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the sovereignty of its government, and to insure by all legitimate and kindly but earnest means the fullest measure of protection for the lives and property of our law-abiding citizens and for the exercise of their beneficent callings among the Chinese people.
"Mindful of this, it was felt to be appropriate that our purposes should be pronounced in favor of such course as would hasten united action of the powers at Peking to promote the administrative reforms so greatly needed for strengthening the imperial government and maintaining the integrity of China, in which we believed the whole western world to be alike concerned.
“To these ends I caused to be addressed to the several powers occupying territory and maintaining spheres of influence in China the circular proposals of 1899, inviting from them declarations of their intentions and views as to the desirability of the adoption of measures insuring the benefits of equality of treatment of all foreign trade throughout China.
EARLY NEGOTIATIONS SUCCESSFUL. “With gratifying unanimity the responses coincided in this common policy, enabling me to see in the successful termination of these negotiations proof of the friendly spirit which animates the various powers interested in the untrammeled development of commerce and industry in the Chinese empire as a source of vast benefit to the whole commercial world.
“In this conclusion, which I had the gratification to announce as a completed engagement to the interested powers on March 20, 1900, I hopefully discerned a potential factor for the abatement of the distrust of foreign purposes which for a year past had appeared to inspire the policy of the imperial government, and for the effective exertion by.it of power and authority to quell the critical anti-foreign movement in the northern provinces most immediately influenced by the Manchu sentiment.
“Seeking to testify confidence in the willingness and ability of the imperial administration to redress the wrongs and prevent the evils we suffered and feared, the marine guard, which had been sent to Peking in the autumn of 1899 for the protection of the legation, was withdrawn at the earliest practicable moment, and all pending questions were remitted, as far as we were concerned, to the ordinary reports of diplomatic intercourse.
"The Chinese government proved, however, unable to check the rising strength of the Boxers and appeared to be a prey to internal dissensions.
TUAN THE LEADER.
In the unequal contest the anti-foreign influences soon gained the ascendency under the leadership of Prince Tuan. Organized armies of Boxers, with which the imperial forces affiliated, held the country between Peking and the coast, penetrated into Manchuria up to the Russian border, and through their emissaries threatened a like rising throughout northern China.
“Attacks upon foreigners, destruction of their property, and slaughter of native converts were reported from all sides. The tsung-li-yamen, already permeated with hostile sympathies, could make no effective response to the appeals of the legations. At this critical juncture, in the early spring of this year, a proposal was made by the other powers that a combined fleet should be assembled in Chinese waters as a moral demonstration, under cover of which to exact of the Chinese government respect for foreign treaty rights and the suppression of the Boxers.
The United States, while not participating in the joint demonstration, promptly sent from the Philippines all ships that could be spared for service on the Chinese coast. A small force of marines was landed at Taku and sent to Peking for the protection of the American legation. Other powers took similar action, until some 400 men were assembled in the capital as legation guards.
“Still the peril increased. The legations reported the development of the seditious movement in Peking and the need of increased provision for defense against it. While preparations were in progress for a larger expedition, to strengthen the legation guards and keep the railway open, an attempt of the foreign ships to make a landing at Taku was met by a fire from the Chinese forts.
“The forts were thereupon shelled by the foreign vessels, the American admiral taking no part in the attack, on the ground that we were not at war with China and that a hostile demonstration might consolidate the anti-foreign elements and strengthen the Boxers to oppose the relieving column.
“Two days later the Taku forts were captured after a sanguinary conAict. Severance of communication with Peking followed, and a combined force of additional guards, which was advancing to Peking by the Pei-Ho was checked at Lang Fang. The isolation of the legations was complete.
“The siege and the relief of the legations have passed into undying history. In all the stirring chapter which records the heroism of the devoted band, clinging to hope in the face of despair, and the undaunted spirit that led their relievers through battle and suffering to the goal. it is a memory of which my countrymen may be justly proud that the honor of our flag was maintained alike in the siege and the rescue, and that stout American hearts have again set high, in fervent emulation with true men of other race and language, the indomitable courage that ever strikes for the cause of right and justice.
MURDER OF VON KETTELER. “By June 19 the legations were cut off. An identical note from the yamen ordered each minister to leave Peking, under a promised escort, within twenty-four hours. To gain time they replied, asking prolongation of the time, which was afterward granted, and requesting an interview with the tsung-li-yamen on the following day.
“No reply being received, on the morning of the 20th the German minister, Baron von Ketteler, set out for the yamen to obtain a response, and on the way was murdered.
“An attempt by the legation guard to recover his body was foiled by the Chinese. Armed forces turned out against the legations. Their quarters were surrounded and attacked. The mission compounds were abandoned, their inmates taking refuge in the British legation, where all other legations and guards gathered for more effective defense. Four hundred persons were crowded in its narrow compass. Two thousand native converts were assembled in a near by palace under protection of the foreigners. Lines of defense were strengthened, trenches dug: barricades raised, and preparations made to stand a siege, which at once began.
QUOTES CONGER'S REPORT. .“'From June 29 until July 17,' writes Minister Conger, 'there was scarcely an hour during which there was not firing upon some part of our lines and into some of the legations, varying from a single shot to a general and continuous attack along the whole line.'
“Artillery was placed around the legations and on the overlooking palace walls, and thousands of three-inch bullets and shell were fired, destroying some buildings and damaging all. So thickly did the balls rain that, when the ammunition of the besieged ran low, five quarts of Chinese bullets were gathered in an hour in one compound and recast.
“Attempts were made to burn the legations by setting neighboring houses on fire, but the flames were successfully fought off, although the Austrian, Belgian, Italian, and Dutch legations were then and subsequently burned. With the aid of the native converts, directed by the missionaries, to whose helpful co-operation Mr. Conger awards unstinted praise, the British legation was made a veritable fortress. The British minister, Sir Claude Macdonald, was chosen general commander of the defense, with the secretary of the American legation, E. G. Squires, as chief of staff.
"To save life and ammunition the besieged sparingly returned the incessant fire of the Chinese soldiery, fighting only to repel attack or make an occasional successful sortie for strategic advantage, such as that of fifty-five Americans, British, and Russian marines led by Captain Myers of the United States Marine corps, which resulted in the capture of a formidable barricade on the wall that gravely menaced the American position. It was held to the last, and proved an invaluable acquisition, because commanding the water gate through which the relief column entered.
“During the siege the defenders lost sixty-five killed, 135 wounded, and seven by disease—the last all children.
“On July 14 the besieged had their first communication with the tsung-li-yamen, from whom a message came inviting to a conference, which was declined. Correspondence, however, ensued, and a sort of armistice was agreed upon, which stopped the bombardment and lessened the rifle fire for a time. Even then no protection whatever was afforded, nor any aid given, save to send to the legations a small supply of fruit and three sacks of flour.
IMPERIAL TROOPS GUILTY.
"Indeed, the only communication had with the Chinese government related to the occasional delivery or dispatch of a telegram or to the demands of the tsung-li-yamen for the withdrawal of the legation to the coast under escort. Not only are the protestations of the Chinese government that it protected and succored the legations positively contradicted, but irresistible proof accumulates that the attacks upon them were made by the imperial troops, regularly uniformed, armed, and officered, belonging to the command of Jung Lu, the imperial commander-in-chief.
"Decrees encouraging the Boxers, organizing them under prominent imperial officers, provisioning them, and even granting them large sums in the name of the empress dowager, are known to exist. Members of the tsung-li-yamen who counseled protection of the foreigners were beheaded. Even in the distant provinces men suspected of foreign sympathy were put to death, prominent among these being Chang-Yen-Hoon, formerly Chinese minister in Washington.
“With the negotiation of the partial armistice of July 14, a proceeding which was doubtless promoted by the representations of the Chinese envoy in Washington, the way was opened for the conveyance to Mr. Conger of a test message sent by the secretary of state through the kind offices of Minister Wu-Ting-Fang. Mr. Conger's reply dispatched from Peking on July 18 through the same channel, afforded
to the outside world the first tidings that the inmates of the legations or still alive and hoping for succor.
"This news stimulated the preparations for a joint relief expedition in numbers sufficient to overcome the resistance which for a month had Born organizing between Taku and the capital. Re-inforcements sent by all the co-operating governments were constantly arriving. The United Stales con ingent, hastily assembled from the Philippines or dispatched fhen this country, amounted to some 5,000 men, under the able command tirst of the lamented Col. Liscum and afterward of Gen. Chaffee.
"Toward the end of July the movement began. A severe conflict followed at Tientsin, in which Col. Liscum was killed. The city was surued and partly destroyed. Its capture afforded the base of operations from which to make the final advance, which began in the first days of lugars, the expedition being made up of Japanese, Russian, British and Lucrican troops at the outset.
"Another battle was fought and won at Yang Tsun. Thereafter the Wislicartened Chinese troops offered little show of resistance. A few wars later the important position of Ho-Si-Woo was taken. A rapid marlı brought the united forces to the populous city of Tung Chow, whicli capitulated without a contest.
"On August 14 the capital was reached. After a brief conflict benieath the walls the relief column entered and the legations were saved.
"The United States soldiers, sailors and marines, officers and men alike, in those distant climes and unusual surroundings, showed the same valor, discipline and good conduct and gave proof of the same high degree of intelligence and efficiency which have distinguished them in every emergency.
"The imperial family and the government had fled a few days before. The city was without visible control. The remaining imperial solcliery had made on the night of the 13th a last attempt to exterminate the besieged, which was gallantly repelled. It fell to the occupying forces to restore order and organize a provisional administration.
"Happily the acute disturbances were confined to the northern provinces. It is a relief to recall and a pleasure to record the loyal conduct of the viceroys and local authorities of the southern and eastern provces. "Their efforts were continuously directed to the pacific control of the populations under their rule and to the scrupulous observance of 'reat rights.
noments they did not hesitate to memorialize the throne, 'on of the legations, the restoration of communication of the imperial authority against the subversive ele