19 February

Seoul, 19 Febry 1891

Dear Amy,

The last mail brought me a very gushing letter of thanks from Mrs. Barnes, which I would send you but that I suppose she will have writtn you one like it as I told her I sent her the letters of introduction at your request. It was dated from the Government House L??? which may have been an additional reason for hurrying up her acknowledgement!

Our life runs on in the usual way & I do not know that I have anything very particular to tell you by this steamer. I dare say Max will write you of her performance at the last "Soci???" an entertainment got up under the control of the missionaries every month, & to me rather a nuisance than otherwise. On the last occasion Max was on the committee & they got up some tableaux vivants in which she figured conspicuously. Max provoked a good deal of criticism from one or two of the young ladies who would not be present at "such an indecent exhibition" but notwithstanding things went off with great success & the approbation of all who witnessed them. On this occasion Max was asked to take part & consented but would not give us any idea of what we were to see.

It turned out to be a dramatic rexamination of Longfellow's story of Miles Standish & Max was the maiden Priscilla, John Alden being taken by a young clergyman & the doughty captain by another parson. If I had known what it was to be, I should certainly have prohibited it. For though I can stand alomost anything, I don't like mock marriage & when I saw Max kneeling by the side of this young parson & another standing over them with his blessing, I could hardly keep from swearing loud.

The whole clerical community joined in it. It was a? t??? but favorite theatricals badly done, winding up with a mock marriage. The entire troup, with two or three exceptions, being of people who were shocked at the sound of billiards or a game of whist. I bide my time & some day I shall tell them what I think of this making a jest of one of the "holiest sacraments of the church"

These intensely religious people are very funny to my mind. They stra?? after their neighbors ???? but ??? s???? the most prodigious ???? of their own! It all depends on whose bull it is.

We have been getting up a sort of country club -- lawn tennis and reading room - & the community is so small it has been necessary to mix the religios and the scandalous elements, as oil and water. I don't know whether it will be possible to make it go, but ground has been bot. for almost $1500 to which all hands have subscribed & we now must get some $3000 or more for a building. This wd not have been very difficult but for some narrowmindedness manifested in committee which has alienated some of the best men, and now I fear. However these last theatricals give me a little hope.

You will wonder why I should have written you all this yarn and it will give you the measure of the magnitude of our social interest: but it will perhaps throw light on Max's letter. We are expecting a mail next Monday the 23, & then I shall have something from you to answer perhaps. Meanwhile I have scratched this off while waiting for your mother to undress & give me a chance to go to bed.

23 February

Feby 23

Dear Amy

I received last night your letter of 6-15 Jany & hurry off a line in acknowledgement. "Nous sommes bien éprouvés, allez." I had not expected to hear of this kind [??] complication of disease for you & we are quite overwhelemed by it. It is so far satisfactory however that your last ad???? ?? of decided improvement & by the time this reaches you we trust that it may only be recollected as a bad dream.

I suppose there can be no doubt that your long weakness & illness have been due to your bearing of children, & if it be so think how wonderfully the doctrine of compensation is borne out here. The pains you have suffered are as nothing with the pleasure they have given you. You would be willing to indulge ten times as much rather than have lost, or lose them.

Addie tells me of John's being ordered off and I wish I knew a little more about it. I haven't heard from him direct for nearly 6 months - no 5 - but that is long enough.

I am doyen of the corps as the minister highest in rank, not ????.

I wrote out the first copy of those reports because I got together the material & handed it over to Allen.

Thank Russell for his note abt. etiquette of withdrawal.

It is a beautiful bright warm day & Max has gone to escort with a number of others Mrs. Hillier the wife of the Eng. Consul General, who goes home by this mail, half way to Chemulpo. Max never loses the oppy. to go for a ride. She is in high health. Your mother & I are well.

It makes us sad to read of your weakness and it makes us wish, oh how we wish! you were here to do nothing & think of nothing but be pitied for three months. Kiss the dear children for us. ???? ? ??? ????

Yours ever

27 March

Seoul, Mch 27, 1891

Dear Amy

I have before me yours of Feby 6 full of delightful details of your two boys. I recognize something of myself in my namesake ,15 in his imaginative ways. I could always amuse myself with my fancies, & he seems to have the same facility. Altogether your letter was one of the most satisfactory [of] any I have received since our exile. You are all better in health and brighter in spirit, then you have been for a long while.

I can understand your feeling about the Barnes! I had something of it my self. I have just written her in Hong Kong, where I suppose they will soon be arriving, to put them off from coming here. In this way. von Brandt whom you may recollect as minister for Germany in Japan is now doyen at Peking & he invited us to go over for a visit. This I am disposed to do. This will give us a break in this monotonous life for your mother & Max, & the latter is crazy to see Peking. I shall not be sorry myself to do so, but if it were not for them I would not incur the expense.

So I propose to go over early in May to be gone 6 weeks or two months. En outre in short 10 days I shall begin the task of repairs which I am authorized to make, & which will then be out of my hands for the better part of the summer. I have taken a house just vacated by a missionary family gone home, & I shall soon move in. Max has gone over ??? with the ????. to see if the house has been cleaned. I have ??? written Mrs B that I shall be charmed to receive her if she decides to visit Corea, but I cannot entertain her so pleasantly as I might be able to do in my own house.

Max will tell you of her trials in getting her mother's dresses altered to suit the changing conditions of her figure; & I leave to her the task of convincing you that she has grown stouter. She is however, very well, & à l'exception of occasional rheumatic pains is in as perfect health as mortals often enjoy. There are one Chinese tailor - à d???? -- & 2 Corean women seamstresses hard at work on their summer clothes.

Spring is fairly upon us now, & I suppose we shall have no more cold weather. The sun is shining, & the air is balmy & warm.

I must cut you short this morning. I have written a good deal. Among these letters one for Addie which please send & forward, as I do not know where to address it. The messenger is waiting for me to finish. We send our letters by special courier to Chemulpo, ?? ????? 27 miles off, as sometimes "they say" dispatches are opened in the Japanese P.O. here.

Give our love to Russell & many kisses to the youthful ???? ???? ???? [ink smudges]

Ever yours affly

Please tell my mother that I ???? to put in the note & stamps for F??d, but it is too late now. They will go by next mail.

6 April

U.S. Legation Söul Korea Le 6 avril

No 8

Chère Amy, un petit mot seulement pour te dire que nous ne t'oublions pas bien que nous soyons plus qu'occupés. Nous sommes en plein déménagement, avec des ouvriers partout. Nous faisons en même temps des préparatifs pour un petit voyage à Peking. chez M. von Brandt, partant d'ici à la mi mai. Il est inutile d'ajouter que j'en suis enchantée - Maman aussi tandis que Papa est plus calme dans ses sentiments. Mais je crois que le changement lui fera du bien. Il a encore été un peu hors de son assiette depuis quelques temps. Nous avons été volé l'autre jour. Les deux petit boites en argent de Maman, ainsi que sa petite pendule, sa cuillère en argent et la bourse de Papa. Nous ne savons pas qui les a emportée mais nous soupçonons un de nos coolies. C'est ennuyant pour dire le moins. Il n'y a rien de nouveau autrement. Papa va à Chemulpo16 mercredi pour assister à une scéance du conseil municipal. Mes chevaux sont malades, le temps est beau mais froid pour cette saison, la communauté s'amoindrie de plus en plus, mais les jours se passent également et sans trop trainer.

Pas de lettre de toi ni d'Addie 17 par le dernier courier mais nous espérons que vous allez tous bien. Augustine est radieux et j'ai eu une assez gentille lettre de notre nouvelle belle-soeur aussi que Papa. Qu'ils sont heureux!

Comment trouves tu les livres de Kipling? Je m'imagine qu'il ne te plaisent pas. Moi au contraire les trouve intéressants et souvent amusants.

Maman t'embrasse ainsi que les mioches. Je me joins à la partie avec amitiés pour Russell.

A toi


As tu des nouvelles des West?

Je viens de trouver la dernière lettre (No 3) 22 Janvier dans mon portefeuille. Où est Mlle Woodville? Comment va-t-elle? Que veut tu dire qu'elle est "archi-finie." Donnes lui bien des baisers de ma part en lui écrivant. Il est possible que je lui écrire un de ces jours - for the sake of "auld lang syne" - Mes petits neveux Gray   18 doivent être gentils en effet. Tout le monde m'écrit qu'Augustine est si joli. Où est-ce que Lolita demeure? Que dit-elle de sa vie etc? Mes amitiés pour elle quand tu lui écriras.

U.S. Legation Seoul Korea 6 April

No. 8

Dear Amy, a quick word just to tell you that we have not forgotten you even though we are more than occupied. We are in the middle of moving, with workers everywhere. At the same time we are making preparations for a small voyage to Peking, to Mr. von Brandt's house, leaving here in mid May. It would be useless to add that I am enchanted. Mamman as well whereas Papa is calmer in his sentiments. But I believe the change will do him good. He has still been somewhat out of sorts for some time. We were robbed the other day. Two of Maman's small silver boxes, as well as her small clock, her silver spoon, and Papa's coin purse. We don't know who took them but we suspect one of our coolies. At the very least it is really annoying. Other than that there is nothing new to say. Papa is going to Chemulpo Wednesday to assist with a meeting of the municipal council. My horses are sick, the weather is nice but cold for the season, the community is shrinking more and more, but the days pass similarly and don't drag.

No letter from you or from Addie by the last mail but we hope that you are well. Augustine is radiant and I had a kind letter from your new sister-in-law as well as Papa. How happy they are!

How are you finding Kipling's books? I suppose that they do not please you. On the contrary, I find them interesting and often amusing.

Maman hugs you as well as the little ones. I include myself with good wishes for Russell.

A toi


Have you had news of the Wests?

I just found your last letter (No 3) 22 January in my wallet. Where is Miss Woodville? How is she doing? What do you mean by saying she is "archi-finie"? Give her many kisses from me when you write her. It is possible that I will write her one of these days - for the sake of "auld lang syne" - My little Gray nephews should really be quite nice. Everyone writes me that Augustine is so cute. Where is Lolita living? What does she say about her life etc? My best wishes for her when you write her.

23 May

German Legation Peking May 23rd

No 9

Dear Amy, there is so much to write about that I hardly know how or where to begin, in Enlish it must be at any rate as I shall ask you to share this letter with Addie, to whom I have already written the beginning of our trip, asking her to let you see it. So I take it for granted that you have ??? now follow us to the Ming tombs & Great Wall. We left very early Friday morning (a week ago yesterday). Papa & Mamma in mule litters, Mr. Cheshire & myself on horseback, followed by my litter, his cart, & maybe 2 boys, mule drivers, etc. quite a little cavalcade. It was cool but disagreeably windy & we were much annoyed by the dust, which grew worse & worse as the wind rose, until finally it became frightful beyond description & we found ourselves in the midst of a dust storm. A meaningless term until you have experienced such a thing for it defies all description. Having had our experience, you never want another. I bore it for two or three hours, then nearly blind & almost unable to sit my pony I climbed into my litter & covering myself up with three blankets & a shawl, for it had grown bitterly cold, I coiled myself up & resigned myself to being slowly buried up alive for the dust poured in through every crack & crevice & the little mosquito curtained windows. However the day passed uneventfully, otherwise & we reached the temple safely about quarter to six, thankful to find everything comfortable & in readiness for us. Mr. Von Brandt had sent his servant the day before with beds, & every conceivable thing we could need from a bath tub to a champagne glass. We tried to get clean ...! then we fully realized in what condition we were in. To give you a slight idea how penetrating the dust is -- I found my watch which has a double case, as you know & which I wore in my belt & under my jacket, was stopped & has never ??? since. As for my hair I was over an hour trying to comb it out & only yesterday was I able to wash it & make it tolerable, tho' for the rest of our journey I kept it tied up in a hand. But I am glad to say that the following days were bright, cool & pleasant, with as little dust as it is possible to have in this part of the country. We left the temple at 8 in the morning for the tombs which we reached a little after 10. Guide book descriptions I cannot give. It seemed to me that the conception was perhaps finer than the execution tho' anything so old, majestic & in some parts exquisite workmanship cannot help impressing one.

We ??? under the trees after going over the principal tomb - the Emp. Gury-lo's then started for Nankow which we reached at about four o clock. We found everything as comfortable in a nice Chinese inn as we had the day before at the temple & after an early dinner slept the sleep of the tired till 5 the next morning, when we started for the Great Wall. A new & really beautiful road runs all the way through the Nan-kow pass to Pataling where we stopped, & from there as far as you can see on its way to Mongolia. The pass is narrow & rugged, & not very green but exceedingly picturesque & interesting for there is a never ending line of beasts of burden - both human & inhuman - tho' perhaps the latter name is more appropriate to the latter animal. Camels are shabby, shedding their winter fur, & trudging slowly oh so slowly - with their bags of coal or brick tea. Donkeys, mules, carts all coming & going, crossing & recrossing. Here & there a sillage to change the scene & now & then a beautiful old carved stone gateway. We spent two hours resting & eating our ??? as well as enjoying the splendid views from the top of the Wall - which as you know is all 35 ft high & 12 or 16 broad with here & there a bastion or tower 20 ft square. It runs up & down & in out, over hill & dale & you wonder how the stupendous work was ever accomplished. especially when you think that what you see is but a very small part of its length - over three thousand miles! The Chinese believe that the mortar taken internally in small doses cures small ailments like stomach ache: so I brought a scrap home, perfectly white ??? as hard as stone. We returned to Nan-kow that evening & left the next morning at five for Peking and were very glad to be again welcomed by our host at four o'clock. For in spite of everything it is tiring & the dust spoils much of the enjoyment of going about. As I said before it defies description & to tell you that you always come home after a walk of 0 m. with a filthy face, & see everything through a haze - & sometimes not at all, gives you no idea of it. Yet most people like Peking & get used to the peculiarities.

Thursday Mr. von B. gave us a large dinner, & tonight we dine with Mr. Cheshire & go to a moonlight garden party at Sir Robert Hart's 19 Monday is the celebration of the Queen's20 birthday at the Brit. Leg. to which of course we shall go & neeedless to say I am looking forward to the dance. Visits, occasional garden "at homes" fill the time, but we rarely go outside this compound which is so pleasant. But there ar things I had to & wanted to see so Mr Cheshire kindly took me yesterday - between 5.30 & 9.30 A.M. It was cooler & less dusty so it was pleasant. We first rode to the Lama monument outside the city & beautiful it is; then to the Confucian temple but we were not allowed to enter. At the examination pounds the gates were shut in our faces but at the observatory we were more fortunate. The most superb bronzes I ever saw & the workmanship wonderful such as cannot be made nowadays. They (the instruments) are exposed to wind & weather at a height of 40 odd feet, & have been for 500 yrs & are in perfect condition. One must come to China to get even a faint idea of the patience, ingenuity & cleverness of the race. Everywhere, in the commonest poorest little village you will come across somethig beautiful or wonderful & nothing under one or two hundred years old. Of our host I can say nothing more than in my last except that his kindness increases & he spoils me utterly. Were he ten years younger I should have lost my heart to him long ago & even now I am not sure that a good part of it has ??? gone. He overwhelms me with presents to the point that I am embarrassed & dont know what to do. I have not been able to impress the fact sufficiently on Mamma & Papa until today till I put everything together & we all stood aghast. I think Papa will in future help me in remonstrating. Not that I dont like it!! but that it is too much. We shall have been here two weeks tomorrow (excluding four days for one trip) & beginning with the evening of our arrival he has not missed one day. I think! A carved ivory scent box, 2 fans, silver gilt & enamel nail protectors, a blue silk robe with gold butterflies, another darker one, several pieces of embroidery about six lbs of delicious ??? root - because he noticed it on my hand one day.- & today a piece of pale pale yellow crape embroidered with bunches of blue flowers - loveley it is - & 19 yds in length! besides a piece of woven material. And besides all this I believe he is collecting an entire Chinese dress for me. He has eyes all round his head & sees everything I do & almost what I think sometimes. He takes me to task when he doesn't like a thing & calls himself my uncle from America! Do you wonder that I am spoiled? We were going on Wednesday but he was so ??? & talked of nothing else for two days that Papa finally gave in & we are to remain a fortnight longer whereupon he slaps Papa on the knee "Ah! I am so glad" & turning to me all smiles "& I shall continue to spoil my niece." This was two days ago & I must say he remains true to his word.

I am investing in a few things & remembering friends at home, in other words ??? my chance for I am not likely to have such another.

I have covered six pages already & with really but a few facts - details I dare not attempt for it would lead me on I dont know where. The luxury of everything around us, & new surroundings all together make an impression a little of which I should like to give you. But pen & paper are hardly sufficient, especially under the hand of so unsteady a writer as I. Imagine large high rooms full of lovely things, any amount of good things to eat & drink, three there to wait on four people, always a boy in the hall to open & shut any door you wish, pretty green trees & finest blinds or screens to keep the sun out & flowers everywhere (the only place in Peking where there are so many as it is very hard to make these grow) & you may vaguely imagine our surroundings.

Russell's letter of March 20th reached me here a few days ago, no one knows how for it is the only American letter we have had - & I am glad to see by it that I have not overdrawn my account as I had feared. Please thank him for me. What do you do this summer? Does Mrs Gray   21 take you as before? We have had no news for so long that tho' we think of you all we no longer know how to think of you. And now I must put off the rest to my next letter & wish you all the same luck I am having. Kisses to the babies - all the babies as well as to the parents.


31 July


Le 31 juillet/91

Une toute petite lettre doit suffire pour te remercier de la tienne du 26 mai en même temps que pour plusieurs journeaux qui son toujours bienvenus. Ils aident à passer une soirée agreablement car en ce moment nous n'avons guere d'autre distractions. Papa est toujours souffrant pas sèriusement mais assez pour avoir besoin de grands soins et pour nous garder sur le qui vive. Maman est remise mais se plaint de temps en temps sans suite sèriuses.

Il n'y a presque plus personne ici, tout les monde pouvant s'esquiver étant allé a "chefoo" ou aillieurs. Nous sommes encores dans les pluies et le temps est "trying" bien que moins chaud que l'année dernière. Qui regrette plus que nous que nous ne puission pas voir les petites mioches? d'autant plus que nous savons qu'ils ne sont jamais plus si gentils. Mais nous ne devons pas nous plaindre. La lettre de Lolita m'a amusé en effet. Elle a l'air d'être heureuse. Quel bonheur ce doit être pour Mme Farnum d'avoir regagné sa vue. Pour Edith aussi cela doit être un grand soulagement.

En verité les mariages continuent. J'ai compté 16 de mes connaissances qui se sont mariées depuis mon départ. À ce train là je les retrouverai toutes grand-mères.

Un petit mot de Mme Housse m'a appris son depart dont elle ne parlait pas avec enthousiasme ni plaisir. D'Addie je n'ai aucune nouvelles depuis deux mois, mais j'espère toujours que le prochain courrier m'apport un petit mot. Et Peking? tu demandes. Tu doit en savoir deja trop car il me semble que j'ai tout écris et longuement.

La Légation avance à petit pas mais nous croyons pouvoir y entrer vers le commencement de sept. Cette maison ci est très humide et le docteur nous conseille d'en sortir le plut tôt possible, ordonnance que nous ne seron trop contents de suivre. Il n'y a absolument aucun sujet à traiter. Nous ne voyons presque personne et les journées se passent très tranquillement. En Chine au contraire on est encore inquiet et non sans raison. Enfin mille baisers pour toi et les mioches - amitiés au tiens.




31 July/91

A short note should suffice to thank you for yours of 26 May and at the same time for the several newspapers which are always welcome. They help pass an evening tree agreeably since at the moment we have scarcely any other distractions. Papa is still suffering enough to require significant care and efforts to keep his spirits up even if it is not serious. Mama is recovered but complains from time to time without serious consequence.

There is hardly anyone here, everyone who is able to escape discretely has left for "Chefoo" or elsewhere. We are already in the rains and the weather is trying even if it is less hot than last year. Who regrets more than us that we cannot see the little ones? especially knowing that they will never be more sweet. But we should not complain. Lolita's letter was very amusing. She has the air of being happy. What happiness it must be for Miss Farnum to have regained her sight. For Edith also that must be a great relief.

It's true that the marriages continue. I counted 16 of my acquantances who have married since my departure. At this rate I will meet them again as grandmothers.

A comment from Mrs Housse informed me of her departure, of which she talks with neither enthusiasm nor pleasure. I have had no news from Addie for two months, but I hope still that the next mail will bring me a few words. And Peking? you ask. You should already know too much about it as it seems to me I have written at length about everything.

The Legation advances slowly but we believe we will be able to move in at the beginning of Sept. This house is very humid and the doctor advises us to leave it as soon as possible, a prescription which we will be only too content to follow. There is absolutely nothing to talk about. We see almost no one and the days pass very tranquily. In China, to the contrary, one is already worried and not without reason. Finally a thousand kisses for you and the little ones - love to yours.


30 August

Seoul, Aug 30 1891

Dear Amy,

I have yours of July 9 about young John's admission to Harvard, & I have also received a letter from my brother explaining how the mistake occurred. It seems he was admitted with 2 conditions which is very good & I am very glad to hear it.

I have just come back from Chefoo, after a week's absence which has done me a great deal of good, but it will take me a little time to get back my strength. I was afraid I had given myself a setback by an effort to get up to Seoul in a hurry after my arrival. I got in on the 28 th. The 29th was the King's birthday -- the 40th which in Corian ideas is the most important of all, & it was expected that he wd. receive the congratulations of the For. ministers. I got a note from Allen to say the King had sent to inquire if I wd. be there & he had assured him I would be, but he did not know the hour of the audience. I left Chemulpo as soon as I could, but not in time to get into the city gates before they close at sundown, so I had to spend the night at a ???? ??? inn at ??? the halfway station where owing to ??? & coolies ???? & I got very little sleep. The day was very hot. I got up before 4. I got away from there at 20 min before 5. Arriving at Seoul a little after 8 to find 8 named as the hour of the audience. However punctuality is not a virtue of the Koreans. So I got something to eat as soon as I could, dressed, & started for the Palace. As I approached I met the other ministers coming away, the audience having already taken place.

Last New Year's day they kept us waiting a long time & I made a great row about it. So this time they were punctual!

I pushed on and it was all for the best. HM received me at once, keeping others - the English Consul & c waiting & I had a long interview with him alone, which was very satisfactory. The sun was fearful. I excused myself from the big dinner at the Foreign Office, & kept quiet the rest of the day. I was very used up when evening came however, & got to bed early.

I am happy to say however I feel all right today. So all is for me best in the best possible of worlds.

You ask me about Max. I really don't know what to think or to say. Von Brandt took a great fancy to her & heaped presents of all kinds upon her, so much so tha I remonstrated with him. But he said: Oh don't say anything as it gives me great pleasure & I look on her as one of my own nieces. He took her about in every way as no doubt she has written you.

He used to go out with her in the early morning to see sights & a thing which Max said in Peking he never would do for any body. And since we came back every steamer brings her reams of letters, books, etc.; the last one brought her 3 boxes. Books, a ??? of beautiful embroidered damask, photographs, & a letter about the lengh of a Sunday NY World! She writes him in the same way.

Of course all this is between you & me. You must not let her know I have written you this.

Von Brandt is a fine fellow and I like him very much, but then he is a contemporary almost of mine. I think he is 56. A handsome man, but looks his age, white hair & beard. They call hem "le Pére Eternel!" He is ????, & the Doyen at Peking.

En fin, nous verrons! --
Yours ever

22 September

No. 14

Légation des États Unis
le 22 sept

Chère Amy;

J'ai reçu ta bonne lettre du 4 août (No 8) comme je me promenenais avec Mme Low, 22 il y a quelques jours, et tout en marchant je lisais avec beaucoup d'intérêt les prouesses de mon petit neveu ou plutôt mon grand neveu, Quel polisson! Mais il me semble que le petit doit-être le plus -- comment je dirais-je cela -- "taking"? Il m'a toujours rappelé "Miles" dans Misunderstood. Dupuis lors les journées se sont écoulées si vites que je ne me suis guère apercu de la suite du temps et maintenant au dernier moment - comme d'habitude du reste - je griffonne quelques lignes à le hâte. M. et Mme Low ne sont restés que trois jours malheureusement mais leur visite n'en était peutêtre que plus agéable pour nous - ou pour moi - car j'en ai jouis avidement. Mme Low - la soeur de Mme Lyndall Winthrop -est très aimable et je ne puis guère te dire comme c'était bon de pouvoir causer à son aise de gens et de choses de "home". La première fois depuis que nous avons quitté N.Y. De suite après leur départ M. Bacon, de N.Y., et son jeune fils sont arrivés. Ils resteront encore quelques jours attendant le bateau pour la Chine. Ils font le tour du monde et sont maintenant à Péking! --

A propos de Péking. Tu dis dans ta dernière lettre à Papa en parlant des cadeaux que M. Von Brandt m'a fait et dont j'ai parlé très discrètement à Mme Rob. Winthrop - "Still she showed no surprise or approval?" Que veut tu dire? J'ètais désolée au commencement je ne voulais pas de ses cadeaux mais le plus je m'y opposais le plus il m'en donnait - alors j'ai demandé à Papa et à Maman d'intervenir. Ni l'un ni l'autre n'ont rien dit. À plusieurs reprises l'ai-je fait et j'ai dis a Papa "You really must stop it," mais sans plus de reultat. Alors, je me suis resigné sans trop de mauvaise grâce comme tu peux croire. Moi aussi, j'ai souvent désiré que tu connaisse M. Von Brandt. Il est si bon! et charmant. Je viens d'ecrire une longue description de notre enménagement, de ma chambre etc., à Addie, qui te laissera probablement lire sa lettre car tu comprends naturellement que ce que j'ai dis dans ma dernière n'a aucune allusion aux lettres entre nous deux.

Je suis tout à fait enrhumé, ce qui veut dire bonne a rien. Papa va un peu mieux mais il est tout de même un peu découragé. Nous espérons toujours faire notre tour sur le vaisseau de guerre mais malheureusement les Chinois s'y opposent. Encore hier nous avons eu de mauvaises nouvelles. Maman va comme d'habitude. Elle tripote du matin jusqu'au soir à arranger l'une main ce qu'elle dérange de l'autre, et a perdu ses clefs. Elle vient me dire que ma chambre est un palais et que je suis tout à fait gâtée. Mais cela m'amuse! Mon cheval est très bon et maintenant que les temps se remet J'éspere lui donner pas mal à faire.

Merci des journeaux ainsi que de ta lettre.

Amities à Russell. Mille baisers aux mioches sans t'oublier.

à toi


No. 14

United States Legation
22 Sept.
Dear Amy;

I received your good letter of 4 August (No. 8) while I was walking with Mrs Low, several days ago, and while walking i read with much interest about the prowess of my little nephew or rather my big nephew, what a rascal! But it seems to me that the younger must be the, how should I say it, the most taking? He has always reminded me of "Miles" in Misunderstood. From that moment the days have flowed so fast that I scarcely percieved the passing of time and now at the last moment - as usual - I scratch a few lines in haste. Mr and Mrs Low only stayed 3 days, unhappily because their visit could not have been more agreable for us - or for me - because I took great pleasure in it. Mme Low - Mrs Lyndall Wintrop's sister - is very friendly and I can scarcely tell you how good it is to be able to chat at ease with people about the things of "home." The first time since we left N.Y. Right after their departure, Mr. Bacon, of N.Y., and his son arrived. They stayed several days more waiting for the boat for China. They are making a tour of the world and they are now in Peking! -

A propos Peking. You say in your last letter to Papa when talking about the gifts that M. von Brandt gave me and which I discussed very discreetly with Miss Rob. Winthrop - "Still she showed no surprise or approval?" What did you mean? I was desolate at the beginning I did not want his gifts but the more I opposed them the more he gave me - then I demanded Papa and Maman to intervene. Neither one nor the other said anything. Several times I tried - and I told Papa "You really must stop it," but without any more result. Well, I am resigned without too much bad feeling as you can believe. Me, also, I have often wanted you to know M. von Brandt. He is so good! and charming. I just wrote a long description of our household, of my bedroom etc. to Addie, who will probabably let you read her letter because you naturally understand that what I said in my last letter makes no allusion to letters between us two.

I have the flu, which means I am good for nothing. Papa is a little better but even so he is a little discouraged. We still hope to take our tour on the warship but unhappily the Chinese oppose it. Again yesterday we had bad news. Maman gets along as usual. She fidgets from morning to night organizing with one hand what she disorganizes with the other, and she has lost her keys. She just told me that my bedroom is a palace and that I am completely spoiled. How amusing! My horse is very good and now that the weather is improving I hope to give him more to do.

Thanks for the newspapers as much as for your letter.

Love to Russell. A thousand kisses to the little ones without forgetting you.

à toi

20 October

Seoul. Oct 20 1891

Dear Amy,

I have nothing from you unanswered, but I have a note from Russell enclosing one from ????? [looks like "Whenton"], which please thank him for. I wrote you something last mail about my projected trip. The "Allimed" [??] arrd. yesterday at Chemulpo almost 1800 tons & we shall be off in a day or two.

I sent word to the King that as minister I wished to make myself familiar with the country. It was very easy for me to do this by means of ordinary ????? steamers, but I wished to make the occasion complimentary to him as well as useful to myself, & I had consequently requested the Govt. to give me a man of war for the purpose23. The troubles in China have delayed this somewhat. I enclose a memo received a day or two ago by a high officer from the Palace, which looks as if they appreciated the circumstance. -- I had inquired into the rank of the men I should meet, so that I might pay them proper honor.

I am much better. I dare say this cruise will make me all right. Your mother & Max are perfectly well. I want them to stay here as it is too late for a pleasure trip, but they ???it "as any ale".-- [??]

The mem. was not received from the Palace but was written down from the ??? of the officer sent to communicate it.

Remember me to Mrs Gray & Bessie. Russell ????

Yrs A.H.

At Fusan & Gensan
The Chief Officer is the Kamli or Commissioner of Trade. He is of the order Singee nominally cuamjan or 2nd rank, but practically a cuamwee as 3rd rank. He ranks with a Consul General. And will make the first call on Mr. Heard.
At Ping An
The governor resides in the city. He is nominally of the Pansa or first rank, but in this capacity has the actual rank of Chamfan or 2nd class. and ranks with an Ambassador - above a plenipotentiary. Mr Heard will make the first call, after receiving the governors card, brought by his secretary. After calling on the governor the minister and party will be shown the objects of interest in the city, under an escort of officers & soldiers. The next day the governor will visit the ship and call on the minister. He can on no account go more than 30 li (10 miles) from his official residence without special royal permission, in this case the King has issued special instructions to him to do as above. The anchorage called Chul Toh is something more than 30 li from Ping An, owing to draft of ship.

At Fusan and Gensan the Kamlis will provide a repast in foreign style, but at Ping An, it will be impossible from the lack of help and appliances, as the food in the country is very poor and not suited to the foreigner. The governor of Ping An will content himself by sending to the ship a present of chickens, pigs, eggs and other things of like nature.

These are His Majesty's Instructions.

Oct 17/91

The USS Trenton and the
USS Alliance of Smyrna in 1878

The Heard family took the tour off the coast of Korea and the Korean port cities of Wonsan, Fusan, and Pingyang from 24 October to 24 November, 1891. Both father and daughter left descriptions of the tour from their separate viewpoints.

The trip is described in Heard's report to James G. Blain, the secretary of state, No. 237 US Diplomatic Dispatches. Heard took photographs during the voyage, two of which are now included here - having been provided to me by Mr. Robert Neff. The trip was made aboard the USS Alliance, commanded by a Capt. Curley or McCurley. The ship is shown in an 1878 photo of Smyrna (provided by Robert Neff). 

The voyage began with a trip to Wonsan. The following exerpts from Heard's report (transcribed by Robert Neff) describe the visit from Augustine Heard's perspective.

Early the next morning we got underway for Wonsan (Japanese Gensan, Chinese Yuensan)

Right view of Wonsan in 1891

the most northerly point of my destination, and greatly favored by the weather, we made the high land of the entrance about 7 am. On the 28th. Wonsan is in lat. 39.15N. long. 127.16E, 784 miles from Chemulpo. The harbor is well marked and of easy access. We came to anchor at half past one in a small but pretty bay, completely sheltered on three sides by moderately high hills. It is open to the north as far as Port Lazareff, about 10 miles distant, but I was told that no accident had ever taken place here. Spring tides rise and fall 2 feet; the winter is cold, snow falling to the depth of 2 or 3 feet. Stretching for a mile along the Southern end of the bay is the native town, consisting of about 2,000 poor and dirty houses with perhaps 10,000 inhabitants; and, following northward along the western shore about a mine one reaches the Japanese settlement, containing about 640 inhabitants, the custom house, the landing jetty and all the business establishments of the place. The consul has a fine large house in the center almost in juxtaposition, a little to the north, is the Chinese concession with 45 inhabitants. A narrow strip between the two contains the houses of the two or three custom officers, and leads up to the Foreign Cemetery on the hill. The agent of a Russian line of steamers also has his house here. The custom house and the buildings in its immediate vicinity stand on ground a little higher than the rest, which ground, however, is very limited and entirely covered with houses. The settlement extends from a point north of the mole Southward about 2,000 feet along the sea and up to the foot of low hills. The streets are laid in shell, raised a foot or two and they are very neatly kept. It is only partially built ???, and as it is liable in extraordinary floods of the Gifford River to be overflowed in places, it is customary when building to raise the foundation of the houses about two feet.

To the Southward of this ???? is a level plain, which affords the only space on the sea fit for a foreign settlement, and in almost in every particular it is admirably adapted for it. It is near the native town where most of the sales are made and the high road from Seoul to Vladivostock passes at its back. Running a line of soundings from the ship I found one carried three fathoms to within 50 feet of the shore, when it suddenly shallowed giving excellent opportunity for piers, jetties etc. Unfortunately however, the ground is low and would require to be raised somewhat. A pier and godown might be placed here and residences on the hills behind. There is a beautiful, semi-circular amphitheater, back of the southwest corner of the Japanese concession, and suitable sites may be found along the top of the low hills overlooking the plain. This level ground lines up from the sea, forming the valley of the Giffard River, a small stream and on the other side, perhaps a third or a half of a mile across, there is another ??? of hills, the slopes of which offer very desirable situation for residences.

To locate the Foreign Settlement nearer the native town would put foreign merchants at a disadvantage as regards Custom House and Shipping facilities. Nearly all the business is in the hands of the Japanese and Chinese - all indeed at this moment - and it is not likely that they would consent, nor would it be right to expect them to do so, to the removal of the custom house from its present situations. The annexed plan or chart, and photographs, will serve to elucidate the above description.

The port was opened in 1880, and the value of its trade gradually increased till in 1890, in spite of serious drawbacks of cholera and floods, somewhat effecting the harvest, it amounted to $1,645,617 net, i.e. Foreign and native imports less reexports, and native exports ???? $1,491,135 in 1889, and 1,334,120 in 1888, but it can hardly be expected to remain at this level, as to continue to increase, if Ping Ynag be made an open port as a large portion of the imports of foreign goods is intended for distribution in that neighborhood. Wonsan from its proximity to the gold fields has always had a prominent share in the handling of that metal. The official figures of export have been:

1887 1888 1889 1890
$599,160 $676,228 $549,496 $557,884

and probably a larger amount has found its way out of the country undeclared

The Superintendent of Trade, Mr. Kim Moon Jay, who lives in the native town, called upon me before I left the ship and offered me the usual civilities. He is a resident of Seoul and has been in charge here only about twelve months. Most of my inquiries were answered by his secretary, Mr. Shin Hwang Moa, who has occupied that post for many years. I gave him a small ???? with champagne, liquors and cigars, and a salute of 9 guns when he left the ship, the same as for a Consul General.

Two hours later I returned his call at a small Yamen in the town with commander Mr. Curley, and passed some time with him, talking of the place. He put himself entirely at my disposition for any purpose, but he could really be of little use to me. I only desired to see the place in order to form my own ideas of it. Any negotiations for a site would have to be conducted at Seoul.

The party then went to Fusan, where the photograph of Deer Island was taken. Heard continues"

Having completed my observations, we left for Fusan, 353 miles distant, at 9:10 am. On the 30th Oct., and anchored at that port exactly at noon on Sunday, Nov. 1. The entrance is striking, thru high rocks - the "Black Rock" - standing on the right and Cape Vaskon and ??? Island on the left. The background of the mainland is mountainous and rugged. As we lay at anchor in 4 fathoms water, a half mile from the shore, we had Deer island on our left as to the South of us, and the Japanese Settlement - the only settlement - to the west. The native town, containing 10,000 inhabitants, is about 3 miles off; Tongnai, a large walled city, the residence of the Superintendent of Trade, about 10 miles; and Taku, the capital of the province about 100.

Fusan (Corean Pusan) is located in lat. 35 degrees, 6' 6" N. long 129 degrees, 3' 2" E., and is distant from the nearest point in the Japanese Coast a little over 100 miles. It was settled by men from Tsusima, 30 miles off, several hundred years ago and trade was carried on here in the 15th century. It was looked upon for a long time by Japan as her possession, her colony holding the door open for her armies, and from the time of the great invasion in 1592 down to the signing of the treaty in 1876 an interchange of commodities took place here, consisting of genseng, walnuts, fruits, fish, medicinal plants, pottery which was highly esteemed, and a few manufactures in the heart of Korea, and on the part of Japan of swords, military equipment and a great variety of productions. Commerce was small, but under the new treaty Fusan soon became an active place of trade with a population of 2,000, which has since grown to nearly 4,500 Japanese, 47 Chinese and about 20 of all other nationalities. It is connected with Japan by a submarine telegraph. The opening of Chemulpo dealt her a severe blow - from $2,000,000 in 1882 the gross value of the trade sunk in 1885 to $639,102 - but with the great resources of the provinces, which is one of the most productive of the Kingdom, it soon regained and even surpassed its former prosperity. The figures of its net trade, i.e, Foreign and native imports less reexports, and native exports have been 1888 1889 1890

Net: $1,447,267 $1,830,319 $3,963,470

Gross: $1,486,660 $1,908,643 $4,006,279

As the amount for 1890 has swelled by the large demand for rice owing to a short crop in Japan, it is probable that the ????? for 1891 will not equal it, but there is every reason to believe that the trade rests on a solid foundation, and will steadily increase. The province of Kuing Sang, to which it belongs, is one of the most fertile and prosperous of the Kingdom, and consists almost entirely of the valleys of the Naktong River and its tributaries, which afford easy communication. It contains many important towns. Fusan can also count on a large proportion of the production of Chulla Do, its neighboring province, and of its demand for imports.

Up to this date, however, no merchant of European or American nationality have cared to share the prosperity, though it is probable that before another year has gone by some beginnings will have been made. Two or three years ago the Russian agent of a steam company attempted to acquire a lot of land, but was refused by the Korean authorities on the grounds that no sire for foreigners had been designated and the same reason was argued this spring in opposition to the application of some American missionaries. The plea was not valid for under the clause of the Treaty, which provides for the acquisition of land by foreigners within 10 li (3 miles) of the settlement, it would have been impossible to go astray. This opposition, however, lent additional importance to the necessity of having a site definitely fixed.


Deer Island

Deer Island would make an ideal site for a settlement if it were not an island. It presents what is not found on the main - a sufficient extent of level, gentle sloping land, admirably situated for drainage, and offering no obstacle to the economical laying out of streets and the erection of buildings. There is deep water, 6 and 7 fathoms, close along side, and vessels could lie within 100 yards of the godowns or at wharves. But the current through the narrow passage between it and the main is swift, communications by boat in bad weather is difficult and sometimes impossible. At one point the distance is only about 400 feet, and, if the trade were sufficiently large to warrant it, a bridge could be built to connect the two but at present this is impracticable, and without the bridge the site is undesirable. I may say here that the bridge must be a draw or swinging bridge, in order not to impede navigation which in junks to and from the Naktong River is considerable. Deer Island is of moderate extent, diversified in surface and being almost without inhabitants offers an admirable situation for private residences while offices for business, godowns, etc might be placed on the main land. It is 4 miles from North to South and about a mile and a half across in its widest part. It has good water. Its highest peak reaches an elevation of 1,300 feet. The Coreans are averse to selling land on it to foreigners but I am told that Japanese have acquired a considerable quantity by mortgaging and foreclosing on farms. For the site of the Foreign Settlements, nothing remains, as I have said above, but the land between the Japanese and Chinese concessions, a stretch bout half a mile long, hilly and precipitous. For the most part it rises abruptly from the sea. A hill jutting out has been claimed for the English Consulate and marked by boundary stones. Another hill to the southward has been reserved for the house of the Commissioner of Customs. A road ??? along the hill side from the Japanese tot he native town and the entire front between it and the sea with the exception of a narrow lot next the Chinese concession has been reserved for the customs. The only ground at all level is the slope between the two hills above mentioned as reserved and the lot next the Chinese concession, which also slopes up from the water.

The space reserved for the customs is unnecessarily large, and should be greatly reduced. Its absurd that nine-tenths of the sea front of a mercantile concession should be devoted to this custom house and its ???????, and I should propose to place business establishments along the water and others of a different nature and residents on the hill at the back. The Foreign Settlement may also extend behind the Japanese quarter tot he bottom of the valley looking out south to sea behind Deer Island. The commissioner of customs, Mr. Hunt, has his private house, belonging to himself, behind the customs hill, and the American Presbyterian mission have taken three sites, 200 feet square each, just behind him, where they are now building. Close by an English mission have secured land.

Max's account of the voyage is more personal.

25 November

No. 16


le 25 nov. 91

Chére Amy Mille fois merci de ta bonne lettre de 9 oct. (No. 9) qui mérite un aussi bonne réponse. Je me demande seulement pour où commencer car il est arrivé tant de choses depuis la dernière fois que je t'ai écris - un peu avant notre départ si je ne me trompe. Notre voyage a été [un] des plus agréables. Mer calm, temps superbe, bonne compagnie, enfin tout ce que nous pouvions désirer. Nous sommes allés à Wonsan 24 d'abord -- un endroit désolé où nous ne sommes resté que 48 heurs. La dernière après midi je suis allé à terre avec Papa et me suis promené avec M. Diesen (???) de la douane, homme très agréable pendant que Papa fasait des questions d'affaires. Le soir même M. O. m'a envoyé un bouquet superbe de chrysanthemums et d'une grande fleur rouge qui m'ont rappelé les animones de Biarritz. De la nous sommes allés à Pusan 25, plus au sud et aussi plus joli. Nous y étions pour le jour de naissance de l'empereur du Japon, ce qui est toujours un jour de grande fête pour les Japonais - qui font à peu-près les seules habitants de Pusan. Papa à dejeuné à la Lég. Jap. tandis que Maman et moi ont fait de même chez Mme Hunt, jeune du commissaire de la douane26. Tu sais ce qu'est le service n'est-ce pas? Ce n'est pas comme chez nous. De la à Nagasaki pour du charbon. Des journées et les nuits idéals ni trop froides ni trop chaudes. Il n'y avait ni visites ni affairs et nous ne sommes restés que peu de temps, faisant quelques ????? etc. Le grand vaisseau Anglais l'Imperiéuse y était aussi, notre capitaine a eu l'obligeance de m'y conduire - l'amiral Sir Fred. Richards étant absent Papa ne pouvait guère le faire. C'est dommage car nous avions fait sa connaissance à Péking. De Nagasaki nous sommes encore allés au nord mais en longeant l'autre côte de la péninsule, pour aller à Ping-Ang. En route nous avons ramassé cinq pauvres chinois naufragés qui se cramponnaient à leur pauvre jonque renversé. Ici j'ai êté interrompu pour recevoir la visite de M. et Mme Emile Bocher le Commissaire Francais le première fois que je parle français depuis je ne sais combien de mois -- j'ai été épouvanté du résultat! Mais revenons à nos moutons. L'entrée de la rivière est dangereuse les cartes tres mauvaise ce qui fait que nous sommes allés a tâtons jusqu'à ??? 5 km. (???) de la ville, où nous avons jété l'ancre. De là Papa avec pleusieurs officiers sont allés dans le steam launch jusqu'à la ville où ils ont eu une grande réception du Governeur. Mais Papa te racontera tout cela et mieux que moi car je n'ai pas pu y aller. En attendant trois des officiers, ceux dont j'ai su le plus, et moi nous sommes amussés tant bien que mal au désespoir du capitaine, qui me disait je les démoraliseaient tous. Un petit pic nic à l'aventure, et un "candy pull" `a bord étaient les grands évenements. J'ai vu lâ quelque chose de très curieux. Des milliers d'oies et de canards sauvages, ca faisait un bruit - comme un machine à vapeur "letting off steam." Effrayant. Un phaisant est venu se percher sur un du cordages du vaiseau! J'ai toute sa peau comme souvenir.

Après cinq jours dans la la rivière nous sommes revenus sains et sauf, après une traversé de deux jours, toujours avec un beau soleil et une vue incomparables. Une journée a Chemulpo, que j'ai passè avec Mme Johnston,  27 et dimanche soir nous a vu coucher ici, bien contents d'être de retour, mais plus que satisfaits du voyage. Les officiers ont été charmante pour nous tous, surtout pour moi. Papa se porte beaucoup mieux et en est aussie charmè que moi. Il fait très froid depuis notre retour, mais beau. Pleusieurs personnes (???) son déja venues nous voir avec les mêmes questions et souhaits "enchanté" etc. de nous revoir. Vendredi nous dinons chez M. Hillier (l'Anglais) et mercredi prochain, aujourd'hui en nuit Mme Bunker donne son Shakespeare evening auquel je dois lire le rôle de "Portia"! Voilà notre commencement.

Mais que le monde est petit après tout. Tu te rappelles Mme Royal Phelps Carroll née Suzanne Bancroft? Elle est à Peking avec son mari, revenu du Kamchatka où ils se sont amusés a tuer des ours et en route pour l'Inde et le Java. M. Brandt m'ecrit qu'elle est charmante et jolie! qu'ils ont été fêtes par tout le monde. Il leurs a donné un grand diner dont je t'envois le menu. Cela te donneras peut-être une idée de ce que l'ont peut avoir en Chine. Tu n'as que y ajouter une dizaine de vins différents et imaginer une table superbe, couvertes de fleurs dans des vases de cloisonné, des cristaux etc. dans une grande salle d'une boiseries neutre, les étagères et les murs couverts de "blue et blancs" tandis que le plafond et composé de panneaux à fond blanc ivoire, avec l'aigle Prussian, et le drapeau Chinois en or, alternativement. Tiens! j'ai envie que tu connaisses mieux ce que je decris si mal. Je t'envoie deux phot. de la salle à manger, et une de la salle de bal ou grand salon. Il me les a donné pour souvenir mais je n'en ai guère besoin pour cela et tu peux me les gardes aussi bien. La porte à gauche dans le no 1 va dans la grande salle - dans le no 2 à l'office dernière le paravent fait d'une vielle étoffe japonaise, delicieuse.

Par la porte de n. est. on voit le petit-salon de cérémonie duquel on entre dans les appartements privés de M. B. Les tentures -- qui ne sont pas posées ici -- sont de satin rouge brodé d'or chinois, tandis que les panneax du plafond sont encadrés de rouge au lieu de brun. Les plantes se trouvent au milieu de la chambre en face de la porte de la salle à manger qui est à gauche comme on entre. A droit il y a quatre grandes portes vitreées donnant sur la véranda et la jardin.

