Scope and content
Conditions governing access
Title: Crocker (C. Templeton) papers
Collection number: MSS.115
California Academy of Sciences, Special Collections
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118
Languages: Materials are in English.
53.2 Cubic feet
80 boxes (11 manuscript boxes, 20 clam shell boxes, 4 record center cartons, 3 legal-sized manuscript boxes, 1 half-width
manuscript box, 3 small irregular boxes, 25 oversize album boxes, 13 wooden boxes containing glass Lantern slides and Glass
Plate Negatives) 20 reels of 16mm film, 1 oversize photo folder, 1 oversize set of rolled items, 2 empty film cases
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1930-1938
Date (inclusive): 1864-1991
The C. Templeton Crocker Collection consists of papers and materials relating to Templeton Crocker’s life, primarily during
his expeditions on the yacht, Zaca during the 1930s. The collection includes manuscripts, field notes, correspondence, limited
fictional writings, and log books from the Zaca. The collection also includes 16mm films of his voyages, photo albums, negatives,
glass plate negatives, and glass lantern slides.
Crocker, Templeton, 1884-1948
Collections at the California Academy of Sciences:
Asaeda (Toshio) watercolor drawings MSS.016
Beebe (Charles William) collection MSS.037
Jacques (Francis Lee) oil painting of the Schooner Zaca SC.JAQU
Schooner Zaca Collection MSS.420
Howell (John Thomas) papers MSS.234
Crocker (Charles F.) portrait [Academy trustee] SC.CROC
Galapagos Islands Collection MSS.181
Swarth (Harry Schelwaldt) papers MSS.457
C. Templeton Crocker papers, Special Collections, California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA
Scope and content
The collection consists of papers and materials relating to Templeton Crocker’s life, primarily during his expeditions on
the yacht, Zaca during the 1930s. The collection includes manuscripts, field notes, correspondence, limited fictional writings,
and log books from the Zaca. The collection also includes 16mm films of his voyages, photo albums, negatives, glass plate
negatives, and glass lantern slides.
Templeton Crocker Chronology
|1884 September 2
||Charles Templeton Crocker is born in San Francisco, California.
|1888 August 14
||Charles Crocker (Templeton Crocker's grandfather and one of the "big four" who built the Central Pacific Railroad) dies.
||Colonel Frederick Crocker (Templeton Crocker's father) dies.
||Templeton Crocker inherits $5,000,000.
|1901 September 15
||Templeton Crocker is injured falling from dogcart. It is thought at that time that he would not walk again. (New York Times,
1901 September 16)
||Crocker graduates from Yale University.
||Crocker with M. C. Scott and his chauffer make a motor trip across the continent.
|1911 February 28
||Templeton Crocker marries Helene Irwin, Hawaiian Sugar Plantation heiress.
||Templeton Crocker writes and produces the play, "The Land of Happiness" for the Bohemian Grove.
|1917 December 31
||Templeton Crocker enlists in the Navy as ensign.
||"Fay-Yen-Fah" opera is presented in San Francisco.
|1927 May 14
||Helen Irwin Crocker divorces Templeton Crocker. (New York Times, 1927 May 15, P.3)
||Crocker authors "The Cruise of the Zaca."
|1948 December 12
||Templeton Crocker dies at age 64.
||The Zaca's keel is laid on Main Street next to Nunes Brothers at Yard Hurricane Gulch, Sausalito, Ca.
|1930 April 12
||The Zaca is christened by Academy Award winner, Marie Dressler.
|1930 May 8
||Templeton Crocker takes the Zaca to Ensenada, Mexico.
|1930 June 7 - 1931 May 27
||Templeton Crocker takes the Zaca on a personal trip that Circumnavigates the world. The ports of call include San Francisco,
Marquesas, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Pago Pago, Trobriands, Bali, Java, Singapore, Ceylon, Aden, Arabia, Egypt, Malta, Cannes,
Teneriffe, Puerto Rico, Panama, Guatemala, Manzanillo, Ensenada, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Monterey.
|1931 October 31 - November 20
||The California Academy of Sciences funds a scientific expedition on the Zaca to Guadalupe Island. Ports of call include Ensenada,
Cabo, Mazatlan, Cabo, Ensenada, and Guadalupe Island.
|1932 March 10 - September
||The California Academy of Sciences funds a scientific expedition on the Zaca to Mexico and the Galapagos Islands.
||The Zaca takes a trip to Avalon on the island of Catalina.
|1933 March 3 - September
||The Zaca is taken on the Solomon Islands Expedition. Ports include San Francisco, Hawaii, Palmyra, Puka Puka, Pago Pago, Samoa,
Fiji, Tukopia, Vanikolo, Duff Island, Reef Island, Nupani, Sikiana, Tulagi-Florida Island, Tai Harbor, Quaibaita Maliata Island,
Rennell Island, Bellona Island, Ugi, San Cristobal, Santa Anna, Santa Catalina, Santa Cruz, Suva, and Honolulu.
|1934 January - February 18
||The Zaca is taken to Baja, Mexico.
|1934 September 15 - 1935 April 16
||The American Museum of Natural History funds a scientific expedition to Eastern Polynesia. Ports include Marquesas, Tuamotus,
Australs, Mangareva, Pitcairn, Easter, Valparaiso, Chinchas, and the Galapagos islands.
|1935 November 6
||Templeton Crocker takes the Zaca on a fishing trip to Baja, Mexico.
|1936 March 25 - May 25
||The New York Zoological Society funds an expedition to Baja, Mexico. William Beebe leads the expedition. Ports include Cedros
Island, Cabo, Guaymas, Clarion Island, and Mazatlan.
|1936 August 18 - 1937 January 17
||The American Museum of Natural History funds a scientific expedition to Samoa and the Hawaiian Islands. The leaders of the
expedition are William Coultas and Roy Miner. Ports include Hawaii, Kauai, Laysan, Christmas, American Samoa, Western Samoa,
Tongareva, and Layasan.
||The Zaca is taken to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico.
|1937 November 2 - 1938 April
||The department of tropical research at the New York Zoological Society funds an expedition to Panama and Columbia. Ports include
Baja, Mexico, and Gorgona Island, Columbia.
|1939 July 25
||The Zaca is put up for sale. (SF Chronicle)
||Templeton Crocker discontinues expeditions due to war in Europe.
|1942 June 12
||The Zaca is sold to the US Navy for $40,000.
Charles Templeton Crocker was born September 2, 1884 in San Francisco, California. He graduated from Yale University in 1908.
A self-proclaimed explorer, he sailed his yacht Zaca around the world covering 27,152 miles and visiting 50 ports (1930).
He made an expedition to the Galapagos Islands and the South Pacific for the California Academy of Sciences (March 1932 –
September 1932). A 2,690 foot mountain on Indefatigable Island was named Mount Crocker in honor of his conquest of that peak.
Later expeditions included Honolulu, Hawaii with the Bishop Museum (1933), Easter Island for the American Museum of Natural
History (1934), Gulf of California for the New York Zoological Society (1936), Hawaii, Tongareva and Samoa for American Museum
of Natural History (1936-1937). Crocker received the Ribbon of the Legion of Honor (France, 1926) for his opera “Fey-Yen-Fah”,
an adaptation of a play he had written, “Land of Happiness”. He also authored "The Cruise of the Zaca" in 1933.
Crocker's memberships include the California Historical Society (president, 1922) to whom he deeded his library in 1940. Many
specimens from his expeditions were donated to the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences. He was a Life
Member of the California Academy of Sciences (1911), Patron (1931), Benefactor (1932), Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society;
and a member of the American Museum of Natural History, New York Zoological Society, Field Museum, Sons of the American Revolution,
and the Native Sons of the Golden West. He was also a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, a member of the groups: Field
Museum, Knickerbocker club of New York, St. James Royal Automobile club, Sons of the American Revolution, Native Sons of the
Golden West, The Society of the Mayflower Descendents and the Author’s Club of London.
The C. Templeton Crocker papers are organized into the following series: 1. Biographical Material; 2. Crocker Manuscripts;
3.Zaca; 4.Writings by Other Authors; 5.Photo Albums; 6.Photographs and Negatives; 7.Films and Videos; 8.Glass Plate Negatives;
9.Glass Lantern Slides; 10.Maps and Blueprints; 11.Scrapbooks; 12.Ephemera.
All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.
Conditions governing access
Access is unrestricted.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
American Museum of Natural History.
Scientific expeditions--South America.
Scientific expeditions--Samoan Islands.
Scientific expeditions--Galapagos Islands.
New York Zoological Society.
California Academy of Sciences--Expeditions
Scientific expeditions--South Pacific Ocean