This is the story of American merchants, diplomats, and missionaries in Southeast Asia prior to and during the US Civil War. American relations in Southeast Asia had begun in the prewar years with the work of these individuals and_with subtle variations in duty_would continue throughout the war years. During those years, trade on US vessels had plummeted due to high Union tariffs and fear of Confederate raiders in Asian waters. On the diplomatic front, the turnover rate for consular agents was high, and they lacked naval support from the East Asian Squadron. In contrast, American missionaries in Burma and Thailand_who still served despite reduced budgets, food shortages and ill health_provided a crucial bridge to America. In fact, by making steady achievements in education, medicine, and publishing, the American missionaries, who transcended regional and global differences in Siam and Burma, were the key to closing the knowledge gap, promoting good will, and representing the US abroad.
Willliam Strobridge began his 33 years of military service in occupied Japan. After serving in Korea, Vietnam, and at the Center of Military History, he taught at Georgetown University and wrote corporate history as a vice president at Wells Fargo Bank for 20 years. Anita Hibler first taught overseas at a mission school in Northern Thailand in 1971, more recently at the University of Indonesia, and currently online for the University of Maryland University College.
Part 1 Acknowledgments Chapter 2 1. Introduction Chapter 3 2. Establishing Early Contacts Chapter 4 3. Along Burma's Rivers Chapter 5 4. King Mongkut's Guests Chapter 6 5. The World of Commerce during the U.S. Civil War Chapter 7 6. Diplomacy during the War Years Chapter 8 7. Epilogue Part 9 Selected Bibliography Part 10 Index Part 11 About the Authors