Recollections of a Petrologist
Chapter 9. Second trip to Europe
Published:June 01, 2015
Extract from beginning of chapter:
MORE SUMMER FIELDWORK?
The winter of 1892–1893 was an exciting period for members of the U.S. Geological Survey. Congressional criticism of Major Powell's administration had reached the point when the appropriation had been reduced, necessitating the retirement of several of the ablest geologists, and where the open antagonism of geologists not directly connected with the organization was awakened. A senatorial investigation of the management of Survey affairs had been ordered and a committee appointed, with Senator Wolcott1 of Colorado as chairman. Letters from Washington told of the discontent and the struggle going on within the bureau. C.D. Walcott was called to the assistance of the director, who found the current setting too strongly against him and his former administrative associates. Van Hise also was taken into consultation as representing the wisdom of some of the western members of the Survey. A plan was proposed to reduce the allotment for topographic work and increase that of the geological division, and it was successfully put through Congress. The geologists who had been retired were reinstated, but the former arrangement of divisions was discontinued and the younger men given independent fields of work, where their individual abilities could have the opportunity to display themselves in competition with those of their former chiefs.
In this readjustment, the director proposed that I should take up the exploration of the region immediately east of Yellowstone National Park, while Mr. Hague should devote himself to finishing his report on the geology of the park begun ten