James Taylor Rogers
James Taylor Rogers was an unusual lawyer for his day. A socialist with a well-articulated philosophy of evolution, who insisted on the sharing of the world’s resources, Rogers was also a Mason, active in a fraternal order called the Association of United Workmen. Rogers’ obituary in the magazine of the AOUW is remarkably consistent with Du Vernet’s account of his interests: “after long, deep and profound study [he] became a supporter of socialism in its highest and sociological sense. Evolution was an apparent and unquestioned fact with him, and he was a profound admirer of Nature and the Laws of Nature. He had a keen sense of the beautiful in Nature as he saw her so grandly eloquent in California, and he gloried in the profuse sunlight of Southern California.” This suggests that Du Vernet was a good listener and an accurate recorder of other people’s stories.
The obituary does not include the fact that Rogers was driven from San Francisco in 1901 due to a legal scandal. He ended up in the Klondike Gold Mines and in Alaska for a few years, close to where Du Vernet would eventually live. Rogers moved back to his family in Los Angeles, and died in 1909.