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( H 1 \ I : s 1 : I XDEMNIT Y.
The U -r under any national or international obliga-
:y the Chinese government our of the National
\ ed by ir.> subjects in this country at the
JOHN H MITCHELL,
UNITED STATES SENATE,
JUNE IST AND 3D, 1886.
HON. JOHN H. MITCHELL;
June 1, 1886.
INDEMNITY TO CHINESE SUBJECTS.
Mr. SHERMAN. I should like to call up and pass a bill that was
reported at the same time with the bill which has j ust been passed. The
Senator from Oregon [Mr. MITCHELL] tells me that he wishes to make
some remarks upon it, but the whole matter is covered by a very ex-
cellent report made by the Senator from Alabama [Mr. MORGAN], a
member of the Committee on Foreign Relations. I will ask the Sen-
ate to proceed to its consideration in the hope that the Senator from
Oregon will waive his remarks. I do not wish to interfere with the
pending bill, but the Committee on Foreign Relations unanimously re-
ported this measure. A like bill is pending in the House of Represent-
atives. It is proper to state that without stating the action of the other
House upon it. I do not think that any one who reads the official cor-
respondence in regard to the massacre of unoffending Chinese at Rock
Springs, Wyo., can fail to feel that the Government of the United States
should indemnify the injury. I move that the Senate proceed to the
consideration of Senate bill 2225.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. I understand the chairman of the Com-
mittee on Foreign Relations to say that a report has been submitted on
that bill. I have not been able to find any report.
Mr. SHERMAN. The Senator from Alabama [Mr. MORGAN] prepared
a report, but he is not here. However, all the facts are fully stated in
the official documents. I have them all here. There is no doubt that
the injury was done by the sudden uprising of a mob, not a single
American among them, all foreigners entirely, who got angry with the
Chinese because they refused to participate in a strike, and they mur-
dered several of them, burned their shanties, and destroyed their prop-
erty. It is a clear case it seems to me not only of justice, of mercy, of
magnanimity, but I think it is within the language of the treaty, al-
though upon that question there might be some division of opinion.
However, the Committee on Foreign Relations were unanimously of
opinion, treaty or no treaty, that in dealing with these people we ought
to pay the losses and damages suffered.
There are three different cases where the United States have enforced
the same rule against the Chinese, and the Chinese Government have
in each case responded by paying in some instances a greater amount
of damages than was suffered by citizens of the United States.
This appeal is made to us by the Chinese Government, and one of
the most eloquent, one of the most beautiful compositions I know of
in our language is a recent document from the Chinese minister setting
out this claim against the Government of the United States, appealing
to our generosity, to our magnanimity, to reimburse these people.
I move that the Senate proceed to the consideration of the bill. At
the same time, if the bill is likely to take time I shall not undertake to
press it to a vote to-day.
Mr. HOAR. How about the injuries done to Chinese in Washington
Mr. SHERMAN. The Senator from Massachusetts asks me about
the injuries done to Chinese in Washington Territory. As I under-
stand, the authorities in Washington Territory summarily and promptly
put down the mob there, and there were no real damages done, although
lives were, threatened.
Mr. HOAR. There is no claim from China on that account?
Mr. SHERMAN. There is no claim from China in regard to that
affair. The only claim made by the Chinese Government is this claim,
and the committee have responded to it by a bill placing it in the
power of .the Secretary of State to pay such of these damages as he finds
after a careful examination have actually been suffered by these peo-
ple, and to turn the amount, whatever it is, over to the Chinese Gov-
ernment for distribution among the sufferers. I move that the Senate
proceed to the consideration of the bill.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Mr. President
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The motion, under the rules, is not
debatable. The Senator from Ohio moves that the Senate proceed to
the consideration of the bill (S. 2225) to indemnity certain subjects of
the Chinese Empire for losses sustained by the violence of a mob at
Rock Springs, in the Territory of Wyoming, in September, 1885.
Mr. PLUMB. Will that not lead to debate?
Mr. SHERMAN. If it does I will give way.
Mr. PLUMB. I have no objection to debate, except that I do not
wish it to displace the pending special order, Senate bill 1812, to pro-
vide for taxation of railroad-grant lands.
Mr. SHERMAN. The Senator from Oregon tells me that he will
insist upon making a speech upon the subject. I do think when the
Senate have substantially by a large vote agreed that they would carry
out the policy of restriction as against the laborers who come from
China we should make a suitable provision to indemnify those who
are entitled to protection, and that we ought not now to interpose any
delay or impediment to the passage of a plain, palpable act of justice
While I do not wish to stand in the way of the unfinished business,
I hope we may take up the bill and pass the two together, and I will
move to take it up, promising at the same time that if it can not be
disposed of this evening before adjournment, I shall give way to the
unfinished business, which is the bill providing for the taxation of
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on the motion of the
Senator from Ohio to proceed to the consideration of the bill.
The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the
Whole, proceeded to consider the bill (S. 2225) to indemnify certain
subjects of the Chinese Empire for losses sustained by the violence of a
mob at Rock Springs, in the Territory of Wyoming, in September,
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Mr. President
. Mr. COCKRELL. I wish to ask the Senator from Ohio a question.
Mr. SHERMAN. I think I have said all I desired to say.
Mr. COCKRELL. I want to know who were the persons who com-
mitted this depredation. Were they American citizens or not?
Mr. SHKKMAN. There was not a single American citizen among
them. They were foreigners.
Mr. COCKRELL. How did they get here, and how did the tax-pay-
ing people of the United States become responsible for the malicious
and wrongful arts of a parcel of men of some other nationality?
Mr. sil HK'M A\. They were admitted here under the policy of our
laws. Whether those laws were wise or not it is not for me to discuss.
It is sufficient to say that the outrage was committed by a large num-
ber of whites, said to be Bohemians and of other nations; but each na-
tion is seeking to deny its responsibility for these people. They were
lawless people. They had engaged in a strike. They appealed to these
Chinese to join them in the strike. The Chinese 'refused, and were
going on digging coal out of the earth at regular wages, the coal to be
used by the railroads. These men by some impulse and by a concerted
movement attacked the Chinese, marched upon their buildings (for they
lived in a place by themselves), burned down their village, shot them
in their tents no, in their huts; indeed they were scarcely huts shot
them and drove them away into the mountains, and there for a day or
two they wandered. I think thirty or forty of them were killed and
a number were wounded. Then those men burned what was called
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Twenty-eight were killed.
Mr. SHERMAN. Twenty-eight were killed, the Senator from Ore-
gon tells me. They burned the Chinatown. This was done to people
who were not only under the protection of our laws, but under the ex-
press provisions of the treaty made with China, and under precisely
similar circumstances, much less barbarous in their nature, the Govern-
ment of China was made three different times to pay to the Govern-
ment of the United States money for just such injuries to American
citizens in China.
Mr. COCKRELL. Injuries to American citizens by foreigners re-
siding in China?
Mr. SHERMAN. By Chinese.
Mr. COCKRELL. Oh, by Chinese. ,
Mr. SHERMAN. The distinction endeavored to be made by the
Senator from Missouri is not well taken. When we admit foreigners
of tliis class to come among us and go on our public lands and into our
Territories they are under our protection, and we are just as much re-
sponsible for their conduct while they are there under our jurisdiction
as we should be if they were native-born citizens. I say they are not
native-born citizens as a matter of pride, because our people, it seems
to me, could not in any portion of the country resort to any such bar-
At all events these men suffered, and the Chinese minister, in an elo-
quent message which lies upon your table, which you could read with
great advantage, makes the appeal to you and quotes the Divine pre-
cept of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, stating
that that is a law older even than Christianity, and he appeals to us, as
we have required of them redress under similar circumstances, that this
Government should give redress for the injuries done to these Chinese.
If the Senator from Missouri will take that document and read it over
and will find in it technical objections, or any objections whatever, to
the payment of this money, I am greatly mistaken in him. I know he
This subject was fully considered. All these documents were read
by the Committee on Foreign Relations, and we agreed unanimously
that in pursuance of the recommendation made by the President in his
message and by the Secretary of State in an admirable document which
he sent, it was good policy, it was good Christianity, it was good hu-
manity to reimburse all the losses committed by the mob in this riot.
Mr. COCKRELL. I should like to ask the Senator if there is any
instance on record where American citizens traveling in any foreign
country and in that country meeting foreigners from an entirely dif-
ferent country have been injured, there was claimed any indemnity of
the government in whose territory they happened to be?
Mr. SHERMAN. I do not know whether there is any country which
would allow foreigners to come so freely into its territory as our own
does. We have adopted a broad, liberal policy. For instance, in China
you could not find anybody but Chinese to commit barbarities of this
Mr. COCKRELL. Certainly not.
Mr. SHERMAN. If you would go to England you could not find
enough foreigners there in any neighborhood to make a mob of foreign-
ers without having Englishmen to participate in it. But the policy of
our laws has drawn here large numbers of foreigners. They go to such
portions of the country in masses, and sometimes monopolize and ex-
clude American citizens from certain trades and occupations by their
policy, by their habits, by their methods. They are there by the pro-
tection of our laws, and we as a nation are responsible for the people
who are brought within our jurisdiction.
Mr. COCKRELL. As I understand, a parcel of Chinese came in and
engaged in work there. Here was a parcel of Bohemians who came to
the same place; They got into this controversy. The Bohemians wanted
the Chinese to do in a certain way and the Chinese refused to do it, and
they went to killing each other; and the American citizens, the tax-
payers of this country, are to become responsible for their acts upon
each other. I want the point met. Has there ever been a precedent
where the United States has admitted its liability for the wrongful,
malicious, tortious, vindictive, murderous acts of foreigners traveling
in this country upon other foreigners who were also traveling in this
Mr. SHERMAN. There is scarcely a State in this Union that would
not be responsible under like circumstances for damages done in a riot
by a mob. How often has that been enforced in the States ? Remem-
ber this was in a Territory where the Government of the United States
is the only power, where the jurisdiction of Congress is absolute and
complete. Here was an injury done to people under our protection,
under the protection of our laws, and not only of our laws but of our
treaty obligations. They are beaten down by a lawless mob I do not
care whether you call them Bohemians or what by a mob under pre-
cisely the same circumstances in almost every city in the North (and I
presume in the South you have the same laws) the city is responsible
for damages done by a mob. It is only the same rule of justice, that
where a city or a State claiming to be the government fails to protect
people in the enjoyment of their rights and^a mob beats down the rul-
ing power, the government of the people, the community, State or
city, should be responsible for the consequences of that mob.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Will the Senator from Ohio yield to
Mr. SHERMAN. I am answering the Senator from Missouri now.
