393.1123 Coveyou, Walter/32

The American Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs (C. T. Wang)50

No. 835

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to the murder, on April 24, 1929, at Chenki, Hunan, of three American citizens, the Reverends Clement Seybold, Walter Coveyou, and Godfrey Holbein, which matter was first brought to the attention of Your Excellency’s Ministry on May 1, 1929, by the American Consul at Nanking. So far as I am aware, the last communication received by the American Consul in [Page 510] regard to the case was a note dated June 21st from the Division of American and European Affairs of Your Excellency’s Ministry.

I am now in receipt of a communication from the American Consul General at Hankow in regard to surprising information which he has recently received and which clearly indicates that the Hunan authorities charged with investigating the case and punishing the guilty parties have apparently as yet not apprehended or punished a single one of the actual participants in the atrocious murder of these three American citizens. It further appears that such investigating officials in Hunan have also misinformed the higher Chinese authorities who transmitted such misinformation to the American Consul General at Hankow. A copy of his note of July 19th to the Commissioner of Foreign Affairs for Hunan calling attention to the above facts is enclosed herewith for Your Excellency’s information.51

I accordingly have the honor to request that Your Excellency will take steps to insure that the actual murderers of these three American citizens are duly apprehended and punished in accordance with the law.

I avail myself [etc.]

J. V. A. MacMurray
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in his despatch No. 2268, August 16; received September 13, 1929.
  2. Ante, p. 507.