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South Street : a maritime history of New York

已有 1219 次阅读2023-4-15 11:28 |个人分类:鸦片|系统分类:转帖-知识

South Street : a maritime history of New York
Page 5
After 1783 American ships were foreign vessels in the eye of British law. Cut off at once from a part of the trade 
which they had enjoyed before the war, they were compelled to go into the fields of employment which were open 
to them and the East India and China trades being free, our merchantmen went into them. Separation from England 
also cost Americans their valuable trade with the British West Indies; and, until the First Congress under the 
Constitution met, in 1789, and passed laws which were intended expressly to secure fair play for Ameri- can shipping 
abroad, the carrying trade with Europe was closed to us by discriminating duties.

Page 5

An interesting commercial event thrilled New York, May eleventh, 1785, when the Empress of China, of 360 tons, Cap- tain John Green commanding, the first vessel ever sent from the United States to China, returned to this port, having made the round voyage in a little less than fifteen months. A num- ber of New York and Philadelphia merchants, with Robert Morris at their head, fitted her out, and intrusted the conduct of the voyage to Major Samuel Shaw, as supercargo, who, after serving with great credit during the whole of the Revo- lutionary War, rendered no small service to his country by opening the China trade. She set sail for Canton, from New York, February twenty-second, 1784, loaded chiefly with gin- seng, the Chinese medicinal panacea, of which she carried about 440 piculs, the value of a picul (13343 pounds) in China being, at that time, from one hundred and thirty to two hundred

Page 6

When Supercargo Shaw arrived at Whampoa, the Chinese nicknamed him and all Americans after him “New People,” in contradistinction to the British. With a cargo, mostly tea, also a quantity of silks, muslin and nankeens and chinaware, the Empress set sail for home, on December twenty-sixth, by way of the Cape of Good Hope. She brought over three services of table china, marked in Canton with the insignia of the Cin- cinnati; one of these, more elaborately decorated than the others, Major Shaw presented to General Washington, and one to General Knox. It is said that the third is still in the pos- session of his descendants.
Page 6

In 1786, aboard the ship Hope, James Magee master, Major Shaw sailed a second time from New York, holding the honorary title of United States Consul at Canton, to estab- lish the first American commercial house in China. He had rented a godown and hoisted his flag beside the ensigns of the great trading nations of Europe, when the Empress of China arrived on her second voyage, and not long afterward, the ship Grand Turk, of Salem, one of enterprising King Derby’s fleet. So rapidly did the commerce he opened increase, that, in 1789, there were fifteen American vessels at Canton—a greater number than from any other nation, except Great Britain.


Page 5

An interesting commercial event thrilled New York, May eleventh, 1785, when the Empress of China, of 360 tons, Cap- tain John Green commanding, the first vessel ever sent from the United States to China, returned to this port, having made the round voyage in a little less than fifteen months. A num- ber of New York and Philadelphia merchants, with Robert Morris at their head, fitted her out, and intrusted the conduct of the voyage to Major Samuel Shaw, as supercargo, who, after serving with great credit during the whole of the Revo- lutionary War, rendered no small service to his country by opening the China trade. She set sail for Canton, from New York, February twenty-second, 1784, loaded chiefly with gin- seng, the Chinese medicinal panacea, of which she carried about 440 piculs, the value of a picul (13343 pounds) in China being, at that time, from one hundred and thirty to two hundred

Page 50

There was trouble among the merchants and shipowners, when it became known that the ship of Mr. Astor had actually gone to sea on a long India voyage. Why should he be favored, and no one else? Finally it was ascertained that John Jacob was too smart for ordinary merchants. He had obtained a special permission from the President of the United States for his ship Beaver, navigated by thirty seamen, to proceed on a voyage to Canton, for the ostensible object of carrying home to China “A Great Mandarin of China.” Story after story went the rounds of South Street or wherever shipping merchants congregated, each more fabulous than the other. One of them, to which some credence was given, related how John Jacob Astor had picked up a vagrant Chinaman in the Park, only a common Chinese dock laborer or coolie who had been smuggled out of China. But Astor determined to treat his “Mandarin” handsomely, fitted him out in silks, and so forth, regardless of expense. After that it was easy for that indomitable indi- vidual to create him a Chinese official “of one of the nine grades entitled to wear a button on his hat.” Then he secured the Presidential permit, and sent his ship to sea before other merchants smelt the mice.

Page 176

The firm was in close relation with Edward K. Collins. In 1834, they joined with him in starting the New York Marine Dry Dock Company, and shortly afterward built the Garrick, Roscius, Sheridan, and Siddons for his trans-Atlantic Dramatic Line of sailing packets. They are credited with build- ing in 1840, the first ocean steamships launched in New York, the Lion and the Eagle, which became Spanish warships. A year later, they built the fast little schooner Angola for the opium trade.

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