Botanical Pioneer In South West China]
notes . . . Schneider, Amundsen and Andrews
Karl Schneider 1876 - 1951
Schneider was born on 7th April 1876 on an estate at Gröppendorf
in Saxony, where his father was a tenant farmer. After attending the
village school at Glossen he received his secondary education at
Zeitz in Thuringia. He wanted to study science at university, but
because of his father's bankruptcy he had to leave school early. He
worked as a gardener's boy at Zeitz from 1892-94, and was then
employed for two years at a horticultural college in Dresden and
later as a gardener in the botanical gardens in Berlin and
Greifswald. After this, while working in the City Parks Department in
Berlin, he became involved in editorial work for the well known
periodical Gartenwelt. This led to engagements as assistant to
several garden architects in Darmstadt and Berlin. In 1900 he moved
to Vienna, now as a freelance garden architect and horticultural
writer, and attended Wettstein's lectures at the University Botanical
Institute. He travelled widely, visiting Italy, Switzerland, France
and England in 1904, Bulgaria, Serbia and Bosnia in 1905 and the
Caucasus in 1908. In 1904 he pub lished his first books, including
the commencement of his Illustrated Handbook of Broad-leaved
Trees, a work of 2016 pages issued in parts from 1904 to 1912.The
next year saw the appearance of his preliminary studies for a
monograph on the genus Berberis. This was to have been his
magnum opus, but in March 1943 the manuscript, together with
hundreds of drawings and photographs, was lost when the Botanical
Museum in Berlin was destroyed in an air raid.
his years in Vienna Schneider joined the
Austro-HungarianDendrological Society and became its general
secretary. The society's president, Count Silva Tarouca, set aside
three hundred hectares of his estate at Pruhonitz near Prague for the
society's use and under the direction of Franz Zeman this became a
famous park where rare trees, shrubs and herba ceous plants were
grown and propagated The experience gained at Pruhonitz was put to
good use in his work as a landscape architect and garden planner.
Between 1910 and 1913 he wrote a series of illustrated books on
garden plants, the first entitled Unsere Freiland-Stauden
(OurHardy Perennials); this was followed by similar works on
broad-leaved trees and on conifers. In his capacity as secretary of
the Dendrological Society he published six issues of Die
Gartenanlagen Österreich-Ungams (The Parks and Gardens of
Austria-Hungary), which he made full use of his skills as a
1913, at the instigation of the Dendrological Society, he travelled
to China to collect plants and seeds for the garden at Pruhonitz. He
was accompa nied by Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti, whose interests were
directed towards botanical taxonomy and plant geography rather than
horticulture. In the foreword to the third edition of his Unsere
Freilandstauden (1922) Schneider says that part of the material
that he collected in China in 1914 several hundred seed
samples and some three hundred photographs was lost.
Furthermore, the seeds which he sent from China, or later from the
USA via Norway to Germany and Austria-Hungary, did not all receive
proper care owing to the disruption of garden work caused by the war.
However, the herbarium material arrived intact and duplicates were
supplied to botani cal institutes .in Germany and Switzerland. In
1920 the Dendrological Society was dissolved and the garden at
Pruhonitz was converted into a commercial nursery. This enabled much
of the stock to be preserved, including the plants raised from seed
of Chinese origin. Some survived in other commercial nurseries, such
as Arends, Spa'th and Sundermann, and in 1925 there were still
numerous species of Berberis and Cotoneaster raised
from his seed in the garden at Pruhonitz.
1915 Schneider left Yunnan and travelled via Shanghai to Boston where
he was offered a post in the Arnold Arboretum. He worked there with
Sargent, Rehder and Wilson from April 1915 to September 1919,
identifying the plants that Wilson had collected in China and writing
parts of Plantae Wilsonianae together with papers on Salix.
He also wrote articles on his stay in China. Though they do not
add much to Handel-Mazzetti's account of their travels in 1914,
Schneider's photograph gives a vivid impression of their camp below
Yulong Shan (Westermanns Monatshefte, 1915, 119, 861).
October 1919 he returned to Vienna via Norway, though to raise money
for the fare he had to sell most of the herbarium specimens he had
collected in China. In 1921 he moved to Berlin, where he worked on
the periodical Gartenschonheit which Oskar Kühl and Karl
Förster had just started. It was the best publication of its
kind in German, and continued until 1942. After its demise he work ed
on its successor Gartenbau im Reich. His work at Pruhonitz had
gained him an international reputation and he continued to work as a
landscape architect, laying out and remodelling gardens and parks in
Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Germany until 1944. He also
served as adviser on landscaping to the German autobahn authorities.
He visited Pruhonitz every year until the death of Count Silva
Tarouca, his last visit being in 1944. The end of the war left him in
straitened circumstances and he had to go on working almost to the
end of his life, his last book Hecken im Garten (Hedges in the
in 1950. He died of a stroke in Berlin on 5th
Gard. Chron. 1951,129, 32.
