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Title: Progress of Western Education in China and Siam
Author: Various
Language: English
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                      DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
                         BUREAU OF EDUCATION.


                     PROGRESS OF WESTERN EDUCATION
                                  IN
                            CHINA AND SIAM.


                                  DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
                                            BUREAU OF EDUCATION,
                                      _Washington, August 3, 1880._

The attention of school officers and teachers is invited to the
following interesting accounts of the progress of western ideas and
educational methods in China and Siam, forwarded to the Department of
State by the United States minister at Peking and the United States
consul at Bangkok, respectively.

                                                     JOHN EATON,
                                                    _Commissioner._


                              WASHINGTON:
                      GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
                                 1880.



    CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO WESTERN EDUCATION IN CHINA AND SIAM.

                               * * * * *

                               I. CHINA.


                      _Mr. Evarts to Mr. Schurz._


                                            DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
                                        _Washington, May 12, 1880._

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for the benefit of the
Bureau of Education, copies of dispatches Nos. 600 and 612 from our
legation at Peking, detailing the progress of western education in
China.

The inclosure with No. 600, being printed matter, is too voluminous
for copying, but will be sent for perusal if desired.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

                                                     WM. M. EVARTS.

                               * * * * *

                      _Mr. Seward to Mr. Evarts._

No. 600.]                         LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
                                       _Peking, February 21, 1880._

SIR: There has lately been published in the North China Daily News, at
Shanghai, a statement, from the pen of Mr. John Freyer, of work done
in the "translations department" of the arsenal at Shanghai.

This so-called arsenal is a large establishment, in which vessels of
war are built, guns cast, and small arms made. It employs, or did
employ a few years ago, on the occasion of my last visit to it, about
fifteen hundred hands. These were all Chinese, with the exception of
some half dozen superintendents and specialists. It had grown to these
dimensions in a very few years, and appeared likely to receive the
continued support of the government.

I was aware that a scientific school and a department of translations
had been established in connection with the arsenal, but I was not
prepared to learn that so much has been accomplished by the latter of
these as appears from Mr. Freyer's report. Of what the school is doing
I am not informed at the moment, but it appears that a very large
number of our text books have been translated into Chinese in the
translations department, and that the Chinese connected with it have
shown a degree of zeal which promises much for the future.

While referring you to Mr. Freyer's very interesting paper for the
details of this work, I may remark that the education of the Chinese
in our knowledge is going forward in many ways. You are familiar with
the facts in regard to the educational mission in the United States.

About one hundred and twenty young Chinamen, supported and paid by
this government, are now in various schools and colleges in our
country, gaining all that is available in the way of knowledge from us
to bring it into use here. Perhaps half as many more are studying in
Europe. Here at Peking, the university presided over by Dr. Martin is
progressing very favorably. There is a school at Foochow connected
with the arsenal there, and another one at Canton.

All of these educational enterprises are sustained by the government.
Besides these, however, there are many schools, of a more or less
advanced order, in charge of and supported by the several foreign
missionary bodies, where other branches than those directly connected
with the moral and religious purposes of the missionaries are taught.
Educational work is fortunately of such a nature that its results are
felt in a constantly increasing measure. It has been progressive
everywhere else, and there is enough in Mr. Freyer's paper alone to
show that it will be progressive here. The people are eager to avail
themselves of the opportunities offered to them, and the government
appears as the patron of western knowledge.

Under such circumstances it is possible to take a hopeful view of the
future of China, despite all her conservatism.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

                                                  GEORGE F. SEWARD.

                               * * * * *

                      _Mr. Seward to Mr. Evarts._

No. 612.]                         LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
                                       _Peking, February 29, 1880._

SIR: Recurring to my dispatch No. 600, in regard to the work done in
the "translations department" of the Shanghai arsenal, I have now the
honor to hand to you a leading article which I have taken from the
Shanghai Courier, in regard to foreign education for the Chinese, and
to say that I have asked our several consular officers to report to me
what is being done at their several ports in the direction indicated.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

                                                  GEORGE F. SEWARD.

