A Survey of American Ascents in the Alps in the Nineteenth Century
Dr. B. L. Ball (1820-59), graduate of Harvard medical school in 1844, author of Rambles in Eastern Asia (1855) and Three Days on the White Mountains (1856),1 was the first American of whom there is record as having made an ascent in the Alps, other than of Mont Blanc.
Dr. Ball was in Asia in 1848, 1849 and 1850, visiting the Alps on his way home from the East. In the second of his books one finds (p. 22) the following:
… in crossing the Bernina Alps, had my companion and myself been discouraged by the depth of the snow …, we should have missed some of those beautiful landscapes so characteristic of Alpine scenery. If, against the protestations of the guides we had not persisted in climbing the snowy peak of a lofty group of mountains near Bains de Loeuk, in Switzerland, … we should have been deprived of one of the most striking and majestic panoramic views of nature in Europe.
It is possible that the peak in question was the Torrenthorn. In any event Dr. Ball’s climb was but a few years after Forbes’ ascent (1842) of the Stockhorn, according to Coolidge the earliest first ascent by a British subject.
We now record American ascents in the Alps, with the exception of Mont Blanc by Chamonix routes, which has been considered in Part I.
I. WESTERN ALPS
1. Maritime, Cottian, Dauphine and Graian Groups Punta dell’ Argentera. W. A. B. Coolidge. August 18th, 1879. First ascent.
Monte Viso.2 W. A. B. Coolidge. September 5th, 1879. Second ascent from N.
Barre des Ecrins. W. A. B. Coolidge. July 4, 1870. Third ascent. Meije. W. A. B. Coolidge. June 28, 1870. First ascent of Pic Central.
Meije. W. A. B. Coolidge. July 10, 1878. Second ascent of highest point.
Grand Paradiso. W. A. B. Coolidge. August 21st, 1885.
2. Pennines, Excepting Mont Blanc by Chamonix Routes a. Chamonix District
Grandes Jorasses. W. A. B. Coolidge. July 13, 1869. Fourth ascent.
Mont Blanc. W. A. B. Coolidge. July 15, 1870. Second ascent by Brenva route.
Petit Dru. James Taylor Van Rensselaer. August 28th, 1884. Third ascent. With guides Eduard Cupelin and François Simond. He also ascended the Grand Dru, August 1st, 1884.
J. T. Van Rensselaer (1862-19?), of New York. Hobart College, N. Y.; New College, Oxford. Member of S. A. C. (1885); C. A. F. (1884); A. C. (1886). Continental Times, September 6th, 1884; Schw. Alp. Ztg., ii, 191. List of expeditions, S. A. C. J., xx, 614; A. C. R., iii, 246.
b. Zermatt District
Col Théodule. July 25th, 1850. Theodore Winthrop. “From Saas by the Monte Moro, Col Türlow, Col d’Ollen, Betta Furka and Col Cervin—a circuit of four days.” A. J., 32, 48.
Weissthor. August 13th, 1854. Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Tower, and Mr. F. F. Hyatt, New York. “On Saturday, August 12th, the party ascended the Weissthor and returned over the Stockhorn, Hothaligrat, Gorner Grat and Guglen to the Riffel-house. Mrs. Tower is the first lady who has been either at the Weissthor or the Stockhorn, or over the rough passage from the latter to the Hohthaligrat. Guide, Jean Baptiste Brantschen.” A.J., 32, 54.
Col d’Herens. August 2nd, 1862. Giuseppe Robba, da Novara, and G. Fenwick Jones, Savannah, Confederate States, America. “We crossed the Col d’Erin on 31st July.” A.J., 32, 52.
Alphubeljoch. September 2, 1867. Alvey August Adee (see under Monte Rosa), with Johann zum Taugwald. A.J., 31, 228.
“Johann zum Taugwald brought me over the Alphubeljoch today in 11 hours from Zermatt, including halts and an hour’s detour to the summit of La Garde du Col, south of the highest point of the pass— we came without a porter, both of us considering that functionary to be a useless, wine consuming incumbrance. Johann is a jolly good fellow, and came down the glissades in good style. I can conscientiously recommend him to all who want a good guide and an agreeable companion.”
