Mr. Denby, chargé, to Mr. Gresham.

No. 1856.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 1839 of the 23d ultimo, regarding the refusal of the authorities at Nanking to permit the American missionaries to reside during the summer at the hills, I have the honor to inclose a translation of the Yamên’s reply to my dispatch.

It will be seen that the viceroy at Nanking reasserts the danger to missionaries of residence without the city, and on this ground alone bases his refusal. I do not believe, nor do the missionaries themselves, [Page 143] that any such danger exists, and I will again address the Yamên, urging that they be authorized to make a trial of hill residence to show that their fears are without foundation.

I have, etc.,

Chas. Denby, Jr.
[Inclosure in No. 1856.]

The Tsung-li-Yamên to Mr. Denby, jr.

Sir: Upon the receipt of your note with reference to the desire of the missionaries at taking to resort, during the heated season, to Hsi Hsia Shan (hills near Nanking), this Yamên forwarded a copy of the list of names inclosed by you to the southern superintendent of trade that he, being informed thereof, might take proper action in the matter. Now we have received a reply from him as follows:

As China has authorized the building of churches and the propagation of Christianity in the interior, there would seem to be no reason in prohibiting to missionaries the simple privilege of resorting to certain places to escape the heat. The real reason therefor is to be found in the fact that the conditions are not the same within and without the capital. The mountain to which the missionaries wish to resort is desolate and retired and few people live there. Since the building of churches at Nanking to the present time missionaries have never repaired to the mountains during the summer, and there is no provision in the treaties authorizing them to do so. Throughout the Yangtzu Valley the popular mind is in an unsettled condition. Between the populace and the missionaries exists a great antipathy. Even within the cities where churches are protected by the magistrates, the suspicions of the people sometimes lead to trouble. If at some remote locality in the hills, the local officials would with difficulty learn of such troubles and would more than ever be unable to afford protection.

In the ninth year of Kuang Hsü (1883) the consul and merchants at Chinkiang wished to build summer residences at the Wu Chou Mountains. The literati and the people were opposed, however, and it was difficult to accord permission. Hence the project came to an end.

Now it is to be remarked that the missionaries in this case live in a locality in the northern part of Nanking which is half city, half suburb. It is quiet and pleasant to live in, not crowded and confused, and free from turmoil. Why should they, under these circumstances, search for other summer residences in the hills, causing endless trouble?

This Yamên begs to observe that the argument of the southern superintendent of trade is reasonable and his statements are true. It is, therefore, our duty to request you to direct the said missionaries to abandon their project and thus avoid giving rise to trouble.

We have, etc.