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Warren Bartlett Seabury papers

Call Number: MS 790

Scope and Contents

The Warren Bartlett Seabury Papers are divided into five series: I. Family Correspondence; II. General Correspondence; III. Correspondence of Joseph Bartlett Seabury; IV. Writings; and V. Miscellany.

Series I, FAMILY CORRESPONDENCE, contains the letters written by Seabury to his family during 1904-1907, the period in which he was in China. The letters are weekly summaries of Seabury's work for the Yale Foreign Missionary Society and contain comments on his reactions to the Chinese people and culture. Subjects discussed at length include Seabury's efforts to purchase land for the Yale Mission and the founding of what was to become Yali Middle School. A single earlier letter, dated November, 1901, relates to Seabury's role in the founding and organization of the Yale Foreign Missionary Society.

Series II, GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, contains letters between Seabury and members of the Yale Foreign Missionary Society staff. Correspondents of note include: Harlan Page Beach, 1903-1907; Edward Bliss Reed, 1903-1907; John P. Rice, 1904-1906; Arthur C. Williams, 1901-1905.

Series III, CORRESPONDENCE OF JOSEPH B. SEABURY, contains letters between Warren Seabury's father and Yale Foreign Missionary Society staff members discussing Seabury's death and the establishment of a memorial fund.

Series IV, WRITINGS, contains twenty-five short essays and sketches written by Seabury between 1904-1907 on various aspects of his life in China. Also included is a copy of a class oration written at the Hartford Theological Seminary in 1903.

Series V, MISCELLANY, contains copies of Seabury's obituaries and memorials, several student essays corrected by Seabury, a draft copy of rules and regulations of the Yale Mission College edited in Seabury's hand, and a portrait of Seabury.


  • 1901-1936


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


Arranged in five series: I. Family Correspondence. II. General Correspondence. III. Correspondence of Joseph Bartlett Seabury. IV. Writings. V. Miscellany.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, essays and memorabilia of Warren Bartlett Seabury, a missionary in China who helped plan and organize the Yale Foreign Missionary Society. Correspondence with his family (1904-1907) and reports on his work for the Society and the founding of the Yali Middle School are included. Among his correspondents are Harlan Page Beach, Edward Bliss Reed. John P. Rice and Arthur C. Williams.

Biographical / Historical

Warren Bartlett Seabury, the son of Joseph Bartlett and Martha Daniels Seabury, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on September 17, 1877. After preparing for college at Hotchkiss, he entered Yale College as a member of the class of 1900. After graduation from Yale, Seabury enrolled at the Hartford Theological Seminary and received the B.D. degree in 1903. The following year was spent studying comparative religion at the Yale Graduate School where he received his M.A. in 1904.

While a student at the Hartford Theological Seminary, Seabury helped plan and organize the Yale Foreign Missionary Society, and after being ordained as a minister in 1904, he sailed for China to help organize the Yale Mission's educational work.

Seabury's first two years in China were spent studying Chinese in Hankow and negotiating the purchase of a mission site in Changsha. By November, 1906, he had succeeded in establishing the middle school in temporary quarters and begun teaching.

On July 29, 1907, while on a holiday vacation near Kuling, Seabury drowned in a swimming accident. For further information see the biography of Seabury, The Vision of a Short Life, by his father Joseph Bartlett Seabury (Cambridge, 1908).

Guide to the Warren Bartlett Seabury Papers
Under Revision
compiled by John Dojka
October 1977
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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