Category Archives: Yankee Mandarin

Discussion related to the novel Yankee Mandarin

Manilamen and Mandarins – Filipinos in 1860s China, Part 1: Vincente Macanaya

Vincente Macanaya “…There he stood in the midst of a perfect hailstorm of stone, firing away like a fury, whilst his companions were dropping on all sides of him, killed by the unerring aim of the rebels on the walls. … Continue reading

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The East India Squadron on China Station, 1860-1861

The Commander-in-Chief feels called upon at this time to address those under his command upon the condition of our country. By the last mail we have authentic accounts of the commencement of “civil war” in the United States, by the attack and … Continue reading

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Beijing of Dreams website archives old photos of Beijing

The new Beijing of Dreams website photo archive is a fine collection to place together with the work of John Thompson and Felice Beato (photogs in China during the mid-1860s). The images were “scanned in high resolution and where necessary digitally enhanced,” and they are … Continue reading

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Flay the Plaintiff, Fleece the Defendant – Law in Old China

Old China had a draconian solution for reducing litigation – torture everyone concerned, plaintiff or defendant, or extort silver from the litigants in place of torture. Rather than have their toes and fingers squeezed between blocks of hard wood, or kneel on … Continue reading

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Reconstructing Lost Places in Towns of Old China

Much of old China has been torn down to make way for the new, so creating maps and descriptions as accurate as possible for 1860 became a major effort in Yankee Mandarin. Towns of a certain size were all enclosed by … Continue reading

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The Women of Yankee Mandarin – the Decorous and the Disaffected

The women of Yankee Mandarin contrast dramatically, especially the two of this post, Elizabeth and Ch’ang-mei. Each is fashionable and elite in her place and time, but both are discontent with their circumstances, resentful of their treatment by men, and of … Continue reading

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Chinese Junks and Portuguese Lorchas – Old and New

Wenchow Fisher from Donnely The descriptions of mid-19th century Chinese junks, Portuguese lorchas,  and other native vessels that merit first billing in Yankee Mandarin are based primarily on more recent works by Worcester, Donnely, and Needham. Worcester’s 1971 The Junks and Sampans of the … Continue reading

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Arion – he ran like the wind and spoke in Greek

Arion was the gray Arab loaned to Fletcher Thorson Wood in Shanghai by Artemis Fuller of H. Fogg & Company, who said Arion was “a distinguished old gentleman, not given to flights of fancy.” There is no record of FTW … Continue reading

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Weapons of the Ever Victorious Army

This question was posted on the China History Forum: “The Ever Victorious Army was the Qing army that helped put down the Taiping and Nein Rebellions and It was the first Chinese army which was trained in European tactics. My question is, … Continue reading

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Foreigners awarded official rank in Late Imperial China

From the China History Forum this question: Does anyone know of instances where a foreigner (westerner or an Asian not under imperial authority) was awarded or earned an official rank?   My reply: Frederick Townsend Ward of the Ever Victorious … Continue reading

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