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William Warder Cadbury papers

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Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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William Warder Cadbury (1877-1959), a quaker, was the son of Joel and Anna Kaighn Cadbury. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was a member of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting for the Western District (now Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting). He graduated from William Penn Charter School in 1894, received a B.A. and M.A. from Haverford College in 1898 and 1899, respectively, earned an M.D. from University of Pennsylvania in 1902, and received an honorary Sc.D. from Haverford College in 1936. He married (1) Sarah I. Manatt in 1911 (d. 1912) and (2) Catharine Balderston Jones in 1917, with whom he had three daughters.

Cadbury served as resident physician at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia from 1903 to 1905, and went abroad for graduate study in Vienna in 1905, before returning to teach pathology and pharmacology at University of Pennsylvania from 1906 to 1907 and to work as a pathologist at St. Mary's Hospital from 1906 to 1909.

Cadbury's decision to take up a medical missionary post in China was made in late 1908. In 1909, he took up a professorship at Canton Christian College (later Lingnan University) in Canton (Guangzhou), China, and from 1909 to 1941 was a medical missionary supported by some members of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and the Cadbury Fund that was created to assist his work. (The Canton Medical Missionary Society which had oversight of Canton Hospital transferred the care of the hospital to the Board of Directors of Lingnan University in 1930.) He became Superintendent of Canton Hospital in 1930, and was also vice-president of the Chinese Medical Association from 1935 to 1937 and Canton chairman of the International Red Cross from 1938 to 1941. In about 1924, General Lei Fuk Lam gave his son, James Cadbury Lei, to William Warder Cadbury in order for him to learn American culture. General Lei contributed funds to construct a small hospital and clinic on the Lingnan campus, operated under Dr. Cadbury's direction and later moved to Canton Hospital.

During World War II, William Warder Cadbury and his wife were interned by the Japanese from 1941 to 1943, although they had considerable freedom until February, 1943, when they were removed to a camp in Canton (Guangzhou). Upon their release, they returned to the United States for two years, where Cadbury worked at Friends Hospital. Cadbury resumed his position in Canton (Guangzhou) from 1945 until 1949, when he and Catherine were forced out of China by the Communist government. The Cadburys then returned to New Jersey for the following 10 years. Cadbury sat on the Board of Lingnan University for a part of this time, as well as serving as an honorary curator of ferns at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

During his life, Cadbury was the author of 150 medical articles, 230 articles on religion and other topics, and a book on the history of Canton Hospital, At the Point of a Lancet, which he wrote in 1935 with Mary Hoxie Jones, his neice. He had an avid interest in orchids and created an orchid garden at his residence in China. "Dr. Cadbury represented two old but enduring traditions: the physicianbotanist and the Quaker naturalist…Perhaps, with renewed friendship between China and the United States, an American orchidist will visit Canton some day and find Dr. Cadbury's manuscript in the care of Chinese botanists. It would please him to know that his study of orchids, like his medical teaching, has bridged the gap between peoples."

Information from Dictionary of Quaker Biography, a compilation of Quaker biographies in typescript form located at Haverford College and Friends House, London, from article by Howard P. Wood and from internal evidence

The papers of William Warder Cadbury consist of correspondence during the period of 1908 to 1950, documents relating to Cadbury's organizational affiliations, photographs, and material written by and about Cadbury. Cadbury's principal correspondent was Elizabeth B. Jones. Other correspondents include Rufus Jones, Thomas Wistar, Jr., S.C. Chen, and James Henry.

Cadbury writes about his desire to become a medical missionary in China in 1908; his interest in founding a Christian medical school in China; his impact teaching Christianity to Chinese students; his life and work in China; Japan's war on China; the work of his wife, Catharine Cadbury, supervising many local schools; reference to his internment by the Japanese army; the liberation of Canton (Guangzhou) in 1949; and the orphans of Canton (Guangzhou).

There is a book of course notes prepared by William Warder Cadbury for a course on comparative religion, published letters, and other material by and about Cadbury, as well as photographs, primarily those depicting Cadbury from infancy to old age. There are documents produced by and about organizations with which Cadbury was involved in the period 1923-1951, including Canton Hospital, Canton International Red Cross, Direct China Relief Incorporated, Kwangtung International Relief Committee, Canton Committee for Justice to China, and the China Medical Missionary Association.

Arranged in four series.

The William Warder Cadbury papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1980 by Mary Hoxie Jones.

Original processing information unknown. Finding aid revised and collection reboxed by Seabrook Jeffcoat; completed February, 2020.

Publisher
Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Letters, 1908-1911.
Box 1
Letters, 1912-1935.
Box 1
Letters, 1937-1940.
Box 1
Letters, 1911-1956.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

majority of letters from the 40s-50s

Extracts of other Letters made by WWC, 1938.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Contains 3 letters, only one dated

Family Photos, 1877-1959.
Box 1

Certificate of Election as Fellow of American College of Physicians, 1929.
Box 2
Portfolio with crest and motto, "Ne cede malis sed contra".
Box 1160 (ovs)

Direct China Relief Incorporated, 1946-1947.
Box 2
Canton Committee for Justice to China, 1937-1938.
Box 2
Kwangtung International Relief Committee, 1947-1949.
Box 2
Canton International Red Cross (1 of 2), 1939-1942.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Contains Red Cross Int. Minutes 1939-1942, and related information

Canton International Red Cross (2 of 2), 1939-1942.
Box 2
China Medical Missionary Association Documents, 1923-1937?.
Box 2
Lingnan University Records, 1943-1951.
Box 2
WWC Lingnan University Materials, 1936-1949.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Contains a notebook entitled "Comparative Religion for Lingnan Students," along with what appear to be miscellaneous notes also related to WWC's time teaching at Lingnan.

Canton Hospital Documents, 1929-1942.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Contains documentation pertaining to the Canton hospital, including minutes of the board of trustees, reports, and information related to staff and patients.

Published Materials about WWC, 1909-1949.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Contains one article from the Lingnan News and another from Old Penn, the Weekly Review of the University of Pennsylvania

Canton Materials Published by WWC, 1928-1948.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Contains materials published by WWC about his time in Canton and at the Lingnan University

Miscellaneous WWC Canton Documents, 1912-1950.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence, an extract from a letter by WWC, a pamphlet about Canton, and a certificate from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Synopsis of Lectures.
Volume 1
Scope and Contents

Published in October, 1927, by E.G. Berryman and Sons in London. Has misc. notes shoved between the pages, assumed to be related.

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