Mr. Burlingame to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I arrived at this place on the 20th of July. The journey was tedious, but still accomplished without serious inconvenience. The foreign and Chinese officials offered me every facility for my progress. At Tien-Tsin I had a pleasant interview with Tsung How, commissioner of trade. From Tien-Tsin I came by the river Peiho as far as Tung-chau by boat, and from there—twelve miles—in a chair which had been kindly sent by Count Kleczkowski, charge d’affaires of the French.
The commissioner of trade sent with me a high mandarin and a guard. The mandarin was compelled to return because of a severe attack of cholera, a disease which is now raging throughout this region. .
The hospitality of the foreign legations was kindly tendered me. I accepted that of the French, as it was the first proffered.
On my arrival at Tien-Tsin I addressed a letter, marked A, to Mr. Bruce, the British minister; also a letter to Prince Kung, marked B. To these letters I received replies, copies of which I send, marked C and D. I send, also, a letter marked E, which I addressed to Vice Admiral Sir James Hope, before I left Shanghai. On my arrival at Peking I addressed a note, marked F, to Prince Kung, to which he replied that his father-in-law, Kweiliang, had just died, but that in a few days he would be pleased to have an interview. Two of the members of the foreign office called and expressed their delight at my arrival, and at the same time presented the misfortunes of Prince Kung. I find that a great change has taken place in the disposition of the Chinese since my predecessor found such trouble in Peking.
I have in my suite Dr. S. Wells Williams, interpreter, B. Wistar Fellowes, private secretary, and the Rev. J. S. I. Schereschewki, who will establish the first American mission in Peking.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.
- The above was received at Matan, on the Peiho, and a note sent back by the courier, acknowledging its receipt, on the 17th of July.↩