Written by Kathryn Flynn
Arthur Hummel Sr. and Ruth Bookwalter Hummel were married in October 1914 and one month later moved to China as missionaries sponsored by the American Board Mission. After a year of language study in Peking at the Yenching School of Chinese Studies, in 1915 they moved to Fenzhou, Shanxi, deep in the interior of China. Arthur, Sr. taught English at a boy's middle school. In his spare time he collected coins and maps, developed a deep interest in local history, and cultivated an avid interest in every aspect of Chinese civilization. This period of Chinese history was dominated by warlords when westerners were sheltered from Chinese laws by controversial concepts of extra-territoriality. There, six years later, in the remote rural area of Fenzhou, Shanxi China, Arthur Hummel, Jr. was born on June 1, 1920 to parents of a scholastic and missionary mind, the second of three Hummel children.
Arthur Hummel, Jr. spent the first four years of his life in Fenzhou, a remote day's journey from the railroad, where his father closely observed Chinese customs, habits and social organization and where, through his interests and studies, his father had gained information from the local people that might not otherwise have come to him.  Summers were spent at a near-by valley, and these engaging years of study and interaction with the Chinese people left a deeply abiding influence on the young Hummel family. The Hummel family lived in the untouched center of "real China," and Arthur Jr's father was later to become one of the world's greatest and most renowned Sinologists.
When the son, Arthur, Jr. was four years old, his family moved to Peking where his father, at the invitation of great William Bacon Pettus, taught Chinese customs and culture to westerners at the Yenching School of Chinese Studies, based on Hummel, Sr's own ten years of experience and study of Chinese culture. These were formative years in young Arthur Jr.'s life as he developed deep understanding and insight into the Chinese people that later prepared him for his future leadership as American ambassador to China. Arthur Jr. lived in a new house at W. B. Pettus' school language compound for three full years until he was seven years old. There he watched his father interact with many important Chinese and western scholars and western statesmen, entrepreneurs, missionaries and military personnel as a learned professor at the Pettus language school. Then, in 1927, when he was still seven years old, in spite of his family's desire to never leave, Arthur Jr.'s family and others were forced out of China by the Great Expedition attempts to unify northern and southern China. They returned to Massachusetts as required and sponsored by their Mission Board.
When they arrived in the United States, Arthur, Sr. was invited to lecture at Williams College, and while at Williams for a week-end conference, was offered a position at the Library of Congress as the first Chief of the Orientalia Division. The Hummel family moved to Washington, DC in 1928 when young Arthur, Jr. was eight years old. His father consequently worked in Washington for 27 years, assembling for the library of Congress, the largest and most comprehensive Asian studies collection in the world.
Arthur, Jr. attended Westtown High School outside of Philadelphia, which was established in 1799 by the Pennsylvania Quakers. His parents had a life-long interest in how knowledge affected ethical conduct and interpersonal relations. This interest meshed closely with Arthur Jr's early experiences of Chinese life based on Confucianism, Taoist and Buddhist principles. The preparatory school Arthur, Jr. attended stressed character development and academics. After high school he attended Antioch College in Ohio, working a number of odd jobs while he was a student. Upon graduation from college, that very same year, in 1940, thirteen years after he left as a child, Arthur, Jr. retuned to China with his father on a book buying trip. However, the young Hummel, Jr. decidedly stayed on to study Chinese and Chinese culture at his boyhood home in Peking, now Beijing, at the Pettus Yenching School of Chinese Studies, which by now was called the California College of Chinese Studies.
Arthur, Jr.'s studies at his boyhood home at William B Pettus' language school lasted only one year, when the Japanese interred Hummel, Jr. in the famous Japanese holding camp for foreigners at Weixian in Shandong Providence with others after the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Three years later, in 1944, Hummel Jr. and a fellow British prisoner escaped to join Chinese Nationalist guerillas to fight against the Japanese and Chinese communists. When the war ended, Hummel Jr. spent one more year in China working with the United Nations relief and Rehabilitation Administration. When he returned to the United States, Hummel, Jr. worked for the United China Relief agency and then enrolled in the University of Chicago to pursue a Master's degree in international relations, which he acquired in 1949. Both his famous father and his father's highly regarded twin brother, William, had studied at the University of Chicago before him.
In 1950 Arthur Hummel Jr. joined the Sate Department and began a 35 year diplomatic career in which he achieved the highest rank attainable by a Foreign Service Officer, eventually becoming the most senior career diplomat in the State Department. He attended the National War College in 1960, becoming the Deputy Director of the Voice of America from 1961 to 1963. He became the Deputy Chief of Mission at Taipei in 1965 to 1968. Hummel Jr. was appointed Ambassador to Burma from 1968 to 1971. He acted as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 1971 until 1975, and he served as Ambassador to Pakistan from 1977 to 1981. Arthur Jr. served as American Ambassador to the People's Republic of China from 1981 to 1985. Hummel Jr.'s tenure of Ambassador was highlighted by his position of chief negotiator of the 1982 United States-China Joint Communique on U. S. Arms Sales to Taiwan. It was in this strategic communique that the United States reaffirmed its "one China" policy and declared its intention to reduce arms sales to Taiwan gradually. 
After this great diplomat and statesman retired he enjoined an informal forum, along with a colleague, to increase understanding between the people of the United States and China. The small group of professors, researchers and retired Foreign Service officers, under Hummel's guidance, became the founding members of the US/China Policy Foundation which works today, long after Arthur's death in February 2001, as the first public educational organization devoted exclusively to expansion of communication, awareness and friendly exchanges between the two great cultures and countries that he loved. Many academic institutions and research foundations are associated with the China Policy Foundation which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. 
Arthur Hummel Jr., who as a boy played on the grounds of the Pettus language school, then Yenching College of Chinese Studies, and who as a young man studied in the very same language school where his highly renowned father had taught Chinese language and culture to future scholars, business leaders, diplomats, dignitaries, missionaries and military men, guided the United States of America through "one of the most creative diplomatic periods and the pinnacle of warmth in the bilateral relationship between the two countries in the last half of the twentieth century."  There is little doubt that his experiences at William Bacon Pettus' Yenching College of Chinese Studies had a deeply penetrating and lasting effect on the small boy and young man which was instrumental in producing on one of the greatest statesmen in the history of the United States of America.
 Beal, Edwin and Janet. Journal of Asian Studies Vol. XXXV. No 2 February 1976, 265.
 Goodrich, Luther Carrington. Word Study November, 1939 No. 2. Vol. XV A Publication of G & C Merriam Company, Springfield, Massachusetts
 <> Freeman, Chas W. Jr. Washington Journal of Modern China, Spring 2001. Volume 7, No. 1. In Memoriam
 <> The U. S. Ð China Policy Foundation at http://www.uscpt.org/htmll/intro.html
 <> Washington Journal of Modern China, Ibid.
©2005 Pettus Archival Project, SES, CGU. All Rights Reserved