Funston, Frederick, 1865-1917

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.

Biographical History

Frederick Funston (1865-1917) was a journalist, military man, and scientific explorer. He was born on November 9, 1865, in New Carlisle, Ohio, and attended the University of Kansas. After college he became a special botanical agent for the Department of Agriculture. From there, he assisted Frederick Coville on the Death Valley Expedition, 1890-1891. He recorded many of his impressions of the expedition, sending them back to be published in the Iola Daily Register. Funston worked for many newspapers and on the Santa Fe Railroad. At that time, he became involved with a campaign for Cuban independence at Madison Square Garden in New York. Funston signed up as a Cuban revolutionary and arrived on Cuba in 1896; he served for 18 months. After returning to the U.S., he became a commander of the 20th Kansas Regiment during the Spanish-American War. He was also involved with recovery efforts after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. From 1908-1910, he served as Commandant of the Army Service Schools at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and in 1913 he became Commander of the Hawaiian Department. Through 1914, he was engaged as the military governor of Vera Cruz to preserve peace. Funston was then appointed as Commander of the Southern Department, which comprised most of the Mexican border. He died on February 19, 1917.


  • Library of Congress. NACO. Control Number: n 84017628
  • Frederick Funston Papers. Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved December 2011 from

Related entities

United States Dept. of Agriculture: He became a special botanical agent for the Department of Agriculture.

Birth Date


Death Date



  • Soldiers
  • Botany
  • Journalism


Personal name


  • Soldiers
  • Journalists
  • Botanists