46. The search moves to Saigon

The Scott family remained in the Hotel Chelsea for a year, during which time Jigg found a new job, this time in the newsroom of the Mutual Broadcasting Corporation.  In the summer of 1953 the family moved to Spring Valley, New York, whence Jigg commuted to New York City.  After some three years iin this position, he secured a politically important post with the United States State Department: he was to go to Vietnam (this was not long after the French colonial administration was ousted in 1953) and support the new Vietnamese authorities in establishing the newsroom for the newly-created Radio Vietnam. The family left to join Jigg, who had been in Saigon for a few months, in October 1955.

There is absolutely no evidence that Evelyn ceased her prolific letter-writing after 1953, in spite of the fact that only nine letters written in 1954 have survived and none at all from 1955 have been found.  The likeliest explanation is that Jack, severely grief-stricken after her death in 1963, destroyed many of her papers as he could not bear to see anything she had written, and that letters from these years were among his first targets.

* * * * *

The correspondence from 1956 opens with a fat manila envelope, inscribed as follows:

For William John Metcalfe and Creighton Seely Scott letters and a family record To be opened by either or by my daughter-in-law Paula Scott or any of my grandchildren who are of age at the time of my death. To be opened only after my death. The envelope contained the following letter.

To Creighton Scott

Benjamin Franklin Hotel
April 2, 1956

Letter to Creighton Seely Scott, to be preserved with the Will of his mother, Evelyn Dunn Scott Metcalfe, author Evelyn Scott and handed to him on her death or before, but not to be opened in her lifetime. Love to Cyril 4 living appreciation to F C Wellman and trust in his fundamental kindness [signed] Evelyn Dunn Scott Metcalfe Evelyn Scott Mother Grandmother there are 15 pages herein all but one typed on both sides all single space.

Darling Son Creighton, to us always Jigg, or Jigeroo, it is a call on one’s imagination to be read when one lives, after one is dead. I hope, long before that time, for the human opportunity to speak the love that Jack and myself, like your Dad, I am sure, feel for you for Paula, for Denise, Fredrick, Mathew, Julia and Robert1, and to know explicitly, instead of so largely as a matter of conjecture and hints, what is at the bottom of the silence we abhor as between you, Paula and ourselves, and us and good and fine Cyril. I hope to know in particular why you were sent to Indo-China, to Saigon, at the very moment when, at last, we had located you as attached to your U S Army anti-soviet peace mission. But, meanwhile, I can only reiterate that you have been a joy to me from the very day you were born, and that as an adult you still represent to me and to Jack—and to your Dad equally of course—the splendid comprehending friend with the utmost sincere continued appreciation of your talents as author and painter, your acute intellect, your human insights, and all those unique capacities of mind and sensitive feeling Jack and I value, not merely because of a “maternal bias”, but despite it; for do believe, darling Jigg that, though my heart is with you, I have never failed and never ceased to see you with the detached eyes of one accustomed for a lifetime to criticise individuals and societies and appraise genius such as you have innately. And there I am very grateful to darling Paula—may I say Pavli in affection?—for perceptivity, her loyalty to you, her marvellous sustained fight with you, shoulder to shoulder, for you both and your children whose futures are in our thoughts every day.

There is no reproach in this, there never will be, never can be—none to yourselves, but much to a bad world. Those five days in London when you were with us in the flat, stand now with the most important of our lives, as the reassurance that you are in the flesh, and I implore you never to give up, even as I know you never will, merely in carrying over to you and to Paula and the five children, our own constant concern.

[The second page and all subsequent pages are signed] Evelyn Dunn Scott Metcalf Evelyn Scott Mother Grandmother

This fact will emerge publicly with time, even though we have been helpless to bring suits for libel, or to counteract wrong impressions. But I am sure the wrong impressions will be counteracted whether liars wish it to be or not; and how tired of the entire theme you both must be. That is why Escapade should be re-published as the barest justice to us all. It was written and published in a far more human world than that of today; and should long since, after three re-issues already, have been taken for granted as an autobiographical classic; on of the several possible antidotes to the prevalence of mob dictation. Life Is Too Short should be revised by Cyril, and re-issued with other serious books by him.

I may seem to be taking “too much” on myself, but I know full well, having a good memory, that I am articulating your own inner longings. What your present views on religion [are], I do not know, but I do know that people—individuals—with unusual real minds can never be satisfied with what goes for “religious” in a world politicized as this one is. Religion as a herd movement merits merely contempt, and surely the time will come when sincere and thoughtful humans like yourselves can say so and offend no one whose opinion is worthy of respect.

Mother

[The envelope also contained a 15-page, single-spaced, account of Evelyn’s life from her childhood to her “elopement” with Cyril to Brazil and through the war to the (then) present day.]

1Robert, Jigg and Paula’s fifth child, was born in 1953.

* * * * *

To Employee Relations Officer, ICA

[June, 1956]

Personal
Miss Betty L Roth,
Employee Relations Officer
Office of Personnel
International Cooperation Administration
Washington, 25, To DC

Dear Miss Roth,

Can you, perhaps, give me any present information on the health and well-being of my son, Creighton Seely Scott?, his wife, and their five children, in Saigon?

Of course I am always hoping to have letters, but on March 15th I received a second cable from my daughter-in-law, Paula Pearson Scott, fro Saigon, in which she said “illness prevented letter”; and, although the cable gave me some measure of reassurance in that somebody in the family was able to send it, no letter has come since, either, and, naturally I am anxious.

On January 18th, 1956, I mailed you a letter respecting my need to know the permanent address of my son and his wife and their children, in the USA. You did not send it to me; and having, therefore, gathered that you did not know it, I—because I really require it for placing in the safety-deposit with the Will I have recently made that more formally affirms the content of a letter I gave my son in 1944 before I went to England to be near my second husband John Metcalfe Metcalfe with an E—a double has appeared without a reviewer!, during his service in the RAF, and which appoints him and his stepfather as my literary executors—I had already asked Mr Francis Knight, the Director of the Passport Office of the Department of State, whether my daughter-in-law, on departing for travel abroad, had filed her permanent address with him.

I don’t know what else I could have done in the total absence of anyone from whom I could obtain the address here at home. But I especially would like to have you aware of this, for Mr Knight replied to my letter in a manner indicating that he must have gone to some trouble for me, belated though his answer seemed to me after several months. It came to me a few days ago, and he says he himself wrote to Foreign Operations I did not mention to Mr Knight what service my son was in, not having been told whether I should or notevidently on the mistaken assumption that I did not even know where Creighton Seely Scott was abroad; a natural error I suppose, as I complained of the apparent impossibility of receiving answers to my letters.

I am sorry I feel obliged to bring this up, again; and am as obliged as ever both to you and to Mr Knight for having done as much as you have toward relieving my mind.

I don’t know what to do, and have been rather ill lately, again, in consequence, perhaps, of my distress; and though I have now sent 31 letters to my son—for his wife and the five children, too—to Saigon, illness, here, too, has “prevented” the writing of some things. The quotation marks are corroboration let me add. There has been not a word said of my five grandchildren since before my daughter-in-law sailed—long before—as in the two letters I received just before her departure, after a lengthy gap between, she did not mention them. Nor does Mr Knight—though I judge they were included with their mother on her Passport.

In a few years it will be seven years since that five day glimpse of my son in London, of which I have written you already. We have always been—I cannot say it too often—an affectionate congenially-minded family, yet, since 1945, over and over, whenever we attempt either renewed contact or improved communication, “something happens”.

Are any of my family ill I? Perhaps only you can answer that. I am not blind to my long letters as not in the official scheme of life. But, again, what am I do do? Not even my legal friend and advisor has been able to suggest anything to re-establish normal interchanges between us all.

Three months is a long time to a mother who has been anxious for fourteen years at frequent intervals—the London visit the only respite.

I hope I have not troubled you too much, but do please know that I am not being prolix, merely.

Sincerely, with reiterated thanks for your every kindness. Should Creighton Seely Scott and his family leave Saigon, I do indeed trust your goodness to let me be advised.

Evelyn Dunn Scott Metcalfe

* * * * *

To Personnel Officer, Radio Free Europe

January 7, 1957

Personal
Miss Betty Allen
care Personnel Department
Free Europe
110 West 57th Street
NY, NY

Dear Miss Allen,

Again, Creighton Seely Scott’s mother, is turning up “like the bad penny”, though the same grateful sentiments that have persisted since I first talked to you on the telephone about my son’s address and his family’s in March 1953. May I, also, again, be forgiven for asking your advice?

I am writing, today, to Mr Thomas E Myers, who was the Director of Free Europe Personnel in 1955, August, hoping he is still with you, for he was then kind indeed in letting me know my son had been posted to Saigon, Viet-nam; and though Creighton, actually, was posted there in July, 1955, it was due to Mr Myers that I learned which Department in Washington to write to to obtain his mailing address, and that of my daughter-in-law, Paula Scott, who accompanied him there shortly, with the grandchildren of myself and Mr Cyril Kay Scott, Denise, Fredrick, Mathew, Julia and Robert Scott.

I have just written to Mr Myers asking whether it is possible to obtain, also, now any idea as to how lengthy such postings are, and what the probabilities as to guarantees of jobs at home with salaries adequate for the support of a wife and five children; and have reminded him, in making my request, that Creighton Scott is now forty-two; that conditions here, as we see them, make it essential that he continue with Paula Scott and the children, but that the three older children will soon be of an age to choose occupations that may serve as their future means of livelihood and should be orientated to their futures in their own country in the practical sense pertinent to the completion of their educations, good though the schools for American children abroad are said to be.

Mr Myers, quite naturally, cannot be expected to know all about the job question; but I have asked him whether there is anyone in the US Government to whom I might write about this, as the ICA Personnel Officers—I wrote First to Miss Roth, and recently to Miss Hermann—are very genuinely kind, but are non-committal. And it is just in case that Mr Myers has been promoted that I am taking the further liberty of advising you of my letter to him.

I wrote to you and him of the factor of probable libel of myself and my present husband, although I have written letters to both Creighton Scott and Paula Scott, at the rate of two a week, one each, during the entire year and a half since I obtained their addresses, not one letter to Creighton has ever been acknowledged by him, and Paula’s several sweet letters throw no light on whether he has ever had any of mine.

Were she and Creighton, with the children, enabled to return to the USA under normal conditions in which we could all meet, we might assist one another in the predicament of the arts by which we are confronted.  [remainder of letter missing]

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

 

Two Park Avenue
New York 16, New York

January 14, 1957

Dear Mrs Metcalfe:

Your recent letter to Mr Myers has been referred to me. I regret that I can give you no advice as to the possibility of Creighton Scott’s return home. I can only suggest that you continue to contact the heads of ICA in Washington.

If you think we may be of any other help to you, please contact us again.

Sincerely yours,
Keith E Kenyon
Assistant to Personnel Director

570719
Entry in Jack’s diary dated July 19, 1957. Note Jack’s neat handwriting on upper left corner.

* * * * *

To Employee Relations Officer, ICA

July 20, 1957

Employee Relations Officer
(in charge of Employee Relations for USOM1, Program Support, Saigon
Office of Personnel
International Cooperation Administration
Washington, 25, DC

PS: Please note that the letters held at Spring Valley PO for over a year and a half had on them return to Evelyn Scott, my name as author, in which much mail still reaches me.

Dear Madame,

In connection with a letter I addressed to Miss Betty Roth over a year ago, which was, in part, about the difficulty I have had ever since the war began, in maintaining correspondence with my son, Mr Creighton Seeley Scott, his wife, Paula Pearson Scott, and his five children and hers (Denise, Fredrick, Mathew, Julia and Robert Scott), who have been with USOM, Program Support in Saigon, Viet-nam for the past two years: I have come upon a bit of information which I wish to give you here with, as Miss Jean Hermann, when replying for Miss Roth, kindly supplied me with an address for my son which has, so far, proved useful only for letters written us by my very sweet daughter-in-law.

I received yesterday, July 19th, the 19th 1957, from Spring Valley, NY, four letters which, apparently, have not been tampered with in any overt way, which I had addressed to Mrs Creighton Seeley Scott, at 46 Hampstead Road, Spring Valley, Rockland County, NY, in November and December 1955!!!!

The address is the same to which, prior to Mrs Scott’s departure for Saigon, I had sent letters which she acknowledged in hasty notes, by her herself. The return address above was on the back of each of the four envelopes, which one must suppose have not been much handled, as they are all clean and in good condition. The NY Post Office stamps at the time of mailing are clearly legible, dates etc, but the date of return was legible in its entirety on one letter only, which, however, revealed it as probably the same on all as the time of day of the Spring Valley stamping could be read on the others.

The dates of the original mailings as stamped on the four envelopes—of which I have opened one to be sure the content is intact, and it is—are, respectively, Nov 4th 1955, Nov 25th, 1955, Dec 5th, 1955, Dec 9th, 1955. The NY stamping contains the numeral one or seven by the Post Office station—not blurred but printed with a tail on the one that makes it like a seven or the reverse.

I think this may be significant, not because I did not realize, on obtaining the address of my family in Saigon and receiving a cable from my daughter-in-law, but it may have been the natural thing to notify me of their Saigon address only after they were there, but because of a combination of the one year seven and a half months time period between the mailing of the letters and their return, and the fact that I have not had any letter written or signed by my son himself since Dec 1955, the very month that I fell ill for the first time in my life of a very painful ailment2 first attributed to “heart disease” but later otherwise diagnosed, though not yet cured,

I still write both to him and to my daughter-in-law, sometimes as one and sometimes in a letter each, once a week, USOM, Navy 150, to which my daughter-in-law has added, Program Support, Box 32.

I now realize positively that a Christmas 1955 parcel of a largish illustrated book of Christmas carols and songs must have arrived at Spring Valley NY long after Mrs Scott had left for Viet-nam is unlikely ever to have been sent on, and it was not returned with the letters.

On July 12th, 1957, I addressed, to the “Commander, USOM”—after having written to several people in vain to know whom I should address in connection with possible postings or help toward home jobs—to ask whether there seemed any likelihood of the return of my son and his family to some location where it would be possible for us to see him and them all in person sometimes, as—with the exception of my son’s five days with us in London, 1949—we have not seen any of them since 1944. This was a fairly recent letter, and could have been I conjecture turned over to you. But I am advising you that I wrote because it would seem we are literally pursued by interferers with our mail; something that began when I leaned of the death of my father, the late Seely Dunn of Lynchburg, Va, and at one time of Washington, DC: his death in 1944, and my advice as to this of 1947.

I have never obtained a reply, since we came to NY, 1954, from California, to any letter written to my daughter-in-law’s mother Mrs Joseph Foster at Ranchos de Taos.

Faithfully Yours,

USOM was the acronym for United States Operations Mission, the umbrella for the various aid programs operating in Vietnam.

This may well have been a combination of a heart condtition and the early stages of the lung cancer from which she died in 1963.

3 Although many letters to her older grandchildren have survived, they were never seen by the children: Paula did not pass them on.

* * * * *

570723
Entry in Jack’s diary page for July 23, 1957

To Evelyn Scott

Department of State
Washington
Aug 13, 1957

Dear Mrs Metcalfe:

Your letter of July 30, 1957 addressed to Miss Knight and marked for her personal attention has been referred to me for reply.

In the application upon which a passport was issued to your son, Creighton Seeley Scott, on July 19, 1955 he gave as his permanent address in the United States, 46 Hempstead Road, Spring Valley, New York and stated that his wife was residing at that address. This office has no more recent information concerning your son and therefore is not in a position to inform you whether he still considers this address to be his permanent address in the United States.

Sincerely,
Willis H Young
Deputy Director, Passport Office

* * * * *

To Willis  Young

August 14, 1957

Mr Willis H Young
Deputy Director, Passport Office
Department of State, Washington, 25, DC

Dear Mr Young:

Thank you for your letter of July 30th, 1957. I would, of course, have first asked my son’s opinion of the incident of mail held in Spring Valley from 1955 to 1957, as per my letter of July 30th, 1957, but I must remind you that I have not had any letter written and signed by my son, Mr Creighton Seeley Scott since Dec 53, when myself and my husband were Fellows at The Huntington Hartford Foundation, 2000 Rustic Canyon Road, California, and I had just fallen very ill. When my husband and I passed through New York on returning from our eight and a half years in England, I did not have the addresses of my son and my daughter-in-law; and my letters to them announcing our arrival had been returned to us in London, by Free Europe, and on the day before we sailed were received by us there.

A parallel thing happened soon after my sailing for England in 1944; when my son, painter-author for all his adult life, but then a radio news-editor and announcer, also, was conscripted for infantry training, form which he should have been exempted as he had a heart-murmur repeatedly diagnosed since he was ten. My daughter-in-law had to move from Tappan, whence I had proceeded on my own journey; her letters to me about their move were not delivered to me, and not one of my own letters care the Post Office for forwarding were received, bar one; and my own inquiry about this of the Postmaster was never acknowledged by him or her—a Postmistress when I was in Tappan.

On July 20th, i157, I wrote of the mail retained in Spring Valley to the Personnel Officer, ICA Washington. I have had no acknowledgement of my letter. And meanwhile having examined my own personal files very carefully guarded here, I have found there has been taken from them the letters my daughter-in-law wrote me from Spring Valley just before she left there to join her husband in which she enclosed a clipping of an account of a “probe” of some sort—of this more on the back of this page—and said I had been libelled to them as a person who could be summoned to testify about “subversive” activities, and as this was brought up with her husband already 15,000 miles away she was seriously distressed. She was about to travel with 5 children, these my grandchildren, none seen since 1944

The records of every member of the Scott-Metcalfe family are and always were available at the New York Public Library at 42nd St. My son reported an act of intimidation in Radio City when he went there, as radio news editor, to have his news censored during the war; and this report, corroborated by his employers, was written up in the New York Sun by the columnist, and my son’s, name given publicity. [Letter appears to end]

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

August 18, 1957

Darling Son Jigg,

Paula’s sweet note about the continued good health of the family was very good for our health. We hope sometimes my letters are reciprocal in effect, though I have just so much “cheer” to dispense until we have direct contact with you as well as darling Paula, and have some positive hope of seeing all of you once more in the flesh.

I won’t go on repeating about the mail except as something further may come up. We tried both the Long Island Postmaster and the more explicit Spring Valley Postmaster about the mail retained for nineteen months—some may have been yours as well as Paula’s—and no one has yet been willing to write us the name of the man who held it for a time actually illegal, unless Paula had specified he was to keep it for that time, which I think she never did. I consider the withholding of his name the opposite of good faith. Paula was very very upset just before she left on her long journey with the five children, and her letters received by us—all notes but one—showed she was upset and to some extent why. Who took advantage of her to pour libels about us into her ear? Any woman under such conditions would be harried.

I am persistent in trying to get the full and correct explanation because Paula as good as said not to put Evelyn Scott on my letters because of libels of me.

As we are NOT “under a cloud” and have more to say for ourselves as victims of post-war conditions than in any other way, I began then AT ONCE ADDRESSING MY LETTERS on the BACKS TO EVELYN SCOTT, as my name is both yours in part in every legal sense and EVELYN SCOTT is the name I have always signed book contracts and copyrights with during twenty-five years as a published author. My copyrights remember are Jack’s yours and hers for the minor children, in that order with yours and Jack’s first.

I mistakenly supposed I was correcting a misunderstanding as to Hempsted being Hamstead when a casual stranger here, just when I should not have asked lest I be misinformed, told me there was a Hampstead Road in Spring Valley and not a Hempstead. I thereafter wrote to Hampstead, but Paula replied twice to such letters without mentioning my mistake, so I went on in 1955 during Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, when I ceased to write to Spring Valley, as I guessed Paula and the children were already in Saigon—Saigon verified by latter letters.

But the return addresses were clear all along, Evelyn Scott on the letters and Mr and Mrs John Metcalfe and Mrs W J Metcalfe on the parcels. It is fine Paula is now dating her letters. I gather Mirabelle to be the name of the man who kept her mail but the Post Office hasn’t yet admitted it. I wish to find out what because of letters sent without returns on back. This business of threatening people about their jobs is what I suspect. I think it can be proved criminal. That is why I wished specific acknowledgment of meeting Kay Boyle who was unjustly queried about politics of which she knows little, and was exonerated.

Is that what “Mirabell” had a finger in? It shall not go on. My appeal against these [illeg] is for American Defence holding mail is like a threat. Cold British will [illeg] game against all criminal [illeg]

* * * * *

To Willis Young

September 8, 1957

Dear Mr Young,

Would the Department of State be willing to file for me a copy of my birth certificate? I offered one to the very nice Vice-Consul at the American Consulate in London, during my sojourn of 1944-1953 in London, and she thought it would be superfluous to file it there, as my baptismal name was Elsie Dunn, and the Elsie was dropped by me as inappropriate for an author before I was twenty-one and was never used by me on any Passport or other document since I reached my majority, so that Evelyn long ago became my legal name.

I shall hope this can be done without inconvenience to the Department of State. On September 3rd, 1957, I wrote to Miss Knight that my son, Creighton Seeley Scott, was still abroad, and that my daughter-in-law, Paula Pearson Scott, and their children, Denise, Fredrick Wheeler, Mathew, Julia Swinburne and Robert Scott, were shortly due in Carmel, California; and that their address there, route 2, Box 70, was the only American address they could give, as 46 Hempstead Road, Spring Valley, NY, has been dropped as unsatisfactory by all of them. My son is still with USOM, Program Support, USA, and I have written to him and to my daughter-in-law that they are many times welcome to use our address on the heading of this letter as their own, until they are back here when they may prefer another. Mine is theirs in spirit and practically for as long as I live, and my husband shares my sentiments, though he is British. I have, today, received my first news of the arrival of my daughter-in-law and my grandchildren at Carmel, and I shall write to her at once that I hope she can consult my son at long range and that he will agree that my address is more pertinent to Passport Files than Carmel. Whether we can see them in person, again, for the first time since 1944, and my son, in due course, for the first time since 1949, 1949, will depend on financing and other matters in respect to which none of us has been allowed any choice since these separations began, with the war.

I trust you will hear from my family about the address, or that it will be passed on to your office.

Very Sincerely Yours

* * * * *

In September 1957, after Jigg had completed a two-year contract, Paula and the children returned to the United States on the “home leave” afforded to families of those contracted to overseas postings.  As they had no base in the US, Paula called, again, on relatives on her mother’s side and the family were invited to stay with two maiden aunts in Carmel, California, where they remained until returning to Saigon that November. In one of her occasional short notes to Evelyn, Paula must have mentioned this arrangement, although  no correspondence remains.

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

September 8, 1957

Creighton Seeley Scott
care Paula Pearson Scott
Route 2, Box 70
Carmel, California

Darling Son Jigg,

Every day and nearly all day I am now thinking of you and Paula, Denise, Fredrick, Mathew, Julia, Robert, and of where and how you and they are.

Until we know you and they are well that your job has been secured here, and that Paula and the children are SAFE and, at last, at the above address, in good health and spirits, letters about other things must wait.

Bless you darling darling Jigg. Never was anyone more loved by his family and this includes myself and Jack, as well as Dad and some others.

You will know our longing to see you increases, and that the fullest human pleasure we can envisage will be to see you with our lovely courageous Paula and the children that are so inextricably a part of our lives, too and look in their pictures so good, bright, lovable—Denise, Fredrick, and Mathew already companionable to their parents in being more mature, and the two youngest a delight as little children of their personality are.

So our book and painting news waits—but we do hope Julia has her little book, as a sign of importances to you, their mother, and us all

* * * * *

To Paula Scott

September 8, 1957

 Darling darling Paula,

Seven letters last week, two and the book parcel the week before, and now three two addressed to you for Jigg for you to read and one for the three eldest children addressed to Denise in your care.

All this matters only because we so need to know yourselves that you are all SAFELY AGAIN IN THE USA, and that yu and blessed Jigg and every one of you are well well WELL, and Jigg soon to be within real reach with job secure.

Everything that matters in other ways matters as much as ever, but we need to sense the presence on homely terra firma of the finest daughter-in-law anyone ever had—one daughter-in-law who is always considered by Jack and me and Jigg’s Dad exactly the wife for the finest of sons.

We often feel as though both of you with the children and Cyril were here in the room, and that we are “visited” in friendly-wise by Manly and Paul I, and by Fredrick, and Alice.

May our envisagements materialize in restored normal living for us all.

Here is admiration with live—but don’t forget knowing you are all safe will relieve a good day of maybe superfluous anxiety. Bless, bless, bless,

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

Department of State
Washington
September 17, 1957

Dear Mrs Metcalfe:

After a review of your letter of September 5, 1957 and your previous correspondence addressed to this Department, it is apparent that the problem confronting you, namely your difficulty in receiving your mail, is one properly within the province of the Post Office Department rather than the Department of State which is concerned mainly with the foreign affairs of our country.

It is suggested that you communicate with the Postmaster General, Post Office Department, Washington, DC and present your problem. We feel sure that they can be of service to you in this matter.

Sincerely,
Robert D Johnson
Chief, Legal Division
Passport Office

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott and Jack Metcalfe

October 3, 1957

Dear Evelyn and Jack—

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written—we’ve been so busy with the beautiful sea, the beautiful hills, and marsh and lovely fresh sunny weather etc, etc, that I have simply let day after day slide by. I’ll answer your accumulation by mail in my next—for now we’re all fine and enjoying our vacation. There is so much to do here that all the kids and I are always busy. Only the girls are going to school—Denise in 11th grade and Julia in first grade (they both love it)—the boys are excused. They have to catch up in Saigon, but now they are revelling in their freedom and making the most of it.

This is all now—love to you both,
Paula

I’ll make a point of writing again, soon. Don’t worry—we are just happy and busy.

* * * * *

At some point the constant stream of  letters to the personnel department in Washington was recognised for what it was, and a sympathetic personnel officer, Jean Hermann, took it upon herself to deal with this correspondence and, more importantly, not to forward queries up to senior officials in the State Department.  As it turned out, this was crucial in protecting Jigg from the repercussions of his mother’s letters.

* * * * *

To Jean Hermann

October 6, 1957

Miss Jean Hermann
Employee Relations Officer
Office of Personnel
International Cooperation Administration
Washington 25, DC

Dear Miss Hermann,

Are the contacts of ICA, USOM employees with their parents a matter of entire indifference to the ICA?

My letter mailed to you the last week in July, 1957, has yet to be acknowledged. You have had several letters from me about the difficulties we have experienced in maintaining any contact whatsoever, even by mail, with your USOM employee in Saigon, Mr Creighton Seeley Scott, my son, his wife, Paula Scott, and their five children, Denise, Fredrick, Mathew, Julia and Robert Scott. Only once, in the summer of 1956, have any of my complaints on this score been given practical attention.

My daughter-in-law and the children are now, I suppose, at route 2, Box 70, Carmel, California, but bar one postcard saying they had arrived in Carmel early in September, I have been able to obtain no news or replies to letters. As for the very serious–both serious–matter of having no address for my son at present, it seems to me atrocious that nothing has yet been done to relieve this situation. I do not know his location today.

I wrote you in July that the return to me of mail held nineteen-months in Spring Valley, where it was sent after my daughter-in-law wrote me from Saigon that the 46 Hempstead Rd. Spring Valley, NY, address, left on file when they left (because the movements of their American families were uncertain and some older addresses had proved unreliable, too) was discarded by them; thus leaving them only route 2, Box 70, Carmel, California, as an American address, and it temporary.

Now, having written to Carmel, I begin to see intimations of a repeated pattern of mail unanswered or answers undelivered such as I referred to as having pursued ourselves and them since 1944, when I went to England and American and returned and American 1952 after eight-and-a-half years, spent there with my British husband for reasons you know, of which I wrote to Miss Roth long ago. NB American I am and always will be

Are the families who appeal to you to be ignored? Strains and anxieties that could be avoided are still ours, year after year. Remember I have had no letter written and signed by my very fine son since December 1953, when my husband and I were just returned from England and were at The Huntington Hartford Foundation (for artists of all the fine arts) in California.

Spring Valley Post Office ignored my query about the insured parcels returned to me unopened, without any stamping except when sent in 1955. That was the last week in July. Now we wish to send birthday gifts of books to my eldest grandson and my son and find ourselves in 1955’s predicament; not knowing for certain whether Paula Scott and the children are still in Carmel, or how long they will e there. The parcels held nineteen-months–outside the Post Office, the Post Master said, and Mrs Scott agreed it could be and named the man who a Mr Mirabell might have done it–were birthday gifts to the same eldest grandson and to the youngest son.

I think I am being very reasonable in asking you to look into the matter of unimpeded correspondence with my son and his family. The apparent circumstances, on each occasion, are almost of a sort to intimidate. It might justly be called a crime to leave it so. Health strains, economic strains often result–all unnecessary!

Very Truly
(Mrs John) Evelyn DS Metcalfe
Evelyn DS Metcalfe

Signed twice because the writer unwittingly used poor ink the first time. Blots are regrettable but conditions for writing today are very poor

[This letter was forwarded to Jigg from the USOM head office in Saigon with the following typed note attached:]

October 8, 1957

The enclosed letter was received today, and while I promise not to bother you with this again, you may be interested. Incidentally, all the other letters were destroyed yesterday.

Jean Hermann

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

American Embassy
Unites States Operations Mission to Vietnam
Saigon, Vietnam
October 14, 1957

Dear Mr Scott

We have received a letter from your Mother dated September 28 and addressed to the American Consul, Saigon.

She has stated in the letter she has not heard from you for sometime and is concerned.

We pass this information on to you and feel you will probably be getting in touch with her very soon.

Happy Holiday,
Sincerely,
Gladys Schwendker
Acting Personnel Officer

* * * * *

To Jean Hermann

October 26, 1957

Dear Madam

This is my fourth attempt, since July, 1957, to obtain information as to where now to address my son, Mr Creighton Seely Scott, who has been with the USOM in Saigon for the last two years.

In July, my daughter-in-law, Paula Scott, wrote me that he was temporarily assigned elsewhere and that she was coming to Carmel, California, for some weeks, and would return in Saigon in all probability.

It may be that the ICA thinks this is enough for me to know, but, if so, it must be because my various letters concerning my difficulties in preserving contact with my son and his family since the beginning of the war, have not been read.

My daughter-in-law did arrive in Carmel in September, when I received a postcard from her.  She speaks of leaving in “November”, but is entirely indefinite. She has not acknowledged three books sent for the birthdays of three of the five children, one—first intended for Saigon—two months ago, and two three weeks ago.

We are convinced that she is not encouraged to be explicit or write oftener. Had their surroundings been conducive to this, she would have done so, we feel certain. We are very sure this must be the fact as to my son, who last wrote to us a letter we received in December 1953, when we were in California, and I was seriously ill.

My daughter-in-law is not so placed at Carmel as to be able to see any member of her or our family. We have naturally long hoped that some position could be given my son in the USA where we could sometimes see them. It will be eight years in November, 1957, since we saw him for a few years in London, England. As I have written to you before, I have not seen my daughter-in-law since 1944, and have never seen but two of my five-grandchildren, who, also, are evidently not encouraged to write letters, for they have

I have repeatedly requested some attention to this cruel, infamously unjust situation. I now do not know whether my letters to you are received, or whether, they are turned over to someone who is actually hostile to us, good native Americans though I and the Scotts are.

Very Truly Yours
Evelyn D S Metcalfe

* * * * *

To Paula Scott

November 10, 1957

The children will all profit by solidarity for culture even with Jack’s English family connection in pure science. Love from Jack

When you read this, you can still only do your best as circumstances permit. But you can think it over again, and pass it on to Jigg. We especially hope he can re-contact Fredrick Wellman1 for their father’s sake

We have your letter of Nov 7th, and, as always, appreciate clarifications. May your re-uniting with Jigg in Saigon be no longer delayed. Perhaps you have already left, and in that case, we ill also appreciate the promised advice as to when, and where to write when you get there. This forwarded safely if you have

The two very satisfying points explained are why Carmel, and the amplified view of the boys. You apparently do not acknowledge postcards. No mention was ever made of various cards in envelopes addressed to the children in your care when in Saigon, and I should like to know whether these trifles are worth sending at all–sometimes rather cute.

Very glad you continue to contact Margué

May I, on my part, clarify a few things on which, it appears, we don’t see quite alike.

I think it is a criminal factor in all our lives that Jigg has no contact with his father or any of his Wellman half-brothers. I am completely certain in myself and so is Jack that Jigg cannot wish it to be as it is with no response, as yet, in Washington to the need of any man for his own family contacts where they are loyal and loving. To prolong all our lives, his, yours, in we think we ourselves should know where Jigg is

It was not as the “whim” of a doddering old lady that I have protested this, with Jack’s complete agreement over and over. My suggestion that Jigg file our address with the US Consul was apart from the fact that the “foreign service” knows where he is. It was intended to stress his American antecedents, which, because of the many foreigners here who know nothing of any of us, have often been under threat, though naturally at present just as rumour. Jack, myself, Cyril, Fredrick and Paul and Manly are all in favour of pressing for restitution for victims of cultural suppressings and ignorings. Then there is my Will filed in NY with my lawyer as a personal favour, and there is my father’s estate, still unaccounted for. Linking our names with Jigg’s in the record may count in the future.

The status quo always implies that we are to be left to grow older–if we can–and die, and never see Jigg or any of you . Robert D Clay’s article was pertinent to straight science His father showed interest in the yellow [illeg]

I will never give up my citizenship USA, but if we are ever forced back to England to a paltry pension; that will be the end of everything unless positive action on our behalf here comes a good deal. I hope you know we are are glad you contact Margué

I don’t discuss Jigg often, but a first hocus-pocus of pseudo “psycho-analysis” has been several times produced by white-washers of abuses of justice in our own country, to pretend to “explain” the frequent helplessness of every old American and old Britisher–old in preference for the type of rule–as, in the instance of Jigg, a “wilful desertion” of his parents. We know this cannot be true

It is very very upsetting. This hotel is full of Germans, mostly Jews, with Irish, Swedes, etc, thrown in. Sometimes, with intervals of months or a year between, I have explained bouts of poor health and low spirits by saying we never see my son and don’t hear enough. The hand of an enemy is at once evident, in exactly the line Marion took in some, though I have never said anything specific about any of you, except once, in an overwhelming by sentiment, show a few Bobby’s cute picture kissing the peacock. “My grandson” with pride

NB We do hope the outdoors is restoring peace in nature. We are sure Denise and Julia will leave good records in school, when “voters’ noses” are counted less often and pedagogic theorizing is dropped and replaced by real teaching there will be a good system I just ask help in doing everything to preserve contacts and records of achievement to include us with Cyril and Jig as the Wellmans Cyril should still be remembered for his medical research too as Fredrick Creighton Wellman

We both think the American Government should show enough good faith to reply to some of the letters of Creighton Seeley Scott’s mother and his father and stepfather by conceding we, too, have a right to some direct contact with Jigg himself. I have written several times asking when Jigg can be seen You should realize, and Jigg does I hope, that Jack and I have now spent four years at home, added to eight-and-a-half in London, protesting our human claim on some attention, as well as our right to careers that were demolished deliberately. It is vile and really treacherous reaction that pretends that people of “our age” have no right to anything except penury and “relief” if we can get it. America does not do one thing for its minds, and England has retrogressed unbearably. We have lost some contacts there, but still have enough to know that bottom-up sheep are a road to dictation. Cyril, Jack and I are parents, and stepparent, too. We and your family should be speaking for one another, with [remainder of letter missing]

1One of Jigg’s half-brothers; the others were Paul and Manly. Jigg had no contact with the Wellman family, nor did he wish it.

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

Honolulu
November 28, 1957

 

Dear E—Bobby’s book came in time—we’re on our way back. Sorry I had no time for a letter before going but was awfully busy. I’ll write from Saigon. Jigg will be there waiting for us.

Love,
Paula

* * * * *

Next week, an onslaught of letters from Evelyn . . . .