Manuscript Collections - Francis White Family Letters

March 13, 2020

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1 linear foot, 4 linear inches (3 LGA-S boxes)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library


Francis White was a diplomat, Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, Vice-President for the International Telephone and Telegraph Company (ITT), and Ambassador to Mexico and Sweden. He graduated from Yale University in 1913 and was the first foreigner to attend the École de Sciences et Politique in Paris. He left France at the onset of World War I to study at Escuela Diplomatica in Madrid. He worked for the State Department in Beijing, Tehran (Persia), Cuba, Argentina, and Spain before being appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America under President Calvin Coolidge. In 1934 he became minister to Czechoslovakia, but resigned two years later to work for ITT. He worked for ITT in Sweden during World War II and in Spain after the war. President Eisenhower appointed him Ambassador to Mexico in 1953 and Ambassador to Sweden in 1957.


The collection contains typed letters by Frances White to his family. Most of the letters are copies. The letters are arranged chronologically. The letters begin in 1914 with White’s experiences as a student in France and Spain. Descriptions include a coup d'état in China, a caravan with the British military in Persia, public executions in Tehran, and evacuation from Sweden in a “mosquito” bomber. There are also descriptions of local culture, political situations, and devotion to wife and family. 

Other family materials in the collection include: a 1918 excerpt from Francis White’s journal detailing his journey from China to Persia, his wife Nancy’s journal from 1921-1927, and his daughter Betty’s account of her family history.


Box      Contents

1          Letters from France, Madrid, 1914
            Letters from London, Madrid, Lisbon, San Francisco, S.S. Mongolia, Shanghai,
            Letters from Beijing, 1916-1917 (2 folders)

2          Letters from Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bombay, and Tehran, 1918
            Letters from Tehran, 1919
            Letters from Havana, 1920
            Letters from USMS Martha Washington, Buenos Aires, 1921

3          Letters from Buenos Aires, 1922
            Letters from Washington DC, Paris, Madrid, 1925-1927
            Letters from Havana, Washington DC, 1928-1931
            Letters from Washington DC, Paris, Prague, Topolcianky, Vienna, Dresden,
                     Venice, Florence, Rome, Trieste, Graz, Wien, Berlin, and Nürenberg,
            Letters from Havana, New York City, Bermuda, London, and Scotland,
                     1937, 1940, 1942
            Letters from Stockholm and Båstad, 1943
            Letters from Stockholm, London, Sitges, and Madrid, 1944
            Letters from Madrid, CCN Serpa Pinto, 1945
            Letters from Madrid, 1946
            Letters from Mexico, Sweden, and Baltimore, 1953-1961
            Family Journals and Genealogy