When I am through answering him I will yield.
The Government of the United States is doing precisely now for in-
juries done by this mob what would be enforced against the city of New
York or Philadelphia or as was enforced against the city of Pittsburgh.
That was a noted case. In the city of Pittsburgh in 1877 a mob, sud-
denly organized, composed largely of foreigners it is said, arose, seized
upon arms, and burned three or four or five million dollars' worth of
property, and yet the city of Pittsburgh was compelled to pay for the
damages and the injuries by the laws of Pennsylvania, because Penn-
sylvania ought to have exercised her power to put down the mob, and
because she did not do it the city of Pittsburgh was compelled by the
laws of that State and by the judgment of its supreme court to in-
demnify the parties who were injured, although the chief sufferer was
the Pennsylvania Railroad, an enormous, great corporation.
But now the injury here is done to poor people, many of whom lose
their lives. It seems to me that the principle ought to be enforced in
this case as against the Government.
This, after all, is not so much of an appeal to the law as it is an ap-
peal to the heart of every Senator, to the feeling of justice that rules
and governs mankind, that an injury like this, wanton in character, in
a region under our jurisdiction, should be remedied and redressed, es-
pecially as the fact is that in like circumstances we have severely en-
forced the same remedy against the Chinese Government, in one case
collecting so much from the Chinese Government that a sense of jus-
tice on the part of Congress compelled us to refund a considerable part
of the indemnity that we had collected from them.
Mr. COCKRELL. That was where the depredations were committed
by citizens of the Chinese Government upon our citizens.
" Mr. SHERMAN. I do not see the force of the distinction.
Mr. COCKRELL. I should like to ascertain the fact, were not these
Chinese taken there by a corporation for the purpose of doing its work,
and were not the other side, the Bohemians, also taken there by a cor-
poration as hirelings? Was it not these two classes that came in con-
Mr. SHERMAN. There was no conflict; it was all on one side. As
to how they got there I do not know.
Mr. COCKRELL. Were they not imported there ? Were they not
taken there for a specific purpose? They certainly were not roaming
around as citizens of that Territory or engaged in any business.
Mr. SHERMAN. They were taken there for a lawful purpose, for
the mining of coal.
Mr. COCKRELL. How were the Bohemians taken there? For the
Mr. SHERMAN. They may have gone there by their own volition,
so far as I know. There is nothing in the papers to indicate how they
were brought there.
Mr. COCKRELL. How many Chinese were there, and how did they
Mr. SHERMAN. My impression is that the sufferers numbered two
or three hundred.
Mr. COCKRELL. The two or three hundred Chinamen never found
their way out into Wyoming to a coal- bank there without some concert
of action. They must have been acting under the authority of some
corporation or individual; and these Bohemians from Europe never
would have found their way out there unless they had been acting
under the control and direction of some ^corporation.
I do not believe in the principle of making the people of the United
States, the tax-payers of this country, responsible for the class of people
that corporations and monopolies may import into the country to dis-
place American labor, and make them responsible for the depredations
they may commit upon each other. Here are these two classes, Chinese
and Bohemians, brought there, hired, who came there practically as
serfs. They get into a quarrel ; some dispute arises; one side wants the
other to do a certain thing; they rise as a mob, destroy, kill; and then
the honest, laboring, tax-paying citizens of the United States are to re-
spond in damages for their acts. I do not believe there is an y principle
of law or of justice or equity or morality or religion that makes the peo-
ple of this country responsible in such a case.
Mr. EDMUNDS. Mr. President, it has always seemed to me that
every government had a right to determine what people should come
within its borders, and that every person who did come within its
borders by its consent was entitled, as one section of the Constitution
of the United States says, to the equal protection of law. No matter
whether he be a citizen or not, the fourteenth amendment of the Con-
stitution of the United States, which was adopted before my distin-
guished friend from Missouri came into the Senate, provided that every
person not every citizen, but every person should be entitled to the
equal protection of law.
The treaties of the United States with China and the laws of Con-
gress carrying them out provided that certain of the subjects of the
Emperor of China might come to the United States under certain con-
ditions and stipulations and restrictions. The presumption is, and I
have no doubt the truth is as to ninety-nine in a hundred of the China-
men who were outraged in that Territory, that they came within that
provision. There may have been some fraud, but it was a very small
per cent, if it existed at all not more than 1 per cent. So the subjects
of the Emperor of China coming into the United States in pursuance
of the treaty stipulations and in accordance with the acts of Congress,
being engaged in lawful pursuits in that Territory not a State but a
Territory were subj ected to the outrages of a mob. Now, the question
is whether the United States ought to make the same indemnity to
China that, if the case were reversed, we should insist, as we have in-
sisted hitherto, that recompense and retribution and reimbursement
and indemnity should be made to us in such a case.
That is the proposition, and it is not of the slightest consequence
whether the outrages were committed upon these subjects of the Em-
peror of China by citizens of the United States or by outlaws or enemies
of the United States or whatever. We were bound by our treaty with
China and by the effect of our acts of Congress and by the effect of our
Constitution itself to see that these people should be protected in the
enjoyment of their rights that they had which were invaded in this
way, just as much as if they had received a similar outrage from the
President of the United States in person or from the Senate and House
of Eepresentatives of the United States in their respective persons on
that occasion. We can not get off either in international law or in
morals upon the idea that the people who assailed them were Bohe-
mians, whatever that may mean.
If we wish to cultivate the arts of peace; if we wish to cultivate the
principles of justice and fair play, and to deal with others as we would
wish them and would compel them to the extent of our power to deal
with us under similar circumstances, it seems to me to be clear that the
Treasury ol' the United States should make indemnity to China for the
benefit of its subject- in a case of this kind. That is where it stands.
It is not a question who were the people who assailed them. They
were under the protection of our law, and wherever that protection was
violated in this way they were entitled to indemnity, because the law
officers of the United States and the lorces of the Territory knowing
that this thing was impending did not exert themselves in the way
they might and ought to have done to prevent it.
\s 1 say again, under precisely similar circumstances w r e have de-
manded from that very empire and of the Empire of Japan, and in fact
of every power where similar things have occurred, that indemnity
should be made in order to vindicate, as far as we might, our glad duty
of protecting the citizens of other countries who come to us in the way
that we have engaged to protect them. That is where the case stands
as it appears to me.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. May I ask the Senator a question?
Mr. EDMUNDS. Yes.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. The Senator in his opening remarks
quoted from the Constitution of the United States, I believe ?
Mr. EDMUNDS. Yes.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. He quoted some clause to the effect
that all persons are entitled to the equal protection of the laws. There
were twenty-eight Chinamen who were so unfortunate as to lose their
lives in the disgraceful occurrence which took place at Rock Springs,
subjects of the Chinese Empire, resident in this country, engaged in
following the occupation of laborers. Suppose that instead of being
twenty-eight Chinamen it had been fourteen Chinamen and fourteen
citizens of the United States who had lost their lives, would my friend
from Vermont and would the Committee on Foreign Relations of this
body recommend that those citizens of the United States be indemni-
fied, not through the courts in the ordinary way, but as is proposed
here by an appropriation from the Treasury of the United States?
That is the question which I put to the Senator.
Mr. EDMUNDS. Well, I will answer, and answering categorically,
I will say, no.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Then, right there
Mr. EDMUNDS. If you will just pardon me, when I say "no''
I say it with an explanation, or a justification, which is a better word.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Very well.
Mr. EDMUNDS. Every citizen of the United States who is preyed
upon by a fellow-citizen has a common recourse at law, and he is not
under any constitutional or treaty protection from another power that
is engaged in defending him in any such attitude as a foreigner is.
Therefore I say that the case is entirely distinguishable between a mob
which inflicts an injury upon a citizen of the United States and a mob
which inflicts an injury upon subjects of another country whom we have
engaged to protect.
I will put to my friend a corresponding question. Suppose a similar
number of American citizens had been engaged in extracting coal-oil
from the depths of the ground in Western Canada, in the district of
Ontario, under a treaty with Great Britain, which authorized them to
go there and to be engaged in that business. Thereupon a British mob
in Ontario proceeds, on account of the fact that they are citizens of the
United States (for that was the fundamental ground of this mob, that
these men were Chinese and not Americans or Bohemians or Europeans),
proceeds to put them to death. I ask my friend from Oregon if he
would not stand up with all the rest of us and call upon the British
Government, the most powerful probably in all respects, excepting
ourselves, on the globe, and say to the extent of war we will demand
that you shall make restitution to the heirs and children and wives of
these people and make reimbursement for the losses that they have
sustained. There is not a man in the Senate who would not stand up,
and would not go to the front if he was capable of carrying a musket,
to accomplish that very thing, and it is the very thing that we have
over and over again with other nations insisted should be done, as we
would have done if a similar number of American citizens because they
were American citizens had been maltreated in the very front of Buck-
ingham Palace in London, which is the official residence of the Queen
at the seat of her empire.
It is stated in the documents, as my friend the chairman of the com-
mittee [Mr. SHERMAN] points out to me, by the Chinese consul in
San Francisco, Mr. Bee:
I am, after a thorough investigation, firmly of the opinion that not one of these
criminals who murdered the twenty-eight Chinese, burned and robbed them at
Rock Springs on the 2d day of September, will or can ever be brought to pun-
ishment by the so-called Territorial or local authorities. In this opinion I am
sustained not only by my own convictions, but also by the governor and prose-
cuting attorney of the Territory, and scores of citizens, resident and non-resi-
Therefore, if we are right in our pretensions, as I submit we are,
when our citizens are thus treated in a foreign country whose protec-
tion by treaty they are entitled to, is it not right that we should have
the manhood and the honor to say that when the case comes the other
way we will do all that we can to make restitution and reimbursement
for such a crime and injury?
