The India-China Opium Trade in the Nineteenth Century


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About the Book

From 1823 to 1860 a fleet of small, fast brigs and schooners carried chests of opium from India to China, often facing the challenges of pirates and typhoons along the way. This shadowy trade, conducted by American, British, and Indian firms, thrived despite its moral and legal consequences. Drawing largely on primary sources, the story of the opium trade comes through in the voices of those who saw it firsthand. Appendices describe a favorite shipboard recipe, two of the ships involved in the trade and their crews, excerpts from accounts of the Opium War, and language equivalents for proper and place names. A bibliography is included, and maps and photographs help illumine this important and unusual period of history.

About the Author(s)

Hunt Janin is an American writer living in southwestern France. He has written numerous nonfiction and scholarly books on a range of subjects, including medieval history and cross-cultural studies.

Bibliographic Details

Hunt Janin

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 10 photos, 5 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9357-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction: Clearing the Decks      5

1. Running Great Risks for Great Rewards      21
2. A Stream of Wealth: Opium, India and China      31
3. The Rise of the Great Trading Houses      57
4. Ships of the Opium Trade      75
5. The Opium Wars      99
6. The Heat of Battle      119
7. Pirates of the South China Sea      131
8. Typhoons, Monsoons and Hazards to Navigation      151
9. The Twilight of the Opium Trade      169
10. Legacies of the Opium Trade      185

Appendix I: A Modern Recipe for “Country Captain”      197
Appendix II: Falcon and Her Crew      199
Appendix III: Antelope and Her Crew      205
Appendix IV: Excerpts from “The Opium War”      207
Appendix V: Selected Wade-Giles/Hanyu Pinyin Equivalents      209

Bibliography      211
Index      221

Book Reviews & Awards

“provides an overview of the trade, with a specific focus on the mechanics of transporting the cargo, import and export laws, hazards to navigation, and the political tensions the trade engendered…useful”—History.