|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
The collection is arranged in one series, roughly by format.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains material related to the Conference on American Relations with China held at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1925, and focused on issues such as extraterritoriality and tariff autonomy. Materials include correspondence, bulletins, notes, reports, outlines, transcripts, bibliographies, and draft material, including a draft of the published report of the conference. Some material retains handwritten notes and annotations.
Burke Library record group:
Missionary Research Library Archives: MRL6, China
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.
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.
Item description, MRL6: Conference on American Relations with China records, 1925, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
The Missionary Research Library Pamphlets (MRLP) collection has a number of printed copies of the papers that were presented at the conference; see MRLP folders 446, 488, 496, 537, 538, 539, and 597.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Formerly part of the independent Missionary Research Library (MRL), these records were accessioned by the Burke Library at the time of the MRL's closure in 1976.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed, and acidic items were photocopied on acid-free paper. Any items in an advanced state of deterioration were placed in Mylar envelopes. Some acidic documents from folder 13 were replaced with acid-free photocopies; the fragile originals were placed in folder 15. The finding aid was created by Gregory Adam Scott in 2010; reviewed and updated by Brigette Kamsler in 2014 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, at which time folder 16 was added; and edited by Leah Edelman in 2020.
2014-04-15 XML instance created by Cecile Queffelec.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2020-07-06 EAD spot checked and corrected and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The conference was initially planned for July of 1925, and soon involved a sponsoring committee of over 100 businesses, missionaries, and diplomatic leaders. Committee members included industrialist Owen D. Young, clergyman and broadcaster Rev. S. Parkes Cadman, lawyer and writer Raymond B. Fosdick, Catholic social justice advocate Msgr. John A. Ryan, and secretary of the International Missionary Council Abbe Livingston Warnshuis. The conference itself was open to 221 invited attendees, with Charles Richard Crane, former American Minister to China, serving as chairperson, and John Leighton Stuart, president of Yenching University, acting as speaker. Part of the impetus for the event was the Customs Conference scheduled to meet later that year in Beijing.
The Conference on American Relations with China was held at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland from September 17th to 20th, 1925. The conference opened with presentations by the only two Chinese speakers: Dr. Alfred Sao-ke Tse 施肇基 , Chinese Minister to the United States, and Kuo Ping-wen 郭秉文, president of Southeastern University in Nanjing. Their message to the conference was that China was suffering unjustly under treaties forced upon it by Western powers, and that unless the situation was addressed, the rising tide of nationalism would threaten the stability of international relations. Although the conference had initially intended not to publicize any opinions on the issues discussed, by the last day of the conference the attendees overwhelmingly voted to issue a statement. This came in spite of opposition from a group of business people at the conference. The final "expression in substance of the views of the conference" supported the abolition of extraterritoriality for foreign nationals in China, and the restoration of tariff autonomy to China. It also urged the United States to take a leadership role in enacting these reforms. Abbe Livingston Warnshuis, whose report as committee chair formed the basis for this opinion, defended these positions as part of a move toward equality between China and other nations.
A report on the conference was published in 1925 outlining the central issues of the event, and it reproduces both the papers presented at the conference, as well as the resolutions adopted at the close of the meeting: Conference on American Relations with China, American relations with China; a report of the Conference held at Johns Hopkins University, September 17-20, 1925, with supplementary materials, and arranged to be of use to discussion groups, current events clubs, and university classes (Baltimore, Md., Published for the Conference on American Relations with China by the Johns Hopkins Press, 1925).