No. 159.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Davis.

No. 766.]

Sir: Referring to Mr. Henderson’s dispatch, No. 32, I have the honor to inform you that his notification appeared to me to indicate a failure to appreciate our responsibility in this matter of the Americans connected with the Japanese expedition, and of the law applicable as a remedy. I therefore addressed him a letter, copy of which I inclose.

At a later moment the inclosed telegrams have passed between Mr. Henderson and me. I have no idea that the request indicated in Mr. Henderson’s message was made only to him, and I do not believe that any good would have come of his interference.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 766.]

Mr. Seward to Mr. Henderson.

No. 157.]

Sir: I have received for transmission to Washington your dispatch No. 32, inclosing copies of letters which have passed between Commander Kautz and yourself, and a copy of your notification of the 6th of June.

[Page 323]

It occurs to me that the final clause of your notification is not sufficiently stringent As the Chinese government has by treaty yielded up jurisdiction over our people so that it cannot punish them even by fine, it is obligatory upon us to deal with them. In this connection I refer you to a dispatch of Mr. “Marshall to Mr. Marcy, of November 25, 1853; the same to Mr. Cunningham of November 1, 1853; Mr. Gushing to Mr. Marcy September 19, 1855, and Fitz Roy Kelly and James Stephen, opinion, May 22, 1862.

And in regard to the actual provisions of law violated by our people in entering the service of the Japanese upon this expedition, I refer you to the act of 20th April, 1818.

For all practical purposes quoad Americans, the jurisdiction of the United States is extended to all parts of the Chinese Empire, and that act may, I think, be as rigidly enforced in China as within the territory of the United States.

What I write to you in these matters is of course advisory only, and always subject to revision by the legation.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 766.]

Mr. Seward to Mr. Henderson.

Henderson, Amoy:

Answer the Viceroy in a very friendly way, but avoid assuming any prerogative.


[Inclosure 3 in No. 766.]
[Telegram No. 317.]

Mr. Henderson to Mr. Seward.

Seward, Shanghai:

Viceroy quotes first article treaty of ’58, and asks me to assist imperial commissioner to peaceably settle trouble with Japanese. Can I act?