Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Mr. Arthur Sun, March 29, 1926


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Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Mr. Arthur Sun, March 29, 1926


Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Mr. Arthur Sun, March 29, 1926


Typed letter sent from Dr. Alfred Stearns to Arthur Sun. Explains the phone conversation was hard to understand and that is the reason he didn't arrange for Mary to visit. Explains he knew Arthur had an engagement, but wasn't able to leave it and Mary wouldn't be welcome. Had Tommie accompany Mary to Boston. Suggest Charlie visit Mary in Washington due to Arthur's limited time. Explains Charlie declines to go and believes Arthur better suited. Waits for Arthur's reply regarding matter. Discuss issue about Mary. States Mr. Sze agrees with course of action regarding Mary's education. States Mary would have adjusted sooner without interference from members of Abbot Academy.


March 29, 1926
Mr. Arthur Sun
Technology Dormitories
Cambridge, Mass.

Dear Arthur:

This morning’s mail brings me your two letters of recent date, and I am enclosing herewith the check for your allowance and an additional check for the Christian Association, as requested.

A word about Mary. I could not get one out of five words that you spoke over the telephone last week, and that is the only reason why I did not arrange to have you and Mary meet in Boston Sunday afternoon. I had definitely counted on that plan in case you were not able to come out to Andover and take Mary in yourself.All I could get from the jumble of the conversation that came to me over the telephone was the definite impression that you had an evening and dinner engagement which I did not for a moment suppose Mary would be welcome and that you could not leave it. That would have meant that Mary would be left alone in Boston or Cambridge during that time, and I did not like the idea. Consequently I had Tommie accompany her into Boston, since I could not well arrange to go myself. If I had dreamed for a minute that your friend from China desired to see Mary and that you yourself would be able to take care of her that afternoon, I should have, of course, sent her in on an early afternoon train. This is really the first time I think that I have not been able to understand you clearly over the telephone, and It is very unfortunate that the poor connection happened to come at this time when there was really a good deal at stake.

When I saw Mr. Tse, your minister, in Washington last week, he urgently requested that one of you boys should join Mary at the legation as his guest during the vacation period. As I understood that your vacation would be very limited, at best, I suggested that Charlie go, and I wrote Charlie at once asking him to do so. This morning’s mail brings me a letter from him, in which he expresses his hope that I will not press the matter, as be evidently does not desire to go and would not enjoy the visit. He feels that you are much better able to discuss matters with the minister and asks me to let you go in his place. He said that he was writing you to this effect; and so I want to inquire whether it would be possible for you to go down to Washington before this week is over to be Mr.Sze’s guest for several days, at least. Please let me hear from you promptly about this.

As to Mary’s problem, all I can say is that Mr. Sze, to whom I showed all my correspondence with your father, assured me that I had acted exactly in accordance with my instructions and that he did not see how I could have done otherwise. The fact of the matter is that, if a few hot-heads at Abbot Academy and Mss Shapleigh had not interfered in a matter about which they knew comparatively nothing and without even taking the trouble to come to me to ascertain what was at the bottom of the change, I am confident that the matter would have settled itself and that Mary herself would speedily have settled down into a normal and happy state of mind. Indeed when I saw her Sunday and talked with her, she seemed very reasonable and appeared to be ready to do her best to meet her father’s wishes and gain admission to college.

Do let me hear from you as soon as you receive this letter, so that I can know what to plan and what to advise Mr.Sze.

Very sincerely yours.


Dr. Alfred Stearns


Phillips Academy


March 29, 1926


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