Mr. Holcombe to Mr. Evarts
Peking , July 2, 1878. (Received September 2.)
Sir: Shortly prior to Mr. Seward’s departure he received a letter from Mr. Comly, the minister resident of the United States at Honolulu, which letter, written at the instance of the attorney-general of the Hawaiian Islands, requested the good offices of this legation in behalf of two Chinese held in custody at Canton, under a charge of abducting their countrymen.
A duplicate of the letter, of which I inclose a copy herewith, was also received from the Department, under its instruction No. 224.
I now have the honor to hand to you a copy of an informal note which I addressed to Prince Kung, incompliance with the request of Mr. Comly and Mr. Seward’s advice. I also inclose a copy of the prince’s response. You will see that he received my representation courteously, and took prompt action upon it, promising also to inform me as to the nature of the report of his viceroy at Canton.
I have replied to Mr. Comly as per copy inclosed.
As it was stated in the letter which induced my action that the British representative at this capital would also be applied to for his good offices, I mentioned the business to Mr. Fraser before addressing the foreign office, but found that he had not received any request for his services.
I shall promptly inform the Department of any further developments in this matter.
Hoping that my action as detailed herein will meet with your approval,
I have, &c.,