No. 136.
Mr. Williams to Mr. Fish.

No. 11.]

Sir: Referring to Mr. Low’s dispatch. No. 276, of 19th July, I have now the honor to send you the continuance of the correspondence with his excellency Señor Garcia, the Peruvian envoy, and an account of the progress of his negotiations, which I think you will read with interest. His first dispatch is in reply to Mr. Low’s answer to him, and was written [Page 220] from Yeddo while engaged in negotiating a treaty with the Japanese. It deserves careful perusal. Among many just remarks respecting the isolation of the Chinese officials, and their unwise unwillingness to enter into any well-understood relations with Peru, it still gives a one-sided view of the condition of, the coolies in that country, and studiously refrains from explaining their past treatment.

The argument he brings forward in the last part of his letter, that if the Chinese government can be induced to appoint consular agents in Peru the evils of the coolie system can be reduced, or removed, as they will watch over the interests of their country men, is very fallacious. The protests of these consuls would, setting aside all difficulties in the way of proving or even obtaining their statements of ill usage to the coolies, be perfectly powerless against the obligations of the contracts under which they came to Peru, and the right of their employers to see them enforced.

Captain Garcia’s notion of the duty of Peru toward the defenseless laborers now in her own borders, and her privilege in China if the Emperor refuses to make a treaty about their emigration, exhibits the selfish, unscrupulous spirit of the whole system of contract-labor. “Peru must have Chinese laborers, and private parties will do what they can” to hire, cajole, or kidnap the Chinese as they have done, “and the Peruvian government will be powerless to prevent abuses in foreign countries.” One cannot blame this government for regarding the practice with aversion, and in its present state of tutelage as to its foreign relations it can hardly be blamed for refusing to Peru a participation even in the rights of the present emigration rules.

The preliminary treaty between Peru and Japan is in ten articles, the seventh of which seems to look to the employment of Japanese laborers there. It reads thus:

No restrictions shall he placed by either government upon the employment of their respective citizens or subjects reciprocally, in any lawful capacity. They may go freely from the one country to the other, fulfilling the conditions required by the laws of their respective nations.

This last clause is too vague to base any reasoning upon it, but it is not easy to understand how the Peruvian government can admit the principle of ex-territoriality as apparently involved in this article, to such Japanese as may come to Peru. There is, however, no probability of the planters there obtaining Japanese laborers to any extent, nor would they be found to be as profitable or satisfactory as the Chinese.

The next part of this correspondence (inclosures 2, 3, 4,) contains my reply to Señor Garcia, inclosing Prince Kung’s answer reiterating his decision not to make a treaty with Peru. At the personal interview I went over the whole ground; the application of the Peruvian envoy for the appointment of a deputy to meet him and discuss the points which most needed to be understood; the benefits of the imperial government to learn fully the condition of its subjects in that country; and particularly, that it became the rulers of China to receive such an envoy with the courtesy their own envoys had experienced in foreign countries, and that this courtesy was not incompatible with an unwillingness to enter into treaty engagements permitting their subjects to be hired and go to Peru as laborers. They could not, or would not, see the distinction; and as Señor Garcia had applied to them to negotiate a treaty, whose chief feature was to be the contract-labor system, so it involved the acceptance of that system if they agreed to consult with him about it.

The impression has become very strongly fixed in the minds of these officials, that the favored-nation clause forms part of every treaty, and [Page 221] every nation which has a treaty can aril will demand everything granted to all other nations.

The prince, therefore, persistently held to his impossible stipulation, and said, “When the Peruvians bring back all the coolies we will make a treaty with them.”

The leading points of the conversation are embodied in my letter to the prince of September 18, (inclosure 2,) and his reply of the 20th, (inclosure 3,) with mine to the Peruvian envoy of the 22d, (inclosure 4.) In this last I also allude to the influence which the discussion with the Spanish chargé d’affaires has probably had upon his decision. The two complaints from the Chinese now in Peru, made known to the Yamun by this legation in 1869 and 1871, have also produced an effect in leading them to the conclusion that it is better to make no more treaties admitting contract labor.

