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[Letter from Mary Allen to Mellie Allen, May 27, 1875]
May 27th 1875
I did not think that I would allow another mail day to come without having written to you a long letter, but so I have, yet Mellie dear you must not think I love you any less. I have been very busy with the tailor and have had guests in the house and so have put off writing from day to day. I have finished the house-cleaning, but have not time to tell you about the changes made to-day.
Two young ladies came out as missionaries by the last mail, and staid 8 days with me. They have gone to Pekin. They are not very young, one is more than 40 years old
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and the other very nearly 40. They were sent out by the Ladies' Union Missionary Society of which Mrs Duremas in New York, (Mr Nixon's aunt) is President. Do you remember Mr Nixon who used to be in Shanghai? If you ever go to New York I would like you to look up Mrs Duremas (I do not know how her name is spelt) and tell her you are the daughter of the Mrs Allen missionary, whom she met in New York now 15 years ago, to whom she was so kind, and that I remember her with much kindness and respect. But to return to the young ladies- I think it a very great mistake to send such old people to China as missionaries. I fear they will never learn the language sufficiently to do much good. Fancy a Flower Show in Shanghai. I mean a foreign one. Well we had one on the 24th and the 25th of May.
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It was held in the English Consular grounds and we had a very fine band from an English man-of-war in front which played from 4 to 7 o'clock. I went both days. The first day Papa came home from the Arsenal to tiffin and went with me.
Mr and Mrs Kip Missionaries from Amoy were spending the day here and we asked them to go. They are on their way to Japan for Mrs Kipp's health. Mrs Kip was Helen Culbertson; her father was a Missionary in Shanghai for many years; he died here when you were only three or four years old. Perhaps you do not remember the family. Her mother is now living in Brooklin with her youngest daughter at home with her unmarried. There is another married daughter in New York, I do not know her name. Mrs Kip helped me some to nurse you once when you were very ill. It was when we were living with Miss Kate Jones, the spring you were three years old.View image of page
But to return to the Flower Show. The first day was very enjoyable indeed. In the first place Papa was with me and that was of itself a rare treat. He so seldom has time to go with me anywhere - secondly the flowers were a delightful surprise; I had no idea there were so many handsome English flowers in Shanghai. Thirdly there were a great many people there, and among them a large number of handsomely dressed ladies, which made a very bright picture and a very pleasing one to see; fourthly the music was very fine, and fifthly the refreshments were excellent; but I have not put the different "heads" in proper order. I enjoyed the flowers most, the music next, the sight of the handsomely dressed ladies next and the refreshments last. The latter were contributed by the different ladies and so were free. I sent some things. Mrs. Seward came and asked me to. She and some other ladies arranged the refreshments on the morning of the 24th. There were various kinds of cakes, sandwiches, tea [gap pages missing]