Citation
American engineer in China

Material Information

Title:
American engineer in China
Creator:
Parsons, William Barclay, 1859-1932
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
McClure, Phillips & Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
321 pages frontispiece, illustrations, folded map ; 20 cm
Materials:
Paper

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
China ( lcsh )
Railroads ( lcsh )
Railroads -- China ( lcsh )
Temporal Coverage:
- 1900
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- China
亚洲 -- 中国
亞洲 -- 中國
Coordinates:
35 x 103

Notes

General Note:
Contents: China -- American concession -- Hu-nan, the closed province of China -- My Chinese impressions -- Commerce and commercial relations -- Finances of China -- Inland communication -- Railways -- The yellow peril -- China in the twentieth century.
General Note:
This copy lacks fold out map
Statement of Responsibility:
by Wm. Barclay Parsons.

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS, University of London
Rights Management:
This item is licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial License. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms.
Resource Identifier:
3790534 ( OCLC )

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text


An American Engineer
in China


PRESENTED
to the
LIBRARY
of the
SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND
AFRICAN STUDIES
University of London
by
.China Association-..............................
..........................................1979...............................................................










An American Engineer
in China






The American Engineers in the Field


An
American Engineer
in China
By
Wm. Barclay Parsons
NEW YORK
McClure, Phillips & Co.
M C M


Copyright, 1900, by
McCLURE, PHILLIPS & CO.


11 Preface
THE following pages are designed to pre-
sent a view of China and the Chinese from
the stand-point of industrial development
as it exists at present and along the lines it is
likely to follow in the future. Such phases of
the Chinese question as the missionary problems,
and the causes and treatment of the recent politi-
cal disturbance, are left entirely to be dealt with
by others, as, likewise, are all matters of govern-
ment, internal and foreign politics, and personal
or national characteristics, except in so far as
they may come within the subject scope. In
the years 1898 and 1899 the author was in China,
under retainer of an American syndicate to ex-
amine, survey, and report on an extensive rail-
way enterprise, and the duties connected with
his professional work placed him in an excep-
tional position to study and observe this interest-
ing country and its people from a quite different
point of view from that taken by other writers.
The journey made in the course of the survey
had a special interest, in that it traversed Hu-nan,
that province of China of which the least was
known, and presented the opportunity, success-
fully availed of, to obtain an entrance to, and an


6
Preface
official recognition in, Chang-sha, the one large
city in China which hitherto had been closed to
foreigners. The author was accompanied by a
corps of engineers, consisting of Mr. R. C. Hunt,
Chief of Staff, and Messrs. A. E. Coulter, H. B.
Magor, W. K. Brice, and W. S. K. Wetmoreto
whom were added Mr. Charles Denby, Jr., as in-
terpreter and manager, and Dr. R. B. Jellison as
physician. Sheng Ta-jen, Director General of
Imperial Chinese Railways, kindly attached to
the party Mr. W. W. Rich, his consulting engineer,
and Woo Yung-fo, and Lo Kwok-shui, two of his
secretaries. The two last mentioned gentlemen
had been educated in the United States, the latter
as an engineer. They both had been recalled in
the midst of their collegiate studies, and subse-
quently Mr. Woo entered the Chinese navy,
where he served as flag-lieutenant to Captain
Lang, R.N., at that time acting as Chinese
Admiral. When Admiral Ting succeeded Cap-
tain Lang, Mr. Woo was transferred to the for-
mer's staff, and stood at the side of his chief in
the conning tower of the flag-ship in the famous
battle of the Ya-lu in the Japanese War.
The journey was not without its rough as well
as its interesting side, and was one of some con-
siderable personal risk. The party was accom-
panied by a large force of Chinese soldiers for


Preface
7
protection, Chinese officials to indicate its char-
acter, and a body of coolies acting as porters, for
all stores had to be carried. Provisions, except
eggs, fish, and fresh meat, were purchased before
starting in sufficient quantity to maintain the
party in the field for some months. The articles
mentioned above were obtained without trouble,
and usually as presents from the local officials, the
meats consisting of buffalo, sheep, goat, deer, wild
ducks and chicken.
The author desires to take this opportunity to
express his sense of personal obligation to Their
Excellencies: Sheng, the Director-General of Rail-
ways and Telegraphs, with whom the author was
necessarily brought into close contact; Chang
Chih-tung, the great central Viceroy, through
whose territory the survey was made; and ffu
Ting-fang, China's able representative in Wash-
ington ; to Mr. Conger, the United States Minister
at Peking, the latter particularly for such personal
aid as his official position permitted ; and to Mr.
John Goodnow, United States Consul-General
at Shanghai.
Part of the matter contained in this volume has
previously appeared in McCliirc s and Engineering
Magazines and Harper s Weekly, and is republished
through the courtesy of the respective editors,


8
Preface
although now entirely rewritten and enlarged.
All the illustrations are from photographs act-
ually taken on the expedition, and for the most
part represent Chinese life as it exists in the in-
terior of the Empire.
New York, November, 1900.
k


A Table of the Chapte r s
Chapter I. China . Page 15
II. American Concession 44
III. Hu-nan, The Closed Province of China 54
The Entrance . 70
The Interior 90
The Exit 109
IV. My Chinese Impressions . 127
V. Commerce and Commercial Relations . 148
VI. Finances of China . 181
VII. Chinese Construction . 198
VIII. Inland Communication . . 221
IX. Railways . . 245
X. The Yellow Peril . 286
XI. China in the Twentieth Century . . 306




17 A List of the Illustrations
The American Engineers in the Field Frontispiece
Page
Stairway Leading to Temple of Confucius, Peking . 22
Carved Stone Animals Lining the Road Leading to the
Ming Tombs........26
Four Members of the Tsung-li Yamen and Mr. Conger
in the Court-yard of the Yamen.....28
Yang-tze Kiang, between Han-yang and Wu-chang . 32
A Part of the City of Victoria, on the Island of Hongkong,
at the Base of the Peak......38
The Last of Hu-nan ...... 47
Junks on the River Han with Hankow in the Distance . 55
A Group of Natives who Have Never Seen a Foreigner
Before ......... 59
Another Group of Natives ... . 61
Coolies Waiting to be Employed as Carriers . 63
Coolie Carrying my Bedding . 64
A Yamen Runner . 65
The Procession ........ 72
Placard Bearers who Preceded the Procession to Announce
Our Coming ........ 73
Chinese Soldiers who Formed Our Guard . .75
A Chinese Hsien Magistrate and His Red Umbrella, in-
dicative of His Rank and Presence .... 77
Main Court-yard of the Governor's Yamen at Chang-sha . 85
River Gunboat........90
A Peculiar Custom by Chinese Women of Wearing Heat-
ing-Baskets ........95
n


12
A List of the Illustrations
Page
The Descent from the Che-ling Pass on the South Side . 100
Two Faithful Friends.......102
The Wall and Gateway on the Border between Hu-nan
and Kiang-si . . . .106
A Bridge over Dry Ground with a Coolie Climbing the
Approach Steps on the Left.....107
A Kwang-tung Pawnshop and Surrounding Village 110
Under Two Flags.............122
Chinese and Manchu Ladies of the Upper Class 128
A Neglected Buddhist Temple . 139
Chinese Graves .... 141
Flags were Everywhere in Profusion 144
General Liu Kao-chao at Tiffin.....146
Wall Along Yang-tze Kiang at Wu-chang, Opposite
Hankow........152
Road-side Shrine in Which Papers are Burned 166
A Hu-nan Farm-house . 168
A Chinese Saw-mill .... 177
A Military Officer and Two Privates ... 180
44 Bell" Cash.........197
A Very Old Arch in Eastern Hu-nan, Previously Unex-
plored ......... 200
Ping-hsiang Bridge . 202
A Beautiful Single Span . 204
Arch near Peking . 206
A Small Bridge..............208
Wooden Cantilever Bridge at Li-ling, over the Lu Ho 210
Pagoda near Wu-chang.......211
Chinese House Constructiona Combination of a Wooden
Frame and Brick Walls......212


13 A List of the Illustrations

Page
The Famous Wall of the Tartar City, Peking, with One of
the Gate-towers.......214
The Great Wall of China . 216
The Siang Kiang ...... . 224
A Freight-boat Being Poled Against the Stream . 228
A Sail That May Have Seen Better Days, but Which is by
no Means a Unique Specimen ..... 230
A Female Skipper ........ 232
The Equality of Sex. A Man and a Woman at the Oar . 233
A Cantonese Slipper Boat ...... 235
Fast Freight by Wheelbarrow . . 237
The Author Travelling in an Official Chair . 238
Boy Carrying Coal from the Mines to the River . 240
A Typical Road on Top of a Dyke between Rice-fields . 241
A Road Paved with Stone Slabs Showing the Groove Cut
by Wheelbarrows.......242
The Rocket of China and Mr. Kinder . 248
Khojack Tunnel on the Sind-Peshin Railway, India . 268
Japanese Passenger Train . 270
Typical Large Railway Station in Japan . 272
Typical Small Railway Station in Japan . 274
Passengers Getting on a Train in China . 276
Japanese Railway Freight Station .... 278
Second-class Train on the Imperial Chinese Railway 282
First-class Train on the Imperial Chinese Railway . 284




Chapter
i
China
EVER since the days when Marco Polo
brought back to Europe the seeming fairy
tales of the wonder land of the Far East,
the country to which we have applied the name
of China has been a field more and more attrac-
tive for commercial conquest.
At the close of the nineteenth century, when the
ever-rising tide of industrial development has
succeeded in sweeping over Europe, America,
the better portion of Africa, Western Asia, and
India, it is the Chinese Wall alone that resists its
waves. The movement, however, is irresistible,
and not even the exclusiveness of the Chinese and
their extreme disinclination to change their ways
will be a sufficient protection against it. The re-
cent so-called "Boxer" outbreak will probably
prove to be the death-knell to Chinese resist-
ance. Whatever may be the outcome of this out-
break, in so far as it affects the government or
the political integrity of the country, it can be
predicted with safety that the commercial and in-
dustrial life of China will be revolutionized, and
the beginning ol the twentieth century will be
found to mark the dawning of a new era.
The present moment, when we are about to
pass from the old into the new state of things, is a
15


16 An American Engineer in China
fitting time to survey the field of industrial enter-
prise by examining into what has been done, and
to ascertain the sort of foundation that has been
prepared 011 which the Chinese people, aided at
first by foreigners, will eventually of themselves
erect their own industrial structure.
In the consideration of this very interesting
land there seems to be a surprise at every turn,
and one of the most peculiar is that we are met at
the outset by the curious circumstance that it is a
country without a name. The Chinese themselves
have no fixed designation for their country, using,
as a general thing, either the Middle Kingdom,"
or the Celestial Kingdom," or the Great Pure
Kingdom." The interpretation of the first is that
the people consider China to be the centre of the
world, all the other countries surrounding and be-
ing tributary to it; although the term probably
originated when, what is now the Province of
Ho-nan was the central kingdom of several other
kingdoms which together formed a united coun-
try. The name Celestial Kingdom is a piece of
self-flattery, the Chinese Emperor being called in
like manner the Son of Heaven; while the last
name, that of the Great Pure Kingdom," follows
the designation of the present ruling house, which
styles itself the Pure Dynasty," in contra-dis-
tinction to the preceding dynasty which it over-
threw, and which was called the Ming or Bright
Dynasty." The foreigner's appellation of China


Chapter I : China
17
is of uncertain origin, but it is supposed to mean
the land of Chin or Tsin, a family that ruled about
250 b.c.; and even this name is used indiscrimi-
nately as covering two areas very different in size.
When we use the word China it may mean the
Chinese Empire proper, the Empire of the eigh-
teen provinces; or it may mean the eighteen
provinces and the dependencies of Manchuria,
Mongolia, and Tibet, whose bond of attachment
to the Empire, in strength, is in the above order.
The eighteen provinces comprise in area about
1,500,000 square miles, or an area about equal
to that portion of the United States lying east
of Colorado. The shape of the Empire proper
is substantially rectangular, extending from the
latitude of eighteen degrees north, or the latitude
of Vera Cruz, to forty-two degrees north, which
is about that of New York. When the depen-
dencies are included under the title of China
the northern boundary is carried to the forty-
eighth parallel, or say the latitude of New Found-
land, and the whole has an area of over 4,000,000
square miles, a greater surface than that of
Europe, or of the United States and Alaska com-
bined. This great area is reputed to support a
population of upwards of 400,000,000; figures,
however, which, as I will later point out, are, in
my belief, a gross exaggeration ; but the bal-
ance, even after the most conservative reduc-
tions, will still easily be the greatest single con-


18 An American Engineer in China
tiguous conglomeration of people under one rul-
er. Racially speaking, they are a conglomeration.
Who the Chinese were originally is not known.
It is generally believed that they came from
Western or Central Asia, and, conquering the
scattered nomadic tribes inhabiting what is now
China, seized their country.
In the dependencies and China proper we find
distinctly different peoples, with diverse customs;
while scattered about the Empire proper are set-
tlements of strange tribes, whose origin is abso-
lutely unknown, but who are believed to be relics
of the aboriginal inhabitants.
Lack of intercommunication has allowed the
language of the Chinese to become locally varied,
and to such an extent that, although the written
characters are the same, the spoken dialects of the
North and South are so different as to* be mutu-
ally unintelligible. There are said to be in the
Empire proper eight dialects, each again being
many times subdivided by local colloquialisms.
Of these dialects the most important is the so-
called Mandarin or Pekingese, the dialect of the
North and the official language of the country,
the one which all government officials are re-
quired to learn and use. It therefore holds the
position in respect to other dialects that the
French formerly held in Europe as the court
tongue, or language of diplomacy and officialism.
Historically, China enjoys the distinction of


Chapter I : China
9
being the oldest continuing nation in the world.
Fairly authentic records trace back the course of
events to about 3,000 B.C., so that China rightly
claims an existence of at least 5,000 years. Re-
lating to the time previous to this period there
is a vast amount of legendary matter, in which
probability and fiction have not yet been separ-
ated.
China's own historians, with characteristic con-
ceit, make out their country's history to be con-
temporaneous with time. Owing to her seclusion
and isolation from the affairs of other nations, the
history of China possesses a local rather than a
world interest, and for the most part is a record
of the rise and fall of the several tribes or peoples
composing the nation, each such change estab-
lishing a new dynasty. However, there are cer-
tain epochs of general interest and certain salient
points in the nation's development and growth
that should be understood and kept in mind if
any study of China or of things Chinese is under-
taken.
Accepted Chinese chronology begins with the
reign of Fuh-hi, in the year 2852 B.C. As to the
significance of that date, it is interesting to note
that it is 200 years before the rise of the Egyptian
monarchy, 500 years before that of Babylon, and
precedes the reputed time of Abraham by a period
almost as long as the whole record of English his-
tory from the conquest to the present time.


26 An American Engineer in China
In the Chau Dynasty, which lasted from B.C.
1122 to B.C. 249, we find the great period in Chi-
nese literature, an era comparable with that of
Elizabeth in our records. In 550 B.C. Confucius
was born, whose philosophical reasonings, ow-
ing to the long time he antedated the spread of
Christianity and Mohammedanism, have affected
the thought of more human beings than the writ-
ings or sayings of any other man, with the possi-
ble exception of Buddha.
Although Confucius is the central figure of the
epoch, there are at least two other men sub-
stantially contemporaneous with him, who are
only a little less prominent: Liao-tze, who pre-
ceded him fifty years, and Mencius, who followed
him one hundred years. The former was a
religious philosopher, on whose writings has
been founded the doctrine of Taoism. This phi-
losophy is based on Reason (Tao) and Virtue
(Teh), and is of interest in that it leans toward
an eternal monotheism. According to his theory
the visible forms of the highest Teh can proceed
only from Tao, and Tao, he says, is impalpable,
indefinite. Taoism, therefore, contemplates the
indefinite, the eternal, and a pre-existent some-
thing which Liao-tze likens to the Mother of all
things," or what we call a creator.
In Chinese literature there are the nine classics,
the five greater and the four lesser books. The
former are Yih-King, the Book of Changes; Shu-


Chapter I : China
21
King, Book of Records ; Shi-King, the Book
of Odes; Li-Ki, the Book of Rites; and Chun-
Tsiu, a continuation of the Shu-King. Of the
above, the second, third and fourth, although long
antedating Confucius, were edited by him, while
the fifth is from his pen. The four lesser classics
are Ta-Hioh, Great learning; Chung-Yung, the
Just Medium; the Analects of Confucius; and
the writings of Mencius. The last is the great
production of Mencius, while the first three are
a digest of the moralizings of Confucius as
gathered by his disciples.
On these nine books are founded Chinese phi-
losophy, morals, thought, religion, education,
ethics, and even etiquette. The spirit of the mat-
ter in the classics is essentially lofty, moral, and
good.
In China, learning transcends all else in impor-
tance, and as Confucius is considered the foun-
tain head of literature and learning, so he has
come to be regarded as saints were regarded
by Europeans in the Middle Ages, and temples
to his honor are found in all large cities. The
most important is the beautiful example of Chi-
nese architecture in Peking, where the Emperor
annually worships before his tablet. In spite of
this apparent adoration, Confucius is not regard-
ed by the Chinese as a god, but is clearly under-
stood by them to have been a man and a philos-
opher, and is revered as the embodiment of wis-


22 An American Engineer in China
dom. He was not the founder of a religion, nor
was he a religious writer, although his sentiments
have become woven in the complicated fabric of
Chinese faith. The name by which foreigners
Stairway Leading to Temple of Confucius, Peking
know him is a latinized corruption o -tze,
the Master Kung, the last being his family natne,
as Mencius is a similar corruption of Mang-tze,
the Master Mang.
Following the Chau dynasty comes that of Tsin,
which was noted for supplying the foreign appel-
lation of the country and for the great works,
both good and bad, of its name-giving Emperor.


Chapter I : China
23
It was he who united the various peoples of East-
ern Asia under one sway, laid the foundation for
at least internal commerce by beginning the con-
struction of the Chinese system of canals, started
the construction of the Great Wall, and succeeded
in raising his country to a point of material great-
ness not before reached. Then, with a view to
make all records begin with him, he ordered
burned all books and writings of every descrip-
tion, including those of Confucius and the other
philosophers. Fortunately, in spite of an ener-
getic attempt, this sacreligious act was not com-
pletely consummated.
From this period to the Tang dynasty in 618
a.d. the history of this country is a succession of
different reigning houses, internal wars, rebellions,
more or less successful, and during which the
capital was frequently moved ; part of the time
being located at Nan-king on the Yang-tze, which
many of the Chinese to-day regard as the prop-
er site. The great single event of this long
stretch of years, and practically the only one ol
foreign interest, was the introduction of Buddh-
ism at the close of the first century a.d.
The Emperor Ming-ti sent an embassy to the
West to bring back the teachings of the foreign
god, rumors of whose fame had already reached
the Pacific shore. It has since been supposed by
some that this meant tidings of Christ; but the
basis for such an inference is doubtful. At any


24
An American Engineer in China
rate the embassy found its way to India and re-
turned thence with the doctrines of Buddhism,
which at once became the established religion of
the country, spreading over the whole of China
and eventually Japan. It makes an interesting
speculation to consider what the effect on the
world would have been if the embassy had taken
a more northern route, bringing it to Palestine
instead of to India.
The Tang dynasty a.d. 618 to 908 marks per-
haps the zenith of Chinese development, when,
there is no doubt, its civilization and cultivation
outshone those of Europe at the same period.
Literature flourished; trade was nurtured, the
banking system developed, laws were codified and
the limits of the Empire were extended even to
Persia and the Caspian Sea. The art of printing
was discovered, certainly in block form and prob-
ably by movable type. The fame of China
reached India and Europe, whence embassies
were dispatched bearing salutations and presents.
Monks of the Nestorian order were received by
the Emperor Tai-tsung, who gave permission for
them to erect churches; and thus was Christianity
first publicly acknowledged in China. Although
the efforts of the Nestorian monks continued for
many years, from perhaps as early as 500 a.d. to 845,
yet they were without permanent results, as they
left no monuments behind them, and the practice
of Christianity was suspended for some centuries.


Chapter I : China
25
In 1213 a.d. the Chinese for the first time
passed under a foreign rule, when Genghis Khan,
the great Mongol, crossed the wall and began to
lay waste the country. When he had captured
Peking and established a Mongol dynasty, he
turned his attention to further conquests, and in
1219 led a force westward. With it he overran
Northern India, Asia Minor and even entered
Europe in Southern Russia. He then withdrew
to Peking, having established the largest Empire
in the world's history. Under his degenerate
successors this vast power dwindled, the only
permanent result being found in Europe ; where
the Turks are the descendants of those whom
Genghis drove out of their own Asiatic country.
The last purely Chinese dynasty was the Ming
(Bright), which occupied the throne from 1368 to
its overthrow by the Manchus in 1644. The capi-
tal of this house was originally at Nan-king, but
was moved by the great Emperor Yung-loh to
Peking in 1403, where he constructed the famous
Ming Tombs forty miles northwest of the city, and
where he and his successors of Ming lie buried in
solitary grandeur. He established also the laws
under which China is governed to-day, and under
Wan-leih the seeds of Christianity were perma-
nently planted in China in 1582 by the Jesuit mis-
sionary Matteo Ricci. About two hundred and
fifty years earlier a temporary foothold had been
gained by the same order. The first effort had


Carved Stone Animals Lining the Road Leading to the Ming Tombs


Chapter I : China
27
lasted, for only seventy-five years, and then, like the
Nestorian movement, quietly died without practi-
cal results. It was also during this dynasty that
the first foreign settlement was made on Chinese
soil, in the Portuguese port of Macao in 1557.
In the seventeenth century the northern tribes
set up a rebellion. Gaining adherents to their
cause they captured Peking in 1644, swept away
Chinese rule and established the Manchu dynasty,
to which they gave the name of Ta Tsing"
or the Great Pure." The principal effects of
this change were to establish the northern races
in control of the government, and to stamp upon
the whole people their most striking outward dis-
tinguishing mark, in the queue, which was a dis-
tinctly Manchu custom, the Chinese having pre-
vious^ cut their hair like Western people. On
their establishment the Manchu rulers ordered all
people to wear the queue as a token of subjugation.
This the Chinese natives still do, although the Ti-
betans and Mongols continue to cut their hair as
of old. Manchus and Chinese can be readily dis-
tinguished by their names. Thus one of Manchu
descent has but a double name, like Yung Lu, while
a Chinese has three characters as, Li Hung-chang.
The government of China is an absolute des-
potism, with powers vested in an Emperor, whose
position is well indicated by his most used title
the Son of Heaven." He is assisted by two
councils under whom are the seven boards of Civil


28 An American Engineer in China
Service, Revenue, Rites, War, Punishment, Works,
and Navy, who severally attend to the adminis-
tration of affairs in their respective departments.
Then there is the Tsung-li Yamen, or foreign of-
Four Members of the Tsung-li Yamen and Mr. Conger in
the Courtyard of the Yamen
From left to right they are : Hsu Yung-i, Wang Wen-shao, Chao Shu-
chiao, Mr. Conger, Yii Keng
fice, a bureau composed of twelve ministers, with
and through whom all relations with other nations
and foreigners generally are conducted.
The communication between the Imperial au-
thority and the people is through the local gov-


Chapter I : China
29
ernments of the provinces. These provinces in
their organization closely resemble an American
State, varying in size from Che-kiang, the smallest,
with an area of 35,000 square miles, to Sz-chuen,
the largest, embracing 170,000 square miles.
These are respectively comparable with the
States of Indiana (36,350 square miles) and Cali-
fornia (156,000 square miles). Each province is
ruled by a Governor appointed by the throne,
who exercises his authority through a chain of
officialism. The province is divided into circuits,
each circuit being controlled by an intendant of
circuit or taotai. In addition to the regular
taotais, there are special ones appointed to look
after the large treaty ports, like Shanghai. Such
taotais have immense powers, and the positions
are much sought after. The circuits or Fu "
are usually again subdivided into two or more
" Chow," or prefectures, under a prefect, and each
prefecture into Hsiens, or districts, under a mag-
istrate. Cities where such officials dwell are
usually indicated by the adding Fu," Chow "
or "Hsien" to their names. The Hsien magis-
trates are the men who come in direct contact
with the people. The Governor in turn reports
to an officer properly styled a Governor-General,
but whose title foreign nations have translated
as Viceroy, each of whom usually controls two
provinces. These Viceroys form the real gov-
ernment of the country. Their powers are abso-


30 An American Engineer in China
lute. It is to them, armed with judgment of life
and death, that the people look for justice and
protection, and to them, also, the throne itself
looks for support. Each Viceroy maintains his
own army, of which, in some instances, a portion
has been foreign drilled ; and he has a right to
decide whether he will use this army for national
purposes or not.
Of the existing college of viceroys, there are
three who have brought themselves, by their acts,
abilities, and force of character, to the forefront,
and who are known as the three great viceroys.
These men are Li Hung-chang, formerly Viceroy
of Chi-li, but now of Canton, ruling the prov-
inces of Kwang-tung and Kwang-si, and so usually
referred to as the Viceroy of the two Kwang ;
Chang Chi-tung, the Viceroy of Wu-chang, in like
manner called the Viceroy of the two IIu, as his
dominion covers the provinces of Hu-peh, and
Hu-nan ; and Liu Kun-yi, the Viceroy of Nan-
king, ruling the provinces of Kiang-si and Ngan-
whui.
Li Hung-chang, whose reputation is interna-
tional, needs no introduction. The other two,
while, perhaps, not so well known, are in China
of scarcely less importance, especially as they have
a personal hold on their people that is not equalled
by any other official. They are not rich, which
is almost the same as saying that they are honest,
and, although they are decidedly pro-foreign in


Chapter I : China
31
their views, nevertheless they are at the same time
imbued with a strong and earnest desire to ameli-
orate the condition of their charges and therelore
are honored and respected by their people. To
accomplish this end they do not hesitate to avail
themselves of occidental ideas or means if therein
they see a possibility of benefit.
When the Empress Dowager in 1898 executed
her coup d'etat and notified the Viceroys of what
she had done, Chang Chi-tung and Liu Kun-yi
were the only ones who had courage to express
their disapproval. In consequence there is little
doubt that she would have removed or beheaded
them if she had dared to brave the outcry of the
people of the four provinces which would cer-
tainly have followed. In any reorganization of
China these three men will play an important
part. The influence of Chang Chi-tung and Liu
Kunyi will certainly be of weight, as they enjoy
the esteem and confidence of both foreigner and
native.
In the appointing of all officials there is one
rule that is curiously indicative of Chinese rea-
soning and methods. No official is allowed to
serve in a district in which he was born. The
reason for this is that, being a stranger, without
local prejudice or interest, he will, it is believed,
administer justice quite impartially. Unfortu-
nately, human nature being the same in China
as elsewhere, the official, on account of his lack


32
An American Engineer in China
of local prejudice and interest, administers justice
in such a manner as will best serve his own ends
and secure his advancement.
Topographically considered, China lies on the
eastern flank of the great Central Asian plateau
and, therefore, its main drainage lines lie east and
west. There are three great valleys : that of the
Yang-tze Kiang, between Han-yang and Wu-chang
More than one mile wide, although seven hundred miles from the
mouth
Yellow in the north, Yang-tze in the centre, and
the Si or (West) in the south. The Yellow Riv-
er, or Hoang Ho, or as it is frequently called, on
account of its erratic and devastating floods,
" China's Sorrow," is a stream very much resem-
bling the Mississippi, carrying a great amount of
alluvium, which it deposits at various places,
forming bars and shoals. In order to protect the
shores from inundations, the Chinese for many


Chapter I : China
33
years have been building dykes, with the result
of gradually raising the bottom of the river
through the deposition of alluvium. There are
now many places where the bottom of the stream
is actually higher than the normal banks. Under
such circumstances the breaking of a dyke means
untold destruction, with possible permanent
change of bed. The location of its mouth shows
the character of this great river. Eighty years
ago it flowed into the Yellow Sea, south of the
Shang-tung Peninsula. To-day it enters the Gulf
of Pe-chi-li two hundred and fifty miles in a di-
rect line northwest of its previous location, or
about six hundred miles, when measured around
the coast line. The Yang-tze, on the other hand,
rightly merits its name of China's Glory."
This noble stream, whose length is about 3,500
miles, of which 1,100 miles are navigable by steam
vessels, divides the country, approximately equal-
ly north and south. Its drainage area covers
more than one-half of the empire, the richest
and most valuable portion. This stream, like the
Hoang Ho, carries a large amount of alluvial mat-
ter, but it is much more orderly and well regu-
lated. Practically at its mouth, the gateway to
Central China, although actually on a small trib-
utary called the Whang-Poo, is Shanghai. The
West River, or Si Kiang, drains the southern and
south-western section of the empire, flowing into
the sea at Canton, where, with the Pei (North) and


34 An American Engineer in China
Tung (East) Rivers, it forms the broad estuary
known as the Canton River.
In agricultural possibilities and mineral wealth
China is particularly fortunate. On account of
its great dimensions north and south it enjoys all
varieties of climate, from the tropical to the tem-
perate, and in consequence possesses the ability to
raise almost any crop. The great bottom-lands of
the Yang-tze, the Hoang and other rivers, which
are subject to annual overflow, are thus by nature
enriched and automatically fertilized, as are the
bottom-lands along the Mississippi and other allu-
vium-bearing streams. In addition to the ordi-
nary advantages of soil and variety of climate to
which such a large expanse is naturally entitled,
China enjoys one special favor in the singular de-
posit known as Loess.
The country lying north from the Yang-tze
to the Gulf of Pe-chi-li, part of which has been
made by the alluvial deposits of the Yang-tze and
Yellow Rivers, is known as the Great Plain. Of
this territory there is a considerable section in
the provinces of Shen-si, Shan-si and Shan-tung,
which is known as the Loess formation. This
particular soil is yellow in appearance, resem-
bling alluvial material, but on examination is
found to consist of a network of minute capillary
tubes. The best theory for its deposit is that it
is the fine dust of dried vegetable matter carried
down by the winds from the north-west plains and


Chapter I : China
35
dropped where found. The fine tubes are ac-
counted for by believing them to be the spaces
occupied by the roots of grasses, as the latter
have been continually elevating themselves to re-
main on the constantly rising surface. The loess
soil is of great and unknown thickness, of extraor-
dinary fertility, and with great capacity for with-
standing droughts, as the tubes, by their capil-
lary action, serve to bring up moisture from the
ground water below. This part of the Great
Plain has been growing crops for many centu-
ries without fertilizing, and supports the densest
part of the Chinese population.
In minerals, China is particularly rich. Of the
precious metals, gold and silver are known to
exist and probably in paying quantities, while of
the less valuable metals, copper, lead, antimony,
and others have been found, and but await the
introduction of proper transportation methods to
be developed. Petroleum occurs in Sz-chuen,
the extreme western province lying next to Ti-
bet. But China's greatest mineral wealth lies in
iron and coal. The great fields of the latter
are in Chi-li, Shen-si, Shan-si, Sz-chuen, Kiang-si
and Hu-nan, where all varieties from soft bitu-
minous to very hard anthracites are found. Of
the former there are coals both coking and non-
coking, fit for steel making or steam uses, while
of the latter there are those adapted for domes-
tic use, with enough volatile matter to ignite


36 An American Engineer in China
easily, and others sufficiently hard to bear the
burden in a blast furnace and yet so low in
phosphorus, sulphur, and volatile substances as
to render them available for the manufacture of
Bessemer pig, as is done in Pennsylvania. Chi-
nese houses are usually without chimneys, and
therefore the native is compelled to use for do-
mestic purposes an anthracite, or, as he calls it,
a non-smoking coal, which he burns in an open
fireplace, the products of combustion escaping
through the doors, unglazed windows, or the
many leaks which are usually found in Chinese
roofs.
In opposing the introduction of occidental re-
forms, methods, and commercial relations, China
has invited, if not actually obliged, the forming of
bases by other nations from which to push their
trade. Chinese soil is now held, through some
excuse and under various conditions, by Portu-
gal, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and
Japan. In addition to this Italy has made an un-
successful attempt to secure a foothold at San
Mun Bay.
The Portuguese possession is Macao, situated
on the western side of the mouth of the Canton
River, a charming settlement covering the city
and a few square miles of territory separated
from the main land by a narrow neck. It is a de-
lightful little piece of southern European refine-
ment in an oriental setting, and perhaps the only


Chapter I : China
37
point on the coast to which the word charming
can be rightly applied. It was the first foreign
settlement in China, being ceded to Portugal in
1557, in return for services in putting down pi-
rates. On account of the shallowness of the har-
bor, the importance of Macao as a trading point
or military base is very small.
The British possessions are Hongkong, Kow-
loon, and Wei-hai-wei. As a result of the Opium
War of 1841, the island of Hongkong, whose
greatest dimension is but nine miles, and wholly
mountainous, was given over by China as a part
of the indemnity. It is located at the eastern side
of the Canton estuary, directly opposite Macao,
but distant therefrom about forty miles. In 1860
there was added, in order to complete the har-
bor, the shore of the main land, called Kow-loon,
across the roadstead whose width is rather more
than a mile. On this island the English have es-
tablished a colony, built the city of Victoria, and,
through the magnificent land-locked harbor, have
developed a trading point whose commerce ranks
with that of the world's greatest ports. There are
no customs dues nor restricting conditions, but all
nations and nationalities have an equal footing, so
that Hongkong has become the great entrepot or
warehouse for nearly the whole of Eastern Asia,
and absolutely so ...for. Southern China, whose gate-
way it controls. A year's record shows that over
11,000 vessels enter and clear, not including up-


A Part of the City of Victoria, on the Island of Hongkong, at the Base of the Peak


Chapter I : China
39
wards of 70,000 junks. Thus have the English
converted an apparently useless island into a most
valuable possession for themselves and a great
stepping-stone for the world's commerce.
The next country to establish a foothold on Chi-
nese soil was France, who acquired from Annam,
by war and treaty, between the years 1860 and
1874, Pai~t of the province of Tong-king. In 1882
further trouble arising between France and An-
nam, the latter appealed to her protector, China,
and war ensued. The result was the permanent oc-
cupation of the whole of Tong-king and the plac-
ing of the French frontier next to that of China.
At the conclusion of the Japanese war, the
island of Formosa was permanently ceded by
China, and an arrangement made for the tempo-
rary occupation of Port Arthur. Then Russia
interfered, insisted on the withdrawal of the
Japanese troops from the North, and, as her price
for aiding China, secured for twenty-five years a
lease of the Liao-tung Peninsula, covering eight
hundred square miles, with the harbors of Port
Arthur and Talien-wan, and so, practically, ob-
tained the control of Chinese Manchuria.
In 1897 the German Emperor demanded, as
compensation for two German missionaries who
were killed, a share of Chinese territory, which
was granted through a lease" of Kiao-chow Bay
for ninety-nine years.
These so-called "leases" are in fact nothing


4
46 An American Engineer in China
more than mere subterfuges to save face for
the Chinese in yielding up their territory, as the
following abbreviated quotations from the Ger-
man document will show:
" I. His Majesty the Emperor of China, being
desirous of preserving the existing good relations
with His Majesty the Emperor of Germany and
of promoting an increase of German power and
influence in the Far East, sanctions the acquire-
ment under lease by Germany of the land extend-
ing for one hundred li at high tide.
" Germany may engage in works for the public
benefit, such as water-works, within the territory
covered by the lease, without reference to China.
Should China wish to march troops or establish
garrisons therein she can only do so after negoti-
ating with and obtaining the express permission
of Germany.
" II. His Majesty the Emperor of Germany be-
ing desirous, like the rulers of certain other coun-
tries, of establishing a naval and coaling station and
constructing dockyards on the coast of China, the
Emperor of China agrees to lease to him for the
purpose all the land on the southern and northern
sides of Kiao-chow Bay for a term of ninety-nine
years. Germany is to be at liberty to erect forts on
this land for the defence of her possessions therein.
" III. During the continuance of the lease China


Chapter I : China
41
shall have no voice in the government or admin-
istration of the leased territory. It will be gov-
erned and administered during the whole term of
ninety-nine years solely by Germany, so that the
possibility of friction between the two powers
may be reduced to the smallest magnitude.
" If at any time the Chinese should form schemes
for the development of Shan-tung, for the execu-
tion of which it is necessary to obtain foreign
capital, the Chinese Government, or whatever
Chinese may be interested in such schemes, shall,
in the first instance, apply to German capitalists.
Application shall also be made to German manu-
facturers for the necessary machinery and materi-
als before the manufacturers of any other power
are approached. Should German capitalists or
manufacturers decline to take up the business, the
Chinese shall then be at liberty to obtain money
and materials from other nations."
While the area actually covered by the lease is
small, the shore-line being but 100 li (33 miles),
nevertheless the Germans, availing themselves
of the special commercial concession, as above
quoted, have thrown a sphere claim over the
whole province of Shan-tung, an area as large as
New England.
The strongholds of Kiao-chow and Port Arthur
for the Germans and Russians immediately set


42
An American Engineer in China
about fortifying themso threatened the balance
of power in the North, that the British Govern-
ment in 1898, demanding something to offset
them, secured the harbor of Wei-hai-wei, directly
opposite Port Arthur and with it marking the
entrance to the Gulf of Pe-chi-li. This territory
is to be held as long as the Russians hold Port
Arthur. At the same time Great Britain extend-
ed the limits of her Kow-loon possession by two
hundred square miles, so as to absolutely protect
the harbor of Hongkong, and secured from the
Chinese Government a promise that no territory
in the Yang-tze Valley should be alienated to
any other power, thus obtaining a so-called sphere
of influence over the richest half of the Empire.
France, not wishing to see her commercial rivals
outdo her, demanded, as her share of the plunder,
the harbor and port of Kiang-chow-wau near her
province of Tong-king, and secured a lease of the
same for ninety-nine years. Thus has the Chinese
Government given away its patrimony.
In addition to the above possessions of territory
actually held under the domination of their re-
spective governments, there are at the various
treaty ports the so-called foreign concessions,
which have been given by the Chinese Govern-
ment to the temporary care of the people of other
nationalities, permitting them to establish police
force, courts of justice, fire protective service, to
collect taxes for local use, and otherwise to main-


Chapter I : China
43
tain local governments according to foreign regu-
lations and practically without interference by the
Chinese Government. Such concessions remain,
however, in name at least, Chinese territory. The
largest and most important of them is Shanghai,
where grants were made some years ago to the
English, American, and French. The first two
concessions have been combined into the Shang-
hai Municipality, under a system of popular gov-
ernment with annual elections, where the rate-
payers are voters and which in all its functions
closely resembles an independent republic. The
theory that all nations are on an equal footing
within the limits of the Municipality is carried out
to such an extreme, that not only does the Chinese
Government maintain a post-office, but also do all
other countries under whose flags lines of mail
steamers are operated to and from the port.
There are thus to be found, in addition to the
Chinese post-office, regular establishments of the
United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan,
while France has hers in the French concession,
at all of which the stamps of the several countries
are for sale.
Such, in a few words, is the political and phys-
ical status of that nation and that country on
which the attention of the civilized world is
focused, and whose development and regenera-
tion will probably be the leading feature of the
early years of the new century.


Chapter
ii
American Concession
IN the making of Chinese foreign commerce
and the opening of the country to trade and
industrial enterprise, the position taken by
European governments has been to foster and
support the efforts of their subjects. The policy
of the United States in this regard has been dis-
tinctly negative, and whatever has been accom-
plished by our citizens is the result of individual
energy without national support. There have even
been lacking co-operative efforts on the part of
our people, so that practically all of the corpora-
tion interests, such as banks, transportation lines,
railway and mining privileges, and the adminis-
tration of those departments of the Chinese Gov-
ernment whose functions are largely external,
such as the maritime customs, are in the hands of
Europeans, principally English. The reason for
this is partly due to the traditional policy of the
American Government not to interfere in foreign
affairs, but principally to the fact that the atten-
tion and capital of the American people have been
occupied in the development of their own country.
A change from such conditions and a turning of
American energies into new channels were devel-
opments that were inevitable. In the investiga-
tion of the transition of the American position the
44


Chapter II: American Concession 45
future historian will point to the mass of statisti-
cal information now being made, which will show
that the status of our country changed from being
open to invasion by foreign capital to being capa-
ble of invading other lands with its own capital,
about the year 1895. The latent force was given
life by the Spanish War in directing the attention
by our people to foreign affairs, and the subse-
quent and consequent acquisition of foreign terri-
tory. A singular confirmation of the movement
toward a broadening out on the part of American
capital for foreign invasion, was the securing of
the concession of the railway from Hankow to
Canton, consummated by the signing of the grant
in Washington in April, 1898, by IT. E. Wu Ting-
fang, the Chinese Minister, and by a singular co-
incidence just one week before the declaration
of war, which was to establish the United States
as a colonizing power.
The concession covers about nine hundred miles
of railway, together with mining and other privi-
leges, which make it in value and in national im-
portance second to no other concession granted
by the Chinese Government. The projected route
of the railway itself is from Hankow, the metropo-
lis of the interior, or, as it is sometimes called, the
" Chicago of China," to Canton, the great port in
the South, and thence with rights to go to any
selected point on the coast if desired. It lies
through part of the province of Hu-peh, for four


46 An American Engineer in China
hundred miles through the whole length of the
province of Hu-nan, and across the province of
Kwang-tung.
In order to investigate the local conditions and
to ascertain the official, physical, and commercial
aspects of the concession, and to make a detailed
survey of the route of the railway, the concession-
aire syndicate retained me as a Chief Engineer to
go to the East with a complete staff. The work
of making this survey, the longest continuous in-
strumental measurement up to that time com-
pleted in China, and the other duties of investiga-
tion connected therewith, necessarily brought me
in personal contact with Chinese officials of the
highest rank, such as members of the Tsung-li-
Yamen ; Sheng Tajen, the distinguished Director-
General of Rail ways and Telegraphs ; Viceroys;
Governors of Provinces; minor officials of all de-
grees ; and the foreign merchants of different na-
tionalities who control the trade at the treaty
ports. I was obliged to visit not only the various
points from Peking to Canton that are accessible
to ordinary travellers, but typical portions of the
interior, which can be reached only with difficul-
ty, and others which it had not been previously
possible to reach at all, so that for five hundred
miles I was the first foreigner ever seen. I was en-
abled, by living among the people under all sorts
of conditions in official yamen, in temples, in vil-
lage inns, or in ordinary private houses, to inspect


The Last of Hu-nan
See page 102


48
An American Engineer in China
and study at close range Chinese who were ab-
solutely and entirely unaffected by foreign or
outside influences. My experience with the peo-
ple extended therefore from the poorest peasant
through all grades of society up to those actually
next to the throne, and my observations of the
country from the national and commercial capitals
down to the individual farmhouse, or the little
country hamlet, where a foreigner was as great
an object of wonderful astonishment as a man
from Mars would be with us.
Of the eighteen provinces which constitute the
Chinese Empire proper, the only one, until re-
cently7, which had not been explored or mapped
by foreigners, previous to the occasion described
herein, was the province of Hu-nan, extending
from the Yang-tze Kiang to the Nan-ling Range,
that is, between the 30th and 25th parallels of
latitude, and between the 109th and 114th meri-
dians of east longitude.
From the earliest times, since the subject of the
development of the interior of China has been
considered, the province of Hu-nan has been re-
garded as one of the great objectives of the rail-
way and mining promoter, on account of its well-
known wealth in coal and other minerals, the fer-
tility of its soil, and the superior ability of its
people. The people themselves, however, have
been the most clannish and conservative in the
Empire, and have succeeded in keeping their


Chapter II: American Concession 49
province practically free from invasion by foreign-
ers or even by foreign ideas. All writers on
China refer to this attitude of the people of Hu-
nan. As Lord Charles Beresford says of it in his
recent work : At present the province of Hu-nan,
though very rich, and the people very well-to-do,
is the most anti-foreign in China. Foreigners who
penetrate into Hu-nan, even by help of the man-
darins with a military escort, do so at the risk
of their lives." Strangely enough, however, this
hostility is directed not only against foreigners,
but against other Chinese with almost equal force.
In the way of exclusiveness, the Hu-nanese mark
therefore the extreme of the Chinese character in
that regard. They are, however, hard working,
and possess one of the richest provinces in the
empire as to mineral resources and fertility of
soil. In fact, it is doubtful if any other province,
except possibly Sz-chuen, exceeds Hu-nan in the
variety, extent, and value of its mineral wealth,
while Hu-nan has the great advantage over
Sz-chuen in having a double outlet north and
south for its products and being five hundred
miles nearer the sea-coast market.
In 1871 Baron Richtofen, the great German
geologist, to whose investigations we owe the
greater part of our knowledge of the geological
structure of China, made a trip from south to
north across Hu-nan to report on the coal areas
of the province to the Shanghai Chamber of Com-


50 An American Engineer in China
merce; but his voyage was confined wholly to
boat travel, and therefore the information that he
obtained was very limited. Some three years
previous to this, Pumpelly, the American geolo-
gist, had made an attempt to explore Hu-nan by
proceeding by boat up the Siang River from the
Yang-tze, but was not allowed to land, and finally
was compelled by the people to turn back after
having reached, but not entered, Chang-sha, the
capital of the province. In 1878 Mr. G. J. Morrison,
an English engineer, travelled from north to south
across Hu-nan, having attempted to make the
journey 011 foot, but was compelled by the people
to take to boat, as Baron Richtofen had also done.
Missionaries have made a number of attempts to
travel through Hu-nan, but in every case without
success, except in the single instance of maintain-
ing one Roman Catholic Mission Station in South-
ern Hu-nan, so that the only accurate knowledge
of this most interesting section was that obtained
from the three travellers above mentioned, but
whose observations were made wholly from boats.
No land journey by foreigners had been made
through the province, except in the northwestern
part, where the people are less anti-foreign. In
the other provinces little or no difficulty was to
be anticipated. In Hu-peh foreigners were well
known and could travel at will, and the same was
true, although possibly to a less degree, in Kwang-
tung. Hu-nan was peculiar.


Chapter II: American Concession 51
The province of Hu-nan has an area of about
75,000 square miles, or half as much again as the
State of New York. Its population is estimated
by the Chinese at 22,000,000. It is well watered,
for the Siang River, a fine stream, although too
shallow during the winter months for anything
but light-draught junks, flows northerly through
it into the Yang-tze. The upper part of the prov-
ince is open and gently undulating, growing the
finest quality of tea. As, however, the southern
portion is approached, the hills change into moun-
tains, the scenery becomes grander, the population
less dense, and the agricultural resources much
diminished. But these lower regions are much
more valuable from the point of view of future
development as the lower half of the province, for
a length of two hundred miles along our route,
and for a width of at least sixty miles, is underlain
with certainly three, and probably more, veins of
coal, which, curiously enough, is both bituminous
and anthracite. It took but small flights of fancy to
see future trains bearing their dark burden north-
ward to furnish power for the furnaces and mills
that will be built in central China to convert her
ores into metals or work her raw produce of cotton
and wool and hemp into articles of commerce;
or other trains south-bound carrying a like burden
to Canton and Hongkong to make steam for the
vessels of all nations, bringing goods from other
lands to China, and taking back her teas and silks.


