Lew Chew Compact



Whereas a Compact between the United State of America and the Royal Government of Lew Chew was entered into at Napa, by the respective Plenipotentiaries on the 11th day of July, 1854, which compact is word for word as follows:

Hereafter, whenever citizens of the United States come to Lew Chew, they shall be treated with great courtesy and friendship. Whatever articles these people ask for, whether from the officers or people, which the country can furnish, shall be sold to them; nor shall the authorities impose any prohibitory regulations to the people selling, and whatever either party may wish to buy shall be exchanged at reasonable prices.

Whenever ships of the United States shall come into any harbor in Lew-Chew, they shall be supplied with wood and water at reasonable prices; but if they wish to get other articles, they shall be purchasable only at Napa.

If ships of the United States are wrecked on Great Lewd Chew, or on islands under the jurisdiction of the Royal Government of Lew-Chew, the local authorities shall dispatch persons to assist in saving life and property and preserve what can be brought ashore till the ships of that nation shall come to take away all that may have been saved; and the expenses incurred in rescuing these unfortunate persons shall be refunded by the nation they belong to.

Whenever persons from ships of the United States come ashore in Lew Chew, they shall be at liberty to ramble where they please without hindrance, or having officials sent to follow them or to spy what they do; but if they go into houses, or trifle with women, or force people to sell them things, or do other such like illegal acts, they shall be arrested by local officers, but not maltreated, and shall be reported to the captain of the ship to which they belong for punishment.

At Tumai is a burial ground for the citizens of the United States where their graves and tombs shall not be molested.

The Government of Lew Chew shall appoint skillful pilots, who shall be on the look-out for ships appearing off the island, and if one is seen coming toward Napa, they shall go out in good boats beyond the reefs to conduct her in to a secure anchorage, for which service the captain shall pay the pilot five dollars, and the same going out of the harbor beyond the reefs.

Whenever ships anchor at Napa, the officers shall furnish them with wood at the rate of 3,600 cash per 1,000 catties; and with water at the rate of 600 copper cash (43 cents) for 1,000 catties, or six barrels full each containing 30 American gallons.

Signed in the English and Chinese languages by Commodore Matthew C. Perry, Commander in Chief of the United States naval forces in the East India, China, and Japan Seas and Special Envoy to Japan for the United States; and by Sho Fu Fing, Superintendent of Affairs (Tsu li kwan) in Lew Chew, and Ba Rio-si, Treasurer of Lew Chew at Shui for the Government of Lew Chew, and copies exchanged this 11th day of July 1854, or the reign of Hien Fung 4th year, 6th moon, 17th day, at the Town Hall of Napa. M. C. Perry.

And whereas the said compact has been duly ratified on both parts:

Now, therefore, be it know that I, Franklin Pierce, President of the United States of America, have caused the said compact to be made public, to the end that the same and every clause and article 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. [L.S.]

Done at the City of Washington this ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the seventy-ninth.

By the President: FRANKLIN PIERCE

W. L. Marcy, Secretary of State

Source of the above. Article in the New-York Daily Tribune, Saturday, March 17, 1855. This article quotes The Washington Union, March 14. Also published (without the Presidental Proclamation) at pages 495-6 of Volume 1 of the Narrative.

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