                               * * * * *

   [Extract from the Shanghai Courier of Friday, January 30, 1880.]

                 _Foreign education for the Chinese._

A greater knowledge of western civilization than is now possessed is
essential to the progress of the Middle Kingdom. To individual
Chinese, foreign education is something of a fortune, and is the
surest capital with which they can be invested. The saying that
"knowledge is power" is well borne out in this case, for foreign
knowledge is almost certain to obtain for a Chinaman a lucrative
appointment and an improved social position. Parents are now realizing
this fact, and many of the well-to-do Chinese are anxious to send
their sons to Europe or America to be educated. The advantage of such
an education can hardly be overestimated in the case of those who have
before them official or public careers.

At the same time there are considerable drawbacks to going abroad, and
it may be questioned whether, in many instances, equally good results
could not be secured without incurring so great a loss of time and
expense--a loss so considerable as to prevent the benefit from being
enjoyed by all but the wealthy or those supported by other than the
family funds. For of course the sons of even what may be called the
middle classes cannot afford to leave their country in order to be
educated, and, unless they can receive foreign instruction in China,
will not receive it at all. It cannot be denied that residence abroad
possesses some advantages which cannot be obtained in China; yet,
except in rare cases, those particular advantages are not the most
needed.

Why should not useful knowledge be imparted to the Chinese as well in
China as it can be in Europe or America? The drawbacks to a Chinaman's
residing away from his home for the time needed to follow a regular
course of instruction are sometimes not duly considered. The Chinese
are apt, as has been pointed out, to be "too much Europeanized."
Especially are they likely to neglect their native language, and so on
their return lessen their opportunities of usefulness and prospects of
promotion. Particularly is this so with a large class who hope to
qualify themselves for the position of professors. A teacher must not
only be acquainted with his subject, but he must also be able to
impart his knowledge to others; which it is impossible he can do if he
has only an imperfect acquaintance with the language which is the
medium of communication. It should always be borne in mind that
foreign knowledge, though exceedingly useful, is not all-important to
a Chinaman, and that even its usefulness may be greatly diminished if
it is obtained at cost of the neglect of his mother tongue. Looking,
therefore, to the expense of being educated abroad, and to its serious
inconveniences, especially to the fact that it must ever be beyond the
reach of all but the rich, it is of great importance to consider how a
similar education can be had in China. It would be very incorrect to
speak of the local polytechnic as a failure, but it is, as yet, a long
way from having realized the objects of its promoters. Its educational
facilities are great, and though it is now doing good and useful work,
we trust to see it become something very different to what it is at
the present moment. There are few institutions in Hong Kong which have
conferred greater benefits on the Chinese than the Central School; and
it is surprising that an attempt has not been made to establish
something of the kind at Shanghai. The St. John's College will, it is
hoped, contribute towards supplying what is a seriously felt want.

At this institution the course of instruction comprises the English
language and literature, geography, history, the evidences of
Christianity, natural science, mathematics, natural philosophy,
chemistry, astronomy, mental and moral philosophy, and international
law. This is a sufficiently extended curriculum to begin with, but it
is intended to enlarge it if the project be successful. Pupils are
required to be fifteen years of age and to possess some knowledge of
the Chinese classics. We believe that the Hong Kong Central School
owes much of its success to the purely secular character of its
teaching; and many who take great interest in the foreign education of
the Chinese will perhaps note with regret the religious element of St.
John's College. But the two institutions are of a different character,
and it could hardly be expected that the work carried on at St. John's
should be purely secular. The promoters have, however, met possible
objections in a spirit which, under the circumstances, must, we think,
be considered liberal. They wish it to be distinctly understood "that
St. John's College is a literary and scientific school, and not per se
a theological institute." A student must attend the daily prayers at
chapel and the usual Sunday services, but in other respects he is free
to devote himself to the secular side of the daily routine of class
work. Many people would have been glad if the authorities had allowed
attendance at prayers and Sunday service to be voluntary, and probably
the chief end in view might have been better reached in that manner.
Yet, though the requirement may restrict the usefulness of the
institution, preventing it being generally availed of, we are pleased
to call attention to it as being calculated to confer great advantages
on the Chinese youth, and to offer it the encouragement of publicity.
It may be well to note that the charge for board and tuition is
exceedingly moderate.

