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Ervin W. Moore travel journal

 Collection — Box: BW 26, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 16495

Content Description

This collection contains a photo-illustrated travelogue by Ervin W. Moore documenting a Maine family's trip to the Jamestown Exposition of 1907 in Norfolk, Virginia. En route, they visit New York City, the Library of Congress, Mount Vernon, and numerous theater houses, museums, and other public institutions. The journal documents Moore's impressions and observations of the places visited along with allusions and quotes of literary figures both ancient and modern. Photographs are interspersed

Of note are depictions of the Philippine Exposition, referred to as the 'reservation', including photographs of the Moro people who were brought to the fair from the southern Philippines islands for exoticism at the exhibition.


  • Creation: October 8-19, 1907


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Ervin W. Moore (1864–1945) of Bingham, Maine was a pharmacist, optometrist, librarian, and graduate of the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. In 1890, he established his own business E.W. Moore & Son Pharmacy, which still stands today in Bingham, Maine. Moore was also a close associate of fellow Maine resident James L. Williams (1852–1932), a prosthodontist, photographer, and pioneering dental histologist who discovered plaque and invented modern dentures. Both men evidently shared a strong interest in anthropology. The “Jamestown Excursion” (1907 Jamestown Exposition) undertaken by Moore and his family was conducted by one E.C. Bowler and departed from Bethel, Maine on 9 October 1907.

Featured in Ervin W. Moore's journal is a trip to the 1907 Jamestown Exposition which was one of the many world's fairs and expositions that were popular in the United States in the early part of the 20th century. Commemorating the 300th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, it was held from April 26 to December 1, 1907, at Sewell's Point on Hampton Roads, in Norfolk, Virginia. The exhibition's purpose was to educate people on the growth and expansion of the United States since 1607 and to encourage American patriotism. It boasted America's ascension as a world power and its conquests in New Manifest Destiny; the expansion of the Navy in the 1880s and victory in the Spanish-American War in 1898; and becoming an imperial power in both the Caribbean and the Pacific including Samoa, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. American imperialism reigned and expositions were an expression of patriotic fervor as never before seen in this country.

The male-dominated business community took responsibility for the event, though the "patriot ladies" of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities remained involved and played a key role in obtaining Federal and state subsidies. The most popular events were exhibits on African Americans,created by African Americans depicting their lives in the first decade of the twentieth century; an exhibit on the Moro, Illocanos, Visayant, Tagolos, and Bajobos people in the Philippines; and an exhibit on the Powhatans of Virginia. Ervin W. Moore's journal focused on these five different villages in the Philippines. The Bagobos were the most ethnic and lived on the west and northwest region of the Davao Gulf on the Island of Mindanas. They were the first Philippines to make an appearance in the United States. There were exhibits on their bead working, weavings, and iron and wood shops. The Acquinaldo Orchestra gave daily concerts. Prince Sansaluna was the ruler of the Moros. His father had been killed by the United States Army. Followers of Emilio Acquinaldo (1869-1964) were mentioned in a poem about "Manifest Destiny" by D. A. Ingham in 1906. Acquinaldo was a Filipino revolutionary, statesman, and military leader who is officially recognized as the first and the youngest president of the Philippines and the first president of a constitutional republic in Asia

The African American exhibit was created by the "Negro Development and Exposition Company". There was a division among African Americans regarding the exhibit. Followers of Booker T. Washington felt that it was helpful to use their exhibit to show advances in the rights of African Americans, promoting the view that they were industrious, competent, and worthy of equal status with white Americans. The followers of W. E. Dubois believed that more rigorous action was needed to obtain the right to vote and stand up against discrimation. Dubois felt that Washington was too submissive towards the white power structure. Ultimately the narrative of white superiority dominated the event.

The exposition was a financial failure because it cost so much money to build and the attendance was not what was anticipated. Also many people were allowed admittance without payment. It was attended by U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, the author Mark Twain, and the educator Booker T. Washington.

Sources: Displaying Race at the Jamestown Ter-Centennial Exposition Bryan Patrick Bennett Old Dominion University

Jamestown Exposition: American Imperialism on Parade, Volume 1 By Amy Waters Yarsinske



1 folder(s)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from James Arsenault by the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on March 12, 2021.

Guide to the Ervin W. Moore travel journal
Initial record created by Rose Oliveira.
5 May 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States