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Guide to the R. Stuart Hummel Family Papers M1607
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Collection Details
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  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Content
  • Hummel Family History
  • Publication Rights
  • Separated Materials
  • Related Collections
  • Access to Collection
  • Sponsor Note
  • Processing Information note

  • Title: R. Stuart Hummel Family Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M1607
    Contributing Institution: Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 150.0 Linear feet (259 manuscript boxes, 20 flat boxes and one map folder)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1880-1976
    Date (inclusive): 1860-2007
    Abstract: The collection contains correspondence, diaries, photographs, and ephemera, documenting the Stuart and Hummel families' life and work in China as Methodist missionaries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It also contains materials relating to R. Stuart Hummel's work as a cryptographer for the Navy during World War II, as well as his work for the U.S. government in the Office of Chinese Affairs and the Office of Civil Defense.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], R. Stuart Hummel Family Papers, M1607. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Scope and Content

    These papers were compiled by R. Stuart Hummel over many years of collecting materials relating to his family history as well as materials relating to his own life and work. The collection contains extensive correspondence, photographs, and diaries, as well as ephemera, artwork, and audiovisual materials.
    We have arranged the collection into 15 series: Series I. Stuart Family Papers; Series II. Mildred Stuart Hummel and William F. Hummel Papers; Series III. Arthur W. Hummel Sr. Family Papers; Series IV. R. Stuart Hummel Personal Materials and Subject Files; Series V. R. Stuart Hummel Diaries; Series VI. R Stuart Hummel Correspondence; Series VII. R. Stuart Hummel Professional Materials; Series VIII. Genealogy; Series IX. Photographs; Series X. Artwork; Series XI. Audiovisual; Series XII. Publications; Series XIII. Muriel Boone; Series XIV. China Subject Files, and Series XV. Oversize.
    Throughout the collection, many of the files labeled miscellaneous, biographical, or subject files contain numerous photocopies of materials that may exist as originals elsewhere in the collection, usually in the correspondence files. R. Stuart Hummel carefully cross-referenced the collection by adding photocopies of originals to biographical and subject files in order to add greater context to these files. During processing, we only discarded photocopies if the original was clearly present within the same file.

    Hummel Family History

    R. Stuart Hummel’s grandfather, George A. Stuart (1858-1911), grew up in Iowa, attended Simpson College, and received an MD from Iowa College of Physicians and Surgeons. He began practicing medicine in Iowa and in 1882 married Rachel Anna Golden (1859-1949). Soon after the birth of their daughter Mildred (1884-1972), the couple left the United States to become Methodist missionaries in China.
    The Stuarts arrived in China in 1886 and traveled by steamship up the Yangtze River to Nanjing, where Dr. Stuart began work at the Methodist hospital under the direction of Dr. Robert C. Beebe, but was soon charged with building another hospital in the town of Wuhu. George helped design the new hospital, trained doctors and staff to serve the local population, and oversaw its operation for nearly ten years. In 1896, shortly after returning from a furlough during which he studied bacteriology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Stuart returned to Nanjing to establish a medical school at the University of Nanking (an institution that later merged with a number of others to form the present day Nanjing University). Dr. Stuart was soon appointed President of the University of Nanking, a position he held until 1908, when the family moved to Shanghai. While at the university and afterwards in Shanghai, he translated numerous religious and medical texts from English into Chinese, and towards the end of his life in 1911, he completed a substantial revision of F. Porter Smith's Chinese Materia Medica, a detailed description of Chinese herbs and their medical uses. While in China, Rachel Anna Golden gave birth to five more children who survived past infancy: George Golden (1889-NA); Alcy Orma (1890-1942); Anna May (1892-NA); Vera Alice (1896-1992); and Charles Melvin (1900-1989). The early education of the eldest children was provided informally by members of the local missionary community, but all the children later attended more established missionary schools in Nanjing and Shanghai. The family's life in China included frequent travel, particularly trips to the summer resorts popular with foreign citizens at Shansi and Kuling, as well as excursions to missionary conferences in the central China region.
    Although the Stuart family's correspondence reveals that much of their life in China was comfortable and quotidian, political events during this revolutionary period were never far from their minds. The anti-foreign and anti-missionary violence that accompanied the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 evidently caused anxiety amongst the Stuarts and their circle, but it appeared to have little direct impact on their life in Nanjing. Later, however, after Dr. Stuart's death, Rachel Anna Golden and her four younger children fled China to escape the violence that erupted during the 1911 Revolution. They returned to the U.S. and settled with George Golden, the Stuarts' eldest son, who was then living in Los Angeles.
    George Golden had left China earlier to attend Simpson College in Iowa. He later received a degree in optometry from the University of Southern California and returned to China to practice throughout the 1920s—first at the Peking Methodist Hospital and later in his own clinic, working in partnership with his sister Alcy's first husband Otto Rasmussen. Otto, also an optometrist and author of a number of books about Chinese history, reported in a 1929 article that while practicing in Tianjin one of his patients had been Puyi, the last emperor of China. In 1903, Mildred had also left China and travelled through Europe and the Middle East before attending Simpson College. After college, she returned to China to teach and continue missionary work. Soon after her return to Nanjing, she met William F. Hummel (1884-1976), who had recently graduated from the University of Chicago and had come to China to teach at the University of Nanking in 1908. William and Mildred were married in 1912, and together they had four children: R. Stuart; William Frederick Jr.; June; and Ruth Isabelle. All the children were born in China, except R. Stuart, who was born on September 30, 1915 in Los Angeles while the family was on furlough. The Hummels remained in China until March 1927, when they were forced to flee during the Nanking Incident. The incident occurred early during the Chinese Civil War, on March 24 when Communist forces seized control of Nanjing from the Nationalists. Looting began and foreign citizens were threatened with violence from both sides. British and American warships that had been stationed at Nanjing helped evacuate the refugees, including the Hummels, and the family safely returned to the U.S. and settled in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, William continued his education at the University of Southern California, and in 1931, he completed a Ph.D. in Chinese history, with a focus on the work of Chinese philosopher Kang Youwei. Afterwards, William taught at a number of different institutions in the Los Angeles area and also led lecture tours to Asia.
    R. Stuart Hummel attended Manual Arts High School and then UCLA and UC Berkeley, where he received his BA in Chinese and International Relations in 1939. While he was in college, he began dating Kathleen Merrett, whom he had known since high school, and the couple married on October 6, 1940.
    In 1941, R. Stuart was recruited by the U.S. Navy to study at the Japanese Language School at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After completing the one year program, he was sent to Pearl Harbor where he worked as a cryptographer, helping to decipher coded Japanese messages during the remainder of World War II. After the war, R. Stuart moved to Washington D.C. and joined the State Department, working in the Department of Chinese Affairs, where he was put in charge of overseeing U.S. information centers throughout Asia, as well as directing Chinese language broadcasts for Voice of America throughout the 1950s. In the early 1960s, Mr. Hummel took a new position with the office of Civil Defense, where he helped develop emergency preparation plans for Washington D.C. and other areas.
    R. Stuart retired from government work in 1970 and moved to Sonoma, CA, where he opened a book bindery and worked on compiling this collection until his death on December 16, 2007.
    Other significant figures represented in the collection:
    Arthur W. Hummel Sr.
    Twin brothers William F. Hummel and Arthur W. Hummel Sr. were born in Warrenton, Missouri on March 6, 1884. Both brothers attended Morgan Park Academy and the University of Chicago and both went on to work as missionaries in China. While in China, Arthur Sr. married Ruth Bookwalter and the couple had three children: Arthur Jr.; Sharman; and Carol. After living in China for thirteen years, Arthur Sr. returned to the U.S. with his family in 1928 and became the first Chief of the Orientalia Division at the Library of Congress, a position he held until 1954. During his tenure at the Library of Congress, Arthur Sr. developed one of the largest collections devoted to East Asian studies in the country. After his retirement, he continued to lecture and publish on Chinese history. Arthur Sr. died on March 10, 1975.
    Arthur F. Hummel Jr.
    Arthur W. Hummel Jr., U.S. Ambassador to China from 1981-1985, was born in China on June 1, 1920. The family left China in 1928 and settled in Washington DC, where Arthur Jr.'s father (Arthur Sr.) became Chief of the Orientalia Division of the Library of Congress. Arthur Jr. attended Antioch College and later studied at the College of Chinese Studies in Beijing. In 1941, while living in China, Arthur Jr. was interned by the Japanese military. In 1944, he escaped and joined the Chinese Nationalist forces in the fight against the Japanese. Soon after the end of the war, he returned to the U.S. and earned a master's degree in Chinese studies from the University of Chicago, before joining the Foreign Service in 1950.
    Prior to becoming the ambassador to China, he held a number of diplomatic positions, including ambassadorships to Burma, Ethiopia, and Pakistan, as well as the position of Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific.
    In his role as ambassador to China, Arthur Jr. is credited with improving the strained relationship that had developed between the U.S. and China in the early 1980s, particularly by negotiating a reduction in U.S. arms sales to Taiwan in exchange for Beijing's commitment to seeking peaceful reunification with Taiwan through diplomatic means. After his retirement, Arthur Jr. became director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. He died on February 6, 2001.
    Muriel Boone
    Muriel Boone was born in Shanghai in 1893 to a missionary family that was part of the Stuart and Hummel families' social circle. Muriel was sent to the U.S. for her education and graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1916. She returned to China to take up missionary work in 1917, where she remained for many years and lived through the Chinese Civil War as well as the Japanese invasion of 1936. During World War II, she served as a relief worker, helping refugees in Hunan province, but was finally compelled to leave China in 1942 as the dangers of the war became too great. Soon after the end of the war, she returned to China in 1946 to continue her missionary work. However, as the Communists Party came to power, it became difficult for her to continue her work, and she once again returned to the U.S. in 1950. Muriel Boone went on to write a number of books that recount her life and work in China, including The Seed of the Church in China (1973), Spring Bamboo (1976), and the unpublished Four Flags over China. She died in 1990.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Separated Materials

    Boxes 271, 272, 274, and 275 have been permanently removed from the collection.

    Related Collections

    Arthur William Hummel papers, 1905-1975, Brigham Young University;
    General Commission on Archives and History, the United Methodist Church, Drew University

    Access to Collection

    The materials are open for research use. Selected portions of this collection are being digitized and are expected to be available by the summer of 2012. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Sponsor Note

    Processing of this collection was made possibe by a generous gift from the R. Stuart Hummel estate.

    Processing Information note

    Collection processed by Joe Geller, Tim Noakes, Larry Scott, and Christy Smith.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Boone, Muriel, b. 1893
    District of Columbia. Office of Civil Defense.
    Hummel, Arthur W., (Arthur William), 1884-1975
    Hummel, Arthur W., Jr., 1920-2001
    Hummel, Mildred Stuart
    Hummel, R. Stuart, 1915-2007
    Hummel, Ruth B., (Ruth Bookwalter), 1888-1967
    Hummel, William F., 1884-1976
    Library of Congress. Asian Division.
    Stuart, Alcy Orma, 1890-1942
    Stuart, Anna May, b. 1892
    Stuart, Charles Melvin, 1900-1989
    Stuart, G. A., (George Arthur), d. 1911
    Stuart, George Golden, b. 1889
    Stuart, Rachel Anna Golden, 1859-1949
    Stuart, Vera Alice, 1896-1992
    United States. Dept. of State. Office of Chinese Affairs.
    United States. Navy. Japanese Language School.
    Cryptography--United States--History--20th century.
    Genealogy--Hummel family.
    Genealogy--Stuart family.
    Methodist Church--Missions--China.
    Missionaries--China--History--19th century.
    Missionaries--China--History--20th century.
    Missions, Medical--China.
    Nanjing (Jiangsu Sheng, China)--History.