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intending to wait for high water, be careful not to anchor too near the bar,
and if the vessel is of large draught, it will be better to anchor below
Wusung, so as to give plenty of time and room to turn the ship ; for with
a strong flood a vessel may be abreast the bar before her head is the right
way. No vessel of any size should attempt to pass through the junks or

♦ Commander C. C. Rising, R.N., observes, that after passing the Wusung buoy on
the ebb tide, it is necessary to be carefiil that a vessel be xiot set too near the^south bank,
which shoals very suddenly and is rocky.


across the bar in light winds if the tide is running strongly ; arid it should
be borne in mind that both flood and ebb streams continue to run at least
an hour after the time of high and low water by the shore.

To cross the Inner bar in the deepest water, 12 feet* at low water
springs, bring the high and low beacon poles in line (or at night the white
aad red lights), E. f S., and when over the bar close the shore to three-
quarters of a cable, altering course as requisite so as io preserve the same
distance along the east bank of the river up to Bla^ point 3 miles above
Grough island. The narrowest part of the channel is abreast Gk>ugh island,
the dry part of the middle ground, but at this part the river bank is very

Black point, which is half way to Shanghai, serves as a guide in passing
up the river, to ascertain the vessel's position, the banks being exceedingly
low and flat, so also does the old earthwork at the mouth of a creek a little
higher up ; here the eastern shore must be kept well aboard, as a shelf
stretches two-thirds across from the opposite side : the creek, however,
should not be passed within a cable. Continue along the east bank at a
moderate distance until the houses of the foreign settlement at Shanghai
are in full view, and after passing the lower wharves, if not intending to
anchor to wait for the ebb tide, edge over W. f N. towards the opposite
shore, steering for the new dock well below the American church, dis-
tinguished by its square tower, and keep well on that side the river until
Suchau creek opens, when the course is mid-channel, round Putung point.

In the lower part of Shanghai reach, fishing boats constantly anchor in
a line across the river, but a passage is always kept clear for vessels. A
vessel will generally pass southward of the shipping which lie in the upper
part of this reach.

Vessels going up with the last of the flood generally anchor below the
shipping and remain till the ebb stream makes down, which does not take
place tiU 1| hours after high water by the shore; the flood stream makes
about an hour after low water. Steamers, therefore, or sailing vessels
with a commanding breeze crossing the Inner bar at high water or with a
rising tide, will find the flood stream still strong in Shanghai reach, which
is often so crowded with shipping that it would be almost impossible to
pass through without collision ; and pilots are not allowed to bring a
vessel up beyond the lower anchorage until they have ascertained from the
harbour master where her berth is to be. Tugs are now available for hire,
by the employment of which the risks of collision, before so frequent, are
in a great measure averted.

* There is said, in the N.E. monsoon, to be a foot more water than in the S.W.

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864 THS SHANGHAI EIVEE. [chap.txh.

The tpaee in fixmt of the BridBh consulatey at the entrance of the
Suehan eieek, is generally dear of Teasels and always looks inviting^
eepeciallj at slack water, bnt it should be aToided, as the chow-chow
water, caused bj the sharp bend of the river at Pootnng point, renders
this localitj insecure as an anchorage ; the holding ground also is in-
different, the anchors are liable to come home, the water is 8 to 15 fathoms
deep, and a vessel is constantly swinging round and round, so that whilst
endeavouring to moor, before the swivel can be got on, she may have taken
several round turns in her cables.

The best berths are abreast and above the Chinese custom house, along
the west bank of the river on which the city stands. The tides here run
with regularity and with less strength, and a fkirway along the eastern
bank is left clear. Vessels ought to be moored with at least 36 fathoms
on each cable, and a mooring swivel should be invariably used. A heavy
fine is imposed on vessels neglecting this precaution. It is necessary to
moor taut, as the anchors are generally found to come home after some
time, and great care must be taken in laying the anchors, especially ip
long shipsy in order to ensure a clear berth.

