In 1923, William Scoville Moore accompanied U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau Sr. on a trip to Greece. The United Nations had recently loaned the country money in order to help resettle the many immigrants pouring in from various areas within the country. Once there, Moore and Englishman named Colonel Owen were responsible for overseeing the use and disbursement of the loan. Moore and Owen traveled extensively throughout the country in order to fully understand the depth of the situation. According to news sources, Moore was documenting the trip visually as well as taking notes as a means of drawing attention to the catastrophe.
Moore's photographs offer insight into the humanitarian crisis that was developing in the region; however, they document not just the suffering of the refugees, but the efforts of the displaced peoples to maintain dignity in the face of aversion. For his work, administered through the Morgenthau Settlement Commission and the American Near East Relief, Moore was awarded the Order of the Savior by decree of the Greek Cabinet. This award was the first granted by the new Republican Government of Greece.
From the guide to the William S. Moore Photograph Collection, 1922-1924., (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library)