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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
(1888-1889)

China,   pp. 199-404 PDF (90.0 MB)


Page 208


FOREIGN RELATIONS.
  Inclosure 2 in dispatch No. 167 is a letter of Mr. Young to Li Hung
(Thang, of date March 10,.1883, in which he thanks his -excellency for
the "4 prompt and handsome manner in which he disposed of that long-
standing question,". etc.
  It does not appear that anything has been done in the Ward estate
claim since 1881.
  The only other matter of any interest to be found in the archives is
Mr. Young's letter to Mr. Twombley, of date November 26, 1883.
  I quote the following:
  The Department of State simply acknowledged the dispatch of Mr. Angeil,
in
which he expressed a strong disapproval of the validity of the-claim (the
Ward-es-
tate claim). Nor, so far as I can discover, has there been any instruction
or suggestion
from the Department directing the legation to pursue the claim. The only
conciu-
sion I can form is that the Department accepts-the judgment of my predecessors,
and
has not deemed it wise to continue the discussion.
  He says further:
  Ido not find in the archives that you or any one concerned in the Ward
claims
showed the least interest in an affair which belonged to you and your co-beneficiaries
alone.
  For fear that it may be imagined that I have overlooked it, I abstract
what is stated in the record about the "salt monopoly." In an affida-
vit made by H. N. Twombley August 16, 1863, he says that General
Ward told him on several occasions that he had interest in the Gov-
ernment salt monopoly; that said interest was in the hands of Taikee, of
Shanghai; that the value of the same was 100,000 taels. (Exhibit 22.)
  Henry G. Ward, in an affidavit made August 18, 1863, says that his
brother, General Frederick T. Ward, frequently said that he was the
owner to the extent of 100,000 taels in the Government salt monopoly,
and that he purchased the same through Taikee, and said also that he
had deposited with Taikee a further sum of, "say, 50,000 taels, to be
similarly invested." (Exhibit 22.)
                    REMARKS AND OONO.LUSIONSo
  This claim rests primarily upon the declaration of General Ward:
  "The Taotai of 'Shanghai owes- me* 1110,000 taels."
  For obvious┬░reassns I do notr egardlthis statement as furnishing a
  cause of action either against Woo or the Imperial GoVernment. Tested
  by the rules of evidence, the statement of a decedent is not admissible
in
  an action by the administrator. Tested by the circumstances surround-
  ing Ward, and by the proven fact that Taikee did not owe him  any-
  thing, the declaration can not be taken as accurate.
  No paper, account,├Ż or voucher has ever been found which furnishes
  a basis for this claim. I do not see that the claim, which is based on
  hearsay, that General Ward had invested 100,000 taels or 150,000
  taels in a salt monoply has any connection-with the alleged debt. Be-
  sides, an accurate examination of his accounts has failed to bring
  to light the least foundation for this claim. The case rests no-
  where except on the alleged admissions of Woo. Admissions are the
  weakest species of proof if uncorroborated by facts. The debt being
  characterized as Woo's debt, and the admissions being general and un-
  explained, it is questionable whether they bind the Chinese Govern-
  ment.
  I append hereto, as inclosure 1, a copy in full of a letter of Mr. George
  F. Seward to Mr. Burlingame of date September 8, 186.4, which is
  found in legation a rchives, volume 34, consulate records, Shanghai,
208


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