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Nimitz Library

Uhuru Manuscript, [1962]: Finding Aid

Published in June 1986

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 214
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Uhuru Manuscript
  • Dates: [1962]
  • Size: 0.73 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 5 volumes containing 1642 leaves
  • Creator: Ruark, Robert Chester, 1915-1965
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Robert Chester Ruark was an author and newspaper correspondent who served as an Ensign in the United States Navy during World War II. The collection consists of a typescript of the penultimate draft of the novel, Uhuru, a Novel of Africa Today.

Biography of Robert Chester Ruark

Robert Chester Ruark was born in Southport, North Carolina on December 29, 1915 to Robert Chester Ruark, Sr. and Charlotte Adkins. After attending high school in Wilmington, North Carolina, Ruark attended the University of North Carolina where he majored in journalism, graduating with a B.A. in 1935. While in college, he contributed to the Yackety Yack, Carolina Magazine, and the Buccaneer. Following graduation, Ruark worked briefly as an accountant for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and sailed aboard the ship Sundance as a merchant mariner. In 1937, he moved to Washington, DC, where he embarked on a career in journalism, starting as a copy boy for the Washington Daily News, ultimately rising to the position of assistant city editor by 1942.

During World War II, Ruark's journalism career was put on hold as he was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy. Assigned initially as a gunnery officer to convoy duties in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, he later served in the Pacific where he nearly lost an arm in a jeep accident.

After the War, Ruark returned to Washington as a news correspondent Scripps-Howard, before becoming a columnist in 1946. In 1947, he ventured to Italy to report on the state of military personnel. Later that same year, he published his first book, Grenadine Etching.

In 1950, Ruark went on safari in East Africa, producing two books from his experiences: Something of Value (1955) and Uhuru. Following his safari, Ruark split his time between Spain, England, and Africa, continuing to write a column for the United Feature Syndicate until April 30, 1965. Robert Ruark died on July 1, 1965 in London, England.

Ruark's other works include I Didn't Know It Was Loaded (1949), One for the Road (1949), Grenadine's Spawn (1952), Horn of the Hunter (1953), The Old Man and the Boy (1957), Poor No More (1959), The Old Man's Boy Grows Older (1961), and The Honey Badger (1965).

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Description of Contents

The Uhuru Manuscript, written circa 1962, comprises a five-volume typescript of the penultimate draft of Robert Ruark's Uhuru, a Novel of Africa Today. The first volume of the manuscript is signed by the author.

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The Uhuru Manuscript comprises five numbered volumes.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Uhuru Manuscript is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition


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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

The Robert Chester Ruark Papers, 1942-1965 are available at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An additional manuscript copy of Uhuru is available at Cornell University.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Uhuru Manuscript, MS 214

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

Dictionary of American Biography. Supplement 7. New York: Scribner, 1981.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in June 1986. Finding aid written in June 1986 and revised by David D'Onofrio in June 2014.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Africa -- Fiction
  • Ruark, Robert Chester, 1915-1965

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
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Contents List

Box 1

Uhuru, a Novel of Africa Today: Volume 1, [1962]

Box 2

Uhuru, a Novel of Africa Today: Volume 2, [1962]

Box 3

Uhuru, a Novel of Africa Today: Volume 3, [1962]

Box 4

Uhuru, a Novel of Africa Today: Volume 4, [1962]

Box 5

Uhuru, a Novel of Africa Today: Volume 5, [1962]

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