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At Point Lobos and Huanillos the same phenomena were experienced and with equal force. Great damage was suffered among the shipping, and part of the town of Huanillos was swept away.

At Point Lobos, the American ship Shamrock and an Italian vessel foundered; and at Huanillos, the English ships Avonmore, Conference, and Conway Castle, and the American ship Geneva suffered a like fate. Several lives were lost, among them the wife and family of the captain of the Avonmore and the captain of the English bark Arctic. The earth cracked in many places near Huanillos. A peculiar blue fire flashed on the hills, and a strong sulphurous smell prevailed, which caused a fear that the atmosphere might be destroyed, and greatly added to the terrors of the people.

Toward the south the violence of the quake and wave gradually diminished. At one or two points in Bolivia, I learn, some damage resulted. At Valparaiso the shock was comparatively slight, and no loss was occasioned by it.

I have, &c.,


No. 73.

Mr. Osborn to Mr. Evarts.

No. 44.]


Santiago, Chili, June 5, 1878. (Received July 15.) SIR: Congress was formally opened in regular session on the 1st instant. As is the custom, the President of the republic read his message in person to both houses of the National Assembly. Having been honored with an invitation from the minister of foreign relations to be present on the occasion, I attended the opening and witnessed the ceremony.

Inclosed you will find a copy of the message in Spanish, as also a faithful synopsis in English. This synopsis is all that has been published here in the English language, but it is so complete, that I have deemed it unnecessary to cause the message to be translated entire.

The message is a plain statement of the condition of the country as it appears on the surface, but it fails, in my judgment, to meet the necessities of the hour. It shows a prostration of business and a vast decrease of commerce; a diminution of the public revenues and an increase of the public debt; and yet, to my mind, it points out no adequate remedy for these evils. True, it proposes, with a view of creating additional revenues, an increase of the duties on imports and the creation of a light income tax; but these, even if they should be accepted by Congress, would prove inadequate, I fear, to the necessities of the country, and could not but fail, I judge, to accomplish the purposes desired.

It is due to truth, however, that I should not allow this to go upon record without saying that there is in this country a universal sentiment in favor of meeting promptly, in good faith, the public obligations, and that, in my opinion, the interest and principal of the public debt will continue to be paid when due.

"Imports," says the President, "which in 1876 amounted to $35,291,041, fell off in 1877 to $29,279,113; and exports fell from $37,771,039 to $29,715,372, due to the low price of copper in Europe and the deficient harvest." Continuing, he says "the revenue has experienced the effects of the reduction of trade; the ordinary receipts last year being $13,701,794.65,

inferior to those of 1876 by $1,658,922.35, and the extraordinary to $4,977,172.02. The expenditure amounted to $20,463,685.73, or an excess over the revenue of $1,784,729, to which must be added $634,393.61 deficit standing over from 1876.”

It will be observed that the President announces that the dispute with the Argentine Government concerning their boundaries has not been definitely settled, from which you will understand that the treaty lately negotiated at Buenos Ayres, to which I referred in my dispatch No. 34, does not meet the approval of the Chilian Government. Of this I will write fully hereafter.

As soon as they shall assume tangible shape, I will inform you as to the proposed changes in the duties on imports.

I have, &c.,


[Inclosur in No. 44.-Translation.]


