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Inventory of the Thomas Harvey Gill Papers, 1912 - 1972

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Thomas Harvey Gill (1891-1972) was a leader in international and American forestry and prolific author. Gill served as a forester with the U.S. Forest Service (1915-1925), the Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation (1926-1960), and the Food and Agriculture Organization and was a founder of the International Society of Tropical Foresters.
The collection includes personal and professional correspondence; published and draft articles; photographs; printed materials, including books; excerpts from travel diaries (1924-1929); directors' minutes of the Charles Lathrop Pack Forest Education Board (1930-1940). Among the prominent correspondents are Ralph S. Hosmer, Adalbert Ebner, Randolph G. Pack, Arthur N. Pack, the Tropical Plant Research Foundation, Gifford Pinchot, Carl Alwin Schenck, and Ferdinand A. Silcox.
Title: Thomas Harvey Gill Papers, 1912 - 1972
Creator: Gill, Thomas, 1891-1972
Repository: Forest History Society Library and Archives
Call Number: 3311
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 6 linear feet
(11 archival boxes)

Biographical Note

Thomas Harvey Gill (1891-1972) was a leader in international and American forestry and prolific author. Gill served as a forester with the U.S. Forest Service (1915-1925), the Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation (1926-1960), and the Food and Agriculture Organization and was a founder of the International Society of Tropical Foresters.

Tom Gill was born in 1891 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated in 1913 from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in languages. Throughout his life, Gill developed proficiency in Spanish, French, and German in addition to his native English. In 1915, Gill graduated from Yale University with the degree Master of Forestry. Following graduation, he went to work for the U.S. Forest Service as a forest ranger in Fort Collins, Colorado. During World War I, Gill served as a a pilot and instructor in the Army Air Service. After WWI, he returned to the Forest Service as forest supervisor of the Black Hills National Forest at Deadwood, South Dakota.

In 1922, Gill transferred to Washington, D.C., where he was in charge of information for the Branch of Public Relations. In January of 1925, the American Forestry Association, Washington, D.C. appointed him associate editor of American Forests and Forest Life. A year later he became executive director and foresters of the Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation in Washington, D.C., a position he held until the Foundation's liquidation in 1960.

Tom Gill authored many popular and academic works. His fiction centered on stories of adventure involving cowboys, forest rangers, and frontier characters. His 12 books of fiction included Guardians of the Desert, Death Rides the Mesa, North to Danger, The Gay Bandit of the Border, and No Place for Women.

In addition to his fiction, Gill wrote numerous short stories and serials which were published in leading magazines of the day, such as Saturday Evening Post, American Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Reader's Digest. Several of his novels were made into movies.

Gill authored numerous articles on forestry and natural resources. His books include Forests and Mankind, 1930 (co-author with Charles Lathrop Pack); the widely distributed Forest Facts for Schools; a definitive work titled Tropical Forests of the Caribbean, 1931; and The Forestry Directory (coeditor), 1943. In 1951, Gill wrote Land Hunger in Mexico.

Tom Gill was one of the leading drafters of the report establishing the forestry division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. He established, financed, and directed the activities of the International Society of Tropical Foresters as its president and founder. He served as executice director of International Union of Societies of Forestries. In 1954, Gill won the Sir William Schlich Memorial Medal in 1954, and he participated in the first six World Forestry Congresses. Among his other awards, Gill received the Bernhard E. Fernow Award by the American Forestry Association; Distinguished Service Cross of Germany; France's Chevalier, Merite Agricole; and the Merito Civico Forestal of Mexico.

Tom Gill died in 1972.


Collection Overview

The collection includes personal and professional correspondence; published and draft articles; photographs; printed materials, including books; excerpts from travel diaries (1924-1929); directors' minutes of the Charles Lathrop Pack Forest Education Board (1930-1940). Among the prominent correspondents are Ralph S. Hosmer, Adalbert Ebner, Randolph G. Pack, Arthur N. Pack, the Tropical Plant Research Foundation, Gifford Pinchot, Carl Alwin Schenck, and Ferdinand A. Silcox.

Collection Arrangement

Where possible, original folder titles have been retained.

1. Correspondence, Travel Diaries, Meeting Minutes, Publications, and Printed Materials, 1912-1972



Subject Headings

  • Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation
  • Ebner, Adalbert
  • Gill, Thomas Harvey, (1891-1972)
  • Hosmer, Ralph S. (Ralph Sheldon), 1874-1963
  • Journal of forest history.
  • Pack, Randolph G.
  • Pack, Charles Lathrop, 1857-1937
  • Pinchot, Gifford
  • Silcox, F. A. (Ferdinand Augustus), 1882-1939
  • Tropical Plant Research Foundation
  • United States. Forest Service

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Correspondence, Travel Diaries, Meeting Minutes, Publications, and Printed Materials, 1912-1972.

