Letter from Henry to Father, February 25, 1874


Dublin Core


Letter from Henry to Father, February 25, 1874


Rural missions; Short vacations; Church buildings


In this letter to his father, Henry writes about the recent trip to the country he took with Hattie and Miss Shaw where they were all able to relax a bit. They are working on building a chapel, describing the plans in detail. Henry is in charge of two country stations that he gives updates on.


Noyes, Henry Varnum


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


Canton Feb 25th 1874
My dear Father
I think you are pe-
culiarly fortunate in having
such good and faithful letter
writers in China as your two
daughters here are. I wish as
much could be honestly said of
your son. I manage however
to write a letter to some member
of the family every mail and
than think that is doing pretty well
[u] for [/u] [u] me [/u]. The last time we wrote
Hattie & Miss Shaw and I were
just starting for a trip into the
country. We were gone just a week.
Hattie had just finished her school
year and needed rest. We left
Canton Friday and she slept
most of the time, day and
night, until the next Tuesday
It was a real comfort to see
her have plenty of time to just
do as she liked. Keeping a boarding

school is quite confining work
and so she does not often
have a chance to get away
except in vacation. Mattie & Lucy
will be able to help her after
awhile. They are both working away
at the language very faithfully and
will get it very well we think.
We shall try and see that they
do not work too hard. I fear
Miss Shaw has done this She is
not able now to do near what
she once was. I think she will
go to Synod in August and I
hope this will set her up. It
meets at Chefoo. I think probably
I shall go but am not yet alto-
gether certain. Dr Happer expects
to go and I think Mr Preston
We were very much pleased
by the news from the Mission
Rooms last mail authorizing us
to go ahead and build a chapel

I was at work all day yesterday
drawing the plan and the
girls think I succeeded
tolerably [--wl--] well. It is to be
the same size of our church
at home if I remember aright
40 ft by 60 and built on the
same general plan although the
steeple will not be so high, but
will simply be a belfry [--for the--]
[--bell--]. The floor will also only
be about a foot higher than the
ground around and will be
of red tiles about a foot square,
that is, a Chinese foot which
is somewhat longer than ours.
We hope to get it done by next
October or soon after.
I do not expect to
go around in the country quite
so promiscuously as I have done
hitherto. Two stations have been
placed under my care, the only
ones the Mission has and I shall
confine myself so far as country

work is concerned mostly to
visiting these places. One is about
80 miles away and the other
perhaps thirty. At one place
there is a large city with per-
haps 200 000 inhabitants where we
have rented a small chapel &
school room. There is a native
preacher there and the teacher of
the school. The School teacher joined
the church a few months since and
his relatives have put him out
of the clan, which is something
like the Jews putting one out
of the synagogue. He loses
some thirty dollars a year by
this, his share of some patrimony
or something of the kind. This is of
course considerable for a person
whose wages are $5.00 a month
If he proves earnest and faithful
I hope he may hereafter prove to
be a useful assistant sometime
Now I must close. Your faithful
daughters will doubtless post you about
the news. They are writing an immense
number of letters by this mail to various
quarters. Ever so much love to all from
Your aff Son Henry.

Original Format



Noyes, Henry Varnum, “Letter from Henry to Father, February 25, 1874,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed February 29, 2024, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/826.

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