But It Was Essentially A Truce, Not A Treaty, And The Great
Point Of Direct Intercourse With The Central Government Was No Nearer
Settlement Than Ever.
At this moment Sir Henry Pottinger arrived as
Plenipotentiary from England, and he at once set himself to obtaining a
formal recognition from the Pekin executive of his position and the
admission of his right to address them on diplomatic business.
view of pressing this matter on the attention of Taoukwang, who personally
had not deviated from his original attitude of emphatic hostility, Sir
Henry Pottinger sailed northward with the fleet and a large portion of the
land forces about the end of August. The important seaport of Amoy was
attacked and taken after what was called "a short but animated
resistance." This town is situated on an island, the largest of a group
lying at the entrance to the estuary of Lungkiang, and it has long been
famous as a convenient port and flourishing place of trade. The Chinese
had raised a rampart of 1,100 yards in length, and this they had armed
with ninety guns, while a battery of forty-two guns protected its flank.
Kulangsu was also fortified, and the Chinese had placed in all 500 guns in
position. They believed in the impregnability of Amoy, and it was allowed
that no inconsiderable skill as well as great expense had been devoted to
the strengthening of the place. When the English fleet arrived off the
port the Chinese sent a flag of truce to demand what it wanted, and they
were informed the surrender of the town.
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