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ing language characterized the proclamations of the government previously to our
accession as subsequently; and the seizure and imprisonment of the Hong Merchant,
Woo Yay, the most afflicting and perhaps the most serious in its probable results of
any of the existing evils, we have every reason to believe was premeditated and
determined on prior to any knowledge of a change in the Company's representatives
in this country. Nearly all the previous proclamations of the government are also
strongly marked with a spirit of pre-existing hostility; we are therefore induced to
regard the late proceedings of the Canton government as a continuance of that
systematic endeavour to depress and lower the foreign condition and character in
China by which it has with few interruptions for many years been influenced; and,
eager to attain its ends, it has been in this instance led into a trangre ion of those
prudential limits within which it has hitherto found protection.

22. We are well aware (and we deeply feel) that we have exposed ourselves to
the charge of inconsistency by our present apparent acquiescence; but we are
willing to incur that censure, rather than to have endeavoured, without full and
sufficient means, to contend with the declaration of the Imperial will. We await
the time when we feel confident we shall do it effectually, and without the sacrifice
of the great and important interests entrusted to us.

23. We proceed to place your Honourable Court in full possession of the course of proceedings which we propose to adopt. We tendered for a vessel of 200 tons and upwards, and have chartered the country ship "Hannah" of 450 tons, which we propose to dispatch about the middle of July, to ensure your Honourable Court being placed in possession of our intentions. We have obtained that vessel at a

£.11 pr. ton of very moderate rate; and as she will be laden with a portion of winter 10 cwt. black tea. teas, no loss can arise from the transaction. We shall likewise take especial care that copies of our present address be transmitted by any indirect opportunity which may offer.

24. When our shipping season arrives we shall proceed to Canton, though it is not our intention to re-hoist the English flag amid the ruins with which it would necessarily be surrounded. It is our firm intention to unload and load the ships consigned to us. In doing so we must be prepared to submit to renewed insults and injuries; but, feeling conscious that we are following the path which public duty prescribes, we will undeviatingly adhere to it. To threats and attempts at intimidation we shall probably be exposed; but we need not, we trust, assure your Honourable Court that to feelings of personal apprehension we shall remain insensible. We have a deeper feeling for the native Chinese in our service, who naturally look up to us for protection, which it may not be in our power to afford them. Within these few days the servants of the President have had intimation given to them, that they remain in his service at the danger of their lives. He immediately requested them to leave it, which they declined doing; but the fate of Woo Yay is before the eyes of all the natives of this country who are in any capacity associated with us; and it is almost impossible to expect, under such circumstances, a faithful or willing service.

25. Having loaded all the Company's ships of the season, and reserved a portion of them here when loaded (should it be necessary), we shall, should the present serious aspect of affairs continue, obtain as large a portion as possible of winter teas, and transmit them to England by vessels chartered for the purpose, which we have every reason to expect will be obtained upon favourable terms. We shall thus place your Honourable Court in possession of a large portion of the teas which would, under ordinary circumstances, have been shipped in the succeeding season. Even apart from these considerations, which the present crisis suggests, we should have been induced to refer it for your decision, whether, in the present most insecure state of the Hong Merchants, it might not be advisable henceforth to have that part of the investment termed " Winter Teas," in your warehouses in London, instead of in Canton, where they are so much exposed to imminent risks of every description.

26. Before the conclusion of our season, the private British commerce conducted at Whampoa will likewise be terminated, and the traffic carried on at Lintin will be the only trade (an illegal one, according to the laws of this country,) remaining, materially involving English interests.

27. While accomplishing these important objects, we cannot fail to be placed in possession of the reply of the Supreme Government, which will guide us in the requisitions to be made from the Chinese authorities. We must be prepared to expect that the remonstrance of the Governor-General may be rejected, and redres


B 3


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No. 2.

of grievances denied. Under such circumstances, the tone of communication must Select Committee be altered, and redress be demanded; when, we feel confident, a favourable result of Supracargoes to the Court of Directors, 18 June 1831.

will be the consequence.

28. We have only, in conclusion, to request from the impartial judgment of your Honourable Court, that our late proceedings may be considered by you with strict reference to the difficulties with which we are everywhere surrounded, and the imperfect means which we possessed of contending with acts of so violent and aggressive a character, involving not only the credit and security but even the commercial advantages of our transactions. The legal trade of this country becomes annually more subject to uncertainty and oppression; and the person and property of a Hong Merchant may at any moment, without any act of his own, become endangered.

