Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Admiral H.K. Tu, March 17, 1932


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Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Admiral H.K. Tu, March 17, 1932


Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Admiral H.K. Tu, March 17, 1932


Typed letter sent from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Admiral H.K. Tu. Acknowledge receipt of check and restates willing to wait until the exchange rate is better. Apologizes for delay in response. Had an unexpected surgery and hospital stay. Hopes K.Y. Tu will begin work soon. Discusses current events in China, specifically the Japanese invasion and events in Manchuria. Hopes to hear events from Tu's perspective.


March 17, 1932
Admiral H.K. Tu
148 Route De Frelupt
French Concession
Shanghai, China

My dear Admiral Tu:

Your letter of November 20 reached my desk while I was convalescing in a Boston hospital following an unexpected but I am glad to say, very successful operation. My secretary out of consideration for me, held the letter and hence I have not been able to answer it before this. Its receipt, however, was acknowledged at the time and the check you were good enough to clear up Kong’s account was duly depsosited to accomplish that end. I am so sorry that you had to send this at a time when the exchange was so heavily again you, for, as I had already intimated, I should have been perfectly willing to allow the matter to rest until things worked out to better advantage for you.

What you write me of Kong is most interesting, and I do hope that the boy will get down to work and realise that life hasn't anything worth while in it that can be had without labor. Please remember me most warmly to him and assure him that my best wishes will always follow him and that I shall be more than pleased if he should ever feel disposed to write me himself and tell me of his life and progress.

I here thought of you again and again during those recent weeks when the thoughts of the whole world have turned so frequently and so sympathetically to China. You wrote at the time the Manchurian trouble was just developing, and what terrible things have happened since then! It is just impossible for the human mind, in times of calm, at least, to figure what could have happened to the Japanese to drive them on to this orgy of brutality and murder, for at this distance, at least, we can conceive of it in no more charitable way. Some way, I cannot help feeling that out of it all will come a more united China and with that union, the actual strength which has for so long remained potential only, and which we have all recognised once it became centralized and unified would completely change the face of the Orient, if not of the world. Certainly China today enjoys the esteem and respect of the Western world to an extent that he has never known before, though I am not sure, in view of happenings of only recent years, just how valuable that esteem and respect would be regarded in the eyes of an all-seeing God. It is just tragic to think that these things have had to be won through the sheer ability to fight when nations the world have been attempting to tell us, in rather stumbling language to be sure, that the days of force have passed and that strength and security lie with those who are unarmed.  

Needless to say, I shall await with the keenest and most eager interest anything that you may care to write me of that has happened and what is in prospect, viewing the situation from the angle from which you would naturally see it. The newspapers here don’t tell half enough, and I imagine that even now we know very little of what has actually happened or why. That the sympathy of the American people has been almost without reservation enthusiastically and generously with China and the Chinese, I need hardly say.

Again my thanks for your letter, and believe me, with warm and friendly regards,

Very sincerely


Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


March 17, 1932


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