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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

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Collection Inventory

Album, 1920.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

"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

Tent, 1919.
Inside a tent at Adams, Mass, 1919.
Tent, 1919.
Gateman and Cashier, 1919.
Summerside Juniors; Prince Edward Island, 1919.
Mrs. Mary Gregory, Superintendent, 1919.
Tent, 1919.
Tent, 1919.
Kentville, Nova Scotia [pyramid of boys], 1919.
John Meixell, tentman, Jack Wright, captain, 1919.
Russian Cathedral Choir with Superintendent and crew, 1919.
Not a photograph: Program for Russian Cathedral Sextette.
Tenth Anniversary Dinner--Swarthmore Chautauqua Association; Bellevue-Stratford Hotel (2 copies), 1921-01-07.
Chautauqua negatives (some may be unprinted), 1915-1916.
Edward M. Jenkinds, Swarthmore Chautauqua, 1916.
Two young men in tent.
"Bob" Roberts (?)/Elizabeth May Roberts, 1915.
First day quintet from Boston.
Drew Pearson second from left [four young men].
Two people in horse-drawn seat.
Two men in suits with bow-ties, straw boaters.
Boston, Md, 1916.
Woman in old-fashioned undergarments (corset, petticoats, chemise) outside tent.
Edward M. Jenkins Swarthmore Chattaqua (sic) [three young men], 1916.
Outside scene, four people [may include Edward Jenkins].
Edward M. Jenkins Swarthmore Chattaqua (sic), 1916.
Harold Smith.
Young woman tied with clothesline, young man holding rope. Both are smiling.
Harold Smith on set up day.
Swarthmore Chattauqua (sic) Edward M. Jenkins, seated, 1916.
North Carolina [seated young woman with band around her head saying North Carolina].
Ed Jenkins 1st on left [seated group of three young men, two young women], 1916.
The wrech (?) at Bridgiton (?) NJ.
Byron Wells and H. Eliot Wells [and one unidentified young man].
Three young people.
Young man with tie, basketball.
Photo by Edward M. Jenkins [Young man and three young women, car].
Two men with toxties.
Joe Melie (or Melic?), Jim Melie (same), and Carl Pratt.
Two young women outside tent.
Landscape, buildings, and tentpoles/wires.
Putting up a tent.
Esther and Robbie Jenkins.
Edward M. Jenkins [three young men, two young women], 1916.
Two young women in front of show banner.
Big tent.
The old schoolroom [tent].
Wells resting after set up.
Grandville Henri and Esther (Jenkins).
People at work around ticket booth: two women, one man.
Negative--two men working.
Man hauling up frame.
Eliot and Byron Wells.
Two young men holding a sign labeled "Sunshine".
Set up at Lee, Wells Smith Smit Wells Esther (Jenkins) Robbie Webb (?).
Swarthmore Chautauqua Loose Album Pages, 1919.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

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 Photograph Album from the Islands, 1932-1933.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

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 Album Pages.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Loose pages of a photograph album, most pictures unlabeled. One is labeled Governor Evans, another "Arrival of President Hoover"

Scope and Contents

Primarily photographs of the "official" side of the Pearsons' life while in the Virgin Islands. Identified, where possible, by Ellen Pearson Fogg.

