Mr. Yang Yü to Mr. Olney.
Washington, July 18, 1896.
Sir: Referring to your note of the 7th instant, and to the one I addressed you on the 9th instant, respecting the expected visit of His Excellency Li Hung Chang to the United States, I now have the honor to inform you that I have received information that his excellency will have to so arrange his departure from the United States as to reach China and make the journey to Peking before navigation closes for the coming winter, in order to make his report to His Majesty the Emperor. His departure from Europe has not yet been definitely fixed, but unless he should delay it on account of the President’s absence from Washington it would probably be within the next six weeks. In order to enable him to reach Peking before navigation closes, and as his excellency has other matters of importance that will require his attention en route thither, he would find it necessary to leave this country, or at least Washington, about October 1.
I have already had the honor to verbally state to you that the chief object his excellency has in view in his visit to the United States is to comply with the command of His August Sovereign by seeking an audience of the President and placing in his hands an autograph letter [Page 94] from His Majesty the Emperor of China. If, as stated in your note of the 7th instant, the President should happen to be delayed in resuming his residence in Washington until near November 1, it might be found desirable to arrange an audience in some other than the customary method. His excellency, following the diplomatic practice to which he is accustomed, will doubtless feel disposed to place His Majesty’s letter in the hands of the President at the earliest time after his arrival in the country which shall suit the President’s convenience and pleasure, and to this end, should it not be the President’s intention to be in Washington, his excellency would, I am sure, wait upon the President at his summer residence or such other place as might be convenient to him.
I shall be greatly obliged if you, Mr. Secretary, can inform me of the President’s will in this regard so that I may communicate it to His Excellency Li Hung Chang at the earliest convenient time.