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Jules Theophile Frelin diaries

Identifier: uarc 724

Scope and Content

This collection contains two diaries. The first, dated 1899, opens with Frelin at his teaching job in Arlington, Minnesota, and recounts his trip on board ship to the Philippines and his experiences as a teacher in the Philippines after the Spanish-American war. The diary's significance appears to be in the description of daily details of shipboard travel in 1899, and of life in the Philippines at this early date. The second diary, dated 1918, contains about 224 pages, describing Frelin's trip from Minnesota, by train, and of the first three months of his residence in Camp Shelby, Mississippi, where he taught French to army personnel and Y.M.C.A. employees in support of the U.S. war effort in Europe. The diary is written largely in French, but contains material in English such as letters sent to Frelin, newspapers clippings, tickets, schedules, lists, and typed copies of jokes, anecdotes, poems, and photographs. His correspondence with friends and colleagues in France and the United States are notable as are his own observations revealing contemporary American attitudes about World War I.


  • 1899, 1918


Language of Materials

Collection materials in English and French

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical Sketch of Jules Theophile Frelin (1870-1956)

Jules Theophile Frelin, B.A. (1905) University of Minnesota. Assistant professor of romance languages at the University of Minnesota.

Jules Frelin was born on March 13, 1870 in Alsace, France. He left his home at the age of 15 to travel, including the South Sea Islands; but on reaching the United States he settled in Minnesota and began his advanced studies at the Mankato Normal School. After graduating in 1893, he became a teacher and later the principal at schools in Arlington and Gaylord, Minnesota. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, Frelin enlisted, and after the war’s end, he volunteered as a teacher of English in the Philippine Islands. There he was assigned to a remote village where he remained for three years.

After returning to the United States, Frelin entered the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Minnesota as both a teacher and a student. He received his B.A. degree in 1905 and remained an active member of the department until his retirement in 1938 as an assistant professor of romance languages. Following his retirement, Frelin traveled the world. He died in Minneapolis on March 15, 1956.


1 box (0.25 cubic feet)


This collection contains two diaries of Jules Theophile Frelin, assistant professor of romance languages at the University of Minnesota.

Source of acquisition

Frelin's diary of 1899 was received in 1980. It was found by a trash collector who allowed the University Archives to photocopy it. The second diary of 1918 was received in 1967.

Jules Theophile Frelin Diaries, 1899, 1918
University Archives Staff
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area