Biography and History

Richard Halliburton was an American traveler, adventurer, and author, whose books about his exploits captured the romantic spirit of his generation. He followed Ulysses' route through the Mediterranean and emulated Lord Byron by swimming the Hellespont. He swam the Panama Canal, ran from Marathon to Athens, visited the penal colony at Devil's Island, and climbed the Matterhorn, Mount Olympus, and Mount Fuji. These and other experiences became the basis for Halliburton's romantic narratives; and his literary career developed out of his meticulous logging of events that occurred on his adventures. However, in March 1939 Halliburton left Hong Kong aboard a motor-powered Chinese junk called the "Sea Dragon", which he had built, en route to San Francisco. Both he and his boat disappeared after encountering a severe typhoon, some 1,200 miles west of Midway Island.

Source: From the finding aid for C0247

  • Richard Halliburton Papers. 1900-1973 (inclusive), 1903-1940 (bulk).

    Call Number: C0247

    Richard Halliburton traveled extensively in the first part of twentieth century after graduating from Princeton University in 1921. The collection contains autograph and typescript drafts of seven of Halliburton's books, short stories, essays, school notes, and other travel memorabilia, as well as Halliburton's correspondence with his parents and others, research materials about Rupert Brooke, and a significant group of photographs documenting his travels throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

  • Wesley Halliburton Correspondence. 1939-1950 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0284

    Consists of four small groups of correspondence between Wesley Halliburton and others after the death of his famous son Richard in 1939. Richard Halliburton was a celebrated adventurer and author known, among other things, for having swum the length of the Panama Canal.