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Fry (Earl C.) - correspondence to his brother Richard A. Fry
M2775  
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Description
Collection of 288 letters, 699 manuscript pages, plus 4 postcards, and ephemera, both manuscript and typescript, most mailing envelopes retained, in very good, clean and legible condition, dated 1888-1946. Collection of letters from Earl C. Fry, minister of the American Christian Convention, and, for forty years one of its missionaries to Japan, to his brother Richard A. Fry, of Oregon, and later, San Jose, California. The Fry family were descendants of early Puritan settlers, raised in rural western Rhode Island, near Greene, Rhode Island. The family then moved West to Oregon. Earl Fry began preaching in the 1880's, he studied divinity at the Christian Bible Institute, in Stanfordville, New York. (CBI was founded by the American Christian Convention in Marshall, Michigan, in 1866, it moved to Stanfordville in 1872, and then relocated to Defiance College, in Defiance, Ohio in 1907). Fry then studied for half a year at Harvard, and for 2 ½ years in Union Theological Seminary, and studied the Japanese language with Methodist missionaries. Fry was ordained in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1890. He was next sent to Woodstock, Vermont, where he preached for several years before being appointed as a missionary to Japan. Beginning in 1895 he was stationed, with his wife Susan, in Sendai, Japan. In 1904 he and his wife were transferred to Utsunomiya, Japan, where Fry remained for the rest of his career as a missionary, retiring in 1935. Fry and his wife established the Christian Girls School of Utsunomiya, Susan Fry apparently purchased the land and erected the buildings with her own funds. Fry and his wife made periodic return trips to America while on furlough. Fry would make extended speaking tours throughout the United States, traveling from the west to New England and through the Southern states. Curiously, the Fry's apparently did not bring their daughter Annie with them to Japan, instead she was raised in America by family friends. The couple adopted an eight-month-old Japanese infant, Makisaburo "Maki" Kitazawa, in 1911. (There are several photo postcards of the young Maki in the collection). When Susan Fry died in 1928, she left the Girls School, its land and buildings to Maki. Fry continued to correspond with Maki after he left Japan, Maki went to India where he studied at Tagore's University, and was interred as a "Prisoner of War" in India, after his refusal to return to his native country. Fry was left-leaning politically, inclining towards Socialism. He was opposed to Fascism and the rising militarization of his beloved Japan. Fry's letters in the 1920's and 30's comment on the rise of each of these scourges, and he offers his brother the benefit of his forty-year experience in Japan in his comments. Fry retired from the ministry and mission in 1935, and from then until his death in 1946, resided in the home established for missionaries in Auburndale, Massachusetts. Fry often traveled to Boston and comments on political events there: anti-Fascist protests, the garment worker's strike, elections, lectures by Scott Nearing and others, etc. [From dealer description]
Extent
1 Linear Feet (2 manuscript storage boxes and 1 half manuscript storage box)
Restrictions
While Special Collections is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.
Availability
Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use. Audiovisual & born-digital materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.