Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y.Sun, July 12, 1933


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Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y.Sun, July 12, 1933


Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y.Sun, July 12, 1933


July 12, 1933.
Mr. C. Y. Sun,
Tientsin, North China.

My dear Mr. Sun,
Your very kind letter of June 4th. reached me several days ago and was most welcome. Letters from my Chinese friends are always a source of real pleasure to me; and none are more so than yours.

Naturally to one who is so keenly interested in Chine as I am and who claims so many good friends there as I do the big things that have been happening in your country during recent months have a special appeal. It is all very bewildering to one so far removed from the scene of action and the results cannot be easily or properly appraised. One thing is clear, however, and that is that the sympathies of the American people as a whole have gone out without reserve to the Chinese and that Japan has lost immeasurably such confidence ad good will as she may have enjoyed in the past. Her prestige has been badly undermined. Just now when the efforts of all high minded men throughout the world have been directed towards the high goal of smoothing out international difficulties, breaking down international barriers, removing causes of International suspicions and distrust, and creating confidence and good will, it is distressing to find that any one nation is willing to undermine it all in pursuit of its own selfish ends. That at least is the way the thing looks to those of us who have to view things as they appear and who may perhaps be limited in their understanding of what is back of it all. How I should love to sit down with someone like you and get the first hand information that I lack.

My interest in your children has not lessened an iota since they have returned to their home land. Indeed it appears to increase with the passing of the months. Any word from or of them will always have a hearty welcome. Sometimes I wonder whether they have received the letters and messages that both Miss Clemons and I have sent them from time to time. Our sympathy has gone out whole-heartedly to Mary in her affliction. Eary indeed has she been called upon to face the hard things of life. And what about Arthur, Charlie, and Tom? I shall always feel that these fine children of yours with whom it has been my privilege to share my home have a very special claim on my affection and good will. My prayers and good wishes will always follow them. And may their life and achievements bring only satisfaction and happiness to you.

It is no easy task to get adjusted to my new way of living. My health, I am glad to report, seems to be getting better steadily and I now feel very much like my old self, though I cannot carry too much of a load without realizing my limitations. But I have always in the past enjoyed such good health and have so relished active and hard work that the change comes a bit hard. For the past few months I have been taking life very easily out here in the country enjoying limited exercise about the place in my garden and orchard. If conditions in China ever change to such an extent as to prompt again your countrymen to wish to send their boys and girls to America I should welcome the opportunity to be of help to them as I have tried to be in the past. My country home is only a dozen miles from Andover; the house is large and the grounds extensive; local public schools are good; and altogether I think I could supply attractive and helpful surroundings and conditions for those who,like your own children when they came to us, would require a year or two of home life and special training before going on to the higher schools like Phillips Academy. This probably is only a dream of mine; but you see that I miss the old contacts and that 1 should welcome the chance to be of some real service in the world during the years that are still left to me.

I think I wrote you how thoroughly I appreciated and enjoyed the tea you sent me some time ago, and which, if my memory serves me, came while I was abroad last winter. If I did not I must apologize and explain my negligence as me to the generally upset and unstable condition in which I existed for some months after coming from the hospital. Lately I feel as if things were on an even keel again, and I hope to be able to be more business-like in the future. My new home offers me splendid opportunities to use to the best advantage the many beautiful things that my Chinese friends have given me in the past. I wish you could see them as they now adorn the walls and tables in my library and lining rooms especially. They 'furnish me constant and happy reminders of good friends who may be far away in actual distance but who are constantly in my thoughts and whose friendship is one of the best things that my life and work at Andover have brought me.

Please remember me most warmly to all of the children and tell them how happy I should be to hear from them now and then. And believe me, with kindest regards to you personally and every best wish to all the Suns,

Yours most sincerely.


Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


July 12, 1933


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