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Pyke Family papers

Identifier: Ax 766

Scope and Contents note

The Pyke Family Papers are predominately composed of correspondence and Frederick Pyke's literary manuscripts and research materials. The correspondence in this collection is of particular value due to accounts of historical events during the turbulent beginning of the 20th century in China.

Series I, Correspondence, is mainly comprised of correspondence between members of the Pyke family, and is organized by member. In Subseries A, Annabel writes mostly about the home life and her circle of friends from church. She mentions the Japanese and the plague in 1911, unrest in 1912. Subseries B contains Edith's letters, written mostly from Lansing, Michigan, though a couple letters come from Shanghai. They are about personal matters. In Subseries C, Ethel writes from England, some of it during the WW II bombing there, and also from China. Her husband's name is Fred Scott. She talks a fair amount about the international financial situation and the gold standard in particular. She mentions fighting in Shanghai in 1925, the Opium War in 1926, and Chinese nationalists in 1927. Subseries D contains Frances' writing, most of which is about folks at church and her circle of missionary friends. There are two letters about war. Fred's incoming letters, Subseries E, are mostly from fellow missionaries and clergymen. There are several from a Jimmie Lui Ching Feu who addresses his letters, "Dear parents" or "Dear father and mother." There is mention of Mao Tse Tung in 1948. One of the letters is from Marcus Taft. Subseries F, Fred's outgoing letters, are mostly love letters to his wife, but in a couple, circa 1928, he mentions war. Subseries G contains James Howell Pyke's letters to his son Fred. He writes from Shanghai and Changli and other places in China. He talks about the political situation but most letters are about missionary work and family matters. He talks of fighting involving Germans and Russians in 1901, the killing of Christians in the Boxer Rebellion in 1903, the Japanese and Russians fighting in 1904, and the Japanese and the plague in 1911. Subseries H is miscellaneous correspondence, generally addressed to unidentified members of the Pyke family.

Series II, Frederick Pyke's Literary Manuscripts and Research Materials, includes Christian stories, family histories, research material, memorabilia, and a book on his father and father-in-law's history in China. Subseries A contains character sketches of Chinese Christians and missionaries. Subseries B contains similar stories surrounding the Wuhu missionary hospital. Subseries C contains genealogical information of James Howell Pyke and his ancestors. Frederick's research documents on James Pyke, Marcus Taft, and other missionaries, subseries D, consists of administrative mission reports, personal notes, and other materials. Taft's material contains a diary of a trip to Lanchow in 1908. The miscellaneous missionary material contains a letter describing the death of missionary woman due to a stray bullet. Subseries E, memorabilia, consists of brochures of Peking University, an address book, notebooks, religious tracts, and memorials to Taft. Of particular interest are documents licensing James Pyke as an official exhorter of the Methodist Church. Subseries F consists of Frederick's book, Three Generations of White Wolves in China, a Methodist mission history in China written in 1973 with attention to the family. Subseries G, Photographs, contains pictures of Edward and Parkes Williams, two young men, circa 1969, and a missionary, Dr. William Hobart.

Subseries III, Oversize, contains three items: two one-page publications, one concerning Peking University, by Taft, the other a religious tract, and a color photograph on paper of a Chinese monument.


  • 1904-1951


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Dr. James Howell Pyke (1845-1924), a Methodist minister, was a missionary in China. He and his wife Annabel Goodrich left for China on October 7, 1873, the same day as their wedding. Dr. Pyke served as a missionary for 51 years until his death, mainly in the North China Mission in Peking. The Pykes had eight children (from oldest to youngest): Grace, Ethel Mary, Arthur Bovard, Olive Ruth, Fred Merrill, Mildred Clair, Agnes Elizabeth, and Edith.

One of the Pykes' sons, Reverend Frederick Merrill Pyke (1884-1976), was also a missionary in North China. Frederick married Frances Louise Taft (1887-?), also born of missionaries in China (the Reverend and Mrs. Marcus L. Taft). During World War II, Frances and Frederick were interned by the Japanese military for 30 months in the prison camp at Weihsien, China. They had three children: Louise, Ruth, and James. In 1958 Frederick became a member of the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Church.


1.25 linear feet (3 containers)

Language of Materials



The Pyke Family Papers comprise correspondence and Frederick Pyke's literary manuscripts and research materials.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Correspondence, Subseries A-H; Series II. Frederick M. Pyke's Literary Manuscripts and Research, Subseries A-G; Series III. Oversize Memorabilia and Photograph. Series I. Correspondence is arranged in alphabetical order by correspondent.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Pyke Family Papers
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Finding aid prepared by Matt Kimlinger and Aaron Poor
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA