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


To ensure success brokers must be employed—I was quite helpless without them and before again sailing for that or any new market I must procure from Macao at least a couple.

Captain Mackay in Fuzhou to William Jardine in Canton, May 27th, 1835.*

The rules of trade at Guangzhou mandated that foreign merchants like Jardine and Matheson were only allowed to come to the foreign factories upriver near the walled city of Guangzhou during the summer months. Nearby Macao, under the de facto control of the Portuguese, served as a crucial place of residence and business for the foreign merchants in China during the rest of the year.

The above quote, from Captain MacKay of the Jardine-Matheson vessel The Fairy, indicates that Macao also served as a sort of job marketplace for Chinese brokers and interpreters to link up with foreign opium merchants. In The Case Against Shi Hou, we saw this happen as well, when the middleman Wang Mazhi took Shi Hou and his companions to Macao to meet the Rees brothers.

Source: JM:B2 7 [R. 495, No. 50] MacKay, Fuzhou, 5.27.1835

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