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Sumner Webster Cushing Papers

Identifier: M.10

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of three notebooks documenting his fieldwork in India; one documenting his fieldwork in Japan; and one related to his teaching at the Salem Normal School. There is also a folder of miscellaneous notes.


  • 1910-1913?


Biographical / Historical

Sumner Webster Cushing was born in Norwell, MA in 1879. He graduated from Brockton High School and Bridgewater Normal School. In 1903, after a two years' course at Harvard, he received the B.S. degree. At Harvard, he became interested in environmental determinism under the guidance of William Morris Davis. Cushing took a series of one-year teachign appointments in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. While in Rhode Island he studied at Brown University and received his M.S. in geography. In the summer of 1907, Cushing returned to Harvard for more graduate studies and joined the faculty at Salem Normal School.

He did fieldwork in France and Maine and won a Sheldon Fellowship to survey the eastern coast of India from Calcutta to Madras. In 1913, he published a paper on the southern Honshu in Japan based on extensive field notes along a route that paralleled the Tokaido Road from Kobe and Osaka, on to Nagoya and then Tokyo.

From 1918 to 1919, Cushing served with the U.S. military. He reached the rank of Captain and served in the Military Intelligence Division of the General Staff in Washington, D.C. He returned to Salem Normal School after the war and died in 1920 at the age of 39. He published nine articles during his short career and co-authored two books that were published posthumously.


.23 Cubic Feet

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Repository Details

Part of the Salem State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

University Archivist
352 Lafayette St.
Salem MA 01970 United States