POLK, JAMES K. 1795-1849. Document Signed ("James K. Polk") as President, 1 p, 4to,

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Lot 179
POLK, JAMES K. 1795-1849.
Document Signed ("James K. Polk") as President, 1 p, 4to,

US$ 20,000 - 30,000
£ 16,000 - 25,000
POLK, JAMES K. 1795-1849.
Document Signed ("James K. Polk") as President, 1 p, 4to, Washington D.C., April 15, 1845, partially printed and accomplished in manuscript, mild toning, generally fine. Custom cloth folder with leather spine label.

THE FIRST FORMAL TREATY BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA was the so-called Treaty for Peace, Amity & Commerce or Treaty of Wangxia. This treaty was made to thwart British dominance in China in the wake of the Opium Wars. Negotiated by Caleb Cushing, it granted Americans the privilege to buy land in the five treaty ports and to learn Chinese (hitherto forbidden to foreigners). The U.S. agreed to declare the opium trade illegal and to hand over offending dealers to China. The Treaty was signed on July 3, 1844 and ratified by President Tyler on January 17, 1845. Polk's new administration had no qualms about the very favorable terms of this Treaty. The present document is an order which allows the formal exchange of the ratified treaty between the United States of American and His Majesty the Emperor of China. This is a milestone document, signed by the American President, but of equal importance to both the people of both the U.S. and China.

Footnotes

  • THE BEGINNING OF CHINESE-AMERICAN DIPLOMACY
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