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WAR WITH CHINA.

We have been favoured" with a copy of the Friend of China, a journal printed at Hongkong, of the 7th of April last, by which we learn (hat a misunderstanding between the Ejn#U»h-j«uLChine»e .authorities, had taken place, caused, as far as wVcan gather, by the iatter seeking to evade some of the conditions of the treaty concluded a short time ago, and by some outrages offered to British subjects. The following is the official notification of the proceedings, which appear to have been commenced on our part in a most energetic and earnest mauuer : — His Excellency her Majesty's Plenipotentiary, &c. &c, has the satisfaction to publish, for the information of British subjects in China, the annexed letter from the Honourable the Major- General commanding her Majesty's forces, just received, on the arrival of the expedition at Canton. The rapid and successful course of opetations begun and concluded within a period of thirty-six hours by the small military and naval force under the direction of Major-General D'Aguilar, and Captain Macdougall the senior naval offic er, is calculated to teach a lesson to the pecple of Canton which the . will not soon forget : and it is his Excellency's intention not to quit this place- until he has placed matters on a footing consistent with treaty engagements, and worthy of the British nation. He feels that the moderation and justice of -all his former dealings with the Government of China lends a perfect sanction to measures which he has been reluctantly compelled to adopt after a long course of misinterpreted forbearance : — To his Excellency Sir John Francis Davis, Y. Baru t &c,, &c* &c-. ; Sir, — I have the .honour to acquaint your Excellency that, in pursuance of the arrangements agreed upon between -us on the Ist instant, I am arrived, with the assistance of Captain Macdougall of the royal navy, and her Majesty's ships under his command, at the British factories, and have established myself here with the troops under my orders, having, in the course of the last thirty-six hours, assaulted and taken all the principal forts at the Bogue and in the Canton river, and, after destroying the gateways and blowing up the magazines, spiked 827 pieces of heavy cannon. As your Excellency did me the honour of accompanying me in these operations, and have yourself witnessed the details, I shall not enter upon them in this place, but shall reserve them for the information of her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, taking care to sapply your Excellency with a copy of my communication. I congratulate your Excellency on this result of our naval and military operations, and the more especially, because, notwithstanding the fire of ..several of the Chinese batteries while the troops were engaged in the assault,

we have bad the good fortune to take possession of them all without the loss of a man. I have the honour, &c, George D'Aguilar, Major-General commanding the Troopi in China. Head Quarters, Canton, April 3d, 1847, four o'clock, p. m. • A correspondent of the Friend of China, writing on the 4th of April, says — A few lines from the seat of war ! may not be uninteresting to you ; the Corsair, the Pluto, various lorches and fast-boats, with soldiers, guns, and stores, anchored off the factories yesterday, to the surprise of the Chinamen, as much as to the foreigners. Our first , intelligence of the Governor's movements, came up from Whampoa the night before last, with the Pluto and Vulture, a little past eight o'clock that evening .* and you may conceive our surprise on bearing that all fbe guns in the Bogne forts were spiked on the way up. Our Consul, like all of us, had no intimation of this new-'aihioned .military movement. There were no soldiers at the Bogue, consequently the guns were entirely disabled, and the few coolies in charge were made to carry the jars of powder and throw them into the water ! No shots on our side were of course necessary, but on coming up to the barrier above Whampoa, our boats on approaching Napier'i fort were fired at, the shots falling very near. The Chinamen fired only five guns, left their posts, and scampered off; an engineer officer bad no difficulty in landing, and by applying a bag of powder to each en • trance the doors were blown open, and the guns were spiked. The guns in the French folly fort, Red fort, opposite to us here, and that at Shaw-miug, have all been similarly treated ; indeed, from this, down to the Bogue, not a gun is serviceable. Six hundred and fifty to seven hundred have been destroyed, not a man killed or wounded on either side. The affair is as wouderfnl as it is laughable. These proceedings bring us up to yesterday afternoon. From that time up to eight o'clock, the 42d and 18th were being landed and quartered about the hongs, and sentries placed : and really the place is so quiet, and the streets so clear of filthy beggars, and everything now so much in earnest, that we only hope the affair will end as it has began, and that the " negotiating," which was immediately set on foot between- Keying and the Governor on {he tatter's arrival, will result in our getting a settlement of our rights, and ihese. too, fixed, so that in future no doubt as to their character can exist. We are in entire ignorance of what is to follow to day, which keeps us in a state of suspense. Many parties have all their treasure, and books, and papers packed, and ready to move. One proof that the Chinese mcdi-, tated no revenge yesterday is, that the night before that they heard of our soldiers having spiked their guns at the Bogue, saw our steamers all yesterday forenoon firing on their forts in the river, and up to half-past two o'clock yesterday we were helpless. They could have pillaged our houses, or taken our persons, and we were not in a position to resist. Our Consul was not aware of what was going on in the river, any more than we were, and you can well imagine how the tops of our houses were crowded by hundreds watching the " storming ope rations" of the Pluto and Corsair. To day will bring forth wonders also, no doubt. Sir John is to go into the city, it is reported, aud, if resistance is shown, will blow dow the place about Keying's ears. One or two miles of ground in circumference, on the other side, will I c demanded from Keying for foreigners, the Company's garden will be extended, and, in fact, we are on the verge of getting all we want if we only ask it, and insist on having it. There is, it occurs to me, a declaration of war made by one party or another : if Jam right in this, how hangs our treaty ? We enter a friendly power's fort (the Bogue), spike and destroy nearly 200 guns, scatter the powder to the winds, proceed -up the river, and. are fired at by the Chinese, which we return of course. The matter, no doubt, has been well weighed before such steps were taken. But, as it is a movement new in itself and unequalled in its results (so far as it has gone), it will form the subject of discussion and comment throughout Europe. We take the following additional particulars from the journal before us :—: — Keying arrived at the British Consulate, at Canton, on the 4th of April, at twelve o'clock, and was still in conference with Sir John Davis when our letter was closed. We bear that his Excellency demands — Ist. Free communication with the city. 2d. Protection of person and property within the dominions of the Chinese empire. 3d. Satisfaction for the late outrage at Fushan, and for the maltreatment of the two seamen belonging to the Mary Bannatyne. 4th. Ground, in a suitable situation, upon which foreigners may build dwelling-houses and stores.

I sth. A site for a church, also burial-ground for the Christian community, and a separate piece for Parsee interments. There are minor grievances to be redressed; and it is said that a circular has been issued to the merchants, requesting them to state what reasonable demands require to be conceded. Keying proposed that Sir John Davis should meet him at the public gardens above the city. To this his Excellency replied, that he knew no such place, and , the conference must be held at the Consulate. The 'hour of eleven was fixed upon, and the troops were drawn out to salute the Chinese Commissioner. With characteristic pride, Keying arrived an hour after the appointed time, and, in consequence, did not receive a salute.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZSCSG18471016.2.8

Bibliographic details

WAR WITH CHINA., New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 231, 16 October 1847

Word Count
1,462

WAR WITH CHINA. New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 231, 16 October 1847

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