                               * * * * *

                       _Mr. Hay to Mr. Schurz._

                                            DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
                                     _Washington, August 13, 1880._

SIR: I have the honor to inclose herein, for transmission to the
Bureau of Education, a copy of a recent dispatch from the late
minister to China, Mr. Geo. F. Seward, covering the replies which he
has received from the United States consular officers in that empire
as to the efforts which are being made for the education of the
Chinese in foreign branches of knowledge, either by the government of
China, by private enterprise, or by missionary efforts.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

                                                       JOHN HAY,
                                                _Acting Secretary._

                               * * * * *

                      _Mr. Seward to Mr. Evarts._

No. 705.]                         LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
                                           _Peking, June 11, 1880._

SIR: I have the honor to hand to you herewith copies of the answers
which have been received from our consular officers in this empire to
the inquiry made in a circular addressed to them as to efforts being
made to educate the Chinese in foreign branches of knowledge, either
by the government of China, by private enterprise, or by missionary
effort. The circular referred to was forwarded to the Department with
my dispatch No. 600.

While these reports are not as full as I could have wished, they still
furnish an outline of the work which is being done, and may be of
interest to the Department.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

                                                  GEORGE F. SEWARD.

                               * * * * *

                   _Mr. Goldsborough to Mr. Seward._

No. 107.]                                   AMOY, _April 23, 1880._

SIR: In response to your dispatch No. 86, of February 27, 1880, I beg
to state that there are two private English schools at this port for
the education of Chinese, conducted by native born Chinese, who
possess a fair knowledge of the English language, but there is no
institution of the kind founded or supported by the government.

The missionaries have several schools of their own for the tuition of
Chinese boys and girls in the Chinese language.

I have the honor, &c.,

                                            W. ELWELL GOLDSBOROUGH.

                               * * * * *

                     _Mr. Cheshire to Mr. Seward._

No. 55.]                                 FOOCHOW, _March 29, 1880._

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your dispatch No. 78, calling
upon me to furnish you with such information as may be available to me
in regard to the education of Chinese in foreign languages within this
consular district, whether in schools founded and supported by the
Chinese government, or by private enterprise, or by missionaries, as
far as the secular branches are concerned, and also to report upon the
schools established at Hong Kong by the colonial government.

I now beg to submit the following report:

The Tung wen Kwan is the only scholastic institution under government
auspices for teaching foreign knowledge in Canton. It was established
by order of the Tsung li Yamen about sixteen years ago. It is under
the official control of the viceroy, the haikwan (superintendent of
customs), the Tartar general, and two lieutenant Tartar generals, but
the practical control is left almost entirely in the hands of the
Tartar general, to whom it affords opportunities of patronage, for the
staff is large, and the members thereof not only benefit by the
salaries they receive but their official appointment as officers of
the college (Tung wen Kwan) forms a stepping-stone to promotion in
other branches of the public service. The staff consists of three
superintendents, (the chief of whom holds rank about equivalent to
that of a major general), three Chinese teachers, a foreign teacher
with a Chinese assistant, two Chinese clerks, doorkeepers, cooks, and
other servants. The number of students is fixed at thirty, of whom
twenty are classed as students proper and ten as supernumerary
students, the latter being intended to fill vacancies as they occur in
the former; and when, from various causes, the total number falls to
twenty or twenty-five, fresh supernumeraries are added to make up the
number. The students proper receive a small pay of three taels a
month, but the supernumeraries receive nothing except a free breakfast
every day.

