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Manuscript Records of Traders, Travellers, Missionaries and Diplomats, 1853-1941

Part 2: Journals and Student Essays
Part 3: Correspondence and Scrapbooks
Part 4: Collected Papers of Brown, Perry and others
Part 5: Writings by Griffis


1843 - Born September 17 in Philadelphia, the fourth child of seven and second son to John Limeburner Griffis and Anna Maria (Hess) Griffis.

1850 - Observes the launching of the USS Susquehanna in Philadelphia. The Susquehanna, the largest steamship yet commissioned by the US Navy, was to be Commodore M C Perry's flagship on the 1853-1854 Naval Expedition to Japan.

1860 - Sees the Shogun's Mission, the first Japanese Embassy to the US, when it visits Philadelphia.

1863 - Serves in Pennsylvania's 44th Regiment in the Civil War.

1866 - Enters Rutgers College.

1869 - Graduates with AB from Rutgers College. In the summer, tours Europe with his sister Margaret Clark Griffis and family friend Edward Warren Clark.

1870 - Sails for Japan to organize schools in Echizen.

1871 - Named Superintendent of Education in Echizen.

1872 - Awarded AM from Rutgers College. Publishes, in Yokohama, The New Japan Primer and The New Japan Pictorial Primer.

1872-74 - Serves as Professor of Physics at the Imperial University, Tokyo. In 1872, Griffis's sister Margaret Clark Griffis joins him in Tokyo, and is appointed teacher, and then principal, of the first government school for girls (to become the Tokyo Female Normal School).

1873 - Publishes The Tokio Guide and The Yokohama Guide (Yokohama).

1874 - Griffis and Margaret Clark Griffis return to America.

1876 - Publishes The Mikado's Empire.

- Graduates from Union Theological Seminary.

1877-86 - Serves as Pastor of the First Reformed Church, Schenectady, NY.

1879 - Marries Katherine L Stanton (1859-98).

1880 - Publishes Japanese Fairy World: Thirty-five Stories from the Wonderlore of Japan.

- Publishes Corea: the Hermit Nation.

- Lillian Eyre Griffis (daughter) born in Schenectady.

1884 - Awarded D D from Union College.

1885 - Publishes Corea: Without and Within.

1886-93 - Serves as Pastor of the Shawmut Congregational Church in Boston, MA.

1887 - Stanton Griffis (first son) born in Boston. Publishes Matthew Calbraith Perry: A Typical American Naval Officer.

- Publishes The Lily Among Thorns: A Study of the Biblical Drama Entitled "The Song of Songs".

- Publishes Honda the Samurai: A Story of Modern Japan.

- Publishes Sir William Johnson and the Six Nations, and an edition of The Arabian Nights.

1892 - Publishes Japan: In History, Folklore and Art.

1893 - John Elliot Griffis (second son) born in Boston.

1893-1903 - Serves as Pastor of the First Congregational Church, Ithaca, NY.

1894 - Publishes Brave Little Holland and What She Taught Us.

- Publishes The Religions of Japan From the Dawn of History to the Era of Meiji: Shinto, Buddhism and Confucianism, and Townsend Harris, First American Envoy in Japan [an edition of Harris's journals].

1897 - Publishes The Romance of Discovery: A Thousand Years of Exploration and the Unveiling of Continents.

1898 - Publishes Charles Carlton Coffin: War Correspondent, Traveller, Author and Statesman; The Romance of American Colonization; The Pilgrims in Their Three Homes. Katherine Stanton Griffis dies in Ithaca on December 9.

1899 - Publishes America in the East: A Glance at Our History, Prospects, Problems and Duties in the Pacific Ocean; The Romance of Conquest: The Story of American Expansion Through Arms and Diplomacy.

- Awarded LHD by Rutgers College.

1900 - Marries Sarah Frances King (1868-1959). Publishes The American in Holland: Sentimental Rambles in the Eleven Provinces of the Netherlands; The Pathfinders of the Revolution: A Story of the Great March into the Wilderness and Lake George Region of New York in 1779; and Verbeck of Japan: A Citizen of No Country.

- Publishes In the Mikado's Service: A Story of Two Battle Summers in China.

1902 - Publishes A Maker of the New Orient: Samuel Robbins Brown, Pioneer Educator in China, America, and Japan, the Story of his Life and Work, and Mighty England - Our Old Home.

- Resigns pastorate to write and lecture full time. Publishes John Chambers: Servant of Christ and Master of Hearts, and his Ministry in Philadelphia; Sunny Memories of Three Pastorates; and Young People's History of Holland.

- Publishes Dux Christus: An Outline Study of Japan.

- Decorated with the Order of the Rising Sun, Fourth Class, by the Emperor of Japan. Publishes The Japanese Nation in Evolution: Steps in the Progress of a Great People, and Christ, the Creator of the New Japan.

- Publishes The Firefly's Lovers and Other Fairy Tales of Old Japan.

- Publishes The Story of the New Netherlands, the Dutch in America.

- Publishes China's Story in Myth, Legend, Art and Annals, and The Unmannerly Tiger and Other Korean Tales.

- Publishes A Modern Pioneer in Korea: The Life Story of Henry G Appenzeller; Might England: the Story of the English People; The Call of Jesus to Joy; Belgium, the Land of Art.

- Publishes Hepburn of Japan and His Wife and Helpmates: A Life Story of Toil for Christ. Margaret Clark Griffis dies in Ithaca, December 15.

1914 - Publishes The House We Live In, Architect and Tenant: Talks About the Body and the Right Use of It.

- Publishes Millard Fillmore: Constructive Statesman, Defender of the Constitution, President of the US; The Mikado, Institution and Person: A Study of the Internal Political Forces of Japan; The Story of Belgium.

- Publishes Bonnie Scotland and What We Owe Her.

- Publishes Dutch Fairy Tales.

- Publishes Belgian Fairy Tales.

- Publishes Swiss Fairy Tales; Young People's History of the Pilgrims.

- Publishes Welsh Fairy Tales; The Dutch of the Netherlands in the Making of America.

1922 - Publishes Korean Fairy Tales; Japanese Fairy Tales.

- Publishes The Story of the Walloons, at Home, in the Lands of Exile and in America.

- Publishes Proverbs of Japan: A Little Picture of the Japanese Philosophy of Life as Mirrored in Their Proverbs.

- Publishes The American Flag of Stripes and Stars: Mirror of the Nation's History, Symbol of Brotherhood and World Unity.

1926-27 - With Frances King Griffis, journeys to Japan for the second time, stopping in Korea and Manchuria.

1926 - Decorated with the Order of the Rising Sun, Third Class.

1928 - Dies in Florida, February 5.

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