Paul M. Pearson and Drew Pearson photographs
Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Paul M. Pearson was born on a farm in Illinois on Oct. 22, 1871, raised a Methodist, and graduated from Baker University in 1891. While in college, Pearson developed his skill in "platform work" - lectures and recitals. He first traveled on the Methodist ministry circuit and then as a lyceum speaker. He also studied at Harvard University and Northwestern. In 1896, he married Edna Wolfe, and the couple had four children: Andrew, Leon, Barbara, and Ellen. The eldest was the well-known columnist Drew Pearson. Beginning in 1902, Paul Pearson taught public speaking at Swarthmore College. In 1904 he became the proprietor and editor of the magazine Talent, a magazine of the lyceum movement. In 1905, he established The Speaker, a magazine on successful public reading. In 1906, he and his family became members of Swarthmore Monthly Meeting.
In 1912, Pearson founded Swarthmore Chautauqua Association, a non-profit enterprise financially backed by private investors, many of whom were Quakers. The Association at its peak operated about 2,000 Chautauqua in the smaller towns along the eastern seaboard. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Chautauqua movement provided popular education along with entertainment in the form of concerts, lectures, and the like, generally travelling on a circuit to small towns to provide cultural and educational enrichment. Pearson resigned his position as head of the Public Speaking Department at Swarthmore College to devote full time to Chautauqua. He also was active in the Chautauqua at the national level and served as President of the International Lyceum and Chautauqua Association. In 1930, due to economic pressures and the changing life styles of Americans, the Swarthmore Chautauqua ceased operation, and Pearson, who had loaned money to the Association, was forced to declare personal bankruptcy.
In 1931, Paul M. Pearson was appointed by President Herbert Hoover to serve as the first civilian governor of the Virgin Islands. The U.S. had purchased the Islands in 1917 from Denmark in order to establish a navy base in the Caribbean. Pearson was considered a non-partisan appointment, but soon became embroiled in Island and Washington politics which lead to charges of mismanagement. In 1935 President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him to the post of Assistant U. S. Housing Director in charge of public housing, then a very new government program. He died on March 26, 1938, while on a business trip to California to urge passage of a law to permit public housing in that State.
This collection is part of the Paul M. Pearson Papers, RG5/121. It contains black and white photographs (and some negatives), along with some albums, of the following subjects mostly related to Paul M. Pearson's life and work: Swarthmore Chautauqua, Virgin Islands, Oglebay Park and Institute, Photographs for Drew Pearson Articles, and Miscellaneous (including personal photographs).
Gift of Barbara Pearson Lange and Ellen Pearson Fogg, daughters of Paul Pearson, 1972-1978; Alice S. Jenkins, 1978 (Additional Chautauqua pictures); Julie Hall, 2004 (Additional essays and photo albums); Barbara and David Grove, 2011. Part of the Paul M. Pearson Papers, RG5/121.
The Paul M. Pearson papers (RG5/121) were processed by FHL staff in 1973. Chautauqua photographs given to FHL in 1978 by Alice S. Jenkins were added to this collection. With the gift of transcripts of the Virgin Island letters in 2011, FHL staff determined to correct the storage of earlier processing and additions. In 2012, the collection was rehoused in acid-free folders and a more detailed inventory created. Photographs were consolidated and transferred to FHL Picture Collections, to become this collection (PA 157).
This collection was removed from the Paul M. Pearson Papers, RG5/121.
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- Zoe Peyton Jones
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
This collection is available for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/UND/1.0/.
"A Book for A Chautauqua Summer, Jun 2-Aug 16, 1920; John H. Frizzell, Supt. North-South Sevens." Includes photographs of participants, staff, and scenery
Photographs from Chautauqua. Includes photographs of: Rev. Dr. W. Hayes, "Bucket," "Kosie," Zola Bauman, Gregory (Captain), Leon Pearson, Sydney Mines, "M.P.B.," Meix (John Meixell), Mrs. Conway, Florence Stern, Dave Harr, Jessie Moss, Nick Muno, Bess Batieff, McKays, Bess Morgan, Mary S. Munro, Elmer Patterson, Jack Wright, Ruth Farnum, Meddie O. Hamilton. Also a 1923-24 Chautauqua Festival Program.
Family photographs almost entirely taken in the Virgin Islands. Photographs including "E.W.P." [Edna Wolfe Pearson] Helen, Jo, and Caroline are common, as are shots including the Governor's house. Photographs were taken various locations, including St. Croix, St. John, and Bluebeards, Virgin Islands.
Loose pages of a photograph album, most pictures unlabeled. One is labeled Governor Evans, another "Arrival of President Hoover"
Primarily photographs of the "official" side of the Pearsons' life while in the Virgin Islands. Identified, where possible, by Ellen Pearson Fogg.
Newspaper clippings pertaining to Paul M. Pearson's Governorship of the Virgin Islands, including articles on the Islands themselves and articles regarding Pearson's political conflicts.
Predominantly picture-heavy newspaper clippings (copies) regarding the Roosevelts' visit to the Virgin Islands in 1934. Note that previous folder also includes a large number of photographs from the visit of the Roosevelts.
Pictures taken to accompany article(s?) on the subject by Drew Pearson
Photographs most likely taken to accompany article(s?) on the subject by Drew Pearson.
Photo most likely taken to accompany article by Drew Pearson. Was originally in a sleeve labeled "Chinese National Spirit--Banditry."
Almost entirely unlabeled photographs of guards, horses, etc. One labeled photo is "Polo in New Zealand." Most likely taken to accompany articles by Drew Pearson.
Includes newspaper clipping scans n Drew Pearson, one scanned family photograph, and pictures taken to accompany articles
Pictures were taken to accompany articles by Drew Pearson
Pictures were taken to accompany articles by Drew Pearson
Pictures taken to accompany article(s?) on the subject by Drew Pearson.
Entirely unlabeled photographs of Australia, both landscapes and people (appear mostly to be Indigenous Australians). Most likely taken to accompany articles by Drew Pearson.