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Arthur R. Wilson papers

Identifier: Ax 406

Scope and Contents

The collection is primarily comprised of Wilson's diary, newspapers and newsclippings, correspondence, ephemera, financial records, and photographs that document his service during the Spanish-American War.

The bulk of the correspondence is from Wilson's family, including his father, mother, brother Edgar (a missionary teacher in Kohlhapur, Ratnagiri, and Sangli, India), brother Alexander S. (a medical missionary in Miraj, India), and sisters Edith Harriet (a student at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois) and Jane (resident of Tekamah, Nebraska). The letters date from 1896 to 1899. A majority of the correspondence is arranged chronologically.

The collection also includes Wilson's Philippine diary, dated between June 18 and August 5, 1899. In it, Wilson details, among other things: his travels and skirmishes in the Philippines; keeps a mortality record of the men serving in "L" Company; tallies his clothing allowance, and the value of his munitions; and makes notes on a recipe for curry.

Among the newspaper clippings are letters, entitled Manila Letters , written by Wilson and published in an unidentified American newspaper (likely one published in Nebraska at the time).

The Ephemera series includes a broadside by Emilio Aguinaldo, dated January 8, 1899 and entitled, "Otro manifiesto del Sr. Presidente del gobierne revolucionario," a denunciation of American policy in the Philippines. Also included are two maps of Manila and the vicinity on which Wilson has marked encampments, locations of skirmishes, and made other other annotations.

The Publications series includes two published volumes of The Soldier's Letter , a typical encampment publication, with stories, poetry, sketches, and camp news.

The black and white photographs in this collection primarily document the Malolos Campaign, which lasted from March 24 to August 16, 1899. Many of the photographs depicting soldiers going about their daily lives - marching, in battles, and their encampments - are of soldiers in Wilson's regiment. There are also photos that document the scenery and culture of the Philippines.


  • 1895-1902


Language of Materials

The collection is primarily in English. The broadside by Emilio Aguinaldo is in Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival records many contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Biographical / Historical

Arthur R. Wilson (1881-1953) was a veteran of the Spanish-American War, and a politician. He was the son of Alexander Gibson Wilson, a Presbyterian minister of Tekamah, Nebraska.

In 1898, Wilson enlisted in Company L, 1st Regiment, Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, also known as the "Thurston Rifles." The regiment arrived in Manila on July 1898, returned to San Francisco in July 1899, and was mustered out in August.

After the war, Wilson attended the University of Nebraska, and graduated in 1907. From 1923 to 1924 he was mayor of Klamath Falls, Oregon.


2.5 linear feet (4 containers)


Arthur Wilson (1881-1953) was a veteran of the Spanish-American War, and a politician. The collection (1895-1902) includes Wilson's diary, newspapers and news clippings, publications, financial records, correspondence, ephemera, and photographs, all documenting his time serving in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.


Collection is organized into the following series:

Series I: Papers Subseries A: Biographical Material and Writings Subseries B: Correspondence Subseries C: Diaries Subseries D: Ephemera Subseries E: Financial records Subseries F: Publications Subseries G: Newspaper clippings Series II: Photographs

Physical Description

4 boxes

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jenn Newby and Tanya Parlet, 2012. Reprocessed in 2016 by Rachel Lilley.

Photographs were removed from their initial positions in the collection for preservation reasons. Additionally, captions for photographs were entered as they appear on the photographs. Descriptions of photographs without captions appear in the finding aid in brackets.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Arthur Wilson papers
In Progress
Jenn Newby and Tanya Parlet, 2013. Rachel Lilley, 2016.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA