Click here for John Henderson address at Castle!!

Click here for Real Player file of jet flyover of Duffus Castle!!

Family Tree of William Duffus of Pennyburn
Updated by Neil Duffus of Dingwall

Subject: Photos, descendants, William Duffus, Pennyburn
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 16:08:24 -0500
From: Neil Duffus <>
To: "" <>

Here' s as promised are some photos. Hope you get them alright as I'm still not used to this e-mailing.

The pictures are: 

Alexander Duffus, Mary Robb. (Great Grandparents).

The three generations: Charlie Duffus. (Grandfather). Charles Duffus. (My father). Neil Duffus. (Yours truly).

This is the most recent photo I have of myself: Neil Duffus and my son Alexander. (As cute as his father).

I'm going to visit relatives in the next couple of weeks as there are some more old photos about.

Let me know if you get these ok

Yours sincerely

Neil Duffus

For Family Tree Click Here !!

Alexander Duffus, Mary Robb. (Great Grandparents).


The three generations: Charlie Duffus. (Grandfather). 
Charles Duffus. (My father). Neil Duffus.


Neil Duffus and son Alexander

Subject: Sutherland Lords of Duffus
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 04:34:30 -0500
From: "Gordon D. Duffus" <>


How are ya? Hit your web site again today (usually about once per week) & thought that I'd drop you a line. The Duffus web site makes me feel GOOD!
Here's a wee bit of something you might use...... or not...... 'tis up to you as always.
This kinda 'fleshes out' the Lords of Duffus tree.........



NICHOLAS: the second son of Kenneth, Earl of Sutherland, he married Mary Cheyne and acquired the lands & castle of Duffus. In 1370, Nicholas killed the chief of the Mackays (& his son) at Dingwall. In 1408, he is
named as "Lord of the Castle of Duffus".

HENRY: The younger son of Nicholas. He married Margaret Moray (Murray) and died before 1434.

WILLIAM: He was styled "of Berriedale and Duffus". He became involved in a war with his niece, Christina, and attacked her Oliphant supporters in their Castle of Berriedale. William took the castle and the surrounding
lands for his own. He pursued Christina through the Papal Courts, declaring her to be a bastard. He continued to ravage her lands until the day he died. William also engaged in open warfare with the Gordon Earl of Huntley
who, in retaliation, attacked and damaged the castle and lands of Duffus.

WILLIAM: Continued his father's feud with Christina until the intervention of the King, in 1507, forced both parties to come to terms.

William imprisoned his brother-in-law, Alexander Innes of Innes, and took control of his property. Both The Countess of Sutherland and the Bishop of Moray turned property over to William for his administration.

WILLIAM: Styled "of Skelbo and Duffus". He continued his father's penchant for land acquisition and received land from The Countess of Sutherland, Thomas Kinnaird of that Ilk, and King James V. He swore fealty to The Earl of Sutherland for himself and his heirs to come. William was murdered at Thurso by members of the Clan Gunn who were acting under the orders of The Bishop of Sutherland.

WILLIAM: Succeeded his father in 1527. He attempted to revenge his father's murder by capturing a priest, a servant of The Bishop of Sutherland. William engaged in open warfare with the Mackays over the gathering
of rents in the church lands of Strathnaver. The Earl of Moray was appointed to mediate in the matter and ordered the Mackays to make a financial settlement with William. He died in 1532.

ALEXANDER: Succeeded his father while still a minor. In 1560, he attended the parliament which ratified "The First Confession of Faith". He joined with the Earl of Caithness in raiding and burning the Royal Burgh of Dornoch in both 1567 and 1570. Alexander became embroiled in a feud with the Murrays which included
"some exciting forays and raids across Loch Fleet at ebb tide". He died in or around 1571.

WILLIAM: The second son of Alexander. He was appointed to keep order in The North but is said to have harbored "broken men (outlaws)" on his lands. In 1588, the lands of Duffus, Quarrelwood, Greship, and others
were erected into The Barony of Duffus.

WILLIAM: Became involved in a series of feuds with The Earl of Sutherland (1617), John Gordon of Embo (1625), and Sir Robert Gordon. The Gordons attacked Duffus in his castle at Skelbo and forced him to keep behind its' walls while they burned his fields and carried off his cattle. The King intervened and the Gordons were forced to pay a fine.