There is a regular berth appropriated for the British senior naval
officer's ship ; the mooring buoy is off the custom house in 9^ fitthoms.*

awawg-Wi^T is situate on the left bank of the Hwang-pu, 12 miles
above Wusung. Vesseb of 24 feet draught can sometimes be taken up
to the settlement at spring tides, but there is no tirade above Shanghai in
foreign bottoms. The port of Shanghai extends to Wusung, and the an-
chorage for foreign vessels, called the harbour, extends for 4 miles down
the river. This is under the regulation of the harbour master, an
officer appointed by the Chinese authorities, who retains a complete
conservancy of the harbour, its dues, customs, and duties, a condition
which was ratified at the Treaty of Tientsing in 1858. The harbour is
divided into nine sections (from Upper limit, about a mile above Suchau
creek, where a mark is placed defining the foreign boundary), in which
the vessels lie three abreast and lettered according to their positions.^

Shanghai, it is well known, is the most important centre of foreign
commerce in China. It has risen within a quarter of a century ^om the
insignificant rank of a third-class city to the fame and wealth of one of the
chief commercial emporia of the world. It was always a considerable
place of trade from the fact of its being the nearest seaport to the great
city of Suchau on the Grand canal, 45 miles to the westward. Situated
on the delta of the Yangtse, and having water communication with the

* EstabUBhed by Vice-iidmiral Sir Chas, F. A. ShadweU, K.C.B., F.R.S.
j* Thas: — S Shantung aide, C centre, F Putang side/ O L outside limit: a list is
published daily in the Sh^itping Gaz^tU^ so that any yessel in the river can be easily found.

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whole empire, its site is most commandingr Its name signifies ^^ Upon the
Sea," and although it is now 25 miles from the coast, Chinese annals state
that it was once upon the seashore, and the low land which now intervenes
has been gradually fonned by alluvial deposits. For 50 miles around the
city there is water communication with the interior in every direction by
the numerous creeks which intersect the neighbouring plain. •

The foreign settlement is entirely distinct from the native city in its
boundaries, government, and commerce. The latter is a walled city of
irregular oblong form, a mile in length and half a mile broad. The French
concession is northwa^rd of and contiguous to the city, and lies between it
and the Yang-king Pang creek, but it also embraces the northern suburb
fronting the river, and extending as far as the creek which leads up to
the east gate. At this part are commodious wharves, at which the large
steamers which navigate the Yangtse load and discharge, also the ex-
tensive premises of the Messageries Imperiales, and above these stretch
the crowded lines of the Chinese shipping.

The British concession, which includes all the other European com-
munities and consulates, lies between the Yang-king Pang and the Suchau
creek, and here stands the British consulate, a large square buildii^ near
the long bridge which crosses the latter creek.

The quay along the river side in front of the palatial residences of the
foreign consuls and merchants, nearly a mile in length, is called the Bund,
in the centre of which, recognisable by its Chinese architecture, is the
custom house, presided over by the foreign inspectorate. In this building
are the of&ces of the harbour master, and of the engineer who has the
superintendence of all matters connected with lights, buoys, beacons, <&c.
The custom house possesses the only wharf at this part of the settlement
where cargo boats can load or discharge at all times of tide.

The American concession, locally known as Hongkew, extends a mile
up ihe lower bank of Suchau creek and along the river side eastward,
where are situate two of the principal docks, the Sailors' home, and many
of the leading firms of Shanghai. The Pootung side of the river opposite
the settlement is also common to all foreigners. At the point is a look-out
house 130 feet high; the British cemetery is a little below, and above is
the large engineering establishment of Messrs. Muirhead & Co., and the
finest dock in Shanghai.

A gun is ordinarily fired from the senior naval officer's ship at mean
noon precisely, a red and white triangular fiag being previously hoisted.*
'Vessels can also have their chronometers rated by various firms on shore.
The best obs^ving place is the British consulate, near the fiagstaff.

* Established by Capt. Chas,. F. A. ShadweU, B.N., C.B., whose original position of
the British Consalate flagstaff in 1650-58 was lat 31'' 14' 42" N., long. 121^ 28' 55'' E.

