Special Collections Department
George Handy Bates
Manuscript Collection Number: 125
Accessioned: Gift of Daniel Moore Bates, 1942.
Extent: 2 linear ft.
Content: Correspondence, photographs, newspapers, clippings, financial records, protocols, magazines, notes, and minutes of meetings.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: 1942 by William D. Lewis; and updated 1992 by Anita Wellner.
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
Bates was also active in Delaware politics. In 1881 he was elected to the Delaware Legislature as a Democrat and by 1882 he was the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
In 1886 President Grover Cleveland appointed Mr. Bates as a special agent to investigate the conditions in Samoa. Bates was subsequently appointed as a United States Commissioner to the 1889 Joint Conference on Samoan Affairs held in Berlin. As a special envoy he participated in the negotiations with England and Germany over the ownership of the Island of Samoa.
George Handy Bates died at his home in Philadelphia, Pa. on October 31, 1916 at the age of 73.
Source:"George Handy Bates Dead." The New York Times, November 1, 1916. p. 11.
Scope and Content Note
Correspondence from the Berlin Conference in 1889 includes letters from the U.S. Secretary of State James G. Blaine as well as copies of letters from Bates and an abstract of the correspondence between the U.S. Secretary of State Blaine and the U.S. commissioners. The documents from the Berlin Conference include protocols for ten sessions of the negotiations, minutes of the meetings taken by Bates, drafts of Bates' remarks at the sixth session, reports on the negotiations, and drafts of the treaty on Samoa.
The material gathered by Bates in his investigation of the Samoan situation prior to the Berlin Conference includes publications by the Samoangovernment and financial records for the Apia Agency and the Deutsches Handels and Plantagen Gesellschaft. Newspaper clippings, a proposed constitution for Samoa under King Malietoa, correspondence with U.S. Secretary of State T. F. (Thomas F.) Bayard, lists of exports, imports, and land holdings are also present. A photocopy of Jan Thurston's Report of the Condition of the Samoan Islands, issues of the Tonga Government Blue Book and Samoa Times, and a copy of Arthur Gordon's British Despotism in the South Sea Islands are also included in these papers.
The papers also include over one hundred and forty photographs of persons and scenic views of Samoa, Pago Pago, Fiji, and Hawaii.
These papers are valuable for studying the culture and history of Samoa, particularly during the 1880s. The issues of colonialism and foreign intervention are chronicled in these papers. In addition, the material related to the 1889 Berlin Conference on Samoan Affairs provides insight into diplomatic relations among Germany, Great Britain, and the United States during the late 1880s.
Related sources:A copy of the calendar to the Bates Samoan Papers, prepared by William D. Lewis in 1942, is available with the print finding aid in the University of Delaware Library, Special Collections.
A microfilm copy of selected material from the George Handy Bates Samoan Papers is also available in the University of Delaware Library. MF 687 is a copy of a series of papers from the Department of State and was filmed at the National Archives. The microfilm is located in the Microform Unit of Media Services.
A microfilm copy of the George Handy Bates Samoan Papers is available in the University of Delaware Library. The microfilm includes a copy of the calendar prepared by William Ditto Lewis as well as the contents of the collection. The collection was filmed in 1973 by the Church of the Latter Day Saints. The microfilm is located in the Microfilm Unit of Media Services.
Numerous enclosures, such as protocols and copies of original clippings, are found with the correspondence in Series I. The clippings which were enclosed in the letters in Series I have been removed to Series II, but preservation photocopies of these clippings have been made and placed with the letters.
