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co-operate with the Russian authorities, and those of other western powers favorably disposed toward the enterprise, in any effort which they may make towards that end
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
ANSON BURLINGAME, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
Mr. Burlingame to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
SIR: I have the honor to send correspondence (marked from A to L) relating to foreign residence at Tangchau.
From this you will learn
1st How difficult it is to secure, in the first instance, our treaty rights against the prejudices of a powerful class in China.
2d. The importance of having capable agents, like Dr. McCartee, to arrange successfully disputes which might otherwise lead to serious complications.
You will observe in the correspondence that the point is made that Tangchau is, by the spirit of the treaty, to be included as a place of residence with Yentai, its dependent port, as in the conceded instances of Canton and Whampoa, Ningpo and Chenhai, Peintsin and Taku.
As to the remark in my letter (L) that I will suggest Dr. McCartee's name for another position, I have to say that I hope soon to show in person, or by letter, how the government may secure the valuable services of Dr. McCartee, himself consenting, without any additional legislation, in the position of assistant interpreter at Peking.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.
A. From A. Burlingame to D. B. McCartee, asking for documents and forwarding despatch, &c.
Aug. 22, 1864.
B. From Prince Kung to A. Burlingame, complaining of Mr. Mills at Tangchaufee, in the matter of renting a house..
Aug. 14, 1864.
C. From A. Burlingame to Prince Kung. Will send to United States consul and ascertain the facts..
Aug. 20, 1864.
D. From D. B. McCartee to A. Burlingame. and enclosures
Reports on Mr. Mills's case,
Sept. 9, 1864.
E. From C. R. Mills to D. B. McCartee. Statement of the circumstances
I. From A. Burlingame to D. B. McCartee. Approves of his action and
K. From D. B. McCartee to A. Burlingame. Resignation of consular
Sept. 2, 1864.
Oct. 8, 1864.
Oct. 3, 1864.
Oct. 25, 1864.
Nov. 16, 1864.
Nov. 21, 1864.
Dec. 31, 1864.
L. From A. Burlingame to D. B. McCartee. Acceptance of resignation... Feb. 20, 1865.
Mr. Burlingame to Mr. McCartee.
LEGATION OF the United STATES,
SIR: I have only recently learned from Mr. Seward that you have been appointed United States consul for the port of Tangchau and Chifu, and have accordingly informed the Chinese government of the same, in order that they may send the necessary instructions to the local authorities for your recognition. I beg to express my great satisfaction at your appointment, and your previous acquaintance with the duties of the consular office in China will render them easy
In this connexion I now enclose copies of a communication, lately received from the Foreign Office, concerning an accusation made by the district magistrate of Punglai of an injustice done by the Rev. Mr. Mills in renting and repairing a house at Tangchau, and of my reply to the same, asking for further time to enable me to ascertain the facts of the case. As this may prove to be a test case, I wish to have such documents as will enable me to prove to the government that he did not violate the treaty in his proceedings.
I request, too, that you will express my thanks to Mr. Morrison, her Britannic Majesty's consul, for his kind exertions in behalf of Mr. Mills.
I remain, sir, your obedient servant,
D. BETHUNE MCCARTEE, Esq., M. D.,
United States Consul, Chifre.
Prince Kung to Mr. Burlingame.
AUGUST 14, 1864, (Tunchu, 3d year, 7th moon, 13th day.)
Prince Kung, chief secretary of state for foreign affairs, herewith sends a communication. On the 12th instant I received a despatch from the governor of Shantung, enclosing a report from the district magistrate of Punglai at Tangchau, concerning the case of a widow named Hwang, neé Chang, as follows:
"Near the east gate stands a house and lot which a foreigner wished to rent or buy, but she had declined, and her husband's brother, Hwang Tsung-King, who had gone into Chihli province expecting to get an office, had left orders with her not to sell or rent the premises. The foreigner came again in May to talk about it, and was still more urgent for her to sell or lease it, but she declined to do either. What was her surprise, therefore, to see masons and carpenters coming to the spot on the 22d of July for the purpose of pulling down the building. He would not listen to her remonstrances, but declared that if she would neither sell nor lease it, he was still determined to pull it down and repair it as he pleased.
"The district magistrate was investigating the matter, when the intendant of Tangchau and Taican circuit sent him notice that Mr. Morrison, the British consul, had informed him that Mr. Mills an American missionary who lived at Tangchau as a teacher of religion, had stated to him that having recently arrived there with others, for the purpose of teaching, they could get no residences, and had arranged to rent the oil shop of Hwang Tsung-King, outside of the eastern gate, which the owner was willing to lease; but Yuen Tingchin and others of the gentry had united in an envious spirit to spread false reports about the missionaries, and had forbidden the owner of the house to let it.'
