Page images

SHANGHAI, May 17, 1879 To General U. S. Grant.

Sir: On behalf of this community I have the honor of welcoming you to Shanghai. In this the easternmost commercial settlement of the continent the lines that unite the old and new worlds meet, and here we on the eastern edge of the oldest empire in the world appropriately greet an illustrious representative of the great Republic of the New World.

Devoted as we are to trade, we have little to show that is of interest to the ordinary traveler. But as the head for two periods of a great cosmopolitan, commercial state, we trust that you will find something to interest you in this small commercial republic, itself as cosmopolitan as the great country from which you come.

We thank you for coming to visit us. We trust that you will find that we have done all in our power to make your visit pleasant. We wish for you a future as happy and distinguished as your past, and that after you leave us you will remember with pleasure this little band of selfgoverned representatives of all States, united in peaceful pursuits, and furthering, we believe, not without success, the cause of progress in this country.

I have the honor to be, sir, on behalf of the foreign community of Shanghai, your obedient servant,


Chairman of the Committee. After a moment's pause, General Grant, speaking in a low, conversational tone of voice, said:

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:- I am very much obliged to you for the hearty welcome which you have paid me, and I must say that I have been a little surprised, and agreeably surprised. I have now been a short time in the country of which Shanghai forms so important a part in a commercial way, and I have seen much to interest me and much to instruct me. I wish I had known ten years ago what I have lately learned. I hope to carry back to my country a report of all I have seen in this part of the world, for it will be of interest and possibly of great use. I thank you again for the hearty welcome you have given me.”

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]




The speech over, there were other presentations, and General Grant was escorted to his carriage. There was a guard of honor composed of sailors and marines from the American and French men-of-war, and the Volunteer Rifles of Shanghai.

On Monday night General Grant went to the house of Mr. Cameron to witness a torchlight procession and illumination in his honor. The town had been agog all day preparing for the illumination.

The two occasions on which Shanghai had exerted herself to welcome and honor a guest, were on the visits of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Grand Duke Alexis. The display in honor of General Grant far surpassed these, and what made it so agreeable was the heartiness with which English, Americans, French, Germans and Chinese all united. The scene as the General drove out into the open street was bewildering in its beauty. Wherever you looked was a blaze of light and fire, of rockets careering in the air, of Roman lights and every variety of fire. The ships in the harbor were a blaze of color, and looked as if they were pieces of fireworks. The lines of the masts, the rigging and the hulls were traced in flames. The Monocacy was very beautiful, every line from the bow to the topmast and anchor chain hung with Japanese lanterns. This graceful, blending mass of color thrown upon the black evening sky was majestic, and gave an idea of a beauty in fire hitherto unknown to the visitors. “Never before,” said the morning journal — “has there been such a blaze of gas and candles seen in Shanghai.”

At ten the General returned to the house of Mr. Cameron, and from there reviewed the firemen's procession. Each engine was preceded by a band, which played American airs. After the procession passed and repassed, there was a reception in Mr. Cameron's house, and at midnight the General drove home to the Consulate. So came to an

und a wonderful day - one of the most wonderful in the history of General Grant's tour around the world.

As the Ashuelot came into the Peiho River, the forts fired twenty-one guns, and all the troops were paraded. A Chinese gunboat was awaiting, bearing Judge Denny, our Consul, and Mr. Dillon, French Consul and Dean of the Consular corps. As General Grant and party came near Tientsin the scene was imposing. Wherever they passed a fort twenty-one guns were fired. All the junks and vessels were dressed in bunting. A fleet of Chinese gunboats formed in line, and each vessel manned yards. The booming of the cannon, the waving of the flags, the manned yards, the multitude that lined the banks, the fleet of junks massed together and covered with curious lookers-on, the stately Ashuelot, carrying the American flag at the fore, towering high above the slender Chinese vessels and answering salutes gun for gun; the noise, the smoke, the glit. ter of arms, the blending and waving of banners and flags which lined the forts and the rigging like a fringe - all combined to form one of the most vivid and imposing pageants of their journey. The General stood on the quarter-deck, with Commander Johnson, Mr. Holcombe, Judge Denny and Mr. Dillon, making acknowledgments by raising his hat as he passed each ship. As they came near the landing, the yacht of the Viceroy, carrying his flag, steamed toward them, and as soon as their anchor found its place hauled alongside. First came two mandarins carrying the Viceroy's card. General Grant stood at the gangway, accompanied by the officers of the ship, and as the Viceroy stepped over the side of the Ashuelot the yards were manned and a salute was fired. Judge Denny, advancing, met the Viceroy and presented him to General Grant as the great soldier and statesman of China. The Viceroy presented the members of his suite, and the General, taking his arın, led him to the upper deck, where the

« PreviousContinue »