I. Correspondence and Documents II. Clippings III. Photographs IV. Newspapers
1 Series I. Correspondence and Documents, 1869- 1916. Consists of correspondence, reports, government publications, photocopies of clippings, financial documents, lists of imports and exports, lists and deeds of land holdings, and other material gathered by Bates in his investigation of Samoan affairs. Also included is material related to the 1889 Berlin Conference on Samoan Affairs. Items included are correspondence, protocols for the ten sessions, drafts of Bates' remarks and of a treaty, minutes of the meetings, and printed material. The letters from James G. Blaine, U.S. Secretary of State, to the U.S. commissioners to the Berlin Conference contain extensive instructions concerning U.S. policy on Samoa. F1 1869 . Correspondence. 2 items (19 pp). F2 1880-1882. Apia Agency Balance Sheets. 3 items (3 pp). F3 1883 Apr 16. Tonga Government Gazette. 1 item (21 pp). F4 1883. British Despotism in the South Sea Islands, and the Persecution of Mr. W. J. Hunt by Sir Arthur Gordon...1877-79. 1 item (48 pp). F5 1883 Dec 31. Head Agency, Apia Balance Sheet. 1 item (1 p). F6 1884 Aug 27. Tonga Government Blue Book. 1 item (19 pp). F7 1884-1885. Deutches Handels & Plantagen Gesellschaft Financial Records. 3 items (5 pp). F8 1886 Jan 19. Schedule of Deeds, Letters, etc. in Auckland. 1 item (2 pp). F9 1886 May. Proposed temporary constitution for Samoa under King Malietoa. 1 item (7 pp). F10 1886 Jul 17. Letter from U.S. Secretary of State T. F. Bayard to Bates regarding his appointment as envoy to Samoa. 1 item (3 pp.) Series I. Correspondence and Documents (cont'd) 1 F11 1886 Aug 1-27. Consists of correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, and notices. Material concerns the resignation of B. Greenbaum as U.S. consul to Samoa, economy of Samoa, and Samoan plantations. 11 items (15 pp). F12 1886 Sep. Consists of correspondence, lists of imports and exports, and land holdings in Samoa. Material details the financial affairs of Samoa. 9 items (13 pp). F13 1886 Oct. Consists of correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, and financial documents. Includes two letters from Bayard to Bates. 4 items (16 pp). F14 1886 Nov-Dec. Photocopy of a newspaper clipping, reports, and a document containing an extract from a report on Samoa German Consul General Travers to Prince Bismark included. 9 items (31 pp). F15 1887 Jan. Photocopy of J. B. Thurston's Report...Condition of the Samoan Islands.... 1 item (75 pp). F16 1887 Feb-Dec. Consists of correspondence, and printed material regarding Samoan politics and economy. Includes copies of the Tonga Government Blue Book. 10 items (22 pp). F17 1888. Correspondence, issues of the Tonga Government Blue Book, and the Tonga Government Gazette are included. Material details the increasing political and economic problems in Samoa, especially problems of what currency will be legal tender in Samoa. 20 items (41 pp). 2 F18 1889 Jan. Includes a copy of Consul-General of the U.S. to Samoa Harold M. Sewell's testimony before a subcommittee of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the U.S. Senate, copies of the Tonga Government Gazette, and photocopies of newspaper clippings. 5 items (85 pp). F19 1889 Feb. Includes a copy of Punch and correspondence between R.W. Gilder and Bates concerning articles on Samoa in The Century Magazine. 11 items (46 pp). Series I. Correspondence and Documents (cont'd) 2 F20 1889 Mar. Includes correspondence and photocopies of newspaper clippings. Material concerns Bates' appointment as a commissioner to the Berlin Conference and current events and civil unrest in Samoa. 9 items (28 pp). F21 1889 Apr 1-15. Includes correspondence and photocopies of newspaper clippings. An extensive letter from U.S. Secretary of State, James G. Blaine, to the three U.S. commissioners, Bates, William Walter Phelps, and John A. Kasson, details the general principles to guide U.S. decisions at the Berlin Conference and their limited powers as U.S. commissioners. 7 items (34 pp). F22 1889 Apr 16-25. Includes correspondence and photocopies of newspaper clippings. Includes an editorial from the German Cologne Gazette which criticizes the appointment of Bates. 42 items (42 pp). F23 1889 Apr 26-28. Includes correspondence and photocopies of newspaper clippings. Includes information about the lack of Samoan representation at the Berlin Conference, a fraudulent affidavit, and the Samoan Battle. 43 items (39 pp). F24 1889 Apr 29-30. Consists of correspondence, photocopies of clippings, the Protocol for the First Session of the Berlin Conference on Samoa, and a copy of Century Illustrated Magazine, which contains comments by Bates on the Samoan issue. 49 items (310 pp). 3 F25 1889 May 1-7. Consists of correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, and the Protocol for the Second Session of the Conference. Includes a letter and copies of telegrams from James G. Blaine. One letter to Blaine from Bates discusses Bates' concern that Kasson is receiving secret instructions. 68 items (67 pp). F26 1889 May 8-16. Includes correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, the Protocol of the Third Session, and minutes from various subcommittees at the conference. Includes letters of instruction from James G. Blaine. 27 items (85 pp). Series I. Correspondence and Documents (cont'd) 3 F27 1889 May 17-22. Includes correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, the Protocol of the Fourth and Fifth Sessions, and minutes of sessions taken by Bates. Includes letters from James G. Blaine with policy instruction from the President. 14 items (75 pp). F28 1889 May 23-31. Includes correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, a draft of Bates' remarks at the Sixth Session, Protocols for the Sixth and Seventh Sessions, photocopy of Bates' article, "Our Relations to Samoa," which appeared in The Century Magazine. Letters from James G. Blaine are included. 23 items (182 pp). F29 1889 Jun 1-11. Includes correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, the Protocol for the Seventh Session, and notes concerning a treaty. One letter from Bates to Blaine details his views which are at variance with those of the commission. Also includes letters from Blaine. 10 items (43 pp). F30 1889 Jun 12-23 and [June]. Includes correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, Protocols for the Eighth and Ninth Sessions, notes, and an abstract of correspondence between the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. commissioners to the Berlin Conference. 17 items (113 pp). 4 F31 1889 Feb-Jul. Consists of a scrapbook of clippings from the Samoa Times. 1 item (32 pp). F32 1889 Jul-Dec. Includes correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, and issues of the Tonga Government Blue Book. 13 items (37 pp). F33 . Includes correspondence, a copy of the treaty which resulted from the 1889 Berlin Conference on Samoa, notes, subcommittee reports, and a map titled, "Speziale-Karte der Samoa-Inseln. 11 items (36 pp). F34 . Consists of a printed report on Samoa with autograph notes. 1 item (86 pp). Series I. Correspondence and Documents (cont'd) 4 F35 . Consists of the U.S. Commissioners to Berlin Report titled "Correspondence...Affairs in Samoa." 1 item (80 pp). F36 . Consists of correspondence, notes, and drafts of reports concerning the Berlin Conference. 5 items (38 pp). F37 1890-1893, 1899 and 1916. Includes correspondence and photocopies of newspaper clippings. Includes a letter from James G. Blaine. 13 items (37 pp). F38 [n.d.]. Includes notes, a cartoon about the Berlin Conference, and a copy of Bates' article, "American Intervention in the Pacific." 10 items (27 pp). F39 [n.d.]. Covers and Envelopes. 29 items. 5 Series II. Clippings, 1885-1916. The clippings in this series detail the developments of the political problems in Samoa and the public reporting on the 1889 Berlin Conference on Samoa. Photocopies of these clippings are also found in Series I. F40 1885-1889 Apr 24. Clippings. 56 items. F41 1889 Apr 27-30. Clippings. 67 items. F42 1889 Apr 9 and May 12. Clippings. 2 items. F43 1889 May. Clippings. 62 items. F44 1889 Jun-Sep. Clippings. 4 items. F45 1889 Feb-Jul. Clippings from the Samoa Times. 63 pp. F46 1890-1893, 1899, 1916. Clippings. 9 items. 6 Series III. Photographs, 1886-1889. Consists of mounted and loose photographic portraits of the people and scenic views of Hawaii, Fiji, Pago Pago, and Samoa. Also included are photographs of diplomats at the 1889 Berlin Conference on Samoa. No Fs. Photographs, 1871-1889. Includes photographs of Samoan King Malietoa, diplomats at the Berlin Conference, the Queen of Hawaii, Samoan women, Hawaiian and Samoan homes, a lava flow in 1871, views of Pago Pago and Fiji, Samoan Chief Asi, ships of the U.S. Navy, and various other persons and views. Most of the photographs have some labeling. 143 items. SEE Photographs APPENDIX Series IV. Newspapers and Magazines, 1887-1893. Includes issues of Samoa Times, City Argus of San Francisco, Wasp, Uber Land und Meer, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, English & American Register, Galignani's Messenger, and National-Zeitung. 14 items. This material is shelved in the oversize section in two folders. One folder consists of issues of the Samoa Times dated: 1877 Dec 1 1889 Feb 9 Feb 16 Feb 23 Apr 27 A second folder contains the following newspapers and magazines in chronological order: 1889 Mar 16 City Argus (San Francisco) 1889 Mar 23 Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper 1889 Mar 30 Wasp 1889 May 10 National-Zeitung 1889 May 11 English & American Register 1889 Jul 10 Galignani's Messenger 1893 Jul 15 Harper's Weekly Vol. 62 #30 Uber Land und Meer Vol. 62 #35 Uber Land und Meer
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