Chapter 10

The Beginning of the End


One Sunday in May 1654, a black cloud rose north of Zeelandia. Townspeople watched as it approached, twisting and stretching. Soon it was upon them. Locusts! So many that the sky darkened and the air buzzed with the sound of innumerable wings. The north wind dashed them against the ground and into wells, where their bodies floated, a reddish-yellow sheet on the water. On the other side of the bay they swarmed the fields, devouring everything in their path.


The Dutch declared that this "Egyptian plague" was "a sign of God's righteous and much deserved fury about our sins," the latest of a series of signs God had sent to show his anger. First, thousands of Chinese colonists rebelled against the company, and then "a strange star or light" illuminated the heavens. Next, a terrific plague killed thousands of aborigines and many Dutchmen and Chinese. Finally, a huge earthquake devastated homes and buildings, the aftershocks lasting seven weeks. The plague of locusts, with its Old Testament resonances, was taken as "a stimulus urging us to look at ourselves, in order to motivate ourselves to live better lives and turn to the charitable [barmhertigen] God with a beaten spirit and broken heart and . . . ask for forgiveness."1


The governor and the Council of Formosa decreed a day of fasting and penitence. Nobody was to work, and the island's Christians were to devote themselves to "fiery pleas for mercy from the loving God."2 But the penance did not help. The locusts continued eating their way through the island, and they were followed by more disasters—plagues, storms, and earthquakes. "What are we to do?" wrote a Dutch official at the end of the summer. "Complaining is impious and awakens, like burning sulphur, . . . yet more the fiery wrath of the Almighty. It is best to bend our own will under His . . . and with inner longing pray for mercy."3 As it turned out, earthquakes, storms, and locusts were the least of their problems.


The biggest threats to the Dutch colony of Formosa were not natural disasters but human events. When Manchu armies seized Beijing in 1644, they sparked a long, bitter civil war. Under the new dynastic name Qing, they fought southward through China, opposed by a series of courts known as the Ming loyalists, who struggled to restore the Ming dynasty.4 Out of this chaos arose the most fearsome enemy the Dutch colony had yet faced: Zheng Chenggong (鄭成功), known in Western sources as Koxinga.5 From his base in Xiamen City, Chenggong fought bitterly to reinstate the Ming. To finance his wars, he sent more trading junks to Southeast Asia and Japan, impinging on Dutch monopolies. When the company began harrying his merchants, Chenggong imposed a trade embargo on Formosa. The colony's economy collapsed. It was the beginning of the end for Dutch Taiwan.


Zheng Chenggong, the Manchus, and Maritime East Asia


Zheng Chenggong was born on a beach during a rainstorm, heralded by a mystical fire in the heavens. During his life he turned a monstrous sea turtle into an island, vanquished demons, and made wells by striking his sword into the ground. After his death he became a member of China's eclectic pantheon of saints and deities.6 He is, in short, a figure of legend. Even scholars and academics are apt to write about him hagiographically, calling him a "national folk hero," for in both Taiwan and mainland China he is revered for his defeat of the Dutch and his loyalty to the Ming against the Manchu Qing.7


The real Chenggong is a more ambiguous figure, but just as fascinating. We know he was born in Japan in 1624, the year the Dutch established Fort Zeelandia in Tayouan. His connection with Taiwan began with his father, the pirate-turned-official Zheng Zhilong (鄭芝龍). As we have seen, Zheng père was a member of the Taiwan-based pirate gang of Yan Siqi and an associate of Li Dan. After Yan and Li died in 1625, he rose to rule over a merchant-pirate organization that controlled Fujianese maritime trade throughout the China Seas. We have seen how in 1628 Zheng Zhilong accepted investiture by the Ming court, giving up his pirate ways for official rank. Afterward he became the company's main contact for trade with China.8 He was comfortable dealing with the Dutch, having learned about them when he worked as a company translator, and he allowed trade to flow to Taiwan, knowing that the Dutch were formidable naval opponents. The Dutch grumbled, but they had no alternative. Ming officials, for their part, were pleased with Zhilong, or they were happy to appease him because they faced bigger troubles elsewhere. In any case, by 1640 Zhilong had been named the military commander (Zongbing 總兵) of Fujian province, one of the highest posts in the Ming bureaucracy.9


Zheng Chenggong benefited from his father's fortune and fame. After spending the first seven years of his life with his mother in Japan, he went to Fujian to go to school.10 Whereas his father had sailed the seas to avoid the scholar's life, Chenggong was an avid student, obtaining the county-level licentiate at the age of fifteen. Then he went to Nanjing to study with renowned teachers at the Imperial Academy of Learning. He was a promising scholar and might have gone on to an illustrious official career.11 The Ming-Qing war changed his path.


After Beijing fell in 1644, Zheng Chenggong's father and other relatives declared themselves loyal to the Ming, which was reorganizing itself in Nanjing around a Ming imperial prince. This first Ming loyalist court collapsed, and the Zheng family recognized a second Ming prince, called the Longwu Emperor (隆武). Longwu was grateful for Zheng senior's support and gave him a promotion. He also symbolically adopted Chenggong, bestowing on him the Ming dynastic surname Zhu (朱). It was an enormous honor. For the rest of his life Chenggong carried the title Guoxingye (國姓爺), or Lord of the Imperial Surname.12 This appellation was pronounced "Kok seng ia" in southern Fujianese, and so to the Dutch and other Westerners he was known as Koxinga.


His father devoted more attention to commerce than to fighting the Manchus. In 1646 the Ming prince undertook a land-based military expedition without Zhilong's help, forgoing a more cautious—and more promising—maritime strategy. Outmaneuvered by swift-moving Manchu forces, he was captured and executed.13 In the meantime, Zhilong had begun negotiating with the Manchus. They promised that if he foreswore his loyalty to the Ming they would name him viceroy of Fujian and Guangdong. Zhilong accepted the offer in spite of his son's protests. In November 1646, Zhilong went to Fuzhou to declare his allegiance to the Manchu Qing dynasty. But the Manchus had deceived him. They took him to Beijing, where he lived the rest of his life under house arrest.14


Unlike Zhilong, Chenggong maintained allegiance to the Ming dynasty. Scholars continue to argue about the nature and extent of his loyalism. Ralph Croizier believes that his loyalty was a construction of nationalistic Chinese historians, who distorted historical evidence to portray him as an anti-imperialist hero.15 Other scholars, on the other hand, portray Zheng as a sincere loyalist. An excellent study by Wong Young-tsu, for example, portrays Chenggong's opposition to the Manchus as ideological, even "fanatical," arguing that Chenggong was a "revolutionary traditionalist" who "transformed sheer violence into a political movement in an unprecedented way. He politicized the entire region."16 An important book by a Taiwanese scholar, on the other hand, lends support to Croizier, arguing that "Zheng Chenggong was not wholly loyal to the Ming dynasty" and suggesting that "one should not overestimate his patriotism."17 The debate will go on. Indeed, in a letter to the Dutch, Chenggong himself once wrote: "How can one know my hidden thoughts and tell what are my actual intentions, which have been revealed to nobody?"18 We historians will perhaps do little better than his enemies at discerning his true aims.


Still, it is clear that Chenggong was willing to sacrifice more than his father did for the sake of Ming restoration. He engaged in a constant and shifting war against the Manchus, using the Zheng family's maritime trade networks as a financial base. He was a slippery adversary. Although they could counter him on land, the Manchus lacked an understanding of naval warfare. At the same time, they were occupied with Ming loyalists in other areas of China. Chenggong's main base was in and around Xiamen City, which in 1654 he began to call the "Memorial Prefecture for the Ming" (Si Ming Zhou 思明州). He established a government based on Ming administrative structures, with six boards staffed by Ming scholar-officials. By ensuring, however, that military and merchant interests held sway over scholar-officials, he avoided the bureaucratic infighting that had riddled other Ming loyalist governments.19 This made his an effective regime, but it also may have limited his appeal to the traditional scholar elite.20 Still, his court did draw loyalists from throughout China and became a center of anti-Manchu opposition. It also enjoyed a measure of popular support. Chenggong's soldiers usually had strict orders to refrain from pillaging and killing in the areas they captured. Like his father, he appears to have strictly enforced these orders, executing soldiers who disobeyed them.21


Although he controlled the seas and coastlines of southeastern China and had popular support, Chenggong nonetheless had trouble striking against the Manchus. Fujianese describe their home province as "many mountains, few fields" (shan duo tian shao 山多田少). Only 10 percent of Fujian's area is lower than 200 meters above sea level. The mountains cut Fujian off from inland China, which is one reason Fujianese people tend to be oriented toward the sea. Fujian's mountains sheltered Chenggong from Manchu land attacks, but they also made it hard for him to extend his control outward from his base in Xiamen. His early attempts to do so were, to be sure, promising. In 1647 he invaded Quanzhou prefecture and captured the city of Tong'an. However, powerful Manchu armies soon drove him back. In 1649 he once again gained control over large areas of Quanzhou, only to be driven back again. When he tried launching attacks farther from his base, he had even less success. In 1650, for example, he planned a major offensive northward from Guangdong, in concert with a Ming loyalist in Guangxi province. The Manchus swiftly deployed a large army in the area, and he decided instead to seek his advantage by ferrying his armies southwards along the coast. A severe storm hindered his movements. Meanwhile, the Manchus had launched a surprise attack against Xiamen, forcing him to return with his armies to protect his home base. Thus, although he had a decisive advantage at sea, being able to move his troops quickly along China's vast coast, this was never quite enough to counter the swift and efficient Manchu forces, and he had consistent difficulties extending his control inland. The only progress he made with land warfare was in limited areas near his coastal bases.22


The Manchus did, however, view him as a threat. In the early 1650s, after he had managed to recapture many cities in the Zhangzou and Quanzhou region, widening the strategic perimeter around Xiamen and increasing his tax revenues, the Manchus decided that it would prove difficult to reduce him by force of arms. They therefore made an overture: If he would swear loyalty to the Manchu Qing dynasty, they would make him the duke of Haicheng (海澄) and give him authority over several coastal prefectures. He entertained the Manchus' emissaries and engaged in lengthy negotiations. Perhaps he did so merely to gain time to strengthen his military and increase his administrative hold on the lands and people of Fujian, or he may have considered accepting an offer. In any case, these negotiations never resulted in an agreement.23


He knew that ending the stalemate with the Manchus would require a bold victory. He therefore began plotting his most ambitious undertaking: the capture of Nanjing. This city, which had served as China's capital off and on for the past thousand years, would make a more viable base than Fujian, and its capture would attract Ming loyalists from throughout China. From 1656 through 1658 he planned his operation and made preparations, gathering grain and armaments, building ships, and drilling his soldiers. He also set up a series of forts and grain repositories along the coast leading to the Yangtze River. His plan was to sail up the Yangtze with his fleet and land his troops before Nanjing. In the summer of 1658, his preparations were complete, and he set out with his great fleet from Xiamen. A severe storm forced him to turn back and repair his ships, but nearly a year later the expedition was ready to reembark. On July 7, 1659, Chenggong's armada sailed into the mouth of the Yangtze River. The ships won their first battles, prompting Chenggong to write:

On the Great River, dressed in mourning white,
I swear to vanquish the Tartars;
The anger of my hundred thousand brave men
Shakes the land of Wu.
Wait and look! When resolutely we cross the Formidable Moat,
Who will still believe that China does not belong to the Ming?24

The armada proceeded quickly upriver, and on August 24, 1659, Chenggong's troops encircled Nanjing. Yet they did not immediately begin a siege. Chenggong, who felt that Qing power was crumbling, may have underestimated his enemies' resolve. Believing they were ready to surrender, he engaged in negotiations with officials in Nanjing. This tarrying may have cost him victory. Qing reinforcements arrived and launched a furious assault. Despite their preparation, Chenggong's forces broke formation and ran.25


A month later, the remnants of Zheng's army arrived in Xiamen. Many experienced officers had been captured or killed, as had thousands of soldiers. Chenggong had made some poor choices. Some of his officials had advised him to secure the area around the Grand Canal instead of sailing directly to Nanjing. If he had done so he might have established a beachhead in Manchu territory and cut off Qing supply lines.26 Indeed, he probably could have counted on popular support in the region, since the Manchus had made enemies during their ruthless sacking of Yangzhou. But it was too late.


His defeat at Nanjing left his prestige and organization shattered. He began having more trouble collecting tolls and taxes. Moreover, his trade revenues were beginning to suffer from Manchu policies. In 1656 the Manchus had issued an edict forbidding Chinese subjects, on pain of death, to trade with Chenggong's people. At first the edict had had little effect, but that same year, one of Chenggong's senior merchants, a man who knew the intricacies of the Zheng family's trade networks, defected to the Manchus and revealed Chenggong's web of secret contacts. With this knowledge, the Manchus began to prosecute Chenggong's trading partners. Most important of all, in 1660 the Manchus embarked on a draconian policy to destroy Chenggong's source of livelihood: They began fortifying the coasts of China and implementing a coastal evacuation policy, whereby all coastal inhabitants had to move ten miles inland. Equally important, the other centers of Ming loyalism were collapsing, and the Manchus were able to concentrate their full force on Fujian. Chenggong proved he could still counter Manchu armies, for he was victorious in the first battle of the Manchu's renewed offensive, but he knew he had to find a new strategy. He began considering his options. Might it be possible to expand at the expense of the red-haired barbarians? Relations with them had, after all, deteriorated of late.


Chenggong and the Company


In the early 1650s, as in most of the 1640s, relations between Chenggong and the company had appeared cordial. Letters between them indicate a willingness to cooperate and a commitment to dialogue, but beneath these appearances lay deep distrust. Some company officials believed that the Chinese revolt of 1652 had been incited by Chenggong, for a few of the rebels said that they had expected Chenggong to come to their aid with three thousand junks and thirty thousand men and that he would help them capture all of Formosa from the Dutch.27 Most Dutch officials did not believe Chenggong would really have helped, and that the revolt was rather the work of rich Chinese farmers: "We suspect that the principal Chinese farmers, having achieved a measure of prosperity, undertook this . . . work of their own accord in order to satisfy their own ambitions."28 Still, suspicion of Chenggong remained, especially since, around the time of the revolt, a Jesuit priest named Martinus Martini, captured aboard a Portuguese junk, told Dutch officials that Chenggong was looking for a new base of operations, in case the Manchus should drive him from China.29 According to Martini, Chenggong had his eyes on Formosa. Dutch officials dismissed this possibility: "Chenggong knows well that the Fort on Tayouan is no cat to be approached without gloves . . . and even if he should make himself master of the Formosan lands, he would bring upon himself a long war with the Dutch and would live in constant unrest, which he does not want."30 Yet they still did not trust him.


To be sure, they tried to appear friendly, going out of their way to accede to requests that did not harm their interests. In 1654, Chenggong sent a letter to Taiwan and asked to have a Dutch surgeon sent to Xiamen to help with some medical problems. The company decided to send Christiaan Beyer, Zeelandia's surgeon in chief [opperchirugiijn]. When Beyer arrived in Xiamen, he was shown Chenggong's wound, "a few lumps [knobbelen] on his left arm, which according to the mandarin [Chenggong] had been caused by cold and wind, but about which Beyer himself had a different opinion."31 Perhaps the Dutch writer's reticence about the true cause indicates that Beyer suspected it was syphilis, which can cause rashes and lesions on skin. If so, this would explain psychotic episodes later in Chenggong's life and, perhaps, his early death.32 In any case, Beyer prescribed medicine, which Chenggong required him to prepare in front of his own doctor, who inspected the ingredients carefully before allowing Beyer to add them, "even though he had no understanding of them."33 Frustrated, Beyer wrote to Zeelandia. Chenggong, he said, refused to cooperate with his medical advice. More important, his patient, "for the smallest of reasons, had many people killed in various awful ways . . . such that few days passed without three, four, or five people being executed."34 Beyer asked to be allowed to return home. The Council of Formosa refused, ordering him to stay and finish the cure. Beyer was frightened, however, and resolved to take his leave. When he finally got up the nerve to ask Chenggong for permission to depart, the latter assented. Beyer returned aboard a Chinese junk. He had not managed to cure Chenggong's arm, but the prestige of Dutch surgery was not diminished. The following year one of Chenggong's officers arrived in Zeelandia with a severe leg wound and a letter from Chenggong asking that the governor arrange to have a Dutch surgeon cure him.35


Beneath the patina of cordiality were strong tensions. In the spring of 1655, almost no silk junks arrived in Taiwan. Company officials had heard that Chenggong was moving against the Manchus, which, some felt, explained the lack of trade. Others, however, felt "that these rumors might have been propagated on false grounds in order to rock us to sleep and that therefore Chenggong might be planning to attempt something to Formosa's detriment."36 The Council of Formosa sent a junk to the Pescadores to see whether Chenggong had gathered forces there, and in the meantime it prepared to defend Zeelandia. The junk's crew found nothing suspicious, and relieved officials stood down their alert. Yet the incident reveals how vulnerable the colony could be to Chenggong's actions. It was in 1655 that he established the Ming Memorial Capital in Xiamen. And so his struggle against the Manchus was beginning in earnest and, in the fighting that ensued, far fewer junks came to Taiwan. As the governor of Taiwan wrote in a letter to Batavia, trade would be slow until the end of the war: "We and [the Chinese merchants] will have to wait until Chenggong and the Tartar [the Manchus] reach a peace or until one is defeated."37 Although they realized they could do little about it, Dutch officials looked on Chenggong's growing power with concern. According to reports of Europeans and Chinese traders alike, he had around three hundred thousand men and some three thousand junks. It was clear he was preparing for a large siege. Although direct evidence of hostile intentions against Taiwan was lacking, Dutch officials in Tayouan wrote to Batavia to ask for more soldiers from Batavia, for permission to build more forts on Taiwan to help ward off an invasion by sea, and for more ships.38


Company officials also began noticing that Chenggong did not accept the company's sovereignty over Taiwan and its Chinese residents. In August 1655, the governor of Taiwan received a letter from Chenggong. The Spanish, wrote Chenggong, had been mistreating his sailors, and he had therefore issued an edict that forbade Chinese to sail to Manila on pain of death. He enclosed a copy of the edict and requested that the governor propagate it in Formosa and enforce it by confiscating the junks and property of any who disobeyed. But the language of the edict raised their hackles. First, it said that the Dutch "behave more like animals than Christians." Second, it referred to Chinese who lived in the Dutch colony as Chenggong's subjects. Third, and most important, it threatened punishment not only for Chinese but also for "anyone outside of our nation who extends money for trade with Manila."39 If company officials did as Chenggong asked and published the edict, they would be admitting that Chenggong had sovereignty over the Chinese colonists in Formosa. The governor and the council decided they must refuse Chenggong's request to preserve "the sovereignty of the Netherlanders."40 They replied with a "compliment letter," which politely declined his request.


Chenggong responded not to the Dutch governor but to Chinese cabessas, to whom he sent a direct letter. Therein he complained that Dutch ships had captured his junks and confiscated his property. He added that he had heard rumors that Dutch officials in Batavia were going to prevent his junks from trading in Southeast Asia. He therefore threatened to prohibit his subjects from engaging in commerce with the Dutch unless the governor of Taiwan would personally guarantee [sich borge stellen] that Chenggong's junks would thenceforth be safe from Dutch depredations and that Batavia would make no decision to forbid his junks from trading in Southeast Asia. If, however, his junks should continue to suffer at Dutch hands, he would "issue an edict according to which none of my junks from anywhere, even the smallest places, should be allowed to go to Tayouan."41


Zheng Chenggong's letter caused a stir in the Chinese community, and the cabessas brought it to the governor.42 Dutch officials reassured the cabessas. Chenggong was, they said, ill informed. His junks had not been mistreated in Batavia, and his poor opinion of the Dutch was based on hearsay and rumor. They asked the Chinese cabessas to write back to Chenggong and tell him politely that they would not propagate his edict. First, they were at peace with the Spanish in Manila and could undertake no action that would hurt them. Second, junks typically did not sail from Taiwan to Manila, so it was not necessary to forbid them from doing so. Third, Dutch officials in Taiwan did not have the authority to guarantee the behavior of their superiors in Batavia, since "a servant cannot decide [verobligeeren] what his master might do."43 The governor and the council did promise, however, to relay Chenggong's concerns to Batavia. The cabessas indeed wrote to Chenggong, but they received no immediate response.


Chenggong's ill opinions of the company were well founded: The company had indeed captured some of his junks. To raise money for his troops, Zheng had increased his foreign trade, sending junks directly to Japan, Tonkin, Cambodia, Palembang, and Melaka—all ports in which the company had trading interests. Officials in Batavia were wary of his competition: "We see that Koxinga is beginning to devote himself more fully to trade, and this may in places . . . undermine our profits."44 They sent a letter to him to request that in future he refrain from impinging on their trade privileges. It was polite and was accompanied by gifts, but it made clear that Batavia would tolerate no increase in Chenggong's trade at the company's expense.45 Batavia also sent a small fleet to Southeast Asian ports to intercept Chenggong's junks. The fleet captured one of Chenggong's junks in Palembang and confiscated its rich cargo of pepper. The captors planned to take the junk back to Batavia, but in the middle of the night it escaped. The fleet also captured another Zheng junk, which it managed to bring back to Batavia. Its cargo of pepper, which the junk's captain said belonged to Chenggong, was impounded.46


In a letter to Taiwan, the governor-general wrote, "It is clear that Chenggong will be upset about these actions and will press hard for restitution, but we are inclined to concede nothing. If he gives you any trouble in Taiwan about them, pretend that you know nothing about it and tell him to deal with us."47 The governor-general was certain that if the company held firm Chenggong would give up trying to undermine their trade. Nor did officials in Batavia limit themselves to capturing Chenggong's junks. They also tried to make alliances with his enemies. "We believe," wrote the governor-general, " that, if the company negotiated with the Manchus and promised to infest Chenggong's seacoasts, we might thereby come into the Manchus' great esteem."48 In 1656 a Dutch embassy was indeed received in Beijing. Fortunately for Chenggong, it achieved little, primarily because the company's request to trade in Canton would have conflicted with the court's new policy of restricting coastal trade.49 Chenggong certainly knew about this embassy, but being busy with battles in China, he did not immediately react to Dutch provocations.50


In the meantime, trade to Formosa remained slow. Although some junks brought rice, none brought the gold, silk, and silver on which the company's trade depended. For several months in late 1655 and early 1656, not a single Chinese junk came to Tayouan. This meant that even the low-cost goods that underlay Sino-aboriginal trade—ironwares, clothing, tobacco, and ceramics—grew scarce. As demand for them rose, the value of aborigines' own trading goods—deer products and fish, for example—fell.51 The buying power of village leaseholders increased, and they gathered large stocks of deerhides and venison, but they suffered because they could not take them to China to sell. The village leasehold system thus began to fall apart, as did many of the other leases that formed the basis of the company's revenues.52 So dependent was Taiwan on Chinese trade that the entire colony suffered when trade was slow.53


Company officials mused about Chenggong's growing influence. They would receive no valuable wares until Chenggong had helped himself to all he wished, "since it was in his power to do so."54 Moreover, if he resorted to arms, "not only the commerce but all of Formosa would hang in the balance, for the company's power . . . in the Indies is too weak."55 The governor wrote in a letter to Batavia that when one of his predecessors, Hans Putmans, had fought against Chenggong's father in 1632 and 1633, he had had twenty-seven ships to Zhilong's thousand and still lost.56 Now the company had fewer ships and Chenggong had far more.57


