Inventory of the John Amar Shishmanian papers, 1879-1946

Processed by Rita Morin.
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Phone: (650) 723-3563
Fax: (650) 725-3445
Email: archives@hoover.stanford.edu
© 1998
Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the John Amar Shishmanian papers, 1879-1946

Hoover Institution Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, California
Processed by:
Hoover Institution Archives Staff, revised by Rita Morin
Date Completed:
1998, 2011
Encoded by:
Machine-readable finding aid derived from Microsoft Word and MARC record by James Ryan and Rita Morin.
© 1998 Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Title: John Amar Shishmanian papers
Dates: 1879-1946
Collection Number: 41003
Creator: Shishmanian, John Amar
Collection Size: 1 manuscript box, 1 oversize box, 4 envelopes 1.2 linear feet)
Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: The papers are comprised of correspondence, documents, printed matter and photographs related to Shismanian's service in the French Army during World War I, the Armenian-Turkish conflict at the end of World War I, and the Armenian question at the Paris Peace Conference.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Languages: English, Armenian, French, and Turkish.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Amar Shishmanian papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1941.

Accruals

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 at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Shishmanian was born in 1882 in Lexington, Kentucky, to George N. and Lucy McClelland Shishmanian. Shishmanian grew up in Constantinople where his father worked as a missionary. He graduated from Robert College and returned to the United States to attend university. Shishmanian graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1903, then studied law at the University of Virginia from 1903 to 1906 and registered at Stanford University in the fall of 1910.
Preceding the entrance of the United States into World War I, Shismanian went to France as a member of the American ambulance field service. He then enlisted in the French Army and rose to the rank of second lieutenant, the highest rank possible for a non-citizen. Following action at the Battle of Verdun, Shishmanian and other French officers were sent to Cyprus to prepare Armenian volunteers for the French Armenian Legion, later known as the Légion Arménienne.
The Légion Arménienne served along the Eastern front in Palestine, Syria, and Cilicia in southeastern Anatolia. For his actions in the Palestine campaign, Shishmanian was awarded the Croix de Guerre medal. In June of 1920, with his term of service completed and the disbandment of the Légion Arménienne, Shishmanian was asked by the French to remain in Adana, Turkey, for three months, from June 10 to September 10, 1920. Shishmanian's task was to organize local Armenian volunteers to defend Adana from attacks by Kemalist rebels.
Despite his success in Adana, Shishmanian was placed under arrest by the French on September 22, 1920, and expelled from Cilicia. It is unclear whether this was due to Shishmanian's refusal to follow an order or the changing policies of the French in the region. Shishmanian's freedom was eventually secured through the interventions of his parents and Jouett Shouse, then undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury. Shishmanian returned to the United States and lived the remainder of his life in Fresno, California.
In recognition of these Armenian volunteers, the French government gave certain assurances to the Délégation Nationale Arménienne based on an Allied victory. In particular, the Cilicia region would become an autonomous Armenian republic under French protection. At the conclusion of the war, the peace treaty terms defined at the Paris Peace Conference did not create an autonomous Armenian republic and control of the region was ceded to the new Republic of Turkey.

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers are comprised of correspondence, documents, printed matter, and photographs related to Shishmanian's service in the French Army during World War I, the Armenian-Turkish conflict, and the Armenian question at the Paris Peace Conference.
The correspondence focuses on Shishmanian's service in the French army, including a handwritten letter from Viscount Allenby, the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, and a letter of thanks from Boghus Nubar, chairman of the Armenian National Assembly. In addition there is the correspondence of Georgia Cutler, sister of Leland W. Cutler a trustee of Stanford University and President of the Board.
Translations of the original documents are sometimes available.
The majority of the 130 photographs document Shishmanian's time as an officer in the Légion Arménienne during World War I. There are also photographs of his time in France prior to enlisting in the French army, notable Armenians, and photos obtained from the Kaloustian family depicting Armenians living along the Euphrates river. Additionally there is a photograph of Lucy McClelland Shishmanian in 1879 and one of John Shishmanian in 1944.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920)
Armenian massacres, 1915-1923
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1914-1918 -- Peace
Armenia (Republic) -- History
Armenia (Republic)
Soviet Union
Turkey


Collection Contents

Box/Folder: 1

Correspondence 1917-1946, undated

Box/Folder: 1 : 1-2

General correspondence, 1917-1934

Scope and Content Note

In English, French, Armenian and Turkish.
Box/Folder: 1 : 3-4

Georgia Cutler correspondence, 1941-1946.

Scope and Content Note

Includes authorized statements from Shishmanian to Cutler.
Box/Folder: 1

Documents 1919-1920, circa 1918, undated

Box/Folder: 1 : 5

Military related papers, 1919-1920.

Scope and Content Note

In English, French, and Armenian.
Box/Folder: 1 : 6

Délégation Nationale Arménienne, 1920.

Scope and Content Note

In English and French.
Box/Folder: 1 : 7

Memorandum to the Ottoman delegation, 1919

Box/Folder: 1 : 8

Notes, 1920.

Scope and Content Note

In English and French.
Box/Folder: 1 : 9

Maps, circa 1918.

Scope and Content Note

In English, French, and Armenian. Drawn by Shishmanian.
Box/Folder: 1 : 10

Armenian folksong, undated

Box/Folder: 1 : 11

The Last Dance, undated

Scope and Content Note

Written by Minas Tcheraz and translated into English by Shishmanian for the Armenian Mirror-Spectator newspaper.
Box/Folder: 1

Printed Material, 1919-1943, undated.

Scope and Content Note

In English and Armenian.
Box/Folder: 1 : 12

Treaties, 1920

Box/Folder: 1 : 13

"The Armenian Question Before the Peace Conference", 1919

Box/Folder: 1 : 14

Magazines, 1921-1943

Box/Folder: 1 : 15

Bulletins and Pamphlets, 1942-1943, undated

Box/Folder: 1 : 16

Clippings, 1919-1943, undated.

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.
Box/Folder: 2

Newspapers, 1919-1934.

Scope and Content Note

In English and Armenian. Arranged chronologically.
Box/Folder: 2

USSR in Construction, magazine, 1932

Box/Folder: 2

Flag, undated

 

Photographs, 1879-1944, (bulk 1903-1920), undated

Box/Folder: A

Pre-World War I photographs along with ones taken in France, Cyprus and Palestine, 1879-1944

Box/Folder: B(1)

Photographs taken in Palestine and Syria, 1918-1921

Box/Folder: B(2)

Photographs taken in Adana, Syria and Egypt, 1919-1920

Box/Folder: m*C

Photographs of notable Armenians along with photographs of Musa Dagh commemoration at Suez, Egypt, 1920, undated