Ah Pak

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Ah Pak (Chinese: 阿伯, meaning "uncle" or "old man") was the chieftain of the Cantonese pirates[1] who defeated Portuguese pirates in Ningpo in Zhenjiang, China. The authorities at Ningpo were weak and requested his aid rather than submit to the tyranny of the Portuguese.[2] His pirates caused the massacre against the Portuguese pirates. This incident was recorded in history as The Ningpo Massacre.[3][4]


  1. ^ From the London Times (November 26, 1858). "The Pirates of the Chinese Seas". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ The Baptist missionary magazine: Volumes 49-50 - Page 385
  3. ^ American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (1869). The Missionary magazine, Volume 49. XLIX. BOSTON: MISSIONARY ROOMS, 12 BEDFORD STREET: American Baptist Missionary Union. p. 385. Retrieved 14 December 2011. The Chinese and Foreigners. The position and treaty rights of foreigners in China have hitherto been maintained by military force; and though Mr. Burlingame's mission appears to be especially directed to the abolishment of the "force policy," yet without force, that is, a show of military force for protection, the position of foreigners of every class would not be tenable in China a month. Foreigners have at different periods settled in China; but after remaining for a time, they have been persecuted. For instance, Muslims and others settled at Canton in the ninth century; and in 889, it is said that 120,000 foreign settlers were massacred. Again in the sixteenth century, the Portuguese commenced trade and formed a settlement at Ningpo; Spaniards and other foreigners also settled here. But in 1542, the whole settlement was destroyed, most of the 3,000 settlers killed. Also at Cha-pu, about 75 miles north of Ningpo, on the Hangchow Bay, there was a settlement of foreigners for the purposes of trade, about 200 years since, who at length were massacred. It is often reported among the people at Ningpo, and other places in China where there are foreigners residing, that they and all the natives connected with them are to be put to death. So rife was such a report at Ningpo, two years since, and the excitement began to be so great that the foreign consuls requested the native officials to issue proclamations to quiet the people, and threaten punishment to those circulating inflammatory reports. There has been a massacre of Portuguese at Ningpo since my residence here. Every Portuguese who could be found was murdered in open day. This was done by the Cantonese, in consequence of getting into a quarrel with them about convoying vessels at sea. At that time the Cantonese requested of the authorities (secretly of course) to be allowed to massacre all foreigners, whether Portuguese, English, or American. And no doubt nothing but fear of English troops prevented such a permission being given. Recently at Tung-chow and Chefu, in the Shan-tung province, days have been set for putting to death all foreigners ; so that the consuls had to take the matter in hand, and request the officials to issue proclamations, and to punish those circulating such reports. In view of these facts, it is by no means improbable that China may witness massacres like those of the "Indian mutiny." A false impression has been created in the people and government of the United States respecting the feeling of the Chinese towards foreigners, and respecting the security of foreigners in the land. "Force," which the ambassador, at the instigation of the Chinese government, deprecates, "force" is the only thing that can give us even a footing here, to say nothing of expansion, — extending our work far into the interior. No treaty can for a moment be maintained without it... Thanks to British guns and the Providence of God for all the privileges that we peaceful Americans enjoy. Original from the University of Wisconsin - Madison
  4. ^ Eastern China mission - Letter from Kwolton