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it might be well to consider the propriety of my going in person to Chi-nan-fu, or sending a member of this legation, to endeavor to effect a settlement of this troublesome question. Such a trip would be very expensive, and I did not feel authorized to take it unless so directed by the Department, and unless authority were conferred to draw for the necessary funds.

The missionaries agree with me in the opinion that personal intervention at Chi-nan-fu by one in authority offers the only means of securing favorable results. I have no personal desire to incur the fatigne of such a trip, but I am prepared to do so, if some time shall elapse and still nothing be done.

I therefore submit for your consideration the question whether I sball be authorized to go to Chi-nan-fu should all other means fail of success.

It must be remembered that the question of the right of the mission. aries to acquire land at Chi-nan-fu has produced great annoyance to our fellow citizens, to the public, and this legation. I have, etc.,


(Inclosure 1 in No. 885.1

Mr. Denby to the Tsung-li Yaman.



I have the honor to inform your highness and your excellencies that I ani again compelled to call your attention to the trouble of the missionaries at Chi-nan-fu.

The missionaries have been notified by the local magistrate that they can not retain the piece of land that they bought, which lies outside of the city. This is the second place that has been refused to them. It is claimed that this second piece of land was not owned by the person who sold it to the missionaries, although ho had a stainped deed from the person who now claims it. It is claimed also that there is a grave on the land. This is true, but when the missionaries bought the land it was stipulated that this grave should remain there three years. The reason given was that the dead person, who was a poor woman, had died of cholera, and it would not do to disturb the body immediately. On these trivial pretexts the deeds are not sealed, the sale is rescinded, and the middle man has been incarcerated.

It thus appears that although the missionaries made two bona fide purchases, they have in each case been refused possession of the places bought.

I renew the statement horetofore repeatedly made to your highness and your excellencies that the missionaries are willing to accept any suitable piece of land that may be satisfactory to the anthorities.

I have the honor to state further that by the direction of my Government I must request that in the final settlement of this case damages be awarded to the Rev. Gilbert Reid for the serious beating suffered by him at the hands of a mob. I have to request that his case be considered and a reasonable compensation be made to him for his wrongs and injuries.

Your highness and your excellencies are a ware that this matter has been long pending. If it be the intention of the local authorities to deny the missionaries the right to acquire a suitable place to carry on their charitable and religions work at or near Chi-nan-fu, and if they are to be sustained by your highness and your excellencies in that determination, it would be best to make the declaration positive and final, so that I can inform my Government of the conclusion.

But I have been led to believe by the communications of your highness and your excellencies that this case would be amicably settled, and I still hope that such may be the case. I avail, etc.,


(Inclosure 2 in No. 885.)

The Tsung-li Yamên to Mr. Denby.

PEKING, May 9, 1889. Your EXCELLENCY: Upon the 4th instant the prince and ministers had the honor to receive a communication from your excellency setting forth that the missionaries had reported that the magistrate at Chi-nad-fu had refused to allow them the second piece of land, a vacant lot outside of the city, etc.

In reply, the prince and ministers would observe that, in regard to this, on the 18th of February, 1889, they received a vote from your excellency having relation to it, and they at once transmitted a copy of same to the governor of Shan-tung requesting bim to instruct the local officials to expeditiously and satisfactorily take action and settle it, but up to the present time no report has been received from the said province.

Now, having received your excellency's dispatch under acknowledgment, it is right to again address the governor of Shan-tung in the matter, pressing him to issue strenuous injunctions to the officials under his jurisdiction to speedily bring the case to a close. On receipt of a reply the prince and ministers will inform you, and in the meantime they send this acknowledgment for your excellency's information.

A necessary communication, etc.,

Mr. Denby to Mr. Blaine.


No. 908.]


Peking, June 10, 1889. (Received July 22.) Sir: The spread of the Chinese race into the dependencies of European powers in the east is interesting as illustrating its vitality, perseverance, and colonizing qualities.

From late sources I have prepared the following statement of the Chinese population in the more important eastern localities.

The population of Hong-Kong, by the census of 1881, was 160,402. Of this number the foreign population was 8,000. These figures (8,000) include the entire transient population, of which only 3,000 were permanent residents. It is estimated that the total population is now 200,000, of which probably 190,000 are Chinese.

According to the returns made in 1879, the population of Macao was, Chinese 63,532, Portuguese 4,476, other nationalities 78, or a total of 68,086. It is thought that there has been no increase since 1879, but rather a decline.

