Topics: Guangdong, Wuzhou, Guangzhou Pages: 39 (13875 words) Published: June 19, 2013
Expanding the Cantonese Diaspora: Sojourners and Settlers in the West River Basin Steven B. Miles

Journal of Chinese Overseas, Volume 2, Number 2, November 2006, pp. 220-246 (Article) Published by NUS Press Pte Ltd DOI: 10.1353/jco.2006.0017

For additional information about this article

Access provided by University of Melbourne (19 Jun 2013 08:53 GMT)

S T E V E N B . M I L E S | E X PA N D I N G T H E C A N TO N E S E D I A S P O R A

Expanding the Cantonese Diaspora: Sojourners and Settlers in the West River Basin 1 STEVEN B. MILES

This article describes Cantonese migrants along the West River basin linking the two southern Chinese provinces of Guangxi and Guangdong during Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) times. Based primarily on genealogies of Pearl River delta lineages, the article examines a range of interconnected activities — including land settlement, commerce, and temporary sojourning in order to win civil service examination degrees — that Cantonese sojourners and settlers pursued outside the delta. These delta genealogies also prove to be valuable sources for the study of Cantonese overseas migration. In fact, many of the families discussed in this article sent sojourners both upriver along the West River basin and abroad to Vietnam and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Thus, the author argues that the West River trajectory was an important component of the larger Cantonese diaspora. I N THE OPENING YEARS OF THE 20 TH CENTURY , Ruan Yijun ,=a successful overseas Chinese businessman based in Kuala Lumpur, visited his ancestral home in Dongan (Yunfu) county along the West River (Xijiang ) basin in western Guangdong province. Perhaps to celebrate his commercial success, Ruan compiled a small genealogy of his direct ancestors in Dongan. He began with his tenthgeneration ancestor, who in the 17th century had moved from Nanhai county in the heart of Guangdong’s Pearl River delta to Dongan, and ended with his own grandchildren (Jilong Ruanshi zupu: 49a).2 The compilation of the Ruan genealogy suggests some interesting links between two components of the larger Cantonese diaspora: the overseas Cantonese diaspora, which has received much scholarly attention, and the less frequently studied riverine Cantonese diaspora along the West River basin. That an early 20th-century overseas Cantonese merchant could demonstrate kinship ties to Cantonese ancestors who earlier had migrated Steven B. Miles is Assistant Professor in the History Department at Washington University in Saint Louis. His email address is smiles@artsci.wustl.edu


© J O U R N A L O F C H I N E S E O V E R S E A S 2 , 2 ( N O V. 2 0 0 6 ) : 2 2 0 – 2 4 6


upstream along the West River basin linking Guangxi province and western Guangdong is not highly unusual — perusal of 19th- and 20th-century Pearl River delta genealogies reveals numerous examples of lineage members who ventured up the West River basin, into Southeast Asia, or to destinations further abroad. Thus, conceiving of a riverine and an overseas component of a larger Cantonese diaspora both expands the notion of a Cantonese diaspora to include migration along the West River basin and helps to transcend what Adam McKeown has recently described as an artificial divide that scholars have constructed between Chinese internal and external migration (McKeown 2001: 65). Historians of overseas Cantonese migration have increasingly paid attention to emigrant communities in Guangdong province, seeking to understand the local conditions that led to the adoption of migration as a family strategy. Scholars based in North America have typically focused on emigrant communities in the Siyi (Four Counties) area west of the Pearl River delta, containing Xinning (Taishan), Xinhui, Kaiping, and Enping counties, as this area supplied the largest number of immigrants to the United States and...

