Mr. Bayard to Mr. Chang Yen
Washington, December 28, 1887.
Sir: I am constrained in the interests of that international comity which we both desire so fully to promote and sustain to attract your excellency’s attention to certain late disclosures in the course of judicial proceedings at San Francisco in which certain Chinese subjects were arraigned for violation of existing laws of the United States relative to the restriction of the immigration of Chinese laborers, passed for the enforcement of the existing treaties with China.
From the published letters of the judges and the public report of the proceedings in these trials the facts seem to be established that a systematic evasion of the restriction upon the immigration of Chinese laborers imposed by laws passed in pursuance of the treaties has been and continues to be practiced by Chinese professing to have gone away from the United States and claiming the right to return hither under the provisions of the treaty.
The details of these disclosures are shocking and unnecessary for repetition in this correspondence; suffice it to say that an extensive traffic in immorality of the grossest nature, by which Chinese women are imported into the United States and bought and sold into infamy by their own countrymen, is clearly proven to have been carried on.[Page 380]
The systematic violation of the treaty of 1880, and of the restrictive act of the United States passed in 1882, was averred by the eminent judge (Hoffman) before whom part of the cases were tried, and were also stated by another judge (Sawyer) in a published letter to the Hon. Mr. Morrow, M. C., dated November 21, 1887.
The intelligent vigilance exercised by you over the affairs and interests of your countrymen in the United States will have, doubtless, prepared you for these statements; and I have no doubt whatever that you have been duly informed of the transactions referred to, and that you feel equally with me a sincere regret therefor, and a desire to prevent their possible recurrence. I need scarcely tell you of the strong feeling that has been aroused in the public mind in this country by the occurrences referred to, and of the sentiment that has been renewed and re-invigorated in favor of more effective measures of restriction and prevention.
In considering the remedy I have great satisfaction in finding a complete accord between the Government you so honorably represent and that of the United States in desiring an absolute prohibition of Chinese laborers from coming into the United States from China.
A conventional arrangement to this end has already been proposed and measurably discussed between us, and a draught of such a treaty placed in your hands. Let me, therefore, invite your excellency, under the powers already held by you from your Government, to proceed with me, at your earliest convenience, in framing a just and wise convention in which China and the United States shall deal with this subject in a manner consistent with their sense of mutual respect and duty, and calculated to cement their amicable relations.
With this view, I now hand you, inclosed herewith, a draught of a project* upon the basis of which we can hopefully proceed to an agreement.
Accept, sir, etc.,