Skip to main content

Herman Haupt Chapman papers

Call Number: MS 134

Scope and Contents

The Herman Haupt Chapman Papers include correspondence, writings, minutes, research data files, printed material, and photographs which document Herman Haupt Chapman's career as a forester and professor in the Yale School of Forestry. The papers highlight Chapman's research, writing, and teaching on forest mensuration, valuation, regulation, and finance; his work with the Society of American Foresters, particularly his study of forestry education in the United States; his interests in national and state parks, forests, and wilderness areas; his lifelong research on the problems of forest protection and silviculture in the southern pines; and his close association with the students and alumni of the Yale School of Forestry. Major correspondents include fellow teachers of forestry, professional foresters, lumbermen, and state and federal government officials.

The Chapman Papers are arranged in three series: I. VOLUMES, 1881-1956; II. CORRESPONDENCE AND TOPICAL FILES, 1897-1963; and III. PHOTOGRAPHS, 1905-1947.

The series divisions reflect an arrangement imposed on the papers by Herman Haupt Chapman, who organized the papers in Series I and had them bound into volumes. Papers in Series II contain material similar in content to that of Series I, although the documents are unbound. Series I and II are composed of the same types of material: correspondence, reports, printed material, manuscript and printed copies of Chapman's writings, and photographs. Both series contain topically arranged material covering the same subjects and spanning roughly the same period of years. Series II contains more material created after Chapman's retirement from active teaching and a small quantity of Chapman's personal papers relating to his family and his service on the Board of Deacons of Center Church.

The more than 160 volumes of papers in Series I reflect the depth and breadth of Chapman's professional interests and are described in detailed indices created by Chapman. Each volume is organized around a topic and has a title, which indicates the general subjects of the papers. A list of Chapman's volume titles is found at the beginning of the index volumes in Box 1. (The folder list in this register for Series I identifies volumes by a more abbreviated title given on the spine of the volume.) The index volumes also contain a listing of individual items as they appear in each volume, with the exception of volumes 136-140 and 142. These item lists also appear at the beginning of the appropriate volume. The bibliography volumes in box 2 serve as an additional guide to the volumes in Series I. Chapman arranged one bibliography by subject and divided his list of works under 32 subject headings. The list refers to the volumes included in Series I as well as published articles and books. For example, under the subject heading "8. Grazing Policies" one is referred to periodicals; to entire volumes in Series I, ie. C P (for Chapman Papers) 22; and to individual items within a volume, ie. p. 10, C P 24A. Folder 4 also includes a chronologically arranged bibliography of Chapman's works from 1900 to 1943.

Series II also reflects the range of Chapman's research, teaching, writing, consulting, and organizational activities. The list of folder titles titles reveals a mixture of personal and corporate name files, as well as topical headings. Approximately 35 of the topical headings were supplied by Chapman. Notes with the materials suggest his intent to bind or catalog these materials as he did with the materials in Series I. Another 10 to 15 folder titles refer to manuscripts, notes, and correspondence concerning publications. These include the manuscript for Chapman's autobiography The Making of a Forester (folders 616-624). Some titles refer to only an item or two such as: correspondence with a Yale Forestry School alumnus or an individual associated with the U.S. Forest Service or Society of American Foresters; citations or research data on a topic; or clippings and notes. Other headings refer to major topics in the series: Yale Forestry School; Center Church; Field books; Fire; Longleaf pine seed study; Society of American Foresters; and Urania, Louisiana. Cross references have been supplied to link small quantities of material to a more general subject heading.

Series III consists of photoprints and negatives which relate to Chapman's work. The photographs are arranged by location. The series includes many views of Yale forestry students at work or in camp as well as numerous photographs of forests and stands of pine trees.

Most of the Herman Haupt Chapman Papers were originally stored at the Yale School of Forestry. The date of their transfer to the Manuscripts and Archives Department is not known. Additions to the papers have been made through gifts by Henry Haupt Chapman, the Forest History Society, and David M. Smith between 1969 and 1983. Papers of Herman Haupt Chapman relating to his research on his grandfather Herman Haupt are located in the Herman Haupt Papers (MS 269).


