a flat, and although the river banks are, in November and December, 25 to
30 feet high, the country shows evident signs of being frequently inun-
dated ; sampans are found at most of the farm-houses as far inland as
3 or 4 miles, affording a very significant hint as to the state of tht country
when the river is at its high level. It must be borne in mind that the
whole of the left bank and large portions of the right would then be
covered, the river becoming a large lake, and under these circumstances it
is advisable as a rule to keep in the most rapid part of the current, for
it always runs strongest in the deep water.
BOVB 90TNT &ZOBT is a Jixed dioptric light of the sixth order,
elevated 41 feet above the bank, and in clear weather should be seen a
distance of 7 miles.
BU&&OCX XEACB. — ^At Dove point, off which are strong eddies, the
river takes a sudden turn at right angles to its former direction, the course
being about N.W. for a short distance, and afterwards gradually changing
till it becomes S.S.W., from which it varies little for the next 10 miles.
The left bank must be kept throughout the reach, first to avoid a shoal
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
formed south of Dove point on the opposite shore, which has greatly
narrowed the channel, and subsequently to pass clear of the extensive
sandbanks off the islands (Dove and Pigeon islands), to the northward of
which the river bends above Dove point,
Matnngr Cut-off, which is taken in summer when there is a good depth
of water, and by which 3 miles may be saved, is considered extremely
unsafe ; it is entered by passing Dove point on a westerly course ; its
course is south-westward. But in summer the right bank may be kept
altogether, passing inside False island, which lies eastward of Dove and
Pigeon islands. In this channel the least water then obtained is 2J
UtUe Orpban. — At 13 miles above Dove point, near the southern
termination of Bullock reach, is the Siau-ku shan or Little Orphan, a
remarkable rock, rising almost perpendicularly out of the river to the
height of nearly 300 feet. It has some joss houses on its summit, and
half way up its southern face is a Buddhist temple, only accessible by steps
hewn out of the rock. In December the base of the rock is connected
with the left bank by mud.
Immediately opposite the Little Orphan, at the foot of the broken
range called King-tse-shan, or " the mirror mountain," a bold rocky head,
Digitized by VjOOQIC
898 TEE YAKGTSE KIAKa. ohap. ynr.
crowned bj forts and look-out hoiuesy rises abmptlj to a height of
400 feet ; and 2 miles above, where the hills of the right bank again come
down to the water's edge in roeky proracmtaries, is the fortified town of
Pang-tsis hien. A mid-channel coarse may be steered in passing the
Little Orphan (where there are 16 BRthoms)) until Fkng-tsis hien is passed,
when the channel lies dose to the riiore above three c^ms^icuous hilis
which come down to the water side. A mile above Remark rock, and
3 miles above Pang-tsis hien, a wide creek opens on the right bank, before
arriving at which alter coarse to W,N,W., crossmg over and gaining the
left bank on entering Blackney reach.
I.* — ^Nearly 2 miles above this creek, and on the
north side, is a point close to which the channel lies, the sandbanks off the
islands which lie on the south side of the river having extended halfway
across for the distance of about 6 miles, above which they have been
replaced by well marked land recently formed, and along which the course
lies up to point Becher.
Blackney reach, which is cumbered with sandbanks, appears to be
subject to changes, for abreast the village halfway down the reach, there
existed at one time a bar of 14 feet, but there is not often less than 18 feet
during any winter.
W.B. cnaoBBZwa &z»bt, on the*earth bank, 5 miles above the creek at
the entrance of Blackney reach, and 9 miles below point Becher, is a
dioptric^^ec? light of the sixth order, elevated 38 feet above the bank, and
in clear weather should be seen from a distance of 7 mUes. There is a
very large and conspicuous tree near the same spot.
o&zyaajTT zsaaxtb azobt. — On the eastern extremity of Oliphant
island, at the junction at the head of this reach, is a fixed light, of the
sixth order, dioptric, elevated 36 feet above the bank, which in clear
weather should be seen from a distance of. 7 miles.
»OTJUr« ymroTZOWw— 'At the head of Blackney reach the Yangtse
receives the tributary waters of the Kan kiang, which discharges itself
through the Poyang lake, the entrance of which is 2 miles above the
junction. To a stranger the Kan kiang, which is a direct continuation of
Blackney reach, would appear to be the main stream, into which the
Tangtse falls by three channels almost at right angles to its lower course,
opposite a village standing at the foot of the sand-fronted range on the
right bank. The description of the Yangtse is continued at Oliphant
island, on page 401.