Il parait que Mme Outrey 28 a un ramollissement de cerveau! Amalia m'ecrit de Knole au désespoir parceque les Salancon sont au Mexique. La pauvre enfant est triste pour autre cause et ce coup là a l'air de l'achever. Le dernier courier m'a aussi apporté une lettre de M. L. Winthrop. Une espéce de composition - qui m'a tout à fait étonné. Cette idée de m'écrire tout d'un coup!

Nous n'avons rien d'Augustine, tout au plus une invitation à la réception.

Mes souliers jaunes sont arrivés et me vont à mervéille. J'en suis enchanté et j'éspère qu'ils réussiront toujours aussi bien. J'attends les noirs avec impatience, c'est à dire, les souliers de rues - les autres sont ???? les ????. -- Et maintenant, soeurette, jéspère que j'ai assez jaser pour aujourd'hui et que ma lettre est causeuse. Mille baisers - pour toi et les mioches -- amitiés aux tiens.


2 dec

Je t'envoie aussi par ce courier un jupon chinois -- satin noir brodeé d'or -- en deux morceaux dont un a ton address l'autre à Mme Gray, que tu réclameras. Je l'envoie comme échantillon mais j'éspère qu'il arrivera en bon état et sans te donner d'ennuie. J'en ai ôté la doublure qui était vieille laissant les points exprès -- tu pourras peut-être en faire quelque garniture de robe -- en tout les cas il vaut mieux que tu l'ai(e??) maintenant car Dieu sais quand nous nous reverrons. Dis moi en quel état il arrive. Il n'est pas de coutume de donner le prix de cadeaux mais si par hasard on voulait te faire payer, la chose entière, avec doublure de satin n' à coupté que $5.00 à peu[-près] quatre en amérique donc ne te laisse pas voler. Je cherche depuis quelques temps une petite chose pour Mme Gray qui puisse passer par la poste, mais sans succès. Si tu trouve le jupon ferai (????) et qu'il ne te plaise pas -- donne le lui de ma part et garde le morceau de brocard (3 /4 yd) blanc et or que je t'enverrai après avoir attendu que ces pacquets ci soient bien lancés. Il te fairai une très joli garniture mais -- enfin tu peux choisir. Le même courier emporte pour Addie un petit paquet étroit - à ton adresse. Remets le lui s'il te plait.

Mille baisers et bon souhaites pour la nouvelle année.


Dis à Russell que j'envoi une demande d'argent pour $400. -- comme d'habitûde.

Tortue claire.
Bouchèes à la reine.
Hua chi yu, sauce mayonnaise.
Selle de mouton à l'anglaise. Pain de gibier
Côtettes de volaille aux petits pois.
Caud-froid de faisans. Dinde rôtie.
Fonds d'artichauts. Charlotte Russe.
Glace au cafè. Welsh rarebits.

No. 16
25 Nov. 91
Dear Amy A thousand thanks for your good letter of 9 Oct. (No. 9) which merits an equally good response. I wonder only where to begin because so many things have happened since the last time that I wrote you - a little before our departure if I am not mistaking. Our voyage was one of the most agreable. Calm sea, superb weather, good company, all we could desire. We went to Wonsan first - a desolate place where we stayed 48 hours. The last afternoon I went on land with Papa and I walked with Mr. Diesen of the customs, a very agreable man, while Papa asked business questions. That same evening M.O. sent me a superb chrysantehemum bouquet and a grand red flower which reminded me of the anenmonies of Biaritz. From there we went to Pusan, more to the south and and also pretty. We were there for the birthday of the emperor of Japan, always a holiday for the Japanese - who were almost the only inhabitants of Pusan. Papa had lunch at the Japanese legation while Maman and I did the same at Miss Hunt's, daughter of the commissioner of customs. You know about the service, don't you? It is not like at home. From there to Nagasaki for carbon. Ideal days and nights neither too cold nor too hot. There was no business and no visits and we stayed there only a little time, doing several ???? etc. The large English vessel the Imperious was also there our captain had the character to take me there -- the admiral Sir Fred. Richards being absent. Papa could scarcely do it. It is a pity because we had made his aquaitance in Peking. From Nagasaki we were still going to the north, but along the other coast of the peninsula, to go to Ping-Ang. On route we gathered five poor Chinese crammed into their sunken junk. Here I was interrupted by the visit of Mr. and Mrs. Emile Bocher the French commissioner, the first time that I spoke French for I don't know how many months -- I was horrified at the result. But let's return to the subject. The entrance to the river is dangerous and the maps very bad which made us proceed very carefully until we were 5 km from the town, where we dropped anchor. From there Papa with several officers went in the steam launch to the town where they had a grand reception from the Governor. But Papa will tell you all about that better than I because I was not able to go. While waiting three officers, those about whom I knew the most, and I amused ourselves well enough to the desperation of the captain, who told me that I was demoralizing all of them. A little adventurous picnic, and a candy pull on board were the grand events. I saw there something very curious. Thousands of wild geese and ducks making a noise like a steam boat "letting off steam." Frightening. A pheasant came and perched in the lines of the boat. I have its skin as a souvenir.

After five days on the river we returned safe and healthy, after a traverse of two days, still with a beautiful sun and an incredible view. One day at Chemulpo, which I spent with Mrs Johnston, and Sunday night we were welcomed to sleep here, well content to have returned, but more than satisfied by the voyage. The officers were charming for us all, especially to me. Pappa is much better and is as charmed by the trip as I. It has been very cold since our return, but nice. Many people have already come to visit us with the same questions and wishes, "enchanted" etc. to see us again. Friday we dine chez M. Hillier (the Englishman) and next Wednesday, tonight Mrs Bunker presents her Shakespeare evening for which I will read the role of "Portia"! Voila our beginning.

After all how small the world is. You remember Miss Royal Phelps Carroll born Suzanne Bancroft? She is in Peking with her husband, just back from Kamchatka where they amused themselves killing bears and en route for India and Java. Mr. Brandt wrote me that she is charming and pretty! that everyone entertained them. He gave them a grand dinner and I enclose the menu. It will give you perhaps an idea of what one can have in China. You have only to add a dozen different wines and imagine a superb table, covered with flowers in cloisonne vases, crystal, etc. in a grand hall with neutral woodwork, shelves and walls covered with "blue et blancs" whereas the ceiling is composed of panels of white ivory, with the Prussian eagle, and a Chinese gold curtain, alternating. Well! I want you to know better what I describe so badly. I am sending you two photos of the dining room, and one of the ballroom or grand salon. He gave me them as a souvenir but I have scant need of them and two can guard them for me well enough. The door on the left in the first photo goes to the main room - in the second to the officer behind the folding screen made of an old Japanese fabric, delicious.

From the northeastern door one sees the little ceremonial room from which one enters the private apartments of Mr. B. The tapestries -- which are not placed here -- are of a red satin bordered in Chinese gold, while the panels on the ceiling are framed in red instead of blond. The plants are in the middle of the room facing the door to the dining room which is on the left when one enters. To the right there are four grand stained glass window doors opening to the veranda and the garden.

It appears that Madame Outrey has a brain tumor! Amalia wrote me from Knole in desperation because the Salancons are in Mexico. The poor child is sad for other reasons and this blow was the last straw. The last mail also brought me a letter from M.L. Winthrop. A real composition which genuinely astonished me. The idea of writing me so suddenly!

We have nothing from Augustine, finally an invitation to the reception.

My yellow shoes arrived and suit me to perfection. I am enchanted with them and I hope they will still succeed well enough. I wait for the black ones with impatience, that is to say the street shoes -- the others are ???? the ????. -- And now, dear sister, I hope that I have abled enough for today and that my letter is chatty. A thousand kisses - for you and the little ones - love to yours.


2 Dec.

I send to you also by this mail a Chinese petticoat -- black satin bordered in gold -- in two pieces of which one has your address and the other to Mrs. Gray, that you will reclaim. I send it as a sample but I hope that it will arrive in good condition without causing you problems. I removed the lining which was old, leaving the stiches on purpose -- you will be able perhaps to make a decoration for a dress -- in any case it is better that you have it now as God knows when we will see each other again. Tell me in what state it arrives. It is not customary to give the price of gifts, but if perchance somebody wants to pay you, the entire thing, with satin lining cost only about $5 about four in America, so don't don't let yourself steal. I have been looking for some time for a little something for Mrs Gray which could pass through the post, but without success. If you find the petticoat ???? and that it does not please you - give it to her on my bahalf and keep the piece of white and gold brocade (3/4 yd) that I will send you after these packages have been sent. It will make for you a very pretty decoration but - it is for you to decide. The same mail carries for Addie a small thin package -- to your address. Please pass it on to her.

A thousand kisses and best wishes for the new year.


Tell Russel that I am sending a money request for $400 -- as usual.

4 December

No. 17 Le 4 déc. 1891


Chère Amy

Seulement quelques mots pour expliquer les photographies que voici. Imagines toi donc sur le seuil de la porte entre la salon et la salle à manger. Tournant le dos à le derrière tu regarde presque en face - un petit peu à gauche ce qui t'empêche de voir la baie pareille à celle de la salle à manger, car si tu te retournes tu regarderas un peu à gauche. (On entre du vestibule au salon.) Le soir tu verais Maman assise dans le grand fauteuil (rouge comme les autres) Papa dans la chaise à bascule dont tu vois seulement ma pied, et moi entre les deux dans une chaise basse et le dos à la lumière. L'après midi nous avons le thé sur la petite table que tu vois à gauche -- en hiver la poêle est plus à gauche encore -- remplacé en été par un revolving bookcase qui prend place dans un coin de la salle à manger en hiver. A droite de la salle à manger il y [a] à côté du paravant qui est est très grand et cache la porte de l'office - une espèce de bahut avec des verres (??) à côté duquel la porte par où on va à la gallerie (No 1) pour passer aux chambres à coucher. Tout à fait au fond le cabinet de travail de Papa - ch. à c. à droite de l'autre côté d'un corridor où on garde des malles. Regarder à gauche (No. 2) grande ch. d'amie -- vieille de Maman -- porte au fond - vide - ma vieille chambre - fenêtre au cab. de toilette.

Maintenant si tu veux tu peux venir chez moi. (No 1) aussitôt en entrant (la porte est au coin) tu as un petite table oval à ouvrage-invisible à ta droite - le lit et aussi de suite. La porte va au cab. de toilette et une grand armoire à l'américaine. Le petit tapis au pied du lit est en soie blue et blanche - le couvre pied soie blue ciel avec application de broderies chiffre en fil d'or.

Le bibliothèque s'explique d'elle même seulement elle est dèja plus pleine - les photo. ont été faites il y a six semaines au moins bientôt après notre installation. Le No 2 te montre ma table de toilette, la place de laquelle te montre l'autre côte de la chambre - le grand poêle russe et le cabinet Koréen ayant trois compartements et dans lequel je garde linge, robes blanches - et chapeaux. Ma table à ecrire donne sur le fenêtre par laquelle j'ai une jolie vue du Nam Lasse (????). Assieds toi et tu auras une autre fenêtre à ta gauche, dernière toi le canapé devant lequel une peau de léopard. Au pied du canapé en ligne-droite s'ouvre une porte sur la véranda. Les rideaux sont blancs doublés et bordés de gros bleu un peu gobelin. Le plafond est haut avec de poutres puâtres en bois vernis. Le reste de la boiserie est faites en blanc. N'est-ce pas qu'elle est jolie, claire et confortable? J'y ai le soleil toute la journée jusqu'à quatre heures quand il entre dans mon cabinet de toilette où tu verrais un Loochow tub-lavabo et chaise percée, car on n'a pas de cabinet ici. Je suis fâché de ne pouvoir les mettre sur des cartes mais je n'ai pas le temps avant le départ du courrier.

J'oubliais celle de Maman -- n'est-ce pas qu'elle est bonne? Tu vois que nous ne sommes pas à plaindre et que notre maison n'est pas mal du tout, pour ne pas dire jolie. soignes toi bien et nous écris bientôt -- mille baisers pour toi et les mioches.


Tout est blanc de neige.

