Sunday, October 24, 2010

Terms of the Dutch surrender 1662

[De Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie - VOC]

So how favorable were the terms Frederick Coyett was able to wrangle from Koxinga, after 9 months of the siege of Zeelandia? Let's re-examine Coyett's proposals:
  1. 雙方都要把所造成的一切仇恨遺忘。[Both sides agree to forgive and forget.]
  2. 熱蘭遮城及其城外的工事、大砲及其他武器, 糧食、商品、貨幣及所有其他物品,凡屬於公司的都要交給國姓爺。[Fort Zeelandia and its fortification, guns and other weapons, food, merchandises, monies, and all other items that are properties of the VOC will all be handed over to Koxinga.]
  3. 米、麵包、葡萄酒、燒酒、肉、鹹肉、油、醋、繩子、帆布、瀝青、柏油、錨、火藥、子彈、火繩及其他物品,凡所有被包圍者從此地到巴達維亞的航程中所必需者,上述長官及議員們得以自上述公司的物品中,毫 無阻礙地裝進在泊船處及海邊的荷商聯合東印度公司的船。[Onto ships docked at and anchored along the seashores, VOC officials and senators are allowed to unrestrictedly load up supplies needed for all who will sail to Batavia that include rice, bread, grape wine, rice wine, meats, preserved meats, oil, vinegar, ropes, sail cloths, bitumen, tars, anchors, gun powder, bullets, flint fuses, and other items.]
  4. 屬於在福爾摩沙這城堡裡的,以及在這戰爭中被帶去其他地方的荷蘭政府特殊人物的所有動產,經國姓爺的授權者檢驗之後,得以毫無短缺地裝進上述的船。[The properties of Dutch Gov't officials who have stationed in the Formosan fort or in other places as a result of the war are allowed in their entirety, upon inspection by Koxinga's representatives, to transport onto the above-mentioned ships.]
  5. 除了上述物品之外,二十八位眾議會的議員們,每位得以帶走二百個兩盾半銀幣。此外有二十個人,即已婚的、單位主管及比較重要的人,合計帶走一千個 兩盾半銀幣。[Other than the above-mentioned materials, 28 senators are each permitted to carry 200 2.5-Gulden silver coins. In addition, more than 20 including married managers and more important persons are allowed a total of 1,000 2.5-Gulden silver coins.]
  6. 軍人經過檢查之後,可以帶走他們的全部物品及貨幣,並依我們的習俗,全副武裝,舉著打開的旗子、燃著火繩、子彈上膛,打著鼓出去上船。[All soldiers, after inspection, are allowed to take all their belongings and monies with them, and to follow the Dutch custom, to dress in full uniform, display the banners with the fuses lit and bullets loaded, and march at drum beats onto the ships.]
  7. 福爾摩沙的漢人之中,還有人向公司負債的,他們負債的金額和原因,或因租賃或因其他緣故,都將從公司的簿記中抄錄出來,交給國姓爺。[For those Han-people who owe debts to the VOC, the amount and the incurring reason, as loans or otherwise, will be copied from the company books and submitted to Koxinga.]
  8. 這政府全部文件簿記,現在都得以帶往巴達維亞。[All gov't documents and ledgers are allowed to be shipped to Batavia.]
  9. 所有的公司職員、自由民、婦女、兒童、男奴、女奴,在這戰爭中落在國姓爺領域裡且尚在福爾摩沙的,國姓爺將從今日起八至十日內交給上述的船,那些 在中國的,也要儘快送來交給上述的船。對於那些不在國姓爺的領域裡而仍在福爾摩沙的公司其他人員,也要立刻給予通行證,以便去搭乘公司的船。[All company workers, freemen, women, children, male and female slaves, and those trapped in Formosa within Koxinga's domain, Koxinga will deliver them to the above-mentioned ships in the next 8-10 days. Those in China will be sent to the ships as soon as possible. And those staying in Formosa but outside Koxinga's domain will be given safe passage to VOC ships.]
  10. 國姓爺要把他所奪去的船上的四隻小艇及其附屬設備立刻還給公司。[Koxinga agrees to return 4 small boats with the accessories which have previously been forcibly taken from VOC ships.]
  11. 國姓爺也要安排足夠的船給公司,以便運送人員和物品到巴達維亞。[Koxinga agrees to provide a sufficient number of ships to the Company to facilitate the transport of personnel and cargo to Batavia.]
  12. 農產品、牛和其他家畜以及其他為公司人員停留期間所需要的各類食物,要由國姓爺的部下以合理的價格,從今日起每天充足地供應給公司的上述人員。[Foodstuff needed for VOC workers such as agricultural produce, cattles and other farm animals will be supplied by Koxinga's subordinates at a reasonable price in sufficient quantities starting today.]
  13. 在公司人員遺留在此地或未上船以前,國姓爺的兵士或其他部下,如果不是為公司工作而來,誰也不得越過目前用籃堡或該殿下的陣地所形成的界線,來接近這城堡或其城外工事。[As long as the company workers are still in place and before they boarded the ships, Koxinga's soldiers and military personnel are forbidden to cross the present boundaries unless they are on company businesses.]
  14. 在荷蘭東印度公司人員撤離以前,城堡將只掛一面白旗。[A white flag is to be flown above the fort before the retreat of the VOC personnel.]
  15. 倉庫監督官在其他人員和物品都上船之後,將留在城堡裡二至三天,然後才和人質一起上船。[Overseer of the Warehouses will stay behind in the fort for 2-3 more days after all items and personnel have been loaded onto the ships; he will then leave together with all designated hostages.]
  16. 國姓爺將派官員或將官Ongkim及其幕僚Punpauw Jamosie為人質,於本條約經雙方各按本國的方式簽字、蓋章和宣誓之後,立刻送去停在泊船處的一艘公司的船。相對的,公司將派這政府的副首長Joan Oetgens van Waveren及眾議會議員David Harthouwer為人質,到大員市鎮國姓爺那裡,他們將各留在上述二個地方,直到一切按照條約內容確實履行完畢。[The designated hostages from both sides will remain in each other's camps until the complete ratification of the treaty.]
  17. 國姓爺被囚在這城堡裡的人,或被囚在此地泊船處公司船裡的俘虜,將和我們被囚在國姓爺的領域裡的俘虜交換。[Prisoners of war are to be exchanged.]
  18. 本條約如有誤會或確有需要而在此被遺漏之重要事項,將由雙方基於能為對方接受的共識,可立刻修正之。[Revision and addition of the above shall be agreed upon by both sides.]

一六六二年二月一日在大員的熱蘭遮城裡 [Feb 1, 1662, Zeelandia in Tayouan]

簽名者:Frederick Coijett 等二十八人 [Signed by Coyett et al, a group of 28 signatories]

Koxinga had agreed to all points except 8 and 12. His replies corresponded with 1-7, 9-11 [now 8-10], and 13-18 [now 11-16] of Coyett's proposals:

  1. 我同意雙方發生過的所有問題都已經過去,不再存在,而且不再去想那些問題。[I agree: let bygones be bygones.]
  2. 按照所說的,該城堡所有的大砲、小砲、彈藥、現款以及全部商品,都要毫無例外的交給我。[...guns etc... to be transferred to me]
  3. 米、燒酒、醋、油、肉、鹹肉、麵包、繩子、帆布、瀝青、柏油、火藥、子彈、火繩等物品,各船得攜帶航行途中所需要的數量。[supplies for the voyage to Batavia are approved]
  4. 所有的平民其財物家私,經檢驗後都得以裝上船。[private properties to be allowed]
  5. 對那二十八個人,每人准予攜帶二百個兩盾半銀幣;對其他那二十個較高階的人,准予合計攜帶一千個兩盾半銀幣。[silver dollars are also allowed]
  6. 兵士准予攜帶他們的行李不受騷擾地上船;並得以全副武裝,點燃火繩、子彈上膛、旗子打開並打鼓等。[soldiers' parade permitted]
  7. 你們得以將公司簿記文件中有關債務的資料,或租賃的或商品的,要抄錄交出來。[record of debts to be copied and delivered]
  8. 所有的荷蘭人,男的、女的、孩童、黑人,都將於八至十日內送到船裡,還在我方的地方官及其他人,也將不例外地都交還你們;而且,那些可能在此地或其他地方 躲藏尚未露面的人,也將同樣平安地交還給你們。[safe passage for all residents]
  9. 那五隻被我們取得的小艇,將歸還你們。[the five small boats are to be returned]
  10. 各種船都將准予用來運送荷蘭人上船。[transport ships will be provided]
  11. 將命令兵士不得前往城堡附近,也不得有騷擾或暴力行為。[no hostile presence and actions]
  12. 在和約簽訂以前,該城堡得以掛一面白旗。[a white flag is to be flown]
  13. 該城堡裡的要員們須於三日內將他們的事務處理完畢、並進入船裡。[the 3-day limit to finish conducting all affairs]
  14. 雙方為此必須互換書面的條約,該書面的條約須經宣誓,並由重要人物簽名;為達此目的,雙方須互換人質。[treaty ratification and hostage exchange]
  15. 所有還在該城堡裡的漢人須全部釋放,同樣,在我們這邊還活著的荷蘭人也將予以釋放。[POWs will be exchanged]
  16. 如果還有任何細節在此被遺忘的,將予另行商討。[revisions and additions are to be further discussed]

This document was dated: 大明永曆十五年十二月十三日[The 13th Day of the 12th Month in the 15th Year under Ming emperor Yong-li's rule]

It would appear that Coyette got what he had asked for, except more food for his charge. Food was probably in short supply on Koxinga's side as well and re-supplying the enemy combatants was most definitely not a smart move in any case. Coyett had also asked for the return of 4 but had received 5 small boats instead, possibly a gesture of sincerity from Koxinga. It was unclear why the Dutch colonial gov't document issue was not further addressed; although most important documents seemed to have survived and were part of the VOC Archives housed in the Netherlands Nationaal Archief.

For Koxinga, it was a very small price to pay to be rid of the Dutch. From that point on, he was able to start building Taiwan into a new home base for re-taking China from the barbarian Qing. For Coyett, it was a defeat with honor. However, the treaty was no saving grace. He was tried in Batavia by the Dutch for losing Formosa, and banished to
Banda Islands until 1674 when he was pardoned by King William III - after Coyett's family paid a ransom of 25,000 Gulden.

Coyett's "forgive and forget" was not an option for the VOC. The Dutch never really accepted the loss of Formosa and continued to try to re-gain a foothold in China; they even consorted with the Qing and helped the latter in tenuous attempts of conquering the Ming-Cheng Kingdom.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Special Forces Part 3 - The Black Battalion of Cheng Zhi-long

[JUAN DE PALAFOX Y MENDOZA - Nació en Fitero, Navarra, España, en 1600. Virrey de la Nueva España del 10 de junio de 1642 al 23 de noviembre de 1642. Murió en Burgo de Osma, Soria, España, en 1659.]

A family member Fung-yin has found an interesting reference citing an account on the fate of 鄭芝龍Cheng Zhi-long's personal guards, his own Black Battalion. [Readers of this blog must now already know that Cheng Zhi-long was Koxinga's father.] This story was recorded in a book by Don Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, entitled "History of the Conquest of China by the Tartars", translated into French and published posthumously in Paris in 1670 [see insert - title page in Spanish]. The English version appeared one year later. The Tartars of course referred to the Qing.

Palafox was born on June 26, 1600 in Fitero, Navarra, in Spain and later graduated from University of Alcalá and University of Salamanca in 1620. In 1629, he became a Catholic priest. He was consecrated the Bishop of Puebla in 1639 and arrived in June, 1640, in Mexico to assume the post. From June to Nov, 1642, he was the interim Viceroy of New Spain. He returned to Spain in 1649 and died Bishop of the Osma District in Soria in Oct, 1659.

So how was he able to compose this 32-chapter historical tome without having set foot in China at all?

Well, in the 17th Century, the China -> the Philippines -> Mexico -> Spain was arguably the most traveled East <-> West trade route. Every summer, merchant ships sailing from Manila, loaded with goods produced in China, arrived in Port Acapulco. As one in charge of the Philippine vessels and at the same time holding a high position in the Catholic Church, Palafox was regularly briefed on Chinese contemporary affairs. The information was crucial for preparing the Spanish priests leaving from Mexico on preaching missions to China. His book was based almost entirely on intelligence from Manila; it was therefore not a first-hand account. What's unique, however, is that it has details of battles between Cheng Zhi-long and the Dutch and that between the Qing armies and the remnants of the Ming forces. In fact, a whole 3 chapters (more than 70 pages) were devoted to the legendary life and adventures of Lord Cheng. And among them, a rare and precious mention of the Black soldiers.

In 1646, despite Koxiga's impassioned pleas against the move, Cheng nevertheless unwisely yielded to the Qing. Some of his men went over with him that included 200 of his most loyal guards of the Black battalion - whom he had previously recruited from Macao.

They, however, did not, or were not allowed to accompany Lord Cheng to Beijing. Instead, they were re-assigned to serve in the garrison army of the City of Canton (Guang-zhou). In 1647, in a pitched battle, they helped the Qing and repelled the attack by a Ming militia force. Their fearless fighting had earned the respect of the awe-struck Qing soldiers. And after the battle, the Black soldiers dropped their weapons and worshiped in a church run by the Jesuits [note: conceivably, the padres there might have been the source of Palafox's report].

While the Black guardsmen had earlier fought for their beloved Lord Cheng including battles against the Qing, Palafox, however, had incorrectly stated that these brave men survived the last battle and surrendered with Cheng. There was no such last stand, Lord Cheng had lamentably fallen victim to an elaborate Qing pacification scam. It is often said that the Qing had "set a trap to catch sparrows and caught an eagle instead".

Again, no further records of their whereabouts subsequent to the skirmish in Canton. Some of their brethren had already chosen to go with Koxinga to fight the Qing and ultimately ended up in Taiwan.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Special Forces Part 2 - The Black Rifle Battalion

Even though 鄭成功Cheng Chen-Gong [國姓爺Koxinga] (1624-1662) is a household name in both Taiwan and China yet his life remains relatively unknown in the West. A few words here maybe appropriate:

Koxinga was a King who commanded a very well-structured military of some 100,000 men. He was 延平王 (King of Yan-ping) and whose war-machine was respected and feared at once by all who had crossed his path, unwittingly or otherwise. This path was actually a very narrow one: 反清復明[Rebel against Qing and restore Ming]. Period.

Koxinga was educated a Confucian scholar who later, at age 23, became a military leader under very trying circumstances: First his father 鄭芝龍Cheng Zhi-long surrendered to the Qing violating a cardinal Confucian rule of honoring thy emperor at all costs, then his Japanese mother 翁夫人Lady Wuon (aka Mrs 田川松Takawa Matsu氏, 翁 was her adoptive parent's name) committed suicide when the Qing invaded Koxinga's hometown. He burned his scholar's robes at the Confucius's Temple bidding farewell to a university student's life forever, and answered the personal call from the Ming emperor to rescue the latter's failing dynasty. The emperor-in-exile 隆武Long-wu rewarded him by conferring the honor to use the royal family name "朱" [hence 國姓爺 as he was respectfully referred to by the common people] - the emperor did not have any daughters to marry Koxinga into the royal family. And the last emperor-in-exile 永曆Yon-li promoted him to a second-tier kingship 延平王. The title 延平郡王 was a posthumous honor from the Qing emperor 光緒 in 1875 - by then all were forgiven and Koxinga was regarded a Chinese hero for driving away the Dutch from Taiwan. It was a politically expedient way of rallying the Taiwanese during the Sino-French war era that is to continue to this day. And whatever had happened to the Ming-Cheng soldiers in the penal colonies in mainland China has remained totally ignored, also to this day.

There were two main branches in Koxinga's military, the Navy and the Army. The Navy had 9 fleets reportedly with "hundreds" of vessels. One fleet, the 內司鎮 was directly under the flag of Koxinga. Larger warships in the 樓船鎮fleet were triple-deckers with fire power that could easily overwhelm the best of Dutch galeons and indeed had done so in the battle for the recovery of Taiwan. [Insert: a model of one of Koxinga's ships, on display at 石井鄭成功記念館 in 南安Nan-An, Hokkien.]

And the Army was organized thus: (1) Guardsmen of several special forces directed by Koxinga himself and (2) General Troops under various commands. The latter consisted of 9 different infantry groups ranging from 5 specialty companies to 28 squadrons in each group. One of them, the 後勁營 (the Rear-Guard Battalion) was built with Northerner Chinese. The special forces included (1) the Left and Right Martial Guards (or the Golden-armored battalions - infantry with traditional Ming armor); (2) the Left and Right Tiger guards (i.e., the Iron-man Corps); (3) the cavalry battalion; (4) the artillery battalion; and (5) the palace guards - including a Black matchlock rifle battalion.

A battalion of Black soldiers? Yes. And they were specialists in the use and maintenance of the 種子島[銃]Tanega-shima matchlocks purchased from Japan. They were also able to produce these rifles, known as 倭銃, later on.

(Above: A Japanese matchlock rifle in action. In 1543, the Portuguese had either landed on Tanegashima [the Seeds Island], off the southern shore of Kyushu, or on-board of a ship by this name [?] and visited Japan. The Portuguese had brought with them the matchlock rifle. Enterprising citizens of the island quickly began manufacturing the rifle [see below] which Koxinga's army was equipped with.)

So who were these Blacks? Here we'll provide a short summary:

Blacks from South Africa (the Cafres) (and later also from South Pacific and East Asia) began to arrive in China at the end of the Ming Dynasty. Some were brought in by European traders as slaves/servants. Others had enlisted to serve in the military of the Portuguese and the Dutch for religious reasons, i.e., to spread Christianity in the East. And their bravery and fighting capabilities were quickly noticed by the Ming-Chinese.

In the early 1600s, most of the Blacks resided in Macau. They in fact were the main component of the Portuguese contingent who had fought off the Dutch in 1622. There was a report noting a female Black warrior, in man's garb, who had single-handedly killed 2 Dutchmen in this battle.

In 1647, about 200 of the Macau Blacks sought freedom as well as a better life. They left Macau and went over to Cheng Zhi-long in Hokkien who eventually employed 300 as his personal guards. Cheng had consistently honored their Christian belief possibly because he himself was once a Christian.

According to 何大化[Ho Da-hua], "…唐王[隆武帝]依靠一個福建人[指鄭芝龍]的勇敢與忠實在該省會[福州]設朝。他[鄭]年輕時曾在亞馬港成為基督徒,後從事海盜生涯,現在榮華富貴,將其義務忘得一乾二淨;但他手下有300個各種民族的黑人。他們都是基督徒,是他十分信任的衛兵。" [The Ming Emperor in exile, Long-Wu, had relied on a courageous and loyal Hokkienese (i.e., Cheng Zhi-long) to establish his royal court in Foochow... In Cheng's younger days in Macau, he had converted to Christianity but later became a pirate. Now that he was rich and famous, he had totally forgotten his duties (to the Ming). Under his command, there were 300 Blacks of all races. They were all Christians and were Cheng's most trusted guardsmen.]

A side issue here: Labeling Cheng Zhi-long a "pirate - one who engaged in robbery at sea" was incorrect. To the Chinese merchant ships, his privateering navy provided much needed protection in the trade routes between China and SE Asia from harassment by ships of dubious origins. His operation became legit later when he joined the Ming (1628). Then he unwisely defected to Qing (1646) and tried to convince Koxinga to do the same, in vain. He was eventually executed by the Qing on the 3rd day of the 10th month in 1661, together with 10 family members, including his 3rd son 世忠(世渡), 4th son 世恩, 5th son 世蔭, and the youngest 7th son 世默. This news hit Koxinga hard, who went into deep depression and passed away soon after at age 39.

Koxinga inherited these palace-guards and had also welcome them with open arms - even into his own household. In return, these Black warriors were fiercely loyal to the Chengs.

In battle, a banner with the image of Virgin Mary on it was proudly and prominently displayed. This Black Battalion was headed by a very talented Luis de Matos. They were usually deployed on the second line in support of the first-line offense. In the siege of Nanjing, they were seen fighting at the foot of the city walls near Yangtze River. And in the siege of Zeelandia, Koxinga's Black soldiers were able to communicate with the Blacks enslaved by the Dutch inside the fort, many escaped from it to join the Cheng army.

No one knows what had happened to the Black Battalion and their families [some had married Han wives] after the demise of the Ming-Cheng Kingdom. It was unlikely that they were sent to Mainland China or repatriated to Macau or even less likely, back to their homelands in Africa/Asia. There were no such records in any case. Most probably the 300 or so of them were simply disarmed and allowed to stay and die forever Taiwanese.

[Note: Black mercenaries were also involved in the 太平天國 revolt (1851-1864) and fought on both sides, but that is another story.]