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

Digital Scriptorium, Duke University
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George Percival Scriven, born in Philadelphia in 1854 and later a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, was sent to Bohol Island in the Philippines as chief signal commander with the 4th Philippine Expedition in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. He kept several journals and a scrapbook until he left in late 1900. This site presents a full transcription of his diary entries from March through May of 1900—the first days of the American occupation of the Philippines as part of the Philippine-American War. The transcription is broken down into nine sections, each containing about 10 pages of Scriven’s diary. Scriven wrote his diary partially as a personal memoir and partially to record notes for a book he published in 1908, The Transmission of Military Information. The diary ranges in topic from descriptions of the islands’ inhabitants and natural landscape to the state of the U.S. military and the war, to his personal health. As a result, the diary is often hard to follow, but the site has preserved its chronology nonetheless. The site also includes roughly 30 images to accompany the diary transcription, including depictions of life in the Philippines at the turn-of-the century and digital images of actual pages from Scriven’s diary.

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