Alexander Doniphan Louthan (1869–1941)
Call number: Mss1 L9361 a
Alexander Doniphan Louthan was born in Clarke County, Virginia, in 1869 and was educated at Richmond College [now the University of Richmond] and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1904, he traveled to China to become a medical missionary in Chengchow, where he met and married Pauline Louise Lide. Louthan worked in China until 1912, when he left to avoid the violence and disruption caused by the Xinhai Revolution. After returning to the United States, he lived for a time in Colorado to ease the effects of a case of tuberculosis, but he returned to China in 1918.
His letters from China can be found in the Louthan Family Papers (Mss1 L9361a), which also contain many letters from his brother, the Rev. Henry Thompson Louthan, and his father, Carter McKim Louthan, a Confederate veteran who joined the Republican Party after the Civil War. Alexander Louthan’s letters comment on his visits to local Chinese communities, an outbreak of plague, his hospital work and the surgeries he performed, and his thoughts on the 1912–13 revolution in China.
The full contents of the collection may be viewed by visiting the reading room of the Virginia Historical Society. A detailed description of the content can be found in the VHS online catalog (call number: Mss1 L9361 a).
The photograph reproduced here shows Alexander Doniphan Louthan holding an egg that he discovered during a dig in China.
Access the Collection
Go to the VHS online catalog
Alexander Doniphan Louthan
(click to enlarge)