Riffelhorn. Two American travellers in August, 1873, while rolling stones from the summit, turned up a bronze spear-head. A.J., 6, 437.
Matterhorn. H. F. Montagnier, who knew William Whitewright Stuart (Mont Blanc list, No. 68), said that he ascended the Matterhorn in the late ’60s, but this cannot be confirmed. Whymper’s Ascent of the Matterhorn includes the following Americans:
12. G. B. Marke. September 2nd-3rd, 1868. Apparently the climber whose wife was killed on Mont Blanc, August 2nd, 1870. A. J., 31,92.
“I ascended the Matterhorn on September 3 with Nicolas Knubel and Pierre Zurbriggen (Saas) as guides. Left Zermatt on September 2 at 9 a.m., and reached the chalet at 4.50 p.m. Started next day at 4.30 a.m., and after an exceedingly difficult and dangerous climb reached the summit at 7.15 a.m. Rested at the summit for five minutes and then descended with great difficulty to our chalet, which we reached at 12.45 p.m. We rested there an hour, and reached Zermatt at 5.50; then ascended immediately to the Riffel, which I reached in 1.35. The expedition is an exceedingly difficult one, requiring at least two guides for each traveller.
24. Miss Brevoort and W. A. B. Coolidge, with Nicholas Knubel. September 4th-5th, 1871. (Mont Blanc list, Nos. 38 and 53.) Traverse; A. J., 5, 277.
41. T. Alston Bishop. July 21st-22nd, 1873. (Mont Blanc list, Nos. 49 and 66.) Member of C. A. F. (1876) and A. C. (1871).
95. Dudley Leavitt Pickmann. August 12th, 1875. (Mont Blanc list, No. 94.)
102. Henry Remsen Whitehouse. August 23rd-24th, 1875. (Mont Blanc list, No. 97.)
H. R. Whitehouse (1857-19?), of New York. Educated in England, Germany, Switzerland and U. S .A. Diplomatic Service, 1882-96. Member of C.A.F. (1878), S.A.C. (1875) and A.C. (1876). A.C. R., ii, 359.
151. William Oxnard Moseley, Jr. August 24th, 1879. (Mont Blanc list, No. 82.) Killed during descent (“Moseleyplatte”).
W. O. Moseley, Jr. (1848-74), of Boston. Pioneer in Eastern Alps. Member of A. C. (1877). A.C. R., iii, 208.
The following additional are from the Führerbuch of Peter Knubel:
1873. T. A. Bishop. (See above.)
1881. Bishop Henry W. Warren.
1892. John P. Bowman, Rochester, N. Y.
1900. H. P. Wells (15½) and Stanford Wells (18), sons of Wm. T. Wells of New York and Florida.
1902. Oliver Perry Smith. (For his ascent of N. wall of Kl. Zinne, August 16th, 1909, see A. J., 25, 80; Ö. A. Z., 798.)
To the Matterhorn list may be added the following:
1885. August 10th. Melancthon M. Hurd, with his two sons. They had trained for a month in Tyrol, with ascents of Monte Cristallo and Gross Glockner, and had crossed the new Weissthor from Macugnaga to Zermatt with Clement Imseng and Joseph Lochmatter. App., iv, 285.
Mr. R. M. Hurd contributes the following information: “My father, M. M. Hurd, my brother, G. A. Hurd, and myself spent five summers between 1880 and 1885 in pedestrian tours and mountain climbing. Although the roads were then not infested by automobiles we kept as far as possible to high level routes and covered from 800 to 1000 miles a summer. We carried moderate knapsacks and walked in Switzerland, Norway, the Pyrenees, with shorter trips in England, Scotland, Wales and Swabia. This was a period when pedestrianism was popular and high climbing was just beginning to develop. Walkers were mostly English or German, the English usually carrying light packs of ten pounds and covering perhaps forty miles a day, while the Germans carried forty-pound packs including an extra pair of hobnail shoes, and might only cover from ten to fifteen miles a day. In 1885 when my brother had nearly reached sixteen, we began to attempt some of the higher peaks, doing the Gross Glockner, Monte Cristallo, the new Weissthor, Riffelhorn, Cima di Jazzi, Breithorn and Matterhorn.
