Monday, January 5, 2015


Updated February 12, 2015

Notable Players in the Peace Talks

By notable players, I mean people, whose names I can find, who were directly involved in the peace talks in Nanking leading to the signing of the Treaty.

NameDesignation, etc.
Henry Eldred Curwen Pottinger
Baronet. Colonel in the service of the British East India Company. British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in China. Chief Superintendent of British Trade in China. [In the preamble, he had his military rank written as Major-General.]
George Alexander Malcolm
Major, 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards. Secretary of Legation.
Richard Woosnam
Army doctor. Surgeon to Henry Pottinger. Assistant Secretary of Legation. [Read Woosnam biography]
John Robert Morrison
Chinese Secretary and Interpreter. Employee of the British Foreign Ministry. Second son of Robert Morrison 馬禮遜, the first protestant missionary to work in China.
Robert N. Thom
Assistant Translator and Interpreter. Employee of the opium firm, Jardine, Matheson & Co.; seconded to the British armed forces during the First Opium War.
Karl Friedrich August Gützlaff
Interpreter. Employee of the British Foreign Ministry. Prussian missionary belonged to the Netherlands Missionary Society. Lately interpreter of the opium firm, Jardine, Matheson & Co. Lately British magistrate of Chusan following the British occupation of the island in 1841.
Harry Smith Parkes
Official role in the peace talks unknown [to me]. Parkes married Karl Gützlaff's sister Mary Wanstaff Gützlaff. He was employed by John Robert Morrison. It is unknown [to me] if he was an employee of the British Foreign Ministry. He was attached to the expeditionary force to sail up the Yangtze River from June 13, 1842.
Keying 耆英
Head of the delegation. Imperial Commissioner. Manchu, direct Imperial Clansman (Aisin Gioro 愛新覺羅). Member of Gulu Lamun Gusa (Manchu Plain Blue Banner) 正藍旗. Tutor of the Crown Prince 太子少保 [A civil title; he performed no tutorial duties of any sort.]. Military Official of the First Rank 頭品頂戴. General of Canton Garrison.
Elepoo 伊里布
Second-in-command of the delegation. Imperial Commissioner. Manchu, collateral Imperial Clansman (Aisin Gioro 愛新覺羅). Member of Kubuhe Suwayan Gusa (Bordered Yellow Banner) 镶黄旗. Military Official of the Fourth Rank 四品顶戴. Deputy Lieutenant-General, Commander of Chapoo Garrison 乍浦副都統.
Hienling 咸齢
Imperial Guard of the fourth grade, under the command of Keying. Manchu.
Niukien 牛鑑
Viceroy of Liang-Kiang 兩江總督, based in Nanking Manchu. Manchu.
Hwang Antung 黄恩彤
Mayor of Nanking 江蘇按察使署江寧布政使. Han.
Chang Hsi 張喜Servant in Elepoo's household. Han.
Chen Zhigang 陳志剛Waiwei of the Ninth Rank 九品外委 [equivalent to a Lance-Corporal]. Han.
Liu Jianxun 劉建勛He was described as a trusted lieutenant of Keying. It is unknown [to me] whether he was a government official or a member of the Keying household. Han.
Tafenbu 塔芬布Captain with the Manchu Banner Army at Mukden Palace (Shenyang Imperial Palace] 盛京佐領 (either of Third or Fourth Rank). Hanchu.
Xu Jiahuai 徐家槐County Mayor of Taicang (a county of Suzhou) 太倉知州. Han.
Xie Jichao 謝繼超Waiwei of the Ninth Rank 九品外委 [equivalent to a Lance-Corporal]. Han.
Zhang Panlong 張攀龍Military officer Subordinate of Niukien. Han.
Lu Zezhang 鹿澤長Intendent of Lingshiu Circuit (comprising Ningpo-fu, Shaohsing-fu and Toi-chau-fu) 寧紹台道. Han.


December 3111/15[2]Lin Tse-hsu is appointed Imperial Commissioner to handle port and maritime affairs in Kwangtung; he is further given the command of the naval forces in that province. [I/R-12/31/38]
March 101/25Lin arrives at Canton.
April 112/2822 opium hulks, originally moored at Lintin, arrive at Chunhow (near Chuenpee, in the neighborhood of Bogue forts). Surrender of opium begins.
May 93/19Lin is instructed by Peking to destroy opium in public. [I/R-5/9/1839]
June 3Destruction of opium at Chunhow begins.
384 Days to the Treaty
August 106/24Pottinger arrives at Macao to take up his position as the British Plenipotentiary. The expedition to the north is decided upon.
August 217/5Pottinger proceeds to Hong Kong and sees the island for the first time. He meets with George Burrell, Major-General, commander of the Hong Kong garrison, and Alexander Robert Johnston, Administrator of Hong Kong, to make arrangements concerning the defense and governance of the island.
August 227/6The British invasion force commences its northern expedition. The naval squadron, comprised of 14 fighting ships (four of them armed steamers), 15 troop carriers and six transports, is under the command of RAdm. William Parker.
August 257/9The expedition arrives at and anchors off Amoy.
August 267/10Pottinger issues a surrender ultimatum to the Ch'ing naval commander in Fukien [British Surrender Ultimatum, Amoy (8/26/1841) ]. Attack on Amoy begins at 1pm.
August 277/11The walled city of Amoy falls; the Battle of Amoy draws to an end.
September 57/20The expedition weights and makes sail for Chusan, leaving behind three fighting vessels, three transports, with 500 troops to garrison Ko-long-soo.
September 258/11The expedition assembles off Chin-hai and Ta-hae River [east of Ninpo].
October 18/17Attack on Chusan begins. The battle is mostly over by 2pm. Ting-hai, the county seat, falls and Chusan is again captured by the British.
October 88/24The expedition, less three transports left behind in Chusan, is again assembled, this time, to act against Chin-hai. Before leaving Chusan, Pottinger installs a military government at Ting-hai.
October 108/26Attack on Chin-hai begins at an early hour. Fighting was over in the afternoon; Chin-hai falls.
October 138/29The expedition leaves Chin-hai for Ningpo upstream [the cities are only 20 kilometers apart]. The Ch'ing garrison abandons Ningpo; British troops enters the walled city without firing a shot. Ningpo becomes the fourth city to fall to the British since the expedition left Hong Kong 52 days ago.
No further attack is launch for the next two months. Ch'ing army deploys garrisons into counties surrounding Ningpo, viz. Yuyaun, Tseke, and Funghwa, to cutoff supply routes of the British.
December 2711/15The British acts against Yuyuan with a smaller force of several fighting vessels and 700 men. The Ch'ing garrison has left before the arrival of its adversary; British troops enter the city unopposed.
December 3011/18The British takes Tseke in the same way Yuyuan was taken.
January 1011/29Funghwa is taken by the British in the same manner as Tseke and yuyaun.
February 241/15Keying is appointed General of the Canton Garrison.
March 101/29Ch'ing forces launches a simultaneous counterattack against the British at cities they now hold upon nightfall. About 10,000 to 12,000 men advance as far as the market at the city center of Ningpo, but are repelled by British artillery and troops. The smaller force that tries to overcome the north gate at Chin-hai is repulsed by the guards. Ch'ing forces retreating from both locations are pursued by British troops. The Ch'ing navy throws a vast number of fire-rafts and fire junks at British ships moored at Chin-hai and Ningpo. They are either towed on shore or instantly destroyed; the British records no injury to their ships.
March 282/17Keying is ordered to proceed with haste to Chekiang to take up the position of Acting General of the Hangchow Garrison 杭州將軍篆務. Elepoo and Hienling were ordered to immediately proceed to Chekiang to be Keying's general staff.
An engraving titled "Engagement at the Joss-House near Chapoo".
May 184/9Battle of Chapoo. Chapoo falls.
May 234/14British troops withdraws from Chapoo.
May 254/16Keying appoints Elepoo Commander of the Chapoo Garrison.
Keying is appointed Imperial Commissioner and is ordered to leave Hangchow and proceeds immediately to Canton to take up his original appointment as General of the Canton Garrison. The Emperor explicitly orders Keying to: 1. assess and report on Canton's defense readiness and; 2. explore the opportunity to retake Hong Kong using both overt and covert tactics as needed. [Imperial Edicts (May 25, 1842)]
