Pazhou is a subdistrict of Haizhu in southeastern Guangzhou, Guangdong
Province, in China.
Pazhou Island, formerly Whampoa Island, has a total area of
15 km2 (5.8 sq mi) It is the site of Whampoa Pagoda.
Its eastern bay was formerly the chief anchorage for ships
participating in Guangzhou's foreign trade. Traders from the "Southern
Sea", including Indians, Arabians, and most Europeans, were required
to keep their ships at
Pazhou while smaller craft ferried goods to and
Thirteen Factories area of Guangzhou's western suburbs.
Traders rented storage for ships supplies and repair shops on Whampoa
Island. Images of the anchorage were a common theme in 18th-century
With the expansion of Guangzhou, the subdistrict is now part of its
downtown area, with many commercial and recreational facilities. The
Guangzhou International Convention and Exhibition Center is the
current site of the annual Canton Fair.
5 See also
8 External links
The English, French, and Danish Whampoa and Swedish Wampoa are
irregular romanizations of the Chinese Huangpu, "Yellow Bank". The
name was used to refer indifferently to the island, its settlement,
and its anchorage.
Pazhou is an island in the Pearl River with an area of about
15 km2 (5.8 sq mi). It lies 25 miles (40 km)
upriver of the Humen Strait and historically about 12 miles
(19 km) east of the walled city of
Guangzhou proper, although
Guangzhou has since expanded so greatly that Puzhou forms part of its
city center. Since the Thirteen Factories—the ghetto assigned to
foreign traders n the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries—was located in
Guangzhou's western suburbs, the trip between the anchorage and the
wharves at Jack-ass Point was about 16 miles (26 km).
Before modern dredging, the silt carried by the Pearl River made it
shallow and unpredictable as far south as Macao, with large sand banks
and swift currents impeding navigation from the Humen Strait on.
Foreign ships usually depended on local pilots; the relative lack
of wind also meant that most sailing ships required towing north from
the strait. The main anchorage was off southeastern Pazhou.
Southeast of this was Changzhou ("Dane's Island"). South of
Xiaoguwei ("French Island") and southwest Henan ("Honam Island").
Baiyue peoples had settlements around
romanized as "Canton") since the
Neolithic era, although the Chinese
date the city to the foundation of
Panyu by soldiers under Zhao Tuo
during the Qin conquest. From then on, it formed a major port on the
China Sea, connecting its traders with
Hunan and northern China
via a network of canals. The port was protected by its city wall and
by fortifications and naval bases around the Humen Strait (formerly
the "Boca Tigris" or "Bogue"). Ships of war were not permitted to
pass closer to the city. European trade began with the arrival of
Rafael Perestrello on a native junk in 1516 and was originally
conducted directly on Guangzhou's waterfront. Portuguese
misconduct—and rumors that they were eating the children they were
enslaving[n 1]—quickly cut off access, but this was regained
after the 1554 Luso-Chinese Accord. Their trade was based out of
Macao, but after the general sea bans were lifted in 1684 Pazhou
(as "Whampoa") became an important anchorage as the great draft of the
East Indiamen turned it into Guangzhou's deep-water port.
Early traders were obliged to follow the monsoon winds, arriving
between June and September, conducting their business, and then
departing between November and February. Typically, cargo was
ferried from the ships by its own crew and to the ships at the expense
of the Chinese merchants on their "chop boats" (lighters). To avoid
theft or piracy, foreign traders began assigning a few of their own
seamen to these ships as guards. In 1686, Westerners were allowed
to rent accommodations in the factory quarter to avoid the necessity
of shuttling back to
Pazhou each night. For the most part, the
supercargos, their assistants, and the bookkeepers stayed at the
factories, the crew—except for a few guards or those on shore
leave—stayed with the ships, and the captains continued to ferry
between the two. A comprador (買班) dealt with the ship's
provisions at Pazhou, where sampan ladies crowded around the ships to
do laundry and odd jobs for the sailors.
As an added layer of defense and revenue, city officials continued to
enforce anchorage at
Pazhou even when smaller private craft began to
trade in increasing numbers following the mid-18th discovery of the
Philippine route allowed them to come and go without waiting months
for the monsoon winds. By then, fixed berths for different nations
were established at the anchorage. Innermost and westernmost were the
Americans and after them came the Dutch and the Swedes. Next came the
Danes and the French, close to Changzhou ("Dane's Island") and
Xiaoguwei ("French Island"), which they used for their bases.[n 2] The
British were last and outermost. Getting the ship from the Human
Pazhou usually required traveling only by day and
assistance from a local pilot, although English merchants
occasionally showed off by making the trip unaided. The swift current
and lack of wind meant most ships needed towing; this was usually done
using the ship's boats but some needed help from other ships' boats or
the Chinese sampans.[n 3] Chinese regulations proscribed that the
ships entered the anchorage with their gunwales decked out in a "paunk
suite", a brightly colored cloth with yellow ribbons; the crew were
also done up in special clothes: black velvet caps, tassels, cotton
stockings, buckled knee-garters and shoes, and special buttons.
The firing of salutes and replies at Pazhou, where twenty ships might
be anchored at a time, made the area a noisy one.[n 4]
While at anchor, the ships were overhauled: cleaned, repaired,
painted, with the rigging and sails mended. To facilitate loading and
unloading cargo, the ships' yards and sprits were removed and stored
in sheds on
Pazhou or Xiaoguwei. The sheds, made of bamboo poles and
woven mats and known as "bankshalls",[n 5] were usually rented from
local officials, though the French and Swedes[n 6] received
permission to build their own on Xiaoguwei. They also served as a
workshop for careful repairs or living quarters for the ships'
supercargos, but most of them preferred to be left at
Macao or ferried
Thirteen Factories at Guangzhou. Foreign crews were usually
left on their ships, but captains usually rotated shore leaves and
work on land to keep up morale. Common trips were to the Fanee
Hoi Tong Monastery
Hoi Tong Monastery on Henan and to the shopping
streets of the Thirteen Factories, particularly Hog Lane. Despite
the generally healthy climate, fevers still occasionally decimated
crews and drunkenness and brawls were common. Officers chaperoned
shore leaves but sometimes required help from local authorities, as in
1761 when the
Pazhou mandarins closed down a Dutch punsch tent set up
Xiaoguwei at the request of Puankhequa, then the fiador of the
Swedish East India Company. He was passing along a request from their
supercargo, who in turn was acting on a note from a Swedish captain
who had become powerless to keep his men away from it. For the men
on the ships, however, sampan ladies would crowd around them to get
laundry work or odd jobs.
At that time, the land from
Pazhou down to the Humen Strait was made
up of undulating green hills cut into rice paddies and crowned by
groves. Locals also grew sugarcane and vegetables. Since the area
was barely above sea level and subject to typhoons, levies were raised
around the villages to protect them from the sea. From Pazhou, one
could make out five signal towers, the largest being the Lion's Tower
on an island halfway between
Pazhou and the Humen Strait. These
9-story towers used signal fires to relay messages, and it was said
they could be sent from
Guangzhou to Beijing—a distance of about
1,200 miles (1,900 km)—in less than 24 hours. During his
1832 visit, Edmund Roberts noted that
Pazhou was unsafe for
foreigners, with locals beating anyone who entered certain areas.
Xiaoguwei was more accommodating.
During the First Opium War, the
Battle of Whampoa
Battle of Whampoa was fought between
British and Chinese forces on 2 March 1841. Even following the Opium
Wars and into the 20th century, sailing vessels continued to stop at
Pazhou though steamers began to call at
Canton Fair has been located in
Pazhou since its 104th session.
Pazhou Station connects the island to the
Haijin, Canton System, & Thirteen Factories
^ "Some early Chinese historians go even so far as to give vivid
details of the price paid for the children and how they were
^ The French, British, Swedes, and some Dutch were interred in graves
on Xiaoguwei; the Danes and other Dutchmen buried their dead on
Changzhou. Both islands were also used for Chinese graves.
^ The pilot and 30 sampans employed by the Swedish ship Prins Carl in
1765 cost it 26 taels.
^ At the time, it was customary to fire salutes of eight blank shots
as a mark of respect when passing certain landmarks; when meeting
other ships in transit; when ships arrived or left the anchorage; and
when prominent officers arrived or left a ship. Given a salute, a ship
had to respond in kind.
^ The English "bankshall" was mocked by Swedes as bängsal ("devil's"
or "brawl hall") and by Danes as bankesal ("beating hall").
^ Beginning with the 1761 arrival of the Riksens Stränder.
Pazhou Island", Official site, Haizhu District
^ a b c "The Rise & Fall of the Canton Trade System", OCW,
Cambridge: MIT, retrieved 27 January 2014
^ Lampe (2010), pp. 15-40.
Pazhou Island", Invest Guangzhou
Pazhou International Exhibition Center", Life of Guangzhou
^ a b Kjellberg (1975), p. 101.
^ a b c Kjellberg (1975), p. 95.
^ a b Frängsmyr (1990), pp. 70–71.
^ a b c d Kjellberg (1975), pp. 95–98.
^ Morse, Hosea Ballou (1900), The International Relations of the
Chinese Empire, New York: Paragon Book Gallery, p. 144
^ Kjellberg (1975), pp. 95–99.
^ Knight's (1841), p. 135.
^ Wills & al. (2010), p. 28.
^ Cortesao (1944), p. xxxix.
^ Gong (2006).
^ a b c Van Dyke & al. (2015), p. xvi.
^ a b c Van Dyke & al. (2015), p. xvii.
^ Bridgman & al. (1833), p. 222.
^ Lampe (2013), p. 147.
^ a b Brødsgaard & al. (2001), p. 39.
^ a b c d e f Kjellberg (1975), p. 105.
^ a b Lindqvist (2002), p. 53.
^ a b Kjellberg (1975), p. 108.
^ Lindqvist (2002), p. 95.
^ Kjellberg (1975), p. 103.
^ Van Dyke & al. (2015), pp. xvii–xviii.
^ Douglas (1878), p. 38.
^ Kjellberg (1975), pp. 105–108.
^ a b Roberts (1837), p. 70–1.
^ Kjellberg (1975), p. 98.
^ Douglas (1878), p. 39.
^ Douglas (1911), p. 220.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pearl River in Guangzhou.
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Coordinates: 23°05′57″N 113°22′36.2″E / 23.09917°N
113.376722°E / 23