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Full text of "Chinese indemnity ... Speech of John H. Mitchell in the United States Senate, June 1st and 3rd, 1886"

( 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 



mob o 



SPEECH 



OF 



JOHN H MITCHELL, 



IN THE 



UNITED STATES SENATE, 



JUNE IST AND 3D, 1886. 



WASHINGTON 

Ife - 



Bancroft Library 

SPEECH 



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 
Territory? 

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 
and mercy. 

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 
railroad-grant lands. 

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, 
1885. 

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 
Chinatown. 

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- 
barity. 

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 
will not. 

This subject was fully considered. All these documents were read 
by the Committee on Foreign Relations, and we agreed unanimously 



6 

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 
kind. 

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 
country ? 

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 
me? 

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- 
flict? 

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 
same purpose? 

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 
get there? 

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. 



8 

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 



9 

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), 



10 

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- 
dent. 

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- 



11 

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- 
izens have? 

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 
me. 

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. 



12 

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 
make indemnity. 

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 



13 

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 
of charity? 

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 
bill. 

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. 



14 



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 
condemnation. 

Whatever may be said of the undesirability of the presence of Chi- 



15 

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, 



16 

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 



17 

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- 
ing measure. 

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. 

MIT 2 



18 

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- 
manship ! 

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- 



11) 

bly he justified in the sense of discharging a legal obligation are the 
following: 

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 



20 

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 
thereof." 

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 



2L 

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 
demand. 

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 
following: 

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- 



23 

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, 
no more. 

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 
indemnity. 

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, 



25 

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- 
fied approval. 



26 

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- 
tained. 

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 



28 

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 



29 

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 ? 



30 

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 
this country. 

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 



31 

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 
donation. 

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 



32 

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. 



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