Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham.

No. 1992.]

Sir: In my dispatch, No. 1986, of the 30th ultimo, I had the honor to inform you of the steps taken to impress upon the Yamên their responsibility for the protection of foreigners in Peking and the acceptance of this responsibility by them.

I have the honor to state that the proclamations which they promised to issue have now appeared. These proclamations, a translation of which is inclosed, are couched in language most calculated to have a beneficial influence on the populace. They are of enormous size and are stamped with the seal of the commandant of the gendarmerie. One or more copies have been posted on the walls of every missionary establishment, every legation, and every foreign residence in the city.

I inclose herewith a translation of a note from the ministers in which they forward me a copy of the proclamation. In this note they refer to the punishment which has been inflicted on the assailant of two American missionaries in a street disturbance, which it was recently necessary to bring to their attention.

A copy of a note, expressing the gratitude of this legation for the Yamên’s action in these matters, is inclosed.

I have, etc.,

Chas. Denby, Jr.,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
[Page 132]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 1992.]

Proclamation issued by the Yamên of the general commandant of the gendarmerie for general information.

Whereas since the treaties of commerce between China and foreign countries were entered into peace has long continued to reign, the reigning dynasty has regarded all foreigners with equal kindness, making no discrimination against any.

The Japanese, however, have now abrogated their treaty and commenced hostilities. They are employing their forces on our coasts. This, however, is a matter that does not involve foreigners of other nationalities. It is China’s duty to take special care in giving protection to missionaries and their churches in Peking. But there have been loafers who have circulated rumors for the purpose of creating trouble in the vicinity of the Erh Tiao lane, inside the Anting gate, where there is an American missionary establishment. There has been much improper talking, which has put the missionaries in a state of apprehension and fear, and has decidedly affected the friendly relations existing. If such things occur in this locality other localities will not be free from similar rumors, and it is necessary that proclamations be issued strenuously warning the soldiery and people that they must continue to live quietly and peacefully, to attend to their own affairs, and not foolishly listen to wild and unfounded stories, thus taking part in their circulation.

If there be rowdies who outrage all propriety, and have no respect for anyone, and stir up a row and excite people to creating a disturbance at any missionary establishment, the police authorities of the places concerned are hereby ordered to suppress them. Any who dare to act in disobedience of orders issued are at once to be put into fetters and brought to the gendarmerie to be rigorously punished. No leniency whatever will be shown.

Strenuous instructions were issued to the police authorities for the arrest of the rowdies who insulted and attacked the Reverend Mr. Headland and wife outside the Chi Hua Gate. The vagabond who committed the outrage, Wang Tao-erh, has been arrested, and the Yamên will administer to him vigorous punishment for the offense committed.

Let this official notice be given to all, in the hope that a state of peace and mutual good feeling may continue to prevail. The police authorities of all the wards are to take action in earnest and to zealously investigate all cases. If any dare to be idle or remiss in their duty and connive at offenses committed, on ascertaining such to be the case, they will be reported for impeachment.

Let all tremblingly obey and not disregard this special proclamation.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 1992.]

The Tsung-li-Yamên to Mr. Denby.

Note.]

Sir: Some time since we had the honor to receive your note with reference to the assault made upon the Reverend Mr. Headland and wife outside the Chi Hua Gate, wherein you stated that the Yamên had promised to cause the arrest and punishment of the leader in the affair, and also to put out proclamations, but that, up to the present time, you had not been informed what had been done, and you requested that the gendarmerie be urged to take action in these matters.

The Yamên were about to address the gendarmerie, urging that these matters be dealt with, when the minister received a communication from that office stating that, in regard to the assault made upon the Reverend Mr. Headland and wife by rowdies outside the Chi Hua Gate, and the rumors that had been circulated around the missionary establishment at the Erh Tias Hu-tung, whereupon the issuance of proclamations has been requested, the police officers, in obedience to instructions, had apprehended one Wang Tao-erh, a rowdy, who had assaulted the missionary, and he has been severely punished and ordered to wear the cangue so that his offenses may be made known to the public. Proclamations also have been cue and issued and sent to the local authorities concerned, with instructions to have them posted at the foreign legations and the missionary residences as a means of repressing evil doers.

The man Wang Tao-erh, above referred to, is an inexperienced, stupid fellow, and the severe punishment, besides being cangued, meted out to him by the gendarmerie should be sufficient warning to other foolish men like himself, and cause the laws to be respected.

The posting of proclamations at the various missionary establishments and other places should be sufficient to cause the people to know that they should observe the [Page 133]injunctions therein contained, as well as to remove all doubts and misgivings and prevent the circulation of all false rumors.

The action taken we regard as very satisfactory and proper.

We inclose herewith a copy in Chinese of the proclamation, and request you to transmit it for the perusal and information of the foreign representatives at Peking.

Cards of ministers inclosed.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 1992.]

Mr. Denby to the Tsung-li-Yamên.

Your Highness and Your Excellencies: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 6th instant inclosing a copy of a proclamation posted by the general commandant of the gendarmerie at the various American missionary establishments and at other places in this city.

This legation is deeply grateful for the efforts of your highness and your excellencies to prevent any trouble befalling the citizens of the United States who are under your protection, and for the punishment of the rowdies who recently made an attack upon them.

A translation of your note and of the proclamation inclosed has been sent to the honorable Secretary of State for his information.

I have, etc.,

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