“For the Gross Glöckner we had three skilful and experienced guides, and spent the first night in the hut close to the snow level. It seemed at that time difficult climbing, especially the crossing of the knife edge of snow between the two rocky peaks. We had good weather and an excellent view. We regretted to learn the following years that our three guides had been caught in bad weather in ascending the Gross Glockner and had perished. [The guides Christian Ranggetiner and Engelbert Rubesoier, of Kals, lost their lives in the Pallivicini accident on the Glocknerwand, June 26, 1886. A. J.,13, 110.—Ed.]
“Walking on to the Dolomites we climbed Monte Cristallo, a sheer piece of rock work, especially difficult for my brother owing to his short legs. How the Italian troops hauled artillery up Monte Cristallo during the war had always been a mystery to those who have climbed it.
“The new Weissthor was really new in those days, quite stiff and with beautiful views into Italy. While waiting for snow to melt on the Matterhorn we strengthened our legs with smaller peaks and also by running from Zermatt up to the Gornergrat, a lift of 3000 ft., which we accomplished in one hour.
“The technique of climbing was doubtless simpler fifty years ago, but then as now chief reliance was placed upon the skill, experience and devotion of the splendid Swiss guides, particularly in teaching beginners. The equipment always included English Alpine Club rope, and heavy boots with clustered nails, always carefully repaired.”
1887. G. A. Solly (A. J., 47, 245), in this year, records meeting on the Matterhorn a young American woman wearing trousers!
1895. M. Packett. Ascent mentioned in Figaro, July 19, 1895; A. J., 17, 523.
Monte Rosa :
1860. Dr. Luther Parks, Jr., of Boston, with Johann zum Taugwald. (Date not given.) A. J., 31, 226.
1860. J. E. Millard, David Pitcairn, Magdalen Coll., Oxford, and J. K. Stone of Harvard College, U. S. A. August 13. A. J., 31, 323. See also P. P. G., ii, 379, where it is stated that Stone's companions were E. P. Prest and J. L. Propert, with guides Johann zum Taugwald, Moritz Andermatten and Simond (Pierre-Marie) of Chamonix, the party descending to Gressosey. Dr. Live-ling and Leslie Stephen were on the mountain the same day, which may account for Stone’s joining them in the Oberland ( Blümlisalphorn ).
1866. J. and D. P. Wilkinson (Mont Blanc list, Nos. 41, 42) with Peter Taugwald, Sr. and Jr.
John Wilkinson (1840-91), b. Syracuse, N. Y.; merchant. Beginning in 1865, spent two and a half years in European travel, accompanied by his brother. This information from his nephew, and from Nat. Cyclopedia of Amer. Biogr. (port.), ii, 202, where it is said “He is never without some engrossing pursuit.”
Dudley P. Wilkinson (1843-1910) ; brother of John Wilkinson.
1867. T. A. Bishop. September 3rd.
1873. J. T. Van Rensselaer, with Peter Knubel.
1874. Alvey Augustus Adee, with Franz Weisshorn Biner. August 21st.
“Franz Weisshorn Biner took me up Monte Rosa yesterday, the 22d instant. My old opinion of his powers, formed seven years ago, has in no way diminished, and I cheerfully commend him to those who deem that a steady head, firm hand, and caution are good things in a guide.”
A. A. Adee, of New York, Sec. of U. S. Legation at Madrid, 1870-77. Chief of Diplomatic Service Bureau in Washington, 1878.
In 1917 was second assistant Secretary of State, a post he had occupied since 1886. A. J., 31, 259. He was born in 1842.
Tucker Daland (Mont Blanc list, No. 89) accompanied the Dents in August, 1874, on a tour from Chamonix across the Col du Géant and the Col Théodule to Zermatt, followed by an ascent of Monte Rosa.
