Sketch of Part of the East Coast of China and Western Part of Formosa with the Track of the Schooner Dhaulle in May & June 1827 by Geo. Blaxland
by Blaxland, Geo
London: Ja. Horsburgh, 1828. A sea chart of the coast of China from "Namoa Island" (Nanao) to Lesan Island (Ping Feng Shan Island), including the port of Amoy and the western coast of Formosa (Taiwan). The intense interest in mapping the Chinese coast was undoubtedly part of the vast amounts of tea bought from China and the British opium trade, which sought to correct that trade deficit in a devastating and cynical way. The Americans were also part of that trade but to a much lesser level. According to Hunt Janin in "The India-China Opium Trade in the 19th Century," the Americans were thought to have sold the Chinese $130,000 worth of opium in 1824 and double that in 1836 but this was insignificant compared to the $7.5 million and $9 million Americans spent in these years, respectively, for Chinese products, mainly tea. He states "... the first ship to bring Turkish opium direct from Smyrna... was American-the Baltimore brig Entan in 1805.… Not long thereafter, fast American ships, usually pilot boat schooners, were being designed for the opium trade. One of these was the Baltimore schooner Dhaulle, which was described as "the most lovely vessel I ever saw" by a British naval officer who watched the ship a building, and which in 1825 was the first ship to beat to windward from the straight of Malacca to China against the northeast monsoon." It seems likely that this is the ship used by Blaxland, although it is unclear how/when ownership might have been transferred to the British Navy, of which George Blaxland was undoubtedly a member. The tracks on the chart show the route of the Dhaulle in and out of the coastal islands of China, as well as a voyage from Amoy to the western coast of Taiwan, to an anchorage then named Ungtubah. An interesting note in the lower left states "If a Ship be in distress and wish to proceed into Amoy Harbour, she ought to run well in, and anchor close to the City, which will induce the Mandarines (sic) to grant speedily the necessary supplies, to get the Ship away as soon as possible." Namoa Island was a famed port for illegal trade in opium. The northern limits of the map are Lesan Islands, or "Le-Shan" as named by Horsburgh, or Ping-fung-shan Islands lat. 27 degrees 22 mins N., lon. 121 degrees 5 minutes E, also called Great Musical Instrument & Little Musical Instrument Island. The top half of much of Taiwan's coast is charted, with an inlet "Samswie" leading to the site where Taipei is now situated. Other sites marked on the western coast are Lookaun and Ungtubah. Keelung City is clearly marked "Kelang-tow". Caballan, Steel Island and Island Soho are marked on the east coast. Sea chart backed on linen and edged in blue silk. Some damage to the lower margin through the imprint and somewhat rumpled with one marking, almost entirely in marginal areas. Insets of "Sketch of Anchorage at Tong-San" and "Anchorage at How-tow-San." 24 1/2" h x 30 1/4" w with margins. OCLC: 556643888 sites a manuscript version of the map held in the British Library; OCLC: 557709046 & OCLC: 557625609 are printed versions, also held only at the British Library. Rare in the trade.
(Inventory #: 22343)
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