Page images

ments. They maintained excellent relations with the official representatives of foreign powers. To their kindly disposition is largely due the success of the consuls in removing many of the missionaries from the interior to places of safety. In this relation the action of the consuls should be highly commended. In Shan-Tung and eastern Chi-Li the task was difficult, but, thanks to their energy and the co-operation of American and foreign naval commanders, hundreds of foreigners, including those of other nationalities than ours, were rescued from imminent peril.

UNITED STATES POLICY UNCHANGED. "The policy of the United States through all this trying period was clearly announced and scrupulously carried out. A circular note to the powers dated July 3 proclaimed our attitude. Treating the condition in the north as one of virtual anarchy, in which the great provinces of the south and southeast had no share, we regarded the local authorities in the latter quarters as representing the Chinese people with whom we sought to remain in peace and friendship.

“Our declared aims involved no war against the Chinese nation. We adhered to the legitimate office of rescuing the imperiled legation, obtaining redress for wrongs already suffered, securing wherever possible the safety of American life and property in China, and preventing a spread of the disorders or their recurrence.

“As was then said, 'the policy of the government of the United States is to seek a solution which may bring about permanent safety and peace to China, preserve Chinese territorial and administrative entity, protect all rights guaranteed to friendly powers by treaty and international law, and safeguard for the world the principle of equal and impartial trade with all parts of the Chinese empire.

“Faithful to those professions which, as it proved, reflected the views and purposes of the other co-operating governments, all our efforts have been directed toward ending the anomalous situation in China by negotiations for a settlement at the earliest possible moment. As soon as the sacred duty of relieving our legation and its dependents was accomplished we withdrew from active hostilities, leaving our legation under an adequate guard at Peking as a channel of negotiation and settlement-a course adopted by others of the interested powers. Overtures of the empowered representatives of the Chinese emperor have been considerably entertained.

"The Russian proposition looking to the restoration of imperial power in Peking has been accepted as in full consonance with our own desires, for we have held, and hold, that effective reparation for wrongs suffered, and an enduring settlement that will make their recurrence impossible, can best be brought about under an authority which the Chinese nation reverences and obeys. While so doing we forego no jot of our undoubted right to exact exemplary and deterrent punishments of the responsible authors and abettors of the criminal acts whereby we and other nations must have suffered grievous injury.

MUST PUNISH CULPRITS. "For the real culprits, the evil counselors who have misled the imperial judgment and diverted the sovereign authority to their own guilty ends, full explanation becomes imperative within the rational limits of retributive justice. Regarding this as the initial condition of an acceptable settlement between China and the powers, I said in my message of October 18 to the Chinese emperor:

“I trust that negotiations may begin so soon as we and the other offended governments shall be effectively satisfied of your majesty's ability and power to treat with just sternness the principal offenders, who are doubly culpable, not only toward the foreigners, but toward your majesty, under whose rule the purpose of China is to dwell in concord with the world had hitherto found expression in the welcome and protection assured to strangers.

"Taking, as a point of departure, the imperial edict appointing Earl Li Hung Chang and Prince Ching plenipotentiaries to arrange a settlement, and the edict of Sept. 25, whereby certain high officials were designated for punishment, this government has moved, in concert with the other powers, toward the opening of negotiations, which Mr. Conger, assisted by Mr. Rockhill, has been authorized to conduct on behalf of the United States.

"General bases of negotiation formulated by the government of the French republic have been accepted with certain reservations as to details, made necessary by our own circumstances, but, like similar reservations by other powers, open to discussion in the progress of the negotiations. The disposition of the emperor's government to admit liability for wrongs done to foreign governments and their nationals, and to act upon such additional designation of the guilty persons as the foreign ministers at Peking may be in a position to make, gives hope of a complete settlement of all questions involved, assuring foreign rights of residence and intercourse on terms of equality for all the world.

"I regard as one of the essential factors of a durable adjustment the securement of adequate guarantees for liberty of faith, since insecurity of those natives who may embrace alien creeds is a scarcely less effectual assault upon the rights of foreign worship and teaching than would be the direct invasion thereof.

“The matter of indemnity for our wronged citizens is a question of grave concern. Measured in money alone, a sufficient reparation may prove to be beyond the ability of China to meet. All the powers concur in emphatic disclaimers of any purpose of aggrandizement through the dismemberment of the empire.

“I am disposed to think that due compensation may be made in part by increased guarantees of security for foreign rights and immunities, and, most important of all, by the opening of China to the equal commerce of all the world. These views have been and will be earnestly advocated by our representatives.

"The government of Russia has put forward a suggestion that in the event of protracted divergence of views in regard to indemnities the matter may be relegated to the court of arbitration at The Hague. I favorably incline to this, believing that high tribunal could not fail to reach a solution no less conducive to the stability and enlarged prosperity of China itself than immediately beneficial to the powers."

From the first invasion of China by foreign troops, the president pronounced firmly against any settlement of the trouble which included a partition of the empire. It was believed that such an act was contemplated by some of the European nations, and President McKinley made it clear that such a thing could never be consummated with the consent of this government. As a result of this stand a settlement was reached, which is believed to have been just and honorable to all.


Renominated and Re-Elected President.

Four years of William McKinley's rule had worked wonders for the American republic. Before his election there had been lethargy in commercial circles. Industry had been circumscribed, prices were low, and money was scarce. Immediately upon the announcement of his election, the material condition of the country began to improve. Capital came out of its hiding place. The captains of industry took their place in the ranks, and the prosperity of which he had talked during the summer of 1896, at Canton, began to dawn.

Before the end of his first term, the country had been placed on a sound financial basis, the question of tariffs had been adjusted to the satisfaction of the majority of the people, a great war had been fought, and by far the greater number of the victorious armies had returned to pursuits of peace. More than one hundred thousand square miles of territory had been added to the country, and the administration was engaged in establishing government over these new sections, and providing for the welfare of their peoples.

Under such circumstances there was only one name mentioned for the presidency among republicans in 1900, and that was William McKinley.

The convention met in Philadelphia, June 19. It was called to order by Senator M. A. Hanna, chairman of the national committee, amidst the greatest enthusiasm. There were 906 delegates, and they shouted with an exuberance rarely heard apart from such a gathering. In his opening remarks, Chairman Hanna said: “We are now forming our battalions under the leadership of our general, William McKinley," and a roar arose that continued for several minutes. He then introduced Senator Wolcott, of Colorado, as temporary chairman of the convention. In his address, Senator Wolcott said:

"The spirit of justice and liberty that animated our fathers found voice three-quarters of a century later in this same City of Brotherly Love, when Fremont led the forlorn hope of united patriots who laid here the foundation of our party, and put human freedom as its cornerstone. It compelled our ears to listen to the cry of suffering across the shallow waters of the gulf two years ago. While we observe the law

of nations and maintain that neutrality which we owe to a great and friendly government, the same spirit lives today in the genuine sympathy we cherish for the brave men now fighting for their homes in the veldts of South Africa. It prompts us in our determination to give the dusky races of the Philippines the blessings of good government and republican institutions, and finds voice in our indignant protest against the violent suppression of the rights of the colored men in the south. That spirit will survive in the breasts of patriotic men as long as the nation endures, and the events of the past have taught us that it can find its fair and free and full expression only in the principles and policy of the republican party.

“The first and pleasant duty of this great convention, as well as its instinctive impulse, is to send a message of affectionate greeting to our leader and our country's president, William McKinley. In all that pertains to our welfare in times of peace his genius has directed us. He has shown an unerring mastery of the economic problems which confront us, and has guided us out of the slough of financial disaster,'impaired credit, and commercial stagnation, up to the high and safe ground of national prosperity and financial stability. Through the delicate and trying events of the late war he stood firm, courageous and conservative, and under his leadership we emerged triumphant, our national honor untarnished, our credit unassailed, and the equal devotion of every section of our common country to the welfare of the republic, cemented forever. Never in the memory of this generation has there stood at the head of the government a truer patriot, a wiser or more courageous leader, or a better example of the highest type of American manhood. The victories of peace and the victories of war are alike inscribed upon his banner.”

The second day's proceedings of the convention introduced Senator H. C. Lodge, of Massachusetts, as the permanent chairman of the body. Twenty thousand people attended the session, in the expectation that President McKinley would be renominated, but for the time being they were disappointed. In his opening speech Chairman Lodge said:

“Dominant among the issues of four years ago was that of our monetary and financial system. The republican party promised to uphold our credit, to protect our currency from revolution and to maintain the gold standard. We have done so. Failing to secure, after honest effort, any encouragement for international bimetallism, we have passed a law strengthening the gold standard and planting it more firmly than ever in our financial system, improving our banking laws, buttressing our credit, and refunding the public debt at 2 per cent interest, the lowest rate in the world. It was a great work well done.'

Concerning the war with Spain he said:

« PreviousContinue »