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and all the Cantonese soldiers marauders, and there-
fore marines had been brought all the way from Fu
Kien, to the exclusion of Cantonese : disloyal persons
detected were executed without trial ; and thus the
Cantonese people suffered from a feeling of injustice.
On the other hand, the English did not kill the

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 35

Cantonese, and always released any local braves
which they had taken prisoners, occasionally even
attacking parties of bandits, and prohibiting all
looting, so as to gain the people's sympathies.
Consequently no response was made to the offers of
reward for the enemies' heads. The people had
witnessed the attack upon Canton from the walls ;
and, when several of the city volunteers were unjustly
killed by the Hu Nan braves, the former rushed, to
the number of several hundred, into the Examination
Hall to take revenge, and drove the soldiers helter-
skelter to the Tartar-General's palace. Here they
were somewhat pacified by Brigadier Twan's being
deprived of his button and feather on the spot. The
foreign soldiers also earned the ill-will of the people
by giving way to plundering and lust; and as 1,500
of their number did this the day after the peace, on
their way down from Square Fort to the Mud
Rampart, the exasperated villagers of Sam-yiin a
surrounded and killed 200 of them, including their
General, Pehmeii Hapih, 6 whose head was as large
as a bucket, and whose baton, orders, and double-
barrelled pistol were also taken. The villagers of
Sam-shan c attacked and killed another hundred of

h i m 1? 11 l|l The first two characters are the same as
in Bremer, but this name cannot be identified. Possibly it may
refer to Lieutenant Hadfield, who, however, was not killed.

36 . Chinese Account of the Ojrium War.

them, and captured two guns and 1,000 small-arms,

Elliot hastened to the rescue, and, as the crowds of
villagers became more numerous, had to seek the
assistance of the prefect. At this moment only a
quarter of the ransom money had been paid, and
the Fu Kien marines just arrived that very day.
If orders had been given to surround and slay the
foreign soldiers and take the [civilian] foreigners
prisoners, we might have held them as hostages,
ordered the ships beyond the Bogue, and then
discussed terms at leisure, entirely as it should have
suited us. This is the seventh turning-point in
Canton affairs. However, our generals had not the
wit to see this, but sent the prefect to use his
persuasive powers with the people. After a whole
day, he at last succeeded in getting Elliot safely out
of the crowd on board his ship. The foreign ships
now left one after the other ; some of the largest got
ashore, and the country people offered to burn and
plunder them ; but K'ikung would not hear of
it. Notwithstanding, a military graduate" did succeed
in blowing up one of the foreign ships at Ch'iin-pi 6
[Chuenpee] by means of some fire-ships he had got
together, and all the others then made off. Another
success was that of the Fatshan volunteers, who got
to the windward of the Kwai-kong c Fort, and killed
a score or more of the enemy by throwing a

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 37

poisonous dust into their eyes. They also succeeded
in routing a foreign sampan sent to the rescue. All
these facts were duly reported to the Emperor, who
sarcastically replied, that the " village volunteers had
" apparently been able to accomplish more than the
"whole of the armies of China!" Elliot, too, was
very much mortified, and issued a " proclamation,"
forsooth, calling upon the people u not to test the
"leniency of Great England's officers again!" The
people sent him a defiant reply saying: — "As you pro-
"fessthat your ships and guns are invincible, why did
"you not attack Canton during Commissioner Lin's
" viceroy alty ? The other day, when you were
"surrounded, why could not you fight your way out
"without begging aid from the prefect ? Having now
" entrapped our disloyal statesmen into peace proposals
" and withdrawal of the troops, you succeeded in
"getting far into the country. If you dare to show
"your faces in the river again, and we do not
" assemble in myriads to burn your ships and
" annihilate your ugly selves, then we are not good
"subjects of the Great Ts'ing Empire!" At this
juncture there were 36,000 volunteers training night
and day in the two Canton districts; and, when
Elliot heard of these preparations, he dared not
accept the challenge, but, knowing that it was
hopeless to regain trade at Canton, changed his
policy; and a month later the Amoy affair occurred.

38 Chinese Account of the Opium War,

Wei Yuan the historian, in summing up, remarks
that it was the closing of trade, and not the forced
surrender of the opium, that brought on the Canton
War, the events leading to which were, the objections,
generally, to sign away the lives of opium traders,
and, specifically to deliver over the homicide.
[Great Britain had already sacrificed the gunner of
the " Lady Hughes " in 1784, and the Americans
the Italian Teuranuova in 1821]. It is plain that
Elliot had not a rebellious heart, inasmuch as
he offered to agree to confiscation, offered rewards
for the discovery of the murderer, and wished to
await news from home. Finally, the laws provide
for the ransom of Mongols and other uncivilized
criminals by a fine in cattle, so that our demands
upon him were altogether too exacting. The
Eear-Admiral Han should have been executed
for his corruption, instead of being merely degraded.
The Hoppo and his men, whose irregular charges
more than doubled the regular import duties, and
who had been battening for years upon the co-hong
merchants, should have been compelled, instead of
the latter, to pay for the war. It would have been
better to sacrifice the Customs' interests for a time ;
to devote full attention to measures of defence, and,
by abolishing the. Hoppo's extortions, to secure the
good-will of the other foreigners. Just as the
Astronomical Board avails itself of foreign as-

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 39

tronomers' labours, so we might have got a few
Americans, Dutchmen, and Portuguese to instruct
skilled Chinese artificers at Canton in the art of
shipbuilding, and have offered to purchase foreign
ships, guns, rockets, and powder from any persons
wishing to sell. Not only could we have obtained
these articles in exchange for our produce, but we
might have accepted them in payment of duties. In
this way we might have been content to extract a few
millions only from the co-hong merchants, and in a
short time we should have been able to confront for-
eign skill with Chinese skill. We could have leisurely
' strengthened the walls of outer Canton and the forts
upon the river ; got our armies properly together, and
trained them up to naval tactics, gradually extending
the same reforms to Amoy, Ningpo, and Shanghai ;
after which a grand review of all the fleets might have
been held at Tientsin, and such a spectacle of naval
greatness witnessed as China had never seen before.
What enemy would then have dared to attack us ?
How could opium then have ventured into China?
What slanderers would have then dared to open
their mouths? This would have been what may
be called " setting your own house in order first."
Why, then, the hurry to make a show on the high
seas and abroad? Some say that if the efforts of
Commissioner Lin, who preserved the proud integrity
of Canton without charging for a single extra soldier,

40 Chinese Account oj the Opium War.

had been imitated farther north, the Emperor would
have had no cause for serious anxiety at all, and the
island pirates would have been reduced to impotence;
that, therefore, it is unfair to lay all the blame on him,
instead of on the unpreparedness in the north, and the
cowardice afterwards shewn at Canton. Moreover,
Lin earnestly recommended that foreigner should be
got to fight foreigner after the fall of Ting-hai, and
that the integrity of our possessions should be
maintained, and the three millions at Canton spent
upon ships and guns. What a pity his advice was

not tried ! Wei Yuan agrees with the popular

verdict that trade should not have been stopped, — but
with the reservation that opium should not have been
included any more in the trade, and that steps should
have been taken to prevent the English from taking
advantage of the weakness of China's maritime pre-
parations to act as Hideyoshi" once acted in Corea
and Koxinga 6 in Formosa. Wei Yuan here reads a
lecture upon the subject of not interfering with the
man at the wheel, or with the driver of the coach
who is entrusted with the reins : but this literary
effort of his in no way concerns the story, and is
omitted from this translation.

Mi£ »«&#



Chinese Account of the Opium War. 43



THE yielding to terms on the part of the English
at Canton in May 1841 was owing partly to our
armies having to escape from immediate peril, and
partly to the anxiety of the enemy to replenish his
military chest with our money ; so that neither side
had leisure to think of trade arrangements : and the
foreign soldiers, knowing, after their narrow escape
at Sam-yun Village, that they had drawn upon
themselves the hatred of the people of Canton, whose
ferocity tfyey now had reason to fear, did not dare to
enter the Canton River any more for purposes of
trade. The co-hong merchants were unwilling to go
to Hongkong on account of the perils of the sea, and
therefore it was proposed to exchange Hongkong for
Tsim-sha Point and Cowloon. As the IJmperor had
not yet been invited to agree to Hongkong being
given up, the Tartar-General and the Viceroy felt
that the other two places were still more out of the
question, and therefore arranged that [the foreigners]
should come to Whampoa as before. But the enemy
would not allow us to repair the Bogue Forts, which

44 Chinese Account of the Opium War,

they razed, conveying the masonry to Hongkong for
use there. They also wanted us to remove the piles
and other obstructions in the river. Whilst haggling
was going on as to these points, trade existed only
in name. The prefect had agreed with Elliot to
pay a military indemnity of six million dollars in
addition to the value of the opium ; but the Tartar-
General called the former sum a " balance owing by
the co-hong merchants," and never reported the latter
at all. As soon as the foreign ships had withdrawn,
we re-blocked the more important river-approaches,
and rebuilt the forts ; and, in short, put our defences
in such a state that the enemy could not force his
way in as before. The hostile community now
blamed Elliot for not having exacted another port,
and spread a report that the King of England had
blamed him for incapacity, and had appointed as
military general in his stead Pottinger," who was
going up the coast, and would repeat the demands
made last year at Tientsin. [He arrived on the
10th of August.]

There was a typhoon at Hongkong in July
[21st], and K'ikung joined Iliang in despatching
a hasty memorial, which reported that innumerable
foreign ships had been dashed to pieces, innumerable
foreign soldiers and Chinese traitors swept into
the sea; that all their tents and mat -sheds, the


Chinese Account of the Opium War, 45

new Praya, etc., had been utterly annihilated;
that the sea was literally covered with corpses ; and
so on. The Emperor thereupon returned solemn
thanks to the god of the seas, and announced
the event to the whole Empire. Over a hundred
promotions were sanctioned for the gallant defence
of Canton; — and meanwhile the whole fleet of
foreign ships had gone to Fu Kien and taken
Amoy! When Amoy was attacked the previous
year, the Admiral Ch'en^ had lost no time in
obtaining sick-leave. Teng T'ing-cheng and the
taotai Liu Yao-ch'un 6 had confined themselves to
defending the old forts and piling up ramparts of
sand, the natural strength of which kept the enemy
off. Admiral Yen Peh-t'ao, on taking over charge,
at once denounced his predecessor's cowardice in the
most furious terms*, and likewise K'ishen and Yang
Fang for recommending peace at Canton: but he was
in fact himself only a bragging and self-glorifying fool.
He represented Te^g's cautious, defensive policy in
slighting terms, and requested the Emperor's sanction
to an expenditure of two million taels, to be spent on
fifty new ships of war, with which he proposed to
sweep the English from the seas. He raised 9,000 new
infantry and marines, and built three new forts on the
islands off Amoy, all of w r hich preparation proved
waste labour when the news arrived of the peace

a mi%% '®nm c Mfem

46 Chinese Account of the Opium War.

negotiations at Canton, and the new levies had to be
dismissed. On the 26th of August, however, the
foreign fleets appeared suddenly off Amoy, and
handed in a document calling for the surrender of
the port until all the demands made the previous
year at Tientsin should have been conceded. The
next morning the ships sailed into the inner harbour,
and began to reconnoitre with steam-launches in order
to find out the range and direction of our guns, which
were ascertained to be all fixtures ; after which, of
course, they kept out of range. A number of boats
now advanced together, and their attack was met by
our soldiers stationed on Kulang; Sii and on two of the
other islands. Two steam-launches and one man-of-
war were sunk, and one mast was damaged besides.
Two or three of their ships now concentrated their
fire on one fort, and, after this had fallen, proceeded
to another, causing considerable loss of life. Finally
the great fort was attacked, and our dismissed
marines turned renegade and assisted in the attack.
Yen and Liu beat a retreat at the same moment ; the
pirates landed, and turned our own guns upon the
city of Amoy, the public buildings, markets, etc., of
which place were demolished within twenty-four hours ;
Yen and Liu retired upon T'ung-an a city, and Amoy
fell into the pirates' hands, [with a loss of two
killed and seven wounded]. However, the foreigners,

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 47

having thus possessed themselves of Amoy, did not
keep it, but proceeded in a few days with the greater
part of their fleet on to Ningpo, leaving only a few
ships anchored off Kulang Sii. Accordingly, about
the 22nd of September, Admiral Yen reported the
" recapture " of Amoy to the Emperor ; but the sub-
prefect of the place remained in hiding notwith-
standing, and did not venture to re-assume his official
duties. The Emperor degraded the Admiral to the
third rank, but left him at his post, and despatched the
under-secretary Twanhwa" to ascertain the true facts
for his information. Meanwhile the foreigners on
Kulang Sii were employing workmen to build for them
more boats, with a view to reconnoitring up the river.
With thirty of these, and five larger vessels, they ad-
vanced up the Muh-chwang Creek, 6 and sank five of
our war-junks with their guns. Two of our captains
were killed, but a resistance was offered by the
Admiral and Rear- Admiral in charge, who succeeded
in sinking one large foreign vessel. The enemy then
withdrew out into the open sea. They dared not
venture up the Five Tiger Passage of the Foochow
River, for this only contains enough water when the
tide is in.

To return to Ningpo. The foreign fleet had
already left Ting-hai when Yuk'ien arrived in
January as Imperial Commissioner in succession to

48 Chinese Account of the Opium War.

Ilipu, and the Generals in command did their best
to repair the walls and fortifications, and to get their
troops together again. Yuk'ien was as hot-headed
as Yen Peh-t'ao, and totally ignorant of warfare :
he was entirely in the hands of Lin Tseh-su — so long
as Lin Tseh-su was there : but, owing to the Canton
Salt Commissioner having, at an audience of the
Emperor, vigorously supported K'isheN at the ex-
pense of Lin, Lin was ordered, first to Kashgaria,
and then to the Yellow River works, so that the
affairs of Che Kiang were left more without a
guiding head than ever. At best Ting-hai was but a
solitary island, not worth defending at the cost of
weakening the mainland armies. To make matters
worse, all the three Brigadiers were destitute of
military science or strategy, and would have built
one great wall enclosing as an hypothenuse the
outer as well as the inner town, which was
hemmed in on the other sides by the mountains,
had the absurdity of such a system of defence not
been dinned into Yuk'ien's ears by the people.
The result was that nothing was done at all, let
alone anything sensible. . When the news of the
peace and orders to disband came, five thousand
of the best soldiers were at Ting-hai, four thousand
more being stationed at different points around
Chen-hai and Ningpo. About the beginning
[the 4th] of September the foreign ships [the

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 49

" Nemesis "] first attacked Shih P c u, a but were
unable to do much damage on account of the rocks :
they then cruised up and down for a time, and finally
attacked Ting-hai on the 26th of September. Our
guns damaged one of the steam-launches, which
made off at once. Two days later, the whole fleet
commenced an attack upon the Hiao-feng Hill, 6 but
our troops were protected by the rocks, and a party
of men who landed in a boat were driven off by
our gingalls. Attacks made in other parts of the
island were also repulsed by our guns. On the
1st of October, the pirates took advantage of the
exhausted state of our troops to advance from three
different points, so as to confuse us ; and the boats
of one party were sent back, so as to prevent the men
from thinking of retreat. As the front ranks of
the pirates fell, they were filled up from the rear.
Our guns on the heights could not do much against
a contrary wind, and by midday got too overheated
to use. The pirates then recklessly scaled the hills
and entered the city, the three Brigadiers all losing
their lives in the fight: and thus Ting-hai fell a
second time. [The Repository says that the Chinese
defence was very noble.]

With regard to the 4,000 troops garrisoning Chen-
hai, Yuk'ien employed about 1,000 of them to guard

a %1 Wi the scene of the French attack in 1885.

i mmm

50 Chinese Account of the Opium War.

the precincts of the city; the General Yii Pu-yun °
occupied Chao-pao Shan & with another 1,000 ; and the
Brigadier Sie Ch c ao-en c defended Golden Fowl Hill
across the river with a third. Observing a white
flag hoisted on Chao-pao Shan, Yuk'ieN saw that
Yti Pu-yun was unfaithful, and did his best to rouse
the religious patriotism of the soldiers; whilst
Yti Pu-yun pretended that his foot so ailed him
that he could not kneel down to join in the
solemn vow. Yuk'ien reported to the Emperor
that the foreign ships had, including black soldiers
and disloyal Chinese, a force of quite 10,000 men ;
and that his idea was to defend the several
critical points if the pirate fleet advanced in one
body, and to work at the defences day and night
should they defer the attack. He pointed out the
disadvantages under w T hich the Chinese lay in point
of discipline and unity as compared with the in-
vaders ; but vowed not to leave Chen-hai alive, or to
receive any propositions from the enemy on that
account. On the 10th of October the foreign fleet
attacked the above-mentioned three positions.
General Yti and his men bolted without firing a
shot, and the force on Golden Fowl Hill was soon
silenced and routed. Seeing that there was no escape
for Chen-hai, Yuk'ien sent his aide-de-camp to the
Governor with the Imperial Commissioner's seal, and

