The American Consul at Chefoo (Webber) to the Commander of the Tunghai Defense Forces (Chung Chen-kuo)85

Sir: Relative to my call on you, early on the morning of July 23rd last, following the recent disturbances in this city, I now beg to direct your attention in writing to the indiscriminate firing by your troops which took place in and around this Consulate (rifle bullets falling in this Consulate’s compound steadily for at least two hours); also in the immediate vicinity of Temple Hill (American Presbyterian Mission and Hospital); in various parts of that part of the city known as Section 1, wherein are located such places as the American Southern Baptist Mission, American Presbyterian Deaf and Dumb Institute, the Strand, Bay View, and Astor House Hotels (occupied by at least 180 Americans, chiefly the wives and children of American naval officers), and other places of importance wherein many Americans are residing. It was only good fortune, largely due to the hour at which the disturbances took place, that there were not any serious consequences. As it was, one American sailor, a member of the naval patrol force, had his finger blown away, while inside this Consulate’s compound. The exact spot at which this took place has already been pointed out to you by me. Permit me to suggest, that it appears to this Consulate that acts like this with their possible attendant serious consequences to Americans could be easily avoided by the Chinese military leaders confining their activities to a zone outside of the areas above mentioned, which are of no importance from a military point of view; especially Section 1, where the streets of which are well used not only by the permanent American residents of this port but also by the officers and men and their wives and families, belonging to the United States Asiatic Fleet, which as you know bases at Chefoo during the summer months.

In conclusion, I beg to state that in view of your voluntary offer of compensation to the American sailor wounded and your inquiry as to what amount would be satisfactory, I have to inform you that the Senior American Naval Officer acting on behalf of the wounded sailor has fixed the sum of $1,000 gold as a fair amount of compensation.

I have [etc.]

Leroy Webber
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the consul in his despatch No. 163, July 26; received August 28.