Letter from Hattie to Mother, January 10, 1870


Dublin Core


Letter from Hattie to Mother, January 10, 1870


Missionaries' spouses; Missionaries; Gifts; Parties; Homesickness


In this letter to her mother, Harriet writes about the new crop of missionaries and their families. She describes some of the gifts they brought, as well as a little party they had. Hattie expresses feelings of homesickness, pointing out how happy she is to have friends in China that she can talk to like her sisters back home.


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


[Note: Additional note sideways on page one]
I will not
sit up
longer to
read my
ever + if
you notice
any places
when it
you will
make it

Canton China
January 10th /70

My dear Mother
I do not know who I wrote to last at [u]Home[/u] +
I have been so careless about noting down the letters I have written
lately that my note-book does not help me any about recollecting.
But I will write to you this time and the rest must think
that I am thinking of all while writing and that want of time is
the only reason that I do not write more. You must thank Matt
+ Sarah for their letters they deserve a reply + I would like nothing
better than writing them but [u]alas[/u]. I never can feel like
beginning to write letters until the mail comes in and this
month it was a week behind time so that we have only to-day
for writing as the mail must go down in the morning to-morrow.
We commenced looking last week Monday for [u]our new + old[/u]
missionaries and they did not come until Saturday aft.
I dont think I could begin to tell you how glad I felt
when we caught sight of the steamer and all of them on
deck waving their handkerchiefs to us. Dr + Mrs Osgood on
their way to the Foochow mission were with them so that there
were fourteen in all. It seemed to me for a minute or two as
though I never felt quite so glad in my life before. I thought
that perhaps it gave me some idea of how it would seem to
come in sight of [u]Home[/u] once more. It was nearly an hour
after the steamer passed before they got all their things off but
when they did at last get here you may be sure we had a
joyful meeting. Of course it seemed like meeting an old
friends to see Dr Happer, but the children had grown so I should

never have known them. Mrs Happer is just such a person as it
seems as if Mrs Happer a nice lady about 50 tall + dignified
Lucy + Lillie are young ladies. Lillie as every one says + I can
Easily believe by far the most agreeable Lucy the prettiest looking.
Mrs Shaw as a member of their family comes next [--I was--] Mrs Preston
+ I both called her Mrs Happer at first. She is I should think
between 30 + 40 and just [u]real good[/u]. I feel sure that she + I
will [u]just exactly [/u] sent Each other. Of course we have compared
our Christian Commission experiences or have made a [u]beginning[/u]
of talking about them + I find that she came just about
as near coming to Point of Rocks once where I was as I did to
going to Nashville where she was. We missed Each other then
to meet after so many years have passed in China where I
hope we may labor long together. She is just one of the real
good "old maids" that it is my ambition to be like. I expect
I shall have more to say about her in future letters as we shall
doubtless be associated in our work but I will let this do for first
impressions. Tell Matt she looks a little bit like Belle Rose.
Then Mr McChesney is a great tall man the largest in
our mission a good honest soul I am sure Every one is
favorably impressed with him. Mrs McChesney is a little
lady with such black eyes + hair that curls nearly to her
waist. They will probably live with us as soon as the Happers
leave. I am sure we shall like them both [u]ever so much[/u]. If it
will help you any to think how he looks. I will tell you that he
made me think a little at first of D Slemmons brother + Mr
Marcellus of Austin Elliott. They look just the merest trifle
like them are both very good looking. Mr Marcellus is more
quiet + probably not so much force + energy as Mrs McChesney

Mrs Marcellus is rather lively we heard some time since that
she was a very nice person + I've no doubt it is true. They will
live for a time at Dr Kerr's/ On the whole we think we are very
very fortunate in getting an addition of so many nice people
and we are very happy. Dr Osgood + his wife are from
the east New Hampshire not far from Keene. They look +
seem like capital people. I mean the adjective in the superlative
degree. I dont often meet people that I like better at first
sight, "real yankees," the rest of the party call them but you
know we inherit a good deal of genuine yankeeism.
They will not stop long here, she looks like Mary Matteson
Mr Lyon + Mandana came out in the same steamer
they all liked them very much. I do [u]so wish[/u] we could
have seen them. They sent Henry + I some books a
New Years gift. Maggie + Mr Beacom sent us some
very pretty silver fruit knives. When they all came we
had quite a gathering in our parlor. When old Amah
came in who took care of Mrs Happer so long the girls all
kissed her + cried over her. Indeed there were not many
of us that did not shed tears, and all day to-day it
is as much as I can do to keep them back. I have
often longed for [--a--] some one that I could talk with as the
girls at home, but although I have Ever so many good friends
here none of them have seemed as I feel sure Mrs Shaw will.
She looks back upon her connection with U S C C just as
I do. I have always felt that if I could have been in that
work from the first moment of the war until the last I
would have been willing to have given up the rest of my
life for the privilege. Last week was the week of prayer

we had meetings Every day but I did not Enjoy them as
fully as last year. I think it was because we were Expecting
the new arrivals Every day + it "confused our hearts" as
the Chinese would Express it. Henry has an account
of his trip up the North River to send with this. He is
writing a shorter one for the Foreign Missionary. I am
afraid that I cannot send mine this month + I shall
be quite ashamed to send it any later. I have only a
little more than a sheet written out yet. There are
so many things I want to write so much I would
like to talk about. We expect a visit in a week or two
from Mr Baldwin Editor of the Recorder who goes
home for his wife's health in the February steamer.
You must thank Edward for the tunes he sent me. I was
delighted to find proof in the name of one of them that he
thought of me while visiting it. I must pronounce them
good in advance for I have not had a chance to try them
yet. Dr Kerr laughs at my large family and calls me the
grand-mother of the mission. I expect to lose some of them
today as Lucy + Lillie are going to Mrs Sampson's to stay
until their house is ready. ------- It is a little after
one + I have finished my notes of our North River trip I have
written the last part so hastily. I wish I could have done it
better. After you have read it if you think it worth it I would
like you to send it to the Mansfield SS I have never written
them only one little short note. Perhaps the Ashland SS would
like to see it. Henry sat up till nearly 12 + Dr Happer till
nearly 1 to write + now I suppose it is nearly 2. I have
always meant to write some letters to my little SS class I
suppose it is so changed it would hardly seem like
mine now Tell Sarah to tell them that I have forgotten
them + hope that they will grow up to be useful Christian men.
[u]Ever so much love to all[/u] It seems an age since I have
written to the girls Your own loving Hattie --

Original Format



Noyes, Harriet Newell, “Letter from Hattie to Mother, January 10, 1870,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed August 15, 2022, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/1050.

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