"Thereupon the said district magistrate made very careful inquiry among the gentry, who assured him that they had never spread false reports, nor interfered in this matter. It also appeared that one Hwang Chan-hen, a nephew of the widow, and another man, a constable at the east gate, corroborated the statement concerning the foreigner coming to her house and demolishing the buildings on this lot. I have, therefore, to request inquiry may be made and the case judged."
On receiving the above I examined the 12th article of the American treaty, which reads thus: "Citizens of the United States, residing or sojourning at any of the ports open to foreign commerce, shall be permitted to rent houses or places of business, or hire sites on which they can themselves build houses or hospitals, churches, and cemeteries. The proprietors shall not demand an exorbitant price, and the citizens of the United States shall not unreasonably insist on particular spots, but each party shall conduct with justice and moderation." Now, in the present case, the missionary, Mr. Mills, wished to rent the widow Hwang's house, but she was unwilling to mortgage or sell it and the lot, as the evidence all proves, as it also does that the neighbors did not interfere. He, however, obstinately bent on renting and repairing the premises, turns round and alleges in his defence that she was willing to lease them, but that the gentry interfered to prevent it, as was stated in his untrue report to Mr. Morrison.
Such conduct clearly violates the provision in the treaty, that no one shall be forced to rent or have his premises encroached on; and further, Mr. Mills has oppressed a desolate widow, which is contrary to the excellent precepts of his religion. Again, the city of Tangchau is not an open port for trade, and if this missionary acts in such a violent manner, despising and ill-treating the people, that it is not improbable that they will resist, and serious trouble may grow out of it.
I therefore send this information to your excellency that you may presently require Mr. Mills immediately to reimburse the widow Hwang for the buildings he has demolished, and not allow him again to try to repair any more premises without their owner's permission, for this is very important. I shall also send instructions to the governor of Shantung to direct the district magistrate at Tangchau to prevent this attempt to rent, and when he has learned the amount of damage incurred by taking down the buildings, to demand it of Mr. Mills and pay it to the widow.
His Excellency ANSON BURLINGAME, United States Minister.
Mr. Burlingame to Prince Kung.
LEGATION OF the United STATES,
Peking, August 20, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your communication of the 14th instant, in which you inform me that the governor of Shantung has reported to you the case of Mr. Mills, an American missionary, who wished to rent premises of the widow Hwang, living outside of the east gate of Tangchau, and had sent masons and other workmen to the place, on the 22d of July last, to pull down and repair the buildings without her consent and against local usages. And further, that a despatch had been received from Mr. Morrison, the British consul, who had stated in it that the owner was willing to lease the premises, but that one Yuen Tingchin, and others among the gentry, had interfered to prevent her doing so.
It is to be inferred that as these two statements differ in many respects, there are still some other circumstances not fully explained; and as I have hitherto heard nothing of the case, I will immediately instruct Mr. McCartee, the American consul, to inquire into the matter, and report to me in order to come to a settlement of the matter.
In the despatch, under reply, it is stated that such an act as oppressing a desolate widow is contrary to the precepts of religion, and this is quite true; but I have heard that Mr. Mills has been engaged in missionary labors in a quiet way, and that he is a kind and honorable man. The allegations made in the despatch should therefore be thoroughly examined and sifted to learn their truth, and a summary decision not be made on the report of one party; an opinion in which your highness will no doubt concur.
I have the honor to be, sir, your highness's obedient servant,
His Imperial Highness PRINCE KUNG, &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Mc Cartee to Mr. Burlingame.
CHIFU, September 9, 1864.
SIR: In pursuance of the instructions contained in your excellency's despatch of August 22, I have now the honor to report, that I have carefully examined the statements of the Rev. C. R. Mills, and of several Chinese who are still or who have been in his employ during the time of the contention about the premises in dispute, and I would respectfully submit as my opinion, that while there is no evidence that he had any intention to violate the treaty in his proceedings, he unfortunately can produce nothing in the form of a deed of sale or landlord's agreement, nor any document from the owner of the premises, Hwang Tsung-King, authorizing their sale or rental. Mr. Mills seems to have felt satisfied of the willingness of the owner, from the assurances of the house-agents, Hwang Chuh-Kian and Chu Sin-Ugan, as also of a man named Lin, who professed to have been sent to him by the latter, but particularly of the broker Ching, a native of Nganhwai province, who professed to act under the authority of a power of attorney, asserted to have been executed by the owner, Hwang TsunKing, to his wife's nephew, Wang Tsin-ping, authorizing the latter to sell or otherwise dispose of the property. It does not appear that Mr. Mills ever saw this document, or that he ever personally met, or had any communication in writing with, either of these two persons, but seems to have taken possession of the premises at the instigation of the aforesaid Ching. This man assured him that the owner was perfectly willing, but feared to incur the enmity
of the gentry of Tangchau, who, it is reported, have formed a league to intimidate and hinder all persons from renting or selling houses to foreigners. Ching advised Mr. Mills to enter and occupy the house at once, promising to obtain a regular bill of sale or lease three days after so doing.