, My friend from Massachusetts [Mr. HOAR] calls my attention to the
third article of the treaty with China, which reads as follows:
If Chinese laborers, or Chinese of any other class, now either permanently or
temporarily residing in the territory of the United States, meet with ill-treat-
ment at the hands of any other persons
Not United States citizens, but "any other persons "
the Government of the United States will exert all its power to devise measures
for their protection, and to secure to them the same rights, privileges, immu-
nities, and exemptions as may be enjoyed by the citizens or subjects of the
most favored nation, and to which they are entitled by treaty.
Mr. COCKKELL. Is there any indemnity for any injury that may
happen to them ?
Mr. EDMUNDS. Oh, no; the logic is generally left out of a statute.
There is not any indemnity in most statutes.
Mr. COCKRELL. It seems to have been left out of that one.
Mr. EDMUNDS. It is the honor that is supposed to follow in the
minds of most men. and it is an honor that the Senator from Missouri
would stand up for as strongly as I do, if any similar number, or any
quarter number, or tenth number of citizens of the United States had
been similarly treated in any other country on this globe.
Even this administration, as conservative I will not use any offensive
phrase as it maybe, would recommend and its partisans and adherents
would vote for measures for raising armies and arming vessels and
carrying on a war, no matter whether with Great Britain or France or
Germany or the greatest powers on the globe or the smallest ones, to
reach the very indemnity that we for our own honor should cheerfully
and gladly propose in this case. If the argument is based on the ques-
tion of physical strength only and that everything that is might is right,
then the Senator from Missouri is correct; but if it is based upon
national honor and justice and duty as between nations, then if we
apply to ourselves the same law of justice as we demand from others
there is no answer to this bill.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Mr. President, the Senator from Ver-
mont answered my question in the negative. He said that if a num-
ber of the persons murdered by this mob had been American citizens
instead of being subjects of China, then he would not favor an indem-
nification for their wrongs and their injuries by an appropriation from
the Treasury of the United States. Then why quote the Constitution
of the United States, the fourteenth amendment, here as hearing upon
this question? The Senator in his opening remarks referred to that
article which says that no State shall "deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Has not the Chinese
<ubject the same protection of the laws in Wyoming that our own cit-
Mr. EDMUNDS. Your executive officers say no, and we all know
it is true.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. A mere failure to find an indictment,
a mere failure of justice, does not create a new principle, it seems to
Mr. EDMUNDS. No, but illustrates the fact.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Nor does it demonstrate that there is
a difficulty in this particular case. The fourteenth amendment of the
Constitution has nothing to do with it, in my judgment. Of course,
all persons are entitled to the equal protection of the laws. What
laws? The laws that create tribunals, the laws that enact provisions
for the protection of private property and for life, our domestic laws,
not international laws, not any obligation that may arise by virtue of
a conventional stipulation with a foreign nation. So it does occur to
me that this provision of the Constitution has nothing whatever to do
with this question, and why my friend from Vermont quoted it I con-
fess I am unable to see.
Now. Mr. President, one other word
Mr. EDMUNDS. With the permission of my friend, I wish to recall
to his attention a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in
respect of our internal laws, that this provision in the Constitution of the
United States is not a provision of statute and legislative authority, but
ir is a provision of action, and they have held that where in some one or
two of the States, where the question arose, the administration of the
laws of Virginia, if it arose there, or Kentucky, or wherever it was, that
denied in fact and prevented in fact and did not accomplish in fact the
equal justice and protection that the constitutional provision provided
for, was an invasion of this principle. It was by way of illustration of
the right that I quoted that and in that connection. So it is not a
question of mere law-making; it is a question of law-doing by execu-
tion ; and now we have the officials of the Government reporting to the
President of the United States through the proper Department that
the execution of the law there can not be accomplished, and, therefore,
these persons are denied, under the decision of the Supreme Court of
the United States and in their very language, as I believe, that equal
protection which the Constitution gives them, because the executive
authority and the administrative authority, whether the judicial or
otherwise, is incapable of doing it.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Suppose in any given case where par-
ties have suffered by a mob there was a failure to protect our own citi-
zens not the subjects of a foreign power, no matter how that failure
may come; admit that it does come for the very reason stated by the
honorable Senator, by a failure to execute the law as it should be exe-
cuted, would my friend then favor an appropriation from the Treasury
of the United States to indemnify such person, a citizen ?
Mr. EDMUNDS. That would depend as to whether it was within
a State or a Territory, because within a State its internal policy is its
own affair, and it would be the duty of the State to indemnify; but in
a Territory, which is our business and ours alone, in the case proposed
I should say it would. If the United States in a Territory, over which
it has sole control and for which it is entirely responsible and of which
it creates all the government, fails in providing such executive govern-
ment as to protect the citizen, then I say the United States ought to
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. One other question, Mr. President.
Let me ask the honorable Senator from Vermont, inasmuch as the United
States Government has classed the Indians of this country as its wards
and exercised jurisdiction over them and entered into treaties with them,
in the event of Indian outbreaks, and Indian depredations, and Indian
mobs, and Indian murders, and Indian massacres, as there can be no
indemnification by the courts that we have seen proper to establish in
our Territories within the United States, would he indemnify on the
same principle the sufferers in those cases by an appropriation out of
the Treasury of the United States?
Mr. EDMUNDS. That would not follow, although I can tell my
friend, as he probably very well knows, that in a thousand such cases,
speaking in round numbers, we have compelled the Indian tribes whose
members did those things to pay for the benefit of the people injured
out of their funds a proper indemnity, and in a great many other cases
we have provided, when there was not any such indemnity got, to pay
out of the Treasury of the United States.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Mr. President, I was not aware that
this question was coming up this evening. I do not know that there
is any other Senator here who will vote against this bill. For one I
never intend to vote for it, and I desire very much to give my reasons
why I shall not vote for it.
Several SENATORS. Give them now.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. I am not prepared to do it now, be-
cause there are certain papers which I have that are not here. I will
be ready to-morrow morning, or whenever it is the pleasure of the Senate
to take up the bill and dispose of it.
I undertake to say in this connection that, in my judgment, after a
most careful examination, there is no principle either of international
law, of conventional stipulation in any treaty existing between this
country and China, or in any Federal statute that will justify this pro-
posed action ; but upon the contrary, if this bill passes, as I have no
doubt it will, it will be no more and no less than an act of charity, pure
and simple, an act of benevolence, and nothing else. I undertake to
say in this connection here and now that there never has been a Sec-
retary of State from the time of Daniel Webster down to the present
day, so far as I have been able to advise myself, who has not argued
ably and at length and with collusiveness that in a case like this there
is no legal liability whatever on the part of the Government of the
United States to make indemnity. That was the position taken by
Daniel Webster in regard to the celebrated Spanish riots at Key West;
that was tin- position taken by Secretory Se ward, by Secretary Blaine,
and by secretary Kvarts, and it is the position taken to-day by Secretary
i'.avard, although it is a tart that the present Secretary of State recom-
mends it as an act of benevolence, as an act of pure charity, and with the
distinct understanding, as he declares in his letter to the President of
the United States, that it shall not be considered as a precedent nor as
, rent ing a liability on the part of the Government to respond in damages
from the Treasury of the United States in any such case.
Mr. ING ALLS. Does the Senator oppose that view of it as an act
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. I certainly am opposed to extending
this as an act of charity; and until the Congress of the United States
will pay some portion at least of the twelve or thirteen million dollars
due on account of losses suffered by frontiersmen in the Western States
and Territories by reason of Indian depredations, in reference to which
there is to-day a legal obligation on the part of the Government of the
United States to make payment, I shall vote no gracious contribution
to Chinese subjects in this country. Not by my vote shall an act of be-
nevolence be passed through the Senate until these obligations to our
frontiersmen and our pioneers receive some kind of attention and some
kind of respect at the hands of Congress.
You pass resolutions through Congress directing the Secretary of the
Interior to investigate and find out what losses have been sustained by
our own citizens by reason of Indian depredations, by reason of the acts
of men with whom you have made treaties and with whom yon are in
treaty relations to-day. The Secretary, in pursuance of that direction,
has gone on and investigated these cases and reported these claims to
Congress amounting to many millions of dollars, and they lie stuck
away in your pigeon-holes; and yet before the cry of the mob has died
away, of an alien mob in the Territory of Wyoming, we get on our
knees here before the Chinese Empire and propose to do an act of great
grace, to pass an act of benevolence, an act of charity, when not a Sen-
ator upon this Foreign Relations Committee, so far as I know, has yet
had the temerity, if I may be permitted to use the language, to place
upon record in the Senate any report upon which they can base a legal
obligation to do what they now propose to do. I have watched care-
fully, and I have seen no report from the committee in support of this
Now, Mr. President, inasmuch as I for one and I perhaps shall be
the only one in the Senate, I do not know how that is do not intend
to vote for this bill, and inasmuch as I shall perhaps be so largely in the
minority, I think it but due not only to the Senate but to the people
whom I in part represent here that I should give my reasons. I prefer
to do it in a careful, methodical way. I shall do so to-morrow if 1 have
an opportunity. If the Senate denies me that, of course I shall cast my
vote against the bill and submit. I will say, however, before I take
my seat, that I had understood from the honorable chairman of the
Committee on Foreign Relations that if I desired to make an argument
on this question he would give way until to-morrow. I will say in ad-
dition that if my request is denied, I think perhaps it will be the only
time such a request was ever denied in the Senate.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio moves that
the further consideration of the bill be postponed until to-morrow.
The motion was agreed to.
June 3, 1886.
INDEMNITY TO CHINESE SUBJECTS.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The bill taken upon motion of the
Senator from Vermont [Mr. EDMUNDS] is before the Senate as in Com-
mittee of the Whole. Its title will be stated.
The CHIEF CLERK. A bill (S. 2225) to indemnify certain subjects
of the Chinese Empire for losses sustained by the violence of a mob at
Rock Springs, in the Territory of Wyoming, in September, 1885.
* * * -x- * & *
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. I ask for the reading of the bill.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The bill will be read at length.
