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To Major General John L. Hines
June 6, 1925 Tientsin, China
My dear General:
The entire family was very grateful for your long newsy letter, and all of us were delighted that you had gotten back in good shape again. I suppose you had just reached Washington after your Hawaiian trip; I am sorry you could not have continued westward as far as China, for I think we have more of interest out here at present than you could have found in Hawaii. As a matter of fact, during the last few days a serious anti-foreign sentiment has developed due to the Shanghai student movement and its consequences. To a certain extent, it matters little what the justice or injustice of the affair happens to be. The fact is, that regardless of the merits of the case, the Shanghai student riot has caused a widespread and, as a rule, unreasoning anti-foreign feeling to develop. I suppose it will die down but it must be accepted as a forerunner of definite demands by China for the removal or at least modification of many provisions of the present treaties.1
There would be absolute justice in these demands of the Chinese, if they had any form of stable government to guarantee the fulfillment of their obligations under more normal treaty relations. But, unfortunately, there is neither a central nor a stable government; there are merely strong men, or clever men, temporarily acting virtually as dictators. If there was a single outstanding individual who was, throughout China, accepted or feared as a dictator, the situation would be vastly improved. But at present, no one seems to know just who is on top of the heap, Chang Tso-lin, or the present president, or the Christian General, Feng. It appears as if the first named would soon out-maneuver the others, but it is probable the course of these maneuvers will involve heavy fighting in the fall or next spring. I know all this is probably of small interest to you, but it makes life very interesting for us out here.
I have finally trained a Mongolian pony up into a delightful riding animal and do eight to twelve miles every morning, and at least one mile at top speed on the race course. Sundays, of course, I get in twenty or twenty-five miles, so it is much like our riding program at Myer. The past month, tennis has occupied my attention in the late afternoon. The American Tennis Club is convenient and delightfully sociable.
King is probably with you now,2 and I suppose Mrs. King and the children are delighted to be in Washington, but I imagine he would have preferred command of a post, aside from the personal pleasure of association with you. He certainly made a delightful impression on everyone out here. I found every officer filled with loyal admiration for him.
I am more and more pleased with my choice of station and duty. It suits me perfectly, and the most disagreeable duty here is preferable to desk duty. Of course, I keenly miss the daily association with General Pershing, but I am happy in having a rest from travel, and in doing duty with troops. I am getting to be quite a Chinaman now and will have completed the two and one-half year course by the middle of the coming August.
Give my love to Mrs. Hines. Believe me always,3
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: John L. Hines Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. Long-festering labor unrest in Shanghai culminated in a massive demonstration on May 30, 1925. A clash developed between demonstrators and the foreign-controlled police of the International Settlement. Police shot into the crowd, killing several persons and wounding dozens of others. This shooting was called the May Thirtieth Incident or the Nanking Road Massacre. The incident provoked strikes and boycotts of foreign goods, particularly in central and south China.
2. Campbell King commanded the Fifteenth Infantry between April 12, 1923, and July 23, 1924. On this latter date he was commissioned a brigadier general and assigned to the Philippine Department. In May, 1925, he returned to the United States to assume the position of assistant chief of staff, G-1.
3. The typed version had “honestly” instead of “always." Marshall scratched out the former word, inserted an asterisk and wrote: “My clerk evidently doubts the sincerity of my usual endings.”
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 276-278.