Biographies are developed by PHC volunteers and staff from original research and from various published sources. This list is constantly being updated. Corrections and additional materials, such as photos or drawings will be made from time to time. There also is a missionary biographical listing being prepared for this web site. Eventually, there will be a master alphabetic combined index of ministers and missionaries to aid in searches. Thanks for your patience. Please email additional information or pictures to the PHC.
Biographical Index of Missionaries China (alphabetic listings to come)
Presbyterian Church U.S. Missionaries to China - Early Pioneers
Other pages - PCUS China Missionaries 1900 - 1920
Sources for information regarding mission personnel is given in italics. Major sources are the following:
- Arnold, Frank L., Long Road to Obsolescence: A North American Mission to Brazil. (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2008)
- Brown, Arthur Judson, One Hundred Years. (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1936)
- Brown, George Thompson, Earthern Vessels & Transcendent Power: American Presbyterians in China, 1837-1952. (Maryknoll, NY.: Orbis Books, 1997)
- Cogswell, James A., No Turning Back: A History of American Presbyterian Involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1833-2000. (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2007)
- Latourette, Kenneth Scott, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, Vol. V- VI. (New York, London: Harper & Brothers, 1944)
- Moffett, Samuel Hugh, A History of Christianity in Asia, Vol. II: 1500-1900. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2003)
- Nevin, Alfred, Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. 1884.
- Presbyterian Church U.S.A. General Assembly Minutes, 1789-1861, various volumes.
- Scott, Rev. E.C., Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U.S., 1861-1941.
- Sweet, William Warren, The Story of Religion in America (New York & London, Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1939)
- Thompson, Ernest Trice, Presbyterians in the South, Volume One, 1607-1861. (Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1963)
Some of the Early Presbyterian Missionaries to China
Following the pioneer missionary work of Scottish Presbyterian missionary Robert Morrison, begun in 1807, and the arrival of the first American missionary, Rev. Elijah Coleman Bridgman in 1830, plans for American Presbyterian missionary work in China began in 1837. The first missionary appointees “were instructed to visit different points in the eastern archipelago and on the continent for the purpose of acquiring the most definite information for the best location of the mission.” A.J. Brown, 274. There were more than 1700 Presbyterian missionaries to China and Taiwan over the decades, including ministers, teachers and medical personnel. We will be making this large list sorted by alphabetic pages due to the size.
MITCHELL, Rev. John A.
(1805 - October 2, 1838)
SINGAPORE. One of first American Presbyterian missionaries sent to serve in China, sailing from New York on December 9, 1837. However, after arriving in Singapore on April 6, 1838, for language study, he died on October 2, 1838, less than six months after he arrived, the first of many China missionary martyrs. He was born in Tennessee circa 1805. G.T. Brown, 348,14,24.
ORR, Rev. & Mrs. Robert W. (Eliza Carter)
(January 18, 1808 - March 30, 1857)
SINGAPORE, AMOY. One of first American Presbyterian missionary couples sent to serve in China sailing from New York on December 9, 1837, with rev. Mitchell. The Orrs arrived in Singapore on April 6, 1838. They lost their infant daughter who died in September 1838. The Orrs later had health issues and they returned to the U.S. in July 1841.
Robert W. Orr graduated from Jefferson College (1829 - 1833) and then studied
at Western Theological seminary in Allegheny from 1833 - 1836) and one session at Princeton Theological Seminary. The Presbytery of Bedford ordained him an evangelist in 1837. Later that year, he sailed with his wife of three months to Singapore. After returning, Reverend Orr served as principal of the Clarion (Co., Pennsylvania) Academy from 1842 - 1844, when he joined the faculty of Jefferson College. He was professor of Civil Engineering and Natural History in Jefferson College, a Presbyterian college. In 1845, he was chosen pastor of the Centre Presbyterian Church in Peters Township. He served until 1852, supervising the construction of a new church building in 1851. In 1854, Reverend Robert W. Orr was elected the first county school superintendant of Clarion County in June 1854, serving until his death on March 30, 1857. G.T. Brown, 349, 14, 24.
McBRYDE, Rev. & Mrs. Thomas Livingstone D.D. (Mary W. McCleskey, Athens, GA)
(February 27, 1817 - April 15, 1863)
SINGAPORE, AMOY. Born Hamburg (Cambridge), SC, Feb. 27, 1817. Graduated from Franklin College, Athens, GA, in 1836 and from Columbia Theological Seminary in Columbia, SC, in 1839. Ordained Charlston Presbytery. Reverend McBryde received his Doctorate of Divinity from Due West (SC) College (later known as Erksine College) in 1859. He married Mary W. McCleskey on November 24, 1839, in Athens, Georgia. Evangelistic missionaries in Singapore and Amoy, 1840-1842. After reaching Amoy, resigned because of ill health. Served churches in South Carolina 1842-1863 Providence, Rocky River and Hopewell Presbyterian churches. Died April 15, 1863, in Pendleton, SC. G.T.Brown, 347, 24,25,28,29,369n11. Scott, 444.
HEPBURN, Dr. & Mrs. James C. (Clara Leete)
(March 13, 1815 - 1911)
SINGAPORE, AMOY; JAPAN. (1815-1911) Born in Milton, PA Mar. 13, 1815. Graduated Princeton College 1832, University of Pennsylvania Medical School 1836. Married Oct. 18, 1840. Appointed by BFM as missionaries to Siam, sailing on Mar. 15, 1841. Arriving at Singapore July 12, they were detained for work among Chinese. When five ports of China were opened after the Opium War, in 1843, they moved to Macao and then Amoy. His health broke and they returned to U.S. in 1845, where he resumed medical practice in New York City. When his health was restored, they were appointed in 1859 by Presbyterian Board for service in Japan, where they were first Presbyterian missionaries. Arrived Yokohama Oct. 18, 1859. Served in Yokohama for 33 years, doing outstanding work as physician, linguist, educator, and church builder. Produced first English/Japanese and Japanese/English lexicon. In 1888 completed first translation of Bible into Japanese. In 1867 Mrs. Hepburn opened first Christian school for girls in Japan. Dr. Hepburn retired in 1892, died in 1911. G.T. Brown, 342,24,29,364n10. Iglehart, Charles W., A Century of Protestant Christianity in Japan. (Rutland, VT, Tokyo, Japan: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1959)32-38,59-60,70,83. Latourette,VI 383. A.P. Brown, 691f.
LOWRIE, Rev. & Mrs. Walter Macon
(February 18, 1819 - August 18, 1847)
CANTON, NINGBO, Son of first Corresponding Secretary of Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. A graduate of Jefferson College in Pennsylvania and Princeton Theological Seminary, Rev. Walter M. Lowrie (shown at right) became an evangelistic missionary in Canton and Ningbo, 1842-1847. He began a Bible translation in Chinese. On August 18, 1847, when returning from Shanghai convention for revising Chinese translation of Scriptures, drowned during pirate attack on his small vessel. Memorial stone was erected in Ningbo. G.T. Brown, 346,24,25,28-33,37,38,118,365n28.
COLE, Mr. & Mrs. Richard
NINGBO. A printer, Richard Cole performed publishing work at Ningbo, 1843-1847, and 1848 - 1852 in Hong Kong. Separated from ABCFM because of personal conduct reportedly, he later served with London Missionary Society in Canton. G.T. Brown, 337, 29,32,33,365n26.
HOLLAND, Mr. & Mrs. Ira H. (Beverly Myers)
TSINAN. Higher education work in Tsinan, 1843 - 1850. G.T. Brown, 343.
BROWN, Rev. Hugh Arbuthnot
(December 20, 1819 - April 18, 1908)
AMOY. Born St. Clairsville, OH, Dec. 20, 1819. Wife Matilda Cowen Little, Winchester,VA July 11, 1850; died Feb. 9, 1901. Reverend Hugh A. Brown graduated from Jefferson College 1840 and Princeton Theological Seminary in 1844. Licensed in 1843 and ordained 1844, Rev. Brown served as an evangelistic missionary in Amoy, 1844-1848. After his return to U.S. because of health, the Amoy Mission was suspended. He served churches in Indiana, Virginia, Illinois from 1848 - 1908. He died in Saxe, VA, on April 18, 1908. G.T. Brown, 336. Scott, 85.
