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Susan Herring Jefferies Taynton Papers, 1892-1940, 1960-1964

(Manuscript Collection #239)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Susan Herring Jefferies Taynton Papers
Creator: Jefferies, Susan Herring
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1892-1940, 1960-1964) consisting of correspondence, pamphlets, photographs, clippings, newspapers and miscellaneous.
Extent: 0.143 Cubic feet, 270 items , consisting of correspondence, pamphlets, photographs, clippings, newspapers and miscellaneous.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

September 14, 1973, ca. 250 items; Correspondence, photographs, etc. of David Wells Herring family (1896-1940); copies of Our Missionary Helper (1904-1905); and correspondence pertaining to the publication of Papa Wore No Halo (1961-1964). Gift of Mrs. Taynton, Falls Church, Virginia

May 23, 1984, (unprocessed addition 1), 8 items; Papers (1897-1949) pertaining to Rev. David Wells Herring and Missionary work in China. Donor: Mrs. Susan Westad.

May 18, 1990, (unprocessed addition 2), x volumes; " Memories of a Lifetime" by Celia Herring Middleton. Donor: Dr. Gordon K. Middleton, Jr.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Susan Herring Jefferies Taynton Papers (#239), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. Taynton
  • Gift of Mrs. Susan Westad
  • Gift of Dr. Gordon K. Middleton, Jr.

Processing Information

  • Processed by R. Kepner, February 1974

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Susan Herring Jefferies Taynton was born at Tai An, China, in 1902. Her parents, David Wells Herring (1858-1940) and Alice Rhea Herring, were Baptist missionaries working in the interior of China. David Wells Herring was a controversial figure in missionary circles. In 1892 he resigned from the Baptist Foreign Mission Board in order to perform his duties in the manner he thought most productive. He had clashed with the Board over the issues of the adoption of native dress by missionaries, the role of native workers, the establishment of church schools, and financial support of missionaries. Although he eventually reconciled his differences with the Board, Herring's devotion to duty and his determination to defend his ideas inspired his daughter to write his biography. Susan Herring first came to the United States in 1920 and attended Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. She subsequently led a varied life as a wife and mother of three children (by Clinton Jefferies), a statistical analyst at North Carolina State University and in 1963 her book Papa Wore No Halo was published. She married Mark Taynton, of Falls Church, Virginia.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Correspondence in the Herring family section of the collection includes several significant items. A letter (July 2, 1897) from Herring to his sister in Pender County, N.C., contains a detailed description of Sydney, Australia. The letter includes Herring's opinions of the Japanese, a comparison between Australian Bushmen and American Indians and a comparison between American and Australian Baptists. A letter from George Herring to his Aunt Ethel (April 2, 1922) tells of the Herrings's difficulties during the Boxer Rebellion and contains his opinions on the role of missionary work. George'sattitudes toward China, its people and future are also discussed. In a letter to Mrs. Taynton (April 17, 1958) her sister relates childhood memories of missionary life in China.

Included in the Herring family section are several family photographs and two pamphlets written by David Wells Herring. One, entitled A Manly Boy, is the story of Herring's first son Manly Yates Herring. Travels in both China and North Carolina are narrated along with Herring's personal views on religion, children and Christian education for the young. The second pamphlet is a revision of an earlier work entitled, A Departure In Our China Mission. The original Departure outlined Herring's dissent against the Baptist Foreign Mission Board. The revised version is a document of reconciliation with the Board. Other significant non-correspondence material in the Herring family section consists of entries in the records of the North China Mission. In these 1892 entries, Herring's break with the Board is outlined.

Information pertaining to the Herring family and to Mrs. Taynton is also to be found in a section of the collection devoted to newspaper clippings and reviews of Papa Wore No Halo. One of the articles written by Mrs. Taynton ( Greensboro Daily News, May 28, 1972) relates the activities of seven North Carolinians in China. The article contains biographical sketches of David Wells Herring, Matthew Yates, Richard McKenna, Lee Parker, Collier Cobb, Thomas Jernigan and Arthur Ringwalt.

The remainder of the collection pertains to the publication of Papa Wore No Halo and consists of correspondence with Mrs. Taynton's editor, Jerry Simpson, and her publisher, John F. Blair (of John F. Blair Publishing Company, Winston-Salem, North Carolina). The correspondence for the most part deals with editorial revision of the manuscript of Papa Wore No Halo. Other subjects, however, such as publicity, philosophy of writing, royalties, the problems of publication, and author-publisher relations are treated in detail.

The oversize folder contains issues of Our Missionary Helper (July, Aug., Nov., 1904; Jan., Mar., June, July, Nov., 1905).

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Box 1#0239.1
Herring Family Materials (1892-1940), Correspondence (1960-1964), Simpson Correspondence (1962-1964), Clippings, Reviews, Miscellaneous
Box 2#0239.2
Simpson Correspondence (1962-1964), Blair Publishing Co. Correspondence (1961-1964)
Oversize Folder os1#0239.os1
Our Missionary Helper (1904-1905)

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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