Steele, A. Tilton (1972-1961)

Arthur Tilton Steele was an American informant for Inspector Hopkinson in his investigations of the Ghadr Party. Steele’s family roots were in Boston, but he was born in India and spent his childhood and early adulthood in Calcutta and Dacca, and he grew up familiar with Hindustani. He had left India in 1903 when he was thirty-one to settle in San Francisco and, as a trained accountant, he went into business involving interests in China, India, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Within a few years he married and then was left a widower with a small child, a daughter. In 1913, Hopkinson recruited him to report on  the activities and public lectures of Indians in San Francisco, and he undertook that occasional work with enthusiasm, reporting particularly on speeches by Har Dyal and conversations with Bhagwan Singh.

Sources: Steele’s U.S. passport application, 1918; Library and Archives Canada, Governor General’s Files, RG 7, G 21, vol. 32, file 332 ( particularly vol 7, 9, and 12 a) for Steele correspondence of  8 June, 23 Nov., 1913 and 28 Aug., 1914.