“escorted by Uncle Sam’s cavalry” — Cleveland Presidential One Dollar Coin

Today, the Cleveland Presidential One Dollar Coin remembers when he met with Viceroy Li Hung Chang in New York on August 29, 1896.

From the Salt Lake Herald on the following day:


Li Hung Chang and Cleveland  Meet at the Whitney  Mansion

New York, Aug 29.

In the magnificent white and gold ballroom, just  off the main hall of the mansion of  William C. Whitney in Fifth avenue,  the president of the United States at  1 o’clock today formally received the  respects of the emperor of China  through the medium of the great  Chinese statesman Li Hung Chang.

The oriental ambassador left the  Waldorf hotel at 10:40 o’clock, escorted  by the Sixth United States cavalry and  attended by his secretary and interpreter, Lo Fung Luh, and Secretary  of State Richard Olney.

In the next  carriage was the Chinese minister,  Yang Yu, and his secretary with General Ruger.

The third vehicle contained the viceroy’s two sons and  Colonel Davis, commissioner of Chinese  customs.

J. B. Drew, with a staff officer, was in the last carriage.

Earl LI wore his famous yellow  jacket and peacock feather. The  party reached the Whitney residence  at 11 o’clock sharp and Li Hung Chang  was  received by the president a few minutes later.

Secretary Carlisle, Assistant Secretary of State  Rockhill, General James Wilson, John  Russell Young, John W. Foster, Private  Secretary Thurber and William C.  Whitney were the only others present  at the reception, the character of  which was changed at the last moment  from a public to a private one.

The  representatives of the two press associations who had been invited were  not permitted to be present.

Mr. Cleveland made an address of  welcome as follows:

“Your Excellency: It gives me great  pleasure to receive from your hand the  personal letter from your august  sovereign and to greet you a his personal representative.

“Since our two countries became better acquainted, many incidents have  occurred calculated to increase our  friendly relations, and not the least  gratifying of these are the kindly expressions contained in the letter of  your emperor and the visit to our  country of his most distinguished subject, who has been so honorably and  prominently connected with public affairs in his own country and with all  that has been attempted in the direction of its advancement and improvement.

“Your  visit to us at this time is  made more impressive by the thought  that it serves to join in one alliance  the most ancient civilization of the  east and the best type of a newer  civilization in the western world. Notwithstanding the widely different characteristics of the two countries, the  welcome which is tendered you by the  government and citizens of the United  States illustrates in the strongest possible manner  the kinship of nations.

“We feel that in the arrangement of  your tour you have not allotted to your  sojourn among us sufficient time to  gain an adequate observation of all we  have accomplished as a nation.

“It will not, however, escape your  notice that a rich and fertile domain  has here been quickly created by those  who were assured that they would  reap where they had sown, that a  strong and beneficent government has  been here established by those who  loved freedom and that we have a  patriotic and generous people who love  their government because it is theirs;  controlled by them, administered for  them and protected and saved from  harm by them. We heartily wish that  your stay with us may be most pleasant, and that at its close you may enjoy a safe and agreeable return to your  home and your field of duty and usefulness.”

Li replies.

The translation of Li Hung Chang’s remarks is as follows:

“Your Excellency: It affords me  great pleasure to have the honor to  be presented to your Excellency. The  reputation of your highly-esteemed  virtues is widely known throughout  the world, and in you the citizens of  the United States of America have invariably placed their confidence, consequently both the interior administrations and the exterior relations of  this great republic are in a state of  prosperity.

“It will also be the desire of my august master, the emperor of China, to  maintain the most cordial relations  with America whose friendly assistance rendered to the government of  China after the China-Japanese war  and whose protection for the safety of  the Chinese immigrants in America  are to be highly appreciated.

“I am specially appointed by my august master, the emperor of China, to  present to your Excellency the letters  of credence, and to convey to your  Excellency the assurances of his most  friendly feelings toward the United  States of America, in the hope that  your Excellency will reciprocate his  sentiments, and cooperate with him  to promote the friendly intercourse between our two countries for the cause  of human kind.

“I trust that your Excellency’s government will continue to afford protection and kind treatment to the Chinese immigrants in America and to render  friendly assistance to the Chinese government when required.

“May the people of our two nations  enjoy the benefits of perpetual peace.”

The letter from the emperor of China  which Li Hung Chang presented to  President Cleveland was a very elaborate affair, done in Chinese on parchment and wrapped in a yellow silk  covering, upon which was the Chinese  dragon worked in red, blue, green and  white. The parchment resembled a  large music roll.

After Mr. Cleveland finished his remarks, he introduced Secretaries Carlisle and Lamont, Attorney-General  Harmon, Mr. Whitney and the other  gentlemen present whom Li Hung  Chang had not met. Ex-Secretary of  State John W. Foster was cordially  greeted by Li Hung Chang. The official interpreter, Lo Fung Luh, introduced the two sons of the viceroy  and the others who accompanied him  to President Cleveland.

After this there was some informal  talk and pleasant words exchanged.  Li Hung Chang did not indulge in his  propensity for asking questions to any  great extent, and half an hour after  the arrival of the guest of honor the  reception terminated. The party entered carriages in the same order in  which they had arrived, and, escorted  by Uncle Sam’s cavalry, drove back  to the hotel.

President Cleveland and Secretaries  Olney, Carlisle and Lamont took  luncheon with Mr. Whitney.

Mr. Cleveland left on the yacht Sapphire for Gray Gables this afternoon.  He was accompanied by Mr. Olney and  Private Secretary Thurber.

Seventy men who had been either  ministers of our government to China  or members of the various legations  within the last score of years or consuls assigned to certain treaty ports  of the empire, assembled in the Astor  hall room at the Hotel Waldorf tonight  and broke bread with Li Hung Chang.

It was a notable gathering,  in some respects the most notable that  New York has seen for many years.

During the dinner there was never  any expression of weariness upon the  viceroy’s countenance.

Then amid impressive silence, an address was read to Li Hung Chang,  which voiced the sentiments of Americans as to his services in promoting the  cordial relations between the two countries.

Ex-Minister Seward called upon Dr. Mott. Dr. Mott’s address was highly  complimentary to the distinguished  guest, and his remarks when translated, pleased the viceroy greatly.

Li responded through his interpreter  as follows:

“I need not say here or at this time how pleased I am with my visit, and  how delighted I have been that I have  had an opportunity to meet again so  many of my old-time friends. You have  expressed your praise of what I have  done for my country, and you have  been kind enough to tell me that you  have appreciated my endeavors in behalf of civilization and the everlasting friendship between my government and the countries of the western world.  I can only hope that when I return to my land I will be able to so arrange the continuation of friendly relations  which have existed, and to extend  those improvements which we have begun and which I have seen carried  out so magnificently in my travels, that China will be regarded as the equal in modern science and advancement of any nation upon the earth.  I beg of you, my friends, therefore, to bring to me your help, the help of our  old-time friendship, the aid of old-time  friends.”

After some addresses had been made  by ex-Secretary of State John W. Foster, J. D. Purdon and Rev. Dr. Baldwin, the ambassador arose, and as he  did so the wide ring of his hosts arose  with him. The time was come when  he should say goodnight. He did it  with a courtly bow in acknowledgment of his appreciation of the hospitalities which had been extended to  him as has ever been made within the  walls of the Waldorf.


The Cleveland Presidential One Dollar Coin shows with images of Viceroy Li Hung Chang, circa 1890s.

Cleveland Presidential One Dollar Coin