COMMERCE WITH CHINA. MESSAGES FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES TRANSMITTING THE INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE RESOLUTION OF
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES...IN RELATION TO THE COMMERCE OF THE
UNITED STATES WITH CHINA...
(U.S.House of Representatives Document No.34, 26yh Congress, 2nd Session, [Washington, D.C.] December 31,1840]) 6.25 x 9.5 inches, 4 pages. Unbound, apparently as issued; no evidence of extraction from a bound volume. Light foxing and edgewear; in Good condition overall. When imperial China banned the lucrative British import of opium and destroyed existing chests of the narcotic at Canton.in 1839, British naval forces, without any formal declaration of war, began military action against China. A blockade of Canton in mid-1840 initiated two years of British assaults on port cities which Chinese military forces were powerless to prevent. When this American report by lame-duck President Van Buren to the U.S.Congress was printed, all British merchants had already been evacuated from Canton - though their American competitors (and sometimes collaborators) had remained, still actively engaging in business until the British blockade became effective. This document relays official British correspondence notifying the American Legation that the Canton blockade had begun, and that "all the measures authorized by the law of nations will be adopted and executed with respect to all vessels which may attempt to violate the said blockade" - implying that American vessels trying to run the blockade would be subject to seizure and their good confiscated. An historical memento of one of the sadder chapters of western relations with China