George Percival Scriven:
An American in Bohol, The Philippines, 1899-1901

An On-line Archival Collection
Special Collections Library, Duke University

About the collection at Duke.

George Percival Scriven's collection at Duke's Special Collections Library contains several journals, scrap books, and photos which were collected and written throughout his long career in the Army and while serving in various representative roles abroad. This digitized collection centers around his journal while he was serving as the Chief Signal Officer with the 4th Philippine Expedition during the invasion and occupation of the Philippines after the end of the Spanish-American War, in 1900. The journal begins on March 17, 1900 and continues through the beginning of May of that year.

The particular journal which has been transcribed is a small leather bound book that was originally intended to be used for navigational notes and records by members of the U.S. Army. It is approximately 100 pages long but Scriven did not write on every page. Scriven wrote this journal both as a personal memoir and as a place to keep notes and revise sections of a book that he was intending to write about the American invasion and occupation of the Philippine Islands. For this reason, the narrative of the journal is very disjointed and includes revised versions of the some of the same paragraphs. Because the two "story-lines" in the journal are not separated, and they start and stop and various intervals, it is very difficult to follow Scriven's narrative. We have not altered the order or flow of Scriven's writing. Examples of how Scriven's journal appears, and what his handwriting looks like, can be found in the photograph index.

Other pieces in the collection include a scrapbook of items acquired during his time spent as a representative of the U.S. Army in Italy and several other journals written during his various posts abroad. The collection also includes the travel journals of his daughter, Elizabeth. For information on how you can use materials from the Scriven collection that are not available on-line, please contact the research services department of the Duke Special Collections Library.

[Scriven Diary title page]

A project of The Digital Scriptorium, Special Collections Library, Duke University. May 1997