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all her hands were wounded.] On the wind get-
ting up, the barbarian ships managed to escape. In
the sixth moon [5th July 1840] their whole fleet
attacked and captured Ting-hai [Chusan] and block-
ading detachments then swept the coasts of Fu Kien
and Kwang Tung. A month later the foreign ships
made a sudden attack upon the neck of land behind
Macao, but several of their small boats were sunk by
our guns, and a score or more of their eyes [officers]
and men were wounded. A month later Lin Tseh-su,
observing a squadron of five ships [ u Enterprise,"
"Larne," " Louisa," " Hyacinth " ] off Mo-tau,
under Smith's a command, sent five junks to sea to
annihilate them, each junk carrying 600 men.
Captain Ma Ch'en 6 happened to engage [Commodore]

a ± $ MM



18 Chinese Account of the Opium War.

Smith's ship first, and succeeded in damaging
her bows, so that she reeled over, and some marines
were drowned. For a long time we surrounded
her, until all her ammunition was fired off;
but the other ships sent a dozen or so of boats
to surround Ma Ch'en's junk, and, whilst Ma Ch'en
was engaged with these, Smith's ship managed to
escape. We picked up several corpses, and captured
some arms and a flag : the facts were duly reported
to the Emperor, who said Lin " had caused the
u war by his excessive zeal, and had killed people
u in order to close their mouths." The meaning
of this was that the Che Kiang authorities were
totally unable to do anything for the recovery
of Ting-hai, and there was no possibility of anyone
doing so except by fighting at sea, at which exercise
the foreign ships excelled us ; whilst it had been
whispered to the Emperor that the foreigners might
take advantage of China's unreadiness for war to
invade the country. The Emperor had also now
heard that, before the opium was surrendered, a
promise, since broken, had been made to pay for it,
which was the cause of hostilities : others told him
that the Viceroy Teng's report of the Amoy affair
was untrue. lLiPU, a Viceroy at Nanking, was there-
fore sent as Imperial Commissioner to Ningpo, and
orders were sent to all the Governors of the Coast



Chinese Account of the Opium War. 19

Provinces to receive at once and report to the Emperor
the contents of any letters handed in by foreign
ships. The Under Secretaries Hwang Tsioh-tsz
and K'l Tsun-tsao" were sent to observe the course
of events in Fu Kien Province. In the month of
August, the foreign chief Bremer and five ships
arrived at Tientsin, with letters from* the Pa-li-man 6
office [Parliament] addressed to the " Premier of the
" Great Pure Dynasty," and containing a number of
categorical demands. First, he demanded the value of
"the produce" (as the first letters euphoniously styled
" opium "), or " opium " (as he afterwards plainly
called it). Secondly, he demanded that Canton,
Amoy, Foochow, Ting-hai, and Shanghai should
be opened to trade. Thirdly, terms of equality.
Fourthly, a war indemnity. Fifthly, that merchants
on shore must not be held responsible for the doings
of opium-ships on the seas. Sixthly, the abolition
of the co-hong monopoly. These demands were
referred to Peking by K'ishen, Viceroy of Chih Li,
and meanwhile the foreign ships had not come north,
as it was hoped that the negotiations for commercial
privileges would be successful ; so that, if things had
been properly managed, the treaty would have been
concluded on the spot. The Tientsin taotai Lira Kien-
YiNG f * represented that the three first demands were
the most important, and suggested that the opium



20 Chinese Account of the Ojrium War.

should be paid for by remission of duties ; that
Macao should be an open port ; and that the Hoppo
be placed on terms of equality with them ; but that,
adhering to the principle of rigidly excluding opium,
these concessions should be conditional upon opium
not coming ; and that the abolition of the co-hong
question should Tbe referred by them to Lin Tseh-su
at Canton. In this way satisfaction would be given
without compromising China's dignity. This is the
fifth turning-point in western affairs. However,
those charged with the negotiations thought that they
would not gain so much credit by concluding an
arrangement at once at Tientsin as if they magnified
and dragged on the negotiations ; and therefore they
would give no decided answers to any of the demands.
Moreover, in the reply, it was hinted that Lin
Tseh-su would be severely punished if it were found by
the Emperor's Commissioner that there was anything
crooked in the alleged " delivery-up of the opium"
promise of last year. An Imperial edict appointed
K'ishen as Commissioner to enquire into the matter.
Lin Tseh-su and Teng Tung-cheng were degraded,
but ordered to await the result of investigation at
Canton. Orders were also given to all the coast
authorities not to fire upon the European ships. The
applicants then left Tientsin, and declined to surren-
der Ting-hai, on the ground that the Chinese Govern-
ment would give no decided answer. Half of their



Chinese Account of the Opium War. 21

naval force left Chusan for Canton. Lin Tseh-su
had represented meanwhile that the other nationalities
were very indignant at the prolonged stoppage of
trade by the British, and had said that they would
send home for armed forces of their own if the
English did not return quickly. This, he said,
was just what we wanted, — to set one enemy against
the other. Three million taels would buy all the
ships and guns that China wanted ; and, by thus
imitating the enemy's best methods, we should be able
to constrain % him with his own weapons, and allow
him to wear himself out in seeking to attack us.
He offered to redeem his past errors by proceeding to
Che Kiang with a view to recovering Ting-hai.
The Emperor, however, would not agree to his
proposals. In November Elliot returned to Che
Kiang, and had an interview with Ilipu at Chen-hai.
He demanded the surrender of the captured chief
An-t'u-te 05 [Captain Anstruther] ; and also of the
foreign ship ["Kite"] which had been stranded pn a
sandbank off' Ningpo in September, together with a
score or two of white , and black barbarians. He
left unsuccessful. Ilipu after this sent his slave
Chang-hi b to the foreign ships with a present of beef
and wine, and the " welcome news " of the degradation
of Lin and Teng. The foreign chief Bremer shook
his head, and said: — "Mr. Lin is one of China's best

a % m tt " si *



22 Chinese Account of the 0}rium War.

" Viceroys, and an able and plucky man, though he
"does not understand foreign ways. You can stop
"the opium trade, but you cannot stop all our trade,
" for, if you do that, you will stop our means of
"subsistence; and we must struggle for trading
" privileges with all our might. You are very wrong
"if you think we have come here out of any feeling
" of hostility towards the Viceroy Lin." Meanwhile
the people of Chih Li and Shan Tung vied with
each other in their representations of the modest
character of the enemy ; in consequence of which
T ; OHUftPU, a Governor of Shan Tung, sent presents
to the foreign fleet, and then represented to the
Emperor that the foreigners had come ashore and
made obeisance in a body ! At the same time the
new Viceroy, Iliang, & reported that half of our fleet
which had been thrown out of commission at Canton,
had fallen into the enemy's hands. In November
K' is hen arrived in Canton ; and, finding the official
despatches from Elliot surrendering the opium,
tried to find faults in Lin's conduct; but was
unsuccessful. He then lost the good-will of the
military by proposing to execute the captain who,
as he made out, had provoked the naval engagement
by firing the first shot. The consequence of this was
that a number of Chinese braves were discharged and
went over to the English; nay, even received posts



Chinese Account of the Opium War. 23

of trust from them. The sunken piles were removed
from the river at Wang-tong, rt and several interviews
were had with Elliot at the Bogue, in consequence
of which the foreign ships were able to survey
the river and make charts, not to mention finding
out all about our dispositions. On the advice of the
Salt Comptroller Wang Tuh, & the services of all the
civil and military officials were dispensed with, and
communications were entrusted entirely to a wretch-
ed Chinese traitor named Pao P'eng, c who had once
been the pet boy of the traitor Deist, and whom
Elliot regarded as a menial, conceiving thereupon a
greater contempt for China's resources in men than
ever. Elliot w r rote to K'ishen, " If you increase
u the number of your soldiers against us, I will not
" consent to peace ;" and the result was that we dared
not re-engage the discharged men. Whenever the
traitorous spies were denounced, the denouncers were
accused of being spies ; and whenever persons offered
information about the foreigners, they were told : —
u I am not like Viceroy Lin, who, as one of China's
" great officers, kept spying upon the foreigners all
"day*" In short, the whole policy of the former
incumbents was reversed. Perhaps the idea in all
this was to captivate the foreign mind ; but the real
fact was that the enemy was manufacturing a still
larger number of boats and junks of all shapes and

a «« b 2.m °mm



24 Chinese Account of the Opium War,

sizes, besides engaging opium-running snake-boats,
etc., all armed with rockets, stink-pots, ladders, and
every kind of equipment. Admiral Kwan con-
fidentially recommended an increase of troops ; but
K'jlshen firmly refused, fearing that this would
jeopardise the peace negotiations. Notwithstanding
an indemnity of seven million taels offered by him
for the opium destroyed, a port was also demanded.
K'ishen at first thought of Amoy and Hongkong,
and consulted Teng T'ing-cheng; but the latter
objected to Amoy as being the key to Fu Kien ; and,
as to Hongkong, he argued that this island occupied
a prominent and central position in Canton waters,
sheltered from bad weather by the two islands of Tsim-
sha Tsui a and K'wen-tai Lou, & which, if fortified by
the English, would be a perpetual menace to Canton.
K'ishen had represented this to the Throne, and
therefore could not go back upon his own word, and
accept Elliot's proposals. Correspondence and
interviews led to no result; so at last Elliot, on the
7th of January 1841, suddenly attacked the Sha-kok c
and the Tai-kok d forts, — the first important line of
defence outside the Bogue. The guns of the fleet
bombarded the forts in front, and about 2,000
Chinese traitors scaled the hills and attacked them
in the rear. A hundred or more of these w T ere
blown up by exploded mines; but the rest, far out-



Chinese Account of the Opium War. 25

numbering the garrison of 600 men, came swarming
up notwithstanding. Two or three hundred more
were killed by our gingalls ; but at last our powder
was exhausted, and the steam-launches got round to
Sam-mun Hau, a and burnt our fleet, the crews of
which either decamped or perished. The Wang-
tong, Tsing-yiin and Wai-yiin forts only just
managed to escape destruction themselves, and w T ere
unable to offer any succour. The commandant at
Tai-kok, Ch'en Lien-sheng, 6 and his son were
killed, and the two forts fell into the rebels' hands.
The other three forts, commanded by Admiral Kwan,
Rear-Admiral Li T'ing-yu, c and Captain Ma Ch'en
had only a few hundred men in them, who could do
nothing but regard each other with weeping eyes.
Admiral Kwan sent Li to Canton to crave more
troops, in which request he was supported by the
whole official body ; but K'ishen was obdurate, and
simply spent the night in writing out further peace
proposals, which he sent by Pao P'eng to Elliot.
Hongkong was offered in addition to the opium
indemnity, and the Che Kiang [? "Kite"] prisoners
were exchanged for Ting-hai. A treaty was made,
and K'ishen gave a dinner to Elliot of the Bogue.
On the 11th of February the Emperor's refusal to
ify was received, and everything was upset again.

a HP!p b m&n c m&m



26 Chinese Account of the Opium War,

Now, when K'ishen took leave of the Emperor,
he had already been instructed to grant free trade,
if that should be all the English asked ; but, if their
demands were exorbitant, he was to keep them in
good humour, strengthen his defences, and ask for
reinforcements : but he was never told to discharge
his men and secure peace at all costs. The Emperor
was furious when he heard of the capture of the forts
and the menacing attitude of the rebels, and said he
would not give a cent for the opium nor yield an
inch of territory. Troops from the south-western pro-
vinces were ordered to Canton, and both Lin and
Teng were ordered to associate themselves with
K'ishen. K'ishen, however, would not consult LiN
upon any matter ; and, though the peace negotiations
had fallen through, he would not allow Admiral
Kwan to strengthen himself with more troops. On
the other hand, the enemy enrolled more men than
ever, added to their equipments, and became a
hundred times more ferocious than before. Early in
February, the Emperor had launched a decree des-
canting upon the crimes of the rebels, and ordering the
Imperial Clansman Yikshan* to Canton as Rebel
Quelling Generalissimo. Yang Fang, 6 General of
Hu Nan Province, and Lungwen, c President of
the Board of Revenue, were associated with him as
advisers. K'ikung/ President of the Board of

*^m b m% c mx d mm



Chinese Account of the Opium War. 27

Punishments, was ordered to Kiang Si Province to be
in charge of the Commissariat. General Fang arrived,
after audience, in March ; but the English had already
taken the Wang-tong and Bogue forts on the 5th of
the 2nd Moon [the 26th February], when Admiral
Kwan was killed. Over 300 guns, together with
the 200 or more of foreign guns purchased by Lin,
had fallen into the enemy's hands. The thousand
or so of men newly arrived from Hu Nan
were at once sent by K'ishen to the front.
The Cantonese fled the moment the engagement
began ; but the Hu Nan men fought as they retreat-
ed, and half of them were drowned, together with
their Commander Siangfuh. a There were only two
places on the Canton River narrow enough to be
defended, namely, Liptak and Ishamei 6 (20 ft) by
the east channel, and Tai-wong Kao c (15 li) by
the south-west. Yang Fang sent Brigadier Twan
Yung-fuh^ with 1,000 men to occupy a temple,
about three miles distant south-east from Canton, and
two miles inland from the river. Another Brigadier,
Ch'ang Ch'un, 6 was sent to occupy Phoenix Hill,
about two miles behind Tai-wong Kao. In neither
case were measures taken sufficient to stop the ships.
At Liptak and Ishamei, though junks filled with
stones had been sunk, there were no soldiers to
prevent the ships from removing them. The English

