Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian History


I have again the pleasure to announce the return of the Fairy with about $60,000, Rees having sold all his Bengal drug but only I believe about thirty chests of the Malwa.

Captain Mackay aboard The Fairy at Lintin to William Jardine in Canton, March 7th, 1835.*

The model for offshore opium trading in places like Shenhu Bay was forged in the waters off the island of Lintin in the Pearl River Delta during the 1820s. Once Jardine-Matheson and its rival companies began sending ships north to Fujian, Lintin became the key site for fast ships like The Fairy to pick up opium for delivery to Rees and the other captains stationed in Fujian, as well as the site for depositing the profits gained at the northern opium stations. Above is excerpted a short portion of a letter from Captain Mackay of The Fairy, stating his return from the Fujian opium stations with $60,000 earned by Captain John Rees in Shenhu Bay and Quanzhou Bay.

*JM:B2 17 [R. 31, No. 19] MacKay to Jardine on Treasure Shipments, 3.17.1835

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