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Guide to the Clarke Family Papers, 1904-1968
Special Collections M0292  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Reference Materials

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Clarke Family Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1904-1968
    Collection number: Special Collections M0292
    Creator: Clarke family
    Extent: ca. 10 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    Gift of Ruth Elliott Johnson Clarke.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Clarke Family Papers, M0292, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biographical Note

    The daughter of Dr. Charles Fletcher Johnson and Agnes Elliott Johnson, Ruth Clarke was born on April 2, 1890 in Wei Hsien, Shantung, China where she quickly mastered Mandarin Chinese. She was educated at Miss Jewell's School in Shanghai which was also attended by Miss Pearl Buck. After visiting her Uncle Hosmer Johnson in Washington D.C., Ruth entered and graduated from Wilson College (Chambersburg, Pa.) in 1912. She then returned to Shanghai to accept a teaching position at Miss Jewell's.
    In 1916 Ruth Johnson accepted a new position in the Peking American School. It was there that she met J. Eric G. Clarke whom she married on June 21, 1916 in Tsinanfu, Shantung. The Rev. W. P. Chalfant officiated. Kathleen Clarke, Margaret Emma Johnson, Gerald Clarke and Hosmer F. Johnson were members of the wedding party Dating from this ceremony, the couple often signed their combined correspondence Rutheric. Following a brief honeymoon in Tai Shan, the couple returned to Peking where they resided for the next 16 years. During this period Mrs. Clarke made several trips to the United States where she exhibited many of the fabulous Oriental art treasures she had collected throughout her stay in China.
    Soon after the couple moved to Shanghai the threat of war between Japan and China became reality. Overnight, internment camps were set up for aliens like the Clarkes. Their homes were occupied by Japanese soldiers as soon as they were evacuated by the local Occupation authorities. From April 10, 1943 until a few weeks following the Japanese surrender to MacArthur on August 14, 1945, the Clarkes were confined at Lung Hwa Camp near Peking.
    Among the nearly 1800 interns at Lung Hwa were men and women from all professions and backgrounds. Although spirits were high during the first season at the camp, morale worsened during the winter--food became scarce and poorer in quality and the stoves which the Japanese installed on each floor of the ten dormitories were never lit. The cubicles they occupied were 4`8 by 22' long. Despite the difficult conditions they encountered at the camp, the Clarkes and their fellow inmates managed to maintain a high level of personal development which is reflected in the many activities enjoyed at the camp: lectures, plays, musical productions and many other kinds of intellectual stimulation. One of the most amusing highlights of their stay was the development of a game called Dictionary Please. Because of their limited reading material, the Clarkes designed a game which relied only upon the dictionary they brought with them and their active imaginations. The game was so successful that it became a partial livelihood following their return to America in 1946.
    Residing in Portland, Oregon, Mr. and Mrs. Clarke remained active socially and intellectually. Mrs. Clarke served as president of Zonta International and the Lewis and Clarke's Women's League. Mrs. Clarke now resides in Mountain View, California.

    Scope and Content

    Correspondence, photographs (of China), books and pamphlets about Chinese art, etc.

    Reference Materials

    1. Palmer, J.P.: Jade Spring Books; London, 1967.
    2. The Encyclopedia Sinica Couling, Samuel Kelly & Walsh; Shanghai, 1917.
    3. Thiel, albert W.R.: Chinese Pottery and Stoneware Thos. nelson & Sons; N.Y., N.D.
    4. Goette, John: Jade Lore Kelly & Walsh; Shanghai, 1936.
    5. Forsyth, Robb. Coventry: Shanting, The Sacred Province of China Christian Literature Society; Shanghai, 1912
    6. Graham, Dorothy: Through the moon Door J. H. Sears & Co.; N.Y., 1926.
    7. Brandt, J.: Introduction to Literary Chinese North China Union Language School; Peking, 1927.
    8. Weale, B.L. Putnam: The Vanished Empire Macmillan & Co.; London, 1926.
    9. Jennu, Delia: Letter from Peking Oxford UP; London, 1967.
    10. Busheel, Stephen W.: Chinese [UNK] V. I Eyre & Spottiswoode; London, 1909.
    11. Smith, Arthur H.: Chinese Characteristics 3rd ed. Fleming H. Revell Co.; n.y., 1894.
    12. Grubb, Norman P.: C.T.Studd, Cricketer & Pioneer Religious Tract Society; London, 1933.
    13. Martin, W.A.P.: The Siege in Peking Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier; Edinburgh, 1900.
    14. Lymn, Jermyn Chi-Hung: Social Life of The Chinese in Peking China Booksellers; Peking, 1928.
    15. Strong, [UNK] [UNK]: a Sketch of Chinese Cuts & Crafts China Bhsellers; Peking, 1926.