Myra Anna Jaquet (1884-1971) was as a Methodist missionary in northern China from 1911 to 1942. She worked as a girls' instructor at a missionary school in Peking (Beijing). By the early 1920s, Jaquet had moved southeast to Tientsin (Tianjin) where she served as one of the instructors (and, for a short time, as principal of girls' education) at the Gamewell School. In December 1941, the Japanese confined Jaquet as a prisoner of war. After six weeks imprisonment, she joined other missionaries who were interned at the British concession near Peking (Beijing). Along with other Americans, Jaquet was repatriated in 1943. Jaquet lived in New York until 1946 when she returned to Tianjin.
The collection constitutes a small but significant collection of documents recounting the life of a missionary woman in early 20th century China. Jaquet lived and worked in China for over thirty years, during one of the most transformative periods in the recent history of this nation. Jaquet arrived in Peking (Beijing) on the heels of the revolution that overthrew the Ch'ing Dynasty. Yet, the revolution and its aftermath only occasionally appeared in her papers as when she discussed the persistent dangers foreigners courted in the early 1910s. During the 1920s struggles over local authority appear in Jaquet's papers when she discusses recruitment and retention of students. World War II effectively shut down the missionary school (in Tianjin) and Jaquet was interned as a prisoner of war.
Certainly, some of the richest material consists of Jaquet's personal journals. These resources--intended for distribution among friends and relatives in the U.S.--offer details of her missionary work. Jaquet seemed particularly proud of the successes she and other teachers had among local children in Tianjin. She recounted increases in enrollment, the plays girl students staged, and how they advanced academically. Jaquet noted how many girls continued on at missionary universities in China or the United States. The fact that some of the students sought only an education--rather than conversion--at Gamewell school did not seem to bother Jaquet; she seemed committed to providing these girls with an education. Interestingly, Jaquet included a number of stories written by her students in her letters (in addition to those written by Jaquet herself). Jaquet also described religious services, sermons, and meetings as well as the advancement of Dr. Liu, the first female graduate of the North China medical school run by the missionaries who later headed the Gamewell School. Another teacher at the Gamewell School was Myra Snow, who arrived in 1928. Researchers should consult her collection of letters (A 186) as well as the collections of Edith Shufeldt (A 208), and Elizabeth Wright (A 301) (who both lived in Tianjin); those of Clara Dyer (A 198), Elsie Reik (A 166) or Edith Simister (A183) are also related.
In 1942, her fellow repatriated American missionaries agreed that Jaquet should write the account of their internment. The narrative of her arrest, imprisonment, and subsequent internment with other American (and British) missionaries is housed in the Myra Snow collection (A 186). The final journal in the Jaquet Papers offers a glimpse into her life after repatriation. Jaquet lived in New York and in 1946, she returned to Tianjin. Her papers offer some notes on what happened to the people and places during the intervening years.
Jaquet included photographs of people and places in her personal journals. Other photographs in this collection consist of the English and Chinese land deeds to the mission in Tianjin.
Alternative Forms Available :
Available in microfilm as part of: Women's lives. Series 3, American women missionaries and pioneers collection (MICROFILM BV3703 .W66 2006, reel 9-12); Primary Source Microfilm, 12 Lunar Dr., Woodbridge, Conn. 06525.Restrictions on Access :
Collection is open to the public.
Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.Restrictions on Use :
Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.
Archival may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.
Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.
If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.Preferred Citation :
Myra Anna Jaquet Papers, A 180, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.
Collection is organized into the following series:
Detailed Description of the Collection