Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian History

A gentry-owned opium den, and 10-tael brokerage fees

Original: 又道光十五年十一月,有已獲病故之施塞光即監生施肇台一犯。知施猴等販煙獲利隨凑得番銀七百二十元,而令在逃之族人施愷轉拖施猴帶赴外洋向夷船買得煙土六十塊。令已獲之林士慶將煙土四十塊挑往沿海一帶販賣,得番銀二百六十元。分給林士慶番銀二十元。


In the eleventh month of the fifteenth year of Daoguang's reign [December 1835], the student licentiate Shi Saiguang (aka Shi Zhaotai) acquired 720 silver taels and sent his clansmen Shi Kai to accompany Shi Hou to a foreign boat and buy 60 bricks of opium.

Shi Saiguang then sent Lin Shiqing (captured) to take 40 bricks of the opium to sell along the coast, from which he made a profit of 260 taels. He gave Lin Shiqing 20 taels as payment.

Shi Saiguang had 20 bricks of leftover opium with nowhere to sell it, and so he opened an opium den in Yakou where he boiled opium into paste. He hired Shi Gu to help with accounts and entice local people to come purchase and consume opium. It took from the eleventh month of the fifteenth year of Daoguang [December 1835] through the twelfth month of the sixteenth year of Daoguang [January 1837] for Shi Saiguang to sell all of this opium. He earned through this another 120 taels of profit, which he shared with Shi Gu according to their respective investments.

Original: 施猴族人施塞光等,先後赴夷船買土,均系施猴、施漱寶二人接引代買,每箱抽分番銀十元,前後抽得番銀六百元。

When Shi Hou's kinsman Shi Saiguang went together with Shi Hou out to the foreign boats, it was always Shi Hou or Shi Shubao who assisted Shi Saiguang in purchasing the opium. They took a commission of 10 silver taels per chest, totaling over 600 taels in commissions.

Source: Junji chu Hanwen lufu zouzhe (Grand Council Chinese-Language Palace Memorial Copies, often cited as LFZZ), Beijing: First Historical Archives, 03–4007–048, DG 18.10.29.

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