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29. We have used every means available to us to preserve our national character and interests unimpaired. If we fail, it can only be from want of sufficient power to maintain them.

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COPY of a Letter from the CHAIRMAN and DEPUTY CHAIRMAN of the East India Company to the SELECT COMMITTEE of SUPRACARGOES in China, dated 9th December 1831.


To the President and Select Committee of Supracargoes at Canton in China.

Par. 1. OUR Secretary was instructed on the 9th ultimo to acquaint you that the Court of Directors had received by the Company's sloop of war "Coote," on the 7th ultimo, your letters of the 7th and 31st May last, and that their contents had caused the Court deep concern.

2. The American ship "Addison," by which that letter is sent, has not yet sailed from Liverpool, and we expect that this communication may be in time to reach her.

3. Your additional advices of the 18th June, via San Blas and Tampico, reached us yesterday; and as it is not possible for the Court to give that deliberate consideration which the several important points brought to their notice in your letters above adverted to demand, so as reply to them by the present conveyance, we have deemed it expedient to address you immediately from ourselves.

4. The intimation contained in the notification promulgated by you on the 10th June, viz. that you did not intend to suspend the commercial intercourse on the 1st August, has given considerable relief to our minds.

5. The stoppage of the trade is so serious a measure, and one so fatal to the sole objects of our intercourse with China, viz. the maintenance of the beneficial commerce we have so long carried on with that country, that nothing short of personal hostility on the part of the local authorities can, in our judgment, warrant the resort to so extreme a step. We must earnestly press upon your attention the repeated injunctions conveyed to you by the Court on this subject.

6. With regard to that part of your letter of June which notifies your intention of hiring ships for the purpose of bringing home the winter teas, after the ships of the season shall have been loaded, we apprise you, in the event of your having adopted that measure, that no alteration will be made in the consignment to you of the twenty ships of the present season, for which we trust you will have secured full cargoes of tea, notwithstanding the winter teas shall have been already shipped.

7. The Court's sentiments and views upon the whole of your late measures will


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be communicated to you by the direct ships, or by any previous fitting opportunity
that may present itself; but in the interim we cannot too strongly guard you
against the adoption of any course of policy which is likely to involve us in hos-
tilities with the Chinese, without the most distinct and positive orders from this


East India House, London,]
9 December 1831.

No. 4.

We are your loving friends,
Robert Campbell,
J. G. Ravenshaw.

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COPY of a LETTER from the COURT OF DIRECTORS of the East India Company
to the SELECT COMMITTEE of SUPRA CARGOES in China, dated 13th
January 1832.

Our President and Select Committee of Supracargoes at Canton in China.
Par. 1. IT being uncertain whether any conveyance to China may offer before the
departure of our direct ships in April next, we have determined to dispatch the
Company's sloop of war "Coote," by which we received in November last
despatches of May preceding.


2. We transmit numbers in the packet, a copy of our Secretary's letter, dated the 9th November, acknowledging by our desire your advices of May, and also copy of a letter from our Chairman and Deputy Chairman to you, under date the 9th December, announcing the receipt of your despatch of the 18th June, via San Blas and Tampico. The originals of these letters were forwarded by the American ship "Addison," which sailed from Liverpool the 31st of December.

3. The leading points detailed in your advices now before us, comprising your letters to the 22d July, and your Consultations to the 19th of that month, are

The aggression of the Foo Yuen on your Factory :

The eight Regulations issued by the Viceroy :

Your announcement of the intended stoppage of the trade on the 1st August last, and your request to the Bengal government for the aid of some of His Majesty's ships of war to enable you to carry into effect the measures which you then contemplated, but of the nature of which you have given us no information :

5. The subject was first noticed upon the Select Committee's Consultation of the 2d September 1828, in the following terms:

"The anxiety evinced by the government to commence unlading our ships holds out to us a favourable opportunity for gaining their sanction to a plan which we had devised in the month of February, and had already carried partially into effect (but of which no notice is taken on your records), for improving the access to the stairs of the Company's Factory in Canton, when the work was unexpectedly interrupted by the interference of the Nan-hey-yuen."

