« PreviousContinue »
sent petty officers to make thorough search, and on the 26th of the first moon (February 23, 1903) they arrested Kan Lin-ch'iang and others, men and women, ten in all, who were practicing Boxer arts, and we now ask for orders as to how we shall deal with them."
To this reply was received as follows:
"The contents of the report have been carefully noted. Proclamations have been issued repeatedly, strictly forbidding any revival of the disturbances of 1900, which were originated by the Boxers, but Kan Lin-ch'iang and his party, having no regard for the law, assembled a lot of people to form a band of Boxers and drilled them in the dead of night. When they were being searched for by the civil and military officials, they dared to resist arrest and killed and wounded several soldiers. Thereupon seven of them were killed, men and women, and their heads exposed as a warning. Ten others, men and women, were arrested and their swords, spears, flags, pennons, charms, and pledges, all proofs of their evil designs, were brought to light.
I shall depute Taotai Chang Hsi-luan, of the military secretariat of the regular force, to proceed at once with all haste and make a thorough investigation, and deal with the matter according to the regulations already in force. As to the ten men and women already in custody, let them be carefully tried and afterwards beheaded, and let their heads be sent to the place of their rebellion and suspended as a warning to all and a testimony to the rigor of the law. We shall expect also that some plan be devised to secure the remainder of the band. Let every exertion be made to root it out, so as to prevent further trouble.
Forward this with all haste.
Proclamation of Viceroy Yuan Shih-k'ai.
This proclamation is issued to clearly set forth certain prohibitions.
Whereas on my taking charge of this office in the middle of the eleventh moon of the XXVII year of Kuanghsu (January, 1901), after the troubles which the province of Chihli had experienced, certain lawless bandits leagued themselves together to excite the people, again bring on calamity, and revive the dying embers of sedition, it became most urgently necessary to prepare severe regulations and by heavy penalties suppress disorder. At that time I decided upon eleven regulations, which were printed and published far and near, giving information to all, and I ordered all my subordinates to strictly enforce the prohibitions, all of which is a matter of record.
For more than a year these regulations have been uniformly observed, and the province has been entirely quiet. But, perhaps because a long time has elapsed, some have grown careless and have not given special attention, so that they have secretly incited the people and caused the remnants of evil to sprout again, thus occasioning trouble and bringing calamity upon the country people. It becomes necessary, therefore, to again set forth these prohibitions, which have been printed and published for information, admonishing all to exert themselves to observe them and put away evil, that they may enjoy the blessings of widespread peace and prosperity.
Let everyone tremblingly obey.
An urgent special proclamation.
ELEVEN REGULATIONS FOR TEMPORARY USE IN THE SUPPRESSION OF DISORDER.
1. Those dealing in magical spells to befool the people shall be beheaded.
2. Those propagating evil teaching and practicing evil arts, no matter whether leader or followers, shall all be beheaded.
3. Those who band together to plunder or who employ weapons to commit violent crimes shall be beheaded.
4. Soldiers and runners connected with the yamens who are in sympathy with evil societies or Boxers shall be beheaded.
5. Householders who furnish quarters for evil societies or who harbor Boxers shall, after an examination demonstrates their guilt, be imprisoned for five years, and their property shall be confiscated to reward (informers).
6. In case of clans or villages some of whose people may be connected with evil societies or Boxers, the chiefs of such clans or the elders of such villages, together with the local constable, must at once report the same to the officials, that they may
follow up the matter and deal with it. Should they assist and conceal them and rebelliously refuse to report, so soon as the matter becomes known the said chiefs of clans and village elders shall be imprisoned for one year; the local constable shall be imprisoned for a year and a half.
7. In all places where altars may be established and evil teachings propagated and practiced, immediately upon its becoming known to the local official he shall destroy the said altars and confiscate the property. If there be any informers, the property shall be given for a reward to the informers, whether men or women.
8. All who may arrest members of evil societies or Boxers and bind and send them to the officials shall be rewarded with 200 taels for every leader and the same amount · for every five followers delivered. Those who report rumors upon which any arrests may result shall be rewarded with one-half of the above amounts.
9. The suppression of Boxerism simply requires that the department and district magistrates shall be more diligent in making inquiry and in following up their clues and dealing with the matter conscientiously, so as to nip these disorders in the bud. Hereafter if it shall appear upon investigation that there are Boxers in any district who have set up their altars and preached and practiced their doctrines, then the official of the said department or district shall be impeached and severely dealt with according to the statute provided in case of leniency toward rebels.
10. These prohibitions are especially prepared for those who may hereafter propagate or practice evil teachings, thus stirring up trouble and rebellion. As for those who have formerly been Boxers, aside from the leaders, all who have been coerced into joining, if only they shall truly repent and immediately turn over a new leaf, shall not be involved.
11. Should anyone, cherishing a grudge, make a false accusation, hoping thereby to share the reward, on its being shown by examination that there is no truth in the charges, he shall at once receive the punishment due the crime which he shall have tried to fasten upon others. In no case shall any leniency be shown.
