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[KING JOHN] Rotuli de oblatis et finibus in Turri Londinensi asservati, tempore regis Johannis. Accurante Thomas Duffus Hardy. London: printed by command of His Majesty King William IV, 1835. $250 Large 8vo, pp. [4], liii-[lvi], 786; ex-Minnesota Historical Society library with bookplate marked withdrawn and old library sticker on spine; upper hinge cracked, spine label slightly rubbed, covers slightly scuffed, else good or better in original green cloth, printed paper label on spine. Hardy describes the oblata and fine rolls as the "Rolls upon which were entered the sums of money or other property, offered to the King by way of oblation or fine, for the enjoyment of honors, offices, lands, liberties, and privileges" (Preface). This volume contains all the oblata and fine rolls during the reign of King John. (The term "fine" replaced "oblata" as the name of these rolls between the third and sixth year of King John's reign.)

PETRIE, Henry & Rev. John Sharpe. Monumenta historica Britannica, or materials for the history of Britain, from the earliest period. Volume I [all published]: extending to the Norman Conquest. London: by Command of Her Majesty, 1848. $675 Only edition, very large folio, pp. [6], 146, [2], clxxiii, [12], 1035; titles printed in red and black, lithograph dedication in red and black, 17 plates of coins, 10 plates of manuscripts, folding map hand-colored in outline, text in Latin, English and Anglo-Saxon; contemp. half tan calf, rubbed, but sound. Contains some of the earliest texts for a history of Britain, including those of Gildas, Bede, Alfred, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, etc., and with a descriptive catalogue of early English coins and manuscripts. Petrie, a close friend of Dibdin, drew up plans and solicited public support for this grand undertaking, which included all the then-known references to Britain in the Greek and Roman writers, in inscriptions, charters, bulls, synods, etc., as well as general histories and annals. The first volume was completed in 1835, and a large body of materials had been collected for a second, but the work was "suspended by an order of the record commissioners, due to a misunderstanding between them and Petrie" (see DNB) and none but the first volume was published, posthumously, by Sir Thomas Duffus Hardy, who had been trained by Petrie.

Report to the Right Honourable the Master of the Rolls Upon the Documents in the Archives and Public Libraries of Venice Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer London 1866.   Hardy's mouthwatering report, undertaken as an offshoot of his duties as Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, convincingly disclosing the richness of Venice's public records for English history, subsequently calendared at length by Rawdon Brown et al.    

A Description of the Close Rolls in the Tower of London; with an Account of the Early Courts of Law and Equity, and Various Historical Illustrations Printed for Private Circulation [by G. Eyre and A. Spottiswoode] London 1833   The valuable and informative survey of the Close Rolls undertaken by their first editor examining their origin just before Magna Carta and assessing their importance for the early history of the law.
Descriptive catalogue of materials relating to the history of Great Britain and Ireland, to the end of the reign of Henry VII. By Thomas Duffus Hardy. London: Longman, [et. al.], 1862-1865.  Despite Hardy's original intentions, these first two volumes extend to the year 1200; (vol. III to 1327). The first bibliography of this type, it is arranged chronologically; histories are listed under the date of the last historical event recorded, and biographies under the date the subject died. The object is to print all known sources of early British and Irish history; in the entries Hardy provides the manuscript locations; when relevant or possible, lives of the authors, sources which the authors used, and later treatments or publications of the manuscripts.

Syllabus (in English) of the documents relating to England and other kingdoms contained in the collection known as "Rymer's Foedera." By Thomas Duffus Hardy. Volume I. 1066-1377. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1869.Rymer's Foedera is a collection of leagues, treaties, alliances, capitulations, and confederacies, made between England and other kingdoms, princes, or states. The original Foedera reprinted these documents in whole, beginning with William the Conqueror (1066). Rymer published 15 volumes (1704-1713) before he died, ending with documents from the year 1586. The final five volumes were compiled and published by Robert Sanderson, concluding in 1735 with documents from the sixth year of Charles II's reign. Hardy, in the present edition, gives a synopsis of each document in Rymer's Foedera, arranged chronologically and published in three volumes.  

Modus tenendi parliamentum; an ancient treatise on the mode of holding the Parliament in England. Edited by Thomas Duffus Hardy. London: printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1846. . Based on the manuscript in the Bibliotheque du Roi [Bibliotheque Nationale] and compared to several others in the British Museum, this text is printed in the original medieval Latin with a parallel translation in English. Hardy theorizes from internal evidence that the original document was written between 1294 and 1327 and was intended to describe the established parliamentary practice before the battle of Evesham (1265).

Rotuli Normanniae in turri Londinensi asservati, Johanne et Henrico Quinto, angliae regibus. Accurante Thomas Duffus Hardy. Volume I [all published]. London: printed by command of His Majesty King William IV, 1835. A collection of six rolls, kept in the Tower of London, which relate to Normandy while it was an English province. Five rolls belong to the reign of King John; the other roll belongs to the fifth year of King Henry V. The King John rolls contain records of charters of land and privileges granted, payments owed to creditors, payments of fines to the Crown, and a list of the value of lands in England belong to Normans, but seized by the King of England. When King John was deposed, the King of France seized the English holdings in Normandy, creating a united France. There were no more Norman rolls, subsequently, until Henry V, in 1417, set out to recover the dominions of his ancestors in France, thus recommencing the Norman Roll series. The first roll contains letters of safe conduct, mandates, grants of lands and privileges, truces and treaties, and other relevant records. The King John rolls are in the original medieval Latin; the Henry V roll is in Latin and French.    


Mayor's Insult Inspired Book
By T.K. Demmings-News Gazette staff

     You don't insult a Scot and get away with it. View Royal author Maureen Yates Duffus says the inspiration for her latest book was sparked by a comment by one of Victoria's former mayors. Duffus said the family got its back up when Peter Pollen said he thought the name of Yates Street should be changed. She said the comment inspired her to begin researching the history of her family, which first came to Victoria in 849 That research, which began six years ago, has culminated in Yates first work of historical fiction, A Most Unusual Colony, Vancouver Island 1849-1860.