The Secretary read as follows:
Be it enacted, dec.. That the President of the United States shall ascertain the
actual loss and damage inflicted upon the person and property of Chinese sub-
jects by the violence of a mob of lawless and riotous persons at and near Rock
Springs, in Wyoming Territory, on or about the 2d day of September, 1885 ; and
for this purpose he may detail such officers of the United States as he may desig-
nate, not exceeding three in number, to investigate and take the testimony of
witnesses as to the nature and extent of the damage done to the person and
property of Chinese subjects, and, in connection therewith, may consider the
testimony already taken and reports made, subject to the cross-examination of
the witnesses, if deemed necessary, and such other proof as may be submitted
to them by the Government of China. They shall report the estimate of the
damages sustained by each person, and the testimony, to the Secretary of State,
within six months from the approval of this act, which time may be extended
not exceeding six months by the order of the President, and the same shall be
examined by the Secretary of State; and thereupon the President shall award,
to each person so injured the sum that he shall consider to be just in view of
the evidence and report so presented to him.
SEC. 2. That the aggregate amount so awarded by the President, not exceed-
ing $150,000, shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury, out of any money
in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to the envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary for China at Washington, in full* satisfaction and dis-
charge of the injuries to person and property inflicted upon subjects of the
Chinese Empine ; and the sum of $5,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary,
is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury, not otherwise ap-
propriated, to be disbursed under the direction of the Secretary of State, to pay
the expenses necessarily incurred for traveling or other expenses under the
provisions of this act.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Mr. President, inasmuch as this meas-
ure has been reported from a committee composed of the most distin-
guished Senators of this body, and which committee is presided over by
the honorable President of this body, and inasmuch as that report is
unanimous, and as I am unable to concur in the bill or give it my sup-
port, I have thought it due to myself as well as others that I should
state my reasons as briefly as possible for not supporting the bill.
Mr. President, under no circumstances, from no conceivable stand-
point, nor for any reason can the Wyoming massacre be either palliated
or excused, much less justified. However much we may deplore the
fact of the existence in this country or any part of it of objectionable,
antagonistic, and non-assimilating race elements, whose presence tends
to riot, anarchy, and bloodshed, when the blow comes, from whatever
source it may come, and human rights are stricken down, the civil law
overridden, the public peace disturbed, private property destroyed, and
human life sacrificed, humanity, law, civilization have but one voice to
utter against the perpetrators, and that is of unqualified and absolute
Whatever may be said of the undesirability of the presence of Chi-
nese in this country, or of that of any other obnoxious element, the
massacre of twenty-elicit of the Chinese race at Wyoming on Septem-
ber '2 last by mob violence is as inexcusable, reprehensible, defenseless,
and cowardly as was the recent act of anarchist alien fiends, who a few
days since, with civilization proscribed weapons, scattered death and
destruction among the preservers of the peace in the streets of Chicago.
Mob violence in this country, however great the provocation, or whether,
as is too often the case, without any provocation whatever, should re-
ceive the unqualified and emphatic condemnation of every citizen of the
Republic, both native and foreign-born, whether the representative of
labor or capital.
On the preservation and vindication of the majesty of the law at all
times and under all circumstances must the people of America ever
rely as upon a rock of enduring safety for the preservation and per-
petuity, not only of the rights of property and life, but also the prin-
ciples of human liberty and free institutions. This great barrier
against ruthless and dangerous invasion once broken down, or impaired
in vitalizing tbrce and effect, and the security of the public peace, the
protection of public and private, property, and the preservation of hu-
man life become proportionately weakened, subjected to imminent
peril, and more readily exposed to the rage and fury of those disturb-
ing and abnormal elements of society, whose mission on earth seems
to be the dethronement of law and order, the establishment of lawless-
nul contusion, and who, in the language of Cowper, "spread an-
archy and terror all around."
A nd let it not be supposed for one moment that the people of the
Pacific coast who have felt the infectious and paralyzing touch of Asiatic
invasion, and who by reason of actual experience have been enabled to
rise to the importance of the situation in reference to that grave subject,
and who to-day with one voice demand absolute exclusion in the fu-
ture one petition alone to this Congress demanding absolute prohi-
bition containing over 50,000 names are for this or any other reason
any h-s earnest in their patriotic determination to maintain to the extent
of their power, at all times and under all circumstances, in every le-
gitimate and proper way, the preservation of the public peace, and the
protection of the individual rights of life, lirnb, and property of every
human being rightfully within our borders, whether native or foreign-
born, citizen or alien, white, black, red, or yellow.
Unfortunately a somewhat contrary impression of the motives, incli-
nations, intentions, and actions of the people of the Pacific States and
Territories has l>eeu created here and elsewhere in the East through
the unwarranted and unjustifiable misrepresentations of a portion of
the public press, and by those prompted by sinister motives and for
selfish ends, but all such misrepresentations are gross and indefensible
libels upon as brave, peaceable, law-abiding, and as courageous and in-
telligent, communities as any to be found east of the Rocky Mountains.
They, irrespective of party, with one emphatic voice condemn the Wy-
oming outrage. No portion of the American people more deeply de-
plore this stain on the otherwise fair name of Wyoming than they.
That this gross overturning of the law and violation of human rights
did not occur within the territory of the Pacific States or Territories
is to them a source of supreme self- congratulation. None more regret-
fully than they learned of this wanton destruction of human life.
No portion of the people of this Republic would more readily than
they undo, if they had the power, this sad occurrence in our history,
or wipe by any lawful means at their command this blot from the rec-
ords of the past. None more heartily than they sympathized with the
victims of that injustifiable outrage. But the deed is done. The out-
rage is unfortunately already a part of our recorded history, or perhaps,
more properly speaking, of the history of the Territory of Wyoming.
The past is irrevocable.
The lives of those that perished are beyond human recall. What-
ever of property was destroyed by the torch or otherwise can not be
resurrected from its ashes. Hence we are met with a demand for
national indemnity. It is proposed by the bill imder consideration to
take from the Treasury of the United* States the sum of $150,000 and
turn it over jx> whom ? Not to the men who suffered in the loss of
property, not to the legal representatives of the twenty-eight unfortu-
nate victims who lost their lives at the hands of the mob, but to the
Chinese minister and the Chinese Government.
Hence it becomes pertinent to inquire by virtue of what obligation
or under what pretense of authority is this to be done. By reason of
what conventional stipulation, or principle of international law, or
national requirement, or international comity is the American Congress
to do this thing?
It is not pretended by the distinguished premier who suggested it,
by the Chief Executive who recommended it, or by the honorable
Committee on Foreign Affairs of this Senate in so far as we are advised
by any report from that committee accompanying the measure, and
which committee now demand its passage in pari materia with more re-
strictive Chinese legislation, that the United States is in any manner,
either by treaty stipulation with the Chinese Government, by any prin-
ciple of national or international law, under any legal obligation what-
ever to make such indemnity. If such an obligation existed even by
the remotest implication I should be the last to hesitate a moment to
vote the indemnity.
I would maintain inviolate every treaty stipulation so long as the
treaty is not abrogated by act of Congress or the concurrent agreement
of the two governments. I would violate no rule of international law,
no requirement exacted by the comity of nations, no established prac-
tice or precedents intended to be precedents in the line of our own
nation, or any existing provision or requirement of Federal law. I
would break no plighted faith, resist no rightful demand. If by any
of the claims suggested the tax-payers of this Republic are properly
charged with payment of this indemnity, then good faith requires that
it should be promptly paid. But this, with all due deference to the
distinguished committee reporting this measure, I must insist is not so.
There is no pretense here, as I have intimated, either by the honorable
Secretary of State, the President of the United States, or the distin-
guished committee which reported this bill, that it is so.
Entering as is our nation on what would seem to be an era of unrest,
the legitimate consequence of the constant influx to our midst of the
most objectionable alien element of Europe and Asia, becoming as we
are every day more liable to sporadic inflictions of mob violence at the
hands of an idle, irresponsible, and dangerous alien element, who in
many instances in the sacred name of labor and the rights of man
would strike down law, inaugurate anarchy, destroy property, and sac-
rifice human life, it might be well before the Congress of the United
States in the name of statesmanship, and of that exalted and somewhat
etherial notion of international courtesy and grace, which is sometimes
misleading, to pause and inquire what the precedent is that is about
to be established by the American Congress in the passage of the pend-
Is it one upon which this nation can afford to stand in justice to its
own citizens, and its well-established theories of international law in
its dealings with the governments of earth, in the coming years that
shall mark our national existence? Shall we now in the dawn of this
new era of internal discord, when for the first time in our national ex-
istence we are called upon to contend with the socialistic and anarchical
elements, heretofore unknown in this country, and so dangerous to the
peace of our communities, and when more than ever before our large
cities are subjected to the devastating influences and destructive con-
sequences of mob violence, particularly in the States east of the Rocky
Mountains, and when the private property of the millions of aliens
within our borders, as also that of our own citizens, is in greater dan-
ger perhaps than ever before of the torch of the communist and anarch-
ist, establish the doctrine enunciated in the pending measure?
What is the precise question involved ? What do the honorable Com-
mittee on Foreign Affairs of this Senate propose? The proposition
stripped of every element of disguise, and stated in its real nakedness
and virgin attitude, is simply and purely this: That the Government
of the United States will indemnify a foreign government for and on
account of losses sustained by reason of mob violence by subjects of
such foreign government, aliens to our Government, who have volun-
tarily come to our shores, committed against their lives and property
by other alien residents, subjects of other foreign powers, in open vio-
lation of our domestic laws, and when connected with neither the as-
sailants nor the assailed was there any official representative of either
government, nor was there any public property or national emblem of
either government in any manner whatever involved.
That is the proposition. In other words, we are called upon to vote
a national indemnity to the Chinese Government for and on account of
losses sustained and injuries suffered by certain of their subjects in this
country at the hands of a mob, in which neither American official nor
American citizens participated, and of which they had no knowledge,
but which was composed exclusively of Swedish and Welsh resident
aliens. That this can be done upon any other theory, or can be sus-
tained by any other principle than that of national charity, public gen-
erosity, or pure grace, without the slightest support whatever from any
principle of national or international law or treaty obligation, I most
absolutely and emphatically deny; and the precedent you are about to
establish to-day, however strong may be your protestation, that it shall
not be regarded as a precedent, will, I doubt not, in the next one hun-
dred years of our history, come knocking at the doors of the national
Congress in times without number, and at the vaults of the national
Treasury, demand of our posterity, that the precedents of the fathers
be observed, though the people of the Republic, native and foreign born,
be taxed to the tune of millions in order to meet the demand and main-
tain the precedent of to-day in indemnifying alien governments for
losses their alien resident subjects in this country may sustain at the
hands of mobs composed of other irresponsible bands of unnaturalized
foreigners who may set our laws at defiance, unfurl the red flag in our
midst, and engage in the destruction of life and property, as did the
Swedish and Welsh aliens at Rock Springs.
