Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Mrs. Daniel B. Nye, South Weymouth, Mass., December 11, 1928


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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Mrs. Daniel B. Nye, South Weymouth, Mass., December 11, 1928


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Mrs. Daniel B. Nye, South Weymouth, Mass., December 11, 1928


My dear Mrs. Nye:

I am somewhat at a loss to know just how best to plan for the Christmas vacation of Helen and Alfred Tsai. It is not practicable for me to care for them in my own home, and I do not at all like the idea of having then drift around here, making their headquarters at the Phillips Inn, but with no actual program to follow.

I have just inquired of Sister Mary Antony, the head of Saint Mary's School, whether the school could provide Helen during holiday season, and have learned that this is not only possible but customary each year in the cases of a few girls. Under this arrangement, Miss Antony assures me that Helen could visit New York several days to see the museums and other places of interest, under proper chaperonage, of course. On the whole, I like the idea.

Miss Antony further suggests that she is likely to come to Boston soon after Christmas for something like a week, and would be glad to bring Helen with her at that time if I care to have her do so. I am writing, therefore, to ask you with the utmost frankness, which I hope you will reciprocate, whether it would be convenient for you to have the Tsais with you for part of the Christmas holidays and whether, indeed, you would prefer to have or not to have them at all. Please be perfectly frank, for I have no desire whatever to suggest even a plan that would not meet with your fullest approval.

I am inclined to think that the time has come when I ought to surrender in a way my form of guardianship of Hellen to one of her own sex who understands her needs and can guide her judiciously than it is possible for me to do. I can make the attempt, at least, where boys are concerned, but I must confess and frankly that the problem of girls which confront me in my guise of guardian are a bit out of my sphere. I don't think it is quite fair to Helen, either, that she should not have the direct oversight and guidance of some motherly person who can help her with her individual problems.

After thinking along the above lines for many months, I am wondering whether you would feel willing to assume this responsibility? I am sure that the arrangement would be fully approved by Mr. Tsai, Sr., and I should be ready and glad to cooperate in every possible way. I am sure that Mr. Tsai would wish to reimburse you for any expense or trouble to which you were put through the relationship. May I ask you, therefore, to be frank with me in stating whether such a plan would meet with your full approval? If it does not, I shall, of course, understand perfectly your position and will turn elsewhere for possible help.

With kind personal regards, believe me

Very sincerely yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


December 11, 1928


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