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Colonial Cases

The Lorcha "Dong Kong", 1883


The Lorcha "Dong Kong"

United States Consular Court, Shanghai

Denny, 10 July 1883

Source: North China Herald, 13 July 1883


Shanghai, 10 July 1883

Before O. N. Denny, Esq., Consul-General Acting Judicially.


      An enquiry was held at the United States Consulate-General today to ascertain the ownership of the above named lorcha. The following affidavit had been sworn:-

  I, H. Kemish, being duly sworn, say that I am a citizen of the United States, and that I was in command of said lorcha from the 5th day of September, 1882, until the 4th July, 1883; and while the said lorcha flies the American flag she is solely owned by Chinese and is placed under the American Flag in order to evade Custom duties, as I am informed and believe, which belief I am ready to substantiate by the evidence of witnesses.

(Signed) H. Kemish.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 7th day of July, 1883. (Signed) O. N. Denny, Consul General Acting Judicially.

  H. kemish, sworn stated - I was captain of the Dong Kong for eight months and I have been captain in the same employ for five years and four months.  I was discharged on the 4th inst., and I do not know what it was for; no reason was given me at the time.  The lorcha is not owned by an American, I believe that Mr. Emery gets Tls. 100 a year for flagging the boat. My reason for believing he is not the owner I will explain.

  For some time the crew were stealing and smuggling, and I complained to Mr. Emery.  He said he would see into the matter.  He afterwards told me that the owner of the lorcha stated it should not occur again.  I was told by people on board the lorcha that the lorcha did not belong to a foreigner, but to a Chinaman. The lorcha afterwards went to Ningpo, and while there Yue Fong a Chinaman went on board and said that he was going to change the flag to Chinese and make a numbered boat of the vessel to trade between Ningpo and Shanghai.

  I afterwards proceeded to Hankow.  But that same evening as I was going to Hankow a telegram came from Mr. Emery to know whether the captain was coming up or not.  Mr. Yue Fong wished for me to go in the boat, but his partner did not; he had another captain to go on, and the two had a dispute before Mr. Schofield.  But anyhow they forwarded me out to Hankow. They charged me half of my passage, up to Hankow. When I got there I went into Yue Fong's hong, but he was not three; he had not arrived. Consequently his assistant compradore directed me to Mr. Watson, who keeps an Hotel in Hankow.  Mr. Watson and I went to General Shepherd at the U.S. Consulate to make out the necessary papers for the ship, and to put my name on the articles, or ship's papers or whatever you call them.  After that I never heard any more until I came down here.  I left Hankow and came down to Shanghai.

 His Honour - What lorcha did you leave Hankow by?

  Witness - By the Dongkong.

  You have been in her ever since? - Yes.

  Did you see Yue Fong at Hankow? - No, Sir; he was sick, I saw him at Chinkiang when I came down the first time.

  When was the Dongkong put under the American flag? - On the 5th September, 1882.

  At Hankow? - At Hankow, Sir.

  Who applied to the Consul to have her flagged? - Mr. Watson, the hotel-keeper at Hankow.

  Whom did he apply for? - Mr. Emery.

 Is the lorcha (the Dongkong) which you were in before still under the American flag? - No, Sir; not now.

  You say Mr. Emery is not the owner? - No, sir, he is not.

  And that this Chinaman you speak of is the owner? - Yes, sir; Yue Fong is the owner.

  State how you know that to be the case.

  Witness - The Chinaman came down to Shanghai and employed me.  He paid me my wages. He agreed with Mr. Emery for my wages to be $35 and $2 for paper and sampan hire.  I only received $30 a month and $2 for paper and sampan hire; and I spoke to Mr. Emery about it and he said, "It is all right; you will get that money when you leave the vessel."  And it was the same way with the Dongkong.  He pays me at the rate of $45 a month and $2 for paper and sampan hire, but I ought to get $52.  Those $5 are kept back from me.

  His Honour -You state that Mr. Emery received compensation for flagging this boat.  How do you know that?

  Witness - Mr. Emery made an agreement with the owner of the lorcha.

  Where was that done? - At Chinkiang.

  In the presence of Mr. Emery? - Yes.

  How do you know that Mr. Emery received compensation for flagging the boat? - Yue Fong told me so.

  What did he tell you? - He told me that Mr. Emery  flagged his boat for Tls. 100 a year; and he said, ":Mr. Emery flag my nother piece at Hankow now."

  At the time the lorcha was flagged, did Yue Fong come before the Consul? - No, Sir; he was sick at Chinkiang.

  Mr. Shepherd does not know that this lorcha belongs to the Chinaman, does he?- No, Sir; he does not; I don't believe he does; I don't know.  He does not.  A great many captains go up the river like that and never speak a word about it, because if they did they would get lashed up and beaten and would lose their situations.

 Who lashes them up and beats them? - The sailors, Sir.

  Chinese sailors? - Yes, Sir,

  What foreigners have they lashed up and beaten? - American sailors and captains.

  And they make no complaints? -well, they make complaints and the Chinamen put them up with a bottle of gin.

  The Witness said Mr. Schofield had spoken to him about the lorcha belonging to the Chinese.

  Mr. Schofield - You are making use of my name rather too freely.  I shall ask you some questions bye and bye.

  His Honour said Mr. Schofield would have an opportunity of questioning the witness. - Did you ever have any talk with the owner of the lorcha about your discharge or about the discipline of the ship?

  Witness - I have, Sir.  I spoke about trouble with the sailors, and he said he would see about it.  When I complained to Mr. Schofield he says to me, "Why don't you go before your Consul, and not come here? Why don't you go before your Consul and say that this lorcha belongs to a Chinaman and not to Emery?"

  Did the owner of the Dongkong ever tell you about who looked after his interests or anything, or whether he had any one at Hankow? - he told me several times to look after his interests there and to look after his property, and see that nothing happened to the ship.  But if I complain to him, then he goes over to the sailors and the sailors make a liar on me; and if I complain to Mr. Emery he does just as bad for me; I get no satisfaction.

  Who does the business of the Dongkong at Hankow? - Mr. Schofield.

  You say in your affidavit that she is placed under the American flag for the purpose of evading the customs? - Yes, Sir.

  What have you to say about that - how do you know that? - Well, that is all the evidence I can give you, Sir.  I know the Chinaman employed me and I received my wages form him, and gave him receipts for it.  And the Chinaman said himself that Mr. Emery was the flag agent.  I kept no log book and kept no books of any kind for the owners.  The Chinese looked after all that.

  No returns were made to Mr. Emery? -No, Sir.

  Who pays for the repairs? - Yue Fong. He pays all expenses - repairs and everything.

  Did he ever tell you [that] you could not help yourself - that if you knew the lorcha was the property of Chinese you could not help yourself? - Mr. Emery told me, Sir, that if I made any complaint to him he would complain to the Chinaman - and see what he said.  And then of course after I have made a complaint to him he comes back to me and I say, "Well, Mr. Emery, how is it?" and he says, "I have given him a good talking to, and he won't do it again."  The Chinaman discharges what men he pleases and keeps what men he thinks proper in the ship.

  You say you have seen smuggling carried on? - Yes, Sir.  Many a lorcha captain will tell you the same.

  You say they smuggled salt and opium? - They smuggled salt up at Hankow last time going up.  They smuggled salt at Wenchow (?).  I happened to go up and saw four or five sampans alongside the ship, and I said, "What are you doing there?" - and the men on the lorcha rushed away and the sampans got away from the ship's side. Half an hour afterwards I heard a row forward and I found eight or ten of them had got hold of my boy and were beating him.  Of course I took my boy's part. I didn't know any of them.  When I got up to Hankow I reported this to the Chinese owner.  At the same time the Chinaman said he did not care a ---------- ----------- for any foreigners in Shanghai or for any Consul.

  Why? - He says "We have got our own Consul to defend us against foreigners."  he says, "Kingtak-man." That must be Mr. Jenkins; he is half Chinese and half foreign.'      

  What Mr. Jenkins? - Consular Interpreter.

  Who told you that? - The Chinese sailors on the ship.

  Did anybody on the lorcha tell you this? - The shroff did.  He is this compradore Yue Fong's brother. He is supposed to be the master of the ship - not me.  He says he is master of the boat - he means master and owner; he is in company with Yue Fong.  Coming back from Hankow they smuggled a lot of goods and stole a lot of cargo.  I went ashore and after having cleared everything, I had my breakfast.  In the evening I went on shore again about six o'clock and had my dinner.  Half-an-hour afterwards I saw my boy coming in - running after me into Mr. Li-ching's compradore's store.  He complained that the sailors were going to beat him and chuck him in the water.  He said the harbor-master had been on board, looking round the ship; and the sailors said that either the boy or the Captain had been to the Customs and they were smuggling.  As it happens, we had not been near the Customs. They sold the smuggled goods in Chunking afterwards.  They smuggled down here.  At the time when I had the trouble and reported it to Mr. Emery he was Acting Consul.  He gives me my papers for the Customs, and I reported to him what occurred in the ship, Sir, - the trouble we had on the ship and everything.  He said all right, he would look into it; and when I went round the next day he said to me, "I have spoken to the shroff," he says, "and I have given him a good blowing up, and I fancy it will be all right."  And that same day Sir, the boy came ashore and I took the boy before him. I told Mr. Emery, "Here is the boy; he wants to see you?" He said, "I have got no time now, Captain; you send him round tomorrow morning and I will see him," I took the boy round at nine o'clock next morning, and he asked where the boy was staying.  I said, "at Li-ching's store.":  He said he would send for the boy in the afternoon.  With that he ordered me to the ship, and I went; and in the evening at six o'clock I came ashore again.  I asked the boy if Emery had sent for him, and he said "No." Ten minutes afterwards I saw Emery coming into the same store.  He asked the boy, "Why are you not on board your ship?" The boy said he was afraid to go on board for his life, and I told him the same thing.  I had to carry a razor in my pocket and have a revolver always by my side.  I told him everything when he was Acting Consul.

  Why was that? - Because I was amongst a load of rebels - pirates, not men.  Yue Fong sent his own brother to guard me.  Of course I spoke rather rough to them when they committed this trouble.  They said they did not care a -------- for me, and all that.  Mr. Emery gave me my papers of clearance - to proceed to Shanghai; and I had to send my boy ashore at Chinkiang to go down to Shanghai another way.

  Have you told all you know about the Dongkong? - Yes.

  Do you know of any other lorcha flying the American flag which is owned by Chinese? - Well, it is hard for me to say, but you could find it out from the Captain if the Captain wished to say so.  I believe there are only four lorchas there that are owned by foreigners.

  Which are they? - The Chusan Capt. Fibin; the Chinkiang, Capt. Smith; the Yuli, Capt. Baker; and the Wuhu, Capt. [Olleressen.]

  How many are there flying the American flag?  About a do?en - more, perhaps.

  And only four out of this lot are really owned by foreigners? - Only four, Sir, that I know of.

  At whose instance are the rest of them flaggedxx -By different agents, Sir.  Perhaps the Captains will be able to give you information about that, Sir.

  Are they here? -There are two captains here - Captain Holmes and Captain Lee. Captain Lee was discharged from the American lorcha Donggu.  Holmes was aboard the British lorcha Chinkiang.

  His Honour then told the witness to stand down, saying that he would probably be called again to be Cross-examined when Mr. Emery came.

  Witness - Would you wish to see these two Captains, Sir?

  His Honour -Do they know anything about the Dongkong?

  Witness - Well, they will be able to give you some information about the lorchas - snuggling and the like of that.

  Mr. Schofield said he wished to put some questions to the witness before he stood down.

  His Honour assented.

  Mr. Schofield - You have complained about the sailors smuggling.  I wish to ask you whether they were smuggling on behalf of the ship, or on their own behalf?

  Witness - On behalf of the owners, on some occasions.

  Do you know of your own knowledge that anyone has smuggled on behalf of Mr. Emery? - Mr. Emery is not the owner.

  M r. Schofield - So you say.

  Witness - You told me so yourself.

  Mr. Schofield - Certainly not.

  Witness - You said that once at Hankow, before Capt. Miller.

  Mr. Schofield - Oh, no. I wish to have my question answered.  Do you know of any sailors smuggling on behalf of Mr. Emery?

  Witness - How could I, when Mr. Emery is not the owner of the boat?

  Mr. Schofield - I wish to have an answer.

  His Honour - Well you can answer the question.

  Witness - Not that I know of

  Mr. Schofield - Do you swear that Mr. Emery never paid for that boat? On your oath do you swear that Mr. Emery never handed any money over for that boat?

  Witness - I only take the Chinaman's word for it.  And Mr. Emery told me himself that the property did not belong to him.

  How long have you been in that ship? - Eight or ten months; from the 5th of September.

  Did you know at the time you shipped that it was a bogus sale; that Mr., Emery was not the owner, at the time Mr. Watson shipped you? - Of course I did.

  At that time? - Yes.

  Did Mr. Watson ship you on behalf of Yue Fong? - He did not say anything about who he shipped me for.

  Was it Yue Fong or was it Mr. Emery who was doing this business? - Of course it was Mr. Emery.  A Chinaman can't do any business at the American Consulate; he must have an American to do it for him.

  Do you swear positively that Mr. Emery did not pay for the boat? - I can swear to it, Sir. He never paid a cash for it.

 You say you do not know why you were discharged? - Yes.

  When you came to me at Hankow and complained to me that the sailors were givi9ng a great deal of trouble, I told you -

  Witness - You told me to go to the Consulate and say it was not an American vessel.

  Mr. Schofield - Wait a minute.

  Witness - Did you or did you not?

  M r. Schofield - I am asking you a question.

  Witness (excitedly) - Did you or did you not?

  His Honour - Mr. Schofield is not on the witness-stand.  I will ask him to tell what he knows about it afterwards.

  Mr. Schofield - When you complained, you said the row was simply between you and the crew and your boy, and you got into trouble on account of taking the part of your boy.

  Witness - Decidedly.

  Mr. Schofield - Suppose there had been no trouble about your boy, would there have been any trouble with you?

  Witness - Supposing I do not take the boy's part, who will? He is my servant.  They are supposed to find a berth for him, but they do not.  They turn him about from one place to another and beat him.

  Mr. Schofield - What is the reason you did not go and report it at the American Consulate as I requested you?

  Witness - You asked me. "Why don't you go to American Consulate and report that the property does not belong to Mr. Emery but to the Chinaman?"

  Mr. Schofield - No, I never said that.

  Witness - Yes you did. By ----- You did!

  His Honour -Use proper language please.

  Witness - Yes, Sir.

  Mr. Schofield (to his Honour) - With regard to the ownership of the property, I must leave that to Mr. Emery; but with regard to the trouble on the boat, I was told that Captain Kemish made an arrangement with three or four of the sailors to smuggle salt.  They bought seventeen or eighteen dollars' worth of salt and put it in the captain's own cabin.

  Witness - Oh! That's it, is it?

  Mr. Schofield - The second lowdah reported it.  I don't know what arrangement there may between Mr. Emery and the supercargo, but it was reported to the supercargo.

  His Honour - I will put you in the witness-stand, Mr. Schofield,

 Mr. Schofield was then sworn.

  His Honour - You can state anything which you think will be an explanation of what the last witness has said.

  Mr. Schofield - Well, at the time that Mr. Emery made over the Tung-an he wrote a letter to me, and gave me a power of attorney to sell her, stating that his compradore, Yue Fong, would arrange with the Chinese with regard to money matters. I held the power of attorney, and would have transferred the boat to some Chinamen that Yue Fong was about to sell her to.

  His Honour - That Yue Fong was about to sell her to?

  Witness - Yue Fong was Mr. Emery's compradore at the time.  I went to the Consulate about it, but it was necessary that she should go to Ningpo to be made over.  I then told Mr. Emery it was necessary to send a power of attorney to some one at Ningpo, and I believe he sent a power of attorney to Mr. Meyers, and the ship was sold.

