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Peter Parker, medical missionary and diplomat to China, was born in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1804. He attended Amherst College and transferred to Yale College in 1830. After graduation in 1831, Parker studied both theology and medicine and was awarded an M.D. from Yale in 1834. In 1834, he was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in Philadelphia, and under the auspices of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), departed a month later for Canton as the first Protestant medical missionary to China. He opened the Ophthalmic Hospital at Canton in 1835, where he specialized in treating diseases of the eyes, especially cataracts, but also performed general surgery including the removal of large tumors, and lithotomies. In 1847, he became the first physician to use anesthesia to China.
The Peter Parker Collection, MS Coll 6, includes Parker's letters to his family, and correspondence relating to Parker's medical, missionary, diplomatic, and personal affairs. Writings include handwritten journals, sermons, and addresses. Medical reports and ledgers include Parker's handwritten quarterly reports of Canton Hospital, which contain lengthy case reports on a selection of surgeries. Two volumes of ledgers list patients treated at Canton Hospital. The collection also includes photographs from Canton hospital at a later period, and miscellanea by and about Parker. A finding aid to the Peter Parker collection was developed by Todd Lane and Toby Appel. Please note that the texts themselves cannot be searched, only the titles. The titles used for the digital collection are from the finding aid: http://drs.library.yale.edu:8083/fedora/get/med:ms.0006/PDF
During his first trip to China, medical missionary Peter Parker made the acquaintance of the Western trained Chinese painter, Lam Qua. In the 1820s Lam Qua had studied under the patronage of George Chinnery, the first English painter to settle in China. Lam Qua's training and the level of mastery he developed enabled him to become one of the most revered Chinese painters utilizing the Western style of portraiture. As a result of his talent, he developed a sizable clientele from the Western community within as well as outside of Asia. The most celebrated body of work by Lam Qua is the impressive collection of portraits, commissioned by Peter Parker in the 1830's, of patients at the Canton Hospital with large tumors or other major deformities. These startling and somewhat gruesome paintings of pathological subject matter are unsettling to the viewer. One of the most noticeable aspects of each portrait is the expressionless look on the subject's face. The lack of emotion turns the viewer's eye from the subjects' face to their pathology, or illness. Each subject appears to express neither pain nor sadness and serves as a testament to the human spirit in the face of physical adversity. Images displayed here represent only a part of the collection of Lam Qua's work held by the Medical Historical Library at Yale University. The portraits are of men, women, and children of a variety of ages and at various stages in the progression of their tumors.
Medical missionary William Reginald Morse and his wife Anne (Anna) Crosse Kinney Morse served under the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society in China from 1909 to 1937. Substantive correspondence describes the daily life and work of the Morses, their travels, medical practice and education in China, and the turbulent political and social situation in China during this era. The Morses were based primarily Chengdu, Sichuan Province and at the West China Union University.
With this is a typescript copy of a letter (1 leaf, 28 cm.) from Charles Winslow to Z. W. Koh, dated September 6,1927.
Title page hand written in English; text in Chinese.
From the Department of Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine.