Memoirs of Robert Dollar
Vol. 1 - Chapter Fifteen. An Epoch Making Voyage
We arrived in San Francisco
on the 14th of May but our stay was not for long, as we sailed again on
August 23, 1910, with a party of business men, thirty in number, sent by
the Associated Chambers of Commerce of the Pacific Coast, to visit
China. This was in acceptance of the invitation which I had brought home
from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce the year before.
The object of this visit
was to create and increase the friendly feeling between China and the
United States, and also to increase our commerce.
At Honolulu we went
ashore, where we were entertained by the Chamber of Commerce.
Automobiles were waiting to take us around the harbor, to Pearl Harbor,
the Pali Museum, Aquarium and Waikiki, and back to Young's Hotel for
lunch. Governor Freer, ex-Governor Dole, Mr Waterhouse and Mr. Wood,
Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, with several others, received and
entertained us in such a way that we had a most enjoyable day. The
people of Honolulu are noted for their hospitality, but, 011 this
occasion, they more than did themselves proud.
The next day we sailed,
and got down to work again. Committee meetings were held in the
forenoons and general meetings of the Commissioners and the ladies in
the afternoons. One morning I addressed the ladies on the importance of
the mission in winch we were engaged, and tried to impress on them that
at times seriousness and tact would be necessary.
A TALK TO THE LADIES
To the Ladies of the
I have been requested by
the executive committee to address you on the. part you can and should
take on this trip. No doubt many of you came expecting it to be a
pleasure excursion, and nothing more. While I promise you that it will
probably be the most pleasant trip you have ever had and its memory will
last as king as you live, there is a seriousness connected with it that
makes the strongest of us pause and think.
We are going to a people
numbering nearly one-third of the population of the world. The Empire of
China is as large as the United States, Alaska, all our island
possessions, France, .Spam and Italy, and still room left. Our
self-imposed task is to create a better feeling of friendship between
the two nations, and, incidentally, to promote and increase our trade
relations. I hope what I have said is sufficient to convince you that
none of you has ever been fortunate enough to engage in a work that
interests over one-third of the population of our globe.
So that the magnitude of
the work before us may not discourage you, I will say that a woman in
Shanghai formed a small club, called the Anti-Foot Binding Society. It
spread to other cities and word of it finally reached the Empress
Dowager. She was so impressed with the earnestness of the members that
she issued an edict forbidding in future the binding of any girl's feet.
Now, when a custom, which had existed for ages past can be changed by
the efforts of one woman, you can well take courage and use your efforts
to get in close touch with the ladies, and you will, I am sure, succeed
in doing much,
Institute in Shanghai has been the means of bringing foreigners and the
Chinese together, and the ladies have, a club in which they have induced
several Chinese ladies to become members. At the unveiling of a tablet
in the Institute, I saw several ladies present, which ;s a great
innovation from the old established custom of seclusion for women. 1
have tried to get some parts of the subject of education assigned to you
to investigate and report on, especially the education of girls,
kindergarten work, music, etc.
BRIDGE OF ONE HUNDRED ARCHES AT SOOCHOW
The subject of the
Chinese woman and her position, socially and legally, has been assigned
to you, and I trust you will make a full investigation and report.
You all appreciate the fact that, on the education of the masses
depends, to a great extent, the prosperity of a nation. In this, China
is sadly deficient, but she is now fully awake to the necessity of
universal education. Bear in mind that anything you can do for the
uplift of China will bring a reward that all great men and women are
striving for, "to leave the world better than you found it."
I have to report the
passing of a very short week; in fact, I find that time rushed on so
fast that I could not accomplish as much as I wanted to. One day was
given over to sports, in which both old and young participated and which
was thoroughly enjoyed. On Friday we passed the one hundred and
eightieth meridian; therefore, that day was dropped from our calendar.
We went to bed on Thursday night and woke up Saturday morning.
One day I called a
meeting of the ladies and suggested that they organize, to be in a
better position to take up any subject brought to them and be better
prepared to give prompt reports and material assistance. They took
kindly to the suggestion, and elected Mrs. Dollar, President; Mrs.
Booth, Vice-President, and Mrs. Moulton, Secretary. Several committees
were appointed, to which various subjects were assigned.
The Commissioners have
begun to realize the magnitude of the work we are undertaking. They know
now what they did not know before they left home-—that they have a man's
job on their hands. They are all. without exception, read-'ng and
studying the various subjects that will be brought before us. For
myself, I have devoted two-thirds of my time to answering questions and
telling others what I know. Now, I feel responsible for the time and
work I have put in during the past few years in making a study of China
and the Chinese, and, while all I do not know about the subject is a
hundred times more than what I know, it is a great satisfaction to
assist others, even in a small way. Before leaving home I filled a trunk
with books about China that I thought would be of service to the
Commissioners, amongst them being a number of copies of the National
Review, published <n China, all of which they used as a circulating
library, and which the Commissioners found instructive and interesting.
In regard to the
personnel of the party. I am pleased beyond measure w ith the number of
able men we have. They are all well informed men, and there is
practically no choice between them, except wherein one man may be better
posted on a certain subject than another. President B<x>th has good
material with which to work, and I am sure he will produce extra good
results, although I am not unmindful of the old saying—"A wise man
defers boasting until he is taking off his armor."
We arrived in Yokohama
<luring a rain storm. The Japanese, wishing to show those who had
entertained them in America some kindness, invited our party to visit
Tokio. They provided a special car on the railroad and hail automobiles
in waiting at the station in Tokio. After luncheon at the Imperial Hotel
they drove us about the city and then out to the home of Baron
Shibusawa, where his son and <laughter hospitably received and
entertained us. The Baron was in Osaka raising funds for the flood
sufferers and the Baroness was confined to her bed. We were then driven
to the Nippon Club, where we had an excellent Japanese dinner. After
dinner a theatrical company wound up the festivities with a good
Japanese play. We returned on board the steamer after midnight.
From the railroad on our
trip to Tokio we saw evidences of the recent flood, which had destroyed
many homes and crops. It is reported that there is much destitution and
suffering among the communities affected, and strong efforts are being
put forth to raise money to aid them. Nine of our Commissioners gave
live hundred yen.
At Kobe the Commissioners
went ashore. Many of them visited Osaka and took in all the sights
Considerable headway has
been made on the new breakwater, and it will not be long before this
much needed improvement will make loading and discharging into barges
possible when it is blowing hard. At present it does not take much wind
to stop all work in the harbor. T noticed three dredgers at work
deepening the water close to shore to enable the vessels to lay nearer
in than at present. The present plan of harbor improvement is to build
several piers from shore, so a great quantity of freight can be handled
direct to rail or wagons, without the use of lighters.
Going through the Inland
Sea the weather was good, and we had a good view of it.
At Shanghai we visited
various industries, one of which was a woolen mill, three years old and
fitted with modern machinery from Belgium. Most of the wool was Chinese
grown, but they had a quantity of Australian wool and some South
African, which they used in mixing. In this mill and a paper mill, there
were about six hundred hands employed.