Neither rent nor purchase money have yet been paid, and the only document Mr. Mills holds from any of the parties interested is a receipt from Hwang Yuh, and signed by his father with his mark, but not attested by the signature of witnesses. By the advice of Ching Mr. Mills also wrote to the district magistrate of Punglai, inquiring if a deed of sale executed to a foreigner would be considered valid, to which no written reply was received, but a verbal message was sent to him "impeaching the validity of the purchase." One native witness whom I examined stated that in this message the magistrate also warned Mr. Mills that he would not be responsible for compensation if he (Mr. Mills) allowed himself to be swindled by dishonest men.
Mr. Mills then went to Chifu and consulted the British consul, M. C. Morrison, esq., expressing to him his satisfaction that the owner of the property was willing to transfer it to him. Mr. Morrison, upon the supposition that Mr. Mills had sufficient evidence of this willingness, concurred, as the latter states, "in the propriety of so doing, only recommending that it should not be done if likely to produce a popular rising.
He returned to Tangchau, and, at the request of Hwang Yuh, the tenant, having notified the family of the owner, proceeded to take possession of the premises, and to make alterations and repairs. He was opposed by Hwang Tan-ming, a nephew of Hwang Tsun-King, who drove away his workmen, whereupon his colleague, Mr. Mateer, and himsef commenced to make the repairs and alterations with their own hands. At this time, thel widow Hwang and the nephew or nephews of Hwang Tsun-King, petitioned the district magistrate against Mr. Mills, accusing him of taking violent possession, &c., who replied by issuing a procla mation, in which he quoted that part of article XII of the United States treaty which prohibits proprietors from demanding exorbitant prices, and citizens of the United States from taking forcible possession of houses, &c.
Mr. Mills proceeded with his repairs, leaving a servant in charge of the premises during his absence or Mr. Mateer's. An attempt was made by some unknown person to blow up the house with gunpowder, whereupon one of the Chinese witnesses testifies that Messrs. Mills and Mateer armed themselves with a revolver and took turns in watching the premises day and night. Hwang Tan-ning hearing of this, and being apprehensive that a serious disturbance might arise, went there, and calling Mr. Mills aside, told him to go on with the alterations, assuring him that sooner or later the premises would be conveyed to him in a legal
This account is derived from the statement of Mr. Mills, and of Chinese who now are, or were at the time, in his employ. Tangchau is distant from Chifu about 165 li, or 50 English miles by the ordinary road, which renders it impossible for me to get from it the evidence of the witnesses for the plaintiff, or to communicate with and receive replies from the authorities relating to this affair, without such delay as will preclude the possibility of forwarding the results to Peking by the steamer for Tientsin, which is expected to arrive this evening.
It appears to me that this case is likely to prove, as your excellency remarks, a test case;" and if Mr. Mills, whether innocently or otherwise, has violated the treaty and shall be compelled to evacuate the premises, and pay damages to the injured parties, the result will be most disastrous to foreigu influence in Tangchau, and calculated to embolden the gentry of that city in their endeavors to prevent the missionaries and others from renting or obtaining building sites, not only in that place but in every other where their influence extends.
You are doubtless aware that for more than twenty-one years I have held the appointment of missionary physician and translator, under the same society of which Mr. Mills is a clerical missionary. It might be supposed, therefore, that I should wish him to be successful in this suit, and if it should appear that his course is one which ought justly to be sustained, I shall be most happy to contribute all the energies I possess to the furtherance of this cause. But the question of justice or injustice, as in duty bound, I respectfully submit to your excellency's decision, and beg to subscribe myself,
His Excellency Hon. ANSON BURLINGAME,
United States Minister, Peking.
