Mandarins and Martyrs: The Church and the Nguyen Dynasty in Early Nineteenth-Century Vietnam

By Jacob Ramsay | Go to book overview

TWO
The Rise of Nguyễn Anti-Catholicism

After decades of tolerance under Gia Long, a small incident set in motion changes that unraveled the long-observed covenant between the Nguyễn and the church. In late 1830, the predominantly Christian village of Dương Sơn, located a few miles to the north of Huế citadel, became embroiled in a land dispute with its neighbor, Cổ Lão.1 Father François Jaccard, who had been based in Huế under court orders as an official translator since 1827, reported that for reasons clouded by tensions, some villagers from Cổ Lão had staged a “laying-down protest” (nằm vị): they blocked two sides of the disputed fields with their bodies. Testifying to the incident's significance, these events were recorded in detail in the Vermilion Records, Minh Mạng's personal archive of annotated chronicles on day-to-day events around the kingdom.

In our jurisdiction there is Cổ Lão village in Đông Lâm canton in Quảng
Điền district. Tree of its retired village chiefs, Hoàng Thăng Đạo, Phạm Hữu
Đoan, and Phan Văn Chất, have laid the accusation that the boundary of their
village's public lands squeezes the boundary of the fields of Dương Sơn village.
On the fourteenth day of the seventh month of this year [August 1830] the vil-

-42-

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Mandarins and Martyrs: The Church and the Nguyen Dynasty in Early Nineteenth-Century Vietnam
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • One - Restoration and the Mission 14
  • Two - The Rise of Nguyễn Anti-Catholicism 42
  • Three - Persecution 68
  • Four - Mission Revival 92
  • Five - Priests and Mandarins 115
  • Six - Invasion 139
  • Epilogue 167
  • Abbreviations 173
  • Notes 175
  • Bibliography 201
  • Index 209
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