The population of Nagasaki, Japan, was, in 1887,38,229. The number of foreigners was 1,031, of whom 741 were Chinese. The population of Kobe in 1887 was 101,231, of whom 1,139 were foreigners, the Chinese numberiitg 724. The population of Osaka in 1887 was 361,694. Of foreigu residents there were 284, of whom 185 were Chinese. The population of Tokio in 1885 was 1,207,847. There were 300 foreign residents, but I am unable to state the number of Chinese. The native population of Yokohama is 89,545. The number of foreign residents in 1887 was 3,821, of whom 2,359 were Chinese. According to the census of 1883 there were residing in Manila of European origin 4,189 European Spaniards, 15,157 Chinese, 46,066 Chinese Mestizos (half-breeds), 3,819 Spanish half-breeds, and 160,896 pure natives. The population of Saigon, the capitol of Cochin China, was, December 31, 1886, 18,009, of whom 8,986 were Annamites and 6,649 Chinese. The French population numbers 1,257, and other Europeans 97. In Haiphong, the shipping port of Hanoi, in Tonquin, the Chinese population is about 4,700 and the Annamite 3,800, the foreign population being

323. In Borneo the Chinese conduct all the trading operations. In British North Borneo there are many Chinese, but I am unable to state their number. In Labuan, the smallest British colony in Asia, with a population of 6,000, 1,000 are Chinese. The Chinese are the chief traders and most of the industries of the island are in their hands. The number of Chinese in Siam is estimated at 1,300,000. The population of Singapore Island, according to the census of 1881, was 139,208, of whom 86,768 were Chinese and 22,114 Malays. The European commanity consists in the main of English and Germans, and numbers, with 783 military, a total of 2,769. In Malacca, with a population of 93,579, there are 19,741 Chinese. In Sungie Ujong the Chinese form a large proportion of the population of 30,000. In Selangor, with a population of 97,106, 78,155 are Chinese. The Chinese are a large part of the population of Perak, being estimated at 47,000, while the Malays are about 53,000. In Penang, out of a total population of 244,000, the Chinese number 67,502.

It will be seen from this cursory exhibit that the Chinese are over. running contiguous commercial points in the East. They are gradually absorbing business and ousting other native and foreign traders. In China proper, even at the open ports, they are dangerous rivals to foreign merchants. They make no display, do not leave their business to compradors; rely on quick returns, and, owing to a wide-spread system of mutual responsibility, they are generally honest, and meet all their obligations.

It is easy to be seen that the time will come in the "far East” when the same objections to their presence which have been heard in the United States and Australia will be loudly uttered. They seem to possess the faculty of absorbing even their conquerors. Thus the Chinese have absorbed the Mongolians and the Manchus, and with their religion, their arts, and their government they dominate these races. Wherever they go in the East they become the masters of trade. The mutterings against them are loud in every locality where they are settled. But their compact conservatism, their industry and their economical habits enable them to win their way over all opposition short of absolute exclusion. I have, etc.,


Mr. Denby to Mr. Blaine.


No. 967.)

Peking, October 2, 1889. (Received November 13, 1889.) SIR: I have the honor to inclose a copy of the imperial decree referring to the burning of the “Temple of Heaven." It will be seen that the officers of sacrificial worship, who were in charge of the temple, have been delivered to the board of punishments for the determination of a penalty. Why these officials should be held responsible criminally for an accident caused by lightning can only be understood by some reference to Chinese polity.

The Chinese Government offers the simplest specimen now extant of a theocratic state. The Emperor is the father of his people, and owes allegiance only to Heaven. Everything that happens is ascribed to supernatural influences. Praying, fasting, humbling one's self before the Deity are common official acts in China. The Emperor no less than

all the officials acknowledges his responsibility to Heaven, and at stated times returns thanks for favors accorded, and fasts and prays to avert calamity and to propitiate the Supreme Being.

At the winter solstice, and at various other times, the Emperor, attended by the great officials of state, repairs to the great altar in Peking, and as the great high priest of his race prostrates himselt before the Most High God. The origin of this rite is lost in antiquity.

The direct governance of Heaven remains to-day as well recognized in the daily life of the Chinese as it was three thousand years ago; and so when calamities occur Heaven is in anger. Somebody has sinned and the sin is to be expiated by punishment and suffering. If the heart of man were right Heaven would not panish him by misfortunes. Therefore he deserves human punishments. The Emperor, being the vice-regent of God, may jointly punish those who have sinned against God. He may do so in an absolutely arbitrary manner, because he is executing the will of Heaven. Thus the theocratic principle of the government becomes of vast practical utility.

Another phase of this theocratic principle is found in the execution of insane persons who have committed crime. Heaven has caused them to be insane because they or their families or their ancestors committed sin, and therefore to subject them to the slicing process is simply to carry out the will of Heaven.

