Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

No. 395.]

Sir: Continuing my dispatch of the 16th instant, I have the honor to confirm on the overleaf my cipher telegram of to-day, your telegram, undated, sent through Mr. Wu Ting-fang and delivered to me under a flag of truce by a messenger from the Tsungli Yamen, my reply thereto of July 16th, and also my telegrams of August 3, 5, 9, and 11.1

Your telegram was the first communication received by anyone from outside since the siege began, and mine the first sent out. On the next day some of the other ministers sent telegrams to the Tsungli Yamen, asking that they be forwarded as mine had been. They were, however, returned with the reply that mine had been transmitted under a previous arrangement, which it was not possible to repeat. A few days later the British minister received through the Tsungli Yamen an inquiry from his Government much the same sort as your first telegram [Page 162] to me. They said he could answer and that the rest of us also might send messages; hence mine of August 5. They had heretofore requested us to send “en clair” telegrams to our Governments, who must be very anxious about us, simply saying “all are well,” which we refused to do. * * *

My telegram of August 11 was sent because of the receipt by the dean of the diplomatic corps of certain notes from the Tsungli Yamen, translations of which are inclosed, concerning our quitting Pekin, and was chiefly for the purpose of gaining time for the relief column to arrive. The Chinese Government had, since June 19, been continually insisting upon our leaving Pekin under Chinese escort, to which we were determined never to consent, because it was undoubtedly a plan to ambush us. This may be more easily believed, since the identical officers and soldiers who were, by imperial orders, daily shooting us down had been selected as our escort. So by one excuse and another we put off a final decision or definite refusal, as may be seen by the copies of correspondence inclosed.

Returning to the situation at the time of my dispatch of June 18 (No. 393), on the 19th, at 4 p.m., each minister received an identic note, whether or not their Governments had sent troops into China, ordering us to leave Pekin within twenty-four hours, promising adequate protection, etc. Resolving among ourselves that we would never go under a Chinese escort, but deeming it wise not to refuse pointblank, and thus give them ground for attack, we replied courteously, declaring it impossible to leave within the time, and requesting an interview at 9 o’clock the next morning with the prince and ministers at the yamen, opening the way for further discussion. The reply accomplished its purpose. The time was postponed temporarily, as will be seen by copy of correspondence inclosed.

The morning of the 20th, at 8.30, the ministers met at the French legation ready to proceed in a body to the Tsungli Yamen as soon as notified that the prince would be there. Not receiving any word by 9 o’clock, the German minister, Baron von Ketteler, who had personally notified the yamen that he was coming there on business, started with his interpreter, commissioned to tell the prince and ministers that the corps was patiently waiting to hear from them.

Upon arriving almost to the yamen he was brutally murdered, shot through the head by a man (so says his interpreter, whose chair immediately followed) wearing the insignia of a Chinese official. The interpreter, Mr. Cordes, was at the same time seriously wounded, but succeeded in escaping to the American Methodist Mission compound, which was guarded by American marines. Two mafoos accompanied the baron, one of whom immediately ran to the Tsungli Yamen and returned with some of the secretaries to the place, to find the official chairs demolished, but the minister’s body already taken away. The other returned quickly to the legation, and an officer and 20 men started for the spot, but before they reached it were met by a strong cordon of Chinese soldiers, through which they were not strong enough to pass. The body was found yesterday, buried in a rough coffin near where he fell, and to-day was decently interred in the German legation. This was the last attempt of any of the ministers to visit the Tsungli Yamen.

The Chinese army had turned out against us; the whole quarter of the city in which the legations are situated was surrounded by its [Page 163] soldiers, firing began on all sides and the battle against the representatives of all foreign governments in China was begun.

The Methodist compound where all our missionaries had gathered was abandoned; all coming to the legation at 12 noon. By 4 o’clock the situation had become so acute that all foreigners, except the guards and a few men in each legation, repaired to the British legation, and the refugee native Christians, about 2,000, were placed in the grounds of Prince Su, near by.

Our lines of defense were quickly shortened and strengthened, trenches and barricades built, and the siege was on.

Four hundred foreigners, 200 of them women and children, with over 100 soldiers, were crowded into the British legation. In the house given to our legation 30 people were for two months crowded into six small rooms; but all were thankful that there existed so convenient and safe a place to go.

The first attempts of the enemy were to burn us out by firing buildings adjoining us, but by means of heroically fighting those inflamed by the enemy, burning and tearing down others ourselves, we soon had the British legation pretty safe from this danger. However, from this date until July 17 there was scarcely an hour during which there was not firing upon some part of our lines and into some of the legations, varying from a single shot to a general and continuous attack along the whole line.

Artillery was planted on all sides of us, two large guns mounted on the walls surrounding the palace, and thousands of 3-inch shells and solid shot hurled at us. There is scarcely a building in any of the legations that was not struck, and some of them practically destroyed. Four shells struck our gatehouse, tearing away our flagstaff; four exploded in the servants’ quarters; three struck my residence, two of them exploding inside; two struck the office building, and two the house of Mr. Cheshire, while the roofs of nearly all the buildings in the compound were sadly damaged by innumerable bullets. To show in what storms they came, five quarts of them were picked up to be remolded into new ammunition in one hour in our small compound.

Our lines were at first made as short as possible and inclosed all the legations except the Belgian, and were still further shortened after the burning of the Austrian, Italian, and Dutch legations and the imperial customs. Trenches were dug, streets barricaded along these lines as fast as possible, but nearly all the work on these had to be done under cover of darkness.

A veritable fortress was made of the British legation, walls were strengthened and raised, openings filled, bombproof cellars constructed, counter tunnels to prevent mining made, and everything possible with our poor tools and materials was effectively done. In our first barricades carts and furniture were employed and thousands upon thousands of sand bags made in which every obtainable material was used—satin portieres, silk curtains, carpets, oriental rugs, table linen, towels, bedding, embroideries, cloths, silks, etc.

Fortunately for us we had the missionaries and their converts with us. The former, being familiar with the Chinese language and character, ably organized, superintended, and directed the Chinese, who were invaluable help in constructing fortifications, and without which it could not have been done.

All were industrious and helpful, but everyone will agree that no [Page 164] one is done any injustice if Rev. F. D. Gamewell, of the American Methodist Mission, is mentioned as the man to whose practical intelligence, quick perception, executive ability, untiring energy, and sleepless activity more than any other is due our successful and safe resistance. We were obliged to combine all our force and efforts for defense, so that neither time, strength, provisions, nor ammunition should be wasted.

Sir Claude MacDonald, the British minister, was chosen for the general command, and gave every satisfaction. He selected Mr. H. G. Squiers, first secretary of this legation, as his chief of staff, whose military training and experience had not been forgotten, but which, thrown with energy and determination into the work, were invaluable to the end.

Necessary committees were created, and the camp was thoroughly organized. Stores of wheat, rice, and coal found within our lines were quickly gathered into a general commissariat, which, with such canned goods as we had in store, together with all our riding horses and cart mules, have furnished us a substantial if not a very palatable subsistence since.

The Chinese seem to have an innumerable soldiery and an inexhaustible supply of ammunition. We began with only 400 marines, sailors, and soldiers altogether, and some 50 miscellaneously armed civilians. For the most part, therefore, we simply sat and watched, firing only when necessary; but occasionally a severe attack had to be resisted or a sortie made, which invariably, on our side, was successful. But these frequently cost lives of brave men. Altogether we have lost—killed, 65; wounded, 135; died of disease, all children, 7. Of the United State, marines, Sergeant Fanning and Privates King, Kennedy, Turner, Tutcher, Fisher, and Thomas were killed; Captain Myers, Dr. Lippett, and 14 others wounded. The loss of the Chinese is known to be ten times as great as ours.

To our marines fell the most difficult and dangerous portion of the defense, by reason of our proximity to the great city wall and the main city gates, over which large guns were planted.

Our legation, with the position which we held on the wall, was the key to the whole situation. This given up, all, including many Chinese Christians, would at once be drawn into the British legation and the congestion there increased by several hundred. The United States marines acquitted themselves nobly. Twice were they driven from the wall and once forced to abandon the legation, but each time, reenforced, immediately retook it, and with only a handful of men, aided by 10 Russian sailors and for a few days a few British marines, held it to the last against several hundred Chinese with at least three pieces of artillery.

The bravest and most successful event of the whole siege was an attack led by Captain Myers, of our marines, and 55 men—Americans, British, and Russians—which resulted in the capture of a formidable barricade on the wall defended by several hundred Chinese soldiers, over 50 of whom were killed. Two United States marines were killed and Captain Myers and 1 British marine wounded. This made our position on the wall secure, and it was held to the last with the loss of only one other man.

This position gave us command of a water gate under the wall, through which the entrance of the relief column was made into this, the Tartar city. The English arrived first, and General Chaffee, with [Page 165] the Fourteenth Infantry and Captain Riley’s battery, a few moments thereafter.

I inclose a small rough plan showing the line of our defense on June 21 and on July 16 and thereafter.

During the siege the Belgian, Austrian, Italian, Dutch, and most of the French legations were burned, and the post-office, three foreign banks, residences and offices of all the customs officials, and all the missionary compounds, except the Peitang, have been totally destroyed. The Peitang is an immense Catholic cathedral connected with a very large school, in which were refugeed 1,500 native Christians. These, with Bishop Favier and a small corps of priests and sisters, were defended by 30 French and 10 Italian sailors and a number of Chinese Christians with arms. They were besieged during all the time we were, and no communication with them was at any time possible. This place was relieved on the 14th, and it was found that the besieged there had received even worse treatment than those at the legations— a French officer and 10 men killed and 8 wounded. One building was blown up by a mine, which killed 120 Chinese Christians.

