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William Churchill papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0225
William Churchill, philologist, ethnologist, and writer, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1859. He was appointed United States consul-general to Samoa (1896-1899) where he pursued his interest in philology and ethnology. Churchill also studied African languages and culture but less seriously than those of Polynesia. This collection contains two scrapbooks which Churchill compiled on Africa and the South Pacific, respectively, as well as a written draft of his 1892 book, A Princess of Fiji.

Dates

  • 1908-1911

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

0.51 Cubic Feet (1 letter half-size document box, 1 flat box (15.5 x 12 x 3 inches))

Biographical Note

William Churchill, philologist, ethnologist, and writer, was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1859. After graduating from Yale in 1882, he taught school for a year and then left for an extended trip to Australia and the South Sea Islands where he engaged in scientific exploration. When he returned to the United States, he worked as a librarian in San Francisco. In 1891, he became an editor of the Brooklyn Daily Times. He was appointed United States consul-general to Samoa (1896-1899) where he pursued his interest in philology and ethnology. Churchill studied the Polynesian languages and collected data which formed the basis of Polynesian Wanderings, published in 1910. Churchill also studied African languages and culture but less seriously than those of Polynesia. In 1908, he wrote that Africa "only accidentally holds my interest."

Churchill returned again to the United States and became an editor at The Sun in New York city (1902-1915). In 1915, he became an associate in primitive philology at the Carnegie Institution, Washington, D.C. During World War I, Churchill served as director of the division of foreign language publications of the Committee on Public Information. William Churchill died in 1920.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains two scrapbooks that Churchill compiled on Africa and the South Pacific, respectively, as well as a written draft of his 1892 book, A Princess of Fiji.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Though all created by Churchill, the items came in different accruals and is noted as such.

Related Materials

Letters of William Churchill can be found in the Gildersleeve Papers MS.0005, Special Collections.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan from August to November 1989, with additional processing by Annie Tang in November 2015.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA