Robert Hart and China's statistical revolution

Bréard A (2006)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2006


Book Volume: 40

Pages Range: 605 - 629

Journal Issue: 3

DOI: 10.1017/S0026749X06002101


In 1890 Robert Hart was elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. Hart had sent copies of the statistical publications of the Maritime Customs Service regularly to the Society, but he himself was no statistician. He did publish one piece in the Journal of the Statistical Society of London, but this was no more than an extract of a conclusion Hart wrote to reports written by the Commissioners at China's Treaty Ports on local opium consumption. But Hart, as Inspector General of the Maritime Customs Service, bore general responsibility for its publications and involved himself deeply in its statistical projects. H. B. Morse, who would serve as Statistical Secretary, wrote: 'while weak in the fiscal and economic field, he was a marvel in organisation and the direction of the work of others'. Within the Customs Service, it was the Statistical Secretary who had immediate responsibility for the statistical publications of the Customs. He was stationed in Shanghai, China's busiest port, rather than Beijing, where the Inspectorate had its offices close to the Zongli Yamen, the Qing agency overseeing China's relations with Western countries. © 2006 Cambridge University Press.

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How to cite


Bréard, A. (2006). Robert Hart and China's statistical revolution. Modern Asian Studies, 40(3), 605 - 629.


Bréard, Andrea. "Robert Hart and China's statistical revolution." Modern Asian Studies 40.3 (2006): 605 - 629.

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