Letter from Hattie to Mother, September 27, 1884


Dublin Core


Letter from Hattie to Mother, September 27, 1884


Sino-French War, 1884-1885; Schools; Christianity--China; Church buildings--vandalism; Children of missionaries; Servants; Chinese language--Study and teaching


Harriet feels sorry for her mother because in the last letter she wrote that she is unhappy. Harriet says that they might go to Macau next week because it might be good for Ms. Butler's health. It is believed that the French might not even reach Canton after all. As a consequence of the disturbances, the mission work is falling apart. The scholars do not dare to come to the schools and there is barely any preaching in the chapels. In fact, a lot of chapels have been destroyed in the country and the Christians there have been driven away. She closes by discussing some of the missionaries.


Noyes, Harriet Newell


The College of Wooster, Special Collections, Noyes Collection, Box #3






Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant




eng (English)






Sino-French War, 1884-1885

Text Item Type Metadata


Canton China
Sept 27th 1884
My dear Mother -
Your letter written
on your birthday came by the
last mail. I am [u]so very sorry[/u]
that you still feel so unhappy
but hope that by and by the
shadows will flee away and you
can enjoy the sunshine again.
Perhaps by the time this reaches
you Mattie will be on her way
back to China, Sarah in Columbus
again, + Mary at home from
her visit East. We are still in
Canton but I think perhaps next
week we shall go back to Macao
Miss Butler's health is so
miserable that it seems as though
she must go away somewhere and
see if a change will not do her good
and she will not go anywhere
unless I go with her. There seems

now to be little expectation that the
French will come here and if not
we hope that in time we shall be
quiet again. The disturbances
in the country still continue but
the worst for this time is doubtless
over. Some of the Chinese say that
on the Sabbath when the first
proclamation which has made
all the trouble here was put up.
that if there had been any one
brave enough to take the lead the
mission premises her would certainly
have been destroyed. The people
thought then that the authorities
would be pleased if they could
drive away or kill any of the foreigners
but they understand very thoroughly
now that the French have all
left Canton and that if they
[?molest?] any other foreigners they
will only get themselves into
difficulty. The mission work

however is very much broken up.
none of the scholars dare to come
to the schools and there is very
little preaching in the chapels.
In the country many of the
chapels have been destroyed
and the Christians driven away.
Miss Lewis is still in Macao.
We are not going to tell her that
we think of going down and
surprise her. I know she
will be delight. She is just
as good as she can be. I think
she deserves the greatest credit for
having the energy to come here
and begin the study of the
Chinese language when she is
almost fifty. After her birthday
which comes I think next month
she will be in her fiftieth year.
She has bought such beautiful
furniture for her room had
it made here of camphor wood.

She did not take the allowance
which the Board makes for
furnishing but furnished her
room herself and paid her own
expenses out here. I suppose
Miss Mary Fulton M D will be
on the next steamer. Mr Fulton
is going down to Hong Kong to
meet her. I hope that we shall
all like her and that she will
not be quite so [u]queer[/u] as her brother.
I think if he had a wife who
was strong minded enough to tell
him what to do and make him
do it it would be well for him but
his wife is very easy going and
seems to think he is all right. Now
her whole time and thought is given to
the baby. Although she has [u]three servants[/u]
she says she could not possibly have
time to take care of a canary bird.
You would be [u]astonished[/u] to see
the amount of time it require to take

[Note: Letter concludes vertically on page one]
care of one baby out here. The baby's bath requires two or three persons
+ an hour or two
of time every morning
+ furnishes a
topic of connection
for the rest of
the day. Mrs
Thomson has
[u]four servants[/u]
+ Miss Niles
to help her in
taking care of
her two babies
and Dr
Thomson feels
all the time
that he ought
to be with her
to help her too.
and she spends
a good deal of her
time in [u]crying[/u] for fear
[u]they[/u] will take cold the babies
I mean by they.
But Enough on this subject from
Your aff daughter Hattie -

中国广东 1884年9月27日 我亲爱的母亲 您生日写的信 刚来了。 我很抱歉 您最近真么不开心, 我希望您 快点开心。 / 也许当你收到这个的时候, Mattie已经在回中国的路上了 Sarah已经回到哥伦布了 Mary在东部探访后回家了。 我们还在广州, 但会回澳门。 Butler 小姐的健康状况很糟糕, 似乎她总是要离开, 但除非我和她一起去, 否则她不会这样做。 / / / 法国人似乎不太可能来这里, 所以希望这里能再次和平。 农村仍然有骚乱, 可能会持续一段时间。 / / 一些中国人说, 在发布通知的那天晚上, 如果有人有足够的勇气第一个闯入传教士大院, 那么一切都会被摧毁。 / / / 人们认为如果他们杀死或驱逐外国人, 中国政府会高兴, / / 但是 现在他们都懂 法国人已经走了 如果他们打扰任何其他外国人, 他们会遇到麻烦。 可惜, 我们的传教工作暂停。 没有一个学生敢来学校, 教堂里很少传教。 / 农村的许多教堂已被摧毁, 基督徒被放逐了。 / Lewis小姐还在澳门, 我们要去那里有惊喜她。 我相信她会很高兴的。 / 她是一个很棒的人, 我认为她在快 50 岁的时候来到这里学习中文, 值得表扬。 / / / 她的生日是下个月, 然后她就真的 50 岁了 她带来了漂亮的家具, 所有的家具都是用樟木制成的。 / / 她没有从传教组织那里拿钱来布置她的房间, 她自己支付了所有费用。 / / Mary Fulton要坐下一艘轮船, / 他哥哥,Fulton先生 会去香港接她。 希望我们都会喜欢她, 而且希望他没有她哥哥奇怪。 / 我认为 如果Fulton先生可以娶 一位意志坚强的妻子 这对他有很大的好处, 不幸的是, 他的妻子很随和, 似乎认为他没事 反正她没有太多时间陪他, 因为她总是在家带孩子。 尽管她有三个仆人, 但她说她没有时间。 / 我不敢相信每天早上需要三个人给婴儿洗澡。 / / / / / Thomson太太有4个仆人, 还有Niles小姐 帮她照顾两个小孩。 / / / / / Thomson医生 他觉得自己也有义务待在家里帮助照顾孩子。 / / / 她花了很多时间哭泣并担心她的孩子会感冒。 / / / / 但关于这个话题我已经说得够多了。 您爱您的女儿 Hattie

Original Format



Noyes, Harriet Newell, “Letter from Hattie to Mother, September 27, 1884,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed May 25, 2024, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/411.

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