Collection ID: MS 198

Collection context


Embree, Edwin R. (Edwin Rogers), 1883-1950
The papers consist of personal and professional correspondence; family journals (1918-1949) of trips to Europe, China, Samoa, Java and Central America; and articles, book reviews and speeches on cultural anthropology (particularly on the Pacific), education, medicine, American race relations, and philanthropic institutions. Among Embree's professional papers are also financial statements and other materials relating to the Julius Rosenwald Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation and other philanthropies with which he was associated. Prominent correspondents include James Bryant Conant, Clarence Day, Harold Ickes, Esther Rauschenbush, Walter Reuther, John D. Rockefeller and Harold Taylor.
4.5 Linear Feet


Acquisition information:
Gift of Mrs. Catherine Embree Harris, 1964, 1967.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Scope and Content:

The Edwin Rogers Embree Papers consist of approximately 3,000 items, filed in nine archive boxes. The collection contains personal and professional correspondence (especially with Clarence Day), as well as correspondence concerning several of Embree's books. Also included in the collection are the journals of his trips abroad and articles, book reviews, and speeches on cultural anthropology, education, medicine, nursing, race relations, and religion. These materials have been arranged into the following five series.

SERIES I. CORRESPONDENCE is arranged alphabetically by correspondent or subject and chronologically within the files; a chronological file of general correspondence precedes the alphabetical listing. Of particular note is the rather extensive correspondence with Clarence Day between 1926 and 1936. It should also be noted that correspondence exists within other series in this collection, especially where it concerns articles or books that Mr. Embree wrote.

SERIES II. FAMILY JOURNALS contains the journals that Edwin Embree kept on his travels around the world. The journals (1918-1949) covering travel in all major areas of the world, was usually mimeographed and sent to friends and family. For additional accounts of these trips see the journals of Edwin's son, John Fee Embree. (Historical Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University).

SERIES III. ARTICLES, SPEECHES, AND TALKS is arranged alphabetically by general subject and chronologically within the subject files. Included is some correspondence regarding various speeches and articles by Embree, especially the article "Timid Billions" which appeared in the March, 1949, issue of Harpers and reflected on Embree's many years working with philanthropic foundations.

SERIES IV. BOOKS contains little manuscript material, but includes correspondence, publicity, and reviews of his various books arranged chronologically by title.

SERIES V. MISCELLANEOUS, contains such items as clippings, diplomas, and passports.

The papers are the gift of Mrs. Catherine Embree Harris, 1964, 1967.

Biographical / Historical:

Between 1917-1927, Edwin Rogers Embree served as secretary, director of the Division of Studies, and vice-president of the Rockefeller Foundation. Between 1928-1948, he was vice-president, director of the Division of Human Biology, and president of the Julius Rosenwald Fund.

Date Event
1883 Born 31 July at Osceola, Nebraska; youngest of seven children
1883 Father, Norris Jones Embree, Union Pacific Railroad Company, telegrapher
1883 Mother, Laura Ann (Fee) Embree, daughter of Rev. John Gregg Fee, abolitionist preacher and founder of Berea College (in Kentucky). Family later moved to Wyoming and then Kentucky where young Embree came under the influence of his grandfather, Rev. John Fee. Collection contains correspondence with his brother, William Dean Embree, '02, born in 1880 in Humbolt, Kansas.
1906 B.A. from Yale
1906 Reporter, New York Sun
1907 16 July, Married Kate Scott; Embree had three children: John Fee; Edwina Rogers, Mrs. E. A. Devereux; Catherine Day, Mrs. A. L. Harris.
1907 Member of administration at Yale:
1907 Associate Editor, Yale Alumni Weekly; Met Clarence S. Day, Jr., '96.
1909 Alumni Editor, Yale Alumni Weekly
1910 Organizer with Clarence S. Day, Jr., of Class Secretaries Bureau
1910 Director of Class Secretaries Bureau
1911 Alumni Registrar and Executive Assistant to Secretary, Yale University
1914 Secretary, Bureau of Appointments
1914 M. A. in Philosophy from Yale
1917 Association with Rockefeller Foundations:
1917 Secretary, Rockefeller Foundations
1918 Trip to France as member of Rockefeller Tuberculosis Commission. Met Julius Rosenwald.
1924 Director, Division of Studies, Rockefeller Foundation
1927 Vice-President, Rockefeller Foundation
1920 Trip to Europe
1921 Trip to China
1922 Trip to China
1923 Trip to Puerto Rico and Europe
1925 Trip to Pacific
1927 Trip to Central America
1928 Association with Julius Rosenwald Fund:
1928 Vice-President and Director, Division Human Biology, Julius Rosenwald Fund
1930 President, Julius Rosenwald Fund
1931 Publication - Brown America
1932 Death of Julius Rosenwald
1932 Trip to Samoa
1932 Publication - Prospecting for Heaven A New School for American Samoa
1933 Trip to Java
1934 Publication - Island India Goes To School Trip to Russia
1939 Publication - Indians of the Americas
1942 Publication - American Negroes
1943 Publication - Brown Americans
1944 Publication - Thirteen Against the Odds
1948 Publication - Peoples of the Earth
1948 President, Liberia Foundation. Associated with Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. Took trip to Liberia.
1949 Publication - "Timid Billions;" Investment in People; Death of Edward Stettinius
1949 Consultant John Hay Whitney and Greenwood Foundations
1950 Death of Embree on February 21; death of his son, John F. Embree, and John's daughter, Clare, on December 22.

Arranged in five series: I. Correspondence. II. Family Journals. III. Articles, Speeches, and Talks. IV. Books. V. Miscellaneous.


Sterling Memorial Library
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