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Dr. James Martin and Miriam Benade papers

Identifier: Ax 807

Scope and Contents note

The Dr. James Martin and Miriam Benade Papers consist of a collection of outgoing and incoming correspondence, notes, unpublished writings, published writings, prints , photographs and miscellaneous materials. It also includes papers of Mrs. Benade's parents, Rev. Albert Gordon and Ella McGaw. The collection reflects the arrangement of the collection as it was originally processed in 1976. The Benade Papers are divided into seven series.

Series I, Correspondence has been subdivided into two subseries. Subseries A is Outgoing Correspondence that includes letters between 1923-1972 and Annual Form Letters. The Annual Form Letters encompass the dates 1927-1973. The sequence is not complete though. Most of the letters were written from Lahore. All letters are arranged chronologically. Subseries B is Incoming Correspondence arranged in alphabetic order by the last name. It includes letters received between 1942-1975 from relatives and friends. There are also two folders of unidentified letters at the end of this subseries. The first five letters are from relatives of the Benades.

Series II, Notes has been subdivided into two subseries. Subseries A constitutes notes by Martin Benade that includes political and cultural comments and observations about Pakistan. These notes are not dated. Subseries B constitutes notes by Miriam Benade. These are assorted notes and outlines including an unnoted bibliography on India, history of India, biographical notes of Indians, general cultural observations, women's situation in India, notes from and about India, and general political observations.

Series III, Writings (Unpublished) contains articles and outlines arranged in alphabetic order by the last name of the writer. The last two folders contain assorted outlines of religious, family, and social issues. The authors of these outlines are not identified.

Series IV, Writings (Published) contain embassy reports, journals, manuals and books, magazines, pamphlets, and reports for Pakistan and India.

Series V, Prints and Photographs has been subdivided into two subseries. Subseries A contains photographs of friends and the Taj Mahal Agra building while subseries B contains prints.

Series VI, Miscellaneous contains other writings, Indian items in foreign language, brochures, announcements, music, and maps of India. The Western Pakistan Peace Corp Projects folders in this series contain instructional outlines written by Miriam Benade and Sylvia Mangalam. The Eqbal Ahmad folders contain articles by and about Ahmad. The last box in this series is an oversize box containing items from India and mostly includes maps.

Series VII, Papers of Albert G. and Ella McGaw. The series contains outgoing correspondence arranged chronologically, incoming correspondence that is arranged alphabetically, form letters and reports containing information on A.G. McGaw's missionary activities. They encompass the years from 1905 to 1924. The sequence is not complete. There are also Etah Station reports that contain information specifically on the activities at the Etah Station. These are dated between 1905 and 1925. The series also contains other writings by the McGaws, which contains notes and personal interest reports, and general interest writing by others. There are also published works that include pamphlets, tear sheets and newspaper articles by Rev. McGaw, publications from the Evangelistic Campaign Bulletin, and biographical material.


  • 1923-1975


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 Martin and Miriam Benade were Presbyterian missionaries in Lahore, Punjab, India (later West Pakistan) from about 1912 until the mid-1960s.

Dr. Benade was born on March 12, 1889, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to Patrick and Serena Benade. He attended Grove City College where he received a B.A. in 1911. He later attended Cornell University (1912) and Princeton University Graduate School where he received a M.A. in 1917. During his furloughs back to the United States, attended the University of Chicago.

Dr. Benade's work as a missionary began in 1912 when he began teaching physics at Forman Christian College in Lahore, India. He was appointed chairman of the physics department and remained in that position until 1915. He returned to Forman College in 1917 and again served as the chairman of the physics department until his retirement in 1958.

In addition to his teaching activities, he was involved in cosmic ray research with Dr. Arthur Compton who was later awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for this research. Dr. Benade's research was done in 1932 and 1933, and included taking readings on cosmic rays in Ceylon, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Japan, Honolulu and in the Himalayas. In 1934, he designed and built a radio instrument that recorded cosmic ray data from a balloon. This device successfully recorded information at an altitude of fifteen miles. There are accounts of this research in the Benade's annual letters and in Dr. Benade's notes.

