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Collection Charles William Le Gendre Papers

About this Collection

This selection of the first five containers (1,760 items; 4,774 images) of the papers of army officer and diplomat Charles William Le Gendre (1830-1899) spans the years 1866-1893, but is concentrated in two periods, 1866-1875 and 1891-1892. The materials consist of correspondence, memoranda, dispatches, reports, Chinese and Japanese documents, and other papers relating chiefly to Le Gendre’s diplomatic career in the American foreign service and in the Japanese and Korean governments. The collection documents his service as American consul at Amoy (Xiamen), China (1866-1872); advisor in the Japanese foreign service and in a diplomatic post representing Japan in Taiwan (1872-1875, then known as Formosa); and advisor in the Korean government (1890-1899). Subjects include American interests in Asia, Asian civilizations, establishment of peaceful relations with Taiwan, and Korean trade relations.

The materials are arranged alphabetically by type of material or topic, and therein chronologically. Collection material is in English, French, Japanese, Chinese, and other Asian languages.

The entire collection also includes Le Gendre’s journal (4 volumes), with drawings and photographs, in which he recounts his travels among indigenous persons in Taiwan. These volumes are receiving conservation treatment and have not yet been scanned. Also not included in this online presentation is Les Courants Humains, ou la Circulation du Sang de l'homme et de la Civilisation a la Surface de la Terre, a multivolume work by an unknown author, written chiefly in French, pertaining to the development of various civilizations, the spread of races, and Asian history.

A finding aid (PDF (PDF, 123.886KB) and HTML) to the Charles William Le Gendre Papers is available online with links to the digital content on this site.