It is difficult to define the raison d'être of the Tung wen Kwan
College; in theory it is established to provide the Chinese government
with a staff of interpreters and persons conversant with foreign
literature and foreign habits of thought; but, so far as can be judged
by patent facts, the patronage above referred to is the element most
appreciated, and it may be well to notice the extent to which the
theoretical object has been carried out, and how far the Chinese
government has availed itself of the material for the production of
which something like eight hundred dollars a month has been expended
for the last sixteen years in the maintenance of the college.

About ten years ago fourteen students were drafted from Canton to the
Peking college. Of these, five have retired from various causes, six
are still attached to the Peking College, and the remaining three have
appointments in legations abroad, one in Washington, one in London,
and one in Japan. Since 1870 not one student has been drafted to
Peking; none of the Canton students have in any way been called upon
to render service to their government. Most of them have received an
honorary literary degree (Hsin Tsai) equivalent to B.A., and three or
four of them are nominally interpreters, for which they receive a
small additional pay. Year after year passes, and boys of 17 grow up
to be men of 27, marry and become fathers, and go on with their
foreign studies without so much as a word of encouragement from their
own authorities. Under such discouraging circumstances it must be that
studying is often done in a perfunctory way; and yet, while some of
the students have, as I understand, a very good knowledge of English,
wanting only practice outside the school walls to render it equal to
that of any Chinaman who has not had the advantage of living abroad,
they constantly witness men of less technical knowledge than
themselves, men of lower stamp altogether, men picked up here and
there without any proper steps being taken to ascertain their fitness,
called upon to perform the very duties for the performance of which
the students of the Tung wen Kwan are in theory specially educated.

The course of study, I am informed, consists chiefly of the English
language, together with but subordinate to which there are geography,
arithmetic, history, algebra, mathematics, and astronomy. A very small
proportion of the students have made any progress in algebra or
mathematics, few are even fair arithmeticians, and much that they are
called upon to learn of geography, history, and astronomy is soon
forgotten. This arises from no want of ability, but from an utter want
of encouragement on the part of the Chinese authorities for the
students to trouble themselves with such studies. Without a reasonable
knowledge of the language they are liable, on the motion of the
foreign teacher, to be dismissed from the school, and in the
acquisition of that they are to some extent buoyed up with hope, a
hope that sometimes becomes lamentably faint, that the language will
ultimately be of service to them; but with respect to the other
branches, I am given to understand, no person in authority, except the
foreign teacher, seems to know or care whether they are taught or not.

The students consist almost entirely of Tartars (including bannermen).
Originally about one-third were Chinese, but it was found that, after
learning English at the expense of government, these latter generally
disappeared. The Tartars are much more bound to the government, and
are loyal, both from training and self-interest. As young men, they
are far more noble and honorable in their character than the Chinese,
lacking in a great measure the low cunning which characterizes the
latter, especially when they get official employment. But it is hard
to say how far their natural nobility and honor would suffer if they
were thrown into that vortex of corruption and dishonesty which
pertains to official life.

I am informed that there has, for the past year or two, been an
intention to add a German and a French department to the Canton
College, and that extensive premises have been erected for this
purpose, but some difficulty about funds seems to have caused further
steps to be postponed.

_Private schools._--There are no private schools worthy of the name in
Canton for teaching foreign languages. Now and then a small school is
opened, in which English is professed to be taught by a man whose
knowledge of that language is too limited to fit him for other
employment, and after a brief struggle these schools die out, one
after another. There is no doubt that the advantages offered by the
government schools in Hong Kong are too great to enable private
schools in Canton to compete with them.

_Missionary schools._--None of the missionaries in Canton teach
English or any other foreign language to their Chinese pupils now, nor
have they for some years. They found by experience that it was very
difficult to teach English to their pupils because of their inaptitude
to learn western languages; that the object of the majority who came
to their schools (formerly) to learn English was simply to get a
sufficient knowledge of that language to enable them to get some
lucrative employment with foreigners, and as soon as they had acquired
a little smattering of English they disappeared and passed away beyond
their Christian instruction.

