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Madame Chiang Kai-shek

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“ It is indeed good to be back . . . ”

Mayling Soong Chiang, also known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, 1898–2003.  First Lady of the Republic of China,  1943–1975.  Typed letter signed, Mayling Soong Chiang, with autograph emendations, one page, 7” x 10½”, on engraved, blind-embossed stationery of the Office of the President, Republic of China, Taipei, Taiwan, June 25, 1959.  With original envelope.

Madame Chiang sends thanks for a homecoming gift.  She writes, in full:  “I appreciate very much your kind thought and your gift welcoming me home.  /  It is indeed good to be back, and I hope to see you both before long.”  By hand, in addition to the salutation and the complimentary closing, she adds, “With personal regards.”

Madame Chiang writes here to U.S. Army Maj. Harold Lindsey “Lin” Arison, Jr. (1919–1998), and his wife Mary Jane.  Arison was an American Army bandmaster who served as Nationalist Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek’s Military Music Advisor.  The U.S. Army loaned him to the government of the Republic of China in Taipei in 1954.  As Chiang Kai-shek’s music advisor, he organized and directed a school for music teachers, bandmasters, and instrumentalists, and he composed and arranged state ceremonial music for the government.  He rearranged and harmonized the national anthem of the Republic of China, and his version remains unchanged. 

This is a beautiful letter in very fine condition.  It is clean and bright.  Madame Chiang has signed and written the salutation, the last paragraph, and the closing in blue fountain pen.  The letter has two horizontal mailing folds, one of which touches the holograph salutation and the other of which goes through Madame Chiang’s signature.  There are a paper clip impression and stain in the blank margin at the upper left.  The accompanying envelope was hand delivered, not mailed, so it has no postal markings.  Alongside the address line to Arison and his wife, it has a handwritten Chinese notation in black ink that reads “American Consultant Group.”  There are some small ink marks on the back, not obtrusive, and has been opened cleanly.  The envelope is very fine. 


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