We left the mill to
attend a reception at the Shanghai Taotai's yam en. There we were met by
all the great people of the city. The large reception hall was
beautifully decorated with American and Chinese flags. There were no
speeches, as it was quite informal, and the Americans as well as the
Chinese seemed to enjoy it. Quite a number of peacock feathers were in
evidence, the owners being mandarins of various ranks. We got back to
the hotel in time to dress for the grand banquet at the ball in the
Chang Su Ho gardens. We were taken there in a street car, specially
decorated with flags and brilliant lights, and electric designs of the
American flag on front and rear. The street car company decorated its
line for over three miles.
On arrival at the grounds
we found them brilliantly lighted, some thousands of Chinese lanterns
having been specially made with American and Chinese flags on each.
Large electric designs with the words "Welcome" were over the doors. The
hall seated over two hundred, and at one end was a stage where a
theatrical troop entertained us during the banquet. The trimmings and
fittings on the stage were most beautiful, and any attempt to describe
it or the costumes of the actors would fall far short of the reality.
The dinner was
semi-Chinese, commencing with birds' nest soup, sharks' fins, and so on.
It was very well served, and there were many courses.
The speakers of the
evening were Consul General Wilder, on the American side, and Wu Ting
Fang for the Chinese, although there were a few others. All did justice
to their well chosen subjects in addressing this very unusual audience.
there also were great displays of fireworks. Chinese merchants told me
that no such preparations had been made since the late Emperor visited
Shanghai, many years ago.
The next day, Sunday, a
reception was held at the International Institute in the afternoon,
where several addresses were delivered, and, in the evening, the Press
Club gave us a banquet.
The next morning the
party visited a cotton mil1, employing six thousand persons, and a silk
filature, where we saw an exhibit of finished silks. This took up the
entire forenoon. After lunch at the hotel, the party started for
Hangchow, in house boats. A boat, with a boy servant, was provided for
every four persons. The Palace Hotel furnished the help and did the
catering. We left at I o'clock in the afternoon and arrived at the
Hangchow landing at 10 o'clock the next morning. There we took the steam
train for a fifty-mile trip to the city, where we were entertained at
All the members of the
party enjoyed seeing the world-famous Grand Canal, and the. realization
of the age of China was hrought forcibly to them, when they learned that
for twenty-five hundred years billions of people have been traveling up
and down this waterway. The bridges, built at that time, are still in
At Hangchow we were
immediately taken to an official reception and luncheon, and the.
afternoon was spent in viewing the sights of a Chinese city, which only
a few of our party had seen before In the evening, a banquet was given
by the Governor of Chekiang Province at his official vamen. It was a
magnificent affair, served with all the splendor of the Orient; it was
also a most significant affair, as foreigners had previously been most
unwelcome in this vicinity, and this was the lirst time they had ever
been received officially in the province. Speeches were made, and the
Governor asked us to suggest ways and means by which they could become a
manufacturing as well as an agricultural community.
THE CHAMBER OP COMMERCE OF SHANGHAI ENTERTAINS COMMISSIONERS AND LADIES
From early morning till
late at night the next day the time was taken up in visiting temples,
lunching at a mandarin's, and a boat excursion on West Lake- one of the
most picturesque bodies of water in China. We went to the temple on the
bank of the river to see the famous "bore" come up the river, which only
occurs once in the spring and once each fall. It is a great sight to
watch the great wall of water—twelve to fifteen feet high—roll up the
river from the ocean, carrying everything before it.
Then we left for
Shanghai. The cars were all decorated, and the railway company provided
dinner for us; in fact, it would have been impossible for the entire
community to have devised ways of doing more. Every section man on the
road was provided with a Chinese lantern decorated with Chinese and
American flags, and every station along the route was decorated with
flags and evergreens, and crowds of people were there to see us pass. At
the principal cities on the way receptions were held and presents given
to each of us.
Returning to Shanghai,
the men visited various industrial plants, while the ladies visited
missions, hospitals and so on, and a flourishing Young Women's Christian
Association of one hundred and sixty members.
The last evening we were
m Shanghai we were given a Chinese theater party. The play was on the
effects of opium, this subject being chosen because Americans were the
first to assist the Chinese n the suppression of the traffic in opium.
We left Shanghai for
Nanking. The station was beautifully decorated, and thousands of
lire-crackers were set off to wish us good luck. A band played our
national airs, and the leading men of the city were on the platform to
bid us goodby and God-speed.
The train was a special
one of private cars. On the window of each seat was a card bearing the
name of the American city of the representative who would occupy it.
Each car had a buffel from which we were served with meals or
refreshments along the way. It was very unique, and I have never seen
anything quite like it. I noticed that every way station, even though we
did not stop at it, was decorated and the section hands were drawn up in
line on the station platforms. We did not stop until we reached Soochow,
fifty miles distant. Here a great crowd met us, in it being nearly the
entire membership of the Chamber of Commerce, officials and mandarins.
The station was beautifully decorated and a brass band was in attendance
Carriages were in waiting, and we were conveyed to the Governor's yamen,
a great big, rambling building. It took us ten minutes to walk through
the intricate passages and rooms before we reached the audience hall
where tables were set for one hundred and fifty people. The decorations
of cut flowers were beautifully combined with artificial flowers and
many works of art. The Governor made an address, to which I replied as
Those of us who know a
little of your customs, know that your hospitality is unbounded, but, in
the manner in which you have received us, in the different places in
China, I must say you have excelled yourselves. Our primary object in
coming seven thousand miles to visit your country was to increase the
friendly relations between our country and yours, and from the
enthusiastic manner your people, from the highest to the lowest, have
received us, I am firmly convinced that this result will be accomplished
in a manner exceeding our fondest hopes.
But we have another
object in our visit, and by some of you it may seem primary, instead of
secondary. This object is to increase trade and commerce, and in
offering suggestions to you on this subject, I cannot help feeling like
a small boy coming to his great grandfather and giving him advice, as I
am a citizen of the youngest of the nations, addressing many citizens of
the oldest nation on earth, I also realize that your nation represents
one-third of the human race.
You have a very rich
agricultural country, perfectly level land, and as productive as the
best of any country, but you lack manufactures. No nation has ever
become truly great, measured by our modern standards, that has not
engaged extensively in manufacturing and skipping. A merchant marine is
a necessary part in the development of any great country. All these
things you lack. At a meeting of this kind, with limited time, it is
impossible to accomplish much, but: I would suggest to your merchants
and bankers to meet us at some future, time, when we can discuss fully
how best we can increase your trade. We are not here for pleasure—-we
are here to develop and increase trade. What we want and must have are
practical results, and if we do not gel them, our visit here will have
been a failure. So we want to get in close touch with your merchants,
that the much desired result may be accomplished.
I was loudly applauded by
the entire audience when I finished my talk.
We left at 2 o'clock in
the afternoon and our next stop was at Yuseb. the great silk center. At
this place the crowd was larger than ever, and extended even into the
fields. We gave and received many presents, and proceeded on our
At Changchow, the Chamber
of Commerce gave us an address to which we made proper reply, and each
of us was presented with a package of tea of their own growing, as this
is a tea growing section. They are particularly proud of the fine
quality they produce.
At Chingkang, after we
had attended a luncheon, we took the train for Nanking, which brought us
right through to the Exposition grounds without changing cars. The
grounds and buildings are a credit to the Chinese, as this is their
first attempt at expositions. The American exhibit was very fair.