But in considering this question it is well to bear in mind that the
demand for this indemnity does not come from the Chinese Government
in the form of an appeal to the gracious and humane sensibilities of
mankind and the charitable disposition and gracious action of our Gov-
ernment. If this were so there might in the light of the abhorrent
attributes of the outrage complained of be some justification on the
score of morals and humanity and national sympathy for the proposed
appropriation. But this is not so. The claim upon the part of the
Chinese minister is based upon an asserted right resulting from an al-
leged reciprocal obligation on the part of the United States to indemnify
the Chinese subjects who suffered loss at Rock Springs. He bases this
claim of reciprocal obligations mainly on the action of the Chinese
Government in sundry instances in the past wherein indemnity has
been made for the losses of American citizens in China.
This, it is confidently submitted, is a claim that can not be main-
tained, as has been most ably demonstrated by every Secretary of State
who has ever discussed the subject, including Webster, Marcy, Fish,
Evarts, Elaine, and Bayard, and, without any reflection upon any of
the others, it may be truthfully said by none more ably than Secre-
tary Bayard in his exhaustive and unanswerable reply of February 18
last to the demand of Cheng Tsa Ju, the Chinese minister at Washing-
ton. It is to be regretted, however, that so able, dignified, and mas-
terly a defence of the American doctrine on this subject should be, in
a sense, weakened and destroyed, as it seems to me it has been, by the
suggestion in its conclusion that the President recommend Congress
that, to use his own language
Not as under obligation of treaty or principle of international law, but solely
from a sentiment of generosity and equity to an innocent and unfortunate body
of men, subjects of a friendly power, * * * it may be reasonably a subject
for the benevolent consideration of Congress, whether, with the distinct under-
standing that no precedent is thereby created, or liability for want of enforce-
ment of police jurisdiction in the Territories, they will not, ex gratia, grant pe-
cuniary relief to the sufferers in the case now before us to the extent of the value
of the property of which they were so outrageously deprived to the grave dis-
credit of republican institutions.
So, too, the President, in his recent message of March 2, and in pur-
suance of the recommendations of which this legislation is proposed,
denies in the most emphatic terms the existence of any reciprocal ob-
ligation on the part of the United States Government to indemnify
the Chinese subjects who suffered ,at Rock Springs; but following the
suggestion of his Secretary he brings that suggestion approvingly to
the attention of Congress, and as a result we now are about to do, on the
unanimous recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of this
body, that which the late Secretary Evarts, now a distinguished member
of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of this Senate; the late Secretary
Elaine, the late distinguished candidate of the Republican party for
President of the United States; Secretary Bayard, the present Secre-
tary of State, and President Cleveland have each and all in their
turn officially, following in the footsteps of their no less illustrious
predecessors, demonstrated by the most conclusive, able, and unan-
swerable arguments we have no right to do. And this is called states-
If this appropriation is made it must have for its justification one or
more of the following three reasons, or for its excuse a fourth reason as
hereinafter suggested. The only three grounds on which it can possi-
bly he justified in the sense of discharging a legal obligation are the
First. The existence of conventional stipulations between the two
governments creating a reciprocal obligation upon the part of the United
States to make indemnity in such a case; or an absolute treaty cove-
nant to make indemnity in cases of the character under consideration.
Second. International obligation resulting from the principle of the
good neighborhood of nations and arising out of the good faith of gov-
ernments to each other to provide indemnity in cases of the character
of that under consideration.
Third. An obligation resulting from some provision or requirement
of some Federal statute.
The only ground upon which the proposed action may be excused,
if at all, is:
Fourth. A moral obligation created and supported, not by any legal
requirement, but resting alone on the gracious sentiment of generosity
and national sympathy, and the discharge of which can be nothing
more nor less than an act of national charity, pure and simple.
At first glance it may seem to some that if we exact indemnity from
China for injuries inflicted on our citizens in that country and for prop-
erty destroyed by mobs, the reciprocal obligation exists upon our Gov-
ernment to indemnify the Chinese Government or its subjects from our
national Treasury for injuries received by Chinese subjects here. On
reflection, however, the reasons why this is not so and can not possi-
bly in the very nature of the case be so will be seen at a glance. It re-
sults in the first place and mainly Ironi the absolutely diverse structure
of the two governments, which are so essentially and widely different
in their respective political organisms and functional powers, and in
their machinery and modes respectively of protecting private rights and
redressing private wrongs, and all of which essential and radical differ-
ences have been fully recognized by both governments in every treaty
entered into between the two states, commencing with that of 1844 and
extending through those of 1858, and known as our commercial treaty,
and 1868, known as the Burlingame treaty, and ending with that of
1880, known as the "emigration-restriction treaty." And these radi-
cal differences between the two governments in and of themselves inter-
pose an absolute barrier against any attempt that might have been
made to make the conventional stipulations between the two govern-
ments in any respect reciprocal.
No such attempt was ever made. They are not and could not in
the very nature of the case be reciprocal. There never was a time in
the history of the two nations when the rights, and privileges, and
immunities of American citizens in China bore any comparison in re-
spect of extent, or scope, or value to those enjoyed by Chinese subjects
in the United States. In the one case they were surrounded by every
manner of restriction both as to locality of residence and otherwise;
while in the latter the rights, and privileges, and immunities extended
to and enjoyed by Chinese subjects in this country were, until the
treaty of 1880, unrestrained in any shape, manner, or form, either as
to place of residence or otherwise; and they were accorded, as all now
here are accorded, every right of protection of life, and limb, and prop-
erty that is accorded by our system of laws to any other alien resident,
or in fact to any of our own citizens, and every political and personal
right enjoyed by any other alien of the most favored nation. Even
Drior to our first treaty with China, that of 1844, at a time when no
American citizen could rightfully, or with any degree of safety to life,
or limb, or property, enter Chinese territory, the subjects of that em-
pire had the right in unlimited numbers to come to and reside in any
part of our vast domain, and while here receive the same protection of
our laws in life and limb and property that were accorded to subjects
of the most favored nation or to any of our own citizens.
Prior to the Burlingame treaty it is true no formal right by treaty
stipulation or otherwise was in express terms accorded to Chinese sub-
jects to come to this country, but it must be remembered that none
such was necessary, as around this land of freedom, this asylum for the
oppressed, this home of the adventurer and hiding-place of the crim-
inals, mendicants, and contagion-stricken of earth as well, no Chinese
wall had been erected. Our doors, until the treaty of 1880, which in
a measure provided for the restriction of Chinese immigration, were
open to all the millions of all the nations of the earth king and peas-
ant, freeman and slave, millionaire and pauper, honest yeoman and wan-
dering sloth, vigorous, energetic, industrious men, and the palsied, lep-
rous, loathsome wrecks of living deaths.
While prior to the treaty of 1880, as has been intimated, Chinese of
all classes and without limit as to number or character could come to
and reside in any part or portion of the territory of the United States,
engage in any business, occupation, or profession, "go and come of
their own free will and accord," and were entitled to and received the
protection of all domestic laws in reference to the rights of life, limb,
and property enjoyed by American citizens; during all these years
American citizens, and certain classes only of these, enjoyed and enjoy
no more to-day, the meager privilege of entering the sacred precincts of
Chinese territory, alone for the purposes of trade only prior to the ex-
istence of the Burlingame treaty, and since then only for the purposes
of trade, curiosity, or as teachers, and then only in a few certain speci-
fied localities, which are chosen, in the language of the treaty, by
"having due regard to the feelings of the people in the location
This was the precise state of the case prior to the treaty of 1880. There
was in the situation and in the various international stipulations prior
to that date no essential ingredient of reciprocity. There was on the
contrary an entire absence of every element necessary to the creation
of reciprocal obligations. Nor was the situation in this respect in the
least changed by the stipulations of the treaty of 1880, inasmuch as this
last treaty, while guaranteeing in express terms to all Chinese students,
teachers, merchants, and those moved by curiosity, who might desire to
come to the United States from China, and also to all Chinese laborers
then in this country, and which was but an affirmation of rights, the ex-
istence of which could not under oar system be denied before, the right to
"go and come of their own free will and accord," and in addition every
right possessed by citizens or subjects of the most favored nation, that
treaty is as silent as the grave in so far as any stipulation is concerned look-
ing to equal, orsimilar, or approximate reciprocal rights of American citi-
zens in China, or which would give enlargement of scope to the restricted
rights, privileges, and immunities theretofore possessed by or extended
to such citizens in the Chinese Empire.
In view, therefore, of the rights, privileges, and immunities which the
subjects of the two nationalities may under existing policies and treaty
stipulations exercise and enjoy respectively within the jurisdiction of
the other, and which, it must be confessed, will bear no comparison the
one with the other in any respect whatever, when considered in the light
of reciprocal obligation, bold and audacious indeed must be the repre-
sentative of that government who would with earnestness in hisdiplo-
inatie capacity, and by elaborate and labored argument insist that the
obligations of the two governments were in virtue of these treaty stip-
ulations, or in virtue of their international relations in any respect what-
ever dependent or reciprocal. Yet such is the attitude of the Chinese
Government to-day. Such is the demand of the Chinese minister; and
while denying in emphatic terms and with extended arguments the ten-
ability and justice of this claim, we, at the same time, propose by this
legislation to repudiate our own arguments, deny our own position, fal-
sify our established theories, and with uncovered heads, in the presence
of the mandarins of the Mongolian Empire, publicly avow our complicity
with the mobs of irresponsible aliens in Wyoming acknowledge our
national guilt, and meekly, quietly, and graciously submit to theillegal
But waiving for the present the question of reciprocity, what are the
actual stipulations in the Burlingame treaty or in any of our treaties
with China that could by any possibility be brought to bear in any pos-
sible manner favorably upon the question of the liability of the United
States to make indemnity in the case of the sufferers at Rock Springs.