Postcard: View of harbor/shore.
President Roosevelt and Reception Committee, in front of Government House, St. Thomas.
Panoramic shot of harbor, hills, houses. Taken by Teddy Small.
Panoramic shot of harbor, houses.
2 postcards: harbor/dock.
2 native children.
Hurricane, St. Thomas. Dixon's house, showing porch wrenched off and roof ripped away. Photo also has dog, 1932.
Grand J (?) Horn and Community Band, St. Thomas.
Governor Evans, retiring naval Governor, shakes hands with Pearson at Government House (2 copies), 1931-03-18.
Some festivity in Emancipation Park near harbor--bandstand was there.
Gov. Paul M. Pearson, Dr. Ernest Gruening (?) (Govt. Boat in background).
Governor Pearson receiving address of welcome from the Hon. M. Cornieu/o (?) member of the local Colonial Council, 1931.
Assistant Secretary of the Interim--Judge Edwards, being greeted by Governor Evans, 1931.
Governor Pearson making his address. Note T.R.F. and Dr. Bye under tree, 1931.
Liberty Day with St. Croix Labor Union, Pearson speaking, 1934-11.
Governor's staff at Government House, St. Thomas: Harry E. Taylor, Boyd J. Brown, S.C., Governor Paul M. Pearson, A. Simpson, SC, Molly Flynn, Ann Sullivan, Tily--SC, Stan Windle, SC.
Lutheran CHurch, St. Thomas, VI.
Hurricane, St. Thomas. The Government 50 footer tore loose its moorings during the storm and was cast ashore at Coronage, 1932.
Parade honoring President Roosevelt--St. Thomas, VI, 1934.
Happy Days celebration parade, Frederiksted, VI.
New Guest Cottage, Government House, St. Thomas.
Chaplain of the poor giving his prayer, 1931.
Postcard: Park and dock--St. Thomas.
Governor Pearson's arrival in the GOvernor's Barge at St. Thomas. Governor Evans going to greet him, 1931.
Postcard: Bandstand at park in St. Thomas [includes a whole pageant on the bandstand].
Postcard: "Reception, Gov't House, St. Croix. The President receiving Cramer introduction Sister Maria (?), Daniel (?) (?), leaving line, 1934.
Lawyer Amphlett (?) speaks while Gruening and Pearson sit.
Postcard: En route in St. Croix: The President; Cramer; Pearson; on running board--John Roosevelt, 1934-07-08.
Sec. of Interior (later) Oscar Chapman; Harold Ickes, Sec. of Interior; P.M. Pearson [there are six men in the photograph, however] (two copies).
Dr. Knud Hansen and 2 sons (came to Sw. College), Gov. Pearson, Louise Stallings, Marion Carley. Terrance at Blue Beard's Castle.
Mrs. Roosevelt and Gov. Pearson in Christiansted St. Croix, 1934-03-02.
Mrs. Roosevelt and Party. Inspecting new homestead houses, St. Croix VI, 1934.
Part of Parade for the President--St. Thomas, 1934.
Hoover and P.M.P.
Postcard: M. Kenzie (?) (?) (?) had the honor of driving the President. President Roosevelt, Lc-Sw. Cramer, Gov. Pearson, 1934.
Dorothy Pearson on right arriving with P.M.P. at St. Thomas VI, 1931-03-17.
Scan: P.M.P. and woman in park.
Government House (?) with one soldier standing guard.
Harbor and surrounding houses, hills.
Harbor and dock.
Harbor and surrounding houses, hills.
Panoramic picture: harbor and surrounding area.
Man in donkey cart going down city street.
Woman with tray of bread balanced on head, basket on her arm.
Liberty Day St. Croix. Gov. Pearson, Dr. Gruening. "I can give some background on Gruneing if you have picked it out"--EPF (Elizabeth Pearson Fogg).
Paul M. Pearson, Judge Gibson, Stan Winde [and several other people in posed photograph].
Drew Pearson (in center), Virgin Islands, 1952.
Drew Pearson (on left) Virgin Islands, 1952.
Virgin Islands [beautiful nature shot with person in silhouette on side], 1934.
The NRA Parade at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Paul and Edna on the porch, 1934-01-01.
Postcard: Christiansted.
Postcard: Thanksgiving Day Parade, Christiansted, 1933.
Happy Days celebration, Frederiksted, St. Croix, VI.
Reception on Gov't House yard in Christiansted. The President, Cramer, John Roosevelt, 1934-07-08.
St. Thomas decorations for President Roosevelt, 1934.
Vocational School, Christiansted, St. Croix.
Leaving Christiansted, The Park, President Roosevelt, 1934-07-08.
The Vocational School, Christiansted, St. Croix, VI [different view from previous shot].
E.W.P. and Mrs. Knud Knud-Hausen in front of the Chester Roberts home with Mrs. Knud Hausen was in Swarthmore to visit her sons in college.
Governor Paul M. Pearson and Director E.A.C. Curran after reviewing the St. Thomas Police Force. Governor Pearson with Police Commissioners: D. Victor Bornn, Sneud (?) A. Mylner, Donald S. Boreham, the Gov. Dir. Curran, Morris F de Castro, (?) Melchoir.
Guest card, White House reception, 1934.
Virgin Islands, P.M.P. on the right: subtitled "Sea bathe alone!".
Parade in the Virgin Islands for Happy Days celebration, Frederiksted.
Mrs. Roosevelt and Party, landing in Christiansted, Boyd and Janet Brown behind Mrs. Richard (?) (Swarthmore graduates), 1934-03-07.
Governor Pearson, Gerda Marsh of St. John, and Francelia Greaux of teh French Village, St. Thomas, in a picture at Government House, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands of USA.
One of the adult classes in Christiansted, VI.
Postcard: At Frederiksted. Director of Police, Armstrong, directing traffic [during FDR visit?].
Lutheran Church, St. Thomas, VI.
Vocational School; Christiansted, St. Croix. Work done by the students.
EWP second from right [posed outdoor shot of four women, one man].
Local politicians and Pearson and Gruening shake hands and pose for this picture.
Postcard: Dock, St. Thomas.
Postcard: on dock--building with arches is where the handicraft shop was.
Market woman in parade for Pres. Hoover, St. THomas, 1931-03-25.
The first homestead house, "Whim Estate." A memorial tablet being hung by Franklin Roosevelt Jr., while homesteader and wife and baby look on.
Governor Pearson and Dr. Gruening.
Gruening of Washington, D.C. speaks. Pearson sits.
"We are standing at the SE corner of the foundation of the old Meeting House. P.M.P.; Bay J. Brown, Reginald Penn, Fielder of the Fishery (?) (?)", 1932.
Postcard: Gov. Pearson arriving in St. Thomas, 1931-03.
Adult classes in sewing, Christiansted, St. Croix, VI.
Pearson reading inaugural address, St. Thomas, 1931-03.
Postcard: Government House, St. Thomas.
P.M.P. and Boyd Brown (Sw. grad) in St. Croix.
Boyd J. Brown [Swarthmore graduate], Pres. VI Co.; Covernor Paul M. Pearson.
Hurricane, St. Thomas: Looking down on St. Thomas through the wrecked entrance of a large house on Frenchman's hill, 1932.
St. Thomas, VI; E.P.B. Government House, 1963.
Not a photograph: Note from Commander J. Koncola (Finnish Trainingship Suomen Joutsen) accepting Government House dinner invitation, 1933-03-15.
Cramer, Pearson, and the President, St. Croix, 1934-07-07.
Postcard: Harbor and Dock St. Thomas.
Postcard: Frederiksten, I believe.
The crowd in Emancipation Park for Hoover, 1931.
Reception Line: Gov't House, St. Thomas. President Roosevelt. Morris De Castro, 1934.
Crowd waiting for the President's auto, St. Thomas, 1934.
President Roosevelt; John Roosevelt; Gov. Pearson [in automobile], 1934.
"Tortola(?) B.W.J: We are standing first at the rear of the pile of stone and mortar which was the frame: Reginald Penn, P.M.P, Boyd Brown. (?) (?) (?)", 1932.
J. Cramer on his ascent to Governor of the VI / The president Governor of the Virgin Islands, USA.
Artist Chapman painted these cards for postcards [picture of painting of iguana].
Boatman meeting Pan-American airways.
Scrapbook, 1931-1935.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

