Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

Archives Collections List

David Grandison Fairchild (1869–1954)


Botanist, United States Department of Agriculture explorer

Letters, 1900–1925

HI Archives collection no. 12
Folder file, Oversized drawer 27


Letters to Orator Fuller Cook (1867–1949), 1891–1949

HI Archives collection no. 163
1 small green box



Fairchild, David Grandison
HI Archives portrait no. 7

Biographical note
David Grandison Fairchild (1869–1954) was an agricultural explorer for the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.), 1898–1933, and served as chief of the Section of Seed and Plant Introduction for much of that time. He was also a collaborator for the Division of Plant Introduction (1933–?).

Content note
This collection consists mainly of photocopied correspondence between Fairchild and Barbour Lathrop (1846–1927), with a few letters to Fairchild’s wife, Marian Hubbard Graham Bell (1880–1962). The letters reveal the personal closeness between the men and Lathrop’s fatherly and professional concern with the development of Fairchild’s career. Among the correspondence are a letter of recommendation (14 November 1900) from Lathrop to James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture, suggesting that Fairchild be put in control “of all the scientific and practical work of plant introduction, from foreign countries, and of such plant expansion in America”; Lathrop’s reference to the “mess,” apparently in the Bureau of Plant Industry Section of Seed and Plant Introduction (12 June 1903); Lathrop’s letter to Fairchild (6 September 1903) bitterly criticizing the U.S.D.A. for giving Fairchild the same salary he had received before working several years with Lathrop, and mentioning the Department’s “indifference” or “criticism” toward Lathrop’s “efforts on behalf of the growers, manufacturers, and consumers” of the U.S.; Fairchild’s letter (25 February 1922) to Lathrop discussing his interest in establishing some support (analogous to patents) for the discoveries of plant breeders; and Fairchild’s letter (25 January 1925) to Lathrop while plant collecting in Ceylon with the Allison V. Armour Expedition.

The originals of these letters are at the Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami. Researchers may use the copies here, but should refer to the Fairchild Garden for permission to cite or quote. Some of the correspondence between Fairchild and Lathrop (1901–1913) was published in Adventures in a Green World: The Story of David Fairchild and Barbour Lathrop, by Marjory Stoneman Douglas (61 pp., 1973, Coconut Grove, FL, Field Research Projects; HI Library call no. LA D735A).

Other resources
Individual and group portraits of this subject are available from the Hunt Institute portrait collection. Thumbnails of the individual and group portrait holdings are available as PDFs for research purposes. For publication-quality images, contact the Archivist to place an order.

Biographical citations for this subject are available from the Hunt Institute biographical collection as a PDF.

His papers are at Fairchild Tropical Garden: http://www.fairchildgarden.org/index.cfm
Consult Fairchild Gardens for permission to quote.

Search the Smithsonian field books for "Cali": http://persoon.si.edu/fieldguides/fldbooks.cfm

Contents
Two file folders

File folder 1
21 items
Correspondence between Barbour Lathrop and David Fairchild, 1900–1925. All photocopies. Some typed letters signed, some autograph letters signed.

14 November 1900: Lathrop to James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture
10 September 1901: Lathrop to Fairchild
14 September 1901: Lathrop to Fairchild
12 June 1903: James Wilson to Lathrop
6 September 1903: Lathrop to Fairchild
11 October 1903: Lathrop to Fairchild
6 May 1905: Lathrop to Fairchild
23 June 1905: Lathrop to David and Marian Fairchild
18 July 1905: Lathrop to Marian Fairchild
19 July 1905: Lathrop to Fairchild
24 May 1920: E. D. Ball, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S.D.A., to Lathrop. Notice of Renewal: lease on land (located on Ogeechee Rd, Chatham County, GA) to the Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture, for experimental purposes.
6 July 1920: Fairchild to Lathrop; mentions “Mr. [Joseph] Rock, an explorer of the Hawaiian Islands”
25 September 1920: Lathrop to Fairchild
25 February 1922: Fairchild to Lathrop
9 December 1924: Lathrop to Marian Fairchild
20 February 1925: Fairchild to Lathrop
14 January 1925: Fairchild to Lathrop
17 February 1925: Lathrop to the Fairchilds
24 March 1925: Lathrop to the Fairchilds
8 May 1925: Lathrop to the Fairchilds
23 October 1925: Lathrop to Fairchild and other friends

File folder 2
31 items
Contains correspondence between Barbour Lathrop and David Fairchild, 1901–1913. Original autograph and typed letters signed, plus some typewritten transcriptions of these letters.

2 November 1901: Lathrop to Fairchild; telegram from Lathrop in San Francisco to Fairchild in Geo. Brown Penitentiary, Yuma, AZ, requesting reply to letter of 1 November 1901
10 August 1901: Lathrop to Fairchild
11 October 1901: Lathrop to Fairchild
27 October 1901: Lathrop to Fairchild
1 November 1901: Lathrop to Fairchild
7 November 1901: Lathrop to Fairchild
17 December 1901: Lathrop to Fairchild
19 December 1901: Lathrop to Fairchild
22 July 1902: Lathrop to Fairchild
24 July 1902: Lathrop to Fairchild
26 July 1902: Lathrop to Fairchild
17 September 1902: Lathrop to Fairchild
5 February 1905: Lathrop to Fairchild
18 March 1905: Lathrop to Fairchild
4 April 1905: Lathrop to Fairchild
19 October 1906: Fairchild to Lathrop
12 September 1913: Bryan Lathrop to Marian Fairchild
11 October 1913: Lathrop to Fairchild

Typed transcriptions of letters:
16 July 1901
11 October 1901
21 October 1901
27 October 1901
1 November 1901
7 November 1901
17 December 1901
19 December 1901
22 July 1902
24 July 1902

Handwritten notes, lined paper:
17 September 1902: Lathrop to Fairchild
June 1905: Lathrop to Fairchild
1 November 1905: Lathrop to Fairchild
9 November 1905: Lathrop to Fairchild

The author of these notes is unknown. The notes appear to be partial or complete transcriptions of four Barbour letters, but only two of these are contained in our collection. The source of the text of the November letters is unknown.

Fairchild, David Grandison
Date: April 1915 (at age 46)
HI Archives portrait no. 6


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