Box 1
Excerpts from Tom Gill's Diaries, 1925-1961
Includes accounts of various trips made while Tom Gill was a forester for the Pack Foundation and later the Tropical Plant Research Foundation.
Box 1
Personal: Agents
Box 1
Personal: American Magazine, 1941-1959
Box 1
Personal: Saturday Evening Post Correspondence, 1942-1945
Box 1
Duke Tropical Symposium: Background Material, Papers, Etc., April 21-26, 1965
Box 1
Pesticide Committee: Article on Spraying Operations, 1961
Includes correspondence, memoranda, and photographs of aerial pesticide spraying and ground operations and of a Caribou trip.
Box 1
Pack Foundation: Article, Miscellaneous Material, 1929-1960
Box 1
American Magazine, 1932-1940
Box 1
Society of American Foresters: General Correspondence, 1940-1971
Box 1
Pack Foundation, 1948-1968
Box 2
Correspondence: G. P. Putnum's & Sons, 1940-1959
Box 2
Correspondence: Curis Brown, 1930-1938
Box 2
Correspondence: Farrar & Riinhart, Inc., 1931-1939
Box 2
Correspondence: Cosmopolitan Magazine: Correspondence, 1932-1936
Box 2
Correspondence: R. L. Giffen, 1932-1937
Box 2
Correspondence: Venezeula, 1952-1957
Box 2
National Academy of Sciences Tropical Forestry Committee: Background Material and General Correspondence,
Box 2
National Academy of Sciences Tropical Forestry Committee: Committee Members and Correspondence with Foundations
Box 2
Freedom from Hunger Foundation: Membership and General Correspondence
Box 3
Japan: Travel Orders, 1951 Mission, Legislative Booklet, and Other Materials
Box 3
Correspondence: Ralph S. Hosmer
Box 3
Sir Herbert Howard, ISTF
Box 3
Duke Tropical Symposium: Correspondence
Box 3
University of Florida Subcommittee
Box 3
United Nations Conference, Geneva, February 1963: Information and Correspondence
Box 3
Reference Material
Box 4
Lantern Slide Labeled "T. A. Gill on Mt. Evans Road. Pike National Forest, Colorado. (Taken by H. N. Wheeler - 1923)"
Box 4
Tropical Plant Research Foundation: General Correspondence, 1928-1942
Box 4
Arthur N. Pack: Correspondence, 1928-1940
Box 4
Randolph G. Pack, 1952-1956
Box 4
Dr. Adalbert Ebner: Correspondence, 1950-1967
Box 4
Pack Foundation, American Tree Association: Articles of Incorporation, Social Security and Taxes, and Old Security Lists, 1932-1963
Box 5
Commonwealth Forestry Institute Library, University of Oxford, 1962-1967
Box 5
Arthur N. Pack: Correspondence, 1957-1961
Box 5
Randolph G. Pack, 1954-1955
Box 5
Pack Foundation: Secretary's Annual Reports, Tom Gill, 1958-1961 and undated
Box 5
Pack Foundation: Jim O'Hearn, 1957-1964
Box 5
H. R. Josephson: Application for Fellowship in Forestry (1937-1938), 1937-1941
Box 5
Charles Lanthrop Pack Forestry Foundation, 1934-1971
Box 6
Loose Materials
Includes correspondence and draft of "An Evaluation of the Effects of Fire on Watershed Values of Ponderosa Pine and Chaparral Lands of the Salt River Watershed."
Box 6
Excerpt from Diaries Made During Trips of Tom Gill and Other Materials, 1924-1961
Box 6
Correspondence: National Conservation Memorial Commission, 1956
Box 6
Tropical Forests of the Carribean, 1931-1954
Box 6
Oberlander Trust, 1942
Box 6
"Virgin Islands National Park" by Tom Gill and Related Correspondence, 1964-1965
Box 6
Forest History Society, 1952-1972
Box 6
Correspondence with Persons Who Have Died, 1932-1933 and undated
Box 7
Publications (Loose)
Box 7
American Forestry Association, 1961-1971
Box 7
American Forestry Association: Fernow Award Committee, 1970
Box 7
Manuscripts: "Thirsty Wonderlands"
Box 7
Comments Regarding Land Hunger in Mexico and Other Writings, 1951-1952
Box 7
American Forestry Association: Forest History Committee, 1971-1972
Box 7
Certificate of Nomination as Society of American Foresters Fellow
Box 8
Miscellaneous Articles by Tom Gill, 1936-1966
Box 8
Speeches, Radio Talks, Etc. by Tom Gill
Box 8
Timber Conservation Board
Box 8
Correspondence: Hugh M. Curran, 1950-1952
Box 8
Correspondence: Franz Heske, 1937
Box 8
Correspondence: Ward Shepard, 1934-1946
Box 8
Correspondence: W. I. Hutchinson, 1950
Box 8
Correspondence: Gifford Pinchot and Cornelia Bryce Pinchot, 1945-1953
Box 8