On Sunday, July 9, 1656, a junk flying Chenggong's flag arrived at Fort Zeelandia. A messenger disembarked, carrying an edict. He said he had been instructed to hand it directly to the Chinese cabessas, who should put it up for all to see.58 When Dutch officials saw a translated copy, they were alarmed. Chenggong wrote that the Dutch in Tayouan "consider our people to be nothing but meat and fish that one can eat. . . . This makes my blood hot, and I am very angry."59 He was also angry that the Dutch had refused to propagate his previous edict, in which he forbade trade to Manila. Moreover, a junk's captain had recently told him that it was common for junks to sail from Tayouan to Manila. "When that came to my ears," he wrote, "I thought it best immediately to close trade to Tayouan and not to allow even the smallest vessel or piece of wood to go there. But since my people live there, I did not want to cause them that harm, since they might have junks that are elsewhere and that could not get the news quickly enough to obey." Therefore, he continued, his subjects would be given one hundred days during which junks could ply freely between Formosa and the coast of China, so long as their lading consisted of Formosan products, such as venison, salted fish, and sugar. He had, he wrote, placed officers everywhere to inspect all junks that landed on the Chinese coast. Any junk that was found to be in defiance of the order would have its crew executed and its cargo confiscated, with the inspectors getting half of the cargo. The intended recipients of the cargo, too, would be executed. "This, my word and mandate," he concluded, "is as strong as gold engraved in stone and therefore unbreakable."60


That Chenggong expressly forbade junks to carry, even during this hundred-day period, goods "that came here [to Tayouan] from other places" indicates that the measure was designed to strike directly at the company and the merchants who worked most closely with it and that perhaps it was part of an effort to reduce competition for Chenggong's own expanding foreign trade. Indeed, when a company official asked the Chinese cabessas to clarify what goods would be forbidden during the one hundred days, they replied that Chenggong was referring to pepper, cloves, lead, tin, and all the other foreign wares that together formed the mainstay of the company's trade with Chinese merchants. The governor and the council members confiscated the edict and told the man who brought it that he would be severely punished if he posted any copies of it anywhere on Formosa. He promised to comply, but the damage had been done. Chinese merchants began leaving, taking their wives and children with them, for their livelihood depended on the company's foreign wares, and they believed Chenggong could and would do as he threatened.61


Company officials had to do something to respond to such "panic" (alteratie). Equally important, they felt they had to respond to Chenggong's insult to their sovereignty. Not only had he tried to propagate his edict in land belonging to the United Provinces of the Netherlands, but he had called its inhabitants "his subjects" (mijn volck).62 The governor and council sat down and composed an edict of their own. Henceforth, they resolved, no one could bring to Formosa and make public any edicts of foreign rulers. Those who did, or even those who brought letters whose contents might hurt the common good of the Formosan colony, must hand them over immediately or face corporal punishment (straffe aen den lijve). In order, however, not to appear overly concerned with Chenggong's edict, the governor and council decided to wait a month before issuing their own.63 In the meantime they put their forts in a state of defense and sent reconnaissance junks to the Pescadores to investigate Chenggong's activities. They found the inhabitants there reluctant to sell provisions or allow them to take on water, an attitude they attributed to Chenggong's influence. They also found four junks, whose captains explained that they were there to collect Chenggong's yearly taxes. Probably, however, they were also inspecting junks to see whether they were in compliance with Chenggong's edict forbidding the carrying of foreign goods from Tayouan, for shortly thereafter Chenggong wrote about inspectors he had placed in the Pescadores for precisely this purpose.64


Indeed, Chenggong made it clear he would vigorously enforce his edict. Just after the company published its resolution forbidding foreign edicts, news arrived in Zeelandia that a Chinese junk from Tayouan had been confiscated in Xiamen. A rigorous inspection had revealed a hidden cargo of pepper. Although the one hundred days had not yet expired, pepper was not a Formosan product and was technically forbidden by Chenggong's edict. So Chenggong executed the captains of the junk. Other crew members had their right hands cut off.65 The news caused even more anxiety among the Chinese merchants. It was clear that Chenggong was enforcing his measures. Some of the most important Chinese merchants aborted trade voyages and ordered that their junks, three of which stood full of pepper and ready to depart, be unloaded and their pepper placed again in warehouses in Zeelandia.66


Around the same time a "minor mandarin" arrived in Tayouan, carrying a document with Chenggong's seal. Dutch soldiers ushered him to an audience with the Council of Formosa before he could talk to anyone else.67 He said he had been sent by Chenggong to inspect all the junks in Tayouan and record their cargoes.68 The governor demanded the document and had it translated.69 It stated that the official was to tell Chenggong the names of all Chinese merchants who sought to bring pepper and other foreign trade goods to China. He would receive half the trade goods he found in his inspection, and Chenggong would kill the captains and crews. It was clearly intended to be read by the Chinese merchants of Tayouan, for Chenggong wrote, "I recommend that you who reside in Tayouan come in all haste back to China, where you will live in peace and prosperity."70 Company officials were incensed. They told the mandarin that Chenggong had no right "to take our subjects to China."71 They were especially disturbed by the language of the document, which referred to the Chinese on Formosa as Chenggong's subjects. "Chenggong," they said, "would not stand for us or anyone else to publish such edicts or make such commands in areas under his control. We can clearly see from his actions that he seeks to break the old friendship and commerce that have for so many years existed between our subjects and his."72 As soon as tide and weather permitted, they said, Chenggong's inspector must return to China and tell his master that henceforth no one should come to Tayouan on such missions.


The mandarin had, however, already posted the edict in the Pescadores, so the Chinese in Tayouan soon learned of his errand. They realized that the Lord of the Imperial Surname was taking concrete measures to examine their junks, and they had no doubt he would punish those who contravened his embargo. They immediately began to load their junks full of venison, fish, and other Formosan products so that they could return to China before Chenggong's one hundred days had elapsed. They refused to buy the company's foreign wares—not "even one peppercorn."73 Instead, they desperately sold their own foreign wares, causing prices to fall precipitously. Soon, Tayouan was bereft of junks.


The embargo revealed once again how vulnerable was the company's colony. First, the embargo hurt the company's foreign trade by ending the import of gold. Since gold from China was the main item of exchange for the company's trade in India, all of the company's trade suffered.74 Second, because there were no buyers for the company's Indian and Southeast Asian goods, the Formosan warehouses stood full of pepper, tin, sandalwood, and other once-expensive wares. Third, the embargo damaged the Sino-aboriginal trade that stood at the heart of the Formosan economy. Village leaseholders ran out of goods to trade for deer products, and, since no merchants came from China, their houses and boats were filled with deer products they could not sell. Many faced financial ruin.75 Others refused to buy deerskins from the aborigines, who complained that they could not obtain the Chinese clothing they relied on.76 Chinese tax farmers also suffered. Those who had bought the right to collect the hoofdgeld, for example, saw their receipts fall because so many Chinese left Formosa. Farmers were affected too. If they could not export their rice and sugar to China, their investments in fields and labor would be lost and they would be ruined.


The suffering of Formosa's Chinese colonists directly affected the company because it lowered the value of leases and licenses. Moreover, since the lessees bought their offices on credit, they were unable to pay off their loans, which threatened to provoke a credit crisis. Indeed, by the end of 1656 many lessees had asked for relief from their debts to the company. Farmers also requested help, in the form of guaranteed prices for their products.77 Meanwhile, in Zeelandia and Saccam the shelves of the Chinese shops were bare, and many Chinese could "scarcely find food for themselves."78 Even students in the mission schools felt the embargo, although they may not have been displeased: Their classrooms were running out of the Chinese paper on which they wrote their lessons.79 Indeed, so severe were the embargo's effects that, as company officials in Batavia wrote, "If it should continue like this for much longer, it would spell total ruin for the company in Tayouan and Formosa."80


Company officials did not know how to end the embargo. Some even believed that it was a prelude to invasion, that Chenggong had decided the Dutch were his enemy and the company must therefore "keep a watchful eye on the sail" and be ready for an attack. Others speculated that Chenggong's aim was to force the company to agree to a favorable trading treaty with him. To find out, the governor and the Council members asked the cabessas and other Chinese merchants. They replied, "together, as if out of a single mouth," that Chenggong was angry because the company had been mistreating his trading junks in Southeast Asia.81 They said they thought the embargo would not last long, since Chenggong needed the Formosan and Southeast Asian commerce as much as the company did.82 At the end of 1656 the governor and the Council of Formosa met to consider "whether it might be a good idea to send a little letter . . . to Chenggong to determine the true cause of his displeasure," but they decided not to. First, there had recently arrived from the Pescadores two junks whose passengers related that Chenggong was considering reestablishing trade. Second, news from China indicated that Chenggong's power was waning. Merchants might be enticed by that to disobey his order and bring goods to Tayouan. Finally, the Dutch worried that they did not have a suitable Chinese mediator to take a letter to Chenggong, since such Chinese "are neither easy to find nor very trustworthy." The Dutch elected to "wait patiently for the desired changes" and prayed that God would destroy that "proud tyrannical bastard of Zhilong."83


The Chinese merchants of Formosa, however, were proactive. They sent Chenggong presents and a letter begging him to reopen trade to Taiwan. He sent no reply, and other news from China was vague and contradictory. But finally, more than six months later, Chenggong's brother and uncle sent letters to the cabessas on Tayouan, explaning that Chenggong had forbidden trade because the Dutch had mistreated his men and caused hindrances for his junks.84 Company officials decided that it was time to make an overture. They decided to send letters to Chenggong and other powerful members of the Zheng family. But was there anyone they could trust to be their intermediary? They ended up choosing a Chinese cabessa named He Tingbin. It was a terrible choice.



Note 1: Resolution of the Council of Formosa, 12 May, 1654, VOC 1207: 672–74, quote at 672–73; Leonard Blussé et al., eds., De Dagregisters van het Kasteel Zeelandia, Taiwan, 1629–1662, 4 vols. (The Hague: Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis, 1986–2001), vol. 3, E: 413–414 (cited hereafter as Zeelandia Dagregisters). back

Note 2: Resolution of the Council of Formosa, 12 May, 1654, VOC 1207: 672–74, quote at 673. back

Note 3: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, E: 466. back

Note 4: The outstanding book by Lynn Struve is an indispensible reference: The Southern Ming, 1644–1662 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984). See also Lynn Struve, Voices from the Ming-Qing Cataclysm: China in Tigers' Jaws (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993). back

Note 5: His Western name comes from the pronunciation, in the southern Min dialect, of the characters 國姓爺, meaning "Lord of the Imperial Surname." back

Note 6: The story of the sea turtle and the island is told about Guishan (龜山) Island, located off the coast of Taiwan's Yilan County. Stories of wells made by Koxinga appear to be found in various parts of Taiwan, such as Taipei City's Dihua (迪化) Street, where there used to be a well called the Xiao Jian Tan Jing (小劍潭井), said to have been created by Koxinga. A tale of Koxinga's monster vanquishing is told about Jian Tan (劍潭), just north of Taipei City, where Koxinga is said to have used a jeweled sword (寶劍) to kill an evil spirit. Sometimes, it is said, you can still see the sparkling of the jeweled sword. back

Note 7: For discerning the historical, documentary base of the legends, a good place to start is Huang Dianquan 黃典權, Zheng Chenggong shishi yanjiu 鄭成功史事研究 (Taipei: Taiwan Business Affairs Press 臺灣商務印書館, 1996). Classic scholarship on the legends was conducted by Lou Zikuang 婁子匡; see especially "Zheng Chenggong chuanshuo de tantao" 鄭成功傳說的探討, Wenshi huikan 文史彙刊, 2 (1960): 47–69. The classic work on Koxinga as national folk hero is Ralph Croizier, Koxinga and Chinese Nationalism: History, Myth, and the Hero (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977). back

Note 8: Young-tsu Wong, "Security and Warfare on the China Coast: The Taiwan Question in the Seventeenth Century," Monumenta Serica 35 (1981–83): 111–196, esp. 120–27; C. R. Boxer, "The Rise and Fall of Nicholas Iquan," T'ien Hsia Monthly 11, no. 5 (1941): 401–39, esp. 420–21. back

Note 9: Wong, "Security and Warfare," 128–29. back

Note 10: His mother's name was Tagawa Matsu 田川松, usually sinicized as Wengshi 翁氏, (probably 1601–46) back

Note 11: Earl Swisher, "Chêng Ch'eng-kung," in Arthur Hummel, Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1943; Taipei: S.M.C. Publishing, 2002), 108–9. back

Note 12: The prince also gave the young man the name Chenggong, by which he is usually known today. His original name was 森舍, and as a child in Japan he was known by the name Fusong 福松. back