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874 feet

Length over all


385 feet










Depth over

sill at






Depth over

Bill at

neaps -


866 THE BHAHaHAI BIVSB. [chap.viix.

!!>■>■■( — TtriT are three large docks at Shanghai. Two of them,
docks A* and B., also known as the Old and New Dbcks, lie at Hongkew* on
the left bank of the rivery about half a mile apart They belong to the
Shanghai Dock Company, and their dimensions and depth of water are
as follows >-

Dock Jk*

Length over all - -


Depth over sill at springs

Depth over sill at neaps -

Both are wood docks piled with hard wood and planked over, and both
fitted with caissons, which can be floated, and vessels enter and leave at
any state of the tides. Every appliance for repairing iron or wood vessels
and machinery is on the premises. The tonnage on which docka^ is
charged is that reported at the consulates, steamers on the gross. Towage
is furnished free of charge to vessels entering either of the docks from
any part of the harbour limits, together with the free use of warps,
capstans, and coolies when hauling in or out. The rate of docking and
other particulars may be obtained from Mr. John F. Roberts, super-
intendent of the Old Dock, or Messrs. Cowie and Co.

Muirhead's Dock is on the Footung side, opposite the city. Its
dimensions are :«—

Length over all - - 380 feet
Length on blocks - - 340 „
Width at top - - - 125 „

Width of dock entrance - 75 feet
Depth on sill at springs - 21 „
Depth on sill at neaps - 16 „

There are four powerful steam pumps capable of pumping the dock dry
in four hours, and the caisson can be floated and vessels enter or leave at
any state of the tides. There is also a complete engineering establishment
attached, where all repairs of vessels and machinery can be effected
without incurring detention. The tonnage on which dockage is chained
is that reported at the consulates, steamers on the gross. Fu^ticulars can
be obtained from the superintendent of the Footung foundry, at the dock,
or of Hogg Brothers. See tides, page 362.

Trade, Svppiiea, 4be. — ^Independently of an enormous traffic in general
merchandise, the characteristic feature of Shanghai is the export of silk,
for which staple this is the main entrep6t, and since the opening of the
Tangtse, the trans-shipment of tea brought down from Hankow by steamer
or of imports and Chinese produce for the various river and northern
ports cause a great concentration of foreign shipping here. The total
exports in 1870 amounted to £14,049,068, the imports to upwards of

* Also spelt Honqne.

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£1690809366, the latter consisting chiefly of cotton and woollen manu-
factures, opium, metals, &c.

The number of vessels that entered the port in 1870 waa 1,643, of which
730 were British.

Shanghai water is verj impure and sometimes brackish, containing a
large quantity of organic matter, and its use is a fertile source of sickness
to the crews of vessels. If obliged to use it the grosser particles may be
precipitated by a small quantity of powdered alum. Water is sometimes
procured from the Ta-hoo lakes and sent on board for 5s, a ton. If good
water cannot be procured in the hot season, condensed water should ibe
ysed if cholera is prevalent.

Provisions are plentiful and moderately cheap, and the markets are well
supplied with beef, mutton, game, fish and poultry. Vegetables are con-
sidered unsafe articles of diet in consequence of sprinkling them during
cultivation with liquid manure, and the fruit is of poor quality ; for these
rice is the best substitute.

Coals for men-of-war are sent alongside from the naval store in lighters
and put aboard by coolies under contract with the Chinese.

The general hospital is on the French Bund. Seamen are received into
the third class wards at a charge of 1^ Mexican dollars per day, which
covers all expenses necessary for medical treatment. For the two
higher classes of wards 1^ and 3 taels* per day are charged respectively.

cuBKATB.f — ^The advantage enjoyed by Shanghai from its position
in the temperate zone of China is in a great measure neutralized by its
low-lying site, scarcely raised above the level of the river, and exposed to
noxious marshy exhalations. So long as the Euorpean population was
thinly scattered, living in well built houses, and composed for the most part
of a wealthy class, the sanitary defects of the locality were unnoticed,
but with the first accession of a crowded and mixed population disease
was rapidly germinated, and Shanghai became noted for unhealthiness.
Among the circumstances unfavourable to health are the rapid alternations
of heat and cold, more marked here than along the coast. The annual
range of the thermometer is from 25° to 96"^, and in spring and autumn a
change to the extent of 20° or 30° in the day is not ynfrequent. The
annual mean range is 62 ' 5, the mean rainfall 50 inches. The influence
of the south-west or summer monsoon is barely perceptible at Shanghai,
although the prevailing winds at that season are southerly, and the absence
«f a tempering breeze is acutely felt during the months of June to

tptember. Throughout the autumn, winter, and spring seasons north-

* The tael is yalued at 5«. 9d, in the consular reports.

