No. 410.
Mr. Gibbs to Mr. Evarts.

No. 194.]

Sir: The press of this capital, on the 5th instant, published a note from the Peruvian consul-general at San Francisco, Cal., to the department of foreign affairs here, relative to the anti-Chinese riots in that city and of the emigration of the Chinese from there. I inclose copy of the note and translation; also extracts from the South Pacific Times of Callao in reference to the note.

There is every desire to increase the immigration of Chinese into Peru by the government, but I doubt that they will go into the fields or on the plantations to labor, if not especially contracted in some way for such purposes, as the work on sugar plantations is hard and continuous; for light work, wanting patience, constancy, and attention, I think they are most excellent.

For various reasons the Chinese Government should have some agent or authorized person here to look after the interests of its subjects, who, I fear, are often at the mercy of ill-disposed and mercenary parties, who take advantage of their helplessness.

I am, &c.,

[Page 717]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 194.—Translation.]

Chinese immigration.

The consul-general of Peru at San Francisco, Cal., has sent the following note to our minister of foreign affairs:

San Francisco, July 27, 1877.

Sir: On account of the outrages of the mobs against the Chinese, of which I wrote in dispatch No. 43, I have tried to incite the Chinese companies of immigrants to go to Peru. To-day six of these companies are to have an interview with my agent, to take into consideration the idea, or to send some one of the agents of the companies, to represent all, to Peru, to learn what advantages that country offers to the Chinese; of these there are to-day in this city over 5,000 without work, and many establishments are discharging all Chinese employés. An opportunity may offer to send this number or more to Peru by steamer or sailing-vessels, and I would have to pay their passages. I think, therefore, the government or planters of Peru should provide a credit to me or some other person. In this matter the government or the planters should have an agent in this city with means and instructions, and with patriotic interests, to persuade the Chinese to go to Peru.

“I think it were well that the planters of Peru should have knowledge of this note in a private manner or through the press.

“God guard you.


“To the Minister of Foreign Affairs.”

[Inclosure 2 in No. 194.]

Mob law and the Chinese.

We publish in our news columns the substance of a report received by the government from its consul-general in San Francisco, Cal., from which it appears there are great numbers of Chinese in that city who are wishful to emigrate. During the recent strikes they seem to have been the special victims of the infuriated mob, by whom they have invariably been held in great detestation, and in consequence of the ill treatment they have experienced and the menacing attitude still maintained toward them by the working classes they are compelled to leave the country.

This is surely a favorable opportunity for Peruvian estate owners and sugar cultivators to procure the labor they are so much in want of. The distance being shorter and the expense less, it is evident they would effect a considerable economy by making their contracts in California instead of in China; while, on the other hand, they would procure a class of labor more intelligent and further advanced in civilization than the raw material, from the fact of their having been already for some time in contact with people of European race.

Many persons will no doubt be opposed to the idea on account of the known characteristic defects of the race, and on the ground that the services of a people driven from one country cannot be very acceptable or very useful in another. But it must be borne in mind that this country is not in the same position in respect of labor as California, and also the peculiar circumstances attending the exit of the Chinamen from that State. It has been repeatedly stated that the agriculture of Peru imperiously requires labor. Such being the case, there can be no choice, and in default of better, the country must content itself with such as is available and can be most easily procured.

Despite the bad qualities of the Chinese laborer, he has become essential to Peru, and although we agree that, from a certain point of view, his introduction into the country is objectionable, still if the want of labor is to be the death of agriculture and its contingent industries, of two evils it is infinitely preferable to choose the lesser one. European emigration merits the preference, but it is more difficult to procure, while the expense is considerably greater, and even when procured, it is unsuitable for the agriculture of the coast, which at present is by far the most productive and the most extensively developed. Europeans cannot stand the rigor of our coast climate, and, as we have said on other occasions, are only applicable for the cultivation of the higher and more temperate regions of the Andes.

The only people suitable for coast labor are the Africans and Chinese. The first are not to be had; the latter are constantly and rapidly diminishing in numbers. In order to replace them and increase their numbers as far as necessary, the government, [Page 718] some time ago, made a contract with the house of Oliphant & Co. for the establishment of a line of steamers between this country and the principal ports of China, granting them a subsidy for the purpose, and soon, we believe, they will commence operations. This fact in itself is enough to prove that it is absolutely necessary to encourage and foster Asiatic emigation; therefore, what better opportunity can there be, in the mean time, than the one we advocate? Of course we might wait until the line be opened, but meanwhile many agriculturists will suffer by the delay. It is for them to profit by the very practical suggestion of the consul-general. By appointing him as special agent with full powers to negotiate, he might easily make known the advantages offered by this country to that class of emigrants, and the means of transit from San Francisco to Panama being very easy, it is probable that many would undertake the voyage at their own expense and thus avoid prejudice to the contractors. Estate owners who are now feeling the want of labor ought not to treat the matter with indifference, for if they will go into it with a little energy, they will soon be amply remunerated for any trifling expense incurred in carrying so convenient a measure into effect.

Second article from the South Pacific Times.

The Peruano of the 4th instant publishes three official documents, the substance of which we translate on account of their importance.

The first is a report from the Peruvian consul-general in San Francisco, dated July 17. It announces to the government the rising which has recently taken place among the artisans and laborers in various parts of the Northern Republic, and also that it has extended to San Francisco. In the latter place the anger of the populace was chiefly directed against the Chinese, many of whom were maltreated and others assassinated, the aversion of them being very deep-rooted. More than a hundred Chinese laundries were set fire to.

The same functionary communicates on the same date to the ministry which it concerns, that in consequence of those attacks he endeavored to excite the interest of the Chinese emigration societies with a view to inducing them to send their countrymen to Peru. In consequence of his exertions six of the said societies are now in negotiation with him for that purpose.

The consul-general thinks that the government or the estate owners of this country ought to provide him or some other person with a credit sufficient to enable him to carry out the idea, and that it is very necessary there should be an agent there who, being furnished with means and instructions, might persuade the Chinamen to emigrate to this country.