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Arthur Stratton papers

Identifier: M173

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Scope and Content

The Arthur Stratton papers date mostly from 1933 to 1975. The papers 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. The papers also includes newspaper clippings, printed ephemera, photographs, and biographical materials documenting Stratton's activities, including his World War II service, teaching, travels, and health. The Images series is particularly rich in photographs from Stratton’s travels in India, Turkey, and Madagascar.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930 - 1975
  • Creation: 1865 - 1992


Language of Materials

Majority of material in English, however printed materials are also in French and Turkish.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Biographical/Historical Note

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.


15.5 Linear Feet (Oversized materials in map case and Ovsz-Box 33.)


Correspondence, writings, biographical material, and photographs of author and educator Arthur Mills Stratton (1911-1975), Bowdoin Class of 1935.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Arthur Stratton’s next of kin in 1975 to 2012.

Related Materials

Arabic codices M194.S773 Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection

Processing Information

The collection was partially processed and housed in 2013 and was finished in 2023.

Guide to the Arthur Stratton Papers
Emma Barton-Norris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288