|Previous||1 of 4||Next|
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
large ( > 500x500)
Loading content ...
191? Figure Frederic Poole Who he is, and a brief glimpse of his Adventurous Career Of English birth and collegiate education, but now a loyal and enthusiastic citizen of the United States, he was thrown upon his own resources, as an orphan, at the age of fourteen. The spark of adventure which even then glowed in his youthful breast was fanned into a flame as a company of natives from Zululand, headed by a Zulu Princess, Mafootz, passed through his native town in Yorkshire, and to which he promptly attached himself. As program boy he served this company of African entertainers until the lady of high and dusky degree in one of her Zulu tempers began to throw assegais with true feminine and uncertain dexterity, whereupon all things African ceased to have any further attractions for the pale-faced youth. Determined to be independent, he then ran away and enlisted as drummer boy in the British army, but his visions of a Field Marshal's baton faded when a friend, in mistaken kindness, informed the recruiting sergeant that the young recruit had camouflaged his age and the Queen's shilling was promptly returned. At this point well meaning friends undertook to direct his steps into paths of real usefulness and had him bound over as an apprentice to a prominent firm of wood carvers. Possessing naturally artistic tendencies this employment proved most congenial and his work as a wood carver gained him the gold medal at the York exhibition. But the spirit of wanderlust again stirred within him, and the conviction that his life's work was not to be at the bench became an obsession. College life and education was the goal he set for himself, and though held by English bonds of apprenticeship, yet trusting to Providence to find a way out, he began to prepare for a preliminary college examination. Five o'clock in the morning found him tramping through the streets to his workshop, breakfast in one hand and a Greek grammar in the other, waking the echoes of the silent streets as he shouted the Greek alphabet and vociferously declined Hellenic verbs. Chiseling wood, and a Greek grammar surreptitiously hidden beneath the bench, was a combination that caused many an argument between him and his foreman. But the GREAT DAY came when the angry boss proclaimed that English wood carving was at an end, and clinched the statement by disgustingly exhibiting an imported beautifully carved wood panel which he declared had been done in America by a machine. Hurrah for America, yelled the Greek student wood carver, wherever that may be, and diplomatically requested that he be released from apprenticeship to a business for which there was no future prospect in England. His request was not unwillingly granted, and curiously, coincident with his release, there came the much-longed-for papers from a London college granting his request for entrance. Here began his real life's work, though on his first appearance before the austere college president he struck a snag, which for a moment threatened to wreck all his hopes. How old are you? asked the president as he dubiously looked at the ambitious youth so evidently fresh from the provinces. Eighteen, replied the provincial one with quaking heart. Too young, too young, cried the entirely too old professor. We never admit students under twenty-one. The heavens were falling and the earth seemed about to open, when young Poole determined to risk all on a bit of audacity and ventured, But perhaps, sir, I may overcome that fault as I grow older. The college president, with a slight twinkle, gravely admitted the possibility, and bid the youth enter. For five years he struggled through college, supporting himself by designing, painting and illustrating books. His work as a student in the cosmopolitan East End of London gave him a new vision of the needs of humanity, so that he was in a receptive mood when the late Henry M. Stanley, the famous African explorer, visited the college and thrilled his hearers with stories of African adventure. Poole made his decision, but it was China with its teeming millions that most appealed to him, and to further equip himself for work in that distant land he entered, for special medical work, in the London hospital, Moorefield's eye hospital and Dr. Barnardo's children's hospital. At the age of 23, accompanied by his bride, also medically qualified, he sailed for China where he and his wife engaged in blind school, hospital and foundling home work. Those were the days of anti-foreign sentiment, and living in the interior of China far from the protecting influences of a treaty port, they bore the full brunt of Chinese antipathy and persecution. Their home destroyed, one colleague killed and another suspended by his adopted queue from the beams of a disused temple on the city wall, Dr. Poole and his wife succeeded in escaping by means of a small boat in which for ten days they travelled through riotous regions until they reached Hankow and the protection of the American gunboat, the Palos, but the graves of his wife and child in that interior Chinese city bear testimony to the hardships of that journey. On his return to the United States his interest in the submerged tenth impelled him to undertake educational and institutional work in an American Chinatown, and for ten years he fought against heathen idolatry, American depravity and corrupt police influences, against the evils of opium and Chinese child slavery, and the story of his rescue of a little Chinese slave girl is a classic in humanitarian endeavor. Such strenuous opposition to lawless practices made him a marked man, and he fell, a victim to one of the highbinder tongs who shot and severely wounded him. After leaving the hospital he decided to return to China, where it was comparatively safe, and equipped with United States official documents and furnished with letters of introduction from the Chinese Ambassador and Plenipotentiary to the United States, H. E. Tang Hsao Yi, addressed to the Viceroys of the Chinese provinces, he started on an eight months' journey through revolutionized China studying and photographing the modern developments of the newly-awakened empire. Since his return to the United States his time has been devoted exclusively to the lecture platform, and his remarkably unique and startlingly informing illustrated lecture on Old and New China wonderfully reveal the potential possibilities of this rejuvenated land. It is an intensely patriotic story that has entertained, amazed and fascinated thousands, and is a marvellous revelation of China's attitude in the present world war and her future possible relationship to the United States. Possessing a powerful and sympathetic voice and with native-born dramatic instinct, the hitherto unsuspected charm and witchery of the Orient is further revealed with wonderful realism by Dr. Poole in his gorgeously costumed dramatic recitals of the famous Chinese play, The Yellow Jacket and the winsome Japanese legendary fantasy, The Willow Tree. Ernest Poole, the writer, and Frederic Poole, the lecturer, are cousins, and the human touch and appealing sympathy of the famous author are just as vividly duplicated in the graphic descriptions of the lecturer. Dr. Poole's popularity on the platform is indicated by the fact of his return from five to eleven times to certain lecture courses, and his authoritative Oriental presentations are in great demand by University lecture centers, scientific, historical, educational societies, women's clubs and Chautauqua courses. Figure From the President of the Gengraphiral Soriety of New York Dr. Frederic Poole, 5307 N. Thirteenth St., Logan, Philadelphia. My Dear Dr. Poole: I am hearing from all quarters that your lecture on 'Old and New China' was by far the most interesting and instructive delivered before this Society this season. The members were greatly impressed with the charm of your unique pictures and the authority and delightful manner of your presentation of the subject. A FEW SCENES FROM OVER ONE HUNDRED EXQUISITELY COLORED VIEWS FROM OLD AND NEW CHINA—THE BIRTH OF AN ORIENTAL REPUBLIC.
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Poole, Frederic|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|