1902 Encyclopedia > China > Chinese Provinces (10) - Hoo-pih [Hubei]

(Part 16)


Province 10: Hoo-pih [Hubei]

The province of Hoo-pih, "North of the Lakes," is bounded on the N. by Ho-nan, on the E. by Gan-hwuy, on the S. by Hoo-nan, and on the W. by Shen-se and Sze-chuen. It ocuupies an area of 70,450 square miles, and contains a population of 27,370,098. The most important city within its borders is the Treaty Port of Han-kow, besides which it contains ten other prefectural cities. The greater part of the province forms a plain, and its most noticeable feature is the Han River, which runs in a south-easterly direction across the province from its north-westerly corner to its junction with the Yang-tsze Keang at Hau-kow. The products of the Han valley are exclusively agricultural, consisting of cotton, wheat, rape seed, tobacco, and various kinds of beans. Vegetable tallow is also exported in larger quantities from this part of Joo-pih. Gold is found in the Han, but not in sufficient quantities to make working it more than barely remunerative. It is washed every winter form banks of coarse gravel. A little above E-ching Heen, on which it is deposited by the river. Every winter the supply is exhausted by the washers, and every summer it is renewed by the river. Baron von Richthofen reckoned that the digger earned from 50 to 150 cash a day. Only one wagon road leads northwards from Hoo-pih, nd that is to Nan-yang Foo in Ho-nan, where it forks, one branch going to Peking by way of Kai-fung Foo, and the other into Shan-se by Ho-nan Foo. Accoridng to the Consular Trade Reports for 1874, the value of the foreign trade at han-kow during that year amounted to £9,775,754, of which sum £4,388,113 represents the value of the imports, and £5,387,641 that of the exports.

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