Previous to his arrival in China, Señor Garcia sent one of his suite from Japan to Peking to learn exactly the state of affairs. He reached Tien-tsin last month on his way hither; but the governor-general heard of his arrival, and when he essayed to go on as a private individual in company with a Frenchman, the boat was stopped at the floating bridge, and he was compelled to turn back.

The last part of this correspondence gives only the results of the visit of the Peruvian legation to Tien-tsin.

Señor Garcia’s conclusion to come up the coast was (inclosures 5 and 6) approved by all whom he consulted; and I have no doubt that the governor-general had been instructed from Peking how to receive him.

* * * * * *

I have not heard whether Señor Garcia has been able to act upon the suggestions in my reply to him, (inclosure 7,) or what other plan he has adopted. He has probably conferred with the commissioners to Cuba, who passed through Tien-tsin last week on their way to Shanghai; and decided his course of action before the river closes.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1, in No. 11.—Translation.]

Señor Garcia to Mr. Williams.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt, in reply to my note to that legation, dated June 15, 1873, of the Hon. Mr. Low’s two dispatches to me, dated respectively July 5, (in duplicate,) containing a copy of his note of the same date, addressed to His Imperial Highness Prince Kung in regard to my mission in China, and July 17, inclosing a translation of the prince’s answer to Mr. Low, dated July 6, 1873.

I have since had the pleasure of a conference with Mr. Low, at Yokohama, in reference to his dispatches and their inclosures, and it is gratifying to me to address the present communication to you as the representative of the United States, a country which has always been friendly to mine. I feel more at liberty to do this, not only because you are authorized by your Government to aid this legation, and on account of Mr. Low’s kind offer, contained at the end of his dispatch of July 5; but also because I am convinced that the merited influence which your long residence and distinguished services in China must have given you will certainly help me to accomplish the highly honorable and worthy objects of my mission, which are as beneficial to the Chinese Empire as they are to Peru.

Before anything else, I may be permitted to express my great surprise and disappointment at the immediate result of Mr. Low’s friendly action. Although written only twenty-four hours after the American minister’s letter, Prince Kung’s reply is, as Mr. Low himself calls it, “decided” and “curt,” declining to make a treaty with Peru.

This is the more to be wondered at, in presence of the fact of a Peruvian mission being at the gates of that empire, having traveled an enormous distance, and come to [Page 222] confer with the Chinese government, and arrive at an agreement precisely on the subject about which the present liberal administration of Peru had heard that China had motives of complaint.

It is, sir, allow me to say, very strange that, when the Peruvian government wishes to explain to the Chinese government what is the real condition of its hundred thousand subjects in Peru, to state to it that we have been actively working to give them the greatest protection and guarantees in the republic, for which purpose new laws and regulations have just been enacted, and now desire to contribute to make the illicit practices disappear, and to establish, in accord with the Chinese government, a system of lawful emigration of the best kind from the open ports of China, like that which goes to California or Australia; and, finally, when the Peruvian government, in order to make all this known, employs the best means, the sending of a special mission to the Court of China, it is strange, I beg to repeat, that the Chinese government, giving such momentous matter only twenty-four hours’ thought, should answer, declining to enter into negotiations.

The principal and foremost aim of my government in accrediting me to that court is to enter into a treaty, convention, or agreement for the proper legal and moral regulation of Chinese emigration. I beg to be allowed to suggest that, probably on account of the prince’s not knowing the real intention of the Peruvian government, which is, settling the difficulties in regard to Chinese emigration before concluding a general treaty of amity and commerce, he came to the conclusion not to treat Peru with the same politeness, or, as he says, “to regard her in the same light,” as the other nations that have made treaties with China. Nevertheless, his imperial highness bases his reluctance “wholly on what he has heard as to the treatment experienced by his countrymen in Peru,” saying “that the manner in which that country has acted toward China is so different from the conduct of other nations.’

It is painful to see that the distinguished chief of Chinese diplomacy only re-echoes the false reports and exaggerations that have come to his notice. But anybody is to be excused for believing anything if he has not the means of verifying the truth or untruth of the rumors he hears. Rationally thinking, however, it is evident that an employer of a number of laborers is the person most interested in keeping them in the best health and condition; and, in respect to the Peruvians, let the truth be said, that they are proverbially averse to cruelty. The honorable Mr. Low states that the representations made to the Chinese government are strengthened by the fact that so few laborers have ever returned from Peru in comparison to the number who have gone there, and so little can be ascertained as to the actual condition of those still remaining. To the first observation the answer is, that the return is not so easy as from California, for instance, on account of the distance and the absence of a regular line of steamers between the two countries, which is on the point of being established by an English company; that, in point of fact, a great number do return, as statistics show; that formerly the contracts were for a long period of eight years, and the emigrants, after the term of their engagement, having acquired the language and become fond of the country, have settled there, raised families, gone into business, and made fortunes.

In several towns of Peru, and particularly in the city of Lima and commercial ports of the coast, whole districts are occupied exclusively by Chinese store-keepers and merchants, to some of whom ship-loads of goods directly arrive, and thousands of Chinamen, free from their former contracts, are domestics in the houses of the best families; there they gain good salaries, are well treated, do as they please, and if they remain in the country, it is because they wish it.

But, besides all these considerations, the new regulations just made by President Pardo impose on the contractors of Chinese laborers the obligation of returning them to their country when the term of their engagement is over, and this term has also been considerably reduced.

To the second of Mr. Low’s observations, in regard to how little can be ascertained as to the condition of Chinese in Peru, the answer is simple. China lives isolated from the world, and cannot learn what passes abroad, and less so in countries with which she maintains no relations; but other governments know well, and always learn when they desire, what transpires in Peru. But here is a mission sent expressly by the Peruvian government for the purpose of giving the government at Peking all the information necessary. Thus the nation I represent shows that she is more interested in the welfare of the Chinese than China herself, whose government seems disinclined to hear what that mission has to say. Prince Kung refers to certain documents, purporting to have been written from Lima, and sent to him from your legation in 1869 and 1871.

On this point I beg to say that my government does not pretend that Peru is entirely free from crime, or that some of its citizens may not commit abuses. The inhabitants of no country are perfectly virtuous and law abiding, and no government is answerable for all violations of the law by its citizens. But justice ought to be done to all equally, and this is what takes place in the republic of Peru, in which, no separate social classes existing, laws are indistinctly applied to all, and which is governed [Page 223] by free institutions, and now by an administraton who is attracting the attention of the world for the liberal measures it is carrying out and the noble motives by which they are inspired.

One of the first acts of President Pardo, on coming into office in August, 1872, was to attend to the condition of Chinese subjects in Peru. He had heard of some abuses having formerly been committed in the country, and a greater number practiced abroad. In regard to Peru, the congress and the President have taken the matter in hand, and now a Chinese finds himself in the republic in the same position as any other foreigners.

For any and all arrangements on this subject my government desires to negotiate directly with the government at Peking, and this is the origin of the mission with which I have been honored.

It seems inconceivable that the Chinese authorities should object to acquire the means of appointing agents in Peru to watch over the interests of their subjects there. If China should finally decide not to treat with Peru, the republic will have done her duty to herself and to the world, and she will have no responsibility for anything that may occur hereafter. One of the practical consequences of such a resolution will be that Peru must have Chinese laborers, (whose numbers have been increasing year by year, and only in 1872 the total of more than 14,000 arrived at Callao.) Private parties will do what they can, the Peruvian government being powerless to prevent abuses in foreign countries.

However, His Imperial Highness Prince Kung says that, but for the reports he has heard, “it is reasonable to admit her proposal (of Peru to enter into a treaty) with demur,” and further on declares that the Chinese government “considers that it will not be meet to repel the Peruvians too harshly or finally.”

These declarations of his imperial highness show that the determination of the Chinese government, communicated in his dispatch of July 6 to Mr. Low, is not final, and that the prince is willing to enter into negotiations with me under certain conditions.

