Asiatic Expedition (2nd : 1918-1919)

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Exist Dates

1918 - 1919

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
The American Museum of Natural History’s Second Asiatic Zoological Expedition (1918-1919) was led by Roy Chapman Andrews. It can be considered as a continuation of the preparatory work for the Central Asiatic Expeditions of 1921-1930. The main goal of the Second Expedition was to explore and collect mammal and bird specimens from the northeastern region of the Asian plateau, namely the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The specimens were to be used in the Museum’s proposed hall of Asiatic life. Further, Andrews saw the expedition as another step in his larger expeditionary plan.

In late 1918 Roy Chapman Andrews was stationed in Beijing for his Naval wartime work, which required him to make exploratory excursions that introduced him to Mongolia. Having already explored the Yunnan Province in 1916-1917, he realized the potential and necessity for more investigation of this region. “A beginning had already been made in the zoological work by the First Asiatic Expedition to southwestern China and along the borders of Tibet in 1916-17. The second expedition was to extend the work in Mongolia. It is hoped that in the near future expeditions will leave the Museum to initiate similar investigations in paleontology, archaeology, and anthropology.” (1) The expedition had a very moderate proposed cost of $7500, which was approved by Museum President Henry Fairfield Osborn and supplied by both Museum and sponsors Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Bernheimer, who had also helped fund the First Expedition. (2) The expedition would take part in the summer months of 1919 and use Urga (modern Ulaanbaatar) as base camp to travel south and north. By February of 1919, plans were in place and supplies and equipment were sent ahead by caravan. They would travel by automobile back and forth across the desert to their base camp at Urga. This was Andrews’ first foray with that means of transportation for expedition work. For the camping trips into the desert they would use horses and carts to travel.

On the trip from Kalgan to Urga in May 1919, the Andrews were accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Coltman, and Mr. and Mrs. Ted MacCallie. Andrews nicknamed the group the “Grouchless Gang” and it appears to have been a very social journey. They were also joined by Owen, a soldier hired to drive one of the automobiles, Lu, the expedition cook, Chen and Kang, two Chinese taxidermists hired by Andrews to assist with collecting and preparation, and a young lama engaged as guide. Along the way across the desert they were able to photograph antelopes at great speed, as well as collect specimens. (3) After reaching Urga, Roy and Yvette, along with the expedition personnel, began a series of camping trips to collect and survey the area. They spent the summer between the plains in the south and the forests north of Urga. (4) By October the specimens were on a caravan to Beijing and Roy and Yvette Andrews were following by automobile.

In Beijing, Andrews reunited with Harry R. Caldwell, the Missionary and big-game hunter he had accompanied in the 1916 expedition. In November they traveled south from Beijing to the Shanxi Province in search of the large mountain ram, or argali which were desired for the Museum collection. (5) Andrews also hunted in Central Shanxi with Everett Smith to acquire wild boar specimens. In all, the expedition amassed almost 2000 specimens including the argali, elk, antelope, goral, wild boar, tiger, and serow, as well as smaller mammals. (6) Having completed collecting all that they set out to, by February 1920 the Andrews family had returned to New York, where he seemingly inexhaustible Roy immediately set out to plan and promote his next set of expeditions.

Sources

    (1) Roy Chapman Andrews, "Urga, the Sacred City of the Living Buddha," Harper's Monthly Magazine 141, no. 842 (1920): 147.
    (2) Charles Gallenkamp, Dragon hunter: Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic expeditions (New York: Viking, 2001), 75.
    (3) Roy Chapman Andrews, Across Mongolian Plains A Naturalist's Account of China's 'Great Northwest' (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1921), 42-47.
    (4) Roy Chapman Andrews, “In Mongolia and North China,” Natural History 20, no. 4 (1920): 363.
    (5) Roy Chapman Andrews, Across Mongolian Plains A Naturalist's Account of China's 'Great Northwest' (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1921), 186.
    (6) American Museum of Natural History, “Notes,” Natural History 20, no. 1 (1920): 110.
    Library of Congress Name Authority File: no2015075037

