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Collection 278 Papers of Elisabeth Elliot

 Collection
Identifier: CN 278

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, slides, clippings, publicity releases, reviews, manuscripts, films, video and audio tapes relating to Elisabeth Elliot's careers as a missionary in Ecuador, author, teacher and speaker. The collection is particularly rich in material relating to the so-called "Auca Incident" and Elliot's own work the Waorani, whose enemies called them the "Auca," as well as her lectures on the Biblical view of the roles of men and women, dealing with suffering, and personal holiness, among others.

Dates

  • Created: 1926, 1938-2010

Creator

Language of Materials

Collection materials are almost entirely in English, although there are some written materials in Spanish and audio materials in Wao, Spanish, and Norwegian.

Conditions Governing Access

Because of the fragile condition of the scrapbook in Box 8, researchers should use the digital copies supplied by the Archives.

The following folders are restricted for forty years from the date of the youngest document: 5-17, 5-18, 5-21.

The following folders are closed until May 1, 2031: 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, 6-5.

The following folder is restricted until January 1, 2033: 9-7.

Biographical Information

Elisabeth Howard was born December 21, 1926, in Brussels, Belgium, daughter of missionary parents, Philip E. Howard Jr. and Katherine Gillingham Howard, who were members of the Belgian Gospel Mission at the time of her birth. Elisabeth was one of a family of six. Other children were Philip, David, Virginia, Thomas, and James. The Howards returned to Philadelphia while Elisabeth was young and she grew up near Philadelphia where her father became editor of the Sunday School Times. The family lived first in Germantown, Pennsylvania, then moved to Moorestown, New Jersey. She attended public school until 1941 and then, at her own request, enrolled at the Hampden Dubose Academy (a Christian boarding school) in Orlando, Florida. She attended there until graduation in 1944. In the fall of that year she enrolled in Wheaton College. Her plan was to prepare to work as a Bible translator. Her brother David began attending Wheaton a year after Elisabeth.

While at the College, Elisabeth was involved in journalism as an editorial writer for the student paper, The Wheaton Record, and was a member of the staff of Tower, the yearbook. She was also a member of the debate team which became Northwest Champions in 1947 and was elected to Phi Kappa Delta, an honorary debate and forensic fraternity. This fraternity later honored her at its fiftieth anniversary in 1963. Her major was Greek, chosen to assist her desire to work on the mission field in linguistics. One of her fellow students was Jim Elliot, whom she later married, and who also had chosen Greek for the same reasons. The two began dating during Elisabeth’s senior year.

Elisabeth graduated in 1948 and enrolled that summer in the Summer Institute of Linguistics, Norman, OK, a training center under the auspices of the Wycliffe Bible Translators. She also attended Prairie Bible Institute, Three Hills, AB, Canada, as further preparation for mission work. During the summer of 1949, she worked in Canada with the Canadian Sunday School Mission, stopping to visit the Elliot family in Oregon after Jim Elliot's graduation that June. In 1950 she then returned briefly to Hampden Dubose Academy to teach. Planning to become a missionary in the Plymouth Brethren (PB) church, she moved to Brooklyn in 1951 for training and to work on the PB missions publication, Voices from the Vineyard.

In 1952, both Elisabeth and Jim left independently for Ecuador as mission workers. Elisabeth's assignment was with the Colorado Indians of the western jungle. Jim began work with the Quichua Indians of the eastern jungle area. When a flood necessitated rebuilding part of the station where Jim lived, he and Elisabeth decided to marry. The civil ceremony took place in Quito on October 8, 1953. Together they worked on the Quichua language and translation of the New Testament, under the sponsorship of Christian Missions in Many Lands. On February 27, 1955, their daughter Valerie was born.

Proximity of the remote Waorani people (or as called by their neighbors Auca or savage)had previously stimulated Jim Elliot's determination to attempt contact and evangelization. In 1955, plans were made for contacting the Waoranis. These plans included aerial reconnaissance flights with Nate Saint, Mission Aviation pilot, and bucket "drops" with gifts for the Waoranis. Rudiments of the Waorani language were studied and broadcast from the plane during these contacts. The language had been translated by Rachel Saint, sister of Nate, through her work with Dayuma, a refugee girl from the Waorani tribe whose family had been killed by tribesmen.

On January 2, 1956, Saint and Elliot, with Pete Fleming, Roger Youderian and Ed Mc Cully, landed on Curaray Beach and established a camp. After an apparently friendly visit from two women and a man from the Waorani tribe, the five men were killed with wooden spears on January 8, 1956. The international attention focused on their deaths resulted in a request to write their story. Through Gates of Splendor was published in 1957, authored by Elisabeth. It was followed a year later by Shadow of the Almighty, a biography of Jim Elliot. His personal journals were edited by Elisabeth as The Journals of Jim Elliot and published in 1978.

Following her husband's death, Elisabeth decided to remain, with Valerie, and continue the work with the Quichua Indians in Ecuador. (She briefly returned to her parents’ home in New Jersey after Jim’s death.) During the next two years, further contacts were made with the Waorani tribes and on October 8, 1958, Rachel Saint, Elisabeth and Valerie, accompanied by Dayuma, were able to move in with the tribe in the their remote village, Tewaenon, on the Tiwaenu River and live with the family group which had killed the men. Elisabeth was given the name Omiwaeni, which means Crane, because of her height. There they studied the language and worked on Bible translations. Their experiences were recorded in Elisabeth's book, The Savage My Kinsman (1961). Jim Elliot's killers and other members of the tribe were later converted to Christianity. She also wrote two other books about her missionary experience, No Graven Image, a novel (Harper & Row, 1966) and These Strange Ashes (Harper & Row, 1975)

In the summer of 1960, Elisabeth and Valerie returned to the United States for a year, which she spent writing and speaking. Soon after their return in the summer of 1961, they left the Waorani tribe and returned to work with the Quichua Indians at the Shandia mission station. She worked there with fellow missionary Mary Skinner. She and Valerie came back to the United States in 1963 and lived in Franconia, New Hampshire, continuing her career as a speaker and writer. She lived in New Hampshire with Eleanor Vandevort, a friend from Wheaton College days who had been a missionary in the Sudan until she was expelled.

On January 1, 1969 Elisabeth she married Addison H. Leitch, then professor of Philosophy and Religion at Tarkio College, MO. Author of five theological books, he later became professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, MA. Elisabeth was widowed once again when Leitch died September 18, 1973. The following year she was appointed Adjunct Professor at Gordon-Conwell and remained in that post until 1976. On December 21, 1977, she married Lars Gren, who had given up a career as a salesman and entered seminary. He became a hospital chaplain and later worked with Elisabeth, serving as her agent. Mrs. Gren continued to use the name Elisabeth Elliott for her writings and speaking engagements, since that was the name by which she was known to the public. She returned to the Gordon-Conwell Seminary once again in 1979 and continued as a professor for several years. She was appointed Writer-in-Residence at Gordon College for the year 1981.