Article VI of the Burlingame treaty provides as follows:
Chinese subjects, visiting or residing in the United States, shall enjoy the same
privileges, immunities, and exemptions in respect of travel or residence as may
there be enjoyed by the citizens or subjects of the most favored nation.
While Article III of the treaty of November 17, 1880, contains the
If Chinese laborers or Chinese of any other class, now either permanently or
temporarily residing in the territory of the United States, meet with ill-treat-
ment at the hands of any other persons the Government of the United States
will exert all its power to devise measures for their protection and to secure to
them the same rights, privileges, immunities, and exemptions as may be enjoyed
by the citizens or subjects of the most favored nation, and to which they are en-
titled by treaty.
But surely it can not with any degree of propriety be said that these
stipulations clothe a Chinese subject with any other, greater, or more
enlarged rights or privileges than are possessed by any alien resident
subjects of any other nationality. These are but declarations of a rule
that has existed since the foundation of our Government, and under
which aliens of all lands and every nationality are placed on a plane of
exact equality in the matter of favor by our domestic law.
Mr. EDMUNDS. May I interrupt the Senator?
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. Yes, sir.
Mr. EDMUNDS. May I call the attention of my distinguished
friend to all this line of Chinese treaties to which he has referred and
ask whether it is not stated in article 14 of the treaty of 1844 and arti-
cle 11 of the treaty of 1858 and in all these treaties that where mob
violence intervenes the authorities of the respective countries will use
ever} r exertion to bring the criminals to punishment ? And then in
connection with that (which we all understand is in all these treaties
as it ought to be) I wish to ask whether any of the persons concerned
in the Rock Springs violence have been brought to punishment, and
whether it is not stated in our official reports that it is totally imprac-
ticable to do anything about that?
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. There is no doubt that it is the duty
of this Government under the several treaty stipulations referred to by
the honorable Senator from Vermont to do everything in its power to
protect these people in this country and to bring the offenders to pun-
ishment. I have no doubt about that.
Mr. EDMUNDS. Have we done it?
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. The mere fact that there may be a
fa'ilure to find an indictment in a given case where the proper nec-
essary, and appropriate judicial tribunal has been established, would,
it seems to me, be no reason for saying that they would have a right to
resort to the national Treasury for indemnity.
Mr. EDMUNDS. But the question I put to my friend is this, and it
is in order that the Senate and the people of the United States may know
how the fact is: I wish to know, there having been twenty-five or thirty of
the Chinese killed and fifteen or twenty others badly wounded, and prop-
erty, as it is said, to the amount of $150,000 destroyed by a mob of two
or three hundred persons, whether any one of the two or three hundred
persons who composed this mob has been brought to justice as a fact?
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. I do not know whether they have or
not; but I will say to the Senator from Vermont that under our policy
and under our system of laws there is but one way to determine whether
a crime has been committed, and that is by an investigation by the proper
judicial tribunal that has been appointed by law to do that.
Mr. EDMUNDS. There can be negligence between nations on the
part of governments as in the case of Great Britain about the rebel
cruisers and as other nations have claimed as against us. One nation
as between itself and another is not bound by the internal autonomy
of that state, but it looks to the body of the nation to carry out its
obligations, and if they have not the judicial means to do it, for one
reason or another, the nation that is injured is not bound by the failure
of the nation whose people committed the injury.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. The Senator from Vermont asked me
a question the other day in regard to what I thought ought to be done
in case a mob should commit certain violence in Canada. It will be
time enough to settle those questions when they come up. We are now
discussing the question as to whether we are liable to China in this par-
ticular case to make national indemnity out of the national funds; and
I feel that we have no right to assume that the judicial tribunals of
this country will not afford relief. I ask my friend from Vermont, in-
asmuch as no part of this appropriation, as I understand, is to indem-
nify for lives lost, but is simply for property destroyed, whether he
knows whether or not a civil suit of any kind or character has ever
been commenced by any Chinese subject who suffered loss at the hands
of the mob at Rock Springs?
Mr. EDMUNDS. I do not know of any, and I suppose that none
has been brought, because when it was seen after a year or more has
now gone by that the public strength of the Government there was not
sufficient to bring, in a criminal way, any one of this mob into the
presence 6f a court of justice even, the poor Chinaman would feel that
it would be rather hopeless for him to employ even so distinguished a
man as my friend from Oregon as his counsel to bring a private suit,
and particularly if he be dead.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. That is an evasion of the question.
As I understand, this appropriation, as I said a moment ago, is intended
in no particular to be a recompense to anybody, either the legal repre-
sentatives of those who lost their lives or the Chinese Government for
men who lost their lives, but is intended purely and wholly to in-
demnify, not the representatives of anybody so far as individuals are
concerned, but to indemnify the Chinese Government for property lost
and destroyed by certain Chinese subjects at Rock Springs.
Now. I say it is pertinent, especially is it pertinent in answer to the
inquiries propounded to me by the Senator from Vermont, to inquire
whether any of these Chinese subjects who suffered loss of property at
Kock Spunks by reason of this mob have ever attempted in any shape,
manner, or form to appeal to the judicial tribunals of Wyoming for
vindication; and if they have not as a matter of fact, then we have no
right to assume here that in case they did appeal they would fail to get
justice. So far as I am concerned I have yet to learn that there has
been any civil suit brought by anybody.
Referring now to the clause of the treaty, which I last read, I say that
the most that can be said with reference to these treaty stipulations,
or the highest office that can possibjy be imputed to them, is that while
conferring no new or peculiar rights not possessed by other aliens, they
may perhaps be held as constituting a pledge, or conferring something
in the nature of a special privilege which in the event of ill-treatment
would require not indemnity, but this Government to "exert all its
power to devise measures for their protection," which would secure to
them those rights in the future to which they are in common with each
and ever} 7 other alien resident of this country justly entitled. Only this,
That is to say to enact such laws, create such judicial tribunals, and
take such legitimate governmental steps as will secure to these subjects
the rights and privileges under proper ana unitorm forms of law, and
appropriate remedial tribunals, already attaching to them equally with
every other foreigner residing in this country. But that these provis-
ions in any manner impose an obligation upon the United States to
indemnify tor losses sustained by reason of infractions of our local and
domestic laws by lawless and irresponsible mobs, can not for one mo-
ment be maintained. Nor has there been any discrimination whatever
of an unfavorable character against the Chinese, or which in any man-
ner discriminates against them in any of the laws of this country,
State, national, or Territorial, save and except such Federal laws as
have been enacted by Congress relating to the restriction of Chinese
immigration, and these, as we all know, were enacted in pursuance of
treaty stipulations, while in other respects they are favored, not per-
haps above other alien residents, but absolutely above citizens of our
own country in the matter of the selection of those tribunals through
which they may seek redress of private wrongs or the enforcement of
their private rights. The Chinaman who has suffered wrong in this
country and desires to seek a remedy in the courts may select at his
option a Federal or State court, whereas to citizens of our own coun-
try having controversies with citizens in the same State the right to a
remedy in the Federal court is denied except in special cases, and thus
in the one case very frequently the alien has the right to have his case
reviewed by the Supreme Court of the United States, while in a pre-
cisely similar case the citizen of this country must be content with the
decision of the State court.
Here, then, for the investigation and redress of injuries to the life and
limb and property of resident Chinese subjects are established courts,
judicial tribunals Federal, State, and Territorial always open alike
to the Chinese resident, other foreigners, and our own citizens, having
full and complete jurisdiction and ample power to afford a complete
remedy for every wrong. And this very fact precludes every supposi-
tion to the effect that for a private injury to life, or limb, or property suf-
fered by a Chinese resident within our jurisdiction there is on the part of
any such Chinese resident or his home government any existing right to
demand indemnity from the National Government through legislative
or administrative action.
But how strangely different is the case with our citizens in China !
What judicial system has that empire to which our citizens can appeal
for redress when they have suffered injuries? To what tribunals can
they resort for protection and indemnification? What power attaches
to those extraterritorial tribunals established for the protection of their
own citizens and subjects by those powers in treaty stipulations with
China, to take jurisdiction of or determine questions as to the liability
of China to aliens ? None, whatever. American citizens, therefore, in
China are entirely helpless, absolutely remediless in the matter of re-
dress for injuries committed on them in so far as any appeal to estab-
lished judicial tribunals in that country is concerned. Hence it is that
their remedy, and their only just and proper remedy, is by a demand
through the home Government on the Chinese Government for national
It has been said elsewhere in advocacy of a measure similar to the
one under discussion that our Government has in the past been con-
sistent in the one thing of proclaiming through our State Department
bad law on this question, while action has invariably been right, and
in direct conflict with the position assumed and advocated from time to
time by our Government. And therefore it is concluded that while our
diplomatic theory has been one thing, and our legislative and diplo-
matic action has been quite another, and on the assumption that our
action has been right and our theory wrong, that the precedent has
been firmly established in this country in favor of the policy proposed
by the pending bill. This, however, can hardly be said to be true, and
for two reasons:
First. In glancing back through the diplomatic and legislative his-
tory of this Government in so far as its affirmative action has been con-
cerned, as contradistinguished from the theory it has advocated in
reference to this and cognate questions, it will be observed that in
nearly, if not quite every case wherein national indemnity has been
recommended by the executive and administrative departments of the
Government in approximate and similar cases, and that recommenda-
tion has been adopted and acted upon by Congress, there has been some
ingredient of either official or national delinquency on our part in ad-
vance of the alleged injury and which in whole or in part led up to it
on the one hand, or on the other some official or property attached to
or belonging to the government making the demand, or some emblem
or insignia of its nationality has been in some way injured, assailed or
involved in the outrage in reference to which the indemnity is claimed.
As, for instance, in the case of the New Orleans and Key West riots of
1851, when the Spanish consulate was entered and plundered, as also
the office of the Spanish newspaper, La Union, including also, it is true,
several coffee houses, tobacco stores and other property, and which
riots moreover grew out of a high state of public feeling as the result
of the shooting of fifty Americans by Spanish authorities while aiding
in the attempted insurrection in Cuba.
