- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Eddy, William A. (William Alfred), 1896-
- Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
- William Alfred Eddy Papers
- Public Policy Papers
- Permanent URL:
- 24 boxes and 1 folder
- Storage Note:
Mudd Library collections are unavailable until further notice due to a renovation. See our webpage for the most current information.
The papers of William A. Eddy (1896-1962), educator, diplomat, minister to Saudi Arabia, intelligence agent, and college president, focus on his presidency of Hobart College (1936-1941), his work in U.S. - Middle East policy, and his family life in the period from 1917-1962. The holdings of his personal and family correspondence is extensive. The collection contains all correspondence from his term as president of Hobart College, 1936-1941. Many military documents are included, especially in the years 1941-1946 (the planning of the North African landings, the FDR/Ibn Saud meeting, the Treaty of the Yemen). There are many geneological papers and letters from Eddy's relatives concerning American missionary work in the Middle East. There are numerous publications concerning 18th C. English literature, religious and civic duties, U.S. Foreign policy re Israel and the Arabs, and sociological accounts of the Middle East. The collection is composed of personal/professional correspondence, documents, diaries and notebooks, addresses, publications, manuscripts of Eddy's books and articles (including unpublished MSs), scrapbooks, photographs, negatives, and memorabilia.
Collection Description & Creator Information
Consists of papers of Eddy (Princeton Class of 1917). Included are notes and articles (and drafts) concerning his interests in the Arabic language, 18th-century literature, and Jonathan Swift; Hobart College presidency correspondence and related scrapbooks; military documents regarding his role in planning WWII North African landings, the President Roosevelt/King Ibn Saud meeting at the Suez Canal, and the U.S. treaty with Yemen (1946); numerous addresses, some college journals, and class notebooks; and photographs of Middle East dignitaries and landscapes. In addition, there are genealogical papers, memoirs, family correspondence, and papers (1937-1978) of his wife, Mary Garvin Eddy, and films.
- Collection Creator Biography:
William A. Eddy was born in Sidon, Syria, on March 9th, 1896. He was graduated from Princeton in 1917, the year in which he married Mary Garvin. His A.M. and Ph.D were also from Princeton. In WWI he was badly wounded at Belleau Wood and received many citations. From 1922-1936 he taught English at Peekskill Military Academy and Dartmouth College, and was chairman of the department of English at the American University, Cairo. In 1936 he was called to be president of Hobart College. With the outbreak of the second World War he offered his services again to the Marines, was commissioned a Major and was made a full colonel in the staff of Mark Clark. In 1942 Eddy was Naval Attache in Tangier, and was instrumental in the planning of the Allied North African landings. In 1944 he resigned from the Marine Corps to become Minister Plenipotentiary to Saudi Arabia. Fluent in Arabic (and French), he acted as interpreter for President Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia during the historic meeting in the Suez Canal, and was key in developing the U.S. treaty with The Yemen in 1946. He served in the OSS and CIA for the remainder of his life, and was also a full-time consultant for the Arabian-American Oil Company. He died at his home in Beirut in 1962.
The Papers were in the possession of his wife, Mary Garvin Eddy, who donated the papers in 1978 . Personal correspondence from 1914-1918, 1935, and the 1940s was donated by his daughter, Mary Garvin Eddy Furman, in 1991 .
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No appraisal information is available.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by C. A. Prettiman in July, 1991. Finding aid written by C. A. Prettiman in July, 1991. Finding aid updated by Helene van Rossum in February, 2020.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Collection is open for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.
- Credit this material:
William Alfred Eddy Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345
- Subject Terms:
- Arabic language.
College presidents -- United States.
Diplomatic and consular service, American -- Saudi Arabia -- 20th century.
Diplomatic and consular service, American -- Yemen -- 20th century.
Diplomats -- United States.
English literature -- 18th century.
Petroleum industry and trade -- Saudi Arabia.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Secret service -- United States.
- Genre Terms:
- American University in Cairo. Department of English and Comparative Literature
Arabian American oil company
Princeton University. Class of 1917
Eddy, Mary Garvin.
Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745.
- Middle East -- Kings and rulers -- Photographs.
Saudi Arabia -- Photographs.
Saudi Arabia -- Foreign relations -- United States -- 20th century.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Saudi Arabia -- 20th century.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Treaties -- 20th century.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Yemen -- 20th century.
Yemen -- Foreign relations -- United States -- 20th century.