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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
INTERVIEWEE: Charles Fairbanks
INTERVIEWER: Robert Wilson
September 16, 1982
Charles H. Fairbanks
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
INTERVIEWER: ROBERT WILSON
PLACE OF INTERVIEW: UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
DATE OF INTERVIEW: September 16, 1982
Charles H. Fairbanks was born in 1913 in Bainbridge, New York, one of four
children to Lewis and Henrietta Fairbanks. Mr. Fairbanks attended
Swarthmore College and the University of Chicago, graduating from the
latter in 1939. This interview concerns Fairbanks career as a prominent
Florida archeologist and anthropologist.
While going to school in the 1930s at Chicago, Fairbanks also worked for
the federal government as an archeologist. He worked for the Tennessee
Valley Authority, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and for the Park Service
at Kennesaw Mountain National Park, Fort Frederica National Monument, and
Ocmulgee National Monument. During these years, he was forming a
southeastern archeology society and writing several articles and books as
well as raising a family.
From 1954 to 1963, Fairbanks was a professor at Florida State University.
He then transferred to the University of Florida where he remained until
his retirement. During these years, Fairbanks established graduate
programs at both schools and directed the graduate work of many students.
He continued to write and publish.
In the last part of the interview, Fairbanks talks about important
individuals, students and professors, in archeology and anthropology, who
he has known. He gives his opinion as to their professional capabilities
and personal characteristics. Dr. Fairbanks died in 1984.
W: Dr. Fairbanks, I'd like to start this off with just a little biographical
background about you. When and where were you born?
F: I was born in Bainbridge, New York, June 3, 1913. Bainbridge is a
small rural town on the Susquehanna River about midway between Oneonta,
New York and Binghamton, New York. It's on the western edge of the
Catskills, a very rural town of twelve hundred population.
W: Was it an industrialized area fairly early on?
F: Well, industrialized in the New England sense. That area had been set-
tled shortly after the Revolution by individuals displaced from the
upstate Vermont area that had been ceded to Vermont after first being
claimed by New York. So New York had kept its inhabitants and they had
originally called the town Jericho, and it got a bad reputation being
Jericho. The meeting house had mysteriously burned, and so they decided
to change the name. And I was selected the commander of the constitutution,
old Ironsides, Commodore Bainbridge, as the name.
W: What was your father's name?
F: Lewis B. Fairbanks.
W: And what did he do?
F: He was a railway express agent in Bainbridge.
W: And your mother?
F: My mother was Henrietta Herron. She was a descendent of the Dutch
settlers in the Cherry Valley up in the Mohawk Valley area between
Schenectady and all that.
W: What did she do?
F: She had been a school teacher before marriage.
W: And then just a housewife?
F: Yes, though she periodically taught again in the rural schools around
Bainbridge until they were consolidated into one school in each township.
Upstate New York had a township system. Then she became the
postmistress in Bainbridge about the time I went to college. I gradu-
ated in June 1931, and went to Swarthmore the following September for a
year, and then transferred to Chicago in the fall of 1932. These were
the Depression years, of course, and things were pretty rough.
W: Did you have any brothers and sisters?
F: One brother and two sisters.
W: Are they still living?
F: My brother, who was younger than I, was killed in Battle of the Bulge
in France in World War II. Both my sisters are living, and have re-
tired. My older sister's in the higher education administration in New
Jersey, and she's retired, and gone back to Bainbridge. She has built
a house there, and my younger sister was a librarian at Princeton, and
she has retired at Princeton.
W: So when did you first become interested in anthropology?
F: Well, while I was still in high school. I would imagine my sophomore
year in high school. Definitely before 1929, because I remember that I
was already interested when the stock market crash came in '29. No, my
mother and father had been interested in botany, and particularly
native orchids, and I had become somewhat blase about their natural
science bent. It didn't seem to have much pertinence to anything
except collecting plants. And on a visit to a stand of native orchids,
one of the few places this particular orchid grew in the eastern United
States, we had been met and taken to a site by an individual, Willard
E. Yeager, who had a collection of Indian artifacts. It was mostly New
York state Iroquois and earlier material, but some southwestern material,
and he lent me a copy of Lewis H. Morgan's, League of the Iroquois. I
realized that it was a possible science here, and that it wasn't just
collecting things and descriptive material. I still have that copy of
W: Rare edition, almost.
F: No, it's not a distinctive edition. It was just a regular edition
that has gone through many editions. It's a classic.
W: Where did you go to high school?
F: In Bainbridge, New York. There were eight members in my graduating
class. It was a small school.
W: So there wasn't anybody at high school really that influenced you?
W: It's interesting. John Griffin talks about the same sort of general
background of his parents interests. His mother was in the garden
clubs in Florida, and being a general all-around renaissance person got
him interested in anthropology and archeology. Just seems like there
was a sign of the times at that point.
F: I think so. I think general progression from natural science to the
science of man, the natural science of the twenties. George McLaughlin
rewarding, that is, it was just descriptive.
W: So you spent one year at Swarthmore?
W: Did you have any kind of a major there?
F: Well, my family thought it would be nice if I'd be a chemist, but I
didn't really show much ability to pour liquids and so on.
W: So then you transferred to Chicago?
F: I had already developed an interest in archeology, and began pressuring
the family so I could become an archeologist. Swarthmore had no anthro-
pology or sociology at that time. But Chicago did, and it was in the
process of, in my opinion, becoming the leading anthropoligical school.
W: Is that why you picked Chicago over say, Columbia? Was Columbia started
at that point?
F: Columbia was going. Dean of men at Swarthmore advised me to try Chicago.
He thought that the new plan at Chicago had just started under Hutchins,
and I think what Dean Blanchard primarily informed me about was the new
plan at Chicago. But he did have some information about the fact that
they had a strong ecology program.
W: What was the concept of the new plan?
F: Well, the new plan was an organized curriculum which involved survey
courses during the first two years in all four fields of knowledge, the
classical Quadrivium, and so on. And then specialization in the last
two years of the undergraduate program in one of those fields, and so
on. It also involved other innovations. You had the survey courses
and you passed a comprehensive exam in each of the subjects: biologi-
cal science, social science, economics, and so on. You could take the
exam whenever you felt ready to pass it. So you didn't necessarily
have to take all the courses; you could proceed at your own rate, and
increasingly a number of students did. This was the so-called new plan
which was the return, in some respects, to the medieval structured
higher education. Robert Maynard Hutchins, a very young new president
of the University of Chicago, had inaugurated it. He also included the
hundred great books under Mortimer Adler.
W: I want to digress for a second to resolve something in my notes, and
then we can get back to the program at Chicago. I've got some notes
down here that you possibly had seen some escavations in you high
school years. With Richie and...
F: Richie, yes. I guess this was probably in 1930 or '31. Richie had
done some very sketchy excavations. I'd now list them at Bainbridge,
and I had done some salvage work myself. I'd been collecting Indian
relics on plowed fields, at one of the sites that I regularly collected,
the railroad had dug a ditch along the edge of the railroad property,
and it cut through the trash pit in which there were two nested cord-
marked, cord-wrapped stick marked pots. And they both showed extremely
clear coil fractures. And when I got to Chicago I found out from Thorne
Deuel that there was an argument among North American archeologists
about was North American Indian. It centered around the coil or the
scrape technique, and this very clearly indicated that it was coiled.
That was my first publication in 1935, on the occurrence of coil pot-
tery in New York State.
W: Ceramics has gone a long way since then hasn't it?
F: Well, there's an indication of how little we knew about the archeology
of the eastern United States as of the 1930s. We didn't know much of
any of it.
W: Was that the first time you had met MacNeish? Was he working on the
F: No, I didn't meet with Scotty until the late 1930s.
W: Was that in Chicago?
F: Yes, at Chicago. Though he was born and raised in Binghamton, which
was thirty-five miles from home. But again, there weren't any local
archeological societies, so you didn't know who was doing what.
W: I want to hit on that briefly. You thought that the new program at
Chicago was far better than anything else. Were you sold on that?
F: Well, yes. I think it's a good idea, and it basically has been very
widely adopted here at the University of Florida; the breadth require-
ments on the A.B. level are a modification of the Chicago new plan.
Previous to that, the general pattern was that some schools, such as
Swarthmore, had a very structured, very rigid set of required courses.
Other schools had almost complete freedom without any required courses,
and even at the highly structured schools, there wasn't the requirement
of the quadrivium, or the four basic fields of human knowledge. So if
you were majoring in Germanic languages, for instance, you could get an
A.B. in Germanic languages and nothing else. So I think it was a good
idea, though what I really liked at Chicago was the department of an-
thropology under Fay-Cooper Cole. It was a good department, a broad
department, and a very eclectic department. Fay-Cooper Cole was trained
in the Boaz school of ethnology primarily, and had done his field in
southeast Asia and the Philippines.
W: So he had come from Columbia?
F: Yes, but he was involved in upgrading archeology. He had decided sev-
eral years before that archeology ought to improve its field technique,
which up to that point was practically non-existent. And in the Chicago
field schools and my years at Chicago, this was at the Kincaid site.
in addition, there was the star of the department, Radcliffe Brown, and
the functionalist or as Radcliffe Brown called it, the science of soci-
ety. He was an illuminary. No doubt about it. A man of tremendous in-
tellect. The easiest man to take notes from of any college professor
I've ever had. He wore a monocle and when he was reading from his notes,
the monocle was screwed into his right eye, and then when he wanted to
comment, he would look up, drop the monocle, and catch it with his left
hand and comment. And that's when you start taking notes madly because
that was the meat of it. And he might drone on for ten minutes or so,
then the monocle dropped and he had something to say. Robert Redfield
was also there, and probably more intelligent, more intellectual than
Radcliffe Brown. I didn't see William Lloyd Warner too much as I was
not an ethnology concentrate, though I had courses under both Radcliffe
Brown and Redfield. I never had any courses under Warner. He was in-
volved in the Newberry Court Yankee Town investigation at the time.
Thorne Deuel was number two man in archeology; Thorne and I got along
fine. Some people had trouble with his somewhat military attitude. He
was a graduate of West Point.
W: I imagine that helped organize field schools though.
F: Yes. They were a bit military, and in the thirties, there were a lot
of people beginning to object to regimentation in any form.
W: Sometimes that keeps things straight. It was a fairly small department
though wasn't it?
F: Yes. Cole, Radcliffe Brown, Redfield, Warner, Deuel, and Harry Hoijer
was the linguist and the general adviser to undergraduate students. I
think that was the extent of the faculty in 1932. No, Fred Eggan was
there. I think that was about it. So it was six or seven faculty mem-
bers, and particularly the archeologists. I think virtually all of the
people who were prominent in archeology of eastern North America, and
east of the Rockies from the 1930s to the present, either served at
least one year or more on Kincaid Field School, or were students of
people who were at Kincaid, and most of them were students who got their
doctorates at Chicago. Jess Jennings, Pinky Harrington, [Jean Carl],
Alexander Spoeher. Could name virtually everybody, and then a whole
lot of people simply had attended one or more field schools. Dave
DeJarnette and Joffre Coe had been field school members, though had
not had any extensive courses at Chicago.
W: Stu Neitzel [Robert Stewart Neitzel] was there at that...
F: Neitzel was primarily Nebraska.
W: He got his undergraduate degree with Eiseley [Loren] at Nebraska, but
he may have been there one year. I thought it was more that he went to
Chicago, but it might...
F: I don't remember seeing Neitzel at Chicago. I don't remember seeing him
until I got to TVA in 1937.
W: I think he was there because I remember talking with him about it. He
was roommates with Jess Jennings for a year up there, and then when
Jennings went to TVA, Stu followed shortly thereafter.
F: That may well enough have been. Dr. Cole was one of the principle in-
stigators for getting the 1935 Historic Sites Act passed, which passed
at the same time as the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, and was in
effect, geared to TVA archeology. This was in the depths of the
Depression and one of the objectives of the federal relief agencies was
to salvage archeology in the reservoir areas being inundated by TVA. I
don't think Jess Jennings had been involved in the Norris basin which
was the first of the TVA basins, but had been director of the University
of Tennessee excavations in the Chickamauga Basin for a year or so.
Then Neitzel, and Chuck Nash, and Georg Neumann was there. Then Jess
in Jannuary 1937 had been asked to go with Kidder to Kaminaljuyu in
Guatemala. And while I had not yet received my A.B. degree, I'd been
going to school a quarter, and then running out of money, and working
for a quarter, and then going back to school. Dr. Cole in fact told me
that I was going down to the TVA, and that Chicago had to be represented
down there. I went down there. The first part of that winter, Neitzel
was working on another site, and I took over the Yarnell site that
Jennings had been excavating; it was a large late Mississippian site.
And then I think in early spring we moved to Hiwassee Island which Tom
Lewish, and eventually Madeleine Kneberg published. Madeleine Kneberg
was a Chicago product. I think Lewis had been to the Kincaid Field
School. Chuck Nash had been to Chicago, though I don't know how much.
I don't remember seeing him there before. But again, he had been at
field school, and generally they are a week, or a weekend, or a long
weekend. Previous Kincaid enrollees went back to Kincaid. They sort
of had a homecoming in Kincaid and the chance to talk about what you
were doing, and what other people were doing.
W: That would be almost the beginning of, well, it wasn't the beginnings
of SEAC but...[Southeastern Archaelogical Conference]
F: No, but I think it sort of set the scene for it. And they continued on
after SEAC was founded. SEAC was founded in the spring of '38 or '39,
following the annual meeting of the Society for American Archeology,
which had been in Milwaukee. And then a number of us who were, I think,
all involved in TVA archeology in one or another of the basins, with
the exception of Jim Ford who was in Louisiana. Jim was the major in-
stigator of Southeastern Archeological Conference. We met in the ceram-
ic repository with Jimmy Griffin, and Carl Guthe lent some words of
advice, but wasn't really an active participant in it. Chuck Wilder,
Chuck Nash, Jim Ford, Neitzel, myself, and I think Bill Haag were in-
volved at that first meeting. The idea was, well, Ford propounded his
trinomial ceramic terminology, but the idea was that we'd meet up until
the war years, twice a year and share information. Those first meet-
ings we would put a southeastern chronological chart on the blackboard.
It was one column for northern Alabama, one column for central Georgia,
one column for eastern Tennessee, or wherever and whatever. It did
serve a very real purpose of establishing a regional southeastern chron-
ology out of these local sub-regional chronologies. It did standardize
ceramic terminology, and didn't go much further than that in other arti-
fact terminological systems. But it grew and grew and grew until, well,
the original meetings in '38, '39, and '40, were perhaps a dozen indi-
viduals, not the two or three hundred that we have now.
W: I think it's up to about three hundred now. Was Major Webb in on those
first meetings, or did he travel?
F: He wasn't there at the one in Ann Arbor, but he did regularly attend
other meetings, and did strongly support it.
W: Wasn't he pretty much the focal point of that TVA archeology?
F: Yes, though there were undercurrents, and some other individuals, as I
look back, who seem to have resented the major. Major Webb was extremely
energetic, I would even say an aggressive individual, and organized
things usually to the good, and was not afraid to push his own ideas.