In the early evening the
ladies of our party were invited to a tea at the home of Eadv Chang,
wife of the Viceroy. This was the first time such a function had ever
been given to foreigners, but the affair went oft in fine order. An hour
was spent here, and the conversation was interpreted by three girl
students from the Mission schools.
Later, the ladies joined
us at the Viceroy's banquet hall, where one hundred and eighteen sat
down to dinner. The table decorations were all that could be desired; in
fact, one could only see a short distance on account of them. I was
fortunately located near the Viceroy's Secretary. Taotai Chung Mun Yew,
the managing director of the China Merchants' Steamship Company, the
Government line; and Taotai Wang Chung Liang, the managing director of
the Pukow-Tientsiri Railroad. They talked very good English, so it made
a very pleasant party, and I enjoyed the evening better than any
entertainment I had attended :n a long time. The conversation was
animated and dealt with the subjects that are now troubling China, and
as they all had their hands on the pulse of matters deeply affecting
their country and the rest of the world, it was intensely interesting
and instructive. Although we were on a commercial trip, politics and the
policy of China and the nations closely connected with her prosperity,
or in many cases her adversity, always came to the surface, especially
when we came in contact with the great men of China.
The Viceroy delivered a
speech of welcome, and asked us for advice and criticisms of China. Mr.
Hotahng made a stirring reply, which no diplomat or representative of
any government would have dared make, as he would have instantly lost
his position. Our Commissioners have been in China only ten days, and
have seen in this short time enough to convince them of the injustice
that is being indicted oti
CAMELS, ELEPHANTS AND OTHER ANIMALS OF STONE LINE THE ROADS AT THE MING
the Chine&e by
foreigners. For instance, on a sign board of a park >n Shanghai is a
notice that no Chinese are allowed unless they are servants to
Europeans. This, our Commissioners could not understand, especially as
the Chinese pay nine-tenths of the upkeep. Verily, a day of reckoning is
After the banquet, at i
o'clock in the morning, the Viceroy sent a message to me, stating that
if I was not too tired he would like to have an hour's conversation with
me. In this conversation many matters were discussed that were of great
A double row of troops,
on each side from the street entrance to the house, presented arms as we
went in. A line military band played our American national airs. The
next morning we saw a drill of one of the Viceroy's regiments (he has
sixteen thousand troops here). No one was admitted to this but our
party, as it was for our special benefit.
Some of our party knew
considerable of military affairs and enjoyed it immensely; as, in fact,
we all did. The drill was entirely German in style. They showed us their
barracks' gymnastic drill, which was wonderful, as the athletes were not
selected but a company chosen indiscriminately for each particular
drill. One of our party, who was well versed m military affairs,
remarked that had he not seen for himself he could not have believed
that they were so proficient. After it was over the General took us into
the officers' mess room, where cake, wine and tea were served at a long
table specially prepared. We learned that a soldier's wages averaged
about three dollars gold, a month, out of which he boards himself. We
were told that now men of good families join the army, but up to five or
six years ago it was considered a disgrace to join.
We had another display of
New China in the Exposition grounds. In the large audience hall about
one hundred children from the Mission kindergarten school gave us an
exhibition. There were little tots from five to six years old, and a
class of sixty girls from ten to twelve, who sang American songs, played
the piano, etc.; then as a contrast, music of China's old style was
rendered. The contrast was very great, and showed what rapid strides the
new education is making. The manager told us of the seemingly
insurmountable difficulties they had overcome, before the Exposition
grounds were thrown open to the public. The ability and energy they have
shown in getting up such a creditable exhibit from people who had never
heard of such a thing before, are wonderful.
We had a reception at the
Nanking University, which is a combination of Methodist, Christian and
Presbyterian churches—all American. The union of churches and colleges,
as well as missions, is the proper way: in fact, China is showing us the
way in this respect. It is a great saving of money, talent and effort,
and is getting far better results and far greater respect from the
Professor Davis, the
President, delivered a short, concise address. They have six hundred
students, and the buildings are full to overflowing all the tune. They
have twelve hundred communicants m connection with the various missions
in the city. There is such a demand for educated young men that it is
hard to get them to take the full course. High wages are offered them as
soon as they receive only a fair education. The university authorities
have had the foresight to secure large, desirable grounds, and their
future looks bright, while their power for good, as the years roll on,
will be felt all over China.
After the address and
informal talks I visited the buildings and grounds where I found they
were erecting excellent, permanent buddings at a very low cost, which
proves that their management must be of a high order
The Provincial Assembly
of Kiangsi Province, which corresponds to our State legislature, invited
us to a banquet in their building. They are just getting started in this
venture of constitutional government, so this meeting of the assemblymen
was most important. as they w ere extremely anxious to learn from us
what has proved good and what is bad in our form of State government. On
our gathering in their assembly ball the President of the Assembly
proposed a toast to the health of the President of the United States.
The building was really opened in our honor, as this was the first
meeting held in it. Many speeches were made, both in English and
Chinese. The banquet was a wonderful affair, caterers and f(x>d having
been brought from Shanghai, two hundred miles distant.
This is the only session
that has been held by the Assembly, and that in a temporary building;
but they will soon hold regular sessions in their own building, which is
built on modern plans and in the most approved style. All this is
preparatory to the establishment of the Federal Government in Peking.
We visited the Ming
tombs, outside of the city wall, driving in carnages to the gate and
from there being conveyed in sedan chairs. The last Ming emperor was
buried here over four hundred and fifty years ago, and the first one of
record was buried about eighteen hundred years ago. For China, the tombs
are in a fair state of preservation. A few of the descendants live
there, and have sufficient land to support them, but according to our
ideas of looking after such historical places they are sadly neglected.
Great stone elephants, camels and dromedaries and various other
representations of animals, line the road on each side. They are about
three times the natural size, and fences surround them to prevent
vandalism by our civilized European and American travelers!
I had denounced in very
strong terms the vandalism of parries who had marked these monuments,
but our party put it all back on me when, on investigating one of the
huge dromedaries, we saw the name of the steamer "Hazel Dollar" carved.
Evidently, one of our officers had gone up there when the steamer was in
Nanking and with a chisel had carved her name in the stone. So they had
a joke on me. stating I had better look after my own people before
Our hosts again outdid
themselves in thoughtfulness and hospitality, for they actually had
tables, chairs, carpets and refreshments carried out from the city, and
we were served in the temple at the tombs. And all this from a people so
recently said to be antagonistic to foreigners! With all this display, I
am pleased to say that we never lost sight of the fact that we were here
for a purpose, and kept strongly before our hosts, the fact that we
wanted to establish trade relations between our countries. I must say
that whenever we talked trade and commerce, ceremonies disappeared. and,
to use a military term, they immediately "stood at attention" and
listened intently to all we had to say.
At Hankow, I found the
Yangtsze Engineering Works bad doubled in size during the year. They
have plenty of work on hand, and now employ fifteen hundred men.
When we were about ready
to sit down to the luncheon, Mr. Wong came to me very much excited and
stated that the caterers had brought the lunch from Hankow with plenty
of wine but not a glass, and there was none within six miles of the
place. He wanted to know what I would recommend him to do. I replied.
"Say nothing, and leave the matter to me." So when the party sat down I
called their attention to the fact that there was no wine on the table,
being the first luncheon or banquet we had attended in China without it.
