Mr. Williams to Mr. Arminjon

M. le Ministre: I have great pleasure in acknowledging the despatch of the 30th ultimo which your excellency has done me the honor to address to me, informing me of your arrival in Peking as the plenipotentiary of his Majesty the King of Italy to negotiate a treaty of peace, commerce and navigation with the Chinese.

I desire to heartily congratulate you on your arrival in this capital on such a mission of civilization, and to assure you that I shall be most happy to aid, as far as I can, in your efforts to negotiate such a treaty as shall place the Italian nation on the same footing in China as other Christian powers. The United States must especially rejoice at the progress of Italy in every essential element of prosperity and stability, and your presence in this city on your high mission furnishes additional proof of her advance in national greatness. Your excellency’s arrival recalls the ancient days when the Emperor Antonius sent his envoy to seek China, but how changed now are the positions of Europe and China! A higher progress in international comity, and a better appreciation of her own position, are likely to result to the latter.

I can hardly suppose that you will have any difficulty in placing the diplomatic relations of the two countries on an honorable basis by arranging the terms of a treaty from which may flow many benefits.

I avail myself of this opportunity to assure your excellency of the high consideration with which I am, sir, your obedient servant,


His Excellency Y. F. Arminjon, Plenipotentiary of his Majesty the King of Italy.