Scope and Content
Hummel Family History
Access to Collection
Processing Information note
Title: R. Stuart Hummel Family Papers
Identifier/Call Number: M1607
Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
Language of Material:
150.0 Linear feet
(259 manuscript boxes, 20 flat boxes and one map folder)
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1880-1976
Date (inclusive): 1860-2007
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.
[identification of item], R. Stuart Hummel Family Papers, M1607. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries,
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 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.
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.
Boxes 271, 272, 274, and 275 have been permanently removed from the collection.
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
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.
Nanjing (Jiangsu Sheng, China)--History.