Elisabeth was a well know Evangelical author and speaker and she contributed articles to many magazines, as well as having a monthly newsletter and later a website. From starting October 3, 1988 through 2001, she had her own daily radio program, Gateway to Joy. She began each broadcast with the sentence, “You are loved with an everlasting love," referring to the love of God.

Among her other books are: Who Shall Ascend: The Life of R. Kenneth Strachan of Costa Rica (1968), The Liberty of Obedience (1968), Furnace of the Lord: Reflections of the Redemption of the Holy City (1969), A Slow and Certain Light (1973, later republished as God’s Guidance: A Slow and Certain Light), Twelve Baskets of Crumbs (1976), Let Me Be a Woman: Notes on Womanhood for Valerie (1976), Love Has a Price Tag (1979), Mark of a Man (1981), Discipline, The Glad Surrender (1982), Passion and Purity (1984), A Lamp for My Feet (1985), A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael (1987), The Path of Loneliness/ Finding Your Way Through the Wilderness (1988), All That Was Ever Ours (1988), On Asking God Why (1989), The Shaping of a Christian Home (1992), Keep a Quiet Heart (1995), Quest for Love (1996), A Path Through Suffering: Discovering the Relationship Between God’s Mercy and Our Pain (1998), Secure in the Everlasting Arms (2002). She also served in the 1970s as a style consultant for the New International Version of the Bible.

After a long illness, Elisabeth Gren died on Monday, June 15, 2015.

Extent

10.86 Cubic Feet (16 Boxes (DC, ODC), Audio Tapes, Films, Photo Albums, Photographs, Slides, Video Tapes)

Arrangement of Materials

Note: Elisabeth Howard changed her name three times: when she married Jim Elliot, who died in 1956; when she married Addison Leitch, who died in 1974; and when she married Lars Gren. She is referred to throughout this guide as Elisabeth Elliot or Elliot, since that is the name by which she was known to her public.

This collection contains correspondence, manuscripts slides, clippings, publicity releases, reviews, films, video and audio recordings relating to Elisabeth Elliot's life and ministry. In particular, these materials describe Elliot’s particular her education, training as a Bible translator, missionary service in Ecuador, marriage to Jim Elliot and their life together, her work with the Waorani Indians, her growing influence as an Evangelical author and speaker, especially on issues of interpersonal relationships, Christian views of gender roles, marriage, family, grief, and loss. The collection is particularly rich in material relating to the so-called "Auca Incident" and Elliot's own work among the Waorani, whose enemies called them "the Auca."

[NOTE: the notation "folder 2-5" means box 2, folder 5]

Series 1: Audio Recordings

Audio tapes reflect Elliot’s family life and activities as a Bible translator working among the Waorani people, as well as the contents of her books and her teachings on a variety of theological topics. T1 is the audio section of the television program "This is Your Life," hosted by Ralph Edwards, based on the life of Rachel Saint, including her work in Ecuador with languages and evangelizing through Dayuma, one of the Waorani refugees who led both Elliot and Saint back into the Waorani tribe two years after the deaths (see index of tape T1 below). Tape T2 is an interview with Elliot by Robert Shuster recorded at the Billy Graham Center Archives. In it, Elliot discusses her childhood and family, spiritual growth, and her years spent at Wheaton College where she met Jim Elliot. Among the other tapes in the collection are several brief recordings that Elliot made while she was living in Ecuador after the death of her husband. Some are of various Waorani speaking. These are tapes she made to help her build a vocabulary or grammar or to record accounts by people who were eyewitnesses to the killing of Jim Elliot and his four companions in 1956 (see folder 4-9). Other tapes are audio letters that she sent home to her family, programs from the 1950s and the 1970s about the death of the five missionaries, lectures and interviews of Addison Leitch, Lars Gren and Thomas Howard (Elisabeth’s brother), the 1969 wedding ceremony when she married Leitch, and a 1974 memorial service for him. Tapes T3-T14, T20-T24, T39-T41, T43, and T46 were recorded on small 3-inch, 4-inch or 5-inch reels. On the containers holding these reels, Elliot had written notes and comments. These notes and comments are recorded in the audio location record of this guide, but because they were often difficult to read, the boxes themselves have been preserved in box 6 for researcher use. In the same folder is the two cassette container for tapes T99 and T100, the abridged audio book of These Strange Ashes, read by Elliot herself.

*****

Series 2: Films

This series contains one 16mm film created at Elliot’s parents’ home in Moorestown, New Jersey, showing scenes of Elliot with her daughter Valerie and parents Philip and Katherine Howard, circa 1956; a film that includes home movies taken by her and Nate Saint of outreach efforts to the Waorani; and a talk on male and female roles in the family.

*****

Series 3: Photographs

This series contains photographs arranged topically in photo files. They include a variety of scenes from Elliot’s life, including a Howard family reunion and her participation in Urbana 73 and 76.

*****

Series 4: Slides

This series contains slides taken by Elliot or others covering the years ca. 1948 through ca. 1986. Most undated and unlabeled. Slide S1349 shows Elliot receiving an honorary degree from Eastern College May 19, 1974. Standing with her is Eastern College President Daniel Weiss. These slides have been digitized for researcher use.

*****

Series 5: Video Recordings

This series contains seven videos, including an oral history interview with Elisabeth Elliot for Wheaton College cable program, The Clip, footage of a Howard family reunion (1972?), and recordings of lectures Elliot gave on a variety of topics, including Christian courtship, marriage, loneliness, and suffering.

*****

Series 6: Paper Records (Box List)

A. Correspondence(Folder 2-1; Boxes 3, 4, 5, 7, 9)

The bulk of the collection consists of Elliot’s correspondence. Much of this is to her family members, particularly her mother and her fiancé, later husband Jim Elliot. One particularly interesting set of correspondence if from Elliot’s Wheaton College classmate and lifelong friend Eleanor Vandevort. (Elliot usually called her “Van” and she referred to Elliot as “Bet” or “Betts” or “Betty”.) There are also many letter to Elliot from friends, publishers, missionaries, etc. There are also many letters, largely appreciative, from people who read her books, listened to her radio programs, and attended her lectures or classes.

Up to 1952, the letters by Elliot are mostly handwritten, after that they are mostly typed, although in some cases there are handwritten and typed versions of the same letter. These letters describe in detail, particularly for the 1940s through the 1980s, Elisabeth’s activities, thoughts and feelings. They cover her education and experiences at Hampden-Dubose Academy, Wheaton College and Prairie Bible Institute, her developing romance with Jim Elliot, training at the 1948 Summer Institute of Linguistics, work with the Canadian Sunday School Mission, her first years as missionary in Ecuador working with the Colorado Indians; her marriage to Elliot; their work at the Indian School at Shandia, Ecuador; the birth of her daughter Valerie; the development of the plan to reach the Waorani tribe (known as the Auca); the impact of the murder of Jim and his five coworkers - Ed Mc Cully, Peter Fleming, Roger Youderian, and Nate Saint - by Waorani tribesmen on Elisabeth’s life ministry; her writing of a biography of Jim and the development of a plan to live among the Waorani, accompanied by tribe woman Dayuma; her life among the Waorani with her daughter Valerie; her return to the United States and her growing influence as a writer, speaker, and teacher; her marriage to Addison Leitch and his death; her marriage to Lars Gren; her teaching experiences at Gordon-Conwell Seminary. There are many letters, largely appreciative, from people who read her books, listened to her radio programs, and attended her lectures or classes.

Throughout the letters to her family and to Jim, from almost the earliest days, are her thoughts various books she had been reading, usually on spiritual topics, such as Thomas a Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ (folder 3-8) or reflections on her own faith and Christian life in particular or the nature of God, of Jesus Christ, of the Christian life, of the varieties of human existence. The letters from 1958 through 1962 are filled with observations and thoughts on the development of the Christian faith among the Quichua-speaking people, including the Waorani, and their first steps in applying their faith to their lives and Elisabeth’s own struggles in contextualizing the Christian faith. Starting from 1957 on, there are also increasingly frequent references to her often hectic writing, speaking, and teaching schedule as she became one of the best known American Evangelical speakers and writers. Folder 5-20 contains the large envelopes in which, apparently, Katherine Howard, Elisabeth’s mother, had originally stored these letters. Some of the envelopes have notes about the contents made by Elisabeth when she received the letters back after her mother’s death.

There are three other significant groups of material in her correspondence. The first are readers’ responses to her three of her books, Through Gates of Splendor, The Shadow of the Almighty, and Quest for Love. These are all in box 9 and are described in more detail in the Exceptional items section of the guide. There are almost many letters from readers of these and others of her books in the general Correspondence. The second significant group is the aforementioned General Correspondence also in box 9. This includes a wide range of personal and professional correspondence, from mother, siblings, nieces and nephews, classmates, friends, missionaries, readers, listeners, people who attended her lectures, her students at Gordon-Conwell, publishers, a few critics. A few are from men asking for her help in finding a suitable wife. Several letters are by other people to someone other than Elliot, but a copies of the letters were sent to EE for her information. The vast majority are letters to her, although there are several carbons of letters that she wrote. Archivist grouped together letters from family and from publishers. These are described in more detail in the Exceptional items section of the guide.

The third significant group are in folders 9-16 and 16-16. This is the correspondence from Eleanor Vandevort. These are letters to Elliot and not from her and, except for a few brief notes in folder 9-16, they are from Vandevort’ s time as a missionary in Sudan, living among the Nuer people in the village of Nasir. They are all to Elliot rather than from her. However, a few of the letters contain notes by Elliot, made at a later time. See for example October 11, 1956; April 18, 1958, and June2, 1961. Many contain Elliot’s underlining, brackets, or circles. There is also one general letter Vandevort wrote to her supporters (October 16, 1958). Some of the letters are typed, but most are handwritten in a very legible style. The earliest letter is from 1950, shortly after Vandevort arrived in the country, the latest is from 1962, shortly before she was expelled with several other Western missionaries. Although there are three letters from 1950, the rest of the correspondence covers late 1956 through late 1962, fifty-six letter covering a period of seventy-three months. Also in the folder are three pages of handwritten brief notes that Elliot made about the letters at round the time she donated them to the Archives in 1997.

The topics of the Vandevort letters are varied but closely connected: her own spiritual questions and struggles; evaluations of the development of a Christian community among the Nuer and her doubts about their spiritual maturity; questions about the development of an indigenous Nuer Christianity, as opposed to one based by Western models; comments on her work of translating the Bible into the Nuer language; critiques of Western missionary efforts; occasional brief references to political and military events in Sudan. She also responded to questions and reports from Elliot, particularly relating to Elliot’s translation work, her (Elliot’s) desire to begin a work among the Waorani (always referred to by Vandevort as the Auca), the spiritual implications of heathenism; Elliot’s activities as an author, Elliot’s and Val’s life among the Waorani; and Elliot’s escalating conflicts with Rachel Saint. Throughout the letters and perhaps their dominant theme is Vandevort’ s reflections on the providence of God and the need to be surrendered to His will.

B. Manuscripts, Publications, and Publicity Materials (Boxes 1, 2, 6, 10, 11)

This collection also contains manuscripts of six of Elisabeth Elliot's books and an almost complete run of her newsletters. For her first and perhaps most influential book, Through Gates of Splendor, there is a very rough draft in folder 1-12, with many handwritten notes, apparently by Elliot and perhaps others, revised or adding material and making a variety of comments. The Savage My Kinsman tells the story of Elliot's entrance into the Waorani tribe with Valerie, her daughter, to live with them and study the language. It describes her experiences and the customs of the Waorani people. These Strange Ashes (folder 2-2) is a poignant memoir and theological exploration about her nine months living next to the Colorado Indians of Ecuador before her marriage to Jim Elliot. Mark of a Man (folder 2-3,4) explores male-female similarities, differences, and relationships. The obedience required for discipleship, discerning calling and guidance, and the dimensions of discipleship are explored in Discipline (folder 2-5, 6). Passion and Purity (folders 2-7, 8) deals with Christian romantic love between a man and a woman, a book which drew on her personal love story before the two years of her marriage to Jim Elliot. These manuscripts are a valuable record not only for the events and content, but also for an insight into the creative writing and editing process. There is no manuscript for Elliot’s biography of Amy Carmichael, A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael; however, the collection does have Elliot’s correspondence with many people who knew Carmichael (folder 6-2), as well as some of the resource materials she gathered (folders 6-1, 6-4, and 6-5) and a notebook with thoughts and plans about the project (folder 6-3). These materials are closed to use until 2031. Some of these sources appear to be contemporary documents, such as Carmichael’s autobiography, her statement on the principles of the Dohnavur Fellowship which she founded, and notes or letters she wrote, most of which seem to be copies made later. In these materials Carmichael and those writing to her are reminiscing about her almost always refer to her as “Amma.” The source materials include many reminiscences of Carmichael by friends and associates as well as transcripts of Carmichael quotations on various subjects. Folder 6-1 also contains Elliot’s correspondence with her publisher about the project. Additional materials about Amy Carmichael and/or the Dohnavur Fellowship are in folder 10-1. These include photocopies of books and articles by ad about Carmichael, a Dohnavur song book, a play about Carmichael, an index to first lines of Carmichael’s poems

There are different types of publicity for Elliot's first book, Through Gates of Splendor, include reviews and some Spanish language clippings (folder 1-3). Of particular interest is the copy of a sermon preached by Harold Ockenga at Park Street Church, Boston, MA, in 1957. In it, he retells the story of the five men who were killed and addresses the criticism of those who charged fanaticism (folder 1-9). Critical reactions to the books Shadow of the Almighty and Who Shall Ascend are in folders 1-10 and 1-11.

The Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter began publication in 1982 and continued until 2003. The bi-monthly, four page publication contained brief articles with her reflection on various aspects of Christian life, the nature of God, her own travels and experiences. This collection has an almost complete set (see also Collection 670) as well as a few items related to the newsletter in folder

C. Scrapbooks (Box 8 and Photo Album File)

Of particular interest are two scrapbooks that Elisabeth kept early in life. The one in box 8, which she called a Memory Book, was one she kept as a girl, beginning in August 1938 when she was nine years old. There are dated items earlier than 1938 and some as late as 1943. The pages of the scrapbook are loose because the covers and the cord that tied them together are missing. The Archives received the scrapbook pages in a large folder with Elisabeth had apparently labeled later in life. The book contains all sorts of mementos of Elisabeth’s childhood – some of her hair in a curl from her first permanent, a large color map from her visit to the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City, postcard and souvenirs from trips, letters to and from family and friends and others, photographs, programs, valentines and birthday cards, school papers, report cards, and a wide range of miscellaneous items. In many cases the items were loose and came loose from the page. The staff has put all the pages in plastic envelopes and any loose items are kept in the envelope with the page with which they were found. Many of the items have notes next to them or on them, notes apparently made by Elisabeth. Some seem to have been made when she was a girl. Other were made in later life. Throughout the scrapbook are what must be the earliest writing. The earliest is a very brief essay entitled, “Baby and Betty – What They Hade for the Party,” with its own purple cover. She wrote this at about the age of six. Other essays in these pages appear to be written for school or her own amusement.

Scrapbook I contains 157 small black and white photos and 3 color. Most of the photos are snapshots, but there are some portrait shots of individuals and families. The pictures date from 1946 to 1950 and show Elisabeth herself and her friends, classmates, family and co-workers, as well as scenes from her life in this period. This includes her years at Wheaton College and the Prairie Bible Institute as well as her work with Hampden DuBose Academy and the Canadian Sunday School Mission and vacation shots. The Wheaton snapshots include a banquet of the Wheaton Record staff, the college newspaper; pictures taken next to college buildings, and scenes from the spring 1948 Glee Club trip through ten states. A few photos had been removed before the scrapbook was given to the Archives. There are two loose photos (one of them is of Jim Elliot, the only picture of him in the scrapbook). The loose photos were put in plastic envelopes by the Archives staff and are between the pages in which they were found. The scrapbook also contains a 1949 printed map and schedule of the United States routes of Greyhound Bus Lines on which Elisabeth drew in red her route from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Edmonton Alberta, by way of Los Angeles, California and Portland, Oregon.

D. Resource Files (Boxes 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)

These were folders contained materials that Elliot gathered to have them for ready reference as she worked on her books, lectures and broadcasts. Among the materials in these files are clippings, poems, copies of letters to and from Elliot. The items are in the folders arranged according to topic and the folders are arranged alphabetically. Usually Elliot wrote on the top of the page a note indicating the topic. Many folders contain pages with extensive quotes from Elliot’s own columns or writings. Often there are multiples copies of a particular column, perhaps to be sent to people asking a particular question. Some handwritten material, mostly printed or typed. Most of the material appears to be from 1990 and later, although there is earlier material.

Boxes 13, 14 and 15 contain index cards that she used in her radio broadcasts. Boxes 13 and 14 are arranged chronologically, from April 10, 1989 through 2000 and give brief summaries of her broadcasts. Box 15 contains questions, arranged by topic, that were, perhaps, asked by either listeners to her programs or readers of her books

E. Speaking Engagements (Box 16)

This subsection contains materials relating to her speaking engagements, which could be lectures or seminars or conference appearances. In some cases, there are notes that she wrote in preparation for her talk. There are more extensive materials for some of her appearances at the InterVarsity Student Mission conferences in Urbana, Illinois, including programs, scheduling materials, and reactions from audience members.

F. Miscellaneous(Box 16)

These document various significant events in Elliot’s life, including a notebook showing her linguistic notes, probably made on site, of the Wao language and awards and honorary degrees she received during her life. There is also a file with information about her family genealogy, including a summary she wrote herself in 1993.

Accruals and Additions

This material in this collection was given to the Billy Graham Center Archives from Elisabeth Elliot Gren, Lars Gren, Valerie Shepard, Kirk Hawthorne, Kenneth Fleming, and Laura Brock.

Accession: 82-119, 83-83, 84-40, 85-48 April 3, 1985

Frances L. Brocker

J. Nasgowitz

Accession: 92-20

September 1, 2004

Updated Christian Sawyer

Accession 12-19

July 17, 2012

Uupdated Bob Shuster

Accession 12-37

May 28, 2013

Bob Shuster

Harun Njuguna Mathenge

Riko Tan

Accession 15-26

July 31, 2015

Bob Shuster

Accession 16-13

June 17, 2016

Bob Shuster

Accession 16-29

August 31, 2016

Bob Shuster

Accession 19-29, 19-31

August 25, 2020

Bob Shuster

Emily Banas

Accession 97-21

January 5, 2021

Bob Shuster

Exceptional Items

Folder 1-2: 1945-1984. This folder includes several nonfamily letters written between 1952 and 1956 to Elliot’s childhood friend, Carol Smith Graham. In these letters she enthusiastically champions the spiritual benefits of Plymouth Brethren assemblies, describes her life as a missionary in Ecuador, (before her marriage) describes Jim Elliot to Carol who had never met him, and after Jim’s murder describes the continuing efforts she was involved in to reach the Waorani. Another interesting item in the folder is a three page typewritten copy of a letter written by Elisabeth in to Marj Saint and Marilou McCully, the widows of missionaries murdered with her husband. The letter is written just days after Elisabeth and her daughter had come to live in Waorani village and describes her first impressions of life there. Other correspondence in the file deals primarily with publishing and publicity arrangements for Elliot's books.

Folder 3-2: 1943. Attending Hamden-Dubose Academy.

Folder 3-3: 1944. Attending Hamden-DuBose Academy; first impressions of Wheaton College (9/10); freshman year at Wheaton College, Philip Howard speaking at Wheaton (11/5).

Folder 3-4: 1945. Attending Wheaton College, working on the Wheaton Record (school newspaper) and The Tower (school yearbook); visit to Moody Church in Chicago to hear General William Dobbie (2/10); description of the announcement of the end of the war in Europe on Wheaton’s campus (5/12); description of the YFC Memorial Day rally in Soldier Field, Chicago (6/3); impressions of a Don Hustad/George Beverly Shea concert (10/14) Note some of Elisabeth’s letters to her mother in this and other folders in the 1940s were sent on by her mother to her son Phil, with a few comments added on the back of the pages.

Folder 3-5: 1946. Attending Wheaton College, a sample of a typical (hour by hour) weekly schedule (February); thoughts on reading C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters (02/17. See also letter for 11/11), dinner with Billy Graham (03/24); her enjoyment of her first exposure to Greek language despite its difficulty (9/20, 9/29), descriptions of the trips she took with the debate team.

Folder 3-6: 1947. Attending Wheaton College; Undated note with apparently the first mention of Jim Elliot.

Folder 3-7. Jan-May 1948. Attending Wheaton College; plans for future missionary service and applying to Wycliffe Bible Translators, Africa Inland Mission and Prairie School of the Bible (later Prairie Bible Institute); description on evangelistic services on Wheaton’s campus led by Stephen Olford (1/20); mention of Jim Elliot in several letters (1/20, 1/30, 4/29, 5/1); go on tour with Women’s Glee Club; letter describing a preaching trip she had taken to Taylor University with, among others, Jim Elliot (5/31); copy of her graduation program.

Folder 3-8: June-Aug 1948. Attending Camp Wycliffe (Summer Institute of Linguistics or SIL) for training in Linguistics and Bible Translation. Letter describing both the two weeks after she and Jim Elliot had declared their love for each other and her first days at the Wycliffe training camp in Oklahoma (6/16).

Folder 3-9: Sept-Dec 1948. Attending Prairie School of the Bible; program of PSOB (12/1); development of her relationship with Jim Elliot.

Folder 3-10: 1949. Attending Prairie School of the Bible, working for the Canadian Sunday School Mission, including visiting Native American villages (7/25) Folder 3-11: 1950. Description of teaching at Hampden-Bose Academy (1/24); revival at Wheaton College (2/12).

Folder 3-12: 1951. Description of her move to Brooklyn to work for The Field, Inc, which was publishing Voices from the Vineyard.

Folder 4-1: Mar 1952-1953. Description of her move to Ecuador and her adjusting to missionary service; linguistic and translation work with Quichua and Tshafihki languages; working with the Colorado Indians; living across the street from Jim Elliot (5/28/52), move to Shell Mera to work with tribal people (7/21/52); announcement of her engagement to Jim Elliot (Feb); several letters describing wedding preparations, the wedding in October and the honeymoon in Panama and Costa Rica.

Folder 4-2: 1954. Letter to Elisabeth’s family in which Elisabeth and Jim each write a portion (1/9); Description of the Elliots’ new home in Puyupungu and the life of the people there (3/25); letter from Jim to Elisabeth’s family (10/8); Elisabeth’s pregnancy (11/19).

Folder 4-3: 1955. The school for Indians Jim Elliot and Peter Fleming started at Shandia and the difficulty of winning local people to the Gospel (1/09); letter from Jim to his mother about a visit from his father (3/4); birth of Valerie Elliot (4/14); the outcast status of the Waorani (referred to as Auca in the letters, 5/12); the start of a woman’s prayer meeting at Shandia (June); trip of Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming to Villano to meet Indians who had never had contact with missionaries (10/12); conversions at Puyupungu.

Folder 4-4: 1956. Elisabeth lets her family in on the secret of Jim’s plan to begin a work among the Waorani (1/2); news that Jim and the four other missionaries have received their landing place safely (1/6); Elisabeth receives news of the death of Jim and the other five men (1/11); first letter to friends after Jim’s death (1/25); continuation of prayer for a work among the Waorani; letters urging Elisabeth to write a book about the death of the five men (8/16).

Folder 4-5: 1957. Reflection on Jim’s death one year later (1/8)writing and editing Through Gates of Splendor; fear that her book is being confiscated in Ecuador (5/8); Offer from the 20th Century Fox movie studio to film the book (6/5); Ruth Graham’s letter (12/24).

Folder 4-6: 1958. Delivering babies (1/14); Contact and growing friendship with the Waorani women Mintaka and Mankamu and hearing their account of the killing of the five men; learning the language from the two women and talking with them about going back to where the Waorani live; moving to Limon Cocha (7/15); Elisabeth, Valerie and Rachel Saint move to the Waorani village (10/8) another letter from Ruth Graham (10/17); reflections on living among the Waorani for two months (12/3); explaining Life magazine articles to Waorani (12/28); fan letter from a seventeen year old Japanese girl who read Through Gates of Splendor and wanted to become a missionary.

Folder 4-7: 1959. Visit to Lima, Peru (11/17); Elisabeth learns more details about the death of the five men (3/26); Dayuma’s work with Elisabeth and Rachel; construction of an airstrip for the village (5/6).

Folder 4-8: 1960. Speaking and writing in the United States; return to Ecuador (9/6); progress in the translation work (12/6); relations with Rachel Saint (12/31). Folder 4-9: 1961. Conference with 400 Quichuas in attendance (4/3); 4/25/1961 changing habit among the local people. “All the Quichuas are wearing clothes now” (4/25); Gikita’s account of the killing of the five men (July); plans to leave the work among the Waorani (11/6).

Folder 4-10: 1962. Reflection on the development of the Christian faith among the tribal people at Shandia since the death of the five men in 1956 (1/3); descriptions of the theological understanding and preaching skills of the Indian convert Venancio; meeting with Dayuma and other Waorani at a conference at Pano; rumor about why Billy Graham did not visit Waorani on his visit to Ecuador (2/28); long exegesis on I Corinthians 11 and meaning of the question of women’s head coverings in Quichua society (4/10); assisting Eugene Nida in Quito (5/21); Elisabeth’s memories from her early childhood (5/25); description of her trip to Franconia, New Hampshire (9/27); thoughts on the tragedy of Marilyn Monroe (10/4); letter to mother Katherine G. Howard from Elisabeth’s coworker Mary Skinner on the one year anniversary of Elisabeth’s leaving the Waorani to work with her in Shandia (11/13); list of items that Elisabeth wanted to get pictures of for use in Auca and Quichua translation work.

Folder 4-11: 1963. Growth and development of Valerie; Elisabeth’s efforts to help Indian women facing struggle with health, medical cases and maternal matters; nominated to Pi Kappa Delta by Wheaton College; Eleanor Vandevort (Van) a missionary from Sudan, moves to Shandia; anxious to contact Roman Catholic priests in the Shandia area; becoming financially independent and buying a home in Franconia, New Hampshire, United States

Folder 4-12: 1964. Death of Philip Howard; Elisabeth growing work as a speaker at women’s meeting, conferences, churches, and schools; friendship with Van (Eleanor Vandevort), who accompanies her on her travels; beginning work on her novel, No Graven Image, about a missionary in Ecuador.

Folder 5-2: 1966. Publication of her novel; picks up a hitchhiker for the first time, who is a man with longhair and a guitar with a sign “New York, Please” (2/17); thoughts on the meaning of the term, “Pentecostal;” evangelism conference in San Jose, Ecuador; visit to Quito with Valerie.

Folder 5-3: 1967. Problems with the Five Missionary Martyrs Fund; publishes Who Shall Ascend?; trip to Israel.

