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endure him no longer, and on the 1st instant a decree appeared in the Gazette removing him from all his offices, and confining him to his own house, ostensibly in consequence of a memorial referred to in it. The charges against him in the memorial are of a general character, such as favoritism, arrogance, cupidity, and grasping for power, all shown in many ways, and so often as to be notorious. The emperor accepts the accusations, and, after referring to the prince's commendable conduct when he first took charge of affairs, says that he now shows his clemency and desire to shield a criminal, by simply relieving him of his public duties. His four brothers are detailed to attend in rotation to the duties connected with audiences and presentations, but his other posts are not filled up.
When the edict appeared one of the literary examinations was in progress, so that the capital was filled with scholars from all parts of the empire, but no disturbances arose, though precautions were taken to maintain peace if it should be disturbed. The popular gratification was too sincere. In it Wansiang, the leading member of the foreign office, is enjoined to attend with his colleagues to all the duties of that department with loyalty and diligence; but the whole thing was so sudden and its denouement so uncertain that they addressed a note to the foreign ministers on the 7th requesting them not to send in any official despatch for the present, but to employ the form of notes to make known business that could not be delayed; an intimation that the prince might perhaps be restored to his position as chief secretary of foreign affairs.
In their conversation they exhibited no alarm at what had happened, for it involved no change of policy. There was no party question mixed up with it, and the whole affair was of such a nature that it might ere long be arranged. It is quite probable that they may have felt some anxiety as to the effects of such a quarrel upon the provincial authorities, but that was a prospective contingency.
On the 8th the Gazette contained a report from Wo-jin and others, members of the privy council, who, in compliance with orders, had summoned the author of the memorial, named Tsai Shan-ki, before them to obtain his proofs for the charges made against the prince. Whatever may have been proven, this report contains nothing definite, except a hint at bribery and corruption, which implicates Sieh Hwan (one of the foreign office) and Lin Yung (the governor of Thansi) with the accused; but reference is made to a second statement containing eight other particulars. The privy council exonerates the prince in general terms, but does not clear him of all charges or errors, and in a courtier-like way refers the sentence on the finding back to the throne, the fountain of all power. Its general tone is favorable to the prince, and makes it easy for the emperor to restore him to part at least of his previous dignities.
Yesterday another paper appeared, containing an edict from the emperor, who had himself received the commands of the empresses upon the prince's case, in which, after the usual circumlocution and half-expressed excuses and reasons that these back-track documents exhibit, the prince is restored to his position at the head of the foreign office, and admitted as before to the palace, though it is not stated whether he has anything to do with the audiences. His highest post is not yet restored and is still unfilled. The two officers who are mentioned as implicated in a case of bribery, Sieh Hwan and Lin Yung, are to be strictly examined and may lose some of their honors.
I have given all the important facts connected with this affair that I have yet learned, for there is much secret history connected with it which will not come abroad, and shall forward translations of the papers to Mr. Burlingame, who may remain in the south long enough still to receive them. It is worth noting, as illustrating the Chinese character, that during all this time no one expressed any apprehension of danger to life or property to any person, but the whole furnishes an instance of the sudden changes in Chinese political life.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
S. WELLS WILLIAMS.
P. S.-A note has just been received from the foreign office, informing the foreign ministers that they may address their official communications to the prince as before, accompanied by his card; and I have also heard, from good authority, that he will ere long be restored to all his former honors; consequently, the whole affair rather establishes him more firmly than before in his control of the government.
[Extract from the Peking Gazette of April 8th.]
Your Majesty's servants, Wo-jin and others, kneeling, present their report respecting the inquiry ordered by your Majesty, upon which they humbly beg the gracious glance to be bestowed.
Having received the orders of your Majesty from your own hand, together with the memorial of the Hanlin graduate, Tsai Shan-ki, we accordingly, on the 1st instant, sent for
him to appear before the inner council to be personally examined upon the grave charges contained in his recent memorial. We required him to furnish such evidence as he had to substantiate them, and then received from him a paper containing his own statement upon the matter; from which we gathered that two officers, Sieh Hwan and Lin Yung, were somewhat implicated, but the charges connected with them rested only on rumor, and the memorial itself contained all the evidence he had to furnish respecting the other allegations of arrogance, favoritism, and grasping after power.
It must be evident to every one that in conducting the grave responsibilities laid upon him, Prince Kung himself would feel that he ought to exhibit the highest respect and circumspection, joined with purity of conduct and strict uprightness. If in the time he has held these posts he has guided his acts by carefulness and strictness, how could he have so frequently induced this popular discussion of his conduct? Although the memorial adduces no evidence to prove the charges of cupidity, favoritism, arrogance, and grasping after power, yet it cannot, we apprehend, be said that there is no foundation for them. Respecting the first charge, which is almost necessarily of a dark and underhand nature, and one which parties not interested in the transactions cannot personally know, still the other three could not have failed to manifest themselves whenever he (the prince) presented a report or conducted any affair, and their earliest indications could hardly have eluded the keen eye of your Majesty.
We humbly think that the high prerogative of appointing and removing officers of state belongs entirely to your Majesty, and therefore how much it is best to reduce the power of Prince Kung, in order to manifest that regard which may be deemed suitable to a prince of the blood, is a point on which we respectfully await your decision. Regarding the implication of Sieh Hwan and Lin Yung [with the prince] in acts of bribery, and all the evidence connected with it, as noticed in the statement of Tsai Shan-ki, which we likewise find is also derived from mere rumor, it is but proper to await your Majesty's orders to inquire into the truth of the charges and act.
An additional statement under eight heads, which was also handed to us, is still under our most careful consideration and scrutiny, and we must defer our report on those portions which can be proven or rejected, until another day.
We now hand up the statement given in by Tsai Shan-ki for your Majesty's examination, and accompany it with a copy of our memorial, humbly imploring the instructions of the empresses and of your Majesty upon the same.
The supreme will has been received upon the above.
"It is recorded."
[Edict, from the Peking Gazette of April 12th ]
We have received the following gracious commands from their Majesties the empresses: Having received several memorials concerning the circumstances appertaining to Prince Kung's case, drawn up by the Princes Tun and Shun, with Wang, a judge of the court of representation, and the censor, Shun-[the purport of which is, ]"that although he has committed errors, he is still eligible for employment"-they were all accordingly referred to a united council, composed of princes, grandees, ministers of state, and scholars, censors and guardians, for their deliberation. They have reported that, according to the memorials of Wo-jin and Prince Li, and others, and to the several other papers drawn up by the privy counsellor, Yin; the censor, Pwan; the crown adviser, Wang Wei Chin, and a court clerk named Kwang, a general concord of opinion exists that "Prince Kung's errors all originated with himself, but as he is a prince of the blood, and one of the highest dignitaries of state, it must rest with his Majesty to decide whether or not, if he should be again employed, it would lead him to amend his conduct."
In the papers drawn up by the court clerk, Kwang, and others, it is observed, "that to have doubts and suspicions of the court itself, and to learn that discord exists at the fountain of authority, will startle all who hear it, whether at the capital or in the provinces, and greatly increase the daily anxieties [of the crown."] This remark indicates a correct and enlarged view of things, it is true; but while this affair has caused great sorrow in the court, they were not fully aware of all the feelings which affect us. Accordingly, the other day we directed Prince Fan and the members of the general council to go to the officers then assembled in the palace, and inform them that in consequence of this it was imperative on us again to express our will upon the case.
Prince Kung, a near relative of the Crown, and one of the leading supporters of the state, is the most trusted of all our family, and has been the recipient of inany favors and honors. His favoritism has chiefly been shown in kindness to his own relatives and unwillingness to repel his own friends; and though his bearing when in the palace was frequently marked by a great neglect of what was suitable, yet it is best to suppress ill feelings and pass over little differences of the palace. We are very willing to take all such things patiently, lest out of such trifling disagreements results might arise that would disturb the whole operations of government and prove disastrous in their consequences. If we examine the records of former dynasties we shall find many instances of favorites raised to power who had been leniently
dealt with when convicted of faults, yet at last had become arrogant and grasping, and unless they were dealt with beforehand, and the results of such conduct were seen, it would be detrimental.
When, therefore, we learned Prince Kung's delinquencies, and issued our first severe orders respecting him, it was with the earnest hope that after that warning and admonition he would himself see the errors of his way in an humble spirit, and not again walk in the same path. It was, perhaps, a sharp reprimand for venial faults, but evidenced our wishes to protect and retain him as far as possible. If it had all been merely a momentary pique on our part, can it be supposed that we would have let the papers of Prince Tun and others be transmitted to a body of high officers to be deliberated upon? Since we have now learned that the reports of the princes and high officers agree in the opinion that the errors of Prince Kung have arisen simply from himself, and he is still eligible for employment, an opinion that coincides with our own, we therefore now issue this clear declaration:
Let Prince Kung be restored to favor and have the entree of the palace as formerly, and let him resume his post as chief secretary of state for foreign affairs. Henceforth he will feel that he must diligently exert himself to show his sense of this leniency, and carefully execute all the commands we lay upon him. Let all high officers, on whom devolve the weighty responsibilities of state affairs, likewise feel that they must with loyalty and purity of heart aid in managing the difficult affairs of the present time; let them not cherish any suspicion on account of recent events, nor shirk labors because they are arduous, so that further evils arise through their indifference.
"Let this declaration be made known to all our ministers in the capital. From the Emperor."
Mr. Burlingame to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Peking, [without date, received August 12, 1865.] SIR: The enclosed communication of December 8, 1864, from the Chinese government, notifying me of the payment in full of the indemnity for the claims of our citizens, has been detained for the reports of the consul at Canton, and the depositary informing me of the receipt of the money, and present position of the fund. The liquidation of this indemnity is creditable to this government, and I have now only the further duty to report to you the present condition of the surplus as made out by the depositary. The account of Messrs. Olyphant & Co. is enclosed, giving a summary of the receipts and payments from the beginning, which is all that you require; and I willingly add my most decisive testimony to their judgment, accuracy, and diligence in the management of this fund during the six years which have elapsed since payments began upon it.