Nevertheless, I am unwilling to present myself at Tien-tsin, if I were not going to be received there by his excellency the viceroy in a due and proper manner, according to international usages, and in conformity with the representation which I possess as the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of a sovereign state.

It is in this view that I have taken the liberty to trouble you, sir, with this long communication. Availing myself of the friendly disposition of the United States Government toward Peru, and of your own upright character and clear judgment, I earnestly request you to please make known the contents of this dispatch to Prince Kung, and to favor me with your answer, forwarding it to the United States consulate at Shanghai, where I shall wait for it until I hear from you whether the Chinese government will issue the proper orders, so that the Peruvian mission be courteously received at Tien-tsin on its way to Peking.

I take this opportunity to inform you that on the 21st instant I had the honor of signing with His Excellency Toyeshima Tane-orni, His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s minister for foreign affairs, a treaty of peace, amity, commerce, and navigation, on the same basis as those which are now in operation between Japan and the other treaty-powers.

Thanking you most sincerely for the kind offices which I have no doubt you will render me, I have the honor to assure you of my highest consideration.

[Inclosure 2, in No. 11.]

Mr. Williams to Señor Garcia.

Sir: I had the honor on the 10th instant to receive your excellency’s dispatch of the 25th ultimo, in reply to that of Mr. Low of the 17th July, in which you have entered very fully into the points alluded to in Prince Kung’s dispatch; and on the 15th I had again the honor of receiving your second letter of the 2d instant, inclosing a copy of the preliminary treaty which you have negotiated between Peru and Japan.

In accordance with your request in the first letter, I have made known its contents to Prince Kung, to whom I sent a note requesting a special interview for this purpose. This he allowed me on the 16th instant, and I then stated fully all its leading points. I had no time to put it into Chinese, but I think he clearly understood the main points; and, as there were five of the members of the foreign office present, there was no lack of discussion during the full hour the interview lasted. It may be that some of the points were not so clearly remembered as they would have been if a translation had been placed before them, but, in order to bring the matter to a point, I next day addressed [Page 224] the prince a dispatch, of which I inclose a copy. In it you will see that I suppose a complete statement of the whole question will be made whenever the officials from both countries shall meet at Tien-tsin, and you place in their hands all the facts and arguments in your possession.

The Prince’s reply gives you the option, while he declines to appoint a special commissioner of equal rank to meet you at Tien-tsin and negotiate a treaty, for you to address yourself to either the southern or northern superintendents of trade at Nankin or Tien-tsin. They will, no doubt, be instructed to open a correspondence with you. In my interview I insisted on the impropriety of refusing to receive and confer with an envoy sent with the most friendly intentions, from a foreign country, and dismissing him without even hearing what he had to say, even if the Chinese objected to make a treaty. Such a course had not been pursued toward their own envoys in western countries, and it was inconsistent, therefore, with the dignity of a nation to reject that of the Peruvian government in its friendly proposals.

This argument had its weight, no doubt, in modifying their refusal to meet you on the basis of negotiating a treaty. The opportunity of explaining the present condition and prospects of the thousands of Chinese laborers now in Peru, with such an astute official as Ti-Hung-chang, the present governor-general of Chili, will enable you, if you conclude to come to Tien-tsin, to set forth the intentions of the present government of Peru.

In respect to the subject of contract-labor in China, I may be, allowed to explain that at present the imperial government is earnestly desirous to put a stop to the manner in which its subjects have been deluded to engage themselves and have been carried off through Macao to foreign countries, from which few of them have ever returned. The atrocities and wrongs connected with this business have left the impression on the minds of those who know anything of the matter that it is equivalent, almost, to a living death for one of their countrymen to be taken away as a coolie. Few or no letters are ever received from those thus stripped away, and their friends, who have no idea of the countries whither they are gone, regard them as dead.

It is to be hoped, even in the interests of humanity, that the present efforts of this government to put a stop to the shipment of coolies from Macao will be entirely successful, and no more ships will find their human cargoes at that port.

