Letter from Dr Alfred E. Stearns to Mr. Sao-Ke Alfred Sze, April 7, 1926


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Letter from Dr Alfred E. Stearns to Mr. Sao-Ke Alfred Sze, April 7, 1926


Letter from Dr Alfred E. Stearns to Mr. Sao-Ke Alfred Sze, April 7, 1926


Typed letter sent from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Mr. Sao-Ke Alfred Sze. States arrangements for picking Mary up from Washington. Agrees with Sze's suggestions for Mary's education and attending Elmira. Sent a letter to Mr. Sun describing the situation. Explains how difficult the situation has been with interference from Mary's friends, through no fault of Mary's. Explains that no restrictions have been placed on Mary's correspondence other than her first two days at Merrimac. Also states she should follow the same rules as other girls at the school and not ask for special favors. Asked that Mary focus on school work and find balance between school and friends.


April 7. 1926
Mr. Sao-Ke Alfred Sze
Chinese Legation
Washington, D. C

My dear Mr. Sze:

Your three letters of recent date have reached my desk this morning. Accept, please, my thanks for them and especially for the clear and intelligent way in which you have helped me deal with this rather knotty and troublesome problem.

I note that Mary is to leave Washington at 7: 30 P.M. tomorrow, April 8. I will try to get in touch with Arthur by telephone to-night so as to be sure that he will be on hand to meet Mary on her arrival in Boston Friday morning. If he is unable to do this, I can probably arrange to have some one go in from here.

I note also that you and Charlie have both agreed that Mary should finish out the year at the Whittier School, pursuing special work with the object of preparing for college in this shortest possible time. The suggestion that Elmira is probably the best fitted for Mary’s needs meets, on the whole, with my full approval, and I shall await with interest any farther information you may be able to secure from the Elmira authorities as to the admission requirements that will be demanded of Mary and the possibilities of having her do special work during the summer with some competent and reliable member of the college faculty. Such an arrangement would be a great relief, for I must admit that one of the most difficult problems I have faced with Mary has been to provide satisfactorily for the long summer vacations. I can’t tell you how deeply I appreciate your friendly helpfulness and how greatly relieved I am to feel that I can count on your generous assistance in dealing with this problem from now on.

On my return from my visit to Washington I wrote Mr. Sun at great length and in detail, describing the situation, telling him of my discussion with you and the conclusions which we reached, and outlining as clearly as I could the complete picture. I told him how difficult the problem had been made through the unwarranted interference by well-meaning but uninformed friends of Mary and that you and I had both come to feel that the arrangement with the Wittier School should continue for the balance of the year. I also intimated that I did not consider Mary responsible for the trouble and that my whole object had been to shield her from the interference of her friends whose attitude and actions could only tend to distract her thoughts and interfere with her work. I agree with you that under the circumstances a further cable message seems hardly necessary.

The reference in one of your letters to Mary’s request for the release of "all restrictions placed upon her, such as receiving and sending correspondence and receiving visitors, since her going to Merrimac" is a bit difficult for me to understand. As I have explained to Mary, no definite restriction was placed on the correspondence by me except during the first two days she was at Merrimac, and then only for her own protection. I suggested to her, by letter as well as by telephone that she should not devote too much of her time to writing to her friends, only because this would consume time which should of necessity be given to her lessons. It was also stated frankly that she could receive visitors on the regular day set apart by the school for that purpose but that she must not ask for or expect to receive special favors in this direction that were not granted the other girls, as advertised in the school catalogue. Most certainly I have no desire to assume any attitude or take any steps that shall prevent Mary from having a reasonable and proper contact with her friends, provided only she doesn’t indulge in excesses in this direction which would necessarily interfere with her work and progress and hinder the attainment of the goal that we all had in mind for making the change of school and in investing the extra money that such a change made necessary.

With sincere appreciation of your many favors and with kindest regards, believe me

Very sincerely yours.


Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


April 7, 1926


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