Photographs of [England], Samoa and Hawaii from the Powell Collections
||Photographs of [England], Samoa and Hawaii from the Powell Collections
||Powell, Wilfred, 1853-1942, explorer and consular official
||circa 1885-circa 1890
|Extent and Medium
||100 images; Good to poor condition.
||Cambridge University Library: Royal Commonwealth Society Library
|Content and context|
Powell was born in 1853. As a young man he served aboard HMS 'Britannia,' 'Victory,' and 'Temeraire'; after this naval apprenticeship he travelled widely, exploring New Britain from 1877-1880 and describing his experiences in 'Wanderings in a wild country' (1883). In 1885 he was appointed Consul in Samoa and Deputy Commissioner for the Western Pacific, but was recalled in 1886 (this was not a reflection of Powell's ability but was the result of an agreement with the German Government that Stuebel, who had been meddling shamelessly in Samoan Government affairs, should also leave). Powell was then made Consul in Stettin, from which post he attended the Berlin Conference on Samoa in 1889 (see Y309C introduction), acting as Clerk to the British delegation, and as an advising authority on the Samoan situation. Here his contact with the Pacific largely ended, the rest of his career being spent in various consular posts in America. He was promoted Consul-General in 1913, and retired in 1916. He died in 1942.
An album containing mounted photographs of various sizes and, as one might expect in a private album, generally uncaptioned. Inside the front cover of the album is written: 'Taken by Wilfred Powell, Deputy Commissioner for the Western Pacific of Samoa,' but the Photographs were probably also taken by himself and members of his family -- and also by J. Davis. Little information is given with regard to locations and events, and many of the captions composed must be regarded as at best tentative. The album can however be roughly divided into geographical locations thus:
Plates 1-18 England
Plates 19-24 Shipboard and (?) Solomon Islands
Plates 25-42 Samoa
Plates 43-44 (?) Australia
Plates 45-54 Samoa
Plates 55-58 Hawaii
Plates 59-89 Samoa
Plates 90-100 England
Presumably, most of the photographs were taken in the period after 1885 when Powell was appointed Consul in Samoa and Deputy Commissioner for the Western Pacific.
The photographs form part of the collection of Wilfred Powell, left to the Society on his death in 1942.
Access and Use|
Please cite as Cambridge University Library: Royal Commonwealth Society Library, Photographs of [England], Samoa and Hawaii from the Powell Collections, Y309B
Powell, Wilfred (1883), 'Wanderings in a wild country,' London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington.
For a listing of all items in the Powell collection see: Simpson, D. (ed.) (1962), Royal Commonwealth Society, Library Notes With List of Accessions, New Series No. 64, April.
See Y309993A for other photographs from the Powell collection, and Y309993A for a note on J. Davis's photography.
This collection level description was entered by WS using information from the original typescript catalogue, which draws heavily on the Royal Commonwealth Society, Library Notes (1962) for biographical details.
This collection is available on microfiche: Oceania, fiche numbers 2-3.
|Powell, Wilfred (1853-1942) explorer and consular official|
|No further on-line information.|