PAYING THE RECKONING
Harper’s Weekly, October 17, 1885, page 677 (Illustrated Article)
The Chinese government has named a commission to investigate the Rock Springs massacre of Chinese subjects, which was recently describe in the Weekly. The commission consists of Mr. Wong Sic Chen, Chinese Consul at New York, Colonel Fred A. Bee, the Consul of China at San Francisco, and Mr. Tsang Hoy, the interpreter to the Chinese Legation. These gentlemen are accompanied by two United States army officers, General A. McD. McCook and Lieutenant Groesbeck. Their duty will be to examine as to the nature and extent of the murders and other outrages committed upon the Chinese, the value of the property destroyed, the precautions taken by the government to prevent the outbreak, the measure of justice meted out to the offenders, and the protection since accorded to Chinese subjects.


The Chinese Commission at Rock Springs
October 17, 1885, page 676

They will find, so far as the public has any knowledge of the affair, that the assault on the Chinese was wanton and unprovoked; that they had given no excuse or occasion for it, having been peaceable, law-abiding, industrious, and respectable; that they even omitted to take steps to defend their persons or their property, as they had a clear right to do, by force; that they were preparing to obey an arbitrary summons to leave the town within an hour when they were attacked; and that their treatment by the mob was in the last degree inhuman and worse than brutal. In addition to these facts they will learn that the administration of justice, under the direct authority of the United States government, has broken down at the very outset, the coroner’s jury finding that the men murdered in broad daylight, in the presence of hundreds of witnesses, came to their death by being burned and shot by "persons unknown," and the Grand Jury having failed to find an indictment against the ringleaders of the mob.
A different question will arise when the Chinese government comes to present its claims for damages. Obviously the facts in the case will hardly be denied, and the precedents for heavy reclamations will not be far to seek. The United States government will have to resort to the plea which it has often rejected when made by governments of the Orient. It will have to aver that its people in Wyoming are in a state of semi-savagery; that they are liable to outbursts of violent passion springing from race prejudice; that they have been taught to believe that they, though the most ignorant and backward of people, judged by the standard of the Christian religion and modern civilization, are the chosen of the earth, to whom all outside barbarians are hateful and inferior, having no right to property or to personal security; and finally, that the system of government in active use in the United States does not furnish the means to repress or punish the violence of these irresponsible creatures. To such a plea as this it has been the custom of the United States government to reply with war ships. China will hardly do that; but if she did, it would puzzle the Navy Department to meet her on anything like equal terms.
Harper’s Weekly, October 17, 1885, page 677 (Illustrated Article)

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