Letter from Hattie to Em, September 9, 1869


Dublin Core


Letter from Hattie to Em, September 9, 1869


Mail steamers; Missionaries; Buildings; Betrothal; Christian converts


In this letter to her sister, Emily, Harriet updates her about the mail steamers and wishes her sister could come to visit on one of them. She then talks about the influx of new missionaries and how they will have to scramble to get them housing. Hattie expresses distaste for the fact that some Chinese convert to Catholicism, rather than Presbyterianism. She concludes by expressing the importance of laboring amongst the Chinese both abroad, and in the United States.


Noyes, Harriet Newell


Loose, The College of Wooster, Special Collections, Noyes Collection






Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant




eng (English)





Text Item Type Metadata


Canton China
Sept 9th 1869
My own dear Em,
I have hesitated a little about
taking this large sheet to commence a letter to you
I expect if I could consult you you would say it will
do very well, but I expect that will depend on what
is covered with. The mail came in this month all
right a new steamer the "Oregonian" or rather one that
the company has recently purchased formerly running
on the opposition line between Panama + San Francisco.
The "[u]America[/u]" is now in Hong kong + takes this months
mail back. She is [u]new[/u] just came out from N York around
the cape a very fine steamer the largest I suppose that
has ever been built excepting the "Great Eastern".
Capt [?Doane?] came out in charge of her he was our Capt
on the "Great Republic". Perhaps this "shipping intelligence"
will not interest you but I feel as though each one
of the steamers on this line were a personal friend.
I have never seen the America + Japan but have been
on board the "Great Republic" China + Colorado.
I wish you could take a trip in one of them and
give us a visit of a few months or [u]years[/u]. I often
think how nice it would be to share the pleasant room I
have now with me one of you. At last the Canton Mission
is to be reinforced in good earnest. Dr Happer + [u]wife[/u]
Lucy as a missioary teacher Lillie and the three
younger children. Messrs Marcellus + Mr McChesney
with their wives + Dr Lowrie writes [u]probably[/u] Mr Condit.

[u]probably[/u] with a line under it from Dr Lowries pen I
suppose is [u]about[/u] the same as [u]certainly[/u]. I suppose there
will be a Mrs Condit + thet they will bring the two
children. [u]Fifteen[/u] all told is'nt that an addition
worth while. "It never rains but it pours" as Mrs Kerr
said where she read the news. I dont hardly know
when houses will be found for them. Mr Preston will
I have not much doubt go home in the Spring and
I imagine Mr Condit will have his house. Dr Happer
take his old one + the two new missionaries will have to
get some place to stay until houses can be built. I hope
we shall retain possession of this house can be built. I hope
we shall perhaps will take boarders for a while.
Since I last wrote our mission circle has received
one addition Mrs Whitehead. She makes me think
just a little of yourself is about your height and size +
wears her hair short and curled. She is not the lady
however that Mrs Whitehead was engaged to when he
came out three years ago. That engagement was broken
off on account of her not [--wr--] writing to him about some
family troubles [--that--] ^[as] he thought she should have done.
That is the reason given but we imagine that he liked
this lady better and so broke the engagement without
very good reason. I cant help feeling sorry for the other
lady. I remember when I wrote a description of the
missionaries here a while ago I spoke of Mr Whitehead
in very high terms. I think too high, at least as compared
with the other missionaries he does not near as well upon
acquaintance as most of them here. Dr Kerr says [u]humility[/u]

is one of the first essentials in a missionary's character.
Whoever lacks that virtue I am sure Dr Kerr does not. I am
glad you know him he is one good friend of ours.
I do so much hope that Dr Happer will go to see you
as he promised he would before he comes back. I shall
be very glad to see him out here and I hope his wife
will be real [u]nice[/u]. He writes that she is about his age and
had had large experience in teaching. It seems as if she
will look like Mrs Suel [?Bolborn?]. I hope he will take her
out to see you. I have had only [u]one[/u] short letter
from Maggie since I came out, but we hear of her
through Dr Happer, occasionally, I begun this letter
several days since, it is now the evening of the 16th
and tomorrow morning the mail goes. We have
to-day been out to Ngan-pin. The SS at Fredericksburg
Mr Park's has undertaken to support the boys
school there. Mr Hamsher writes from Mansfield
that the SS there will support one or two schools I am
very glad the Ashland school will take up the matter
too I will try and write to them soon. I believe
I told you I had commenced reading the New
Testament in book language. I thought I would
try and read it through in two months hardly
expected I could but did finish it a few days
before the second month was out. To-day at Nganpin
I found a woman who had heard about the doctrine
here in Canton + wanted to know about the Roman
Catholics, they have a great many converts to their
faith. It seems such a pity that they should bring

their fake doctrines here and of course many of the
Chinese class us all together as teaching the same
religion. This morning Mr McKelvey left Canton
going home to America. You will remember I have
written of him + his sad trials here. His Board UP
have decided to [u]give up[/u] their mission here (a suicidal
policy it seems to all here) and left it optional with
him to go home or join their mission in India.
We were all very glad that he decided to go home
his health has been very poor the past year and
he has been [u]so sad[/u] and lonely since his wife's death.
It is nearly a year since she was buried but he felt that
he could not leave her body here and has had it
taken up and is taking it home with him. I was
very glad that he could for although it is a sad work
and there are some difficulties, if he can get it
safely home I am sure it will always be a
satisfaction to him. His life this far has been a
very sad one, he is a good man and I hope there
are brighter days in store for him. Mr Nevin
the other missionary of that Board goes home in the
spring, but they will send him back if he wishes as
he has been here so long + has such a good ^[knowledge of the] language
But I should think it would be rather sad for him to
labor here knowing that when he is not able to do
any more the work of his church here is finished.
But one soweth and another reapeth and the work
is one. I read in the papers today that it is probable
that 100,000 Chinamen will go to USA this year,
added to 170,000 already there + there is surely opportunity
for missionaries to labor for the heathen at home.
[Note: Letter concludes sideways in the margin]
Well - very much love to all from Your [u]own loving sister[/u] Hattie.

