Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham.

No. 1986.]

Sir: I have the honor to state that there has recently existed in Peking such a feeling of uneasiness among the American missionaries, in view of possible popular disturbances on account of the war, that I felt it my duty to obtain from the Yamên some assurances of their safety.

On the 19th instant, in a personal interview, I stated to the Yamên that there prevailed among the people many rumors of an antiforeign character; that hostility to Japanese seemed inclined to become hostility to foreigners in general. I told them that if they considered it advisable, I would recommend all the American residents to leave the city and take refuge at Tien-Tsin or Shanghai, but that if they remain here it must be with an understanding that their protection was accepted by the Yamên as a responsibility.

The minister promptly replied, accepting the responsibility of the protection of all Americans in the city, and urging them to remain at their posts. They promised to give additional orders to the police in the matter, and to post proclamations at all American mission chapels, of which a list was given them.

It is to be hoped that these measures will guard us against any local disturbances.

I have, etc.,

Chas. Denby, Jr.,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.