National Anthropological Archives

Preliminary guide to the Francis B. Wilson papers, 1945-1950

Collection ID:
Physical Description:
2.25 Linear feet

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Francis B. Wilson papers comprise material documenting Wilson's time in Ulithi and include correspondence, a diary, photographs, Ulithi language documentation, a copy of Life magazine featuring the Ulithi community in which Wees and Wilson lived, and compiled transcripts of a radio show distributed as "Ulithi Encyclopedia," with information about the islands and their inhabitants. Also included is Wees' autobiographical publication King Doctor of Ulithi. Photographs include an annotated photo album plus additional photographic prints and negatives.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.

Historical Note
Historical Note
In 1945 Dr. Marshall Paul Wees received orders to travel to Ulithi Atoll (Yap, Federated States of Micronesia) and treat an outbreak of yaws. He selected Francis B. "Willie" Wilson (1914-2004), a Chief Pharmacist's Mate, to accompany him as assistant.

Gina Rappaport
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were part of a donation of Ulithi materials to the collections of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History (Accession No. 2059602) , from Luke E. Wilson, son of Francis Wilson, in 2015. The papers were separated from the objects and transferred to the National Anthropological Archives.
Separated Materials
The Francis B. Wilson papers came to the Smithsonian as part of a larger collection which contain objects from Ulithi collected by Wilson. These materials, which include basketry, carved wooden figures and other items comprise Accession No. 2059602 in the collections of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Access to the Francis B. Wilson papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.

More Information
Selected Bibliography
Selected Bibliography
Wees, Marshall Paul, as related to Thornton, Francis Beauchesne. King-Doctor of Ulithi. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1950.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Oceania Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ulithi (Micronesia) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746