Proclamation of October 5, 1881
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Whereas a Treaty between the United States of America and China, for the modification of the existing treaties between the two countries, by providing for the future regulation of Chinese immigration into the United States, was concluded and signed at Peking in the English and Chinese languages, on the seventeenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty, the original of the English text of which Treaty is word for word as follows:
Whereas, in the eighth year of Hsien Feng, Anno Domini 1858, a treaty of peace and friendship was concluded between the United States of America and China, and to which were added, in the seventh year of Tung Chih, Anno Domini 1868, certain supplementary articles to the advantage of both parties, which supplementary articles were to be perpetually observed and obeyed:- and
Whereas the Government of the United States, because of the constantly increasing immigration of Chinese laborers to the territory of the United States, and the embarrassments consequent upon such immigration, now desires to negotiate a modification of the existing Treaties which shall not be in direct contravention of their spirit:- Now, therefore, the President of the United States of America has appointed James B. Angell, of Michigan, John F. Swift, of California, and William Henry Trescot, of South Carolina as his Commissioners Plenipotentiary; and His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of China, has appointed Pao Chun, a member of His Imperial Majesty's Privy Council, Superintendent of the Board of Civil Office; and Li Hungtsao, a member of His Imperial Majesty's Privy Council, as his Commissioners Plenipotentiary; and the said Commissioners Plenipotentiary, having conjointly examined their full powers, and having discussed the points of possible modification in existing Treaties, have agreed upon the following articles in modification.
Whenever in the opinion of the Government of the United States, the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States, or their residence therein, affects or threatens to affect the interests of that country, or to endanger the good order of the said country or of any locality within the territory thereof, the Government of China agrees that the Government of the United States may regulate, limit, or suspend such coming or residence, but may not absolutely prohibit it. The limitation or suspension shall be reasonable and shall apply only to Chinese who may go to the United States as laborers, other classes not being included in the limitation. Legislation taken in regard to Chinese laborers will be of such a character only as is necessary to enforce the regulation, limitation, or suspension of immigration, and immigrants shall not be subject to personal maltreatment or abuse.
Chinese subjects, whether proceeding to the United States as teachers, students, merchants or from curiosity, together with their body and household servants, and Chinese laborers who are now in the United States shall be allowed to go and come of their own free will and accord, and shall be accorded all the rights, privileges, immunities, and exemptions which are accorded to the citizens and subjects of the most favored nation.
If Chinese laborers, or Chinese of any other class, now wither permanently or temporarily residing in the territory of the United States, meet with ill treatment at the hands of any other persons, the Government of the United States will exert all its power to devise measures for their protection and to secure to them the same rights, privileges, immunities, and exemptions as may be enjoyed by the citizens or subjects of the most favored nation, and to which they are entitled by treaty.
The high contracting Powers having agreed upon the foregoing articles, whenever the Government of the United States shall adopt legislative measures in accordance therewith, such measures will be communicated to the Government of China. If the measures as enacted are found to work hardship upon the subjects of China, the Chinese Minister at Washington may bring the matter to the notice of the Secretary of State of the United States, who will consider the subject with him, and the Chinese Foreign Office may also bring the matter to the notice of the United States Minister at Peking and consider the subject with him, to the end that mutual and unqualified benefit may result.
In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed and sealed the foregoing at Peking, in English and Chinese being three originals of each text of even tenor and date, the ratification of which shall be exchanged at Peking within one year from date of its execution.
Done at Peking, this seventeenth day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1880. Kuanghsii, sixth year, tenth moon, fifteenth day.
JAMES B. ANGELL. [SEAL.]
JOHN F. SWIFT. [SEAL.]
WM. HENRY TRESCOT.[SEAL.]
PAO CHUN. [SEAL.]
LI HUNGTSAO. [SEAL.]
And whereas the said Treaty has been duly ratified on both parts and the respective ratification were exchanged at Peking on the 19th day of July 1881:
Now, therefore, be it known that I, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States of America, have caused the said Treaty to be made public to the end that the same and every article and clause thereof may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States and the citizens thereof.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done in Washington this fifth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and sixth.
[SEAL.] CHESTER A. ARTHUR, By the President:
JAMES G. BLAINE, Secretary of State.