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Small Collection 97 [December 3, 1996]
Torrey, Reuben Archer, Jr.; 1887-1980
Papers; 1942-1966, n.d.
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Reuben Archer Torrey, Jr., was born in 1887, the only son of evangelist Reuben Archer Torrey, Sr. He studied at Lafayette College and Princeton Seminary. Torrey married Janet Mallary and they had four children, two boys and two girls, one of whom was Helen Gignilliat Torrey. The Torreys went to China to serve as missionaries under the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Stationed in Tsinan (new spelling, Jinan) in Shantung Province (new spelling, Shandong), Torrey worked as a church planter and evangelist, but also doing some minimal medical and famine relief work. The Torreys were interned by the Japanese in December 1941 and were released a year later.
Returning to the United States, Torrey worked for the Furlough Fellowship of Service in the Chicago office of the Board of Foreign Missions. In late 1944, Torrey was temporarily released from this work by the mission to serve as a liaison officer for Chiang Kai-Shek to the American forces in China. In 1945, while on assignment, Torrey lost his right arm in a truck accident. Following his recovery in the United States and the end of World War II, Torrey went back to China for the mission to administer the rebuilding of mission stations and the lives of Chinese affected by the war and to distribute money from the Restoration Fund of the Presbyterian Church. Forced to leave China with the takeover of Shanghai by the Communists, Torrey again returned to the United States for a speaking tour.
In 1952, the Commission on Ecumenical Missions and Relations of the United Presbyterian Church approached other denominations to jointly establish a project in South Korea to rehabilitate amputee victims. The Korean Amputee Rehabilitation Project was founded and Torrey was appointed its first director. During the period of 1952 to 1955, the program expanded from one center in Seoul to four, the others being located in Taejon, Chungju, and Taegu. The program provided services such as therapy in the use of artificial limbs, vocational training to prepare a participant for reintegration into useful functions in society, as well as other services. While the program was initiated to care for war victims, it continued after meeting these needs to cae for amputee victims unrelated to wartime accidents. Torrey retired as director in 1959 and returned to the United States. He died in 1980.
Scope and Content
The collection contains typed and duplicated documents written by Torrey which cover the years of his internment by the Japanese, his accident, and his directorship of the Amputee Rehabilitation Project. Among these are printed pamphlets, letters, reports, excerpts from correspondence, articles, and brief narrative accounts of the great need in Korea which the rehabilitation program was meeting.
The papers in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in June 1982 by Mrs. Clare Torrey Johnson.