Philip K. Crowe Papers, 1800 -- 1981


Title: Philip K. Crowe Papers
Dates: 1800 -- 1981
Creator: Crowe, Philip Kingsland
Call Number: MS109
Size: 52.4 Cubic Feet, 36 Digital Object(s)
Language(s): English.  
Permanent URL:
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University


This collection contains personal papers relating to the life and career of Ambassador Philip Kingsland Crowe. Materials are organized in five series: Photographs; Writings and Research Notes; Embassy, Government, and Military Papers; Correspondence and Subject Files; and Personal Ephemera and Memorabilia. The bulk of the material dates to Crowe's diplomatic career spanning from 1950 to 1975.


This collection is organized into five series: Correspondence and subject files; Writing and research notes; Embassy, government, and military papers; Photographs; Personal ephemera and memorabilia.


Biographical / Historical

Philip K. Crowe, an American diplomat, conservationist, and author was a trustee of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Philip Kingsland Crowe was born January 7, 1908 in New York City, the son of Earl and Kathleen McClellan (Higgins) Crowe. Following his graduation from the University of Virginia, Crowe began his long career as a reporter at the New York Evening Post in 1933. From 1935 to 1937 Crowe was an explorer and big game hunter in French Indo-China. In 1937 he married his first wife Irene Pettus with whom he had three children: Phillippa, Irene, and Mary.

Crowe spent the next several years working in advertising first for Life magazine and later for Fortune magazine until the start of World War II. From 1941 to 1944 he served as the chief of secret intelligence for the Office of Strategic Services in the China-Burma-India theater. Following the war, Crowe returned to his position on the advertising staff of Fortune magazine.

Crowe began his diplomatic career in 1948 as the American special representative of the Economic Administration in China. In 1953, he received his first ambassadorial appointment as United States Ambassador to Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, where he served until 1956. In 1954 he was also the United States delegate to the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East. Following his term as Ambassador to Ceylon, Crowe served as the special assistant to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles from 1957 to 1959.

Following his term as United States Ambassador to the Union of South Africa, from 1959 to 1961, Crowe, an avid conservationist, led six Wildlife Missions during the 1960's for the World Wildlife Fund. Crowe had been a director of the World Wildlife Fund and a member of the advisory council of the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation. Crowe wrote six books on nature and wildlife.

Crowe returned to the diplomatic service as the United States Ambassador to Norway from 1969 to 1973. This was immediately followed by a term as the United States Ambassador to Denmark from 1973 to 1975. In 1975, Crowe married his second wife Suzanne Noregaard with whom he had one daughter, Clara, and he retired from diplomatic service.

Crowe received numerous honors during his lifetime. He was awarded a Bronze star, the Order of Yun-Hui from the Republic of China, and the Grand Cross of St. Olav from Norway. He was also made an Officer in the French Legion of Honor and a Grand Official in the Military Order of Christ.

Crowe died October 16, 1976 at his home in Easton, Maryland following a heart attack.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

In the interests of protecting diplomatic confidences as well as assuring that quotations and other uses of Ambassador Crowe's unpublished papers reflect properly upon his memory, the gift of his papers was made subject to the condition that no publication rights in any of Ambassador Crowe's papers shall be granted without prior written approval of the donor's designees. This restriction applies to all excerpts and quotations, including short excerpts in scholarly works.

Collection History

Processing Notes

This collection is processed.


This collection was transferred to DCA by Ginn Library in June 2004.

Custodial History

Amabassador Crowe began the pocess of delivering his books and papers to the library of the Fletcher School of Diplomacy, Tufts University, during his lifetime. After his death in 1976, his executor, three of his daughters, Phillippa Crowe Neilson, Irene Crowe, and Mary Crowe, and his former wife, Irene Pettus Crowe, as well as the Pettus-Crowe Foundation, Inc., joined together to complete the intended gift.

Subjects and Genre Terms

Series Description

  1. Correspondence and Subject Files, 1953 -- 1975

    This series primarily consists of correspondence written to Crowe from individuals, clubs and organizations approximately between 1950 and 1975. In some cases, a typed copy of Crowe's letter to the correspondent is also included. Correspondents include major political figures, members of the diplomatic community, key figures in wildlife preservation, and foreign heads of state. Some notable figures of interest include President Richard Nixon, President Gerald Ford, John Ausland, John Merrill Olin, and John Moors Cabot, whose papers are also housed in the Digital Collections and Archives. The files are arranged in an alphabetical run from A-Z by the correspondent's last name, with subject files such as European Trips and Norway, Horse interspersed in the alphabetical series. No attempt was made to alter the original order of the files when they arrived at the archives.

    There are occasional exceptions to the alphabetical order. For instance, at the beginning of the T section is a group of files labeled Travel. These files document trips taken by Crowe both abroad and in the United States. They are arranged by destination, and contain items such as letters, itineraries, and notes. Another group of files exists outside of the alphabetical run and are located at the beginning of the W section. The first part of this group of files is labeled Wildlife, and the second half is labeled World Wildlife Fund. The Wildlife files relate to various wildlife preservation groups and societies and primarily contain correspondence. The World Wildlife Fund files concern Crowe's work for the World Wildlife Fund, and contain correspondence, reports, and committee meeting minutes.

