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From the Library

of the

Cnm rnitl^^ an Dmtt Adch ctions



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"A



CRISIS



tN



THE OPIUM TRAFFIC:



BEING



AN ACCOUNT OP THE PROCEEDINGS



OF THE



CHINESE GOVERNMENT to SUPPRUSl^ thAt TRADE,



tVlTH



THE NOTICES, EDICTS, &c., RELATING THERETO.



PRINTED AT THE OfFICE OF THE CHINESE REPOSITORY.
'CHIN A...,..18S9/- - -'

' - .- •
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BOSTON MEDICAL LIBRARY

IN THE

FRANCIS A. COUNTWAY

UBRARY OF MEDICINE



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CONTENTS



V



Ttie cpmrniftiofter Lin's arrival at Canton - - . .. * ^ 1
No. 1. Edict horn tfae camtbiBNoneF to all tor^iffoetB - - 2
No. 2. Edict from tl^cQttinMMioQeF to tlielMHigMditha^ ^ - 7
^ No. 3, Letter ton^ the bong Ri^rohaiits 4«0aifiiii^ fbHiigi^ts' ttt CbntOn 12
-, Seizure of the passage-boat Snipe - - - i * -^ - 12
X No. 4. Letter from Chamber of CkimiMerce to thi^hcmgA^^ - 13
<^ No. 5. Caj^in Elhot'ii ncXicevre^iiirbig Bfhiihsfti]^ toftrm^ -' - 14
Mr. Inglis and others go iiMpt tbe eitf . « ^ - ^^ 16
No. 6. Captain Elliot's fiotiee, that bd win dem&nid passports -.-• ■ - 17
toiprisonnent of foreigners in Ckfltoo - - -' ^ - 19
No. 7. Commissioner's reasons why the opidm ought to Be siiftendered 20
No. 8. The hoppo^s edict detaining all shipd at Wba#^poa • - 2&
No. 9. Captain Elliot's notice^ Hcfuiriilg the opittun td be grvetf tip - 25
No. 10. Pledge of foreigners, not to trade in opium - - - 28
No. 11. Mr. King's address to the commissioner, and his reply - 29
No. 12. Captain Elliot's notice, requiring all opiuin in the factories - 30
No. 13. Edict from the commissioner to the consuls - - - 32
C No. 14. Pour replies from the commissioner to Captain Elliot > - 33
^ No. 15. Edict from the Kwangchow foo to the Chamber of Commerce 37
No. 16. Edict from the commissioner to Mr. Snow - - - 38
No. 17. Epict from the commissioner to Mr. Van Basel - - • 39
C No. 18. Captain Elliot's notice, describing stipulations attending de-
livery of opium -40

Mr. Johnston leaves for Macao 41

No. 19. Proposed bond regarding opium 42^

No. 20. Edict from the commissioner to Mr. Van Basel • - - 43

No. 21. Dissolution of the Chamber of Commerce - - - 44

No. 22. Captain Elliot's notice, hastening the delivery of opium - 45

Nos. 23, and 25. Captain Elliot's notices concerning the same • 47

No. 24. Captain Elliot's notice for a tender - - ... 47

No. 26. Eklict from the Kwangchow fdo to the compradors . - 49

No. 27. Letter from the commissioner to the Queen of England - 49

No. 29. Edict requiring the voluntary bond r - - - , 5!\



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IV CONTENTS.

