Name of creator(s): Pollard | Samuel | 1864-1915 | missionary
Administrative/Biographical history: Born in Camelford, Cornwall, 1864; his father, Samuel Pollard, and his mother were preachers with the Bible Christian Church (from 1907 part of the United Methodist Church); converted, c1875; initially prepared for a career in the civil service, but a London conference influenced him to become a missionary, 1885; appointed Bible Christian missionary, 1886; sailed for China, 1887; attended Ganking Language School, 1887; posted to Yunnan province, 1888; went to Chaotung (Zhaotong), where a new station was opened, 1891; married Emmie (née Hainge), 1891; assigned to the provincial capital (now Kunming); engaged in evangelistic work; worked with the Flowery Miao (A-Hmao, a minority tribe), among whom started in Anshun, Kweichow (Guizhou) province, a religious movement which spread to Chaotung, from c1905; Pollard became its most prominent missionary leader; established a centre for thousands of new believers at Shihmenkan; travelled extensively, planting churches, training leaders, and soliciting justice for Miao Christians from officials and landlords; developed a new script which he used to translate the New Testament into the Miao language; died from typhoid fever while in service as a missionary, 1915. Publications: Tight Corners in China (second edition ); with Henry Smith and F J Dymond, The Story of the Miao (1919); In Unknown China: observations, adventures and experiences of a pioneer missionary (1921); Eyes of the Earth: the diary of Samuel Pollard, ed R Elliott Kendall (1954).
Custodial history: The papers were deposited with the Methodist Missionary Society and form part of the special series of biographical papers of individual missionaries.
Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited on permanent loan with the records of the Methodist Missionary Society from 1978.
CONTENT AND STRUCTURE
Scope and content/abstract: Papers, 1885-1915, of the Rev Samuel Pollard, comprising 12 diaries, 1885-1915, describing life and work in China; manuscript and typescript accounts and letters by Pollard and cuttings by Pollard and other authors, 1900s-1910s (some undated), describing missionary work and life and customs in China, including remote regions; eight photographs, undated, including local people, Pollard, and Pollard's grave.
System of arrangement:
ACCESS AND USE
Language: English and Chinese (Hua Miao dialect)
Conditions governing access: Unrestricted, but only to be viewed on microfiche. Originals to be consulted only with written agreement from the Methodist Church.
Conditions governing reproduction: No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.
Finding aids: Unpublished handlist.
Related material: The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the Bible Christian Home and Foreign Missionary Society (Ref: MMS/BC) and its successor the United Methodist Missionary Society (Ref: MMS/UMMS). SOAS also holds papers used by R Elliott Kendall in his work on Samuel Pollard, comprising letters and papers of and relating to Pollard (Ref: MS 380690); papers of the Parsons family, missionaries who worked among the Miao tribe using the script devised by Pollard (Ref: MS 380686); research papers of Frederick Howard Taylor on the tribes of south-west China, including notes on the life of Samuel Pollard (Ref: CIM Box 11 File 124).
Copies: Published on microfiche by IDC Publishers (SOAS ref: Fiche Box Number Special Series 29-30).
Archivist's note: Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed Gerald H Anderson (1998); British Library OPAC.
Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2002