CULBERTSON, Rev. & Mrs. Michael S.
(1819 - August 28, 1862)
NINGBO, SHANGHAI. Michael Culbertson went to the University of Georgia until being accepted at West Point. He graduated from West Point Academy and served as a captain in the U.S. Army until he resigned to go to Theological Seminary. He then entered the missionary service doing translation work in Ningbo and Shanghai, 1844 - 1862. Designed first church building at Ningbo. In 1850, transferred to Shanghai to be Presbyterian delegate on Bible translation committee. Bible translation completed in 1862. Few months later, he died on the field during cholera epidemic. G.T. Brown, 338,29,31,34,37,39,42,55.
HAPPER, Rev. Dr. Andrew Patton, D.D. & M.D.
(October 20, 1818 - October 27, 1894)
CANTON. Medical and higher educational work in Canton, 1844 - 1894. Helped found Christian College in Canton and named its first president in 1886. Later known as Lingnan University, it was the leading Christian institution for higher education in South China.
The Rev. Dr. Andrew P. Happer (shown at right) was born October 20, 1818, in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. He died on October 27, 1894, in Wooster, Ohio. He graduated from Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, the Western Theological Seminary and an M.D. from the university of Pennsylvania. In 1844, he was ordained by the Presbtery of Ohio.
He sailed for Canton on June 22, 1844, from New York and arrived on October 22, 1844 in Canton. On November 11, 1847, he married Elizabeth Ball (October 24, 1829 - December 29, 1865). He and his wife left China in December 1854. He returned in 1859. In 1862, a Presbyterian church was established in Canton, where he served as pastor. He continued teaching and running a school. After his wife died in Dec. 1865, he later remarried on Oct. 6, 1869, to Miss A.L. Elliott ( - Oct. 10, 1873), who died in 1873. He married his third wife, Hannah J. Shaw, on March 18, 1875. G.T. G.T. Brown, 342, 29,35,53,71,87. Latourette VI, 307.
HAPPER, Mrs. Elizabeth Ball
(October 24, 1829 - December 29, 1865)
CANTON. Daughter of Rev. Dyer Ball of ABCFM. Married Dr. Happer on Nov. 11, 1847. Served as evangelistic missionary in Canton, 1847 - 1865. Died in China. G.T. Brown,342, 35,365n35.
LLOYD, Rev. John
(October 1, 1813 - December 6, 1848)
AMOY. Evangelistic missionary in Amoy, 1844 - 1848. He worked two years on an Amoy Vocabulary manuscript which later was used in later translation work. Died of typhus fever on the field. He was born Oct. 1, 1813, in McConnelstown, Pennsylvania. He graduated in September 1839 from Jefferson College. He went to Princeton Theological Seminary. He was licensed by the Presbytery of New York in April 1844 and ordained in 1845 by the Presbytery of Huntington. He sailed for China on June 22, 1844, and arrived in Amoy on Dec. 6,1844. G.T. Brown, 345, 29.
LOOMIS, Rev. & Mrs. Augustus W.
NINGBO. Evangelistic missionaries in Ningbo, 1844 - 1850. He took charge of printing press after Cole’s departure. She conducted Girls’ School. In 1859 took charge of work among Chinese in California. G.T. Brown, 345, 29, 31. A.P. Brown, 1022.
McCARTEE, Divie Bethune, MD
(January 13, 1820 - July 17, 1900)
NINGBO, CHEFOO. Medical missionary in Ningbo and Chefoo, 1844 - 1872. Came to Ningbo in 1844, first resident Protestant missionary. “One of the most versatile missionaries ever appointed by BFM. In addition to his skill as a medical practitioner, McCartee was linguist, writer, preacher, and diplomat. Every aspect of the mission program claimed his attention: the chapel preaching, the press, the schools, and the writing of Christian literature and hymns.” Served as U.S. Consul in Ningbo. Resigned from mission in 1872, but resumed his connection with the Board in 1888 engaging in teaching and translating tracts. From 1873 - 1877, he served on the faculty of the Imperial University of Tokyo as Professor of Law and Natural Science. He returned to Shanghai in the consular service for the U.S., but later returned to Japan as part of the Chinese Delegation.
