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Frances J. Cade and E. John Hamlin Papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence

Report Letters to OSMA and Others

Speeches and Talks

Newspaper Writings

Miscellaneous

Photographs

Mixed Media

Films

Coin, Currency & Charm Collection



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Frances J. Cade and E. John Hamlin Papers, BCE-2010 (span) | Oberlin College Archives

By Anne Cuyler Salsich

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Collection Overview

Title: Frances J. Cade and E. John Hamlin Papers, BCE-2010 (span)Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1934-48; 1982-89

ID: RG 30/418

Primary Creator: Hamlin, E. John (1915-2010)

Other Creators: Hamlin, Frances J. Cade (1912-2006)

Extent: 4.38 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 06/22/1981. More info below under Accruals.

Forms of Material: diaries, letters (correspondence), manuscripts, money - coins, money - paper money, money - spade money, moving images - film, photograph albums, photographs, photographs - photographic prints, publications, sound recordings - audiocassettes, speeches

Languages: English, Chinese

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The papers, photographs, and objects originating with Frances Cade and E. John Hamlin reflect the lives of two Oberlin graduates who met during their service in China as Shansi representatives in the mid-1930s, and continued after their marriage in 1942 to pursue a lifetime of service in the Far East.  Both the Hamlins wrote articles for their hometown newspapers during their time at Taigu, and gave presentations on their experiences later in life as employees of the World Council of Churches.  Their report letters back to OSMA in Oberlin are of interest for their candid observations of societal changes and political instability during the early Communist era in China.  John Hamlin was a particularly gifted photographer in the journalistic sense; his photographs are some of the most vivid documentary evidence of China in the mid-1930s taken by Shansi representatives.

Frances Cade Hamlin assembled a remarkable coin and charm collection spanning the ancient era in China, and collected paper bills and coins that reflect the shifting political terrain in Europe, China, Japan and Manchuria in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Several of the photographs and paper bills in the Hamlin Collection were digitized and appear in the “Shansi: Oberlin and Asia” digital collection online at http://www.oberlin.edu/library/digital/shansi/index.html.

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Series 1. Correspondence, 1948, 1982, 1986, 1989, 1994, 2006 (Series 1-5: 0.4 l.f.)

            Correspondence from Frances Hamlin to her parents with accompanying skit script, 1948, sent from China; various letters to the Hamlins received from former students in China in the 1980s and 1994, and John’s email correspondence with OSMA personnel regarding Frances’s death in 2006.

Series 2.  Report Letters to OSMA and Others, 1934-37

            This series contains John and Frances’s report letters to OSMA during their representative years in China from 1934-37.

Series 3.  Speeches and Talks, 1934-37, 1983-84, 1986, 1988, n.d.

            Consists of notes from talks at Station meetings in Taigu during John and Frances’s years as Shansi representatives in China, and talk outlines or scripts for presentations given by the Hamlins in the 1980s for various groups or conferences.

Series 4. Newspaper Writings, 1934-37, ca. 1946

            Original typescripts and copies of published articles in the local newspapers of John and Frances’s hometowns about their experiences in China as Shansi representatives and teachers.

Series 5. Miscellaneous, 1934-37, 1976, 1984-86, 1988, 1992-93, 2006, 2010, n.d.

            Comprises a file of Chinese student compositions collected by Frances Cade, a hand-made illustrated booklet, OSMA printed matter, World Council of Churches publications, and lists of OSMA representatives and personnel prepared for a China Celebration, n.d.  Also includes materials such as eulogies relating to the deaths of Frances Hamlin in 2006, and John Hamlin in 2010.

Series 6.  Photographs, 1935-37, 1982, 2006, n.d.  (1.66 l.f.)

            Consists of loose photographs by John Hamlin taken in China in 1935-37, albums of similar photographs arranged by Frances Cade with notes by John Hamlin written in 2006, and mounted photographs on colored paper of a 1982 trip to China by the Hamlins, for exhibition at the OSMA centennial celebration in 2008.

Series 7.  Mixed Media, 1982  (0.54 l.f.)

            Comprises nine small photograph albums and an accompanying voice diary on six cassette tapes of the Hamlin’s trip to China in 1982.  Additional photographs from this trip can be found in Series 6.

Series 8.  Films, 1938, 1942  (0.87 l.f.)

            Two reels of 16mm black and white silent film by John Hamlin.  Footage of the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology’s faculty and students, 1938, and footage of Frances and John Hamlin’s wedding, July 1942.  Several reels of footage taken in China between 1934 and 1937 by John Hamlin (not all have been positively identified) can be found in the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association records, RG. 15, Subgroup VII, Series 5.  At least two of Hamlin’s films were transferred as digital files to DVD for public access.  See the “Shansi: Oberlin and Asia” digital collection (2012) at http://www.oberlin.edu/library/digital/shansi/index.html.

Series 9.  Coin, Currency and Charm Collection, Ancient period and late 19th and early 20th Centuries  (0.91 l.f.)

            France Cade Hamlin’s collection of ancient Chinese coins and charms, as well as currencies from Asia and Europe from the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Included is a small, handwritten guide to some of the ancient coins.

Collection Historical Note

Francis Jane Cade Hamlin, 1912-2006

E. John Hamlin, 1915-2010

Frances Jane Cade was born in Miamisburg, Ohio in 1912.  She was an Oberlin College graduate with the A.B. degree in Physical Education in 1934.  From 1934 to 1937 she served as a teacher of English for the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association in Taigu, China.  E. (Earle) John Hamlin, the son of a Presbyterian minister, was born in Iron River, Michigan in 1915.  He earned the A.B. at Oberlin in 1936 and in that year became a Shansi representative at Taigu, where he met Frances.

