China: Political, Commercial, and Social; in an Official Report to Her Majesty's Government | VOL 2 | 1847










































THE finite capacity of man, and his consequent fallible judg-

ment, render experience a safe guide in mundane affairs, particu-

larly in national intercourse, for the character and ruling motives

of a nation are less liable to change than those of individuals . If

then we find, that in the intercourse of China with foreign coun-

tries for more than 2000 years, submission has been received with

arrogance, and quiescence rewarded with oppression , that resistance

has been treated with respect, and force alone procured conces-

sions to justice,—we have a guide, when pursuing an upright course

of policy, for our conduct towards China.

The previous chapters will corroborate the truth of these

remarks, and in further elucidation of them, independent of his-

torical interest, the following narrative is given of English inter-

course with China, since the reign of our truly national sovereign

Elizabeth, during whose reign (A.D. 1596) we have the first offi-

cial intimation of public communication with China. The follow-

ing is a copy of a letter from Queen Elizabeth of England, to the

Emperor of China, A.D. 1596.


" Elizabeth by the grace of God Queen of England, France, and

Ireland, the most mightie Defendresse of the true and Christian

faith, againste all that falsely profess the name of Christ.

" To the most high and sovereign prince, the most puissant



governor of the great kingdom of China, the chiefest Emperor in

those parts of Asia, and the islands adjoining, and the great

monarch of the oriental regions of the world ; wisheth health, and

many joyful and happy years, with all plenty and abundance of

things most acceptable.

" Whereas our honest and faithful subjects which bring these

letters unto your highness, Richard Allot and Thomas Broomfield,

merchants of the city of London, have made most earnest suite

unto us, that we would commend their desires and endeavours of

sayling to the regions of your empire for traffiques sake ; whereas

the fame of your kingdom so strongly and prudently governed,

being published over the face of the whole earth, hath invited

these, our subjects, not only to visit your highnesses dominions,

but also to permit themselves to be ruled and governed by the

laws of your kingdom during their abode there, as it becometh

merchants, who for exchange of merchandise are desirous to travel

to distant and unknown regions, having this regard only, that they

may present their wares and musters of divers kind of merchandise,

wherewith the regions of our dominions do abound, unto the view

of your highness and of your subjects, that they may endeavour to

know whether there be any other merchandise with us fit for your

use, which they may exchange for other commodities, whereof in

parts of your empire there is great plenty, both natural and arti-

ficial. We yielding to the most reasonable requests of these

honest men, because we suppose that by this intercourse and traf-

fique, no loss, but rather most exceeding benefits, will redound to

the princes and subjects of both kingdoms, and thus help and en-

rich one another. And we do crave of your most Sovereign

Majesty, that these our subjects, when they arrive at any of your

ports or cities, they may have full and free liberty of egress and re-

gress, and of dealing with your subjects ; and may by your clemency

enjoy all freedoms and privileges as are granted to the subjects of

other princes ; and we on the other side, will not only perform all

the offices of a well and willing prince unto your highness, but also

for the greater increase of mutual love and commerce between us

and our subjects, by these present letters of ours, do most willingly

grant unto all and every your subjects, full and entire liberty into

any of the parts of our dominions to resort there, to abide and

traffique, and then return as it seemeth best to them .

" All and every of which premises we have caused to be con-

firmed, by annexing hereunto our royal seal. God most Merciful

and Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, continually pro-

tect your Kingly Majesty.

" Given at our palace at Greenwich the 11th of

July, 1596, and 38th of our reign."

A storm prevented the ship which conveyed this letter reaching

its destination. That considerable importance was attached to a


growing trade with China at this period, is further evidenced by

the following " draft of a warrant to discharge ware bound for

China," which is to be found in the Lansdowne manuscripts. It

appears to have been granted in favour of the " Earl of Leicester and

other adventurers for the discovery and finding out Kathay."

(China. )

The following is a copy of this singular document.

" Elizabeth, by the grace of God Queen of England, & c ., &c.

To the Barons of the Exchequer.

" Greeting. Whereas there is due unto us for our subsidy of

poundage of certain wares and merchandises entered into our book

of entries, of the said subsidy due of merchandise carried from a

port of London, and then shipped in divers ships, in the month of

April last past, in the names of our right trusty and right well-

beloved Robert Earl of Leicester, and other adventurers, for the dis-

covery and finding out Kathay, (China) to pass in the voyage to

that land divers several sums of money amounting to the sum of

£45 12s. 2 d. growing due of the value of the said wares, being

valued at £912 4s. 2d., after the rate of twelve pence for every

pound, thereof as by the said book reported by Robert Daw our

collector, for our said subsidy in the said port disbursed into our

said exchequer, and then remaining in the custody of our remem-

brancer, amongst other things more plainly appeareth ; and where-

as also there is due unto us for the custom of our hundreth, and

wine, woollen cloths, and twenty yards of woollen cloths, entered

in our book of entries of our petty custom of cloths and other mer-

chandize, transported from our said port, and then shipped in

divers ships in the month of March last, in the name of the said

Earl and other adventurers, to pass on the said voyage divers seve-

ral sums of money, amounting to the sum of £36 12s . 3d. after the

rate of 68. 8d. for every cloth, as by the said book kept by William

Phillips and Robert Young, collector of the said customs in the

said port, and delivered into the custody of our remembrancer

among other things, more plainly appeareth :-We let you to wit

that we have agreed and granted to the said Earl and other adven-

turers aforesaid, to allow towards the charges and furnishing the

said voyage as our adventure, to be accounted for after the rate to

our use, according as the voyage shall have success, the said several

sums due unto us as aforesaid, wherefore we grant unto you full

power and authority, and we will and command you by these pre-

sents, that you cause our said courts to allow and permit the said

Earl and others aforesaid, to retain in their own hands the said

several sums of money due unto us as aforesaid, to be employed

about the said voyage, or having already received it, do forthwith

re-pay the same to that use, and that you do by virtue hereof, give

clear and full allowance, discharge and exoneration, upon record for

ever against us, our heirs and successors, to our said courts, and



every of them, in the several accounts to be made unto us, of the

profits of the several officers of, for, and concerning the said sums,

any statute, law, course of our said Exchequer, or any other matter

or thing, to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding, and these

our letters," &c.

In 1613, the English East India Company having successfully

established a factory in Japan, the want of an opening with China

was severely felt, and efforts were made by the payment of large

sums of money to many Chinese merchants, who promised to in-

terest themselves to gain that object.

The differences between the English and Dutch Companies in

India and Japan, had risen to such a height, that the British

government and the States-General entered into a treaty of de-

fence, by which both countries bound themselves to endeavour to

open a free trade with China. No part of this treaty was fulfilled

by the Dutch, who were very jealous of the rising power of


The dreadful slaughter of English subjects by the Dutch at

Amboyna, and the cruel persecution which the East India Com-

pany's officers were subjected to in Japan (see vol . i. , p . 300) were

allowed to pass with impunity, owing to the state of affairs

between England and Spain.

In 1634, 66 a truce and free trade " to China and all other parts

where the Portuguese had trade, was agreed to between the Vice-

roy of Goa and several English merchants , who had obtained a

license from King Charles the First (Courteen's association ) . By

virtue of this agreement, Captain Weddell sailed for China , with

letters of introduction to the governor of Macao. The details of

this expedition illustrate the character of the Chinese to the pre-

sent day, and are worthy of note.

When Captain Weddell's fleet arrived at Macao, the Portuguese

governor, so far from giving them encouragement to trade (lest, as

he represented, he might offend the Chinese) , advised our ships

to depart.

Captain Weddell, unwilling to return fruitless after his long

journey, determined to explore the Canton River ; and fitted out

a barge and pinnace, with fifty men, which discovered the mouth

of the river. After several days' delay, a small boat approached

the pinnace, sold them refreshments, and agreed to bring them to

Canton ; they had not sailed far when they fell in with a fleet of

Chinese junks, consisting of twenty sail, commanded by an ad-

miral, who called on them to anchor, which they did ; some Portu-

guese on board acted as interpreters.

Nothing could exceed the wrath of this functionary on finding

that the " Barbarians " had discovered the mouth of the river,

(it appears the Portuguese were not permitted to approach Canton

by this route ; probably it was the " inner passage,") or, as he


termed it, " the prohibited goods, and the concealed parts and

passages of so great a prince's dominions." The Chinese admiral

required the English to tell him who were their pilots.

The spokesman of this adventurous crew asked permission to

trade on the same terms as the inhabitants of Macao. Permission

was granted for three of the crew of the pinnace, to sail for Canton

in a junk furnished for that purpose by the Chinese admiral. The

next day, when near Canton, they were hailed , and a request

made to return to Macao, and that every assistance would be

given to them in obtaining a license to trade.

The proceedings of Captain Weddell, the treachery he experi-

enced, and the concessions immediately granted from fear, are so

similar to the proceedings during our late war, that they deserve

special notice .

The pinnace returned from Canton on the strength of these

promises ; and being satisfied with the knowledge they had ac-

quired of the river, were anxious to relieve Captain Weddell from

the suspense their long absence must have occasioned.

During their absence six vessels had sailed from Macao for

Japan, which the Portuguese were afraid Weddell would have in-

tercepted : he allowed them, however, to proceed on their voyage.

But instead of receiving any aid from either the Chinese or Portu-

guese, the English were prohibited to trade, the Chinese being

freed from the fear that Captain Weddell would surprise their

vessels .

A consultation was held by the English, and a plan of the

river being laid before the captains of the ships, it was decided

that the whole fleet should sail for Canton without delay.

" Having made good passage on their way to Canton, and being

furnished with some slender interpreters, they soon had speech

with mandarins in the king's junks, to whom the cause of their

arrival was made known ; to the request these mandarins pro-

mised to lend every assistance with the prime men in Canton ; but

requested a delay of six days, which was granted ; and the English

ships rode with white ensigns on the poops.

" But the perfidious Portuguese had so slandered the English,

that in the night-time, the Chinese put forty- six pieces of ord-

nance into the fort lying close to the river ; and after the end of

four days, having fortified themselves, they discharged divers shot,

though without hurt. Herewith the fleet being incensed, did dis-

play their bloody ensigns ; and weighing their anchors, fell up

with the flood, and berthed themselves before the castle, from

whence came many shots, yet not any that touched hull or rope.

Whereupon, not being able to endure their bravadoes any longer,

each ship began to play furiously upon them with their broadsides ;

and after two or three hours, perceiving their cowardly fainting,

& the boats were landed with about one hundred men ; which sight

occasioned them, with great distraction, instantly to abandon the


castle and fly ; the boat's crew in the meantime entering the same,

and displaying his majesty's colours of Great Britain upon the

walls. The boats of the fleet seized a junk, by which a letter was

sent to Canton, directed to the chief mandarins, expostulating

on their breach of truce, excusing the assailing, and withal, in fair

terms, requiring the liberty of trade. This letter it seems was de-

livered ; for the next day, a mandarin of no great note came

towards the ships with a white flag, the request was renewed, and

certain gifts presented ; he was dismissed, but returned the same

day with a junk to carry up such persons as would be able to con-

clude further upon the manner of their future proceedings."

The English, by firmness, gained their point ; two officers,

Mounteney and Robinson, proceeded up the river, and anchored

close to the city walls ; and were received by officers of high rank,

who granted Captain Weddell permission for a free trade, and the

liberty to fortify himself on any place outside the river. In conse-

quence of this, Captain Weddell landed the guns which he had

taken from the castle. The supercargoes went up to Canton, paid

down ten thousand rials as duties, and commenced loading sugar

and ginger.

Not many days elapsed when things took a most unfavourable

turn . The Chinese delivered a protest to the commander ; charged

him with having forced the trade ; two of the supercargoes were

made prisoners, and seven fire-junks were floated down the river,

which the English, however, avoided and destroyed . The pri-

soners obtained their release by threatening to burn the town by

means of a lens, which so alarmed the mandarins, that they gave

them their liberty.

In the meantime, the fleet at Macao hearing of the detention of

their comrades, resolved to release them. And having well manned

their boats, they attacked sixteen sail of the imperial fleet, and

burnt five of them, captured the town of Famou, and sailed to

Canton . The affair was arranged, the Chinese authorities charg-

ing the Portuguese as the instigators, whom they condemned to

pay a large sum, which went into their own pockets.

Between the imbecility of the Chinese government and the re-

newed persecution of the Portuguese, the project of Courteen's

association was abandoned ; although the terms entered into with

the Chinese were moderate, viz.: " that for ample trade and resi-

dence, the English should yearly pay 2000 taels to the Emperor,

four pieces of iron ordnance, and fifty muskets ." Throughout

these protracted difficulties the Chinese authorities appear to have

been under the control of the Portuguese, as the Chinese were

not then governed by the Tartars, and were really desirous of free


Agreeably to an understanding entered into between the Viceroy

of Goa and the East India Company, a fleet of ships was despatched

to Macao, in June, A.D. 1637 : the supercargoes presented a letter


from King Charles to the Portuguese Captain- general, who alleged

that the conduct of Captain Weddell the previous year, had sub-

jected them to heavy fines from the Chinese.

A.D. 1644. The East India Company sent the ship Hinde to

Macao ; on first landing, our countrymen received good entertain-

ment, but were subsequently mulcted in every possible way, and

charged 3,500 rials instead of 800, for measurement. The super-

cargoes' letter stated that the Portuguese were greatly reduced,

owing to the loss of their former trade to Japan, Manillas, & c. ,

and that they are little better than rebels against their viceroy at

Goa, having lately murdered their Captain-general, and daily

spilling one another's blood .

The supercargoes further state the effects of the Tartar con-

quest on China thus :-

" What makes things more miserable, China is wholly embroiled

in civil wars . One of the mandarins having risen in rebellion, is

grown so powerful, that he possesses a great part of the kingdom ,

and is likely to command the whole. The Emperor has hung

himself, (after slaying his wife and children) . These disturbances

have left Macao destitute of all kinds of merchandise, neither raw

nor wrought silks, nothing but China ware, of which the bulk of

the present cargo is composed ."

The state of the East India Company and of our trade in China,

A.D. 1648, is thus shown in a letter from the supercargoes at Ban-

tam :-" The experiment which you desire we should make with

one of our small vessels for trade into China, we are certainly in-

formed by those that know the present state and condition of that

country very well, cannot be undertaken without the inevitable

loss both of ship, men, and goods ; for as the Tartars overrun and

waste all the inland country, without settling any government in

the places which they overcome, so some of their great men in

China, with a mighty fleet at sea of upwards of 1,000 sail of great

ships, (as is confidently reported) rob and spoil all the sea-coasts,

and whatsoever vessels they can meet with ; and how one of our

feeble vessels would be able to defend themselves against such

forces is easy supposed . As for the Portugals in Macao, they are

little better than mere rebbels against their viceroy in Goa, having

lately murdered their Captain-general sent thither to them, and

Macao itself is so distracted amongst themselves, that they are

daily spilling one another's blood. But put the case, all these

things were otherwise, we must need say, we are in a very poor con-

dition to seek out new discoveries, while you will not allow us either

factors, shipping, or sailors , scarce half sufficient to maintain the

trade already you have on foot ; and, therefore, the Dutch but

laugh at us to see us meddle with new undertakings, being hardly

able to support the old."

A.D. 1664. The Surat ship despatched this year to Macao,

after waiting five months, reshipped the goods, as the charges de-


manded were enormous, independent of the heavy exaction of

the Chinese in the form of bribes. The supercargoes reported that

"the new governors of China, the Tartars, are throwing every im-

pediment in the way of trade, merchants from Canton are pre-

vented from coming to Macao by the pirates, who take every thing

before them ; provisions are not to be had."

A.D. 1670. The chief of Formosa had hitherto proved success-

ful against the Tartars, and was so anxious for foreign commerce,

that he invited the English to trade in his territories, promising

them an exemption from port or any other charges. The East

India Company despatched a vessel from Bantam, to Formosa.

The chief entered into terms which promised well for establishing a

factory and trade with Amoy.

Notwithstanding the invitation and promises, when the factory

was settled, and warehouses erected , the chief in the most treacher-

ous manner charged duties, to the serious injury of trade, en-

grossed the monopoly of sugar and skins, and acted most arbitra-

rily in every respect, obtaining goods without the least prospect

of paying for them, unless he got the better of the Tartars, of

which he was most sanguine. He, however, promised free ports

in every place should he succeed .

A.D. 1674. The ship Return was again despatched to Macao,

and after a long stay was obliged to depart without any success .

The consultation states that " owing to the intestine wars now

raging in China, and the consequent distress, they only sold eleven

pieces of cloth in barter, and that at poor rates ."

About the year A.D. 1677, a most pressing invitation was sent

from the viceroy of Canton to the English merchants, who were

then settled in Amoy seven years, to establish and settle a factory

in Canton . But such was the uncertainty of the usurpers being

able to continue their sway in China, and probably a dread of dis-

pleasing Koxinga, that the proposal was declined, the English pre-

ferring the native chieftain Koxinga, i.e., the King of Formosa, and

his successor . It was not until his final overthrow, A.D. 1681 ,

that the English turned their attention to Canton .

The Portuguese no sooner heard of the defeat of Koxinga, than

they purchased the sole right of trading to Canton, by a bribe of

8,000 sterling per annum, and procured an edict from the go-

vernor, which prohibited the merchants of that place under heavy

penalty " from trading with any strangers."

When the English arrived in A.D. 1682, in the Canton river, they

were met by a Tartar Admiral, who informed them, " that there

was an agreement entered into between the Emperor of China and

the Portuguese, not to permit a trade with any other European


The Tartars obtained possession of Amoy, and the factors, to

appease their hostility and rapacity, were obliged to expend con-

siderable sums of money ; but the more they gave, the more was


required, so that their condition was getting worse every day under

the new rulers.

Mr. Roberts, one of the supercargoes, demanding a debt due to

him by a Chinese merchant, was put under arrest in his own fac-

tory, and chained there until he agreed to take such goods as the

debtor chose to give him at his own valuation, for the sum he owed.

The extortions and exactions were not confined to the mandarins,

but the Emperor's son sent to a merchant and compelled him to sell

him such articles as he selected for his own price. The English

were even obliged to pay duties for a cargo that could not be dis-

posed of. All the ports of China being opened to traders, Amoy

was relinquished.

A.D. 1685. All the ports of the Empire were nominally opened

to foreign free trade by the Emperor Kanghe ; but the restrictions

and heavy impositions adopted by the local authorities continued

at Canton ; where the Portuguese tribute or bribe of £ 8,000 per

annum closed the port against the English, except under severe

exactions .

A.D. 1689. The first experiment of free port privileges was tried

on the ship Defence at Canton . After a delay of three weeks a

measurer came on board, commenced measuring her from stem to

stern ; but by getting a bribe consented to measure her from be-

fore the mizen- mast to the after part of the fore-mast. The sums

demanded were 2,484 taels, which was resisted ; after a week's

delay 1,500 taels were paid, 300 of which were to go to the Tartar

officers . A riot occured between the sailors of the Defence and

some Chinese, and although some of the sailors were killed, and

the doctor mortally wounded, yet in consequence of one of the

Chinese being also killed, not less than 5,000 taels would pacify

the mandarins, who refused 2,000 offered by Captain Heath.

A.D. 1702. Rapacity had early exhibited itself, by an attempt

to have all the trade at Canton conducted through one person, to

be styled " the Emperor's merchant." This extortion was not

fully acted on, after an engagement had been entered into to pay

him 5,000 taels for each ship .

A fresh imposition was laid on of four per cent. which caused a

long and useless remonstrance.

A.D. 1704. Gerardini, the Italian painter, arrived from Peking

at Canton, to embark for France in one of the company's vessels .

This eminent painter had been eight years in Peking, adorning

the Emperor's palace. The Emperor was so delighted with the

works of this artist, that he would not part with him till he had

" bred up six great men's sons " in the art. The hoppo to whom

he was consigned by the Emperor for safe and speedy departure,

greatly facilitated the despatch of the Company's fleet, by which

means the artist obtained a free passage.

A.D. 1715. The great promises held out by the mandarins at

Canton of protection, induced the East India Company to resolve


on sending ships to Canton at stated periods ; and the better to

secure the trade, stipulated for the observance of a series of regula-

tions as follows :-

Articles agreed upon between the supercargoes of the East

India Company and the hoppo, or superintendent of foreign trade

at Canton.

1st . Free trade with all Chinese without distinction.

2nd. Liberty to hire Chinese servants, and to dismiss them at

pleasure. English servants committing any offence to be punished

by the supercargoes, and not by the Chinese.

3rd. Liberty to purchase provisions for the factory and ships .

4th. No duties to be chargeable on the reshipment of unsold

goods, nor on stores, such as wine, beer, &c. expended in the


5th. Liberty to erect a tent on shore for repairing casks ,

sails, &c.

6th. English boats with colours flying, to pass and repass the

custom houses without examination, and the sailors' pockets not

to be searched.

7th. Escritoires and chests to be landed and shipped without

examination .

8th . The hoppo to protect the English from all insults and

impositions of the common people, and the mandarins .

As soon as it suited the authorities of Canton to violate these

regulations, they were of course set aside. In fact, although

ratified on paper they were never practically carried into effect.

The lex talionis, promptly executed, has always been in China

the surest mode of obtaining redress. The East India Company

records state that in 1713 " A private ship (the Anne) from Madras,

seized a junk belonging to Amoy, in satisfaction of injuries re-

ceived at that port. The Emperor being informed of this, sent a

special messenger to enquire into the affair ; and on his report,

ordered the mandarins, whose duty it was to see justice done the

Madras merchants, to be severely punished .

" The seizure of the junk caused the English to be better treated

than ever."

Lord's Report, 1821 , p. 279.

Whilst the Company had the alternative of trading at Amoy as

well as Canton, the supercargoes exhibited a becoming spirit.

They frequently detained their vessels at the mouth of the river,

until they obtained an assurance of proper treatment. At this

early period it was not an uncommon occurrence to bring sentries

on shore to guard the factory ; and it must have been through

ignorance or neglect, that they permitted so good a precedent to

become obsolete.

In 1721 a complaint of combination among the Chinese to

regulate prices was made, as is now (1847) the case.

The Court of Directors, in their orders to the supercargoes as


to the liberty to trade, stated " this article is likely to be more

necessary and strenuously to be insisted on now than ever, for our

last returned supercargoes have brought us a draft of the combina-

tion which the Chinese were forming to set their own prices on

the goods to be sold to the Europeans, thereby to have their pro-

portion of the real profit on the said goods, whoever appeared to

be the seller."

A.D. 1722. The intolerant grievance was tried this year of

forming the Cohong. The hoppo prohibited the inferior mer-

chants from trading with Europeans, and compelled all merchants

(except the Cohong) to pay 20 per cent. on China ware, and 40

per cent. on all tea sold by them. By a firm resistance on the

part of the supercargoes, this was dissolved. It was soon ascer-

tained that fresh extortions and violations of the privileges granted

were attempted every season.

A.D. 1723. The supercargo of the ship " Walpole," on their

arrival at Macao, discovered that the whole of the Chinese officials

had engrossed the trade, and obliged the Chinese merchants to

borrow money from them at 30 per cent. having previously pur-

chased all the tea in the country, and forced the merchants to

take it at their own price. By this means the merchants were

ruined, so that not more than two were capable of entering into a


The Consoo Fund, which was levied by the mere fiat of the Hong

merchants, was three per cent. on all goods excepting woollens, long

cloths, iron, and cotton yarn.

It had long been diverted from the purposes for which it was

imposed, and was of late years appropriated as follows :

Annual tribute to the Emperor . £ 18,000

Repairing the Yellow River, to which the

British had no access 10,000

An agent at Peking 7,000

Birthday presents to the Emperor 43,000

Ditto to the hoppo · 7,000

Ditto ‫ور‬ دو‬Mother or Wife

Wife · 7,000

Ditto various officers • 13,000

Expended on Ginseng, a Royal monopoly grown

in Tartary • 47,000


A.D. 1727. Several merchants left Canton for Amoy, where

they were invited, and it was stated that the mandarins of that

port were most anxious to cultivate trade, and free it from un-

reasonable demands. April 22nd, at a consultation held this day,

it was resolved to remove to Amoy, in consequence of the increased

exaction and insulting treatment at Canton.


This intention was abandoned upon fresh promises being made

by the hoppo of more favourable usage. October 22nd trade

again interrupted for a considerable time, in consequence of not

being able to procure tea, from some combination among the


A.D. 1730. The 10 per cent. imposition amounted this year to

16,000 taels, every effort was tried to have it reduced or abolished

without success .

A.D. 1732. The French, Dutch, and English made a remon-

strance against the unjust taxes, the 6 per cent. and the 10 per

cent. Nothing obtained but promises, as it was said the Emperor

received a portion of the taxes.

A.D. 1733 and 1734. The consignments this year from England

having failed, endeavours were made to relinquish the presents to

the hoppo ( 1,950 taels) according to a former agreement ; but

without effect .

A.D. 1735. Inferior silk being attempted by the Chinese to be

passed off, caused a representation to be made to the viceroy, who

answered that for such trifling circumstances he should not be

disturbed in future, by strangers coming into the city, which was

not allowed.

The supercargoes threatening to go to Amoy, the mandarins

made great promises, and reduced the Cumsha of 1950 taels per

ship, to a nominal sum.

A.D. 1735. This year another attempt was tried at Amoy, from

the promises held out by the mandarins upon anchoring in the

outer harbours ; but it could not be ascertained what duties would

be charged. When the covid or cubit was brought, it was found

only eleven inches in length, instead of 14 ; 1,250 taels were

required instead of 504 for measurement, which was accepted,

with an addition of twenty per cent . to the hoppo.

The ships had no sooner broken bulk than the old system was

reverted to, and a spy of their own placed within the factory, to

take account of all goods sold ; the ships' guns were required to be

given up.

At length a representation reached the Yan, as he was called,

who promised to rectify the misconduct.

After a few weeks delay a grand " chop" arrived from the

viceroy of the province, directing that the English should be

allowed full liberty to trade ; and stating that by a decree of the

Imperial grand council, published four years previous, the mandarins

of Amoy are expressly enjoined not to demand a duty of seven

per cent. formerly paid there by European ships ; it being hoped

that by this concession, they might again be induced to resort to

Amoy to trade.

Notwithstanding this, the imperial wishes were frustrated by the

conduct of the hoppo and others, who were " full of delays and pre-

varications, denying one day what they had promised the pre-


vious." The result was, that after several weeks delay the ships

departed without disposing of any part of their cargo.

A lesson was learnt from the edict published at Amoy, that the

cabinet of that time was well disposed to commerce, and to the

removal of any obstacles that were brought under that cognizance .

The difficulty felt at all times was to find means of communicating

with the court on the subject of these extortions, committed by the

very parties who were the regular channels for the transmission of


A.D. 1736. Keenlung, who ascended the throne this year, re-

voked the ten per cent.: for obtaining which, the governor de-

manded 30,000 taels, but it was considered that this privilege was

obtained through the influence of the Jesuits at court, as the

French and English had joined in petitioning against it.

An advance of 6,000 taels was given to Chinese functionaries to

obtain the privilege of retaining the arms and ammunition on

board our ships !

The Emperor Keenlung, laid down a maxim that should be

acted on by the local government of Canton, in order to intimi-

date Man-Ee, that is " fierce barbarians," viz .: that " life for life

should be required, without any regard to the extenuating cir-

cumstances which the Chinese laws admitted when Natives only

were concerned. " Thus it appeared to be necessary to bridle the

ferocity of the Man-Ee, by laws more sanguinary than are re-

quired for the Natives who are within the pale of civilization.

One of the many modes adopted by the Chinese authorities, in

Canton, to continue and perpetuate their extortions, was to punish

severely any Native who taught Europeans the language. This

was obviously lest their complaints should reach the court . So

that the corrupt local authorities have poisoned each successive

Emperor against every foreigner without distinction . These mis-

representations have never yet been effectually exposed.

The subsequent years from 1736, are not marked with any par-

ticular event. Commodore Anson's arrival off Canton, in 1742,

to obtain some provisions, gave occasion for fresh demands. Pro-

visions were readily promised, on condition of measurement charges

being paid for her, which was instantly refused.

The Commodore was not to be trifled with : he proceeded up

the river, and anchored near the custom-house. No provisions ar-

riving according to promise, the Commodore, in company with the

English, Swedish, Dutch, and Danish supercargoes, demanded an

audience of the viceroy. A dreadful fire breaking out about this

time, the Commodore's seamen rendered most signal services in

extinguishing the flames. Through this means an audience was

granted, when, as usual, promises were made ; but nothing beyond

supplies, and permission to repair the " Centurion," were obtained.

A.D. 1747. The exactions and impositions were this year re-

newed, notwithstanding the Emperor having abolished them, and


no audience could be procured, to represent them in the proper

quarter. It was not until instructions were received from London

to resort to the old method of satisfying official rapacity, that trade

was renewed in 1750.

A.D. 1754. Such were the extortions and grievances this year,

that the East India Company gave directions to open a trade at

Limpo . On this coming to the ears of the Mandarins at Canton ,

there were as usual , promises ; but no written answer was given

to their numerous applications .

A.D. 1755. The fair promises were performed in the true

Chinese mode, by confining the whole trade to Hong merchants,

and excluding small merchants and shop-keepers.

A.D. 1761. Mr. Pigou, one of the supercargoes, suggested an

embassy to Peking, with a view to renew the trade to the north.

Mr. Flint was appointed, and was favourably received at Ningpo

and Chusan.

It soon appeared that the Chinese authorities at Canton were

unfavourable, and it turned out that between them a sum of

20,000 taels was sent to the officers about the court of Peking,

and an edict was procured which confined the trade to Canton.

Mr. Flint was urged to depart from Ningpo, without either

goods or provisions . He was forced to sail against an unfavoura-

ble monsoon, but instead of steering for Canton, he directed his

course to the mouth of the Pieho, and from thence sent a petition

to the Emperor at Peking .

This petition reached the throne, and an enquiry was set on

foot, the hoppo of Canton was dismissed, and several impositions

unlawfully exacted, were taken off. The British ships were in fu-

ture to be called Western Ocean ships, not " devil's ships ."

On Mr. Flint's return to Canton, his presence was required by

the Isonstock (viceroy) . The supercargoes of all nations accom-

panied him into the city, thinking, as they were given to under-

stand, that new orders were about to be issued.

On their arrival at the gate of the palace, their swords were

taken from them ; they were then forced into the viceroy's pre-

sence, and hesitating to pay homage, were actually thrown down

on their faces. The Isonstock then called Mr. Flint, and read the

Emperor's order for his banishment to Macao, for three years, and

then to leave the empire for ever.

This punishment was inflicted on Mr. Flint for going to Limpo ,

(Ningpo) and the Native who wrote his petition was beheaded.

Mr. Flint was kept in close confinement for three years, viz.: to

1762, and the English quietly submitted to this injustice.

A.D. 1760. The East India Company sent out a Mr. Skottowe,

and it was to be given out that he was brother to his Majesty's

Under Secretary of State. The object of this mission was to obtain

the release of Mr. Flint, and a redress of the many grievances with

which the trade was burthened. This mission effected nothing,


not one of the points urged being conceded ; on the contrary, the

authorities became more insolent than ever. As an illustration, it

may be stated that in a letter from the governor to his Britannic

Majesty, they commend the king to take Mr. Flint, and keep him

in safe custody ; as his nation was drenched with the waves of im-

perial favour, and therefore should leap for joy.

A.D. 1765. The insult to the king's letter, and the gross injus-

tice done to Mr. Flint, paved the way for fresh extortions this year.

On the arrival of the king's ship " Argo," the hoppo insisted on

measuring her, which was not resisted with that firmness which

was so successful in Lord Anson's case. After a fruitless discussion

which lasted four months, the king's ship was measured. The

alternative of paying for the ship or quitting the country, was

most pompously proposed ; but hitherto it was the supercargoes

who used to threaten to leave the port of Canton. This new policy

was the consequence of having all the other ports closed, and

tamely submitting to repeated insults .

A.D. 1771. This year the Cohong, or committee for regulating

and fixing the prices at which all goods should be sold and pur-

chased, was abolished, at an expense to the East India Company

of 100,000 taels.

Yet we find that in 1779, this instrument of extortion was in

full operation under a new name, Consoo Fund, the history and

origin of which are as follows :-

The enormous sum of 3,808,076 Spanish dollars, became due in

a comparatively short time to British subjects, without any hopes of

being able to recover the same.

All efforts failing to recover any portion of this just debt, the

case was laid before the Madras government, who dispatched Cap-

tain Panton, in one of his Majesty's ships, to urge payment.

The Captain had instructions from Admiral Sir E. Vernon, to

insist on an audience with the viceroy of Canton.

It was not without threats from the British Commander, that

the audience was granted . The arrangement entered into, was an

acceptance of ten shillings in the pound, (without interest), as a

composition to be paid within ten years.

Captain Panton had no sooner departed, than the Consoo

Fund was established . And thus this lawful debt having been

first reduced one half, was then to be discharged by a fresh

impost on European commerce, which was continued up to a re-

cent period.

A.D. 1773. This year the first judicial murder by the Chinese

officials was perpetrated on a foreigner, named Scott, against whom

not a particle of evidence was produced.

A.D. 1780. The precedent made in the former case by the go-

vernment of Macao, was this year followed by the French, who

surrendered a Frenchman, who had killed a Portuguese in a fray.


The Frenchman was forthwith strangled by order of the Foo-yuen,

or Chinese viceroy, without any trial .

A.D. 1784. The English were the next to suffer, and the gun-

ner of the Lady Hughes, who was the innocent cause of a China-

man's death, when firing a salute, was surrendered to be murdered .

The recital of this case would only perpetuate the record of our


The late Dr. Morrison, in his remarks on homicide in China,

states : " that during the 11th moon of the 13th year of Keen-lung,

(A.D. 1749), the governor of Canton reported to the Emperor, that

he had tried two foreigners, who had caused the death of two

Chinese, and having sentenced them to be bastinadoed and trans-

ported, had to request that, according to foreign laws, they might

be sent to a Chinese settlement."

"The Emperor's reply was, that the governor had acted contrary


to law ; that he should have required life for life .' ' If,' he adds,

' you quote only our native laws, and according to them sentence

to the bastinado and transportation, then the fierce and unruly

dispositions of the foreigners will cease to be afraid, it is incum-

bent to have life for life, to frighten and repress the barbarians.' '

As homicide affects the Chinese, it stands thus :-" 1st. Killing

with intention, punishable by death ; 2nd. Killing by accident, a

mulctuary offence ; 3rd . Killing in lawful self- defence, not punish-

able at all." (See page 154.)

" Of late years," said the above author, " the plan adopted by

the Chinese, in cases of homicide, has been to demand of the fellow-

countrymen of the alleged manslayer, that the guilty person should

be found out, and handed over to the Chinese for punishment.

This is in effect to constitute them a criminal court." (See this

fully illustrated at page 412) .

" Were a man to be delivered up by the individuals thus called

upon, he would be regarded by the government as already con-

demned. His punishment, painful experience tells us, would be


We never ought to have permitted the execution, or even trial of

an Englishman by the Chinese.

" For very many years," says Mr. M'Farlane, " no such thing

as an execution of Franks, by Turkish law, had been seen in the

Levant, where offenders are given over to their respective consuls,

who take into their own hands their punishment, if the offence be

light, or send them home to be tried by the laws of their own coun-

try, if serious."

The state of affairs at Canton, about the period referred to , is

shown by the following communication from the East India Com-

pany's supercargoes, to the Court of Directors, dated, A.D. 1780 .


Foreigners are not here allowed the benefit of the Chinese law,

nor have they privileges in common with the natives. They are


governed merely by such rules as the Mandarins for the time .

being declare to be their will ; and the reason why so few incon-

veniences happen from irregularities, is that the officers of the go-

vernment on such occasions, rather choose to exact money from

the security merchants, compradors, &c., than use rigorous mea-

sures from which they gain nothing. Their corruption, therefore,

is the foreigners ' security."

If a manly spirit did not exist among the British authorities at

Canton, to prevent the surrender of an innocent fellow- subject to

be strangled by the Chinese, an examination of the effects pro-

duced by Weddell and Anson would have found an apology for


refusing to sacrifice the gunner of the Lady Hughes . The im-

positions, insults, and oppression which all foreigners have since

that period been subjected to, can with certainty be traced to our

mean and unchristian conduct on this occasion .

Events of a similar nature have been compromised by bribing

the Chinese judges, in order to obtain a favourable decision ; no

further judicial murders appear on the records.

A.D. 1784. The subsequent period, down to Lord Macartney's

embassy, is marked with fresh impositions ; the supercargoes ap-

pear to have lost all traces of even that portion of firmness which

distinguished some of their predecessors . In proof, about this

period commenced the novel tax upon the provisions consumed by

the Company's servants. The Bellona was obliged to pay duties

on a full freight, although she took away none, and was on her re-

turn compelled to dispose of her whole cargo to the hoppo's

private friend. It was found useless to remonstrate, as the slightest

demur was sure to bring on a suspension of the trade .

A.D. 1791. The late Lord Melville, President of the Board of Con-

trol, saw the serious injury to our commerce from having only one

port open in China, the monopoly of the Hong, and the arbitrary

oppression under which British subjects were kept by the local

authorities. To amend this state of affairs an embassy to Peking

was proposed.

The following excellent instructions to Lord Macartney, A.D.

1795, if then carried out, would most probably have saved us an

inglorious and expensive war, and the hazardous position in which

we now are, after submitting for fifty years to gross impositions,

insults, and extortion :-

1st. " That merchants be allowed to trade at Chusan, Ningpo,

and Tien-sing (the port of Peking.)

2nd. " To have a warehouse at Peking for their goods, as the

Russians had formerly.

3rd . " To grant some small detached unfortified island near to

Chusan, as a magazine for unsold goods, and a residence for those

who had charge of them.

4th . " A similar privilege near Canton, and certain trifling in-


VOL. II. с


5th. " To abolish the transit duties between Canton and Macao,

or at least reduce them to the standard of 1782.

6th. " To prohibit the exaction of any duties from English

merchants, over and above those settled by the Emperor's diploma,

a copy of which is to be given to them for their information ."

A.D. 1799. The details of the embassy of Lord Macartney are

well known ; the points sought were not gained, but the advan-

tages derived from the mission and the valuable presents of 1795,

were a general reduction in the expenses of the supercargoes' re-

moval to and from Canton ; a stop was put to the interfering in

the allotment to the several Hong merchants of the Company's

business -the Consoo Fund, however, still remained ; goods con-

tinued to be unfairly weighed by the hoppo ; and the country ships

to be unfairly measured ; undue charges were made on the transfer

of stores from ship to ship at Whampoa ; and the exorbitant ship-

ping charges remained as usual.

The want of proper interpreters caused the embassy of Lord

Macartney to be placed under the designation of "tribute bearer."

Since that period only are the English styled the " Red-bristled

Barbarians," which circumstance has given rise to the suspicion

that the interpreters attending the embassy, headed the paper as

the petition of the " Red-bristled Barbarian Tribute-bearer." The

recent translation of a Chinese court journal, styles this embassy

as paying tribute, which proves that such an impression has been

made. In China, above all other nations, words and ceremonies

are things, and as well understood as they are in the west.

Nothing appears to have occurred in the beginning of the pre-

sent century that requires any remark . During the war the visits

of Her Majesty's ships were necessarily frequent, to convoy the

homeward bound fleets, and a tacit consent was obtained for

them to anchor near Canton, and procure provisions . The sums

paid for this " gracious condescension " are not recorded.

A.D. 1805-6 . An exchange of letters and presents took place

between the King of England and the Emperor of China . The

following is a copy of the answer of the Emperor of China :-

" Your Majesty's kingdom is at a remote distance beyond the

seas, but is observant of its duties, and obedient to its laws, be-

holding from afar the glory of our Empire, and respectfully admir-

ing the perfection of our government. Your Majesty has des-

patched messengers with letters for our perusal ; we find that they

are dictated by appropriate sentiments of esteem and veneration ;

and being, therefore, inclined to fulfil the wishes of your Majesty,

we have determined to accept of the whole of the accompanying


" With regard to those of your Majesty's subjects who, for a

long course of years, have been in the habit of trading to our em-

pire, we must observe to you, that our celestial government regards

all persons and nations with eyes of charity and benevolence, and


always treats and considers your subjects with the utmost indul-

gence and affection ; on their account, therefore, there can be no

place or occasion for the exertions of your Majesty's government ."

The arrogance of this letter, is on a par with its assertion of our

people being treated with " indulgence and affection ."

A.D. 1806. Mr. Manning, a gentleman of great attainments in

various sciences, through the East India Company, endeavoured

to obtain permission to proceed to Peking. Mr. Manning pre-

sented a petition, offering his services as astronomer and physician,

agreeably to an edict which had been previously issued, that the

Emperor was in want of such persons . The answer to the petition

was that his offer of services to the Emperor could not be accepted

nor even communicated to his Majesty.

A.D. 1807. A quarrel arose between the East India Company's

sailors and the Chinese at Canton . Their commander succeeded

in getting them into the Company's factory ; but the Chinese fol-

lowed them in great numbers, continued throughout the day throw-

ing stones at the factory, and at every European passing . En-

durance had reached its limits, the sailors made a sally on the

Chinese, and unfortunately killed one man. Blood for blood was

demanded ; the identical person could not be fixed on ; the former

surrender of an Englishman named Sheen, was then pleaded .

Captain Rolles, the senior captain, and the supercargoes, were

animated with a better spirit, and although the trade was stopped

for two months, it was again re-opened at an expense of £50,000,

which was paid in bribes to the Chinese authorities at Canton .

A.D. 1808. We committed a mistake in occupying Macao with

a detachment of troops from India, in order to prevent its occupa-

tion by the French, then in possession of Portugal. It ought to

have been known to the Bengal government, that the Portuguese

were then mere tenants at will, paying an annual rent to the go-

vernment of China, and in a great measure subject to Chinese

jurisdiction .

Had the French taken possession of Macao, as was apprehended,

British aid would have been required by the Chinese government,

in return for which we might have obtained a better position in

China than even our present state .

After a discussion for several weeks, a stop was put to our trade ;

at length Admiral Drury, who commanded the expedition , having

declared that his instructions did not prevent him going to war

with China, an edict of the Emperor on the subject was made the

pretext for withdrawing the troops. This circumstance was

magnified in Chinese style by the viceroy, and the people generally

believed that our retreat was from the fear of Chinese prowess.

A.D. 1810. When the homeward-bound fleet was ready to de-

part for Europe, the death of a Chinese occurred . Evidence was

publicly taken before the officials, who could not identify any one

person with the crime : nevertheless, the clearance (chop) was re-

c 2


fused, but after some delay, and a display of firmness on the part

of the commander of resorting to force, the " chop " authorizing

departure was granted.

The southern coast of China had been infested with pirates.

The chief sufferers were the Portuguese, who had their small ves-

sels frequently plundered . Though some British subjects were at

the time prisoners with the pirates, no means appear to have been

taken to exterminate them by the East India Company's super-

cargoes. The Portuguese tendered their services to the Chinese

government ; but the Chinese resorted to the usual method , viz. :

granting to the leader abundant favours, and to the followers abso-

lute amnesty. Two chief pirates and upwards of 8,000 of their fol-

lowers, surrendered .

A.D. 1811. Application was made by the hoppo for a passage

to Europe of four Italians who had been twenty-five years in the

Emperor's service at Peking. Seven Europeans still remained, as

their services could not be dispensed with in making up the calen-

dar, to which the greatest importance is attached.

This year the trade was again stopped through the arbitrary

conduct of a new hoppo . It was two months before commerce was

renewed ; the delay would have been much longer, had not the

chief member of the factory, Mr. Roberts, died in the meantime.

This objection to an individual member of the Company's factory

was resisted with becoming firmness, and subsequently met the

approval of the local authorities.

A.D. 1814. His Majesty's ship " Doris " captured an American

ship at sea, and brought her to Macao, which caused a suspension

of business from April to December. The celestials could not , or

would not, comprehend the distinction between His Majesty's ship

and those of the East India Company.

Endurance appears to have reached its limit at this period, on

the part of the East India Company ; but two men were at the

head of the Company's affairs, who resisted oppression and insult

as far as was possible.

The viceroy issued an edict prohibiting the employment of Native

servants by the factory, although it had been customary to do so

for 100 years. To carry out this edict, the officers of government

unceremoniously entered the factories, and seized their servants,

during the compulsory residence at Macao of the select committee.

October 21st, 1814. Sir G. Staunton and Sir T. Metcalf pro-

ceeded to Canton ; Sir George stated to the authorities, " that he

was charged by the committee with several communications of im-

portance, but in none of them was any thing proposed for them-

selves, more than the prosecution of a fair and equitable commerce

under the protection of his Imperial Majesty ; that they entertained

every disposition to obey his laws ; that they sought for no innova-

tions, nor were desirous of interfering in any affairs of government

in which they were not concerned ."

Other interviews took place with the viceroy on four subsequent


occasions ; but on the last, the 29th of October, the viceroy fail-

ing to deter these spirited men, suddenly retired, which left no

alternative to Sir G. Staunton, but to carry his threat into execu-

tion ; he immediately quitted Canton, ordered all the Company's

ships from Whampoa to the second bar, and likewise desired that

all British subjects should quit Canton.

The 12th and 14th of November, deputations of Hong mer-

chants visited Sir George Staunton, and requested him to suspend

the order for the removal, adding that they were authorized to

state that the viceroy would depute a mandarin to discuss the

points in dispute.

Sir George no sooner returned, than Howqua informed him that

no mandarin would be sent until the trade was resumed . Sir

George in strong language showed his indignation of this breach

of faith, on the part of men who were the accredited organs of

communication between the British merchants and the government

of China.

Firmness on this, as on all former and subsequent occasions, had

the desired effect.

The interview took place on the 19th, when Sir George, ver-

bally and in written characters, submitted eight propositions ,

which it is unnecessary to give in detail, as their being partially

complied with, shows they were too grievous for even a Tartar

government longer to inflict.

The 29th brought a communication from Howqua, (the farce of

pretending to send to Peking was not resorted to this time), as

follows :-

1st. " Permission given to address the government in Chinese

through the Hong merchants, without the contents being inquired


2nd. " The use of offensive language not very satisfactorily an-


3rd. " The local magistrates not to visit the factory without

giving due previous notice.

4th. " The communication by boats between Canton and

Whampoa to be open and free as usual.

5th. "Natives may be employed as coolies, porters, tea-boilers,

cooks, and in other similar capacities.

6th. " Ships of war to remain at their usual anchorages while

the ships are at Whampoa, but when they depart the ships of war

to depart .

7th. " Boats to receive passes at certain stations."

I cannot better illustrate the evasive character of this govern-

ment, than by giving the 8th proposition and the reply. 8th .

" That the Chinese armed boats be not permitted to continue to

fire at the country ships*, and that English prize goods be not sold

by the Americans at Whampoa."

* Country ships were those arriving from British India.


Reply to the 8th. " The country ships have been fired at as due

notice to the Bogue Fort."

A.D. 1816. It was resolved by his Majesty's government to

send an embassy to the Emperor of China, under Lord Amherst .

The objects were the removal of the capricious and intolerable

proceedings which the local government of Canton had for a long

time past practised towards the Company's representatives there,

by which they had seriously interrupted the affairs of the Com-

pany ; and that in future the Company's trade should be placed

on a more secure and equitable footing.

The embassy embarked at Spithead, on the 8th February, 1816,

and arrived at the imperial province of Chih-le, on the 10th August .

They were met at Tsien-tsing, the port of Peking, on the Pieho

river, by an imperial legate, when the discussion soon commenced

as to the performance of the Ko-tou.

In the first discussion it was asserted that Lord Macartney com-

plied with the ceremony ; this was firmly denied by Lord Amherst.

The legate then artfully intimated the injury the trade at Can-

ton might suffer, by the ambassador not performing the ceremony.

The preconcerted plan for preventing the embassy succeeding ,

was fully evidenced in the first day's journey towards Peking, by

the legate stating that the band would not be allowed to proceed,

but that it should return to the ships, stating that it was the Em-

peror's orders ; although it was impossible he could have been made

acquainted with anything that had hitherto transpired.

The journey to Peking was made as uncomfortable as possible,

by the perpetual discussion concerning the performance of the

ceremony .

The second day Lord Amherst was again pressed, and he con-

sented to perform the ceremony, provided he received an under-

taking on the part of the Emperor, that any subject of his Ma-

jesty deputed to England, should be ordered to perform the same

ceremony to the British sovereign .

This was not satisfactory, and the boats were ordered to return .

The following day it was proposed that a rehearsal of the ceremony

should take place in a public manner. This was objected to, but

a written obligation was offered that it should be performed on the

former terms .

This proposal was instantly entertained , the written undertak-

ing procured, and the boats ordered to proceed towards Peking.

The remaining progress of the ambassador was marked with

gross rudeness on the part of the Chinese attending-officers. The

embassy was ordered in an insulting manner to depart from

Peking without seeing the Emperor, and the treatment which it

experienced was illustrative of Tartar arrogance and barbarism.

The embassy was conveyed to Canton in imperial boats, with

colours flying, on which were inscribed the words, “ tribute bear-


ers," in order to humiliate the English and elevate the Tartars in

the eyes of the Chinese.

A letter from the Emperor of China to the Prince Regent, con-

tains the following insolent observation :-

" Hereafter there is no occasion for you to send an ambassador

so far, and be at the trouble of passing over mountains, and cros-

sing seas ;" and in a vermilion edict, written on paper of that

colour by the Emperor himself, is the following passage, " I there-

fore sent down my pleasure to expel these ambassadors, and send

them back to their own country, without punishing the high crime

they had committed."

The treatment of the Embassy on its journey from Peking to

Canton, is noted by the Right Honourable H. Ellis, who says :-

"Many of the retinue of the embassy returned as they went, in

carts ; the motion was bearable until we came on the paved road,

when the jolting became intolerable : it was repeated dislocation of

every part of the frame ; each jolt seemed sufficient to have de-

stroyed life, which yet remained to undergo the dreadful repeti-

tion. The elements combined with the imperial displeasure to

annoy us, the rain fell in torrents ; not however, so violently as to

deter the spectators from indulging their curiosity, by thrusting

lanterns into the chairs and carts to have a full view of our per-

sons. I certainly never felt so irritated in my life."

A.D. 1816. The East India Company's ship ' General Hewitt,'

arrived at Lintin the 12th of September, after leaving the embassy

on their way to Peking . When application was made to load her

with tea, it was refused, and she was ordered to remain at the

second bar ; to this, the select committee intimated their intention

of ordering the Hewitt to Whampoa, and requested the removal of

the war-boats by which she was surrounded, to prevent bloodshed ;

they reminded the authorities of the solemn convention entered

into two years previous, which had been violated by addressing a

chop to the linguist, and not to the select committee, which the

president refused to receive.

The delicate situation of the committee on this trying occasion,

would excuse their temporizing policy, there being then a British

ambassador at the imperial court ; a circumstance of which every

advantage was taken by the crafty rulers . The 24th October, their

respectful addresses being refused by the hoppo, Captain Jameson

was sent by the committee to the city. This brave seaman forced

his way into the city, and delivered a letter to a mandarin of dis-

tinction. The viceroy next day, signified his displeasure at visit-

ing the city, but no other answer was given . Their comprador had

been accused of aiding the captain in his visit, and was beaten, and

tortured in a most cruel manner, as a warning to barbarians,

This transaction fully confirms the supposition, that the defeat

of the embassy was concocted at Canton ; and the excuse of send-


ing to Peking for permission to load a vessel belonging to the

company, which only accompanied a tribute bearer, was obviously

to gain time. The Court of Directors " considered that the whole

of the conduct of the viceroy, subsequent to the arrival of the Ge-

neral Hewitt from the northward, sufficiently evidenced that some-

thing had occurred at Peking, in relation to the embassy, which

that mandarin felt to be so detrimental to the interests of the

English, as to encourage him in an open and undisguised opposi-

tion to the factory on every occasion." The instructions inculcated

"the utmost moderation and temper," which meant, " submit to

any degradation so that our interests are upheld."

Captain Maxwell arrived from the Peiho, on the 16th, in His


Majesty ship Alceste,' and had an interview with a mandarin,

who promised to obtain permission from the viceroy, to admit the

ship within the Bogue ( or " Bocca Tigris," the entrance of the

Canton waters) , provided he waited five days. Captain Maxwell

waited at Lintin one day after the time fixed, but the Alceste,

being much in want of provisions and repairs, the captain weighed

anchor, and sailed through a flotilla of war-boats, which com-

menced firing on him, although the captain only claimed the pri-

vilege granted to His Majesty's ship Lion,' in 1793, on a similar


The frigate had no sooner weighed than a signal was made from

the flotilla ; lights were displayed at the forts, and a brisk can-

nonade from upwards of ninety guns was commenced. One shot

fell on board the Alceste, and two or three others lodged in the

bows of the ship . The Alceste poured a broadside into the forts,

on which the lights quickly disappeared. The forts on the lar-

board hand, on which the guns could not be brought to bear, con-

tinued firing without any serious injury . This becoming conduct

of Captain Maxwell proved highly beneficial to the trade, and for

the future the viceroy learned to distinguish ships belonging to His

Majesty from those of the East India Company.

The affair was hushed up by the Chinese authorities, who said

merely that some men were " spoiled," (wounded). Great respect

was paid to Captain Maxwell, as had before been the case with

Commodore Anson, and with Captain Weddell, and as will always

be the case with a people like the Tartar rulers of China.

The communications that took place about this time, between

the Marquis of Hastings when Governor-general of India, and

the Chinese Government and their Tartar commissioners, relative

to Nepaul or Nipal, deserve notice, as we shall soon again be

brought into more active intercourse with that country, and it

appears that the Goorkha Rajah is claimed by the Chinese Go-

vernment as a tributary in subjection to China.

Rana Bahadar, the ruler of Nipal, abdicated the throne

in favor of his son, retired to Benares, and incurred a consi-

derable debt to the British Government whilst residing there .


He entered into a treaty with them for its liquidation , and for the

residence of a British officer at Katmandu. Captain Knox was

appointed resident at the capital of Goorkha in 1801, but only re-

mained about three years.

Previous to hostilities between the British and Nipalese autho-

rities, some territories in dispute were submitted to arbitration.

After an investigation by commissioners of each nation, the award

was in favour of the British ; but still the Goorkha rajah would not

surrender the lands he had usurped. It became necessary to send

an armed force to establish British authority. The rainy season

set in, and the troops had been but a short time withdrawn, when

on the 29th of May, 1814, three of the police-stations were at-

tacked by the Goorkhas ; the British officers driven out, and

eighteen of our people killed.

The Rajah of Goorkha at the eleventh hour was disposed for

peace, but his General Umr Sing, (probably a Sikh) writing

from his camp, exhorted his chief to prefer a glorious struggle even

to death, rather than consent to a treaty, and suggested the

propriety of appealing to the mighty Emperor of China for aid .

Several appeals it is said were made to the court of Peking, on the

grounds of resenting the insult that had been offered to the supre-

macy ofthe Emperor in Nipal by the British.

In one of those solicitations to the Emperor of China, His Ma-

jesty was told that the attack on Nipal is only a preliminary step

to the invasion of Bootan, Tibet, and China. Another appeal asked

for a sum of money by way of loan, to maintain the Goorkha army,

and strongly urged his celestial majesty to send a force of 200,000

Chinese troops, through the Dharma territory, into the lower pro-

vinces of Bengal. " Consider," says the Rajah, "if you abandon

your dependants, that the English will soon be masters of Lassa."


The channel of communication between the court of Peking and

Nipal, was through the Chinese officers who are stationed in Tibet.

It subsequently appeared that all appeals were suppressed, and

never reached Peking, somewhat after the manner of our appeals

to Peking for redress.

A communication was sent to all the neighbouring powers,

including the Chinese, from the Governor-general of British India,

cautioning them against aiding the enemies of British rule. The

Chinese officers became alarmed, and at last sent one of the Nipal

appeals to Peking (twelve were suppressed.)

The Emperor is reported to have been highly indignant at the

tone and language of the Marquis of Hastings in his cautionary

address, and exclaims, " these English seem to look upon them-

selves as kings, and upon me as merely one of their neighbouring

Rajahs ."

Three Chinese officers were dispatched to the seat of war, to

institute enquiries ; and a large army was sent after them .


These officers addressed a letter to the Governor-general of

India, through the Sikhim Rajah, who was a faithful ally of the

British Government.

This address commenced with the charges that had been made

against the British by the Goorkha Rajah, and continues, " such

absurd measures appear quite inconsistent with the usual wisdom

of the English ; it is probable they never made the declarations

imputed to them ; if they did, it will not be well.

" An answer should be sent as soon as possible, stating whether

or not the English ever entertained such absurd propositions : if

they did not, let them write a suitable explanation to the tseang-

keun, that he may report to the Emperor."

The Governor-general in his answer entered very fully into the

real facts of the case ; and appealed to the intelligence of Chinese

officers, to judge of the truth of such a measure by the justness

of it.

In conjunction with this explanation the Lama and Sikhim

Rajah, perfectly satisfied these Chinese governors ( as they styled

themselves in their address . )

A cessation of hostilities had in fact taken place before their

arrival ; but the treaty had not been completed. By this treaty

it was intended that a British resident should be stationed at


This salutary measure was deemed very objectionable to the

Goorkhas, (it is so to all faithless governments) and an application

was made to the Chinese commissioners to use their influence to

prevent so dire a calamity, but the fact was these gentlemen were

too happy to be enabled to return to their sovereign, and probably

tell him that the celestial army had the desired effect of frightening

the barbarian English into terms .

But still , in this distant dependency of China the “ dignity and

awe -inspiring influence of the celestial monarch," must play the

braggart. Peace had happily taken place, and a conference was

agreed upon between the Nepaulese sirdars and the Chinese com-

missioners, to discuss the hard terms imposed by the British.

On the approach of the sirdars to the commissioners they fell

on their knees, from which position they rose by an order.

Portraits of former sirdars were brought forth by the Chinese,

and only one of them corresponded with the sirdars present.

The Chinese commenced by asking, " Where are your Pundys

and your Parsarams fled to ? And who are these Thapas (Bramins)

that we never before heard of?" The Chinese now pretended to

be quite enraged, and said, " You are a set of rascals : you have

been always playing tricks, and have been the ruin of many Rajahs.

You once plundered Shigatsze (Tibet,) without provocation, and

then you went to war with the English. Why did you commit a

breach of faith ? You have received your punishment ; you first

wrote to us of war having been commenced ; and then you made


peace ; and now you ask us for aid. What kind of peace is

this? But you were never to be depended on." The reply was ,

" If you cannot afford us aid, give us a letter to the English that

will induce them to leave Nipal." The Chinese said, " The Com-

missioner has written to inform us that they sent their resident

with your consent ; and as to what you have stated, about the

English intentions on China, that is false.

" You Gorkhas think there are no soldiers in the hills but what

are in Nipal. Pray at what do you number your fighting-men ?

and to what amount do you collect revenue ? The former I sup-

pose, cannot exceed two lakhs ." The answer was, that the number

oftheir soldiers was about that mentioned by the commissioners, and

that their revenue amounted to about five lakhs of rupees per annum.

"You are then," said the commissioner, " a mighty people ! "

It was then intimated to the Nipalese mission , to take leave.

Presents to the amount of 20,000 rupees were made to the Nipalese.

Both parties were dissatisfied with the British resident at Kat-

mandu, and mutual distrust was engendered by each. So that in

a short time the Nipalese applied to our agent for advice and aid ,

should the Chinese Government menace their territory, of which

they were then very apprehensive .

In a short time after this, a letter and presents were sent to the

Governor-general of India from these commissioners, stating the

high degree of satisfaction they had derived from the candid ex-

planation of the Governor-general ; their dispatch continues ;

"His imperial Majesty, who by God's blessing is well informed of

the conduct and proceedings of all mankind, reflecting on the good

faith and wisdom of the English Company, and the firm friend-

ship, and constant commercial intercourse which has so long

subsisted between the two nations, never placed any reliance on

the imputations put forward by the Goorkha Rajah." The

Emperor thus wrote : " You mention that you have stationed

a vakil in Nipal ; this is a matter of no consequence, but as the

Rajah, from his youth and inexperience, and from the novelty of

the circumstance, has imbibed suspicions, if you would out of kind-

ness towards us, and in consideration of the ties of friendship,

withdraw your vakil, it would be better ; and we should feel

grateful to you,"

The Governor-general in his reply pointed out the necessity of

such an officer at head-quarters, and wholly attributed the late

war to the absence of such a person ; and proceeded to say, " The

habits of the borderers both of the Nipalese and the British terri-

tory, are rough and violent, hence frequent outrages ; but if there

were stationed at Katmandu any accredited agent of the Emperor

of China, to whom this government could with confidence recur

upon all matters of dispute arising between it and the Nipalese,

we should be relieved from the necessity of keeping a resident at

a considerable expense. As the case actually stands, the presence


of a British officer is the main security we have for avoiding diffe-

rences this officer will be instructed to restrict himself to the

single care of preserving harmony between the two states, and to

abstain from all other interference in the internal or foreign

affairs of Nipal."

The answer sent to this well-timed and praiseworthy endeavour

of the Marquis of Hastings to cultivate good feelings, is similar

to subsequent fruitless efforts made at Canton to prevent the

shedding of blood.

The last paragraph in the Governor-general's letter, appears to

have given the Tartars great dissatisfaction, and the answer pro-

ceeds thus: " We advert," say they, " to that part of your letter

which desires us to urge our august sovereign, the Emperor of

China, to the appointment of a minister at Katmandu, to whom

your people and those of Nipal could refer their affairs and thus

prevent disagreements . Be it known to you, that the Goorkha

Rajah has long been a faithful tributary of the Chinese Govern-

ment, and refers himself to it whenever occasion requires.

"There is therefore no need of deputing any one thither from

this empire ; besides, by the grace and favor of God, His Majesty

possessing the sovereignty of the whole kingdom of China and

other parts, does not enter the city of any one without cause. If

it so happen that his victorious forces take the field, in such case,

after punishing the refractory, he in his royal clemency, restores

the transgressor to his throne. We have not thought it our

duty to represent the point to the court of China, as the matter is

opposed to the custom of this empire. The frequenters of this

port of Canton, can inform your lordship that such is not the

custom of China. For the future a proposition of this nature

should not be introduced into a friendly dispatch ."

To return to the narrative of affairs at Canton. In 1818 the

Hong merchants became jealous of a large number of shop -keep-

ers, who resided outside the city, carrying on a trade with the

Company. Upwards of 200 of these shops were therefore shut up .

This proved a manifest injury to the foreign trade, and vigorous

efforts were made against this restriction without any effect.

A.D. 1821. The boat's crew of His Majestys ship Topaze, pro-

curing water at Linton, were attacked by the Chinese ; fourteen

Englishmen were wounded, and five Chinese, one of the latter

mortally. The trade was stopped, and the supercargoes, under

the Presidentship of Mr. (now Sir James) Urmston, left Canton.

The authorities, however, repented when they saw the English

fleet ofmerchantmen pass the Bogue ; they were requested to return,

and trade was re-opened, after the Topaze had sailed . That dis-

tinguished servant of the East India Company, Sir James Urmston,

deserves high honour for his conduct on this and other occa-

sions in China. He was knighted by patent for his excellent

judgment and spirited demeanour in this affair.


A.D. 1821 . The ship ' Canning' was fired into by the forts at the

Bogue, and compelled to anchor , although she had her " grand

chop " on board . Captain Patterson did not return the fire for

this unprovoked insult . On enquiry, a kind of apology was

deemed sufficient.

A.D. 1824. The Company's ship ' Earl Balcaris' lying at anchor,

was anoyed by a covered Chinese boat, which the Captain repeat-

edly warned off, and doing so, a midshipman threw a piece of wood

on the mat-covering of the boat. In a short time afterwards, the

same parties placed a dying man in the comprador's boat, stating

that he had been killed by the piece of wood, and demanding

3,000 taels as compensation, which was afterwards reduced to 350

dollars. The Chinese authorities could not, however, shut their

eyes to this novel attempt at imposition, as the man was proved to

be in a dying state, so it caused no interruption to trade.

There is no instance on record in which resistance to injustice

and insult, has not been successful in procuring a remedy and re-

dress . In 1825, James Matheson, Esq., with becoming spirit, and

at the risk of his life, entered the city of Canton, to obtain redress

from a most grievious and oppressive tax. Merchants were not

permitted to have their wives at Canton, and consequently their

wives and families, of such as were married, resided at Macao, a

distance of many miles.

To pass from Canton to Macao, or vice versâ, the (chop) permis-

sion cost from 300 to 400 dollars, besides about 40 dollars boat-

hire. Previous to this the merchants had repeatedly petitioned

for relief from this iniquitous tax, but no notice was ever taken

of their complaints. However, their social miseries became too

great for endurance, and a few merchants (the first and most pro-

minent in this hazardous step Mr. M. ) rushed into the city to

the viceroy's house, stated their grievances, in a firm manner

becoming British freemen. After the usual bombast and bluster-

ing, the tax was abolished, and no chop required for the future.

The " barbarian ringleader" (Mr. M. ) had a gentle intimation

(the mandarin passed his hand round his neck) that he ought to

lose his head ; but with great presence of mind, Mr. M. seized the

linguist, and twice repeated upon him the same (Jack Cade) cere-


A.D. 1829. The bankruptcy of nearly all the Hong merchants,

had caused a serious falling off in the trade, particularly in the

Bengal cotton imports. Various petitions were sent to have the ten

bankrupt Hongs' places supplied by others, and no notice being

taken of it, the supercargoes suspended the trade, and detained

the annual fleet. This spirited move had a good effect, viz. re-

duction of the port charges on each ship, to the extent of £ 170 ;

several new Hongs were appointed, and the merchants who were

married were allowed to enjoy the society of their wives at Canton .

A.D. 1830. The important concession gained last year with


regard to the residence of the merchants ' wives at Canton, was as

usual tried to be done away with, and the Chinese intended to

seize Mrs. Baynes and the other English ladies residing at Can-

ton . The supercargoes on being informed, procured 150 seamen

to protect their premises, who remained on duty for more than

ten days, when the Hong merchants gave a written undertaking

that the ladies should not be molested. Trade was still continued

as if nothing was wrong. The Court of Directors however blamed

the supercargoes, and superseded Messrs . Baynes, Millett, and

Bannerman, who had procured this important concession . The

Canton government therefore took courage, and banished the

English ladies from Canton at the end of the season. In fact, the

sole idea of the East India Directors was the obtainment of tea and

its profits ; any indignity, personal or national, would not be re-

sented, lest tea should be refused, although all past experience was

decidedly adverse to such ignoble proceedings.

A.D. 1830. An extensive trade in opium had been carried on

for the last ten years ; at first the vessels containing the drug, ge-

nerally anchored at Whampoa. An edict was now issued to expel

them, and the ships moved to much safer anchorage off Lintin, in

the Canton river. This had the desired effect ; a report was sent

to the Emperor that the opium vessels had been driven away, root

and branch. The viceroy was sincere in his determination to put

a stop to the opium traffic, until he discovered that the traffic was

chiefly conducted by Mandarins, and the boats that were especially

employed to prevent the importation, were the carriers of the pro-

hibited article. From fifteen to twenty vessels lay off Lintin, dis-

posing of the prohibited drug, and with the exception occasionally

of a fierce edict, no other steps were taken to prevent the traffic, as

it was a source of great profit to every one of the Canton officials .

A.D. 1831. While the members of the English factory were at

Macao, their premises were forcibly entered by the authorities,

and the ground in front of the Company's factory taken posses-

sion of. New regulations were issued by the Chinese government

to guard against foreigners. Merchants were not to remain over

the winter at Canton, but go home with their ships, or to Macao ;

balances due by Hong merchants must be paid in three months, if

not the foreigner to prosecute or be debarred from all claim on the

government ; agreeably with ancient usuage, Native servants such

as coolies, were permitted, additional officers were appointed to

search foreigners on their arrival ; foreign merchants not to sleep

in the Hong merchants' factories, all foreign females coming to

Canton will be prosecuted, and traitorous chair-bearers carrying

barbarians, will be severely punished ; permission granted for three

foreigners, no great number, to present petitions at the city gates ;

but only on the condition that previous petitions were intercepted

is the privilege granted . The foregoing fresh restrictions were


resisted, and the keys of the factory returned to the Chinese

authorities, and again sent back to them.

A.D. 1832. The Court of the East India Company disapproved

of these proceedings on the part of their servants, a circumstance

which soon reached the ears of the Canton authorities . The hoppo

addressed the English private merchants, Jardine, Innes, and

others, telling them, their whining insolence, in threatening to

appeal to the Emperor, was disregarded, and that they might with-

draw, and not trouble themselves to come from so great a distance.

The Hong merchants were instructed to keep these gentlemen

under strict restraint, and not allow them to " dun with peti-


A.D. 1833. Mr. Innes had his house nearly surrounded with

fire-wood ; on a representation no more was placed there, but in a

few days the annoyance was continued . Mr. Innes waited on the

hoppo, and while in his apartments was dangerously wounded .

Neither apology nor redress was offered .

Efforts were made during this and the preceding year to open

a trade with the northern ports of China, but the home authori-

ties at the East India House discountenanced the attempts . The

attention of the Chinese government was wholly engrossed with a

rebellion in the mountains. The governor (Le) of Canton com-

manded the imperial forces, of whom 2,000 were killed by the

rebels .

Lord W. Bentinck, then governor- general of India, wrote a letter

to the governor of Canton, detailing the injuries and insults that

British merchants were being subjected to of late, and their

being deprived of a landing-place for their goods at Canton , that

had been for a long period appropriated to their use, and for which

they were paying rent. His Lordship also reminded His Excel-

lency of the insult offered to the portrait of his sovereign, by the

governor of Canton forcibly entering the British factories, fol-

lowed by his rabble suite, and in their presence ordering a chair to

be placed before the picture of the King of England, on which he

purposely sat, with his back to the portrait to mark his contempt

of the British nation. To this temperate letter no answer was


A.D. 1833. From a report of a censor which reached the Em-

peror, vigorous efforts in the shape of edicts were issued. The

drain of silver appears to have roused the Emperor, as the censor

states, that from the third to the eleventh year of the Emperors

reign, 18,000,000 of taels weight of silver left the country from

Canton ; and from the fourteenth year to the present ( 1834) more

than 50,000,000, and ten from Fuh-keen, and the censor concludes

with a prayer, that the " leak may be stopped." The late viceroy

(Le) failed in exterminating the rebels, was disgraced and banished

to Tartary. A new governor having arrived, (Lu) he issued a pro-


clamation declaring all vessels bringing rice to Canton free of port-

charges, and permitting them to take in cargo.

Lord Napier, at the request of His Majesty William IV., was

sent out to Canton as superintendent of the British trade . The

following is an extract from Viscount Palmerston's instructions.

" Your Lordship will announce your arrival at Canton by letters

to the viceroy. In addition to the duty of protecting and fostering

the trade at Canton, it will be one of your principal objects to as-

certain, whether it may not be practicable to extend that trade to

other parts of the Chinese dominions. It is obvious that with a

view to the attainment of this object, the establishment of direct

communication with the imperial court at Peking would be most


A.D. 1834. During the discussion between the British govern-

ment and the East India Company, concerning their dissolution ,

the Chinese government at Canton declared it absolutely neces-

sary, that in the event of a dissolution, a chief superintendent

should reside at Canton, through whom all commercial negotia-

tions should be conducted .

On the arrival of Lord Napier in China, agreeably to his instruc-

tions, and the urgent demand of the government of Canton, a let-

ter was directed to the governor intimating his lordship's arrival.

Previous to this, intrigue had been busy at work between the

Hong merchants and the authorities, the former claiming to be

the medium of communication ; in this they were disappointed .

Lord Napier's letter was rejected, six special edicts were issued de-

nouncing him as a " barbarian eye," and as an " English devil."

Happening to arrive at night, the authorities considered his

coming a clandestine stealing into Canton. Another edict stated

that the " barbarian eye," must not be allowed to loiter about ;

but depart to Macao, as soon as his business is over .

The following insulting proclamation was issued by the governor

of Canton, on the arrival of Lord Napier in China : —

"A lawless foreign slave, Napier, has issued a notice . We

know not how such a dog barbarian of an outside nation as you,

can have the presumption to call yourself superintendent. Being

an outside savage superintendent, and a person in an official situ-

ation, you should have some knowledge of propriety and law.

You have passed over 10,000 miles, in order to seek a livelihood ;

you have come to our Celestial Empire to trade and control

affairs-can you not obey well the regulations of the empire ?

"You presume to break through the barrier passes, going out

and in at your pleasure, a great infringement of the rules and pro-

hibitions . According to the laws of the nation , the royal

warrant should be respectfully requested to behead you ; and

openly expose (your head) to the multitude, as a terror to perverse


1834, August 15th. Four edicts against Lord Napier were in


the possession of the Hong merchants, and seeing no chance of

their becoming the medium of communication, they tried the old

plan of stopping the trade.

The governor issued an edict on the 18th, stating he had no

means of knowing whether the " barbarian eye" was a merchant

or an officer. But in compassion, and with a view of preventing

misery to the " barbarians" by stopping their trade, he announced

that he could bring his mind to bear it. But in no way would

the governor recognise or learn the nature of the new superin-

tendent's instructions.

These repeated insults, and stoppages of trade, induced Lord

Napier to publish in the Chinese language " a true and official

document," in order to exhibit the relations between Great Britain

and China.

Lord Napier's firmness in not establishing a bad precedent, had

the effect of bringing matters to a crisis. An edict was issued

denouncing all Natives, who would trade or serve the English

barbarians either in Macao or Canton, which had the desired

effect .

The governor of Canton dispatched a lengthy document to the

Emperor, wherein he relates the new state of affairs, and that he had

given notice for one responsible person to be stationed to

superintend the trade ; that a " barbarian eye" had arrived in a

ship of war, with a crew of 190 persons, and also that he had a

family, wife and children, all settled in Macao. The governor

then proceeded to say, " I, your Majesty's minister, have ordered

him to communicate with the Hong merchants. The barbarian

eye would not see the Hong merchants ; but presented a letter to

me ; on which was written ' the great English nation .' It

appears to me essential to keep apart the central and the outside

(people) and what is of the highest importance is a mainte-

nance of dignity and sovereignty. Although he may be an officer

(the truth of which I cannot ascertain) he cannot write letters on

equality with the frontier officers of the Celestial Empire. And

as to presenting letters concerns the national dignity, it is only

petitions that will be received on matters connected with com-

merce. Again considering that he was stupid and unpolished,

having come from without the bounds of civilisation, I had the

laws explained to him, but he is stubborn, perverse, and extremely

obstinate. It was hoped that, by the truth and severity of reason,

his brute-like fierceness might be reformed. But the barbarian

would not peruse the official edict.

"A third time I consulted with your Majesty's minister Ke ;

and we came to the conclusion that the common disposition of

the English barbarians is ferocious, and what they trust in is the

strength of their ships , but should he provoke us he will be power-

less ; it is manifest, care must be taken in order to break down

their minds to submission.



" The Hoppo's receipts from the barbarian English has not been

more than 500,000 taels, and the loss of this does not affect the

imperial treasury the value of a hair or a feather's down. But

these barbarians are by nature insatiably avaricious, and the more

indulgence shown to them the more overbearing do they become.

In 1808 and 1829 their trade was stopped ; they humbly supplicated .

This is clear proof that the said nation cannot be without a traffic

with the central land, their country exists by commerce, so they

will not continue perverse. "

The document is of considerable length, full of misstatements

calculated to mislead the Peking Government, and demonstrates

the evil effects of a timid and vacillating policy on a people like

the Chinese and their government.

On this as on other occasions, they were not unwilling to lose the

profits of the Canton trade, but they also feared the effects of its

stoppage on the poorer classes in Canton . In a memorial to the

Emperor about this time from the viceroy, he says, " in Canton

there are several hundred thousands of poor unemployed people,

who have heretofore earned their livelihood by trading in foreign

merchandize. If in one day they should lose the means of gaining

a livelihood, the evil consequences to the place would be great ."

1834. Every effort was tried by Lord Napier to obtain an inter-

view with the governor of Canton, either personally or by letter,

and the only answer ever given was by designating his lord-

ship " laboriously vile." No means of annoyance that it was

possible to conceive but were given to the new commission .

August 1st.-The excellent Dr. Morrison died .

September 7th.-H.M. ships " Imogene and Andromache," in

passing Anson's Bay were fired on . The firing lasted two days ;

and the loss on the side of the British was two men killed, and

some trifling damage to the rigging, although the Chinese had


115 guns mounted, and the frigates were not 200 yards from

the Bogue forts.

19th. It was mutually agreed between the British merchants

and the Hong merchants, that Lord Napier should retire to

Macao, and that the trade should be resumed.

Notwithstanding his lordship's dangerous state, with regard to

his health, every impediment, delay, and annoyance were thrown in

his way on his journey to Macao, where he died from fatigue,

climate and anxiety (oh 11th October, in the forty-eighth

year of his age) much respected by all who had the happiness of

knowing him.

Mr. John Francis Davis having succeeded the late Lord Napier,

wrote to the Home Government, stating his objection to an em-

bassy to Peking.

Mr. Davis, a native of India, had been all his life at Canton, ofa

recluse habit and small mind, and was totally unfit for acting on

European and statesmanlike views. A proclamation was issued by


the governor of Canton, cautioning the Hong merchants against

aiding the foreigners in vice, and ruining the morals of the people.

The proclamation attributed the most odious crimes to the English,

in order to lower them in the estimation of the people .

November 1st.-An imperial edict, directing the Hong mer

chants to have a letter sent to England to cause another superin-

tendent to be appointed, in accordance with the old regulations,

although the authorities had refused to receive or recognise Lord


A.D. 1835. The ship ' Argyle' from Bengal, in stormy weather was

driven on the Chinese coast ; the captain sent twelve of his men to

procure a pilot ; the boat and crew were taken possession of, and

a sum of 500 dollars demanded for their restoration ; two of the

parties actually arrived at Canton to receive the amount.

The boat and crew were captured on the 21st January, and no

time was lost in acquainting the authorities with the whole cir-

cumstance. Captain Elliot and others, were grossly insulted in

presenting a letter stating the facts ; this letter they would not

receive, but its contents were verbally intimated , and it is supposed

to be acted on, for the men were restored on the 20th February.

February 23rd. - Several tons of chests of opium taken from

smugglers, were publicly consumed. In proof of the necessity of

an English ship of war to protect our commerce, it may be stated

that the English barque Throughton was plundered within fifty

miles of Macao, and the captain and crew dangerously wounded.

This occurred on the 5th July, 1835. No one was punished by

the Chinese.

A.D. 1836. The last year passed off quietly. The superintendent

writing to Lord Palmerston congratulates his lordship on the suc-

cess of his quiescent policy. The superintendent rejoiced to say

that every thing manifested a state of uninterrupted tranquillity

and peace. This letter is dated December 10th, 1835 . It was

the calm that precedes the storm .

On 29th January, 1836, Sir G. B. Robinson in a letter to Lord

Palmerston, stated that it was most desirable to establish the

commission in Canton, but that he believed it impossible to do so

in an honourable and satisfactory manner, except by force of arms.

Sir George proceeded to say, " the Chinese have but one object ;

that is, to prevent our establishing ourselves permanently at Canton . "

February 8th . - Captain Elliot concerted measures to recover

the crew of the Argyle .

July 22nd. - Lord Palmerston's letter to Captain Elliot advised

him to hold no communication with any but officers of the Chinese

government, and that on no account should his written communi-

cations with the Chinese government assume the name of petitions.

December.- Captain Elliot having succeeded Sir G. Robin-

son as chief superintendent, endeavoured to open a communication

with the Chinese authorities, by making use of the Chinese

D 2


character Pin as a superscription. This character in the Chinese

language, intimates that the writer is inferior to the person written

to. It was sent to the Hong merchants to be forwarded . This

address drew from the governor a public document ordering

Captain Elliot to depart to Macao, and await his further pleasure.

A.D. 1837. The governor of Canton permits Captain Elliot to

return to Canton to hold the reins offoreigners.

February 7th .- Captain Elliot writes to the home government

that certain British merchants have been ordered to quit China

on account of their trading in opium.

April 1837. The governor of Canton endeavoured to have

Captain Elliot's communication sent open through the Hong

merchants . The very plausible pretext , was lest the new super-

intendent would use improper words, and be " puffed up with his

own imagination ."

Captain Elliot made a firm stand against this new attempt, and

was successful. His conduct met with the approbation of Lord

Palmerston, who ordered him to discontinue the word " Pin" in


From the frequent piracies in and about Canton and Macao, it

was necessary to have one or more of H.M. ships of war con-

venient, to be in communication with the superintendent.

29th September. The local authorities of Canton impose a

duty on Captain Elliot, which his powers would not permit him

to perform, viz., to drive away all merchants and merchant vessels

dealing in opium ; the vessels were anchored out of his jurisdic-

tion, and according to the edict of the governor had permanently

anchored at Whampoa, Lintin, and other land-locked places

since the year 1821 .

A.D. 1838. Admiral Maitland arrived in Her Majesty's ship, Wel-

lesley, 74, and Captain Elliot addressed the governor of Canton,

acquainting him with the peaceful visit of one of Her Majesty's

ships, and requesting the governor to send an officer to visit the


July 28th.- During this correspondence a Captain Middlemist

was proceeding from Hong Kong to Canton, in the Bombay passage-

hoat, and was fired at several times from the batteries, and at last

boarded by a mandarin, who said he was in search for Admiral

Maitland, his women, or soldiers.

August 4th.- The Chinese Admiral addressed a long complaint

against Captain Elliot to Admiral Maitland , stating, "that as the

Captain had discontinued in his letters the word (pin), humble

address,' and substituted (shusin) , ' letters of intelligence,' his

communications were rejected. The motive of these war-vessels

coming to the Celestial Empire was demanded ."

August 5th. - Chinese officials were sent on board the " Wel-

lesley," to disavow in writing all sanction of the Chinese Admiral,

as to the firing on the Bombay, in search of Admiral Maitland.


TheBritish Admiral stated, that as the trade was open, frequent visits

of British war-ships would arrive in China with peaceful intentions .

December 12th . -An attempt was made to execute a criminal in

front of the European factories ; this gross insult was met with be-

coming spirit, and prevented ; but not without a riot.

December 31st. -Captain Elliot resumed his correspondence

with the Chinese authorities, and took on himself the responsibility

of using the character Pin.

A.D. 1839, January.-The trade of Canton re-opened to fo-


A proposition for legalising the sale of opium, rejected by the

imperial council.

February 26th. -A Chinese accused of dealing in opium was

strangled in front of the foreign factories. All the foreign flags

thereupon, were hauled down . Captain Elliot sent a remonstrance

against this insult to the governor of Canton .

March 18th. Two edicts were issued, requiring all the opium

in the store-ships to be surrendered, and bonds to be given by the

owners that they would never bring any more, on penalty of death.

Three days were given for a reply.

21st. All foreigners were forbidden to go to Macao ; communi-

cation with Whampoa was cut off, and the factories surrounded

with soldiers.

22nd.-Mr. Dent, (the largest holder of opium) was invited to

go to the city gates ; after due deliberation a compliance with this

request was deemed unsafe.

24th . -Captain Elliot demanded passports. Provisions were

stopped, and a triple cordon of boats placed in front of the factories.

March 26th. -Captain Elliot received commands from the chief

commissioner Lin, to deliver over all opium in the possession of

British subjects, which he consented to do, viz .: 20,283 chests.

-(See chapter on the opium trade) .

May 23rd.-Up to this period, Europeans were detained in their

factories at Canton.

May 24th. -Captain Elliot retired from Canton, leaving not

more than twenty- seven foreigners behind him. The Anne Jane,

was the last British ship in port, she completed her cargo and

sailed for England. Captain Elliot had declared that he would

use all his influence to prevent ships entering, and on the other

hand, Commander Lin, was most desirous that vessels should enter,

provided their owners would sign a bond never more to bring opium.

June. The long delayed edict arrived , authorising Commander

Lin to destroy the opium, and his Majesty was pleased to say

that, “ this affair has been extremely well managed." The prefect

of Canton gave a receipt for the whole amount, viz.: 20,283 chests .

September 5th.- The following notice was addressed to the

Chinese people, by Captain Elliot, in order to manifest his peace-

ful intentions :-


" The men of the English nation desire nothing but peace ; but

they cannot submit to be poisoned and starved. The imperial

cruizers they have no wish to molest or impede ; but they must

not prevent the people from selling. To deprive men of food is

the act only of the unfriendly and hostile."

September 11th .- Captain Smith of Her Majesty's ship Volage,

issued a public notice of his intention to establish a blockade of

the river and part of Canton.

November 3rd.- An action took place off Chuenpee, in which

twenty-nine junks under the command of Admiral Kwan, were dis-

persed by two of our frigates, who might have destroyed the whole

of the junks. Such of the British merchants as had retired to

Hong Kong, in a merchant vessel, were cannonaded from the op-

posite mainland ; they therefore retired to Tonkoo bay, and Lintin


A.D. 1840, January.-The chief portion of the British subjects

in China, were on board vessels at the anchorage of Tonkoo,

others were with their families at Macao.

Some idea of the humiliating position of the British in China

may be formed, when the Queen of England's representative was

compelled to ask permission in the name ofher Majesty, to deposit

some merchandise in warehouses at Macao, upon paying the duties ;

"this request was refused."

January 8th .- Captain Smith of her Majesty's ship Volage is-

sued a public notice that he would blockade the river and port of

Canton on the 15th instant.

The 14th brought an edict from the Emperor, approving of all

that had been done, and ordering a distinction to be made in the

future treatment between the English and other nations. As to

the petty duties paid by the English, it was not to be deemed

worth a consideration . Foreigners of other nations were ordered

to be submissive, but if they sheltered or protected the English, or

conveyed them or their property into Chinese harbours, their pun-

ishment would be great.

March. - The Portuguese commerce with Canton, which had

been stopped some months previous, for harbouring English ladies

and their children, was re-opened.

May. New regulations were issued for the port of Canton and

Macao, prohibiting the importation of British produce or manu-


May 22nd. -The British ship Hellas, while becalmed was attack-

ed by eight junks. The captain and crew were all wounded .

June 9th.-An unsuccessful attempt was made to burn the Bri-

tish fleet, by means of fire rafts. This month brought her Ma-

jesty's ships " Alligator," " Wellesley," and the steamer " Mada-

gascar." Sir J. G. Bremer gave public notice of the blockade of

the Canton river. Captain Elliot issued notice that the Queen of

England had appointed high officers, to make known the true state

of affairs to the Emperor of China.


June 30th.- The British expedition arrived, amounting to fif-

teen ships of war, four steamers, twenty-five transports, and abont

4000 land forces .

July.-Proclamations were extensively issued by the Chinese

authorities, calling on all fishermen to bring their wives and fami-

lies to Canton, where they would be fed and protected, while they

were engaged in exterminating the English .

The following scale of rewards was also published, so ignorant

were the Chinese authorities of our strength. For every English

eighty-gun ship delivered over to the government, 20,000 dollars ;

for the entire destruction of each large ship, 10,000 dollars ; for

English merchant-ships, delivered, the entire cargo, except the guns

and opium ; for each naval commander, 5,000 dollars ; for their

slaughter, one third less ; for white English prisoners , 100 dollars ;

and one fifth for their slaughter. For coloured people a reward

will be given ; and the magistrate will give 20 dollars for each one

coloured person killed . So little confidence was reposed in those

who were to go forth to earn these rewards, that it was stipulated

their families should be left as a guarantee that they would not

assist the English .

Every means failed to arrange matters with the Chinese authori-

ties ; under these circumstances, there was no alternative but to

awaken the Emperor and the ministers to a sense of justice .

The whole tenor of Lord Palmerston's instructions was to de-

mand reparation for past injuries, and some security for the future ;

so far from intimidating the government by a display of our ships

of war in the Chinese waters, for nearly two years and a half, and

not until Captain Douglas, at his own expense, brought guns from

Singapore, and manned his vessel, was there any defensive means

at the command of the superintendent of British interests in China.

The critical state of affairs now, however, engaged the serious

consideration of her Majesty's government, and also that of

the merchants and others interested in the trade and intercourse

with China. An able document, containing seventeen clauses,

was drawn up by a committee of merchants in London, in 1840,

and presented to her Majesty's government. The following is the

seventeenth clause, and deserves notice, because it formed the basis

of the treaty which was prepared at the Board of Trade in White-

hall, by Mr. Poulet Thompson, (afterwards Lord Sydenham) and

Mr. Deacon Hume, which treaty was sent out to China by Lord

Palmerston, to Captain Elliot, for his guidance, and which was

finally ratified at Nankin, as will be subsequently shown . The

treaty, however, signed in 1842, is more restrictive than these

moderate suggestions in 1840. If credit be due to any for

framing the treaty of Nankin, it is due to Mr. (now Sir George)

Larpent, Mr. J. Abel Smith, and Mr. Crawford, as is thus satis-

factorily proved :

17th. " In the future conduct of the trade it would be most de-

sirable to obtain a commercial treaty with the Chinese, permitting-


1st. "Admission not only to Canton, but to certain ports to

the northward, say Amoy. Fuh-oho -foo, Ningpo, and the Yang-

che-keang and Kwan-chou, situated between the 29th and 32nd

degrees of north latitude, near the silk, nankin, and tea districts ;

and it is on this coast that the chief demand for British woollens,

long-ells, and camlets exists.

2nd. " Commercial relations to be maintained at these places

or at Canton, generally with the Chinese natives ; but if the trade

be limited to certain hongs, which we most strongly deprecate,

then the government to be guarantees of the solvency of such par-

ties so chosen by it.

3rd. " The British subjects in China carrying on a legitimate

trade, shall not be treated by the government or its officials as in-

feriors, but be left free in their social and domestic relations to

adopt European customs, to possess warehouses, and to have their

wives and families with them, and to be under the protection of

the Chinese laws from insult and oppression .

4th. " That a tariff of duties, inwards and outwards, be fixed

and agreed upon by the British and Chinese governments, and no

alteration be made by any mutual consent.

5th. "That the Queen's representative, as superintendent of

the trade, be allowed direct communication with the emperor and

his ministers, as well as with the local authorities ; and that he be

permitted to reside at Pekin, or at a given port, for the protection

of British subjects, and the regulation of the trade .

6th. " That in the event of any infraction of the Chinese laws,

the punishment for the same shall be confined to the offender ; and

British subjects shall not be considered responsible for acts of each

other, but each man for his own-the innocent not being con-

founded with the guilty .

7th. " That supposing the Chinese to refuse opening their

ports generally, the cession by purchase, or otherwise, of an island

be obtained, upon which a British factory could be established .

" Upon terms such as these, the British trade with China, could,

we think, be carried on with credit and advantage to this country ;

and if force must be used to obtain them, we cannot believe that

the people of Great Britain and the European community in gene-

ral, would offer any objection to its exercise ; at least, we humbly

suggest that the adoption of this course is worth the trial, for if it

be not followed, the only alternative seems to be the abandonment

of this important and growing commerce to smugglers and to


"We have, &c. ,

(Signed) " G. G. DE H. LARPENT.



[ See Canton Register of 23rd February, 1841 , for the whole

of this document] .


The circumstances attending an early encounter, prove that the

Chinese have much to learn in national intercourse.

The ' Blonde,' Captain Bourchier, was sent to the harbour of

Amoy, to endeavour to hand a letter from the English naval com-

mander-in-chief, to the Chinese admiral who was stationed there.

Fearing that the ' Blonde' would be fired on, notwithstanding her

white flag, the commander instructed Mr. Thom to draw up a do-

cument in the Chinese language, relative to the use of that emblem,

as understood by all civilized nations.

The Chinese who visited the Blonde' were made acquainted

with this document, and took it on shore ; Mr. Thom, the inter-

preter, was then sent to deliver the letter to the admiral, or some

other officer.

The officers and crew of the boat had a narrow escape, they were


fired at, and the only answer received was off, off."

The same scene was acted the second day, with no better effect ;

no one could be found to accept of the letter, although there were

only five men and boys, all unarmed, with Mr. Thom.

1840, July 2nd. In the meantime, the commander observed

that preparations were making on shore to attack the frigate, and

several large junks had been towed down from the harbour, and

were being mounted with cannon and soldiers . Captain Bourchier

seeing this wanton attack on a defenceless boat, got the after-guns

of the frigate to command the beach, so that when the Chinese

troops were just on the point of firing, a couple of thirty-two pound

shot came tumbling in among them, which soon made them cease

their attempt on the jolly boat. The result of their hostilities, and

the cowardly attack on the boat, was that the guns of the Blonde

were directed with terrific effect upon the batteries and war junks

for nearly two hours ; the fort was riddled and nearly unroofed,

but could not be destroyed, as it was bomb proof and well built.

The attack was intended to impress on the people the true na-

ture of the expedition , viz :—that the quarrrel was with their rulers

alone, and not with them, and hostilities having originated con-

cerning a ' white flag' it ought in future to be recognised as an

emblem of peace . The Blonde' might have destroyed Amoy.

She proceeded to report the circumstance to the Admiral.

Our fleet proceeded to Chusan, which Lord Jocelyn speaks of as

a "beautiful harbour, the suburbs run parallel to the water's

edge, and form a wharf, along which was seen a forest of merchant


Sir G. Bremer having preceded Her Britannic Majesty's com-

missioners, sailed for Tinghai the capital of the island of Chusan,

on board the ' Wellesley' and demanded the surrender of the

town within six hours .

The summons addressed to the people stated that no injury was

intended to them, but that their rulers at Canton acted improperly,

and redress was sought. The Chumpin (Admiral) and some others,

visited the ' Wellesley ' ; Sir G. Bremer impressed on them the


necessity of yielding, and requested them to consider the matter

well ; they promised to do so, and he gave them until the follow-

ing morning to think over it.

Sunday morning, 5th July, it appeared to all on board that

vigorous efforts had been making on the previous night, in throw-

ing up defences ; and a message was sent that at two o'clock, P.M.


a gun would be fired from the Wellesley,' and if replied to, that

would be a signal for further hostilities.

The British men-of- war were lying in a line, at a distance of

two hundred yards from the wharf. They consisted of the 'Wel-

lesley,' 74 ; Conway and Alligator,' 28 ; Cruizer and Algerine,'


18 ; and ten gun-brigs. At half-past two the Wellesley' fired

a gun at the tower : this was returned by the whole line of junks,

and the guns on the hill ; the shipping opened their broadsides

upon the town and made sad havock in a few minutes, when the

debarkation of the troops commenced. Within two hours of

leaving the ships, the Madras artillery had four guns in a good

position, commanding the town, and the British flag was hoisted

under a salute. Evening was fast approaching, and further pro-

ceedings were deferred until the following day ; but the Chinese

kept up firing at intervals, until near ten o'clock at night.

To stop this, a few shells were thrown into the city, which killed

the civil magistrate ; the governor, under the pretence of taking a

bath, drowned himself.

July the 6th . Before sun-rise it was discovered that a fire

broke out in the suburbs of Tinghae, where the troops had been

quartered, among some extensive stores of spirits (samshoo. )

Whether the fire was accidental or malicious was never ascer-

tained . It was probably designed by the authorities . The British

authorities made every exertion to suppress the flames.

July 7th . Admiral Elliot arrived, and his first act was to place

a close blockade on the harbour of Ningpo, a large city of great

trade, situated on the mainland opposite the island of Chusan.

All efforts had failed to send Lord Palmerston's letter to Peking,

and it was deemed a matter of importance to blockade the whole

coast from Ningpo to the mouth of the Yangtzekang river.

It was thought that in no other way could the remonstrance of

the British Government reach the Emperor. In the meantime

the troops found great difficulty in purchasing provisions, at

Tinghae, owing to the terrors of the people. In order to furnish

some insight of the policy of the Tartar government, I give as

many of the Chinese official documents as space will permit.

The following is an extract from the correspondence between the

Chekeang provincial authorities and the Emperor.

"In a letter dated July 7th, the foo-yuen, or lieutenant-governor

of this province, describes the approach of the British shipping,

and principally expatiates upon the structure of the steamboats,


which sail against wind and tide. He then mentions the visit of

the vice-admiral to the Wellesley, and speaks of the noble stature

of the soldiers that were seen on board. The summons for the

surrender of Tinghae is quoted at full length, and the English

receive their full meed of censure for their disobedience and


" His imperial majesty , in his reply, remarks that naval and land

fighting are by no means the same, replying that some excuse

ought to be made for the suddenness of the attack by powerful

men of war ; still the officers in command of the island , must have

lost all courage to permit the capture of the island.

"To another receipt dated July 20th, the monarch ascribes this

warlike demonstration to the extermination of the opium traffic in

Canton province and the stoppage of the British trade. He

moreover directs, that his reiterated injunctions for putting the

whole coast in a state of defence, may be followed up, and orders

that the Lieutenant-governor, with a number of other officers,

should be degraded for their neglect and delivered over to the

board of punishment .

" The autocrat remarks, that his imperial majesty had quite

anticipated such a result from the annihilation of the opium

trade, and therefore urges the most strenuous efforts to oppose an


"To a memorial received from the Lieutenant-governor, under

date of July 22nd, the capture of Tinghae is denounced as a most

detestable act, though the landing of 3,000 to 4,000 men, English

barbarians, rendered resistance impossible.

"His Majesty orders, in consequence of this daring exploit, to put

the navy in a proper state for making resistance, and to order other

vessels to join the Ningpo squadron . It is also very probable,

that these barbarians might make an attempt upon Chinhae and

other towns ; the Emperor therefore, filled with apprehension,

commanded these places to be guarded and enjoined Yow (a general

officer of Fookeen) to exterminate the barbarians. A number of

officers, most of them Colonels, are sentenced to lose their rank

and to be severely punished. The commanding general of the

Ningpo land and naval forces, however, though degraded from his

rank, is permitted to retain his office for a time, to gain new

laurels, and to atone for his previous neglect.

"The Tartar general and lieutenant-general at Hangchoo, the

metropolis of this province, report, that being apprehensive that

an attempt by sea, on the river " Tseentang," might be made

upon the city, they erected forts at the mouth of it. They more-

over remark, that the men of war of the said barbarians are strong

and the guns powerful ; thus there would remain little chance for

the victory of the imperial navy. On that account they had

ordered the marines on shore to defend the country against the

enemy. They issued, moreover, orders to apprehend all traitorous


natives. Thus prepared, they report, they awaited the foe : on a

sudden a man of war ' (the Algerine) approached Chapo ; the lieu-

tenant-governor had guarded against her, and the firing com-

menced on both sides ; there were above ten soldiers wounded

and killed, and it was found difficult to oppose this single vessel ;

under such circumstances reinforcements might arrive and the

city be taken. The commander ordered new troops to come with-

out delay, and maintain the place against the invader.

" To another despatch, dated August 4th, from the Emperor, in

answer to a communication in which it was stated that an ad-

ditional number of men of war had arrived at Chusan, the monarch

expresses his great fears, and regrets that the distance is so great

as to render the correspondence tardy, and blames the officers for

their blunders . He orders them to wait until the garrison of

Tinghae had exhausted their strength, and then to march with

their soldiers to obtain a victory, but on no account to make mili-

tary diversion, nor to allow the English to sneak into their har-

bours . In the meanwhile he commands Yeu the admiral, and Tang

the governor of Fokeen, to exterminate the enemy with the forces

under their command, to exercise the utmost vigilance ; and to

attack any landing party. The authorities of Kwangtung and

Fookeen are at the same time ordered to adopt this line of pro-

ceeding ; provisions and ammunition to be placed at their disposal,

and extensive magazines to be established at Ningpo. His Ma-

jesty appoints Elepoo governor of Keangnan to undertake the

defence of Chekeang, with plenipotentiary powers, and again

commands Tang and Yeu to exterminate the barbarians."

The following is a copy of a proclamation addressed to the inha- V

bitants of Tinghae by E. , high imperial commissioner, &c.

" Whereas in the sixth month of this year, the English men of

war entered the seas of Chekeang province, and took possession of

the city of Tinghae Woo ; the former lieutenant- governor col-

lected the soldiers and strenuously made arrangements to guard

against and exterminate them, and for this purpose promised

rewards. He ordered your people to unite and seize all the

barbarians, for which he would respectively recompense you ; sub-

sequently, I, the great minister, received the imperial pleasure that

I should proceed to Chekeang ; and whilst concerting plans and

consulting about measures, Elliot, the said nation's commander-

in-chief, with others proceeded to Teentsin, where they presented

a petition. We, the cabinet minister and governor of Chihle,

transmitted for them a memorial to His Imperial Majesty, and

because the soldiers of the said nation had repaired to Chekeang

on account of provocation received , and not with the intention of

creating disturbance, and also the wording of the petition pre-


sented at Teentsin being very reverential and obedient, therefore

these things are pardonable.

"Whereas the inhabitants of Tinghae city are all children

belonging to the state, and the men of war of the said nation have

assaulted on the Tinghae seas in your immediate neighbourhood ;

it is to be feared that as soon as you are engaged with them in

hostilities you could not escape the calamities of terror : therefore,

Ke, the governor of Chihle, was especially appointed to repair to

Canton, and to receive for a time the official seals of the governor

of Quantung and Quangse, for the purpose of examining and

managing the matter.

"Orders were also addressed to me, the great minister, not to

recommence hostilities .

" Thus it is our sacred Lord's earnest intention, to put a stop to

troubles, to show his love towards the people, to rejoice heaven,

and to protect the world ; for which you, all my officers and people,

ought to be grateful.

"I, the great minister, have now agreed and directed the said

commander-in-chief and others, to appoint some vessels for

repairing to Canton, and to wait there until the affairs are inves-

tigated and managed .

"As soon as ever the business is managed, and brought to a

conclusion, the said nation will recal all their vessels, and not pro-

long their stay at Tinghae city.

" I, the great minister, have also ordered him (the commander-

in-chief) to restrain his subordinates that they may not inflict

injuries upon you. As you are not acquainted with the details,

and might perhaps as heretofore, on account of the rewards held

out by the late lieutenant-governor, examine and seize all the

barbarians, so as to give rise to trouble and bloodshed, I therefore,

especially issue these perspicuous orders, hereby addressing the

same to the inhabitants of Tinghae for their information . You

ought all quietly to plough your fields and read your books, taking

care of yourselves and families. If, indeed, these barbarians do not

distress you, you must not again search for and seize them. Each

must implicitly obey this special proclamation.

" The above edict is for general information.

" 1st November, 1840."

The British authorities having remained upwards of three weeks

at Chusan, and in the neighbourhood, left the latter end of July,

and proceeded northward with a large fleet. August 15th, the

chief portion of the squadron arrived at the mouth of the Peiho .

Here, without any difficulty, Lord Palmerston's letter was received

by Keshen the governor of the province, and the third member of

the Emperor's cabinet. The wily Tartar unsolicited gave orders

to supply the squadron with provisions, cattle, &c., for which he

refused payment.


Ten days were asked by Keshen to receive an answer from

Peking, and allowed .

At a subsequent conference between the British plenipotentiary,

Captain Elliot, and Keshen, the former was outwitted by the in-

genuity of the latter, who considered that difficulties could be

better arranged at Canton, which was 1,500 miles from the Im-

perial residence ; the distance at which they were then situated

being less than one hundred .

August 6th. - Macao, which was heretofore considered neutral

ground, had assumed a very hostile appearance, by a large influx

of Chinese troops, and the frequent attacks on British subjects ; and

the abduction of a most estimable clergyman, the Rev. V. Stan-

ton, caused the greatest excitement, as a price was fixed upon the

head of every Englishman. Everything indicated that an attack

would be made on Macao, and up to the 19th all efforts proved in-

effectual to obtain a release of Mr. Stanton.

Captain Smith clearly perceiving that it was the intention of the

Chinese to cut off all communication with Macao, anticipated their

designs, and brought Her Majesty's ships Larne and Hyacinth,

with the steamer Enterprize, to bear against the barrier. This

was speedily answered by the Chinese from a battery of seventeen

guns, on the beach north of the barrier. A brisk fire was kept up

for an hour on both sides. A single gun was landed on the beach,

which soon silenced their guns ; and the landing of about 300

troops, drove the Chinese from every position, although amounting

to 5,000 strong. All was over in four hours, barracks burnt, and

the vessels retired to the usual anchorage.

August 16.- The ten days claimed by Keshen to lay the British

claims before the cabinet, were taken advantage of by the squadron

to visit Mantchouria, intending to make the island of Changhing,

near the mainland on the east side of the Gulf of Leaoutung ; the

object was to procure supplies of cattle and water, which they did

with some difficulty.

The squadron returned on the 28th, and a conference was held

on shore between Captain Elliot and Keshen ; all assumption of

superiority of the Chinese, on this occasion, gave way to urbanity,

in order that Keshen might more successfully overreach his ad-

versary. Two days were thus spent without any satisfactory re-

sult, and six days more were required for instructions from Peking.

Unfortunately Captain Elliot, totally contrary to the instructions

of Lord Palmerston, quitted his advantageous position at the Peiho,

where he might have dictated better terms of peace than were sub-

sequently accepted at Nankin .

September 1st, 1840.- Pending the negotiations that were to be

carried on at Canton by the new commissioner Keshen, who was

to replace Lin, the squadron sailed from the Peiho for Chusan . A

trnce was entered into between the British and Chinese on the 6th

of November; and on the 15th, the British plenipotentiaries sailed


from Chusan for Canton, to hold the intended conference, leaving

land and naval forces at Tinghae.

The British squadron left the neighbourhood of Peking on the

15th of September, and on the 27th of the same month the follow-

ing edict from the Emperor was received in Canton, recalling

Commissioner Lin :-

" Lin Tsihseu . You received my imperial orders to examine and

manage the affairs relating to opium ; from the exterior to cut off

all trade in opium ; from the interior your orders were to seize

perverse natives, and thus cut off all supplies to foreigners ; why

have you so long delayed these matters ? You have proved your-

self unable to cut off this trade, you have but dissembled with

empty words, and in deep disguise in your report (to the Emperor) ;

and so far from having been of any help in the affair, you have

caused the waves of confusion to arise, and a thousand disorders

are sprouting ; it appears you are no better than a wooden image.

I order that your seals be taken from you, and that you hasten

with the speed of flames to Peking, that I may examine you ; delay

you not. Respect this."

The following official document, reporting the English capture

of Tinghae, the capital of Chusan, shows the defenceless state of

the coast :-


Woo, the Lieutenant-governor, and Choo, the Commander of

Chekeang, jointly report the loss of Tinghae. I, the governor, as

soon as the English wrote to the Commandant of Tinghae in a

strain of seditious violence, considered the water approaches to this .

place, planning what could be done to defend them, have sent this

report by express . I hastened to Chinhae to consult with General

Chuh, and there learned that Tinghae had fallen into the hands of

the English . I, the Lieut-governor, receiving this intelligence,

could not prevent my hair from bristling with anger. I also as-

certained that without shifting a sail they could proceed to the

mouth of Chinhae, and straight pass into the interior ; all the im-

portant passes are so situated as to have Tinghae for their outside

guard, and the opposite hills of Cheaopo and Kinke to shut in the

mouth of the entrance. Chow, the commander, dispatched 900

soldiers to guard the coasts. I sent my soldiers, 400 in number, to

Chinhae. I commanded Tang, the prefect of Ningpo, to sink

vessels at the entrance of the river ; and drive wooden piles in the

water, and secure them with chains. While thus planning, many

foreign ships passed Chinhae, distant only three or four miles . We

have taken up our residence at the entrance of the river, thirty- one

rebellious ships have arrived, having guns on both sides, and fore

and aft ; included are two ships having wheels at their sides, which

revolving propel them like the wind. They have about 5,000 or

6,000 soldiers . If we fight with them, we should have an equal

number. We have only 2,000 men, and it is better not to hazard

an engagement.


" First we ought to devise some plan to wear out their soldiers ;

and when our forces are collected in great numbers, we can attack

them, that at an appointed time, we may at once seize them all."

The great device of all parties, from the imperial government

downwards, was to " wear out the barbarians ; " hence every artifice

was used to protract negotiations, and deceive us by falsehood and

pretences .

It is instructive, as regards the policy of the Tartar government,

to watch the tone assumed in their edicts and proclamations. Truth

seems to have been the last thing considered, the main object was

to deceive the people. On the departure of our fleet from the Peiho

the following imperial despatch was sent to Elepoo at Canton :-

" Whereas the English, at the harbour of Teentsin, did present

a communication, civil and respectful, earnestly requesting an ex-

tension of favours, it seemed right to command Keshen to instruct

and order, that they should not be allowed to create confusion,

but only permitted to proceed to Canton to seek entrance ; so that

if they should exhibit sincerity, the said minister will memorialize

in their behalf, begging for favour."

Now, according to Keshen's memorial, the said foreigners have

attended to his instructions, and have already got under weigh,

and returned southwards, having by memorial declared " that

along the coast they will make no disturbance, provided they be

not first fired on ; also, that one-half of their soldiers in Tinghae

shall be withdrawn ,

" These foreigners have heretofore been disorderly, albeit in some

way excited thereto, and they justly merit detestation, and ought

to be exterminated.

" Now it appears that the port of Tseuen-chaw-foo in Fookeen,

Chapo in Chekeang, and Tsung-ming in Keang-soo, have each

with their rumbling thunders, beat the foreign ships, and greatly

damped their ardour As they have consented to come forward

and beg for favour, it is not meet to inquire strictly into the


" Keshen's communication to the English, and their reply, are

copied and sent herewith for Eleepoo's inspection . Respect this."

On the arrival of Keshen at Canton, he forwarded the following

letter to the Emperor, at the very time when he was corresponding

with the British authorities previous to the battle at the Bogue

forts :-

" I, your minister, arrived in Canton the 29th of November, and

night and day have considered and examined the state of our re-

lations with the English. At first moved by the benevolence of

His Majesty, and the severity of the laws, they surrendered the

opium . Commissioner Lin commanded them to give bonds that

they would never more deal in opium-a most excellent plan for

securing future good conduct. This the English refused to give,

and thus they trifled with the laws ; and so obstinate were their


dispositions that they could not be made to submit. Hence it be-

comes necessary to soothe and admonish them with sacred instruc-

tion, so as to cause them to change their mien, and purify their

hearts, after which it will not be too late to renew their commerce.

It behoves me to instruct and persuade them, so that their good

consciences may be restored, and they reduced to submission .

This done, your minister will report the same by memorial.

" 13th December, 1840."

A.D. 1841 , January the 6th . All reasonable prospect of peace

or redress must have terminated on the appearance of the annexed

proclamation from the Emperor.


To-day Lew has reported , by memorial, that having gone to

Chinhae, he made faithful enquiry concerning the disposition of

foreigners, &c. Keshen has also reported concerning the foreigners

at Canton, that they appear more violent and overbearing than

ever. Already our instructions have been given to all the generals

and governors to increase the strength of their defences, and to

be timely prepared for sudden attack. The provincial city of

Chekeang is a place of much importance ; whatever measures are

requisite for Tinghae, let Lao, in concert with Elepoo, deliberate

upon, and immediately return to the provincial city, and instruct

the officers to make strong defences . If the said foreigners again

come to present petitions, let them all be utterly rejected ; should

any of their ships sail near the ports on the coast, at once let

matchlocks and artillery be opened, and the thundering attack be

made dreadful . There must be no wavering, so as to exhibit awe

or fear. Respect this ."

After waiting from the 5th September, 1840, for some amicable

arrangement, it was determined by the British authorities to

attack the Bogue Forts in the Canton River, about twenty miles

from Linton, and forty from Macao. The two outer forts

are Taikok, on the west side of the channel, and Chuenpe,

that is Shakok, on the east side. Both are on islands : the

battery on the first is built on the S.E. point ; the other on the

N.W., and above it, on the top of a hill, a small battery had been

recently erected. A few miles above Chuenpe, on the same side

of the river, are the batteries of Anunghoy, and separated from

Chuenpe by Anson's Bay. In the centre of the river, opposite

Anunghoy, is Wangtung ; and three miles further up is Tiger

Island. All these fortifications were well constructed , and, to the

Chinese modes of warfare, invulnerable . In the possession of any

European troops they ought to be as impregnable as the Darda-

nelle batteries .

January 9th.-About eight o'clock, the squadron under the

command of Sir J. J. Gordon Bremer moved up the river, being

anchored three miles below the first forts.

The steamers Nemesis,' ' Enterprise,' and ' Madagascar,' were

first employed in conveying the land force ashore.



The Calliope,' ' Hyacinth,' and ' Larne,' under the command of

Captain (now Sir Thomas) Herbert, were to proceed up the river,

and bombard the lower fort on Chuenpe. The Queen and Neme-

sis were to throw shells into the hill-forts, and the entrenchments

on the inner side of them.

The Wellesley,' with the other large vessels, took a position

further up the river. The royal artillery guns were dragged through

a winding valley for two miles, and placed where there was a

clear view of the Chinese force, whose camp was entrenched,

and flanked by small field batteries, and connected with the

hill fort by a high breast work. In the rear of their field bat-

teries were deep trenches ; some of these had been recently con-


The troops for field service consisted of a battalion of the royal

marines, a detachment of royal artillery, with one twenty-four

pounder howitzer, and two six-pounder field- pieces ; detachments

of the 26th, 49th, and 37th Madras native infantry, with a detach-

ment of Bengal volunteers ; the whole force amounted to 1,400,

under the command of Major Pratt, of the 26th, or Cameronian

regiment .

Both parties seemed conscious of victory ; the Chinese seeing

an advanced party approaching, welcomed them with cheers,

waving their flags in the attitude of defiance, and instantly opened

a fire from the field batteries, which was quickly returned by the

British artillery. This was the signal for the steamers, Queen and

Nemesis, to throw shells into the hill-fort . The Chinese could not

long withstand the fire of the sixty-eight-pounder of the Queen,

and the thirty-two-pounder of the Nemesis.

On the land side, the entrenched camp was soon carried by the

main body of the troops, and in less than half an hour after the

assault on the fort by the steamers, the British flag was hoisted on

its summit.

From some cause or another, the Chinese were very slow in

returning the fire from the vessels, although they were the first to

fire on troops, this was according to instructions given them by

the commandant.

The royal marines were despatched to drive the enemy from a

wooded hill which they occupied. The first entrenchment was

now deserted ; a small party headed by Major Pratt soon reached

the hill-fort . The major, with two men, were the first to arrive,

and, to their astonishment, found the Tartars at their posts, as he

peeped over the walls ; one shot being fired their courage failed ,

they were soon flying off in every direction ; the British flag was

then hoisted .

During this operation, the guns on the lower fort were silenced

by the ships which had been placed before that battery. The

Chinese finding themselves assailed both by land and water, left

the battery, and retreated towards the wooded hill, and were here


met by the royal marines and 37th native infantry, that had pre-

viously taken possession of the hill. The havoc was here dreadful,

and the enemy soon overcome ; only about a hundred of the

Chinese troops accepted quarter.

The vindictive character of the Tartars was on this occasion

strikingly exemplified ; a few stray Tartars, who had sheltered

themselves as opportunity offered, took aim at their captors, which

drew upon themselves severe chastisement .

While the land forces were performing their part, the fort at

Tycocktow, i.e. Taikok, was attacked and carried . The Samarang

led the division, and, notwithstanding a heavy fire from the enemy,

anchored within a cable's length of the centre of the battery.

The Modeste,' ' Druid,' and ' Columbine ' were not far astern.

The broadsides from the Druid soon told on the solid masonry,

and silenced the guns of the enemy ; but the Chinese did not

leave their posts until the seamen and marines were landed, and

entering through the breach, carried the fort by storm. The en-

counter here was man to man ; the Tartar soldiers for a time dis-

playing courage. The deadly fire of the musketry soon damped

their ardour, and as many as could escaped , and were not pursued .

The guns in the fort were spiked, and thrown into the sea. After

removing the wounded, the magazines were blown up .

The good services of the steamers were again required to destroy

the Chinese war junks at Anson's Bay. The Nemesis pushed into

shallow water, and her first congreve-rocket took instantaneous

effect, blowing up one of the largest war-junks with all her crew.

Thus she continued the work of destruction until eleven were

destroyed . There were no fortifications, and not a shot was fired

on either side .

There were ninety-seven guns in the fort and embankments ;

twenty-five in Tycocktow ; on Chuenpe, forty-four mounted, and

thirty-nine unmounted : eighty guns were in the junks. It is

difficult to ascertain the Chinese loss in killed and wounded ; 500

are stated in one place to have been killed. The British, as in

other Chinese " battles," did not lose one man ! This shows that

the contest bore more resemblance to a meeting of lions and

sheep, than to any real danger incurred on the part of the English.

In fact, the Chinese have not the instinctive courage of the

meanest animal, which will defend itself against an assailant.

The objects sought to be attained by our hostilities were stated

in the Canton Register of the 19th January, 1841 , to be :-

1st. " To obtain a recognition of the King of England as the

independent sovereign of a civilized country.

2nd . " To require an apology for the treatment of Lord Napier,


3rd. " Compensation must be made for the losses caused to

British merchants by the stoppage of the trade while Lord Napier

was at Canton, and for some time after his departure.

E 2


4th. " Until particular rules are framed by the consent of both

governments, British subjects shall not, for any wrong done either

to another British subject, or to a Chinese subject, be liable to

more severe punishment than is applicable to the like offence by

the laws of England.

5th. " No hoppo, or other authority whatever, shall be at

liberty to impose any tax, or duty, direct or indirect, on any

foreign ships or vessels, on any articles of export or import, or any

boats, coolies, or other conveyance of goods, other than, or different

from, the prescribed imperial tariff.

6th. " Vessels not engaged in trade shall pay the ordinary

pilotage, but no other duty or charge whatever. They shall be

freely allowed to purchase refreshments, and articles requisite for

repair or refit, and to hire workmen for such purpose.


7th. Merchant vessels shall pay shipping charges of all kinds

according to their real size, as ascertained by their certificate of

registry. None of the persons engaged in supplying them with

provisions or stores, shall be subject to any fee or exaction what-

ever in that capacity.

8th. " British subjects may take their families to any place

where they reside themselves, and may employ any sort of vehicle

they may find agreeable or convenient, as freely as Natives.

9th . " British subjects may visit any part of the country under

passports signed by the British commissioner, and countersigned

by the Chinese authority at the place .

10th. " A British subject desirous of residing for a lawful ob-

ject in any part of the country, shall report himself in person to

the chief magistrate of the place, specifying his lodging, but shall

not thereafter be in any way molested or controlled in his pursuits,

so long as they are conducted in a lawful and inoffensive manner.

11th . " British ships may proceed to any port in China at

which an imperial custom-house has been established, and land and

ship goods as freely, and on the same terms, as at Canton. Should

there be no British commissioner or deputy commissioner at such

port, British subjects that may be charged with any offences must

be sent for trial to the nearest port at which a British commis-

sioner resides.

12th. " British traders may have boats, or other conveyance,

to carry goods from any one port of the country to another, pay-

ing the same rates of transit duties as natives ."

While the forces were preparing to advance to the attack on the

forts at the Bogue, the Chinese admiral, Kwan, sought an armis-

tice, which was granted by Captain Elliot .

Captain K. S. Mackenzie, late military secretary to the com-

mander-in-chief, came to China " to see some actual service in his

profession," and was, as he states, sadly disappointed.

The attack on the Bogue is thus narrated by him : " At the

moment the firing began, a flag of truce was observed coming to-


wards the flag-ship . The boat was manned by an old woman,

having for her compagnon-du-voyage, a man of the lowest descrip-

tion, who proved to be the bearer of a chop from Admiral Kwan to

Captain Elliot ; the purport of which was to obtain a grace of

three days, to enable him to communicate with Keshen . Our

answer was taken by Lieutenant Maitland, who had an interview

with the Chinese admiral, who was most civil ; and when told by

Lieutenant Maitland that he must desist from all further hostile

preparations, replied, that he dared not surrender the forts, but if

able we might come and take them . I leave the reader to imagine,

if he can, the feelings of the fleet on this occasion ." (See p . 26. )

Keshen, true to his character, wrote a letter to the Emperor

calculated to mislead him.

66 January 8th.

" Memorial from your majesty's slave ; * I have received a dis-

patch from the commander-in- chief ( Kwan) which states that all

the vessels of the English weighed anchor on the 7th , and, in dis-

tinct squadrons, attacked the forts of Shaikok and Taikok ; that

the fire of the guns was kept up incessantly, and the contest sus-

tained all around from eight a.m. till two p.m., ' during which the

foreign vessels fired above (ten rounds) of cannon ; that our forces

responded to the attack, till about two p.m. , when some of the

foreigners were seen to have fallen into the water ; the tide began

to ebb, and the foreigners ceased firing, and anchored in the

middle of the stream , each side maintaining its ground.' There

were four steamers which fell upon the war-junks, but finding the

attack responded to, drew off again without having decided the


" Your slave, since his arrival, has exchanged communication

with the English ; and has given them admonitory commands,

and, as regards what they require, he has not been able to satisfy

their rapacious cravings, still he has granted a measure of what

they demanded. Some think that if the military force be main-


tained, that in time they will be wearied out, or, if granted com-

merce, a restraining cordon may then be kept around what they

have .' 7

" Whether or not our forces have suffered in this conflict, and

to what extent wounds may have been inflicted, shall be reported

with all haste as soon as ascertained ."

The Emperor, in a letter to Keshen, of 27th January, 1841 ,

says : " These rebellious foreigners, since their return to Canton,

have been daily increasing in disorderliness ; and we have repeat-

edly issued orders to maintain a well- ordered guard to proceed

against them on a fit occasion. With what care, then, did it be-

come all the high officers, civil and military, to have arranged their

defence ?

Slave TARTAR servant- CHINESE.


" The report from Keshen states that Shaikok and Taikok have

been taken by the foreigners ; and the government soldiers have

fallen dead and wounded, and the naval vessels have been plun-

dered. Let the proper board take into consideration the conduct

of Keshen . At the same time, let him have the direction of the

forces to drive off or destroy these foreigners . Kwan, the naval

commander, has shewn himself devoid of talent ; let his button and

insignia of rank be taken from him-but let him, at the same time,

labour to attain merit, and show forth his after endeavours ."

Poor " Admiral " Kwan deserved a better master ; he was killed

on board his own vessel, and, in the Chinese language, was said to

have died " leaning gracefully against the mast." The letter of

the Emperor clearly shows the government were arming for a war

of extermination against the English, even while professing a de-

sire for peace .

The result of the attack on the forts was manifested by a tem-

porary bending to circumstances on the part of the Chinese

government, after they had for twenty-two months rejected all

reasonable overtures for settlement.

On the 20th day of January, 1841 , the following circular dated

Macao was issued by Captain Elliott to her Britannic Majesty's

subjects :-

" Her Majesty's plenipotentiary has now to announce the con-

clusion of preliminary arrangements between the imperial com-

missioner and himself, involving the following conditions-

1. " The cession of the island and harbour of Hong Kong to

the British crown. Alljust charges and duties to the empire upon

the commerce carried on there to be paid, as if the trade were

conducted at Whampoa .

2. " An indemnity to the British government of six millions of

dollars, one million payable at once, and the remainder in equal

annual instalments, ending in 1846.

3. " Direct official intercourse between the two countries upon

an equal footing.

4. "The trade of the port of Canton to be opened within ten

days after the Chinese new year, and to be carried on at Wham-

poa, till further arrangements are practicable at the new settle-


ment details remain matters of negotiation .'

The impropriety of that portion of the first clause which pro-

vides for the Chinese government levying duties at the British

settlement at Hong Kong is evident, even the Portuguese never

submitted to anything so degrading at Macao. In fact, if such a

measure had been carried out, the Queen of England would have

become tributary in reality to the Emperor of China ! It was not

however the intention of the Chinese government to ratify Keshen's

arrangement with Captain Elliot.

In conformity with the above convention, the British colours

were hauled down at Chuenpe, and a dispatch sent off to surrender


Chusan to the Chinese authorities. On the 27th January a pro-

clamation was issued providing for the future government of Hong

Kong ; and on the very same day an imperial edict was issued,

stating that " A report has been received from Keshen, setting

forth the attack on and capture of certain forts by the English. The

rebellious disposition ofthese foreigners being plainly manifest, there

remains no other course but to destroy and wash them clean away,

and thus display the majesty of the empire. Troops from Szechuen,

Kangse, and Hoonan, in all 10,000, were ordered to Canton."

The report of Keshen to the Emperor, after our capture of the

Bogue forts at Canton, and subsequent to his truce, is too strikingly

indicative of the treachery and policy of the Tartars to be partially

quoted ; I, therefore, give a translation of this remarkable docu-

ment complete. For uttering the truth in this report, of not

being able to resist the barbarians- Keshen, once the Prime

Minister of China, was sent in chains to the capital-thrown into

prison-left starving-ordered to be cut in small pieces for the

fowls of the air, and his property confiscated ! (see vol. i. page 133) .

Such is the reward of an honest statesman in China.

Translation of a memorial, from the minister, &c., Keshen

to the Emperor.

" Your majesty's slave, Keshen, minister of the Inner Council,

and acting governor of the two Kwang,-kneeling presents this

respectful memorial,-setting forth, how that the English foreigners

have dispatched a person to Chekeang province to deliver back

Tinghae, -how that they have restored to us the forts of Shakok

and Taikok, in the province of Kwantung, along with the vessels

of war and salt-junks which they had previously captured, all

which have been duly received back- and how that the war- ships

of these foreigners have already retired to the outer waters, -all

these facts, along with his observations upon the military position

of the country, its means of offence and defence, the quality of

its soldiery, and the disposition of its people, observations result-

ing from personal investigation- he now lays before your im-

perial majesty, praying that a sacred glance may be bestowed upon

the same.


Previously to the receipt of your majesty's sovereign com-

mand, your slave had, with a view to preserve the territory and

the lives of the people, ventured- rashly and forgetful of his

ignorance to make certain conditional concessions to the English

foreigners, promising that he would earnestly implore in their

behalf a gracious manifestation of imperial goodness . Yet, having

done this, he repeatedly laid before your majesty the acknow-

ledgment of his offence, for which he desired to receive severe

punishment. It was subsequently thereto, on the 20th of January,


1841 , that he received through the general council, the following-

imperial edict . I

Keshen has handed up to Us, a report on the measures he is

taking in regard to the English foreigners, under the present

condition of circumstances . As these foreigners have shown

themselves so unreasonable that all our commands are lost upon-

them, it behoves us immediately to make of them a most dread-

ful example of severity. Orders have now been given that, with

the utmost speed, there be furnished from the several provinces

of Hoonan, Szecheun, and Kweichow, 4,000 troops, to repair

without loss of time to Canton, and there to hold themselves

under orders for service. Let Keshen, availing himself of the

assistance of Lin Tsihseu, and Tang Tingching, take the necessary

measures for the due furtherance of the object in view. And if

these rebellious foreigners dare to approach the shores of our

rivers, let him adopt such measures as circumstances shall point

out for their extermination .'

"Again on the 26th of January, your majesty's slave received

the following imperial edict, sent him direct from the cabinet :-- :

' Keshen has presented a report regarding the measures he

is pursuing against the English foreigners : which We have perused

and on the substance of which We are fully informed. In con-

formity with our previous commands, let a large body of troops

be assembled, and let an awful display of celestial vengeance be

made. Whatever may be required for the expenses of such

military operations, may be drawn equally from the duties arising

from commerce, and the revenues derivable from the land-tax,

the drafts being made after due consideration , and a correct state-

ment being drawn out of the expenditure. If these united sources

do not afford a sufficient amount, let it be so reported to us, and

our further pleasure awaited."'

" With respect, your slave, humbly upon his knees, has heard

these commands. He would remark, that, while he has indeed

made certain conditional concessions to the English, these amounted

to nothing more than that he would lay their case before your

majesty ; and thus, in the article of trade, though it was expressly

said that they desired the trade to be opened within the first de-

cade of the first month of this year, (23rd Jan. to 1st Feb.) he

still has not up to this time ventured to declare it open. Yet

have these foreigners, nevertheless, sent a letter, in which they

restore to us the forts of Shakok and Taikok, along with all the

vessels of war, and the salt-junks which they had previously

captured ; and at one and the same time, they have dispatched a

foreign officer by sea to Chekeäng, to cause the withdrawal of

their troops, and have given to your slave a foreign document

which he has forwarded to Elepoo, at the rate of 600 le a day, by

virtue whereof he may receive back Tinghae ; -conduct this,

which on their part shows a more meek and compliant disposi


tion than they have evinced before . But alas ! your slave is a

man of dull understanding and poor capacity, and in his arrange-

ment of these things, he has not had the happiness to meet the

sacred wishes of his sovereign . Trembling from limb to limb,

how shall he find words to express himself ! He humbly re-

members that in his own person he has received the imperial

bounty. Nor is his conscience hardened . How then should he,

while engaged in the important work of curbing these unruly

foreigners, presume to shrink from danger or to court unlawful

repose ! So far from thus acting, he has from the moment he

arrived in Canton until now, been harassed by the perverse

craftiness of these presuming foreigners, who have shown them-

selves every way obstinate and impracticable, -yea, till head has

ached, and heart has rent with pain, and with the anxiety, ere

even a morning meal, quickly to exterminate these rebels. Had

he but the smallest point whereon to maintain his ground in con-

test with them , he would immediately report it, and under the

imperial auspices make known to them the vengeance of heaven.

But circumstances are, alas ! opposed to the wishes of his heart.

This condition of circumstance he has repeatedly brought before

the imperial eye, in a series of successive memorials.

" Now, after that these said foreigners had dispatched a per-

son to Chekeäng to restore Tinghae, -and had delivered up all

that had been captured by them in the province of Kwangtung,

after, too, their ships of war had all retired to the outer waters,

it so happened that Elliot solicited an interview ; and as your

slave had not yet inspected the entrances of the port, and the

fortifications of the Bocca Tigris, as also the troops ordered from

the several provinces had not yet arrived, it did not seem prudent

to show anything that might cause suspicion on the part of the

foreigners, and so to bring on at once a commencement of troubles

and collision from their side. Therefore the occasion of visiting,

for inspection, the Bocca Tigris, was taken advantage of to grant

an interview.

" Having left Canton for this purpose on the 25th of January,

your slave had to pass by the Szetsze waters (the Reach from

First to Second Bar) : and here he was met by Elliot, who came

in a steam-vessel, desiring that he might see him. His retinue

did not exceed a few tens of persons, he brought with him no

ships of war,-and his language and demeanour upon that occa-

sion were most respectful . He presented a rough draft of several

articles on which he desired to deliberate, the major part having

regard to the troublesome minutiae of commerce ; and he agreed

that for the future, in any cases of the smuggling of opium, or of

other contraband traffic or evasion of duties, both ship and cargo

should be confiscated . Among the number of his proposals, were

some highly objectionable, which were at the moment pointed out

and refused, upon which the said foreigner begged that emenda-


tions should be offered and considered of. It has now accordingly

been granted him, that alterations and emendations be made, and

when these shall be determined on and agreed to , the whole shall

be presented for your majesty's inspection.- Your slave then

parted with Elliot.

" He now found that the Szetsze waters were yet distant from

the Bocca Tigris about 60 le (or nearly 30 miles) , Even there

the sea is vast and wide, with boisterous waves and foaming billows,

lashed up into fury by fierce winds- majestically grand ! How

widely different the outer seas are from our inland river-waters !

Having changed his boat for a sea-going vessel, your slave stood

out for the Bocca Tigris ; and there arrived, he made a most

careful inspection of every fort and battery in the place.

" Such forts as did not stand completely isolated in the midst

of the sea, he yet found to have channels, affording ready water

communication behind the hills on which they were situated .

So that it were easy to go round and strictly blockade them ;

nor would it in that case be even possible to introduce provisions

for the garrison. After this careful inspection of the place, the

depth of water in the river, beginning here and proceeding all

the way to the very city, was next ascertained ; and the soundings

taken at high water, were found to be irregular, from one chang

(or two fathoms) and upwards, to three and even four chang.

Hence then it has become known to all, that the reputation of

the Bocca Tigris as a defence has been acquired ,-first, by the

circumstance that merchant-vessels require a somewhat greater

depth of water ; and secondly, because that in ordinary times,

when the foreigners observe our laws and restraints, they naturally

do not venture to avoid the forts by passing through circuitous

courses. But when they bring troops to resist and oppose rather

than to obey, they may sneak in at every hole and corner, and are

under no necessity of passing by the forts to enter the river, and

so can easily proceed straight up to the provincial metropolis .

For as soon as they may have in any way got beyond the Bocca

Tigris, there are communications open to them in every direction.

It is then clear that we have no defences worthy to be called

such. This is in truth the local character of the country, that

there is no important point of defence by which the whole may be


" In reference to the guns mounted in the forts, their whole

number does not exceed some two hundred and odd, hardly

enough to fortify the fronts alone, while the sides are altogether

unfurnished . Moreover, those guns that are in good order, ready

for use, are not many. The original model has been bad, and they

have been made without any due regard to principles of con-

struction : thus the body of the gun is very large, while the bore

is very small ; and the sea being at that place extremely wide, the

shot will not carry above half way. As regards then their num-


ber, they are not so many as are those which the foreign ships

7 carry, and in point of quality they are no less inferior to those on

board the foreign vessels. Again, the embrasures in which they

are placed are as large as doors, wide enough almost to allow

people to pass in and out : from a sustained fire from the enemy,

they would afford no shelter at all to our people ; and they may

then at once be said, to be utterly ineffective . A founder of can-

non has recently presented himself, who has already given in a

model, and is about to make some experimental pieces of artillery .

But should he really succeed in casting good cannon, yet can he

only do so as a preparation for the future, and in no way can he

be in time for the business we have now in hand . These are the

proofs of the inefficiency of our military armament, which is such

that no reliance can be placed upon it.

" Further, with reference to the quality of our troops ; we find

that the only way to repel the foreigners is by fighting them at

sea, but to fight at sea it is necessary to have a good marine force.

Now, we have at present to acknowledge the forethought and care

of your majesty, in dispatching land-forces from the several pro-

vinces to Canton : but these troops, before they can meet the fo-

reigners in battle, will require to embark in ships of war, and pro-

ceed to the outer waters. Though the objection be not maintained,

that, being unaccustomed to the seas and waves, they needs must

meet with disaster and overthrow ; yet, seeing that the conduct

and management of the vessels is a thing with which they are quite

unacquainted, the services of the naval force still cannot at all be

dispensed with. The recruits to the naval force of this province are,

however, all supplied by its own sea-coast, by encouraged enlist-

ment ; and their quality is very irregular. Your slave had heard

a report that, after the battle upon the 7th of January, all these

men went to their tetuh (or commander- in- chief) , demanding of

him money, under threats that they would otherwise immediately

disband. The other day, therefore, when on the spot, your slave

made inquiries of the tetuh on the matter, -when he answered,

that the report was perfectly true, and that he, having no other

remedy at hand, was obliged to pawn his clothes and other things,

by which means he was enabled to give each of them a bonus of

two dollars, and thus only could get them to remain until now at

their posts . Hereby may be seen, in a great measure, the cha-

racter of the Canton soldiery. And, supposing when we had

joined battle, just at the most critical moment, these marine forces

were not to stand firm, the consequences would be most disastrous.

For although we should have our veteran troops serving with them,

yet these would have no opportunity of bringing their skill into

play. Still further, our ships of war are not large and strong, and

it is difficult to mount heavy guns on board them. By these ob-

servations, it is evident, that our force here as a guard and defence

against the foreigners is utterly insufficient.


" Your slave has also made personal observation of the cha

racter and disposition of the people of this province. He has

found them ungrateful and avaricious . Putting out of view

those who are actual traitors, and of whom, therefore, it is un-

necessary to say anything, the rest dwell indiscriminately with

foreigners, they are accustomed to see them day by day, and

after living many years together, the utmost intimacy has grown

up between them. They are widely different from the people of

Tinghae, who, having had no previous intercourse with foreigners,

felt at once that they were of another race. Let us reverse the

circumstances, and suppose that the English had craftily dis-

tributed their gifts and favours, and set at work the whole

machinery of their tricks, here as at Chusan : and it might

verily be feared, that the people whole would have been seduced

from their allegiance ; they would certainly not have shown the

same unbending obstinacy that the people of Tinghae did .

These plain evidences of the want of firmness on the part of the

people here, give us still more cause for anxiety.

"We find, on turning over the records of the past, that when

operations were being carried on against the pirates of this pro-

vince, although these were only so many thieves and robbers, with

native vessels and guns of native casting, yet the affair was length-

ened out for several years ; and was only put an end to by invita

tions to lay down their arms under promise of security . And it is

much to be feared, that the wasp's sting is far more poisonous

now than then.

" Your slave has again and again resolved the matter in his an-

xious mind. The consequences, in so far as they relate to his own

person, are trifling ; but as they regard the stability of the govern-

ment, and the lives of the people, they are vast, and extend to dis-

tant posterity. Should he incur guilt in giving battle when unable

to command a victory, or should he be criminal in making such

arrangements as do not meet the gracious approbation of his so-

vereign, he must equally bear his offence ; and, for his life, what

is it, that he should be cared for or pitied !

" But if it be in not acting so as to meet the gracious approba-

tion of his sovereign that he becomes guilty,-the province and

the people have yet their sacred sovereign to look to, and rely upon

for happiness, protection, justice, and peace. Whereas, if his guilt

should lie in giving battle when unable to command a victory,

then will the celestial dignity of the throne be sullied, the lives of

the people sacrificed, and for further proceedings and arrangements

it will be, in an increased degree, impossible to find resource.

" Entertaining these views, a council has been held of all the

officers in the city ; namely, the general and lieutenant-generals

of the garrison, the lieutenant-governor, the literary chancellor,

and the commissioners, intendants, prefects, and magistrates, as

also the late governors, Lin, Tsihseu, and Tang Tingching ; all of


whom agree, that our defences are such as it is impossible to trust

to, and that our troops would not hold their ground on the field of

battle. Moreover, the troops ordered from the different provinces

by your majesty having yet a long journey to come, time is still ne-

cessary for their arrival ; nór can they all arrive together. The

assemblage of a large body of troops, too , is a thing not to be ef-

fected without sundry rumours flying about, -our native traitors

are sure to give information ; and the said foreigners will previous-

ly let loose their contumacious and violent dispositions. Your slave

is so worried by grief and vexation, that he loathes his food, and

sleep has forsaken his eyelids. But, for the above- cited reasons,

he does not shrink from the heavy responsibility he is incurring,

in submitting all these facts, the results of personal investigation,

to your celestial majesty. And, at the same time, he presents for

perusal the letter of the said foreigners, wherein they make the

various restorations before enumerated. He humbly hopes his

sacred sovereign will with pity look down upon the blackhaired

flock -his people, —and will be graciously pleased to grant favours

beyond measure, by acceding to the requests now made . Thus

shall we be spared the calamity of having our people and land

burned to ashes, and thus shall we lay the foundation of victory, by

binding and curbing the foreigners now, while preparing to have the

power of cutting them off at some future period.

" It is humbly hoped that your sacred majesty will condescend

to inquire regarding the meeting in council, and state of circum-

stances, here reported . And your slave begs, that a minister of

eminence may be specially dispatched hither, to re-investigate mat-

ters . Your slave has been actuated entirely by a regard to the

safety of the land, and the people. He is not swayed by the smal-

lest particle of fear. And still less dare he use false pretexts, or

glozing statements. For the real purposes herein declared , he

humbly makes this report (which he forwards by express at the rate

of 600 le a day) , - in the hope that it may be honoured with a

sacred glance.-A . most respectful memorial."

The Emperor, in commenting on the foregoing report, says :-

“ Keshen has handed up to us a report. As these foreigners have

shewn themselves so unreasonable, that all our commands are lost

upon them, it behoves us to make of them a dreadful example of

severity." His Majesty then proceeds with orders for troops to

be collected from several provinces, and adds that "if these re-

bellious foreigners dare to approach our rivers, let such measures

be taken as will exterminate them, The expenses to be drawn

equally from the duties arising from commerce, and the revenues

derivable from the land-tax ; if these sources do not amount to a

sufficient sum, let it be so reported to us."

In the beginning of February, the Chinese government thus

announced the renewal of war ; the document was not, however,

known to us for some time.


Proclamation by the Governor and Lieutenant-governor of Canton .

"Keshen, imperial commissioner and acting governor of the

two Kwang provinces, E, lieutenant-governor of Canton, &c. , pro-

claim for the full information of all the inhabitants of the provin-

cial city and suburbs :-

" It is known that the audacity and contumacy of the English

rebels daily increase, until at last they have dared to enter the

Tiger's gate and take possession of the forts, and they have also

brought their war-ships into the river : this really makes the hair

stand on end with indignation. At present all the dangerous

passes are perfectly well and closely watched and guarded ; and of

the different difficult approaches to the city there are none at

which guards are not planted ; and if the rebellious foreigners still

dare to cause disorderly disturbances- we, the governor and lieu-

tenant-governor, will in person lead on the celestial troops, and

foremost in the van of battle, with strenuous efforts, will sweep

them away- and thus dissipate the anger and grief of the people.

Troops are collecting from all the provinces like clouds . The im-

perially appointed pacificator of the rebels and generalissimo,

Yihshan, and his colleagues Lungwan and Yangfang will arrive

immediately in Canton, and will unite to exterminate (the Eng-

lish) . This proclamation is issued on this account, and for the full

information of you all ; let each of you remain quiet and follow

his occupation :-there is not the least necessity for any alarm, nor

do you circulate reports causing uneasiness and doubt. Oppose

not. A special proclamation. 2nd moon , 8th day, (February) ."

Notwithstanding the crafty efforts of Keshen, he was denounced

in an imperial proclamation as " weak, cowardly, and destitute

of ability ."

February the 19th.-Hostile movements on the part of the

Chinese became so conspicuous, that Commodore Bremer, deter-

mined to return to the Bogue, which probably saved the lives of

every Englishman in China.

February 26th.- This day was made public a proclamation , is-

sued by Eleang, the successor and friend of Lin, offering large

rewards for the heads of Englishmen, dead or alive ; this document

is an exact copy of Lin's former one, with the exception that a

larger bounty is offered ; viz.: 500 dollars for every Englishman

alive, and 300 dollars for every one killed , provided their heads

are brought in.

It should be borne in mind, that previous to this, Hong Kong

was surrendered to us, and the indemnity guaranteed or paid, and

nothing remained but the terms of future intercourse to regulate.


Proclamation ofthe Lieutenant- Governor of Canton, offering rewards

for the capture of Her Majesty's ships, and the heads of Eng-

lishmen, &c.

" E, lieutenant-governor, &c., issues the following scale of re-

wards ::-


1st. Ifthe native traitors can repent of their crimes and quit

the service ofthe foreigners, (English) come before the magistrates

and confess, their offences will be forgiven ; and those who are

able to seize alive the rebellious foreigners, and bring them before

the magistrates, as well as those who offer up the foreigners' heads,

will be severally rewarded according to the following scale.

2nd. " The capture of one of their line-of-battle ships, the ship

and guns will be confiscated, but all that the ship contains, as clothes,

goods, and money, shall be the reward of the captors, with an ad-

ditional reward of 100,000 dollars ; those who burn , or break to

pieces, or bore holes through a line-of-battle- ship's bottom, so that

she sinks, upon the facts being substantiated shall be rewarded

with 30,000 dollars ; for ships of the second and third class, the

rewards will be proportionably decreased .

3rd. " The capture of one of the large steamers shall be re-

warded with 50,000 dollars ; for the smaller, one half.

" Those among the brave who are foremost in seizing men and

ships, and who distinguish themselves by their daring courage,

besides receiving the above money rewards, shall have buttons (offi-

cial rank) conferred upon them, and be reported for appointments

in the public service.

4th. " Fifty thousand dollars shall be given to those who seize

either Elliott, Morrison, or Bremer, alive ; and those who bring

either of their heads- on the fact being ascertained -shall get

30,000 dollars . Y

5th. "Ten thousand dollars shall be given to those who seize

an officer alive, and 5,000 dollars for each officer's head.

6th . " Five hundred dollars shall be given for every English-

man seized alive ; if any are killed and their heads brought in,

three hundred dollars will be given.

7th . " One hundred dollars will be given for every sepoy or

lascar taken alive, and fifty for their heads .

8th . " Those among you who in their efforts to seize the Eng-

lish rebels may lose their lives, on examination and proof of the

facts, a reward of three hundred dollars shall be given to your


9th. " The foreigners of every other country are respectful and

obedient, and do not (like the English) cause commotions ; it is not

permitted to seize and annoy them- thus will the good and virtu-

ous remain in tranquillity.

" 2nd moon, 7th day, (Febuary 27, 1841 ) .


Imperial Edicts.

" On the 10th day of the 2d moon , (March 2nd , 1841 ) , at mid-

night, a dispatch from the great military council addressed to the

imperial envoy and acting governor of the two Kwang provinces,

Keshen; the general commanding in the district of Kwangchow,

Ho; the lieutenant-governor of Canton, E ; the admiral command-

ing-in-chief, Kwan ; the general, Ko ; the adjutant general of the

left division, Yu ; and adjutant-general of the right division , Ying.

" On the 25th of the first moon (February 16th) , the imperial

orders were received .

"Keshen this month with haste reported that the English ships

had retired to the outer seas, and that he was about to follow to

examine and manage .

" The English barbarians have many times rebelled, being

wavering and inconstant ; when they delivered up Shakeo, Chusan,

&c., they made it a pretence for more irregularities in seeking for

schemes of coercion.

" I have before sent down my imperial will in edicts, to attack

them with increased vigour and utterly exterminate them . I have

moreover, ordered Yihshan and his colleagues, to hasten together

on their journey, proclaim the crimes (of the English) and reduce

them to subjection ; only, should the troops not be soon assembled,

it will be difficult to be assured the said rebels will not again give

loose to their rebellious disobedience . I order that it be the

special duty of Keshen to establish precautionary regulations, and

plant soldiers to guard and keep (the passes) . But if he remains

pertinaciously stupid without arousing himself, until he suffers

more defeats, I shall hold him only responsible ; the nation's

laws are already prepared, and decidedly there shall not be the

least favour shown to him .

" I moreover order Ho Kihtsing (the general) and Ho Eleang

(the lieutenant-governor,) to respectfully obey my former orders,

and with united strength and one mind, to give strict orders at

the different entrances, and to be faithful and true in guarding

and watching, and let there be no thought of shirking their duty,

nor carelessness . Further, issue perspicuous orders to the army

and people, with one mind to guard against deceivers, and not

subject themselves to the delusions of the traitorous foreigners :

obey with awe, be careful- of the orders. Send these orders on at

the rate of 600 le a day to Keshen, &c. , for their full information.

Respect this, and obey respectfully the imperial will, as formerly


"To day the privy council have again received the imperial


" Formerly, because the English barbarians, after returning to

Canton from Chekeang, again rebelled, and attacked the batte-


ries. I especially appointed Yihshan to be the pacificator of the

rebels and generalissimo, and Lungwan and Yangfang to be his

coadjutors, and collecting the choicest troops from all quarters,

they are to proclaim the crimes, (of the English) and reduce them

to subjection. It is now authenticated that Keshen has reported

that the English barbarians have gone forth of and given up the

fort at Shakeo, and have sent orders to the province of Chekeang

to restore the city of Tinghae, and he earnestly requests that I

will condescend to grant that which they pray for, and in the

meantime not to deal too harshly with or destroy them, & c.

" On reading the report, how could I repress my indignation,

detestation and grief. I did not calculate that Keshen was so

weak and cowardly, and destitute of ability, that he could at once

go to such an extreme as this . Twice have the English barba-

rians rebelled, in the provinces of Chekeang and Canton ; attacked

the district cities, forts, and wounded my soldiers and great

officers ; contact with them is as bitter poison to my people ; they

have frightened and troubled my cities, -which is great and most

unreasonable rebellion ; and neither all that heaven canopies, nor

all that earth contains will bear with them . As to their surrender

of Tinghae and the forts, I shall not talk about it, for no credit

can be placed in their words : for even should they retreat and

restore the old possessions of the empire, still the officers and

soldiers who have been injured, and the people who have been

involved in calamities, gnash their teeth in united hostility : and

both men and gods are indignant and detest them. If we do not

inflict on them utter destruction and extermination, how will the

just vengeance of Heaven be exemplified, and the majesty of the

empire be manifested ?

"Therefore I have ordered Yihshan and Lungwan to travel to-

gether, and hasten with the utmost speed to Canton ; and to

draw up in battle array our soldiers of righteousness (soldiers

who execute the righteous decrees of Heaven,) and to exterminate

the detestable brood ; you must endeavour to seize and send both

the leaders and abettors, and the rebellious barbarians and trai-

torous Chinese to Peking, that they may be punished with the

utmost rigour of the law.

" The generals and lieutenant-governors of the maritime pro-

vinces ought to increase the rigour of their guard ; if they come,

attack them instantly ; you must not permit even a shred of their

sails to return and your merit (in taking prisoners ) will be duly


" As for Keshen, who has been entrusted with a very important

charge ; and has been incapable of exhibiting the great principles

of justice, and did not reject with scorn their absurd requests ;

but on the contrary, has subjected himself to the insults of these

rebellious barbarians : a proceeding exceeding the bounds of

reason he has repeatedly received my directions, which did not



permit him to receive letters from the rebellious barbarians ; now

he dares even to transmit a paper in which he supplicates for

them ! Now with what intentions can he be influenced ?

" According to his report, the general, lieutenant-general,

lieutenant-governor, literary chancellor, the judge, treasurer, su-

perintendent of the grain department, the foo and heen magis-

trates, have conjointly held a consultation ; but how does it

happen that the said officers have not joined with him in his

memorial? There is evidently some difference of opinion. I

hereby order that Keshen be degraded from his office of cabinet.

minister, his peacock's feather be plucked from his cap, and he

be delivered over to the board of punishments to stand his trial."

February 25th . -The time having expired for the ratification of

the treaty agreed on with Keshen, and it being well known to the

British authorities that the Chinese had acted upon the Emperor's

instruction, this day was occupied in preparing for the struggle ;

a landing was effected on South Wangtung of three howitzers, and

about 150 men . The Nemesis proved most serviceable in the

operation ; after towing the troop-boats ashore, she took a good

sheltered position, nearly shut in from the fire of Anunghoy, and

another fort on the western side of the river ; she then attacked

Anunghoy with her bow-gun, and the western fort with her

stern. The British force on landing were perfectly protected from

the enemy's fire.

On the 26th, at day-light, the three howitzers opened (from the

sand-bag battery raised on the previous night on South Wang-

tung) upon the Chinese fortifications on the northern island . The

firing was kept up with great spirit, and the shells told with great

precision on the wooden huts under the walls of the custom-house,

which were speedily on fire. These defences were exceedingly well

covered with sand-bag batteries, and if efficiently served would

have caused a severe struggle to take or demolish them.

The attack was not simultaneous, owing to a perfect calm and

a strong ebb-tide, but in the meantime the enemy were to all ap-

pearance ready for action, posted at commanding points, covered

with sand-bags.

Near eleven o'clock, A.M., the Queen steamer commenced the ac-

tion . The Chinese instantly returned the fire from the sand-

batteries which they had lately erected towards Anson's Bay. The

Blenheim, although attacked, did not return fire until she got

within about 600 yards of Anunghoy, when she opened her broad-

side. The Melville took a good position within about 400 yards

of the fort, and like the Blenheim chose a close position before

opening her fire, then gave her starboard broadside, and did great

damage to the fort ; the object being to destroy the sand-batteries

and forts, not the people at the guns. After a few broadsides the

enemy was seen flying from the fort up the hill.

Sir F. Le Senhouse then landed with about 300 men, sweeping


all before them. The British flag was flying on the batteries

shortly after one o'clock, P.M.

At the same time, the Caliope opened the action on the western

side of Wangtung, also the Samarang, Herald, and Alligator, the

advanced squadron, took a position north of the island ; while the

Wellesley, Druid, and Modeste attacked the western defences .

Some idea may be formed of the position of the enemy, when seven

men- of-war were arrayed against them, independent of the howitzers

which had been battering them several hours ; the defenders could

not quit the fort, being shut in on every side by the river. The

Chinese fire ceased about twelve o'clock, and the gallant Major

Pratt landed with detachments of the 26th and 49th, followed by

the marines under Captain Ellis, and the 37th M. N. I. under

Captains Duff and Mee.

The fall of the forts was announced by a circular to Her Ma-

jesty's subjects thus :-

"A Chinese force of upwards of 2,000 troops of élite (strongly

entrenched on the left bank of the river, and defended by upwards

of 100 pieces of artillery), was entirely routed this afternoon, after

The can-

an obstinate resistance, attended with great loss of life.

non was rendered unserviceable, the encampment and ammunition

destroyed, and the late British ship Cambridge blown up, she hav-

ing previously taken part in the action. This signal service was

achieved by the advanced squadron under the command of Captain

Herbert. The casualties on the side of Her Majesty's forces have

been inconsiderable.


Whampoa, 27th February . " C. ELLIOT, H. M. P."

Hostilities being at an end, the attention of the commanders

was directed to assisting and saving the lives of the unfortunate

enemy. To attain this object, boats were sent to pick them up out

of the water, where they were floating. So ignorant were they of

the characteristic humanity that distinguishes true valour, that

many drowned themselves on the approach of the boats ; but a

great many were saved, and being brought on board, resuscitated

and kindly treated, and in a few hours liberated without any con-


The Emperor was furious on hearing of the fall of the forts, and

issued the following edict, ordering Keshen and all his family to

be put to death on arriving at Peking, whither he was to be sent in

chains and bare-headed.

Imperial edict, ordering Keshen to be put to death on the day he

arrives in Peking.

" On the 4th day of the 3rd moon (March 26th) an imperial

edict was received .



" It is authenticated that before Keshen reported that the *san-

keang chin, Chin-leenshing, having lost his forces through losing

opportunities, cut his throat and died.

" But now it is authenticated that general Ho and the seunfoo

E. have reported that the sankeang chin, Chin-leenshing, was faith-

ful, valiant, and a good tactician. That he had requested governor

Keshen to block up the mouth of the river, and also requested the

issue of five thousand catties of gunpowder : but Keshen would not

allow the river to be blocked up, and only issued one thousand

catties of powder, with which, moreover, was mixed up a good deal

of sand and mud , which rendered the guns useless ; and both father

and son perished fighting in the ranks : a fate highly to be com-

miserated !

" Further. E. has reported that on the 6th day the Tiger's gate

was laid in ruins : which intelligence has riven my very heart and

liver ! I did not deem that Keshen, from his common-place talent,

could sell his country, and still have talent sufficient to gloss over

his treason a crime for which even death is not a sufficient pu-

nishment : I order that the yulinkeun (the Emperor's own troops,

some of his guards, we presume), with the utmost rigour, to seal

and lock up the temple of his ancestors and those of his relations.

" I further order Hokih (a Tartar) to proceed to Canton, and

bring Kesken to Peking ; and the rebellious minister and his whole

family are to be put to death on the very day of his arrival.

" But since the Tiger's gate has been laid in ruins, the provincial

city must be in danger. You, E- Leang, should, in conjunction

with the imperial envoy, Yangfang, exert yourself to keep the city


" Heretofore, the rebellious foreigners dreaded the former go-

vernor and minister, Lin ; but I, the Emperor, was deceived into

listening to the rebellious minister's deceptive schemes, even so far

as to deprive Lin of his office. Now the ruling ministers have de-

livered a statement, requesting me to restore Lin to his original

office. But imperial orders have already been given to the go-

vernor Kelung to succeed ; and it is not required to make a further

change ; but I confer upon Lin the first degree of the second rank ;

and join him with E. and his colleagues to consult on military plans

(for the defence of the province). Respect this."

Eight Accusations against Keshen, presented at Court by E.

Lieutenant-governor of Canton.

1st. " He held interviews with and received documents from

Elliot, on equal terms.

2nd. " After his arrival at Canton, he did not choose out and

* Province of three rivers. A military title.


depute either literary or military mandarins to go to Elliot, to

speak about affairs, but only employed in his office a traitorous

Han (Chinese) named Paoupang.

3rd. " The admiral (Kwan) took the troops, and proceeded out

to sea to guard and watch the public interests, but nothing what-

ever would Keshen communicate to him, and when he (the admiral)

requested definite instructions, he was forthwith met with angry

railing, and it became impossible for the admiral himself to adjust

these affairs of more or less importance.

4th. " He issued orders to each of the forts, that it would not

be allowed to those who might be covetous of merit to ruin matters

by opening fire with their musketry and great guns of their own

accord, and consequently these forts and the military stations were

all lost on the same day.

5th. " He constrained Lekeen, the adjutant-general, to pre-

pare an official despatch for him, acknowledging his (Keshen's)

offences, forcing him to affix his (Lekeen's) seals to the same, and

to present it to Elliot .

6th . " He changed every measure for the worse, made vague

and incoherent representations to the court, and brought disaster

upon the admiral (who fell at the taking of the Bocca Tigris) .

7th. " At the offing of Szetsze (on the river above the Bocca

Tigris) he fired salutes and went to receive Elliot, and also dis-

patched messengers to deliver his commands to each of the forts,

that they were to observe the same arrangement, and receive Elliot

in like manner .

8th. " He affixed his seal to a document dismembering a por-

tion of our territory, and delivering it over to these barbarian men

for a place of residence.


I, E., the Lieutenant- governor of Kwangtung, lay these accusa-

tions before the court.

" Macao, April 8th, 1841."


The following inventory of the confiscated property of Keshen,

is translated from a Chinese paper :-

" Account of property seized by the imperial government in Kes-

hen's houses ;-Gold, 270,000 taels weight ; sycee silver, 3,400,000

taels weight; foreign money, 2,000,000 taels weight ; land cultivated,

thirty-nine king—a king contains 100 mow, or Chinese acres, equal

to about one-third of an English acre ; pawnshops in the province of

Pechele, four ; pawn-shops at Shingking or Moukden, two ; bank-

ing (or shroff) shops, eighty-four ; large pearls, ninety-four ; strings

of pearls, fourteen ; pearl lamps , eight ; arrow thumb-rings, made

of the feathers of the fei tsuy bird, thirty-four ; pieces of coral,

eighteen ; ginseng, catties, twenty-four ; deers' horns, catties,

twenty-five ; lengths of silk, 420 ; broad cloth and English camlet,

thirty pieces ; striking clocks, eighteen in number ; gold watches,

ten ; fur garments, twenty-four ; images of horses, made of pre-


cious stones, two ; images of lions, made of precious stones, two ;

chrystal wash-hand -basins, twenty-eight ; tortoise-shell bedstead,

one ; chariots, four ; female slaves, 168."

March 3rd, 1841.- Hostilities were resumed on the part of the

Chinese, from a masked battery situated on the north-east end of

Whampoa. About twenty Chinese were killed, and upwards of

twenty guns destroyed ; her Majesty's plenipotentiary was shortly

afterwards visited by the Kwang-chow-foo, (Mayor of Canton) , under

a flag of true hostilities when ceased .

On the 7th, the armistice granted to the Chinese having expired,

the works in advance of Howqua's fort were occupied, and Captain

Elliot issued an address to the people of Canton, to show forbear-

ance to the last :-

" Your city is spared, because the gracious Sovereign of Great

Britain has commanded her high officers to remember that the

good and peaceful people must be tenderly considered . But if the

high officers of the Celestial Court offer obstruction to the British

forces in their present stations, then it will be necessary to answer

force by force. And if the merchants be prevented from buying

and selling freely with the British merchants, then the whole trade

must be stopped. The high officers of the English nation have

used their best efforts to prevent the miseries of war ; and the re-

sponsibility of the actual state of things must rest on the heads of

the bad advisers of the Emperor."

March the 13th. The Chinese fort at Macao passage, which

had been lately strengthened and supported by flanking field-

works, was taken by Captain Herbert; the enemy having displayed

some spirit and energy.

The Nemesis (Captain Hall) with the boats of the Samarang,

and Atalanta proceeded from Macao towards Canton by the inner

passage. This small force destroyed seven small batteries, with 105

pieces of cannon, together with nine sail of men-of-war junks.

The wonderful exertions of Captain Hall throughout the whole

Chinese war, deserve the highest honours which can be conferred

on him. His two volumes on the " Nemesis" are even a faint

tribute to his gallant, energetic, and skilful conduct.

19th. A flag of truce having been fired on, the remaining de-

fences in Macao passage, the Dutch folly, and a large flotilla of

boats were taken and destroyed ; the city of Canton placed under

the guns of the squadron, and the foreign factories occupied by the

British troops .

20th. A suspension of hostilities was agreed upon between the

new imperial commissioner Yang, and Captain Elliot. Pending

the final settlement, ships -of-war were to remain near the neigh-

bourhood of the English factories. The port was opened to the

ships of all nations.

While this armistice was in force, the three commissioners at

Canton, Yih, Lung, and Yang, issued the following address to the


Captain Elliot, who was with the advanced squadron in

enabled Lord Gough to make such preparations as

his taking possession of the city on the following day.

ot dispatched an officer as soon as his terms were com-

the messenger missed his way, wandering about all

nly reached his commander a few minutes before the

to have commenced . One of the arrangements en-

vas, that the Tartar troops were to evacuate the city,

to a distance of sixty miles, which was accordingly

Two days after the city was ransomed, large bodies of

re discovered upon the heights about three miles to the

he head-quarters. Lord Gough, after providing for a

tch to be kept on the city, (thinking this a ruse) attacked

, which amounted at different times to 10,000 or 15,000

I totally routed them . The destruction of life on the side

Chinese was very great ; some say 1,500 killed and 5,000

1. The loss on our side was 14 killed in action, and about

nded. The heat was fearful, and our troops suffered on

count severely. Had they stormed Canton, the slaughter

have been terrific.

1841 , May the 31st.-The sum of 500,000 dollars was

y paid, and the troops left the heights above Canton, and

ed to their ships ; the British authorities a second time ex-

ng magnanimity and forbearance unparalleled in history.

gust the 10th .- Sir H. Pottinger arrived as sole plenipoten-

and minister to the court of Peking ; anextract from his address

e British merchants, will best illustrate the state of affairs,

nearly two months truce.


Macao, August 12th, 1841 .

Sir H. Pottinger had intimated to the provincial government

Canton, that he was willing to respect the existing truce, but

at the slightest infraction of its terms, will lead to an instant re-

wal of hostilities : an event highly probable from the well- known

erfidy and bad faith of the provincial officers. Sir H. Pottinger

cautions Her Majesty's subjects, and all other foreigners, against

putting their lives or properties in their power."

August the 26th. -A circular from Sir H. Pottinger of this date,

announced the capture of Amoy, after a short defence. Five

hundred pieces of cannon were rendered useless, together with

immense magazines full of munitions of war.

A.D. 1841 , October the 2nd . -Eight months had elapsed since the

evacuation of Chusan, when a circular from Sir H. Pottinger an-

nounced the re-capture of Tinghai, the capital of the Chusan group.

The exertions made during the cessation of hostilities must have

been extraordinary, for nearly two miles facing the city, was on

continued line of embankments with openings for guns. From


strange soldiers took place from distant provinces . May the 20th.

The natives who were in the secret, were discovered to have left

the city in thousands, notwithstanding a proclamation issued by

the Prefect, calming their fears. Copies of this document were

served on the foreign merchants . An abstract will suffice. " And

you, the said foreign merchants, ought also to remain quiet in your

lawful pursuits,

"2 continuing your trade as usual, without alarm or


21st .-Captain Elliot issued a circular, recommending all British

merchants to leave Canton before sunset, which they accordingly

did, excepting parties belonging to American houses. About

ten o'clock P.M. , the Chinese commenced the attack with fire-rafts

against the British vessels, which continued throughout the whole

night, but without doing any damage.

22nd. A boat belonging to the American ship Morison, with

four seamen, an officer, and three passengers, sailed for Whampoa,

with a " chop " written in large characters ; they were all taken

prisoners, and more or less wounded . At day-light, the Nemesis,

Modeste, Pylades, and Algerine, having completed the destruction

of the fire-rafts, moved towards the western fort at Shameen, and

silenced them in a few minutes.

The Nemesis pushed towards a flotilla of war-junks, sinking

thirty-nine with an equal number of fire-boats and fishing-smacks .

In the midst of this flotilla, the Chinese had a floating battery

furnished with heavy guns, which if properly served would have

done great damage.

While these scenes were going on, Yihshan the Chinese com-

mander dispatched 2,000 of his troops to the British factories in

search of arms ; indiscriminate plunder commenced, and not a par-

ticle of property was left.

Monday the 25th May.-The British forces under the command

of Sir Hugh (now Lord) Gough, arrived in the Macao passage about

two miles from the city, and it was three o'clock P.M. before every-

thing was ready for attack. The Chinese now opened their fire

upon the ships, at the same time they put in motion some fire ves-

sels, which drifted across the river, and set fire to the suburbs.

The enemy continued firing from the city walls for the remainder

of the day. To the eastward of the forts, was a hill with a fort-

ress upon the top of it. This was soon occupied by a detachment

ofthe 49th. To the eastward of this hill in low ground, and close to

the suburbs, was a village filled with Chinese troops, number-

ing not less than 4,000 men, between it and an entrenched camp

with which it communicated. The camp and village were soon

cleared, under Major-general Burrell, with the 18th and 49th .

Night approaching, the assault on the city was deferred for the

following day. The first thing they observed before ten o'clock

A.M., was a white flag displayed from the walls. A mandarin now

visited General Gough, wishing to propose terms of peace, but was


referred to Captain Elliot, who was with the advanced squadron in

the river.

The truce enabled Lord Gough to make such preparations as

would secure his taking possession of the city on the following day.

Captain Elliot dispatched an officer as soon as his terms were com-

plied with, the messenger missed his way, wandering about -all

night, and only reached his commander a few minutes before the

assault was to have commenced. One of the arrangements en-

tered into was, that the Tartar troops were to evacuate the city,

and retire to a distance of sixty miles, which was accordingly


29th. Two days after the city was ransomed, large bodies of

troops were discovered upon the heights about three miles to the

rear of the head-quarters. Lord Gough, after providing for a

strict watch to be kept on the city, (thinking this a ruse) attacked

this body, which amounted at different times to 10,000 or 15,000

men, and totally routed them. The destruction of life on the side

of the Chinese was very great ; some say 1,500 killed and 5,000

wounded . The loss on our side was 14 killed in action, and about

120 wounded. The heat was fearful, and our troops suffered on

that account severely. Had they stormed Canton, the slaughter

would have been terrific.

A.D. 1841, May the 31st.-The sum of 500,000 dollars was

this day paid, and the troops left the heights above Canton, and

returned to their ships ; the British authorities a second time ex-

hibiting magnanimity and forbearance unparalleled in history.

August the 10th. - Sir H. Pottinger arrived as sole plenipoten-

tiary and minister to the court of Peking; anextract from his address

to the British merchants, will best illustrate the state of affairs,

after nearly two months truce.


Macao, August 12th, 1841.

" Sir H. Pottinger had intimated to the provincial government

of Canton, that he was willing to respect the existing truce, but

that the slightest infraction of its terms, will lead to an instant re-

newal of hostilities : an event highly probable from the well-known

perfidy and bad faith of the provincial officers. Sir H. Pottinger

cautions Her Majesty's subjects, and all other foreigners, against

putting their lives or properties in their power. "

August the 26th. -A circular from Sir H. Pottinger of this date,

announced the capture of Amoy, after a short defence. Five

hundred pieces of cannon were rendered useless, together with

immense magazines full of munitions of war.

A.D. 1841 , October the 2nd.- Eight months had elapsed since the

evacuation of Chusan, when a circular from Sir H. Pottinger an-

nounced the re-capture of Tinghai, the capital of the Chusan group.

The exertions made during the cessation of hostilities must have

been extraordinary, for nearly two miles facing the city, was one

continued line of embankments with openings for guns. From


cious stones, two ; images of lions, made of precious stones, two ;

chrystal wash-hand -basins, twenty-eight ; tortoise-shell bedstead,

one ; chariots, four ; female slaves, 168."

March 3rd, 1841.-Hostilities were resumed on the part of the

Chinese, from a masked battery situated on the north-east end of

Whampoa. About twenty Chinese were killed, and upwards of

twenty guns destroyed ; her Majesty's plenipotentiary was shortly

afterwards visited by the Kwang- chow-foo, (Mayor of Canton), under

a flag of true hostilities when ceased.

On the 7th, the armistice granted to the Chinese having expired,

the works in advance of Howqua's fort were occupied, and Captain

Elliot issued an address to the people of Canton, to show forbear-

ance to the last :-

" Your city is spared, because the gracious Sovereign of Great

Britain has commanded her high officers to remember that the

good and peaceful people must be tenderly considered . But if the

high officers of the Celestial Court offer obstruction to the British

forces in their present stations, then it will be necessary to answer

force by force. And if the merchants be prevented from buying

and selling freely with the British merchants, then the whole trade

must be stopped. The high officers of the English nation have

used their best efforts to prevent the miseries of war ; and the re-

sponsibility of the actual state of things must rest on the heads of

the bad advisers of the Emperor."

March the 13th. The Chinese fort at Macao passage, which

had been lately strengthened and supported by flanking field-

works, was taken by Captain Herbert; the enemy having displayed

some spirit and energy.

The Nemesis (Captain Hall) with the boats of the Samarang,

and Atalanta proceeded from Macao towards Canton by the inner

passage . This small force destroyed seven small batteries, with 105

pieces of cannon, together with nine sail of men- of-war junks .

The wonderful exertions of Captain Hall throughout the whole

Chinese war, deserve the highest honours which can be conferred

on him. His two volumes on the " Nemesis" are even a faint

tribute to his gallant, energetic, and skilful conduct.

19th . A flag of truce having been fired on, the remaining de-

fences in Macao passage, the Dutch folly, and a large flotilla of

boats were taken and destroyed ; the city of Canton placed under

the guns of the squadron, and the foreign factories occupied by the

British troops .

20th. A suspension of hostilities was agreed upon between the

new imperial commissioner Yang, and Captain Elliot. Pending

the final settlement, ships-of-war were to remain near the neigh-

bourhood of the English factories. The port was opened to the

ships of all nations.

While this armistice was in force, the three commissioners at

Canton, Yih, Lung, and Yang, issued the following address to the


people at Canton ; it is another added to many existing proofs,

how erroneous has been the estimate of good faith on the part of

officials in China.

"It is well known the tiger's gate of the province of Canton, is

a fortified pass of the utmost importance ; now the said rebellious

barbarians, seeking and making causes of quarrel and war, the

forts have already been subjected to their attacks ; and we, the

said leaders, troops having been already prepared at all points,

have received the imperial orders to head the grand army to the

attack and extermination (of the said barbarians) ; and when we

fix on an early day to commence operations, the rebellious barba-

rians either make false professions of their wishes to submit, or in

fear slink off : in either case we cannot fix them.

"The turning, inconstancy, and tergiversation of the rebellious

barbarians have reached the extreme, and the supreme ruler, in

his glorious and sublime majesty, trembles with indignation, and

has commanded us to lead on our armies, and decidedly not again

allow them to beg for reconciliation, If any make pretexts, and

do not hasten to have all prepared, until they even sink into neg-

lect and remissness, all the officers at the maritime entrances and

military stations shall be held responsible.

Further, the imperial will has been received imperatively to

take the leaders of the rebels, and send them in cages to the im-

perial city, there to suffer the utmost extremity of the law. And

if they are not seized and firmly retained , or ordered out of the

port and to go far away, this also shall be imputed as a crime to

the defensive military ; the military code is ready, and decidedly

there shall be no indulgence.

"It is proper that we hasten to issue a proclamation according

to the late state of affairs (i . e . war not peace, separation not har-

mony.) We therefore invite all brave and hardy sailors to enter

immediately ; those who distinguish themselves shall be reported

for rewards thus great favours and severe punishments, are both

within their own choice. Especially obey it, be attentive to it.

Oppose not. A special proclamation . 3rd moon, 15th day."

May the 10th.- Since the truce of the 20th March, every faci-

lity had been given to British commerce, and friendly intercourse

had taken place between the four new commissioners, sent to Can-

ton to arrange the demands of the British government, and Her

Majesty's plenipotentiary.

Captain Elliot had an interview with the Prefect of Canton, and

having been perfectly satisfied that a plot was hatched for the des-

truction of the British forces and merchants, hastily returned to

Hong Kong. On the previous day, summary punishment had

been inflicted upon a native in the public streets, for daring to

recommend peace . New cannon were cast in large quantities, and

numerous batteries completed and manned along the banks of the

river, both above and below the factories ; an immense influx of


strange soldiers took place from distant provinces. May the 20th.

The natives who were in the secret, were discovered to have left

the city in thousands, notwithstanding a proclamation issued by

the Prefect, calming their fears . Copies of this document were

served on the foreign merchants . An abstract will suffice. " And

you, the said foreign merchants, ought also to remain quiet in your

lawful pursuits, continuing your trade as usual, without alarm or


21st.-Captain Elliot issued a circular, recommending all British

merchants to leave Canton before sunset, which they accordingly

did, excepting parties belonging to American houses. About

ten o'clock P.M., the Chinese commenced the attack with fire-rafts

against the British vessels, which continued throughout the whole

night, but without doing any damage.

22nd .-A boat belonging to the American ship Morison, with

four seamen, an officer, and three passengers, sailed for Whampoa,

with a " chop " written in large characters ; they were all taken

prisoners, and more or less wounded . At day-light, the Nemesis,

Modeste, Pylades, and Algerine, having completed the destruction

of the fire-rafts, moved towards the western fort at Shameen, and

silenced them in a few minutes .

The Nemesis pushed towards a flotilla of war-junks, sinking

thirty-nine with an equal number of fire-boats and fishing-smacks.

In the midst of this flotilla, the Chinese had a floating battery

furnished with heavy guns, which if properly served would have

done great damage.

While these scenes were going on, Yihshan the Chinese com-

mander dispatched 2,000 of his troops to the British factories in

search of arms ; indiscriminate plunder commenced, and not a par-

ticle of property was left.

Monday the 25th May. -The British forces under the command

of Sir Hugh (now Lord) Gough, arrived in the Macao passage about

two miles from the city, and it was three o'clock P.M. before every-

thing was ready for attack. The Chinese now opened their fire

upon the ships, at the same time they put in motion some fire ves-

sels, which drifted across the river, and set fire to the suburbs .

The enemy continued firing from the city walls for the remainder

of the day. To the eastward of the forts, was a hill with a fort-

ress upon the top of it . This was soon occupied by a detachment

ofthe 49th. To the eastward of this hill in low ground, and close to

the suburbs, was a village filled with Chinese troops, number-

ing not less than 4,000 men, between it and an entrenched camp

with which it communicated . The camp and village were soon

cleared, under Major-general Burrell, with the 18th and 49th .

Night approaching, the assault on the city was deferred for the

following day. The first thing they observed before ten o'clock

A.M., was a white flag displayed from the walls . A mandarin now

visited General Gough , wishing to propose terms of peace, but was


referred to Captain Elliot, who was with the advanced squadron in

the river.

The truce enabled Lord Gough to make such preparations as

would secure his taking possession of the city on the following day.

Captain Elliot dispatched an officer as soon as his terms were com-

plied with, the messenger missed his way, wandering about all

night, and only reached his commander a few minutes before the

assault was to have commenced . One of the arrangements en-

tered into was, that the Tartar troops were to evacuate the city,

and retire to a distance of sixty miles, which was accordingly


29th.- Two days after the city was ransomed , large bodies of

troops were discovered upon the heights about three miles to the

rear of the head-quarters. Lord Gough, after providing for a

strict watch to be kept on the city, (thinking this a ruse) attacked

this body, which amounted at different times to 10,000 or 15,000

men, and totally routed them. The destruction of life on the side

of the Chinese was very great ; some say 1,500 killed and 5,000

wounded. The loss on our side was 14 killed in action, and about

120 wounded. The heat was fearful, and our troops suffered on

that account severely. Had they stormed Canton, the slaughter

would have been terrific.

A.D. 1841 , May the 31st.- The sum of 500,000 dollars was

this day paid, and the troops left the heights above Canton, and

returned to their ships ; the British authorities a second time ex-

hibiting magnanimity and forbearance unparalleled in history.

August the 10th.- Sir H. Pottinger arrived as sole plenipoten-

tiaryand minister to the court of Peking; anextract from his address

to the British merchants, will best illustrate the state of affairs,

after nearly two months truce.

" Macao, August 12th, 1841 .

" Sir H. Pottinger had intimated to the provincial government

of Canton, that he was willing to respect the existing truce, but

that the slightest infraction of its terms, will lead to an instant re-

newal of hostilities : an event highly probable from the well- known

perfidy and bad faith of the provincial officers. Sir H. Pottinger

cautions Her Majesty's subjects, and all other foreigners, against

putting their lives or properties in their power."

August the 26th.-A circular from Sir H. Pottinger of this date,

announced the capture of Amoy, after a short defence. Five

hundred pieces of cannon were rendered useless, together with

immense magazines full of munitions of war.

A.D. 1841 , October the 2nd.- Eight months had elapsed since the

evacuation of Chusan, when a circular from Sir H. Pottinger an-

nounced the re-capture of Tinghai, the capital of the Chusan group.

The exertions made during the cessation of hostilities must have

been extraordinary, for nearly two miles facing the city, was one

continued line of embankments with openings for guns. From


the munitions and great stores of provisions found, the batteries

must have been considered unimpregnable.

Among other illustrations of the truth of the statement fre-

quently advanced, that the Chinese officials misrepresented to

their government at Peking, the true record of facts, I give the

following report of Yukeen to the Emperor, after the capture of

Chusan, (Tinghae is the chief town) in October 1841. It is

scarcely necessary to add, that the blowing-up of the steamer, the

destruction and flight of our troops, are entirely unfounded in


"A rough, or original, report—or sketch-of the imperial envoy

and great minister, Yu.

" I report the loss of Tinghae, through the great disturbances

caused by the disorderly and rebellious barbarians ; this despatch

is forwarded at the rate of 600 le a-day.

" I report, looking up, praying for the imperial glance on the


" Your slave humbly begs to state, that on the 15th day of the

8th moon (September 2nd,) the rebellious barbarians stole into

Tinghae ; but on being attacked they immediately retreated : I now

proceed to state the circumstances in a duly prepared report.

" About the shin period- 3 to 5 p.m. - onthe 18th day (October

2) , a military flying despatch announced, that on the 13th at noon

(September 27) thirteen sail of barbarian ships had arrived on the

look-out in the harbour (of Tinghae) , and when they had reached

beyond Chah Shanmun, they were anchored unobserved . After-

wards, three steam-vessels and one three-masted ship, came into

Chuhshan mun (bamboo-hill bay, or roads) . General Koyan, &c.

led on his troops and opened fire, and shot away the mainmast of

the barbarian ship, which then rat-like run away.

" On the 16th day they first passed to Keihseangmun and at-

tacked Tungkeangpoo, but our troops successively opening their fire,

the rebels did not dare to advance.

" On the 17th day,-in the chow period - 1 to 3 a.m.-the rebel

steamers attacked the city of Tinghae. The Chintae Ko fired off

guns with his own hand and good aim, set fire to the powder on

the steamer's deck, and blew her to atoms.

Afterwards the teenshe of Tinghae, Tangkin, under the care of

the naval officer commanding, and the deputed Tungche, Wang-

Wekeih, arrived at the encampment (at Chinhae), bringing 900

taels of silver, and the official seals of the heen district of Tinghae.

" On questioning Wang Wekeih, he reported that on the 17th

day (October 1) during the we period-1 to 3 p.m. , the city of

Tinghae was lost."

October the 10th .- The city Chinhae, the key of Ningpo, yielded

to our spirited attack. One hundred and fifty pieces of brass ord-

nance were taken, exclusive of iron cannon, and many hundred

gingalls. Many of the Chinese high officers ran away or com-


mitted suicide, but some of their soldiers stood their ground, and

were forced from their guns by the bayonet.

13th . The commander having sailed for Ningpo, the Chinese

soldiers laid down their arms, and actually refused to fight, the

consequence was that their officers fled, and the squadron anchored

within 100 yards of the walls of the city, and our troops took up

their quarters in the city.

The following official report from the general commanding in

Chekeang province, on the capture of Chinhae (at the river Ning-

po entrance) and of Ningpo, shews the utterly defenceless state in

which we found this vast and unwieldy empire, and how com-

pletely panic and disaffection had incapacitated the people from

making any resistance to our arms.

Report from the Tetuh, or general, of the province of Chekeang, on

the loss of Chinhae and Ningpo.

" Your slave, Yu Pooyun, kneeling, reports (as follows) :

" On account of the district of Ningpo being unoccupied or

deserted (by the Chinese troops) , it is now necessary to establish

regulations for its defence and safety, and looking up, I pray for

the imperial glance on the affair.

“ I, your slave, humbly state, that on the 26th day of the 8th

moon (Oct. 10, 1841 ) , because of the loss of Chinhae, I retreated

on Ningpo, to defend it ; I then took a hasty view of matters, and

forwarded a post-haste dispatch at the rate of 600 le a-day : this is

on record. And I immediately headed and led on officers and

troops, whom I distributed and appointed for the particular and

stricter defence of the sixth gate of Ningpo ; but it was of no

avail, as the walls were broad, and twenty le in compass ; and the

regular garrison in the city before did not amount to 4000 men ;

and these, besides, were distributed to guard the different military

stations and encampments ; and there hardly remained 700 and

odd men in the town, and although the troops who had been de-

feated at Tinghae and Chinhae, hastened to return with all speed,

still out of every ten men not more than one or two returned, and

these, moreover, were frightened, and had lost their nerve, and it

was difficult by any influence to prevail on them to keep their


" Yukeen, from the 26th day of the moon, when he retreated

from Chinhae, and entered Ningpo on the same day, during the

such period- from seven to nine p.m.— and escorted by Fung

Shintae and others, with some hundreds of soldiers of the province

of Keangnan, retreated night and day to Yuyao and Chaouhing.

The officers and troops who were in the neighbourhood merely

pretended to accompany and guard him (Yukeen) :-but it was the

name only, not the reality- and generally they did not enter and

keep the city (Yuyao) ; and as they ( Yukeen and his escort) passed


through the district, all the people were in a great fright, and ran

away, hiding themselves, crowding on the road, and trampling

each other down ; and the sound of weeping and wailing spread

all over the country ; and a starving, helpless class of vagabonds

seized the opportunity of combining with banditti, and to plunder

the people of their wealth and goods ; I, your slave, met in con-

sultation the chefoo of Ningpo district, Tang Tingtsae, and we

directed the civil and military officers who were in the city to

examine and seize (the robbers) and immediately to repress and

punish ; but when the city had become in a slight degree tranquil,

unexpectedly the steamers and barbarian ships came right in upon

Ningpo, on the north-east side below the city, sounding the depth

of water. The guns belonging to the city had been sent in the

6th moon of last year to Tinghae and Chinhae ; so we were at the

time unprovided with any guns to fire off ; and men's hearts were

excessively agitated . Connecting all these matters, and consider-

ing that I, your slave, have been to this time the general of the

province of Chekeang, and constantly living in camps, there are

very many of the gentry of the city district whom I have not seen ,

I depended wholly on the district magistrate, Tang, who possessed

the people's entire confidence, to issue official orders to fill the

ranks, and guard and defend (the country) ; and as to the former

orders (to defend the city), only the third and sixth gates of the

city overlooked the river, but as there was no artillery, and also

the fire from the barbarian ships, and their fire-arrows- rockets-

being murderously destructive, I became fearful that we had no-

thing to rely on (for opposition or defence) . Every place in the

whole province of Chekeang is of the last importance ; and at pre-

sent there are no troops to be distributed (for its defence). I,

your slave, alone have utterly exhausted my mind and strength,

in heading and leading on the civil and military officers, and in

devising and establishing means of maintaining fast hold (of the

province) ; at the same time, I have summoned the defeated troops

to collect, together with the stout and brave villagers, and called

them to the rescue ; and also sent flying summonses to the officers

and troops of each province to also hasten for the safety (of Che-

keang) . I look up for help and support from Heaven's dread

majesty (the Emperor) ; altogether hoping that if the city is pre-

served, all the inhabitants will be preserved .

" I have thus, in a flying despatch, respectfully stated the de-

serted and unoccupied state of the district of Ningpo, the power

and authority of which is in the most imminent danger ; and the

circumstances of establishing means and regulations for its guard

and safety ; and, prostrate, I beg for the imperial glance of the

great Emperor, and instructions how to act.

" A respectful report . 21st year, 8th moon, 26th day.

" (Oct. 10, 1841.)"

In a report from Yihking to the Emperor, it was stated that the

Chinese " braves" had killed Sir H. Pottinger, and that there were


"five ship-loads of dead bodies of the barbarians taken back to Ting-

hae " (Chusan) the Emperor thus adverts to the subject.

" Yihking, has sent up a document, relative to attacking and

capturing traitorous natives. It has also been represented, that

the rebel leader, Pottinger, attacked Tinghae, but was killed by a

gun ; but it is now said that this is false. It still appears that

there was a barbarian chief killed, called Pa . (?) Two other bar-

barian chiefs received severe wounds . There were five ship-loads of

the dead bodies of the barbarians taken back to Tinghae. Besides

the above report states, that a barbarian chief was caught, and

many traitorous natives. Let there be no remissness or delay,

until the rebels are swept from the land. Respect this."

The Chinese authorities entertained an idea, that by seductive

promises, they could induce the British soldiers and their follow-

ers to desert.

An abstract of the proclamation from the imperial commissioner

Yihking, on the 30th January, 1842, states that " there are many

natives amongst the black barbarians who have been taken cap-

tives by the English rebels, who grievously oppress them, and in

the day of battle will place them in front, where they will have to

stand the whole brunt of the conflict.

" If in the day of battle, either red or black barbarians will cast

away their arms, and refuse to fire ; they shall in all cases be

spared alive . Any who shall deliver up a barbarian chief, shall be

rewarded with a high dignity ; any who shall take the common

" demons," (privates) shall have a large sum of money ; and any

who shall give up a foreign vessel, shall have all the goods it

contains ." Our troops and fleet wintered at Ningpo and


A.D. 1842. March the 10th. - Ever since the capture of Ning-

po in October, vigorous efforts had been making all over the

empire, to exterminate the barbarians ; but until this date, nothing

of a serious nature occurred . At daylight a number of Chinese

troops, estimated at from 10,000 to 12,000, advanced upon the

south and west gate of Ningpo, got over the walls and penetrated

to the market place, here they were met by the British troops, and

the slaughter was dreadful.

