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J. Stuart Innerst Papers
MSS 0097  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Innerst, J. Stuart, 1894-1975
    Title: J. Stuart Innerst Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1916 - 1975
    Extent: 4.90 linear feet (10 archives boxes, 1 card file box, 3 oversize folders)
    Abstract: Papers of J. Stuart Innerst (1894-1975), missionary, Quaker activist, editor, and critic of American foreign policy toward China. Innerst worked in China as a United Brethren in Christ missionary (1920-1927) and later returned as a guest of the People's Republic for five weeks in 1972. The bulk of the papers (1960-1975) relate to Innerst's lobbying and activist efforts to improve relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China and document that part of Innerst's career directly related to China. The materials are arranged into eight series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS, 4) ADVOCACY MATERIALS, 5) SUBJECT FILES, 6) PHOTOGRAPHS, 7) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, and 8) AUDIO RECORDINGS. Included in the correspondence are letters from Anna Louise Strong and letters written by Innerst as a missionary. Innerst edited the American Friends Service Committee's THE UNDERSTANDING CHINA NEWSLETTER (1965-1970) and the CHINA SPECTATOR PAPERS (1971-1973), which were posthumously published as CHINA GREY, CHINA GREEN (1983).
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0097
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    J. Stuart Innerst Papers, MSS 0097. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.


    J. Stuart Innerst was born in Dallastown, Pennsylvania, in 1894. He graduated from Lebanon Valley College, Annville, Pennsylvania, in 1916 and received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Bonebrake Theological Seminary, now the United Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, in 1919. He married Marion Reachard after graduation from college.
    Innerst began his experience and involvement with China as a missionary. On January 20, 1920, the Innersts entered China with the China Mission of United Brethren in Christ in Canton. They lived and worked in the small, rural town of Siulam where they became increasingly disturbed by the attitudes and actions of foreigners toward Chinese people. The Innersts experienced China in its transition to a modern state dominated by foreign imperialist powers. In the spring of 1927, the Innersts left China in protest of the "unequal treaties" imposed by foreign governments.
    Innerst returned to Ohio to become the chaplain at Otterbein College from 1927 to 1939, when he became the minister of Fairview Church in Dayton, Ohio. In 1943, Innerst left the ministry to become a Quaker and later served as pastor of the First Friends Church in Pasadena, California.
    During the 1960s, Innerst actively sought to change United States policy toward China. Between 1960-1961, he served as director of the Quaker's "Friend in Washington Program," and for thirteen months he lobbied and interviewed members of Congress regarding disarmament, peace, and improved relations with China. Concern for his wife's health forced his departure from Washington, but he returned briefly in 1963 and again in 1965.
    In 1965, Innerst coauthored the book A NEW CHINA POLICY: SOME QUAKER PROPOSALS, which argued for normalizing relations with China through the removal of restrictions and recognition of the communist government. Between 1965 and 1970, he edited the UNDERSTANDING CHINA NEWSLETTER published by the American Friends Service Committee. In 1968, Innerst travelled to the Far East, including Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore to meet with Quaker groups concerning the situation in China. Innerst influenced public opinion through community lectures, correspondence, and letters to newspaper editors.
    Innerst's service in the interest of world peace included participation in the American Friends Service Committee, the Peace Board of the California Yearly Meeting of Friends, and the Board of Peace and Social Concerns of the Five Years Meeting. He attended four conferences of the World Peace Council in Europe in the early 1960s and helped plan the 1962 Moscow World Congress on Disarmament and Peace.
    Innerst returned to China in May 1972 as a guest of the Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. As the first American missionary to be granted a visa to reenter China, Innerst spent five weeks visiting cities, historical sites, schools, hospitals, factories, and rural communes, focusing on the social changes achieved by the communist regime.
    After the death of Marion Innerst in October 1964, Stuart Innerst married Gladis Barber Voorhees and settled in La Jolla, California. From his home, he produced the CHINA SPECTATOR PAPERS (1971-1973), a newsletter which, after 1972, became an occasionally issued narrative which contrasted his China trip with recollections and insights from the 1920s. The last ten issues formed the basis of the book CHINA GREY, CHINA GREEN (1983), edited by family members and published posthumously.