No communication whatever was had with the Tsungli Yamen or any one outside our legations until July 14, except communication by shot and shell.

It was a reasonable supposition that the Chinese Government had fled, abandoning the city to the fury of the fiendish soldiers. But we have since found proof abundant and absolute that the Empress Dowager and council remained in the city until just before the arrival of the relief and that the attacks were organized and directed by them, the whole force being under the immediate control and direction of the Grand Secretary Jung Lu, the commander in chief of the Imperial army.

The Tsungli Yamen, all along, has charged all the trouble on the mob, bad Boxers, and brigands; at least, they did so up to the beginning of the siege. Since then they designated them by the name “people and militia,” but the very first attacks, except the burning of buildings, were made upon us by men wearing the uniform of Chinese soldiers, and who, it was soon learned, belonged to the regular armies of General Tung Fu-hsiang or Jung Lu. Their barricades were everywhere mounted with flags bearing the name and designations of regular officers and their commands, and whenever men or guns fell into our hands they were those of the Chinese army.

It is very likely that Boxers joined them in the attacks, but if so, they donned the army uniform and carried the imperial arm.

From the decree of June 24, inclosed, you will see that the Boxers were organized by the appointment to their command of Prince Chuang and Kang I; that provisions were given them by an Imperial order, and the members of the imperial family urged not to fall behind them in acts of patriotism, etc. Decree of July 6 mentions the “Prince and ministers in command of the Boxers.” Decree of July 8 gives the total number of troops, including the Boxers. Report of Viceroy Yu Lu of July 8 says he ordered provisions and firearms distributed among Boxers. By decree of June 25 the Empress Dowager gave 100,000 taels to the Boxers.

Another convincing proof that it was soldiers who were besieging us is the fact that whenever the Chinese Government wanted to communicate with us, they could stop the firing and come through their lines whenever they pleased.

[Page 166]

The Chinese Government was pretending to us and proclaiming to the world that they were “protecting” us, when in fact if a thousandth part of the shots fired at us by their soldiers had taken effect we would all have been killed long ago. It is understood, also, that they represented abroad that they were “provisioning” us. They did send us on two occasions a few small watermelons, cucumbers, and egg plant, and on another three sacks of flour, but nothing more. We tried to establish a market where under a flag of truce, we might purchase a few eggs and some fruit or fresh meat. They consented, but the firing of their soldiers prevented it.

On July 14 a note signed “Prince Ching and others” came to us by a messenger again inviting us to ambush, this time at the Tsungli Yamen, but we didn’t go. However, a correspondence was started, which for a time caused a cessation of artillery firing and lessened greatly the rifle firing, showing that the Government could control it if desired.

All the correspondence is interesting, and I inclose translations of it for what it is worth. Two days before the arrival of our troops “Prince Ching and others” asked to come and see us for the purpose of arranging a temporary suspension of hostilities, requesting us to name an hour, which was done for 11 a.m., the 13th of August. They did not come, saying they were too busy, but that strict orders had been given to their troops not to fire upon us and if anybody did they would be court-martialed, etc. But during all that night the most fierce and desperate attack of the whole siege was made along the entire line, in which one German soldier was killed and a Russian, Japanese, and American sailor were wounded. * * * On the 14th, as I have already written, we were relieved. I inclose various extracts from the official gazettes, decrees, etc., which prove conclusively the connection of the Imperial Government with and its responsibility for the Boxer movement, and furnish very strong evidence that it was planned, encouraged, and supported by the imperial family. Prince Tuan, the father of the heir apparent, has been their chief friend and protector. They have drilled and rationed in his temple, his son was selected as heir apparent about the inception of the movement, the prince was appointed to the Tsungli Yamen at its height, and it seems certain that his advice and that of the grand secretary Hsu Tung, Kang I, and other influential but ignorant antiforeign officials, influenced the Empress Dowager to actually believe that with the combined force of Boxers and soldiers the expulsion or extermination of all foreigners from China was possible.

So the movement began, first upon the native Christians, thousands of whom have been most brutally butchered, then against the missionaries, many of whom have been murdered and their property destroyed. The most narrowing details are coming in of horrible atrocities perpetrated in the country districts while we have been besieged; then against the foreign merchants and all foreign business interests, and finally against all the official representatives of foreign powers in Pekin. * * *

The Government has fled, and up to the present no one to speak for it has put in an appearance. It is, however, known that several members of the Tsungli Yamen are in the city, and it is creditably reported that Prince Ching is not far away; so the probability is that some of them will soon be heard from. Further developments will be reported in my next dispatch.

[Page 167]

I can not close this dispatch without gratefully mentioning the splendid service performed by the United States marines who arrived here on May 31 under the command of Captain Myers. With slight exceptions their conduct won the admiration and gratitude of all, and I beg you to kindly communicate the fact to the Navy Department.

I inclose copy of resolutions passed by the American missionaries expressing their high appreciation of the loyalty, fidelity, and heroic courage of these men.

The loss to the American missions in China is something tremendous, for there is probably not one of their houses, schools, or chapels in this or the province immediately west of here undestroyed, and many in the north part of Shantung have also been demolished. It is reasonably certain that the missionaries who did not leave the interior before the middle of June have all been murdered. We can not as yet get accurate information of them here.

The damage to the general missionary cause is immeasurable and irretrievable. Adequate indemnities may possibly be secured for all material losses, but time only, with the most substantial guaranties for the future, can even partially restore the desolated field. Just how this can be accomplished does not at present clearly appear, but in the reformation or reestablishment of government here, it should somehow be brought about.

As showing the uniform cordiality existing between the missionaries and this legation, I take pleasure in transmitting herewith copy of a letter signed by all the male missionaries here.

I ought to add in regard to the note from Tsungli Yamen of July 19, in which was transmitted to me a copy of the telegraphic Imperial letter to the President of the United States, that almost identic letters were at the same time sent to the Queen of England, the Emperor of Germany, the Czar of Russia, and the President of France, saying in each case that in her present difficulties China could rely only upon that special power for aid.

I have the honor to be, etc.,

E. H. Conger.
[Inclosure 1.]

Imperial decree, published in the Pekin Gazette June 13, 1900.

On the 11th of June the Japanese chancellor was murdered by desperadoes outside the Yung Ting Men. On hearing this intelligence we were exceedingly grieved. Officials of neighboring nations, stationed at Pekin, ought to be protected in every possible way, and now, especially, extra diligence should be displayed to prevent such occurrences when desperadoes are as numerous as bees. We have repeatedly commanded the various local officials to insure the most efficient protection in their districts, and yet in spite of our frequent orders we have this case of murder of the Japanese chancellor occurring in the very capital of the Empire. The civil and military officials have assuredly been remiss in not clearing their districts of bad characters or immediately arresting such persons, and we hereby order every yamen concerned to enforce a date for the arrest of the criminals that they may surfer the extreme penalty. Should the time expire without an arrest being affected the severest punishment will be assuredly inflicted upon those responsible.

second edict.

The Boxer desperadoes have recently been causing trouble of the capital until Pekin itself has been involved. We have repeatedly issued edicts stating our commands in explicit terms to be made known to all, and we also ordered the various [Page 168] military commanders stationed at or near the capital to severely put an end to these disturbances. Yet now we have cases of arson and murder, and bad characters of the lowest type are perpetually inventing rumors on the pretense of revenging themselves on the converts. The result has been that good subjects of ours have become involved and regard our commands as something that can lightly be set aside. In spite of the fact that these men are known to have leagued together to commit acts of murder and arson they suffer themselves to be misled by them. Good citizens, most of all, desire to stimulate patriotism, and one would like to know when in the history of a nation the condoning of anarchy among the people has made that nation strong. We have now learned by investigation that among the ranks of the Boxers are many braves and desperadoes, who have vied with one another in disgraceful acts of robbery and looting. We have already ordered Kang I and others to proceed to various country districts and acquaint each and all with our virtuous intentions, so that there may be tranquillity. Let the Boxers who have already entered into league disband themselves and be content. It is obvious that various cases of murder and arson which have occurred are the work of traitors, and only the fact of a man having himself caused disturbance can make us regard him as a bad citizen. These bad characters must be rooted out and no mercy can again be shown. We order Sung Ch’ing to command Ma Yu-k’un to come with ail speed to the capital and let strenuous efforts be made to arrest all desperadoes in the region round Pekin. It is important that the ringleaders be seized, but the subordinates may be allowed to disband themselves. It is strictly forbidden to the military to use these occurrences as a pretext for causing trouble, and our hope is that the country may thus be cleared of traitors and good citizens may be at peace.

[Inclosure 2.]

Imperial decree, published in the Pekin Gazette June 17, 1900.

Lately the people and the Christians have sought means to stir up enmity, and bad language has arisen on every side. Vagabonds have taken occasion repeatedly to burn and rob. All foreign ministers ought to be really protected. Jung Lu is ordered to detail his soldiers at once and energetically use his authority and go immediately to East Legation Street and vicinity and with all his power protect those ministers. He must not be in the least careless. If the ministers and their families wish to go for a time to Tientsin, they must be protected by the way; but the railroad is not now in working order. If they go by the cart road, it will be difficult, and there is fear that perfect protection can not be afforded. They would better, therefore, abide in peace as hitherto, and wait till the railroad is repaired and then act as circumstances render expedient.

Sanctioned. Respect this.

[Inclosure 3.]

Imperial decree published in the Pekin Gazette June 21, 1900.

