The Rev. Mr. Ament, of the American Board of Foreign Missions, has returned from a trip which he made for the purpose of collecting indemnities for damages done by Boxers. “Everywhere he went he compelled the Chinese to pay.” He says that all his native Christians are now provided for. He had seven hundred of them under his charge, and three hundred were killed. He has “collected 300 taels for each” of these murders, and has “compelled full payment for all the property belonging to Christians” that was destroyed. He also assessed “fines” amounting to “thirteen times” the amount of the indemnity. “This money will be used for the propagation of the Gospel.”
Mr. Ament declares that the compensation he has collected is “moderate,” when compared with the amount secured by the Catholics, who demand, in addition to money, “head for head.” They collect 500 taels for each murder of a Catholic. In the Wenchiu country, 680 Catholics were killed, and for this the European Catholics here demand 750,000 strings of cash and 680 “heads.”
In the course of a conversation, Mr. Ament referred to the attitude of the missionaries toward the
Chinese. He said:
“I deny emphatically that the missionaries are vindictive, that they generally looted, or that they have done anything since the siege that the circumstances did not demand. I criticise the Americans. The soft hand of the Americans is not as good as the mailed fist of the Germans. If you deal with the Chinese with a soft hand they will take advantage of it.”
If required by the circumstances, I will respond to Dr. Smith’s letter at some length in “The North American Review,” but at present I will limit myself to a few words. Whenever he can produce from Rev. Mr. Ament an assertion that “The Sun’s” character-blasting dispatch was not authorized by him; and whenever Dr. Smith can buttress Mr. Ament’s disclaimer with a confession from Mr. Chamberlain, the head of the Laffan news service in China, that that dispatch was a false invention and unauthorized, the case against Mr. Ament will fall at once to the ground. There has been time—51 days—to get these absolutely essential documents, by cable. Why not get them now? Does Dr. Smith believe that with loose and wandering arguments and irrelevant excursions all around outside of the real matter in hand he can pull Mr. Ament out of the unspeakable scrape he is in?
New-York, Feb. 13, 1901
Emily S. Clarke of Hamilton, N.Y. wrote compliments of Twain’s “Sitting in Darkness” article [MTP].
William Newton Clarke, Colgate Univ., Hamilton, N.Y. wrote to Sam, joining with his wife (above) a message of grateful appreciation to the man who wrote the powerful exhibition of our national error and disgrace”—Twain’s “Sitting in Darkness” article [MTP].
Paschal H. Coggins (Sidney Marlow), Philadelphia lawyer and writer, wrote compliments of Twain’s “Sitting in Darkness” article. Coggins recalled as a boy being a frequent visitor to the editorial room of the Sacramento Union where his father was the City Editor.
I remember very well the night of your first lecture in Sacramento, and the doubts which seemed to hang over the result in your own mind, even after you had delivered it to a crowded house.
It was your custom, I think, to wait in the editorial room, until the Eastern dispatches had been received, with the ultimate object of taking Henry C. Watson off for a game of billiards [MTP]. Note: See before May 26, 1898 entry on Coggins. Sam wrote “Write him” on the env.
Rev. W.G. Puddefoot, Eastern Field Secretary for The Congregational Home Missionary Society, N.Y.C., complimented “Sitting in Darkness” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote “Good! Write him” on the env.
Judson Smith sent a telegram from Boston to Sam: “The letter was given to the Associated Press on Monday” [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.