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

Shi Hou and his kinsmen enter the opium game

Original: 道光二年間,現獲之施猴與在逃之族人施漱寶合夥販布,顧現獲之施龜代挑布擔。前赴廣東售賣,歷有年此至。

In the second year of Daoguang's reign (1822), Shi Hou [captured] and his kinsman Shi Shubao [at large] were partners in selling cloth, and had hired Shi Gui [captured] as a porter. They went to Guangdong to sell their cloth, and did this for many years.

Original: 道光十二年間,施猴、施漱寶、施龜販布往粵,路遇在逃識之廣東人王麻執(即番仔執)。道及販布利微,意欲販賣鴉片煙土回至福建販賣。王麻執以伊與紅毛國夷人貿易熟悉,能曉夷語。現有該國夷載煙土在廣東澳門停泊。如欲販賣,伊向夷人說合,可得便宜。

In the twelfth year of Daoguang’s reign, Shi Hou, Shi Shubao, and Shi Gui went to Guangdong Province to sell cloth. On the way, they ran into a Cantonese acquaintance named Wang Mazhi (aka Fan Zaizhi).

Wang told them that the profit from selling cloth was too slim, and he desired to sell opium to the Shi kinsmen for resale in Fujian. Wang stated that he was familiar with the business practices of foreigners from the “Red-Haired Country,” and could understand the foreign language. If the Shi kinsmen wished to sell opium, Wang could arrange a deal with the foreigners and get a cheap price.

Original: 施猴等即與王麻執皆赴夷船用番銀四百八十元,買得煙土四十塊。令施龜挑回販賣,獲利深厚。以後施猴等屢赴澳門托王麻執帶往夷船販買煙土一二箱不等,陸續分給王麻執與施龜錢文不記數目。

Shi Hou and the others agreed with Wang Mazhi, and travelled with him to Macao where they spent 480 silver taels on 40 bricks of raw opium.

Shi Hou ordered Shi Gui to go back to Fujian and sell the opium. The profits were substantial. After this, the Shi family regularly travelled with Wang to foreign boats near Macao to buy one or two chests of opium, and gave regular (but uncounted) salary to Wang Mazhi and Shi Gui.

Source: Junji chu Hanwen lufu zouzhe (Grand Council Chinese-Language Palace Memorial Copies, often cited as LFZZ), Beijing: First Historical Archives, 03–4007–048, DG 18.10.29.

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