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Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard.

(Extract. 1

No. 331.)


Peking, February 28, 1889. (Received April 15.) SIR: The Empress Regent Tzi An will on the 4th of March next retire from active participation in governmental affairs.

Her retirement furnishes a proper occasion for a brief review of her life and character, and of some of the important events of her reign. The Emperor Hsien-fung died August 22, 1861, five months after the British envoy was installed at Peking. He left one son of the age of five years, named T’ung-chih.

It The widowed Empress, Tzu An, associated with Tzi An, then jointly assumed the reins of power. Tzi Án was the mother of Tung-chih. She was the secondary wife of Hsien-fung. Prince Kung organized the Tsung-li Yamên, and became its head.

During the reign of Tung-chih the Government succeeded in putting down the great Tai Ping rebellion, in quelling the Mahommedan insurrections in Yunnan and Kansuh, and in opening diplomatic relations with foreign powers.

Tung.chih died in January, 1875, without issue. His cousin, Kuangsii, son of the seventh son of Tao.Kuang, Prince Chun, who was born August 15, 1871, was selected by the present Empress Regent to be Emperor, and succeeded Tung-chih.

The Empress Regent, Tzu An, died in 1881. Since her death the Empress Regent, Tzi An, has been the sole ruler of China until the present time, when she voluntary abandons the reins of government. Once before she made an effort to retire, but was induced by the earnest prayer of the chief mandarins to remain at the head of affairs.

The principal event in the reign of Kuang-sii is the reconquest of western Kausuh, Sungaria, Kuldja, and Kashgaria. A Mohammedan rebellion broke out in those provinces in 1862, and Russia, fearing disturbance in her own borders, crossed over and occupied Kuldja in 1871. In 1867 a soldier of fortune from Khokand, called Yakub Beg, made himself master of Kashgar. In 1876 China succeeded, after a bloody war, in re-asserting her power. Russia finally evacuated Tli, and in 1881, by the treaty of St. Petersburg, restored to China the territory she bad seized, upon the payment of one million and one-half sterling.

In 1884 difficulties originated between the French and China over the French occupation of Tonquin and Annam. A desultory war ensued, during which the French destroyed the shipping and ports at Foochow. They also occupied Kelung, in Formosa, but they were beaten at Tamsui. In 1885 the French were beaten at Langson. Then peace was made. China recognized the French protectorate over Annam and the possession of Tonguin, but paid no indemnity.

Between England and China the most celebrated event was the mur. der of a British officer named Margary, in 1875, who had been sent to Yunnan to meet an exploring party sent by the Indian Government to Burmah. In 1876 the Chinese agreed to pay an indemnity to Mr. Margary's family, and to compel their local officials to protect foreigners with passports. China agreed also to facilitate the dispatch of a British mis. sion to Shassa. England agreed to the opium convention, which finally resulted in amalgamating lekin and import duties at 80 taels per chest.

In 1885 England took possession of Upper Burmah, but agreed in 1886, however, that the authorities in Burmah should send to China

every ten years a present of local produce in charge of a native official. England agreed also not to press the Thibet mission clause of the Che. foo convention. In 1887 England surrendered to China Port Hamilton, a Corean island which she had seized and fortified.

On the whole the relations between China and Japan have been friendly, though on several occasions there has been danger of serious complications between the two countries.

Between China and the United States international affairs are too well known to require any mention. Additional articles were added in 1868 to our treaty of 1858, and in 1880 the immigration and commercial trealy was made. In the general, China has observed the articles of these treaties.

There have been, owing to sudden outbreaks of the populace, riots here and there which have resulted in injury to property, and very rarely and in a small degree to persons. These riots are severely condemned by the Imperial Government and reparation has been usually made. It may be said, with emphasis, that the Empress Regent has been the first of her race to apprehend the problem of the relation of China to the outer world and to make use of this relation so as to strengthen her dynasty and to promote material progress. The imperial maritime customs service which was first inaugurated to provide means to pay damages claimed by foreigners has become, under the .control of Sir Robert Hart, a great fiscal institution. It has provided in the most complete manner for the lighting of the coast of China, has fostered navigation, and has produced great revenues.

During this reign a fine navy bas been created, and the army has been largely improved. The electric telegraph now covers the laud. Arsenals and ship-yards have been located at Foochow, Shanghai, Canton, Taku, and Port Arthur. Western methods of mining have been introduced and two lines of railway have been built. Steamers ply on all the principal rivers. The study of mathematics has been revived and the physical sciences have been introduced into the competitive exami. nations. The treatment of the progress of education, in which our own countrymen have largely tigured, would require a separate article. Al. most as soon as the foreign office was organized it memorialized the throve advising the establishment of a school for the training of official interpreters. This resulted in the establishment of the Tung Wen Kuan College in 1862. This institution is presided over by Dr. W. A. P. Martin, an American, with a full corps of foreign and native professors. The great statesmen of China, such men as Li Hung Chang, and Tseng Kuo Fan, have always favored the introduction of Western learning.

