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Paul Myron Wentworth Linebarger reminiscences

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0212

Scope and Contents

The volume which forms this collection is a bound, carbon copy typescript entitled "China Smiles Through" dictated by Paul Myron Wentworth Linebarger. The individual articles which form the majority of the volume were written under a contract (dated November 16, 1937) to English journalists, Maurice Lewis, Special Representative of the London periodical, People, and Hayter Preston of Bedfordshire. A total of 311 pages compromise the sections sent to English editors and the remaining portion was held by Linebarger to use in book form when serial rights expired. The articles were sent out to England between November 1937 and February 1938. It is unknown whether all or part of the typescript was ever published. Linebarger intended that his reminiscences be read in connection with two books written by his son, Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger: The Political Doctrines of Sun Yat-sen (1937) and Government in Republican China (1938).

Included are impressions of the people of China and its culture and a portrayal of the National Government through personal anecdotes and episodes.

The articles within the typescript describe Linebarger's overseas work in recruiting members for Sun Yat-sens's party and his support of the revolutionary campaigns. He includes anecdotes of daily encounters with the Chinese people and meetings with Chiang Kai-shek, Eugene Chen, and other revolutionary leaders.

The articles indicate Linebarger's impressions of American missionaries and journalists as well as his opinion of the unequal treaties which allowed foreigners immunity from Chinese law. Linebarger believed that the missionaries functioned in opposition to the progress of the National Government and benefited from the unequal treaties.

Several news clippings are attached at the back of the typescript which note Linebarger's 1938 speeches in the United States.


  • Creation: 1937-1938


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

Paul Myron Wentworth Linebarger, a lawyer and author, was born in 1871. He was an associate and advisor to Sun Yat-sen, 1907-1925, and legal advisor to the National Government of China, 1930-1937. He served as a circuit judge in the Philippines, 1901-1907, but resigned his position to actively support the political movement of Sun Yat-sen. He became an organizer in Mexico for Dr. Sun's secret society, Teng Meng Hui, which overthrew the Manchu Dynasty. In 1913, Linebarger wrote Our Chinese Chances which was circulated by Dr. Sun's political party, the Kuomingtang. In 1917, Linebarger became editor-in-chief of a monthly magazine, The Chinese Nationalist.

In 1919, Dr. Sun consented to personal interviews which formed the basis for Linebarger's book, Sun Yat-sen and the Chinese Republic (1925). Linebarger returned to America after Dr. Sun's death in 1925 and worked as a translator for the Immigration Department and a lawyer with the Naturalization department. He was offered a post with the National Government of China by their representative, Koo Yin-fan. He returned to Nanking in 1930 in the official position of legal advisor to the National Government. His responsibilities included answering inquiries on Concessions, contracts, and franchises. Linebarger's son, Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, worked as secretary to his father.

Linebarger left China in 1937 and began an international lecture tour in the interests of peace. He returned to Washington D.C. and began writing his recollections of China. He died in 1939.


0.167 Cubic Feet (1 volume (359 pages))

Language of Materials



Paul Myron Wentworth Linebarger (1871-1939) was an American lawyer and legal adviser to Sun Yat-sen, 1907-1925, and to the Chinese Nationalist Government, 1930-1937. The volume which forms this collection is a bound, carbon copy typescript entitled "China Smiles Through" dating from 1937-1938.


The volume was donated to Special Collections in 1973 by the Library of The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Related Materials

A collection of Paul Myron Wentworth Linebarger Papers is on deposit at the Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University.

Unpublished manuscript of Paul Myron Wentworth Linebarger's autobiography, "Counsellor to Sun Yat-sen," is available at University of Florida Smathers Libraries.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in March 1989.

A legacy index has been adapted from a previous version of this guide:

Chen, Eugene P. 2; China--Anecdotes P. 1,2; China--History--Republic, 1912-1949 P. 1,2; China--Politics and government, 1912-1949 P. 1,2; Chiang, Kai-shek P. 2; journalists P. 2; Kuomintang P. 1; Lewis, Maurice P. 1; Linebarger, Paul Myron Anthony P. 1; Linebarger, Paul Myron Wentworth P. 1,2; Missionaries--China--History P. 1; Preston, Hayter P. 1; Sun, Yat-sen P. 1, 2; Teng Meng Hui P. 1; unequal treaties P. 2;
Paul Myron Wentworth Linebarger reminiscences
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA