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Encyclopedia > William Cameron Forbes

William Cameron Forbes (May 21, 1870December 24, 1959), was governor-general of the Philippines and an investment banker.

He was the son of William Hathaway Forbes, president of the Bell Telephone Company, and of Edith Emerson, a daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

He died unmarried.


His papers are in the Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Copies of his annotated journal are at the Library of Congress and the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.

His autobiography, Fuddlehead by Fuddlehead (1935), is at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.

He wrote the following books and articles:

  • The Romance of Business (1921)
  • "American Policies in the Far East," Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Jan. 1939
  • "A Survey of Developments in the Philippine Movement for Independence," Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1932-1936.

Forbes's Philippine career is analyzed in the following sources:

  • Peter W. Stanley, A Nation in the Making: The Philippines and the United States, 1899-1921 (1974)
  • Rev. Camillus Gott, "William Cameron Forbes and the Philippines, 1904-1946" (Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1974)
  • Theodore Friend, Between Two Empires: The Ordeal of the Philippines, 1929-1946 (1965).

Forbes's ambassadorship to Japan is discussed here:

  • Gary Ross, "W. Cameron Forbes: The Diplomacy of a Darwinist," in R. D. Burns and E. M. Bennett, eds., Diplomats in Crisis (1974).
  • Robert H. Ferrell, American Diplomacy in the Great Depression: Hoover-Stimson Foreign Policy, 1929-1933 (1957)
  • Armin Rappaport, Henry L. Stimson and Japan, 1931-1933 (1963)
  • James B. Crowley, Japan's Quest for Autonomy (1966).

  Results from FactBites:
Forbes, W. Cameron (William Cameron), 1870-1959. Papers: Guide. (11152 words)
Forbes, Alexander I. Forbes, Edward W. 167; 168; 173; 175; 177 to 180; 182; 245;248; 385; 403.
Forbes, J. Malcolm I. 4; 6 to 13.
Matias (WCF's boy) V. 220; 230; 234; 241; 242; 248; 254 to 257; 298; 327; 333 to 335; 337; 340; 342; 345; 348; 350.
The Harvard Crimson :: Writer Profile :: WILLIAM CAMERON FORBES . (143 words)
PUBLISHED ON 3/5/1921 12:00:00 AM It is rather humiliating for an American to feel that if he wants to travel to most foreign countries, most of the largest and best steamers plying the Atlantic and usually flying some other flag than his own.
It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of our commerce is carried in foreign bottoms and the reason for it is that the costs are so high in the United States and the laws under which our ships operate are so oppressive in their workings that our fleets operate under a handicap.
William Cameron Forbes '92 was closely associated with government in the Philippine Islands for ten years, acting as Governor-General from 1909 to 1913.
  More results at FactBites »



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