No. 29. Edict re-opening the trade ...... 55

No. 30. Captain Eiliot'B notice to British subjects .... 57

Nob. 31, and 32. Regulations of the passage boats ... 57

No. 33. Edict forbidding foreigners to go into the suburbs . - 56

No. 34. Edict expelling sixteen foreigners 58

No. 35. Captain EllJiot's notice concerning the proscribed sixteen - 00

No. 36. Edict from the Kwaqgchow foO conceming trade - - 61

No. 37. Captain Elliot's notice enjoining British ships no^ to enter

the Bogue . - 64

No. 38. Captain Elliot's notice announcing delivery of opium . . 65

No. 39. Edict from the commissioner respecting ships - - - 66

No. 40. Captain Elliot's notice enjoining British subjects to leave Canton 68

No. 41. Edict from the commissioner to the sixteen proscribed - 70

No. 42. Captain Elli<A's notice, announcing his departure for Macao 71

No. 43. Memorial to Lord Pkilmerston from British merchaits - 72

No. 44. Mandate from the emperor, to destr^ the opium - - 76

No. 45. Letter from the hong, mekschants about the anchorage of ships 77

No. 46. Form of a passport for Macao in the Inner Pfeissage • - 78

No. 47. Injunction from the hoppo to enter the port • - - : 81

No. 48. Minutes of a meeting of British merchants at Macao - 83

No. 49. Edict from keunmin foo enjoining ships to trade . - • 86

No. 50. Captain Elliot's reply to the above edict - •» - - 88

Nq. 51. Visjt to Chunhow, and mode of destroying the opium there 90

No. 52. New port regulations 98

No. 53. Form of bond signed by the captains in Canton - - 102

No. 54. Scale of det^urrage for ships at Hqngkong - - - 104



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<ffri0i0



THE OPIUM TRAFFIC.



The extraordtnary growth of the traffic in opium, and its present
crisis, will long remain memorable events in the annals of foreign
intercourse with China. In the tariff, published near the close of
the last century, opium was placed among the imports, as a medicinr
al drug, subject to a duty of five mace per catty. Its importation
from Bengal— 'a plan suggested by colonel Watson, and adopted by
Mr. Wheeler, vice-president in council-^ seldom exceeded 200 chest$
prior to 1767; that year it amounted to 1000, at which rate it continu-
ed a long time in the hands of the Portuguese. In 1773, the British
East India Company made a small adventure. In 1781, the Bengal
government freighted an^ armed vessel with it — the proceeds of
which were to be paid into the C<$mpany's treasury in Canton. In
1794, a ship, laden exclusively with it, came to Whampoa. In 1800,
it was interdicted by the Chinese government. In 1821, the traffic
was driven from the port^ and has since extended along the whole
coast, and increased with amazing rapidity. In the summer of 1836,
a high officer at court, Heu Naetse, in a memorial to the emperor,
proposed its legalization, and was supported in his recommendation
by the local government of Canton. In the autumn of the same year,
another high officer, Choo Tsun, came forward, remonstrating against*



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its admission, foUowed by Heu Kew and other. The reader will find
these several documents in the former volumes of the Repository.
The immediate! result of them was an ed^ct ffom tl^^ emperor, re-
quiring certain foreigners to leave Canton. That edict was partially
evaded, and the traffic continued through the year 1837, and until the
summer of 1838 — and it was said by the dealers, at that time, that %h^
local authorities reoe^yed f 75 per chest for eopniyaQce. Of the oc-
currences during the last twelve months, recorded in the previous
numbers of this vojume, it is sufficient tot allude here to thoi^e of the
12th of December and the 26th of March last, the seqaek of vvbieh ia
now to be detailed.

His excellency L^in, high commissioner (rom the court of Peking,
arrived in thi^ city on the 10th of March. He came with plenipoten-
tiary powers — authorized to do whatever should seem to himself
right. Born ai^d b^ed in one of the n^antin^ proyii^ces^ and having
(as he says) early had intimate acquaintance with ail the arts of fo-
I reigners, he was thcirefore, it would seem, selected for this new and
{ difficult service. He is now about fifty-five years of age; and is de-
j scribed by natives (no; for^iigii^er ^as yet seen him) a^ of middling
I height, rather stout ^ and of stern demeanor. ^0¥ his either qualities,
as statesman, &c., h^ public documents and prOjC^clings give us no^
unequivocal testimonty. His instructions, respecting the traffic kk
ppium, he received in perscm fro,ra the emperor. And report says,^^
that the monarch -^having called befojre hi^m his faithful servant lin,
yecounted the evils that had kmg afflicted hia children by means of
the flowing poison; aoid, adverting to the future^ paiised and wept-:
then^ turning to th^ commissionei^^ s^aid^ " iiow„ alas \ can I die and
go to the shades c^n^y imp^rkl father and ancesti^ until these dire-,
ful evils are removed T' At the saine time the emperoif put into hia;
Iian4« the seal of his high eo|nmi«sioa-^u^e8ting him with power
(if report be true) such as has on,^ thrice been ^^legat^d by the mn-,
narohs of the present dynasty — and th^ badfe him ga, txamiMe and
act . Thus charged, he eam<e. paying made lus entrance into the
city, eight days were (VScnpied with inquiries, and ii^ preparing edicts^,
l^ate in the evenii^ of the 18th of March, one of the Ibpreigners (Mn
Thom) was called to Howqjua^s to translate a paper tOffi>reigners.
'i^he following appeared the next day.

No. 1.
jpdiet from ^imperial cofttmissioner i» fortignfrs of mil nptioftSi
Lin, high imperial commissioner of the Celestial Court, a director
of the Board of War, and governor of Hopkwang, i^sue^ hi|S co^«



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mandsloihe fotei^dert Of etery nation, re^iiirifig of all full acquain-
tance with the tenor thereof.

It is known that the foreign veseeU; which come for a reciprocal
trade to Kwangtdng; have derived from that trade Very large profits.
This is evidenced by the fiEU&ts,-^that, n^hereas the vessels annually
resorting hither were forixierly reckoned hardly by tens, their num-
kier has of late years amounted to a hiindred and several limes ten ;
that whatever commodities Uiey may have brought, none have failed
to find a full consumption ; and whatever they may have sought to
purchase, never have they been unable readily to do so. Let them L
but ask themselves wbetheir betweeh heaven and earth, any place
affording so advantageous a cdrntnercial mart is elsewhere to be
found. It is because our gireat emperors^ in their universal bene-
volence, have granted you commercial privileges; that you have been
favored with these advantages. Let odr ports once be closed against
you, and for what profits can your several nations atiy longer look ?
Yet more, — our tea and our rhubarb^ — seeing that, should you fo^
ceigners be deprived of them, you therein lodb the means of preserving
life -^ are without stint or gntdge granted to you for exportation year ^
by year beyond the seas. Favors never have been greater ! \

Are you grateful for these favors t You must then fear the laws,
and in seeking profit for youi^elves, must not do hurt to others. Why
do you bring to our land the opium, tvhich Ui your own lands is not
made use of, by it defrauding men of their property, and causing
injury to their lives? I find, that With this ihirig yon have seduced
and deludied the pimple of China for tens of years past; and count-
less are the unjust hoards that you have thus aeqtnred. Such con-
dupt rouses indignation in every human h^art, and is utterly inex-
ciisalde in the eye of celestial reason.

The prohibitions formerly ^ita^ted by the celestial court against
opium were Cionfiparativdy lax, aod it was yet possible to smuggle
the drug into the various pdrts. Of this the great emperor having
now heard, his wrath has been fearfully aroused, nor will it rest till
the evil be mtedy extirpated. Whoever among the people of this
inner land deal in opiiim, ot establish houses for the smoking of it,
shall be instantly vistteil with the extreniie penalty of the laws ; and
jt is in €ontemplati0n to render capitnl also the crime of smoking
the drug. Aud yon, hatkig Come kito the territory of the celestial
court, riiould pay obedience to its laws and statutes, equally with the
native of the land.

I, the high commisiiioner, havjifg irty home in the maritime pro-



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vince of Fuhkeen, and consequently having early had intimatis ac-
quaintance with all the arts and shifts of the outer foreigners, have for
this reason been honored by the great emperor with the full powers and
privileges of * a high imperial commissioner, who, having repeatedly
performed meritorious services, is sent to settle the affairs of the outer
Jrontier/

Should I search closely into the offenses of these foreigners, in
forcing for a number of years the sale of opium, they would be found
already beyond the bounds of indulgence. But, reflecting that they
are men from distant lands, and that they have not before been aware
that the prohibition of opium is so severe, I cannot bear, in the pre-
sent plain enforcement of the laws and restTictioRs, to cut them off
without instructive monition.

I find that on board the warehousing vessels which you now have
lying at anchor in the Lintm and other offings, there are stored up
several times ten thousand chests of opium, which it is your purpose
and desire illicitly to dispose of by sale. You do not consider, how-
ever, the present severity of the measures in operation for seizure of
k at the ports. Where will you again find any that will dare to give
it escort ? And similar measures for the seizure of it are in opera-
tion also in every province. Where else then will you yet find op-
portunity of di^osing of it ? At the present time the dealings in
opium are brought utterly to a stand, and all men are convinced that
it is a nauseous poison. Why will you be at the pains then of laying
it up on board your foreign store-ships, and of keeping them long
anchored on the face of the open sea, not only spending to no pur-
pose your labor and your wealth, but exposed also to unforeseen dan-
gers from storms or from fire.

I proceed to issue my commands. When these commands reach
the said foreign merchants, let them with all haste pay obedience
thereto. Let them deliver up to government every particle of the
opium on board their store-ships. Let it be ascertained by the hong
merchants, who are the parties so delivering it up, and what number
of chests is delivered up under each name, and what is the total quanti-
ty in catties and laels. Let these particulars be brought together in a
dear tabular form, and be presented to government, in order that the
opium may all be received in plain conformity thereto, that it may be
burnt and destroyed, and that thus the evil may be entirely extirpat-
ed. There must not be the smallest atom concealed or withheld.

At the same time let these foreigners give a bond, written jointly
in the foreign and Chinese languages, making a declaration of this



^



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effect : ' That their vessels, which shall hereafter resort hither, will
never again dare to bring opium with them : and that should any be
brought, as soon as discovery shall be made of it, the goods shall be
forfeited to government, and the parties shall suffer the extreme pe-
nalties of the law : and that such punishment will be willingly sub-
mitted to.'

I have heard that you foreigners are used to attach great impor- \
tance to the word * good-faith.' [f then you will really do as I, the \
high commissioner, have commanded, — will deliver up every par-
ticle of the opium that is already here, and will stay altogether its
future introduction, — as this will prove also that you are capable of
feeling contrition for your offenses, and of entertaining a salutary
dread of punishment, the past may yet be left unnoticed. I, the
high commissioner, will in that case, in conjunction with the go-
vernor and lieut-governor, address the throne, imploring the great
emperor to vouchsafe extraordinary favor, and not alone to remit the
punishment of your past errors, but also — as we will further request —
to devise some mode of bestowing on you his imperial rewards, as an
encouragement of the spirit of contrition and wholesome dread thus
manifested by you. After this, you will continue to enjoy the advan-
tages of commercial intercourse ; and, as you will not lose the cha-
racter of being 'good foreigners,' and will be enabled to acquire profits
and get wealth by an honest trade, will you not indeed stand in a •
most honorable position ?

If, however, you obstinately adhere to your folly and refuse to
awake, — if you think to make up a tale covering over your illicit
dealings, — or to set up as a pretext that the opium is brought by fo^
reign seamen, and the foreign merchants have nothing to do with
it, — or to pretend craftily that you will carry it back to your coun-
tries, or will throw it into the sea, — or to take occasion to go to
other provinces in search of a door of consumption, — or to stifle
inquiry by delivering^ "up only one or two tenths of the whole quan-
tity ; in any of these cases it will be evident that you retain a spirit
of contumacy and disobedience, that you uphold vice and will not
reform. Then, although it is the maxim of the celestial court to
treat with tenderness and great mildness men from afar, yet as it
cannot suffer them to indulge in scornful and contemptuous trifling
with it, it will become requisite to comprehend you also in the severe
course of punishment prescribed by the new law.

On this occasion, I the high commissioner, having come from the
capital, have peri^nally received the sacred commands, that wher-



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twet a law exifits, it is to be fully enforced. And as t have brougM
these fu)l powers and privileges, enabling me to perform whatever
iieems to me right,- powers with Which tbdse ordinarily given, for
inquiring and acting ih t^^ard to other matters, are by no means
comparable,-80 long as the opiiim traffic remains unextermmated.
80 long will I delay rty return. I swear that I will progress with
this matter from its beginning to its ending, and that not a thought
of stopping halfway shaU for a mortent be mdulged.

FurthJn,ore, observing the present condition of the popular mmd,
f find so uaivu.gal a spirit of iHdigttation arowed, that, should you
foreigners remain dtwi to a sense of contrition and amendment, and
continue to make gain yoiirWi^i9.x>bject, there will not only be array-
ed against you the martial terrors ai(tV^w:erfulener^ of <wu naval
and military forces;— it will be but necessaiT^^Kcall on the able
bodied of the people {the militia or posse comitatuelTlBl^*^.^ **^^"^
will be more than adequate to the placing all your liv^wP^**"'** ^y
power. Besides, either by the temporary stoppage of your i|J|^"®» ^
by the perma^em dosing of the poits against you, what diflP^^'^y
can there be in efiect^Uy cutting off your intercourse? Qur c^lP*^*^
empiret, comprising a tetrritory ^ many thousands of miles, and ^^^'
sessing in rich abundance all the products of thie ground, has no ben^^"^
fit to derive from the purchase of your foreign commodities, and yolP ^
m&y tlierefore well jfe^r, that firom the moment such measures ar^
taken, the livelihood of your several nations must come to an end^
You, whp haye traveled so far to conduct your commercial business, v
bow is it that you are not yet aUve to the great diffeience between (
the condition of vigorous exertioii and that of easy repose — the wide.C,
distance beitween the power of tho few and the power of the many ? \

As to those era% foreigners., who, residH>g in the foieign fectories, \
have be^ in the babjt of dealing in opium, I,, the high commission-
er, have early been provided With a list of them by name. At the
same time those good fereigoers who hax^e not sold op'ram must also
not fail to be disthaguished. Su<lh of them as will ponU out their
depraved feUow-^reignerf, .wUl compel them (o delivec up their,
opium, and wiM step fei:4h among the foremost to give the required
bonds, — these sbatt be^ regarded as the g^od foreigners. And I, the
high Goraaiiisfiioneri will at once for Iheii encouragenent reward them, l
liberally.. It re$|@ with yourselves alone to choose whether you wiU
have weal or woe, honor, on; disgraoe.

I am now about to conunand the bong marchaftis to. proceed to ^
y^ur faetoiries; to instruct and admonisb you.. A term of three days h,






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V'



pre&cribed for an addr^s to be sent in rep]y to me. And at f be same
time let your duly attested and faitbful bonds he given, waiting for
ine in conjanetion with the governor and lieut.-governor to appoint a
time for the opium to be delivered iip. Do not indulge in idle ex-
peetations^ or seek to postpone matters, deferring to repent until its
latei^ess render it ineffbctual. A special edict.
Taoukwang, 19th year, 2d month, 4lh day. (March 18th, 1839.)
(True translation.) J. Robt. Morrison, Chinese secretary
and interpreter to the Superintendents of British Trade in China.

Along with the above, the hong merchants received, while on their
knees before the commissioner, the ft>lk>wing, addressed to them-
selves — several of whom^ as well as a number of the linguists and
compradors of the foreigners, he had previously examined.

No. %
Edict from the imperial commissiomer t9 the hong merchants,

Lin, high commissioner, director of the £(oard of War, and govern-
or of Hookwai^g, issues his commands to the hong merchants,
re<|uiring of them f^ll ac<]uaiotapoe with the tenor thereof.

The commercial hitercourse subsisting in Kwangtung between the
Chinese and foreigners has continued for a period of more than three
hundred years. What was there to render impossible a free com-
mercial interchange of goods between these parties themselves? No-
thing. It was then the desire of preventing an illicit intercourse,
and of guarding aga;inst contraband commodities, that rendeired ne-
cessary^ the establishmei^l of a class of hong merchants. Respectfully
searching, I find, under date the 21st year of Keaking (1816), an
imperial edict,^—' 'fender ing the hopg merchants* responsible for the
ascertainment of the question, whether or not any foreign vessel
imports opium ; and, in case of her so doing, for die rejection of all
her cargo, for the refusal to \e% her trade, and for the driving of her
back to her country." Respect and obedience being paid hereto,
this edict was duly recorded. Aqd I 6fkd, that, on each occasion of
a foreign vessel entering the port, the said hong merchants have al-


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