Adams, Charles Francis (1857-1893). Diary, 1884-1887 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
Charles Francis Adams, raised near Urbana, Ill., entered the Illinois Industrial University (the University of Illinois) in 1876, devoting much time to taxidermy. A graduate in the Class of 1883, he traveled widely to collect specimens.
This collection includes a 160-page account of his travels and work as a taxidermist, 1884-87. Between Dec. 10, 1884, and Jan. 14, 1885, he crossed the country by train between Tolono, Ill., and San Francisco, and sailed from there to Auckland, New Zealand. The diary records his work as a taxidermist at Auckland Museum, and his leisure activities, between Jan. 15 and July 12, 1885. At the museum, he began an energetic program of preparing specimens (birds, fish, and marine invertebrates). His diary also describes local outings with friends, including visits to the wharf to see ships coming and going.
There follows three separate accounts of trips from Auckland to Cuvier Island (Nov. 1886), Karewa Island (Dec. 1886), and White Island (date not stated). Adams left the Auckland Museum on Feb. 1887, sailing for Singapore with stops at several New Zealand ports and at Melbourne, Australia. He includes an account (dated Apr. 6-8, presumably 1887) of the ship's passage through the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) to Batavia (Jakarta), at which point the diary ends.
Adams went on to Borneo before returning to the United States. He later prepared a taxidermy exhibit for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. See Auk, 10 (1893), 385-86, for a memorial of his life. See also B. J. Gill, "C. F. Adams, An American Taxidermist at Auckland Museum, 1885-86, Records of the Auckland Museum, 41 (2004), 13-26.
Adams's nephew, Clifford S. Love of Philo, Ill., loaned the diary for photocopying in 1974. B. J. Gill analyzed its contents for this record in 2011.