July 3rd, 1913.
When I was with you I volunteered to make some special inquiries regarding Professor Ross of the University of Wisconsin, especially with reference to his attitude toward Christianity and the Church. It has taken me longer to do this than I had expected, as I thought it best to make face to face inquiries rather than by correspondence. I have had opportunity in my recent trip to the West as well as elsewhere to confer with a few persons who are in a position to know. I find that his attitude to Christianity is one of friendliness. I am told that he is not a Church member, but that he attends Church occasionally. I have received the impression from three or four sources that during his visit to China his attitude to Christian missions changed from one of comparative indifference to one of growing sympathy. He seemed to be more impressed, however, by such practical work on the field as that of the Young Men’s Christian Association, rather than the work of the different denominations. Since his return he has been more active in advancing the interest of the Christian Association in his own university. I have heard nothing but favorable comment regarding his own character and that of his wife.
I have wondered whether you have ever considered Professor Ernest D. Burton of the University of Chicago in this connection. He spent the larger part of one year recently making an exhaustive investigation of all phases of the life of the Chinese people from the point of view of Christian missions. He visited nearly all parts of China. I have had occasion to read his confidential reports as well as to confer with him repeatedly at great length, on educational and other problems in China. To my mind he has acquired a really wonderful grasp of the situation. Mr. Brockman shares with me this estimate. If you have not yet arrived at a decision we would take the liberty of suggesting the desirability of considering him. He is a member of the Baptist Church. During his tour he formed a personal acquaintance with practically all of the leading missionaries of all the Churches working in China as well as with Government officials, Chinese educators and other prominent men.
The White House,