If it be, as you remark, that “Peru must have Chinese laborers,” let them go there of their own accord. The emigration to California, as you well know, began and has been carried on wholly by the Chinese themselves, and not a cargo of contract-laborers has ever been engaged for that country. In this dispatch it is said that the emigrants, after the term of their engagement, having “acquired the language and become fond of the country, have settled there, raised families, gone into business, and made fortunes, so that in several towns, and particularly in the city of Lima and commercial ports of the coast, whole districts are occupied exclusively by Chinese storekeepers and merchants, to some of whom ship-loads of goods directly arrive; beside these there are thousands engaged as domestics in the houses of the best families, and if they remain in Peru it is because they wish it.” If there is such a degree of contentment with their lot, it seems to me that all that is necessary to develop the emigration your government desires, is to encourage these Chinese, now so happily and prosperously settled in Peru, to write for their friends in Canton province and elsewhere to join them, or to help them go home themselves to explain to their townsfolk what an opening is offered them abroad to better their condition. The payment of good wages and a just treatment to all this class of laborers will conclusively prove the sincerity of the present government of the republic to foster them. In a few years, if such a course was pursued, it seems to me the tide of free emigration would begin to flow thither, and those grievances which your excellency has come to China to aid, if possible, in removing by means of a treaty, would cease of themselves. However, if they cannot all be immediately removed I cannot agree with the opinion now expressed that even if the Chinese government “should finally decide not to treat with Peru, the republic will have done her duty to herself and the world, and she will have no responsibility for anything which may occur hereafter.” The existence of abuses toward the Chinese in former times in Peru is acknowledged in this dispatch, and the Chinese government, in trying to protect its ignorant subjects by preventing them engaging themselves as contract-laborers in other lands, to their own damage, is doing the same thing in fact that Peru would do to protect her own citizens, but with indifferent success compared to what the case requires. But I may be permitted to say that responsibility does and must attach to those who encourage the deportation of Chinese laborers in the manner carried on at Macao for the last few years. I have myself resided in that colony, and know something of the wrongs perpetrated upon the natives to beguile or entrap them to go abroad. I cannot believe that there is no better way to get laborers than by contracts, if it be fairly and patiently tried, and no government has a better opportunity than that of Peru to prove its succsss.

My own opinion respecting the unwillingness of the imperial government to negotiate a treaty with your excellency is, that if they assent and appoint an officer of [Page 225] equal rank to meet you—and this step of itself involves their agreement to enter into contracts for laborers—and while the discussion with the Spanish legation during the past summer has been so excited, they are unwilling to bind themselves with a second power.

I think you would be able to remove many misconceptions in the minds of the officials by coming to Tien-tsin and discussing the whole matter with the governor-general of this province; but whether that would be suitable to your views and position you are the wisest judge.

I avail myself of this occasion to express to your excellency the assurance of my high respect.


His Excellency Aurelio Ga. y Garcia, &c.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 11.]

Mr. Williams to Prince Kung.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Imperial Highnesses dispatch of the 6th of July, addressed to Mr. Low, in which you remark, (alluding to the proposal to send an officer to treat with the Peruvian minister,) “that during the ten and more years which have passed since China has made treaties with other countries, mutual good-will has been shown by all parties; and that now Peru has come for that purpose, it is requisite that she be plainly informed that until she returns all the coolies to their own country, and agrees not to hire any more, no treaty can be made with her.”

As soon as this reply was received Mr. Low immediately sent a translation of it to the Peruvian minister at Japan, for his information. I have now received his reply, in which he thus remarks upon the dispatch:

“I have read His Imperial Highnesses reply with great attention, and have come to the conclusion that the high officers of China have not yet learned that Peru has adopted a more liberal policy, and that new regulations were passed last year respecting the treatment of the Chinese laborers in that land. By these laws the coolies are placed on a better footing, and have the same rights as others in the courts. These changes in our policy have led to the appointment of a special envoy to the government of China, with whose officers he can personally discuss every point relating to the treatment and position of the coolies, so that hereafter they will have no occasion to complain of the unjust and cruel treatment of their employers in Peru.

