Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, September 13, 1924

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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, September 13, 1924


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, September 13, 1924


13 September 1924
Mr. Tsai Shoukie
81 Council Road
Tientsin, China

My dear Mr.Tsai;

Your letter of July 5th reached me a short time ago and I can not refrain from expressing my appreciation for the friendly and generous sentiments you have expressed therein. It has been a privilege and in the main a pleasure, to do what I could for your boys during their American careers and while in K. F.’s case I have been disposed to feel discouraged at times and have reason to believe that I have not fully won the boy’s confidence and good will I am grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve them and you. Some day I hope that Kuo Fang himself will realize that even though I seemed at the time a bit hard on him I had nothing in view but his best interests. You will realize too I have no doubt that it would have been a much easier and pleasanter thing for me for the time being to do and say the things which pleased him that the fact that I did not would seem pretty clearly to indicate that I care more for his future success than for his present smile. Don’t let me give you the impression that Kuo Fang has been lacking in cooperation and good spirit. Far from it. He has almost always been more than respectful in his general attitude towards me, but I have found it always impossible to curb his financial expenditures and I am confident that he has not always felt happy over the criticisms that I have offered and the recommendations that I have made. 

Since your letter arrived I received notice from the bank of the receipt of $2,000 from you to be used, I assume of course, in Kuo Fang’s behalf. As I had understood from K. T. that the boy was to give up the American connection and return home to the near future, and as he was at that time staying with his older brother out in New York state, I took the liberty of sending K. T. a check amounting, as J recall it at this moment, to three or four hundred dollars, and which represented the balance of K.F.’s account in my hands. The boys both left the New York place soon after I happen to know, and I have had no word yet acknowledging receipt of the check in question. Neither have I had from K. F. a request for further funds, something a bit out of the ordinary. In the meantime I have deposited the $2,000 to the boy's account in our local bank and will hold it there until I receive further word as to its final disposition.

I have had a very bitter disappointment this summer in my failure to connect with our good old friend, C. L. Chow who has recently been in America and even in Andover. Then I heard that he was in the country I wrote him suggesting a possible visit to my camp in northern New Hampshire, but I imagine that he felt that this would be attempting too much.At any rate the next news I had of him was in the form of letters, from him and from some of my Andover friends telling of his visit to Andover and to the haunts of his school boy days. I don't know anyone whom I would have been gladder to welcome to Andover and my own home and it hurts badly to know that Mr. Chow is already on his way back to his own land and that I did not even have a glimpse of him while he was here. His warm and friendly kindness to me during my visit to China some twelve years ago was unique and has never been forgotten.

With warmest personal regard, believe me always

Very sincerely yours



Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


September 13, 1924


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