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  • 발신자F. F. Low
  • 수신자H. Fish
  • 발송일1871년 7월 6일(음)
  • 수신일1871년 8월 21일(음)
  • 출전FRUS, 1871, China, pp. 142-9.
On BOARD UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP COLORADO,
Harbor of Chefoo, China, July 6, 1871 (Received August 21)

Sir:
 I have the honor to report my arrival at this port on the 5th instant, having left the anchorage near Boisée Island on the 3d. In my former dispatches I endeavored to furnish you with a succinct narrative of events as they occurred after my arrival and during my stay on the coast of Corea; the efforts that were made to carry out your instructions and provide some adequate measures for the safety and rescue of shipwrecked mariners; the reasons for the hostile action of the fleet against the Corean government, and the considerations which induced the admiral and myself to confine the operations of the Navy within the narrowest limits compatible with the honor of the Government of the United States; the safety of our people navigating these seas, and those residing upon Chinese soil. I now have to inform you that all my efforts failed to induce the government of Corea to enter into negotiations with a view to concluding a treaty, such as my instructions contemplated, or to discuss with me that or any other question. In concluding the history of these proceedings, I deem it not inappropriate to review the whole question of intercourse with Corea, in which the safety, welfare, and interests of the citizens and subjects of civilized and Christian governments are so largely involved; the attitude of the Corean government in the past, and the small probability of any voluntary change in the future. I also deem it proper to offer some observations, which may be of service to the Government of the United States in determining the proper course to be pursued to prevent the lives and property of our citizens from being sacrificed. Corea is now the only nation on the earth claiming to be civilized; that absolutely refuses to gold intercourse of any sort with the Christian countries of Europe and America. Up to within a few years Corea has attracted little notice; and it may be presumed that her isolated position and the reputed poverty of her people would continue to afford immunity, notwithstanding her exceptional attitude toward foreign nations, did not considerations of humanity dictate a different course. The opening and rapid increase of trade with Japan, China, and Russian Manchuria, which required vessels to skirt the coasts of Corea in their voyages, brought prominently into view the undesirability of allowing a country lying directly in the track of a great commerce, bounded on three sides by the sea, to remain with its coasts, outlying islands, and dangerous passages, totally unexplored. The Corean government would neither make these surveys itself, now allow other nations to do it without incurring great risk. The history of all attempts to survey the coasts and islands goes to show that every obstacle was thrown in the way by the officials and the people-objection being made to the landing of surveying parties to make astronomical observations, while the lives of those engaged in such work were endangered when these warnings were disregarded. The wreck and total destruction of several foreign vessels and their cargoes, during the past ten years, and the massacre by the native of the crew of one vessel certainly, and perhaps more, brought Corea into more general notice. The circumstances of the loss of the American schooner General Sherman, and the massacre of her crew, in 1866, are too well known to require mention of the details here.
 The United States steamer Wachusett visited the coast in 1867 to inquire into the circumstances, without obtaining any information whatever, and the visit, by direction of the admiral in command of the fleet in these seas, of the United States steamer Shenandoah, in 1868, resulted in obtaining statements from the Corean local officials in regard to it, the truth of which is not supported by other and more reliable testimony, which I have been able to obtain. The commander of the Shenandoah was prohibited from going to the spot where the Sherman was wrecked to make inquires and thus learn the real facts, and when her boats attempted to ascend the river they were fired upon from forts commanding its entrance, which compelled the vessel to return without obtaining further intelligence.
 During his stay Captain Febiger desired to correspond with the government in order to obtain an official explanation, but was informed that, as he did not come in obedience to the direct orders of the President, correspondence between him and the court could not be permitted. During the same year another American schooner, the Surprise, had been wrecked and become a total loss, but the officers and crew were safely sent through to China by land. This circumstance led many to believe in the truth of the stories told by the Corean official about the wanton acts of the persons on board the Sherman, which brought down the wrath of the people and caused the destruction of the vessel and those on board. This opinion was strengthened by a report which came to the consul-general at Shanghai concerning the anxiety of the Corean government in regard to the Sherman affair, and that it was proposed to send an embassy to the United States to explain the matter, a full account of which was embodied in his dispatches of 24th April, 1868, to the State Department. It is undoubtedly true that the recommendation of the consul-general, that an attempt be made to open negotiations with Corea, was based chiefly upon the information before referred to. It is also true, I suspect, that it was this intelligence more than anything else that led the Government to anticipate favorable results form the recent attempt at friendly negotiation. It is proper for me to say here that all my experience and information lead me to believe that the safety of the crew of the Surprise is due to the fact that the vessel was a total wreck, and therefore the crew could not, if spared, charge the government and people with robbery and plunder of their property, or cause their Government to make demands for redress and reparation, which would not have been the case with the other vessel. I also feel bound to say that the consul-general’s information fabricated, for ulterior and base purposes, the information embodied in the dispatches before referred to. There is no reason to suppose that it contained the least shadow of truth; on the contrary, the evidence is most conclusive that there never was any intention on the part of the government of Corea to offer an apology or afford the least reparation for what I am now convinced was a great outrage upon the persons and property of citizens of the United States. All the evidence obtainable goes to prove that the government of Corea was and is determined to maintain its original status — non-intercourse with any Western nation, and hostile resistance to all attempts of foreign governments to establish relations for whatever purpose.