I noticed, after I made this remark, that Mr. Wong turned pale; but I
followed it up by saying that he was the only one who understood
American customs, as it was not customary to serve wines with luncheons
We next visited the Han
Yang Steel Works, and after seeing the mine at Tah Yei and this big
plant, our members changed their opinions of Chinese industries and of
their management by Chinese. We stood at the end of the rolling mill and
saw bars, plates and steel rails all coming out in various merchantable
shapes. We learned that there were about twenty-five thousand men
employed in the coal and iron mines, coke ovens, transportation and in
the plant. They have many tugs, barges, junks and steamers, about sixty
miles of a coal railroad and fourteen miles of an iron ore railroad.
This plant is located in about the geographical center of China and on
one of the greatest rivers of the world, which, at the works, is about a
mile and a quarter wide, and up which for eight months in the year
vessels drawing thirty feet of water can go for seven hundred miles from
Sunday was a day of rest
only in our imagination, as we went to Wuchang, to an official banquet
given by the Viceroy of Hupeh Province. He sent two gunboats to take us
across the river and back. His Excellency thought his yamen was not
grand enough, so he rented a very large budding and fitted it up in
grand style for this function. The road was lined with soldiers, and in
the halls and the large court, military bands played as we went in.
About one hundred and fifty sat down to the banquet. The decorations
were very fine, and the walls were hung with very large Amercan and
Chinese flags. The flowers and silk-trimmings on the tables exceeded
anything we had seen in this line. This banquet lasted about three
hours, and when we returned to Hankow we found a meeting had been called
for the Committee on Commerce, so we drove to the Chamber of Commerce
where we had a talk with twenty of the leading merchants on trade
matters. From there we drove to a church service, and listened to an
interesting sermon on what missions had done and were doing for China.
After church we went to dinner at the home of Mr. Wong Kwong. Certainly
a full day for Sunday!
The next morning we
visited cotton, hemp, flax and silk factories and a large grist mill,
finding them all large, modern, up-to-date plants. We also visited a
Russian tea factory, where they made tea into bricks for exportation to
Russia. The tea is ground, steamed and pressed by hydraulic power into
bricks about four by six inches and one inch thick. It looks like black
plug tobacco. This is quite a tea center.
A large reception and
banquet was held for us at the Chinese race track, two miles outside of
the city. Although we were not aware of it, this proved to be the grand
event of our trip. The buildings were very large and commodious, and the
grounds were laid out in shrubs and flowers. In describing this
entertainment I want to say that it is impossible to do :t justice. I
asked a newspaper reporter if he could describe it, but he said it was
impossible. In driving out from the city the road was so crowded that
the carriages had to go slowly, and when we neared the place, the. crowd
was so great we had to go at a slower walk, with frequent stops, until
at the approach to the grounds, a passage was cleared by soldiers.
A triumphal arch,
commanding a fine view of the grounds had been built three stories high.
This was full of people. It was brilliantly lighted wiith electric
globes of different colors, and presented a gorgeous appearance. From
the verandas we had an opportunity of seeing the crowds which extended
around for a radius of half a mile. It was as light as day from the
brilliancy of the lights and the fireworks. Military bands, as well as
native ones, and bugles and drums made music and noise to please all
classes in the crowd.
The reception rooms
presented an animated appearance, and the large banquet room was packed
to its utmost capacity. A Chinese dinner was served, the entertainment
being furnished by the Hankow Chamber of Commerce. The Vice-Chairman
made a very good, carefully prepared address along commercial lines,
which was well received by our party. Mr. Booth, m introducing me as
speaker of the evening, said an introduction was hardly necessary as
they all knew me. He paid me a very flattering compliment in saying that
I was not only a man that said things hut did them, and in the
development of American trade in Hankow I had played a conspicuous part.
T confined my remarks to the Yangtsze Valley, as follows:
Before proceeding, I
cannot permit the opportunity to pass without thanking you for such a
princely reception and, I say without fear of contradiction, that no
commercial body of men in the history of the world ever had such a
I will endeavor to
confine my remarks to a talk as a business man to business men, and
consequently they must be practical. The object, of our visit was set
forth in the invitation which you sent us. At the end of it you say, "To
promote good will, and the growth of trade between the two countries."
You have divided t into two parts: the first part has been dealt with
fully everywhere we have gone; our receptions have been sincere,
enthusiastic, and even this early in our journey, I consider it has been
accomplished. The second part is not so easy and with tax to the utmost
all our thoughts, ability and energy to accomplish.
As I am addressing an
audience in what you are very proud to call the Chicago of China, and
which I accept as a great compliment to Americans, I will confine my
remarks to the Yangtsze Valley. Seeing that one quarter of a billion
people live in this valley and its tributaries, I confess to have taken
a subject so great, that it is entirely beyond my ability to do it
justice. Hankow trade has been increasing by leaps and bounds. Trade
statistics show that during the last fifteen years trade has increased
tremendously. This, in some measure, is the result of railway
communication, which has only begun in a small way, and as we look
forward to Hankow being the railroad center of China, it being at the
head of deep water navigation, it will certainly be the great commercial
center of China.
The reason for this is
not far to seek, as this is one of the richest agricultural valleys in
the world and capable of producing in abundance everything that man
requires. Up to the present time you lack large manufacturing plants,
but, with your agricultural productions and your natural resources, you
will be able to manufacture for the whole world.
In time your river must
be made navigable all the year for vessels drawing twenty-five feet of
water. This, I know, may seem an almost impossible task, but greater
things have been done. I have given this subject some thought, and I
consider it an absolute necessity that the work be done. There are only
two shallow places to be overcome, and as soon as trade develops as we
expect, the necessity will be more apparent. So do not be discouraged,
as men. money and energy can accomplish anything within reason. The
United States is engaged in a much greater undertaking at present (I
mean the Panama Canal); and I expect to live to come up this river some
January or February, in one of my vessels drawing twenty-five feet of
As to the future
prospects of this great valley, I have often thought over what they
would he, hut I am free to say that the possibilities are so great that
it is beyond my comprehension. As to agriculture, the high state of
cultivation could still be bettered by fertilizers, the crops increased
fifteen to twenty-five per cent, and much more remunerative crops
raised. I commend this suggestion to your careful consideration. A few
years ago sessimum seed was almost unknown Now, your exports of this
commodity are very great, last year exceeding one hundred and twenty
thousand tons. No doubt you will also go into cotton growing on a large
scale, especially when your cotton mills would be buiIt in numbers and
on a large scale.
But when we consider your
minerals, we are lost n wonder A German expert claims there is more coal
in this valley than exists in the rest of the world. I think it quite
safe to make the same estimate of your iron ore. Now with those two
minerals lying side by side in a country of cheap labor, and an
abundance of it, the day is coming when the production of steel from
this country will exceed that of all other countries.
Railroads are wanted to
open up and develop your country. You have an example before you of what
the Pel Han Railroad has done for the country through which it passes.
When this road was built, there was no freight to carry, except in
harvest time. It is now taxed to its utmost capacity. The South
Manchuriau railroad has been double tracked, and it also, at times,
cannot carry the freight offered One and a quarter million tons of
beans, alone, came over that road for export in 1909, and as you
continue building additional roads you will find these conditions will
I consider the Province
of Szechuan the greatest mineral bearing country in the world, and with
its forty-six millions of people, as soon as the railroads run through
there, we shall hear from it. It is practically unknown to the world
now, except to a very few travelers.
V. K. LEE
General Manager Han Yang Iron and Steel Works
From what I have said,
you will readily understand that you have a gigantic task on your hands.
It will take all the energy you are possessed of, and you must have
moneyto do it with. One very important factor is what we call "Captains
of Industry" to direct all those great works. I am pleased to say that
you do not require to go abroad for them as from personal experience I
know you have them right here.
However. I wish to say to
you, all these great undertakings can only be accomplished by lots of
hard work, and you must be up and doing, as your valuable heritage is of
no value unless you develop it. The United States also received a
valuable heritage, and by persistent hard work it has developed into a
rich country. You have as good an opportunity as we had. So you have a
prospect ahead of you that no other country has, provided you grasp the
opportunity. The making of New China is in your hands.
After the speeches, all
went on the verandas to see the fireworks. A tower of bamboo poles had
been erected, about sixty feet high, and from this the various pieces
were set off. None of us had ever seen such a display. We have been told
by different classes of people that there had never been such a
reception given to any one in China, and the significance of it is that
Hankow is destined to be the greatest commercial center of China.
We left Hankow in a
special train provided by the Central Government: At the beautifully
decorated station, tire-works were set off. and the principal merchants
and citizens, as well as a representative from the Viceroy of Hupeb
Province, in which Hankow is situated, were there to bid us God-speed.
On the way, we noticed
that the harvest was about over, and the farmers were preparing the land
for next year's crops. Our party was much surprised to see such a rich
agricultural country which, with the exception of one slight elevation,
is perfectly level the entire eight hundred miles from Hankow to Peking.
One fact is apparent to all—that it is a very rich country mostly of
alluvial soil, but having been under cultivation for thousands of years
it now needs fertilizing on a large scale. This would increase the crops
MEMOIRS OF ROBERT DOLLAR
When we arrived at
Peking, the appearance of the city was so different from that of any
other we had visited that it could not help causing surprise. Not a flag
or piece of bunting was in evidence, and there were articles in the
papers that the Japanese were complaining bitterly that their party of
distinguished business men, who had just preceded us, had not been well
received. However, the Imperial Railroad provided a special train and
took the party to see the Great Wall of China, providing a very nice
lunch. We learned that the Hankow people paid all our hotel bills, so we
sent them eight hundred dollars to be used by the Chamber of Commerce.
The day after arrival, we were invited to see the Summer Palace,
situated twelve miles out of the city. This was a rare sight as it is
closed to visitors. The grounds cover several hundred acres, having a
lake about a half mile long bv a quarter mile wide, in the center. They
have been laid out, and buildings have been erected, regardless of
expense. We were shown the apartments of the late Empress Dowager, her
reception and throne rooms. The painting of the Empress has been veiled
since her death, but it was unveiled for our inspection. Boats were
provided for us on the lake, and the Barge of State was opened for us.
The barge is built of
cement and stone, two stories high, and without question it is a most
remarkable craft. When not afloat, it looks like a marble palace, and is
about eighty feet long and thirty feet wide. The first floor is about
four feet above the water, and there are stone steps on each side
leading into the water. Marble pillars support the next story, and a
small tower surmounts the whole. At first, I could not believe 't was
afloat, as the appearance of solidity was such I could not think of its
being other than a palace of marble. The rudder is of cement, and as far
as I could see under the water it was all cement. It is used on all
great state occasions. The appearance of the whole place, grounds and
buildings, is that of an evacuated fairy land.
When we got to the gate
over twenty foreigners were waiting outside, and when the door was
opened they forced their way in amongst our party, although we had never
seen them before. Each one of them was armed with a kodak, and, when in
the throne room, a boy of their party was detected by an attendant
taking an ornament. We requested the Chinese to allow our party to go
alone, so that we would not be blamed for the misdeeds of others.
In the evening we
attended a reception of the Legation, given by Minister Calhoun in our
honor, at which all Americans in the vicinity were present. Later, the
same evening, we went to a banquet given by the Press Club of Peking
where there were about sixty foreigners and Chinese present.
On Saturday, the men of
our party were invited to the Imperial Palace, in the Forbidden City, to
be received by the Prince Regent. We drove in carriages to the palace
court, as near as carriages art: permitted to go, then passed several
gates and courtyards before we came to the reception room, where we were
received by the court officials, and wine and cake served. From here, we
marched two abreast to the Court room, through two gates, and across
courts paved with large, flat stones.
The throne room was
small, and at one end was the throne chair on a raised platform. We
lined up i" front of the platform; our Minister, Mr. Calhoun, and Dr.
Tenry as interpreter, stood in front of the line, and in a few minutes,
the Prince Regent entered by a door leading to the back of the platform,
which was closed by a curiam. One attendant held the curtain back so His
Highness could enter, and another followed him. one standing at each
side during the conference, which was carried on by Mr. Calhoun and the
Prince. He inquired if we had been well received and if we were pleased
with our visit.
Mr. Calhoun explained
that our visit was strictly on business and had no political bearing;
that we were just ordinary business men from the Pacific Coast desiring
to increase the trade and commerce between the two nations, and create a
stronger bond of friendship between China and the United States. The
audience lasted about ten minutes, after which the Prince retired and we
filed out. We learned that we must not turn our backs on him, hence his
leaving first. There were twenty-six in our party, this being the
largest number that has ever been granted an audience, and this is the
first tune that ordinary business men have been presented to the Chinese
Throne. We returned to the reception hall where we sat down to a
luncheon, and had an interesting unofficial talk with the officials on
subjects political and commercial.
We then proceeded to the
Foreign Office, to a formal luncheon, where we were received by the
various Ministers representing the different boards. 1 sat with the
Minister of Communications and Mr. Liang, who really runs the bureau,
and had a two-hour interesting talk with '"m on the railways of China, a
subject in which I am very much interested.
In the early evening,
Ambassador and Mrs. Calhoun entertained us at a reception at the
Embassy, and later we were given a banquet at the hotel by the
Sunday, we tried to keep
free, but the Chinese would not have it, inviting us to an elaborate
luncheon at the Botanical Gardens. Large tables were placed in four
rooms, and about two hundred sat down. After luncheon the guests were
taken around the gardens in chairs and rickshaws. My old friend, His
Excellency. Shen Kung Poa. requested me to remain and meet the Ministers
of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Communications. We had a conference
which lasted until 5 o'clock. Our conversation was mostly general,
including international affairs, commercial, railroads and finance. In
the evening we were entertained at a beautifully decorated banquet,
given by the Chamber of Commerce.
We left for Tientsin the
next morning on a special train provided by the Government, which
included all their best carriages, even one used by the late Empress
Dowager. We were received at Tientsin by officials and merchants,
PRIIVATE CAR OF THE LATE EMPRESS DOWAGER OF CHINA ATTACHED TO TRAIN OF
and carriages were
provided to drive us to the hotel. The afternoon was spent in visiting
the schools and museum. The manual training school was most interesting,
showing what work is being done with outcasts in teaching them trades.
