The days of a man - David Starr Jordan - PDF ebook

The days of a man, 

being memories of a naturalist, teacher and minor prophet of democracy 

David Starr Jordan
David Starr Jordan

David Starr Jordan was the founding president of Stanford University, serving from 1891 to 1913. He was an ichthyologist during his research tenure and then served as president of Indiana University.


For half a century the writer of these pages has been a very busy man, living meanwhile three more or less independent lives: first, and for the love of it, that of naturalist and explorer; second, also for the love of it, that of teacher; and third, from a sense of duty, that of the minor prophet of Democracy. If he had his days to live over, he would again choose all of the three. The friendly reader will not fail to note that the record is essentially objective — simply the story of what one man did and saw in the world about him, being always eager to know the Cosmos as it is, and never unduly distressed at his inability to" remould it nearer to the hearths desire." 

The same critic — should he read far — will also observe that the author rarely mentions any one of whom he must speak disparagingly, or ventures to judge harshly those errors in judgment or failures in will from which no one in public or private life was ever exempt. As stated in the text, this work is essentially a record of friendships; but even as thus considered it is far from complete. For in the author's varied experience as a teacher and as an executive, he depended on the willing cooperation of his associates — aid granted in an unusual degree. 

To everyone who has shown him sympathy and tolerance, he is very grateful. In the actual working out of remembrances he has received help from many sources, most of all from his wife, who has wrestled with every paragraph, both in manuscript and proof. To Charles C. Gilbert and Barton W. Evermann, he is especially indebted for jogging his recollection as to details in which they were concerned. As Agassiz often said, *' Memory must not be kept too full or it will spill over." He is further under obligation to Professors M. Anesaki of the Imperial University of Tokyo and K. Hara of the Imperial University of Kyoto, who gave a critical reading to Chapters xxvi and XXVII. Finally, for any errors in fact or interpretation which may have slipped through anywhere, he craves indulgence.

date 1912

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