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Mission To China

( Originally Published 1911 )



ON February 20, 1880, I received a letter from Hon. H. P. Baldwin, a Senator from Michigan, informing me that Mr. Evarts, Secretary of State, desired to see me at an early date in Washington on a matter of public interest. It occurred to me as possible that he wished me to take a place on a commission to consider either the Fisheries Question or the Isthmian Interoceanic Canal Question.

I soon went to Washington, and with Senator Baldwin called on the Secretary by appointment at his house. I learned from him that my friend Senator Edmunds of Vermont had some months before directed his attention to me as a suitable person for diplomatic service.

The Secretary soon made it known to me that he desired me to go to China as one of two Commissioners (the other to be a Californian), to secure, if possible, a revision of our treaties with that Empire, especially with the purpose of restraining in some degree the emigration which was threatening to flood the Pacific States. He dwelt on the importance of adjusting this Asiatic life to ours in some way best both for the Chinese and for us. His manner and conversation were most charming. A vein of humour ran through his gravest talk like a vein of silver through the rock. To my inquiry whether he had any reason to sup-pose the Chinese were ready to accede to his propositions, he replied that General Grant had, in his interviews with high Chinese officials, received the impression that they were ready to take some steps in that direction. He added then in his inimitable way, "I should not be surprised if the Chinese should be entirely willing. They may well say, ` You are asking us to abide by our own doctrines. We always told you that we did not wish to open so intimate intercourse with you western nations. But you forced us at the cannon's mouth. You see we were right.' " Continuing, he said, "Perhaps we had better not despise a government which for thirty centuries has ruled a nation now numbering three hundred millions, while we have only fifty millions, and they `run us.'

At the proper time I took occasion to say that I thought the Consular history of Rome was rather full of warnings against the policy of employing a commission of two, and that one of three would be more likely to accomplish a result, at any rate, to avoid an even decision. Later, Senator Edmunds advanced the same opinion, and finally a Commission of three was decided on.

At the close of the interview, the Secretary took me to the White House to see President Hayes. He seemed deeply impressed with the importance of restraining the immigration of the Chinese. I asked if the government supposed the country east of the Rocky Mountains was ready to adopt measures restrictive of Chinese immigration. In reply I was given to under-stand that the action of such a Commission as they were trying to appoint would of itself have much weight in securing ac-quiescence in reasonable measures.

After conference with Senators Edmunds, Anthony, Baldwin, and Ferry, I promised the Secretary that I would return home, give the subject full consideration, consult the Regents of the University, and give him answer at an early day.

On March 11, I wrote to the Secretary to the following effect: that if direct and formal prohibition of Chinese immigration was desired I preferred that some one else should undertake the work, but that if correction of the abuses now connected with the immigration was desired, and this correction should work as a restraint on the immigration, I was willing to undertake the task. He promptly replied that there was nothing in my letter incompatible with the purposes- of the President, and he desired to send in my name to the Senate at once. April 9, I was confirmed as Minister and also as Chairman of the Commission for revising treaties with China. John F. Swift of California and William H. Trescot of South Carolina were appointed Commissioners.

On April 1, I had interesting interviews in Washington with Dr. Peter Parker, formerly medical missionary at Canton, and with George Bancroft, the historian. Both of them were opposed to unlimited immigration of the Chinese. Mr. Bancroft said he did not want to see the young men in Massachusetts towns forced to compete with the Chinese who had such low standards of living. He was also not without fear that the South might employ them and virtually reinstate a quasi-servitude.

On May 26, in response to a summons from Mr. Evarts, I reported in company with Mr. Trescot at his office in the expectation of receiving instructions. We had very charming interviews with him on four successive days. He discoursed at length on the various problems, which our relations with China have forced upon us, the difference between European and Asiatic immigration, the commercial questions involved in the Lekin tax, the importance of having an American policy, not tied to England, the expediency of dispersing the Chinese in our country, the importance of impressing the Chinese government with our desire to be fair and even generous towards them, and the question whether we can modify the treaty stipulations concerning ex-territoriality. All this did not result in furnishing us any specific instructions as to what we should demand in a treaty. But the Secretary informed us that definite instructions would overtake us on our journey.

On June 4, prominent citizens of Detroit gave a dinner in my honour. The Hon. George V. N. Lothrop, the most prominent member of the Michigan Bar, afterwards our Minister to Russia, presided with his characteristic grace. I would gladly have been excused from this reception, but my friends persuaded me that it would be helpful to the University. In my remarks I carefully refrained from discussing the questions which I was about to act on officially.

On the next day at 4 P.M., the Faculties and the students gave me a hearty reception in University Hall.