ALEXANDER: Succeeded his father on 21 October, 1626. He was knighted before 1640 and visited the camp of the Scottish invasion of England in 1641. Alexander was a Covenanter and had his fields burned for his
adherence to that cause. Due to his disappointment with certain unkept promises of "The Estates", Alexander traveled to Holland and joined with the exiled King Charles. He returned to Scotland, with Charles, in June, 1650. As a reward for his support of the Stuarts, Alexander was raised to the Peerage as First Lord of Duffus. Cromwell fined him for his part in the Restoration.

JAMES: 2nd Lord Duffus. He was heavily in debt and in apparent desperation, he killed William Ross of Kindease when Ross pushed him for payment. He fled to England to avoid prosecution and was eventually
pardoned upon payment of a fine. In 1689, James supported William of Orange and took the "Oath of Allegiance" to him as King William III in 1690. In 1701, James invested heavily in "The Darien Corporation" and, upon its' failure, he worsened an already bad financial situation. James was married to the daughter of the Mackenzie Earl of Seaforth. He died in 1705.

KENNETH: 3rd Lord Duffus. Due to the poor financial situation which he had inherited, Kenneth sought employment in Queen Anne's Navy, where he rose to the rank of Captain. While in the West Indies, Kenneth engaged eight French privateers with his 48 gun frigate. He was wounded in five different places and was forced to surrender his ship. Kenneth took his seat in Parliament and voted for "The Union" but supported the Jacobite followers of the House of Stuart in " The '15 Rebellion". After capturing Tain and fighting at Sherriffmuir, Kenneth managed to escape to The Continent when the rebellion failed. He was eventually captured and was imprisoned in The Tower of London but was released without trial. Kenneth journeyed to Russia and acted as a Naval Adviser. He returned to Scotland in 1733, one year prior to his death.

ERIC: The only son of Kenneth, he attempted to regain the lands and title lost by his father but received an unfavorable judgment from The House of Lords. Eric became an Ensign in Colonel Disney's Regiment in 1731. He failed to take the field during The '45 Rebellion but supported The House of Hanover. He became a Captain in The Sutherland Regiment and died at Skelbo in August, 1768. Even though The House of Lords had denied Eric the title of Lord Duffus, he used it anyway.

Torpedo Junction - New Video by Kevin Duffus

Click on photo!!

Colonel John D. Duffus


Ashley Duffus Mentioned


NEWPORT, Ore. - Keiko watched silently as Capt. Bill Barksdale knelt at the edge of the killer whale's tank Tuesday and read aloud a greeting card from his daughter. "I just moved to a new home, so I know how hard it can be to move," 5-year-old Kelsey of Lacey wrote. "I'll be praying for you."

Keiko gave a wave of his fin and swam away.

Barksdale, the chief of public affairs for the 62nd Airlift Wing, is one of 20 men from the wing at McChord Air Force Base who are in Newport to help prepare Keiko for the flight to his new home in Iceland.

As part of "Operation Keiko Lift," the 10,000-pound whale will be moved from a tank at the Oregon Coast Aquarium to a floating pen in the Westman Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off Iceland.

Before Barksdale, 31, left McChord on Monday, his daughter slipped him the card with a bunny ballerina on the front and her tender encouragements inside.

She made him promise to read it to her beloved whale before he was moved.

"My Daddy's a good guy," Kelsey said Tuesday night. "He eats dinner with us and takes care of us and stuff, and he's funny, too."

Kelsey, like many children in the United States, first saw Keiko in the movie "Free Willy." She donated pennies in 1996 to help move him from a cramped, overly warm tank in Mexico City to Newport.

Since arriving in Oregon, the killer whale has regained his health, and now the Free Willy Keiko Foundation is paying the Air Force to take him back to his Iceland, near where he was captured in 1979.

The dream is to one day release Keiko back into the wild, just like Willy in the movie.

Today, Keiko will be lifted with a sling from his tank into a tub on the back of a UPS truck. The truck will drive the whale 3 1/2 miles to Newport Municipal Airport.

There the tub will be moved onto a Tunner Loader from McChord and slipped into the hold of a C-17 Globemaster III. The C-17, the Air Force's most advanced cargo jet, is the only way to move the whale without trucking him a long distance.

The operation is to begin at 1 p.m., with takeoff scheduled for 6 p.m. for the nine-hour flight to Iceland.

The jet can stop and start from short runways like the ones in Newport and Iceland. It also can be refueled in the air to avoid delays. The Free Willy Keiko Foundation is paying about $200,000 to ship the whale. The cost of the move, including the new pen, is about $2 million.

"The movie 'Free Willy' gave the impression that Keiko goes free," foundation president Beverlee Hughes said. The foundation "wanted to set an example that adults do what they say."

