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Collection of Alfred Eliab Buck Materials

Identifier: CAMS BUCK-1

Scope and Contents

The Buck Collection contains various materials gathered about Alfred Eliab Buck. The collection includes photographs of Alfred and Ellen Buck, documents and clipping related to Buck's appointment as Minister to Japan, scrapbooks created by Buck during his time as a student at Colby, and other printed materials that detail his service in the army during the Civil War and his post-war work in Japan.


  • 1857 - 1905


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials to be used on site during regular Special Collections hours or by appointment. Photocopying or scanning may be possible at discretion of staff for nominal fee. Materials may be protected by copyright.

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Eliab Buck was born in Foxcroft, Maine on February 7, 1832 and died in Tokyo, Japan, on December 4, 1902. Buck attended Colby College (then Waterville College) and graduated in 1859. Early in the Civil War, he enlisted in the 13th Maine, Company C, and was elected Captain. He served under the command of General Butler at Ship Island in the Gulf of Mexico. After the fall of New Orleans, Buck was made Lieutenant-Colonel of the 91st colored regiment which he had helped to organize out of the former Corps d'Afrique. In 1864 he was placed in command of the 51st Colored Regiment and was present at the capture of Mobile and the assault on Fort Blakely. After the Civil War, Buck lived in Mobile, Alabama and later in Georgia, and was active in both business and political life. He was a member of Congress from Alabama, 1869-1871, a delegate to several national republican conventions, head of the republican party in Georgia, a U.S. Marshal for the state of Georgia, and clerk in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta. In 1897 he was offered the post of Minister to Japan by President McKinley, a close friend. Buck was quite loved by the Japanese during his time in Tokyo. Buck died of heart disease on December 4, 1902, in Japan, while duck hunting as the guest of the Emperor.


4.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection comprises correspondence, scrapbooks, printed materials, photographs, and clippings by and about Alfred Eliab Buck, a Civil War soldier, politician, businessman, and diplomatic Minister to Japan, born in Foxcroft, Maine.


Materials arranged in 8 series: Correspondence, Manuscripts, Personal documents, Photographs, Printed materials, Scrapbooks, Clippings, and Other objects.

Provenance and Acquisition Note

Materials acquired via gift (Alfred Sands Buck) or Alumni Office.

Finding Aid to the Collection of Alfred Eliab Buck Materials
Colby College Special Collections
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Colby College Archives Repository

Special Collections & Archives (SC&A), located in Miller Library, is the college’s repository for historically and culturally -significant materials, including the college archives. Our fabulous materials range in date from the 12th to the 21st centuries and represent a wide range of formats. We fully support Colby’s academic program and innovative pedagogies through aspirational collection development, faculty and student engagement, teaching and exhibition.