No. 124.
The commission to Mr. Evarts.

No. 4.]


* * * * * * *

We reached here upon the 19th instant, and found waiting our arrival a communication from the foreign office, informing us of the appointment of two commissioners by the Chinese Government, with full powers. Copies of this communication and our reply are inclosed.

The two commissioners are men of high rank and large influence, and are both members of the privy council of State; they are also ministers in the foreign office. They are both advanced in years. His excellency Pao Chün is a Manchu, distantly related to the imperial family. In addition to the offices mentioned above, he is president of the Imperial College of Literature and superintendent of the board of rites. He has had long experience in foreign matters, and is understood to be conciliatory and progressive in his policy. His excellency Li Hung Tsao, is a Chinese. He was the tutor of the late Emperor Tung Chih, and has the reputation of being one of the most profound scholars in the empire. [Page 169] He has been a member of the foreign office for about five years, and is credited with being anti-foreign or reactionary in his views.

We have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 4.]

Prince Kung to Mr. Angell.

Prince Rang, chief secretary of State for foreign affairs, herewith makes a communication:

Upon the 23d ultimo, I had the honor to receive a dispatch from your excellency, stating that the President of the United States had appointed your excellency, the Hon. John F. Swift, and the Hon. William H. Trescot, commissioners plenipotentiary to China, and empowered them to confer with commissioners appointed with full powers by the Emperor of China, and has also empowered them to negotiate and sign treaties or conventions to the end of effecting a settlement of questions of interest now pending between the two governments. Your excellency also requested me to memorialize the throne with a view to the appointment of commissioners upon the part of China.

I at once addressed the throne upon this subject, and upon the 5th instant His Imperial Majesty issued his mandate in the following terms:

“Let Pao Chün and Li Hung Tsao, be appointed commissioners plenipotentiary for conference upon matters of the treaty and subjects of interest. Respect this.”

It becomes my duty to forward a copy of this decree, as above, for your consideration.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 4.]

The commissioners plenipotentiary to Prince Kung.

Your Imperial Highness: Upon our arrival at this capital we had the honor to receive your imperial highness’s communication addressed to Mr. Angell, and in response to his letter of August 23, by which we are informed that His Imperial Majesty has been pleased to appoint their excellencies Pao Chün and Li Hung Tsao commissioners plenipotentiary on the part of China to treat with us upon certain matters of interest now pending between the two governments.

The United States will not fail to appreciate the promptness and good disposition thus shown by the government of His Imperial Majesty, and in acknowledging receipt of your imperial highnesses communication, we beg leave to add the expression of our sincere desire, that through our deliberations results may be reached at an early moment which will prove beneficial alike to China and the United States.

We have, &c.,

  • W. H. TRESCOT.