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  • Ferguson, John Calvin,
  • China
  • Nanjing (Jiangsu Sheng, China)
  • Shanghai (China)
  • Ferguson, John Calvin,
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Photographs
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    John Calvin Ferguson Family Papers, 1889-1962, (bulk 1890-1944)
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    Ferguson, John Calvin, 1866-1945
    John Calvin Ferguson Family Papers, 1889-1962, (bulk 1890-1944)
    Phy. Description: 
    7 linear feet
    Digital Reference: 
    Image Finding Aid
    Bio / His Notes: 
    John Calvin Ferguson was an advisor to the Executive Yüan of the National Government of China, college president, author, and art collector. Born in Napanee, Ontario, Canada in 1866, Ferguson was ordained to the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church in 1885, and awarded a Ph.D. degree from Boston University in 1902. Following his marriage to Mary E. Wilson, he went to China in 1887 as a missionary, where he founded a Methodist school, the Hui wen shu yüan, which eventually became the University of Nanking. He assumed the position of first president of Nanyang Public School (Nan-yang kung hsüeh) at Shanghai from 1897-1902. Subsequently, he became a member of the Treaty Commission, secretary to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and later chief secretary of the Imperial Chinese Railway Administration while being concurrently advisor to the Viceroys of Nanking and Wu-ch'ang. In Shanghai Dr. Ferguson was honorary secretary of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, proprieter of the Shanghai Times (daily), and editor of Sin Wan Pao, the leading daily newspaper, which he owned until 1929. During his last year in Shanghai, he became chairman of the Central China Famine Relief Committee. Moving to Peking in 1911, he became vice-president of the Red Cross Society and was appointed foreign secretary for the Ministry of Posts and Communications until 1912. From 1915 he became counselor of the department of state in China, and later served as advisor to the president of the Republic until 1928. During 1923-1931 Ferguson was joint-editor of The China Journal. Ferguson's art collection was temporarily placed in the Wen hua tien in the Palace in 1935, before going to the University of Nanking. Leaving Peking in 1943, Ferguson and his daughter Mary traveled back to the United States, where he died in 1945. Among his publications were Outlines of Chinese Art, 1919; Chinese Painting, 1927; Noted Porcelains of Successive Dynasties, 1931; Catalogue of Recorded Paintings, 1934; and Catalogue of Recorded Bronzes, 1934.
    Papers (some are photocopies), portions in Chinese, of John Calvin Ferguson, his daughter Mary, and grandson Peter Ferguson and Peter's wife Jean. The bulk of the papers, 1890-1944, concern John C. Ferguson and include one holograph dated 1902 to Headland; typescripts of addresses given to the University of Nanking, 1909-1929, and a eulogy by Fu Tseng-hsi, a translation of his address to a public school in Shanghai, a mimeographed description of 55th anniversary of the University of Nanking, two newspaper clippings, and a 1936 issue of Caravan; and still prints and four photograph albums, 1890-1937, portraying Ferguson, his wife and family, Chinese officials, members of the Treaty Commission, landscape painting by T'ang Tai (1637-?), and works given to the University of Nanking. Additional papers mostly concern family members attempting to acquire documentation of Dr. Ferguson and to retrieve portions of his estate that remained in China.
    Language Note: 
    In English
    Arranged in three series: 1. John Calvin Ferguson Papers; 2. Ferguson Family Papers; and 3. Photographs.
    Gift of Peter Ferguson, 1999.
    Cite as: 
    John Calvin Ferguson Family Papers. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Gift of Peter Ferguson, 1999
    Access is by appointment only, Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please contact the Archives to make an appointment:
    Subject - Geographical: 
    Nanjing (Jiangsu Sheng, China)
    Shanghai (China)
    China Shanghai Shanghai
    Ferguson, John Calvin, 1866-1945
    Form / Genre: 
    Letters (correspondence) -- 19th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
    Newspaper clippings
    Photograph albums
    Local Number: 
    Item Information
    RepositoryCall No. 
    Freer/Sackler ArchivesA1999.28Add Copy to MyList

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