Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, September 26, 1922

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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, September 26, 1922


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, September 26, 1922


26 September, 1922
Mr. Tsai Shou Kie
35 Race Course Road
Tientsin, China.

My dear Mr. Tsai:

Your friendly and welcome letter of August 24th has just reached me, and I am depositing check for $1,600 enclosed to Kuo Fang's account for his school and other expenses. I have not yet settled some of his doctor's and infirmary bills brought ever from last term and due to his various illnesses last year nor the expenses of his summer camp. Those are fairly heavy items, but I feel sure that the balance will carry the boy some distance into the current school year. Try as I may, it seems next to impossible to keep Kuo Fang’s expenses down to the limit of those reached by the other Chinese boys under my cars. The extra expenses occasional by his several illnesses last year could not, of course, be avoided. The boy himself, however, has a way of always exceeding a little the amount which I believe he ought to spend; and it is because of this tendency that I have been very much worried, about him and have been led to wonder whether he was profiting to the extent he should profit by the American education and the American connection.

The boy is a most attractive and likeable fellow, and I hate to believe that he is going to disappoint you or me in his conduct or later career. His attitude towards me has always been one of unbounded courtesy and friendliness; but the bills come in despite that fact and do not seem to grow less in size in spite of my constant admonitions. His school work, too, has not been of so high an order as to inspire confidence, while his well-known social proclivities and his general popularity among his mates prompt at times a bit of apprehension on my part. I have told Kuo Fang that he should watch his record with school with more than usual interest and care this year in the hope that I should have reason to feel confidence for the future when the complete record should have been considered at the end of the year, but with some misgivings as to the recommendation I would deem advisable to make to you on the basis of the data before me. I am only interested, of course, to assure myself that the boy is accomplishing by the American connection what you desire and attaining those objects in the development of character and broadening of mind for which you are making such genuine sacrifices. I hope that such apprehensions as I have had in the past may be wholly dispelled before the year is out and that I may be able to report more confidently my expectations for the future.

Please remember me warmly to Kuo Pao and Kuo Tsao and tell the former that I am sorry that the girl is not boy, so that we could look forward to continuance of the family connection at Andover for years to come. What an Andover colony you have in your home! And how I should love to drop in and have a jolly old-fashioned meeting with them all once more. Your report of Tommy Lee is especially interesting; for I very much feared during the last year of Tommy’s stay in America that he had become so Americanized in some of the superficial ways that he would find it very difficult to adjust himself to the home conditions when he returned. We have had few boys here in recent years who were more universally like or who justly earned more popularity among their mates. These very qualities, however, made some of us a bit apprehensive as to the final effect and outcome. I rejoice to know your letter that the boy is apparently doing so well and has won the confidence of you and his many other friends. Give him my kindest regards, please, and heartiest good wishes for the days ahead.

Again assuring you of my personal regard and esteem, believe me always

Very sincerely yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


September 26, 1922


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