     During those six years, she also wrote two non-fiction books, Craigflower Country and Beyond the Blue Bridge. A former journalist, Dutfus started out as reporter in the old "social room ghetto," cov ering Ottawa diplomatic receptions. She was later a columnist and editor of tile Victoria Times living section. Duffus said that as a former reporter, she had a fright when she first realized her book had to be a work of fiction. "I think it makes it more readable for people who are not academics or scholars," she said.

     The bulk of the book is a series of fictional letters and journal entries written by Duffus's real-life great-grandmother Mary Yates, and her great-grandfather James Yates. "I like the immediacy of the letter and describing what she was doing at that time."

     Duffus said that she knew the basic history of the family but never realized the challenges her ances tors faced when they came to Fort Victoria. During painstaking research at the provincial archives, Yates made the kind of discovery researchers live for. She found an original picture of her great- grandparents still in its leather jacket. "I practically shouted, 'Eureka!' in the middle of the archives," she said.

Tale of fictional letters based upon family's past
Book review by T.K. Demmings - News Gazette Staff

Maureen Duffus has written a family history like no other: the great-granddaughter of James and Mary Yates, Duffus's book A Most Unusual Colony, tells the story of her ancestors in the most intimate way.     The bulk of the book is composed of fictional letters and journal entries based upon real-life events of her great-grand- mother, Mary Powell Yates. In the telling of the story, Duffus has created a book that not only reveals much about life on Vancouver Island from 1849 to 1860, but also offers an enjoyable read. The book is a world unto itself as Duffus has not only created the fictional letters, but also dreamed up a fictional writer to compile and link the letters together with interspersed narration. In doing this Duffus becomes an omniscient editor, adding in explanatory notes in sidebars that sit along with the main text. In keeping with the fictionalized world, Duffus the editor occasionally corrects the writer's recollections. Historical photographs and maps complement the book as well.

     The fictional writer is Kate Murray, a young girl who has come over on the same ship as the Yates and who is taken under Mary's wing, and later lives with the family. In the book's forward, written by Kate in 1902, Duffus sets the premise for the story by revealing that Mary Yates' sister-in-law, Emma, has brought a packet of Mary's old letters for Kate to read.

     Throughout the rest of the book, Kate's recollections are mingled with Mary's letters. In this female world, the reader is treated to a minutiae of details that provide the most fascinating glimpse of life in the colony. From remarks about Mary's primitive stove to comments on James's troubles with the Hudson Bay Company, and Kate's description of the fashions in the colony, or lack of them, we are drawn into the Yates's warm, family life.

     There is a genuine humor in the book too, coming most often from Mary. "The weather has been very cold. I am cross and irritable, Emma Frances and baby Harriet fretting, and James keeps saying dinna fash yourself lass, in an offhand way, which makes me want to lose my temper completely. It is the worse time of the year, but I suppose no drearier than Home in January."

     The book also serves as a social history of the Western Communities, as Kate befriends the young Langford girls and often visits as their farm, Colwood. Metchosin and Sooke also figure in the book as pioneers strike out to claim land, Craigflower Farm and the McKenzies and other settler families play parts as well.

     The only quibble to note is the format of the book, which is an 8.5-inch by 9-inch soft cover. While the format makes it a convenience for the designer to print Duffus's editorial notes, it makes the book difficult to read in a bath tub. And this book, although rife in historical detail, is exactly the type of book to read by the fireplace -- or in the tub.

.About the author:

Maureen Duffus is a former Journalist (Ottawa Citizen, Victoria Daily Colonist) Starting as a reporter in the the "Social Room ghetto", she covered Ottawa diplomatic receptions, Victoria government house garden parties and other frivolities. She was later a columnist and editor
of the Victoria Times Living Section.

As science writer at the Patricia Bay Institute of Ocean Sciences she prepared science articles and newsletters, translating science into English for non-scientist readers.

Previous publications:
       Craigflower Country (regional history) 1993
       Beyond The Blue Bridge-Stories from Esquimalt (Editor)1990
       Numerous freelance articles related to BC history

Other interests:

       Volunteer with dance organizations, the Canadian Costume Museum, View Royal Community Archives.

Married to Vancouverite Dr. John Duffus, physicist. Two sons, a broadcaster and an engineer. Lives on a seven-acre farm near Victoria, next to the site of the HBC's 1849 sawmill at Millstream Falls.


Vermont as Memory in the Writings of Robert L. Duffus

by Charles T. Morrissey

Robert L. Duffus demonstrated as eloquently as any writer ever born in Vermont  the hoary truism that you can take a boy out of Vermont but you cannot take Vermont out of the boy.

Born in Waterbury on 10 July 1888, Duffus left Vermont when he was eighteen years old. But his boyhood memoirs, and other literary depictions of Vermont, are  enduring portraits of life in his native state. California was his chosen destination in 1906, and a journalistic career that started with  the San Francisco Bulletin ended  when he retired in 1962 from The New York Times after thirty-two  years of writing  editorials and other essays for America's foremost daily newspaper. But Vermont recurs  regularly in the stream of novels, travel pieces, magazine articles, nonfiction books, and commentaries  on current events he issued in sprightly prose until shortly before  his death in 1972, even though he  rarely got back to Vermont. 'I know a lot about it,' he once remarked, 'in my bones if not always in my head.'

As one who left Vermont for greener pastures elsewhere, he did not concur with the snide critics of Vermont who argued that Vermont exported its ablest natives while retaining those who were less intelligent or less ambitious. 'The persons who leave Vermont to seek a living elsewhere often do so because they are not bright enough to earn a living in Vermont,' he conceded. The key to success in
Vermont, he added, was being smart--and smart enough to get out of bed daily at 4:30 A.M. in order to get a quick jump on the impending day. In Vermont, a diligent person has to be brighter than the dawn.

Likewise, when people compared Vermont with other sections of the United States, Duffus readily defended his native state from its detractors. 'I cheerfully concede that parts of central New York have richer soil than any in Vermont,' he wrote in Nation's Business in 1953: 

In doing this however, I wish to remind my readers that the loftiest varieties of human character, unlike cabbages, do not flourish on the richest soil. The New York State character,  while not bad as human character goes, is not as good as the Vermont character. It is only fair to say, of course, that few characters are.

Rob Duffus was born in Waterbury because his father, John McGlashan Duffus, a granite-cutter from Petershead, Scotland, met his mother, Helen Graves, while singing in the choir of Waterbury's Congregational Church. 'When the time came for me to be born my mother went home to her mother on  a prosperous farm in Waterbury, on the Winooski River below the village, and made this my birthplace,' Duffus wrote in 1958. With the puckish humor that permeates much of his writing, he added,  'Thus I could always say that I was born on a farm, though it was not until I was earning my way through college that I learned to milk a cow.'

Williamstown was his growing-up town, however, because his father was paid fifteen dollars to work sixty hours each week in the stone-sheds that made Williamstown, like nearby Barre in the 1890s, a thriving granite center. For young Duffus, a permanent memory of his Williamstown boyhood was 'the clickety-clack of hammers on stone--a sound I have never heard outside of the granite towns, and which I will remember to my final day.'

Another memory of Williamstown was the fatal malady of silicosis among granite-cutters, an occupational disease caused by tiny particles of granite dust breathed into the lungs of workers carving quarried stone. 'When one of them couldn't work any longer,' Duffus wrote in 1941, 'they took up a collection for him, and wondered who would be next.'

Life was limited in other ways for a Williamstown youngster in the 1890s. Puritanical standards of moral behavior inhibited the community, causing it to endure 'still under John Calvin's baleful glare,' as Duffus put it. Since Williamstown had no library, the town clerk and harnessmaker, George Beckett, lent books to hungry readers. 'He was the first free circulating library I ever knew,' is how Duffus remembered Beckett. Because he was mistakenly thought to have a weak heart, young Duffus spent a lot of time in sedentary pursuits, often reading books he could borrow. Books became his passion; during his lifetime, he authored thirty-three books on a broad range of subjects.

Duffus enjoyed growing up in Williamstown. 'This was my town, my own, my people. We faced the outer world together, all of us. If we held together, and were loyal to each other, it could not harm us. If Williamstown had been an Italian city state of the time of Cellini I would have defended it with all my heart and strength against invaders from Barre, Montpelier, Chelsea, or Northfield.'

Because Williamstown had no high school at that time, Rob Duffus went in 1901 to live with his grandmother and Aunt Alice at 27 North Main Street in Waterbury. In 1905, he was one of three boys and two girls who constituted the graduating class of Waterbury High School. For the next year he worked, at six dollars per week, for Harry C. Whitehill, publisher and editor of the Waterbury Record (weekly circulation: 1,000 copies) and Stowe Journal (weekly circulation: 200 copies). These newspapers were then published on Stowe Street--Duffus dubbed it 'Waterbury's Appian Way'--in the same structure that, since 1931, has housed the broadcasting studios of radio station WDEV.

Describing himself as 'a journalistic fledgling with the moisture still damp on my pitiful wings,' Duffus said he entered 'the borderland of a great tradition' and became 'a sort of prenatal newspaper man' at the Waterbury Record. 'I don't suppose anybody ever had a broader beginning experience in journalism than I had when I worked for Mr. Whitehill.' To call a person a newspaperman, Duffus said years later, was a compliment because it was 'that noblest of occupational titles.'

A boy-of-all-tasks, Duffus swept floors, banked stoves, and ran the little job press which said 'clackety-plunk, clackety-plunk, clackety-plunk hours after hours.' (As an adult, he often looked at his fingers with amazement, still uncertain why that job press didn't mangle one or two as permanent souvenirs of his inexperience.) He also delivered newspapers and collected publishable items. 'An "item" was somebody going to Montpelier for a day, or somebody coming to Waterbury for a day from Montpelier, or a marriage, or somebody starting a new house (which didn't often happen), or somebody getting sick or getting better after being sick.' Into his nostrils drifted the seductive smell of printer's ink--'a perfume for which in half a century I was never to lose my taste.' Waterbury was his incubator: 'The town was just the place in which to study journalism. The town was full of stories.'

Many of these stories remained so vivid in his memory that more than half  a century after leaving Vermont to attend Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, Duffus could recount them in two volumes of reminiscences. The first was Williamstown Branch: Impersonal Memories of a Vermont Boyhood, published by W.W. Norton in 1958; the second was The Waterbury Record: More Vermont Memories, published by Norton in 1959. Both books are classics. They convey as ably as any memoirs ever published about small-town Vermont the texture of life as the nineteenth century faded and the twentieth century dawned. Duffus was rueful in admitting his fixation with his Vermont origins. Once he disclosed, 'I long ago resolved I would never write anything in the autobiographical line if I could help it. I haven't been able to help it.'

Nor did he let nostalgia for Vermont tint his recollections with hues of romanticism. In his memoirs and in two novels he set in towns like Waterbury and Williamstown--This was Alderbury (1941) and Victory on West Hill (1942)--he bared the hypocrisy and small-minded conformity imposed by small-town moralists. A reformist bent runs though much of his writings. 'I couldn't be called a radical, but the stuffed shirts always irritate me,' he told an interviewer in 1942. 'Vermont may vote with the stuffed shirts and bigwigs,' he said of his native state when its Republican allegiance did not falter during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal era, 'but none of these gentry had better try to patronize a single genuine Vermonter. No, sir!'

Similar distinctions emerge throughout his Vermont depictions. Town-meeting government was effective the 'we-know-best' prescriptions of the town's elite could be restrained by ordinary citizens speaking persuasively to the assembled voters. 'I listened carefully to the oratory in the Town Hall, and it wasn't much, if any, worse than some I later heard in Congress,' he noted. The selfless devotion of the local physician, Dr. Henry Janes of Waterbury, impressed him as admirable. The amateurish way in which citizens looked among themselves for resourceful people to meet community challenges had the added benefit of allowing individual talents to bloom. In Victory on West Hill, a Duffus-created character named Karl Seidler asserts, 'A man doesn't know what he can stand until he has to stand it. There's strength in us that we don't use when we're living soft.' Not surprisingly, when Duffus visited Sauk Center, Minnesota, the town Sinclair Lewis lampooned as a hopelessly provincial backwater, Duffus faulted the indictment as overdrawn.

Duffus left Vermont reluctantly. In the summer of 1905, he and two boyhood chums from Waterbury ascended Mount Mansfield, and the vivid memory of gazing down the Winooski Valley to the glittering waters of Lake Champlain, with the blue Adirondacks rising beyond the west shoreline, stuck forever in his mind's eye. 'I couldn't bear to leave Vermont if I could always be where I could see over it and beyond it in this fantastic fashion,' he recounted in The Waterbury Record. 'If the ridge of Mansfield made me love my native state, with pride and passion, the distance, cloud beyond cloud, plains beyond plains, mountains beyond mountains, all the way to the Pacific, also summoned me.'

Augmenting this boyish awe with the world beyond the visible horizons was another feeling: 'I think I felt hemmed-in. The mountains came too close into the too narrow valleys. There were mountains, also, of old memories, of dead generations, of what one was expected to be--and wasn't.' He commented often about the melancholy of Vermont, the 'tragic sternness' of his native environment, the 'almost heroic desire never to forget death' epitomized by the numerous cemeteries in Vermont. In another of his Vermont-set novels, Roads Going South (1921), Duffus may have been venting his own perceptions: 'Whether the living drove along the country roads, or were at work in the fields, or passed to and fro on the ordinary business of life along the village streets, the dead were not forgotten; their slate or granite finger-posts spoke eternally of loss, of danger, and of pain. They were the permanent residents; the others were transients. They were the town, the people.' The 'regional gods of northern New England,' as he termed them, stripped brilliant fall foliage from trees, dispatched twilight shadows at four o'clock on winter afternoons, and infused human laughter with undertones of doubt.

When he boarded the train at the Waterbury depot in August of 1906, beginning his transcontinental trip all the way to the Pacific Coast, he carried as a legacy from Vermont a persistent idealism tempered with a measured reality of the world as it is. He also had reconciled in Williamstown and Waterbury a religious skepticism with a faith in the way the universe is ordered. 'Up here in the hills,' says the village physician who serves as a pivotal character in Victory on West Hill, 'even though you had a scientific education and had to admit that dissection of the cadaver reveals no evidence of a soul, you find yourself believing in a purpose behind things that happen. You have to be careful or you become religious.'

When The New York Times published his obituary on 30 November 1972, it described Duffus as 'a tall, thoughtful, alert man; a complete Vermonter, and a complete newpaperman. He was a philosopher, a historian, and a man whose sense of humor was sometimes surprising.' The last observation may reveal more of how members of the editorial department of The New York Times were unfamiliar with the pawky humor ingrained in Duffus from his Vermont nurturing. He liked to leaven logic with whimsy. 'Some astronomers say that the sun may wind up operations in about a billion years,' he wrote in 1967, 'but I think we had better wait and see, and in the meantime do the best we can with what we have.' One reader of his editorials likened Duffus to a deli-style sandwich maker, producing columns of 'understatement served open-faced on wry.'

Duffus enrolled at Stanford with the expectation that he would become a teacher after graduation in 1910. He stayed a fifth year, earning his M.A. degree with a thesis about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Reluctantly, he was heading towards a teaching career when Ida Tarbell, at Stanford doing historical research, read his thesis. This muckraking author who had harpooned the Standard Oil Company for its 'robber-baron' behavior in the marketplace, and herself a biographer of Lincoln, was so deeply impressed by the quality of the thesis that she insisted on meeting the young graduate student who wrote it. She told Duffus that his metier was writing, not teaching, and she helped him get hired by Fremont Older of The San Francisco Bulletin. After a year of shoe-leather reporting, Duffus was writing editorials for the Bulletin, continuing to do so for five years without missing a single issue.

Duffus married Leah-Louise Deane of Pasadena in 1914, and they left San Francisco for New York City in 1920. He worked first for the old New York Globe and briefly for the New York Sun before earning his income as a free-lance writer. Several articles accepted by The New York Times brought an offer in 1930 that he be listed on the full-time payroll as a contributor of special features, book reviews, and occasional editorials for The Times--'just because I'd been around so long,' Duffus remarked later. After seven years of weekly by-lines, Duffus joined the prestigious editorial boad on the tenth floor of The Times building, issuing anonymous mini-essays for the editorial pages. In 1955, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his full-time employment by The Times, he was saluted as that newspaper's most prolific author and, by common consent, one of its finest stylists. Orville Prescott in 1962 termed Duffus 'the sage of the tenth floor.'

Colleagues wondered how Duffus could write so much, often facing the pressure of deadlines, and produce first drafts that hardly required any fine-tuning before publication. Laconically, Duffus said, 'I find that writing them slowly doesn't improve them.' The secret, said John B. Oakes of The Times, was a mental discipline Duffus nurtured carefully: 'He writes editorials in his mind, paragraph by paragraph. Sometimes he types them out himself, but more frequently he dictates them. What's more, he almost never changes a word once he had the typescript in his hands--except to perform that most difficult feat for an author, cutting his own copy.' Since Duffus commuted daily from a home in the woods of Westport, Connecticut, where he and Leah-Louise reared their two daughters, Nairne Louise and Marjorie Rose, one can safely conclude he composed those mental paragraphs while riding on trains.

But another colleague, William D. Ogden, said Duffus 'was at his best in a late-afternoon or early-evening emergency when a newsbreak of importance required spontaneous, yet informed, judicious comment. Cool, imperturbable even in the midst of harassments that attend the final rush to make up the the page, he could sit down at his typewriter--or dictate to a secretary--an emergency editorial that remained unequaled in diction, clarity, and forcefulness of opinion even by editorial writers of other newspapers who waited a day or two to gather and polish their thoughts. Not infrequently it was because The Times had Bob Duffus on the tenth floor that we had an editorial, and a good one, the next day instead of the second day.'

Duffus became known as the most versatile as well as the most prolific editorial writer at The Times. At first, he specialized in New York affairs, city, and state, but World War II broadened his interests to national and international issues. After the war, he spent many hours attending sessions of the United Nations in order to write editorials affirming the vision of world peace as a practical necessity, not just as an idealized utopia. John Chamberlain, for many years the literary guru who reviewed books daily for The Times, described Duffus, who worked a few doors down the hall from Chamberlain, as 'a wise, patient, droll man who is half Vermont granite, half gentle dreamer.'

Duffus was also credited with helping The Times earn its cherished reputation as a guardian of civil liberties. William D. Ogden described Duffus as 'an ardent and eloquent defender of human rights, with a pen dipped in sympathy and, when occasion warranted, in a devouring heat of indignation.' Politically, Duffus considered himself an independent, supporting office-seekers on the basis of character and qualifications rather than party labels, but he conceded that the candidates he favored almost invariably were Democrats.

Duffus was often acting editor of The Times when Charles Merz or other superiors were absent. On these occasions, Duffus ruled with a firm but gentle hand, being tactful to the point of diffidence. People who worked with him recall quiet acts of kindness, performed with modesty and grace. One highly-placed member of The Times staff said, 'There has always been an elusive radiance about his character.'

During the years Virginia L. Close was editing the Dartmouth College Library Bulletin , she frequently composed a recurring feature titled 'Thesis Topics: Ready-Made.' In this section, she described unexploited resources available within Dartmouth's Baker Library that might induce students, and all research-minded patrons of America's largest college library, to examine inviting collections that merited careful scrutiny. Adhering to the spirit of 'Thesis Topics: Ready-Made,' it is appropriate to note that the papers of Robert Duffus occupy almost twelve linear feet of shelf space in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Stanford University. Equally enticing is the fact no scholar in search of a thesis subject, nor any other writer with a biography in mind, has yet focused on Duffus as a figure in American journalism and publishing. This brief essay is drawn from research in the archives of The New York Times and from a reading of the published oeuvre Duffus created in his lifetime. The Duffus holdings at Stanford are beckoning today, just as Stanford beckoned to Duffus in 1906.

Among the materials at Stanford are four scrapbooks containing clippings of editorials he wrote for The New York Times and, because these commentaries were published anonymously, it is helpful to have them collected together with authorship ascertained. Final drafts and page proofs containing his handwritten corrections for both Williamstown Branch and The Waterbury Record are available at Stanford, in addition to manuscripts he wrote for at least two unpublished books. His other writings at Stanford vary from the essays he wrote as a college undergraduate to the typescript of his commencement address at Middlebury College in 1938. There is a seven-page manuscript, 'Notes on the Duffus family,' compiled by his widow, Leah-Louise, in 1975, with much material (including letters), about Rob's older brother, William, and his younger sister, Marjorie Alice Bryan. This will interest genealogists in the Waterbury area because Duffus once remarked, 'Waterbury and its environs were dotted with persons to whom we were some sort of kin. Sometimes it took a lot of figuring to make out just what the kinship was.'

Among the many photographs in the Stanford Library are some of Williamstown and Waterbury, including a portrait of the five graduating seniors in the class of 1905 at Waterbury High School. Local historians interested in community history in Vermont, as well as students of Duffus as an editorialist and a Vermonter who never omitted Vermont from his vision of the world, could profitably do research at Stanford. Duffus is deserving of wider recognition than he has received to date.

Books authored by Robert Luther Duffus:

Duffus, R. L.; The Sante Fe Trail. New York: Longmans Green, 1930. 1st ed. 283pp.; 18 illus.; map; biblio.;  index.

Duffus, R.L.;. The Tower Of Jewels: Memories of San Fransisco. NY. Norton, 1960.

Duffus, R. L. Queen Calafia's Island: Facts and Myths about the Golden State. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., New  York (1965 )  256 pages. 

Duffus, R.L. The Valley and its People; A Portrait of TVA. Knopf. 1944. First Edition.    

Duffus, R.L..The Cat's Pajamas and Related Episodes. New York W.W. Norton and Co., Inc. 1967   
Duffus, R.L. The Innocents at Cedro A Memoir of Thorstein Veblen and Some Others. Macmillan 1944. 

Duffus, R. L. The Waterbury Record More Vermont Memories. Norton, New York, 1959 First edition,  

Duffus, Robert L.  Roads Going South. New York: Macmillan, 1921. First edition.

Duffus, R. L. Polar Route to Time Gone By. The Norton 1969.     

Duffus, R.L.: West of the Dateline. A Further Adventure in Retirement. New York, Norton, (1968). 

Duffus, R. L. Williamstown Branch: Impersonal Memories of a Vermont Boyhood. W.W. Norton  N.Y. 1958 1st ed..

Duffus, R.L. Our Starving Libraries. Boston Houghton Mifflin 1933.         

Duffus, R.L. Nostalgia USA  or, If You Don't Like the 1960's Why Don't you Go Back Where You Came From? NY W.W. Norton(1963) 1st ed.

Duffus, R. L. Jason Potter's Space Walk

Duffus, Robert Luther. The American Renaissance. NY, Knopf, 1928. 321 pp. First edition.

Duffus, R. L. Waterbury Record (The), More Vermont Memories. W. W. Norton & Co., nd, c1959 1st Edition, .".a look at a somewhat larger Vermont town in the year 1906 as it is now remembered by a young man."
Duffus, R.L. Victory On West Hill The MacMillan Company 1942.               

Duffus, R.L. Mastering a Metropolis. New York Harper & Brothers 1930.Illustrated with photographs of New York.

Duffus, R.L. That Was Alderbury. Macmillan 1941 1st printing

Duffus, R. L. To-Morrow Never Comes. Guild 1946 

Duffus, R.L. Books, Their Place in a Democracy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1930.   

Duffus, R..L. Non-scheduled Flight. NY Macmillan1950.

Duffus, R. L. Tomorrow's News NY Norton (1967). 1st ed

Duffus, R.L. Victory On West Hill The MacMillan Company 1942


Duffus, R.L. Lillian Wald Neighbor and Crusader Macmillan 1938 1st edition.


Here's some pretentiousness:
I have two 'books' which were published....
"Clan Sutherland: The Story" ISBN:0-912951-10-9 (1984)
& "Clan Campbell" ISBN:0-912951-14-1 (1984)
Both published by:
PO Box 778
Morgantown, West Virginia

They were to be part of a series on Clan Histories for children. Guess
the first ones didn't sell very well & the series was discontinued. But
published they were!

campbell.jpg (36349 bytes)



From the computer records of the Moray Public Library - Local Studies Department

NM-36080 - William Duffus - Writer

Christened - 1776  Died - September 5, 1845 in Granton

Register MFAEL4


Allan F. Duffus et al. More Stately Mansions. Churches of Nova Scotia 1830-1910. Lancelot Hantsport, N.S. Black & white photo illustrations, plans, and drawings.

Duffus, Allan F. et al. Thy Dwellings Fair - Churches of Nova Scotia: 1750-1830. Lancelot Press Hantsport,
N. S 1982.


Duffus, Carol M. Carbohydrate Metabolism in Plants  1984

Duffus, Carol M., Slaughter, J.C. et als. Seeds and Their Uses 1980


Duffus, G.W.: Welfare and Resource-use Effects of Farm and Adjustment: A Study
of the Exodus from Dairying in South-East Queensland. Canberra, A.G.P.S., 1975.


Compendium of Beet Diseases and Insects by E.D Whitney, James E Duffus Paperback (June 1986)  Amer Phytopathological Society; ISBN:0890540705


Environmental Toxicology 1980


Duffus, Louis George. Cricket in South Africa. A History of the Game. Supplement to Outspan, December 14, 1956.

Duffus, Louis George;  Cricketers of the Veld. Veld Books.   

Duffus, Louis George; Springbok Glory. London 1955. 206 pp., 12 illus.     

Duffus, Louis. Beyond The Laager. London, Hurst & Blackett, 1946, 1st ed.

Duffus, Louis. Play Abandoned


Duffus, R.D.L.. The Financial Depression: Its Cause and Remedy. Auckland 1886.


Duffus, Roy A. How to Be a Better Agent. Kentucky Insurance Field Company. 1947.


(b. Enfield). “Between Two Fires” (1873); “Glencairn” (1876); “Only a Love Story” (1877); “A Broken Faith” (1878); “Friend and Lover” (1880); “Love, Honour, and Obey” (1881); “The Love That He Passed By” (1884); “Between Two Oceans” (1884): “Hearts or Diamonds” (1885): “Oranges and Alligators: Sketches from South Florida Life" (London, 1887); “The Girl He Did Not Marry” (1887); “Love in Idleness” (1887); “A New Othello” (1890); “A Woman’s Loyalty” (1893); “A Buried Sin” (1893); " In The Springtime Of Love" London C.Arthur Pearson (1902).


When Iza Duffus Hardy toured the Nation's capital he took a detour from the monuments across the river and recorded his impressions of the cemetery and Arlington House, which had been abandoned by Federal officers at war's end. Two passages in particular serve as poignant expressions of the profound emotional effect Arlington had on people, while still retaining its undeniably sectional atmosphere. Hardy first described the Union cemetery:

"The beautiful park-like grounds are now a field of the dead. Up the hillsides by thousands and tens of thousands, stretch the long regular serried lines of tombstones. Here, line by line, in rank and file, at peace behind the battle, lies the silent army now. It is so hard to realize, looking upon these squadrons of the dead, still seeming drawn up in battle array, that every one of those cold white stones strikes down to the dust that was once a human heart, that throbbed with the passionate pain of parting, at leaving home and love, that thrilled at the trumpet's call, that beat with high hope and valour and gave its life-blood for the victorious cause that it held dear!" (15)

He concluded his essay with a sketch of Arlington House:

". . .the deserted mansion itself is as sad as any of the tombs that surround it. The grand old house is empty and ungarnished. . . The lofty rooms are spotless, speckless, carefully kept and unutterably forlorn. We wander from room to room through a desolate silence only broken by our own steps; the conservatories are barren of flowers; the only living thing we come upon is a dog sleeping in a patch of sunlight. More mournful than granite slab or marble cross, more eloquent than inscription carved in stone, the forsaken mansion stands, a silent monument to the Lost Cause." (16)

Other publications:

Iza Duffus Hardy, _Oranges and Alligators: Sketches from South Florida Life_ (London, 1887).


Hardy, Lady Duffus. Through Cities and Prairie Lands. Chicago: Belford, Clarke & Co., 1882, xii, 338pp. . An educated English lady's chronicle of her journey to the US, focusing primarily on the West but ranging from New York to California. Interesting detail.

Hardy, Mary Duffus. Foreign Travelers in America 1810-1935. Arno Press 1974.


Spring 1999

Adair Duffus Mulligan recently published the six-volume Connecticut River Corridor Management Plan, culminating five years and work with the citizens of VT and NH. She is a single mother of three children, ages 16, 13, and 9. Adair enjoys canoeing, mountain climbing, and kayaking.



Dear David,

As promised here is the book which includes three of my short stories

Kenneth Stirling who is a poet has set up a web site which includes some of his own work, but also included details of our book "Fingerprints" and an order form.

We call ourselves the "Inverkeithing Writers" as we all live in and around the Inverkeithing area.

The web site address for this is: "www.kennethstirling.co.uk" At the very top of the page you will see the title "Inverkeithing Writers". Please check on this.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed meeting you, Diane and Megan and also for an enjoyable weekend in "Duffus."

My email address at work is "lduffus@scote.co.uk".

Best wishes,

Lynn Duffus
(Innes Duffus' daughter)


Mystery of Missing Hatteras Lens
by Kevin P. Duffus

The following is an excerpt of the fascinating tale of how the author, Kevin Duffus, tracked down the invaluable 1854 Fresnel lens that had been stolen by Confederates at the beginning of hostilities. The book is filled with wonderful historical details that span 200 years.

Amid the sweet scents of flowering dogwoods, azaleas, and wisteria on Easter weekend in April 1862, forty-four pine boxes containing the first-order Henry-Lepaute Fresnel lens from the Cape Hatteras lighthouse were unloaded from a one-car train and transferred onto horse-drawn wagons. The crown-crystal illuminating apparatus was then hidden in a store-house near the small farming community of Townsville, North Carolina, nearly two hundred miles from its home. Left behind were the acrid odors of war—black powder and the smoke and ashes of forts, homes, and churches.

In its wake, the Hatteras lens left a trail of defiance and recrimination. Forced to escape into hiding were its former keeper and his District Superintendent of Lights. In addition, the keeper, a seemingly insignificant participant in the War Between the States, was later investigated and pursued by no less than the U.S. Secretary of State, William H. Seward. Washington in Beaufort County, a picturesque waterfront town that once harbored the lens, was threatened with annihilation (as it subsequently was). Further, the Rebel-loyalist steamboat owner who slipped the lens away less than 24 hours before its potential capture was warned by the Federal Navy that his personal property would be destroyed if the lens was not returned. One year later, his steamboat, which had transported the lens, was eventually captured and sunk.

The first-order lens from the Hatteras lighthouse had become a pawn in the catastrophic calamity that was the Civil War. Confederates possessed the apparatus to flaunt their claim on what they believed was their lawful property. The Federal government desperately wanted to get the lens back and the Hatteras light re-established, first for humanitarian reasons, and secondly, and more importantly, as a symbolic pronouncement proving that the Union, like the lighthouse, would prevail.

The Henry-Lepaute lens eluded its former owners, the U.S. Light House Establishment, and the voluminous historical writings of The War of the Rebellion. Even 28,000 men of General William T. Sherman’s Fourteenth and Twentieth Army Corps failed to discover its hiding place. And for 140 years, the whereabouts of the Cape Hatteras lens has remained, according to Timothy Harrison of Lighthouse Digest, "one of the great-unsolved mysteries of American lighthouse history." The magnificent first-order lens simply vanished into the mists of time, a mystery created by myths, urban legends and mountains of public records. It is a mystery no more.

More than thirty years ago I discovered a brief glimpse of the fantastic journey of the original Cape Hatteras lens while researching a sunken Confederate gunboat at the bottom of a black-water creek in eastern North Carolina. What started then as a search for the identity of a mysterious shipwreck, three decades later turned into a quest for the “lost light” of Cape Hatteras. Searches along parts of its well-documented trail yielded little but frustration and insect bites. I realized that the solution to the mystery (and to many others) lay in dusty and decaying records of the U.S. Light House Board and the Union and Confederate Armies at the National Archives building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Record Group 26, which contains the archives of the U.S. Coast Guard and the consolidated bureaucracies that preceded it, represents 10,194 cubic feet of material, a veritable Everest-sized mountain in which lay the proverbial needle—the answer to what happened to the Hatteras apparatus.

On the eve of the U.S. Civil War, more than one hundred Southern lighthouses were extinguished and their lenses were removed. Mostly, the removals were done with surprising care—the Confederate Light House Bureau fully expected to stay in business and some day, re-light its lighthouses. Surviving records, including detailed ledgers and pay-vouchers, show that skilled machinists were hired for the methodical process of dismantling lens components, blankets were wrapped around the glass panels as they were lowered over lantern balconies, and cotton-lined wood crates held the fragile lenses as they were transported to secure locations. At Cape Hatteras, a machinist who later helped to build a Confederate ironclad (the same one I researched in 1971) was paid three dollars a day for seven days to dismantle the Henry-Lepaute first-order lens and three, sixth-order lenses from smaller channel markers.

Not all Southern lighthouse property was treated with the same care. While some expensive and delicate crown-crystal lenses, brass oil-lamps and bronze rotating machinery were removed and hidden in warehouses and barns, others were dumped into streams. A few lighthouse structures were damaged or destroyed by fire or explosives, other towers adjacent to military targets were shelled by enemy cannon, and lightships were torched and sunk—depredations inflicted by both Confederate and Union forces.

Almost all of North Carolina’s two dozen lighthouses had been snuffed-out during April 1861 on orders of Governor John W. Ellis. Soon after, the state seceded from the Union and the lighthouses’ lenses were removed, but even that was not enough. In a desperate act during a time of despair, the property was then spirited away to mainland hiding places to prevent their capture. Confederate defenses had crumbled and strategic port towns fell with appalling swiftness to the overwhelming forces of Union General A.E. Burnside’s expedition throughout the tidewater basin of the Pamlico Sound. But, despite numerous forays into various towns reported to be secret hiding places, the state’s lighthouse lenses could not be found, much to the dismay of Burnside and Chairman W.B. Shubrick of the U.S. Light House Board. It was not until Sherman’s cyclonic and voracious army swept across North Carolina’s Coastal Plain and into its capital city, Raleigh, that any of the U.S. government’s lighthouse property was recovered.

