September 29, 2018

徐继畬 and Washington

Jessica’s Note: Xu’s praises of Washington was inscribed in Chinese on a memorial tablet in Washington Monument.

According to “A Visit to the Tsungli Yamen”, Burlingame reported the matter to Secretary of State Seward, and the latter decided to take official notice of the honor paid to Washington. Accordingly, Seward had prepared a copy of Stuart’s portrait of Washington as a gift to Xu (J’s note: The National Gallery still has a copy of Washington’s portrait by the same artist, Gilbert Stuart). The painting was sent to Burlingame with instructions to make a formal presentation. On October 21, 1867, Mr. Burlingame made an official call upon the Tsungli Yamen for the purpose of presenting the portrait to Xu.

(Chinese inscription translated 🙂
Source Page 20
” Su-Ki-Yu, by imperial appointment, Lieut. Governor
of the Province of Fuh Kun, in his universal
Geography says : It is evident that Washington
was a remarkable man. In devising plans,
he was more decided than Chin-Shing or Wu-
Kwang , in winning a country, he was braver
than Tsau-Tsau or Lin-Pi. VVielding his four
footed falchion, he extended the frontiers thousands
of miles, and then refused to usurp the
regal dignity, or transmit to his posterity, but
first established rules for an elective administration.
Where in the world can be found such a
public spirit ? Truly, the sentiments of the three
dynasties have all at once unexpectedly appeared
in our day. In ruling the state, he promoted
and fostered good customs, and did not depend
on military merit. In this he differed from all
other nations. I have seen his portrait, his air
and form are grand and imposing in a remarkable
degree. Ah,who would not call him a hero ?
The United States of America regard it promotive
of national virtue generally and extensively
neither to establish titles of nobility and royalty
nor to conform to the age, as respects customs
and public influence, but instead deliver over
their own public deliberations and inventions so
that the like of such a nation one so remarkable
does not exist in ancient or modern times.
Among the people of the Great West can any
man, in ancient or modern times, fail to pronounce
Washington Peerless?
^” This Stone is Presented by a Company of Christians
and engraved at Ningpu in the Province of
Che Heang, China, this Third Year of the Reign
of the Emperor Heen Fung, Sixth Mouth and
Seventh Day ” (July 12th, 1853.)

English Article
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