He had been in charge of the Norris Basin excavations and was in overall
charge, I believe, of all TVA excavations. But he was much more active
in northern Alabama than the Chickamauga, Watt's bar, the University of
Tennessee's excavations that I was primarily involved with, although we
did see the major from time to time.
W: Was Major Webb in geology?
F: Not really. His degree from Harvard was in physics, and he was chairman
of the physics department at the University of Kentucky. He then es-
tablished the statewide archeological survey in Kentucky with Professor
Funkhouser, who was an entomologist and an authority on the
And Major Webb was, in fact, chairman of TVA archeology, and chairman
of the University of Kentucky anthropology department and museum at
the same time that he was chairman of the physics department at Kentucky.
He was a man with tremendous energy and long-ranging vision, and like
so many extremely competent people, rather intolerant of blunderers.
W: Yes. You had mentioned in class last week an episode with him about
somebody running a museum and that kind of showed his aggressiveness.
F: Yes, and I think that also showed that he was intolerant of bungling,
of misrepresentation, and pretention. Lord knows, there was enough of
it. Again, just as in the current archeological crisis in the United
States, the Antiquities Act, or the Historic Preservation Act of 1935,
the TVA archeology, the WPA archeology, all attracted a lot of non-
professionally trained individuals, or poorly-trained individuals, or
avocational individuals who were drawn into the field of archeology by
the sudden increase in jobs in archeology, and by and large, the major
bulk of these people should be run out of archeology.
W: So how long did you work there in TVA?
F: From January 1937 until I think September, or October 1938. At one of
these Kincaid reunions, Jess Jennings recruited me, and in fact offered
me a job at Ocmulgee National monument, where he was superintendent in
Macon, Georgia. I went from TVA to Macon in a variety of positions. I
think when I first went there I was on the Civilian Conservation Corps
payroll, or perhaps on FERA, which was one of the relief agencies. And
sometime after that, '39 or '40, the National Park Service finally got
around to getting a register of archeologists. The Civil Service
Commission had a new exam for archeologists. One of the questions asked
was, "If you were out on an excavation and your horse dies, what do you
do?" You were supposed to say, well, you bury the horse and collect
iron rations, and walk in one hundred and fifty miles across the desert.
It didn't have a damn thing to do with archeology.
W: Would that have been more of a southwestern orientation?
F: Yes, very definitely. I don't think there were any questions about the
eastern United States, and there weren't really any questions about
archeology. But it did create a register of junior archeologists, I
think we were called.
W: How did you finish up at Chicago then?
F: Well, you could do this under the new plan. In June of 1939, I went
back for two days to Chicago and took the comprehensive examination,
and having been gone since December '36, I took the exam and passed it,
and was awarded an A.B. degree. So my A.B. was '39, starting at
Swarthmore as a freshman in '31, quite a while.
W: You might hold the record on it. But they must have taken into consid-
eration that you'd been working in the profession for...
F: Oh, no. To get the first bachelor of philosophy, I think at the end of
two years you took the two-year broad, four-course exam, and you got
the associate degree. And then you passed the upper-level comprehensive
exam and you got your A.B. I knew one individual at Chicago who regis-
tered for a minimum number of courses for about three years, never went
to class except to get the reading lists and read them, and took the
comprehensives, and the ordered examiners did refuse to give him a
degree. He had one of these photographic memories, and they said he
was just repeating back what he had read, and not contributing anything.
So they did make him go to class, but in theory you could do this. As
long as you passed the two-year comprehensive, and a four-year compre-
hensive, I guess you'd have to have signed up for these courses.
W: So then you went to work for Park Service?
F: Jess Jennings was going back to Chicago to write his dissertation on
the Peachtree Mound in North Carolina, and I planned to follow him back
to Chicago in January of 1940 and start work on a master's. Jess in-
viegled me into doing a job for the National Park Service at Kennesaw
Mountain National Park. I started there with the job in September
1939, and of course, after 1941 it was even more imminent. But I
couldn't persuade them to give me a commission in any of the fields,
and I finally went in as an enlisted man in 1943. Too young to know
anything and too old to be a good bet on something [laughter].
W: So you were one of the field directors in TVA. Was that kind of learn-
ing under fire? Because a lot of times, from talking with Neitzel and
others, you ended up having, all of a sudden, ninety or a hundred people
that you had to supervise.
F: Oh, more than that in some cases. I think on Hiwassee Island we had a
crew of a hundred and twenty, and Chuck Nash and I were the only trained
supervisors, and at that point I did not even have an A.B. Well, I
actually had completed all of the course requirements, but hadn't taken
the comprehensive exam, and I think that Nash was in about the same
kind of situation, and we were the only ones with any academic train-
ing. We had a couple of local collectors who had been looting archeol-
igical sites in eastern Tennessee for years and selling the collections
in various places. I think some of those collections are still in ex-
istence in local for-charge [private] museums. We were on the
University of Tennessee payroll, and we had these tremendous WPA crews
in the Chickamauga basin. They were primarily ex-coal miners, and
mountaineers who had been unemployed for several years during the bot-
tom of the Depression, and it was an extremely impoverished area. In
the late 1920s, the coal miners and to some extent the textile mill
workers had formed unions, and the companies had promptly closed the
mines, and closed the textile plants, and-just abandoned them and moved
out, and these people had been out of work for years in some cases.
They were chronically impoverished and it was a revelation as to what
the southern mountaineer was. On the Hiwassee river dig, which came
after Hiwassee Island, Mill Beaty and I were the supervisors and had
over a hundred mountaineers. In the spring of 1938, soon as the sun
came out, we worked all winter, more or less, mostly standing around
fires. Soon as the sun came out they began to show the effects of pel-
lagra, and the local doctor, Neitzel and I bought vitamin injections.
The local doctor had just come out of internship at Duke University,
and Duke had been experimenting or developing vitamin B complex in-
jections, and many of these individuals were seriously vitamin deficient
and clinic deficient.
W: Doing a little physical anthropology.
F: Well, more behavioral anthropology. One of the characteristics of pel-
lagra deficiency is dermititis. That is the first indication; then the
splitting or of the fissuring of the skin, then dementia, and finally
death. The three D's, and the dementia generally takes the form of
hallucinatory experience. We had our full share of hallucinants.
W: Do you think you training at Kincaid helped prepare you for those
F: No, the Kincaid had trained in careful hand-excavation, and precise
recording, and mapping, and the value of a three dimensional record.
But I think that at the TVA-WPA archeology we did learn some management
skills, but primarily on our own. I guess at Kincaid there were about
eight, nine, maybe ten, people in the field school. It wasn't by any
means a mass organized propostion.
W: Was the Kennesaw Mountain project the one that you really had some good
control on them, or was it massive group of...?
F: No, it was a very small field crew. The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain
was the pivotal point in the Battles of Atlanta, and the march from
Chattanooga to Atlanta to the sea to attempt to split the Confederacy.
The Confederates had all the way from Chattanooga, but particularly at
Kennesaw Mountain, developed a pattern of fire to fall back as the
federals overwhelmed their trenches, and this was one of the first ex-
amples of intensive trench warfare. The Confederates were short on guns
and ammunition and trained soldiers, and most of them were in the
Virginia area. Most of the trained soldiers slowly fell back towards
Atlanta, but Kennesaw was a typical battle following the battles around
Chattanooga, which were also pivotal. The Federal engineers had made
careful maps of the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and many of the entrenchments
were still visible. But in some areas after the war the
trenches had been erased by cotton field row agriculture. Pink
Harrington, J. C. Harrington, who was the National Park Service regional
archeologist during this whole period, was the superintendent of
Kennesaw Mountain and proposed to follow the Federal maps contained in
the Federal publications and the Official Records of the War of the
Rebellion, which you can't say in Georgia. It's the War Between the
States, and he was just going to stake them out and re-excavate them.
Pinky Harrington pointed out you had to do some archeology before you
could do this sort of thing, so I got the job of going up there and
doing it with the superintendent of Kennesaw Mountain National
Battlefield Park. He was quite critical of what this was all about and
the need to do it. He was rather reluctant to provide a crew and all
that. We immediately, the first morning of excavation, found one of
the trenches that had been obliterated by plowing. By that afternoon
we had found a defilade, a right-angle trench to the main trench at the
back. And while the Official Records of the War Between the States
showed some defilade, there were not nearly as many as I was finding,
which was a good example of what archeology can do to supplement,
extend, and amplify written records. All the military people knew that
defilades were there because if your entrenchment was flanked, your
troops fell back into the defilade and still had the protection of an
earth rampart, but why draw them. You know they're there.
W: Draw a few and everybody knew that there were more.
F: Yes. So we did persuade the professional Confederate superintendent of
the monument that there was some point in doing archeology on an histor-
ic site where we had presumably complete records. We found something
archeologically that was not completely explained in the written record.
W: Was that your first historic site?
F: I think really it was about the first historic site in TVA archeology.
We had pretty much ignored historic sites, with the possible exception
that some of the sites had minimal historic Indian trade involvement.
But we actually didn't do much with those sites. TVA archeology was
the big mound site. At Ocmulgee, Jennings had got me there to catalog
the material that Kelley had excavated and never been cataloged. We
had started, Jennings and I, and shared a beginning excavation of the
Lamar site, the Lamar Palisade. But I hadn't really gotten involved in
historic archeology until that Kennesaw thing. Pinky Harrington had
been extensively involved in historic archeology at Jamestown, and I
listened to him and was sort of convinced that we ought to do some more
historic site archeology. And after the war, when I came out of the
army, I told the Park Service that I was out and willing to go back to
work for them. They said, well, could we persuade you to go to St.
Simon's as a superintendent of Fort Frederica. And so I started histor-
ic excavations there. Harrington gave very valuable advice, though he
issued few orders. He explained what he thought might profitably be
done, rather than saying you have to do it this way or that way.
W: So you started in about '46?
F: Yes, I would guess in probably March 1946 to Fort Frederica.
W: How did you get back into school in Michigan?
F: Well, by that time, Dr. Cole had retired in Chicago, and for all prac-
tical purposes, the department at Chicago had turned down archeology.
A number of people who had been in the graduate program in archeology
at Chicago were sort of left high and dry. A number of them, Bill
Sears for instance, transferred to Michigan. Jimmy Griffin, whom I had
known since the TVA days and we'd been conferring back and forth about
southeastern archeology offered me a job as graduate teaching assistant
at Michigan. That was in the summer of 1947, and for various family
reasons I couldn't go at that time. My infant son was seriously ill,
and so I deferred it until fall of '48. Jimmy then arranged for me to
be a teaching assistant in the basic introductory course in anthropol-
ogy. I think it was the first couple of terms Mishita Tee (?) was the
instructor. The first term you took Leslie White's course in the his-
tory of anthropology and got the word on evolution and culturalogy.
Courses under Griffin were various aspects of new world archeology.
W: So you were only really at Frederica for about two years?
F: No, less than two years. Maybe a year and a half; from March 1946
until September 1948. I was at Michigan two academic years, '48/'49,
and '49/'50. I got my M.A. in January 1950, and this was an M.A. with-
out thesis. You had a comprehensive exam on the basis of some core
course things. And like the earlier Chicago version, a successful "I
pass" in the master's comprehensive would admit you to the doctoral
program, and at that time which would have been June 1951, the Park
Service had offered me a job supervising the construction of the Ocmulgee
museum exhibits in Washington. I went to Washington and we were there
a year, June 1950 to 1951, and we completed the older version of Ocmulgee
museum exhibits which I think now have been replaced by a new version.
W: We'll have to go up and take a look at them sometime. So you were
there for a year. Then did you go back to Michigan for your doctorate?
F: No. I had completed the necessary course work at Michigan, and I went
from the Washington Museum's division office back to Ocmulgee as assist-
ant regional archeologist and basically it was to install the museum
exhibit, supervise the final installation of the exhibits, and get the
interpretive program going. Harrington, in addition to being a very
good archeologist, had insisted on a strong interpretive program, and
in the next year or so, the idea was that I was to develop a sounder,
better interpretive program and we did. We improved some field exhib-
its, and the Park Service kept cranking up emergency jobs in one place
and another. I've forgotten where all of them were. One was a salvage
excavation in the Beaufort reservoir area. I came down here to Florida
to confer with the Florida Park Service about remains in the Florida
Cavern State Park and things like this that required National Park
Service expertise in temporary situations. And I was finishing writing
my dissertation which I'd started back before the war. In excavation,
reworking Kelley's notes on the excavation of Mound C, and burial fun-
eral mound I became disabused of research opportunities in the Park
Service. After I had completed the Mound C report, the question was,
"Well, what do I do next? Do I write another major report, or do I
write another journal-size unit reports, or what do I do?" I'd been
writing up some of these specific field jobs that the Park Service had
sent me out on, and the Park Service couldn't make up their mind. And
then about that time when I was getting pretty tired of the Park
Service's inability to decide things, Hale Smith wrote and said there's
a new job opening at FSU. Hale had been at Michigan the same time I
was, and I think his doctorate was six months ahead of mine or some-
thing. Smith, and Ted Guthe, and Bill Sears, and I were the archeology
doctoral candidates all at the same time at Michigan, and virtually all
at about the same stage.
W: Did you know Hale from Chicago?
W: He came after you left?
F: Well, I was working for TVA was when he arrived at Chicago, and when I
went back to the Kincaid reunions, or back to Chicago, or to the Chicago
gang at the annual meetings, I met Hale. But he wasn't at school when
I was at Chicago.
W: Is that when you also met John Griffin?
F: Yes, I think so. Though the first time I really knew Griffin was in
the 1948 conference in Daytona.
W: I think it was '47.
F: '47? Probably so.
W: At his father's house?
F: Yes. That was when Hale and Griffin were starting a statewide archeol-
ogical program for the Florida Park Service. They were getting that
thing organized. Sears was digging at Kolomoki at the time. Ted Guthe
had gone to Rochester Museum, and then down to the University of
W: Well, we were talking about the Daytona Conference in '47. Was that to
talk about what needed to be done in Florida?
F: Yes, I guess. Again, it was an attempt to get the opinion of various
people. I was asked because I was peripheral on the Georgia coast to
the Florida area, and to straighten out local chronologies about which
darn little was known at that time, and to indicate relationships with
adjacenaries in south Georgia and the Georgia coast.
W: Do you remember who else was there?
F: Not very clearly. John Griffin and his wife were there. Hale Smith.
Trickey [E. Bruce] from Mobile or wherever he lives in southern Alabama.
There were several non-professional or avocational people. Some guy,
Brookfield, an Audubon Society ranger or some such thing.
W: Do you want to take a look at the names just to refresh your memory?
It's that top list.
F: I don't remember Ben. Ben, yes, Ben was there. I didn't remember
Gordon Willey; John Goggin was there. Tony Waring, that's right...
W: I think John Griffin said that Jim Griffin couldn't make it, but sent a
paper. Maybe I am getting that confused with the '49 meeting at Rollins
F: Well, Jimmy Griffin was present at the Rollins meeting.
