Mr. Denby, chargé, to Mr. Gresham.

Sir: Much misapprehension seeming to exist in the minds of the U. S. consuls in China as to the scope of their duties as to the protection of Japanese subjects in China, in case of war, and application having been made to me for further instructions on the subject, I have considered it desirable to inform them, somewhat, more in detail than was done in my circular of the 26th instant, of what would be expected of them. I inclose herewith a copy of a circular which I have this day mailed to the consuls at the various ports.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby, Jr.
[Page 97]

Mr. Denby, chargé, to U. S. consular officers in China.


Sir: This legation having been requested to state more specifically what will be the duties of the U. S. consuls as to the protection of Japanese in case of war, I have the honor to give you further instructions as follows:

In such an event, on receipt of notice from this legation, you will exert your good offices for the protection of Japanese subjects in your vicinity, such action on your part to be as consul of the United States, and in no respect as representing Japan, and to be strictly confined to such acts as are proper for a consul of a power friendly to and at peace with China. You may, if requested, become custodian of the Japanese consulate and take charge of the archives. It will not, however, be proper to raise the American flag on such buildings. It will not be necessary to make any official announcement of your attitude toward the citizens of Japan. Such notice will be given through the proper authorities at Peking. Your duties will be confined to the protection of Japanese subjects only; you will not be charged with any Japanese consular functions or authority.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

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