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The Golden GhettoThe American Commercial Community at Canton and the Shaping of American China Policy, 1784-1844$
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Jacques M. Downs

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139095

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139095.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

The China Trader

The China Trader

(p.222) 6 The China Trader
The Golden Ghetto

Jacques M. Downs

Hong Kong University Press

Chapter 6 explains the life of the China trader, how they were admitted into the firms, their road to promotion as partner to how they spend their time after they left China. The traders often come from respectable but comparatively deprived backgrounds with good education. Those without connections could join a firm via becoming a seaman and learn his trade while on deck. The ties between the merchants were kinship, friendship and connections to a firm formed in the counting house. After a few years a clerk might be promoted to a supercargo and then to partnership. The traders that return to America rich would carry on trading as sedentary traders, join the board of directors of companies in new industries or retire completely. With their wealth, they became influential in Washington as well as in their state and local governments.

Keywords:   China, China Trade, American, Opium, First Opium War, Trade, Opium smuggling, American foreign policy in China

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