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So I'm doing research for a thingy I'm writing about the weird historical triangle between Henry George, The Chinese Exclusion Act, and Dr. Sun Yat-sen ("the George Washington of China") and to say it's been a deep dive is an understatement. (1/15)
Dr. Macklin makes another appearance in the February 2, 1912 edition of "The Public" where they publish reports of HIS FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT OF THE HANDOVER OF NANKING FROM THE QING DYNASTY FORCES TO THE REPUBLICAN REBELS
WTF IS EVEN GOING ON HERE (4/15)
So Dr. Macklin is repairing the fingers of THE QING GENERAL IN CHARGE OF NANKING and they casually just decide "oh hey Doc we wanna surrender but they'll shoot us on sight -- you're a foreigner so why don't you go out and talk to them about it."
Macklin: yeah sure why not (5/15)
the Gospel of Henry George to whichever Chinese dignitaries he could find and force to read his half-legible translation of a 19th century political economy tract full of quasi-Christian ethics and Western classical references.
But that's not even the weirdest part. (3/15)
But one of the interesting details of the story is the cameo appearance of a Canadian doctor and single-tax enthusiast named W.E. Macklin, who did a hack-job amateur translation of "Progress and Poverty" into Chinese and then tried to evangelize (2/15)
This commotion attracts attention of the Qing forces, who then ALSO OPEN FIRE ON THEM since General Chu forgot to tell his own men that Dr. Macklin & co are over there playing diplomat. They somehow survive all of this and make it out to the rebels. (7/15)
So Dr. Macklin gets his crew together at 4AM and tries to make first contact, only to have shell fire rained on them by the Rebels, including some Keystone cops comedy scene where they try to put their lanterns out but can't while getting shot at in the dark (6/15)
And lastly we get another third-person account of Dr. Macklin, history's most glorious Georgist, giving SUN YAT-SEN, FATHER OF CHINA, REVERED ON BOTH SIDES OF THE TAIWAN STRAIT, TWENTY COPIES of his shoddy homemade Chinese translation of "Progress & Poverty" (10/15)
So then they publish a previous letter where Macklin is just humblebragging about CHIT-CHATTING ABOUT SINGLETAX WITH A DESCENDANT OF CONFUCIUS over tea like yeah whatever and oh hey he went to Yale so that's cool
But it all works out for the best and Macklin manages to NEGOTIATE THE SURRENDER OF THE SOUTHERN CAPITAL OF CHINA TO THE FIRST POST-IMPERIAL GOVT IN 4000+ YEARS OF HISTORY and then he just goes back to work like it's no big deal AAHH啊啊啊啊啊啊啊
But we're not done yet! (8/15)
and we close out with DR. SUN THANKING HIM and being like "yeah bro next time I'm in town let's chat about Henry G" and Macklin being like "yeah cool" because he's apparently known "from Peking to Canton" as THE SINGLETAX MAN OF CHINA.
But we're still not done! (11/15)
In the same paper, we hear about Dr. Ng Poon Chew, a newspaper editor who stands up to advocate for US recognition of the newborn Republic of China. This would be a minor footnote, but that name came up in another part of my research. . .
It was on this 1904 trip that Dr. Sun raised funds and established the goals that lead to the 同盟会(Tongmenghui) secret society in 1905 that evolved into the KMT in 1912 which is still a major party in Taiwan.
If he'd been deported he'd likely have been executed. (14/15)
And why was Dr. Sun at such risk of being deported? The Chinese Exclusion Act.
Which Henry George was (unfortunately for us fans of George's econ work) an "early adopter" and advocate of.
Which is what the actual thing I'm writing will largely be about. (15/15)
. . . reading Sun Yat-sen's INS case file on @caam's website. In 1904 Dr. Sun was detained while entering the U.S. on the run from the Qing. INS ordered him deported and held him in a "wooden immigration shed" but he smuggled a note to Dr. Chew, who helped him get out. (13/15)
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