No. 65.
Cheng Tsao Ju to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: It is with profound regret that I am compelled by a stern sense of duty to bring to the immediate and urgent attention of your excellency the deplorable and defenseless condition of many thousands of [Page 155] my countrymen residents in the States and Territories of this Union adjacent to the Pacific Ocean.

In various notes and personal interviews, during the past few months, I have given you information of particular localities and special instance where Chinese subjects have suffered mob violence, resulting in the loss of many lives, the destruction of much property, the breaking up of their business, and banishment from their homes. I am gratified to recognize the fact that you have given an earnest hearing to these representations, and through your active interposition his Excellency the President of this nation has by prompt executive action prevented much greater loss of life and destruction of property.

I desire to do the most ample justice to the spirit of rectitude and international good faith which animates the Government of the United States in its relations with that of his Imperial Chinese Majesty, and to commend in the highest terms the measures which have recently been adopted to protect the Chinese in certain of the Territories.

But aside from the representations which have been made to you by this legation, your excellency must be aware of the fact that there exists in the States and Territories named a concerted and wide-spread movement to deprive the Chinese residents of the protection and rights guaranteed to them by the treaties. The public press gives daily information of plans and resolutions, by organizations of great influence and power, for the continued and increased persecution of my countrymen, and accounts are constantly given of the execution of those lawless and violent measures. I am greatly grieved to have to assure you that these newspaper reports are but a very faint description of the real situation of these matters. Information which has been sent to this legation from sources which I am bound to credit represents the condition of my countrymen in the Territories and States mentioned as deplorable in the extreme. Telegrams received state that the Chinese have been driven by violence out of many places, their dwellings burned, their property robbed, and, in some instances, the people murdered, without any serious attempt being made by the authorities to prevent these acts or afford protection. I am informed that in many other towns and cities societies have been or are being organized with the avowed purpose of expelling the Chinese from such towns forcibly if necessary; and it is said that it is the intention of these societies not only to drive them from their localities, but to secure their expulsion from America, so that driven from one town they have no assurance of protection in fleeing to another. It is reported to this legation that there are thousands of law-abiding and peaceable subjects of China in the States and Territories named who have no place of safety in which to dwell, and that property to the value of many millions of dollars has no protection, so that the suffering is inexpressible. The outbreak is very dangerous and threatens to be wide-spread. The Chinese people are absolutely terrorized, and are flocking to San Francisco, where great destitution now exists among them. The bodily suffering falls most heavily upon the laborers, who, when driven out or compelled to leave through fear, of mob violence, usually lose by robbery or abandonment all that they possess, and are coming to San Francisco in large numbers and in wretched condition of poverty and fear. But this is not the only injury that is being perpetrated. It is doubtless known to your excellency that a large amount of capital and property has been invested in the Pacific States and Territories by Chinese merchants under the guarantees of our treaties, and upon their faith in the protection afforded by America to property and its respect for law and order. In these outbreaks which [Page 156] have occurred the mobs have not confined their work of violence to Chinese laborers, but Chinese merchants and traders as well have been driven out. I have reason to fear that if this work of expulsion goes on all the Chinese mercantile establishments in these States and Territories will be irretrievably ruined, and thus the disaster be greatly aggravated.

In view of these facts, and of what is made public in the newspaper press of this country, I deem it my duty to make an earnest appeal to your excellency, and through you to the noble President of this great nation, for the adoption of such prompt and vigorous measures as will secure to my persecuted and outraged countrymen the protection to their lives, their homes, and their property which is guaranteed to them by the solemn treaties between the two Governments. It does not become me to indicate what these measures should be. Neither is it my province to consider the internal relations of Government or the workings of the domestic laws of this country. I can only appeal to the Executive head of this Federal Government with which the treaties have been celebrated, and I make my appeal with the most assured confidence that suitable measures will be adopted to put an end to the reign of terror and persecution which now exists among my countrymen. I need not repeat the citations contained in my note of November 30 last to show what has been the attitude of the Government of the United States when its citizens have been placed in jeopardy by mob violence in China, and the conduct of my Government in such instances. Your excellency has given me too many proofs of your high sense of justice and humanity, and of your solicitous desire to observe in perfect good faith the treaty guarantees, to permit me to doubt a favorable response to this, my request. I only desire to add, that I deem the present condition of affairs, especially in California, involves great dangers, and to express the hope that the measures which may be taken will be prompt and effective.

Accept, sir the renewed assurance of my highest consideration.