The result of their work pays the running of the institution. At 6:30
o'clock we were driven to the Viceroy's yamen where an elaborate banquet
was prepared for us. The room easily accommodated the two hundred
guests. It was thirty feet high, and other rooms, with floors raised
four feet, open on the main hall and surround it on three sides. These
rooms are all beautifully furnished with Brussels carpets and Chinese
decorations, blending old and new China. As the Viceroy of Chili
Province is the ranking Viceroy, he was the most important personage we
met outside of Peking. Li Hung Chang and Yuen Shai Kai, each occupied
his place in their day. They were two of the most distinguished of
China's great men. As we drove into the court, great numbers of soldiers
lined the way and presented arms. A military brass band was in
attendance, making it a very grand affair. The banquet hall was gaily
decorated with flags and flowers. The dinner took three hours to serve,
as is usual with great Chinese dinners, and the speeches were
congratulatory and of welcome.
The next morning we
visited the university, and at noon had luncheon at Li Hung Chang's
In the evening we went to
a banquet given by Mr. Sun. One feature of this function was the
illumination of the grounds, which consisted of differently colored
incandescent lights placed in rows about two feet apart, on each side of
all the walks. The Government had given him a number of soldiers as a
guard of honor, in addition to a military band.
Wednesday, we left on a
special train to visit the Tongslian coal mine, belonging to the Chinese
Engineering & Mining Company, which ;s a modern, up-to-date and well
equipped mine of soft coal. In all the shops and mines there is not a
piece of American machinery, it all being of Belgian manufacture. They
have installed great electrical plants, and as it is conceded that the
American installation is the best, it would only have required a good,
practical man to be on the spot to have gotten that business. We also
visited a cement plant entirely fitted out with Belgian machinery. At
present this district vies with Hankow as to which will be the great
industrial center of China. Tien tsin, however, has an eighty mile rail
haul either to Tongku or Chinwangtao, and this latter port must be
deepened and extended before it can become one of the great ports of
China. At present a steamer can load to twenty-two feet, but this can
only be done by working her at high water. However, as the bottom is
very soft and easily dredged, this is not a serious matter. As this is
the only ice free port on the north side of the Gulf of Pechili it is of
great importance to the Chinese Government; in fact, to all people doing
business in Northern China.
As to the future
prospects of this district, it is not difficult to predict that they
will be great. Iron has been found eight miles from the coal mines, and
if it proves to be of any great extent or value, Tientsin will be a
great rival of Hankow. The conditions are ideal for development as the
country is perfectly level and railroads can be built at a minimum cost.
On returning to Tientsin,
my business friends had a private dinner ready for us. The party
consisted only of those interested in business, six Chinese ladies and
Mrs. Dollar also being present. At midnight we went aboard the steamer "Hsing
Ming," and sailed for Chefoo.
CHEFOO, FOOCHOW AND AMOY
At Chefoo they had made
great preparations to receive our party. Two Chinese cruisers and
several launches were bedecked with flags. At the landing, evergreens
and flags were in evidence, and a long, double row of soldiers presented
arms as we drove through their ranks in rickshaws. We had a conference
with business men lasting most of the afternoon. All matters of
commercial interest to both countries were discussed. We found trade had
decreased here, and our share of it had fallen off more than that of any
other nation. Without railroad communication to the interior, general
trade will decrease still more, as the Germans from Tsingtau. through
their railway communications, are cutting into this trade and the
Tsingtau trade is increasing rapidly.
At 5 o'clock in the
afternoon we had a reception at the American Consulate, which was a
friendly and informal affair, and from there went to a banquet. We
sailed at midnight for Foochow.
We were due to arrive at
Foochow in the morning, but were delayed. When we got in, we learned
that a reception committee had been waiting for hours, with house-boats
and tugs. We went directly to a banquet which had been prepared for us.
The streets were crowded with people, and we had barely enough room to
pass in our chairs. One noticeable feature, was the number of small
school children dressed in white, every other one having an American and
a Chinese flag, alternately.
When the banquet was over
at 1 o'clock in the morning, we were surprised to find the children
still lined up to see us pass out to the various private houses to which
we had been assigned, and where our kind hosts made us as comfortable as
if we had been at home. There were one hundred and thirty present at the
banquet, which was headed by Viceroy Sung of Fukien and Chekang
Provinces. The Tartar General Pu was at the table. It appears the Prince
Regent was not very sure of the loyalty of the people, and sent the
Tartar General here, as he is said to be over the Viceroy. There were a
number of officials, some merchants, and some from the Provincial
Assembly. We found the members of the Assembly always glad to receive
ideas from us, as their legislature is in its formative state and there
are many perplexing questions arising.
I find in this city, as
in all other important cities, that there is a Japanese daily newspaper
printed in Chinese, which is moulding the minds of the people in the
As usual in Chinese
rivers, the Min River was full of boats, junks and other craft. We met
many rafts of poles coming down. These poles, it is said, take about
fifteen years to grow, and there is continual reforesting going on. The
poles are all carried out of the woods on men's shoulders to the river,
where the rafts are made and floated to Pagoda anchorage, from distances
of eighty to one hundred and eighty miles, where they are loaded in
junks and shipped to all Chinese ports. They go by the name of Foochow
pules. It is difficult to estimate the extent of this trade, but it must
run into hundreds of million pieces each year. The fir of the Pacific
Coast feels this competition keenly. Going up the Min River from the
ocean to Foochow, something over thirty miles, is one of the most
picturesque sails in China, and was very much appreciated by our party.
At Amoy, a reception
committee came aboard and escorted us ashore, where a number of Chinese
merchants were waiting to escort us to the Bank of Communication, where
we were served with refreshments and an informal reception was enjoyed.
Thence, we were conducted to the Chamber of Commerce, and were formally
introduced to a number of the members.
We then returned to the
river, passing great crowds along the streets, and went aboard a tug
which took us to the limits of the harbor, thence we proceeded a quarter
of a mile on land to the Nan Pu Temple, one of the most celebrated in
China, which was rebuilt about four hundred years ago. A luncheon was
served here by the Chamber of Commerce. at which Taotai Kno and Major
General Hung participated. A feature at this luncheon was the presence
of a number of retired Chinese merchants from the Philippine Islands.
One of them had lived in Manila for fifty years.
This was the first city
that brought the immigration question to our notice. They claim, that as
n San Francisco, the Chinese are now suffering in Manila from the
mal-administration of the law. It was temporarily passed over by the
statement that the Commission was going to Manila, and would
investigate. No doubt this is only a commencement of what we will hear
in Canton. An inscription was cut in a huge rock at the temple,
commemorating the visit of the American fleet, and alongside of it a
place had been prepared to commemorate our visit. Consul General Julian
M. Arnhold did his utmost to make our visit to Annoy pleasant and
A JUNK UNDER SAIL LOADED WITH FOOCHOW POLES
Deck Loads Often Extend Twenty-five Feet on Either Side, the Cargo
Dipping into the Water
We arrived at Hong Kong
in the evening and sailed for Canton the next morning on the steamer "On
Lee," which was put at our disposal by her Chinese owners. We landed at
the Admiralty building, which had just been completed. It is a fine,
large, modern structure for headquarters of the navy in Southern China,
2nd is located fifteen miles from Canton. We were met by a gunboat—the
Captain bringing us a message from the Admiral giving us the freedom of
the port and welcoming us to Cantor. This gunboat convoyed us to Canton.
On nearing the city, we
could see the illumination, and as we got close enough we found it to be
the finest of the many good illuminations we have seer, since our
arrival in China. Both electricity and lanterns were in evidence. On
landing, a great many troops were drawn up in lines on both sides, and
as we marched through their ranks, they presented arms, the bands
striking up American tunes.
We were met by a
representative of the Viceroy, who, unfortunately, was confined to h-'s
bed. The Tartar General, Admiral Li, Taotais and representatives of the
Chamber of Commerce were all in line to receive us, so we felt at ease,
as we had been a little anxious on account of the immigration and
boycott troubles. About one hundred and fifty sat down to the banquet,
where short addresses only were made.
Two gunboats took us to
the hotel in the. shameen (island) where we arrived shortly after
midnight. The next morning we visited the temple of five hundred gem1',
where Marco Polo has a very prominent seat. We then visited the
ancestral temple of the Chan -family, where we had a two-hour conference
with Canton merchants and where a luncheon was served. This is one of
the most beautiful temples in China, and with the added decorations it
was a grand sight. Mr. Waldron. of Honolulu, replied to the Chamber of
Commerce address of welcome, and I gave an address on the question that
most interested the Cantonese, immigration into the United States.
Mr. Ng Poon Chew, of San
Francisco, interpreted it in his usual able manner, which brought forth
great applause from the Chinese audience. On account of the size of the
hall and the great height of the roof it was difficult to talk, hut I
got the audience to gather close round and all beard very distinctly.
From what we could learn from the Chinese, they were quite satisfied
with my explanation, and it disposed of the subject. Following is my
This is the question of
questions before the Chinese and American people. It is many sided, and
has its wrongs and its rights on both sides. As to the treaty itself,
which is the foundation of the relations between the two countries,
talking for the American side, we have this to say, that: inasmuch as it
will be up for revision in a short time between our governments, and
seeing that at that time it will be left to the diplomats of both
nations to decide what is the best for both countries, we are quite
willing to leave the entire matter in the hands of the distinguished
Chinese an<] Americans who will be chosen by our respective governments
to make a just and suitable settlement of all the points at issue.
Therefore, we think it would be out of place at the present time to
discuss this phase of the question.
As to the treatment of
the Chinese in San Francisco who are entitled to land, this matter has
not been ignored or neglected by our people. Three months ago a
committee of fair-minded men were appointed, three by the Merchants
Exchange and three by the Chamber of Commerce, and a thorough
investigation was made. I devoted a week of my time to this work, being
Chairman of the committee. I felt in undertaking this work that the
Chinese were not being properly treated. I cannot do better than read my
report of the committee, which was sent to the Commissioner of
Immigration, the Secretary of State and to the President :
"We interviewed the
Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Six Companies, the Chinese daily
newspaper, and Chinese merchants, and on the other side we had
conferences with H. North, Commissioner of Immigration, and several of
the immigration officials; and finally we spent a day meeting the "C'hiyo
Maru" and another steamer, to see what sort of reception the Chinese
had. We followed them to the station at Angel Island, where we saw the
passengers examined, and through the courtesy of the officials were
shown through the entire buildings and plant, and were given every
facility to see the treatment of the Chinese in every stage of the
examinations, and the manner of their treatment before and after
deportation. After an impartial consideration of both sides of the
question, we find that cause for complaint exists to some extent, but on
the whole it has been exaggerated.
"We found the
examinations to be unreasonably severe, and to answer the questions
asked, correctly, was an impossibility, and as the applicants have to
prove their own case (in criminal cases the criminal is considered
innocent until he. is proven guilty—here he is considered guilty until
he proves himself entitled to land), their own evidence, if taken
literally and compared with the witnesses, would be sufficient to
exclude even- man, woman and child from landing.
"For instance: the eight
or ten-year-old son of a merchant is asked his grandmother's maiden name
on both his father's and mother's side, the names of people living a
block or two distant from his home, their children's names, age, sex,
etc. Then the father, who has not been home for years, is asked to
corroborate his son's statement, which is simply impossible.
"We find those attempting
to land have great difficulty in getting witnesses to go to the station
to testify. One young man, a native son, had been two weeks waiting. The
witnesses arrived when we were there, so he would have no trouble in
landing. This refers only to those witnesses who live around the bay.
But many arrive whose witnesses live in distant States. The papers in
their case have to be forwarded to the representative of the bureau
nearest to where the witness lives, and in the event of change of
residence or pressure of business of the official, it makes it a very
long and tedious wait. The system of examining the witness is so
complicated it seems to us that it is impossible for any person to enter
who :s not entitled to.
"The buildings, manner of
caring for and feeding the immigrants are all that could be desired, and
in justice to those in charge we congratulate them on the conditions as
we found them.
"We were informed that
those arriving in the first-class cabin had their examination commence
at Meiggs' Wharf, which was completed as soon as possible, so that they
had no delay in landing, and not one in a hundred was detained. The
Chinese have furnished us with details of forty-five cases, all during
1910. Some of them look bad for the officials, but as we only got the
Chinese version and not the inspectors,' we do not think it fair to
comment on them, but for the sake of commercial good-will and justice we
think the Government should investigate. If they desire it, we would
give them the numbers of the cases, and in the meantime our consuls
should be requested to allay the irritation in China, assuring merchants
and students who are entitled to land that they will be allowed to land
without any indignities being offered them, and that the department will
see to it that instructions are carried out, not in letter only, but in
spirit. Iu view of the fact that a large number of our most influential
merchants leave this Coast to visit China next month, we consider the
foregoing important. We ask justice and a square deal for those who are
entitled to land, the same treatment they give us in landing in China.
"We offer the following
"First—That a more
reasonable and rational method of questioning be adopted.
witnesses, white or Chinese, who live in San Francisco or neighboring
towns, be examined in San Francisco, as a witness who has no particular
interest in the person, might go to testify in San Francisco, but would
refuse to go to the island, especially as it often happens the case
would not be reached the first day the witness went, thereby
necessitating his making two or more trips.
be expedited by sending for witnesses, as the party being locked up has
not the means of getting them."
I think that the Chinese
should be examined in Canton or Shanghai by the Taotai and a proper
American Government officer, whose certificate shall be final, and any
person having that certificate should be allowed to land without further
examination. I cannot, however, caution you too strongly to have your
Government officials see to it that no fraud is perpetrated, as the
fraudulent certificates issued some years ago by corrupt Chinese
officials and certified to by mercenary American Consuls, who, along
with their interpreters, all got suddenly rich, were the cause of all
the present trouble.
On my visit to Angel
Island I saw several Chinese women that had been brought over by the-*'-
owners for immoral purposes. They were caught and ordered deported. No
doubt they were brought from China through the connivance of our
officials who would receive money if they landed. It has become a
notorious fact that the wives of merchants have trouble in landing,
while women of other classes have, in too many cases, no trouble getting
ashore. The Chinese can have no complaint against the exclusion of this
class, as our laws prohibit their importation from any country. I saw
some white women among the Chinese who had been ordered deported. In the
cases of bona fide students—for some time past none have been refused
admittance. Many are going from Shanghai, and there has beer, no
trouble. The Young Men's Christian Association there writes to the
Association in San Francisco, and a paid representative goes to meet the
immigrant on the steamer and gives him all the assistance required. This
information is no hearsay, as I have given it my personal attention
In conclusion, I
earnestly ask you to stop the fraud at your end and w e will co our
utmost to see that it is stopped at our end, and that any Chinese who
are entitled to land shall be landed, without delay or any indignities
being offered to them.