In the meantime a vast number of fire-boats lashed together,

were floated down the river, but did no damage. There were

exactly similar attempts made on Chinhae, but on a smaller scale,

with similar success . Tsz-ke about ten miles from Ningpo, had

been making extensive preparations ; which was well known to the

commander of the British forces.

March 15th. The repulses at Ningpo and Chinhae, had fright-

ened the imperial troops at Tsz-ke, and before a retrogade move-

ment could be completed, they were totally routed, and upwards

of 1,000 killed. The troops here were in appearance and bodily

strength, superior to any hitherto met with, and numbered from

8,000 to 10,000. The admirable position chosen, shewed consider-


able military skill in their generals, and they held their ground

with some obstinacy.

May the 21st.- A circular from Admiral Parker of this date,

announced the capture of Chapu. By the indefatigable exertions

of Commanders Kellett and Collinson, two officers of first-rate

talent in their noble profession, and distinguished for their

scientific energy and enterprize in surveying and sounding, the

Cornwallis, Blonde, and Modeste were enabled to take up a good

position against the sea-batteries, consisting of two works mount-

ing twelve guns, about one-third the way up a steep hill, and

crowned with a Joss house, which was occupied by the enemy.

There were three other masked batteries mounting thirty guns.

The Chinese force was estimated at 8,000 regulars, 1700 of whom

were Tartars. There were from 1200 to 1500 of the enemy

buried, and but few prisoners taken . The preparations for war-

fare were on a very large scale, such as a gun foundry, gunpowder

manufactory, and extensive arsenals, vast quantity of gingals,

matchlocks, bows and arrows ; all of which were destroyed.

A severe typhoon (hurricane) occurred in the neighbourhood of

Canton in 1841 ; the effects of which were greatly magnified in the

report made to Peking, whereupon the following imperial edict

was issued, which shews the tone and feelings of the Emperor

towards the English at that time.

"Yihshan and his colleagues have reported that the ocean has been

agitated by typhoons, and the public offices and landing places of

the English barbarians entirely destroyed, and one shipwrecked.

" By the report it is authenticated, that on the 4th day of 6th

moon (July 21) between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. a typhoon com-

menced which forced the waves to run mountains high, and at the

same time torrents of rain descended . The large and small bar-

barian vessels anchored in Tseenshakeo (the Typa) were sunk by the

waves, and the great and small " flower" boats belonging to native

traitors, were either entirely destroyed, or driven out to sea ; of

these that have escaped, large and small, the number exceeds

forty. The masts of all the ships were carried away, and of the

barbarian banditti and native traitors, the number drowned exceeds

calculation ; all the tents and mat- sheds were blown away by the

wind, none were saved. The new-built landing places were swept

clean away, and nothing left but an empty space, and the sea was

covered with floating corpses. Such is the report.

" I, the Emperor, having turned over and looked at the rest, feel

most grateful for Heaven's favours ; but while thus rejoicing in

happiness, I should entertain a wholesome dread of Heaven's awful

majesty (rejoice with trembling) . The cup of the iniquities of

the said barbarians is full ; their disorderly and illegal conduct

has destroyed the people ; long and much have they travelled in

unrighteous paths ; but at last they must bow their heads to

heaven's extermination. All this has been accorded by secret,


silent influences : the intelligent gods aid and protect in silence .

The murderous influences are swept clean away, and the boun-

daries of ocean are established in quiet. It is proper that we

should with sincerity burn incense, to offer up our righteous

thoughts. I order Yihshan and his colleagues to go in person to

all the temples, and reverently announce my thanksgivings ; and

on the 29th day of the moon, to fast and sleep within the city ;

and on the 30th day to perform all the ceremonies in the different

temples. I further order the Teachangking, to reverently attend

to all the preparations . Respect this." 1841 .

1842, June the 16th. The whole British forces arrived safe in

the Yangtzekang river, at a point where it joins the Woosung.

So confident were the Chinese of defending this important en-

trance, that they hailed the enemy with cheers. At daylight our

squadron weighed anchor, and the enemy opened fire, which conti-

nued on both sides for two hours ; when that ofthe Chinese began to

slacken, and the marines and'seamen werelanded . 253 guns, ofwhich

forty-two were brass, were taken in the batteries. The whole were

mounted on pivot carriages. The British naval force had two killed ,

and twenty-five wounded, the land forces sustained no injury. The

Blonde frigate and Sesostris steamer had twenty-five shots in their

hull, the first fourteen and the other eleven. On the 17th some

of the lighter vessels advanced up the Woosung river, and destroyed

a deserted battery, mounting fifty-five guns, of which seventeen

were brass .

On the 19th two batteries, close to the city of Shanghai, opened

their guns on the advanced division, but on receiving a couple of

broadsides the enemy fled ; the batteries, which contained forty-

eight guns (seventeen brass) were instantly occupied, and the

troops took possession of the city, in which were extensive grana-

ries belonging to the government . These were opened and freely

given to the people . The next day the Admiral proceeded up the

river Woosung about fifty miles, and met with other field-works,

which he destroyed. The total number of ordnance captured on

these encounters was 364, of which seventy-six were brass lately

east, with devices and characters which signified that they were

intended to subdue the barbarians.

Shanghai was captured, after scarcely a momentary resistance,

on the 19th. The garrison fled . The expedition was detained at

Woosung until the 6th of July, when it advanced up the Yangtze-

kang, and on the 11th reached a military position, mounting

thirteen guns, which opened fire on the leading ships, but were

soon silenced, and the guns, batteries, and military buildings de-

stroyed. At this place the main body of the fleet was retarded

by adverse winds for nearly a week .

On the 20th the whole force, amounting to seventy sail of vessels,

arrived and anchored abreast of the city of Cheakiang. At a dis-

tance of three miles from the city was a camp, with a large force.

The troops in this camp only fired a few volleys and dispersed, but


were prevented from approaching the city. The Tartar troops in

the city opened a heavy and incessant fire of cannon , gingals, wall

pieces and matchlocks. The wall was gallantly escaladed under a

heavy fire from the Tartar troops, who disputed the ramparts, and

prolonged the contest for some hours, and it was late in the

evening before they disappeared. The city is rather more than

four miles in circumference, the works were admirably constructed,

so that nothing but cannon could have made any impression on it,

being pierced with narrow embrazures and loopholes, and flanked

with transverse walls . The enemy was not less than 3,000, of whom

full 1,000 were killed, with about forty officers. The Tartar general

seeing the city taken , retired to his house, made his servants set

fire to it, and sat in his chair till he was burned to death.

There were various exaggerated official statements of the

" determined resistance" offered to our troops by the Chinese

arms. This in fact was but a part of the whole tone of amplifi-

cation with which everything was purposely magnified. The

following detail of our loss, in at least fifteen actions, will show the

worthlessness of the Chinese army, and how incapable it was to

resist the daring gallantry of our troops and seamen .

British and Chinese loss, killed and wounded, during the war,

from July 5th, 1840, to July 21st, 1842, according to the offi-

cial despatches from the Commanders-in- chief of our army and

navy. The killed in battle include soldiers, seamen, marines,

sepoys, and camp-followers. The wounded ditto, and the slight-

est scratch was called a wound.





and Indian force.


Date. Name of Action .





July 5 Tinghae, Chusan 91 None None None Unknown


. ne

Jan. 7 Chuenpee fort ( 1) - 66




War junks (1) - 82 38 Immense.

Tycocktow forts (2) 25

Carried forward

It is impossible to give the actual loss in killed and wounded of the Chinese.

The official reports frequently advert tothe "great loss," " dreadful slaughter," &c.,

of the enemy. The numbers here given are those mentioned in the British state-

ments. After a careful examination, in China and in England, of various data, and

from eye-witnesses of the engagements, I cannot estimate the Chinese loss at less than

18,000 or 20,000 killed and wounded. Most ofthe wounded perished, unless where

kindly attended to by the truly Christian spirit that ever pervades our medical officers

in the army and navy,


British and Chinese loss, &c.- (continued. )





and Indian force. Chinese.


Date. Name of Action.









1841 Brought forward - 264 38 38


Feb. 25 Anunghoy batteries about None 5 5 500 very

and many


N. Wantong forts


Feb.27 Cambridge and war 98 1 8 300

9 ditto ditto

junks about

Mar.18 Defences of Canton 123 None 6 6 400 ditto ditto

about about

May25 City and heights ofdo. 106 14 112 126 1500 5000 6500

Aug.26 Amoy and defences 550 None 9 9 Very se vere

Oct. 1 Chusan 136 2 400 to 27 500 29


Oct. 10 Chinghaî citadel 150 3 16 19 150 Many.

1842 about

Mar. 9 Ningpo, night attack - 1 5 500 Very great.



Mar.10 Chinghai, ditto None None None 32 Many.

Mar.15 Tsekee ( Segoan) · 3 25 800 to 1000

May18 Chapoo 92 13 52 65 1000 to 1500

June16 Woosung batteries 250 2 27 25 200 to 250


June 19 Shanghai ·- 49 None None None Unknown.

July21 Chinkeanfoo 30 126 156 Slaughter

terrific, 1000.

Total 2118 69 451 520 Estimated at

18,000 to 20,000

REMARKS . (1 and 2. ) The general tone of the despatches

during the war may be illustrated by the following words from the

official reports on the actions : "The Chinese have suffered se-

verely ; their loss, including that on board the war junks, cannot

be estimated at less than 500 to 600, out of a force calculated at

2000 men. Ths slaughter in the lower fort, when carried by

storm, was considerable." * * * "The loss of the enemy,

from the number of killed lying in every direction, must have been

most severe.' * * * " The service has been performed with

trifling loss on the part of Her Majesty's forces ." * * * " The

loss on our side has been small, and would have been less but for

the explosion of an expense magazine in the fort, after capture."



- (General Orders, Fort William, February 24th, 1841 ; and Sir

Gordon Bremer's despatches,)

Thus it will be seen that the British forces, army and navy,

had not one man killed , and but for the magazine explosion, which

was accidental, there would not have been a dozen wounded, even

slightly. The killed alone of the Chinese is supposed to have been

at least five hundred men in this action ! This may be viewed as a

fair sample of the whole Chinese war,

The following is a return of Her Majesty's ships on the coast of

China, in 1840, 1841 , and 1842.

August, No of Guns. Men. Sept. 1, 1842 No. of Guns . Men.

July, 1840 No. of

Ships Guns. Men. 1841. Ships. At Nankin. Ships.

2225 ∞ 2


Third rates 2 144 1080 Third rates 144 1080 Third rates 2 144 1240

Fifth rates 86 570 Fifth rates 86 570 Fourth ... 1 50 500

Sixth rates 106 700 Sixth .... 54 350 Fifth 4 164 1360

Sloops .... 88 615 Sloops 86 615 Sixth.. 4 90 750

Brig 10 55 Brigs 30 165 Sloops 14 232 1835

Troop ship 2 44 Surveying 10 138 Steam ves- 2 8 290

vessels .. sels...

15 436 3064 Troop ship 1 2 44 Brigs .. 3 30 180

Surveying 1 2 30

17 412 2962 vessel

Hospital 1 20 310

ship .

Troop ships' 5 44 574

37 784 7069

The additional force was about 5,000 British troops, and nearly

7,000 Indian troops, together with seamen and marines, making a

total of upwards of 19,000 men.

Our whole contest with the Chinese, resembled the war which

might have been expected between the Brobdignags and Lilliputians .

In page 147, will be found instructions to soldiers, but their ar-

ticles of war are calculated to strike terror, thus : " When an

enemy advances," says the penal code, " he who shrinks , or whis-

pers to his comrade, shall be decapitated."

Having succeeded in breaking the spirit of their soldiers by this

mode, they adopted a pretty similar one with the barbarians. In

front of the mouths of their cannon, or hanging over the walls of a

fort, might be seen the picture of a tiger's head suspended, with

streaks of red, resembling blood, intended to frighten our troops.

The Chinese were ordered to advance, clashing two swords, for the

same purpose .

Commander J. Elliot, in his interesting narrative of the expe-

dition , says : " The appearance of the ship ( Conway,') created a

great sensation, and the natives were apparently busy throwing up

fortifications, which being examined by the telescope, proved

nothing but mats extended on poles, with painted ports, to give

them the appearance of forts."


Referring to the period of the dispute with Lord Napier, the


commander proceeds, "C our countrymen at Canton were

morning astonished at seeing the shore apparently bristling with

cannon, but on examining them with their glasses, they had put

up in the front of a mat-fort a range of earthen jars, with their

open end pointed towards the river. We found that it was a com-

mon practice to stick a large round piece of wood into the muzzle

of a three-pounder painted white, with a black spot, as large as

the bore of a thirty-two pounder, and as the white muzzle was

continued along the line ofguns, it became very difficult by merely

looking at them to discover the deception ."

Lord Jocelyn says : " The description of some of the Chinese

forts, hastily thrown up, on the approach of the ships, was ludi-

crous ; many consisting of bamboo mats, pierced as if for guns to

astound the barbarians, for little did they imagine, that through

the glasses from the ship, this childish deception was easily dis-

covered .

"The Algerine, a ten-gun brig, commanded by Lieutenant

Mason, came into harbour ; in passing a town called Chapoo, a

place of great trade with Japan, he had been fired upon by a strong

fort, mounting a great number of guns. He immediately ranged

his little vessel up under the batteries, but for three hours the

Chinese kept up a steady fire, when, with nearly the last remain-

ing charge, the little brig silenced the batteries ; then anchoring

her close under, Lieutenant Mason waited an hour to see if they

wished a renewal, and then took his departure to join the squad-


An eye-witness at Chuenpe and Tykokto, in 1841 , says : " We

do not expect to find in the construction of Chinese forts any ex-

hibition of engineering skill ; they have not had a Vauban. It ap-

pears, however, that the materials they use for the upper part of

their works, is a composition of chunam, upon which our shot

made little impression . Most of their guns were of small calibre,

the iron wretched, a single blow of a hammer being sufficient to

knock off the trunnions. The stockades were well built, but the

situation badly chosen, being commanded by the neighbouring

hills . From their freshness they could only have been a few days

built-just at the time the British authorities were negotiating,

î. e., being bamboozled ."

The rapidity of our successes is thus seen : Amoy, 26th August,

1841 ; Chusan, 3rd October, 1841 ; Ningpo and Ching-hae, 10th

March, 1842 ; Repulse of enemy at Ching-hae, 10th March, 1842 ;

Chapoo, 18th May, 1842 ; Woo- sung, 16th June, 1842 ; Shang-hae,

18th June, 1842 ; Chin-kiang-foo, 21st July, 1842 ; peace at Nan-

kin, 29th August, 1842 .

During this short period, notwithstanding adverse weather,

eleven fortified cities and encampments fell into our hands, on an

unknown line of coast of nearly one thousand miles in extent .

Had we proceeded at once to Nanking, instead of thus wasting our




strength and resources, peace would have been immediately ob-


To proceed with the close of the narrative.

August 1842. Arrangements were made for placing a strong

British garrison at Chin Kiang, as it commands the entrance to the

grand canal.

The remainder of the expedition sailed for Nanking on the

3rd of August, which is situated about forty miles distant, and

three miles from the Yangtzekang ; but connected by a variety

of canals .

On the 11th every thing being ready for an attack, a white flag.

was displayed, several friendly conferences ensued, ending on the

29th by formally signing and sealing a treaty of peace.

It is understood that the Chinese government had at length be-

come really aware of its own weakness and of our strength ; that

the Emperor had made preparations for flight into Mantchouria,

and that the three commissioners sent to Nanking to procure peace

were instructed to obtain it on any terms which might be asked.

Instead, however, of forming a treaty in accordance with our

position and adequate to our wants, the old treaty framed by the

late Mr. Poulett Thompson in 1840, -on the suggestion of Sir

George Larpent and others (see page 40) -which had been

printed at the Foreign Office in Downing Street, and sent out as

a rough outline for the guidance of Captain Elliott in 1841 , with a

blank after the words " the cession of the islands of


and with another blank after the words " Indemnity

money " this old draft of a treaty was sent on

shore by Sir Henry Pottinger with s struck out of the word

"islands," and the word " Hong Kong" alone left there ; for rea-

sons some of which will be explained in the last chapter of this

work. The terms of peace having been read, Elepoo the senior

commissioner paused, expecting something more, and at length

said " is that all ?" Mr. Morrison inquired of Lieutenant- colonel

Malcolm if there were anything else, and being answered in the

negative, Elepoo immediately and with great tact closed the nego-

tiation by saying, " all shall be granted- it is settled - it is

finished." Such were the preliminary negotiations of the follow-

ing treaty-

" Her Majesty, the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great

Britain and Ireland , and His Majesty the Emperor of China, being

desirous of putting an end to the misunderstandings and conse-

quent hostilities which have arisen between the two countries,

have resolved to conclude a treaty for that purpose, and have

therefore named as their plenipotentiaries, that is to say : Her

Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, Sir Henry

Pottinger, Bart., a Major-general in the service of the East India

Company, &c. &c. And his Imperial Majesty the Emperor of

China, the high commissioners Kíying, a member of the Imperial


House, a guardian of the Crown Prince, and general of the gar-

rison of Canton ; and I'lípú, of the Imperial Kindred, graciously

permitted to wear the insigna of the first rank, and the distinc-

tion of a peacock's feather, lately minister and governor-general,

& c., and now lieutenant-general commanding at Chápú :-who,

after having communicated to each other their respective full

powers, and found them to be in good and due form, have agreed

upon and concluded the following Articles :-

1st. "There shall henceforward be peace and friendship between

Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain

and Ireland, and His Majesty the Emperor of China, and between

their respective subjects, who shall enjoy full security and protec-

tion for their persons and property within the dominions of the


2nd. " His Majesty the Emperor of China agrees, that British

subjects, with their families and establishments, shall be allowed

to reside, for the purpose of carrying on their mercantile pursuits,

without molestation or restraint, at the cities and towns of Can-

ton, Amoy, Fuhchoo-fú, Ningpo, and Shánghái ; and Her Majesty

the Queen of Great Britain, &c., will appoint superintendents,

or consular officers, to reside at each of the above-named cities or

towns, to be the medium of communication between the Chinese

authorities and the said merchants, and to see that the just duties

and other dues of the Chinese government, as hereafter provided

for, are duly discharged by Her Britannic Majesty's subjects.

3rd. " It being obviously necessary and desirable that British

subjects should have some port whereat they may careen and refit

their ships when required, and keep stores for that purpose, His

Majesty the Emperor of China cedes to Her Majesty the Queen

of Great Britain, &c., the island of Hong Kong, to be possessed

in perpetuity by Her Britannic Majesty, her heirs and successors,

and to be governed by such laws and regulations as Her Majesty

the Queen of Great Britain, &c. , shall see fit to direct.

4th . " The Emperor of China agrees to pay the sum of six mil-

lions of dollars, as the value of the opium which was delivered up

at Canton in the month of March, 1839, as a ransom for the lives

of Her Britanic Majesty's superintendent and subjects, who had

been imprisoned and threatened with death by the Chinese high

officers .

5th. "The government of China having compelled the British

merchants trading at Canton to deal exclusively with certain

Chinese merchants, called Hong-merchants (or co-hong), who had

been licensed by the Chinese government for that purpose, the

Emperor of China agrees to abolish that practice in future at all

ports where British merchants may reside, and to permit them to

carry on their mercantile transactions with whatever persons they

please ; and His Imperial Majesty further agrees to pay to the

British government the sum of three millions of dollars, on ac-


count of debts due to British subjects by some of the Hong

merchants, or co-hong, who have become insolvent, and who owe

very large sums of money to subjects of Her Britannic Majesty.

6th. " The government of Her Britannic Majesty having been

obliged to send out an expedition to demand and obtain redress

for the violent and unjust proceedings of the Chinese high

authorities towards Her Britannic Majesty's officer and subjects,

the Emperor of China agrees to pay the sum of twelve millions of

dollars, on account of the expenses incurred ; and Her Britannic

Majesty's plenipotentiary voluntarily agrees, on behalf of Her

Majesty, to deduct from the said amount of twelve millions of

dollars, any sums which may have been received by Her Majesty's

combined forces, as ransom for cities and towns in China, subse-

quent to the 1st day of August, 1841 .

7th. " It is agreed, that the total amount of twenty-one mil-

lions of dollars, described in the three preceding articles, shall be

paid as follows :--

" Six millions immediately. Six millions in 1843 ; that is, three

millions on or before the 30th of the month of June, and three

millions on or before the 31st of December. Five millions in

1844 ; that is , two millions and a half on or before the 30th of

June, and two millions and a half on or before the 31st of Decem-

ber. Four millions in 1845 ; that is, two millions on or before

the 30th of June, and two millions on or before the 31st of De-


" And it is further stipulated, that interest, at the rate of five

per cent. per annum, shall be paid by the government of China on

any portion of the above sums that are not punctually discharged

at the periods fixed.

8th. " The Emperor of China agrees to release, uncondition-

ally, all subjects of Her Britannic Majesty (whether natives of

Europe or India) , who may be in confinement at this moment in

any part of the Chinese Empire.

9th. " The Emperor of China agrees to publish and promulgate,

under His Imperial Sign Manual and Seal, a full and entire

amnesty and act of indemnity to all subjects of China, on account

of their having resided under, or having had dealings and inter-

course with, or having entered the service of, Her Britannic Ma-

jesty, or of Her Majesty's officers ; and His Imperial Majesty

further engages to release all Chinese subjects who may be at this

moment in confinement for similar reasons .

10th. " His Majesty the Emperor of China agrees to establish

at all the ports which are, by the second article of this Treaty, to

be thrown open for the resort of British merchants, a fair and re-

gular tariff of export and import customs and other dues, which

tariff shall be publicly notified and promulgated for general in-

formation ; and the Emperor further engages, that when British mer-

chandise shall have once paid at anyof the ports the regulated customs


and dues, agreeable to the Tariff to be hereafter fixed, such mer-

chandize may be conveyed by Chinese merchants to any province

or city in the interior of the Empire of China, on paying a further

amount as transit duties , which shall not exceed per* cent. on

the tariff value of such goods.

11th. " It is agreed, that Her Britannic Majesty's chief high

officer in China shall correspond with the Chinese high officers,

both at the capital and in the provinces, under the term " com-

munication ; ' the subordinate British officers and Chinese high

officers in the provinces, under the term ' statement,' on the part

of the former, and on the part of the latter, ' declaration ; ' and

the subordinates of both countries on a footing of perfect equality ;

merchants and others not holding official situations, and therefore

not included in the above, on both sides, to use the term ' repre-

sentations ' in all papers addressed to, or intended for the notice

of the respective governments.

12th. " On the assent of the Emperor of China to this Treaty

being_received, and the discharge of the first instalment money,

Her Britannic Majesty's forces will retire from Nanking and the

Grand Canal, and will no longer molest or stop the trade of China.

The military post at Chinhai will also be withdrawn ; but the

islands of Kulang-su and that of Chusan will continue to be held

by Her Majesty's forces until the money payments, and the ar、

rangements for opening the ports to British merchants, be com-


13th . " The ratification of this treaty by Her Majesty the

Queen of Britain, &c., and His Majesty the Emperor of China,

shall be exchanged as soon as the great distance which separates

England from China will admit ; but, in the meantime, counter-

part copies of it, signed and sealed by the plenipotentiaries on be-

half of their respective sovereigns, shall be mutually delivered, and

all its provisions and arrangements shall take effect.

" Done at Nanking, and signed and sealed by the plenipoten-


tiaries on board Her Britannic Majesty's ship Cornwallis,' this

twenty-ninth day of August, 1842 ; corresponding with the Chi-

nese date, twenty-fourth day of the seventh month, in the twenty-

second year of Taoukwang .



(L.S.) KIYING (in Tartar) .


(L.S.) I'LIPU (in Tartar) .

Approved and ratified by the Emperor on the 24th day of the

9th month, in the 22nd year of his reign, (Oct. 27th, 1842.)

Note. This treaty was ratified by Her Majesty, and the great

seal affixed, on the 31st of December, 1842. The ratifications

were exchanged at Hong Kong, June 26th, 1843."

This treaty was sufficiently restrictive, but under its first clause

Englishmen could have gone to and resided in any part of China,


although trading residence would be confined to five ports. But the

wily Tartar Keying took measures to counteract even this small

advantage, and, at the same time, craftily devised a plan of isolat-

ing Hong Kong from freedom of intercourse with the opened ports.

This was done by the following " supplemental treaty," on which

further comment is reserved for the discussion on our present posi-

tion in China.

Supplementary Treaty.

"Whereas a treaty of perpetual peace and friendship between

Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain

and Ireland, and His Majesty the Emperor of China, was concluded

at Nanking, and signed on board Her said Majesty's ship Corn-

wallis on the 29th day of August, A.D. 1842, corresponding with the

Chinese date of the 24th day of the 7th month of the 22nd year

of Taoukwang, of which said treaty of perpetual peace and friend-

ship the ratifications under the respective seals and signs manual

of the Queen of Great Britain, &c., and the Emperor of China

were duly exchanged at Hong Kong, on the 26th day of June,

A.D. 1843, corresponding with the Chinese date the 29th day of

the fifth month, in the 23rd year of Taoukwang ; and whereas in

the said treaty it was provided (amongst other things) that the five

ports of Canton, Foochow-foo, Amoy, Ningpo, and Shanghai

should be thrown open for the resort and residence of British mer-

chants, and that a fair and regular tariff of export and import

duties and other dues should be established at such ports ; and

whereas various other matters of detail connected with, and bear-

ing relation to, the said treaty of perpetual peace and friendship,

have been since under the mutual discussion and consideration of

the Plenipotentiary and accredited Commissioners of the high

contracting parties, and the said tariff and details having been now

finally examined into, adjusted and agreed upon, it has been

determined to arrange and record them in the form of a supple-

mentary treaty of (seventeen) Articles, which articles shall be held

to be as binding and of the same efficacy as though they had been

inserted in the original treaty of perpetual peace and friendship .

1st. " The tariff of export and import duties which is hereunto

attached under the seals and signatures of the respective plenipo-

tentiary and commissioners, shall henceforward be in force at the

five ports of Canton, Fuhchoo-foo, Amoy, Ningpo, and Shanghai.

2nd. " The general regulations of trade which are hereunto

attached under the seals and signatures of the respective plenipo-

tentiary and commissioners, shall henceforward be in force at the

five aforenamed ports .

3rd. " All penalties enforced or confiscations made under

the third clause of the said general regulations of trade, shall


belong, and be appropriated, to the public service of the govern-

ment of China.

4th. " After the five ports of Canton, Foochow, Amoy, Ningpo,

and Shanghai, shall be thrown open, English merchants shall be

allowed to trade only at those five ports. Neither shall they

repair to any other port or places, nor will the Chinese people at

any other port or places be permitted to trade with them. If

English merchant vessels shall, in contravention of this agreement,

and of a proclamation to the same purport to be issued by the

British plenipotentiary, repair to any other ports or places, the

Chinese government officers shall be at liberty to seize and con-

fiscate both vessels and cargoes ; and should Chinese people be

discovered clandestinely dealing with English merchants at any

other ports or places, they shall be punished by the Chinese go-

vernment in such manner as the law may direct.

5th. "The fourth clause of the general regulations of trade on

the subject of commercial dealings and debts between English and

Chinese merchants, is to be clearly understood to be applicable to

both parties .

6th. " It is agreed that English merchants and others residing

at, or resorting to, the five ports to be opened, shall not go into the

surrounding country beyond certain short distances to be named

by the local authorities in concert with the British consul, and on

no pretence for purposes of traffic. Seamen and persons belong-

ing to the ships shall only be allowed to land under authority and

rules, which will be fixed by the consul in communication with

the local officers ; and should any persons whatever infringe

the stipulations of this article, and wander away into the country,

they shall be seized and handed over to the British consul for

suitable punishment.

7th. "The treaty of perpetual peace and friendship provides

for British subjects and their families residing at the cities and

towns of Canton, Foochow, Amoy, Ningpo, and Shanghai, without

molestation or restraint. It is accordingly determined that

ground and houses, the rent or price of which is to be fairly and

equitably arranged for, according to the rates prevailing amongst

the people, without exaction on either side, shall be set apart by

the local officers in communication with the consul, and the

number of houses built or rented will be reported annually to

the said local officers by the consul, for the information of their

respective viceroys and governors ; but the number cannot be

limited, seeing that it will be greater or less according to the resort

of merchants.

8th. " The Emperor of China having been graciously pleased

to grant to all foreign countries whose subjects or citizens have

hitherto traded at Canton, the privilege of resorting for purposes

of trade to the other four ports of Fuhchoo, Amoy, Ningpo, and

Shanghai, on the same terms as the English ; it is further agreed


that should the Emperor hereafter, from any cause whatever, be

pleased to grant additional privileges or immunities to any of the

subjects or citizens of such foreign countries, the same privileges

and immunities will be extended to and enjoyed by British

subjects ; but it is to be understood, that demands or requests are

not on this plea to be unnecessarily brought forward.

9th. " If lawless natives of China, having committed crimes or

offences against their own government, shall flee to Hong Kong,

or to the English ships of war, or English merchant ships for

refuge, they shall if discovered by the English officers be handed

over at once to the Chinese officers for trial and punishment ; or

if before such discovery be made by the English officers, it should

be ascertained or suspected by the officers of the government of

China whither such criminals and offenders have fled, a com-

munication shall be made to the proper English officer in order

that the said criminals and offenders may be rigidly searched for,

seized, and on proof or admission of their guilt delivered up. In

like manner, if any soldier or sailor, or any other person - whatever

his caste or country-who is a subject of the crown of England,

shall, from any cause, or on any pretence , desert, fly, or escape into

the Chinese terrritory, such soldier or sailor or other person shall

be apprehended and confined by the Chinese authorities, and sent

to the nearest British consular, or other government, officer. In

neither case shall concealment or refuge be afforded .

10th. " At each of the five ports to be opened to British mer-

chants , one English cruizer will be stationed to enforce good order

and discipline amongst the crews of merchant shipping, and to

support the necessary authority of the consul over British sub-

jects . The crews of such ship of war will be carefully restrained

by the officer commanding the vessel , and they will be subject to

all the rules regarding going on shore and straying into the

country, that are already laid down for the crews of merchant ves-

sels. Whenever it may be necessary to relieve such ship of war

by another, intimation of that intention will be communicated by

the consul, or by the British superintendent of trade where cir-

cumstances will permit-to the local Chinese authorities , lest the

appearance of an additional ship should excite misgivings amongst

the people , and the Chinese cruizers are to offer no hindrance to

such relieving ship , nor is she to be considered liable to any port

charges or rules laid down in the General Regulations of Trade ,

seeing that British ships of war never trade in any shape .

11th . " The posts of Chusan and Koolungsoo will be with-

drawn, as provided for in the treaty of perpetual peace and friend-

ship, the moment all the moneys stipulated for in that treaty shall

be paid ; and the British plenipotentiary distinctly and voluntarily

agrees that all dwelling-houses, storehouses, barracks, and other

buildings that the British troops or people may have occupied or

intermediately built or repaired, shall be handed over on the eva-


cuation of the posts exactly as they stand, to the Chinese autho-

rities, so as to prevent any pretence for delay, or the slightest

occasion for discussion or dispute on those points.

12th . " A fair and regular tariff of duties and other dues

having now been established, it is to be hoped that the system of

smuggling which has heretofore been carried on between English

and Chinese merchants-in many cases with the open connivance

and collusion of the Chinese custom-house officers -will entirely

cease ; and the most peremptory proclamation to all English mer-

chants has been already issued on this subject by the British ple-

nipotentiary, who will also instruct the different consuls to strictly

watch over and carefully scrutinize the conduct of all persons

being British subjects, trading under his superintendence. In any

positive instance of smuggling transactions coming to the consul's

knowledge, he will instantly apprize the Chinese authorities of

the fact, and they will proceed to seize and confiscate all goods-

whatever their value or nature-that may have been so smuggled ;

and will also be at liberty if they see fit, to prohibit the ship from

which the smuggled goods were landed from trading further, and

to send her away as soon as her accounts are adjusted and paid .

The Chinese government officers will at the same time adopt what-

ever measures they may think fit, with regard to the Chinese mer-

chants and custom-house officers who may be discovered to be con-

cerned in smuggling .

13th. " All persons, whether natives of China or otherwise,

who may wish to convey goods from one of the five ports of Can-

ton, Fuhchoo-fú, Amoy, Ningpo, and Shánghái, to Hong Kong, for

sale or consumption, shall be at full and perfect liberty to do so

on paying the duties on such goods, and obtaining a pass or port-

clearance from the Chinese custom-house at one of the said ports.

Should natives of China wish to repair to Hong Kong to purchase

goods, they shall have free and full permission to do so, and should

they require a Chinese vessel to carry away their purchases, they

must obtain a pass or port-clearance for her at the custom-house

of the port whence the vessel may sail for Hong Kong. It is

further settled, that in all cases these passes are to be returned to

the officers of the Chinese government, as soon as the trip for

which they may be granted shall be completed .*

14th . "An English officer will be appointed at Hong Kong,

one part of whose duty will be to examine the registers and passes

of all Chinese vessels, that may repair to that port to buy or sell

goods, and should such officer at any time find that any Chinese

merchant vessel has not a pass or register from one of the five

* In the Chinese this sentence follows : " At other ports in the four provinces of

Kwangtung, Fukien, Kiangsu and Chekiang, such as Chapu and other places, which

are not open marts, Chinese merchants are not to presume to ask permits to go to

and from Hong Kong. And if they do thus, the magistrate of Kanlung and the

English officers, are jointly at the time to make investigation and report."


ports, she is to be considered as an unauthorised or smuggling

vessel, and is not to be allowed to trade, whilst a report of the cir-

cumstance is to be made to the Chinese authorities . By this ar-

rangement it is to be hoped that piracy and illegal traffic will be

effectually prevented.

15th. Should natives of China who may repair to Hong Kong

to trade, incur debts there, the recovery of such debts must be ar-

ranged for by the English courts of justice on the spot ; but if the

Chinese debtor shall abscond and be known to have property, real

or personal, within the Chinese territory, the rule laid down in the

4th clause of the General Regulations for Trade, shall be applied

to the case ; and it will be the duty of the Chinese authorities, on

application, by and in concert with the British consuls, to do their

utmost to see justice done between the parties . On the same prin-

ciple, should a British merchant incur debts at any ofthe five ports

and fly to Hong Kong, the British authorities will, on receiving an

application from the Chinese government officers, accompanied by

statements, and full proofs of the debts , institute an investigation

into the claims, and when established, oblige the defaulter or

debtor to settle them to the utmost of his means.

16th . " It is agreed that the custom-house officers at the five

ports, shall make a monthly return to Canton of the passes grant-

ed to vessels proceeding to Hong Kong, together with the nature of

their cargoes ; and a copy of these returns will be embodied in one

return, and communicated once a month to the proper Eng-

lish officer at Hong Kong. The said English officer will on his

part make a similar return or communication to the Chinese au-

thorities at Canton, showing the names of Chinese vessels arrived

at Hong Kong or departed from that port, with the nature of their

cargoes ; and the Canton authorities will apprize the custom-houses

at the five ports, in order that by these arrangements and precau-

tions all clandestine and illegal trade under the cover of passes

may be averted .

17th. " Or Additional Articles relating to British small Craft.

Various small vessels, belonging to the English nation, called

schooners, cutters, lorchas, &c., have not hitherto been chargeable

with tonnage dues. It is now agreed in relation to this class of

vessels, which ply between Hong Kong and the city, and the city

and Macao, that ifthey only carry passengers, letters, and baggage,

they shall as heretofore pay no tonnage dues. But ifthese small craft

carry any dutyable articles, no matter how small the quantity may

be, they ought in principal to pay their full tonnage dues . But this

class of small craft are not like the large ships which are engaged in

foreign trade, they are constantly coming and going, they make

several trips a month, and are not like the large foreign ships,

which on entering the port cast anchor at Whampoa. If we were

to place them on the same footing as the large foreign ships, the

charge would fall unequally ; therefore, after this, the smallest of

these craft shall be rated at seventy-five tons, and the largest not


to exceed one hundred and fifty tons ; whenever they enter the

port (or leave the port with cargo) , they shall pay tonnage dues at

the rate of one mace per ton register. If not so large as seventy-

five tons, they shall still be considered and charged as of seventy-

five tons, and if they exceed one hundred and fifty tons they shall

be considered as large foreign ships, and like them charged ton-

nage dues at the rate of five mace per register ton. Fuhchoo and

the other ports having none of this kind of intercourse, and none

of this kind of small craft, it would be unnecessary to make any

arrangement as regards them.

" The following are the rules by which they are to be regulated :

1st. " Every British schooner, cutter, lorcha, &c. , shall have a

sailing letter, or register, in Chinese and English, under the seal

and signature of the chief superintendent of trade, describing her

appearance, burden, &c., &c.

2nd. " Every schooner, lorcha, and such vessel, shall report her-

self, as large vessels are required to do, at the Bocca Tigris ; and

when she carries cargo, she shall also report herself at Whampoa,

and shall on reaching Canton, deliver up her sailing-letter, or

register, to the British consul, who will obtain permission from

the hoppo for her to discharge her cargo, which she is not to do

without such permission, under the forfeiture of the penaltie slaid

down in the third clause of the General Regulations of Trade.

3rd . " When the inward cargo is discharged, and an outward

one (if intended) taken on board, and the duties on both arranged

and paid, the consul will restore the register, or sailing-letter, and

allow the vessel to depart.

" This Supplementary Treaty to be attached to the original

Treaty of Peace, consisting of sixteen articles, and one additional

article relating to small vessels, is now written out, forming, with

its accompaniments, four pamphlets, and is formally signed and

sealed by their excellencies, the British plenipotentiary and the

Chinese imperial commissioner ; who in the first instance, take two

copies each and exchange them, that their provisions may be im-

mediately carried into effect. At the same time, each of these

high functionaries having taken his two copies, shall duly me-

morialize the sovereign of his nation, but the two countries are

differently situated as respects distance, so that the will of the one

sovereign can be known sooner than the will of the other. It is

now, therefore, agreed, that on receiving the gracious assent of

the Emperor, in the vermilion pencil, the imperial commissioner

will deliver the very document containing it into the hands of his

excellency, Hwang, judge of Canton, who will proceed (to such

place as the plenipotentiary may appoint) and deliver it to the

English plenipotentiary to have and to hold. Afterwards, the

sign manual of the sovereign of England having been received at

Hong Kong, likewise graciously assenting to and confirming the

treaty, the English plenipotentiary will dispatch a specially ap-

pointed officer to Canton, who will deliver the copy containing the


royal sign manual to his excellency, Hwang, who will forward it

to the imperial commissioner as a rule and a guide to both nations

for ever, and as a solemn confirmation of our peace and friendship .

A most important Supplementary Treaty.

" Signed and sealed at Hoomunchai, on the 8th day of October,

1842 corresponding with the Chinese date of 15th day of the 8th

moon of the 23rd year of Taoukwang.



Plenipotentiary. (Signed)


H. E. the Imperial (Signed) KEYING,-in Tartar."


On the 7th December, 1842, after the declaration of peace, and

four months after the treaty was signed, the minds of the people

of Canton were excited by inflammatory placards posted on their

factory walls and directed against the English. In the early part

of that day a dispute commenced between some Chinese and Las-

cars, and the latter being pursued took shelter in the " Creek

Hong." The mob first attacked a brick wall on the western side

of the company's garden, by which they obtained entrance into

Mr. Murrow's house ; this they quickly plundered of its contents.

They next set fire to the British flag-staff, factory, &c.

Intimation was forwarded to Howqua before night came on,

but no efficient force was sent ; even the fire engines that arrived

were not allowed to be worked . The mob were in undisputed pos-

session of the place for twenty-four hours, when 200 troops dis-

persed them.

The following correspondence then took place ; and it illustrates

the policy then commenced, and since persevered in, of endeavour-

ing to force the British merchants to quit Canton, and reside at

Hong Kong. For this reason they have ever since been refused

the protection of a British ship of war, at Canton, to which they

were entitled by the treaty of Nanking.

Eight British merchants addressed a memorial to Sir Hugh

(now Lord) Gough, stating that it was their opinion the recent

attack was premeditated, and praying that he would allow

the Honourable Company's small steamer, " Proserpine," to re-

main in front of the factories, as the local authorities were unable

to quell the riot, until life and property were sacrificed.

In answer to this, Lord Gough, with a promptitude and manly

British feeling becoming his high character and station , permitted

the small steamer to remain at Canton, until such time as he could

communicate with Sir Henry Pottinger.

December 13th.- Seventeen British and East India merchants

waited on Sir Henry Pottinger, with a copy of their address to

Lord Gough, and his Lordship's answer, together with the following


additional remarks, in the hopes of prevailing on his Excellency to

grant them some security for their lives and property ;-the

grounds were :—

1st. " That there appeared no doubt of the fact, that the attack

on the foreign factories had been determined on for some time pre-

viously to its occurrence, and that the parties employed in it were

regularly organized .

2nd. " That although an affray between some Lascars and

Chinese, was the ostensible cause of its commencement at that par-

ticular time, the attack would have taken place sooner or later,

had no such circumstance occurred.

3rd . " That the local authorities were unable or unwilling to

afford sufficient protection, in time to prevent a considerable sacri-

fice of life and property, and the causes which occasioned such a

result, are liable at any moment to recur.

4th. "That there is a spirit of hostility to the English, very

general among certain orders in Canton, and that the common

people are guided and influenced by parties who have means and

ability of giving effect to their operations, in a more systematic

manner than could be expected from an ordinary mob."

Sir H. Pottinger, on 16th December, 1842 , replied at conside-

rable length to these fair statements of the British merchants, -

rated them in no measured terms for presuming to ask protection

for their lives and property,—to a certain extent justified the Chinese

mob, ordered the small steamer to be withdrawn from Canton,

and thus announced his intentions for the future :

" I must, at once finally, most explicitly and candidly acquaint

you, that no conceivable circumstances should induce me to place

Her Majesty's government in so false and undignified a posture,

as I should consider it to be placed in, were I to send troops and

ships of war to Canton, in opposition to the request and wishes of

the local government, in order that you might carry on your trade

under the protection of such troops and ships of war."

Not content with this rebuke, Sir Henry Pottinger told the Bri-

tish merchants in China, that " they had not in any single iota or

circumstance striven to aid him in his arrangements," that they

had " thrown serious difficulties and obstacles, if not positive risk,

in the way of his arrangements," &c.

The British merchants, in a letter of 23rd December, 1842, to

Sir Henry Pottinger, respectfully deprecated the " severe public

censure " thus cast on them, and declared that for the past sixteen

months they had peaceably and unobtrusively carried on their

trade at Canton, without any protection or control on the part of

the British authorities. Had the protection then properly sought

been granted, the outbreaks that have since occurred , would pro-

bably have been prevented : but I shall avail myself of the last

chapter to discuss this point, and to endeavour to do justice to the


British merchants in China, whose character and conduct have

been unfairly represented to the Home authorities.

From time to time there have been outbreaks since at Canton,

indeed, life and property are now far less secure than they were

before the war.

In July, 1844, our merchants there owed their protection to

an American brig of war, the St. Louis, which went to their assist-

ance from Whampoa. At this very period there were three regi-

ments, six pennants, (including a seventy-four and two frigates) a

general, an admiral, and a plenipotentiary at Hong Kong. But for

any assistance they could render in time to Canton, they might as

well have been at the Sandwich Islands. On 18th March, 1845,

the colonial treasurer, vice consul, and chaplain, were attacked and

plundered while peaceably walking outside the city walls of Can-

ton. In July, 1845, the consular officers were pelted with mud

and stones within a few hundred yards of the Canton consulate.

On 8th July, 1846, another disturbance commenced at Canton,

the mob endeavoured to burn and destroy the British factories.

Our countrymen being without any military or naval assistance,

armed themselves, shot several of the assailants, and restored tran-

quillity. Still, a ship of war was refused to protect British lives

and property. It is understood that Lord Palmerston has ordered

a vessel of war to be stationed at Canton .

It would be humiliating to our national character, to place on

record the correspondence which has passed relative to the de-

fenceless and degrading position of the British residents at Canton.

It has been studiously endeavoured to force the merchants to re-

side at Hong Kong ; and to accomplish this, they have been left

exposed to a furious mob, which the Chinese authorities acknow-

ledge they are unable to control. The merchants, with proper

spirit, have organized themselves into a military body, and ordered

three hundred stand of arms and accoutrements from England.

The Canton authorities seeing this determined spirit, and aware of

their utter powerlessness, have, it is stated, applied to Governor

Davis for a British ship of war to be stationed at Canton. Even

this has been but partially complied with-for instead of sending

one of our smart frigates, like the " Iris," (26), a small half-armed

steamer belonging to the East India Company, has been despatch-

ed to protect the lives and property of Englishmen . On a recent

occasion, last year, Captain Steenbille, of the Danish frigate Gala-

thea, opportunely sent his marines from Whampoa to Canton, for

the protection of our countrymen .

These proceedings fully attest the imperfections of the treaty of

Nanking, which has been so erroneously lauded, and they evince

the worthlessness of Hong Kong, even for the last remaining plea

in its favour, that it is a protection to the trade of Canton .

The Chinese repository for September, 1846, alludes to further

assaults thus : " On the 25th ult. a murderous attack was made


on a small party of foreigners . They were in a hong-boat, return-

ing from a short excursion on Honam, when, as they were passing

through a creek, gangs of ruffians furiously assailed them with

brickbats and stones. The foreign devils have killed our people,

and we will kill you to revenge their death ;' these and many similar

words they used ; and, suiting the action to the language, they

tried hard to effect their deadly purpose, heedless of remonstrances

on the part of the boatmen and the foreigners. When the boat

passed under the stone bridge (the Machung-kiau) they threw

down a shower of heavy stones, quite enough to have sunk the

boat and destroyed the whole party in it. But in their fury most

of them missed their aim. The boat, however, when it had passed

the bridge was almost a wreck, and only two of the seven boat-

men were at their posts, all of them having been hit, and one re-

ceived a deep gash in the forehead by a sharp tile . One stone,

brought off, weighed eighty-five and one-third pounds.

" Two things should be noted particularly in judging of this at-

tack : the party in the boat had not been into the village, and had

given no offence ; the assailants only knew that they were foreign-

ers, and as such determined to kill them to revenge what had been

done at another time and in another place.

" Most of the Chinese soldiers have been withdrawn from the

vicinity of the factories ; and all manner of hucksters are congre-

gating, and filth and vermin accumulating in the adjacent streets

-just as they were before the late riot !"

The general impression now is, that England will be again in-

volved in war with the Government of China. The Tartars stimu-

late the mob, and cause the most violent placards to be posted on

and around the English factories. By the last mail it is stated,

that "the patriots posted another violent chop on the 16th, stating

that they were determined to have the heads of twenty foreigners in

satisfaction of the lives lost during the attack on the factories in


" A circular was immediately issued by the chairman of the

protective committee, advising the community to be prepared to

defend the factories, should their destruction be attempted, and a

letter sent to Her Majesty's consul informing him of the posting of

the placard, the translation of which, as follows , may be relied on

as correct.

" By the latest accounts, all was quiet : the Nemesis had been

ordered to resume her position opposite the factories, and the pros-

pect of immediate assistance, in the event of another riot, must be

very encouraging to the protective committee.

PLACARD . 1st . " The rules of proceeding, and established laws

of our great Emperor, in every way exceed those of the preceding

dynasty, in regarding the lives of the people as of paramount

importance. Where local officers, in any case of loss of life, give

decision even in a slight degree at variance with the truth, or not



corresponding with the testimony of the deceased's relations, the

immediate degradation and dismissal of such officers, may be

deemed a proof of the importance attached, and the attention paid

to human life : as for the loss of the life of one Chinaman, those of

two foreigners are required to make good the loss . The laws of His

Majesty are most clear, and from the obedience rendered to them

all, by all classes of people whatever, does it result that those above

have been for a long time past, on good terms with those below. In

the fifth moon of this year, however, there were upwards of twenty

Chinese slain by foreigners, their bodies thrown into the water,

and buried in the fishes' bellies ; but our high officers have treated

the matter, as though they heard it not ; have regarded the Fank-

wei as though they were gods ; have held the Chinese as the flesh

of fish, and have despised the lives of men as the hair of the head :

they persisted in making no representation to the throne, neither

did they settle the matter as they ought . The myriad people la-

mented and were indignant : woe entered the marrow of their

bones ; in the public halls, although their hearts were set on im-

parting to each other their resentful feelings, yet had they no

available counsel to follow. They have no resource left, but to

appoint a day, when, amongst those present at the general consul-

tation, certain may come forth, and concerning all these (slain

men) demand of Pwanáfáh of the Chungwo hong (Minqua) among

the foreign hongs, if he will point out the leaders and followers of

the Fánkwei who were engaged in the fight, that they may be

ready to light a fire that shall burn without restraint, or devise

means to lay their hands upon them, that there be left not a sin-

gle life of a Chinaman without its substitute. Thus to give rise to

the excesses of the Fánkwei, is indeed much to the loss of the res-

pectability of the empire. Should Pwanáfàh, audaciously main-

taining his design of aiming at profit, shelter or assist the Fánkwei,

and refuse to give straightforward testimony, then will we take

his flesh to eat, his skin to sleep upon, to make glad the hearts of

men, ere we stop .

" [The respectful declaration of all the colleges, or public deba-

ting rooms in the city of Canton.]

"(Posted on the north wall of the Factories on the night of the

15th September .)

2nd. " Upon the land of Hong kong are the residences of those

who go to and fro, trading up to Canton, and down to Macao.

Now since the Fánkwei have settled thereon, those who dwell

around, have suffered no slight hurt their wives have endured

their licentiousness , their honest men all obey their call (as

servants.) The string of their iniquities is completed, the villagers

gnash their teeth, the myriad people are intensely indignant.

Alas ! they petition their rulers, but they do them not justice ;

whence it comes that the protracted stream of evil influence,

deepens the more, the longer it continues. There are withal cer-


tain native traitors, who in their covetous plotting and scheming

after gain, have so slight a respect for propriety, principle, thrift

and modesty, as to have established, on behalf of the Fánkwei,

boats to carry passengers and freight between Hong Kong and

the city : thus giving outlet to numerous offences, they are ever

secretly carrying foreign letters . All our countrymen who travel

back and forward know it well ; calamity, growing freely, is as the

hair of our head in number. Furthermore, if the Fánkwei here-

after pretend that the sailing and freighting of these boats is, by

its long existence, law, should we wish to put an end thereto we

shall not be able ; if we deal with them (or serve them) it will be

difficult afterwards to attack them : what is there like arresting

the calamity, ere it shall have budded ? we, of all the assembly

halls, if in twenty days from the circulation of this paper, the said

passage boats shall not have ceased to ply, should again dare to

carry foreigners to and fro, fattening themselves to the prejudice

of men's families, to the ruin of their houses, upon ascertaining

the facts, will, with united hearts and with all our strength, des-

troy and exterminate these passage boatsmen ; assuredly, shall they

not leave injury everywhere behind them. May prosperity thus

have a means of returning to us !"

For the past two years Her Majesty's government have been

urged to provide against this state of things, and advised to open

negotiations for another and better Treaty. It was stated that

if the island of Chusan were evacuated, without Canton city being

opened conformably to the treaty of Nankin, bloodshed, disturb-

ance, and another war would ensue. Nevertheless, Chusan was

evacuated, although the treaty of Nankin was not fulfilled in

the spirit or in the letter, and Canton was not opened, although

distinctly promised by the treaty.

The following proclamation, by Keying, the Chinese Plenipo-

tentiary, acknowledges on paper the right of the British to a re-

sidence in the city of Canton ; but the actual power is still denied,

and a mere promise held forth that as soon as the Emperor can con-

trol his subjects, the English will receive admission into Canton.

Yet, on the faith of this futile promise, Chusan was evacuated,

although its return was in fact the only means of preserving peace

with China :-


' Keying, High Imperial Commissioner and Governor-general

of the two Kwang, &c., &c ., &c. , and Hwang, Lieutenant-governor

of Kwantung, &c., &c ., &c., hereby proclaim to the entire body of

gentry and common people, the manifestation of the Imperial


" Whereas Canton is the general resort of merchants from every

country beyond the seas, yet since the accession of the present

Dynasty, for upwards of two centuries, foreigners have never en-

tered the city ; on which account the British Envoy, having year

after year, repeatedly intimated the desire for admission to the city,

H 2


we, the Governor-general and Lieutenant-governor, have each time

directed the local authorities to urge it upon the gentry and com-

mon people ; but the popular feeling has proved averse to the mea-

sure, so as to cause its execution to be deferred .

" Now, the English Envoy having reverted to this subject of the

former negotiations, we, the Governor-general and Lieutenant-

governor, addressed our joint admonitions to the gentry, through

them to be transmitted to the inhabitants. From the statement

under the signature of the said gentry, it appeared that the inha-

bitants of the city and suburbs displayed equal unwillingness to

foreigners entering the city. There were, moreover, inflammatory

placards stuck up in all places.


Whereupon we, the Governor-general and Lieutenant-governor,

in our reply to the Envoy, minutely detailed the state of affairs.

The British Envoy, in his dispatch to us, insisted that as at the

Commercial Emporium of Foo-chow, and at all the others, free

entrance is permitted into the cities, the same should be allowed

at Canton, &c.

" Ye gentry and people must consider, that since amicable rela-

tions are established between the two countries, the Emperor ex-

tends his kind regards equally towards foreigners and natives.

Moreover, at the other ports where trade is carried on, such as

Foo-chow, Ningpo, and Shanghae, (with the single exception of

Amoy, which has neither walled city or suburbs,) the English are

admitted within the walls without having given rise to any disturb-

ance. Only at Canton do there exist difficulties, and (the proposal)

is objected to.

" We can but suppose that you, the gentry and people, are not

conversant with the facts and difficulties of the case ; and hence a

great variety of public opinion has arisen . But it is likely that

there be men fond of disturbance , who make this a pretext for ex-

citing commotions . Wherefore , we now issue this proclamation to

the gentry and people, within and without the city , for their in-

formation . You must each and all break down the barriers of

separation, and set aside jealousies and animosities , no longer as

hitherto offering vexatious opposition . For the due preservance of

harmony, we, the Governor -general and Lieutenant -governor, in

connection with the English envoy, will place affairs on a sure ,

good , and permanent footing . Let all reverently obey , and not

oppose this special proclamation .


Taoukwang, 25th year, 12th month, 16th day.


(13th January, 1846) ."

This proclamation acknowledges an inability to control the

people, or an unwillingness to comply with the treaty. Our ex-

clusion from Canton city, induces the people still to treat us as

" outside barbarians," -hence the present disturbances .






as !





and United States

and of Fran

India. America.

£ £ £

3,451,312 529,938 7,3

3,883,828 1,448,671 8,0

7,335,140 1,978,609 15,3

orts 2,321,692 536,910 1,8

ports 4,492,370 1,728,975 20,1

Total . 6,814,062 2,265,885 21,9

Consular Ports :

Shanghae, Imports . 501,335

‫دو‬ Exports . 487,528


Amoy, Imports 80,650

‫دو‬ Exports 12,612

Ningpo, Imports Unknown.

‫دو‬ Exports

Fuh-choo, Imports .


‫دو‬ Exports .

Shanghae, Imports . 1,082,207

‫دو‬ Exports . 1,259,091


Amoy, Imports 147,494

‫دو‬ Exports 15,478

Ningpo, Imports 10,398

‫دو‬ Exports 17.495

Fuh-choo, Imports . 4,537 11,513

‫دو‬ Exports . 683 776

Total for 1844 8,417,265 1,978,609 15,3

Total for 1845 9,351,445 2,278,174 21,9

The total shipping inwards of the port of Canton was in 1844, vessels 306 ; tonnag

The French imports were entirely from Manilla, and the greater part of the export

Danish with Singapore and Copenhagen. German with Singapore and Hamburgh.

-the greater part of which was in piece goods, re- shipped or never landed for wa

trade of Amoy. So also with other ports. The object has been to give ifpossible a

dollars, at 4s. 4d. per dollar, which makes £255,273 ; and the exports 6,593,881 dolla






Ir is difficult to convey in a succinct form, and without the aid

of tabular statements, a clear view of the commerce of China,

internal and maritime. Our knowledge of the former is very

limited, and excepting Shanghai, almost the whole trade with

Europe, America, and the East Indies, centres still in Canton, at

the extremity and in one of the most barren provinces of the em-

pire . In order to lay a foundation for further observations and

future comparisons, an endeavour will be made to explain the exist-

ing commerce of China, beginning with the

INLAND TRADE - China possesses a greater variety of produc-

tions, than any country in the world. Whilst at its southern

extremity the cocoa-nut still flourishes, its borders on the river

Amoor furnish the fur-animals in equal proportion to any obtained

in Siberia. The marshy soil and plains of the extensive delta

between the Yellow River and Yangtzekang possess all the

advantages of the Netherlands and Egypt, whilst Kweichoo,

Kokoner, and part of Yunnan vie with Switzerland in towering

mountains, and in mineral treasures with the Cordilleras. There

is a transition from the most barren soil, worse than the Desert

of Saharah, to the most fertile spots in all Asia, and as an allwise

Providence allotted to each peculiar riches, the most opposite ones

are met in China together. An idea that domestic animals ought

never to encroach upon the food of man, has rendered the bul-

lock scarce, and the sheep scanty ; and confined the riches of the

husbandman to a pig, which lives on refuse, and to a lean goat,

browsing on a barren mountain . The jealousy of the government

has chased the horse from the plough and waggon, because its

subjects might employ the animal in war, and man is compelled

to do the labour of the beast. Were it not on that account,

China would have rich meadows, large droves of cattle, and wool,

as well as hides, for exportation. An all-absorbing desire to

possess always grain, and especially rice, in abundance, has made

the Chinese husbandman bestow all his care upon this one subject,

to the neglect of kitchen vegetables and fruit trees. A perhaps

well-founded fear of the mandarins, that if the mines of the

country were generally opened, the attention of the people would


be withdrawn from more useful pursuits, has rendered them very

strict, in merely permitting the working of a very few, and those

only to a certain amount. Were it otherwise, the south -western

provinces would export gold, silver and copper, as they did for-

merly tutenague. But there are the labourers, of an enterprizing,

greedy and patient nation, who only require an impulse to

fulfil its great destiny in procuring the greatest diversity of pro-

ductions that can possibly be collected in any single empire.

From the most ancient times, the great use of water communica-

tion was discovered ; and the nation has for more than two thou-

sand years been endeavouring to make canals, wherever natural

obstacles did not prove insurmountable. Thence arose the inland

communication between the Yangtzse and Canton, and the ex-

tensive hydraulic works which connect the capital with every

province. Though the primary object by digging them, was to

furnish irrigation for the fields, still there is throughout the whole

breadth ofthe land, not asingle important point to which canals do not

diverge ; there is not a city, except in the high mountains, without

being intersected by them ; and there is moreover not the smallest

one, on which boats do not ply, whilst some on the great channels

of intercourse are covered with vessels of every description . The

avenues of the inland trade are therefore open and practicable in

every direction. But careful as the Chinese are in this respect,

they are equally indifferent about roads, which are almost un-

known . Hence the rude state of the mountainous parts, and

uncivilized condition of north- western China, where few canals


If we examine the character of the nation at large, their gain-

seeking propensities are prominent, and in the steady pursuit of

lucre, no matter what the means are, they challenge a compeer.

Pedling, trafficking, and trading are therefore instinctive with

them, and a child which has scarcely learnt to speak, will lay out

a few cash to buy sugar- cane or cakes, and retail them by the

roadside ; a penny thus gained, is more esteemed than a pound

obtained without cheating or bargaining. The first thing an

infant learns is " to lisp in numbers ;" the first enterprize of the

urchin is to cypher ; and it is a rarity to find a man not versed in

this science, for the very coolie and clown keep their accounts.

China exhibits one grand mart of traders, everything is purchas-

able, everybody vendable ; the Emperor trades, his ministers' traffic

in everything, and where such examples are given we must

expect to find myriads of imitators . We ought therefore not to

wonder at the ingenuity which converts all substances into articles

of commerce, nor at the fertility of genius to discover the best

market ; where such a spirit prevails, we may easily suppose, that

the inland trade will be flourishing.

Notwithstanding, however, this practical commercial tendency

of the nation, the government has adopted a different theory.


Considering agriculture the only source of permanent riches, and

trade often hostile to the pursuit of such a laborious profession,

various laws have been issued to check its growth. The merchant,

by being constantly on the move, contracts ideas which are not

very much in accordance with the orthodox policy of the ruling

authorities, and hence the adoption of what is termed a salutary

restraint. Thus there are laws and by-laws without end, hin-

drances, prohibitions, regulations, filling pondrous volumes, to

abridge the liberty of the subject in disposing of his goods and

chattels to the best advantage, and to try the cunning of the sub-

ject, how to circumvent and to evade. The supreme government

pretends to look upon all trade with utter contempt, and hence

has never burdened it with heavy duties, leaving its minions to

oppress it by exactions, fees and grinding, so as to render smug-

gling inevitable, and a custom officer's situation the most lucrative

office in the gift of the crown, and the proper position of a Mantchoo


When taking, however, the whole of the despotic nature of

the government into consideration , the restrictions upon the

inland trade have not been so severe, as from its grasping

character might have been expected . One sound principle of the

autocratism of China is never to oppose public opinion if too

powerful, but to reserve for itself the privilege of making pro-

hibitions ; not to punish the many of transgressors, for that would

endanger its very existence, but to choose a few individuals and

make them the scapegoats for the whole. Thus have the Na-

tives overcome the repugnance of their rulers, and their endless

annoyance in confining traffic in a narrow sphere, by their num-

bers and determination, accompanied by a willingness to offer

up occasionally a holocaust to appease the wrath of the Mandarins .

Every country, as thickly populated as China, has an immense

pressure upon its resources, but the very circumstance of over

population calls forth a spirit of invention in those who are pressed

for a bare subsistence to prolong life, and has most powerfully

operated upon commerce, not only in discovering the articles of

trade, but also in lowering the profits by incessant vigorous com-

petition. The princes of China were early taught to issue the

least valuable metal coin in existence, to make it divisable in

endless fractions, because the individual share amongst the

majority of the nation in the riches of the country, was so very

trifling, as to render a silver piece for the very few only available.

This being the medium of small transactions, the shareholders in

every speculation are necessarily numerous, and where a capital of

one hundred dollars is required, there are perhaps ten partners.

Even where a capitalist stands at the head, and furnishes all the

cash, his people prefer having a small share, however trifling soever,

in the concern, to receiving a settled sum of monthly or annual

wages ; for the gains by traffic, how great the difficuities soever,


are more precious to a Chinaman, than money obtained directly

without barter and bargaining .

Amongst the myriads of petty traffickers and pedlars, there is

however a considerable spirit of combination, so that even small

traders have their meetings, where resolutions are passed, and mea-

sures conjointly adopted, for successfully carrying their designs

into effect, and insuring a flourishing commerce . Of the extent

and capital of such unions there are numberless gradations, from

petty hucksters to large established companies, who however with

the exception of the salt merchants, are not as such privileged, or

under a charter of government. The Mandarins have wisely refused

to interfere forcibly with the proceedings and enterprize or com-

binations by which money is realized , and merely content them-

selves either with sharing in or swallowing up the profits.

A few general remarks on these associations may be useful.

1st . Shopkeepers who trade in similar goods form themselves

into bodies, not so much for mutual assistance, but for selling

their articles at a certain rate, or for stopping trading altogether, if

either the public or the Mandarins will not accede to their propo-

sitions. In enforcing these obligations upon all the members,

they are very strict, and whosoever clandestinely evades their rules,

is sure to be persecuted with inveterate vengeance.

2nd. People that trade to certain parts of the empire form

themselves into sureties for mutual protection, assistance and ad-

ministration , and thus ensure a better treatment of their persons,

and security to their trade. The most celebrated associations of

this description are the Shanse merchants, who with their cara-

vans traverse the whole breadth of the empire, and journey in far

greater numbers than even Mohomedan pilgrims, over Arabia, the

deserts now tributary to China, as well as Mongolia, Mantchouria,

Turkestan, and Tibet, until they arrive at the confines of Bokhara

and Siberia. They are men of large capital, and their investments

are considerable. In this spirit of enterprize, cheerful endurance

of fatigues for the sake of gain, perseverance and patience, they

are perhaps unsurpassed.

3rd. In each large empire, where a number of merchants from

a certain province or large city trade, there are large, commodious,

and neat houses erected by the countrymen, known under the name

of Hwuykwan, to which generally a temple or some garden is at-

tached ; and here the merchants assemble at stated times, hold

deliberations, propose and reject measures, and act in many respects

as a company. These are very respectable institutions, command

considerable capital, and act frequently with much unanimity and


4th . Monopolists.-The Chinese government having prohibited

the unlimited use of some articles, such as saltpetre, sulphur, iron,

and horses, looks to trustworthy men, that they shall deal in them


only in such quantities as will render them harmless, and sell to

government at a prescribed rate, generally under the actual value.

According to law, none can buy from them, except he bring a cer-

tificate from the authorities ; and this must be retained by the mer-

chant to account for the quantity of his imports and sales. We

may call them " licensed monopolists," who form themselves into

companies to carry on their business with greater effect, and levy

the largest possible tax upon the public. Still, we cannot view them

in the same light as our commercial privileged companies.

The self-constituted monopolists are a race of merchants, that

combine with each other for better or worse, and defy laws, regula-

tions, and prohibitions with great tenacity and perseverance.

The most formidable among them are the corn monopolists, men of

iron nerve, unmoved by sufferings, who, with infinite tact, raise

and lower the price of rice in concert, or withdraw it for some time

altogether from the market. They are rather numerous, and

have more than once defied government ; for their large profits

permit them to bribe the underlings richly. There is no other

bond amongst the members but self-interest, this is strong enough

to hold the associations together . As an instance of this descrip-

tion, the cotton monopoly at Canton may be mentioned : a num-

ber of Fokeen merchants had there agreed to export exclusively

the foreign article to their homes and to Formosa, under certain

conditions, agreed upon amongst themselves . This prerogative

they maintained in spite of competition and capital, and most suc-

cessfully defeated, during many years, all the plans for interfering

in their business .

The only company of privileged merchants are the salt monopo-

lists, who may be found throughout the vast empire. The bar-

gain between them and the government is, that they should buy

the salt at a certain price from the manufacturer, and sell it, like-

wise, at a fixed rate to the consumer, and for this privilege they

pay a sum of money into the hands of an inspector. The money

thus furnished by these traders amounts to more than seven mil-

lion taels per annum . This, however, is merely a direct tax ; to

the mandarins, and even the Emperor, it remains to make, from

time to time, application, either in their own personal behalf, or

for public exigencies : in this respect, they are not much better

off than the Hong merchants of yore. But they have, also, the

means of revenging themselves upon the common people, by rais-

ing their prices, the government faithfully assisting them in driv-

ing intruders from the market, and seizing smugglers . The latter,

however, especially on the sea-coast, where immense quantities of

salt are manufactured, are too strong to be suppressed, and carry

on lucrative illicit trade in the commodity. There are not many

instances of these companies becoming bankrupt, and individuals

who have a share in the salt concern are, from that circumstance,


considered rich . Several mandarins are appointed to examine

their ledgers, to assist in the transportation, and to take effectual

measures to prevent any want of this necessary article.

It may be proper to mention pawnbrokers, for though these are

not strictly merchants, they are, nevertheless, monopolists, and

form companies, not merely confining themselves to take articles

in pawn, but speculating to a considerable amount in everything

which promises profit. So great is their influence upon the

people at large, that when they stop their business, there is a

stagnation of all trade (see description of pawnshops at page

96) . The government fully recognises their establishments and

companies, exacts for this a trifling direct tax, but looks upon

them as a never-failing source of supplies whenever any wants are

felt . There exists, generally, the best understanding between

them and the authorities, who find it a decided advantage to assist

them, and thus render the poorer classes obedient to their rule.

Rich officers often become partners, though nominal only, and

even public money on high interest is entrusted to their care.

The populace, however, bear pawnbrokers a never- dying grudge ;

and after their having acquired considerable capital, the lower

classes frequently, with one accord, plunder their whole property,

without the civil powers being able to rescue them from the ruth-

less hands of the rabble. Yet, though they are the source of

much woe and grinding oppression, they still deserve the credit

of keeping the wheels of commerce revolving by seasonable sup-

plies, by their semi-banking operations.

We may now proceed to an examination of the particulars of

the inland trade. This may conveniently be divided into northern,

central, and southern.

1st. The Northern. We are accustomed in Europe , to find

amongst the nations of a colder clime more manufactural indus-

try than in the south ; there are more wants, and, therefore, a

great many ready devices to supply them. Such, however, is not

the case in China. Little mechanical skill exists there to work

up the raw produce of the land, and to heighten the natural riches

of the country, by adapting the same to general use : up to the

present moment, the majority of the peasantry still wear sheeps'

skins, dress themselves in cottons imported from the other pro-

vinces, and scarcely even manufacture from hemp or wool the

coarsest stuffs for their own consumption . The same awkward-

ness is also perceived in their workmanship of metal, which is of

the rudest description . Their dwellings are comparatively miser-

able, for they do not well understand to bake and burn the clay,

and are content to live in filth and misery . Peking is the largest

capital in Asia, it contains , in its walls, the wealth of Eastern and

Central Asia. From the wide Chinese Empire, with all its tribu-

tary states, the most opulent princes, officers , merchants , and in-

triguants , make the court alternately their home, and spend their


substance. One would, therefore, expect that the inhabitants

would, by their ingenuity, administer to the various wants created

by luxury, and excel all others in manufacturing skill. Instead of

this, however, Peking imports almost every article, and though

the Empress breeds silkworms, and weaves herself, to encourage

this branch of industry, there are no others to imitate her example.

Second-rate cities in the southern provinces, exhibit a far greater

variety of trades, and ingenuity of execution, than is evinced in

the huge assemblage of buildings with which the imperial court

is surrounded.

There is, in fact, little commerce at Peking beyond the imme-

diate wants of the inhabitants .

De Lange, the Russian minister at the court of Peking, accounts

for merchants and other traders not wishing to come to the capi-

tal from different and distant provinces. He states, that the

great lords oppress the merchants (strangers) to such a degree,

and take their goods from them upon any frivolous pretence ; and

for payment, there is not the least hope held out.

For this reason, all merchants of any standing in Peking, put

themselves under the protection of some of the princes of the

blood, or high ministers ; and by this means, with the aid of a

large sum of money paid annually, they are able to escape the ex-

tortions of the mandarins, and common Tartar soldiers . Without

such protection, no merchant could stand the unjust calls made

on him ; where every one in office thinks he has a right and fair

claim on people who live by trade. As to looking for redress, it

is useless, as the goods are ordered to be brought to the tribunal

of justice ; and he is reckoned a clever fellow that will ever see

them again.

One reason of the inconsiderable trade of the north, is the

want of roads, since the nature of the soil admits of very few

canals. Goods must, therefore, be transported on the backs of

men, and although wages are very low, and there are plenty of

men to engage in the work, still transportation becomes, in this

manner, expensive.

The sundry disadvantages, however, under which the inland

commerce labours, are greatly obviated by the industry, enterprize,

and money- seeking disposition of the inhabitants of Shanse pro-

vince. To say that they are the Jews of northern China, would be

a very faint description of their restless desire after gain. They

will convert every article which can be found, how unseemly

soever, into merchandize, and laugh at dangers and fatigues, if

they can realise some cash. The consequence is, that there are

great capitalists amongst them, that banking establishments must

have a Shanse partner, and that the caravans are almost exclu-

sively composed of this race.

Chihle is the most sterile province of the empire, but the esta-

blishment of the court within its jurisdiction, is some compensa-


tion for its natural defects. It has, however, scarcely any exports,

excepting a very inferior kind of date, and some kind of agate

stone, and salt. The latter article, when obtained at the sea- side,

is piled up along the Peiho river, opposite to Teéntsin, in large

mounds, to the number of 400 or 500, containing no less than from

4,000 to 10,000 peculs, and then overlaid with earth until there is

a demand for it. The vessels that carry it up into the country,

amounting to no less than one thousand in number, ply without

cessation. Teentsin supplying this necessary of life not only to

its own province, but all the north-western parts of territory be-

longing to the empire, has in the manufacture and transporta-

tion of this article, a very flourishing trade. The salt merchants,

natives of Shanse, who engage also largely in banking, are

looked upon as the most wealthy individuals in the neighbourhood,

and as the arbitrators of the whole trade. The moment they com-

mence carrying away their saline stores, all is bustle, every branch .

of industry thrives, and the whole populace is employed ; but as

soon as they stop, scarcely any merchant dares to speculate. The

trade varies very much, and humid weather, as well as encroach-

ments of the sea upon the salt-beds, make great havoc upon this

perishable commodity. The fixed sum paid to government is at

present 430,000 taels, allowing this to be the twentieth part of

the actual trade, the amount of capital employed in this branch

would be 8,600,000 taels ; a very considerable sum . There has

latterly been a great increase, so that the revenue, as it stands

above, has been almost doubled.

The inland trade of this province, is considerably increased by the

rendezvous of about 6000 grain junks from all parts of the empire,

carrying no less than 2,561,000 shih of rice. Although this enor-

mous quantity is stored up in the granaries of the capital, and

given to the officers, Mantchoos and Mongouls, still a great deal

is sold, and causes no trifling speculation at Teéntsin, where the

grain market, in August, is one of the largest in the whole world.

But this is not the only source of traffic. To all the sailors and

captains of these boats a certain quantity of stowage is allowed,

on their own account, and their articles pass free of custom-

house duties. Teentsin, therefore, resembles on their arrival in

July and August a great fair, presenting every imaginable article

for sale, and judging from the number of speculators , there is a

great trade, though divided amongst thousands of shareholders.

It is impossible to speak of the actual amount ; but it is not over-

rating the amount of capital employed in it, if making it equiva-

lent to the quantity of grain carried by the junks.

Chihle has another article of exportation, in coals, of rather an

inferior description, obtained on the spot, and sent to the southern

districts, where fuel is extremely scarce.

On the eastern frontier of this province at Shanhoek wan is the

great thoroughfare for the cattle, which come from Mantchoo


Tartary. This traffic has however lately greatly decreased, and

last year the whole of the duties realized was only 28,000 taels,

about one-tenth of the former revenue. One thirtieth upon the

prime cost is the average duty raised, and this would give a fair

estimate of this branch of trade.

Shense. The sterile mountainous nature of this province

sharpens the intellect of the inhabitants, and drives them from

their homes to seek somewhere else a subsistence. They are,

however, notwithstanding these defects, as much attached to their

country as the Swiss ; and never fail to return as soon as they

have amassed sufficiently to spend their future days with ease, or

even to support for a year or more their relatives in affluence, after

which they resume their toils in a distant station .

The principal articles of exportation are iron, porphyry, jasper

and other stones ; also musk, for the deer abounds in the moun-

tain recesses and dells . The gin distilled in the province is very

famous, and an article of considerable exportation . Shense ex-

ports some rudely made agricultural implements, swords and cut-

lery, felt, ready-made clothing, and a few simples. It also carries

on a small trade in flour and other provisions.

Shantung by its internal navigation enjoys very great advan-

tages, from the circumstance of the great canal traversing its

whole breadth, and no less than five flourishing cities are situated

on its banks. But it is merely a transit barter, greatly favoured

by the Chinese government, because besides a single custom-

house-Lintsing, the fixed annual receipts of which are 19,000

taels - it places no other obstacles in the way of this commerce, which

from time immemorial has been in a flourishing condition . Shan-

tung produces a great variety of drugs, known only in the Chinese

pharmacopeia . It also provides the south with pears and cale, a

delicious vegetable ; the value of the export not being less than

one million taels, as it is much sought after. The principal

manufactures are felt, -the caps worn by the Chinese in winter

coming invariably from this province ; and this is a very import-

ant branch of trade, employing several millions of capital . The

inhabitants weave also tolerable carpets, and moreover, manufac-

ture a kind of silky hemp-cloth, much worn by the lower orders,

as a general article of dress. The merchants, however, are not

natives of the province ; and the people therein do not make good


Shense has iron, copper, and gold mines, and carries on its trade

in those articles, which are principally found in the south. To

the north, there are several extensive fertile plains, where millet

grows to great perfection, and forms a considerable article of ex-

portation to Mongolia.

Kansuh has in its southern mountain-range gold and mercury

for exportation, and also musk. Its tobacco is celebrated through-

out China, and several millions worth of this commodity are an-

nually exported. The principal trade is carried on with Turkestan,


though foreigners have usurped it. To prohibit the intercourse,

government levies no duties, and everybody, as long as he remains

within the confines of China, is at full liberty to pursue whatever

branch of commerce he may choose, without any fear of being


The eastern provinces constituting this part of the empire, are

richly watered, have extensive plains, produce grain in abundance,

maintain a large and thriving population, and will at no distant

time, exercise a paramount influence upon all Asia. Including in

this division, Chekeang, Keangse, Keangsoo, Ganhwuy, Honan,

Hoonan, and Hoopih, we have an arena of 414,261 square miles ;

cultivated fields paying to government taxes 3,640,313 king,

84 mow, and inhabitants equal in number to all Europe, namely

197,755,099 ; and these not enervated, but a hale strong peo-

ple . Add to this, that the water communication by rivers and

lakes is always open , so that all parts enjoy the most unfettered

mutual communication with each other, the inland trade must

therefore be of great magnitude. A more mature examination of

the subject, however, is interesting . There is a great and healthy

mass of human beings, athletic and industrious, without caste,

religious prejudices, or political restraint upon its enormous and

unwearied industry, and yet the withering influence of the Confu-

cian automaton system, and a well arranged, thoroughly digested

code for crushing all enterprize out of the beaten track, presents

the majority of them, in a low state of indigence, and barely

able to maintain life. The isolated efforts therefore of indi-

viduals, so capable to extract from the soil the largest possible

quantity of nourishment, is lost for every other grand effort which

requires combined strength, and some more elevated views of future

advantage. A man, who would for instance propose to change

into pasturage some of the rice fields between the Yellow river and

the Yangtsze, which on account of their lowness are frequently

inundated, so that the crop rots in the ground, would be decried as

the worst enemy of the country, anxious to introduce starvation.

It might even be reasonably expected, that the grazing of cattle

would afford far greater profits than a precarious crop. If

anybody in good earnest suggested, that the declivity of the

hills of Ganhwuy, instead of being drawn up in terraces and sown

with some vegetable, or a very indifferent crop of rice, should be

covered with mulberry trees, to encourage the production of raw

silk, both for home consumption as well as for exportation, he

would be punished as a traitor, ready to take the bread out of the

mouths of his fellow-citizens. Referring to a smaller spot better

known to us viz. Chusan, if there some innovator should propose,

that instead of rearing the miserable dwarf fir on the hills, the tea

shrub might be generally substituted, and many hands now

almost starving in cultivating small fields, turn their attention to

preparing the leaf ; the simple answer would be, that the people


must have fuel for cooking their rice, and that to curtail them this

necessary of life, would be teaching them to commit suicide. The

consequence of this all-pervading principle is, that the greater part

of the trade is confined to the necessaries of life, and that free

and active commercial speculations, very soon find their level,

and exhaust themselves in paltry efforts. The nation has still to

learn , that it is not exactly the cultivation of rice and sweet pota-

toes which ensures the best prospect of a maintenance, but rather

such a crop, whatever be its name or nature, which yields the

largest return.

The above may perhaps account for our magnificent ideas res-

pecting the inexhaustible resources of commerce in a country like

central China, not being realized . Take in Europe an equal arena,

with a third of the population, with trifling advantages of water

carriage, and still the inland trade will on a fair average amount to

ten times the amount, which we find in the most flourishing pro-

vinces of China. We must not be led into error by the numerous

boats and junks, many of which carry bulky and very valueless

articles ; one of our moderately laden ships, would be an equi-

valent for a hundred of the largest vessels.

Another very remarkable circumstance is, that some agricultural

productions capable to be reared to a large extent, are just con-

fined to a few spots. Two instances may suffice : raw silk, an

article of so general consuption, is up to the present moment only

produced at Hoo -choo-foo , in a very considerable quantity.

Again, tea which grows in great perfection in numerous places of

Chekeang, is nevertheless confined to a few mountains of Ganh-

wuy. The best description of gunpowder tea, is produced on a

miserably cragged mountain in Taichoo. The same remark also

applies to manufactures. It is perhaps almost incredible, that

there are two districts only where the silks with which all China

is provided, are manufactured, and these are Soochoo and Hoochoo .

Nanking furnishes satin, and nothing else ; some district in

Keangse the porcelain ; and another the grass cloth : and whatever

is made beyond these, is of the most wretched description, barely

adequate to furnish a house-wife with the article for common wear.

Canton makes in this instance an exception ; but it was not the

Chinaman, but the foreigner, that called forth so much ingenuity,

and the imitative power of the populace, so as to emulate their

countrymen. If this is once fairly displayed in other parts, the

result may be the same, and perhaps on a larger scale, for there

are unbounded stores of untouched treasures, which the minds of

enterprizing foreigners will discover. If they be permitted to

traverse the country without let or hindrance, a few years will

suffice to prove the correctness of the above assertion .

The commerce of Chekeang, the northern part of which pro-

vince is in the most civilized condition, has inland water com-



munication, and under the Sung dynasty was the capital, but

the southern districts are mountainous, and possess no local advan-

tages. The grand mart of the inland trade is Hangchoo, very

much celebrated for its crape manufactures, which in vividness of

colour, and beauty of texture, are not exceeded in any part of the

world. It likewise furnishes large quantities of embroidery ; the

amount of both articles, with various other silks, exported an-

nually, is estimated at 12,000,000 taels . The value of raw silk

furnished is still more considerable . In Shaouking, moreover, is a

kind of fermented liquor made, with which the empire is supplied,

and the whole exportation is not under 6,000,000 taels per annum

in value. Hams cured at Kimhwa, and in far greater quantities

than even the Westphalian in Europe, are vended in the other pro-

vinces ; it also exports much raw cotton . The imports are rice for

Keangsoo, on the great canal, cotton manufactures, felt from Shan-

tung -sugar- pulse, &c. The two custom houses of Piksinkwan,

and Nansinkwan, pay annually 384,160 taels, a large sum consider-

ing the low duties, and other circumstances ; which proves without

doubt, that the transit must be very considerable.

Kangsoo is fertile, well watered, has throughout a very easy

water communication, and is rich in produce. Suchan is the centre

of the trade, and the largest manufacturing city in the empire,

if not also the most populous ; it exports more raw silk than any

other place, and may be said to provide all Northern China with this

article. It moreover furnishes a great many small fashionable

articles for the use of females, and is in this respect the Paris of

China. On a very moderate calculation, the manufactured goods .

of this metropolis and the environs are not under sixteen million

taels per annum. The satin of Nanking is valued at three mil-

lions. In other parts of this province the famous cloth " nankeen"

is fabricated, which though having lost his purchasers in the

foreign market, still finds many consumers at home, for it is

durable and wears well. The average amount of this article

would be about five million taels worth per annum. Keangsoo

supplies the southern provinces with grain in dry years, and re-

ceives a quantity of raw produce, such as pulse and flour, iron,

copper, and tin, in return. The trade is always active, and employs

a large capital, at all the cities along the grand canal, but Chin-

keang and Yang-choo are the greatest traffic mart . This place

is remarkable for carrying on a slave trade in beautiful women.

The Chinese government permits parents to sell their children in

time of need, and winks at this abuse of dealing in human flesh .

Weichoo-foo has a very large trade, the citizens being famed for

their cunning and versatile commercial genius, and their great

art in employing capital to advantage.

The following custom-houses tariff, with the annual sums derived

from them, show the extent of the transit trade :-


Henshoo, 191,149 taels ; Yangchoo, 55,723 taels ; Kwaigni,

7,661 taels ; Hwaegan, 201,960 taels ; The Woohoo, 190,042

taels ; Fungyang, 79,820 taels .

Ganhwuy has one great staple article with which it supplies

China and the foreign market, viz.- green teas, to the extent of

six or eight million taels worth annually. It produces, moreover,

the best varnish, an article of general consumption throughout

Central China. Ink is very much in request, and no where is the

article made to equal it in quality. The exportation is not under

under two millions taels annually. The province imports a great

variety of wrought and raw goods. There is no transit custom-

house. The principal trading town is the metropolis of the pro-

vince, Gan-king- foo on the Yangtzekang. The internal canal com-

munication is by no means first- rate, and most of the commerce

of this province is carried on in the waters of that river.

Keangsi has a very bustling and gain-seeking population . The

country though mountainous, especially in the south, has never-

theless very good water communication by means of the Kan

river, which flows through its whole length, and also participates

in the advantages of the mighty Yangtsze stream . Keangsi has

rich mines of gold, iron, tin and lead, the greater part of which

are clandestinely worked, as the government do not appoint officers

to superintend them, but to curb the propensity of the inhabitants

in extracting hidden treasures . Keangsi abounds in excellent

hemp, its grass cloth is the finest, in great demand, and not at

all equalled by the Canton imitation stuffs. There is much

trade in drugs, a very multifarious article, since the Chinese phar-

macopeia admits of the utmost variety, and no nation is so fond

as the Chinese to avail itself of every herb for medical purposes .

Of all the branches of commerce, this is one of the most

flourishing, and the mountains which produce them are more

valuable than if they contained a gold mine. The Keangsinese have

successfully transplanted the Fokeen black tea, and recently ex-

ported about one or one and a-half million of taels worth for the

foreign market . But the grand staple article is the porcelain,

made at Kinkinching, which provides all China with this article,

as it is the only place where it is made in such perfection ; hence

the immense exportation of eight million taels worth, to all parts .

The largest emporium is at Nanchang-foo, and next to it Kew-

keang-foo, both of which have a large transit trade. At Kootang

the duties are 173,880 taels ; and at Kanchow 46,471 . It is at

these stations where most of the goods destined for the south,

for the north, and vice versa pass, but the duties are very mode-


Hunan and Hoopih are very rich provinces in themselves, and

carry on a great trade in raw produce. There is a large commerce

in coals, with which the junks belonging to these provinces prc-

vide all the country along the great canal. Several minerals, such



as iron, lead, and copper, abound . Both provinces export grain in

considerable quantity, and also tobacco. The only manufacture

for foreign consumption is paper, which is sold in other provinces

to great advantage. Though many junks are employed in the

carrying trade, the value of this export though bulky is small,

and of the imports in comparison considerable. Both countries

furnish horses and asses for exportation. Woochang-foo is a con-

siderable trading town, at the confluence of the Honkeang and

Yangtsze, and the inhabitants own a great many river craft.

Yuk-choo-foo is celebrated for its exportation of grain. The

mountains furnish a variety of drugs . All along the banks of the

Yangtsze, which forms the boundary between the two provinces,

may be observed a continuation of junks, of rather grotesque

build, resembling very much the Roman galleys, beautifully

varnished ; some instead of being coppered have a layer of small

pieces of Chinaware, like mosaic work on their bottom .

Hunan is by excellence an agricultural country, furnishing

grain in abundance, whenever the Yellow River, as frequently

happens, does not destroy its dykes . This is the grand staple

article of export to the north-western provinces, and to Mongolia

via the Yellow River, its principal high road of commerce. It ex-

ports rhubarb and musk ; but not one manufactured article.

There is no custom -house to levy transit duties, so that it is im-

possible to arrive even at an approximation of the existing inter-

nal commerce . The fruits, such as almonds and walnuts, find a

market in other provinces .


VINCES OF CHINA . Under the former is comprized Szechuen and

Kweichoo, the latter the Switzerland of China, both contain-

ing some uncultivated ground, and grand mountain scenery.

The population however compared with other parts of China, is

scanty ; Szechuen having on 166,800 square miles, about

21,435,000 inhabitants ; and Kweichoo, 64,554 square miles,

5,288,219 . There are still the unsubdued tribes, which maintain

their own rule, undisturbed in the mountain fastnesses, and though

thorns in the side of the Chinese government, they still set all

the power of the Celestial Empire at defiance. The northern parts

of Szechuen are well watered by the various tributary streams of

the Yangtsze, and therefore allow the husbandman not only to

cultivate for his own use, but also for exportation to Kokonor.

But the rivers are mostly very rapid, aud though light boats can

descend, it is almost impossible to ascend, so that after having

arrived at the place of their destination the boats are broken up.

The navigation, therefore, on the Yangtsze is by no means so

flourishing as further down, where the inhabitants possess

greater skill in managing their river craft, and are also more en-

terprizing, whilst the Szechuenzenese rarely for any length of

time leave their country . They have no manufactures, and what


they sell to their neighbouring wild tribes comes from the western

provinces . The south abounds in medical herbs, and amongst

other things in rhubarb, the best in all China. This is the prin-

cipal branch of inland trade, which the country possesses, and on

the most moderate calculation it exports no less than three mil-

lion taels worth to other parts of China. The musk deer is like-

wise found in the southern mountain ridge, and is sold in con-

siderable quantities . The gold of its mines finds even its way to

Canton, and the northern provinces of India. Brass is also made,

but the copper and zinc mines are clandestinely worked, though

the exportation of the former article is so large, as to provide the

greater part of China with the metal ; hence we may draw a con-

clusion as to the amount. Every other manufacture for the use

of the people at large is imported.

Kweichoo very much resembles the southern part of Szechuen ,

both in production above the ground, as well as metallic riches .

It has silver to pay for the want of grain, which cannot be produced

in sufficient quantity. Its mines supply at the present moment

nearly all the mercury used in the manufacture of vermillion , and

become richer, the more they are dug. It has also iron in abundance .

There are few streams and canals for the transportation of goods,

and the irrigation of fields, and the natives are still on a very

low scale of civilization ; so that every thing they consume in the

shape of manufactures, must come from abroad. • Its iron and

gold mines possess very great celebrity, but it is impossible to

form an estimate of the annual produce. There is very little

internal trade, because the roads during the greater part of the

year are almost impassable ; and the inhabitants are too fond of

their homes to undertake distant journeys.

Fokeen is mountainous, and in many parts a very barren pro-

vince. It has very little inland communication, the busy scene

of its enterprize being the wide ocean. It supplies the greater

part of the best black tea consumed in China.

This has to be transported over the high hills, which form the

boundary of Che-keang, and thence by a tedious and expensive

land carriage to all China, and to the frontiers of Siberia. The

camphor tree is in perfection . With sugar it supplies the far west

and north, though mostly by way of sea, and the best sugar-candy

is made within its territory ; it has, likewise, iron in abundance,

tobacco of the best kind, principally in demand in central China,

but a great want of grain, so that its importation constitutes a

principal branch of the trade ; its indigo is likewise in demand, so

also its alum. Of manufactures it has very few ; the most con-

siderable are grass-cloth, umbrellas, and coarse China ware. These

nake up, especially the latter, very bulky cargoes ; but it has to

import many necessaries of life, and most manufactures .

A French mathematician, Le Comte, who " ran over all China

in five years, from city to city," in 1687, says "that the provinces

I 2


of Honan, Foo-keen, and Kwang-tung, are more barren than the

other provinces, though their mountains are not wholly useless, as

they bear all sorts of trees, suitable for ship-building . The inha-

bitants cut off the boughs, tie eighty or one hundred together, and

make floats (rafts), of them, of nearly a mile long, and drag them

along the rivers and canals, till they have sold them all. These

timber merchants, build temporary houses upon these floats, in

which themselves and family reside during the voyage, which lasts

three or four months .

Kwang-tung has excellent inland communication by water, and

possesses both manufactures, as well as raw produce for the home

trade. The staple article is sugar, and latterly, also an inferior

kind of green tea, which was transplanted with success from the

northern provinces, and is principally manufactured for American

consumption. Kwang-tung also produces cassia and betel nut,

and has very productive iron mines. But the manufacturing in-

dustry, principally engendered and extended by foreign intercourse,

has greatly multiplied the exports to the interior, so that no city

in the empire has superior skill to the Cantonese. There are

the Canton silks, cotton, and grass-cloth manufactures, cheaper,

although not as durable as those of other provinces, and lacquered

ware better than anywhere else ; jewellery of the best descrip-

tion ; stone cutting of various kinds, and in every shape, and a

great variety of knick-knacks, such as mirrors, toilets for ladies, pic-

tures, &c ., for which Canton has no rival in China, and with which

it provides the whole empire. The industry, however, is concen-

trated in the metropolis, and only a few cities, such as Fuh-chow,

participate in the same skill of working up rude materials. When

one takes the multitude of articles into consideration, which Can-

ton sends forth to the other provinces, the amount cannot be far

below the whole of the foreign trade. Whenever articles are met

with handsome and neat, it will be found on enquiry that they

were made at Canton. Canton provides nearly the whole empire

with glass-ware. The whole duty on exports and imports, how-

ever, was only 96,000 taels, which shows at once that the duties

must be very moderate. Canton does not trade to one part of the

empire, but is a general mart for all the provinces, and there is not

a city of any commercial importance, which has not its merchants

established at Canton, and sends some of its productions to the

place . However, the exports exceed by far the imports, the latter

being scarcely two-thirds in value, when compared with the former.

Canton has everywhere its agents, and its corresponding houses,

much capital is lodged there for the sake of a profitable return,

and a disturbance in the trade of this emporium is felt to the very

borders of Siberia and Tibet.

Kwang-si is just the opposite to the former. A great part of the

country is still in a state of nature, or inhabited by aborigines.