Ever since the founding of the dynasty foreigners coming to China have been kindly treated. In the reigns of Tao Kwang and Hsien Feng they were allowed to trade, and they also asked leave to propagate their religion, a request which the Throne reluctantly granted. At first they were amenable to Chinese control, but for the past thirty years they have taken advantage of Chinese forbearance to encroach on Chinese territory and trample on the Chinese people and to demand China’s wealth. Every concession made by China increased their reliance on violence. They oppressed peaceful citizens and insulted the gods and holy men, exciting the most burning indignation among the people; hence the burning of chapels and the slaughter of converts by the patriotic braves. The Throne was anxious to avoid war, and issued edicts enjoining protection of the legations and pity to the converts. The decrees declaring Boxers and converts to be equally the children of the State were issued in the hope of removing the old feud between people and converts, and extreme kindness was shown to the men from afar. But these people knew no gratitude, and increased their pressure. A dispatch was yesterday sent by Du Maylard, calling on us to deliver up the Taku forts into their keeping, otherwise they would be taken by force. These threats showed their aggressions. In all matters relating [Page 169] to international intercourse we have never been wanting in courtesies to them, but they, while styling themselves civilized States, have acted without regard for right, relying solely on their military force. We have now reigned nearly thirty years, and have treated the people as our children, the people honoring us as their deity, and in the midst of our reign we have been the recipients of the gracious favor of the Empress Dowager; furthermore, our ancestors have come to our aid, the gods have answered our call, and never has there been so universal a manifestation of loyalty and patriotism.

With tears we have announced the war in the ancestral shrines. Better to do our utmost and enter on the struggle rather than seek some means of self-preservation involving eternal disgrace. All our officers, high and low, are of one mind, and these have assembled, without warning, several thousand patriotic soldiers (Yi p’ing Boxers), even children carrying spears in the service of the country. Thus others rely on crafty schemes; our trust is in Heaven’s justice. They depend on violence; we on humanity. Not to speak of the righteousness of our cause, our provinces number more than twenty, our people over 400,000,000, and it will not be difficult to vindicate the dignity of our country.

[The decree concludes by promising heavy rewards to those who distinguish themselves in battle or subscribe funds and threatening punishment to those who show cowardice or act traitorously.

Another decree in the same gazette expresses the satisfaction with which the Throne has received Yu Lu’s report of successful engagements at Tientsin on the 17th, 18th, and 19th of June, and gives great praise to the Boxers, who have done great service without any assistance, either of men or money, from the State. Great favor will be shown them later on, and they must continue to show their devotion.]

[Inclosure 4.]

Abstract of the Pekin Gazette, June 24, 1900.

Yesterday shops and houses in the neighborhood of the Tung Ssu Pai Lou and the Chang Anchieh were looted by braves with arms. This is a serious matter, and we ordered Jung Lu to depute officers to arrest the offenders. Eleven in all, belonging to various divisions, besides 23 desperadoes from another body of braves were arrested and executed on the spot, the public being duly apprised of the occurrence. We now command the various general officers to give strict orders to their subordinates that the braves are to be strenuously kept in order. Should these occurrences be repeated martial law will be put into operation. If the various officers commanding patrols screen offenders instead of rigorously enforcing the laws, we order that they be severely punished after due investigation. We command the military commandant’s yamen and those responsible for the civil administration of Pekin and district to arrest all desperadoes who may be creating disturbance and to execute them there and then. Let no mercy be shown.

second decree of same date.

The board of revenue is commanded to give Kang I 200 bags of rice as provisions for the Boxers for general distribution among them.

third decree of same date.

Numbers of our people comprised in the I Ho T’uan (Boxers) are scattered in all parts of the region round the metropolis and Tientsin, and it is right and proper that they should have superintendents placed over them. We appoint Prince Chuang (Tsai Hsun) and the assistant grand secretary, Kang I, to be in general command, and also order Ying Nien, brigade-general of the left wing, and Tsai Lan, temporarily acting as brigade-general of the right wing, to act in cooperation with Chen. We command Wen Jul, adjutant-general of the Manchu army, to be brigadier-general. All the memoers oi the I Ho T’uan are exerting their utmost energies, and the Imperial family must not fall behind In harboring revenge against our enemies. It is our confident hope that the desires of each and all will be successfully consummated, and it is of the utmost importance that no lack of energy be shown.

[Page 170]
[Inclosure 5.]

Decree of the Empress Dowager, June 25, 1900.

A sum of 100,000 taels is granted in reward to each of the following army corps: Sheng Tzu Ying, Fu Shang Ying, and the corps of the Boxers. Also a sum of 60,000 taels each is granted to the troops of Kan Su (Tung Fu Hsiang’s) and the Wu Wei Chun in addition to the sums of 40,000 taels, which has already been granted to them. The officials and soldiers of the troops are to get in one spirit in order to accomplish the great deed and be deserving the bounties received.

[Inclosure 6.]

Abstract of the Pekin Gazette, June 27, 1900.

An edict appeared yesterday directing, as a stimulus to exertion, discriminating rewards to be given to the various army corps that have distinguished themselves in the metropolitan district. Now that the left wing of the army, under command of Sung Ch’ing, has in sectional divisions marched to the capital, let 100,000 taels be equally divided to the men, and let orders be given to rank and file to maintain the public with unanimity and zeal.

second edict.

Since the beginning of hostilities between China and the foreign powers, I, the Empress, have frequently given pecuniary rewards out of the household funds both to the military officials and the Boxers—a bounty abundant and continuous. At present affairs are in a dangerous condition. You officers, therefore, should be zealous to repay the imperial favor and embrace the opportunity to achieve high merit. All who with courage and energy succeed in attacking and destroying the enemy will certainly receive extraordinary rewards. If there be any who desert the field of battle, or through cowardice fail to advance to meet the foe, they will be punished by death in the presence of the army, and their officers will be liable to severe punishment. At present the foreign troops have possession of the Taku forts. We direct Yu Lu to order Lo Jung-kuang and his adjutants to devise means to retake them without delay. In war martial law takes precedence. If there be any plundering or other exactions from the people on the part of officers and troops, besides the execution of the offenders on the spot the immediate officers (captains and lieutenants) will be court-martialed. If officers can not restrain their men they will be severely punished. Let no one plead ignorance as an excuse.

third edict.

The various army corps and the Boxers in the metropolitan district and at Tientsin have already received pecuniary rewards according to their merit. Let there be equally divided to the various corps of Manchu, Mongol, and Chinese bannermen the sum of 100,000 taels as a stimulus to exertion. Let also an equal sum be given through the high officials to the two wings and the advance division of the bannermen guards, to be distributed in the same manner.

fourth edict.

The military forces at Tientsin are of great importance. To the troops now there and the Boxers assisting them let there be given to those who have distinguished themselves 100,000 taels as a stimulus to exertion. Let this money be paid by Yu Lu and let Yu Lu command the various army corps, and the Boxers to arrange their forces to intercept the foreign troops and prevent their creeping northward. Let them also recover the forts at Taku.

[Inclosure 7.]

Imperial decree published in the Pekin Gazette July 1, 1900.

General preparations are now being made for war, and owing to the telegraphic communication being interrupted all official dispatches are forwarded by couriers. Speedy transmission is a matter of urgent necessity, but the courier arrangements [Page 171] have fallen for a long time past into decay, the number of the men and horses at the post stations not having been duly kept up. The high officials are therefore directed to take steps to reestablish a regular system of couriers.

The decree goes on to declare that now that there is fighting on the coast of Chihli information as to the enemy’s circumstances and movements must be obtained, and Yu Lu is directed to order all loyal officials to send our numerous spies to obtain correct information.

Another decree states that the members of the I Ho Ch’uan (Boxers) began by taking loyalty and courage as their motto, and it was expected that they would do good service in repelling aggression. But of late there have been in the neighborhood of Pekin many cases of wanton robbery and murder by characters feigning to belong to the Boxers. If no strict distinction is drawn, internal dissension will be added to foreign trouble and the state of the country will be indescribable. Tsai Hsun is ordered to keep those members of the I Ho Ch’uan who have made submission under strict control and expel all persons pretending to belong to it as an excuse for raising trouble. All cases of gangs collecting to commit murder from motives of vengeance are to be dealt with under the laws against brigandage. There will be no mercy shown to leaders of future disorders.

[Inclosure 8.]

Imperial decree published in the Pekin Gazette July 2, 1900.

Ever since foreign nations commenced propagation of their religion there have been many instances throughout the country of ill feeling between the people and the converts. All this is due to the faulty administration on the part of the local authorities, giving rise to the feuds. The truth is that the converts are also the children of the State, and among them there are not wanting good and worthy people. But they have been led astray by false doctrines and have relied oil the missionaries for support, with the result that they have committed many misdeeds. They hold to their errors and will not turn from them, and irreconcilable enmity has thus grown up between the converts and the people. The Throne is now exhorting every member of the I Ho Ch’uan (Boxers) to render loyal and patriotic services and to take his part against the enemies of his country, so that the whole population may be of one mind. Knowing that the converts are also subjects owing fealty to the Throne, we ask how they can bring themselves to form a class apart and invite their own destruction. If they can change their hearts there is no reason why they should not be allowed to escape from the net. The viceroys are commanded to issue the following notification: All those among the converts who repent of their former errors and give themselves up accordingly to the authorities shall be ignored. The people shall also be notified that in all places where converts reside they shall be allowed to report to the local authorities concerned, and each case shall be settled according to the general regulations, which will be drawn up later.

As hostilities have now broken out between China and foreign countries, the missionaries of every nationality must all be driven away at once to their own countries, so that they may not linger here and make trouble. But it is important that measures shall be taken to secure their protection on their journey.

The high provincial authorities shall make close investigation into the circumstances in all places without their jurisdiction and speedily take the necessary steps. Let there be no carelessness. The above decree shall be circulated for general information.

[Inclosure 9.]

Imperial decrees published in the Pekin Gazette July 6, 1900.

A cashiered lieutenant-colonel, Shou Chang, permitted to return to service.
Chen Shou appointed lieutenant-general of Sheng Ching, to assist military operations.
A censor, Wen Piao, complains of brigandage in the capital. We order that the princes and ministers in command of the Boxers shall instruct their subordinates to arrest the guilty and execute them on the spot.
Relief for the hungry poor who suffer from the high price of rice.
[Page 172]
[Inclosure 10.]

Imperial decree published in the Pekin Gazette July 8, 1900.

The posts about Tientsin are of extreme importance. Troops are to be massed for their defense. The 72 fire companies, numbering over 10,000 men, all animated by a spirit of patriotism, united with the Boxers, would swell the strength of the defense and turn the edge of the enemy.

[Inclosure 11.]

Imperial decree published in the Pekin Gazette July 9, 1900.

We appoint Li Hung Chang viceroy of the province of Chihli and superintendent of northern trade. As the guarding of Tientsin is at present of the most importance, we direct that until the arrival of Li Hung Chang, Yu Lu, in concert with Sung Cheng, deliberate as to the best measures to be taken. Pending the change of officers there must be no slackening of responsibility.

[Inclosure 12.—Translation of the Pekin Gazette, July 11, 1900 (sixth moon, 10th day)].

Report of the governor-general of Chihli, Yu lu, concerning military engagements.

I have reported already to Your Majesty on the 29th day of the fifth moon (June 24), concerning our engagements with the foreign troops on the 29th, in the morning.

Several hundred foreign troops with many native Christians moved from the railway station to Men I Wei bridge in order to aid the foreign troops surrounding the arsenal. Our regular troops, together with the Boxers, forced them to retire. On the same day at noon, from the wall surrounding the arsenal at Hei Ku, several hundred foreign troops with cannon again attacked our fortifications opposite the arsenal, in a place called Pai Niao. Our troops opened fire and the engagement lasted more than two hours, and only after that the foreigners retreated. As the foreign troops situated at Hsi Ku had for several days been attacked by our troops and had no means to move, and also no reinforcements were coming to them, the same night they set fire to the arsenal on three sides and, profiting by it, fled. Our troops, seeing that the fire had risen, sent a detachment to pursue the foreigners, and on the other side, together with the Boxers, put out the fire. The foreigners retreated in disorder to the Lao Lung T’ou Railway station. After having subdued the fire an inspection was made of the different storerooms of the arsenal, and it was found that nine of these had burned down, but the others had escaped altogether.

On the same day at noon the foreigners bombarded from the settlement the workshops situated close to the temple Hsi Kuang Ssu (the “treaty temple”). One of the shells fell into the kitchen of this temple. A fire broke out and the buildings of the temple and also the woodwork of the workshops and several buildings of the temple burned down. There remain, however, more than fifty chien, and the machinery in them, although somewhat damaged, can be repaired. The arsenal at Hsi Ku has not yet been taken by the foreign troops. Likewise the workshops to the south of the city have not been entered by the foreigners. At present orders have been issued to guard them strictly. Outside the east gate of the city of Tientsin, at a distance of some 20 li, the arsenal was several times attacked by foreigners. From the 27th day to the 30th of the fifth moon the foreign troops which had just arrived were several times repulsed. On the 1st day of the sixth moon the foreign troops again arrived from the eastern side of the arsenal. They were repulsed by the commanding officer, Pan Chin-shan, but they repeated their attacks several times and were repulsed again, many of the foreign soldiers being killed. Just at mealtime more than 8,000 foreign troops, arriving from the foreign settlement of Tientsin, attacked the arsenal. They were met by commander Yao. Cavalry arrived from Chun Liang Ch’eng and attacked our troops, together with the foreigners attacking us from the west. The shells and bullets fell like rain. Pan Chin-shan was wounded in his right leg. Shortly afterwards a shell fell into one of the workshops of the arsenal and an explosion took place. The foreign troops, seizing this occasion, entered from every side. We could not hold our position and retreated to Hsi Ku. Three hundred of our soldiers had been killed, but the foreign losses were also not [Page 173] insignificant. The arsenal occupies a space about 20 li in circumference. The foreigners had occupied only part of it, and, according to information received, only a part of the buildings have been burned and the machinery stores have not been damaged. The respective troops have received orders to act together with the Boxers and find means to recover the arsenal. At the same time that the arsenal was attacked foreign troops advanced also from the east of the river and attempted to repair the railway bridge at Ch’en Chia K’ou, in order to divide our troops, but one of the commanders, together with the Boxers, attacked them with artillery and killed many of the foreigners, destroying also the bridge which the foreigners had attempted to repair. The foreign troops fled in disorder to the settlement. On the 2d and 3d days of the sixth moon the foreign troops made no attempt en masse, but they kept provoking our troops on the concession and at Na Chia K’ou. They also made sorties from the railway station to places situated to the west of the river, but each time were repulsed by our troops. These are the details of the different engagements which have taken place since the 29th day of the last moon.

As far as the taking of Taku is concerned, we have learned from the spies that small gunboats of different powers—more than ten in number—are anchored at Tang Ku. The troops which have come up to Tientsin have been towed up by steam launches in barges. Among the troops the Russians were in preponderance. They were also accompanied by coolies, hired by the Russians for the repair of the railway, and by Christian natives. The Wan Men bridge has been destroyed by the foreign troops, and the railway upward from Chun Liang Ch’eng has not been repaired.

At present General Ma Yu-kun, with his troops, has arrived (on the 3d day of the sixth moon) at Tientsin. On the arrival of these reinforcements the inhabitants of Tientsin felt themselves more secure. I have consulted with the above general about the mode of continuing the warfare, and we have come to the conclusion that in the first place it is necessary to force the foreign troops to retire from the foreign settlement of Tientsin and then to attack them at Taku. I have consulted on this subject several times with Generals Na Meh and Lo, and hope to be able to retake the Taku forts.

Rescript approving this mode of action.

memorandum by governor-general yu lu.

Boxers at different places in my province have at different dates arrived at Tientsin and taken part in the battles. At present there is a Boxer chief of the district of Ching Hsi by the name of Chang Te-sh’eng, who arrived on the 2d day of the sixth moon with 5,000 Boxers and has presented himself to me. Seeing that he is a man physically strong and mentally capable, I have ordered him to choose a residence here and await further orders. I have also directed that firearms and provisions should be distributed to his followers. In case of merit on his part in the future, a special report will be made by me on this subject.

[Inclosure 13.]

Imperial decrees published in the Pekin Gazette July 12, 1900.

The death of General Meh Shih Cheng.—Though he had done much to train the troops, yet on the occasion he made many blunders. We deprived him of his rank, but retained him in command, hoping he would redeem his faults, but on the eleventh moon, (July 9), he fell at the head of his forces.

Note by Yu Lu in the defense of Tientsin.—The gentry of Tientsin have stated that after several days of hard fighting our troops are sorely pressed. They ask reinforcements, and measures are proposed for their relief.

A decree has been sent to the southern viceroys to hurry up troops to the capital, which is described as in a state of confusion.

[Inclosure 14.]

Imperial decree published in the Pekin Gazette July 18, 1900.

The reason of the fighting between the Chinese and foreigners sprung from a disagreement between the people and Christians. We could but enter upon war when the forts of Taku were taken. Nevertheless the Government is not willing lightly [Page 174] to break off the friendly relations which have previously existed. We have repeatedly issued edicts to protect the ministers of the various countries. We have also ordered the missionaries of the various provinces to be protected. The fighting has not become extensive. There are many merchants of the various countries in our dominions. All alike should be protected. It is ordered that the generals and governors examine carefully where there are merchants and missionaries and still, according to the provisions of the treaties, protect them without the least carelessness. Last month the chancellor of the Japanese legation was killed. It was indeed most unexpected. Before this matter had been settled the German minister was killed. Suddenly meeting this affair caused us deep grief. We ought to vigorously seek the murderer and punish him.

Not to mention the righting at Tientsin, the shun tien fu and the governor-general of this province should command the officers under them to examine what foreigners have been causelessly killed and what property destroyed and report, that all may be settled at once.

Concerning the wretches who have been burning houses, robbing and killing the people these many days, they have caused this region to be all in disorder. It is ordered that the governors-general and the high officials should clearly ascertain the circumstances and unite in reducing to order and quiet the confusion and root out the cause of the disturbance. Cause all places to know this general edict.

[Inclosure 15.]

A memorial published in the Pekin Gazette July 24, 1900.

A memorial from Yu Lu and Sung Ch’ing describes later righting at Tientsin. They state that General Meh Shih-ch’eng fell after a desperate combat lasting six hours on the 9th of July, and that on his fall his men retreated. The foreign troops forced their way through the Hai-huang gate and the Hai-kuang temple was set on fire, but the Chinese troops were reenforced and the foreigners forced to withdraw to the foreign concession. Artillery fire was opened on the concession and the Hung Lou (red 2–story building) was destroyed and many foreigners killed. Memorialists in the afternoon of the same day (July 9) led an attack on the foreign concession, aided by the Boxers, advancing from Ma Chia K’ou, and destroyed a 2–story building by artillery fire, killing some score of foreign troops. The foreigners came out in detachments and gave battle in the concession. The Chinese gave way, but again advanced. When night came on, however, the Boxers could no longer hold out, and the troops on both sides were recalled.

On the 10th day of July a fresh attack was made by the Chinese forces from the Lao Lung T’ou railway station, hoping to destroy the railway, but this attempt was frustrated by fire from the foreign troops. Many Chinese officers were killed, and a retreat was only effected under cover of reenforcements brought up by memorialists. It was reported the same evening that the foreign loss was not small.

