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Sarah Pike Conger (1843-1932) was born in Ohio, but moved to Galesburg, Illinois, when her parents Edward and Laura Bainbridge Pike helped to found Lombard College, an institution supported by the Universalist Church. Lombard became Sarah Pike's alma mater (Class of 1863), as well as that of her husband, Edwin H. conger (Class of 1862). They married in Galesburg in 1866.
Edwin Conger (1843-1907) was a lawyer, politician and diplomat. He was named to posts in Brazil and China. The years in Beijing (1898-1905) included the tumultuous time of the Boxer Rebellion, but nevertheless the Congers, and Sarah Pike Conger in particular, were special friends of the Dowager Empress Cixi.
On their return to the United States, the Congers settled in Pasadena, California, where Edwin died. Sarah Pike Conger wrote Letters from China (Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co. 1909), and later a book for children Old China and Young America (Chicago: F.G. Browne & Co. 1913) to celebrate the Chinese people and culture. She died in 1932 and is buried with her husband in Altadena, California.
The materials in this collection are random mementos of a turn-of-the-century woman of varied interests. The New Century for Women (24 Jun 1876) and the Stuart Locomotive (30 Sept 1887) were removed from this collection to the Newspaper Collection.
See also: Student files for each of the Congers in the Lombard College Collection, Manuscripts.
Donor: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University
1. Inventory, biographical information
2. Small printed tourist map of Washington, DC
3. Two elaborate cardboard Christmas cards, 1882
4. One pair U.S. centennial commemorative earrings made from wood from Old Indepenence Hall, Philadelphia, 1876
5. "Check" for "365 happy days" signed by C.E. Tibbler, 1 Jan 1887
6. Unsigned receipt for $10.00 donation to the Republican National Convention, 1889
7. Invitation to Presendial Inauguration of the Statue of Liberty, 28 Oct 1886
8. The New Century for Women, Philadelphia. (Women's Centennial Committee, International Exposition) #7, 24 Jun 1876 - newspaper publication
9. Fragment from The Independent, 25 Jun 1874 - photocopy included here.
10. The Stuart Locomotive, Stuart, Lee County, Iowa, 30 Sep 1887 - photocopy is included here. On an interior page is the menion of the death of four-year old Lorentus Parker Conger, the son of W.B. and Ida H. Conger of Stuart. The relationship is unclear.