Unfortunately the photos referred to in the letter have not survived, but photos of the original plan of the Legation and of the finished Legation do survive in the State Department archives:

Plan of U.S. Legation, U.S. Legation,
Seoul, Korea Seoul, Korea

No. 17 4 Dec. 1891


Dear Amy

Just a few words to explain the enclosed photographs. Imagine yourself at the threshold of your door between the living room and the dining room. Turning around to look behind you you see in front of you - a little to the left - what prevents you from seeing the door opening like that of the dining room, since when you turn back you will see a little to the left. (On enters from the vestibule to the living room.) At night you would see Maman sitting in the grand easy chair (red like the others) Papa in his swivel chair where you see only my foot, and Me between the two in a low chair with my back to the light. In the afternoon we have tea on the little table that you see on the left - in winter the furnace is even more to the left -- replaced in the summer by a revolving bookcase which takes its place in a corner of the dining room in winter. To the right of the dining room to the side of the large screen which hides the office door -- some kind of wooden chest with glasses beside which is the door leading to the gallery (No 1) to the bedrooms. At the base of Papa's office -- bedroom to the right of the other side of a corridor where the trunks are stored. Look to the left (No 2) large visitor's bedroom -- formerly Maman's -- door at the front -- empty -- my old bedroom -- window to the bathroom.

Now if you would like you can come to my home. (No 1) as soon as you enter (the door is in the corner) you have a little oval working table on your right -- the bed is next. The door goes to the bathroom and a large American armoire. The little rug at the foot of the bed is blue and white silk -- the sky blue velvet foot blanket has gold thread borders.

The bookshelves explain themselves only they are already too full. The photos were made six weeks ago right after we moved in. The No 2 shows you my makeup table, which shows the other side of my bedroom -- the grand Russian furnace and the Korean dresser having three compartments within which I keep linen, white dresses, and hats. My writing table looks out the window from which I have a pretty view of Nam Lasse (???). Seat yourself and you will have another window at your left, behind you the sofa in front of which is a leopard skin. At the foot of the sofa in a straight line a door opens on the veranda. The curtains are white lined and bordered with bright blue in the Gobelin style. The roof is high with plastered beams in varnished wood. The rest of the woodwork is white. Is it not pretty, clear, and comfortale? There is sun there all day until 4 when it enters my bathroom where you would see a Loochow tub-sink and a chaise percée, because there are no toilets here. I am angry to not be able to put them on the cards but I do not have enough time before the mail leaves.

I forgot Maman's - Isn't it nice? You see that we cannot complain and that our house is not at all bad, which is not to say pretty. Take care of yourself and write soon - a thousand kisses for you and the little ones.


Everything is white with snow.

12 December

No 17


Le 12 décembre /91

Chère Amy. Te sens tu disposie pour une longue causerie intime pour ne pas dire confidentielle? Je l'espère car j'en aie justement très envie d'autant plus que je suis dans un grand embarras duquel tu es la seule personne qui puisse m'en tirer.

J'ai bien peur que cela ne te donne pas beaucoup d'enuies et de tourments que je t'épargnerais bien volontièrs - enfin je sens si sûr que tu feras ce que tu pourra que je me mets entièrement à ta merci. N'est-ce pas? Mais le difficulté maintenant - comment commuiquer? L'emotion fait trembler ma main et les mots ne me viennent pas, et pourtant tiens je vais venir droit au but -- je me marie! avec qui tu as sans doute déja diviné -- M. von Brandt. Oui, c'est vrai -- ne pousse pas les hauts cris -- et c'est justement parceque c'est vrai et que je suis si heureuse et qu'il y a tant à dire, que je suis si troublée. Tu veux sans doute connaitre toute l'histoire -- je t'en dirai ce que je peux plus tard car avant tout le plus important, que voici: Nos fiançailles ne sont pas encore annoncies et je dois donc travailler en secret, ce qui n'est pas très facile comme tu peux l'imaginer, et j'ai du envoyer aux quatre coins du monde pour me rassembler une espèce de trouseau. Je pense que la cérémonie aura bien au printemps mais rien n'est encore décidé sur ce point excepté que j'ai promis d'être prête à la fin de mars. J'ai envoyé à tante Parrot29 pour du linge il ya six semaines. -- elle doit tout juste avoir reçu ma lettre -- mais ne pouvant lui dire pourquoi ne que je suis très pressée de l'avoir je suis dans des transes de peur qu'il n'arrive pas à temps. -- Je n'ai absolument rien qui soit tant soit peu convenable. Je voudrais alors que tu m'achètes quatre robes de nuit, autant de pantalones, jolis et bons qui pourrons me servir dans l'intervalles. C'est le plus important mais il y a encore d'autre choses. Addie garde pour moi une boite remplie de livres, un châle en cachemir, mes dentelles etc. Prends la si tu peux et fait ce que tu veux du contenu m'envoyant seulement le châle, les dentelles, mes vieux journaux (addressée a Addie) ce qu'il peut y avoir de lettre, de carnets, enfin d'écriture et je crois aussi une petite boite marqués "relics" Je ne me rappelle plus exactement le reste mais je ne crois pas qu'il y ai quoique ce soit à quoi je tienne -- surtout pas de bibelots -- j'en ai tant! Mon argenterie que tu gardes et la petite montre qu'on m'a gardé des choses de tante Marie. Maintenant pour commission une livre de poudre à dents faites pour Dr. Briggs 125 Marlborough St. tu peux l'acheter de lui ($1.00) ou chez les pharmiciens dont l'adresse ci-incluse - de l'oeil de perdrix-toile, assez pour faire douze serviettes. Je crois qu'une pièce sera assez - j'ai le même modèle que toi à moins que tu n'aies changé des épingles à cheveux comme modèle, une brosse à cheveux ivoire, fais y mettres mes initials en noir. Je dessine le dos de ma vieille que tu aies une idée de la grandeur. 2 bobbines de dental floss, une bouteille de liquid blacking -- Une ou deux paires de pantouffles, sans talons. Tuttle a quelquefois quelquechoses d'assez joli en fantaisie. Prends les en peau, soie, ou velour, mais surtout qu'ils soient jolie et légers pour les chaleurs. Quatre pairs de bas, cotton fin ou en fil, jaune comme échantillon -- Est-ce effrayant? Je t'en envoie une liste séparé pour que cela soit plus intelligible. Les épingles à cheveux tu trouveras chez Emerson Temple place. Pour le linge tu trouveras mieux chez Stearnes je crois, tout fait.

Maintenant ne vas pas te fatiguer pour tâcher de trouver des choses bon marché, ce n'est pas le moment d'economiser quelques sous. Prends une voiture et fais le aussi facilement que possible, aussi avec le moins de délais. Je voudrai si c'est humainement possible que la boite soit ici les premiers jours de mars -- tu l'enverras par S. Franc. au plus vite. Il me semble que la plupart des choses tu pourrais acheter par carte postal pour ainsi dire. J'ai envoyé à Elise Perkins pour des petites chemises en soie l'autre jours lui disont de les envoyer par le Dept. il est possible qu'elle ne l'a pas encore fait en quel cas tu pourras les mettre dans la boite. Mais tout ceci est pour toi seule et Russell à qui il sera nécessaire d'en parler, mais n'en fais aucune allusion dans tes lettres à Papa et Maman -- qui le savent sans doute!, mais je ne voudrais pas que Papa l'écrire à la famille ce qu'il serait certain de vouloir faire et il y a les raisons pour lesquels nous ne voulons pas encore en parler -- tu comprends n'est-ce pas. C'est pour ca que je crains que tu ne puisse pas te procurer la boite d'Addie sans exciter des soupcons et peutêtre lui causer de la peine de ne le lui avoir pas dis, ce que je ne voudrai pour bien au monde. Tu feras comme tu pourras et si il y a ce danger laisse cette partie là pour plus tard et envoies moi ce que tu peux de la liste des choses ci inclus. J'ai des dettes partout naturellement -- et je ne sais pas encore au juste à quoi elles reviendrons mais il est plus que probable qu'il faudra que je retire mon argent de la caisse d'épargne. Si tu veux bien tu pourrais demander à Russell quelles formalitiés il y aura à subir à propos des questions d'argent. Est-ce qu'il ne faudra pas signer des papiers etc.? Une foi que je change de nom.

Mais assez causer d'affairs pour le moment et je vais tâcher de t'interesser autrement. Je commence donc au commencement que ta curiosité très légitime soit satisfaite. Notre mois a Péking tu connais déjà, comme notre hôte a été bon pour nous, surtout pour moi dés le commencement. Après notre retour du temple -- tu te rappelles nous avons passé quatre jours à un temple, au millieu de notre visite. Il n'y avait déja rien qui fut assez bon pour moi, je n'osais vraiment presque pas ouvrir la bouche de peur de laisser tomber un mot qui exprima le plus petit désir ou caprice. Nous étions toujours ensemble passant de longues heures en tête à tête et figure toi qu'avec tout cela je ne me doutais absoluement de rien. C'est pourtant vrai il avait toujours été si bon pour moi que l'idée ne m'était jamais venu en tête qu'il m'aimât sériéusement et la peur me prenait quelque fois quand je pensais que la fin devrait venir si tôt. Elle vint pourtant et nous nous sommes quittes en bons amis qui devaient se revoir dans deux ou trois jours car il m'avait promis de venir à Tientsin avant notre depart. Espoir déçu car nous ne nous sommes jamais revus! Il y a de ca six mois pense donc. Il me semble que c'est une éternité et encore que nous avons encore trois mois de plus, car maintenant que la rivière est gelée il ne peut plus sortir de Péking. En fin nous étions si malheureux loin l'un de l'autre qu'il s'est décidé à surmonter ses scrupules sur nos âges et je me suis donnée à lui au mois de juillet. Il a fait sa demande à Papa au mois de septembre -- Deux lettres par mois, quelquefois moins et toute ces horreurs, surtout les fausses alarmes, sont ce que j'ai comme consolation. Tu peux t'imaginer par quelles transes j'ai passé au commencement. Il n'y a pas l'air d'y avoir beaucoup de danger maintenant et je deviens plus brave. Voilà de nous -- mantenant de lui. Il est grand, assez fort, bel homme. Les cheveux, la barbe et la moustache d'un blanc superb, encadrent une physionomie tout à fait charmante. Le front très haut, des yeux bleus, très vifs, surmontis d'épais sourcils noirs, et un beau nez. Voilà à peu près la personne de ton futur beau frère et je crois pas avoir exagèré en rien, bien au contraire. Il a le character gai; très causeur, et un coeur grand comme lui. Gentihomme jusqu'aux bouts des ongles -- en sommes il a toutes les qualités que j'ai jamais rêvés pour mon mari. La carrière diplomatique est belle et si il est resté si longuetemps à Péking c'est à cause de sa santé qui n'est pas forte - notre seul chagrin - dont le climat lui va mieux qu'aucun autre. Son titre d'"Excellence" lui a été donné par le vieil empereur Guillaume il y a une dizaine d'années pour quelque grand service, et a été fait membre du conseil privé en même temps. A Peking il est le doyen du corps diplomatique -- n'est-ce pas qu c'est drôle ta petite soeur doyenne! Il est très aimé et respecté de tout le monde. Il n'est pas millionaire Dieu Merci!

