The Widow's Quest: The Byers Extraterritorial Case in Hainan, China, 1924-1925

Rev. George D. Byers, Presbyterian missionary at Kachek, Hainan island, China, was murdered by bandits in front of his home on June 24, 1924, setting off an extraterritorality incident that involved American, British, and Chinese government officials ranging from the local Chinese military commander to the British consul at Hoihow, Hainan, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wellington Koo, U.S. Congressmen, Presbyterians in China and the U.S., and friends of the Byers family. Based on American and British consular archives and those of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and members of the Hainan mission, this is the story of how Mrs. Byers and her ally, Mrs. Mabel Roys, the sole woman on the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions (BFM), successfully got the government and their church to take action. Kathleen L. Lodwick is a Professor of History at the Pennsylvania State University, Lehigh Valley.