Note 13: Struve, The Southern Ming, 75–97. back

Note 14: Tang Jintai 湯錦台, Kaiqi Taiwan di yi ren Zheng Zhilong 開啟臺灣第一人鄭芝龍 (Taipei: Guoshi 果實 Press, 2002). back

Note 15: Croizier, Koxinga and Chinese Nationalism. back

Note 16: Wong himself admits that he became interested in Koxinga in order to understand the current situation between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan, and so he views Koxinga's politics somewhat anachronistically, but his research is careful and his conclusions forceful: Koxinga was opposed to the Manchus on ideological grounds, and his struggle against the Manchus politicized Fujian and the Taiwan Strait. Wong, "Security and Warfare," 133. back

Note 17: Wu Zhenglong 吳正龍, Zheng Chenggong yu Qing zheng fu jian de tan pan 鄭成功與清政府間的談判 (Taipei: Wenjin Publishing 文津出版社, 2000), 182. back

Note 18: Koxinga to Council of Formosa, letter, November 1660, in Verwaerloosde Formosa, 90. back

Note 19: See Struve, The Southern Ming. back

Note 20: This insightful argument is advanced by John E. Wills Jr., "Maritime China from Wang Chih to Shih Lang: Themes in Peripheral History," in From Ming to Ch'ing: Conquest, Region, and Continuity in Seventeenth-Century China, ed. Jonathan D. Spence and John E. Wills Jr. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979), 201–38, esp. 223–28. back

Note 21: Wong, "Security and Warfare," 138. back

Note 22: John E. Wills Jr., Mountain of Fame: Portraits in Chinese History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 222–227. back

Note 23: See Wu Zhenglong's valuable Zheng Chenggong yu Qing zhengfu de tanpan. Cf. Struve, The Southern Ming, esp. 158–66. back

Note 24: Wong's translation (Wong, "Security and Warfare," 139). back

Note 25: It is interesting to note that before the battle one scholarly observer noted in letters to friends that Zheng's troops were undisciplined and would fail to take Nanjing. See Julia Ching, "Chu Shun-Shui, 1600–82: A Chinese Confucian Scholar in Tokugawa Japan," Monumenta Nipponica, 30, no. 2 (1975): 177–91. back

Note 26: This, as Jonathan Spence points out, is precisely what the British did in 1842 (personal communication, July 2000). back

Note 27: Generale Missiven van Gouverneurs-Generaal en Raden aan Heren XVII der Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, ed. W. Ph. Coolhaas, 2 vols. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhof, 1960–85), vol. 2 (1639–55), Reyniersz., Maetsuyker, Hartzinck, Cunaeus, Caesar, and Steur (7), 24 December 1652, p. 610. back

Note 28: Generale Missiven, vol. 2 (1639–55), Reyniersz, Maetsuyker, Hartzinck, Cunaeus, Caesar, and Steur (7), 24 December 1652, p. 612. back

Note 29: See Governor General Carel Reyniersz to Governor Nikolaas Verburg, letter, 25 July 1652, VOC 876: 457–82, esp. 465. back

Note 30: Generale Missiven, vol. 2 (1639–55), Reyniersz, Maetsuyker, Hartzinck, Cunaeus, Caesar, and Steur (7), 24 December 1652, p. 612. back

Note 31: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, E: 444. back

Note 32: Chinese sources generally favor the explanation that Zheng Chenggong died of a cold (感冒風寒) (see Xia Lin 夏琳, Min hai ji yao 閩海紀要, Taiwan wenxian congkan, no. 11 [1958]: 30). Other sources, such as the Lu qiao ji wen, indicate that as he was dying Chenggong scratched his eyes and face, which would perhaps fit a diagnosis of tertiary syphilis, in which gummas form on the face. Some records indicate that he went insane just before dying, such as the Qing Veritable Records, which state that Chenggong "could not contain his anger and suddently went insane" (不勝其怒驟發顛狂)—cited in Chen Shengkun 陳勝崑, "Zheng Chenggong siyin de tanjiu" 鄭成功死因的探究, Yixue, xinli yu minsu 醫學心理與民俗, Xiandai yixue 現代醫學, series no. 10 (1982); 52–59, esp. 56. See also Li Tengyue 李騰嶽, "Zheng Chenggong de si yin kao" 鄭成功的死因攷, Wenxian zhuankan 文獻專刊1, no. 3 (1950): 35–44. Although both Chen Shengkun and Li Tengyue discuss Chenggong's episodes of madness, neither attributes them to syphilis. It is notoriously difficult to diagnose syphilis, "the great imitator," but it is possible that Zheng Zhilong had it. Thanks to John Hibbs, M.D., for a helpful medical perspective on syphilis and its epidemiology (personal communication, October 2004). back

Note 33: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, E: 444. back

Note 34: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, E: 473–74. back

Note 35: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, F: 667, E: 682. See also Cornelis Caesar, governor of Taiwan, to Governor-General Jan Maetsucker, Zeelandia, letter, 14 November 1655, VOC 1212: 284–349, esp. 327. back

Note 36: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, F: 573. back

Note 37: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Taiwan, to Governor-General Jan Maetsucker, Zeelandia, letter, 14 November 1655, VOC 1212: 284–349, quote at 290. back

Note 38: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Taiwan, to Governor-General Jan Maetsucker, Zeelandia, letter, 14 November 1655, VOC 1212: 284–349, esp. 306, 310, 326. back

Note 39: Translation of a Chinese placard from the Great Mandarin Koxinga, 20 November 1655, VOC 1213: 556–557, quote at 557. back

Note 40: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Taiwan, to Governor-General Jan Maetsucker, Zeelandia, letter, 14 November 1655, VOC 1212: 284–349, quote at 328. See also Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, F: 701–2 and 705. back

Note 41: Translation of Letter from Koxinga to the Chinese Translator Pinqua and the other Cabessas in Tayouan, 17 October 1655, VOC 1213: 560–61. See also Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, F: 735–37. back

Note 42: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, F: 734. back

Note 43: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Taiwan, to Governor-General Jan Maetsucker, Zeelandia, 14 November 1655, letter, VOC 1212: 284–349, quote at 330. See also Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, F: 737. back

Note 44: Batavia to Taiwan, 14 May 1655, letter, VOC 878: 209–42, quote at 232v. back

Note 45: Batavia to China to the Great Mandarin Koxinga in China, letter, 17 July 1655, VOC 879: 296–98. back

Note 46: Batavia to Taiwan, letter, 26 July 1655, VOC 879: 413–27, esp. 416–17. back

Note 47: Batavia to Taiwan, letter, 26 July 1655, VOC 879: 413–27, esp. 416–17, quote at 417. back

Note 48: Batavia to Taiwan, letter, 14 May 1655, VOC 878: 209–42, quote at 233. back

Note 49: Johan Nieuhof, Het Gezantschap der Neerlandtsche Oost-Indische Compagnie aan den Grooten Tartarishchen Cham, Den Tegenwoordigen Keizer van China (Amsterdam, 1668). For an excellent treatment of Dutch relations with the Qing in the seventeenth century, see John E. Wills Jr., Pepper, Guns, and Parleys: The Dutch East India Company and China, 1622–1681 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974) and Embassies and Illusions: Dutch and Portuguese Envoys to K'ang-hsi, 1666–1687 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984). back

Note 50: Company officials used a single Chinese translator to communicate both with Chenggong and with the ambassadors to the Manchus. Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 3, E: 362–63. back

Note 51: See Generale Missiven, vol. 3 (1655–74), Maetsuyker, Hartsinck, Cunaeus, Verburch, Steur, 1 February 1656; in Cheng Shaogang, "De VOC en Formosa 1624–1662: Een Vergeten Geschiedenis" (Ph.D. diss., University of Leiden, Netherlands, 1995), 2:385–405. back

Note 52: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, A: 199–201, back

Note 53: See Generale Missiven, vol. 3 (1655–74), Maetsuyker, Hartsinck, Cunaeus, Verburch, Steur, 1 February 1656; in Cheng, "De VOC en Formosa," 2:385–405. back

Note 54: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Taiwan, to Governor-General Jan Maetsucker, Zeelandia, letter, 14 November 1655, VOC 1212: 284–349, quote at 345. back

Note 55: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Taiwan, to Governor-General Jan Maetsucker, Zeelandia, letter, 14 November 1655, VOC 1212: 284–349, quote at 346. back

Note 56: In fact, the governor was exaggerating. In that battle Zhilong actually had around twenty-seven junks. back

Note 57: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Taiwan, to Governor-General Jan Maetsucker, Zeelandia, letter, 14 November 1655, VOC 1212: 284–349, esp. 347. back

Note 58: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 30 November 1656, VOC 1218: 1–70, esp. 36. back

Note 59: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, A: 249–51. See also VOC 1218: 419–420. back

Note 60: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, A: 249–51. back

Note 61: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 30 November 1656, VOC 1218: 1–70, esp. 38. back

Note 62: Volk is in this context somewhat ambiguous. It can mean both "people" and "subjects." Unfortunately the Chinese originals of these edicts have not been preserved, so it is impossible to recover Koxinga's original wording. The matter is clouded even more by the process of translation. Chinese documents were usually translated, by Chinese translators, first into Portuguese or Castilian and then, by Dutch translators, into Dutch. Although it is difficult to know for sure which word was used, the Portuguese and Spanish word gente, which might have been what the Dutch word volk was translated from, is similarly ambiguous. back

Note 63: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, A: 256. back

Note 64: See Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, A: 268. back

Note 65: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, A: 266. back

Note 66: Ibid. back

Note 67: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 30 November 1656, VOC 1218: 1–70, esp. 39. back

Note 68: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, A: 265–266. back

Note 69: Records concerning the translation of this document give us a rare glimpse into the company's translation processes. Three Chinese cabessas were responsible for translating the document from Chinese into Portuguese. From the Portuguese translation was made the Dutch translation. See Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, A: 268. back

Note 70: Translation of a License Given by the Great Mandarin Koxinga to the Mandarin Sjausinja, 1 July 1656, VOC 1218: 421. See also Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, B: 268. back

Note 71: Emphasis mine. Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, B: 268. back

Note 72: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, B: 269. back

Note 73: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 30 November 1656, VOC 1218: 1–70, quote at 41. back

Note 74: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, 30 November 1656, letter, VOC 1218: 1–70, esp. 3 and 33–34. back

Note 75: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, appendix to letter, 30 November 1656, VOC 1218: 71–74, esp. 71. See also Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 27 December 1656, VOC 1218: 467–471, esp. 468–469; and Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 31 January 1657, VOC 1218: 501–3 (this letter also contains a fascinating section detailing the expenditures that the village leaseholders had to expend in their trade, including transport costs, labor costs, etc.). back

Note 76: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 4, B: 133. back

Note 77: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 27 December 1656, VOC 1218: 467–471, esp. 469; Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 30 November 1656, VOC 1218: 1–70, esp. 32. The governor and the Council of Formosa told the Chinese supplicants that they must wait for permission to come down from Batavia. They felt constrained because their superiors in Batavia and Amsterdam had been upset by previous decisions they had made that decreased revenues from Tayouan, such as a lowering of the toll on venison, a measure they had enacted to provide relief for Chinese merchants. back

Note 78: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, appendix to letter, 30 November 1656, VOC 1218: 71–74, quote at 71. back

Note 79: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, appendix to letter, 30 November 1656, VOC 1218: 71–74, esp. 71. back

Note 80: Generale Missiven, vol. 3 (1655–74), Maetsuyker, Hartzinck, Cunaeus, Van Oudtshoorn, et al., XIII, 31 January 1657, quote at 117. back

Note 81: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor–General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 30 November 1656, VOC 1218: 1–70, quote at 41. back

Note 82: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 30 November 1656, VOC 1218: 1–70, esp. 42. back

Note 83: Cornelis Caesar, governor of Formosa to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 27 December, 1656, VOC 1218: 467–71, quote at 469. back

Note 84: Letter from Frederik Coyett, governor of Formosa, to Governor-General Jan Maetsuycker, Formosa, letter, 10 March 1657, VOC 1222: 1–16, esp. 11–12. back