When I was a graduate student in the summer of 1966, I happened to come across a set of stamps labeled “Republic of Taiwan,” which I purchased with hesitation. Recalling my history courses in high school and college, I could not remember the existence of this Republic, nor could I remember the listing of these stamps in any stamp catalog. That incident propelled me on a long journey and an extensive worldwide literature search, which led to this book, Republic of Taiwan, Posta/ History and Postage Stamps. The stamps are commonly known as the Black Flag issue of Taiwan, 1895.
Since 1966, I have contacted numerous libraries around the world, examined the collections of many philatelists and communicated with many who have written articles on the Black Flag issue. I photographed as many originals as I could, assembled the fragmented information and completed the first draft of this text in early 1990.
The book can be divided into three sections：
The first part (Chapters 1-5) is on a general review of the literature, including a brief, somewhat speculative account of the life of the founder of the postal service, C. A. McCallum, as well as a detailed biography of James W. Davidson, the U. S. Consul of Taiwan. For the life of General Liu Yung-fu, the reader may find it useful to consult the bibliography at the end of this book for further information.
The second portion (Chapters 6-15) is devoted to the design of the stamp and its classification, the date and the numbers issued. Also covered are the individual dies (issues) and their characteristics, including the so called “rare error of color die” or “emerald, damaged die” of 30 cash green, and Die IV , a possible forgery.
The third section (Chapters 16-22) deals with the chemical analysis of the paper and ink, cancellations, postage, covers, and, finally, forgeries.
The last section is given to appendices. Historical events and documentation are in Appendices I and IE . For the reader^ convenience, a calendar of the entire Republic in both western and Chinese lunar dates is listed in Appendix II . It is worth mentioning that the year 1895 was Kuan Shue (光緒）year 21 of China, or year Yie Wei (乙未），or Mei Jie (明治）year 28 of Japan, or Yong Chin (永清），the first year of the Republic of Taiwan. Many important articles from the Hong Kong Daily Press regarding the Black Flag issue, which were often misquoted in literature, are presented in table form in Appendix IV . Two particularly pertinent articles are reproduced in their entirety in Appendices V and VI . Davidson’s famous pamphlets in both Hong Kong and Kobe type are also included in Appendices MI and VD1 . A description of the ending of the Republic is excerpted in Appendix K . Brief biographic sketches of main literary contributors are presented in Appendix X，and finally, a record of a visit to the last man of the Republic, Mr. Chang Chaw-jeh, is in Appendix XI . In addition, the Bibliography provides a brief description of the sources of monographs cited in the text.
This book cites a great deal of literature, much of which has never been discussed before. Over the years, I found much misinformation in the philatelic records, which had been widely quoted de facto. In this book, I cite the references in as much detail as possible, paying particular attention to early literature and original material.
It is my intention to coordinate the publication of this book with the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Taiwan, 1995. This short-lived Republic, the first in Asia, has long been forgotten. The Republic of Taiwan sought self-determination, an idea tolerated by neither the Communist Government of mainland China nor the Nationalist Chinese government in Taiwan. Ironically, the sole purpose of the proclamation of the Republic was to return Taiwan to China. One hundred years is not a long time in the history of any people, yet it is astonishing to realize how fast history can be forgotten. Thanks to the Princeton University Library, I had the opportunity to read the original writings of John W. Foster, the chief consultant to the Chinese Government during the negotiations of a post-war treaty with the Japanese. The faded, fragile yellow papers vividly revealed the past, stirring a feeling beyond description for me as a Taiwanese living 100 years later. Publishing this book in the year 1995 holds a special meaning for me, for I was born and raised in the town of Tainan (Tainanfu during the Republic), where the Republic rose and fell.
