Document 2: Letter from Captain Elliot

I, Charles Elliot, Chief Superintendent of the trade of British subjects to China, presently forcibly detained . . . without supplies of food, deprived of our servants, and cut off from all communication with our respective countries . . . have now received the commands of the High Commissioner . . . to deliver into his hand all the opium held by the people of my own country.

Now I . . . do hereby, in the name and on the behalf of Her Britannic Majesty's Government, enjoin and require all Her Majesty's subjects now present in Canton, forthwith to make a surrender to me for the service of Her said Majesty's Government, to be delivered over to the Government of China, all the opium under their respective control: and to hold the British ships and vessels engaged in the opium trade subject to my immediate direction: and to forward me without delay a sealed list of all the British owned opium in their respective possession. . .

Portions of a letter from Captain Elliot to Opium Traders
British Parliamentary Papers, 1840, XXXVI (223), p. 374

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