Unsigned Letter to Father, May 14, 1885


Dublin Core


Unsigned Letter to Father, May 14, 1885


Death; Sick; Missionaries' spouses; China--Foreign relations--France


This letter, probably from Martha, largely deals with the death of Mrs. Kerr. Mattie writes to her father that she is glad her family was able to meet Mrs. Kerr before her death. Henry is in Hainan to baptize converts there. In Canton, there is some social and political unrest surrounding the French.


Kerr, Noyes Martha


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






Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant




eng (English)






Sino-French War, 1884-1885

Text Item Type Metadata


Canton China
May 14th 1885.
My dear Father,
I have been writing
letters this evening to Dr
Kerr and Hattie and
it is now getting quite late
so I cannot write much
for the home mail as we
must send our letters in
the morning. We were so
unprepared for the news
of Mrs Kerr's death. Had
you heard of her illness?
Dr Kerr wrote by the preceding
mail that she was far
from well and had been
confined to her bed for
some time so we felt very
anxious but we hoped
that when warm weather
came she would feel better

I shall miss her sadly.
From the day that I met
her first in New York when
I was just starting out in
Mission life she has been one
of the best and truest of
friends. I was always glad
that she visited and became
acquainted with you all.
She enjoyed it so much
you made her feel at
home. I wish she could
have seen you this time
while she was at home.
She had a feeling when
she went away that she
might not live to come
back to Canton, but she
wished very much to return
and we hoped so much
that she would be spared
to come back even if
she did not live long.

I presume Dr Kerr will
have written to you as fully
as he did to me of her last
illness. I am so glad that
Josie had resolved to come
out on the Lord's side and
that she had the joy of
knowing that he was again
received into the church
four days before her death.
I hope he will do well. I
think his plan now is to
come back and study
medicine with his Father
and he will help Hattie
with her studies. I wonder
if Martha will be ready to
come out at the same
time that they do. She
and Hattie would be
company for each other.
I do not know whether
you will hear from Henry

by this mail or not. He has
just gone down to Hainan
for two or three weeks. Mr
Jeremiassen wrote up that there
were several converts who he
thought were ready to be baptized
and asked if some one of
the missionaries would not
go down and receive them
into the church. We now have
about fifty scholars in the
Boarding School. [u] Peace [/u] does
not seem very peaceful
yet in Canton. The Chinese
think they were just beginning
to be victorious over the French
and so do not want to stop
but the powers at Peking are
anxious for peace. I will
try and write more for
the next mail which I
think leaves. I feel very
anxious to hear from Sarah.
I wish she would stop teaching
and take a rest.

Original Format



Kerr, Noyes Martha, “Unsigned Letter to Father, May 14, 1885,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed February 29, 2024, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/728.

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