    J. Stuart Innerst died at his home in La Jolla, California, on August 30, 1975.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The J. Stuart Innerst Papers relate almost exclusively to China and provide a unique perspective on the country's social and political changes in the twentieth century. They contain materials describing China during two discrete periods-- during the early 1920s, and later, during the 1960s and early 1970s. The bulk of the materials date from 1960-1975 and document Innerst's efforts to change and improve American attitudes and foreign policy toward the People's Republic of China. The materials include correspondence, writings, notes, publications edited by Innerst, photographs, and audio recordings. The collection is organized into eight series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS, 4) ADVOCACY MATERIALS, 5) SUBJECT FILES, 6) PHOTOGRAPHS, 7) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, and 8) AUDIO RECORDINGS.
    The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS contain several short sketches outlining Innerst's activities since 1960 as a Quaker, as well as a detailed article entitled "China Spectator," coauthored by Innerst. The obituary materials include newspaper articles and letters of condolence. Additionally, Innerst's public speaking activities during the 1960s and early 1970s are documented in the flyers and notices of his speaking events.
    The CORRESPONDENCE series is divided into two subseries, the first of which contains correspondence between Innerst and individuals interested in China. Many of the correspondents were other Quakers living in Pacific Rim countries. Of particular importance are the letters from Anna Louise Strong, an American journalist and advocate of communism who settled in Peking and enjoyed the acquaintance of Mao Tse-tung until her death in 1970. Materials in this series are organized alphabetically by author.
    The second subseries of CORRESPONDENCE is entitled Letter Book from China and comprises a collection of letters (1916-1923) from Marion and Stuart Innerst and the C.E. Burrises to the Reverend Rufus Lefever, a Brethren Church official who lived in Dayton, Ohio. The bulk of the letters was written by Stuart Innerst and reflects his experiences as a missionary in China.
    The WRITINGS series is arranged in two subseries, general and notebooks, and contains a variety of works on China policy including journal articles, short papers, written speeches, and rough notes. Although the bulk of the materials dates from 1960, there are two works from Innerst's missionary period-- "Paying the Price of Conviction" (1922) and "Next Things in China" (1926). The materials are arranged alphabetically by title. The second subseries also contains notebooks which Innerst created on his 1972 trip to China and during his 1968 trip to the Far East.
    The ADVOCACY MATERIALS series is divided into three subseries and documents Innerst's efforts to influence governmental and public opinion about China. The record of Innerst's individual meetings with Congressional representatives is contained in the "Lobby Materials" subseries. In addition, summaries of his activity during his association with the "Friend in Washington Program" are located in the "Washington Diary" folders. Materials from Innerst's involvement with the American Friends Service Committee's China Committee and his La Jolla-based "China Study Group" are also included in the series. Finally, published runs of newsletters which Innerst helped to edit and publish, especially the CHINA SPECTATOR PAPERS and the UNDERSTANDING CHINA NEWSLETTER, complete the series.
    The SUBJECT FILES series contains folders which aggregate newspaper clippings, broadsides, handwritten notes, and ephemera related to China. The materials are organized alphabetically by title.
    Among the materials in the PHOTOGRAPHS series are color slide images which Innerst made during his 1972 trip to China. Also included are black and white prints used to illustrate the book CHINA GREY, CHINA GREEN. Finally, there are several portrait images of Innerst.
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS contain memorabilia from Innerst's missionary experience in China during the 1920s: anti-imperialist propaganda cartoons and a Chinese newspaper.
    Audio cassette tapes comprise the bulk of the AUDIO RECORDINGS series. Innerst's trip to China is represented by two tapes of choral events, a discussion of his experience recorded after leaving China, recorded thoughts on China from a Quaker meeting, and the narration to accompany his slide presentation.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Innerst, J. Stuart, 1894-1975 -- Archives
    China -- Description and travel
    China -- History -- Republic, 1912-1949
    Photographic prints -- 20th century.