Francis Marion Price to Jas L. Barton, D.D.
Typewritten Letter, November 10, 1906

Papers of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), Micronesia Mission, 1900-1909
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Agaña Guam Nov. 10, 1906.

Rev. Jas L. Barton D.D.

Boston Mass.

Dear Dr. Barton,

Your letter of sad news is received. I hardly know what to say or think. I had, as I thought[,] every reason to believe that I would be warmly welcomed in Shansi. I wrote Dr. Atwood before I took any move in the matter asking him if he would welcome me back. He wrote me that he felt aggrieved that I should ask such a question. Nevertheless, he said that he did not approve or our return for health reasons and advanced age. I understood from his letter that if the question of health were satisfactory and I should return I would be welcomed heartily. I sent Dr, Judson Smith extracts from this letter, both favorable and unfavorable. He wrote that the objections were serious but could be overcome. I have Dr, Atwood's letter among my papers in Oakland. I told Dr. Arthur Smith what Atwood had written, and he replied that he did not feel the force of the objections.

To another man [formerly] in Shansi, who knew me and my work better than any living person in China, I wrote raising the question whether I ought not to give way to younger men. He replied that no young man could do the work that I could do in China. It was he that sent me the $500. I also have his letter.

It was a former missionary in North China who first suggested that I return to Shansi. Dr, Arthur Smith was in North China while I was in Shansi. Yet he advised my return.

Among the last words Dr. Judson Smith said to me were these: ["]I cannot advise you to relinquish entirely your purpose to return to China.["] ["]You could do a splendid work there["]. I am sure that he had no thought of opposition anywhere. These things ought to exonerate

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me fron any intention to deceive you or the Committee, or to conceal facts. I have acted genuinely, if not wisely.

Of course you did right in recalling me: there was nothing else to do. Had the brethren written me personally, it would have been kinder, and secured the same result. I had no desire to thrust myself upon them. There is evidence of heat in the protest. Why? It is all a mystery. It seems like a horrible dream.

Of course I shall recover from the blow; but can China recover from it! Of course China has her faithful guardians who will keep out all dangerous characters! That's a comfort.

But I am not bitter now will I allow myself to become so. Of course the ache is there, but I would be a poor Christian teacher if I did not know where, "Grow those sim[?]les that cure the heartache," We are "smitten, but not yet destroyed".

You will I am sure convey to the Committee and your associates my most earnest contention and assurance that I have been innocent of wrong in this matter.

I understand from your letter that you expect us to finish our special work here and the[n] return at once home. This seems the wisest course. We might be able to work a while here but it would be perilous, and could only lead to one result. I love the work in Guam and Mr. Case needs a helper very much. He is very quiet and uncomplaining but he has more than he can do. I took four of his meetings during the past weeks and can aid him a little while making my translations; but these at present take [the greater part of] my strength.

The Bible Society in New York gave me the option of going to Japan or coming to them to have the printing done. Now it will be far cheaper for the Board, for me to do the work in New York,

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and will give me the opportunity of getting into some work while I am thus engaged. By the advice of [???] Governor Potts of Guam, I have made application through him to Washington for transportation home. There is some uncertainty about the naval ships. Some of them will not carry us and they only twice a year. There is also some uncertainty about the army transports, namely whether the privilege granted by the Department included transportation home from Guam [to San Francisco] via Manila. I will do the best I can and come home the cheapest way. If the answer comes as we hope, we shall come on the transport which leaves here Jan'y 28. You can cable me any time at a cost of 97¢ per word. Price, Guam, is the address: we have the American Board code book. A cablegram from Boston would not need your name.

When in Oberlin at one of the farewell meetings, or last meetings, Prof. A.H. Currier said to me "We were in hope [?] we could have you for the superintendency of the Bohemian work." I replied that nothing could take me away from the work in China. But now it is different. There may not be anything in it[,] but this work or the work among the Chinese in America[,] attracts me and I shall write Prof. Currier by this mail, and refer him to you, I shall get into something as soon as possible. I hope it will be mission work.

I am greatly enjoying the work here. The people are all so delighted that they are to have the gospels in their own tongue and enter into the work assigned to them so eagerly that one feels inspired to do the best things for them. They desire the work printed in English and Chamorro, parallel columns. The natives say that it will add very materially to the value of the book

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and secure a wider reading for it. The Governor expressed his interest and offered to aid me in every way possible to him. Undoubtedly the publishing of this portion of Scripture will give a new impulse to the work. I regard it as the best work I have ever done-most valuable to the kingdom of God on earth.

The kindness and hearty welcome of the people here have warmed our hearts. Protestants have naturally been glad to see use but the catholic surprised us by the heartiness of their greetings and the generosity of their gifts-of little material value to us, yet important as expressions of regard. We would both be glad to remain here with the Cases but it seems impossible.

It will not be possible for me to receive an answer to this letter here. My address in Oakland will be at the old place, 626, 18th. St.[,]

I need not say, I am sure, that I very deeply regret that I have caused you and the Prudential Committee so much trouble about a matter that has gone up in smoke. It was a genuine conviction with me and for this reason the more difficult to understand. Thanking you for your kindness I remain,

Yours very truly

[Signed] Francis M. Price


The Chamorro Bible In Print

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