Tarzan's Mom And Dad

When trying to form a Greystoke chronology it does not take one long to discover that it is impossible using only the information provided in the Tarzan series.  Thus, we have to go
elsewhere.  But where would one go so that the dates would be broadly excepted by other Edgar
Rice Burroughs researchers?

As I have pointed out many times in the past, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author, was very
interested in his family genealogy.  I have also pointed out in many of my articles that Edgar
Rice Burroughs, the author, on many Occasions borrowed true family occurrences and interested them into his fictional writings.  This was a habit which started early in his career and lasted until
the end.  This habit penetrated everyone of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author's, series and many
of his single works.

While forming my Greystoke chronology when I came to a point in Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author's, text where dates were not provided I followed Burroughs' own habit and took dates from
his family genealogy and inserted them for the missing dates.  Using this process I have been successful in forming a chronology which allows Tarzan to have a normal conception, the eclipse
in Jungle Tales Of Tarzan to occur as told, and Korak to be Tarzan's blood son.  This is
something no Greystoke chronologist has ever done in detail.

As always and in a friendly way,  I challenge anybody to prove my information wrong.  Make no mistake.  I am not saying that one can not have a different perspective, for many scholars do. 
What I am saying is that I believe with my whole heart what I am telling is the truth.  If not I want
to know.  The biggest mistake most chronologist have made in the past is that they tried to do everything by themselves.  I am trying to be different.  I want everyone that is interested to
become a part of my chronology.  The way I see it, the more minds involved the better the chronology.  Without further ado I present the chronology of John and Alice Clayton.  I hope you enjoy.
  • Date:      January 31, 1871
  • Event:    John Clayton and Alice Rutherford were married.
  • Source:  This is not an actual date presented in Tarzan Of The Apes nor is it revealed by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  January 31 is based on the wedding date of Burroughs and Emma, his first wife.  The year 1871 is based on the theory that the Greystoke's set sail in May 1872.

  • Date:      end of April, 1871
  • Event:    John Clayton receives his first mission from the Colonial Office.
  • Source:  This is not an actual date presented by Edgar Rice Burroughs in Tarzan Of The
  • Apes.  It is, however, derived from the statement that Clayton and Alice were married scarce three months before receiving his first mission. It is important to note that when Clayton receives this mission Burroughs in no way implies the Lady Alice is with child, or that the  newly weds leave England immediately after receiving Clayton's mission.  In fact Burroughs hints to the opposite.  If Clayton was married to Alice three months when they left Dover for Africa they would have been married four months when they left Freetown.  From Freetown twelve days pass before the Fuwalda sights land and the Greystoke's are put ashore.  On the thirteenth day Clayton starts work on a one room cabin that takes approximately two months to build and furnish.  Now we have a passage of six months and thirteen days.  Burroughs tells us Clayton likes working hard because it helps him not to concentrate on their situation.  By this statement we can conclude that when the first section of the cabin was completed the Englishman immediately begin work on the second addition.  If the first section took only one month, minus door and furnishings, to build it is simple logic the second would take no longer.  In fact less time, for Clayton did not have to build a second chimney and fireplace.  Since the Mangani bull attacked while Clayton was cutting logs it is quite apparent he was still involved in early building operations.  Most likely no more than two weeks at the most.  Adding these passages of time together no more than eight months pass since the Greystoke's were married, but yet Lady Alice has a child that very night.  Under these circumstances Tarzan would have been born premature, or Lady Alice was pregnant before marrying Clayton.  The later is very unlikely for Burroughs plainly says Clayton is a very morel and honorable man.  It is also very unlikely the Colonial Office would take a man out of the Army, raise him to a higher position, and then send him and his wife of three months to Africa for five to eight years without letting them spend some time with relatives before they go.  That is not to mention the fact that Clayton would have to have at least a minimum amount of training to handle his new position.

  • Date:      very late November or very early December 1871
  • Event:    Lady Alice becomes pregnant offstage.
  • Source: This is my own date derived from counting backwards nine months from the day Tarzan was born.  One must keep in mind that although Burroughs does not mention the Lady Alice is with child when Clayton receives his first Colonial Office assignment he does   imply that she is before they set sail in May.  "In his leisure Clayton read, often aloud to his wife, from the store of books he had brought for their new home.  Among those were many for little children - picture books, primers, readers - for they had known that their little child would be old enough for such before they might hope to return to England."  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:     very late January or very early February 1872
  • Event:   Lady Alice discovers she is with child and the Greystoke's buy child provisions to take  along to Africa.
  • Source: This date is total theory on my part based on the premise most women are approximately two months pregnant before they discover it.

