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John J. Pershing Collection

An inventory of his collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: LDC
Date: 15 Jan 2009

Biographical History

John Joseph Pershing (1860-1948) was an American General who served in various conflicts including the Spanish-American War, Philippines Insurrection, and World War I.

Pershing was born in Missouri on September 13, 1860. After graduating from Normal School at Kirksville, Missouri in 1880, he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1886. In 1905, Pershing married Francis Warren with whom he had three daughters and a son. Tragically, his wife and three daughters were killed in a fire in 1915.

Pershing had a long military career, serving in the Spanish-American War, the Philippines Insurrection, and the Mexican Expedition. During World War I, Pershing was appointed Commander-in-Chief of American Expeditionary Forces in France. When the war ended, he served as Chief of Staff to the United States Army. In 1919, he was awarded the title "General of the Armies of the United States" by Congress, becoming the only officer in U.S. History to hold the title other than George Washington. Pershing died on July 15, 1948 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John J. Pershing Collection includes correspondence, memorabilia, and writings related to the U.S. Army General. Correspondence includes a letter to Governor Charles A. Templeton responding to an invitation to visit Waterbury, Connecticut. Also included is a letter to the "Departing Officers of the American Expeditionary Forces." The collection also contains one piece of Memorabilia: the cover of an American Legion program featuring a portrait of John J. Pershing. Finally, Writings consists of a draft of a letter and report on the Isle of Pines. This document, addressed to George Bridges, discusses land disposition and the political situation related to the Isle of Pines.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection contains three series: Correspondence, Memorabilia, and Writings. The Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient.


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.

Subject Headings


Bridges, George, fl. 1889.
Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948.

Corporate Bodies

United States. Army -- Officers.


Cuba -- History -- 1909-1933.
United States -- History -- 1919-1933.
United States -- History, Military.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John J. Pershing Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

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