After the luncheon chairs
conveyed us to the terminus of the Hankow-Canton Railways where we were
ferried across the river to the terminus of the Fatshan Railroad at Shek
Wai Tong, where a special train was in waiting to convey us to the end
of the line The cars and all the stations were decorated, and
firecrackers were set off at every station as we passed.
At Fatshan a building had
been erected and neatly ornamented specially for us to take tea in. For
such a short visit it appears incredible that they should have expended
so much money. The crowd was so great it was with difficulty that the
soldiers were able to keep the way clear for us and the locomotive had
to go slowly in leaving to avoid running over people. We got back to the
hotel in the early evening. A gunboat was sent to take us from the
railway to the shaineen.
Sunday, the Tartar
General's wife and Admiral Li's wife gave a special reception and tea to
our ladies. This was unique, as such an affair had never been given
before. The men were also invited to meet the officials, but there was
no mixing of the men and women as it would have been too radical.
However, we were very glad of even this break in old- time Chinese
etiquette, in that the highest class ladies should meet the ladies of
our party. Two of the Chinese ladies wore the Manchu head dress, which
showed up conspicuously over the head dresses of the other Chinese
In the evening we
attended church in the Medical College, a small room, but packed full of
Europeans. After the service, we had dinner at Dr. Todd's home where we
met some of the missionaries, amongst them. Miss Noyes, who had put in
over forty-two years in educational work at the boarding school. In this
compound there were two hundred and sixty girls, from seven to twenty
years of age. They have graduates at work in almost every province in
China. We also visited Dr. Noyes' school and Theological Seminary at
Fati, across the river from Canton, where they have thirty-two men in
various stages of educational advancement
Many ministers and
teachers have gone out from these institutions.
The next morning I
visited the Canton Christian College, four miles down the river, on the
Elunan Island side. They have a big tract of land, and with the.
buildings they have and those under way, they will be well equipped. The
Chinese merchants are erecting two dormitories, and money is coming from
America for houses for the teachers. The fees from tuition pay the
expenses with the exception of the European teachers.
From the college, I
joined the party at the Provincial Assembly building, which has just
been completed. The members gave us a luncheon. This being the last
public function we will attend in our official capacity, Mr. Booth said
it was fitting that, as I had had the first word in the inception of
this trip that I also should have the last. So he called on me to say a
few words to the Assembly which were as follows:
First, I wish to thank my
fellow Commissioners for giving me the privilege of saying the last
word. Two years ago I took the liberty of saying the first word to the
President of the Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, which resulted in
asking the Canton and other Chambers of Commerce to join in inviting us
to visit you. That invitation stated the object of our visit: First, to
create a better feeling of friendship between the two nations, and
second, to increase trade and commerce between us. While I appreciate
that I am addressing a legislative body, we are here strictly in
accordance with the invitation, as commercial men and not politicians,
and we wish to make this plain to you as we did to His Highness, the
Prince Regent, and to all who have entertained us.
We feel sure that the
first part of our invitation has been accomplished, as no party of
purely business men has ever had such a reception ;n the history of the
world, not merely from merchants and officials, but what we consider the
most significant, has been the reception from all classes. This has
convinced us that from the highest to the lowest our reception has been
sincere, and from the heart.
As to the second part of
the invitation—this will require time to develop, as trade aud commerce
grow slowly, but. on our return to America, we will endeavor to interest
our merchants to visit China with a view to extending their trade. And
we would especially ask your merchants to visit our country, with the
object of extending their dealings with us.
In conclusion, w e say to
you that we will take home the most pleasant recollections of our visit,
which will last as long as we live. We feel, that what you have done,
has not been for us as individuals, nor even as representatives of the
Pacific Coast, but as representatives of the United States of America,
of which we are the humble representatives. We all unite in the
confidence that peace, harmony and goodwill shall ever remain between
China and the United States of America
We returned to Hong Kong
the following day, and were invited by the Chinese Young Men's Christian
Association to a reception at its rooms, which would have been a very
pleasant affair, had not the immigration question again been brought up
by the President of the Merchants' Association. Air. Booth replied that
at Canton I had gone fully into that subject, and as my address had been
published both in English and Chinese, he referred them to our statement
as printed, as this represented fully the views of all the
Commissioners. As far as we were concerned, this ended the discussion.
The President of the
Young Men's Christian Association gave a fine account of the progress of
the Association There are over two hundred members, and their rooms are
entirely too small as the membership is increasing daily. The day
following our visit they received a cable from New York, stating that
they would be given $75,000.00, if the Chinese would give $25,000.00 to
make up $100,000.00. Immediately, acceptance was wired, and the
directors present subscribed $13,000.00 on the spot, so Hong Kong will
get a fine, new, modern Y. M. C. A. building. This being a British
colony, it seems remarkable that the money should come from America. Not
only here, but in the various large cities of China, the money to make
Y. M. C. A. work possible has come from America. (A fine new building
has since been erected.)
A SPECIAL BUILDING WAS ERECTED AT FATSHAN, NEAR CANTON. IN WHICH TO
ENTERTAIN THE COMMISSIONERS
The next evening we went
to a banquet given by Chin Gee Kee, who is the head of the Sun Min
Railroad on West River. He lived in America for forty years, and raised
all the money to build the Sun Min Railroad >n America, in his dealings
with the Chinese there. No Europeans have had anything to do with it,
either financing or operating. All our Commissioners were present at
this banquet. Ng Peon Choo delivered one of his characteristic speeches
that brought the house down with applause.
Now that the trip, or
rather the visit, is over, we can sum up the results. First, as to
creating a better feding of friendship between the two nations. This has
certainly been accomplished, as it would have been impossible for any
body of men to have given us the reception we received all over China,
unless they were extremely friendly to us as Americans and represented
our country. And while our trip was commercial and not political. we
could see a great deal of the latter injected into it by our hosts, at
the different cities we visited, and the great international game that
is being played in Peking, in which America for the first tune seems to
be taking an important part. It looks as if our visit at this critical
time was opportune and of great benefit and advantage to our country
politically, although :t was not so intended. What we have accomplished
cannot be told at present as it will take time to develop. We have
learned, however, that our success in developing trade will depend to a
great extent on our ability to interest our merchants at home in this
trade, which can only be increased and developed by either the
principals or their best men personally investigating. No other way will
ever produce great results. We are all satisfied that by this method a
great expansion of our commerce can be secured both in imports and
exports. It appears as though our exports will demand more effort, as
European competition is very keen, but we have met nothing to discourage
us and a great deal to encourage us toward accomplishing the desired
At the last meeting we
had in Hong Kong, they put the question to the entire membership to
express their opinion as to missions and missionaries in China. (In
starting out it was the general opinion that missions and missionaries
were a detriment to the commercial interests of America and China.) At
this meeting I stated to them, that as they had seen the missions and
missionaries and had learned a great deal of the commercial interests of
China, I would like very much to have them express an opinion.
A motion was introduced
and unanimously carried, that the missionaries were of great commercial
importance to China; in fact, without them it would have been impossible
to have obtained the results, commercially, that we have obtained.
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