393.1123 Seymour, Walter F./14

The Chinese Commissioner of Foreign Affairs at Shanghai (Chin Wen-ssu47) to the American Consul General at Shanghai (Cunningham)48

Sir: The receipt is acknowledged of your letter of May 15th49 quoting, for transmission and under telegraphic instructions of the American Minister, a despatch addressed by him to Minister Huang in regard to the shooting and killing of Dr. Seymour, an American citizen, by troops at Tsining.

Having immediately forwarded the despatch to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nationalist Government, I have now received from the Ministry an express letter dated May 19th as follows:

“Your report of the 18th quoting a despatch from the American Minister as transmitted by the American Consul General, Shanghai, [Page 288] has been received. There is quoted below my reply to the American Minister’s despatch:


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s despatch wherein it is stated that an investigation has been made concerning the case of Dr. Seymour, President of the American Presbyterian Mission Hospital, Tsining, Shantung, who was shot and killed by soldiers.

This case received my early attention after it arose. I have ordered an inquiry to be conducted and it was merely because of the hostilities which were going on briskly at the front that no reply was received. I proceeded personally later to the front for the purpose of devising means of inquiring about the same matter so that the truth may be brought to light. Unexpectedly, while investigations were in progress, another question of serious nature arose and rendered it impossible to obtain a detailed report.

From Your Excellency’s despatch under acknowledgment, I have now learned of the death of Dr. Seymour as a result of his being shot by soldiers. I deplore (his death) and deeply regret (that such an incident has occurred). Besides communicating with the military officers at the front so that they cause an investigation to be held and action taken necessarily according to law, I have the honor to transmit this reply for Your Excellency’s information.

Huang Fu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nationalist Government.

It is trusted that you will transmit a reply at once to the American Consul General, Shanghai, with the request that the above information be communicated to the American Minister.”

Having received the above, as in duty bound, I write to request that you will be good enough to transmit the reply to the American Minister.

With my compliments,

Chin Wen-ssu
  1. Also known as W. S. King.
  2. Copy transmitted to the Department by the consul general in his despatch No. 5475, June 1; received July 7.
  3. See telegram No. 377, May 21, from the Minister in China, supra.