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 51

drowned himself in a pond. a On the 13th, four
men-of-war, two steam-launches, and a flotilla of
boats appeared before Ningpo, whence Yu Pu-yun
again bolted, followed by the taotai and the
prefect 6 Teng T'ing-ts'ai, to Shang-yii city. The
cities of Ts'z-k'i and Yii-yao were captured by
small boats, were found deserted by their popula-
tions, and were plundered and burnt : robber
bands started up; and the whole province was
thrown into a state of panic. The dastardly
Yu Pu-yun reported to the Emperor that poor
Yuk'ien had been the first to flee; and spread a
report that the foreigners had attacked Ningpo in
order to avenge the death of the white barbarian
Wen-li, c whose head had been stuck upon a pole
during the summer by Yuk'ien. This was re-
presented to the Emperor by the Governor Liu
YuN-K<0; d but, unfortunately for this argument,
the enemy had already gone back on his treaty
at Canton, unsuccessfully demanded Cowloon and
Tsim-sha, and refused permission to rebuild the
Bogue Forts ; and had moreover already announced
his intention to take Amoy first and Ting-hai

« He was rescued, but swallowed gold afterwards, and expired
near Yii-yao city. — Repository.

b ftft %£ %£ brother of the Viceroy Teng.

c Hit 511 Captain Stead, of the " Pestonjee Bomanjee," was
murdered by Yuk'ien or his minions. — Repository.


52 Chinese Account of the Opium War,

afterwards : finally, the foreigners had stated by
proclamation and letter that their intention was to
exact ports for trade, not saying one word about
Yuk'ien. And it may here be mentioned in
anticipation that, the following year, when Ilipu
at Cba-p'u asked the British chief why he was
again invading us, the letter of reply contained
not one word alluding to Yuk'ien, whose only fault
was that his capacity was not equal to his ardour.
[The British losses at Ting-hai and Chen-hai were
17 killed and 36 wounded.]

The Emperor now appointed the imperial clans-
man Yikking" as Generalissimo, with two other Man-
chu dignitaries as advisers. Niu KiEtf, & Governor
of Ho Nan, was appointed Viceroy at Nanking, and
Iliang was made Imperial Commissioner for Fu
Kien. Niu's idea was to hire as many braves,
robbers, and scoundrels of all descriptions as could
be got together from the provinces ; to keep up a
harassing guerilla warfare ; and to station agents in
the places occupied by the foreigners, so as to prepare
for rendering assistance when a suitable time should
come. The Ningpo people, like the Cantonese, were
put down as " disloyal." All this was approved by
the Emperor, who ordered Yikking to put the enemy
off guard by discharging his functions in the first
instance from Soochow. There his staff behaved so

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 53

extravagantly and dissolutely that he decided to
remove his head-quarters to Kia-hing [Kashing].
Here he and one of his advisers both had an identical
dream, to the effect that the foreigners had swarmed
on board their ships, and had left in a panic ; which
fitted in exactly with a piece of intelligence, reported
from Ningpo that very day, to the effect that the
foreigners were getting their arms on board the ships.
This filled them both with a desire to fight at once ;
and the whole party, suites included, proceeded to
Hangchow, where the second adviser, T ; ehishun, a
was placed in charge, whilst Yikking, with his fellow
dreamer Wenwei, 6 went to Shao-hing city.

Now there had been a great deal of snow
during the winter, followed by heavy rains, so that
all the stock of fire-boats and the fuel collected was
out of condition and useless. Notwithstanding the
prayers of everyone that he would postpone the
attack for at least a fortnight, Yikking obstinately
refused to wait, and fixed the 15th of March, 1842, as
the date for the recovery of the occupied cities in
full force, thus ignoring the previously agreed upon
arrangement about guerilla fighting. The enemy,
hearing of these preparations, naturally prepared
themselves too: the foreign officers all went on board,
leaving only a few hundred men in charge of the large
guns on the city wall, to deal with any army ad van-

54 Chinese Account of the Ojnitm War,

cing by the west gate. At Chen-hai they proceeded
to take possession of the Chao-pao Shan, so as to be
able to bombard thence our men as they poured
into that city. This was the interpretation of the
dream ! Our troops were strictly enjoined not to use
fire or rockets, lest they should set fire to the town ;
the only thing to be done was to try and get the
Chinese traitors to betray the foreigners, especially
the chiefs, into our hands, when the recapture of
the cities would be easy, and we could arrange our
own terms with the hostages in our hands. Yikking

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