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[Letter from Young John Allen to Dr. Lehon, 1868, (date unknown)]
My dear Dr. Lehon,
Your letter of June 18th from N. Binh [unclear] is at hand. Thanks for your kind expression to us personally, and the assurance of your increasing interest in the China Mission.
We are happy to be brought once more face to face with you and the Board, under new and more promising circumstances, and gladly availof [unclear] the present opportunity to renew a correspondence which has been [added] so long violently suspended.
We were from Oct. 1861 till March 1866 without communication or remittance from you, the war having interrupted the one [unclear] and so impoverished our people, that we did not expect [gap 1 word ] [deleted] the other [unclear] . No alternative or means was left us therefore during that long interval to meet our wants and promote the welfare of your mission [unclear] other than a judicious use of the mission [unclear] property and personal effort.
In 1862-4-5 I sent home duplicate
of each year respectively, showing the
condition and prospects of the mission
at the date of each
communication. In July of this year I forward a full statement of the mission
finances to Dr. McFerrin which I presume will have reached you
this comes to hand, and will therefore
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obviate [added] the necessity for introducing particulars into this letter. From that statement you will be able to ascertain how far we succeeded in accomplishing our object and preserving the mission alive, comparatively free from debt [deleted] the preservation of the mission free from debt, intact in property and efficient in labors. Suffice it therefore to say here that when Bro. Cunningham left here [deleted] for America he placed the management of the mission's finances in my hands; the mission [deleted] The Mission was in debt at that time to the amt of 1 thousand taels and he left with me upwards of six hundred taels in treasury. That was Oct [added] 1861. In Jan 1866 nearly five [deleted] more than four [added] years later the mission was in debt only [deleted] for an amt. less than 1 thou [unclear] taels with an empty treasury. thus [deleted] establishing [deleted] a result accomplished, without either sacrifice or mortgage of mission [unclear] property or serious interruption of our labors by personal effort. Our difficulties and embarrassments have been complicated and preplexing, the existence of the mission was periled, anxiety [deleted] interest [unclear] solicitude to keep the mission [deleted] it [added] untrammelled till the close of the war and the renew [added] al of commerce & remittances from home could come to our relief, absorbed all our thoughts and shaped all our efforts. Should you and the Board [deleted] We hope therefore that the result
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accomplished and the present situation of the Mission which not all it could be desired [added] will be as gratifying to yourself and the Board as it is to us who have struggled so hard to outlive our adversities.
Having premised thus much as to the past I will now proceed to answer your questions as far as I may in [deleted] seriation [unclear] .
1st The Mission property consists of three premises, known respectively as the Cunningham house, at present occupied by Bro. Lambuth. The old Lambuth house, at present occupied by the French [unclear] as a police station and the new Mission premises occupied by myself and Bro Wood, which was built with part of the proceeds of the sale of the place known as the Dr Jenkins' house. Besides the mission has a small place purchases of Lien Sien Sang [unclear] our native preacher, and occupied exclusively by Chinese. In addition to the above there are two small chapels, one situated near the center of Shanghai City and one outside the city on the new Mission premises, where it was moved in 1862 in consequence of the French making new roads and shutting [unclear] it in where it formerly stood on the Cunningham lot.
There is also a preaching place fitted up at Nan Tsiang
16 miles from Shanghai and one in Ka'ding
, both of which are
owned by the mission and
. They were purchased however
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not by mission funds, but with means contributed to me for that purpose by some generous persons in the community. All these places, with the exception of the preaching place in [added] are now in good repair and comfortable. Their value however at this is merely nominal- indeed I doubt if they could be sold at any price- not because they are not desirable or valuable, but the demand for them has abated- speculations in land & houses has ceased and the war in America which concentrated many foreigners here and brought large trade and the Rebellion here having been put down allow the return of the great influx of Chinese population has depressed the market and driven all such things out- hence the best valuation I can now set upon them is the appraisement value made by the French [unclear] with a view to taxation. All our premises are in the French Concession, which amount in the aggregate is about 15 thousand taels or 20 thousand Mexican dollars more or less. The church property will perhaps amount to two perhaps 3 thousand taels. They are all small and make rather an insignificant show compared to other Mission Churches.
2d As to the membership of the Native
It was stated by Bro Cunningham at the Genl. [unclear] Conference I believe that the number of native members was thirty, I do not wish to contradict that statement