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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS8872753

Charles Claflin Davis papers

This collection chronicles Davis's work with Russian refugees and orphans displaced by the Russian Revolution. Davis was director of the American Red Cross' South Eastern Base from 1920-1922. During this period he worked in Constantinople and Symrna Turkey, as well as Lemnos, Greece.

Dates

  • 1917 - 1923

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public. Consult the Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Extent

1 collection (2 boxes and an oversized folder)

The Charles Claflin Davis Papers span the years of 1897-1923, with the bulk of the materials falling into the two-year time span of 1921-1923. The material reflects the work he did while working for the American Red Cross in Turkey.

Davis served as Director of the South Eastern Base of the American Red Cross headquartered in Constantinople from 1920-1922. This base oversaw operations for Constantinople as well as Smyrna, Turkey and Lemnos, Greece. During this period Davis and the Red Cross were involved in providing humanitarian aid to refugees fleeing the Russian Revolution and to victims on the fighting that occurred in Smyrna Turkey in September 1922. In the 1923 he was acting director of the Constantinople Chapter of the American Red Cross, which was the successor organization to the South Eastern Base.

The collection consists of letters, photos, albums of children's art, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, a ledger, an almanac, and citations.

Biographical/Historical Information:

  • 1879 Born: August 11, 1879. Boston, MAParents: Charles Davis and Agnes M. Claflin Attended Pomfret School. Conn
  • 1897 - 1901 Harvard College. S.B. 1901Married Margaret Bradley Sumner, August 15, 1900 (she died February 6, 1913)
  • 1901 - 1907 Traveled in Western Europe studying government.
  • 1907 - 1910 Harvard Law School. LLB. 1910
  • 1910-1914 Graduate School of Political Science. Harvard University. Practiced law.Assistant in International Law at Harvard.
  • 1915 Attended Plattsburg Training Camp
  • 1916 Volunteered for French Army. Served in Section Four of the American Field Service Ambulance Services.
  • 1917 - 1918 U.S. Government consultant during the war focusing on ambulance services.
  • 1919 Associated with Charles H. Fisk in the practice of law. Served as a volunteer during the Boston police strike.
  • 1920 - 1923 Returned to Europe to work with the American Red Cross as Director of the Southwestern Base located in Constantinople. Worked closely with Russian refugees including many orphans displaced by the Revolution. In September 1922 appointed Acting director of the Smyrna Disaster Relief Committee.May 13, 1922 Charles Davis addressed the League of Nations in Geneva on behalf of the Russian refugees displaced by the Revolution and was among the first Americans to speak at this organization.
  • 1924 Returned to the USA
  • 1925 - 1930 Worked in the USA and held the post as Superintendent of St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, PA.
  • 1943 - 1945 Volunteer member of the San Diego Civil Defense.
  • 1957 Died in San Diego, California on February 17, 1957.
1879
Born: August 11, 1879. Boston, MA
Parents: Charles Davis and Agnes M. Claflin
Attended Pomfret School. Conn
1897 - 1901
Harvard College. S.B. 1901
Married Margaret Bradley Sumner, August 15, 1900 (she died February 6, 1913)
1901 - 1907
Traveled in Western Europe studying government.
1907 - 1910
Harvard Law School. LLB. 1910
1910-1914
Graduate School of Political Science. Harvard University. Practiced law.
Assistant in International Law at Harvard.
1915
Attended Plattsburg Training Camp
1916
Volunteered for French Army. Served in Section Four of the American Field Service Ambulance Services.
1917 - 1918
U.S. Government consultant during the war focusing on ambulance services.
1919
Associated with Charles H. Fisk in the practice of law. Served as a volunteer during the Boston police strike.
1920 - 1923
Returned to Europe to work with the American Red Cross as Director of the Southwestern Base located in Constantinople. Worked closely with Russian refugees including many orphans displaced by the Revolution. In September 1922 appointed Acting director of the Smyrna Disaster Relief Committee.
May 13, 1922 Charles Davis addressed the League of Nations in Geneva on behalf of the Russian refugees displaced by the Revolution and was among the first Americans to speak at this organization.
1924
Returned to the USA
1925 - 1930
Worked in the USA and held the post as Superintendent of St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, PA.
1943 - 1945
Volunteer member of the San Diego Civil Defense.
1957
Died in San Diego, California on February 17, 1957.

Series List

  1. Series I. Visual materials, n.d.

    About 200photographs depicting Russian refugees in the U.S. and life in theLemnos refugee camp. Also, a few postcards and one postcard frame.

  2. Series II. Papers, 1897-19231897-1923

    This seriesis arranged chronologically, and it includes American RedCross reports, news clippings, an address given by Davisto the League of Nations, citations,correspondence, and a few publications.

  3. Series III. Scrapbooks, 1921-19231921-1923

    This seriesis arranged chronologically, and contains five photo scrapbooksrelating to Davis's time in Russian refugee camps in Constantinople. There is also one scrapbook madeby Russian children as a thank-you present to Davis. Please note thatthe scrapbooks are stored on-site.

  4. Series IV. Oversized materials, 1919-19231919-1923

    This seriesis arranged chronologically, and contains citations and visualmaterials.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Houghton Library, November 2001

Existence and Location of Copies

The Charles Claflin Davis collection has been digitized. Photographs from Series I may be found in Harvard's VIA database using the keywords, "Claflin Davis." Material from the remaining Series may be viewed here.

Processing Information

Processed by Maureen Mahoney, Spring 2002

Reprocessed by Margaret Peachy, March 2008
Link to catalog
Title
Davis, Charles Claflin. Papers, 1917-1923: Finding Aid.
Author
Harvard Law School LibraryCambridge, MA 02138
EAD ID
law00066

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Law School Library, Historical & Special Collections Repository

Harvard Law School Library's Historical & Special Collections (HSC) collects, preserves, and makes available research materials for the study of the law and legal history. HSC holds over 8,000 linear feet of manuscripts, over 100,000 rare books, and more than 70,000 visual images.

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