In 1872 China sent a large detachment of boys to the United States to be educated. They were recalled in 1881. To-day there are colleges and schools of the highest order all over China, under the control of missionaries of various countries. Our own countrymen are at the front of this work.

The improvement and progress above briefly sketched are mainly due to the will and the power of the Empress Regent. To her own people she has been kind and merciful, and to foreigners she has been just. She leaves ber country at peace with all the world, and destined by her influence to grasp the benefactions of foreign intercourse, and to assume a commanding place among the nations of the earth. While her own people will always venerate and bless her, history will rank her among the greatest rulers of mankind, I have, etc.,


Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard.

No. 335.]


Peking, March 4, 1889. (Received April 23.) SIR: I bave the honor to inclose here with a translation of a com. munication from the Tsung-li Yamên, which may be regarded as an official notification that the Emperor of China will to-day assume the reigns of government.

In honor of this event the foreign ministers to-day displayed their flags and sent cards to the members of the Yamên. The flag of this legation was elevated for the double purpose of signalizing the advent of the Emperor to power, and in honor of the ceremony of the inauguration which was then transpiring in Washington. I have, etc.,


(Inclosure in No. 835.]

The Tsung-li Yamên to Mr. Denby.

PEKING, March 2, 1889. Your EXCELLENCY: The prince and ministers have the honor to state that the following edict was issued by her Majesty, the Empress Regent, on the 27th of July last:

“Inasmuch as when the Emperor first assumed reips of government there would be qnestions arise that might cause His Majesty some hesitancy as to the best means to be adopted to meet them, we could not refuse to offer our advice when occasion made it necessary, and we thereforo feel constrained to yield consent to the entreaty of our servants of state to continue the direction of government for some years.

“During the past two years His Majesty has devoted his leisure hours in continuing his course of instruction and has shown skill and cleverness in the advancement of his education. In the matter of governinental questions, whether important or otherwise, His Majesty has proved himself competent to determine the pros and cons as they arise, and to deal with them in a manner befitting and right. To us this is a source of great joy.

“His Majesty will enter the bonds of matrimony some time during the first moon of Dext year (February), and he should therefore assume the entire charge of the administration of governinent, thus satisfying the aspirations and hopes of our ministers and the people of our Empire. Let the board of astronomy reverently select an auspicious day during the second moon of next year (March) for onr retirement and report to us. Respect this."

Upon the 30th day of July, 1868, Her Majesty issued the following decree :

" In obedience to our coinmand, the imperial board of astronomy having memorialized 118, selecting an auspicious day for the occasion, we command that the 4th of March next be chosen as the day for the full assumption of power by the Emperor.

"Respect this."

As in duty bound the prince and ministers send your excellency copies of the abovo decree for your information.

A necessary communication, etc.

Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard.

No. 837.)


Peking, March 5, 1889. (Received April 23.) SIR: I inclose herewith the translation of a decree wherein tbe Em. press declines to entertain the proposal that certain memorials should be addressed to her, and severely reprimands and punishes the censor who made the proposal. 1 have, etc.,


(Inclosure 1 in No. 837.)

19th and 20th February, 1888.-- Personal assumption of Government by the Emperor. Em

press Dowager declines to enterla in proposal that certain memorials should continue to be addressed to Her.

(A Decree by Her Majesty, the Empress Dowager.) We bave received a memorial from the Censor, To Yên-shou, in which he takes upon himself to give an unreserved expression of opinion respecting the approaching assumption of government by the Emperor in person. In view of the important questions pressing at the moment, he asks Us to issue a Decree directing that memorials from the provinces, as well as sealed reports from the Officers of the Court, should continue to be addressed to Us, and he requests that such documents should be perused by Us before effect is given to the proposals to which they refer. The Censor's suggestion has caused Us profound astonishment. A female Regency was only resorted to as a last device, and looking back in Our seclusion upon the abuses which it caused in previous dynasties, We issued special con: manns that the Government should revert to its proper Head the moment the right time arrived, in order that the constitutional usages of Our revered predecessors might be duly preserved, and that no ground for adverse comment might be furnished to future ages. Our decision was taken with firm resolve and Our object had a deep significance. Besides, We have already issued Decrees fully expounding Our views to Our subjects, and all classes under Qür rule have cheerfully acquiesced in Our action.

Were We now at the very beginning of a new order of things to require that memorials should be addressed to Us, we should be stultifying our previous action by cancelling instructions which have been only recently issued. In what light would posterity regard Us? The analogy adduced by the Censor is quite irrelevant, as a female Regency and that instituted by the Emperor K‘ien-lung are totally different things. After the assumption of personal government by the Emperor, Privce Ch'an alone will be required to address memorials directly to Us in bis own name. The secret documents referred to by the Censor which have been submitted to Us by Prince Chóun treated of important concerns of state which at the outset of the Emperor's assumption of government it was thought he should submit to Us on such occasions as he paid Us visits of respect. It was never for a moment intended that this practice should be sanctioned as a permanent institution, or that Oor tntelage of the Emperor should be indefinitely prolonged. The Censor's suggestion is made in manifest disregard of Our former Decrees and has the further objection of furnishing grounds for adverse criticism of our action in future ages. Having regard to the extravagance of his proposals and the very important issues to which they relate, we feel bound to administer to him a severe warning, unless reckless interfer ence with accepted institutions is to go unpunished. We command therefore that T'u Jên-shou be required to vacate his office of Censor, that he be handed over to the board for the determination of a penalty, and that his memorial bo tlung back to him.

Mr. Denby to Mr. Blaine.

No. 841.]


PEKING, March 8, 1889. (Received April 23.) SIR: You are no doubt aware that under Chinese usage foreigners are not permitted to take any part in public ceremonies.

On the occasion of the Emperor's marriage on the 26th ultimo the foreign ministers were ignored except that formal notice was sent to them of the approaching event.

Practically foreigners see and know nothing of what transpires in the “ Forbidden City" when the ceremonies are had.

The bride resided with her father in the northeastern part of the city. Upon the announcement of her selection as Empress eunuchs took possession of the family residence, guards were posted in the grounds, and the utmost seclusion was maintained.

At 1 o'clock in the morning of the 26th ultimo the lady was conveyed to the palace. There were reports that she had serious objections to the marriage, but the truth thereof can not be ascertained. She is represented as being several years older than the Emperor, and as being very intelligent.

I inclose from the North China Daily News an account of the imperial marriage ceremony. This description was prepared especially for the News after the ceremony was arranged at Peking. I have made inquiries of competent persons as to the accuracy of this account, and have been assured that it is faithful and correct. I have, etc.,


(Inclosure in No. 841.)


The marriage of the Emperor of China, Kuang-sü to Yeh-ho-na-la, piece of the Empress Dowager and cousin of the Emperor, takes place to-day, and the following account of the ceremony enjoined by precedents has been specially sent to us from Peking.

A few days before the actual wedding the servants of the office of equipments will carry to the imperial palaces, with all ceremony, the hundreds of articles for the use of the Emperor and his bride that have been prepared previously by the board of the imperial bousehold and kept in the Empress's palace. These articles comprise jewelry, beaddresses, clothes and accessories, embroideries, needlework, fine chinaware, gold and silver work, furniture, carved and inlaid upholstery, personal ornaments, stationery, etc.

On the 24th of February the high officers, by the Emperor's command, should go to worship at the temples of Heaven, Earth, and the Gods, and announce the approaching nuptials. On the 25th of February the necessary arrangements should be made in the palace. The officers of the office of equipments should reverentially bring out the Empress's sedan chair, yellow chairs, and her chariot to which an elephant is harnessed-this last being merely formal. The accompanying paraphernalia are:

Two pairs of yellow silk umbrellas, embroidered with dragons.
One pair of crooked handled umbrellas, embroidered with phænixes.
A pair of large fans.
Ten colored umbrellas.
Four umbrellas worked with gold thread.
A pair of plain red umbrellas.
Eight banners decorated with dragons and phænixes.
Two embroidered flags.
Eight fans embroidered with dragons.
Eight yellow fans shaped like a pheasant's tail.

At the proper time the gold scepter inlaid with jade, with a dragon character on it, should be brought out from the imperial palace and received by the two ministers of the imperial household at the Chien-ching palace, in order that it may be placed in the Empress's sedan chair. The same ministers must prepare two pavilions in the court yard of the Chung-tsui palace, to contain the Empress's wedding dresses. A leading eunuch then requests the appointed princesses to put the dresses in the paviljons, which are then carried by eunuchs to the gate of the Shu-chon palace, and handed to the office of equipments, who dispatch them to the Empress's residence, attended by four princesses. On their arrival they are handed to the ennnchs of the residence, the princesses remaining to be ready for their next duties. On the same day yellow tables are arranged by the chief eunuchs at the Chiao-tai palace, on the right and left hand, and on them the marriage contract and gold seal are placed.

The Emperor then repairs to the Tzüning palace, where he kotows nine times to the Empress Dowager, after which he goes to the Tai-ho palace, wher, the yellow tables are placed, and reads over the marriage contract. Here two pavilions have been prepared and the chief commissioner takes the gold scepter and puts it in one pavilion, while the assistant commissioner puts the marriage contract and gold seal in the other. The office of equipments then carries these pavilions in procession from the Tai-ho palace through the middle gate of the palace, and out at the Ta Ching gate to the Empress's residence. On their arrival the Empress's sedan chair is placed temporarily in front of the ball, with these pavilions on the right and left of it. Meantime the board of works has arranged three yellow tables in the hall, one in the middle, the others on either side, the chief commissioner placing the gold scepter

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