In the fall of 1937, the approach of Japanese armies in the north of Shanxi province made it necessary for Shansi operations to move to Central China.  While there John contracted pleurisy and was sent home to Albion, New York for convalescence.  Frances returned to Ohio where she worked as the Health Educational Secretary of the Young Women’s Christian Association in Hamilton from 1938 to 1939.  That year she returned to Taigu for war rehabilitation work.  In 1941 she was invited back to Oberlin to serve as the Executive Secretary of the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association (OSMA).

From 1938 to 1940 John was enrolled in Oberlin’s Graduate School of Theology, where he earned the A.M. degree in Christian Education.  He was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1940, in his home church in Albion, New York.  He transferred to Union Theological Seminary and received the B.D. (or M. Div.) degree in 1941.  In July 1942, Frances and John Hamlin were married, during John’s pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church in Auburn, New York.  He served there 1941-43 and the Union Presbyterian Church, Sauquoit, New York in 1943-45.  He then served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army with assignment to the Hospital Ship Emestine Koranda.  Frances returned to Oberlin to serve again as the OSMA secretary in 1946.  During this period John pursued further study at Union Theological Seminary, leading to a Sacred Theology Master’s degree in 1951.

After John’s discharge from the Army in 1946, the Hamlins were commissioned by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church as missionaries and teachers with assignment to China.  They studied Chinese in Beijing for a year in 1947, followed by assignment to Jinan, Shandong province to teach at Cheeloo Middle School, a church related middle school.  In the fall of 1948, Jinan came under control of the People’s Liberation Army.  The Hamlins continued teaching until April 1951, when they were detained in prison for 47 days pending investigation, and finally deported to Hong Kong.

Upon their return to the United States, the Hamlins settled in New York City where John was again enrolled at Union Theological Seminary, this time for a doctorate in divinity, attained in 1960.  From 1951 to 1952 Frances took graduate courses in drama at Columbia University.  In 1952 the Hamlins were assigned to the Presbyterian office at the World Council of Churches in Geneva.  In 1954 they were transferred to Bangkok, Thailand for language study, and eventually to Chiang Mai where the couple’s assignment was to the Thailand Theological Seminary of the Church of Christ in Thailand.  John served as President (or Dean) of that institution until 1974, while Frances taught English, music, dance and drama.  From 1974 to 1980 the Hamlins served on the faculty of Trinity Theological College in Singapore.

The Hamlins retired in 1980 and moved to Waverly, Ohio in 1982.  In retirement, the Hamlins made four trips back to Thailand primarily for teaching purposes, and John wrote study guides and commentaries on five books of the Old Testament.  Frances Hamlin died in 2006.  In June 2007 John married Jean B. Lloyd, who survived his death in 2010 at the age of 94.

Administrative Information

Repository: Oberlin College Archives

Accruals: 2008/039

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted

Acquisition Source: Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association

Acquisition Method: Transfer

Related Materials: Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association Records, RG 15. For more information please see http://www.oberlin.edu/archive/holdings/finding/RG15/index.html.

Related Publications: Shansi: Oberlin and Asia Digital Collection http://www.oberlin.edu/library/digital/shansi/index.html

Finding Aid Revision History: Processed by Anne Cuyler Salsich, 2012.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1948, 1982, 1986, 1989, 1994, 2006],
[Series 2: Report Letters to OSMA and Others, 1934-37],
[Series 3: Speeches and Talks, 1934-37, 1983-84, 1986, 1988, n.d.],
[Series 4: Newspaper Writings, 1934-37, ca. 1946],
[Series 5: Miscellaneous, 1934-37, 1976, 1984-86, 1988, 1992-93, 2006, 2010, n.d.],
[Series 6: Photographs, 1935-37, 1982, 2006, n.d.],
[Series 7: Mixed Media, 1982],
[Series 8: Films, 1938, 1942],
[Series 9: Coin, Currency & Charm Collection, Ancient period and late 19th and early 20th Centuries],
[All]

Series 6: Photographs, 1935-37, 1982, 2006, n.d.Add to your cart.
+ indicates select items available in digital form in the "Shans: Oberlin and Asia" digital collection.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Group portrait, unidentified, ca. 1936Add to your cart.
Folder 2: + Photographs by John Hamlin, 1936-37Add to your cart.
Folder 3: + Photographs by John Hamlin, 1936-37Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Mounted photos of a trip to China by Frances and John Hamlin, 1982Add to your cart.
(exhibited at the OSMA centennial celebration, 2008)
Box 3 OversizeAdd to your cart.
Folder 1: + John Hamlin: Portrait of Mark Wu, ca. 1936Add to your cart.
Folder 2: + John Hamlin: "On a Junk in the Yangtze River", ca. 1937Add to your cart.
Folder 3: + John Hamlin: "Freshman high school student", 1937Add to your cart.
Photograph Album 1: Frances Cade: China, photographs, ca. 1936-37Add to your cart.
(with seperate notes by E. John Hamlin, March 2006)
Photograph Album 2: Frances Cade: China, photographs, ca. 1935Add to your cart.
(with seperate notes by E. John Hamlin, March 2006)

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1948, 1982, 1986, 1989, 1994, 2006],
[Series 2: Report Letters to OSMA and Others, 1934-37],
[Series 3: Speeches and Talks, 1934-37, 1983-84, 1986, 1988, n.d.],
[Series 4: Newspaper Writings, 1934-37, ca. 1946],
[Series 5: Miscellaneous, 1934-37, 1976, 1984-86, 1988, 1992-93, 2006, 2010, n.d.],
[Series 6: Photographs, 1935-37, 1982, 2006, n.d.],
[Series 7: Mixed Media, 1982],
[Series 8: Films, 1938, 1942],
[Series 9: Coin, Currency & Charm Collection, Ancient period and late 19th and early 20th Centuries],
[All]


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