But even in that case, in which an insult was inflicted on the Span-
ish flag, our Government, by its then Secretary of State, Mr. Webster,
strongly and ably drew the distinction between injuries that consti-
tuted an insult to the Spanish ilagand those which merely affected the
property of Spanish subjects, and insisted that inasmuch as the out-
rage " was one perpetrated by a mob, composed of irresponsible per-
sons, tlu- names of none of whom were known to the Government,"
and inasmuch as " neither any officer nor agent of the Government of
the United States, high or low, nor any officer of the State of Louisiana,
high or low, or of the municipal government of the city of New Or-
leans, took any part in the proceedings, or gave it any degree of counte-
nance whatever," that while the Spanish consul might claim special
indemnity, the ordinary Spanish subjects who had come to this coun-
try to mingle with our own citizens and here pursue their private busi-
ness and objects were not entitled to such indemnity, but on the con-
trary must seek their remedy alike with our own citizens, some of
whom at the same time suffered at the hands of this identical mob, in
the judicial tribunals of our country. Rf*rKTOtt I .lrM*?r\
And in pursuance of this position of Mr. Webster, the then President
of the United States, Mr. Filluiore, in his annual message to Congress
in December, 1851, made the following recommendation: "That pro-
vision be made for such indemnity to him (the Spanish consul) as a
just regard for the honor of the nation and the respect which is due to
a friendly power, in your judgment seem to require," but declined to
make any recommendation for the indemnity of ordinary Spanish res-
idents who suffered by the same mob.
It is true indemnity was subsequently made by Congress, but how
and with what protestation? And this brings me, secondly, to remark
that an examination of the records will show, I think, in every case
perhaps wherein indemnity has been actually made in any case in any
respect similar in its facts to the Wyoming riots, it has been distinctly
and positively asserted and accompanied with a distinct and emphatic
protestation when recommended, that it was not made in pursuance
of any legal obligation, or by virtue of any obligation resulting from
treaty stipulation, or principle of international law, and that such action
was not to be regarded as a precedent in the future. ; j
This was the position of Secretary Webster, President Fillmore, and
Senator Mason, then chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations
of this body, when indemnity was. under such protestations and decla-
rations, finally made to Spanish subjects for injuries received in the riots
at New Orleans and Key West. And in the case we are now consider-
ing, as has been seen, both Secretary Bayard and the President, while
recommending the indemnity, distinctly and ably avow and insist by
elaborate argument that there is no legal obligation, and the United
States is not, to use the language of the able Secretary, under " any
obligation of treaty or international law, "to make it, but on the con-
trary they place it wholly and distinctly on the ground, to again use
the language of the distinguished Secretary, of "a sentiment of gen-
erosity and pity to an innocent and unfortunate body of men, subjects
of a friendly power," and protest that if indemnity is made it shall
be, and I again quote the language of the Secretary
With the distinct understanding that no precedent is thereby created or lia-
bility for want of proper enforcement of police jurisdiction in the Territories
While the President in his message transmitting the demand of the
Chinese Government and the suggestions of the Secretary of State at-
tracts the special attention of Congress to that portion of the Secre-
tary's letter from which I have just quoted and gives it his unquali-
The proposed appropriation then of 150, 000 as Chinese indemnity is
not because of any legal obligation to make it, not because any reciprocal
claim demands it, not because any principle of international law or any
conventional stipulations require it, but, on the contrary, is confessedly
an art of charity and of pure benevolence. For one, while I would give
to every Chinaman now in this country that full and complete protection
of life and limb and property that is afforded by our domestic laws to
the most favored of our own citizens, I shall never vote to indemnify
from the national Treasury Chinese subjects in this country, or the sub-
jects of any foreign country on earth, voluntary alien residents within
our jurisdiction, for losses sustained or iuj uries suffered at the hands of
mob violence, especially when such mobs are constituted wholly and
exclusively, as was so in the case of the Wyoming riots, by other alien
residents and law breakers within our territory, so long as hundreds
and thousands of our own citizens who have suffered losses to the extent
of untold millions by reason of depredations by the wards of this Gov-
ernment the various Indian tribes of the country are compelled to go
without indemnification or payment for such losses.
The records of our country show adjudicated claims amounting to
millions of dollars due and owing citizens of this country in the West-
ern States and Territories for losses suffered by them in life, and limb,
and property, through the murders and depredations of the wards of
this Government, then and now in treaty relation with the Govern-
ment, and who from time to time during the past fifty years have red-
dened our frontiers with the blood of the pioneers, pillaged, burned,
and destroyed millions of their private property, leaving their homes in
ashes, putting many of them to death through slow and terrible tort-
uras, unknown and unpracticed save by savage men. These claims of
our own citizens must go unpaid, must be ignored by Congress, must
be repudiated by the nation.
Mr. DAWES. I should like to inquire of my friend if the records
report any account on the other side of the spoliations committed on
the Indians, or if there is any objection to going into an accounting be-
tween the United States and the Indians to determine what would be
a just balance when you come to put a fair estimate upon the property
which has been wrested from the Indians, and make compensation for
the property which has been destroyed by the ravages of war upon the
defenseless Indians. I do not understand that the United States raises
any objection to paying any honest claim which comes under the name
of an Indian depredation, but I do understand that the United States
is coming at last to the idea that there is an account on both sides, and
that it is quite time that the Indian had some consideration in the court
of conscience for the depredations that have been committed upon him.
It is quite fashionable to talk about Indian depredations and to cry
out against the Government of the United States because they have
swollen to the large amount stated by the Senator. I do not hear of
anybody who takes the slightest concern about the question whether
the Indian himself has had an injustice done him.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. I differ with the honorable Senator
from Massachusetts. I think there is at least one Senator on this floor
who takes considerable concern in behalf of the Indian, and I am satis-
fied furthermore that so long as we have the distinguished Senator from
Massachusetts at the head of the Committee on Indian Affairs of this
body the Indians of this country will not suffer violence at the hands
of the Senate at least.
Now. with reference to the offset the Senator talks about, of course
we shall discuss that when we come to it. All I know is that some
$13,000,000 have been adjudicated. The claims are not mere claims
simply sworn to by the claimants lor damages suffered by the fron-
tiersmen and the pioneers of this country by reason of Indian depre-
dations, but they are claims tlfat have been investigated under the
authority of Congress by the Secretary of the Interior. Evidence has
been taken: adjudications have been had so far as adjudications can be
made by the Secretary of the Interior, and the claims have been for-
warded to Congress. 1 am not aware, on the other hand, that an ac-
counting has been had or any adjudication has been had in regard to
the claims referred to by the Senator from Massachusetts. In addi-
tion to all that my understanding is that whatever has been done with
reference to transferring the title to the Indian country has been done
not only with the consent but under the direction of the United States,
and done by treaty, by various Indian treaties that have been entered
into under the direction of Congress. Those treaties have been ap-
proved by Congress.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The hour of 2 o'clock having arrived,
it is the duty of the Chair to lay before the Senate the unfinished busi-
ness, being the bill (S. 1812) to provide for taxation of railroad-grant
lands, and for other purposes.
Mr. CULLOM. I hope the Senate will give the Senator from Ore-
gon permission to proceed until he has concluded his remarks.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. If there be no objection the Senator
from Oregon will proceed.
Mi. KVAKTS. I was about to ask whether this matter might not
be continued until we can conclude this discussion. I am desirous of
speaking, but not at any length.
Mr. PLUMB. The tax bill has been a long time before the Senate.
There are a great many reasons why it should be passed at an early day
if it is to be passed at all. While I would not interfere with the wishes
of any Senator beyond an absolute necessity, I think in this case I ought
to insist that the tax bill retain its place. Debate has been nearly con-
cluded; in fact, it has been concluded on all the features of the bill
itself, and I think it can be disposed of in a very short time.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Does the Senator from Kansas object
to the Senator from Oregon proceeding?
Mr. PLUMB. I do not object to the Senator from Oregon conclud-
ing his remarks.
Mr. DA WES. I owe an apology to the Senator from Oregon for in-
terrupting him at all, but I do not mean by what I have said to doubt
that there are a great many just claims under the name of Indian dep-
redation claims, and that some of them ought to be paid ; and it is a
great hardship that they have not been paid. Nor do I object to any
transaction with the Indians under the form of treaties by which we
have obtained their property through treaty, hard as those treaties
were. They have been with the consent of the Indians, however ob-
But beyond all that, outside of all that, the Senator can not be igno-
rant of the fact that violent hands have been laid upon Indian posses-
sions, personal property and real property, and they have been driven
at the point of the bayonet from possessions which they held under a
title that recited it as a perpetual inheritance by the graves of their
fathers. Whenever the Senator calls attention to the enormous amount
of claims against the Indian, all I say is that he forgets that the Indian
himself has a just claim upon the Government of the United States for
remuneration. Whether he is likely to be any better off on account of
the personal allusion the Senator has been kind enough to make to me,
does not seem to be a matter very hopeful to him. I trust that he may
have a foundation in the justice aiiA conscience of the Government
which will be of more service to him than any such service as the Sena-
tor attributes to me.
Mr. MITCHELL, of Oregon. When we come to adjudicate that side
of the account, it should be against the Government and not against
claims by citizens. Waiving that for the present, I will resume.
On these claimants the back of the Republic must be turned; in
their faces the doors of the Government must be closed; to their ap-
peals no response is given; their bills for relief by the scores and hun-
dreds must be consigned to the pigeon-holes of the Committees of Con-
gress, there to slumber the sleep of legislative death; while scarcely has
the cry of the alien mob in Wyoming subsided until the Government
of the United States, at the demand of the Chinese Empire, turns a
patronizing and willing ear and springs with alacrity to the front for
the purpose of indemnifying that government, on the principle of be-
nevolence and charity, for losses sustained by its subjects who are not
our citizens, and who have suffered losses at the hands of an alien mob.
This may be statesmanship worthy of the leaders of a great govern-
ment. For one, I fail to see in it any element of justice.
For one, while millions of dollars of claims of our own citizens in
the States and Territories of the West, arising through losses sustained
by them through Indian depredations while fighting the rough battles
of 'frontier life and establishing the foundations of empire in the dis-
tant West, and which claims have, under the authority of law, been
investigated and found correct, remain unpaid, I do not propose to in-
sult them as a portion of the taxpayers of this country by voting to
appropriate their money as a charity and as an act of benevolence to
the Chinese Government as indemnity for the losses suffered by a few
of their alien residents in this country at the hands of an incendiary
mob composed of another set of equally objectionable aliens from some
other foreign country. If we are going to deal in charity, then we are
taught that charity should commence at home.