July 11, early, the foreigners attacked, but were forced to retreat. At noon they again advanced and set up guns at Ma Chia K’ou, firing at the Shui Shih Ying (naval secretariat) but, though they set it on fire, it was not quite destroyed, but the east and south gate of the city and places north and south of the river all suffered from their fire, which was only stopped by a flanking fire from the Chinese artillery.

The above, say the memorialists, is an account of the fight from July 9 to July 11. Sung Ch’ing arrived at Tientsin on July 10. He discussed the situation with Yu Lu and came to the conclusion that the (positions of the) foreign troops in the settlement were very strong, being protected by mines, but must be taken. He heard also that there were many foreign war ships coming and going at Taku. At the moment there were several score there and over 10 inside, besides 3 torpedo boats, and at Tong Ku there were over a thousand foreign troops. Further, the railway below Chun Liang Ch’eng was working, with mines laid at each side to prevent Chinese attacks. Thus it seemed that unless the trains and steam launches could be stopped the foreigners could not be destroyed. But the force at Tientsin only supplied for local need, and though reenforcements were expected from Shantung, dispatched by Yuan Shih-k’ai, these would not enable a successful attack to be made on Taku, and further large reenforcements were required.

Rescript expresses the regret of the Throne at death of the officers mentioned, and announces that posthumous honors will be bestowed on them.

[Page 175]
[Inclosure 16.]

A decree published in the Pekin Gazette August 2, 1900.

Owing to the disturbances caused by the people and the converts in the neighbor hood of the capital, war broke out between China and the foreign powers. It was a duty to protect the envoys of the various foreign States residing in Pekin, and the prince and ministers of the tsungli yamen addressed frequent letters to them inquiring after their welfare. They also, on account of the minds of the people in the city being excited and the difficulty of maintaining a complete defense, discussed with the various foreign ministers the question of detaching troops to give them safe escort to Tientsin, in order to avoid alarm and apprehension.

We direct the grand secretary, Jung Lu, to select in advance trustworthy officers, civil and military, of high rank, to take trustworthy troops, and when the foreign envoys have fixed the date for leaving the city give them safe-conduct on the road. If there should be evil-doers who lie in wait to plunder, these are to be immediately killed. Before the envoys leave the capital, if they have telegrams to be sent to their countries, provided they are en clair, the tsungli yamen is promptly to arrange the matter for them without delay. This will exhibit the extreme desire of the Throne to treat the people from afar with tenderness.

[Inclosure 17.]

A decree published in the Pekin Gazette August 2, 1900.

The merchants and missionaries of all countries in China have nothing to do with the war that has broken out between China and foreign powers, and for that reason we issue instructions to the various provincial authorities to give protection as usual.

At the present moment great forces are collecting in the vicinity of the capital, and all the high officers in command of troops must also make the above aim their own, and steps must be taken to protect all foreign merchants and missionaries in accordance with the tender feeling of the Throne toward the people from afar.

The converts are also the children of the State, but as soon as the quarrel between them and the Boxers broke out they have been occupying villages, digging intrenchments, and throwing up barricades” in resistance to the Government troops. Such conduct is equivalent to rebellion and must be severely dealt with. We remember, however, that they were actuated by fear of punishment, and if they will repent and reform the net may be opened (to allow them to escape).

We yesterday received a report from Sung Ch’ing to the effect that at Ta Pao Tien, in the Pao Ti district, he earnestly admonished the converts and the missionaries and others who were willing to deliver up their arms and their barricades, to fill up their intrenchments, and to disperse to their villages. Thus it may be seen that not all converts are willing evil doers. Wherever there are converts who repent and make submission the generals and officers and the local officials are hereby directed to act as above, and not to put all to death. The bad characters in different places who pretend to be patriotic people—i. e., Boxers (I Min)—and pick quarrels in order to pillage and slay are to be punished, in order that the springs of disorder may be purified.

[Inclosure No. 18.]

The Tsungli Yamen to Mr. Conger.

No. 187.]

Your Excellency: The princes and ministers have the honor to inform the minister of the United States that the viceroy of Chihli has memorialized the Throne that he received a communication from M. du Chaylard, the French consul-general (at Tientsin), on the 17th instant, stating that the admirals of the foreign fleets had demanded the surrender of all the Taku forts to them by to-morrow morning at 2 o’clock, or else they will attack them and take them by force.

The princes and ministers have the honor to say that this news has caused them great astonishment, China having been so long at peace with the powers, and if now the foreign admirals intend to seize the forts this would show an intention on the part of the powers to break off friendly relations, and they would be the first to offend.

[Page 176]

At the present time the Boxer banditti have risen in Pekin and caused public excitement. The minister of the United States, with his family and staff, being here, his legation is now in danger, and China will find it a difficult matter to give complete protection. The princes and ministers therefore beg that within twenty-four hours the minister of the United States, with his family, etc., and taking his guards, keeping them under control, will leave for Tientsin, in order to avoid danger. An escort of troops has been dispatched to give protection en route, and the local officials have been also notified to allow the minister’s party to pass.

[Inclosure 19.]

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps to the Tsungli Yamen.

Your Highness and Your Excellencies: The foreign ministers have received with great astonishment the note which the Tsungli Yamen has sent them dated to-day.

They know absolutely nothing of that which the note contains upon the subject of what may have taken place at the forts of Taku. The foreign ministers can only accept the declarations and the demand which the yamen makes to them and prepare to leave Pekin. It is utterly impossible to arrange for the departure in the short time of twenty-four hours. The Chinese Government must understand that there are a great number of women and children here and that it is a very numerous procession that must be provided for.

The Tsungli Yamen tells us that it will furnish safeguards en route. The foreign ministers desire to know in what these safeguards will consist, understanding that the country is full of rebels. We do not doubt the sincere willingness of the Chinese Government in this regard, but since there are foreign soldiers en route who are marching toward Pekin for the purpose of cooperating amicably with the Government in reestablishing order, the foreign ministers desire that these detachments should be quickly advised, so that they may join us and all depart together.

The foreign ministers must demand, besides the necessary means of transport, carts, boats, and provisions, and also be accompanied by some of the ministers of the tsungli yamen.

For the purpose of arranging all these questions the members of the diplomatic corps request to be received by Prince Ching and Prince Tuan to-morrow, Wednesday, at 9 o’clock a.m.

The diplomatic corps expect an immediate reply.

Cologan, Dean.
[Inclosure 20.]

The Tsungli Yamen to the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

On the 19th instant we received the dispatch of the dean, as follows: “The diplomatic corps know absolutely nothing of the forts at Taku. Your yamen directs us for the present to leave Pekin. It will be impossible to depart in twenty-four hours. The Chinese Government must understand that there are a great number of women and children here, and that it is a very numerous procession which must be provided for. We wish to be informed as to the nature of the guaranty of security which you will furnish us. The detachments at present en route to Pekin have no other than friendly intentions. Moreover, we ask for to-morrow morning at 9 o’clock an interview with your yamen.”

In making known to you by our dispatch of yesterday that you ought to leave Pekin within twenty-four hours we were guided by no other consideration than that of disturbances raised by the bandits in the city of Pekin itself and the fear of not being able to insure your protection. But the regions surrounding Pekin being at present disturbed, it is to be feared also that the departure of a procession of the families of members of the legations and their children can not occur without great danger.

Since your dispatch declares to us that it is impossible for you to prepare to leave in twenty-four hours, we naturally agree to the delay and negotiate anew.

[Page 177]

The relations of good friendship which have so long existed between China and the different powers have not been stained by any animosity. But at present, by reason of the disagreement which exists between the people and the Christians, a state of things has actually arrived which could not have really been foreseen.

To-day, as the foreign ministers express a desire to visit our yamen at 9 o’clock, we, prince and ministers, have an equal desire to express to them our thoughts. But, it being true that during these last days the streets are overexcited, the foreign ministers in going from their legations to our yamen would encounter en route very great danger, which gives us, prince and ministers, great anxiety for you. Besides, we are daily on guard at the palace, and it is impossible for us to be in two places at the same time.

Your dispatch contains not only assurances of peaceful intentions; it adds that you intend especially to safeguard good relations.

The prince and ministers have been profoundly pleased with this declaration, and we hope that you will be good enough to inform us expressly what are the intentions and instructions of your Governments, in order to enable us to negotiate in concert with you again. We pray you, besides, Mr. Dean, to be kind enough to communicate with haste this dispatch to the representatives of the powers.

Compliments and cards.

[Inclosure 21.]

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps to the Tsungli Yamen.

Your Highness and Your Excellencies: I have the honor to inform your highness and your excellencies that the foreign ministers have received and read with interest your dispatch of yesterday.

In reply to the question put to them, they instruct me to make known to you that their Governments have never given them any but the most friendly instructions in regard to China. They have at no time had any other purpose than assuring their safety. It is for this purpose only that the detachments are at present en route to Pekin.

The foreign ministers must for their part ask the entire attention of your highness and your excellencies to the firing upon them which has been continued since yesterday. They are convinced that this must be done against the wish of the Chinese Government, and that it may be charged only to rebels or to some groups of soldiers acting independently. They therefore request you to immediately put a stop to these aggressions, so contrary to the terms of your note just received and to the friendly spirit of the present dispatch.

[Inclosure 22.]

Prince Ching et al. to Sir Claude MacDonald.

For the last ten days the soldiers and militia have been fighting, and there has been no communication between us, to our great anxiety.

Some time ago we hung up a board expressing our intention, but no answer has been received, and, contrary to the expectation, the foreign soldiers made renewed attacks, causing alarm and suspicion amongst the soldiers and people. Yesterday the troops captured a convert named Chin Hu-hsi and learned from him that the foreign ministers were all well, which caused us very great satisfaction.

