Robert and Eva Tharp were both born in
China to missionary parents, and both took on missionary work in China individually and
after they married in 1938. After the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, Robert was imprisoned by
the Japanese, and after his release 8 months later the Tharps moved to India where they
worked as liaisons between Chinese and Indian citizens and for the British government. They
returned to China to continue their mission work, but were forced to flee to America in the
wake of the Communist takeover in 1949. In the United States, Robert worked as a Chinese
instructor for the Defense Language Institute and the Yale Institute for Far Eastern
Languages. The Tharps also opened Chinese restaurants in the Monterey area in the 1970s, and
were active in the Chinese community in the area. In 1994, Eva published Robert's
They Called Us White Chinese. The
collection consists of items related to both Robert and Eva's family and experiences in
China, their careers in the United States, and the publication of
Called Us White Chinese
Robert Tharp was born in 1913 to British missionary parents in the Jehol Province of
Manchuria. Evangeline (Eva) Kok was born in 1914 in Yunnan, China, to Dutch missionary
parents. In 1918, the family moved to Peking (Beijing), where her father served as the First
Chancellor of the Netherlands Legation in China. Eva attended the Peking American School,
graduating in 1931. She then attended the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and returned to
China to perform mission work after graduating in 1936.
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of
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This collection is open for research use.