It does not appear from the decree that the accident of the burning of the temple has been ascribed as yet to the proposal to build railroads. The Emperor takes the event “as a solemn warning, and his mind is filled with awe.” What “proper precautions” the officials failed to take to guard against the stroke of lightning are not stated, nor is it necessary to state them. The untoward event proves that somebody has sinned against Heaven and punishment must be assessed against some one. The part of the altar which was struck by lightning was called the chi-nien-tien or palace of prayers. Its construction dates back to the reign of Yung Lo, of the Ming dynasty, who ascended the throne A. D. 1403. The principal walls were of marble or white jade and the timber used was a species of valuable sandal-wood. It will be difficult to secure like costly materials for its reconstruction. I inclose here. with an account of the temple, written by Dr. Happer. I have, etc.,


(Inclosure in No. 967.)

20th September, 1889.Burning of the Temple of Heaven. An Imperial decree notices the burning of a part of the Temple of Heaven. On the fifth of September a thunder-storin occurred, in the course of which the Hall of Annual Prayer was struck by lightning and gradually burnt. The flames were extinguished by the efforts of the soldiers and other persons. Two officers in charge, belonging to the Court of Sacrificial Worship, ean not escape the blame which falls upon thein for their carelessness in not taking proper precautions. They and the presidents of court are therefore delivered to the board for the determination of a penalty. The attendants at the temple will be rigorously examined by the governor of Peking in order to find out if there have been any improper practices or not. The city tire brigade, which rendered assistance, are formally thanked for their serv. ices. The event is regarded by the Emperor as a solemn warning, and his mind is filled with awe. He calls upon his officers with earnestness and sincerity to aid him in the unceasing efforts which he will make, even more than before, to securo the good government of the country.


The building which was destroyed is the three-storied temple, called the “Hall of Prayer for a Propitious Year." It is the loftiest erection in Peking and is conspicuous even from beyond the walls, being usually the first object descried on approaching the capital from the south or east. Dr. Happer describes it thus:

This building, by reason of its high elevation, its beautiful dome shape, in three successive roofs, covered as it is with azure-coloured tiles, is the most striking feature in the park, though it is by no meaus regarded as the inost important object. When standing at the foot, to the south of the altar, and looking up to the building, this structure on the top of this three-terraced altar presents a very grand appearance. In its shape and color it is designed to represent Heaven, the object which shi ped there. In the rear of this temple there is a square building called 'Imperia! Heaven's Temple,' in which the tablets to Heaven and the tablets to the Imperial ancestors are deposited, which are used in the service at this altar, and from which they are brought into the 'Hall for Prayer' at the time of the annual prayer for a propitious year. In the temple are the permanent shrines upon which the tables are placed at the time of the worship. As the building is round the space inside is circular. The tablet to Heaven is placed near the north side of the circle, facing the south. There are four shrines on each side of a passage way from the tablet of Heaven to the south door, facing east avd west, in which are placed the tablets of the Imperial ancestors arranged according to their rank. The first one upon the left side, as the place of honor, is the first founder of the dynasty, and on the right side is the first occupant of the throne of Chiya, and thus successively in the order of their rank. The Imperial worshiper kneels in the passage-way made by the location of the shrines, before each several tablet successively, rendering the same worship, in the order of precedence, beginning with the tablet of Heaven. As the glass rods which are placed in the circular openings of the wiudow blinds are azure colorad, the light which comes into the building through them is tinged with the ethereal blue."

Mr. Denby to Mr. Blaine.

No. 999]


Peking, Norember 10, 1889. (Received December 23.) SIR: In view of the practice of cremation, which is sometimes resorted to in the United States and is there attracting some attention, I have the honor to submit a few observations on this practice in China:

Following their favorite idea of classification by numerical categories, the Chinese distinguish five forms of burial; these follow the five elements or primordial essences upon which the whole scheme of Chinese philosophy is based, viz, water, wood, metal, earth, and fire.

Burial by water is practiced somewhat in South China by dwellers by rivers or the sea, and consists, as the name indicates, simply in intrusting the body to the water. Burial by wood is the usual interment in a wooden coffin, the universal custom of the Chinese. Metal burial is said of the interment of an Emperor, though, as a matter of fact, Emperors also are buried in wooden coffins. Earth burial is the burial practiced by the Mohammedans. Followers of this sect carry the dead to the grave in a coftin, but the body is committed to the earth uninclosed. The last form, burial by fire, as the Chinese call it, or cremation, is, in view of all circumstances, the most remarkable of all.

It would seem somewhat inconsistent in a people whose deepest re. ligious instinct is reverence for aucestors to practice cremation. The teachings of Confucius on the observance of funeral ceremonies and the performance of certain rites at ancestral tombs would apparently be guite opposed to such a custom. In spite of his teachings, however, this form of burial is practiced somewhat to-day in China, and was much more so in the middle ages.

The foreign books on China usually consulted refer to it as practiced only by Buddhist priests and lamas and as required in the case of

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