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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90

China,   pp. 199-404 PDF (90.0 MB)

Page 205

                               CHINA.                           205
which had been exhibited to Woo. He claims that the claim of Woo
against Ward's estate, or that of Ward's estate against Woo, has nothing
to do with the claims of the seventeen merchants.
  This whole statement will throw much light on the merits of this case.
  Mr. Seward's conduct is approved by the Acting Secretary, Seward
(p. 92, Ex. Doc. No. 48).
  Under date June 7, 1877 (p. 95, Ex. Doe. No. 48), Mr.-Seward notifies
the Department that he has consented that the Ward claims may be
referred to the viceroy at Nanking (p. 95, Ex. Dec. No. 48).
  At page 102, Ex. Doe. No. 48, are set out the instructions of Mr. Sew-
ard to Mr. Holcombe, to control him at Nanking in reference to the
claims to be presented and pressed. He directs Mr. Holcombe to pre-
sent for allowance at Nanking the claims set out in his letter to Mr.
Twonibley, of March 22, 1872, which is presented at page 6 of Ex. Doe.
No. 48. The "1 Ward estate claim" is not included in this list.
It in-
eludes only the claims awarded by the arbitrators.
  The result of the reference to the viceroy at Nanking is set out at
page 106 et seq., Ex. Doe. No. 48. The ,"Ward estate claim" was
set up or presented. Page 120, Ex. Doe. No. 48, Mr. Seward reports
to the Secretary the result of the Nanking reference.
  Mr. Evarts, in dispatch No. 203, date November 26, 1877, writes to
Mr. Seward that Mr. Twombley has been urging "1the necessity of bav-
ing the Ward estate claim pushed, * *    * alleging what appears to
be a plausible reason for such action, namely, that should it be omitted
from auty settlement now made it will prove very difficult to secure for
it any future consideration from the Chinese Yamln." (See p. 136, Ex.
Doe. No. 48.)
  Mr. Seward is directed to give this matter consideration.
  In dispatch No. 399, of February 7, 1878, Mr. Seward replies to Mr.
Evarts' dispatch No. 203. He states that he has not taken up the
Ward claim for the'reason "1 that the transactions out of which it orig-
inated may be considered, perhaps, to have been of a private nature,
amid to involve the responsibility of the  * * * Chinese official Woo
Taotai, rather -than the Chinese Government."
  He intimates that the evidence is not conclusive. He prognosticates
fiilure, which he says would produce bad results, etc.
  In dispatch No. 172, of date June 18, 1881, Mr. Angell reports his
action on the Ward estate claim. By Department's dispatch No. 74,
dated March 2, 1881, he had been directed to present it again to the
Chinese Government. The dispatch informed him that the heirs pro-
posed to-deduct 42,309 taels from the amount claimed. He was to de-
mand 67,691 taels, with interest from March 3, 1863, being the date of
the first arbitration. He says:
  I made a thorough examination of the voluminous papers in our archives
on the
subject. I rose from that examination so impressed with the weakness of the
claim as
it'was left by former negotiations that, had the Department's instruction
left any
room for me to act according to my own judgmelnt, I should not have presented
  He further considered that if any better showing could be made it
might be well to present it and prevent its lapsing by neglect. He gives
a history of the claim, and cownludes that no very strong argument can
be based on the fact that the first commission sustained the claim,. le
assumes from Mr. Seward's statement (p. 4, Ex. Doe. No. 48) that Henry
G, Ward's account had been rendered, but he says that it seems from
Prince Kung's reply that the Chinese had not seen it.
  Mr. Angell incloses ira this dispatch his dispateh to the foreign office
and their answer,

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