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Edwin W. Martin Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS164

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Edwin W. Martin Papers consist of correspondence, photographs, manuscripts and documents relating to Ambassador Martin's career with the U.S. Foreign Service and as an author and lecturer in the field of foreign affairs. The collection is 154 folders housed in 4 boxes and one oversized container.

The Edwin W. Martin Papers focus primarily on Edwin Martin's careers as diplomat and foreign policy scholar. The Correspondence Series primarily consists of correspondence relating to his various assignements, with much official correspondence including letters from presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon and secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and William P. Rogers, and then California governor Ronald Reagan. Also included is correspondence relating to his career as a professor and lecturer after his retirement from the Foreign Service.

The Foreign Service Series contains materials relating to Martin's tours of duty in China, Great Britain, Korea, Turkey, Hong Kong and Burma. Of most interest is Martin's diary of events during the Communist takeover in China, during which Martin was attempting to help American citizens in China and traveled around many parts of China. Martin also lost a fair amount of personal property when he had to leave China and filed numerous claims with the U.S. State Department for reimbursement.

The Manuscripts Series focuses on Martin's writing and publication of two of his works, with special emphasis on "Divided Counsel." Included are not only the various draft stages of the book but correspondence and contracts with the publishers and photocopies of original source materials found among documents in the U.S. National Archives and the Archives of the British Foreign Office.

The Photographs Series contains numerous photographs of Martin partaking in official duties as a diplomat and photographs used to illustrate "Divided Counsel." The Oversize Materials Series contains materials of various formats, including a proof copy of "Divided Counsel" and audio tapes of lectures by Martin.


  • 1931 - 1991
  • Majority of material found within 1947 - 1991

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical Note

Edwin W. Martin was born to missionary parents in Madura, India in 1917. He graduated from Oberlin College and received his master's degree in international law and diplomacy from Tufts University's Cletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He joined the Foriegn Service in 1941 and served in Bermuda and the Congo before serving in the Army during World War II. Postwar assignments included Chinese language training at Yale University and in Beijing, then duty in China. During the 1950's, he participated in negotiations with the Chinese communists and North Koreans at Panmonjom and in bilateral talks with the Chinese communists in Geneva. He was first secretary at the U.S. Embassy in London from 1956 to 1958, and director of the State Department's Office of Chinese Affairs from 1958 to 1961. Later duty included service as political adviser to the commander-in-chief of Pacific forces in Honolulu and as deputy chief of mission in Ankara. Martin was consul general in Hong Kong from 1967 to 1970, and ambassador to Burma from 1971 to 1973, when he retired with the permanent rank of career minister.

In retirement, Mr. Martin taught for five years at Hiram College in Ohio, then returned to Washington. During this period, he was the author of three books, 'Southeast Asia and China: The End of Containment' (1977), which covered the period after the end of the war in Vietnam; 'Divided Counsel: The Anglo-American Response to Communist Victory in China' (1986); and 'The Hubbards of Sivas: A Chronicle of Love and Faith' (1981), an account of his wife's grandparents' missionary years among the Armenians in Turkey. Edwin W. Martin died on October 5, 1991 in Washington, D.C.


7 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials


Edwin W. Martin Papers
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057