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We are cut off telegraphic communication, and our postal connection is slow and bad, and we are being annoyed almost daily by petty complaints from the civil administrator; and the situation here in every way has the appearance on the part of the Russians of aggression against all foreign interests. I have the honor to be, etc.,
HENRY B. MILLER.
Captain Eberhard to Mr. Miller. No. 1728.]
DECEMBER 26, 1901. Sir: I am just informed that to-day, after the sun set, about 40 men from the foreign men-of-war entered this city armed with rifles and swords.
According to my instructions from the Imperial Russian Government, I strongly protest against landing the armed men at this port occupied by the Imperial Russian forces, and I insist on their immediately withdrawing from the town. I have, etc.,
A. EBERHARI), Civil Administrator.
Mr. Miller to Captain Eberhard. No. 93.]
CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Niuchwang, China, December 27, 1901. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge your dispatch of December 26, complaining that about 40 men from the foreign men-of-war entered this city armed with rifles and swords on the evening of the 26th instant.
I beg to advise you that none of these men belonged to the United States gunboat
HENRY B. MILLER.
Mr. C'onger to Mr. Miller. No. 1292.]
PEKING, January 7, 1902. Sir: I have received your No. 63 of the 27th ultimo, inclosing correspondence with the Russian civil administrator, which, you say, raises the question of the right of the United States to land troops in Manchuria.
It is true that the particular case mentioned (the landing of British marines with rifles to take part in a theatrical performance) does not at present require a discussion of the question on your part, but as you apprehend it is likely to arise at any time in relation to the going on shore for whatsoever purpose of the crew of the Vicksburg, you should be prepared for it.
In my judgment we have quite as much right to land troops at Niuchwang for the protection of American rights and interests as have the Russians, and particularly is this true under the present situation, where Russia has formally declared that her occupancy of Niuch wang was not in the nature of conquest, but simply a temporary occupation to protect Russian interests and to be terminated as soon as order was restored. I think, however, that during this temporary occupancy, in which Russia has taken upon herself the responsibility of keeping order and of civil administration, that without formally recognizing any right in the Russian authorities to do this, it would only be a prudent precaution to notify them of the intention before taking any of the crew on shore for any purpose. I hope that it will not be found difficult to have an amicable and satisfactory understanding in anticipation of any necessary or desired movement on shore. It would be wise for the commander of the l'icksburg to be provided with instructions from the Navy Department upon this question.
As to telegraphic communication, can you not send your telegrams to Port Arthur by mail for the present, under some arrangement for transmitting them hence by wire? I am, etc.,
E. H. Conger.
Mr. Conger to Mr. Miller. No. 1293.]
PEKING, January 7, 1902. SIR: Confirming my telegram of this date, and in continuance of my dispatch No. 1292 of to-day, I have to say that the Russian minister called on me yesterday and left the memorandum,a a copy of which is inclosed. Of course I had to say to him that I had not yet received written report from you of the affairs, and that since the Russians had cut off telegraphic communication you had been unable to wire me; that of course there could be no legal justification for such conduct if it had occurred as stated, but there must have been some previous provocation on the part of the Russians of which I would probably be informed later.
The minister complains of what he calls your curt reply to the civil administrator, and your demand that the formal proceedings of a trial should be had with the witnesses produced, etc., and that the officers of the Vicksburg and yourself are unwilling to cooperate in necessary regulations for and discipline of the United States sailors.
There certainly must be some misconception on the part of the Russian authorities of your statements, attitude, and actions, and it would be most unfortunate if serious troubles should grow out of an unnecessary misunderstanding. There is no doubt that the civil administrator is wrong in failing to call upon you, but you should not let this failure of his lead you to do anything unwarranted in retaliation.
It is very difficult to always preserve the peace where soldiers of different nationalities come in contact, and where they do commit indiscretions it is always best to settle all such difficulties quietly, by friendly conferences, agreements to punish, etc., instead of through the formality of court procedure. This has often had to be done here since the occupancy of foreign troops.
