台灣大百科全書

Dodd & Co.
寶順洋行 中文版本

Classification:History > Sovereignty under Qing Dynasty > Economics / Business > Foreign Trading Company > Customs
Contributor: Huang Fusan Bio
A British company formally established in Tamsui (淡水) in 1867. The founder, John Dodd (陶德), was a Scottish merchant and former agent for Dent & Co. (為顛地洋行) in Xiamen (廈門), who first visited Taiwan in 1860. Dodd moved to Tamsui in 1864, noting in1865 that the climate and terrain in north Taiwan was suitable for planting tea and introduced tea seedlings from Anxi (安溪), with the help of comprador (買辦) Li Chunsheng (李春生). He also loaned money to farmers to encourage them to grow tea, shiping small batch to Macau, and received a very favorable selling price. On 2 May 1867, Dodd became an agent for Jardine, Matheson & Co.(怡和洋行).

Dodd opened his warehouse in the new commercial centre of Dadaocheng (大稻埕), after the Housing Incident in Manka (艋舺), in which his renting of a house to establish a tea factory led to local conflict and a diplomatic dispute 1867-1868. From 1868, Dodd brought in engineers from Xiamen (廈門) and Fuzhou (福州) to establish a factory for refined oolong tea (烏龍茶) for direct distribution abroad. The high quality of the product meant it was warmly welcomed overseas, especially in the American market; it was widely known as “Formosan Oolong (福爾摩沙烏龍)” and revered as the “father of Taiwanese Oolong.” In 1869, a trial sample of 2,131 piculs of Taiwanese tea was consigned to New York, recording very favorable sales. This increased quickly to 10, 540 piculs in 1870, with the selling price doubling from $15 US per picul to $30 US. The United States became the largest market for Taiwanese tea. In 1868, Dodd & Co. became an agent for the North China Insurance Office. In 1870, Dodd & Co. took over the duties of Milisch & Co. after its bankrupcy, and became the sole agency for Jardine, Matheson & Co. then.

During the Sino-French conflict in north Taiwan, Dodd experienced the French blockade first hand; the assistance he gave to wounded Chinese soldiers earned him the commendation of the Qing (清) court after the war. Dodd compiled many works on Taiwan, such as Journal of a Blockaded Resident in North Formosa: during the Franco-Chinese War (北臺封鎖記) ; he had close relationships with the natives of Tamsui and was called “Mr. Du (獨先生),” and was regarded as an expert on Taiwan. He was also adept at administering international relations, and was appointed honorary consul for the United States and for the Netherlands in the 1870s. He spent 50 years in Taiwan and became the foremost of foreign merchants in Taiwan in the late Qing Dynasty.

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Chinese Keyword
陶德 , 福爾摩沙烏龍 , 艋舺租屋事件 , 大稻埕

English Keyword
John Dodd , Formosan Oolong , The Housing Incident of Manka , Dadaucheng , Housing Incident in Manka , Dadaocheng

References

  1. Davidson, J. W. (1903). The Island of Formosa, past and present. London & New York: MacMillan & Company

Extended Reading

  1. Carrington, G. W. (1978). Foreigners in Formosa, 1841-1874. San Francisco: Chinese Materkials Center, Inc.
  2. Yi he yang hang ha fo dang [怡和洋行哈佛檔]. University of Cambridge