McCartee was born on Jan. 13, 1820, in Philadelphia. His father was Presbyterian minister Robert McCartee. In 1853, Divie B. McCartee married Joanna M. Knight (both shown at right toward the end of the 19th century). He died in San Francisco in San Francisco on July 17, 1900. G.T. Brown, 347, 6,29-32,47,55-56,60,70,364n18. Robert E. Speer, ed., A Missionary Pioneer in the Far East: A Memorial of Divie Bethune McCartee (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1922)
McCARTEE, Mrs. Divie B. (Joanna M. Knight)
( - December 31, 1920)
NINGBO, CHEFOO. Educational missionary in Ningbo and Chefoo, 1852 - 1872. First single woman appointed by BFM. Married Dr. McCartee in 1853. She died in Englewood, NJ, on Dec. 31, 1920. G.T. Brown, 347, 364n18.
WAY, Rev. & Mrs. Richard Q. (Susan Quarterman)
(December 20, 1819 - August 19, 1895)
NINGBO, SHANGHAI. Born Liberty Co., GA, Dec. 20, 1819. Medical student, Univ. GA, 1836-39; Columbia Seminary, 1840 - 1843. Transferred from Siam to China in 1844. Evangelistic missionaries in Ningbo and Shanghai, 1844 - 1859. Served churches in Georgia, 1859 - 1893, including Savannah's Second Presbyterian Church. G.T. Brown, 353,29,30,369n11. Scott, p. 756. 1844 GA Minutes.
FRENCH, Rev. John B.
(September 26, 1822 - November 30, 1858)
CANTON. Evangelistic missionary in Canton, 1846 - 1858. Born in Georgetown, D.C., John B. French graduated from Columbia College in Washington and Princeton Theological Seminary. He died aboard a ship returning to the U.S. on Nov. 30, 1858. G.T. Brown, 340,35,53.
QUARTERMAN, Rev. John Way
( - October 13, 1857)
NINGBO. Rev. John W. Quarterman graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary. He was appointed as an evangelistic missionary in Ningbo, 1846 - 1857. He served as assistant and later principal at a boys' school. He died on Oct. 13, 1857. G.T. Brown, 349, 33, 369n11.
SPEER, Rev. & Mrs. William (Cornelia Breckenridge & Elizabeth Ewing), D.D., LL.D.
(April 24, 1822 - February 16, 1904) & ( - 1847)
MACAU, CANTON. He graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio in 1840. He graduated from Western Theological Seminary in 1846, and was ordained on June 16, 1846. Reverend Speer served as evangelistic missionary in Macau and Canton, 1846 - 1850. Mrs. Carnelia B. Speer died in 1847 and was buried in Macau. He returned to U.S. in 1850, serving with the Presbyterian Board of Education. Rev. Speer arrived in San Francisco in November 1852 and served as the founding pastor to the Presbyterian Chinese Mission Church in San Francisco, the first Asian Christian Church in North America. He edited a Chinese and English language newspaper. He served as Secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Education from 1865 - 75. Rev. Speer and his second wife was Elizabeth Ewing, both shown at right. G.T. Brown, 351, 35. A.P. Brown, 1021.
RANKIN, Rev. & Mrs. Henry V. (Mary Knight)
NINGBO, CHEFOO. Evangelistic missionaries in Ningbo and Chefoo, 1848-1863. G.T. Brown, 349, 34,48.
WIGHT, Rev. & Mrs. Joseph K. (Elizabeth VanDyke)
NINGBO, SHANGHAI. Evangelistic missionaries in Ningbo and Shanghai, 1848 - 1857. Began American Presbyterian work in Shanghai. G.T. Brown, 354, 37.
COULTER, Rev. & Mrs. Moses (Carolyn Crowe)
NINGBO. Publishing work at Ningbo, 1849 - 1852. He died on the field. Mrs. Coulter continued to serve until 1854. G.T. Brown, 338, 34.