I shall endeavor to furnish you with some particulars in regard to the
schools established at Hong Kong by the colonial government shortly.

I have the honor, &c.,

                                                    F. D. CHESHIRE.

                               * * * * *

                     _Mr. Scruggs to Mr. Seward._

No. 21.]                               CHINKIANG, _March 24, 1880._

SIR: I had the honor to receive on the 21st instant your dispatch No.
63, of the 27th February last. In response thereto I regret to say
there is not a school of any kind, native or foreign, public or
private, secular or religious, within this district in which Chinese
are educated by foreign methods or in foreign knowledge. The
missionary schools are all conducted in the native language, and their
curriculum, confined to purely religious and sectarian instruction. A
few young men among the native residents of this port take lessons in
the English language from a native interpreter educated at Hong Kong
but now employed here in the customs service. But they seek to know no
more of our language than is barely necessary to aid them in business
transactions with foreigners, and what they do thus acquire is little
else than the barbarous and childish dialect known as "Pigein
English." I know of but one exception, and that is the case of General
Wong, the military commander here, an educated Chinaman, who is
ambitious to enter the diplomatic service of his country.

I am, sir, &c.,

                                                WILLIAM L. SCRUGGS.

                               * * * * *

                     _Mr. De Lano to Mr. Seicard._

No. 164.]                                   FOOCHOW, _May 5, 1880._

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your dispatch No. 109, asking me
for such information as may be available to me in regard to the
education of Chinese in foreign knowledge in this consular district.

There are at the Foochow arsenal two schools, one under English and
the other under French management. In the former the number of
students varies between 30 and 50, and the studies pursued are
English, arithmetic, geometry, geography, grammar, trigonometry,
algebra, and navigation. In a four and a half years' course the
students receive from the government a monthly stipend of $4.

There is a naval and a mechanical branch of the same school, each
having an average of 25 students receiving the same monthly allowance
from the government, which also pays a very liberal salary to the
professors in charge.

The school under French management has about 40 pupils, in four
divisions, studying French, arithmetic, elements of algebra and
geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry and calculus, mechanical
engineering, transmission of power and friction. The branches of this
school are a school of design and school of apprentices, the pupils
pursuing many of the studies enumerated above and receiving the same
stipend of $4 a month. The professor is also very liberally paid.

I know of no schools founded by private enterprise in which foreign
studies are pursued. There are several schools for both males and
females conducted by foreign missionaries in which other than secular
branches of study are pursued, say, the elementary branches, such as
geography, mathematics, astronomy, &c., but all in the Chinese
language.

I am unable at present to state the number of pupils usually in
attendance in these latter schools.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

                                                     M. M. DE LANO.

                               * * * * *

                     _Mr. Shepard to Mr. Seward._

No. 45.]                                  HANKOW, _April 10, 1880._

SIR: Referring to your No. 85, on the subject of educating natives in
foreign sciences, I have to report that I cannot learn of anything
done in my district of any moment. At sundry times some foreigners
wanting employment have opened small schools in Hankow, intending to
teach people of any age to read English. The results have been
inconsiderable, as the enterprise has in all cases been abandoned as
soon as more lucrative pursuits have been available. Besides this, I
know of no efforts made in the direction of your inquiry except some
work of Dr. A. C. Bumr, of the American Episcopal mission at Wu-Chang,
who, before he left, gave some instruction to a few converts in the
theory and practice of medicine. In his view his results were
encouraging, but not fully developed.

I am informed also that Dr. Manby, now located here in charge of the
London Mission Hospital, is preparing a system of instruction, and
intends soon to put it in operation, for the systematic training of
native pupils in the principles and science of physiology, with
surgical and medical training, in a course of some years' duration in
connection with his important hospital work. Beyond these I know of
nothing done in the line of your investigation.

I am, sir, &c.,

                                                  ISAAC F. SHEPARD.

                               * * * * *

                     _Mr. Bandinel to Mr. Seward._

No. 42-625.]                          NEW CHWANG, _March 30, 1880._

SIR: In response to your excellency's dispatch No. 66, I have the
honor to state that, as far as I can learn, there is not within the
three Mantchoorian provinces any school founded or supported by native
official or private enterprise in which foreign knowledge is imparted
to Chinese students. From inquiries among the missionaries I learn
that--

The _Roman Catholics_ have a college under foreign supervision,
wherein 26 pupils are instructed in Latin, philosophy, theology, and
the elements of geography, mathematics, &c., and whence 4 pupils have
been ordained as priests.

The _Irish Presbyterian Mission_ has a boys' school under the
supervision of a clerical missionary, wherein 20 scholars, from 9 to
13 years of age, are instructed in geography, penmanship, and the
course of (4) reading books used in the government schools at Hong
Kong. They will learn, when more advanced, arithmetic and other
subjects. There is also the nucleus of a girls' school, only two
pupils, supervised by the missionary's wife, who teaches them plain
sewing in addition to the above branches of knowledge.

Mr. Carson also contemplates starting a day school in the heart of the
city, in connection with the above mentioned which are held in his
compound.

The medical missionary of the Irish Presbyterian Mission has in his
own compound a boys' school with 15 scholars, and in an adjacent
building a girls' school with 9 scholars. Many of these are too young
to learn much, but the elder ones learn geography (Wade's book), and
three boys and three girls are taught to read and write English.

The _Scotch United Presbyterians_ have a mission here, but apparently
neither in their boys' school, recently discontinued, nor in their
girls' school, which numbers 14 scholars, has any foreign secular
education been, except indirectly, imparted. The girls, however, are
learning foreign needlework.

I have the honor, &c.,

                                                 J. J. F. BANDINEL.

                               * * * * *

MY DEAR MR. BANDINEL: In our boys' school, which we have now
discontinued, our object was to give the children of our church
members a Chinese classical education, such as they would receive in a
first class native school. Our principle was that of the grammar
schools at home. Outside of the regular lessons, there was daily the
"religious hour," or morning and evening class, where I instructed
them in religious truth. I only bound myself to spend one hour per day
with the scholars, and therefore never formally laid myself out to
train them in foreign knowledge. But I have, of course, introduced all
manner of subjects in my illustrations, making it a point incidentally
to introduce whatever knowledge of historical and scientific subjects
I myself possessed. The school room has always been well supplied with
books. I think we have had almost every foreign work which has been
translated, and we take in for the school, 1st, the Globe Magazine;
2d, the Scientific Magazine; 3d, the Child's Paper. I have several
times had teachers who took a great interest in these periodicals, and
who did what they could to make the subjects intelligible to their
pupils. We still continue a flourishing girls' school. We also teach
the Chinese classics there, and with great success; though the
classics are, as it were, taught incidentally, and scripture history,
&c., forms the bulk of the teaching. The girls are being taught
foreign needlework, but have not made any very great attainments. But
in most cases the direct teaching has borne mostly on Chinese
subjects, and we have trusted to the personal influence of the
foreigners to communicate foreign knowledge.

Yours, sincerely,

                                                      J. MACINTYRE.

                               * * * * *

MY DEAR MR. BANDINEL: In reply to your letter of the 18th instant, I
beg to state that the secular subjects taught in the school are
geography, penmanship, and the course of reading books taught in the
government school at Hong Kong.

These reading books, four in number, in a graduated series, treat of a
great variety of subjects, both foreign and native. As soon as the
children are far enough advanced, they will be taught arithmetic and
other subjects.

The school is a free boarding school, supported by the mission, and
our object is to train for ourselves a staff of native helpers.

Believe me, &c.,

                                                      JAMES CARSON.

                               * * * * *

MY DEAR MR. BANDINEL: The only secular instruction given in my school
is in geography. I have given half a dozen children, three girls and
three boys, lessons in English. The lessons are merely in reading and
writing.

