1844, Cushing's threats - USA

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Caleb Cushing to Gov.-General Cheng Yucai, April 16, 1844
[replying to Cheng’s communication that negotiations could not take place in the north and that, just as in the case of Pottinger’s negotiations, they would have to take place “on-the-spot” in the south]

            “The rules of politeness and ceremony observed by Sir H. Pottinger were doubtless just and proper in the particular circumstances of the case; but, to render them fully applicable to the United States, it would be necessary for my government in the first instance, to subject the people of China to all the calamities of war, and especially to take possession of some island on the coast of China, as a place of residence for its minister. I cannot suppose that the Imperial government wishes the United States to do this. Certainly no such wish is entertained at present by the United States, which, animated with the most amicable sentiments towards China, feels assured of being met with corresponding deportment on the part of China.”

[from Morse, International Relations of the Chinese Empire, p. 324, citing Chinese Repository, August, 1845]

Caleb Cushing to Gov.-General Cheng Yucai, April 24, 1844
[replying to Cheng’s communication protesting the U.S. frigate Brandywine’s unauthorized movement to Whampoa]

            “I can only assure your Excellency that this is not the way for China to cultivate good will and maintain peace. The late war with England was caused by the conduct of the authorities at Canton, in disregarding the rights of public officers who represented the English government. If, in the face of the experience of the last five years, the Chinese government now reverts to antiquated customs, which have already brought such disasters upon her, it can be regarded in no other light than as evidence that she invites and desires war with the other great Western powers. The United States would sincerely regret such a result. We have no desire whatever to dismember the territory of the empire. Our citizens have at all times deported themselves here in a just and respectful manner. The position and policy of the United States enable us to be the most disinterested and the most valuable of the friends of China. I have flattered myself therefore, and cannot yet abandon the hope, that the Imperial government will see the wisdom of promptly welcoming and of cordially responding to the amicable assurances of the government of the United States.”

[from Morse, International Relations of the Chinese Empire, p. 324-25, citing Chinese Repository, August, 1845]