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Collection 720 Papers of Louise H. Pierson

Identifier: CN 720

Scope and Contents

Photographs, mission newsletters, newspaper clippings, letters, drawings, and pressed flowers arranged in a scrapbook mainly documenting the work of several early Woman’s Union Missionary Society (WUMS) workers in China, Japan, and India. Most of the scrapbook appears to be focused on the work of Mrs. Louise Henrietta Pierson in Yokohama, Japan through the American Mission Home (now known as Yokohama Kyoritsu Kritsu Gakuen or Doremus School) from 1871-1899.


  • 1871-1902


Conditions Governing Access

The entirety of the photo album has been scanned due to the fragility of the original. Researchers should use the digital copy rather than the original album.

Biographical Information

Full name: Louise Henrietta Pierson

Birth: April 7, 1832 in New York

Death: November 28, 1899 in Yokohama, Japan.


Parents: Pierre Williams Thomas (1789-1847) and Harriet Bradford Brainard

Siblings: Harriet E. (1829-1860), Henrietta B. (1830-1830), Pierre William (1831-1835), Jane Amelia (1837-1837).

Marital Status: Benjamin Pierson (d. 1856-1861)

Children: Mrs. Louise Pierson had four children who had all died previous to her ministry in Japan in 1870.


1849 - Barchester (?)


1870 - Following Dr. James H Ballagh’s conversations with Mrs. Mary Putnam Pruyn regarding the need for Christian education for Japanese girls and the problem of orphaned Eurasian children, Mrs. Pruyn announced in November 1870 at the general meeting of the Woman’s Union Missionary Society Albany Branch that she intended to open a school for Japanese girls and Eurasian children in Japan. Mrs. Louise Pierson and Miss Julia Nielson Crosby volunteered to join the effort. Through WUMS, Louise Pierson was commissioned as a teacher, responsible for the lessons and the daily care of the children.

1871 - The three missionaries arrived in Yokohama, Japan in June 1871. With the help of Dr. Ballagh, they rented facilities at Yamate no. 48. While endeavoring to learn Japanese, they also began plans for the school, opening the American Mission Home in August 1871. The school offered board or day school to girls, as well as day school to boys. Beyond the work of the school, the three missionaries also established evening Bible classes for Japanese Christians, as well as non-denominational prayer meetings for Western foreigners.

1872-1891 - The growth of the school necessitated a move to a larger facility. In October 1872, the school moved to 212 Bluff in Yamate, Yokohama, Japan and the three women re-established the school exclusively for girl’s education. Popularly known as “No. 212,” the name of the school was changed in 1875 to Kyōritsu Jogakkō (Kyoritsu Girls’ School). As well as her work as a teacher and then as a principal of the girl’s school, Louise Pierson undertook multiple evangelism trips with current and former students throughout Japan, including one to Hakone in 1878 and another to the Province of Shinsiu in 1886.

1881 - Concerned with the further education of Japanese women for missionary and evangelism work, Louise Pierson assisted in founding the Kaisei Dendo Jogakko (Kaisei Women’s Bible Training School), later named the Kyoritsu Women’s Theological Seminary.

1891-1899 - Louise Pierson resigned from her principalship of the girl’s school to focus further on her evangelism trips and other efforts, as well as the development of the Bible Training School.

Other significant information

1871 - Authored “Haru: Spring Flower” for the Daughters of Japan Series, published by the Women’s Union Missionary Society.


1 Photograph Album

Language of Materials



Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Archives by Linda Kiesel in April 2014.

Accession: 14-13

March 16, 2021

Emily Banas

Collection 720 Papers of Louise H. Pierson
Emily Banas
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US