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.

Scope and Contents

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.

Gov. Pearson, President Roosevelt, Aide, John Roosevelt, St. Thomas, 1934.
Copy of newspaper clipping including photographs of Roosevelt visiting the Virgin Islands as a young man, and of him touring as President, 1934.
President Herbert Hoover and Gov. Paul Pearson in center [large group posed photo on steps of Government House], 1931.
Copy of newspaper clipping "Letters by Eleanor Roosevelt Detail Friendship with Lorena Hickok, which uses a photograph of Roosevelt and Hickok with Paul Pearson during the 1934 visit.
Paul M. Pearson in the Governor's Office, St. Thomas, VI.
Scan of newspaper clipping "The Virgin Islands Put on Their Best Bib and Tucker to Receive President Roosevelt, with a number of photographs of the Roosevelts in the clippings, 1934-07-12.
Scans of newspaper clippings regarding Pearson's assumption of the Governorship. Includes photographs of St. Thomas and of Pearson himself, 1931.
Scans of newspaper clipping "Virgin Islands Turmoil Attributed to Politics." Article includes one small picture of Pearson, 1935-06-02.

Assembly of members.
Outside shot of former residence of Col. E.W. Oglebay, inc. a number of people painting on the lawn.
Men's Bible class meeting on Oglebay lawn.
Camp dining hall.
Children from a public school visit the park.
Group picnics in the woods at Oglebay.
Children in an Easter egg hunt.
Costumed folk dancers during the Festival of Nations pageant.
A group riding horses along an Oglebay trail.

Scope and Contents

Pictures taken to accompany article(s?) on the subject by Drew Pearson

"Bulldog" Massey.
Kingwell Wells.
Negative: sign saying "why buy that cheap Yankee stuff when you can get good British Goods," envelope with caption "This sign appears in the window of a prominent store in Auckland New Zealand.
Another copy of the Massey photo.
Australians are suspicious of deliberate introduction of the boll weevil by American enemies of Queensland Cotton, 1923.
Australia's Dried Fruit Industry--Introduced by Two Americans Who Built First Irrigation Project [Victoria], 1923.
Australia Doesn't Believe in Prohibition. As One of the World's Great Wine Producers She Resents the Enforcement of Prohibition in the USA, 1923.
A game of golf at the Ha, a New Zealand Maori scene, 1920.
Branding Calves, Moree, New South Wales, Australia, 1921.
Launching of the HMAS Brisbane of the Australian Navy, Which Australians Boast is Not Subject to the Beck and Call of England, 1921.
Australia's Wealth: Wool and Meat make her the most powerful of Britain's Dominions, 1920.
Stanley Melbourne Bruce, Prime Minister of Australia and Delegate to British Imperial Conference, 1920.
The Kangaroo--Australia's Natural Mascot, 1920.
Artesian Bore, Central Queensland, 1921.
New System Drying Racks, Mildura, Victoria, 1923.
Broken Hill Ass. Smelters Pyhld (?), Port Prince, South Australia, 1921.
Shorn Sheep Crossing a Billabong, Riverina District, New South Wales, 1922.
Poisonous Snakes, 1923.
an old one; 8 canoes going over hurdles at one time, Ngaruawahia, NZ, 1923.
Irrigated Sugar Cane, Queensland, 1923.
Kangaroos, Australia, 1923.
Aborigines Northwest of Western Australia, 1923.
Aborigines Northwest of Western Australia, 1923.
Scope and Contents

Photographs most likely taken to accompany article(s?) on the subject by Drew Pearson.

Beggar Boats--No Rent, Plenty of Wash and Drinking Water. Millions of Chinese Live This Way.
Wheelbarrow Transport in China costs 15 to 20 cents per ton mile.
Most Chinese are one rice-bowl ahead of starvation.
A Devil Protector: To scare devils away from house.
A Devil Protector. The Chinese fear devils has (sic) retarded the development of industry.
Beggar Boats--no rent, plenty of wash and drinking water!.
Every Weed, Every Blade of Grass Eaten During a Famine.
Scope and Contents

Photo most likely taken to accompany article by Drew Pearson. Was originally in a sleeve labeled "Chinese National Spirit--Banditry."

Captive Chinese Bandit.
France and Miscellaneous.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

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.

Scope and Contents

Includes newspaper clipping scans n Drew Pearson, one scanned family photograph, and pictures taken to accompany articles

Man framed by/holding portal window, 1923.
Scope and Contents

Pictures were taken to accompany articles by Drew Pearson

Two tons of New Zealand sharks caught in two hours. New Zealand makes soap from shark oil and sends the fins to China for soup--Auckland Weekly News.
Scope and Contents

Pictures were taken to accompany articles by Drew Pearson

Scope and Contents

Pictures taken to accompany article(s?) on the subject by Drew Pearson.

A Close Shave in Siberia: Chinese, Russian, Mongol, and native Tilak mingle with Russians to create a racial tangle.
Siberian Fisheries net a greater catch than those of Puget Sound and the Columbia.
In Siberia, wood runs steamships, locomotives, factories and heats houses. A few miles from this pile of fire wood are the richest coal mines in Siberia.
Camel Transport in Siberia.
Siberian Children.
Half of the World's Supply of Virgin Timber stands unexplored in Siberia.
A Siberian Fisherman: Part of his season's catch goes to central Russia in barrels; part goes to Japan in the holds of fishing tramps.
After four years of occupation, the last Japanese soldier left Siberia on October 25. The Port of Valdbvositok (?) is now open to Siberian trade, 1922.
Siberian Camels drawing an American Harvester.
A Tragedy of the Frozen North: Russian anarchists forced 10,000 of their countrymen and 750 Japanese to jump through holes cut in the ice of the Ammar (?) River. With the spring thaw, hundreds of bodies were washed ashore.
Written on empty envelopes: Article #2: The Soviet Soldier Travels on Bread--Big Five Pound Loaves of It and Article #2: Four Years after the Armistice Russians are still fighting Russians in Siberia. These Far Eastern Republic Troops marched into Vladrvostok on Oct 25.
Sydney, Australia, 1923.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Entirely unlabeled photographs of Australia, both landscapes and people (appear mostly to be Indigenous Australians). Most likely taken to accompany articles by Drew Pearson.

Small headshots of Pearson (2), adjoined.
Badly damaged picture of two small children (one boy, one girl) in front of a large house.
Swarthmore College; Old Library, now Tarble Social Center.
Large photograph of (l to r) Lorena Hickok, Paul M. Pearson, and Eleanor Roosevelt on the steps of Government House, 1934-03-07.
Pearson Papers from Scrapbook page a.
Paul M. Pearson head and shoulders portrait, inscribed to Hught (?) Denworth (?), 1920.
Cut-paper silhouette of Edna Wolfe Pearson, by Baron Scotford (?), 1918.
Dr. Pierson (sic) receiving wreath for 10 year (illegible), 1920.
Paul M. Pearson [playing tennis with another young man], 1890.
Paul M. Pearson [posed talking to another young man, 1890.
Three photographs, framed together, of the same young man.
516 Walnut Lane, Pearson Home from 1913-1936, 1913.
Paul M. Pearson, 1910.
Prof. Pearson and the boys Lyric Glee Club at Orlando Florida, 1910-02.
P.M. Pearson [head and shoulders portrait], 1931.

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