William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By Olive Risley Seward; William Henry Seward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV.
FROM HONG-KONG TO CANTON.

The Chinese Coasting-Trade.--Chinese Smugglers.--Canton River-Banks.--Aspect of Canton.--The British Concession.--The American Hongs.--The Consul and the Taou-tai.--The Diet of the Cantonese.--Manufactures of Canton.--The Temples of Canton.

Canton, December 28th; Steamer Kin-San.--American sidewheel steamers carry the foreign coasting-trade between Hong- Kong and Macao westward, Hong-Kong and Canton northward, and Hong-Kong, Swatow, Amoy, Ning-po, and Foo-Choo, on the eastern coast.

We occupied, with two friends, the saloon and upper cabins of the Kin-San, while the lower deck bore four hundred Chinese, chiefly traders, who pay a fare of a Mexican dollar for a voyage of ninety miles. The purser brought us the box which contained the collection of dollars for this voyage. Many were rejected. The coins were genuine, but almost every piece had been clipped. The deficiency was made up in "cash." From the deck, we noticed a native trader, who at intervals advanced to the bulwark, and threw into the water small bunches of hay and straw. We observed that, in every case, natives rowed from the shore in small boats, and picked up this refuse. Our friends, who knew the trick, informed us that the bundles of hay and straw contained packages of opium. Another trader dropped a sealed bottle into the river. A partner, who was waiting on the bank, took it up and found in it the prices

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