Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Dr. Paul S. Reinsch, November 11, 1920


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Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Dr. Paul S. Reinsch, November 11, 1920


Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Dr. Paul S. Reinsch, November 11, 1920


Typed letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Dr. Paul S. Reinsch updating him on the situation of Wellington Chu, recently departed unceremoniously from Andover.


November 11, 1920
Dr. Paul S. Reinsch
Southern Building,
Washington, D.C.

My dear Dr. Reinsch:

Let me thank you for your letter of recent date in relation to Mr. Wellington Chu. The boy’s ease is a peculiar one, and interests me deeply. Perhaps I will be able to be of some help in the matter.

Let me say at the outset that Chu is no longer at Andover, having departed rather unceremoniously only a few days after his arrival. Just what prompted him to take this step I have still been unable to discover. Apparently, the other Chinese boys here, of whom there are about a dozen, are equally in the dark. They are all agreed, however, in condemning the boy for his action, and they have made many apologies to me in the belief that his unusual behavior reflected on the generally high standards of conduct and life maintained by the Chinese students as a whole. Unlike most of the other Chinese boys who entered the school this fall, Mr. Chu and a friend named Fang, came with comparatively little advance notice of their arrival. I was finally advised of their intention by a Chinese student who also came to America this fall, and whom I had met in the winter of 1913 at Nanking when the boy was then an undergraduate at the Nanking University. The meeting at that time led to an interchange of correspondence, which has extended up to the present time.Mr. Chu wrote me enthusiastically that he had influenced these boys to come to Andover to be under my care. He himself is now at the Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois.

When the boys arrived I showed them every attention and courtesy, meeting them and the other delegates in person at the Andover station and bringing them to my own house where I kept most of them for the night, until they were finally settled in their regular rooms. A few days after their arrival Chu developed what appeared to be a bad case of homesickness. He seemed generally upset, and I sent him down to our infirmary in order that he might have real rest and receive the best of attention. I visited him on several occasions and tried my best to cheer him up. The boys themselves did the same and finally his countrymen prevailed upon him to get out of bed and go to his work. For two or three days he seemed to have recovered completely, when to my complete surprise, after a day’s absence from home, I learned that he and his friend had departed unceremoniously. Two of the other boys started in pursuit and succeeded in finding the wanderers and bringing them back to Andover, for the purpose of assuring a proper severance of the school connection. This was done, and the last I heard of the boys was that they were in Boston attending a private school. Their friends, however, seem to feel that the school interest in not primary with them just now though I cannot speak definitely on this score. I know that Chu’s first contention, after he had been here a few days, was that he had supposed he was entering a college and was distressed to find that he had landed only in a preparatory school. He even made an attempt to gain admission to Cornell but found he was underprepared. When he finally left he gave as hie excuse that the work was too hard.

Please excuse this long explanation of the situation but I confess that I am very much distressed by it, for after having dealt at close range with these attractive Chinese visitors for nearly twenty years, I must admit that this is the first time that I have over encountered a problem just like this one and I am naturally concerned that the boys involved should not go astray under the American conditions, or miss the one thing for which they wore supposed io make the sacrifice involved in their sojourn in this country. Please let me know if there is anything further I can do in the matter, and be assured that I shall be only too ready to cooperate to the fullest extent. I have in my own house at the present time four children of Mr. Sun Chung Ying of Tientsin, three boys and a girl and also the son of Dr. Kung Sing Ring of Shanghai, so that you see I am in a somewhat strategic position to act if any special action is called for.

Sincerely yours


Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


November 11, 1920


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