Your subsequent determination of the 10th June, not to enforce the stoppage of the trade, in consequence of the new regulations having received the sanction of an Imperial edict, and the intimation of this resolution to the Bengal government, accompanied by a declaration, that "on the termination of the season, when the valuable property of the Company, as well as of individuals, has been rescued, you deeply feel that the time will be arrived when reparation must be demanded."

4. We proceed to consider the measures connected with the alterations in the front of the Factory, which led to the aggressions of the Foo Yuen in the month of May last.

6. The nature and necessity of the projected alteration was explained, and a general description entered into of the locality of the premises alluded to.

7. The Select Committee then stated that they had communicated, in the first instance, their views to the Hong Merchants, in order that the matter should be represented to government previously to entering upon the operations, when they were assured by the Merchants that no necessity existed for a formal representation of the case to the local authorities.

8. It appears that the Committee still expressed to the Merchants their reluctance to enter upon the undertaking without the previous sanction of government; but

Deputy Chairman,
Select Committee

No. 3. Chairman and to the

of Supracargoes, 9 December 1831.

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No. 4.

having received from the Merchants the strongest assurances that they would hold Court of Directors themselves responsible for its success, and having been requested by them not to address the government on the subject, the Committee yielded the point" to what they considered a better knowledge of the forms of the country."

to the

9. The work, however, was stopped in the month of March, as already stated. 10. The Hong Merchants having written to the Committee on the 2d September 1828, urging, at the instance of the Hoppo, that the Company's ships should unload, the Committee, in their reply on the 3d September, adverted to the delay in the alterations, and to the vexatious interference of government, adding, We hereby request you to inform government, that after the landing-place is completed we may then unload the ships."

11. On the following day the Merchants stated that the delay was not on their part, and that the matter had been referred to the local authorities to examine.

Select Committee

of Supracargoes, 13 January 1832.

* The Viceroy.

12. On the 13th October the Committee addressed the Governor on other subjects, but at the same time alluded to the offensive state of the ground in the front of the Factory; adding, "An endeavour during this year was made to clear the square of such nuisances, and afford a wholesome promenade, as foreigners are not allowed to go into the country; but at the suggestion of a petty custom-house officer (who was moved by malice, because he shared not in the fees), every improvement was put a stop to, and the English Company have not at this hour a landingplace fit to be used.


13. On the 17th October, Howqua acquainted the Committee that he had had a long audience with the Viceroy on the subject of the Committee's address; and stated, that "the Viceroy had given directions for the immediate recommencement of the operations in the square in the front of the Company's Factory, and had expressed much displeasure at the delay which had been occasioned by the Nanhey-yuen in carrying into effect the orders which he had previously given upon the subject."

14. No record of this order appears on the proceedings of the Committee; but on their Consultations of the 18th October is the following statement:

"A pledge of this officer's* disposition to accommodate matters has been given by a deputation of the Nan-hey-yuen to our Factory, to give directions for the renewal of the works upon the landing-place, which will be resumed forthwith."

15. There is a marked difference between the verbal statement of Howqua, in which he alluded to the operations in the square in front of the Factory, and the directions of the Nan-hey-yuen given personally, which were confined to a renewal of the works upon the landing-place.

16. On the 22d October, two boats with cornelian beads having been seized at the landing-place in front of the Factory, you represented the necessity of the landing-place being secured by gates, and the space in front of the Factory surrounded by walls.

17. On the 21st November 1828, an edict was received through the Merchants, which ordered them forthwith "to take the newly-accumulated ground in front of the Factory within the boundary, and build a landing-place with wood and stones; but it was not permitted to usurp, encroach, and build in other places, which would involve examination and inquiry." This was the first recorded sanction to the work, which was strictly confined to the building a landing-place with wood and


18. On the 20th February 1829, the matter still remaining unfinished, the Committee addressed the Viceroy preparatory to their departure from Canton for Macao, requesting his sanction for the completion of the work, and the surrounding it with a wall.

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19. In consequence of this address, the Quang-choo-foo and Nan-hae-heen were sent by the Viceroy to examine the place in person, and "to understand the case clearly." The officers made a minute examination; and the Hoppo, being called upon to state what effect the alterations would have with reference to the custom-house, reported, that, "if they be allowed to build a wall around, it will obstruct the view from the custom-house, and be an impediment to the attendants keeping a look-out from thence. It is inexpedient to allow this."