At all events so long as there remain unpaid millions of dollars of
the character of claims I have described due our own citizens, the pay-
ment of which could in no sense be regarded as an act of benevolence,
but rather the discharge of a just, legal, and righteous obligation, I am
unwilling for one to vote to indemnify the Chinese for losses where it
is admitted we are under no obligation to do so, nor in any manner
bound to do so by any principle of international law, Federal statute,
or conventional stipulation.
In response to my question of the day before yesterday, if I did not
misunderstand the honorable Senator from Vermont, he replied that
the Government of the United States would not have been under any
legal obligation to make indemnity from the national Treasury had
the sufferers at Rock Springs been of our own citizens instead of Chinese
subjects. Nor would the Senator in such a case, as I understand him,
be willing to vote an indemnity as a matter of benevolence or charity.
For one, Mr. President, while I am in favor of according to each and
every person within our borders, of every name and color and creed
and nationality, the equal protection of the laws, I am unwilling that
Congress shall do that which the States respectively are by the fourteenth
amendment to the Constitution prohibited from doing that is, deny to
any person within the jurisdiction of a vState the equal protection of the
laws by giving to the subjects of the Chinese Empire in our midst in-
finitely greater protection, and throwing around their lives and limbs
and property a more ample mantle of protecting care than are accorded
to our own citizens. When we say to our own citizens, who suffer at the
hands of the mob: "You have your remedy in the judicial tribunals
of the country, and there alone; go seek your redress there, " and in
the same breath say to aliens in our midst: " You have not only the
right of our own citizens to seek relief in the established courts of the
country, but in addition, or in case of failure in the courts, you are
entitled to indemnity through act of Congress by appropriation from
the national Treasury," w r e declare a policy which in my judgment is
in direct contravention of the principle not the provision, because it
operates solely on the States of the Constitution of the United States
quoted on yesterday by the Senator from Vermont.
In other words, by such a policy we accord to aliens in our midst
rights, privileges, and guarantees which we deny to our own citizens.
Or to state the case in another form, we create and recognize and ad-
vocate by Congress an inequality of protection forbidden in the States
by the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution, giving the preference,
and the fuller, more complete, and ampler protection to the Chinese
subject than to our own, and subordinating the claims of our own citi-
zens to the higher and preferred claims of the alien. This, Mr. Presi-
dent, is the inevitable logic of the pending bill.
I am not surprised that there is a failure on the part of the distin-
guished committee reporting this measure to submit with it a report
stating the grounds upon which that committee were so unanimous in
its recommendation; nor am I surprised at the evident anxiety of the
honorable chairman of that committee to choke off discussion and rush
this measure through communi consensu and without debate; and on the
assumption that inasmuch as the distinguished committee of which he is
chairman had unanimously reported the bill, that therefore it is a mat-
ter of impossibility that there could be any two sides to the question.
I regard this bill, Mr. President, as an insult to American citizens,
as an act of flagrant and uncalled-tor partiality to alien residents, oper-
ating as a gross injustice to those who, if preferences are to be given,
are by every consideration that springs from the relation of citizenship
justly entitled to them.
While we are manifesting so much concern for the Chinese Govern-
ment and for the protection and indemnification of their subjects, it
would be well perhaps to remember the millions of dollars' worth of
losses sustained by our own citizens along our Southern Texan front-
iers by the destruction and capture of stock, the property of American
citizens, by raids from Mexicans. Although the line has been guarded
as best it could be by the Texan Rangers and Federal troops, our citi-
zens have suffered to the extent of millions of dollars, and yet not so
much as a demand for indemnity is made by our Governmemt in be-
half of our own citizens, although they have suffered through raids on
our own soil from marauding subjects of a foreign power.
Are the Senators from Texas on this floor, whose immediate constit-
uents have suffered so greatly in this manner, willing to vote this char-
ity to Chinese subjects while the just claims of their constituents,
citizens of their State, and of our common country are wholly ignored ?
What will our fellow-citizens in Arizona and New Mexico, who for
years past have suffered so greatly and who are even now and for months
past have been subjected to the incessant and murderous raids of the
Indian bandit, Geronimo, and his murderous band, think of a Con-
gress of the United States that will employ its time in appropriating
the national funds as a charity in indemnification of Chinese subjects
who have suffered at the hands of an alien mob, while for our own
citizens and pioneers not so much as a word of sympathy is extended?
While we must not for a moment, of course, presume that any other
motives than those which spring from the purest fountains of patriot-
ism and from the highest and best considerations of public justice, and
the loftiest aspirations of statesmanship, the most enlightened views of
public policy, could influence the distinguished Committee on Foreign
Affairs, who have, with a unanimity that is charming to contemplate,
reported this bill, I have, I confess, in my verdancy and feeble inability
to grasp this higher order of statesmanship to which that committee has
risen in reporting this measure, and in support of which they have for
reasons best known to themselves failed to furnish any reasons in the
shape of a committee report, been inclined to the belief that if perchance
some portion of that committee had been so fortunate or unfortunate, as
the case may be, to have resided west of the Mississippi River, and all
had been so located as to have been less subject to the blandishments
and plausible arguments of the able representatives of the Chinese Gov-
ernment in this city, that perhaps a somewhat different view might have
been taken of this subject.
It has been suggested elsewhere that by voting this indemnity we
place our Government in more intimate relations and on a more friendly
footing with the Chinese officials and will thus enable them to secure
such modifications of our present treaties with China as will result in
the near future in the absolute exclusion of Chinese immigrants in the
future. On the contrary, Mr. President, in my j udgment the effect
will be the very reverse. Let it once be understood that this Govern-
ment is committed to the policy of promptly indemnifying out of the
National Treasury for any and all property of Chinese subjects in this
country that may be destroyed or lost at the hands of mobs; let it be
understood that these alien subjects have not only all the rights of
American citizens under like circumstances of appealing to the courts,
State and Federal, but in addition can make rightful claim upon the
Treasury of the United States, and then the Chinese Government will
in my judgment be more loth than than ever before to consent to any
arrangement that will tend to the exclusion of Chinese immigrants to
It will be time enough to placate the Chinese officials after our own
diplomatists, and those who for the present direct and control the po-
litical destinies of this Government, are educated to a realizing sense of
the imminent peril to which our country is being rapidly subjected, not
alone from a deluge of Oriental slaves, not alone from the blighting
swarms of Asian migration, but from the still more dangerous red-
handed anarchist and communistic elements pouring in upon us from
the lowest, vilest, and criminally lawless classes of European life.
It is our own people, our own statesmen, our own officials that should
be brought to a realizing sense of impending dangers, their causes and
the remedy; that should be stimulated to arouse themselves, shake off
the dull lethargy of at least apparent ignorance in reference to the
vital questions of the hour, and of positive inaction, vindicate their
own intelligence, statesmanship, and patriotism by rising to a proper
comprehension <>!' the magnitude of the evils that confront us, and
ma^p with ability. energy, effectiveness, and power a subject than
which none more important, none more seriously involving the pros-
pective peace anil prosperity of the country, the stability of American
institutions, the security of lii'e and property, the integrity of free
labor, and the welfare of modern civilization on this continent, ever
engaged the attention of the American people or challenged the pre-
science, ability, and patriotism of American statesmen.
The times are not propitious, I submit, when the followers of the red
llag arc plotting treason against law and order and inciting to riot and
bloodshed and anarchy, in which the Government of the United States
can with prudence and propriety, or in justice to its own citizens an-
nounce to the governments of earth, civilized and barbaric, Christian
and Pagan, that we stand ready to respond to each and all of these on
demand, in a money indemnity from the Treasury of the United States,
for injuries that may be suffered by their subjects resident here, by rea-
son of mob violence. The people of this country, the present tax-pay-
ers, the lovers of peace, and justice to our own citizens, and the brave
defenders in every proper form of law and order, will not, I fancy, relish
the declaration of a policy such as this, which pledges them individually
and collectively to the payment of all such claims, whether amounting
toa few hundred thousand or many millions of dollars; nor will our pos-
terity, when the generations of the present shall slumber with their
fathers, regard with favor the establishment of precedents by us that
commit them and their posterity to a like policy.
This bill will pass. It is the wish of the administration it should
pa>s. while our distinguished Committee on Foreign Relations of this
Senate while tinkering with restriction acts, at best mere delusions
and snares when considered as a remedy for the evil against which
they are directed, handling with diplomatic fingers, kid-gloved, for fear
of giving offense to the Chinese minister, this overshadowing question
of Chinese invasion, and while refusing so far as heard from todeclnre,
when properly called upon to do so, that they or a majority of them
are in favor of providing for the future exclusion of Chinese immigra-
tion to this country even by diplomatic arrangement between the two
governments, recommend it.
This measure wil 1 doubtless receive nearly if not every vote of this body
cast on its final passage, and for this protest I shall doubtless be charged
here and elsewhere with either playing the part of the demagogue, or
lacking in ability to comprehend those delicate questions involved in
international controversies, and which seem at least in this case to de-
mand that while with one voice protesting the non-tenability of the
demand, and the absence of all legal obligation, while stoutly assert-
ing that by no principle of governmental reciprocity, conventional stipu-
lation, or requirement of international law, are we under any obliga-
tion whatever to do this thing: yet in order that it may not be said we
are not dealing with China by reason of her weakness as compared with
some other nations, or by reason of some supposed prejudice we have
against her subjects here, as we would deal with such mightier powers,
we must as an act of benevolence and out of pure charity make this
If we are dealing thus with China in this instance prompted by any
of the considerations just suggested, as I fear we are, and differently
from that which our sense of right and of public justice, our views of
international law, and considerations of self-respect would allow us to
do were it England, or France, or Spain, or any other of the great mar-
itime powers that had made this demand, even though their iron-clads
menaced our harbors and our fleets as a means of enforcing it, then it
would seem we are basing our proposed action on a principle in which
is involved as its most important component part an ingredient of
moral cowardice unworthy the representatives of a great nation.