Scope and arrangement
The collection consists chiefly of Taintor's letters, 1865-1870, to his brothers and sister written while aboard the ship Christian Mathias en route to China and after his arrival. The letters describe life aboard ship, intermediate stops in Rio de Janeiro and Java, and provide detailed accounts of his daily life in China, travels to various port cities, local customs and business affairs. The letters are also available in the typed transcript, An American Life in the Chinese Customs Service, 1865-1870 compiled by Lawrence Phillips, Angela Phillips Suter, and Angela Suter. In addition to the letters, the papers contain Taintor's published essay, The Aborigines of Northern Formosa (1874), a manuscript outline map of Peking (enclosed in his letter of January 31, 1866), clippings, Sabbath School certificates, obituaries, and two photographs.