Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, March 18, 1920

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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, March 18, 1920


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, March 18, 1920


18 March, 1920
Mr. Tsai Shou Kie
5 Race Course Road
Tientsin, China.

My dear Mr. Tsai :

Let me acknowledge receipt of your kind and interesting letter of February 6th and the draft for $1,660.00 to be credited to the account of your son Kuo Fong.

I am enclosing herewith a statement of the boy’s account to date together with the receipts for the various bills that have been paid. As you can well imagine, it has been impossible for me to keep the boy’s expenses down within the limits which obtained in the cases of his two older brothers. The cost of everything in this country has jumped so tremendously since the war that every outlay involves an increase of from fifty to a hundred per cent. We have struggled to keep our own school expenses down to the lowest possible limit, and with that end in view have only recently finished a campaign for a million and a half dollars, a campaign which I am glad to say has resulted most successfully.

So far as I can Judge, Kuo Fong has not displayed any tendencies to extravagance. He seems to appreciate the situation, and to all appearance is not spending any more money proportionately than his older brothers. It seems to me only fair under the circumstances to increase his monthly allowance for incidentals a bit; for fifteen dollars a month has no greater purchasing power than did the ten dollars allowed his brothers. I hope that you will approve of this action on my part. For the sake of us all I most certainly that prices will ere long begin to drop a bit; for it has been a hard pull these past two or three years, especially for the professional man.

Thank you so much for telling me what the boys are doing in China. It is good to hear of them once more; and I certainly hope that they are fulfilling all your ambitions for them and proving that the American education and experience were of some real and lasting value. Certainly we have never had in our school three finer boys than these boys of yours. Kuo Fong is immensely popular with boys and teachers alike, and it is a real delight to have him here. In his work, too, he seems to be taking hold with good spirit and making definite progress.

I shall never forget the good times my friends gave me in China a few years back and the unbounded friendliness and good will which characterized their attentions to me at that time. It is one of the brightest spots in my memory to-day, and if I long enough and can find the time and money to do it, I hope to get one more glimpse of your interesting country and some of my good friends out there before I die. In my judgment the stricken world to-day can loam much from China and Chinese ideals.

With kindest regards to the various members of your family and to any of my good friends out there who have not forgotten me, believe me always

Very sincerely yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


March 18, 1920


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