Agricultural assistance, American--Taiwan
Economic assistance, American--Asia
Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction
Moyer, Raymond Tyson, 1899- --Archives
Oberlin College--History--20th century--Sources
Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association
Prisoners of war--United States
Shanxi Sheng (China)--History--20th century
United States--Foreign relations--History
photographs - negatives (photographic)
photographs - photographic prints
photographs - slides
research (document genres)
theses and dissertations
The Raymond T. Moyer papers consist of correspondence, writing files, speeches, lectures, and topical files, as well as non-textual materials and collected publications. The collection covers Moyer’s professional career in Far East Asia, dating from the 1920s to his retirement in the 1960s. This documentation suggests that Moyer was not a Cold War warrior, ala John Foster Dulles, but that he probably stood near the center of the political spectrum. The files attest to his commitment to contain communism in the Far East by advancing peacefully the social and economic progress of the people.
The Moyer papers are arranged into nine (9) record series: 1. Appointments, Awards, and Diploma Files; 2. Correspondence Files (incoming and outgoing); 3. Lectures, Official Statements, and Speeches; 4. Writing Files; 5. Research Files Relating to Moyer’s Professional Work; 6. Name and Subject Files Relating to Other Assignments and Interests; 7. Collected Publications Relating to Moyer’s Professional Career; 8. Miscellaneous Files; and, 9. Non-Textual Materials.
The documentary strengths of the Moyer papers are to be found in his writing files and public speeches. The writing files, dating between the 1930s and 1980s, document Moyer’s role as an agricultural reformer, advocate of U.S. foreign aid to underdeveloped Asian countries, and fighter against communism. Files relating to Beyond Yesterday: America in a Changing World further underscore his knowledge of agricultural reform and foreign aid, including his experiences in China, Taiwan, and Korea. The finished publication and its drafts provide some details of Moyer’s private life, almost unavailable elsewhere in the collection. The lectures, official statements, and speeches (dated 1941-1989) complement the writing files.
The correspondence series and non-textual materials are also notable. The correspondence files, dated mainly between 1928 and 1992, provide insight to Moyer’s professional activities, appointments, and contacts with Asians. In addition, a small amount of correspondence exists relating to Moyer’s private life, particularly his experience as a prisoner of war in Hong Kong (1941-1942). A large number of photographs and negatives depict the state of affairs of many Far East nations, chiefly in China and Korea. The photographs report on the progress of Moyer’s agricultural experiments and the conditions and scenery in Shansi Province. The strengths are detailed in following paragraphs.
Lectures, official statements, and speeches (located in series 3) and writing files (located in series four) offer readers insight to Moyer’s experiences in the Far East. Writings, dated between the early 1930s and 1948, deal primarily with Chinese agricultural reform. A 1942 article entitled “Agricultural Practices in Semi-Arid North China,” summarizes Moyer’s activities in Shansi Province between 1927 and 1941. It further reports on Moyer’s extensive familiarity and understanding of agriculture in North China, as well his approach to scientific experimentation. His study includes analysis of the climate, soil, crops, and farming and livestock practices of Shansi Province, and discusses the benefits to Shansi farmers of cross breeding crops (grain, cotton) and livestock.
Moyer’s later writings, when in the employ of the American government, shift from agricultural reform to foreign aid (dating 1948-1968). In a 1976 class lecture to students at Gettysburg College, we learn more of Moyer’s beliefs and goals regarding American foreign aid, how socio-economic aid could be used as a tool to contain communism and stimulate modernization, and why aid often failed. This lecture, along with a 1962 unpublished “Behind the Seen in Korea,” constitute vintage Moyer. Series four (4) also consists of research files from Beyond Yesterday: America in a Changing World. These files contain book and chapter drafts, observations that Moyer recorded on the spot or years later, and news clippings of significant Far East events. In addition, the drafts contain biographical information relating to Moyer’s family and himself, of which some did not make the final printed version.
The Moyer papers also contain significant, but not extensive, files of incoming and outgoing correspondence (located in series two). The bulk of the correspondence, dating mostly between 1938 and 1962, unevenly documents Moyer’s professional career. They often deal with the finer points of international diplomacy, including acknowledgments, thank you notes, and congratulatory letters on new professional appointments. Several outgoing letters are noteworthy. In a series of exchanges in the spring of 1951, Moyer explains to ECA administrators William Foster and R. Allen Griffen his desire to return to the U.S. to be closer to his children. In 1960-1961, Moyer discusses civil unrest in Korea. In an April 1960 letter, Moyer reports to Alvin Roseman of the ICA of student demonstrations and the government’s hardnose reaction. Besides professional correspondence, there are a number of letters written to his wife Dorothy, and incoming and outgoing correspondence for her and other family members and friends.
Of significance to Oberlin’s institutional history are the letters he wrote to the Shansi Memorial Association and his family. Written mostly before 1945, the outgoing letters offer some evidence of Moyer’s activities in Shansi Province. They often discuss current conditions in China, the Ming Hsien school, and his imprisonment in Hong Kong by the Japanese. In two outgoing letters to his mother Emma Jane Moyer (dated December 1929-January 1930), Moyer describes a famine that hit the Shansi and Shensi Provinces. In May-August 1938, Moyer writes a series of letters (ribbon copies) to former executive secretary William F. Bohn and current executive secretary Lydia Lord Davis of the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association, in which he vividly details Japanese occupation of Taiku, the move of Ming Hsien to Szechwan Province, and his pessimistic view of the future of the school in Shansi Province. In August 1942, Moyer wrote his wife Dorothy, William F. Bohn, and Lydia Lord Davis describing the lack of food, the camp, and his happiness of returning home after six months in a Hong Kong prison camp. Associated materials regarding Moyer are to be found in the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association papers (RG 15).
The papers also consist of a large number of original non-textual materials (located in series nine) that strongly supplement the paper documents. Of particular significance are the photographs showing the grim conditions Moyer labored under in Shansi Province during the 1920s and 1930s. They report on the success of experimental crops and livestock, the condition of the soil, and climate. The photographs also provide remarkable views of Taiku city and breathtaking rural scenery. In addition, the photographs frequently depict Moyer performing his diplomatic duties (1948-1961), which is the only record in the collection that reports on his specific Far East activities. This often consisted of meeting high government officials, including Taiwan premier Chiang Kai-Shek (n.d.), Korean president Syngman Rhee (1956), John Foster Dulles (1957), and President Dwight Eisenhower (1960).
The Moyer papers contain notable weaknesses. Most striking is the uneven documentation of Moyer’s professional career. Practically no information exists in the collection on Moyer's time as a Shansi rep (1921-1923), in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1943-1947), the Ford Foundation (1951-1953), and regional director of the Far East division, ICA (1953-1959). Users must consult his lectures, official statements, and speeches, as well as some of his research files from his book, to document these parts of his career. Absent are records detailing his day-to-day activities. In fact, there are no diaries, travel logs, or daily calendars that offer any clues to specific events.
Series 1. Appointments, Awards, and Diploma Files, 1913-1968 (0.2 linear feet)
This series consist of two filing units: Appointments and Awards, 1946-1968; and, Diplomas, 1913-1941. Included here, as expected, are Moyer’s educational diplomas, as well as his two honorary Ph.D. degrees. Also included in this series is an award from the Order of Propitious Clouds (1968) and a 1948 signed proclamation from President Harry S. Truman appointing Moyer to the Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction. Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.
Series 2. Correspondence (Incoming and Outgoing), 1923-1992 (1.0 linear feet)
Consists of three filing units: Raymond T. Moyer Professional Correspondence (incoming and outgoing), 1923-1992; Raymond T. Moyer to Dorothy Moyer Correspondence, 1928-1939, and Raymond T. Moyer, Dorothy Moyer, and Other Family Members Correspondence (incoming and outgoing), 1934 and 1937. The incoming and outgoing professional correspondence of Raymond T. Moyer, covering more than a 65-year period, includes correspondents H.H. Kung, Harold Stassen, Harry S. Truman, and Wendell Wilkie. Especially significant are the outgoing letters (dated 1923-1945) Moyer sent from mainland China to William F. Bohn, Lydia Lord Davis, and wife Dorothy Moyer. Outgoing and incoming correspondence is interfiled and arranged thereunder chronologically.
Series 3. Lectures, Official Statements, and Speeches, 1941-1989 (0.6 linear feet)
Arranged chronologically, this series mainly contains Moyer’s lectures, official statements, and speeches spanning 50 years. The bulk of this series, dating between 1950 and 1961, detail Moyer’s views and beliefs of American foreign aid in the Far East. Included here are statements given before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1956-1959, 1961) and the Senate Appropriations Committee (1953), as well as fifteen speeches (dated 1950s) on the current state of affairs in nations of eastern Asia, such as Korea and Taiwan. The series also contains five speeches, given during the 1940s, regarding Moyer’s experiences in Shansi Province, China, as well as additional five talks (1942-1943) he gave concerning his six month imprisonment by the Japanese. There are also four speeches (1940s-1950s, 1989) at Oberlin College. Content is closely related to series four (4).
