The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.

No. 211.]

Sir: Referring to the inclosed copies of “an act creating a United States court for China and prescribing the jurisdiction thereof,”a of which you have previously received a copy, you are informed that in accordance with this act a United States court for China has been created, consisting of the following officials:

  • Lebbeus R. Wilfley, judge of the court.
  • Frank E. Hinckley, clerk.
  • Arthur Bassett, district attorney.
  • Orvice R. Leonard, marshal.
  • Judge Wilfley is now about to sail for China to put the court into operation.

You are instructed to inform the foreign office at Peking of the creation of this court and of its proximate inauguration, expressing at the same time the hope of this Government that the establishment of an [Page 408] American court of this high character will not only inspire American citizens in China with a feeling of confidence in the judicial administration under which they live, but will also be regarded by the Chinese Government itself as an indication of the solicitude of this Government for the worthy and impartial exercise of the judicial functions which are reserved to it under the extraterritorial provisions of our treaties. You will ask the Chinese Government to instruct the high authorities at Shanghai and the other treaty ports to the above effect, and to recommend to them cordial assistance to the new American officials in the performance of their duties.

You will communicate the substance of this instruction to the United States consuls in China, together with a copy of the inclosed act, enjoining on them zealous cooperation with the court on all occasions that may arise therefor.

The representatives of the foreign powers at Peking may be advised in such manner as your discretion suggests of the establishment of the new tribunal for the exercise of jurisdiction over American citizens in China.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee.
  1. See Statutes at Large, Vol. 34, p. 814.