Menu

Guide to the William Johnson Cole papers, 1910-1916 and undated

Abstract

Employee of the Lepetkatta Tea Co., Ltd., in Barbaru, Assam, India. Cole signed his letters "Johnson."

Collection comprises weekly letters Johnson wrote to his parents in England while he served as an engineer for a tea estate, and provides commentary written from a late-colonial perspective. There is information regarding the management of the tea estate, tea manufacture, tea prices and trade, and the transformation of work processes and personal lives by mechanization, the introduction of electricity, and brick making. In addition, Johnson wrote about local customs, labor, wildlife, weather, religious festivals, disease outbreaks (esp. cholera), and Indian politics. He also wrote about various engine repairs he undertook; transportation; his favorite pastimes (including hunting and playing polo); his various horses and pets; medical and dental treatments; people he met; as well as his activities in the volunteer British military guard, where he participated in military tests, drills, and sports, and served as Farrier Sergeant. His final letters contained extensive commentary on England's role in World War I, as well as the impact of the war on Assam. Includes a few postcards, one photograph, a clipping, and a tea invoice. There is also one undated letter written to Johnson by a native missionary who requested assistance.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Cole, William Johnson, b. 1886-
Title
William Johnson Cole papers 1910-1916 and undated
Language of Materials
English
Extent
1.0 linear feet
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Collection comprises weekly letters Johnson wrote to his parents in England while he served as an engineer for a tea estate, and provides commentary written from a late-colonial perspective. There is information regarding the management of the tea estate, tea manufacture, tea prices and trade, and the transformation of work processes and personal lives by mechanization, the introduction of electricity, and brick making. In addition, Johnson wrote about local customs, labor, wildlife, weather, religious festivals, disease outbreaks (esp. cholera), and Indian politics. He also wrote about various engine repairs he undertook; transportation; his favorite pastimes (including hunting and playing polo); his various horses and pets; medical and dental treatments; people he met; as well as his activities in the volunteer British military guard, where he participated in military tests, drills, and sports, and served as Farrier Sergeant. His final letters contained extensive commentary on England's role in World War I, as well as the impact of the war on Assam. Includes a few postcards, one photograph, a clipping, and a tea invoice. There is also one undated letter written to Johnson by a native missionary who requested assistance.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Historical Note

Employee of the Lepetkatta Tea Co., Ltd., in Barbaru, Assam, India. Cole signed his letters "Johnson."

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], in the William Johnson Cole Papers, 1910-1916 and undated, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

Purchase, 2008

Processing Information

Processed by: Alice Poffinberger, February 2010

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, February 2010

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2008-0054

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.