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William W. Cadbury and Catharine J. Cadbury collection

Identifier: HC.MC-1192

Scope and Contents

The collection includes 43 boxes of written correspondence and 76 volumes of William Warder Cadbury's diaries, beginning in 1893 (age 16) and ending in 1958 (age 81). There are gaps in the periods 1894-1904, 1906-1909, and 1917-1920. There are 21 volumes of diaries and notebooks of Catharine J. Cadbury. These begin in 1932 (age 48) and ending in 1967 (age 83). There is a gap in the period 1953-1958.

There are six boxes in the manuscript series, which include handwritten and typed documents by both William Warder Cadbury and Catharine Jones Cadbury. The next series contains a box of legal and financial documents.

There are 14 boxes of photographs. This series is mostly comprised of photos taken by William Warder Cadbury in his travels and missionary work in China. There are also photos from travels in Europe, United States, and other Asian countries. Many medical photos including X-rays and photos of patients are also included. Lastly, there are a number of posters primarily depicting Japanese aggression against China in the 1930s and 40s and hostility toward Russian Communism in the 1940s.

There are eight boxes of glass negatives from WWC’s college years and one box of film negatives from his China years.

There is one box of notecards with names and addresses for correspondents of the Cadbury family.

There is one box of miscellaneous materials relating to Christian missionary work in China.


  • Creation: 1893-1967


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

William Warder Cadbury (1877-1959)

William Warder Cadbury (嘉惠霖 Jiā Huìlín) was born on 1877 Oct 15 in Philadelphia, PA. He was the son of Quakers Joel and Anna Kaighn Cadbury and a lifelong member of the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting for the Western District (now called the Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting). In 1911 he married Sarah Imbree Manatt; she died shortly after in 1912. Then, in 1917 he married Catharine Balderston Jones and had three daughters, Jane B. Cadbury, Emma Cadbury, and Catharine C. Cadbury.

He graduated from the William Penn Charter School in 1894, and got a B.A. and M.A. from Haverford College in 1898 and 1899 respectively. He received an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1902. He spent time studying abroad in Vienna in 1905. In the years 1906-07, he taught pathology and pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania, and in the period 1906-09, he worked as a pathologist at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Between 1909 and 1949, WWC was a medical missionary in Canton, China. In 1909 he traveled to China and became a professor at the Canton Christian College (later Lingnan University). In 1914, he joined the specialized medical staff of Canton Hospital. He was appointed superintendent of Canton Hospital in 1930. He served as Vice-President of the Chinese Medical Association from 1935-37, and as Canton Chairman of the International Red Cross from 1938-41.

He lived in China during an extremely tumultuous time in history, and in 1943, after the United States and Japan declared war, WWC and his wife Catharine were interned by the Japanese. They remained in the internment camp for eight months, until they were released and returned to the United States. Soon after the end of the war, WWC once again returned to China and reassumed his position at Canton. He remained there until 1949 when he retired.

For the rest of his life, from 1949-59, William lived at his home in Moorestown, NJ. On 1959 Oct 15, he died in Philadelphia, PA.

(Information taken from “Dictionary of Quaker Biography”)

Catharine J. Cadbury (1884-1970)

Catharine Balderston Jones was born 1884 in Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Jane C.B. Jones. She married William Warder Cadbury in 1917 and became Catharine Jones Cadbury. They had three daughters named Jane B. Cadbury, Emma Cadbury, and Catharine C. Cadbury. CJC accompanied and assisted her husband in his medical missionary work in Canton, China. They were both interned by the Japanese in 1943, and were subsequently released and lived in the United States for the remainder of the war. They returned to China after the war, and remained there until 1949. She lived at her home in Moorestown, NJ the death of WWC in 1959. She lived in Concord, Massachusetts at the time of her death in 1970 Jun 28.

(Information take from Quaker Journal, 8/1-15, 1970, Volume 16, Number 14, pg. 477)


21.5 linear ft. (86 boxes)

Language of Materials



The principal creators in the collection are Quakers William Warder Cadbury (1877-1959) and Catharine Jones Cadbury (1884-1970) who spent most of their lives in China. William Warder Cadbury came to China as a medical missionary in 1909.

Related Finding Aids

1017 (Emma Cadbury papers), 1121 (Henry Joel Cadbury papers), 1130 (Rufus Matthew Jones papers), 1160 (William Warder Cadbury papers)

Custodial History

Gift of Emma Burton Cadbury and Ann Cadbury Trentman, 2004 & 2007

Related Materials

1160 (William Warder Cadbury papers); 1017 (Emma Cadbury papers); 1121 (Henry Joel Cadbury papers); 1130 (Rufus Matthew Jones papers)

Materials Specific Details

All dates are standardized rather than transcribed, viz: yr mo/day. To keep the dates consistent with the way the Cadburys dated their letters and diary entries, we use this specific format, January 1, 1950 is recorded as “1950 1/1.”

CJC for Catharine Jones Cadbury. (This abbreviation will be used both before and after her marriage, although her maiden name was Catharine Balderston Jones With all of the women, their final name will be used instead of the name before marriage);

WWC: William Warder Cadbury;

CCC: Canton Christian College;

LU: Lingnan University;

Family: Cadbury Family;

Father: Joel Cadbury;

Mother: Anna Lowry Cadbury;

Ben: Benjamin Cadbury;

Emma: Emma Cadbury Jr.;

JCS: Jane Cadbury Symonds;

EC: Emma Cadbury, the child;

CCL: Catharine Cadbury Lambe;

John: John Warder Cadbury;

Elizabeth: Elizabeth B. Cadbury Jones;

Henry: Henry Joel Cadbury;

Lei : Lei Fuk Lam;

Sun: Sun Yat-sen;

MMFPWD: Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia for the Western District.

Though not all letters are listed individually, those that are highlighted are done so on the basis of content of the letter or historical importance of the letter writer.

All extent numbers are approximate, except in folders labeled "complete records."

In box 68, there are two folders missing. They are titled “Concerning Travels” and “Internment and Repatriation documents.”

Note: Not included in these boxes is an additional scrapbook of letters to and from WWC, as well as programs and other memorabilia from 1883-1900. These are mostly from WWC's high school years and college years at Haverford. This scrapbook has not yet been processed because it first needs conservation work. There are approximately 60 pages in the scrapbook, most filled with multiple letters on each page. A brief glance through the scrapbook reveals WWC's involvement in football, Haverford's Loganian Society (debate), the gymnastics team ("fancy club swinging"), and participation in a competition for the alumni prize in oratory, where he competed against Rufus Jones. There are also report cards from his four years at Haverford, and some from medical school at the University of Pennsylvania.

Processing Information

The finding aid maintains William W. Cadbury's original Romanization of Catonese terms. When possible and/or necessary, standardized Romanization has been given in brackets.

William W. Cadbury and Catharine J. Cadbury papers, 1893-1967
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Gift of Emma Burton Cadbury and Ann Cadbury Trentman, 2004 & 2007

Revision Statements

  • 6/14/2022: Revised as part of the Harmful Language Review

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US