There are splendid forests, which supply the Canton market with


timber ; the cassia obtained here is the best in all China, and the

exportation not under three to four million taels worth per annum.

It is also rich in grain, which mostly finds its way to the neigh-

bouring populous metropolis . The navigation on the Chookeang,

which disembogues itself at Canton, is free, and has no custom-

houses, so that the most bulky articles may be carried with very

little cost westward. Kwangsi, however, is almost wholly res-

tricted in its commerce to Kwang-tung, having only very trifling

dealings with Yunnan.

This province is rich in metallic stores, produces and exports

some of the articles which are found in India, but not in great

quantity, and has also precious stones. With other districts little

commerce exists, and the Yuanese buy most of their manufactures

for gold and silver bullion, at the Canton market .

The trade carried on by land between China and the regions

around must be very great, but it is only possible to give some

scattered details. The commerce with Russia will be described

when treating of Kiachta, where it is conducted on the frontiers of

the two empires . With the nature and extent of the trade with

Corea, we are unacquainted, so also with that of Mongolia and


Fung -hwang, on the confines of Mantchooria, is said to be the

only place where the Koreans are permitted to trade. There are

two fairs held annually, with such restrictions on both sides as exist

at Nagasaki (Japan) . But on these and other places, connected with

the trade of millions of people, we are in a state of lamentable and

injurious ignorance .

A considerable trade is carried on between Chinese Tartary and

Kumaon ; the goods exported from Almora, over the Himalayas,

into the Chinese territories, between October, 1840, and May, 1844,

amounted in rupees, to 79,375 . The largest item is 17,000 for

broad cloth ; and for coarse cloth 14,000 rupees ; mole-skin, 4,000 ;

grain, 24,000; and tobacco, 3,000 ; the remaining items consist of

various drugs, spices, &c.

The imports from Chinese Tartary during the above period,

amounted in rupees to 155,700 . The principal articles were,

tincal or borax, 85,000 rupees ; salt, 20,000 ; woollens, 3,000 ;

kuldar rupees, 15,000 .

The imports are purchased by the Almora merchants, from the

Booteans, who reside on this side of the Snowy Range, they are the

carriers between the two countries, and have a monopoly of the

trade, which is a great obstacle to its extension . It is said the

Almora merchants proposed to enter into a bond to pay our govern-

ment 40,000 rupees annually, if they would abolish the Bootia

monopoly, which is a self arrogated one, strictly maintained .

The Bootians profess to be subjects of China, although they prin-

cipally reside in the British territories, and allege that they have


the sanction of that government for continuing the monopoly, which

is not improbable.

The goods sold to the Bootians, are rarely paid for in cash, and

bonds are taken, made payable in cash and goods, at the season of

return traffic. The Kuldar rupees are the only cash return in

India coinage .

It would be desirable to make further examination relative to

this trade, and to ascertain the means for its extension. If we can

establish a regular commercial intercourse with China, through the

north-west provinces of our Indian empire, it would be a great be-

nefit to both countries .

TIBET AND CHINA.-The chief trade of Tibet, is with China.

The caravan, which reaches Lassa in October, sets out for China

in June, and employs eight months on its route to Peking. About

500 men travel together. The principal imports to Lassa, are coarse

silk, piece goods, canvass, European broad cloth, silver bullion,

pearls, coral, chinaware, and a large quantity of tea. The exports

are coarse woollens, gold bullion, Hindostan cotton manufactures,

shells, rhinoceros horns, and peacock feathers . The Tibetans

carry on a trade with Assam, in silver bullion, and rock salt, silks,

rice, and cotton goods. Nepaul serves as an entrepôt ; there are

upwards of 3,000 Nepaulese residing at Lassa, where they act as

gold and silver smiths, and retail dealers in coarse woollen cloth.

More than 130 Cashmerians reside at Lassa, who import shawls

and woollen cloth, and export bullion and teas in great quantities.

In Bootan, the Deb Rajah, sends annually a caravan with Bengal

produce to Tibet . The importation into Bengal consists of gold

bullion in exchange for cotton manufactures . Their coin resem-

bles the sicca rupee.

It is said that the Tibetans are adverse to dealing with Euro-

peans ; such is not the fact, for during Major Turner's embassy,

they applied for leave to build a Tibetan monastery in Calcutta,

and would have done so but for the Chinese at Lassa, who put a

stop to their intercourse with us. They have many articles of

great commercial value, and are rich in various productions ; many

more would probably be found if an intercourse were well esta-

blished, and supply created by demand and by the temptation of

new comforts and luxuries . Under these circumstances, it were

well if we could establish a consul there, for trade with Tibet

would be very likely to extend into the northern provinces of

China. As it is a cold climate, woollen cloths are an almost indis-

pensible necessary ; if the trade could be established, the indepen-

dant tribes of the Great Khano country, a bold, hardy, and highly

industrious race of customers and merchants, and who care no-

thing for China, would soon drive the trade into the province of

Szehuen .

Among the productions are gold, which is found in the rivers ;


silver, copper, iron, and lead ; the lapis lazuli, and the finest borax ;

white and red salt. Wheat, barley, peas, and various vegetables

are abundant. The district of Lassa produces sheep, hogs, horses,

mules, asses, buffaloes, wild sheep, and fowls in great quantities.

Much rice is cultivated in the environs of Lassa. The Tibetans

manufacture silks, cloth , and camlet, which find a ready market

in India. Any thing made in the country is esteemed simply be-

cause it is the residence of the Dalai Lama, and consequently the

stronghold of the religion of Budha.

A large traffic is conducted with the Mohamedan countries west

of China. The country westward of Tibet is Ladakh ; the rajah of

which, a Mohammedan, has been placed under the control of the

Chinese resident at Lassa, in order to restrain the incursions of

his subjects in Tibet . This country borders also upon the Sikh

states. Iskardo or Beldestan, is said to be eight marches north-

east from the city of Cashmere. A high road leads from Iskardo to

Yarkand, in Chinese Turkestan, over which merchants travel in

caravans. Bokhara and Kokan may be said to include all Turkes-

tan (not Chinese) . The rulers of these countries, and the chief

portion of their subjects, are Usbecks and Mohammedans of the

Sunite sect. The connexion of Bokhara with China is friendly.

The bazars of Bokhara are supplied with European merchandize

by the caravans from Russia, and with some British fabrics by the

native merchants from India. A considerable trade is carried on

from Bokhara to Cashgar and Yarkand, where European goods

find their way in exchange for teas.

The natives of Budakshan are on the best terms with the Chi-

nese. The duty charged by China is one in thirty on all traders,

except the Cashmerians, who pay one in forty, as their commerce

is extensive.

A caravan from Yarkand to Peking will occupy better than four

months in the journey. This is occasioned by the Chinese govern-

ment compelling them to travel one road, which is a great round :

on the way there is a most difficult pass which is guarded : but no

obstruction whatever is given to the Natives going to Peking, or

remaining there. The military posts throughout the journey are

very numerous, and the centinels are composed of Usbecks and

Chinese. The trade in raw silk and cattle, is extensive : the goods

taken from Peking are chiefly tea, and various manufactures .

From Yarkand, Ladak (i.e. Little Tibet) may be reached in

about sixteen days. Thence to Cashmeer, a caravan will take

twenty-five days ; a quick rate of travelling in fourteen days.

Yarkand to Oksu is about twenty days journey, the country be-

ing very woody.

There is a considerable traffic with Ava : Grosier, the Jesuit

missionary, in his description of China, early in the seventeenth

century, states that at Pou- eul, a village in the province of Yun-

nan, which is on the frontiers of Assam, Ava, and Laos, people col-


leet from the adjacent country ; but that the entrance is forbidden

to foreigners, who are only permitted to approach as far as the

bottom of the mountains, where an exchange of commodities takes

place ; the chief article from China is cha (tea) , which is rolled up

like tobacco. According to Arrians Periplus, this trade was carried

on much after the same form sixteen hundred years ago ; the peo-

ple are described as men of short stature, with large foreheads

and flat noses, called Sefatae or Bafadae. These come every year

to the frontiers, not being permitted to enter the country. They

make baskets of leaves, which they sew together with the fibres of

bamboo, and fill them with the leaves of a certain plant (tea) , rolled

up into balls, which are of three sorts, depending on the size and

quality of the leaves ; and denominated balls of the larger, middle,

and smaller size ; these are carried all over the country.

The Singphos of Assam are separated from the Singphos of Bur-

mah by the Palkoi Chain of mountains. The Chinese carry on a

considerable trade with these Singphos, and through the medium

of their country with Assam.

The Chinese province of Yunnan is separated from a navigable

channel of the Irrawadi only by a mountain chain. The mer-

chants, by a short journey across the mountains, arrive at a place

called Catmow, on the banks of that river.

Boats are here procurable for conveying goods ; and dropping

down the Irrawadi, due south, in three or four days, anchor at

the mouth of a river called Nan-yang. They ascend this river in

a north-west direction, and in five or six days they reach Ming-

kung, the chief depôt of the Chinese trade. This town is about

twenty days' journey from Assam .

The following remarks on the principal articles of trade, may be

recorded as useful for reference :

EXPORTS .-Alum is exported in large quantities to India, price

about one and a half dollar per pecul ; the market is well supplied,

but it is often found adulterated . The consumption in China is

considerable for the purification of water, and sizing bamboo-paper

for foreign printing . The Parsees are the principal exporters.

Aniseed stars are sent chiefly to India ; the price about eight and

a half dollars a pecul. Oil of anisced goes to Europe and the

United States ; the average export is about 200 peculs , at 110 dol-

lars per pecul.

Arsenic, obtained by sublimation from the native sulphurit of

arsenic or hartall, is sent almost all to India, where it is exten-

sively used as a medicine .

Bamboo and bamboo ware. There is scarcely a domestic article

in which the bamboo is not a whole or component part, from the

cradle to the coffin . The export is large, but no account is kept.

Clothes sent to South America, made of nankeen and grass -cloth ;

no returns ofthe amount. i

Cassia is exported to all parts of the world from China ; it is set


down at 36,000 peculs, price about nine dollars per pecul ; it was

formerly all smuggled . The Ceylon and Malabar cassia is report-

ed to be much inferior to the Chinese. The wood, bark, leaves,

and oil, of the cassia tree, are in request : the cassia oil is rated at

150 dollars a pecul ; the trade in the article is about 250,000 dol-

lars annually .

China-ware when first introduced to Europe, brought an enor-

mous price ; comparatively little is now exported, and that of an

inferior sort ; a table set of 276 pieces, sells from twelve to seventy

taels ; breakfast set, twenty pieces, three taels ; tea set, 100 pieces,

thirteen taels. The amount of export 50,000 dollars.

Cubebs are chiefly shipped to India, and are valued at eighteen

dollars a pecul ; 18,500 pounds, were sent to England in 1830 ;

but the Dutch carry on a large trade, as the best are obtained in


Furniture. Mostly shipped to private orders ; cabinet work is

good , but the veneering is poor, owing probably to inferior glue.

Curiosities. These include the various fancy articles made in

China, viz : screens, cups, fans, vases, lacquer-ware, ivory, and

curiosities of every device and shape. Fans are an article of large

export to South America ; in 1836-37,170,000 fans were shipped

to America at one and a half dollar per thousand.

Gamboge, is found in China and Siam, and used as a pigment

and medicine. It is largely exported from China and Singapore ;

price ranges about fifty dollars per pecul.

Glass beads. Twenty years ago, the Chinese were large im-

porters of glass, but they now export it. In 1836 there were 1,345

boxes shipped, at eighteen dollars per box.

Glue. - The Chinese glue is inferior to the British ; cow-hide

glue is exported to India, and fish glue made from the noses and

sounds of fish is used in cooking as a jelly.

Grass-cloth. This beautiful fabric, the linen of China, is made

from the fibres of the sida, and is universally used by the Chinese,

and dyed of various colours ; the exports are chiefly to South Ame-

rica and India.

Hartall or Orpiment. - Chiefly exported to India for the Moham-

medans. Six hundred and twenty peculs sent in 1836, at fourteen

dollars per pecul.

Kitty solls, or paper parasols, are exported to India and the

Straits, in boxes of 100 each, and are put down at nine dollars per


Lead, white and red, is manufactured by the Chinese in great

quantities, and chiefly for home use. Captains of ships supply

themselves for painting ; the export is insignificant ; the quality

very inferior to European paint.

Marble slabs . This article was prohibited from export, but sent

to India, Sydney, and America. The prohibition is now taken off.

The colours are red and blue, and the slabs , which are about a foot


square, make a handsome pavement for halls. Ten slabs go to a

pecul, and sell for twenty-five dollars per 100.

Mats are exported from China to all parts of the world ; but

principally to India, America, and Australasia. Table mats are

very beautiful ; the demand has increased for them, and conse-

quently augmented the importation of rattans. Thousands of peo-

ple are employed in the manufacture of mats for boat sails ; fifty

mats of six feet by four, go to a bundle, or 100 catties ; price fif-

teen dollars per bundle. There is a large exportation from Chusan.

The annual exportation to the United States is upwards of 10,000

rolls of forty yards each, at four dollars a roll.

Mother o'Pearl sent to South America, and elsewhere, in small


Nankeens. So named from Nanking, where it was originally

made. There are many imitations, but the Chinese excel in it

still. The prices vary from forty-five dollars to ninety dollars

per hundred pieces . It is extensively worn by the natives ; the

exportation is trifling.

Pictures.-There are many shops in Canton and Macao, where

oil paintings are for sale, and where portraits are taken ; no duty

has ever been levied on them . Rice paper pictures are largely ex-

ported to South America ; the elegant colouring of them is well

known . The paper is improperly called " rice paper," as no rice

is used in its manufacture, it is simply the pith of a plant that is


Pearls.-False pearls are made in China in immense quantities,

for the use of the Chinese, and for export to India, where they are

much worn as ornaments. They are packed in boxes of 100,000

in each box, which is about one pecul ; and they are valued at fif-

teen dollars per box.

Paper. The export of coloured paper is very considerable to,

India, as the climate does not injure it, and foreign paper sized

with glue, does not so well stand the tropical heat and moisture ;

the consumption is great. With the exception of a fine paper,

called Nankin, (which is made from cotton wool), all other paper

is made from bamboo . When strong paper is required, two, three,

or four sheets are joined together, for ledgers and account books.

Preserves.-The Chinese candy almost everything eatable, such

as millet-seeds, bamboo -shoots, ginger, &c., which are hawked

about the streets, and exported to all countries, particularly to

India, the United States and South America. The total is about

10,000 boxes, valued at 50,000 dollars. A box is twenty-five cat-


Rhubarb grows in China and Tartary ; the price varies from

thirty-eight dollars per pecul upwards. About 1,500 peculs are

exported at an average of fifty dollars per pecul . The Chinese

is inferior to the Russian or Turkey rhubarb.


Silk organzine or silk thread, is used in weaving piece goods .

Silk-thread, ribbons, and piece goods are largely exported to Ame-

rica ; silk piece goods are exported in large quantities to Mexico,

Peru, and Chili.

Silk. The mulberry is cultivated all over China, except in the

most northerly regions. The best is called Nankin raw silk, and

chiefly exported to England. In 1833-34, the price was from

300 dollars to 350 dollars per pecul. The annual exportation was

14,000 bales ; in 1836-37, upwards of 20,000 peculs, at 500 dol-

lars per pecul ; and since that period the exportation has greatly

increased .

Shoes -Chinese shoes are seldom exported, except a few em-

broidered pairs ; little or no calf skin is used ; horse, cow, and

buffalo hides are tanned with saltpetre and urine : the leather is

porous and bad. The price varies from fifty cents to one dollar per

pair. Considerable quantities are shipped for South America.

Soy.- This well- known sauce is made from the Dolichos bean,

which grows in China and Japan ; the beans are boiled soft with

wheat or barley of equal quantities, and left for three months to

ferment ; salt and water are then added, when the liquor is pressed

and strained. Good soy is agreeable when a few years old ; the

Japan soy is superior to the Chinese. Large quantities are ship-

ped for England and America.

Silver ware and gold ware.- The shops in Canton make display

of gold and silver ware of an elegant style of chased workmanship.

Sydney and South America are the best markets.

Sugar-candy, made by chrystalising raw sugar ; the best comes

from Fookeen, called " Chinchew," from which district, especially

from the port of Amoy, the exportation is likely to increase ; for-

merly large shipments went to America, now the export is chiefly

to India.

Sugar was probably first cultivated in China, where its proper-

ties were known long before its introduction to Europe. The cul-

tivation of sugar is scarcely sufficient to supply the China market.

The varieties of the cane are numerous, and the process of manu-

facture simple ; but all performed by manual labour. The sugar in

use with the Chinese is about five dollars per pecul . It is very ex-

tensively consumed in every part of China.

Tobacco is almost wholly exported to the Eastern Archipelago ;

it is much weaker than the American ; the quantity sent is not


Tea. The total exportation of tea by sea from China, is upwards

of seventy-five million pounds, viz .: England 50,000,000 ; United

States 20,000,000 lbs.; and all other countries 5,000,000 lbs .

which, at twenty taels per pecul, amounts to 11,280,000 taels of

silver at eighty pence the tael, £3,760,000 . The present duty of

two taels five mace does not include shipping and other charges ;


the old duty was five taels, and included all charges paid the Hong


Turmeric. The root of an herbaceous plant, less in use as dye

than as a spice in making curries ; price from five to seven dollars

a pecul.

Tortoise-shell ware -Made into various fancy articles ; exporta-

tion considerable to all parts of the world.

IMPORTS . Agar-agar.- The Malay name for a jelly or glue,

made from a marine fucus ; it is brought from the Eastern

Archipelago. The bamboo lattice work for lanterns is covered with

paper, which when saturated with this gum is semi-transparent.

It is used also in the manufacture of silk and paper, and is prefer-

able to flour for making paste, as insects avoid it. When boiled

with sugar, it forms a sweet jelly. and much resembles our calves-

foot jelly. Its cheapness and admirable qualities, render it worthy

of attention in other countries. It is obtained in New Holland,

New Guinea, and other adjacent islands. It is found extensively

in Ireland, and called " Irish moss." From 450 to 500 peculs are

imported annually by the Chinese, at prime cost of one and a half

to two dollars per pecul.

Amber. This fossil is found on the shores of the Indian Archipe-

lago, and in small quantities on the coast of China ; the greatest por-

tion of amber comes from the eastern coast of Africa ; its value for-

merly was very great as an incense, and for ornaments. Transparent

yellow pieces are the best ; the price is from eight to fourteen dol-

lars per catty, according to size and quality.

Ambergris - Is a substance found in the intestines of the sper-

maceti whale ; 362 ounces have been found in a single whale. A

great portion of it is picked up after strong winds on the shores of

the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The best kind is solid, opaque, ash-

coloured, fatty, inflammable, resembling wax, and gives off an agree-

able odour when heated. It has no taste or smell when cold . The

pure white is bad.

Arrack. A spirituous liquor distilled from different substances

in different countries ; in Ceylon it is made from the juice of the

cocoa-nut ; in Java from rice chiefly. The rice is first boiled, and

when cool, a quantity of yeast is added, and the whole pressed into

baskets, and placed over tubs for eight days ; during this time the

liquor flows from the rice, which is then distilled, mixed with sixty-

two parts of molasses, and three parts of toddy, and then left

to ferment for a week ; when the fermentation is over, the arrack

is distilled two or three times, according to the strength required.

Java arrack is sold at forty cents a gallon, and some for thirty cents .

Assafoetida is the concrete juice of the ferula assafoetida tree,

which grows in Persia ; it is brought to this market from Bombay,

and ranks high in the Materia Medica of the Chinese physician.

The vessels employed to carry it are so imbued with the odour,


that they spoil most other goods : it is an unimportant article of


Bees-wax has been introduced by foreigners from India and

Europe, though the Chinese collect it largely themselves. The

islands of Timor and Timorlaut send 20,000 peculs annually to

China and India, at a prime cost of five dollars per pecul ; the

consumption is small in the eastern parts of China ; wax is only

employed to incase the tallow, which from the heat of the climate

in the southern districts never becomes hard.

Betel-nut.— Is a large article of import ; 25,000 peculs is the

amount returned, but there is an immense quantity imported in

Chinese junks from Hainan, of which we have no account. The

leaf of the betel pepper, and the nut of the arica palm , (Arica-cate-

chu), together constitute this article, which is improperly called


It is used as a masticatory throughout the east, but as an article

of commerce, the nut is sold separately, under the name betel- nut ,

because it is always used with the leaf of the betel pepper. The

areca-nut resembles the nutmeg in shape and colour, but is larger

and harder. The produce of a single tree is about fourteen pounds,

and the cultivators sell it at half a dollar a pecul. The betel pep-

per is the vine from which the leaf is obtained, and for which alone

it is cultivated . The flavour is peculiar, between a herbaceous and

an aromatic taste : it is cultivated throughout the south of China.

When prepared for use, the nut is cut into slices and wrapped

in the fresh leaves, together with a quantity of quick -lime, to give

it a flavour. All classes, male and female, chew it ; they say it

sweetens the breath, strengthens the stomach, and preserves the

teeth, to which it gives a reddish hue : there is probably less objec-

tion to its use than tobacco, and its taste is more pleasant.

Most of the betel-nut imported in China, comes from Java, Sin-

gapore, and Penang. Betel-nut is not so generally used in the

south of China as among the southern islanders, and in the north

of China it is a luxury, as the pepper does not grow freely there.

Beche-de-Mer.-A sea slug, which forms an important article of

commerce between the islands of the Indian Archipelago and

China . It is found on all the islands from New Holland to Suma-

tra : its common length is about ten inches . It is smoked and

dried . The Chinese use it by itself, or as ingredient in other

dishes ; they consume large quantities under the belief that it is

aphrodisiac . The varieties are divided into thirty in number, and

vary in price from eighty dollars down to one and a half dollars

per pecul. That from Macassar sells at sixty-four dollars per


Birds'-nests . —Are principally brought from Java and Sumatra,

and are usually divided into seven classes or qualities, of which

four are clean and three unclean . The nest is made by a small

bird ( Hirundo esculenta), and is like isinglass, of a white colour


inclining to red . The weight of the nest is about half an ounce, and

in size it is larger than a goose egg ; when dry, white, and clean, it is

most valuable : the quality varies according to situation and time

of taking ; if procured before the birds are fledged or with eggs,

they are then clean and more valuable : if the birds have left them,

they are valueless, being dirty and streaked with blood and feathers .

The nests are procurable twice a year ; the best are found in deep,

damp caves, which gave the idea that they are composed of the

spawn of fish or of beche- de-mer . The quality of birds-nests de-

pends on the proportion of which the white, gelatinous substance

bears to the red fleshy part ; feathers and other extraneous matter

are mixed up with the texture . Best kind from Cochin China,

and called the " highest snow-white swallow's nest ;" wholesale

price fifty dollars per catty ; retail price sixty- six dollars per catty.

The inner part of the swallow's nest is a beautiful net-work, and is

said to be spun from the body of the bird, as that of the caterpillar,

spider, &c. The entrance into the principal organ of digestion is

furnished with a ring of peculiar vessels, which secrete the mate-

rial of which the nest is formed.

The method of procuring this extraordinary article of commerce,

is solely confined to those accustomed from their youth to the

trade, the nest being only approachable by descent many hundred

feet perpendicular by bamboo ladders over a surging sea : the ex-

travagant prices given for the nest induces many to peril their

lives for its obtainment. The Chinese are the only people that

use them. The best, or white kind , bring nearly thrice their weight

in silver ; the second quality 1,200 dollars, and the third or dirty

kind about 200 dollars . The principal part of the best kind is sent

to Peking for the court use. The Japanese make no use of them.

In preparing them for use, great labour is bestowed to remove

every stick or feather : they are then stewed into a jelly. The sale

of birds' -nests is a monopoly with all the governments in whose

dominions they are found ; it is estimated that about 244,000

pounds, at a value of 1,263,570 dollars, are annually sent from the

Eastern Archipelago to China. Java alone sends 27,000 pounds,

valued at 60,000 dollars.

Camphor.-The camphor brought to China is from Sumatra and

Borneo. In Sumatra the best is obtained in a district called Barus,

and all good camphor bears that name. It appears that the tree

is cut down to obtain the gum, and that in not one-tenth of the

trees is it found : as they are not cultivated . Barus camphor is

getting scarce the tree must be destroyed before it is ascertained

whether it is productive or not. About 800 peculs are annually

brought to China ; the proportion between Malay and Chinese

camphor is as eighteen to one ; the former is more fragrant, and

not so pungent as the latter .

Cloves are the flower of a large tree, which grows in the Molucca


Islands, at Penang and Singapore, and to some extent at Sumatra.

There are four varieties of cloves ; the best, large and heavy, have

an acid taste, and oily feel. The clove trade is chiefly in the hands

ofthe Dutch. The Molucca cloves, in the Canton market, bring from

twenty dollars to thirty dollars per pecul ; Malay between twelve

dollars and fifteen dollars. The annual importation is more than

400 peculs. Mother cloves, and an inferior description, price from

ten dollars to twelve dollars per pecul ; the average production of

a tree is about ten pounds : the Chinese use them sparingly.

Clocks. - Under this article, clocks, watches, hard-ware, and

fancy cutlery are imported , to the extent of 130,000 dollars, of

which one-half may be calculated as of British make ; the other

half, French and Swiss manufacture. Twenty years ago, half a

million dollars of these goods were imported . The Chinese now

make clocks for their own use.

Canvass. This article is confined to the foreign shipping, but

matting not being so flexible, it is sometimes used for junks. I have

seen canvass sails in some of the Chinese vessels of war. If a good

and cheap sail cloth could be exported, there ought to be a large

demand in China.

Cochineal. About 300 peculs of this article are imported at 100

dollars per pecul. Attempts have been made without success to

raise it in Java, Spain, and India. The climate of Japan and

China being similar to Mexico, it is likely to be introduced, as it is

an indispensable article for dying silks, of scarlet and crimson

colours . The Americans bring it in a purer state than what

comes direct from Mexico by Manilla.

Coral is brought from all the islands of the Indian Archipelago

in native vessels, and is wrought into ornaments ; it was formerly

a large article of import, and came in the East India Company's

vessels from the Mediterranean ; it sells from forty dollars to sixty

dollars a pecul.

Cotton. The importation from India has been considerable .

There were delivered in 1843, 818,600 peculs, of which 578,775

were Bombay ; 89,200 Bengal ; 141,860 Madras ; and 8,832 Ame-

rican . The average of all kinds is about 750,000 peculs at nine

and a-half dollars per pecul, giving a total of 7,125,000 dollars.

The Bombay and Madras cotton has slightly increased , the Bengal

decreased, and the American is increasing.

Cotton manufactures.-The British white long cloths still com-

mand the market ; eight years ago the price was five dollars per

piece, and now two to three dollars . The grey long cloths are

chiefly British. Shipments are now from the United States . In

domestics we cannot compete with the Americans ; the following

statement will give some idea of the imports in 1844 : -

White long cloths 438,647 piecess amounting in value to

1,623,192 dollars ; grey long cloth 671,249 pieces, amounting in


value to 2,109,540 dollars ; grey sheeting and drilling 500,000

pieces at 2-25 dollars amounting to 1,125,000 dollars. I have seen

Russian cottons at Canton.

Cambricks. In this article trials have been made : chintzes were

formerly smuggled, but now enter at two mace per piece. Swiss

and French are preferred to English. Goods should be selected

that are covered with large flowers and leaves, on a green ground ;

but no formal figures nor Chinese representations will sell.


Cotton yarn and cotton thread. This article is nearly all

English and is much in favour. In 1843-44-1,500 bales were im-

ported, the total importation is 40,000 peculs, at an average value of

twenty-five dollars per pecul. Nos. eighteen to thirty-two are the

most saleable. On its first introduction great complaints were

made by the native spinners of their distress in consequence of its.

introduction : water and mule yarn are both used.

Cutch, or Terra Japanica.-This article was supposed to be an

earth, and obtained from the natives of Japan ; but it is now ascer-

tained to be a gummy resin which is extracted from a tree growing

in Persia ; it is imported from Bombay and Bengal, and used for

dying red. Valued at four dollars to five dollars per pecul.

Elephants' teeth. -The exquisite workmanship of the Chinese

in carved work, will always keep this article in ready demand :

from three pounds of ivory the Chinese will make a tray that

will sell for 100 dollars . The ivory imported is re-exported in

carved work, such as miniature boats, chessmen, fans, and boxes,

which as specimens of carving are unequalled in the world. China

is principally supplied from Siam ; the largest teeth are valued at

120 dollars per pecul ; the usual range is from fifty dollars to

eighty dollars per pecul.

Fish maws are the stomachs of fishes, and are a great luxury

to the Chinese : they are chiefly brought in junks from the

Indian islands. Supposed to have strengthening and aphrodisiac


Flints, uncut, are imported as ballast at fifty cents per pecul ;

they are used in tinder boxes and in glass manufactories.

Glass and glass-ware.- Forty years ago broken glass-ware was

an important item in the trade, but the Chinese are making their

own glass, and improving rapidly. In Canton alone there are a

great number of small establishments ; it is only elegant chrystal

ware that is saleable at Canton. 10,000 dollars is the nearest

estimate can be given of the annual importation . Window-glass

ought to sell well in the northern ports.

Ginseng.-The root of a tree, as an article of trade is confined

to the Americans. The paternal estate of the Emperor in Tar-

tary furnishes a supply to the market, which he allows his subjects

to buy at its weight in gold ; the Co-hong were compelled to pur-

chase annually 140,000 dollars worth, and for that sum were

presented with a few catties : the Chinese esteem it a cure for


allills. In 1842-43, the quantity imported was 3,000 peculs,

and the price forty-eight dollars per pecul. It is an uncertain

fluctuating trade . When first introduced from America the profit

was enormous.

Gold and silver thread : large quantities are brought in from

England and Holland ; the Dutch is the best in embroidering

dresses, caps and shoes ; it is in constant demand .

Benzoin or Benjiman, the concrete juice of a small tree which

grows in Borneo ; but unlike the camphor tree it is cultivated .

The different varieties bear a high proportion to their goodness,

the finest quality from fifty dollars to 100 dollars per pecul ; it

is the frankincense of the East, and has been used for incense in

the Roman Catholic, the Hindoo, Mohammedan, and Budhistic

temples, and probably in the Israelitish worship. Wealthy Chinese

fumigate their houses with its grateful odour. The Parsees are

the only foreigners who import benzoin ; the price has declined

of late years .

Olibanum.-A gum resin which grows in Arabia and India, and

is in similar use as benzoin as a perfume, but in more general use

from its cheapness : the price is three dollars ; the best is as high

as ten dollars per pecul.

Dragons' blood is the juice of the calamus rolang or rattan, and

grows wild in Borneo : its uses are various in medicine, varnishes ,

and painting ; the Chinese esteem the gum highly : the price after

purifying it, is about eighty dollars or ninety dollars per pecul.

Horns and bones, chiefly from the neighbourhood of the Persian

gulf. Buffaloes' horns are worked into lanterns of the most beau-

tiful kind ; also into buttons and boxes of an elegant finish ; 500

peculs have been imported into Canton in one year.

Rhinoceros' horns.-The best come from Cochin-China, and

sometimes sell for 300 dollars a piece : the worst come from

India, which are sold for thirty dollars a piece. The Chinese work

the finest into elegant cups and other articles ; but its chief use is

in medicine : it is also an article of commerce between China and


Linen is almost entirely purchased by the foreign community :

the Chinese wear no under garments, strictly speaking, and their

own linen cloth is cheaper than ours .

Metals.-The consumption of metals from foreign countries de-

pends on the price ; if high, the Chinese use their own . There

are in China mines of lead, tin, quicksilver, calamine, &c.

Copper is found in Borneo, Japan, Sumatra, and Timor. The

copper found in Japan contains gold in alloy : it is brought to

market in bars six inches long, weighing four or five pounds : it is

the most valuable found in Asia. The Dutch and Chinese export

from Japan more than 2,000 tons annually. There is an alloy

found in China called white copper ; it has superseded English

copper from the bright silver-like appearance when polished.



Dish covers, plates, candlesticks, and various ornamental and

domestic articles are made of this " white copper."

Iron is an article of importance in China, where it can be im-

ported at a low figure. It is seldom brought in pigs ; bar-iron

from one to three inches wide, rod of half inch and less : bar is

1-80 dollars to two dollars per pecul ; and rod three dollars to

3-50 dollars ; and scrap about 2-50 dollars per pecul . When the

price in England rises above this, the Chinese fall back on

their own mines, which are numerous : the average import is

about 23,000 peculs.

Lead. The market price for pig and sheet lead is from four

dollars to five dollars per pecul ; China is supplied from England

and America : the English had all the trade at one time, but the

Missouri mines furnish it so much cheaper that English lead is

completely excluded . About 40,000 peculs is the amount im-

ported . There is a great consumption in lining tea chests, and

camphor boxes . The Chinese melt it into sheets in an ingenious

manner. The latest return shows 120,000 dollars which may all

be considered as American.

Spelter. This was formerly monopolised, so that no foreigners

could buy or sell it .

Tin. This metal is found pure and abundant in the island of

Banca, price about fifteen dollars to seventeen dollars per pecul ;

the whole importation does not exceed 5,000 peculs. Tin plates

are brought from England and the United States, and sell for

ten dollars per box of 112 pounds, containing from 80 to 120 plates.

The most current article is marked J. C. , and each 112 pound box

contains 225 sheets..

Quicksilver.This formerly amounted to 3,000 peculs, but the

rise in the price of it in Europe led the Chinese to work their own

mines. A great part is converted into vermillion by oxydization,

and used for painting on porcelain ; the price ranges from 80

dollars to 130 dollars a pecul.

Steel. Swedish and English steel was a large article of com-

merce, but has declined ; the Chinese are not skilled in working

it, and their attempts at cutlery are very imperfect : they esti-

mate steel merely as iron of a good quality, and are unwilling to

give a good price for the metal.

Rattans are made up in bundles of 100, and sold as low as six

cents a bundle by the natives in Borneo, where the principal

quantity is obtained ; they are imported to the extent of 20,000

peculs annually in foreign bottoms, besides an immense quantity

in native vessels. The Chinese use them for mats, chairs, baskets,

and beds ; and they build houses or sheds in the south of China

of them for five dollars each house.

Rice. This is the only article the Chinese ever offer a bounty

for ; the price fluctuates according to the seasons from one and

three quarter dollars to eight dollars per pecul. Siam and the


Indian Islands, particularly Bali and Lombock, supply large quan-

tities .

Saltpetre was prohibited, and none could be entered through

the custom-house. The Chinese had an idea foreigners imported

it to make gunpowder. It comes from Sumatra by Singapore,

and it used to sell for thirty dollars per pecul .

Sharks' fins.- These are sought for in every direction for the

market ; the Chinese esteem them highly as a stimulant, and

tonic ; about 500 pieces are in a pecul, and sell for six dollars to

eight dollars a pecul. The very best sells for 125 dollars a pecul ;

the difference is owing to the age and species of the shark.

Soap. This article so essential to cleanliness, is increasing in

consumption : the Chinese make none : some is brought from

Bengal of a coarse gritty substance.

Sea-horse' teeth.-Imported through Macao, and brought from

California, and Western America ; used in the same manner as

ivory and in good demand, as are also the teeth and tusks of the


Wine, beer, and spirits. — With the exception of a little cherry-

brandy and what is consumed by the officials, all attempts to in-

troduce these liquors have as yet failed . A free intercourse with

China would probably promote the consumption.

Woods, ebony and sandal. - Of ebony, Mauritius' is the best, and

sells for three dollars a pecul ; Ceylon' two dollars ; and Manilla

one a-half dollars . The Chinese forests supply them with a large

quantity of beautiful woods . The Portuguese bring seven dif-

ferent kinds of sandal-wood principally from the island of Timor ;

price from two dollars to fourteen dollars per pecul .

Woollen goods.-The Dutch blankets are preferred to English,

and sell as high as twelve dollars a pair ; a large quantity of Saxon

and Belgium ladies-cloth, imitation of English, sold much cheaper,

which is the inducement with the Chinese to buy, in everything.

Longells (scarlet) is the prevailing colour, and may be quoted eight

dollars to nine dollars a piece. Dutch camlets sell for double the

price of English : they were formerly all smuggled ; broad cloth

Spanish stripes 30,000 pieces, 600,000 yards, at one and a quarter

dollar per yard 750,000 dollars ; longells, 50,000 pieces at 7-50

per piece 375,000 dollars ; English camlets 10,000 pieces at twenty-

two dollars per piece 220,000 dollars ; Dutch camlets 1,000 pieces

at thirty dollars per piece 30,000 dollars. The woollen trade has

not increased, and the Russian barter trade has driven the

English out ; Belgian and Saxon cloths are interfering with us.

Rich Chinese wear silks wadded with cotton which look better

and wear longer.

COASTING TRADE OF CHINA.- The Chinese, as shown at page

194, were probably the first who invented the compass, and were

navigators of the sea at a very early period . This is however the

only improvement of which they can boast ; quadrants, sextants,



and chronometers, are entirely unknown to their mariners. What

they did a thousand years ago, they do now, creeping along the

coast, if possible in sight of land, thereby obtaining a very accu-

rate knowledge of the landmarks, and becoming versed in cur-

rents, tides, and the shifting of winds. But a Chinese sailor is

hopelessly lost in the high seas, and celebrates the day on which

he again beholds the land, with the fervour of a discoverer. This

may in part account for the otherwise inexplicable circumstance,

that a nation so devoted to the sea and having so many excellent

sailors, has not latterly ventured beyond the nearest port in Japan,

and the west coast of Formosa, and even carry on no trade with the

Koreans . And yet they are not people that fear a heavy sea, but

have served on board of our ships and men-of-war with far greater

credit than Lascars.

The government has not latterly been favourable to marine

trade, because those engaged in it were beyond its immediate

control, and in many instances braved the whole force of the

Celestial Empire .

There are only two provinces extensively engaged in maritime

commerce, whilst the sailors of the other parts confine themselves

to short voyages, and never go beyond the beaten track. These

are Kwangtung and Fookeen , the great carriers of every kind of

produce by sea.

Commencing with the south, the island of Haenan has a great

variety of articles for the northern market. Its sugar, areca nuts,

rose and eagle woods, are taken in Chaou-choo junks to Shang-

hai and Teëntsin, and give invariably a profitable return . The

exportation of the former is not under 600,000 peculs per annum.

The natives do not engage in these distant voyages, but prefer a

trip to the southern ports of the Asiatic continent in search of

grain, of which on account of their arid plains they stand very

much in want. Between Haenan and Canton, there is a mere

coasting trade in small craft, not extending beyond the metro-

polis. The boats bring thither their surplus produce, some of

which is the same as that imported from the Indian Archipelago ;

but the staples are sugar and cotton, which are mostly re-exported

from Canton to other provinces.

Canton itself has a very flourishing marine trade to Teëntsin

and Shanghai . All its manufactures, its abundance of sugar, its

accumulated stores of cotton, indigo, cassia, aniseed, and a

variety of smaller articles, fill hundreds of junks bound for the

north; and its exports are not below eight millions of dollars

per annum. In return for these articles, the junks bring back

considerable sums of bullion, drugs from Shantung, and Leou-

tung, felt, fruits,-such as dates, pears, and grapes ; and mutton.

This is one of the most profitable branches of commerce which the

city possesses .

From Canton to Chaou-choo on the eastern extremity, the


natives are not at all in the habit of going beyond the coast of

this province. There is at Tanshwuy not far from Hong Kong, a

very large exportation of salt, greatly to the detriment of the

gabelle, since it is smuggled into the interior. To every settle-

ment 10,000 peculs per month is the allotted average, for Canton

perhaps ten times the quantity. Haehong is another commercial

place rich in resources, and principally engaged with Canton to

barter their goods. All along the coast, sugar, an article always

in demand, is produced . This is collected by the Chaou-choo

(Teachoo) junks, which throughout the year with a number of

smaller articles go to Kaonchoo in Shantung, to Shanghae, and

Teëntsin, the average tonnage being no less than twenty million

peculs per annum.

Fookeen has far more extensive relations, and whilst its craft

crowd in every harbour of that province, there is not a single Can-

ton junk seen in them. The maritime enterprise, however, is con-

fined to the coast south-west of Fuhchoo ; beyond that, the inha-

bitants merely ply in small coasting vessels , from city to city,

without venturing to Chekeang or any other province.

The southernmost trading place is Chaonan, a very flourishing

port, not far from Namoa. In the neighbourhood large quantities

of alum are obtained, and hundreds of junks, principally for the

Canton and foreign markets, are freighted with this article. Sugar

is likewise found here, and taken to the north, whilst other junks

go in ballast to Haenan, and thence proceed to Teentsin.

Cheopo, a little higher up, is principally connected with Formosa,

but the country produces, likewise, sugar of very superior quality,

and also some camphor. The junks by becoming partly the car-

riers of Taewan (Formosa) produce, such as rice, sugar, camphor,

and oil- cakes, the latter a very important article for manuring the

land, in Fookeen, maintain a constant intercourse with Canton,

whilst visiting Ningpo and Shanghai.

Amoy was once the most flourishing emporium of China, and

even now yields as much money in customs as the whole of the

province taken together. There are some manufactures which are

exported for the surrounding region, viz.: coarse China-ware, fine

grass-cloth, paper, and umbrellas, articles much in demand, and a

great variety of smaller ones, suited to the tastes of the Formosa

settlers, and the people in the Indian Archipelago. Several kinds of

fruits, dried as well as fresh, are likewise sent to other markets.

But Amoy stands in want of almost every other thing, which have

to be imported from Formosa, Canton, and in fact from all the har-

bours of the extensive coast .

About four millions of taels may be considered as the annual

average exports and imports, but the principal and most lucrative

branch, is the carrying trade, in which hundreds of Amoy junks

are engaged, which go from harbour to harbour, and return home

perhaps once a-year.


Amoy has sent forth myriads of emigrants, who are settled in all

parts of the Indian Archipelago, and constitute the most thriving

commercial community in these regions ; they are in possession of

large capital, and are the bankers of all the native tribes .

Tsuen-choo (Chin -choo) , has its principal relation with Formosa,

engaging very largely in the exportation of grain, and hemp, and

oil-cakes, and trading like the former ports, to the north. It is

from this district that the great mass of the colonists of that island

have sprung, and imported all the turbulence and low habits which

characterize the parental stock. There is a regular slave-trade

carried on with the mainland, the victims being, however, not pri-

soners of war, but poor starving creatures, who either sell them.

selves to pay off debts, or leave a sum of money to their parents, or

are sold by their relations. They remain, however, only a short

time in bondage, and many then work as free labourers, at their


Hwugan is another sugar emporium. Fuhchoo is rich in home

produce, timber, bamboos, and tobacco ; its exports of these arti-

cles to almost every part of the north, are very large. The city is,

therefore, wealthy, and the merchants have credit, so that their

paper constitutes a currency, and the bullion is hoarded up in cof+

fers. The average of the Foochoo trade is annually five to six

million taels. An extraordinary circumstance showing how much

policy distorted and inappropriate, interferes with the natural

course of things, we mention here, that this metropolis , though the

natural place for exporting the black teas, which grow in its neigh-

bourhood, has never enjoyed this traffic, and merely supplied For-

mosa with a few hundred peculs of an inferior article ; and even

now, since the commerce is open, it has become a matter of great

doubt, whether it ever will become an emporium.

The province of Fookeen stands in want of many necessaries of

life, so that the balance of trade, in the various acceptations of the

word, is against it. From the north, pulse, drugs, salted and

corned meat, fruit, and silk-piece goods, are the principal articles of

import. Formosa, an inexhaustible source of production, supplies

grain, hemp, and oil. This island is an invaluable acquisition,

and were it not a part of China, the Fookeenese would suffer from

starvation, and find no outlet for their overflowing population.

The emigrants give themselves up entirely to agricultural pursuits,

and leave the trade to their countrymen, so that the colony owns

no junks, and the inhabitants born on the soil remain attached to

it, and seldom approach the sea, That about ten millions of taels

worth could be produced on the west coast of the island, the east-

coast being still unreclaimed from the aborigines, is only to be

explained by the iron industry of Chinese settlers, the best in the

world for bringing waste soil under cultivation . Formosa employs

about nine hundred sugar junks, varying from 1,000 to 5,000


peculs tonnage, about double the number of rice junks, and 100

with camphor, hemp, and sardines ; the rice junks make the voyage

two or three times annually.

The southern parts of Che-keang, carry on a coasting trade in

small craft, for Woosung, Taechoo, and a number of other places,

and bring the home produce to Ningpo, Shih- po, &c. This

consists of cotton, some kinds of very fine green teas, and various

provisions. The only emporium of any consequence is Ningpo,

and next to it, Sohapoo ; the metropolis Hangchoo, being on account

of the immense rapadity of the Tseentong river debarred from this

privilege. The former emporium supplies silks, raw and wrought,

drugs in large quantity, and cotton ; the latter of the best quality,

and bearing a far higher price than the Indian. Its imports are

sugar, with southern productions ; the trade for such a city, with

no large island communication ; is considerable. It sends its

junks to Mantchoo Tartary, to Teentsin, and Kavuchoo ; to the

latter place in very large numbers, to convey felt and skins ; to the

former, pulse and wheat, of the best description . Amidst all its

disadvantages, Ningpo has capital, and the markets, especially

those of Tseki, have a spirit of enterprise, which leads them to

Canton, and to the frontiers of Siberia.

Chapoo is a small emporium, only remarkable for its intercourse

with Japan. It has, however, much intercourse with Fuhchoo, and

as the emporium of Hangchoo may be considered as of some impor-

tance, since such a large metropolis consumes very much, and sup-

plies with its manufactures, the maritime districts.

It is extraordinary, that such a fertile province as Kangsoo ,

should only have one harbour, viz.: Shanghai, where its trade is

carried on . Jealousy, and fear that seafaring vessels would soon

appear in crowds, and thus interrupt the island commerce, confined

the junks to this single port, and up to the present moment, the

difficult and tedious progress through the great canal is preferred

to the more easy and safe navigation of the sea.

Shanghai, however, is a great emporium, not in itself, but on

account of the large number of merchants who are crowding there

to make purchases, and these come from the most distant parts of

Central Asia. Shanghai exports largely, and more than any other

emporium in China, manufactures to Teentsin , where the river is

covered with its junks . These vessels making two or three voyages

annually to Leaoutung, bring back a great deal of flour, meat ,

pulse, and rhubarb, as well as sheep-skins, the common winter

dress of the poorer classes . Trade appears to be in a flourishing

condition, the inhabitants of Tsungming island join in it, and fit

out crafts for that purpose. It is said a thousand large- sized junks

pass in and out of the harbour of Shanghai weekly.

To the north of Shanghai, the coast of Kangsoo is very flat,

and there are very few boats issuing from those quarters, because


the navigation, on account of the tides and banks, is very dan-


The inhabitants of Shantung are by no means a very enterprizing

commercial race ; their principal trade is along the great canal.

Beyond this they have few coasters, whilst they expect in their

principal emporium, Kaouchoo, the arrival of the junks from the

south, without sending a single craft of their own in that direc-

tion. There is a tolerable traffic in this emporium, or rather bar-

ter, for the merchants are entirely destitute of capital. From

Foochoo, on the east coast, a very strong tide of emigration has

been setting in towards Leaoutung, and the inhabitants possess a

number of small craft to visit that adjacent coast. Thither they

take their coarse manufactures, in return for the hard earnings of

the colonists' wheat, cotton, and drugs. Compared with other

provinces, however, this is a trifling trade, and the mariners do not

venture beyond the limit prescribed by the gulph of Chih-le.

The province of the same name has one single harbour, Teentsin,

which, notwithstanding its shallow river, congregates a larger

marine fleet in August and September, than any other Chinese

harbour. The reason is obvious ; the country is very poor, and

has to buy raw produce as well as manufactures from the south.

And since the court resides in the neighbourhood, and there is

much ready capital at the command of the merchants, commerce

is brisk, and gives always a very good return. It would be very

difficult to form an annual estimate of the imports, which can,

however, not be below 10,000,000 taels, comprising in themselves,

almost every article mentioned above.

Leaoutung has very indifferent harbours, which are, however,

visited on account of the rich produce of the country around,

already mentioned, and judging of the large exportation of pulse,

flour, frozen bacon and mutton, cotton, drugs, and sardines, from

Kaechoo, Kinchoo, and other smaller harbours, the average value

is not below seven million taels per annum. For this the mer-

chants import principally bullion, and a small amount of Nankeen


The coast of Kirin, has, as far as our navigators have ascertained,

no harbours, nor do the Mantchoos venture on the high seas .

Maritime trade, therefore, is almost entirely unknown.

The Chinese junks are of the same unwieldy form that they were

centuries ago . Lately there have been two or three vessels built

by the Chinese, after European models, which have been put in

commission. The Canton-built man-of-war, on her first trip lost

her fore-top-gallant mast and the head of her fore-top mast. She

was built by Amoon, a pupil of Mr. Hamilton of Macao, and is

very swift in the water ; her sails seemed well trimmed. There

are several junks which mount twenty guns, some of which have

their hull after the European model, but the usual rig is that of a

junk. Many may be seen coppered, with rudders of foreign shape


and hung in foreign fashion. The Cochin Chinese, however, many

years ago adopted this custom. Some of the coasting junks are

of enormous size, from 1,800 to 2,000 tons burthen. The main-

mast of one seen at Chusan was thirteen feet in circumference, in-

cluding the " cheeks ;" it was larger than the mainmast of Her

Majesty's ship Wellesley, of seventy-four guns. Under freedom of

European intercourse, the coasting craft of China would be greatly


The ordinary or lowest freight from Manilla to Amoy, in Chinese

junks, is one dollar per pecul for sugar, not worth more than two

dollars per pecul . Sometimes the freight of sugar from Manilla

to Nankin, in Chinese junks, is two and a half dollars per pecul.

Sixteen peculs are equal to twenty cwt. of sugar or rice, therefore

the lowest freight is £3 6s. 8d. per ton, and this only available for

one period of the year.

Junks are divided into seven or more different compartments,

watertight, and belonging to different persons on board for the

voyage. Sometimes two or more persons have a compartment

for their speculations .

The greatest period of activity for the coasting trade of China,

is about a month or six weeks before and after the change of the

monsoon, when vessels occupy least time in going up and down

the coast.

The Chinese carry on a considerable traffic with adjacent coun-

tries. It is estimated that no less than 222 junks or vessels are

so employed, viz.: to Japan, 20 ; Borneo, 13 ; Malay Ports, 6 ;

Manilla, &c. 13 ; Sumatra, 10 ; Cochin China, 20 ; Sooloo Islands,

4 ; Singapore, 8 ; Campodia, 9 ; Celebes, 2 ; Rhio, 1 ; Tonquin,

20 ; Java, 7 ; and Siam, 89. This does not include a number of

smaller junks belonging to the island of Hainan, which carry on a

trade with Tonquin, Cochin China, Cambodia, Siam, and Singa-

pore. The vessels belong principally to the provinces of Fokien

and Kwangtung, though there are many also in the more northern

provinces of Chekeang and Keangsoo . The following is an enu-

meration of the coasting junks trading or touching at Macao and

Keang Mun in 1831. From Amoy, in Fokien, 80 ; from Chang-

choo-foo, in Fokien, 150 ; from Hway-chou-foo and Chao-chou-

foo, in Kwang-tung, 300 ; trading between Keang-mun and Fuh-

keen, &c. 300 ; from Canton to Teentsing, and Mantchou, or

Leaotung coast, 16. The last of these are large junks belonging

to Fokien. The others are smaller junks, varying from a few

hundred to 3,000 or 4,000 peculs. Mr. Crawford estimates the

foreign shipping of China at 70,000 tons, and that of Hainan Isle

at 10,000 tons.

The junks of largest size go to Singapore, Siam, Cochin China,

Sooloo Islands , Celebes, Batavia, Borneo, Amboina, Kalentung,

Tringano, and formerly to Manilla. These junks start generally

from Amoy with emigrants, or from Shanghai, Ningpo, and

Canton, with China produce and manufactures.


Junk trade between Siam and China. It is stated, that about

seventy to eighty junks leave Siam in May, June, and July,

with grain, sugar, sopar-wood, betel-nut, &c., averaging each

nearly 300 tons, usually built in Siam, owned by Chinese and

Siamese at Bankock, and navigated by Chaou-choo men, from

the east district of Canton. They have a captain, or supercargo : *

a pilot (Hochang) to watch all the coasts ; a helmsman (Toking)

who manages the sailing of the vessel ; a comprador to purchase

provisions ; two clerks to keep the accounts ; also a priest to

attend the idols, and burn gold and silver paper every morning. 6

The sailors are divided into two classes ; one has charge of sails,

anchors , &c. , the other performs the heavy work, hauling ropes,

heaving anchor, &c.: every one, except the menials (Hoke) , is ' a

shareholder, and has something for trade at any port they may

touch at. The cabins, or rather holes, into which they creep, it is

difficult to stretch in at full length . There is no discipline , no mu-

tual interest, no attempt at cleanliness or decency. The compass A

is almost the sole guide : Captain Collinson, R.N. , informed me

he found rude charts in use among some, but the land was badly

laid down .

The exports from Siam to China consist chiefly of sugar, rice,

ivory, sapan-wood, gamboge, and a variety of tropical products ,

for the use of the northern provinces, where the junks obtain

flour, grain, peas, cured mutton, and other provisions.

Two to four junks, of 500 to 700 tons burthen, visit the gold

mines near Pantianak, Banjer-massing, and Sambas, where a

Chinese republic of 60,000 individuals has been established for

some years. Gold, ebony, and tin, are taken to China. To Palem-

bang and Banka there are several junks ; also to Samarang and

Rhio . Birds'- nests, beche-de-mer, agar-agar, &c. are brought from

the straits ; also pepper, which is in great demand in China. The

Canton trade with the straits employs about 6,000,000 dollars .

The Emperor Keenlung, at the commencement of his reign ,

allowed his subjects to visit foreign parts, expecting to buy rice ;

but now a merchant on returning from abroad may be brought

before a court of justice, and be ordered to be beheaded as a traitor

for having had commercial intercourse with foreigners.

The number of Chinese junks that arrived at Singapore during

the season of 1844-5, in thirteen months, was thirty-four, whose

tonnage is computed at 7,478.

The number of Chinese emigrants during this period was 6,883 .

The number the two previous years was, respectively, 1,600 and

7,000 ; but the year 1845 fully 9,000 was expected . They dis-

perse through the Straits' settlements, and the Dutch colony of


The trade carried on at Singapore in Chinese junks was, in

value of imports from China, in 1839-40, 1,109,264 dollars ; in

1840-41 , 2,149,604 dollars .


The exports to China from Singapore, in Chinese junks, has

considerably increased. In cotton, and cotton goods, upwards of

20,000 bales of the former, and 40,000 pieces of the latter, have

been carried. The value of the exports was, in 1839-40, 1,499,139

dollars ; in 1840-41 , 2,892,872 . The number of junks, in 1840,

was 148, with a tonnage of 14,446 .

I have previously adverted (page 356,) to the important trade

that might be established with Cochin China, a country of which

so little is known, although we formerly had a factory there. I

avail myself of this occasion to give an abstract of a valuable re-

port by M. Isidore Hedde, a distinguished member of the recent

French mission to China, who visited Turon Bay, in Cochin

China, in May, 1844, in the French corvette ' Alcmene.' The ship

anchored off a small island called " Mo- Koie," in lat . 16° 07′

N., long. 108° 12′ E. of Greenwich. M. Hedde says :-

" The entrance of the bay is defended by two small forts called

Panghaie, at a distance each from the other of three miles. En-

tering the bay by a channel in the form of a spiral, we are then

in a dock of an elliptical form, whose greatest axis may be of eight

miles, and the smallest, six miles . This natural dock is sur-

rounded at the east, north, and west by the high mountains on

the way to Fouhué, the capital of the kingdom, and whose angular

tops, of primitive formation, rise up in several places to the height

of 6,000 feet, or more, from the level of the sea. On the south-

east side, the bay is separated from the sea only by a large sandy

ground, in which is a large village, surrounded by some trees, and

which borders on the Turon river.

" The small town of Turon, rather a large village, is at the most

remote side of the bay towards the south, at about six miles from

the common anchorage, on the left side of a broad channel, which

is said to communicate with the sea, and into which the river from

Sayfo empties itself. The place was formerly very mercantile, and

several European nations had establishments there.

" Turon consists of several groups of villages on each side of the

channel, the principal of which has about 500 mean habitations of

bamboo, and 2,500 inhabitants.

" The west side of the bay is flat and sandy. The principal arti-

cles cultivated are rice and maize. They have also some mulberry

trees (morus allea) , whose leaves they sell to Sayfo people, who rear

silkworms. Cotton is also cultivated, but it is employed in a very

costly manner. Country people, especially women, have looms

in which they weave cotton ; their looms are disposed in the

Chinese manner, i.e. they have two treddles, or a pair of treddles,

and their reed is inclined, and pushed by itself from the back

of the loom . Their cotton goods are very common , of one foot

broad ; some are dyed red, with sapan-wood, blue with native

indigo, black with different kinds of leaves and iron water. All

round the bay are found different kinds of fish and fine shells.


" During all our stay, twelve days, we lost no one of our crew,

and had only twenty men sick. No rain fell, and the thermome

ter continued at 90° Farenheit, on board and in the shade.

" The kingdom of Cochin China, or Anàm, is now composed of :

1st .-Tonquin, which contains according to M. Chaiquean, the

ancient French mandarin, 18,000,000 of inhabitants. That is the

richest part of the Anamitic country. There are in the interior

two principal towns, Ketchen and Vihouang. The population of

each is reckoned at 100,000 or 150,000 inhabitants, and 220,000

Roman Catholics are supposed to be spread over all the country.

In Upper Cochin China, wherein is Fouhue, or rather Kiguh, resi-

dence of the king and capital of the kingdom. This place is upon

an island, formed by two channels of the river. It is remarkable

for its fortifications made on the European system, which were

erected by the French and Irish engineers, who in 1799 accompa-

nied the bishop of Adran . It is a town whose streets are said to

be paved, gravelled and bordered with trees. Houses are made of

stone and bricks after the European manner. There are ramparts

defended by numerous artillery, and stone houses and arsenals

well furnished with guns, and everything necessary in case of a

war for 100,000 soldiers . The surface of the town is about five or

six miles in circumference, and its population consists of about

60,000 inhabitants. 3rd.- Lower Cochin China, whose principal

town is Shaigoene, another town fortified after the European

system, and sea-port at the mouth of a river of the same name,

which must be an arm of the Great Camboja River. There was,

according to Horsburgh, a manufactory for the casting of cannon,

and houses and stocks for the building of ships . According to

different travellers this town was very mercantile, for the conve-

nience of the harbour and depth of water. But since the great in-

surrection in 1833, a great part of its fortifications have been put

down, its commerce driven away, and almost all the population

perished. Those two ports of Cochin China are said to contain

according to the same aforesaid mandarin, 1,000,000 inhabitants,

amongst whom are 80,000 Roman Catholics. 4th. - Camboja,

whose principal town is Penonben, or Kalompe, with a population

of 30,000 inhabitants. The frontiers of that part which separates

the Anamitic empire from the Siamese, or from the uncivilized

tribes which are supposed to belong to the Siamese kingdom, are

determined exactly; but they are frequently crossed by parties of

warriors, and occupied sometimes by the one and afterwards by

the other, according to the chances of war, which has long been

carried on by the one government against the other. The popula-

tion of that fourth part of the Anamitic empire is about 1,000,000

inhabitants, amongst whom are very few Christians.

"The country is very fertile, especially in Lower Cochin China.

There are mines, especially one of gold at Phuyenn, and another


at Shuongreek in the department of Kouannam . But govern-

ment, which is afraid of foreign cupidity, forbids to touch them or

even speak of them, under a penalty of death.

"The king has taken to himself all the monopoly of trade . He

buys goods from his subjects at the price he appoints, and sends

his ships to sell them at foreign ports . He employs in trade five

square-rigged ships and steamers which have been constructed in

the country. He sends them to Canton, to Singapore, to Batavia,

and sometimes to Calcutta. He sends to Singapore indigenous

and Chinese silks, also green teas, nankeens, cinnamon, rhinoceros'

horns, cardamoms, rice, sugar, salt, ivory, buffaloes' skins, precious

wood and treasure. He receives camlets, common long ells, red,

blue and yellow, for the use of his soldiers, tin, opium, fire- arms,

and some Indian goods. He receives from Batavia, cloves, nut-

megs, pepper, black and blue silks, green velvets, and glass ware

of every kind. To give an idea of the manner in which the trade

is carried on, we may mention, that the last year the king sent to

Canton two ships and twelve officers to sell his goods and to buy

others in exchange. On their return, not being satisfied with

their success, he degraded them, putting them in prison and in

fetters, and confiscating all their property. And they are still be-

wailing their miserable condition, the reward of their ill success as

merchants . The junks which trade from Cochin China, are under

private authorisation or managed by fraud. A statement is here

presented of the commerce between Singapore and Cochin China.

Imported to Singapore. Exported from Singapore.

1839-176,261 dollars. 1839-173,447 dollars.

1840-166,479 .. 1840-200,304

1841-245,521 · 1841-292,686

1842-208,484 • 1842-248,324

1843-244,785 1843-227,848

1844-177,606 1844-229,413

" The scale of duties for anchorage is as follows :-

At Fouhue 54 kouan for a thnoc (15,944 in .)

At Shaigoene 102 99 99

At Turon 72 ‫دو‬ ‫وو‬

" But the last place only is open to foreign trade. Very few

ships come to trade. They have deserted on account of the arbi-

trary practices of the king, who has the entire monopoly of the

trade, and because there are no fixed regulations for its manage-


" Cochin China coins have been explained in Morrison's Com-

mercial Guide, according to the statements given by the late J. L.

Taberd, bishop of Isauropolis, in his valuable Anamitic dictionary.

They are well made both in gold and silver, and are as follows :-


1 gold ingot or ' loaf ' , weight 10 taels, Spanish dollars 238 .

‫دو‬ 5 ‫دو‬ "" 119 .

1 golden nail or ' ding vang ', I "" "" 24.

"" "" "" 12 .

4 99 6.

10 golden nails make one golden loaf, so called.

1 silver ingot or loaf ' nen bac', weight 10 taels - dollars 14.

" Its specific weight is 95 parts pure silver and 5 alloy, or 100

parts. The value of 17 silver loaves is equal to that of 1 golden


1 silver nail ordinh bac', weight 1 tael, dollars 1.40.

"" "" "" "" 70.

‫دو‬ ‫وو‬ "" "" 35.

10 silver nails are equivalent to 1 silver loaf.

" Besides the native coin the late King Ming Ming issued a

coinage of gold and silver dollars, and the reigning King Thieu-fri

adopted the same. The weight and value are here presented.

1 gold dollar, weight 1.039 ounces troy, dollars 12 .

0.519 "" 6.50.

"" "" 0.259 ‫دو‬ ‫دو‬ 3.25 .

1 silver dollar "" 0.860 "" "" 0.70.

"" ‫وو‬ 0.431 "" "" 0.35 .

4 "2 "" 0.215 "" "" 0.17.

" The specific weight is 190 parts of pure metals, and 80 of

copper or alloy. One side bears the face of the Cochin China

dragon, and the other side the king's name in Chinese characters,

some Ming Ming's, and others that of Thieu-fri . Some are like

common dollars and have a hole in the middle, while others are

broader and not so thick.

"The only popular coin is the ' cash,' made of pure zinc. Its form

is circular, and is 0.87 inch in diameter. It has, like the Chinese

cash, a square hole in the middle, of 0.16 inch each side, for the

convenience of stringing a number together. It is not coined, but

cast. The Chinese characters are intended to represent the name

of the king. Six hundred of them strung together in this manner

form what is called a kouan, (kwan) or a string. Each kouan

makes 10 heaps or tiens, each of 60 cash. The value of the cash

varies in different sections, or according to the value attributed to

gold and silver. In Turon, and in Upper Cochin China, one

Spanish dollar is worth only three or four kouan. In Shaigoene,

or in Lower Cochin China, one Spanish dollar is worth five or six

kouan. So in taking the dollar at an average value of four kouan

we shall have→→

1 (sápek) cash worth Spanish dollar 0.0004166 . "

10 ‫وو‬ ‫ور‬ 0.00416.

, 』,, * £


60 0.025 .

600 0.25. ##

2600 " 1.



{ ་ avoird. p.

1'kan,' or catty of 16 ' luongs' or taels, 1 ounce each 1.378

10 "" one yen "" ‫وو‬ 13.78

50 "" one binh ‫دو‬ ‫دو‬ ‫دو‬ 68.90

100 one ta "" "3 ‫دو‬ 137.1

500 "" one kouan "" "9 "9 689.

" There is no exactly determined legal measure of length .

Thuoc is the generic name. Its divisions will be here presented.

10 phans- 1 tak or inch.

10 tak 1 thuoc, or foot, or ell.

5 thuoc —1 ngou, or fathom .

4 ngou - 1 soa, or rod .

10 soa -1 moa, or rood.

" The generic measure thuoc (the Chinese chih, cubit, or foot, ) is

very different according to circumstances. Those more commonly

employed are here presented .

Thuoc, used for measuring ships for the service of ports 0.405 metre.

Thuoc, used for wood at Turon 0.425

Thuoc , mentioned by Taberd . 0.48726

Thuoc, used by the king for measuring silks and

other cloths in his transactions with a Frenchman 0.594

Thuoc, used by natives in the Turon market • 0.61

Thuoc, used according to Morrison . 0.64968



1 ly- 144 metres.

2 ly- 1 dam- 888 metres .

10 ly-5 dam- 4444 metres.


1 mao–10 soa– 165 thuoc– 80.3979 metres .

The muo is what a man may cultivate in one day.


1 hao • 28 litres.

2 hao- 1 shita- 1 tao in weight - 56 litres.

The hao is a measure of rice required for a month's subsistence.

It is given by the king to his soldiers.


" Hens' and ducks' eggs ( 10) 1 kouan ; fowl or duck (1 ) 2 tien ;

pork ( 1 catty) 4 tien ; rice (a kan) 1 to 2 kouan ; beef (a catty) 3

tien ; plantains (a set) 1 tien ; pine apples ( 10) 83 kouan ; oranges

(10) 5 tien ; maize (a han) 5 to 10 tien ; small lemons (10) 1 tien ;

flour of millet (a catty) 2 kouan ; salt (a catty) 3 tien ; veal (a catty)

4 tien ; buffalo (a catty) 3 tien ; small onions (a catty) 1 tien ; sweet

potatoes (a catty) 1 tien ; beans (a catty) 2 tien ; yams (a catty)

90 sapeks ; small pigeons ( 1 ) 90 sapeks ; geese (1) 4 tien ; oysters


(100) 1 kouan ; turnips (a catty) 1 tien ; cakes made of eggs and

flour (1) kouan ; cocoa-nut (10) 3 tien ; oil (a catty) 2 kouan ;

fish, all kinds, (a catty) 2 tien ; tobacco (a catty) 13 tien ; paper,

white leaves, made of bamboo, ( 100) 8 kouan ; sugar (a catty) 1

tien ; candy (a catty) 3 tien ; cucumbers (10) 3 tien ; ginger, sweet

meat of (a jar) 7 tien ; mango ( 10) 5 tien ; tack ( 1 ) 2 tien ; cassia

(a catty) 2 kouan ; black pepper (a catty) 1 tien ; green tea from

Hue, (a catty) 3 tien ; wood for fire (a ta) 3 kouan ; ebony from

Kouannam (a ta) 10 tien ; eagle wood (a ta) 10 tsen ; red copper

(a ta) 50 kouan ; morfit (a catty) 1 kouan ; horns of rhinoceros (a

catty) 10 kouan ; mats, best kind, (a pair) 8 kouan ; green indigo

(a catty) 1 kouan ; bees'-wax (a catty) 14 kouan ; cotton (a catty)

1 to 2 kouan ; raw silk (a catty) 3 to 4 kouan ; cotton cloth, a piece

of 24 thuoc, 7 kouan ; coat for a man ( 1 ) 6 kouan ; trousers (1 )

5 kouan ; turban of silk or cotton crape, 8 kouan.

Day's work in Upper Cochin China, (besides rice) 30 to 40 sapeks .

‫دو‬ Lower Cochin China, 2 tien .


Mason, carpenter, and other mechanical trades in Upper Cochin

China, 1 tien .

Mason, carpenter, and other mechanical trades in Lower Cochin

China, 2 to 3 tien .

"These several prices indicate the variety and cheapness of local

productions . But it is not to be inferred that these prices are by

any means constant, inasmuch as the king has monopolised com-

merce . For instance, silk may be generally obtained from 2 to 4

kouan, which is very cheap. But if it be for exportation, the price

may be increased to 6, or 8, or 10 kouan, according to the king's


It would be very advisable for our government to send a com-

mercial mission to Cochin China.

There is an increasing trade between China and Java, where

many Chinese are established . "

The following are stated to be the exports of birds' nests from

Java to China for six years inclusive.

Year. Peculs. lbs. Value in florins. Year. Pecul. lbs. Value in florins.

1829 260 34,666 435,622 1832 244 32,533 408,355

1830 261 34,800 448,419 1833 333 44,400 559,492

1831 255 34,000 334,760 1834 200 27,200 350,032

This article of commerce is a governmental monopoly in Bata-

via, which produces on an average 200,000 Spanish dollars annu-

ally. Great care is taken, by the government, of the rocks which

harbour these birds, at the proper season the caverns are cleansed

out by smoking them with sulphur : they are gathered twice a

year, and made up into three classes. The best are cream white

and semi-translucent, and in shape like the fourth part of an

orange, This muco-albuminous substance, will sell for as much

as 40 dollars a catty, that is twenty ounces avoirdupois . Rice is

also a large article of export from Java to China,




From an early period the Chinese traded with foreign countrie

One hundred and twenty-one years before the Christian era, th

Emperor of China sent " able ambassadors to different mercanti

countries, where they obtained bright pearls, gems, and precious

stones, yellow gold, and various other commodities ." -Dr. Morrison.

A.D. 176. Foreigners came by southern sea to Canton for trade.

A.D. 600. During the Suy dynasty, ambassadors were sent

from China to surrounding nations.

A.D. 700. Canton was made a regular commercial port of the

Chinese empire, and houses were built, A.D. 1400, for the accom-

modation of foreigners coming to trade . During the Tang Sung

and Ming dynasties , and partly under the Mongol, that is from the

commencement of the Tang, A.D., 619, to Kublai -khan, the Mon-

gol, 1280, and from the Ming dynasty in 1368, to the Tartar in

1644, the Chinese shewed considerable commercial and maritime

enterprise . Kublai -khan sent an expedition under the command

of Marco Polo, to survey the Indian Archipelago .

During the sixteenth century, the Portuguese, (A.D. 1516) Span-

ish, and Dutch, carried on a lucrative trade with the different ports

in China, at Canton, Amoy, Ningpo, and Chusan .

Marco Polo, speaking of the trade of Malabar, says, " the ships

from China brought copper, gold, brocades, silks, gauzes, gold and

silver bullion, and many kind of drugs, not produced in India."

He adds, " that the merchants made great profits by their import

and return cargoes ."

England commenced trade with China at the beginning of the

seventeenth century . In 1670, the English East India Company

had a factory at the island of Formosa, and carried on trade with

the opposite province of Fokien .

In 1676, the English had a factory at Amoy, from which they

retired, in 1680, on the contests between the Mantchoos and

Chinese, but were permitted to return in 1684.

In 1700 the English had a factory at Chusan. The Emperor

Kanghe, (who died, A.D. 1722) , in the twenty- third year of his

reign, allowed a free trade to his own subjects, and to foreigners,

which continued for about thirty years, but was stopped on the

ground that it would impoverish the country.

But the policy of the Tartar conquerors, was really directed

towards the exclusion of all other foreigners, or if that were not

possible, to restrict them to the most distant southern port of the

empire-Canton. This was accordingly done, and in consequence

of our trade being a monopoly in the hands of the East India Com-

pany, no efforts were made to abolish the exclusive system set up by

the Tartars, for the more effectual maintenance of their usurpation .

The history of the trade at Canton is, therefore, the history of

the whole foreign European and American trade with China, until


146 TONNAGE AT CANTON, 1844 AND 1845 .

the years 1844-45, and little more is now necessary, than to place

on record a few data, illustrative of the present period, which may

serve for future comparison .

In 1747, the European ships in China were, 8 English ; 6

Dutch ; 4 Swedish ; and 2 Danish ; total 20. The war between

France and England prevented any French vessels being then

sent to China.

In 1789, the distribution of ships in China, was : English East

India Company, 21 ; British India ships, 40 ; United States of

America, 15 ; Dutch, 5 ; Portuguese, 3 ; French, 1 ; Danes, 1 ;

total, 86.

It must be remembered that the ships belonging to, or char-

tered by the East India Company, were large vessels , seldom less

than 1,000 tons burthen : and that the British India, or 66 coun-

try" ships, were also of large burthen.

In 1834, the number of foreign ships which arrived at Canton,

for the year ending 30th June, was : English East India Company,

24 ; Do. , from India and Singapore, 77 ; American, 70 ; Spanish,

37 ; Portuguese, 23 ; French, 6 ; Dutch, 6 ; Danish, 5 ; Ham-

burgh, 3 ; Swedish, 1 ; Mexican, 1 : Total, 253. In this year the

exclusive privileges of the English East India Company ceased .

The number and tonnage of merchant vessels which arrived at the

port of Canton, during the years ending the 31st December,

1844, and 1845, were :

1844 1845

Number of Number of


Vessels. Tonnage Vessels. Tonnage

British .. 228 111,350 182 86,087

American 57 23,273 83 38,658

French .. 2 751 3 799

Dutch 11 3,878 11 2,972

Belgian 2 1,151


Danish .. 2 591 948

Swedish 581 2,066

Austrian 567

Hamburg 230 1,484

Bremen .. 294 520

Spanish 1,406

Columbian and Peruvian .. 243

Siam 1,100

Total 306 142,099 302 136,850

Comparing the year 1845 with 1844, there appears to be a dimi-

nution on the total tonnage of 3,249 tons. On the English ton-

nage there was a diminution to the extent of 25,263 tons, while the

Americans increased by 5,395 tons. It is probable that the returns


for the year 1846, will present a similar result of the British ton-

nage arriving at Canton ; in 1845, the " country," (Indian) , vessels

were in number, 64; tonnage, 35,888.

The whole British tonnage in China, during the years 1844 and

1845 , was :


1844. 1845 .

Canton, 228 Ships 111,350 tons. Canton, 182 Ships, 86,087 tons.

Shanghai, No return. Shanghai 62 do . 15,971 do .

Amoy do . do . Amoy 33 do. 6,655 do.

Ningpo do. do . Ningpo "" do. 962 do.

Foo-chow do. do . Foo-chow 5 do. دو‬do.

228 Ships, 111,350 228 Ships, 109,675

That our tonnage trade has increased in China, is shown by the

number and tonnage of British ships, to and from Great Britain

and Hong Kong, trading with the ports of Canton, Shanghai,

and Amoy, during the year 1845, as compared with those to

and from Great Britain, engaged in the China trade, on an

average of ten years, from 1833 to 1842.


Years Ships Tonnage Years Ships Tonnage

1845 213 72,825 1845 223 82,549

Average of ten

years , from 38 18,333 Average 54 30,462

1833 to 1842 .

Increase in 1845 175 54,492 182 52,087

In this table, so far as Canton is concerned , are included only

ships from Great Britain, which have entered that port during the

year ; but as there is no distinction made in the Shanghai and

Amoy tables between English and country ships bearing the Bri-

tish flag, which have entered either of these two latter ports, it is

impossible to separate them.

An examination of the numerous official tables before me, leaves

no doubt of the augmentation of our shipping in China ; from the

year 1793 to 1831 , the British tonnage from China to England,

did not average 20,000 tons yearly, and at the close of the East

We may

India Company's charter, did not exceed 27,000 tons.

therefore fairly conclude, that the tonnage from England has

doubled within the last ten years .








. xclusive





Trade 148


1844 .



. 1838

. Total Total


. OCanton Dollars


. ther


.Canton . ther

Ports .4d




Imp orts 15,506,240



10,480,067 10.392,934






,, ts 17,925,360


13,152,924 26,700,609







dollars 11,711,055








sale of our manufactures.






Cotton 6,816,382


4,500,000 4,727,834



163,011 4,922,723





goods 792.158


200,000 1,552,101 ,519,438






Ditto 14,000


684,688 335,176





Woollens 2,878,966


1,900,000 2,646,851






. s 413,914


235.393 285,468

50,075 42,095

74,200 116,295






&ngland 13,432,958


9,000,000 318,992





r, aw 6,082,538










manufactured 200,925


400,842 575,094



Cloths 41,500


32,765 5,112 37,877 12,756






640,384 1,002,981



Exported 6,102,14




Opium- 11,243,496

13,554,030 returns



and China, and by impoverishing the Chinese, it has prevented the

for opium, has without doubt, checked our trade between England

It is difficult to show the progress of our trade in value or in

quantities with China, for a series of years. The drain of silver


On a general view of the foregoing, it will be seen that there

has been, in 1844 and 1845, an augmentation in some branches

of our trade with China since 1828, and a diminution in other

branches. How far it has been a better paying trade during the

latter period, is another question ; the general impression is, that

during 1844 and 1845 commerce has been forced to an extent be-

yond remuneration ; and it is said that the years 1846 and 1847 will

exhibit a very great falling off in our exports to China.

The following is an abstract of Trade under British flags at the

Ports of Canton and Shanghai in 1845, as compared with 1844 .


1845 . 1844. 1845. 1844. IMPORTS. EXPORTS IMPORTS. EXPORTS.

Canton, 10,392,934 15,506,240 20,734,018 17,925,360 2,808,658 5,113,306)

Shanghai 5,822,494 2,313,873 5,838,882 2,267,430 2,708,621 3,571,445

16,215,428 17,820,113 26,572,900 20,192,790 2,708,621 6,380,103 5,113,306

The trade of the other three consular ports is scarcely worth

notice, and would not affect the general results . It is a curious

feature in our intercourse, that the exports from China have in-

creased in a far greater proportion than the imports ; indeed, in

1845, at Canton the exports were double the amount of the

imports .

The export of raw cotton from India to China is decreasing in

consequence of the augmenting supply from the United States.

It is a clear indication of our erroneous fiscal and general policy in

British India, where there is abundance of land, cheap labour, and

near communication with China, and yet the American cotton now

undersells the Anglo- Indian cotton in Canton . Our cotton goods

have largely increased, but so also have the Americans, and in a

more rapid ratio than our Manchester manufactures.

In woollens our trade has decreased . In a memorial to Her

Majesty's government, in December, 1846, from certain cloth

manufacturers and others, it is stated that during the period of the

East India Company's exclusive trade with China, the yearly

average number of pieces of all sorts of woollens shipped was

157,165, value £320,924 ; whereas, since the " opening of the

trade," the average number has been only 99,684, value 191,531 .

The memorialists further declare that "the recent treaty with

China has not yielded them any advantage." An examination of

the manner in which we allowed ourselves to be bound and fet-

tered by that treaty will fully explain the reason, without urging

the tea duties as a cause. We have voluntarily excluded ourselves

from the north of China, where the climate requires woollen goods,

and where the people are well supplied with Russian and Prussian

woollen cloths ! If we had studiously endeavoured to injure our


commerce with the north of China, and prevent our freedom of in-

tercourse and extended traffic, we could not have more effectually

accomplished the purpose than by the " Treaty of Nankin," and

its still more injurious supplement of 8th of October, 1842 , (see

page 85, vol. ii.)

The comparative British trade of Canton and Shanghai is shown

in the following statement for the past two years :—

1844. IMPORTS . 1845.

£3,451,312 Canton • £2,301,692

501,335 Shanghai 1,082,207

110,000 [estimated] Amoy 147,494

10,000 [ estimated] Ningpo 10,398

Foo-chow-foo £72,147

Deduct, goods carried

£4,072,647 to Shanghai "" 67,820

3,566,318 4,527

£ 406,329 Decrease in imports. £3,566,318

In exports, tea has risen from the value of £2,979,589 to

£3,895,718 - increase on the year, 916,121 . Silk from £827,075

to 1,226,745 , showing an addition to what was considered the

large shipments of 1844 of £399,670 in value. Sugar and sugar-

candy from £ 138,101 to £217,334 .

1844 . EXPORTS. 1845 .

£3,883,828 Canton £4,492,370

487,528 Shanghai 1,259,091

Amoy • 15,478

70,000 [ estimated] { Ningpo


Foo-chow-foo . 683




Increase in exports £ 1,443,761

The relative position of our great staples will be seen at the two

ports thus . It is right, however, to premise that there have been

heavy losses by the shipments to Shanghai in 1845 .

1844 . IMPORTS . 1845.

Woollens. Woollens .

Canton £628,087 Canton £406,133

Shanghai 106,767 Shanghai 167,417

1844 £ 734,854 1845 £573,530

DETAILS OF TRADE , 1844 AND 1845 . 151

I 1844 . IMPORTS. 1845.

Cotton. Cotton.

Canton • £ 1,476,882 Canton £ 1,024,364

Shanghai . 321 Shanghai

Amoy [ estimated] 35,000 Amoy 42,227

1844 e £1,512,215 1845 £ 1,066,591

Cotton Goods. Cotton Goods.

Canton £875,156 Canton · £530,937

Shanghai 336,290 Shanghai 881,618

1844 £ 1,211,446 1845 £ 1,412,555

Cotton Yarns. Cotton Yarns.

Canton £ 148,120 Canton £63,830

Shanghai · 550 Shanghai 4,820

1844 · £ 148,670 1845 £68,650

1844 . EXPORTS. 1845 .

Tea. Tea.

Canton £2,910,474 Canton £3,429,790

Shanghai · 67,115 Shanghai 462,746

Ningpo 2,000 Amoy 544

Ningpo 2,000

Foo-chow-foo 638

1844 · £2,979,589 1845 £3,895,718

Silk. Silk.

Canton • £409,862 Canton • £434,256

Shanghai 417,213 Shanghai 792,489

1844 £827,075 1845 . £1,226,645

Sugar and Sugar-candy.

Canton in 1844 £138,101

Ditto "" 1845 217,334

It would be much too costly to print here the numerous

tables of the whole trade of China for series of years, with different

countries, which I laid before the Board of Trade . The commerce

of the Western Nations, excepting the United States, is small,

and may be said to be confined to Canton,


The following is an abstract of the Amount of Trade under British

and Foreign flags, at the port of Canton, during the year 1845,

as compared with that of 1844.


IN 1845.


1845. 1844 . 1845. 1844. IMPORTS. EXPORTS. IMPORTS.


decrea se


British 10,392,943 15,596,240 20,734,016 17,925,360 2,808,658 5,112,306


American 2,478,468 1,320,170 7,979,864 6,686,171 1,157,878 1,293,693


French 8,318 33,823 93,010 37,136 55,880 25,505

Dutch 77,751 231,708 635,533 572,188 63,345 153,957

Danish 19,871 51,990 141,129 141,129 32,119

Swedish 114,817 18,234 179,615 153,688 96,583 25,927

German 123,530 5,743 419,973 122,888 117,767 297,085

Lorchas 825,060 614,824 219,596 7,522 210,236 212,074

Others 22,482 60,517 163,688 9,002 154,686 38,035

Total, dollars

at 48. 4d. 14,062,811 17,843,249 30,566,426 25,513,946 1,582,484 5,052,477 5,362,922

It would be interesting to trace the steady, onward progress of

the American trade with China ; but it would be somewhat irrela-

tive to the object in view, in reference to our own trade and its

restrictions. The accompanying table will give a general idea of the

foreign commerce of China. The tariff of duties levied at the sea

ports and the inland custom houses, will be given in the Appendix

to the ensuing part, along with other useful documents .



[As furnished in a report to Her Majesty's government from

China, in 1845, and lodged in the Colonial Office, and at the

Board of Trade. The numerous tables sent home are not

printed, on account of the expense.-R. M. M.]

THE traffic in an innutritious herb, grown almost solely in one

district of Asia, and in a country hitherto isolated from the western

nations, is one of the most remarkable illustrations of the enter-

prise and energy of modern commerce. A trade involving British

capital to the extent of about £ 10,000,000 sterling, furnishing

regular employment to about 60,000 tons of first class English-built


1771 :

If S



shipping ; contributing nearly £5,000,000 sterling of revenue an-

nually to the exchequer, deserves investigation in detail, as regards

its rise and progress .

The tea plant, although found in different parts of the eastern

hemisphere, is probably indigenous to China or Japan, in both of

which countries it is extensively cultivated . The earliest record to

be found of the use of tea, is in the journals of the Moorish histo-

rians and travellers, about the end of the eighth century, at which

period the Mohammedans had free ingress and residence in China,

subject to very few restrictions. Ibu Batuta, (A.D. 1323) , men-

tions that the Emperor received the revenues from salt ; that paper

money bearing the government stamp was current in the country,

and that the general drink of the people was prepared by immers-

ing the leaves of a small plant in hot water, which was used me-

dicinally as well as for correcting the bad properties of the water.

Soliman, an Arabian merchant, who visited China, A.D. 850, de-

scribes "sah," (tea), as the usual beverage of the people.

Texeria," a Spaniard , in 1600, saw dried leaves (of tea) at

Malacca, which were in use among the Chinese. "Olearius," in

1633, found the use of tea pretty general among the Persians, who

procured it from China, by means of the Usbeck Tartars. The Rus-

sian ambassador (Stawkan) , to the court of the Mogul, Shan

Attyn, partook of tea, and at his departure he was offered it for the

Czar Michael Romanoff, but refused the offer, not knowing of

what use it would be in Russia.

Of the first introduction of tea into Europe, we know but little .

In 1517, Emanuel, king of Portugal, sent a fleet of eight ships to

China, and an ambassador to Peking, but it was not until after

the formation of the Dutch East India Company, in 1602, that

the use of tea became known on the continent, and although the

enterprising Hollanders paid considerable attention to it, as an ar-

ticle of commerce, the consumption increased but little, for in 1670

it was unknown in Dort. The Dutch, in their second voyage to

China, bought a good deal of tea, at from 8d. to 10d. per pound,

(the price at the present day), which, although of a middling qua-

lity, sold for thirty livres a pound : for some years the best Japan-

ese tea, esteemed in preference to that of China, brought from 100

to 200 livres per pound in France, until the use of coffee and

chocolate became fashionable and general.

The first authentic notice to be found of tea in England, is an

act of parliament, ( 12 Car. II, c . 23), a.d. 1660, by which a duty of

eightpence per gallon was laid on all tea made and sold in coffee

houses, and by an act framed in the same year, the duties of excise

on malt liquors, cyder, perry, mead, spirits, and strong waters, cof-

fee, tea, sherbet and chocolate, were settled on the king for life.

In the diary of Mr. Pepys, secretary of the Admiralty, there is

found, under date September 25th, 1661 , the following memoran-


dum . I sent for a cup of tea, a Chinese drink , of which I had

never drunk before ." In 1662 , Charles the Second married the

Princess Catherine of Portugal, who, it is said, was fond of tea,

having been accustomed to it in her own country , hence it became

fashionable in England . Waller, in a birth-day ode to Her Ma-

jesty, describes the introduction of the herb to the Queen in the

following lines :----

"The best of queens and best of herbs we owe ,

To that bold nation, who the way did shew

To the fair region, where the sun doth rise,

Whose rich productions we so justly prize."

The same poet attributes an inspiring power to the Chinese leaf :

"The Muses' friend , Tea, does our fancy aid,

Repress those vapours which the head invade."

In 1660, tea was sold in England at three guineas per pound.

In 1666, Lords Arlington and Ossory brought a quantity of tea

from Holland ; its price in England then was sixty shillings per


About this period, the East India Company being desirous of

presenting a rarity to His Majesty, procured twenty-two pounds

of tea, which was thought a valuable offering to royalty.

The following copy of an advertisement in 1680, shews the price

of the leaf, and the mode of vending it to the public :

"These are to give notice to persons of quality, that a small

parcel of most excellent tea, is by accident fallen into the hands of

a private person to be sold ; but that none may be disappointed,

the lowest price is thirty shillings a pound, and not any to be sold

under a pound weight, for which they are desired to bring a con-

venient box. Enquire at Mr. Thomas Eagle's, at the King's

Head, in Saint James market . " -London Gazette, Dec. 16th, 1680.

Heretofore the small quantity used in England, was obtained

from the Continent, for in 1634, some English ships having visited

Canton, a rupture took place between our seamen and the Chinese,

and trade was for some time interdicted ; but in 1668, the Court

of Directors in a dispatch to their factories at Bantam in Java,

ordered them to send home by their ships one hundred pounds

weight of the best tea they could get ; and accordingly, in 1669,

the first invoice of tea was received, amounting to two cannisters of

143 pounds. Such was the commencement of a trade, which by

the most judicious management, has now risen to an importation

of upwards of fifty million pounds weight.

In 1678 , the East India Company imported 4,713 pounds of tea,

but this then large quantity completely glutted the market, for the


imports of tea, during the ensuing six years, amounted in all to

only 318 pounds.

In 1680, the Company opened a direct trade with China.

In 1689, the old mode of levying the duty on tea, viz.: by the

quantity made in the coffee-houses, being found very uncertain, as

well as vexatious, an act of William and Mary, sess, 2, c. 6, fixed a

custom duty of five shillings a pound, together with the former

sum of five per cent. on the value.

During the years 1697, 1698, and 1699, the East India Com-

pany imported on an average, 20,000 pounds of tea annually. In

1700, the importation was augmented to 60,000 pounds a year,

the average price of tea was then sixteen shillings per pound .

In 1721, the importation of tea into England, exceeded for the

first time 1,000,000 pounds, and at the September sale in 1728,

the quantity put up for sale was 769,104 pounds, the duty on

which amounted to £ 153,820 sterling . The bill of cargo of the

" Cæsar," which arrived from China, 17th May, 1726, has entered in

it 358,100 pounds of tea, the duty on which was, £71,620 sterling.

Since the commencement of the present century, the annual con-

sumption of tea in the United Kingdom, has increased upwards of

twenty million pounds, while its use during the same period

has been decreasing in Europe and America, where the duty has

been nominal. In the space of one hundred years, from 1710 to

1810, there were sold at the East India Company's sales,

750,219,016 pounds of tea, the value of which was £129,804,595

sterling ; of this quantity of tea 116,470,675 pounds were re-ex-

ported . Since the commencement of the present century, about

1,385,949,566 pounds of tea have been sold in England, and there

has been paid into the British exchequer about £ 167,643,702

sterling, on the above-mentioned quantity of tea.

The appended table will explain at one view the rise and pro-

gress of the British tea trade, in reference to the quantity of tea

annually exported ; from 1669 to 1845, the quantity sold or re-

tained for consumption, the rate of duty levied thereon, the amount

of revenue paid yearly into the British exchequer, the price per

pound, &c.

It is impossible to examine this table without perceiving how

judiciously the trade in teas has been managed, and how dangerous

it would be to tamper with this large branch of commerce, and

important source of public revenue, to the extent of about

£5,000,000 per annum. The commutation act of 1784, which is

relied on as an argument in favour of the reduced duty- had for

its object the suppression, full one half of the previous consump-

tion having been smuggled into the country.


The following return, prepared by those highly respected and in-

telligent brokers, Messrs. William James Thompson and Sons,

ofMincing Lane, shows the total imports of tea into the United

Kingdom since 1842 , under its various designations. Of course,

this table was not in this report when sent from China to Her

Majesty's government in July 1845 .


1846 1845 1844 1843 1842

lbs. lbs. lbs. lbs. lbs. If

Bohea, Canton .. 72,000 134,000 767,000

Do. Fokien . 107,000

Congou 36,442,000 34,293,000 35,328,000 33,739,000 26,252,000

Pouchong.. 51,000 113,000 764,000 2,493,000 1,801,000

Caper . 1,529,000 1,176,000|| 434,000 352,000 299,000


Souchong 2,374,000 1,282,000 1,350,000 1,085,000 825,000

Flowery and Black 722,000 769,000 538,000 759,000 818,000

Leaf Pekoe

Orange Pekoe 2,515,000 1,638,000 995 000 855,000 744,000

Twankay 3,517,000 3,071,000 3,543,000 3,431,000 3,868,000|

Hyson Skin 193,000 328,000 505,000 316,000 384,000

Hyson 1,572,000 2,072,000 1,460,000 1,545,000 2,147,000

Young Hyson 3,340,000 2,840,000 1,332,000 860,000 1,212,000

Imperial and Gun- 3,671,000 3,355,000 1,827,000 1,141,000 1,918,000 |


Sorts and Assam Tea. 572,000 371,000 203,000 141,000 203,000

For Exportation only. 5,000 42,000 2,000 299,000

Total .... 56,503,000 51,308,000 48,393,000 46,853,000 41,644,000

Black 44,017,000 39,518,000 39,644,000 39,513,000 31,915,000|

Green 12,486,000 11,790,000 8,749,000 7,340,000 9,729,000|

Total delivered ... 50,991,000 48,427,000 46,677,000 44,297,000 43,304,000

Exported 3,457,000 4,300,000 5,501,000 4,395,000 5,750,000

Home Consumption .. 47,534,000 44,127,000 41,176,000 39,902,000 37,554,000|

The distribution of tea to different parts of the United Kingdom

is thus shown for 1844 :

London, sixty vessels, containing 33,436,887 pounds ; Liverpool,

twenty-five vessels, containing 110,188,552 pounds ; Dublin, four

vessels, containing 1,143,471 pounds ; Clyde, four vessels, contain-

ing 1,716,142 pounds ; Bristol, two vessels, containing 1,060,978

pounds ; Leith, two vessels, containing 478,089 pounds ; Hull,

one vessel, containing 423,143 pounds ; Belfast, one vessel, con-

taining 252,000 pounds.


Ireland was formerly largely supplied from Liverpool, but Dub-

lin now imports direct from China, nearly one-third of the quan-

tity of tea used in Ireland .

While the East India Company had the monopoly of the tea

trade, their shipments were made at one period of the year, viz.:

November, December, January, and February, and latterly the

Select Committee at Canton purchased, during the spring, at low

prices, the teas which were left unsold at the usual period, and

which were termed " winter teas." This, however, was only done to

a limited extent, lest an inferior article should be imported . Now

the trade is more equally diffused over the whole year, although the

best seasons for sailing from China to England, are from November

to February, during which period also, the bulk of the teas arrive

inCanton, and command the largest exports .

The Stocks oftea on hand on the 30th of November, 1845 and 1846,

were : (This statement recently added.)

Stock on hand, 31st December.

1846. 1845 . 1844. 1843.

Bohea ¡224,000 272,000 437,000 526,000

Congou.. 31,021,000 30,454,000 29,823,000 27,777,000

Pouchong 212,000 425,000 1,096,000 1,758,000

Caper .........


1,142,000 855,000 282,000 255,000

Campoi .

Souchong. 2,061,000 1,373,000 1,376,000 970,000

Flowery and Black leaf Pekoe 785,000 508.000 349,000 534 000

Orange Pekoe 2,045,000 875,000 378,000 379,000

Twankay 2,863,000 1,929,000 2,390,000 2,587,000

Hyson skin .. 321,000 325,000 423,000 297,000

Hyson 1,565,000 1,517,000 878,000 1,026,000

Young Hyson 2,734,000 1,817,000 529,000 522,000

Imperial and Gunpowder 3,153,000 2,192,000 806,000 435,000

Sorts and Assam Tea 345,000 368,000 230,000 145,000

For exportation only 56,000 78,000 110,000 180,000

Total..... 48,500,000 42,988,000 39,107,000 37,391,000

Black lbs. 37,759,000 35,061,000 33,968,000 32,416,000

Green lbs. 10,741,000 7,927,000 5,139,000 4,975,000

Thus there may be considered a sufficiency for the consumption

of one year on hand, and for another year on its way from China.

The tea trade of Canton in 1841-42 was not interrupted by the

war which we were waging against the Chinese government in

the north of China, although we had destroyed the forts of the

Bocca Tigris in the Canton River 7th January ; captured the

defences of Canton city on 19th March ; and compelled the city

of Canton to capitulate, and pay 6,000,000 dollars on 25th and

30th of May, 1841. Amoy was stormed and taken on the 26th

August, 1841. On 1st October, 1841 , Tinghae the capital of

Chusan was captured after an assault of two hours. Ningpo

and Chinhai were next taken, and during the winters of 1841-42,

* The cargoes of sundry vessels arrived, amounting to 824,517 pounds, not in-

cluded in this stock.


forcibly retained in our possession ; Chapoo 16th May, 1842 ;

Shanghai 19th June 1842. Yet during these proceedings

36,789,954 pounds of tea were shipped from Canton for the

United Kingdom, in 29,300 tons of British shipping divided as

equally as in the other seasons over the different months of the

year, as shown in a return printed in the Friend of China and

Hong Kong Gazette, No. 11 , and No. 17, of 14th July 1842. This

return is a complete answer to the erroneous allegation, that the

possession of Hong Kong by England is essential to a steady

prosecution of the tea trade at Canton. Even during the block-

ade of Canton, and before we had any settlement at Hong Kong,

the tea trade was carried on nearly as extensively as ever, by con-

veying the tea to the outer anchorages in the Canton waters in a

few ships under Danish and other foreign colours, temporarily

used for the purpose .

Between 1st July, 1840, and 30th June, 1841 , there were

shipped from Canton for England, black tea 23,694,159 pounds ;

green tea 4,992,825 pounds ; total 28,686,984 pounds ; and to the

United States, black tea 1,524,244 pounds ; green tea 6,030,103

pounds ; total 7,554,347 pounds . A considerable portion of tea

was shipped in the month of May 1841 , a few days previous to

the storming of Canton, and a large portion in June, 1841 , im-

mediately after the capture and ransom of that city.

The quantity of tea consumed in Europe must formerly have

been considerable, as it is stated that the quantity of tea exported

from China to Europe in 1666, was seventeen million pounds ;

and that in nine years preceding 1780 there were 118,000,000

pounds of tea imported into the continent. The average of teas

exported from China to Europe in foreign ships for nine years,

viz. from March 1772 to 1780 (says another authority) was

13,191,201 pounds, the average number of vessels, twelve .

In 1785 the importation into the continent was nineteen mil-

lion pounds, but in 1796, it had decreased to little more than

2,500,000 pounds. The importation into the continent from 1782

to 1794, was 129,852,480 pounds ; and from 1795 to 1807,

32,732,756 pounds, shewing a decrease in thirteen years of

97,119,724 pounds .

In 1808, 1809, &c., I find no account of tea exported from Can-

ton to Europe ; the amount having I suppose become so small

for each country, the Americans became the chief carriers of tea

and eastern produce during the latter years of our war with France,

and this trade they still in some degree possess .

Of the Portuguese tea trade I have been unable to get any data,

the demand is so trifling that we know nothing of the amount, al-

though Macao, their settlement at the entrance of the Canton

River, has long been the residence of the English tea merchants.

The Dutch tea trade, at an early period, was considerable. The

exportations from Canton, from 1784 to 1794, was 43,649,760

pounds ; and for the ensuing ten years, only 1,449,599 pounds.


After the restoration of the House of Nassau, in 1815, a Dutch

company was formed to carry on the tea trade ; the royal proclama-

tion announcing that it was to prevent the trade falling into the

hands of foreigners. In 1817 the company was dissolved, and the

Americans and Dutch entered freely into competition for the sup-

ply of Holland and Belgium with tea, "the duties (as Mr.

Masterson, the vice consul at Rotterdam, says) being so low, that

on importations by Dutch and foreign flags, it is only about an Eng-

lish penny on the lower prices, and on the higher prices nothing."

Mr. Masterson delivered into the House of Commons a table, which

demonstrated that although there was the greatest competition,

the greatest abundance, and the lowest possible price, lower even,

sometimes, than it could be bought at Canton, yet the consump-

tion of tea did not increase ; although, according to theory, it ought

to have done so. Let it be remembered that this trade has not

only been carried on without profit, but at considerable loss ; that

of the Dutch being two million of florins within four years.

By comparing the first three years, with the last three years of

the Dutch trade, the decrease will be found to amount to 122,834

quarter chests ; and in 1830 there were no ships sent to China.

The Dutch consul, in an address to the governor of Canton , in

1829, (when there were the following ships in China : the " Peter

and Karl " of 300 tons ; the " Teemanshop ; " the " Charlotte " of

150 tons ; and the " Experiment " of 188 tons, trading to Java ;

while, so long ago as 1747, there were six large Dutch vessels at

Canton ; and in 1789 there were five, all of large burthen) , says,

" For many years the trade of Holland, with the empire of China,

was considerable, many ships annually came, bringing goods from

Holland, or its colonies, but the principal object was always to pur-

chase cargoes entirely the production of China ; and I am happy

to say that no difficulties have ever existed between the two coun-

tries. Formerly, our connexion was advantageous to both parties,

but since the expenses, and the duties which are demanded on our

ships and our merchandise, whether imports or exports, have con-

siderably increased, the Cohong has not preserved the merchants

which the government had fixed, from whence it results that com-

merce has become limited, and its advantages less ; and insensibly

that of Holland has so much diminished that it has become almost


The Dutch are now trying to cultivate tea in Java, and by an

official return the export of Java tea to Holland, for the year end-

ing June, 1846, is 992,500 pounds. I was told at Java last year

that the plantations are in fine order and being increased, but the

tea is said to be of inferior quality, and grown and manufactured

at considerable expense.

Denmark next presents itself to observation, as the Danes have

been consumers of tea since the commencement of the last century ;

at one time they exported a large quantity of tea from Canton,


viz. from 1767 to 1786, 64,305,812 pounds, and from 1787 to

1806, 21,042,101 pounds ; decrease on twenty years 42,884,711 .

The duty is extremely low, viz.: two per cent. ad valorem, and the

sale price according to Mr. Consul Fenwick's report, dated Elsinore,

December, 1828, was, for bohea, 20d.; congou, 28d. to 30d.; and

souchong, 30d. to 32d. per pound . Here, also, we do not find the

consumption to have at all increased, but the very contrary :-


In April, 1825, the stock of teas of different kinds

on hand in Denmark was . 484,000

In 1827, there was a direct supply of · 717,000

Total • · 1,201,000


In September, 1828, after the sale which supplied

the market until the ensuing spring, there was

on hand . 685,000

The consumption, therefore, for four years was 516,000

Or yearly • 129,000

There was consequently, in 1828, sufficient tea in Denmark for

nearly five years' consumption. It is a marked indication of the

indispensable necessity of carefully attending to the importation

of a foreign, and indeed an artificial article, such as that of tea,

that in some countries in Europe the use of tea was formerly

considerable, even when its price was great, and the difficulty in

procuring it enhanced ; but now when freight, insurance, &c., is

low, and tea exceedingly cheap, the importation is so extra-

ordinarily lessened . Sweden offers a confirmation of this remark.

The Swedish exports of tea from Canton, from 1767 to 1786, were

60,960,475 pounds ; from 1787 to 1806, 21,208,423 pounds ; de-

crease on twenty years, 39,752,052 pounds. At present, I believe,

there is very little tea imported . The Swedes, perhaps, thought

as the poet did in the two concluding lines of the following extract

from the " Dessert," a poem published in 1819 :—

" Enlivening, mild, and sociable tea,-

Scandal- compelling green, pekoe, bohea ;

Without thee once philosophy could write,

And wisdom's page the moral pen indite ;

Without thee Thamosthetes their laws enacted,

Without thee thought and taught, and dreamt and acted ;

With this celestial gift, how strange that we


Should neither better eat nor drink, nor think nor see.'

At Trieste the latter part of the last century, there was compara-

tively a large importation of tea from Canton, viz .: from 1779 to

1783, 6,449,170 pounds.


The British consul at Trieste, writing in 1828 to the foreign de-

partment, relative to the consumption of tea there, says :-

" The consumption of tea in this government is so insignificant

as to warrant the assertion that it is scarcely to be considered as

an object of trade . It is used more as a medicine than as a neces-

sary article of subsistence, or an agreeable beverage, except by the

English families here resident and a few others in the higher


" The importation in British vessels is limited to small parcels

brought by masters of ships, and I am credibly informed has not

amounted to 1,000 pounds during the last nine years, the period

I have been in office. A more considerable quantity (about 3,000

pounds) was imported some years ago in an American ship, and

left in commission with an English house here ; but the greater

part, notwithstanding the extreme lowness of the prices, still re-

mains unsold, and I am assured that it is very doubtful whether

wholesale buyers could be found for it at a reduction of thirty per


In the city and liberties of Trieste, which is a free port, and also

in Istria, as being beyond the line of custom-houses, there are no

duties on tea or any other articles of merchandise. There was,

indeed, till lately, a duty of one-half per cent. ad valorem, which

has now ceased, the object for which it was levied, viz. to pay the

debts contracted by the municipality during the war, being accom-

plished .*

The consul at Leghorn states that the consumption of tea in

Tuscany is chiefly confined to foreigners who reside in Florence

and Leghorn, the natives only using it medicinally. In Genoa

the consumption is a few hundred pounds weight ; in Mr. Money,

the consul-general's return, I find the following statement of the

total importation into the Austrian ports of the Adriatic.†

Towns. Quantities of tea imported.

" Venice ." -Have not averaged more than two cwt. per annum in

the last ten years.

" Trieste."-About five cwt. per annum, being little in use except

by British residents .

" Fuime."-Do not exceed from 100 to 150 lbs . per year.


Ragusa. "-Very inconsiderable.

In the foregoing mentioned States tea is cheap, there are little

or no duties . From Palermo, the consul-general writes, "the

consumption of tea in the Island of Sicily is very trifling, about

twenty chests per annum, the Sicilians seldom make use of it,

except in illness as a medicine, and that of a very inferior quality.

It is chiefly imported from the United States of America.

In the kingdom of Naples, it appears from the two years' re-

* Consular returns, House of Lords Select Committee, Appendix B. page 1259.

+ Select Committee House of Lords, Appendix B. page 1245.



turns forwarded by the consul-general, there was a decrease in

1827 of 3,419 lbs. against 5,961 lbs . in 1826 .

The quantity of tea exported from Canton by the Prussians, was,

in 1783, 3,329,800 lbs . ; yearly diminishing until 1803, when it

was only 1,073,733 lbs . After 1803 there is no further regular

account of exportations, and I only find casual shipments, decrea-

sing in quantity. In 1829 the consul-general at Dantzic regrets

it is not in his power to get any information of the tea trade there

or in Berlin, that in fact there is no wholesale trade in teas.

At Frankfort, the consul-general observes, " the quantity of tea

cannot exactly be ascertained, as no consumption duty is levied,

tenpence per cwt. not deserving that denomination."

In 1817 the consumption was 380 cwt. , and in 1826, 112 cwt .*

The consul thinks that about 100 cwt. of tea is consumed by a

population of 70,000 inhabitants in Frankfort, but he adds, this

valuation cannot serve as a general basis for Germany, as in some

parts of it no tea is drunk ' and in others very little, the people

being in the habit of drinking coffee for breakfast, and beer or

wine at other meals.

It might be supposed that the temperament of the French na-

tion would have made them extensive consumers of tea. Formerly,

the taste in this particular was improving and extending, and at

one time tea found its best market in France. From 1783 to 1793

the French exports of tea from Canton amounted to 15,122,130 lbs.

and for the ensuing ten years to only 353,333 lbs. , a decrease of

14,768,797 lbs .

At a later period we do not find that peace, and the increasing

prosperity of the people, induced them to drink tea extensively,

although the duties on importation scarcely differed on a foreign

or native ship, viz .: about twopence per pound.

The tea imported into France from 1820 to 1824, ranged from

80,000 to 70,000 killogrammest a year. At present the consump-

tion is almost confined to the English residents in France.

The consul at Bremen states, " that the consumption of tea is

inconsiderable there, occupying a small portion of shiproom."

At Lubeck "there is no wholesale trade in tea, and but a very

irregular one in the retail line ." (consul's report. ) The commerce

of Russia with China will be given in the description of Kiachta.

Sir Daniel Bayley, the consul -general at St. Petersburgh, in his

despatch to government, 18th December, 1828, states that, " from

the most authentic sources of information he has had access to, it

appears that the importation of tea into the Russian empire has

been, from 1824 to 1827, poods 580,231 , of which the exports were

poods 3,843. The average annual imports were poods 144,097."

English 5,187,496 lbs . , value £248,346.

The only two years given in the consular return.

A killogramme is 15,434 grains avoirdupois.


The export of tea from Canton, in United States' vessels, was, in

1843-44, of green tea 10,131,837 lbs ., of black tea 4,125,527 lbs.

= 14,257,364 . In 1844-45 the export rose to 20,751,583 lbs . The

duty levied for some years in America has been nominal, but the

consumption of tea has not been increased.

The average annual consumption of China tea in different coun-

tries, as nearly as can be ascertained, is now, in round numbers,

thus :- lbs.

Great Britain and Ireland 45,000,000

British North America and West Indies 2,500,000

Australasia, Cape of Good Hope, & c . 2,500,000

British India and Eastern Islands 2,000,000

Total in the British empire 52,000,000

United States of North America 7,000,000

Russia 10,000,000

France and Colonies . 500,000

Hanse Towns, &c. 150,000

Holland and its Colonies • 1,000,000

Belgium 200,000

Denmark, Sweden and Norway 250,000

The German States 500,000

Spain and Portugal 100,000

Italian States · 50,000

South American States 500,000

Total consumption in foreign countries 20,250,000

Thus, the English consume more than twice the quantity of

tea that is consumed by all the other countries, excepting China

and Japan. It will be seen, on referring generally to the Canton

Price Currents, that the cost price of tea has increased in Canton

since the abolition of the East India Company, and not until

February and March 1845, did prices fall. An increased demand

in China has always caused an enhanced price.

The large amount of tea consumed in Europe and America, is

chiefly grown south of the Great Yangtzekang River ; the whole

region lying between the 27th and 31st degrees of north latitude,

and from the sea-coast inland for five to six hundred miles, may be

considered capable of producing tea ; but the most favoured region

is the generally sterile hilly province of Fokein, and the provinces

of Keang-soo and Che-keang, between the 25th and 31st degrees

of north latitude. This territory, which extends over 350 to 400

square miles, is composed principally of the debris of a coarse

granite and of a ferruginous sandstone, crumbling into decay, but

when well comminuted and irrigated, yielding sufficient nutriment

M 2


for the hardy tea plant, (a camellia,) whose qualities, like that of

the vine, are elicited by the nature of the soil, the elevation, the

climate, and the solar aspect to which the shrub is subjected.

It is generally stated that green and black tea are produced

from the shrubs of the same species, with a slight variety ; the leaf

of the green being larger and broader than that of the black--the

former leaf is rounded- the latter elliptic, flatter and more coria-

ceous. The cultivation in different soils, the picking of the leaves

at different stages of expansion, and the subjecting them to a

greater or less degree of heat and manipulation in drying, is the

cause of considerable variety ; probably the same difference exists

as between the red and white grape, or the black and white cur-


The shrub is cultivated with great care from seeds, then planted

in quincunx rows, in beds, chiefly along the sides of hills with a

southern aspect, and on a poor gravelly soil, among the debris of

decayed granite and disintegrated sandstone, and where nothing

else will grow, and it is used for hedge-rows or boundaries.*

The height varies from three to seven feet, and it is very leafy.

The flower resembles the wild rose or briar flower, common in

English hedges in autumn ; the seed vessel is a nut of the size of

a small hazel, or rather like the castor-oil nut, but rounder ;

three red kernels are in each nut, divided by capsules, and from

these a quantity of oil, termed " tea oil," is extracted and used for

common purposes by the Chinese. Six or seven seeds are put into

each hole when planting ; in twelve or eighteen months transplan-

tation takes place, and about the third year the leaves are first

plucked ; at seven years of age the top is cut almost down to the

stem, (as gardeners do with old currant trees,) and a more leafy

set of shoots spring up the ensuing year. The age of the tree is

unknown, it has a duration of probably fifteen or twenty years.

It is an evergreen, and blossoms from the end of autumn through-

vout the winter until ) the spring. The leaves are dried by placing

them first in flat baskets and exposing them to the air, and a

moderate degree of sun. They are then further dried , " tatched, "

in thin pans of iron, heated by a small furnace of charcoal, the

leaves being kept constantly turned round by the hand, and rolled

or rubbed between the fingers to give the leaf a rounded form ;

when sufficiently fired it is picked , and packed for Canton in


chops," of 100 to 1000 chests each chop, having marked on it

the name of the maker, the district where the tea is grown, its

quality, date, &c.

A visitor to the tea districts says, "that the worst tea is found

in earth of a yellow colour ; but care must be taken to have the

shrub always face the south ; it then acquires vigour and bears

I found the tea shrub in several parts of China, planted as hedge rows, or fences

to fields and vegetable gardens, but not capable of producing a tea which would be

drunk in England.


three years after it is planted. The root resembles much that of

the peach- tree ; and its flowers resemble the white wild rose. The

average height is about five feet . Several branches join toge-

ther, and separate towards their upper extremities ; it is not unlike

the myrtle-tree in Europe. In autumn the tea-shrub produces a

kind of fruit. The young and tender branches produce soft

berries of a green colour filled with yellow grains. On other

branches this fruit is as large as a Windsor bean. The outer rind,

which encloses this fruit or seed, is green, smooth and thick.

Under the second, which is white and thinner, is a third pellicle,

exceedingly fine, that covers a kind of nut adhering to the rind by

a small fibre, from which it derives its nourishment. When this

fruit is young its taste is rather bitter ; but in two or three days

after it has been gathered , it lengthens, changes to a yellow colour,

appears like a decayed filbert, becomes oily and extremely bitter.

The chief portion of fruit found on the tea-shrub are called female

fruit, which have no germ. Those that have a germ, if they are

sown will produce trees ; but the Chinese make use of slips for

raising plants."

Copper is not used in the preparation of any description of tea ;

iron pans are solely employed. I visited a " tea manufactory " a

few miles north of Canton, where about 500 men, women, and

children were engaged in converting coarse-looking, refuse leaves,

into several sorts of green tea. A series of large flat iron pans

were placed over a range of furnaces, heated by charcoal in various

degrees. The leaves which had been previously picked and sorted,

were then placed successively in these pans, by men who each

rolled them to a certain extent. After passing four or five pans, a


small quanty of turmeric was sprinkled over the leaves, in a pan

highly heated, and in the next pan, a blue powder composed of

prussian blue and gypsum was added, which gave a delicate green


bloom to the leaf, which formerly had been of a dingy black sør

brown hue. The tea was then gradually cooled in large shallow

baskets, then placed in a winnowing machine and sifted into dif-

ferent sizes, the smaller being packed and sold as gunpowder or

pearl tea. Thus the greatest refuse of tea, or the leaves which had

passed through the tea pots of the Chinese, were converted into

gunpowder, hyson," and other teas for exportation, as the Chi-

nese never drink green tea. The proprietor of the manufactory

told me, that the green tea thus prepared was sold to the Ameri-

cans, who consume but little black tea. It is said to be difficult to

detect this coloured tea from the pure, and as the Americans have

good tea-tasters at Canton, the English probably receive their

share of the adulterated manufacture.

The names of teas are a very imperfect criterion of their quality,

formerly bohea was the principal tea in use, now the title desig-

nates the lowest description of black tea. It may be useful to in-

dicate the designation of the names in general use.


Bohea is an English corruption of the words " Woo-e" " Voo-yu"

and " Bo-yu," some hills of that name about twelve miles in cir-

cumference in Fokein, on the borders of Canton province, yielding

a common tea of that name, which is gathered three times a year ;

it is called by the Chinese, tacha, (large tea.)

Congo from Congfoo, " labourer," is of a better quality than

bohea, less dusty and with a rougher and more astringent flavour.

Wo-ping teas are so called from a district of that name in Can-

ton province, and when mixed with bohea form Canton bohea.

Ankoi, a coarse tea from a district of that name. Campoi from

Kiempor, " selected ;" it is a stronger tea than congo.

Souche or Caper, from Swangche, " double preparation ," or

" Choolan" fragrant pearls.

Souchong from Seaore-chong, " scarce or small- good thing," it

is carefully made from trees three years old, grown in good soil ;

older trees in a similar situation produce congo ; older still bohea,

and other inferior teas. There are different sorts of Souchong, and

it is not easy to get this tea pure and good in England . The leaf

has an agreeable fragrancy somewhat like new-made hay ; the leaf

is crisp, of a glossy black colour, and when subjected to boiling

water of a rich red hue, the liquid is an amber brown.

Peko or Peho from " Pih," has white petals or hair, so called

from being made of young leaves, gathered in when the blossom-

ing is over spring, when there is a whitish hair or down on the

leaf. The tea flowers are fragrant mixed with the leaf, and give a

fine odour and flavour to the tea.

Twankay from Tunkay, a district where the tea is generally

made ; in green teas it corresponds in quality to congo among

black teas.

Singlo from " Sunglo" a mountain in Ganhwuy ; both these teas

have large flat leaves, and are not much rolled.

Hyson from He- chuen, " genial spring or first crop," when the

young leaves are gathered.

Hyson skin, Puha, " tea skin." In Chinese, " skin" signifies the

refuse ; it is formed of the leaves rejected in the preparation of

hyson. The dealers in London give it the name of " bloom tea."

Young hyson from Yu-tseen, " before the rains." It is a very

small leaf.

Gunpowder is the picked small, well-rounded hyson, like shot ;

it is also called pearl, or imperial tea.

The different teas are prepared roughly by the tea farmers, and

then taken to the manufacturers who " tatche" and sort the teas,

according to the districts in which they are grown, the variety


and age of the tree, the size and quality of the leaf, &c.

leaves are passed through sieves of sizes , before their quality is

determined. The judgment of the manufacturer in selecting and

sorting, and the skill of his workmen, in firing or " tatching"

the leaf, is of the first consequence . The better quality teas are


more frequently roasted, and each leaf separately rolled. The

finest descriptions do not reach England ; the Mandarins pay high

prices for those teas, their flavour is delicate and stimulant. The

production of tea for the use of the Chinese higher and middle

classes must be considerable, as it is used at every meal ; it is,

however, generally of an inferior quality.

" Brick tea" used throughout western Asia, is made in Fokein

chiefly ; dirty, damaged tea-leaves and stalks, are mixed with a glu-

tinous substance, pressed into moulds and dried in ovens . It is

drunk by the Tartars by pounding and mixing it with salt and

milk ; and sometimes made into broth with flour, or fried in oil.

The tea found in Russia, conveyed by land and river carriage

thither, is said to be superior to the tea generally used in England .

This may be owing to the leaf being less fired . Many of the

finest teas drunk in China, would not bear five or six months

stowage in the hot and humid atmosphere of the hold of a ship,

and therefore the teas conveyed to Europe by sea, are required to

be dried and fired, to a degree which must injure their quality.

Teas that I drank at Foochoo, Ningpo, and Shanghai, were

not highly dried, and had a very delicate flavour when drank in

the Chinese way, without milk or sugar, but these teas could not

be preserved more than a few months. The Chinese say, that the

high-dried superior black teas improve in flavour, by being closely

packed in air-tight leaden cases for one or two years. Some of

the finest teas in China, scarcely colour the water, and the prepa-

ration consists solely in pouring boiling water on a small quantity

of the leaves placed in a tea-cup, fitted with a close cover. Among

the highest classes, a silver strainer is placed at the bottom of the

tea-cup. Tea made up into balls, or compressed into the form of

bricks or flat cakes, is exported to Tartary, Tibet, Burmah, & c.,

and boiled with milk, constitutes an agreeable and stimulating


The constituent properties of tea are,

Black. Green.

Tannin 40.6 34.6

Vegetable albumen 6.4 5.7

Mucilage 6.3 5.9

Insoluble fibre 44.8 51.3

Loss . • 2.0 2.5

The tannin blackens salts of iron. The proportions of tannin

must vary with the quality of the tea. A salifiable base named

" theine," in regular colourless crystals, has been obtained from


The ashes of black and green teas, yield silex, carbonate of lime,

magnesia, and chloruret of potash. In distillation, tea yields a

volatile oil, and according to some, a small quantity of resin solu-

ble in alcohol, and possessing the odour of tea. The effects of tea

on the human system are first stimulant, and then narcotic,


according to the strength of the beverage. In moderation, tea is

an excellent diluent, it promotes digestion and stimulates the re-

nal glands . The constant use of tea, however, in large quantities,

especially by persons living on a poor vegetable diet, is not favour-

able to physical strength or nervous energy ; and to persons en-

gaged in sedentary employments, and imperfectly alimented, the

frequent imbibing of " tannin" has a decided and manifest perni-

cious effect . How far the excessive use of strong tea in China, by

alternately elevating and depressing the nervous system, may have

led to the craving desire for opium as a counter stimulant, is de-

serving of consideration . Certain it is, that strong coffee (coffeine)

among the Turks and Persians ; and strong tea, (theine) are simi-

lar in their elementary qualities ; and among the Chinese are

followed or preceded by the use of opium, or similar delete-

rious stimulating narcotics. It is stated that in the manufactur-

ing districts of Great Britain, where tea is very largely consumed

at all meals, opium is now being introduced.

A statesman is bound to watch apparently minute and remote

causes in their operating influence on the character of a nation,

and to look more to the preservation of the physical strength and

moral power of a people, than to any imaginary increase of revenue

or trade from one branch of commerce. Since the commencement

of the present century, tea has increased in consumption per head

in Great Britain more than sugar, wine, tobacco, malt, &c. , and it

now amounts to more than two pounds per annum for each person

capable of using the leaf. Twenty-eight million people in the United

Kingdom consume double the quantity of tea that is used by the

whole population of Europe, (including Russia) North and South

America, Africa, and Asia, (exclusive of China and Japan) although

the duties in those countries are lower, or as in the United States

nil. It is asserted that if the government reduced the duty on

tea, a diminution of price would follow, and cause still larger con-

sumption of tea in England. But low prices, if such be desired,

would probably not be obtained by any reduction of the govern-

ment revenue ; other causes will operate in the reduction of price.

Competition among the European merchants at Canton, and the

necessity for selling cotton goods and other manufactures, for

which tea is received in barter, has tended to maintain for that

commodity high prices, but it is expected that the opening of ports

contiguous to the tea districts will materially reduce the prime

cost. Mr. Consul Alcock informed me at Foochoo, that he ascer-

tained tea could be shipped from that port at 20 per cent. less

than the Canton prices. Some tea has been shipped from Ningpo

and several cargoes from Shanghai direct for England . The ship-

ments from the latter named port, will probably increase, in

return for the large quantities of British manufactures sent

thither. Competition will thus take place with the Cantonese, and

the sale-price be lowered materially. Considerable efforts have


been made bythe Chinese and former Hong merchants at Canton,

to confine the foreign tea trade to that city, and in this they have

been aided not only by the possession of large capital, enabling

them to make contracts with and advances to the tea cultivators

and manufacturers, but also by an extensive credit, which assists them

to take off and dispose of a considerable quantity of our manu-

factures, by the routine of old established channels of business

which are not easily changed, and also by the promulgation of offi-

cial documents and edicts, arising partly from the imperial policy

of keeping foreigners at the extremity of the empire, and partly

from a fear of losing the transit and other duties which tea pays,

during its conveyance from Fokien and Chekeang to Canton.

Tea will ultimately be shipped from the most convenient port,

near to the place of growth, when our merchants are permitted to

carry on a free and unrestricted intercourse with China, which

would be far more beneficial for the Chinese than for ourselves.

Chusan produces considerable quantities of superior tea, which is

sent unmanufactured to Ningpo and other places, for the use of

the Mandarins. Were Chusan or some contiguous island a

British possession, tea would be brought from different parts of

the adjacent tea coast, and there shipped for England at a reduced

cost. It is not policy or interest to maintain the tea trade at Can-

ton, on the contrary we ought to prosecute this valuable commerce

in the northern ports.

There have latterly been considerable fluctuations in the price of

tea, in consequence of extravagant speculations . About the

month of June 1839 , when the intelligence reached England of

Commissioner Lin having issued prohibitory edicts against opium

smuggling, speculation began in tea, and was principally sustained

by the operations of a wealthy retired opium dealer ; congou rose

from 1s. to 1s. 5d. per pound, and this description of tea became

the regulating price for all other teas. On the 1st August, news

of trade being stopped at Canton reached London, and congou ad-

vanced to 1s. 8d.; in October to 2s. , in consequence of Captain

Elliot's order, that no British ship should go up the river to Can-

ton. On the 2nd December congou rose to 28. 7d., it being known

that hostile measures were to be forthwith adopted towards China.

The stock of tea on hand in England 31st December, 1839, was

52,500,000 pounds, and the quantity delivered for 1839 was

32,366,412. On the 16th January, 1840, the speech from the

throne announced that Her Majesty's government considered the

dispute with China national ; and the price of congou rose to 3s. 2d.

per pound. The rumour of a treaty being arranged by Captain

Elliot, brought down prices to 28. 9d., but on the refusal of Lin

to ratify it, they rose to 3s. 2d.; on the arrival of tea taken

out of American ships at Hong Kong, and permission to land it,

price fell to 2s . 8d. , but rose on the 11th March, 1840, to 3s. 2d.

on rumours that a declaration of war against China had been

170 FEARFUL GAMBLING IN TEA, 1839, 1840, AND 1841 .

issued by the Governor-general of India, in the name of the Bri-

tish government . When it was known that no declaration of war

had been issued, prices fell to 28. Thus the fluctuation proceeded ,

affected by every true intelligence , or false reports artfully pro-

mulgated. At the close of 1840, the stock on hand was 46,500,000

pounds, and the quantity delivered for home consumption during

the year, was 35,136,232 pounds ; the highest prices during the

year 3s. 3d., lowest ls. 11d. per pound . Throughout the year

1841 the speculations were continued ; almost every day producing

a new rumour , and a rise or fall. On the 17th August a dated let-

ter was inserted in the second edition of the Herald and Chronicle ,

which was said to have been received from a man, on the 27th

April, and put on board the Bombay steamer, after the mail and

other despatches had been embarked. In this letter it was as-

serted, that the Emperor had ordered the destruction of all teas,

and that the order was rigidly obeyed, that hostilities had recom-

menced, and that not 1,000 chests of tea had found their way to

the outercoasters by smuggling . The fraud raised prices imme-

diately, but they fell again on the discovery of the forgery. On

the 31st August the stock in the United Kingdom was reduced to

29,000,000 pounds, the lowest which had taken place, and this

aided the rage for speculation . The siege of Canton, its surrender,

the local truce, indemnity of 6,000,000, &c. caused large operations

in what were termed " time bargains :" a gambling called " puts

and calls" arose ; one person purchasing from another the right of

buying or selling to him at a certain price a defined quantity of

tea on a given day. The announcement that although we were

at war on the east and north coasts of China , the truce was to exist

with Canton, and trade to proceed as usual, almost entirely

checked the speculation in November and December 1841. On

the 31st December 1841 , the stock on hand was 36,000,000 pounds ,

and the quantity delivered for home consumption was 32,262,905

pounds. Prices ranged for congou from 18. 44d. to 2s. 9d., during

1842 ; speculation was slow and cautious, but the market nearly

resumed its usual steady operations , and prices fell to 18. 5d. , on

the arrival on the 22nd November of the Treaty of Nankin . The

quantity consumed for the year was about 36,000,000 pounds, and

the stock on hand was 34,000,000, the range of prices was 1s. 5d.

to 28. per pound for congou .

Probably, at no period since the celebrated Mississippi scheme, was

there ever greater and more prolonged speculation in one article.

Expresses were established between Marseilles and London ; large

sums paid for early official information ; newspapers feed for pro-

mulgating false intelligence ; at Garraways the speculators con-

tinued their gambling in tea throughout the evening, and for a

part of the night ; the monied interest was transferred from the

Stock Exchange to the Jerusalem Coffee-house and to Garraways'

mart ; the mania spread into the country among wholesale and retail


dealers in tea, and fortunes were lost and made with marvellous

rapidity. The usual results ensued ; the steady pursuit of trade

was abandoned for the wildest gambling, men who rose wealthy

in the morning were beggars at night ; and suicide, bankruptcy,

and ruin to many a hearth and home closed the sum.

It behoves government to avoid interfering with the routine into

which the trade has now subsided ; some persons still hold inferior

teas, almost rubbish, that were purchased at enormously high

prices during the speculation . Their only prospect of sale is a re-

duction of the duty, and an alteration in the mode of lowering the

duty, by admitting inferior teas at a lower customs -rate. These

persons and their agents , are therefore very clamorous for an alter-

ation in the duty to suit their purposes. But government can

look only to the public interests, and these were considered as best

served by an uniform rate of duty, on all teas entered after the

1st July, 1836.

It was attempted in 1834, when the trade with China was

thrown open by the abolition of the monopoly of the East India

Company, to levy an ad valorem duty of 1s . 6d. per pound on bohea ;

28. 2d. per pound on congou ; 3s. per pound on souchong, &c.

This was deemed preferable to the mode adopted previous to 1834,

viz., ninety-six per cent. on all teas sold at or under 2s. per pound ;

and 100 per cent. on all teas sold above 2s. per pound. But the

very discriminating duty on bohea, congou, & c. , was after two

years' trial found impracticable ; and in 1836 the uniform rate

of 2s. 1d. per pound on all descriptions of tea was levied, which

with the additional five per cent. imposed in 1840, makes the total

duty now levied per pound, 2s. 2d. and a fraction. #

The present system of an uniform duty on all teas, was adopted

at the urgent request of the tea-brokers and tea- dealers in

England, and it is impossible to examine impartially the evidence

taken before the Select Committee of Parliament appointed 6th

May, 1834, to inquire into the expediency of establishing one fixed

rate of duty, without seeing the justice of such a proceeding, no

less for the interest of the public than for the advantage of the

revenue. Sir George Staunton, who was on the Committee and

possessed the largest information, truly observed that he believed

the present system of a rated duty had not the support of a

single individual who ever was in China. Moreover, any rated

duty as to quality or price, would exceedingly disturb the simpli-

city with which the tea trade is now conducted at Canton, where

the merchant is unfettered in his purchases by any other con-

sideration than the intrinsic goodness of the leaf he is buying.

If two or more rates of duty were levied in England, inferior

qualities of tea would be produced, whereas when the duty is alike

on all teas good or bad, the merchant finds it his interest to ex-

port only the good.

The consumption of tea in the United Kingdom is estimated at

172 DIVISION OF PROFITS ON £ 10,000,000 TEA .

45,000,000 pounds yearly ; and sold at an average price to the

consumer of 48. 6d. per pound, the money expended for tea is

nearly ten millions sterling.

The expenditure of this sum is distributed as follows, in round

numbers :- £

Net cost of 45,000,000 pounds, average 1s. per pound 2,250,000

Export duty in China 3-47 dollars per pecul, or 1d.

per pound, about • 280,000

Shipping charges, &c . in China 25,000

Freight, &c. China to England, about 2d. per pound 375,000

Insurance a half-penny per pound 93,000

Commission about one farthing per pound 46,000

Tasting charges, & c. about one-eighth of a penny per

pound · 23,000

Interest for six months on 3,000,000 at five per

cent. 75,000

Total outlay in China £3,167,000

Profit to exporters in China (about 12 per cent.) 300,000

Landing charges, &c . in England 33,000

Cost price in bond in England £3,500,000

Duty received by government at 2s . 24d . per pound

about 4,920,000


Profit divided among tea-brokers, wholesale and re-

tail dealers, &c. upwards of 40 per cent. 1,580,000

Total outlay by British public for tea, at 4s . 6d. per lb. £ 10,000,000

It is more than probable that tea has now reached the limit of

consumption in England, and that any reduction of taxation , (even

if such reduction went not into the pockets of the tea merchants

and tea dealers ,) would not augment the use of this innutritious


A financier knows that there are some articles, viz . , salt,

pepper, &c ., which cannot be increased in use beyond a given ex-

tent by any fiscal diminution ; and tea, which must be used alone,

and which cannot like sugar and other articles be mixed with

various substances, is in this category.

A reduction of the tea duties from 2s. to ls. as proposed, would

therefore diminish the revenue one-half, without any perceptible

corresponding advantage to the consumer ; and unless the state is

in a condition to give up about two million sterling of income,

or disposed to levy this amount on some other article, there can be

no justifiable grounds for the proposed reduction. But it is also

worthy of note that the use of tea as a beverage is a factitious


taste, which may decline (as has been the case throughout Europe)

as rapidly as it has arisen ; that the rate of duty levied shuts out

tea of a very inferior quality ; and that the glutting of the market

with a worthless or injuriously adulterated herb, might produce

a national distaste, especially among the labouring classes, with

whom coffee is a preferable stimulant, and cocoa a more nutritious


The idea that by reducing the price of teas in England a largely

increased consumption would take place, which would be paid for

in British manufactures, is I think fallacious, and it is wiser to

wait and see the effects which importing teas direct from Shang-

hai and other northern ports in China may have in reducing the cost

price, and which as before observed, may it is said be done to the

extent of nearly twenty per cent,, as compared with the present

Canton prices. If this reduction take place in the prime cost

at the port of shipment, the government will be enabled to ascer-

tain how far such reduction will benefit the consumer or extend

the consumption at home. On a mature and impartial consi-

deration of the whole subject, it does not appear politic, or

advisable, to make at present any alterations in the duties,

neither as regards the vital interests of the state, which cannot afford

to jeopardize five million sterling of annual revenue, steadily and

economically paid into the British exchequer, nor as affects the

great bulk of the nation, who as consumers would derive little or

no benefit in the price of an article supplied by only one foreign

country, and who may as well pay their necessary quota of tax-

ation on tea as on any other article subject to custom or excise

duties. (Signed) R. M. MARTIN, H.M. Treasurer.

China, July, 1845 .

I give the preceding report on tea as transmitted to Her

Majesty's Government from China, in July, 1845 ; excepting

numerous tabular statements in support of my views, which,

however, it would be too expensive for me to print. Nothing that

I have since heard has induced me to alter the opinions I formed

in China on this subject-the result of careful examination, un-

biassed by any personal advantages for or against a reduction of

the duty. My work on the " Taxation of the British Empire,"

and the evidence given before select committees of Parliament,

show that for the past fifteen years I have strenuously advocated as

an act of justice as well as sound policy, the reduction of taxation

on articles of nutriment or necessity, which enter largely into the

consumption of the great mass of the people. I allude more

particularly to sugar, malt, soap, &e. Tea is neither a nutriment

nor a necessary of life, its use does not improve the physical

stamina of the people ; in fact, it acts the very reverse, by its in-

jurious effects on the nervous system-unless when accompanied

by a full diet of animal food, and fermented liquors. Again-the


position, soil, and climate adapted for the growth of tea in China, is

limited, and no large quantity of drinkable tea could be suddenly

obtained in China ; any reduction of duty would therefore not

lessen the price of tea to the consumer, it would go to the

benefit of the Chinese and European dealers in the article.

Furthermore, there would be no inconsiderable risk of turning the

public taste from tea, if an inferior article were largely intro-

duced, as has been the case on the continent of Europe.

The true remedy for our deficient trade with China, is not to be

found in the reduction of one or two million sterling of tea

duties, but in a perfect freedom of intercourse with China ; in

facilities of access to the interior of that vast country, and in the

abolition of the pernicious opium traffic, which absorbs the money

(£4,000,000 sterling,) that would otherwise be devoted to the pur-

chase ofBritish manufactures. If Her Majesty's Government could

afford to give up £2,000,000 of annual revenue- well and good ;-

I for one should be rejoiced to hear that our merchants in China

had received some portion of this advantage . But taking all the

circumstances of the case into consideration, but most especially

the precarious state of the imperial revenues, and the absolute

necessity of preserving faith with the public creditor, especially in

the present critical period of financial and commercial transition-

it seems extremely injudicious for the Chancellor of the Exchequer

to attempt at present any alteration in the duty levied on tea.








THE Consumption of the intoxicating and pernicious drug called

opium, is so large in China, so entirely contraband, and so strongly

denounced by the imperial government, that a brief notice of the

events that arose out of the desire of the Chinese government to

suppress the traffic will be necessary, in order that the present

state of the trade may be fully understood ; for the question is by

no means a settled one with the cabinet at Peking, and it is far

from improbable, that the opium traffic may again lead to a war

between China and England .


Opium was first used in China medicinally, and a small quantity

was grown in the southern province of Yunnan. It is probable,

that, subsequent to the Tartar conquest (A.D. 1644) , a great de-

terioration of morals took place throughout the empire, and the

complete subjugation and despotism exercised by the conquerors

destroyed public energy and private enterprise, leaving to the

wealthier classes no other source of enjoyment than what may be

temporarily, but dearly, obtained from sensual indulgence . This

is also manifest in the opium-consuming countries of Turkey and

Persia ; indeed, wherever the vital and ennobling springs of human

action are subdued, baneful passions take root, and among a

materialist-people like the Chinese, almost devoid of religion, and

without hope of the future, every species of present enjoyment

necessarily ensues. The fatally delicious intoxication of opium

offered, therefore, a transient pleasure and oblivion of woes, which

it was difficult to resist.

Previous to 1767, the importation of the drug from India (which

country, and Turkey, are almost the only countries where it is ex-

tensively grown) into China, did not exceed 200 chests a year.

This increased to 1000 chests yearly, the trade being chiefly in the

hands of the Portuguese. In 1773, the East India Company

made a small venture of opium to China. In 1780, the English

entered into the trade, and established two small depôt vessels in

" Larks, or Blackbutter Bay," southward of Macao, where the

opium, worth in Bengal 500 rupees a chest, was sold to the Chi-

nese for 500 dollars.

In 1781 , the Bengal government freighted an armed vessel with

opium, the proceeds of which were paid into the East India Com-

pany's treasury at Canton .

In 1794, the English stationed a large vessel laden with opium

at Whampoa, where she remained fifteen months unmolested.

The consumption in the year 1800 was probably about 2,000

chests, when the importation was prohibited by the Emperor ; who

also interdicted the cultivation of the poppy in Yunnan. Subse-

quently, a general order was issued to all governors and deputy

governors throughout the empire, to exert themselves in suppress-

ing the use of opium, and directing them to send in their opinions

on the best mode of doing so. The Emperor peremptorily in-

structed the governor of Yunnan not to use " empty words," but

to put the people in fear, prevent the production of opium, and at

the end of every year report progress to His Majesty. Death,

transportation, and confiscation of property, were decreed to be the

punishments due to those who smoked, retailed , or cultivated


Notwithstanding these severe prohibitions, the consumption of

opium increased rapidly in China ; and armed depôt vessels be-

longing to several private English merchants, were stationed under

shelter of the island of Lintin, in the Canton river, during the

N.E. monsoon, and in the adjacent harbour of Capsingmoon, at


the entrance of the Canton river, during the summer months.

The smuggling boats were fast sailers, well armed, manned with.

forty to fifty stout rowers, and ready to fight when attacked by

the Chinese government revenue cruisers-which was not unfre-

quently the case. The opium was purchased for cash in Canton

from the English owner or consignee by Chinese brokers, who then

received an order on the captain of the depôt or receiving ship at

Lintin, to deliver so many chests to the bearer. These deliveries

were generally made at night, to elude the mandarin cruisers .

As the trade increased, English receiving vessels were stationed

at eligible places along the east and north coasts of China. The

consumption of Indian opium (independent of Turkey opium)

was, in

Patna &Benares. Value. Malwa. Value. Total. Value.

Chests. Dollars. Chests. Dollars. Chests. Dollars.

1816-17 2,610 3,132,000 600 525,000 3,210 3,657,000

1826-27 3,661 3,668,565 6,308 5,941,520 9,969 9,610,085

1832-33 8,290 6,570,72915,403 8,781,700 23,693 15,352,429

1837 about 40,000 chests, valued at.. 25,000,000

Thus, in twenty years, the consumption of this fearfully perni-

cious drug had more than ten-fold increased, and, according to the

then exchangeable value of the dollar, an annual drain of the pre-

cious metals amounting to about four million pounds sterling

ensued, although the exportation thereof was prohibited by the

government of China. The dissoluteness and destruction caused

by this extensive use of opium ; the corruption consequent on the

large bribes paid to the mandarins by the Chinese smugglers of

the drug ; and the constant, open, and universal defiance of the

imperial laws, gave much alarm and disquietude at Peking .

The imperial government discussed the subject in three points

of view :-1st . Moral, in relation to the health and virtue of the

people ; 2d . Financial, on account of the constant and heavy drain

of gold and silver from China ; and, 3rd . Political, by means of the

effects produced from the two previous arguments : viz ., destroy-

ing the people, and diminishing the means of resistance against

foreigners, who were now visiting every part of the coast of


The number of smokers, at three candareens = 17 % grains

per man daily, was about three million, and as it was a very expen-

sive vice, and could only be indulged in by the wealthy classes,

and those high in the employ of government, the demoralizing

effect produced on the nation generally may be readily conceived.

No language would convey a description of the sufferings of

those to whom opium has become a necessary of existence ; no

picture could impress the fearful misery which the inmates of an


opium smoking shop exhibit. These dens of human suffering are

attended by unfortunate women-as opium in the early use is an

aphrodisiac, and as such prized by the Chinese. In few, but very

few, instances, if indeed in any, moderation in opium is exercised ;

once fairly begun, there is no cessation, until poverty and death

ensue ; and when digestion has nearly ceased, and deglutition

even become painful, the utmost effect of the drug is merely to

mitigate the horrors of existence.

One of the fallacies put forth to palliate the enormity of this

crime, is that the vice of opium smoking is not worse than that of

gin drinking ; but this is on a par with another fallacy, that if

Englishmen did not supply the Chinese with opium, another

nation would. How sunken must be the morals of an individual,

when crime is measured by crime ! How dead must be the sense

of national responsibility, when the plea is put forth that wholesale

destruction may be committed, because, if not done by us, others

will or may probably perpetrate the crime, and receive its hireling

reward ! Yet these are the justifications of professing Christians-

in a nominally Christian country—in the middle of the nineteenth

century !

On the second of these poor and flimsy subterfuges we have no

need to comment, nor will the allegation bear discussion : as well

might the murderer, Thurtell, justify his plunder and slaying of

Mr. Weare, on the plea that if he did not Probert would, as Eng-

land attempt to screen herself from the condemnation, so justly

her due, for poisoning the Chinese. But the first plea is more

specious, and its fallacy not so readily exposed ; although it is at

once apparent, that the perpetration of one offence can be no pal-

liation for another. But independent of this argument, there is

no comparison whatever between gin and opium, as regards their

rapid and fatal effects. In adducing testimony on this point, I

shall state, first, the effects of opium as I witnessed them in the


Opium affects primarily the nervous system, and is not, like

beer, wine, or spirits , received into the digestive system previous

to its action on the nerves. It is smoked by the Chinese after

preparation by boiling to concentrate the narcotic principle. As

a medicine, like all other poisons, it is of great value. It dimi-

nishes pain, soothes irritation, and often procures repose for the

sufferers when other means have failed . In large doses it almost

instantly destroys life by the destruction of the nervous energy,

which is indispensable to the circulation of the blood . Unless

when taken for the relief of disease, and even then administered

with the greatest caution, the continued action of opium, as a

sensual stimulant, tends rapidly to the wasting of youth, health,

strength, and beauty. Those who begin its use at twenty may

expect to die at thirty years of age : the countenance becomes

pallid ; the eyes assume a wild brightness, the memory fails, the



gait totters, mental exertion and moral courage sink, and a fright-

ful marasmus or atrophy reduces the victim to a ghastly spectacle,

who has ceased to live before he has ceased to exist. There is no

slavery so complete as that of the opium-taker ; once habituated

to his dose as a factitious stimulant, everything will be endured

rather than the privation ; and the unhappy being endures all the

mortification of a consciousness of his own degraded state, while

ready to sell wife and children, body and soul, for the continu-

ance of his wretched and transient delight ; transient indeed - for

at length the utmost effect produced is a temporary suspension of

agony, and finally, no dose of the drug will remove or relieve a

state of suffering which it is utterly impossible to describe. The

pleasurable sensations and imaginative ideas arising at first, soon

pass away ; they become fainter and fainter, and at last entirely give

place to horrid dreams and appalling pictures of death : spectres

of fearful visage haunt the mind- the light which once seemed to

emanate from heaven is converted into the gloom of hell- sleep,

balmy sleep has fled for ever- night succeeds day only to be clothed

with never-ending horrors ;-incessant sickness, vomiting, diarrhoea,

and total cessation of the digestive functions, ensue ; and death

at length brings, with its annihilation of the corporeal structure,

the sole relief to the victim of sensual and criminal indulgence .

The opium shops which I visited in the East were perfect types

of hell upon earth.

An exemplary missionary, the Rev. Mr. Medhurst- now in China

(at Shanghai) and intimately acquainted with the Chinese lan-

guage, says, " those who have not seen the effects of opium-

smoking in the eastern world, can hardly form any conception of

its injurious results on the health, energies and lives of those who

indulge in it. The debilitating of the constitution, and the

shortening of life, are sure to follow, in a few years after the

practice has been commenced. The dealers in opium are little

aware how much harm they are the instruments of doing, by car-

rying on this demoralizing and destructive traffic ; but the dif-

ference between the increase of the Chinese people, before and

after the introduction of opium, ought to open their eyes, and lead

them to ask themselves whether they are not accountable for the

diseases and deaths of all those who have suffered by its introduc-

tion. And if it be true that the Chinese increased at the rate of

three per cent. per annum, before the commencement of the

traffic, and at the rate of one per cent. per annum since, it would

be well for them to consider whether the deficiency is not to be

attributed, in some degree, to opium, and the guilt to be laid at the

door ofthose who are instrumental in introducing it ." -Medhurst's

China, p. 56.

A late memorial from one of the censors to the Emperor of

China, laid open the evil in all its deformity. " I have learned,"

says he, " that those who smoke opium, and eventually become its


victims, have a periodical longing for it, which can only be assuaged

by the application of the drug at the regular time. If they cannot

obtain it when the daily period arrives, their limbs become debili-

tated, a discharge of rheum takes place from the eyes and nose,

and they are altogether unequal to any exertion ; but with a few

whiffs, their spirits and strength are immediately restored in a

surprising manner. Thus opium becomes to opium-smokers their

very life ; and, when they are seized and brought before magis-

trates, they will sooner suffer a severe chastisement than inform

against those who sell it ."-The Chinese. By Sir J. F. Davis.

vol. ii. , p. 454.

In the " Philosophical Transactions," Mr. Russell states, that

opium " impairs the digestive organs, consequently the vigour of

the whole body, and destroys also gradually the mental energies .

The memories of those who take it soon fail, they become prema-

turely old, and then sink into the grave, objects of scorn and pity.

Mustapha Shatoor, an opium-eater in Smyrna, took daily three

drachms of crude opium. The visible effects at the time were the

sparkling of his eyes, and great exhilaration of spirits. He found

the desire of increasing his dose growing upon him. He seemed

twenty years older than he really was ; his complexion was very

sallow, his legs small, his gums eaten away, and his teeth laid bare

to the sockets. He could not rise without first swallowing half a

drachm of opium." Dr. Madden, in his " Travels in Turkey," in

describing some opium eaters, remarks : " Their gestures were

frightful ; those who were completely under the influence of the

opium talked incoherently, their features were flushed, their eyes

had an unnatural brilliancy, and the general expression of their

countenances was horribly wild. · The debility, both

moral and physical, attendant on its excitement is terrible ; the

appetite is soon destroyed, every fibre in the body trembles, the

nerves of the neck become affected, and the muscles get rigid :

several of these I have seen in this place, at various times, who had

wry necks, and contracted fingers ; but still they cannot abandon

the custom : they are miserable till the hour arrives for taking

their daily dose." M. de Ponqueville, in his " Travels in the

Morea," observes : " He who begins taking opium habitually at

twenty, can scarcely expect to live longer than to the age of thirty,

or from that age to thirty-six ; the later is the utmost age that

for the most part they attain. After some years they take doses

of a drachm each ; then comes on a frightful pallidness of coun-

tenance, and the victim wastes away in a kind of marasmus that

can be compared to nothing but itself : alopecia and a total loss of

memory, with rickets, are the never-failing consequences of this

deplorable habit. · Always beside themselves, the theriakis

are incapable of work, they seem no more to belong to society.

Toward the end of their career they, however, experience violent

pains, and are devoured by constant hunger ; nor can their pare-



goric in any way relieve their sufferings ; they are hideous to be-

hold, deprived of their teeth, their eyes sunk in their heads, in

a constant tremor, they cease to live long before they cease to

exist. "

Mr. Majoribanks, president of the select committee at Canton,

observed, in reference to its use by the Chinese : " Opium can

only be regarded, except the small quantities required for the pur-

poses of medicine, as a pernicious poision . Το any friend

of humanity, it is a painful subject of contemplation, that we

should continue to pour this black and envenomed poison into the

sources of human happiness - the misery and demoralization are

almost beyond belief. Any man who has witnessed its frightful

ravages and demoralizing effects in China, must feel deeply on

this subject ."

It is truly stated by a British merchant, in an essay on the

opium trade : " There is but one point of difference between the

intoxication of ardent spirits and that of opium, deserving of par-

ticular attention here ; and that is, the tenfold force with which

enery argument against the former applies to the latter. There is

no slavery on earth to name with the bondage into which opium casts

its victim. There is scarcely one known instance of escape from its

toils, when once they have fairly enveloped a man."

Colonel James Tod, late political agent to the western Rajpoot,

states, in his " Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan," says, "this per-

nicious plant has robbed the Rajpoot of half his virtues ; and while

it obscures these, it heightens his vices ; giving to his natural

bravery a character of insane ferocity, and to the countenance,

which would otherwise beam with intelligence, an air of imbecility.

Like all stimulants, its effects are magical for a time, but the re-

action is not less certain ; and the faded form or amorphous bulk,

too often attest the debilitating influence of a drug which alike

debases body and mind." He afterwards terms it " an execrable

and demoralizing plant."

Mr. Henry St. George Tucker, the present deputy-chairman of

the East India Company, protested against the whole of this

traffic, in a dissent dated October, 1839, and he uses these words :

" By promoting the growth of the poppy throughout Central

India, as we have done ; paying high prices, and giving the native

chiefs an interest in producing, rather than restricting the culti-

vation, we become accessory to the probable extension of a perni-

cious habit among a race of men, whose well-being ought never to

be an object of indifference to us. By encouraging and extending

the growth of the poppy in our own provinces, and becoming the

retail vendors of the drug, we shall promote the introduction or ex-

tension of the same pernicious habit, which is calculated to debase

our native subjects."

On the 14th May, 1841 , Mr. Tucker again recorded a dissent,

from which the following is an extract :-" Ever since I have had


the honour of being a member of this court, I have uniformly

and steadily opposed the encouragement given to the extension

of the manufacture of opium ; but of late years we have pushed

it to the utmost height, and disproportionate prices were given

for the article in Malwah . We contracted burthensome trea-

ties with the Rajpoot States, to introduce and extend the cul-

tivation of the poppy. We introduced the article into our own

districts where it had not been cultivated before, or where the cul-

tivation was abandoned ; and we gave our revenue officers an in-

terest in extending the cultivation in preference to other produce

much more valuable and deserving of encouragement . Finally,

we established retail shops, which brought it home to every man's


" How different was the policy of Lord Cornwallis, Lord Teign-

mouth, Lord Wellesley, and Lord Minto, who circumscribed the

produce within the narrowest limits, confining the cultivation of

the poppy to two of our provinces, and actually eradicating it from

districts where it had been previously cultivated . How fatal have

been the consequences of a departure from this wise and humane

policy. Is there any man still so blind as not to perceive that it

has had a most injurious effect upon our national reputation ? Can

any man be found so hardy, or perverse, as to deny that it has led

to the total derangement of our trade with China, which was here-

tofore the source of wealth and prosperity both to India and to the

mother country. If a revenue cannot be drawn from such an arti-

cle as opium, otherwise than by quadrupling the supply, by promot-

ing the general use of the drug, and by placing it within the reach

of the lower classes of the people, no fiscal consideration can justify

our inflicting upon the Malays and Chinese so grievous an evil.”

In a " Report on the Tea Plantations in Assam," by Mr. C. A.

Bruce, formerly in the service of the East India Company, and now

superintendent of tea culture in Assam, it is stated, " I might here

observe, that the British government would confer a lasting bles-

sing on the Assamese and the new settlers, if immediate and active

measures were taken to put down the cultivation of opium in

Assam, and afterwards to stop its importation . If something of

this kind is not done, and done quickly too, the thousands that

are about to emigrate from the plains into Assam, will soon be in-

fected with the opium mania-that dreadful plague which has

depopulated this beautiful country, turned it into a land of wild

beasts, with which it is overrun, and has degenerated the Assamese

from a fine race of people, to the most abject, servile, crafty, and

demoralised race in India . This vile drug has kept, and does now

keep down the population ; the women have fewer children com-

pared with those of other countries, and the children seldom live

to become old men, but in general die at manhood ; very few old

men being seen in this unfortunate country in comparison with

others. But those who have resided long in this unhappy land,


know the dreadful and immoral effects which the use of opium

produces on the native. He will steal, sell his property, his chil-

dren, the mother of his children, and, finally, even commit murder

for it ! Would it not be the highest of blessings, if our humane

and enlightened government would stop these evils by a single

dash of the pen, and save Assam, and all those who are about to

emigrate into it as tea cultivators, from the dreadful results attend-

ant on the habitual use of opium ? We should in the end be

richly rewarded by having a fine healthy race of men growing up

for our plantations, to fell our forests, to clear the land from jungle

and wild beasts, and to plant and cultivate the luxury of the

world. This can never be effected by the enfeebled

‫وو‬ opium-eaters of

Assam, who are more effeminate than women.'

The Pekin Gazette of 7th September, 1823, says :-" Opium is

an article whose flowing poison spreads like flames." A Chinese

minister, addressing Sir Henry Pottinger, 27th July, 1842, says :

"We have been united, by a friendly commercial intercourse,

for two hundred years . How then, at this time, are our old rela-

tions so suddenly changed, so as to be the cause of a national

quarrel ? It arose, most assuredly, from the spreading opium

poison. Opium is neither pulse nor grain, yet multitudes of our

Chinese subjects consume it, wasting their property and destroying

their lives ; and the calamities arising therefrom are unutterable !

How is it possible to refrain from forbidding our people to use it ?"

A far-seeing statesman, Sir Stamford Raffles, thus recorded

his opinion respecting this poison in Java : " The use of opium,

it must be confessed and lamented, has struck deep into the

habits, and extended its malignant influence to the morals of

the people, and is likely to perpetuate its power in degrading

their character and enervating their energies, as long as the Euro-

pean government, overlooking every consideration of policy and

humanity, shall allow a paltry addition to their finances to outweigh

all regard to the ultimate happiness and prosperity of the country.

The effects of this poison on the human frame are so well describ-

ed by the Dutch Commissioners, who, much to their honour, de-

clared, that no consideration of pecuniary advantage ought to

weigh with the European government in allowing its use ; that,

together with the opinion of Mr. Hogendorp, who concurred with

them, I shall insert their statement.- Sir Stamford Raffles' History

ofJava, vol. i. p . 102 .

" The English in Bengal have assumed an exclusive right to col-

lect the same, and they dispose of a considerable number of chests

containing that article annually at Calcutta by public auction. It

is much in demand on the Malay coast, at Sumatra, Java, and all

the islands towards the east and north, and particularly in China.

The effect which it produces on the constitution is different, and

depends on the quantity that is taken, or on other circumstances.

If used with moderation, it causes a pleasant, yet always somewhat


intoxicating sensation , which absorbs all care and anxiety. If a

large quantity is taken, it produces a kind of madness, of which the

effects are dreadful, especially when the mind is troubled by jea-

lousy, or inflamed with a desire of vengeance, or other violent

passions. At all times it leaves a slow poison, which undermines the

faculties of the soul, and the constitution of the body, and renders a

person unfit for all kinds of labour, and an image of the brute

creation. The use of opium is so much more dangerous, because a

person who is once addicted to it can never leave it off. To satisfy

that inclination, he will sacrifice every thing, his own welfare, the

subsistence of his wife and children, and neglect his work. Poverty

is the natural consequence, and then it becomes indifferent to him

by what means he may content his insatiable desire after opium ;

so that at last he no longer respects either the property or life of

his fellow-creatures ."

" Opium," says Mr. Hogendorp, " is a slow though certain poi-

son, which the Company, in order to gain money, sells the poor

Javans. Any one who is once enslaved to it, cannot, it is true,

give it up without great difficulty ; and if its use were entirely pro-

hibited, some few persons would probably die for want of it, who

would otherwise, languish on a little longer : but how many would

by that means be saved for the future ? Most of the crimes, par-

ticularly murders, that are now committed, may be imputed to opium

asthe general cause."

Captain John Shepperd, recently chairman of the East India

Company, who has been in China often, says : " The smoking of

opium has the most demoralising effects. To a certain extent it

destroys their reason and faculties, and shortens life. A confirmed

opium smoker is never fit to conduct business, and generally unfit

for the social intercourse with his friends and family. You may

tell him by his inflamed eyes and haggard countenance."

Sir R. Inglis, in the debate, April 4th, 1843, stated that : " He

held in his hand a statement which had appeared in a Batavian

Gazette, being an account of an individual who had visited one of

the houses where the opium was consumed. He might be told

that equal horrors might be found in some of the gin palaces of

England ; but he believed that no such horrors could be found in

the worst parts of the worst towns of England . The individual


said I visited one of the opium houses, and shall I tell you what

I saw in this ante-chamber of hell ? I thought it impossible to

find any thing worse than the results of drinking ardent spirits,

but I have succeeded in finding something far worse.' He said

he saw Malays, Chinese, men and women, old and young, in one

mass, in one common herd, wallowing in their filth ; beastly,

sensual, devilish, and this under the eyes of a Christian govern-


Lord Jocelyn, who visited the opium shops in the east, stated in

the same debate, that " He must acknowledge that the noble Lord


(Ashley) had called to his recollection scenes which he had witness-

ed of the lawless character of the trade, and in all that he had

stated as to the moral, political, and physical evils he concurred."

The Honourable Court of Directors of the East India Company,

in a letter to the Governor-general, October 24th, 1817, acknow-

ledge the evil thus :-" Were it possible to prevent the use of the

drug altogether, except for the purpose of medicine, we would gladly

do it in compassion to mankind."

W. Hamilton Lindsay, Esq. M.P. says, " As it is, nothing can be

more injurious to the British character than the mode in which

the opium trade is at present conducted . It is now real smuggling,

accompanied by all its worst features of violence, and must fre-

quently be attended with bloodshed and sacrifice of life. * All the

respectable mercantile houses in China have pledged their honour

against any further connection with it under present circum-

stances. [Most of them have, however, since resumed the traffic ;

Mr. Lanceolet Dent and Messrs. Wetmore & Co. are honourable

exceptions. ]

Captain Elliot, late Her Majesty's superintendent in China, says,

" After the most deliberate reconsideration of this course of traffic

(which he heartily hopes has ceased for ever), the chief superin-

tendent will once more declare his own opinion, that in its general

effects it was intensely mischievous to every branch of trade ; that it

was rapidly staining the British character with deep disgrace ; and,

finally, that it exposed the vast public and private interests involved

in the peaceful maintenance of our regular commercial intercourse

with this empire, to imminent jeopardy." Again, in a letter to Lord

Palmerston, he says, "if my private feelings were of the least conse-

quence upon questions of a public and important nature, assuredly

I might justly say, that no man entertains a deeper detestation ofthe

disgrace and sin of this forced traffic on the coast of China, than the

humble individual who signs this despatch. I see little to choose be-

tween it and piracy ; and in my place, as a public officer, I have

steadily discountenanced it by all the lawful means in my power,

and at the total sacrifice of my private comfort in the society in

which I have lived for some years past."

Sir John Hobhouse, in the debate on Lord Ashley's motion,

observed, that " it was the opium question which had given rise

to many of the difficulties with which they had now to contend,

and he agreed with the noble Lord ( Sandon) that it was to that

question that government ought to direct their attention . And

although he did not agree with the noble lord that they deserved

any censure now for having neglected that question, still he ad-

mitted that it became any persons to whom the administration

of the affairs of this great empire was entrusted , to turn their im-


* I have forborne recording cases of piracy and murder on the coast of China, be-

cause I am unwilling to blame a whole class by reason of the misconduct of some

individuals .


mediate and serious attention to it." And in the subsequent part

of his speech, Sir John Hobhouse said :-" Far be it from him to

wish to say anything less than was deserved of the unfortunate re-

sults of that traffic, or to palliate them. He could not but deprecate

it as a vice, for a great vice it was."

Lord Sandon said, " it is a disgrace to a Chistian country to

carry on the opium trade as we have done."

The Canton Circular, 1846, observes, " Considering that the prime

cost of opium in Bengal is about 250 rupees per chest, and that it is

now sold by auction at 1,200 or 1,600, we need not ask the ques-

tion, -who have been chiefly benefited by the war in China, justly

termed the Opium War ? With respect to the opium trade as at

present conducted, it is certainly a great evil, and indirectly injures

the sale of other merchandise."

Lord Ashley, in the opium debate, truly said, " Let us come to the

first and highest consideration of all; the consideration of the effects

derived from the imperial sanction of this trade on everything that

is of sterling value, —on the progress of society, the civilization of

man, and the advancement of the Gospel. I remember well, for I

much admired, the language of the right honourable gentleman,

the member for Edinburgh, in the debate on the Gates of Som-


nauth. Every act,' said the right honourable gentleman, ' which

tended to bring Christianity into contempt, was high treason against

the civilization of the human race .' I heartily concurred in that

sentiment, and I proved my sincerity by voting for the motion ,

and with the right honourable gentleman. I hope that the right

honourable gentleman will do the same for himself, and prove his

sincerity by voting with me ; because I can show from the testi-

mony of thinking men, that opium and the Bible cannot enter

China together . What said Mr. Medhurst ? He said, ' it has

been told, and it shall be rung in the ears of the British public

again and again, that opium is demoralizing China, and becomes

the greatest barrier to the introduction of Christianity which can

be conceived of. But the difficulty of convincing others of the

truth of Christianity, and of the sincere intentions of Christians,

is greater in proportion to the extent of the opium trade to China.

Almost the first word uttered by a native, when urged to believe in

Christ, is-and this I beg the House to consider well - ' Why do

Christians bring us opium, and bring it directly in defiance of our

laws ? That vile drug has poisoned my son, has ruined my brother,

and well-nigh led me to beggar my wife and children. Surely,

those who import such a deleterious substance, and injure me for

the sake of gain, cannot wish me well, or be in possession of a re-

ligion that is better than my own. Go first, and persuade your

own countrymen to relinquish this nefarious traffic, and give me a

prescription to correct this vile habit, and then I will listen to your

exhortations on the subject of Christianity ' .... Should the Chi-

nese,' he adds, ' ever determine on stopping the trade, it will be


from a far different motive than a wish to exclude the gospel. The

determined perseverence and the audacious daring with which the

opium traffic is pushed forward, to the real injury of his people, as

well as the defiance of his authority, exasperates the Emperor a

great deal more than the distribution of tracts along the coast.'

What, too, says Mr. Squire, who has resided for several years in

China, as an agent of the Church Missionary Society ? Speaking

of the opium shops in Canton, he says, ' Never, perhaps, was there

a nearer approach to hell upon earth , than within the precincts of

these vile hovels, where gaming is likewise carried on to a great

extent. Here every gradation of excitement and depression may

be witnessed.' He adds, ' Truly it is an engine in Satan's hand,

and a powerful one ; but let it never be forgotten that a nation

professing Christianity supplies the means ; and further, that that

nation is England, through her possessions in Hindostan.' Again,

the Rev. Howard Malcolm , of the United States, said the same

thing ; and I wish much to impress it on the house ' The great blat

on foreigners at Canton, though not all, is the opium trade. That

men of correct moral sensibilities and enlightened minds should be

so blinded by custom, or desire of gain, as to engage in this busi-

ness, is amazing ....We have little reason, he continues, ' to wonder

at the reluctance of China to extend her intercourse with foreign-

ers ; nearly the whole of such intercourse brings upon her pesti-

lence, poverty, crime, and disturbance. No person can describe

the horrors of the opium trade .... That the government of British

India should be the prime abettors of this abominable traffic, is

one of the great wonders of the nineteenth century. The proud

escutcheon of the nation that declaims against the slave trade, is

thus made to bear a blot broader and darker than any other in the

Christian world ."

Sir Charles Forbes, a name venerated in India and in England,

one whose love of justice is only equalled by his ever merciful con-

sideration for the poor, the afflicted, and the oppressed ; who knows

no distinction of caste, colour, or creed, when his powerful voice,

his sound judgment, and his liberal heart are required for the mi- 1

tigation of human misery ; this truly good man in Parliament and

out of Parliament, in public and private life, has ever urged the

abolition of this damning vice. When sitting on the parliamentary

committee, in 1832-33, relative to India and China, he was pre-

vented, by the committee, putting questions to Captain Shephard,

relative to the demoralizing effects of opium. But there is no need

to multiply opinions on this truly awful subject. And yet with all

this evidence before Her Majesty's government-with these unde-

niable facts, forcing conviction on the most prejudiced, callous,

or selfish minds-what has been the conduct of the govern-

ment of this Christian country in the year 1844 ? Twenty

opium-smoking shops have been licensed in Hong Kong- within

gun-shot of the Chinese Empire- where such an offence is death !

Hong Kong has now, therefore, been made the lawful opium


smoking shop, where the most sensual, dissolute, degraded, and de-

praved of the Chinese may securely perpetrate crimes which de-

grade men far below the level of the brute- and revel in a vice,

which destroys body and soul,-which has no parallel in its fasci-

nating seduction,-in its inexpressible misery-or in its appalling


When the governor proposed the conversion of Hong Kong

into a legalized opium shop, under the assumed license of our most

gracious and religious sovereign, I felt bound as a sworn member

of Her Majesty's council in China, to endeavour to dissuade him

from this great crime; but no reasoning would induce him to follow

the noble example of the Emperor of China- who when urged

to derive a revenue from the importation of opium, -thus right-

eously recorded his sentiments in 1844, in an answer which would

have been worthy of a Christian monarch :-






But money was deemed of more consequence in Hong Kong than

morality; it was determined in the name of Her Majesty to sell the

permission to the highest bidder by public auction, of the exclusive

right to poison the Chinese in Hong Kong-and to open a given

number of opium smoking shops -under the protection of the police,

for the commission of this appalling vice. It only remained for me,

in accordance with my oath, to advise Her Majesty to the best

of my ability, and in unison with all my past life, to place on

record the following dissent in council on the subject ; it will

now be the duty of the Christian public in England, to say whether

this dissent has been unavailingly made.

Dissent in Council-on the proposition for licensing the retail con-

sumption of Opium in this Colony, on the following grounds :—

1st. " Because the consumption of opium is not necessary to

the subsistence or health of man, and is therefore a vicious indul-


2nd. " Because the use of opium is not only a vice in itself,

but the parent of many other vices ; and whoever indulges in

opium never ceases its use until poverty and death ensue.

3rd. " Because it is no justification to say that, as gin, beer,

wine, and other fermented liquors are stimulants attended with

pernicious consequences, when used continuously in excess , that

therefore the use of opium may also be licensed by government.

The experience of civilized nations has shown that fermented

liquors are advantageous to the healthful energy of man ; * but no

No nation has advanced in civilization without using fermented liquors ; those

that have used opium have decayed and perished.


experience has shown that opium is beneficial to the body or mind

of man, individually or collectively.

4th . " Because no Government ought to make private vice a

source ofpublic revenue.

5th. " Because independent of the foregoing and of other

considerations, the peculiar position in which England at present

stands towards the Chinese government on this subject, -the

strong feeling entertained by a very large and influential portion

of the community at home respecting the sale of opium in China,

-and the risk which his Excellency incurs of creating an unfavour-

aule impression against his government, without any correspond-

ing fiscal advantage to the state, renders it inadvisable to license

the consumption of opium in this colony.

" Desirous of earnestly and faithfully advising his Excellency,

these remarks are offered for the governor's consideration with

great respect.

" Council Room, R. M. MARTIN .

"Hong Kong, November, 26, 1844."

In order that this extraordinary proceeding by the representative

of our sovereign in China may be more clearly seen, the following

abstract is given of the official.

" Regulations for the sale of opium by retail, made by his ex-

cellency the governor of Hong Kong, with the advice of the

executive council thereof, on the 8th February, 1845, in pur-

suance of ordinance, No. 21 of 1844, entitled " An ordinance for

licensing the sale of opium, &c. within the colony of Hong


1st. " If any person not being duly licensed by government,

shall within the limits of the said Island of Hong Kong and its

dependencies, or the water thereof, sell or retail opium for con-

sumption in smaller quantities than one chest, such person shall

be liable on a conviction before a police magistrate to the follow-

ing fines and punishments, viz . for the first offence to a fine of

100 dollars ; for the second offence to a fine of 250 dollars ; and

for every subsequent offence to a fine of 500 dollars ; the said

penalties respectively to be recovered in a summary manner before

any magistrate of police.

2nd. " The number of houses to be appropriated for retailing

opium in smaller quantities than one chest, or for smoking the same

within the said Island and its dependencies, shall be determined by

his excellency the governor in council, or by such public officer as

may be duly authorized by him for that purpose. Such houses

shall adjoin the street, and may be open from daylight until ten

o'clock at night, during each day except Sunday, on which day

they shall be closed . Such houses shall not be kept open, nor

shall any opium be sold therein between the hours of ten o'clock

at night and day-light, or at any time during Sunday, under a


penalty of fifty dollars, recoverable from the holder of any such

house on conviction before a police magistrate ; and all persons

who may be found smoking opium after the hour of ten o'clock

at night, in any other house or place ( save and except their usual

place of abode), shall on conviction before a magistrate be liable

to a penalty of twenty dollars, and the holder of the said house or

place shall be further liable in the like sum ; and no place shall

be licensed for the sale of opium in smaller quantities than one

chest, or for smoking opium within the island of Hong Kong

and its dependencies , or the waters thereof, other than the houses

so appropriated as aforesaid.

3rd. " Holders of the said houses so appropriated as aforesaid,

shall not sell or dispose of opium except for money, under a

penalty of twenty-five dollars, to be paid by the holder on convic-

tion before a police magistrate .

4th . " No person shall be admitted into any house so appro-

priated as aforesaid, with any kind of arms, weapons, or edged

tools, under a penalty of fifty dollars, to be paid by the holder of

the house on proof of the same before a police magistrate.


" If any person or persons are found riotous or quarrel-

some in any such house, the holder thereof shall apply to a police

officer, and deliver such person or persons into his charge, to be

dealt with as the law directs .

6th . 66 Every person duly licensed to retail opiu as afore

m said,

shall be at liberty to go on board any vessel at anchor in any

harbour within the said island of Hong Kong and its dependen-

cies, or in the waters thereof, for the purpose of searching for

opium illicitly retailed , contrary to the provisions of these regu-

lations , on obtaining a search warrant from a magistrate, to be

issued on the oath of the person licensed, that to the best of his

knowledge and belief such opium is being retailed on board the

said vessel for consumption.

7th. " If any person not being duly licensed as aforesaid, shall

within the limits of the said Island of Hong Kong and its depen-

dencies, or the waters thereof, sell tye, chandoo, or opium dross,

mixed with opium, he or she shall on conviction before a police

magistrate be subject to all the fines, forfeitures and penalties im-

posed in section No. 1 of these regulations .

9th . " All persons in charge of houses appropriated wholly or

in part to the smoking of opium , or to the retail of the same in

smaller quantities than one chest, shall take out and hold a per-

mit from the person duly licensed as aforesaid, and in default

thereof shall be liable to the fines and punishments prescribed by

section No. 1 of these regulations . Provided always, that the

said licensed person so granting the said permit, shall have re-

gard to the power retained under the 2nd section of these regu-

lations by the said governor, for determining the number of houses

to be appropriated to the retailing and smoking of opium.


10th. " And it is further declared and ruled that in all cases

not above provided for and where any penalty is imposed, the

said penalty shall in the first instance be levied by distress as be-

fore mentioned ; and that if there be no sufficient distress the

offender shall be liable to imprisonment for any period not exceed-

ing six calendar month, and that the presiding magistrate or

magistrates, before whom any person shall be tried and convicted

for any breach of the foregoing regulations, or any of them, shall

have in his or their discretion power to commute the amount of

any of the aforesaid pecuniary penalties, or to shorten the re-

spective periods of imprisonment hereinbefore prescribed.

" J. F. DAVIS.

" Passed the executive council of Hong Kong,

this 8th day of February, 1845.


Clerk of Councils."

It is the solemn and sacred of duty of both Houses of Parlia-

ment immediately to cause an inquiry into all the circumstances

of this transaction . Was this act of the plenipotentiary of the

Queen of England to the Emperor of China confirmed by Her

Majesty's government ? Would we have acted thus towards

France or Russia, and established a smuggling depôt on their

shores in a prohibited article and terrific poison ? We dare not.

Why, then, should we legalize and protect this dreadful traffic on

an island given to us by the government of China as a residence,

and for commercial intercourse.

Let us hear the opinions of the Chinese themselves on this


" Foreign opium, a poison : illustrated in ten paragraphs, written

by Koo Kingshan, a literary gentleman of Keangning, in the pro-

vince of Keangsoo . September, 1836.

" Opium is a poisonous drug brought from foreign countries.

To the question, what are its virtues ? The answer is, it raises the

animal spirits, and prevents lassitude, &c. hence the Chinese con-

tinually run into its toils. At first they merely strive to follow

the fashion of the day ; but in the sequel the poison takes effect,

the habit becomes fixed, and the sleeping smokers are like corpses

-lean and haggard as demons . Such are the injuries which it

does to life. Moreover, the drug maintains an exorbitant price,

and cannot be obtained except for the pure metal. Smoking

opium, in its first stages, impedes business ; and when the practice

is continued for any considerable length of time, it throws whole

families into ruin, dissipates every kind of property, and destroys

man himself. There cannot be a greater evil than this. In com-

parison with arsenic, I pronounce it tenfold the greater poison.

One swallows arsenic, because he has lost his reputation, and is so

involved that he cannot extricate himself. Thus driven to despe-


ration, he takes the dose and is destroyed at once ; but those who

smoke the drug are injured in many ways.

1st. It exhausts the animal spirits. When the smoker com-

mences the practice, he seems to imagine that his spirits are there-

by augmented, but he ought to know that this appearance is ficti-

tious-a mere process of excitement. It may be compared to

raising the wick of a lamp, which, while it increases the light,

hastens the exhaustion of the oil, and the extinction of the light.

Hence, the youth who smoke will shorten their own days, and cut

off all hope of posterity, leaving their fathers and mothers, and

wives, without any one on whom to depend ; and those in middle

and advanced life, who smoke, will accelerate the termination of

their years. These are consequences which may well be deplored !

2nd. " It impedes the regular performance of business. Those in

places of trust, who smoke, fail to attend personally, even to their

most important offices. Merchants, who smoke, fail to keep their

appointments, and all their concerns fall behindhand. For the

wasting of time and the destruction of business, the pipe is un-

rivalled. The wealthy Hong merchants who became bankrupts at

Canton, were nearly all opium smokers .

3rd. "It wastes the flesh and blood. From the robust, who

smoke, flesh is gradually consumed and worn away ; and their

skin hangs down like bags. The faces of the weak, who smoke,

are cadaverous and black ; and their bones naked as billets of


4th. " It dissipates every kind ofproperty. The rich, who smoke,

will inevitably waste their patrimony. It is the usual practice, in

smoking, for two persons to lie down (on the same platform) facing

each other, (with their opium and apparatus between them,) in-

dulging freely in conversation, they are soon in Elysian Fields : and

by a daily expenditure for purchasing the noxious drug, and for

the entertainment of their friends, who are also confirmed smokers

of opium, the wasteful consumption of property is very great.

5th. "It renders the person ill-favoured. Those who have been

long habituated to smoking, dose for whole days over their pipes,

without appetite for food, finding it difficult to observe even the

common civilities of life : when the desire for opium comes on,

they cannot resist its impulse . Mucus flows from their nostrils,

and tears from their eyes. Their very bodies are rotten and


6th. "It promotes obscenity. When men have long continued

the practice of smoking opium, their wives and children learn to

imitate them ; and when it is carried to great excess, no distinc-

tion is preserved between the inner and outer apartments ; no

difference between night and day ! Hence spring dark confu-

sions ; of which it is a shame to speak openly.

7th. "It discovers secrets. The smokers, whether honourable

or mean, all recline on the same platform, where the secrets of their

hearts are honestly divulged . 'Where there is much talking,


there must be some slander,' is an old proverb. Now, what the

honest man hears in their scenes of dissipation, may not lead to

any evil consequences ; but from what enters the ears of the dis-

honest, it will be difficult to prevent disastrous results .

8th. "It violates the laws. Both in purchasing and in smoking

the drug, one is ever liable to meet with worthless vagabonds, who

under various pretences, for the purpose of extortion, will raise

difficulties and cause the transgressor of the laws to be prosecuted

and punished . Those who open shops for the sale of the drug are

liable to the severe punishments of strangulation and decapitation ;

for those who buy and smoke, the punishment is banishment.

Why expose yourselves to these penalties of the laws ?

9th. "It attacks the vitals . By a long continuance of the habit,

worms are generated in the abdomen ; and in the confirmed

smokers the baneful influences attack the intestines, and great

injury is the consequence -injury which even the most celebrated

physicians can never avert. Look at suicides. They swallow the

crude opium, and instantly their intestines swell ; the blood flows

from their ears, eyes, mouth and nose ; the whole body becomes

red and bloated ; when death ensues. There is no relief. Hence,

may be seen the virulence of the drug . Once, when on a journey,

it happened that a fellow-passenger, who was a smoker, had used

up all his opium ; the periodical desire for it came on ; but finding

no means to gratify his appetite, he strove to take away his own

life . By mistake he swallowed a cup of oil, which induced exces-

sive vomiting ; when he threw up a collection of noxious worms,

partly coloured, with red heads, and hairy skin, which crawled

upon the ground, to the great astonishment of the spectators .

10th. "It destroys life. The poor smoker, who has pawned every

article in his possession, still remains idle and inactive ; and when

he has no means of borrowing money, and the periodical thirst re-

turns hard upon him, he will pawn his wives and sell his daughters :

such are the inevitable consequences ! In the provinces of Ngan-

hwuy, I once saw a man, named Chin, who being childless, pur-

chased a concubine ; afterwards, when his money was expended

and all other means failed him, being unable to resist the desire

for the pipe, he sold this same concubine, and received for her

several tens of dollars. This money being expended, he went and

hung himself. Alas, how painful was his end !"

I brought with me from China, a series of pictures, painted at

Canton, by a Chinese artist, to illustrate the results of opium smok-

ing, and which would form an excellent accompaniment to


Hogarth's " Rake's Progress .'

A Chinese artist has given the following description of these

faithful exhibitions of suicidal crime and suffering :-

1st. "The son of a gentleman of fortune, his father dying while

he was yet but a youth, comes into possession of the whole family.

estate. The young man, having no inclination for business or

books, gives himself up to smoking opium, and profligacy. In a


little time his whole patrimony is squandered, and he becomes en-

tirely dependent on the labour of his wife and child for his daily

food. Their poverty and misery are extreme.

No. 1. " This picture represents the young man at home,

richly attired, in perfect health and vigour of youth . An elegant

foreign clock stands on a marble table behind. On his right is a

chest of treasure, gold and silver ; and on the left, close by his side,

is his personal servant, and at a little distance, a man whom he

keeps constantly in his employ, preparing the drug for use from

the crude article, purchased and brought to the house.

No. 2. " In this he is reclining on a superb sofa with a pipe

in his mouth, surrounded by courtesans, two of whom are young,

in the character of musicians . His money now goes without any

regard to its amount.

No. 3. " After no very long period of indulgence, his appetite

for the drug is insatiable, and his countenance sallow and haggard.

Emaciated, shoulders high, teeth naked, face black, dozing from

morning till night, he becomes utterly inactive. In this state he

sits moping, on a very ordinary couch, with his pipe and other ap-

paratus for smoking lying by his side. At this moment, his wives

-or a wife and a concubine- come in ; the first finding the chest

emptied of its treasure, stands frowning with astonishment, while

the second gazes with wonder at what she sees spread upon the


No. 4. " His lands and his houses are now all gone ; his couch

exchanged for some rough boards, and a ragged mattress ; his shoes

are off his feet, and his face half awry, as he sits bending forwards,

breathing with great difficulty. His wife and child stand before

him, poverty stricken, suffering with hunger ; the one in anger,

having dashed on the floor all his apparatus for smoking, while

the little son, unconscious of any harm, is clapping his hands and

laughing at the sport ! But he heeds not either the one or the


No. 5. " His pove

rty and distress are now extreme , though his

appetite grows stronger than ever ; he is as a dead man ! In this

plight he scrapes together a few copper cash, and hurries away to

one of the smoking houses , to buy a little of the scrapings from the

pipe of another smoker, to allay his insatiable cravings .

No. 6. " Here his character is fixed ; a sot. Seated on a bam-

boo chair, he is continually swallowing the foeces of the drug, so

foul, that tea is required to wash them down his throat. His wife

and child are seated near him, with skeins of silk stretched on

bamboo reels, from which they are winding it off into balls ; thus

earning a mere pittance for his and their own support, and drag-

ging out from day to day a miserable existence."

There are two other drawings, showing the progress of the

opium smuggler, and terminating in public strangulation for the

offence .



The progress of the evil will be more fully seen by the following

statement ofthe opium exported from Calcutta to China, &c.


s n


. ern






































1795-96 1,070 4,103 10 5,183 1815-16 2,723 1,120 5 3,848

1796-97 2,387 3,247 5,644 1816-17 3,376 947 2 4,325

1797-98 1,985 1,514 3,503 1817-18 2,911 794 3 3,708

1798-99 1,718 1,624 3,342 1818-19 3,575 724 4,299

1799-1800 1,867 2,059 3,926 1819-20 1 741 1,345 3,091

1800-1 3,224 1,539 25 4,788 1820-21 3,591 1,556 5,147

1801-2 1,744 1,723 3,467 1821-22 1,936 655 2,591

1802-3 2,033 1,035 3,068 1822-23 3,207 893 4,100

1803-4 2,116 937 3,053 1823 24 3,923 1,286 5,209

1804-5 2,322 1,026 3,358 1824-25 5,365 1,710 7,076

1805-6 2,131 1,526 3,657 1825-26 4,627 536 5,165

1806-7 2,607 1,777 4,384 1826-27 5,861 707 6,568

1807.8 3,084 1,171 4,255 1827-28 7,341 562 7,903

1808-9 3 223 1,416 4,639 1828-29 4,903 1,651 6,554

1809-10 3,074 1,172 4,246 1829-30 7,443 2,335 9,678

1810-11 3,592 1,317 4,909 1830-31 5,672 7,069

1811-12 2,788 1,887 38 4,713 1831-32 6,815 7,427

1812-13 3,328 1,504 4,832 1832-33 7,598 9,408

1813-14 3,213 1,059 4,272 1833-34 7,808 9,518

1814-15 2,999 868 5 3,872 1834-35 10,207 10,107

Chests. Value Rupees . Chests. Value Rupees.

1835-36 14,851 18,834,822 1840-41 17,356 11,390,313

1836 37 12,606 18,015,422 1841-42 19,172 14,001,281

1837 38 19,600 21,292,386 1842 43 16,670 17,277,532

1838-39 18,212 14,490,478 1843-44 17,774 23,383,054

1839 40 18,965 7,973,980 1844-45 18,792 24,394,292

Theprogressive increase of the Malwa opium, is shown by the ex-

portations from Bombay and Damaun to China, since 1821 .

Total t





1821 1,600 678 2,278 1834 8,985 2,693 11,678

1822 1,600 2,255 3,855 1835 7,337 5,596 12,933

1823 1,500 1,535 5,535 1836 8,224 3,500 11,724

1824 1,500 2,063 6,063 1837

1825 2,500 1,563 5,563 1838

1826 2,500 2,605 5,565 1839

1827 2,980 1,524 4,504 1840

1828 2,820 3,889 7,709 1841

1829 3,502 4,597 8,099 1842

1830 3,720 9,136 12,856 1843 18,321

1831 4,700 4,633 9,333 1844

1832 11,000 3,007 14,007 1845

1833 11,715


The quantity of opium made and sold in the Bengal Presidency

by the British government, is annually increasing. The opium is

sold by auction at Calcutta at stated intervals . The sales for the

year 1845 were announced thus :-


Patna. Benares. Chests.

1st sale on the 6th January 4,000 1,800 5,800

2nd do. do. 10th February 1,800 850 2,650

3rd do. do. 21st April 3,600 1,500 5,100

4th do. do . 26th May 1,800 850 2,650

5th do. do. 29th June 3,685 1,641 5,326


The Bombay trade in Malwa opium for 1844 is thus stated :—

Passes granted at Indore under the proclamation of 1843-44,

from 27th October, 1843, to the 27th July last. Chests 13,325

Ditto at Bombay from the 17th October, 1843, to

the 30th September, 1844 · 798

Ditto from the 1st to the 2nd instant, 190


Chests 14,313

Imported under the passes granted previous to the

1st October, 1843, • Chests 3,744

Ditto the proclamation of 1843-44, from the 1st

October, 1843, to the 24th ultimo, Chests 13,839

Chests 17,583

Exported from the 1st October, 1843, to the 25th

ultimo. Chests 18,321

H. H. GLASS, Opium Agent.

Bombay, 25th September, 1844.

Thus 21,526 chests from Bengal, and 18,321 chests from Bom-

bay, give 39,847 chests, as the total production for one year,

exported from British India, for the destruction of the human


Great gambling is carried on in India in the drug, some spe-

culate for a rise in price, others for a fall, -similar to stock ex-

change gambling here. The opium sale at Calcutta on the 30th of

November was stopped by two natives bidding against each other,

until the price rose, it is said, to 130,995 rupees per chest ! Such

is the Christian government we have in India.




e stimating






























1820 2,850

285,000 143,700


228,000,000 4,287

172,440,000 365,699

400,440,000 4,548,900

1823 2,594

259,400 2,479


274,900 297,480,000

5,073 461,187

505,000,000 8,234,778

1826 3,002 545,000



300,200 654,000,000

8,452 816,584

894,160,000 7,913,310

1829 6,160




4,920 10,856,058









1832 907,400 12,154,334










744,880,000 19,769,111

























w expensive












each nd





















in he




















-will ice











It is not surprising that the Chinese government became exceed-

ing anxious to put a stop to a pestilence which, in the emphatic

language of Mr. Lay, Her Majesty's consul in China, was " ham-

stringing the nation ." The Emperor, by his denouncements in

1800, induced the East India Company's supercargoes at Canton,

to recommend strongly to the Court of Directors in London, to

take measures for preventing the shipment of any opium from

Bengal, or from England, to China . In 1809, in the fourteenth

year of the reign of the Emperor Keaking, the governor of Canton

required the Hong merchants to give bonds of security that all

ships, wishing to discharge cargo at Whampoa, had no opium on

board . In 1815, Governor Tseang made a report to the Emperor

against traitorous natives who dealt in opium at Macao, and re-

ceived the imperial commands, rigorously to enforce the laws against

them .