  • 1881-1963


Conditions Governing Access

These records are available for research.

Series II includes grade books. In order to protect students' privacy, records of this type in Box 60, Folder 334, are restricted until January 1, 2020; folder 335 is restricted until January 1, 2030.

Existence and Location of Copies

Volumes 79A-81 are also available on microfilm (810 frames on 1 reel, 35mm.) from Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, at cost. Order no. HM173.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Portions of the papers were gifts of Henry Haupt Chapman, the Forest History Society, and David M. Smith, 1969-1983.


Arranged in three series: I. Volumes, 1881-1956. II. Correspondence and Topical Files, 1897-1963. III. Photographs, 1905-1947.

Associated Materials

Related material: Herman Haupt Papers (MS 269). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.


41 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers include correspondence, writings, minutes, research data files, printed material, and photographs which document Herman Haupt Chapman's career as a forester and professor in the Yale School of Forestry. The papers highlight Chapman's research, writings, and teaching on forest mensuration, valuation, regulation, and finance, and his work with the Society of American Foresters, particularly his study of forestry education in the United States. His interests in national and state parks, forests, and wilderness areas; his lifelong research on the problems of forest protection and silviculture in the southern pines; and his close association with the students and alumni of the Yale School of Forestry are also documented.

Biographical / Historical

Herman Haupt Chapman was 88 when when he died at his home in New Haven on July 13, 1963. He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 8, 1874, the son of Frederic Lord Chapman and Ella Catherine (Haupt) Chapman. He was named for his grandfather, Herman Haupt, a civil engineer and railroad builder, who during the first few years of the Civil War was in charge of transportation for all the Union armies. In 1881 Grandfather Haupt was concerned with one of the railroads west of Chicago, and persuaded the Chapmans to move to Minnesota. Young Herman graduated from St. Paul High School when he was 17, and at 21 received the Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota. Next he completed in one year a three-year high school course in agriculture, so that he could return to the University to do further work in this field. He took all the courses offered in forestry and got his Bachelor of Agriculture degree in 1899. Although the Minnesota School of Forestry was not founded until 1904, it counts Chapman its first graduate.

While still a student he began working at the University's experimental farm, and in 1897 was appointed superintendent of Minnesota's agricultural experiment station at Grand Rapids. There his interest in forestry increased. He was faced with the difficulties of trying to make farm crops thrive on cut-over pine lands fit only for growing trees; and he was worried about the disposition of the timberlands the Chippewa Indians were turning over to the federal government. He consulted forest leaders in the eastern United States -- among them B. E. Fernow, C. A. Schenck, H. S. Graves and Gifford Pinchot.

So it is easy to imagine how he happened to come to the school of forestry, newly founded at Yale by the Pinchot family. He enrolled in September 1901; and with Detwiler, Hawes, Peters, Spring, Tiemann, Woolsey and other men of the Class of 1903 began his studies. He roomed with Clothier "in the purlieus of one of the choicest residential sections, namely Dixwell Avenue near the fire house, and paid $1.50 per week for room with light and heat, and use of the bathroom occasionally." At midyears he dropped out and returned to Grand Rapids where he did forestry work, which helped him later to receive credit for the semester of study he missed at the School. During the 61-degrees-below-zero winter of 1902-1903 in Minnesota, he had scaled logs for the State to see if he "could stand as much cold as the lumberjacks."

In the fall of 1903 he was rooming again at 188 Dixwell Avenue having joined the Class of 1904 -- Baker, Besley, Carter, Greeley, Hawley, Mattoon, Redington, and Weigle among them. At Christmas time he returned to Minnesota; and on December 29 married Alberta Pinneo of Duluth. Senior spring camp in 1904 was held at Milford, Pennsylvania. As a newly-wed student Chapman lived with his wife "at Mrs. Beardsley's cottage, and hence saw less of the class than otherwise." Roy Marston was in charge, and the students "got a very thorough, or rather a considerably extended, training in various forms of surveying, including several weeks on the transit dividing the Pinchot estate into 16 rod squares." In June 1904, Yale awarded Chapman and 30 others the degree of Master of Forestry.

