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China. The Canton Trade.

° Amoy ° Fuzhou, Pagoda Island ° Canton (Gunagzhou) ° Qingdao ° Hong Kong ° Fuzhou ° Macau ° Ningbo-Zhoushan ° Qingdao ° Peking (Bejing) ° Shanghai ° Tianjin ° Tientsin ° Whampoa ° Yangzhou ° Xiamen ° Pirates in the China Seas
° The Great Wall ° Mahjong ° Opium Wars ° Shaolin (Kung Fu) ° The Jews of Kaifeng (Henan Province)


China Junks 1840

In ancient times, the area was a sea, but due to flooding by the Yellow River, Tianjin was created from the sand carried. Seashells of ancient times can be found at Tianjin.

The name Tianjin was first used in the first year of Yongle Reign in Ming Dynasty. By the middle of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Tianjin had become a significant water and land port for transferring food and silk from Southern China into Northern China.

During the Jin (1115) and Yuan Dynasties (1279), it was also a town of military importance and a food grain transportation center. Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, was the founder of the Yuan Dynasty. He moved the capital to Beijing and settled there.

In 1404, the second year of the Yongle Emperor’s rule during the Ming Dynasty, Tianjin was formally built as a city. In the second year of Yongle Reign,Tianjin became a walled garrison to safeguard Beijing. It came into being due to the digging of the Grand Canal during the Sui Dynasty. At that time, Tianjin was only a small village, located at the intersection of the South Grand Canal and the North Grand Canal.

Tianjin: A Trading Port

Jews is Tianjin.

In 1860, Tianjin was opened as a trading port. After that, the Western superpowers set up concessions one after another. So Tianjin became a spearhead for opening up and the base of the Westernization movement in modern China. Until the 1930s it served as the largest industrial and commercial city and economic center of Northern China.

September 3, 1884, Burlington Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa, U.S.A.

The Chinese Merchant Fleet Sold

London, Sept. 2 - The Times Foochoo correspondent telegraphs that the Chinese merchant fleet has been sold to Russell, consisting of twenty-six steamers, aggregating 23,544 tons. The company started twelve years ago and was under the patronage of Li Hung Chang, who obtained loans from the government, to whom the company was indebted to the amount of two millions taels -- $3,000,000.

Their business was mainly India and China ventures to London and San Francisco, but it proved a failure. The managers engaged on speculations of their proper business to the disadvantage of the company, for a long time, during which these practices were in operation, led to serious financial difficulties, and the unfortunate condition of China served to increase the troubles. The sale of the merchant fleet has ended one of the most important steps in the industrial progress of the Chinese empire.

The Silk Road is a historically important international trade route between China and the Mediterranean. Because silk comprised a large proportion of trade along this road, in 1877, it was named 'the Silk Road' by Ferdinand von Richthofen, an eminent German geographer. From the time Zhang Qian opened up the world-famous Silk Road during the Han Dynasty, until the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty, it enjoyed a history of about 1,600 years.

Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800The Silk Road of the Sea.
John N. Miksic
The Silk Road of the Sea.This book synthesizes 25 years of archaeological research to reconstruct the 14th-century port of Singapore in great detail. The picture that emerges is of a port where people processed raw materials, used money, and had specialized occupations. Within its defensive wall, the city was well organized and prosperous, with a cosmopolitan population that included residents from China, other parts of Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean. Fully illustrated, with more than 300 maps and color photos, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea presents Singapore's history in the context of Asia's long-distance maritime trade in the years between 1300 and 1800. The author is Associate Professor, Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, and Head of the NSC Archaeology Unit, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

China.Dragon Lady: The Life and Legend of the Last Empress of ChinaThe Last Empress of China.
Sterling Seagrave

China.1421: The Year China Discovered America
Gavin Menzies
On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China to "proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas." When the fleet returned home in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in the long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. And they colonized America before the Europeans, transplanting the principal economic crops that have since fed and clothed the world.