“In the Prince’s dispatch he states, indeed, that his government has no desire to make a treaty with Peru, and puts it on the ground of the treatment received by Chinese laborers there; but when the minister from Peru meets the one designated by China, then the latter can become thoroughly acquainted with every point connected with this whole matter. It is on this account that I again write to the United States minister at Peking requesting him to communicate these particulars to Prince Kung, and ascertain whether the imperial government will appoint an envoy, a high officer, to meet me at Tein-tsin, there to discuss these things and make a treaty mutually advantageous to both nations.”

It is only what is required by common courtesy to make known to your Imperial Highness the purport of the letter which I have received from the Peruvian minister. The government of China has hitherto exhibited the most friendly feelings toward all western nations, and treated them with the respect due to herself and them; and it cannot be supposed that she will repel any one in a rude and abrupt manner.

I take this opportunity, therefore, to inquire whether His Imperial Majesty’s government will designate a special officer to proceed to Tien-tsin, there to confer with the Peruvian minister, and on receiving your reply I shall be able to inform him.

I avail myself of this occasion to renew the expression of my high regard.


His Imperial Highness Prince Kung, &c.

[Inclosure 4 in No. 11.—Translation.]

Prince Kung to Mr. Williams.

Prince Kung, chief secretary of state for foreign affairs, herewith sends a reply. I have been honored with your excellency’s dispatch, in which you state: “That as [Page 226] the Peruvian government has sent a special envoy to personally confer with the Chinese authorities respecting the condition of their countrymen in Peru, and their emigration, it is requested that a high officer be appointed to meet him at Tien-tsin to negotiate a treaty; further adding, that as China has hitherto treated foreign nations with friendly courtesy, it is surely very undesirable to rudely reject [the minister from Peru,] &c.”

In my former dispatch to Mr. Low I plainly stated the grounds why it was not expedient for this government to make a treaty with that of Peru; and as the minister himself now requests that a high officer be specially appointed to meet him at Tien-tsin, there to confer with him and negotiate a treaty, [lean merely repeat] that His Majesty’s government cannot now receive him upon the basis of making a treaty, and there is consequently no occasion for sending an officer to Tien-tsin to meet and negotiate with him.

The high authorities of each province have, however, been accustomed to receive all ministers and high dignitaries who have come to this country, whether from treaty Powers or not, with the courtesy which their position demands, as your excellency, too, yourself, very well knows. If the Peruvian envoy comes to this country, therefore, I presume that there will be no doubt but that the superintendents of trade for the northern and southern ports will not harshly refuse to meet him. But in respect to the negotiations of a treaty, (with Peru,) I can only repeat what I said in my former dispatch: “That when she returns to their houses in China all the coolies whom she has hired as laborers, and agrees to enter into no more contracts for laborers, then this government will make a treaty with her.”

It is in this sense that I now send this reply for your excellency’s information.

S. Wells Williams,
United States Chargé d’Affaires to China.
[Inclosure 5 in No. 11.—Translation.]

Señor Garcia to Mr. Williams.

Sir: On arriving at this port on the 7th instant I received the note, dated 22d September, which you have kindly written to me in reply to mine of August 25, relative to my mission in this empire, and inclosing copies of your dispatch, dated September 18, to Prince Kung, and of his answer to you of 20th of the same month.

Allow me, sir, in the first place, to express my thankfulness for the promptitude with which you have taken the necessary steps near the imperial government, requesting a special interview and addressing a communication to Prince Kung, in order to remove the prejudices which seemed to exist in the high officers of the government there. Your friendly action has certainly produced this result that the Chinese government has understood the responsibility that would weigh upon them if the envoy of Peru, sent out here with so humane and friendly purposes, was not received at Tien tsin as the minister of any other sovereign state, whether it be or not a treaty Power. I am flattered by the hope that you will please continue lending me your good offices; and I trust it will be so with greater reason, since the representative of the United States, on account of the absence of the other foreign agents from Peking, is precisely the only one who may now be addressed by the first envoy of another American republic, who aspires with most laudable aims to enter into relations with this Oriental nation.

Your interesting note, to which I now reply, embraces various important points. I am exceedingly obliged to you for the frank expression of your opinions on Chinese emigration and the subject of contract-labor. I quite agree with you on many of them; in regard to others, there is room for discussion, and I would very much like to have, at present, sufficient time to express to you my ideas. I beg you will allow me to postpone doing so for another occasion.

Confining myself to the direct question which is the object of my own dispatch to Prince Kung, and of his answer, I see that the prince insists for the present on his first ideas about the negotiation of a treaty, but declares “that as the high authorities of each province have been accustomed to receive all ministers and high dignitaries who have come to this country, whether from treaty powers or not, with the courtesy which their position demands,” the Peruvian minister may enter into communication with the superintendents of trade for the northern or southern ports.

Upon this, you express the opinion that I “would be able to remove many misconceptions in the minds of the officials by going to Tien-tsin, and discussing the whole matter with the governor-general of that province.”

It follows from this that the imperial government not only does not invite me to go on to Peking, but does not even accept your suggestion of their “appointing a special [Page 227] commissioner of equal rank to meet me at Tien-tsin.” Allow me to say frankly that I have constantly believed, as my government now believes, that although such has been the general practice of the Chinese government, after the admission at Peking of the Austro-Hungarian envoy, and the facilities he received there, the representative of the Peruvian republic ought also to be treated with equal favor, particularly as the special affair which he comes to discuss is of such great moment.

I think, also, and you will agree with me, that bringing, as I bring, an autograph letter from the President of Peru, which I must deliver to His Majesty the Emperor, this important fact must be taken into account by his imperial highness Prince Kung, in order that my stay at Tien-tsin be as short as possible, specially in view of the approach of winter, which makes locomotion so difficult, and the unhealthiness of the place due to the last inundations.

Permit me to close this dispatch, informing you that on the 14th day of this month I shall leave Shanghai for Tien-tsin, where I beg you to favor me with your esteemed communications, (care of the United States consul,) and from where I shall forward to you my next one.

I beg to renew to you, sir, the assurances of my respect and consideration.

[Inclosure 6 in No. 11.—Translation.]

Señor Garcia to Mr. Williams.

My Dear Sir: In accordance with what I had the honor of stating to you in my last official dispatch, dated the 10th instant, I left Shanghai on the 14th, but arrived here only on the 23d, on account of delays caused by unfavorable weather suffered at Che-foo and the Taku Bar.

At the same time that I received your note of September 22, communicating to me Prince Kung’s second dispatch to your legation about my mission in his empire, I received your polite private letter of September 18. Thanking you for it, now please allow me to address you the present one of the same nature, and to inform you of the steps I have taken since my arrival at Tien-tsin in connection with the object for which my government has sent me to China.

As an act of courtesy, and following the custom established by other foreign ministers, on the 23d I wrote a note to his excellency Ti-Hung-chang, announcing my arrival, and informing him that I would have the honor of presenting to him personally my respects on the next day (24th) if that time would suit him. He at once answered courteously, showing his readiness to receive me on that day, and “have a conversation with me,” but fixing the hour of 4 o’clock, as he was engaged at 2 o’clock.

I made my call, accompanied by my secretary of legation and by Mr. John A. T. Meadows, as interpreter, both of whom I announced in my note to the viceroy. His excellency received me with sufficient external courtesy.* * * * The interview lasted just an hour and a half, as the viceroy after a few minutes initiated a conversation on the emigration (“carrying away,” as he called it) of Chinese to Peru, and the wrongs they suffered there, which was in toto the repetition of Prince Kung’s statements in his note of July 6, to Mr. Low, to whose communications to the Tsungli Yamun he also referred.

