Hong Kong in 1853

The Howlands were in Hong Kong

from July 23-31, 1853.


After The First Opium War Hong Kong was ceded to the British

under the 1842 Treaty of Nanking.

Because of its deep harbor, free trade status and British protection,

it became a more important port than Canton.

In the 1850s many Chinese fled to Hong Kong to escape the Taiping Rebellion.


The British tried to recreate a small version of English life

with Western architecture and formal gardens.

Women and men were free to live, walk and associate wherever they wished.


Willie had his first playdate in Hong Kong with Harry (Henry Sturgis) Drinker.

Sarah describes their Playdate

Willie’s playmate in Hong Kong went on to live a fascinating life!

Henry Sturgis Drinker
Hong Kong by MIT Visualizing Cultures
Hong Kong vs Macao vs Canton