52 An American Engineer in China
Some three years ago the Emperor appointed,
as Governor of Hu-nan, Chen Pao-cheng, a man
of modern thought, who at once set about to break
down the barriers which had hitherto shut in the
province from the rest of the empire and the world
at large. He introduced electric lighting into
Chang-sha, the capital, established schools where
scientific subjects were taught, urged on the gen-
eral government the advisability and desirability
of railroad construction, and in many ways opened
the door for the entrance of Western civilization.
The Empress Dowager, immediately on accession
to power, removed Chen, and appointed in his
stead as governor, Yu Lien-san, a conservative,"
an official of high character and attainments from
a Chinese point of view, but who did not believe
in departing from customs supported by four
thousand years of precedents. He closed the
schools and set about to undo the work begun by
his predecessor. In a recent memorial to the
throne, he apologized for his tardiness in entirely
uprooting the false doctrines, but hoped in the
end to bring the people back to the exclusive study
of the classics. In accordance with his views of
what was right, he used his influence to thwart
our going, even to the extent of sending word for-
bidding the foreigners to enter his province. It is
not surprising that in the recent Boxer out-
break the sympathies and influence of Yu were
enlisted on the anti-foreign side.


Chapter II: American Concession 53
The extreme position hitherto taken by the
Hu-nanese and their consequent isolation render
them unsurpassed among the Chinese as interest-
ing objects for study, and have gained for their
section the name of the Closed Province of
China."


Chapter
in
Hu-nan, the Closed Province of China
HE general condition of affairs as to the
hostility of the Hu-nanese and the difficulty
of travelling through Hu-nan was known
before our leaving New York, but on arriving in
Shanghai it was found that the political disturb-
ance following the coup (Vetat executed by the
Empress Dowager and the beheading of certain
members of the Reform or Emperor's Party, had
rendered the whole Chinese official class very
cautious about taking a decided stand upon any
important question, especially upon one looking
to the invasion of the country by foreigners, even
if they came with peaceful intents. A stop was
made in Shanghai only long enough to purchase
provisions and equipment, when the engineering
staff left there for Hankow to begin the survey
to Canton.
As our course from Hankow lay to the Nan-
ling Mountains, which form the divide of the
water-shed of the Yang-tze Valley from that of
the China Sea, along the Yang-tze and its trib-
utary the Siang for a distance of nearly five
hundred miles, it was decided to establish head-
quarters afloat, and thus avoid the difficulties and
dangers of sleeping on shore, except when the
latter was absolutely necessary. One morning
54


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 55
shortly after reaching Hankow, and while the
preparation for our start was being made, I set
out in a sampan to find among the junks in the
River Han, a satisfactory one for our purpose.
A junk is a picturesque but not a pretty object,
Junks on the River Han, with Hankow in the Distance
but, in that flotilla which forms a solid surface
along the banks of the Han for at least two
miles, there was a stern that caught my eye.
The ordinary junk stern is something that rivals
any stern that a naval architect of the sixteenth
century ever conceived, but this special one had
something which singled it out from all its fel-


56 An American Engineer in China
lows. Possibly it was its height, for perched on
it one could imagine himself a gay freebooter
ploughing the Spanish Main, until the sight of a
steel tape would rudely bring him back to the
realization that he was nothing but an American
engineer making a survey for hire ; or perhaps
it was an undefined and undistinguishable grace
in the upward curve of the heavy timber on
the side Whatever it was, there was an instant
resolve made that the junk of which that stern
formed a part must be had. On hailing, the Lao-
dah (which is Chinese for captain) shoved his pig-
tail out of the door and invited us all on board.
With trepidation lest his demands would be un-
warrantably exorbitant, we gradually, and with
much circumlocution, according to Chinese eti-
quette, communicated our wishes to charter the
boat for a journey of two hundred and fifty or
possibly three hundred miles, in short stages, so
that the time might occupy a month, or even two.
As a preliminary to what was evidently about to
become an important financial negotiation, and
in compliance with Chinese custom, the Lao-dah,
in order to show his respect for us, offered tea.
We, with a still higher respect for ourselves,
with great ceremony and greater resolution, de-
clined the same. It is wonderful what vile stuff
is drunk in that country, where the finest tea
that the world knows comes from ; but the na-
tives consume only what they cannot sell or give


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 57
away. After a long session with Mrs. Lao-dah
for in every Chinese junk the woman seems to
command the Lao-dah returned, chin-chinned,
and said that he would take us for forty taels/
Now forty taels means about twenty-eight dollars,
gold, and that was to include the boat, the crew
of eight men, with their rice and all expenses, for
possibly two months. Naturally our faces be-
trayed our astonishment, which the Lao-dah en-
tirely misunderstood, and apparently fearing that
he had lost the trade, begged us to make an offer.
We finally agreed on thirty-six taels, or twenty-
five dollars. Subsequently we discovered that
our childlike and bland young friend, knowing
that we would have a permit to pass all the Lik-
in stationsthat is, the places where heavy in-
ternal customs taxes are leviedhad made this low
price in order to secure the charter, and had then
laid in a little stock of dutiable articles to trade
in on his own account; in short, he made us his
partners in a smuggling enterprise! After that
I had, and will always entertain, the highest re-
spect for the ability of a Chinese to turn an hon-
est penny.
Early in December we started, but not without
much anxiety and misgivings 011 the part of the
chief. The Chinese officials had either tried to
dissuade me from going, or if, like the Viceroy
and the Director-General, courageous enough to
have me start, nevertheless impressed upon me


io 6
An American Engineer in China
the necessity for extreme caution when travers-
ing Hu-nan. The foreign residents were practi-
cally unanimous that the trip could not be made,
or, if made, that a land survey would be impos-
sible, and that we would be compelled to remain
practically prisoners in our junk, although un-
der the orders of Viceroy Chang Chih-tung we
were to be always accompanied by a guard of
Chinese soldiers.
The Yang-tze, even at this distance of over
seven hundred miles from the mouth, is still a noble
stream, with a width of a mile, and a minimum
depth, at lowest stage of water in winter, of six
feet, with its continual procession of large junks
carrying down coal from Hu-nan, opium and silk
from Sz-chuen, wool from the mountains of Ti-
bet, and passing other large junks carrying up in
return, yarn from India, cottons from Lancashire,
and oil from America. Its banks, when not high
enough to be above flood-level, are built up with
dykes, behind which are farms of rice, oil-beans,
cotton, tobacco and, 011 approaching Hu-nan, tea.
For about one-half of the time we were obliged
to sleep on shore, where camping in tents was
impossible on account of the great curiosity of
the people. In their eagerness to see a foreign
devil," to examine his short hair, to feel his queer
cloth clothes, to inspect his extraordinary big
leather bootswhich last everywhere seemed, of
"all our belongings, to attract the most attention


A Group of Natives who Have Never Before Seen a Foreigner


io 6 An American Engineer in China
they would certainly have torn down any tem-
porary shelter; and at such moments our guard,
in spite of its pretentious proportions of three
hundred soldiers, would have been of little use.
In fact, the only benefitwhich, however, was
no small onethat we derived from our guard,
was its notification to the people that we were
travelling officially and under the protection of
the government. At stopping-places we were
immediately surrounded by curious natives, on
whose faces every human sentiment, from won-
derment to fear, or even hatred, was depicted.
Our preferred sleeping-places were examination
hails, in which are held the annual examinations
of students in the classics for literary degrees,
the stepping-stone for political preferment, the
ambition of every Chinese, for in China public
office means wealth and power; temples, either
public of the Buddhist faith, or private ones for
ancestral worshipthe latter much to be pre-
ferred as being cleaner and better tended ; tea-
hongs or large store-houses, or, as a last resort,
inns.
In the north, where there are horses and where
the roads concentrate toward Peking, there are
enough rich officials travelling to warrant the
maintenance of fairly decent accommodations.
The northern inns are set usually in a compound
in which the travellers' horses are stabled, while
the inn itself with two stories provides furnished


Another Group of Natives
The men on the extreme right and left are soldiers


io 6
An American Engineer in China
rooms where the weary wanderer can secure
some rest. Rarely do these inns supply food,
which the traveller is supposed to carry with
him, but they are equipped with a large brick
oven called a kang, where the lodgers do their
cooking in common, and on top of which they
frequently sleep in winter. In the south of China
the inns are quite different. There are no horses,
and there are rarely any grandee travellers. When
the latter do come they are quartered in the yamen
of the local officials, or in temples previously en-
gaged and prepared. The southern inn is not
set in a compound, but opens directly on the vil-
lage street or country road. There is usually a
large hall containing the kang, rarely arranged to
be slept on, and on both sides of the hall are the
sleeping-rooms, which are more like prison-cells.
Sometimes there is a window, which if it is
" glazed is done so with thin tissue paper. On
arrival at such a place the foreigner in self-pro-
tection has to barricade his door, which may keep
him from personal contact with the crowd, but
does not protect him from observation. It is not
many minutes before his paper window is fairly
riddled with small holes, behind each one of which
he knows there is an almond-shaped eye, while a
glance overhead will show little bright beads of
light reflecting the flicker of the Chinese candle
between the ceiling boards, the eyes of boys and
men lying on the floor of the attic and taking in


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 63
everything from their point of vantage. A grunt-
ing noise under foot will explain the stench, that has
been so very oppressively evident, as arising from
the pigsty right beneath the very floor. Then a
later arrival will pile on the kang in the common
hall a lot of straw to rekindle the fire, whose tear-
producing effect is a welcome boon as drowning
Coolies Waiting to be Employed as Carriers
for a moment the odors of the pigsty and other
things worse, which cannot be defined. But even
under such circumstances sleep will come, and
at last the smoke, the pigsty, the peeping Toms,
and the babel in the hall are blotted out.
My first experience with the morning that fol-
lows I shall never forget. The main door was
barred and guarded by soldiers, and without,


io 6 An American Engineer in China
packed solid in the little narrow street, was a
mass of struggling humanity all armed with
poles and all shouting. Was there a riot in
progress?" I asked. Oh, no, these are the coo-
lies, three hundred in number, who will carry
our things to-day." A hurried breakfast eaten,
our belongings packed up, and then the doors
are swung back. In they rush There are more
coolies than are needed, so they realize that first
come, first employed, for there is no order, no
system. The strongest push aside the weakest,
and seize the lightest and most desirable pack-
ages. Our cook-stove, specially constructed for
the expedition, is seized while still warm and
swung from two bamboo poles, and off it goes
ft
Coolie Carrying My Bedding


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 65
hanging 011 the shoulders of four men. Surely
everything will be broken, or if not broken, lost,
and I am in despair all day. That night, on reach-
ing our destination, I find my Chinese boy, as
serene and unconcerned as ever, getting ready
my pot of tea. At last I pluck up courage to ask
him if certain things in which I am particularly
interested have arrived safely. Have got,
massa." Then the greater question, All things,
Yang?" Yes, all tings, massa." I never under-
stood it, and finally became accustomed to it;
A Yamen Runner
but the only explanation of the phenomenon
that I could give was that the Chinese way
was not my way, and that in spite of apparent


io 6
An American Engineer in China
disorder there was somewhere or somehow a
system.
In order that the people along the route might
be prepared for our coming and warned against
molesting us, large hand-written placards were
posted on the walls of towns in advance of our
coming, bearing the official chop or seal of the
Viceroy, the Director-General, and the Governor.
These placards fully explained to the people the
nature of a railway, and described how its bene-
fits would be manifold. Through its agency the
people will obtain a means of livelihood, thus sup
pressing vagrancy and robbery, to the benefit of
all localities. An equitable price will be paid for
all land required for the road, and no loss will be
suffered by any one. The blessings of the road
will be hundredfold to the peoplethe disadvan-
tages none whatever;" and closing with these
words : As the artisans of China are unfamiliar
with railroad construction, American engineers
have been engaged to come here to survey the
line, and it is feared that some persons, ignorant
of the purpose of their coming, may take alarm;
therefore this proclamation is issued for their in-
struction. Let it be known to the scholars and
merchants, and people at large, that they must
peacefully pursue their occupation and create no
trouble or obstruction. The military and the
gentry are to instruct the populace to create no
disturbance. Should rowdies circulate rumors to


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 67
disturb the populace and gather crowds together,
the officials are ordered to assemble the police
and arrest them, and deal with them with severity ;
110 mercy shall be shown them."
What is called in the proclamation a police-
man is an attendant of the magistrate's yamen
(official residence), and is an individual who is
even more loathed than feared by the people, if
that is possible. He rarely receives wages, and,
in fact, is said frequently to pay for his place.
He makes his living by a system of extortions
from the weak, by threatening to report them
for petty offences, sometimes not even committed;
by inflicting extra punishment when offenders
are convicted, unless bribed ; by reporting per-
sons for some special tax, or by other similar dis-
honest means. As showing the type of man these
yamen runners are, I recall a little incident which
happened, 011 one occasion, after our whole party
lost its way, and the attending officials, the guard,
and the baggage train were hopelessly scattered.
The next morning early I started, with a solitary
guide, for the agreed-on point of rendezvous for
the night previous. On arrival I found that I
was the first of the foreigners to get there, and
had even preceded the greater part of the bag-
gage train. Through some of our servants who
could speak English, I communicated to the local
official that I would like to inspect the town, and
was thereupon conducted by several of these po-


io 6
An American Engineer in China
licemen or yamen runners." As is usual, they
were armed with bamboo sticks about four feet
long, split down about three-quarters of their
length, so that when they were waved in the
air the pieces slapped each other and made a
terrifying din. With these sticks they clubbed
back the people, who naturally pressed forward
in their curiosity to see a foreigner for the first
time, but otherwise were perfectly orderly and re-
spectful. I soon noticed that the yamen men were
exceedingly careful to avoid hitting full-bodied
men, but fearlessly exhibited their importance by
striking old men, cripples, and boys. When one
of them raised his stick to strike an inoffensive
old woman who was not in the way at all, I felt
obliged to interferean act which was greeted
with loud shouts of approval by the crowd.
These yamen runners are a cowardly, despica-
ble, lying lot, and represent one of the great causes
of discontent that the masses feel toward the gov-
erning class.
On this occasion, while inspecting the town, a
high-grade Chinese funeral was taking place.
Now a Chinese funeral is a great source of joy to
all but the central personage. At the head of the
procession come boys bearing placards reciting
the virtues of the deceased, many of which his
neighbors had probably failed to detect in life ;
then follows a bier, and after that a collection of
various eatables and silver bullion, all in paper to


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 69
be burned at the grave, so as to provide the de-
parted with these necessaries on his long journey7;
while the coffin itself is surmounted by a gro-
tesque and ridiculous dragon, intended probably
to frighten away the evil spirit. Before and be-
hind and 011 both sides are hired boys sending off
enough fire-crackers to supply a small-sized New
England village on the Fourth of July. It was very
hard 011 the town that two such shows, a manda-
rin's funeral and the first foreigner, should both
be playing at the same time. For a moment the
crowd hesitated, but only for a moment! That
mandarin had his paid placard-bearers and his
fire-crackers, but otherwise went to his grave un-
mourned and unsung. I had the crowd.


io 6
An American Engineer in China
Hu-nan : The Entrance
On the morning of December 24, 1898, we
crossed a long bridge, composed of stone beams
thirty feet long, with an attractive temple at the
farther end, into Hu-nan, which we had already
termed the enemy's country." From that p,oint
011 we became an increasing source of wonder-
ment and amusement to the natives." Christmas
night found us at a little town called Ping-shui
(literally Still Water"), and all preparations
were made for a proper dinner after the day's
work. We were located in a tea-hong, opening
directly on the village street, and with little pro
vision for keeping out the crowd, so that the room
in which we were dining was filled with natives,
standing four or five deep around our table, and
then stretching to the door and even to the street
in a solid crowd. It was a singular thought to
realize that our jollity that night was something
more than the customary Christmas celebration.
It was the first message to these people of a pos-
sible betterment in their condition, and a promise
of the breaking of the bonds which have held them
down for so many centuries, and our song of how
" from every mountain-side let freedom ring" had
that night possibly a special significance. But
perhaps still more striking was the fact that this
message of freedom was being carried by repre-


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 71
sentatives of the youngest nation upon earth to
the oldest. Our actions, our songs, our very
food, but above all, our forks and knives, were a
source of inexplicable astonishment to the people ;
but when our plum puddinga thoughtful gift of
an English lady in Hankowappeared, decorated
with holly and blazing in true Yule-tide style, a
look of terror appeared on their faces. The climax,
however, was reached when a flash-light picture of
the scene was taken. When the magnesium pow-
der flared up, the crowd broke and ran. Probably
the natives of Ping-shui stoutly maintain to-day
that foreign devils" are huge men with beards,
who feed on uncooked meat which they tear to
pieces with short swords and spears, and which
excites them to such a degree that they shout loud
and often, and in the midst of their excitement eat
flames. I have not the slightest doubt that some s
such idea is generally prevalent in that town to-
day.
After such extraordinary exhibitions it is little
wonder that so unenlightened a race as the Chi-
nese forms so erroneous an estimate of all for-
eigners. Fearing lest our St. Nicholas zeal might
create a too strongly false impression, I sent for
the local officials and explained to them that we
were but celebrating the greatest day in our
calendara day that is to us of the same impor-
tance that New-Year's is to them. With that out-
ward politeness that is so charming, and at times


io 6 An American Engineer in China
so exasperatingly used as a cloak or subterfuge,
they expressed their regrets at their ignorance,
and said that had they but known it, they would
have been glad to have shown some special honor,
to both the day and us.
The Procession
Two official chairs are seen. The flags on the right indicate the posi-
tion of the military commander. The foreground is a flooded rice-
field
From now on we were conscious of the precau-
tions taken by the Viceroy for our protection.
Our guard was largely increased, so that our pro-
cession, including mandarins with their attendants,
soldiers, coolies carrying baggage and supplies,


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 73
consisted frequently of from five hundred to six
hundred men, and as they marched in straggling
order and in single file, the distance from the head
to the rear of the column would frequently be five
Placard Bearers who Preceded the Procession to Announce
Our Coming
miles. The Chinese love a show, and this pro-
cession offered opportunities that could not be
neglected. Although the details were largely a
matter of the degree of imagination possessed by


io 6 An American Engineer in China
the local functionary in charge, we were usually
preceded by men or ragged boys carrying plac-
ards or wooden standards announcing our com-
ing, and commanding the people to give place.
Then there would be the flags of the commander
and of the regiment acting as guard; soldiers
armed with spears, tridents, two-handed swords,
flintlock or, at times, even match-lock guns. The
uniform of the Chinese soldier is a comfortable
but a most unmilitary collection of garments.
The coat, in its hang, resembles a cloak with wide,
loose sleeves. It is of a plain color, with a wide
marginal band of another hue. On the breast and
back are marked, usually on white discs sewed
to the coat, the number of the man, the desig-
nation of the organization to which he belongs,
and his position in the ranks. The trousers are
of dark blue cotton, and usually tied close around
the ankles. The queue is worn wrapped about the
head, and the whole enclosed in a dark blue cot-
ton turban. Beneath the coat is a waistcoat with
tight-fitting sleeves projecting about six inches be-
yond the ends of the fingers. The wearer can let
the projections hang down, when they protect the
hands from the weather, or can convert them into
a muff by merely clasping his hands within the
long sleeves. When he wishes to use his hands
he rolls his sleeves up. If the weather be cold he
wears as many undercoats as he pleases. He car-
ries no knapsack, but instead a cotton bag some-


Chinese Soldiers who Formed Our Guard


io 6
An American Engineer in China
what like a short golf-club bag, which he wears
diagonally across his back, suspended by a cord
over one shoulder and the chest, and in it he car-
ries all the articles needed for a march, his to-
bacco pipe, fan, and paper umbrella!
According to the instructions of the Viceroy,
we were accompanied by the local magistrate
having complete jurisdiction over the Hsien, or
district through which we were travelling, and
which average in area from about thirty to
forty miles square. In addition there were the
mandarins representing the Viceroy and Director-
General, always one and sometimes more dele-
gated by the provincial Governor, and a military
mandarin of high rank commanding the guard,
with the title of General, and of high button"
rank of the blue or red. The mandarins were
carried in their official sedan chairs, the posi-
tion of the magistrate himself being denoted by
a large gorgeous red umbrella. The Hsien mag-
istrate is the official who comes in direct contact
with the people, and who dispenses justice, au-
thority, and bad government with no uncertain
hand. Two or three Hsiens go to form a Pre-
fecture, the Prefect in command reporting to
the Governor or some agent named by him.
These various officials receive as a regular emolu-
ment a sum much less than what the necessary ex-
penses attendant upon their office are known to
be. The difference between their regular com pen-


Magistrate Mr. Denby Gen. Liu Mr. Parsons
A Chinese Hsien Magistrate and His Red Umbrella, Indicative of His Rank and Presence


io 6
An American Engineer in China
sation and actual income, which latter is supposed
to be large, is procured by deliberately appropri-
ating a portion of the tax levy, or, perhaps more
usually, through an ingenious system of squeezes
or extortions. From a foreign point of view,
they form a class intensely ignorant. The people
hate them, but, on account of their almost un-
controlled power, fear them ; while the magis-
trates, on the other hand, seem to fear the people,
and hesitate to exercise much authority over them
as a mass, preferring apparently to reserve their
power for extortions in individual cases. The
very evident mutual fear of the governing and
governed classes was striking and interesting.
This will be referred to later.
Some of these officials are not lacking in the
social traits which we call good fellowship, and
which made more than one a welcome guest at
the evening gathering between dinner and bed-
time, when our regret was that the conversation
had to pass through the halting medium of an in-
terpreter. There was one magistrate who took
most kindly to foreign ways, foreign food, and
even to foreign whiskey, with a particular fond-
ness for the variety of the last known as Old
Glenlivet.
At the time of passing through his jurisdiction
our headquarters were afloat, so that he joined
us with his junk, and every night his place at din-
ner was regularly set, and on returning to his own


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 79
boat he always took with him that comforting and
comfortable glow so frequently the accompani-
ment of Scotland's liquid production. One night
as he was leaving after dinner, dressed as usual in
his long embroidered official robes, with his button
and his peacock feather, chin-chinning or bow-
ing his farewell as he walked backwards down the
narrow plank connecting the junk with the shore,
there was suddenly a series of rapid gyrations,
like the rotating of the sails of a windmill, then a
void in the night air, followed a moment later by
a loud splash, immediately preceded by certain
articulations which fortunately our knowledge of
Chinese was not sufficient to catch exactly, but
concerning which it is hoped that the pen of the
recording angel will follow the example of mine.
Thanks to his queue and the united efforts of two
coolies and a boat-hook, he was at last placed on
his native soil.
The Chinese costume does not diminish the be-
draggled effect of an involuntary bath. The next
evening he called as usual at the dinner-hour,
and expressed his deep mortification at the pre-
vious evening's catastrophe, explaining at great
length that his servant, an unfeeling rascal, had
held the light in the wrong place. We begged
him not to mention it; that we understood the
phenomenon perfectly ; that our servants had been
known to hold double lights, bringing us to grief,
and, in fact, it was well authenticated that in our


io 6 An American Engineer in China
large cities, where lights were firmly fixed on iron
poles, the latter have been seen to wave. This
explanation gave him great comfort. He was a
nice fellow, and I hope some day to see him be-
come a member of the Tsung-li Yamen, for he
would honor that or any other board.
The people in this northeastern part of the prov-
ince are generally well-to-do, living in tiled-roof
farm-houses or little hamlets. The valleys are
well and carefully cultivated, the principal crops
being tea and rice, the former for sale and export,
the latter for domestic consumption. The Chinese,
in all their habits, wants, and tastes, are extremely
simple beings. As variety and change seem to
possess no charm,.their clothes in the country are
invariably the sameof indigo-dyed cottonwhile
their food consists of the crop most easily grown
in the locality, which in Southern China is rice,
and in Northern China millet. This rice is eaten
flavored with pickled cabbage or other vegetable,
and sometimes relieved with fish, but rarely with
meat. In the case of a cooliethat is, of the low-
est classsuch will be the diet the year through;
if more well-to-do the list will be enlarged by the
addition of pork, mutton, chickens, ducks, or eggs.
Since food cannot be cut on the table with chop-
sticks, meat is sliced into small pieces before cook-
ing, and then stewed. The higher-class Chinese
are great gourmets, as the following menu of a
dinner given us by the magistrate of Siang-yin


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 81
will show, the table being set with a number of
small dishes containing fancy cakes and sweet-
meats:
Chicken giblets and ham,
Sharks' fins,
Pigeon's eggs,
Wood fungus,
Dough cakes,
Lotus seeds (hot),
Stewed fish,
Stewed chicken and pork,
Snails,
Bamboo shoots,
Stewed mutton,
Meat cakes and sweet grapes,
Roast pig,
Pork, fish, and vegetables boiled in a chafing-dish
on the table,
Rice.
We had not been long in Hu-nan before receiv-
ing illustrative warnings of possible trouble. On
approaching Yo-chou, a large and flourishing city,
situated near the junction of the Siang and Yang-
tze rivers, the gate-way to the province, and which
has since been declared a treaty port, we received
word by courier from the Governor of Hu-nan that
on no account must we go near Yo-chou, let alone
enter it, as ten thousand students were gathered
there from all parts of the province trying to pass
the examination for the first degree, and that the
authorities would not be answerable for the conse-


io 6
An American Engineer in China
quences should we be found in their vicinity. Ap-
parently Chinese students do not differ essentially
from those of other lands. I replied to the Gov-
ernor's messenger that Yo-chou was a place of so
much importance, that a survey of it was necessary.
On reaching the outskirts we were met by a large
guard and politely conducted by arletour outside
of the city along the river-shore to our junks
where we slept, and which were flanked on both
sides by gun-boats. The first night, just before
retiring, a messenger came from the Hsien Magis-
trate announcing that a riot was imminent, that
the students had threatened to burn the Roman
Catholic Mission, whose priest was the sole for-
eigner in Yo-chou, and that the latter had fled. We
could do nothing as we were prisoners. The rea-
son for sending us word was not clear, unless as
a notice of what we ourselves might expect. Per-
haps the described riot did not occur at all. We
never knew. It is hard dealing with a Chinese
official. One is never sure. The next day, under
a strong military escort, I inspected the city and
saw no students.
Chang-sha, the capital of Hu-nan, is one of the
most interesting places in the whole empire, on
account of its extreme exclusiveness. Only two
or three foreigners, but no missionary, had ever
been within the city, and these few were smug-
gled in in closed chairs. Like all Chinese cities,
it is heavily walled, and strongly gated, the gates


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 83
being locked at night, giving a most mediaeval
air. The population is estimated by the Chinese
to be about a million, but that figure, like all oth-
ers in the same line, is probably an exaggeration.
Five hundred thousand would seem more likely to
be nearer the mark. The streets are narrow, being
but six to twelve feet wide. On them the shops
open directly, and in front of the shops are fre-
quently stationed small booths. During business
hours, the whole shop-front, consisting of wooden
shutters, is taken down, exposing the interior, so
that a street resembles a bazaar, or rather an ar-
cade, as it is frequently roofed over with bamboo
mats. Hanging down in front of the shops are
long, swinging signs, sometimes indicating the
kind of goods for sale, but more frequently being
felicitous greetings. I saw one that was trans-
lated, Prices according to mutual agreement"
no fixed price for that tradesman.
On account of the local traditions, which were
to be broken if possible, and on account of the
general attitude of the Governor, it was deemed
essential that not only should our expedition enter
the city, but that we should be received publicly,
and with full honors, according to the Chinese
ritual, by the Governor himself. I, therefore,
with the "flag-ship" and an attending gun-boat,
pushed ahead of the survey party, and arrived
at Chang-sha on January 7th at eleven o'clock in
the forenoon. Our coming was expected; a tri-


io 6
An American Engineer in China
umphal arch had been erected 011 the shorean
arch, by the way, as we afterwards learned, we
were not expected to pass through, but which
we did, neverthelessand as our junk was poled
up to the landing-place through a lane opened
among the other boats, a great crowd came down
to see us. Immediately on mooring, the local
magistrate, in his official robes, called and extend-
ed a greeting. I then, without delay, sent my
Chinese visiting-card to the Governor, announced
my arrival in his capital city, and stated that I
desired, accompanied by my whole staff, to call
upon him and pay my respects. What followed
was a good illustration of Chinese diplomacy, the
roundabout ways of which were one of the diffi-
culties that beset our movements. The Governor
replied that he was glad to hear of our safe ar-
rival, but that he would not trouble us to call, in-
stead of which, accompanied by the chief officers
of the province, he would call on us the next
morning at eleven. With many complimentary
phrases, I immediately pointed out that not only
did Chinese etiquette, but even foreign etiquette,
demand that a Governor should have the stranger
call on him, and as my staff would arrive that
evening, and as he was apparently free at eleven
o'clock the next morning, I proposed that we
should all visit him formally at that hour. Word
then came from the Governor that he regretted
that he could not receive me at eleven, because at


Main Courtyard ef the Governor's Yamen at Chang-sha


io 6
An American Engineer in China
that hour he would be engaged in inspecting his
troops at their archery practice; therefore he
wished us a pleasant and prosperous journey on-
ward from Chang-sha. Of course there was
nothing then for us to do but put ourselves en-
tirely at his convenience for any hour of the day
or evening when he would be free from the ex-
actions of watching the archers. Then the ex-
cuse was offered that he had made no prepara-
tions to receive distinguished foreigners. This
requirement we, of course, at once waived. Then
his yamen (official residence) was too small. We
replied that we knew that his yamen was as large
as that of the Viceroy, and that the latter had
found no difficulty in receiving us. When it was
learned that the Viceroy had given us an audience,
the whole affair assumed a different aspect, and a
long conference with those versed in the intrica-
cies of Chinese etiquette ensued, during which a
small diagram which I had made in my note-book
illustrating the viceregal reception played a promi-
nent part. It was finally decided that Chang
Chih-tung, in permitting our chairs to be carried
to a certain place and in a certain manner, had used
the same ceremony that a provincial treasurer,
who ranks next to the Governor, was entitled to
have accorded him. Clearly a man who had been
thus received could not be unceremoniously re-
'fused an audience. Then the Governor said he
would receive me alone, an offer that was respect-


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 87
fully declined, and finally he ventured, as a com-
promise, that I might select as companions three
members of my staff. I assured his Excellency
that my staff was composed of equally distin-
guished men, and that any invidious comparison
in the way of selection was out of the question,
but as it was now nearly midnightfor more
than twelve hours had been consumed in the di-
plomatic intercoursethat I would not trouble
him to reply immediately, but hoped that when
morning came he would see his way clear to re-
ceive us all. At 10.30 the next forenoon he sent
eleven official chairs from his own household, one
for each of the foreigners and Messrs. Woo and
Lo, the secretaries of H. E. Sheng, and a large
guard of soldiers under the personal command of
General Liu Kao-chao, the military commandant
of the capital. With his trumpeters and flag-
bearers preceding; with the genial and portly
general himself at the head of the troops; with
our chairs in line, from the leading one of which
the chief engineer waved a small American flag
we entered the city, the first foreign party to
do so publicly and with official honors, and very
proud to feel that the first foreign flag to wave
within Chang-sha walls should be that of the
great republic. Thus fell Hu-nan's strongest
tradition Although the streets were jammed
with people and the houses along the route filled
to overflowing, there was not heard a single op-


io 6 An American Engineer in China
probrious epithet or even impolite reference. As
a general thing, the people seemed glad to see
us, or, at the worst, merely exhibited a stolid in-
difference or, more usually an inordinate curios-
ity. The reception by the Governor was all
that could be desired. Our chairs were carried
into the inner court, where we were met by a per-
sonal representative of the Governor, to whom
our Chinese cards were given. These, placed in
order of rank, he carried in his right hand above
his head, and so conducted us to the first reception-
room, where we were presented to the provincial
officers, such as the Treasurer, Salt Commis-
sioner, and others, and then by them led to a sec-
ond reception-room, where we were presented to
his Excellency Yu Lien-san. The Governor was
dressed in his official robes, which at that time
of the year consisted of sable. Wearing his red
button and peacock feather and other insignia of
high rank, he received us in a most gracious and
polite manner. He is a man of medium size, has
an iron-gray mustache and a small gray imperial,
with an intelligent face and great ceremony of
manner. He inquired about our work, expressed
his interest in its outcome, and his belief that a
railway would be of enormous benefit to his peo-
ple, and assured me that he had issued full in-
structions which would insure the party cordial
treatment for the rest of our journey. The inter-
view lasted about fifteen minutes, when we were


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 89
reconducted to our chairs, and returned 'to our
boat by the same way in which we came.
The shops of Chang-sha will compare favorably
with the shops of any other city in China, display-
ing a full line of articles of Chinese and of foreign
manufacture ; in fact, so wide a range of choice is
there that we were even able to stock our larder
with a good supply of Munich beer in the orig-
inal bottles.


io 6
An American Engineer in China
Hu-nan: The Interior
When the American party left Chang-sha, two
of our boats, nicknamed the Mary Ann and Consort,
were exchanged for three smaller junks of lighter
draught, as the former were too large to proceed
farther at the existing low stage of the river.
<
River Gunboat
While on the Siang our flotilla was always
accompanied by one or more river gunboats.
These boats are intended to protect the trading-
junks from attacks of river pirates, which would
otherwise be of frequent occurrence. They are
from fifty to seventy-five feet in length, with a
beam of eight to ten feet, are flat-bottomed, and


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 91
draw but one foot. On the overhanging stern is
a little cabin for the commander, the crew sleep-
ing at night under an awning stretched over the
boat. They are constructed of a native wood
somewhat resembling yellow pine, which is oiled
only, so that the wood is left bright and its showy
grain fully brought out. They are furnished
with a square sail stiffened with bamboo slats,
hoisted on a pine mast without stays. If there is
an adverse wind or none at all, they can be easily
rowed. They are armed with a small cast-iron
cannon, about a three or a six pounder, fixed on
the bow, while the crew of eight to twelve men
are furnished with swords and muskets, the latter
being generally of a very old type, even match-
locks being not rare. These gunboats are always
kept in the pink of condition and repair. The
sails are of cotton canvas, sometimes colored blue,
and must be constantly changed, as we never saw
one in bad order. The crew see to it that the
boat itself is always shipshape and spotlessly
clean; in fact, when any one boards a gunboat
one of the crew immediately presents a wet mop,
on which the feet must be wiped. All this appears
most striking in a country where the direct oppo-
site, in the way of untidiness and uncleanliness
and lack of attention to repair, is the universal
rule. How the gunboats ever escaped contami-
nation I could not learn ; but they have, and the
traveller is thankful.


io 6 An American Engineer in China
At night our boats were brought close together,
with gunboats on the flanks to protect them from
the petty river thieves. Watch was kept faith-
fully, sentries being armed with a loud bamboo
rattle, which they sounded at intervals of every
ten minutes. Everywhere in China the night
watchman is thus supplied, with the idea of fright-
ening away thieves. The practical result is, how-
ever, to give exact information of the whereabouts
of the guard, and enable the thief to lie in wait-
ing until the guard has passed on his rounds.
It is the custom to give the attending guard a
" cumsha or substantial gratuity. On one oc-
casion we gave a present to the crew of a gun-
boat the day before they left us. The captain, to
show his appreciation, had double guards set that
night, who sounded their rattles without cessa-
tion, making sleep an impossibility. After that
we gave no more presents until we were sure
that we would permanently part company with
that crew.
It was not long before it became desirable to
procure a horse to enable one of the engineers to
ride. This was no easy matter, as horses are used
but little. However, we finally found a man who
could accommodate us, and early the next morn-
ing he brought around for our inspection an
animal that he called a horse, but which, had its
ears been longer, might have passed as a large
donkey. Price, 40 taels. We looked him over,


Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 93
an operation not requiring much time, and bid 10
taels. The owner replied that 40 taels was his
lowest price, but if we meant business he would
say 35 taels, or would consider an offer. We
assured him of our business intentions, and raised
our figure to 12 taels. A horse trade is always
an interesting ceremony, but how much more so
under these circumstances, where a foreigner was
to supply the victim Each bid and counter-prop-
osition was received with loud shouts of ap-
proval by the crowd, who offered advice freely
and impartially to both principals, for they were
divided in their desire to see the foreigner swind-
led and in their anxiety not to establish too high
a market value for horseflesh. When the differ-
ence between the negotiators became so small that
a trade was evidently in sight, it was suggested
that we go within the temple where we had spent
the night and conclude matters, and where at last
we reached an agreement of 20 taels, saddle in-
cluded. Our money was in bullion, for the tael
is not a coin, but a weight of silver, and the clos-
est approximation to 20 taels that we could make
was I9tVo, which our Chinese friend declined as
not according to compact. We told him we
would make up the difference by throwing in
something, and for him to select. After inspect-
ing our belongings he picked out an empty Apol-
linaris bottle, saying that he had owned a bottle
once and had found it very useful, but some years


io 6
An American Engineer in China
since it had been unfortunately broken. We told
him that we too came from a country where the
bottle was appreciated and highly valued, and for
him to choose again. In the meantime our servants
had packed nearly everything preparatory to the
day's march, and the only portable thing left, and
that of course had no value, was the rind of a pu-
maloe, a kind of orange about the size of a musk-
melon. This empty rind he was offered, and, to
our surprise it was promptly and gladly accepted.
Whether he saw some special virtue in it, whether
he had not recognized it, and thought it a peculiar
foreign article, or whether it was done merely to
" save face," on which so much store is set, I do
not know, but the last we saw of that man he was
hugging his rind like a treasure. Before we had
seen the last of his horse, however, we felt that if
the pumaloe rind had constituted the whole of
the purchase-price we still should have been the
losers.
It is surprising how closely the people in one
section of the country pattern after those else-
where, when one remembers the lack, almost
absolute lack, of intercommunication. But in
spite of the general sameness, which perhaps
appears greater than it is on account of the uni-
formity in physiognomy of the people, with the
Mongolian coloring and jet-black hair, there were
many peculiar customs which appeared to be
localized, as many of them were found only in


Full Text

PAGE 1

'!

PAGE 2

PRESENTED to the LIBRARY of the SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES University of London by C.hina Associati.o,n .... .......... 1979 .....................................

PAGE 3

........ kq h-. d6U -aL_;,/j?"o/

PAGE 5

An American Engineer in China

PAGE 8

The American Engineers in the Field

PAGE 9

An American Engineer in China By Wm. Bare lay Parsons .-]:NEW YORK McClure, Phillips & Co. M C M

PAGE 10

Copyright, I 900, by McCLURE, PHlLLIPS & CO.

PAGE 11

Preface THE following pages are designed to present a view of China and the Chinese from the stand-point of industrial development as it exists at present and along the lines it is likely to follow in the future. Such phases of the Chinese question as the missionary problems, and the causes and treatment of the recent political disturbance, are left entirely to be dealt with by others, as, likewise, are all matters of government, internal and foreign politics, and personal or national characteristics, except in so far as they may come within the subject scope. In the years 1898 and 1899 the author was in China, under retainer of an American syndicate to examine, survey, and report on an extensive railway enterprise, and the duties connected with his professional work placed him in an exceptional position to study and observe this interesting country and its people from a quite different point of view from that taken by other writers. The journey made in the course of the survey had a special interest, in that it traversed Hu-nan, that province of China of which the least was known, and presented the opportunity, successfully availed of, to obtain an entrance to, and an 5

PAGE 12

6 Preface official recognition in, Chang-sha, the one large city in China which hitherto had been closed to foreigners. The author was accompanied by a corps of engineers, consisting of 1\Ir. R. C. Hunt, Chief of Staff, and Messrs. A. E. Coulter, H. B. Magor, W. K. Brice, and W. S. K. W etmore-to whom were added Mr. Charles Den by, Jr., as interpreter and manager, and Dr. R. B. J ellison as physician. Sheng Ta-jen, Director-General of Imperial Chinese Railways, kindly attached to the party Mr. \V. \V. Rich, his consulting engineer, and \Voo Yung-fo, and Lo Kwok-shui, two of his secretaries. The two last mentioned gentlemen had been educated in the United States, the latter as an engineer. They both had been recalled in the midst of their collegiate studies, and subsequently Mr. \Voo entered the Chinese navy, where he served as flag-lieutenant to Captain Lang, R.N., at that time acting as Chinese Admiral. \Vhen Admiral Ting succeeded Captain Lang, Mr. \Voo was transferred to the former's staff, and stood at the side of his chief in the conning tower of the flag-ship in the famous battle of the Ya-lu in the Japanese \Var. The journey was not without its rough as well as its interesting side, and was one of some considerable personal risk. The party was accompanied by a large force of Chinese soldiers for

PAGE 13

Preface 7 protection, Chinese officials to indicate its char acter, and a body of coolies acting as porters, for all stores had to be carried. Provisions, except eggs, fish, and fresh meat, were purchased before starting in sufficient quantity to maintain the party in the field for some months. The articles mentioned above were obtained without trouble, and usually as presents from the local officials, the meats consisting of buffalo, sheep, goat, deer, wild ducks and chicken. The author desires to take this opportunity to express his sense of personal obligation to Their Excellencies: Sheng, the Director-General of Rail ways and Telegraphs, with whom the author was necessarily brought into close contact; Chang Chih-tung, the great central Viceroy, through whose territory the survey was made; and Wu Ting-fang, China's able representative in "Vash ington; to Mr. Conger, the United States Minister at Peking, the latter particularly for such personal aiel as his official position permitted ; and to Mr. John Goodnow, United States Consul-General at Shanghai. Part of the matter contained in this volume has previously appeared in JWcClurc's and Engineering Magazines and Harper's Weekly, and is republished through the courtesy of the respective editors,

PAGE 14

8 Preface although now entirely rewritten and enlarged. All the illustrations are from photographs act ually taken on the expedition, and for the most part represent Chinese life as it exists in the interior of the Empire. NEW YORK, November, 1900.

PAGE 15

A Table of the Chapters Chapter Page I. China I 5 II. American Concession 44 Ill. Hu-nan, The Closed Province of China 54 The Entrance The Interior The Exit IV. My Chinese Impressions V. Commeree and Commercial Relations VI. Finances of China VII. Chinese Construction VIII. Inland Communication IX. Railways X. The Yellow Peril XI. China in the Twentieth Century 109 127 I 81 22I 245 286

PAGE 17

A List of the Illustrations The American Engineers in the Field f./rontispiece Page Stairway Leading to Temple of Confucius, Peking 22 Carved Stone Animals Lining the Road Leading to the Ming Tombs 26 Four Members of the Tsung-li Yamen and Mr. Conger in the Court-yard of the Yamen 2S Yang-tze I
PAGE 18

12 A List of the Illustrations Page The Descent from the Che-ling Pass on the South Side 100 Two Faithful Friends I02 The Wall and Gateway on the Border between Hu-nan and Kiang-si 106 A Bridge over Dry Ground with a Coolie Climbing the Approach Steps on the Left I07 A Kwang-tung Pawnshop and Smrounding Village I 10 Under Two Flags I22 Chinese and Manchu Ladies of the Upper Class I28 A Neglected Buddhist Temple IJ9 Chinese Graves I4I Flags were Everywhere in Profusion I44 General Liu Kao-chao at Tiffin I46 Wall Along Yang-tze Kiang at Wu-chang, Opposite Hankow I52 Road-side Shrine in Which Papers are Burned I66 A Hu-nan Farm-house I68 A Chinese Saw-mill I 77 A Military Officer and Two Privates I8o "Bell" Cash I97 A Very Old Arch in Eastern Hu-nan, Previously Unexplored 200 Ping-hsiang Bridge 202 A Beautiful Single Span 204 Arch near Peking 206 A Small Bridge 208 \Vooden Cantilever Bridge at Li-ling-, over the Lu Ho 210 Pagoda near \V u-chang 2 I I Chinese House Construction-a Combination of a Wooden Frame and Brick walls 2I2

PAGE 19

A List of the Illustrations 13 Page The Famous Wall of the Tartar City, Peking, with One of the Gate-towers 214 The Great wall of China 216 The Siang Kiang 224 A Freight-boat Being Paled Against the Stream 228 A Sail That May Have Seen Better Days, but Which is by no Means a Unique Specimen 230 A Female Skipper 232 The Equality of Sex. A Man and a \Voman at the Oar 233 A Cantonese Slipper Boat 235 Fast Freight by Wheelbarrow 237 The Author Travelling in an Official Chair 238 Boy Carrying Coal from the Mines to the River 240 A Typical Road on Top of a Dyke between Rice-tields 241 A Road Paved with Stone Slabs Showing the Groove Cut by \Vheelbarrows 242 The "Rocket of China and ;\lr. Kinder 248 Khojack Tunnel on the Sind-Peshin Railway, India 268 Japanese Passenger Train 270 Typical Large Railway Station in Japan 272 Typical Small Railway Station in Japan 274 Passengers Getting on a Train in China 276 Japanese Railway Freight Station 278 Second-class Train on the Imperial Chinese RailiYay 282 First-class Train on the Imperial Chinese Railway 284

PAGE 21

Chapter I Chin a EVER since the days when Marco Polo brought back to Europe the seeming fairy tales of the wonder land of the Far East, the country to which we have applied the name of China has been a field more and more attractive for commercial conquest. At the close of the nineteenth century, when the ever-rising tide of industrial development has succeeded in sweeping over Europe, America, the better portion of Africa, \Vestern Asia, and India, it is the Chinese \Vall alone that resists its waves. The movement, however, is irresistible, and not even the exclusiveness of the Chinese and their extreme disinclination to change their ways will be a sufficient protection against it. The recent so-called "Boxer" outbreak will probably prove to be the death-knell to Chinese resistance. \Vhatever may be the outcome of this outbreak, in so far as it affects the government or the political integrity of the country, it can be predicted with safety that the commercial and industrial life of China will be revolutionized, and the beginning of the twentieth century will be found to mark the dawning of a new era. The present moment, when we are about to pass from the old into the new state of things, is a IS

PAGE 22

r6 An American Engineer in China fitting time to survey the field of industrial enterprise by examining into what has been done, and to ascertain the sort of foundation that has been prepared on which the Chinese people, aided at first by foreigners, will eventually of themselves erect their own industrial structure. In the consideration of this very interesting land there seems to be a surprise at every turn, and one of the most peculiar is that we are met at the outset by the curious circumstance that it is a country without a name. The Chinese themselves have no fixed designation for their country, using, as a general thing, either the" Middle Kingdom," or the "Celestial Kingdom," or the "Great Pure Kingdom." The interpretation of the first is that the people consider China to be the centre of the world, all the other countries surrounding and being tributary to it; although the term probably originated when, what is now the Province of Ho-nan was the central kingdom of several other kingdoms which together formed a united COllll try. The name "Celestial Kingdom" is a piece of self-flattery, the Chinese Emperor being called in like manner the" Son of Heaven;" while the last name, that of the "Great Pure Kingdom," follows the designation of the present ruling house, which styles itself the "Pure D_vnasty," in contra-distinction to the preceding dynasty which it overthrew, and which was called the .Ming or" Bright Dynasty." The foreigner's appellation of China

PAGE 23

Chapter I : China 17 is of uncertain origin, but it is supposed to mean the land of Chin or Tsin, a family that ruled about 250 B.C.; and even this name is used indiscrimi nately as covering two areas very different in size. \Vhen we use the word China it may mean the Chinese Empire proper, the Empire of the eigh teen provinces; or it may mean the eighteen provinces and the dependencies of Manchuria, Mongolia, and Tibet, whose bond of attachment to the Empire, in strength, is in the above order. The eighteen provinces comprise in area about r,soo,ooo square miles, or an area about equal to that portion of the United States lying east of Colorado. The shape of the Empire proper is substantially rectangular, extending from the latitude of eighteen degrees north, or the latitude of Vera Cruz, to forty-two degrees north, which is about that of New York. when the depen dencies are included under the title of China the northern boundary is carried to the forty eighth parallel, or say the latitude of New Found land, and the whole has an area of over 4,ooo,ooo square miles, a greater surface than that of Europe, or of the United States and Alaska com bined. This great area is reputed to support a population of upwards of 400,ooo,ooo; figures, however, which, as I will later point out, are, i-n my belief, a gross exaggeration ; but the bal ance, even after the most conservative reductions, will still easily be the greatest single con-

PAGE 24

r8 An American Engineer in China tiguous conglomeration of people under one ruler. Racially speaking, they are a conglomeration. Who the Chinese were originally is not known. It is generally believed that they came from \Vestern or Central Asia, and, conquering the scattered nomadic tribes inhabiting what is now China, seized their country. In the dependencies and China proper we find distinct! y different peoples, with diverse customs; while scattered about the Empire proper are settlements of strange tribes, whose origin is absolutely unknown, but who are believed to be relics of the aboriginal inhabitants. Lack of intercommunication has allowed the language of the Chinese to become locally varied, and to such an extent that, although the written characters are the same, the spoken dialects of the North and South are so different as to. be mutually unintelligible. There are said to be in the Empire proper eight dialects, each again being many times subdivided by local colloquialisms. Of these dialects the most important is the socalled Mandarin or Pekingese, the dialect of the North and the official language of the country, the otie which all government officials are required to learn and use. It therefore holds the position in respect to other dialects that the French formerly held in Europe as the court tongue, or language of diplomacy and officialism. Historically, China enJoys the distinction of

PAGE 25

Chapter I : China being the oldest continuing nation in the world. Fairly authentic records trace back the course of events to about 3,000 B.C., so that China rightly claims an existence of at least 5,ooo years. Relating to the time previous to this period there is a vast amount of legendary matter, in which probability and fiction have not yet been separated. China's own historians, with characteristic con ceit, make out their country's history to be contemporaneous with time. Owing to her seclusion and isolation from the affairs of other nations, the history of China possesses a local rather than a world interest, and for the most part is a record of the rise and fall of the several tribes or peoples composing the nation, each such change establishing a new dynasty. However, there are certain epochs of general interest and certain salient points in the nation's development and growth that should be understood and kept in mind if any study of China or of things Chinese is under. taken. Accepted Chinese chronology begins with the reign of Fuh-hi, in the year 2852 B.C. As to the significance of that elate, it is interesting to note that it is 200 years before the rise of the Egyptian monarchy, 500 years before that of Babylon, and precedes the reputed time of Abraham by a period almost as long as the whole record of English history from the conquest to the present time.

