Albert Leroy Shelton (1875-1922) was an American doctor and a Protestant missionary in Batang, Kham region of eastern Tibet, from 1903 until 1922.
In 1908, The Sheltons and another missionary family, the Ogdens, established the first Christian mission in Batang, a town of 350 Tibetan families. Shelton took many photographs of Tibetans in Kham and collected artifacts which he later sold to Newark Museum, New Jersey.
Shelton’s objective was to establish missions deeper into Tibet and ultimately to travel to Lhasa. On February 16, 1922, en route to Markam, he was ambushed by brigands a few miles outside Batang. He died of a gunshot wound the next day and was buried in Batang. Shelton wrote about his experiences in Tibet in an article “Life among the People of Eastern Tibet,” which was published in National Geographic Magazine in 1921 and the same year, he authored a book, ‘Pioneering in Tibet’. Shelton’s eldest daughter, Dorris Evangeline Shelton Still (1904-1997) also wrote about growing up in Tibet in a book, ‘Sue in Tibet’. It was a rare book in its time, in that the main character and heroine of the adventures was a girl.
After Tibet’s annexation in 1959, Dorris Evangeline Shelton still continued her relationship with Tibet and supported Tibetan cause and also had the privilege of meeting His Holiness the 4th Dalai Lama.
These photographs were taken by Dr. Shelton during his time in Kham, Tibet
Photo: The Tibet Museum
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