Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Jones.
Washington, July 22, 1896.
Sir: Although the Department has received no information from you bearing on the subject of the riot at Kiangyin of May 12, it is in receipt of a dispatch from our minister in Peking inclosing a copy of your No. 238 of May 20 to Mr. Denby, giving in nearly identical words with those employed by Lieutenant McLain in his report to the Navy Department, an account of the riot referred to. The conclusions you reach show also that the local magistrate of Kiangyin was not only guilty of negligence, but also that he made no adequate attempt to quell the riot, although troops were stationed at his command at a point only ten minutes away from the scene of disturbance.
In view of this fact you are instructed, when treating of this case with the proper provincial authorities, to insist that the said magistrate be severely punished, as should also any of his subordinates, especially the local headmen in the quarter of the town in which the American Mission was situated, and who must necessarily have also been derelict in the discharge of their duty, at least to the extent of not informing their superior official of the posting of the placard inciting the people against the missionaries. You should also demand that proclamations be issued by the provincial authorities and posted in conspicuous places throughout the city of Kiangyin, not only denouncing the riots but also stating the punishments of the various officials found guilty or negligent, together with the reasons which have necessitated them. Should you fail to obtain immediate action on the lines laid down above, you should report the matter without delay to Peking, so that our legation can take up the discussion with the Tsung-li Yamên.
The Department deeply regrets that it should have to derive all its information on this important event from reports transmitted to it by the Secretary of the Navy and from our minister at Peking. * * *
Your attention is called to the general provisions of the Consular Regulations, from which you should have perceived that the Department requires of consular officers to keep it promptly and thoroughly informed in regard to all matters of importance occurring within their consular districts, and certainly a report of the outrage committed at Kiangyin which entailed the destruction of property and imperiled the lives of American citizens was of sufficient moment to have been reported here long since, and the Department should not have been obliged to await hearing from you on the subject except indirectly from our legation at Peking.
I am, etc.,