The Hoover Archives recently acquired 77 pieces of historical Chinese, Japanese, and Russian financial bonds and stocks, around 2,000 historical Chinese banknotes, and prison script chits, food chits, and counterfeit notes used for training bank employees. They are the generous gift from Richard P. Henke, a graduate of Stanford Medical School in the late 1950s, and will be entitled “Richard P. Henke Chinese and Russian currency” within Hoover’s Currency Collection.
Henke was born in Beijing, China, in 1934. His parents were Presbyterian medical missionaries to China from the late 1920s until the early 1940s, when the tension between China and Japan prompted the Henke family to go back to the United States. In early 1946, the Henke family returned to Beijing, where Richard attended the Peking American School. In 1948, as the Chinese Civil War intensified, the whole family left China and returned to the United States for good. The valuable financial bonds and banknotes Mr. Henke has donated to Hoover were collected during his days in China. Representing different historical stages and political entities, mostly dating from the 1920s to the late 1940s, these materials serve as important documents to China’s uneasy reform, independence, and integrity in finance. They will complement the personal papers of Arthur N. Young, T. V. Soong, H. H. Kung, and many others related to modern China’s economy and finance.