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Chester and Phebe Fuson Papers

Call Number: RG 143

Scope and Contents

The Fuson Papers provide valuable documentation of religious and political conditions in South China from 1905 to 1949. The family correspondence in Series I includes more than 200 letters from Chester and Phebe Fuson to their sons and other family members; it is most substantive for the years 1938 to 1940. General correspondence includes printed and typescript report letters, early letters to the Trustees of Canton Christian College (1906-1908) that are particularly interesting for their descriptions of College athletic activities, correspondence with members of the First Presbyterian Church of Pueblo, Colorado, which supported CGF as its foreign pastor, and miscellaneous other correspondence to or from the Fusons. Writings by the Fusons, collected material and memorabilia provide additional documentation of their life and work in South China.


  • 1905-1965


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William Fuson.


  1. I. Correspondence, 1906-1950
  2. II. Writings, 1905-1940, n.d.
  3. III. Personal Items and Memorabilia, 1915-1965, n.d.
  4. IV. Collected Material, 1924-1949, n.d.
  5. V. Addendum, 1907-1959, n.d.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Letters, writings, collected material, and photos document religious work and political conditions in South China from 1905 to 1929. Chester Garfield and Phebe Meeker Fuson were American Presbyterian missionaries in South China from 1905 to 1929. Chester Fuson taught at Canton Christian College (later Lingnan University) from 1905 to 1917. Thereafter he was an administrator and educator for the South China Mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Biographical / Historical

Chester Fuson

Born in Wakeeney, Kansas
B.A., College of Emporia
Taught at Canton Christian College (later known as Lingnan University)
Accompanied American scientist on magnetic survey, traveling 5,500 miles from Beijing (Peiping) through Henan (Honan), Shaanxi (Shensi), Gansu (Kansu), Xinjiang (Sinkiang), over the Kunlun (Kwenlun) and Himalaya mountains to India. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for participation in this survey.
Married Phebe Meeker. Children: Ben, Nelson, William.
Appointed by Board of Foreign Missions of Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. to serve its South China Mission. While in Guangzhou (Canton), Chester Fuson was Executive Secretary of the Board of Primary Education of the provincial Christian Education Association and was on the faculty of Pui Ying Middle School as Director of Teacher Training.
Ordained by Topeka Presbytery
Litt. D., College of Emporia
Transferred to Lianzhou (Linhsien/Linchow) where Chester Fuson aided in educational work, was in charge of country churches and was acting superintendent of the Linhsien Hospital from 1941 on. He was South China Mission Executive Secretary until furlough in 1944.
Returned to Lianzhou (Linhsien) following furlough; was active in relief and rehabilitation work.
Died in Duarte, California

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 Chester and Phebe Fuson 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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