Even the American ambassadors wife was seen running with an arm load of fine silks and furs. Many missionaries looted, claiming compensation for the earlier loss of their property. Our soldiers looted as well. But the American commanding general Adna Chafee, a veteran of the Civil War, would have none of it. Disgusted with what he saw, he ordered all large loot to be gathered and returned to whatever Chinese government could be found...knowing of course these Chinese officials were most likely to sell it and keep the profits for themselves. Out of officers and soldiers tents came furtniture, rugs, art which was then returned. Of coure, given what is still turning up in family collections and at auction houses, not everything went back. Which brings us to this little spoon found on eBay with a military envelop, from an Army organization that was disbanded in 1901, with the inscription written in pencil "captured in Pekin China". No other clues, apart from a Chinese makers mark to a silversmith named "Xin". Even the purpose of the spoon is unknown. Maybe it was too insignificant to have to be returned, maybe the soldier who took it had no intention of returning it. Whatever the reason it survives is now lost to history, but it still can remind us of 55 days in 1900 when World held its breath and the American fighting man, under incredible conditions helped save hundreds of innocent lives from certain death.
Edited by Dirk, 06 September 2019 - 04:21 PM.