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William Stamps Cherry Papers

Identifier: SC 01778

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Content Description

This is a collection of papers from William Stamps Cherry's visits to Africa around the end of the 19th century. Cherry was an American businessman, explorer, and writer involved in the Ivory trade. In these letters he mentions interacting with the native people, elephant hunting as well as ivory shipping, and the possibility of treaty negotiations.

35 letters in English and French, 13 business documents such as receipts, itemized lists, and a certificate of authenticity. Two receipts are from The Red Star Line Express between Belgium and the United States for cargo transport with Marine Insurance, these are printed in French and English. Other documents include one telegram, one wedding invitation, six envelopes, a business card, a block of canceled stamps from the Congo, and a picture of two African men. The largest document contains numerical figures on one side, and a hand drawn map on the other. The map mentions several areas of rocks and water, as well as a place where something was killed.

The last item in this collection is a one page treaty signed on July 13, 1884 between the Association Internationale du Congo, and King Manda and King MZita, two chiefs of Chimbuko who were selling their property. The two Kings marked the paper alongside the Association's representatives.

Content warnings for derogatory language directed towards Africans, nudity, the Ivory trade, and allusions towards suggestions of genocide.


  • Creation: March 1893 - April 11, 1902


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.


0.3 Linear Feet (Two folders and five individual papers that are flat oversized.)




William Stamps Cherry Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository