David Hoffman Papers
Table of contents
Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information:
Box number, Folder number and/or title, David Hoffman Papers, MSS 243, Special Collections, Michigan State University Main Library
Copyright is retained by the author of the items in this archive, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
The Hoffman Papers include correspondence, a personal journal and a collection of photographs. The letters (1911-1913)--written to Hoffman’s brothers, Donald and Rip, and to his father—begin when he reaches “Brussellville” (Brazzaville) on the “last lap” of his journey to the Belgian Congo. He describes his earlier stops at Brussels, Waterloo, Antwerp, and subsequently Tenerife, Sierra Leone, Portuguese Congo, Luibi (a village), and Kinshasa. After arriving in Kinshasa, Hoffman describes his encampment and living conditions, a meeting with a famed elephant hunter named Buckley, and an invasion of large ants on the village. He also tells about native customs, and his critical references to natives and servants reflects the attitudes of most Europeans in Africa during this period. Hoffman’s journal gives an account of his sea voyage to Europe and Africa. The photographs depict the landscape of the Belgian Congo, and the gatherings, village life, workers, and forms of dress of the local natives.
David Hoffman, an engineer from Butte, Montana, traveled to Africa in 1911 as a member of a geographical and topographical survey team prospecting for oil, gold and copper. He spent 16 months working on the Brunton survey in the Belgian Congo.
|1||1||Letters (November, December 1911)|
|2||Letters (January, February1912)|
|3||Letters (March 1912)|
|4||Letters (May 1912)|
|5||Letters (July, August 1912)|
|6||Letters (September, October 1912)|
|7||Letters (January 1913)|
|8||Letters (March 1913)|
|9||Letters (July, August 1913)|
|10||Letters (Dates unknown – 3)|
|11||Transcripts of letters|
|DIARY AND PHOTOGRAPHS|
|13||Transcript of diary|