PAGE 26

2o An American Engineer in China In the Chau Dynasty, which lasted from B.C. 1122 to B. C. 249, we find the great period in Chi nese literature, an era comparable with that oi Elizabeth in our records. In 5 50 n.c. Confucius was born, whose philosophical reasonings, ow ing to the long time he antedated the spread of Christianity and Mohammedanism, have affected the thought of more human beings than the writ ings or sayings of any other man, with the possi ble exception of Buddha. Although Confucius is the central figure of the epoch, there are at least two other men sub stantially contemporaneous with him, who are only a little less prominent: Liao-tze, who pre ceded him fifty years, and Mencius, who followed him one hundred years. The former was a religious philosopher, on whose writings has been founded the doctrine of Taoism. This phi losophy is based on Reason (Tao) and Virtue (Teh ), and is of interest in that it leans toward an eternal monotheism. According to his theory the visible forms of the highest Teh can proceed only from Tao, and Tao, he says, is impalpable, indefinite. Taoism, therefore, contemplates the indefinite, the eternal, and a pre-existent some thing which Liao-tze likens to the" Mother of all things," or what we call a creator. In Chinese literature there are the nine classics, the five greater and the four lesser books. The former are Yih-King, the Book of Changes; Shu-

PAGE 27

Chapter I : China 21 King, Book of Records ; Shi-King, the Book of Odes; Li-Ki, the Book of Rites; and Chun Tsiu, a continuation of the Shu-King. Of the above, the second, third and fourth, although long antedating Confucius, were edited by him, while the fifth is from his pen. The four lesser classics are Ta-Hioh, Great learning; Chung-Yung, the Just Medium; the Analects of Confucius; and the writings of Mencius. The last is the great production of Mencius, while the first three are a digest of the moralizings of Confucius as gath.ered by his disciples. On these nine books are founded Chinese phiJosoph y, morals, thought, religion, education, ethics, and even etiquette. The spirit of the matter in the classics is essentially lofty, moral, and good. In China, learning transcends all else in importance, and as Confucius is considered the foun tain head of literature and learning, so he has come to be regarded as saints were regarded by EuroP.eans in the Middle Ages, and temples to his ho'iior are found in all large cities. The most important is the beautiful example of Chi nese architecture in Peking, where the Emperor annually worships before his tablet. In spite of this apparent adoration, Confucius is not regard ed by the Chinese as a god, but is clearly understood by them to have been a man and a philosopher, and is revered as the embodiment of wis-

PAGE 28

22 An American Engineer in China dom. He was not the founder of a religion, nor was he a r eligious write r, although his sentiments have become wov e n in the complicate d fabric of Chinese faith. The name by which foreigners Stairway Leading to Temple of Confucius, Peking know him is a la tinizecl corrupti o n o 'fKun g -t ze, the M as t e r Kung, the l as t b eing his family nah1e as Mencius is a similar corruption of Mang-tze, the Maste r M a ng. F o llowin g the Chau dynasty comes that of Tsin, which w as noted for suppl y in g the f o r e ign appellation of the country and for the great works, both good and b ad, of its name-giving Empe ror.

PAGE 29

Chapter I : China 23 It was he who united the various peoples of Eastern Asia under one sway, laid the foundation for at least internal commerce by beginning the construction of the Chinese system of canals, started the construction of the Great \V all, and succeeded in raising his country to a point of material greatness not before reached. Then, with a view to make all records begin with him, he ordered burned all books and writings of every description, including those of Confucius and the other philosophers. Fortunately, in spite of an energetic attempt, this sacreligious act was not completely consummated. From this period to the Tang dynasty in 618 A.D. the history of this country is a succession of different reigning houses, internal wars, rebellions, more or less successful, and during which the capital was frequently moved; part of the time being located at Nan-king on the Yang-tze, which many of the Chinese to-day regard as the proper site. The great single event of this long stretch of years, and practically the only one of foreign interest, was the introduction of Buddhism at the close of the first century A.D. The Emperor Ming-ti sent an embassy to the West to bring back the teachings of the foreign god, rumors of whose fame had already reached the Pacific shore. It has since been supposed by some that this meant tidings of Christ; but the basis for such an inference is doubtful. At any

PAGE 30

24 An American Engineer in China rate the embassy found its way to India and re turned thence with the doctrines of Buddhism, which at once became the established religion of the country, spreading over the whole of China and eventually Japan. It makes an interesting speculation to consider what the effect on the world would have been if the embassy had taken a more northern route, bringing it to Palestine instead of to India. The Tang dynasty A.D. 6r8 to 908 marks per haps the zenith of Chinese development, when, there is no doubt, its civilization and cultivation outshone those of Europe at the same period. Literature flourished ; trade was nurtured, the banking system developed, laws were codified and the limits of the Empire were extended even to Persia and the Caspian Sea. The art of printing was discovered, certainly in block form and prob ably by movable type. The fame of China reached India and Europe, whence embassies were dispatched bearing salutations and presents. Monks of the Nestorian order were received by the Emperor Tai-tsung, who gave permission for them to erect churches; and thus was Christianity first publicly acknowledged in China. Although the efforts of the N estorian monks continued for many years, from perhaps as early as soo A. D. to 845, yet they were without permanent results, as they left no monuments behind them, and the practice of Christianity was suspended for some centuries.

PAGE 31

Chapter I : China In 1213 A.D. the Chinese for the first time passed under a foreign rule, when Genghis Khan, the great Mongol, crossed the wall and began to lay waste the country. vVhen he had captured Peking and established a Mongol dynasty, he turned his attention to further conquests, and in 1219 led a force westward. vVith it he overran Northern India, Asia Minor and even entered Europe in Southern Russia. He then withdrew to Peking, having established the largest Empire in the world's history. Under his degenerate successors this vast power cl windled, the only permanent result being found in Europe; where the Turks are the descendants of those whom Genghis drove out of their own Asiatic country. The last purely Chinese dynasty was the Ming (Bright), which occupied the throne from 1368 to its overthrow by the Manchus in 1644. The capital of this house was originally at Nan-king, but was moved by the great Emperor Y ung-loh to Peking in 1403, where he constructed the famous Ming Tombs forty miles northwest of the city, and where he and his successors of Ming lie buried in solitary grandeur. He established also the laws under which China is governed to-day, and under Wan-leih the seeds of Christianity were pennanently planted in China in 1582 by the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci. About two hundred and fifty years earlier a temporary foothold had been gained by the same order. The first effort had

PAGE 32

Carved Stone Animals Lining the Road Leading to the Ming Tombs

PAGE 33

Chapter I : China lasted, fm only seventy-five years, and then, like the Nestorian movement, quietly died without practical results. It was also during this dynasty that the first foreign settlement was made on Chinese soil, in the Portuguese port of i\Iacao in r 557 In the seventeenth century the northern tribes set up a rebellion. Gaining adherents to their cause they captured Peking in r644, swept away Chinese rule and established the Manchu dynasty, to which they gave the name of "Ta Tsing" or the "Great Pure." The principal effects of this change were to establish the northern races in control of the government, and to stamp upon the whole people their most striking outward dis tinguishing mark, in the queue, which was a dis tinctly l\Ianchu custom, the Chinese having pre viously cut their hair like Western people. On their establishment the Manchu rulers ordered all people to wear the queue as a token of subjugation. This the Chinese natives still do, although the Ti betans and .Mongols continue to cut their hair as of old. Manchus and Chinese can be readily distinguished by their names. Thus one of Manchu descent has but a double name, like Y ung Lu, while a Chinese has three characters as, Li H ung-chang. The government of China is an absolute despotism, with powers vested in an Emperor, whose position: is well indicated by his most used title the "Son of Heaven." He is assisted by two councils under whom are the seven boards of Civil

PAGE 34

z8 An American Engineer in China Service, Revenue, Rites, \Var, Punishment, \Vorks, and Navy, who severally attend to the administration of affairs in their respective departments. Then there is the Tsung-li Y amen, or foreign of-Four Members of the Tsung-li Yamen and Mr. Conger in the Courtyard of the Yamen From left to right they are: Hsii Yung-i, Wang Wen-shao, Chao Shu chiao, Mr. Conger, Yii Keng fice, a bureau composed of twelve ministers, with and through whom all relations with other nations and foreigners generally are conducted. The communication between the Imperial authority and the people is through the local gov-

PAGE 35

Chapter I : China ernments of the provinces. These provinces in their organization closely resemble an American State, varying in size from Che-kiang, the smallest, with an area of 35,000 square miles, to Sz-chuen, the largest, em bracing I 70,000 square miles. These are respectively c0mparable with the States of Indiana (36,350 square miles) and California (I s6,ooo square miles). Each province is ruled by a Governor appointed by the throne, who exercises his authority through a chain of officialism. The province is divided into circuits, each circuit being controlled by an intendant of circuit or taotai. In addition to the regular taotais, there are special ones appointed to look after the large treaty ports, like Shanghai. Such taotais have immense powers, and the positions are much sought after. The circuits or Fu are usually again subdivided into two or more "Chow," or prefectures, under a prefect, and each prefecture into Hsiens, or districts, under a magistrate. Cities where such officials dwell are usually indicated by the adding "Fu," "Chow" or Hsien" to their names. The Hsien magistrates are the men who come in direct contact with the people. The Governor in turn reports to an officer proper! y sty led a Governor-General, but whose title foreign nations have translated as Viceroy, each of whom usually controls two provinces. These Viceroys form the real government of the country. Their powers are abso.

PAGE 36

30 An American Engineer in China lute. It is to them, armed with judgment of life and death, that the people look for justice and protection, and to them, also, the throne itself looks for support. Each Viceroy maintains his own army, of which, in some instances, a portion has been foreign drilled; and he has a right to decide whether he will use this army for national purposes or not. Of the existing college of viceroys, there are three who have brought themselves, by their acts, abilities, and force of character, to the forefront, and who are known as the three great viceroys. These men are Li Hung-chang, formerly Viceroy of Chi-li, but now of Canton, ruling the provinces of K wang-tung and K wang-si, and so usually referred to as the Viceroy of the two K wang; Chang Chi-tung, the Viceroy of \V u-chang, in like manner called the Viceroy of the two 1-Iu, as his dominion covers the provinces of Hu-peh, and Hu-nan; and Liu Kun-yi, the Viceroy of Nanking, ruling the provinces of Kiang-si and N ganwhui. Li Hung-chang, whose reputation is international, needs no introduction. The other two, while, perhaps, not so well known, are in China of scarcely less importance, especially as they have a personal hold on their people that is not equalled by any other official. They are not rich, which is almost the same as saying that they are honest, and, although they arc decidedly pro-foreign in

PAGE 37

Chapter I : China 31 their views, nevertheless they are at the same time imbued with a strong and earnest desire to ameliorate the condition of their charges and therefore are honored and respected by their people. To accomplish this end they do not hesitate to avail themselves of occidental ideas or means if therein they see a possibility of benefit. when the Empress Dowager in 1898 executed her coup d'itat and notified the Viceroys of what she had done, Chang Chi-tung and Liu Kun-yi were the only ones who had courage to express their disapproval. In consequence there is little doubt that she would have removed or beheaded them if she had dared to brave the outcry of the people of the four provinces which would certainly have followed. In any reorganization of China these three men will play an important part. The influence of Chang Chi-tung and Liu Kunyi will certainly be of weight, as they enjoy the esteem and confidence of both foreigner and native. In the appointing of all officials there is one rule that is curiously indicative of Chinese reasoning and methods. No official is allowed to serve in a district in which he was born. The reason for this is that, being a stranger, without local prejudice or interest, he will, it is believed, administer justice quite impartially. Unfortu nately, human nature being the same in China as elsewhere, the official, on account of his lack

PAGE 38

32 An American Engineer in China of local prejudice and interest, administers justice in such a manner as will best serve his own ends and secure his advancement. Topographically considered, China lies on the eastern flank of the great Central Asian plateau and, therefore, its main drainage lines lie east and west. There are three great valleys: that of the Yang-tze Kiang, between Han-yang and Wu-chang More than one mile wide, although seven hundred miles from the mouth Yellow in the north, Yang-tze in the centre, and the Si or (West) in the south. The Yellow River, or Hoang Ho, or as it is frequently called, on account of its erratic and devastating floods, China's Sorrow," is a stream very much resembling the Mississippi, carrying a great amount of alluvium, which it deposits at various places, forming bars and shoals. In order to protect the shores from inundations, the Chinese for many

PAGE 39

Chapter I : China 33 years have been building dykes, with the result of gradually raising the bottom of the river through the deposition of alluvium. There are now many places where the bottom of the stream is actually higher than the normal banks. Under such circumstances the breaking of a dyke means untold destruction, with possible permanent change of bed. The location of its mouth shows the character of this great river. Eighty years ago it flowed into the Yellow Sea, south of the Shang-tung Peninsula. To-day it enters the Gulf of Pe-chi-li two hundred and fifty miles in a direct line north west of its previous location, or about six hundred miles, when measured around the coast line. The Yang-tze, on the other hand, rightly merits its name of "China's Glory." This noble stream, whose length is about 3,500 miles, of which I,roo miles are navigable by steam vessels, divides the country, approximately equally north and south. Its drainage area covers more than one-half of the empire, the richest and most valuable portion. This stream, like the Hoang Ho, carries a large amount of alluvial matter, but it is much more orderly and well regulated. Practically at its mouth, the gateway to Central China, although actually on a small tributary called the Whang-Poo, is Shanghai. The West River, or Si Kiang, drains the southern and south-western section of the empire, flowing into the sea at Canton, where, with the Pei (North) and

PAGE 40

34 An American Engineer in China Tung (East) Rivers, it forms the broad estuary known as the Canton River. In agricultural possibilities and mineral wealth China is particular! y fortunate. On account of its great dimensions north and south it enjoys all varieties of climate, from the tropical to the tem perate, and in consequence possesses the ability to raise almost any crop. The great bottom-lands of the Yang-tze, the Hoang and other rivers, which are subject to annual overflow, are thus by nature enriched and automatically fertilized, as are the bottom-lands along the Mississippi and other allu vium-bearing streams. In addition to the ordi nary advantages of soil and variety of climate to which such a large expanse is naturally entitled, China enjoys one special favor in the singular de posit known as Loess. The country lying north from the Yang-tze to the Gulf of Pe-chi-li, part of which has been made by the alluvial deposits of the Yang-tze and Yellow Rivers, is known as the Great Plain. Of this territory there is a considerable section in the provinces of Shen-si, Shan-si and Shan-tung, which is known as the Loess formation. This particular soil is yellow in appearance, resem bling alluvial material, but on examination is found to consist of a network of minute capillary tubes. The best theory for its deposit is that it is the fine dust of dried vegetable matter carried down by the winds from the north-west plains and

PAGE 41

Chapter I : China 35 dropped where found. The fine tubes are ac counted for by believing them to be the spaces occupied by the roots of grasses, as the latter have been continually elevating themselves to re main on the constantly rising surface. The loess soil is of great and unknown thickness, of extraordinary fertility, and with great capacity for with standing droughts, as the tubes, by their capil lary action, serve to bring up moisture from the ground water below. This part of the Great Plain has been growing crops for many centu ries without fertilizing, and supports the densest part of the Chinese population. In minerals, China is particularly rich. Of the precious metals, gold and si! ver are known to exist and probably in paying quantities, while of the less valuable metals, copper, lead, antimony, and others have been found, and but await the introduction of proper transportation methods to be developed. Petroleum occurs in Sz-chuen, the extreme westem province lying next to Ti bet. But China's greatest mineral wealth lies in iron and coal. The great fields of the latter are in Chi-li, Shen-si, Shan-si, Sz-chuen, Kiang-si and Hu-nan, where all varieties from soft bitu minous to very hard anthracites are found. Of the former there are coals both coking and non coking, fit for steel making or steam uses, while of the latter there are those adapted for domes tic use, with enough volatile matter to ignite

PAGE 42

36 An American Engineer in China easily, and others sufficiently hard to bear the burden in a blast furnace and yet so low in phosphorus, sulphur, and volatile substances as to render them available for the manufacture of Bessemer pig, as is clone in Pennsylvania. Chi nese houses are usually without chimneys, and therefore the native is compelled to use for domestic purposes an anthracite, or, as he calls it, a non-smoking coal, which he burns in an open fireplace, the products of corn bustion escaping through the doors, unglazecl windows, or the many leaks which are usually found in Chinese roofs. In opposing the introduction of occiclental re forms, methods, and commercial relations, China has invited, if not actually obliged, the forming of bases by other nations from which to push their trade. Chinese soil is now held, through some excuse and under various conditions, by Portu gal, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Japan. In addition to this Italy has made an un successful attempt to secure a foothold at San Mun Bay. The Portuguese possession is Macao, situated on the western side of the mouth of the Canton River, a charming settlement covering the city and a few square miles of territory separated from the main land by a narrow neck. It is a de lightful little piece of southern European refinement in an oriental setting, and perhaps the only

PAGE 43

Chapter I : China 37 point on the coast to which the word charming can be rightly applied. It was the first foreign settlement in China, being ceded to P ortugal in I 557, in return for services in putting clown pi rates. On account of the shallowness of the barbar, the importance of l\lacao as a trading point or military base is very small. The British possessions are H o n gkong, Kowloo n, and Wei-hai-wei. As a result of the Opium War of 1841, the i sland of Hongkong, whose greatest dimension is but nine mil es, and wholly mountainous, was given over b y China as a part of the indemnity. It is located at the eastern side of the Canton estuary, directly opposite Macao, but distant therefrom about forty miles. ln 1860 the r e was added, in order to complet e the barbar, the shor e o f the main land, called Kow-loon, across the road stead whose width is rather more than a mile. On this island the English have established a colony, built the city of Victoria, and, through the magnificent land-locked harbor, have developed a trading point whose commerce ranks with that of the world's greatest ports. There are no customs clues nor restricting conditions, but all nations and nationalities have an equal footing, so that Hongkong has become the great entrepot o r warehouse for nearly the whole of Eastern Asia, and absolutely soJor Southern China, whose gateway it controls. A year's record shows that over 1 I,oo o vessels enter and clear, not including up-

PAGE 44

A Part of the City of Victoria, on the Island of Hongkong, at the Base of the Peak

PAGE 45

Chapter I : China 39 wards of 70,000 junks. Thus have the English converted an apparently useless island into a most valuable possession for themselves and a great stepping-stone for the world's commerce. The next country to establish a foothold on Chinese soil was France, who acquired from Annam, by war and treaty, between the years I86o and 1874, part of the province of Tong-king. In 1882 further trouble arising between France and An nam, the latter appealed to her protector, China, and war ensued. The result was the permanent oc cupation of the whole of Tong-king and the placing of the French frontier next to that of China. At the conclusion of the Japanese war, the island of Formosa was permanently ceded by China, and an arrangement made for the temporary occupation of Port Arthur. Then Russia interfered, insisted on the withdrawal of the ] apanese troops from the North, and, as her price for aiding China, secured for twenty-five years a lease of the Liao-tung Peninsula, covering eight hundred square miles, with the harbors of Port Arthur and Talien-wan, and so, practically, obtained the control of Chinese Manchuria. In 1897 the German Emperor demanded, as compensation for two German missionaries who were killed, a share of Chinese territory, which was granted through a lease" of Kiao-chow Bay for ninety-nine years. These so-called "leases" are in fact nothing

PAGE 46

40 An American Engineer in China more than mere subterfuges to save "face" for the Chinese in yieldingup their territory, as the following abbreviated quotations from the German document will show: "I. His Majesty the Emperor of China, being desirous of preserving the existing good relations with His Majesty the Emperor of Germany and of promoting an increase of German power and influence in the Far East, sanctions the acquirement under lease by Germany of the land extending for one hundred li at high tide. "Germany may engage in works for the public benefit, such as water-works, within the territory covered by the lease, without reference to China. Should China wish to march troops or establish garrisons therein she can only do so after negotiating with and obtaining the express permission of Germany. "II. His Majesty the Emperor of Germany being desirous, like the rulers of certain other countries, of establishing a naval and coaling station and constructing dockyards on the coast of China, the Emperor of China agrees to lease to him for the purpose all the land on the southern and northern sides of Kiao-chow Bay for a term of ninety-nine years. Germany is to be at liberty to erect forts on this land for the defence of her possessions therein. "11 I. During the continuance of the lease China

PAGE 47

Chapter I : China 41 shall have no voice in the government or administration of the leased territory. It will be governed and administered during the whole term of ninety-nine years solely by Germany, so that the possibility of friction between the two powers may be reduced to the smallest magnitude. "If at any time the Chinese should form schemes for the development of Shan-tung, for the execution of which it is necessary to obtain foreign capital, the Chinese Government, or whatever Chinese may be interested in such schemes, shall, in the first instance, apply to German capitalists. Application shall also be made to German manufacturers for the necessary machinery and materials before the manufacturers of any other power are approached. Should German capitalists or manufacturers decline to take up the business, the Chinese shall then be at liberty to obtain money and materials from other nations." While the area actually covered by the lease is small, the shore-line being but 100 li (33 miles), nevertheless the Germans, a vailing themselves of the special commercial concession, as above quoted, have thrown a sphere claim over the whole province of Shan-tung, an area as large as New England. The strongholds of Kiao-chow and Port Arthur -for the Germans and Russians immediately set

PAGE 48

42 An American Engineer in China about fortifying them-so threatened the balance of power in the North, that the British Govern ment in 1898, demanding something to offset them, secured the harbor of vVei-hai-wei, directly opposite Port Arthur and with it marking the entrance to the Gulf of Pe-chi-li. This territory is to be held as long as the Russians hold Port Arthur. At the same time Great Britain extend ed the limits of her Kow-loon possession by two hundred square miles, so as to absolutely protect the harbor of Hongkong, and secured from the Chinese Go\'ernment a promise that no territory in the Yang-tze Valley should be alienated to any other power, thus obtaining a so-called sphere of influence over the richest half of the Empire. France, not wishing to see her commercial rivals outdo her, demanded, as her share of the plunder, the harbor and port of Kiang-chow-wau near her province of Tong-king, and secured a lease of the same for ninety-nine years. Thus has the Chinese Government given away its patrimony. In addition to the above possessions of territory actually held under the domination of their re spective governments, there are at the various treaty ports the so-called foreign concessions, which have been given by the Chinese Govern ment to the temporary care of the people of other nationalities, permitting them to establish police force, courts of justice, fire protective service, to collect taxes for local use, and otherwise to main-

PAGE 49

Chapter I : China 43 tain local governments accordingto foreign regulations and practically without interference by the Chinese Government. Such concessions remain, however, in name at least, Chinese territory. The largest and most important of them is Shanghai, where grants were made some years ag-o to the English, American, and French. The first two concessions have been combined into the Shanghai Municipality, under a system of popular government with annual elections, where the ratepayers are voters and which in all its functions closely resembles an independent republic. The theory that all nations are on an equal footing within the limits of the J\Iunicipality is carried out to such an extreme, that not only does the Chinese Government maintain a post-office, but also do all other countries under whose flags lines of mail steamers are operated to and from the port. There are thus to be found, in addition to the Chinese post-office, regular establishments of the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan, while France has hers in the French concession, at all of which the stamps of the several countries are for sale. Such, in a few words, is the political and ph ys ical status of that nation and that countrv on which the attention of the civilized world is focused, and whose development and regeneration will probably be the leading feature of the early years of the new century.

PAGE 50

Chapter 11 A m e r i c a n C o n c e s s i o n IN the making of Chinese foreign commerce and the opening of the country to trade and industrial enterprise, the position taken by European governments has been to foster and support the efforts of their subjects. The policy of the United States in this regard has been distinctly negative, and whatever has been accomplished by our citizens is the result of individual energy without national support. There have even been lacking co-operative efforts on the part of our people, so that practically all of the corporation interests, such as banks, transportation lines, railway and mining privileges, and the administration of those departments of the Chinese Government whose functions are largely external, such as the maritime customs, are in the hands of Europeans, principally English. The reason for this is partly due to the traditional policy of the American Government not to interfere in foreign affairs, but principally to the fact that the attention and capital of the American people have been occupied in the development of their own country. A change from such conditions and a turning of American energies into new channels were developments that were inevitable. In the investigation of the transition of the American position the 44

PAGE 51

Chapter 11 : American Concession 45 future historian wili point to the mass of statistical information now being made, which will show that the status of our country changed from being open to invasion by foreign capital to being capable of invading other lands with its own capital, about the year r895. The latent force was given life by the Spanish vVar in directing the attention by our people to foreign affairs, and the subsequent and consequent acquisition of foreign territory. A singular confirmation of the movement toward a broadening out on the part of American capital for foreign invasion, was the securing of the concession of the rail way from Hankow to Canton, consummated by the signing of the grant in Washington in April, r 898, by H. E. \Vu Tingfang, the Chinese Minister, and by a singular coincidence just one week before the declaration of war, which was to establish the United States as a colonizing power. The concession covers about nine hundred miles of railway, together with mining and other privileges, which make it in value and in national importance second to no other concession granted by the Chinese Government. The projected route of the railway itself is from Hankow, the metropo lis of the interior, or, as it is sometimes called, the "Chicago of China," to Canton, the great port in the South, and thence with rights to go to any selected point on the coast if desired. It lies through part of the province of H u-peh, for four

PAGE 52

46 An American Engineer in China hundred miles through the whole length of the province of Hu-nan, and across the province of Kwang-tung. In order to investigate the local conditions and to ascertain the official, physical, and commercial aspects of the concession, and to make a detailed survey of the route of the railway, the concessionaire syndicate retained me as a Chief Engineer to go to the East with a complete staff. work of making this survey, the longest continuous instrumental measurement up to that time completed in China, and the other duties of investigation connected therewith, necessarily brought me in personal contact with Chinese officials of the highest rank, such as members of the Tsung-li Yamen; Sheng Tajen, the distinguished DirectorGeneral of Rail ways and Telegraphs ; Viceroys; Governors of Provinces; minor officials of all degrees; and the foreign merchants of different nationalities who control the trade at the treaty ports. I was obliged to visit not only the various points from Peking to Canton that are accessible to ordinary travellers, but typical portions of the interior, which can be reached only with difficulty, and others which it had not been previously possible to reach at all, so that for five hundred miles I was the first foreigner ever seen. I was enabled, by living among the people under all sorts of conditions in official yamcn, in temples, in vi!. !age inns, or in ordinary private houses, to inspect

PAGE 53

The Last of Hu-nan S e e page 102

PAGE 54

48 An American Engineer in China and study at close range Chinese who were absolutely and entirely unaffected by foreign or outside influences. My experience with the people extended therefore from the poorest peasant through all grades of society up to those actually next to the throne, and my observations of the country from the national and commercial capitals down to the individual farmhouse, or the little country hamlet, where a foreigner was as great an object of wonderful astonishment as a man from .Mars would be with us. Of the eighteen provinces which constitute the Chinese Empire proper, the only one, until recently, which had not been explored or mapped by foreigners, previous to the occasion described herein, was the province of Hu-nan, extending from the Yang-tze !Gang to the N an-ling Range, -that is, between the 30th and 25th parallels of latitude, and between the ro9th and 1 14th meridians of east longitude. From the earliest times, since the subject of the development of the interior of China has been considered, the province of H u-nan has been regarded as one of the great objectives of the railway and mining promoter, on account of its wellknown wealth in coal and other minerals, the fertility of its soil, and the superior ability of its people. The people themselves, however, have been the most clannish and conservative in the Empire, and have succeeded in keeping their

PAGE 55

Chapter II : American Concession 49 province practically free from invasion by foreigners or even by foreign ideas. All writers on China refer to this attitude of the people of Hunan. As Lord Charles Beresford says of it in his recent work: "At present the province of H u-nan, though very rich, and the people very well-to-do, is the most anti-foreign in China. Foreigners who penetrate into I-I u-nan, even by help of the mandarins with a military escort, do so at the risk of their lives." Strangely enough, however, this hostility is directed not only against foreigners, but against other Chinese with almost equal force. In the way of exclusiveness, the Hu-nanese mark therefore the extreme of the Chinese character in that regard. They are, however, hard working, and possess one of the richest provinces in the empire as to mineral resources and fertility of soil. In fact, it is doubtful if any other province, except possibly Sz-chuen, exceeds H u-nan in the variety, extent, and value of its mineral wealth, while Hu-nan has the great advantage over Sz-chuen in having a double outlet north and south for its products and being five hundred miles nearer the sea-coast market. In 1871 Baron Richtofen, the great German geologist, to whose investigations we owe the greater part of our know ledge of the geological structure of China, made a trip from south to north across Hu-nan to report on the coal areas of the province to the Shanghai Chamber of Com-

PAGE 56

so An American Engineer in China merce; but his voyage was confined wholly to boat travel, and therefore the information that he obtained was very limited. Some three years previous to this, Pumpelly, the American geologist, had made an attempt to explore H u-nan by proceeding by boat up the Siang River from the Yang-tze, but was not allowed to land, and finally was compelled by the people to turn back after having reached, but not entered, Chang-sha, the capital of the province. In 1878 Mr. G. J. Morrison, an English engineer, travelled from north to south across Hu-nan, having attempted to make the journey on foot, but was compelled by the people to take to boat, as Baron Richtofen had also clone. Missionaries have made a number of attempts to travel through H u-nan, but in every case without success, except in the single instance of maintaining one Roman Catholic Mission Station in Southern Hu-nan, so that the only accurate knowledge of this most interesting section was that obtained from the three travellers above mentioned, but whose observations were made wholly from boats. No land journey by foreigners had been made through the province, except in the northwestern part, where the people are less anti-foreign. In the other provinces little or no difficulty was to be anticipated. In Hu-peh foreigners were well known and could travel at will, and the same was true, although possibly to a less degree, in Kwangtung. H u-nan was peculiar.

PAGE 57

Chapter 11 : American Concession 51 The province of Hu-nan has an area of about 75,000 square miles, or half as much again as the State of New York. Its population is estimated by the Chinese at 22,ooo,ooo. It is well watered, for the Siang River, a fine stream, although too shallow during the winter months for anything but light-draught junks, flows northerly through it into the Yang-tze. The upper part of the province is open and gently undulating, growing the finest quality of tea. As, however, the southern portion is approached, the hills change into mountains, the scenery becomes grander, the population less dense, and the agricultural resources much diminished. But these lower regions are much more valuable from the point of view of future development as the lower half of the province, for a length of two hundred miles along our route, and for a width of at least sixty miles, is underlain with certainly three, and probably more, veins of coal, which, curiously enough, is both bituminous and anthracite. It took but small flights of fancy to see future trains bearing their dark burden northward to furnish power for the furnaces and mills that will be built in central China to convert her ores into metals or vvork her raw produce of cotton and wool and hemp into articles of commerce; or other trains south-bound carrying a like burden to Canton and Hongkong to make steam for the vessels of all nations, bringing goods from other lands to China, and taking back her teas and silks.

PAGE 58

s 2 An American Engineer in China Some three years ago the Emperor appointed, as Governor of Hu-nan, Chen Pao-cheng, a man of modern thought, who at once set about to break down the barriers which had hitherto shut in the province from the rest of the empire and the world at large. He introduced electric lighting into Chang-sha, the capital, established schools where scientific subjects \Vere taught, urged on the general government the advisability and desirability of railroad construction, and in many ways opened the door for the entrance of \V est ern civilization. The Empress Dowager, immediately on accession to power, removed Chen, and appointed in his stead as governor, Yu Lien-san, a "conservative," an official of high character and attainments from a Chinese point of view, but who did not believe in departing from customs supported by four thousand years of precedents. He closed the schools and set about to undo the work begun by his predecessor. In a recent memorial to the throne, he apologized for his tardiness in entirely uprooting the false doctrines, but hoped in the end to bring the people back to the exclusive study of the classics. In accordance with his views of what was right, he used his influence to thwart our going, even to the extent of sending word forbidding the foreigners to enter his province. It is not surprising that in the recent Boxer" outbreak the sympathies and influence of Yu were enlisted on the anti-foreign side.

PAGE 59

Chapter 11: American Concession 53 The extreme position hitherto taken by the Hu-nanese and their consequent isolation render them unsurpassed among the Chinese as interesting objects for study, and have gained for their section the name of the Closed Province of China."

PAGE 60

Chapter Ill Hu-nan, the Closed Province of China THE general condition of affairs as to the hostility of the Hu-nanese and the difficulty of travelling through Hu-nan was known before our leaving New Y ark, but on arriving in Shanghai it was found that the political disturbance following the coup d'!tat executed by the Empress Dowager and the beheading of certain members of the Reform or Emperor's Party, had rendered the whole Chinese official class very cautious about taking a decided stand upon any important question, especially upon one looking to the mvasion of the country by foreigners, even if they came with peaceful intents. A stop was made in Shanghai only long enough to purchase provisions and equipment, when the engineering staff left there for Hankow to begin the survey to Canton. As our course from Hankow lay to the Nanling Mountains, which form the divide of the water-shed of the Yang-tze Valley from that of the China Sea, along the Yang-tze its tributary the Siang for a distance of nearly five hundred miles, it was decided to establish head quarters afloat, and thus avoid the difficulties and dangers of sleeping on shore, except when the latter was absolute! y necessary. One morning 54

PAGE 61

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 55 shortly after reaching Hankow, and while the preparation for our start was being made, I set out in a sampan to find among the junks in the River Han, a satisfactory one for our purpose. A junk is a picturesque but not a pretty object, junks on the River Han, with Hankow in the Distance but, in that tlotilla which forms a solid surface along the banks of the Han for at least two miles, there was a stern that caught my eye. The ordinary junk stern is something that rivals any stern that a naval architect of the sixteenth century ever conceived, but this special one had something which singled it out from all its fel-

PAGE 62

56 An American Engineer in China lows. Possibly it was its height, for perched on it one could imagine himself a gay freebooter ploughing the Spanish Main, until the sight of a steel tape would rudely bring him back to the realization that he was nothing but an American engineer making a survey for hire ; or perhaps it was an undefined and undistinguishable grace in the upward curve of the heavy timber on the side \Vhatever it was, there was an instant resolve made that the junk of which that stern formed a part must be had. On hailing, the Laodah (which is Chinese for captain) shoved his pigtail out of the door and invited us all on board. With trepidation lest his demands would be unwarrantably exorbitant, we gradually, and with much circumlocution, according to Chinese etiquette, communicated our wishes to charter the boat for a journey of two hundred and fifty or possibly three hundred miles, in short stages, so that the time might occupy a month, or even two. As a preliminary to what was evidently about to become an important financial negotiation, and in compliance with Chinese custom, the Lao-dah, in order to show his respect for us, offered tea. We, with a still higher respect for ourselves, with great ceremony and greater resolution, declined the same. It is wonderful what vile stuff is drunk in that country, where the finest tea that the world knows comes from; but the natives consume only what they cannot sell or give

PAGE 63

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 57 away. After a long session with Mrs. Lao-dahfor in every Chinese junk the woman seems to command-the Lao-dah returned, chin-chinned, and said that he would take us for forty taels. Now forty taels means about twenty-eight dollars, gold, and that was to include the boat, the crew of eight men, with their rice and all expenses, for possibly two months. Naturally our faces betrayed our astonishment, which the Lao-dah entirely misunderstood, and apparently fearing that he had lost the trade, begged us to make an offer. We finally agreed on thirty-six taels, or twentyfive dollars. Subsequently we discovered that our childlike and bland young friend, knowing that we would have a permit to pass all the "Likin" stations-that is, the places where heavy internal customs taxes are levied-had made this low price in order to secure the charter, and had then laid in a little stock of dutiable articles to trade in on his own account; in short, he made us his partners in a smuggling enterprise! After that I had, and will always entertain, the highest respect for the ability of a Chinese to turn an honest penny. Early in December we started, but not without much anxiety and misgivings on the part of the chief. The Chinese officials had either tried to dissuade me from going, or if, like the Viceroy and the Director-General, courageous enough to have me start, nevertheless impressed upon me

PAGE 64

58 An American Engineer in China the necessity for extreme caution when traversing H u-nan. The foreign residents were practically unanimous that the trip could not be made, or, if made, that a land survey would be impossible, and that we would be compelled to remain practically prisoners in our junk, although under the orders of Viceroy Chang Chih-tung we were to be always accompanied by a guard of Chinese soldiers. The Yang-tze, even at this distance of over seven hundred miles from the mouth, is still a noble stream, with a width of a mile, and a minimum depth, at lowest stage of water in winter, of six feet, with its continual procession of large junks carrying clown coal from Hu-nan, opium and silk from Sz-chuen, wool from the mountains of Tibet, and passing other large junks carrying up in return, yarn from Incli<1, cottons from Lancashire, and oil from America. Its banks, when not high enough to be above ftoocl-level, are built up with dykes, behind which are farms of rice, oil-beans, cotton, tobacco and, on approaching H u-nan, tea. For about one-half of the time we were obliged to sleep on siwre, where camping in tents was impossible on account of the great curiosity of the people. In their eagerness to see a" foreign devil," to examine his short hair, to feel his queer cloth clothes, to inspect his extraordinary big leather boots-which last everywhere seemed, of all our belongings, to attract the most attention-

PAGE 65

A Group of Natives who Have Never Before Seen a Foreigner

PAGE 66

6o An American Engineer in China they would certainly have torn down any temporary shelter; and at such moments our guard, in spite of its pretentious proportions of three hundred soldiers, would have been of little use. In fact, the only benefit-which, however, was no small one-that we derived from our guard, was its notification to the people that we were travelling officially and under the protection of the government. At stopping-places we were immediately surrounded by curious natives, on whose faces every human sentiment, from wonderment to fear, or even hatred, was depicted. Our preferred sleeping-places were examination halls, in which are held the annual examinations of students in the classics for literary degrees, the stepping-stone for political preferment, the ambition of every Chinese, for in China public office means wealth and power; temples, either public of the Buddhist faith, or private ones for ancestral worship-the latter much to be preferred as being cleaner and better tended ; teahangs or large store-houses, or, as a last resort, Inns. In the north, where there are horses and where the roads concentrate toward Peking, there are enough rich officials travelling to warrant the maintenance of fairly decent accommodations. The northern inns are set usually in a compound in which the travellers' horses are stabled, while the inn itself with two stories provides furnished

PAGE 67

Another Group of Natives The men on the extreme right and left are soldiers

PAGE 68

6z An American Engineer in China rooms where the weary wanderer can secure some rest. Rarely do these inns supply food, which the traveller is supposed to carry with him, but they are equipped with a large brick oven called a kang, where the lodgers do their cooking in common, and on top of which they frequently sleep in winter. In the south of China the inns are quite different. There are no horses, and there are rare! y any grandee travellers. vVhen the latter do come they are quartered in the yamen of the local officials, or in tem pies previous! y en gaged and prepared. The southern inn is not set in a compound, but opens directly on the village street or country road. There is usually a large hall containing the kang, rarely arranged to be slept on, and on both sides of the hall are the sleeping-rooms, which are more like prison-cells. Sometimes there is a window, which if it is "glazed" is done so with thin tissue paper. On arrival at such a place the foreigner in self-protection has to barricade his door, which may keep him from personal contact with the crowd, but does not protect him from observation. It is not many minutes before his paper window is fairly riddled with small holes, behind each one of which he knows there is an almond-shaped eye, while a glance overhead will show little bright beads of light reflecting the flicker o( the Chinese candle between the ceiling buarcls, the eyes of boys and men lying on the floor of the attic and taking in

PAGE 69

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 63 everything from their point of vantage. A grunting noise under foot will explain the stench, that has been so very oppressively evident, as arising from the pigsty right beneath the very floor. Then a later arrival \V ill pile on the kang in the common hall a lot of straw to rekindle the fire, whose tearproducing effect is a welcome boon as drowning Coolies Waiting to be Employed as Carriers for a moment the odors of the pigsty and other things worse, which cannot be defined. But even under such circumstances sleep will come, and at last the smoke, the pigsty, the peeping Toms, and the babe! in the hall are blotted out. My first experience with the morning that fol lows I shall never forget. The main door was barred and guarded by soldiers, and without,

PAGE 70

64 An American Engineer in China packed solid in the little narrow street, was a mass of struggling humanity all armed with poles and all shouting. "Was there a riot in Coolie Carrying My Bedding progress?" I asked. 0 h, no, these are the coo lies, three hundred in number, who will carry our things to-day." A hurried breakfast eaten, our belongings packed up, and then the doors are swung back. In they rush There are more coolies than are needed, so they realize that first come, first employed, for there is no order, no system. The strongest push aside the weakest, and seize the lightest and most desirable pack ages. Our cook-stove, specially constructed for the expedition, is seized while still warm and swung from two bamboo poles, and off it goes

PAGE 71

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 65 hanging on the shoulders of four men. Surely everything will be broken, or if not broken, lost, and I am in despair all day. That night, on reaching our destination, I find my Chinese boy, as serene and unconcerned as ever, getting ready my pot of tea. At last I pluck up courage to ask him if certain things in which I am particularly interested have arrived safely. Have got, massa." Then the greater question, "All things, Yang?" Yes, all tings, massa." I never understood it, and finally became accustomed to it; A Yarnen Runner but the only explanation of the phenomenon that I could give was that the Chinese way was not my way, and that in spite of apparent

PAGE 72

66 An American Engineer in China disorder there was somewhere or somehow a system. In order that the people along the route might be prepared for our coming and warned against molesting us, large hand-written placards were posted on the walls of towns in advance of our coming, bearing the official chop or seal of the Viceroy, the Director-General, and the Governor. These placards fully explained to the people the nature of a rail way, and described how "its bene fits would be manifold. Through its agency the people will obtain a means of livelihood, thus sup pressing vagrancy and robbery, to the benefit of all localities. An equitable price will be paid for all land required for the road, and no loss will be suffered by any one. The blessings of the road will be hundredfold to the people-the disacl vantages none whate\'er;" and closing with these words: "As the artisans of China are unfamiliar with railroad construction, American engineers have been engaged to come here to survey the line, and it is feared that some persons, ignorant of the purpose of their coming, may take alarm; therefore this proclamation is issued for their instruction. Let it be known to the scholars and merchants, and people at large, that they must peacefully pursue their occupation and create no trouble or obstruction. The military and the gentry are to instruct the popurace to create no disturbance. Should rowdies circulate rumors to

PAGE 73

Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 67 disturb the populace and gather crowds together, the officials are ordered to assemble the polie and arrest them, and deal with them with severity; no mercy shall be shown them." vVhat is called in the proclamation a "policeman" is an attendant of the magistrate's yamen (official residence), and is an individual who is even more loathed than feared by the people, if that is possible. He rare! y receives wages, and, in fact, is said frequently to pay for his place. He makes his living by a system of extortions from the weak, by threatening to report them for petty offences, sometimes not even committed; by inflicting extra punishment when offenders are convicted, unless bribed; by reporting persons for some special tax, or by other similar dishonest means. As showing the type of man these yamen runners are, I recall a little incident which happened, on one occasion, after our whole party lost its way, and the attending officials, the guard, and the baggage train were hopelessly scattered. The next morning early I started, with a solitary guide, for the agreed-on point of rendezvous for the night previous. On arrival I found that I was the first of the foreigners to get there, and had even preceded the greater part of the baggage train. Through some of our servants who could speak English, I communicated to the local official that I would like to inspect the town, and was thereupon conducted by several of these po-

PAGE 74

68 An American Engineer in China !icemen or "yamen runners." As is usual, they were armed with bamboo sticks about four feet long, split down about three-quarters of their length, so that when they were waved in the air the pieces slapped each other and made a terrifying din. With these sticks they clubbed back the people, who naturally pressed forward in their curiosity to see a foreigner for the first time, but otherwise were perfectly orderly and re spectfu1. I soon noticed that the yamen men were exceedingly careful to avoid hitting full-bodied men, but fearlessly exhibited their importance by striking old men, cripples, and boys. \Vhen one of them raised his stick to strike an inoffensive old woman who was not in the way at all, I felt obliged to interfere-an act which was greeted with loud shouts of approval by the crowd. These "yamen runners" are a cowardly, despicable, lying lot, and represent one of the great causes of discontent that the masses feel toward the governing class. On this occasion, while inspecting the town, a high-grade Chinese funeral was taking place. Now a Chinese funeral is a great source of joy to all but the central personage. At the head of the procession come boys bearing placards reciting the virtues of the deceased, many of which his neighbors had probably failed to detect in life; then follows a bier, and after that a collection of various eatables and silver bullion, all in paper to

PAGE 75

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 69 be burned at the gra vc, so as to provide the departed with these necessaries on his long journey; while the coffin itself is surmounted by a grotesque and ridiculous dragon, intended probably to frighten away the evil spirit. Before and be hind and on both sides are hired boys sending off enough fire-crackers to su pp! y a small-sized New England village on the Fourth of July. It was very hard on the town that two such shows, a mandarin's funeral and the first foreigner, should both be playing at the same time. For a moment the crowd hesitated, but only for a moment! That mandarin had his paid placard-bearers and his fire-crackers, but otherwise went to his grave unmourned and unsung. I had the crowd.