Several of the treaties require that special regulations for the discipline of sailors should be made during the stay of war vessels in Chinese ports, and it should always be done; and I presume the commander of the Vicksburg has taken every possible precaution in this direction. It would be a source of infinite regret if serious troubles sbould come and the United States representatives or officials were in any measure responsible. I must, therefore, again urge that both you and Captain Barry should go to the utmost consistent limit to lessen the present strain and avoid further troubles. You should keep both the Department and me opportunely and thoroughly advised. I am, etc.,
E. H. CONGER.
Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, January 31, 1902. SIR: I inclose herewith for your information a copy of a dispatch from the United States ambassador to Russia, reporting the view taken by the Russian Government respecting the recent conflict between seamen of the United States Navy and the Russian police at Niuchwang I am, etc.,
Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger. No. 471.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 1, 1902. Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 874, of the 8th of January last, confirming your telegram of January 7,
a Printed, ante, page 147.
on the subject of the strained relations between Russian soldiers and American sailors at Niuchwang.
Note has been taken of what you say regarding the attitude of Consul Miller toward the Russian authorities. Copies of an instruction and of its inclosures that had already been sent to him in the matter are herewith inclosed for your information. I am, etc.,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, December 31, 1901. Sır: I inclose for your information a note a addressed to the Secretary of State by the Russian ambassador on the 28th instant in regard to the tension which is said to exist between you and the Russian authorities; also a copy of Mr. Hay's reply a to Count Cassini.
You will be governed in your official and personal intercourse with the Russian officers at Niuchwang by the wishes and sentiments expressed in Mr. Hay's note.
It is observed that the Russian communication speaks of your protection of Chinese persons of doubtful reputation. You will, of course, understand that no Chinaman is entitled to your protective intervention unless he establish beyond question the fact of lawful American citizenship., Any protection you may be required to exercise in favor of Chinese employees of American citizens is on behalf of the employers and not of the servants.
It is to be remembered, also, that you have no defined conventional rights of extraterritoriality as against the temporary local jurisdiction which is exercised by Russia in virtue of actual effective occupation of the territory for the time being,
Questions arising on this score should be met with prudence and discretion on your part and generally in a spirit
of conciliation and with a desire to aid, so far as may be proper, the efforts of the Russian agents to secure order and regular administration during their provisional tenure, and thereby pave the way for earlier cessation of the Russian occupancy. As to all matters in which you may rightfully assert the immunities and privileges of your consular office a convenient measure of your prerogative may be found in the course adopted and the treatment enjoyed by your consular colleagues. I am, etc.,
HERBERT H. D. PEIRCE,
Third Assistant Secretary.
Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay. No. 963.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Peking, April 2, 1902. Sır: I have the honor to inclose to you herewith a copy of a dispatch from Consul Miller, of Niuchwang, in regard to the favorable impression among the Chinese from the presence there during the winter of the U.S. S. Vicksburg, and requesting that our Government be urged to keep a gunboat at Niuchwang until the place is returned to the Chinese authorities. I have, etc.,
E. H. CONGER.
CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Niuchwang, China, March 29, 1902. Sir: I have to report that the presence at this port during the winter of the U.S. S. Vicksburg has had the effect of creating a most favorable impression among the
a Printed under Russia, pages 916.
Chinese toward our country. They are increasing their interest in the affairs of the United States and are anxious to enter into business relations with our people.
This is especially marked in regard to mining concessions.
It would be a mistake for our Government to send the Vicksburg away from this port at this time without replacing her with another gunboat, as it would be interpreted by the Chinese to mean that we were abandoning our present rights and privileges in Manchuria.
These people are much influenced by these outward evidences, and they measure the interest and intentions of a nation by the appearance or absence of its gunboats. I beg therefore that you will urge upon this Government the importance of keeping a gunboat in this port until the place is returned to the Chinese authorities. I have, etc.,
HENRY B. MILLER, United States Consul.
RIOTS, UPRISINGS, MASSACRES, ETC.
Mr. Conger to Mr. Ilay. No. 878.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Peking, January 9, 1902. Sir: I have the honor to inclose translations of four recent imperial edicts, which were published in local Chinese papers, and which deal with an anti-Christian outrage perpetrated a few days ago in the province of Kansu. Details have not yet come to hand. The only news so far received has come by telegraph to the Chinese officials. At first it was reported that one foreigner only had been killed, but in the last edict it is admitted that one other has succumbed to his wounds. The native Christians murdered are said to be but four. As the whole village was plundered, however, and then set on fire, the suffering has no doubt been much greater than would appear from the brief reports given. The village in which the disturbance occurred is known as Hsia-ying-tzu, and is situated in the district of Ping-lo, in the prefecture of Ning-hsia, not far from the border of the province of Shensi. The criminals are believed to be mounted bandits, of whom, we are told, several have already been captured.
Inasmuch as the late "Boxer” leaders, Prince Tuan and Tung Fu-hsiang are still loitering in the city of Ning-hsia, the outrage is ascribed by high officials in Peking to their incentive. This report is confirmed by information given me last evening, and coming from a credible source, according to which a memorial from the Yangtze viceroys dealing with the subject was discussed at an imperial audience held yesterday. The memorial, it is reported, holds Gen. Tung Fu-hsiang responsible for the massacre, and petitions for his punishment. It is understood, too, that as a result of yesterday's deliberations an edict will be issued commanding the viceroy of Kansu and Shensi to seize Gen. Tung Fu-hsiany and put him to death. Whether the viceroy is strong enough to execute such an edict remains to be seen. General Tung is in the midst of his friends and coreligionists (Mohammedans), who have shown themselves in the past easily excited to rebellion.
The murdered missionaries are believed to be Belgians, as there is a Belgian Roman Catholic mission in the district, but as the Chinese names only have been telegraphed it is impossible to identify them. We shall have to await the slow arrival of the native post for any reliable account of the affair. Meanwhile it is gratifying to note that the Government is apparently alive to its responsibility, and is showing most commendable zeal in its efforts to punish the offenders and make due compensation for losses and injuries sustained. I have, etc.,
E. H. CONGER.
From the Peking Daily News of December 30, 1901. On the 17th instant (December 27) the grand secretariat received the following imperial edict:
"l-k’uang, Prince of Ch’ing, and Wang-wen-shao have telegraphed a memorial, saying that Sung-fan had telegraphed them to the effect that a number of bandits had made a sudden attack upon the village of Hsia-ying-tzu, in the district of Ping-lo, had set fire to the village, robbed the villagers, and plundered the mission, injuring the missionary, Mr. Mei, and several native Christians; that he had already sent troops to give protection, and had telegraphed the governor of Shansi to watch the several roads and stop and seize (the bandits), etc.
“The court looks upon the missions and missionaries of the various provinces with equal kindness, and has repeatedly issued strict commands ordering the magistrates to earnestly exert themselves to give protection and declaring that not the slightest carelessness would be tolerated. It thus appears that the district magistrate of the place in question has not exerted himself to obey, and the result is this murder of a missionary and of native Christians, which is truly most lamentable. Let Sung-fan first of all impeach the careless commander of the defence camp and the district magistrate according to the facts, and further consult with Tsen Ch'un-hsuan, and quickly, issue orders for troops to be sent out and rewards offered for the arrest of the criminals within a stated time, and let them make it their duty to seize and punish them, that none may be allowed to escape, so that the majesty of the law may be asserted and international obligations observed.”
In the matter of the burning of the village of Hsia-ying-tzu, in the district of Ping-lo, in Kansu, by bandits and the plundering of the villagers and the murder of a missionary. We already, on yesterday, issued an edict, strictly commanding Sungfan to consult with Tsen Ch’un-hsuan and to promptly seize and deal with the criminals, and further ordering him first of all to severely impeach the commander of the local camp and the district magistrate. Sung-fan now reports that he has carefully inquired into the neglect of the several officials to afford protection and requests an edict condemning them to punishment.
Let the retiring district magistrate of Ping-lo, Wang Shu-hai and the magistrate who has just taken charge, Li Han-ching, together with the colonel commanding the camp at Ping-lo, Yang Ch'ing-an, all alike be deprived of their rank, and let them be required within a specified time to seize the whole lot of bandits in the case, and, if they seize them, to punish them with the extreme penalty of the law. If by the expiration of the time they shall not have seized them, let the officials be forever forbidden to hold office. Let the aforesaid viceroy (Sung) command all the civil and military officials in his jurisdiction to conscientiously endeavor to seize the criminals that the matter may be speedily ended, and let them give extra care to protect the missions, missionaries, and native Christians in their districts. Any carelessness will surely bring the severest punishment.
From the Peking Daily News of January 2, 1902. On the 20th of the eleventh moon (December 30, 1901) the following imperial edict was received:
“In the matter of the murder of a missionary and several native Christians at a village in the district of Ping-lo, in Kansu, we have already issued edicts depriving