Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Sao-Ke Alfred Sze, Chinese Legation, Washington, D.C., January 31, 1927


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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Sao-Ke Alfred Sze, Chinese Legation, Washington, D.C., January 31, 1927


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Sao-Ke Alfred Sze, Chinese Legation, Washington, D.C., January 31, 1927


My dear Dr. Sze:

Thank you so much for the interest you have taken in Mary Sun's case and the most helpful information you have been able to secure from Elmira. I have read Miss French’s letter with keen interest. Miss French’s estimate of the situation coincides very closely with that which I had already formed for myself.
Mary is unquestionably below par physically and so mentally. Consequently it is only natural that her difficulties should take on an exaggerated size and tend to depress her. Further, and I have found this equally true, Mary does show at times evidences of having lean a bit spoiled and is inclined to be a little restless when flattery and flatterers are not forthcoming. It was just this situation at Abbot Academy which I so keenly deplored and which tended to bring to the front again in Mary a weakness which I had believed was up to that time largely overcome. Apparently at both Sea Pines, where Mary went in the summer, as well as at Elmira Mary has been placed more on a footing with the other girls, and it has been a bit difficult for her to surrender the especial and sometimes somewhat excessive adulations that were offered by well-meaning, though at times a bit impulsive, friends. I feel sure, though, that, once the physical situation has improved, Mary will look at things in a more rational and happy way.

Recently Mary has been writing her brother Arthur, as she has written me on one or two occasions, pleading that every influence be used on her father to permit her to return to China at the end of the current year. Mr. Sun has also recently written Arthur urging him to stay in America for an additional year, and Arthur, too, has shown an inclination to rebel at the decision and has joined with Mary in urging me to influence his father, if I can, to rescind the decision and permit the return to China next summer. Between the two I am hard pressed, though I imagine that Mr. Sun is influenced in part perhaps, by the unsettled conditions in China and the feeling that it would be better for the children to remain here until conditions become more normal. Maybe I am wrong, but in any case I shall, of course, do my best to carry out his expressed wishes.

I think the suggestion of having Mary pass her Easter vacation with you at your wife’s invitation is a most excellent one. Apparently Mary is not eager to visit any but one or two old Abbot Academy friends who, I fear, are somewhat of the type of those over generous friends to whom I have referred

Dr. Sao—Ke Alfred Sze—2

above. Nothing could be better for her than to pass her vacation under the normal and wholesome influences which would surround her in our family circle, and I hope very much, therefore, that the plan can be carried out.

Again assuring you of my deep appreciation of the most valuable help you have given me and with warm personal regards, believe me

Very sincerely yours,

P.S. I am returning Miss French’s letter, which I hope you will keep, as it may prove helpful to us to be able to refer to it later.


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


January 31, 1927


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