G. P. Stevens Letter

1909
Manuscript Collection #1238
Creator(s)
Stevens, G. P.
Physical description
0.005 Cubic Feet, 1 archival folder, consisting of a letter and a photograph
Preferred Citation
G. P. Stevens Letter (#1238), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
Repository
ECU Manuscript Collection
Access
No restrictions

Letter (May 12, 1909) written by G. P. Stevens, a missionary representing the Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Presbytery, in Suchien, China, describing his experiences in Suchien.


Biographical/historical information

In the 19th century and into the early 20th century, Presbyterian missionaries traveled and lived in China in an attempt to convert Chinese people. While they had little success in the early phases of the missionization effort, they were more successful in the early 1900s. In 1900, there were only 7 members in the church in Suchien, China. By 1909, membership grew to 65. Missionaries developed schools, and also treated thousands of patients. During this time, however, some Chinese people still rejected their missionary work. In a May 12, 1909 letter addressed to the Steele Creek Missionary Society, Stevens shared his experiences as an American missionary in Suchien, China. Due to the Communist Revolution in the 1940s, missionaries were expelled from China, leaving behind 700,000 Chinese Protestants.

References

Michael V. Metallo Presbyterian Missionaries and the 1911 Chinese Revolution. Journal of Presbyterian History (1962-1985). Vol. 62, No. 2 (SUMMER 1984), pp. 153-168 (16 pages)

China Research Center https://www.chinacenter.net/2016/china_currents/15-1/protestant-christianity-in-the-peoples-republic/

Presbyterian Historical Society https://www.history.pcusa.org/collections/research-tools/guides-archival-collections/rg-431


Scope and arrangement

The collection contains a 4-page letter written by American missionary G.P. Stevens dated May 12, 1909 about his experiences in Suchien, China. He discusses the practice of footbinding, women's status in society, the progress of the lady missionaries in Suchien, as well as the bias towards westerners by the Chinese. The collection also contains a photograph (12.6cm x 8cm) showing a man with his wife and a large family squatting in front of their hut. On the reverse is the manuscript caption "This is the group of houses of poor people – a typical scene. Houses made of mud, grass, and corn stalks. No floors in the houses. You can see the stoves on the outside."


Administrative information
Custodial History

November 5, 2014 0.005 cu. ft.; Letter (May 12, 1909) written by G. P. Stevens, a missionary representing the Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Presbytery, in Suchien, China, describing his experiences in Suchien. Purchased from Denning House Antiquarian Books & Manuscripts, Lancaster, PA, using funds from the Elizabeth Price Crockford Missionary and Church History Endowment.

Source of acquisition

Purchased from Denning House Antiquarian Books & Manuscripts

Processing information

Processed by Aleck Tan, January 2020

Copyright notice

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


Container list
Box 1 Folder a Item 1 Letter written by American missionary G.P. Stevens about his experiences in China, dated May 12 1909, 1909
Box 1 Folder a Item 2 Photo of a man, his wife, and a large family in China, 1909