Folder 5-4: 1968. Hear Richard Nixon speak at Thayers Hotel in Littleton; attends THINK conference and discusses church growth, mission financing, publicity, national pastors’ support, recruiting, prayer and fasting, glossolalia, identification (what to do about polygamy, drum-beating, beer-drinking, the wearing of clothes), community conversions, mobility of missionaries into high harvest areas, amalgamation of small faith missions; problems with her publisher Harper and Row over her book on Jerusalem (8/4); introduction of Addison Leitch to her family and her plan to marry him and a copy of his resume (12/9); Addison’s letter to Elisabeth’s mother (12/15).

Folder 5-5: 1969. Married life with Addison; his weighing of various prospects before joining the faculty of Gordon Divinity School (soon to become Gordon-Conwell Seminary); move to Hamilton, Massachusetts; visit with Billy Graham (12/2); thoughts on the meaning of “Evangelical”: Wherein are our differentia? Trinity, Virgin Birth, Resurrection of the Body. How about views on Scripture, high Christology, Second Advent, the age and mode of baptism, and the nature of the Presence in the Lord’s Supper

Folder 5-6: 1970. Valerie is baptized and Addison and Elisabeth were confirmed at Christ Church (March); trip to the Philippines (June); thoughts on the meaning of “being filled with the Spirit”: are there any prayers recorded in the New Testament which ask for it; death of Jim Elliot’s father (9/4)

Folder 5-7: 1971. Publication of Addison’s new book (January/February); description of an Egyptian. Christian critique of the film His Land, about modern Israel in prophecy (4/1). Folder 5-8: 1972. Talk with Leatha Humes, OMF missionary in Indonesia, about the revival there and problems in that field (5/2); lecture on “The Search for a New Theory of Mission” at Harvard Divinity School.” Addison’s great gifts as a speaker; Valerie leaving home to begin attending Wheaton College; discovery that Addison has prostate cancer; his appointment as a dean at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (December)

Folder 5-9: 1973. Addison’s radiation treatment; his death (9/25).

Folder 5-10: 1974. Description of her experience speaking the previous month at the Intervarsity triennial Urbana conference on student missions (January); publication of Through Gates of Splendor as a comic book; begins teaching at Gordon-Conwell on Christian Expression: “the presentation of ideas in speech, writing, and behavior;” wide ranging speaking engagements; Valerie’s engagement (December).

Folder 5-11: 1975. Receiving tenure at Gordon-Conwell (1/25)

Folder 5-12: 1976. Board meeting at Stony Brooke School (5/7); Valerie’s wedding to Walter Shepard.

(5/20); talk by Corrie Ten Boon (5/27); discussion with Virginia Mollenkott and Harold Lindsell about Biblical teaching on feminism; visit to Ecuador (8/16); speaking at Westminster Seminary on feminism (11/11).

Folder 5-13: 1977. Reflections on the 1976 Urbana Conference; Billy Graham said, “It was the best organized conference he’d ever attend” (1/6); teaching at Gordon-Conwell (2/8); meeting with J. I. Packer (3/18); her engagement to Lars Gren (12/21).

Folder 5-14: 1978. Her wedding to Lars (1/9); move to Smyrna, Georgia (1/14); Stony Brooke School board meeting (2/8); Lars work as hospital chaplain (2/21); speaking engagements at Dallas Theological Seminary and the US Center for World Mission; move from Georgia back to Hamilton, Massachusetts (5/21); her column in Christian Herald (6/29); appearance on the 700 Club television program (11/21) lecturing at the US center for World Mission (12/8).

Folder 5-15: 1979. Meeting with John Stott (1/22); meeting with J. I. Packer in Boston (6/22); brief mention of a BBC documentary about the Waorani (10/17).

Folder 5-16: 1980. Keynote speaker at Urbana 79, Billy Graham also a speaker (1/3).

Folder 5-18: 1982. Hearing Billy Graham speak in Boston (6/28).

Folder 5-21: 1983. Note from Elliot in response to a letter of appreciation she received from one of her readers.

Folder 5-19: 1952-1987. Prayer letters Elisabeth sent to her supporters. There are a dozen of letters from 1952 through 1963, describing all her time in Ecuador. The letters then begin again in 1973, addressed apparently to family and friends. Among the topics in later letters: a eulogy for Addison shortly after his death (11/73); description of her marriage to Lars Gren (1/78); description of her travels with Lars; the death of her mother Katherine (2/87; the picture also contains a 1972 picture of Katherine with all her adult children). The folder also has a 1958 (updated to 1960) list of people who received Elisabeth’s prayer letter.

Note: The documents in box 7 are Elisabeth’s letters to her fiancé, later husband, Jim Elliot. They are mostly from the period before their marriage in 1952, but there are a few afterwards, up to January 1956, when Jim was killed. Jim’s letters to Elisabeth are in Collection 277 Box 4.

Folder 7-1. Correspondence – Jim Elliot -1949. Criticisms and concerns over Jim Elliot’s “Wheaton Renaissance,” involvement of David Howard and IVCF; discussion of purity; review of a disappointing visit with Jim Elliot’s family; announcement of David Howard’s engagement; discussion of wisdom of continuing correspondence; discussion of poetry of Robert W. Service; Offer to teach at Du Bose Academy; Officer’s Christian Union soldier testimonies; David Howard’s concerns about their relationship; Discussion of the nature of love, mentions of Oswald Chamber, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Johanne Goeth, Henry Clay Trumbull’s Friendship: The Master Passion; brief mention of a Billy Graham article; discussion of exchanging pictures; report of Chinese IVCF meeting; Ruth Lois Stam and Katherine Cunningham visit.

Folder 7-2. Correspondence – Jim Elliot - January-March 1950. Discussion of signs of the times; household responsibilities; move to and description of Hamden Du Bose Academy (HBA); concerns about Phil Howard; Wheaton’s Life Hour Quartet members’ visit to HBA and uncouth behavior; Discussion of upcoming Wheaton choir and debate team visits; Dr. Homer Hammontree and Charles Seidenspinner teachings; news of Wheaton 1950 Revival; review of work at HBA; description of Florida scenery.

Folder 7-3. Correspondence – Jim Elliot - July-November 1950. Note from Katherine Howard to Elisabeth commiserating on Jim’s departure; Remembrance of a surprise meeting with Jim; discussion of William Wilberforce; Jim’s experience at the Summer Institute of Linguistic - Wycliffe program; talking with Dr. Wilfred Tidmarsh; God’s new guidance for Jim Elliot and Bill Cathers; discussion of missionary med course at Biola University; conversations with Dr. Ford Canfield of China Inland Mission; InterVarsity Christian Fellowship conference at Keswick; visit with John Winston; description of Gale Cottage, Franconia and surrounding scenery; poetry of Gerhard Tersteegen and Frederich H. H. Myers; Jim’s preparations and plans for Ecuador; Jim’s visit to Wheaton Homecoming and fellowship with Ed McCully; discussion of flagging affections and God’s constancy.

Folder 7-4. Correspondence – Jim Elliot - January-May 1951. Jim Elliot & Ed McCully’s radio program in Chester, IL; work tutoring and teaching church Bible club; Clara Elliot’s bone decalcification; discussion of Jim Elliot’s spiritual discouragement and God’s higher purpose; Club 66 work of Jim Elliot and Ed McCully; IVCF conference at Keswick; worries and tensions over Phil Howard’s spiritual crisis; Hamden Du Bose Academy commencement; description of trip to St. Augustine, Florida.

Folder 7-5. Correspondence – Jim Elliot - July-October 1951. Working for Pioneer Camps (IVCF) at Lake Clearwater; Jim Elliot’s plans for Ecuador; visit to Franconia; discussion of plans for upcoming visit from Jim (and Bill & Irene Cathers); Letter from Katherine Howard to Jim Elliot inviting him and the Cathers to stay with the Howards; Jim’s visit and deepening of romantic relationship.

Folder 7-6. Correspondence – Jim Elliot – November-December 1951. Ralph West; prospect of going to Urbana Conference; influence of J.A. Clarke; family Christmas in Moorestown; plans with Dorothy Jones for mission field; departure of Dr. and Carol Canfield to Hong Kong & Gen. Harrison for Korea.

Folder 7-7. Correspondence – Jim Elliot - January-March 1952. Visit from Dorothy Jones, who would be one of her co-workers in Ecuador; talk with Doreen Clifford who would be another co-worker; Dispossession notice from NY landlady; thoughts on Elisabeth’s upcoming mission to Ecuador; lunch with Paul Little of InterVarsity; Concern over her relationship with Jim’s extended family; Phone call from Jim; Jim’s travels to Quito, Ecuador; Elisabeth’s preparations for Ecuador; studying obstetrics; visit with a captain for Marine Medical Missions; collecting material for Dr. Wilfred & Gwen Tidmarsh and Doreen Clifford; Visit to Florida and Hamden Du Bose Academy; Talk with Mrs. Du Bois; EFMA fees; questions on Ed and Marilou McCully’s plans for coming to Ecuador.

Folder 7-8. Correspondence – Jim Elliot – August-November 1952. Jim’s departure from Quito; work and fellowship with Dr. Wilfred & Gwen Tidmarsh, Dee and Marie Short, Ruth (Stam) Jordan, and Abe Van der Puy; further descriptions of life and travels in Ecuador; Anton Marco concert at Casa de Cultura with accompanist Dick Foulkes; letters from Elisabeth’s family; Philip Howard and the Sunday School Times; mentions of Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA) and the CMA school in Quito; work at Shell Mera; reflections on growing intimacy with Jim; news and slides from Shandia; Jean Odell’s move to Quito; radio communication in and out of the jungle; discussion of harassment on public transportation in Quito; the trials of separation and waiting for marriage; work of Bill and Irene Cathers on problems with the Shorts; discussion of some disillusionments of the mission field in the work of HCJB and CMA; Jim’s reflections on Quichua language work; visit from Doreen Clifford; Anticipation of arrival of Ed & Marilou McCully; sending supplies down to Shandia; visit from co-worker Barbara Edwards; Elisabeth’s departure to San Miguel; working with Colorado Indians & translation work; discussion of possibility of Christmas visit to Quito.

Folder 7-9. Correspondence – Jim Elliot -1953, 1956. Delight over engagement; description of work and community with Colorado Indians, including mention of the deaths of the mother and baby described in more detail in These Strange Ashes; Letter to Mrs. H.E. Josephson with reflections on God’s grace after Jim’s death; Questions over future outreach to Auca (Waorani) Indians; slow-going of translation work, celebration of the one year (almost) of their marriage.

Folder 7-10. Correspondence – Jim Elliot -No date. Discussion of God’s will and marriage.

Folder 9-1. General Correspondence -1947-1957 – Among the items in the folder is a 1947 note from Wheaton English professor Katherine Tiffany expressing appreciation of one of Elliot’s student articles in the College newspaper, a 1957 letter from W. Cameron Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, to Ecuador missionary Wilfrid Tidmarsh, making a case for Bible translators to take the lead in contacting the so-called Auca Indians; photocopy of a 1956 letter, written shortly after her husband’s death, in which she describes their life together, her love for him and how God has been leading her; photocopy of 1957 letter (incomplete) from Elliot to Marilou McCully (widow of Ed McCully), including Elliot’s comments on the biography she was writing about her husband Jim.

Folder 9-2. General correspondence – 1964-1969. Several letters from Elliot to Wheaton College anthropology professor James Buswell III and others describing her experiences among the Waorani and her reflections on those experiences; letters from theologian Hans Burki discussing basic question of faith, history and theology; Ecuador missionary Katherine Morgan discussing the purpose and methods of modern missions, many letters from people who heard Elliot speak, most laudatory but some very critical. Letter from theology professor James Yerkes about his critique of Wheaton College. The folder also contains correspondence from Cristian publisher Kenneth Taylor.

Folder 9-3. General correspondence -1970-1979. Correspondents include June Carter Cash, William Nigel Kerr, Ann Kiemel, Gordon MacDonald, and J. I. Packer. There are numerous letters and notes from her students at Gordon College as well from people who attended Bible studies and seminars she led, expressing their appreciation. A 1971 letter from Elliot gives her condolences to Penny Hatcher on the death of her husband, missionary pilot E W. Hatcher and two years letter there are some of the condolence letters Elliot received from Howard Butt Jr. and others on the death of her husband Addison. Letters in 1977 from J. I. Packer and Gordon MacDonald congratulate her on her marriage to Lars Gren. Several letters discuss her views on feminism, including correspondence with James Huston of Regent University which also is critical of the work of Nancy Hardesty. A letter to Pierce Beaver gives her thought on frontier missions to people who have not heard the Gospel. John Lindskoog of the Summer Institute of Linguistics wrote her about her relationship with Rachel Saint. The folder also contains the text of a speech honoring her at a meeting of the 1975 Layman’s Leadership Institute and two pages of comments of people who attended a tea held for her during her 1976 visit to Ecuador

Folder 9-4. General correspondence – 1980-1989. Correspondents include J. Christy Wilson. Among the items of interest in this folder are Elliot’s 1980 comments on the manuscript she received from author James Hefley After the Auca Massacre: A Twenty-Five Year Saga; letter from Lewis Flagg about her resignation from the board of Stony Brook School; several letters from 1980 about her connection with Gordon College in relation to that school’s attitude on feminism.

Folder 9-5. General correspondence – 1990-2000. Several letters from men seeking help in finding Christian wives.

Folder 9-6. General correspondence – 2001. Letters from listeners to her radio program writing on occasion of it going off the air to tell her of their appreciation for the show, as well as her writings and her life in general.

Folder 9-8. General correspondence – 2010. Brief note from Billy Graham.

