Query: the papers of Miner Searle Bates

William O'Neil's picture

Miner Searle Bates (1897-1978) was a prominent figure in his time, an historian and Christian missionary in China, where he taught for many years at Nanjing University. It was thus that he was caught up in the 1937 sack of the city, during which he made great exertions and took great risks in an attempt to stop or moderate it. After the ensuing war he was called as a witness at war crimes trials.

Recently, however, I came across an article by him from mid-1942 in a very different vein:

Bates, M[iner]. Searle. “How Will the War End for Japan?” Far Eastern Survey 11, no. 14 (1942): 155–58. doi:10.2307/3038908. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3038908?Search=yes&resultItem

To me this doesn't have much of the ring of Christian piety or academic history. It sounds a lot like a foreign-policy specialist who has been talking very frankly with top-level strategic and policy planners, who moreover perhaps have called upon him to put certain ideas in circulation in a prestigious publication. All this speculation could very well be entirely wrong, of course, but I do wonder where Dr. Bates was and what he was doing at this period.

Batess' papers are held by Yale Divinity School, but they seem restricted almost entirely to his service in Nanjing, with nothing relating to wartime activities. I would appreciate any clues as to where I might look for more.

William D. O'Neil, Falls Church, VA