Jean-Michel Cousteau, 60, the son of Jacques Cousteau, said the move also will be important in terms of research. Scientists will learn about reintroducing marine animals into their environments and will conduct research on how sound travels underwater, he said.

"He could be (in Oregon) for 20 years, but what will we learn? - nothing," Cousteau said as he overlooked Keiko's tank in Newport. "The Keiko event is a lot bigger than Keiko."

As nearly 400 journalists milled around Newport on Tuesday, hundreds of children went to the aquarium to say goodbye.

"I want him to stay here because I want to be able to see him, but I want him to go because he'll be happier," said 9-year-old Ashley Duffus of Corvallis, Ore.

She and her 5-year-old brother, Elliott, leaned over the wooden railing at the aquarium, mesmerized as Keiko gracefully glided in his tank. The whale pressed his nose up the glass as the kids cheered and waved.

"My grandma thinks he might freeze," Ashley said, "but I'm not worried too much. It was where he was born."

All but two of the McChord personnel will return to to their base after helping move Keiko onto the C-17, which is based at Charleston Air Force Base in Charleston, S.C. Most of the crew aboard the Iceland-bound jet are members of the 4237th Airlift Wing at Charleston.

"In my 17 years in the Air Force, I've gotten a lot of missions. I've flown presidents," said Lt. Col. Fred Cianciolo, 39, of Charleston Air Force Base. "But when my daughter and two sons found out I was flying Keiko, I was cool."

The two McChord men making the entire trip will be Jeff Valdez and Clayton Waughtel. Valdez is a 37-year-old civilian employed by the Air Force as a hazardous-cargo inspector. Waughtel, 21, is an airman first class whose job will be to keep track of all the passengers on the C-17.

"I'm pretty excited about the whole thing," Waughtel said. "Three years ago, when I was in high school, I never dreamed I'd be doing something like this."

He said he called his mother as soon as he learned he was on the mission. Waughtel is from Cuba, Ill., a town of 1,600 people. That's 1,600 people who pretty much all know that their hometown boy is helping on one of the highest-profile Air Force transports in years.

"I'm sure I'll be telling my kids about it," he said. "It's not like any other mission. This is definitely the most exciting thing I've done."

Senior Airman Jason Williams, 21, will drive the loader that will put Keiko on his flight home. He said there's a lot of pressure on the Air Force with this mission.

"You know there are a lot of kids around the world worried about getting that whale home," he said.

One of those glued to the television screen today will be Kelsey Barksdale. She watched the first "Free Willy" movie so many times that the tape wore out, Barksdale said.

She's been drawing pictures of killer whales for weeks.

Most of the time, her father has to guess what that black crayoned swirl is, but usually he knows. She relates to the whale, because in July, her family moved from Illinois to Lacey.

"Keiko's a nice whale," Kelsey said. "He's better than sharkies and stuff. I wanted him to know I like him."

Like many other people staffing this flight, Barksdale said this is the first time his daughter is getting a grasp on what he does. Trying to explain the late nights never made sense to her, he said. When he has gone to Saudi Arabia, he has shown her on a globe where it is, but she just says, "That's a long way, Daddy."

This time, she knows he's involved in something important.

"She usually gets blue when I leave home, but this time she said, 'You have to go, Daddy,'" Barksdale said.

"When you do something with this whale, you're everybody's hero, and that's what you want to be for your kids." 

Mabel Duffus Hadden Dies

CARVER -- Mabel D. (Duffus) Hadden, 100, the oldest resident of Carver and a secretary 45 years at the New York, New Haven and Hartford Credit Union, died Tuesday at the Life Care Center in Plymouth. Mrs. Hadden was the oldest member of the Grand Lodge Ladies Auxiliary of the Scottish Clans, where she was a past senior grand president and chairwoman of its annual convention in Plymouth in 1998.

Natalie Duffus Mentioned

Teens Steal Car with Children Still Inside; Asians Charged

Four teens, all Asian, have been charged with riding in a stolen car which contained a baby and toddler inside.

For the group of teens, it was a brief joyride that led nowhere. For much of the Seattle community who watched the drama, it was anguish. "It was every parent's worst nightmare," said King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng. The teens, all 15 years old, were walking near a school bus stop in an outlying section of Redmond on March 25. One of the boys, who had a prior arrest record for stealing autos, saw keys dangling inside of a 1993 Nissan.

The driver of the car was standing roughly 10 yards away, talking to another parent. Both were waiting to pick up children at a school bus stop and paid little attention to the teens.

According to police reports, as the boys discussed taking the car, the girls refused because of the children inside. As the boys moved to enter the car, the commotion attracted the notice of the two women, driver Michelle Jones and the other parent Natalie Duffus. Both ran to the car, screaming and pounding on windows, begging the teens to release the children.

Duffus managed to open a door partially and was dragged along the street before falling off. She sustained numerous abrasions.

The boys drove off with the car, containing 27-month-old Emily Stephenson and 8-month-old Connor Jones. Michelle Jones had been baby-sitting the toddler, while watching her own infant son.

As the boys stole the car, the two teen girls ran from the scene, a few blocks down the road. The boys then drove up to the teen girls and told them to get in the car.

As the car escaped, it drove down SR-520 briefly, before taking an exit into Redmond. Minutes later, the teens left the car at an apartment building in Redmond, with the children locked inside. The teens then took a bus to the Crossroads area where they met friends, playing basketball and pool.

Meanwhile, the F.B.I. and Redmond police immediately began to track suspects. Based on witness identification through photo montages, police went to the home of the teen driver.

Although he was not immediately home, the youth later met with police outside his home. According to police, he initially denied any knowledge of the incident. However, after discussions, the teen said he understood how the parents of the children might feel. He admitted to taking the car and led police to the abandoned car.

Law enforcement reports indicate the extent to which the children suffered in their five-hour ordeal, left inside the car without food or other necessities, with the windows sealed. "There was heavy condensation on the inside of the windows, which were all rolled up...The children were sweating, dehydrated, and lethargic until they got fresh air and revived."

Police reports also indicate that one of the boys believed the car had run over Duffus as she clung to the door.

The teen boys have been charged with first degree robbery and second degree kidnapping. The girls have been charged with taking a motor vehicle without permission and reckless endangerment in the second degree. King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng said he will seek to have the teen boys tried as adults. They could serve four years, if tried as adults, as opposed to two years.

Duffus, Robert L. The Innocents at Cedro: A Memoir of Thorstein Veblen and Some Others.

A shameless Lothario: Thorstein Veblen as sexual predator and sexual liberator

"The story goes . . . that in 1905 the dean of the University of Chicago called Veblen into his office to inform the young professor that he was being dismissed for having dallied with the wives of various colleagues. The dean began by saying, ' We have a problem with the faculty wives. "Oh yes, I know,' Veblen allegedly rejoined, with a solemn shake of his head. 'They're terrible. I've had them all'" [Gilman 1999, 689]. So the story goes.

I doubt if anyone believes the literal accuracy of this story (I have heard two other versions of it), but, like many good tales, it elaborates on a core of truth. The truth is that Veblen did resign from Chicago, and shortly afterwards Stanford, over scandals involving women. The philandering that these resignations signify is the most renowned aspect of Veblen's personal life and is probably familiar to more people than the contents of his books. Tales of womanizing have passed into the folklore of Veblenia; they are handed down in the oral tradition and reiterated in print.

Veblen is not unique among economists for having entertaining stories told about his private life. In Veblen's case, however, there is something unique about the significance attached to these stories. Colorful tales of other economists, whether fact or fiction, are usually told for idle amusement; they are seldom treated as having significance for that person's intellectual contributions. Undoubtedly, stories of Veblen's philandering are also told for similar idle reasons, but they usually carry a more serious undercurrent. To those who find his work appealing, this philandering image represents another expression of Veblen's idiosyncratic social analysis. Like his shabby suits and homemade furniture, Veblen's womanizing is thought to make a statement analogous to those he made in his writings.

The exact nature of this statement, if it is one, is more difficult to pin down. It appears, most obviously, as an act of rebellion against the stifling and foolish social pretensions of bourgeois American society. The attraction of this "Veblen as rebel" image seems to be why these stories have persisted. Yet behind this romantic picture lingers a suspicion that perhaps it really shows a hypocritical and even sinister side of Veblen's character. Perhaps Veblen was less of a sexual liberator and more of a sexual predator.

I raise this matter now because two recent works have made extensive use of Veblen's philandering image. The first is "Thorstein Veblen's Neglected Feminism," by Nils Gilman, which appeared in an earlier issue of this journal [Gilman 1999]. The second is the new biography, Thorstein Veblen: Victorian Firebrand, by Elizabeth Jorgensen and Henry Jorgensen, which I earlier reviewed for this journal [Maynard 1999]. Together these works provide a useful context for addressing this issue, as between them they raise most of the major concerns associated with it. My purpose is not to assess the overall merits of these works. They both make positive contributions to Veblenian scholarship and will no doubt receive adequate attention elsewhere. Here, I will discuss the manner in which they evaluate Veblen's philandering and then suggest that, regardless of the valuation assigned, the grounds for such an assessment are entirely lacking. On the evidence that is currently available, Veblen's philandering image should be treated as nothing other than mythical and should be dropped from any serious appraisal of his work. 1

Gilman's article confronts the issue of whether Veblen's philandering can be reconciled with the "feminist" stance he takes in his work. If Veblen honestly advocated sexual liberation and freedom from repression, then his behavior might be consistent with the philosophical position he adopts in his writing. Gilman provides a novel and perceptive discussion of how Veblen treated women in his work and tries to bring this into a logical accord with how Veblen treated women in his personal life.2

Gilman takes the standard view on Veblen's philandering at face value. He refers to Veblen as "a gallant, rakish, a roue, a philanderer, a womanizer, a campus Casanova, and a shameless Lothario." I mention this as a fact, not as a criticism. Gilman can accept this view uncritically, as his purpose is not to investigate the veracity of Veblen's reputation, but only to trace its possible connection with Veblen's intellectual output. As to Veblen's reputation, Gilman can call upon the support of most Veblenian scholars. Aside from common notoriety, Gilman bases his discussion on biographical materials presented by Joseph Dorfman [1966], Rick Tilman [1992, 1993], and Max Lerner [1948], who are highly reputable sources.3

Dorfman certainly provides grounds for such an opinion. In fact, Veblen's reputation has its modern origins in Dorfman's Thorstein Veblen and His America; in other words, most statements on this topic can be traced to Dorfman's book. Tilman and Lerner both voice some caution on this subject. Tilman praises Dorfman's book for its analysis of Veblen's economics and sociology, but he is more skeptical about Dorfman's treatment of Veblen's character. Still, this skepticism does not extend to Veblen's "womanizing," which Tilman attempts to justify, in part, on the grounds that both of Veblen's wives had mental difficulties. Lerner shows a less facile acceptance of the standard view, although he neither confronts the matter nor examine the evidence on which it is based. Nevertheless, he does modify it by saying, "Veblen was scarcely a philanderer, but he was a striking figure and not a few women found him an interesting one" [Lerner 1948, 9].

Backed by the authority of leading Veblenian scholars, Gilman makes the fact of Veblen's philandering one of his major premises and attempts to harmonize it with Veblen's feminism. Gilman's conclusions, which he admits are speculative, run as follows. Unlike many intellectuals, Veblen practiced his ideas: he led a hard-working, decommodified life whose primary pleasures were social [including sexual], rather than material. Although his shabby clothes perhaps led to hallway snickers, it was his practice of his ideas that led to his dismissal from one university after another. Veblen's ideas were deeply intertwined with his womanizing habits. If he was dangerous, it was because he attacked both in theory and in practice the bastion of all conservatism-the patriarchal family. . . . While his theories gave his conservative colleagues grounds to distrust him, his practice gave them the excuse to dismiss him. Fundamentally, however, they were of a piece [Gilman 1999, 709].

If Gilman's premise is correct, then these conclusions are reasonable, and I am not taking issue with his conclusions as such. However, I will argue below that this premise is incorrect, or, better, that the historical evidence that supports this premise is too slender for this premise to be accepted as correct. Consequently, any conclusions that follow from this premise are untenable.

Jorgensen and Jorgensen are probably in a better position today than anyone else to assess the veracity of Veblen's philandering image. They have conducted extensive archival research into the details of Veblen's life and present new information on many matters pertinent to the current discussion. However, their position on these matters is equivocal. On the one hand, they expose many of "the lies and misplaced myths that have hidden the essential Veblen" [1999, 183]. Many of these lies and myths relate to Veblen's philandering. On the other hand, they find the philandering image sufficiently attractive or believable that they reiterate many of the old anecdotes on which Veblen's reputation rests without providing any fresh evidence of their accuracy.4

I refer to the work of Jorgensen and Jorgensen and Gilman because they are very recent, not because they are unusual in their views on Veblen's philandering reputation. Indeed, they are rather typical. Gilman takes the truth of this reputation for granted, while the Jorgensens leave this reputation intact, despite exposing many of the slanderous allegations and half truths on which it has been erected.

I think it can be shown, by adding the extensive new details supplied by the Jorgensens to the existing materials on Veblen's life, that there is little evidence on which to credit Veblen's philandering reputation.5 To assess this claim, I will first outline the facts that are actually available and then consider the original source of Veblen's repute.

