Dec. 9, 2021

S1-E18 - Shipwreck Savagery and Clandestine Colonization

S1-E18 - Shipwreck Savagery and Clandestine Colonization

After native people in the far south of Formosa kill survivors from the wrecked US merchant vessel The Rover in 1867, the Americans send a punitive expedition. A few years later, the survivors of a Japanese (Ryukyuan) shipwreck are also killed, near Pingtung's Mudan. The Qing authorities' weak response to the incidents will sow the seeds for Japanese colonization of the island.

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Cover image: An example of an American-made clipper ship (Pride of Baltimore II) quite similar to The Rover 

Below: "Attack of United States Marines and sailors on the pirates of the island of Formosa, East Indies." Harper's Weekly (7 September 1867): 572. Text with image: "The Formosa pirates. In order to avenge the murder of a number of shipwrecked seamen of the bark Rover by the savage Malays of Formosa, Admiral Bell, on June 13, made a descent on that island with a force of 181 men and officers. They advanced a mile into the interior, encountering a few savages, who continually ambushed them in true Indian fashion. After penetrating a mile into the jungle, losing Lieutenant-Commander Mackenzie killed and a dozen or fifteen men prostrated by sun-stroke, killing none of the savages, and failing to destroy their huts, the troops returned on shipboard and abandoned the expedition. Rear-Admiral Bell concludes his report with the recommendation that the Chinese authorities be required to occupy the island with a settlement of their own; and this is to be effected, he says, through our Minister at Pekin." (Via Wikimedia Commons) 

Below: William Pickering and Dr. James Maxwell, two of the westerners in South Taiwan at the time of The Rover incident (Pickering would play a major role in the affair) Via the TAKAO CLUB 


Below: A photograph showing Commander-in-chief (Marquis) Saigō Tsugumichi pictured (sitting at the center) with leaders of Seqalu (Native tribe), Tokitok. Isa. S. Midzuno during the Japanese punitive expedition to Taiwan in 1874. (Anonymous Japanese photograph)