The American Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs (Wang)88

No. 164

Excellency: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that reports received from the various American Consular officers in China indicate that a most deplorable state of lawlessness has existed in several of the provinces during the past months and that conditions have been growing steadily worse. This is particularly true in the provinces of Honan, Shensi Anhui, Shantung and Fukien, although lawlessness is by no means confined to those provinces, but exists in varying degree in practically all parts of China. Many reports are received from time to time regarding looting and burning by large bands of brigands in which American missionaries are often the direct or indirect victims. In addition there has lately been carried on a considerable amount of anti-Christian propaganda, including threats to destroy mission stations and kill missionaries and native converts. While this state of affairs is not of recent origin, and this Legation has in the past been obliged to make representations to Your Excellency’s Ministry in regard to specific instances involving the loss of American life and the destruction of American property at the hands of Chinese bandits, I am constrained to take this occasion again to invite Your Excellency’s attention to the general situation as it exists at present, and to insist that the Chinese Government take all available measures, through the instrumentality of the provincial authorities and otherwise, for the protection of American citizens and their legitimate interests, wherever they may be.

I avail myself [etc.]

J. V. A. MacMurray
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the American Minister as an enclosure to his despatch No. 478, Feb. 26; received Mar. 30.