But it is the unexpected that happens. The reinforcements of foreign troops were long ago stopped and turned back by the Boxers, and if in accordance with previous agreement we were to guard your excellency out of the city, there are so many Boxers on the Tientsin-Taku road that we should be very apprehensive of misadventure. We now request your excellencies to first take your families and the various members of your staffs and leave your legations in detachments. We should select trustworthy officers to give you close and strict protection, and you should temporarily reside in the tsungli yamen pending future arrangements for your return home, in order to preserve friendly relations intact from beginning to end; but at the time of leaving the legations there must on no account whatever be taken any single [Page 178] armed foreign soldier, in order to prevent doubt and fear on the part of the troops and people, leading to untoward incidents.

If your excellency is willing to show this confidence, we beg you to communicate with all the foreign ministers in Pekin, to-morrow at noon being the limit of time, and to let the original messenger deliver your reply, in order that we may settle in advance the day for leaving the legation.

This is the single way of preserving relations that we have been able to devise in the face of innumerable difficulties. If no reply is received by the time fixed even our affection will not enable us to save you.

Compliments Prince Ching and others, 6th moon, 28th day.

[Inclosure 23.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Prince Ching et al.

I have received your letter of to-day’s date and avail myself of the opportunity to recall to your highness’s recollection the fact that among all civilized States a foreign envoy occupies an almost sacred position as a guest whom his host is absolutely bound to protect. When war breaks out between two States the first anxiety of each is to give the envoys of the other safe conduct out of its dominions, for it would be disgraced if harm befell him within its borders. There has never been a case of war between two civilized powers in which the safety of the envoys was not guaranteed.

Now, what has been the treatment by China of the envoys who are guests at her capital?

Ever since the 20th of June the troops of the Chinese Government have kept up an incessant fire on all the foreign legations, both with rifles and artillery.

Even if China is at war with the whole world she is bound to protect the residence of foreign envoys.

Moreover, ordinarily when peace is declared after a war no action is taken against the officials of the defeated power; but if foreign envoys were to be killed in attacks on the legations by the troops of the Government to which they are accredited there is grave probability of personal reprisal against all those in official positions in the city. I beg your highness ponder these observations.

The letter under acknowledgment speaks of attacks by foreign soldiers. There have never been any such attacks. All that has been done is to defend the lives of those living in the legations against the Chinese troops. We shall continue to defend ourselves, but it would be better for China if she left off attacking.

In accordance with your request I have communicated to the other foreign ministers your suggestions that the ministers and their families should go without armed escort to the Tsungli Yamen. They beg me to state that they do not understand why they should be safer there than in the legations.

I have only to add that if it is desired to make any further communications I suggest that a trustworthy person be sent holding a plain white flag or white cloth. He will be in no way molested and will be allowed to return in safety.

I avail myself, etc.

C. MacDonald.
[Inclosure 24.]

Prince Ching et al. to Sir Claude MacDonald.

We received last night your letter of the 15th July with an inquiry regarding the taking of your family to temporarily reside in the Tsungli Yamen.

Although the different foreign legations are not far distant from each other, yet they are somewhat scattered, and in her efforts to protect them China may fail at one point while looking after another. For this reason the suggestion was made that all should collect at the tsungli yamen, so that there might be concentration of force in the protection of a single place. This was the object of the previous note.

We now see from the letter under acknowledgment that the proposal is not acceptable [Page 179] to the various foreign envoys. China must therefore increase the number of troops and strictly restrain the militia, preventing them from again opening fire on and attacking the foreign legations, while the latter should also not fire from time to time at pleasure, and so excite a general resentment which it will be more than ever difficult to appease. China will continue to exert all her efforts to keep order and give protection in accordance with the general law.

We believe that your excellency and the other foreign envoys will concur.

Further communications should be made in accordance with the plan suggested in your letter.


[Inclosure 25.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Prince Ching et al.

Glad to hear that the Chinese Government intend strictly restraining the militia and not allow them to again open fire and attack the foreign legations.

We have never fired except in self-defense, but the continual attacks on us have naturally inspired great suspicion and it will take time before confidence is restored. Chinese troops moving across the north bridge were never molested until after the 20th of June, when they fired on us. The writers of the note must understand that while very anxious to reestablish peace and quiet, we can not be sure who it is that is moving in our vicinity, constructing barricades, preparing gun platforms; therefore they must not blame us if we fire when we observe such actions, for this is entirely in self-defense. It would be best, as temporary measure, for the Chinese Government to forbid all movements in sight of the legations until confidence is restored. There will certainly, under those rules, be no attacks by foreign troops.

They desire to add that even while this letter was being brought in many shells were fired into the British legation. Fortunately, no foreign envoy has as yet been wounded in the attacks on the legations.

[Inclosure 26.]

Prince Ching et al. to Sir Claude MacDonald.

We have just received your letter. The object of the entry of the troops of different countries into Pekin was the protection of the legations, but later as they strolled about the streets and fired their rifles as they pleased there were cases of people being wounded, and the neighborhood of the Chang An street became almost closed to traffic. Moreover, on the 25th day of the fifth moon (June 21), a Manchu noble named Jun happened to be proceeding to court, when on reaching the street outside the. Tung hwa gate (eastern gate of the palace) he suddenly heard a rifle shot and the bullet pierced the covering of his cart. This excited the anger of both the soldiers and people and led to mutual attacks.

Now, since it has been mutually agreed that there shall be no fighting in future on either side, there may be peace and quiet. But there are now to the east of the Chien men gate on the city wall foreign soldieys, who from time to time fire and make attacks. If the soldiers could be controlled and not allowed to go on the wall it would be most desirable.

Compliments, etc.

[Inclosure 27.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Prince Ching et al.

I am in receipt of your letter of yesterday and beg to state in reply that on the 19th of June the legations received a dispatch from the Tsungli Yamen directing them to to leave the city by 4 o’clock next day.

A reply was sent stating that this was impossible owing to want of transportation.

The yamen answered that the time could be extended. In spite of this, at 4 o’clock [Page 180] that afternoon, fire was opened and an attack made on the legations. The fire was, of course, returned, and probably it was then that the cart of a Manchu noble was struck. From that time until the 25th of June the Chinese fire was continued. A board was then displayed on the north bridge, stating that an Imperial decree had been received to protect the envoys and not to fire, and that a dispatch would be handed over at the bridge. A messenger was sent from the legation with a board stating that in accordance with the decree he came to receive the dispatch, but the Chinese soldiers threatened him with their rifles and he had to return. The board remained on the bridge and Chinese troops passed freely across and no shot was fired from the legation. But at midnight the Chinese, having apparently completed their preparations, suddenly opened a very heavy fire, and from that day on the attacks on the legations have continued without intercession.

As stated in a previous letter, such attacks on envoys are absolutely without parallel in the history of the world. With regard to the phrase in the letter under acknowledgment, that there is a mutual agreement not to fire, I must again, as in my previous letter, point out that preparations for attack are acts of hostility equally with actual firing, and therefore the legations can not at present allow the construction of gun platforms, and earthworks, and barricades in their neighborhood, even though no firing takes place, though it is to be hoped that the time will soon come when mutual confidence will be restored, and measures in defense of the foreign legations be no longer necessary.

As to the request that the foreign troops shall be withdrawn from the city wall, it is unfortunately the case that much of the firing has been directed against the legations from the wall, and therefore for the present the request can not be complied with.

I beg to ask in conclusion that sellers of ice and fruit may be allowed to come into the legation quarter, either along Legation street or from the north bridge, as these are articles of which there are none in the legations.

Compliments, etc.

Claude MacDonald.
[Inclosure 28.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Jung Lu.

I received the message sent by the soldier. I have this morning already sent a letter to the north bridge in reply to that received yesterday.

The foreign ministers have no other desire than to see peace reestablished, but it is difficult for them to have confidence in consequence of the renewed attacks upon us. We never fire, except when we see people moving about in our vicinity, apparently preparing to attack us, or building barricades or gun platforms or other offensive work.

The best plan to suppress attacking us would be to cut off their supplies of ammunition, and thus by degrees peace will be restored and confidence resumed.

It would be a very good thing also if some responsible person be sent to discuss matters with us.

Claude MacDonald.
[Inclosure 29.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Jung Lu.

Yesterday I sent to your excellency a letter, through General Sun, commanding the direction of the Ha-ta-men. This morning I have myself spoken with the colonel commanding the troops on the wall in the direction of the Chien-men, who had informed me that he wished personally to carry to your excellency a letter, in case my previous letter has not reached your excellency. I beg to repeat it. I would also add to this that the following orders have been issued to all European troops until such time as complete confidence has been restored:

Our troops not to fire unless fired upon.
Soldiers constructing barricades to be fired upon.
Any armed soldiers leaving their barricades seen in the neighborhood of the legations will be fired upon.
Any unarmed officers or soldiers carrying letters or messages will not be fired at, but these should not exceed two in number. If unarmed soldiers leave their barricades or positions in greater numbers than the above stated, shots will be fired over their heads, and if they continue to advance they will be fired at.

Claude MacDonald.

P. S.—While this letter was being written the yamen secretary, Wen Pei, arrived and copies of the previous letters were handed him.

[Inclosure 30.]

Prince Ching et al. to Sir Claude MacDonald.

Yesterday we received the Secretary Wen’s report of his interview, and learned that the foreign envoys also wish for peace.

It is possible that the foreign envoys do not fully realize the keen desire of the court on the present occasion to protect the legations, and we feel bound to give a detailed explanation.

