to Mr. Bayard.
Peking , October 10, 1887. (Received November 25.)
Sir: I have to report that the Presbyterian missionaries at Can tea endeavored, in the early part of September, to re establish their mission post at Kwai Ping, in the province of Kwang Si. This is the same place from which they were driven May 6, 1886.
On this occasion Mrs. Fulton, wife of Rev. A. A. Fulton, his sister, Miss Fulton, a physician, and two children were driven away by the mob. They did not suffer personal injury, but missiles were thrown against their boat and abusive language uttered. Some of the Chinese residents received them kindly, but owing to the violence of the mob it was deemed best to withdraw. During the voyage down the river one of the boats was wrecked. It was immediately looted by robbers. Valuables and passports were carried away and the remaining property was destroyed. The loss amounted to $200 or $300 in value. The consul will present a claim for damages to the local authorities.
Such wrongful proceedings can not be too severely condemned. I can not forbear, however, saying that I view with regret and reprehension the intemperate zeal which insists on a dangerous effort to effect missionary lodgments in the interior in localities where great opposition is met.
With the approval of yourself and your predecessors this legation has continuously announced the true construction of the treaties to be that permanent residence in the interior is not secured, as matter of legal right, to the missionaries.
This declaration is qualified only by the assertion that if other missionaries are allowed to locate in the interior the same right would be [Page 221] claimed for the Americans, and if injuries followed a residence which the authorities tolerated, redress would be demanded therefor.
In public and private utterances I have cheerfully testified that mission work accomplishes philanthropical and charitable purposes. I may go further and assert that some compensation goes to the country of the missionaries in ethnological, philological, geographical, historical, commercial, and literary information, which these pioneers gather and transmit home. These considerations, however weighty, can not be permitted to override positive law, nor can they condone conspicuous acts of rashness.
I have, etc.,