So, what are the facts? Veblen proposed to his first wife, Ellen Rolfe, when he was 18 and she 16. She turned him down. Twelve years later, in 1888, they married. In the intervening period, it seems likely that Veblen had some manner of involvement with a woman while he was a graduate student at Yale.

While at the University of Chicago, Veblen became infatuated with Sarah Hardy, who had been one of his students. When she left Chicago, they corresponded, and Veblen confessed his love for her by letter when Sarah was in California recovering from a "breakdown. " Shortly after this confession, Sarah married Warren Gregory. There is no evidence she and Veblen ever had an affair. They did remain lifelong friends.

The most tangible rumor of Veblen having a sexual relationship with any woman other than one of his wives involves Laura Triggs, wife of Oscar Lovell Triggs, an English professor at Chicago. Whether there is any truth in this rumor is questionable. There were accusations that Laura visited Veblen in his rooms, staying until a late hour. Yet, there is no evidence that this was more than malicious gossip. The Jorgensens admit that "we do not know what, if anything, went on between Thorstein an Laura" [1999, 83]. Part of the story is simply comical. Veblen took a trip to Europe in summer 1904. Soon after his departure, a report reached the university authorities that Veblen had been seen "traveling with Mrs. Triggs." Veblen pointed out on his return that, if this had been an elopement, he had not just eloped with Laura Triggs but also her husband and child who were traveling with her in Europe. The authorities asked him to sign a statement avowing that he would have nothing further to do with Mrs. Triggs. Veblen refused, saying "he was not in the habit of promising not to do what he was not accustomed to doing" [quoted in Jorgensen and Jorgensen 1999, 84]. It was also while at Chicago that Veblen first met with the woman who became his second wife, Ann Bradley. Again, evidence of a sexual relationship between them at this time is circumstantial, although perhaps more substantial than for Laura Triggs. Shortly after meeting Ann, Veblen left for Stanford where, for a short time, he was reconciled with Ellen.

The allegations of philandering contributed significantly to the pressure that the Chicago administration brought against Veblen. However, Veblen had a series of difficulties with the administration similar to those encountered by other faculty members, such as Oscar Triggs and Edward Bemis, who were both "forced out," apparently for their political leanings. It is clear from Dorfman, as well as Jorgensen and Jorgensen, that the administration had long wanted to remove Veblen, and that Veblen had long wanted to remove himself from the discomfort of the situation. The philandering allegation added to the administration's leverage against him.

Veblen arrived at Stanford with a "reputation," on that soon got him into trouble. The scandal that led to his resignation from Stanford involved the famous woman who "moved in on" him. Although the outcome of this incident is unhappy, the details are amusing and are related by Robert Duffus in The Innocents at Cedro [Duffus 1972].

While undergraduates at Stanford, Robert Duffus and his brother, William, lodged with Veblen in the rented cottage called Cedro. They paid their way by cooking and doing chores around the place. One day, Veblen returned with a woman. He offered the young men no explanation, but the woman said that she was Veblen's niece. They all sat through an uneasy dinner before Veblen retired to his part of the house taking his "niece" along. Robert drove her to the railway station in Palo Alto the next day. A day or two later William happened to mention this niece. Robert recalled that "the Professor fixed him with a cold and tranquil eye. 'She is not my niece,' he said. And that was that" [Duffus 1972, 98]. Dorfman refers to this event without naming the woman involved. He merely says, "once more his personal affairs led him in to difficulties. One of his feminine friends had come to Palo Alto, and, when his friends suggested that her presence might cause trouble, Veblen only replied: 'What is one to do if the woman moves in on you?"' [Dorfman 1966, 295]. Duffus must have been introduced to the woman, but he declines to name her in his account, perhaps through good manners. This woman was Ann Bradley.

In 1912, Ellen finally agreed to a divorce. In 1914, Veblen married Ann. In 1918, Ann was confined to Bellevue and never returned home. She died in hospital in 1920. Veblen was then 63 years old.

As far as the evidence goes, the entire extent of Veblen's philandering is an of fair with Ann Bradley, who became his second wife, while separated from his first wife Ellen Rolfe. The next best possibility is a (questionable) relationship with Laura Triggs. Beyond this, there is only enough to fuel insubstantial gossip. Lothario and Casanova would be embarrassed by any comparison to such an ineffectual womanizer.

