Reports generated by the William J. Burns International Detective Agency in the course of investigating the finances and health of Arthur de Carle Sowerby in his final years.
William J. Burns International Detective Agency Reports to Robert Sterling Clark, 1950-1953Papers, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts
Arthur de Carle Sowerby was a naturalist, explorer and writer who accompanied Robert Sterling Clark 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.