Areas of Study

MSS 66 – Syle, Edward Winter, 1816-1890

Papers of Edward W. Syle, 1758-1906

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives

Call No.: MSS 66


Title: Papers of Edward W. Syle, 1758-1906

Quantity: 14.5 Linear Feet (29 document boxes)


Note: This document last updated 2006 January 10.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: The Dr. Rev. Edward W. Syle collection was given to the Gallaudet University Archives by Herbert Syle III in 1994.

Processed by: Colleen Crisp. 1996 August 20.

Processing Note:

Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.

Related Material in the Archives


  • Collection, 1832-1975. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: MSS 65


  • Picture Clippings Scrapbook on the Deaf. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Scrapbook Album 15

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Rev. Edward W. Syle, father of Rev. Henry Winter Syle, was born in England in the year 1816.

Edward Syle was ordained to the priesthood around the 1830’s and was also a Sunday school teacher. He met and married Jane Davis, whose brother, Henry Winter Davis, was a senator from Baltimore, Maryland. Edward Syle joined the missionary to Shanghai, China, where his son, Rev. Henry Winter Syle was born. He was a professor of History and Moral Theology at the Imperial University in Japan. He was also involved in missionary to Japan.

He and his wife, Jane, had five children, only the oldest-Henry Winter Syle and the youngest-Louis Dupont Syle, survived. Jane Davis Syle died around 1859 and Dr. Rev. Edward W. Syle married Rebecca Washington, who was the cousin of Jane Davis Syle. Rebecca Washington’s family was the descendants of George Washington. She had four children.

Dr. Rev. Edward W. Syle died in October 1890, just 9 months after his son, Henry Winter Syle, died.

Scope and Content

The collection of Dr. Rev. Edward W. Syle consists of correspondence, bills and receipts, booklets, articles, land deed, Chinese language papers, account books, and newspaper clippings. The collection mainly consists of correspondence of church members and family members from 1761-1890. The collection is broken up into ten series: general correspondence, outgoing letters, family papers, Jane Davis Syle, Elizabeth B. Winter, Rebecca Washington Syle, subject files, publications, financial records, and descendants of Syle Family. The bulk of the collection consists of general correspondence of people who were involved with the church and family members.

The most interesting series in the collection is the Descendants of Syle Family. There are some letters that were written by some family members of George Washington. There are also some leases that were from the 1760’s. Also included in this series is the land deed in Maryland from 1793.

Series Descriptions

Series 1: General Correspondence, Boxes 1-13

Series 2: Outgoing Letters, Box 14

Series 3: Family Papers, Box 15

Series 4: Jane Davis Syle, Box 16

Series 5: Elizabeth B. Winter, Box 17

Series 6: Rebecca Washington Syle, Boxes 18-19

Series 7: Subject Files, Boxes 20-24

Series 8: Publications, Boxes 25-27

Series 9: Financial Records, Box 28

Series 10: Descendants of Syle Family, Box 29

Folders ListClick Here to View the Folders List

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