June 44/26A counter-order sends Keying back to Hangchow. His chief mission at hand is to ascertain the possibility to end the armed conflict peacefully. Keying has previously submitted a memorial in which he reported of a meeting between Chen Zhigang and a chief of the British forces [unknown if this was Pottinger] whereat Chen was told that Britain's chief desire is trade; the waging of war is not.]
June 135/6Pottinger sails from Hong Kong to join the expeditionary force.
The expeditionary force enters Yangtze River.
June 165/9Battle of Woosung (Wusong) 吳淞戰役. British forces overrun the battery at Woosung Estuary 吳淞口. Bosan County (Baoshan) 寶山縣 falls.
June 195/12Shanghai falls.
June 225/15Pottinger arrives Shanghai; joins up the Expedition.
June 235/15British troops withdraws from Shanghai.
West Gate of Ching-Keang-Foo", sketched on the spot by Lieutenant James Stoddard of HMS Cornwallis.
July 216/14Chin-kiang-fu (present day City of Zhenjiang 鎮江市) falls. British armed forces head for Nanking.
July 226/15The ransom of $500,000 is offered by Kwachow, lying opposite to Chin-kiang-fu, to the British, purchasing exemption from the assault [unknown if the payment was in fact paid in full].
July 266/19Emperor appoints Keying and Elepoo Imperial Commissioners.
July 276/20Emperor instructs Keying and Elepoo to engage the British armed forces in peace talks.
July 306/23Keying informs Pottinger in writing his government's desire to negotiate a truce and discuss terms for an agreement to end all hostilities.
August 46/2812 British naval vessels arrive Scandals Gap 草鞋峽 outside Nanking. [more than 40 vessels - according to a memorial submitted by Niukien dated August 13 (TK 22/7/8).]
Chen Zhigang returns with a letter from Pottinger, in which he says he is not to hold peace talks with Keying and Elepoo unless the Ch'ing mission can produce written document to identify them as plenipotentiaries. Chen is sent to see Pottinger again carrying a letter form Niukien stating that in the Ch'ing system, Imperial Commissioners carry the weight and function of that of plenipotentiaries. Keying and Elepoo are the bona fide envoys of the Emperor.
Niukien requests the presence of Keying and Elepoo at an emergency meeting in Nanking. At the time, both of them are in Wuxi 無錫.
August 67/1A full complement of fighting force of the British fleet of no less than 80 vessels and 4,500 troops are stationed outside Nanking.
August 77/2Elepoo sends Chang Hsi to Nanking ahead of himself. Chang was given a temporary (or brevet) commission of the fifth rank military officer 賞五品軍功頂戴 [Roughly the rank of a captain or a major in the Western army ranking.].
August 87/3Elepoo arrives Nanking.
August 97/4Pottinger arrives Nanking.
Elepoo sends Chang Hsi, Chen Zhigang and Liu Jianxun to see Pottinger carrtying a letter he wrote to the British Plenipotentiary. Pottinger dismisses Elepoo's communication as unfocused and unhelpful to the situation at hand. The properness of Keying and Elepoo's credentials at the peace talks is discussed; the issue is settled on the basis that they are Imperial Commissioners instructed by the Emperor to engage the British armed forces in peace talks, although they have not been appointed Plenipotentiaries. It is agreed that the British delegate will layout their demands in writing for collection by their Ch'ing counterpart on the following day. Additionally, Morrison demands an immediate payment of 3 million dollars as ransom for Nanking.
August 107/5Chen Zhigang and Zhang Panlong are sent to the British to collect the statement of the terms of demand 向大清國所要各條. They also carries Niukien's reply to Morrison to say that it is difficult to raise three million dollars in such a short notice, the office of the Viceroy of Liang-Kiang, however, plans to instead offer one million dollars to compensate the expenses of the expeditionary forces. Chen and Zhang returns without the terms of demand, and instead a message from the British that the they will attack at daybreak the following morning.
Not long after the news of the imminent attack was brought back, Xu Jiahuai is sent to the British as Niukien's envoy and vows to pay the demanded ransom, in full.
August 117/6At dawn, Elepoo sends Chang Hsu, Chen Zhigzng and Xu Jiahuai to the British carrying two letters addressed to Pottinger. In the first one, he reiterates he and Keying are the accredited representative of Dai Ch'ing. In the second, he states he and Keying are authorized to negotiate and accept conditions relating to compensating opium dealers for opium confiscated [in March 1839], opening trading ports and lifting the 'Cohong' trade restrictions, etc., and to conclude and execute an agreement. He says further the negotiation may begin in earnest upon the arrival of Keying in Nanking. Pottinger finds the contents of Elepoo's letters acceptable. He told the Ch'ing envoys he is willing to forgo the ransom demand. Orders are given to stand down the attack.
Keying arrives Nanking. The two missions agree to begin formal sessions of the peace talks from the following day.
August 127/7Formal deliberations of the peace talks begin. Members of the Dai Ch'ing mission includes Tafenbu, Chang Hsi and Chen Zhigang. They proceed to the British steamer "Queen" [to be verified], the seat of Pottinger, carrying with them a communication signed by Keying and Elepoo verifying their credentials. The British mission moves to make a change of venue to Jinghai Temple 靜海寺 in Xiaguan 下關, west of the walled city, citing the temple is roomier and cooler. The new venue is accepted by the Ch'ing mission. The British mission, comprised of Malcolm, Morrison, Thom, Parkes and Woosnam, arrive at the temple at around 11am.
August 147/9Keying informs Pottinger the British terms have been accepted.
August 177/12Pottinger suspends all hostilities. [Potter Letter to Parker & Gough, 8/17/42]
August 207/15Keying, Elepoo and Niukien met Pottinger.
August 227/17Emperor gives conditional assent to the term sheet. Items not approved or needing further considerations are: Foochow-fu shall not be a treaty port; trading between Britian and Dai Ch'ing shall follow the old system that has proven to be effective; Keying and other shall study and duly report to the Emperor the disadvantages of involving British consular offices in tax and levy matters instead of cohongs.
The Dai Ch'ing Mission boarded HMS Cornwallis for the treaty signing.
August 297/24Treaty executed by Pottinger, Keiying, Elepoo and Niukien on board HMS Cornwallis.
Pottinger lifts embargo on Yangtze River. [Pottinger letter - 8/29/1842]
September 68/2Emperor gives his assent to the Treaty. [I/R-9/6/1842]
September 148/10British fleet begins its withdrawal from Nanking.
September 158/11Imperial edict (Emperor's assent to the Treaty) arrives Nanking.
September 168/12Niukien is stripped of the Viceroy title on charges of gross neglect of duty, but shall remain to administer that office for the time being. [I/R-9/16/1842]
October 69/3The Yangtze River is free of British naval fighting vessels.
October 179/14Niukien is completely released of his viceroyship. Keying is to arrange the immediate transfer of the ex-viceroy to the Xingbu (Ministry of Justice) 刑部 in Peking. Keying is appointed Viceroy of Laing-Kiang. Elepoo is appointed General of Canton Garrison. Hwang Antung and Hienling shall be Elepoo's staff. [I/R-10/17/1842]
December 2411/23Niukien is sentenced to death awaiting execution in the following fall. [I/R-12/24/1842]
December 2811/27Queen ratifies Treaty.
March 42/4Elepoo dies of illness in Canton.
April 53/6Hong Kong is constituted officially a colony of the British Crown [Letters Patent 1843] [799 days after British forces, acting unilaterally on a peace treaty that had never been signed, landed in and took possession of the island].
June 265/29Ratification is exchanged in Hong Kong.
Pottinger is appointed the first colonial governor of Hong Kong.
August 217/26Morrison is appointed a member of the Legislative and Executive Councils of Hong Kong.
August 247/29Morrison is appointed acting Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong (vice Malcolm, leave of absence)
August 317/7Morrison dies from fever in Hong Kong (at the age of 29).
April 152/28Niukien is granted a pardon. He is further reinstalled to be a seventh rank official. [I/R-4/15/1844]
June 215/6Pottinger departs Hong Kong. He is replaced by John Francis Davis as Hong Kong Governor.
February 251/14Emperor Tao-kuang dies.
June 29Hsien-feng 8/5/19Keying is decreed by Emperor Hsien-feng to end his own life, by hanging. He was earlier arrested, charged and found guilty of deserting his post. [I/R-6/29/1858)]
[to be completed]

[1] The year of the reign of Tao-kuang.
[2] Date in the lunar calendar (moon/day).


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