In 1820 (5th of April) Governor Yuen issued a prohibitory pro-

clamation against the drug .

In 1830, the Emperor issued an edict declaring that the " injury

done by the influx of opium, and by the increase of those who in-

hale it, is nearly equal to that of a conflagration," that " the waste

of property and the hurt done to human beings, is every day greater

than the preceding ;" and that "from south to north in all the pro-

vinces, the appearance of things is as if they were their own ruling

rut," [rut of a wheel] .

In 1831 , the Peking Gazette contained further laws against

opium, and inflicted 100 blows and three years transportation, on

those who refused to point out the seller of opium. Every governor,

Fooyuen, &c., were commanded to require of all persons employed

in his office a bond that they never use opium .

In 1832 , February 9th, Le, governor of Canton province, issued

a stringent chop (proclamation or order) against the importation

of the " opium dirt," declaring it " a spreading poison, inexhausti-

ble, and in its injurious effects extreme.”

The following is a copy of the document :-

Le, cabinet minister, governor, &c. to the Hong merchants re-

quiring them to inform themselves fully of the following order :

" Opium is a spreading poison,-inexhaustible ; -its injurions

effects are extreme . Often has it been severely interdicted, as

appears on record ; but of late the various ships of barbarians,

which bring opium, all anchor and linger about at Lintin, in the

outer ocean, and exclusive of cargo ships, there are appointed bar-

barian ships in which opium is deposited and accumulated, and

there it is sold by stealth. That place is in the midst of the great

ocean, and to it there are four passages and eight communications,

(i. e. it is accessible from every quarter.) Not only do traitorous

banditti of this province go thither, and in boats make clandestine

purchases, but, from many places, in various provinces, vessels

come by sea, under pretence of trading to Lintin ; and in the dark


buy opium dirt, which they set sail with, and carry off : as, for

example, from Kiámun, (or Amoy,) in Fokien ; Ningpo, in Chè-

kiáng ; and Tientsin, in Chihli, provinces, &c. And there are na-

tives, vagabonds, who clandestinely open opium furnaces ; then

traitorous merchants from outside, (or other provinces, ) first go to

Canton shops, and secretly agree about the price ; next make out

a bond and buy ; proceedings which are direct and gross violations

of existing prohibitions.

" At present, some one in the capital has represented the affair

to the Emperor, and strict orders have been respectfully received

from His Majesty, to investigate, consult, and exterminate ; by

cutting off the source of the evil. I, the cabinet minister and

governor, have met and consulted with the lieutenant-governor,

and we have, with veneration, reported our sentiments to the

Emperor. We have, besides, written to the governments of Chihli

and the other provinces, that they may search and prosecute, as is

on record.


Uniting the above, an order is hereby issued to the Hong

merchants, that they may forthwith obey accordingly. They are

commanded to expostulate with earnestness, and persuade the

barbarians of the several nations, telling them that, hereafter,

when coming to Canton to trade, they must not, on any account,

bring opium concealed in the ship's holds, nor appoint vessels to

be opium depôts at Lintin, in the outside ocean, hoping thereby

to sell it by stealth . If they dare, intentionally, to disobey, the

moment it is discovered, positively shall the said barbarian ships

have their hatches sealed,-their selling and buying put a stop to,

and an expulsion inflicted, driving them away to their own coun-

try ; and for ever after shall they be disallowed to come to trade ;

that thereby punishment may be manifested . On this affair, a

strict interdict has been respectfully received from imperial autho-

rity and the Hong merchants must honestly exert their utmost

efforts, to persuade to a total cutting off of the clandestine intro-

duction of opium dirt. Let there not be the least trifling or care-

lessness, for, if opium be again allowed to enter the interior, it will

involve them in serious criminality. Oppose not ! These are the

commands ."

In 1834, November 3rd, there was another similar edict from

the Imperial Cabinet at Peking.

In 1836, (June 12th,) a member of the imperial government

addressed a representation to the Emperor, suggesting that opium

should be admitted, as its smuggled introduction could not be pre-


" The memorial of Hui-Mu-Chi, member of the Council of

Rites, humbly sheweth, that the more rigorous the prohibitions

have been against the introduction of opium, the more widely has

the poison been spread. It appears needful, therefore, that these

circumstances should receive earnest attention ; and your memo-


rialist humbly beseeches your Majesty to order a secret enquiry

into the whole state of this matter.

" Opium is in truth, a medicine ; used properly it animates,

purifies the breath, and dispels noxious vapours. Its nature is

very clearly explained in the work of Lina-chin : he calls this herb

'the internal support.'

"Opium is inhaled, and when the habit becomes inveterate, it is

necessary to smoke it at certain fixed hours : it is then well called

xam-bi, (desire) . Time is consumed, men's duties are forgotten,

and they can no longer live without this poison . Its symptoms

are difficulty of breathing, chalky paleness, discoloured teeth, and

a withered skin. People perceive that it hurries them to des-

truction ; but it leaves them without spirit to desist. When have

prohibitions sufficed to destroy deeply-rooted evil practices ?

" There are three kinds of opium : the first is called campan,

(Patna,) this is of a black colour, and is therefore called black

earth : it comes from Bengal. The second is called papi, (Mahia,)

and comes from Bombay. The name of the third kind is Pe, (old

skin,) and comes from Madras. All these places belong to the


" In the time of the Emperor Kien-lung, a tariff was published

including opium. The duty was three taels upon a hundred cat-

ties, and two taels, four mace, and five candareens, as emoluments

or fees. In the first year of Kea-king, (1796,) it was declared a

crime to smoke opium, and the offence was punishable with cange

and bambooing. Notwithstanding severe penalties, imprisonment,

temporary banishment, and even death, the number of those who

smoke opium has multiplied exceedingly, and it is to be feared

that the practice will become general throughout the empire.

"In the time of the Emperor Keen-lung, the opium was entered

at the Custom-house, paid duties, and was delivered to the Hong

merchants like other merchandise, in barter for teas or other com-

modities. But now that the laws against its introduction are rigor-

ous, dealers purchase the drug secretly with money. In the

reign of Kea-king, it was computed that several hundreds of chests

were imported in each year ; but now the quantity introduced

exceeds 20,000 chests : each chest contains 100 catties . The

superior or blue kind is valued at 800 dollars : the second quality

(pa-pin,) at about 600 dollars, and the inferior sort (hum-pin, ) at

about 400 dollars. The whole value amounts to more than ten

millions of taels. In former times the foreign merchants brought

money to purchase goods, and the coast provinces gave but a little

and gained much ; but now the foreign merchants secretly sell

their opium for money : thus, the silver and bullion go out and

none return.

" This empire has enjoyed peace for thousands of years, and its

riches have ever flowed. At present gold and opium are at par.

The exchange for sycee silver was formerly 1000 cash for one tael :


now it is 1200 or 1300 cash to the tael . The price of sycee is still

on the increase. Now the salt and other merchants receive cash

in payment for their goods, and pay silver into the treasury for

their duties, hereby suffering great loss : consequently, several

branches of trade are languid and indeed decaying.

"To stop the foreign trade, it has been said, would arrest the

evil at its source . It is true that the Celestial Empire will not

feel the loss of several millions in the revenue, but it is not just

that the Portuguese and other foreigners, who have traded for

several hundreds of years, should suffer on account of the English,

and they alone bring opium. If the English and the other

foreigners are expelled, how can they live ? So many thousands of

men from the distant places of the earth, who are supported alone

by trade ? These foreigners too, may each select a spot on the

eastern shores of the empire, for their nation, to which your

Majesty's merchant vessels will resort, and it will not be possible to

prevent them.

" Foreign ships have visited the coasts of Fokien, Chekeang,

Keangnan, Shantung, Teintsin , with the intention of selling opium.

They have, indeed, been immediately expelled by the local govern-

ments, but it is certain that a considerable quantity of opium has

been since clandestinely introduced at the outports . Although

then the general trade at Canton were stopped, it would not be

possible to prevent smuggling.

" Officers are commanded to proceed to the coasts and examine :

the duty is performed coldly, and each day more opium is intro-

duced . The laws and edicts have been a pretext for needy and

corrupt officers of the lower ranks to exact gain. The more rigid

the prohibitions have been, the larger and the more frequent are

the bribes, and the more adroit are the schemes of the knaves who

deal in opium . In the first year of your Imperial Majesty, the

viceroy, Tuen-puen, proceeded vigorously against " a

smuggler, at Macao, and the foreign merchants being no longer

secure in their opium trade at that place, betook themselves to

Lintin. This place is in the centre of the district, and is free of

access on every side. There remain at Lintin the whole year

several large ships for the deposit of opium : in the city there are

shops specially devoted to the selling of opium, they are called (the

furnace mouths,) from these the price of the opium is conveyed to

the foreign factories : an order, in writing, is delivered to these

traders, with which they repair to the ships at Lintin . There are


boats called rapid lizard,' and also boats known by the term of

long dragon.' These are strongly manned with ruffians, and

armed with large guns and other weapons. They proceed with

great speed, and the people at the watch-houses are all bribed . If

they meet with the Imperial cruisers, and an attempt is made to

apprehend them, they have the boldness to resist, and many per-

sons have been killed and wounded in their encounters .


" In pursuance of the command from the late viceroy, the vice-

admiral and the magistrate of Hiang-kan apprehended

and several opium boats. Some of the crews were seized and

severely punished ; many were killed, and the opium (more than

14,000 catties) was confiscated and destroyed.

" Most vigorous proceedings have at various times taken place.

But the habit cannot be prevented and the respect of the people for

the laws is grievously shaken . Great mischief has occurred too from

thepretence ofvillains in the inner waters, that they were government

cruizers ; thus taking occasion to plunder and disturb the peace-

ful. During the time that your Majesty's humble memoralist was

at the head of the magistracy at Canton, many cases of this kind

came under his cognizance, in which good people had suffered .

These and many other desperate evils take their source from these

vigorous, but inadequate prohibitions .

" The population of this vast empire has increased from year to

year ; but now this evil practice is spreading widely. All men

smoke, the high and the low, the old, and the young, and life is

degraded and shortened- the subsistence of families is wasted,

and the wealth of the land is passing away. It is meet, therefore,

that a well-founded plan should provide remedies for this evil.

Let the custom-houses no longer be closed , or impotent laws be

kept alive. Let it be declared that the foreign merchants shall

levy a duty for opium, as for a drug.

drug . Let it be delivered to the

Hong merchants, and let them be commanded to barter goods for

it ; but not to purchase it with money or bullion . The exporta-

tion of sycee and dollars should be strictly prohibited, and when

transgressors in this respect are apprehended let the opium be

burnt, and the silver be divided amongst the officers who seize it.

" Let the civil and military authorities and all persons in this

employment of the government be forbidden to participate in this

vice, so that they may perform these duties and preserve their

time. If the laws are to be rigorously enforced these officers must

co-operate heartily together.

" Should any public authority smoke opium, let his crime in-

deed be pardoned, but let him be dismissed . Being pardoned he

may repent, and amend. It is fit that the heads of departments,

and those immediately under them, should be thus punished ; but

let the lower classes of the people buy and sell, and smoke with-

out restraint or punishment.

"No prohibitions should remain in force except any against the

officers of the government .

" All men know that a dissolute life leads to death, and that

tinlin and utan are of the most pernicious tendency. And yet

from the remotest antiquity these evils have existed. Prohibi-

tions have been enforced only against the ignorant and the poor,

but not against the authorities and the military.

"When goods are exchanged for goods, the government will no


longer suffer loss ; nay, their mines of silver will be spared to the

Empire. But there must be no trifling, or it is to be feared not

only that the smoking of opium will never be extinct, but that

other great mischief will grow past remedy.

" In future times when the people shall be exhausted, and the

riches of the country vanished, plans may indeed be set on foot.

Repentance mends not things passed .

" Your memorialist (an unworthy censor of the privy council,

and through your Majesty's unbounded favour elevated above the

other officers), was for ten years chief justice at Canton, and

believes that he is acquainted with the great advantages of that

fine province ; and also with the cause of the great defalcation of

revenue. He has seen that these evils are produced by the pro-

hibitions of the opium, and that they are increasing daily.

Others have not dared to lay this truth at your Majesty's feet.

" Your memorialist now humbly prays that your Imperial

Majesty will be graciously pleased to order your ministers at Can-

ton to deliberate, and report to your Majesty. Would to God,

that the means your memorialist has proposed may be found suf-

ficient to give prosperity to the Empire, and to arrest the defal-

cations of revenue .

" In humility all this is humbly submitted.

The answer of the Emperor was :-

"In the memorial of Hui minister of the council of rites, it is

set forth, that the more vigorous the prohibitions have been

against opium, the more has the poison been spread . In these last

few years nobody indeed has been audacious enough to purchase it

openly from the foreigners in exchange for goods, but clandestinely

it has been purchased in great quantities with silver, occasioning

an annual loss to the Empire, of more than ten million of taels .

"The memorialist Hui, therefore, prays that this article may

be taken in exchange for goods, in like manner with all other

merchandize .

" I, the Emperor, therefore, order the viceroy of Canton to

assemble his council to deliberate hereupon, and to report to me.

Let this memorial of Hui be transmitted to the ministers at

Canton." (12 June, 1836.)

The specious fallacies in the preceding document were well

answered by a memorial of Choo-tsun on opium ; on the character

of the trade in it, impolicy of sanctioning its introduction, its

baneful effects on the property, and on the physical and moral

character of the people, dated October, 1836.

" Choo-tsun, member of the council and of the board of rites,

kneeling, presents the following memorial, wherein he suggests

the propriety of increasing the severity of certain prohibitory en-

actments, with a view to maintain the dignity of the laws, and to

remove a great evil from among the people : to this end he res-


pectfully states his views on the subject, and earnestly entreats his

sacred Majesty to cast a glance thereon .

" I would humbly point out, that wherever an evil exists it

should be at once removed, and that the laws should never be suf-

fered to fall into disuetude. Our government having received

from heaven the gift of peace, has transmitted it for two centuries ;

this has afforded opportunity for the removal of evils from among

the people. For governing the central nation, and for holding in

submission all the surrounding barbarians, rules exist perfect in

their nature, and well fitted to attain their end . And in regard to

opium, special enactments were passed for the prohibition of its use

in the first year of Keaking, ( 1796) and since then, memorials pre-

sented at various successive periods, have given rise to additional

prohibitions, all which have been inserted in the code and the se-

veral tariffs . The laws, then, relating thereto, are not wanting in

severity, but there are those in office, who for want of energy, fail

to carry them into execution. Hence the people's minds gradually

become callous, and base desires springing up among them, in-

crease day by day and month by month, till their rank luxuriance

has spread over the whole empire. These noisome weeds, having

been long neglected, it has become impossible to eradicate. And

those to whom this duty is intrusted are, as if hand-bound, wholly

at a loss what to do.

"When the foreign ships convey opium to the coast, it is impos-

sible for them to sell it by retail. Hence there are at Canton, in

the provincial city brokers, named melters. These engage money-

changers to arrange the price with the foreigners, and to obtain

orders for them ; with which orders they proceed to the receiving

ships, and there the vile drug is delivered to them. This part of

the transaction is notorious, and the actors in it are easily dis-

coverable. The boats which carry the drug, and which are called

' fast crabs' and ' scrambling dragons,' are all well furnished with

guns and other weapons, and ply their oars as swiftly as though

they were wings .

" Their crews have all the overbearing assumption and audacity

of pirates ; shall such men be suffered to navigate the surrounding

seas, according to their own will ? and shall such conduct be

passed over without investigation ? The late governor Loo having

on one occasion sent the commodore Tsin Yuchang to co-operate

with Teen Poo, the magistrate of Heang-shan, those officers seized

a vessel belonging to Leang Heennee, which was carrying opium,

and out of her they took 14,000 catties of the drug. Punishment

also was inflicted on the criminals Yaoukew and Owkwan, both of

them opium brokers . Hence it is apparent, that if the great offi-

cers in charge of the provinces do in truth show an example to

their civil and military subordinates, and if these do in sincerity

search for the drug, and faithfully seize it when found, apprehend-

ing the most criminal, and inflicting upon them severe punishment,


it is, in this case, not impossible to attain the desired end. And if

the officers are indeed active and strenuous in their exertions, and

make a point of inflicting punishment on offenders , will the people,

however perverse and obstinate they may be, really continue fear-

less of the laws ? No, the thing to be lamented is, instability in

maintaining the laws, the vigorous execution thereof being often

and suddenly exchanged for indolent laxity .

" It has been represented that advantage is taken of the laws

against opium, by extortionate underlings and worthless vagrants,

to benefit themselves. Is it not known, then, that where the

government enacts a law, there is necessary an infraction of that

law ? And though the law should sometimes be relaxed and

become ineffectual, yet surely it should not on that account be

abolished ; any more than we would altogether cease to eat

because of diseased stoppage of the throat. When have not pros-

titution, gambling, treason, robbery, and such-like infractions of

the laws, afforded occasions for extortionate underlings and worth-

less vagrants, to benefit themselves, and by falsehood and bribery

to amass wealth. Of these there have been frequent instances ;

and as any instance is discovered, punishment is inflicted . But

none surely would contend, that the law, because in such instances

rendered ineffectual, should therefore be abrogated . The laws

that forbid the people to do wrong, may be likened to the dykes

which prevent the overflowing of water. If any one, then, urging

that the dykes are very old, and therefore useless, we should have

them thrown down, what words could express the consequences of

the impetuous rush and all- destroying overflow : yet the provincials,

when discussing the subject of opium, being perplexed and bewil-

dered by it, think that a prohibition which does not utterly prohi-

bit, is better than one which does not effectually prevent the im-

portation of the drug. Day and night I have meditated on this,

and can in truth see no wisdom in the opinion.

" It is said that the opium should be admitted, subject to a

duty, the importers being required to give it into the hands of the

Hong merchants, in barter only for merchandise, without being

allowed to sell it for money ; and this is proposed as a means of

preventing money from secretly oozing out of the country. But

the English, by whom opium is sold, have been driven out to Lin-

tin so long since as the first year of Taoukwang ( 1821 ) , when the

then governor of Kwangtung and Kwange discovered and punished

the warehousers of opium ; so long have they been expelled, nor

have they ever since imported it into Macao. Having once sup-

pressed the trade, and driven them away, shall we now again call

upon them and invite them to return ? This would be, indeed,

a derogation from the true dignity of government. As to the pro-

position to give tea in exchange, and entirely to prohibit the ex-

portation of even foreign silver, I apprehend that, if the tea should

not be found sufficient, money will still be given in exchange for


the drug. Besides, if it is in our power to prevent the exportation

of dollars, why not also to prevent the importation of opium? And

if we can but prevent the importation of opium, the exportation of

dollars will then cease of itself, and the two offences will both at

once be stopped . Moreover, is it not better, by continuing the old

enactments , to find even a partial remedy for the evil, than by a

change of the laws to increase the importation still further ? As

to levying a duty on opium, the thing sounds so awkwardly, and

reads so unbeseemingly, that such a duty ought surely not to be


" Again, it is said that the prohibitions against the planting of

the poppy by natives should be relaxed ; and that the direct con-

sequence will be, daily diminution of the profits of foreigners,

and, in course of time, the entire cessation of the trade, without

the aid of prohibitions . It is then forgotten that it is natural to

the common people to prize things heard of only by the ear, and

to undervalue those which are before their eyes- to pass by those

things which are near to hand, and to seek after those which are

afar off-and, though they have a thing in their own land, yet

to esteem more highly such as come to them from beyond the

seas ? Thus, in Keangsoo, Chekeang, Fookein, and Kwangtung,

they will not quietly be guided by the laws of the empire, but

must needs make use of foreign money ; and this foreign money,

though of an inferior standard , is nevertheless exchanged by them

at a higher rate than the native sycee silver, which is pure . And,

although money is cast in China after exactly the same pattern,

under the names of Keangsoo pieces , Fookein pieces, and native,

or Canton pieces, yet this money has not been able to gain cur-

rency among the people. Thus, also, the silk and cotton goods of

China are not insufficient in quantity, and yet the broad- cloths,

and camlets, and cotton goods of the barbarians from beyond the

pale of the empire, are in constant request . Taking men gene-

rally, the minds of all are equally unenlightened in this respect, so

that all men prize what is strange, and undervalue whatever is in

ordinary use.

" From Fookein, Kwangtung, Chekeang, Shantung, Yunnan, and

Kweichow, memorials have been presented by the censors and

other officers, requesting that prohibitions should be enacted

against the cultivation of the poppy, and against the preparation of

opium ; but while nominally prohibited, the cultivation of it has

not been really stopped in those places . Of any of those provinces,

except Yunnan, I do not presume to speak, but of that portion of

the country I have it in my power to say, that the poppy is culti-

vated all over the hills and the open campaign, and that the

quantity of opium annually produced there cannot be less than

several thousand chests . And yet we do not observe any diminu-

tion in the quantity of silver exported, as compared with any pre-

vious period ; while, on the other hand, the lack of the metal in


Yunnan is double, in degree what it formerly was. To what

cause is this to be ascribed ? To what but that the consumers of

the drug are very many, and that those who are choice and dainty

with regard to its quality, prefer always the foreign article.

" Those of your majesty's advisers who compare the drug to

the dried leaf of the tobacco plant, are in error . The tobacco leaf

does not destroy the human constitution . The profit, too, arising

from the sale of tobacco is small, while that arising from opium is

large. Besides, tobacco may be cultivated on bare and barren

ground, while the poppy needs a rich and fertile soil. If all the

rich and fertile ground be used for planting the poppy ; and if the

people, hoping for a large profit therefrom, madly engage in its

cultivation ; where will flax and the mulberry-tree be cultivated,

or wheat and rye be planted ? To draw off in this way the

waters of the great fountain, requisite for the production of food

and raiment, and to lavish them upon the root whence calamity

and disaster spring forth, is an error which may be compared to

that of a physician who, when treating a mere external disease,

should drive it inwards to the heart and centre of the body. It

may in such a case be found impossible even to preserve life. And

shall the fine fields of Kwangtung, that produce their three crops

every year, be given up for the cultivation of this noxious weed

those fields, in comparison with which the unequal soil of all other

parts of the empire is not even to be mentioned ?

" To sum up the matter ; the wide-spreading and baneful in-

fluence of opium, when regarded simply as injurious to property,

is of inferior importance ; but when regarded as hurtful to the

people, it demands most anxious consideration ; for in the people

lies the very foundation of the empire. Property, it is true, is that

on which the subsistence of the people depends . Yet a deficiency

of it may be supplied, and an impoverished people improved ;

whereas it is beyond the power of any artificial means to save a

people enervated by luxury. In the history of Formosa we find

the following passage : " Opium was first produced in Kaoutsinne,

which by some is said to be the same as Kalapa (or Batavia) . The

natives of this place were at the first sprightly and active, and

being good soldiers, were always successful in battle. But the

people called Kung-maou (red-haired) come thither, and having

manufactured opium, reduced some of the natives into the habit of

smoking it ; from thence the mania for it rapidly spread through-

out the whole nation ; so that, in process of time, the natives be-

came feeble and enervated, submitted to the foreign rule, and,

ultimately, were completely subjugated." Now the English are

of the race of foreigners called Kung-maou. In introducing opium

into this country, their purpose has been to weaken and enfeeble

the central empire. If not early aroused to a sense of our danger,

we shall find ourselves, ere long, on the last step towards ruin.

" The repeated instances, within a few years, of the barbarians


in question having assumed an attitude of outrageous disobedience,

and the stealthy entrance of their ships into the provinces of Foo-

keen, Chekeang, Keangnan, and Shantung, and even to Tientsin ;

to what motive are these to be attributed ? I am truly unable to

answer the inquiry. But, reverently perusing the sacred instruc-

tions of your majesty's all-wise progenitor, surnamed the Benevo-

lent (Kanghe) , I find the remark by him dated the tenth month

of the fifty-fifth year of his reign (1717) : There is cause for

apprehension, lest in centuries or milleniums to come, China may

be endangered by collision with the various nations of the west,

who come hither from beyond the seas .' I look upwards, and ad-

miringly contemplate the gracious considerations of that all- wise

progenitor, in taking thought for the concerns of barbarians be-

yond the empire, and giving the distant future a place in his

divine and all-pervading foresight. And now, within a period

of two centuries, we actually see the commencement of that dan-

ger which he apprehended . Though it is not practicable to put a

sudden and entire stop to their commercial intercourse ; yet the

danger should be duly considered and provided against : the ports

of the several provinces should be guarded with all strictness ; and

some chastisement should be administered, as a warning and fore-

taste of what may be anticipated . Under date of the 23rd year

of Keaking ( 1818), your majesty's benevolent predecessor sur-

named the Profound, directing the governor of Canton to adopt

measures to control and restrain the barbarians, addressed him

in the following terms : The Emperor, in ruling and restraining

the barbarians beyond its boundaries, gives to them always fixed

rules and regulations : upon those who are obedient, it lavishes its

rich favours ; but to the rebellious and disobedient, it displays its

terrors. Respecting the English trade at Canton, and the anchor-

age ground of their merchant ships, and of their naval convoys,

regulations have long since been made.'

" If the people aforesaid will not obey these regulations, and will

persist in opposition to the prohibitory enactments, the first step

to be taken is, to impress earnestly upon them the plain commands

of government, and to display before them alike both the favours

and the terrors of the empire, in order to eradicate from their

minds all their covetous and ambitious schemes. If notwithstand-

ing they dare to continue in violent and outrageous opposition,

and presume to pass over the allotted bounds, forbearance must

then cease, and a thundering fire from our cannon must be opened

upon them, to make them quake before the terror of our arms. In

short, the principal on which the far- travelled strangers are to be

cherished is this always in the first instance, to employ reason as

the weapon whereby the conquer them, and on no account to as-

sume a violent and vehement deportment towards them ; but

when ultimately it becomes necessary to resort to military force,

then, on the other hand, never to employ it in a weak and inde-


cisive manner, lest those towards whom it is exercised should see

therein no cause for fear or dread .

" How clear and luminous are these admonitions, well fitted to

become a rule to all generations .

" Since your Majesty's accession to the throne, the maxim ofyour

illustrious house, that horsemanship and archery are the founda-

tions of its existence, has ever been carefully remembered. And

hence the governors, the lieutenant-governors, the commanders of

the forces and their subordinates, have again and again been di-

rected to pay the strictest attention to the discipline and exercises

of the troops, and of the naval forces, and have been urged and re-

quired to create_by their exertions strong and powerful legions .

With admiration I contemplate my sacred sovereign's anxious wishes

for imparting a military as well as a civil education, prompted as

this anxiety is by the desire to establish on a firm basis the founda-

tions of the empire, and to hold in awe the barbarians on every

side. But while the stream of importation of opium is not turned

aside, it is impossible to attain any certainty that none within the

camp do ever secretly inhale the drug. And if the camp be once

contaminated by it, the baneful influence will work its way, and

the habit will be contracted beyond the power of reform . When

the periodical times of desire for it come round, how can the vic-

tims-their legs tottering-their hands trembling - their eyes flow-

ing with child-like tears- be able, in any way, to attend to their

proper exercises ? or how can such men form strong and powerful

legions. Under these circumstances, the military will become alike

unfit to advance to the fight, or in a retreat to defend their posts.

Of this there is clear proof in the instances of the campaign against

the Taou rebels, in the twelfth year of our sovereign's reign (1832).

In the army sent to Lienchow, on that occasion, great numbers of

the soldiers were opium-smokers ; so that, although their numeri-

cal force was large, there was hardly any strength to be found

among them .

" It is said, indeed, that when repealing the prohibitions , the peo-

ple only are to be allowed to deal in and smoke the drug ; and

that none of the officers, the scholars, and the military, are to be

allowed this liberty. But this is bad casuistry. It is equal tothe

popular proverb, shut a woman's ears before you steal her ear-

rings ' an absurdity ! The officers, with all the scholars and the

military, do not amount in number to more than one-tenth of the

whole population of the empire ; and the other nine-tenths are all

the common people. The great majority of those who at present

smoke opium are the relatives and dependents of the officers of

government, whose example has extended the practice to the mer-

cantile classes, and has gradually contaminated the inferior officers,

the military, and the scholars . Those who do not smoke are the

common people of the villages and hamlets. If, then, the officers,

the scholars, and the military, alone be prohibited smoking opium,


while all the people are permitted to deal in and smoke it, this will

be to give a full license to those of the people who already indulge

in it, and to induce those who have never yet indulged in the habit

to do so. And if it is even now to be feared that some will con-

tinue smokers in spite of all prohibitions, is it to be hoped that

any will refrain when they are actually induced by the govern-

ment to indulge in it ? Besides, if the people be at liberty to smoke

opium, how shall the officers, the scholars, and the military, be

prevented ? What ! of the officers, the scholars, and the military,

are there any that are born in civil or military situations , or that

are born scholars or soldiers ? All certainly are raised up from the

level of the common people. To take an instance, let a vacancy

occur in a body of soldiers, it must necessarily be filled up by re-

cruits from among the people . But the great majority of recruits

are men of no character or respectability, and if while they were

among the common people they were smokers of opium, by what

bond of law shall they be restrained when they become soldiers ,

after the habit has been already contracted , and has so taken hold

of them that it is beyond their power to break it off? such a policy

was that referred to by Mencius, when he spoke of ' intrapping the

people.' And if the officers, the scholars, and the military, smoke

the drug in the quiet of their own families, by what means is this

to be discovered or prevented ? Should an officer be unable to re-

strain himself, shall then his clerks, his followers, his domestic

servants, have it in their power to make his failing their plaything,

and by the knowledge of his secret to hold his situation at their

disposal ? We dread falsehood and bribery, and yet we would thus

widen the door to admit them ; we are anxious to prevent the

amassing of wealth by unlawful means, and yet by this policy we

would ourselves increase opportunities for doing so . A father in

such a case would no longer be able to reprove his son, an elder

brother to restrain his junior, nor a master to rule his own house-

hold. Will not this policy then be every way calculated to stir up

strife ? Or if happily the thing should not run to this extreme,

the consequences will yet be equally bad ; secret enticements and

mutual connivance will ensue, until the very commonness of the

practice shall render it no longer a subject of surprise. From

this I conclude, that to permit the people to deal in the drug and

smoke it, at the same time that the officers, the scholars, and the

military are to be prohibited the use of it, will be found to be

fraught with difficulties. At the present moment, throughout the

empire, the minds of men are in imminent danger ; the more

foolish being seduced by teachers of false doctrines, are sunk in

vain superstitions, and cannot be aroused ; and the more intelli-

gent, being intoxicated by opium, are carried away as by a whirl-

pool, and are beyond recovery. Most thoughtfully have I sought

for some plan by which to arouse and awaken all, but in vain.

While, however, the empire preserves and maintains its laws,



the plain and honest rustic will see what he has to fear, and will

be deterred from evil ; and the man of intelligence and cultivated

habits will learn what is wrong in himself and will refrain from it.

And thus, though the laws be declared by some to be but waste

paper, yet these their unseen effects will be of no trifling nature.

If, on the other hand, the prohibitions be suddenly repealed, and

the action which was a crime, be no longer counted such by the

government, how shall the dull clown , and the mean among the

people, know that the action is still in itself wrong ?

" In open day and with unblushing front, they will continue to

use opium, till they shall become so accustomed to it, that even-

tually they will find it as indispensable as their daily meat and

drink, and will inhale the noxious drug with perfect indifference.

When shame shall thus be entirely destroyed, and fear removed

wholly out of the way, the evil consequences that will result to

morality and to the minds of men, will assuredly be neither few

nor unimportant. As your Majesty's minister, I know that the

laws of the empire, being, in their existing state, well fitted to effect

their end, will not for any slight cause be changed. But the pro-

posal to alter the law on this subject having been made and discuss-

ed in the provinces, the instant effect has been, that crafty thieves

and villains have on all hands begun to raise their heads and open

their eyes, gazing about and pointing the finger, under the notion

that, when once these prohibitions are repealed, thenceforth and

for ever they may regard themselves free from every restraint, and

from every cause of fear.

" Though possessing very poor abilities, I have, nevertheless, had

the happiness to enjoy the favour of your sacred Majesty, and have,

within a space of but few years, been raised through the several

grades of the censorate, and the presidency of various courts in the

metropolis, to the high elevation of a seat in the Inner Council ;

I have been copiously imbued with the rich dew of favour; yet

have been unable to offer the feeblest token of gratitude ; but if

there is aught within the compass of my knowledge, I dare not to

pass it by unnoticed . I feel it my duty to request that your Ma-

jesty's commands may be proclaimed to the governor and lieute-

nant-governors of all provinces, requiring them to direct the local

officers to redouble their efforts for the inforcement of the existing

prohibition (against opium) ; and to impress on every one in the

plainest and strictest manner, that all who are already contaminated

by the vile habit, must return and become new men-that if any

continue to walk in their former courses, strangers to repentance,

and to reformation, they shall assuredly be subjected to the full

penalty of the law, and shall not meet with the least indulgence-

and that on any found guilty of storing up, or selling opium to the

amount of 1000 catties or upwards, the most severe punishment

shall be inflicted . Thus happily, the minds of men may be impress-

ed with fear, and the report thereof, spreading over the seas,


(among foreigners) may even there, produce reformation . Sub-

mitting to my sovereign my feeble and obscure views, I prostrate

implore your sacred Majesty to cast a glance on this, my respectful


This able document was followed by a proclamation from the

governor, &c., of Canton, communicating an imperial edict in refer-

ence to the opium-receiving ships at Lintin, 4th August, 1837.

" Tang, governor of Kwangtung and Kwangse, and Ke, lieute-

nant-governor of Kwangtung, command the Hong merchants to

render themselves acquainted herewith .

" On the 3rd instant, an express from the Board of war arrived,

conveying a dispatch from the grand council, addressed : To Tang,

governor, &c., and Ke, lieutenant-governor, to be enjoined also by

them on Wan, the superintendent of maritime customs. -An im-

perial edict, issued on the 14th of July, 1837.

Imperial edict.-In consequence of the exportation of pure

silver, from ports and anchorages, on all parts of the maritime

coast, and in contemplation of the very important results of such

exportations, as regards the national resources, and the livelihocd

of the people,-We have, in often repeated instances, declared our

pleasure to the governors and lieutenant -governors of the pro-

vinces, requiring them to investigate and to act on their investiga-

tions with faithfulness .

" Yet to-day, again, a memorial has been laid before us, from

the sub-censor Le Panlew, to this effect : " That from the English

nation, there are upwards of ten warehousing ships, which have

remained since the year 1821 , when they first entered Kapshuy

moon, until now ; having in the year 1833, changed their anchor-

age to the Kumsing moon ; that the importation of opium and the

exportation of silver are supported by the continuance in China of

these warehousing-ships, which form a sink for the absconders

from justice, that scoundrels in the fast crab-like boats, are out

morn and night, and always succeed in clandestinely making their

way into every creek and inlet ; and that while the nefarious mer-

chants who support establishments for preparing opium, receive

and supply wholesale quantities ;-the shopmen dealing in foreign

goods at Canton, are also secretly engaged in smuggling, under the

false show of selling and buying other commodities, and are nowise

different from the large brokers .

" For foreign vessels there is, surely, a fixed place of anchorage.

Why then is it, that whereas before the year 1821 , no < ware-

housing ships' were ever heard of, they have of late years been

suffered to remain at anchor in the surrounding seas, throughout

whole years ; thus giving occasion to the depraved among the peo-

ple to combine with them in the unrestrained practice of smuggling ?

" Let the governor of Kwangtung and his colleagues be made

P 2


responsible ; and let them issue strict orders to the Hong mer-

chants, to enjoin commands on the resident foreigners of the said

nation, authoritatively urging the departure for their own coun-

try of all the warehousing ships that are now remaining at anchor.

They must not be allowed, upon any excuse, to loiter about. Let

also the dens of the opium-brokers be faithfully searched for, and

let all, without exception, be dealt with as they deserve. Let there

not be the slightest overstrained indulgence. Thus the source

whence these illegalities spring forth may be closed up, and the

spirit of degeneracy may be stayed .

" Let a copy of the memorial be sent for perusal, and with these

instructions be made known to Tang and Ke, who are also to

enjoin our commands on Wan . Respect this .

" This having, in obedience to the imperial pleasure, been, by

despatch of the grand council, communicated to us, We, the

governor and lieutenant-governor forthwith reverently copy it,

and command obedience to it. When our commands reach the

Hong merchants, let them also pay respectful obedience, and

forthwith commence examination . Let them make it clearly

known, that by the established enactments of the celestial empire,

no foreign ship of any nation is permitted to remain at anchor, in

the outer seas. And let them enjoin our commands on the

foreigner directing the said nation's affairs, that he speedily give

directions to the warehousing ships anchored in the various

offings, requiring them within ten days, one and all to depart for

their country. They cannot be permitted, upon any excuse, to

continue loitering about. If any dare to resist and refuse to

leave, the said merchant alone shall be held answerable.

"Let them also report the reasons why the foreign ships, anchored

in the several offings, have not for so long a time returned to

their country. that we may thoroughly examine the matter. Let

there be no glossing excuses, lest criminality be incurred. With

earnest haste - with anxious celerity-execute these commands.

“ Taoukwang, 17th year, 7th month , 4th day, (4th August 1837.) ”

[Translated from the Chinese, ROBERT MORRISON, Chinese

Secretary and Interpreter. ]

The injunctions from Pekin became more urgent, and another

proclamation was issued from the governor, &c . enforcing their

former edict against the opium receiving ships. 17th August,


" Tang, governor of Kwangtung, and Kwangse, and Ke, lieu-

tenant-governor of Kwangtung, issue these commands, requiring

the senior Hong merchants to be acquainted therewith .

" On the 3rd instant a despatch arrived from the grand council

of state, communicating the subjoined imperial edict, issued on the

14th of July :--

[ A translation of this edict is given in the former document

from the governor. ]


" This having, in obedience to the imperial pleasure been com-

municated to us, We, the governor and lieutenant-governor, did

forthwith issue orders in respectful obedience to it, requiring the

said senior merchants to enjoin our commands on the resident

foreigners, that they speedily give directions to the warehousing

ships anchored in the various offings , urging them one and all to

depart, within ten days, for their country. This is on record.

" Still, however, no report of the warehousing vessels, anchored

at Lintin and other offings, having sailed, or refused to sail, has

yet appeared from the said senior merchants. Such conduct is

indeed extremely remiss and dilatory .

" The said nation's superintendent Elliot, having come to Canton

to direct affairs as regards merchants and seamen, and all the

minor details, even of disorder on the part of foreign merchants,

commanders of ships, and seamen, are in all respects under his

authority and control. Far more then, as regards these ware-

housing vessels, which have so long anchored in the various seas,

seeking to twist aside the laws, and to serve only their own

private interests, being not alone offenders against the prohibitory

laws of the celestial empire, but furthermore transgressors of the

instructions received in their own country, far more is it his duty,

as regards them, to exert himself in commanding their departure,

and sending them back again. By so doing only will he avoid dis-

gracing his office.

"It should be borne in mind, that the favors of the great Emperor

flow through all regions, without as well as within the Empire ;

and that his benevolence pervades the whole circle of the sea.

When, however, it is desired to put a stop to nefarious combina-

tions on the part of scoundrels within, it becomes necessary to

extirpate all exciting causes among depraved foreigners. The

sacred injunctions now given are strict and explicit ; and it is a

matter of bounden duty faithfully to investigate, and act ac-

cordingly .

" We, the governor and lieutenant-governor, having fears lest the

said senior merchants should have failed in enjoining our com-

mands with earnestness and zeal, or with sufficient clearness,

proceed again to declare our commands. When these reach the

said senior merchants, let them immediately enjoin the same on

the said superintendent. Let him instantly pay respectful obedi-

ence to the declared imperial pleasure ; and send back to their

country all the warehousing ships anchored in the offings of

Lintin and other places ; let him not allow them as before, to

continue loitering there at anchor ; hereafter let only such

merchant ships as are trading in dutyable articles come hither,

and let no contraband goods, such as opium, and the like, be

shipped for transportation over the wide seas. Thus the source

of the evil will be dammed up ; and the authority of the laws will

be gloriously displayed .


" In the ports of Kwangtung, the celestial court graciously per-

mits a general commercial intercourse, for the sale and purchase

of goods ; and truly it is the crown of all seaports . The foreign

merchants of the various nations, who cross from afar, over numer-

ous seas, should in reason make it their especial care to preserve a

correct line of conduct in trade. If they, in opposition to the pro-

hibitions form schemes for obtaining profits, indulging unrestrain-

ed desires, and loitering continually about, they will learn that the

great Emperor's awful majesty can be displayed and put in opera-

tion, equally with his tender regard, and they will occasion by

their own acts an entire stoppage of the nowopen road of com-

mercial intercourse. The said superintendent is not void of intel-

ligence in business ; and will assuredly consider this with anxious.

forethought. Let him be very careful not to be a passive specta-

tor of ungrateful and perverse transgression and resistance of the

laws, on the part of the warehousing ships.

" Furthermore, let the said senior merchants report for our inves-

tigation the periods of departure for their country, of the several

warehousing ships, in order to enable us to report to the throne.

"Let each one tremblingly obey. Hasten earnestly- earnestly

speed-to execute these commands.

" Taoukwang, 17th year, 7th month, 17th day, (August 7, 1837.) "

[ Translated from the Chinese, Robert Morrison, Chinese Secre-

tary and Interpreter. ]

The next state document on the subject is a singular memorial

from the governor, lieutenant-governor, and the hoppo, to the Em-

peror, regarding the existing state of contraband trade, &c.

The governor, lieutenant-governor, and hoppo, forwarded on the

30th December, 1837, a joint memorial to the Emperor, respecting

the measures adopted against the receiving ships, their actual con-

dition, and the repeated seizures made of sycee and opium, and of

the boats which supply the ships with provisions, in answer to the

imperial commands. They entreat his Majesty, graciously to con-

descend to examine these subjects.

We received, in the month of October, an imperial decree

thorough the grand Council of State, of the following tenor :


Tang, and the others, (the lieutenant-governor and the hoppo),

have sent in a report, from which it appears, that they had given

orders to drive the receiving ships away, and adopted measures to

seize the opium dealers and smugglers.

" The English receiving ships and merchantmen, with those of

other nations, under pretence of seeking shelter against storms,

have, of late years, sailed into the inner seas . The Hong mer-

chants were, therefore, ordered to enjoin it upon the superintendent

of the said nation, that he should make all the receiving ships, an-

chored at Lintin, and other places, return to their country, and

should not permit them as formerly to remain at anchor and loiter

about. As soon as the receiving ships had gotten under weigh,


to return to their country, the Hong merchants had orders to

report the same.

" It is found, on examination, that an entire clearance of the

fort-boats, (a class of smuggling boats) has been made, but the

various classes of vessels still engaged in smuggling, are yet numer-

ous, and their nefarious practices as well as those of the opium

dealers, are such as cannot be permitted to go on ; therefore, orders

have been issued to the civil, as well as naval authorities, diligently

to direct the cruizers under their command, in making careful

search, and seizing all such offenders .

" One of the greatest evils under which the province of Canton

groans, is, that barbarian vessels anchoring in the inner seas form

connections for smuggling . The governor, and the others, ought

to investigate carefully, whether the said foreign superintendent

has indeed obeyed their injunctions, and the receiving ships have

now sailed or not ; and they must, by all means, compel them all

to return home, without delay. If they, however, dare to com-

promise this matter, and I, the Emperor, should afterwards, upon

enquiry, hear of it, or any one should bring an accusation to that

effect, I shall only hold the said governor and his colleagues respon-


" The most severe measures must be adopted against the smug-

gling craft, and that their seizure may be effected ; and my expec-

tation is, that they be extirpated, root and branch . Having made

an occasional seizure, do not say immediately, that you have anni-

hilated the whole ; and so leave room for continued illegalities and

crime .

" Acquaint with these orders Tang and Ke, and let them trans-

mit the same to Wan, (the hoppo) . Respect this."

(Here ends the extract from the imperial order recently received,

to which the authorities make the following reply) :

" Your ministers read this in a kneeling posture, with the deep-

est veneration, admiring the care your Majesty bestows upon a

corner of the sea ; and the earnest desire shown to remove with

energy the existing evils .


Having carefully examined the charts of the inner and outer

seas, we find that the Ladrone islands constitute their boundaries .

Beyond them is the wide and boundless ocean, the black water of

the foreign seas, which are not under the control of the central

territory. Inside of them, at the offings, for instance, of Lintin,

the Nine Islands, and other places, are the outer seas,' which are

under the jurisdiction of Canton. Where the sea washes the shores

of the interior districts, it is called the ' inner sea,' and of such

inlets Kamsingmoon is an instance . Barbarian ships, since 1830,

under pretence of seeking shelter against the winds, sailed fre-

quently into Kamsingmoon, during the fourth and fifth months,

and remained at anchor until the ninth. As soon as the north

wind had set in, they removed again to Lintin, and anchored


there. In the winter of last year, we prohibited this most severely.

and also erected a battery at the entrance, while we stationed there

a naval squadron, to prevent most strenuously the ingress of the

ships. No barbarian craft therefore entered, but they continued

to anchor at Lintin and the adjoining places. Whilst, thus, no

receiving ship now remains in the inner seas, it is nevertheless a

fact, that they still exist in the outer seas .


Formerly, in regard to the receiving ships anchored in the

outer seas, the commanders of the cruisers always stated, that their

coming and going were so uncertain, that their actual number

could not be ascertained . We, your ministers, however, conceiv-

ing that the names and numbers of the receiving ships were gene-

rally known , and that it was requisite to obtain accurate informa-

tion regarding them, before adopting measures against them,

would not admit them thus to conceal these facts and not speak

out freely, thus to close the ear while the ear-rings were being

stolen ! We, therefore, last year, gave orders to all the naval

cruisers to ascertain their exact number, and whether or not there

were any from time to time coming or going away, and present

reports every ten days. They communicated the result of their

investigation, having found after due examination , that there were,

indeed, altogether 25 sail, which had stayed there for a long time.

The greater number were English country ships, and there were

besides vessels under the American, French, Dutch, Manilla, and

Danish flags, of each from one or two, to three or four. Some

came and others went, but their aggregate number never exceeded

this. These then are the facts as to the existing number of the

receiving ships .

"When, in obedience to the Imperial orders, we had issued, this

year, our strict injunctions to the said Hong merchants and the

Superintendent Elliot, to send these ships back to their country ;

a naval captain, subsequently to this, reported, in September, that

only one single Dutch ship, the Lihteaychin, (?) had lifted her

anchors and sailed out beyond the Ladrone ; this is also a fact, the

truth of which we have upon enquiry ascertained . Since, how-

ever, only one vessel had left, your ministers could not then report

the circumstance, for all the remainder, though they had also

hoisted their sails, and lifted their anchors, yet moving, some to

the east, and others to the west, they none of them proceeded

beyond the Ladrone Islands. Though unwilling to offer contuma-

cious disobedience, yet they cannot refrain from lingering about,

indulging hopes and anticipations . For these are not matters of

one year alone, nor are the vessels from one country only, and

though the opium is contraband, yet to them it is a property

highly valuable ; and these vicious barbarians, only hankering

after gain, are therefore unwilling to throw this commodity away,

and use every possible expedient and means, in hopes of obtaining

some temporary respite. This is the truc cause why it is yet a


fact that all the receiving ships have not within the prescribed

time sailed away .

"We, your ministers, are under the highest obligations, for

having obtained the great and high favour of being entrusted with

the command of the sea-coast ; and our duty is to eradicate every

depraved and vicious practice. We received previously the expres-

sion of your majesty's pleasure, enjoining us to issue severe orders

to the Hong merchants, in regard to the sending home of the

receiving ships . We have now again received a proof of your

majesty's condescension in investigating these matters, and, burn-

ing with the deepest anxiety, we fear and tremble . Having again

issued severe orders to the Hong merchants, Howqua and the

others, to command the instant departure of these vessels, they

reported to us, that the said Superintendent Elliot would not give

them precise and true answers to this demand, and in reply to

their enquiries, addressed to the foreign merchants, they were told

that the receiving ships were not their own property, and that it

was out of their power to drive them away. Thus they make

excuses on all sides, and again seek for delay.

"We, your ministers, have found on examination, that, accord-

ing to law, whenever foreigners proved refractory the trade ought

to be stopped, in order to give them a fair warning and merited

punishment. As they are thus determinate in pursuit of gain,

and can come to no resolution (to sending away the ships,) there

ought to be a temporary stoppage of the trade, in order to cut off

their expectations. Yet so many nations participate in this com-

merce, while the receiving ships belong only to a few states, that

due investigation ought to be made, so as to distinguish between

them, and to prevent good foreigners from suffering by this mea-

sure .

" We have therefore ordered the Hong merchants to enquire,

how many nations have hitherto had commercial intercourse, how

many amongst them have traded honestly and had no receiving

ships, and how many there have really been possessed of such

receiving ships . We directed them to send in a distinct and clear

statement of these matters, for our guidance in adopting measures .

"We, at the same time, gave the strictest orders, that they should

again enjoin your majesty's severe commands upon the resident

foreign merchants, not permitting them to make excuses to obtain

delay and extricate themselves from this dilemma ; but threaten-

ing them, if they again should prove dilatory and still should nou-

rish hopes, that the hatches shall be immediately closed, and a

stoppage of the trade ensue. We desired those foreign merchants

to consider, whether it be better that they suffer the existence of

these receiving ships-thereby turning aside the laws to serve

their own private ends, or that they should still continue to reap,

eternally, the advantages of a free (legal) commerce ; to weigh well

which of these two things will be the gain, and which the loss ;


we desired that they should carefully make their election, and that

they should no longer persevere in their blindness, without once

awakening, and thus, of their own accord, bring upon themselves

cause for bitter repentance.

" We find on examination, that every nation earns a subsistence

by this trade. All the merchants run together, bringing hither

their goods to exchange for our commodities. They will certainly

not consent to throw away their property, by waiting here at

a ruinous loss of time. The rhubarb, the teas, the porcelain,

the silks, and other articles, &c. of this country, moreover are

necessary to those nations. On account of disturbances created

by barbarians, in 1808, and in 1834, the hatches were closed ;

and afterwards they earnestly supplicated to have them reopened.

Thus it appears, as past events fully prove, that the various nations

cannot cease to look up to the flowery, central land . If they

are now intimidated therefore by the stoppage of trade, they

will probably no longer allow the receiving ships to remain, by

such contumacious conduct, effectually damaging their means

of livelihood . If in this way they be indeed aroused and awakened,

and the vessels be sent away, then matters will fall into their

former quiet course, and there will be no need to take any further

measures . But if, with inveterate obstinacy, they still offer open

defiance to the laws, it will then be for us to adopt new expedients,

and propose to the court other measures for their punishment.

"We have, while suggesting this course, written at the same

time to the naval commander-in-chief of the province, that he

may in concert with the captains of the cruisers himself adopt

means for expelling the receiving ships ; and have earnestly desired

him to watch carefully their movements, and to instill into them

a wholesome terror and dread ; not to allow any to be careless

and neglectful of their public duty ; yet, at the same time not

to commit such blunders, as may give rise to affrays and strife.

It is our confident expectation that these steps will be attended

with advantage .

" We calling to mind that the receiving ships anchored in the

outer seas, need a daily supply of the necessaries of life, for

which they are dependent on our country, worthless vagabonds

from the coast are accustomed to embark in small boats, pre-

tending to go out fishing, whilst they put a variety of provisions

and other articles on board, and go, in fact, to the ships to sell

them : they are called bumboats. The vicious barbarians while

they can look to these for supplies, are thereby enabled to

prolong their stay ; yet if these supplies were cut off, we might

succeed in getting rid of them.

"We, your ministers, have for some time past made seizure of

opium-dealers and smugglers of every description, without mercy,

in order to prevent the exportation of sycee silver, aud the

importation of opium, and thus to put a stop to this contraband


traffic. We have since also given orders to capture these bum-

boats, and not to permit them to have communication with the

ships on the high seas, in order to cut off the supplies of those

vicious men. The said barbarians will then have nothing to hope

for, their expectations will be groundless, matters will come to

extremes, and circumstances will then necessarily be changed,

and thus the fountain may be purified, the stream of impurity

being also arrested . According to the reports forwarded by the

officers of the Ta-pang and Heang- chan stations , four of these

bumboats, with some cargo, and twenty-eight vagabonds in them,

had been taken and committed for trial to the provincial city,

where they will meet with a most severe judgment.

" Lew Tszelin, Chin Auox, and Ting Asan, together with other

scoundrels, formerly taken with sycee silver and opium, have been

repeatedly examined and their sentence has been forwarded for

the imperial approval . During the present year, according to

the report transmitted by the military and civil authorities and

other official persons, they have made, from the beginning of thǝ

spring until the close of December, thirty seizures, taking in all,

144 offenders of silver, 866 taels in sycee, and 3027 taels in

foreign money ; and of opium to the amount of 3842 catties.

" These criminals were all severally judged, the money was given

as a reward to the captors, and the opium was burnt. The haunts

of opium dealers have also been found out, and after investigation

the public seal was placed upon them , while orders were issued for

their apprehension of the persons frequenting them . The above

is all authenticated by entries on the records.

" Your ministers have now been earnestly engaged in these mea-

sures for one year ; they dare not yet say that their efforts have had

the full and desired effect. But, with relation to the existing state

of things in the provincial city, we would observe, that the price of

sycee is at present very low ; and opium, one ball of which on board

the foreign ships formerly cost the traitorous natives about thirty

dollars, can now only fetch from sixteen to eighteen dollars. Of

the smuggled silver, too, that has been seized, a large portion has

been foreign money, which would seem to imply, that to export

sycee silver is now comparatively difficult. The proofs of the fo-

reigners having to sell at reduced prices, and of their receiving

payment in foreign money, being thus clear, the course that has

been adopted, if pursued with vigour and firmness for a long period,

and if followed up by the seizure of sycee silver and the capture of

the bumboats, as measures of the first importance, will greatly

tend towards increasing the wealth of the port, and doing away

with abuses, and will thus prove extremely beneficial.

" But there being many crafty and cunning devices which fail of

success, numerous complaints have hence arisen, proceeding from

malicious tongues, that these failures are brought on by the mea-

sures now adopted. Some there are, with rumour- spreading


tongues, who represent that we your ministers, if besought by

those who bring rich offerings in their hands, are not unwilling to

accept gifts.

"Others, speculating men of ruined fortunes, declare that the

civilians, and the military officers, when bribed, liberate, and ap-

prehend offenders only when unfeed ; that in searching for con-

traband articles, they try only to annoy the honest merchants, and

that when they have made seizures, they represent that the goods

have been sunk and lost. There are others, again, anxious, fear-

ful-minded men, who lament these proceedings, saying that since

these urgently preventive measures have been taken, the foreign

merchant vessels that have come hither, have been but few ; that

the teas and silk have come into a dull market ; and that the cir-

culation of capital and sale of goods have been far from brisk ; so

that the merchants cannot preserve themselves from overwhelming

embarrassments, and that the port of Canton province must be

reduced to wretchedness ; further, that since search is in every

place made after idle vagrants, in order to seize them, many of the

boat-people are in consequence thrown out of employment, and it

may justly be feared that they will be driven to plunder, and that

robberies will daily be multiplied .

"These and many similar rumours are confidently circulated ;

but they are all the slandering assertions of the credulous or the

malicious, intended to confuse and trouble the hearts of your

ministers, and to disturb our hearing and confuse our vision .


Though we presume not to be wholly wedded to our own

opinions, nor to act as if we heard nothing, and though, therefore,

we seek to examine with the greatest impartiality into well-founded

rumours, and well-authenticated accusations of abuses, with the

hope of preserving all free from taint or imperfections- yet will

we not give way to apprehensions which would make us fear to

begin, or hesitate to proceed to an end, and would reduce us to

the condition of the man who would leave off eating, because of a


" We shall faithfully, with our whole heart and soul, discharge

our duty in managing these affairs, and allow in ourselves no re-

missness in the issuing of orders to that effect . Having received

such great and abundant favours from your Majesty, we dare not

screen ourselves from the malice of rancorous slander, and never

will we incur the guilt of acting deceitfully or ungratefully.

Thus we would hope to meet your Sacred Majesty's most earnest

wish, that we should make truth our motto .

" We have thus minutely represented matters to your Majesty,

and united in preparing this memorial in reply to your Majesty's


In February 1838, a Chinaman was ordered to be strangled in

front of the English factories at Canton , for being engaged in the

opium trade. The edict declared the offence thus :-


" Second moon. 2nd day. (February 25th, 1838.) The im-

perial will has been received .

" 1 order that Kwo - Se-ping be immediately strangled . This

criminal has audaciously dared to form connexions with the out-

side foreigners at the important passes of the sea frontier . He

opened a shop, stored it with opium , and seduced people to buy and

smoke it. He has been known to be engaged in this way for five

years ; but the former governors and lieutenant -governors have

been negligent , and not one of them has examined and managed

this affair with a regard to truth . But Tang-tingching ordered his

officers to seize strictly, and he was immediately taken . It may,

therefore, be seen that when pursuit and prosecution are managed

with a regard to truth , the effects are evident . I order that Tang

and Ke be referred to the proper board , for their merits to be taken

into consideration ; and hereafter , with reference to the offences of

buying and selling opium , and opening smoking houses , if in these

instances criminals are guilty, they must be seized at all times and

all places, and punished ; they must not be suffered to escape out

of the net : thus they will be a warning to others . Respect this."

The punishment for the crime of smoking opium or dealing in

it, was changed to its present severity by Taoukwang in the 10th

year of his reign .

Those who deal in opium shall be punished according to the

law against those who trade in prohibited goods, (gunpowder, salt-

petre, nitre, sulphur, military weapons .) The principal shall wear

the collar one moon , and be banished to the army at a near fron-

tier. The accomplices shall be punished with 100 blows and

banished from the province.

He who clandestinely opens an opium smoking shop, and seduces

the sons and younger brothers of respectable families to smoke opium,

shall be punished according to the law against those who delude the

multitude by depraved doctrines. The principal, when his crime is

proved, shall be strangled after his term of imprisonment ; the ac-

complices shall be punished with 100 blows, and banished 3,000

le. And the boat -people, constables, and neighbours shall all

receive 100 blows, and be banished from the province for three


The following are the penalties for buying and smoking

opium .

If an officer of government buys and smokes opium, he is to

be dismissed the service, to wear the collar for two months, and be

beaten with 100 blows ; soldiers and the people are to be punished

with 100 blows and wear the collar for one month . Eunuchs in

the imperial palaces are to wear the collar for two months, and be

sent to the most distant frontiers, as slaves to the soldiers .

In the first year of Taoukwang (1820-21 , ) a native named

Yih-hang-soo, was the great agent for opium at Macao. When he


fell under the notice of government, he was only banished as a

slave to the army ; and we are told that he is living in comfort in

some of the distant provinces, where he carries on a flourishing

trade, and is supposed to be rich.

The earnest attention of different high officers continued to be

given to the subject, and about November 1838, the following

close-reasoning memorial was presented to the Emperor :

" HWANG TSEOTSZE, president of the Sacrificial Court, upon his

knees addresses the throne, soliciting the adoption of severe mea-

sures to prevent a continual draining of the country, in the hope

of enhancing thereby the national resources .

"When your minister observes the nightly watchings, and the

late meals, to which, in your diligent and anxious care to provide

for the interests of the empire for thousands of future generations,

your august majesty is subjected- and when he sees, nevertheless,

that the national resources are inadequate, that very few among

the people enjoy affluence, and that this condition of things is

gradually growing worse, each year falling behind its precursor,-

to what cause, he is induced to ask, is this attributable ? In the

reign of your majesty's progenitor, surnamed the Pure,' (Kien-

lung, ) how many were the demands for the settlement of the

frontier ! How great the changes incurred on imperial progresses !

How extensive the public works and improvements ! And yet

abundance prevailed amid high and low, and the nation attained

to the pinnacle of wealth. In the time of Keaking, too, riches

and affluence yet lingered among us, insomuch that the families of

the scholars and people, as well as the great merchants and large

traders, acquired habits of luxury and prodigal expenditure.

Shall we compare those times with the present ? Heaven and

earth can better bear comparison ! How is it, that the greater

extravagance was then attended with more affluence, and that now

the greater frugality is followed but by increasing scarcity ?

" It seems to your minister, that the present enhanced value of

silver, of a tael of which the cost has recently exceeded 1600 cash,

arises not from the waste of silver bullion within the country, but

from its outflow into foreign regions.

"From the moment of opium first gaining an influx into China,

your majesty's benevolent progenitor, surnamed the ' Wise,' (Kea-

king, ) foresaw the injury that it would produce, and therefore he

earnestly warned and cautioned men against it, and passed a law

plainly interdicting it. But at that time his ministers did not

imagine that its poisonous effects would ever pervade the empire

to the present extent. Had they sooner been awake to this, they

would have awarded the severest penalties and the heaviest punish-

ments, in order to have nipped the evil in the bud.

" There is a regulation by which every foreign vessel, upon

reaching the coast of Canton, has to obtain the suretyship of a

Hong merchant, who is required to bind himself under sureties,


that the ship has no opium on board, nor until this is done can

any vessel enter the port. But this suretyship, though it is still

required, has in process of time come to be regarded as an empty

form ; and it has been found impossible to prevent opium from

being brought in the ships. From this cause, before even the

third year of Taoukwang, (1823 ,) the annual draining of silver had

already amounted to several millions of taels.

" In the first instance, the use of opium was confined to the

pampered sons of fortune, with whom it was an idle luxury, but

still used with moderation and under the power of restraint.

Since then, its use has extended upwards to the officers and belted

gentry, and downwards to the labourer and the tradesman, to the

traveller, and even to women, monks, nuns, and priests. In every

place its inhalers are to be found . And the implements required

for smoking it are sold publicly in the face of day. Even Mouk-

den, the important soil whence our empire springs, has become

infected by its progressive prevalence.

"The importation of opium from abroad is constantly on the

increase. There are vessels for the specific purpose of storing up

opium, which do not enter the Bocca Tigris, but remain anchored

off Lintin, and off the Grand Ladrone and Lantao, islands in the

open sea. Depraved merchants of Kwangtung form illicit con-

nexions with the militia and its officers appointed to cruise on the

sea-coasts, and, using boats designated ' scrambling dragons,' ' fast

crabs,' &c., they carry silver out to sea, and bring in the opium in

return . In this way, between the third and eleventh years of

Taoukwang, (1823-31,) the country was drained to the annual

amount of from seventeen to eighteen millions of taels ; between

the eleventh and fourteenth years, it was drained to the annual

amount of more than twenty millions ; and between the fourteenth

year and this time, to the yearly amount of thirty millions and

upwards. In addition to this, too, from the coasts of Fuhkein,

Chekeang, Shantung, and from the port of Tientsin, there has

been a total efflux of many millions of taels . This outpouring of

the useful wealth of China into the insatiable depths of trans-

marine regions-in exchange, too, for an article so baneful- has

thus become a grievous malady, still increasing, day by day, and

year by year : nor can your minister see where it is to end.

" The land and capitation taxes, and the contributions for sup-

ply of grain, are paid, for the most part, in all the provinces and

districts, in copper cash . When the sums collected are accounted

for to government, these copper cash have to be exchanged for

silver. The loss now experienced upon this exchange is so very

heavy, that, in consequence of it, the officers have everywhere to

supply deficiencies in the revenue, whereas formerly there was in

general an overplus. * The salt merchants of the several provinces

* An allowance is made for loss in the exchange, which formerly more than covered,

but now (according to the memorialist,) does not equal, the actual loss experienced.—



always sell the salt for copper coin, while they are invariably re-

quired to pay the gabel in silver ; and, hence, the business of a

salt merchant, a business formerly contended for as affording cer-

tain profit, is, under existing circumstances, looked upon as a pur-

suit surrounded with risks. If this state of things continue a few

years longer, the price of silver will become so enhanced, that it

will be a question how the revenue collected can possibly be ac-

counted for, or the gabel paid up . And, should any unanticipated

cause of expenditure arise, it will become a question, how it can

by possibility be met. Whenever your minister reflects on these

things, the anxious thoughts they occasion wholly deprive him of

sleep .

"Throughout the empire, it is now universally acknowledged,

that the draining of the country's resources is the consequence of

the introduction of opium : and many are the suggestions and

propositions for staying the evil . By one it is proposed to guard

strictly the maritime ports, and so block up the paths of outlet

and admission ; but it is not considered that the officers who must

be appointed to this preventive guard, cannot always be depended

upon as upright and public spirited men ; and that the annual

trade in opium, amounting to some tens of millions, will yield

these officers, at the rate of one-tenth or one-hundredth only, as

their share, [the price of their connivance, ] not less than some

millions of taels . Where such pecuniary advantage is to be

acquired, who will faithfully watch or act against the traffic ?

Hence, the instances of seizure that do sometimes occur are few

and far between. Besides, along a maritime coast of thousands of

miles, places of outlet and admission abound everywhere. These

considerations make it clear, that this, for one, is not practicable

as a preventive of the national draining.

" Others say, ' put an entire stop to foreign commercial inter-

course, and so wholly eradicate the origin of the evil.' These, it

would scem, are not aware, that the woollens, and the clocks and

watches imported by the foreigners from beyond sea, together with

the tea, rhubarb, and silk, exported by them, constituting the

body of the legitimate trade, cannot be valued at ten millions of

taels . The profit therefore enjoyed from this trade, does not ex-

ceed a few millions, and is at the same time but a barter of one

commodity for another. Its value is not a tenth or twentieth part

of that of the opium traffic ; and, consequently, the chief interest

of the foreign merchants is in the latter, and not in the former.

Though, therefore, it should be determined to set aside the revenue

derived from the maritime customs of Canton, and to forbid com-

mercial intercourse ; yet, sceing that the opium vessels do not

even now enter the port, they will no doubt continue to anchor

outside, in the open seas, there waiting for high prices ; and the

native consumers of opium, unable to bear a moment's delay of

smoking, will still find depraved people ready to go thither and


convey it to them. Hence the difficulty of prevention is not as

regards the foreign merchants, but as regards the depraved natives .

This, too, must plainly, then, be ineffectual as a preventive of the

national draining.

" Others again propose to search for and arrest all who deal in

opium, and severely to punish them, as well as all who keep

houses for smoking it, maintaining that thus, though we may fail

to purify the source, yet it will be possible to arrest the stream.

Are these persons ignorant, that, since the enactment of the laws

against opium, the punishment awarded to dealers therein has

been enslavement to the military at a distant frontier district ,

and that awarded to the keepers of smoking houses has been

strangulation, or one degree beyond the punishment of those who

by false doctrines deceive the people and honest families ? Not-

withstanding this, how incalculably numerous are the dealers in

opium and the keepers of smoking houses ! and how exceedingly

few the cases, in any of the provinces, in which these penalties are

inflicted ! For in the province of Kwang tung, the wholesale

dealers in opium having established large stores, maintain a good

understanding with the custom house officers along the various

routes from that to the other provinces. The opium dealers in

the several provinces, if possessed of capital, obtain the protection

of these wholesale men ; and the corrupt officers of the places of

customs and toll consequently connive, and suffer them to pass ;

while, on the other hand, legitimate traders, passing to and fro,

are, under pretence of searching for opium, vexatiously detained

and subjected to extortion. The keepers of smoking houses, too,

in all the departments and districts, are depraved and crafty

under-officers, police-runners, and such like. These, acting in

base concert with worthless young men of large families pos-

sessed of a name and influence, collect together, under the

protection of many doors, and in retired alleys , parties of people

to inhale the drug ; and the private officers and attendants of

the local magistrates, being one half of them sunk into this

vicious habit, are induced always to shield these their friends and

abettors. From these causes, we find this measure also ineffectual

as a preventative of the national draining.

" There is yet another proposal, to remove the prohibitions

against the planting of the poppy, and to suffer the preparation

of opium within the country, by which it is hoped to stay the

increasingly ruinous effects of foreign importation, to stop the

efflux of silver. Are the proposers of such a measure altogether

ignorant, that the home-prepared opium, when smoked, does

not yield the needed stimulus, that it is merely used by the

dealers to mix up with the foreign opium, with the view of

increasing their profits ? No, this measure, should it be adopted,

and the planting of the poppy no longer prohibited , will also

be found effectual as a preventive of the national draining.



" The injury inflicted by opium, is it then altogether past

prevention ? Your minister would fain think that to prevent it

is not impossible, but only that the true means of so doing

have not yet been discovered .

" Now the great waste of silver arises from the abundant sale of

opium, and this abundant sale is caused by the largeness of the

consumption . Were the consumption of it to cease, there would

of course be no sale, and did the sale of it fail, the importation of

it by foreigners from abroad would necessarily cease also. If

then it be desired to increase the severity of punishments, it is

against the consumers of the opium that this increased severity

must be directed .

" Your minister would therefore solicit your august Majesty to

declare by severe edicts your imperial pleasure, that, from such

a month and day of this year, to such a month and day of next

year, a period of one year will be granted, in which to overcome

the practice of using opium . Within this period of time, it

cannot be impossible for those even with whom the habit is most

confirmed to overcome it altogether. If, then, after the period

of a year any continue to smoke opium, they may be regarded

as lawless and incorrigible, and none will hesitate to admit the

justice of subjecting them to the heaviest penalties . I find that

the existing laws against opium smokers, award no more severe

punishments than the wearing of the wooden collar, the bastinado,

and, in case of refusing to point out the dealer, a chastisement of a

hundred blows, with transportation for three years . Thus the

utmost severity of punishment stops short of death, and the pain

of breaking off the habit of using opium is greater than that of

the punishments, the cangue, the bastinado, and transportation.

Of this, crafty and hardened breakers of the law are well aware,

and they do not therefore strive to overcome the vile habit . But,

were the offence made capital, the bitter anguish of the approach-

ing punishment would be found more trying than the protracted

languor of breaking off the habit ; and your minister feels assured ,

that men would prefer to die in their families, in the endeavour

to refrain from opium, rather than to die in the market place,

under the hands of the executioner.

" In considering what may be the clear and thoughtful views of

your Majesty, in regard to such punishments, an apprehension

may be presumed to exist in the imperial breast, lest, if the laws

be rendered somewhat too severe, they may become, in the hands

of evil men, instruments for drawing down penalties upon the

guiltless . But an habitual smoker of opium can always be so

readily distinguished when brought before a magistrate for trial,

that one who is not such a smoker, but a good orderly subject,

cannot be hurt by false accusations, though instigated by the

greatest animosity and the most implacable hatred ; while one

who is really a smoker will not by any means be able to gloss


over or conceal the fact. Though such severe punishments,

therefore, be had recourse to, there can no evil flow therefrom .

"In the history of Formosa, written by Yu Wanee, your minister

finds it mentioned, that the inhabitants of Java were originally

nimble, light-bodied, and expert in war ; but when the [ European]

red-haired race* appeared, these prepared opium and seduced them

into the use of it ; whereupon they were subdued , brought into

subjection, and their land taken possession of. Among the red-

haired race, the law regarding those who daily make use of opium

is, to assemble all their race as spectators, while the criminal is

bound to a stake, and shot from a gun into the sea. Hence

among the red-haired race, none is found so daring as to make

use of it. The opium which is now imported into China is from

the English and other nations, where are found preparers of it

alone, but not one consumer of it. Your minister has heard

moreover, that the foreign ships coming to Canton pass on their

way, the frontiers of Cochin China, and that at the first they se-

duced the Cochin Chinese into the use of opium ; but that these,

discovering the covert scheme laid for them, instantly interdicted

the drug under the most severe penalties, making the use of it a

capital crime, without chance of pardon. Now, if it is in the

power of barbarians out of the bounds of the empire, to put a stop

by prohibitions to the consumption of opium, how much more can

our august Sovereign, whose terrors are as the thunderbolts and

vivid lightnings of heaven, render his anger so terrible that even

the most stupid, perverse, and long-besotted, shall be made to

open their blind eyes and dull ears !

" The great measures affecting the interests of the empire, it is

not within the compass of ordinary minds to comprehend. The

sacred intelligence, and heaven -derived decisiveness, of the

Sovereign may however, unaided determine, and need not the co-

operation of every mind . Yet it may be, that men of fearful dis-

positions, unwilling to bear reproach for the sake of their country,

will, though well aware that none but severe punishments can stay

the evil, pretend nevertheless, that the number of those who

smoke opium is so great as to give cause for apprehending, that

precipitate measures will drive them into a calamitous outbreak .

To meet these fears it is, that the indulgent measure is suggested,

of extending to the smokers one year wherein to repent . The

point of greatest importance is, that at the first declaration of the

imperial pleasure, the commands issued should be of an earnest

and urgent character ; for if the Sovereign's pleasure be forcibly

expressed, then the officers who are to enforce it will be pro-

foundly attentive ; and if these officers be attentive, the breakers

of the law will be struck with terror. Thus in the course of a

* This term, originally applied to the Dutch and northern nations, was afterwards

extended to the English, of whom it has latterly become the exclusive patronymic.-




year, even before punishments shall have been inflicted , eight or

nine out of every ten will have learned to refrain. In this manner,

the consumers of opium will in fact owe to the protection of the

laws the preservation of their lives ; and those who have not been

smokers will be indebted to the restraint and cautions of the laws,

for their salvation from impending danger. Such is the vast

power of your august Majesty, for the staying of evil. Such

your Majesty's opportunities of exhibiting abundant goodness,

and wide-spreading philanthropy.

Once more your minister solicits that commands may be issued

to all the governors and lieutenant-governors of provinces, to pub-

lish earnest and urgent proclamations for the general information

of the people, and to give wide promulgation to prescriptions for

the cure of the habit of smoking opium, that these high func-

tionaries may be required to suffer no smoking beyond the allotted

period of forbearance . And that, at the same time, they may be

directed strictly to command the prefects of departments and

magistrates of districts, to examine and set in order the tithings

and hundreds, giving beforehand clear instructions in regard to

the future enforcement of the new law. The people, after the year

of sufferance shall have elapsed, should be made to give bonds- a

common bond from every five adjoining houses, and if any one con-

tinues to transgress, it should be required of all to inform against

him, that he may be brought to justice, and to this end liberal re-

wards should be accorded to the informers ; while, should a trans-

gression be concealed and the offender shielded , not only should

the transgressor, upon discovery, be in accordance with the pro-

posed new law executed, but all those mutually bound with him,

should also be punished . With regard to general marts and large

towns, where people are assembled from all parts, seeing that the

merchants there are ever passing to and fro, and not remaining in

one place, it would be found difficult, should their neighbours be

made answerable for them, to observe their conduct . The keepers

of shops and lodging-houses, should, therefore, be held responsible,

and should be made punishable for sheltering opium-smokers, in

the same manner as for harbouring and concealing thieves. If any

officer, high or low, actually in office, continue to smoke after the

year of sufferance shall have elapsed, he, having become a trans-

gressor of those very laws which it is his duty to maintain , should be

punished in a higher degree than ordinary offenders, by the ex-

clusion of his children and grandchildren from the public examina-

tions, in addition to the penalty of death attaching to himself.

Any local officers who, after the period of sufferance shall have

elapsed, shall with true-heartedness fulfil their duty, and shall show

the same by the apprehension of any considerable number of of-

fenders, should be, upon application for the imperial consideration

of their merits, entitled to a commensurate reward, according to

the provisions of the law relating to the apprehension of thieves.


If any relations, literary friends, or personal attendants of officers,

continue, while residing with such officers, to smoke opium, in ad-

dition to the punishment falling upon themselves, the officers

under whose direction they may be, should also be subjected to

severe inquiry and censure. As to the military, both of the Tartar

and the Chinese forces, each officer should be required to take from

the men under his immediate command a bond similar to those of

the tithing-men . And their superior officers, in case of failing to

observe any transgression , should be dealt with in the same man-

ner as has been suggested in relation to civil officers failing to ob-

serve the conduct of those residing with them.

" Thus it may be hoped that both the military and the people—

those of low, as well as those of high degree, —will be made to fear

and to shun transgression .

" Such regulations [if adopted ] will need to be promulgated and

clearly made known everywhere, even in decayed villages and way-

side hamlets, that the whole empire may be made acquainted with

our august Sovereign's regard of, and anxiety for, the people and

their welfare, and his extreme desire to preserve their lives from

danger. Every opium-smoker who hears thereof, cannot but be

aroused, by dread of punishment, and by gratitude for the good-

ness extended to him, to change his face and cleanse his heart.

And thus the continual draining of the nation will be stayed, and

the price of silver will cease to be enhanced . And this being the

case, plans may then be discussed for the cultivation of our re-

sources. This will in truth be a fountain of happiness to the rulers

and the ruled in ten thousand ages to come.

" Your servant's obscure and imperfect views are thus laid before

your August Majesty, with the humble prayer that a sacred glance

may be vouchsafed that their fitness or unfitness may be deter-

mined. A respectful memorial."

The Emperor's pleasure in this matter was recorded as follows ::--

Hwang Tsestsze has presented a memorial, soliciting the adop-

tion of measures to stay the continual draining of the country,

with the hope of enhancing thereby the national resources. Let

the commanders-in -chief in the provinces of Mookden, Kirin, and

Tsitsihar, and the governors and lieutenant-governors of all the

other provinces, express, in the form of regulations, their own

several views on the subject, and lay the same speedily before the

throne. To this end let the memorial be sent to them herewith .

Respect this."

Consequent on the foregoing the following imperial edict was

issued : " In reference to a memorial laid before us by Hwang

Tsestsze, the vice-president of the sacrificial court, it has now been

represented to us, by the sub- censor, Tau Szelin , that the governors

and lieutenant-governors of the provinces having been more strict

in the seizure of opium, a brighter spirit has recently been exhi-

bited throughout the provinces. It thus appears that the repre-


sentations before made by Hwang Tsestsze were all right : but

that all the officers have, with one consent, mismanaged the mat-

ter. When, perchance, they have made seizures, these have been

so few and far between, that it cannot be that they have all acted

with uprightness and public spirit . Hwang Tsestsze and those

with him have, however, apprehended and punished with true pur-

pose of heart, and he has represented his views with plainness and

perspicuity : he may well be called a servant useful and devoted to

us. Let, therefore, the board of office consider of his merits liber.

ally, in order that we may, by rewarding him, encourage like con-


" Henceforth, let the governors and lieutenant-governors of the

provinces, with severity and earnestness, make known their com-

mands to the people. And let them, at the same time, send out

officers with military retinues to make search, imperatively requir

ing that the depraved merchants who deal in opium, and those

people who open houses for smoking it, shall, without fail, be

apprehended and brought to trial ; and these, after a period of

three months shall have elapsed, shall, according to a new law, be

condemned to death, and so punished. The consumers of opium

throughout the provinces must be imperatively required, within

the space of three months, to throw off the habit of using it. If

any should continue its use after the lapse of this period, such

persons must be regarded as unruly people, fearless of the laws,

and shall also be condemned, in accordance with the new law, to

the penalty of death.

" The governors and lieutenant-governors of the provinces must

utterly root out the evil, and must allow no guilty persons to es-

cape through the meshes of the net. If any officers dare to con-

nive at, pass over, or fail to discover, acts of disobedience, besides

receiving in their own persons the penalties prescribed by the

new law, their sons and grandsons, also, shall be excluded from

the public examinations. Such local officers as may with all their

hearts fulfil their duty, shall, in accordance with the new law, be,

upon fitting representation, rewarded conformably to their merits.

Let these commands be generally made known to the governors

and lieutenant-governors of all the provinces. Respect this."

(Without date. True translation . )


" Chinese Secretary's Interpreter."

Captain Elliot, Her Majesty's Superintendent of Trade in China,

who was averse to the opium trade, and foresaw the evil effects

which must inevitably result from its continuance and open pro-

secution, issued a public notice on the subject.

" I, CHARLES ELLIOT, Chief Superintendent of the Trade of

British subjects in China, moved by urgent considerations imme-

diately affecting the safety of the lives and property of all Her


Majesty's subjects engaged in the trade at Canton, do hereby

formally give notice, and require, that all British owned schooners,

cutters, and otherwise-rigged small craft, either habitually or occa-

sionally engaged in the illicit opium traffic within the Bocca

Tigris, should proceed forth of the same within the space of three

days from the date of these presents, and not return within the

said Bocca Tigris, being engaged in the said illicit opium traffic.

" And I, the said chief superintendent, do further give notice,

and warn all her majesty's subjects engaged in the aforesaid illicit

opium traffic, within the Bocca Tigris, in such schooners, cutters,

or otherwise-rigged small craft, that if any native of the Chinese

empire shall come by his or her death by any wound feloniously

inflicted by any British subject or subjects, any such British subject

or subjects being convicted thereof, are liable to capital punishment,

as if the crime had been committed within the jurisdiction of Her

Majesty's court at Westminster.

" And I, the said chief superintendent, do further give notice,

and warn all British subjects being owners of such schooners, cut-

ters, or otherwise-rigged small craft, engaged in the same illicit

opium traffic within the Bocca Tigris, that Her Majesty's govern-

ment will in no way interpose if the Chinese government shall

think fit to seize and confiscate the same.

" And I, the said chief superintendent, do further give notice,

and warn all British subjects employed in the said schooners, cut-

ters, and otherwise-rigged small craft, engaged in the illicit traffic

in opium within the Bocca Tigris, that the forcible resisting of the

officers of the Chinese government in the duty of searching and

seizing, is a lawless act, and that they are liable to consequences

and penalties in the same manner as if the aforesaid forcible re-

sistance were opposed to the officers of their own, or any other

government, in their own, or in any foreign country.

" Given under my hand and seal of office, at Canton, this

eighteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand

eight hundred and thirty-eight .


" Chief Superintendent of the Trade of

British subjects in China."

The Chinese government also issued several strigent and severe

proclamations and edicts against the importation and use of opium ;

but, as the naval and military forces of China were unable to

contest with the armed English opium vessels, the traffic increased

with fearful rapidity.

The Emperor and cabinet at Peking, finding all further procla-

mations and injunctions futile, resolved to depute an imperial

commissioner to Canton, with the highest powers and authority

which could be conferred on a subject. The officer chosen for

this purpose was named Lin, a man about fifty-five years of age,

of high repute as a scholar, born and bred in one of the maritime


provinces, of stern demeanour, and possessed of qualities which in

any country would have made him distinguished. He was con-

sidered a true patriot ; of incorruptible honesty, and stood high in

the favour of the Emperor, from whom it is said the commissioner

received his instructions in person, to whom also the Emperor

narrated his " deep sense of the evils that had long afflicted his

children by means of the flowing poison ;" and adverting to the

future, his majesty paused, wept, and said, " how, alas ! can I die

and go to the shades of my imperial father and ancestors until

these direful evils are removed ."

The powers thus vested in Commissioner Lin have only been

thrice delegated by the monarch of the present dynasty. The

appointment of his excellency was thus announced by the authori-

ties at Canton :-

Injunction from the governor and Lieutenant- governor, to the

territorial commissioner and others, in reference to the anticipated

arrival of the imperial commissioner.

" On the 23rd of January, 1839, a despatch was received from

the board of war, giving conveyance to the subjoined imperial edict,

delivered to the inner council on the 31st December, 1838.

' Let Lin Tsihsen, governor of Hookwang, and ex- officio direc-

tor of the board of war, be invested with the powers and privileges

of an imperial commissioner ; and let him, with all speed, proceed

to Kwangtung to make inquiry, and to act in regard to the affairs

of the sea-ports . Let also the whole naval force of the province,

be placed under his control . Respect this.'

" On the same day (23rd January, ) arrived also a communica-

tion from the general council, of the following address and tenor.

To the governors of the two Kwang, Tang, and the Lieu-

tenant-governor of Kwang tung, E. On the 3rd of January, we

received the annexed imperial edict.

The daily increasing prevalence of the use of opium, and the

continually augmenting loss arising from the removal of pure sil-

ver beyond the seas, have of late years repeatedly caused us to

declare to the governors and others, our desire and command, that

they should with true purpose of heart, make enquiry and act in

this matter. But an evil practice, so long and deeply rooted, is

not, it must be feared, to be at once wholly eradicated . If the

source of the evil be not clearly ascertained, how can we hope that

the stream of pernicious consequences shall be stayed?

' We recently expressed it to be our pleasure, that Lin Tsihsin

the governor of Hookwang, should repair with speed to the pro-

vince of Kwangtung, to make enquiry and to act in regard to the

affairs of the sea-ports ; and that he should be invested with the

powers and privileges of an imperial commissioner, and should have

the whole naval force of the province placed under his control.

Lin Tsihsen on his arrival at Canton, will of course exert his

utmost strength in inquiring and acting in obedience to our ex-


pressed pleasure, with the view of thoroughly removing the source

of this evil.

' But the buildings in which the opium undergoes preparation,

the smuggling vessels in which it is conveyed, and the shops opened

for its sale, or for indulgence in the use of it, with all such- like

evil and pernicious establishments, will need to be thoroughly

uprooted as they shall, from time to time, and in one place after

another, be brought to light. Let Tang Tinching, and Eleang

arouse, then all their energies, and persevere in the work of in-

vestigating and putting measures in operation to attain this end.

Let them not in any degree become remiss, neither let them en-

tertain any vain anticipations of ease, nor still less harbour any

reserve to evade or to transfer their duties .


Tang Tingching holding, however, the entire sway over the

two provinces, a multitude of affairs must press upon him.

Should the special responsibility of making inquiry and adopting

measures to arrest the importation of opium, and the exportation

of pure silver, be also laid on him, it may be feared that in

giving attention to one duty, he may be distracted from others ;

and that he will thus be prevented from applying his whole mind

and strength to the extirpation of this evil. It is for this reason

We have commissioned Lin Tsihsen to go and take on him the

special management of the matter.

' It will be the duty of all to apply their efforts, with increas-

ing diligence and ardour, to cast down every wall of separation,

fulfilling with earnestness each his own particular duties, and

uniting together in whatever requires combination of counsel and

action, reporting conjointly to us. Let them henceforth embrace

every practicable measure, vigorously to redeem their foregone

negligence. It is our full hope, that the long-indulged habit will

be for ever laid aside, and every root and germ of it entirely era-

dicated . We would fain think that our ministers will be enabled

to substantiate our wishes, and so to remove from China the dire

calamity. Let these our commands be made known to those con-

cerned. Respect this.

'In obedience to these imperial desires, we the ministers of the

council, address to you this communication .'

" The above documents having been received by us, the gover-

nor and lieutenant- governor, -while, on the one hand, we forward

copies of them to the several commanders of divisions of the

naval forces, to be made known by them- while also we direct

the Hong merchants, Woo Shaouyung and his fellows, to pay re-

spectful obedience, and while further we instruct the colonels in

command of the central regiments of our own respective batta-

lions, to consult together immediately, and within three days,

without fail, to present to us lists of the number of military

seunpoo (or aides -de- camp) and koshiha (or orderlies) , who shall

be appointed to attend (on the imperial commissioner), together

with their names, -while effecting these several objects, we at the


same time, forward a copy to the territorial and financial com-

missioner, that he may act in accordance with the sovereign com-

mands, and may in concert with the judicial commissioner, the

commissioner of the gabel, and the commissary, make the same

generally known , for the obedience of all . And in reference to

the approaching visit of the high imperial commissioner to Can-

ton, to make inquiry and act in regard to the affairs of the sea-

ports, let these officers give their immediate attention to the fol

lowing questions, viz .: what shall be the place allotted for his.

public residence at Canton ? In case he should require to go in

person to view the three divisions - central, eastern, and western

of the naval force on the coast ; what portions are of most im-

portance ? And in what naval vessels will it be fitting for him to

embark ? What number of attendant officers, civil, seunpoo, and

clerks, should be appointed to form his suite ; and from what

officers should they be chosen ? Let them consider these ques-

tions jointly, and within three days present, for our revisal, lists,

comprising the names of such officers as should be so appointed."

Preparatory to the arrival of Commissioner Lin, the annexed

warning to the people was posted in printed placards in all the

streets of Canton. It is supposed to have been written by Com-

missioner Lin himself. The translator says :-" It is beautifully

composed, and would be no discredit to the first scholar of the

land. We have taken a good deal of pains to translate it, but

confess that we have not done justice to the beauty of the origi-

nal, nor indeed is it in our power to do it justice. No language

on earth, for pith, brevity, terseness, harmony of style, and ap-

posite expressions, can be compared to the classic language of

China. We must, therefore, beg our readers not to judge of the

merits of the original, by the poverty of the translation ."

This remarkable document is well deserving a thoughtful perusal.

" Of all the evils that afflict mankind, the greatest are those

which he perversely brings upon himself. In his life, he not only

builds up a line of conduct, that leads him to a miserable death,

but contentedly sinks down to the lowest of his species, and be-

comes an object of hatred and scorn to his fellow-men. Having

perversely brought these evils upon himself, which lead him to a

miserable death : when he dies, no man pities him ! contentedly

sinking down to the lowest of his species, and becoming an object

of hatred and contempt to his fellow-men, he is pleased with his

depravity, which is not the original nature of man : to be not of

the original nature of man then, and to die unpitied , is what be-

longs to reptiles, wild beasts , dogs, and swine ; certainly not to the

human species !

" Why do I thus express myself ? reptiles and wild beasts possess

no knowledge, they are not aware of the infelicity of a miserable

death, and they take no steps to guard against it ! Dogs and swine

never heard of the expressions, right and wrong, glory and dis-


grace : they quietly receive the kicks and curses of man, and they

remember not his insults with a blush of shame ! Therefore it is,

that men who by their own act have reduced themselves to a similar

footing, are upbraided with being as reptiles, wild beasts, dogs,

and swine ; and though they may be unwilling to submit to such

degrading epithets, yet are they unable to shake off these appella-

tions which have been so happily applied to them ! But there are

men still more brutish than the brutes ! Reptiles, wild beasts, dogs,

and swine, do not corrupt the morals of the age so as to cause one

anxious thought to spring up in the breast of our gracious sove

reign : now, however, there are men who do so, who consequently

are beneath reptiles, wild beasts, dogs, and swine ; and these men

are the smokers of opium !

" It is worthy of remark that opium smoking commenced by

one or two careless, worthless fellows, who mutually instigated each

other to this vicious indulgence, simply by way of amusement !

When people begin to smoke, they at first observe no evil effects

produced by it ; when they have smoked for some time, they then

require what is call renovation ; when the time for renovating comes,

if they do not smoke, then the hands and feet become weak and

palsied, the mouth drops, the eyes become glazed, rheum flows

from the one, and saliva from the other ; they are subject to com-

plaints which resemble phlegm, asthma, and convulsive fits : when

they arrive at this stage of the disease, every atom of human rea-

son appears to have left them . You may beat them, scold them,

curse them, and insult them, yet will they not get up to give you

any rejoinder ! This is the first view, showing how baneful opium

is to human life !

" And having smoked it still longer, the constitution begins to

give way, the interior gradually decays, thousands of worms and

maggots gnaw the intestines, their faces become discolored , their

teeth black, their appearance like charcoal, their shoulders rise to

their ears, their necks shrink in, the thrapple protrudes, and their

whole frame is hateful as that of a ghost or devil (which is the rea-

son why they are called A peen kwei or opium smoking devils) , and

in fine, they insensibly hug their bane, till death overtakes them

in the very act ! This is the second view that I present of the

horrors of opium !


Further, people who are in the habit of smoking opium, require

the most costly viands to nourish them, and of these costly viands,

the renovating item is the most costly of all ! Day by day it goes

on increasing from one and two mace, to five and six mace ; there

is no certain rule, but they reckon a mace of opium as among their

necessaries of life. A man's wealth, as well as his strength, has

its bounds : even a rich man may not always be able to fill or re-

plenish this leak in the cup, how much less then a poor man ? The

evil habit thus leads to one cruelly neglecting the comfort of his

father and mother, and leads to his unfeelingly exposing his wife


and children to cold and want ; he cares not for his morning or

evening meal, but to do without his opium, were impossible ! This

then is the third view that I present of the evils of opium !

" Moreover, opium smokers, by indulging chiefly in their bane-

ful habit at night-time, waste many candles and consume much

oil. Till morning they do not sleep, and while the sun shines upon

the world, and other men rise to go to work, the opium smoker

alone is still in his slumbers ! Thus by not getting up till midday

in constant succession, the employed neglects his public duties,

the scholar flings aside his book, the workman's occupation goes

to ruin, the merchant drains his substance, the soldier and officer

become slothful and impotent, and the servant lazy in obeying his

master's commands : thus then, by it, time is mispent, duty neg-

lected, wealth dissipated, life lost, and families overtaken by de-

struction ! This is the fourth view that I present of the pernicious

effects of opium .


Now, in reference to these four points of view in which I have

shown opium to be a great calamity, it is not that people don't see

it, it is not that people don't know it ; but still, such is the fact, that

with all this staring them in the face, they mutually hasten, they

mutually urge each other to their bane, and contentedly yield up

their lives to its noxious influence ! As the waters of the great

river flow to the east, and day by day roll on without ceasing ; so

we find of this evil habit, when it first began, that those who

smoked, avoided the gaze of other men, they kept their shame

secret and feared to avow it ; now, however, it is taken in public,

and even served up as a treat to guests and strangers ! At first,

none but slaves and the vilest of the vile smoked it ; now , how-

ever, it has infected the capped and gowned gentry of the land !

At first, it was merely used by the people of Canton and Fokien ,

and those parts which border on the sea ; now, however, it has gone

east and west, it has crossed the frontiers into Tartary, nor is

there a province of the empire where it has not found its way !

At first, none but a few depraved wretches of the male sex used it,

and now we find that even Bonzes , Taou priests, married women,

and young girls are addicted to the life- destroying drug. In every

item ! in every respect ! is the evil becoming daily more grave,

more deeply rooted than before ! so much so, that its baneful in-

fluence seems to threaten little by little to degrade the whole po-

pulation of the Celestial Empire to a level with reptiles, wild beasts,

dogs, and swine ! When the people of our empire shall have been

degraded to this brutish level, then the three relations will be anni-

hilated, the nine laws or punishments will cease to act, the five

businesses of life will be utterly neglected, man's reason at an end

for ever, and unnumbered woes will arise ! From the time that

The three relations, (or bonds), viz.: prince and people, father and son, hus-

band and wife.


there ever was people until now, never, never, was there a calam-

ity, which, in its first beginnings so bland, so bewitching, threaten-

ed to consume all things with its blaze, like as this fearful drug !

66 Above, our sovereign, and his virtuous ministers brood over this

national misfortune, and lament the havoc it has made : below, all

good men, and all disinterested employers, exert themselves to

counteract its effects : yet are they unable to arrest its progress !

When one reflects on all these things , even granting that the final

sentence of the law should be awarded to those men who have

caused such disasters, who is there that may lift up his voice and

say, 'it would not be right so to do ?" Nor does the evil stop here.

Those foreigners by means of their poison dupe and befool the

natives of China ! It is not only that year by year they abstract

thereby many millions of our money, but the direful appearances

seem to indicate a wish on their part, utterly to root out and ex-

tinguish us as a people !* I repeat, that from the time of our be-

coming a nation until now, never did any evil, at first so bland, so

enticing, blaze so fearfully as does this dreadful poison !

" My countrymen of China well know the dangerous position

they stand in, yet they contentedly hug their bane, which brings

on them ruin and death ! Thus it is, that by land and by water,

in the public markets and in the mountain passes, those who sell

opium, are to be met with by hundreds and by thousands at a

time ! These are all so many cut-throat ruffians, as careless of

their own lives, as of those of others ; they go about, with their

swords and spears all prepared, in order to prosecute with violence

their illegal calling : equally depraved are the police and soldiery,

for they, in order to turn their employment to good account, pre-

tend that they are searching for the prohibited drug, and under

this excuse turn the baggage of the lawful traveller upside down,

and subject good people to every species of annoyance. These

evils and abuses day by day become more wide- spreading, more

deeply-rooted, and they are entirely brought on by the smokers of

opium ! When I reflect upon this, it seems to me, that, though

every one of these said opium- smokers should be exterminated , yet

would not their death be sufficient to atone for the crimes they

have committed, for the evils they have brought about !

" Now I have heard that our gracious Emperor, after mature

consultation, is about to take this abandoned class of his subjects,

and utterly cut them off ! the necessity of the case imperiously

calls for it, and reason strongly justifies the measure ! Why is it

that I thus express myself? Why, because a crime committed

against an individual, against his property, or against a fraction of

the community, is a small matter compared with one which threa-

tens to put the whole empire in a blaze ! and amidst a calamity

* Many Chinese are under the impression that it is our object to take their coun-

try by means of opium.


which thus affects the country from one end to another, is our so-

vereign lord to sit quietly looking on and see it raging, without

putting forth the rod of his power to punish and repress ? More.

over, such are the dictates of reason that guide mankind : where

there are those who degrade themselves to a level with reptiles,

wild beasts, dogs, and swine, their fellow men despise them :

where their fellow-men despise them, they also reject and cast

them off : thus misery is superadded to misery, and looking upon

them like birds of prey, we may hunt them down, or as herbs,

we may root them up, without the least feeling of pity or com-

punction ! it is only they who have brought this woe upon them-

selves !

" Now, although happiness is built upon a foundation, misery

has also a source from which it springs, and amidst the discord of

those warring principles, it belongs to those above to seize the op-

portunity of bringing forth good out of evil ! In reference to

this, Chin-tung-foo has said. When the bulk of the people are

joyfully hastening to their ruin, and when it is not in the power

of gods or devils to change their course, man can do it ! and if it be

asked me, how can man change their course ? I reply, by killing

in order to stay killing !' (i. e. by putting a few to death, as an

example and warning to others) . Now, therefore, in reference to

opium smokers , if we do not impose those laws upon them, they

will die from the pernicious properties of the drug :-if we do im-

pose those laws upon them, then will they die under the hand of

the executioner :-but it seems better that a few should perish

under the hand of the executioner, with the prospect of being able

to arrest the evil, than that they should die from opium and our

race become exterminated .


Again, there are appearances in nature as if heaven* and earth

at times repent of unnecessary severity ; moreover, the holiest of

men trembles while punishing wickedness, if he has not distinctly

warned the parties beforehand . Obscure individual that I am,

not being in the situation of the high officers of government, I

cannot presume to know or regulate their plans, and for me thus

to obtrude my impertinent advice, may justly be reckoned unto

me as a crime ! But I look upon ye all as of the same species

with myself, as my brethren of the human race : in the midst of

my retirement I have thought of your situation with grief and

pain and I deeply pity you, seeing the terrors of the law about to

take hold of you ! I have, therefore, composed a short discourse,

which with the kindest bowels of compassion , I offer up for your

perusal, earnestly hoping that my brethren will give good heed to

" Heaven " is said to repent of severity by the Chinese ; e. g. supposing heaven to

have visited the land with long drought, when the refreshing rain falls, this is said to

be a proof of heaven repenting, and vice versa. The meaning of the author is, that

as "heaven " has been cruel in permitting the opium poison to rage over the land,

perhaps He will relent, and bless the vigorous measures we are now taking to put a

stop to it.


the faithfulness of my intentions , and deeply ponder upon my

words ! It is to the following effect :


Every man who is endowed with the gift of reason, knows

to prize his life above all things : from the time our feeble body is

scarce a cubit high, if it be wounded, we mourn and weep ! In

childhood, when traversing a dangerous road at dead midnight, we

tremble and mutually warn each other to beware ; whatever en-

ticement may be held out, we reject it with suspicion and feel

alarmed to proceed : this is, because we fear to die ! And when

grown to man's estate, whatever is noxious to our persons, we en-

deavour to avoid with the utmost anxiety ; if we cannot succeed in

avoiding it, we feel sorrowful and perhaps repair to a temple to

implore divine aid . From childhood till old age, without distin-

guishing between the virtuous and the depraved, the noble and the

base, the object of all our active exertions by night and by day,

the object for which we rack our minds with the most intense

anxiety, is merely to obtain what will benefit us, and avoid what

will injure us to follow after happiness, to shun misery, and no-

thing more. If we are overcome by dangers or sickness, we are

sad : if informed that we are about to die, we are sorrowful : such

is the nature of man, and opium smokers offer the only exception !

These run after their death ! these sit contentedly on the brink of

danger ! even as the silly moth, which keeps fluttering round the

candle which consumes him ! Among men, there is no one who

does not like the idea of making his name famous or honourable :

if you upbraid a man with being depraved, he gets angry : if you

still further insult him, by telling him that his heart is cruel as

that of a wild beast or bird of prey, that he is deficient of know-

ledge as the reptile that crawls on the ground, and that he cannot

be classed as one of the human species : methinks that at language

of this kind, his eyes must like stars start from their spheres !

and each particular hair must stand on end like quills upon the

fretful porcupine !'* He must put himself in a posture of defiance,

and hurl back the reproach with a curse ! But opium smokers

are alone different in this respect ! They, it is true, do not wish

to receive such insults, but not wishing to receive the name, and

doing that which induces the appellation, is very much the same

as sitting down contentedly under the reproach. Therefore it is,

that they who smoke opium and clearly know that it is destroying

their life, are guilty of folly : they who smoke opium, and know

that while they do so, it is sullying their name and reputation, are

lost to every sense of shame ! and those who associate with the

lowest of the low, the vilest of the vile, and who in the company of

such, turn day into night, have forgotten every rule of decency and

propriety ! To smoke opium, and not to look after the comfort of

your parents, is to play the part of an undutiful child ! to smoke

opium and give no heed to the instruction of your son, is not ful-

filling your duty as a father ! to smoke opium and care not though

* This expresses somewhat the meaning of the writer.


your wife suffer cold and want, is what no kind husband would

do to corrupt the manners and customs of the age, and entail

calamities upon posterity, is to be a robber of the world : to violate

the laws, to break through the regulations, and not to repent of

your crime, is the conduct of a rebel : to take the intelligent and

educated mind of a Chinese, and prostitute it so as to be duped by

distant foreigners, with their corroding poison, to heap up unnum-

bered crimes, to refuse to awake from your delusion, and to die

with it in your embrace, shows that ye know not reason, and that

your hearts are like those of the brutes !

" Now then ye who smoke opium ! look at the nine foregoing

crimes that ye commit ! and when ye take up the opium pipe to

smoke, do one and all of you put the hand upon the heart, and ask

yourselves : Do I deserve death, or not ? ought I to leave off this

hateful vice, or not ? People who have rebelled against high

heaven, who have injured their fellow-men, who have opposed rea-

son, who have trampled on the five relations of mankind, who

have set at defiance every rule of decency and propriety : methinks

that though our sovereign's laws may not slay them, yet that

heaven and earth, gods and spirits, must exterminate them with

their avenging lightning ! And though you may escape our

human punishments, think you that you can escape the punish-

ment of heaven ? although you have human faces and dress like

men, though your houses may overflow with wealth, and you may

fare on dainties every day, yet loaded as you are with every species

of guilt, I can find no difference between you and reptiles, wild

beasts, dogs and swine ! Can ye hear a reproach of this kind, with-

out starting with horror ! without the cold sweat trickling down

your foreheads !

" Before I finish, a word to you who are mandarins, and em-

ployers in government offices. It belongs to you to rule the

people ! You try their crimes, and you award their punishments !

Let me ask of you, supposing you were called upon to judge your

own crimes in this respect, pray by what law or statute would you

judge them ? And ye who are scholars and learned men ! Ye

have already studied a great many works ! Ye know what pro-

priety is ! Let me then ask of you, supposing you were called

upon to give an opinion of your own conduct in this respect, pray

under what standard of propriety would you class it ? For the

operative, for the merchant, and for every class and description of

the people, are there laws made and punishments annexed, —but

for you !" .

The authorities at Canton, in order to deter, if possible, the Eng-

lish from prosecuting the opium traffic, executed a Chinese, on

27th February, 1839, who had been found with opium, opposite

the British factories.

The following is a description of the mode in which the punish-

ment of death is inflicted for dealing in opium . The execution


here referred to, took place outside the wall of Macao, and was

also intended as a warning to foreigners . About five o'clock a

large number of Chinese, together with some foreigners, assembled

outside the wall, near the Saint Antonio gate. The Tso- tang of

Macao arrived, and with him from fifty to sixty police runners.

A few minutes afterwards the Yew -foo, military officers from Casa

Branca, the Fleang-shan- teen, district magistrate of Fleang- shan, and

Keun-min - foo, of Casa Branca, came in rotation, followed by

the unfortunate culprit, in a bamboo cage, borne by the two execu-

tioners, and guarded by about one hundred of the imperial infan-

try, armed with boarding pikes, and other formidable weapons of

war. There were two bamboo matted sheds built up for this oc-

casion, the distance between them being from thirty-five to forty

yards ; one of these sheds was furnished with chairs and tables,

where the mandarins seated themselves after having exchanged the

customary civilities one with the other ; the other was the place

for the execution , and contained merely a slight wooden cross,

about six feet in height, with a hole in the upper part, immedi-

ately above the horizontal cross -piece . Three guns were fired as a

signal to prepare for the execution of the culprit. With his arms

and legs heavily loaded with shackles of iron, he was literally

shaken out of the cage, a most pitiable looking object, covered with

filth, and so emaciated from an existence of about four months in

a Chinese prison, as to seem more dead than alive . He was

dragged to the place of execution, and placed standing on a piece of

brick, touching the cross with his back . The executioners com-

menced by lashing a rope round his legs, under the arms, and

then through a hole in the upper part of the cross ; after which it

was placed several times round his neck, and again through the

hole. They then made use of a stick, resembling a long arrow,

about five feet in length, which was passed through the loops of

the cord, and twisted round several times, for the purpose of

tightening the rope, so as to effect strangulation . No apparent

signal, other than the removal of the piece of brick from under the

feet, was given for the fatal turning of the stick. The expression

of the poor man's countenance did not change, nor was he per-

ceived to make any struggle. The manner in which his arms and

legs were tied must account for the latter circumstance . When

the unfortunate victim of our cupidity had been dead about ten

minutes , the mandarins departed under a salute of three guns,

and shortly afterwards the executioners followed, but not until they

had fully assured themselves, by examining the mouth and eyes of

the culprit, that he was quite dead . They left him still fastened

to the cross, but removed from his hands and feet the shackles,

with which up to this time they had been bound . The body was

ordered to continue hanging on the cross for three days, as a spec-

tacle and warning to all dealers in opium and others ; after which

period his friends would have permission to remove the body, on



their application for the same. The name ofthe unfortunate man was

Kwok-pung ; he kept a small shop for twenty years, at Shaleton, a

village on the eastern side of the inner harbour of Macao, in the

neighbourhood of the place of execution. He bore an excellent

character among all those who had any dealings with him, and

was seized on for having sold only a few balls or cakes of opium,

on account of another party.

Kwok-pung was about forty-five years of age, he left three wives,

several children, and a numerous circle of connexions to lament

his untimely end.

About the middle of March 1839 , a remarkable letter was

addressed by Commissioner Lin to the Queen of England, and

His Excellency expressed an anxious desire to know how he

should convey his missive to Her Majesty. The Hong merchants

at Canton obtained the annexed copy of the letter in question :

Letter to the Queen ofEngland from the Imperial Commissioner, &c.

" Lin, high imperial commissioner, a director of the Board of

War, and governor of the two Hoo,-Tang, a director of the

Board of War, and governor of the two Kwang,-and E. , a

vice-director of the Board of War, and lieutenant-governor of

Kwang-tung, - conjointly address this communication to the

sovereign of the English nation, for the purpose of requiring the

interdiction of opium.

"That in the ways of Heaven no partiality exists, and no

sanction is allowed to the injuring of others for the advantage

of one's self,-that in men's natural desires there is not any great

diversity, (for where is he who does not abhor death and seek

life ?)-these are universally acknowledged principles ;—and

your honourable nation, though beyond the wide ocean, at a

distance of twenty thousand miles, acknowledges the same ways

of Heaven, the same human nature, and has the like perception

of the distinctions between life and death, benefit and injury.

" Our heavenly court has for its family all that is within the

four seas ; the great Emperor's Heaven-like benevolence- there

is none whom it does not overshadow : even regions remote,

desert, and disconnected, have a part in the general care of life

and of wellbeing.

" In Kwangtung, since the removal of the interdicts upon

maritime communication, there has been a constantly flowing

stream of commercial intercourse. The people of the land, and

those who come from abroad in foreign ships, have reposed

together in the enjoyment of its advantages, for tens of years

past, even until this time. And as regards the rhubarb, teas,

raw silk, and similar rich and valuable products of China,

should foreign nations be deprived of these, they would be


without the means of continuing life. So that the Heavenly

court, by granting, in the oneness of its common benevolence, per-

mission for the sale and exportation thereof, -and that without

stint and grudge, —has indeed extended its favours to the utmost

circuit [of the nations] , making its heart one with the core of

Heaven and earth .

" But there is a tribe of depraved and barbarous people, who

having manufactured opium for smoking, bring it hither for sale,

and seduce and lead astray the simple folk, to the destruction

of their persons, and the draining of their resources . Formerly

the smokers thereof were few, but of late, from each to other

the practice has spread its contagion, and daily do its baneful

effects more deeply pervade the central source-its rich, fruitful,

and flourishing population . It is not to be denied that the simple

folk, inasmuch as they indulge their appetite at the expense of

their lives, are indeed themselves the authors of their miseries :

and why then should they be pitied ? Yet, in the universal

empire under the sway of the great and pure dynasty, it is of

essential import, for the right direction of men's minds, that their

customs and manners should be formed to correctness . How can

it be borne that the living souls that dwell within these seas,

should be left wilfully to take a deadly poison ! Hence it is ,

that those who deal in opium, or who inhale its fumes, within this

land , are all now to be subjected to severest punishment, and that

a perpetual interdict is to be placed on the practice so extensively

prevailing .

“ We have reflected , that this poisonous article is the clan-

destine manufacture of artful schemers and depraved people of

various tribes under the dominion of your honourable nation .

Doubtless, you, the honourable sovereign of that nation, have

not commanded the manufacture and sale of it. But amid

the various nations there are a few only that make this opium ;

it is by no means the case that all the nations are herein alike .

And we have heard that in your honorable nation, too, the people

are not permitted to inhale the drug, and that offenders in this

particular expose themselves to sure punishment . It is clearly

from a knowledge of its injurious effects on man, that you have

directed severe prohibitions against it . But what is the prohi-

bition of its use, in comparison with the prohibition of its being

sold-of its being manufactured, -as a means of thoroughly

purifying the source ?

" Though not making use of it one's self, to venture nevertheless

on the manufacture and sale of it, and with it to seduce the

simple folk of this land, is, to seek one's own livelihood by the

exposure of others to death, to seek one's own advantage by other

men's injury. And such acts are bitterly abhorrent to the nature

of man--are utterly opposed to the ways of Heaven. To the

vigorous sway exercised by the celestial court over both the civil-

R 2


ized and the barbarous, what difficulty presents itself to hinder

the immediate taking of life ? But as we contemplate and give

substantial being to the fullness and vastness of the sacred intel-

ligence, it befits us to adopt first the course of admonition. And

not having as yet sent any communication to your honourable

sovereignty, - should severest measures of interdiction be all at

once enforced, it might be said, in excuse, that no previous know-

ledge thereof had been possessed.

"We would now, then, concert with your honorable sovereignty,

means to bring to a perpetual end this opium, so hurtful to man-


kind : we in this land forbidding the use of it, and you, in the

nations under your dominion, forbidding its manufacture. As

regards what has been already made, we would have your honourable

nation issue mandates for the collection thereof, that the whole

may be cast into the depths of the sea. We would thus prevent

the longer existence between these Heavens and this Earth, of any

portion of the hurtful thing . Not only then will the people of

this land be relieved from its pernicious influence : but the people

of your honorable nation too (for as they make, how know we

that they do not also smoke it ?) will, when the manufacture is in-

deed forbidden, be likewise relieved from the danger of its use.

Will not the result of this be the enjoyment by each of a felicitous

condition of peace ? For your honorable nation's sense of duty

being thus devout, shows a clear apprehension of celestial prin-

ciples, and the supreme Heavens will ward off from you all

calamities . It is also in perfect accordance with human nature,

and must surely meet the approbation of sages.

" Besides all this, the opium being so severely prohibited in

this land, that there will be none found to smoke it, should

your nation continue its manufacture, it will be discovered after

all that no place will afford opportunity for selling it, that

no profits will be attainable. Is it not far better to turn and

seek other occupation than vainly to labour in the pursuit of a

losing employment ?

" And furthermore, whatever opium can be discovered in this

land is entirely committed to the flames, and consumed . If any

be again introduced in foreign vessels, it too must be subjected

to a like process of destruction. It may well be feared, lest

other commodities imported in such vessels should meet a com-

mon fate the gem and the pebble not being distinguished .

Under these circumstances, gain being no longer acquirable,

and hurt having assumed a visible form, such as desire the

injury of others will find that they themselves are the first to he

injured .

" The powerful instrumentality whereby the celestial court

holds in subjection all nations, is truly divine and awe - inspiring

beyond the power of computation . Let it not be said that early

warning of this has not been given.


"When your majesty receives this document, let us have a

speedy communication in reply, advertising us of the measures

you adopt for the entire cutting off the opium in every seaport.

Earnestly reflect hereon. Earnestly observe these things.

"Taoukwang, 19th year, 2d month, day. Communication

sent to the Sovereign of the English nation ."

It is presumed that this beautiful and convincing letter never

reached the Queen of England .

The commissioner arrived in Canton the beginning of March

1839, and on the 18th issued an edict to foreigners of all nations.


Lin, high imperial commissioner of the Celestial Court, a direc-

tor of the Board of War, and governor of Hookwang, issues his

commands to the foreigners of every nation, requiring of all full

acquaintance with the tenor thereof. It is known that the foreign

vessels which come for a reciprocal trade to Kwangtung , have

derived from that trade very large profits. This is evidenced by

the facts, that, whereas the vessels annually resorting hither were

formerly reckoned hardly by tens, their number has of late years

amounted to a hundred and several times ten ; that whatever com-

modities they may have brought, none have failed to find a full

consumption ; and whatever they may have sought to purchase,

never have they been unable readily to do so. Let them but ask

themselves whether between heaven and earth, any place affording

so advantageous a commercial mart is elsewhere to be found. It

is because our great emperors, in their universal benevolence, have

granted you commercial privileges, that you have been favoured

with these advantages. Let our port once be closed against you,

and for what profits can your several nations any longer look ?

Yet more our tea and our rhubarb- sceing that, should you

foreigners be deprived of them, you therein lose the means of pre-

serving life are without stint or grudge granted to you for expor-

tation, year by year, beyond the seas. Favours never have been

greater ! Are you grateful for these favours ? You must then

fear the laws, and in seeking profit for yourselves, must not do

hurt to others . Why do you bring to our land the opium, which in

your own lands is not made use of, by it defrauding men of their

property, and causing injury to their lives ? I find that with this

thing you have seduced and deluded the people of China for tens

of years past, and countless are the unjust hoards that you have

thus acquired. Such conduct rouses indignation in every human

heart, and is utterly inexcusable in the eye of Celestial reason .

" The prohibitions formerly enacted by the Celestial Court against

opium were comparatively lax, and it was yet possible to smuggle

the drug into the various ports. Of this the great Emperor having

now heard, his wrath has been fearfully aroused, nor will it rest

till the evil be utterly extirpated ? Whoever among the people of

this inner land deal in opium, or establish houses for the smok-

ing of it, shall be instantly visited with the extreme penalty of the


laws ; and it is in contemplation to render capital also the crime

of smoking the drug. And you, having come into the territory of

the Celestial Court, should pay obedience to its laws and statutes,

equally with the natives of the land.

" I, the high commissioner, having my home in the maritime

province of Fookien, and consequently having early had intimate

acquaintance with all the arts and shifts of the outer foreigners ,

have for this reason been honoured by the great Emperor with the

full powers and privileges of a high imperial commissioner, who

having repeatedly performed meritorious services, is sent to settle

the affairs of the outer frontier : should I search closely into the

offences of these foreigners, in forcing for a number of years the

sale of opium, they would be found already beyond the bounds of

indulgence ; but, reflecting that they are men from distant lands,

and that they have not before been aware, that the prohibition of

opium is so severe, I cannot bear, in the present plain enforce-

ment of the laws and restrictions, to cut them off without instruc-

tive monition . I find that on board the warehousing vessels,

which you now have lying at anchor in the Lintin and other off-

ings, there are stored up several times ten thousand chests of

opium, which it is your purpose and desire illicitly to dispose of

by sale . You do not consider, however, the present severity of

the measures in operation, for seizure of it at the ports. Where

will you again find any that will dare to give it escort ? And

similar measures for the seizure of it are in operation also in every

province . Where else then will you yet find opportunity of dis-

posing of it ? At the present time the dealings in opium are

brought utterly to a stand, and all men are convinced that it is a

nauseous poison . Why will you be at the pains then of laying it

up on board your foreign store- ships, and of keeping them long

anchored on the face of the open sea, not only expending to no

purpose your labour and your wealth, but exposed also to unfore-

seen dangers from storms or from fire. I proceed to issue my

commands. When these commands reach the said foreign mer-

chants, let them with all haste pay obedience thereto. Let them

deliver up to government every particle of the opium on board

their store-ships. Let it be ascertained by the Hong merchants,

who are the parties so delivering it up, and what number of chests

is delivered up under each name, and what is the total quantity in

catties and taels. Let these particulars be brought together in a

clear tabular form, and be presented to government, in order that

the opium may all be received in plain conformity thereto, that it

may be burnt and destroyed, and that thus the evil may be en-

tirely extirpated . There must not be the smallest atom concealed

or withheld. At the same time let these foreigners give a bond,

written jointly in the foreign and Chinese languages, making a

declaration of this effect : That their vessels, which shall hereafter

resort hither, will never again dare to bring opium with them :


and that should any be brought, as soon as discovery shall be

made of it, the goods shall be forfeited to government, and the

parties shall suffer the extreme penalties of the law : and that such

punishment will be willingly submitted to. I have heard that you

foreigners are used to attach great importance to the word ' good

faith.' If then you will really do as I, the high commissioner,

have commanded, --will deliver up every particle of the opium that

is already here, and will stay altogether its future introduction , as

this will prove also that you are capable of feeling contrition for

your offences, and of entertaining a salutary dread of punishment,

the past may yet be left unnoticed . I, the high commissioner,

will, in that case, in conjunction with the governor and lieutenant-

governor, address the throne, imploring the great Emperor to

vouchsafe extraordinary favour, and not alone to remit the punish-

ment of your past errors, but also - as we will further request-to

devise some mode of bestowing on you his imperial rewards, as an

encouragement of the spirit of contrition and wholesome dread

thus manifested by you. After this, you will continue to enjoy

the advantages of commercial intercourse ; and, as you will not

lose the character of being good foreigners, and will be enabled to

acquire profits and get wealth by an honest trade, will you not

indeed stand in a most honourable position ?

" If, however, you obstinately adhere to your folly and refuse to

awake-if you think to make up a sale covering over your illicit

dealings -or to set up as a pretext, that the opium is brought by

foreign seamen, and the foreign merchants have nothing to do

with it- or to pretend, craftily, that you will carry it back to your

countries, or will throw it into the sea-or to take occasion to go

to other provinces in search of a door of consumption— or to stifle

inquiry, by delivering up only one or two -tenths of the whole

quantity ; in any of these cases it will be evident that you retain a

spirit of contumacy and disobedience, that you uphold vice and

will not reform . Then, although it is the maxim of the Celestial

Court to treat with tenderness and great mildness men from afar,

yet, as it cannot suffer them to indulge in scornful and con-

temptuous trifling with it, it will become requisite to compre-

hend you also in the severe course of punishment prescribed by

the new law.

" On this occasion, I, the high commissioner, having come from

the capital, have personally received the sacred commands : that

wherever a law exists, it is to be fully enforced. And as I have

brought these full powers and privileges, enabling me to perform

whatever seems to me right ; powers with which those ordinarily

given, for inquiring and acting in regard to other matters, are by

no means comparable ; so long as the opium traffic remains unex-

terminated, so long will I delay my return . I swear that I will

progress with this matter from its beginning to its ending, and


that not a thought of stopping half- way shall for a moment be in-

dulged .

" Furthermore, observing the present condition of the popular

mind, I find so universal a spirit of indignation aroused, that

should you foreigners remain dead to a sense of contrition and

amendment, and continue to make gain your sole object, there

will not only be arrayed against you the martial terrors and power-

ful energies of our naval and military forces ; it will be but neces-

sary to call on the able-bodied of the people, (the militia), and

these alone will be more than adequate to the placing all your

lives within my power. Besides, either by the temporary stoppage

of your trade, or by the permanent closing of the ports against

you, what difficulty can there be in effectually cutting off your in-

tercourse ? Our central empire, comprising a territory of many

thousands of miles, and possessing in rich abundance all the pro-

ducts of the ground, has no benefit to derive from the purchase of

your foreign commodities, and you may, therefore, well fear, that

from the moment such measures are taken, the livelihood of your

several nations must come to an end. You, who have travelled so

far, to conduct your commercial business, how is it that you are

not yet alive to the great difference between the condition of

vigorous exertions, and that of easy repose-the wide distance

between the power of the few and the power of the many? As to

those crafty foreigners, who, residing in the foreign factories, have

been in the habit of dealing in opium, I, the high commissioner,

have early been provided with a list of them by name. At the

same time, those good foreigners, who have not sold opium, must

also not fail to be distinguished . Such of them as will point out

their depraved fellow-foreigners, will compel them to deliver up

their opium, and will step forth amongst the foremost to give the

required bonds - these shall be regarded as the good foreigners.

And I, the high commissioner, will at once, for their encourage-

ment, reward them liberally. It rests with yourselves alone to

choose whether you will have weal or woe, honour or disgrace.

" I am now about to command the Hong merchants to proceed to

your factories, to instrust and admonish you. A term of three

days is prescribed for an address to be sent in reply to me. And

at the same time let your duly attested and faithful bonds be given,

waiting for me, in conjunction with the governor and lieutenant-

governor, to appoint a time for the opium to be delivered up . Do

not indulge in idle expectations, or seek to postpone matters, de-

ferring to repent, until its lateness render it ineffectual. A spe-

cial edict. Taoukwang, 19th year, 2nd month, 4th day, (March

18th , 1839) .

(True translation ). J. ROBERT MORRISON ,

"Chinese Secretary , and Interpreter to

the Superintendent of British Trade

in China."


Along with the above, the Hong merchants received, while on

their knees before the commissioner, an address to themselves—

several of whom, as well as a number of the linguists and a com-

pradors of the foreigners, he had previously examined.

On 19th March, the High Commissioner ordered that no leave

or passes be given to foreigners to proceed from Canton to Macao.

The next step of his Excellency was to stop all commercial inter-

course, to prevent communication with the shipping at Whampoa ;

troops were collected around Canton, and armed cruisers were

stationed in front of the foreign factories. When the three days

elapsed, on which the opium was ordered to be surrendered, he

threatened to take off the heads of two of the Hong mer-

chants ; viz. Howqua and Mowqua, who were deprived of their

official buttons, and brought before the high commissioner at the

Cohong, or public exchange room of the Hong merchants, with

chains round their necks. The British and other foreign resi-

dents held a meeting, at their chamber of commerce, at Canton,

and sent a deputation to the Hong merchants, with a copy of a

resolution of the chamber, declaring that there was " an almost

unanimous feeling in the community, of the absolute necessity of

the foreign residents at Canton, having no communication with

the opium traffic ."

(Signed) W. S. WETMORE, Chairman.

To this the Hong merchants replied, that unless some opium

was given up, two of their number would be beheaded in the morn-

ing. Several of the foreign traders there, stated they would give

up 1,037 chests. This was rejected by the commissioner as in-

sufficient. On 24th March, Captain Elliot, then Her Majesty's

superintendent of trade, arrived from Macao at Canton, with a

view of protecting Her Majesty's subjects. On his arrival a cor-

don of guards and boats was closely drawn around the factories,

in which there were more than two hundred foreigners . Rafts

were laid across the river, to prevent boats arriving from Macao

or Whampoa, all letters were prevented being sent from the fac-

tories ; the Chinese servants were forced to leave them, and the

foreign residents were compelled to attend on themselves, and per-

form all household duties .

On 26th March, Commissioner Lin issued the following edict :

Proclamation from his excellency, the high commissioner Lin, de-

siring foreigners speedily to deliver up their Opium, underfour

heads, or four reasons :—

Firstly. Ye ought to make haste and deliver it up, by virtue of

that reason which Heaven hath implanted in all of us. I find that

during the last several tens of years, the money out of which you


have duped our people by means of your destructive drug,

amounts I know not to how many tens of thousands of myriads .

Thus, while you have been scheming after private advantage, with

minds solely bent on profit, our people have been wasting their

substance, and losing their lives ; and if the reason of Heaven be

just, think you that there will be no retribution ? If, however,

ye will now repent and deliver up your opium, by a well-timed

repentance, ye may yet avert judgment and calamities : if not,

then your wickedness being greater, the consequences of that

wickedness will fall more fearfully upon you ! Ye are distant from

your homes many tens of thousand miles ; your ships, in coming and

going cross a vast and trackless ocean ; in it ye are exposed to the

visitations of thunder and lightning, and raging storms, to the

dangers of being swallowed up by monsters of the deep ; and

under such perils, fear ye not the retributive vengeance of Heaven ?

Now our great Emperor, being actuated by the exalted virtue of

Heaven itself, wishes to cut off this deluge of opium, which is the

plainest proof that such is the intention of high Heaven ! It is

then a traffic on which Heaven looks with disgust ; and who is he

that may oppose its will ? Thus, in the instance of the English

chief Roberts who violated our laws ; he endeavoured to get pos-

session of Macao by force, and at Macao he died ! Again, in the

14th year of Taoukwang ( 1834) , Lord Napier bolted through the

Bocca Tigris, but being overwhelmed with grief and fear he

almost immediately died ; and Morrison, who had been darkly

deceiving him , died that very year also ! Besides these, every one

of those who have not observed our laws, have either on their re-

turn to their own country been overtaken by the judgments of Hea-

ven, or silently cut off ere they could return thither ! Thus then it

is manifest that the heavenly dynasty may not be opposed ! And

still, oh, ye foreigners, do you refuse to fear and tremble

thereat ?

" Secondly. You ought to make immediate delivery of this

opium, in order to comply with the law of your own countries,

which prohibits the smoking of opium, and he who uses it is

adjudged to death ! Thus plainly showing that ye yourselves

know it to be an article destructive to human life. If then, your

laws forbid it to be consumed by yourselves, and yet permit it to

be sold that it may be consumed by others, this is not in con-

formity with the principle of doing unto others what you would

that they should do unto you : if on the other hand, your laws

prohibit its being sold, and ye yet continue to sell it by stealth,

then are ye sporting with the laws of your own countries ! And,

moreover, the laws of our Chinese empire look upon the seller as

guilty of a crime of a deeper dye, than the mere smoker of

opium . Now you foreigners, although ye were born in an outer

country, yet for your property and maintenance do you depend

entirely upon our Chinese Empire ; and in our central land ye


pass the greater part of your lives, and the lesser portion of your

lives is passed at home ; the food that ye eat every day, not less

than the vast fortunes ye amass, proceed from nought but the

goodness of our Emperor ; which is showered upon you in far greater

profusion than upon our own people. And how is it then, that

ye alone know not to tremble and obey before the sacred majesty

of your laws ! In former times, although opium was prohibited,

yet the penalty attached thereto, did not amount to a very severe

punishment, this arose from the extreme mildness of our govern-

ment ; and therefore it was that your clandestine dealings in the

drug were not scrutinized with any extraordinary rigor. Now,

however, our great emperor looks upon the opium trade with the

most intense loathing, and burns to have it cut off for ever ; so

that henceforward, not only is he who sells it adjudged to death,

but he who does not more than smoke it must also undergo the

same penalty of the laws ! Now try and reflect for one moment .

If ye did not bring this opium to China how should the people of

our inner land be able either to sell or smoke it ? The lives of

our people which are forfeited to the laws, are taken from them by

your unrighteous procedure ; then what reason is there that the

lives of our own people should be thus sacrificed, and that ye

alone should escape the awful penalty ? Now I, the high com-

missioner, looking up to the great Emperor, and feeling in my own

person his sacred desire to love and cherish the men from afar,

do mercifully spare you your lives. I wish nothing more than

that ye deliver up all the opium you have got, and forthwith write

out a duly prepared bond, to the effect, that you will henceforth

never more bring opium to China, and should you bring it, agreeing

that the cargo be confiscated, and the people who bring it put to

death . This is pardoning what is past, and taking preventive

measures against the future : why any longer cherish a foolish in-

discriminate generosity ! Moreover, without discussing about the

opium which ye have sold in bygone years, and adding up its

immense amounts ; let us only speak about that quantity which

during the last years ye have clandestinely sold, which I presume

was no small matter, hardly equal to the quantity which ye have

now stored up in your receiving ships, and which I desire may be

entirely surrendered to the mutual advantage of all . Where is

there the slightest chance or prospect that after this you will be

permitted to dupe our deluded people out of their money, or in-

veigle them to do an act in which destruction overtakes them ?

I have with deep respect examined the statutes of this the Ta

Tsing dynasty, and upon these statutes I find it recorded, ' If a

Chinese or a foreigner break the laws they shall be judged and

condemned by the same statutes ;' and words to that effect. Now

upon former occasions we have condemned foreigners to death, as

in the case of having killed our people, they require to give life

for life, of which we have instances recorded . Now think for a


little depriving an individual of his life is a crime committed in

a moment, and still the perpetrator of it must forfeit his own life

in return. But he who sells opium has laid a plot to swindle a

man out of his money, as well as to deprive him of his life ; and

how can one say that it is only a single individual, or a single

family that the opium seller thus dupes and entangles in destruc-

tion ! And for a crime of this magnitude, ought one to die or not

to die ? And still will ye refuse to deliver up your opium ?

Which is the way to preserve your lives ? Oh, ye foreigners, do ye

deeply ponder upon this !

" Thirdly. You ought to make immediate delivery of this

opium, by reason of your feelings as men . Ye come to this mar-

ket of Canton to trade, and ye profit thereby full threefold . Every

article of commerce that ye bring with you, no matter whether it

be coarse or fine, in whole pieces or in small, there is not one iota

of it that is not sold off and consumed ; and of the produce of our

country, whether it be for feeding you, for clothing you, for any

kind of use, or for mere sale, there is not a description that we do

not permit you to take away with you : so that not only do you

reap the profit of the inner land by the goods which you bring,

but moreover by means of the produce of our central land, do you

gather gold from every country to which you transport it. Sup-

posing that you cut off and cast away your traffic in the single

article of opium, then the other business which you do will be

much increased , you will thereon reap your threefold profit com-

fortably ; and you may, as previously, go on acquiring wealth in

abundance thus neither violating the laws, nor laying up store

for after misery. What happiness , what delight will be yours.

But if on the other hand, ye will persist in carrying on the opium

traffic, then such a course of conduct must infallibly lead to the

cutting off of your general trade. I would like to ask of you, if

under the whole heaven ye have such an excellent market as this

is ? Then without discussion about tea and rhubarb, things

which you could not exist without ; and every kind and descrip-

tion of silk, a thing which you could not carry on your manu-

facture without, there are under the head of eatable articles ,

white sugar-candy, cassia, cassia buds, &c. , &c.; and under the

head of articles for use, vermillion , gamboge , alum, camphor , &c.:

how can your countries do without these ? And yet our central

land is heaped up and overflowing with every kind of commodity ;

and has not the slightest occasion for any of your importations

from abroad. If on account of opium, the port be closed against

you, and it is no longer in your power to trade more, will it not be

yourselves, who have brought it upon yourselves ? Nay, further,

as regards the article of opium, there is now no man who dares to

buy it, and yet ye store it up in your receiving ships, where you have

so much to pay per month for rent ; day and night ye must have

labouring men to watch and guard . And why all this useless and


enormous expense ? A single typhoon, or one blaze of fire, and

they are forthwith overwhelmed by the billows, or they sink amid

the consuming element ! These are all things very likely to hap-

pen ! What better plan then, than at once to deliver up your

opium, and to reap enjoyments and rewards by so doing ?

" Fourthly. You ought to make a speedy delivery of your

opium by reason of the necessity of the case. Ye foreigners from

afar, in coming hither to trade, have passed over an unbounded

ocean ; your prospect for doing business depends entirely on your

living on terms of harmony with your fellow-men, and keeping

your own station in peace and quietness. Thus may you reap

solid advantage, and avoid misfortune ! But if you will persist in

selling your opium, and will go on involving the lives of our

foolish people in your toils, there is not a good or upright man

whose head and heart will not burn with indignation at your

conduct ; they must look upon the lives of those who have suf-

fered for smoking , and selling the drug as sacrificed by you ; the

simple country folks and the common people must feel anything

but well pleased, and the wrath of a whole country is not a thing

easily restrained : these are circumstances about which ye cannot

but feel anxious ! The men who go abroad are said to adhere

bigotedly to a sense of honour. Now our officers are every one of

them appealing to your sense of honour, and on the contrary we

find (to our amazement) that ye have not the slightest particle of

honour about you ! Are ye quite tranquil and composed at this ?

And will ye yet acknowledge the necessity of the case or not ?

Moreover, viewing it as an article which ought never to be sold at

all, and more especially considering that it is not permitted to be

sold at this present moment, what difficulty should you make

about the matter ? why feelthe smallest regret to part with it ?

Still further, as ye do not consume it in your own country, why

bootlessly take it back ? If you do not now deliver it up to the

government , pray what will be the use of keeping it on hand !

After having once made the delivery of it, your trade will go

on flourishing more abundantly than ever ! Tokens of our

regard will be heaped on you to overflowing. I, the high com-

missioner, as well as the governor , and lieutenant-governor, can-

not bear the idea of being unnecessarily harsh and severe, therefore,

it is that, though I thus weary my mouth, as it were, entreating and

exhorting you, yet do I not shrink from the task ! Happiness ,

and misery, glory and disgrace, are in your own hand ! Say not

that I did not give you early warning thereof ! A special procla-

mation, to be stuck up before the foreign factories ."

" Taoukwan, 19th year, 2nd month, 12th day. [ March 26th,

1839. ] "

Commissioner Lin might as well have preached to the winds,

as to the opium smugglers voluntarily to give up the drug.

At six o'clock in the morning of the day following this edict


(27th March, 1839) , Captain Elliot issued a public notice, calling

on all British subjects to surrender the whole of the opium in their

possession into his hands, to be delivered over to the Chinese go-

vernment, holding himself responsible on the behalf of Her Ma-

jesty's government. This demand was promptly answered by the

surrender of 20,283 chests of opium, or rather the orders to re-

ceive the same from the different receiving vessels outside or near

to the coast. Indeed, the efforts of Commissioner Lin had been

so stringent, and his orders so efficiently obeyed, that the traffic in

the drug had almost ceased ; along the east coast it was found im-

possible to sell a chest, or even to procure any of the usual sup-

plies of provisions from the natives . The compradors or linguists

of the different vessels, whenever they attempted to land, were seized

and sent in chains to Canton. It was, therefore, a wise policy of

the opium owners to surrender it at once to Commissioner Lin.

It is not necessary to discuss here the right of the Chinese Impe-

rial High Commissioner to shut up the Europeans in their factories,

in order to obtain possession of the opium which they had under their

control, although it was in their vessels off Lintin in the Canton

river, but assuredly as much within the legal jurisdiction of the

Empire of China, as the Nore is within the limits of the British

Empire. The commissioner waited until the opium was delivered

up to him, and so accurate was his information, that he not only

knew the number and names of the vessels containing the opium,

but also the quantity on board each vessel.

Although the commissioner had received the written promise

that 20,283 chests of opium should be delivered up, he was un-

willing to relax entirely his hold over its owners, until he had the

opium in his possession, lest the vessels should sail away with the

drug from Lintin ; on the 2nd of April, he therefore notified to

Captain Elliot that the servants should be restored after one fourth

of the whole be delivered, the passage-boats be permitted to run

after one-half be delivered, the trade opened after three fourths be

delivered, and everything to proceed as usual after the whole be

delivered . Breach of faith to be visited, after three days of loose

performance of engagements, with the cutting off of supplies of

fresh water ; after three days more, with the stoppage of food ; and

after three days more, with the last degree of severity on Captain

Elliot himself.

But for these measures Commissioner Lin would never have re-

ceived the opium . On the 3rd of April, Mr. Johnston, the deputy

superintendent of trade, accompanied by an escort of Chinese

officers, Hong merchants, &c., proceeded down the river, without

the Bogue forts, to receive the opium for H. E. Commissioner


On the 5th of April, the commissioner required the owners of

the opium to enter into a bond, that " they would not again intro-


duce any opium into the inner land ; that if such be done the vessel

and cargo containing the opium should be confiscated to the use

of government ; and that the parties offending would readily sub-

mit to suffer death at the hands of the Celestial Court ." The

merchants declared that they " hereby bound themselves for ever to

cease from opium," and that they " united together in this plain

declaration , that this their full and earnest bond is true."

It is not very creditable to several who signed this bond, to state

that it was very quickly violated . Mr. Lancelot Dent, I Í under-

stand, honourably adhered to his bond, so also the respected Ameri-

can firm of S. Wetmore and Co.

On 10th of April, Commissioner Lin, and the governor of Can-

ton, proceeded to the Bogue to witness the delivery of the opium

in person. On the 12th there were rumours that the parties out-

side the Bogue had resumed the opium traffic, whereupon Captain

Elliot addressed an earnest remonstrance to Her Majesty's sub-

jects to abstain from the traffic, for the lives of those detained at

Canton might be sacrificed . Owing to the tardiness of the receiv-

ing ships in coming to the Bogue, the whole of the opium was not

delivered up until the 4th of May, and on the following day the

trade was re-opened and affairs resumed their usual course.

The war which followed these proceedings is detailed in the pre-

ceding pages.

The account of this memorable transaction, would be incomplete

without describing the final destruction of the 20,238 chests of this

pernicious drug (valued at 6,000,000 dollars) , which the Chinese

government were unwilling to cast into the river, lest the fish should

be thereby poisoned . My estimable friend, the late Mr. King, an

American merchant at Canton, was permitted with others to be

present at the destruction of the opium . Mr. King and his amiable

wife were treated with great and marked kindness by Commis-

sioner Lin, by reason of his having always abstained from the

opium trade.

It was the express command of the Emperor that the opium

should be destroyed near Canton, where the natives and foreigners

might " both alike hear of it and see it." The place of destruc-

tion was at Chunhow (Chinkow) , near the Bogue forts, about five

miles from Chuenpe.

A large area was surrounded by a strong palisade with gates

on each side, where sentinels were stationed , and no person was

allowed to enter without a ticket . On going out of the place,

every one was examined . The number of workmen was said to be

about five hundred . The number of officers, civil and military,

could not have been less than sixty or eighty . All these officers

were employed as inspectors and overseers. A part of them were

on elevated seats, under mat sheds, to watch all the movements,

in every part of the enclosure ; and their position was such that


nothing could escape their notice . By alternation , some of these

were kept always at their posts, day and night. Another part of

the officers superintended the delivery of the opium from the chests,

which had been stored up in small enclosures within the large one.

Special care was taken to see if each chest and parcel now corre-

sponded to what it was marked down, when taken from the store-

ships .

On the west side of the enclosure, just within the palisades,

were three large vats or trenches, running from east to west, say

one hundred and fifty feet long, seventy-five feet broad, and seven

deep, flagged with stone, and lined along the sides with heavy

timbers. Each of these three had its own fence, with entrances

only on one side.

The process to which the drug was subjected, was briefly this.

In the first place a trench was filled two feet deep, more or less,

with fresh water, from the brow of the hill. The first trench was

in this state, having just been filled with fresh water. Over the

second, in which the people were at work, forms, with planks on

them, were arranged a few feet apart. The opium in baskets was

delivered into the hands of coolies, who going on the planks carried

it to every part of the trench. The balls were then taken out one

by one, and thrown down on the planks, stamped on with the heel

till broken in pieces, and then kicked into the water. At the same

time, other coolies were employed in the trenches, with hoes and

broad spatulas, busily engaged in beating and turning up the

opium from the bottom of the vat. Other coolies were employed

in bringing salt and lime, and spreading them profusely over the

whole surface of the trench. The third was about half-filled, stand-

ing like a distiller's vat, not in a state of active fermentation, but

of slow decomposition,and was nearly ready to be drawn off. This

was to be done through a narrow sluice, opened between the trench

and the creek. This sluice was two feet wide, and somewhat deeper

than the floor of the trench . It was furnished with a screen, made

fine like a sieve, so as to prevent any large masses of the drug from

finding their way into the creek. The destruction of the opium ,

which commenced on the 3rd, was completed by the 23rd . Not

less than 1000 chests per day were worked off.

Byhalf-past 11 o'clock, Mr. King had examined, and re-examined,

every part of the process of destruction . The degree of care and

fidelity, with which the whole work was conducted , was remark-

able ; no business could be more faithfully executed. The watch

was apparently much stricter, on every side, than it was during the

detention of foreigners in Canton. One poor man, at Chunhow,

for only attempting to carry off some small pieces of opium about

his person, was, on detention, almost instantly visited with the ex-

treme penalty of the law. If any was pilfered, it must have been

in very small quantities, and at the most imminent hazard of life.

H. E. Commissioner Lin, superintended this extraordinary scene.


Mr. King, after witnessing the destruction of the opium , was

honoured by Commissioner Lin with an interview. H. E. made

very particular inquiries respecting the intentions of the English

in withdrawing from the port, and also as to the best mode of con-

veying communications to the Queen of England and other Euro-

pean sovereigns, in order to secure their co-operation for the sup-

pression of the traffic in opium. Inquiries were made for maps,

geographies, and other foreign books ; and particularly for a com-

plete copy of Morrison's Dictionary. Mr. King says, that from

the whole drift of the conversation and inquiries during the

interview, it seemed very evident that the sole object of the

commissioner was to do away the traffic in opium, and to protect

and preserve that which is legitimate and honorable. Both in the

manner and matter of his conversation, he appeared well ; betray-

ing, indeed, now and then, more or less of Chinese partiality for his

own country and sovereign. Throughout, he was bland and viva-

cious, and exhibited nothing that was " barbarous or savage." He

appeared to be not more than forty-five years of age ; short, rather

stout ; with a smooth, full round face, a slender black beard, and

a keen dark eye . His voice was clear, and his tones distinct. His

countenance indicated a mind habituated to care and thoughtful-

ness. Once only he smiled . The accounts given him of British

naval power- especially of steam vessels - seemed rather unpalat-

able, and once or twice raised a frown on his brow. This remark-

able man, to whom justice has not been done by the British nation,

is now governor-general of the province of Kweichoo, and has

recently published an extraordinary work on different subjects,

scientific and political.

After taking leave of the commissioner, a large collection of pre-

sents was sent to Mr. King and others.

The commissioner had in his service four natives, all of whom

have made some progress in the English tongue. The first a young

man, educated at Penang and Malacca, and for several years em-

ployed by the Chinese government at Peking. The second an

old man, educated at Serampore . The third a young man, who

was once at the school at Cornwall, Conn. , U. S. A. The fourth a

young lad, educated in China, and able to read and translate

papers on common subjects, with much ease and correctness .

A few further explanatory remarks, on this extraordinary traffic,

which is now being carried on to a greater extent than it has ever

been, will be desirable.

The purchasers of the drug in India, are principally native mer-

chants- Parsees and Hindoos. Agents for large houses, such as

Jardine, Matheson & Co. , give these merchants an advance of

from two- thirds to three-fourths of the invoice amount, at the rate

of 210 rupees per 100 Spanish dollars ; the dollars payable in China

from the proceeds. The opium is shipped in a clipper, belonging

to the agents in China ; pays a very high rate of freight, and is,



probably, insured in an office where they are the principal partners.

The agents' profit, apart from freight and insur-

ance, supposing the drug to be sold, at 700 dol-

lars per chest , is commission, 3% . 21 dollars .

Premium on Spanish dollars exchanged for

Mexican 5 % 35

Profit on the purchase of bills on India, at the

rate of 225 rupees per 100 dollars per chest. • 50


Remitting commission 1 % . . 7 23

Per chest 113 dollars .

The agent's connection with the drug, does not cease when it is

nominally passed through his sales' book, and account sales ren-

dered the shipper. It is commonly taken over at a certain price,

and shipped to the coast of China, where, in a few weeks, it is

actually sold on his (the agents' ) account, at an advance of 100

dollars per chest, or more, payment being made in sycee, which

is sold at a premium of 2 or 3% . It will be seen from the fore-

going :-

1st . The bona fide purchasers and shippers, very rarely make a

profit, if shipped under advance.

2nd. The rich agent, with a capital to make advances, cannot

fail to clear a large sum in the transaction .

3rd. Strong temptations are afforded the agent, who, being

himself the buyer, cannot be anxious to see the market high any-

where, except on the coast of China .

4th. The fact of one house (Jardine, Matheson & Co. , ) sharing

among the partners a profit of three millions sterling in twenty

years, when we consider the nature of the trade they were engaged

in, is no longer a mystery. Much the larger portion of the sum

was amassed within the last ten years, and the profits of that house

now, far exceed those of any former period.

The profits of this iniquitous traffic are divided among a few in-

dividuals in China and India, and the mercantile interests of Eng-

land suffer materially, in purse as well as in character, by the

smuggling. When I enquired of the Toutai, (chief Chinese offi-

cer at Shanghai) , how trade could best be promoted, he imme-

diately, and with great sternness, instantly answered : " Cease

sending us millions' worth of opium, and then our people will have

more money to purchase your manufactures.”

This reply solves the case, why our exports have not increased to

China ; a few opium smugglers are draining and impoverishing

the people of China, and then our manufacturers at Manchester,

Glasgow, Leeds, Halifax, and Sheffield, wonder why they cannot

find purchasers for their wares in China !

There are a number of vessels engaged in the opium trade.

Jardine & Company have the following opium vessels stationed


at Amoy, one ; Namoa, one ; Chimmo Bay, one ; Fuhchoo,

one ; Shanghai or Woosung, one ; Macao, one ; Whampoa, one ;

and four or five always plying between Hong Kong and the coast

of China.

About five vessels are employed conveying opium between India

and China, and a large receiving ship of 700 tons, is moored all the

year round at Hong Kong. Dent & Company have nearly as many

vessels as Jardine & Company, but of a smaller class . Burn ,

Macvicar & Company, about four on the coast, and two between

India and China. Gilman & Company, three on the coast. Pyver,

two on the coast with India. A Parsee firm, Rustomjee & Com-

pany, two on the coast. An American firm, Russell & Company,

four on the coast, and three between India and China, under the

American flag.

Altogether there are about fifty vessels of various sizes, gene-

rally well-manned and armed, and fast sailers, engaged in the

opium traffic. The Mazeppa, a schooner, of only 130 tons, convey-

ed on one occasion half-a-million dollars from the north-east coast

of China to Hong Kong, the proceeds of opium sold on the coast .

The vessels conveying the drug from India to China are probably

the finest boats in the world. The Lanrick of 283 tons register,

built at Liverpool, cost £ 13,000, belonging to Jardine & Co. , is

superior in sailing on a wind to any man-of-war. I made a voyage

in her down the China Seas to Java in 1845, in the teeth of the

monsoon, when she was under the command of one of the most

skilful and daring seamen that ever sailed . Frequently we were

running eight and nine knots close hauled, and carrying royals,

when a frigate would have had reefed topsails and courses. In one

of her voyages the Lanrick carried 1,250 chests of Bengal opium ,

valued at £200,000 sterling.

The Lanrick, like the other vessels of her class, was fully armed

with long nine-pounders, musketry, &c. These vessels give a good


idea of the buccaneers,' which frequented the Spanish Main.

Their commanders are generally educated men, of gentlemanly

manners, very hospitable, of generous dispositions, well skilled in

seamanship, and of a courage and boldness unsurpassed .

It is painful to see qualities so useful, directed to such pernici-

ous purposes. A similar remark may be made with reference to

those engaged in the opium trade in China ; they have several ex-

cellent characteristics, are prompt in kindly acts, and imbued with

strong national feelings. The late Mr. Jardine was a good exam-

ple of his class : originally a naval surgeon, his quick and calcula-

ting mind led him early to perceive the great wealth that might

be made in China from opium. To this object he devoted all his

time and singular energies for about twenty years, and then re-

turned to England , with a fortune of more than a million sterling.

He lived but a short period for its enjoyment- died from a most

excruciating and lingering disease- and bequeathed his vast wealth


in an equitable manner among his nephews and nieces. While in

China many meritorious young men, who had no claims on him,

but seemed deserving of encouragement, were advanced in life by

Mr. Jardine. By the Chinese, as well as by the English at Can-

ton, he was respected for his active habits, his intelligent mind,

and hospitable disposition . Steady and ardent as a friend, equally

steady and implacable as a foe ; he devoted himself to the opium

trade, totally divested of all consideration as to its moral conse-

quences, unscrupulous of the means employed, and regardless of

the saying, which in China has almost become a proverb, that " ill

luck and misfortune sooner or later overtake all engaged in the

opium trade " But the blame ought not to be cast solely on the

individuals engaged in this dreadful traffic ; it rests chiefly on the

government of our Gracious Sovereign, and on that of the East

India Company. To dwell more on this distressing theme would

be unnecessary ; if the facts herein stated will not awaken the

minds of those who call themselves Christians in England-neither

would they hear, " although one came from the dead ." It would be

contrary to the admitted order of Divine Providence, to suppose

that such a career of iniquity as we have been pursuing in China,

can bring with it any blessing . If there be a Supreme Being-

the Creator of the Universe and of man- if He be a God ofjustice,

and have any regard for the creatures He has made, it is not pos-

sible to contend that He can view with indifference the commis-

sion of crimes, such as the previous pages incontestibly establish .

The grossest idolater admits and practically recognises the truth

of this principle . Those who have the slightest belief in the

Jewish and Christian Testaments, must, at least with their lips,

acknowledge that the Creator and Preserver of mankind, has by

example and precept established most conclusively the retributive

decree, that as a nation sows, so it must reap. Can England rea-

sonably expect peace and plenty at home, when she is scattering

poison and pestilence abroad ? Can she without hypocrisy conse-

crate churches and ordain ministers of a Christian faith, while her

rulers and governors are licensing opium-hells, and appointing

supervisors to extract the largest amount of profit from the ini-

quity therein perpetrated ?

Is Christianity a name, or is it a principle ? What an abomina-

tion it must be in the sight of a great and good Deity, to behold

national prayers offered to Him to avert dispensations of calamity,

while that very nation that is offering them is daily inflicting desti-

tution and death on more than three millions of our fellow creatures ?

Thus impiously seeking relief from its own suffering, while reck-

lessly spreading sorrow, vice, and crime among myriads of man-

kind !

The records of wickedness since the world was created , furnish

no parallel to the wholesale murders which the British nation have

been, and still are, hourly committing in China . Neither are they


committing this awful destruction of human beings in ignorance.

There never was a question on which our Parliament concurred

more unanimously than on the iniquities of the opium trade ; no

senator ventured to say that that good man Lord Ashley had ex-

aggerated in the slightest degree the magnitude of the evils which

his lordship implored, with an eloquence heightened by piety, the

legislature to correct. On the contrary, the assembled representa-

tives of the nation, men of all parties- ministers and ex-ministers

concurred with the noble lord in the enormity of the crime we

were perpetrating, deplored its continued existence, and promised

its correction.

What has been done since on the subject ? Have we simply re-

mained passive, and allowed the crimes and the murders caused

by the opium trade to go on silently, unnoticed and unapproved by

Her Majesty's government ? We cannot even allege the poor miser-

able plea of winking as a government against a crime which it is

pretended could not be checked. On the contrary, the representa-

tive of Queen Victoria has recently converted the small barren

rock which we occupy on the coast of China, into a vast " opium


smoking shop ;" he has made it the " Gehenna of the waters ,'

where iniquity, which it is a pollution to name, can not only be

perpetrated with impunity, but it is absolutely licensed in the name

of our gracious Sovereign, and protected by the titled representa-

tive of Her Majesty !

Better -far better-infinitely better- abjure the name of Chris-

tianity ; call ourselves heathens- idolaters of the " golden calf ".

worshippers of the " evil one."

Let us do this, and we have then a principle for our guide ; the

acquisition of money at any cost-at any sacrifice. Why the

"slave trade" was merciful compared to the " opium trade." We

did not destroy the bodies of the Africans, for it was our imme-

diate interest to keep them alive ; —we did not debase their natures,

corrupt their minds,-nor destroy their souls. But the opium

seller slays the body after he has corrupted, degraded, and anni-

hilated the moral being of unhappy sinners, -while every hour is

bringing new victims to a Moloch which knows no satiety- and

where the English murderer and the Chinese suicide vie with each

other in offerings at his shrine.

No blessing can be vouchsafed to England while this national

crime is daily calling to Heaven for vengeance ; -none of the

millions of mere nominal Christians who throng our churches, one

day in the week, can expect to prosper in their worldly callings,

while they are silently abetting an awful crime, which no sophistry

can palliate, no ingenuity refute.

We stand convicted before the nations of the world, as well as

before an Omniscient Deity from whom nothing can be hidden, as a

government and people actively and legally engaged in the perpe-

tration of murder and desolation, on a scale of such magnitude as to


defy calculation . Disguise it as we may, this is the naked truth,-

this is the damning fact which no water will obliterate.

We are all involved in the guilt, and participants, even by our

silence, in a sin- which if not rooted out- must ere long bring on

us that Divine vengeance which though slow, is sure, and never

invoked in vain !

Even those whose thoughts are chiefly occupied with the acqui-

sition of wealth, with adding house to house, and field to field, too

often heedless of the means used for such acquisition, and who

are alas-ready to overleap every law, human or Divine, which

may interfere with their rapid accumulation of gain,-if they

peruse the annexed report on the opium traffic laid before Her

Majesty's government, must admit that it is a painful record of

national guilt, and of human suffering.

To the bishops of the Anglican church who are placed in the

highest legislative tribunal, to watch over the morals of the nation,

this report is specially commended .

It is primarily their sacred duty to bring the whole subject

under the immediate and serious deliberation of the exalted as-

sembly in which they sit ; if this duty be neglected, then they

become as much participants in the crime as if they themselves

were engaged smuggling opium on the coast of China.

Next, to the clergy of all denominations in the United King-

dom this report is presented ; if they also continue passive, when

ignorance can no longer be pleaded as a justification for their

silence, their hebdomadal prayers to a just Being, whose laws we

are daily outraging, become a mockery. To the laity- Protestant,

Presbyterian, Romanist or Sectarian, -these pages are also sub-

mitted. We have abolished slavery, mitigated our sanguinary

code, purified our prisons, and ministered relief to suffering

humanity everywhere. If our collective opinion be pronounced

on the crime developed in these pages, no government nor indivi-

dual can longer continue in its perpetration.

Finally this report is dedicated, (by gracious permission) to

the Sovereign of the British nation, with an earnest prayer that

the Almighty- by whose authority-" kings reign and princes

decree justice,"-may influence the councils of Her Majesty to

do that which is right in the sight of Him who declareth, that

"they who set their heart on their iniquity will have the reward of

their doings ."





By the treaty of Nankin it was stipulated and agreed that

"British subjects, with their families and establishments shall be

allowed to reside, for the purpose of carrying on their mercantile

pursuits, without molestation or restraint, at the cities and towns

of Canton, Amoy, Fuh-choo, Ningpo, and Shanghai ; and Her

Majesty, the Queen of Great Britain, will appoint superintendents

or consular officers, to reside at each of the above-named cities

and towns," &c.

By this clause of the treaty, the British consuls are not merely

to be the medium of communication between the Chinese authori-

ties and the said merchants ; but they are "to see that the just

duties and other dues of the Chinese government, as hereafter pro-

vided, are duly discharged by Her Britannic Majesty's subjects."

The five ports opened , extend over a line of coast of about 800

miles in length, from Hong Kong, near the Canton River, to

Shanghai, near the Yang-tze River, in about the following direc-

tions : -The course from Hong Kong to Amoy, is about north-

east by east, rounding the coast ; distance about 270 miles ;

from Amoy to Foo-choo, north-east by north, distance about 150

miles ; from Foo - choo to Ningpo, north by east, distance about

300 miles ; from Ningpo to Shanghai, north by west, across Hang-

choo bay, distance about 100 miles, or half a-day's run by a

steamer ; whole distance from the two extreme ports, about 820

miles, five days steaming, or about four days direct from Hong

Kong to Shanghai."

The edicts and ordinances under which commerce is conducted

and regulated, will be found in the Appendix .


Canton city is situated in the province of Kwantung, which is

bounded on the north-east by that of Fookien, on the north by

Kiangsi, on the west by Kwangse, and Tungking ; the rest is

bounded by the sea. The province is divided into ten districts, con-

taining ten cities of the first class, and eighty-four of the second class,

exclusive of forts and military stations. The physical aspect is



mountainous, but there is a good deal of low land, cropped with

rice. It furnishes gold, precious stones, pewter, quicksilver, cop-

per, iron, silk, pearls, saltpetre, many valuable kinds of wood, and

various kinds of fruit and useful vegetables . The sea-coast which

has several excellent harbours, abounds in fish. The population

is stated to be 19,000,000 . Canton is styled by native geogra-

phers " Kwangtung- Sang-ching," or the capital of the province .

It is in 23° 7′ 10″ north latitude, 113° 14′ 30″ longitude, east of

Greenwich, and about 3° 30′ west of Peking.

The city is built on the north bank of the Choo-keang or Pearl

River ; distant sixty miles from the Bogue, or Bocca Tigris, which

is considered the mouth of the river, and entrance tothe innerwaters.

The country immediately contiguous to the city is flat, and richly

cultivated, and becomes hilly and mountainous to the north and

north-east . To the southward, the surface of the country is covered

with rivers, canals, and broad ditches, in which innumerable boats

carry on active intercourse and traffic. The city of Canton (pro-

perly so called) , is surrounded by a wall, built nearly in the form

of a square, and divided into two unequal parts, by another wall

running from east to west, as shewn in the accompanying plan .

On the south side the wall runs nearly due east and west, parallel

to the river, but curves on the north, where the city rests on the

brow of the hill, about 250 feet above the river.

The walls are composed of sand-stone, and brick ; the former is

placed in the foundations, and in the arches of the gates. The

walls are thirty to forty feet thick, and in height twenty or

twenty-five feet, except on the north side, where they are higher

and more substantial ; there is no fossen or ditch, and no bastions.

A line of battlements, with embrasures at intervals of a few feet,

are raised on the top of the wall, all around the city ; the Chinese

call these " ching-jin," which is translated city-men ; the gates

are sixteen in number, four of these lead through the wall which

separates the old from the new city ; there are twelve outer

gates a few soldiers are placed on the gates day and night; the

night-watches are strictly kept, and a gratuity must be given to

pass them after a certain hour. There are several canals, the

largest extends along the east side of the city ; there is another on

the west side ; these are connected by a third, which runs contiguous

to the wall which separates the new from the old city, so that,

boats with goods and passengers, have free ingress and egress from

the east and west ends of the suburbs. There are several other

canals in the eastern and western suburbs ; and one in the

southern . The Chinese call them "the veins of the city," which,

together with the river, supply the inhabitants with water ; but rain

water is also used, and preferred . Natural springs abound within

and without the city. There are several bridges built of stone

over the canals, some formed with high arches- others, as is ge-


nerally the case in China, made with large slabs laid horizontally

on stone buttresses .

The streets of Canton are more than 600 in number : among

which are, the Dragon-street ; the Golden - street ; and the Golden

Flower-street ; and many other descriptive terms . The streets

are generally short, slightly curved, and varying in width from six to

sixteen feet, but are, generally speaking, from six to eight feet

wide, and all flagged with granite. During the hours of business,

the streets are crowded with half-naked porters carrying heavy

loads of merchandise, suspended from either end of a pole, borne

on the shoulders ; by pedlars and itinerant barbers, carpenters,

&c., by sedans of every description, and by numerous wild-looking

beggars and strolling idlers . The shops are in many instances

equal to those in some European cities - considering the difference

of climate They are commodious, well stocked with goods, and

are associated together, very much according to their respective

trades. Neat and gaudily-painted signs and names are placed on

long boards, affixed longitudinally to the door-way, and by their

bright colours, they give a gay appearance to the narrow streets .

Few of the houses or temples at Canton have more than one

story, the walls of which are the whole height of the fabric, without

any concealment of the beams or rafters of the roof. Terraces are

often built above the roofs, which afford in the cool of the evening

a pleasant retreat, and good prospect.

Europeans that have seen the city, were struck with the differ-

ence that existed in the various buildings, - although this diversity,

as in Europe, does by no means exhibit the relative condition and

circumstances of the people. There are very few of what may be

called wealthy inhabitants, and they make no exhibition of it in

the external appearance of their dwellings.

Judging from the aspect of the greater part of the dwellings,

there must be a large number of very poor people in the city,

as they exhibit abundant evidence of the absence of the common

comforts of life.

In the style of their houses, as in many of their customs,

(already noticed) there is a striking coincidence with those met

with in the Sacred Scriptures .

Professor Jahn, in his Biblical Archæology, speaking of the

Jewish habitations, says : "the gates not only of the houses, but

of cities, were customarily adorned with an inscription, which

was to be extracted from the law of Moses ; a practice in which

may be found the origin of the modern Mezuzaw, or piece of

parchment inscribed with sacred texts, and fastened to the door

posts. The gates were always shut, and one of the servants acted

the part of a porter. The space inside the gate is called the porch,

is square, and on one side of it is erected a seat, for the accom-

modation of those strangers, who are not to be admitted into the

interior of the house.

T 2


" From the porch we are introduced through a second door, into

a court, which is commonly paved with marble, and surrounded

on all sides ; sometimes, however, only on one, with a peristyle or

covered walk, over which, if the house have more than one story,

there is a gallery of the same dimensions, supported by columns,

and protected by a balustrade. In this court large companies are

received, at nuptials , & c .

" On such occasions, a large veil of thick cloth, is extended by

ropes, over the whole court, to exclude the heat of the sun. The

back part of the house is allotted to the women, and is called in

Arabic, the harem, and in Hebrew, by way of eminence, the

palace. In the smaller houses, the females occupy the upper

story. This is the place assigned them also by Homer in the

Iliad and Odyssey ."

This is the best description that could be given of the buildings

of the Chinese, as regards all I have seen, and fully agrees with

Sir William Chambers in his elaborate description of Chinese


The nearest approximation to the total number of inhabitants

in the city of Canton, including Nanhae and a part of Pwangu, is

by the following estimate, viz .: 50,000 people engaged in the

manufacture of cloth ; 7,300 barbers ; 41,300 shoemakers : these

three callings employ 61,500 individuals, and are not more than

one-fourth of the artificers of the city ; allowing this as fact,

the number is probably 246,000 ; there are also 84,000 boats, and

allowing three to each boat, this will make a total 252,000 ; add

four times the number of mechanics, and there will be a total

estimate of 1,236,000 as the population of Canton . The people

were formerly classified as scholars, husbandmen, mechanics, and

merchants, which still exists to a certain extent. But there are

also two classes styled elders and gentry. The first includes all the

old men, sixty years of age and upwards. The " gentry" are the

managers of all local affairs which are not in the hands of the

government officers. The proportion of males and females is un-

known ; the opinion is prevalent that ninety-five of the men are

married of every hundred . Polygamy is more or less practised.

The population of Canton have the reputation of being the most

licentious and troublesome people in the empire. Whenever an

opportunity occurs, they eagerly evince their dislike and hatred to

foreigners ; their local government have encouraged this feeling

for many years by opprobrious edicts against foreigners - on whom

all sorts of contumelious epithets have been heaped . Canton is

also said to be the favourite retreat of all the most turbulent and

worst portion of the Chinese. It is said there is an organized

band of 20,000 robbers in and around Canton.

The character of the Cantonese is thus given in an official pro-

clamation :-" Chow, by imperial command criminal judge of Can-

ton, hereby prohibits the putting away of wives for slight causes,


husbands conniving at the wife's adultery, or selling her to

another man . The relation of husband and wife is the first of the

five social bonds. Husband and wife should respect each other,

and live in harmony .

" For vile practices of this, and every kind, there is no place so

bad as Canton. Some sell their wives to sing and play, and submit

to the embraces of others . Some invite profligate men to their

own houses, and give up their wives to prostitution . Such prac-

tices inflict a deadly wound on the public morals, and, therefore,

Chow issues this order to prevent them. Even in deep poverty,

still submit tranquilly to Heaven's decree. If ye, adulterers and

adultresses, persist in and reform not, it is resolved to prosecute

you to the utmost rigour of the law. Under the luminous heaven

and renovating sun of his majesty's reign, it is impossible to

endure you, ye wounders and destroyers of the public morals.

Let each tremblingly obey this mandate.

" January, 1828."

Dr. Bridgeman, a profound Chinese scholar, who has long re-

sided at Canton, and whose writings breathe true Christian charity,

says : " Intelligent natives admit that more luxury, dissipation ,

and crime exist here than in any other part of the empire ; at the

same time, they maintain that more enterprise, more enlarged

views, and more general information prevail among the higher

classes of the inhabitants of Canton, than are found in most of

the other large cities ; these bad qualities are the result of a thrifty

commerce acting on those who are not guided by high moral prin-

ciples ; the good, which exists in a very limited degree, results from

an intercourse with distant barbarians .' The contempt and

hatred which the Chinese authorities have often exhibited towards

foreigners, and the indifference and disdain with which the nation

generally has looked down upon everything not their own, aught

to be strongly reprobated ; on the other hand, the feeling which

foreigners have often cherished, and the disposition and conduct

which they have too frequently manifested towards this people ,

are such as should never have existed ; still, notwithstanding all

these disadvantages, we think that the intercourse between the

inhabitants of the western world and the Chinese, has been benefi-

cial to the latter. Hitherto this intercourse has been purely com-

mercial ; and science, literature, and all friendly and social offices,

have been disregarded."

Of the whole population of Canton, it is said, that not more

than one-half are able to read. Probably not one boy out of ten

is left entirely destitute of education ; and yet of the other sex

not one in ten is ever instructed. There is scarcely a school for

girls in the city.

Public opinion and immemorial usage is against the education

of the females. If an argument were required against the philoso-


phy of their sages, there is an unanswerable one, in the degrada-

tion of the fairest half of the human species.

The majority of the schools in Canton are only designed to pre-

pare youth for the ordinary duties of private life. These schools,

as well as those of a higher class, are all private establishments .

The government provides teachers and inspectors for every dis-

trict in the empire, yet there are no public or charity schools to

educate the great mass of the people. To provide for this culpable

defect in the government, several families unite, and hire a teacher

to instruct their children . The payment awarded to the teachers

varies according to the class of scholars, as in Europe, but the

payment is guaranteed for one year certain, whether the child

attends or not. These payments range from two to twenty dollars

per annum.

Every school- room is supplied with a tablet, on which is written

in conspicuous figures the name of Confucius, the patron of learn-

ing ; a small altar is placed before it, upon which incense and

candles are kept continually burning . The moment the scholar

enters the room he bows, first before the tablet, and then to his

teacher ; the former is not merely a tribute of respect, but an act

of worship .

The school hours are from six to six, with the exception of meal

times, The scholars all study aloud, and the only emulation

amongst them is which will raise his voice the loudest.

Chastisement on the idle and disobedient is applied with un-

usual severity, by the application of the rattan. The dunce is

compelled to go upon his knees ; whilst the most incorrigible are

made to kneel on gravel. The three-character classic is the first

book taught. Though written expressly for infant minds, it is

scarcely better suited for them than the propositions of Euclid

would be were they thrown into rhyme. But, "it is not to be

understood " at first ; and the tyro, when he can rehearse it cor-

rectly, takes up the Four Books, and masters them after the same

manner. This, and having to write a few characters, finishes the

education of all those who are not destined for the literary class.

The high schools and colleges are numerous ; but none of them

are richly endowed, or well suited for the purposes of education .

There are thirty colleges ; most of which were founded many cen-

turies ago. Several of them are now deserted and falling to ruins.

Three of the largest have each about two hundred scholars, and

like all the others only one or two professors. Information has

been sought for in vain, as to the discipline and government of

these establishments, and the probability is, that they have none,

or, if they had, have become obsolete, with the general declension

of the nation for the past two centuries.

Canton is the oldest city in the south of China, and since the

foundation has undergone many changes. More than 4,000 years,

according to the Chinese classics, Yaou commanded one of his


ministers to govern Nankeaou, called Mingtoo, the splendid capi-

tal and the surrounding country. Nankeaou then included the

site of the present city of Canton, and belonged to the southern

regions of Yang, which formed one of the twelve states into which

the whole world (China) was divided . These southern regions

seem to have been large, as they were afterwards known by dif-

ferent names, and are still known, in official documents of the

present day, to designate the province of Canton . During the

Shang dynasty, 1123 B.C., the inhabitants of these regions first

paid tribute to the Emperor of China .

On the accession of the next dynasty (Chow) the empire was

greatly extended ; and great attention was paid to agriculture,

and when the 66 son of heaven received tribute from the four

quarters of the earth," some of the tribes of Keaouchow (which

included Canton) brought crabs and frogs, and others snakes and

crickets. The historians say they are able to trace their city to

the time of Nanwang, who reigned 2,000 years ago, it was then

called Nan-Wooching "the martial city of the south," and was sur-

rounded by a stockade made of bamboo and mud . One of its

earliest names and which is still used in its books was Yang-

Ching, "the city of rams," from the legend that five genii

clothed in garments of five different colours, and riding on rams

of different colours, met at the capital ; each of the rams bearing

in his mouth a stalk of corn having six ears, which were pre-

sented to the people by the genii, who thus spoke : " May famine

and dearth never visit your markets ;" the genii then disappeared,

and the rams were changed into stones . Canton is also called the

" city of genii," and the " city of grain " one of the temples is

named the temple of the five genii, and in it the five stone rams

are to be seen to this day. There are many similar legends con-

nected with the history of the city. During the reign of Tsin-

Chehwangte, about two centuries before the Christian era , it is

stated that the people of the south rose in rebellion against the

Emperor, who sent 500,000 soldiers against them. After three

years' contest, provisions failing, the people overcame the invaders.

and the slaughter is represented as awful. These tribes sub-

mitted to the Han dynasty, two centuries before the Christian


A.D. 210. The territory which now includes Canton was

named by the Emperor Keéngan - Kwanchoo , during the reign of

Teenkein or Woote . A.D. 543 , the people of Canton sent a piece

of fine cloth as tribute to the Emperor ; who was so displeased

with this approach to finery, that he forbid any more to be made

thereof. Canton from an early period had intercourse with India .

A.D. 620- during the Tang dynasty, foreign commerce was es-

tablished at Canton , and an imperial officer appointed to receive

the duties . A.D. 705 - a pass was cut through the Meiling ridge

of mountains to connect Canton with the northern parts of the


empire. In A.D. 795 - in consequence it is supposed of extortions,

foreign merchants removed to Cochin China, the people of which

place subsequently made war against Canton, and reduced the

city to great straits . The Tang dynasty ceased A.D. 906 ; in the

succeeding fifty years five families reigned and fell . The people

of Canton are represented as liberal in their tributes, consisting

of gold, silver, and various commodities, to the amount of five

million taels of silver. Native historians are not likely to paint

their own history in the worst light, but it is painful to read their

own description of the cruelty and oppression practised ; " crimi-

nals were boiled, and roasted , flayed and thrown on spikes, or

forced to fight with tigers and elephants." The Sung dynasty

commencing A.D. 960, gave much attention to the city of Canton,

whose inhabitants lived in a barbarous state ; witches and sorcery

were prohibited, and all the superstitious temples were de-

molished by order of the Emperor, who prohibited the people

" to kill men to sacrifice to demons." Dispensaries were estab-

lished ; all ornaments of dress, gold and pearls were strictly pro-

hibited. A.D. 1067 - Canton was enclosed by a wall about two

English miles in circumference at an expense of 50,000 taels.

This defence was intended as a protection against the Cochin

Chinese, who frequently plundered Canton. During the Mongol

dynasty A.D. 1279, Canton became the scene of frightful slaughter,

which put an end for a time to commerce ; towns and villages it is

stated were literally ruined by those who became masters of the

throne ; and such was the destruction of life that the " blood

flowed in sounding torrents ." Commerce was subsequently re-

stored, and in the year 1300 a great number of ships came to

Canton. Subsequently Chekeang and Fookein were opened to

foreign ships. Fernao Peres de Andriade is said to the first com-

mercial European adventurer that reached Canton , about 1518,

when peace and contentment were then universal under the Ming

or native dynasty. English, Spanish, and Dutch traders next

visited China, and the ports of Canton ; Amoy, Macao, Chusan,

and Ningpo are represented as having been then large commer-

cial markets. On the accession of the present Tartar family to

the throne, divisions and dissensions interrupted the trade and

prosperity of Canton ; Yung-lueh, endeavoured to restore the

Ming dynasty ; troops were dispatched from Peking, and Canton

was the last city to surrender. Relying on its own resources, the

inhabitants resisted the Tartars eleven months, and repulsed them

frequently with great slaughter, and not until the walls were

battered down with cannon could the inhabitants be prevailed on

to surrender. Treachery is said to have caused their defeat on the

24th November, from which date according to the Jesuit, Martin

Martini, to the 5th December, indiscriminate butchery of men,

women and children was commanded, with the exception of a few

artificers, whom the Tartars judged necessary to preserve the arts.


On the 6th December the slaughter ceased, after the destruction in

various ways of 100,000 people. According to native manuscripts

the number slain was not under 700,000, and " every house was

left desolate." The Tartars took up their residence in the old

city, where their descendants still live, and where it is said one

old house still remains standing. To this day it is not an uncom-

mon thing to discover treasures sunk in the earth near old

temples and houses, hidden by the inhabitants during the siege.

Canton has now risen to its present extent, and state of com-

mercial prosperity ; but the natives are not free from pirates and

from bands of robbers, who are a continual source of trouble .

To its foreign trade Canton owes its present affluence.

Until the recent allotment of some additional building ground,

the European factories facing the river had a frontage of about eight

hundred feet . Each factory (of which there are thirteen) extends

backwards about 130 yards into a long narrow lane, on each side

of which, as over arches that cross it, are the confined abodes of

the English, Americans, and others. To the east of the fac-

tories is a narrow inlet from the river, a fetid ditch, which serves to

surround a portion of the city wall, as well as to drain that part

of the city. This is crossed with a single arch, by a narrow

street at the rear of the factories, that leads to the warehouses of

the several Hong merchants, all of them communicating with the

river stairs, from which the merchandise is shipped.

The space occupied by the foreign factories, is crossed by China

Street, and Hog Lane. The former contains the shops of small

dealers, and the latter is not easy to describe by any standard of

comparison, as nothing so narrow or so filthy exists in any

European town. The hovels by which it is lined are occupied by

abandoned Chinese, who decoy sailors, drug them, and then rob

and ill use them .

This pandemonium has been the chief cause of disagreement

between the English and Chinese government, and it is to be

hoped, that the degrading and comfortless position of our mer-

chants will be altered, and that we shall be permitted freedom of

access to, and residence in the city, to which we are entitled by

the treaty of Nankin .

LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF CANTON . -Canton, like every other

part of the wide dominions of this vast empire, receives her

rulers from the alleged " son of heaven," the sovereign of men,

who says that statesmen and nobles are his children ; and the

people are the children of the nobles and rulers, and should

never neglect to look up to and obey them as such. These

principles are strictly enjoined in writing as guides for the con-

duct of the government. To carry out these views, a palace is

dedicated to the Emperor in the capital of every province of

the empire, and is distinguished by being painted the imperial


colour, yellow ; it is called Wanshaw-keeng, and annually, three

days before and after his birthday, the officers of government,

civil and military, must attend with the respectable inhabit-

ants, and there offer devotion and adoration as if the Emperor

were present. No seats are allowed in that sacred place, - so that

every votary brings with him a cushion, to sit on the ground.

The governor and general director of Kwantung and Kwangse

provinces (- - ) is entrusted with the power of life and death,

but he usually acts with other high functionaries deputed from

Peking (for instance with the Fooyuen) on important occasions. The

supervision of all affairs of the two provinces rest with him, he can-

not originate any new law without the consent of the Emperor,

and must act according to statutes and precedents . He proposes

all new regulations, but they must have the sanction of the

Emperor before they become law. The governor- general is ex-

officio president of the board of war at Peking, and frequently has

a seat in the cabinet. His orders have the force of law, and he

is held accountable to his Majesty, for the peace and prosperity of

the two provinces, (Kwantung and Kwangse) . Every calamity

that befals the provinces he must report minutely on pain of

dismissal and degradation.

A most disastrous fire occurred in the western suburbs of Can-

ton in the month of October 1843 , by which, about one thousand

Chinese buildings, and three of the foreign hongs, were destroyed.

The fire was said to be accidental, and spread with frightful rapidity.

The Chinese police did their utmost to protect property, but the

chief protection to the property of foreigners was afforded by the

marines of Her Majesty's ship, " Dido," commanded by the

Honorable Captain Keppel, and the seamen from the merchant

ships. When a fire occurs in Canton , exertions are chiefly

directed to saving property, and not to extinguishing the fire. The

plunderers are so daring at fires here, that both British and Chi-

nese are compelled to fire on the miscreants. On this occasion

it is said more than one life was sacrificed before the robbers would


The 25th December 1844, a large theatre which had been

erected near the hall for public examinations in Canton, was

consumed by fire ; and 2,300 persons, men, women, and children,

perished in the flames. About thirty buildings , were also des-

troyed. The Arabian travellers who visited China in A.D. 850

speak of fires being frequent in Canton . The most disastrous

was in 1822, when all the foreign factories were consumed ; but

ever since, fire engines and a constant watch, prevent them being

very destructive.

The late governor Le, for a most unforeseen affair, was degraded

and sent in chains into banishment . In case of fires, it is the

law that when more than ten houses are consumed, the governor


is deprived of nine months' salary ; if more than thirty are des-

troyed, one year's allowance is mulcted, and if three hundred are

burnt he loses one degree or grade of his rank. Suburban fires

involve no penalty. The penalties may be remitted by the Em-

peror. All complaints are made by petition personally to the

governor on the 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th, 23rd, and 28th days of each

month, and if redress is not granted, appeal may be made to

Peking. The governor's house is situated in the new city ; and

is in every way suitable to his rank. His salary is 15,000 taels

annually, but by the most moderate calculations, his emoluments

are estimated annually at ten times more than his salary. Cor-

ruption is prohibited by edicts . and maxims, without however

producing the desired result. The second official in rank is styled

(Fooyuen) and he is usually addressed by foreigners as the lieu-

tenant-governor ; his jurisdiction is confined to this province.

Though nominally second in command, in many affairs he acts inde-

pendent of the governor, his titles are honorary vice-president of

the board of war, member of the court of universal examiners or

censorate, universal controller of the province of Kwantung, a

director of military affairs and of the taxes. He holds the Em-

peror's order, or " death warrant" for the immediate execution

of criminals. The third officer in authority is called Tseang- keun ;

or more properly the Tartar general. He has command of the

Tartar troops and is charged with the defence of the city. He is

a member of the provincial council, and acts independent in many

instances of the two preceding functionaries. Subordinate to him

are two foo-tootings or generals, and various inferior officers, who

all reside in the old city with their general and the Tartar troops.

The fourth officer is styled the superintendent of maritime cus-

toms, and is addressed as the " grand hoppo of the port of

Canton ; " like the others he receives his appointment from the

Emperor, and is solely connected with the maritime commerce ;

he is a commissioner of customs, and is usually an officer of the

imperial househeld . The fifth in rank is the Heyaun, or literary

chancellor of Canton, and his influence and duties are extremely

onerous, as he is judge of the qualifications of all the students of

the province, and of all ranks seeking preferment. He has also

charge of all schools, colleges, and examinations . The sixth is

named Poochingsze, or treasurer, who is under the Fooyuen, the

controller of the civil government and financier of the province ;

he has the appointment of all the subordinate officers of the local

government. The seventh or Gancha-sze is the criminal judge ;

he generally sits alone, unless where life is involved, when he is

assisted by some of the higher officers of the province, the Szego,

or keeper of the provincial prisons, is under his control. Eighth

the Yenyun-sze who superintends the salt department, the duties

of which form a most important item in the imperial revenue, the

salt trade being a government monopoly, and as there are only a


few persons licensed to trade in it, large fortunes are acquired.

Ninth the Tuhleang- taon, who has charge of the public granaries,

and who is also responsible, in times of scarcity, to supply the

public with food. There are fourteen granaries belonging to the

city of Canton, at all times full.

Tenth, the Kwang chow foo, or prefect of the department ;

his duty is to be well acquainted with every portion of the ter-

ritory, over which he is placed, and subordinate to him is a szeyo

or superintendent of all the prisons in his department. It is

difficult to determine the exact limits of these numerous function-

aries . All the officers are general officers, and their authority

extends all over the province, as well as over the city ; there are

two commanders-in-chief of the land and naval forces, who act alone

in many cases, and sometimes in concert with the other general


The government is despotic, and is so constructed that those

who form the provincial government shall, while they enjoy a

degree of independence, serve as mutual checks ; and each superior

officer is held responsible for those who are subordinate and

accountable to himself. The distribution of these officers shows

a desire to preserve a balance of power. In the disposition of the

troops the same principle is observable. The land and naval force

of the province is estimated nominally at 100,000, all of which is

under the control of the governor ; he has however only the im-

mediate command of 5000 soldiers, and these are stationed at a

distance from the city on most occasions he is escorted by a

detachment from the Kwangchoo (chief military officer) which

in the absence of his own troops, serves him for a body-guard,

and constitutes at the same time a part of the police of the city.

The Fooyuen has only 2,000 men at his command, while the

Tseang-keun has 5,000 which would enable him to master the city.

The proper seat of the governor is several miles from the

city, westward ; he is allowed to reside at Canton, but cannot

have his troops there, lest in conjunction with the Fooyuen, they

might be an over-match for the Tartar general commandant and

his 5,000 men. This jealousy of power is further manifested by

the order that no individual can hold an office in any province, or

district of the empire, that includes the place of his nativity, or

within several hundred miles of it. The number of soldiers that

are generally quartered in the city is about 7,000 men. In the

vicinity of Canton there are two forts on the heights, north of the

city, which completely command it, and were taken by our troops

during the war in 1841. Generally speaking, the soldiers are badly

equipped and worse disciplined ; their arms consist of bows and

arrows, short swords and matchlocks, all ill suited for attack or

defence. Desertion is punished by beating, and banishment, and

extends to the relations of the deserter. The police of the city is

considered inefficient, and the inhabitants make arrangements with


each other for their mutual protection . Each street is enclosed by

gates at night with a guard-house at the entrance of each. Watch-

houses are erected in winter, in the form of towers, and being

higher than the houses, give the watchman an advantage in early

discovering a fire ; these are called double watch-houses, and have

bells to give alarm .

Not one half the thieves are ever discovered, and it frequently

happens that justice is administered in one hour, the culprit pu-

nished, and at liberty the next hour, to commit fresh crime. There

are no forms of trials, the criminal kneels before the judge, who

hears the witnesses, and very little evidence is necessary to insure

conviction. Sentence of death is passed, or he is remanded to

jail, according to the nature of the crime. Very few that are

caught, escape punishment ; hundreds are annually executed

without the southern gates. When brought to the fatal spot, they

kneel with their faces towards the Emperor's court, and bending for-

ward in an attitude of submission and thanksgiving, they perish

beneath the axe or rope of the executioner.

The "9jail is commonly called Te-yo- hell-or literally " earth's

prison . In the city of Canton there are six jails ; five of them

occupy more than five mow, (6 mow, or Chinese acres, are equal

to one English acre) , and are capable of holding upwards of 500

prisoners ; the sixth jail occupies an area of more than seven mow,

and will contain more than one thousand prisoners. The inner

wall of each jail is twenty-one Chinese feet high, which is sur-

rounded by a second wall the same height, leaving between the

two a space of seven feet ; in this space a nightly watch is kept,

beyond the outer wall a guard is kept night and day. The inter-

nal arrangements are all equally precautionary, the prisoners are

kept in irons, with rings upon their wrists, and secured by an iron

rod, a chain round their necks, and fastened to the handcuffs.

During the day, one hand is released, to allow the prisoner to pre-

pare his food. Formerly the stocks were in general use, but now

only in some of the neighbouring districts ; the number of deaths

under this system are very numerous. The jail of the commis-

sioner of justice, is still more severe, and is regulated according to

their strength, and ability to bear the additional weight of chains,

also with reference to the class of crime for which the culprits are

imprisoned ; according to law, each prisoner should daily receive

one catty and a half of rice, and twelve cash, to purchase fuel and

other necessaries. The jailors seldom give them more than three

fourths of their allowance, and not more than two or three cash.

In warm weather a supply of tea is provided, and in winter a cup

of congee (boiled rice) made into jelly.

Clothing of a warm description is provided in winter, also a

blanket . Trousers and a jacket are sometimes given, and in sum-

mer a fan. The law makes no provision for these extra things,


and hence they are considered as favours bestowed on them, by the

officers of the prison . Usage has made it common to confer

favours, on occasion of the birth of a son, in the imperial family ;

on those occasions flesh, fish, and wine, are distributed liberally.

Extortion and cruelty are practised on the prisoners to a frightful

extent, with impunity ; each fresh prisoner must give money to the

headman, and the cruelties practised to extort it are very dreadful.

There is published in Canton, annually, a catalogue of all the

government officers, attached to the city and province, not unlike

our court guide. It forms a volume of about one hundred leaves,

and contains the names and official history of every officer. Each

leaf is divided by red lines, into eighteen columns, separated into

an upper and lower part. In the upper part are given the gene-

alogies of the officers, from their great grandfathers to their great

grandsons, and the names of their wives are also included , with

the names of such male relatives of their wives, as have been or

are persons of distinction. In the lower part of the page are given

the officers' own names, the time of their birth, the year in which

they became Siutsai, which answers to our B.A. , and Kin-jin , to

our M.A. There are 158 names in this book, as officers, the re-

mainder are ancestors and offspring.

