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HISTORY LIVES: International Women’s Day


Pearl S. Buck. Renowned Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winning author, activist and humanitarian Pearl S. Buck lived many years in Bucks County.

In 1933, she moved from China, where she had spent most of her life, to the United States. Pearl and her husband, Richard Walsh, bought an old farmhouse, Green Hills Farm, in Dublin.

While still in China in 1925, she adopted a daughter. Then after moving to the U.S., she and her husband adopted six more children of various races. She was outraged that many mixed-race children of American servicemen in Asia were not able to be adopted. Therefore, in 1949, she founded Welcome House, the first international and inter-racial adoption agency. The nonprofit agency was headquartered in New Britain.

In 1955, she wrote an article for the Woman’s Home Companion titled “The Children Waiting: The Shocking Scandal of Adoption.” Many children were waiting for homes because they did not “match” the parents who wanted to adopt them. She acknowledged that similarity of race and religion was good but should not be the only determining factor. “The human qualities of love and understanding and acceptance alone should decide the fate of a child rather than race and religion.”

In 1964, she established the Pearl S. Buck Foundation for Amerasian children who were not eligible to be adopted in their home countries. She received community support from Oscar and Dorothy Hammerstein, James Michener and Lois Burpee. It remains today an organization that helps children in their own countries with health, education and job training. In 1967, she donated $7 million, the bulk of her earnings, to the foundation.

Pearl Buck spent 40 years at Green Hills Farm raising her family, writing, gardening and working for human rights causes. She was a lifelong advocate of cross-cultural understanding and racial equality as a means of achieving peace. Green Hills Farm is today on the registry of Historic Buildings and is the home of Pearl S. Buck International, a nonprofit humanitarian organization.

“The test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.” - Pearl S. Buck

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