the Galapagos.  I assure you of
an immediate follow through and will advise.

     Enclosed is the detailed history, pithy as it is, of all the
various events until 1950, at which I gave up my efforts, only to
see them carried through to fruition.

     You have perhaps not seen my book South America Called Them, in
which Darwin appears.  It is being sent to you.  Although I have a
vast writing program, six books in progress, I am up-dating and
expanding Darwin: An Evolutionary Portrait.  At the same time I am
thinking of enlarging Galapagos from the book you read (published
by the Univ. of Oklahoma, 1949), obtaining some of the fine color
that appeared in Galapagos, a Flow of Wilderness.  Here, then, would
be the place for your Committee to place in my hands the development
of the research station so that it could become more widely known.
I would then arrange that 50 per cent of the royalties be turned
over to the Committee.  Since many of my books remain in print from
thirty to forty years, this could be, in time, no small sum.  Of
that more anon.

I remain
                       Gratefully yours,

                       VICTOR W. von HAGEN.

The Chronology of the Darwin Memorial Expedition, and the Plan for
                  the Darwin Research Station.


Publication of Charles Darwin's Diary, edited by Nora Barlow, his

Alerted by the approaching date and Darwin's statement that the
visit to the Galapagos..."origin of all my views...", I noted that
no one anywhere seemed aware of the landing of Charles Darwin on
the Galapagos on September 15, 1835, and that the centenary would
soon appear.  I discussed the subject with William Beebe (Galapagos,
World's End), and was encouraged by him.

I wrote to Mrs. Nora Barlow, and she sent me a copy of the Diary
autographed by herself and Major Leonard Darwin (only surviving
son).  It was they who authorized such an expedition.

Fall.  Darwin Memorial Expedition.  A three-masted schooner,
The Golden State, was purchased.  A list of crew members was begun.
To aid the financing of the expedition, a bi-monthly journal was
conceived (see enclosed) to be issued while the expedition made its
ecological survey along the Pacific coast, ending at the Galapagos.
Advertising for the journal was promised.  MacMillan Co. was to be
the distributor.  Knowing the Latin American character, I had an
artist sculpt and cast the Darwin Medal and three were struck in
silver (one to be presented to the President of Ecuador).  I secured
the cooperation of all Latin American governments to be visited.

There was aid in the form of loans of equipment from the New York
Botanical Garden, books from the California Academy of Sciences,
and Dr. R.C. Murphy (Oceanic Birds of South America) had a cast made
of the bust of Darwin at the Museum of Natural History and saw that
it was shipped to Guayaquil.

But times were out of joint.  As conceived the expedition would not
sail, the Golden State was sold, the journal was cancelled, but
I was made a representative of the California World's Fair, then
in formation.

No funds came from any source but my meager own.


A smaller expedition sailed to Ecuador.

In Guayaquil I organized a group of businessmen and professors at
the University of Guayaquil as a Galapagos Committee to promote


public interest in the idea of a research station and the expedition
to it (for Ecuador feared North American annexation). Eventually
a copy of the Darwin bust put on the Galapagos was displayed at the 

The copy of the Darwin bust was sent to Quito where a local sculptor
gave it a patina of bronze prepared from bronze filings,and then he
sculpted the placque with a profile of Darwin as a young man.  The
text was written by Major Leonard Darwin.

While this was in progress, I: 1) obtained an audience with the
President, presented him the first of the Darwin medallions, and
was given official permission to bring the expedition to the Galapagos.
2) I contacted the representative of the Thomas de la Rue Company,
gave them a series of designs for the Darwin Memorial Stamps. They
then obtained a printing order for the stamps from the regime.
3) The next scheme was to have the Scott Stamp Co. in New York,
stamp dealers, to agree to issue first covers of the first air mail
flight to the Galapagos; 4) secure agreement with Pan American Airways
to make the first flight to the Galapagos; 5) have myself appointed
honorary postmaster of the Galapagos so as to make the official
cancellation of the air mail cover, the net profits to go to the found-
ing of the Galapagos Research Station; and 6) design the base of the
monument and involve various key Ecuadorian senators in the project.