1875. William Williams (aet. 13), with his father.
1878. Thomas Johnston Homer, of Boston.
1881. Bishop Henry W. Warren (see under Matterhorn), with Peter Knubel.
1890. Abbott Lawrence Lowell (b. 1856; Harvard, 1877 ; later President). App., xiv, 180.
1891. J. A. Fardey, of Boston, with Peter Knubel.
1874. T. A. Bishop, with Peter Knubel.
1882. June 24th. Frederick Hustings Chapin, with Joseph Imboden. Chapin had also ascended the Breithorn and Mont Blanc in 1877. App., v, 38.
Dent Blanche: W. A. B. Coolidge. July 26th, 1870. Fifth ascent. F. J. Stevens and Charles E. Thompson, with Peter Knubel, in 1894.
Edwin Swift Balch (1856-1927; Harvard, 1878), of Philadelphia. Second ascent of Portienhorn (new route from S.) with Franz Burgener, June 26th, 1882. Second ascent of Nadelhorn, with Franz Burgener and Alois Anthamatten, June 29th-30th, 1882. In 1880 and 1882 he made tours in the Eastern Alps (which see) with A. J. Butler (A. C.) and the guides Spechtenhauser.
A.C. R., iii, 51; A.J., 11, 123; Who’s Who in America; Balch, Mountain Exploration (1893), Glacières or Freezing Caverns (1900); App., viii, 337.
Charles Francis Judson (1869-), of Philadelphia. M.D., U. of Pa.,
1893. Made new route on Grand Combin, with Michel Genoud and Omer Bailey, of Bourg St. Pierre, October 12th, 1890. A.J., 15, 444. Dr. Judson was for several years a pupil at Sillig’s school, Vevey. His list of ascents (1888-92) includes, in addition, Col du Temple, Mont Gioberney, Dent du Midi, Rimpfischhorn, Monte Rosa, Piz Morteratsch, Tofana and Antelao.
II. CENTRAL ALPS
1. Bernese Oberland
An American party was led over Strahlegg by Melchior Bannholzer, September 1st, 1844. Desor, Excursions, ii, 153; A.J., 17, 119.
James Kent Stone (Mont Blanc list, No. 12) was the first American to become a member of A. C. (1860). Mumm states that “his list of expeditions was by far the best up to that date.” It includes the following:
Jungfrau. May 20th, 1860. With Pierre-Marie Simond, of Chamonix. A.J., 32, 225.
Blümlisalphorn. August 27th, 1860. With L. Stephen and Dr. Robt. Liveling. A.J., i, 159, where Stephen speaks of him as “one of the very best walkers that it has ever been my good fortune to meet.”
Oberaarhorn. September 15th, 1860. With Jeremiah Whipple, of Providence. A.J., 32, 240.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935), of Boston. Harvard, 1861. Member of A.C. in 1866, making ascents with Leslie Stephen in that year. Mönch, July 12th, 1866. A. C. R., ii, 192.
W. A. B. Coolidge ascended Finsteraarhorn September 5th, 1872, and Wetterhorn (first winter ascent), January 15, 1874.
Charles E. Rand (d. 1928; Mont Blanc list, No. 85) ascended Jungfrau on August 16th-17th, 1875, with his cousin, John Ritchie, Jr. ( 1853-), and made a number of additional ascents.
W. O. Moseley, Jr., made numerous ascents in the Oberland during 1878 and 1879.
Charles Walter Mead (1861-95), of Scarborough, N. Y. Oxford: B.A., 1886. Brother-in-law of Sir W. Abney. Member of A. C. in 1870. Made first winter ascent of Eiger, January 7, 1890. A. C. R., iii, 196.
The death of Mr. Ribbons, an American, near Grindelwald, July 29th, 1890, though occurring on a glacier, was in no sense an incident of what is commonly called a ‘glacier expedition.’ A. J., 16, 175.
1. Other Groups
Tödi. W. A. B. Coolidge. August 31st, 1876.
Piz Bevers. Charles Chauncey Binney (1855-1913; Harvard, 1878) and Edwin Swift Balch, both of Philadelphia, H. W. Seton-Karr (A.C.), with Christian Tüffli, made the first ascent of and named this peak, August 24, 1881. A.J., 10, 162; Who’s Who in America.
Monte Rosa di Scerscen (Fuorcla-Scerscen-Bernina) from W., and first ascent of Piz Bernina by S.W. arête. William Williams, with Arpagaus and Schocher, of St. Moritz, August 12th, 1885. A.J., 12, 177.
William Williams (1862-), of New London and New York. Sillig’s School, Vevey, 1873-6; Yale, 1884; Harvard, LL.B., 1888. Member of A. C. in 1882. A. C. R., iii, 326.
No records of American ascents in the Lepontine, Albula or Silvretta groups has been discovered earlier than those of Coolidge :
Monte Leone (July 17th, 1886) ; Piz Kesch (August 8th, 1895); Piz Linard (July 25th, 1895).
III. EASTERN ALPS
Ortler. W. O. Moseley, Jr. August 8th, 1874. E. S. Balch, with Johann Mazagg of Trafoi, in 1880.
Oetzthal Region. Various ascents by Moseley in August, 1876, including Hintere Schwarze, Kleinleitenjoch, Hochwilde (fifth ascent).
In 1880 and 1882, E. S. Balch (with A. J. Butler and the guides Spechtenhauser) crossed seven glacier passes of the district.
Brenta Region :
Adamello. W. A. B. Coolidge. September 7th, 1876. Presanella. W. A. B. Coolidge. September 9th, 1876. Cima Tosa. W. A. B. Coolidge. September 11th, 1876.
George A. Rudd, an American artist, left Ala for Bormio, September 14th, 1888, where he was to rejoin his
family on September 18th. He left the Bedole Hut at the foot of the Adamello, intending to cross the Passo di Presana to Ponte di Legno. No further traces have been found. There is a level glacier on the N. side of the pass where he may have perished. He was a member of the D. Ö. A. V. A.J., 14, 141.
Venediger. A Philadelphian (name unknown) ascended the mountain from the Johannishütte in 1868. Knorr, Gross Venediger (1932). E. S. Balch made an ascent with his brother in 1894.
Dolomites. Marmolata. W. A. B. Coolidge. September 26th,
1876. E. S. Balch was in the Dolomites with C. C. Binney in 1880, and in 1882 ascended Monte Civetta with Alessandro Lacedelli, and Grosse Zinne with Michel Innerkofler.
Southeastern Area. Hochalmspitze. C. C. Binney, of Philadelphia, with A. J. Butler (A.C.) and Joseph Gferer, of Mallnitz, August 14th, 1885. A.J., 12, 125.
Without further classification, ascents by future members of the American Alpine Club were made at early dates, among them being :
Benjamin S. Comstock. Piz Corvatsch, 1874.
Harry P. Nichols. Strahlegg Pass, 1878.
Harry Fielding Reid. Monte Rosa, Aig. du Goûter, Dent du Midi, 1880.
Henry L. Stimson. Cima di Jazzi, 1883.
Henry G. Bryant. Breithorn, 1886.
Ernest W. Brown. Wellenkuppe, Wetterhorn, 1888.
Mention should here be made of Philip Stanley Abbot (1867-95; Harvard, 1890; LL.B., 1893), a young member of the Appalachian Club, who met his death on Mt. Lefroy in the first fatal accident to occur in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Abbot was in Switzerland during July and August, 1892, climbing with Peter Sarbach, their ascents including Wellenkuppe, Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, Zinal Rothhorn, Gabelhorn, Riffelhorn, Breithorn, Balfrinhorn, Weisshorn.
Other members of the Alpine Club (London), about whose climbing records there is no definite information, are the following:
Edmond Kelley (1851-1909); b. Toulouse; M.A., Columbia, 1870; (?) became U. S. citizen. Member of A. C. in 1890. A. C. R., iii, 175.
