No. 294.
Mr. Dinsmore to Mr. Bayard.

No. 63.]

Sir: Referring to the matters reported to you in my No. 53 of September 30, it may appear to you that I acted indiscreetly in addressing the Chinese minister, and by that mews eliciting the discussion or correspondent [Page 437] which followed, making a positive issue between us, but to me it seemed unavoidable.

In the first place, I was aware that Mr. Yuan and his coadjutors were using the arguments set up in his dispatches to me with reference to our recognition of Corea as a dependent State, for the purpose of affecting the public mind, both foreign and Corean, favorably to the pretensions of his country, pretensions not authorized by the past history of the countries of Corea and China, to assist in bringing about a relation which has never before existed. A printed document has been circulated, I do not know by whom, purporting to be the text of the American Corean treaty, in the first paragraph of which appears the statement that “the United States recognizes Corea as a dependency of China.” I saw one of these in the possession of the acting consul-general for Great Britain.

During the spring and summer I was several times spoken to by the Coreans with reference to their intention of sending a minister to the United States, but did not encourage it; at the same time I offered no discouragement. After the minister was sent to Japan, however, without the slightest objection from China, and I had met the Chinese minister at entertainments given in honor of the envoy to Japan, and I saw him take final leave of him with demonstrative congratulations, I confess I was taken by surprise when the mission to the United States was interfered with. The King informs me, through messengers, that the minister will certainly go in a few days; his son is quite ill at present, and is in imminent danger. If there are evidences of convalescence, I am informed that the minister will leave for America within a fortnight.

Judge Denny, foreign adviser, left some ten days ago for Tientsin to see the viceroy; whether to ask his consent I do not know.

I am, etc.,

Hugh A. Dinsmore.