All that being underway, I took my expedition into the Upper Amazon
for eight months.  In May 1935 I emerged and began to make final
preparations.  The New York Times promised maximum publicity, as did
the Illustrated London News (Mr. Bruce Ingram, who loaned me
typescripts of early voyages in his possession.)


June.  The expedition sailed on the monthly sailing of the San Cristobal.

Mason was dropped off at Charles Island, where the monument was to
be placed with the bust.

We moved to Academy Bay and set up headquarters.

Botanical research - all plants, with ecological map, deposited at
New York Botanical Garden; insects at the American Museum of Natural
History, Termites, with specialized research in intestinal fauna to
Dr. A.E. Emerson, University of Chicago.

Day of Darwin inauguration.  No plane, no stamps or covers.  We then
learned that there was a palace revolution, the president deposed
and another... Stamp scheme ended.  However, the stamps did appear


December.  Arrival of MS Stranger (Capt. Fred Lewis of San Diego)
as arranged.  There were thirty Sea Scouts aboard with one
professional topographer.  We sailed on the Stranger to Hood, Duncan,
Seymour, Jervis, James, Abingdon, Albemarle, staying for some days
on each.   On the smaller islands after a briefing I and my 30 pairs
of eyes set out across the island.  All was noted, tortoises, iguanas,
goats, dogs, etc.  Out of this came one of the first faunal survyes;
maps were made, films exposed.


January.  (Secret plan)  A small US fleet arm, commanding vessel
USS RANGER, Admiral Horn commanding.  Our vessel was the USS LAPWING
Lt. Capt. Clyde Smith commanding.  We cruised and on board I wrote
the first naval intelligence which the US Navy had had in one
century.  Submitted by Admiral Horn to Chief of Naval Intelligence
Capt. W.D. Puleston (commendation sent March 31, 1936, by way of
American Embassy).

February.  Quito. Decorated by Republic of Ecuador with Orden al
Merito for "Distinguished services to the Republic of Ecuador."

February to May.  Wrote, working on Galapagos plan.  During this
time I wrote to every institution in America I could think of to ask
advice and to secure interest. No one responded except Harold
Collidge:  they were not interested.

May 14, President Paez signed Executive Decree No 31 declaring
the Galapagos a national reserve.  In the decree was a section
which empowered the setting up of a Research Station.  I now had to
wait until it was printed in the Official Gazette; when this was
done two weeks later, three years of intense planning came to an end.

September.  In New York I received an invitation to adress the London
Section for the Advancement of Science.  I wrote articles for the
Geographical Magazine (Michael Huxley), Illustrated London News, and
many other publications.  I set up meetings, lectured widely.  At
Cambridge (Sir Galton Darwin, Master of Christ College) I gave the
major lectures before many Darwins and Huxleys.

This is when Julian Huxley entered the picture (I have sent you
copies of the bulletins).  Julian then gave me a letter to Lord
Moyne, who in turn had me meet the Naval people, who promised in a 
letter certain needed naval materials for such a station.  Back in
New York I continued to publish in Natural History, Canadian
Geographical, New York Times, et cetera.

Books:    Ecuador, the Unknown  (Oxford 1938)
          Herman Melville's Encantadas  1940
(later)   South America Called Them     1945
          Ecuador and the Galapagos     1949


I put up exhibits, got the US Navy to agree to follow the British
in giving surveyed naval equipment, then war was upon us.  But
even when serving with my regiment I was called back to Washington
to bring my reports up to date.  All ships sailing in these waters
had my report aboard.  My conservation suggestions were, in general,

In 1947, believing the Galapagos plan ended, I gave to Yale University
almost the whole of my Galapagos collections.

This is my side of the story.

And yours?