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Authors Collection - Russell Conwell & Masters of Success Collection

Russell Conwell

Russell Conwell


Author of "Acres of Diamonds"


By Prof. Joseph C. Carter
Author of The "Acres of Diamonds" Man

In 1862, during the second year of the Civil War, Russell H. Conwell, then a student in his first weeks at Yale College, answered his country's call and enlisted in "Lincoln's Army." Although not yet 20, he was commissioned a captain, serving until 1864. When he returned to civilian life, he studied law in the office of his former colonel, then earned his degree at Albany Law School and became a licensed lawyer.

But Conwell was also a writer. In 1869 he revisited the Civil War battlefields and burial grounds, sending graphic reports of the horrors of the War in the South to New England newspapers. This work earned him a position on the staff of the Boston Evening Traveller and ultimately a round-the-world journey as correspondent for the American Traveller, a weekly journal published in Boston.

As Conwell told it, he was riding in 1870 in a camel caravan along the valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia when he heard a guide weave tales to entertain his American tourists.

Conwell, then only 27, was deeply impressed by a legend about a prosperous Persian farmer, Ali Hafed. Lured by the stories of a Buddhist priest, Ali deserted his fruitful lands to search for immense wealth in mythical diamond fields.

Far and wide Ali Hafed roamed, footsore and weary. Youth and wealth disappeared, and he died far from home, an old and disillusioned pauper. Not long afterward, the guide related, acres of fabulous diamonds were found on Ali Hafed's own land.

To the other tourists, this was just another alluring story, but in Conwell's mind a great truth had been sown. To him it said: "Your diamonds are not in far-away mountains or in distant seas; they are in your own back yard if you will but dig for them."

During the ensuing years Conwell sowed the seeds of service which produced for him his harvest of opportunities, his many useful careers.

As a 36-year-old lawyer in Boston, Conwell was consulted about disposing of a dilapidated church in nearby Lexington.. With optimistic sympathy, he advised the congregation that their church need not be sold, but could and should be rebuilt.

How he was ordained and accepted his first pastoral charge in that church . . . how a deacon from Philadelphia, who came to hear him preach, invited him to become, in 1882, the pastor of newly built Grace Baptist Church at Berks and Mervine Streets in that city . . . how he served as pastor of the Grace Church congregation for 43 years (34 of those years in the magnificent Temple at Broad and Berks Streets). . . how he lectured on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits . . . how he was author of 40 books . . . how he wrote church hymns and college songs . . . how he founded Samaritan (now Temple University) Hospital . . . all these and many more were episodes illustrative of the humanitarian spirit, remarkable vision, and organizing skills of Russell Conwell.

One evening in 1884, at the Berks and Mervine Streets church, a young man went to Conwell in his study and expressed a desire to prepare for the Christian ministry. Conwell offered to teach the youth one night a week, but on the agreed-upon evening seven earnest young men appeared. Here were Conwell's "diamonds" here at home, in his own community,in Philadelphia. Thus was the school called "Temple" founded.

Conwell's class grew in numbers, and within a short time the services of other teachers were enlisted and it was necessary to rent a room,then a building, then two. Within a few years the studious group had grown from seven to several hundred students, and a charter for"The Temple College" was issued in 1888. Of course, Conwell already had been elected its president, a position he held for the next 38 years.

His famous lecture, "Acres of Diamonds," soon made him America's foremost platform orator. By the end of his life, in 1925, he had delivered the lecture more than 6,000 times in town after town throughout this vast land. It was heard by millions from pulpits and public platforms, and by radio, and today others are still reading his practical, optimistic essay and hearing it on cassettes.

After Conwell had given "Acres of Diamonds" for the 5,000th time he was awarded,at Philadelphia's Academy of Music, a gold key symbolic of the gratitude shown by the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Two public schools bear his name: one in Conwell's native township, Worthington, Massachusetts, and the other in Philadelphia.

The Administration Building of the School District of Philadelphia, atop the east side of its tower, has a stone bust of Conwell.

Conwell's name is carved on the frieze of the Pennsylvania Department of Education headquarters in Harrisburg. And Temple University has its Conwell Hall. In 1922 he was given the Kiwanis Club award for "distinguished service."

Probably his greatest public honor came in 1923, when he was given the $10,000 Philadelphia Award (with scroll, chest, and medal),bestowed each year on the area's outstanding citizen.

Today, Russell Herman Conwell lies at rest in the Founder's Garden, surrounded by splendid buildings of the attractive main campus of Temple University. Temple itself is an enduring monument to the vision and genius of this soldier, preacher, writer, orator, educator, and friend of mankind. Truly his own "Acres of Diamonds."

Masters of Success Collection

"Acres of Diamonds" by Russell H. Conwell - In these pages we learn the virtues of earning money through honest, hard work. Alongside "As a Man Thinketh" and "Think and Grow Rich", one of the most well known books today.

"The Master Key System" by Charles F. Haanel - The Master Key System is the only 24 Lesson  presentation of the Creative Power of Thought. It teaches the ultimate principles, causes, effects, and laws that underlie all attainment and Success. 

"Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill - This is one of the most famous books ever written; even today, many successful businessmen attribute their success to this book!

"As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen - A set of philosophical musings on the power of our thoughts. One of the best-known books of this kind.

"The Science of Getting Rich" by Wallace D. Wattles - Guides us toward financial success by providing the tools to spiritual growth through the acquiring of riches. Or, as I like to call it: "A Course in Manifestation."

"Self Mastery through Conscious Autosuggestion" by Emile Coué - Arguably one of the most important people of the 20th century, this man invented Autosuggestion (autogenic training) for use in healing and improving oneself.

"How to Live on 24 Hours a Day" by Arnold BennettNot just another collection of timesaving tips, this book is more of a challenge to leave behind mundane everyday concerns, focus on pursuing one's true desires, and live the fullest possible life.

"The Multiple Mentality Course" by Harry Kahne - The original "multitasking" training system. Want or need to do 2 or more things at once? Read this!

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More Russell Conwell Works
I have recently discovered the titles of several other books by Russell Conwell and fortunately for all of us, they are still in print. All of these may be purchased directly from, or ordered through your normal book retailer.


Acres of Diamonds

Acres of Diamonds


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