RIGHT OF CONSULS ENGAGED IN BUSINESS TO TAKE PART IN DELIBERATIONS OF CONSULAR BODY.
Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.`
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Peking, February 21, 1903.
SIR: I have the honor to inclose copies of correspondence with Consul Fowler, of Chefoo, concerning the right of certain consular officers (being resident merchants or professional men) to take part in the deliberations of those who are in the regular consular service. Respectfully requesting your opinion upon the question, I have, etc.,
Mr. Fowler to Mr. Conger.
E. H. CONGER.
CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
SIR: There has grown up a practice in this port of appointing consuls, vice-consuls, etc., without any interests to safeguard, and of late myself and my professional colleagues do not view this with equanimity; in fact, I, as senior, have been repeatedly asked why I allowed these commercial consuls to attend our consular meetings.
In Chefoo there are the British, Japanese, German, and United States consuls, French and Russian vice-consuls, who are not engaged in other occupations, but confine themselves exclusively to consular duties. Of these I am the senior. We claim that the above six constitute the consular body now, and such consuls that other nations may send here who are likewise excluded from commercial pursuits; but besides the above, there are the Netherlands consul, Norwegian and Swedish consul, and the Austro-Hungarian vice-consul.
ST. PETERSBURG, January 30, 1903.
In organizing the administration of the territory of Kwangtung, leased by China to Russia, the Imperial Government has taken into consideration the question of the institution of foreign consulates at Dalny (Talienwan).
The Imperial Government has decided to admit the presence of consular representatives of the powers in the aforesaid city on the following terms:
The exequatur required for the assumption of functions by the representatives in question must be asked for, in the ordinary way, through the foreign office at St. Petersburg. The jurisdiction of these representatives extends throughout the whole territory of Kwangtung, to the exclusion of Port Arthur and other fortified points, which will be designated by the local military authorities.
Considering that Russian legislation is enforced throughout the said territory and that Russian tribunals are established there, foreign consuls at Dalny will have no rights and prerogatives beyond those which are accorded to them throughout the Russian Empire. In the interests of good administration of affairs, these consuls will deal directly with the administrative authorities of the territory in all questions falling within their province.
No consular representative of the powers, excepting the one established at Dalny, shall be entitled to intervene in the affairs of his nationals in the territory referred to.
RIGHT OF UNITED STATES WAR VESSELS TO VISIT CHINESE INLAND WATERS.
Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 7, 1903. SIR: I inclose herewith for your information a copy of a letter from the Navy Department, inclosing copies of correspondence recently received from the commander in chief of the United States Asiatic fleet in relation to visits by small gunboats of the United States Navy to certain parts of the upper Yangtse. A copy of this Department's reply to the Navy Department's letter is also herewith inclosed. I am, etc.,
The Acting Secretary of the Navy to Mr. Hay,
NAVY DEPARTMENT, Washington, October 2, 1903.
SIR: I have the honor to inclose for your information copies of correspondence recently received from the commander in chief United States Asiatic fleet, with reference to visits by small gunboats in certain parts of the upper Yangtse, China, and to request such comment as the State Department may desire to make. Very respectfully,
CHAS. H. DARLING, Acting Secretary.
Rear-Admiral Evans to the Secretary of the Navy.
COMMANDER IN CHIEF'S OFFICE,
SIR: 1. I transmit herewith for your information copies of communications Nos. 1877, dated July 30 (inclosing a copy of a letter from the taotai of Kiukiang), and 1882, of August 4, from our minister at Peking, addressed to me, and copies of my letters of July 30 and August 11, 1903, all bearing upon the same matter.
2. I have approved the action of the commanding officer of the Villalobos in visiting the Americans in the Yangtse Valley, and gathering such information concerning their welfare and present conditions as might be of service in granting them adequate attention at the earliest possible moment in the event of probable outbreaks, liable to occur at any time, and upon which occasions the presence of an armed force would be necessary to insure proper protection.
3. Upon the receipt of the reply from our minister at Peking I will inclose a copy of it to the Department for its information. Very respectfully,
R. D. EVANS,
Commander in Chief United States Asiatic Fleet.
Mis., No. 1877.]
Mr. Conger to Rear-Admiral Evans.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herein, for such action on your part as the provisions of our treaties and the protection of American interests warrant, a translation of a communication from the taotai at Kiukiang to the United States consul-general at Hankow, requesting him to notify the commanders of all the United States gunboats that they must not go inland where there are no treaty ports in order to prevent trouble. E. H. CONGER.
I am, etc.,
Taotai Shwai to the United States consul-general at Hankow.
KWANGHSU, 29TH YEAR, 5TH MOON, 14TH DAY,
SIR: I hereby communicate to you that on the Kwanghsu, 29th year, 5th moon, 7th day, I received instructions from Governor Kuo, saying that on the 5th moon, 3d day, of this year, Magistrate Duo Ning Kwang, of Sin Jieu district, petitioned to his excellency, stating that the constable reported the arrival of a French gunboat at Wang Jar Duo. Two of the officers, named Mei-din and Pu-lo, went to the capital in a small boat to buy some supplies and returned to Wang Jar Duo.
His excellency says as the people of Nan-chang are very rough, and it is not a treaty port, if trouble occurs who will be responsible? Therefore his excellency instructs me to inform all the consuls that in future it is strictly forbidden for gunboats to travel at will, so as to prevent trouble, which might occur.
In accordance with the treaty, foreign gunboats can only travel to treaty ports. Nan-chang is not a treaty port, and the people there are very rough.
Last autumn the general foreign affairs office informed the southern viceroy to inform all the consuls-general at Shanghai to instruct all the captains of their gunboats not to go to Poyang Lake and inland to travel, which is on record. Therefore I write to the honorable consul to please look over this dispatch and inform all gunboats not to go inland, so as to prevent trouble, and please give me a reply.
Rear-Admiral Evans to Mr. Conger.
COMMANDER IN CHIEF'S OFFICE,
UNITED STATES ASIATIC FLEET, FLAGSHIP KENTUCKY,
Chefoo, China, July 30, 1903.
SIR: 1. The following extract from a report dated the 25th instant, from the commanding officer of the U. S. S. Villalobos, one of our gunboats operating in the Yangtse and neighboring waters for the purpose of watching over and protecting the lives and interests of Americans in those waters, is furnished for your information:
"The United States consul-general has just read me a letter from the taotai at Kiukiang reporting that a French gunboat had gone through the Poyang Lake and up the Kan River to Wang Chai-tu, thence by boat to Nanchang, and remonstrating in regard to men-of-war visiting this section. The movements correspond so exactly to those of the Villalobos in June that there seems little doubt the reference is to us. As this letter bids fair to open correspondence with our diplomatic representatives, I wish to state that the trip was made to visit the Americans residing in Nanchang with the view of providing for the protection of their lives and property.
"The taotai insists in his letter that such visits should be prohibited and that the foreign representatives have previously been warned not to send gunboats to the Poyang district, as the people of this district are bad men.' Apropos of this statement, there was not the slightest evidence of bad feeling throughout my trip to Nanchang, even on the boat trip for the last 10 miles. Arms in arms curtain bags were taken and the crew were fully able to protect themselves against 'bad men.' I am informed by the British officers who have cruised in the Poyang district that the natives do not get 'bad' until they number at least 10 to 1 to the foreigner. Since by treaty stipulation, I understand, we are at liberty to navigate the inland waters of China, and since the taotai at Kiukiang shows in his letter an apparent lack of effort to impress upon his 'bad men' a proper respect and line of conduct toward the people of a friendly nation, I am of the opinion that his action is overbearing and deserving of rebuke. This attitude of the taotai recalls the fact that I was not received by any of the Chinese officials at Nanchang during my short visit to the city of six hours. I had not thought of it in the nature of a snub at the time, but it seems probable that a clear understanding regarding relations with Americans is desirable."
2. I infer that as the report is written from Hankow that the consul-general to whom the letter from the taotai was written is the one at that place.
3. I have informed the commanding officer of the Villalobos that his trip to Nanchang and the purposes for which it was made meets with my approval, and that, if occasion should offer, he is authorized to inform the taotai at Kiukiang that the visits of our gunboats to Poyang Lake and neighboring waters will be carried on in the future as in the past; that these gunboats are amply provided with means for dealing with "bad men;" that if any acts are committed against American life and property by these "bad men" the gunboats will deal immediately and severely with them, and, furthermore, that if the Poyang district is to be considered as containing men of this undesirable character, necessitating more careful watching over foreign interests, the visits of our gunboats will be more frequent than heretofore.
4. I would suggest that the proper Chinese officials be informed of the report of the taotai at Kiukiang of the visit of the Villalobos to Poyang Lake, and that they be requested to notify the taotai that our treaty rights permit the navigation of these waters for the purpose for which the Villalobos is there, and that also it has been the practice of the gunboats of the various foreign nations to make similar visits. Very respectfully,
R. D. EVANS,
Commander in Chief United States Asiatic Fleet.
Rear-Admiral Evans to the commanding officer of the U. S. S. Villalobos.
COMMANDER IN CHIEF'S Office,
UNITED STATES ASIATIC FLEET, FLAGSHIP KENTUCKY,
SIR: 1. I have to acknowledge receipt of your Nos. 177-03 and 13-03 of the 21st instant, relative to the movements of the U. S. S. Villalobos.
2. I have considered with much care paragraph 16 of the letter above referred to, relative to the contents of the letter read to you by our consul-general from the taotai at Kiukiang, reporting that a French gunboat had gone through Poyang Lake and up the Kan River to Wang Chai-tu, and thence by boat to Nanchang, which corresponds, as you state, with the movements of the Villalobos and is presumably intended to mean that vessel. Further, that the taotai insisted in this letter that such visits should be prohibited and that the foreign representatives had previously been warned not to send gunboats to the Poyang district, as the people thereabouts are "bad men."