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SEPTEMBER, 30, 1863. I have the honor to transmit the following information:
The trade of this river is free to all vessels of every country. No tonnage duties or other port dues are imposed. No vessel, however, is allowed to proceed more than fifteen miles up the river without a special permit from the authorities. This permit has not been granted to any vessel since my arrival. The captain of every vessel must deposit his ship’s papers with the commandant of the guard-ship immediately upon his arrival, and report himself to the commandant on shore, presenting a manifest of the ship's cargo and passenger list. No passenger is permitted to land without license. The captain must give twenty-four hours' notice in order to obtain his discharge and receive his papers.
The trade upon this part of the African coast is increasing. The amount of rubber shipped from the Gaboon, Mooney, and Moondah rivers for the present year greatly exceeds that of any former year. This rubber mostly goes to England, costing here about six (6) cents per pound.
The amount of ivory exported from this place and vicinity is about the same as it was twenty years ago, but the price is much higher. Ivory costs here from fifty to one hundred and fifty cents per pound, according to the quality; most of this production goes through England to the continent. The amount of bar-wood is equal to the demand, though it is becoming scarce upon the banks of the river, the principal supply being procured some distance up and in the interior; most of this eventually reaches France, though a great proportion is shipped in English vessels. Bar-wood costs here about four dollars and fifty cents per ton.
It is exceedingly difficult to obtain any reliable information in regard to the resources of the interior; jealousy which exists among the different tribes being an obstacle. From the best information which I can gather, I judge that the rubber trade has reached its maximum, from the fact that the natives, in order to secure the milk from which it is made, destroy the vine.
The French are extending their possessions on this coast, having recently purchased the river and country of Bonny, paying a large sum to the native king, Pepell. They have taken possession of the Congo, at least the north bank of it, and also of Cape Lopez. The latter is a few miles to the south of this river. They have, too, the rivers Mooney and Moondah, which are situated about fifty miles to the north of this place, emptying their waters into the Corisco bay.
I have no arrivals or departures of American vessels to report during the last six months.
SWATOW-C. W. BRADLEY, Vice-Consul.
JUNE 30, 1863. I have also enclosed herein particulars of commerce by American vessels entered and cleared at this port during the past three months, as made up from consular and custom returns-amount of imports being $163,639, and of exports, $175,645 each. The cargoes inward from the north consist chiefly of bean-cakes manufactured from peas at the most northern ports, and are used here as manure on the sugar plantations to a very large extent, mox 80 than at any of the other sugar ports in China.
The quantity imported last year amounts to 470,513 piculs, being an increase of 49,539 picuis over that of the year 1861. The quantity of this year's impor tation is also large, say for the past six months, being 371,959 piculs.
The value of the import of bean-cake, in 1862, was about $833,397. The
sugar exported from this port goes chiefly to the north of China, a few cargoes finding their way to England, San Francisco and Australia. During the years of 1861 and 1862 the crops of cane were poor, and a considerable falling off in exports has been noticed. It is estimated that from this district, on an average, some 600,000 or 700,000 piculs are reported yearly, and worih, on an average, $5 per picul. The quantity exported in 1862 was 453,978 piculs ; thus showing that for these two items of commerce a good many foreign vessels are employed on the coast. For a more full detailed list of the articles of commerce imported and exported, I beg to call your attention to the comparative table of the import and export trade at this port for 1861 and 1862, which has been furnished me by the commissioner of customs of Swatow, and herein enclosed. Comparative statement of the import and export trade of the port of Swatow
during the years 1861 and 1862.
Increaso in 1862.
716 1, 296
pieces .do... .do... .do... .do... .do.. .do... .do... dozens.
do. .do. ..do.. ..do. ..do. ..do..
.do.. ..do.. ..do..
.do. ..do. .do.. .do.. .do..
734 6,213 1, 204 2,319 24, 418 7,618 1,932
777 420,774 96,383
744 5, 670 1,420 1,052 1,544 1,549 51,961
60 2, 867
577 1,494 1, 301 23, 159
SuangHAI-Geo. FRED'K SEWARD, Consul.
DECEMBER 1, 1862. I have the honor to forward you, under this cover, a copy of a code of regulations for United States vessels trading in the Yangtsze river, just published by me, by order of his excellency the minister.
It has hitherto been considered an undecided point whether vessels were at liberty to trade at all places on the Yangtsze as far as Hankow, or only at the three ports mentioned in the British treaty. The Chinese have held that the trade was limited ; the merchants, on the other hand, that their vessels were free to trade as they chose.
The latter view has at no time received the distinct sanction of the British minister, although supported by the British consuls at this and the river ports, as well as by the consuls of the United States and other nations.
These are, indeed, the first full regulations ever promulgated by 13; they are definite on the point mentioned, and, as they will be followed by similar regulations on the part of England, become conclusive.
How important they are you will be able to judge when I state that the amount of property in steam vessels held by Americans, and finding employment upon the river, is not less than a million and a half of dollars, and that our interests are but a moiety of the whole.
a They are of especial importance to Americans, as, owing to the superiority of our river vessels, we share in the commerce of the Yangtsze in a much larger proportion than that of our general interests in China.
CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Shanghai, China, November 25, 1862. The undersigned is directed by Anson Burlingame, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States to China, to give notice that the foilowing revised regulations opening custom-houses at Hankow and Kiukiang, and under which trade is to be carried on, have been communicated to him by the Chinese government, and that they will come into operation on the first of January next, at which time they will supersede the provisional regulations of the fifth of December, 1861. By order,
GEO. FRED'K SEWARD, Consul.
REVISED REGULATIONS OF TRADE ON THE YANGTSZE-KIANG.
ARTICLE I. United States vessels are authorized to trade on the Yangtszekiang at three ports only, viz: Chin-kiang, Kiu-kiang and Hankow. Shipment or discharge of cargo at any other port on the river is prohibited, and violation of the prohibition renders ship and cargo liable to confiscation.
Native produce, when exported from any of these three ports, or foreign imports not covered by exemption certificate, or native produce that has not paid coast trade duty, shall, when imported into any of these three ports, pay duty as at the treaty ports.
Article II. United States merchant vessels trading on the river are to be divided into two classes, namely :
First class. Sea-going ressels, that is, merchantmen trading for the voyage up the river above Chin-kiang, lorchas, and sailing vessels generally.
Second class. Steamers running regularly between Shanghai and the river ports.
These two classes of vessels will be dealt with according to treaty, or the rules affecting the river ports to which they may be trading.
All vessels, to whichever of the two classes they may belong, if about to proceed up the river, must first report to the customs the arms or other munitions of war they may have on board, and the numbers and quantities of these will be entered by the customs on the vessel's river pass. Permission to trade on the river will be withdrawn from any vessel detected carrying arms or munitions of war in excess of those reported to the customs, and any vessel detected trading in arms or munitions of war will be liable to confiscation.
Any vessel falling in with a revenue cruiser of the Chinese government will, if examination of them be required, produce her papers for inspection.
ARTICLE III. Sea-going vessels, United States merchantmen, lorchas, and sailing vessels generally, if trading at Chin-kiang, will pay their duties and tonnage dues at Chin-kiang.
If a vessel of this class is proceeding further than Chin-kiang, that is, either to Kiu-kiang or to Hankow, her master must deposit her papers with the consul at Chin-kiang, and must hand in her manifest to be examined by the Chiu-kiang customs; the superintendent of which, on receipt of an official application from the consul, will issue a certificate, to be called the Chin-kiang pass, to the vessel. The Chin-kiaug pass will have entered upon it the number and quantities of arms, muskets, guns, swords. powder, &c., on board the vessel; also the number of her crew, her tonnage, and the flag she sails under.
The customs will be at liberty to seal her latches, and to put a customs employé on board her. On her arrival at Kiu-kiang, whether going up or coming down, her master must present her pass to the customs for inspection.
The duties on cargo landed or shipped at Kiu-kiang or Hankow must all be paid in the manner prescribed by the regulations of whichever of the two ports she may be trading at, and on her return to Chin-kiang she must surrender her Chin-kiang pass to the customs at Chin-kiang; and the customs having ascer. tained that her duties and dues have been all paid, and that every other condition is satisfied, the grand chop will be issued to the vessel, to enable her to obtain her papers and proceed to sea.
The customs will be at liberty to put an employé on board the vessel to accompany her as far as Lang-shan.
Any United States vessel of this class found above Chin-kiang without a Chin-kiang pass will be confiscated. Any junk without Chinese papers will similarly be confiscated.
Article IV. River steamers.—Any United States steamer trading regularly on the river will deposit her papers at the United States consulate, at Shanghai, and the customs, on application of the United States consul, will issue a special river pass, (or steamer's pass,) that shall be valid for the term of six months. Steamers trading on the river under this pass will be enabled to load and discharge, and will pay duties according to the rule affecting river steamers.
On arriving off Chin-kiang or Kiu-kiang, the steamer, whether proceeding up the river or down, will exhibit her pass to the customs.
The tonnage dues leviable on any steamer holding a river pass shall be paid alternately at Chin-kiang, Kiu-kinng, and Hankow.
The customs are at liberty to put a tidewaiter on board a steamer at any of these ports, to accompany her up or down the stream, as the case may be.
Infringement of river port regulations will be punished by the infliction of the penalties in force at the ports open by treaty ; for a second offence the steamer's river pass will also be cancelled, and she will be refused permission to trade thenceforward above Chin-kiang.
Any steamer not provided with a river pass, if her master propose proceeding above Chin-kiang, will come under the rules affecting sea-going vesseis laid down in Article III, and will be treated accordingly.
ARTICLE V. River steamers' cargoes. First. Where native produce is shipped at a river port on board a steamer provided with a river pass, the shipper must pay both export and coast trade daty before he ships it. If it be for export to a foreign port, this should be stated when the produce arrives at Shanghai; and if it be exported from Shanghai within the three months allowed, the shipper will obtain from the Shanghai customs a certificate of its re-exportation, on production of which at the river port of shipinent, whether Chin-kiang, Kiu-kiang, or Hankow, the customs of that port will issue a drawback for the amount of coast trade duty paid.
Second. Where import cargo is transhipped on board a river steaner at Shanghai, it must first be cleared of all duties. The transhipment will not be authorized until the customs are satisfied that the import duties have been paid. ARTICLE VI. Native crafi, owned or chartered by United States mercl.ants
, will pay duty on their cargo at the rates leviable
on such cargo under the treaty