Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 295.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you herewith a translation of an imperial edict removing the governor of the province of Kiang-si from office as a punishment for his having failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the riot at Nan-chang Fu of February 25 last, which ended in the killing of a number of foreign missionaries and the burning of their property by a mob.

The edict also orders punishment for the provincial judge and the provincial treasurer. I learn from other sources that the former has been transferred to another post, reduced two degrees in the official hierarchy, and excluded from further promotion; the provincial treasurer, whose role in the riot was an unimportant one, has, however, been transferred to another post as a punishment for his remissness.

I learn from the British and French ministers, who are settling in Peking the question of indemnification for the losses of their nationals at Nan-ch’ang Fu, that a satisfactory settlement of this matter will be promptly reached.

I confirm as follows the telegram which I sent you on this matter on the 23d instant: (Supra.)

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.

Imperial edict—Massacre at Nan-ch’ang Fu, Kiangsi—Governor and provincial judge and provincial treasurer punished.


With reference to the case of the attack upon the missions at Nan-ch’ang, Kiangsi, some time ago the board of foreign affairs memorialized, requesting the appointment of the customs taot’ai at Tientsin, Liang Tun-yen, to proceed to the place mentioned and make a thorough investigation. Yesterday we summoned the said Taot’ai to audience and inquired of him in detail regarding this case, and we find that according to his report of the case the circumstances are very different from those given in the telegrams of Hu T’ing-kan (the governor), and not only so, but the telegrams received from the governor and other officials at various times differ among themselves, and are certainly marked by shilly-shallying and attempts to deceive.

Hu T’ing-kan, the governor of Kiangsi, is hereby, first of all, removed from office. The provincial treasurer, Chou Hao, is now having his conduct investigated, as decreed by a recent imperial edict. The provincial judge, Yu Chao-k’ang, has shown himself incapable of making a prompt investigation of a [Page 339] serious criminal case, and, as the first step in his punishment, is referred to the board of civil office for the determination of a penalty.

The case of the massacre is still continued in the charge of the board of foreign affairs, which is directed to deal with it in a careful and satisfactory manner.

Respect this.