Original Letter by Rev. Guido Verbeck Very private letter written to his brother-in-law
Very interesting letter dated Nagasaki, 19 April, 1868, and sent to Rev. George van Deurs in Troy, NY and signed 'Guido' on the final page. Verbeck's sister, Selma, was married to van Deurs.
In Griffis’ biography, ‘Verbeck of Japan – A Citizen of No Country’ (Revell, NY, 1900), he writes in the preface that, ‘I have had access to the file of his letters, from 1860 to 1898, written home to the secretaries of the Board of Missions of the Reformed Church in America, and to many of those sent to his own relatives, as well as to his own diaries …… Nevertheless, Verbeck was mightier in work than in word, and left relatively comparatively little writing of a personal nature….’Fascinating personal letter with interesting references to those times including:
'.......The whole country is in a state of ferment & passing through a great revolution. The country is struggling out of medieval feudalism into the clearer light of our present age of liberty. But the struggle is not over yet. In our immediate vicinity we are not likely, however, to be exposed to personal danger, though assassination of foreigners may still occur from time to time. I am sure you would not feel greatly at your ease if you thought it necessary to examine every night as you go to sleep a pair of revolvers to be placed securely under your pillow.....'
and a stunning criticism of Samuel Robbins Brown whom Verbeck came to Japan with in 1859:
'.....Mr. Brown is now in the U.S. & as I heard last, temporarily settled in his former place near Owasco Lake, close by Auburn. I doubt whether he will be sent out again. I hope not. He is really not a good man (privately said) & has made the name of Christian & of the Dutch Church “to stink in the nostrils” of all who knew him. And his wife! and his daughter!!! I am now the only one remaining of the party that left N.Y. in May ‘59. Our dear brother Ballagh, of our board at Yokohama, is too going home by this mail to get his wife back to Japan. He seems to be a most devoted missionary & faithful laborer. I was rejoiced to hear that he just baptized two Japanese at Yokohama. During Brother Ballagh’s absence from Japan, I shall be the only representative of our church in this country. Mr. B will be back here this year.....'
A 10-page neatly written letter on 3 small sheets of fine, light blue paper. The first two pages are folded and written on both sides (4 single pages each) and the final page is a single page also written on both sides. In orginal envelope with stamps removed. Part of envelope's rear also missing. Letter itself is very good with minor wear and some marks. One small hole at bottom of final page.