This is all I have to say in reply to your communication of the 11th
instant.

I am yours, very truly.

                                                      J. M. HUNTER.

                               * * * * *

                            [Translation.]

MOST ILLUSTRIOUS SIR: I make a brief answer to your excellency
concerning the inquiry of the most noble minister in charge of the
legation for the consulate of America in Peking.

In our region, Mantchooria--that is, in the three provinces of Mukden,
Kirin, and Saghalien--there has existed, so far as I know, no school
or institution founded by the Chinese government or established by
private citizens in which pupils may study European sciences and
acquire some knowledge of the arts of foreign nations.

As regards the Catholic mission, which has been intrusted to my care,
we have founded one college, with Drs. Boyer and Hinard as rectors, in
which twenty-six pupils study Latin language, philosophy, and
theology, as well as geography, mathematics, &c. Four graduates from
this college have been ordained priests already, and are offering
themselves with most pleasing readiness for the service of preaching
and directing the Christians of the region.

Nor, indeed, am I able to give your excellency any information upon
the subject of your question of yesterday. Meanwhile I pray God that
He may bestow all blessings upon your excellency, whom I desire to
make certain of my respect.

Most devotedly, yours in Christ,

                                                     C. DUBRAIL,
                _Bishop of Bolina, Vicar Apostolic of Mantchooria._

                               * * * * *

                       _Mr. Lord to Mr. Seward._

No. 119.]                                 NINGPO, _April 20, 1880._

SIR: I am sorry that I have not been able to reply earlier to your
dispatch No. 57, requesting such information as I might have in regard
to the education of Chinese in foreign knowledge within this consular
district.

Nothing, I believe, has been done in this respect by the Chinese
government or by Chinese officials in this province, either to found
or sustain schools in which foreign knowledge has been taught. Nor has
anything worth speaking of been accomplished by private enterprise,
outside of missionaries. There was a small attempt made here a few
years ago to get up an English school for natives, but it came to
nothing, very likely through the incapacity of the person who
undertook it.

Missionaries from the beginning of their work here have had schools of
various kinds. The object of these schools has, of course, been
religious. Yet, as in religious schools at home, secular knowledge has
been taught in them to some extent.

Missionaries in this part of China have not, as a general thing,
encouraged their pupils to learn English, but they have tried to teach
them history, geography, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy,
physiology, medicine, &c., and their efforts have, no doubt, been
attended with some success. The number thus instructed may not have
been very large, and bearing in mind the great difficulties under
which the instruction must have been given, we can hardly suppose that
the results have been very great; still, something has been done. A
beginning, at least, has been made in the work of a higher and better
education among this people. Though aside from these mission schools
there have been in this place no organized efforts for the education
of Chinese in foreign knowledge, one will yet often meet with Chinese
who have acquired more or less of this knowledge. Some of these have
been taught in schools elsewhere, either at other ports or in foreign
countries, and others have, in one way or another, been so related
that this knowledge has in various degrees come to them. And these
instances are continually increasing. The number of Chinese who speak
English, and who have more or less English education, is less here
than at some of the other ports. They naturally go to places where
there is a demand for these qualifications. There has, so far, been
very little demand for them here.

This reminds me of a matter to which I have long been wishing to call
your attention. It is the inconvenience and disadvantage under which
consular officers are placed in being required to write their
dispatches in Chinese to Chinese officials. I wish to say something on
this subject, but perhaps I had better do it in another letter, and
when I have more leisure.

I have the honor, &c.,

                                                    EDWARD C. LORD.

                               * * * * *



                               II. SIAM.


                      _Mr. Evarts to Mr. Schurz._

                                            DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
                                        _Washington, May 17, 1880._

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for the information of
your Department, a copy of dispatch No. 150, dated March 18, 1880,
from the consul at Bangkok, Siam, in relation to the system of
education lately introduced into Siam.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

                                                     WM. M. EVARTS.

