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Charles Finger
Born (1869-12-25)December 25, 1869
Willesden, England
Died January 7, 1941(1941-01-07) (aged 71)
Farmington, Arkansas
Occupation Writer (novelist), musician
Nationality American
Period 20th century
Genre Juvenile 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 an accountant and musician, eventually settling in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he began to concentrate on writing.

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

Finger won the 1925 Newbery Medal for the book Tales from Silver Lands (1924), a collection of stories from Central and 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. 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


  • 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.

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