Nebraska Authors

John Joseph Pershing

AKA: "Black Jack"

Born 1860-09-13 Laclede, MO (USA)

Died 1948-07-15
Washington DC (United States of America)

Arlington, VA (United States of America)
Arlington National Cemetary

General John J. Pershing is best known for having commanded the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War I, 1917-1918. He also served in the Spanish American and Philippine American wars, and, in a famous and career making assignment, commanded the punitive expedition sent to attack Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa in 1916.

Pershing was sent to Nebraska in 1891 to teach military science, head the Military Science department and in that capacity, lead the Nebraska cadets. He successfully reorganized military training and the cadet corps, and founded the elite unit later known as the Pershing Rifles. He made a deep impression at the University, where he became well acquainted with Chancellor Canfield, taught Dorothy Canfield and Willa Cather fencing and mathematics, and developed a lasting friendship with Charles Dawes. He also completed a law degree at Nebraska. He left the University for another post in 1895. The University of Nebraska on-line collaborative history has a wonderful and detailed account of his activities and influence at Nebraska. He was a fellow mid-westerner, and is remembered as a Nebraskan for the depth of the impression he made here, rather than for the length of his stay.

Places Lived

Lincoln, NE 1891-1895

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Autobiography--Military; World War I; Spanish-American War; Philippine Insurrection


“150 Notable Nebraskans”, Number 13 on the Journal Star Sesquicentennial List of Significant Nebraskans


Final Report of John J. Pershing. 1919.
My Experiences in the World War. 1931.

We appreciate corrections and additions to our information about authors, but please read the following guidelines and caveats carefully.

  • The Nebraska Authors database is based on publicly available sources. Unless you are the author contacting us in person, it helps us if you cite the source or sources of your information. We cannot include unsourced information in the database.
  • We may be appreciative of information we choose not to include in the publicly available database.
  • To include an image on an author profile, please send jpg attachment to nebraskaauthors@lincoln.ne.gov. A photo-release agreement is required before the image will be published on this site.
  • Because of the way we are staffed, expect corrections or additions to take time, sometimes up to three months.
  • While we initially included some actual links to external URLs in the database, we will in the future no longer provide functioning links. We will instead record the presence of specific external materials in language that we hope will help intelligent users find it themselves. Web rot, in which actual materials remain online but undergo changes in their URLs, is too demanding in terms of staff time for us to hope to keep external links current.

Please copy, fill out the form below, and email it to heritage@lincoln.ne.gov to suggest a change.

John Joseph Pershing

Do you have corrections for the above information or other information to add?:

(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)