Letter from Henry to Mother, October 25, 1880


Dublin Core


Letter from Henry to Mother, October 25, 1880


Boats and boating; Weight; Preaching; Baptism


In this letter, Henry writes to his mother while on his trip from Canton to Lin Chau. He comments on how everyone is gaining weight. In Lin Chau, Mr. Henry was able to secure a chapel for preaching. He also shares a story of a Chinese boy who wished to get baptism and the repercussions he was met with.


Noyes, Henry Varnum


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


[u] Ki Fong [/u] Up the North River
[--Canton--] Oct 25th 1880
Dear Mother
I wrote by last mail that
I would not probably send anything by this
mail as we were going to take a trip to
Lin Chau but as I am writing to Canton
this morning I will enclose a few lines
also for you. Your letter reached me only
about half an hour before we started.
The mail came up from Hong Kong that
morning and we were very glad to
get but for some reason the home
letters did not come with the rest and
I had until about eleven-o-clock one
came over from the Office. We are
away for a trip of about 3 weeks (a
little more probably) I am sure we shall
all enjoy it very much. After all this
busy preparation it always seems like
commencing a good rest when we are
fairly on board the boat and leave the
shore. Our fleet is one of two boats and
our company as follows. On our own
boat of course Bella & the two children, on

the other one Mrs & Mr Simmons and
Mrs Happer and Miss Stein. It al-
ways seems to agree with Willie to go
into the country and so far seems to
agree just as well with Richard
Varnum. It is now the fifth day since
we started and he seems to be getting
fatter every day. He has been very well
from the first and now beings to
laugh a little and know when he is
talked to. We were all weighed except
baby just before we started. My weight
was 166 2/3 lbs the heaviest I ever weighed.
Bella's weight was 106 2/3 lb and Willie's was
35 lbs. I do not expect to increase much
as I have such a good weight to start
with but I presume the others will.
We are going up the North River which
you know from former letters is a very
pretty river, expect to go to Lin Chau
where Mr Henry has succeeded in
getting a chapel. I hope at no very
distant day we may have a good
many more stations along the river be-
tween Canton and Lin Chau.
We left Canton on Thursday and
have had very good opportunities of
preaching thus far. We try to get off

and preach and sell books at all
the larger towns. Mr Henry got back
from a trip to San Ui and the
the stations in that direction just
before we started. We changed for
this trip he going to San Ui and
I to Lin Chau. He had a very
pleasant trip and baptized one
at the new station of Chung-Lau.
I presume I have written about this
station which was opened last March
The preacher there is one of the scholars
at Los Angeles who studied awhile
in Dr Happer's school after coming back
and then went to take charge of
this station. He seems to be a very
good earnest man. He has had more
or less opposition from his family. The
last time I was down there his brother
about 15 or 16 years old was helping take
care of the chapel. He was one of the
most interesting Chinese boys that I have
ever met. He wished to apply for
baptism when Mr Henry went down but
his father found it out and came and
took him away from the chapel. Then

they tried to make him light the in-
cense for idol worship which he re-
fused to do and was beaten in con-
sequence was beaten first by his father
but afterwards much more severely
by others of his relatives until he was
hardly able to walk. Then he was shut
up. Mr Jones (of whom I think I have
written) and Mo Hing the preacher then
went to try to get him back to the
chapel. His father said that he needed
him at home to hoe the sweet po-
tatoes. Mr Jones and Mo Hing then
took hold and hoed the potatoes them-
selves and I believe they think they
will probably get him back.
Now I must close. I am sorry that
Sarah is going to lose Gilbert & Mary and
the family. She will miss them certainly very
much, but I should think Gilbert's present
situation would be much easier for him
and more pleasant for the family. I hope
you can read this. The boat shakes so much
that I cannot get these marks very regular
but Good bye for this time. Much love
from us all to you all
Your aff Bro

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Noyes, Henry Varnum, “Letter from Henry to Mother, October 25, 1880,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed May 25, 2024, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/697.

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