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John W. Foster: The Chinese Boycott, from The Atlantic Monthly, January 1906

THE Chinese boycott of American goods is a striking evidence of an awakening spirit of resentment in the great Empire against the injustice and aggression of foreign countries. It seems singular that its first manifestation of resentment should be directed against the nation whose government has been most conspicuous in defending its integrity and independence. The explanation of this is that the boycott movement owes its initiative, not to the Chinese government, but to individual and popular influence, and is almost entirely the outgrowth of the ill-feeling of the people who have been the victims of the harsh exclusion laws and the sufferers by the race hatred existing in certain localities and classes in the United States. Much the largest portion of Chinese foreign emigration has come to this country, and it is here they have suffered the most personal injustice and indignity. Being in large measure from the lower and middle classes of the population, they remember only their wrongs and maltreatment, and give little heed to the friendly relations which have so long existed between the two governments.

The Imperial Government has much more serious grievances against Great Britain, on account of the two wars which that country has waged against it in order to force upon its people the admission of opium, and because of the important territory taken. It has suffered greatly at the hands of France, in the conquest of its suzerain state of Annam, and from unprovoked wars. Russia has been an aggressor for two hundred years and has absorbed large areas of its domain. The act of Germany in its high-handed seizure of an important harbor and adjacent country in Shantung caused momentary indignation. The conduct of these nations has in greatest measure contributed to the general anti-foreign feeling which prevails throughout the Empire. But it was reserved to the United States, the only one of the great powers which has not despoiled its territory and never assumed an attitude of hostility to its government, to have its people and its commerce singled out as the objects of popular proscription.

An examination of this anomaly in international affairs will show that the boycott has not been a sudden outburst of popular passion, but that it is the culmination of a long series of events extending through a generation, and marked by various phases in the intercourse of the two governments and peoples. It will, therefore, be interesting and helpful to an understanding of the question to look into the origin and cause of the boycott.

Anson Burlingame was a prominent and somewhat picturesque personage in the exciting times which ushered in the American Civil War. As a congressman of Massachusetts he was one of the leaders in the anti-slavery discussion. His challenge to mortal combat of Brooks of South Carolina, the assailant of Sumner in the Senate Chamber, will be remembered as one of the noted episodes of that stormy period. President Lincoln appointed him Minister to China. By his attractive personality and his genial manners he won the confidence and esteem of the rulers of that Empire, and when the time came for the Imperial Government to emerge from its seclusion, and establish permanent diplomatic relations with the outside world, Mr. Burlingame was placed by it at the head of an imposing embassy to visit the capitals of the Western world, and negotiate treaties of amity and commerce.

The embassy first came to the United States and was received by the President and Congress with a hearty welcome and distinguished ceremonies. It came at a time when our country was entering upon a new era in our foreign intercourse. Following the Civil War, our newly acquired possessions on the Pacific Coast were assuming greater importance, and hopes were awakened for enlarged trade possibilities in the Far East. In order to unify our nation and bring the Pacific states into easy communication with the rest of the Union, the construction of a railroad across the continent and over the mountains became a necessity. Labor was scarce on the Pacific Coast, the construction of the railroad was delayed, and a resort was had to China for workmen. They came in large numbers, and by their aid that great trans-continental work was being carried to successful completion. But the Chinese were brought in under a contract system which was practical slavery, naturally repugnant to the views of our government, much as it desired the presence of the workmen, and the system was likewise condemned by the Chinese government.

The arrival of the embassy was regarded by our government as highly opportune, and it was one of the last acts of the distinguished career of Secretary William H. Seward to negotiate with it a new treaty, to place our commercial and social relations with that vast Empire upon an advantageous and secure basis. The articles of the treaty secured greater privileges to American citizens in China, recognized the autonomy of the Empire, disavowed any intention to interfere in its internal affairs, prohibited the coolie contract system, guaranteed the free and unlimited immigration of Chinese into the United States, and extended to them the treatment of the most favored nation.

The treaty of 1868, known as the Burlingame treaty, was hailed as a great triumph of American diplomacy, and the President, in communicating its consummation to Congress, spoke of it as a "liberal and auspicious treaty." Some delay, however, occurred in its ratification by the Chinese government, and serious uneasiness was felt in the United States lest it should fail to be carried into effect. Under President Grant's direction, Secretary Fish instructed our minister in Peking to exert his influence with the Chinese authorities to bring about its early ratification. He wrote: "Many considerations call for this besides those which may be deduced from what has gone before in this instruction. Every month brings thousands of Chinese immigrants to the Pacific Coast. Already they have crossed the great mountain, and are beginning to be found in the interior of the continent. By their assiduity, patience, and fidelity, and by their intelligence, they earn the good will and confidence of those who employ them. We have good reason to think this thing will continue and increase;" and the Secretary said it was welcomed by our people.

The treaty was finally ratified by China, it was followed by the completion of the Pacific Railroad, and our government congratulated itself on being instrumental in bringing China out of her seclusion, and inducing her "to march forward," as Mr. Fish expressed it. Ten years after this treaty was signed, President Hayes, in a message to Congress, thus spoke of its leading provision: "Unquestionably the adhesion of the government of China to these liberal principles of freedom in emigration, with which we were so familiar and with which we were so well satisfied, was a great advance towards opening that Empire to our civilization and religion, and gave promise in the future of greater and greater practical results in the diffusion throughout that great population of our arts and industries, our manufactures, our material improvements, and the sentiments of government and religion which seem to us so important to the welfare of mankind."

But within twelve years a situation was developed which led our government to ask for a modification of our treaty relations with China. This was the demand which arose on the Pacific Coast that some check should be placed on Chinese immigration, in the interest of American labor. This demand was so persistent, especially in view of a pending presidential campaign, that the President gave an assurance that an effort would be made to change the treaty. Accordingly, in 1880, he dispatched a commission to China to negotiate, under instructions prepared by Secretary W.M. Evarts, for such change in the treaty of 1868 as would allow the United States to restrict the immigration of Chinese laborers. This commission was composed of President Angell of Michigan University, John F. Swift of California, and William H. Trescot, the diplomatist--men of ability and distinction. They were cordially received at Peking and attentively heard. The Chinese government, however, was reluctant to change the terms of the treaty of 1868, which had been entered upon at the special request of the United States. It was the more reluctant because it would create an offensive discrimination against the Chinese, not enforced against the people of any other nation. But when it was insisted that some modification was absolutely necessary for the internal peace of our people, China consented to such modification as would not essentially change the principle of that instrument. And thereupon the immigration treaty of 1880 was agreed to, restricting the coming of Chinese laborers.

In communicating to the Secretary of State the signature of the new treaty of 1880, the American Commissioners wrote:

"In conclusion, we deem it our duty to say to you that during the whole of this negotiation the representatives of the Chinese Government have met us in the fairest and most friendly spirit. They have been, in their personal intercourse, most courteous, and have given to all our communications, verbal as well as written, the promptest and most respectful consideration. After a free and able exposition of their own view, we are satisfied that in yielding to the request of the United States they have been actuated by a sincere friendship and an honorable confidence that the large powers recognized by them as belonging to the United States, and bearing directly upon the interests of their own people, will be exercised by our government with a wise discretion, in a spirit of reciprocal and sincere friendship, and with entire justice." [See Endnote 1].

But even this treaty, which had been obtained from China so reluctantly, yet with the generous exhibition of friendship on her part just described, did not prove satisfactory to the increasing demands of the labor unions. Before ten years were passed, under the spur and excitement of the presidential campaign of 1888, and upon the hesitation of the Chinese government to make a further treaty modification, the Scott Act was passed by Congress, which was a deliberate violation of the treaty of 1880, and was so declared by the Supreme Court; but under our peculiar system it became the law of the land. Our government had thus flagrantly disregarded its solemn treaty obligations. Senator Sherman, then chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, stated in the Senate that we had furnished China a just cause for war. But, at the request of the Secretary of State, that government consented to negotiate a new treaty of immigration, in 1894, which took the place of the treaty of 1880, and by means of which the Scott Act was modified so as to allow the Chinese laborers lawfully in the United States to visit China and return under certain restrictions. The treaty was limited by its terms to ten years.

It is thus seen that our government, which at first heartily extended to the Chinese the privilege of free and unrestricted entrance and residence in the country, was forced by the labor unions to change its policy, and that it secured from the Chinese government the right first to restrict and then to prohibit the coming of Chinese laborers. But this right was obtained upon the distinct promise that it would "be exercised by our government with a wise discretion, in a spirit of reciprocal and sincere friendship, and with entire justice."

The subsequent history of these treaties will show in what manner this promise has been redeemed.

Article IV of the treaty of 1894 stipulates "that Chinese laborers or Chinese of any other class, either permanently or temporarily residing in the United States, shall have for the protection of their persons and property all rights that are given by the laws of the United States to citizens of the most favored nation, excepting the right to become naturalized citizens." A similar stipulation appears in the treaties of 1868 and 1880.

Let us examine what are "the rights given by the laws of the United States to citizens of the most favored nation." Take as an example the treaty with Japan, an Oriental country, a near neighbor to China. The treaty of 1894, negotiated the same year of the treaty with China, in its Article I provides that the citizens or subjects of each country "shall have free access to the courts of justice in pursuit and defense of their rights; they shall be at liberty equally with native citizens or subjects to choose and employ lawyers, advocates and representatives to pursue and defend their rights before such courts, and in all other matters connected with the administration of justice they shall enjoy all the rights and privileges enjoyed by native citizens or subjects.' In the treaty of 1859 with Paraguay, the smallest of all the Spanish American states, having a population less than Washington city, it is provided that "the citizens of either of the two contracting parties in the territories of the other shall enjoy full and perfect protection for their persons and property, and shall have free and open access to the courts of justice for the prosecution and defense of their just rights; they shall enjoy, in this respect, the same rights and privileges as native citizens; and they shall be at liberty to employ, in all causes, the advocates, attorneys, or agents, of whatever description, whom they may think proper." [See Endnote 2] Similar provisions are found in many other of the treaties of the United States.

By these stipulations the citizens or subjects of the foreign governments named are guaranteed the full and perfect protection of their persons and property in the same measure and under the same conditions as citizens of the United States. Hence, under the favored nation clause, Chinese laborers and all other Chinese in the United States are guaranteed the same rights as to their persons and property as the citizens of the United States. What are some of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, that great charter which cannot be infringed by any legislative enactment or executive order? No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a trial by an impartial jury, to be confronted with the witnesses, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. The privilege of the writ of habeus corpus shall not be suspended.

An examination of the treatment of the Chinese by the authorities of the United States will show that, from time to time, all these constitutional and treaty guarantees have been disregarded. In a recent case decided by the Supreme Court (United States vs. Ju Toy, May 8, 1905) Justice Brewer pointed out that under the laws of Congress and the regulations of the Immigration Bureau the Chinese were deprived of due process of law for the protection of their liberty and property, of the right of trial by jury, of being confronted with the witnesses, and of having the assistance of counsel; and he characterized the examination or hearing to which they were subjected on their arrival in the United States as "a star chamber proceeding of the most stringent sort."

I do not know how I can better illustrate the kind of protection, or want of protection, extended to the Chinese, as guaranteed by the Constitution, the treaties, and the solemn promises of the government of the United States, than by recalling a notorious case which occurred, not on the sand lots of California, not under the auspices of labor agitators, but in the enlightened city of Boston and under the conduct of Federal officials.

The following narrative is condensed from the newspapers of that city. At about half past seven o'clock on the evening of Sunday, October 11, 1902, a number of United States officials of Boston, New York, and other cities charged with the administration of the Chinese exclusion laws, assisted by a force of the local police, made a sudden and unexpected descent upon the Chinese quarter of Boston. The raid was timed with a refinement of cruelty which did greater credit to the shrewdness of the officials than to their humanity. It was on the day and at the hour when the Chinese of Boston and its vicinity were accustomed to congregate in the quarter named for the purpose of meeting friends and enjoying themselves after a week of steady and honest toil. The police and immigration officials fell upon their victims without giving a word of warning. The clubs, restaurants, other public places where Chinese congregated, and private houses, were surrounded. Every avenue of escape was blocked. To those seized no warrant for arrest or other paper was read or shown.

Every Chinese who did not at once produce his certificate of residence was taken in charge, and the unfortunate ones were rushed off to the Federal Building without further ceremony. There was no respect of persons with the officials; they treated merchants an laborers alike. In many cases no demand was made for certificates, the captives were dragged off to imprisonment, and in some instances the demand was not made till late at night or the next morning, when the certificates were in the possession of the victims at the time of their seizure.

In the raid no mercy was shown by the government officials. The frightened Chinese who had sought to escape were dragged from their hiding-places, and stowed like cattle upon wagons or other vehicles, to be conveyed to the designated place of detention. On one of those wagons or trucks from seventy to eighty persons were thrown, and soon after it moved it was overturned. A scene of indescribable confusion followed, in which the shrieks of those attempting to escape mingled with the groans of those who were injured.

The case of one old man was particularly sad. In the upsetting of the wagon two of his ribs were broken, and he was otherwise bruised and injured. The attending physician made oath that his age was such that the injury might develop pleurisy or other serious complication as the result of his injuries. The rough usage to which he was subjected was a great strain upon his feeble frame, weakened by age. When the raid burst upon the Chinese quarter, he had just come downstairs from his lodgings when he was caught in the police drag-net. He informed the officers that his certificate was in his trunk upstairs, and that he could lay his hands on it without loss of time. But he was not permitted to go to get his papers even under guard, but was thrown into the overloaded wagon. The result was that this innocent man, who under treaty had a perfect right to reside in the country free from molestation, was made to suffer untold tortures in body and mind, in order that the immigration and police officers might satisfy their thirst for sensational activity.

About two hundred and fifty Chinese were thus arrested and carried off to the Federal Building. Here they were crowded into two small rooms where only standing space could be had, from eight o'clock in the evening, all through the night, and many of them till late in the afternoon of the next day. There was no sleep for any of them that night, though some of them were so exhausted that they sank to the floor where they stood. Their captors seemed to think that they had to do with animals, not human beings. Some of the them were released during the night, when relatives brought their certificates or merchants were identified. But the greater part were kept till the next day, when the publicity of the press brought friends, or relief through legal proceedings.

One of the Boston journals reported that the Federal Judge, who had a case set for hearing in an adjoining room the next morning, had to adjourn to another part of the building because of the foul exhalations from the overcrowded prison pen. It would hardly be believed that the "Black Hole of Calcutta" could at this day have an imitation in such an enlightened community.

So strong was the indignation of the respectable citizens of Boston, that a large public meeting was held in Faneuil Hall to denounce the action of the immigration officials and the police. Prominent men who took part did not hesitate to refer to that action in the strongest terms as a brutal outrage, a disgrace to the city; and the resolutions adopted assert that the Chinese were seized without warrant of law, and, after being brutally handled, were placed in close and ignominious confinement; and they declare that the lawless acts of the officials are dangerous to liberty and in defiance of constitutional rights,--arbitrary, unwarranted, and outrageous.

It was announced by the immigration officials that their raid was organized under the belief that there were a number of Chinese in Boston and its vicinity unlawfully in the United States, and this method was adopted for discovering them. The official report of the chief officer soon after the event showed that two hundred and thirty four Chinese were imprisoned, that one hundred and twenty-one were released without trial or requirement of bail, and that only five had so far been deported, but that he hoped that he might secure the conviction and deportation of fifty; as a matter of fact, however, the deportations fell much below that number. But even if these men were unlawfully in the country, they were entitled to humane treatment, and, above all, to the orderly process and application of the law. The art of Congress prescribes "that any Chinese person...found unlawfully in the United States or its Territories may be arrested upon a warrant issued upon a complaint, under oath, filed by any party on behalf of the United States," etc. [See Endnote 3].

Even as to the guilty Chinese the arrest and confinement was without warrant of law. But what justification can be offered for the arrest of the two hundred peaceable and law-abiding Chinese,--the indignities, hardships, and insults to which they were subjected? Although earnest complaint was made by the Chinese Minister to the government at Washington, not a single officer was punished or even censured for his illegal and brutal conduct, and no reparation was obtained by the Chinese.

The American Commissioners who went to Peking expressly stated that it was only the coolie class of laborers whom their government desired to exclude, and the treaty of 1880 in terms stipulated that the restriction "shall only apply to Chinese laborers, other classes not being included in the limitation." But when Congress came to legislate respecting the treaty it provided that only the five classes of merchants, teachers, students, travelers, and officials, should be admitted. Under this law and the construction placed upon it by the Immigration Bureau the large majority of the upper classes of the Chinese were excluded from entry or residence in the United States.

The treaty provided that to entitle the exempt class to admission into the United States "they may produce a certificate from their government...vised by the diplomatic or consular representative of the United the port whence they depart." The plain intent of this provision was that the certificate should state that the holder thereof was a merchant, student, or whatever might be his occupation. But the laws of Congress and the Bureau regulations require that the certificate, if issued to a merchant, for instance, must state the name, title, if any, description of the person and all physical peculiarities, former and present occupation, place of residence, nature, character, and value of business, and where the holder expects to locate.

But it is not held sufficient if the holder presents himself with such a certificate duly vised by the United States Consul. The applicant for admission is subjected to a most searching examination, and the strictest technicalities are applied. I illustrate some of these technicalities by a case, taken from many, given by Minister Wu in a communication which was sent to Congress and published, as follows:--

"Last year several merchants came to San Francisco with a good supply of money and credit to make purchases. They were provided with the legal certificates vised by the American consul, but it appeared that in their certificates some parts of their former career were not filled up in English, although properly filled up in Chinese. The objection was raised by the customs authorities that the certificates were defective. It was contended on their behalf that the law was complied with, as every detail was mentioned in the certificate, although some of it was only in Chinese, and it was offered to supply the omission in the English from the Chinese text, but the authorities would not allow it. The case was appealed to the Treasury Department, and the decision of the San Francisco authorities was confirmed. It was of no avail that these merchants had come ten thousand miles, that their certificates were quite sufficient as far as the Chinese text was concerned, and that the American consul who vised the document was at fault in not seeing that all the parts were filled up in the English text. It was suggested that the merchants be released under bonds, and that their certificates be sent back to China for correction. There was no suspicion of fraud, yet the suggestion was not heeded, and these merchants were compelled to return to China."

The treaty expressly states that students, without qualification, are to be admitted. But they are required to present a certificate similar in detail to that described for merchants and to undergo a similar examination. But the Immigration Bureau proceeds to further neutralize the treaty by a ruling that a student to be entitled to admission must show that he is--"a person (1) who intends to pursue some of the higher branches of study, or who seeks to be fitted for some particular profession or occupation (2) for which facilities of study are not afforded in his own country; (3) for whose support and maintenance in this country, as a student, provision has been made, and (4) who, upon completion of his studies, expects to return to China." And a fifth condition has been added--that during his attendance at college he must not engage in manual labor, although it is well known that many young men in American colleges support themselves that way.

A provision of the treaty is that Chinese laborers may cross the territory of the United States, en route to a foreign country, under suitable regulations. But without warrant of treaty, or even of law, the Immigration Bureau requires Chinese gentlemen, merchants and other like classes, who desire to pass through the United States, going to or coming from Europe, on arrival at a port of the United States to produce a prepaid through ticket across the continent; and it is required of each person that he give a bond of five hundred dollars that he will make a continuous transit through, and actually depart from, the United States within twenty days; he must furnish three photographs of himself and submit to a carefully prepared description of his person; and when he reaches the port of departure he must submit to another examination of his person and be compared with his photograph. When all this is done and the officer at the port of arrival is notified of his certain departure, his bond is surrendered.

If space allowed, other instances of exactions, not warranted by treaty, applied to Chinese seeking admission to the United States, might be given. The examination to which Chinese are subjected at San Francisco, where most of them apply for admission, is one of their most aggravating experiences. All are required to undergo a very strict examination, even if their certificates are in proper order and duly vised by the American Consul. During the pendency of the examination the applicants are confined in a wooden shed or loft, not only without comforts but without many of the decent conveniences of life; and this confinement sometimes is extended into weeks and months. The Chinese person on arrival is not permitted to communicate with his friends, he is deprived of the benefit of an attorney, and the examination is conducted by the immigration official alone. The position is the merest travesty of a hearing or trial, and it is not strange that in many cases it results in injustice and great hardship.

The treatment which the Chinese residents have received at the hands of hoodlums, ruffians, race-hater, and mobs has been a disgrace to our civilization; but that has not been so shameful as their treatment by the officials of Federal and local governments. The Boston raid furnishes an illustration. Let me give one more.

Tom Kim Yung, the military attache of the Chinese Legation in Washington, was in 1903 sent to San Francisco on a temporary duty. One night, after spending the evening dining with the president of the Chinese Merchants' Association, when returning to his lodgings at the Consulate General, and near that place, he was accosted by a policeman in most indecent language and struck with gross indignity. This resulted in an encounter participated in by another policeman. The attache was beaten and severely bruised, and finally handcuffed and tied by his queue to a fence until the arrival of a patrol wagon, into which he was forced and taken to the police station. Here he was kept for some time, until released on bail given by a Chinese Merchant, about half past one o'clock at night.

He was held for trial on a charge of assaulting a police officer, and when his diplomatic character was brought to the attention of the chief of police by the consul general, that officer refused to dismiss the charge. The excuse of the policeman for his conduct was that he mistook the attache for another Chinaman for whom he was on the look-out. The attache, not being able to secure the dismissal of the charges or any punishment of the policeman, was greatly chagrined; he felt that he had "lost face" with his countrymen; and brooking over what he regarded as his disgrace, he committed suicide.

