Edwin Emerson, Jr.

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Edwin A. Emerson, Jr. (January 23, 1869 - October 6, 1959) was a journalist, editor, author, soldier, secret agent, historian, poet, playwright, scholar, lecturer, and the initial representative of Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP in America.

Early life

Edwin Emerson Jr. was born in Dresden, Saxony, Germany.[1] His father Edwin Emerson was an American professor and a graduate of Princeton University, head of his class in 1846.[2] His mother was Mary Louise Ingham, the daughter of Samuel Ingham who was Secretary of the Treasury during the Andrew Jackson administration.

Education and career

In 1891 Edwin Emerson, Jr. graduated from Harvard University. He became a foreign correspondent for Boston Post and later returned to the United States as an editor for the New York Evening Post and Sun.

During the Spanish-American War, Emerson was part of the Rough Riders acting as Theodore Roosevelt's regimental clerk. During the war he was also a secret agent for the US Military Information Bureau.[3] After the conflict in Cuba he became a solider of fortune in Panama and South America.[4] He was a war correspondent during the Russo-Japanese War for Collier's Weekly covering both sides of the conflict. For a time he was take prisoner by the Japanese.

In World War One Emerson reported for Chicago Daily News, Westminster Gazette, Black and White, Le Monde Illustre, and the New York World. Emerson was one of the few American journalists who covered the war from the German side of the conflict. From 1914 to 1917, Emerson was the editor of the English Continental News, published by the German government to carry on pro-German propaganda among English-speaking soldiers. It was during the period that Emerson was held as a prisoner of war in Turkey.[5]

On November 22, 1918, the President of Guatemala charged Emerson with being a German spy. In 1921 and 1923, Emerson was expelled from Austria and Switzerland as an undesirable alien engaged in subversive activity.

Marriage in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake

From the San Francisco Call, May 17, 1906, page 3.

When word of the local disaster reached the East Colonel Edwin Emerson Jr. wired a proposal of marriage to Miss Mary Edith Griswold of this city. Then without awaiting an answer he boarded a train and hastened to the city of ruin, anxiety for the safety of the girl he loved forbidding even the delay of an hour. Had the suitor tarried until Miss Griswold's answer reached him things might have been different, for she declined his offer in a letter that did not reach him until yesterday, just a few moments before they were married at the home of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson on Lombard and Hyde streets.
When Emerson reached San Francisco, ignorant of the young lady's decision, he repeated the message that had been consigned to the wires and this time he won.
The wedding yesterday was a pretty and simple affair. The home in which it took place is on the brow of Russian Hill in the heart of a district of debris. A number of friends of both the young people came through streets of ashes to witness the ceremony and telegrams of congratulation came from many who could not be present, including President Roosevelt and General Shafter.
Rev. Dr. John Bakewell of Trinity Church, Oakland, performed the ceremoney. Miss Griswold was attended by her sister, Miss Ora Griswold, and the groom was attended by Edward Salisbury Field. Dr. David Starr Jordan gave the bride away. The couple will remain in this city for a short time and will then make a tour of the East. It is the intention of Mr. Emerson to locate in this city.
The groom is from New York City and has won distinction as soldier, war correspondent and lecturer. He was with Roosevelt in Cuba and did extensive work as a correspondent during the Spanish-American and Russo-Japanese wars. He received his education at Harvard and recently has been very successful throughout the country as a lecturer. At the present time he is representing the California and Century clubs of New York City in the distribution of funds raised by them.
Miss Griswold is a Californian and is well known for her literary ability. She was assistant editor of the Sunset Magazine for a number of years and has written much of worth. Her father is interested in gold mines in Ameca, Mexico.

Society of American Friends of Germany

In March 1933 Emerson founded the Society of American Friends of Germany which was headquartered in the German consulate in New York. Edwin Emerson had his office at the consulate was charged with NSDAP activities in America.[6] From here he edited the first pro-National Socialist publication in America: the German language paper Amerikas Deutsche Post.[7]

The Society of American Friends of Germany later merged with a another group known as the Friends of New Germany.

On February 13, 1934 Emerson had a personal meeting with Adolf Hitler in Berlin.



  • The College year-book and athletic record 1896-1897 (1896)
  • A Romance of the Rhine (1899)
  • A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year (1900)
  • Pepys's Ghost: His Wanderings In Greater Gotham, His Adventures In The Spanish War, Together With His Minor Exploits In The Field Of Love And Fashion, With His Thoughts Thereon (1900)
  • Poems (1901)
  • Comet Lore: Halley's Comet in History and Astronomy (1910)
  • The Destruction of Louvain (1915)
  • Benedict Arnold: a drama of the American Revolution in three acts and a prelude (1924)
  • Adventures of Theodore Roosevelt (1928)
  • Incunabulum incunabulorum, the Gutenberg Bible on vellum in the Vollbehr Collection : an authentic story of the choicest book in Christendom (1928) See also: Otto H. F. Vollbehr
  • Hoover and his times: Looking back through the years (1932)
  • German Swordplay (1936)
  • Side Lights of History (1943)
  • Verses on the completion of his eighty-second year


  • "Porto Rico as Seen Last Month", The American Monthly Review of Reviews, Volume 18, July 1898
  • "Alone in Porto Rico", The Century Magazine, Volume 56, Issue 5, September 1898
  • "When West Met East", Sunset, Vol. XV, No. 6, October 1905


  1. Who's Who in America, Volume 1, page 220
  2. Boston Evening Transcript, "Professor Edwin Emerson, Widely Known as an Educator, Dies in Japan", November 6, 1908 p. 8
  3. Who's Who in America, Volume 1, page 220
  4. "When West Met East", Sunset, by Edwin Emerson, Jr. Vol. XV, No. 6, October 1905
  5. "Emerson Before Grand Jury: Investigating Spanknoebel’s Activities in This Country", Jewish Daily Bulletin, November 1, 1933
  6. House Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States (1943) Page 57
  7. "Nazi Agents Come and Go", The Anti-Nazi Bulletin, November 1939, page 7

External link

See also