As you are in possession of the prince’s notes, and of my dispatches to your legation in regard to them, I shall not repeat here the arguments I employed against Ti-Hung-chang’s observations; the final tendency of those arguments being to make him comprehend that he was mistaken on many points; that there was untruth and exaggeration in the reports he had heard; and that, if there is a misunderstanding between our two governments, I am on the spot, representing my own, with full powers to enter into any honorable agreement with the government of China. But he said again that no treaty could be made until Peru returned all the coolies that had gone there, of whom “nine-tenths,” he said, had died there; paying no attention to my replies that those assertions were destroyed by the fact of there existing in Peru about one hundred thousand Chinese; and that besides, my government could not send away against their will peaceful inhabitants who were contented with their lot, as by Peruvian law that would be deportation, a punishment only to be inflicted on criminals in virtue of the sentence of a court of justice. And when I added that such a deportation, if it were possible, would hurt the Chinese more than anybody else, as thousands of them have set up trades that give them lucrative results, the abandonment of which would make them lose the capital they have accumulated by their labor; that they are satisfied with that life, as is proved by the fact of their not leaving the country, although they possess the means of doing so, and nobody hinders them; and that when official relations are established between both countries, those facts could be observed by the [Page 228] proper Chinese officers, who would be enabled to make their representations to the competent authorities, in case complaints did exist; then Mr. Ti-Hung-chang answers with great assurance, that if foreigners went to Peru their statements could not be believed; that if Chinese commissioners went, they would be detained there by the Peruvians and prevented from corning back; and that no Chinese mandarin would go. Finally, the viceroy ended as he began, by doubting all I said.

He suddenly changed the conversation by asking we whether I had visited the customs Taotai. I replied that I had not, and that as I had just announced officially my arrival to him, (the viceroy,) I expected the Taotai’s first visit. On this point also there was a disagreeable discussion; and on his direct question, whether I proposed to visit the Taotai, I replied, “No; not until he visits me.”

Afterward, Ti-Hung-chang asked me at what house I was stopping, and then for how long I had taken it; to which I answered I had not taken it for any fixed time He next told me that he would return my visit to-morrow (26th) at 10 o’clock; and the conversation ended.

I have purposely entered into these details so that you may appreciate exactly the facts. In view of my last dispatch to you, written at Shanghai, and of the circumstances I now communicate, I earnestly hope you will adopt such a course as your good judgment may suggest, in order to point out to the Peking government the mistaken, and to them injurious, path they have adopted, due exclusively to the very peculiar and extraordinary manner of transacting diplomatic affairs in China.

I have come to this empire with a most honorable mission, which my government has intrusted to me. This mission directly interests the Chinese people, at least as much as it does Peru. There exists a misunderstanding between the two governments in regard to certain occurrences, true or false, which belong to the past. I am now here, which makes it possible that an understanding may be arrived at for the future between both parties.

Only a few miles separate me from the central government to which I am accredited; but before I reach Peking I meet an officer, a very high one it is true, of China, who abruptly commences to treat with me about my business, without the least knowledge of it or of my country, without telling me that he is duly authorized to negotiate with me, and who ends by saying (an Asiatic, or rather, Chinese fashion, probably,) that he doubts my statements.

I now hope that, as the season of the year does not allow me to remain indefinitely at Tien-tsin, and if I am to conduct my negotiations at Peking, I must know it within a very short time, you will do me a real service by finding out and letting me know the intentions and the way of proceeding of the Chinese government, who in any case ought to know that I have not come to beg favors of them nor to submit to their caprices.

It is painful to me to have to trouble you in this manner, but I am convinced that the present minister of the United States, who knows so profoundly the history of the middle kingdom, and who has so ably described the development of foreign intercourse in this empire, will take interest in assisting to disentangle an international situation such as probably has never presented itself before.

I shall always be happy to hear from you, officially or privately, begging you to address your communications to care of the consulate of the United States.

Thanking you again for your kind action, I am, my dear sir, &c.,


Hon. S. Wells Williams, &c.

P. S.—Having learned here that M. de Geofroy, minister of the French Republic, has returned to Peking, I also write to him to-day on the subject of the present letter.