Nanking, China: 1929. The letter is dated December 10th, 1929, and typed on letterhead for "The Nationalist Government of the Republic of China. / Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Labour / Nanking, China". It is addressed to Murphy at 202 Szechuen Road, Shanghai. The letter appears to be a response to a request for payment by Murphy, as he had been contracted to build the capital city for the Republic of China at the location of the ancient city of Nanking. Kung smoothes the waters, speaking about the "valuable services to the Government"; and how Sun Fo, the head of the Capital Planning Commission must handle the settlement. Several lines of flattery are prelude to a refusal to pay his fees, "Due to civil strife, the coffers of the Government have been seriously drained; and the construction programs will have to be delayed."
Murphy was a graduate of Yale Architecture school and began practicing with Tracey & Startwout in New York in 1900. In 1907, he & Richard Henry Dana Jr. went into partnership, their firm with a specialty in educational campuses. Over his career, Murphy made eight trips to China, the first in 1914 and the longest in 1931-35. In 1919, he designed the campus of the Shanghai University. In 1924, he went on to practice independently and in 1928, he was hired by Chiang Kai Shek to design a modern capital for China at the location of the ancient city of Nanjing. (Wikipedia)
H.H. Kung was a confidant and brother-in-law of Chiang Kai Shek, and brother in law of Sun-Yat-Sen. He was an economics graduate of Yale in 1906. When the new Nationalist government (ROC) came to power in 1928, he was named Minister of Industry and Commerce. in 1935, he was appointed governor of the Central Bank of China. In 1938, he briefly succeeded Chiang Kai Shek as Nationalist Chinese Premier when Chiang resigned to fight the second Sino/Japanese War.
8 1/2 x 11", typescript, signed H. H. Kung, with early underlining of significant passages. Paper somewhat tanned, with residue of glue on the verso around the edges, causing some marking to show through.
Interesting insight into the American relationship with the Republic of China government of Chiang Kai Shek. Item #26777