f TioB, as well as mueh other osefiil information respecting the treaty ports, has been

dred from the TYeaiy^ Porta of China, published at Hongkong^

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eMterl J winda preTAiI, with much rain and damp from January to ApriL
The winter montha are, however, tolerably salubrious, and in dry seasons
highly enjoyable. Snow usually falls in December and January, when ice
thick enough for skating is occasionally formed. April and May are genial
months^ the hot sun of noon-day being compensated by cool nights, but
the four succeeding months are a season of general suffering and sickness.
Owing to the wide range of temperature the thickest clothing and furs
are requisite during the winter, whibt in the summer months the thinnest
fabrics are all that can be endured. See also page 677.

aareoMter aad TheimooMter.-— The mean average height of the
barometer in the spring and winter months is above 30 inchei^ and in the
summer months below it, viz., from January to April, 30*25 inches ; &ora
May to September, 29*83 inches; from October to December, 30*34
inches; ranging lowest with southerly winds and highest during the
season of the northerly monsoon.

The temperature by day and night taken by a self-registering Fahr-
enheit's thermometer in the open ftir in the shade at Shanghai, from 1848
to 1854, gives the following as the extreme ranges and the average mean
temperature of each of the months for those years :— -

MojcimMm Mmimum'
hy daif, hy night.



Maximttm Jliimmwn'
hy day. by night.


^ .

. 18 .

- 4l

July -

-100 -



- 85

66 ■

• 19

• 42


- 100 -


- 84

75 .

. 28 •

■ 60


- 92 -


- 77

79 ■

. 33 •

- 69


- 90 -


- 67

87 ■

■ 87 ■

■ 69


- 80 -


- 56

99 ■

■ 58 ■

• 76


- 77 -


- 46

May -
June -

vnn6m and ^RTeatiier. — By a meteorological register kept at Shanghai,
the prevailing winds from 1848 to 1854 appear to have been as
follows : —

January -
February -


N.E. to N-N.W. and

generally N.N.W.
N.E. to N.W. and

generally N.W.
N.E. to S.E. and

E.N.E. to S.E. chiefly

S.S.E. and varii^ble.

May - - E.S.E. to S.S.E.

June - - S.E. to S.S.E.

July and August S.S.E.

September - N.E. to E.

October - - N.E. to N.W.

November - N.W. and variable.

December - N. to N.W.

January is in general fine at Shanghai. In February, thick fogs occur,
March is damp and disagreeable. April has more rainy days than any
other month, except June, which is the wettest month. In May there is
but little rain, and that little occurs in heavy showers. July is hot, dry,
scorching, with considerable rain in the form of evening thunder-showers.

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July and August are the hottest months. In September the S.W. monsoon
is wholly broken up, and the temperature is very cl\angeable. In November
the winter fairly sets in, the first frost appearing from the 12th to the 20th.
December is the driest month of the year, and the weather clear and
freezing, though fogs are of occasional occurrence. In May, June, and
July fogs also occur.

According to other accounts, there arc occasional S.E. winds in February,
with about one day in four rainy. In March it sometimes rains heavily
for ten days almost continually. In April the N.E. winds are greatly in
excess, and N.W. winds fill the air with dust for a week ; S.E. winds are
less uncommon, and heavy rains occur towards the latter part of the
month. In May fogs are prevalent, especially on the coast outside, where
there is frequently a strong monsoon. In June the winds are from all
quarters, but seldom east, and blow hardest from N.W. The weather
is changeable, fairly cool, seldom oppressive, and rainy or showery half
the month. In July the winds vary chiefly between south and east, and
when accompanied with heavy rains the weather continues cool «ind
healthy, but when the sultry weather sets in, sunstroke, cholera, and other
fatal diseases are prevalent, and care must be taken not to expose the men
to the sun more than is absolutely necessary, and double awnings should
be spread. August is excessively hot, and a period of much suffering
afloat, for the temperature sometimes rises to 110° in the shade. In
September N.E. and S.E. winds prevail with a good deal of drizzling rain
and occasional thunderstorms, and the winds generally have the character
of sea breezes, freshening towards noon, and falling at sunset. In the early
part of October these breezes continue with fine clear weather, but are
more northerly ; N.E. and N.W. are the prevailing winds, and when they
veer to S.E. they are generally accompanied with heavy rain and thick

