1864  — 1947

Francis Lister Hawks Pott

Educator and Protestant Episcopal Church missionary in China.

Born in New York City and educated at Columbia University and General Theological Seminary, Pott was ordained to the priesthood in 1888. He married Susan N. Wong, daughter of the first Chinese priest ordained by his church in China. A professor of metaphysics, he was appointed head of St. John’s College, Shanghai, in l888, and president of St. John’s University in 1896, serving a total of 53 years. He was twice decorated by the Chinese government for his service to China.

While his primary responsibility was with St. John’s University, Pott was active in many other mission endeavors, particularly in the development of the fledgling Sheng Kung Hui (Episcopal Church) of China. In ecumenical circles, he served as deputy chairman of the China Centenary Missionary Conference (1907), delegate to the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh (1910), and president of the Educational Association of China (1914-1915). He also served as president of the China Christian Educational Association (1916-1925), president of the Association of Christian Colleges and Universities in China (1919-1921), chairman of the American Red Cross Society in China during World War I, and chairman of the North China Royal Asiatic Society for two terms of office. His published writings include college-level textbooks, translations of religious studies, a life of Christ, Chinese language-study texts, and several books on Chinese history. He retired to the United States.


This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright (c) 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of The Gale Group; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.


  • The archives of the Episcopal Church, U. S. A., in Austin, Texas, contain the following items: Mary Lamberton, “St. John’s University”; F. L. H. Pott, Port’s annual reports from the office of the president, St. John’s University; St. John’s Echo; and Pott’s private papers, including his diaries from 1895 to 1947.

About the Author

Donald E. MacInnis

Formerly Director of the China Program, National Council of Churches in the USA, Coordinator for China Research of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Maryknoll, New York, USA