Scope and Contents
The collection contains Mrs. Davis’ incoming correspondence which are divided into two series. The first series consists almost exclusively of letters written by family members to Mrs. Davis in Pasadena, and it comprises the bulk of the collection. Particularly remarkable here are the letters from her sister Jennie V. Hughes, along with those from other family members which mention Ms. Hughes’ work with the Women’s Foreign Missionary Service in Kiukiang, China. In her capacity as Principal of the Knowles Bible Training School, Ms. Hughes was responsible for directing an organization run exclusively by and for women, using the tenets of Methodism as a basis for training Chinese women in literacy and hygiene. Along with providing a glimpse into the circumstances of the daily reflections and responsiblilities of a female missionary, Ms. Hughes’ letters also illuminate much about the cultural and political circumstances of China following the troubles of the Boxer Rebellion.
Series I: Incoming Correspondence is organized according to two criteria. Since the majority of Mrs. Davis’ letters are from members of her immediate family, they are first divided into five sections according to addresser, then arranged chronologically within each section.
Series II: Miscellaneous is a very small series containing a funeral announcement, two placecards, two envelopes from incoming correspondence, and a published version of a letter by Ms. Hughes which details the Nanchang massacre in 1906.
- Davis, Eliza Anne Hughes (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.
Biographical / Historical
Eliza Hughes Davis devoted her life to her family and her work in the Methodist Church. The daughter of Reverend George and Mrs. Abby T. Hughes of Newark, New Jersey, Hughes married Reverend Mayhew W. Davis in 1896, then moved with him from New Jersey, to Pasadena, California. The couple had a total of five children, but their youngest child died soon after his birth, and the other children apparently endured significant health problems in their early years. Although Mrs. Davis also suffered repeatedly for most of her adult life from illnesses that eluded clear diagnosis and treatments, she worked steadily as a homemaker and enjoyed a brief stint in the winter of 1915-16 as a writer for the Home Page of the Pasadena Daily News. Following her father’s death in 1900, Mrs. Abby T. Hughes joined her daughter and son-in-law in Pasadena, which she felt was the best compromise for proximity to her children in both the U.S. and abroad.
Mrs. Davis’ siblings also followed their father in the work of the church. Mamie, her oldest sister, married a Methodist missionary to India, although she died young under unknown circumstances, while her next-youngest sister Anne worked with a church relief organization in New York City. Mrs. Davis’ brother George joined the Methodist Episcopal ministry and established his own church in Corydon, Iowa, while her youngest sister, Jennie V. Hughes, enlisted in 1906 with the Women’s Foreign Missionary Service in China, serving for a number of years as Principal of the Knowles Bible Training School, Kiukiang, in affiliation with the Danforth Memorial Hospital.
0.25 linear feet (1 container)
Language of Materials
Eliza Anne Hughes Davis was an American Methodist who corresponded with women missionaries in China. The papers contain Mrs. Davis' incoming correspondence, including letters from Jennie V. Hughes that mention Ms. Hughes' work with the Women's Foreign Missionary Service in Kiukiang, China. In her capacity as Principal of the Knowles Bible Training School, Ms. Hughes directed an organization run exclusively by and for women, using the tenets of Methodism as a basis for training Chinese women in literacy and hygiene. The letters provide a glimpse into the reflections and responsiblilities of a female missionary and document the cultural and political conditionss in China following the Boxer Rebellion, including the Nanchang massacre in 1906.
Existence and Location of Copies
This collection has been microfilmed. When requesting reels for this collection, please request: “Women’s Lives, Series 3, American Women Missionaries and Pioneers Collection, reel(s) 1.”
Microfilms of this collection have been digitized. Digital images prepared from microfilm copies are available from Special Collections and University Archives, and available online through Gale’s Women's Studies Archive: Women’s Issues and Identities.
Collection processed by Bryan Duncan, July 2002.
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 Eliza Anne Hughes Davis papers
- Revise 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.