♦ J. M. Hockly, Esq.
Digitized by VjOOQIC
CHAP.vm.] POYANG JUNCTION AND LAKE. 899
voTAiro ZiAXB.-^The lower part of this extensiYe sheet of water is
only 2 miles aboye the junction to the south-west, where on its eastern
shore stands the city ^f Hukau (Lake Mouth), upon the summit of the
steep cliffs of Tsa^chi or the ^' Jagged head'' ; this city is only a military
post. The lake is some 50 miles in length, and its northern part, which is
narrow for the first 24 miles, from 4 to 6 in breadth, and very shallow
in the winter season, and there was scarcely 6 feet in April 1861, except
in the bed of the Kan kiang, which winds through it, and is deep ;
but between this and July the water rose 21 feet, which rendered the
navigation of the lake at that season easy for any class of vessels.*
There are many beautiful and populous islands on the lake^ and its
fisheries are said to be important. Besides the Kan kiang, the Fu and
numerous other streams fall into the lake from the rich black tea districts
to the westward ; and, what under existing circumstances is more impor-
tant than all, the rivers flowing from the eastward are connected by canals
with the streams traversing Fychow, Moyune, and the whole of the green
tea districts, which are thus as accessible from this lake as from Suchau
and Shanghai. It is, in short, the centre of a most extensive and im-
portant network of river and canal communication, brought into a very
high state of perfection by the Chinese in more prosperous times.t The
chief coinmercial city, Wuchau or Wuchin or Wu-hung, stands on the
western side of the lake, 27 miles above Hu-kau, at the foot of the lofty
and precipitous range of the Liushan, or Mule mountain, 4,000 feet in
height, and is said to exhibit every sign of prosperity.
The town of Ta-ku-tang^ 8 miles above the junction and 2 miles above
Ta-ku-shan, the Great Orphan rock, is the lowest place on the lake which
affords good anchorage. Here large numbers of junks laden with produce
from the country anchor, and although it is 23 miles by water from
Kiukiang it is but 11 miles by land, and a good road has been constructed
between the two places by which merchandize frequently proceeds, as it
can reach Kiukiang by this means in as many hours as weeks are some-
times required by the junks to accomplish the journey in summer. For
some 30 miles from its entrance the Poyang has the appearance of a river
rather than a lake, in some places being only a few hundred yards in
width, and in no place more than a mile, beyond which it expands to an
* See Sketch of Poyang Lake and Bah river to Nanchang :— scale, m^O'5 of an
inch, on Admiralty Chart of Yangtse kiang, Sheet V., No. 2,849 ; a recent survey by
Commander B. Pitman, E.N., H.M.S. Ringdove^ October 1873, to the river level of
which date the soundings are reduced. See levels on pages 401, 404, 414.
t Report of Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, SOth March 1861, a deputation from
which accompanied the expedition under Vice- Admiral Sir James Hope, K.C.B.
X Abridged from a description by J. L. Hammond of the Chinese Customs.
Digitized by VjOOQIC
400 THB YAN6T8E KIAK6. [ch^.tzh.
ayenige breadlh of 15 mile0» thongh only a narrow channel is practicable
for deeplj-laden Tesadsy the renuunder being extremely shailow and
quite dry daring the winter. Promontories of land, &cing each otber^
divide the kkea into three distinct aections joined by narrow dumnela of
commonication. On the northernmost of these divisions is sitaated the
&rge i»efectoral city of Nan-kang-fn, which, although destitute of natural
advantages constituting a harbour, nevertheless affords a safe anchorage
for junks, by means of a strong breakwater of granite, which gives shelter
against the southerly winds sweeping across the lake just at the period
when the waters are the highest. Near this place is the important com-
mercial town of Wu-cheng, buCt upon a hilly isbind formed at the junction
of the two principal streams falling into this portion of the lake, and one
of which is the highway from the provincial capital of Nan-chang fa to
Although the privilege of navigating the lake in steam vessels is denied
to foreigners, the numerous important centres of trade have been visited
by them in native boats, and King-te-chen, the principal seat of the
celebrated porcelain manufacture, is one of the few interior places where
they have been rudely treated.
THe XAV siAVCh the mouth of which, on the northern borders of
Eiangsi, is 430 miles from the sea, and 240 above Nanking, is the lowest
of the great tributaries received by the Yangtse. It runs centrally
through, and with its smaller affluents drains the whole province. It is
navigable almost its entire length of 300 miles, to Nan-ngan, which is 150
miles north of Canton, to and from which goods are carried across the
mountains through the Meling pass. Large boats are obliged to stop at
Kanchu a place of great trade 50 miles lower down ; and some 20 miles
below this are the Shlh-pah-tan, or eighteen rapids, which are formed by
ledges of rock running across the river, but not seriously obstructing the
navigation, except when the river is low. Nan-chang, the provincial
capital, is above the lake, its walls accessible on all sidefi by water. It is
said to be a place of not much importance at the present time, but Barrow
estimated the shipping there, in his day, at 100,000 tons. Two other
large cities, Lin-kiang and Kih-ngan, are respectively 50 and 100 miles
ProdaotioiiB. — The productions of this province, which is very populous,
are great in amount and variety. Large quantities of rice, wheat, silk,
cotton, indigo, tea, and sugar are grown and exported. It excels in the
quality of its porcelain, a vast manufacture of which was carried on at
Kingte-chin, about 45 miles north-east of Jau-chau at the head of the
Poyang lake, where a million workmen were employed, and 500 kilns
Digitized by VjOOQIC
CH^p.vni.] POTANG JUNCTION — OLIPHANT ISLAND. 401
kept constantly burning. In the Yuling or Bohea mountains in the south-
east are produced camphor, yamish, oak, banian, fir, and other trees.*
Coal is said to be found at two places, viz., Yuen-chau on the Yu ho, a
tributary of the Ean in the western part of the province, and at Loping,
on a stream on the eastern side of the lake about 50 miles from its head.
There are two descriptions of it, called ^' red fire coal," supposed to be an
anthracite, and ^^ green fire coal \* the latter, a better quality (probably
bituminous) than was procurable at Hankow, being obtained for H.M.
gunboat Havoc at 6 dollars a ton.f
ma&s aboTe Posranr Tunetloiid — ^There exist at three parts of the
river between Poyang junction and Hankow, during the winter months,
bars, which are constant, although they vary somewhat in depth from year
to year. Their positions are :— north of Oliphant island j J above Hunter
island, also called Red cliff bar ; and north of Gravener island. Hunter
island bar has the least water, and in some winters only 8 feet over it ;
Gravener has generally 5 feet greater depth^ and Oliphant island bar
varies from 8 to 12 feet. See also^ article on the levels at Kiu-kiang,
Beptlis in tbe Bar CbaaneU. — The depths over the bars and in the
channels about Oliphant island may be computed approximately for any
given day, if the depth on any other day, a short time previous, can be
ascertained, by making a correction according to the rise or fall of the
river in the interval, as follows :—
The river falls.
From Oct. 15 to 31 - 3 in. per day.
„ Nov. 1 to 15 - 5 „ „
„ „ 15 to 80 - 6 „ „
„ Dec. 1 to 15 - 4 „ „
„ „ 15 to 31 - 3 „ „
„ Jan. 1 to 15 - 2 „ „
„ 15 to 31 - 1 „ „
The river rises.
From Feb. 8 to 14 - } in. per day.
„ „ 14 to 28 - 4 „ „
„ Mar. 1 to 15 - 3 „ „
„ „ 15 to 31 - 2i „ „
In May and June the river rises with
oXiXVBAirT zsXiAirB, 10 miles in length, lying westward of point
Becher, and Lay island 7 miles in length, south of it, here divide the river
into three channels, all of which are shallow at some part of their course,
the least water in each, viz., in the North, Direct or Middle, and South
channels, being (in December 1858, when the river was at its lowest
level) 13, 11, and 4 feet respectively. § The greatest volume of water is
* Williams' MiddU Kingdom, f Blakiston's YangUe, p. 343.
t In February 1873, Oliphant island bar was buoyed by the S.S.N. Company, blue
flags being placed on the starboard hand, and white on the port. The current ran 3 to 4
knots.— ii««f. Wash, BJi.
% From the observations of Commander T. M. Maquay, B.K., H.M.S. JRingdove,
Digitized by VjOOQIC
402 THE YANGTSE KIANG. [cbaf.yui.
through the North or main channel of the river ; the Direct channel is
narrow, with a bar at its eastern entrance; the South channel is still
narrower, and as yet unexplored.
All these channels are ascended on westerly courses, but the North
channel makes a broad bend to the north-westward at right angles to its
direct course, at its junction with the mass of water pouring out of the
Poyang lake, which its swift current actually opposes. Eddies and whirls
are formed from this cause at Becher, Oliphant and Otter points^ which
make the navigation somewhat intricate and difficult, necessitating caution
to avoid the shoals at various parts of this junction, and which are
probably shifting, and a sharp helm in passing through the chow-chow
water. It is almost impossible for a river to have assumed a more
deplorable natural condition than the Yangtse at this point. Olipliaiit
island light is described at page 398.
womxB OMAvrab^ — South-westward of Point Becher, a Bmall islaaid
formed some years since on a shoal off Oliphant point which narrows the
entrance. The western part of the point must be hugged, and the left
bank of the river, which is dear, kept throughout the channel, except in
passing along the noii;h side of Oliphant where the bar is, called sometimes
Oliphant bight. To cross the bar, on which the least .water has been
8 feet, when Point Becher is S.E., steer about West for 4^ miles, closing
the left bank again at a small village, where the river bends W.S.W. The
current at this part is very rapid. The whole north side of Oliphant is
bordered by extensive shoals $ a spit one mile in length also extends up the
river, mid-channel, from the west point of the island, and some care is
required in passing between it and a shelf off the left bank above, to dear
both of which steer across S.W. as soon as the direct channel again becomes
open, and then keep the south shore aboard up to Kiukiang.
BZBacT CRAvnXi has shoals at its eastern entrance, which at times
form a wide bar, composed of hard sand, over which the least water re-
corded has been 7^ feet, but in the passage the depth is never less than
2^ fathoms. It should be entered by passing dose southward of Oliphant
point, whence a mid-channel course may be adopted, keeping to the north
side when passing the opening of the South channel west of Lay island.
At the western entrance of Direct channel some rocks extend from under
the red diffs on the south side.*
Xiuklaar Sooks &XOBT is a ship's mast-head light 8 feet above the
position on which it stands, which in clear weather should be seen 4 miles.
It is a fixed light, but shows red towards the rocks.f
* In February 1873 the Direct channel was unnavlgable, liaving only 4 feet water.
— Xtettt. Whish, E.N.
t Angost 1872.
Digitized by VjOOQIC
OTAP. irnij TEEATT PORT OP KIUKIANG. 403
a, the second treaty port on the Yangtse, stands on the right
bank of the river, 14 miles above the outlet of the Pojang lake, and 6
miles from its borders. It is 452 miles from Shanghai, and 134 below
Hankow. It was opened in 1861, having been selected on account of
its proximity to the channels of inland navigation, especially those con-
ducting to the green tea districts of Kiang-si and Ngan-whei, and has
always been a port of some consequence.
Kiukiang^ is a prefectunJ city of the province of Kiang-si. Its walls,
5 miles in circuit, are built close to the river and enclose the government
offices, some temples, and a large extent of vacant ground. Its principal
street runs east and west and also traverses the large suburb on its western
side, above which is the British concession extending about 500 yards,
parallel to the river, as far as the Lung-kai ho canal which communicates
with the lake which surrounds the city on that side. The British consulate
occupies a central position on the bund.
Supplies, CUmatev A.o. — The foreign community is small, and includes a
consul, a chaplain, a physician, and the employes of the Chinese maritime
customs. Provisions are of the class and about the same in price as at
Shanghai. Good coal can be procured from a firm, or from the agent of
the Shanghai Steam Navigation Company. In climate Kiukiang is con-
sidered well favoured, and although the months of July and September are
hot, and the temperature in August frequently rises to 100°, the heat is
not of that damp, enervating description that prevails on the coast, and is
therefore far less oppressive. During the winter months continuous and
bracing cold weather is experienced, with snow and frost in January and
Traae. — The failure in realizing the prospects of Kiukiang as regards
trade is mainly attributable to the port being above, instead of below, the
navigable outlet of the Poyang lake and its tributaries. The 15 miles of
ascent against a rapid current, which have to be achieved by native cargo
boats before arriving at Kiukiang from the Poyang junction, constitute a
serious obstacle to the concenti*ation of exports at this plaoe. The imme-
diate neighbourhood of Kiukiang has no commerce, and it is only on the
Poyang that an extension of foreign trade is to be looked for. A certain
quantity of tea is, however, annually brought to Kiukiang despite existing
difficulties, and forms the chief article of foreign export, the remaining
articles of merchandize being coarse chinaware, paper, hemp, coal, etc.
shipped to Shanghai for the coast trade. These exports amounted in
value in ^1871 to 2,146,972/. sterling; and the imports of cotton and
woollen goods, metals, and sundries to 915,746/., of which opium con-
stituted about one third. The total number of vessels which entered and
[ ♦ Abridged from Tr$a^ Ports of China, p. 429.
* CO 2
Digitized by VjOOQIC
4M THE YAKGTSE SIAKO* [chap. ym.
detred wm 480, of which 153 were British* The trade of the place is
ahnost whoUj carried on hy the Shanghai and Hankow steamers, and the
direct trade is yery small.
AVOBMUUm.-^ne of the main defects of the port is the want of a
safe and coomiodioas anchorage, for thb part of the rirer is deep and rapid,
and strong north-easterly winds cause much sea. The best position is jiut
abore the settlement, in 5 to 10 fathoms according to the season, dose to
the bund near the canal. The bottom is loose, coarse gravel, and very bad
holding ground, and vessels not unfreqnently drive with two anchors down.
Buoys are moored off the Concession for all the river steamers, which
may be used by men-of-war if not actually occupied. The Lung-hai ho
canal has been found advantageous, as it affords a refuge for nadve boats
in storms during summer. During heavy rains the large volume of water
rushing out of this creek forms a strong eddy.
mam aad va&& •f the miwSB. — In summer the river at Kiukiang
rises about 84 feet above its winter level ; in 1870, a year of unusual inun-
dation, it rose 40 feet, and the rates of subsidence and rise were as
Fall of river.
Rise of river
To end of September
- 5 feet.
7th to 28th February
- 7 „
- lOi „
-say 10 „
- 3 „
-say 7 „
February 1st to 6ih
- 4 inches.
-say 4 „
The rise in the three last months is computed firom former observations.
In one year it is recorded that the rise did not attain its lowest level till
March 11th, after which it rose 20 feet in a single month. The winter
levels vary about 3 feet, but in those years in which the level stands higher
it by no means follows that there is a greater depth in the channels of the
river, for by observations made in 1870 and 1871 the winter level was
higher than that of the four previous years, and 2| and 3 feet higher than
in 1868, notwithstanding which greater difficulties were experienced in
getting up to Hankow, and the depth of water obtained was less. The
closing of the channels in years of exceptionally great inundation may be
therefore expected, and may be accounted for by the larger amount of
alluvial matter, then brought down, being deposited in the bed of the
river when the stream loses its force. Observations made in 1870 and
1871 offer confirmatory evidence, for it was ascertained that the bed of
the river rose during the subsidence of the waters.
The Cnrreiit in April and May runs from 1 to 1^ knots an hour ; in
June from 2 to 3 knots. It is accelerated by strong winds.
BBTMomt &BiLCB. — ^Immediately above Kiukiang the left banl: of
Seymour reach, as far as Hunter island, and a considerable portion of the
Digitized by VjOOQIC
CHAP. Tin.] RISE OF RIVER — RED CLIFP BAR, 405
right bank in the vicinity of Eight-mile creek, has ehoaled to each an
extent as to reduce the width of the channel to a minimum.* The course
is nearly mid-channel at first, quite so passing the Eight-mile creek, and
nearer the south side from a point 4 miles below Hunter island.
BmrTBK KxaRT^ — K fixed light, dioptric, of the sixth order, which
in clear weather should be seen 7 miles, is exhibited on Hunter or
Huang-lin island. The. height of the erection from which the light is
exhibited is 60 feet.f
Bmiter islaaa and Bar. — The river splits at Hunter island, 17 miles
above Kiukiang, making a sharp, deep-water bend north-eastward round
the island, which is 3 miles in extent. Above the island is a mass of irre-
gular, shifting shoals extending another 3 mUes, above which again is the
Lung-ping or Red CHff bar, abreast some very conspicuous red cliffs on the
right bank of the river. This bar is very shoal, but of late years the navi-
gation has been by a narrow gully close to the left bank, which carries the
best water, the least water in February being 7^ feet. (See table on last page.)
Up to November the channel south of Hunter, which saves 3 miles in
distance, may be taken, but it is closed during the winter. After passing
Hunter island keep along the red cliffs, and when arriving near the upper
part of them cross the river carefully, feeling the way by the lead.
In 1873, the channel across Red Cliff bar was buoyed with blue flags on
the starboard and white flags on the port hand going up.
contT KSACB. — From Lungping bar steer S.W. by W. \ W. for the-
first hills on the south shore, between broad shoals on either side, after
which steer mid- channel through the reach. Eight miles above Hunter
island the town of Wuhiutsun or Wusueh is passed, where there appears
to be a flourishing trade in timber ; and 6 miles above this is the village oi
ratse-kav Sballows^ — The bight of the river where Futse-kau i
situated is for 3 miles filled with shallows, and the channel has narrowe