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Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

(Telegram-Paraphrase. )

PEKING, November 3, 1905. (Mr. Rockhill reports that he has just been informed by the foreign office that the American Presbyterian mission station at Lienchou in the Province of Canton was on October 28 attacked and destroyed by a mob, that five missionaries, whose names are unknown, were killed and that two were saved, one named Patterson and the other bearing the Chinese name of Ming. The Emperor, having been informed November 2 by the foreign oflice, immediately issued an edict to the viceroy at Canton ordering him to inflict exemplary punishment on criminals and all guilty officials, ordering also compensation and adequate protection for all missions. His late edict of August 31 is also referred to by the Emperor. The cause of the attack is said to have been the refusal of the missionaries to allow village people to fire cannon during a festival. Further details are promised by the foreign office. Mr. Rockhill says he will see the foreign minister the next day. Nothing in the matter has been heard from the consul at Canton.)

The Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.



Washington, November 3, 1905. (The American consul at Canton has reported names of murdered missionaries omitted in Mr. Rockhill's telegram of this date, and gives further particulars, adding that the viceroy on November 2 sent to Lienchou two Chinese gunboats with 60 soldiers, accompanied by two American missionaries, one American doctor and three Chinese deputies, to rescue the escaped and recover bodies. The department has instructed Consul Lay to inform Mr. Rockhill fully. The minister is instructed to urge a vigorous execution of the edict by the viceroy, and to impress the Chinese Government with the importance of adequate punishment, redress, and protection. Public sentiment in the United States is keenly aroused, and in order that a bad effect may be averted, efficient action by the Chinese Government is necessary.)

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.


PEKING, November 4, 1905. (Mr. Rockhill acknowledges receipt of department's telegram and states that he has just seen the minister for foreign affairs, who has asked him to inform Secretary Root that his Government is profoundly humiliated and distressed at the Lienchou occurrence, and

promised prompt and vigorous action. Mr. Rockhill insisted with him on the close relation between the boycott movement and the massacre, and that security for the United States could not be insured without a complete suppression of the movement in all shapes. The Emperor's edict of November 2, if carried out, is good.)

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 138.]


Peking, China, November 4, 1905. SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you, in translation, copy of a note received yesterday from the Prince of Ch’ing, reporting the murdering on the 28th October at Lienchou, in the Province of Kwang-tung, of five American missionaries and the rescue of two others; also the steps taken by the Imperial Government on its being informed of this lamentable event.

I at once sent you by cable a synopsis of the prince's note. I confirm as follows my cablegram: a

Late last night, in reply to a telegram sent him in the early part of the day, I received the following telegraphic report of the matter from the consul-general at Canton:

SHAMEEN, November 3—4.45 p. m.

(Received November 3-10 p. m.) AMERICAN MINISTER, Peking:

Viceroy sends me telegram from subprefect at Lienchou reporting murder five American missionaries, Presbyterian mission station at Lienchou, 300 miles from Canton, near northern border this province, accessible for gunboat Ching Yuen and overland thence Lienchou 80 miles. October 28 Mrs. Edward Charles Machle, Amy Machle, Eleanor Chestnut, John R. Peale and wife killed; Edward Charles Machle, Miss E. G. Patterson escaped, now in prefect's yamen. Church, school, hospital, residence destroyed. Viceroy my request yesterday sent Lienchou two Chinese gunboats with 60 soldiers, accompanied by two American missionaries, one American doctor, rescue escaped, recover bodies victims, for investigation necessary to establish exact cause. French missionaries reported not molested. Warned viceroy responsible for outrage. Demanded efficient protection American missionaries elsewhere. Reported subprefect Lienchou afforded no protection and dilatory. Consider advisable await return three missionaries about two weeks before (?) sending (by) commission Lienchou to investigate. Doing everything and telegraphed isolated mission warning them danger. Anti-American feeling caused by dissemination inflammatory boycott literature. First information received by boycott organization here. I believe example should be made (?) viceroy and prefect. Instruct by cable.


