United States had maintained an American naval presence in East Asian waters from 1835, protecting lives and property during the many unrests that shook Imperial China. During the Boxer Revolt at the turn of the century, attacks were being conducted against foreigners.
In June 1900, the Boxers surrounded the legations in Peking and began a two-month siege. To rescue the beleaguered legations an international relief force, including U.S. sailors and Marines, slowly fought its way inland while the USS Newark and USS Monocacy stood off Taku Bar. Both warships landed Marines and bluejackets to help with the retaking of the walled city of Tientsin from the Boxers and continued to provide logistic support to the multinational force fighting to relieve Peking.
As the weeks wore on and the crisis in North China grew, additional warships were dispatched to Tientsin by Asiatic Station Commander, Rear Admiral George Remey. The legations were relieved in late August 1900, and the fury of the Boxer uprising was spent.