There was published at Canton a narrative of the birth, parent-

age, and literary qualifications acquired by the celebrated Commis-

sioner Lin, whose remarkable proceedings for the suppression of

the opium trade are detailed in Chapter IV., which prove him to

be a man of no ordinary ability.

The religious institutions of Canton, as a matter of course,

are numerous, where three separate degrading systems of

idolatry are practised . The one I visited, presented a dark and

melancholy picture for contemplation . In beholding " the three

precious Budhas," in the temple of Honan, I was forcibly struck

with the idea that, as the devotees believe them to represent the

past, the present, and future Budha, they may have originated

this type of the Blessed Trinity, in the primitive ages, in a sincere

belief and true faith .

From a translation by Dr. Bridgman, of the history of these

temples, (124 in number) , the most ancient is the middle of the

third century of our era, which strongly favours the belief, that

Christianity was not only taught, but practised in China, from an

early period.

The number of priests and nuns in these temples of vice, is said

to be about 3,000, of which the latter are reckoned at one third

that number. The estimated expense is computed at 500,000 dol-

lars or £ 108,333 .

The charitable institutions of Canton, as compared with temples,

in number or support, exhibit a sad contrast .

The foundling hospital, founded in A.D. 1698, is situated outside


the city, has accommodation for two or three hundred children,

and is maintained at an annual expense of 2,500 taels . The

retreat for the aged, infirm, and blind, is allowed 5,100 taels .

The above sums are raised from a tax levied on all rice ships ,

which enter the port of Canton , viz . , 620 taels on each . It is

stated that 17,360 taels have been collected in one year, but what

became of the balance , 9,738 taels, is not known . The hospital

for lepers , contains upwards of 300 patients, who are supported at

an expense of 300 taels per annum . The condition of the above

mis-called hospitals, is represented as wretched in the extreme ;

the first is supplied with children that have been exposed by their

parents, and when grown up (see page 48, vol . i . ) are sold, and

not unfrequently for the worst purposes .

The manufactories at Canton are numerous, but much of the

goods required are made at Fuh-shan, a large town a few miles

west of Canton. There is no machinery, but the quantity ofgoods

sent to market is very considerable. There are at least 17,000,

men, women, and children, engaged in weaving silk ; the loom is

very simple, and the work neatly executed. The number engaged

in weaving cloth is over 50,000 ; they occupy 2,500 shops, averag-

ing twenty in each shop ; the females earn at embroidery, about

twenty dollars a month ; shoemakers are a numerous class, about

4,250. Those who work in stone, brass, and iron, are numerous,

and each trade or calling are united into guilds for mutual

protection and support, and have rules and laws for regulating

their business. The printing and book trade is very consider-

able ; but accurate returns are unavailable to shew its extent.

The barbers of Canton are numerous ; strict regulations for their

protection are enforced, and each must have a license from the

headman of his own craft. The barbers in number are returned

at 7,300 at the present time. There are about 2,000 medical

practitioners ; the Chinese apothecaries hold themselves a distinct

class from the physicians. Surgery is really unknown . The dis-

tinguishing mark of medical men, and of the literati, are the length

of their nails, which show they do no manual labour.

One of their prescriptions will illustrate their erroneous views,

and prove how much they stand in need of enlightment on this

subject .

"The jinseng and foo liquid. To regulate the breath and blood

of the Yin and Yang,' let a dose of the jinseng and foo (a medi-

cinal herb) be taken, prepared with boiling water."

The commentary on this is as follows. The former part of the

body when produced is called the prior heaven ; the latter the

subsequent heaven . The constitution of the first depends upon

the kidneys, which are the gift of the father and mother ; the

constitution of the second depends upon the stomach, which

is renovated by water and grain . The prior heaven' is

the substance of the primary substance in nature preeminent for


repose, and therefore the child enwrapped within the womb depends

upon its mother's quietness for nourishment, and then in its

living breath, the divine concealment and secret springs of life will

be tranquil . The ' subsequent heaven's' breath is the use of the

primary principles in nature, which is carried out in motion ;

therefore after the nourishment of figure, water and grain are

administered to it ; and in the production of the body, the divine

impulse is set in motion and begins to circulate ; heaven and man

unite their virtues. The two substrata, that is motion and rest,

are in mutual operation, whence the latter heaven's breath,"

having obtained the former heaven's breath,' there is life, and

when there is life there is no repose ; but if the former heaven's

breath obtains the latter, renovation commences ; where there is

renovation, there is no exhaustion. If in motion or at rest, the

kidneys are injured by want of care, the former heaven's breath'

will be empty ; if eating and drinking be immoderate, the stomach

will be injured, and the latter heaven's breath be empty. Now to

supply this latter deficiency, there is nothing equal to the draught

made from the two ingredients, jinseng and foo."

If the viscera be much weakened, these medicines are

teemed of the first importance for quickly restoring the system to

its wonted strength . These and some astrological opinions on the


influence of the elements, like the Ethers and Elements' of

Heraclitus, occupy the place of the well- established principles of

physiology and chemistry known amongst us.

A further proof of the defective state of medical knowledge in

China, may be judged of, by their native doctors administering

the pounded bones of the tiger, made into pills, in all cases of

general debility, on the supposition that as the animal was strong,

his bones must be efficacious . To alleviate human suffering, and

establish some sound principles of medical science, an American

missionary, Dr. Parker, established an hospital at Canton, which

has been eminently useful .

I gladly bear testimony to the praiseworthy exertions of Dr.

Parker, by whose perseverance in travelling through Europe and

America, to collect subscriptions for its support, this excellent

and truly Christian institution has still been maintained .

Since the commencement in 1838 to 1842, I ascertained from

its well-regulated books and regularly published reports , that

upwards of 20,000 persons have been relieved of their sufferings .

And when it is recollected that during the greater portion of the

period there was nothing but war and strife, and a Native to be

seen in company with an European, endangered his life or liberty,

if such an amount of good has been rendered to our fellow-beings

during this ever-to-be-lamented period, by one gifted Christian,

what may be expected from perfect freedom of intercourse.

In 1805 - Surgeon Alexander Pierson, who was attached to


the Honourable East India Company's factory, successfully intro-

duced the art of vaccination, which has ever since been extended

over the whole empire. The late Dr. Morrison and Dr. Living-

ston, opened an infirmary for some poor Chinese in 1820, which

was sustained for a short time, and alleviated much suffering.

1827. Mr. T. R. Colledge, surgeon to the East India Company,

opened an eye infirmary at Macao, and during the three years of

its continuance, afforded relief to 4000 patients, among whom

were persons of different ranks, and from distant parts of the

empire, from whom he received many, and unequivocal tokens of


Professor Kidd, whose experience at Canton qualified him to


judge, says cutaneous eruptions of the severest kind are very

common. Leprosy, at least that species of it which I have seen,

is of pure white very common, and not, as far as I remember of

the copper - coloured spots usually referred to in European treatises,

as symptomatic of this disease. From the heat of the climate

and the irritation generated by other causes, it is no uncommon

thing for limbs to be destroyed, and other parts of the body

essentially injured by cutaneous diseases, which ere long terminate

in death. There have been principally four eminent writers on the

art of medicine in China ; one lived in the third century of this era.

He was the originator of prescriptions, but erred in giving im-

moderately large doses of medicine. The circulation of the blood

was recognized at an early period in China ; but almost all works

are introduced by reflections on the system of nature, and hence

the difficulty of separating what is fanciful from what has some

foundation in the nature of things, and in the analogies subsist-

ing between them ." These medical facts are stated to shew what

good may be done at Canton by European medical skill.

The prices of the principal articles of food depend very much

on the seasons, and various other causes, such as inundations and

extortions of the local officers. The wages of a field labourer is

about fourteen cents. per day ; and the hundreds or thousands em-

ployed on the river do not exceed one mace : clerks, compradors,

and such like, have five to ten dollars per month ; female servants

are frequently glad to obtain food and clothing for their services.

The rent of houses averages 100 dollars per annum, and a house

at that price will accommodate ten or twelve people, and contain

six rooms a similar one in the country may be rented at fifty

dollars, including ground-rent to government. A house with two

rooms rates at 1 % dollar per month : hovels and boats constitute

the residence of the poorest class .

From thirty to sixty people are known to inhabit a single house,

which of course reduces the rent to each. A family of ten per-

sons can get house accommodation and provisions for about 400

dollars per annum, and this includes clothing as well as food .

Cotton garments cost from four to eighteen dollars , and silk



dresses from ten to twenty each. A labourer can live for about

two dollars or two and a-half per month, including clothes and



T. M. C. C. T. M. C. C.

Beefper catty .. 0090 Turnips ‫دو‬ 0010

Buffalo .. 0 0 5 0 Oranges "" 0044

Tongues, each .. 0 1 0 O Water chesnuts 0 0 1 0

Mutton per catty 0 2

0 2 4 0 Irish potatoes, per

Kid's flesh ‫وو‬ 0 1 2 0 pecul 3000

Pork 99 0 1 0 0 Taro or sweet pota-

Sausages "" 0 5 0 toes 1 000

Hams "" 0 1 8 0 Yams per catty .. 0030

Pig's feet ‫رو‬ 0 0 9 0 Rice per pecul 1 to 3 000

Hens ‫وو‬ 0 0 6 8 Wheaten flour per

Capons 0 1 1 0 catty 0050

Ducks "" 0 0 6 8 Bread, small loaves,

Geese 23 0080 per loaf .. .. 0025

Turkies, each .. 3 0 0 0 Eggs , each .. .. 0 007

Partridges ,, .. 0 1 2 0 Salt per catty 2 to

Pigeons per catty 0 1 0 0 4 candareen .. 0 040

Pheasants, each 0 300 Tobacco per catty 0 040

Teal ‫وو‬ 001 6 Sugar candy "9 0 1 0 0

Sole fish per catty 0 1 0 0 Pingfa ‫وو‬ 0030

White rice fish "" 0 0 6 0 Charcoal per pecul 1 000

Oysters "" 0 0 5 0 Wood 0180

Salted fish ‫وو‬ 0 1 6 0 Fossil coal".. .. 0 240

The money terms in the foregoing table are taels, mace, canda-

reens, and cash ; the taél is equivalent in English money to five

shillings, the mace to six pence, the candareen one penny ; the

cash is about one- seventh of a farthing. The weights or measures

are peculs, and catties ; the pecul is equal to 133 pounds, one

pound avoirdupois is equal to three-fourths of a catty.

The cost of a fast boat from Canton to Macao is thirty- six

dollars for a foreigner, and for the same a native will be only

charged nine dollars . Postage one mace per letter, while a native

gives less than three candareens.

Notwithstanding the abolition of the Hong monopoly, by which

all classes of natives are at liberty to trade, commerce still retains

many of its former features, and dealers in particular articles still

keep up their old branches of trade. The former Hong mer-

chants are still the largest dealers in tea and silk goods, and

caution is necessary in dealing with petty dealers who have com-


menced business . A large proportion of foreign trade with China

will remain at Canton for some years, owing to the acquaintance

subsisting between the native and foreign merchants, and the

nnmerous artizans at Canton who find a market for their labour.

The geographical position of Canton, its fine river and harbour at

Whampoa, and the policy of the Chinese government in driving

foreign commerce to the extremity of the empire, have contri-

buted to render it the scene of an active, domestic, and foreign

trade- where productions of every part of China may be ex-

changed for those of other regions.

Kwangtung (or Canton) province sends to the city silks, rice,

fish, salt, fruits, vegetables, and various kinds of fancy wood,

silver, iron, pearls, cassia, and betel nut. From Fookein are im-

ported nearly all the black teas, camphor, sugar, indigo, tobacco,

paper, lacquered ware, grass-cloth, minerals, woollen and cotton

cloths of various kinds.

Chekeang province sends to Canton the best silks, paper, fans,

wines, dates, golden flowered hams, and a most expensive tea

called lung-tsing- cha. Keangnan, now divided into two pro-

vinces, Ganhwuy and Kangsoo, with a population of seventy-two

millions, although at a great distance from Canton , sends a large

quantity of green teas and silks, which obtain high prices. From

Shantung, come fruits, drugs, wines, which are brought down the

coast to Canton, and paid for in a coarse description of clothing,

as the inhabitants are very poor. From Chihle, dates, ginsing,

raisins, skins, wines, venison, drugs and tobacco are sent to

Canton, and cloths, clocks, watches, and sundry other articles of

foreign imports are returned . Shanse sends skins, wines, ardent

spirits and musk. Shense, with a population of ten millions, sup-

ports a large trade with Canton, and sends brass, iron, precious

stones, and drugs ; and takes in return cotton and woollen cloths,

books, and wines. Kansuh sends gold, quicksilver, musk, and

tobacco. Szechuen sends gold, iron, tin, musk, and a great quan-

tity of drugs. Yunnan supplies the shops of Canton with iron,

brass, peacocks' feathers ; and receives cotton and woollen cloths,

books and tobacco.

Kwangsi has a population of seven million, and supplies rice

in large quantities, and takes both native and foreign productions .

Kweichoo the central province, sends gold, lead, tobacco and drugs.

Hoonan and Hoopih, two provinces, supply large quantities of

rhubarb, hemp, honey, tobacco and a great variety of singing

birds. Kiangsi sends coarse cloth, hemp, China-ware, drugs, &c.

The productions of Hoonan are nearly similar to those of the

former named province.

Whampoa, the anchorage for foreign shipping, is in 23° 6.30

north latitude, about fourteen miles east of Canton . It is a large

safe anchorage, land locked, surrounded by picturesque scenery, `

and abounds in supplies of meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and fruits .

U 2


The geology of the country, between the city and the ocean,

partakes of a primitive character, and the usual accompaniments of

the presence of such rocks are seen in the insulated and barren

peaks which line the coast. On the north side of the river the

country rises into hills, which are formed of a compact graywacke,

probably belonging to the lower secondary class of rocks. It is

fine grained, and contains a large proportion of quartz . Lying

beneath the graywacke, is the old red sandstone. This stratum

is found varying from a bright red, fine grained rock, to a coarse

conglomerate, full of large pebbles of quartz.

It is seen outcropping in the middle of the river, a short distance

below the factories, and from thence it extends southward for many

miles. This stratum also extends eastward, and most of the hills

between Canton and Whampoa, have this rock for a substratum,

with the graywacke above. Below the sandstone is found the

granite. This rock outcrops more and more as the river descends

towards the sea, until, below the Bogue, it is the only stratum.

The subspecies are numerous, and in some places it passes into

gneiss and hornblend. The usual variety, however, is a dark

coloured fine grained rock, somewhat fissile. At the mouth of the

river, the granite is found raising up into peaks, ranging in height

from 1,200 to 2,000 feet.

The minerals as yet discovered in these different strata, are in-

considerable, consisting only of crystals of felspar, quartz, and

pyrites, which occur sparingly in the granite.

Coal is plentiful and extensively used, (see vol. i. p. 100) .

The soil in the neighbourhood of Canton is mostly alluvial, but

on the declivity of the hills, it is decomposed sandstone, and of a

red colour. On ascending the hills, the soil is found more nearly

primitive, and consists mostly of the decomposed rock underneath.

The number of islands which have been formed by depositions, is

said to amount to several hundreds. On these islands, great num-

bers of erratic blocks of rocks are found, weighing several tons.

The climate of Canton, taking it all the year, with the excep-

tion of oppressive heats from June to September, is not unfavour-

able to health, especially when it is recollected that the position

is in latitude 20° 7′ north. It is found that the mean annual

temperature of Canton, is what more generally prevails in the 30th

parallel. Europeans who have long resided at Canton and Macao,

state that the cold in winter is most invigorating. Snow fell one

winter, a few years ago ; it being an unusual occurrence, the Can-

tonese, as usual, prognosticated some evil would follow. The

longevity of the inhabitants is not great, but this may partly arise

from their excessive sensuality, and the extreme destitution they

are subject to in seasons of distress, inundations, &c.

The following table shews the range of the thermometer and

barometer for ten years, at Canton.


















































1829 to 1838

. .



. Mean Thermom

. eter

Winds Mean Mean of


S. of of night


. .

night .

noon and

HN oon








Rainy days.

Rainy days .


January 521/1

30.24 25.6 6 50 59 544 39 • 73

12th 1st 30.21




. 55 30.17 18.10 7 55 61 .58 32 8th

72 3rd 30.20




March 621/1 30.11 17.14 11 61 68 64

호 46 14




05 30.05 10

April 70 29.96 12.18 12 67 72 69 50 85

9th 25th 29.96 15

May 77 29.89 10.21 16 76 83 79 67 89

4th 30th 29.88 19


81 29.87 4.26 14 78 85 81 72 92

13th 29th 29.83 20

June• ·

July 83 29.80 6.25 16 81 89 85 76 96

11th , 8th

116 7 29.80 17

• • •

August 82 29.80 10.21 14 80 89 843 77 ,29th


94 7,4th 29.83 11


September 80.033 29.82 17-12 10 77 85 81 72 ,25th


93 17th 29.84 14

October 734 30.03 211.9 41 % 67 78 72 60 86

11th 5th 29.79 1


November 651 30.17

0· 33


% 3,800 59 층

70 65 ,27th



78 30-19


,8th 2


December 57.134 30.20 251 67 531 631 58.14532 18th

72 2,87th 30.22 7




thermometer and barometer, for the year 1831 . The averages

were taken at Canton and Macao.

Table 1st. Table 2nd. Table 3rd Table 4th.

Thermome- Thermome- Barometer at Barometer at

ter at ter at Canton. Macao.


Canton. Macao.



































January. 6450 75 29 62 65 72 53 30 22 30 50 3000 30 26 30 503005

February 57 49 78 38 59 59 71 49 30 13 30 50 29 60 30 13 30 40 29 97

March 72 60 82 44 66 69 77 55 30 17 30 50 2995 30 20 30 4830 05

April. 77 68 86 55 73 75 83 66 30 03 30 25 29 85 3008 30 27 29 93

May . 78 72 88 64 77 78 85 71 29 92 30 10 29 80 29 95 |30| 06|29| 85]

June . 85 79 90 74 82 84 8974 29 88 30 00 29 75 29 92 30 0029 85

July 88 81 94 79 84 88 9281 29 83 30 00 2960 2987 30012960

August . 85 78 90 75 82 85 90 79 29 85 3000 29 55 29 88 30 02 29 56

September. 83 76 88 70 81 84 88 76 2991 30 10 29 70 2991 30 052935

October. 77 69 85 57 75 78 86 61 30 01 30 20 29 50 30 03 30 1929 45

November . 67 57 80 40 65 68 80 57 30 16 30 55 2995 30 14 30 36 2995

December . 62 52 70 45 62 65 70 57 30 23 30 35 30 15 30 23 30 31 30 15

The average of rain is the mean of its fall at Macao, during

sixteen years, from an account by Mr. Beale. The number of

rainy days, and continuance of winds, are the mean offour

years, at Canton, taken from the diary of the Canton Register.

Table 5th . Table 6th. Table 7th.

Hygrometer Rain at Continuance of winds at Canton,

Canton. themean of four years.


at Macao.










. E.

. s.

. s


. . s

. ys




























January . 76 95 46 0.62 24 7

February 82 96 70 1.7 121 54 62

March 78 97 30 2.1 83 12 34 10 01/

April . 81 95 50 5.6 10 5 4 143 0

May 81 95 57 118 15 4 24 316 12 04 04

June 80 95 70 11.1 9 13 0 2 211 3 0

July 83 97 70 7.7 10 14 1 1421 3 13 0

August 84 97 70 9.9 12 3 2 318 11 0 0

September 8495 50 10-9 10 10 4 380 2

October 7595 20 5:5 5 12 34 35 1100층 5월

November 61 95 20 2.4 23 01 02 12 12

December 7190 30 0-9 3 18 27 27 20 0 3


The restrictions on foreigners at Canton now confine them to

the " Hongs," that is, to a few feet on the banks of the river, com-

pared with which the filthiest part of Wapping would be respect-

able and bearable . This is shewn by the following recent procla-

mation from

" The acting district magistrate of Nan-hae, raised ten steps, re-

corded ten times, bearing by imperial authority the title of sub-

prefect, and promoted to the prefecture of Lo-ting-chow, hereby

issues his orders and prohibitions.

"Whereas, of the foreigners who come to Yue (Canton) to trade,

only the head-merchants and their assistants are permitted to come

to the Hongs, the others, sailors, &c. , are all not allowed to

come on shore ; and even the head-merchants and their assistants

may not presume to go to other places.

"As the triennial military examinations are now at hand, and as

it is to be apprehended that the foreigners may, without ceremony,

go to the eastern parade-ground to look at the horse and foot

archery ; and that, there being a great crowd, they may at once

madly and fiercely have recourse to blows and wound the people ;

or that when the trials in archery are going on, that the foreigners,

not being skilled in evading them, may be wounded by the arrows ;

it is therefore fitting that a prohibitory proclamation be issued.

“ For this reason, I now issue my commands to the Hong-mer-

chants, linguists, and the various Te-poos, to the boat-people, and

the chair-bearers . Let all, acting in obedience hereto, and main-

taining the laws, transmit my commands to the foreigners, and

not allow them to repair to the eastern Parade-ground to view the

archery. If any one should dare to offer a wilful opposition, I

shall certainly have the Hong-merchants and linguists brought

before me, prosecuted, and punished . The boat-people and chair-

bearers are also not allowed presumptuously to carry the foreigners

to the place, to look on. If any of them should disobey, they will,

as soon as they are found out, be immediately apprehended and

severely dealt with. Let all yield a reverential obedience. Do not

oppose this especial edict."

25th October, 1846.

A true translation of a proclamation posted on the 13th Novem-

ber, in front of the Consoo House.


Public Translator.

Such are the modes in which the Treaty of Nankin is violated.

Our merchants are now, in fact, in a worse position than they were

before the war.

The trade of Canton is given at page 149. The consular regu-

lations will be found in the Appendix.



AMOY is the principal emporium of the province of Foo-kein.

The harbour is in the south-western corner of a considerable

bay, in which are two large and many small islands. The largest

and westernmost island, named Amoy, forms the northern limit

of the harbour, which is sheltered on the east by the smaller

of the two principal islands, while the mainland shelters it on the

west and south. The town of Amoy (Heamun) is situated at the

south end of the larger island, and the anchorage is immediately

in front of the houses. The bay and harbour will easily accom-

modate from 70 to 100 vessels, the access and egress is easy. The

entrance to the inner harbour is by a channel, 675 to 840 yards

across, from Amoy to Kulangsu . On approaching Amoy from the

southward, Chapel Island, called by the Chinese Tungting, and

situated in latitude 24° 10′ 3″ north, and longitude 118° 13′ 5″

east, or 9′ 44″ east of the south-west point of Kulang-su, may be

seen from four to five leagues ; it has an even surface, is about

200 feet high, and its circumference three cables . It is perforated

at its south- east extreme, which shows when it bears E., N.E. , or

W., S.W. When in its neighbourhood, a pagoda will be seen,

which is elevated 1,720 feet above the sea, and is a good mark for

the entrance.


city of Amoy is situated in latitude 24° 10′ 3″ north, and longitude

118° 13′ 5″ east, or 9′ 44″ east of the south-west point of Kulang-su,

and may be seen by vessels five leagues distance. It is built at

the mouth of two rivers, the one on the south-west side communi-

cating with the large and wealthy city of Tchang-chaw- foo, thirty

miles distant only ; that in the north side flows through a very

populous district.

A ridge of hills about 600 feet high, skirt the city with broken

and abrupt eminences, covered with boulder stones. The houses

are built on a declivity, sloping to the harbour. The outer town

is divided from the city by a chain of rocks, with a paved pass to

a covered gateway at the summit, and skirted by the outer har-

bour ; the city is bounded by the inner harbour and an estuary,

which deeply indents the island . The city, including the outer

town and north-east suburb, is supposed to be about nine miles in

circumference. The citadel which commands the inner town and

suburb, is about a mile in circumference ; the walls castellated ;

fifteen to thirty feet high, according to the inequality of the ground,

and with an inner rampart all the way around, except where the

houses are close to the wall. There are four gates, with, as usual,

to each, an exterior gate at right angles to the inner gate as an out-

work. The citadel is commanded by hills about a mile distant.

The district is governed by the Taoutai, who is the Intendant of


a circuit comprising three large cities ; he resides chiefly at Amoy,

and is a shrewd and intelligent Tartar, of the second order of the

Blue Button ; his salary is about £ 1,300 sterling per annum .

The police is under the Hai- Fang (magistrate), his salary is un-

certain, (the present official paid 12,000 dollars for his appointment) ,

but he is purveyor of provisions for the troops.

The customs are superintended by the Hai Keon, who is generally

a military officer ; and remains only six months in office ; the entire

of the business is generally attended to by old officials ; but the

present Hai-Keon is stated to be a very intelligent, obliging


The Chinese naval force of Amoy is governed by an admiral who

is of the first order of the Red Button ; and his force consists of

about twenty junks, mounting from six to fourteen guns each,

these vessels are built at Fuh- choo-foo ; for Chinese war-vessels

they are well equipped , some having their guns mounted on slides .

The admiral frequently, on returning from his periodical cruises,

reports that he had great encounters with pirates, but they do not

appear to fear his prowess, as they are a most formidable and

numerous gang.

The military force is commanded by the Chamfoo ; it consists

of 5,000 men ; a muster takes place twice a year, when they are

exercised : the force is divided into five battalions, viz.—

The centre commanded by the Chamfoo or Colonel ; 1st rear

battalion by the lieutenant- colonel ; 2nd ditto, by ditto ; two wings

each by ditto. Each battalion has one captain, two lieutenants,

350 matchlockmen, 350 bowmen, 240 spearmen, and 40 gunners .

The colonel receives 120 dollars per month ; lieutenant-colonel

80 dollars ; captain 60 dollars ; and lieutenant 40 dollars . The

privates have very small pay, and receive one pound and a quarter

of rice per diem, and one jacket per annum. When not required

for duty, the privates are allowed to attend to their own business.

The municipal government is weak and inefficient, and may be

styled one of fraud ; and, in individual cases, of force. The autho-

rities could not quell a riot, and conflicts occur in the streets at-

tended with bloodshed . The strongest party receive bribes to re-

main quiet. A great difficulty presents itself in bringing the

authorities to a proper sense of their duty towards foreigners.

Amoy contains about 250,000 souls, the greater part of whom

are engaged in the coasting trade ; it is admirably situated for both

the foreign and native trade, having deep water within fifty yards

of the houses ; the junks lie in tiers, and extend for more than a

mile off the town. The streets are narrow, and in many places

filthy, and the houses indicate a place falling to decay. Mr. T.

Lay, Her Majesty's consul, said, that opium was ruining the city,

and " hamstringing the whole nation." The buildings at Amoy,

called Hachong, forming the establishment of the sub-prefect,

were so spacious as to furnish ample quarters for the whole of Her


Majesty's 65th regiment. The commandant's office near the

southern gate, was occupied by the sappers and miners ; the Admi-

ral's office in the citadel is an immense building, and was more than

sufficient for the 18th regiment and staff ; and near this was the

residence of the Rear Admiral of Formosa, a titular guardian and

Duke of the empire. Outside the fort is the intendant's office, and

near it a foundry. Large quantities of timber were seen in the

navy yard.

On our taking possession of Amoy, on the south side of the

island, upon which the city of Amoy stands, was a battery more

than 1,100 yards long, with a wall fourteen feet at the base,

mounting ninety guns : opposite this was another fort and battery

of forty-two guns ; and westward were several others. The long

battery was found to be a masterly piece of work, and would do

credit to European engineers. There were five arsenals with

large quantities of powder, and materials for making more ; a con-

siderable stock of gingals, matchlocks, varieties of fire-arms,

swords, bows and arrows, spears, shields, and military clothing.

There was also a foundry with moulds and materials for casting

ordnance. The guns captured by us on the 26th August, 1841,

without any nameable loss on our side, were on Amoy island 211,

on Kulungsoo 76, batteries south west side of bay 41 , Little

Gouve 15 .

Total mounted 343

Total not mounted 157


Of these 4 were 86 pounders, 2 of 48 lbs . , 6 of 34 lbs ., and one

24 pounder.

THE REVENUE AND TAXES OF AMOY.- The houses of the city

of Amoy are divided into eighteen districts, and over each is a

Tepoo, or head man, who registers the inhabitants, and is entrusted

with the peace and good order of his district ; the gates of each

street are shut at night. The houses are divided into three

classes ; the first class pay annually two dollars and a half, second

class one dollar and a half, third class one dollar : this tax is col-

lected by the Tepoos, and handed over to the Hai Fong. The recog

nized taxes are a house, poll and a land tax. The authorities

privately derive an income from many sources, which are most op-

pressive and extortionate, opium houses, gambling houses, and

licenses to foreign junks, or junks trading abroad ; the perversion

of justice is said to be one of the perquisites of office . The Chi-

nese always expressed the greatest astonishment, that no presents

were received after the recovery of their debts from English



AMOY.-Captain Gribble, the late consul, states, the morals ofthe


people are at the lowest possible ebb ; murder, robbery, and child-

murder, are most frequent, the latter fearfully so ; great pains

have been taken to ascertain the amount of child-murder per

annum, and from the best sources it appears to amount to 40 per

cent. of the females which are destroyed immediately after birth.

The common price of a girl of fourteen years of age, is from 80 to

120 dollars.

Dr. Gutzlaff, Chinese Secretary to the British Government, and

one of the best Chinese scholars, thus speaks of Amoy. " I was

shocked at the spectacle of a new-born babe, which shortly before

had been killed, and in answer to a question, the bystanders an-

swered ' it is only a girl." " On our occupation of Amoy, we

observed a house called a foundling hospital, and near it a pond

green with duck weed, in which were discovered the bodies of seve-

ral infants, sewed up in mats, which had been recently drowned.

It is a general custom in this district to drown female infants

immediately after birth ; even respectable families seldom take the

trouble, as they express themselves, to rear these useless girls :

the numerous emigration of the male population renders it proba-

ble, that their daughters would not be married, if permitted to

live ; they therefore select this as the shortest way to avoid rear-

ing them. The unnatural crime is so common among them, that

it is perpetrated without either feeling or remorse . Neither the

government, nor the moral sayings of their sages, have put a stop

to this infamous system. The birth of a boy is considered a most

fortunate event in a family, and no care is too great for him ; the

traffic in females is too disgusting to detail, the facts are revolting

to humanity.

Kulangsu is situated opposite to, and commands the town of

Amoy. The island is of an irregular oval form, stretching nearly

east and west, and is about two miles long, and nearly four in

circumference. It is naturally barren, but in several places care-

fully cultivated, and good water is procurable by digging only a

few feet from the surface. The geological formation is similar to

that of Hong Kong, viz., rotten granite, and red sandstone ; the

former predominating, and crumbling to the touch . The north-

east and eastern sides of the island are represented at all times most

unhealthy, but particularly during the south-west monsoon ; fever

and cholera prevail to an alarming extent. The only production

is the sweet potatoe . The inhabitants of Amoy and Kulangsu

are dependent on the neighbouring island of Formosa, for almost

all the necessaries of life. There is, however, an active native com-

merce ; no portion of China, of the same extent, can surpass the

natives, in wealth and enterprise . Their junks, which are distin-

guished from the junks of all other provinces by being painted

green at the bow, and are termed green heads, (the Canton junks

are called red-heads,) may be met with all along the coast of China.

Kulangsu is distinguished by a pile of rocks, forming its sum-


mit, of immense size and completely disintegrated . The most

remarkable things met with on the island are the tombstones of

some Englishmen, who appear to have been interred there upwards

of 150 years ago, the well-known characteristic custom of the Chi-

nese in paying respect to the dead, is here strikingly developed,

as the stones were a few years ago replaced, and their present ap-

pearance shews they are still attended to. An English captain of

one of the vessels at Amoy, received the epithet of " Old Mortality,"

from his praiseworthy endeavours to re-engrave the almost worn-

out inscriptions on these tombstones, and thus to preserve the

names of our enterprising countrymen, who perished in a foreign



a large entrepôt, and likely to continue so. The Native imports

from sea are :-Rice from Formosa in large quantities ; sugar

from ditto ; camphor from ditto ; and from Fuh-chow, alum and

cotton from Shanghai ; which is finer than the Indian ; the staple

is short, and the Bengal cotton is required to mix with it, although

in the north the native is preferred . The cotton arrives in

November and December ; grain, pulse, oil- cake, and a coarse

description of cotton goods are imported from the northern ports.

The foreign imports are, Bengal and Bombay cotton, (Bengal

preferred) English cotton goods of every description ; cotton yarn,

iron, lead, steel, betelnut ; liquid indigo from Manilla, pepper,

rattans, rice, and grain, beche-de-mer, sharks' fins, buffalo horns,

deers' ditto .

THE NATIVE EXPORTS OF AMOY, are camphor, sugar in tubs

from Formosa, and also from the large sugar district of Tehang

chow-foo, conveyed hence to Shanghai and the gulf of Ptche le.

Sugar candy of the finest quality and much cheaper than at Can-

ton. Earthenware to the straits of Malacca. Paper umbrellas

(25,000 in one ship) paper, joss paper, joss stick, &c. and a great

variety of sundries for the consumption of the Chinese settled at

other ports.

Amoy is within fifteen days porterage of the large congou tea

country, and is therefore well adapted for exporting that very ex-

tensive article of commerce.

Circulating medium. -doubloons, guilders, and many Spanish

and Dutch coins are in frequent use. The Spanish and Mexican

dollars, with the rupee, are the current coins.

The native superintendent of trade at Amoy made the following

representation to his government in July, 1844. "Amoy has

hitherto paid 90,000 taels per annum in Customs, which is one-

half of all the receipts throughout the whole province. But on

account of the disturbance of the barbarians, this sum has for

two years not been collected . It is therefore thought necessary,

notwithstanding the presence of the alien craft, under the present

financial pressure, to have the stipulated quota raised . The island


of Kulangsu is close to Amoy, and there is much intercourse with

the barbarians—if the barbarian eye does not restrain them, the

mandarins cannot remain in those places. The custom-house

that formerly existed at Kulangsu was removed, as it was appre-

hended, that traitorous natives would have commercial intercourse

with the barbarians and defraud the revenue ; since that time

matters have gone on well.

"Most of the large establishments have been ruined on account

of the war, and merchants who come from other provinces to Amoy,

cannot on account of the presence of the barbarians throw away

their fears, and this is the reason why the duties last year only

amounted to 34,000 taels. As Kulangsu will be restored to us, we

will make arrangements for levying the customs in the same man-

ner as of old.

" Paouchang, Tartar general of the Fuhchoo garrison and super-

intendent of customs, makes this representation to the Emperor."

Captain Gribble, one of the most intelligent and able consuls

we have had in China, and to whom I am indebted for a great

part of the preceding remarks, has also favoured me with the fol-

lowing observations. " There are a few causes which still interfere

with the English trade at the port of Amoy. The merchants there,

and at other places near it, have partners resident at Canton ;

these have established hongs or companies, and their known

stability enables them to obtain credit from the wealthy merchants

at Canton, who allow them to hypothecate goods, chargeable with

a small rate of interest per mensem, from to 1 per cent ; goods

are thus easily obtained ; the transit is moderate, and the Canton

merchant, who has advanced either the goods or the money to

purchase them, has his partner also on the coast, who retains the

lien till the advance is repaid. By the distribution of goods at a

greater number of ports, this system will eventually be superseded,

as the goods will be laid down cheaper than they can be procured

from Canton, and the Chinese merchant has only to turn his

capital in a new direction, to those vast territories which lie at a

distance from the great thoroughfare, and to the westward of the

Yangtzekang .


Secondly-the two great staples, tea and silk, are the principal

mode of remittance for English and foreign manufactures, and we

require a more intimate acquaintance with the Chinese, and to

penetrate farther into their country to investigate their internal

resources, and to procure some equivalent for manufactures which

are largely sought for, and which can be put into their hands at

a cheaper rate than their native products. This is very applicable

to Canton, Amoy, and Shanghai, which have the large manufac-

turing districts of Fahshan, Tchang chow foo, and Soochaw foo

at a short distance. Opium is taken in barter for tea at Canton,

and silk at Shanghai ; and it is sold in every part of Amoy ; the

boats ply as commonly as the ferry boats. It is carried through


the streets, and it is reported that the mandarins receive about

5d. sterling per ball. At Amoy the consumption is 150 chests

per month, at an average of £ 170 sterling per chest, and all is

purchased with ready money .

" There are two stations north of Amoy, one eighty miles distant,

Chin Chew from whence Fuh choo foo is supplied with cotton,

and cotton goods, and Chimmo forty miles to the south. The

demand at these stations for opium is larger than at Amoy. At

present there appears to be a drain for the money and silver from

Amoy to pay for opium."


THE province of Fookein, originally called the Ban country, is

bounded on the E., by the sea ; on the N., by the departments of

Funning and Kienning ; on the W., by Yungchun ; on the S., by

Hinghwa. It is the smallest, but most industrious, and, perhaps,

wealthy province in the empire ; being famed for its trade, fish-

eries, and navigation . The air is warm, pure, and healthy ; its

principal productions are, black tea, musk, precious stones, quick-

silver, iron, tin, silk, hemp, various fruits, including oranges, which

have the delicious flavour of Muscat grapes. The city of Fuhchoo,

the capital of the province, and of the department, stands about

thirty-five miles from the sea, on the banks of the river Min, in

lat. 26° 02′ 24″ N., E. long. 119° 25' . Five miles westward is

Pagoda Island, where the river re-unites with a branch that had

separated from it several miles above the city. There is a range

of hills and mountains, forming nearly an amphitheatre, distant

about four miles from the city, running from 1,000 to 5,000 feet,

highest range ; N.N.E. the river flows along the base of hills W.

to S. The plain around the city is about four miles wide, covered

with rice fields, and picturesquely interspersed with groves of trees

and farmhouses.

The city is about nine to ten miles in circumference, with a

castellated wall and gates, as at Amoy. The suburbs are as large

as the city, and both are commanded by a fortified hill in the city,

about 500 feet in elevation, with a watch-tower distant about one

mile from the hill, on which the British consul resides . The cele-

brated bridge of Fuhchoo bears from the consulate E.N.E. It is

erected on granite pillars across the river, where an island occurs ;

on one side the island there are thirty- six openings, and on the

other, nine. They cannot be called arches, being formed of huge

slabs laid from pillar to pillar, clamped together by bars of iron.

One half the bridge is covered with shops, somewhat after the

manner seen in pictures of Old London Bridge . The view from

this spot, of the city of Fuhchoo, with its varied elevations and

fantastic structures - the bold outline of mountains and wooded


heights -the winding river covered with numerous and gaily-

painted junks- the green rice fields, and the busy swarming popu-

lation, is probably not to be paralleled in any part of China.

The city within the walls is not inferior to any other I have

seen in China : it is very superior to Amoy ; has larger shops and

finer streets than Shanghai, and its main street, leading to the

residence of the viceroy, is better than any thoroughfare in Ningpo.

The houses are all good, comparatively, but the dwellings of the

high functionaries, although spacious, appear dirty, and much


The streets in the suburbs are narrow and dirty ; the houses one

and two stories high ; and crowded streets are filled with stalls, cook-

ing utensils, &c. The city is approached from the bridge through

a winding street of about two miles in length, along which there is

a constant stream of busy commerce. The shops of each trade,

as in other Chinese towns, are generally congregated ; not unfre-

quently ten or twelve may be seen in succession ; they are well

stocked with goods. There are few manufactures ; most of the

commodities dealt in being brought from Soochoo, Canton, and

other places .

Our consulate in the city, bears from our anchorage near the

bridge N. by W., about three miles distant, on a hill 400 feet high,

wooded, and commanding a view of the city, and of a plain four

miles wide, which extends from W. to S. The plain is covered with

rice, dotted with umbrageous trees, and occasionally a few houses ;

the centre of the hill commanding the city, is distant from the

consular hill about 1000 yards, S.S.W., and distant from the river

above bridge the same distance. Within the city is another lofty

hill, with a watch-tower, and the city wall along its slope, distant

about one mile, and bearing N.N.W. The city walls appear to be

six or seven miles in circumference. There is a range of moun-

tains and hills, forming nearly an amphitheatre, distant three to

five miles from the city, ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 feet, highest

range N.N.E.; river running along base of hills W. to S. The

lofty table-looking land, about 4000 feet high, distant at least ten

miles, bears from Consulate Hill, S.E. These notes of the bear-

ings were taken with a compass, furnished me by the hospitable

and intelligent British consul, Mr. Alcock.

The streets in the city are rather wider and better than those in

the suburbs ; one street of about a mile in length, leading from a

gate near the consulate to the viceroy's residence, is the widest street

I have seen in China ; the shops large and varied-with the usual

long sign-board in red or black lettering on gold or purple ground,

with an emblem of the shopkeeper painted at top or bottom of

board, such as a cap, boot, &c. As usual, several trades are found

together. There are more women in the streets than I have seen

elsewhere, and, from infancy to extreme age, the head is tastefully


decorated with various flowers . The dress of the peasant girls

who ply with vegetables, fruit, flowers, and water, is very neat ;

the hair is gathered in a knot on the top, adorned with flowers,

sometimes worn only on one side of the head, sometimes on both,

sometimes on the crown. White and red preferred . Large ear-

rings ; a small collar ; a close tunic, of blue, with short tucked- up

sleeves ; a small white apron, and short trousers nearly reach-

ing to the knee, to which the tunic does not reach. The girdle

at the waist tight drawn, and giving a good form to the body.

The countenance olive- coloured, frank, and expressive of indepen-

dence, certainly prettier than any other I have seen in China ;

their gait bold and free ; large feet and well-formed legs, with

stout calves. Teeth good, and a laughing face : altogether they

are pretty, buxom, interesting wenches, and, if white, would be

admired in any town in England. I saw no men who could be

considered the counterpart of these women ; the shop-keepers are

of a pale, flabby appearance ; the peasants are short, stout, bronzed ,

and rough-looking.

The river Min is bounded by high and bold hills on each side,

and has been not inaptly termed the Switzerland of China. The

anchorage is in lat. 26° 6' N. , long. 119° 53′ E. Westward is

Pagoda Island, beyond which the river reunites with a branch that

had separated from it several miles above the city. The branches

extend over half the province . As much interest is felt with re-

gard to Fuhchoo, and our reception there, the following remarks

are transcribed from my rough note-book, as written on the spot

during my visit to the city in May, 1845 .

Wednesday, 28th May, 1845. -Hon . Co.'s steamer, Medusa,

Lieut. Hewitt, at nine A.M., in sight of the island of " Ocksew."-

Up at four A.M. enjoying the freshness of the morning.-Passed

several fishing vessels, their masts down, and their frail barks at

anchor, ten to fifteen miles from land, in twenty fathoms, fishing

by line and trawl.-Temperature delightful : fresh breeze all day.

At 11.30 P.M. , anchored off the Dog Islands, within twenty

miles of the entrance of the Min River, leading to Fuh-choo .

Found here Her Majesty's ship, " Iris," Captain Rodney Munday,

having on board the Honourable General D'Aguilar, Lord Coch-

rane, and Captain Charles D'Aguilar, returning from Chusan.-

Snug anchorage off White Dog Islands, in the north-east monsoon.

Thursday, 29th May, 1845. -Eight A.M., up steam with Gene-

ral D'Aguilar, Lord Cochrane, Captain Munday, and Captain

D'Aguilar, for the Min river. An extensive bank runs off the

Min, to the White Dog Islands. The land is high, rugged, with

but little verdure. Here and there patches of cultivation and

clumps of fir trees. There are two entrances to the Min, one is

said to be only adapted for boats. Tide strong against us. At

11.30 A.M. entered the Min : banks high-ranging from 500 to

3000 feet. About five miles from the embouchure, twenty miles


from " White Dogs," Wou-fou-mun pass narrows with an elbow to

about 550 yards, with seventeen fathoms of water, in other places

river one to one and a half mile wide. From Wou-fou-mun pass

to Pagoda reach about fifteen miles, three to twenty fathoms- river

winding. One rock has only two and a quarter fathoms ; fifty

-vessels might lie at anchor off Pagoda. The left bank more lofty

and precipitous than the right, a range of hills gradually in-

creasing into mountains rising along the river bank, sometimes

close to the water, and as we approached Fuhchoo, at a distance of

one to two miles, with an intervening slip of alluvial ground, appa-

rently recovered from the river, and covered with rice. Several

forts, but nearly all in ruins, crown different crests and heights .

They are principally situated on the left bank, and if properly

constructed and manned, would render the passage of the Min

impassable. The soundings are very varied, frequently and sud-

denly ranging from two feet to two fathoms. The " Medusa"

although only drawing 4 feet was several times aground, but

backed off, sounded for deeper water and again pushed ahead,

under her excellent commander, Lieutenant Hewett, Indian

Navy. As we ascended the stream, the mountains on either shore

became more lofty and precipitous ; assuming the form of gigantic

walls with buttresses, and deeply serrated. One remarkable moun-

tain about 3000 feet on the right bank, has a tabular form with

three deeply-crested ridges .

Cultivation in the proper season appears to be carried by

terraces some distance up the mountains ; which are generally bare,

with a crumpled face, a piebald, or white and brown hue, present-

ing a rude and somewhat barbarous, uninviting aspect.

Several half fishing, half agricultural villages along the river

bank, but by no means thickly populated . The people everywhere

stared with astonishment.

About midday, low water, seabreeze set in strong.

After grounding several times, but never for more than a

few minutes, anchored off the long bridge at Fuhchoo in three

fathoms at 5 P.M. Not many junks in the river. Most of them

laden with Chinese wood and timber piled on the vessels, and

lashed in large rafts on either side.

Fired a gun to announce our arrival to Mr. Consul Alcock , whose

residence is on a wooded hill in the city. Small wooden shed on

the river bank, where Mr. Consul Lay resided, opposite our an-

chorage. Most discreditable that any British functionary, how-

ever low his rank, would allow himself to be located in such a

wretched spot. Such proceedings are calculated to affect our

character with the Chinese.

A canoe with four Loochoo men came alongside to satisfy their

curiosity. They are a different looking people from the Chinese,

have more of an aboriginal or untamed appearance. The cheek-

bones high, the head better formed, and the complexion darker



than the Chinese. They do not shave their foreheads like the

Chinese, but tie their stiff, wiry, black hair in a knot on the top

of the head, where it is secured by long gold pins, like bodkins.

They have no beard or whiskers, a few scattered hairs on the chin.

Their astonishment was very great. Many boats around us for

curiosity -all the women, young and old, have artificial flowers

in their hair. They are fairer than the people of Canton, and a

little more expression in their countenances. The people do not

understand a word of the Canton dialect, but as the written cha-

racter is the same throughout China, and as every person, however

poor or ragged, reads and writes, we communicated by writing

through our Canton domestics.

At 6 P.M. General D'Aguilar and suite went on shore to pro-

ceed to British consulate, three miles distant. Mr. Alcock had sent

four chairs to the wharf, but no interpreter or official messenger.

On arriving at the city gates it was past sun-set, and the Tartar

officer refused to open the gates ; after remaining there in their

chairs nearly two hours, General D'Aguilar and suite returned to the

" Medusa." When the General and suite were at the city gates,

great crowds collected round them, some leaped on the chairs,

others tried to expose the persons inside to their view by opening

the hanging fronts, there was not the slighest respect or decency

of demeanour in the people. It was rude and uncivil in the


Friday, 30th of May, 1845. - General and suite went on shore

at daylight to the consulate. At noon Lieutenant Hewitt, Dr.

Bankhead of the " Iris," Mr. Glenn a merchant, and myself,

went on shore to the consulate. Chairs were plying for hire on

the bridge. I got into one ; my companions walked before me.

Crowds came out of their shops to see us, many followed through

the streets, shouting " fanyoung," which seems a substitute for the

"fanqui " (white devil) of Canton. Apiece of brick fell off Lieutenant

Hewitt's umbrella, which had been thrown at him. The sun was in-

tensely hot. After three miles walk reached the consulate on a hill.

On returning in the evening (Dr. Bankhead, Mr. Glenn, and

myself) , crowds followed us, pushing against us- exceedingly rude

-very ready for mischief-one of them tore a button from my

coat, and then escaped among the crowd.

When Lieutenant Hewitt was returning about half past seven

home along the bridge, a man leaped on his shoulders, and grasped

his epaulet ; Lieutenant Hewitt shook him off, dealt him a severe

blow, recovered his cap, which had fallen off in the scuffle, and then

made his way to the ship, which he was within sight, and hail.

The ruffian tore away some of the bullion from the epaulet.

When the officers of the " Iris " were passing peaceably through

the streets last week they were pelted and mobbed ; and about a

fortnight since, when Mr. Harry Parkes, the interpreter, was out


walking, he was met by a number of Tartars, who insulted him,

pushed some of their comrades violently against him, although he

is a boy in size and appearance, but probably by his being enabled

to address them in their own language he was enabled to return

unmolested . Lieutenant Hewitt's cockswain, a steady man, was pro-

ceeding to-day to the consulate in charge of 4,000 dollars, and on

getting out of the chair he was in, to look after the money, mud

and stones were flung at him, by some of which he was struck on

the face and head.

The day Mr. Alcock landed and occupied the consulate, crowds

collected round the house, and commenced pelting stones ; Mr.

Alcock sent for the prefect of the city, and the magistrates having

brought some police, cleared the grounds of the mob.

Saturday, May 31.- Accompanied the General and suite, and

Mr. Alcock, to-day, on ceremonial visits to Lew-yun-ko, viceroy of

Fokien, and of the adjacent province, to King-muh, the Tartar ge-

neral of the province, and to Sew-ke-yu, late treasurer, but now

officiating governor ofthe province .

On arriving at viceroy's, we were purposely stopped at the outer

court, and had to walk some distance through the rabble, and in

the sun, to get to the residence, which has the appearance of a large

barn, with rudely painted roofs, and a few paper and silk lanterns

hanging around. We were first ushered into a mean looking

waiting room, where no one received us, and thence to another

equally mean apartment, with but one window, no matting, car-

petting, or adornment of any kind. The viceroy's manner was as

usual studied . He did not sit on the " dais," or elevated seat,

with the general beside him, but on a chair at the opposite side of

the room, which was as hot as an oven, and soon obliged the vice-

roy and three official mandarins to use fans, but none were offered

to us.

The viceroy is fifty-one years of age, of large frame, and with

some Tartar blood manifested in his countenance. High cheek-

bones, well fleshed, large head, with the upper part or coronal

sloping to a ridge.* In order to show the footing on which we were

received, his dress was of the plainest character ; large black satin

boots, a long white garment, reaching the knees, then another of

drab silk, and then another of dark coloured silk. No insignia of

The personal appearance of a mandarin named Woo, at Canton, will serve for

many other officials in China. I noted the following while sitting opposite to him.

Stature, five feet eight inches ; form, bulky, and without any defined outline ; age,

about forty ; head, large ; neck, bull-shaped ; face, sensual ; forehead, high and narrow ;

comparative organ , full ; causation, small ; form and locality, marked ; pride, well deve-

loped ; animal region, excessive ; eyes, small, black, and inward angularity ; eyebrows,

high on the forehead and close ; cheek-bones, high and well fleshed ; ears, long, thick,

and pendulous ; nose, fat, shapeless, and truncated ; mouth, formless ; lips, thick ; chin,

round and beardless ; no whiskers ; hands, moderate in size, and fatty ; voice coarse ;

manners cold, and occasionally abrupt, or guardedly contemptuous.

x 2


rank whatever. In this manner the Chinese mark the esteem or

respect they have for their guests. Whenever they wish to receive

a guest with honour, they dress themselves in their official cos-

tumes, or in handsome flowered garments . After a few questions

from the general, the viceroy was made acquainted with the insults

we had received. He professed astonishment, and enquired whe-

ther it was at Canton or at Foochoo . This was a ruse, or else two

of the city magistrates of rank, there seated with us, and who had

visited the consulate yesterday, and were made acquainted with the

transaction by the consul, had never reported it to the viceroy.

When the viceroy found that we were not disposed to take in-

sult and outrage quietly-and that his endeavours to " pooh,

pooh" it were ineffectual, he assumed a serious aspect, spoke to

the city magistrate then present- and turning to the consul,

said " If your people land without our knowledge we cannot be

answerable ; but if you will give notice whenever any English-

men wish to land , I will cause them to be attended by police."

This was contrary to the treaty, as we were to have perfect security

and free ingress, without being guarded and watched by police spies.

The viceroy said he would issue a proclamation to the people

calling on them to respect us, and not to annoy or molest us

when walking through the streets-that we were now at peace and

ought to be one people. He said he would be glad to see trade

established, for while other viceroys were sending custom duties to

Peking, he had none to remit. He admired the general's cocked

hat and feathers,-examined the aigulet worn on the right

shoulder, and evinced considerable curiosity. He then wished

us to proceed into another apartment, where an entertainment

was spread for us . To this we objected, lest he would not

have accompanied us. The general said he was pressed for time,

as he had two more visits to make. The viceroy then hoped we

would take a cup of wine with him. To this we could not object.

Hot " samshoo" was then brought in- with two small saucers for

each person, one containing thin fried slices of bacon, the other a

sweet, like candied citron. Healths were pledged around, some ofthe

mandarins held also a piece of bacon out on the small two pronged

silver forks towards us-after the manner they do their wine

cups, and which is an invitation to eat. Apparently great cor-

diality prevailed, and the stiff constrained manner at first mani-

fest, was diminished . The viceroy was invited to visit the

steamer. He said, had we been stopping a few days he would

do so with great pleasure, but at present as we were leaving to-

morrow morning it would be impossible,-he being then very

busy, but on the next occasion of a steamer coming up, he

would avail himself of our polite offer. We then retired , -the

viceroy accompanying us farther from his chamber than the place at

which he received us, -the chairs were removed to the inner court,

so that we had not so far to walk in the sun. The dwelling of the


viceroy is a wretched building. No art or taste displayed,-it is

filthy, gloomy-looking-and the grass growing in the court yard

(if it can be dignified with that name), while rubbish and filth

abound. Several large trees still form part of a fine avenue.

We next proceeded to the Tartar general or commander of the

forces, distant about a mile from the viceroy's- in another quarter

of the city. When approaching-a large gong was struck by

some person in our rear. The Tartar residence as usual had a

pallisading and gates-in three successive courts,-within each of

which there were some rude looking wooden buildings-as dwel-

lings for the Tartars. The yards were paved, and grass growing

up through the paving. A few large trees imperfectly imitated

an avenue. On arriving at the principal gate it was closed pur-

posely, and our chairs were stopped outside, and we were obliged

to walk on foot through a side gate. No guns of salute were

fired,—(as when I visited the Toutie at Shanghai) , and only a few

domestics received us. While walking up the long yard in the sun

I mentioned to the General and to Mr. Parkes that our reception

was insulting. At the residence we were shown into a sort of

porter's lodge- and there saw two Mandarins of inferior rank-

whom the General had met at Amoy, and whose personal beha-

viour was civil ; they were apparently glad at seeing us. We

were then led up a side passage to the hall- but instead of being

shown into a central apartment, we were conducted into a narrow,

mean-looking, small apartment, where the Tartar general received

us . At first he would not sit down with us until he saw we re-

fused to sit and then with an ill grace he sat down. He is a

man about fifty-eight years of age, rather short stature, feeble ex-

pression of countenance, small, cunning eyes, and a disagreeable

tout ensemble. His dress was as mean as possible-in order to

mark his appreciation of us . On being seated-instead of addres-

sing himself to the general, he looked towards Mr. Alcock and

said in a sneering tone, and with a malicious manner, "I suppose

you have nothing to do, for I hear you are engaged in drawing .”

This or any other accomplishment is not esteemed as a gentle-

manly art, and the design of the observation was evident. Mr.

Alcock, who draws or rather pencils with good taste, had been re-

cently making some sketches of some of the inferior Mandarins.

The Tartar at first scarcely deigned to reply to any observations.

The General put several questions, to which the Tartar replied that

there were about 2,000 Tartar soldiers-that they assembled at

stated periods for drill,—that their next meeting would be in half

a moon- and that if we were here then we might see them.

There was a table in the centre of the room , and while the conver-

sation was going on, there were placed with some taste several

sorts of sweetmeats, fruits, and cakes. These we were invited to par-

take of and I asked, would not the Tartar general do so ? This he

declined, and said he hoped we would excuse his retiring. General


D'Aguilar was about to sit down, and had taken a nut or small

fruit off one of the piled heaps, which he commenced eating,

when I begged him not to sit down or partake of anything what-

ever, as the Tartar general was designedly insulting us by re-

fusing to sit down with us. The General and Mr. Alcock then

refused to sit down, said they were pressed for time, and begged

to be excused taking anything. We then retired, and had to pass

out at the side entrances, the sun pouring nearly vertical rays on

General D'Aguilar and the consul, who behaved with great courtesy

and kindness-which were not at all appreciated.

We departed, as we came, without any mark of respect. We

next proceeded to the lieutenant-governor's, which is in the neigh-

bourhood of the viceroy's. Here also we were obliged to get out

of our chairs outside the dwelling, and pass through side en-

trances, walking in a burning sun.

At this mansion we were shown into a better apartment than

at either of the other dwellings ; but still a mere side office of the

residence. After a few compliments, and refusal to partake of an

entertainment laid out in another room, we retired . Several

women and children were in one of the courts gazing at us. As

we passed through the streets of the city, they were everywhere

lined two to four deep gazing at us, with staring eyes, mouths

wide open- and with all possible varieties of astonished counte-

nances . No language would convey the wonderment which these

usually automaton faces manifested . There were seven palanquins

each at a little distance from the other, and the people had time

to make their remarks.

Mr. Alcock says he thinks, and has indeed satisfied himself, that

"tea may be procured here twenty-five per cent cheaper than at

Canton"-that " there is no bullion to pay for British goods, but

any quantity of tea may be obtained"-that the " Mandarins treat

everything with nonchalance"-that " every junk meeting another

weaker than itself, becomes a pirate" -and that " Fuhchoo is no

use as a political station." " It is a timber port."

Mr. Harry Parkes, who is intelligent far beyond his years, says,

"there are no manufactures-banking system general,-bank

notes from 400 cash upwards, some bankers deal on credit,

issue more notes than they can meet with bullion, and fail.'

He says the " Mandarins pretend friendship, but hate us,-

they use all sorts of duplicity-and not a word they say

can be believed . Does not agree in the high opinion ex-

pressed of Keying-thinks him very artful. In state papers

transmitted to Peking, the truth regarding us is never stated ;

they seem to take a delight in deception ; and the people would

treat us well but for their instigation. The Fokiens hate the

Cantonese, (whose language they do not understand) ; if a Fokien

be struck, he will say, ' two can play at that game.'

There are no beasts of burthen to convey goods to market from


the interior, but multitudes of men and women crowd every

thoroughfare leading to the city, with their ponderous burthens of

fish and vegetables, consisting of sweet potatoes, cucumbers, (nearly

two feet in length), water melons, french beans, (with pods from

ten to sixteen inches long) , garlic, onions, turnips (very large), car-

rots, sea kale, cabbage, (in immense quantities) , peas, lupins, (very

large) radishes white and red, &c. The supply of fish is large in

quantity, but there are few varieties of delicate fish ; the turtle

is plentiful, and much esteemed ; crabs are of prodigious size :

the climate compels the pickling of fish, so that the markets are

not well supplied with fresh-caught fish.

Flesh is very little consumed by the working classes ; beef is

inferior, goat-flesh very common and in general use ; pork excel-

lent, and in great abundance ; dogs or cats, as eatable commo-

dities, do not appear in the public markets. Of fruits the quantity

is very great, and a large trade is carried on in them preserved.

Fuhchoo is celebrated for " lichees ;" grapes are very abund-

ant, but inferior to those of the Cape of Good Hope, owing pro-

bably to the want of care in the training and cultivation. The

neglect of enclosing their gardens " and the great aptitude the

Chinese have of gratifying their taste at their neighbour's ex-

pense," prevents many fruits being left to ripen on the trees.

Fuhchoo-foo possesses some valuable hot sulphureous springs,

which are represented to be equal to those of Aix la Chapelle ;

one nearly at boiling heat, is without taste or odour. It has been

remarked that the natives are more free from cutaneous disorders

than in most other parts of China. The hot spring is made use of

to wash clothes, for which it is well adapted, and the very ex-

pensive price of fuel, in Fuhchoo, compels the poor to take advan-

tage of the hot springs.

The neighbourhood is celebrated for the manufacture of China-

ware, five hundred ovens may be seen constantly at work. No

place in China can produce such good specimens of ware, although

it is made in Fokien and Kwang-tung, (Canton), but they have

failed to rival the productions of Fuhchoo, which are however of

higher price. The wood used in burning the ware is brought

upwards of 300 miles, and both labour and provisions are ex-

tremely dear, so that other places more advantageously situated,

in this respect, have become successful rivals by supplying it at a

lower price .

The cotton of Fokien and of China generally is very fine, but

that which is met with at Fuhchoo is particularly good . Their

fabrics are coarser than those imported, but they wear much

longer ; and the brilliancy of their blue dye is well known . On

these accounts the poorer classes prefer their own manufacture,

though the want of machinery makes it dearer.

Money is said to be at some periods very scarce, as the notes

issued do not circulate beyond the district, and are only for small


sums. The average sale of opium is said to be three chests per

day, at an average price of 800 dollars a chest, which is always

paid for in silver. This proves, however , that there must be a

floating capital to no small amount ; the more that is paid for a

luxury the less there will be for necessary articles .

Her Majesty's consul at Fuhchoo thought it possible to procure

teas direct from the Bohea Hills, instead of bringing them over-

land to Canton. The consul thus writes, " I have assurance from

more than one source, that tea can be sent here from the districts

where it is grown, with so great facility and a moderate degree of

risk, as to remove the apprehension of either difficulty or danger,

offering any serious impediment, and at a cost altogether trifling,

compared with the expense of carriage of its transport to Canton.

The difference in the expense of carriage is of itself sufficient to

make a large diminution in the price of tea to the English mer-

chant. As to the feelings of the first producers, and the tea mer-

chants in the interior, my informant expresses not only the

anxious desire of his own firm, but that of the tea growers, to ob-

tain a market here in preference to Canton."


According to Mr. Lindsey, the principal trade at this port ap-

pears to be carried on withthe neighbouring province of Che-

keang. Wood and timber of every description constitute the

principal articles of trade. Tobacco is exported in large quanti-

ties : Mr. Lindsay, with some difficulty, ascertained the shop

prices of cotton and woollen goods :-

Camlets • per chang, 4 and 5 dollars ;

Superfine broad- cloths ‫دو‬ 9 19 10 "9

Calicoes . per piece, 9 "" 12 ""

Long ells "" 10 "" 14 ‫دو‬

Iron . per pecul, 2 ‫وو‬

English camlets per piece , 56 ""

Dutch ditto "" 70

Public expectation was disposed to think rather favourably of

Fuhchoo-foo, the capital of a province containing nearly as many

inhabitants as Great Britain, and occupying a larger territory,—a

port which the Chinese authorities had opened with great reluct-

ance to foreigners, and as it is in the immediate vicinity of the

black-tea district, many were led to anticipate that the foreign

commerce would find a ready market ; these hopes have not

hitherto been realized . It is difficult to be accounted for : some

say the artificial wants of the Chinese are not numerous, nor have

they yet appreciated many of the enjoyments or amusements of

social life, which at all times tend to create and multiply real or

imaginary wants ; but our exclusion from the interior, and our

restricted intercourse with the people, constitute one of the most

formidable barriers to an extended commerce. But, amongst a

population of nearly half a million of people, in an industrious and

well situated city, nine miles in circumference, which has a large


trade with the northern and southern coast and the interior,

failure of trade can never arise from the deficiency of the ele-

ments which constitute the true basis of commerce, as the returns

are on the spot.

It has been truly remarked, that Fuhchoo-foo, of all the five

ports, should be least dependant upon silver as a return for English

goods . There is on the spot the great staple article of export, and

the only one for which the demand is steady and regular- Tea.

About seventy miles from the city, is the central depôt of the

great black-tea, or Bohea, hills, from whence the tea can be sent

down to the ship's-side in four days, at an expense considerably

less than that which is now paid for its transit to Canton ; proba-

bly twenty-five per cent. cheaper. Sugar is grown in the neigh-

bourhood of Fuhchoo for home consumption, but the refining pro-

cess is not well understood. Within six miles of the city, are

extensive lead mines ; the price, per pecul of eighty pounds, was

last year only five dollars.

In Straits produce, including the Indian Archipelago, much

trade might be done, as there is a large and increasing consump-

tion of their products, and our freights are considerably lower than

that of the Chinese junks. The trade with Loochoo is annually

increasing ; numerous junks come every year, with 5,000 to

10,000 dollars in gold, to purchase foreign goods, which are princi-

pally for Japan. The best proof that can be given of the proba-

bility of a trade existing, is that there are not less than 1,000

junks annually engaged in trade.

Freight- Fuhchoo to Amoy costs 13 dollars a pecul : sixteen

peculs to a ton ; hemp, 10 dollars a pecul ; round buttons, 20 cash

each ; sugar, 5 dollars a pecul ; pork, per pound, 100 cash, or to

of a tael ; rice, per stone, seldom costs less than 2 taels.

The following prices were noted in 1844 at Fuhchoo : the im-

port prices refers to the purchase or sale of one or two pieces, and

not to bales .



Long cloth, bleached 4, 25 dollars,

‫دو‬ grey 3,75

American drills, grey 4,

‫دو‬ domestics 3, 50

Chintz . 3, 50

Long ells . 8, 25

Cotton twist, N. 18 to 32 30, -

Pepper · 6, 50

Rattans 4, 20


T. M. C.

TEA, No. 1- Pah-koo . • 120 0 0

"" "" 1-Ming Choong • • 80 0 0

دو‬1- Seu Poi . 27 5 0


T. M. C.

TEA, No. 1 - Hong Mooey • 18 5 0

99 99 2- Ditto . 18 5 0

Tae-pooey 20 0 0

Hong-foo 17 0 0

Sook -lay 8 4 0

SUGAR, No. 1, 5 3 0

‫دو‬ "" 4 4 0

"" "" 3, 4 3 0

"" 39 4, • 4 2 5

‫وو‬ ,, 5. 4 2 0

Alum, 1 50 dollars,

Camphor, 18 dollars.

Captain Rodney Mundy, of Her Majesty's Ship " Iris," in order

to test the facilities for inland conveyance, sent a letter from Fuh-

choo to our consul at Ningpo, by a special courier, who performed

the journey in ten days-of which he travelled eight by land, and

two by water- and for which he received 10,000 cash. The same

returned to Fuhchoo in twelve days. Letters are sent by the

consul at Fuhchoo to Amoy in four days by special courier at a

charge of 1,800 cash ( 1,300 cash to the dollar) for the journey.

They may be sent cheaper by not requiring so short an interval of



Ningpo, in latitude 29° 54° north, longitude 121 ° 52′ 30″ east,

is situated on the banks of the river Takia, the principal of the

rivers, which have here their confluence with the sea. The chan-

nel for entering this river is between some small islands on the

eastern point, having on the bar from three to three and a half

fathoms of water, and at the anchorage from five to six. The

mouth of the river is only nine leagues distant from Chusan har-

bour. Ningpo is one of the first-class cities of the province of

Chekeang, which reckons eighty-nine cities and large towns ; its

population is 26,256,784, with an area of 25,056,000 English acres,

or 536 individuals to the square mile.

The present appearance of Ningpo proves that it was formerly

an extensive place of commerce, and had probably a large trade

with the Spaniards ; when we took possession of it the people

called our sepoys , " Manilla men .'"" The city is encompassed

within a wall six miles in circumference, but in a wretched state

for defence ; it is entered by six gates, and is incapable of any re-

sistance to an European army. Some of the streets are well laid

out with good shops, and at night look well when lit with large


The vast plain of Ningpo is a magnificent amphitheatre, stretch-

ing for nearly sixteen miles on the one side to the base of the


distant hills, and on the other to the verge of the ocean. To the

north west, south, and south-east, are seen innumerable canals and

water-courses, every patch of ground cultivated, comfortable farm-

houses, family residences, villages, and tombs. On the opposite

direction the land-scenery is similar to that described , but the

river appears to be literally covered with boats and human


The height of the city walls is about twenty-five feet, exclusive of

the parapet, which is nearly five feet ; the width at the top is fif-

teen feet, and the base twenty-two. The materials of the wall ap-

pear to be solid, and where not dilapidated is very substantial ma-

sonry. There are six gates in the wall ; five are situated at the four

cardinal points, there being two on the eastern face. In addition to

these principal gates, there is near the south and west gates, a

water-gate, or small sally port, used for the ingress and egress of

boats, that ply about the city canals . Bridge- gate, so called from

a floating bridge, about two-hundred yards long, and nearly six

yards broad, is formed of timber lashed together and laid upon

lighters, of which there are seventeen linked close together with

iron chains it is the only communication with a populous suburb.

The six principal gates are double, and each inner gate is sup-

ported by an outer one, which is twenty-five yards distant from it .

The line of wall that runs off from the one side of the inner gate

towards the outer, is the leading wall, which having described a

section of a parallelogram, meets the inner gate at the other side.

Over each gateway, whether inner or outer, a guard-house is

raised, and generally two stories high. At present these stations

are unoccupied : from the wall the scenery is good. There is a

moat of considerable extent, which almost encircles the city. It is

calculated at 2142 chang, which is about three miles long, some

parts very deep, and varies in width from thirty to forty yards, is

well supplied with water, and is daily navigated by small boats.

Chinhoe citadel and town is at the entrance of the Ningpo river,

and about thirteen miles from the city ; it is on a commanding

height, was well protected by forts, walls, cannon, and possessed

several large armouries, foundries, &c. , filled with guns, musketry,

swords, pikes, powder, &c. ; yet its garrison of 15,000 men was

routed in a few hours by our troops and seamen, amounting to

about 1,500 men.

The situation is very beautiful, and the scenery around charm-

ing. Along the river-banks are ice-houses of a lofty size, with high

gable roofs, lightly thatched to permit ventilation. From these

ice ware-houses, the fishing junks are largely and economically


There are some large buildings at Ningpo ; an hexagonal

tower 150 feet high, and one temple in particular of vast size,

with numerous columns and splendid ceilings varnished in gold

and silver hues . An elegant arch or screen of exquisitely carved


style, attracted my notice. The elephants engraved thereon were

well executed, but the art displayed was said not now to be mani-

fested in China ; the date was about 400 years old. The city is

said to contain 200,000 or 300,000 inhabitants.

At Ningpo an attempt has been made to collect some informa-

tion on population . The heads of 293 families had 660 children

living, of whom 357 were boys, and 303 were girls ; 369 persons

had 637 brothers, and 427 sisters. Of 300 men above twenty

years of age, 36 were unmarried, and only two of those were prac-

tical polygamists ; these enquiries were made amongst the poorest

classes . It is seldom that families have more than four children,

the largest in the list had six. There appears to be less mortality

among children in China, than in England or the United States.

The people of Ningpo are very indignant at being charged with

infanticide, yet with one voice charge the crime on the people of

Fookien, and the inhabitants of the northern part of the Canton


The Missionaries, English and American, at Ningpo, as well as

in other parts of China have done great good. An English lady-

a Miss Aldersey- has settled for life at Ningpo as a missionary, and

is doing much good.

The missionary hospital at Ningpo was opened in November

1843. During the first three months 650 patients received sur-

gical treatment. The building, which is in the business part of

the city, was freely given for that purpose by a native merchant.

It has daily gained confidence and esteem from the inhabitants.

It was at first only attended by the poor, but in a few months the

hospital was surrounded with grandees in their sedans. The

missionaries only profess to cure complaints of the eyes, which

are very general, particularly entropium, or turning in of the lid

so as to rub the cornea, which is thought to proceed frompoor diet,

as some wholly live on fish and green vegetables. Next to ophthal-

mic complaints, those of the skin are most frequent, and by no

means confined to the poor.

EARLY FOREIGN TRADE AT NINGPO.-A native work published

by imperial authority about fifty years ago, gives a brief sketch

of foreign intercourse, both at Tinghai and Ningpo . The writer

of this history purposes to give the transactions of the period 1695,

and states that the grace and dignity of imperial majesty having

diffused itself far and wide, the ships of foreigners arrived in a

line of unbroken succession : that foreign goods were lightly taxed,

to encourage them . It was then decreed that the annual tax from

English imports should amount to 10,000 taels of silver. The

writer states that the Hungmaw is the Yingkweili (English nation) ;

its people are of two species, white and black. The white consti-

tutes the honourable class, the black the inferior. Their ships

are built of double plank, they are different from Chinese boats,

and they sail against the wind.

All efforts failed this year to open a custom house at Tinghai,


for the accommodation of foreigners, and the board of revenue or-

dered that deputies do attend then from Ningpo, to collect the

duties. In the 37th of the same Emperor's reign, A.D. 1699, the

hoppo reported that the " bay of Tinghae (Chusan) was much

better suited for foreign trade than Ningpo ;" and it appears that

consent was obtained from the board of revenue to open trade ; in

1701 two English ships arrived, and in the eighth month two more

ships. It appears trade was going on most prosperously, but the

Ningpo people got jealous of their neighbours, and squabbling

with each other constantly, when the trade was checked, and the

factory was dissolved in 1703.

The commerce of Ningpo is now very active among the

Chinese themselves. About 670 junks come annually to this

port from Shantung, and Leautung, which bring oil of teuss (peas)

green and yellow ; brandy, pears, chesnuts, felt caps, cloth and

cordage of different kinds, hams, salt meat, vegetables, stag horns,

medicine and drugs, wheat, flour, oil, and sauce of humps, paste

of green peas, nuts, barley, seeds of the water melon, oil of the

fruit tree kin, (black) oil of the pea of Suchoo, a fruit called the

fleshy date, a grain known as paomi, horns of animals, rice, a

species of silk called kin chou, and the grain of the nuan-mi,

kanliang, &c. From Fookein and Hainan, about 560 junks arrive

with sugar, alum, pepper, black tea, iron, wood, indigo (both dry

and liquid) salt fish, rice, dye woods and fruits : from Canton about

twenty-five junks with sugar candy, cotton, and articles as above.

From the straits of Malacca, and the adjacent isles of Jolo,

some ships come annually with cargoes of Straits produce, which

is the same as that of the Phillipines : these are called ships of

the west, some years as many as ten, in other years only one or

two : during the year 1844 none arrived.

From the interior, by rivers and canals nearly 4,000 small ves-

sels arrive annually ; from Ningpo, large quantities of wood and

charcoal are sent to Shanghai, which return a profit of 25 per

cent ; it is said that in the Archipelago of Chusan, distance only

twenty-four miles from Chinho, more than 20,000 people are

employed catching and preserving fish. The vessels thus employed

belong to natives of Ningpo, and are generally the property of

a family, or small company, ten or fifteen persons uniting to

purchase the cargo.

The trade of Shantung and Leautung, which supports Ningpo,

is annually on the decline-and well informed parties attribute

the decline to the increasing prosperity of Singapore, which being

a free port, has at all times a large stock of European

goods, and the products of the Red and Persian Seas, the Straits

of Malacca, and other adjoining countries. There is an annual

increase of the vessels, which come from Teintsin and other ports

of the empire, to supply themselves from first hands. The vast

exportation of silver, which is constantly made from the northern

provinces to meet the imports of opium, diminishes they say the


demand for various articles of luxury, as well as the capability

of purchasing many of the conveniencies and necessaries of life.

The native productions of Ningpo have been sensibly affected

since the opening of the ports ; a piece of white long cloth

(called Nankin) which six years ago sold for six dollars, can

now be purchased for three dollars and a half. So that the

direct importation of similar goods to their own manufactures

has already thrown many looms idle. Besides the importation

here, and still more into Shanghai, of Straits' produce in Euro-

pean ships, direct from Java and Manilla, Singapore, must have a

tendency to reduce Ningpo from the character of an emporium.

Ningpo can maintain its position by becoming a port for the

export of tea, and import of silks. It is also within several

days' journey less to the green-tea country than Shanghai, avoid-

ing one inland custom house, by which there would be a saving

of one tael of silver or more per pecul.

The vessels of the N. E. coast carry to Shantung, Leautung,

&c. , tobacco, porcelain of Fookien and Canton, preserved oranges,

honey, wood for building, cane, roots, sugar candy, white and

brown sugar, alum, European goods, opium, native cotton, cloth

(white and blue), wax, white lead, sapan wood, chop - sticks, silver

and gilt paper for burning in the temples, white and yellow paper,

vermilion, an article of food called Tao foo, canes to serve for

building materials, wine made in Siaosing, wooden covers for pots,

canes for coolies, brooms, and all the articles known as Straits' pro-

duce. Calculating the 650 vessels of the N.E. at an average of

2,500 peculs ; 550 of Formosa, and Fookien at 1,500 ; twenty

of Canton and Macao at 2,500 ; and five of the Straits of Malacca

at 10,000 ; the quantity is about 2,556,000 peculs, (or 159,360

tons) of goods exclusive of opium imported in Chinese vessels,

and calculating the value of the imports, one with another, at

three dollars per pecul, the sum of 7,650,000 dollars. A similar

sum, either more or less, may be calculated as the value of the

exports ; notwithstanding that a great part of the goods which

are exported to the N.E. are the same that have been imported

from the S.E. Thus it appears that Ningpo, like Shanghai, is a

port where articles of commerce are exchanged between the

S.E. and N.E. shores of the empire. This proves that its own

imports and exports are inconsiderable, as in the natural order

of events, it ought only to provide foreign goods, and serve

for an outlet to the province of Chekiang of which it forms

a part ; or at most to the neighbouring cities of Anjui and


The prices of cotton cloth (Native), first quality, white and even,

each piece twenty-four feet by sixteen inches, is 600 catties . Fine

bleached Nanking, straw-colour, eighteen feet by twelve inches, 600

catties. Ditto, natural colour, same quality, 400 catties. Sheep are

in abundance, at an average of three and a half dollars each. Alum

is procured from the mines of Uenchu in this province, and is


exported from Pignian, a port on the coast nearer to Fuh-choo-

foo than Ningpo, but not so distant from that city as from

Amoy. The total value of alum exported from Ningpo since the

opening of the port to January, 1845, was 30,000 dollars. The

article of rhubarb is sold here much cheaper than at Canton ; first

quality thirty-five dollars, second seventeen dollars per pecul of

100 lb.


ported into Ningpo ; it is a long, strong fibre, similar to what is

usually imported from Manilla, and sells from nine to ten dollars

per Ningpo pecul (100 lb.) ; however desirable to obtain return

cargoes, this article can never be one : on the contrary, it is more

likely to be an article of import.

Cotton, raw, is an article of export. It is a fair, long staple,

well cleansed and a pure white ; price of the Native production

twenty dollars per pecul. The manufacturers prefer the Manilla

As for the lower qualities of American and Bombay, they

are almost unsaleable at any price.

Rice varies from two to three dollars per pecul, and the rice

pecul is 145 catties. At any period it is a doubtful article of im-

port : Bengal Moonghy finds a slow sale at two dollars per bag.

Timber. -The quality in most general use is soft pine, not

squared ; the large junks are chiefly employed in carrying this

bulky article ; it averages twenty dollars per load of fifty cubit feet ;

planks thirty-seven dollars per load.


Sugar. The cane is abundant, but entirely used as an edible ;

the supply of sugar is from Formosa and Fookien ; the cheapest

is from six to seven dollars per pecul ; white, and a good grain, nine

dollars ; best candy eleven to twelve dollars.

Pepper (black) selling from nine to twelve dollars per pecul.

Birds' -nests. First quality eighty dollars per catty ; second

quality sixty dollars, and third forty dollars.

Sandal wood. The demand is trifling, as the Chinese do not

appear to properly estimate the excellent qualities which are at-

tached to hard woods. Ningpo prices from thirteen to fifteen dol-

lars per pecul.

Lead.- Pig lead selling from seven dollars fifty cents.

Woollen cloth.-Russian has hitherto been in very general use,

which is sold at extremely low prices ; a serviceable cloth is sold

from 180 cash to one dollar per cubit ; breadth four and a half

cubits. (See Kiachta and Russian trade).

Tobacco (leaf) very mild, much inferior to American, seven dollars

per pecul.

Hides (cow and bullock's) ten dollars per pecul dressed ; un-

dressed from seven dollars up.

White lead ranges from fourteen to fifteen dollars per pecul.

Used as a cosmetic chiefly.

Castor oil (indigenous) ranges from six dollars per pecul, used

for varnishes, and unknown as a medicine.


The black teas offered here are of inferior quality, and ill-suited

to the home market, and sell from twenty-five to sixty-seven

dollars per pecul.

Green teas. This article appears to suit foreigners much better

than the black teas, only the leaf is rather too large ; prices from

twenty-seven to seventy-eight dollars per pecul.

Silks. The manufactured silks are much similar to the Canton

goods ; the average is about seventeen dollars per roll (twenty

yards) ; the raw materials range from 410 to 450 dollars. Hang-

choo-foo silks are sold by weight, and average about forty-four

cents per ounce.

The produce of a Chinese acre of land, and the expense of living

at Ningpo, are thus stated :-

One mow (Chinese acre) will produce on an average four bags of

paddy (unhusked rice) . One bag of paddy is equal to one tan, or

pecul, or to 100 kin of paddy by weight, to nearly nine tan by mea

sure, or equal in weight to sixty-five kin of rice ready for cooking,

or in measure to five tan, or fifty shing of the same. On an average?

one man eats one shing per day, or four bowls of rice. Field la-

bourers eat one shing or four bowls at a sitting, and as they eat

three times a day, consume three shing daily, or twelve bowls of

rice, besides vegetables and fish . The rate of living is very mode

rate. In Ningpo a man can live on forty cash each meal, that is

120 cash daily. Three persons can procure at a cook-shop a dinner

for the small sum of 120 cash, which is about one-ninth of a dollar.

Six or seven rooms can be had for about ten dollars per month.

The foregoing statements are given as a stimulus to further



Shanghai, the principal maritime port of the province of Kang-

soo, it situated on the right bank of the Woo-sung River, about

fourteen miles from the sea. The anchorage at the mouth of the

river is in latitude 31 ° 25′ north, longitude 121 ° 1′ 30″ east. The

Woo-sung disembogues into the great Yangtzekang, which is

aptly called the main artery of China. The Woo- sung river main-

tains a uniform breadth of half a mile or more, and has about five

fathoms in mid-channel ; the entrance is through a maze of sand

banks, without a mark ; the country is very flat, indeed a dead

level on both sides of the river, and highly cultivated.

The river Woo- sung, on which the city of Shanghai is situated,

comes out of the Ta-hoo (great lake) , Chang-keaow-kow, and then

traverses the Yun-ho, or great canal, and thus communicates with

the Yang-tsze-keang, the Yellow river, and Peking ; from the

Yun-ho it enters the Pang-shan lake, and flows by the beautiful

city of Suchow, the capital of the southern part of Kang-soo, the


most commercial, wealthy, and luxurious cities of the empire.

From this place numerous navigable rivers communicate, and tra-

verse each other in every direction. This river enables the inha-

bitants to trade and communicate with the remotest parts of the

empire, from Peking to Yunnan, and from the eastern coasts to the

centre of the deserts in Tartary.

The Woo- sung river, at its junction with the Yangtze-

kang, is flat, with scattered trees ; but on ascending the river,

although the banks continue low, hills of 400 feet appear on the

left bank, at five miles from the river. On the right bank there is

also some elevation ; villages are scattered in every direction, but

most numerous on the left bank.

Two forts are at the entrance of the Woo-sung, bearing north-

west and south- east, distant three quarters of a mile. On the left

bank is a quay, three miles long ; two batteries, one near the west-

ern corner of the quay, the other at the entrance.

In the river of Woo-sung, high water, full and change about

one hour thirty minutes, rise fifteen to eighteen feet ; stream from

south-east round by east and north. Blows at full and change

with rain. July, barometer, 29.74 ; thermometer, 78 ; winds

south- easterly. August ; barometer, 29.78 ; thermometer, 81 .

September ; barometer, 29.90 ; thermometer, 77 ; winds more

variable ; barometer, as in other parts of China, rises with northerly

winds, and falls with west and southerly.

The heat is very great in July, August, and September, but at

other periods the temperature is very agreeable ; and snow falls in

winter, remaining on the ground some days.

The city of Shanghai, has a rampart or wall, with a circuit of

about five miles . It has many embrasures, where cannon might

be pointed, but is rather narrow in some places. The wall is

without bastions, exterior defences, and ditches ; the houses of the

suburbs are built quite close to the wall. It has five entrances,

each consisting of two gates, but no drawbridges, or defences .

The streets are narrow and filthy, but the number of shops is

amazing, and bustling trade and commerce everywhere evident.

On entering the river, the forest of shipping and masts, indicates

it a place of commercial importance ; it is said, that in the month

of January, it is not an uncommon sight to behold 3,000 junks in

the river, opposite the city. The population is said to be about

120,000. It is only 150 miles by the river from Su-chow, (of

which Shanghai is the port), the most delightful city in all China,

hence called Paradise. In buildings, appearance, and opulence,

Shanghai is inferior to Ningpo.

Shanghai is connected by water communications with one third

of China ; and there is, therefore, considerable internal as well as

external trade. The coasting trade is very large ; junks arriving

from Singapore, Java, Penang, Malacca, Sumatra, Borneo, &c.,

which are entered at the custom-house as coming from Fookien,



or Canton, bring European goods of all kinds ; opium, flints, pep-

per, sharks'-fins, deers' -horns, cochineal, hides, nails, nutmegs,

liquid, and dried indigo, biche-de-mer, birds-nests, mother-

o' -pearl, shells, tortoiseshell, ivory, buffaloes humps, sugar-lead,

gold-thread, and all kinds of wood for spars, ornamental and fra-

grant, as well as materials for dying ; medicines from the Red Sea,

Persian, Indian, &c. There come annually to Shanghai, by the

Yangtzekang, and its branches, vessels from various ports,

amounting in all to 5,400 . These never put out to sea, but con-

vey into the interior, the goods brought by vessels from the south

and north, as well as transport from the interior, the goods to be

despatched by these vessels. In addition to the vessels employed

in the inland navigation, and those which go to sea, amounting to

7,000, there are also at Shanghai, innumerable boats and barges

employed in fishing, and in conveying passengers and goods.

Shanghai is not only a port of great trade in imports and exports,

but an emporium where there is an exchange of national and

foreign commodities, between the southern and northern parts of

the empire. There are annually imported into Shanghai, 520,000

peculs of sugar, 128,000 peculs of sapan wood ; an equal quantity of

dye stuffs ; from 3,000 to 4,000 of canes, 1,960 biche-de-mer,

1700 of sharks ' - fins, and 1,500 birds' - nests . These latter articles

are well known to be smuggled to a very large extent. Sugar has

always been charged a small duty, about 100 cash per pecul .

The ships of the north, those which return to Quan-tung, Shen-

sing, and Lean-tung, Shensi, and Lea-wung, carry away cotton,

tea, paper, silks, and cotton stuffs from Nanking and Suchow ;

European goods and flints, opium, and a great part of the sugar,

pepper, biche-de-mer, and birds'-nests, &c . , which the vessels, pass-

ing under the name of Fookein and Canton bring to Shanghai.

These last mentioned vessels return with cargoes of cotton, earthen-

ware, (principally from Formosa) pork salted, green tea, raw and

manufactured silks, native cotton cloths, blankets, hemp, fruits, &c.

There is also an interchange of a vast number of articles connected

with the coasting trade, such as baskets , charcoal, shoes, coal, wood,

pipes, tobacco, gypsum, varnish, umbrellas, mats, lanterns, sponges,

sacks, vegetables, fruits, &c.

The vessels which arrive at Shanghai are known at the custom

house as those of the north, of Fookien and Canton. The vessels

of Quantung, Leaoutung, and Teintsin, at the mouth of the

Pei-ho, the river which passes Peking and the province of Shan-

tung . The vessels of Quantung and Leaoutung are the same as

those of Teintsin . Those from Shantung proceed from the dif-

ferent ports of that province. Both are known under the name

of vessels of the north ; and the number which arrive annually is

about 930 at the commencement of the N.E. monsoon .

From Fookien nearly 300 come annually, but the greater por-

tion of that number from Hainan or Formosa, also from Manilla,


Bali, and other ports. About 400 come from Canton, the chief

part from Singapore, Penang, Sulo, Sumatra, Siam, and other

places. A coasting trade in English brigs and schooners is now

commencing at Shanghai. The junks, therefore, of the outer sea,

which come to Shanghai annually are 1,600 ; occasionally they

have amounted to 1,800 ; taking them on an average of 200 tons,

there will appear to be an importation of 300,000 tons . The ves-

sels of the north are 900, and those of the south only 700, these

latter have a greater total amount : among the former are many

of upwards of sixty tons. The vessels of the north bring a great

quantity of dry paste (tauping) , salted meat, oil, hams, wine, timber

for ship building, wheat, chestnuts, pears, and greens. From Foo-

kien, sugar, indigo, (liquid and dried, ) sweet potatoes, fish, black

tea, paper, and soap . From Canton, sugar, cinnamon, Canton

cloth, fruits, glass and chrystal, perfumes, soap, and white lead .

Shanghai being a cotton district, does not abound in rice. It

is the port of many great cities .


Sugar. The whole exports from the Philippines is insufficient

to supply the wants of Shanghai. This article rises sometimes to

a very extravagant price, as failures of the crops in Formosa are


Cotton. The consumption is very great ; large quantities ex-

ported to Formosa and the north. Its price, when over supplied,

is about 15 dollars a pecul ; some periods it is known to rise to

23 and 24 dollars.

Hemp. The native article is a most excellent quality , but

ranges high- from eight to nine dollars per pecul. Coir, and

other inferior materials, are substituted. 7,000 vessels, besides

boats and barges, must consume a vast quantity of cordage.

Cocoa Nut Oil. - The oil for burning that is made in China, is

very inferior in quality ; a better article is likely to be in demand

in the wealthy and fashionable Suchan.

Sapan Wood maintains, at all times, a high price, from two- and-

a-half to three dollars per pecul.

Bird's Nests, Biche de Mer, Shark's Fins, Deer's Horns, Canes.-

These articles arrive from the southern part of the country.

Hides, for making glue.-No glue appears to be made in this


Sulphur.- Private persons cannot buy it, and government use

the native produce.

Molave, Red Wood, Ebony.- These woods are here accounted a

good branch of commerce.

Lead.-The Americans supply it cheaper than any other country.

Wheat can be bought, when there is no scarcity, at one-and-a-

half dollar per pecul of 100 catties. Flour, in favourable seasons,

can be bought at two and two-and-a-half dollars.

Silks. For superior textures of silk, this is a better market than

Canton ; sewing silk of every kind, in colours, is prepared in Han-



chew and Nanking. The crapes made in this district are superior

to what are generally seen in Canton.

Nankin. The yellow cotton cloth known under this name ; 100

pieces may be procured for forty dollars of 213 chi.

Tea- Green, may be purchased here nearly twenty per cent.

cheaper than at Canton.

Rhubarb-may be obtained at Shanghai full as cheap as at


Hams, of a good quality may be had of the weight of five catties.

for one dollar.

Excellent sheep, five dollars each.

Fat, though small, bullocks eleven to fifteen dollars each.

Pheasants, large and good, one shilling each.

Hares, wild geese, and wild ducks, abundant.

Bread, sweet, well made, and cheap .

In addition to teas and silks, among the articles procurable at

Shanghai, are camphor, china root, cassia, the best porcelain.

Articles are also brought here from Japan, Siam, Cochin China,

and Tonquin, such as copper, sugar, gamboge, raw silk, stick-lac,

liquid indigo, and plumbago, good hemp, and a superior descrip-

tion of fine flax.

Coal is abundant in Shanghai,-it is burned in our steamers,

and appears like the description termed " kennel coal ;" it is ap-

parently worked near the surface, and a better sort would most

probably be obtained by mining. The Chinese prefer charcoal for

cooking ; and dried reedy grass is always used, where procurable,

for boiling rice ; the heat thus produced being very great and


Nearly the staple article of Shanghai is a large white pea, which

is ground in a mill, and then pressed in a complicated piece of

machinery to extract the oil , which is used for eating and burning

-principally the latter purpose ; the cake is then made up in the

shape of a Gloucester cheese, or good- sized grinding- stone. The

quantity which leaves Shanghai is enormous, according to Mr.

Thom, Her Majesty's Consul at Ningpo, this article is distributed

throughout China, from Shanghai alone, to the annual amount of

ten million dollars, or nearly two-and-a-half millions sterling.

It is used as food for pigs and buffaloes, and as manure, for which

latter purpose it is highly esteemed.

The Chinese merchants, it is said, were anxious to obtain mus-

ters of the different kinds of silk suited to the English market.

Most of the fabric made in Shanghai are with thrown silk. The

skill of the workmen in this district, together with the well-known

enterprise of the manufacturers, have established the character of

their goods throughout the empire . The chief articles manu-

factured are damasks, satins, mazarines, and crapes, also figured

and plain heavy serges. The safest article of export is the Hang-

chow and Nanking plain white, and the Tong-pa and Ching- tong


yellow Pongees. If purchased in the gum, and not boiled off, the

purchaser will not be so liable to be cheated, as they are frequently

increased in the weight, and improved in their apparent quality

with congee (rice paste) .

In the Wusung custom-house a register is kept of all the native

vessels which enter and l