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Americans and Macao

Trade, Smuggling, and Diplomacy on the South China Coast

Edited by Paul A. Van Dyke

Publication Year: 2013

The theme of this volume is the American relationship with Macao and its region through trade, politics, and culture, and the focus is mainly on the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The essays address topics such as the role of the China trade in US pacific expansion and exploration, US consuls, smuggling networks, American women's perceptions of China, and missionary and educational work. In all of the encounters, Macao emerges as a central player, adding a new dimension to our understanding of Sino-American relations.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-x

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Introduction: Americans, Macao and China

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pp. 1-6

When we gathered in Macao in December 2008 we were constantly surprised by the richness of the historical connections. As soon as there was an independent United States, American traders set out by ship for China, arriving in the Pearl River Delta in 1784. The rapid growth of a Euro-American presence in the Pacific in the early...

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1: Revolutions and Divergences

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pp. 7-16

This chapter seeks to make some connections between the history of a very small place, Macao, and global changes in the decades before Caleb Cushing, an American envoy, arrived in 1844 to negotiate an American treaty with the Great Qing.1 It is the product of my visits to and interest in Macao since 1973, of research on Portuguese and ...

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2: A Clash of Civilizations in the Pearl River Delta

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pp. 17-32

China trader Stephen Girard (1750–1831) of Philadelphia was one of America’s first millionaires.3 Because of its immense importance to the rise of the modern world, the era we often refer to as the “China trade” (ca. 1700–1842) has received much attention from historians. Holden Furber referred to the era as an “age of partnership” in...

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3: American Ships, Macao, and the Bombay Marine, 1806–1817

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pp. 33-48

American trade with China is generally dated from the arrival of the Baltimore-built Empress of China at Whampoa in 1784, carrying a cargo of Spanish silver dollars and ginseng.1 An indirect trade in American ginseng with China can be traced back to as early as 1721, but not by domestic bottoms.2 The colonial trading connections give...

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4: Smuggling Networks of the Pearl River Delta before 1842

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pp. 49-72

Smuggling between the lower Pearl River Delta and Canton has a long history. Previous studies have shown that the contraband trade expanded rapidly after it became established at Lintin Island in 1820. However, little or nothing has been said about how the smuggling network operated or about the other two contraband networks...

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5: The April 1820 Debt Settlement between Conseequa and Benjamin Chew Wilcocks

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pp. 73-94

The historic Canton trade has long sat enveloped in a nostalgic fog. On the Chinese side, the identity of but a few famous Hong merchants has been discernable. The rest have been seemingly lost in the haze. The Western side has been seen in clearer outline, at least in the sense that the names of more individuals and enterprises have been...

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6: The Importance of the China Trade in American Exploration and Conquest in the Pacific, 1830–1850

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pp. 95-104

It has often been pointed out that American interest in the Pacific Coast of North America rose in parallel with the China trade. Sydney and Marjorie Greenbie (1925), argued that trade with China drew Americans to the area that is now the states of Oregon and Washington.1 Some historians have been particularly fascinated with...

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7: Henrietta Hall Shuck Engendering Faith, Education, and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Macao

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pp. 105-124

Henrietta Hall Shuck (1817–1844) is famous for being the first American female missionary in China. Despite her short period of residence in Macao in the early nineteenth century, her multiple experiences in the Portuguese colony are invaluable. Her pronouncements in her journal entries, correspondences and other writings ...

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8: Five American Women’s Perceptions of China 1829–1941

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pp. 125-142

It has been observed that an individual’s perceptions of another culture are profoundly influenced by the cultural values they bring with them. The greater the differences between the two cultures, the more susceptible the observer is to misinterpretation and/or pejorative assessment. This study explores five American women’s perceptions...

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9: Duties and Limitations

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pp. 143-152

After the Treaty of Wangxia was signed on July 3, 1844, Americans in Macao witnessed fundamental changes in Sino-American relations.2 Unlike Portuguese in Macao or British in Hong Kong, the United States had no colony in China, but established consulates in those settlements and other places to look after American interests.3 As far...


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pp. 153-212


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pp. 213-236


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pp. 237-251

E-ISBN-13: 9789882208513
Print-ISBN-13: 9789888083923

Page Count: 264
Illustrations: 1 b/w
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 859687011
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Americans and Macao

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Subject Headings

  • Macau (China : Special Administrative Region) -- Foreign relations -- United States.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- China -- Macau (Special Administrative Region).
  • Macau (China : Special Administrative Region) -- Foreign economic relations -- United States.
  • United States -- Foreign economic relations -- China -- Macau (Special Administrative Region).
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