March 4, 2013
When Sarah Jane Pike married Edwin Hurd Conger in the summer of 1866, she probably little suspected that she would one day meet the Empress Dowager of China.
The young couple had met in Galesburg, Illinois, where both were students at Lombard College. Galesburg was their home for the first two years of their marriage; then, in 1868, they moved to Iowa. In 1883, Edwin Conger was elected to Congress; seven years later, in 1890, he was appointed U.S. Minister (officially, “Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary”) to Brazil by President Benjamin Harrison. It was the beginning of a diplomatic career that would change the couple’s life...
Above: Courtyard in U.S. Legation, with Edwin H. and Sarah Pike Conger standing at entrance to drawing room. Reprinted from Letters from China, facing page 262.View All News