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Guide to the Arthur Stratton Papers, 1939-1975

Request for Use
Arthur Stratton papers
Stratton, Arthur
Date [inclusive]:
13.5 Linear Feet
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Correspondence, writings, biographical material, and photographs of author and educator Arthur Mills Stratton (1911-1975), Bowdoin Class of 1935.
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Preferred Citation:

Arthur Stratton Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Arthur Mills Stratton was born on July 27, 1911, in Clinton, Massachusetts. Following his graduation from Bowdoin College in 1935, he studied for a year at Columbia University from which he received a master of arts degree in 1942. He studied and wrote in France from 1938 until enlisting in the American Volunteer Ambulance Service in January 1940. For bravery "in evacuating the wounded under heavy machine gun and artillery fire" during the German advance on Paris he was awarded the French Croix de Guerre in April 1940, the first American known to receive the award during World War II. From the spring of 1940 until July 1940, he was captured and held by the Germans. Upon his release he joined the American Field Service and was sent to Africa for ambulance service with the Free French, where he was badly wounded at Bir Hakeim in the Libyan desert.

Stratton taught English at Robert College in Turkey from 1942 to 1944, when he joined the Office of Strategic Service, a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency. From 1946 to 1950, he taught English at Bowdoin, and at various times after that was a member of the faculty at Robert College. He traveled widely and lived for long periods in India, Greece, Madagascar, Lebanon, and Turkey.

Stratton was the author of numerous books including "Lord Love Us" (1949), a novel; "One Man's India (1955), a travel book; "The Great Red Island" (1964), a study of Madagascar; and "Sinan" (1972), a biography of the 16th century Ottoman architect, Sinan addur-Mennan.

Arthur Stratton died of cancer on September 1, 1975, in Washington, DC. He was survived by a sister, Mrs. Barbara S. Bolling, with whom he lived.

Collection contains correspondence chronicling Stratton's daily experiences, his writing, teaching, and travels including letters to Bowdoin professor Herbert Ross Brown with an autobiographical sketch in a letter dated November 23, 1971. Other correspondents include Dorcy Cole Stevens, Dorothy and Richard LeBlanc, Dorothy and Karl Briel, and Stratton's sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Senator Richard Bolling. There are materials relating to Stratton's writing including research files, and drafts and proofs of manuscripts. Collection also includes newspaper clippings, printed ephemera, photographs, and biographical materials documenting Stratton's activites, including his World War II service, teaching, travels, and health.

Scope and Contents:

The bulk of these letters were written by Arthur Stratton to his sister Barbara Bolling and her husband, Senator Richard Bolling; Bowdoin Professor Herbert Brown; Florence Codman; Dorothy and Richard LeBlanc; and Dorothy and Karl Briel. Many were written from abroad and chronicle his daily experiences, the progress of his writings and commentary on foreign cultures. These letters include an autobiographical sketch in a letter dated November 23, 1971 to Herbert Brown.


Chronological and alphabetical by last name.

Scope and Contents:

Proofs, drafts and manuscripts of works published by Stratton arranged alphabetically by title. Early works include articles and stories written for the Atlantic from France and Bir Hachem during WWII. Books address international subjects such as Madagascar (The Great Red Island), India (One Man's India) and 16th Century Ottoman architecture (Sinan). Also included are materials for the National Water Commission Report which Stratton collaborated on.


Alphabetical by title

Manuscript related to "Sinan," 1968

volume-folio 2

Scrapbook of photos, clippings, and documents related to la Croix de guerre and German capture, 1940 Feb-Aug

volume-folio 1

"Book 1," 1939

volume-folio 3

"Book 2," 1939

volume-folio 4

"Book 2," Maps: Istanbul, France

ovsz-box E

Scope and Contents:

Seven folders of notecards written by Stratton himself, source books and articles, and travel brochures related to Madagascar and Turkey.


Alphabetical by material description.

Scope and Contents:

Series includes materials relating to Stratton's time at Bowdoin College, including an ode that he wrote for the 1935 Ivy Day celebration. Also includes materials from Robert College, reviews of Stratton's writings, awards and patches granted to Stratton during WWII and an extensive collection of maps and travel guides.


Alphabetical by material description.

Scope and Contents:

Includes photographs of Stratton taken throughout his life as well as photographs taken by Stratton in India and Turkey. A few of these shots were included in Sinan and One Man's India. The series also includes photos from Brunswick, ME and postcards collected by Stratton around the world.


Alphabetical by material type, alphabetical by image subject