14 décembre

Ici j'ai été interrompu par une visite et bien que je n'ai pas beaucoup de temps aujourd'hui je vais tâcher d'ajouter quelques mots pour être sûr de ne pas manquer le courier. Mais je crois t'avoir tout dis -- sinon tu peux me faire des questions maintenant ce qui n'est plus naif! car je suis plus libre d'y répondre. J'étais bien plus fâché contre moimême que contre vous à propos de mes lettres! J'ai dû avoir la tête tournée, il me semble que tout ce que j'ai écris est raide et dûr et pourtant je ne l'ai jamais été moins. Je suis si heureuse! et quand je pense que le monde va me plaindre --- "he is so old" je les entends dire cela me semble si absurde. Il est vrai qu'il a 56 ans et que je n'en aurai que 24 au mois de mai mais il y a bien des hommes plus jeunes qui sont plus vieux de coeur. Je ne puis pas me figuerer malheureuse auprès de lui, et je ne trouve plus de mots pour exprimer l'orgueil que je sens dans mon amour quand je pense qu'il a bien voulu de moi, si petite, et que je pourrai peûtêtre lui rendre un peu de bonheur qu'il me donne. Il est seul au monde, excepté deux nièce mariées, donc il n'y a personne pour me disputer le droit. mais je n'ose me lancer dans ce chapitre qui n'aurait pas de fin et finirait par te fatiguer. Il écrit et parle l'anglais parfaitement mais ave beaucoup d'accent mais je commence déjà mes leçons d'Allemand et suis toute etonnée de voir comme il me vient facilement. Tu te moquerais sans doute de mes lettres, c'est à dire des pages ici et là ecrit en Allemand; c'est égal j'y arriverai car il faudrai que je sois bien bête avec un maitre pareil! Son petit nom est Max! Pas que c'est drôle? Il faudra nous numéroté "un" et "deux'. Enfin -- embrasse moi et dis moi que tu es contente d'avoir un aussi charmant beau frère -- bien que il soit Prussien. Je n'ai guère besoin d'ajouter que j'attends ta réponse avec impatience et de savoir si tu pourras me faire ces commissions. Et surtout pas un mot à qui que ce soit excepté Russell qui respectera mon secret aussi bien que toi, j'en suis sûre.

Encore un baiser et je te quitte.

à toi


No. 17


12 December /91

Dear Amy. Do you feel disposed for a long intimate, if not to say confidential, chat? I hope so since that is exactly what I would like and what's more I am in an embarrassing situation and you are the only person who can extricate me from it.

I am truly afraid that it will cause you cares and torments which I would willingly spare you -- finally I feel so sure that you will do what you can that I put myself entirely at your mercy, yes? But the difficulty now, how to communicate it? Emotion makes my hand tremble and the words do not come to me, and therefore, well, I am going to come straight to the point -- I am getting married! with whom you have no doubt already guessed -- M. von Brandt. Yes, it is true -- don't scream -- and it is just because it is true and that I am so happy that there is so much to say, that I am so troubled. Without doubt you would like to know the full history -- I will tell you what I can later but above all the most important is this: Our engagement has not yet been announced and I must therefore work in secret, which is not easy as you can imagine, and I have to send to the four corners of the world in order to put together some kind of trouseau. I think that the ceremony will take place in spring but nothing is yet decided on this point except that I promised to be ready at the end of March. I sent to Aunt Parrot for the linen six weeks ago. -- she should just have received my letter -- but not being able to tell her why I was in such a hurry to have it I am horribly frightened for fear that it will not arrive in time. -- I have absolutely nothing which is even a little suitable. I would like therefore for you to buy me four (or six) evening dresses, as well as pants - prety and good which will serve me during the intervals. That is the most important, may there are still other things. Addie is keeping for me a box full of books, a cachemir shawl, my lace, etc. Take it if you can and do what you wish with the contents sending me only the shawl, lace, my old newspapers (addressed to Addie) and whatever it might have of letters, notebooks, lastly writings and I believe also a little box marked "relics." I do not remember exactly the rest but I do not believe that there is anything which I treasure -- above all the trinkets -- I have enough! My silver which you have and the little display which holds Aunt Marie's things. Now as a commission a pound of tooth powder made for Dr. Briggs 125 Marlborough St. you can buy it from him ($1.00) or at a pharmacy at the enclosed address -- some eye of the pheasant - lace, enough to make twelve napkins. I believe that one piece will be enough -- I have the same model as you unless you have changed hairpins as a model, an ivory hairbursh, have them put my initials in black. I have drawn the back of my old one to give you an idea of the size. Two spools of dental floss, a bottle of liquid blacking -- One or two pairs of slippers without heels. Tuttle sometimes has some things that are pretty enough and fanciful. Get them in skin, silk, or velvet, but above all they must be pretty and light for the heat. Four pairs of stockings, fine cotton or thread, yellow like a fan -- is it frightening? I am sending you a separate list of these things in order to be more intelligible. The hairpins you will find at Emerson's Temple place. For the linen you will find the best at Stearns I believe, all made. Now do not go and tire yourself trying to find inexpensive things, it is not the moment to econonomize pennies. Take a car and make it as easy as possible, also with the least delay. I would like if it is humanly possibly that the box be here by early March -- you will send it by S. Franc as fast as possible. It seems to me that most of the things you can buy by postcard ???. I sent to Elise Perkins for some small silk blouses the other day telling her to send them by the Dep't. It is possible that she has not yet done it in which case you can put them in the box. But all of this is for you alone and Russell to whom it will be necessary to speak of it, but make no allusion in your letters to Papa and Mama -- who certainly know it!, but I would not like for Papa to write to the family which he will certainly want to do and there are reasons for which we do not want to speak of it yet -- you understand do you not? That is why I fear that you will not be able to procure the box from Addie without exciting suspicions and perhaps causing her pain for not having told her, which I would not want for all the world. You will do what you can and if there if this danger occurs leave it for later and send me what you can of the list of things included. I have debts everywhere naturally -- and I no longer know how they will return but it is more than probable that it will be necessary for me to take money from the savings account. If you are willing you could ask Russell what formalities there will be to submit to a propos questions of money. Is it not necessary to sign papers etc.? Once I change my name.

But enough talk of business for the moment and I am going to try to interest in another way. I begin then at the beginning so your legitimate curiosity might be satisfied. Our month in Peking you know already, how our host was good for us, especially for me from the beginning. After our return from the temple -- you remember we had passed several days at a temple, in the middle of our visit. There was never anything that was good enough for me, I truely dared not open my mouth for fear of letting fall a word which expressed the slightest desire our caprice. We were always together passing long hours tete a tete and think about it, that with all that I still suspected absolutely nothing. It is perhaps true that he had always been so good to me that the idea never entered my head that he seriously loved me and I became afraid some times when I thought that that the end should come so early. It came however and we parted as good friends who would see each other again in two or three days as he had promised me to come to Tientsin before our departure. Hope deceived because we never saw each other again! Think you that it has been six months since. It seems to me that it is an eternity and still we have another three months, because now that the river is frozen he cannot leave Peking. Finally we were so unhappy far from each other that he decided to surmount my scruples concerning our age and I gave myself to him in July. He asked Papa for my hand in September -- Two letters per month, sometimes fewer and all these horrors, especially the false alarms, are what I have as consolation. You can imagine what apprehensions I suffered from the beginning. There is now no feeling of great danger and I am becoming braver. So much for us -- now for him. He is tall, strong enough, handsome man. His hair, his beard, and his mustache of a superb white, framing a completely charming psyiognomie. His forehead is very high, his eyes blue, full of life, surmounted by thick black eyebrows, and a beautiful nose. Voila a rough sketch of the person of your your future brother-in-law and I think I have exagerated nothing, in fact the contrary. He has a gay character, very talkative, and a heart as big as he is. A gentleman to the end of his fingernails -- in sum he has all the qualities that I ever dreamed of in my husmand. The diplomatic career is good and if he has remained for such a longtime in Peking it is because his health is hnot strong -- our only sadness -- where the climate is better for him than any other. His title of "Excellence" was given to him by the emperor William a dozen years ago for some grand service, and he was made a member of the private counsel at the same time. In Peking he is the doyen of the diplomatic core -- isn't it drole that your little sister will be doyenne. He is well loved and respected by all. He is not a millionaire, thank God!

14 December

Here I was interrupted by a visit and although I do not have much time today I am going to try to add a few words in order to be sure to not miss the courier. But I believe I have told you everything -- if not you can ask questions now, which is no longer naive! because I am more free to respond. I was more angry at myself than at you a propos my letters! I must have had my head turned, it seems to me that everything I wrote is stiff and hard and yet I have never been less so. I am so happy! And when I think that everyone is going to complain to me -- "he is so old" to hear them say that seems to me so aburd. It is true that he is 56 and I will be only 24 in May but there are many younger men who are older at heart. I cannot see myself unhappy at his side, and I can no longer find words to express the pride I feel in my love when I think that he really wanted me, so small, and that I could perhaps give him a little of the happiness that he gives me. He is alone in the world, except for two married nieces, so there is no one to dispute my right. But I dare not launch into this endless chapter and end up fatiguing you. He writes and speaks English perfectly but with a strong accent, but I have already begun my German lessons and I am quite astonihed to see how easily it comes to me. You will doutless make fun of my letters, that is to say the the pages here and there written in German: It is all the same that I arrive there because it will be necessary for me to be quite stupid with such a master! His nickname is Max! Is that not drole? We will have two number ourselves "one" and "two." Finally -- embrace me and tell me that you are content to have such a charming brother in law -- even though he is Prussian. I have scarcely need to add that I await your response with impatience and to know if you can run some errands for me. And above all, not a word to anyone except Russell who will respect my secret as well as you, I am sure.

One more kiss and I leave you.

à toi


17 December

Leg. des Etats Unis
le 17 déc / 91
Chère Amy

Je vais tacher de griffoner encore quelques lignes mais j'ai la main très fatiguée et un pouce foulé qui me fait assez mal -- après avoir écrite et addressé une cinquantaine d'invitations pour une réception pour le 24 déc., sans compter plusieurs lettres. Le courrier part demain, toujours un grand moment. la moitie arrivé aujourd'hui, ne nous a rien apporté de toi ni d'Addie. La second moitié n'arrivera que ce soir donc nous pouvons encore espérer. Mais Papa a eu un lettre aujourd'hui qui nous a tout à fait consternés et beaucoup amusée. Tu ne devinerais jamais donc voici. Le Général le Gendre écrit demandant ma main en marriage pour M. Collin de Plancy 30 Chargé d'Affairs au Japon!! Il a été ici pendant quelques temps comme "commissaire" qui est le poste Francais ici, mais il a été remplacé en mois de juin dernier. Très gentil garçon avec une ressemblance extraordinaire à Augustine, en grande il a toujours été très aimable pour moi. Je ne l'ai tout de même pas vu plus de dix fois je suppose et je n'en reviens pas. C'est flatteur et je suis fâche de lui causer de la peine. mais je suis satisfaite!

Je grille d'impatience de recevoir ta réponse et j'ai une peur atroce que ma lettre ne touche en de mauvais mains. Le courier a déjà été volé plusieurs fois cet automne. Enfin il faut courir le risque. Mais comme quand on commence il n'y a toujours plus d'une fin j'ai pensé à plusieurs choses encore qui me manquant. Me voila en tulle et quelque éspèce de fleurs blanches. Si tu m'en envoies prends tout simplement un tout petit bouquet pour les cheveux et un petit pour le corsage. Fleurs d'orangers car il tient beaucoup aux vieilles coutumes je crois aussi une petite boite d'épingles en acier Kirby & Beard 31 -- Il est horriblement difficile et se connait fort bien en toute choses. Si tu pouvais voir les étoffes qu'il m'a envoyées! C'est un vrai plaisir que de se faire faire des robes. Et je ne sais vraiment pas ce que je ferais sans cela. Je te les décrirai un autre jour, avec des échantillons. Surtout ne te tourments pas pour m'envoyer un cadeau. Je t'assure, Mams, que si tu me fais toutes ces commissions je t'en serai toujours obligée et il me donne tant de choses -- livres, bibelots, bijoux, étoffés -- je ne puis te le dire, la liste est tellement longue. Jusqu'à ses habits! L'autre jour il m'a donné un superbe manteau de "sea otter" qu'il prétend être trop petit pour lui.

A propos -- ce n'est pas Suzanne Bancroft qui a fait sensation à Péking mais Marion Langdon une toute autre personne mais il faut vraiment que je finisse. Ne me fais pas attendre trop longuetemps ce n'est que pour quelques lignes. Amitiés a tous. Mille baisers.

à toi


United States Legation
17 Dec 91
Dear Amy

I am going to try to scribble a few lines more but my hand is very tired and my sprained thumb is causing me pain -- after having written and addressed fifty or so invitqation for a reception on Deceumber 24, not counting several letters.

