to Mr. Evarts
Peking , November 20, 1880. (Received January 5, 1881.)
Sir: Sir Thomas Wade, Her Britannic Majesty’s minister, has kindly shown me a dispatch which he has received from the British acting consul, James Scott, of Kiungchow and Hoihow, on the island of Hainan, giving information of the wreck of the American sailing ship James Bailey, 1,531 tons, of Portland, Me., commanded by Capt. Jos. W. Mann.
The vessel sailed from Hong-Kong, October 14, in ballast for Vancouver’s Island; on the 17th she was driven by a storm on to the Wenchang coast of Hainan, half-way between Moufu and Tungku Hills. The officers and crew, twenty-two men in all, landed in safety. The [Page 205] natives speedily plundered the vessel, and attempted to prevent the men from going across the country to Hoihow. But all arrived at that port in due time, and immediately asked the assistance of the British acting consul. That officer took up their case with an earnestness and vigor which an American officer could not have surpassed. He not only took affidavits of their losses, but he at once communicated with the Taotai. The Taotai and the military commander of the district immediately dispatched a war vessel and soldiers to protect the wreck and arrest the guilty parties.
As the shipwrecked men must probably go to Hong-Kong, I am expecting to receive tidings from the consul at Hong-Kong, or the consul at Canton. Should the local authorities be dilatory in bringing the guilty to justice or in securing satisfaction for the injuries done, I trust I can rely on the Imperial Government for prompt and vigorous action, which I shall of course demand.
Meantime I have thought it due to Acting Consul Scott to send a note to him through the British minister, thanking him in behalf of our government, for his prompt and courteous and efficient action, and informing him that I should direct your attention to his conduct.
I have, &c.,