Scope and Contents
The Hazel Atwood Papers consist of correspondence, administrative papers of the missionary hospital in Foochow, China, newsletters of various missionary organizations, a photograph, and miscellaneous publications that pertain to her interest in Chinese missionary service. This collection contains few personal items that would yield a significant degree of insight into the life of Atwood. The publications of different missionary groups elucidate many religious views of critical events of 20th century Chinese history.
Series I, Correspondence consists of the outgoing and incoming correspondence of Hazel Atwood, some of a personal nature but predominately business related. The outgoing correspondence consists of three form letters written to friends and family in the United States and two official letters regarding hospital affairs and a mission appointment. Atwood’s letter home of August 1938 notes the Japanese bombing of Foochow. Incoming correspondence is predominately business related, coming from the Atwood’s higher ups, the American Board, and from other missionaries. The official letters are concerned with Atwood’s future service during extended furlough periods, during World War II and the height of the communist revolution. In her letter of May 10th, 1942, Dr. Lora Dyer, Atwood’s coworker, writes her opinion of Japan and China’s political positions. The letter of Eula Lee and William Strong describes soldiers taking Foochow, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The hostilities and subsequent missionary flee of the anti-Christian uprising in Foochow is detailed in Arthur St. Clair’s letter of January 18th, 1927 and two unidentified letters.
Series II, Hospital Papers consists of the annual reports, administrative papers, miscellaneous papers, and magazine photos of Chinese missionary hospitals, predominately Atwood’s workplace, the Foochow Christian Union Hospital, later the Willis F. Pierce Memorial Hospital. The annual reports are of the most interest. The earliest reports contain some statistics on the hospital’s services for the year but mainly provide a lighthearted account of the year’s most interesting, bizarre, and humorous cases. Later reports lean towards statistics and information. Some reports contain Atwood’s writings on the school of nursing she directed and photographs from the hospital. One miscellaneous item of historical significance is a small pamphlet, “Listen, the Planes!” which describes the Japanese bombing of Foochow in 1938.
Series III, Newsletters contains the announcements of several Chinese missionary organizations. The publications are the Foochow Messenger, the Broadcast Bulletin, China Notes, United China Relief Fund, China Bulletin and the bulletins of the American Board of Commissions of Foreign Missions (ABFCM). These items, which are dated from the 1920’s to the 60’s, provide an interesting, though skewed, record of events in China. The Foochow Messenger most strongly represents Atwood’s missionary community and contains a few of her articles. The volume of January 1927 describes some of the military actions of the Nationalist government occurring in Foochow. Newsletters of the late 30’s and the 40’s describe the turmoil of the war with Japan and World War II. Most of the writing relating to the wars does not address specific events as much as affects upon Christian missions or ideological interpretation. Newsletters of the late 40’s and beyond delve into the communist threat and eventual revolution, which ended the missionaries’ efforts in China and a way of life for many. These newsletters are filled with anti-Communist rhetoric and some surprising stories of the reeducation and assimilation of Chinese Christians.
Series IV, Miscellaneous Papers contains printed speeches, administrative papers, pamphlets, a book, a newsclipping, a piece of identification and memoirs. The pamphlet “China after Twenty One Months of War” describes the Second Sino-Japanese War and contains a printed map of warfronts. “Narcotic Trafficking and the Japanese Army” is an interesting item from the same period. John Hind’s “Fukien Memories” gives a brief overview of some of the significant historical events in Foochow and the Fukien Province, beginning with a story of school children volunteering to aid soldiers during Sun Yat Sen’s revolution. Fukien: a Study of a Province of China is a detailed look at the region, containing facts, figures and illustrations. The newsclipping is an Illinois newspaper article, an interview of Atwood, which reports her views on China’s political crisis in 1949. Two photos of Atwood are present in a collection of missionary sketches and on an identification paper. One of the highlights of this series is the story of Helen Smith, a missionary teacher who led a group of students 300 miles on foot from Foochow to Ingtai to avoid the threat of war.
Series V, Photographs contains a portrait of Kate C. Woodhull a missionary of the ABCFM from 1884 to 1912 and the namesake of one of the missionary hospitals in Foochow.
- Creation: 1927-1965
- Atwood, Hazel (Person)
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.
Hazel Atwood was born circa 1891. She became a Congregational missionary nurse in 1921, serving for the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions. She was a nurse at the Foochow Christian Union Hospital, later the Willis F. Pierce Memorial Hospital, in Foochow, Fukien Province, China. She later became the director of the school of nursing in Foochow. Atwood served until the 1940s. She was on furlough in the United States during anti-Christian uprisings of January 1927 and again circa 1934. She was present for Japan's attacks on Foochow and subsequent invasion, which began in 1938. Her last furlough detailed in this collection, circa 1949, was extended due to the communist threat in China and a general down-turn in missionary activity. A proposed appointment to a hospital in Rhodesia fell through and she retired from the service of the ABCFM in 1950.
1 linear feet
Language of Materials
Hazel Atwood was born circa 1891. She became a Congregational missionary nurse in 1921, serving for the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions. Collection consists of correspondence, administrative papers of the missionary hospital in Foochow, China, newsletters of various missionary organizations, a photograph, and miscellaneous publications that pertain to Atwood's interest in Chinese missionary service.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by gift of Hazel Atwood in 1974.
Existence and Location of Copies
This collection has been microfilmed. Microfilm reels are available for purchase, or via Inter-library Loan. When requesting reels for this collection, please request: “Women’s Lives, Series 3, American Women Missionaries and Pioneers Collection, reel(s) 14-16."
General Physical Description note
Collection processed by Aaron Poor, 2002.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Atwood, Hazel (Person)
- American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (Organization)
- Guide to the Hazel Atwood Papers
- Preliminary Description
- Finding aid prepared by University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.