W: Then it was at the '47 conference that he couldn't make it for some
reason, but was still listed. So that was really one of your first,
other than coming into Florida as Park Service archeologist for the
area, that was probably one of your first introductions to the...
W: Meeting with other people who were doing real work in...
F: Both before the war and after the war, the superintendent of Castillo
de San Marcos, National Monument in St. Augustine was the coordinating
superintendent for the Southeastern National Monument. And so I had
come into St. Augustine on various Park Service things, and to some
extent had been involved with the Florida Park Service in an advisory
capacity with the Marianna Caverns thing. And seems like there had
been something about Santa Rosa seashore area which had come up at that
time. That was a very confused situation. It was established as a
national seashore and then it was dis-established, and it's been re-
W: It's like Naval Live Oak was being transferred from federal property to
state, and then it was...
F: Went into private hands which it evidently shouldn't have been. It was
done illegally or something.
W: So, then of course the next big meeting in Florida that you attended
was the '49 conference at Rollins College.
F: Florida Indian and his Neighbors.
F: I think it was Jimmy and John Griffin, Gordon Willey, Ben Rouse, Wes
Heard, Alex Krieger, and myself. I think John Griffin was, and John
Goggin, John Griffin was the organizer of the thing. And Rip and Adelai
Bullen were there, but they had just come to Florida and didn't have
much to say about Florida archeology.
W: Hale had gone back to Michigan at that time.
F: Yes. Hale, we all came down from Michigan. Jimmy Griffin and my family
had, Evelyn and Charles had gone to Macon to her parents, and I dropped
off there and went back to Michigan with them on the train. Jimmy got
stopped doing eighty miles an hour in the forty mile zone in Marietta.
Had to pay a dollar a mile, plus court costs and never drove that fast
again, he says [laughter].
W: I think Carl Guthe was also there, too, wasn't he at that one?
W: That was one of the first syntheses on Florida archeology.
F: I suppose Ted Guthe was there, but I don't remember him. But I would
think he probably was.
W: Was that one of the first kind of synthesis of Florida archeology?
F: Yes, I guess it was. Certainly the first. No, the only thing that
would have been earlier was that exploration in field work at the
Smithsonian Institution, Mat [Matthew] Sterling's brief thing in '35,
or something like that. I guess Gordon had finished a manuscript for
Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast, or virtually finished it. It
hadn't appeared yet.
W: Right. I think what John had said. I think he had a galley proof, or
something that was being passed around for people to look at.
F: And Rouse had done work in the Indian River area, but again, I don't
think it had been published.
W: So, that was some of Yale University's work, wasn't it?
W: And Goggin was from Yale?
F: Yes. Goggin did most of his undergraduate work here at the University
of Florida, and then gone to New Mexico, and after the war had gone to
Yale and got his doctorate at Yale.
W: Was there any reason why Yale quit doing work? Was it because of the...?
F: Well, the work they'd done in Florida was part of the Yale-Caribbean
program. Cornelius Osgood had organized this Yale-Caribbean program,
and Rouse had done a lot of archeological work in the Caribbean.
Somehow or other, they managed to convince Osgood that Florida was part
of the Caribbean picture, which of course it was, geographically, but
quite anthropologically, and Rouse had done the Indian River survey.
Goggin had written his doctoral dissertation on the St. Johns on dis-
tribution of the sites. Gordon Willey and Dick Woodbury had surveyed
the areas of the Gulf Coast from almost Pensacola to Tampa Bay, and
then some work in the interior at Opelika and the Okeechobee basin.
Not very much though. And the previous work, Fewkes [Jesse Walter] and
then Stirling [Matthew W.] had dug at the Weeden Island site and the
Safety Harbor site. Of course, there was also the Cushing [Frank H.]
material which was not understood hardly at all. Newman and Jennings
had dug at Ormond Beach, and there were the C. B. Moore excavations
here, there, and yonder which for the Gulf coastal area, Willey had re-
studied and organized and synthesized. But for the rest of Florida the
C. B. Moore stuff was just lying there without any sort of organiza-
W: So then Hale Smith offered you a job in 1954?
F: I had just received my doctorate in June of that year and I forget just
what the circumstances were, but anyway, I went to FSU and did various
excavations, fall field school-type excavations in the area. I taught,
I think, ten or eleven different courses. A little bit of everything.
The department was Hale and I; a two-man department.
W: Where was it?
F: It was on the second floor of the building that had been when it had
been Florida State College for Women. They'd had sit-down table dining
halls. Some of the girls.
W: Seminole Hall?
F: Seminole, maybe so. And we were on the second floor in a converted two-
story dining room, and they'd put in partitions, and cut them up into
offices smaller than half this size, real small.
W: Did you have some good lab space though?
F: Oh, fair lab space, but the classroom situation was bad. We just had
fifteen foot partitions setting off the classroom and the top was open,
and anything that went on in the rest of this extremely large room was
audible in the classroom. Hale had a program in museum exhibit design
and construction, and the FSU museum was on the same floor with the
department of anthropology. We had some very good students and during
the time I was there from '54 to '63, we began a master's program,
which was the first in the state, and the department of archeology and
anthropology at that time was the first department in the state. Goggin
had started earlier in 1948 here in a position in the department of
sociology, and then briefly it had become a department of sociology and
anthropology. And then Goggin had succeeded, I guess in about 1960,
I'd have to look up the exact date, setting up a separate department of
anthropology. And then in the summer of 1962, when John was digging
over at the Fountain of Youth Park area in St. Augustine, we learned
that he had a severe cancer problem. It turned out to be inoperable.
Hard to extend. I came here I think in May 1963, and he was in pretty
bad shape, but was in some sort of an emeritus position. It wasn't
very clear to anybody exactly what his position was. He was not able
to teach, and he died about a month after I came here, and later in
that summer of '63, we were given permission to start our master's pro-
gram; the second master's program in the state. This was a period in
which the state university system was expanding terrifically. Origin-
ally, before World War II, it had been all-male University of Florida
and the all-female Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee.
After the war 11947], Tallahassee became Florida State University and
became coed. In '61 or '62, the University of South Florida was founded
in Tampa, and they developed an anthropology program. At that point
there were three anthropology programs, two of them with master's pro-
grams. And shortly after, say about '67 or '68, South Florida got a
master's program, and about the same time, we were given permission to
start a doctoral program.
W: You were then at both FSU and here helping to set up master's programs.
How were those structured? More like Chicago with their emphasis on
F: Yes, pretty much, I think. I don't have any recollection about South
Florida's program, though I'm sure I read the proposal because the pro-
posals were circulated among all the universities by the board of re-
gents, the board of control, I think it was called then. At both here
and at FSU, the program required courses in all four fields, a compre-
hensive examination in all four fields, and at first, at FSU you had a
choice of a master's of science or a master's of art degree. The mas-
ter's of science was a non-thesis degree, and many people took the
master's of science because the master's of art degree required one
graduate course in a humanities subject, and most of the humanities
courses had innumerable prerequisites. Caribbean history, in effect,
required an undergraduate history major before you could take the gradu-
ate course in Caribbean history, and so many of the master's candidates
over there took a graduate course in theater or something to get their
humanities course. Or they went to the master's of science. I don't
think there was any humanities course requirement here as I recall, but
there was in both a comprehensive examination in all four fields. So
when I came here, in addition to John Goggin, who as I said was non-
active, there was Bill Carter, who was a social-cultural anthropologist
with an interest in Andean South America. Then Theron Nunez who had
been at Florida State. He took his master's degree at FSU when I was
there, and then went to Berkeley for his doctorate. He must have come
here in the second year I was here because he had just received his
doctorate under Foster on Mexican ethnology. And we also had Paul Hahn,
another archeologist who had been a student of Goggin here at Florida
some years earlier, and had gone on to Yale. Then he received his doc-
torate at Yale, and then got a job at the University of Mississippi.