In those days most of our graduates began forestry work with the federal government. Chapman was no exception. From graduation until June 1906 he was in the United States Forest Service. The Chapmans' first son, Frederic Pinneo was born in Washington, D.C., on March 14, 1905, during this assignment.

Their second son, Edmund Haupt, was born in New Haven -- on August 12, 1906 -- for Chapman had returned to Yale by that time as instructor in forestry. New appointees to similar instructorships the same year were Ralph Clement Bryant, a forest engineer from Cornell University, and Chapman's classmate, Ralph Chipman Hawley. Henry S. Graves was Director and Pinchot Professors of Forestry; the other professors of forestry were Gifford Pinchot (non-resident) and James W. Toumey.

As assistant to Graves in forest mensuration work, Chapman went back to Milford in 1906. He taught during the summer terms there through 1909, and then in 1911, 1913, 1915; and finally in 1924, had his last tour of duty at the camp on the Sawkill. He recalls, in an article published in the NEWS in 1928 soon after summer-term work was moved elsewhere, that the evening camp fires were among his outstanding recollections of Milford, and that Professor J. C. Tracy (of Plane Surveying fame) taught at the camp in the early days, and about 1907 "wrote the song, 'Build the Camp Fire,' which remains a classic of the School" -- Build the camp fire, start the singing while the flames leap high.... While above the blue flag floating bids us never fail... Love to Alma Mater plighted, from where'er we hail, to that love is now united, loyalty to Yale.

Chapman in 1906-1907 assisted in teaching not only mensuration, but silvics and lumbering; and was given complete responsibility for a course in state forest law, and for one in forest management, the subject that claimed his chief attention during his years at Yale.

Prior to 1907, spring field work for the senior class had been done in the Northeast. In 1907 Chapman and Bryant took the students to Missouri; the South has been the scene of this work ever since. An old photo-album given by Chapman to our library shows work and fun at the camps from 1907 to 1918. Pictures of the big snake killed and brought in to be photographed, of the corner-witness tree that was missed until the outside six or eight inches of wood were chopped away to show the scribings, of the bunk houses and tents where the boys lived, and of the razor-backs that lived nearby are repeated year after year. In 1913 Chappie raised a beard and a garden at the camp at Warren, Arkansas, the pictures show. Two years later he took his family with him to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for we see him sitting on a pine log with sons Fritz (Frederic) and Ed; and 5-year-old Ruth --- "the Chapmans' daughter, born in New Haven in 1910 --- ” is shown with a magnolia blossom almost as big as she.

Chapman in an article in the NEWS for July 1913, based on an opinion poll of the classes from '07 to '12, defends the location of the School's spring field work in the South and points to the advantages of gentle topography and open stands of few species in the instruction to be given at that stage of the students' training. The camp was located successively in the Ozarks of Missouri, central Alabama, northern Louisiana, and Texas. In 1917, its eleventh year, it was held at Urania, Louisiana, on the lands of the Urania Lumber Company owned by Henry Hardtner. For 23 consecutive years, from 1920 until Chapman retired from teaching, Urania was the locale of our spring field work.

The three months in the woods in the south each spring were an important part of Chapman's years at Yale. His instruction in New Haven in forest management and finance was preparatory to the practical training he gave the students down there. He became fascinated with the problems of forest protection and silviculture in the southern pines, and was an early advocate of controlled burning to encourage reproduction and as a protective measure. In 1913 he published, with Bryant, number two in the School bulletin series: "Prolonging the Cut of Southern Pine." His School bulletins on natural reproduction of longleaf pine and on the management of loblolly pine (number 16, published in 1926; and number 49, in 1942) stand high among his contributions to technical forestry. Bulletin number 51 on the yield of loblolly pine, written by Walter H. Meyer in 1942, is the culmination of studies begun by Chapman.