The summer gales are strongest from the S.E., and generally give good
notice, the barometer beginning to fall sometimes as much as 24 hours
previously. The rules for judging the barometer on the Chinese coast
generally hold good for the neighbourhood of Shanghai ; a rapid fall
betokens a gale, and a high range the continuance of northerly winds.
Typhoons rarely occur. In August 1871 one passed over travelling to the
north-westward, the greatest force of wind being 9. Commencing at N.E.
the wind shifted to W.N.W. and S.W. Many vessels afterwards arrived

her totally or partially dismasted.

nie XZVBR above Sbangrbal. — On the 6th June 1862, n.M.S. Vulcan
; roceeded 35 miles up the river above Shanghai, and moored S. by E. of
3 e city of Sun-kong, in 16 fathoms. The least water obtained on the
] isage up^ was 3^ fathoms (then nearly high water), but it was not of
] »e extent, and only two casts were obtained of that depth. ThQ

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po!(ition of a fort at the eotrance of the creek leading to Son-kong was
lat. 30° 57' 45" N., long. 121° ICy E. High water, full and change, at
about 3h« 30m., and the rUe and fall 5 feet, but the tides were very
irregular. At Ming-hong, 15 miles lower down the river, it was high
water at 2h. 20m., and the rise 6 or 7 feet

It has been said that <Hhe river is little more than a tidal channel
penetrating some 40 miles into the interior, where it helps to drain off the
waters from the complicated network of interior lakes. A £8w centuries
ago the river barely existed, and much of the country north and east of
Shanghai is the growth of the last 300 years. This process of accretion
and change is still in active continuance, and the constant shiftings of the
navigable channel of the Hwangpu, as also the rapid conversion of shoals
into banks, and banks into habitable islets, are ominous of a time when
Shanghai may be left stranded in the interior, remote from the commodious
anchorage, proximity to which has been the first element in the astonishing
prosperity of the port.'** The writer of the above might well have drawn
an opposite conclusion. From a mere creek in the past it has in process of
time become a fine river capable of admitting the largest trading vessel,
and all but the largest ship of war, and it is far more probable that the
improvements which are likely to result from an active and enlightened
conservancy, will become permanent in their character.


For the first 80 miles above Wusung the Yangtse f has a considerable
breadth, viz., from 4 to 9 miles, above which it suddenly contracts to
three-quarters of a mile. As a consequence it is subject to continual
changes, caused partly by the annual floods and partly by the ebb and flood
streams flowing in different channels,, the. effect of which is to form vast
flats, shoals, and middle grounds which are frequently altering both in
extent and position. Unless^ therefore, .the chart is kept constantly undei*
correction it ceases to be a guide, and the. services of a pilotf are in most
cases indispensable. That part known aa ;the Langshan Crossing is con*
sidered the most diflicult part of the river,, but it has been lighted and
buoyed, as well as. such other parts as are likely to cause embarrassment
to the navigator, for besides the light vessel at the Langshan Crossing
there are no less than 23 lights between it and Hankow.

In many parts of the rivervmaterial changes have taken place since the
surveys of 1858 and 1861, but the Admiralty charts are in the main

* Treaty Ports of China, p. 351.

t Experienced pilots can be obtained at Shanghai.

t See Admiralty Chart of the Yangtse kiang, Sheet 2, from the Sea to Nanking,
corrected to April 1872, No. 1,480, scale, m = 0*2 of an inch; also, Yangtse kiang
Shanghai to Nanking, corrected to March 1872, No. 2,809, scale, m = 0-48 of an inch

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accurate ; the latest correctious of them may be obtained at the Harbour
Master's office at Shanghai, and the following directions will supply infor-
mation regarding those parts most liable to change.

The several lights and light-vessels which have been placed at various
parts of the river to facilitate the navigation are maintained by the Chinese
government, and are under the control of the Customs. The positions of
the floating lights are altered as occasion may require.

PAvaBikW SBOA&s lie fronting the Paushan shore as far up as
Clump point, 5 miles above the Wusung entrance. Their outer ^dge in
3 fathoms is about a mile from the bank of the river, and the tail of the

Online LibraryGreat Britain. Hydrographic OfficeThe China Sea directory: Comprising the coasts of China from Hong Kong to ... → online text (page 42 of 72)