Three generations of the Burlingame family are represented in the papers of this collection. The three major historical figures in the family are discussed below in accordance with the amount of material present on each individual.
Anson Burlingame was born in 1820, the son of Joel and his wife Freelove (Angell) Burlingame. He attended the University of Michigan and Harvard Law School. After marriage to Jane Cornelia Livermore, the daughter of Isaac Livermore, Burlingame began a promising political career in the Massachusetts Senate. In 1855 he was elected as a Republican to Congress where he served three terms. After the presidential campaign of 1860 he became minister to Peking in which capacity he concluded the Burlingame Treaty. Burlingame died while on a diplomatic mission to St. Petersburg, Russia in 1870.
Edward Livermore Burlingame was the first son born to Anson Burlingame in 1848. As a young man he grew up in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area, and in 1861 entered Harvard. When his father was appointed minister to China, young Edward followed him to Peking, and later Paris, Berlin, Heidelberg, and St. Petersburg. In 1871 he began a career with the New York Tribune, and married Ella Frances Badger in the same year. Burlingame became a literary advisor to Charles Scribner's Sons, and in 1886 was appointed editor of the new Scribner's Magazine, a post he held until his resignation in 1914. E. L. Burlingame died in 1922.
The second son of Edward and Ella Burlingame was William Roger Burlingame, who was born in 1889. As a boy Roger attended Morristown School and went on to Harvard University, graduating from the latter in 1913. After serving with the American Expeditionary Force in France, he returned to America and assumed various posts with Charles Scribner's Sons. In 1926 he began a career as a free-lance writer augmented by teaching stints at Barnard and M.I.T. During the course of his long career, Burlingame wrote many articles, essays, books, and short stories. He is particularly known for non-fiction works on the historical impact of industry and technology on American society, though he did publish several novels during the early part of his career. His autobiography, published in 1958, is entitled I Have Known Many Words.
In 1933 Roger married Angeline Whinton, known professionally as Ann Watkins, literary agent and president of Ann Watkins Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Burlingame died within a few days of each other in 1967.
A genealogical chart of the Burlingame family is available at the end of this inventory.
From the guide to the Burlingame Family Papers, 1856-1967, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)
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