PAGE 76

70 An American Engineer in China Hu-nan: The Entrance ON the morning of December 24, r 898, we crossed a long bridge, composed of stone beams thirty feet long, with an attractive temple at the farther end, into Hu-nan, which we had already termed the" enemy's country." From that pnint on we became an increasing source of wonderment and amusement to the natives.Christmas night found us at a little town called Ping-shui (literally "Still \Vater"). and all preparations were made for a proper dinner after the day's work. \Ve were located in a tea-hong, opening directly on the village street, and with little pro vision for keeping out the crowd, so that the room in which we were dining was filled with natives, standing four or five deep around our table, and then stretching to the door and even to the street in a solid crowd. It was a singular thought to realize that our jollity that night was something more than the customary Christmas celebration. It \Vas the first message to these people of a pos. sible betterment in their condition, and a promise of the breaking of the bonds which have held them down for so many centuries, and our song of how from every mountain-side let freedom ring" had that night possibly a special significance. But perhaps still more striking was the fact that this message of freedom was being carried by repre-

PAGE 77

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 7r sentati ves of the youngest nation upon earth to the oldest. Our actions, our songs, our very food, but above all, our forks and knives, were a source of inexplicable astonishment to the people; but when our plum pudding-a thoughtful gift of an English lady in Hankow-appeared, decorated with holly and blazing in true Yule-tide style, a look of terror appeared on their faces. The climax, however, was reached when a flash-light picture of the scene was taken. \Vhen the magnesium powder flared up, the crowd broke and ran. Probably the natives of Ping-shui stoutly maintain to-day that "foreign devils" are huge men with beards, who feed on uncooked meat which they tear to pieces with short swords and spears, and which excites them to such a degree that they shout loud and often, and in the midst of their excitement eat flames. I have not the slightest doubt that some' such idea is generally prevalent in that town today. After such extraordinary exhibitions it is little wonder that so unenlightened a race as the Chinese forms so erroneous an estimate of all foreigners. Fearing lest our St. Nicholas zeal might create a too strongly false impression, I sent for the local officials and explained to them that we were but celebrating the greatest day in our calendar-a day that is to us of the same importance that New-Year's is to them. With that outward politeness that is so charming, and at times

PAGE 78

72 An American Engineer in China so exasperatingly used as a cloak or subterfuge, they expressed their regrets at their ignorance, and said that had they but known it, they would have been glad to have shown some special honor, to both the day and us. The Procession Two official chairs are seen. The ftags on the right indicate the position of the military commander. The foreground is a flooded ricefield From now on we were conscious of the precautions taken by the Viceroy for our protection. Our guard was largely increased, so that our procession, including mandarins with their attendants, soldiers, coolies carrying baggage and supplies,

PAGE 79

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 73 consisted frequently of from five hundred to six hundred men, and as they marched in straggling order and in single file, the distance from the head to the rear of the column would frequently be five Placard Bearers who Preceded the Procession to Announce Our Coming miles. The Chinese love a show, and this procession offered opportunities that could not be neglected. Although the details were largely a matter of the degree of imagination possessed by

PAGE 80

7 4 An American Engineer in China the local functionary in charge, we were usually preceded by men or ragged boys carrying placards or wooden standards announcing our coming, and commanding the people to give place. Then there would be the flags of the commander and of the regiment acting as guard; soldiers armed with spears, tridents, two-handed swords, flintlock or, at times, even match-lock guns. The uniform of the Chinese soldier is a comfortable but a most unmilitary collection of garments. The coat, in its hang, resembles a cloak with wide, loose sleeves. It is of a plain color, with a wide marginal band of another hue. On the breast and back are marked, usually on white discs sewed to the coat, the number of the man, the designation of the organization to which he belongs, and his position in the ranks. The trousers are of dark blue cotton, and usually tied close around the ankles. The queue is worn wrapped about the head, and the whole enclosed in a dark blue cotton turban. Beneath the coat is a waistcoat with tight-fitting sleeves projecting about six inches beyond the ends of the fingers. The wearer can let the projections hang clown, when they protect the hands from the weather, or can convert them into a muff by merely clasping his hands within the long sleeves. When he wishes to use his hands he rolls his sleeves up. If the weather be cold he wears as many undercoats as he pleases. He car ries no knapsack, but instead a cotton bag some-

PAGE 81

Chinese Soldiers who Formed Our Guard

PAGE 82

76 An American Engineer in China what like a short golf-club bag, which he wears diagonally across his back, suspended by a cord over one shoulder and the chest, and in it he car ries all the articles needed for a march, his to bacco pipe, fan, and paper umbrella! According to the instructions of the Viceroy, we were accompanied by the local magis-[rate having complete jurisdiction over the Hsien, or district through which we were travelling, and which average in area from about thirty to forty miles square. In addition there were the mandarins representing the Viceroy and Director General, always one and sometimes more dele gated by the provincial Governor, and a military mandarin of high rank commanding the guard, with the title of General, and of high "button" rank of the blue or red. The mandarins were carried in their official sedan chairs, the posi tion of the magistrate himself being denoted by a large gorgeous red umbrella. The Hsien mag istrate is the official who comes in direct contact with the people, and who dispenses Justice, au thority, and bad government with no uncertain hand. Two or three Hsiens go to form a Pre fecture, the Prefect in command reporting to the Governor or some agent named by him. These various officials receive as a regular emolu ment a sum much less than what the necessary ex penses attendant upon their office are known to be. The difference between their regular compen-

PAGE 83

Magistrate Mr. Denby Gen. Liu Mr Parsons A .Chinese Hsien Magistrate and His Red Umbrella, Indicative of His Rank and Presence

PAGE 84

78 An American Engineer in China sation and actual income, which latter is supposed to be large, is procured by deliberate! y appropriating a portion of the tax levy, or, perhaps more usually, through an ingenious system of squeezes or extortions. From a foreign point of view, they form a class intensely ignorant. The people hate them, but, on account of their almost uncontrolled power, fear them ; while the magistrates, on the other hand, seem to fear the people, and hesitate to exercise much authority over them as a mass, preferring apparent! y to reserve their power for extortions in individual cases. The _very evident mutual fear of the governing and governed classes was striking and interesting. This will be referred to later. Some of these officials are not lacking in the social traits which we call good fellowship, and which made more than one a welcome guest at the evening gathering between dinner and bedtime, when our regret was that the conversation had to pass through the halting medium of an interpreter. There was one magistrate who took most kindly to foreign ways, foreign food, and even to foreign whiskey, with a particular fond ness for the variety of the last known as Old Glenlivet. At the time of passing through his jurisdiction our headquarters were afloat, so that he joined us with his junk, and every night his place at dinner was regular! y set, and on returning to his own

PAGE 85

Chapter UI : Hu-nan, the Closed Province 79 boat he always took with him that comforting and comfortable glow so frequently the accompani ment of Scotland's liquid production. One night as he was leaving after dinner, dressed as usual in his long embroidered official robes, with his button and his peacock feather, "chin-chinning" or bowing his farewell as he walked backwards clown the narrow plank connecting the junk with the shore, there was suddenly a series of rapid gyrations, like the rotating of the sails of a windmill, then a void in the night air, followed a moment later by a loud splash, immediately preceded by certain articulations which fortunately our know ledge of Chinese was not sufficient to catch exactly, but concerning which it is hoped that the pen of the recording angel will follow the example of mine. Thanks to his queue and the united efforts of two coolies and a boathook, he was at last placed on his native soil. The Chinese costume does not diminish the bedraggled effect of an involuntary bath. The next evening he called as usual at the dinner-hour, and expressed his deep mortification at the previous evening's catastrophe, explaining at great length that his servant, an unfeeling rascal, had held the light in the wrong place. We begged him not to mention it; that we understood the phenomenon perfectly; that our servants had been known to hold double lights, bringing us to grief, and, in fact, it was well authenticated that in our

PAGE 86

So An American Engineer in China large cities, where lights were firmly fixed on iron poles, the latter have been seen to wave. This explanation gave him great comfort. He was a nice fellow, and I hope some day to see him be come a member of the Tsung-li Y amen, for he would honor that or any other board. The people in this northeastern part of the prov ince are generally well-to-do, living in tiled-roof farm-houses or little hamlets. The valleys are well and carefully cultivated, the principal crops being tea and rice, the former for sale and export, the latter for domestic consumption. The Chinese, in all their habits, wants, and tastes, are extremely simple beings. As variety and change seem to possess no charm,.their clothes in the country are invariably the same-of indigo-dyed cotton-while their food consists of the crop most easily grown in the locality, which in Southern China is rice, and in Northern China millet. This rice is eaten flavored with pickled cabbage or other vegetable, and sometimes relieved with fish, but rarely with meat. In the case of a coolie--that is, of the lowest class-such will be the diet the year through; if more well-to-do the list will be enlarged by the addition of pork, mutton, chickens, ducks, or eggs. Since food cannot be on the table with chop sticks, meat is sliced into small pieces before cook ing, and then stewed. The higher-class Chinese are great gourmets, as the following menu of a dinner given us by the magistrate of Siang-yin

PAGE 87

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 81 will show, the table being set with a number of small dishes containing fancy cakes and sweet meats: Chicken giblets and ham, Sharks' fins, Pigeon's eggs, Wood fungus, Dough cakes, Lotus seeds (hot), Stewed fish, Stewed chicken and pork, Snails, Bamboo shoots, Stewed mutton, Meat cakes and sweet grapes, Roast pig, Pork, fish, and vegetables boiled in a chafing-dish on the table, Rice. We had not been long in H u-nan before recei v ing illustrative warnings of possible trouble. On approaching Y o-chou, a large and flourishing city, situated near the junction of the Siang and Yang tze rivers, the gate-way to the province, and which has since been declared a treaty port, we received word by courier from the Governor of H u-nan that on no account must we go near Y o-chou, let alone enter it, as ten thousand students were gathered there from all parts of the province trying to pass the examination for the first degree, and that the authorities would not be answerable for the conse-

PAGE 88

82 An American Engineer in China quences should we be found in their vicinity. Apparently Chinese students do not differ essentially from those of other lands. I replied to the Governor's messenger that Y o-chou was a place of so much importance, that a survey of it was necessary. On reaching the outskirts we were met by a large guard and politely conducted by a -detour outside of the city along the river-shore to our junks where we slept, and which were flanked on both sides by gun-boats. The first night, just before retiring, a messenger came from the Hsien Magistrate announcing that a riot was imminent, that the students had threatened to burn the Roman Catholic Mission, whose priest was the sole foreigner in Y o-chou, and that the latter had fled. \Ve could do nothing as we were prisoners. The reason for sending us word was not clear, unless as a notice of what we ourselves might expect. Per haps the described riot did not occur at all. We never knew. It is hard dealing with a Chinese official. One is never sure. The next clay, under a strong military escort, I inspected the city and saw no students. Chang-sha, the capital of H u-nan, is one of the most interesting places in the whole empire, on account of its extreme exclusiveness. Only two or three foreigners, but no missionary, had ever been within the city, and these few were smuggled in in closed chairs. Like all Chinese cities, it is heavily walled, and strongly gated, the gates

PAGE 89

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 83 being locked at night, giving a most air. The population is estimated by the Chinese to be about a million, but that figure, like all others in the same line, is probably an exaggeration. Five hundred thousand would seem more likely to be nearer the mark. The streets are narrow, being but six to twelve feet wide. On them the shops open directly, and in front of the shops are frequently stationed small booths. During business hours, the whole shop-front, consisting of wooden shutters, is taken clown, exposing the interior, so that a street resembles a bazaar, or rather an ar cade, as it is frequently roofed over with bamboo mats. Hanging down in front of the shops are long, swinging signs, sometimes indicating the kind of goods for sale, but more frequently being felicitous greetings. I saw one that was translated, "Prices according to mutual agreement" -no fixed price for that tradesman. On account of the local traditions, which were to be broken if possible, and on account of the general attitude of the Governor, it was deemed essential that not only should our expedition enter the city, but that we should be received publicly, and with full honors, according to the Chinese ritual, by the Governor himself. I, therefore, with the "flag-ship" and an attending gun-boat, pushed ahead of the survey party, and arrived at Chang-sha on January 7th at eleven o'clock in the forenoon. Our coming was expected; a tri-

PAGE 90

84 An American Engineer in China umphal arch had been erected on the shore-an arch, by the way, as we afterwards learned, we were not expected to pass through, but which we did, nevertheless-and as our junk was poled up to the landing-place through a lane opened among the other boats, a great crowd came down to see us. Immediately on mooring, the local magistrate, in his official robes, called and extended a greeting. I then, without delay, sent my Chinese visiting-card to the Governor, announced my arrival in his capital city, and stated that I desired, accompanied by my whole staff, to call upon him and pay my respects. what followed was a good illustration of Chinese diplomacy, the roundabout ways of which were one of the difficulties that beset our movements. The Governor replied that he was glad to hear of our safe arrival, but that he would not trouble us to call, instead of which, accompanied by the chief officers of the province, he would call on us the next morning at eleven. \Vith many complimentary phrases, I immediately pointed out that not only ciid Chinese etiquette, but even foreign etiquette, demand that a Governor should have the stranger call on him, and as my staff would arrive that evening, and as he was apparently free at eleven o'clock the next morning, I proposed that we should all visit him formally at that hour. \Vord then came from the Governor that he regretted that he could not receive me at eleven, because at

PAGE 91

Main Courtyard ef the Governor's Yamen at Chang-sha

PAGE 92

86 An American Engineer in China that hour he would be engaged in inspecting his troops at their archery practice; therefore he wished us a pleasant and prosperous journey onward from Chang-sha. Of course there was nothing then for us to do but put ourselves entirely at his convenience for any hour of the day or evening when he would be free from the exactions of watching the archers. Then the excuse was offered that he had made no preparations to receive distinguished foreigners. This requirement we, of course, at once waived. Then his yamen (official residence) was too small. vVe replied that we knew that his yamen was as large as that of the Viceroy, and that the latter had found no difficulty in receiving us. \Vhen it was learned that the Viceroy had given us an audience, the whole affair assumed a different aspect, and a long conference with those versed in the intricacies of Chinese etiquette ensued, during which a small diagram which I had made in my note-book illustrating the viceregal reception played a prominent part. It was finally decided that Chang Chih-tung, in permitting our chairs to be carried to a certain place and in a certain manner, had used the same ceremony that a provincial treasurer, who ranks next to the Governor, was entitled to have accorded him. Clearly a man who had been thus received could not be unceremoniously re"fused an audience. Then the Governor said he would receive me alone, an offer that was respect-

PAGE 93

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 87 fully declined, and finally he ventured, as a compromise, that I might select as companions three members of my staff. I assured his Excellency that my staff was corn posed of equal! y distinguished men, and that any invidious comparison in the way of selection was out of the question, but as it was now nearly midnight-for more than twelve hours had been consumed in the diplomatic intercourse-that I would not trouble him to reply immediately, but hoped that when morning came he would see his way clear to receive us all. At 10.30 the next forenoon he sent eleven official chairs from his own household, one for each of the foreigners and Messrs. Woo and Lo, the secretaries of H. E. Sheng, and a large guard of soldiers under the personal command of General Liu Kao-chao, the military commandant of the capital. With his trumpeters and flagbearers preceding; with the genial and portly general himself at the head of the troops; with our chairs in line, from the leading one of which the chief engineer waved a small American flag -we entered the city, the first foreign party to do so publicly and with official honors, and very proud to feel that the first foreign flag to wave within Chang-sha walls should be that of the great republic. Thus fell Hu-nan's strongest tradition Although the streets were jammed with people and the houses along the route filled to overflowing, there was not heard a single op-

PAGE 94

88 An American Engineer in China probrious epithet or even impolite reference. As a general thing, the people seemed glad to see us, or, at the worst, merely exhibited a stolid indifference or, more usually an inordinate curiosity. The reception by the Governor was all that could be desired. Our chairs were carried into the inner court, where we were met by a personal representative of the Governor, to whom our Chinese cards were given. These, placed in order of rank, he carried in his right hand above his head, and so conducted us to the first receptionroom, where we were presented to the provincial officers, such as the Treasurer, Salt Commissioner, and others, and then by them led to a second reception-room, where we were presented to his Excellency Y u Lien-san. The Governor was dressed in his official robes, which at that time of the year consisted of sable. Wearing his red button and peacock feather and other insignia of high rank, he received us in a most gracious and polite manner. He is a man of medium size, has an iron-gray mustache and a small gray imperial, with an intelligent face and great ceremony of manner. He inquired about our work, expressed his interest in its outcome, and his belief that a railway would be of enormous benefit to his people, and assured me that he had issued full instructions which would insure the party cordial treatment for the rest of our journey. The interview lasted about fifteen minutes, when we were

PAGE 95

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province Sg reconducted to our chairs, and returned 'to our boat by the same way in which we came. The shops of Chang-sha will compare favorably with the shops of any other city in China, display ing a full line of articles of Chinese and of foreign manufacture ; in fact, so wide a range of choice is there that we were even able to stock our larder with a good supply of Munich beer in the orig inal bottles.

PAGE 96

90 An American Engineer in China Hu-nan: The Interior WHEN the American party left Chang-sha, two of our boats, nicknamed the Mary Amz and Consort, were exchanged for three smaller junks of lighter draught, as the former were too large to proceed farther at the existing low stage of the river. River Gunboat While on the Siang our flotilla was always accompanied by one or more river gunboats. boats are intended to protect the tradingjunks from attacks of river pirates, which would otherwise be of frequent occurrence. They are from fifty to seventy-five feet in length, with a beam of eight to ten feet, are flat-bottomed, and

PAGE 97

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 91 draw but one foot. On the overhanging stern is a little cabin for the commander, the crew sleeping at night under an awning stretched over the boat. They are constructed of a native wood somewhat resembling yellow pine, which is oiled only, so that the wood is left bright and its showy grain fully brought out. They are furnished with a square sail stiffened with bamboo slats, hoisted on a pine mast without stays. If there is an adverse wind or none at all, they can be easily rowed. They are armed with a small cast-iron cannon, about a three or a six pounder, fixed on the bow, while the crew of eight to twelve men are furnished with swords and muskets, the latter being generally of a very old type, even matchlocks being not rare. These gunboats are always kept in the pink of condition and repair. The sails are of cotton canvas, sometimes colored blue, and must be constantly changed, as we never saw one in bad order. The crew see to it that the boat itself is always shipshape and spotlessly clean; in fact, when any one boards a gunboat one of the crew immediately presents a wet mop, on which the feet must be wiped. All this appears most striking in a country where the direct opposite, in the way of untidiness and uncleanliness and lack of attention to repair, is the universal rule. How the gunboats ever escaped contamination I could not learn ; but they have, and the traveller is thankful.

PAGE 98

92 An American Engineer in China At night our boats were brought close together, with gunboats on the flanks to protect them from the petty river thieves. Watch was kept faith fully, sentries being armed with a loud bamboo rattle, which they sounded at intervals of every ten minutes. Everywhere in China the night watchman is thus supplied, with the idea of frightening away thieves. The practical result is, however, to give exact information of the whereabouts of the guard, and enable the thief to lie in waiting until the guard has passed on his rounds. It is the custom to give the attending guard a "cumsha : or substantial gratuity. On one occasion we gave a present to the crew of a gunboat the day before they left us. The captain, to show his appreciation, had double guards set that night, who sounded their rattles without cessa tion, making sleep an impossibility. After that we gave no more presents until we were sure that we would permanently part company with that crew. It was not long before it became desirable to procure a horse to enable one of the engineers to ride. This was no easy matter, as horses are used but little. However, we finally found a man who could accommodate us, and ez;rly the next morning he brought around for our inspection an animal that he called a horse, but which, had its ears been longer, might have passed as a large donkey. Price, 40 taels. We looked him over,

PAGE 99

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 93 an operation not requiring much time, and bid 10 taels. The owner replied that 40 taels was his lowest price, but if we meant business he would say 35 taels, or would consider an offer. We assured him of our business intentions, and raised our figure to 12 taels. A horse trade is always an interesting ceremony, but how much more so under these circumstances, where a foreigner was to supply the victim! Each bid and counter-proposition was received with loud shouts of approval by the crowd, who offered advice freely and impartially to both principals, for they were divided in their desire to see the foreigner swindled and in their anxiety not to establish too high a market value for horseflesh. When the difference between the negotiators became so small that a trade was evidently in sight, it was suggested that we go within the temple where we had spent the night and conclude matters, and where at last we reached an agreement of 20 taels, saddle included. Our money was in bullion, for the tael is not a coin, but a weight of silver, and the closest approximation to 20 taels that we could make was 191V0 which our Chinese friend declined as not according to compact. We told him we would make up the difference by throwing in something, and for him to select. After insped ing our belongings he picked out an empty Apollinaris bottle, saying that he had owned a bottle once and had found it very useful, but some years

PAGE 100

94 An American Engineer in China since it had been unfortunately broken. \Ve told him that we too came from a country where the bottle was appreciated and highly valued, and for him to choose again. In the meantime our servants had packed nearly everything preparatory to the day's march, and the only portable thing left, and that of course had no value, was the rind of a pumaloe, a kind of orange about the size of a muskmelon. This empty rind he was offered, and, to our surprise it was promptly and gladly accepted. \Vhether he saw some special virtue in it, whether he had not recognized it, and thought it a peculiar foreign article, or whether it was done merely to "save face," on which so much store is set, I do not know, but the last we saw of that man he was hugging his rind like a treasure. Before we had seen the last of his horse, however, we felt that if the pumaloe rind had constituted the whole of the purchase-price we still should have been the losers. It is surprising how closely the people in one section of the country pattern after those elsewhere, when one remembers the lack, almost absolute lack, of intercommunication. But in spite of the general sameness, which perhaps appears greater than it is on account of the uniformity in physiognomy of the people, with the Mongolian coloring and jet-black hair, there were many peculiar customs which appeared to be localized, as many of them were found only in

PAGE 101

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 95 small districts, and travelled Chinese who accompanied me, said that they had never before seen similar things elsewhere in the empire. Of these the most singular was the carrying of small bamboo baskets lined with sheet metal and filled with A Peculiar Custom by Chinese Women of Wearing Heating-Baskets hot wood-ashes. Such baskets the women in one locality suspend from a belt beneath their short blouses. Sometimes the baskets are worn in front, sometimes behind, and occasionally in both places, according, apparently, to the fancy of the wearer. Children also made use of the heating

PAGE 102

96 An American Engineer in China apparatus, but men only rarely. No matter how worn, the effect in all cases was both extraordinary and comical. To get a photograph of Chinese women is almost as difficult as to photograph a herd of wild deer. Women are supposed to keep away from any man, and of course a foreign man is specially terrible. The picture of the women and their baskets was obtained by cautious stalking behind some Chinese, while their attention was attracted by one of the m em hers of my staff. The instant after the shutter dropped the group had scattered. In farming methods the Chinaman in the interior is, of course, centuries behind. His grain he is accustomed to spread on the ground and drive over it his beast of burden, the water-buffalo, drawing a stone roller, in order to thresh it, while in some places I saw hay ricks built around trees as a centre support. Apparently the method of constructing them was to begin at the top and work down, instead of up, as do farmers elsewhere. Farming and boating are the Chinaman's great occupations, in which he most excels. The horse is little used in China, as has been stated before, but when he is and he needs shoeing, the extensiveness of the ceremony makes up. for any deficiency resulting from infrequent occurrence of the operation. Two straight poles are firmly planted in the ground, with a crossarm at the top. Suspended from the latter, and

PAGE 103

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 97 fastened head and tail to the first two, the horse is finally secured, and then the farrier is ready to begin his work, to the delight of an audience usually of no mean dimensions. But for ingenuity of adapting means to an end, his fishing arrangements excel all others. Instead of bothering with nets, which are apt to break and call for repairs, or with hooks and lines, which may not be easy to procure, the fisherman on most of the rivers in the interior makes use of cormorants-large black birds which are by nature fish-hunters, and which become by tuition very docile. He will start out on his piscatorial quest in a small boat, with from six to a dozen of his feathered helpers, to whom he has omitted probably to give a breakfast. Once on the fishinggrounds, the birds begin to dive for fish, but which, as their owner had tied a string around each neck, they cannot swallow. As each fish is brought to the surface, the boatman relieves the bird of its prey, and thereupon, according to the dictates of nature, it dives again. When the boat is full the fisherman removes the strings about the necks, rewards each bird with a fish, and returns home. The southern and eastern portions of the province are not so densely populated nor so well developed as the central part, nor as the great tea-producing belt in the north. The streams are smaller, giving more difficult means of travel,

PAGE 104

98 An American Engineer in China while the broken topography renders farming less profitable. These are, however, the mineral districts, where there is stored, awaiting clevelop mei'lt, incomputable wealth. The last place of importance in H u-nan is Chen chou, a prefecture town, with its fine arched bridge of five spans crossing the Yu-tan River, and its picturesque old gate-ways with carved wooden lattices. It has a population of from five thousand to eight thousand, and is evidently still a prosperous place, although not now of the im that it was in those clays when the Cheing highway, of which it is the northern gate-way, was jammed with traffic. The N an-ling range is one of the great off-shoots from the Central Asian table-land and extends in a sharply marked position directly across the empire from West to East, and forms the southern boundary of the Yang-tze Valley. On the opposite side from the Yang-tze, water flows southward into the North and \Vest Rivers and so to the China Sea. The mountains comprising the range are lofty and bold. There are three passes crossing it, which have been occupied by trade routes between North and South China. The most westerly of the three is the lowest; in fact so low that a canal across it has been in existence for many years, rendering it possible to go from the China Sea to the Yang-tze by boat. This pass is in South western H u-nan, but on ac-

PAGE 105

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 99 count of its indirectness and the shallow state of the approaching streams is little used. On the east is the Me-ling Pass, at the head of the Pei-Ho, and leads from K wang-tung into the province of Kiang-si. It was this pass that Lord Macartney crossed with his embassy in 1796. The central and most celebrated of the passes is the Che-ling, lying on a line almost due north from Canton. Between the heads of navigation of the W ushui River, on the south side of the Nan-ling range leading to Canton, and the Yu-tan, a tributary to the Yang-tze on the north side, is a distance of but thirty miles, so that commerce between Canton and any point in the Yang-tze Val ley can be reached by boats, with this single and small exception. The high way, crossing the mountains by the Che-ling Pass, terminating at 1-chang on one end and Chen-chou on the other, has therefore been the great trade route between North and South China for certainly three thousand years, and perhaps more-that is, during the time when the whole of history has been written. It stnds to-day as one of the great monuments of China's past, compared with which other relics of antiquity seem but as things of yesterday. Many, many years ago this road was paved for a width of fifteen feet with large flat stones, ranging in size from one to four feet square. Deep in these stones there are hollows worn by the bare feet of the coolies carrying their loads like beasts of

PAGE 106

roo An American Engineer in China burden, or there are dug actual holes where the feet of the ponies, jogging along with short steps, have struck. It was lined with shops and with inns serving accommodations on a cheap scale for coolies and teamsters, and on an elaborate scale for mandarins or rich Cantonese, who, if they The Descent from the Che-Iing Pass on the South Side had the funds, could gratify their taste with any expensive luxury. But the opening of the Yang tze to commerce in 1861 seriously damaged the prestige of this route, for with goods going from or to Canton it was found more economical to ship by steam-vessel between there and Hankow, and be thence distributed. Since then its importance has been gradually diminishing, so that the

PAGE 107

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province ror traffic now passing to and fro, although still consid erable, is but a small fraction of what it once was. The rich merchant no longer frequents it, and the elaborately decorated inn erected for his entertain ment is dropping to decay. Shops and resting places for the coolies or pony-drivers are actually abandoned, and the great trade route, which for so many centuries has resounded with the almost continuous patter of the human foot or the clatter of the ponies' hoofs, is now becoming more and more disused, and stands, as so many other things in this country stand, an eloquent but silent witness of the past. It had been expected that we could utilize the approximate location of this highway for the route of the railway, but a care ful examination revealed the fact that the na tives had not found the true pass at all, which lay some three miles to the eastward, and about one hundred and fifty feet lower. For ten, twenty, thirty, or some other number of centuries the poor coolies have been carrying their loads, quite unnecessarily, up and down one hundred and fifty feet of elevation. What a waste of human energy! Ten miles after crossing the range we reached the borders of Hu-nan, and passed into the prov ince of Kwang-tung. On reaching the frontierline, which crossed our path where it ran through a little village, a very pretty ceremony was per formed. Our guard was, of course, composed of

PAGE 108

102 An American Engineer in China Hu-nanese soldiers, but as we were about to pass into the viceroyalty of the Two K wang" (Kwang-tung and Kwang-si), they had reached the limit of their jurisdiction. Our Cantonese guard was on hand ready to receive us, and in their mushroom hats presented quite a different Two Faithful Friends appearance to the uniforms we had been accus tomed to. The two bodies of troops, having saluted, the Hu-nanese soldiers passed over into K wang-tung and lined up along the highway, and in like manner the Cantonese soldiers formed in H u-nan. The K wang-tung captain was then in troduced. The Hu-nan general came up, "chin-

PAGE 109

Chapter III: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 103 chinned" his farewell, and then shook hands like a foreigner. When I came to say good-by to the two Hu-nanese soldiers who had formed my particular body-guard, who had carried my camera or my pack, and who had looked after rny little personal wants in so many thoughtful ways, I was indeed sorry, for I was parting from two faithful friends. Then with one last look at H u-nan, the journey across which I had regarded with so much anxiety, but where, with two exceptions, I had been treated with uniform kindness, courtesy, and attention by both officials and people, I sig nified my readiness to proceed, and said good-by to H u-nan by saluting her soldiers as I walked past their front. Taking Hu-nan, the closed province of China, as an extreme example, for there foreigners are practically unknown, nevertheless the general condition of life along the Siang River, the chief artery of travel and trade, does not differ materially from that found in the more frequented parts of the empire; nor, in fact, does the undercurrent of human affairs flow in channels raclicall y different from those in other countries. There is the usual struggle for success, attended with the ordinary run of victory or failure; men rise and men go clown. In Chang-sha there is the regular excitement always surrounding a political capital, while in lighter ways there are the festivities attending the Chinese New-Year's celebration, and

PAGE 110

104 An American Engineer in China the occasional rendering of a Chinese play, for the Chinese as a nation take great interest in the drama. There are newspapers, and the telegraph, administered entirely by Chinese, puts the great cities in daily touch with other parts of the em pire. The majority of the people have probably heard of the Japanese \Var of r 895, and the greater part of these understand dimly that China was defeated. Travelling merchants come from other provinces, and the river boatmen are constantly going to and from Hankow, or perhaps even to so distant a port as Shanghai, so that the people hear accounts of the doings of the outer world. If foreigners are personally unknown, their appearance is not; for the Chang-sha belle sees on her bottle of pomade the prevailing fashion in which her French sister does her hair, while the young man about town in Siang-tan finds in his package of American cigarettes a photograph of the latest favorite of the London music-hall. In Hu-nan there are two distinct classes, those such as the above, who can enjoy life, and who have attained a position easily comparable with the best of conditions to be found anywhere, and those who, living in the more remote parts of the province, never come in contact with the outer world. As soon as a departure is made from the Siang River, such a difference is at once noticed, and there is reached along the eastern side of the province, where there is practically no trade and

PAGE 111

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 105 consequently no communication with the rest of the world, a condition of life that is distressingly depressing. Not that there is suffering or want, for everybody seems to have a home and enough to wear and eat, but it is life reduced to its simplest form, in which there is apparently lacking every desire for amelioration or even a know ledge or comprehension that such a thing is pos sible. Of education or religion or any aspiration toward a better or a higher life, or intercourse with the outer world, there is none. The soil produces enough food and an occasional surplus, which is sold in the nearest market-town, and thus serves to provide clothing and the other wants, which are of the simplest nature. There seems to be nothing in the way of social intercourse between the people, and life is merely a struggle, day after day, for a bare existence. From one year's end to the other there is no pleasure, no enjoyment beyond the mere animal instinct of living, and without a single event to break the monotony. And yet, it must be remembered that this is not a savage country, but one that had a high and complex civilization before the time when Rome was, and this civilization still remains among these people in the way off corners, probably not much altered except that it may have become sadly worn. On our journey eastward from the Siang, we made a short detour out of Hu-nan into the ad-

PAGE 112

106 An American Engineer in China joining province of Kiang-si, and at the border line of the province came across an amusing spec imen of Chinese reasoning, and a suggestive illus tration of the attitude of the Hu-nanese toward their neigh bors. The so-called anti-foreign feeling in Hu-nan is a misnomer; it is really Chinese ex clusiveness carried to its logical conclusion, giving rise to an antipathy against all who do not live in the province, and to whom they apply the epithet of" foreigner" without discrimination. The peo ple of Kiang-si, in t>rder to defend themselves from the wicked inhabitants of Hu-nan, had erected, at the frontier, where the highway en tered their province through a narrow valley, a massive masonry wall with a wide ram part and The Wall and Gateway on the Border between Hu-nan and Kiang-si

PAGE 113

Chapter Ill : Hu-nan, the Closed Province ro7 embattled parapet, and a gate-way with watchtower complete-a most formidable -looking structure, and one that was practically impreg-A Bridge over Dry Ground, with a Coolie Climbing the Approach Steps on the Left nable by direct assault by archers. Its length, however, was only about 1,5oo feet, merely reaching from hill to hill, and as the flanking hills were low and easy of ascent, there was nothing at all to prevent an invading army from turning from their path but a few yards to either the right or left and marching unmolested, so far as the wall was concerned, around its ends. That the constructors evidently considered this a secure de fence, in the way that the ostrich buries its head, there is apparently little doubt, but I could not help wondering whether the Hu-nanese had been similarly affected and so deterred from making an attack. But this is on a par with an old

PAGE 114

ro8 An American Engineer in China bridge that we met on our travels. Once upon a time, when perhaps Elizabeth was reigning in England, this bridge crossed a stream, but the stream, unlike the natives, was capable of changing its course, and now the bridge spans dry -land. The highway, however, still continues to cross the bridge, and the coolies, with their loads upon their backs, still climb the flight of steps at either end as their predecessors have done for centuries. The Chinaman always accepts things as they are, without inquiry or reasoning-actuality and precedent being to him always paramount.

PAGE 115

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province rog Hu-nan: The Exit Five miles from the borders of Hu-nan we reached Ping-shih, a flourishing-looking town of perhaps three thousand people, the principal rea son of its existence being that it is a point of trans ferrence from boat transportation on the vV u-shui to land portage. The whole surface of this part of K wang-tung, however, is very mountainous, and the population is quite scant. The difference from Hu-nan conditions \vas quite noticeable. While foreigners rarely visited Ping-shih, they were not entirely unknown, and therefore we were not quite the same object of intense curi osity. The most striking thing of all was the pawn shops. These singular buildings, which are a particular! y K wang-tung institution -although the pawnshop is known everywhere in Chinaare built of masonry, in huge square towers, sixty to eighty feet on a side, and with a height of one hundred feet or more, presenting a most impos ingappearance, suggestive rather of an ancient feudal castle, with the comparatively tiny houses huddling about the base, than of anything so es sentially practical and commercial as a pawnshop. The construction and shape of the building are for protective purposes. The material of which it is composed presents a safeguard against fire, while its solidity, its great heig-ht, and fewness of

PAGE 116

A Kwang-tung Pawnshop and Surrounding Village

PAGE 117

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 111 windows or other openings offer the greatest obstacle to successful assault by robbers. within are numerous floors, on which the pawned goods are carefully stored after being neatly indexed. The ordinary practice of the pawnbroker in the way of high interest charges is the same here as in other lands, but the calling is regarded quite differently; in fact, the pawnshop is looked upon as a blessing, the broker as a benefactor, and the presence of a high tower the indication of good business. If a town possesses more than one, it is taken as a sign that it is particularly prosperous, and places are described as being one, two, three pawnshop towns, as the case may be. The pawnshop partakes of the nature of a bank, the Chinese arguing that no one would borrow un less he can employ the capital with profit, and as the pawnshops are the means of furnishing capital, therefore the greater the number the greater the prosperity. As the Cantonese have always been the most progressive and energetic merchants of China, so the pawn or banking system of this province has become more highly developed than elsewhere. At Ping-shih the expedition was again divided, the chief engineer preceding by boat to make a reconnoissance of the river and of the route following the stream via Sam-shui and Fat-shan while the survey party went overland, although sleeping on boats to within fifty miles of Canton,

PAGE 118

I I 2 An American Engineer in China where they left the river and struck directly for the city. Kwang-tung is drained by three principal streams, of which one is the Tung Kiang, which flows to Canton from the east, and with which our expedition has nothing to do. The others are the Si Kiang (West River) and the Pei Ho (North River), with their respective tributaries. These latter rivers join at Sam-shui (literally "Three Waters"), twenty-five miles due west of Canton, the combined streams going to form the Canton River and the net-work of channels and small streams that intersect the flat land that extends to the sea. The West River is the most important, draining not only the western portion of Kwang-tung, but the whole of the province of Kwang-si, and is open for steam navigation, even at low stage, for shallow-draught vessels for some considerable distance, and, on account of the facility of navigation, has become an important trade route, with a treaty port of its own at Wuchow. The North River, as its name would indicate, strikes north to Shao-chou, where it forksthe right-hand branch, carrying the name of Pei Ho, draining the Nan-ling Mountains on the south side from the province of Kiang-si, while the lefthand branch called the W u-shui, drains the slope of the same range on the south side from H u-nan. During the winter months the river is very shal low, shoals with not over one foot of water being

PAGE 119

Chapter I 11 : H u-nan, the Closed Province r 13 of frequent occurrence to within a short distance of Sam-shui; and even while following the tortuous and continually shifting channel, a vessel drawing two feet cannot proceed up the river from the junction more than fifty miles. The \V u-shui is very shallow-especially the upper waters-for the first fifty miles below Ping-shih. We were therefore compelled to take the smallest boats we had yet used. These little boats have a water-line length of about twenty-five feet, but on account of their peculiar overhanging ends, in order that they may be run up to the bank on a flat shore, are apparently very much longer. They are about five feet beam, are flat-bottomed, and are built in the lightest manner possible, the composing boards being only about three-quarters of an inch thick, without braces or frames, while, in order to give some stiffness, the sides at the top are curved inwards amidships, and are held apart by thwarts at the fore and aft quarters. The roofing protection consisted of hemispherical bamboo mats on light bamboo frames. The boats, when loaded, drew about three or four inches only, and furnished accommodations for two of our party to each one. It was not long after leaving Ping shih before the reason for the design was apparent. During at least half of the year, the river is very low, and is nothing but a succession of quiet pools separated by swiftly running rapids, some of the latter being of no small force. In order to

PAGE 120

114 An American Engineer in China navigate the worst places a large oar would be rigged on the bow, with which the boat was steered as well as with one at the stern. On approaching a rapid the crew would cease rowing and unship the oars while the two helmsmen, one in front and one behind, would prepare for their task. As the light boat feels the increasing current she begins to increase her speed. In front are two great masses of rocks, and between them a narrow passage of white foaming water-averitable Scylla and Charybdis, with apparent equal certainty of destruction whether we hit the rocks or miss them, for surely no vessel as light as ours could possibly stand the strain with safety. On we shoot, straight for the rocks, when, just as a col lision seems absolutely certain, down goes the bow oar, the boatman throws his weight against the inboard end, our boat's head swerves, and with a lurch she swings and clears the first danger by not over six inches, but only to get into the seething mass of foam. Surely now our frail craft must go to pieces; instinctively one looks at the face of the skipper, who, with stolid indifference, the characteristic of his race, betrays no sign that anything unusual is happening, but whose bright eye is fixed steadfastly ahead, and the keenness of the glance indicates that behind that eye, in spite of outward appearances, is a brain that is alert. The boat twists, she yields, her very bottom is seen to bulge upwards as it actually slides over the rocks, which

PAGE 121

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 115 are worn smooth by similar contact with many a sampan, then with a final leap she reaches the still surface of the pool ahead. It is only the lightness of construction and the lack of stiffness that makes the journey possible. A boat with a frame and braces would have been wrecked at once. In these runs no orders are given, there is no excitement, no shouting, but every man of the crew of four knows exactly what he has to do and does it. These Chinese river-boatmen make fine sailors. Before reaching the largest of the rapids, which is really a succession of several, our boats were beached and the combined crews went ashore to a little temple to do "J oss pigeon" to the river-god. From the fact that we passed the danger in entire safety, one feels compelled to assume that his godship was pleased with the fire-crackers and brown paper burned in his honor. As the crackers are sold by the priest in charge, and as a large number of them were set off, it would appear that the business of being a river-god is not without its financial attractions. From Ping-shih to Lo-chang, the first town seen for a distance of nearly forty miles, there is one continuous canon, furnishing the most beautiful scenery found anywhere along our march, and, for beauty and grandeur combined, is the equal of any river-canon that I have ever seen. The stream varies in width from one hundred to five hundred feet. The hills, having a height of six

PAGE 122

JI6 An American Engineer in China hundred to one thousand feet, run directly to the water without any beach or level shore. The country is absolutely wild, there being no population and no cultivation. Unfortunately, too, there are no trees except in a few places, the mountains having been long since stripped of their timber. It is possible, perhaps probable, that examination with a diamond drill will show that these hills are underlain with coal, as coal outcrops at Lo-chang, and again in the vicinity of Shao-chou. They are covered with a rich, strong grass, and are capable of supporting great herds of sheep or cattle. At Lo-chang, a place of perhaps four thousand people, situated at the mouth of the gorge, we exchanged our little boats for a regular junk. The whole atmosphere of our surroundings was quite different from what we had been accustomed to. There are seen growing the banyan-tree, and other tropical vegetation. \V omen are working with men, especially in boats, and but few of them have the terrible self-inflicted deformity of pinched feet. The houses are of a type differing from that in the more northern provinces, and in the windows and from the balconies are seen growing green plants and flowers. Neither in Hu-peh nor Hu-nan had we seen a single evidence of an appreciation by the lower classes of natural beauty, and we had begun to consider the title of "Flowery Kingdom" as sadly misplaced. From Lo-chang

PAGE 123

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 117 onward we saw, in an increasing ratio, a desire on the part of the people to improve the attractiveness of their environment. In point of time we were now approaching the Chinese New-Year, the greatest day, or rather period, in the whole calendar, for the attendant festivities are of a continuous character for three days, during which all business, even in the commercial centres, is absolutely stopped, while the effect extends over about two weeks before nor mal conditions are again resumed. The Chinese year is lunar, the beginning being marked by the first new moon following the passage of the sun into the constellation of Aquarius, imposing limits of January zrst as the earliest elate and February 19th as the latest. In r899 it fell on February roth. On all sides were evidences of the approach of the fete. If no house-cleaning is done at other times, and usually that is the case, it is ordained by precedent that everything must be washed at this season. Along the river-banks were seen women with their trousers rolled up to their thighs, standing in the water alongside of their household furniture, giving their chairs, tables, and clothes-presses a good bath. Boatmen were pasting to the sides of their boats colorecl slips of paper with" good luck" mottoes or prayers, while the shops in the little villages were evidently doing a thriving business. Forty miles from Lo-chang brought us to Shao-

PAGE 124

u8 An American Engineer in China chou, a walled city with seven to eight thousand people, the official residence of a taotai, a prefect, and a magistrate, the most important city in northern Kwang-tung. We arrived there on NewYear's eve. As foreigners were known here -some foreign missionaries being actually in residence-a walk ashore without a guard was possible, a luxury not enjoyed since leaving Hankow. Seasonable decorations were everywhere in plenty; the shops were loaded with fire-crackers, toys, house decorations (usually of red paper), and articles suitable for presents-for the latter are exchanged at this season of the year between all friends. At one time there would be seen a gentleman bringing to his home a chicken and other delicacies, preparation for the coming feast next day, and before which, having deposited them on his door-step, he would prostrate himself with all due ceremony. At another time we met a business man hurrying along with a preoccupied air, evidently finding difficulty in raising the funds to pay off his debts, which must be liquidated, in accordance with the Chinese law, before nightfall. The evening was quiet, but exactly at midnight the New-Year was ushered in with a deafening peal of fire-crackers from every junk and from every house, for no Chinaman is so poor as not to be able to afford his salute, accompanied by a general din of gongs, bells, and rattles. On February 15th we passed out of Fat-shan

PAGE 125

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province rr9 Creek at Fati, and Canton lay before us, and the first American Industrial Invasion of China by an organized force was at an end. Ten days later the balance of the party, which had necessarily made slower progress, arrived, and in spite of mournful prognostications to the contrary, the journey was finished, and with much better treatment at the hands of the natives than would a similar expedition of Chinese re ceive during a trip of equal length under similar conditions in the United States, or even possibly in Europe, due in great measure to the care taken of us by their Excellencies Sheng and Viceroy Chang Chih-tung, to both of whom in this and in many other ways I am much indebted. Our ears were frequently assailed with shouts from the crowds of "Yang-kwei-tze," "foreign devil," or some similar epithet, but in nearly every case I am sure that such expressions usu ally meant little more than such terms as "John Chinaman" or "Yankee" do with us, because frequently I heard the shout of foreign devil raised by someone calling a crowd from within houses to the street to see the strange sight, and such people, when thus summoned, would return our bows with pleasant smiles or laughter. Sometimes sullen looks were seen, but rarely was anything thrown or deliberate discourtesy shown, and only once was any violence attempted. This single case occurred in southern Hu-nan, when we

PAGE 126

1 zo An American Engineer in China had begun to consider that no special precautions were necessary, even among the famed turbulent Hu-nanese, so that I did not hesitate to detach myself from the party without a regular escort. One day I was thus passing the little market town of \Vu-ni-pu ("five mud shops") where the weekly market had drawn from the surrounding country a crowd of perhaps two thousand. My attendants were but three unarmed soldiers and my chair bearers. On learning of my coming the crowd came out of the town and lined up along the roadside. A boy in jest started the cry of foreign devil, those near him took it up in similar vein with laughter. Others in rear, not seeing but hearing, also raised it, while those well at the back, hearing the noise, pushed forward to ascertain the cause. The pushing and the shouting excited someone to throw a missile, whereupon a quiet crowd unconsciously and quite unintentionally was converted into a mob. Fortunately they had nothing worse to throw than earth-clods from the ploughed fields, but which having started to do, they kept it up with energy and zeal. My little guard stood by me and urged me to run, as resistance against such odds was out of the ques tion. To run I realized would encourage violence and invite stumbling, which would be fatal, as likewise a proposition to take refuge in a little temple at hand. The only chance lay in giving a certain order! y portion in the crowd time to get

PAGE 127

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 121 the disturbance under control, and in the meanwhile to protect my head with the collar of my coat and to hope that the crowd would not find any stones or bricks. After a somewhat mauvais quart d'!teure order supplanted violence, and I was none the worse except for some dirty clothes and a stiff neck, which two clays' time quite cured. After that, at the suggestion of the local officials, we went armed. I asked the Chinese dignitaries why we had failed to experience the troubles that they had all feared so keenly before starting. The answers were threefold : we had shown no fear, and con sequently the people feared us; we neither mo lested nor interfered with anyone, therefore the people respected us ; and we paid regular prices for our purchases, and would not permit our attendants to steal, therefore the people liked us. There seemed to me to be another reason, the good-will of the officials. I am confident that the Government can, when it wants to do so, con. trol the people, and is quite competent to bring about any desired reform. The trouble is that the existing clique realizes that \Yith railways and other innovations its powers are at an end. One practical result of our trip is that missionaries have since penetrated without trouble into Hu-nan, a thing impossible before, and the province can now be considered as open as the other seventeen.

PAGE 128

Mr. Parsons Mr. Rich Chinese Skippe r Under Two Flags

PAGE 129

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province r23 Wherever we went we had the pleasure and honor of carrying with us the American flag, the first foreign flag to be seen in this portion of China, and alongside of it, in compliment to the country we were visiting, we flew the Imperial Dragon. The scientific results were entirely satisfactory. In addition to determining the general location of the railway, we established the longitude and latitude of the various cities, discovering, as was to be expected, differences in their locations as usual! y platted. vV e noted the magnetic variation of the needle, locating the line of no variation where it crossed our path; we established the lines of drainage, both north and south of the Nan-ling Mountains, correcting many errors; but, above all, we discovered the true pass across the range connecting the head-waters of the Y u-tan with those of the vVu-shui, to which the staff gave the name of Parsons Gap," and so marked it on our map. In this work our difficulty lay principally in procuring reliable information in advance. The average Chinese, and certainly everyone in the interior, does not comprehend at all the meaning of the word accuracy-all his statements are "about." The unit of distance in China is a li, a distance which is approximately 1,825 feet, or something more than one-third of a mile; but the li (pronounced lee) differs in different parts of the empire, just as the tael or standard of value differs,

PAGE 130

124 An American Engineer in China so that for ordinary usage the expression "li" is of little value, while for accurate computations it is worse than worthless, for it is misleading unless all the circumstances are known. Thus there are officialli along certain big h ways specially devoted to travel, which are termed "official highways." On these coolies are paid for carrying merchandise at so much per li, and by common consent under these circumstances all distances are reckoned short, the ratio of the error between stations not being constant, and varying from twenty to as high as fifty per cent. Thus a distance which would ac tually measure, say, 20 li would be set somewhere between 24 and 30 li. On a parallel high way of equal length the true distance, or something ap proximating it, would be stated; hence we were always in a perpetual quandary and argument with the officials as to which would be the shortest route to follow when there was a choice. Then, to add to the complexity, in certain districts the distance is reckoned not wholly on the basis of length, but partly on the time required. Thus if the road from A to B is up hill, the distance from A to B might be 40 li, but from B to A only 30. Distances are also stated in multiples of 10 above 20, and in multiples of 5 between 5 and 20, and below 5 in single li-a custom arising from the fact that the surface is considered as divided into zones, the distance between the centres of the zones being so many tens of li. If the points in

PAGE 131

Chapter Ill: Hu-nan, the Closed Province 125 question are on the nearest limits of the zones, the distance given on the zone basis is too great by 10 li, or, if on the outer limit, too little by a like amount. All such distances are subject to further correction as to whether they are official or otherwise, and by the several other local condi' tions or even personal equations of the informant. If there were any rule in these vagaries it would not matter so much, but there is absolutely none. Of maps we were fortunate in securing one of Hu-nan, which, considering it was a native production, was very good, and as a general thing fairly reliable, although once in a while its woful errors ran us into difficulties. The local maps purporting to give details were caricatures, and outdid the productions of Herodotus and other early European geographers. One particular map, which undertook to represent not the unexplored country, but an area of civilization, including the viceregal capital of \V u-chang and the metropolis of Han-kow, can be taken as a fair specimen of the lot. At this point the Yang-tze River runs almost straight. Had the local cartographer so shown it on his map, one of two things would have happened: either he would have been obliged to use a larger sheet of paper or the river \vould have run off the border. He very successfully and ingeniously avoided both difficulties by giving the river a graceful bend. Jhe rest of his topography and details were

PAGE 132

1 z6 An American Engineer in China shown with equal fidelity. Yet the officials treat these things quite seriously, and in my own ex perience frequently such maps as these would be produced and actually used as a basis of argu ment. In China there is no fixed nomenclature-eveq the country itself being without a name-and this lack of distinct and recognized appellations was a frequent source of difficulty. Of personal information from natives there was none obtainable on which any credence could be placed. A Chinese, unless he be a porter coolie or a boatman, rarely travels or gets during his life more than a few miles in any direction from the place where he was born. \Vhen trying to procure information concerning the immediate locality it was no un common thing to have a native, and even some times men of local position, say, "Oh, I have never been so far away as that," or" I have never been across that hill, and so do not know what is bevond."

PAGE 133

Chapter IV My Chinese Impressions IT is related in the analects of Confucius that one of his disciples put to him the question: "Is there one word upon which the whole life may proceed?" to which the Master replied: "Is not Reciprocity such a word?" If it were possible to find a word expressive of that curiously subtle thing, the Chinese character, perhaps Contradiction would furnish the keynote. There is probably no nation so extolled and lauded by some writers, and so inveighed against and execrated by others, as the Chinese, and this, too, by observers who have lived in China for many years. This great divergence of opinion is clue, I believe, to the spirit of contradiction in the Chinaman himself. This spirit of contradiction is found not only in the frequently occurring examples of the Chinese way of doing things quite differently from the way that other people have found best, but more particular! y in the cases where the Chinaman is so singularly inconsistent with his own apparent way of thinking and of the rules which he has laid down for his own guidance. He seems to be at the same time the extreme of economical and wasteful, practical and impractical, kind and cruel, honest and deceitful. No sooner has the observer 127

PAGE 134

rz8 An American Engineer in China discovered and put in mental order a series of in cidents that seem to establish a certain trait, when Chinese and Manchu Ladies of the Upper Class The two on the ends are Chinese, with their feet compressed. The third from the left is a Manchu, with the feet natural but wearing the peculiar Manchu shoe on a central pedestal. The second woman is a maid-servant, with her feet only partly compressed, as is usual with women of her class. On the right is a Peking cart, the private carriage of Minister Conger. This picture was obtained by having Mrs. Parsons walk ahead to attract the attention of the ladies to her foreign clothes of a sudden he comes in contact with some new fact or action, which completely upsets all pre conceived notions. The well-known ways in which the Mongolian methods and reasoning contradict the Caucasian are both amusing and extraordinary in their corn-

PAGE 135

Chapter IV: My Chinese Impressions r29 plete and direct oppositeness. with the Chinese white is the calor of mourning, and the left is the place of honor. Men wear skirts and women wear breeches, while everyone is addressed with the family name first. The Chinaman talks of the magnetic needle pointing to the south-singular reasoning for one living in the Northern Hemisphere-reads and writes from right to left, and thus it goes through almost every detail of everyday life. But the most amusing instance is the practice of the night-watchman, who flourishes everywhere from Peking down to the small cities in the interior. Instead of going his rounds stealthily, to better detect thieves, which are not few, he equips himself with a bamboo rattle and a tinkling metal cymbal, which he sounds rhythmically as he walks his beat. In the still hours of the night it is perfectly easy to tell exactly where he is, and when he will pass in return a given point. The theory is that his fiendish weapons of noise strike terror into the hearts of all evil-doers, but I fear, judging from personal experiences, that the ways of evil-doers, contrary to the rule of Chinese opposite, are the same in all lands. Self-contradiction is equally apparent, and must be continually expected and allowed for if we are to attempt to understand the Celestial and his way of thinking. Even his Government is a most bewildering mixture of the most absolute autocracy and liberal democracy.

PAGE 136

130 An American Engineer in China The autocratic part is represented not so much in the will of one man, the ruler, for the system of government has tended more and more to seclude him from popular contact, but in the almost slavish observance and veneration for precedent. What is, is; and what has been done stands as an example for all time or until some extraordinary event establishes a new order. The personality of the ruler and of the leading statesmen, therefore, is not stamped upon the course of affairs, nor are the official personages of the same relative importance that they are in other countries. Government is largely a matter of custom and of precedent. No dictator, no tyrant ever ruled with more iron hand than does Precedent in China, and the custom of obeying it is deep-seated and hoary with age. Even before the time of Confucius it was the rule, and his writings teem with admonitions to observe the Rules of Proprieties and Ceremonial. The democratic side is shown by the fact that, with but few exceptions, rank is not hereditary, and that the meanest of the Emperor's subjects may not only aspire to but actually attain the highest place in his councils. Examinations form the basis of political preferment, and these examinations are open to all. But by one of those strange inconsistencies of contradiction which make the oldest of students of Chinese character

PAGE 137

Chapter IV: My Chinese Impressions 131 timid as to exact determinations, the Chinese, having elaborated the most perfect system of selection, lose sight entirely of the main object, and so conduct the examinations as to render them practically valueless in really determining the contestant's fitness for anything except writing involved essays on a text from Confucius. I met some Chinese of the official class, who were endowed by nature with strong talents that would have insured their rise under any circumstances and had already won the highest of examination honors, who told me that they were endeavoring to forget their Confucius as fast as possible and trying to learn other things. In judging the Chinaman, allowance must be made for the point of view. He must not be looked at entirely from his stand-point; if so, he has no faults; nor wholly from ours; for if so, he has no redeeming features. Take, for example, his standard of veracity. All Asiatics have the reputation of being cunning, deceitful, and untruthful, and in ordinary dealings the Chinaman is said to be no exception. On the other hand, in commercial intercourse he has the reputation of being so truthful and honest that foreign merchants frequently rely on verbal contracts and to an extent that they would not do with each other. It is quite impossible that the same man can be so wholly different. The contradiction must be more apparent than real. vVhat is his point of view?

PAGE 138

132 An American Engineer in China In ordinary transactions he is accustomed to speak in exaggerated phrases, to veil his meaning in obscure sentences, and to convey his thoughts in an optimistic way; such has been his whole education. He himself understands his fellows, or, at least, does so after much circumlocutory questioning. There has been no attempt to deceive, and, therefore, he would say no lie. This is not the direct bluntness of the AngloSaxon; it may not be the best way, but it is the Chinese way, based on an experience of some thousands of years, and he is at least entitled to have his point of view taken into account. \Vhen it comes to practical considerations, like making a contract, he has learned that only the direct method and rigid honesty are successful, and therefore he governs himself accordingly and perhaps more conscientiously than other people with a so-called higher civilization. In thinking of the Chinaman we frequently make the error of vastly underrating his men tal ability, and regarding his stolidity and tenacity to his own ways as precluding him from g-rasp ing another's point of view. But even from my short experience I am convinced that such is far from being the case. The Chinaman naturally prefers his own way of accomplishing a given end, but that does not prevent him from seeing the line of thought and action of a mind trained in methods diametrically opposite from his. On

PAGE 139

Chapter IV: My Chinese Impressions 133 one occasion, when the regular nightly council of local officials was being held to arrange for the next day's march of the expedition, I stated my plans, a suggestion which immediately met, as was not infrequently the case, with their very strong opposition and elicited a counter suggestion that I must follow a highway in quite a different direction, for so the Governor had ordered. The officials were firmly but politely informed that the Governor was not the chief engineer, and therefore not responsible for the survey. vVhen they realized that I was set upon my own course they adopted the usual Chinese custom of indirectness, and began to assure me that it was impossible for me to go the way I proposed, as there were high mountains and deep rivers intervening which were quite impassable. According to Chinese custom I should have accepted such circumlocution, although they not only knew it was untrue, but knew that I knew that it was untrue, because they were well aware that I had made a personal reconnaissance in advance to develop the feasibility of the route proposed. At this juncture one of the officials, who at the outset had behaved in exactly the same way by raising all sorts of absurd objections and then in the end doing without difficulty what he had previously insisted was impossible, leaned across the table and said in an undertone to his coadjutors: "Don't talk to that man about mountains and

PAGE 140

134 An American Engineer in China rivers; he is not influenced by such phrases. When you talk to him you must talk to the point." Two weeks' intercourse had sufficed to make him understand direct, straightforward methods. One of these officials who that night had been chief in resistance accompanied us for four hundred miles, and developed into one of the very best men we had, dropping his indirect ways and talking to the point." The most striking trait in the Chinese character, and which is chiefly answerable for the present condition of the country, is exclusiveness. As a nation they have produced great things, but they have been for their own use and not for exchange with other peoples for other ideas. This exclusiveness has operated not only to shut China in from other nations, but has prevented that flow of thought from within, outward and from without inward, a reciprocal action which is as necessary for the development of a nation as is variation in physical and mental exercises for the development of an individual. The teachings of nature show that a stationary condition is impossible, that motion forward or backward is a! ways taking place, and as approach toward perfection is attained a new condition of life is brought about under a course of development. So life leads to death, and death is but a birth for a new life. This law is true for nations as well as for animals and plants. Every great nation of the past has expanded until

PAGE 141

Chapter IV: My Chinese Impressions 135 its limit of growth is reached, when it enters a period of decadence and finally comes to a natural death, giving rise, however, to new nations and new peoples. Here again China seems to be an anomalous contradiction. It is a nation which died centuries ago, but which has never been buried, and continues to remain above ground as a sort of vivified mummy. Everywhere in the interior where one turns, one is struck with this deadness and arrest of development, as it were, that occurred some centuries ago. Every writer on China regards the peculiar natural condition from his own point of view, and suggests as the cause the lack of his particular nostrum. The missionary argues that it is necessary to instil in the Chinese a high moral sense, and then all would be well; the writer on material development calls for unlimited railways; the military man for the reformation of the army and navy as the panacea; while the commercial man claims that if enough treaty ports were opened China would soon take care of herself. Any one of these or other similar views is too narrow. A deficiency in moral sense, and the failure to appreciate the benefit of railways or unrestricted commerce, are effects, rather than causes, or certainly are not the prime causes. The nation is dead ; a new birth, a regeneration, a new life is needed ; and while each one of the urged reforms is necessary as one of the conditions to bring into

PAGE 142

136 An American Engineer in China existence this new life, no one by itself is sufficient. To produce plant life it is not only necessary to have the seed ready to germinate, but there must also be the required conditions of light, heat, and moisture -no one in itself is enough, and without the proper combination of all three our seed will refuse to bring forth. Such is the condition of China. This lack of life is evident everywhere and is interwoven in the whole fabric of Chinese existence. Take the writings of Confucius, on which all Chinese thought and reasoning is both consciously and unconsciously based, and it will be seen that even his key-note is dead. The tone is moral, the code of ethics is high, but his philosophy is lifeless, for he speaks of himself as "I, a transmitter and not an originator, and as one who believes in and loves the ancients." This doctrine he has taught successive generations, so that the Chinaman is too apt to regard the future as merely an opportunity to relive the past. But this can be overcome. Seeds for a new life, better and stronger than the past life, even when China was the greatest nation in existence, are there ready to sprout; the potentiality is great; the people are by nature peaceful, law-abiding, industrious, frugal, hardworking, and patient-qualities absolutely essen tial to produce a great nation, and which under proper conditions must produce one, in the same

PAGE 143

Chapter IV: My Chinese Impressions 137 way that a healthy acorn under the proper conditions must give growth to a oak. In examining the characteristics of a people one turns first to the status of education and to the nature and depth of religious belief, and in both of these this deadness is oppressively conspicuous. One day, while journeying along a highway in Hu-nan, I turned to a bright little boy of apparently about ten years who was in the crowd surrounding me, and asked him if he went to school. Oh, yes," he replied, and in answer to a question what he studied, said, with a look that clearly indicated his surprise that anyone should ask such a ques tion," vVhy, the classics, of course." Not a word about geography or history, even of his own country, to say nothing of others; not a line of science; not a single thought of anything that could do him a bit of good or fit him to be a useful member of society, but merely the teachings of Confucius, who lived twenty-five hundred years ago. An illustration of what this leads to was well shown one night when the local officials of the village where we were stopping called, according to custom, to greet us and arrange for future progress. One of them, a dear old gentleman, who had a laugh that would have made his fortune on the stage in any capital of Europe, inquired what land I came from, if it was far from China, and then whether I came by land or by sea, each question being punctuated by a delicious laugh. To tell

PAGE 144

138 An American Engineer in China him, who considered one hundred miles as a long journey, that I had come over ten thousand miles, was to give the impression of a gross exaggeration, as he had no idea of the size of the earth or where America was, as indicated by the question whet her it was north or south of China. One of his com panions, finding that his friend was quite at sea, finally summoned up courage and rebuked the questioner by pointing out that America was in the \Ve.'itern, and China in the Eastern, Hemi sphere. After other inquiries the first man brightened up and said, "Oh, I know now where your land is; it is between France and Germany;" whereupon the second, who had been carefully watching our faces and so perceived that the other was wrong again, repeated his hemisphere remark with a most supercilious and superior air. As he ventured nothing more there was little doubt that that comprised his whole knowledge of the world's geography, although he had not shown whether he really knew what a hemisphere was. Yet these two men held important govern ment positions, and one of them has since been promoted and is on the high road to still greater places of trust, and such men the people must look to and rely on for their guidance. But this state of affairs must not be confounded with ig norance. These men were ignorant in the sense of being uneducated according to our standards. From a Chinese point of view they were very

PAGE 145

Chapter IV: My Chinese Impressions 139 highly educated, and had spent an amount of time in acquiring their information that would suffice with us to take a man through a leading university and give him a Ph.D. degree. They had a vast amount of learning, but it was of no practical value. It was the teachings of the fifth .. A Neglected Buddhist Temple The roof-beams are elaborately and beautifully carved century before Christ rather than the nineteenth century after. Then, as to their religion: nominally they possess the Buddhist faith; practically the only religion they have is ancestral worship. Their Buddhist temples, as a general thing, are neglected, the idols dirty and broken, and even sub-

PAGE 146

140 An American Engineer in China ject to sale by the priests if the traveller wishes to carry them away, and nowhere seemingly treated with any veneration or respect, except possibly by the boatmen, who have a sort of superstitious fetich, as is common to the sailor class in all lands. Their ancestors they venerate, and every Chinese consequently wishes to have a son who will worship at his grave as he has done toward his predecessors. In' going across the country one sees occasionally a handsome grave, on which a certain amount of care and thought had been bestowed at the time of its construction, and possibly since; but when one contemplates the usual resting-place of departed Celestials, little hummocks of pyramidal shape, unmarked by any inscription, untended and unkempt, on one hand scattered about in more or less disorder, or on another hand huddled together, one is easily forced to conclude that ancestral worship cannot have any deep-rooted sentiment, and that it is, like the system of government, a matter of precedent, or, as the native picturesquely puts it in his pigeon English, "That b'long ole custom." At Shanghai, Canton, and even in the interior, there are to be met large buildings, frequently of elaborate and beautiful design, called ancestral temples, where the records of past members of a great family are kept and the honors that individuals have won for the house are properly posted. Here the various branches of the family

PAGE 147

Chinese Graves

PAGE 148

142 An American Engineer in China can meet and worship before the little tablets bearing the names of their fathers and grandfathers. But such buildings have a purpose other than a purely religious one. They provide a place where, at stated times, the scattered members of the clan can come together and see each other. They have, therefore, a social, or rather a tribal, function as well as a religious one. Reference was made above to the trait of exclusiveness in the Chinese character. No great principle ever stops abruptly in its effects, so this spirit of exclusiveness not only limits the external bearings of the empire, but affects the internal relations of the people as well. Carried out to the logical conclusion it has made the family the supreme unit. To his family, not merely his wife and children, but his family collectively, to the tribal or community relation, as it were, the Chinaman owes his first allegiance ; after that to the district; then to the state or province; and finally to the nation. In consequence, any real national feeling or pride, or any sense of genuine patriotism, or in fact of any patriotism whatever, is absolutely wanting. The nation as a whole is a great mass without cohesion, and inviting the comparison, which is so frequently made, to a huge jelly-fish. When the war between China and Japan broke out, the men in the interior, provided they were cognizant, which many were not, that a struggle was going on, declared it to be

PAGE 149

Chapter IV: My Chinese Impressions 143 that "Peking man's [Li Hung-chang] war," that he had got into it, therefore let him get out of it, entirely oblivious of the fact that they themselves constituted China, and that no matter who was the author or what the cause, war was on, and war with China meant not war with Li Hungchang, but war with them. In the same way they have tolerated, with scarcely a protest, the giving away of their national territory. The man from the interior cares not a whit whether Germany occupies Shan-tung, or whether Russia has seized the Liao-tung peninsula-" that is the 'pigeon' [i.e., business] of the Shan-tung man." On a journey of some thirteen hundred miles between points of civilization which our expedition in its various parts collectively covered, with the single exception of a tug belonging to the China Merchant Steamship Company which, according to the custom of that company, carried the Chinese flag, and which we happened by chance to meet on the Siang River, we saw not a single Chinese national emblem, except the one that I flew on my own junk alongside of the Stars and Stripes. From no official yamen, from no city wall or military camp, was it once displayed. No river gun-boat threw it to the breeze, nor did any body of troops carry it at their head. Flags everywhere were in profusion, and in great profusion of colors and design, but they were always of a local or personal character. Every gun-boat carried at least two

PAGE 150

Flae:s were Everywhere in Profusion

PAGE 151

Chapter IV: My Chinese Impressions 145 beautiful red ones with huge white hieroglyphics -the name of the commander. The regiment or guard that marched with us bore standards on \vhich was inscribed the designation of their cap tain. The flag of China was everywhere absent. There was but one man in that long journey found to do it honor, and that man was a "for eign devil." U ndou btedl y there were thousands who saw for the first time the flag with the yel low field and the blue dragon, which they sup posed to be the fanciful and decorative creation of the foreigner's mind. The personal bearing of the upper-class China man, even in the interior where he never comes in contact with the outer world, is kindly, courte ous, and polite, and quite up to what is found in similar classes in other countries, to which we ap ply the term "civilized." On my inland journey, when approaching a town or city, I was invaria bly met, at some distance outside the walls, by a subofficial representing the chief magistrate, who handed me the latter's card and bade me welcome. A Chinese card is a piece of thin red paper, about six inches long and three wide, with the name printed in bold, black characters. There are fashions in cards in China as in Europe. Some high officials affect large cards as indicative of rank. Other persons, when leaving cards on per sons of position, use characters of microscopic size as suggesting great inferiority on the part of

PAGE 152

r 46 An American Engineer in China the caller, a very pretty compliment, but one whose sincerity, like other compliments, is open to question. Mourning is indicated by a small character in an upper corner. On reaching my quarters, usually a temple, the local officials im mediately called, those of junior rank merely leaving their cards without troubling me, and General Liu Kao-chao at Tiffin those of higher rank sending in their cards and waiting for an interview if I desired one. The etiquette of leaving cards and immediately re turning calls is more rigorous than with us. On first meeting with an official, conversation was naturally formal and stilted, but on subsequent oc casions small-talk would flow as easily as the limi. tations of interpreting both ways would permit.

PAGE 153

Chapter IV: My Chinese Impressions 147 In some cases, where acquaintance was developed by being fellow-travellers, we found among those people precisely the same spirit of companionship that among ourselves. External appearances and differences in environment do not affect human nature. General Liu Kao-chao, military commandant of Chang-sha, who journeyed with us for three hundred miles, by his genial and wholesouled character caused us to part with him with deep regrets, and his evidently unfeigned delight in his midday tipple of Scotch whiskey at tiffin will always remain a bright spot in a very interesting journey.

PAGE 154

Chapter V Commerce and Commercial Relations THE foreign commerce of China is carried on through and at twenty-nine Treaty Ports. Previous to I840 trade with foreigners was much hampered owing to its being subject to local regulations, all of which were annoying, many of them ridiculous, and some actually jeopardizing to both life and property. In I 842 Great Britain, availing herself of the successful outcome of what is known as the Opium War, stipulated that as one of the indemnities, China should declare the ports of Canton, Amoy, Fu-chow, Ning-po, and Shanghai to be thrown entirely open to British trade and residence, and that commerce with British subjects should be conducted at these ports under a proper! y regulated tariff and free from special Chinese restrictions. Although Great Britain nominally secured for herself special considerations, she intended and actually accomplished the establishing of commerce between China and all other nations on a sound and liberal basis. The treaty of Nan-king was immediately followed by similar treaties with other powers, that with the United States being executed in I 844. Additional ports, decreed by treaties or other arrangements by the Chinese Government, have been added from year to year. At the end 148

PAGE 155

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 149 of the year 1899 the Maritime Customs reported twenty-nine of these ports with several branch or sub-ports in addition. At nearly all of them there is a special reservation, called the foreign conces sion, where foreigners are allowed to reside and regulate their method of living in their own way. Although foreigners are permitted to dwell in the Chinese quarter if they so desire, the right to hold property in the concessions is usually denied to Chinese, and they are discriminated against in other ways. Previous to r86o the management of foreign commerce had been in the hands of Chinese offi cials, with the usually unsatisfactory result attending any official department handled by native over seers. In that year the business of the port of Shanghai was placed temporarily in the hands of English, American, and French Commissioners, who were able to so improve the receipts by efficient and honest management that the Chinese Government, recognizing the desirability of continuing foreign supervision, organized the Imperial Maritime Customs and placed the management of the whole foreign trade in the hands of a single Commissioner, called an Inspector-General. It appointed to this position Mr. Lay, succeeded in 1863 by Mr., afterward Sir, Robert Hart, who has continued in the control since then, and to whom is due the present very satisfactory condition of the management of this Bureau, to

PAGE 156

150 An American Engineer in China which has since been attached, in order to secure efficiency, a Marine Department, covering lighthouses and harbor regulations and the Chinese Imperial Post-office. The ports open in 1899 were: Niu-chwang, Tientsin, Che-foo, Chung-king, 1-chang, Sha-si, Yo chow, Hankow, Kiu-kiang, Wu-hu, Nan-king, Chin-kiang, Shanghai, Soo-chow, Ning-po, Hangchow, \Ven-chow, San-tuao, Foo-chow, Amoy, Swa-tow, vVu-chow, Sam-shui, Canton, Kiungchow, Pack-hoi, Lung-chow, Meng-tsz, and Sz mao. Of these Niu-chwang is located in the north, at the terminus of the Chinese Imperial Railway, and is the gateway through which the trade passes from China to Russian Manchuria. Two ports, Tien-tsin and Che-foo, are situated on the Gulf of Pe-chi-li, while the next eleven on the list, Chungking to Soo-chow, are on the Yang-tze Kiang or its tributaries. Seven ports, Ning-po to Swa-tow, are on the East Coast. W u-chow and Sam-shui are on the West River. Canton is the great port of Southern China and the oldest seat of foreign trade in the country. Kiung-chow is on the Island of Hainan, and Pak-hoi, Lung-chow, Meng-tsz, and Sz-mao are on the Franco-China frontier of Tong-king. The last three and N iu-ch wang are the only places not situated on important waterways. Of the total foreign trade about threequarters is transacted through Canton, Shanghai, Tien-tsin, and Hankow, which are the great dis.

PAGE 157

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 151 tributing points for the south, middle coast, north, and interior. The importance of Canton, Shanghai, Tientsin, and Hankow, is fixed by geographical conditions. Canton is at the head of the Canton River, which is really the estuary for the combined flow of the West, the North, and the East Rivers, the three principal streams and consequent trade routes of Southern China. \Vith its fine harbor and juxtaposition to Hongkong, it is, of necessity, and must always continue to be, the gateway to the southern part of the Empire. In like manner, Shanghai, at the mouth of the Yang-tze, is the controlling point for the whole of the central zone; while Tien-tsin, the port of Peking, is the entrance to the north, the north west, and Mongolia. Hankow is at the head of steamship navigation on the Yang-tze, and at the junction of that stream and its principal tributary, the Han, and if the extreme western part of the country be omitted, which part is mountainous and very thinly populated, Hankow is approximately the geographical centre of the Empire. Native vessels trading between native ports report at custom-houses administered by native officials, where the records are hopelessly confused, and which, as a source of income to the Chinese Government, will be referred to in a later chapter. The foreign commerce of China, both import

PAGE 158

Wall along Yang-tze Kiang at Wu-chang, opposite Hankow Jo the foreground are mat-shed houses for boatmen. During high water these houses must be removed

PAGE 159

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 153 and export, is growing steadily, having doubled since 1891, the figures for 1899 showing that foreign goods to the value of 264,748,456 Haikwan taels ($185,324,000) were imported, and native goods to the value of 195,784,332 Haikwan taels ($1 37,049,000) were exported, or a total commerce of 460,533,288 Haikwan taels. Owing to the lack of internal communication, the distribution of Chinese commerce is singularly restricted. Of the imports more than one half is confined to two classes of articles alone ; thus cotton and cotton goods in 1899 accounted for 40.2 per cent., and opium, unfortunately, for 13.5 per cent. In like manner the exports, silk and tea, stand out almost without competition with other articles ; these two together also aggregating more than so per cent. of the total. Silk provided no less than 41.8 per cent. and tea 16.3 per cent. Kerosene oil, metals, rice, sugar, and coal are other articles largely imported, and beans, hide s and furs, mats and matting, and wool other expor ts. Although the extent of the traffic entered at native custom-houses, or, at least, not passing through the Maritime Customs, cannot be ascertained, that it is considerable is well understood, as can be shown by the single item of the export of rice. The exportation of this article was in 1898 prohibited in order to prevent a possible shortage at home The Maritime Customs, there-

PAGE 160

154 An American Engineer in China fore, report no rice as having been shipped out ward during that year. The Japanese Customs, however, report having received rice from China to the value of $2,ooo,ooo United States gold. It had been smuggled out in native vessels through the native customs and the Government deprived of revenue. An am using explanation of this is given, which so thoroughly illustrates Chinese methods as to be worth repeating. As rice forms the greatest single item in Chinese food, any fall ing off in supply threatens a famine, the one thing the Government most dreads. Such being the case in 1898, stringent orders were sent to the Customs Tao-tai in Shanghai to prohibit any export of the grain, the greatest source of supply for which being the Yang-tze Valley, Shanghai is the natural point of shipment. On account of the power attached to it, and the opportunities offered, the position of Shanghai Tao-tai is one specially sought after, and it is generally believed that the price paid for a three-year appointment, in the way of "presents" to the Palace officials, is about 200,000 taels. Since the authorized emoluments are about 20,000 taels per annum, out of which expenses exceeding that amount must be paid, it is evident that great financial skill must be displayed by the official in order to make both ends meet. On receipt of the restraining order, the Tao-tai, under the advice of the syndicate who were "financing him, held the order for some

PAGE 161

Chapter V: Commercial Relations rss days, during which time the energetic syndicate members bought all the rice in sight, put it in vessels, and rushed it abroad to ] a pan, a country which buys the inferior grade of Chinese rice for home consumption and ships abroad its own superior article. As soon as the em bar go was pub lished, the value of rice afloat at once rose and the Tao-tai syndicate cleared a handsome profit. This illustrates Chinese fiscal methods, and warrants the statement that the actual foreign commerce of the country is greater than the figures indicate. China levies on its foreign commerce a tariff for revenue only. The rate charged on nearly all articles is five per cent. on imports and exports alike, although there are some special rates and a number of articles on the free list. The actual average rate on imports and exports runs from three to four per cent. It is the general opinion of merchants in China that, should it become necessary to add to the Government's income, this rate could be increased without any serious detriment to foreign commerce. In Japan the Government has found it necessary, in order to derive more revenue, to seriously increase its custom tariff, so that the present charges range from thirty to fifty per cent. ad Foreign articles destined for consumption at the treaty ports or places of importation pay no further taxes. When, however, they are sent into the interior, they are obliged to pay internal trans-

PAGE 162

156 An American Engineer in China portation taxes called "Likin," collected at various stations along the trade routes. These likin charges, although they form a perfectly legitimate method of taxation, are objected to by the Chinese quite as much as by foreign traders, on account of their uncertain amount, which, according to Chinese custom, is left largely to the official in charge, who collects as much as he can. The foreign nations, in order to obviate these difficulties, have arranged with the Chinese Govern ment to permit foreign articles destined for the interior to pay a single tax of two and a half per cent. to the Imperial Maritime Customs and then to receive what is called a "transit pass" entitling the goods to pass the interior likin stations without further charge. Unfortunately these transit passes are not always respected by officials in the interior, unless they think that the shipper will appeal to a foreign government, and therefore the officials are apt to levy likin in accordance with their own needs, and of the total collected, but a small part finds its way into the public treasury. The native merchant has no such advantage as the foreigner in securing immunity from likin ex tortion, and has to resort to all sorts of subterfuges to escape the impositions of his own coun trymen, one of the most frequent of such resorts being to keep his goods under the name ot a foreign merchant if possible. Another device was told to me by a customs official on the \Vest River,

PAGE 163

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 157 where the local farmers raise tobacco which is consumed mostly in Northern Kwang-tung. If it were shipped direct it would be charged en route a large and uncertain likin tax, the uncertainty of the amount being the worst feature, as it may easily convert an apparently profitable transaction into a serious loss. To avoid this the tobacco is loaded on a sea-going junk and shipped to Hong-kong. From there the junk brings it back and enters it at the point of original shipment as a foreign importation. For this the merchant secures a transit pass under which he ships it to its destination. He has paid the freight and import taxes of five per cent. each, the transit pass fee of two and a half per cent., and the shipping charges both ways to Hongkong, and the expense of rehandling. These items he can ascertain accurately beforehand, and therefore prefers paying them rather than run the likin gauntlet, which may be from ten per cent. to fifty per cent. or more. The Chinaman is by very instinct a trader, is quick to see and seize an opportunity to turn a profit, and has, what few other Eastern Asiatics have, a high sense of commercial honor. Although the great mass of them is poor, yet there is a wealthy class, and there exists, even in the interior, a demand for much more than the mere necessaries of life. Now, what have the United States done in the

PAGE 164

rss An American Engineer in China past in this great country, how do they stand there to-day, what can they do and what should they do in the future? These are the considerations that most concern us. To answer the first two of these questions, there are two sources of statistics which we can examine-the returns of the United States, and of the Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs. Unfortu nately, both of these sources are rendered value less for exact deductions because of Hongkong. This, as is well known, is a British colony, and one of the few places on the globe where actual free trade exists. Being a British colony, enjoying free trade, and possessing a magnificent harbor, it has become a great depot, or warehouse, where goods, whose ultimate destination, either in China or anywhere else in the Far East, is not definitely fixed, are shipped in the first instance, and thence rebilled to the point of consumption. In this act their nationality is lost, for the returns of the shipping nation classes them as exports to Hongkong, while China, of course, treats them as imports from that place. The import returns of the Imperial Maritime Customs show that nearly one-half of the foreign commerce entering China comes from Hongkong. Thence many writers fall into errors, either by taking the direct trade between China and any other country as limited to the reported figures, or by classing Hongkong under the head of Great Britain

PAGE 165

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 159 and Colonies. The conclusions reached in these ways are grievously wrong. Although foreign goods are trans-shipped from Hongkong to Japan, the Philippine Islands, Siam, and other parts of the Orient, yet at least three-quarters of all goods (of American probably a higher proportion) received there find their final market in China; so to determine approximately the exports from the United States, or from any other country to China, the only way is to add to the direct exports threequarters of the shipments to Hongkong. And to determine the relative standing of the trade of several nations, we should deduct the Hongkong trade from China's total as shown by the returns of the Imperial Maritime Customs, and then compare the reported direct imports or exports. This last calculation will not yield the actual amount of trade by about one-half, but it will show with fair closeness the percentage of trade secured and the rate of increase. I have in this manner obtained the figures for the year 1893, the period just previous to the Japanese War; those of 1883 and 1873, respectively the tenth and the twentieth year preceding 1893; and those for 1898, the fifth year following, and also for 1899, the last complete year of normal trade conditions existing before the Boxer revolution. This table shows the import trade of China exclusive of Hongkong and the relative standing of the leading commercial powers, the actual trade of which is not as

PAGE 166

z6o An American Engineer in China stated, for the table does not include shipments through Hongkong. DIRECT EXPORTS TO CHINA. 1875 J883 J893 J8g8 J8gg Hk. Tls. Hk. Tls. Hk. Tls. Hk. Tls. Hk. Tls. Total, except Hong-kong .............. 44,202,000 45,863,000 72 II6,]]]10]9 146,6 5 2.248 Great Britain ......... 2o,ggr,ooo I6,g]o,ooo 28, rs6,0]] 34.962,474 4o,r6r, 115 India ................ t6,]og,ooo 1],154.000 ,6,739 588 191135,546 3I19II1214 Japan ............... ],20],000 3.738,000 ],852,o68 22,58I18r2 JI14I41J62 Continent of Europe .. 662,000 2,J8s,ooo 5,920,363 Io,Ss2,o73 IJ14DS,637 United States ........ 244,000 2,]o8,ooo 5,443,569 1]1 I6I,JI2 22,288,]45 In the above table all the Continental powers of Europe are grouped as one. From this it will be seen that the export trade of the United States, an insignificant amount in 1873, has now out stripped the combined exports from the whole Continent of Europe, and will be soon contesting for second place with India and Japan. Had it not been for sudden increased shipments in 1899 of certain special articles like coal on the part of these countries, which articles China can and should produce, the United States would have passed the Indian trade and be close on to that of Japan. In point of exports from China the United States trade in 1899 had reached a point surpassing that of any other country except Great Britain. But along what lines have these increases been made? Do they represent only a greater outturning of raw material-the direct products of the soil-or of manufactured articles, carrying

PAGE 167

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 161 with them the results of American ingenuity and American labor, a form of export trade always the most desirable? Taking the full list, there were, according to the United States Government classification, exports in I893 under fifty-seven heads, but in I898, according to the same classification, exports under seventy-six heads. The greater part of the increase in the five years (amounting to a total of $6,09I,6I3) was due to manufactures of cotton, which increased $3,558,794; to raw cotton, which increased from nothing to $370,670; to manufactures of iron and steel, including machinery, $4r6,o48, and to oils, chiefly kerosene, $I,055.79? The manufactures of cotton, which in I 898 amounted to $5, I93.42], reached, during the next United States fiscal year (I899), $9,844,565. That is to say, the value of cotton cloths alone was, in the year I 899, almost as large as the value of the total American imports into China during the preceding year of all articles of whatsoever nature. Jhis class of goods, the products of our New England and Southern mills, is the greatest single item of American commerce, and has already reached a point where, in certain grades, it dominates absolutely the Chinese market. Taking Drills, Jeans, and Sheetings, the three great items of cotton goods consumed by the Chinese, and examining the trade of the three northern ports of Niu-chwang, Tien-tsin, and

PAGE 168

162 An American Engineer in China Che-foo, American goods comprise of total receipts at the first: ninety-eight per cent., and at the second and third ninety-five per cent., the small remaining balance being divided between the English, Indian, Dutch, Japanese, and other manufacturing nations. But quite as extraordinary as this there must be kept in mind the fact that of the total exports to all countries of American manufactures in cotton cloths, the Chinese market consumes JUSt one-half. Another article of American commerce that figured very small in the early returns, but now shows a great and increasing importance, is flour. It is shipped almost wholly to Hongkong, and thence forwarded to Canton, Amoy, or other southern Chinese ports. In the fiscal year ending June 30, r898, no less than $3,835,727 worth was exported from here, and cl uring the corresponding period of r 900, a value of $4,502,08 r. \Vheat is not grown in Southern China, and American flour has captured the demand, JUSt as American cottons have clone in the north. Next to Great Britain and Germany our best customer for American flour is China. Such is the state of our Chinese trade to-clay, and no one can find fault with its present condition and its recent development. But what of the future? The success of the American commercial invasion depends absolutely on the maintenance of

PAGE 169

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 163 the existing status. China, in the liberality of the regulations affecting foreign commerce, is second to no other nation. In levying a tax, amounting to less than four per cent., she gives preferential duties to none, special privileges only as compelled by the stress of force in Manchuria and Shan-tung, and extends a freedom of welcome to all. It is true that nations occupying Chinese territory make so far no invidious distinction between their own and other people; but it must be remembered that their tenure is only nominal, and while the title to these lands remains vested in China, it would be difficult, in the face of existing treaties, to impose discriminating rules. Let Russia, however, become legally, as she is virtually, possessed of Manchuria; let her Trans-Siberian rail way be completed, and let her claim openly as her own, not only Manchuria, but also the metropolitan province of Chi-li, is it to be supposed for one moment that the present freedom and equality of trade that China offers will be maintained? If anyone believes this, let him talk with those in China who direct the course of Muscovite affairs. These officials, when in a confidential mood, will explain that the Trans-Siberian railway is a Government enterprise, and that it is much more important for Russia to give low and special rates to Russian cotton and other manufactures which the Government is fostering at home than to look for a direct profit from the operation

PAGE 170

164 An American Engineer in China of the railway. And yet Manchuria and the north eastern part of Chit1a are to-day the best market for American goods. During the year r 899 no less than $6,297.300 worth of our cottons alone en tered the port of Tien-tsin, and $4,2 r6,7oo worth entered the port of Niu-chwang in addition. The latter amount was for consumption in Manchuria, Chinese and Russian. It is interesting to note that the whole import trade (including exports through Hongkong) from Russia, Siberia, and Russian Manchuria to the whole of the Chinese Empire amounted to less than the imports of two grades of American cot ton goods at N i u ch wang alone. When, therefore, Russia seized Lower l\Ianchuria, the country most interested next to China, whose territory was being de spoiled, was not Japan, who was being robbed of her fruits of victory; was not Russia, who was adding another kingdom to her empire; was not Great Britain, the world's great trader, but it was, little as was appreciated, the United States. The American in seeing commerciai equality maintained, far and away transcend those of any other nation. Foreign trade in China to-day is confined ex clusively to the treaty ports located along the coast and up the River. \Vhen goods are shipped to China, they are resold by the for eign houses resident in these treaty ports to Chi nese merchants, and by them in tun:. are retailed

PAGE 171

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 165 in the interior. So far, therefore, as the foreigner directly is concerned, his trade is confined simply to the outer edge of the country ; to him the interior is a terra incognita. The success of a commercial invasion depends, not on these treaty ports, not on the purchase of goods along the outer edge of the country, but on the possibility of reaching directly that great mass of population which lies far away from the sea, out of reach of existing means of transportation, and practically buried in the interior. If they cannot be got at, or if, when reached, they cannot and will not trade, then it is not worth while to consider any general forward movement. In the course of my journey in the interior of China, I went through the province of Hu-peh, which the Yang-tze Kiang traverses; the province of Kwang-tung, lying along the China Sea, and, between these two, the province of Hu-nan, which practically had not been traversed before by white men. Here evidently was virgin soil, and its condition can, therefore, be taken as a criterion of what the Chinaman is when unaffected by foreign influences. Even here I found that, although the foreigner's foot might never before have trodden the streets of the cities, his goods were already exposed for sale in the shop-windows. In thinking of the Chinese, especially those in the interior, we are wont to consider them as uncivilized; and so they are, if measured scrupulous-

PAGE 172

166 An American Engineer in China ly by our peculiar standards. But, on the other hand, they might say with some justice that we are not civilized according to the standards that they have set for themselves, founded on an experience of four thousand years. With all its differences from ourselves, a nation that has had an organization for five thousand years; that has Road-side Shrine in which Papers are Burned used printing for over eight centuries; that has produced the works of art that China has produced; that possesses a literature antedating that of Rome or Athens; whose people maintain shrines along the highways in which, following the precepts of the classics to respect the written page, they are wont to pick up and burn printed

PAGE 173

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 167 papers rather than have them trampled under foot; and which, to indicate a modern instance, was able to furnish me with a native letter of credit on local banks in unexplored Hu-nan, can hardly be denied the right to call itself civilized. In the interior-in those parts where no outside influence has ever reached-we found cities whose walls, by their size, their crenelated parapets, and their keeps and watch-towers, suggested media::val Germany rather than Cathay. Many of the houses are of masonry, with decorated tile roofs, and elaborately carved details. The streets are paved with stone. The shops display in their windows articles of every form, of every make. The streams are crossed by arched bridges unsurpassed in their graceful outline and good proportions. The farmer lives in a group of farm buildings enclosed by a compound wall-the whole exceeding in picturesqueness any bit in Normandy or Derbyshire. The rich mandarin dresses himself in summer in brocaded silk, and in winter in sable furs. He is waited on by a retinue of well-trained servants, and will invite the stranger to a dinner at night composed of ten or fifteen courses, entertaining him with a courtesy and intricacy of etiquette that Mayfair itself cannot excel. Such are actual conditions in parts of China uninfluenced by foreign presence, and so far the civilization of the interior is a real thing. That the Chinaman allows his handsome buildings to

PAGE 174

r68 An American Engineer in China fall into disrepair ; that his narrow city streets reek with foul odors; that the pig has equal rights with the owner of the pretty farm-house; and that the epicure takes delight at his dinner in sharks' A Hu-nan Farm-house fins instead of terrapin-these are merely differences in details ; and if they are faults, as we consider them to be, they will naturally be corrected as soon as the Chinaman, with his quick wit, perceives his errors, when the opportunity to study Occidental standards comes to him. Chang-sha, the capital of H u-nan, is one of the most interesting cities in the whole Empire, as marking the very highest development of Chinese exclusiveness and dividing with Lhassa in Tibet the boast of shutting its gates tightly in the face of foreign contamination. In a previous chapter an account was given of how the present conservative governor had closed the schools organized by his more liberal predecessor, and

PAGE 175

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 169 had tried to root up the buclcling movement tow ard reform and progress. But he made one in teresting and highly suggestive omission in allow ing the electric-light plant to continue. When, at the end of our first day at Chang-sha, as I stood on my boat watching the city wall, the picturesque roofs, the junks on the shore and the surging crowd slowly lose their distinctness in the twilight, and then saw them suddenly brought into view again by the glare of the bright electric arcs as the current was turned on to light thenar row streets, I smiled as I realized the utter impos sibility of stopping the onward march of nine teenth century progress, and that the Chinese themselves, even at the very heart-centre of anti-1oreignism, are ready to turn from the old to the new. In the shop-windows at Chang-sha there are displayed for sale articles with American, Eng lish, French, German, Japanese, and other brands. One shop, I noticed, displayed a good assortment of American canned fruits and vegetables. This is the condition of affairs, not in Shanghai or Amoy, open ports, but in the most exclusively Chinese section in the whole Empire. That the Chinaman will buy, that he will adopt foreign ways, there is no question; and he is just as ready to make the greater changes in his life that must result from the introduction of railways as to buy a few more pieces of cotton or a few more tons of steel.

PAGE 176

170 An American Engineer in China But in order to buy more, the Chinaman must be able to sell more; for no matter what his inclination may be, unless he has something to give in return, he cannot trade. The exports from China have been expanding gradually, and in step with the imports. In 1888 they vvere 92,401,067 taels; had increased to I 16,632,31 I taels in 1893, and had further advanced to 195,784,332 taels in 1899. The two great items of Chinese export, as was shown above, are silk and tea. The output of silk is increasing steadily, especially in the manufactured form. The amount of tea exported, however, is not on the increase, being about the same that it was ten years ago, the tea trade having been adversely affected by the competition of Japan, Ceylon, and India, where more favorable transportation facilities have given advantages. Both tea and silk, however, are staple articles, with no chance of substitutes being found, and the world's demand for both is steadily increasing. The possibility of enlarging the output of silk is great, for there are in Northern Kwang-tung alone large areas of land capable of producing mulberry, that are lying idle at present because there are no transportation facilities. The idea we have of the interior of China as over-peopled, and with every square foot of land under cultivation, is entirely without founda tion, except possibly in certain portions of the great loess plain in the north. There is a great

PAGE 177

Chapter V : Commercial Relations I 7 I amount of land, capable of producing crops of various kinds and of supporting a population, that to-day lies fallow and untilled. Given the means of sending their produce to the sea and so to the foreigner, the people of the interior will see to it that the produce is ready. Then there are vast mineral resources that are practically untouched. China, with coal-fields exceeding in quantity those of Europe, imported last year no less than 859,370 tons of coal, valued at $4,477,670 gold, nearly the whole of which came from Japan. With railways to bring the output ol the mines to market, there will not only be no importing, thus permitting at least that amount to be expended for other foreign goods, but there should be a large export of coal to Hongkong for foreign shipping, and to other Eastern countries for local consumption. In addition to the coal, there are beds of copper, iron, lead, and silver that, to-day untouched, are only awaiting the screech of the locomotive whistle. In short, the resources, both agricultural and mineral, are at hand to permit a foreign commerce to be carried on-to pay the cost of building of rail ways and to provide sustenance for a commercial invasion. But as yet China has made no effort to develop her latent powers. As was shown, the bulk of her exports are confined to two articles, due to her people not utilizing their natural advantages

PAGE 178

1 7 z An American Engineer in China in diversity of soil and climate. Each locality produces that single article which gives the best local result, without considering broad market conditions. Thus in the south it is mostly silk and rice; in the central zone rice and tea, and in the north millet and wheat. Every bit of valley land is cultivated, but the hills are let go waste. There are great areas of grazing land where some day the Chinese will let herds roam, producing beef and hides, which they will turn to commercial profit; while on other hill-sides, as I saw being clone in places, they will set out forests, and arbor culture will be well suited to their patient ways. As yet they have worked their lands only with a view to home consumption; there are many ways in which they can devote them and their energies to furnish export articles for the imports they will buy. The position of the United States in China is peculiarly advantageous, because, in the first place, China regards our country as friend! y in the desire to protect rather than despoil her territory, and because, in the second place, other nations have been willing to see ours come forward when they would have objected most strenuously to the same advancement on the part of one of their own number. The men who guide our national affairs and foreign commerce should always see to it that China's confidence is not abused. But as for the friendliness of other nations tow-

PAGE 179

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 173 ard us in relation to China, so soon as the pressure of American trade begins to be felt by them, efforts will be made to thwart it if possible; and it must be remembered that to-day all the machinery of commerce, in the way of banks, transportation companies, cable lines, and other forms, is in their hands. \Vhen the meeting of the American and European invasions takes place, unless we have an organization, a base and rallying point, a tangible something besides mere labels on boxes or bales as representing American force, the struggle will be a hard one, for the native is apt to judge his associates by the outward visible signs, and with a natural tendency to deal with the strongest. In this respect commerce in the Far East stands, and will stand for a long time, on a different footing from that of commerce in Europe. In order to be thoroughly successfu-l, to expand our trade fa!' beyond its present boundaries, we should make a careful and intelligent study of the Chinaman in his tastes and habits. If we wish to sell him goods, we must make them of a form and kind that will please him and not necessarily ourselves. This is a fact too frequently overlooked by both the English and ourselves, but one of which the Germans, who may be our real competitors in the end, take advantage. For example, at the present moment, if a careful study were made of Chinese designs, the market for American printed goods could be largely broadened. It is

PAGE 180

174 An American Engineer in China not for our people to say that our designs are prettier; the Chinaman prefers his own, and he will not buy any other. The United States Minister to China, talking upon this subject, gave me a striking instance of foolish American obstinacy. The representative of a large concern manufacturing a staple article in hardware, let us say screws, had been working hard to secure an order for his screws, which he knew were better than the German article then supplying the demand. At last he obtained a trial order, amoui1ting to $5,ooo, which he cabled out; but it was given on the condition that the screws be wrapped in a peculiar manner, say in blue paper, according to the form in which the native merchant had been accustomed to buy them. vVas the order filled? Not at all. The company cabled back that their goods were always wrapped in brown paper and that no change could be made. The order then went to Germany. To the American concern an order for $5,000 was of small moment, perhaps; but they overlooked entirely the fact that this was the thin edge of the wedge, opening a trade that could be developed into tremendous proportions. This instance is not isolated, for, unfortunately, the reports of all our consuls are filled with parallel ones. A study must also be made of the grade and quality of the article shipped. It is no use to send to China, to be sold in the interior, tools, for in-

PAGE 181

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 175 stance, of the same high finish and quality that our mechanics exact in their own. A Chinaman's tools are hand-made, of rough finish and low cost. In the interior cities one sees a tool-maker take a piece of steel, draw all the temper, hammer it approximately to the shape of the knife or axe, chisel or razor, or whatever other article he may be about to make; then, with a sort of drawing-knife pare it down to the exact shape required, retemper it, grind it to an edge, and fix it in a rough wooden handle. This work is done by a man at a wage of about ten cents a day, and this is the competition that our manufacturer must meet. In spite of the difference in cost of labor he can do so, because his tools are machine-made, and are better; but he must waste no money on unnecessary finish. As an example, the case of lamps is directly to the point. The Chinaman fairly revels in illumination; he hates the dark, and everywhere, even in the smallest country towns wholly removed from foreign influence, it is possible to buy Standard oil or its competitors in the Chinese market, the Russian and Sumatra brands. The importation of illuminating oils is increasing tremendously. In 1892 it was 17,37o,6oo gallons, and in 1898 it was 44,324,344 gallons. But what of the lamps in which this oil is burned? In 1892 the United States sent to China lamps to the value of $10,813, and in 1898 to the value of $4,690. That

PAGE 182

q6 An American Engineer in China is to say, lamps are one of the few articles which show a decrease. vVhile the consumption of oil had increased more than two and one-half times, the importation of American lamps had decreased in almost the same ratio. This was not clue to the manufacture of lamps in China, but to the German and Japanese manufacturers making a study of the trade and turning out a special article. These lamps-and I saw them for sale everywhere, even in unexplored Hu-nan-have a metal stand, generally of brass, stamped out from thin sheets, \Vith Chinese characters and decorations; and were it not for a small imprint of the manufacturer's name on the base, they would be considered of Chinese make. They are inexpensive, of the kind desired by the Chinaman, although perhaps not for sale in Hamburg or Berlin. On the other hancl,-the American article, much more handsome, from our point of view, but also more expensive, is of the same style as is sold on Broadway in New York. There is no need to multiply examples. There awaits the American manufa.cturer an outlet, especially for tools, machinery, and other articles in iron and steel. He will find a demand for the smaller and lighter machines, rather than for the larger ones. That is to say, he must appeal first to the individual worker who exists now, rather than aim at the needs of a conglomeration 111 a factory which will come about in the future. The

PAGE 183

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 177 tools should be simple in character, easily worked and kept in order, and without the application of quick-return and other mechanical devices so necessary for tabor-saving with us. Light wood-A Chinese Saw-mill The teeth of the saw are arranged to cut on the up stroke instead of on the down, as in other countries working machinery can be made to supplant the present manual-labor methods; and a large field is open for all kinds of pumps, windmills, piping, and other articles of hydraulic machinery. Cotton goods of the finer grades, as well as the

PAGE 184

178 An American Engineer in China coarser which are supplied, household articles of all kinds, glassware, window-glass, wall-paper, and plumbing fixtures will find a ready market, as will also farm equipments, such as light-wheeled vehicles and small agricultural implements of all kinds. In these, as in many manufactured articles, American trade has as yet made little or no impression; and yet the American article has an acknowledged superiority over any other foreign make. lt is necessary for us also to study the Chinaman himself. The English and American traders make but little attempt to learn the language, and therefore frequently fail to come into personal contact with the native merchant. They are in' clined to lea\'e such negotiations to be conducted through a compradore, a native in the employ ol the firm, who makes all the contracts, and who guarantees to his firm allna ti ve accounts, receiving a commission for his services. The German, and especially the Japanese, merchants, on the other hand, make a great effort to come into direct relations with those with whom they trade. They are still making use of the compradore system, but within reasonable limits. As to which course is preferable in the long run there can be no question. Our houses should adopt the suggestion made in the report of the Blackburn (England) Chamber of Commerce, "to train in the Chinese spoken language and mercantile customs youths

PAGE 185

Chapter V: Commercial Relations 179 selected . for their business capacity. Such a system," the report adds," would give us a hold over foreign trade in China that present methods can never do." Finally to be considered, there is the official representative of the United States, the consul. It is bad enough, as our practice is, to send consuls to France, or Germany, or Italy, who are unacquainted with the language of the country. But how much worse to send as our Government agents to China, the nation most difficult of all to come into relations with, men without any idea, not only of the language, but of the customs and the idiosyncrasies of the people. This is not a reflection upon our present staff, many of whom are excellent and worthy men and who are now acquainted with the characteristics of those to whom they are accredited. But under our system, by the time a man understands his du ties, he is removed. Nowhere else in the world is there so great a need for a permanent consular service as in China. The British Government long ago established a separate consular service for the East, entirely distinct from that elsewhere, so that a man once in the Chinese service stays there, and is not likely to be transferred to a European or American post. Secretary Hay has lately made a beginning toward this end by proposing to establish a school at Peking. If the idea is not carried out now,

PAGE 186

r8o An American Engineer in China circumstances will corn pel its adoption later. We should awake to the realization of our opportunities, and unite for the invasion, not only of China, but of other Oriental lands as well. A Military Officer and Two Privates

PAGE 187

Chapter VI Finances of China THE ability of the Chinaman to contradict himself reaches the maximum in matters of finance. This strikes the observer as singular, for the Chinese have no equals in their understanding of the use of money, in their ability to husband it and make it go far, and in their economical and saving habits. Yet they have elaborated a monetary system which, for cumbersomeness and downright wastefulness, is without an equal. This lack of progress is rendered more extraordinary by the fact that bank-notes, one of the greatest steps in the way of making financial transactions more convenient, originated in China, where they were known probably as early as A.D. Soo, or about eight centuries before the device was reinvented in Europe. In the first place there is no standard of value; the nearest approach being a tael, which is subdivided decimally into maces, the mace into candareens, and the canclareen in to li. But these things exist in names only, and not as coins, for the tael is but a weight of silver bullion. This would be serious enough if there was only one tael, but, as a matter of fact, there are over sixty in different parts of the country differing in value as much as per r8r

PAGE 188

r82 An American Engineer in China cent., the nearest approach to a standard being the Haikwan tael as used in the Maritime Customs. vVhen, therefore, a native merchant wishes to pay a debt, it is not only necessary for him to know the price, but to know the tael that the price is expressed in, and to have at hand a set of scales to weigh his broken bits of silver, while a discussion as to the "touch" or fineness of the metal offered may readjust the whole transaction. There is, however, a Chinese coin, the cash. This is of copper, round in shape with a square hole in the centre to permit the pieces to be strung together. It is a coin of great antiquity. The earliest forms were about five inches in length and something less than an inch in width, shaped like a small knife and went by the name of "knife" cash. These latter coins were in use as early as 2,500 B.c., and owe their form probably to the fact that at that time the martial spirit predominated, and a man's knife was his most valuable possession, and therefore he made his currency in the same shape. Later the knife-cash coin was changed to the "bell" cash, which is taken to indicate that the people had become more civilized and that agricultural pursuits were now dominant. This form of coin began to come into use about 2,000 B.C. They are about 2 to zt inches in height and r inch or more in width, and are shaped somewhat like a bell with a hole at the top. The present value of the cash, which is

PAGE 189

Chapter VI: Finances of China 183 made of copper or brass, is very small, about twenty of them being required to make an American cent, so that values expressed in cash, while sounding enormous, are really of small moment. Thus an account of so.ooo cash represents but $25 gold, while to pay a bill of $ro, the services of a wheel-barrow and an attendant are required. For convenience in handling, one hundred cash are put on a string and then ten hundreds are tied together in two parallel strings of five hundreds each, the whole string of I ,ooo being called a tiao, the value of which is approximately one silver dollar, but depending on the varying exchange bet'':een copper and silver. The system of cash as a standard of value is awkward enough in theory, but in practice it is worse on account of the varieties of size of individual coins, giving rise to" big" and" little" cash, eight of the former equalling about ten of the latter. As remelting of coins and counterfeiting is common, the careful Chinese has to examine every tiao he receives. At the treaty ports the foreigners introduced the silver dollar from Mexico, and an attempt has been made to coin for use in China dollars by other countries, notably the American experiment of the trade dollar. The Chinaman, however, would have none of it. He had been accustomed to understand the Mexican dollar, and when he met with other coins he cast them into the meltingpot. A beginning to straighten out the trouble

PAGE 190

r84 An American Engineer in China with its attending annoyances, inconveniences, and losses has been made by the establishing of local mints by some of the viceroys where they strike si! ver dollars of the weight and fineness of the Mexican dollar and subsidiary silver coins of 50, 20, ro, and 5 cents each. In keeping with the lack of centralized national effort, these coins are not of national character, but bear the imprint of the coining province. They, or some coin based on them and struck by the central authority, will probably become eventually the standard coin of the country, and the present system will be given up. The problems of China's financial status and resources, rather than those of her monetary system, are of greater world importance, especially as some sort of Government assistance, in the way of building railways, opening mines, and developing the country will be found necessary and desirable in somewhat the same way as has been done in India and Japan. Owing to the entire lack of statistical records, it is a difficult matter to obtain accurately either the resources or the disbursements of the Chinese Government. The funded debt of the COllll try, however, is ascertainable, as such obligations have been taken by foreigners. Previous to the war with Japan, the funded debt consisted of two issues of bonds, bearing date I 886 and I 887 respectively; the former for I,855,I08.82 Shanghai taels, and the other for

PAGE 191

Chapter VI: Finances of China 185 5o,ooo,ooo German marks, subject to reduction by sinking fund provision. Since the war the Government has been obliged to contract further loans. The existing funded indebtedness is given in detail in the following table. The net amount of China's debt outstanding, exclusive of the railway debt, for which there is actual property of at least equal value in existence as an asset, is, therefore, ,304,989. On the gross sum the total annual payments for both interest and sinking funds are ,3 rg,624, or exclusive of the interest on the railroad loan, which is self-supporting, 3,079,624. The debt of India, whose population is about the same as China, is about r3s,ooo,ooo, or, deducting the value of the Government railways, ,ooo,ooo, and the debt of Japan about so,ooo,ooo. It can be seen, therefore, that in spite of the disastrous result of the Japanese \Var, the debt of China is not a large or burdensome affair. The several sinking fund and interest payments on each of the above issues have been promptly met when clue. To furnish the sums required for these payments and the other sums requisite to meet the expenses for maintaining the various branches of the Government, the Imperial Treasury has at its hand: firstly, the net returns of the Imperial .Maritime Customs, which are, however, pledged specifically as collateral for some of the above loans; secondly, the net receipts of the I m-

PAGE 192

CHINESE GOVERNMEN T LOANS. Name o f Loan. ----1 7 Per Cent. Silv e r Loan of 1886 E ........ 5! Per C ent. G old Loan of 188 7 ........ . : 7 Per C ent. Silver Loa n of 1 89 4 ... ...... 6 Per C ent. Gold L oan of 189 5 .......... H. & S B. C. 6 Per Cent. Gold Loan of I 895 ........... Chartd. Bk. Cassel Loan.,, 6 Per Cent. Gold L oan of 1895 ..... o Natl. B k. o f G ermany, etc. 4 Per Cent. Gold L o an of 1895 ...... 0 . . French Syndicate guaranteed by Russia. 5 Per Cent. Gold L oan of 18960 ..... o H. & S. B. C and D. A. Bk 41 Per Cent. Gold Loan o f 1 898 ......... H & S B. C. and D. A 13k. 5 Per Cen t. C h Imp!. R y G o l d L oan 1898. OCTOBER, 1 9 0 0 Original Amount. I Annual R e dempI Outstanding i n tion i n Sterling. Sterling. I -----so,ooo 1 ,163 2 45.000 : 24 510 1 453, 3 3 3 p o equal d rawings I lcomm e ncmg 1905 J,OOO,OOO 1 5 equal 1commencmg zgor. I,OOO,OOO .115 e q u a l c ommenc m g Igor., r,ooo,ooo r s equa l 1 cu mmencmg zgo1. 15,82o,ooo I oo,ooo 16,ooo,ooo 1 66, ooo I6,oo o,ooo I I 5 000" 2,JOO,OO O 40 e qual d rawin g s : lcommencing 1905 1 124,597 4 9 ,019 1 453 333 3,0 0 0, 0 0 0 r,oo o ooo 1,ooo, ooo I 14, I 2 0 ,590 I' J4 50 7,675 15,049 775 5 Per Cen t. L u-h a n R y Go l d Loa n, 1 898.. 2 5 0 0,000 d raw-i 2,JOO, OO O 2 ,500,00 0 Annual lnterest. --8,722 2,696 101,7 3 3 1 8o ooo 6o,ooo 6o,ooo 632,800 8oo,ooo 720 000 I I5,000 1 25,000 D ate of Final Payment ---1 9 1 7 1 9 0 2 1914 1 9 1 5 1 9 I5 I 9 I 5 I9JI I 932 I 943 1945 I 92 8 -----------,805 ,95 I I mgs, corn tgog. 1 Totals ................... 59 568,333 1J,6731,I0 4 ,989 -=---=c--= These issue s re t i red through a Sinking Fun d. In addition to the proportio n stated bein g d rawn, the interest on the whole loan is paid, and the surpl u s interest over th a t due on o utstandin g bonds is use d as a furth e r re demption fund. ... ::I n ::r s Ill

PAGE 193

Chapter VI: Finances of China r87 perial Chinese Railway; thirdly, various sources of taxation. As there is absolutely no system of accounting, or of making detailed reports, it is impossible to give even a close approximation of either revenue or disbursements, except in the case of the Imperial Maritime Customs. From such information, however, as is obtainable, the resources of the Government under the above three heads will be briefty_stated. Although the receipts of the Customs from import and export duties have been gradually increasing, in proportion to the increase in the import and export trade, on the other hand there has been a falling off in the receipts from opium likin, to about the same extent as the increases in the duties, so that the revenue of this department has varied but little for the past ten years, except that the receipts for r899 show a sudden increase of about 4,ooo,ooo taels over the previous average, distributed fairly evenly through the several sources of income. The report for the year r899 gave the gross receipts as follows: Hk. Tls. Import duties. . . . . . . . . . 8,437.47 I Export duties ................... 10,235,968 Opium likin .................... 4,748,243 Coast trade duties . . . . . . . I ,763,7 57 Transit dues . . . . . . . . . 835,830 Tonnage dues . . . . . . . . 640,191 Total .................. z6,66r ,460 or equivalent to about $r8,9oo,ooo gold.

PAGE 194

188 An American Engineer in China The expense of maintaining this department 1s not published, but from reliable information it is estimated to amount to about 3,ooo,ooo taels per annum, leaving 23,50o,ooo taels as net profit. This last sum, the equivalent of about ,50o,ooo, is in itself almost enough to meet the services of the Government loans. An increase of only ten per cent. in the duties would make it ample. The net earnings, over expenses, of the present Imperial Chinese Railway amounted to about 1 ,ooo,ooo Mexican si! ver dollars, prior to its extension beyond Chung-hou-so, near the Great vVall, or, at least, such were the net returns as shown by the Chinese book-keepers, for, although the management of operations was in English hands, the revenue was received by native offi cials. A loan of ,300,000 was contracted partly to provide funds to pay for the extension to Niu-chwang and thence to a connection with the Manchurian extension of the Russian TransSiberian Railway. The work was completed short! y before the Boxer" uprising, when the railway was largely destroyed. No complete statement of operations was obtainable, but the traffic was apparently sufficient to much more than pay the interest charges. \Vhen reconstructed, this line will return to the Chinese Government, which is the owner of the stock, a handsome profit over the interest on the bonds, which are held large! y in London.

PAGE 195

Chapter VI: Finances of China 189 -The third source of income, namely, the various forms of taxation, is, of course, the most important, but, on the other hand, the most difficult about which to obtain reliable or even satisfactory in formation. The methods of internal taxation are complex and wasteful. The Imperial Board of Revenue at Peking makes out each year a budget for the expenses of the coming year, and propor tions the total thus ascertained among the various provinces-in accordance with what is considered their ability to pay, and the governors of the various provinces arc then informed of the amount which they will be required to turn into the Imperial Treasury. The Governor then distributes this amount, or such additional amount as he sees fit, among the tao-tais, prefects, and magistrates in his province. If the Governor or any other official pays in eighty per cent. of his assessment, no comment is made. If his return is less than that without adequate excuse, he is censured, and if he exceeds the full amount, he is publicly commencled. As there are no accounts kept at any stage of the proceedings, the possibilities for stealing on the part of sub-or even high officials are practically unlimited, and there is no question but that there is collected from the people of China a very much larger sum than the Imperial Government reports as receivmg. A part of this amount is deliberately stolen, and a part of it is wasted by the ridicu-

PAGE 196

190 An American Engineer in China lously cumbersome and expensive methods employed. The most fruitful source of revenue is the land tax, payable partly in cash and partly in grain. As illustrating the wasteful methods in vogue by the Government, frequently the actual money in silver bullion is forwarded to Peking, and even when the tax is remitted by draft, the latter is taken to Peking by a Chinese official, involving, of course, according to Chinese etiquette, the necessity of being accompanied by a large and expensive retinue. The land tax is pay,able partly in money and partly in grain. The portion of the tax payable in grain is settled by actually sending the grain to Peking. Of course, the loss and waste in so doing, in addition to the cost of handling and storing it in Government granaries, is necessarily enormous. Were this grain sold in the open market, and the cash remitted, the net result would be much greater. Next to the land tax the greatest source of Government revenue is the tax on salt. The sale of salt in China is an absolute Govern .. 1ent monopoly, the importation of foreign salt being prohibited by treaties at the request of China. As the production of salt is one of China's greatest industries, and as the principles involved are well illustrative of native methods, a short description will be of interest. The country at large

PAGE 197

Chapter VI: Finances of China r9r is divided into seven districts, in each of which salt is produced by evaporation from sea-water or from deep brine wells, as in Sz-chuen, and salt is not allowed to be carried from one district to another, no matter what the resulting economy might be. Salt so produced is sold to regularly appointed Government officials. In order to dispose of the salt, the Salt Commissioner of the district issues 'warrants," each warrant entitling the holder to purchase so much salt. These warrants are perpetual and are personai property, and disposable at any time by sale, or by will on the holder's death. The number of warrants outstanding is supposed to be fixed, a rule frequently violated in spite of the protests by the warrant owners. The warrant owner, having purchased his quota of salt, can select any place in the district as his point of sale, whither he must transport his salt aHd place it in a Government warehouse, where it is sold in order of entry, at a price fixed by the Salt Commissioner. On the completion of the retailing, the warrant is returned and the holder may repeat the operation. Apparently the plan is most just to everyone, both seller and buyer, as well as to the Government) which receives an income through percentages charged. As a matter of fact, the whole arrangement is most expensive, as entailing in many cases long hauls and shutting out certain districts where salt can be produced very cheaply. The oppor-

PAGE 198

192 An American Engineer in China tunities for helping friends in granting warrants or in allowing their warrants to take precedence over those of men less friend! y are not neglected by the Salt Commissioner, so that this position is one much sought after, and when secured the holder is considered on the way to wealth. Under such circumstances, in China as elsewhere, it is the people who finally pay all bills. Next to the salt tax in importance is the likin tax, levied, as was explained previously, on the inland transportation of goods. None of these likin stations keeps a record, so once more the opportunity for stealing and waste is great. In addition to the above, there is the revenue received from the native custom-houses, from special taxes on opium and miscellaneous sources. The actual receipts of the Government under these various headings can be taken approximately, as follows: Tls. Land tax, in money ............. 25,ooo,ooo " grain . . . . . . . 7 ,ooo,ooo Salt tax ....................... I4,ooo,ooo Likin tax ....................... I 3,ooo,ooo Native customs . . . . . . . . I ,ooo,ooo Opium tax ...................... 2,5oo,ooo Miscellaneous sources . . . . . 6,ooo,ooo 68,5oo,ooo which, with the net return of the Maritime Customs, give a revenue of 95,ooo,ooo taels, or about $68,ooo,ooo gold per annum.

PAGE 199

Chapter VI: Finances of China 193 The principal thing for which the Government of China is likely to incur further obligations will be in the line of railways or other internal improvements. The railways created by these obligations should be self-sustaining, and, therefore, practical! y not add to the Government's burdens. Should, however, it become necessary, there are many ways in which the Government can, under proper financial administration, increase its receipts. The following are some of the opportunities: r. Maritime Customs charges, which, as pointed out above, amount to an average of something less than four per cent., can be materially raised without interfering with Chinese trade. 2. The Native Customs can and should be consolidated with the Maritime Customs Bureau. No department, such as Native Customs, entirely in the hands of Chinese officials, returns the full receipts. This fact is strikingly brought out by Mr. George Jamieson, British Consul at Shanghai, in a pamphlet published by him in 1897 on the "Revenue and Expenditure of the Empire," the best monograph on the subject, and to which the author is indebted for part of the information in this chapter. As in the case of the provincial governors, so the Native-Customs tao-tais are "assessed by the Board of Revenue certain amounts each year, which amounts or proper excuses must be forthcoming. Having met the

PAGE 200

194 An American Engineer in China assessment, no one scrutinizes the methods or actual collections. Mr. J amieson records that the Shanghai tao-tai who was" assessed" 65,980 taels, reports as having received 65,99I taels, or a surplus of I I taels, equal to about $8. A wonderful piece of accurate estimating on the part of the Peking officials! As Mr. Jamieson says, "It needs but a glance at the forest of masts that line the banks of the river (at Shanghai) to show that the native junk traffic is still of very considerable proportions, and that the total duties of the year as stated are altogether too ridiculous. Such a sum must represent more nearly a week's collection than a year's." The Governor of Che-kiang in the same year did even better than his Shang hai confrere, arranging his accounts to show a balance of 40,000 taels, the exact amount required! These are instances of what is taking place all over China, in every Government office where money is handled. The official class is not only corrupt and dishonest to a point that we can scarcely conceive, but they have been at it so long, and the system is so perfect, that it has ceased to cause comment or even to be thought of, except as something quite legitimate. 3 The introduction of railways will increase both the internal and external trade, thereby adding to the Government revenue, both from likin and :Maritime Customs. 4 The whole method of tax gathering can be

PAGE 201

Chapter VI: Finances of China r95 reorganized so as to save an enormous amount of waste and stealing. There is probably little doubt but that the people of China now pay at least twice as much and probably more than the Imperial Government actually receives. In this connection it is interesting to compare the land and salt taxes of China and India, where the conditions, in regard to population and comparative wealth, are quite similar: Tls. Land tax-Inclia ............... roo,ooo,ooo China .............. zs.ooo,ooo Salt tax-India .............. 33,ooo,ooo China.... . . . . . 14,ooo,ooo In like manner, the internal tax on native opi um, which now amounts to about z,soo,ooo taels, should, by those who have studied the problem, a mount to from I 5 ,ooo,ooo to I 8,ooo,ooo taels. As the latter sum is the one which the people probably pay, the difference between the payments and the reported receipts is lost by stealing or waste. 5 Post-office Receipts.-A little over a year ago the Post-office Department was organized as a sub-department of the Maritime Customs. Previous to that time each separate commercial district of China maintained its own local post office. It is yet too early to note the beneficial result of this action. There is no doubt, however, that after the new system has become thor-

PAGE 202

r96 An American Engineer in China oughly well established and further extended, it will work a profit to the Government, especially as the management is under the control of foreigners. There is one consideration in regard to the general stealing of public funds, or the system of "squeezes" and "presents," as it is euphemistically called, that must be kept in mind; which is, that the official salaries paid to Government of ficers are ridiculously small, and in many cases actually insufficient to meet the ordinary disbursements for clerk hire and other entirely proper expenses which the incumbent has to pay out of his stipend. This compels him to procure funds as best he can, and as the insufficiency of salary is understood by everyone, the principle and necessity for stealing can be said to be recognized officially and publicly. Of course, once started it is carried to the utmost extreme, and under such conditions that, even if the official is perchance reasonably honest, anything like economy is out of the question. Should Chinese officials be paid proper compensation, the expenses of the general and local governments would be much greater than they are now, but by getting competent and honest men the returns would be still more increased; besides which, it is possible to bring about a still greater reform in abolishing the existing terribly wasteful, expensive, cumbersome methods and instituting therefor a simple direct

PAGE 203

Chapter VI: Finances of China 197 system. Japan has already carried out a system of reforms such as is outlined above, showing that it is possible for an Oriental nation to have its finan cial methods put on a solid basis. China can do the same. Without increasing the burdens of the people, but by a mere reorganization of methods, it is possible to produce a much greater net rev enue than the various public treasuries receive, and one quite sufficient to meet any and all le gitimate requirements. As the country becomes more opened, as trade grows, as industries are multiplied, there will come a general rise in all values, returning a corresponding increase in Government income without inflicting hardships on the people. "Bell Cash This coin is over 2,000 years old

PAGE 204

Chapter VII Chinese Construction IT must always be kept in mind that the twentieth century development of China will be along lines Chinese and not European ; that is, it will be in conformity with native characteristics, modified by modern ideas. This would be an unnecessary truism were it not apparently lost sight of at times by those planning for China's development, and not always rem em be red by foreigners in their general relations with the Chinese Government and people. It is therefore pertinent to inquire what is the condition of their art of construction, wherein are the abilities of the Chinese sufficiently advanced to-clay, and wherein must their resources be supplemented in order to bring up the industrial development of the country to the new standard. EYeryone knows that the Chinese once led the world in scientific and material development, but that they were acquainted with the principles of good engineering design was a surprise to me. At the seaports where foreigners have resided, or even in those portions of the Empire into which foreign ideas might have penetrated, it was expected to see structures bearing the imprint of modern skill in design or construction; but it was not expected to find such things in the unexplored 198

PAGE 205

Chapter VII: Chinese Construction 199 interior, remotely or entirely removed from outside influences, and of such self-evident age as to stamp them as genuinely Chinese, both in workmanship and plan. The structures that impress the engineering observer most strongly are the bridges, the pagodas, the city walls, and certain details of building construction. The arch, beautiful from the scientific as well as the cesthetic point of view, is generally believed to be of Roman origin, and is considered to be one of the evidences of their advance over other nations. It was not known to, or at least never used by, the Greeks; and although the shape appears in certain specimens of Hindoo architecture, it is of false variety-that is, a succession of protruding corbels. In China, on the other hand, we find it of most widespread and general application, and examination shows that the principles involved are thoroughly understood, as the arches are composed of a complete ring of voussoirs, radially jointed and of proper proportions, making it therefore a true arch and establishing beyond question the Chinaman's complete understanding of the scientific principles on which it rests. On the other hand, the general use of the design in all parts of the country and the undoubted antiquity of so many of the existing examples clearly demonstrate that it long antedates any possible foreign suggestions, and go a long way to esta b lish it as of Chinese origin, which, however, like

PAGE 206

A Very Old Arch in Eastern Hu-nan, Previously Unexplored

PAGE 207

Chapter VII: Chinese Construction zo1 printing and gunpowder and so many other inventions and discoveries, never passed beyond the national borders. The largest application of the arch principle is in the building of bridges, where spans of thirty to forty feet are common, and single spans of fifty feet were seen. Longer spans than these, though perhaps existing, are not usually required, as those streams which can be bridged do not, as a rule, call for single openings larger than will suffice to pass small boats. The arches are usually of the full half-circle, with the spring above the ordinary flow line. The arch joints are cut close and filled with hard, firm mortar, while the spandrels are always built independently of the arch, and usually of inferior workmanship, indicating clearly that the designer understood the theory. The piers frequently have V-shaped ends up stream, evidently to diminish scouring action and to prevent drift trash from catching, rather than for the more usual purpose as ice breakers, for such additions are common even in the southern districts where ice is unknown. The roadway is guarded by carved railings in the case of the more elaborate structures, or by a solid parapet, some of the latter that I saw being composed of concrete. These arches have a grace of outline based on proper proportion, a solidity in appearance resulting from good construction, coupled with a very evident sound application of

PAGE 208

Ping-hsiang Bridge

PAGE 209

Chapter VII : Chinese Construction 203 theory to practical uses in accordance with the requirements of local conditions-considerations that stamp them as construction works of a very high order,_although their size, as compared with arches in other lands, may be small. Take the illustrations of Ping-hsiang bridge, an9 the one marked "A beautiful single span." In the former let the reader note the arch lines ; the proportions existing between the arches and the piers ; the cut-water ends to the latter to prevent drift catching; the carved stone railing, supple menting but not detracting from the lines of the main structure; and finally the shrine on the centre pier, indicating that although the constructor was compelled to place a pier in midstream, that nevertheless he had the courage to emphasize it, and that by making it a feature of the design he jus tified its location. In the other structure, crossing a stream flowing from the Cheling Pass to the China Sea, we have a design admirably meeting in every respect the local conditions. The stream is of no great importance, so that a central pier and two spans would have answered as a mere bridge, but such would not have been a well-considered design. On one side the ground is much higher than on the other; which is overcome by spanning the brook with a bold single arch, whose rise is the same as that of the high bank, with steps on the lower side. Either of these beautiful structures would have done credit to any

PAGE 210

A Beautiful Single Span

PAGE 211

Chapter VII: Chinese Construction zos architectural engineer brought up in the most fastidious school of Europe. They both are of essentially Chinese origin, the former of some antiquity. Probably neither of them was ever seen by foreigners before my trip. The freedom that a designer takes when he is sure of his principles, has caused some of the Chinese arches to take extraordinary shape, such as the single span near Peking, carried to a height seemingly out of all proportion, but intentionally so in order to pass boats with short masts; and yet, such a design, in a locality without wheeled vehicles where a short excessive gradient is not a serious matter, not only meets the requirements of economical planning, but adds the charm of irregularity, which, in a country distinguished for sameness and lack of contrast, is especially attractive. The Chinaman is very much like a cat-he objects to getting his feet wet; and as he carries his own loads, which he thinks he can do more cheaply than by horse or carriage, he sees to it that all streams are bridged. The arch he uses nearly always in the large structures, and employs it down the scale even to small culverts ; although, when he begins to deal with little openings, he frequently makes use of stone stringers. If suitable stones can be procured he does not hesitate to be bold, as some beams I measured were thirty feet long and fifteen inches deep. In other in-

PAGE 212

Arch near Peking

PAGE 213

Chapter VII : Chinese Construction 207 stances the effective spans were made shorter by placing corbels beneath the ends of the stringers, and occasionally intermediate supports were furnished by framed bents of long stones, exactly like the ordinary American timber construction. But the most remarkable bridge I saw was a wooden cantilever, in the eastern part of Hu-nan, where no white man had ever previously been; a bridge remarkable, not only for its extraordinary design, but also for the fact that it was of wood, a material on account of its scarceness rarely used for heavy construction. This bridge consisted of six spans, with a length of four hundred and eighty feet and a width of twenty feet, paved with cobble-stones, while over it is erected a frame to carry awning-mats in summer. The substructure is masonry piers in good condition, but evidently of good age, while the superstructure is of wood and a genuine cantilever in design. The timbers which compose it are about ten inches square, laid in alternating layers in the direction of and across the line of the bridge. As will be seen from the illustration, each longitudinal layer projects beyond the one next below, and the series of such projections builds out the cantilever arms until the opposite ones are near enough together to be spanned by a single timber. The superstructure is not so old as the substructure, the timber having been undoubtedly replaced, possibly many times; but it was, when visited, in hor-

PAGE 214

A Small Bridge The figures are those of soldiers carrying two-handed swords, except the last, who is the trumpeter of the military commander

PAGE 215

Chapter VII : Chinese Construction zo9 rible condition of decay. At the time of my visit, an attending mandarin, knowing its rotten condi tion, requested that our party should cross it in detachments, so as to divide the crowd and avoid concentration. It will stand, however, without repairs or attention-as all structures in China are to stand-until some day an extra-large crowd will be too much for the rotten timbers to hold up and it will collapse, with great loss of life. From the point of view of artistic and essen tially Oriental design the pagoda possesses the most interest. These singular constructions, of which nearly every city possesses at least one, fairly clot the surface of the country. Their purpose appears to be twofold-either as monuments commemorating the virtues or the munificence of some departed benefactor, or as agents of "feng shui" (literally "wind and water"), the spirit genius of good and evil, which, if properly propitiated, will ward off pestilence and famine, and permit only prosperity and happiness to visit the neighborhoocl. These very curious towers are of great antiquity, Chinese records authenticating their origin at least as far back as the early part of the Christian era. In size they vary from the little ones, which are nothing more than roadside shrines, to what was once the most beautiful and largest-the celebrated porcelain pagoda of Nanking, destroyed in the Tai-ping rebellion. This exT:raordinary structure had a height of two bun-

PAGE 216

Wooden Cantilever Bridge at Li-ling, over the Lu Ho

PAGE 217

Chapter VII : Chinese Construction 2 I I drecl and sixty-one feet, was built of masonry and covered with glazed tiles of many colms, and was a monument to nati\'e skill in erection as well as to artistic sense in design. Unfortunately, most of Pagoda near Wu-chang the large pagodas are being allowed to crumble to decay, although some are tended and give hope of standing for other generations to admire. The prominent ones vary in height from one hundred to two hundred feet, are usually octagonal in plan, with straight but tapering sides, and always are

PAGE 218

Chinese House Construction-a Combination of a Wooden Frame and Brick Walls

PAGE 219

Chapter VII: Chinese Construction 213 composed of an odd number of stories; although sometimes these stories are double ones, as in the case of the \V u-chang pagoda, one of the most beautiful and best preserved in the country. They were always built plumb, and if now in bad condition, it is the result of lack of care and the ravages of time and not of original faulty con" struction. Chinese houses conform to certain general types; the pagoda, therefore, in its wide range of size and of decorations, from the severely plain stone structure to the one covered with colored tiles, marks one of the few breaks in the characteristic national rule of uniformity and furnishes an interesting construction study. The method of putting up buildings with a rigid frame and then encasing them with thin masonry walls is supposed to be something essentially American; but, like so many designs claimed as modern, this, too, finds a universal application all over China. Although the Chinese have everywhere at hand brick-making clay, the product is not good, owing to their unfortunate tendency to false economy-which, in this particular case, takes the form of deficient burning. To give sufficient rigidity, house.walls have to be made thick, and thick walls, they found as we have found, encroach seriously on floor space ; therefore, they have developed "cage construction." The materials employed are usually round timbers, connected by mortise and pin joints, while

PAGE 220

The Famous Wall of the Tartar City, Peking, with One of the Gate-towers

PAGE 221

Chapter VII: Chinese Construction 215 the roof truss is a peculiar and ingenious com bination of beams, taking load near the abutments only. The accompanying illustration shows such a building in process of being encased. If the arches display a knowledge of theory, the houses are ingenious applications of practice, and the pagodas are an appreciation of the beau tiful. The walls, without which no large city in China exists, and which reach their maximum in Peking or in the even more famous Great \Vall, are an evidence that our Oriental friend was equally at home with large construction. These great structures, with their massive proportions (as in the Great Wall, with its length of fifteen hundred miles, across wild hills and desert val leys), with their keeps and arched gateways, with their parapets and moats, fill the observer with admiration. It is said that a nation's character is shown in its architecture. This seems eminently true in China, for no matter where one goes the same general outline, varied slightly by local condi tions, meets the eye, and wherever a new building goes up it takes the same form as the one it displaces, so that one feels that not only is every. thing the same throughout the country, but that it is JUSt the same now as it was ever so many years ago, which is probably the fact. But if the architectural form illustrates the Chinese lack ot originality and progress of development, the con-

PAGE 222

The Great Wall of China

PAGE 223

Chapter VII : Chinese Construction 2 q struction of their houses illustrates the regrettable side of their abilities-the want of thoroughness. In all their work they use poor material and work manship, so that their buildings will not stand close inspection, and soon succumb to the ravages of time. China is consequent! y singularly devoid of antique buildings. In addition to the original defects in construction, the little care that the buildings receive is exceeding! y distressing; even iri Peking such artistically beautiful structures as the Temple of Confucius or the Hall of Clas sics-perfect types of Chinese architecture-are actually dropping to pieces for need of a few repairs. This deficiency in appreciating thoroughness and the necessity for maintenance will be found one of the greatest obstacles to be overcome in industrial development. The engineering progress of the Chinese has been along static rather than dynamic lines-that is, they have learned how to construct bridges, erect pagodas, and concentrate their forces to build a wall fifteen hundred miles long, but not how to construct a machine, or to do any of the things the basal princi pie of which is movement. Perhaps this is due to the similar traits that we find forming the framework of the national char acter; or, perhaps, it is clue to the dread of displac ing manuallabor and the baseless fear of depriving their fellow-men of work. But no matter what the cause may be, this marks the cleavage line along

PAGE 224

218 An American Engineer in China which foreign inspiration in the art of construction will find an outlet for development. In solid, stationary structures, the Chinese can supply their own needs unaided; but the field for producing those aggregations of engineering and mechanical skill based on the theory or application of movement, especially of economical movement, lies unbroken and the soil is rich. The idea of economy of movement is absolutely lacking in the Chinese-a singular circumstance, as there is no other nationality so strongly economical, even to the point of parsimony. This trait is shown in their cl wellings, in their clothes, and in all their details of living, except in those where movement is the main theme. The development, in which foreign ideas will predominate and foreign aid be required, will be, therefore, along this line, and will show itself primarily in methods of moving people and goods-namely, in means of transport
PAGE 225

Chapter VII: Chinese Construction zr9 moving water. The third class is general in its character and will include all kinds of machines. The science of handling water is practically unknown in China, the Chinese pump being a most crude and uneconomical device, and wholly incapable of raising water to a height above that of a few feet, and the lack of proper and efficient devices has absolutely prevented the development of China's mineral resources. Mining by native methods has consisted in sinking a shaft or an inclined drift down the vein until water was encountered, or until coolies could no longer raise the load on their backs, a limit in the latter case of two hundred feet. When one of these contingencies is reached the mine is abandoned. In order to develop the mineral wealth, the first requisite is a pumping plant; the second, of much less importance, is elevating machinery. It is difficult to imagine a great country without good pumps, but such China is. The native device consists of flat paddles attached to a wooden endless chain turning over two sprocket wheels, on one of which pedals are fixed. One or two men, sitting on a frame over this wheel, work the pedals with their feet and thus by pulling on the chain, elevate the water. The water supply of the crowded cities depends on hundreds of coolies constantly passing to and fro carrying the water in buckets from the river, for all cities are located on rivers, and there is no attempt at any sort of

PAGE 226

220 An American Engineer in China fire protection, except such as can be done with hand-buckets or by tearing down houses in the path of the conflagration. As the whole system of Chinese farming seems to depend on the areas that can be irrigated, there is imposed a limit to such lands as can be reached by natural flow, while low lands, subject to frequent inundation, are abandoned. For all these purposes the foreign pump will find an enormous field of application and will prove to be an important element in Chinese development. If, therefore, I were asked to enumerate the relative importance of engineering development, I should say-means of transportation; hydraulic machinery; mining; and then, those machines which can compete against a very low-priced manual labor, and which can, if possible, enter a field of work not now undertaken, such as electric lighting, or enter the existing fields so as to change present conditions without too violent or immediately revolutionary effects.

