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

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

About George Percival Scriven.

George Scriven was born in Philadelphia on February 21, 1854. He attended the University of Chicago and Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute before entering the U.S. Military Academy, where he graduated 5th in his class. In 1878 he became a 2nd lt. in the 8th Infantry and was later transferred to the Signal Corps in 1890. By 1913 he was a brigadier general and the chief signal officer of the U.S. Army. He served at various foreign posts during his military career. He was the military attache to Mexico City in 1894 and in Rome from 1894-97. In 1898 he served as the chief signal officer of the department of the Gulf in the Spanish-American War, and then with the 4th Philippine expedition where he served on the staff of General Welsley Merritt and was part of the occupying force of Bohol Island under the command of Major Hale. His other military posts and roles included: Cuba, 1899; chief signal officer China Relief Expedition, August-November 1900; St. Louis Expedition, 1904; chief signal officer, Department of the East, 1904-1909, of the Philippines division, 1909-1911; cited for "gallantry in action" against Chinese Boxer forces at Yang-Tsun, August 6, 1900, and at Peking, August 14-15, 1900; badges for service with or during: Spanish-American War, Philippine Invasion, Army of Cuban Occupation, China Relief Expedition, Mexican Expedition, the Great War (WWI).

He retired from the Army after 42 years of service in February of 1917 but continued to serve under the status of "active service in case of war." He served as the military attache to Rome by direct appointment by the Secretary of War and Secretary of State starting in September of 1917. There he served as the military advisor to the Italian Army during the war. He was awarded the decoration of Grand Officer Crown of Italy in 1918 for his service with the Italian troops during the war.

He wrote two books: "Transmission of Military Information" in 1908 and "The Story of the Hudson Bay Company" in 1929. He died in Washington DC on March 7, 1940.

Much of this information was gathered from the reference book: Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1, 1847-1942, Chicago: Marquis Who's Who Press, 1943.

[Scriven Diary title page]

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