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Martin Missionary collection

Identifier: C-127

Scope and Contents

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

Biographical / Historical

Carlos Roscoe Martin (CRM) was born in Jericho, VT on June 29, 1835. He graduated from the Concord Biblical Institute on June 9, 1859 and was ordained as a deacon and appointed a missionary by the Methodist church that same summer. On August 24, 1859, Carlos married Mary Elizabeth Allen (MEM) of Milton, VT. Two months later, on October 26th, 1859, the couple set sail from New York to Foo Chow, China aboard the "Eureka." The Martins arrived in Foo Chow, China in April of 1860. From his arrival and until his death in September 1864, CRM worked as a missionary, teaching catechism classes, taking Chinese lessons, and delivering sermons. The Martins had two children: Edward Homer Martin (b. February 9, 1861) and Lucius Allen Martin (b. November 17, 1862). Lucius Allen died a day before his father Carlos in September 1864. After much uncertainty Mary made the decision to return to the United States with her remaining son Eddie. The two left Hong Kong on March 13, 1865 aboard the "Viscata," arriving in San Francisco on May 21, 1865.


13 Boxes (5 regular document boxes, 1 legal (oversize) document box, 2 Bully boxes, 1 cassette-sized box, 1 VHS-sized box, and 3 flat oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Edward Homer Martin (b.1861), the surviving son of Carlos Roscoe and Mary Elizabeth Allen Martin, attended Amherst College and UVM Medical School. In 1882, he married Ida May Hinckley of Georgia, VT, and was later appointed Middlebury, VT town doctor and Middlebury College physician. Edward and Ida had six children, the fourth of whom was Mabel Martin, Middlebury College Class of 1911. Mabel married John Lucius Buttolph, also Class of 1911, in July of 1912, and the couple had five children. Their son, John Lucius Buttolph, Jr., Middlebury College Class of 1940, married Marjorie Howe, and they had two children, including John Lucius Buttolph, III.

John L. Buttolph III, Middlebury College Class of 1964, loaned the three journals of his paternal great-great-grandparents, including complete transcriptions, in the late 1980s to Middlebury College Special Collections. The journals were donated permanently in 2006. Buttolph donated the remainder of the collection in 2013.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of John Lucius Buttolph, III, 2006 (Journals), 2013 (Photographs, Sermons, Books, Clothing, Artifacts).

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Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

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