  His Honour - Now about the Dongkong.

  Witness - I know that Yue Fong was my compradore at Hankow during the time that the boat was being built, and I was always under the impression that this boat was being built for Mr. Emery. How Mr. Emery manages his money matters with Yue Fong I don't know, but I was always under the impression that it was for Mr. Emery. He sent a power of attorney to Mr. Watson, and I believe the sale was finally effected between Mr. Yue Fong and Mr. Emery.  Whether it was or not, I cannot sear, but I have always believed so.  Latterly Mr. Kemish came and complained of a great deal of trouble on board.  I heard him and Yue Fong talking; he seemed rather excited, and I enquired what was the matter, and he told me. I said, "Well, you are captain; it is an American boat; if you have any trouble why do you not go to the American Consulate and report it?" He said he could not do that, because he might get into trouble with Mr. Emery.  He said he would wait and see Mr. Emery.  I advised him not to wait, and said I would write to Mr. Emery about it. The sailors made complaints about Mr. Kemish's boy.  When I came down here, Mr. Kemish came to me about the matter and asked me if I had received a letter from Mr. Emery.  I said no.  Finally I received a letter from Mr. Emery saying there was a great deal of trouble about the Dongkong, and saying he wished to know the particulars. I sent a letter saying there were faults on both sides -that there might be some bad sailors on board, and I thought Mr. Kemish should discharge those sailors whom he pointed out as being bad, and also that he should discharge his boy.  I saw Mr. Kemish, and he said he had already discharged his boy, and I said I believed that Mr. Emery would discharge three or four of the bad men. Captain Kemish said no, they must all be discharged; and I said "If you will not take my advice, I w ash my hands of it." Then there was a complaint of Captain Kemish having some smuggled salt in his cabin, with an arrangement with his sailors that they should have a share.  This was found out by the lowdah, and it appears that the sailors had to throw the salt overboard.  Whether this is true or not I do not know; but I believe if the ship had not been cleared we could have got evidence of the fact. Whether this is the reason of the ill-blood I do not know.

  His Honour - Did you ever tell the last witness that the lorcha was the property of the Chinaman he speaks of?

  Witness - Never to my knowledge.  In fact I have never had any conversation with Captain Kemish, or very little, during the whole time I have known him.  It is very rarely that we have had any conversation.  In Hankow I don't suppose we should have had any, except for this complaint.  On one occasion he came to my house and behaved in such a manner that I requested that he would leave.  He left owing the provision compradore some money, and General Shepherd had to send a summons after him.  That is all I know about Captain Kemish. I know that whenever he has been in any port and consigned to my house there has always been trouble, and why there should  be more than with other captains, I don't know.

  His Honour -How long have you been agent for this boat?

  Witness - Ever since it has been running.  That is, as far as collecting cargoes; I have not drawn any money for freight; there is a Chinese supercargo.

  His Honour - Who employs the sailors, ships and discharges, and does the business?

  Witness - The shroff, or what you might call the supercargo.  This lorcha business is a very peculiar business.  It is a business which will not admit of having a respectable man - or perhaps I should say of a man of good abilities and seamanship.  They can't afford it.  They are obliged to get men who simply make the lorcha business about the last shift, in my opinion, that they could possibly come to. The consequence is that the owners can't trust them.  They have no business habits, and it is necessary that the business should be left entirely in the hands of the native supercargo.

  Captain Kemish - At the time I joined the Tung-an did you not employ Mr. Canter to go into the Tung-an, and did you now pay him the sum of $10?

  Witness - No.

  Captain Kemish - If Mr. Canter were here, he would be able to give you the whole information as to whom the vessel belongs.

  Witness - I lent Mr. Canter $10.  So far as my influence went, he would have been appointed; but I received a letter from Mr. Emery saying that he approved of Mr. Kemish, and Mr. Kemish was appointed, though not with my approbation.

  Did you not say that either I must pay back the $10 or the owner of the ship, Mr. Yue Fong? - No, I said Mr. Canter was a poor man and I lent him $10. Of course if he had got the ship, I should have expected him to pay me back.

  At Hankow, when you and Yue Fong came on board my ship, the Dongkong, what did Yue Fong say to the second lowdah? - I don't know; I don't understand Chinese.

 Did you now hear Mr. Yue Fong say, "Captain, what men do you want to have discharged?" - Yes.

 Well then, it appears that he has got all powers there?

  He was simply my compradore.  I can swear that at the present moment Yue Fong has not got a single cash in that vessel.

  If he has not got a single cash in the vessel, how is it that he has got so much to sayxx

 Simply because he possesses Mr. Emery's confidence.

  His Honour - Do you know of your own knowledge whether this vessel is owned entirely by Americans?

 Witness - I cannot swear whether Mr. Emery is the owner or not, but I can swear that Mr. Yue Fong is not. I can swear that to the best of my belief, Mr. Emery is the owner.  In all his letters he has never said anything to lead me to suppose that Mr. Yue Fong has any share in her.  So far as I can make out, if Mr. Kemish had not been discharged, you never would have heard anything of this.

  His Honour - Perhaps that is true.

  Witness - It appears to me that he is a man of spite.  I know he did threaten he would report it, and he said if he was turned out, it would be the last time the lorcha would fly the American flag.

  Capt. Kemish - Did you not say that I would only make it bad for myself if I kicked against the Chinese owners?

  Witness - No.

  That I should keep quiet and crawl underneath them? - No.

  Did you not say "Let them smuggle and let them plunder and you must not say a word about it?

  No; I said you deserved all the inconvenience you got because you did not go to your Consul and report it.

  The witness, addressing his Honour, said - In the presence of another captain on the bund, Mr.  Kemish mentioned this complaint to me and I distinctly told him that he had the remedy in his own hands. Who was the owner it was not for me to know, unless it was Mr. Emery.  I told him he should go to Mr. Shepherd and complain to him; if he did not do so, it was his own fault.

  Capt. Kemish - You did nothing of the kind, you said you would speak to Mr. Yue Fong and get the sailors put off the ship.

  His Honour - When do you expect Mr. Emery down?

  Mr. Schofield - I wrote on Saturday and telegraphed he would come himself or give me instructions to act.  He telegraphed that he would send down the Shroff.  I wrote to him yesterday saying that the case was postponed on account of your indisposition and that Mr. Kemish's deposition would be taken and the case would probably be again postponed until his arrival; and that I could do nothing in the matter, and he had better come down himself or send documentary evidence as to the ownership.

  Mr. Schofield said if it was His Honour's wish, he would telegraph to Mr. Emery saying that His Honour desired him to attend

  His Honour said he thought Mr. Emery should come and reply to the strictures which had been made upon his conduct.

  Captain Kemish - There is one thing I forgot to say.  The day I cleared the boat, the trip before last, I went ashore after clearing the boat.  I had some money in the ship, and while I was on shore this same shroff, the owner's brother, came to my boy and asked him if the Captain had any money.  The boy said "Yes," and the Shroff asked the boy to let him have it.  The boy said the money belongs to the Captain, and the Shroff said, "All right," and the boy gave him the money and he bought salt with it.  The next day I asked where the money was, and the boy said the shroff bought salt with it.  I said "where is the salt," and the boy said,"The shroff put it under your bunk."  I waited till it was dark and then I took the salt and chucked it overboard.  When I got to Chinkiang, I reported the matter to Mr.  Emery and the agent, and he said he would pay me the money back.

  His Honour - How was the salt taken on board?

  Capt. Kemish - From the French town, where we were lying at anchor.

  Mr. Schofield - That is one of the most difficult things that captains have to contend with.  The sailors will try to smuggle.

  Capt. Kemish - But you said I smuggled it.

 Mr. Schofield - That was the report.

  The Court then adjourned till 10 o'clock on Monday morning.


Source: North China Herald, 20 July 1883

17th July

Before O. N. Denny, Esq., U.S. Consul-General, Acting Judicially.


  The enquiry into the ownership of the lorcha Dongkong, alleged to be improperly flying the American flag, wzs resumed.

  Francis John Canter was called as a witness by Captain Kemish.

  His Honour - You are an American citizen? - Yes, Sir.

  What is your occupation? - I am a shipmaster by profession.

  What are you doing now? - I am at present mate of a vessel here, Sir.

 What is that vessel? - The Batavia, Sir.

  Have you ever acted as lorcha captain? - Yes, Sir.  I went up to Hankow and brought down a new lorcha.

  What new lorcha? - The Paoting; and then I went up with it. It was only a temporary arrangement with me.  I was verbally engaged for the commission business in Hankow; but I left Hankow because I had a little trouble with General Shepherd through Jenkins.

  What was the nature of your trouble? - Jenkins monopolizes agency business that is carried non in Hankow under American protection.  He has the ear of General Shepherd; he is Interpreter, Marshal, Clerk of the Court and every other official, Sir.  Through him, General Shepherd said I had been insolent to him.  I kept the correspondence, and I was going to consult you, but you were away at the time.  I wrote a letter of apology to him, saying that if I had offended him in any way I should like to know the particulars, because it was never my intention to insult him. But he would not point out in what manner I had insulted him,; he simply said that if I had been drunk or unconscious in my action he would have looked over it; but as I was conscious, an apology was not sufficient.  The fact is, he wanted an abject apology, and I would not give him one.

  His Honour - State what you did in going down on that lorcha.

  Witness - I came down in charge of her; I brought her down when she was new, pending my appointment to this commission business. Then I went up in charge of her again.  Then in Hankow I had this trouble, through Jenkins.

  Do you know anything about this lorcha Dongkong? - No Sir, I do not, only what I have heard.

  Captain Kemish - Let me ask you a question.  Did not Mr. Schofield advance you the sum of $10 to join the Dongkong before I joined it?

Witness - That ten dollars I can explain.  Mr. Schofield engaged me as his partner in the commission business.  He was to carry on the business in Shanghai and I in Hankow. I was introduced to Yuen Fong, the owner of the Dongkong, as the representative of the house in Hankow.

  His Honour - How did you know he was the actual owner?

  Witness - I was introduced to him as such in Hankow.  I was appointed to the Dongkong, but I was simply to have command of her temporarily for one or two days.  But Yue Fong wanted Captain Kemish in charge, and consequently I was an encumbrance on Mr. Schofield's hands until he could put me into the position that he had verbally engaged me for.  I told Mr. Schofield that I could not afford to wait; besides, I was short of money; and Mr. Schofield lent me $10.  He then appointed me to the Pluto, the one that was afterwards seized, but I resigned after I had been in her three days, and left her.

  You say Yue Fong was introduced to you as the owner of the Dongkong? - No, Sir; as the representative of the house in Hankow.

  But you said he was the owner of the Dongkong? - I was told so.

 Who told you so? - Mr. Schofield told me that Yue Fong, as the owner of the boat, had put in Captain Kemish, and I could not go.

 Do you know anything more about the Dongkong? - No, Sir; but it is well known to everybody how these lorchas are carried on.

  How are they carried on? - Why there is a man here flagging lorchas - Ollerdessen.  He is not an American, I guarantee you cannot find a man who can prove that he is an American.

  Under the American flag? - Yes. There is not a man on the river who would swear that he saw him in Philadelphia or Chicago and that he was an American.  There is not a man who can prove he is an American.

  Do you mean Ollerdessen? - Yes.

  How do you know he is flagging lorchas? - Simply because the very lorcha that I brought down was flagged by him.  The bill of sale was made out to him.

  Whose employ is he in? - Mr. Jenkins's in Hankow.

  What steamer is he in? - No steamer Sir, a lorcha.  I believe he owns the Wuhu, but he flagged the Haean, and the Paoting and three or four of them.  It is a business with him.

 In what way? - They get so much a year for flagging the lorchas.

  How much? - Some get $100 a year, some get so much a month; and some squeeze the captains down.  There is no fixed tariff at all.

  They get what they can? - Yes.  It is a well known fact to everybody that is connected with the river.

  When was Hanson put on board the Wuhu? - He came out before I came to Shanghai.  But he is not an American; he cannot prove that he is an American.

  He is not an American? - No, Sir, he is a German.

  He has not got letters of naturalization?  - No, Sir.  There is not one of them an American.  There are two who never saw America.

  Who are these ? - One is Captain Boyson.  I knew a carpenter who was brought up with him and knew him all his life and that he was not an American and had never been to America.

  What other is not an American? - Well, if you will excuse me, I would not like to say.  He is an old man and I should not like to harm him.

  His Honour - No matter.  You are on your oath, and I want the name.

  Witness - Am I compelled to answer?

  His Honour - You are compelled to answer, yes.

  Witness - Well I suppose I must.  Let me see - Brown.  Well, he has been in America some time, but he has not papers.

  His Honour - What Brown?

Witness - No, not Brown.  What is his name?  (The witness here described the man to Captains Lee and Holmes, who were present in Court, and Captain Lee said his name was Palliser.) - Palliser that is his name.

His Honour - How many lorchas are there on the river flying the American flag?

Witness - They can tell you better than I can.  I am not posted up.

  Captain Lee - There are thirteen, Sir.

Witness - and not one of the whole party is American or can show one document to prove it.

  His Honour - Some of them are Americans.

  Witness - Not one that I know of, and I think I know them all.

His Honour - Do they claim to be Americans? Are they foreign born?

Witness - Yes Sir; they claim to be American citizens.

Captain Holmes - There is Captain Turner; I believe he is an American.

Witness - Well, I believe he is; he was born on the Canada line somewhere.  But he is only one.

His Honour - Have you anything more to say?

Witness said he had nothing more to say, except about the Commission business at Hankow.  There was something grossly wrong in the system.  He had heard the Hon. Hugh F. Ramsay say that he knew for a fact that Jenkins took out 420 transit passes in one month.  There was something radically wrong there.  Jenkins was simply the tool of the Chinese; he was the header of this hong at Hankow.

Captain Holmes was then sworn.

His Honour - Do you know anything of the Dongkong in particular?

Witness - No Sir, I do not; not of the Dongkong in particular.

  His Honour (to Captain Kemish) - What is it you wish to ask this witness?

Capt. Kemish - Mr. Holmes, you remember when Yuen Fong came to load rice on board your ship; did not he mention that he was the owner of the Tung-an.

Witness - Yes, he has told me so,

Captain Kemish - Did he ever tell you anything about the Tung-an? - No., nothing in particular; nothing more than that he was the owner of her.

His Honour - Did he ever tell you anything about the Dongkong?

Witness - No Sir; I never had any conversation with him about it.

  How many lorchas on the river flying the American flag? - Twelve or fourteen I should say; I would not be certain.

Do you remember the names of them all? - Well, no Sir; I cannot remember them all; there are so many funny names among them.

Whom are they flagged by, mainly? - By Captain Ollerdessen and several other people - all Europeans; but it is my firm opinion that they do not belong to them.

  Captain Kemish - Who is the Dongkong flagged by?

Witness - I could not swear.

Captain Kemish - You do not know?

Witness - I cannot say.

His Honour -Do you know anything about the custom, as to how much is paid for flagging a lorcha?

Witness - Well, I have heard the rumour, but I cannot answer to it.  They are paid $100 a year, I have been told.

You have been told that this is the customary fee? - It has been the rumour for years on the river.  How true it is I cannot say.

His Honour asked if Captain Kemish had any other witnesses to call.

Captain Kemish said Mr. Lee, who was present, could give some information about smuggling and so forth on the river.

His Honour asked Mr. Lee if he knew anything about the Dongkong, and Mr. Lee replied that he did not.

  His Honour - As he does not know anything about this particular matter we are enquiring into I don't care to call him.

His Honour - Have you any other witnesses?

Captain Kemish - No Sir, not that I know of.

  His Honour asked Mr. Schofield if Mr. Emery had arrived.

Mr. Schofield said he had wired to Mr. Emery, and that gentleman had probably arrived by the streamer Kiangkwan which had just come in.

His Honour - Well, if her makes his appearance any time within two or three days I will give him a chance to be heard in the matter.

The case was then adjourned sine die.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School