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Harry Franck used his everyday life experiences to inspire his writing. An extensive traveler, Franck spent his youth visiting foreign lands, earning his living at various occupations as he traveled, once working as a policeman in the Panama Canal Zone. Not surprisingly, he is known for his travel publications. His first book, A Vagabond Journey Around the World, recounts his early adventures, one of which was a hike along the Andes Mountain range from Colombia to Argentina. He was often accompanied by his wife, Rachel, who wrote her own account of her travels in I Married a Vagabond. He did settle down long enough to earn a degree from the University of Michigan in 1903 and to teach languages at several schools in the early years of the century. During World War I, Franck served as a second lieutenant in the army in France. He also served as a major in the Army Air Corps in World War II. The last 30 years of his life were spent on the farm known as the Sarah Paxson Farm in Solebury, where he continued to write about roaming the world. He died in 1962 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Photograph of Harry Franck by Maynard Clark. Michener Art Museum. Gift of Philip A. and Dianna T. Betsch.
Education and Training
University of Michigan, A.B., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1903
Post Graduate studies at Harvard, Columbia, and abroad
Second Lieutenant in World War I, France, 1917-1919
Teachers and Influences
His varied jobs, taken to support himself on his journeys, provided Franck with material for his books. One such position was a Canal Zone policeman. His books served as ethnographic studies. He was friends with Lowell Thomas, a broadcaster.
Connection to Bucks County
Harry and Rachel Franck purchased a farm and a house next to the Solebury Meeting House, known as the Sarah Paxson Farm. Harry Franck lived in New Hope from 1932-1962.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Wife, Rachel Franck, whose book I Married a Vagabond was illustrated by Charles Child
Harry and Rachel Franck. Photograph by Maynard Clark. Michener Art Museum. Gift of Philip A. and Dianna T. Betsch.
A Vagabond Journey Around the World, 1910
Four Months Afoot in Spain, 1911
Zone Policeman 88, 1913
Tramping Through Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, 1916
Vagabonding Down the Andes, 1917
Vagabonding Through Changing Germany, 1919
Roaming Through the West Indies, 1920
Working North Through Patagonia, 1921
Wandering in Northern China, 1923
Glimpses of Japan and Formosa, 1924
Roving Through Southern China, 1925
East of Siam (French Indo-China), 1926
The Fringe of the Moslem World, 1928
Discover Greece, 1929
Marco Polo Junior, 1930
A Scandinavian Summer, 1930
Footloose in the British Isles, 1932
Trailing Cortez Through Mexico, 1935
A Vagabond in Soviet Land, 1935
Roaming in Hawaii, 1937
Sky Roaming Above Two Continents, 1938
The Lure of Alaska, 1939
The Pan-American Highway, 1940
Rediscovering South America, 1943
Travels in Many Lands
Three Hoboes in India
The Japanese Empire
Teaching and Professional Appointments
French teacher, Central High, Detroit, Michigan, 1903-1904
Master of Modern Languages, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, 1906
Browning School, New York, 1906-1908
Head of Modern Language Department, Tech High School, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1908-1911
Around the world, 1904-1905
Central and South America, 1911-1915
Second Lieutenant in France, World War I, 1917-1919
West Indies, 1919-1920
Far East, 1922-1924
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