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[Letter from Young John Allen letter to Dr. Lehow, December 7, 1866]


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Dec. 7 1866

To
Dr E.W. Lehow
Con. Secty For. Miss Board.
Meth. Ep. Chr. South.

My dear Bro-

"I have just had an application from a Japanese officer and two foreign gentlemen, one an Englishman resident at Hakodadi and the other an American of this place, to establish an Anglo-Japanese school for the instruction of Japanese youth (the Sons of officers and wealthy persons in Japan) in the English language and the Sciences. The occasion of this demand is the recent removal by treaty stipulations of the restrictions forbidding the Japanese to leave their country either for purposes of pleasure or business- Great numbers are availing of the present opportunities to visit foreign countries and there are constant arrivals here of students en route both to Europe and America- The officer that applied to me in behalf of an English School here is also on his way to England- He says there are great numbers who wish to avail themselves [added] of English tuition, but desire to obtain it without having to leave home so far, and as Shanghai will afford far greater facilities for learning the language and observing both foreign customs and improvements beyond anything in Japan he hoped that I would consent to take the superintendency of such a school- I hesitated for a long while and referred him and the other gentlemen to the schools already in operation here for the Chinese and even went with them to see their teachers
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but the Japanese officer did not like the idea of having them associated in any wise with the Chinese, and would not consent to any terms of accommodation in them- He said that when they left Japan they intended to doff Japanese customs, and learn not only the English language, but English manners- wear English clothes, and eat English food- i.e. they purposed to do away with former habits and customs and adopt in toto those of the foreigner- They then pressed me strongly to undertake its management and guaranteed that both the students and a proper support of the school should be had.

I finally consented and told them I would undertake it at least for one year- I was quite perplexed. I knew not what to do, and fearing I should commit the same mistake I did with the Chinese Govt School, which I had the pleasure of inaugurating on a similar plan, I took it for one year- I had [deleted] had the entire management of the Imperial School offered me for a period of three years, but foolishly would not accept it, because I was looking for the Board to send us a support and free us from all such engagements- I held the position only six months I have agreed to take this for one year- There is certainly no finer field for mission operation than this as I am now quite convinced, and, all both missions and others who know of it, urge me to take it. The merchant because it will enhance his trade and the missionary because he sees in it a preparation for the Gospel. Both the Englishman
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and the Japanese have returned to Japan for the present in hope of making speedy preparations for a number of students ten or twelve at first to be sent over as early next year as possible. I hope you will give me some expression of opinion on the subject when you write, for should it comport with your views, under present circumstances, I may be induced to accept it indefinitely, which I have the offer of its entire control. I wrote you some time since about the wonderful stimulus to inquiry among the Chinese and somewhat [deleted] begged [added] to call
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your attention to the ideas of establishing a scientific school for them, not for a moment thinking that there would come demands upon us [added] from Japan for that same thing.

Bro Wood, left us on the 5th Dec, per Shp Antelope consigned to Olyphant &co ??? [unclear] His passage amounts to four hundred gold (400) dollars payable thirty days after sight of order which I gave (as man of mission [unclear] ) on W.T. Shuster Baltimore [unclear] He has a splendid ship and his passage is very cheap for all of which we are indebted to the unceasing kindness of Messrs. Olyphant & co- They expect to arrive some time in March-- Will write you more altogether new [unclear] mail- All well- Treasury Exhausted.

Y. J. Allen

Nothing in hand for January or 1st Quarter.

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