中国广州 1869年9月9日 我亲爱的Em, 我有些犹豫是否要用这一张大纸给你写信, / 我想:如果我问你,你会处理的很好, 但是我想那要看它被什么覆盖。 这个月邮包通过新的轮船Oregonian到了, 或者另一个公司 / 可以在巴拿马和旧金山自己反向运行。 “America”号现在在香港,这个月会带邮包回来。 她还是一艘新的船, 刚刚从纽约开出来, 我认为她是除了“大东方”号意外最大的船。 轮船从“大中华”出来。 也许这个“船智能”是否会让你感兴趣, 但是我觉得每一条线路都很好。 / 我从来没有在美国看到这样的景象, 但是日本没有在中国或科罗拉多挺住。 我希望你可以去旅游, 然后来我们这里几个月或者几年。 我总是想着那会多好, 我们可以分享我们的房间。 至少广州组织可以挣一些钱。 Happer医生和他的爱人Lucy是传教士, Lillie是教师并带上3个孩子。 Messrs Marcellus、McChesney先生带着他们的妻子,还有Lowrie医生可能写信给Condit先生。 很多信可能是Lowries医生写的。 我认为是对的。 我认为会有Condit太太,他们会带两个孩子。 15个人说那没有价值。 就像Kerr太太在读的新闻:“那永远不会下雨但是会倾盆。” / 我不知道他们什么时候可以找到房子。 我确定Preston先生会在春季回家, 并且我想Condit先生会有他的房子。 Happer医生住在老房子里, 两个新的传教士不得不找些新的住处,直到房子被建起来。 我希望我们可以保持这些房子。 我希望我们也许可以寄宿一段时间。 我们的传教组织有一位新成员,Whitehead太太。 / 她让我想到了你:你的身高体重, 和她一样的短卷发。 但是她和Whitehead先生以前订婚的女人不一样 / 她的订婚取消了, 给他写信有关于他认为她造成的家庭问题。 这就是那个原因,但是我们认为 但是我们认为他喜欢这个女人多一点,并且没有很好的原因破坏了婚约。 我对其她女人感到遗憾。 我记得当我写关于传教士们的介绍时, 我之前和Whitehead先生说过很高的描述。 我想得太多, 至少和别的传教士比, 他没有和大家很熟悉。 Kerr医生说谦虚是传教士最重要的一部分。 无论是谁缺少道德,我肯定Kerr医生都不会。 我确定你知道他是我们最好的朋友。 我希望Happer医生会如他保证的那样, 回来之前去看你。 我会很高兴在这看到他,并且我希望他的妻子很好。 他的信里写道: 她就要到他的年纪了,也有对教学很有经验了。 看起来她会像Suel太太一样。我希望他可以带她去看你。 我出柜以后只是给Mattie写了一封很短的信, 但是我们从Happer医生那里听说过她, 我开始写信, 现在已经是16号的晚上了, 明天早上就要寄出。 我们今天就到南平。在Fredericksburg轮船上, Park先生支持了男校。 Hamsher从Mansfield写信来了, 神父会支持一两个学校, 我很高兴Ashland学校会被建起了, 我会保持给他们写信的。 我告诉过你我开始读了新约。 / 我认为我会在这两个月努力读它, 但是我没有完成, 直到第二个月的前几天。 今天在南平,我发现一个在广东这里听教条的女人, 我想了解罗马的教堂, 他们有很多皈依的人。 看起来很可惜, 他们会带假的教义, 而且中国人不区分不同的基督教教派。 今天早上,Mckelvey先生离开广州回美国了。 你会记得,我已经给他写了信, 他说在这里审讯。 他决定放弃传教组织, 而且选择离开回家, 或者加入印度的传教组织。 我很高兴他决定回家, 去年他的身体很不好, 而且自从他的妻子去世以后,他很伤心很孤独。 她一年前被埋葬在这里 但是他觉得他不能把她的遗体留在这, 然后把她带回家了。 我很高兴他可以放下, 寄宿那是很不容易的事, 如果他能安全到家,我确定他会很满意。 他的生活很痛苦, 他是个好男人, 而且我希望他这几天可以过得好一点。 Nevin先生在这个春天和其他传教士回家, 他们会给他回信,他们会让他回中国 因为他来这里很久了,而且他对语言很了解。 但是我认为, 他在这里劳动但是已经没有工作能力的时候很伤心。 / 但是有一个播种另一个收割的时候,工作只有一个。 我在报纸上读到的, 今年有可能有100,000个中国人去美国, 加上已经到的170,000个, 已经有足够的劳动力了。 【边缘书写】 好了——爱你的姐姐——Hattie

Original Format



Noyes, Harriet Newell, “Letter from Hattie to Em, September 9, 1869,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed February 29, 2024, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/1048.

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