Letter from Harriet to Father, October 11, 1883

noyes_c_cor_392.pdf

Dublin Core

Title

Letter from Harriet to Father, October 11, 1883

Subject

Sino-French War, 1884-1885; Christianity--China; Idols and images--Worship; Indemnity; Trials (Murder); Foreign visitors; Great Britain--colonies; Viceroys; China--Foreign relations--France

Description

Hattie thinks that it will be very sad if war outbreaks. It will be especially hard for Chinese Christians because of the local hostility to foreigners and their customs. Even though the papers published rumors of war with France, Harriet writes that war seems unlikely given the current peaceful atmosphere. Harriet mentions some unsettled matters such as indemnity for the loss of property in Shamin. Harriet gives examples of how the English adjust their rules according to what will benefit them. She also quotes a couple of examples that denote the flawed justice system and how it benefits foreigners, even when they are guilty. Harriet also writes about the violence and injustice involved in British colonialism.

Creator

Noyes, Harriet Newell

Source

The College of Wooster, Special Collections, Noyes Collection, Box #3

Publisher

Unpublished

Date

1883-10-11

Contributor

Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant

Format

PDF

Language

eng (English)

Type

Text

Identifier

noyes_c_cor_392

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

Canton China
Oct. 11th 1883
My dear Father,
We have just come
home from the meeting this
evening. Mr Henry led the
meeting and nearly all the
missionaries led in prayer.
It will seem very sad if war
with all its train of woes comes
upon this people, many of whom
seem so wretchedly uncomfortable
and miserable under the most
favorable circumstances. The
native Christians would probably
suffer very much for the large
number of people who are so
hostile to foreigners of course hate
most bitterly those of their people
who have accepted the foreigners
doctrine, and given up their
idol worship. It all seems so
quiet and peaceful now that
we can hardly realize that
there is danger of war The papers
tonight publish a rumor that
the negotiations for peace are
broken off between France &
China but it is very likely only

a rumor. Still no one can tell
how it will end. The matter of
indemnity for the loss of property
on Shamin is not settled yet nor
is the case of the watchman who
pushed the man into the river,
who was drowned the morning of
the riot. The Chinese were very
much dissatisfied in the verdict
at the trial of the man who
shot and killed one person and
wounded two others. The watchman
was a Portugese and employed
on an English steamer. The
Chinese claim that as he was
employed on a British steamer
it belongs to the English to
attend to the matter which
they decline to do. About
twenty years ago a Chinese
official went on board an
English vessel and arrested
some Chinaman. Then the
English claimed that any
one on a vessel carrying their
flag was under British protection
and the Chinese had no right to
touch him, and out of this
grew the war of [?'86?] or somewhere

about that time. Now that the
shoe is on the other foot they will
not admit that they have anything
to do with this man who was also
employed on an English
steamer. Many years ago six
English sailors went up the river a
few miles one Sabbath day and
went on shore near a village. They
met a man carrying a heavy load
on a narrow path and instead of
giving him the path pushed him
down the bank He struck the
man who pushed him with his carrying
pole and the sailor at once drew
his revolver and shot him. The
villagers ran to the rescue and in
the fight that ensued three were
killed and the other three taken
prisoner, and after a consultation
it was decided to kill them also.
As soon as the word came back to
Canton the foreigners demanded
"life for life" Two Chinese had
been killed in the fray and although
it was commenced by the foreigners
four men were given up and
without any trial beheaded.
Now an Englishman without
provocation and his very excuse
the very poor one that he had

been drinking and gambling all
night shoots three persons killing one
and when the Chinese claim "life
for life" the answer is very different.
Imprisonment for seven years and
probably shortened by one third.
I do not wonder that they fail
to see and understand the
justness of foreigners justice
It certainly seems a very poor
rule that does not work both
ways. Many years ago the English
Governor of Hong Kong came up one
day with several war vessels and
stationed them along the river at points
commanding the city and then
sent in an ultimatum to the Viceroy
that if the gates of the city were not
opened & foreigners allowed to go
everywhere at pleasure and if a
very eligible tract of country covered
with shops and residences was not
instantly vacated and given over
for the use of foreigners the city would
be bombarded the next morning at
eight-o-clock in the morning opening
fire. The barbarity of this demand
& threat can hardly be estimated
when it is remembered that the
city contained a million of inhabitants
and no time was allowed for even
the women & children to escape.
The viceroy of course was obliged to agree
to the demand in order to save such

[Continued vertically on the first page]
a wholesale destruction of life and property. Then they afterwards
convinced the
English that it
was really impossible
to yield to their
demands as the
Viceroy said he
could not possibly
undertake to protect
foreigners if they
at once commenced
to go inside
the city walls
So in the end
the demands
were withdrawn.
Well I have
filled my letter
with a little extract
from Dr Happer's
reminiscences of
early days in Canton
at the last Conference.
So now I must say
good night
Ever yr loving daughter
Harriet.

