Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Che-foo

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CHE-FOO, or Yen-tai, as it is called by the natives, a seaport town of Northern China, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Pih-chih-li, in the province of Shan-tung near the mouth of the Yi-ho, and about 30 miles east of the city of Tang-chow-foo. Till recently it was quite a small place, and had only the rank of an unwalled village; but it was chosen as the port of Tang-chow opened to foreign trade in 1858 by the treaty of Tien-tsin, and it is now the residence of a Tau-tai, or intendant of a circuit, the centre of a gradually-increasing commerce, and the seat of a British consulate, a Chinese custom-house, and a considerable foreign settlement. The native town is yearly extending, and though most of the inhabitants are small shop-keepers and coolies of the lowest class, the houses are for the most part well and solidly built of stone. The foreign settlement occupies a position between the native town and the sea, which neither affords a convenient access for shipping nor allows space for any great extension of area. Its growth, however, has hitherto been steady and rapid. Various streets have been laid out, a large hotel erected for the reception of the visitors who resort to the place as a sanitarium in summer, and the religious wants of the community supplied by a Roman Catholic and a Protestant church. Though the harbour is deep and extensive, and possessed of excellent anchorage, large vessels have to be moored at a considerable distance from the shore. The foreign trade is mainly in the hands of the English and Americans, the Germans and the Siamese ranking next in importance. In 1872 there entered the port 233 British vessels, with a tonnage of 97,239 tons and cargoes valued at £144,887; while in the same year the ships of all other nationalities numbered 348, with a tonnage of 149,197 tons and a value of £177,168. The imports are mainly woollen and cotton goods, iron, and opium; and the exports include bean-cake, bean-oil, and peas, raw silk, and straw-braid manufactured by the peasants of Lai-chow-foo, walnuts from Tsing-chow-foo, a coarse kind of vermicelli, vegetables, and dried fruit. A certain amount of trade is carried on with the Russian settlements of Manchuria, in which the edible sea-weed gathered in the shallows of the coast are exchanged for piece goods, liqueurs, and sundries from China.