Ezra Caryl and Grace Brownell letters  1918-1920
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 31 letters written by Ezra Caryl and Grace Brownell from Shanghai, China, where Ezra worked for the Asia Banking Corporation. Many of the letters are addressed to Frederick Coram of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, and his family, whom Ezra often referred to as "Mother and 'Dad' and the Girls." He also frequently wrote to his sister (or stepsister), Bertha Coram, and Grace wrote to their friends, Louis and Mabel Nebauer of Brooklyn, New York. A few early items detail the couple's trip to China via Honolulu, Hawaii, and Yokohama, Japan, including a letter Grace wrote on September 23, 1918, while onboard the Manila-bound SS Nanking . The couple's correspondence primarily concerns their daily life in Shanghai and, later, Tientsin (Tianjin), including reports on the warm weather and on the local cuisine. Ezra, who wrote more often than Grace, occasionally mentioned censorship of trans-Pacific letters, as well as his work with the Asia Banking Company. His work led to a move to Tientsin in the spring of 1919. Though the couple focused on describing their foreign surroundings, they sometimes referred to news events, such as the end of the First World War (January 27, 1919) and a railroad strike (October 26, 1919). Many of the letters are enclosed in envelopes with Chinese stamps.

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