T'ung-Chow - Encyclopedia




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T'UNG-CHOW, a sub-prefectural city in Chih-li, the metropolitan province of China, on the banks of the Peiho in 39° 54' N. 116° 41' E., 12 m. E. of Peking. Its population is estimated at about 50,000.

T'ung-Chow marks the highest point at which the Peiho is navigable, and here merchandise for Peking is transferred to a canal. The city, which is faced on its eastern side by the river, and on its other three sides is surrounded by populous suburbs, is upwards of 3 m. in circumference. The walls are about 45 ft. in height and about 24 ft. wide at the top. They are being allowed to fall into decay. Two main thoroughfares connect the north and south gates and the east and west gates. The place derives its importance from the fact that it is the port of Peking. Like most Chinese cities, T'ung-Chow has appeared in history under various names. By the founder of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.) it was called Lu-Hien; with the rise of the T'ang dynasty (618 A.D.) its name was changed to Haan-Chow; and at the beginning of the 12th century, with the advent of the Kin dynasty to power, Haan-Chow became T'ung-Chow. It was at T'ung-Chow that Sir Harry Parkes, Sir Henry Loch and their escort were treacherously taken prisoners by the Chinese when they were sent forward by Lord Elgin to negotiate terms of peace after the troubles of 1860. During the Boxer outbreak in 1900 T'ung-Chow was occupied by the allied armies, and a light railway connecting the city with Peking was constructed by German military engineers.

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