中国广东
1883年10月11日
我亲爱的父亲,
我们刚从会议回来。
/
Henry主持会议,
/
每个传教士轮流祈祷。
如果战争来了会很伤心,
人民会受苦
/
人民的生活已经很艰苦了。
/
本地基督徒可能受害最深
/
憎恨外国人的人也憎恨那些放弃本国宗教而拥护外国人宗教的中国人
/
/
/
/
/
眼下似乎很安静祥和,
很难想象战争的危险正在逼近。
/
/
/
报纸上有传言说中法和平谈判已经停止,
/
但这很可能只是谣言。
没有人知道它会如何结束。
/

建议对骚乱期间沙面的财产损失进行赔偿,
但是赔偿问题尚未解决。
/
还有一个问题是那个人在骚乱的早晨被推到河里淹死了
/
中国人对开枪杀一个人打伤两人的判决结果非常不满。
/
/
/
放哨是葡萄牙人
他受雇于英国轮船。
中国人声称,
因为他受雇于一艘英国轮船,
英国政府应该管理他的法庭案件。
但是英国人说他们不负责。
/
大约二十年前,
/
一名中国官员登上一艘英国船,
/
逮捕了一名中国公民。
/
但是英国人说任何在他们的一艘船上工作的人都受到英国的保护。
/
从此事件开始了第二次鸦片战争
/
/

既然这不符合他们的利益,
/
英国人不会承认他们船上雇佣的放哨有任何责任。
/
/
许多年前,
/
六名英国水手乘船顺河而上,
在一个村庄附近上岸。
/
他们看到一个人在狭窄的小路上扛着重物,
/
但他们没有屈服于他,
而是将他推下堤岸,
那人用他的杆子打水手,
水手拿出他的枪开枪打死了那个人。
村民们跑去帮助他,
在随后的战斗中杀死了三名水手,
并俘虏了另外三名船员,
经过一番辩论,
他们决定将这三个俘虏也杀了。
广州的外地人知道是怎么回事,
就要以血换血。
尽管冲突是外国人挑起的,
并且有两名中国人在冲突中丧生,
/
但仍有四名中国人被外国人逮捕并未经审判就被斩首。
/
现在英国人很虚伪,
不要认为这条规则不再适用
这名水手谋杀了一个人并射杀了另外两人

他很糟糕的借口是他一直在喝酒,
英国声称以血换血不再适用。
/
/
他们不会杀死凶手,
他们将监禁他七年,
但他们可能会将他的刑期缩短三分之一。
/
中国人认为外国人的“正义”观念不公平,这不足为奇。
/
法律不公平是不好的。
多年前,
英国驻港总督曾派军舰驻守广州沿岸
他试图恐吓总督,
他给总督下了最后通牒,
他说如果总督不满足他的要求,
他将在第二天早上八点攻城,
这些是他的要求:
应该允许外国人去他们选择的城市的任何地方,
此外,
/
应该立即腾出城市的一整段拥有漂亮商店和建筑的区域供外国人使用。
/
他说,
如果他们不立即这样做,
他会攻击他们。
/
这是一个如此野蛮的威胁,
/
尤其是考虑到城里有妇女和儿童来不及逃跑,
/
这座城市有数百万人将受苦。
为了拯救这座城市及其所有的人和财产,
/

总督不得不让步。
/
/
/
后来,
他们试图说服英国人,
不可能同意他们的要求,
因为一旦他们开始住在城墙内,
总督就无法保证每个外国人的安全。
/
/
/
/
最后,
要求被撤回。
/
我已经写好了我的信。
/
附上Happer医生早期在广州的回忆录的摘录
/
/
他在上次会议上介绍了这本回忆录。
/
现在我要说
晚安
您的女儿
Harriet.

Original Format

Letter

Citation

Noyes, Harriet Newell, “Letter from Harriet to Father, October 11, 1883,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed May 25, 2024, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/448.

Output Formats