JUNE 1.-The ordinary session of Congress was opened to-day with the customary ceremonies. The President's message commenced with the announcement that the foreign relations of the republic are satisfactory; that no arrangement had been come to on the frontier question with the Argentine Republic, but that he hoped time would remove the obstacles which now prevent a settlement. The railway between Curicó, Los Angeles, and Angol was provisionally delivered to the state at the beginning of the current year, and its conclusion in a solid and permanent manner is desirable as early as possible, with which design the necessary plans and estimates are being prepared. The bill on the organization of the administration of the state railways is recommended to the consideration of Congress. The codes on civil and criminal judicial procedure are in an advanced state. Notwithstanding the lack of resources, public instruction is receiving the carefulest attention of government. Commerce last year suffered a notable diminution. Imports, which in 1876 amounted to $35,291,041, descended in 1877 to $29,279,113; and exports fell from $37,771,039 to $29,715,372-due to the low price of copper in Europe and the deficient harvest. These causes still continuing, much improvement cannot be looked for this year. The revenue has experienced the effects of the reduction in trade, the ordinary receipts last year being $13,701,794.65-inferior to those of 1876 by $1,658,922.35; and the extraordinary to $1,977,172.08. The expenditure amounted to $20,463,685.73, or an excess over the revenue of $1,784,729, to which must be added $634,393.61, deficit standing over from 1876. Reductions have been introduced into the expenditure as far as possible, but it must not be forgotten that economy has its limit, and the disorganization of the public service may be an evil of greater magnitude than additional taxation, even in the present hard times. For this reason the bills on the reform of the tariff, and the income tax, are recommended to the attention of Congress. The government has raised the loan of $3,000,000, which it was authorized to do to cover the deficit of last year, on advantageous conditions, and has satisfactorily settled the question respecting the admittance of bank-notes in the government offices. With the object of deciding the question of the mineral wealth of the desert of Atacama, an engineer was sent to make a detailed survey; his report, confirming many of the hopes entertained from previous explorations, will shortly be published. The advance of the Araucanian frontier is next alluded to, and the progress realized by the settlement of that region. The army is complimented on its efficiency and discipline, and the navy is maintained in as perfect a manner as the resources at disposal will admit. Some of the vessels have been laid up, and others, inadequate for the service, sold; the iron-clad Almirante Cochrane is shortly expected from England, whither she had been sent for repairs. The coast surveys are being continued successfully, and the fourth volume of the Anuario has recently been published, containing a report of the operations of that department. To improve the instruction of the officers of the navy, the government has obtained the admittance of some of them to vessels of the English, French, and German marine. The message concludes by an allusion to the difficulties existing with reference to the financial situation, and the hope that they will be overcome by the prudence and patriotism of the nation; and, in calling attention to the defects in the existing electoral law, recommends the careful study of the amendments that will be submitted to it during the present session of Congress.

No. 74.

Mr. Osborn to Mr. Evarts.

No. 66.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Santiago, Chili, October 24, 1878. (Received November 26.) SIR: In a recent Valparaiso newspaper I find published a letter and census report from J. R. McKoy, the chief magistrate of Pitcairn's Island. It was brought to Valparaiso by Rear-Admiral de Honey, of the British navy, who, with the naval ship Shah, recently touched at the island. This island was, it will be remembered, colonized in 1789 by nine mutineers from the British ship Bounty, who took with them from Tahiti nine native men and the same number of women. The mutineers took the women for wives, and the present population is descended from this union. The island was first known to be inhabited in 1808, when it was visited by Captain Folger, of Nantucket, while on a sealing voyage. They subsequently became too numerous for the resources of the island, and in 1856 one hundred and ninety-eight, constituting nearly the entire population, were transported to Norfolk Island. In 1859, some seventeen of these returned, and these, with the few that were left, formed the basis of the present population of ninety. They are said to be an honest people, of simple habits, and of earnest religious convictions.

I have, &c.,



No. 75.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Evarts.

No. 333.]

PEKING, September 22, 1877. (Received November 9.)

SIR: The consul at Canton, Mr. Lincoln, has lately addressed a dispatch to Mr. Campbell (No. 38, of August 14), in which he suggests that the circulation of the trade-dollar in this empire might be increased. The subject is of interest, and it seems to me desirable to take notice of his suggestions. These are contained, substantially, in two paragraphs of his dispatch:

1. If at Canton, where the subject has been brought to the attention of the authorities, and their action, in consequence, results in so increasing the circulation of the trade-dollar, why will not the same result be obtained by similar efforts in every province throughout the empire where foreign "coins" are in circulation?

2. I am also of opinion that the circulation would be considerably augmented, if the paymasters in our Asiatic squadron, and in fact our diplomatic and consular officers in China, were directed, when disposing of government drafts, to receive the trade instead of the Mexican dollars.

To the first suggestion I may say that Mexican dollars are in circulation at the ports of Canton, Swatow, Amoy, Foochow, Ningpo, and Shanghai, and trade-dollars at the ports named, Shanghai and Ningpo excepted. The ports of Canton and Swatow are within the jurisdiction of the viceroy of the Kwang provinces; those of Amoy, Foochow, and Ningpo fall within the view of the viceroy of Min-cheh, who is resident at Foochow. The proclamation referred to by Mr. Lincoln as having

been issued at Canton a few years ago, declaring that the trade-dollar is to be considered of a certain value and received in payment of customs dues, was repealed by the Foochow viceroy.

At all ports in China, Shanghai excepted, therefore, where dollars of any kind are in circulation, the value of the trade-dollar has been declared, and it is receivable for customs dues.

At Shanghai a special demand for the old Carolus and the Mexican dollars exists. They have become known in the great silk-producing district adjacent to the port, and are in demand at a premium which sometimes ranges as high as 5 per cent. for Mexican and 6 or 8 for Carolus dollars. They are never paid in at the customs at par, but they are received when tendered at the value of the day.

