British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

each other reciprocally a free and unreserved communication of all plans and charts of discoveries made by them in their respective voyages. . . .

I herewith enclose to your Lordships lists of such articles as have been procured for the purpose of presents. These will be delivered into the care of the commanding officer, to be disposed of by him according to the regulations which have been observed in similar case.1. . .


C

26
THOMAS FITZHUGH TO NATHANIEL SMITH 29 August 17872

Dear SIR,

[Plasparver.]

In the last conversation we had together before I left Town concerning an embassy designed to be sent from the Court of London to the Court of Pekin, you desired me to give you my sentiments on the subject and as far as my recollection goes you particularly wished to know

First. In what part of China it would be proper to land the ambassador.

2ndly. Whether it is probable he would be well received at Pekin.

3dly. Whether by an application immediately to the Chinese Court, great advantages might not be expected to arise by establishing our trade on a more liberal footing than it stands at present.

Be assured I shall always willingly communicate anything to you which I think can be of use or give you satisfaction though on the present subject I may fail in both. I will not however tread much on the slippery ground of speculation, but endeavour to found my opinions on facts as far as my memory and materials will go.

With regard then to first--in what part of China it would be proper to land the ambassador--I think he ought to land at Canton, because it is the place which all embassies from Europe have hitherto been sent to excepting the Russian which went through Siberia to Pekin, and it is at present the only place to which Europeans are allowed to go. This may appear a frivolous reason to you but custom and

____________________
1
Captain George Vancouver's instructions, drawn up in the terms indicated here, were dated 8 March 1791 (see Vancouver Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and round the World, Lond. 1798, vol. i, p. xvi), but Vancouver found them obscure in important particulars and asked for clarification (see "Vancouver to Nepean, 7 January 1793", in G. S. Godwin Vancouver, Lond. 1930, p. 219. This he received in a dispatch dated 31 March 1794 from Dundas (F.O. 72/33).
2

Factory Records, China, 91, pp.1 ft. Thomas Fitzhugh had been an E.I. Company supercargo at Canton and was an influential expert on Company policy in the Far East. Nathaniel Smith was Deputy Chairman of the Company.

-43-

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