Frederick Wallingford Whiteridge (1852-1916), of New Bedford. Amherst, 1874; A.M., 1877; Columbia, LL.B., 1878. Married daughter of Matthew Arnold. Special Ambassador to Spain in 1906 on the occasion of King Alfonso’s marriage. Member of A. C. in 1884. A. C. R., iii, 320; A. J., 31, 243.
Theodore Roosevelt was elected an Honorary Member of A. C. in 1887, after his qualification for active membership had been rejected. He was twenty-nine years of age at the time. Col. E. L. Strutt supplies the following information :
Extract from minutes of Committee Meeting, April 22, 1887.
Letter were read from Mr. E. N. Buxton proposing the Hon. Mr. T. Roosevelt of New York as a member of the Club. His mountaineering qualifications were considered insufficient and the Hon. Sec. was directed to find out more about a book mentioned by Mr. Buxton as written by the candidate.
Extract from minutes of Committee Meeting, December 7,1887.
Mr. (now Sir George) Barnes read a letter from Mr. E. N. Buxton suggesting the election of Mr. Theodore Roosevelt as an Honorary Member of the Club. The Chairman read a letter from Professor Bryce to the same effect.
Mr. Barnes proposed and Mr. Blackstone seconded that Mr. Roosevelt be elected an Honorary Member of the Alpine Club. Carried nem. con.
Roosevelt ascended the Matterhorn August 3-4, 1881, when he was 23. He had also been up Pilatus and Jungfrau. A.J., 21, 2; 25, 26, 39, 41, 59-60; 32, 408; 34, 36, 41 ; App., xx, 558; Letters from T. R. to Anna Roosevelt Cowles.
Special mention should be made of Joseph Pennell, American artist, who illustrated Mummery’s and other Alpine books, including his wife’s Over the Alps on a Bicycle (1898), describing their trips, which she dedicated to members of the A. C.
The accomplishments of Miss Brevoort and her nephew, Rev. W. A. B. Coolidge, are detailed at length in other publications and cannot be brought further into this paper. Suffice it to say that Coolidge had the immense advantage of living abroad, as well as the vision and education which enabled him to achieve his tremendous record of ascents, in addition to his unequaled contributions to Alpine literature.
Second only to Coolidge, among American mountaineers and historical writers, was Henry F. Montagnier (1877-1933), whose ascents cover a period of thirty years.
Analysis of the Mont Blanc ascents brings out some interesting facts. The accounts written by Howard and Van Rensselaer were the first printed descriptions in America of the ascent of an Alpine snow mountain. Dr. Grant’s attempt was noteworthy because of his scientific observations at such an early date. The second complete ascent by an American (Talbot, 1854) was also by a physician, and by that time railroad construction on the Continent was well under way.
No American ascent was made in 1858 (1857 was a year of financial panic in the United States), but after that year American ascents are recorded in every season with the exception of the Civil War (1863-64) and Franco-Prussian War (1871) periods, when transportation difficulties brought American travel more or less to a standstill. After each of these periods, however, there was a new influx of tourists. Increasing numbers of Americans made the ascent in 1865 and 1872, the first party of the latter year celebrating Independence Day on the summit.
The publication of Part I (Mont Blanc) has already led to the identification of Lockwood (No. 26), Mr. Hamilton DeForest Lockwood, of Boston, writing as follows: “Hamilton Lockwood was my grandfather. His full name was Hamilton Davidson Lockwood and he was born in Providence in 1836 and died in Charlestown in 1875. He did not go to college. By occupation he was a manufacturer of rubber goods. The story of his ascent of Mont Blanc  is rather amusing. He was a very strong man with the exception of a withered leg, which made him limp, and kept him out of the Civil War. I think he was engaged to grandma at the time, and she was also staying in Chamonix. There were a lot of Englishmen there who were taking their climbing very seriously, all dressed in the proper clothes, walking 25 miles a day, climbing the smaller mountains in preparation for attacking Mont Blanc. Grandfather finally got fed up with all this business and said he could climb the mountain himself, so he got some guides and did it, though I believe he had to be dragged the last 100 yards or so. Somewhere I believe we have a certificate signed by the guides and the Mayor of Chamonix attesting to his ascent. When he got down the Englishmen gave him a ball, so I imagine he and grandma had a very good time. I think Mont Blanc was the only mountain he ever climbed.”