It has been hoped that the trade-dollar also would come to be accepted at Shanghai for more than its par or intrinsic value, and for this reason no proclamation declaring its value has been sought for, lest, as at Canton and in the south generally, this value should become its usual exchange value.

As Mexican and Carolus dollars have never come into use at the ports opened in 1861 (those on the Yang-tse and north of Shanghai), the chances for the trade-dollar at these points do not appear good.

The proposal that naval, diplomatic, and consular officers be instructed to receive trade-dollars when disposing of government drafts is hardly practical. Naval paymasters would be at a loss what to do with such money at many of the ports, and it would not be the "currency of the place" for any officers of the other services named, saving in a measure at the ports south of Shanghai and Ningpo.

I have never before heard that the new Mexican dollar" is minted at Birmingham.

The fact that our dollar is considerably undervalued at Canton has been heretofore commented upon by me. I shall bear the subject in mind in order to secure a correct valuation.

I have, &c.,


No. 76.

Mr. Evarts to Mr. Seward.

No. 199.]

SIR: Your dispatch No. 332, of the 22d September last, inclosing a copy of a letter from the consul-general at Shanghai, covering a circular addressed by the chairman of the chamber of commerce at that place to the ministers of the treaty powers on the Woosung Railway, advising them of the determination of the Chinese authorities to discontinue the use of the Woosung Railway, and requesting the exercise of their good offices with a view to the maintenance of the line, has been received.

In reply, I have to observe that it is deemed advisable, without ques tioning the right of discretion in the matter belonging to the Government of China, that you should take such steps as may appear proper, in concert with the representatives of other powers, to represent to the Chinese authorities, on the ground of public policy and convenience, the inexpediency of taking the course which they are understood to contemplate in reference to the Woosung Railroad.

I am, &c.,



Washington, November 14, 1877.

No. 77.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Evarts.

No. 365.]

UNITED STATES LEGATION, Peking, December 21, 1877. (Received February 25, 1878.) SIR: While at Shanghai, lately, I learned that the process of removing the Woosung Railway has been carried far toward completion. The engines had been taken to pieces, and the rails and ties put in store.

It was said by the Chinese authorities that the material would be transferred to Formosa, where an effort is being made to work coal-mines after foreign methods, and a disposition has been shown to introduce telegraphs and railways. It is very doubtful, however, whether the plan will be carried out. The promoters of progressive measures there have many difficulties to contend with, which may, more or less, defeat their objects; and indeed, the material in question is not well adapted for serious work. The governor of Fukein told Mr. Holcombe last summer that it would not answer his purposes.

Of course, a great deal of disappointment is felt at Shanghai in consequence of the policy pursued by the authorities. The railway was an accomplished fact, and it served greatly the convenience of both foreigners and natives. The latter in particular had occasion to use it, and had only good to say about it. It was promising to yield moderate dividends. It may be said, moreover, as I think, that the destruction of the line has disappointed many Chinese of the official class. The viceroy at Tientsin expressed himself to me on one occasion as favorably disposed to it, and the ministers of the Tsung-li Yamên once said to a foreign minister, "Why cannot you people start a failway at one of the ports?" Its projectors had much to hope for, indeed, in the general readiness of the Chinese to avail of improved methods, when once they are brought clearly before them, and from the quiet support of the class which is anxious to promote the development of material interests.

The projectors of the line were, indeed, so confident of the support of the authorities that they did not hesitate to apply to the customs to be allowed to land the material free from duty. It was three years from the time that the land was purchased before the iron was laid. The object in view was freely spoken of in the mean while, both among foreigners and natives, and no objections were made. I, myself, secured the punishment of certain Chinese who had assaulted one of our countrymen while prosecuting grading operations, and I urged my predecessor in office here to unite with his colleagues in bringing the business before the foreign office, in order to forestall opposition, should such spring up.

No one, perhaps, would have beeen so hopeful had the grave complication between Great Britain and China, growing out of the Yunnan difficulty, been anticipated. From the moment of its occurrence it was the policy of the Chinese Government to raise a counter grievance, and this had more to do with the hostility suddenly manifested against the railway than all other causes combined.

One cannot but feel great anxiety as to whether the experiment made at Shanghai will tend to retard the introduction of railways. I am disposed to think that, taken in all its bearings, it will do more good than evil, although, of course, the destruction of the railway is to be deplored. The effort made there, however, has demonstrated the fact that such works will be appreciated by the people, and that the unreasoning hostility toward them expected by many, is not likely to be developed.

Unfortunate, therefore, for the moment, as that experiment proved to be, we cannot regret that it was essayed.

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