China Missions circular with CDV photograph of mission girls. China; Missionary, J. W. Farnham.
China Missions circular with CDV photograph of mission girls.

China Missions circular with CDV photograph of mission girls.

Shanghai: September 2d, 1874. Presbyterian foreign mission appeal focussing on educational aid for Chinese girls, with an albumen image of 4 mission girls laid down at the top of the first page. This appeal was made by an American missionary who also was a land speculator in China, profiting from a legal loophole allowing missionaries to buy land outside the port cities, and making a large profit.

The text of the appeal describes the girls' hardships: "Kwae Tsu ... is also nine years old. Her father smokes opium ... while her mother works to secure a scanty support for the family". Here Farnham appeals for $75 to support a female teacher and $100 for a male teacher.

J. W. Farnham (1829–1917) the author of the appeal, was the editor of the Child's Monthly, board member of the Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church US, and Director of the Chinese Religious Tract Society.

Farnham was able to speculate in land due to treaties forced on China in the Opium Wars: missionary societies were not restricted to owning land only inside the trading enclaves of the port cities. Farnham took advantage of this loop hole and was the first to purchase a large tract of land (for only 50 Mexican dollars) at what would become the Moganshan Summer Resort. Farnham's land was quickly subdivided and sold on, reaping an enormous profit.

Small 8vo, (5 x 8"), 3pp. Slight foxing front and rear, contemporary folds otherwise very good condition. Very good condition. Item #23697

Price: $375.00

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