David S. and Luella Tappan (husband and wife) were Presbyterian missionaries in Hainan, China. The collection includes correspondence, diaries, and miscellaneous materials that relate to their missionary work.
Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Reverend David Stanton Tappan II was born in 1880 in Oxford, Ohio and attended Miami University in Ohio and Princeton Theological Seminary. Between 1906 and 1949 he was a missionary to Hainan, China. His wife, Luella Rice Tappan, accompanied him to China where they shared duties in their various jobs and experiences. While in Hainan, Rev. Tappan founded Hainan Christian Middle School. He served as Executive Secretary to the Presbyterian Mission there, and was an advisor to the Hainan synod.
In their efforts to serve the Christian community around them, both Rev. and Mrs. Tappan learned the Chinese language and culture, dealt with the terrain and weather, and got tangled up with pirates, bandits, and corrupt government figures. During their stay, the Tappans experienced the Japanese invasion of Hainan Island on February 10, 1939. They immediately provided a sanctuary for Chinese refugees during the course of the crisis, transforming their compound into a mixture of residence, feeding-house, church, and barn.
In September 1941, Rev. Tappan was interned by the Japanese and brought to Canton. Upon the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, he was placed under house arrest in Hackett Medical Center (in Canton). In February 1943 he was freed from arrest, and his internment under the Japanese ended in September of that year. He returned to the Hainan mission where he and his wife remained until 1949, when the island was turned over to Chinese Communist rule. The Tappans then turned to the United States. Reverend Tappan died in April 1968 and Mrs. Tappan died in January 1980. They had two children, Ruth Tappan Bauer and David Stanton Tappan III, and seven grandchildren.
The David S. and Luella R. Tappan Papers consist largely of correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, and publications from Hainan, China.
The correspondence, arranged chronologically, falls between 1921 and 1965. Most of the outgoing letters were written by Luella Tappan to family members and friends.
The twelve volumes of diaries cover the years 1913 and 1921-1966. Though they were written by both Rev. and Mrs. Tappan; Luella Tappan did most of the recording in them.
The diaries are followed by manuscripts relating to the Tappans' experiences in China. The publications have issues of the
Haiban News Letter between 1929 and 1949, and drafts of the
Hainan Reporter. Also, there are publications by both the Tappans, and by others.
The Newspaper article series contains information about the Tappans' mission in China, and also the Tappan family in general.
The miscellaneous series contains announcement cards for newborn babies, Luella. Tappan ticket certificate, Feng autobiography, and other miscellaneous materials.
Photographs include eight images of the Tappans, their travels and their home, circa 1910s-1960s.
Use of the Collection
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 material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.
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Preferred Citation :
[Identification of item], David S. and Luella R. Tappan papers, Coll 103, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.
Collection is organized into the following series:
Series I. Correspondence
Series II. Diaries
Series III. Manuscripts
Series IV. Publications
Series V. Newspaper articles
Series VI. Miscellaneous
Series VII. Photographs
Acquisition Information :
Gift of David and Luella Tappan in 1960s.
Processing Note :
Collection processed by staff.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Mileage Ration Coupons ca. 1939, baby announcements, marriage announcement, ticket certificate, D.S. Tappan, Jr. business cards and job announcement, receipts, San Marino High School 8th Annual Commencement program for the class of 1963, Feng autobiography, holograph and typed notes, cards,
The Salsbury Story, and other materials