Skip to main content

About this collection

Arthur de Carle Sowerby was a naturalist, explorer and writer who accompanied RSC on his 1908-09 expedition to the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces in northern China. Sowerby remained in China collecting specimens for various museums of natural history and editing the journal he'd founded, The China Journal of Science and Arts. He was interned by the Japanese during World War II and returned to the United States in 1949. RSC funded Sowerby for many years. The bulk of the correspondence dates from 1923 through 1930, with letters through 1953, the year before Sowerby's death. Most of the letters are from Sowerby, with some carbon copies of brief notes sent by RSC. The letters concern the often dire state of Sowerby's finances as well as updates on his scientific pursuits and analyses of the tumultuous political and economic situation in China. Also included in this correspondence, and of particular note, is a folder containing the reports of a private investigator RSC retained to keep tabs on Sowerby and his wife during their tenure in DC during the last few years of Sowerby's life. The reports continue through 1953 and present a poignant, if dispassionate, portrait of Sowerby's final years. RSC sent money through the private investigator to alleviate some of Sowerby's difficulties and Sowerby wrote several letters to RSC to thank him, but no evidence suggests RSC ever had direct contact with his old partner again

 
Select the collections to add or remove from your search
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
 
OK