With their account I also transmit the several vouchers for the payments to the claimants and their individual receipts for the dividends paid to them through the depositary; the lists and nature of the claims have already been sent to the department by the commission of claims in 1860. Since this commission closed its labors in January, 1860, and sent its report to Washington, one case has come before me for payment which was so clear that I could have no doubt about the propriety of paying it, and have accordingly done so. It is the claim of the late Mr. Rooney, formerly master of the bark Caldera, now proved by his brother and heir to have been a naturalized citizen of the United States at the time of his losses. I enclose copies of the documents necessary to illustrate the case, which was the only claim filed in the legation up to December, 1859, that could not be decided by the commission. There is, therefore, no other demand that can ever come up for payment out of this indemnity fund which has not been examined and decided, and the act of Congress approved March 3, 1859, has been fully carried out in every particular. All that now remains is for the gov ernment to decide what shall be done with the surplus, and I hope that the plans and suggestions respecting this matter which I have made in previous despatches may meet with the approval of the department.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
Prince Kung, chief secretary of state for foreign affairs, herewith makes a communication relating to the indemnity paid to American merchants for their losses.
According to the arrangements made at Shanghai, in 1858, it was agreed that the sum of 500,000 taels should be paid for this purpose, the money to be obtained by appropriating one-fifth of the receipts on imports, exports, and tonnage dues, (derived from American trade,) in the proportion of 300,000 taels from Canton, and 100,000 taels each from Fuhchan and Shanghai, which amounts were to be collected by successive deductions until the whole was paid up.
By a despatch just received from the Imperial Commissioner Li, I am informed "that the indemnity due to American merchants for losses amounting to 500,000 taels, which began to be collected in February, 1859, by deducting one-fifth from the receipts on imports, exports, and tonnage dues, (derived from American trade,) has now all been paid up, in conformity to the original arrangement, by deducting 300,000 taels at Canton, and 100,000 taels, each, at Fuhchan and Shanghai, and the debentures first issued have all been returned."
I have therefore the honor to inform your excellency of the above despatch, that you may verify the facts stated of the completion of the arrangement respecting the indemnity. His Excellency ANSON BURLINGAME,
United States Minister.
DECEMBER 6, 1864, (Tungchi, third year, eleventh moon, eighth day.)
Olyphant & Co. to Mr. Burlingame.
HONG KONG, May 4, 1965.
SIR: We have the honor to hand you herewith a final statement of the "United States indemnity fund," in account with ourselves as receivers, by which you will note that we have received from the Chinese government, as indemnity
Taels 500,000, representing.....
Interest on current deposits of the above..
Interest on special deposit....
Out of which we have paid
M. Rooney's claim..
And deposited in the Oriental Bank Corporation, at Hong Kong, as per accompanying memorandum of receipts, marked A...
Leaving a balance in our hands subject to your order this date.............
894 18 18,508 01
We have also deposited, as per enclosed memorandum of receipts, marked B,
Amount of claim and interest for flagstaff on deposit, Oriental Bank Corpora-
Of which sum the above-named deposits with the Oriental Bank Corporation bear interest at the rate of five per cent. per annum, and are held, as per receipts in our possession, subject to "the order of the United States minister to China, or chief diplomatic officer of the United States in China for the time being.'
Trusting your excellency will find the above accounts in order, we have the honor to remain, sir, your most obedient servants, OLYPHANT & CO.
His Excellency Hon. ANSON BURLINGAME,
United States Minister to China, &c., &c., &c.
Memorandum of receipts held by the undersigned for United States indemnity funds deposited with the Oriental Bank Corporation, Hong Kong.
Memorandum of receipts held by the undersigned for interest paid by and redeposited with the Oriental Bank Corporation, Hong Kong, on account of the within named deposit receipts.
May 31, '63. Sept. 2, '63.
Aug. 3, No. 13-135 for $1,000 00; being int. on receipt No. 12-80, for 1 year to Apl. 16, '63. 13-136 for 2,000 00 Dec. 22, No. 13-223 for 1,250 00 1864. Ap'l. 20, No. 14-78 for
int. on receipt No. 13-42 for 1 year to March 9, '64.
We also hold deposit receipt dated August 3, 1863, No. 13-134, for $1,510 29, being amount of claim for flagstaff...
And interest to August 3, 1863..
$1,429 48 80 81 1,510 29
O. & CO.
United States indemnity account in account with Olyphant & Co., receivers.
To payment of claims of American citizens, for losses sustained by them in Canton, in 1856:
To total amount deposited in the Oriental Bank Corporation in Hong Kong, to credit of United States minister to China....
$223, 772 78
61, 025 71. 111,405 24 56,314 90 37, 176 15
489, 694 78