Series 4. Writing Files, 1931-1995, 1999-2000 (2.0 linear feet)
This series is arranged into four subseries: Writings in Graduate School, 1931-1941; Published Articles, 1936-1960; Unpublished Articles, c. 1930s-1968, n.d.; and, Beyond Yesterday: America In A Changing World, 1950s-1980s, n.d. Spanning a 60-year period, among the many topics highlighted are agriculture, foreign aid in the Far East, and communism. Early writings (before 1948) focused mainly on Chinese agriculture, and appeared in Scientific Monthly (1942) and Foreign Agriculture (1944-1945, 1947). Later writings (after 1948) dealt mainly with foreign aid in the Far East. Other significant files include research files, containing notes, drafts, and clippings, Moyer used to pen his personnel account of his career, including an undated and complete draft of Beyond Yesterday. Compared to the printed version, the draft contains more information on family history, Moyer’s private life, and his experiences in the Far East. Content of series is closely related to series three (3). Arranged chronologically. Subseries four (4) is organized by the order of chapters as they appeared in Moyer’s book. Also included is a Chinese translation (1999) of selected chapters of Beyond Yesterday: America in a Changing World.
Series 5. Research Files Relating to Moyer’s Professional Work, 1948-1990s, n.d. (1.0 linear feet)
This series is arranged into two subseries: Files Relating to China and Taiwan (Director, JCRR), 1948-1990s; and Files Relating to Korea (Director, ICA Mission to Korea), 1959-1961, n.d. Included here are research files (1950s-1980s, n.d.), consisting of notes, personal observations, clippings, and some drafts of chapters of Moyer’s book. Some of the files may have been primary source material for Moyer’s talks and writings, chiefly chapters of his book, including “A Cycle of Cathay,” “Stanley,” “A Third World Success,” and “A Nation is Reborn.” Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.
Series 6. Name and Subject Files Relating to Other Assignments and Interests, 1940s-1980s, n.d. (0.4 linear feet)
Arranged in alphabetical and thereunder chronological order, this series is composed of name and subject files. Some files relate to Moyer’s professional work and contain drafts of his book, notes, personal observations, and clippings. Others were simply subjects and individuals that interested Moyer, including human evolution, John Foster Dulles, and Wolf Ladejinsky. Some of the files may have been source material for Moyer’s talks, writings, and book.
Series 7. Collected Publications Relating to Moyer’s Career, 1940s-1980s (0.8 linear feet)
This series consists of publications collected by Moyer spanning 40 years. Included here is mostly material relating to Moyer’s stint on the Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction between 1948 and 1951. Publications include The Sino-American Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction and Transforming Agriculture in Taiwan: The Experience of the Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction. Other significant publications include The Selected Papers on Wolf Ladejinsky; Agrarian Reform as Unfinished Business. Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.
Series 8. Miscellaneous Files, 1942-1970s (0.2 linear feet)
This series contains miscellaneous files of Raymond T. Moyer, most of which is related to his professional career. Most significant are two employment applications (dated 1943, 1946?) that describe Moyer’s activities with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Also included here is a biographical clippings file (dated 1940s-1980s), and entries from American Men of Science (dated 1944, 1966) and Who’s Who in America (dated 1962). Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.
Series 9. Non-Textual Materials, 1920s-1980s, n.d. (2.8 linear feet)
Arranged into two subseries (Negatives, 1920s-1960s, n.d., and Positive Prints, 1920s-1960s, n.d.), this series contains over 2000 images relating mostly to Moyer’s professional career. Of special significance are 1200 images taken during Moyer’s tenure as head of the agricultural department at Ming Hsien school. These images, some in photo albums, depict agricultural experiments, conditions in town and in rural areas, and residents of Shansi Province during the 1920s and 1930s. (Additional photo albums are held by the family.) Other images (dated 1950s-1960s) show Moyer performing his duties by touring factories, meeting government officials, and attending dinner parties, especially Korea. This includes 124 undated photographs documenting Moyer’s tour of South Korea with Ambassador William McConaughy. Organized by nation. Within each folder, the photographs are identified when possible. Then arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically. Finally, a small grouping of loose photographs document the Oberlin College Commencement of 1953 and the 1921 class reunions, the Moyer family, n.d., and miscellaneous subjects, 1930s-1940s and 1980s.