Mongolia and the United States: First 150 years | Dr. Jonathan Addleton

Event: ACMS Speaker Series

Speaker: Jonathan Addleton, Executive Director of the American Center for Mongolian Studies | Former U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia

Title of Presentation: Mongolia and the United States: First 150 years
Date: May 22, 2018

There is no certainly as to when the first US citizen visited the territory that now constitutes Mongolia. However, travel passes dating to the Manchu period in the Mongolian National Archives in Ulaanbaatar provide intriguing clues — including one dating to 1862 that authorizes a “Mr. Pelosi” or “Mr. Felosi” to transit Mongoila en route from Beijing to St. Petersburg, accompanied by a travelling companion from France. Later, a second document indicates that the two tourists did indeed take the journey, arriving at Mongolia’s northern border on camels, crossing into Siberia and then continuing their travels into Russia from there.

Using that incident as a starting point, Addleton goes on to describe a multitude of subsequent encounters between Mongolia and the United States over the next 150 years, including such visitors as Civil War journalist and writer Thomas Knox, future US president Herbert Hoover, World War II military leader Joseph Stillwell, prolific travel writer Harry Franck, explorer Roy Chapman Andrews, American Vice President Henry Wallace, Supreme Court Justice William Douglas and countless others, continuing up to the present day. Addleton will also discuss events that led to the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in January 1987 followed by deepening relations in a number of areas including the three main “D’s” of foreign policy — defense, development and diplomacy.

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