1933 Handwritten Letters Singapore China McGee Far Eastern Agent for Leather Co

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Seller: diaries (7,746) 100%, Location: Issaquah, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 401632760324 WELCOME TO SALLY’S DIARIES: Up for auction today are five handwritten letters and between them there are 26 pages of writing. They were written by a couple, “Joe and Edith” to “Ma and Brenton” while they were in Asia in the early 1930’s. One of the letters is dated 1933 and by the way they read I believe they begin in 1933 and end in 1934. They also have great letterheads; The Philippine Inter-Island Steamship Co. S. S. Mayon and The Metropole Hotel in Shanghai China. In one of the letters she tells her mother to address them to “Mrs. J. A. McGee c/o Bay View Hotel Manila, Philippine Islands.” And in another letter she says her husband Joe celebrates his 42nd birthday on June 13th, born in 1890. With that information I found our couple on the genealogy sites: Joseph A. McGee Born June 13th, in Clinton Massachusetts. Edith E. Miller born November 15th, 1892, in Weedham Massachusetts. I even found their passports with their pictures and copied them off and will include them (although they printed off a bit small). Edith and Joe did a lot of traveling too as they are listed on the genealogy site under passenger lists for several different ships. One of his applications stated him as a salesman for the Graton and Knight Manufacturing Co. in Worcester, Mass. When I went to look up the company I found out that they were tanners and dealt in the sale of leather. I also found a 1919 newspaper article that said, “J. A. McGee, at the Boston office of Graton and Knight manufacturing Company, Worcester, Mass., is to be the far-eastern agent for this firm and will be located in Shanghai, China.” And since theses letters were written during the great depression, you can tell by the contents that it is even affecting Edith knowing her mother is going through hard times because of it. There were no covers but I can tell you the contents is wonderful as you will see in the following excerpts. The first one is written on the steamship letterhead the rest on the hotel’s stationary….. “October 16th, 1933. Dear Ma and Brenton. We have been in Shanghai two days and are just about settled again. Our trip from America was very pleasant, every day being fine without any rough weather on the sea. We arrived in Shanghai at the very best time, as the Autumn here is the most pleasant season. Edith had a good chance to rest while crossing the Pacific. She was very tried when we reached San Francisco, but when the final goodbyes were all said, she relaxed and soon began to look like herself again….Our motion pictures give us a lot of pleasure. We show them often, particularly the ones we took of you all this past summer. When we get a bit lonely we only have to put up our screen and see you all right before us. Since our arrival we have been kept busy getting settled in our hotel quarters and saying hello to all of our friends…….We pray this note finds you in your usual good heath and spirits. Joe. C/o American Consulate, Shanghai China.” “October 22nd, 1933. My very dear ma, A letter arrived on the last steamer from you and I am dreadfully sorry that I caused you to worry so by not writing while crossing the continent…..You have no idea how dreadfully tried I was when I left Boston and I hadn’t even a moment to myself until I got on the steamer and it was well out to sea...(She goes on to talks about all they did before they left on the steamer. Four pages of it including their time on the train and their time in San Francisco)...I feel that I did the very best I could to please everybody concerned both while home and while crossing the continent and really sacrificed my own strength and rest in doing as much as I did to please, so please do not find fault because I didn’t do more…..Many of our Shanghai friends were down to meet us at the steamer and when we got to our hotel room we found it just a tower of flowers…..Loads and loads of love and kisses, Devotedly, Edith.” “January 24th, (1934?) My very dear ma and Brenton, Tomorrow we reach Manila after our trip to the Southern Islands and we shall remain there until about February 3rd before starting back to Shanghai. I believe we shall be settled in Shanghai again at the Palace Hotel no later than February 10th…..I am dreadfully grieved over the mess that Carl has gotten himself into and I feel very sorry for both he and Frances but I certainly cannot understand how anybody with the tiniest bit of self respect or an ounce of common sense or brains would or could do what Carl has done. When one considers that they have never had anybody but themselves to support, no children or relatives depending upon them for a nickel and both have always been blessed with excellent health, why there ever should be any need to acquire even a dollar by any other means than absolute honesty…..I am grateful that Joe and I did not locate in New England now and I feel thankful that we are as far away as we are. I only hope Joe’s work will keep him over here a long time more for I have no desire to return to the section of the country where people know we are related to a person who would do as Carl has done…...Most devotedly your loving daughter, Edith.” “June 13th, My very dear ma and Brenton, I received your very nice letter, ma dear, which was awaiting our arrival in Shanghai…..I would also go easy about putting too much money into it (their home) during these uncertain days for anything is liable to happen during the next year or two. Ready cash is what everybody should be careful to have in safe keeping. Mr. De Normandie might decide to close up his house altogether for a year or so if things continue to get worse and live in an apartment in town. No telling what people of his position may be forced to do before long. Conditions are terrible and growing worse. I am so sorry that Joe put the little cash we had in the bank when leaving home into stocks for everyone of them have depreciated to about one tenth what we paid for them. We have no cash at all now…..Your devoted daughter, Edith.” There is much more than what I’ve quoted here. All pages are in good shape. Condition: See Item Description, Original/Facsimile: Original, Material: Paper, Type: Handwritten Manuscript, Special Attributes: First Edition, Date of Publication: 1933, Subject: Travel, Author: McGee, Region: Asia, Language: English

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