PAGE 227

Chapter VIII Inland Communication FROM one end of the Chinese Empire to the other there is not an instance of a road whose quality would be termed in any other country as even moderately good. China's riv ers and waterways are her highways, and it is on them that she relies for means of internal com munication. In the way of rivers and sea-coast, nature has been most liberal. Her coast line is as long as both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States-that is, as long as the distance from Florida to Maine added to the distance from Southern California to \V ashington, and from it there are noble rivers penetrating to the very western confines of the Empire. No attempt has been made by the Chinese of their own motion to improve the rivers by remov ing their bars or deepening their channels in order to render them more navigable. Such a course for the general good is still far beyond Chinese comprehension. Along the coast and for short distances in the estuaries, the Government, through the agency of the Maritime Customs and Sir Robert Hart, has established and maintains light-houses, has located beacons and buoys mark ing channels and dangerous places, while other Governments, principally the British, have sur-221

PAGE 228

222 An American Engineer in China veyed and charted the coast and harbors; but all such work, even when done by the home Government, is of foreign inspiration. Up the rivers where the traffic is wholly Chinese, nothing of the kind has been attempted. The streams are filled with bars and bowlders and other obstructions, and the loss in time, property, and life which they cause is something terrible. If a picture of Chinese river-navigation is desired, accurate in its details, true in calor, and not exaggerated in its tale of suffering, most of which is quite unnecessary, it can be found in Mr. Little's work, "Through the Yang-tze Gorges," or in "The Yang-tze and Beyond," by Mrs. Bishop. Both tell of the Great River, where for some four hundred miles west of 1-chang it has laboriously cut its way through the mountains in deep gorges, the grandeur and wildness of whose scenery is surpassed nowhere. Into these gorges huge bowlders have tumbled from the sides above, and in places even the cliffs themselves in by-gone ages have slid off and fallen forward. The bow lders and the debris have never been removed, but are left lying where they fell, and over and around them tumbles and boils the Yang-tze, already a river of some two thousand miles in length, which bears down, and even up, against such difficulties, the out-and in-commerce of all \Vestern China. On other streams where shoals are the worst enemy, the great losses and dangers are eliminated, but the

PAGE 229

Chapter VIII: Inland Communication 223 delays and their costs are not. As one journeys along a Chinese river at its low stage in winter, there is scarcely a moment when there is not one junk hard aground with her crew pushing and struggling with their bamboo poles to get her off. It would be bad enough if these laborious and exhausting methods were resorted to only occasionally and unexpectedly, but such terrific waste of human energy is uncomplaining ly accepted as quite regu J a r and inevitable. It is a lmost incredible that the strongest opposition to an amelioration of their own condition through improved methods of transportation comes from these v ery boatmen. In the summer, when the rivers are in flood, unl ess there is a favorable wind to aid in stem ming the swift currents, the same struggle is repeated; while at ni ght, during both winter and summer, all traffi c ceases, owing to the uncertainties of navigation, and yet, these are China's main arteries o f trade, transportatio n and inland communication, and it is extraordinary to what extent they are employed in spite of the entire failure to improve their navigation or remove natura l obstacles and impediments. Being the chief lines of travel, on them are located the great cities, for with scarce an exception every town of importance in the Empire is situated on some sort of a navigable waterway, and no matter where the traveller goes in the interior, he will find a long

PAGE 230

The Siang Kiang A typical The boats are all carriers of merchandise

PAGE 231

Chapter VIII: Inland Communication 225 the river front of the cities he visits, a veritable forest of masts and a solid raft of hulls. A great deal has been said and written about the improvement of the rivers of China and the introduction upon them of steamers of type somewhat similar to that used on shallow American rivers or on the Nile. Advocates of such proposals have pictured the running of steamboats up the Yang-tze to Chung-king, sixteen hundred miles, and on about seven hundred miles more on such tributaries to the Yang-tze as the Siang, the Han, and the Kan. Southern and Southwestern China it is proposed to reach by improving the \V est and other streams for distances aggregating, possibly, one thousand miles; while the Yellow or the Pei Rivers are to provide permanent means of steam communication in the North. Constructively such a proposition is entirely fea sible. The rivers of China can be improved, but their improvement will cost a great deal of money. Practically, however, it is out of the question until the Chinese people have been educated to consider the undertaking and maintaining of such works in a light different from that which they do now. Obviously, it is impossible that such work could be done by private corporations, for there would be no means of preventing open competition, when the expensive work would be completed: it would, therefore, have to be undertaken under Government direction and expense. If so, the

PAGE 232

226 An American Engineer in China funds must come from general taxation or special boat charg-es. To levy a general tax for matters of general utility is something so unheard of that no Government would dare do it until the people by gradual experience in other ways with similar experiments had learned to see the benefits. To levy a special tax on boats, that is, on the class who would be most directly benefited, would be equally unpopular and impossible. The junkmen would reply that they do not complain, which is quite true, and they would say that to make transportation easier would deprive many men of employment who are now hired as crews, and the consequent saving would result finally not t.o the junk owner's financial benefit, but in the lowering of freight charges to consumers, a matter in which they have no interest. Such reasoning may be illogical, but it must be remembered that it is believed by the Chinese to be sound. But even if it were possible to have the streams canalized or deepened, who will pay the dredging and maintenance charges, for all the rivers of China are of such a nature that constant deposition of alluvial matter is taking place? If a Chinaman will not repair his house, in which he alone is interested, is he likely to stand the expense of maintaining rivers in which his interest is so remote and inclirect as not to be discernible? To improve the rivers requires united effort, and a united effort for the good of others is an altruistic policy which

PAGE 233

Chapter VIII: Inland Communication 227 it will take a long time to make the Chinese understand. As an engineer, who has looked into the feasibility of doing this very thing, T am convinced that it will be easier and better, as has been found in other countries, to build rail ways on the banks rather than to try to improve the streams. For coast and sea-going work the Chinaman uses a junk of large and strong proportions, and on the rivers one more adapted to the particular needs. Except for use on the lower reaches of the Yang-tze, where deeper water permits some latitude in construction, the up-river boats are of one general type. The hull is flat-bottomed and constructed of heavy planks, with a stout halfround timber at the deck line, to serve as a guard when the boats are banging together at landingplaces. The bow and stern are square, and the latter is curved upward to form a poop. The hull is divided by transverse wooden bulkheads into water-tight compartments. lt is a singular and interesting fact that J\Jarco Polo noted this very useful device when he was in China in the thirteenth century, and, after giving a minute de scription, so that there is no possibility of his mistaking it, shows the intent by stating, "The object of this is to guard against accidents, which may occasion the vessel to spring a leak." Staunton's account of Lord Macartney's Em bass_y in r 796 again reports it, as did Abbe Hue some years

PAGE 234

A Freight-boat Being Poled Against the Stream

PAGE 235

Chapter VIII: Inland Communication 229 later. The bulkhead was introduced in European ship building in 1840 as a brilliant and new idea. Thus it is that at almost every turn in this queer land one meets with some device which we regard with pride as a modern invention, but which the Chinese have employed so long that its origin is forgotten. A deck load can be housed under curved covers of bamboo matting resting on permanent frames. Under these covers the crew of five men or more also find quarters, while the owner and his family reside in the stern. There are one or two masts, according to the size of the boat, standing without stays and carrying large sails of cotton canvas or light bamboo mats. Of boats of this description there are tens of thousands, and they pass and repass in endless processions. Usually the boat itself is kept in fair condition, but the same cannot be said of the sails. A new sail is scarcely ever seen, and many of them are so dilapidated as to cause wonder at their being set at all. But a Chinese never considers time as of value; he feels no incentive to keep his source of motive power in repair, but goes on using it as it is until it can be no longer hoisted. Even when his attention is called to the loss of time involved, he will make the amusing reply that should he go faster, no higher freight rate will be paid, and what could be done with his crew during the time saved? On one occasion

PAGE 236

A Sail That May Have Seen Better Days, but Which is by no Means a Unique Specimen

PAGE 237

Chapter VIII: Inland Communication 231 when making a river trip, where a fixed price had been agreed on for the journey, I found the junk to be equipped with bad sails. On complaining to the captain, he said he had better ones, but that he was keeping the new ones safe at home! Boats rigged like these, without keels, and of shallow draft, cannot make head way when both wind and current arc adverse. \Vhen this occurs, or when the wind fails entirely, recourse is had to poling, rowing, or the more laborious method of "tracking," which consists in dragging the junk by means of a rope of twisted bamboo fibres attached at one end to the masthead and at the other to yokes over the shoulders of the crew ashore. On rivers where rapids are moderate, but which are too great to be overcome by a single crew, it is the custom for boats to wait until a united force has been collected sufficient to pull each one up against the current. On such rivers as the upper Yang-tze, where the rapids are very strong, there are "tracker" settlements providing sufficient extra labor always at hand to help ascending craft. T\VO hundred and fifty men or more on the tow lines are frequently required. The Chinese junkmen form a distinct class by themselves and in some localities are under special laws. Their boats are their houses, on which they are born, live, and die. The women do not bind their feet, and take their turn with the men

PAGE 238

A Female Skipper

PAGE 239

Chapter VIII: Inland Communication 233 at the helm, sail, oar, pole, or even track line, in addition to doing their own work of preparing the meals for the crew and looking after the finances of the institution. \Vhen things go wrong, and in accordance with Chinese custom, all begin The Equality of Sex. A Man and a Woman at the Oar to shout and each one to work on his own account and so nullify the labor of someone else, then the strident notes of the voice of the Amazon skipper will rise above the other din, and, finally, but not until after the use of language, whose rhythm and force suggests that of the old sty le deep-sea sailor, will she succeed in drowning the orders of the

PAGE 240

234 An American Engineer in China others and bring about some sort of effort 111 umson. On reaching points where the shallowness of the water stops the passage of such junks as draw more than two or three feet, cargoes are transshipped to smaller boats; and this goes on until finally little sampans (literally, "three boards"), boats of the flimsiest description, drawing four inches or less, are employed to carry goods to the very extreme of river navigation. In the south, there is found plying on the waters that intersect the province of K wang-tung and its neighbors a form of large junk, called a Canton River boat, with a large sail, and in addition a stern-wheel like a Mississippi River steamboat. They are worked by crews of natives ranging from twelve to thirty-six in number, according to the size of the craft, and each carries a hundred or more passengers. For more speedy transit, and contrary to the common belief that the Chinese does not appreciate quickness, there is the "slipper" boat, so called from its resemblance in form to that useful article. These little boats are very light in construction, and are propelled by four oarsmen, either men or women, of whom three stand up and push on the oars, while one sits clown and pulls. The passengers lie at full length in the toe. A speed of eight miles an hour is attained. Arduous, however, as is the task of transport-

PAGE 241

A Cantonese Slipper Boat

PAGE 242

236 An American Engineer in China ing goods from, say, Shanghai or Canton into the interior by means of river navigation, it is as nothing compared with the labor required to deliver them at a destination removed from the wa ter-way_ This is done almost wholly by coolies travelling on foot. The horse is little used, except in Northern China. \Vhere men receive as wages but five to ten cents per diem, the horse cannot compete, especially when he has not, as with us, the economy of cheaper living, for ip China both men and horses are grain fed. The vehicle for land transportation, both for goods and passengers, varies in different parts of the Empire. On the great plains in the north, which, by their nature, have permitted the construction of passageways, that by way of euphemism are called roads, we find a springless two-wheeled cart drawn by a little pony or ox, which form the sole means of transportation in Peking. They are the essence of torture to ride in, but the badness of the going will permit nothing else. On the great trade route northwest from Peking, camels in caravans are employed. As the region of the great plain is left, the horse and cart disappear, and the wheelbarrow takes their place. The Chinese barrow, of course, differs from its European namesake, but is not without very excellent qualities. As used in Central China, the wheel is large, being about thirty inches in diameter, with the body of the vehicle balanced

PAGE 243

Chapter VIII : Inland Communication 237 on the axle, and on both sides of the wheel like an Irish jaunting car. In some cities, like Shanghai, these wheelbarrows are for hire like cabs by the natives, and as little or no load comes on the wheelman, it is not an infrequent sight to see him pushing four fares at a speed of four or five miles an hour. Fast Freight by Wheelbarrow In the up-country ol the Yang-tze Valley such wheelbarrows are the great means of fast freight transportation. On them the farmer will take his supply of produce to market, or if he has to take his wife along, for she with her small feet cannot walk, he will usually place her on one side and possibly a dead hog that he has slaughtered that morning on the other side in order to balance her weight.

PAGE 244

The Author Travelling in an Official Chair

PAGE 245

Chapter VIII : Inland Communication 239 As the Yang-tze is left and Southern China is approached, it is interesting to note the gradual discontinuance of the wheelbarrow; its wheel gets smaller and takes a position farther forward, more like the western machine, and, at last, it disappears from use entirely. The rich or official Chinese on a journey always uses a sedan chair borne by two, three, or four men, according to his means and station, and followed by a line of coolies carrying the miscellaneous lot of goods and encumbrances supposed to be necessary for his comfoit. Such a man never walks, as it would be quile beneath his dignity to do so. On my own trip it was with the greatest difficulty that the attending officials could be persuaded, if they really ever were, that it was pos sible for a man to prefer the freedom of being on foot to the cramping restraint of the little box of a chair. But whether in the north or in the centre or in the south, if the Chinaman is unable to call to his aid the springless cart or the wheelbarrow, he has at all times at his service his own back, and the greatest part of the country's commerce is carried in two baskets, each of which is suspended from a bamboo pole resting on the shoulders of some coolie. In a Chinese city the last thing one hears before dropping to sleep is the" he-ho" sing song of the poor, hard-working coolie, as late at night he is carrying his loads through the narrow

PAGE 246

240 An American Engineer in China streets below, and again the first thing in the morning it is this same ceaseless song that greets the ear. On the roads, uphill and down, day after Boy Carrying Coal from the Mines to the River day, he plods along carrying his loads of rice, tea, silk, or opium from his little farm to the markettown on the river, and takes back with him an equal burden of Lancashire or New England cottons, of Russian or Pen ns y 1 vania oil, or other articles of foreign import. I have s.een even coal carried for ten to fifteen miles, up, over, and down a range of eight hundred feet of elevation before it could be loaded into boats to find its way down the Yang-tze. This would be bad enough and expen-

PAGE 247

Chapter VIII: Inland Communication 241 sive enough if only the coolie had a decent road on which to walk. But if no care is taken of the waterways, even still less attention is paid to the landways, there being no central authority by which highways are laid out and maintained. A Typical Road on Top of a Dike Between Rice-fields As each land-owner has to give up to the general public a portion of his too small farm, from which donation he derives, so far as he can see, but a small personal benefit, he usually does so by giving a strip along one side of his tract, or on the

PAGE 248

242 An American Engineer in China top of one of the little dikes forming the rice-field terraces. In either case, as neither the farm lines nor the rice-field dikes are straight, the road, so called, winds its way in and out, increasing the normal length by at least one-half. In width A Road Paved with Stone Slabs Showing the Groove Cut by Wheelbarrows it is rarely more than that required for two men to pass. In districts where there is a heavy concentrated travel, some of these roads have been paved with cobble-stones, or if it is a section

PAGE 249

Chapter VIII : Inland Communication 243 where wheelbarrows are in use, they may have been laid with longitudinal stone slabs, in which the wheels of countless barrows have cut a groove several inches in depth. A few of the great roads, such as the one leading to the Ming Tombs, north west of Peking, or across the Che-ling Pass in-the Nan-ling Range, were, many years ago, carefully paved with stone; but it is now nobody's business to make repairs, and these great monuments of a past constructive era are dropping into decay. In the north where wheeled vehicles are used, the roads, in order to accommodate them, have to be wider than the narrower paths in the south, and as the soil is of an alluvial nature and not fitted for road-making, the general condition of affairs is even worse. No better picture of the method of constructing the Chinese road and its lack of maintenance can be found than that given by Dr. A. H. Smith in his" Village Life in China." In referring to the fact that the ordinary road is but wide enough for one vehicle, so that when two attempt to pass, it can be done only by trespassing on the crops, he writes: "To prevent this, the farmer digs deep ditches along his land, but when he ch-ives his own cart he, too, becomes a trespasser; thus a state of chronic and immitigable warfare is established, for which there is absolutely no remedy. vVhere land is valuable and is all of private property, road repairs are out of the question.

PAGE 250

244 An American Engineer in China There is no earth to repair with, and without repair the roads soon reach a condition beyond the possibility of any repairs. Constant travel com presses and hardens the soil, making it lower than the adjacent fields. In the rainy season the fields are drained into the road, which, at such times, is constantly under water. A slight change of level allows the water to escape into some still lower road and thus a current is set up which becomes eventually a brook and then a rushing torrent. It is a proverb that 'a road one thousand years old becomes a river, just as a daughter-in-law of many years' standing, summers into a mother-in-law.'" Such are the lines of communication everywhere in China. Such are the difficulties and obstacles to be overcome and surmounted at tremendous personal cost by the Chinese in maintaining not merely his foreign commerce, but that which is many fold greater, his own internal commerce. What the cost in humanity is can be understood only by seeing the labor required; what it is in money can easily be imagined, and that the charge for transportation runs as high as ten cents to fifteen cents per ton per mile is not surprising. To talk to the Chinese of the wasteful and unnecessary expense is useless. They must be shown by practical example that their methods are actually detrimental. vVhat that practical example is and how it can be shown will be told in another chapter.

PAGE 251

Chapter IX Railways THE preceding chapter gave a description of the transportation facilities of China and the condition in which they are allowed to exist. The state of affairs is quite anomalous. In other countries, including Japan, good high-roads were constructed and maintained long before railways were thought of, thus permitting internal trade to be carried on, if not with the economy and speed of steam, at least with reasonable despatch and cost, against which railways, when introduced, were obliged to compete. In China there was, and is, nothing of the kind. It is not a question whet her any line or system of rail ways can stand the competition of existing canals or high-roads, but whether it is best ab initio to improve rivers, to lay out roads, or to build railways. The answer to this question is not difficult to find. It is idle to expect any initiation from the great inert mass of Chinese inaction, and the sole hope for the beginning of a revolution of existing methods lies in finding some way in which the foreigner can levy a direct tariff in return for his services, where no expense will be incurred by the Chinese themscl ves previous to the charge for actual services rendered, and where the direction of the maintenance of the facilities created will not be 245

PAGE 252

246 An American Engineer in China under Chinese control. This can be accomplished practically only by railways, and not by improving rivers or making highways, even if the latter would satisfy the requirements of modern commercial conditions. In China, therefore, we shall see rail ways built first, followed by highways and event ually by improved rivers, as might naturally be expected in the country where the order of things is a! ways reversed. vVhen about r86o the opening of the interior of China was first serious! y considered by foreign ers, the extraordinarily favorable conditions for railways was at once appreciatec!, and from then to now there has been a constant outside pressure on the Chinese officials and people to overcome their national antipathy to change. But it was not until 1876 that official consent was obtained for the first line. This was projected to run nine miles, from Shanghai to Wu-sung, at the junction of the \Vhang-poo and Yang-tze Rivers, on the former of which Shanghai is situated. The line was con structed with a thirty-inch gauge, and, although it traversed a perfectly flat country, it was given an absurdly tortuous alignment, in order to avoid graves, special tracts of land, houses, and similar The Chinese regarded the construction with apparent indifference. But foreigners, al though knowing that in itself line had no great importance, nevertheless hailed the project as the opening of the door to future raihvay operations.

PAGE 253

Chapter IX: Railways 247 Almost immediately after its completion, the Chinese Government bought it, an act that was believed to indicate that they were ready to take up railways. It was true, for they took up this one and threw the rails, cars, and locomotives into the river, and with them went all hopes that an era of-Chinese development toward accidental civiliza tion had arrived. After this disappointment railway construction languished, and China continued to get along, as she had done for many centuries, and as indeed she does still, with junks, sampans, ponies, and coolies. Some statesmen, by means of memorials to the throne, urged upon the imperial authorities the advisability of making a change and adopting a new order of things; but the memorials were referred to some Government board, where they were conveniently pigeonholed. But the first actual forward step was in connection with the Kai-ping coal-mines, eighty-four miles northeast of Tien-tsin. This fine deposit of really excellent bituminous coal required an outlet to market. In 188 r the construction of a small tram-way was begun to transport coal a few miles to a river, whence it could find its way by junk to tide-water. This little tram-way, projected by the native proprietors to be operated by horses, was the real beginning of the Chinese railway system. The work was intrusted to an English engineer, Mr. C. W. Kinder, to whose courage and persist-

PAGE 254

The Rocket of China" and Mr. Kinder

PAGE 255

Chapter IX : Railways 249 ence the present status of rail way development in China is largely due. He began, unknown to the Chinese, the construction of a small locomotive, made up mainly from parts of old machines that he could obtain on the ground. This engine, appropriately named the Rocket of China," was actually put in service on this colliery tram-road during the first year of the road's operation, and served to convert it from its original character into a real steam railway. By demonstrating to the Chinese owners the great economy of steam traction, this engine appealed to their pocketbook reasoning, the nearest way to reach the native mind, and so won for itself a permanent place. Step by step, mile by mile, the little rail way was extended, first to Tien-tsin ; then in I 893, ninety miles, to Shan-hai-kwan, the point where the Great vVall of China runs into the sea; and by 1899 forty miles farther, to Chung-hou-so, with construction projected, and at this writing just completed, to Niu-chwang, where connection is to be made with the Chinese Eastern Railway, the .Manchurian branch of the Rcssian Trans-Si berian road. That the railway has become a permanent institution in China there is, of course, no question. The energy of the Government in pushing the construction of its own system proves that the day of tearing up rails, as was clone on the \Vu-

PAGE 256

zso An American Engineer in China sung line, is past. It is, indeed, the opinion and confident belief of all who have investigated the subject, that the time is at hand when the actual system that is to cover the Empire with its lace-work of steel may not only be projected on paper but be actually begun in practical construction. Matters of this kind, however, move slowly in China. Although the Northern Railway had proved its commercial desirability and success, it was not until the war with Japan had shown the helplessness of the country, by reason of the entire lack of rapid and certain means of communication, that measures were taken looking to decisive action. The country was divided into two sections, called North and South, but with no exact delimitations, over each of which there was installed an official with the title of Director-General of Railways; and railways were talked of and projected for the length and breadth of the land. Up to the year 1896, connection between Tientsin and Peking, a distance of eighty miles, was maintained either by junks on the Pei Ho or by ox-carts. In that year, however, the rail way between these two places was begun, and completed in May, 1897. We thus have a line, about five hundred miles long, running from Peking to its port, Tientsin, and thence northeasterly through the Great \Vall, which is owned by the Government and was constructed by it under the direction of Mr. Kinder and through the instru-

PAGE 257

Chapter IX : Railways mentality of English banking houses. This railway, which owes its inception to the ingenuity and courage of Mr. Kinder, and its completion to its nearness to Peking, whereby its benefits were forced upon the attention of the imperial authorities, has been the pioneer of like improvements in China. Considered on its merits, its importance arises from its connecting the capital of the country with the coast, and forming the highway between China and the Russian Trans-Siberian Rail way, rather than from its being a great factor in local development. In this latter respect the Imperial Railway will be exceeded by other lines. In the chapter devoted to the consideration of commerce and trade conditions, the importance of the four great points of distribution, Tien-tsin, Shanghai, Canton, and I-Iankow, was shown, serving respectively the northern, central, southern, and interior sections of the Empire, with Shanghai as the chief port of original entry. The commercial supremacy of these points is irrevocably fixed by geographical conditions, and necessarily the lines of primary importance in China's future railway system will be those connecting them. As it happens, the four places are about equally distant from each other, say seven hundred miles, except that Hankow lies midway and in line between Canton and Tien-tsin. In the past, China has been able to carry on her commerce because these four cities enjoyed water connections. But

PAGE 258

252 An American Engineer in China modern conditions require a more certain and speedy means of communication. Especially is this the case at Tien-tsin, where the port is closed by ice for near! y one-third of every year. Agitation for concessions for these lines followed closely on the conclusion of the Japanese \Var, the first one granted being a warded in I 897 to a Belgian syndicate for the construction of the link between Hankow and Peking, or rather with a junction with the Tien-tsin-Peking line just outside of the capital, and this was followed in I898 by a like concession to the American syndicate for the construction of the section joining Hankow and Canton. These two railways when completed will form an almost direct north and south line, from Canton, the great southern port, to Tientsin, the northern port, and Peking, the capital, through Hankow, the metropolis of the interior. Such a line \VOtdd cli vide the Empire proper into about equal portions east and west, and as it will cross the Yang-tze River at the head of large ship navigation at a point midway between its terminals, the com bincd railway and the river will approximately quarter the Empire. .Moreover, these two rail ways, considered as one, will constitute the backbone of the future railway system of China. \Vork on the line has passed the stage of beginning. The American half has been surveyed, and construction on the Belgian section has progressed from both ends. In I 896, construe-

PAGE 259

Chapter IX : Railways 253 tion, at that time under the direction of the Government, was begun southerly from Peking, and in February, 1899, had reached Pao-ting Fu, a distance of eighty miles. This section shortly afterward was turned over to the Belgians to operate, who have since extended it thirty miles more, and built, but not yet commercially operated, twenty-five miles north from Hankow, with other construction pending. In the meantime the reconstruction of the destroyed vV u-sung line was decided upon. The work was undertaken by Sheng Ta-jen, the Director-General of Imperial Chinese Railways of the South, was completed during 1898, and put under contract to be turned over at cost to an English syndicate when so required by the latter. Of what I have above mentioned as" primary" lines the Canton-1-Iankow-Peking connection is provided for. On two of the others, a beginning has been made. A concession has been awarded to an English syndicate for a railway from Shanghai to Nan.king, the initial step toward a line between Shanghai and Hankow; and from a point on the Yang-tze, opposite Chin-kiang, which latter will be on the Shanghai-Nan-king Railway, a concession has been a warded for an extension north to Tien tsin, thus forming the Tien-tsinShanghai connection. This latter line, whose length is about seven hundred and seventy-five miles, is divided between English and German

PAGE 260

254 An American Engineer in China interests, the latter contracting for the northern part through Shan-tung, four hundred and seventyfive miles, and the former undertaking the balance between Shan-tung and the Yang-tze, three hundred miles. The remaining primary line, that between Shanghai and Canton, is still in abeyance, and this will be slower to develop than the others, as it is paralleled by deep-sea navigation, and moreover has to cross the successive drainage lines that run to the coast, making construction expensive. Its possibility is indicated by concessions for the terminal ends being already a warded to a British syndicate in a surveyed route from Shanghai to Ning-po via Hang-chow, two hundred miles, and in another project from Canton to Kow-loon, one hundred miles. Such are the main stems either under actual construction or under more or less serious consideration. Lines of secondary importance already projected are numerous. The "Peking Syndicate," an Anglo-Italian combination, which controls a large area of coal-fields in Shan-si and Shen-si, claims railway rights, under a general clause in their concession, amounting to about nine hundred miles, ramifying through the provinces named, connecting with the Belgian and British lines and the Yang-tze in order to bring their coal to market. On these, however, nothing has yet been clone. The Germans in Shan-tung are at work building a local system connecting their

PAGE 261

Chapter IX : Railways port at Kiao-chow, while the French in Kwang-si and Yun-nan have secured concessions aggregating about four hundred miles, to extend their own Tong-king railway into the two provinces named. Of these latter the construction of the line from Lang-son on the frontier to N an-ning Fu, one hundred miles, is now in hand. There is one element in the Chinese railway situation, however, whose importance is second to no other, which of necessity will continue to be a great factor in the future, and that is the presence and participation of the Russians. Their interests have been con centra tecl in the construction of the Trans-Siberian system, the obtaining of outlets on the Pacific coast and the eventual exten sion of its rails into Chinese territory. To these ends there has been no wasting or scattering of Russia's forces or energies. In point of view of money spent and results accomplished, Russian attainments vast! y exceed those of all the other nations combined, but it is often somewhat difficult to decide whet her their operations are on Chinese or Russian soil. The line to Vladivostock traverses what is nominally Chinese Manchuria, for I,ooo miles, while the branch known as the Chinese Eastern, from Kirin to Port Arthur and Ta-lien-wan, strikes north and south through Manchuria, which is still considered Chinese territory, but where Russian influ ence, through the Port Arthur lease, is being im-

PAGE 262

256 An American Engineer in China pressed un the people gradually, but none the less effectual! y. This line will have a length of about four hundred miles, of which one hundred and twenty-five miles between Port Arthur and Niuchwang are already built. In addition, Russia claims, as conceded, branches from the Belgian Hankow-Peking line, aggregating four hundred and eighty miles. The figures relating to concessions, and in fact any statements in regard to them, are necessarily vague and uncertain and constantly subject to change. But few actual surveys have been made and the maximum mileage in each case is usually claimed. On the other hand, the terms of the concessions are guarded as closely as possible, so that it is difficult to ascertain what has been actually granted. Some so-called concessions may not have been finally executed, while perhaps, although not likely to be the case, there are others in existence which have not been made known. Summarizing the figures, such as they are, we find the present status of Chinese railways to be about as follows: Constructed: Miles. Chinese Government system . . . . . . . 534 Belgian concession . . . . . . . . . . 135 British concession . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 German Shan-tung concession.. . . . . . 10 Russian Manchurian lines ................ 125 Total ............................. 814

PAGE 263

Chapter IX: Railways Under construction : Miles. Belgian concession . . . . . . . . . . . 55 French concession . . . . . . . . . . . 100 German concession . . . . .. . . . . . . 96 Russian Manchurian lines ................ 375 Chinese, part of American concession. . . ro Total ............................. 636 Concessions granted to foreig1lers, indudi11g the above: Miles. British, including Peking syndicate ....... 2,ooo American . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 900 Russian, excluding 1 ,ooo miles of Siberian railway............................ . 88o German . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8oo Belgian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]oo French................................ 400 Total conceded . . . . . . . . . 5,68o 'vVe have thus in China, including the Russian branch in Manchuria, only about eight hundred miles of railway serving a country whose area is nearly half as large as that of the United States, and whose population is said to be 40o,ooo,ooo. Lines aggregating zo,ooo miles could well be built during the next ten years with profit. For the construction of these and other lines recourse must be had to foreign capital, aided by the Chinese Government. Although the Chinese Government itself, under English advice and financial assistance, has been able to construct and

PAGE 264

258 An American Engineer in China successfully operate over five hundred miles in and about the "metropolitan district," the task of constructing and organizing the great system that is already so im perati vel y needed is one from which any government might well shrink, especially one so conservative and opposed to innovation as that of China. On the other hand, while there is a large amount of private wealth in China, native capitalists have not been instructed in the idea of combining in large joint-stock companies, and therefore the initiative must devolve on the foreigner. The concessions referred to are a means to overcome these difficulties, permitting the Government to give, which they began to do in 1897, to foreigners the right to construct and operate railways. These concessions clearly state, however, that the title to the property thus to be created re.mains in the Government (according to Chinese theory, the Emperor is the owner of all things), and that the money required for construction is to be advanced by the foreigner as a loan. In order that the latter may recoup himself for this loan, he receives bonds guaranteed, both as to principal and interest, by the Government, bearing five per cent. interest, payable in the current gold coin of the foreigner's country. These bonds are issued at such a reasonable discount as to pay the expense of making the issue to the investing public, and limited to such an amount as is neces-

PAGE 265

Chapter IX: Railways sary to pay only the legitimate cost of construction, so that the purchasers of the bonds receive a security based on positi\'e value and without the usual "watering." The time of the loan varies with each concession, but is usually between forty and fifty years. During this time the control of the property, so far as financial matters are concerned, is vested absolutely in the foreigner's hands, and, so far as local matters are concerned, in a board in which the foreign element and in-. fluence predominate. To pay the foreigner for his labor he is entitled to receive a certain proportion, usually twenty per cent., of the net earnings, if any, after meeting operating expenses and interest. The bonds are redeemable at a price fixed in the contract of concession, so that, in the event of the credit of the Chinese Government improving, the first issue may be refunded at a lower rate. At the end of the fixed period and on repayment of the loan the foreigner's interest will cease entirely, and the Chinese are to take over the management. Other provisions require the foreigner to maintain a school of instruction; to consider Chinese on an equal footing with foreigners for appointment; to permit natives to invest in the securities; to transport Government troops and munitions of war at half rates; and, in the event of war between China and another power, not to give aid to the enemy. On the other hand, the full power of the Government is

PAGE 266

26o An American Engineer in China pledged, in addition to its financial guarantee, to protect the foreigner in the full and unrestricted right, according to the terms of the concession, to use and enjoy the fruits of his labors. This combination, wherein there is secured, on the one hand, the knowledge, experience, and financial assistance of the foreigner, and, on the other, the support, both moral and actual, of the Government, when a permanent one is established, is a most happy one. It assures security to the investor, and obtains for China not only the possibility of rapid development, but the eventual return to the hands of her own people of the properties which her credit in the first instance created. As the Government liability is limited to five per on the actual cost, it is not expected that it will be called on for any payment, as each railway should earn net, above operating expenses, at least that return. The danger in the method lies in that, owing to the fact that the securities issued for the construction of railways are guaranteed by the Government, promoters will not consider sufficiently well the earning power of the lines they project and will build lines either not immediately needed or more rapid! y than local trade conditions can assimilate, and so place on the Government a yearly burden of interest in excess of the net returns. This risk must be guarded against by patriotic and wise care on the part of the Chinese officials,

PAGE 267

Chapter IX: Railways and by cautious and conservative investigation on the part of the foreign projectors. The political aspect of the situation is unique, since we see established on the soil of another country the people of six different foreign nations, with rights and privileges granted and guar anteed by the local Government, a situation which may contain the germs of future complications. Looking at it from the strategical point of view, we see the control of all the country north of the Chinese province of Chi-li absolutely in Rus sian hands. South from Tien-tsin, German inter ests are paramount, while between these and the Russians there stands the Imperial Chinese Rail way system as a buffer. The lane! approaches to Shanghai from the north, west, and south have been secured by the English. Hankow, as respects the north and east, is under the Belgian domination. The American concession secures the approaches to Hankow from the west and south, and to Canton from the west and north, that is to say, it controls the southwestern quarter of the Empire. On the other hand, the French have established themselves in the south and south west, while the Japanese are understood to have eyes on the coast opposite Formosa. Some of the railway projects in China have been prompted undoubtedly much more by foreign politics than by commercial motives. As long as other nations have a foothold on Chinese ter-

PAGE 268

z6z An American Engineer in China ritory under the thin guise of "leases," and either claim to have a voice in the administration of local affairs through "spheres of influence" or are possessed with the fear that their rivals may in some way secure special favors, the various European powers will endeavor to put themselves in advantageous positions, either to seize territory in the event of a break-up, or to prevent others from doing so. There exists a general belief in China, which repeated authoritative de nials seem, curiously enough, to strengthen, that Russian influence was behind the Belgian syndicate in procuring the railroad concession from Peking to Hankow, the theory being that Russia's design is either to form, ultimately, a through line from St. Petersburg to the Yangtze River, or to have something ready to offer in trade for other concessions in the north of more immediate benefit to herself and of less threatening aspect to Great Britain. Whether true or not, this supposed Russian "move" was immediately met by the British Government despatching two parties to China under the charge of army officers to prospect for a route for a railway controlling the Yang-tze Valley, usually considered as Great Britain's "sphere," and connecting with the Burma system. One of the lines projected follows up the Yang-tze from Hankow to Chung-king, and thence to Burma. The other runs across the northwest of Hu-nan, and

PAGE 269

Chapter IX: Railways through Y un-nan, by a more direct route, to the same objective. They would ha\'e a length of about 1,700 and I,550 miles respectively. They could be supported only as a political necessity, for while a part of each would traverse a rich, productive and remunerative territory, neither as a whole would be profitable for many years. The other nations that have political interests at stake are Germany, who appears to be content to develop the resources of Shan-tung as a local venture, and France, who, branching out from her Anam and Tong-king possessions, is desirous somehow to reach across the Empire and clasp hands with her :Muscovite ally in the north. No sadder thing could happen, not only for China, but for the world at large, than to have some such scheme of interference or European division become a reality. Two questions, each of vital importance, present themselves in connection with possible railway development. Firstly, will the Chinese permit their construction, or will the national antipathy to innovation and superstitious fear of violation of ancestral tombs prevent the introduction of so revolutionary a thing as a railway? Secondly, if constructed, will railways pay? The principal opposition to railway construction in China has come largely, I believe, from the of ficial class, which has realized quite well that on the introduction of modern means of communica-

PAGE 270

264 An American Engineer in China tion, and the general enlightenment of the country that would inevitably follow, its power would be broken and its prerogatives greatly reduced. Of course, there exists among the people a strong prejudice against any innovation, but this prejudice can be, and is, easily overcome wherever the innovation has official support and encouragement. The general popular opposition to rail ways in China is double, being partly religious and part! y through fear of competition against manual labor. Being ignorant, the common people are naturally superstitious, and every district has its sacred hill or its holy river wherein resides the spirit of the local protecting deity, which, if interfered with, dreadful disaster will result. An amusing instance concerns an island in the interior on which it was necessary to make some excavation in the course of railway work. At once the literary gentry were up in arms, explaining that the island was really a fish who kindly kept watch over the adjacent city, and that if an excavation were made the fish's backbone would be cut and he would die. Such is one form of popular and superstitious opposition. Another formidable obstacle is found in connection with the graves of ancestors, which are the most-important outward evidence of Chinese religion. Unfortunately, these graves are not placed in regular cemeteries but are scattered more or less broadcast over the surface of the country, so that it is impossible to run

PAGE 271

Chapter IX: Railways a railway line without frequently interfering with them. At first this objection seemed fatal, and the earlier lines were given an alignment that would prove seriously detrimental to important railways. When the matter became acute in the construction of the Imperial Railway in the north, the question was taken up for settlement on a business basis, and eight taels was reached as a sort of tariff to compensate the resident for the disturbance of each dead ancestor and to pay for the removal of the latter to a new restingplace. Experience has shown that this charge was somewhat in excess of actual cost, for r.ot only has opposition practically ceased, but a ne\V business has sprung up. It is found that if the natives learn in advance of the location of a new line, that the more enterprising among them, if so unfortunate as not to have a family buryingground in the way, will borrow from their neighbors the temporary loan of a few grandfathers whom they will quietly.re-bury in advance of the work. The charge of eight tacls seems sufficient to pay the expense of the double handling, with a commission to the owner of the ancestor, and yet leave an attractive profit to the borrower. A more reasonable objection to the building of rail ways is the fear that the coolies, who now carry their goods and produce over their poor highways on their backs, one hundred pounds at a load, or the junkmen who now take weeks or

PAGE 272

266 An American Engineer in China perhaps months to move a cargo of American kerosene a few hundred miles, will be deprived of their means of support and existence. This was urged to me by intelligent local officials and merchants, who appeared genuinely desirous to know what a railroad was and what its effects would be. \Vhen it was explained to them that similar fears had been found to be groundless in other countries, and that railways, instead of decreasing, gave increased employment at higher wages by diversifying and developing new means of trade, the local merchants and land-owners almost without exception seemed satisfied and urged my speedy return. The native prejudices, although strong, are not by any means insuperable, and can be conquered by tact, firmness, and money. In order to give an answer to the second question, that is, as to whether the financial returns will pay a sufficient profit on the investment-for it must be remembered that the Chinese natives are very poor and apparently have no money for travelling-let us first turn to China's more advanced neighbors and see what they have clone with their railways. On one side we have India and on the other Japan. \Vhile the Hindus and Japanese are races different from each other and from the Chinese, the differences are not so great as to destroy the usefulness of the comparison. They are all Eastern

PAGE 273

Chapter IX: Railways Asiatics, with many institutions-and even relig ions in part-in common; their countries have dense populations, while they themselves possess a natural disinclination to change established ways, a strong and almost bigoted desire for hand-labor methods, and a more or less deep suspicion of for eign ideas. The Indian system of railways is of many years' growth, and has now attained a length of 25,000 miles. It may be urged that this gets its strength, and therefore has reached its development, through British, and not native, sources, and con sequently is not a fair guide for comparison with proposed railways in other Eastern countries. It is, of course, true that the original incentive and the power of promotion was of foreign origin; but it is equally true that, unless the great mass of people in the locality concerned will patronize the newer systems of transportation--no matter how energetically promoted and extolled-the latter will not be profitable, and ii the first lines do not pay, no subsequent ones will be built. The Indian system does pay, in spite of very heavy cost in construction, and pays chiefly through the receipts from those classes who usually are not supposed to have the means at hand. The receipts of the whole Indian system amount to $4,000 gold per mile, while the receipts of the "standardgauge" portion are more than $s.ooo per mile, with the chief lines showing results as high as

PAGE 274

Khojack Tunnel on the Sind-Peshin Railway, India

PAGE 275

Chapter IX : Railways $r r,ooo goid, which may be contrasted with an average of $6,ooo per mile for the railways in the United States. These figures, too, are obtained in a country where the natives are as poor as any to be found on the Asiatic continent, and where a heavy mineral traffic, such as that in coal, is not obtainable, as it is in the more favored Eastern countries. The Japanese railway system, however, is quite free from the objection that may be brought against the Indian rail ways as standards of comparison, because here we have all the usual oriental conditions without foreign pressure, except perhaps in the case of such foreign engineers or others as may have been retained from time to time for advice. Hence, in the Japanese system we find an example by which we can judge of the possibilities of development as to the capacity of the Eastern Asiatic not only to adapt himself to new conditions, but to take up the construction and management of so essentially an occidental idea as a railway, and also of his own initiative to suggest, promote, and carry out new lines. The case of Japan is peculiar. Prior to the visit of Commodore Perry, in r853, it was a country practical! y closed to the outside world, and was therefore far behind its neighbor, China, which had been carrying on trade with foreign nations for over three hundred years. In r87o there was undertaken the construction of a line from Tokyo,

PAGE 276

Japanese Passenger Train

PAGE 277

Chapter IX : Railways the capital, to Y okohama, the chief port, a distance of eighteen miles, whose operation was begun in 1872. In 1893 the system had grown to 1,871 miles, and at the present time there are in actual operation about 4,ooo miles. These railways are of three kinds: first, the Government line, which constitutes the main stem, from Tokyo westerly along the coast through the great centres of trade and population, Y okohama, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe; second, private lines, built with the aiel of a Government subsidy; third, private lines, without Government aid. Of the existing mileage, about nine hundred miles belong to the Government and 3,100 miles to private companies, of which the most important is the Nippon Railway Company, whose lines run east and northeast from Tokyo. The early Japanese lines were built by foreign, usually English, engineers and operated by foreign managers. But nearly all the foreigners have since been replaced by Japanese officials, and no new ones are engaged, the natives having amply demonstrated their ability to do all the work of planning, constructing, and operating. The principal lines are double-tracked. Such single lines as exist are operated according to the English system of the train staff; and as the enginemen are natives, at wages averaging $r2 per month, some such mechanical method, instead of the American system of telegraph despatching, is

PAGE 278

Typical Large Railway Station in Japan

PAGE 279

Chapter IX : Railways a necessity. The track is of the American type, with Hat-footed rails on wooden cross-ties and stone ballast. The rolling stock is of the European design, with cross compartments in the passenger cars and freight equipment of the "truck" order. The locomotives, on the other hand, are both European and American. In order to suit the passenger cars the stations have high platforms, and the buildings, though simple in design, are effective and usual! y models of neatness. Passengers are not admitted to the platform except with tickets, and are not allowed to cross the tracks except by an overhead bridge. The train schedules are generous in regard to frequency of trains, and call for speeds of from twenty to thirty miles per hour. Trains are usually on time. The results of operation are in every way satisfactory, and are sufficient to completely dispel any fear that the Oriental races will fail to appreciate modern conditions when they have become used to them; for it must be kept in mind that it is only within the last few years that Japan has attained commercial prominence, and that it was but a short time since she occupied a position inferior to other Asiatic peoples. The Government lines earn per mile per annum about $8,ooo gross, while the private lines, many of which are located in the sparsely settled and mountainous districts, succeed in averaging $3,500; but, owing to the

PAGE 280

Typical Small Railway Station in Japan

PAGE 281

Chapter IX : Railways 275 low cost of labor, the ratio of operating expenses is much less than is found in the United States, ranging from forty per cent. to fifty per cent., thus giving a higher net return than is usual with equal gross receipts on railways in the United States. Japan being insular, the rail ways there are sub ject to junk and steamer competition, and as the Japanese coal-mines are located on the sea, such traffic is almost ex cl usi vel y water-borne. The for mer condition deprives the railways of through freight, and the latter of coal and similar classes of heavy goods, except to interior points. To American eyes the anomaly in the returns is the fact that passenger receipts exceed those from freight, the ratio of earnings on the Government lines being about as three to one, although on the private lines, where the population is much less dense, there is a nearer approach to equality. The same state of affairs is found to exist on the Indian system and on the Imperial Chinese Rail way so far as it is built, thus indicating the ex istence of similar conditions of life throughout all the Far East. Contrary, therefore, to the or dinarily accepted belief, the Oriental is by nature a traveller when he gets the opportunity. and the extent to which he will travel is enormous. On the 66o miles of Government lines in Japan, there were carried in the year 1898 no fewer than 28,ooo,ooo passengers, an average per mile

PAGE 282

276 An American Engineer in China of 42,000. The average number of passengers per mile of railway in the United States is about 3,000. Taking a more striking comparison, the whole Japanese system, Government and private, Passengers Getting on a Train in China in 1898 aggregating 2,468 miles, carried 84,040,963 passengers, while the New York Central Railroad, in the same year, with 2,395 miles-or almost exactly the same length of line-carried 24,074,254 passengers, the relative density in favor of the Japanese being thus more than three to one; and

PAGE 283

Chapter IX : Railways this in spite of the fact that theN ew York Central had the benefit of including among its passengers all the traffic received from vVestern, New Eng land, and other connecting lines. Even when making a comparison as to passenger mileage, the volume of business is found to be in favor of the Japanese system in the proportion of two to one, the passengers carried one mile being l.n one case 1,438,014,632, and in the other 7I2,1 15,222. Nor are the rates of fare at which this business is done so very low; in fact, some of the charges are high enough to excite the envy of the orcli nary American traffic manager. In India there are four classes of passenger accommodation, the rates per mile ranging from 0.3 cent to 2-4 cents gold. In Japan there are three classes, the charges being 0.7 cent for the third class, 1.4 cent for the second, and 2. I cents for the first. These last rates, adopted one year ago, are an in crease of one-third over the previous figures, it being found that the natives demanded better facilities and were willing to pay for them. On the Chinese Imperial Railway the rates are I 76 cents for first-class and %' cent second-class, at which prices, considering the shortness of the line, an enormous business is done. Although the rates for the lower classes seem low, it is to be remembered that the accommodations offered are of the simplest and cheapest character, pas sengers in China being transported in open gon-

PAGE 284

Japanese Railway Freight Station

PAGE 285

Chapter IX : Railways dola cars. The charges for first-class travel in all the countries referred to are seen to compare favorably with American charges, again bearing in mind that the heavy, expensively decorated American coach is unknown in the East. But freight rates are proportionately higher, the larger charges being rendered possible by competition with man-carried transportation, in which necessarily the cost is great, even in spite of the very low wages paid. In India the freight tariff per ton per mile ranges from r.6 to 5 cents; in Japan on ordinary goods from 1 to 2 cents with reductions for large consignments, and in China from 1.2 to 2.25 cents. In r8g8 the average charge per ton per mile on the whole Japanese system was I cent, as compared with o.6 cent on the New York Central. It would appear from these figures that two pop. ular beliefs in regard to traffic conditions in the Far East are fallacious; viz., that the natives are too poor to afford to pay for modern facilities, and that they will not travel freely. The facts are otherwise. Their poverty is partly clue to the high charges the deficient native methods inflict, which prevent any movements except those ot great inherent profit which can afford the traffic expenses while in the interior of any of the countries here concerned none but the rich can gratify their desire to travel. Where the only facility afforded to the poor man is to walk, it be

PAGE 286

z8o An American Engineer in China comes a condition as fatal to general movement in China as it would be in any other country. As a simple example of what the Chinese will do when they have the opportunity, the reports of the Canton Customs Office show that the steamers between Hongkong and Canton carry annually nearly I,ooo,ooo passengers, a daily average of 2,500, in addition to a large but cheaper travel by native junk, of which no record is kept. The electric trolley car is a form of railway development which as yet has made but little head way, but which is certain to attain great success, being peculiarly suited to the needs of the Chinese on account of the density of population, and the inherent tendency of the natives to prefer short journeys, and journeys made at all hours, rather than at fixed intervals on a regular schedule. The electric tram-way has recently secured a foothold in Japan, in Siam, and in a few other isolated points; a few years hence will see its general use. One curious and unfortunate feature in connec. tion with Asiatic railways is the diversity of gauges, with the entailed certainty of all the inconveniences, delays, and unnecessary expenses that were experienced in the United States until a uniform gauge was at last adopted. The gauge of the Japanese system is 3 feet 6 inches, which is found to be inconveniently small; but as all the lines are alike, and as no outside connections are possible, it is not likely that any change will be

PAGE 287

Chapter IX : Railways zSr made-at least, not for a long time. On the Continent the conditions are more complicated, and such that some day will certainly give trouble. The Russian Trans-Siberian Rail way, and the Chinese Eastern Railway (which is the extension of the former through Manchuria, still nominally Chinese territory) to Port Arthur and to a connection with the Imperial Chinese Railway, has a gauge of 5 feet, in accordance with Russian standards. The Indian railways, on the other band, have an assortment of gauges, one of 5 feet 6 inches, miscalled the standard gauge," being used on the principal lines to the extent of about 14,000 miles. Again, a gauge of r metre is in force on over ro,ooo miles, while odd gauges of 2 feet and 2 feet 6 inches are found on a number of short lines, aggregating, however, nearly 1,000 miles. The Chinese authorities on the Imperial system in the north, and on the Shanghai-\Vu-sung line, have adopted the European and American standard of 4 feet 8_% inches; and as the same dimension is being followed by the Belgians on their Hankow-Peking line, and will be used on the English and American concessions, a standard is thus formed that will ultimately dominate the Empire, and which in the end the exigencies of traffic will compel the Russian aJ1d Indian railways to adopt. The time will come, and perhaps at no very distant day, when it will be possible for a traveller starting, we may say, from Paris, to traverse North

PAGE 288

Second-class Train on the Imperial Chinese Railway

PAGE 289

Chapter IX: Railways Europe by way of Berlin and Moscow; and to proceed thence through Siberia; south to Peking and China; across India, Persia, and Asia Minor; by car-ferry over the Bosphorus ; and thence through Austria and the Tyrol back to his starting point, without changing cars. In style of construction the Chinese railways are a compromise between European and American lines. They are all single-track lines, except the division between Tien-tsin and Peking. The track is of the American type; the locomotives are partly American and partly English; and the cars, both passenger and freight, are an adaptation of both the American and English patterns, made to conform with local conditions, and in their construction to come within the facilities of local shops, for all the rolling stock, except the engines, is home-made. As a field for the future, China stands preeminent on account of its size, its population, and its well-known but undeveloped mineral wealth, and offers chances and opportunities that are to be found nowhere else in the Orient. The Japanese, in his essentials, does not differ radically from other Eastern Asiatic races. Start ing from a point much inferior in the way of commercial development to that attained by the Chinese, he has built up, the greater part by his own individual and unassisted efforts, a railway system that can take rank with the railways of any other

PAGE 290

First-class Train on the Imperial Chinese Railway Passengers being supplied with food at a statior

PAGE 291

Chapter IX : Railways country. vVhat he has done the Chinese can do, and will do, especially seeing that the conditions for success on the mainland, with possibilities for through traffic and vast mineral deposits awaiting rail transportation outward, exceed those of insular Japan.

PAGE 292

Chapter X The Yellow Peril THERE are two questions in regard to China that are frequently raised, which merit attention on account of their being supported by a belief that appears to be quite wide-spread. One is whether it is not dangerous commercially to supply the Chinese with factories, mills, railways and other modern means of constructing, by means of which, operated by their cheap labor, they will be able to flood the world with articles at a price lower than they can be manufactured elsewhere, and thus close our own factories, or compel our laborers to work for less pay. The other question is whether it is not dangerous politically to teach the Chinese modern methods, lest they will devote their energies to making arms and ammunition and overrun the world as Genghis Khan did, and make us all vassals of the Son of Heaven. Both questions are based on a fear of the so-called Yel low Peril. Let us take them up separately. The basis of the first is the prevailing low rate of wages. Although China is a land of surprises and contradictions, the law of supply and demand still remains true. A man is paid five cents a day, because he is worth no more, and because there are more men seeking employment than the 286

PAGE 293

Chapter X: The Yellow Peril z87 scant diversity of occupation offers opportunities. Wherever in any country the number of occupations is limited, the rate of wages is low; thus a man receives less for his labor in the rural districts, where the variety of pursuits is small, than he does in the cities, where it is great. Likewise wherever labor is specialized, so that the output of the article made is increased, wages rise; wherever labor is not specialized, wages fall. The extremes of the less desirable of the above conditions are those which exist in China. Ordi narily the man obtains his bare .living in the hardest possible manner. I ( a farmer, he not only raises his own food, but he spins his cotton or his wool for his clothes; he constructs his own farming implements and makes his own houses. If he be a Iaborer in his native cities, he does the most menial of work, such as carrying water, hauling loads, and doing things that with us are accomplished by animal or machine. We know of our own experience that wherever that is the case, wages rule low. The same thing is true in China. Take any one of the treaty ports where there are enough foreigners residing to make a settlement, wages will be found rising, and rising in proportion as there are activity and diversity of occupation. The more cotton mills, the more silk filatures, the higher are the wages paid. When, therefore, China has reached a condition in which she can invade us, it will be found that the

PAGE 294

z88 An American Engineer in China labor conditions will have adjusted themselves to a new level. It is very difficult to arg-ue against the propo sition that it is unwise to develop a country that some clay may surpass us in trade. Yet the dis cussion cannot be left in the condition that the burden of proof rests properly with the affiant, for those people who doubt the wisdom of the policy would consider such a course as conceding the argument. The proposition itself, if carried out to a logical conclusion, would mean that the world at large would be better off commercially if a nation like Germany for instance were ab solutely destroyed or relegated to barbarism. Or to put it in another form, haYe the iron masters of England been ruined by the growth of Pitts burg? Has the cause of civilization or the com mercial interests of other nations been injured by reclaiming what is now the United States from the Indian tribes who once possessed it? If this reasoning is objected to as not being parallel, in that the development of the United States was due to an overflow from European countries and was not the result of transforming an already ex isting population from a state of non-production to one of active competition, let us turn to the East for an illustration that is exactly parallel. \IVe will pass over the customs returns of China, which indicate unmistakably a growth in import trade commensurate with that in export, and take

PAGE 295

Chapter X : The Yellow Peril z89 up Japan. In this we find a country having a dense population, and one where the natives but a few years since were far behind the Chinese of to-day; where the prevailing rate of wages was lately equally low, but whose rapid rise into the ranks of great nations is the marvellous wonder of the age. It is not so very many years since Japan was tightly closed to any and all external relations, and even within a decade it looked to other countries for such manufactured articles as it consumed. Through wise statesmanship, new industries have been developed, trade nurtured, a merchant marine established carrying the flag of Japan into all ports, while its cities, like Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Yokohama, might be mis taken, if judged by their factory chimneys and active life, for some bustling cities in our own nervous \Vest. If there be anything in the Y ellow Peril, here surely is an opportunity where its evil effects can be seen. Here is a country, oriental in temperament, developed largely through its own energy, and which is not, as the United States may be said to be, a second Europe. What are the facts? In 1891 the United States sold to Japan goods valued at $4,8oo,ooo, and to about the same amount in 1895 In the five years intervening since the latter year, the phenomenal growth in Japanese industrial life has taken place. Instead of the consumption of foreign articles diminishing, as the alarmists would

PAGE 296

290 An American Engineer in China have it, the imports from the United States have increased by leaps and bounds, reaching in the fiscal year ended June 30, 1900, nearly $3o,ooo,ooo, an increase of about 6oo per cent. In 1891 our sales to China amounted to $12,ooo,ooo, or more than twice those to Japan, while in 1900 our exports to the former were about $21,ooo,ooo, or an increase of less than roo per cent. In short the advantage and benefit to the commerce of this country are greatest in connection with that oriental nation which developed the most. An increase of wages in Japan has taken place in comparison with the increase in trade, as was shown to be the case in China on a smaller scale. A few years ago the supply of farm hands was much greater than the demand; to-day there is difficulty in procuring enough to gather the crops, the men being attracted to the cities by the higher wages paid, and the cheap labor of Japan is fast disappearing. But even in spite of the difference in the ruling rate of wages, in manufactured cotton goods the United States is able to compete successfully with Japan in China, although in the matter of raw material the two nations stand on the same footing, as Japan imports American raw cotton to be manufactured in her own mills. On this point the Chinese Customs Report of 1898 says: "Jap anese sheetings show an immense decline, said to be due to inequality in texture, which handicaps them, in competition with American goods."

PAGE 297

Chapter X: The Yellow Peril 291 The Japanese labor is cheap because it is not as efficient. \Vhcn it is equally experienced, intel ligent and reliable, it will receive corresponding compensation. So it will be in China. The theory that would keep a large country, embracing an area equal to that of Europe, from the blessings and comforts of modern civilization, is based only on the idea that trade is not mutual and that the only customer to be desired is he that will buy but cannot sell. The second form of Y c llow Peril fear rests on the density of Chinese population. The popular ly conceived picture of China is one where the population has grown to the actual limits that the land can support, and that the "Yellow Terror" needs but the suggestion and the means to burst his bonds, and then from sheer necessity for the acquisition of more space will overrun Europe. Let us review briefly the facts in the case and ascertain what is the basis for the belief that the popu lation is either as great as it is popularly supposed to be or that the land is actually over-crowded. According to \Villiams, the first Chinese census of which there is any reliable record was one taken in the year I33I A.D., which placed the population of the Empire at something less than 6o,ooo,ooo. The first census to which any credit can be attached, however, was one reputed to have been taken in the year I 7 I I, placing the population at less than 29,ooo,ooo, or about one-half of what it

PAGE 298

292 An American Engineer in China was said to be 400 years before. Although there is considerable doubt as to whether this census included the whole of the Empire, the general looseness of statement in regard to the population is to be noted. In I 8 I 2 an elaborate Chinese census was said to have been compiled, placing the population of the country at 362,ooo,ooo, and in I 868 a Russian statistician named Vassilivitch estimated it at 405,ooo,ooo. In I88r figures collected through the Maritime Customs officials gave a total of 38o,ooo,ooo, being a decrease since I 868 and an absurd! y small increase since I 8 r 2. These last three censuses so called are the ones that are generally accepted as approximating the population of the country, and from which, relying on a normal rate of increase, the present population is generally assumed to be about 450,ooo, ooo. Such are the primary facts. Now what is the evidence in support of their reliability? Of course no actual count of the people in China has ever been undertaken in the same correct and careful manner that the regular count of foreign nations is periodically made. The Chinese officials attempt to keep a record of their people, which is done, not by counting heads, but by ascertaining the number of families in each mall district, and then by multiplying the number of families as reported by an average, assumed to give correctly the number of persons per family. In this manner the supposed population in any given district

PAGE 299

Chapter X: The Yellow Peril 293 is estimated. These figures are reported from time to time to the higher provincial officers, in order to determine the population of each province for taxation purposes, and it is on such figures that the great Chinese census of 1812 was made and the subsequent figures of Vassilivitch and the Chinese Customs compiled. If this method were pursued faithfully, even approximately, the gen eral result would be somewhere near the actual facts, but we know that the Chinese, of all peoples in the world, are the most inaccurate. Whenever a Chinese makes a statement it is invariably pre ceded by the word "about," and an accurate statement of figures or statistics is something entirely beyond his comprehension. His very system of counting stops at ten thousand, and when he wishes to use numbers above that, he is compelled to count by so many tens of thousands. The methods of written arithmetic and of recording figures are unknown to him. When he wishes to work out an example in addition or subtraction, or perform any other arithmetical solution, he does so, not with the figures before him, but on a counting machine. To him, figures, or rather accuracy in handling them, mean noth ing, but when he does use figures, he not only expresses them as "about," but invariably makes an overstatement. If a distance between two points is required, the figures given will always be in excess. If the price of an article is asked,

PAGE 300

294 An American Engineer in China it is always one greater than the real one, and even in stating his age, where one would naturally look for accuracy, he increases the actual figure by one year, by considering that the child is one year old when he is born, and thus it goes through all cases where he has to handle numbers. Such being the case, his own statements in regard to population cannot command our acceptance without corroborating evidence. As has been shown above, what might be termed the internal evidence of the figures themselves is far from convincing, for not only do the totals fail to show any correlation, but the details of the provinces also are sadly at variance. Thus the province of K wang-tung, where facts are easily ascertainable, was shown in 1812 to contain 19,I75,ooo people, and was given rg,2oo,ooo by the Customs estimate in 188r, while Sz-chucn, the extreme western province, much less travelled than Kwang-tung, was credited with 21,ooo,ooo in 1812, with 3S,ooo,ooo in 1881, and with over JO,ooo,ooo now. There has been no such disproportionate growth. The most important of these censuses is, of course, that given out by the Chinese Customs. But the l\1aritime Customs Bureau had no means of ascertaining the population except through taking the Chinese figures and making such allowance in them as seemed proper for local discrepanCles. The officials of the Customs are located at the treaty ports, where, of course, the greatest

PAGE 301

Chapter X: The Yellow Peril 295 concentration of population exists, and where the outward evidence would seem to support the estimates of a dense population. Various writers on China have discussed this question of population from both points of view. \Villiams, in his" Middle Kingdom," says: Whatever may be our views of the actual population, it is plain that these censuses, with all their discrepancies and inaccuracies, are the only reliable sources of information. As the question stands at present they can be doubted, but cannot be denied; it is impossible to prove them, still there are many grounds for believing them. The enormous total which they exhibit can be declared to be improbable, but not shown to be impossible." From this, \Villiams goes on to reason, although showing his own doubt, that we should accept the figures until they can be proved to be untrue. Dr. A. H. Smith, who probably knows China and the Chinese as well as any other writer, in his recent book on "Village Life" supports the idea of density of population as shown by the Chinese census, by giving results of actual counts in certain districts in the province of Shan-tung, which would seem to bear out the official figures. Among other critical observers, Mr. Colquhoun states his belief, when comparing India and China, the population of the former being fair! y well known, that the population of the latter would

PAGE 302

296 An American Engineer in China seem to be about 350,ooo,ooo, although admitting that other persons who have examined into this question have put the population below 300,ooo, ooo. An American, General James H. vVilson, who has travelled extensively in the northern part of China, which is probably the most densely populated portion, doubts the figures as stated by the various authorities and considers that 36o,ooo, ooo would be the maximum limit that he would believe. Other authorities can be quoted in a similar strain, the general summary of such opinions being that we should not doubt the Chinese fig ures until they are disproved, and that although the population appears to the writers to be great, it may not be so great as the census states. Such is the defence of the theory of great density of population. Of all the statements made, that possibly of Dr. Smith is entitled to the most respect, but his figures were taken from the province of Shan-tung, and on a portion of the great plain, where naturally the population is most dense, as there the greatest facilities for raising crops and supporting the population exist. As his work, that of a missionary, lay principally among villages and places where most people live, it is possible that even he did not make an allowance for the vast areas of waste ground which are to be found all over the Empire. While the portion of China actually inspected on my own journey and on other trips to the

PAGE 303

Chapter X: The Yellow Peril 297 north and elsewhere is small as compared with the whole, nevertheless the districts seen were certainly typical and contained the great centres of population. From what I saw I am forced to believe that the density of the population of China has been most grossly exaggerated. Nowhere, not even on the plains surrounding Peking, did I see anything approaching a condition of overcrowding. On all sides there was evidence in abundance that the soil could support a very much larger mass of people than it does at present, and my own attempts to secure figures relating to the population of the districts through which I travelled, convinced me that no reliability whatever could be placed on Chinese figures. In some cases it is true the local official presented me with a tabulated statement showing the population of a district, but when these figures were compared with figures for an adjoining district, and where in each case I was able to make at least a comparison as to the relative density of population of the two, the evidence of unreliability was so great that I was forced to discredit them both. In the majority of cases, inquiries as to population were productive of no results at all. As Dr. Smith himself states, such a question usually provokes the answer of "Who knows?" or "Quite a few." In one case in my own experience an application made to the local magistrate (the man who should keep in his yamen a

PAGE 304

298 An American Engineer in China record of the number of families) as to how many people lived in his district, he replied," Many tens of thousands." After he was pressed for greater detail, he replied that he had told me that there were "many" tens of thousands, and he appeared to really believe that the word "many" gave me an accurate answer to my question. vVhen it is recalled that such men as these are those who gather the basal figures for any census, and bearing in mind the general inaccuracy and looseness of statement characteristic of the Chinese, it seems to me that their figures of population should be set aside as almost unworthy of serious considera tion. The burden of proof is undoubtedly on the Chinese, and as there is no direct evidence to sup port their claim, and much to make one doubt it, the whole question seems to be fairly open for un biassed investigation. In other countries the average density of popu lation depends large! y upon the concentration of people in great cities. Of the total population of the State of New York, more than one-half of it is concentrated in a small area, covered by the City of New York. Of the population of Eng land, one-fifth of it is comprised in London alone; and if the population of all cities of over 5o,ooo in any country are removed from consideration, the average number of people per square mile will be found to be very low. It used to be supposed that the cities of China were exceedingly popu-

PAGE 305

Chapter X: The Yellow Peril 299 lous, Peking being credited with a population of several millions. This is now known and generally admitted not to be the fact, and Peking, instead of being one of the largest cities of the world, evidently does not possess over 7oo,ooo inhabitants. Taking, for example, the provinces of Hu-peh, Hu-nan, and Kwang-tung, along whose chief trade routes, and consequently most densely populated sections, my journey led me, of these Hu-peh is usually credited with something over 30,ooo,ooo. The only large centre of population of Hu-peh is Hankow, which, with Wu-chang and Han-yang, cannot have more than r,25o,ooo. \Vhile there are several other cities in the province, with possibly from 50,000 to roo,ooo people each, there is no other very large aggregation of people. Hu-nan has an area of 75,000 square miles, or just about one and one-half times as much as the State of New York. The former is credited with 22,ooo,ooo and the latter with about 7,ooo,ooo of people. My journey through Hu-nan is comparable with a trip from New York to Buffalo, along the line of the Erie Canal and the New York Central Railroad. On the first there are but two really large cities, Chang-sha and Siang-tan, to offset New York, Albany, Schenectady, Syracuse, Rochester, Buf falo, and intermediate points. It is impossible to see how there can be a relative density per square mile of more than two to one in favor of

PAGE 306

300 An American Engineer in China the Chinese province. K wang-tung is given 30,ooo,ooo, approximately, on an area of about 8o,ooo square miles. The northern part is mountainous and almost bare of people, and no crowd ing is apparent until Canton is approached. If the district of Canton, including Fatshan and the other places in the vicinity, be credited with 5,ooo,ooo-a most generous allowance-there would remain 25,ooo,ooo to be made up by the smaller cities and villages. If these places should average 2,500 people each, there would then be needed w,ooo of them. I am quite sure that no such number can be found. While I have no means of forming any estimate of the actual number of people to be found in these three provinces, I am convinced that the originally reputed figures are more than twice too great. This view ot overestimating on the part of the Chinese is corroborated by the report of a commission sent by the Chamber of Commerce of Lyons, France, in 1895, to investigate the trade conditions of certain parts of China, notably the provinces of Yun-nan and Sz-chuen, in which the French Government claimed special commercial privileges. In order to acquire information they subdivided their main body into several parties, and thus in their two years' work covered all the principal routes. Of the province of Yun-nan, they speak as follows: "There is the same uncertainty in the matter of

PAGE 307

Chapter X: The Yellow Peril 3or population. In spite of the authorities, we are forced to believe that the figure of twelve mill ions is too great, and that one of seven or eight millions would come closer to the truth, although a missionary who had travelled much throughout the province gave an estimate of from four to five millions." The province of Sz-chuen, which is the largest province in China, has assigned to it a population of 73,ooo,ooo. The French commission state that they discard, without hesitation, the above-named figure, and give as their estimate from 40,ooo,ooo to so,ooo,ooo, but add that the Customs authori ties at Chung-king and the missionaries estimate the population at from 30,ooo,ooo to 35,ooo,ooo. \Ve thus have a careful estimate made by men who can hardly be accused of pessimism, giving but sixty per cent. of the usually quoted figures. In addition to this they felt constrained to point out that the missionaries, who probably know the country better than anybody else, estimate the population on a basis of from thirty to forty per cent. The foreigner gets his idea of the overcrowd ing of China by a cursory trip through the streets of a Chinese city like Canton. These streets are narrow, being but from eight to twelve feet wide, and are consequently crowded, but he must re member that the widest one of Canton's busi ness streets is narrower than a single sidewalk in

PAGE 308

302 An American Engineer in China New York, and that any one of the latter city's thoroughfares carries many times more people than any one of Canton's streets. The net in crease of population in a country like China is out of all proportion to the net increase in coun tries with a modern civilization, and, therefore, a comparison with European or American figures, as is so often made, is out of question. Although the Chinese are prolific, there are many causes that operate to prevent a rapid net increase. Diseases like small-pox and typhoid are rampant, being en couraged by the vile sanitary conditions existing everywhere. Medicine, proper diet and nursing of the sick are things unknown, so that, when a native falls seriously ill, death is almost certain to result. The actual death-rate is, of course, unob tainable, as no statistics are kept, but all who have lived among the Chinese report that it is enor mously high, especially among young children. Then there are extraordinary causes to reduce growth, such as rebellions and famine. Rebel lions periodically have swept over the Empire, leaving in their wake a tremendous death-roll. The Tai-ping rebellion alone is supposed to be responsible for the killing of 15 ,ooo,ooo Chinese. In spite of what has been claimed, in spite of what has been written, I cannot see how it is pos sible for 40o,ooo,ooo people to be found within the limits of the Chinese Empire, and that, there fore, the overcrowding of the country by its so-

PAGE 309

Chapter X: The Yellow Peril 303 called teeming millions is a myth. \V hat the actual population is, it is impossible to say; but if an accurate count were taken, I should be very much surprised if the results were much above zoo,ooo, ooo, nor would I be incredulous of the result if the figure fell belO\v that amount. Even this figure, however, would give an average density of population about six times greater than that found in tbe United States. This question of population naturally leads to the consideration of a possibility of the \V estern W oriel, or at least Europe, being overrun by the Chinese. In this connection it must be remembered that mere force of numbers no longer constitutes the chief requirement for a successful military movement. The occasions when peoples have been conquered by others of a much lower civilization belong to a period when the socalled hordes were opposed by forces but little better armed than they, and when it was practically a struggle of man against man. Modern mechanical appliances in war and transportation have almost obliterated the value of disproportion in numbers. Against such appliances hordes and mobs are of little avail. The days of Genghis Khan and the Saracens, when each man carried only his spear or-sword, and when the force was not too large to be able to subsist off the country, are gone forever. An oriental army attacking Europe would have

PAGE 310

304 An American Engineer in China to consist of several millions of men, weighed down with rifles and ammunition, artillery and ordnance, and the other heavy impedimenta of modern warfare. Thus encumbered-for the whole of the equipment would have to be carried from the starting-base-this huge, unwieldy army would have to cross into Europe by one of the three land routes, for an attack by water would be impossible. These routes are: southwesterly across Burma into India, northwesterly across Siberia, or directly west across the high table-land of Central Asia; in any case a distance of at least 6,ooo miles. In either of the first two, the attacking force would be met by defending forces constantly in touch with their base of supplies, through their own railway systems, and which on retreating would form a greater concentration. The attacking force would be under the disadvantage of working further and further from its base, with its line of communication being thus constantly lengthened and attenuated, and maintained only by the constructing of new railways as it progressed, for, of course, the defending force, if defeated, would destroy their lines of communication. The last of these routes, that across Central Asia, would involve a march across a high and mountainous country, where there is practically no population, no means whatever of feeding and supporting the gigantic army re, quired, and where the combined Europeans could

PAGE 311

Chapter X: The Yellow Peril 305 leave climatic conditions, starvation, and other natural causes to protect them from the ad vancing foe. To be able to carry out such an invasion there would be required tremendous preparation, the development of.industrial enterprise, and the con sequent bringing up of the people to a high stand arc! of civilization. \Vhen that point is reached, the people themselves will shrink from general warfare, as other civilized nations do now, since their interests at home will transcend any possi ble gain to be obtained abroad. This reluctance in the case of the Chinese will be further enhanced through local racial prejudice, diversity of lan guage and temperament existing among them selves, as developed by climatic conditions, varying from the temperate to the tropical. The only way in which the yellow races can conquer the world, either commercially or actu ally, will be, not by force, not by hordes, but by peacefully developing a higher civilization as the Western vVorld has done. The contemplation of future generations receiving from the Far East a betterment in condition and a higher civilization is one that does not appear to contain many terrors.

PAGE 312

Chapter XI China in the Twentieth Century IN the preceding chapters there has been presented a brief review of the greater and more important conditions underlying and leading up to such industrial development in China as is found to exist at the close of the nineteenth century. I have endeavored to let the reader see the country, the people, their ways of doing things, what has been accomplished and the difficulties in the path of further progress, as these appeared to me. But what of the future? vVe have seen that the Chinese are absolute and unthinking slaves to precedent and established custom, and how in lieu of a practical and serviceable education they still continue to memorize the doctrines of Confucius, who, in his day, merely put into permanent and imperishable form the teachings of those whom even he called the ancients. Are these habits so firmly fixed after five thousand years of practice that they cannot be broken? Or in spite of all, does there exist in the Chinese character the latent trait of mobility? The Chinaman was once an engineer of no mean ability. Is he going to let things rest as they are, or will he set about to learn the newer application of science, especially modern methods of transportation, the direction in which he is most deficient? Will he 306

PAGE 313

Chapter XI: In the Twentieth Century 307 appreciate the benefits of railways and steam-boats, of mines and metallurgy, of factories and machinery, of steam and electricity? Such are the questions that the critic asks after a survey of the past and present, but which questions are not subject to an exact reply. In spite of difference in surroundings and appearances, of personal characteristics and idiosyncrasies, the Chinese are actuated by feelings, reasonings, passions, and motives similar to those of other human beings, so that it is justifiable to assume that similar causes will bring about similar results. The development of China, assisted at first perhaps by outside influence, but eventually carried on by the impulses of her own people, is as sure to come to pass as in the case of other nations; and when at last it has broken clown completely the wall of exclusion and isolation, the progress that will follow will produce great results, aided as it will be by the mineral wealth of the country and the industrious habits of the people. Japan in less than fifty years has risen from a condition far inferior to that of China to one where in every walk of life she justly receives the admiration of other nations. \V hat Japan has done there is nothing to prevent China doing. But before any regeneration of China can take place, there is one institution that must go, and will go, and one institution that must come, and will come. The first is the present official class, and their

PAGE 314

308 An American Engineer in China method of governing, and the last is modern education, the great prerequisite for a social revolution, and on which all rehabilitation of the people, including even their religi'on, will rest. These two are so interdependent that it is difficult to distinguish between cause and effect, but certain it is that the weakening of incompetent rule and the spread of accidental education are each at work to secure the accomplishment of the other. In no country is the gulf between the governing and the governed so wide and deep as it is in China. As has been explained, the former appreciate that their powers, perquisites, and opportunities for getting rich depend on maintaining the existing condition of affairs. No great or lasting advance is possible while the present system of officialdom and officialism continues. In this respect China resembles 1 a pan as the latter was when opened to the outside world by Com-. modore Perry, and down to the overthrow of the Shogun and the attending feudalism. When these surviving relics of by-gone centuries were swept away, and the power to govern and to act was concentrated in the hands of the l\likado, 1 a pan's regeneration began. There are men in China who are able to see beyond the immediate limits of their .personal ends, and who can patriotically consider the needs of their country, and there is rapid! y growing among the people an appreciation of wrongs suffered, and a possible betterment

PAGE 315

Chapter XI : In the Twentieth Century 309 to be obtained. This movement will eventually gather momentum sufficient to break down be fore it the barriers of ignorance, superstition, and selfishness that now impede its progress. In the achieving of this result outside help will do some good, but the greater aid will be secured through the education of the people. Of education, the seeds have been planted, and some of the fruits are already being gathered. The work of dissem inating modern learning is being carried on freely by the missionary bodies, but as a general rule under a policy that is steadily becoming more liberal in treating education as something which, though possibly leading to, is in itself distinct from, religion, and a policy which therefore rec ognizes in schools no difference between those professing Christianity and those adhering to native beliefs. Similar good work is also done through the agency of a society which is espe cially organized under foreign and native patronage, for the purpose of Diffusing Knowledge, and partly by the labors of the Chinese themselves. This last form is the most encouraging and promIsmg sign. At Peking there was established a well-organized college under imperial sanction and support, where Chinese students could obtain a very liberal education. At Shanghai there is another college, maintained through the personal liberality of Sheng Tajen, and at other points throughout the Empire there are similar institu-

PAGE 316

310 An American Engineer in China tions. The several thousand students attending the various "foreign" schools, although perhaps but a small portion of the whole population, nevertheless are sufficient to attest the successful and permanent establishment of accidental education. E\ery student that leaves one of these schools becomes, as it were, a spore centre, whence a little circle of new thought germinates and spreads, and thus the progress and effect of education will proceed, gathering strength of its own accord. Two little incidents that came under my own notice will illustrate the spirit that animates the Chinese who have taken up this question of education. The closing of the so-called foreign schools at Chang-sha was followed by earnest efforts on the part of the authorities to blot out if possible all the effects of their teachings, and to this end the native instructors were ferreted out and compelled to leave the capital. During my stop at Chang-sha there came to my boat a messenger who left a package and immediately disappeared. On opening it, it was found to contain a Chinese work on geometry, with the card of the native author who had been on the school staff. He left no address and gave no way in which his gift could be acknowledged. Probably he was hiding somewhere in the city and trying to eke out an existence by some lowly trade, and biding his time with a firm confidence that the hour would come again when he could resume his teaching. Hearing

PAGE 317

Chapter XI : In the Twentieth Century 3 r r that a foreigner, and that foreigner, a man like himself, of scientific training, had at last reached Chang-sha, he knew that in him he would find ap preciation, and therefore sent his little work with an author's pride. He sought no other reward than the pleasure he took in the knowledge that the thought would be understood. If, as I be lieve, he did not dare make any more open recog nition, then the very simplicity of the act indicated the spirit that, when necessity requires, suffices to make the martyr. On another occasion a high-class mandarin who accompanied me during part of the journey, asked for advice as to where in China he could best send his two sons to receive a Western education, add ing that he had been burdened all his life with use less knowledge and therefore wished his sons to be trained against the day which he was sure was coming for China, when men of intelligence and liberal education would be called on for public office, adding na!vel y that a Christian school was not objectionable. Such examples are by no means isolated. China is full of such men, and corrupt officialism can no more stand against the growing light than can the darkness of night prevent the coming dawn. Education will sweep away the in crustations that hamper progress, and as each im provement in the ranks of the official class occurs, such addition will hasten the advance and spread of education. Thus the downfall of one will go

PAGE 318

312 An American Engineer in China hand in hand with the rise of the other. Slower in thought and action, slower to accept innovations than the Japanese, yet this very trait makes the Chinese firmer in the new way when once adopted, and therefore we may look in the twentieth century for a development in China, less rapid perhaps in its earlier stages, just as its beginning has been longer postponed, yet in its ultimate expansion more thorough, more complete, and more far-reaching. The journey on which this book is based, was made before the Boxer" outbreak of June, 1900. The latter seems to confirm the above-described traits of national character and existing conditions of life, and to emphasize that there is really no such thing in China as a government, according to our understanding of that term. There is the outward form, but it is entirely devoid of substance. There are officials, but they lack power, and even the imperious will of the Empress Dowager cannot be impressed on the people at large. The present disturbance, if it is viewed as a popular uprising, indicates the helplessness of the cen government to govern; or if it is believed to be actually supported by the authorities, then we see the curious spectacle of a government carrying on a war against the civilized world in concert, with the greater part of its people and the whole of its navy standing by, apparently unmoved.

PAGE 319

Chapter XI: In the Twentieth Century 313 What other country but China can present such an anomaly? But China and the Chinese must not be judged by the movement of a fanatical sect, although that movement acquire sufficient strength to in flame the whole country, but rather by the failure to govern on the part of a government whose lifespring has long since been dead. On this account there is n o need to destroy the country, to parcel it among the European Powers, or to reduce the people to a state of vassalage to be used by the other nations as buffer states." Such is not world's progress. The fault lies not in the people but in the so-called governing class, who are unable o r unwilling to guide the people in their tranquil ignorance, or to control them in their ignorant turbulence. If the break-up of C hin a can be prevented for a few years, all this is susceptible of correction. Give China a chance and a little help and she is quite capable of working out her own sa lvatio n Let there be established a government that i s capabl e of governing honestly and well. Let order be guaranteed. Let the way be prepared for tran sforming the dead civilization of the past into the living c ivilization o f the present. As one looks a t her fertile fields / and sees her patient and industrious people, o ne cannot help wishing that there may come for China a Peter the Great to elevate his people by the developing of industry and diversifying of oc-

PAGE 320

314 An American Engineer in China cupation; and a Washington to instil in them a lofty sense of national unity, spirit of freedom, and love of country. The seeds for this work have been sown. Schools have been founded, industries are being multiplied, railways are being' built to connect the various parts of the Empire and so actually and metaphorically to bind them together with bonds of steel, while the foreign settlements that are springing up are silent but eloquent witnesses of better possible conditions of life. By all of these, if time be given, in spite of such temporary set-backs as the present trouble, there will develop in the Chinese a new intellectual activity, and an appreciation of patriotic unity which by making the man from the East and the South feel that he is one with him from the \Vest and the North, will enable China once more to take her place among the great nations of the earth. In the work of regeneration the influence of the United States should be, and for many reasons inevitably will be, of preponderating weight. Thus we shall have the final confirmation of the singular and interesting circumstance that the world's progress has a! ways been from the rising to the setting sun, ex orimte lux. Now, after a lapse of five thousand years, the youngest of the great nations is preparing to pass on, or rather to return, this light to the oldest, whence it started in its "t:ircum-orbem" journey. \Vhether the latter, receiving back the flame, will add some-

PAGE 321

Chapter XI: In the Twentieth Century 315 thing to its brightness as each previous nation has done, and start it moving once more west and so begin a new and still higher circle of development for the world, is one of those interesting questions that only a generation far in the future will be able to answer. \Ve of to-day are concerned not so much with what China will eventually do with progress, as with what we ourselves can and should do with it now. THE END.

PAGE 323

Index ACCURACY, I23, 293, 294, 297 American concession, 44-53, 252 influence, I73, 3I4 opportunities, I73-I79 policy, 44, 3I4 Ancestral worship, I40 Annam, 39, 263 Anti-foreign spirit, I20 Arbor culture, I72 Arches, 20, I99-205 Architecture, Chinese, 2I5, 2I7 BANKIKG, Chinese, I67, 18I Belgian concession, 252, 253, 256, 257, 262 Boards of government, 27 Boxers, 52, 312 Bridges, I99-209 British concessions, 253, 254, 256, 257. 262 interests, 26I, 262 possessions, 37, 42 Buddhism, 23, I39 Budget, Imperial, 189 Bulkheads in junks, 227 CANTILEVER bridge, 207 Canton, 45, 46, 99, 100, III, n2, I 19, ISI I 251' 252, 261' 280, 300, 30I Canton River, 34, 37, II2 Card, Chinese visiting, 84, 88, I45 Cash, coin, 182 Celestial Kingdom, I6 Census, Chinese, 29I-296 Chair, sedan, 72, 76, 87, 89, 238, 239 Chang Chih-tung, 7, 3o, 58, 86, II9 Chang-sha, 6, so, 52, 82, 87, 103, Io4, I68, 3D Character, I27, 2I5 Chau Dynasty, 20 Che-ling Pass, 99 Chi-li, province of, 35, I63 China, area of, 17 name oL 16 Chinese language, I8 origin of, 18 Christianity, introduction of, 24, 25 1 Christmas, 70 City, Chinese, 82, 30I Civilization, Chinese, Ios, I66 Classics, Chinese, 20, 6o, I37 Clothing, 8o, IoS, I67, 287 Coal, 35, SI, 98, n6, I71, 247, 255 Coins, Chinese, 182 Conunerce, 148, r8o with Europe, 160 with Great Britain, 160 with India, 160 with japan, 153, 155, I60, 17I with Russia, 164 with United States, I6o, 161, 162, 172 Compradore, 178 Concessions (settlements), foreign, 42 (railway). See Railways Confucianism, 21, 136 1 Confucius, 20, 21, 22 temple of, 22, 217 Construction, Chinese, 198, 220 317

PAGE 324

318 Index Coolies, 63, 64, 72, So, 99, ror, 239, 265 Cormorant fishing, 97 Cotton, imports of, 153, r6r, 164 Curiosity, sS, 6o, 6S, SS Customs dues, 155, 157, 163 Maritime, 149, 153, 155, 163, rS5, lS7, 192, 193 native, 154, 192, 193 peculiar Chinese, 95 DEBT of China, 1S4, rS6 Dialects, rS EDUCATION, 105, 137, 30S-3II Empress Dowager, 52, 54, 312 Engineering, Chinese, rgS, 217 Etiquette, 21, S4, 145 Examination hall, 6o Examinations, 130 ExclusiveneS>, ro6, 134, 142 Exports, Chinese, 152, 153, 154, r6o FARM produce, 5S, So Farming methods, g6, 220 Finance, Chinese, 1S1-197 Flags, 72, 74, 143 Flour, imports of, 162 Food, native, So, Sr, 154 Foreign concessions (settlements), 42 devils, 71, ng, 145 possessions, 36, 43 Formosa, 39 French concessions (railway), 255, 257. 262 possessions, 39, 42 Funeral, Chinese, 6S GENGHIS Khan, 25, 2S6, 303 German concessions (railway), 253, 254. 256, 257 262 German lease, 39 possessions, 39 Government, system of Chinese, 27, 130 Graves, 6g, 140, 264, 265 Great Pure Kingdom, 16 Great Wall, 23, 215, 249, 250 Guard, ss. 6o, 63, 67, 72, S2, 102, uS Gun-boat. S3, go, 92, 145 HANKOW, 45. lOO, 104, 151, 251, 252, 261, 299 Canton Railway, 45, 46, 252, 253 Hart, Sir Robert, 149 Highways, 221, 241-244, 245 History, Chinese, 19-27 Hoang (Yellow) Ho, 32, 225 Ho-nan province, 16 Hongkong, 37, 42 commerce of, 15S, 2So Horse trade, 92 Horses, 6o, 62, 92, g6, 236 Houses, 1og, n6, 152, 1b7, 212, 213, 216 Hsiens or districts, 29, 76 magistrates, 29, 76, 77, S2, S4 Hu-nan, 5, 35, 46, 4S, 54, 70, S1, S7, gS, 101, 103, 104 Governor of, 52, Sr, S3, SS, r6S population of, 299 Hu-nanese, anti-foreign, 4S, 49, 120 Hu-peh, population of, 299 province, 45, 50 Hydraulics, 219 IMPORTS, 152, 153, 160, 161, 162,164 Inaccuracy, 123, 293, 294, 297 Indirectness, 133 Inn, Chinese, 6o, 62, 100, 101 Invasion of Europe, 291, 303, 304, 305

PAGE 325

Index JAPAN, development of, 289, 290 Japanese War, 39, ro4, 142, 185, 250, 252 Junks, 55, 90, II], 227, 229 KAT-PING coal-mines, 247 Kerosene, 35, 153, 175 Kiung-chow-wan, 42 Kiang-si, 30, 35, ro6 Kiao-chow, 39, 40, 41, 255 Kinder, C. W., 247, 250, 251 Kow-loon, 37, 42, 254 K\vang-tung, 46, so, 101, 109, 170 population of, 294, 300 LAMPS, 175 Language, r8 Lease of Chinese territory, 39 Li Hung-chang, 30, 143 Li, unit of distance, 123 Liao-tung Peninsula, 39 Liao-tze, 20 Likin, 57. rs6, 157. 192 Literature, 20 Liu Kao-chao, 77, 146, 147 Liu Kun-yi, 30 Loess formation, 34 MACAO, 36, 37 Machines, 177, 217, 220 Manchu Dynasty, 25, 27 Manchuria, 17, 39, r63, r64, 255, 257, 281 Mandarin dialect, 18 Magistrates, 29, 76, 77, 82, 84 Maps, Chinese, 125 Matteo Ricci, 25 Me-ling Pass, 99 Mencius, 20 Middle Kingdom, 16 Minerals, 35, 49, sr, 98, n6, 171 Mines and mining, 218, 219 Ming Dynasty, 25 Ming tombs, 25 Mints, r84 Mob violence, II9 Monetary system, r81 Mongol Dynasty, 25 Mongolia, 17 Movement, appreciation of, 217 NAN-KING, 23, 25, 253 Nan-ling Range, 48, 54, 98, II2, 123 N estorian n1onks, 24 New Year, 71, ID], II7 Niu-chwang, 164, 249, 256 Nomenclature, lack of fixed, 16, 126 North River, 37, 98, 99. II2 OFFICIAL corruption, 154, 156, 189, 192, 194, 196, 3II Officials, 76, 308 ignorance of, 131, 138 incompetence of, 121 powers of, 121, 312 salaries of, 77 Opium, 153 Opium \Var, 37 PAGODA, 209, 213 Parsons Gap, 123 Patriotism, lack of, 142, 314 Pawnshops, 109 Pe-chi-li, Gulf of, 33. 42 Pei (North) Ho, 37, 98, 99, II2 Peking, 25, 27, 46, 6o, 215, 250, 251, 252 syndicate, 254 Pekingese dialect, 18 Placards, 66, 68, 74 Point of view, 131 Population, 17, sr, 83, n6, 291, 303

PAGE 326

320 Index Port Arthur, 39, 41, 255, 281 Portuguese possession, 36 Postal service, 43, 195 Precedent, importance of, 130 Prefects, 29, 76 Printing discovered, 24 Proclamation, 66 Provinces, organization of, 29 Pumps, 219 QuEUE, significance of, 27 RAILWAY, Chinese Eastern, 249 concessions, American, 44-53, 252, 253, 257 concessions, Belgian, 252, 253, 256, 257, 262 concessions, British, 253 254 256, 257' 262 COllCf'SSions, French, 255. 257, 262 concessions, German, 253 254, 256, 257, 262 concessions, Russian, 255. 256, 257 262 concessions, terms of, 258-261 construction, 271, 273, 283 electric, 279 equipment, 248, 273, 277, 283 gauges, 280, 281 Hang-chow-Shanghai, 254 Hankow-Canton, 45, 252, 262, 281 Hankow-Peking, 252, 253 262, 281 Imperial Chinese, 187, 188, 250, 251, 261, 265, 275, 277, 281 Kai-ping, 247 Nan-king-Shanghai, 253 possibilities, 283, 284 tariffs, 277-279 traffic, 275-280 i Railway, Trans-Siherian, 163, 188, 249 251' 255, 281 Wu-sung, 246, 249, 250, 281 Railways, 245-285 constructed, 250, 253, 256 Director-General, 250 effect of, 193, 194 Indian, 267-269, 277, 279, 281 Japanese, 269-279 opposition to, 263-266 political aspect of, 261-263 primary, 251, 253, 254 revenue of, 188, 266-269, 273-277 secondary, 254 statistics of, 256, 257, 275 to Burma, 262 Reform, 54, 169, 196 Religion, 23, 105, 139, 308, 309 Revenue, Government, 185, 187, 192, 195 Government, cnn be increased, 156, 193 Rice, 153, 162, 172 Rice-fields, 241, 242 Richtofen, Baron, 49 Rivers, importance oC 223 improvement of, 221, 225, 226, 245 navigation of, 114, 222, 231 Road. See Highway Rocket of China, 248, 249 Russia, aims of, 163 Russian concessions (railway), 255, 256, 257' 262 interests, 255, 261, 262, 263 possessions, 39 SAILS, 91, 229, 231 ::'alt; 190 Sam-shui, 112, 113, 254 Sam-pans, 234

PAGE 327

Index 321 Shanghai, 33, 43, 149, 151, 154, 194, 251, 261 Shan-si, 34, 35 Shan-tung, 34, 41, 163, 254, 263, 295 Shao-chou, II2, II6, II8 Sheng Tajen, 7, 46, 66, 87, II9, 253 309 Shen-si, 34, 35, 254 Shop, Chinese, 83, 89, 169 Siang River, so, 51, 54, 90, 103, 104, 105, 224 Silk, 153, 170, 172 Slipper boat, 234, 235 Soldiers, 58, 6o, 63, 74, 87, 103 Squeezes, 78, 196 Superstition, IIS, 264, 309 Sz-chuen, 29, 35, 49, 191, 294, 301 TAEL, 57, 181 Talien-wan, 39 Tang Dynasty, 24 Taoism, 20 Taotais, 29, 193 Taxation, system of, 156, 1S7, 189, 190, 194. '97 Tea, 58, 153, 170, 172 Telegraph system, 104 Temples, 22, 6o, 62, 139, qo Tibet, 17 Tien-tsin, 151, 247, 249, :250, 251, 252, 253, 261 Tong-king, 39, 42, 255, 263 Tools, Chinese, 175 Topography, 32 Transit Pass, 156, 157 Treaty ports, 14S, 149 Tsin Dynasty, 22 Tsung-li Yamen, 2S UNIFORM, military, 74 United States commerce, 15S, 160, 161, J62, 172, 2S3 consuls, 174, 179 29, 30, ss, 66, 72, S6 Victoria, 37 \V AGES, rate of, 275, 2S6, 2S7, 290, 291 \N all, Great, 23, 215, 249, 250 \Valls, city, 214 Watchmen, 92, 129 Weapons, 74, 91 Wei-hai-wei, 37, 42 West River, II2 Whang-Poo Kiang, 33 Wheat, 172 Wheelbarrow, 236, 237 \Vomen, 95, 96, 128 on junks, 57, 231 Wu-shui, 112, IJ3 Wu-sung, 246 Wu Ting-fang, 7, 45 y AMEN, 62, 67, S6 runner, 65, 67 Yang-tze I<.iang, 33, 54, sS, 9S, roo, ISI, 222, 225, 252 Valley, 32, 42, 9S, 99, 154, 261 Yellow Peril, 291, 305 River, 32 Yo-chou, SI Yun-nan, 255, 262, 300