D. B. MCCARTEE.
P. S.-I enclose a copy of a communication from the district magistrate of Punglai, addressed to the missionaries at Tangchau, calling their attention to an order coming, in the first place, from the foreign office, requiring him to summon Mr. Mills, and order him to obey the treaty by evacuating the premises if he had been guilty of taking forcible possession. 2d P. S.-September 14. 1 had hoped to be able to send the formal statements of Messrs. Mills, Mateer, and Crawford, and of the Chinese in Mr. Mills's employ, but they have not reached me. I, however, send a copy of Mr. Consul Morrison's despatch to the intendent of circuit, which has been kindly placed at my disposal. In a private note he remarks: "The impression which (without a personal knowledge of the circumstances) Mr. Mills's narrative gives me is, that his view of the case is probably the correct one. I think if he remain qui
etly in possession for a little while, that the opposition will die away, which appears to have emanated from the gentry and scholars, more than from the owners of the property."
The names of the gentry mentioned in Mr. Morrison's despatch are Yuen Ting-chin, Mụ Yerch-King, "and others, men of distinction in this place, who, on behalf of themselves and the principal property owners, have resolved at a public meeting that no more real estate shall be conveyed to foreigners." This remark is an extract from Mr. Mills's representation to the British consul, but I have no documentary evidence in proof of it. I am able only to send Mr. Mills's informal statement of the case at this time.
D. B. McC.
Statement of Rev. C. R. Mills.
Early in the spring, when the renting of the property was first proposed, I called on the owner at his house in reference to the matter. A public meeting of the gentry had just been held in reference to my renting another house in the city; and, as the district magistrate informed me, they had proposed offering violence to foreigners; while others have told me that they declared to him that, though the owner of the house in question desired to rent it to foreigners, they would not permit it. As I had avowed that my object was the negotiation about the house, it was from this cause, I believe, that I had difficulty in obtaining an interview. At last I received a message from the owner that the matter should be intrusted to a neighbor, Mr. Lin, who would communicate with me, and two days after this man told me the property was rented. He also remarked that he had heard the owner say he had no personal objections to renting to foreigners, as they would probably pay a good price; the only real difficulty was the opposition of the gentry, but that the tenant might sublet to me if
About the same time Hwang Yuh, the tenant, came to my chapel voluntarily, and, in the presence of Wang Hwa-yuen, affirmed that he had no objection to my coming, provided the owner was willing; but, as he did not put this in writing, I did not act upon it, and gave up for the time all expectations as to the house. In the mean time the owner left the city.
Some time after two real estate agents, named Hwang and Chu, called to say to me that they came to open negotiations for the house, and, as I believed, with authority to do so; for one of them, then or soon after, said that the owner had been written to upon the subject, and his answer was expected. They were informed that I preferred to rent rather than buy, and were told that I knew the property in question had been bought for 600 strings of cash. This remark accounted for their not returning, I fully believe, as they had promised to do. Another period elapsed, when a third agent, named Ching, came to me, proposing to sell the property; and, as it seemed impossible to rent, I reluctantly opened negotiations with him for buying it. After some bargaining the price was agreed upon at 800 strings of cash in the presence of two men, Lin and Chang. He claimed an extra allowance as broker because I was a foreigner, and I subsequently agreed to pay him eight strings of cash, with which he was satisfied, and the bargain was closed in the presence of Chang and Lin. No intimation was given that the transaction was not on behalf of the owner, and the agent Ching par ticularly stated that he had been heard from. I certainly believed it to be a bona fide bargain, and so did all the Chinese witnesses.
I offered to pay the money at once on his giving up the title, but he objected, which I attributed to a suspicion he might have that I wished to get the document and then refuse to faithfully pay the money, and not to any invalidity in the purchase. It might also be an honest mistake as to the feasibility of getting a title for a foreigner, for he asked me to write to the district magistrate and inquire whether a title could be given to a foreigner. I regarded this as gratuitous, but did so to remove the agent's scruples, and he promised to apprise this officer of the sale of the property. The district magistrate made no written reply to my letter, but sent a verbal message to me impeaching the validity of the purchase.
I then investigated the matter with the agent, who then told me that the owner, owing to the opprobrium attaching to the sale of land to a foreigner, chose to use the name of a certain relative in this transaction named Wang Tsin-ping, such transfers being frequently made in China, and strongly urged me to move at once into the house, assuring me that the title should afterwards be given. He added that this relative had a claim on the property, his grandfather having lent money and taken this land as payment for his debt.
Before following this advice I went to Chifu to consult with Mr. Morrison, the British consul, (there being no United States consul near,) and told him my purpose to take possession of the premises, according to the suggestion of the agent. He concurred in the propriety of the step, only recommending that it should not be done if likely to produce a popular rising.
I returned and proposed to take possession of the house, informed the tenant so, and asked him to let the owner's family know; but, at his request, I told them. Hwang Tang-ming,