Letter from Hattie to Edward, April 1, 1870

noyes_c_cor_036.pdf

Dublin Core

Title

Letter from Hattie to Edward, April 1, 1870

Subject

Missionaries; Steamboats; Collisions at sea; Shipwrecks; Music; Meetings

Description

In this overdue letter to her brother, Edward, Harriet Noyes writes about the sinking of the USS Oneida at the hands of the English steamer, the Bombay, which led to the death of 150 men. She discusses the resulting 'Oneida case.' Her emotions drive this narrative as she seems to feel the Bombay and the captain are at fault. Harriet changes the subject, and thus the letter concludes with some lines about music, particularly the music of mission meetings.

Creator

Noyes, Harriet Newell

Source

The College of Wooster, Special Collections, Noyes Collection, Box #1

Publisher

Unpublished

Date

1870-04-01

Contributor

Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant

Format

PDF

Language

eng (English)

Type

Text

Identifier

noyes_c_cor_036

Coverage

Sinking of the USS Oneida, 1870

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

April 1st 1870 -
My dear Edward,
I am sure it has
been a long time since I have
written to you but believe me it
has not been from want of inclination.
I am trying to improve some of
the spare time on this boat trip
by writing to some long neglected
correspondents & I imagine your
claim is as good as any on the
some of time & a good deal better
on that of relationship. I feel quite
ashamed that we have neither
of us yet written to Mr or Mrs Lyon
to welcome them to China &
not even thanked them for the
nice books they sent us. Some of
the home letters spoke of our meeting
them but that is not at all probable
for they are a [u]long[/u] distance from
us. An effort has been made
to form a synod in China the
first meeting to be held next
fall at Chefoo, but it would not be
possible for the Canton missionaries
to attend. We are far to the south
a long way removed from the
nearest station of our Board.

When we went on board the
America with the Prestons we had
the pleasure of being introduced
to Admiral Rowan, the commander
of our naval forces in these waters.
He was on his way up to Yokohama
to see about the Oneida case.
I have written & you have no doubt
seen in the papers an account of
our gunboat Oneida being sunk
by the English steamer Bombay,
who held on her way leaving 150
men to go down to a watery grave.
Of course the Capt was tried for his
inhuman cruelty. & what do you
think was the sentence an [u]English[/u]
court passed upon the [u]English[/u]
captain of an English steamer
that had cut nearly in two one of our
steamers & without stopping to render
the assistance which it would
seem no human being could
refuse an enemy. this captain
left 150 of our gallant sailors to
die & went to Yokohama to say
there that he had just ^[run] down a
Yankee cruiser about 20 miles
back and the punishment for this
crime is "suspension from his
command for six months". The Oneida
came out from home the same month

that I did & after lying on this
coast for two years was just
starting out of the port of Yokohama
"homeward bound". They sunk
in a few minutes after being struck
but several guns of distress were fired
the last one just as the muzzle of the
gun went under water. It was a very
dark night but the officers of the Bombay
deny that they saw the flash or heard
the guns although close by. They admit that
they heard from the Oneida the hail
"Steamer ahoy lie by us you have cut us
down". but say they did not hear the
last of the sentence as though that was
the [u]shadow of an an excuse[/u] for their not
stopping to see the extent of the injury done.
If they had only stopped all say it would
have been an easy matter to have saved
all on board. We shall wait with intense
interest to hear what Admiral Rowen
does about it. I felt so indignant some
time since when at a gathering the conversation
turned on the Oneida case & the prevailing
sentiment expressed by the English was
[u]sympathy for the unfortunate captain
in his temporary disgrace.[/u] We did not
express our feelings it is doubtless the best
policy to keep the peace but it is not
always the easiest. Perhaps this
will not interest you as it does me &
if not I beg your pardon for filling up
your letter with it I have not written a
hundredth part of what I feel. Some of my
very best friends here are among the
English [--here--] but I do [u]not[/u] like the

way the English as a nation feel
towards USA. And now to change
the subject let us turn to music.
After our Wednesday Eve meeting we
sometimes have a sing. The other eve
Dr Happer wanted us to sing "Behold
what manner of Love". After we had
finished he said "it was very good but it
was'nt equal to Guilford". Then Mrs H
spoke up & said "O that singing at Guildford
it seemed to raise the Dr to the third
heavens" so I saw it was something
he has remembered. & talked of I was
the more surprised because I did'nt know as
he was enough of a musician to tell good
music. I presume I told you that
our Sabbath eve meetings are consolidated
& now held at our house. & I am organist.
We used to have most miserable music
but it was the fault of the players &
if you had ever listened to it you
would not think it saying much
to say that it ^[now] goes very much better.
You used to say you did'nt think it
was boasting to tell the truth so I hope you
will not think so if I tell you that I think &
that I think it is generally acknowledged
that our firm can get up the best music
in Canton. The principal reason that
I am glad it is so is because I am an
[u]American[/u]. And whenever any one
compliments us I always tell them that
we have the least musical talent of any
in the family. How I would enjoy a trio with
you & Em. I think I have improved some
since the days of yore studying Chinese
strengthens the voice. Goodbye with love from
Hattie