Correspondence: Carl A. Schenck, 1939-1950
Box 8
Correspondence: Ferdinand A. Silcox, 1934-1947
Box 8
Correspondence: Professor E. P. Stebbing, 1946-1952
Box 8
Correspondence: Egon Glesinger, 1941-1955
Box 8
Charles Lanthrop Pack Forestry Fellowship Fund, undated
Box 9
Loose Materials, 1972 and undated
Includes photographs, negatives, excerpts from Tom Gill's diaries (see elsewhere in the collection), and an news release/obituatry issued on the occassion of Tom Gill's death.
Box 9
Correspondence, Contract, and Other Materials Related to Book Publication, 1938-1946
Box 9
Loose Materials, 1952-1968
Includes correspondence and related materials concerning Arthur C. Ringland, A. J. Riker, and Lawrence Rakestraw.
Box 9
Confidential Papers, 1949-1954
Box 9
Reprints from Journal of Forestry
Box 9
"Forestry Proposals for the Philippines" by Tom Gill
Box 9
Dead File - Publishers
Box 9
Forestry in Japan
Box 9
Tribes and Temples
Box 9
Miscellaneous Papers
Box 9
Head Shots of Tom Gill
Box 9
Photographs in which Tom Gill Appears, 1924
Box 9
Assorted Photographs, 1912-1967
Includes U.S. Forest Service photographs and others featuring foresters, rangers, Smokey Bear cub, and a smoke jumper.
Box 9
Assorted Photographs and Portraits of Tom Gill, 1936-1963 and earlier (undated)
Box 9
Charles Lanthrop Pack Forest Education Board, 1930-1940
Box 10
Daily Journals, 1915-1916
Box 10
Enlistment, Discharge, and Other Military Papers, 1917-1945
Box 10
Loose Papers
Box 10
Society of American Foresters: 60th Anniversary Banquet
Box 10
Awards: German Federal Cross of Merit and Sir William Memorial Medal, 1954-1961
Box 10
Society of American Foresters: Notes for Chapter on America and World Forestry for the First 60 Years
Box 10
State Forestry Suverys: General, 1944-1953
Box 10
Vivian Gill: Certificate of Merit, American Theatre Wing War Service, Inc., Stage Door Canteen of Washington
Box 11
Tom Gill Articles, 1925-1943
Includes mostly serialized fictional adventure stories written by Tom Gill.
"Madonna of the Pueblos: A Love of Story of Old New Mexico." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 79:4 (October 1925): 74-77, 149-150, 152.
"In the Mexican Quarter: The Romance of a Tenderfoot." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 88:6 (June 1930): 83-85, 145-146, 148-150.
"The Gay Bandit of the Border: A Novel of the West by a Real Westerner." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 89:6 (December 1930): 20-25, 184-188, 191-194.
"The Gay Bandit of the Border: A Romance of the Southwest." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 90:2 (February 1931): 38-41, 178-184, 186-190.
"The Gay Bandit of the Border: A Thrilling Story of the West by a Real Westerner." Pearson's Magazine (June 1931): 638-655.
"Jungle War." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 92:1 (January 1932): 66-67.
"The Long Run." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 96:4 (April 1934): 60-63, 96, 98, 101.
"Dude Ranch." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 97:3 (September 1934): 40-41.
"No Other White Man." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 98:5 (May 1935): 27-30, 125-126, 128-129.
"No Other White Man." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 98:6 (June 1935): 48-49, 142-145.
"Lady Guest." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 99:3 (September 1935): 62-64, 106, 108, 110.
"Before Dawn." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 99:5 (November 1935): 68-71, 124-125.
"Firebrand." American Magazine 126:3 (September 1938): 9-13, 132-138.
"Whether the Break is Good or Bad It's Worth Something." American Magazine 114:2 (August 1932): 58, 74, 76.
"Guardians of the Desert." American Magazine 115:1 (January 1933): 48-52, 93-97.
"Guardians of the Desert." American Magazine 115:2 (February 1933): 52-56, 125-129.
"Death Rides the Mesa." American Magazine 116:3 (September 1933): 11-15, 123-134.
"Death Rides the Mesa." American Magazine 116:4 (October 1933): 30-33, 125-131.
"Death Rides the Mesa." American Magazine 116:5 (November 1933): 60-63, 128-133.