Needless to say, I am tremendously grateful to countless numbers of people, without whom this work would not have been possible： Miss Gini Horn, Miss Susan Dixon, Messrs. Bill Welch and A. Mercer Bristow of The Philatelic Research Library, American Philatelic Society, College Park, Pennsylvania； Mr. John Chien, the former director of Postal Museum of Taipei; Messrs. Kao Tien-chen of the Postal Museum of Taipei; Mr. C. H. Yuen of Taiwan Museum, Taipei； Mr. Martin Heijdra of the Princeton University Library; librarians at the Collectors Clubs of New York； Bierman Philatelic Library of Beverly Hills, California; The British Library of London; The Public Record Office in London; The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D. C.； The City Library of Tainan, Taiwan； The Princeton Public Library, Princeton; The Center for Research Libraries, Chicago, IL； and my former medical school library, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
I owe thanks to Messrs. Lee Chien-chin, Henry K. Chang, Huang Min-jeng, and Chu Tong-hwai； History Professor Shyr Wan Show； Dr. Edward H. Lee of the United States Department of Agriculture; Professor Ng Yuzin Chiautong of Japan； former Professor of Chinese Culture Institution of Taipei Dr. Frank Chiu； my associates Dr. Sophie Jiang and Miss Zhu Huei-min; Miss Donna Chritensen of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Product Laboratory, Madison, WI; Mr. Wu Lo-yuan of Taipei; Charles W. Dougan of Surrey, Canada: and my daughter Charissa Lee, for their help in locating research sources. I thank the Chief Editor of China Clipper, Mr. Donald R. Alexander； Mr. Stephen Gates of Virginia； E. N. Lane of England; Dr. Tseng Che- lu of Indiana； the former Director of Postal Institute of Taiwan, Mr. Tsao Chien； and Mr. Chen Chun-shiong and Tsai Eing-ching, for their valuable suggestions, discussions, readings of the manuscript and corrections of the Chinese translations. Special thanks to Dr. Chang Min-sheng of Lukang, Taiwan, and Mr. Tsai Eing-ching of Taipei for their generous sharing of their collections, and to Dr. Gene S. Hall of the Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, for his performance of chemical analysis. I am honored that Drs. Chang Min-sheng, Chen-Cheng Tien-zwei and Professor Huang Fu-san have written the prefaces. I am deeply grateful. My sincere appreciation and thanks to my former secretary Ms. Judy Lukacs； my colleague, Instructor Chang Tsu-Guey； and Naomi Alag, Hsiao Hui-min, Wang Pih- shya and Mr. Wang Wei-jyh, the Chief Editor of The Tiger Publishing Co., who painstakingly transcribed, typed and edited my Chinese manuscript. For publishing this book, I am extremely lucky to have excellent technical assistance from an enthusiastic young couple, Tzeng Min-chen and Chen Show-mei, co-managers of The Tiger Publishing Co. Medical collegues from Tainan, Drs. Hahn Liang-cheng, Huang Zen- chuan, Lee Hao-hsien, Yu Hsien-chang and Soulon Kao and a group of Tainan High School classmates, all kindly offered financial support, making the timely publication of the book possible.
Particular thanks to Dr. Chen-Cheng Tien-zwei of Taiwan who unconditionally, and for an unlimited time, lent me his priceless collection from which many of the reproductions were made. Many of the photographs in this book, too many to acknowledge individually, are the courtesy of Dr. Chen-Cheng. Without his trust and generosity my work would have been very much slower and incomplete. Finally my gratitude to my wife, Yahwei, who has had unlimited patience for indulging my study, and who provided support and encouragement when I needed it the most. It is Yahwei and my daughters Charissa, Tania and Mae, who assisted with the editing of the text.
My sincere apologies to those I have failed to acknowledge.
Of course, the study of the Black Flag issue of Taiwan is not closed, nor finished, for many questions remain to be answered. Some of the conclusions I have drawn are tentative at best, and for any errors, I am solely responsible. Please forward any comments or suggestions to me, which will be greatly appreciated.
Ming-liang Lee, MD, PhD Hualien, Taiwan
Ming-Hang Lee was born in 1936 in Tainan (Tainanfu), Taiwan. He graduated from Tainan First Boys’ High School in 1955, and from College of Medicine, National Taiwan University in 1962. He had a year of Pediatric residency at Duke University before entering the Graduate School, University of Miami, where he received a Ph.D. in Biochmistry and Molecular Biology. He was a Helen Hay Whitney Research Fellow at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Medical Research Council, Cambridge University; an Assistant Professor at University of Miami; Chief Fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital; and an Associate Professor, Professor and Chief of Medical Genetics at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. In 1992 He was appointed Director of the Preparatory Office of Tzu Chi College of Medicine, and in 1994, its Founding President.
Dr. Lee lives in Hualien, Taiwan, with his wife, Liau Yahwei. They have three daughters. Charissa graduated from Business School, Georgetown University; Tania graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University; and Mae is a Senior at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Posted in 2015/10