The Collection

This collection consists of correspondence written by Ceylon S. Kingston during his service in post World War I France for the YMCA. The letters begin in New York, New York, where Kingston trains to become an administrator for YMCA offices in France and ends with a letter just preceding Kingston's return to the United States. While in France, Kingston served primarily in the Vosges department located near the town of Nancy in eastern France. This series of letters is part of a larger collection (SPC 982-0180) that also contains Kingston's research on Northwest history.

Biography of Ceylon S. Kingson

Ceylon Kingston was born on October 6, 1870 on a dairy farm near Potsdam, New York. He grew up doing farm work and was encouraged by his mother to pursue an academic career. Kingston enjoyed his independence when he was earning his Master of the arts degree in 1894 at the University of Michigan. Kingston was the father of four children named John, Lewis, Lloyd and Elizabeth. After his divorce in 1915, he sent his children to go live with his parents in New York. He went to France to do work for the YMCA during 1918 to 1919.

While stationed in France, he would often write to his mother on a weekly basis. After the war, he went on to teach history and English at Cheney State Normal School (now Eastern Washington University) from 1901 to 1941. In 1940, the Kingston Northwest History Collection was established in the newly dedicated Hargreaves Library with Kingston. After his retirement from the college administration in 1941, Kingston remained curator of the Northwest History Collection until 1951. According to his students, he was a compassionate and warm-hearted professor while his colleagues described him as formal and private man. In his academic career, he worked with Eastern Washington University for fifty-two years. Kingston spent his final months at his daughter’s Elizabeth’s home in California. He died on September 30, 1953, which was one week before his eighty-third birthday.

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Submissions from 1919

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to Harriet Heath, dated January 23, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated April 14, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated April 28,1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated February 15, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated February 22, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated Febuary 27, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated January 11, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated January 17, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated January 25, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated January 31, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated January 4, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated March 15, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated March 7, 1919, Ceylon S. Kingston

Submissions from 1918

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Letter from Ceylon Kingstom to his mother, dated November 26, 1918, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated December 11, 1918, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated December 19, 1918, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated December 27, 1918, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated December 4, 1918, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated November 1, 1918, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated November 2, 1918, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated October 23, 1918, Ceylon S. Kingston

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Letter from Ceylon Kingston to his mother, dated October 27, 1918, Ceylon S. Kingston