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BURGEVINE TRIES TO REJOIN THE REBELS. 179

against the Tycoon, and who had heard of the absurd
terror which Burgevine's name inspired in China, offered
him an important post in his army. While hesitating as
to accepting this offer, the adventurer was prevailed upon
to make a trip to Shanghai; early in 1865, in the steamer
Fei-pang; and from Shanghai he went down in another
vessel to Amoy, near which place a remnant of the Tai-
pings were still in arms. His return to the coast of China
seems to have been purely an accidental affair, though
extremely improper and imprudent; and on the passage,
when spoken to on the subject of joining the Rebels, a few
of whom still made a stand at the city of Changchow
in Fukien, he expressed his conviction that their game
had been played out, and that neither honour nor profit
were to be got from that quarter. Unfortunately, when
he reached Amoy, he fell into the hands of some Rebel
sympathisers, and whilst in a state of intoxication, was
induced to pledge himself to visit Changchow, and to
give all the assistance in his power to the expiring Tai-
ping cause.” It was the duty of the American Consul
at this port to have immediately arrested the misguided
adventurer on his return to China; but nothing of the
kind was done, and so the Chinese authorities were com-
pelled by the duty which they owed their country to
take the matter into their own hands.
The movements of Burgevine were betrayed to these
authorities by a black servant who accompanied him,
and he was arrested on the 15th May, along with two
companions, armed to the teeth, and proceeding to the
Rebel lines. Being confined in the Yamun of the dis-
trict magistrate, the American Consul now demanded his
rendition, and to avoid a dispute on this point he was
Secretly forwarded to Foochow, and there the Consul
* North China Herald, September 14, 1865.

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also demanded his delivery ; but this request was positively refused, the chief magistrate stating that Burgevine would be sent on to Li, Futai of Kiangsoo, under whose orders he had formerly acted. Immediately on intelligence of this affair reaching Peking, Prince Kung wrote to the American Minister, informing him of the circumstances, and stating that Burgevine, having made himself amenable to the laws of China, would be judged by these laws, and might be executed as a felon, while three or four other Foreigners who had been taken along with him would be handed over to the jurisdiction of their respective Consuls. Dr S. W. Williams, the acting American Minister at Peking, a gentleman of high character, and of almost unrivalled knowledge of China, seemed disposed to accede to this proposal, but requested his Highness to detain Burgevine in confinement for a few months, free from all insult and injury, whilst the Government at Washington was consulted on the subject. In writing to Mr Seward on this case, Dr Williams said, “I am under the strong impression that this man's conduct has been a reproach to the fair name of all Western nations; for all other Foreigners, so far as I know, who commanded the Imperialists, have acted honourably in this particular, leaving the service if they were dissatisfied, and not turning against it. I am mortified that an American should have held this bad position.”* Dr Williams further pointed out that, while the Act of Congress of June 22, 1860, made rebellion against the Chinese Government a capital offence, and while there was no doubt whatever of Burgevine's guilt, the absence and death of important witnesses would render it extremely difficult to convict him in an American court. At the same time, it was very desirable to

* American Diplomatic Correspondence for 1865, p. 454.

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DEATH OF BURGEVINE. 181

give every assurance to the Chinese Government that no efforts should be spared to prevent American citizens from joining the Rebels, or to punish them for so doing. The case was one of some difficulty, and the Chinese authorities consented to keep Burgevine a prisoner, but unharmed, until the Government at Washington decided what was to be done. Meanwhile, as they were afraid to leave him on the sea-coast, lest an attempt at rescue should be made, he was sent from Foochow into the interior, to be forwarded overland to the charge of the Governor of Kiangsoo. What occurred to the unfortunate man after this is known only from Chinese statements. It was officially reported that he was drowned, along with ten Chinese, at Lanchi hien in Chekiang, by the capsizing of a ferryboat, owing to a sudden flood in the river. Mr Lewis, the United States Deputy Consul-General, proceeded to the spot to investigate the circumstances; and though rumours of foul play were prevalent among the Foreign community, nothing was discovered to disprove the assertions of the Chinese. The adventurer's body was identified by a fracture which had been inflicted during his service in the Imperialist army; but it was too much decomposed to throw light on the manner of his death, which is said to have occurred on the 26th June 1865. The fact was proved of there having been a heavy flood at that time ; but a certain amount of darkness must ever rest over the circumstances of his death. The Chinese authorities were under a very great temptation to get rid of him in some manner which would effectually preclude his giving further trouble, and which at the same time would not lead to any embroilment with the Government of the United States. Dr Williams says that the official correspondence on this subject gives no idea of the alarm which filled the minds of the high officers at Peking, when they heard of Burgevine's attempt to rejoin the Rebels. Beyond this, and a rumour of a piece of flayed skin having been noticed in his coffin, I have no reason to suppose that their account of his death was untrue ; and if they did drown him purposely, they saved themselves and the American authorities a good deal of trouble.

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THE FALL OF SOOCHOW, AND THE EXECUTION OF
ITS WANGS.

THE INVESTMENT OF SOOCHOW — STORMING OF LEEKU — GORDON's
“MAGIC wand”—DEATH OF CAPTAIN, PERRY-Disposal of THE
BESIEGING FORCES – THE FAITH FUL KING's APPREHENSIONs—
COMPLETE INVESTMENT OF SOOCHOW-PIRATING OF THE STEAMER
FIREFLY-A DISASTROUS NIGHT-ATTACK–CAPTURE OF THE EAST
GATE STOCKADES-NEGOTIATIONS FOR SURRENDER—MURDER OF
THE MOH WANG — A CHARACTERISTIC LETTER FROM COLONEL
GoRDON–THE CAPITULATION OF SOOCHOw—GORDON's PERILOUS
POSITION.—HIS GRIEF AND INDIGNATION.—HIS SEARCH FOR GOV-
ERNOR LI—ExECUTION OF THE WANGS-LI's REASONS FOR THAT
ACT – GORDON REFUSES TO ACT, AND REJECTS AN IMPERIAL
DOUCEUR — IMPERIAL DECREE REGARDING THE FALL OF SOO-
CHOW.

WHILE the negotiations were going on for the desertion of Burgevine and his friends, the Faithful King came down to the relief of Soochow with a considerable army;

o but, as was his invariable custom in similar circumstances, refused to trust himself within the walls of that city, and carried on his operations in its immediate neighbourhood. Colonel Gordon considered the Taipings to be so much weakened by the defection of their

t European allies, that he resolved to resume the offensive, and pushed on towards the South Gate of the city. Various stockades in that direction were soon taken, and

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