Canton
Canton

The Bluejackets Locations China Canton

Canton

Now called Guangzhou this port city on the Pearl River is about 75 miles north-northwest of Hong Kong




Hong Xiuquan is Born

Jan 01, 1814

Hong Xiuquan is born part of the Hakka ethnic minority in Canton

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Location: Canton



Feng Yunshan is Born

1815

Feng Yunshan is born

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Location: Canton



Hong Rengan is Born

Feb 18, 1822

Hong Rengan is born

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Location: Canton



Hong Xiuquan Has Visions

1837

Hong Xiuquan experiences mystical visions after failing the examinations for the imperial civil service

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Location: Canton



Lin Zexu Writes to Queen Victoria

1839

Lin Zexu writes a letter to Queen Victoria in an attempt to get the British Government to crack down on the opium trade.

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Location: Canton



The British Back Down

Apr 1839

The British back down in the face of pressure from Lin Zexu and British traders at Canton surrender their opium to be destroyed, even after he offers to swap their opium for Tea. Charles Elliot, the British Superintendent of Trade in China, had promised them that they would receive compensation for their loss, but this would never happen.

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Location: Canton



Trade Into China Restarts

May 1839

Trade into China restarts, but all the merchants have to declare that they are not trading in opium, under the threat of execution should they be found smuggling.

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Location: Canton



Lin Zexu Destroys Opium

Jun 03, 1839

Lin Zexu begins the destruction of the opium that he seized by mixing it with salt and lime and throwing it into the sea near Canton.

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Location: Canton



Pirates on the Pearl River

Aug 23, 1839

Pirates on the Pearl River attack a British ship that was travelling down the Pearl River from Canton to Macau. Rumours circulate that it was not pirates but Chinese soldiers and Elliot orders all British ships to leave the area. At the same time Lin Zexu closes the harbour at Macau to British ships.

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Location: Canton



Canton Remains Closed

1841

The port at Canton remains closed to the British despite the treaty negociated by Charles Elliot and Qishan

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Location: Canton



Canton Captured

May 27, 1841

Lieutenant-General Sir Hugh Gough captured Canton

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Location: Canton



Hong Xiuquan Begins His Mission

1843

Hong Xiuquan fails this imperial examinations for the last time. He then decides that he is the younger brother of Jesus Christ after reading a pamphlet from a Protestant Christian missionary. He then decides that he has been sent to earth on a holy mission to remove devils from China, which he identifies as the Chinese civil service.

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Location: Canton



Harry Parkes Sent to Canton

Sep 1843

Harry Parkes was sent to Canton as an assistant to the Colonial Secretary in Hong Kong. He would go on to become the British Consul in this city.

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Location: Canton



God Worshipping Society Formed

Apr 1844

Feng Yunshan forms the God Worshipping Society to promote the ideas of Hong Xiuquan

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Location: Canton



Hong Xiuquan Goes to Study the Bible

1847

Hong Xiuquan goes to study the bible under a Christian missionary with his cousin Hong Rengan

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Location: Canton



Seizure of the Arrow

Oct 01, 1856

Chinese marines seize the Arrow. She was Chinese built and Chinese crewed, but registered to a merchant in Hong Kong and flying a British flag. The Chinese arrest the crew and remove the British flag. The British Consul, Harry Parks, contacted the Imperial Viceroy of Liangguang, Ye Mingchen about this. He demanded the immediate release of the crew, but Ye only released some of them.

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Location: Canton



The Pearl River

Oct 23, 1856

Rear Admiral Micheal Seymour's fleet destroyed four forts guarding the entrance to the Pearl River. They then moved up the Pearl River to Canton itself and captured the fort on the opposite bank.

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Location: Canton



Negotiations Begin

Oct 25, 1856

Negotiations begin. The British demand the release of all of the prisoners of the Arrow, an apology for arresting them, and that all British merchants be allowed to enter Canton as was practiced in the Chinese free ports.

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Location: Canton



Bombardment of Canton

Oct 26, 1856

The British started to bombard Canton

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Location: Canton



Capture of Canton

Oct 29, 1856

A hole is blasted in the city walls. Sailors and Marines swarmed through it and then blew up the city gates. The flag of the United States being planted by James Keenan (U.S. Consul) on the walls and residence of Ye Mingchen take by British sailors.

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Location: Canton



Negotiations Continue

Nov 03, 1856

After further negotiations had broken down the bombardment resumed. The British concentrated their fire on government buildings and on Chinese War-Junks. They also captured the French Folly fort, and sent a message to the commander of the Bogue Forts. This said that if he surrendered them the fort would be restored to him intact. He replied that if he did then he would be executed, so the British attacked and captured the fort.

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Location: Canton



The Steamer Thistle

Dec 01, 1856

The steamer Thistle was carrying mail from Canton to Hong Kong. Chinese soldiers disguised as passengers got on board and then killed all eleven Europeans on board.

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Location: Canton



Attack on Canton

Jan 12, 1857

Landing parties are from the British fleet attack Canton

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Location: Canton



Canton River Attack

May 25, 1857

Commodore Charles Elliot was sent with a squadron of steam boats to the most northerly entrance to the Canton River. There were War-Junks waiting for him. The two sides exchanged fire. A number of Junks were destroyed before the rest retreated to shallower water where the British ships could not follow. The British took to their boats instead and rowed after them, managing to board and blow up dozen more Junks once they got to where they were anchored.

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Location: Canton



Fatshan Creek Attack

Jun 01, 1857

The british fleet destroys 72 Junks before being forced to withdraw

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Location: Canton



Attack on Canton

Dec 14, 1857

The British and French decide to attack Canton

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Location: Canton



Bombardment of Canton

Dec 28, 1857

The British and French begin the bombardment of Canton. The British forces included HMS Highflyer with Jackie Fisher on board, serving as a Midshipman.

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Location: Canton



Recapture of Canton

Jan 05, 1858

Canton was captured by British and French forces, with only 15 killed and 113 wounded. Ye Mingchen was captured and then exiled to Calcutta where he starved himself to death.

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Location: Canton