Mr. Hill to Mr. Conger.


(Mr. Hill states that this Government laid down, in a memorandum1 handed to Mr. Wu on September 7, the principle that it was unwilling to negotiate through any person who is believed to share responsibility for the recent outrages committed in Pekin upon foreigners. Earl Li Hung Chang and Prince Ching having presented prima facie evidence of their full powers as negotiators immediately representing the Emperor of China, and the former having given assurance that the lives and property of Americans in China will be respected, they have been informed that their plenipotentiary authority is accepted as sufficient for the preliminary negotiations looking toward the return of the Imperial Chinese Government and the resumption of its authority in Pekin, and toward the negotiation of a final settlement by the duly appointed plenipotentiaries of the powers and of China. To these ends Mr. Conger is authorized to enter into relations with Earl Li and Prince Ching as the immediate representatives of the Chinese Emperor, in case their authority continues to appear satisfactory, for the purposes already defined.

In his preliminary communications with Earl Li and Prince Ching, Mr. Conger will obtain valuable guidance as to the purposes of this Government by referring to the circular telegram2 of July 3, in which the general intentions of this Government are fully represented.

Mr. Conger is directed to constantly bear in mind the principle laid down in the memorandum of September 7, and to withhold recognition from all persons proposed as negotiators not acceptable under its terms or not possessed of immediate full power from the Emperor of China.

In case of further wrongs, anywhere in China, to American life or property, Mr. Conger will remind Earl Li of his promise of protection and insist upon it as a condition of continued relations.

His legation will, until further instructed, remain in Pekin, under the protection of an adequate military guard which has been ordered to remain there for that purpose. Mr. Conger will endeavor to prepare the way for such final negotiations as may hereafter be found [Page 205] necessary to accomplish the declared purposes of the United States, making full report of his progress and, before concluding definite arrangements, awaiting further instructions from the Department.)

  1. Not printed.
  2. Printed p. 299.