 The considerations which induced the United States to send a special mission to Corea this year are of course more fully known to the Department than to me. It is sufficient for me to say that my instructions appeared to contemplate such action as would be likely to induce the government of Corea to agree to a treaty which would have for its chief if not only object the protection and rescue of the lives and property of mariners who might by misfortune be cast upon these shores. In accordance with the letter and spirit of these instructions I undertook to carry them out. No time was designated for carrying them out, this being left to the discretion of myself and the admiral of the fleet, who was directed to accompany me.
 Considerations affecting American interests in China, too important to be overlooked or disregarded, prevented an early compliance with the instructions; besides, I deemed it better to delay the matter until the Corean embassy should have visited Peking, which would afford the Chinese government an opportunity to explain the peaceful and humane purposes of the mission. In addition to this, I wrote a dispatch to the King of Corea, frankly explaining the purposes which I desired to accomplish, and giving assurances of our friendly disposition. To forward this letter to its destination, and make sure that it would reach the King of Corea, I sought and obtained the good offices of the Chinese government. To further guard against any question being raised which might furnish a pretext for declining to treat with me as the accredited agent of my government, I waited until I could receive a “full power” before starting on my mission. My previous dispatches will have made known to you the anxiety I felt in regard to the matter, and the scrupulous care taken to avoid, if possible, all chance of hostilities, unless forced upon us in a manner from which there would be no honorable escape. That hostilities did occur under circumstances exhibiting great treachery and wantonness you have been fully advised; and also of our failure to obtain any word of apology or regret, either from the government of the local officials. It is a noteworthy fact, which should be stated in this connection, that the copy of the letter form the court to the Peking government (see inclosure 5 in dispatch No. 74)Drew와 부평부사, 강화유수와의 ‘장대 서신’ 보고 was not sent to me until the 6th June, five days after the attack upon our vessels, although the fact of our presence on the coast was known at the capital several days prior to the arrival of the fleet at the anchorage near Boisée Island. From this circumstance it would appear that the government did not desire that any warning should be given of its hostile intentions; but as soon as defeat had, in their opinion, overtaken us, the copy of the letter was sent for my information. This view is supported by documents and official orders found in the captured forts on the 10th and 11th instants. Everything goes to prove that the government was anxious to entrap the vessels in a position where great damage could be inflicted without chance of escape. No intention was given in advance of their hostile intent, which would have put the vessels on their guard; on the contrary, the people who came to see us, upon being informed of the admiral’s intention to send out the surveying vessels, expressed no dissent, but rather gave tacit assurances of friendly treatment. Of the first attack, the delay afterward allowed the Coreans to afford and opportunity for apology and reparation, the efforts of both the admiral and myself to avoid further hostilities, with the reasons therefor, the engagement of the 10th and 11th June and the results, the attempt to open negotiations afterward, and the repeated refusal of the local authorities to forward my dispatch to the court, you will have learned from previous dispatches.
 In the opinion of the admiral his forces were insufficient to justify an attempt to reach the capital without great risk, and feeling confident that, unless this could be done, any advance would have no effect upon the government, further offensive movements seemed inexpedient. After waiting long enough to demonstrate the fact that there was no probability of the government responding to our overtures, I concluded to withdraw and submit the whole question to the President for his decision. Prior to leaving, I caused a dispatch to be sent to the prefect of Fu-Ping Fu, explaining the cause of my departure, copy of which you will find herewith. (Inclosure No.1)
 The delicate situation of affairs in China rendered great caution necessary in our proceedings. The news of a defeat of our arms in Corea would be spread throughout China, enlarged and embellished as orientals only can do, and would seriously injure our prestige and endanger our people residing there. This consideration alone would have led me to point out to the admiral the absolute necessity for the second attack.
 It appeared to me indispensable that the fleet should not leave Corea while there remained any reasonable grounds for the Government to believe that we had been defeated by force of arms. As I anticipated would be the case, the Coreans believed that we were defeated on the 1st of June, and so reported it to China. This news spread far and near, causing much excitement among the Chinese and great anxiety to foreigners.
 The same report was very likely sent to Europe and America by telegraph. It remains to be seen what form the native report of the second engagement will take. For the same reason I deemed it wise to exercise great caution after the events of the 10th and 11th of June. It did not seem prudent to take the risk of defeat, when any success we might probably achieve would not be likely to accomplish the main object for which I went.
 In view of these considerations, and the additional one that hostile operations against a foreign country should not, except under the most peculiar circumstances, admitting of no delay, be carried on without the express sanction of the Government, previously obtained, I concluded to pursue the course above indicated.
 Having exhausted the power in me vested by the instructions of the Department, it now remains for the Government of the United States to decide upon the policy to be pursued in the future. Having had the benefit of some personal experience, and an opportunity to gain considerable information, I deem it not inappropriate to submit some observations upon affairs in Corea, coupled with those in China.
 The two are so closely connected that in considering the one the other should not be lost sight of.
 So far as the object sought to be attained through the recent expedition to Corea is concerned, no question can, I imagine, be raised as to its importance, or the duty of the Government of the United States in connection therewith. The narrow limits within which I was instructed to confine negotiations clearly showed that it was not the intention of the United States to engage in any operations calculated to disturb the internal relations of Corea, or force upon her any agreement looking to trade. I indulged a hope that it would not be impossible to so impress government the duty of all nations to protect and succor their citizens and subjects wherever they may go in the prosecution of legalized commerce, that it would recognize the propriety of this, and agree to some fixed rule by which it could be done in Corea. I trusted that the objects sought might be gained without the use or even the display of force on either side. These overtures having been rejected in a peremptory, insulting, and hostile manner, no hope remains of accomplishing the result by peaceful means. It now becomes the duty of all civilized and Christian governments to carefully consider what their rights are, and their duty to their citizens and subjects when these tights are trampled upon by countries which reject and set at defiance the law of nations as well as the laws of humanity.
 It will hardly be contended, I imagine, that the natural law, or the right of self-preservation, will permit any nation occupying territory bordering upon the sea to so far exclude itself from all intercourse that it will neither adopt means to survey its coasts, islands, and channels, nor allow this to be done by others; nor is it consistent with the principles of humanity that an isolated nation shall be allowed to maltreat and massacre without question those whom the perils of the sea cast upon its shores.
 On the contrary, the sea is the great highway of nations, which no country is at liberty to obstruct with impunity, and where natural obstacles and dangers exist, all governments have a right to demand that they shall be clearly defined and marked, so that they may be avoided. It is also a right of all countries, which should be jealously guarded, to provide adequate means for the safety and protection of its mariners and the recovery of their property. This no nation can properly deny.
 That Corea will not voluntarily make any arrangements by which these rights can be secured is settled beyond a doubt. The question now is, whether western nations will permit this unhappy condition of things to continue, or whether active and efficient means will be adopted to correct existing evils. In determining a policy for the future, the influence which the attitude and action of Corea will exert upon China and Japan should not be lost fight of. This consideration engaged my serious attention from the moment your instructions reached me. The unhappy impression which the failure of the French expedition in 1866 created among the Chinese induced me to guard, as far as possible, against similar results in case we failed to accomplish the object sought. As an important step in this direction, I deemed it advisable to communicate to the Chinese government in substance what the mission was expected to accomplish, and also the spirit of amity and friendliness with which I was instructed to conduct all negotiations with Corea. It is not unlikely that my statement of the actual facts will be received and accepted as correct by the imperial government of China; that while we failed to accomplish what we had a right to hope for and expect in the matter of negotiations, we suffered no defeat at the hands of the Corean armies, but that, on the contrary, we inflicted great injury upon them for their unprovoked assault. But even if successful in this, it will exercise little influence upon the officials that are naturally inimical to foreigners, or the people.
 The Corean government will exult over the fact that it is able to keep foreign nations from entering its territory, and prevent their ministers from communicating with its high officers.
 This will react upon China, and prevent further concessions being made. It will also furnish additional arguments to the anti-foreign party, who insist upon the right and duty of China to expel all foreigners.
 Notwithstanding our significant military success, it may be doubted whether even the King of Corea is aware of the real facts in regard to the disaster to his arms. It is so manifestly the disposition and policy of oriental officials to misrepresent misfortunes when their reputation is involved, that the central government is rarely advised of the real truth. If I am correct in this supposition, it is not unlikely that the events of the 10th and 11th June were reported in China as Corean victories, and possibly to the King of Corea also. Nor will the Corean government be made to feel the force of foreign arms until the seat of government is menaced or occupied by foreign troops.
 As the case stands, foreign governments should decide either to let Corea alone, and allow her to burn, pillage, destroy, and massacre all that come within her reach without question or demand for redress, or organize and send such a force as will be able to insure success, without unnecessary risk, in breaking down the barriers that stand in the way of intercourse. No further efforts at conciliatory negotiation should be made, nor should mere demonstrations of force be attempted in the expectation that favorable results will follow.
 They will serve no useful purpose, and be likely to end in harm. Every fresh attempt and failure to accomplish practical results in Corea only tend to render the situation in China more insecure.
 With reference to the policy which western nations will sooner or later find it their duty to adopt toward Corea, I have decided opinions; and of the necessity for an early decision to prevent great disasters, I am profoundly impressed. Aside from the pressing necessity for immediate action to insure the rescue and protection of mariners, delay only renders the task more difficult of accomplishment. And every year that the Corean government is allowed to continue in its exclusiveness, increases the peril to the lives and property of foreign residents in China. If no adequate measures be taken to avert the impending storm in the East, the result will, I fear, be disastrous. I write this without haste or passion, guided solely by a sense of duty which cannot be overlooked or evaded. As is well known to the Department, I am opposed to making war upon Corea or any other country for the sole purpose of opening them to foreign trade, or extending it when once established. My opinions are based upon facts and considerations of greater importance than mere mercantile advantages, although these should not be overlooked by any government that desires to maintain an honorable and influential position among the nations of the earth. It may not be improper for me to remark in this connection that, in my opinion, the commercial advantages which Corea would offer, if opened to trade, have been greatly underestimated hitherto.
 In regard to the means necessary to reasonably assure success, should the united States conclude to continue in its efforts to bring Corea to terms, the reports of Admiral Rodgers to the Navy Department will furnish accurate and trustworthy data. All commercial nations holding intercourse with China and Japan are equally concerned with the United States in the proper solution of this question, and as the interests of all are so inseparably linked together in these countries, perhaps the objections to departing from the traditional policy which governs the united States respecting European affairs would not be found valid when applied to Corea.
 In intrusting me with this mission to Corea, you said: “The Department relies upon you, in fulfilling these instructions, to exercise prudence and discretion, to maintain firmly the right of the United States to have their seamen protected, to avoid a conflict by force unless it cannot be avoided without dishonor, and to seek in all proper ways the harmonious and friendly assistance of the Chinese government.”
 These instructions I have, to the best of my ability, endeavored to carry out, and I trust that my action may receive the approval of the President.
 I have, &c.,

FREDERICK F. LOW

 
별지 : No. 1
 
Edward B. Drew, acting secretary of legation, to Li, guardian general of Foo-Ping prefecture.조선 측과의 교섭 경과 정리

 
별지 : No. 2
 
[Telegram]

Corea, June 22
SECRETARY OF STATE, Washington

 Recent demonstration produced no effect upon negotiations. Nothing can be effected short of the capital. Force insufficient to go there without great risk. If peaceful means fail, shall withdraw and wait instructions.

LOW

True copy.
EDW’D B. DREW

 
이름
Febiger , Rodgers , Edward B. Drew
지명
Boisée Island , Corea , Corea , Corea , Japan , China , Russian Manchuria , Corea , China , Shanghai , the United States , Corea , the United States , Corea , China , Peking , Boisée Island , China , Corea , China , Corea , China , Europe , America , Corea , China , Corea , Corea , Corea , China , Japan , Corea , China , China , Corea , China , Corea , China , Corea , Corea , the united States , China , Japan , the United States , the united States , Corea , Corea
관서
the Corean government , the Government of the United States , the government of Corea , the Corean government , the Government of the United States , The Corean government , the Corean government , the State Department , the government of Corea , the government of Corea , the government of Corea , the Chinese government , the Chinese government , the Government of the United States , the Government of the United States , the Chinese government , The Corean government , the Corean government , the Corean government , the Navy Department , the Chinese government
기타
the King of Corea , the King of Corea , the Peking government , the King of Corea , the King of Corea

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