No. 278.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Evarts.

No. 886.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose for your consideration, and for such instruction in relation thereto as you may deem advisable, a communication from their excellencies the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the Imperial Government of China to this court, in which the good offices of our government are invoked under the first article of 1858, at Tientsin, to bring about an amicable arrangement between Japan and China in the matter of the kingdom of Lew Chew.

In connection herewith, I respectfully refer you to my No. 844, dated the 2d ultimo, inclosing the memorandum of the Lew Chew officials.

I beg leave to inclose a copy of my reply to the Chinese ministers.

I have, &c.,

[Page 607]
[Inclosure No. 1 in No. 886.—Translation.]

To His Excellency Mr. Bingham,
Minister of the United States of America:

Sir: The relations between our respective countries have always been those of peace and concord, and since the interchange of treaties, have gone on increasing in intimacy. The first article of the treaty (of Tientsin) contains the following words:

“There shall be, as there always has been, peace and friendship between the two countries, * * * and if any other nation should act unjustly or oppressively, the United States will exert their good offices on being informed of the case.”

Hence, from the rulers above to the people under them, the intercourse has been invariably characterized by sincerity, and there has never been a single word of discord. Ever since our first arrival in Japan your excellency has bestowed upon us, the (Chinese) ministers, the greatest regard, and has treated us with unbounded cordiality, by which we have been most deeply impressed; and have repeatedly represented to our government our sense of the sincerity of the friendship (existing) between our two countries and of the great courtesy shown (to us) by your excellency; and our government has evinced great gratification thereat.

Now that your excellency is about to return home on leave of absence, we have still a subject of importance which we desire to lay before your excellency, namely, the memorial of the Lew Chewan commissioners, Mao Fung-tai and Ma Kien-tsai, in which they state that—

“Japan has within a few years (enforced its) oppressive rule upon our little state, and has taken upon itself to change our old established regulations. The treaty which Lew Chew, in the 5th year of Mien Fung, entered into with Commodore Perry, of the United States Navy, Japan forcibly constrains us to deliver up to the department of foreign affairs (of Japan), and the tribute hitherto paid (by us) to the Chinese Empire Japan has perversely prohibited and stopped. We (the Lew Chewan commissioners) have already represented the state of the case to your excellency and begged you to exhort Japan to allow Lew Chew to remain in every respect as heretofore, and having been favored by your excellency with a personal interview, we (the Lew Chewan commissioners) beg to memorialize the supreme authority of your honorable country in reference to the case as we have stated it, that suitable action may be taken,” &c.,

Your excellency, seeing the equity of the case, will, we are confident, act with magnanimous public spiritedness, which will be looked up to by Lew Chew with the deepest (gratitude) for the condescension, and will be regarded by us, the (Chinese) ministers, as a most distinguised evidence of neighborly kindness.

We earnestly request that your excellency, upon arriving at home, will personally memorialize the supreme government of your honorable country with reference to the present state of the affairs of Lew Chew, and will explain them minutely to their excellencies the members of Congress, to the end that the nationality and the (internal) government thereof may remain in every respect as heretofore, and we the (Chinese) ministers shall deem ourselves inexpressibly favored and happy. In sending this special (communication) we respectfully wish you present happiness.


A true translation.


Foreign Secretary of Sis Imperial Chinese Majesty’s Legation.
[Inclosure No. 2 in No 886.]

Mr. Bingham to the Ministers of China in Japan.

No. 673.]

Your Excellencies: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellencies’ note of this day, which you were pleased to address to me, invoking the good offices of my government in accordance with Article I of the Tientsin treaty of 1858 in the matter of Lew Chew, now the subject of controversy between the Imperial Government of China and that of Japan, and also requesting me to represent this matter to my government upon my return presently to the United States.

I beg leave to assure your excellencies that I will, upon my arrival in the capital of my country, take great pleasure in calling the special attention of my government to your excellencies’ request, and representing to the same your wishes, as expressed in [Page 608] your communication, a copy of which, translated, I will also immediately forward to my government.

Accept, I pray your excellencies, the renewed assurances of my high consideration,


Their Excellencies Ho Jü. Chang, and Chang Sz-Kwei,
His Imperial Chinese Majesty’s Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary in Japan, &c.