    Also, at the end of the alphabetical run there are a series of files arranged chronologically containing copies of Crowe's unclassified personal embassy correspondence. These files cover his tenure as ambassador to Norway from 1969 to 1973 and as ambassador to Denmark from 1973 to 1975. Within the files the correspondence is arranged in reverse chronological order. Following the chronological correspondence files are a series of files containing correspondence relating to Crowe's campaign for the post of ambassador to Ceylon.

  2. Writings and Research Notes, 1930 -- 1975

    This series contains diaries, newsletters, mission reports for the World Wildlife Foundation, articles, and manuscripts written over the course of Crowe's career and research notes for a 1968 expedition to Africa. This collection spans the period from 1930 to 1975, and the majority of this information is preserved in bound volumes.

    The mission reports are bound volumes detailing Crowe's six Wildlife Missions on behalf the World Wildlife Foundation from 1963-1968, where he visited the Near East, the Far East, the Middle East, Central and South America, and South Africa. There is also a bound volume containing a report compiled by Crowe on polar bears.

    The bound volumes of newsletters are copies of newsletters written by Crowe to family and friends while living and traveling abroad in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. These newsletters complement the bound copies of Crowe's personal diaries spanning from 1930 to 1975.

    The diaries cover his experience as an explorer and hunter of big game in French Indo-China, his military career in war time, and also his terms as ambassador to Ceylon, the Union of South Africa, Norway and Denmark. The diaries were reviewed by the United States Department of State to prevent the release of classified information in the interest of national security or foreign relations. Deletions were made in volumes numbered 6, 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 28, 31, 33, 34, 36, 38, 39, and 43. Numbers appear on the spine of each volume. Among the diaries is a bound volume of Crowe's personal recollections of serving as the Special Assistant to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles from 1957 to 1959.

    The research notes on his expedition to Africa include maps, pamphlets, notes, books, and magazine articles.

    Crowe's articles include a slim volume of articles written while he was a reporter for the New York Evening Post in 1933, as well as articles focusing hunting and fishing. There are also typed copies of several manuscripts written by Crowe about sporting, wildlife, and his diplomatic service. Several of these manuscripts were published: Empty Ark, World Wildlife: The Last Stand, Out of the Mainstream, and Diversions of a Diplomat in Ceylon whose manuscript title is The Diplomatic Years 1953-1956.

  3. Embassy, Government and Military Papers, 1930 -- 1976

    This series includes materials collected during Crowe's tenure in the Foreign Service as well as a copy of Crowe's war record during World War II. Some of the information contained in the war record may be sensitive. The materials in this series date to between 1941 and 1975. The materials include embassy briefing books for Denmark, guest books from the American Embassies in Copenhagen, Denmark and Oslo, Norway, an entertainment file for the United States embassy in Copenhagen, Fact Papers from the Executive Branch Liaison Office of the Eisenhower administration, and papers relating to official visits to Thule Airbase, Greenland, and Ascension Island.

    One of the briefing books for Denmark includes information on the ambassadorial residence in Copenhagen and is accompanied by a photo album containing photographs of the residence's interior. This book also includes information on protocol and security. The other briefing book focuses on the embassy staff. The Fact Papers were newsletters circulated among presidential appointees to enable them to follow the evolution of administration policy. There are also three certificates of appointment as US ambassador to the Union of South Africa, Norway and Denmark. The appointment to the Union of South Africa dates to the Eisenhower administration, and the appointment to Norway and Denmark fall under the Nixon administration.

  4. Photographs, 1800 -- 1981

    This series includes portraits, photographs, and negatives documenting Philip K. Crowe's life and diplomatic career between 1944 and 1975. Some of the framed portraits include signed dedications to Ambassador Philip K. Crowe. Tufts University administrators, Dean Rusk and Dean Peterson, are among these portraits. There are also signed portraits of Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and Harry S. Truman. The portraits originally adorned the Crowe Room at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

    The photographs consist of official press photographs, game hunting photographs, and personal family photographs. There is also one folder of photograph negatives, including negatives of photographs taken for articles written by Crowe.

  5. Personal Ephemera and Memorabilia, 1928 -- 1975

    This series contains assorted items of personal ephemera and memorabilia dating from 1936 to 1975, including the passports of Crowe and Crowe family members, Crowe's personal calendars, postcards, genealogical information, Ethiopian art pictures, a framed certificate of membership to the Explorers Club, programs relating to Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Ceylon. There is also a coin collection from the Royal Thai Mint and a memorial volume on Henry R. Luce. Crowe worked for Luce, the founder of Life, Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated, as director of travel advertising for Life magazine, 1937 to 1938, and as a member of the advertising staff for Fortune magazine, 1938 to 1941 and 1944 to 1948. There is also a framed letter from the French ambassador congratulating Crowe on being made an "officier" in the National Order of the Legion of Honor. There is also a mock issue of Time magazine created for Crowe by Molly and Charlie Whitehouse. A particularly interesting item is a container made from an Indian bison hoof. Crowe shot the bison in the Billigiri Hills, Mysore on July 24, 1956. This information is recorded on the lid of the Bison container.