Folder 9-10. Correspondence -Family. Mostly letters from nieces and nephews. There are also condolence letters from her brothers Phil and Thomas and her sister Virginia upon the death of her husband Addison. Thomas wrote an article for Christianity Today magazine on the question of unanswered prayer, partially based on the situation of his brother-in-law’s death, and the folder has letters that he received (and apparently passed on to his sister). Particularly interesting is an unfinished letter by Elliot’s mother, Katherine Howard, to Gospel Light publications, in which she writes at length about her children and family traditions. There is also a letter from Thomas Howard to his brothers about the need to take care of their mother in her old age.

Folder 9-12. Correspondence – Publishers. Letters to and from magazine and book publishers such as Christianity Today, J. B. Lippincott, Life, The New Yorker, Life, and Tyndale House about manuscripts he had submitted or possible assignments for her. There is also some correspondence about the request by the Special Collections department of Boston University for her papers. There is also an exchange of correspondence with B. Clayton Bell about her perception of the influence of feminist presuppositions at Christianity Today magazine

Folder 9-14. Correspondence – Readers Response – Quest for Love. Readers: Quest for Love Notes and letters from her hears and listeners, usually telling about how much they enjoyed the book or asking for copies of it.

Folder 9-15. Correspondence - Readers Response – Shadow of the Almighty Letters are almost all from readers, a few from people with some tentative connection to Elliot or her husband. Some of the later letters also mention other books or talks or seminars EE led. Most correspondents are from the United States, with some Austria, England, New Zealand, and South Africa. Almost all the letters are expressions of appreciation of the book often with descriptions of its impact on the writer or others around the writer. Some letters ask for advice on how to enter Christian service or on theological questions. A few describe appreciatively hearing her speak. There is a 1982 announcement of a baby named after Jim Elliot. A 1980 copy of a letter to Wheaton College professor Joh Gration by a student who found much spiritual guidance in Jim Elliot’s biography, Letter from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes thanking her for coming to speak to their staff . See also folder 11-3.

Folder 9-16 to 9-18. Correspondence – Readers Response – Through Gates of Splendor. Many letters in response to Elliot’s most influential and best known book, including letters from her friends and family, Jim’s friends, missionaries. The bulk of the letters are from the United States, with others from Argentina, Bermuda, Bunia, Canada, England, India, New Zealand, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, Rhodesia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales. Several are from friends or acquaintances at Wheaton College. Most of the letters are from 1957, but others are as late as the 1980s, perhaps from when new editions came out. Some are letters or comments to her mother or other family members which they passed on to Elliot. There are many letter of appreciation for the book in which the correspondent tells of the impact of the book on her or his life or describes a decision to become a missionary or go into other forms of Christian service. There is at least one extended critique of the book from a friend (September 16, 1957). Other letters discuss theological questions such as God’s purposes or offer to translate the book. Response from Elliot are rare, although some letters have her brief notes. Correspondents include children (Feb 7, 1958, March 2, 1982), John French (August10, 1957), Billy Graham (Sept 6, 1958), Clarence Jones (May 29, 1957), L. E. Maxwell (June 26, 1957), Ed McCully’s father, T. E. Sr. (6-18-57), and Christian Ravndal US ambassador to Ecuador (July 3, 1957). One writer (9-12-57) suggested that Christianity was the wrong way to deal with “the Aucas.” The Ecuador government should capture them all, psychoanalysis them and let the cured ones become Christians and lock up the rest for the rest of their lives. See also folder 11-4,

Folder 11-8. Resource Files. In her newsletter, she at one point asked people to write down their family’s Christmas traditions and send them to her. The C folder in the Resource Files has a few of the responses.

Folder 12-2. Resource Files. The I-L folder contains a letter from Hungarian theologian Anne Marie Kool

Folder 12-6. Resource Files. Q-Z file contains material Elliot gathered or wrote on women from a theological perspective and on the women’s liberation movement.

Folder 12-7. Resource Files. This folder contains notes in Spanish on various books of the Bible that Elliot made during her first year in Ecuador.

Folder 12-8. Resource Files. Contains reports on Elliot’s grades while a student at Wheaton College and Prairie Bible Institute as well as her 1952 missionary prayer card.

Folder 12-9 Resources Files. Index cards and notes on recipes, either her own or ones she got from others.

Folder 12-10. Resource Files. A large collection of tract, devotional poems and quotations.

Folder 16-2. Speaking Engagements - Lutheran laymen’s League includes material on how to organize a speaking engagement.

Folder 16-3. Speaking Engagements - Urbana 73. Letters from people reacting to her talk at the 1973 Urbana conference, clippings from magazines about the convention and her presentation.

Folder 16-4. Speaking Engagements – Urbana 76. Letters from Dave Howard and T. W. Wilson about her Urbana 1976 presentation, written questions handed in after her talk, responses from audience members in letters and notes, program schedules and plans.

Folder 16-11. Miscellaneous - Life documents. Elliot’s birth certificate, her father Philip Howard’s funeral service material, marriage certificate (Leitch), funeral service for Leitch, notice of the ordination of Valerie’s husband Walter Shepard, program for the marriage service of the Shepards, passports of Lars and Elisabeth with stamps up to 2004.

Folder 16-12. Miscellaneous – Miscellaneous. Includes notes on how to teach a foreigner how to speak the Quichua language.

Folder 16-13. Miscellaneous – My Life and Death. The folder label is from Elliot. Contents consist mainly of articles about Elisabeth, with a few other odds and ends, such as Leith’s resume.

Folder 16-15. Miscellaneous – Wao language notebook. Folder contains a loose leaf spiral notebook with Elisabeth’s notes on the Wao language.

Folder 16-12. Miscellaneous – Miscellaneous. Includes notes on how to teach a foreigner how to speak the Quichua language.

Folder 16-16. Eleanor Vandevort correspondence. A missionary’s day (9/29/50),memories of Jim Elliot (10/11/1956) comments on reading Through Gates of Splendor (7/24/1957) friendship with Betty Greene of Mission Aviation Fellowship (10/27/1957), report on Vandevort’ s visit to a Dohnavur Fellowship prayer meeting in India (11/10/1958); description of reaction in the United States to Elliot’s book Shadow of the Almighty (2/16/1959), descriptions of the political, physical and cultural environment in southern Sudan (9/2/1959), the difficulty of translating a Bible verse such as John 3:16 into terms meaningful to the Nuer (11/4/1959), description of Nuer culture (2/27/1960), reflection’s on Elliot’s speaking tour in the United States (6/10/1960; the need for Western missionaries to live as Africans (6/2/1961, see also 1/27/1962); Vandevort’ s comments on the need for Elliot to be among the Waorani and on Elliot’s relationship with Rachael Saint (see also 12/29/1961, “This is the part that won’t be written in a book, but it will be forever before the Lord as a sweet fragrance.”); consideration of how to translate various concepts found in the Bible (3/18/1962); thoughts on missionaries being forced to leave Sudan (11/6/1962).
Title
Collection 278 Papers of Elisabeth Elliot
Author
Bob Shuster
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Billy Graham Center Archives Repository

Contact:
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