The weeks each year when Yale moved south were memorable to Chapman, because it was then that he grew to know the students best. They are memorable to the alumni, too, because most of us recall Chappie with a background of pines, the camp, and bayous to be waded in the south. Chappie ran his last camp down there, at Urania in 1942. Then the Second World War put an end to our southern field work for a while. He wrote a summary called "Urania --- 1917-1942" for the July 1942 NEWS in which he reviews his accomplishments, and adds some anecdotes about the final camp at Urania --- including an account of his getting bitten by a water moccasin. "You see it was this way. I was bit in the foot by a moccasin while we both --- the snyke and I --- were taking a bath in the creek..... What I thought of first was that this was their last chance after 35 years!" In 1960, urged on by Professor Z. W. White, '38, and by Edgar Wyman, '39, who was at Crossett taking the spring field work as a refresher course, Chapman made a final, nostalgic trip to his old haunts. His article, "The South Revisited" in the July 1960 NEWS is full of details and humor that show how much he enjoyed it.

But to return to our account of Chapman's academic advancement. A year after his initial appointment as instructor in 1906, he was made assistant professor, and five years later, in 1911, became Harriman Professor of Forest Management. This professorship was established in 1911, and Chapman was the first incumbent. His 68th birthday came in October 1942; and so, following Yale's mandate, he became professor emeritus on July 1, 1943. During his active teaching career he published a series of books that have been used as standard texts in virtually all American forestry schools: Forest Valuation; Forest Mensuration, 1921; American Forest Regulation, with T. S. Woolsey, 1922; Forest Finance, 1926; and Forest Management, 1931. New editions, or revisions, some with other authors, have kept many of these up-to-date.

The School, of course, was Chapman's main object of devotion during his active years on the faculty and the years that followed; but he concerned himself too with public and professional forestry matters outside his teaching career. During the academic years from 1917 to 1919 the University granted him leave so that he might be with his wife who, after a serious illness, was convalescing in Arizona. He became assistant regional forester for the southwest region of the U. S. Forest Service in charge of forest management on the national forests of Arizona and New Mexico. His publications of that period deal in particular with the effect of grazing on ponderosa pine reproduction. On leave again in 1926-1927 he worked in the Lake States with a forest tax inquiry being conducted by the Forest Service. And on another sabbatical in 1934-1935 made a study of forestry education in the United States for the Society of American Foresters. His findings from this study were published in Professional Forestry Schools Report , and became the basis for accreditation of American schools of forestry.

Chapman had other important connections with the Society of American Foresters. As early as 1922 he was made a Fellow, and the same year was elected to a one-year term as vice-president. He was president for two terms from 1934 to 1937. Other honors came to him among them long terms as a director of the American Forestry Association, and as a member and sometime chairman of the Connecticut State Park and Forest Commission. In 1947 the University of Minnesota awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree. The picture on the cover of this issue was taken at that time.

We leave to the last Chappie's interest in the alumni of the School, and his work with the Alumni Association. The Association was organized in 1911 and Chapman was its first secretary-treasurer. He held that office again from 1913 until 1927; and from 1935 until the time of his death. He was alumni editor of the News from its first issue in 1913 until 1926 and from 1957 until he died. For two years, 1957-1959, he ran the magazine singlehanded. Over the years Chapman has been responsible for more items in "Class Notes" than any other man. He hounded the class secretaries, and the regional Secretaries; received reams of letters from old students and about old students; and combed publications for items by or about alumni. He knew the names and the classes almost by heart. He was a constant contributor to the NEWS himself, supplying many articles on School news and School history, and rarely made a move without recording it under "Class Notes" or in faculty items. Alumni doings were his joy. In his last years when he was not spry himself, he seemed to relish the activities of his old students all the more.

From: Yale Forest School News, Vol. 51, No. 4 (Oct., 1963), pp. 71-73.

Guide to the Herman Haupt Chapman Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Diane E. Kaplan and William E. Brown, Jr.
August 1986
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)


Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours