Charles W. Furlong

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Charles W. Furlong
Charles Wellington Furlong.jpg

Charles Wellington Furlong (1874–1967) was an American explorer, writer, artist and photographer from Massachusetts.


He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1874. He graduated from Massachusetts Normal Art School in 1895. From 1901-1902, he was a student at Cornell, Harvard, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris.[1] He was the head of the Art Department at Cornell from 1896-1904.

He was in North Africa, 1904-1905; Tierra del Fuego, 1907-1908; and Venezuela, 1910. In 1915 he was a member of an expedition to the West African islands for the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology (the Kitty A expedition).[2][3]

He was the first American to explore the Tripolitan Sahara. This experience led to his writing of The Gateway to the Sahara in 1909. Harper’s magazine funded him on a trip to South America around 1909. His article “The Southernmost people of the world” came out of this trip. Even after the article was written he continued to travel and explore in South America.

His world travels led to a decline in his overall health, in order to get better he traveled to the American West as Theodore Roosevelt had done for his health earlier.

In 1914, he became a member of the U.S. Army until the end of World War I in 1918. After the war, he was a Member of the American Peace delegation in Paris, France for a year. Then in 1919 he was appointed as the Special Military aide to President Woodrow Wilson for a brief time before he was reappointed as a Military observer, intelligence officer in the Balkans, Near East and Middle East. His association with the U.S. military was not a brief affair. He served as a Reserve officer for 34 years, attaining the rank of colonel. His knowledge of the Middle East was valuable during World War II.

In 1925, he helped establish a voting system in Tacona, Africa, personally designing ballots and setting up polling places in remote areas.[2] While traveling the world he continued to write and create a variety of types and kinds of art, along with his work as a diplomat and military delegate.

He died in 1967, leaving behind two children.



  • — (1921). Let 'Er Buck, A Story Of The Passing Of The Old West. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  • — (1909). The Gateway To The Sahara: Observations And Experiences In Tripoli. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  • Tripoli in Barbary(1911)
  • The vanishing people of the Land of Fire
  • The southernmost people of the world


• -- (August, 1918) "Climbing the Shoulders of Atlas," Harper's Monthly Magazine 819 (1918): 420-434.



  1. ^ Register of the Charles Wellington Furlong Papers, 1917-1963
  2. ^ a b "Charles W. Furlong photographs, 1895-1965". Archived from the original on 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  3. ^ Amory, Henry R. (June 21, 1916). "The "Kitty A" West African Expedition". The Harvad Alumni Bulletin. 18: 708–710. Retrieved 2009-08-16. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)

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