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Gulick Family Papers

Call Number: RG 299

Scope and Contents

The Gulick Family Papers, 1840-1964, primarily document the missionary life of John Thomas Gulick and the scientific career of Addison Gulick. In addition, there are materials from Peter Johnson Gulick (John's Father), Fannie Hinckley Thomas Gulick, Emily Gulick, Orramel H. Gulick, Julia A. E. Gulick and Frances A. S. Gulick.

Much of the material is comprised of personal correspondence between family and friends but much of these letters document the history of 19th century missionary work in China, Japan and Hawaii. In addition to the personal letters are many publications, poems, sermons, collected publications, copies of letters and personal effects. Addison Gulick was not a missionary but a prominent scientist at the University of Missouri. His major contribution to this collection is a biography of his father John Thomas Gulick. Also, Addison Gulick should be credited for his preservation efforts of many letters that John T. Gulick wrote to prominent evolutionary scientists of the 19th century - most notable are George Romanes and Charles Darwin. The original letters are not part of this collection but many copies have been included. Also, Addison Gulick was responsible for making sure that John T. Gulick's writings and shell collection were placed into the hands of museums and depositories for preservation and research and the locations of these are documented throughout Addison's papers.

Generally, the collection is personal in nature and documents the private lives of the Gulick family. However, many of the Gulicks had prominent public lives and so the personal nature of the material offers a private view of their many public accomplishments. The bulk of the papers originate before 1923, which is the year that John T. Gulick died. After this date, the collection primarily reflects the life of Addison Gulick.


  • 1840 - 1964


Conditions Governing Access

The material is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Andover Newton Theological School, 2017


Series I. Gulick Family Letters and Writings

Series II. Addison Gulick Papers

Series III. John T. Gulick Papers


6.5 Linear Feet (16 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The Gulick Family Papers, 1840-1964, primarily document the scientific and missionary life of John Thomas Gulick (1833-1923) in Japan and China and the scientific career of his son Addison Gulick who was Professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri from 1912 to 1952.

Biographical / Historical

John T. Gulick was born in Waimea, Hawaii in 1832 and died in Honolulu in 1923. He was a Congregational minister and missionary to Japan and China. He was educated at Williams College (1859) and Union Theological Seminary (1861). His life is a very colorful one ranging from gold miner in 1849 to evolutionary scientist.

In the area of science, John T. Gulick was very well known and respected. He published in such well known periodicals as Nature and Journal of the Linnean Society. He is credited for converting George Romanes, a prominent evolutionist of the 19th century, to Christianity. His best known scientific theory is that of evolutionary divergence through the influence of segregation. Gulick was drawn to the area of evolutionary science through his collection of a species known as Achatinellidae.

In the area of Christian missions, he was also quite well known. He was raised in a missionary family and his father, Peter Johnson Gulick, was one of the first missionaries to Hawaii. After graduating from Union, John Gulick went to Japan in 1862 in order to convince the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to begin work there. In 1864 the ABCFM sent John to Beijing (Peking) and then to Zhangjiakou (Kalgan), China where he stayed until 1875. From there he went to Kobe and Osaka, Japan where he remained until 1899.

His first wife, Emily, died in 1875 and he did not remarry until 1880, at which time he married Frances A. Stevens. In 1906, John Gulick returned to Hawaii and there he died in 1923 at the advanced age of 91.

Addison Gulick, the son of John Gulick and his second wife Frances, was also a prominent man of science. Addison spent the largest part of his career as a professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri (1912-1952). Addison was born in Osaka in 1882. He received his BA from Oberlin and his Ph.D. from the University of Wurttsburg in Germany. Addison married Margaret Buckingham. Despite his missionary background, Addison was an atheist and did not have much love for the missionary movement. Nevertheless, Addison was very proud of his father and wrote a biography of him in the 1930s.

Custodial History

Donated to Andover Newton Theological School by Mary Gulick. 1997

Guide to the Gulick Family Papers
Andover Newton Theological School and Yale Divinity School Library staff
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository

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