On June 6, with my wife and daughter and youngest son, I started for San Francisco and arrived there on the 11th, and remained until the 19th. We received many hospitalities. Mr. Trescot had reached there before me and Mr. Swift re-sided there. Especially profitable were interviews with the Chinese Consul and with Mr. Low, who had long been our minister to China. Apparently there was a general feeling that the coming of Chinese labourers should be limited, but not absolutely for-bidden. One representative of the Labour Unions asked prohibition of immigration in order to protect American mechanics. I asked him if he could name one mechanic who had been crowded out of employment by the Chinese, and he confessed he could not.

On June 19, we sailed on the " Oceanic." In the voyage of eighteen days we did not, after leaving the California coast, see a single vessel until we approached the coast of Japan. We entered the harbour of Yokohama at five o'clock in the morning. Before the steamer had stopped, Japanese boats, filled with half-naked boatmen, swarmed about us to take passengers ashore. Hardly had we dropped anchor before Lieutenant Wainwright (now Admiral) came on board to learn when I would receive a call from Admiral Patterson, who was in command of the United States squadron in the harbour. At half-past nine he and Captain Johnson, commanding the gun-boat, "Ashuelot " called. Under orders from our government they were waiting to take us to China on the " Richmond " and the "Ashuelot." As on our arrival they were not quite ready to depart, we had the pleasure of spending ten days in Yokohama and Tokio.

In view of the discussion which has been carried on for some years concerning the expediency of erecting houses at the expense of our government for the residences of our ministers and ambassadors, it may not be amiss to report a conversation I had with Judge Bingham, our minister to Japan at the time of my visit. Observing that he was living in a comfortable though modest house, I asked him if he had built it at his own expense. He said, "Oh, no. As we have ex-territoriality here, I was obliged to ask for an appropriation for a jail. I asked my old friends in Congress for an appropriation so liberal that I was able to build my house as an annex to the jail." He then took me to the rear of the house and showed me a prisoner confined in the room which was the jail.

Judge Bingham prided himself on having broken away from blindly following England, as most of the other ministers had. He said he had seen Sir Harry Parkes, the British minister shake his fist under the nose of the minister of Foreign Affairs. He added that the forcible withdrawal of a German vessel from quarantine was really stimulated by the Englishman.

On July 19, my family and I embarked on the United States gunboat "Ashuelot," Captain Johnson, for Shanghai. We stopped at Kobe and visited the old capital, Kioto. The Italian ship of war, " Vettor Pisani," under command of the Duke of Genoa, was at Kobe. We exchanged calls with him and found him very cordial and simple in his manners. He preferred to be addressed simply as Captain. The sail through the Inland Sea was charming. It reminded one of Lake Champlain and Lake George.

We arrived at Shanghai on July 27, and were the guests of Consul-General Denny. I was told that Rev. Dr. Yates, an American missionary of the Southern Baptist Society, knew the Chinamen better than any other foreigner in the city. I therefore asked him for a description of the Chinaman. He said he had studied the Chinaman many years. At times he flattered himself that he had come to understand thoroughly the Chinaman's nature to the very bottom. But just as he began to inflate himself with complacency at his achievement, some new depth in the Chinaman's nature yawned below him. About the only thing, he said, that you can be sure of when you ask him for the grounds of his beliefs is that the reasons he gives you are not the real ones.

On August 1, we reached Chefoo. Mr. Swift and Mr. Trescot had arrived on the " Richmond." It was thought best that I should go on in advance to Peking and arrange for our negotiations, while my col-leagues and my family remained in Chefoo. Thè Admiral took me on the " Richmond " to Taku, as far as a vessel with her draught could go. The "Ashuelot" then took me to Tientsin, where we arrived on August 3.

The next day at 4 p.m., accompanied by Mr. Holcomb, Secretary of Legation, and six naval officers, I went to call on the Viceroy Li Hung Chang, at his residence. He received us very cordially and frequently took occasion to express his friendship for the United States. He was very anxious to know why General Grant had not been nominated again in June. I mentioned three reasons, one of which was that there was a strong feeling against a third term. This he could not understand, repeatedly affirming that a man who had served twice was thereby better fitted for the place.

On the following day Li came with a large retinue to the " Ashuelot " to return my call. He remained an hour and a half and seemed in fine spirits. He talked on several subjects and joked freely. He repeated a remark which I had made to him on the previous day that the Brazilians who were trying to make a treaty to secure coolies should make a draft on us who were trying to restrict the immigration. He told me in a whisper that although the complications with Russia on the Kuldja question were serious, he believed China would escape war. He said the idiots at Peking had dreadfully blundered, that Tso (the Chinese general in Kuldja) was a braggart, and that he was now under strict orders not to provoke war with the Russians.

Much to my gratification, Li had brought General Gordon with him. The General had come to China to persuade the government to keep out of a war with Russia. He was living by himself in a Buddhist temple, and I was told that he remained at his devotions until ten o'clock, so that before that hour be refused all callers. Having heard of his military achievements, I had fancied him to be a big English "swashbuckler." Judge of my surprise when a man of small stature, with a low and sweet voice, with a manner almost feminine in delicacy, quietly seated himself close to me and told me his story. He said he had come to persuade China to refrain from war, from wasting her money on ironclads, the organization of a great army on the European plan, and from a foreign debt. He said that the true defence for them is howitzers, fleet ships and a sort of guerilla warfare. Their soldiers need no tents, and no commissary department. The way for them to fight the Russians is to attack them at night, allowing them no sleep, and then hasten away till the next night. They can thus keep them on the run and tire them out. He tells them their capital is too near Siberia and too near the sea. It can always be easily captured. He was there with the British forces in 1858-60, and knows the region thoroughly. He besought me to impress these ideas of peace on Li, as I had opportunity. He had come to meet me for the purpose of making this request.

The British government soon recalled him, because, it was reported, they were afraid Russia would take offense at his action.

Li invited me to dine with him on my return from Peking and placed at my disposal his steam launch to take me twenty-five miles up the river.

I availed myself of his offer, and after leaving the launch went by houseboats, drawn by men to Tungcho and thence by canal to Peking. Mr. Seward, the minister, received me at the Legation, and in due time introduced me to the Tsung-li-Yamen, and presented his recall. Prince Kung impressed me as far superior to the other members of the Foreign Office. They returned my call, and as they were passing through the drawing room, some one struck the keys of the piano. They hastened with a child-like curiosity to look in under the cover of the instrument to ascertain what caused the sound. Prince Kung announced the appointment of two commissioners to negotiate with us and assured me they would proceed with despatch.

The European ministers generally were in expectation of war with Russia. Under the walls of the city the soldiers were preparing by practice to meet the Russian army. This practice consisted of firing at a target with bows and arrows.

The Tsung-li-Yamen having learned that the Brazilian ministers were approaching to make a treaty, asked the American Secretary where Brazil was, and if it was a country of much consequence.

Having in two weeks completed my business in Peking, I returned to Chefoo. My colleagues and I and our families at once set out for Tientsin in the gunboats " Monocacy " and " Ashuelot." We exchanged calls with Li and hurried on to Peking.

On the journey up the river I had an interesting conversation with Mr. Trescot, concerning an event in the Civil War. After this lapse of time, I think I may be allowed to report it. In the American Case for the Geneva Arbitration of the so-called Alabama Claims, I had read that the British government, through Lord Lyons, the British Minister at Washington, invited our government to sign the Declaration of Paris (of 1856), and informed the Confederate government of this action. At the same time they invited the Confederate government to sign the second and third Articles and to omit the first, which forbids privateering, but did not inform our government of this action. Moreover, they sent the message to Richmond and Charles-ton, through Lord Lyons. If this plan had succeeded the South could have commissioned privateers, while we should have been precluded, and the carrying trade for both belligerents would have been secured to Great Britain. This was so dishonourable a trick, that I had always been reluctant to believe it. As Mr. Trescot was employed in our State Department at the time, and was also very familiar with transactions in the South, I ventured to express my doubts of the accuracy of the statement in the American Case. He replied, "You may well believe it, for I myself took the despatch from Lord Lyons to Richmond."

At the first meeting of the Commissioners with the Tsung-li-Yamen, we were informed that two Commissioners had been appointed to negotiate with us, Pao Chun, an aged member of the body with an excellent reputation for honesty, and Li Hung Tsao, one of the most noted historical scholars.

It will be understood that I held two Commissions, one as Minister Plenipotentiary and one as Commissioner to negotiate treaties. Therefore I had in hand the regular business of the Legation as well as work on the Treaties.

When we American Commissioners met to draft a paper to present to the Chinese Commissioner, there was a sharp difference of opinion between Mr. Swift on the one side and Mr. Trescot and myself on the other. Mr. Swift wished that we should demand the absolute prohibition of the immigration of labourers. Mr. Trescot and I maintained that we should ask merely for a stipulation giving us power to regulate, but not to forbid, absolutely, immigration. Mr. Swift asked that we telegraph to Mr. Evarts for authority to present his demand. We declined to do so. Mr. Swift of course yielded, but not without some feeling. We allowed him to spread on the record his propositions and his protest against ours.

When we read our statement to the Chinese, Pao said there were some difficulties on both sides, but he thought there were none which might not be adjusted.

After two or three meetings the details of which I will not give, we found one day to our surprise the whole Yamen in attendance. They had brought a full projet for a treaty, containing provisions that any restriction in immigration should apply to California alone, that artisans should not be excluded, that there should be no punishment for labourers coming in violation of the treaty, and allowing persons, not Americans, to import and employ Chinese labourers. We did not encourage them to suppose we could accept their draft, but took it away for consideration.

Two days later we had a most anxious, and, as it proved, a decisive session with the Chinese. We took up the first Article in their draft and the first in ours, regulating immigration, and found ourselves so at variance with them, that Mr. Swift declared they did not mean to give us a treaty, and Mr. Trescot, usually hopeful, thought we had come to the end, and that we had better state our ultimatum and go. But I saw the Chinese earnestly discussing and I suggested patience, saying that we might well spend an hour there, that perhaps never would our time be more valuable. Let us leave this Article, I advised, and take up the last. Let the fish chew the bait awhile. The last Article was one which provided that no laws we should pass in respect to immigration should be operative until approved by them. This was so unreasonable that they soon said they would waive that. Then we took up the Article in which they seemed to us to ask that Chinese students and merchants could take with them employees. They explained that they meant by that only household servants. To that we had no objection. Having now got into the mood of agreeing, we went back to Article I. I pointed out to them that this clause asking that no limitation should be excessively great or excessively long was inappropriate to a treaty, and would only cause discussion instead of hindering it. They consented to change that. As to their clause about penalties they said they only wished to guard against personal abuse and maltreatment. We agreed to guard against this. We thus paved the way for dove-tailing their first Article and ours together, and the work was done. It was agreed that Mr. Holcombe, the Secretary, should come the next day and with them arrange the texts.

Greatly relieved, we were about to leave, when Pao detained us. He said he wished to speak of one thing more. When the Chinese treaties with the Western Powers were made, they were one-sided. Now as they wished to push new trade abroad, they desired to secure equal commercial privileges. As the United States had always been their friend, they preferred to begin with us, and they wished to know if we could consider a proposition for a treaty or an article in this treaty on that point. We cordially responded that we would take the matter into friendly and sympathetic consideration.

Apparently the Chinese intended to give us the treaty we had made, but to concede us as little as possible. We completed the final agreement on the Immigration Treaty at 3 P.M., November 8.

We then left with them our draft of a Commercial Treaty. In it the two nations agree to favour the extension of commerce with each other, to fix the rate of tonnage dues and import duties on the same scale for both nations, to prohibit the trade in opium between them, and to provide for the trial of a person in the court of his nationality. We had reason to believe that the dues and duties for Chinese vessels entering Chinese ports were less than for our vessels. The request for the opium Article originated with Li Hung Chang. We were very willing to adopt it, though Mr. Trescot had fears that we might be criticized for it as we had no instructions on the subject. But I believed that it would meet with favour at home, though it might be criticized in England.

After the agreement on the treaties, the Chinese Commissioners sent presents to us, consisting of ham, sausages, fruits, chest-nuts, and cakes for which the messengers, bringing them, expected and received suitable fees.

There was an interesting incident connected with the signing of the treaties. We had fixed on a day for signing them. When we arrived at the Yamen, the Commissioners with an air of great mortification announced that they could not sign on that day, that it was the Emperor's birthday, on which they could sign no document containing a word of unhappy significance, that such a word occurred in the treaties, and that in making the appointment they had not remembered that it was the Emperor's birthday, and they therefore asked for another date for the signing. Of course we assented, and on November 17 we all signed.

The European ministers were astonished when we informed them that after forty-eight days of negotiations, we had secured two treaties. On my arrival at Peking, Mr. Von Brandt, the German Minister, perhaps the ablest foreign representative there, told me that after two years of labour he had just procured a treaty and that I must not hope to finish a negotiation under a year. I have always supposed that what-ever influence Sir Robert Hart had with the Chinese authorities was used to our advantage. I saw no evidence that any of the foreign powers made any effort to hinder us, though reports to the effect that some of them did were more or less current. My personal relations with all the Ministers were most cordial.

One of the most serious embarrassments of the Commission was due to what must be considered an error of the State Department in appointing my colleagues Commissioners Plenipotentiary, instead of Envoys or Ministers Extraordinary. The former title was unknown to our naval officers and to European diplomats. So there was trouble with the naval officers in respect to salutes and it required great care to avoid unpleasant complications in the social relations at Peking.

After the departure of my colleagues on the Commission in the early winter, my duties were those of the Minister. A few incidents may be worthy of mention, especially as illustrating the good disposition of the Tsung-li-Yamen.

As each village holds certain religious festivals annually, under Chinese usage, every village was taxed to meet the expenses of the festivals. The Christian converts were embarrassed by this requirement, as some of the features of the ceremonies were incompatible with the Christian faith. The Roman Catholics had some years before my coming procured the exemption of their converts from assessments for the festivals. When I learned this, I asked for the exemption of the Protestant Christians. The request was received with great courtesy, and soon an Imperial Decree was issued, relieving the Protestant natives from the assessment.

At an auction sale of the goods of a Presbyterian missionary who was about to leave Peking for America on a visit, some rude fellows in the crowd which an auction always attracts there, threw missiles into the grounds, broke down shrubbery, and caused much disturbance. When the news reached me that the disturbance was going on and threatening to become more serious, I sent a message to the Yamen, asking for protection to the mission. They at once sent a detachment of soldiers and arrested the mischief makers, and when I went to the mission on the next morning, I saw two or three of the men arrested, sitting in the street by the gateway of the mission, with cangues on their necks. The authorities offered to furnish an armed escort for the missionary on his journey out of the city, but I declined this as unnecessary. The local official who should have prevented the disorder was at once discharged, and he appealed to me to interpose for his re-appointment. Our local authorities have not always been so efficient in protecting Chinamen in our cities.

When Mr. Blaine was Secretary of State, a rumour reached him that the Chinese government was cherishing a plan to seize the Hawaiian Islands. He sent me a very spirited despatch, instructing me to call the attention of the Yamen to this report and warn them that our government would not permit such an act. No one in Peking attached any importance to the rumour. I presented Mr. Blaine's statement with all seriousness. It was difficult to make Chinese ministers comprehend the gist of my inquiry about their intention to acquire the Islands. But when they did, they burst into a roar of laughter, and begged me to inform the Secretary that whenever they formed such a plan they would give the United States timely notice.

The Japanese Minister, Mr. Shishido, who had more than once confided to me his troubles in doing business with the Chinese government, one day came to me, apparently much depressed in spirits, and said that he wished in confidence to lodge a document with me. The Yamen, he said, had made a treaty with him, and when the day on which they had agreed to sign it arrived, they refused to sign. He had, therefore, in indignation decided to leave for home. He had drawn a paper reciting the facts, which he was not showing to the other foreign ministers. But his nation felt so grateful to the United States for its kindness and especially to General Grant for his wise counsels to them on his recent visit, that he wished' to leave this document in our hands.

I received it with hearty appreciation of the friendship evinced for us, and especially for the gratitude expressed for General Grant. I had learned so much in Japan and China of the great service Grant had tendered to both nations, that this tribute to him touched me with pride. He had warned them to keep out of war, especially with each other. He had showed them how war would put them in bondage to European creditors and how they should unite to effect a permanent cooperation in taking their places among the great self-reliant powers of the world. I had come to feel that his services to those two nations were second in value only to his services to his own nation. They both expressed to him their desire that he would act as arbiter in settling their trouble about the ownership of the Loo Choo Islands. He declined, telling them, as he often did, that he was now only a private citizen, and could take no office. That fact they all came to under-stand.

Naturally I hastened to describe the action of the Japanese Minister to the State Department, calling special attention to what he said of General Grant. To my great surprise, in due time I received a reply from the Secretary of State calling my attention in very serious tone to the fact that General Grant held no official post when he was in the East, and that I should not have neglected my opportunity to make that known. Why the honour paid to General Grant should have gratified the Secretary so little, I leave to the reader to conjecture.

I was interested in finding that some of the members of the Tsung-li-Yamen were as keen reasoners in a discussion as one will meet anywhere. Their intellectual training had been purely linguistic. The question often suggested itself to me, whether this fact had any bearing on the discussions we so often have as to the value of our old classical training in preparing men for public life. These keen reasoners were almost absolutely devoid of mathematical or scientific education. I sometimes doubted whether in reaching their conclusions they were aware as we are of taking certain logical steps. If they were, they did not make known the steps to us, but at once stated their conclusions. There was only one man in the Tsung-li-Yamen who in discussion with me gave his grounds, one, two, three, for his opinion as we do. Much to my delight he and I worked so harmoniously that they left him to do most of the business with me. His mind seemed to me to work like the mind of a Western man — by logical processes.

One of the most interesting members of the Tsung-li-Yamen was the General Tso Tsung Tang, of whom Li Hung Chang had spoken to me as a boaster. Perhaps he was, but he was entertaining. He talked at my table of his campaigns in Kuldja with the dramatic air of a Frenchman. It was re-ported that he was appointed to the Foreign Office in accordance with a shrewd Chinese custom of curing a critic by giving him responsibility. It was related that when he came back from his campaign to Peking, he complained to the authorities that too great privileges were extended to the foreign legations, particularly that the French legation were allowed by the Yamen to enclose too large a part of the street in their yard. He was at once appointed as a member of the Board. It soon appeared that he enjoyed the society of us foreigners, who listened with interest to his conversation, and that no one cherished a more liberal spirit to us than he did.

When the Russian Czar was assassinated, he inquired who killed him. When told that it was the deed of Nihilists, he asked who they were. When informed that they were a secret society, pledged to kill sovereigns, he said, "Secret societies ! they ought to make short work with them. A few years ago the province of Fuhkien was honeycombed with secret societies, and in their conflicts with each other they were destroying villages. The government sent me down there to restore peace. In about six weeks I had perfect tranquillity."

"Well, your Excellency," he was asked, "how did you accomplish that?" "Why, in two weeks I cut off the heads of about three thousand men, and it was perfectly quiet after that." And he spoke of it as calmly as though he were talking of killing so many flies.

A business meeting with the Yamen was always, in theory, a social meeting. Refreshments were invariably served, and it was vain to attempt to engage their attention to a matter of business until the refreshments were disposed of. It would seem that this usage was calculated to bring men to their conference in an amicable frame.

Sir Thomas Wade, the British Minister, was a most genial gentleman, with a large fund of Irish wit. As his family were in England during our residence in Peking, he was kind enough to be much in our house and contributed immensely to our pleasure. He had a great fund of stories. One he told on D'Israeli and Gladstone is perhaps worth repeating. D'Israeli once said to a friend in conversation that the English artists lacked imagination. Within an hour he had occasion to address a society of English painters and declared that they excelled in imaginative powers. Gladstone being told of this said he could see how in the fervour of debate one might say such a thing, but how one could do it in such circumstances he could not see. "It is hellish," he exclaimed.

Sir Thomas was a superior Chinese scholar. He wrote the text book which most students used in learning the language, and was fond of talking about the language. He said there is great difficulty in reducing the grammar to our categories. The Chinese do not seek classification of parts of speech but are content to follow precedent and usage. Exactness is attainable in the expression of thought in it, though its machinery for mode and tense is clumsy. It has changed but little in five thousand years.

It is sometimes remarked in diplomatic circles that a minister may become in a measure disqualified for his duties by too long service at one post. He comes to look at questions from the point of view of the people with whom he has long dwelt. It was charged that Sir Thomas often instinctively took the Chinaman's view of a controversy between England and China, and so failed to satisfy the British Foreign Office.

I have heard that once when President Grant was asked to appoint as our minis-ter at Peking a gentleman who had spent most of his life in China, he replied that he had but one objection, namely, that he did not wish to appoint a Chinaman.

My intimate acquaintance with Sir Robert Hart, the head of the Imperial Customs, was of great help to me and the source of great pleasure. He, like Sir Thomas, was of Irish birth. He was a graduate of the University of Belfast, and a fine classical scholar. He kept up his reading of Greek and Latin in the midst of all his official cares. He was, of course, a great Chinese scholar. His advice to the government was supposed to be of great weight, as it deserved to be.

He told me, however, that one of his chief obstacles was the conservatism and stupidity of some of the mandarins with whom he had to do. For his diversion he played on the violin. He said that some of the mandarins declared that he was paid a large salary for sitting all day on his divan and fiddling.

The government had founded a college for the training of young Chinese to enter into the diplomatic service. The American missionary, Rev. Dr. Martin, was the President. During his temporary absence, Mr. Hart was put in charge. He asked me to visit the college from time to time and report to him what I found. The Professors were Europeans, who were teaching English, French, and Russian and branches of Western learning. They told me that the students were so afraid of being supposed to have any connection with foreigners, that they would not recognize them on the streets. The students were granted an allowance like our students at Annapolis and West Point. Mr. Hart wittily described them as the sons of mandarins who allowed their offspring for a consideration to be defiled with the pitch of Western learning.

Mr. Hart told me that he came near joining the Tai-pings in their great rebel-lion in 1859, and that he believed they would have succeeded if the foreigners had not joined the government in opposing them and that they would probably have given as good a government as that which prevailed.

He placed great stress on the filial respect and reverence of the Chinese, saying Providence had fulfilled the divine promise of length of days to the nation which obeyed the command to honour the fathers.

He talked frankly to me of some of their serious faults and of their antipathy to foreigners, and as if foreseeing what actually befell his own house in the Boxer troubles, said "None of us know how soon in some excitement our houses may all be in flames."

The most brilliant minister at Peking was Von Brandt, the German. He was the son of General Von Brandt, distinguished in the war of German Independence against Napoleon. He had served several years in Japan, and understood the Oriental mind thoroughly, and had the means of getting access to the secrets of the Chinese government. As the legations acted together on matters of common interest, he was of great service to us. His diplomatic career was terminated in a very romantic manner. He chose to marry a very accomplished American lady. At that time, it was not permitted to German diplomats to marry ladies not of their own nationality.

Two young men whose names afterwards became widely known were at that time in the German legation. One was Count Tattenbach, a member of a very old Bavarian family, who won distinction by representing his country in the Morocco troubles and also by being Governor of Alsace-Lorraine. The other was Baron Von Ketteler, whose bravery in attempting to leave Peking in the Boxer troubles caused his murder on the principal street of the city, at the spot now marked by an imposing monument erected by the Chinese government.

Although I had found my diplomatic labours attractive in many respects, and should perhaps have been disposed to continue in the service if ministers could have counted on a permanent tenure, I decided to return to my academic duties and there-fore asked the President to accept my resignation.

On October 4, we bade adieu to Peking. A considerable number of our diplomatic and missionary friends gathered at our residence to say good-bye, and several rode out a few miles with us on our road to Tungcho. The life at Peking in our time was so remote from the rest, of the world that the friend-ships formed there were very close. It was not without deep emotion that we parted from those whose society had been so dear to us.

On arriving at Tientsin, I called on the Viceroy, Li Hung Chang. He received me most affably, and thanked me very warmly for my part in making the Opium Treaty. I thought the opportunity favourable for telling him some plain truth. I ventured to say that I thought that he could carry England for the anti-opium doctrine in five years on one condition, namely, that the Chinese officials should in at least five provinces take hold of the work of suppressing the growth of the poppy with vigour. I assured him that the English maintain that the Chinese wish to stop the importing of opium merely to raise it themselves and tax it for revenue. I do not think he enjoyed my remarks. He assured me that in five provinces (Chi-li being one) the growth was already controlled. It was not courteous for me to question his statement; but there was abundant evidence that much was growing in Chi-li at that moment.

I expressed the regret of my government at the recall of the Chinese students from America, which had just taken place. He appeared also to regret it.

He courteously expressed the desire that I should return to my post.

I attended the opening of a hospital under very interesting circumstances. Miss Howard, a medical missionary, who had graduated at the University of Michigan, had been assigned to duty at Tientsin. She was called to render professional services to the wife of the Viceroy, and had been the means of restoring her to health. To show his gratitude the Viceroy made a generous contribution to found a hospital and induced his subordinate officials to contribute also. On its completion Miss Howard fixed a day for the opening, when I could be present and make an address. The Viceroy and other high Chinese officials and the foreign Consuls were present. The Viceroy made very kind and complimentary remarks about Miss Howard. In my address I of course made proper recognition of his generous interest in the hospital. It has been of great service to sufferers. I was told that one man had brought his father in his arms two hundred miles to be operated on there.

In this connection I may say that in my residence in China I was much interested in the work of the Christian missionaries, both Roman Catholic and Protestant.

Some of the Jesuit missionaries who wielded so great an influence at the court of the Emperors in the seventeenth century, were men of large mould as scholars, divines, and statesmen. It was with great reverence that I stood in the cemetery, just outside the walls of Peking, where Ricci, Schaal, Verbiest, and others lie buried, and thought how near, as it seems to me, they came to making China a Roman Catholic country. For a time they won the favour of Emperors, and led scholars and high officials to adopt their faith. Their achievements, their lives of self-denial, their sufferings form a most interesting chapter in the history of missionary effort.

Unhappily the success which seemed coming to them was checked by dissensions which sprang up between them and the Dominicans concerning the lawfulness of ancestral worship for Christian converts. The controversy divided for a time the church in Europe and resulted in the condemnation of the Jesuits' position by two Popes and in a decree by the Chinese Emperor expelling missionaries from the land.

All missionaries who have prohibited those usages which we call ancestral worship have found that prohibition one of the gravest obstacles to the acceptance of the Christian faith. These early Jesuits, after a careful study, concluded that the usages were not properly called worship, but were only a manifestation of filial regard for ancestors, which was not at all inconsistent with Christian faith. Some of our modern Protestant missionaries hold the same opinion, though most of them do not. And Popes Clement XI and Benedict XIV were led to forbid it by Papal Bulls. The conflict on the subject raged in the Roman Catholic Church for three quarters of a century.

The presence of many American Protestant missionaries in China raised questions for my official action from time to time, as their work was interfered with by lawless men. But for the most part our missionaries showed much tact and judgment in avoiding difficulties. They called on me for help so much more rarely than some of the British missionaries called on Sir Thomas Wade that he once asked me jocosely if I would not trade missionaries with him.

Quite apart from any consideration of their religious activity, the influence our missionaries have exerted in preparing the way for the great change now going on in China can hardly be overestimated. A considerable number of the young men just sent to this country for education have received their training in the missionary schools. Each missionary station has furnished an illustration of the western learning they are coveting.

We spent a few days at Shanghai, awaiting the sailing of the French steamer Ira-wadi, for Europe. Dining one evening with Mr. Cameron, the manager of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, he mentioned two facts worth repeating. He said his Bank had loaned many thousand pounds to Chinese merchants without taking so much as a scrap of paper to show for it, and the Bank never lost a sixpence by them.

Again, speaking of the testing of the silver sycee, in which they had to deal largely, he said they had in their service a Chinaman who by his mere sense of touch could determine so exactly the quality of the metal, that his finding in respect to it could be as absolutely relied on as analysis. It was apparently a gift inherited in some families.

I met at Shanghai an American of whom I had often heard, the freight agent of the China Merchants' Steamship Company. I was told that he had marked success in organizing the business, that he was very musical and that he was well versed in European languages. He was a coloured man and came to China with Anson Burlingame.

On our passage to Hong Kong the tail of a typhoon struck us astern and we were obliged to put on full steam to prevent the following waves from overrunning us. Chinese junks going north were lying with large baskets attached to their bows, slowly drifting astern. I asked the captain what was to happen if, in plunging on at such a rate, we came on one of these junks. "Ah!" said he, "nous le couperons comme un fromage." And I fear he cared as little as though the junk had been a cheese.

The voyage to Europe, thirty-eight days from Shanghai to Marseilles, was very enjoyable. We called at Hong Kong, Saigon, Singapore, Point de Galle, Colombo, Aden, Suez, Port Said, and Naples. We had intended to debark at Naples, but were prevented by the fact that at Singapore we received some Dutch passengers from Java, where the cholera was raging. At Marseilles we were kept in quarantine twenty-four hours.

We made a tour through Italy, Germany, and Paris to London, and sailed from Liver-pool on the Cunard steamer " Catalonia " on January 28, for New York.

I will mention here one incident on the journey, and our experience on the voyage.

Travelling by rail from Marseilles to Rome, we reached the little town of Ventimiglia in the early evening in the midst of what seemed to be a cloudburst. The train came to a standstill just before we arrived at the station, and remained there until the water, coming down from the cliff, reached the body of the cars. The officials of the road asked us to allow ourselves to be carried to the station on the backs of men. As I saw one fall down with a passenger, I declined and said we would pass the night in the comfortable carriage we were occupying. After a little the officials returned saying there was danger that the track and the station would be washed away, that the train would be pulled up to the station, and that we must leave the carriage. Accordingly we did so. We found the water on the 'station floor ankle deep. We made our way to a little inn. On entering we saw a horse hitched to the post of the front stair-way. The barn had been undermined by the storm and the horse had been rescued. The innkeeper built a fire at which we dried our clothes and then went to bed.

The next morning I was told that the railway could not be repaired. for some days. I decided to hire a coachman to drive me down the beautiful Cornice road to Genoa. Hardly had we started when the Mayor stopped us, saying that a building in front of which we had to pass was beginning to fall, and that the motion of our carriage might tumble it down altogether. I finally persuaded him to let us dismount and send the carriage past the building very gently, while we followed on foot. In this way we escaped from Ventimiglia.

We drove to San Remo to pass the night. As I was giving the coachman orders to call for us in the morning, I was informed that the railway bridge a few miles further on had been carried away and could not be repaired for some days. After remaining three days at San Remo, I learned that a temporary footbridge had been erected near Taggia by the side of the wrecked railway bridge, and that from Taggia trains were running eastward. So we drove to the footbridge', had our trunks carried over by porters, and finally reached a train. So much for railway travelling under the shadow of the Italian Alps.

As the Cunard line of steamers had the reputation of being very safe, I took passage for my family and myself in the Catalonia, which had made but one voyage. She was very commodious ; but it proved that her engines were not powerful enough to hold her head up against heavy gales. Unluckily we encountered three. She was obliged to run before the wind in each case, and so went far out of her course. The sea broke into the dining-hall and flooded it. As we approached Newfoundland the captain found we were getting short of fuel and turned towards St. Johns to procure coal. But we ran into so strong drift ice that this plan had to be abandoned, and we had to take our chance of getting to Halifax. Another terrific gale delayed us. We ran by the entrance to Halifax harbour and barely escaped getting aground in a small bay. It was reported that we had to burn some of the woodwork of the ship to make the harbour. Some of us resolved to take the train to Boston. But a three days' snow storm had blocked the railway. So we remained on the ship and completed our voyage to New York in nineteen days from Liverpool. The Company sent her back without taking passengers.

We arrived at Ann Arbor on February 24, 1882, and received a most hearty welcome from Faculties and students.



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