"Death Rides the Mesa." American Magazine 116:6 (December 1933): 62-66, 129-133.
"Death Rides the Mesa." American Magazine 117:2 (February 1934): 46-49, 138-143.
"Starlight Pass." American Magazine 118:6 (December 1934): 12-15, 92, 94, 96, 98, 100, 102, 104, 106.
"Starlight Pass." American Magazine 119:1 (January 1935): 22-25, 103-110.
"Starlight Pass." American Magazine 119:2 (February 1935): 40-43, 114-122.
"Starlight Pass." American Magazine 119:3 (March 1935): 66-69, 113-118.
"Starlight Pass." American Magazine 119:4 (April 1935): 40-43, 144-145, 148-153.
"Heartwood." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 102:6 (June 1937): 26-31, 188-196.
"Heartwood." Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 103:1 (July 1937): 53-55, 179-188.
"Red Earth." American Magazine 122:2 (August 1936): 12-15, 90-98.
"Red Earth." American Magazine 122:3 (September 1936): 28-31, 130-137.
"Red Earth." American Magazine 122:4 (October 1936): 50-53, 111-118.
"Red Earth." American Magazine 122:5 (November 1936): 42-45, 122-129.
"Red Earth." American Magazine 122:6 (December 1936): 32-35, 142-150.
"Red Earth." American Magazine 123:1 (January 1937): 50-52, 76-82.
"You've Got To Go After It." American Magazine 128:3 (September 1939): 32-33, 90-91.
"Gentleman of the Jungle." American Magazine 128:4 (October 1939): 9-13, 106-109, 111-113.
"Gentleman of the Jungle." American Magazine 128:5 (November 1939): 30-33, 111-119.
"Gentleman of the Jungle." American Magazine 128:6 (December 1939): 30-33, 85-94.
"Gentleman of the Jungle." American Magazine 129:1 (January 1940): 30-33, 109-115.
"Gentleman of the Jungle." American Magazine 129:2 (February 1940): 28-31, 102-105.
"Gentleman of the Jungle." American Magazine 129:3 (March 1940): 36-38, 132-135, 137-138.
"Cactus Biglo's Cat: The Story of a Strange Friendship." McClure's 60:5 (May 1928): 64-68, 77.
"Earth's Oldest Art: From Remotest Ages Man Has Expressed in Wood Carving His Yearning for Beauty." American Forests and Forest Life 35:12 (December 1929): 749-753.
"Jungle Orphan." Nature Magazine 19:1 (January 1932): 11-15.
"Angel of the Christmas Tree." Nature Magazine 10:6 (December 1927): 382-385.
"A Flight to the Unknown." Scribner's Magazine 82:1 (July 1927): 60-69.
"Jungle Harvest." Saturday Evening Post 215:35 (February 27, 1943): 28-29, 64, 66, 68-69, 71-72.
"Jungle Harvest." Saturday Evening Post 215:36 (March 6, 1943): 32, 35, 48, 53-54, 56.
"Jungle Harvest." Saturday Evening Post 215:37 (March 13, 1943): 32, 35, 70, 72, 74, 76.
"Jungle Harvest." Saturday Evening Post 215:38 (March 20, 1943): 32, 35, 50, 53, 55, 58.
   Oversize Paper Folder 1
Miscellaneous
7.5 x 9.5 inch black and white photograph of Enrique Beltran pasted onto 11" x 14" poster board with handwritten inscription in Spanish dated 1964. English translation of inscription: "To my dear and admired friend and colleague Dr. Tom Gill with sincere friendship and true appreciation."
11.5 x 15.5 inch honorary diploma presented to Tom Gill on 26 July 1965 by El Instituto Mexicano de Recursos Naturales Renovables.
12.5 x 17 inch award presented to Tom Gill in recognition of his forest conservation activities and conferring to him honorary membership in the Sociedad Forestal Mexicana as of 25 March 1955.
12 x 18.5 certificate of honorary membership in La Asociacion Mexicana de Proteccion a la Naturaleza presented to Tom Gill on 6 March 1952.
12 x 18.5 inch certificate of honorary membership in La Sociedad Mexicana de Historia Natural presented to Tom Gill on 29 February 1952.

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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Thomas Harvey Gill Papers, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Received with and removed from the November 1997 addition to the Society of American Foresters Records.

Processing Information

Processed by Staff and Amanda Ross, January 2009

Encoded by Amanda Ross, January 2009

Funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission supported the encoding of this finding aid. Support for digitization and outreach provided by the Alvin J. Huss Endowment.