In 1865 tourists were undeterred by news of the Matterhorn disaster. In this year, Miss Brevoort, aunt of W. A. B. Coolidge, the most accomplished woman climber of her time and a pioneer in winter ascents, was the first American woman to ascend Mont Blanc.
Properly speaking, there was no hut on the Grands Mulets until the Ancien Refuge was erected in 1853. Talbot appears to have been the first American to visit it. Larger buildings were set up in 1868, and enlarged in 1881 and 1896. The guideless (British) ascent of Hudson and Kennedy was made in 1855, but there is no certain record of an American guideless ascent prior to the solo climbs by Riegel in 1898, which ended in his death. The Bosses route came into use in 1859, ascents prior to this having been made by way either of the Ancien Passage or the Corridor.
In 1873, W. Elliot, an American, was on the mountain the same day as the party made up of Saussure’s descendants, who were repeating the feat of their distinguished ancestor, accomplished almost a century earlier. Horace de Saussure was at this time but fourteen years of age. Charles Rand, who followed a year later, was but fifteen, the youngest American to reach the top. George Heard was the first American to reach the summit a second time (1855 and 1857).
Several ascents, not mentioned in Part I of this survey may here be added. Sir Francis Joseph Campbell (1832-1914), born at Winchester, Tenn., lost his eyesight when about four years old. After the Civil War he went to England and become a noted educator of the blind. He was a friend of John Tyndall, and ascended Mont Blanc in 1880, afterward becoming a fellow of the R. G. S. He was knighted in 1909. (Dict. Amer. Biogr.; N. Y. Times, June 30th, 1914.) His additional ascents include Jungfrau, Eiger and Matterhorn.
A. Lawrence Rotch, professor of Meteorology, Harvard, a member of the Appalachian Club, Hon. C. A. F., and an original member of A. A. C., made, during the ’90s, five ascents to the Vallot observatory in the interests of science, attaining the summit three times by various routes. (App., x, 361.) There was also a large party of Bostonians on Mont Blanc in July, 1890. (‘I. T. B., Jr.,’ in letter to Boston Transcript.)
Americans have figured in three fatal accidents on Mont Blanc: Mrs. G. Marke (1870) ; Bean and Randall (1870) ; Riegel (1898). All of these were distinctly avoidable, although the latter has a modern “death or glory” touch.
Moseley’s death on the Matterhorn (1879) was due to carelessness, while that of Mr. Ribbons in the Oberland (1892) and Mr. Rudd in the Adamello region (1888) were scarcely Alpine affairs.
The centers of the Pennine and Oberland groups (Chamonix, Zermatt and Grindelwald) accounted for much of the early American climbing; not until the ’70s did they penetrate to districts further afield.
Many of the men mentioned had distinguished professional careers; of others we know nothing save their names. The list is by no means final, and additional information is desired. American mountaineers, interested in the history of their sport, may well take pride in the activities of their forerunners in the Alps.
CORRIGENDA Part I
Page 362, line 14…for (Comte de Tilly) 1884, read 1834.
Page 362, line 4 from bottom…for 1836, read 1886.
Page 364, line 15… for tien, read lieu.
Page 370, line 16…delete bracketed sentence [? John Wilkinson (1821-91)…].
Page 373, line 11…for No. 51, read No. 49.
1Appalachia, xviii, 448.
2An attempt on the N. W. Face in 1851 is said to have been made by a Mr. Blake, of Boston (Alpine Studies, 49).
2Stone had ascended Mont Blanc in 1857 with his companion, A. M. Morrison, and they were probably the two Americans who went with Walters and Hinchliff to the Jardin on July 28th of the same year. (A. C. R., i, 363.)