Chronology

  • 1918 - 1919: UlaanbaatarExternal link (Expedition Site) Urga, capital of Mongolia, used as base for excursions south and north.
  • 1918 - 1919: ZhangjiakouExternal link (Expedition Site) Kalgan; abutted the Great Wall, beginning point of journey through desert to Urga.
  • 1918 - 1919: Panj-Kiang ( ) First telegraph station between Kalgan and Urga; "edge" of the Gobi Desert
  • 1918 - 1919: Terelche River (Expedition Site)
  • 1918 - 1919: Shanxi (province)External link (Expedition Site) Shansi Province; Area where Andrews and Caldwell hunted for ram and wild boar
  • 1918 - 1919: Wu Shi-tu (Expedition Site) Village where Andrews and Caldwell set up base camp in Shanxi region
  • 1918 - 1919: BeijingExternal link Peking; Throough his war work, Andrews was primarily based in Peking at the time. Mrs. Andrews, their son, staff, and a nurse met him there.
  • 1918 - 1919: MongoliaExternal link (Expedition Site) The expedition aimed to research and collect specimens in Mongolia and prepare for the next stage of expeditionary work.
  • 1918 - 1919: Gobi (desert)External link (Expedition Site) The Gobi Desert was to be explored in this and the following expeditions.
  • 1918 - 1919: ChināExternal link (Expedition Site)
  • 1918 - 1919: New YorkExternal link The Expedition's sponsor AMNH is located in New York.
  • 1918 - 1919: Tuula Gol (river) External link (Expedition Site) Tuul River
  • 1918 - 1919: Ude second telegraph station along route from Kalgan to Urga
  • 1918 - 1919: Turin third telegraph station along route from Kalgan to Urga
  • 1918 June 28: Roy Chapman Andrews sailed to China
  • 1918 September: Yvette and George arrived, Peking.
  • 1919 February: Most of equipment in Urga
  • 1919 May 17: left Kalgan for Urga with group and more equipment, Kalgan to Urga.
  • 1919 late June - 1919 August: northern excursion, Gobi.
  • 1919 June 16: returned from southwest excursion
  • 1919 October 1: specimen caravan set off, followed by them, Urga to Peking.
  • 1919 November: returned to Peking from hunting excursion with Caldwell, Shanxi Province.
  • 1920 February: returned to New York, New York.

Terms

place
UlaanbaatarExternal link
(Expedition Site)

dates: 1918-1919

Urga, capital of Mongolia, used as base for excursions south and north.
place
ZhangjiakouExternal link
(Expedition Site)

dates: 1918-1919

Kalgan; abutted the Great Wall, beginning point of journey through desert to Urga.
place
Panj-Kiang
( )

dates: 1918-1919

First telegraph station between Kalgan and Urga; "edge" of the Gobi Desert
place
Terelche River
(Expedition Site)

dates: 1918-1919
place
Shanxi (province)External link
(Expedition Site)

dates: 1918-1919

Shansi Province; Area where Andrews and Caldwell hunted for ram and wild boar
place
Wu Shi-tu
(Expedition Site)

dates: 1918-1919

Village where Andrews and Caldwell set up base camp in Shanxi region
place
BeijingExternal link
dates: 1918-1919

Peking; Throough his war work, Andrews was primarily based in Peking at the time. Mrs. Andrews, their son, staff, and a nurse met him there.
place
MongoliaExternal link
(Expedition Site)

dates: 1918-1919

The expedition aimed to research and collect specimens in Mongolia and prepare for the next stage of expeditionary work.
place
Gobi (desert)External link
(Expedition Site)

dates: 1918-1919

The Gobi Desert was to be explored in this and the following expeditions.
place
ChināExternal link
(Expedition Site)

dates: 1918-1919
place
New YorkExternal link
dates: 1918-1919

The Expedition's sponsor AMNH is located in New York.
place
Tuula Gol (river) External link
(Expedition Site)

dates: 1918-1919

Tuul River
place
Ude
dates: 1918-1919

second telegraph station along route from Kalgan to Urga
place
Turin
dates: 1918-1919

third telegraph station along route from Kalgan to Urga

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

American Museum of Natural History
associated dates: 1918-1919

Parent institution and sponsor of the Expedition. Andrews was an employee.
participantIn
Andrews, Roy Chapman, 1884-1960.
associated dates: 1918-1919

Leader of expedition and zoologist, saw it as the next stage in his overall expeditionary plan.
participantIn
Andrews, Yvette Borup
associated dates: 1918-1919

