Mr. Denby to Mr. Blaine.

No. 1492.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of an imperial decree which gives an official account of the recent riots and rebellion in Mongolia. This decree is founded on a report made by Li Hung Chang and Kweipin, the military governor of Jekol, on the conduct of the civil and military authorities before and during the disturbances. From this report it appears that there had been for a long time strained relations between the Chinese settlers and the native Mongols on the one hand, and between the Christians and the non-Christians on the other. For a number of years this condition of animosity became more and more accentuated. The local officials are very severely criticised for not taking measures to secure peace, and it is said that “no mercy whatever can be extended to them.” The rising first took place in Chao-yang-ksien, but attained its greatest extent in Ping-chuan-chow and Chien-chang-ksien. The Mongol population suffered most, but a missionary station was burned down and some native Christians were murdered. These outrages against Christians were committed by native religious sects. Crowds flocked to the standard of these sects and the émeute assumed the proportions of a local rebellion against public authority. It having been stated as an excuse for the outrages against the Christians that many corpses of children had been found in the cellars of the mission buildings without eyes or hearts, this matter was fully investigated. It has been proved that the report of the magistrate to this effect is absolutely false, and he is severely censured for making such a misstatement. It will be seen that the inclosed decree follows substantially the report of the Viceroy Li. The officials through whose negligence the riots took place have been cashiered and banished. The rebellion is now extinct. It is said that 20,000 lives have been taken. No foreigner was injured.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby.
[Inclosure in No. 1492.]

Punishment of officials for neglect in connection with the insurrection in the northwest.


We are in receipt of a memorial from Li-Hung-chang and K’nei-pin denouncing, in pursuance of imperial instruction, the district officers responsible for the capture of Ch’aoyang and other towns. The recent rising was first set on foot at Ch’aoyang by marauders from Jeho; the department of P’ingch’üan and the district of Chiench’ang encountered the brunt of the rebel movement, and the Mongol country suffered very severely. In addition to all this, the chapels of the Catholics were burnt and their converts murdered. The magistrates of the two departments in question were uniformly remiss and careless in the execution of their duty, with the result that the criminal element in the community got an opportunity of inflaming the popular feeling and bringing about a grave catastrophe. Were the letter of the law touching official responsibility applied to their case, no mercy could be extended to them. The inquiry which has been instituted into the case of the Ch’aoyang magistrate, Liao Lunuing, shows that although he did not, as was alleged, make his escape as soon as he received intelligence of the rising, he habitually neglected the interests of the people and spent his time in tippling and verse-making. He had also on frequent [Page 97] occasions contracted loans from the wealthy people in his district and was deeply embarrassed. So depraved was he, and so unworthy of public trust that when he was transferred from Ch’ihfeng to Ch’oayang, the people of the former place tried to prevent him from leaving in his insolvent condition.

Chang Tsou-k’ai, the magistrate of Chien-ch’ang, did not take the slightest precaution to avert trouble when the feud first broke out, and later on he failed to furnish an accurate account of the circumstances connected with the pillage and massacre which took place at Sanshihchiatze. His object was to evade responsibility by adopting a policy based upon craft and deceit. The acting magistrate of Pi’ng-ch’uan, Wen Pu-nien, is notorious for his trickery and is an adept at making out a plausible defense when he gets into trouble. The Catholic premises were in a street in the town, and yet he failed to make any real effort for their protection. He exaggerated enormously the number of the rebels and gave hasty credence to false rumors in connection with the outrage upon the missionary establishment. His reports were false and his proclamation had a most disquieting effect on the minds of the people. The three officials above mentioned have, by their grasping, deceitful, and utterly depraved conduct brought the most grievous harm upon the district. The memorialists recommend, that Liao Lun-ming should be cashiered and never again employed in the public service, and that Chang Tsou-k’ai and Wen Pu-nien should be degraded and their services dispensed with. This sentence we consider too light, and we hereby command that all three be cashiered and banished. The other proposals contained in the memorial are approved.