to Mr. Evarts.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 20 of the 20th of April last.
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During my term of office I have given much consideration to, and have [Page 235] frequently addressed the Department upon the subject of the urgent need of providing regular interpreters to our consulates in this country—a need which no one I dare say will deny—must soon be supplied if the work of the offices is to be carried on with intelligence and dignity as the Empire advances, and the increasing commercial interests of our country in this direction be properly watched over and guarded.
In this connection, and on the occasion of my taking leave of the consular service, I would beg, sir, to recall to your recollection the Chinese educational scheme I had the honor, when at home in 1877, to propose for Harvard University, a scheme which now promises to be successful, and one which, I feel assured, will provide our consulates in two years with the interpreters so much demanded.
In order to remind you thoroughly of my scheme, I take the liberty of inclosing printed copies of my correspondence with President Eliot, of Harvard, on the subject.
I have now the gratification to add that a Chinese gentleman, who is fully competent for the teachership, will arrive at Cambridge in time for the next October course of instruction; and I boldly, though most respectfully, would ask the government to consider the propriety of signifying to President Eliot, without great delay, its willingness to appoint from the class a certain number of scholars to permanent and promising positions in our legation and consulates in China; and now that the Chinese have established a legation in Washington, the government may think well of appointing regular Chinese interpreters therefrom to the State Department.
I have, &c.,