20. Upon which the Viceroy issued an edict, decidedly prohibiting the purposed alterations, excepting the repairing the landing-place with wood and stones, and forbidding the wall to be built. This was followed by another edict (arising out of

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'a representation from the Committee), "prohibiting the Chinese from walking on
the Company's landing-place, or making any noise there."

21. The discussions which had commenced in the month of June 1829, and which
led to the stoppage of the trade, only terminated on the 8th February 1830, when
the Factory repaired to Canton for the purpose of resuming the trade. The Presi-
dent on that occasion was accompanied by Mrs. Baynes, on the alleged invitation of
It appears to have been the first instance in which a lady of the Factory
had proceeded to Canton, and was in direct contravention of our orders of the
3d April 1829.

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22. The ground in front of the Factory remaining unfinished, the Committee Cons. 27 Feb. 1830. requested the Merchants on the 27th February to bring the matter before the Vice

roy, who issued an edict containing the following passage: "But ere one year
has elapsed, these foreigners all at once (because their request to have warehouses
was disallowed) now entreat to have a wall built, and a gate set up, and that the
boards may be exchanged for stones. This really is perverse obstinacy."

23. Upon the receipt of this communication, the Committee observed, "As every attempt to gain this point has failed by application to the government, we must adopt other means to effect it. We therefore determined to remove the inconvenience, by ordering a detachment of boats and seamen from our ships, by whom the cavity remaining will be filled from a heap of rubbish in the neighbourhood, and a fence erected, to prevent intrusion."

24. An order was accordingly issued on the 2d March to the commanders of the Cons. 2 March ships for carrying their plan into effect, and for their furnishing Captain Haviside, 1830. who was to superintend it, with the assistance of a large cutter or launch, and a competent crew, containing a carpenter and carpenter's mate. The detachment arrived on the night following; and, from the exertions used by the officers and men, the work was expected to be completed on the 5th, the ground levelled, and a fence erected to make it secure.

25. On the 4th March the Hong Merchants waited on the Committee, entreating a suspension of the work, the Chinese government having refused to sanction it. In reply to this request, they were informed that the Committee had not resorted to the means used for the removal of the nuisance complained of until every endeavour to attain that object by other measures had failed, and that the Committee felt convinced the Viceroy could not be aware of the actual circumstances of the case, which it was the duty of the Hong Merchants to have stated properly to his Excellency; that such a line of conduct would have superseded the necessity of the Committee requiring the assistance of the seamen from the ships, and "that the culpability, if any could accrue, from such an insignificant question, must rest with themselves;" the Committee adding, "that they could by no means agree to desist from the undertaking, which a few hours would then bring to a close."

26. On the 5th March the Quang-choo-foo visited the ground, and the Hong Merchants informed the Committee that he had issued orders to hollow out the ground which had been levelled, and reduce it to its original state; upon which the Committee remarked, "This proposition is too ridiculous to be discussed, and was admitted by some of the Merchants, after the conference was broken up, to be a mere matter of form, to support the consistency of the government; we conceive therefore that the matter may be considered terminated."

27. On the 8th March an edict was issued by the Viceroy against parties of seamen coming to Canton, having reference, the Committee stated, to the party employed in the completion of the premises in front of the Factory.

28. On the 21st April the Merchants addressed the Committee (then at Macao), representing that an order had been issued which obliged them to hollow out the ground again, and to cover the space over with boards as before; that 10 days had originally been allowed for effecting the order, but at their entreaty another 10 days had been granted. "Should we again procrastinate (observed the Merchants), it would be difficult for us to bear the blame; and we imagine that you, gentlemen, could not endure to sit and look on at our being involved in difficulties." They had accordingly hired labourers to perform the work.

No. 4.

Court of Directors
to the
Select Committee

of Supracargoes, 13 January 1832.

29. Upon which the Committee observed, "As we cannot accurately ascertain the extent of the mischief, we shall refrain for the present from noticing this offensive proceeding, which we can only attribute to an obstinate desire on the part of government to humiliate foreigners in the eyes of the people, and circumscribe within the narrowest limits the little space allotted for our recreation."

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