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1 MRS. MILDRED RUTH MILLS 1925 + 1936 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARIES OF A WEALTHY AMERICAN OILMAN'S WIFE AT CRITICAL JUNCTURES IN CHINA'S HISTORY
Changsha, China 1925 Good Manuscript 
On offer is a very interesting pair [2] of manuscript diaries handwritten by Mildred Ruth Mills [wife of Edmund]. Our writer appears to be a wealthy American woman in Changsha, China in 1925 and then a decade later is 1936. Historians and collectors of Chinese political and historical ephemera will recognize that Mrs. Mills was well suited to observe the birth pangs of the Nationalist movement. In fact she is in China at a tinder box time with Sun-Yat-Sen dying in Peking in March of 1925 and the ascendance of Chiang Kai-shek as his successor. She travels to other locations in eastern China throughout the year and there is an entry later in the year stating that they re-locate to Wuhu, China. While half of January is used for recording which letters were "received" and "sent" there are over 325 entries for the rest of the year. Here are some snippets: "had chinese lesson today as usual". 3/6-"met the chinese interpreter and agent, they were very nice." 5/3 "we put up a lunch and went to yola sou. Took boy with us, had chair coolies. Went way up to top where we could see all of Changsha and vicinity. Was a wonderful view. Went in several temples". At some point her husband, an employee of Standard Oil Co. of NY has to travel "up country" for a couple of weeks and she is making local/social trips by boat: "went to Island at four, Mrs. Corbett has birthday party for Mollie...5/17 "Raining very hard today. Came over in boat with B.A. Men. Looks like a bad day for my tea." "weather was terrible and river bad". A few days later on 5/26 "River was bad last night. Could not cross so stayed all night with Peggy". Also references to "Mei Foo" which may be a bus in China. 6/1 "We are planning to go to Hankou on Mei Foo, not sure yet." Many entries regarding political unrest: 6/1 "Today chinese have big parade against Japan and foreigners", on 6/5 "came back and had our dinner on the British gun boat 'Crickett'..city under strict law". On 6/7 "Things worse in the city" and on 6/12 she writes; "Foreigners killed in Hankou. Mr. Hobart was here, expects things will be worse". On the lighter side, back on 2/18 is a popular movie reference-"Sorry E. (her husband Ed) missed the picture last night 'Hunchback of Notre Dame'. I've seen it but wanted him to see it also". A subject that shows up in many entries is relations with the "help"..2/9-...."cook has asked for a raise to $18.00, we gave him $16.00 for now." 5/8 "had an argument with boy today so he left. Am without a boy now and Awah (?)is still sick". 5/19 "Came home and found servants all gone, have to fine them dollar each". 8/19 "one of the servants evidently stole Miss Norelico's money. Had exciting time, the sisters had police in but could not find who took it". Again more boat traveling; "went to SOCONY place to wait for boat". 8/21 "Arrived Hankow about two o'clock . Capt Hoey met Mrs. Dressel. Came to Mr. Nichols house. Mrs. N is still away". 10/30 she writes "received telegram today saying we are transferred to Wuhu as soon as we are able to travel". 11/25 "Reached Hankow this morning, went to office first with Ed waited in Mr. Porterfield's office. Went to Mrs. Bakes with her porter". New Year's Eve: "Finally decided not to go as chinese to costume party. Dressed up as small girl..." There is also a receipt from a confectioners store with a Tientsin printed but "Changsha" written in the blank, 4//11/25, I checked the date and author must have picked up some sweets to take on the way to "Mrs. Hobart's 'skiaki' party"($3.40 worth). The cover of the 1925 5&1/2" x 7&1/4" diary is quite worn, there is splitting at front/back endpapers, exposing weave but both boards holding well and overall G. The 1936 book is a 5 x 4 inches 'Lest We Forget' diary with her name embossed in gilt and it is VG. 
Price: 3485.99 USD
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