Page images

ing with the superintendent and commissioner. If the defendant is acquitted, and the commissioner does not demur to the decision, the ships or goods, if any be under seizure, shall at once be released, and the circumstances of the case be communicated to the superintendent. The merchant shall not be put to any expense by delay, but he shall have no claim for compensation on account of hinderance in his business, for loss of interest, or for demurrage. If a difference of opinion exists between the consul and commissioner, notice to that effect shall be given to the superintendent, and copies of the whole proceedings forwarded to Peking for the consideration of their respective high authorities.

Pending their decision, the owners of the property must file a bond in the consular court to the full value of the proposed fine, which will be sent to the custom-house authorities by the consul, and the goods or ship will be released.

RULE 7. If the custom-house authorities and consul cannot agree as to whether certain duties are leviable or not, action must be taken as rule 5 directs, and the merchant must sign a bond for the value of the duties in question. The consul will affix his seal to this document, and send it to the custom-house authorities, when the superintendent will release the goods without receiving the duty, and these two functionaries will respectively send statements of the case to Peking, one to his minister, the other to the Foreign Office.

If it shall be decided there that no duty shall be levied, the custom-house authorities will return the merchant's bond to the consul to be canceled; but if it be decided that a certain amount of duty is leviable, the consul shall require the merchant to pay it in at the custom-house.

RULE 8. If the consul and the custom-house authorities cannot agree as to whether contiscation of a ship, or a cargo, or both of them together, being the property of a foreign merchant, shall take place, the case must be referred to Peking for the decision of the Foreign Office and the minister of his nation. Pending their decision, the merchants must, in accordance with rule 5, sign a bönd for the amount, to which the consul will affix his seal, and send it for deposit at the custom-house. As difference of opinion as to the value [of ship or goods] may arise, the valuation of the merchant will be decisive; and the custom-house authorities may, if they see fit, take over either at the price aforesaid. If, after such purchase, it be decided that the property seized ought to be confiscated, the merchant must redeem his bond by paying in at the custom-house the original amount of the purchase money. If the decision be against confiscation, the bond will be returned to the consul for transmission to the merchant, and the case then be closed. The sum paid by the custom-house authorities for a ship or goods being regarded as their proper price, it will not be in the merchant's power by a tender of the purchase money to recover them.

Mr. Broune to Mr. Seward.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, July 24, 1868. SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a letter from Mr. George Wilkes, director of the Lower California Company, in relation to the proposed colonization, by Chinese, of the company's grants in Sonora and Lower California A copy of my reply is also inclosed. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. O.

Mr. Wilkes to Mr. Browne.

NEW YORK, June 7, 1868. SIR: The Lower California Company holding, as you are aware, a grant from the Mexican government which entitles them to take up and to colonize the lands of Lower California, and operating under a charter from the State of New York for the establishment of steamer lines, &c., have recently made arrangements for the car. rying out of the purposes of said grant by colonizing Chinese upon the coasts and within the interior of Lower California, and upon tracts of land in Sonora, the title to which has also been acquired by the company.

The grant held by the company is, as you will perceive by the copy herewith sent, of a most liberal character. It covers the whole bulk of the peninsula, (or 46,800 square miles;) it confers quasi governmental powers similar to those enjoyed by the Hudson Bay and East India Companies; and it guarantees to all the company's colonists, without regard to race or color, all the political and religious rights inuring to Mexican citizens, as soon as such colonists shall establish themselves upon Mexican soil, under the authority of the company.

By the 9th section of the grant you will observe that the liberty of religious worship is especially guaranteed to the colonists. By the 10th section, they are empowered to establish municipalities, elect their own authorities, levy local taxes, and perform all other acts pertaining to such political organization upon simply giving information of their intentions to the political chief of the territory, and by subscribing to his general authority. By the 12th section, all wearing apparel, iron tools, provisions, and things necessary to preserve life, are exempted from duty for ten years. By the 13th section, the colonists are in like manner exempted from all classes of imports and taxes “except the municipal contributions” which they may themselves establish; and by the 14th section, they are exempted from service in the national army for five years.

These franchises were all that were desired by the company to enable them to establish such colonies as would develop the fishing, mining, and agricultural resources of Lower California to their utmost. And here it is not out of place to say that, in addition to these franchises and guarantees from the Mexican general government, we have recently received the cordial written assurances of the political chief of Lower California that he will be happy to promote and to assist in carrying out the liberal purposes of the company. Thus fully empowered and assured, the company have on their part empowered, by letters patent, bearing the seal of the company, the Hon. Charles D. Poston, commissioner of agriculture from the United States to China, to contract in the name of the company with any persons or public officers in China, and if need be with the government of China, for 10,000 or more of Chinese colonists, to be landed upon the coast of Lower California, and to convey to said colonists such lands as they may require to be conveyed to them in alternate plots or sections anywhere in said territory they may select, or upon any of the company's lands in Sonora, all of said land to be conferred upon said colonists at the same rate (with but a fraction added, to cover the expenses incident upon location) as is paid by the company for the same to Mexico.

The company for their guarantee, in addition to this virtual gift of the land on their part, all the fishing, mining, and agricultural privileges, including the privilege of the pearl fishery, and all the political and religious rights which inure under their grant and charter to their most favored colonists.

The honorable commissioner of agriculture aforesaid will soon sail for China, and the company having thus empowered him, feel it to be due to your excellency's position to lay their purposes before you, in order that you may be fully apprised of their intentions in case their transactions in China should be brought under your official cognizance, or their character and purposes, as a company of American citizens, be brought under like observation.

In this connection, the undersigned begs leave to add that he has laid the grant and character of the company, and likewise the purposes of the company in regard to Chinese colonization, before the honorable Anson Burlingame, minister plenipotentiary and extraordinary from the Emperor of China, and has the gratification to state that Mr. Burlingame, recognizing the programme of the company as broad and liberal, and as one that will not only knock the detestable Coolie system in the head, but give to the Chinese people their first opportunity to compete with the European races in the problem of self-government, upon equal terms, expressed for the programme of the company his cordial approbation.

Hoping that you also may perceive in the proposed colonization of industrious and intelligent Asiatics upon the American Pacific coast an equal advantage to the United States, the creation of new and contiguous markets for our products, I have the honor to be, and remain very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Director, fc., Lower Cal. Co. His Excellency J. Ross BROWNE,

Minister, Sc., fc., &c. ,

Mr. Brorone to Mr. Wilkes.


Near Aspinwall, June 16, 1868. Sir: On the eve of my departure from New York I had the honor to receive your letter of the 7th instant, informing me of the intention of your company to send an agent to China for the purpose of encouraging the colonization by Chinese immigrants

of certain lands granted to you on the peninsula of Lower California, by the Mexican government.

There can be no doubt as to the adaptability of the Chinese to colonization. Experience in California and the adjacent States and Territories shows that they are orderly, industrious, and self-reliant. It is evident, from their ingenuity and habits of economy, and the success with which they have worked abandoned mines and lands, that they are capable of maintaining themselves in countries unfitted for settlement by Americans or Europeans. Nor can there be any question as to the beneficial results to be derived from a liberal policy in opening unoccupied and hitherto unproductive tracts of country to cultivation and development by a thrifty land orderly population, of whatsoever race, provided their social and religious systems are not inimical to the well-being of the nations or peoples by whom they may be surrounded.

The experiment, at all events, would not be altogether novel, since the experience we have had of the Chinese in California. Whilst there are antagonistic views as to the introduction of Chinese labor on the Pacific coast, none can deny that this class of population has proved itself worthy of respect and consideration. * I am deeply impressed with the importance of the questions presented in your letter, and will avail myself of the earliest opportunity to give them the consideration to which they are entitled. At present I can only say in general terms, that I have always advocated a liberal course toward the Chinese who have already immigrated to that portion of the Pacific coast embraced within our own domain.

What special duties may be imposed upon me by my official position I cannot now of course foresee. Should the questions discussed in your letter be brought before me while in China, for official action, I shall endeavor to meet them in such manner as to promote the best interests of our country.

Thanking you for the information with which you have furnished me, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


United States Minister to China. GEORGE WILKES, Esq.,

Director of the Lower California Company.

Mr. Browne to Mr. Seward.

SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., July 24, 1868. SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith an interesting communi. cation from Mr. Daniel Cleveland, a citizen of San Francisco, addressed to me in answer to a note, a copy of which is inclosed, in relation to Chinese labor on this coast and its effect upon the development of our resources.

The statistics furnished by Mr. Cleveland are valuable, and his views are entitled to respect. It affords me pleasure to state that similiar views are now very generally entertained by intelligent classes on the Pacific coast. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Browne to Mr. Cleveland.

SAN FRANCISCO, July 21, 1868. DEAR SIR: I understand that you have been for some time past engaged in the preparation of a work on the Chinese in California, in which you propose to give a sketch of their immigration to this coast; their trades and occupations; the amount of taxes paid by them to the federal and State governments; their present condition; their influences upon the development of our resources; and the injurious effects of any legislation having in view their exclusion from our shores.

It is peculiarly important at the present time that our experience of this interesting people should be correctly understood.

You have devoted much labor, as I can well appreciate from a perusal of your notes,

to the collection of reliable statistics on this important subject; and I know of no citizen of California better qualified to treat it with candor and intelligence.

If not inconsistent with the plan or purposes of your work, I would be greatly obliged to you for a summary of the data embodied in your notes, for transmission to the Department of State at Washington.

The purposes of my mission to China would be facilitated, and the humane and generous ends which you have in view might to some extent be promoted, by a more thorough knowledge on my part of the history and condition of our Asiatic population in California.

