Mr. Jones to Mr. Rockhill.

No. 279.]

Sir: I have the honor, in compliance with the Department instructions No. 88, of September 9, 1896, the receipt of which on the 23d instant is hereby acknowledged, to forward herewith copies of the itemized statements of the actual losses of the two missionaries, Messrs. Haden and Little, at the Kiangyin riots, and also copies of all correspondence held with the local authorities in this matter.1 The correspondence, it will be seen, is inconsiderable, as the greater part of the business was conducted in personal interviews.

It is proper that I should inform the Department that immediately following the preliminary examination held at Kiangyin by order of the taotai, the magistrate, the prisoners, and the witnesses were brought [Page 83] to Chinkiang, where a more formal and searching examination was held by the taotai sitting as judge with the deputies who were present at the preliminary proceedings at Kiangyin. I did not go to Kiangyin, for the reason that it was understood that the examination would be held at Chinkiang. And when it was held I took every precaution that none of those guilty or responsible for the outrage should escape punishment, and none did escape.

The U. S. S. Boston did not proceed to Kiangyin in the first instance, as originally intended, for the reason, on careful thought, that the presence of a war ship at such a time would have the effect of frightening away everyone connected with the riot, and that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find them again.

My action as to the amount of the indemnity demanded was not submitted to the legation for sanction, for the reason that I was not aware that this was required. The legation was informed of the occurrence of the riot and that an adjustment was going forward, but offered no advice as to the indemnity. The consul-general did advise me to make the indemnity liberal, and it was made liberal accordingly.

The right to purchase property is fully understood. In this case the missionaries had leased their property. They had before this made an attempt to purchase, and did, in fact, purchase, but their deed was defective, inasmuch as the middleman of the missionaries having himself signed the principal names to the deed without the consent or knowledge of the parties in interest, one of the owners making a protest in writing citing this fact, and objecting to any sale. The deed was of course thrown out and canceled.

It was at the instance of the missionaries that I made the demand that the officials be required to secure them in the possession of a suitable property for the mission. Property has now been secured, not that which they had heretofore leased, but other and more suitable property, of much greater extent, selected by themselves, and the transfer has been made, signed, witnessed, and stamped in all due legal form. So that part of the business has been satisfactorily settled. The culpability of the magistrate was fully recognized by the provincial authorities, and by order of the governor he was dismissed from the service. This action came so promptly that the taotai appealed to me to consent to his temporary reinstatement, until the indemnity be paid by the magistrate. Otherwise, that he, the taotai, would be obliged to shoulder the burden of the payment, and the magistrate escape this portion of his punishment. * * *

I have, etc.,

A. C. Jones, Consul.
  1. Inclosures not printed.