MARTIN, Rev. & Mrs. Samuel N.D. (Margaret Wylie)
NINGBO. Evangelistic missionaries in Ningbo, 1850-1858. G.T. Brown, 346.
MARTIN, Rev. & Mrs. William A.P. (Julia Vansant)
(1827 - 1916)
NINGBO, PEKING. Brother of Samuel Martin. Evangelistic and educational missionaries in Ningbo and Peking, 1850-1916. In 1858 helped to negotiate treaty that ended Second Opium War. Began Protestant work in Peking. Established school for boys. Published lectures on Christianity that were also translated into Japanese and Korean. Granted rank of Mandarin of Second Class, and became one of most influential advisors to reform-minded Chinese officials. Named dean of Imperial University of Peking 1869 - 1895. “He has been called the founder of modern state education in China.” One of the organizers of the International Reform Bureau, which promoted high moral standards and a new Chinese war on opium. G.T. Brown, 346, 6,34,45,60,70,75-76 125, 131, 133, 140, 157, 308,320,376n48. Latourette,VI 308. Moffett, 480f. Ralph R. Covell, W.A.P. Martin, Pioneer of Progress in China. (Washington, D.C.: Christian University Press, 1978)
FRENCH, Mrs. Mary Ball
CANTON. Educational missionary in Canton, 1851-1859. G.T. Brown, 340,35.
BYERS, Rev. & Mrs. John (Margaret)
( - March 7, 1853)
SHANGHAI. Evangelistic missionaries in Shanghai 1852 - 1853. His health failed, died at sea on March 7, 1853, onboard the Ship Nestorian returning to U.S. G.T. Brown, 336, 38.
LOWRIE, Rev. Reuben P.
(November 24, 1827 - April 26, 1860)
SHANGHAI. Younger brother of Walter M. Lowrie. He graduated from the University of New York and Princeton Theological Seminary. Inspired by his brother’s martyrdom, volunteered for service in China. Evangelistic missionary in Shanghai, 1854-1860. Died in the field on April 26, 1860. G.T. Brown, 346, 38,52.
LOWRIE, Mrs. Reuben P.(Amelia Tuttle)
SHANGHAI. Women’s work in Shanghai, 1854 - 1960. After her husband’s death, returned to China with her son James to do women’s work in Peking, 1883 - 1907. G.T. Brown, 346, 135.
KERR, Dr. John G.
(1824 - 1901)
CANTON. Medical missionary in Canton, 1854 - 1901. Headed Canton Christian Hospital. Translated numerous medical texts. Established refuge for the insane. In 1887, Dr. Kerr (believed to be pictured at right) was elected first president of the Chinese Medical Missionary Association. G.T. Brown, 344, 36, 71, 77, 88, 201, 220, 223, 225, 227, 235, 390n38.
KERR, Mrs. John G. (Abby Kingsley)
CANTON. Medical missionary in Canton, 1854 - 1855. Died on the field. G.T. Brown, 344,36,88.
NEVIUS, Rev. & Mrs. John Livingston (Helen Sanford Coan)
(1829 - 1893) & (1833 - 1910)
NINGBO, CHEFOO. Evangelistic missionaries in Ningbo and Chefoo, 1854 - 1893. Developed Nevius Plan for churches to be self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating – the “Three-Self Church”. Visited Korea in 1890 to share his methodology, and Nevius Plan became guiding principle for Presbyterian work in Korea. After death of Rev. Nevius in 1893, Mrs. Nevius continued literacy work until her death in 1910. G.T. Brown, 348, 50-52,54,70,72,84-85,96,125,317. Latourette,VI 308. Helen C. Nevius, The Life of John Livingston Nevius, for forty years a missionary in China. (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1895).
PRESTON, Rev. & Mrs. Charles F. (Mary Byrne)
CANTON. Evangelistic missionaries in Canton, 1854 - 1877. “Preston became a master at preaching in the local dialect, preaching daily at one of the city chapels.” G.T. Brown, 349, 36.