References: Benedict, Carol. 1996. Bubonic Plague in Nineteenth-Century China. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Bourne, F.S.A. 1888. Report by Mr. F. S. A. Bourne of a Journey in South-Western China. London: Harrison and Sons. Cangwu xian zhi !. 1874. Chen, Sishu . 1920, 1974. Guangxi Teng xian minqing . Jiangsu shengli yinshuachang. Reprint in Minsu congshu. Taipei: Dongfang wenhua shuju. Chenshi zupu !. 1923. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou. Chucheng Ruanshi zupu !" . 1992. Colquhoun, Archibald R. 1883. Across Chrysé, Being the Narrative of a Journey of Exploration through the South China Border Lands from Canton to Mandalay. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington. Dongan xian zhi !. 1823. 1936 reprint. Du, Yongtao. Forthcoming. “Translocal Lineage and the Romance of Homeland Attachment: The Pans of Suzhou in Qing China.” Late Imperial China. Eastman, Lloyd E. 1967. Throne and Mandarins: China’s Search for a Policy during the SinoFrench Controversy, 1880–1885. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Faure, David. 1989. “The Lineage as a Cultural Invention: The Case of the Pearl River Delta.” Modern China 15(1): 4–36. !". 1897. Guan Shude tang jiapu Guangzhou fu zhi !. 1879. Guiping xian zhi !. 1920. Heidhues, Mary Somers. 1996. “Chinese Settlements in Rural Southeast Asia: Unwritten Histories.” In Sojourners and Settlers: Histories of Southeast Asia and the Chinese. Anthony Reid, ed. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press. Hostetler, Laura. 2001. Qing Colonial Enterprise: Ethnography and Cartography in Early Modern China. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Hsu, Madeline Y. 2000. Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home: Transnationalism and Migration Between the United States and South China, 1882–1943. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Huang, Qichen and Pang Xinping . 2001. Ming-Qing Guangdong shangren . Guangzhou: Guangdong jingji chubanshe. Jilong Ruanshi jiapu !" . 1906. Jiujiang Rulin xiang zhi ! . 1883/1992. In Zhongguo difangzhi jicheng, vol. 31. Nanjing: Jiangsu guji chubanshe. Laibin xian zhi !. 1936. Laoshi zupu !. 1868. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou.
Lee, James. 1978. “Migration and Expansion in Chinese History.” In Human Migration: Patterns and Policies. William H. McNeill and Ruth S. Adams, eds. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Li, Tana. 2004. “The Water Frontier: An Introduction.” In Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, 1750–1880. Nola Cooke and Li Tana, eds. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Liang Chonggui tang zupu !" . 1815. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou. Liang-Guang yanfa zhi !". 1762. Lin Guangyuan tang zupu !"#. 1930. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou. Liu, Zhiwei. 1995. “Lineage on the Sands: The Case of Shawan.” In Down to Earth: The Territorial Bond in South China. David Faure and Helen F. Siu, eds. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Maping xian zhi !. 1764/1895. Marks, Robert B. 1998. Tigers, Rice, Silk, and Silt: Environment and Economy in Late Imperial South China. New York: Cambridge University Press. McKeown, Adam. 2001. Chinese Migrant Networks and Cultural Change: Peru, Chicago, Hawaii, 1900–1936. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Mei, June. 1979. “Socioeconomic Origins of Emigration: Guangdong to California, 1850– 1882.” Modern China 5(4): 463–501. Miles, Steven B. 2004. “Creating Zhu ‘Jiujiang’: Localism in Nineteenth-Century Guangzhou.” T’oung-pao International Journal of Chinese Studies 90(4–5): 299–340. Moss, Michael. 1870. Narrative and Commercial Report of an Exploration of the West River to Nan-ning-fu, 26th April to 8 th July, 1870. Hong Kong: Noronha & Sons. Murray, Dian. 1987. Pirates of the South China Coast, 1790–1810. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Nanhai Jinyu tang Chenshi zupu . 1897. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou. Nanhai Jiujiang Zhushi jiapu !"#$ . 1869. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou. Nanhai Shencun Caishi jiapu !"#$ . 1875. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou. Ng, Chin-keong. 1983. Trade and Society: The Amoy Network on the China Coast, 1683–1735. Singapore: Singapore University Press. Pangshi zupu . 1872/1932. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou. . 2004. Pangshi zupu Pan Shidian tang zupu !" . 1867/1924. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou. Pingle xian zhi !. 1884. Qu, Dajun . 1997. Guangdong xinyu !. Beijing: Zhonghua shudian. Reardon-Anderson, James. 2005. Reluctant Pioneers: China’s Expansion Northward, 1644–1937. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Reid, Anthony. 2004. “Chinese Trade and Southeast Asian Economic Expansion in the Later Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries: An Overview.” In Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, 1750–1880. Nola Cooke and Li Tana, eds. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Shepherd, John. 1993. Statecraft and Political Economy on the Taiwan Frontier, 1600–1800. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
S T E V E N B . M I L E S | E X PA N D I N G T H E C A N TO N E S E D I A S P O R A
Shuiteng bao Shabian xiang He Houben tang li zupu ! !"# . 1923. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou. Siu, Helen F., and Liu, Zhiwei. 2006. “Lineage, Market, Pirate, and Dan: Ethnicity in the Pearl River Delta of South China.” In Empire at the Margins: Culture, Ethnicity and Frontier in Early Modern China. Pamela Kyle Crossley, Helen F. Siu and Donald S. Sutton, eds. Berkeley: University of California Press. Szonyi, Michael. 2002. Practicing Kinship: Lineage and Descent in Late Imperial China. Stanford: Stanford University Press. . 2005. “Mothers, Sons and Lovers: Fidelity and Frugality in the Overseas Chinese Divided Family Before 1949.” Journal of Chinese Overseas 1(1): 43–64. Taiping Tianguo geming zai Guangxi diaocha ziliao huibian !"#$%& '()*+,. 1962. Nanning: Guangxi renmin chubanshe. Teng xian Baima He Shouqian zupu zhujuan !"#$%& '(. Late Guangxu era. Guangxi zizhiqu tushuguan. Teng xian zhi . 1867/1908. Trocki, Carl A. 1997. “Chinese Pioneering in Eighteenth-Century Southeast Asia.” In The Last Stand of Asian Autonomies: Responses to Modernity in the Diverse States of Southeast Asia and Korea, 1750–1900. Anthony Reid, ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, Inc. Woon, Y. F. 1984. “An Emigrant Community in the Ssu-yi Area, Southeastern China, 1885– 1949: A Study in Social Change.” Modern Asian Studies 18(2): 273–306. Wright, Arnold, ed. 1908. Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Publishing Company, Ltd. Wu, Songdi . 1997. Zhongguo yimin shi . Volume 4, Liao, Song, Jin, Yuan. Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe. Wuzhou fu zhi !. 1770. Xieshi zupu . 1946. Guangxi zizhiqu tushuguan. Xining xian zhi !. 1718. Xining xian zhi !. 1830. Yen, Ching Hwang. 1970. “Ch’ing’s Sale of Honours and the Chinese Leadership in Singapore and Malaya (1877–1912). Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 1(2): 20–32. . 1976. The Overseas Chinese and the 1911 Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press. Yulin zhou zhi . 1894. Yunbu Lishi zongpu ! . 1928. Zhongshan wenxianguan collection, Guangzhou. Zhong Wendian , ed. 1998. Guangxi jindai xuzhen yanjiu ! . Guilin: Guangxi shifan daxue chubanshe. Zhu Ciqi . 1967. Zhu Jiujiang xiansheng ji !"#. Jindai Zhongguo shiliao congkan, vol. 127, Taipei: Wenhai chubanshe. Zhu Ciqi . 1861. Zhushi chuanfang ji .
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Case Study of P&G Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free