20 Jan 2019 16:00-17:00
Through American Eyes: The Journals of George Washington (Farley) Heard (1837-1875) (in English)
Travelling out in 1859 to join his uncle’s then successful trading house, Augustine Heard & Co., George Heard, the youngest of the nephews, was hired on ship-board by fellow-traveller, John E. Ward, the American Minister tasked with the ratification of the American-Chinese treaty. As an attaché to the American Legation, George witnessed the June 1859 Battle of the Peiho, and in July 1860 – now promoted as Secretary of Legation – he saw the western Allies’ preparations for the return battle that took place in August 1860. At least one of his letters home was borrowed to be copied by the American Minister and sent to the US President as an official report. Mixed with George Heard’s account of diplomatic events is a variety of commercial intelligence including information about crops and manufactures, readiness to trade, communications and shipping, and the relative availability and value of cash. His account of activity in the Heard House on the Shanghai Bund shows clearly the grand style and stature of the Heard business.
Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong
English-Speaking Union (Hong Kong)
Free with museum admission.