He was followed to the grave by thousands of his countrymen who regarded themselves as personally outraged. The Secretary of State brought the subject of the attention of the Governor of California, and the latter to the mayor to the city, but no redress was given or punishment inflicted.

The foregoing recital running through a series of years--and it might be greatly enlarged--furnishes some of the reasons for the resentment of the Chinese which is manifesting itself in the boycott of American goods. The laws of Congress and the Bureau regulations have practically nullified the treaties so far as the higher class of Chinese are concerned. I have not discussed those laws and regulations as they affect the Chinese laborers, although as to them they are scarcely less unjust. The laws and regulations and the harsh treatment of Chinese subjects in the United States have been the occasion of frequent and reiterated complaints by the Chinese Legation to the Department of State. That Department has given them a sympathetic hearing and forwarded them from time to time to Congress or the Bureau of immigration, where they have fallen upon deaf ears. American merchants and companies engaged in the China trade have in recent years sounded a note of warning without any influence upon Congress. American missionaries have wrought up their denominations to a state of fear for the missionaries and of indignation at the inhumanity of our conduct as a nation.

It is not to our credit as a Christian and liberal-minded people and as a just government that all these complaints, warnings, and appeals have been of no avail, and that our interest and sense of duty could be awakened only when our trade was threatened. Not until the boycott began to be felt was any check placed upon the harsh treatment of and unwarranted discrimination against the Chinese in or seeking admission to our country. The President's order of June last has been effective in bringing about a more reasonable enforcement of the laws and regulations, and has greatly relieved the situation. But the laws of Congress and the regulations to carry them out are still in force, and until they are repealed or modified, the grievance of the Chinese will continue.

President Roosevelt, during his Southern tour in October last, set forth in his Atlanta speech the true remedy for our present unsatisfactory relations with China, when he said:--

"We cannot expect China to do us justice unless we do China justice. The chief cause in bringing about the boycott of our goods in China was undoubtedly our attitude towards the Chinese who come to this country....Our laws and treaties should be so framed as to guarantee to all Chinamen, save of the excepted coolie class, the same right of entry to this country, and the same treatment while here, as is guaranteed to citizens of any other nation. By executive action I am as rapidly as possible putting a stop to the abuses which have grown up during many years in the administration of this [exclusion] law. I can do a great deal and will do a great deal even without the action of Congress; but I cannot do all that should be done unless some action is taken. It is needed in our own interest, and especially in the interest of the Pacific Slope and of the South Atlantic and Gulf States....The action I ask is demanded by considerations that are higher than mere interest, for I ask it in the name of what is just and right. America should take the lead in establishing international relations on the same basis of honest and upright dealing which we regard as essential between man and man."

The same view is also urged by the President in his annual message to Congress now in session. If Congress shall take the action during the present session which is indicated by the President as just and right, and called for in the interest of international comity, the boycott will speedily come to an end. If, on the other hand, the present legislation is continued in force, the boycott of American goods in China will not only continue, but will grow in extent and vigor. And the danger is that it will not only affect our commerce, but extend to all other American interests.

The churches of the United States of almost all denominations have entered upon the mission work in China. Duty and opportunity seem to call them to enlarged efforts in that great Empire. But that work can speedily be brought to an end, not by proscription or persecution, but simply by the Chinese government applying to American citizens in China the same laws and regulations that are now applied in the United States to Chinese subjects. And by the same means an effective stop can be put to all other American enterprises in China. By such regulations all American bankers, capitalists, railroad contractors, builders, and engineers, mining experts and operatives, manufacturers and machinists, missionaries and physicians, would be barred out of that Empire, because such classes of Chinese are by the laws of Congress, as now interpreted and enforced, excluded from the United States. And no American merchant, student, or traveler could enter China without being submitted to conditions so humiliating that they would be spurned by every self respecting American. It can hardly be believed that Congress will, by its inaction, bring such misfortunes upon our commerce and our citizens, and such disgrace upon itself.


1. Foreign Relations of U.S., 1881, p.197
2. Compilation of Treaties in Force, 1899: "Japan," p.358; "Paraguay," p.486
3. Act of September 13, 1888, section 13.


"The Chinese Boycott" by John W. Foster, The Atlantic Monthly, January 1906; Volume 97, No. 1; pages 118 - 127.

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