I see, by appointment to-day, the minister of foreign affairs, and shall endeavor to get him to urge on his Government the taking of adequate steps to stamp out the anti-American feeling in Kwangtung Province, which has been allowed to spread and gain force until it has led to this massacre. I have been warning the Chinese Government for months that this very thing might very likely occur in some remote corner of the country if the movement against us, and especially the dissemination of inflammatory literature was not absolutely stopped. The Government has been warned and warned


again by me that we will hold it strictly accountable and responsible for any such uprisings.

I this morning cabled the American consul-general at Canton as follows: AMERICAN CONSUL, Canton:

Fourth. Your cipher telegram received. I regret no one representing the United States Government went with party to Lienchou. Foreign office informed me yesterday of the case, which Viceroy Canton telegraphed here day before. Imperial edict issued to Viceroy Canton ordering punishment of all criminals and guilty officials also directs suitable compensation to be made and adequate protection given missions in all places. I telegraphed yesterday De partment of State reporting case and am now awaiting instructions.

ROCKHILL, The above telegram was supplemented this afternoon by the following: LAY, Canton:

I think unless it is absolutely impossible you should send somebody from the consulate or the war vessel to Lienchou to represent the Government of the United States on the present investigation.

ROCKHILL, I have the honor, etc.,



The Prince of Ch'ing to Minister Rockhill. I have the honor to inform your excellency that on the 6th of the tenth moon, XXXI year of Kuanghsü (November 2, 1905), I received a telegram from the acting riceroy of the two Kuang Provinces, saying:

I have just received a message from the American consul-general saying that an American mission chapel in the department of Lienchou had been burned and that five foreign missionaries had been killed. I at once telegraphed to the magistrate of the said department directing him to make a careful inquiry into the real cause of the trouble, and to at once arrest the murderers and punish them. I have received his reply, stating that on the 1st instant (October 28, 1905) the American chapel and hospital had been burned and five persons injured, men and women, and that the occasion of the quarrel was the refusal of the missionaries to allow the villagers to fire cannon during their celebration of a festival, and that there were two other missionaries, Rev. Mr. Ming and Miss Pa, who had fortunately been rescued. I have already appointed a deputy to take a sufficient number of troops with him and proceed to the place to make an investigation and take necessary action, to pursue and arrest the murderers and to put the bodies of the murdered missionaries in coffins, and to give uniform protection to the remaining missions and missionaries.”

My board thereupon submitted a memorial to the Throne and has received the following imperial edict:

* Ts'en Ch'un-hsüan telegraphs than an American hospital and chapel at Lienchou, in Kuangtung Province, owing to trouble growing out of a celebration of a festival by villagers, had been burned, and that five niissionaries, men and women, had been injured, and that the rest were rescued ; that he has appointed a deputy to take a sufficient number of troops and proceed to the place to give protection, to investigate and take necessary action, and to arrest the muder

The people of the province in question are turbulent, and we have already issued edicts directing the local officials to be careful to take precautionary measures as the circumstances might require, and to give thorough protection. But the department magistrate has given no heed, and has allowed such a serious matter as this to arise. His fault is one which is inexcusable. Let the names of the responsible officials be obtained, and let them first be cashiered, and let the other officials who have been careless about taking precautions be severally punished according to their guilt. Let Ts'en Ch'un-hsian still continue to issue strict instructions to the deputy sent to at once investigate the matter


and arrest all the important leaders and punish them according to law. Let there not be the least indulgence shown. That five innocent missionaries have been injured is most pitiable. Let steps be taken at once to make suitable compensation. As for the other missions and missionaries let uniform and careful protection be given to them in all places. Let there be no further remissness.

Respect this.”

I have already telegraphed the above to the viceroy at Canton as directed, and as soon as I shall receive his reply I shall communicate it to you. In the meantime I have reverently copied the above edict and, as in duty bound, sent it to your excellency with this dispatch.

