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Hamilton King Papers

Identifier: GTM-730905

Scope and Contents

The Hamilton King papers comprise the personal papers of Hamilton King, the U.S. minister resident and consul general (1898-1903) and envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary (1903-1912) to Thailand (then Siam). The collection includes much correspondence relating to diplomatic matters. An important supplement is the lengthy series of diaries kept by King's wife from 1898 to 1915, which provide a detailed view of diplomatic life in Siam at the time.

The Hamilton King Papers comprise: Box 1 contains Family Correspondence while Boxes 2 to 4 deal with King's diplomatic correspondence from 1892 to 1912. Boxes 5 to 9 contain H. King's outgoing correspondence in letter book form. Box 10 contains King's diary and various manuscript material while Boxes 11 to 13 hold Mrs. King's diaries from approximately the same time period, The 14th and 15th Boxes hold scrapbooks filled with memorabilia from their days in Siam and Europe. Financial records and autographs comprise Box 16. Materials relating to the death of Hamilton King and others are found in Box 17. Photographs are in Box 18 while printed ephemera and clippings make up Box 19, 20, and 21. Box 22 contains two Thai folding book manuscripts, a portrait photograph of King, other photographs, printed materials (including a pamphlet authored by King on his missionary work in Laos, newspaper clippings, and other materials. Box 23 contains a textile depicting an elephant.

Note: Click on "External Documents" below for a link to the finding aid for the collection.


  • 1883 - 1931

Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical Note

Hamilton King, educator and diplomatist, was born at St. Johns, Newfoundland on June 4, 1852. He became a United States citizen by naturalization. In 1878 he graduated from Olivet College, Michigan. From 1878-79 he attended the Chicago Theological Seminary; Chicago University in 1881; Leipzig University in 1883-84; and the American School in Athens, Greece in 1884. King was principal of the preparatory department at Olivet College from 1879 to 1898 where he also held the position of professor of Greek. In 1898 King was appointed minister resident and consul general to Siam by President William McKinley. In 1903 he was raised to the level of Minister. He held this Siamese post until his sudden death in 1912. King was a noted author, lecturer, and active educator during his life.

Hamilton King was married to Cora Lee Seward at New Hackensack, New York, on August 27, 1884. Mrs. King was born in Elgin, Illinois on February 19, 1855. She accompanied her husband to Siam and resided with him in Siam for the greater part of thirteen years. Mrs. King's diaries form one of the most interesting parts of the Hamilton King Papers [See Finding Aid for Boxes 11 to 13]. She died at the age of 79 in 1934. The Kings had three daughters: Helen M., Marie S., and Cora Lee. All three did undergraduate and graduate work after they had spent their childhood in Siam and Germany.


11 Linear Feet (23 boxes)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Cora Lee King Rose and Anne Lee Stewart via William Strobridge, 1973.

Hamilton King Papers
Anna T. Zakarija
1982 May 11
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2023: Edited for DACS compliance by John Zarrillo

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057