Calvin Wilson Mateer

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Calvin Wilson Mateer
Calvin Wilson Mateer
Born(1836-01-09)January 9, 1836
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States
DiedSeptember 28, 1908(1908-09-28) (aged 72)
Years active45 Years
Known forEducational Mission in China
Spouse(s)Julia Brown

Calvin Wilson Mateer (Chinese: ; pinyin: Kǎowén, sometimes mispelt "Matteer") (9 January 1836 – 28 September 1908) was a missionary to China with the American Presbyterian Mission. He was of Scottish-Irish descent and a native of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.[1] He graduated from Western Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh. After serving with the Presbyterian church of Delaware, Ohio, for two years,[2] he arrived in Dengzhou (today part of Penglai City, Shandong) with his wife Julia Brown Mateer[3] in early January 1864 and continued to work as a missionary in China for 45 years.

He was the chairman of the committee for Bible translation and presided over the translation of the widely circulated Chinese translation of the Holy Bible, The Chinese Union Version.[4]

In 1882, Mateer founded Tengchow College as the first modern institution of higher education in China. Tengchow College became a predecessor of Cheeloo University, and finally of Shandong University.

His Course of Mandarin Lessons, based on idiom, first published in 1892,[5] was a popular text for learners, garnering four further editions by 1922.[6]

He died in 1908 in Qingdao, China.

Frederick W. Baller, Chauncey Goodrich, Calvin Wilson Mateer, and Spencer Lewis, their respective Chinese language assistants on their left


  1. ^ Daniel W. Fisher: Calvin Wilson Mateer, Forty-Five Years a Missionary in Shantung, China, A Biography, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1911
  2. ^ Ashahel Clark Crist, History of Marion Presbytery, Press of the Delaware Gazette, 1908
  3. ^ Robert McCheyne Mateer: Character-building in China: the life-story of Julia Brown Mateer, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1912
  4. ^ Biblical Translation in Chinese and Greek: Verbal Aspect in Theory Page 81 T. S. Foley, Toshikazu S. Foley - 2009 "Mateer was the first American to publish a Mandarin primer. Similar to the three aforementioned missionaries, Mateer (ABCFM) had the distinguished role of chairing the translation committee of the Mandarin Union Version.89"
  5. ^ Calvin Wilson Mateer (1892). A course of Mandarin lessons, based on idiom. SHANGHAI: American Presbyterian Mission Press. p. 714.
  6. ^ "A course of Mandarin lessons, based on idiom". OCLC Worldcat. Worldcat. Retrieved 26 August 2017.