Mr. Denby to Mr. Sherman.

No. 2907.]

Sir: I have learned from good authority that China has ceded Weihai-wei to Great Britain on the same terms that Port Arthur has been ceded to Russia.

Wei-hai-wei is an excellent harbor, much larger, and better than Port Arthur. It is exactly at the mouth of the Gulf of Pechili, and is the nearest point on the Gulf to Korea. It commands the gulf. It is about 40 miles from Chefoo and 80 from Kiaochou. It is supposed here that it will be a second or northern Hongkong.

I do not suppose that Wei hai-wei will be a treaty port; but it will be an open port. There will be no tariff and the commerce of the world will be treated fairly.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby.
[Extract from the Chinese Commercial Guide, by S. Wells Williams, fifth edition, Hongkong, 1863.]

Wei-hai-wei Harbor, at about 25 miles westward of Alceste Island, is formed between Leu-cung Island, 517 feet high, and a deep bight of the coast, and is the most eastern anchorage on the north shore of the Shantung province. It is easy of access, and has two entrances, one on the west, the other on the east side of Leu-cung Island, thus affording a facility for access or departure with almost any wind.

The western entrance, although much narrower than the other, has the deepest water and should be used by all vessels drawing above 18 feet. The soundings in it are 10 and 12 fathoms, but when abreast Observatory Island (a rocky islet near the northwest side of Leu-cung) they increase suddenly to 17 fathoms, and decrease again rapidly to 5 fathoms; after which the depth gradually decreases to the southern shore and into the bay to the westward where the town is situated.

Round Island and three or four adjoining rocks lie off the northern point of the western entrance; the outer rock, scarcely a mile ENE. from the point is 10 or 12 feet high, and steep-to. A rocky patch, which covers at high water, lies between this outer rock and Round Island; no other hidden dangers are known.

The best anchorage is close to the west point of Leu-cung Island, in 5 to 7 fathoms, on excellent holding ground of mud, the island protecting the anchorage from the northeast. At half a mile ESE. from the eastern end of the island is a reef of rocks, steep-to, but as a portion of them always shows above water they may be easily avoided.