                               * * * * *

                     _Mr. Sickels to Mr. Payson._

No. 150.]             CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
                                   _Bangkok, Siam, March 18, 1880._

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Department
dispatches Nos. 57, 58, and 59, dated respectively December 1 and 6,
1879, and January 6, 1880, all at hand by the same mail.

In regard to the information required by the Department of the
Interior, referred to in No. 57, I have the honor to inclose a private
letter on the subject from Rev. Dr. McFarland, the principal of the
King's College and the originator and founder of the new system of
education lately introduced into the kingdom. This letter contains all
the information procurable on the subject. Dr. McFarland was for many
years in charge of the American Presbyterian mission schools in
Petchaburi, and is well qualified for the position to which he has
been transferred.

Although too modest to claim any merit for himself in this new work, I
am satisfied from my own observation and the reports of the committees
who have the matter in charge, that our countryman's success in the
conduct of this new school has been fully up to the expectations
formed, has met with His Majesty's approval and given him full
satisfaction. I do not, however, think that this success, or indeed
any, if much greater, will induce the government to extend the area of
operation and establish at present any general school system
throughout the kingdom, or even at the prominent points.

The Siamese are vast projectors and their ideas in the beginning are
large, but their plans taper very much and very abruptly as the charm
of novelty passes away and demands on the purse increase. There is,
besides, a strong party of the old régime who do not approve of
education in any form, particularly in foreign languages and studies,
who believe implicitly in the wisdom of their ancestors, and
obstinately oppose themselves to any attempt at removing the ancient
landmarks wherever posted.

The party of progress, "Young Siam," appreciate the value of the old
adage, "The more haste the less speed," and their policy is to move
slowly and gradually, temporizing rather than raising bitter issues,
abiding their time, until its efflux shall have removed the more acrid
and influential members of the old conservative party and left the
field clear for the introduction of more modern and more enlightened
ideas.

The King is young; the contemporaries and counsellors of his father
are old. He has all the advantage on his side and can afford to wait.
In the mean time the influence of this school is extending itself by
means of the younger branches through the principal families of the
kingdom, and can scarcely fail to produce in the new good time
favorable results.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

                                               DAVID B. SICKELS,
                                              United States Consul.

                               * * * * *

MY DEAR MR. TORRY: In compliance with your request, I will now give
you some items of information in reference to the educational work
recently commenced in Siam. So far as I know, the desire for the
education of Siamese youth originated with His Majesty the King.

Being in Bangkok in November, 1877, His Excellency Phya
Bhaskarawongse, the King's private secretary, sought a private
interview with me, and informed me that His Majesty desired to have a
school started in Bangkok, and asked me what I thought of taking
charge of it. I asked time to consider the subject. His excellency
then requested me to write out a plan for a school. In a few months
after this, I replied favorably to the proposition to take charge of a
school and also presented a plan. His excellency then secured for me
an audience with the King, at which time His Majesty informed me that
he had fully determined to have schools.

About a year after this, or in October, 1878, I entered into an
engagement in an article with the committee appointed by the King to
take charge of a school for five years. That school was opened in
Bangkok on the 1st of January, 1879, with 50 scholars, mostly sons of
noblemen and a few princes. These 50 scholars were selected by the
committee, placed in the school under my care and control, and they
are taught and boarded at government expense. Day scholars receive
their tuition and books free, but are required to pay their boarding.
Some board at the school; others board at home. The whole number in
attendance during the first year was 104. The object of this school
was to furnish an education in the English and Siamese languages to as
many as can be accommodated.

The King has not afforded educational advantages to the people
throughout the country, as has been stated. I think His Majesty wishes
to open other schools, but they must make an experiment with this one
first and see how it succeeds. This is the only government school in
the country where English is taught.

There is a school numbering about 60 pupils and supported by the King
where the Siamese language only is taught.

Besides these government schools there are several private schools,
besides those managed by the missionary societies.

Yours,

                                                   L. G. McFARLAND.





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