The mail leaves tomorrow, always a big moment. Half arrived today, brought us no news of you or Addie. The second half will not arrive until this evening so we still hope. But Papa received a letter today that dismayed and amused us. You would never guess so here it is, General le Gendre wrote asking my hand in marriage for M. Collin de Plancy. Chargé d'Affairs in Japan! He has been here for some time as "commisaire," the French position here, but he was replaced last June. A very nice young man with an extraordinary resemblance to Augustine, generally he has always been friendly to me. I have only seen him ten times and I suppose that I will not see him again. It is flattering and I am unhappy to cause him pain, but I am satisfied!

I long impatiently to receive your reply and I am terribly afraid of my letter finding its way into the wrong hands. The mail has already been stolen several times this autumn. Finally it is necessary to run the risk. But finally when one begins it never ends that I think of several things more that I need. Here I am in lace and some sort of white flowers. If you send me some take simply a little bouquet for my hair and a small one for the corsage. Orange flowers since they go well with old costumes. I believe also a little box of steel pins from Kirby & Beard -- it is horribly difficult and they know everything well. If you could see the stuff that he has sent me! It is a real pleasure to have dresses made. And I truely do not know what I would do without it. I will describe them to you another day, with the samples. Above all, do not torment yourself about sending me a present. I assure you, Mams, that if you help me with these errands I will forever be in your debt and he gives me so many things -- books, trinkets, jewelry, fabric -- I cannot tell you, the list is so long. Up to his clothes! The other day he gave me a superb coat of "sea otter" which he pretended was too small for him.

A propos -- it was not Suzanne Bancroft who made a sensation at Peking but Marion Langdon a completely different person but I really must finish. Do not make me wait too long even it is for only a few lines. Love to all. A thousand kisses.

à toi


No 18 Le 17 décembre
Chère Amy,

Papa est venu me demander mes lettres pour le courrier et cinq minutes après le domestique m'a apporté la tienne du -- elle n'est pas datée mais il y a No 11 dans le coin -- écrite de Groton. Je crois pouvoir encore attrapper le courrier ce soir et m'empresse de te remercier de cette même lettre et de ce qu'elle contient. Tu connais toute l'histoire maintenant ce qui ne me laisse plus rien à dire. Je ne puis assez regretter ma sottise d'avoir écris comme je l'ai fais à Mme Winthrop, mais comme j'ai dis hier j'ai du avoir la tête tournée et ne pensais pas aux conséquence de ce que j'écrivais. Tu ne dois pas te laisser croire que je me suis laissée entrainer par tant de gâteries sans penser au sérieux de la question. Non, mille fois non. Je l'aime sincèrement et de tout coeur -- et tu serais la première à le comprendre si tu le connaissais -- comme tu le fera je l'espère un de ces jours. C'est toujours une question sérieuse et peut être plus encore en ce cas-ci car il est non seulement beaucoup plus âge que moi mais sa santé est des plus délicate. Il souffre de l'asthme ce qui le prive de beaucoup de plaisirs même des plus simple. Il me l'a representé lui-même bien des fois et se reproche de m'avoir pris ma jeunesse. Je sais ce que le monde va dire et il se trouvera bien des mauvais langues.

Et bien je ne puis que répéter ce que j'ai déjà dis - ce que je dirai toujours, qu'en dépit de tout la vie auprès de lui me semble plus belle que toute autre qu'on pût m'offrir. Je ne sais vraiment comment te dire tout cela je ne pourrai jamais rendre justice à sa bonté de coeur et beauté de caractère -- et en ce moment je ne veux pas dire particulièrement pour moi mais pour tout le monde.

Cela m'a tellement frappé au commencement que je n'ai pu m'empêcher de l'aimer. Mais tu sais ce que c'est d'aimer et d'être aimer -- je ne puis rien t'apprendre sur ce compte la seulement je ne veux pas que tu pense comme le vulgaire du monde. Tu en diras de tout ceci après ce que tu voudras ou pourras bien de dire. Je repette de ne pouvoir écrire à Addie en même temps mais je ne le puis pas encore. Tu peux être sûre que ce sera au plus tôt possible.

Tu arrangeras cela - autrement vous pourrez toujours échanger mes lettres si vous voulez, seulement je préférai peutêtre si elle les lisait chez toi ou que tu les lui lise.

Jean est une critique sévère et j'ai vraiment honte de mon français. Je vais m'y mettre un des ces jours mais en ce moment je n'ai pas un minute à perdre. Il y a tant à faire et j'ai besoin de tant de choses. Non seulment parcequ'il est difficile mais aussi à cause de la position officielle que j'aurais à remplir. Tu comprendras tout cela. Maintenant embrassons nous encore une fois. Enchanté des bonnes nouvelles que tu nous donnes de ta santé. Nos ésperons qu'elles coninuerons. Aussi d'apprendre qu'Aug. est tout à fait guérit de son entorse.

Embrasses les mioches et mille baisers pour toi.


No 18

17 December

Papa just came to ask for my letters for the mail in five minutes, after the servant brought me yours of -- it is not dated but there is a number 11 in the corner -- written in Groton. I believe I will be still able to catch the mail this evening and I am hastening to thank you for this same letter and for what it contains. You know the entire history now which leaves me nothing to say. I cannot regret enough my stupidity to have written as I did to Mrs Winthrop, but as I said yesterday I must have had my head turned and I was not thinking of the consequences of what I was writing. You should not let yourself believe that I let myself submit to such indulgences without seriously considering the results. No, a thousand times no. I love him with all my heart -- and you would be the first to understand if you knew him -- as I hope you will one of these days. It is always a serious question and perhaps more still in this case because he is not also much older than I but his health is more delicate. He suffers from asthma, which deprives him of many pleasures, even the most simple. He has pointed this out himself to me many time and he reproaches himself for having taken my youth. I know what the world is going to say and he will encounter unkind tongues.

Well, I can but repeat what I have already said -- what I will always say, that in spite of everything life with him seems to me more beautiful than any other that one could offer to me. I truly do not know how to tell you everything, I will never be able to do justice to his goodness of heart and beautiful character -- and at this moment I do not want to say this particularly for me but for the entire world.

That so struck me at the beginning that I was not able to prevent myself from loving him. But you know what it is to love and be loved -- I cannot teach you anything on that count only I do not want you to think as the vulgar do. You will speak of all of this as you wish or will be able to. I repeat I was not able to write to Addie at the same time and I still cannot. You can be sure that will be as soon as possible.

You will arrange it -- otherwise you can always exchange my letters if you wish, only I prefer perhaps if she reads them at your house or you read them to her.

Jean is a severe critic and I am truly shamed by my French. I am going to devote myself to it one of these days, but at this time I do not have a minute to lose. There is so much to do and I need so many things. Not only because it is difficult but also because of the official position I have to fill. You will understand all of that. Now let us embrace once more. Enchanted by the good news that you give of your health. We hope that it will continue. Also to learn that Aug. is completely cured of his sprain.

Embrace the little ones and a thousand kisses for you.


25 December

No 19

Le 25 déc.

Chère Amy, je ne pensais pas t'écrire par ce courrier car j'ai tout d'autre lettres à expédier et tu dois en avoir assez avec ce que je t'aie écris la semaine dernière -- mais il faut que je verse un peu de trop plein de mon plaisir et de mon bonheur dans ton coeur sympathique -- car je suis déjà sûre qu'il l'est. En un mot c'est pour te décrire mon cadeau de noël - mes cadeaux je devrais dire - comme tu en raffolerais et en vérité je me trouve très égoiste de te faire venir l'eau à la bouche sans que tu puisses jouir de ces belles choses. Figure toi un manteau demi-long chinois -- de soie blue foncée, brodée d'or à grands ramages, doublé de renard bleue - doux! délicieux! Un long manteau me dépassant les genoux d'environs un pied, de la même forme, en zibeline superbe foncée d'une faible nuance rougeâtre. Je n'aime pas la zibeline ordinairement mais celle-ci est si belle que je ne puis pas m'en empêcher. Le revers est d'un satin uni, espèce de bleu gobelin. On porte a l'envers ou à l'endroit comme on veut. Attends je n'ai pas fini. Un écran contenant un charmant petit collier de toutes petites rubis, saphires, et perles alternativement faisant une espèce de pendant en ce guise une petite chainette en or rattachant les pierres les unes aux autre. C'est j??? et tout à fait gentil. Le bracelet a un diamant au lieu de la perle. les trois pierres les bouts qui se croisent finis d'un petit trèifle en perles. Le tout dans une superbe boite en maroccain noir, avec serrure et quatre coins un métal argenté ciselé et son chiffre en cuir rouje et bleu (inlaid) qui sera mon chiffre aussi un de ce jours. Elle est doublée de satin rouge (grenat). Eh bien qu'en dis tu? Moi j'en ai la tête toute à l'envers et je me pince pour savoir si c'est bien moi. A Maman il a envoyé deux vases en cloisonné moderne, pas grands mais beaux et un manteau de fourrurers -- une espèce d'écureuil je crois, bien foncé. A Papa un vieux "bronze" doré en deux pièces - fort jolie.

Mais voilà que je recommence mon long discours de l'autre jour, sans te remercier de ta bonne lettre et des livres que tu nous as envoyée. La réception d'hier soir s'est passée tant bien que mal. Papa en est tout à fait fatigué et ne va pas bien. Cette grippe est assommante.

Ton No 12 (16 nov) est arrivé aujourdh'hui. Mille fois merci, aussi à Russell pour la sienne.

Baisers aux mioches et pour toi aussi.


Je ne suis pas encore décidé si je parlerai à Addie de mon cadeau, en tout les cas je ne lui dirai que d'un des manteaux et de ceux au parents.

Le Ministre Jap. m'a donné un assez joli éventail en forme d'écran. C'est assez intéressant de collectionner des souvenirs de tout le monde par ci par là, surtout s'ils sont jolis. Merci d'avoir envoyé l'argenterie.

No 19

25 Dec.

Dear Amy, I was not thinking of writing you by this mail because I had all the other letters to expedite and you should have enough with what I wrote you laswt week -- but I need to pour a little more fully of my pleasure and happiness in your sympathetic heart -- because I am already sure of it. In a word it is to describe to you my Christmas present -- presents I should say -- as you will dote on them and in truth I find myslef very selfish to make your mouth water without letting you play with these beautiful things. Picture a half length Chinese coat -- of deep blue silk, bordered in gold flowers, lined with blue fox - sweet! delicious! A long coat extending past my knees by a foot, of the same form, sable superb dark with a faint reddish nuance. Ordinarily I do not like sable but this is so beautiful that I cannot prevent myself from doing so. The reverse is of smooth satin, a sort of blue tapistry. One wears it reversed or where one wants. -- Wait, I have not finished -- A screen containing a charming little necklace of tiny rubys, saphires, and pearls alternatively makes a sort of pendant in which case a small golden chain attaches the stones to each other. It is ???? and very nice. The bracelet has a diamand in lieue of a pearl. The three stones which cross at the ends finish in a little shamrock of pearls. The entire piece in a superb black maroccan box, with bolt and four corners of chisiled silver and its number in red leather and blue (inlaid) which will be my number also one of these days. It is lined in dark red satin. Well, what do you say? Me, I am completely bowled over and I pinch myself to know if it is really me. He sent to Maman two modern cloisonne vases, not large but beautiful and a fur coat -- some kind of squirrel, I believe, quite deep. To Papa, and old gilded "bronze" in two pieces, very pretty.

But I begin again my long discourse of the other day, without thanking you for the good letter and the books that you have sent. The reception of yesterday evening passed as well as could be hoped. Papa is quite fatigued and is not well. His cold is oppressive.

Your number 12 (16 Nov) arrived today. A thousand thanks, also to Russell for his.

Kisses to the little ones and for you also.


I have not yet decided if I will speak to Addie of my gift, in any case I will only tell her of one of the coats and of those two my parents.

The Japanese minister gave me a pretty enough fan in the form of a screen. It is interesting enough to collect souvenirs from everyone everywhere, especially if they are pretty. Thanks for sending the silver.