But, he didn't work out very well. He had become embittered by the de-
segregation uproar in Mississippi and virtually abandoned archeology in
favor of agitation for civil rights.
W: So this was a very small department.
F: It was a very small four-person department. It was, usually one and
sometimes two antrhopologists in the university college, but again, they
really contribute a heck of a lot to the department. In the Florida
State Museum, which was then downtown in the Seagle Building, at that
time there was Rip Bullen and Bill Sears.
W: When did Jim Ford come?
F: It was after that. About '67, I think. He was only here two or three
W: Where was the department here when you first came?
F: It was in a World War II temporary hut over on the bank of the sinkhole
in back of dairy science. It had been in several different places on
campus, but Goggin had moved it when we were there and secured that
building a year or two before, and there was a mess. Then we moved
into the Arts and Sciences Building across the street when that was re-
furbished from the old Florida Union. Then the Union was constructed.
We had some offices on the main floor and offices and laboratories in
the basement. Before I resigned as chairman, we started planning for
this building and were encouraged to plan for, I don't know, fifteen
thousand square feet, or something. Gradually, it was cut with every
version until we wound up with five thousand square feet, or something
that we have now.
W: Well, I think the way the department's grown, it could certainly stand
the fifteen thousand that you initially had put in for.
F: Yes. This is and has been a problem. When the new graduate school was
built, the graduate and international studies agreement with the National
Science Foundation was that faculty with international programs were to
be housed in that building along with the graduate school. So the Latin
Americanists and the Africanists were over there and we've got a split
department. Now I think we've got people down in the Health Center and
scattered here and there and yonder.
W: Well, it could be worse. My understanding of the way Harvard is set up
is that the physical anthropologists are separate from the cultural
anthropologists who are separate from the archeologists. I didn't
realize that was the system up there, but apparently it really is split
like that with professors in actual different buildings.
F: Oh, yes. Really it's only the archeologists that are in the Peabody
Muesum there on Divinity Street. The rest of them are over across one
of the quadrangles. It's probably not any farther than it is down to
W: What were your ideas when you set up the Ph.D. program? Were you
chairman at the time in the department on that?
W: How did you envision that program?
F: Well, we looked at the master's program as requiring basic competence
in all four fields and demonstration of that serving as admission to
the doctoral program. The doctoral program at first was envisioned
that it would involve areas where we had existing competence which was
southeastern and colonial archeology, Latin America primarily, and by
that time we also had begun a limited African program. From the start
there were two anthropologists in the med school staff. Carroll Taylor
and Bill Hutchinson, and at that time, they frequently taught, particu-
larly Dr. Taylor taught courses in anthropology, and did very well.
She was a student of Malimowski-Briton. We began to acquire graduate
research professors. The first one was Kimball, and next was Chuck
Wagley, and then von Mering. When Kimball retired we got Marvin Harris.
We received very good support both from the College of Arts and Sciences,
and from the graduate school all the way along the line. I think it
was in the time I came here until two or three years ago that we were
averaging class registration growth of somewhere around twenty per cent
a year. This was a period in which anthropology was becoming a recog-
nized part of a liberal arts education. In the fifties, I think a good
many college faculty people had had courses in psychology,and so they
were counseling students to take courses in psychology. By the sixties,
a good many professors of history, or sociology, or English, or whatever
had had a course in anthropology so they were advising students to take
an elective in anthropology. Registrations were growing and demand for
anthropology programs were growing. The expansion of universities cre-
ated a demand for faculty across the board. And this was true of all
of the, in fact by 1960, any department of anthropology that was in
place and had a faculty and a program could confidently expect that it
would grow. But I think that the University of Florida was particular
in that we did get a doctoral program before the board of regents shut
down on new doctoral programs. We, in comparison to other southern un-
iversities, North Carolina, Chapel Hill, had a doctoral program in
place from the mid-fifties, I believe. Tulane had a doctoral program
in place from something like the end of World War II. Maybe before
because Wauchope went down there.
W: What about Georgia?
F: [laughter] I think we were authorized a doctoral program before
Georgia. Knoxville, Tennessee lost theirs; it was the only other doctoral-
W: That was in mid-seventies when they finally got theirsastarted. Mainly
because, I think, one of the things Bass [William M.] pointed to the
board of regents, I guess it's the board of regents in Tennessee, there
was a need for another doctoral program in the southeast. The increase
in students, of archeology particularly, but the need for another doc-
toral program with emphasis in southeastern work.
W: Well, archeology had a prominent place in Florida anthropology. John
Goggin, an archeologist, started the program here and it remained.
John was fond of saying it was a broad anthropological program, but it
wasn't. It was an archeological program here.
F: Hale Smith at FSU was an archeologist, and Roger Grange, an archeologist,
was the first chairman at South Florida. Bill Sears, another archeologist,
was the first chairman at Florida Atlantic. And up until the
mid-seventies those were the four Florida universities with graduate
programs, and all of them were chaired by archeologists.
W: So there was the emphasis there but...
F: None of them are.
W: But the thing is, 1 think what's interesting is that not only are you
all archeologists, but I think your background, your training, you
F: Was in the Chicago tradition, four fields across the board and so on.
The signigicant thing was, I think, in the fifties and sixties, socialcultural
anthropology in the deep South was a little bit suspect. But
archeology, as the study of the past and digging up dead Indians, nobody
can really object to that; it doesn't impinge on desegragation questions
that were burning issues in the fifties and the sixties. So it was
elitist connoisseurship and harmless. Admittedly, a lot of the people
that came into it as students either as students intending to major in
anthropology, or simply for a course or two, were interested in archeology.
It was, as I say, the idea of general humanitarian sort of dis-
cipline and didn't upset any apple carts.
W: Well, the program here is being reevaluated. What are your feelings on
it? I'm one of your students and Hale's, and Ed Dolan's students. He
was my major professor as an undergraduate, and then going to FSU, and
then coming here, I guess I'm kind of entrenched in Chicago tradition
in being competent in the four fields, at least on the master's level.
F: Well, I think what the curriculum subcommittee of the faculty has been
doing for the last month or so in weekly meetings, and in general, is
insisting on course work in the four fields. At least a number of the
committee members are still talking about comprehensive examination in
four fields, and not to reduce it to one field in general as the other
committee had suggested. What the outcome will be, I don't know, but
everybody now seems to agree that the department should primarily em-
phasize graduate work leading to the doctorate and the comprehensive
examination as a gateway to admission into final stage of the doctoral
program, and only in special cases would the department plan for a ter-
minal master's program. There's also a proposal, I don't know where it
stands with the faculty, that we've been straw-voted on as to whether
it'd be a joint program and degree between urban planning and anthropol-
ogy. As I read it, a number of faculty and graduate students feel that
if urban planners want competence in anthropology, let them take an an-
thropology degree. Of course, for the last ten years or so, it has
been obvious that, in the first place, the baby boom of the immediate
post-War years is now in the getting out of college, and because of
other economic factors that college course enrollments probably will
not be increasing as they did in the sixties and early seventies, and
that academic positions will now largely be replacements for retiring
faculty, rather than expansion of existing faculty. So there's been an
increased emphasis for about ten years on non-academic positions in an-
thropology, and there are such positions and anthropologists, with the
proper academic background, have been quite successful in filling them.
This of course is particularly true of archeology. Archeology seems to
have as many non-academic positions at the present as academic positions.
W: Particularly on a master's level, when you're looking at the state and
some federal positions.
F: A good many of the federal positions are filled at the master's, or
W: A lot of those were filled in the early sixties when a master's was con-
sidered a pretty good requirement. I notice that you were president of
the Florida Anthropological Society from '56 and '57, and then editor
for a number of years for the...
F: At least twice.
W: What's your feeling on this organization?
F: Well, it's one of the older state societies. It was founded with the
intention of being an anthropological society rather than an archeolo-
gical, or purely archeological society. But its-major membership
throughout the years has been avocational archeologists with only a
leavening of academic, museum-oriented archeologists, or anthropologists
of any kind. I would like to see the Florida Anthropological Society
take a stronger role in integrating the avocational non-professional
into the mainstream of archeology and anthropology. We have had some
success it seems to me in getting a few avocational archeologists to
give up looting and become reliable non-professional archeologists. I
don't think we've recruited any avocational social-cultural or physical-
avocational anthropologists into the field, and there is certainly a
lot they could be doing in community studies and one thing and another.
There has been a traditional antagonism between many professional an-
thropologists and nonprofessional avocational archeologists and relic
collectors. The professional archeologist depends on the avocational
archeologist for a tremendous amount of information about location
sites. We could use their interest more efficiently than we do.
W: I think that like Louisiana has a good program with running a field
school and trying to get people trained, so they have some competence.
It certainly would help, particularly on this mound now over in Daytona
Beach, if we had well-trained people in the general public that we could
call on with supervision during the week, or whenever, with a trained,
professional archeologist, and set this up and be able to salvage some
of these sites. There is very little money, or no money to pay people,
and yet you've got people that are interested in doing archeology.
F: I spent a summer in England looking at their use of nonprofessional,
avocational, volunteer workers, praticularly in the salvage of threat-
ened sites that the British call rescue archeology. There are some
major limitations on how this is conducted in Britain, in my opinion,
we shouldn't repeat. But I think we can use a great deal more avoca-
tional people than we do. It does require leadership by a museum rather
than an academic department, I think. So far this hasn't materialized
in Florida, but I think it would be extremely valuable if it did.
W: When we were interrupted by the telephone call earlier, you were talk-
ing about SEAC, Southeastern Archeological Conference, and you expressed
that you didn't particularly like where it was heading in its format
today. Would you discuss that a little more?
F: Well, one of the problems we got into was funding. Some people felt
that every paper that was presented at the annual meeting deserved to
be published in the bulletin of the Southeastern Archeological Confer-
ence; there was no selectivity of what papers were given; thus there
was no selectivity of what papers were published. Publication of the
bulletin just became an intolerable financial burden. I think what I
would like to have seen was greater program selectivity rather than al-
lowing the same unselective process; anybody who wants to present a
paper sends in a title and an abstract, or whatever and gets on the
program, which means in my opinion an unmanageable program. The pro-
gram is long and unwieldy and crowded, and then there is the movement
to a journal. I don't see the point in having a separate journal that
is not dependent upon the annual activity of the Conference. When
Jimmy Griffin asked Steve Williams, Hagg, and I to try to figure out
what we could do about the financial situation, Steve came up with the
idea of these life membership. I didn't approve of them because I
think a life membership is a liability to a society rather than an
asset. By taking a life membership, you have undertaken to supply that
individual for life; if he lives to be a hundred and fifty, you're
still going to have to be giving him...
W: You pay well over a hundred dollars in postage just to keep the person
informed on what's going on.
F: You may, but of course many younger people didn't feel like they could
subscribe to a life membership. We used to have life memberships in
the Society for American Archeology, and the American Anthropological
Association, and I think they've reinstituted them.
W: They have. I think that the Society for American Archeology is about
F: I think that the reasons for not having them are still valid. But
anyway, they went to them and were presumably, fairly reasonable finan-
cial shape at the present time. But this question whether the original
purpose of the Southeastern Archeological Conference was to share infor-
mation among workers in various sub-regions in the southeast, and
whether the annual meeting, and the new journal are going to do this or
not, I just don't know.
W: I think the big problem is the massive growth of the people that atten-
ded the conference. With all the work that was being done, particular-
ly the contract work, it gets very difficult to dissiminate this infor-
mation around, and I don't know the answer myself.
F: I don't believe that another journal is going to do it because a journal
is going to publish presumably. I haven't seen any guidelines distrib-
uted as to what kind of articles the journal is looking for. Presumably
it will be selecting paradigmatic articles that will not necessarily
reflect current problems, or current information any more than American
Antiquity, American Anthropologist and...
W: Any of the other journals, Mid-Continental. Well, it really is going
to be a problem. We'll just have to wait and see what happens with
them. How would you define an anthropologist?
F: Well, an anthropologist is, by definition, a person who is trained in
and concerned with the subject of anthropology, which in turn is de-
fined as the study of man. I think you need to revise that, and vari-
ous aspects of behavior that are based upon learned standards as dis-
tinct from innate biologically, or determined behavior. The condition
of man as a member of a social group practicing a given culture, I
would say, or that anybody who is studying any aspect of human behavior
from a holistic point of view can validly be called an anthropologist,
which takes in a whole lot of territory.
W: What do you feel makes a good archeologist?
F: Well, adequate training in the techniques of recovery of data and a
dedication to re-learning something that has been known in the past,
but has been discarded and forgotten and obliterated from the memory of
people of the past. Archeology is the study of the past; it is the
study of material culture. So it is, in effect, the study of the mater-
ial aspects of human behavior through time, and it really is the only
discipline that does that.
W: A couple of nights ago I was preparing a list of individuals who I
thought would be interesting to get your comments on, in terms of their
contributions to anthropology, archeology, and in some cases, Florida
archeology. Some of them you've already talked about. I'd like to
mention a few others, and if you could just describe them and tell what
their contributions were to our profession. One that comes to mind is
F: Well, John R. Swanton laid the foundation for ethno-historic studies of
the southeastern Indians. While he was trained in ethnology, his pre-
occupation with written documents blinded him to the contribution that
archeology could make in many cases. He was a very nice individual. I
had personal contact with him, and had a tremendous respect for him,
but some of him determinations of travel locations and so on are grossly
biased by his dependence on invalid written documents.
W: Jim Ford.
F: Jim Ford was a tremendous influence not only in southeastern archeology,
but archeology of North American as a whole in many respects. I have
known him since the mid-1930s until his death in the late sixties.
W: You knew him for some time.
F: Quite so. His contributions, particularly to southeastern archeology,
and not particularly the Florida archeology, are tremendous. I think
in his latter years his attention to massive migrations, theories and
explanations, was seriously sefective.
W: Gordon Willey.
F: I would think that Gordon probably is the most brilliant archeologist
ever to have worked in the southeastern United States. He is a first
class brain. His contributions to Florida archeology are milestones,
and have not been duplicated since then. I'm sorry that his attention
got diverted to meso-America.
W: A. R. Kelley.
F: Nobody since Cortez has had as much money to spend on American Indians,
and as little to show for it as A. R. Kelley. Again, a brilliant indi-
vidual, but an inability to get things organized. He did have a tre-
mendous ability in interesting non-archeologist, the general public,
the legislature, both on the national and the state level, in funding
archeology, but again, his inability to get things organized. Just
simple housekeeping sorts of things severely limited the overall con-
tribution that he could have made to archeology of Georgia or the
W: Dave DeJarnette.
F: Dave DeJarnette again i:s a very pleasurable, nice, sincere individual,
and had done certainly more for Alabama archeology than any other
individual. He did not have what we would not consider adequate formal
academic training. He always was hesitant to express and to push his
own ideas about archeology. He was bashful in the presence of academically-trained
individuals. Nevertheless, he accomplished a tremendous
amount of archeology in Alabama that spilled off into neighboring areas.
People that he started out in archeology made considerable contributions.
