Lee, Elizabeth M.
Manuscript Collection: MS 0614
Agency History/Biographical note:
Elizabeth Meredith Lee was born on October 7, 1888 in Brunswick,
Maine. She received her B.A. in 1910, and her M.A. in 1912, both
from Mount Holyoke College. While she worked towards her master's
degree she was a tutor in the Latin Department. From 1912-1914 she
taught at the Shipper School for Girls in Pennsylvania. In 1915 she
became a missionary in Japan for the Methodist Church, spending eight
months in Tokyo before going to Fukuoka to become the head of the
Happy Hill School for Girls. She remained in that position until
1924 (although on furlough 1920-1922), then she returned to the
United States for health reasons. Lee continued to work for the
Methodist Board of Foreign Missions with responsibility for work with
girls and women in Africa, Europe, and particularly Latin America.
She also worked for the Refugee Settlement Program of the Methodist
Committee for Overseas Relief. After retiring from the Board in
1960, Lee traveled the world as a member of the United Nation's
Speaker's Bureau. She died on August 11, 1990 in Shelton,
Connecticut at the age of one hundred and one.
Scope and Content:
The Elizabeth Meredith Lee Papers consist of correspondence,
writings, financial records, memorabilia, biographical information,
and photographs dating from about 1910 to 1990. Most of the letters
in the collection were written by Lee (who signed herself "Betty")
and addressed to Carrie J. Carnahan, a member of the Christ Church of
Pittsburgh and staff member of the Methodist Church, which Lee served
as a missionary in Japan 1915-1924. These letters describe her
activities in Japan, particularly her work as head of the Happy Hill
School for Girls in Fukuoka. The letters describe the School's
curriculum, buildings and financial needs, and occasionally comment
on Japanese customs and events, such as the 1923 Tokyo earthquake.
Other material in the collection relating to Lee's experiences in
Japan consists of financial statements for the School (1917-1919) and
a variety of memorabilia, including maps and several unpublished
accounts written by others concerning the 1923 earthquake. Her
papers also include copies of her books "As among the Methodists" and
"He wears orchids", a collection of poems written 1951-1976,
sketches, clippings and other biographical information about her (ca.
1910-1990), and two photographs of her (1941 and 1972).
Cite as: Elizabeth M. Lee Papers, Mount Holyoke College,
Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley,
Access Restrictions: Unrestricted