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Identifier: C-127.IV

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

This collection includes writings, photographs, personal artifacts and handiwork of a young Methodist missionary family in Foo Chow (Fuzhou), China, 1859-1865. There are three holograph journals - two written by Rev. Carlos Roscoe Martin (CRM) from 1859-1864, and one written by his wife Mary Elizabeth [Allen] Martin (MEM), 1864-1865, with full typewritten transcriptions available for all three journals.

Carlos Roscoe Martin’s journal begins when he and Mary leave New York harbor, and chronicles their five-month journey around the horn of Africa to Foo Chow, China, one of the five free treaty ports established by the Treaty of Nanking. Beginning in April 1860, CRM writes frequently in his journal, recording daily activities, the entries ranging in length from a few sentences to several pages. Regular mention is made of his health and that of his friends and family, his lessons in Chinese, his reading, sermons given, visits and excursions with other missionaries in the city, and news received from America about the Civil War. Also included is a newspaper clipping dated January 22, 1864 describing a riot in which Martin’s church and home were vandalized. The journal of MEM begins on January 1, 1864, with the book itself being a new year’s gift from CRM. Entries focus on her activities around the house and raising her two boys, Edward Homer (1861) and Lucius Allen (1862), her health and that of her family, and news of friends in China. Included in the journal are entries describing the deaths of both her son Lucius and CRM in September 1864. After this point entries become more sporadic and describe her eventual decision to return to the U.S. Her last entry is on May 28, 1865, one week after she and son Eddie arrive in San Francisco, CA.


  • Majority of material found within 1859 - 1865


8 Boxes (Boxes 5, 7-13)

Language of Materials



Box 5, Folder 1: carved pieces from a mobile

Box 5, Folder 2: a woodcut stamp with Chinese characters for "Martin"; letters are well cut and formed, handle is very crude.

Box 7: Diplomas of descendants; hand-drawn map of Foo Chow

Box 8: Laquered box; marriage box (with enclosed description); empty photograph albums

Box 9: Dress pattern template; women's jacket, panataloons; preacher's vestment; table runners

Box 10: Many small sculptures/figurines; wooden scale; bag with game pieces

Box 11: Carved tray pedestal

Box 12: Carved trays; sculptures/figurines; oval-shaped framed and enhanced photograph of John Lucius Martin (1862-1864), youngest son of the Martins who died and is buried next to his father in Foochow, China.

Box 13: Multi-piece burial shrine. Carved from a red stone, the shrine can be assembled though some pieces are missing and a base piece is broken. In consultation with a Middlebury College professor of Chinese, the words stamped on some of the pieces led him to believe the "shrine" was commissioned by Mary Martin for her deceased husband in China (likely Foochow) in 1864.

In January 2021, Ellery Foutch, Assistant Professor of American Studies, shared a Facebook exchange with Stephen Whiteman and Peter Han-Chih Wang in which they translate the inscriptions on the shrine. Also included is an email exchange between Ellery Foutch and Stephen Whiteman. Contact for translation.

Separated Materials

Hair brooch made from the interwoven hair of Carlos Roscoe Martin (1835-1864) and his infant son Lucius Allen Martin (1862-1864), who died of cholera on the same day in the Methodist Mission, Fuchau, China. The brooch is stored in C-138 Hair Jewelry filed as #334.2.

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States