Following his retirement from teaching in 1958, Dr. Benade worked at the Argonne National Laboratories near Chicago.

Miriam McGaw Benade was born on July 13, 1858, at Landour, Mussoorie, India, to Albert Gordon McGaw and Ella Hersman McGaw who were Presbyterian missionaries in northern India. She received her early education at home. She later attended the Preparatory School of the College of Wooster, Ohio, and received a B.A. from the College of Wooster in 1919. She later attended the University of Chicago where she received an M.A. in 1944.

Mrs. Benade's first missionary assignment was as the Head Mistress of the Mary Wanamaker High School in Allahabad, India in 1920. After the marriage of Dr. and Mrs. Benade in 1922, she moved to Lahore and assumed teaching and supervising duties at the City Primary School for Hindu girls, and later at Forman Middle School and the Forman High School for girls. She was also a lecturer at the School for Women Health Visitors and a Lecturer at the Convent of Jesus and Mary in the teacher training department.

Mrs. Benade was also involved in a number of civic and church organizations. During the 1930s and 1940s, she was on the executive committee of the All India Women's Conference on Social and Educational Reform and chairman of the Social Welfare Committee. She was also a charter member of the Progressive Education organization and a charter member of the local Library Association.

After 1947, Mrs. Benade became a charter member of the All Pakistan Women's Association. She also assumed responsibilities as an advisor to the Student Christian Movement at Forman College and was the chairman of the Social Committee of the Faculty organization.

Mrs. Benade has written and published a number of books and articles. In 1937, she wrote a script entitled The Way of the Cross which was performed before a large Presbyterian Church group. In 1942, she wrote Towards New Horizons which was a history of the three Presbyterian Indian missions. In 1967, she wrote a book on family life entitled Khandani Mussaraten (Joys of Family) which was prepared for the Christian Home Committee of the West Pakistan dealing with either home life or education.

Mrs. Benade's interests included women's education, equal civil rights and employment, and family care education. Her notes and annual letters express her thoughts and work in these areas.

The Benades had two children, Arthur Henry Benade who was born on January 2, 1925, and John Albert Benade who was born on April 8, 1927.

Also included in this collection are the papers of the Reverend Albert Gordon and Ella McGaw, Mrs. Benade's parents. Rev. and Mrs. McGaw were also missionaries in India. They began their work in the early 1890s and continued to serve for almost forty years.

Rev. McGaw was born on March 8, 1865, in Oquaka, Illinois. He graduated from Wooster University in Ohio in 1891 and later received an M.A. from McCormick Seminary in Chicago.

Ella Hersman McGaw was born on December 24, 1967, in Hersman, Illinois. She received a B.A. from Blackburn College in Illinois and also attended Iowa State University for a short period.

Rev. and Mrs. McGaw were married in 1894 and departed for India in that year. During their forty years of service, they were stationed in Fatehgarh, Etawah, and Etah, India. They both retired in 1930 due to Rev. McGaw's poor health.

The McGaws had four children, Miriam McGaw Benade, Wilbert H. McGaw M.D. (orthopedic surgeon in Cleveland, Ohio), Albert Gordon McGaw (health services in Cleveland, Ohio) and Sara Elizabeth McGaw Santantonio (Faculty, Woodstock School, Mussoorie, India, and Faculty, Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India).


5.25 linear feet (14 containers)

Language of Materials



Collection contains the correspondence, notes, unpublished writings, published writings, prints, photographs, and miscellaneous materials of James Martin and Miriam Benade, missionaries to India. It also includes papers of Mrs. Benade's parents, Rev. Albert Gordon and Ella McGaw.

Arrangement note

The collection is organized in seven series: Series I. Correspondence, Subseries A. Outgoing, Subseries B. Incoming; Series II. Notes, Subseries A. Martin Benade, Subseries B. Miriam Benade; Series III. Writings (Unpublished); Series IV. Writings (Published); Series V. Prints, Photographs; Series VI. Miscellaneous; Series VII. Papers of Albert G. and Ella McGaw.

Guide to the Dr. James Martin and Miriam Benade papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Aika Maria Kihunrwa
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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