Inventory of the R.A.F. Penrose miscellaneous correspondence

Processed by Brad Bauer.
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Phone: (650) 723-3563
Fax: (650) 725-3445
© 2011
Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the R.A.F. Penrose miscellaneous correspondence

Hoover Institution Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, California
Processed by:
Brad Bauer
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
Machine-readable finding aid derived from Microsoft Word and MARC record by Brad Bauer.
© 2011 Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Title: R.A.F. Penrose miscellaneous correspondence
Dates: 1897-1928
Collection Number: 2005C23
Collector: Penrose, R.A.F.
Collection Size: 1 manuscript box (0.4 linear feet)
Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Consists primarily of letters received from Herbert Hoover, relating to international mining, World War I Belgian relief, and American politics.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Languages: English

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.
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Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], R.A.F. Penrose miscellaneous correspondence, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2004.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Alternative Forms of Material Available

Several of the letters in this collection are reproduced in the book, Life and Letters of R.A.F. Penrose, edited by Helen R. Fairbanks and Charles P. Berkey (New York: Geological Society of America, 1952).

Related Materials

Sir Alfred Chester Beatty correspondence, Hoover Institution Archives
Bewick, Moreing and Company miscellaneous records, Hoover Institution Archives
William Joseph Loring papers, Hoover Institution Archives
Broken Hill Mines, engravings, Hoover Institution Archives
R.A.F. Penrose correspondence and papers, American Philosophical Society
Pre-Commerce papers, Herbert Hoover papers, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, IA

Biographical/Historical Note

1863, December 17 Born, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1885 Obtains Ph.D. from Harvard University
1886-1888 Manager of mines, Anglo-Canadian Phosphate Company
Circa 1880s-1890s Works as field geologist, best known for his work of surveying mines and claims at Cripple Creek, Colorado (1894-1895)
1892-1911 Associate, and later full, Professor of Economic Geology, University of Chicago
1895-1903 Co-founder, and later president, Commonwealth Mining and Milling Company, Territory of Arizona
1899-1915 Director of Cripple Creek Sampling and Ore Company, Colorado; member of executive committee of the Hanover Bessemer Iron Ore Association, Fierro, New Mexico
1903 Co-founds Utah Copper Company, which subsequently develops the Bingham Canyon mine
1920-1921 Founder and first president, Society of Economic Geologists
1930 Elected President, Geological Society of America
1931, July 31 Dies, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Scope and Content of Collection

The R.A.F. Penrose miscellaneous correspondence consists primarily of letters received from Herbert Hoover, relating to international mining and World War I Belgian relief, as well as related correspondence from others about Hoover and his activities, such as Belgian relief and Hoover's campaign for the presidency in 1928.
Hoover's first contact with Penrose appears to have been during his days as a geology student at Stanford University. The earliest correspondence from Hoover to Penrose in this collection, however, dates from 1897, two years after Hoover's graduation, when he sought a recommendation letter from Penrose for a job he was applying for: that of a mining engineer with the British firm of Bewick, Moreing and Company. Hoover's successive appointments with Bewick, Moreing in Western Australia and in China laid the foundation for his successful career as a mining engineer, and several of his letters to Penrose detail his earliest activities, plans, and ambitions in these places. In addition, Hoover provided detailed descriptions of mining prospects, wrote to Penrose seeking recommendations on staff to hire, and on one occasion asked Penrose for information regarding gold deposits in Colorado, which Penrose had surveyed during the previous decade.
Later correspondence to Penrose, as well as correspondence from others to Penrose, dealt largely with Hoover's activities as the chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium in World War I. Included is a group of letters between Penrose and his brother, U.S. Senator Boies Penrose, who was reluctant to lend his support to Hoover's activities.
The collection was acquired in 2004 from Custodians of History, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Sources: Dictionary of American Biography, 1936; Website, National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, , accessed May 2011.


The R.A.F. Penrose Miscellaneous correspondence collection is divided into two series: Correspondence, Herbert Hoover to R.A.F. Penrose; and Other correspondence related to Herbert Hoover. Both series are arranged chronologically.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964.
Mines and mineral resources.
World War, 1914-1918, Civilian relief.
Commission for Relief in Belgium (1914-1930)
United States--Politics and government--1923-1929

Collection Contents

Box: 1

Correspondence, Herbert Hoover to R.A.F. Penrose, 1897-1917

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence from Hoover to Penrose, related primarily to mines and mining in various parts of the world, as well as humanitarian relief work in Belgium during World War I. Arranged chronologically.


Box/Folder: 1 : 1

February 7, Berkeley, California

Box/Folder: 1 : 2

March 1, San Francisco

Box/Folder: 1 : 3

March 17, Berkeley, California

Box/Folder: 1 : 4

April 12, London

Box/Folder: 1 : 5

November 21, Coolgardie, Western Australia



Box/Folder: 1 : 6

April 2, Coolgardie, Western Australia



Box/Folder: 1 : 7

July 9, Tientsin (Tianjin), China



Box/Folder: 1 : 8

January 20, Tientsin (Tianjin), China

Box/Folder: 1 : 9

February 15, Tientsin (Tianjin), China



Box/Folder: 1 : 10

February 20, Chicago

Box/Folder: 1 : 11

October 28, London



Box/Folder: 1 : 12

May 31, London



Box/Folder: 1 : 13

May 17, Monterey, California

Box/Folder: 1 : 14

May 26, San Francisco



Box/Folder: 1 : 15

June 26, London

Box/Folder: 1 : 16

July 31, London

Box/Folder: 1 : 17

September 22, London



Box/Folder: 1 : 18

April 29, London



Box/Folder: 1 : 19

May 22, London

Box/Folder: 1 : 20

May 24, London



Box/Folder: 1 : 21

February 2, New York

Box/Folder: 1 : 22

February 10, New York

Box/Folder: 1 : 23

February 14, New York

Box: 1

Other correspondence related to Herbert Hoover, 1906-1928

Scope and Content Note

Primarily correspondence about Hoover's activities related to humanitarian relief, as well as his campaign for president in 1928. Arranged chronologically.
Box/Folder: 1 : 24

F.A. Govett to Herbert Hoover 1906

Box/Folder: 1 : 25

Lou Henry Hoover to R.A.F. Penrose, concerning Herbert Hoover's book, Principles of Mining, circa 1909

Box/Folder: 1 : 26

R.A.F. Penrose to Herbert Hoover 1915

Box/Folder: 1 : 27

Ellen Coit Elliott to R.A.F. Penrose, concerning Belgian relief fundraising activities at Stanford University 1916

Box/Folder: 1 : 28

R.A.F. Penrose to Alonzo Taylor 1916

Box/Folder: 1 : 29

Correspondence between R.A.F. Penrose and his brother, Senator Boies Penrose, regarding Hoover's activities 1917

Box/Folder: 1 : 30

Bradley Stoughton to R.A.F. Penrose, regarding election of Herbert Hoover honorary as honorary member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers 1917

Box/Folder: 1 : 31

Correspondence to R.A.F. Penrose from the Hoover Business League 1928

Box/Folder: 1 : 32

George Wharton Pepper to R.A.F. Penrose, undated