Embassy to the Eastern Courts

America's Secret First Pivot Toward Asia, 1832–37
If you are a member, log in to receive member pricing
Binding:Hardback
Published:November 15, 2015
By Andrew C. A. Jampoler (Author)

Some two centuries ago, during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, New England’s merchants and traders found themselves frozen out of their traditional markets in Europe and the Caribbean. Desperate for new business for their idled ships and crews, they asked President Andrew Jackson to explore opportunities for them on the other side of the globe. Prompted by the secretary of the navy, Jackson sent Edmund Roberts—an unemployed ship owner from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with no diplomatic experience—on an “embassy” (mission) to the potentates of Oman, Siam, Cochin China, and Japan, to negotiate pioneering trade treaties.





So began an unusual and ultimately fatal adventure that twice took Roberts to exotic and dangerous places on the other side of the globe. Because the British and the Dutch were deeply interested in these same new markets, Roberts’ mission was kept secret. Sailing in the ill-fated USS Peacock, first in company with USS Boxer, then with USS Enterprise, Roberts traveled almost 70,000 miles across the great expanses of two oceans to successfully negotiate treaties with Oman and Siam.





Although he failed twice to win over the emperor of Cochin China and died miserably in Macao before departing for Japan, Roberts’ embassy was nonetheless instrumental in opening doors to new diplomatic realms and extending the commerce of the fledgling American nation.





Kept secret at the time and largely forgotten today, Edmund Roberts’ fascinating and important story is recounted in this latest book by Andrew Jampoler—retired naval officer turned maritime historian—whose previous works include Sailors in the Holy Land and The Last Lincoln Conspirator.

X
List Price: $44.95
Member Price: $35.96
 
 
 
Product Details
  • Subject: Naval History
  • Hardback : 256 pages
  • Illustrations: 4 b/w photos; 18 b/w illustrations; 9 maps
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (November 15, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1612514162
  • ISBN-13: 9781612514161
  • Product Dimensions: 6.125 X 9.25 in
  • Shipping Weight: 20.16 oz
Praise
  • “For those who have somehow managed to avoid the history that involved 71% of the planet, Embassy to the Eastern Courts is an intoxicating plunge into the deep end—bring a life jacket. For those who love the maritime world, Embassy is a joy.”—Sea History
  • Embassy a real pleasure to read, and I recommend it to anyone interested in America and the world through maritime history, cross-cultural trade, or the U.S. Navy in the age of sail. It reads like a good Patrick O’Brian story, and, having enjoyed those too, I am looking forward to getting my hands on more of Jampoler’s histories.”—War on the Rocks.com
  • “Jampoler, the author of six other books, does a first-rate job of delineating the Navy at this time, the world stage at the time — Great Britain, France and the Netherlands competing for footholds and trading posts far from their homeland and provides wonderful color of the ports along the Pacific-Indian oceans rim. He did in this work on diplomacy, maritime trade and the Navy’s role in both what he did so very well in Sailors in the Holy Land,” the entryway to the American age of exploration.”—Naval History Book Reviews
  • "Embassy to the Eastern Courts is part travelogue, part history and part adventure. It will fascinate anyone interested in the period it covers or the difference between then and the present."—Galveston Daily News
  • “Jampoler has mined a plethora of sources to produce his Embassy to the Eastern Courts, most importantly, Roberts’ personal papers, and his journal. His charts and maps are informative too, and his reproductions of famous paintings of scenes and places in the Orient are remarkably attractive. Embassy to the Eastern Courts is a welcome addition to the literature on Asiatic-American relations in the early nineteenth century.”—The Northern Mariner
  • “There is no better way to understand today's Western interactions with, and challenges from, Asia, than to trace the similarities with and differences from the early East-West encounters two centuries ago. Embassy to the Eastern Courts does a wonderful job of conveying the texture of the outward looking American society of the era of Jackson, Tocqueville, and Darwin's discoveries, and the uncertain China they met. I learned a lot about both China and America from this book.”—James Fallows, The Atlantic; author of China Airborne: The Test of China’s Future
  • “Andrew Jampoler has provided yet another winning work of history, detailing the triumphs (and many more tribulations) of one of the lesser known diplomats in American history.”—The Journal of Military History
  • Embassy to the Eastern Courts takes readers along on Edmund Roberts’s exotic and sometimes quixotic quest to open U.S. official relations with the Far East. Written with jaunty verve and wry humor, Andrew Jampoler’s travelogue conveys the full flavor of extended voyaging in the age of sail—the mysteries of foreign lands, the dangers of uncharted waters, the vexations of remoteness from home and of long confinement in cramped quarters, and the constant battle to maintain the health of ship and crew. The exquisite illustrations are themselves worth the price of the voyage.”—Daniel Feller, professor of history at the University of Tennessee, editor/director of The Papers of Andrew Jackson
  • “You'll never be rowed up the Chao Phraya River in a royal junk crewed by green clad and red clad sailors, but Andrew Jampoler serves up the next best thing: Embassy to the Eastern Courts is less a book than a time machine that will transport you to the mid-nineteenth century, when the U.S. Navy helped open up Canton, Bangkok, and Muscat to commerce. Sit back, turn the pages, and enjoy the ride.”—William J. Bernstein, author of A Splendid Exchange
  • "The author has skillfully used available documentation to weave a fascinating and topical tale of intrigue... and diplomatic success."—Baird Maritime Australia

Andrew C. A. Jampoler spent nearly twenty-five years as an active duty naval aviator including a year on the ground in Vietnam, command of a squadron and a naval air station, and service on several high level staffs. He is the author of six other Naval Institute Press books, beginning with Adak in 2003 and most recently Congo.

More by this Author

Sailors in the Holy Land
Following the success of his first book about a U.S. Navy flight crew's desperate battle to survive...Read More
THE LAST LINCOLN CONSPIRATOR
Despite all that has been written about the April 1865 assassination of President Abraham Lincoln,...Read More
Adak
ADAK is also Available in an Audio Edition From Audible via Amazon   In the tradition of...Read More
Embassy to the Eastern Courts
Some two centuries ago, during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, New England’s merchants and...Read More

Related Content

Who Was Henry Eckford?
One Scotsman's contributions to the construction of fighting ships in the War of 1812 and through... Read More
Museum Report
Former Foes' Naval History on Display Both Madrid and Istanbul boast navy museums—the Museo... Read More
America's Amazon Adventure
Three U.S. naval officers had designs on scouting out the untamed Amazon River basin, but... Read More
'A Ditching None Could Expect to Survive'
At the height of the Cold War, an unlikely coalition of aircraft from the Coast Guard, the Navy,... Read More

Events and Conferences

Speaking Engagement & Signing
9:30am, Center for Naval Analyses, 4825 Mark Center Dr., Alexandria, VA Read More
Speaking Engagement & Signing
Noon, "Authors on Deck," U.S. Navy Memorial, 701 Penn Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. Read More
Speaking Engagement & Signing
1:00pm, Mariner's Museum, 100 Museum Dr., Newport News, VA Read More
Speaking Engagement & Signing
Noon, Library of Congress, Pickford Theater, James Madison Bldg., Washington, D.C. Read More
Speaking Engagement & Signing
2:00pm, Rust Library, 380 Waterford Rd., Leesburg, VA Read More
Book Signing
11:00am, Chester County Books and Music, 975 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA Read More
Book Signing
11:00am, Chester County Books and Music, 975 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA Read More
Book Signing
Noon-2:00pm, Barnes & Noble, 150 West Swedesford Rd., Devon, PA Read More
Book Signing
Noon-2:00pm, Barnes & Noble, 150 West Swedesford Rd., Devon, PA Read More
Speaking Engagement
6:00pm, Torch Club of Leisure World, Lansdowne, VA Read More
Meet the Author & Book Signing
7:00pm, Borders Books & Music, 650 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia, PA Read More
Meet the Author & Book Signing
7:00pm, Borders Books & Music, 650 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia, PA Read More
Meet the Author & Book Signing
6:00pm, Borders Books & Music, 8027 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA Read More
Meet the Author & Book Signing
5:00pm, Borders Books & Music, 21031 Triple Seven Rd., Sterling, VA Read More
Meet the Author & Book Signing
5:30pm, Borders Books & Music, 11054 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA Read More
Speaking Engagement & Signing
7:00pm, The Mariners' Museum, 100 Museum Dr., Newport News, VA Read More
Speaking Engagement & Book Signing
Noon, Lunchtime Lecture Series, National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Washington Navy Yard,... Read More
Guest Speaker
10:00am, Ashby Ponds History Club, 21170 Ashby Ponds Blvd., Ashburn, VA Read More
Guest Speaker & Book Signing
2:00pm, Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market St., Leesburg, VA Read More
Guest Speaker
Noon, “Shifley Lecture Series,” Preble Hall, U.S. Naval Academy Museum, 118 Maryland Ave.,... Read More
Guest Luncheon Speaker
11:30am, USNA Class of '58, Army Navy Country Club, 1700 Army Navy Dr., Arlington, VA Read More
Guest Speaker & Signing
10:00am, 2014 Annual Maritime Patrol Assn. Symposium, VP-30 Hangar, NAS Jacksonville, FL Read More
"Wrecks, Rescues, and Mysteries: Air and Sea Disasters"
Smithsonian Resident Associates Lecture Program, S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr., S.W... Read More
"Wrecks, Rescues, and Mysteries: Air and Sea Disasters"
Smithsonian Resident Associates Lecture Program, S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr., S.W... Read More
Guest Lecturer & Book Signing
2:00pm, Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market St., Leesburg, VA / Free & open to the public. Read More
Guest Speaker & Book Signing
4:00pm, Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Rd., Clinton, MD / More info here: http://www.surratt... Read More
"Writers on Deck" - Guest Speaker
Sept. 10th at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy / Sept. 12th at Naval Support Activity,... Read More
"Writers on Deck" - Guest Speaker
Sept. 10th at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy / Sept. 12th at Naval Support Activity,... Read More
"Writers on Deck" - Guest Speaker
Sept. 10th at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy / Sept. 12th at Naval Support Activity,... Read More
"Writers on Deck" - Guest Speaker
Sept. 10th at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy / Sept. 12th at Naval Support Activity,... Read More
Guest Speaker & Book Signing
4:00pm, Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Rd., Clinton, MD / More info here: http://www.surratt... Read More
"Writers on Deck" - Guest Speaker
Sept. 10th at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy / Sept. 12th at Naval Support Activity,... Read More
"Writers on Deck" - Guest Speaker
Sept. 10th at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy / Sept. 12th at Naval Support Activity,... Read More
"Writers on Deck" - Guest Speaker
Sept. 10th at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy / Sept. 12th at Naval Support Activity,... Read More
"Writers on Deck" - Guest Speaker
Sept. 10th at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Italy / Sept. 12th at Naval Support Activity,... Read More
Guest Speaker & Book Signing
10:00am, 2nd Annual Maritime Patrol Assn. Symposium, VP-30 Hangar, NAS Jacksonville, FL Read More
Guest Speaker & Book Signing
10:00am, 2nd Annual Maritime Patrol Assn. Symposium, VP-30 Hangar, NAS Jacksonville, FL Read More
Guest Speaker
1:30pm, Richard Bong Theater Lecture, Misawa Air Force Base, Japan Read More
Guest Speaker & Book Signing
2:00pm, Keystone Theater Lecture, Kadena Air Force Base, Japan Read More
Guest Lecturer
6:45pm, Smithsonian Associates, S. Dillon Ripley Ctr., 1100 Jefferson Drive, SW, Washington, D.C. Read More
Meet the Author & Book Signing
7:00PM, Argo Bookshop, 1915 Saint Catherine Street West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Read More
2015 McMullen Naval History Symposium Participants ~
16-18 Sept., Mahan Hall, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD ~ Read More
Guest Speaker & Book Signing
Patrol Squadron 16, Kadena Air Base, Kadena, Okinawa Read More
Guest Lecturer
2-3:30pm, “Colloquium Lecture” JHU’s Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Rd., Laurel,... Read More
Guest Lecturer & Book Signing
2:00pm, Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market St., Leesburg, VA | Free and open to the public. Read More
Guest Lecturer
10:00am-4:00pm, Smithsonian Associates, Smithsonian Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr., S.W.,... Read More

Customer Reviews

Reviews
(0)
(0)
(0)
(0)
(0)
Average Customer Reviews
Stars

 
 

Conferences and Events

Maritime Security Dialogue

Wed, 2018-08-01

Maritime Security Dialogue A discussion with ADM Karl L. Schultz, USCGCommandant, U.S. Coast Guard Moderated by VADM Peter H....

The New China Challenge

View All

From the Press

31 July - Meet the Author

Tue, 2018-07-31

21 August - Lecture

Tue, 2018-08-21

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 140 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership