Mr. Goodnow to Mr. Hay.

No. 272.]

Sir: Continuing the narrative of dispatch 270, I have to confirm my telegrams of July 1:

Prince Tuan issued edict 20th ordering all viceroys fight foreigners. Central and southern viceroys have concertedly ignored it.

German minister murdered 18th. Three legations standing 23d. Yung Lu wires, 26th, other ministers safe, but situation desperate as Prince Tuan in power orders attack. Viceroys central and south China unitedly ask consuls-general as representing Governments to agree not to attack their provinces regardless of what happens at Pekin so long as they maintain order and protect foreigners. Fear holding back worse news Pekin.

and your reply—

Orders given our forces not to attack central and southern Chinese provinces so long as the local authorities maintain order and protect foreigners. We have communicated our purpose to other powers. Inform viceroys.

On July 1, I wired the viceroys at Nanking and Wuchang—

United States will not attack central and southern provinces so long as order is maintained and Americans protected. I urge you immediately issue proclamations commanding peace as agreed regardless of edict.

All the central and southern viceroys issued identical proclamations, of which I send you copies in translation.

I wired on July 2 to the consuls—

Inform viceroy United States will not attack provinces central and southern China so long as order is maintained and foreigners protected. All nations are acting together. Urge him immediately issue proclamation commanding peace regardless edict.

For a little time the governor of Chekiang province was uncertain what to do, having already put out Prince Tuan’s edict among the officials. On July 3 I wired Consul Gracey—

Ask viceroy instruct Governor Chekiang immediately, protect foreigners fully. Answer.

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to which I received the following reply July 5:

Viceroy has your request. Says will protect foreigners whatever happens North. Joins Yangtze viceroys in plans. Asks admirals not send gunboats, fearing effect on people. Several American missionaries request gunboats. Consul and merchants do not.

On that day I received a telegram from the governor of Chekiang saying that he would thoroughly protect all foreigners in his district.

I have to confirm my telegram July 3.

Hart couriers, 25th, British, German, Italian legations standing. Diplomats and missionaries in British legation under rifle fire.

Twenty-seventh, two legations standing. Emperor, Empress Dowager prisoner in palace. City gates closed. Tuan and Boxers controlling all. Anarchy in streets. * * *

The news from Pekin in the first part of this telegram as in all my other telegrams comes from Yung Lu through the governor of Shantung to the representative of the viceroys here. With reference to the latter part of the telegram, it will be recollected that Liu Kun-yi is the viceroy at Nanking; is 77 years old; has been a viceroy for thirty-five years; is the leader of the Hunanese, the most warlike of the provincials in central China, and that he went to Pekin last March at the command of the Empress Dowager and told her that her reactionary policy meant the ruin of China. In spite of this and of his active antagonism to Prince Tuan, Kang Yi and the other leaders of the reactionaries, Liu was too strong to be dismissed, and so was allowed to return to Nankin. While in Pekin he brought to his way of thinking Yung Lu, who is the nephew of the Empress and who then was generalissimo of the Chinese armies. Then was arranged the league of the viceroys of central and southern China and the Liberals in Pekin to resist the antiforeign faction in the palace. Since then Yung Lu has been the mouthpiece of the Liberal coalition. * * *

I have to confirm my telegram of July 5:

Situation serious. Boxer movement extending. Should allied forces north meet reverses, must extend central south China. Result, expulsion, murder foreigners interior, ruin trade. Strong force necessary check Boxers north, support viceroys south. Identical dispatch all consuls.

and my telegrams July 7—

Two legations standing July 2; attack continuing. Legations standing 3d; slight attack. Starvation methods.

All viceroys governors south of Shantung now in agreement protect foreigners, we confining attack north. Governor Shantung offers formally same thing. Much damage already done our citizens in that province. Instruct fully. Important enlist native authorities resist spread Boxers.

For some time the governor of Shantung has been on the fence. His capital is near Pekin, and he has been under much pressure from there. A few days ago he was ordered to take an army of drilled men to Nankin, to supersede Liu as viceroy and superintendent of southern trade, and carry out the edict of Prince Tuan to fight the foreigners. He was threatened with punishment also if he did not do this. After much telegraphing back and forth between the governor and the viceroys and the governor’s friends here, he yesterday wired Liu that he would have a representative here to-morrow, July 9, to offer to officially protect foreigners in his province if we would agree to not attack him. I wired you for full instructions, as there already have been riots in that province and considerable American property has been destroyed. I felt very certain, however, that this governor can, if he [Page 254] will, protect our people against further serious trouble. At any rate, if he issues a proclamation for the protection of foreigners, he must, to save his own head, oppose the further spread of Boxerism and the influence of Prince Tuan’s Government, as Shantung is the next province south of Chihli. The problem with him is more difficult than it has been with the other viceroys, as there have been no outbreaks in the other provinces south of Shantung. * * *

I have the honor to be, etc.,

John Goodnow, Consul-General.
[Inclosure 1—Translation.]

The viceroy of Nanking to Mr. Goodnow.

Your telegram is received and contents noted.

The friendly intercourse between your country and China has always been genuine. This I have always known. It is evident that these peaceful relations will long continue. As to the Americans and all other foreigners in the Yangtze Valley, Chang Chih-tung and I will use our utmost endeavors to protect them; and we will on no account change (this determination). To-morrow I will discuss and arrange (with the other viceroys), and issue a proclamation which shall be satisfactory. And I will further inform and instruct by telegraph the provincial authorities of Nan Yang, so that they shall act uniformly.

Please be at ease.

Viceroy of Nanking.
[Inclosure 2.]

Proclamation by H. E. Chang Chih-tung, viceroy at Wuchang.

Outlaws in the north having created disturbances, which are giving cause for trouble with the allied powers and exciting the people, to the injury of the public welfare:

We, the governor-general and provincial governor, received an imperial decree, dated the 29th and 30th of the fifth moon (June 25 and 26), to the effect that the legations in the capital (Pekin) should, as before, be protected to the utmost, and that the governor-general and governors should devise ways and means to maintain the integrity of the Empire in the present need.

It is but proper that we should reverently obey this order.

Now, in the planning to carry out the imperial will, we have, in consultation with His Excellency Liu, viceroy at Nanking, come to the conclusion that the provinces east and south must give all possible protection. Also, on consultation with the consuls, it was agreed that if their marines and war ships were not to make a hostile naval demonstration on the Yangtze River the local authorities would be expected to protect, at all costs, the lives and property of the foreigners in these provinces. This being brought to a satisfactory understanding, we wired to the Throne that this was the most feasible way of maintaining order. But fearing that our message to the Throne may not yet be generally known among the people, and fearing that bad characters may take this opportunity to make trouble, with injury to the common welfare, we issue this special proclamation for the information of all soldiers and people. You must understand that the fighting going on at present in the north was unexpected by the imperial court, and the edict is evidence that the legations are still protected, and that it is the purpose of the Throne to protect the settlements and the chapels in all the provinces, according to treaty, as has been done for years.

The allied powers being willing that we do give protection, their marines and war ships will not act in a hostile way on the Yangtze River, and the people may live in peace and quietness, as usual. Ruffians must not be allowed to create confusion. The advantages of having life and property preserved in these provinces are not a few, hence you must on no account give cause for trouble.

Being aware that the purpose of the Throne is really to promote the general welfare, the gentry and elders should all the more earnestly instruct the people to keep the peace and help to maintain the integrity of the Empire.

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The goodness of the Throne is as exalted as Heaven!

Now, if, after the issue of this proclamation, anyone sets idle rumors afloat, fanning doubt in people’s minds, or if anyone gets together crowds for the purpose of disturbing the chapels, strict inquiry will be made, and those arrested will be dealt with as outlaws or as secret-society men (beheaded).

Rascals who attempt to get up a riot will be put to death, for which purpose strong forces are stationed everywhere.

In case soldiers or runners are found creating trouble or injuring the people, they will be dealt with according to martial law (beheaded without civil trial).

Thus traders may go on quietly with their business, and the place will be kept in peace, in accordance with the imperial decree that ways and means should be devised to maintain the integrity of the Empire.

Let everyone tremblingly obey!

An important and special proclamation!