MILLS, Rev. & Mrs. Charles R. (Rose McMaster)
TENGCHOW, CHEFOO. Evangelistic/educational missionaries in Tengchow, then Chefoo, 1857 - 1895. They lost three children during cholera epidemic in 1862. Fourth child was deaf. Mrs. Mills died in 1874. Later Rev. Mills married Charlotte Thompson, teacher at School for the Deaf in Rochester, NY. This led to founding of Chefoo School for the Deaf, which led to furthering the cause of deaf/mute education throughout China. G.T. Brown, 348, 55,61,230.
KERR, Mrs. John G. (Isabella Moseley, Virginia)
CANTON. Married Dr. Kerr, 1858. Medical missionary in Canton, 1858 - 1885. Died on the field. G.T. Brown, 344,369n11.
GAYLEY, Rev. Samuel R.
( - July 26, 1862)
SHANGHAI, TENGCHOW. Evangelistic missionary in Shanghai and Tengchow, 1856 - 1862. Died on July 26, 1862. G.T. Brown, 341, 48,54,55,56.
GAYLEY, Mrs. Sara Mills
SHANGHAI, TENGCHOW. Evangelistic missionary in Shanghai and Tengchow, 1856 - 1862. G.T. Brown, 341.
GAMBLE, Mr. William
(1830 - 1886)
SHANGHAI. Born in Ireland, William Gamble was appointed as a missionary to China in 1858 by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. He arrived on June 13, 1858, in Hongkong and proceeded to Ningbo. He remained there until 1862, when he moved his printing operations to Shanghai. He supervised publishing work in Shanghai until 1869. He developed typographical inventions to improve Chinese movable type printing. He invented the cutting characters on boxwood and making plates from these characters by electrotype. He then made matrices by the hundreds, instead of singly, as in an older method. Characters produced by the new process, known as "Gamble's Characters," were clearer and also retained more of the original calligraphic effect. It was now possible to reduce the face of the type, without loss of clarity, and this small type made it feasible to print the whole Bible in Chinese within one volume. Presbyterian Press became the most widely known and respected printing establishment in China. G.T. Brown, 341,49.
DANFORTH, Rev. & Mrs. Joshua A.
(18## - ##) (1838 - September 13, 1861)
SHANGHAI, TENGCHOW. The Danforths arrived in Shanghai on December 21, 1859. They served as evangelistic missionaries in Shanghai and Tengchow, 1859 - 1863. Mrs. Danforth died in 1861. G.T. Brown, 338, 54,369n11.
FARNHAM, Rev. John M. W.
SHANGHAI. Educational missionary in Shanghai, 1859 - 1917. Developed outstanding education program for both boys and girls. G.T. Brown, 340, 49,52,61,179.
FARNHAM, Mrs. Mary Scott
SHANGHAI. Educational missionary in Shanghai, 1859 - 1913. Died on the field. G.T. Brown, 340.
GREEN, Rev. & Mrs. David D.
NINGBO, HANGCHOW. Evangelistic missionaries in Ningbo and Hangchow, 1859 - 1872. He died on the field. G.T. Brown, 341, 72.
MORRISON, Rev. & Mrs. William T. (Mary Arms)
NINGBO, PEKING. Evangelistic missionaries in Ningbo and Peking, 1860 - 1869. He died on the field in 1869; she continued to serve until 1876. G.T. Brown, 348.
CONDIT, Rev. & Mrs. Ira M. (Laura E. Carpenter)
CANTON. Served 1860 - 1865. In 1865, he became Superintendent of work among Chinese and Japanese in California. She died in 1866. He resumed the work in California in 1870, serving until his death in 1915. Author of "The Force of Missions in New China." A.P. Brown, 1022ff., 1110.
DODD, Rev. Samuel
NINGBO, HANGCHOW. Evangelistic missionary in Ningbo and Hangchow, 1861 - 1878. G.T. Brown, 339, 53,72,108.
DODD, Mrs. Samuel Green
NINGBO, HANGCHOW. Women’s work in Ningbo and Hangchow, 1864 - 1878. G.T. Brown, 339.