Home ° 2017 ~ 2018


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)

Pirates in the China Seas

February 28, 1885, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.

China Within the Great Wall

Of the ancient Great Wall, only a low rampart remains, with square towers diminishing toward the top. These towers are generally placed on the summits of the mountains across which the wall winds. I ascended one of them, the better to contemplate the view, but had no one with whom to share all the admiration that I felt at this moment. It is quite impossible to describe all that the eye took in mountains, valleys, gorges, grass-covered slopes, pastures, farms, lakes. The presence of man is to be felt; not of the local villages or town life, but the life of a great state.

To the east, a superb valley dotted over with Chinese villages, surrounded with bushes and trees; farther off, on several levels, chains of mountains, the tops of which were on a level with my eyes. To the west the ground undulates gradually towards the plain, beyond which are more mountains. On the south, magnificent pasture land, intersected by by the Great Wall with its ruined towers. On our right, the Great Wall cracked and destroyed by centuries, and covered with plants. On our left, a slope towards the plain, laid out in artificial terraces, with fields of millet, oats, potatoes and hemp . . .

What strikes one most is the sudden transition from the barren desert of yesterday to the fertile and populous country of today. It seems like a never-ending village of small houses, covered with verdure, gardens and flowers, the whole extremely tidy and pleasant to the eye.

September 25, 1887, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

A Futile Attempt to Demoish it in France.

N. Y. Times

This Frenchman, the Abbe Larrien, who has attempted to disprove the existence of the great wall of China, deserves a lofty niche in the temple of liars. According to tho summary of his pamphlet (Paris, Leroux), published in the London Times, this missionary has the hardihood to declare that he has lived for several years under what would have been the shadow of the great wall had there been one, but that no such structure exists.

"This huge Chinese wall," says the Abbe Larrieu, "is a huge Chinese lie;" and accepting his statement, millions of ingenious youth would immediately lose all confidence in their geographies. But the mendacious missionary has been promptly exposed. A gentleman writes to the editor of the London Standard as fallows: "Will you allow me to inform your renders that I have sat upon the wall, and that I have, moreover, a photograph of it!"

And all the standard and trustworthy histories of China also, as well as the accounts of innumerable travelers, may be called into court to refute the Abbe. Gen. James H. Wilson of this city visited the wall in the year 1887. and on page 219 of his '"China" he has this to say of it: " The Chinese call it the 'Ten-thonsand-li-wall" and if it really had any such length it would be something over 3,350 miles long. It is from twenty-five to thirty feet high, fifteen to twenty feet thick, and riveted outside and in with cut granite masonry laid in regular coarses with an excellent mortar of lime and sand. It is surmounted by a parapet of gray burned brick, eighteen or twenty inches thick, covered with moss and pierced with cranelated openings for defenders. The top is paved with a double layer of brick about a foot square. The inside of the wall is made of earth and loose stones, well rammed in. Every 200 or 300 yards there is a flanking turret thirty or forty feet high projecting beyond and overlooking the face of the wall in both directions.

The most astounding thing about it is, however, that it climbs straight up the steepest and most rugged mountain sides, courses along their summits, descends into gorges and ravines, and, rising again, skirts the face of al most inaccessible cragis, crosses rivers, valleys and plains in endless succession from one end of the Empire to the other from the seashore on the Gulf of Pechile to the desert wastes of Turkestan."

Further testimony to the existence and appearance of the great wall may be found in Williams' ''Middle Kingdom," where in Vol. I, pages 30-31, the construction and aspect of the wall are described. Upon the map accompanying Williams' volumes also the windings of the great wall are distinctly laid down. There can be no doubt, of course, that the structure exists substantially as has been described for centuries.

The attempt of the Abbe Larrieu to demolish by a pamphlet the great wall, which is supposed to have been built about 215 B. C, must be attributed to one of those curious impulses of mendacity such as producedj George Psalinanozar's hoax about the island of Formosa, and to which in these latter times we owe our diverting newspaper fictions from Ottawa concerning the fisheries dispute and the equally fabulous stories of famine in Labrador.

October 13, 1887, Los Angeles Herald, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

The Chinese Wall.

An American engineer, who has made the subject a special study on the spot, has calculated that the Chinese wall has a contents of 18,000,000 cubic metres (6,350,000,000 cubic feet.) The cubic contents of the Great Pyramid is only 241,200 metres. The material used in the construction of the Chinese wall would be sufficient to build a wall round the globe 1.8 metre (six feet) high, and 0.6 metre (two feet) thick. The same authority estimates the cost of the Chinese wall to be equal to the railway mileage of the United States (128,000 miles).

The stupendous work was constructed in the comparatively short period of twenty years.

The Great Wall.China, The Great Wall. The Great Wall: From Beginning to EndChina, The Great Wall.
Michael Yamashita, William Lindesay
The Great Wall is arguably the greatest feat of civil engineering in history, and indisputably earth's largest single cultural relic: begun during the Qin Dynasty (around 208 BC) and completed nearly 1,800 years later during the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall of China spans more than 4,000 miles. Two men who navigated every inch of the Wall have collaborated on a lavishly-illustrated tribute to this amazing structure. Michael Yamashita, an award-winning National Geographicphotographer, spent a year shooting the Wall, its environs, and the people who live in its shadow, for the magazine. 160 magnificent photos grace this volume, which features text by William Lindesay, who not only conducts tours of the Wall and spearheads the movement to preserve it, but has actually run its entire length. The Great Wall debunks myths and deliverrs rare facts and figures, a comprehensive history that proceeds dynasty by dynasty through its construction.

The Great Wall.China, The Great Wall.
Modern Marvels
The Great Wall of China 

(DVD: History Channel)
China, The Great Wall.
Winding roughly 6,700 kilometers through undulating mountains, grasslands, and desert, its vastness seems beyond the realm of human possibility. A wonder of the ancient world, the Great Wall of China is one of mankind's most massive building achievements. Yet contrary to popular belief, there is no single wall of China, but rather a series of walls built for different reasons at different times.

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

Kindly Kindly Donate.


DALevy @


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.

Please inform us if you link from your site. Please do NOT link from your site unless your site specifically relates to immigration in the 1800s, family history, maritime history, international seaports, and/or California history.