Danshui 1627-1637 - Part 1
The invasion of Asia, in various forms, by European powers started one century after Christopher Columbus landed in S America.
First, in 1557, the Portuguese, after years of attempts, finally were allowed by the Ming Court to establish a home base in Macau. And the trade between Macau and Japan flourished in addition to other trading locations.
The riches of the Orient had not escaped the attention of other seafaring nations. The Spaniards arrived in Manila in 1571 and were content to trade with merchant ships regularly sailing from Hokkien. That is, until the entrance of the Dutch who proceeded to build up Batavia, take over the Malacca islands, confiscate silver-laden Spanish ships from Mexico, and intercept merchant ships from Hokkien. In 1624, after failing to dislodge the Portuguese from Macau, the Dutch retreated to the Pescadores and were eventually asked by the Chinese Gov't to settle in Tainan in southern Taiwan instead. To counter the Dutch expansion, the Spaniards must therefore move northward from the Philippines and the logical choice of destination was northern Taiwan.
In April, 1625, a fierce sea battle finally broke out near Manila between the Spaniards and the Dutch. This had hastened the Spanish move onto Taiwan. In Feb, 1626, the Spanish interim Governor General Fernando de Silva assembled a fleet consisting of two galera [single-deck tall ships] and a few sampans/junks with 3 companies of 200 soldiers on board that sailed from the Manila Bay, first to Luzon to quell a local unrest, then onward to northeast Taiwan landing near Santiago, later called San-Diaw三貂 by the Han settlers, on May 5, 1626. And on May 16, the Spaniards declared Keelung a Spanish territory, naming it Santisima Trinidad and started constructing Fort San Salvador on the now Heping Island, away from hostile Aboriginal settlements. A 1626 map on the upper left by Pedro de Vera shows "aqui se fortifica", i.e., fortifications are built here [Heping Island]. And the appearance of Fort San Salvador can be seen in this 1629 map by Gerbrantsz Black [below]. Curiously, a Dutch ship, the Domburch was seen [at least its masts] nearby:
By the end of 1627, the supply ship from Manila was late in arrival. To sustain the occupation force, the Spaniards sought to replenish the dwindling food supply. They were invited by the Aborigines, the seemingly friendly Senar Tribe [圭柔社] from Danshui for a visit to purchase rice. Danshui was geographically known to the Spaniards by then. In 1597, possibly based on information provided by the traders, Hernando de los Ríos Coronel, also a Spaniard, had actually made a map that showed not only the Philippines and parts of coastal China but also Formosa including Keelung and Danshui. Commander Antonio de Vera then led 20 men arriving in Danshui on a small boat hoping to gain access to the much needed foodstuff. Unfortunately, Antonio de Vera and 7 others were killed in a plot hatched jointly by the tribal leaders of the Senar and the Pantao [八里坌社], the latter resided in Bali across the river from Danshui. These two tribes instead of attacking each other as in the past were now united to drive out the foreign invasion.
This incident prompted a reprisal that marked the beginning of the 10-year occupation of Danshui by the Spaniards.
Posted by EyeDoc at 下午11:41