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HOMICIDE BY AN AMERICAN AT CANTON. 589

being destitute of employment, do little else than gamble and skulk about to steal in order to get a livelihood:—

“Since the period when the English brought in soldiers, these ladrones have been banding together and forming societies; and while some, taking advantage of their strength, have plundered and robbed, others have called upon the able-bodied and valiant to get their living. There. fore, employing troops, which is the endangering of the authorities and [peaceable] people, is the profit of these miscreants; peace and good order, which traders, both native and foreign, desire, is what these bad men do not at all wish. . . . . . I have heard that usually the citizens of Canton have respected and liked the officers and people of the United States, as they were peaceable and reasonable; that they would, even when there was a cause of difference, endeavor to settle it, which is very unlike the English. But, unexpectedly, on the 16th instant, a cause for animosity was given in the shooting of Sü Amun. I have heard different accounts of this affair; I judge reasonably in thinking that the merchants of your country causelessly and rashly took life. But the populace are determined to seek a quarrel, and I very much fear lest they will avail of this to raise commotion, perhaps under the pretence of avenging his death, but doubtless with other ideas too.”

The American minister referred in a subsequent communication to the death of Sherry, in May, 1841, when the boat's crew from the ship Morrison was attacked and captured. This affair had been already brought to the notice of the Chinese government by Commodore Kearny, and a sum of $7,800 received from it for losses and damages sustained; but the present was a fitting opportunity for reviving it, since it and the case of Sü Amun furnished a mutual commentary upon the necessity of securing better protection for foreigners. Kiying, on his return, made an investigation of the case, and reported the successive actions of his predecessor KÍ Kung in a business-like manner, and so much was his reply divested of all the rhodomontade usually seen in Chinese state papers, that one could hardly believe it was written by a governor-general of Canton. The exciting circumstances of that casualty did indeed go far to extenuate it; though now, both Kiying and his master could not but see that the time for demanding life for life had passed away. The parallel between the two casualties could not fail to be most instructive to them, and lead them to put more importance upon human life. The commissioner was, however, in a dilemma. He could only appease the populace by stating in his

proclamations, that he was making every effort to ascertain who was the murderer and bring him to justice, and they must leave the management of the case in the hands of the regular authorities. On the other hand, the arguments of Mr. Cushing and the stipulations in the English treaty, both convinced him that foreign nations would not give up the right of judging their own countrymen, much less would they submit to have homicide treated as murder. He finally escaped the trouble by deferring the petitioners and relatives of the deceased awhile, and then appeasing them by a small donation. The American gentleman who had been the unwitting cause of the unhappy result, also made some provision for the family of the deceased before he left China.

In conducting these negotiations, and settling this treaty “between the youngest and oldest empires in the world,” Mr. Cushing exhibited both ability and knowledge of his subject. In his instructions, he was directed to deliver the President’s letter to the emperor in person, or to an officer of rank in his presence; and, therefore, on his arrival, he informed the governor that he had been sent to the imperial court, and being under the necessity of landing and remaining a few weeks at Macao, before he continued his journey, he improved the first opportunity which presented itself to inquire after the health of his majesty. Whether he regarded the mere going to court as important, cannot be inferred from his correspondence, but if so, instead of communicating with the governor at Canton, he should have gone directly to the mouth of the Pei ho, and waited there for a commissioner to be sent to meet him. Yet the real advantages of such a proceeding at this time would have been trifling; and as the emperor was not disposed to forego that homage required of all who appeared before him, however willing he might be to grant commercial privileges, it was undesirable to excite discussions on this point. Moreover, the appointment of Kiying with such unusual powers indicated a favorable disposition towards the Americans, and a desire to treat their envoy with due respect. As it happened, it was fortunate the two plenipotentiaries were at hand, when the riot and homicide of the 15th of June occurred; and the discussion which grew out of those events was no small benefit to the local government. The secret of much of the power of the emperor of China consists in the acknowledgment by his subjects of his vice-heavenly character; and although

DISCUSSION BETWEEN MIR. CTSHING AND KITING- 591

that lofty assumption must come down before the advance of truth and religion, and will erelong crumble of itself, still to rudely shock it by forcing him to receive an ambassador without the usual mark of respect, is to irritate him, weaken his authority, and displease his subjects, before a corresponding benefit would accrue. In opening the negotiations, the first two letters from Kiying were returned for correction, since, when referring to the United States, he had placed the characters one line lower than those for China; the error was immediately rectified, and the correspondence afterwards conducted on terms of perfect equality and courtesy. The treaty of Wanghia embodied all the important stipulations of the two English treaties and commercial regulations; and provided further for the erection of hospitals, chapels, and cemeteries at the five ports, and the visits of ships-of-war to any part of the coast. The duty on lead and ginseng was reduced, and tonnage duty was not to be demanded a second time from a vesself going to another port to clear off her cargo. These privi. leges also extended to all nations as well as the United States. Mr. Cushing, having accomplished the object of his mission, left China without seeing the other ports, making only a transient visit at Canton and Hongkong, and embarked in the U. S. brig Perry, Aug. 27th, direct for San Blas. The emperor ratified the treaty, and commodore Parker published a circular Sept. 14th, announcing that all the provisions in it had been agreed to by the Chinese. The President and Senate accepted it without alteration, and the ratifications were exchanged on the last day of December, 1845, at the country seat of Pwan Sz'shing by Commodore Biddle and Kiying. Since that date, the Hon. Alexander H. Everett has been sent to China as minister plenipotentiary from the United States; though in our humble opinion, it is somewhat demeaning to a government like that of the United States to send a resident minister to a nation which will not reciprocate the courtesy, nor even allow him to reside in the capital, but keeps him at a distance in one of the provincial towns. Under such circumstances, a chargé-d'affaires, with sufficient powers, would better comport with dignity and be equally beneficial. The French ambassador, H. E. Th. de Lagrené, and his suite, arrived in China, Aug. 14th, to negotiate a commercial treaty with the Chinese. In addition to the two secretaries MM. le

Marquis de Ferrière le Voyer and le Comte d'Harcourt, and other attachés of the embassy, five other gentlemen were sent out by the government to make investigations into the commerce, arts, and industrial resources of the Chinese. M. de Lagrené landed at Macao under a salute, and took possession of the lodgings prepared for him in the same building which Mr. Cushing and his suite had occupied. Kíying was immediately informed of these events, and made arrangements for opening the negotiations at Macao by sending his three associates to congratulate the French minister on his arrival; and reached that place himself, Sept. 29th. The gratification of the Chinese statesmen at finding that the missions from the American and French governments were not sent to their borders like the English expedition to demand indemnity and the cession of an island on the coast, was great. The anticipated arrival of these embassies had been rumored among the people of Canton, the number of ships of war and force in them had been largely exaggerated, and the design of the ambassadors strangely misrepresented as including the seizure of an island. These reports could hardly fail to reach, and have some effect upon the highest officers in the land. The time, therefore, was favorable to the arrangement of a treaty, not merely to obtain the same political and commercial advantages which had been granted to England, but also to explain to the Chinese officers something of the relations their nation should enter into with the other powers of the earth. The first interviews between Kiying and M. de Lagrené were held in October, and the negotiations continued nearly the whole month. His excellency took the treaty of Wanghia as the basis of his own, and on the 23d of October, having settled all the preliminaries, proceeded to Whampoa in the steamer Archimede with Kiying, where the treaty was signed. It was subsequently ratified by the sovereigns of both countries, and the ratifications duly exchanged. Twelve years were agreed upon, both in the French and American treaties, as the time which should elapse before any alterations were made; and in the latter, it was stipulated that none of the individual states of the American Union should ever send embassies to form separate treaties for themselves. The signing of the treaty of Whampoa may be said to have concluded the opening of China, so far as its government was prepared for the extension of this intercourse. The instalments

TREATY OF WHAMPOA. 593

to be paid the English, according to the treaty of Nanking, were not yet all paid, but the Chinese had shown their desire to fulfil the provisions of that engagement; and the twenty-one millions of dollars were all paid over within a short period of the specified time. This was a minor consideration, however, in comparison with the great advantages gained by England for herself and all Christendom over the seclusive and exclusive system of former days, which had now received such a shock that it could not only never recover from it, but was not likely even to maintain itself where the treaties had defined it. The intercourse begun by these treaties will extend as fast as the two parties find it for their benefit, despite of all enactments and restrictions; and faster than this it ought not to extend. The war between England and China, as has been remarked, though eminently unjust in its cause as an opium war, and even English officers and authors do not try to disguise that the seizure of the opium was the real reason for an appeal to arms, though the imprisonment of Capt. Elliot and other acts was the pretext—was still, so far as human sagacity can perceive, a wholesome infliction upon a government, which haughtily refused all equal intercourse with other nations, or explanations regarding its conduct, and forbade its subjects having free dealings with their fellow-men. If in entering upon this war, England had published to the world her declaration of the reasons for engaging in it, the merits of the case would have been better understood. If she had said at the outset, that she commenced the struggle with the emperor, because he would not treat her subjects resorting to his shores by his permission with common humanity, allowing them no intercourse with his subjects, nor access to his officers; because he contemptuously discarded her ambassadors and consular agents, sent with friendly design; because he made foolish regulations, which his own subjects did not observe, an occasion of offence against others, when it suited him, and had despoiled them of their property by strange and arbitrary proceedings, weakening all confidence in his equity; and lastly, because he kept himself aloof from other sovereigns, and shut out his people from that intercourse with their fellow-men which was their privilege and right: if England had said these were the grounds of an appeal to arms, her character in this war would have appeared rather better. But it is the prerogative of the Governor of na

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