Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
 

Erwin Hart Richards correspondence, 1905 -- 1907

Summary Information

Abstract

Erwin Hart Richards was a Congregational missionary for thirty-three years in South East Africa. The collection consists of correspondence from the period when Richards was treasurer of the Board of Foreign Missions for the Methodist Episcopal Church.

At a Glance

Bib ID 4492525 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Richards, E. H. (Erwin Hart), 1851-1928
Title Erwin Hart Richards correspondence, 1905 -- 1907
Physical Description 0.5 linear feet (0.5 linear feet; 1 box)
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection may contain some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.

Onsite storage.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is organized in one series arranged in original order.

Description

Scope and Contents

This collection contains copies of the correspondence sent by Erwin Hart Richards as treasurer of the district of Inhambane serving with the Board of Foreign Missions for the Methodist Episcopal Church based in New York City. Richards also provided an index organized alphabetically at the beginning of the volume. Topics of discussion include mailing mission papers and publications; acknowledging receipt of letters; and ways to raise money. The correspondence is quite detailed and includes some personal reflections on the people of Africa. Some correspondence is written by Mary McClelland Richards, the third wife of Richards.

  • Erwin Hart Richards correspondence, 1905 -- 1907

    This series contains copies of the correspondence sent by Erwin Hart Richards as treasurer of the district of Inhambane serving with the Board of Foreign Missions for the Methodist Episcopal Church based in New York City. Richards also provided an index organized alphabetically at the beginning of the volume. Topics of discussion include mailing mission papers and publications; acknowledging receipt of letters; and ways to raise money. The correspondence is quite detailed and includes some personal reflections on the people of Africa. Some correspondence is written by Mary McClelland Richards, the third wife of Richards.

Burke Library record group:

Missionary Research Library Archives: MRL1, Africa

Using the Collection

Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Conditions Governing Access

This collection may contain some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.

Onsite storage.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.

Preferred Citation

Item description, MRL1: Erwin H. Richards Papers, 1905-1907, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Related Materials

Erwin H. Richards Papers, 1850-1994, Oberlin College Archives.

Ira E. Gillet Papers, MSS 259, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.

Custodial History

Three diaries written by Richards were noted missing in May 2004. The diaries were from May-Dec 1881; May–Dec 1894; and 1899-1900.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Processing Information

Material was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-07-18. The correspondence book was wrapped in acid-free tissue and tied with acid-free cotton tying tape. The finding aid was created by Brigette C. Kamsler in 2011 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2020.

Revision Description

2020-08-11 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Diaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Congregational churches -- Missions Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Missionaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Missions -- Africa, Southern Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Erwin Hart Richards was born to Samuel Newton and Mary Hart Richards on May 4, 1851 in Orwell, Ohio. He received his education at Oberlin College with an A.B. in 1877 and an A.M. in 1880. Richards then attended Andover Theological Seminary where he received a degree in Sacred Theology in 1880. He was awarded an honorary D. Div. in 1897 from the University of New Orleans. Richards spent most of his life as a missionary in South East Africa, serving for thirty-three years with the Foreign Missionary Board of the Congregational Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church. He worked with the Zulu and Tonga tribes in Natal and Inhambane (now Mozambique). Richards founded the East Central Africa Mission in 1890; committed the Tonga language to written text in 1883-1884; founded 64 churches and schools across South East Africa; and translated the Bible and hymns into various African dialects. Richards was married three times. His first wife was Mattie A. Bebout, whom he married in 1880. He married his second wife, Carrie A. Duncanson, in 1883. His married his third and final wife, Mary Jane McClelland, on October 25, 1903. Erwin Richards retired in 1908, settling in Oberlin, Ohio in 1911. He died in 1928.