Kuanghsü, XXXI year, tenth moon, 7th day (November 3, 1905).

The Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.


Washington, November 4, 1905. (Mr. Root communicates a telegram received this day from the consul-general at Canton to the following effect: Mr. Lay says that he will go to Lienchou in a few days with the viceroy's secretary as a commission to investigate, and requests that two naval officers from the Raleigh or Jonadnock be directed to accompany him. Mr. Lay also informs the department of a report by missionaries of an immature attempt made to burn their residence at Ying tak and of the fact that no adequate steps were taken by officials to guard against a further attempt of this kind.)

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.
[Telegram- Paraphrase.]

PEKING, November 5, 1905. (In reply to the department's telegram of November 4, Mr. Rockhill reports that he has just communicated its substance in regard to the Ying tak matter to the foreign office, and that the latter promised to telegraph the viceroy immediately. Mr. Rockhill is informed by the minister for foreign affairs that the viceroy at Canton has telegraphed to him that he has issued a proclamation warning the people against the boycott and ordering all officials to post it everywhere; that he commands obedience to previous orders for the protection of Chinese-American employment, and prescribes direct reports to him on the steps taken for execution of the same. The minister for foreign affairs immediately sent a telegram to the viceroy, in which vigorous and effective action was enjoined.)

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

[Extract.] No. 140.]


Peking, China, November 6, 1905. SIR: In further reference to the killing of the five members of the American Presbyterian mission station at Lien Chou, Province of

Kwang-tung, which I reported to you by cable on the 3d instant, I have to report as follows:

On the Āth instant I called at the foreign office by appointment. I was received by the two vice-presidents, Chü Hung-chi and Na'tung, and the two under secretaries, Lien Fang and Wu Ting-fang. I said that I wanted particularly at the present moment to urge on the Chinese Government the necessity of devising means for preventing further possible outrages against Americans in the same region. I saw nothing to object to in the edict issued by the Emperor to the viceroy in the matter; my only apprehension was that it would not be or could not be carried out. The viceroy had already been commanded by the edict of August 31 (see my dispatch No. 79 of September 1, 1905) to prevent disorder or hostile demonstrations against Americans, but he had failed to take adequate measures, and I had repeatedly in the last few months had to call the attention of the Wai-wu Pu to his contumacious conduct and his apparent sympathy with the anti-American agitation. The viceroy had, so far as I was informed, taken no steps to ascertain whether either the terms of the imperial edict of August 31 or those of his own proclamation were carried out in the Province. The vilest and most slanderous placards and publications against Americans had been posted and scattered broadcast over his Province. It was because of this that the people had come to look upon Americans as outlawed and public enemies, and, with only the slightest misunderstanding as an exciting cause, had now murdered inoffensive women and men.

I stated furthermore that I noted with particular pleasure that the Emperor in his edict to the viceroy commanded that all officials of whatever rank found delinquent should be severely punished. I felt sure, I said, that this would insure the punishment of the viceroy, the chief culprit, by his dilatoriness, for this crime.

The vice-presidents assured me that their majesties had been deeply distressed over this occurrence, and that the fact that an imperial edict had been issued upon the same day on which it had been heard of by them was proof of the gravity with which they viewed it. They begged me to convey to you the expression of their personal sorrow and mortification that such an occurrence could have happened. They begged the United States would await an investigation of the matter, and they promised full justice, compensation, and punishment.

I told them that you had instructed me to inform the foreign office that public opinion in the United States was very much wrought up over this occurrence, and that unless the imperial government took vigorous and prompt action the most unfortunate consequences might be expected to follow. I repeated this to the ministers several times and drew their earnest attention to the great gravity of the situation, resulting not only from this massacre but from the generally unsatisfactory state of affairs in the Province of Kwang-tung, to which I had repeatedly called their attention during the last four months.

In my dispatch No. 139 of the 4th instant I had the honor to inclose copy of a note which I had addressed to the Prince of Ch'ing pressing for a reply to my former note of October 3 (see my dispatch No. 112

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