The discord between the people and the converts is of very long standing, and trouble having suddenly broken out the whole people are of one mind. The Throne has repeatedly issued edicts, both for extermination and pacification, but all people detest the converts (or the religion), this feeling being universal. There is a great ferment, absolutely beyond control. The feeling has gone so far that only the destruction of the legations will satisfy it. For the last month, fortunately, your excellency and others have been at peace and well to the happiness of all countries and of China. But the fighting at Tientsin is now proceeding fiercely, and it is not advisable that your excellency and others should remain long in the city. Recently in the Manchuria and Shansi the Boxers are from all sides answering the call, and are showing their eagerness to serve their sovereign. In both cases stringent decrees have been issued directing the viceroys and governors concerned and the high officers in command of troops to use every effort to keep order and prevent a northward advance (sic?), but it is to be feared that the rivers dammed up will overflow, and the calamity will be indescribable.

After much consideration our only course is to again request your excellency and others to temporarily retire to Tientsin. The Throne will not fail to give protection, and will detach the forces of Sung Ching and Sun Wan-lin to give efficient escort, and guarantee your safety.

If your excellency determines to stay in Pekin, and if there should happen any unfortunate disaster, we, the prince and ministers, have faithfully given warning in advance and can not accept the responsibility. We have stated what is in our hearts, and it is for your excellency to come to a decision and send a speedy reply, which we anxiously await.

(No “compliments” or usual ending of letters.)

[Inclosure 31.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Prince Ching et al.

Yesterday evening I received your letter in which there are several points I do not understand.

It is stated that the keen desire of the court to protect the foreign legations is possibly not fully realized, and that a detailed explanation will be given, but all that is explained is that there is a great ferment absolutely beyond control, and that the feeling has gone so far that nothing but the destruction of the legations will satisfy it.

It is difficult to believe that since there is a real desire on the part of the Throne to protect the foreign envoys there can be any impossibility in doing so, provided proper orders are issued to the troops of the Chinese Government.

An imperial edict might also be issued to the people explaining that the foreign envoys are in the capital as the guests of the Sovereign, and that it is in the highest degree important in the interests of China that the legation quarter should be left in peace. All persons disregarding this would then be treated as disloyal subjects.

[Page 182]

With regard to the request that the foreign envoys should leave the capital to go to Tientsin there are two observations to be made for your consideration. In the first place, as long as the envoys remain in the capital the reestablishment of friendly relations in accordance with general desire is facilitated, while their departure would mean that friendly relations with China and all the other powers of the world had been definitely broken off, and it would then take a very long time to reestablish peace.

The calamities thus brought on the officials and people of China would be indescribable. Moreover, so far as is known to the foreign ministers the Chinese representatives at the various foreign capitals are still at their posts, probably with the same object of endeavoring to reestablish friendly relations.

Secondly, in previous letters it was stated that it would not be safe for the envoys to proceed to Tientsin. The present letter also speaks of uncontrollable ferment and of the Boxers gathering from all sides. I therefore beg you to explain why, if the Chinese Government can not insure the protection of the foreign envoys in Pekin by the Chinese troops, they feel confident of their power to do so outside the city on the way to Tientsin.

The letter closes by saying that you can not be responsible for any unforeseen disaster that may occur. But as the foreign envoys have come to Pekin in reliance on the protection of the Chinese court I must point out that it is impossible for the latter to free itself from the responsibility for their safety.

I shall be glad to have an answer to this letter to communicate to my colleagues.

Compliments, etc.

Claude MacDonald.
[Inclosure 32.]

Prince Ching et al. to Sir Claude MacDonald.

We have received your reply stating that there were some points in our letter not altogether clear. We now propose to explain our meaning in full detail. From the first to last we have never neglected the protection of the legations, but owing to the fact that the numbers of rebellious people are daily increasing we are greatly afraid that something may happen too suddenly to be guarded against and produce a great calamity. This was why we renewed the suggestion for a temporary retirement. As to the inquiry what difference there is between giving protection in the city or on the road, and why it is not possible to give it in the former case while it can be given in the latter, there is only an apparent discrepancy. For being in the city is permanent, the being on the road is temporary. If all the foreign ministers are willing to temporarily retire, we should propose the route to Tung Chou and thence by boat downstream direct to Tientsin, which could be reached in only two days. No matter what difficulties there might be, a numerous body of troops would be sent, half by water to form a close escort, half by land to keep all safe on both banks. Since the time would be short we can guarantee that there would be no mischance. It is otherwise with a permanent residence in Pekin, where it is impossible to foretell when a disaster may occur. No matter whether by day or night, a single hour or a single moment’s remissness may produce an alarm without time to take precautions. This can be readily understood. The letter under acknowledgment further states that the continual residence of the foreign ministers in Pekin facilitates the reestablishment of peace in accordance with the general desire, and that if they leave it will be more difficult and will take longer to reestablish friendly relations.

This observation shows that your excellency is not unmindful of the friendship that has hitherto existed. There is certainly no wish on the part of China for the calamity of war to be indefinitely prolonged. But at the present moment the warships of all nations have occupied an important fort and have further seized Tientsin. Seeing that warlike operations are in progress there, how does your excellency propose to put an end to them?

As your excellency and the other foreign ministers have to arrange the reestablishment of the status quo, it would seem better to settle matters at Tientsin, and we would repeat our request that you will pack your baggage by an early day and name a fixed date in order that we may prepare boats and provisions.


[Page 183]
[Inclosure 33.]

Prince Ching et al. to Sir Claude MacDonald.

For the past month and more military affairs have been pressing. Your excellency and the other foreign ministers ought to telegraph home that your families are well in order to soothe anxiety. But at present peace is not restored, and your legation telegrams must be wholly en clair, stating that all is well, without touching on military affairs.

Under these conditions the yamen can transmit them.

The writers beg that your excellency will communicate this to the various foreign ministers. Compliments.

[Inclosure 34.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Prince Ching et al.

I have conferred with my colleagues regarding the proposal in your letter of the 25th instant that the foreign envoys should leave Pekin for Tientsin via Tung Chou; and I beg to observe in their name that while the letter speaks of arrangements being made for boats and food, nothing is said in regard to chairs and carts from this city to Tung Chou.

They would be glad to know what arrangements the Chinese Government propose to make in this respect, and especially as to the transport of sick women and children, who will require special attention, and also to have further details as to the escort it is proposed to provide. When my colleagues know these details they will be in a position to examine the question, which for the present remains in the same state as heretofore.


[Inclosure 35.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Prince Ching et al.

I have duly communicated to my colleagues your letter suggesting that the foreign ministers should telegraph to their respective countries news of the well-being of their families, permission being given only to telegraph en clair, without reference to military matters.

In reply I beg to point out that it is impossible to telegraph that the ministers’ families are well, because women and children have naturally suffered in health from the confinement in hot weather during the siege of the last five weeks and the lack of food to which they are accustomed.

I may further point out, with regard to the prohibition of cipher messages, that nothing but a cipher message would be accepted by foreign governments as proof that the envoy concerned was its author, and that as to the stipulation that no military news should be sent, the foreign envoys have no information in regard to the military situation and therefore could not send intelligence of that kind.


[Inclosure 36.]

Prince Ching et al. to Sir Claude MacDonald.

We hear that in the different legations there are housed a considerable number of converts. The number of people being large and the space small, this must cause much inconvenience in this hot weather. Feeling is now quiet and tranquil, and the converts mentioned may very well be sent out and directed to quietly pursue their avocations. There is no need for doubt and fear.

[Page 184]

If this meets concurrence, we would beg that an estimate be made of the number of people and days fixed for sending them out, notice being given us in advance, in order that there may be mutual harmony.

We beg you to take the requisite action and also communicate with the other foreign envoys with a view to their taking similar steps.


[Inclosure 37.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Prince Ching et al.

I received the evening before last your further letter with regard to the proposal that the foreign ministers should proceed to Tientsin, and also a letter with regard to converts in the legations being sent out, tranquillity now prevailing, etc.

While my colleagues and myself were considering these letters we were surprised to hear the sound of heavy firing from the direction of the Pei Tang, which was evidently being attacked; we have no means of knowing by whom.

Further, there was constructed in the course of yesterday afternoon and last night a barricade across the North Bridge, from which a continuous fire has been kept up on the legations, and to-day there has also been a fire directed against the French and Russian legations.

There seems to my colleagues and to me to be a strange contradiction between the professions of a desire to protect us contained in the letters we have received and the actions above described. There are European officers and soldiers as well as missionaries at the Pei Tang, and as long as attacks on the legations and the Pei Tang are permitted, or if not permitted can not be prevented, it is difficult to see how similar attacks could be prevented on the journey to Tientsin.

We must, therefore, before further discussing the question of transport to Tung Chou, invite your explanations with regard to the above.

[Inclosure 38.]

Prince Ching et al. to Sir Claude MacDonald.

We received yesterday your note. The Pei Tang affair was due to the converts having previously gone out in all directions to plunder food. There were also some around with rifles who, on being stopped, immediately fired. This caused anger and resentment amongst the people, who joined the crowd of Boxers and made continuous attacks. A decree has now been requested to the effect that if the converts do not come out to plunder—this kind of people being also children of the State— they are to be protected and not further attacked. This practice will thus be gradually stopped.

As to the northern bridge matter, the troops of Tung were building a road, and the legations misunderstood them to be building a barricade and so opened fire, which the troops returned. This was a misunderstanding on both sides which will not lead to further attacks.

As to giving protection in temporarily leaving, it is not an easy matter, and it was only after much arrangement and after it had been found possible to give guaranty against mischance that the suggestion was put in writing. The matter is one of the greatest importance, and we could not purposely deceive.

We would therefore ask you and the other foreign ministers not to be overanxious, but to come to a decision with regard to a temporary retirement and send us a reply.


[Inclosure 39.]

Prince Ching et al. to Sir Claude MacDonald.

Yesterday we sent a letter in reply to your note, and in it stated that the mutual misunderstanding would not lead to further attack. But last night there were some converts who again fired on the posts of the Government troops, wounding 2 of the [Page 185] latter. The fire was immediately returned, and thereupon ceased. If the converts are not more amenable to control, it is to be feared that they will produce great disaster and ruin the whole situation. We therefore request you, in consultation with the other foreign ministers, to impose the strictest restraint, so as to avoid hostility arising from this. This is very important.

We hear of late that the converts have collected in great numbers and that they do not wish the foreign envoys to leave Pekin, their hope being that they will thus have perpetual support.

Rumor is not, of course, to be trusted; but if the above is really the case, we believe that the various foreign envoys will have long ago seen through the design and will not fall into their trap.

With regard to a temporary retirement, we sent yesterday an answering note, to which we have not yet received a reply. We must beg that within two or three days a date be fixed and communicated, in order that preparations may be made.


[Inclosure 40.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Prince Ching et al.

The letter received yesterday has caused me the greatest surprise. In the first place, the legations are not defended by converts, but by legation guards who came to Pekin with the consent of the Chinese Government for that purpose. Secondly, no shot was fired against the Chinese the day before evening, as stated in the letter. But from the newly constructed barricade on the north bridge and from other quarters there was directed against the legations a steady fire during the whole of that day and night, which was continued to the present moment, in spite of the fact that not a shot has been fired in return. Last night over 300 shots were thus fired without reply. Thirdly, the letter under acknowledgment speaks of firing by the Chinese Government troops. The foreign representatives are reluctant to believe that the fire directed against them the last two days proceed from the troops of the Chinese Government, but if it does not they find it impossible to understand why it is permitted to continue.

The writers of the letter do not yet seem to fully understand the difficulty in which the foreign representatives are placed by these renewed attacks, and I beg therefore to explain it in fuller detail. Suppose that they declare their readiness to proceed to Tientsin on a certain day; how are they to leave their legations? It can not be expected that they should come out and expose themselves to the fire now directed against them. If that fire ceased shortly before their departure, what security have they that it would not be renewed the moment they were on the road?

This is the difficulty in which the foreign envoys find themselves whenever they meet to consider the question of proceeding to Tientsin. It is a difficulty that naturally presents itself, and is in nowise suggested by the converts, whose interference would not be for a moment tolerated by the foreign representatives.

I shall again address you with regard to the subject of transport to Tientsin as soon as I have received your reply to the present letter.


[Inclosure 41.]

Prince Ching et al. to Sir Claude MacDonald.

We have received your letter of the 2d of August. With regard to the question of a temporary withdrawal (from Pekin to Tientsin), a public Imperial decree was issued yesterday appointing the Grand Secretary Jung Lu to select capable civil and military officers to take the troops to afford safe escort.

The Grand Secretary Jung Lu, before undertaking this responsible duty, had already taken the greatest pains and naturally considered every possible point, and it was not until he had done so that he ventured to accept the responsibility. Thus the case is quite different from that of some person without authority taking upon himself duties for which he is unfit.

We would therefore request your excellency and the other foreign representatives [Page 186] to make your minds at ease and not to hesitate and be overanxious, and earnestly trust that you will speedily send us a reply stating the details of the arrangements and the date you have decided on, in order that all necessary steps may be taken.

With regard to the firing during the night, it was, as before, the result of a mutual misunderstanding. Fortunately neither side crossed its frontier. It was more or less on the same footing as the sounding of the evening drum and the morning bell (of temple priests). It is really hardly worth a smile.


[Inclosure 42.]

The Tsungli Yamen to Sir Claude MacDonald.

A letter was yesterday addressed to you containing an inquiry as to the date of departure of yourself and your colleagues. We have not yet received a reply.

We have received frequent telegrams from the different Chinese ministers abroad with regard to this matter, and all the foreign offices request that safe escort out of Pekin should be provided without delay. Now that the legations have all been placed in telegraphic communication (with abroad) we must beg you to speedily send a reply informing us of the date you have decided upon leaving the capital, in order that with all haste the necessary arrangements for the journey may be made.

As to the thorough and sincere protection to be given, full details have been communicated in the previous letter.


(Cards of all yamen ministers—twelve. Hsu Ching Cheng and Yuan Chang missing.)

[Inclosure 43.]

The Tsungli Yamen to Sir Claude MacDonald.

We beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday, inclosing a telegram to Her Majesty’s secretary of state for foreign affairs in reply to that forwarded by the yamen, and also seven telegrams from other foreign ministers.

Telegraphic communication between Pekin and Tientsin is at present interrupted, and all telegrams are sent to Chinanfu for transmission. We have already sent the eight telegrams by 600 li courier (courier supposed to cover 200 miles a day) to Yuan Ta-jen, governor of Shantung, for speedy transmission to their various destinations.


(Cards of twelve yamen ministers.)

[Inclosure 44.]

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps to the Tsungli Yamen.

At the moment when His Excellency Sir Claude MacDonald was occupied in replying to the letter received to-day, and to which you refer, he received and communicated to me the red letter which your highness and your excellencies sent to-day and in which it is stated that all our Governments had expressed the desire that you would furnish us without delay a safe escort for leaving Pekin.

Although I know that this letter comes from the Tsungli Yamen, I have, in my capacity as dean, called together the diplomatic corps to consider this important matter.

The reply which I must address to the Tsungli Yamen, in the name of my honorable colleagues, is very simple. We send you eight telegrams for our Governments in order that we may ourselves receive their orders and instructions direct, which we regard as necessary before leaving our posts, and as soon as we receive a reply we shall be in a position to arrange this matter with you.

[Page 187]
[Inclosure 45.]

The Tsungli Yamen to Mr. Conger.

Your Excellency: The princes and ministers have the honor to inform the minister of the United States that on the 7th of August the following decree was issued from the Throne:

“Let Li Hung Chang be appointed as our plenipotentiary to consult and make arrangements by telegraph of all matters with the ministers for foreign affairs of the various foreign countries.”

As in duty bound the prince and ministers send a copy of the above decree for the information of the minister of the United States so that he may respectfully take note accordingly.

[Inclosure 46.]

Sir Claude MacDonald to Prince Ching et al.

On the 3d August I received from you a letter informing me that an Imperial edict had been issued appointing the Grand Secretary Jung Lu to select capable civil and military officers to take troops to afford safe escort for a temporary withdrawal of the foreign representatives to Tientsin. You added that the grand secretary before undertaking this responsible duty had already taken the greatest pains and considered every possible point, and it was not until he had done so that he ventured to accept the responsibility.

As I have frequently told you, it is impossible to understand how safe escort can be provided outside the city, where, as you have informed me, much disturbance prevails, when inside the city no foreign representative can move outside his legation gate without being deliberately shot at from behind their barricades by Chinese Imperial troops.

I had hoped that the appointment of so high an official as Jung Lu would have put a stop to this extraordinary and disgraceful state of affairs, but even so late as this morning bullets have been fired into the grounds of this legation by Chinese Imperial troops.

On the 7th instant the Chinese troops in the street behind the American legation fired at some people who were walking on the south bridge under the city wall. For what purpose they fired it is difficult to say. As it was midday, it could not have been, as suggested by you, for the purpose of “sounding the evening drum and morning bell.” However that may be, shots passed over the bridge and fell among the Chinese soldiers who held the barricade on the same street behind the German legation, causing considerable confusion among them.

This incident, which I myself observed, has occurred often, and would account for the accusation that the legation guards fire on the troops without provocation.

I note that you consider the firing of several hundred shots into the legations, which, as you are aware, are inhabited by women and children as well as by the foreign representatives and their staffs, as “hardly worth a smile.” I regret that this is an opinion which I can not share with you.

[Inclosure 47.]

Hon. E. H. Conger,
Our Respected and Beloved Minister:

Your very kind note of yesterday reminds us anew of the appreciation that you have manifested and the interest you have shown in all the work of American missionaries. Nor can we fail to recall the constant kindness and attentive care that you have always accorded us personally. We assure you it shall never be forgotten.

And we shall remember also the sincere interest you have taken in the welfare and preservation of Chinese Christians at a time when, but for the noble stand you took, perhaps even the remnant would have perished.

[Page 188]

Please accept for Mrs. Conger and yourself our thanks for your personal interest in all that has concerned us at a time when the strain on yourselves was peculiarly severe.

With great respect, yours, sincerely,

John Wherry, G. R. Davis, W. F. Walker, F. D. Gamewell, W. T. Hobart, Charles A. Killie, Geo. W. Verity, E. G. Tewksbury, Courtney H. Fenn, John Whiting, W. S. Ament, Chauncey Goodrich, Arthur H. Smith, Gilbert Reid, Franklin M. Chapin, William B. Stelle, J. H. Ingram, Howard S. Galt, John Inglis, H. E. King, Charles E. Ewing.

[Inclosure 48.]

Hon. E. H. Conger,
Minister of the United States of America.

Dear Sir: At a meeting of the American missionaries held this morning at 8.30 the following resolution was unanimously adopted, and it was further voted that the resolution be drafted and presented to you:

“The Americans who have been besieged in Pekin desire to express their hearty appreciation of the courage, fidelity, and patriotism of the American marines to whom we so largely owe our salvation.

“By their bravery in holding the wall in the face of overwhelming numbers and in cooperating in driving the Chinese from a position of great strength they made all foreigners in Pekin their debtors and gained for themselves an honorable name among the heroes of their country.”

For the meeting:

  • Arthur H. Smith, Chairman.
  • Charles E. Ewing, Secretary.

[Inclosures 49 and 50 are sketches facing this page,]

  1. All printed ante.