Section of a letter from Martha


Dublin Core


Section of a letter from Martha


Christian education of girls; Church schools; Language transfer (Language learning)


In this letter, Mattie writes about the difficulty she has with the language and how the school children ask her to repeat herself when she makes mistakes. She tells the reader about the young girls at her school and sends a picture with a detailed description. She is very hopeful that they will be saved through Christ.


Kerr, Noyes Martha


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






Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant




eng (English)





Text Item Type Metadata


If I have made any mistake he
corrects it so I can be sure I am
right. It is very hard to say what
you mean always. Now if I say
shun in a high tone it means
a person's body, but in a low
tone it means God. Then I can
pronounce Shi so it will mean
book or tree hot weather a
cottage in fact 30 different things
and yet I say Shi every time.
But my little girls are generally
very attentive, and can already
tell me a great deal about how Christ
came into the world to save
sinners. Besides this story we
talk about, I give them a verse
each Sunday which they learn,
then the next time they come
I hear them say it. Now I
must tell you that not one of
these 6 little girls has ever
missed of having her verse
perfectly which I think is very
nice indeed. I will put one
of these verses into this letter
so you can see what they
look like. I am sure some

of those bright little eyes in
your school would like to look
at it You see it is on red paper
The Chinese think red is the
nicest of all colors so have our
verses written on red paper to
please them better
Now I begin at the character
marked 1 to read and go right
down the straight line to 5
then from 6 to 10. you see
we do not read straight across
the page as you do. This is the
passage "Resist the devil and he
will flee from you" but in
Chinese this is what it says.
"You fight the devil then he
leave you" We have just had
the pictures of the smallest class
in Hattie's school taken and
my class is all there but one so
I think I must send the photo
and let you see them
Those standing with Afung
in the left hand corner are
the ones I call my girls.
Atsit the one standing and holding
a book is always ready to tell

me if she does not understand
what I am saying, so if I get
through the lesson without her
once saying "I do not understand
your words" I feel quite happy
Achan the next one says she is
very anxious to learn [u] soon [/u] about
Christ so she can love him.
Only think she never heard any
thing about Jesus until this sum-
mer. She is a very dear little girl
and I feel sure Christ will help
her to become a Christian The
next two are sisters from the
country. When they asked to come
to the school {Boarding school} it
was so full Hattie did not know
how she could have them but
we are very glad they are here
Afung is a very smart child.
The Sabbath School in Wayne
give the money to buy her food
and clothes. The next little one
is the scholar you support. Of course
I think a great deal of her.
You see she has little feet as
have 5 of the others and she often
suffers much pain but her Mother

wants her to be a lady so of course
she can not let her feet grow large
When I hear lessons in the
boarding school she often fans
me during the whole afternoon
We think little Akin is already
one of Jesus' own children and we
hope all these pupils will soon
love the Saviour. You would not
think the youngest one in the
picture was 12 years old but she
is, and the oldest 14. Well I must
not write any more or I fear
some of the little boys or girls
will think this long letter will
never come to an end. I hope you
are having a nice school this
summer, and that every one tries
to be there every Sunday. I did not
tell you we have about 50 in our
Sunday School. I think of you very
often just how all the different
classes looked last summer when
I was at home and I hope you
will sometimes think of us and
pray for these dear little ones
who have had no one to teach
them about God. I often think I

[Continued vertically on the first page]
would give almost anything to see the class I had last
Summer once more May God bless them all wherever
they go and in whatever they engage. And may every scholar
love Jesus so if we never meet on earth we shall see
each other in heaven Your loving Friend
Mattie Noyes

Original Format



Kerr, Noyes Martha, “Section of a letter from Martha,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed February 29, 2024,

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