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Manly Family Papers

Call Number: RG 82

Scope and Contents

Series I, Correspondence, includes detailed original letters written by W. E. Manly to his family in the U.S. from 1911 to 1914. A political uprising in Chengdu, dealings with native teachers and churches, and Methodist mission politics are described. Correspondence with Bishop J. W. Bashford,Joseph Beech, and other missionaries relates to the political unrest. Circular letters written by the Manlys to supporters in the U.S. provide a good overview of their work. A set of excerpts from Manly correspondence called "Chronicles" provides a glimpse of correspondence early than the letters available in original format.

Series II, Writings, includes material written by W. E. Manly, Grace Manly, and Marian Manly. W. E. Manly was interested in engineering devices to improve life in West China, including a waterwheel system to produce electricity. An essay by Marian Manly describes the Chin I School of Midwifery, which she headed.

Series III, Photographs, includes portraits and group shots of missionaries, Chinese native workers, conferences, and school groups, as well as scenery and scenes from life in Sichuan province in the early 1900s. Many of the photographs are identified, with approximate dates.

Series IV, Collected Material and Memorabilia, includes ephemeral written material and artifacts.


  • 1888-1976


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Marian Manly, 1971


  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Writings
  3. III. Photographs
  4. IV. Collected Items and Memorabilia


4 Linear Feet (8 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Correspondence, writings, photographs, and collected materials document the life and work of the Manly family in China. Political unrest in Chengdu 1911-1912 is well documented, as is the daily work of a Methodist missionary working with native churches. The collection includes valuable photographs of Sichuan from the early 1900s. Wilson Edward Manly, his wife Florence and daughters Marian and Grace were American Methodist missionaries in Sichuan (Szechwan) province from 1893 to 1943.

Biographical / Historical

Wilson Edward Manly went to China as Methodist missionary
Wilson Edward ("Ward") Manly and Florence Brown married in Shanghai, moved to Chengdu
Daughter Marian born in Chongqing (Chungking); Marian returned to China as medical doctor; she was also an author using the pseudonym Han Suyin.
Daughter Grace born in Chongqing (Chungking); returned to China as missionary; died in 1942.
Son Gordon born in Chengdu
W.E. Manly received D.D. from Cornell College

Processing Information

Place names were modernized in the description, with the name originally used in the collection material or in an older version of the finding aid in parenthesis: e.g. “Beijing (Peking)” or “Benin (Dahomey)”.

Guide to the Manly Family Papers
Compiled by Martha Lund Smalley
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Divinity Library Descriptive Practices
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository

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