Defence of foreign legations, Peking, China, June 20th to Aug. 14th, 1900.
1900 (dated) 23.6 x 24.5 in (59.944 x 62.23 cm)
1 : 1500
A rare 1901 map of the Legation Quarter (Dong Jiaomin Xiang / 東交民巷) of Peking or Beijing, China, laying out the defense of the Foreign Legations during the Boxer Rebellion. The map identifies the various legations: Spanish, Japanese, Russian Italian, German, British, United States, as well as Chinese residents and some commercial establishments. At the southern end of the map the Tartar Wall is identified; at the northern end, the wall of the Forbidden City. The map has been further annotated in red and blue to show barricades, tunnels, ditches, walls, mines, burnt houses, bomb proof sites, and other lines of defense. This map was compiled by Harley Bascom Ferguson (1875-1968), Chief Engineering Officer of the 1st Engineers Corps. Ferguson was sent to China with the China Relief Expedition of 1901, an eight nation alliance conceived to rescue foreign nationals in the Legation Quarter.
The Legation Quarter, located just southeast of the Forbidden City, was approximately 2 mi (3.2 km) long and 1 mi (1.6 km) wide. It was located in the area of the city designated by the Qing government for foreign legations following the Opium Wars (1856-60). In 1900, there were 11 legations located in the quarter as well as a number of foreign businesses and banks. Ethnic Chinese-occupied houses and businesses were also scattered about the quarter. In total there were about 500 foreign nationals residing in the quarter.
The Boxer Rebellion or Yihetuan Movement was an anti-foreign anti-imperialist uprising marked by proto-nationalism in northeastern China. The rebellion was largely a response to Christian missionary activity in China and was initially supported by the Qing Empress Dowager Cixi. In June of 1900 the quasi-spiritual Boxers, convinced they were immune to foreign weapons, attacked the Chinese Christians and foreign nationals living in Beijing's Legation Quarter. Although many killings ensued the Legation Quarter was able to mount a tenuous defense, as outlined here. Relief came quickly in the form of the Eight-Nation Alliance, which, with an army of some 20,000, defeated the Boxers and occupied Beijing, as well as a number of other northern Chinese cities. The atrocities and looting that ensued, particularly at the hands of Russian and Japanese forces, are well documented and horrifying.
This map appears to be a print version of a manuscript plan prepared by Harley Bascom Ferguson following the events of the Boxer Rebellion. It was published in the official U.S. government report on the incident. Although dated 1900, it was issued in 1901. A reduced version of this map was later published in Arthur H. Smith's two volume report, China in Convulsion.
Very good. Slight wear on original fold lines.