a mm >-&.% c aii d &&m e gm



28 Chinese Account of the Opium War.

were at first rather awed at Yang's military reputa-
tion, and, not knowing what our dispositions were,
sent some white foreigners to Phoenix Hill with
peace proposals. Some traitorous Chinese were with
them, and they took soundings as they came.
Ch'ang Ch'un sent the letter on to Canton, and
meanwhile allowed the traitors to show the foreigners
all over the camp; when, of course, they reported that
there were no defences, and advanced, capturing
Phoenix Hill and the forts commanding Liptak
and Ishamei. Meanwhile K'ishen was deprived of
his titles and honours, and the Emperor was rendered
more furious than ever at receiving from Iliang an
English " proclamation," posted at Hongkong [1st
February 1841], saying: — u As ye are now subjects
" of Great England, ye ought in right to obey her."
K'ishen's family was subjected to a domiciliary
visit, and he himself [12th March] was haled in
chains to Peking. The English, perceiving the Em-
peror's rage, and seeing the pass things had come
to, feared that peace was farther off than ever, and
were most anxious for trade, in order that they
might recoup themselves the great expense of the
war: besides, the other countries blamed them for
keeping the trade closed for so long. They therefore
sent a letter by the American head-man and Howqua,
saying : — " If you want peace, and do not press
" other matters, all we ask is trade as before ; and



Chinese Account of the Opium War. 29

" any ships smuggling opium may be confiscated with
u their cargoes :" i.e. they dared not ask for either
the opium indemnity or for Hongkong, as had been
promised to them by K'ishen. Yang Fang ordered
them back out of the Bogue ; to which Elliot
replied: — " The ships will retire when the Decree
" authorizing trade is received;" — which was duly
reported to the Throne by Iliang and Yang Fang.

The enemy was now at our gates ; our soldiers
were routed, the people flying, and we had no arms;
and so there was no other way of obtaining a truce
and the retirement of the enemy but by temporarily
giving way: and, as neither the opium indemnity nor
a port was demanded, China could have done so with
much better grace than before K'ishen's degradation.
This is the sixth turning-point in Canton affairs.

Yang Fang, on his way to Canton, had heard
that peace was likely to be made; so that, in order to
back up K'ishen in anticipation, and secure his own
position, he had separately recommended to the Em-
peror that a " haven for stowage should be granted,"
which proposal had considerably shaken the Em-
peror's confidence in him. And now, as he did not
take the ground in his reports that the pirates had
since been admitted, that he had been defeated, and
that some compromise was necessary to get rid of the
foe ; nor the ground that the foreigners were by this
time awe-stricken, that China's dignity had been



30 Chinese Account of the Opium War,

vindicated, and that affairs had taken a turn of such
importance that further mistakes should be avoided ;
nor, again, that defensive preparations were now
complete, and extermination would at once follow
further outrages ; but simply indulged in empty and
equivocal vapourings ; the Emperor put him down as
an unsoldierly, undiplomatic individual, and would
not agree to his recommendations.

By this time the Ting-hai fleet had come,
making a total of fifty large ships, half at Hongkong,
and half in the river; and flags stuck up in the
boats advertised opium for sale all along the river.
Yikshan remained a while on the Kw r ang Tung
frontier whilst means of attack were being hurried
up from the provinces. He, LungweN, and the
new Viceroy K'ikung, arrived in Canton on the 14th
of April. Yikshan consulted Yang Pang and Litf
Tseh-su as to what was to be done, and they both
said that Canton was entirely defenceless, and that
the only thing was to get the foreign ships by some
ruse or other outside Liptak and Tai Wong-kao, and
then work day and night to block up the river, fortify
the banks, and station bodies of soldiers at suitable
places, so as to avoid being at the mercy of the
western men. After re-inforcing and equipping our-
selves we could then (they said) resume the offensive,
and seize the first favourable opportunity of wind
and tide to attack and burn the fleet. This month,



Chinese Account of the Opium War. 31

however, Lin Tseh-su received orders to proceed to
Che Kiang, the Emperor having now formed changed
ideas of the respective merits both of him and of
K'ishen from the reports received from the Nanking
and Foochow authorities; and Yuk'ien/ Viceroy at
Nanking, was ordered to replace Ilipu as Com-
missioner.

