H. B. Morse, Customs Commissioner and Historian of China

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University Press of Kentucky, Jan 1, 1995 - Business & Economics - 314 pages
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Hosea Ballou Morse (1855-1934) sailed to China in 1874, and for the next thirty-five years he labored loyally in the Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs Service, becoming one of its most able commissioners and acquiring a deep knowledge of China's economy and foreign relations. After his retirement in 1909, Morse devoted himself to scholarship. He pioneered in the Western study of China's foreign relations, weaving from the tangled threads of the Ch'ing dynasty's foreign affairs several seminal interpretive histories, most notably his three-volume magnum opus, The International Relations of the Chinese Empire (1910-18). At the time of his death, Morse was considered the major historian of modern China in the English-speaking world, and his works played a profound role in shaping the contours of Western scholarship on China. Begun as a labor of love by his protégé, John King Fairbank, this lively biography based primarily on Morse's vast collection of personal papers sheds light on many crucial events in modern Chinese history, as well as on the multifaceted Western role in late imperial China, and provides new insights into the beginnings of modern China studies in this country. Half-finished when Fairbank died, the project was completed by his colleagues, Martha Henderson Coolidge and Richard J. Smith.
 

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Contents

Origins and Education 18551874
5
Entering Chinas Service 18741877
19
Adventures in North China 18771879
38
Rising in the Service 18791885
53
Advising the China Merchants Company 18851887
68
Shanghai and Pakhoi 18871892
88
Tamsui 18921895
103
Taiwan in the SinoJapanese War 18941895
120
Heading the Statistical Department 19041908
175
Morses Second Career 19091934
192
Morse as Historian
215
Afterword
230
Summary of HB Morses Customs Career
239
Obituary of Morse
241
Notes
247
Bibliographic Notes
283

Lungchow and Pakhoi 18961899
134
Yochow 18991900
145
Long Leave and Resumption of Duty 19001903
162

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Page 28 - In the first place, it is to be distinctly and constantly kept in mind, that the Inspectorate of Customs is a Chinese and not a Foreign Service, and that, as such, it is the duty of each of its members to conduct himself towards Chinese, people as well as officials, in such a way as to avoid all cause of offence and ill-feeling.
Page 12 - When I was a boy ... the control used [in BLS] was physical force, the application of torture — that is the long and short of...

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About the author (1995)

John King Fairbank was Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History and Director of the East Asian Research Center at Harvard University.

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