Carte de Visite Photograph of Gertrude Howe

Collection ID







United States




Photographic print on cardboard


4.1 × 2.5 × 0.2 in. (10.4 × 6.3 × 0.5 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

Sponsored by The Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society, Gertrude Howe (1846–1928) was a teacher and missionary to Jiujiang, China. Howe arrived in Jiujiang on November 13, 1872, and in 1873, she founded what became the Rulison Girls’ High School, which required unbound feet for admittance. Over the years, she continued her educational work for Chinese women and even adopted four Chinses girls, including Kang Cheng (Ida Kahn), who would become one of the first Chinese women to become a medical doctor. Howe also compiled The History of the Reformation and translated the Methodist Hymn Book into Chinese. She spent 57 years in China until her death in 1928.

Created in 1872 by Edwin B. Bigelow (1838–1916), photographer, Jackson, Michigan.[1] Acquired by an unknown owner, “Mrs.”[2] Acquired by 2010 by Gene Albert (Christian Heritage Museum), Hagerstown, Maryland; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2017 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry), under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] The cardboard back contains the photographer’s name and art gallery information: “E. B. Bigelow, Art Gallery, 198 and 200 Main Street, Jackson, Mich.” Multiple entries are written on the back in different hands. At the top is written “Gertrude Howe Kiu Kiang” in dark ink. Below the photographer’s art gallery stamp is another entry written in pencil that states, “Arrived Kin-Kiang, 13 Nov 1872, W.F.M.S. Missionary.” [2] At the bottom of the card is an illegible name starting with “Mrs.” It is likely this was a previous owner.

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