Charles Finger

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Charles Finger
Born(1869-12-25)December 25, 1869
Willesden, England
DiedJanuary 7, 1941(1941-01-07) (aged 71)
Farmington, Arkansas
OccupationWriter (novelist), musician
Period20th century
GenreJuvenile fiction

Charles Joseph Finger (December 25, 1869 – January 7, 1941) was a British born American writer. He also directed an orchestra and taught piano.


Finger was born in Willesden, England, and educated at King's College London. He had a strong literary and musical formation, and was quite active in the Fabian movement. At age 20 he began to travel extensively, visiting first Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia, where he worked as gold seeker, guide, and cook for the first sheep farming stations, in the period of Selknam genocide. He moved to New York and London, thereafter, and to a number of cities in Texas. He worked as accountant and musicians, eventually settled in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he consecrated to writing.[1][2]

He became the acting editor of the Reedy's Mirror after William Marion Reedy's death in 1920.[3]

Finger won the 1925 Newbery Medal for the book Tales from Silver Lands (1924), a collection of stories from South America. Some of his other works are Bushrangers (1924), Tales Worth Telling (1927), Courageous Companions (1929), and A Dog at His Heel (1936). His autobiography is Seven Horizons (1930).

Finger was an accomplished musician. He directed the San Angelo Conservatory of Music in Texas, from 1898 to 1904.[4] One of his piano students in San Angelo was David Wendel Guion, who achieved notability for arranging and popularizing the ballad "Home on the Range".

The epitaph on Finger's gravestone is "This voyage done, set sail and steer once more To further landfall on some nobler shore." He is buried in the Farmington, Arkansas cemetery.

Literary works[edit]

Source: [5]


  1. ^ "Information About Charles J. Finger", "Charles J. Finger Papers" (finding aid), University of Arkansas Libraries ( Retrieved 2016-06-04.
      The collection includes "Correspondence and Papers of Helen Finger Leflar and Others". Helen Finger illustrated children's books including some written by her father. Evidently she was his literary executor.
  2. ^ Newbery Medal Books: 1922–1955, eds. Bertha Mahony Miller and Elinor Whitney Field, Horn Book, 1955, LCCN 55-13968, p. 37.
  3. ^ Genius of Place, Max J. Puzel, Louisiana State University Press, 1985, p. 17 (at Google Books).
  4. ^ "Charles Joseph Finger (1867–1941)", Ethel C. Simpson, Last Updated 11/13/2013, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture (, Little Rock: The Central Arkansas Library System.
  5. ^ "Author - Charles Joseph Finger". Author and Book Info.


  • Finger, C. J. (Ed.). (1923). Sailor Chanties and Cowboy Songs. Girard: E. Haldeman-Julius.
  • Finger, C. J. (1927). Frontier ballads. Songs from lawless lands. Heard and gathered by Charles J. Finger. Woodcuts by Paul Honore. London: William Heinemann.
  • Finger, C. J. (1936, Aug. 1). Forty Years in Patagonia. The Saturday Review, 7.
  • Harambour, A. (2017). “Ficción, verdad, mentira. Breve historia de una canción de Navidad y boxeo en Tierra del Fuego y el fin del mundo (fines del siglo XIX)”, Magallania 45: 2, pp. 55-66.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Charles Hawes
Newbery Medal winner
Succeeded by
Arthur Bowie Chrisman