Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Admiral H.K. Tu, November 5, 1929


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Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Admiral H.K. Tu, November 5, 1929


Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Admiral H.K. Tu, November 5, 1929


Typed letter sent from Alfred E. Stearns to H.K. Tu. Forwarded a letter Stearns sent to K.Y. Tu to explain the current situation. Is unsure of what to do. States K.Y. Tu has ignored instruction in regard to education. Explains K.Y. Tu returned to high school rather than find a business course or college. Explains the current financial situation. Will pay the school tuition if instructed to do so. Request a cable message if H.K. Tu approves of the current course of action.


November 5, 1929
Admiral H. K. Tu
148 Fok Sui Li
Route Joseph Frelupt
Shanghai, China

My dear Mr. Tu:

I am enclosing herewith a letter which I have just written to your boy in answer to one received from him yesterday and the contents of which have distressed me beyond words. I really don’t know what I ought to do, for not for the world would I leave Kong stranded in a position that would mean real disaster to him. At the same time, he has so utterly ignored the instructions of both you and me that I feel that something definite and rigid has to be done if the boy is not to go on drifting hopelessly and indefinitely. Further, he has absolutely ignored me now for months and not even hinted that he was not carrying out the instructions which you earlier sent him through me and which at the time he agreed to obey. I find that he is back once more attempting school work with boys years below his age with no definite goal that I can see in view. It seems to me most deplorable. Under the circumstances I have felt that it is only fair to you that you should know exactly how I view the situation, and hence I am sending you herewith a copy of the letter I here just written him.

I still have on hand funds which you have sent me sufficient to carry the boy for several months. The school bill which he has just sent me calls for 160.00 and the allowances for which he has asked would probably consume a good part of the funds on hand. I have not felt Justified in paying this bill and for the reasons given in my letter; If you authorise me to do so, I shall of course comply promptly with your instructions, for I have only one desire and that is to carry out your expressed wishes and thereby to do what seems to you best for the boy himself. I should be disposed to be more lenient if Kong himself had not practically ignored me for the past two or three years except on those occasions when he desired money. I have pleaded with him again and again and have appealed to his loyalty and the responsibility he owes to you, and apparently in vain.
In the letter I have just received from the boy, he tells me that a friend of his. Mr. William Moy, has written you pleading in his behalf and that I will doubtless receive some instructions from you to pay his bills and approval from you as to the plans he has adopted. Of course the moment any such instructions are received, I shall act promptly upon them whatever feelings I may have as to the wisdom of such a course, but I do feel that I must have your endorsement to follow before taking such an important step, especially in view of the instructions received from you at an earlier date.

May I suggest that if it is your desire that Kong be given this further opportunity to pursue elementary studies, a cable message to this effect be sent me, for I have no doubt that the boy must be living at present on his friends and I am especially anxious to take no position or to do anything that will involve farther embarrassment, financially or otherwise, to you.

Assuring you again of my very sincere regret that I have to write in such a vein as this and that I seem to have been so completely unsuccessful in helping you realise your high ambitions for your boy, believe me, with personal regards,

Very sincerely yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


November 5, 1929


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