Garten-Zeitschrift Illustrierte Flora 1951, 74, 27-29 (with
portrait and partial bibliography).
Amundsen 1873 -1928
Amundsen, a Norwegian missionary and explorer, was born on the island
of Kirkholmen near the town of Kragero on 27 January 1873. At the age
of twenty, having graduated at the Norwegian Missionary Society's
College in Oslo, he went to England for further training and in 1894
joined the Tibetan Pioneer Mission led by Annie Taylor, who planned
to enter Tibet via Sikkim. He spent two years in Sikkim, occupying
his time in the study of Tibetan. He became so fluent in Lhasa
Tibetan that he was subsequently invited to translate booklets into
that dialect. During his stay in Sikkim he made several journeys into
Tibet, once coming within eight days' travel of Lhasa.
he found the British authorities obstructive, he and another
Norwegian missionary moved to a new base in Western China from which
to continue their work in Tibet. Travelling in Chinese dress, he
reached Tatsienlu (now Kangding). In the winter of 1898-99 he made
the journey for which he is best known, into the Tibetan province of
Kham. He visited the independent "kingdoms" of Chagla and
Mili, and was probably the first white man to see the latter. He also
saw the great bend of the Yangtze north of Lijiang. He reported his
journey in the Geographical Journal and became a Fellow of the Royal
Geographical Society in 1909.
1899 he married Petrea Naess, but because of the Boxer rebellion he
was obliged to leave China in 1900. He went back to Sikkim, continued
his Tibetan studies, and wrote a Primer of Standard Tibetan. In 1903
he became a superintendent in the British and Foreign Bible Society
and was sent to Western China. He was based in Yunnanfu (now
Kunming), the capital of Yunnan, with responsibility for missionary
work in Yunnan and Eastern Tibet. He travelled widely and served as
correspondent for the North China Daily News and Herald.
came home on leave in 1910, but soon after returning to China he was
obliged to leave Yunnan because of the rebellion. After a long spell
of sick leave he went back to Yunnanfu at the end of 1913.
the summer of 1915 trouble arose between Amundsen and Herbert Goffe,
the British consul in Yunnanfu. Goffe complained to the Bible Society
that he made no attempt to conceal his anti-British and pro-German
sympathies, that he frequently flew the Norwegian flag from the
Society's premises, and that he had imported stores in his own name
for the German consul. Goffe alleged that Amundsen's actions were
most prejudicial to British interests and were detrimental to the
Bible Society's prestige. After the Society's secretary had read an
article from the Hankow Daily News under the headline "An
English-Norwegian Hag Story. Bible Society's Representative Must
Resign His Position", the committee decided to recall Amundsen
and ordered him to return to London at once.
an interview at which he accepted six months' salary in lieu of
notice, he returned to Norway where he bought a substantial property
named Orebukta on an island not far from Kirkholmen clear
evidence that he was not a poor man. However, he sold the property in
1917 and went back to Yunnanfu in 1919, this time in the service of
the Norwegian Mission Society, and he held the post of German consul
there until 1924. He then returned to Norway and settled in Larvik,
where he died on 21 November 1928.
Kai Arvid. Edward Amundsen - en norsk misjonaer, sprakforsker og
oppdagelsesreisende (1873 - 1928). Telemark Historic. Tidsskrift
for Telemark Historic-lag, 1985, Nr. 6.
Edward. A Journey Through South-West Sechuen. Geographical
Journal, 1900, 25, 620-625 and 26, 531-537.
Society, London. Extract from the minutes of the committee, 4
Chapman Andrews 1884 -1960
at Beloit, Wisconsin, in 1884, Andrews owned his first gun at the age
of nine and became a skilled taxidermist before he left school. He
graduated in science at Beloit College in 1906 and got a job at the
American Museum of Natural History, New York, at first
doing menial tasks such as washing floors and mixing clay. Despite
this unpromising start, his progress as a naturalist was swift. He
went on whaling voyages as the Museum's representative, rediscovered
the Californian grey [p.179:]
then believed to be extinct, and in 1913 gained his master's degree
from Columbia University Current Biography 1953 for a thesis on the
1916 he travelled to China to study mammals, accompanied by his wife
Yvette as photographer and Edmund Heller as collector. In 1919 he
went to northern China and in 1921 to Central Asia, where the
expedition found the first dinosaur eggs ever discovered.
of an explorer and publicist than a research worker or scholar, in
1942 he was "bumped" from his post as director of the
museum and spent the rest of his life until his death in 1960 writing
popular books and articles.
Roy Chapman and Yvette Borup Andrews, Camps and Trails in China.
New York, Appleton, 1918
of a Forbidden Land. Silent film of the AMNH First Asiatic
Zoological Expedition to Yunnan and Fukien, 1916 -1917.