Anson Burlingame: His Legacy in U.S. – China Relations
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln appointed the 41 year-old congressman as Minister to China. He served as such until 1867, when Chinese Emperor Tongzhi made him “Plenipotentiary” to the United States and other western countries - - a sort of Secretary of State position. In that capacity, Burlingame advocated fair dealing with China as opposed to the coercion of the past. He also assisted the Chinese by introducing western technologies involving mining and communications. His greatest achievement became the passage of the Burlingame Treaty in 1868 between the United States and China, that allowed for travel and immigration between the two nations, among other agreements. Burlingame died in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1870 while representing the Chinese.
Although never really a resident of the San Francisco Peninsula, in 1866, Burlingame purchased 1,000 acres of property that would eventually become parts of today’s Hillsborough and Burlingame. The City of Burlingame adopted his name in 1908 when it incorporated.
Chai is seeking a way to honor Burlingame. Part of his presentation will be to discuss how this might be accomplished.
Next on the Docket
Friday, July 4: Summertime: Films from the Archives presented by Carmen Blair.
The Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation Board of Directors: Lewis Coleman, Charles Crocker, James C. Flood, JB McIntosh, Peter T. Pope, Richard T. Thieriot and Michael R. V. Whitman.