In Teng-Shi-Kou several Boxers came crying ‘ Shal Sha!’ (‘kill, kill !’) loudly with swords in their hands.
Continuing The Boxer Uprising,
with a selection from His Account included in George Lynch’s ‘The War of the Civilizations’ by Chuan-sen published in 1901. For works benefiting from the latest research see the “More information” section at the bottom of these pages. This selection is presented in three easy 5 minute installments.
Previously in The Boxer Uprising.
In the evening shortly after my arrival at my house, large numbers of persons, carts, and horses were running eastward from the main street inside the Hai-Tai Gate; all the men of the shops were hurried to shut their doors; someone cried out that the Boxers had entered the Hai-Tai Gate.
After a moment some concentrated smoke rose to a great height and a noise of firing guns was heard. By judging the noise and direction of the smoke, I knew it was the American missionary building near the entrance to Hu-Tung, inside the Hai-Tai Gate, which was burnt down by the Boxers.
The Boxers as they were walking northward ordered every shop to burn incense. Then the English hospital, the house of Yu-Keng, present Chinese Minister in France, all the shops thence southward to the entrance of Teng-Shi-Kou, the American church in Teng-Shi-Kou, the French church at Pa-Mien-Tsao, the dwellings of the professors of the imperial college, were burnt one after the other.
According to what the people said, the way in which the Boxers burnt the churches was that they only used a bundle of incense, read charms, and told all the bystanders to cry ‘Burn!’ loudly, and then they threw the incense into buildings which caught at once, but houses next the churches were left in safety.
Thus the people believed that the Boxers actually possessed the souls of spirits in their bodies, otherwise the houses in the neighborhood would have caught fire too.
In the morning of the next day the fire was yet in a fierce state; the smoke was so much that it looked like big masses of clouds. In the street the Chinese Christians were running about because they were too anxious to take refuge.
In Teng-Shi-Kou several Boxers came crying ‘ Shal Sha!’ (‘kill, kill !’) loudly with swords in their hands. As they were passing along, two Christian women, each having a little child in her arms, met with the Boxers. When they were just going to kill those Christians, I was in such a sorrowful state that I could not bear to see them die. Then I turned back on my journey and walked toward the Hai-Tai Gate. In the main street I saw several dead bodies, which I was told had been killed by the Boxers.
Sometime later very concentrated smoke was rising up violently. It was found that the Boxers set fire to the medicine shop in Ta-Cha-Lan, outside the Chien-Men. At first the Boxers did not allow the shops in the neighborhood to remove their goods, saying that the fire would only burn the one which they wanted to destroy, but could do no harm to any other.
But two or three others began to burn, and the Boxers wrote charms on yellow papers, which, so they said, could stop the fire where they were pasted.
After a few minutes the fire spread to such an extent that they allowed the shops to extinguish it with water, but it was impossible. In the theatre house a man tried to put down the fire with dirty water, which gave the Boxers excuse; so they said that the god of fire became angry for the dirty liquor, therefore the fire ruined those that were innocent. This fire destroyed about two square li, including a gate of the Chien-Men. Since then very few people believed the Boxers.
It was reported that forty or fifty Boxers in Shue-Fu-Yuen were shot by foreign soldiers, who, when they were going away, were told by the people that these dead men could become alive again when the old Boxers touched their bodies with their hands. The soldiers, hearing this, turned their way back and spoiled the bodies with the swords on their muskets.
Tung-Fu-Hsiang suggested that, as the Boxers could not burn the foreign legations, assistance with soldiers should be rendered. This plan suited the mind of Prince Tuan’s party, as they presumed the foreigners in Peking were the chief number of all in the world.
Thus the Chinese troops guarding the legations were increased with orders to resist the Boxers, but virtually they would besiege the legations.
In the evening the Tsung-Li-Yamen, under imperial orders, sent dispatches to the different legations telling the Ambassadors to leave Chiao-Min-Hsiang (Legation Street) within twenty- four hours, for the Admiral demanded from the Chinese the forts at Taku, and thus the peace had been broken, and saying that if they would not do so bombardment would be inflicted.
The Boxers and those foolish were very glad, and said foreigners had been enemies for forty years, now it was the time to take revenge by sweeping over all the world. In the streets written informations were pasted on the wall by Boxers saying that the fifth moon was changed to the eighth moon, and Legation Street was changed to ‘cut up foreigners’ cock- crowing.’ In the evening Boxers set fire to the telegraph station outside the Hai-Tai Gate.
On a certain day before noon I was told that the German Ambassador was shot to death in the main street of Tan-Pai-Lou by the soldiers on his way to the Tsung-Li-Yamen.
In the evening it was reported that at Taku seven foreign vessels wanted to enter the port, and were shot so they sunk and six were captured. People who did not know much about foreign countries were glad to hear the victory, and said that they were sure it was time for the Chinese to take revenge for their former defeats.
But I said that this victory could not be true, for we had never gained a victory like this during the war with the Japanese. They said we had the help of the Boxers. I asked them how could they destroy war- vessels?
They said that the Boxers could burn them simply by pointing at them with their fingers. I knew that they were foolish, but I durst not say any more, or they would tell the Boxers that I was a betrayer.
The Boxers lately got the power of killing any person they wished; therefore when they saw any man, woman, or child they disliked, they killed at once on the road. Fire continued every day. Some people said that there was very little food and am munition left in the legations, and that they would die of hunger in a few days.
Though the attempts proved fruitless, the Catholic Church in Hsi-Shi-Ku had been attacked four days. Some Boxers said that part of it had been destroyed, but very few people believed. Prince Ching suggested that it was against treaty and international law, and also unreasonable, to attack foreign ambassadors; moreover, it would be impossible for a weak country like China to resist several powerful nations.
Prince Tuan, hearing this, became very angry with him, and said that now so many people arose at the same time they must kill every foreigner in the world.
Five hundred of Tung-Fu-Hsiang’s soldiers were killed and wounded during the attack upon the French Legation. The Boxers could not burn the Catholic Church at Hsi-Shi-Ku, so cannons were necessary to be used.
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