When it happened, it was a discovery of stunning proportions made by a young signal officer and a captain of the Provost Marshall’s office. In the rotunda of the Greek-revival North Carolina Capitol building, on the second floor between the House and Senate chambers, lay "a vast pile of lighthouse apparatus: costly lamps and reflectors of Fresnel and Argand that were purchased by the United States Government for the coast of North Carolina, and removed by the Rebels at the outbreak of the Rebellion," wrote a northern correspondent traveling with Sherman’s army. "The glass concentric reflectors of Fresnel are viewed with novel curiosity by the Western men, to whom light-house paraphernalia is something new."

But was the Hatteras lens among the piles of apparatus? No one was sure.

While Sherman was engaged in his controversial negotiations to secure the surrender of the last major Confederate army in the field, his quartermaster ordered the lighthouse lenses prepared for shipment back north. However, before either Union officer completed his task, General Ulysses S. Grant and Brevet-Major General Montgomery Meigs, Quartermaster General of U.S. forces, made a surprise appearance in Raleigh. Grant came to redirect Sherman’s terms of surrender, and Meigs to facilitate the recovery of the Light House Board’s lenses. What Meigs discovered was appalling. That young boys were in the streets of Raleigh "playing" with prisms from North Carolina’s lighthouses was not the worst of what Meigs observed. The panels of lenses and prisms of lighthouses were being wrapped in the papers of the State Archives, which had been scattered about the floor of the Capitol when the building was evacuated prior to Sherman’s arrival. The documents that were being used for packing material were considered priceless, even in 1865.

Meigs quickly dispatched a letter to Admiral Shubrick of the Light House Board: "I notice that the workmen in packing the glass used the papers which in the first occupation of this city, or in the evacuation by the Rebels, had been strewn about the floors of the Capitol. Among those remaining on the floor I saw revolutionary documents bearing the signatures of Thos. Jefferson and Charles Thompson, and John Knox. It will be well to have these papers examined by some intelligent person, that all that are of any interest may be preserved. I saw one of 1756 — many of '76 to '69."

One week later the North Carolina lenses arrived in Washington, along with their valuable wrapping paper.

When the War of the Rebellion had begun, there were only two, first-order Fresnel lenses among North Carolina’s nearly two dozen lighthouses, beacons and screwpile towers—the Henry-Lepaute lens at Cape Hatteras and the Cape Lookout lens manufactured by the firm of Lemonnier, Sauter and Company. The French manufacturers usually identified their lenses with the company’s name etched on a brass plate at the base of the apparatus as well as on each panel. The manufacturer’s name and the lens’ flashing characteristics would clearly identify the lighthouse from which the lens was removed. Hatteras was a revolving lens that flashed once every ten seconds. Lookout was a fixed (non-revolving) apparatus.

The Engineering Secretary of the Light House Board opened the crates and immediately discovered that just one, first-order lens was among the third, fourth, and sixth apparatus present. If there was only one, which one? Cape Hatteras or Cape Lookout? The workers were, no doubt, holding their breath as they searched for the manufacturer’s identity among the catadioptric panels of the first-order lens. What they found was the Cape Lookout apparatus built by Lemmonier-Sauter. The other lenses discovered at Raleigh included Bodie Island’s 3rd order apparatus; the 4th order lens from Bogue Banks lighthouse near Fort Macon; and numerous 6th order lenses from the North Carolina Sounds. The Cape Hatteras lens was still unaccounted for!

The Civil War had ended and the Fresnel lenses of extinguished Southern lighthouses were being found throughout the coastal regions of the rebellious states. The lenses included ones from the burned-out Tybee Island Lighthouse, the destroyed Hunting Island Light, the lighthouse at Jupiter Inlet, and Pensacola Lighthouse. Lenses from other lighthouses demolished by Confederate saboteurs, such as the first-order apparatus from Sand Island, Alabama, were recovered and returned to the Light House Board’s Staten Island, New York, depot. But four months after the cessation of hostilities, Admiral Shubrick and his staff still anxiously wondered what happened to the most important and most symbolic lens of all, the Henry-Lepaute first-order apparatus from Cape Hatteras—it had yet to be found. Where was the Cape Hatteras lens?

About two years ago, I set out to solve the mystery of the lens, and the stunning story of its odyssey. That I really could was beyond my imagination. At National Archives, the Library of Congress, and North Carolina Archives, I searched for clues to the mystery of the lens through thousands of original, handwritten documents, letterbooks and maps, rolls and rolls of microfilm of War Department letters, and the published memoirs of Civil War generals and governors. Numerous letters yielded tiny clues. The vast puzzle of extinguished Southern lighthouses and missing lenses began to take shape but the solution to the mystery of the Cape Hatteras lens remained elusive. When I thought I was close to determining the whereabouts of the lens, I was surprised by yet another sharp turn in the story. The collection of research and its analysis became an obsession. As it happened, the ultimate destination in the incredible odyssey of the Cape Hatteras Fresnel lens was revealed when I had nearly given up my search.

The extraordinary odyssey of the Hatteras lens and the fate of other Southern lighthouse lenses are described in a new book by Duffus titled: The Lost Light — A Civil War History of Extinguished Southern Sentinels and Hidden Lighthouse Lenses. The book spans 200 years of American history and is a spellbinding tale of plot-twists, ironies, redemption and dishonor. The Lost Light ($21.95, softcover, 240 pages and more than 75 photos and maps) will be released by Duffus and Looking Glass Productions, Inc. of Raleigh in early 2003. Advance copies of book can be ordered by calling: (800) 647-3536; or E-mail: vmginc1@mindspring.com. For information about the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, call (252) 986-2995.

©2002 Kevin P. Duffus, Looking Glass Productions, Inc.


A Guide to Car-Hiking the Appalachian Trail
by James C. Duffus, Adafrances R. Duffus (Contributor)

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Aa richts is pitten by. Nae pairt o this darg shuid be doobelt, hained in onie kin o
seestem, or furthset in onie kythin or bi onie gate whitsomeiver, athoot haein leave
frae the writer afore-haund. 

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