publication . Article . 2015

‘Caution! The Bread is Poisoned’: The Hong Kong Mass Poisoning of January 1857

Lowe, K.; McLaughlin, E.;
Open Access
  • Published: 15 Mar 2015 Journal: The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, volume 43, pages 189-209 (issn: 0308-6534, eissn: 1743-9329, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Informa UK Limited
  • Country: United Kingdom
Abstract
This article examines the Hong Kong mass poisoning of 15 January 1857, in which bread from a Chinese bakery that supplied the colonial community was adulterated with arsenic. Even though there is a wealth of printed and manuscript documentation available many vital aspects of the poisoning remain unclear. What kind of incident was it: an act of terrorism and attempted mass murder, a war crime, a criminal conspiracy, an act of commercial sabotage, an accident or even an imagined or imaginary event? Throughout, our focus remains firmly fixed on the central act of the poisoning itself and on what it reveals about the precarious nature of early colonial Hong Kong. I...
Subjects
free text keywords: Political Science and International Relations, Development, History, Terrorism, Verdict, Law, War crime, Colonialism, The Imaginary, Afterlife, Mistake, DS, HM
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