The next question is, how, then, did Veblen acquire this infamous reputation? It seems that the immediate source of Veblen's notoriety was Ellen Rolfe. Ellen seems to have conducted a campaign designed to soil Veblen's reputation with university administrations, while continuing to pronounce her "abiding devotion" to her husband. Her motive appears to have combined the hope of forcing Veblen into a reconciliation, with a desire to avenge his treatment of her. Regardless of the cause, the outcomes of her actions were to secure Veblen the reputation of a philanderer and herself the reputation of an "eccentric harpy. " I would not like to speculate on the justice of her actions. Clearly, she and Veblen had a complicated and difficult relationship, and possibly Veblen contributed to their problems.

Nevertheless, Veblen's resignations from Chicago and then Stanford indicate that truth lay behind the allegations channeled to the universities' administrators. As the old adage dictates, there can be no smoke without fire. Still, the ratio of smoke to fire seems infinitely variable, and Ellen created a large and noxious smoke from a very small flame. If the allegations against Veblen were true, and the administration was as hostile to his presence as it is commonly reported to have been, it seems impossible that he could have survived at the University of Chicago for 16 years, even under the protection of his department head, Laurence Laughlin. At Stanford, Veblen arrived with ill-renown, had an estranged wife causing trouble for him, and had Ann Bradley in the background giving substance to Ellen's accusations. In the middle of this burlesque, the president of Stanford requested Veblen's resignation, and Veblen's career took another downturn.

Lerner [1948, 10] has said: "One's first impulse is to wish that the university authorities had concerned themselves less with Veblen's private difficulties and more with his public talents." So far as the evidence speaks, Veblen's private relations with women do seem to have been a matter of enduring difficulty, rather than a stream of easy romances. It long has been held a tragedy that Veblen's philandering had helped to cripple his academic career. It would be a greater tragedy if this philandering reputation had been little more than malicious gossip.

I may be wrong. Perhaps Lothario and Casanova may have found in Thorstein Bunde Veblen a kindred spirit. Indeed, a century of repetition speaks in favor of that view. But it strikes me that with so little genuine evidence, simply repeating the old stories is bad history, and basing analysis on bad history can only lead to bad analysis.

Tony Maynard


1 . It should be retained for comic tales, of course.

2. Whether this justifies Veblen's behavior is another matter and is probably beside the point.

3. Gilman would not have had access to the Jorgensens' new biography, but I doubt if that would have changed his argument.

4. Jorgensen and Jorgensen offer one clear denial of the validity of Veblen's reputation. Unfortunately, this is tucked away in an endnote to Chapter 22.

5. The biographical information present here is from Jorgensen and Jorgensen [1999] unless otherwise noted.


Dorfman, Joseph. Thorstein Veblen and His America. New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1966.

Duffus, Robert L. The Innocents at Cedro: A Memoir of Thorstein Veblen and Some Others. Clifton, N.J.: Augustus M. Kelley, 1972.

Gilman, Nils. "Thorstein Veblen's Neglected Feminism." Journal of Economic Issues 33, no. 3 (September 1999): 689-711.

Jorgensen, Elizabeth, and Henry Jorgensen. Thorstein Veblen: Victorian Firebrand. London and Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1999.

Lerner, Max, ed. The Portable Veblen. New York: Viking Press, 1948.

Maynard, Tony. "Review of Thorstein Veblen: Victorian Firebrand." Journal of Economic Issues 33, no. 4 (December 1999).

Tilman, Rick. Thorstein Veblen and His Critics, 1891-1963. Princeton, N.1.: Princeton University Press, 1992.

ed. A Veblen Treasury. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1993.

The author is Adjunct Professor of Economics at Millersville University.

Chris Duffus Mentioned

BY THE NUMBERS; Where Are the Graduates Going?

Each year at this time, university graduates vote with their feet, heading toward jobs and communities where their prospects seem brightest.

In today's information-dominated economy, this flow of brainpower may be as crucial to a community's future prosperity as the strength of the streams that powered mill towns 200 years ago.

A partial survey of two of the region's leading schools shows this:

* Of 164 MBA graduates from the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business at College Park who had reported job choices as of June, more than half have chosen jobs in the Washington region.

But just 18 percent had picked a Maryland employer--well below the 30 percent who took jobs in Northern Virginia. (Four percent of the group chose employment in the District.)

* The University of Virginia's Darden School had 236 MBA graduates last month, and as of May about three-quarters of them had reported a job choice. A mere 14 percent were headed toward the Washington area, with the rest scattered around the United States and abroad.

Put another way, those two universities, academic cornerstones of their respective states, will contribute only about 100 new MBAs this summer to the region and its work force of 2.7 million employees.

It's clear that more would be better, and that attracting graduates like Chris Duffus counts as a plus for the region.

Duffus, 28, who grew up in Florida, went to Darden School after a tour on Wall Street. He's bound for Northern Virginia now with venture backing from the university to try to develop a dot-com company that will deliver Yellow Pages information to customers over wireless connections.

"I'm realistic about the process," he said. "It's very difficult for early-stage companies to get to the next level. The one thing that's reassured me is that investors and potential strategic partners I've talked to say, 'If this doesn't work out, come work for us.' "

Northern Virginia appealed to him over Silicon Valley or New York, he said, because so much of its potential still seems to lie ahead. "There's a lot of opportunity to move up as the area grows."

Why didn't more of his colleagues choose Northern Virginia?

"It's gaining some prominence," he said. "I would say it was one of several top destinations. But the type of people coming [to Darden] want to go to New York, San Francisco, Europe."

The point is that today's graduates enter a market for talent that doesn't respect state or regional lines. Employers who want top graduates have to compete for them, not just with paychecks, bonuses and options, but also with exciting prospects.

Some Maryland lawmakers might look askance at the relatively small number of Smith School graduates who are remaining in the state to work. After all, state taxpayers will contribute one-third of College Park's $960 million current budget.

But if the Smith School is to fulfill its potential, it has to aim higher than just serving Maryland employers, says its dean, Howard Frank.

Frank is busy expanding the school and trying to craft a unique identity among business schools by weaving information technology instruction throughout the MBA curriculum.

"We think of ourselves as a resource for the region," he said. "I can't think in terms of stopping at the Potomac River--that's an artificial barrier. If you want to be a great school, you have to dominate a region." If his agenda meets its goals, it will force the region's employers to compete even harder to capture the school's graduates.

Peter Behr's e-mail is


Where new MBAs from two area colleges are headed for jobs:

Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park

210 graduates

Maryland: 18%

D.C.: 4%

No. Virginia: 30%

Took jobs outside region: 48%

** 46 graduates did not report a job decision.

Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia

236 graduates

Washington area: 14%

Mid-Atlantic*: 25%

Northeast: 27%

South: 14%

West: 12%

International: 9%

Midwest: 7%

Southwest: 5%

* Includes Northern Virginia and rest of Washington metro area; Darden data as of May; Smith data as of June.

**Nine graduates reported no specific location and 61 did not report a job decision.

SOURCE: University of Maryland, University of Virginia

Email from John Duffus

Subject: family stuff
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 19:23:26 -0000
From: "jkduffus" <>
To: <>

Dear David,

Been trawling around some of your back pages & saw a name I thought was spelt wrongly- from Linda Hartwick 7 Aug 1998- she mentions a place which I looked up- it should be LumPHanan- I think! Your correspondant has an f in there. I was prompted to do this as being Thursday I was down in the Central library tonight & had a look in the Scottish library for Lowerens, Lourin etc which was mentioned in my last letter & it struck me  that f is far enough away from ph in the books but not the pronunciation to maybe lead to some confusion. Anyway Lumphanan- parish & village, Aberdeenshire 5 miles(Imperial!) N.E. of Aboyne- site of medieval castle & earthworks. There is also Lumphinnans- that's near Lochgelly in Fife though. And back to Lowerens etc.- had a look in the 1901 edition of Groom- nowt. I was a little surprised- the other thing that the librarian then kindly dug out for me was an index to all the place names on the Ordnance Survey 1:20,000 maps- up in the North- East nothing again. However there is somewhere in the South- West(i.e.the likes of Kircudbrightshire) that also has that sort of name. Sorry, at the time I thought wrong area & didn't make a note. It has just struck me you may not have received my last lot- that stuff about Lourin' etc. was in response to an e- mail from a Kim Cooke. If by now you have not got my last then I imagine it won't be- ever. The Post Office here is not quite what it was- they've lost a parcel for me already this year already. It's never happened to me before. Ah, well, as a pal of mine says standards continue to plummet!

All the best,

J. Duffus.

Past Issues

March 14, 1999

April 11, 1999

May 16, 1999

July 5, 1999

August 8, 1999

September 12, 1999

October 31, 1999

November 28, 1999

December 19, 1999

January 30, 2000

March 5, 2000

April 2, 2000

May 14, 2000

June 11, 2000

July 28, 2000

September 2, 2000

October 22, 2000

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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.