MORRISON, John Robert (1814-1843)
A Chinese commercial guide consisting of a collection of details respecting foreign trade in China.
Canton : Printed at the Albion Press, and sold at the Canton Register Office, No. 4 Danish Hong, 1834. First edition. Octavo, recent gilt-ruled half morocco over marbled papered boards, spine lettered in gilt; marbled edges, pp xii, 116, the last five leaves with folding tables, large folding ‘Table of Logarithms to Accompany Stansbury’s Tonnage Rod’ bound in after p. 106; title leaf with a few repairs to fore-edge, small nick to fore-edge margins of some leaves, short edge tear to large folding table, else clean throughout; a very good copy.
Rare Cantonese imprint, the elusive first edition of this important guide for British merchants in China.
John Robert Morrison, son of the first Protestant missionary in China, Robert Morrison, was a British colonial official and interpreter. In 1834 – the year this commercial guide was printed – Morrison replaced his late father as Chinese Secretary and Interpreter to the Superintendents of British Trade in China.
Morrison’s Chinese commercial guide proved to be an extremely useful and successful publication. A second and third edition, with Morrison’s name on the title page but largely rewritten by Samuel Wells Williams, were published after his death, in 1844 and 1848. The revisions were so extensive that in the fourth edition (1856) Morrison’s name was dropped altogether and replaced by that of Williams.
‘… supplies much valuable information respecting British commerce in Canton’ (Löwendahl).
Cordier, Sinica, 2177; Löwendahl, China illustrata nova, 901; Lust, 649