Pacific Crossings. Chinese Immigration in the 1800s. Pacific Crossing: California Gold, Chinese Migration, and the Making of Hong KongPacific Crossing. California Gold, Chinese Migration. Elizabeth Sinn.
During the nineteenth century, tens of thousands of Chinese men and women crossed the Pacific to work, trade, and settle in California. Drawn by the gold rush, they brought with them skills and goods and a view of the world that, though still Chinese, was transformed by their long journeys back and forth. They in turn transformed Hong Kong, their main point of embarkation, from a struggling, infant colony into a prosperous, international port and the cultural center of a far-ranging Chinese diaspora.

Making use of extensive research in archives around the world, Pacific Crossing charts the rise of Chinese Gold Mountain firms engaged in all kinds of trans-Pacific trade, especially the lucrative export of prepared opium and other luxury goods. Challenging the traditional view that this migration was primarily a "coolie trade," Elizabeth Sinn uncovers leadership and agency among the many Chinese who made the crossing. In presenting Hong Kong as an "in-between place" of repeated journeys and continuous movement, Sinn also offers a fresh view of the British colony and a new paradigm for migration studies.

A Cruise in Chinese Waters: Being the Log of "The Fortuna." (c 1882)
Augustus F. Lindley
Cornell University Library Print Collections

China. When China Ruled the Seas:
The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433
Louise Levathes
A hundred years before Columbus and his fellow Europeans began making their way to the New World, fleets of giant Chinese junks commanded by the eunuch admiral Zheng He and filled with the empire's finest porcelains, lacquerware, and silk ventured to the edge of the world's "four corners." It was a time of exploration and conquest, but it ended in a retrenchment so complete that less than a century later, it was a crime to go to sea in a multimasted ship.

China.Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet
In Search of a Legendary Armada

James P., Delgado
In 1279, near what is now Hong Kong, Mongol ruler Khubilai Khan fulfilled the dream of his grandfather, Genghis Khan, by conquering China.

The Grand Khan now ruled the largest empire the world has ever seen—one that stretched from the China Sea to the plains of Hungary. He also inherited the world's largest navy—more than seven hundred ships. Yet within fifteen years, Khubilai Khan's massive fleet was gone. What actually happened to the Mongol navy, considered for seven centuries to be little more than legend, has finally been revealed. Renowned archaeologist and historian James P. Delgado has gone diving with a Japanese team studying the remains of the Khan's lost fleet. Delgado pieces together the fascinating tale of Khubilai Khan's maritime forays and unravels one of history's greatest mysteries: What sank the great Mongol fleet?

Chinese Maritime Activities and Socioeconomic Development, c. 2100 B.C. - 1900 A.D.
(Contributions in Economics and Economic History)
K. Gang Deng

Chinese Sailed to America Before Columbus: More Secrets from the Dr. Hendon M. Harris, Jr. Map CollectionChina.
Charlotte Harris Rees

Silk and Religion
An Exploration of Material Life and the Thought of People, AD 600-1200

(Oxford India Paperbacks)
Xinru Liu

China. A Century of Travels in ChinaChina.
Douglas Kerr, Julia Kuehn, Editors
Hong Kong University Press

China: The World's Oldest Living Civilization.
China: The World's Oldest Living Civilization Revealed.China: The World's Oldest Living Civilization Revealed.
Thames & Hudson Publishers
China's recorded history dates back more than 3,500 years. "China" examines the turbulent history of this immense nation, including the inventiveness of the Bronze Age society, the Barbarian invasions, the conquest by Genghis Khan, the rise and fall of the dynasties, and the Opium Wars. It takes in the architecture of the emperors; the magnificent buildings of the Forbidden City; the imperial tombs, and the mysterious entombed warriors

A Borrowed Place:
The History of Hong Kong
Frank Welsh
The tumultuous history of Britain's last major colony. In 1842 a "barren island" was reluctantly ceded by China to an unenthusiastic Britain. "Hong Kong", grumbled Palmerston, "will never be a mart of trade". But from the outset the new colony prospered, its early growth owing much to the energy and resourcefulness of opium traders, who soon diversified in more respectable directions. In 1859 the Kowloon Peninsula was sold to Britain, and in 1898 a further area of the mainland, the "New Territories", was leased to Britain for 99 years.

The Man Who Loved China.
The Man Who Loved China:
The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom
The Man Who Loved China.
Simon Winchester

China. An Empire of Plants: People and Plants That Changed the WorldChina.
Toby Musgrave, Will Musgrave
Stories of seven plants - tea, tobacco, sugar, opium, quinine, cotton and rubber - whose discovery and cultivation changed the destinies of countries from America to China, India to Brazil. It investigates the complex legacy of trade routes overseas, the engine and imperative for colonial expansion, and shows how great fortunes were built upon a dark history of espionage, slavery, danger and conflict. Illustrated.

China and Maritime Europe 1500-1800: Trade, Settlement, Diplomacy, and MissionsChina. China and Maritime Europe.China.
John E. Wills, Jr., John Cranmer-Byng
A view of China in some of its most complicated and intriguing relations with a world of increasing global interconnection. New World silver, Chinese tea, Jesuit astronomers at the Chinese court, and merchants and marauders play important roles here. A full and clear summary, based on sources in Chinese and in European languages, making this information accessible to students and scholars interested in the growing connections among continents and civilizations in the early modern period.

China.When America First Met China:
An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail
Eric Jay Dolin
Ancient China collides with America in this epic tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships. Brilliantly illuminating one of the least-understood areas of American history, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin traces our fraught relationship with China back to its roots: the unforgiving nineteenth-century seas that separated brash, rising naval powers from ancient empires. It is a prescient fable for our time, one that surprisingly continues to shed light on our modern relationship with China. Indeed, the furious trade in furs, opium, and bêche-de-mer--a rare sea cucumber delicacy--might have catalyzed America's emerging economy, but it also sparked an ecological and human rights catastrophe. Peopled with fascinating characters--from the "Financier of the Revolution" Robert Morris to the Chinese emperor Qianlong, who considered foreigners inferior beings--this saga of pirates and politicians, coolies and concubines becomes a must-read for any fan of Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower or Mark Kurlansky's Cod. Two maps, and 16 pages of color and 83 black-and-white illustrations.

Historical Fiction

The Dream of the Red Chamber Chinese Literature.China. Dream Of The Red Chamber
Hung Lou Meng: Book I

Cao Xeugin
Translated by H. Bencraft Joly
First appearing 1791, it is a masterpiece of Chinese literature and one of China's Four Great classical novels. It was composed during the Qing Dynasty and is generally acknowledged to be a pinnacle of Chinese fiction. The novel is believed to be semi-autobiographical, mirroring the rise and decay of author's own family and, by extension, of the Qing Dynasty. It is intended to be a memorial to the women the author knew in his youth - friends, relatives and servants. At the center of the story is Bao-yu, a precocious boy and his romantic affinity to his poetry-loving, orphaned cousin, Dai-yu. The novel is remarkable for its huge cast of characters and psychological scope, its precise and detailed observation of the life and social structures typical of 18th-century Chinese aristocracy.

The Honored Dead by Robert N. Macomber.The Honored DeadChina.
Robert N. Macomber
Seventh in the award-winning Honor Series. Lt. Cmdr. Peter Wake, in French Indochina in 1883, meets up with opium warlords, Chinese-Malay pirates, and French gangsters. Perfect for armchair historians and adventurers. It has been compared to the best historical sea fiction ever written by Patrick O'Brian and C.S. Forester as well as the historical fiction of Bernard Cornwell.

China. Pearl S. Buck and Stories of ChinaChina.
Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker was born on June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Her parents were Southern Presbyterian missionaries, most often stationed in China. From childhood, Pearl spoke both English and Chinese. She returned to China shortly after graduation from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1914, and the following year, she met a young agricultural economist named John Lossing Buck. They married in 1917, and moved to Nanhsuchou in rural Anhwei province. In this impoverished community, Pearl Buck gathered the material that she would later use in her other stories of China. Her first novel, East Wind, West Wind, was published in 1930.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.  
History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient CommerceMerchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.
W. S. Lindsay

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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