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Shanghai News Letter의 기사를 G. Seward가 작성한 혐의 밀보(密報)

 
  • 발신자F. F. Low
  • 수신자H. Fish
  • 발송일1871년 11월 25일(음)
  • 출전NA II, M92 R32
Legation of the United States
Peking, November 25, 1871

Sir:
 I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Department despatch No. 55 of the 21st of September.
 Before proceeding to give you the information desired, I beg to say that the chief object I had in view in bringing to your notice the editorial which appeared in the Shanghai News Letter was to refute the impressions reasonably deducible from it ― that the relations between myself and Admiral Rodgers were not agreeable, or that the article in question was promoted or approved of by him. My attention was first called to it by the Admiral who denounced it vigorously; and my despatch of July 18th조선 원정 관련 Shanghai News Letter 기사 보고 was written, more in deference to what I conceived to be the Admiral’s wishes than my own.
 In response to your suggestion that “the Department would be glad to know to whom rumor attributes the articles referred to in your despatch,” I have no hesitation in giving you the information asked for.
 It is so far as I know the general belief among our countrymen and foreigners generally, not only in Shanghai but at the other ports in China, and also in Japan, that Mr. Seward the Consul-General has practically the control of the paper in question, and, as a consequence that the criticisms upon and the innuendos and insinuations concerning the acts of the American Minister are either written by him or under his direction.
 That you may the better understand why such a belief is entertained so generally, something of the history of the paper referred to may be useful.
 The Shanghai News Letter was originally established by John Thorne, a broker, aided by the influence if not the pecuniary assistance of most of the American residents at Shanghai. About a year ago Mr. Thorne called a meeting of the more prominent of our countrymen resident there, and laid before them a statement of the financial condition of the paper, showing a loss since its establishment of something less than $2000. He then said that he could ill afford to publish the paper under such circumstances, and that unless some different arrangement could be made the paper would be discontinued. This resulted in raising by subscription an amount sufficient to reimburse Mr. Thorne for all losses incurred, and also in relieving him from responsibility of all kinds in connection with the paper. Mr. Thorne thereupon turned over the control to a committee of three, of which Mr. Seward was one, selected by the subscribers. This information was derived from Mr. Seward himself.
 In the succeeding number, Thorne, in a valedictory, announced his retirement but did not say into whose hands the control had passed; but in a small community like Shanghai such matters are discussed with freedom, and it is, and has been for months, as well known that Mr. Seward occupied a controlling position in connection with the paper as if his name appeared at the head of the columns; at least everyone believes such to be the case, of which Mr. Seward can hardly be ignorant. So notorious is it, that whenever the paper has been referred to in my presence, it has usually been denominated “Mr. Seward’s paper” or “Mr. Seward’s organ.” Hence when nearly every number contains uncomplimentary, if not uncourteous allusion to his superior officer, indicating that a persistent effort is being made to belittle him in public esteem, it is not surprising that their authorship should be attributed to Mr. Seward, or that his motives should be criticized in a manner uncomplimentary to an officer of the United States holding the position he does.
 That Mr. Seward was greatly disappointed in not being placed in charge of the Corean Expedition I was made aware of some time since; and I was not unprepared for severe if not unjust criticisms upon the Expedition from both his tongue and pen. But as his disappointment was caused primarily by the Department, of which I was entirely innocent, I must confess my surprise at finding the ungenerous allusions to it in that paper all directed at me.
 In this connection it may not be without interest for you to know what transpired with reference to this subject, when Mr. Seward and the Admiral were in Peking in company with the late Secretary of State.
 Mr. Seward first made known his disappointment to me then. He said the project of the Expedition to Corea was originally conceived and advocated by him, and complained that its management should not have been entrusted to his direction by the Department. He then proposed that I should decline to go and turn the whole thing over to him.
 In reply I said that while I was not over-anxious to undertake the task, it was not apparent that I possessed authority to delegate the powers given to me to another person. I told him, however, that before coming to a definite conclusion, I would consult the Admiral; for I thought it not impossible that the Admiral and Mr. Seward, both being in Washington when the expedition was decided upon, had some special understanding with the Government beyond the written instructions; otherwise it did not seem likely that Mr. Seward would have made the proposition he had. When the matter was mentioned to the Admiral, he replied by saying that the change was impracticable with his present instructions, which ordered him to convey me, and Mr. Seward if he would go, but that if I declined going he (the Admiral) would not go, nor would he send Mr. Seward in one of his ships. He further said that if the Department sent him new instructions they would be obeyed to the letter, but without them he could not go unless I accompanied him.
 When I communicated to Mr. Seward the result of my interview with the Admiral I said that as the instructions came to me unsolicited it did not seem proper for me to ask the Department to relieve me from the duty imposed by them, as it might be construed as an effort to shirk responsibility; but that as the Expedition would not start for some months, if he chose in the meantime to ask, and the Department concluded to change the arrangements so that they would be more in accordance with his wishes, I would not feel aggrieved or make complaint. If, however, no change occurred, he was informed that it would be agreeable to me to have him go with the Expedition, and hoped he would make it convenient to do so.
 In reply he said that it was his intention to accompany his uncle as far as India, and as matters stood it was doubtful he would return before the Expedition had started. As he did not go to India I naturally concluded that new instructions had been asked for, or if not that he would go with me.
 After his departure from Peking and until I went to Shanghai in the spring en route to Corea, he was kept fully advised in regard to what was being done about the Corean matter as well as everything else.
 When I reached Shanghai Mr. Seward announced to me his decision declining to go, and assigned as the reason that “I (he) do not think it possible for me to get along with the Admiral.” In the conversation that ensued his former complaints about not being assigned to the chief direction of the expedition were reiterated with considerable warmth, which led me to doubt whether the reason assigned for declining to go was the real or only one. He however disclaimed imputing any blame to me for his disappointment. The interview ended by my saying “I regret, Mr. Seward, and hope you will reconsider it before I am ready to start; if, however, you do not, I shall inform the Department that you decline to accompany me and leave you to furnish the reasons.
 In view of his great disappointment in not being designated to conduct negotiations with Corea, it is, perhaps, not to be wondered at that Mr. Seward can see nothing but errors in the actions of those who went, but if so, it is obvious that the Department has the exclusive right to his opinions upon that and all similar questions.
 But even if the Corean criticisms are in a measure explainable there is another which is not. I refer to the matter of filling the vacancy of Consul at Chefoo.
 As I advised you in my No. 76조선 원정 관련 Shanghai News Letter 기사 보고 when enclosing an extract from the “News Letter” Mr. Wilson was designated by Mr. Seward and the appointment made by me with his express approbation. A day or two before I left Shanghai for Corea I mentioned to him that Mr. Holmes had been recommended for the place, but as Mr. Wilson’s appointment had been sent to Peking to be notified to the Chinese Government it was beyond my power to make the change, even if thought advisable. I suggested however that if he thought it specially important to have Mr. Holmes instead of Mr. Wilson the former’s name could be sent to the Department for appointment. Mr. Seward replied that such a course would be unfair to Mr. Wilson, and that the matter had better be left as it then was. A short time after I had left Shanghai the editorial enclosed in my No. 76 appeared, and I have the most convincing proofs that it was written in the Consulate by one of Mr. Seward’s subordinates.
 In the foregoing I have confined myself to stating the rumors current not only at Shanghai but in other places, and reporting only such facts bearing upon the same as I feel positive about. Information that has come to me through private letters, the authors’ names of which I am not, without first obtaining their consent, at liberty to give, has been carefully excluded; nor have I thought it advisable to refer to the report that the letters that have appeared in the New York Herald from China, in which the Corean Expedition is discussed in language far from complimentary, originated in the U.S. Consulate General at Shanghai.
 In justice to myself, I deem it proper for me to say that I have no desire to detract from Mr. Seward’s reputation as an able and faithful public servant; nor will private grievances be allowed to interfere in any way with the public interest. Whatever may be my opinion with reference to his course, I have not deemed it of sufficient importance to ask for explanations; nor did I feel justified in making a formal representation of the matter to the Department in the absence of positive proofs, which under the circumstances are impossible to obtain. I was for a long time disinclined to credit the reports that came to me; nor is there now positive evidence that Mr. Seward writes the editorials for the “News Letter”; but the conviction is irresistibly forced upon me that his position in connection with the paper is such that nothing appears in it without his consent and approbation, and that much that is printed is written either by him or under his direction.
 The information, public and private, in the possession of the Department will, I doubt not, go far to confirm or refute the matter of the rumors current here; and if it be not asking too much I would be grateful if you would, without reserve, give me your opinions concerning this unpleasant subject.
 I will add that when Mr. Seward returned to China he had my entire confidence, and was treated with the greatest respect and consideration; even to sending him the more important of my despatches to the Department unsealed for his information; and I am not aware of having given him the least cause for offence in any way, except it be that I am occupying a post, unsolicited on my part, which he thinks could be more appropriately filled by him, and going, by your direction, to Corea when in Mr. Seward’s opinion he should have been sent instead.
 No one would be more gratified than myself to find that all these reports are without foundation; and if you should so conclude I have to request that this despatch may be considered and treated as confidential. If on the contrary you decide otherwise, it is at your disposal to do with as you deem proper.

I have the honor to be
Sir
Your obedient servant
Frederick F. Low

 
이름
Rodgers , Seward , Thorne , Thorne , Thorne , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward’s , Seward’s , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward , Seward , Wilson , Seward , Holmes , Wilson’s , Holmes , Wilson , Seward , Wilson , Seward’s , Seward’s , Seward , Seward , Seward’s
지명
Shanghai , China , Japan , Shanghai , Shanghai , the United States , Peking , Washington , Peking , Shanghai , Corea , Shanghai , Corea , Chefoo , Shanghai , Corea , Peking , Shanghai , Shanghai , China , Shanghai , Corea
관서
the Chinese Government

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