W: James B. Griffin.
F: Griffin is Mr. Eastern United States Archeology. I never have heard
him say a harsh word about anybody even when it was highly justified.
He has an encyclopedic knowledge, and total recall of anything he's
ever read, seen or been told about archeology of most of North America,
including large segments of Mexico and South America. And he has the un-
usual ability, probably equalled only by V. Gordon Childe, of synthesiz-
ing all of this tremendous amount of information into an understandable
framework, and particularly of the eastern United States.
W: John Goggin.
F: John Goggin was a very difficult individual. He had emotional prob-
lems, very severe ones. He also brought a tremendous amount of enthusiasm to
archeology, particularly to Florida archeology, and he is the
father of Florida archeology. He started it well on its way.
W: John Griffin.
F: John Griffin. I think John is a very good archeologist. He was ruined
by the National Park Service, and its inability to make up its mind
without having a committee meeting. So John has a number of unfinished,
uncompleted, or deferred projects. I think since John has been involved
in contract archeology, he's got a lot more done than he ever got done
when he was working for the Park Service, or Historic St. Augustine, or
W: J. C. Harrington.
F: J. C. Harrington has had a tremendous influence on me. It was amply
justified that he received the Society for Historical Archeology's
first issue of its memorial medal. More than anybody else, Pinky
Harrington has established historical archeology as a valid discipline,
not just within archeology, but within anthropology.
W: Jess Jennings.
F: Jess Jennings is a very energetic, smart, and aggressive individual. I
think perhaps in many cases, too aggressive, and he antagonizes people
to some extent, or has in the past. His contributions in the southeast
were very considerable. A. R. Kelley left Ocmulgee in a mess, and
Jennings straightened it out, and got it back on road and properly or-
ganized. His contributions in great basin archeology are very consider-
able, but his contributions are not outstanding in archeological theory.
W: Antonio Warring.
F: Tono Warring. He is an example of a wasted individual. He had a great
deal to contribute to southeastern and Georgia archeology. But his
family insisted that he become a physician. He was a good physician.
When we were at St. Simon's, and our son was seriously ill. Tono gave
him the best physical exam of any doctor that we went to in Georgia.
He was all the time talking to me on the side about archeological mat-
ters, but nevertheless, he did a good job of pediatrics. In his later
years, he pretty much became a wasted individual. He wasn't contribut-
ing really anything significant to archeology, or to medicine, or to
W: Joseph Caldwell.
F: Joe, again, I think is to a large extent a wasted individual. As a
result of the lackadaisical federal environment. I first knew Joe at
the Kincaid field school in the summer in 1936. Joe had difficulty sep-
arating himself from the federal job situation, and then delayed fin-
ishing his formal education too long. I disagreed with a lot of the
specific archeological hypothesis that Joe espoused, in Trend and
Tradition. But certainly he was a significant individual, particularly
for Georgia archeology.
W: Robert Stuart Neitzel.
F: Stu was a delightful individual. He actually had insufficient academic
training to assume what would have been a highly valid position in the
academic sphere in teaching. He was a permanent field man in respect
to archeology as a whole. I worked with Stu for a year or a year and a
half on a day-to-day basis, and have a great deal of affection and
respect for him. He could have been more involved in academic or museum
field. He would have contributed more. He knew an awful lot, but he
never passed exams, except verbally.
W: Mark Boyd.
F: Mark Boyd was a very good avocational historian. As a physician and a
malariologist he contributed certainly, next to John R. Swanton, a basic
understanding at the historic level. He largely restricted his inter-
est to the Florida Indians, had particularly northern Florida Mission
W: Al Manucy.
F: Al Manucy was a peculiar individual. He really never was much interes-
ted in anything except the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. He
got pushed by the Park Service into getting involved in other things
like Frederica. But he was "Mr. Castillo." That was really what he
was interested in. Again, I think the Park Service did not provide
real research. Research to the Park Service means answers to specific
questions. What's the caption for this particular case, or something
like this. So Al's tremendous knowledge about the buildings of the
forts in St. Augustine and the military aspects of St. Augustine's
Spanish history is largely going to die with him. It hasn't been dis-
tributed as it should have been.
W: Someone needs to do an oral interview with him.
W: I should work it out.
F: I gather he's been ill lately, or in the hospital.
W: Ripley Bullen.
F: Well, Rip's major contribution to Florida archeology was the fact that
he got along with the nonprofessionals. He was a lousy field technician.
His excavation technique was terrible and he could not communicate
adequately to students. So we never could use him, or use his skills,
or his knowledge in an academic program.
W: Bill Sears.
F: Bill Sears. I don't understand Bill. He has had a number of major re-
search interests. His survey of the Gulf Coast area has never resulted
in any significant body of information. The major publication, of
course, is the one that's coming out on Fort Center, and I'll wait to
see. And I don't understand how he's somewhat younger than I am. Last
time I saw him, he seemed to be in pretty good physical health. And
why he just divorced himself from archeology in every way, so he can
retire and go fishing.
W: Hale Smith.
F: Hale was an inveterate packrat, in every respect. Hale, next to John
Goggin, did establish the academic program in Florida universities in
archeology. He was a material and nonmaterial packrat, which I guess
is one of the basic characteristics of an archeologist. I can remember
when he started, and went to the surplus property warehouse, and came
back with a gunny sack full of hardwood brackets for telephone poles.
He bought them for only a penny a piece, and at that price you couldn't
turn them down. He never did figure out what he was going to use them
for, but he couldn't resist collecting things. Again, I think if he had
been a little more organized, the program at FSU would have been more
solid during his lifetime, and after his death.
W: There's probably a lot more of your students, but I've only got three
down. Benny Keel.
F: No, no.
W: I may be wrong, but he was at FSU when you were there.
F: And in effect he wrote his master's thesis on the results of a laboratory
seminar he took under me, though he finished it after I left.
Benny had some problems from time to time. I don't know. I think you'd
have to wait and see what his major contribution will be. His work in
western North Carolina is a definite contribution. I don't know
whether we can say the same thing about his work for IAS, or HCRS, or
whatever. Again, I think perhaps misdirection in the National Park
Service situation stunted him.
W: Jerry Milanich.
F: I'd rather not comment.
W: Kathy Deagan.
F: I think Kathy Deagan is one of two outstanding students that I've had a
hand in. The other is Carol Erwin Mason. Certainly Deagan's dissertation
on Mestizaje in St. Augustine was the first problem-oriented dis-
sertation in historical archeology. It's a landmark. And will remain
so for a long time. I don't know that it's been equalled yet. The
work she's been doing, her ability to define sixteenth and early seventeenth century culture patterns in St. Augustine ismoutstanding. And I
think in another ten years or so, she'll be universally, or internationally
recognized as the outstanding authority on Spanish colonial
W: You mentioned Carol Mason, as one of the other outstanding students you
F: At FSU. I remember she wrote a master's thesis under me, and then went
to Michigan and wrote a doctorate on Ocmulgee national monument in the
historic phase. I think Carol probably is intellectually superior to
any student I've ever had. She unfortunately came along ten years
ahead of women's liberations, and has been submerged. She married an
archeologist and has not had an independent career as such. But what
she has done since getting the doctorate has been very good stuff, and
she hasn't been able to have a full-time independent position.
W: Any other students that you can think of?
F: Gee, offhand, no.
W: Well, I certainly enjoyed this, and I appreciate you spending the time,
taking the time off.
F: What are you going to do with it? Now this goes into Proctor's archives?
W: Yes. I've got a release form which I will let you sign since you said
you would do it. We'll get a copy back up to you as soon as we get it
transcribed, and you can make any corrections, and delete things it you