  • Date:     May 14, 1872
  • Event:   Greystoke's set sail from Dover, England.
  • Source: In Tarzan Of The Apes, Burroughs states it is on a "bright May morning."  Checking the Burroughs' genealogy to see if any memorable occasions occurred in May 1872 that could possibly be a source I discovered Burroughs brother, Frank, was born on May 14.

  • Date:     June 14, 1872
  • Event:   Greystoke's arrive at Freetown where they chartered the barkentine Fuwalda.
  • Source: "A month later,"  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:     June 16, 1872
  • Event:   In the morning of the second day aboard the Fuwalda, Captain Billings shot Black Michael in the leg.
  • Source: "The morning of the second day,"  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:     June 18, 1872
  • Event:   On the fourth day aboard the Fuwalda, Clayton came on deck that morning just in time to see the limp body of one of the crew being carried below by four sailors while the first mate stood glowering with a heavy belaying pin in his hand.
  • Source: "The second day after the wounding of Black Michael",  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:      June 19, 1872
  • Event:    At noon the Fuwalda passed a British man-of war.
  • Source: "The following day"' ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:      June 20, 1872
  • Event:    The Fuwalda mutiny.
  • Source: "The next morning",  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:     June 25, 1872
  • Event:   The Fuwalda sights land and that night ERB mentions Lady Alice is with child for the first time.  Source: "On the fifth day following the murder of the ship's officers land was sighted."  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:      June 26, 1872
  • Event:    The Greystoke's are put ashore with all their belongings and Clayton builds a tree shelter.  That night the two seen their first Mangani.
  • Source: "Early next morning" ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.  "At night upon their first day upon land.",  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:     June 27, 1872
  • Event:   Clayton begins work on a one room cabin.
  • Source: The morning after seeing the Mangani,  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:      near the end of July, 1872
  • Event:    Clayton finishes one room cabin built of small logs about six inches in diameter and completely covered on the outside with four inches of mud.  He had also completed a stone fireplace and chimney, but had not yet made a door or furnishings.
  • Source: "Took the better part of a month,"  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:      August 14, 1872
  • Event:    British warships search for the Fuwalda and find her wreckage on the shores of  St. Helena.
  • Source: "Two months after the Greystoke's leave Freetown",  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:      August 27, 1872
  • Event:    Clayton had hung the cabin door, completed the furnishings, and moved all their belongings inside.
  • Source: "By the end of the second month they were all settled",  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:     September 1, 1872
  • Event:   A Mangani bull attacks Clayton while he is working upon an addition to the cabin.  That night Lady Alice gives birth to a healthy son.
  • Source: This event is impossible to pin point with an undebatable date because Burroughs skips some time without telling us how much.  "One afternoon while Clayton was working upon an addition to their cabin he was interrupted by a group of fleeing monkeys",  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.  As you can see there is no way to present an undebatable date by using this source only, but by using other passages and the Burroughs genealogy we can arrive at a very sound date.  Burroughs says the one room cabin was built, furnished and moved into by the second month.  If Clayton begin work on June twenty-seventh, that means the Greystoke's were well settled by August twenty-seventh.  Once this project was completed it is very probable Clayton began the addition almost immediately.  "There is but one thing to do, Alice, and that is work.  Work must be our salvation.  We must not give ourselves time to think, for in that direction lies madness",  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes. Since Clayton was cutting down a tree for building purposes when the Mangani bull attacked him it is obvious the Englishman was just beginning his new project.  If it had been in the later stages he would have been working on the roof or using mud to coat the outer surface.  In fact the second addition was so early in its beginning stages that Clayton was merely cutting timber for the walls and no actual construction had yet began.  When Tarzan investigated his father's cabin, at age ten, for the first time, nowhere in any of the descriptions does it hint at a semi erected second room.  When the Porter party was beached twenty years after the cabin was built, there is no hint of a  semi erected second room.  The Greystoke cabin, in all provided descriptions, as having only one room.  By these disclosures it is evident that the Mangani attacked Clayton within a few days of his August twenty-seventh completion of the first addition.  To find out the exact date we must depend on the Burroughs genealogy to provide a credible date that the author could use as a source.  That day is September 1, the author's own birthday.

  • Date:      March 1872
  • Event:    Tarzan puts his inky fingers on a page in his father's diary.
  • Source: "Six months old",  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:      September 1, 1873
  • Event:    Lady Alice dies.
  • Source: "A year to the day after her babies birth",  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

  • Date:       September 2, 1873
  • Event:     The last entry in Clayton's diary.  The Englishman is killed by Kerchak, and Kala adopts Tarzan.
  • Source:  "The morning following her death",  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

James Michael Moody