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The First Treaty with China

After Britain’s Opium War with China opened Chinese ports to British commerce in 1842, U.S. merchants petitioned Congress to obtain equal trade rights. In 1844 Representative Caleb Cushing of Massachusetts resigned to become America’s first commissioner to China and negotiated a trade treaty with the Ta Tsing (Qing) Empire. The Treaty of Wangxia, named for the village where it was signed, was the first treaty between the U.S. and China.

2 Images Treaty of Wangxia (Treaty of Peace, Amity, and Commerce between the... View All Images
1 Image Green Island, Macao (Aomen), watercolor by George R. West, 1844 View All Images
1 Image Temple where the Treaty was signed July the 3rd, 1844, in the Village... View All Images
1 Image Jos [sic] House on Canton River (Zhu Jiang), watercolor by George R.... View All Images
1 Image Street in Macao (Aomen), China, watercolor by George R. West, 1844 View All Images
1 Image Senate roll call vote on Treaty of Wangxia, January 16, 1845 View All Images
1 Image Caleb Cushing, n.d. View All Images