Wishing you success in your undertaking, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


United States Minister to China. DANIEL CLEVELAND, Esq.

Mr. Cleveland to Mr. Brown.

SAN FRANCISCO, July 27, 1868. DEAR SIR: I have received your letter of the 21st instant, requesting information about the Chinese in California, and have the honor to submit the following statement, which, from the shortness of the time given me for its preparation, and my other duties, is necessarily brief and general, but, I hope, embodies the information you desire.

The Chinese constitute a large and important element in our society. They have so intimately interwoven themselves in our life and business, they fill so many employments, their occupations are so numerous, they serve us in so many capacities, they contribute so much to the revenue of our city, county, and State governments, in addition to the large sums paid to the federal government for import duties, special and other taxes, that public men now regard them as a valuable part of our permanent population. Their sudden removal would cause a great and lasting injury to our State. It would paralyze many branches of industry, by depriving them of the cheap labor by which they are sustained. It would cause a diminution in our State revenue of at least one-fourth, and would be regarded as an inconvenience by almost every citizen. Our commerce, our public carriers by land and water, our merchants and mechanics, and, in fact, all who have anything to sell, whether it be merchandise or labor, would suffer by the expulsion of a large population that does much to sustain them.

The first Chinese immigrants to this State were two men and one woman, who arrived in the fall of 1848. Three hundred and twenty-three arrived in 1849, and 447 in 1850. The Chinese are timid, and fearful of engaging in any new enterprise until a few of the more adventurous of their countrymen have proved it, by their experience, to be both safe and profitable. This accounts for the meagerness of their early emigration. So soon as they were fully satisfied, by many letters and frequent intercourse with their returned countrymen who had been successful, they began to come in much larger numbers. During the year 1851, 261 Chinese who had succeeded in this State, having acquired what seemed to them a fortune, in the mines, and as washermen and laborers, returned to their own country. The glowing accounts they gave of the mineral wealth of California, the demand for labor, and its generous compensation, when confirmed by their own success, produced a great effect upon their countrymen, and created a feverish excitement in their own province, that of Canton, which resulted in something like the gold fever that raged among our own people, and led to the same results, unprecedented emigration to the land of promise. Eighteen thousand four hundred and thirty-four arrived during the year 1852, nearly three times as many as in any subsequent year, except 1854, and almost equal to the number for the past five years. Immigration then fell to 3,212 in 1855, and has never been very great since, the highest number being 7,620 in 1860, and the lowest 2,351 in 1866, the average for the 13 years ending December 31, 1867, being 4,773.

The following table exhibits the immigration from, and the emigration to, China to the 1st of July, A. D. 1868, according to the records of the custom-house at San Francisco:

Immigration from, and emigration to, China to the 1st of July, 1868.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

*As I could not obtain any record of the emigration for these years from the custom-house, I have taken the average of the two years before and two after it, and think it must be very near the true number.

An examination of this table will show several interesting and important facts. During five years the emigration exceeded the immigration, and among these years are the two last. This, taken in connection with the really moderate immigration, the great number who have returned to China, and who are constantly doing so, and the fact that all Chinese hope and expect to spend their last days in the “flowery kingdom," ought to be sufficient to dispel the fears of some of our public men, who, in our legislature and elsewhere, have expressed their apprehension that the 400,000,000 inhabitants of the Chinese empire were about to be poured into our State. The great flactuations in the immigration, the number for one year being from two to four times as great as for the next, have been owing to the action of our people and government in reference to the Chinese population. Thus, on the 23d of April, 1852, Governor Bigler sent a special message to the legislature against the Chinese, and asking for legislation to put a stop to their coming. This, with the great hostility it created towards them in this State, was reported to China, but not soon enough to affect immigration for that year. During the next year, 1853, immigration suddenly fell from the 18,434 of the preceding year, to 4,316, so that at the end of the year the State had, with the deaths, about 400 less Chinese population than at its commencement. This feverish hostility abated, and we see the result in the figures for the next year, 1854, when 15,063 arrived, and only 2,387 went back to China. Early in 1855 a law was passed imposing an immigration tax of $50 upon Chinese, and increasing their mining tax, and the people were excited to great bitterness, and acts of hostility were committed against them which resulted in loss of life and property. When these facts were reported to China, the tide of immigration was suddenly arrested, and the number who came, mostly in the early part of the year, was only 3,212 against the 15,000 of the preceding year, and the emigration to China was 3,328. The members of the legislature soon saw their error and repealed one of the obnoxious laws, while the other was declared unconstitutional. The consequences were seen the next year in increased immigration and diminished emigration. In 1858 a law was passed by our legislature prohibiting the immigration of Chinese into this State, and the immigration fell the next year from 5,681 in 1858 to 3,527. The law was declared unconstitutional by our courts, and immigration increased to 7,620 in 1860. I think I have stated sufficient facts to show how the immigration of

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »