Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Canton, China

Canton, China (Chin. Sang-Ching, City of Perfection), the capital of the province of Quang-tung, China, is a port on the left bank of the Canton or Pearl river (Chu-Kiang), about 70 miles from its mouth and 45 miles above the Bogue (q.v.). The city proper is surrounded by a brick wall six or seven miles in circumference, with twelve gates. This area is divided by an inner wall into the Old Town to the north, the seat of the government offices and the residence of the Tartar population; and the New Town, which is the Chinese quarter. The suburbs are extensive, and at least a quarter of a million of people live entirely on boats. Along the river bank is a space of 24 acres, surrounded by a granite wall and a canal, for the foreign factories. The native streets are very narrow, and the houses, mostly of one storey, are built of brick, but the poorer classes are lodged in mud huts. The river, dividing into two channels, forms the island of Honam, upon which is a great temple, and many other joss-houses and pagodas are scattered over the city, which also possesses a Mohammedan mosque. Canton is a great educational centre, and the great hall of examinations will accommodate 7,000 students. There are several missionary establishments and an English and American hospital. Daily steamers run to Hong-Kong and Macao. An enormous trade is done here, though it has declined somewhat in the last thirty years, the exports being tea, silk, nankeen, camphor, mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, and China ware, whilst cotton and woollen cloths, opium, furs, watches, etc., are imported. Canton was bombarded by the British in 1841, 1847, and 1856, and in 1858 was occupied by the allies as a guarantee for the war indemnity and held until 1862.