At first Yikshan was sensible enough to listen
to Yang Fang's advice and not risk a second fight
until the new forces should have arrived; but, yielding
to a desire for glory, he at last secretly ordered a
sudden night attack upon the fleet from three
different quarters, and only informed Yang Fang
when the men had actually left the city. Yang
Fang stamped and swore ; but it was too late. The
attack was made by 400 braves from Sz Ch'wan and
by 300 Cantonese, who, at a signal from a gun, rushed
on the fleet in fire-boats carrying stink-pots, fire-
balls, and long boarding-pikes. A certain amount
of injury was done to two ships, and five sampans
and several hundred foreign soldiers were drowned.
Elliot managed to effect his escape from the factory
where he was, and after his departure the place was
completely rifled by the Hu Nan and Sz Ch'wan
soldiery. Several Americans were wounded by mis-
take. At daylight the fleet made a movement up
to Canton, and all the combustible material, which



32 Chinese Account of the Opium War,

•had been brought down at such expense from Kwang
Si, was set on fire by the steam-launches of the
enemy and by the Chinese traitors. Three days later
Elliot handed in a missive saying that a general
attack would take place the next morning; and next
day the city was attacked from the three sides which
were surrounded by water. The 8,000 catty [five-ton]
guns, which had been newly cast at Fatshan, were
much dreaded by the foreigners ; but, unfortunately,
no suitable positions could be found for aiming them,
either on shore or afloat. Our soldiers, who had
been detached, regardless of what Province they
came from, in such a way that men and officers were
strangers to each other, broke and fled, indulged
in mutual recriminations, and began to complain
about their pay. K'ikung, moreover, was too stingy
to allow more than one tent to fifteen men ; so that
the troops were all huddled together without discip-
line, and looted around just as they liked. Add to
this, Yikshan had disposed the greater part of his
forces so as to defend the south and east sides, the
mud rampart behind the city to the north-west being
left undefended, so that the heights were taken in one
day. These consisted of the T'ien-tsz Fort under
Twan Yung Fuh, with 8,000 catty guns,— which
were spiked before they had a chance of firing ; the
mud rampart under Captains Tai Ch'ang* 1 and



Chinese Account of the Opium War. 33

Liu Ta-chung ; a and the Square Fort under Ch'an6
Ch'un, which last commanded a view of the whole
city, and had resisted the Manchus for six whole
months when they invested Canton 200 years ago,
and the capture of which enabled them at last to
take the city. It ought to have been razed long
ago, and all approaches to the hill should have been
obstructed. But, again, as it is three miles away from
the river, and full of crags, one single man might
have done something to defend it; yet, after the mud
rampart had fallen, the enemy worked round north-
east without meeting with any opposition whatever.
Only 100 or so of them had appeared at the foot, when
the garrison of the fort made off helter-skelter, several
being killed by falls in their hurry; so that this
important position fell into the foreigners' hands
without a struggle, and was speedily fortified by
them so as to dominate the helpless city ; which they
proceeded to bombard. On the seventh day the Tartar-
General and his advisers took refuge in the Governor's
palace from the missiles which came raining down
on the south-east quarter of the inner or Tartar city,
and, after a consultation, sent the prefect 6 of Canton
outside to propose terms. Elliot promptly demand-
ed, in addition to the opium-money, a war indemnity
of $6,000,000, — the question of Hongkong to remain
for discussion. The money was to be paid within five



34 Chinese Account of the Opium War.

days, and the ships were to retire beyond the Bogue
as soon as the Tartar- General and the soldiers from
other provinces should have quitted Canton. [The
total British losses were seventy killed and wounded.]
All this was acceded to ; white flags were exhibited
on the city walls ; the hong merchants were ordered
to furnish $2,000,000, and the rest was contributed
by the Treasurer's, Salt Commissioner's, and Hoppo's
chests. This was reported to the Throne, — omitting
all reference to the opium and Hongkong. The
foreign soldiers in Square Fort then rejoined the
ships, and Elliot insisted on the Tartar- General and
his advisers leaving the city. Accordingly Yikshan
and Lungwen retired with their troops to Kin Shan
[Cumshan], a dozen miles or so from the river, and
withdrew the Hu Nan troops ; but Yang Fang was
left in Canton to maintain order. LuNgwen died
of shame and mortification shortly after his arrival at
Cumshan.

Now, on their first arrival in Canton, the Tartar-
General and his advisers had represented to the
Throne that all the Cantonese people were disloyal,


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