Rockhill, William Woodville

Rockhill, William Woodville

(1854–1914) orientalist, diplomat; born in Philadelphia. Educated in France, he combined Far Eastern studies with a 30-year diplomatic career. He served in the American embassies in China and Korea (1884–87), published a French translation of The Life of the Buddha (1884), and made journeys to Mongolia and Tibet for the Smithsonian Institution. He was a special agent in China during the Boxer Rebellion and was minister to China (1905–09), and ambassador to Russia (1909–11) and Turkey (1911–13). His large collection of rare Chinese works is now part of the Library of Congress.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.