Andrews' wife, acted as photographer
Asiatic Zoölogical Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History (1st: 1916-1917)
The 1916-1917 expedition preceded this one. Together they can be viewed as precursive to the Third Asiatic Expedition, commonly known as the Central Asiatic Expeditions.
Bernheimer, Charles L.
associated dates: 1918-1919

sponsor
Bernheimer, Mrs. Charles L.
associated dates: 1918-1919

sponsor
participantIn
Caldwell, Harry R.
Caldwell was a Missionary and big-game hunter who went on trips in the Shansi province with Andrews to collect mountain rams and wild boar.
Central Asiatic Expeditions (1921-1930)
The Third Asiatic Expedition, or Central Asiatic Expeditions were the culmination of the expeditionary work done by Andrews in this trip to the Asian region, particularly as he was scouting the Mongolian area.
participantIn
Chen
associated dates: 1918-1919

Chinese taxidermist loaned to Andrews by Dr. J. G. Andersson, the Chinese Republic's Mining Advisor.
participantIn
Coltman, Charles L.
associated dates: 1918-1919

Friend of Andrews who had taken him on first auto journey in desert in September of 1918, operated a trading station in Kalgan and Urga, procured some of the automobiles. Accompanied expedition from Kalgan to Urga, member of Andrews' "Grouchless Gang"
participantIn
Coltman, Mrs. Charles L.
associated dates: 1918-1919

Wife of Coltman, traveled with Expedition from Kalgan to Urga, member of Andrews' "Grouchless Gang"
participantIn
Kang
associated dates: 1918-1919

Chinese taxidermist engaged by Andrews.
participantIn
Larson, Frans August, 1870-
associated dates: 1918-1919

"Duke of Mongolia;" Swedish missionary who stayed in Mongolia for 46 years, became horse breeder and businessman. At the time of the expedition he was with Andersson, Mayer & Co. and helped outfit and staff the expedition.
participantIn
Lu
associated dates: 1918-1919

Expedition cook and camp boy hired by Andrews, made a "curious little oven" with a Standard Oil Tin.
participantIn
MacCallie, Mrs. Ted
associated dates: 1918-1919

Wife of MacCallie, traveled from Kalgan to Urga with expedition, member of Andrews' "Grouchless Gang"
participantIn
MacCallie, Ted
associated dates: 1918-1919

Friend of Coltman, traveled from Kalgan to Urga with expedition, a member of Andrews' "Grouchless Gang" MacCallie was bringing to the palace at Urga a 'Delco-light plant' (a small generator and battery system introduced in 1916 to provide electricity and mechanical power to rural areas in America). He also later brought supplies to the expedition in Urga in late 1919.
participantIn
Olufsen, E. V.
associated dates: 1918-1919

worked for Anderson, Meyer & Co. and assisted and, along with Larson, hosted them in Urga
Osborn, Henry Fairfield (1887-1935)
associated dates: 1918-1919

AMNH president and supporter of the Expedition.
participantIn
Owen
associated dates: 1918-1919

Soldier hired to drive one of the cars, hired by Coltman
participantIn
Smith, Everett
Accompanied Andrews on hunting trip
participantIn
Tserin Dorchy
associated dates: 1918-1919

Hunter who oversaw the families in the valley near the Terelche River and was engaged to help the Expedition.

Related Resources

subjectOf
[Maps of Mongolia, China, and Asia, including the three published in The new conquest of Central Asia, by Roy Chapman Andrews]
Creator: includes Andrews, Roy Chapman, 1884-1960. Extent: 5 maps ; 115 x 72 cm. or smaller: in box 63 x 79 x 4 cm. Repository: AMNH Research Library, Q115 .C42 item 1, Mammoth Folio
subjectOf
Roy Chapman Andrews papers, 1912-1944 (bulk 1919-1940)
associated dates: 1912-1944

Creator: Andrews, Roy Chapman, 1884-1960. Extent: 12 linear ft. (20 boxes) Repository: AMNH Special Collections, Mss .A51-.A54
subjectOf
Journals of expeditions to Mongolia
associated dates: 1919-1930

Creator: Andrews, Roy Chapman, 1884-1960. Extent: 11 v. ; 27 cm. Repository: AMNH Research Library, Rare Book Collection 51 F v.1-11.

Written by: Kendra Meyer
Last modified: 2016 November 10


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