1870 年 4 月 1 日——
我亲爱的爱德华,
我相信我已经很久没有给你写信了,
但相信我,
这并不是因为缺乏兴趣。
我试图通过写信给一些长期被忽视的通讯员来改善这次乘船旅行的一些空闲时间,
我想你的主张在某些时候和任何时候一样好,
而且在关系方面要好得多。
我感到很惭愧,
我们还没有写信给里昂先生或夫人欢迎他们来到中国,
甚至没有感谢他们寄给我们的好书。
一些家庭信件提到我们会见他们,
但这根本不可能,
因为他们离我们很远。
已经努力在中国组建一个主教会议,
这是明年秋天在芝富举行的第一次会议,
但广州传教士不可能参加。
我们离我们董事会最近的车站很远,
向南很远。
当我们和普雷斯顿号一起登上美国时,
我们很高兴被介绍给我们在这些水域的海军指挥官罗文上将。
他正在前往横滨查看奥奈达案的途中。
我已经写过,
你无疑在报纸上看到了我们的炮舰奥奈达号被英国轮船孟买击沉的报道,
孟买号在途中留下了 150 名男子下沉到水坑。
当然,
船长因其不人道的残忍行为而受到审判。
你认为英国法院对一艘英国轮船的英国船长作出的判决是什么,
该轮船几乎切断了我们的两艘轮船,
并且没有停下来提供似乎没有人可以拒绝敌人的援助。
这位船长让我们 150 名英勇的水手死去,
然后去横滨说他刚刚在 20 英里前击落了一艘洋基巡洋舰,
对这一罪行的惩罚是“停职六个月”。
奥奈达号和我在同一个月从家里出来,
在这个海岸躺了两年之后,
才刚刚从横滨港“回家”。
他们在被击中几分钟后就沉没了,
但当枪口被淹没时,
最后一门遇险枪响了。
那是一个非常黑暗的夜晚,
但孟买的军官否认他们在附近看到了闪光或听到了枪声。
他们承认他们从奥奈达那里听到了冰雹“传来了,
你把我们砍倒了”。
但是说他们没有听到最后一句话,
好像那是他们没有停下来看看受伤程度的借口的影子。
如果他们只是停下来,
说把所有的人都救下来是一件容易的事。
我们将怀着浓厚的兴趣等着听听罗文上将对此做了什么。
一段时间以来,
我感到非常愤慨,
因为在一次聚会上,
谈话转向了奥奈达案,
而英国人表达的普遍情绪是对不幸的船长暂时的耻辱表示同情。
我们没有表达我们的感受,
保持和平无疑是最好的政策,
但并不总是最容易的。
也许这不会像我一样让你感兴趣,
如果不是,
请原谅我用它来填满你的信,
我还没有写出我的感受的百分之一。
我在这里的一些最好的朋友是英国人,
但我不喜欢英国人作为一个国家对美国的感觉。
现在换个话题,
让我们转向音乐。
在我们周三晚上的会议之后,
我们有时会唱歌。
另一个前夜,
哈珀医生希望我们唱“看哪样的爱”。
我们完成后,
他说“非常好,
但不等于吉尔福德”。
然后 H 夫人开口说:“哦,
在吉尔福德唱歌,
它似乎把医生提升到了第三层天堂”,
所以我看到这是他记得的事情。
谈到我更惊讶,
因为我不知道,
因为他是一个足以讲述好音乐的音乐家。
我想我告诉过你,
我们的安息日前夕聚会已经合并,
现在在我们家举行。
我是风琴师。
我们曾经有最悲惨的音乐,
但这是玩家的错,
如果你曾经听过它,
你不会认为说它现在变得更好了。
你曾经说你不认为这是在吹嘘说实话,
所以我希望你不要这样认为,
如果我告诉你我认为和我认为我们公司可以制作广州最好的音乐是公认的。
我很高兴的主要原因是因为我是美国人。
每当有人称赞我们时,
我总是告诉他们,
我们在家庭中的音乐天赋是最差的。
我将如何享受与你和 Em 的三重奏。
我想我已经提高了一些,
因为以前学习中文的日子增强了声音。
海蒂向你告别。

Original Format

Letter

Citation

Noyes, Harriet Newell, “Letter from Hattie to Edward, April 1, 1870,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed January 31, 2023, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/36.

Output Formats