Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard.

No. 713.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a communication which I addressed to the Tsung-li Yamên on the 27th ultimo, having relation to the Chi-nan-fu case, which has formed the subject of previous dispatches from the legation to the Department.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby.
[Inclosure in No. 713.]

Mr. Denby to the Tsung-li Yamên.

Your Highness and Your Excellencies: Iain compelled again by urgent requests from my compatriots at Chi-nan-fu, to trouble you with another statement of the pending difficulties and to ask your assistance in their settlement.

It is more than eight months since this matter was first called to the attention of your highness and your excellencies, yet nothing has been done towards arranging it.

No steps have been taken to investigate the circumstances of the riot in any judicial proceeding and none of the rioters have been arrested or punished, though their names are well known to the authorities and to this legation. We have patiently waited until the examinations are over and now there seems to be no reason for further delay.

April 6, 1888, your highness and your excellencies addressed to me this language:

“If the said missionary wishes to find at another place a suitable house for a hospital he can at any time with the local officials discover the action to be taken. The Yamên will also address the governor of Shan-tung to render assistance in devising a plan of action, but if property can not be acquired at once the missionaries then will only have to be forbearing and wait, and not show a hasty temper.”

July 3, 1888, your highness and your excellencies had the kindness to write me the following:

“The Yamên, now besides having communicated the foregoing to the governor, urging the official of said province to properly manage the case, as in duty bound sends this note, etc.”

As the result of these orders issued by your highness and your excellencies an interview took place between the missionaries and the taotai, but nothing came of it.

The taotai does not seem to regard that any responsibility rests on him, notwithstanding the orders of your highness and your excellencies.

I have the honor to request that the governor be directed to grant Rev, Gilbert Reid an interview, because we have no consul at Chi-nan-fu, and an oral discussion might lead to a settlement.

The clear idea was expressed by your highness and your excellencies that an exchange of property might be made. The missionaries are still willing for an exchange. The officials excuse themselves by saying that they can find no property, and the people are intimidated from selling or renting to the missionaries directly. I recognize the difficulty of purchasing houses in the city, but I am advised that there [Page 73]would be no difficulty in purchasing open land in the east, south, or west suburbs. It is only necessary that a guaranty be given of protection and that there will be no maltreatment or imprisonment of a vendor, and that the people become assured that the officials are really willing that they may sell to the foreign religious and charitable association.

If an equitable and just exchange can not be made whereby the original landlord and vendor would lose nothing on account of his trade, then the best plan would be to confirm the missionaries in the possession of the original tract purchased.

Your highness and your excellencies are in possession of all the facts attending the original purchase. And it would seem that when one man is willing to sell, and others want to buy, and the transaction was at least tolerated by the authorities, and promises were made to seal the deeds, that the transaction ought to be completed in spite of the opposition of a few of the gentry. I am informed that the landlord has been compelled to make a deed disposing of the property to the ringleaders of the riot. I believe that this is contrary to Chinese law as long as the deed of the first sale is in the hands of the missionaries and the money has been actually transferred. It seems to me that no attention whatever has been paid to the orders of your highness and your excellencies.

I would be glad if additional strict orders were issued by your highness and your excellencies for a just and equitable and satisfactory management of all the points and a speedy termination of this troublesome case. The matter creates scandal, greatly retards the work of the missionaries and is injurious to their well-being and health and tends to produce public disorders.

On all accounts it ought to be speedily settled.

I respectfully request that the taotai be directed to grant the missionaries an interview and to hear their petitions.

I beg leave to suggest that in settling this case it would be better to issue specific orders either to grant an exchange of sites or to confirm the original purchase-General instructions to “manage” seem to produce little results.

Trusting that your highness and your excellencies will favorably consider the foregoing requests,

I avail, etc.,

Charles Denby.