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E. Alexander Powell Letter

A description of the item at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Powell, E. Alexander (Edward Alexander), 1879-1957.
Title: E. Alexander Powell Letter
Inclusive Dates: 1915
Quantity: 1 folder (SC)
Abstract: One letter from the American adventurer, author and foreign correspondent, replying to a query as to the truthfulness of his recent book (possibly Fighting in Flanders, published in 1914).
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

E. Alexander Powell (1879-1957) was an American adventurer, writer and foreign correspondent, author of more than thirty books on travel and adventure. A graduate of Syracuse University and Oberlin College, he served in the American consular service, and with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. According to his obituary, over the course of his career he was "[h]eld up by bandits, challenged to a duel, pok[ed] into insurrection in Crete, witness[ed] the eruption of Vesuvius, and hobnobb[ed] with national leaders" but "progressed steadily around the world, surviving all disasters and busily producing copy for English and American publications."

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The E. Alexander Powell Letter consists of a single letter from Powell to a Mrs. E. Laurence White in Massachusetts. Mrs. White evidently wrote to Powell questioning the veracity of his account, in his recent book, of certain German actions during World War I. Powell replies in part:

I can only ask you to call the attention of your unbelieving friends to the fact that I have made no statements which have not been confirmed by the reports of the Belgian and French Governments, by Cardinal Mercier's pastoral letter, and by the report of the British Commission on Atrocities under the chairmanship of Lord Bryce.

Although the book's title is not given in the letter, the reference is likely to Fighting in Flanders, published in 1914.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Powell, E. Alexander (Edward Alexander), 1879-1957.


Foreign correspondents -- United States.
Journalists -- United States.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives.

Genres and Forms



Foreign correspondents.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

E. Alexander Powell Letter,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Goodspeed's Bookshop, 1968.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 22 Jul 2010
Revision history: 16 Jul 2012 - LCNAF updates (MRC)

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SC 541 "My dear Mrs. White" (Mrs. E. Laurence White) 6 Jun 1915

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