A statue of Mạc Cửu in Hà Tiên
He was born in Leizhou, Guangdong. Sometime between 1687 and 1695, the Cambodian king sponsored him to migrate to Banteay Meas, where he at first served as chief of a small Chinese community, with the Khmer title Okna. By 1700, he had established an independent kingdom at Hà Tiên, known variously as Gangkouguo (港口國), Bendiguo, or Hexian Zhen in Chinese, and Cancao, Peam, or Pontomeas by Europeans. The town of Hà Tiên was originally known under the Khmer ព឵ម name of Piem or Peam (also Pie, Pam, Bam), the Khmer for "port", "harbour" or "river mouth".
Mạc's son, Mạc Thiên Tứ, was born in 1700 to a lady from Biên Hòa. He also had a daughter, Mac Kim Dinh, who was married to the son of the Chinese general Trần Thượng Xuyên. as more Vietnamese invaded the region, the kingdom was annexed by the Nguyễn and merged with Vietnamese territory in 1800s. A genealogy of his clan is Hà Tiên trấn Hiệp trấn Mạc thị gia phả.
- Bruce McFarland Lockhart, William J. Duiker Historical dictionary of Vietnam 2006 Page 228 "Mạc Cửu (1655–1736) A Chinese immigrant who established his family in the Hà Tiên area of the Mekong Delta. ... he threw in his lot with the Vietnamese"
- Thien Do Vietnamese Supernaturalism: Views from the Southern Region 2012 "Đại Nam Nhât Thông Chí does not record what date Mạc Cửu first came to this Cambodian port to develop it and surrounding areas. He offered Hà Tiên province to the Nguyeễn in 1714. See Đại Nam Nhât Thông Chí, vol. 2
- Cooke & Li 2004, p. 43
- Cooke & Li 2004, p. 63
- Coedes 1966, p. 213
- Cooke & Li 2004, pp. 43–44
- Cooke & Li 2004, p. 44
- Coedes 1966, p. 213
- Ooi 2004, p. 806; see also Mạc Thiên Tứ and Trần Thượng Xuyên on the Vietnamese Wikipedia
- Coedes, George (1966), The making of South East Asia, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-05061-7
- Cooke, Nola; Li, Tana (2004), Water frontier: commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, 1750-1880, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-0-7425-3083-6
- Ooi, Keat Gin (2004), "Mac Thien Tu (1780-1800)", Southeast Asia: a historical encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, Volume 1, ABC-CLIO, pp. 806–807, ISBN 1-57607-770-5
- Nicholas Sellers, The Princes of Hà-Tiên (1682-1867): the Last of the Philosopher-Princes and the Prelude to the French Conquest of Indochina: a Study of the Independent Rule of the Mac Dynasty in the Principality of Hà-Tiên, and the Establishment of the Empire of Vietnam, Brussels, Thanh-long, 1983.
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