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[Letter from Young John Allen to Dr. Thomas, November 19, 1866]View image of page
Nov 19th 1866
My dear Dr. Thomas,
In a letter to Dr. E H Myers dated August 28th 1866, I notified my intention to forward at an early date some relics and specimens of Chinese Art & Literature as a contribution to the Cabinet and Library of your College, to arrive before the Commencement in July 1867. Having, therefore in compliance with intention finished or rather cut short my collection for want of means to salvage it at present, I now hasten to forward you an inventory of the box I am about to dispatch for the clipper ship "Antelope" from here to N. York.
For the Library
Chinese books, upwards of one hundred volumes, including;
1st An immense Chinese Dictionary with deffinitions [sic] [definitions] in French and Latin by M. D Guignes and published in 1813 by order of Napoleon Bonaparte-the first ever published, and worth from fifty to one hundred dollars at present.
Note- Superceded at [deleted] by Morrison's and Medhurst for general use by English Students.
2d The Chinese Classics with translation and notes also history and biography of their times and authors- by Dr. Legge-Hong Kong [unclear]
3d Chinese Classics, native edition, foreign bound with commentaries-
4th Agricultural Enclopedia [sic] [ Encyclopedia] (2 cases) A Novel
5th Hing Leu Meng [sic] [Hong Lou Meng] - or "Dream of the Red Chamber"
6th A number of Rebel books obtained from the Kan Wang (Shield King) in Nan Kin during my visit there in 1861
The Coroner's Handbook
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8th The Sacred Edict- foreign bound.
9th The Li Ki or "Book of Rites.
10th Description of Shanghai and its Environs traslated from an ancient Chinese miscellany- Also various books translated into Chinese by the Missionaries
1st The Bible- 2 copies- one the London Mission Edition the other the Committee's ed. both in Wen Li a literary classic Style- also parts of the same in Mandarin and Shanghai Colloquials.
2d A comparison of Theology
3d The guide to Heaven
4th Introduction to the doctrines of Christianity
5th The two Friends
6th Arithmetic, Algebra, Geography &c
7th Numerous other books including various hymn gooks, catechisms, prayer books, ritual &c also a number of Romanized- i.e. the reading sound of Chinese characters represented by roman letters & syllables-
A Japanese Dictionary
One copy in a Burman [unclear] dialect- One an Indian dialect
One a hymn book in a modified form of the Corean [sic] [Korean] character
A number of pamphlets pertaining to the discussion of "terms" to be used for God in translating the Bible.
& & &
For the Cabinet
1st relics from the Porcelain Tower obtained during my recent visit to Nan Kin in September, including-
One, out of the 1800 images of Buddha in bas relief that faced the entire inner surface of the Tower.
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2d Relics from Tien hong [unclear] fu or palace of the Rebel Emperor.
Two fragments from a petrified (?) slab or pillar in a private court of the palace
A fragment of a yellow (royal) tile from the palace roof-
Do [sic] [Ditto] from his private grotto
" " " marble door sill
A long green tile (perfect) from an Empress pavilion on the famous King Shan- Golden Island- near Chun Kiang fu, in the Yang tse river.
A common brick and tile from Shanghai
Some fine Specimens of lava from a partially active Volcano in the province of Yesso, in the extreme north of Japan.
Some pebbles from famous Tsih-li-loong gorge or pass on the Tsien Tang Kiang, beyond Hang Chow in the Chi Kiang province, China
Two or three pieces of carved Stone and jade one a seal such as are in common use- and one representing an ancient cash coin- used as a charm
Tsai Shun - the god of wealth
Kwan Ying - " The goddess of Mercy" or more the goddess of children or midwifery
Kwan Ti A sort of devil god or destroyer these three are universally worshipped
A buddhist priest reciting prayers and striking a hollow piece of wood, representing a fish's head- universal practice-
Buttons- blue, red, grass and white facsimile of those worn in China-
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One official hat and button (cuff [unclear] ) crystal for first prize Sophomore Declamation 1867 if the Faculty approve the novel innovation on old custom-
Two pairs Shoes- presented by Lieu nyang nyang, the wife of our late [unclear] native preacher Lieu Tsih Sung
One umbrella- bamboo and oil paper-
One Opium pipe- lamp and feeder-
Two other pipes- water and common with tobacco for each- also some Chinese Snuff-
Flint and steel with paper matches- in merchandise [unclear]
The Abaceus [sic] [ Abacus] or counting board-
The gentleman's travelling case, containing chopsticks knife and toothpick- also several common chopsticks
One small box of Sycee Spirit money- consumed for the benefit of the dead
One do do [sic] [ditto ditto] of dollars
Spirit money-consumed for the benefit of the dead
Two ancient coins and a string of the cash in present use-
Six dozen rice or pith paper pictures-
Four others of a large size
Specimens of letters- paper- envelopes- bills- receipts &c
Three Specimens of Ladies' head dresses- Scissors, thimble lock and key- comb- candles- wicks- Lamp wicks dominoes and cards-
The Great Plan- or Diagram of the Record fourth division [unclear]
One carved bamboo cane for the Rev Dr E H Myers
A Specimen of finest tea in China- Pih lu chunmee [unclear] for the Faculty- Presented by the Provincial chancellor at Suchow-
I exceedingly regret that my collection and contribution is so meager and unsatisfactory- and hope at no distant day to be able to make another of more interest and value- What it is and as it is however I forward you, hoping that in due time, say in April next, it will reach you in good order and condition-
Affect. yours-Young J Allen