Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Charles Sun, Amherst College, March 15, 1928


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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Charles Sun, Amherst College, March 15, 1928


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Charles Sun, Amherst College, March 15, 1928


Dear Charlie:

When I was in Springfield two weeks ago to meet a preaching engagement, I met by appointment the representatives of the Aetna Insurance Company who went over me in careful detail all the items connected with your automobile accident and the financial obligations which you will apparently have to face in the way of damages. The men I met seemed to be exceptionally straight-forward and reliable fellows, and I cannot help feeling that you were extremely fortunate to be involved with one of the most responsible insurance companies in the country rather than with some crook lawyer who might, perhaps, as often happens, have sought to collect damages from you mounting up into the thousands.

With the exception of one item, which the Insurance Company is looking up more fully and carefully, I don't see how the figures submitted can be reduced. The total comes to a bit over $700.00 and the Company has promised to send me the necessary waivers when the item referred to above has been checked up, and I have promised them that the obligation would be duly met. I am sorry, but I don't see how we can possibly get out of it in any better way.

When it comes to the question of payment, I need your advice. I can send the check direct from here, but of course I will have to enter it on the statement of your account which eventually will go home to your father. While I don't wish to conceal anything from your father that he should properly know, I don't want to alarm him unduly by submitting an item of this size of which he may not have been informed in advance. I am wondering, therefore, whether you have said anything about this to him or not.

Of course it would be possible, and I think, proper to send you the sum involved and allow you to pay the Company with your own check, especially if you think you are going to be able to find a way to work off some of the obligations through your own efforts. This would give you a longer chance, perhaps, and a better opportunity to explain the situation to your father, but I am very sure that in the end that explanation ought to be given. I myself will be ready and glad to take the matter up direct with your father if you approve. My preference would be that letters from both of us should go to him at the same time and probably in the same envelope to avoid any chance of miscarriage. I am sure that I can explain matters to your father in a way that would ease his anxiety and make him feel that you had played a straightforward and honorable part in the transaction. Please let me know exactly how the matter strikes you, for I don’t want to do anything to make things harder for you or that will in any way embarrass you unfairly. You can probably sense better than I what your father’s reaction would be likely to be, and I only desire to make things as easy as I possibly can for you without being anything but absolutely fair with your father.

Please write me frankly and believe me with all good wishes,

Ever faithfully yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


March 15, 1928


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