Event Details

WHAT: A RASBJ online talk by author Andrew Jampoler on "Embassy To The Eastern Courts: America's Secret First Pivot Toward Asia 1832-1837", followed by Q&A.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 26 from 8:00 PM - 9:15 PM Beijing Standard Time

MORE ABOUT THE EVENT: In the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812, the U.S. found its merchants and traders locked out of their traditional markets in Europe and the Caribbean. Hoping for new and profitable American trade, President Andrew Jackson chose an unemployed ship-owner and merchant with no diplomatic experience for a secret mission to negotiate treaties with Eastern potentates in their courts.

Jackson's agent was New Hampshireman Edmund Roberts. Roberts' mission, his "embassy," was to formalize American trade with exotic places—Oman, Siam, Cochin China, and Japan—on a most favored nation basis, including the accrediting of American consuls in each capital, who could advance and protect American interests and citizens in their host country.

After sailing almost 70,000 miles in five years in the sloop of war USS Peacock, Roberts was successful in negotiating treaties with Oman and Siam, but he failed in Cochin China, and he died in Macau before even setting sail to Japan. Peacock, first flagship of the Navy's new East Indies Squadron, forerunner of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, outlived him by only a few years, but his treaty with the Sultan of Muscat endured through the last century.

Join Andrew Jampoler, retired US naval aviator and author of seven, soon to be eight, books on maritime history, for an introduction to this lost chapter from the earliest days of US-China relations.

HOW MUCH: This online event is free for RASBJ members and members of partner RAS branches; RMB 100 for non-members. If you know someone who wants to join RASBJ to attend this talk, please ask them to sign up at https://rasbj.org/membership/ at least 72 hours before the event.

HOW TO JOIN THE EVENT: Please click "Register" or "I Will Attend" and follow the instructions. After successful registration you'll receive a confirmation email with a link to join the event. If you seem not to have received it, please check your spam folder. Members of partner RAS branches: Please register at least 72 hours in advance to allow time for membership verification. You will receive two emails from us, the first confirming receipt of your registration request and the second confirming your registration, with a link to join the event. Please check your spam folder to ensure you see all RASBJ emails.


  • Andrew Jampoler (Author)

    Andrew Jampoler



    Andy Jampoler is an alumnus of Columbia College and the School of International and Public Affairs, both of Columbia University, in New York City, and of the U.S. State Department Foreign Service Institute’s School of Language Study.

    After completing flight training, during twenty-plus years on active duty in the U.S. Navy that followed, Andy served on the personal staffs of the chief of naval operations, the secretary of defense, and the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, and also on the ground in Vietnam. He commanded Patrol Squadron Nineteen and Naval Air Station Moffett Field. Later he was a senior sales and marketing executive with German and American aerospace companies.

    Andy has been researching and writing non-fiction books for the past twenty years. A review in the Wall Street Journal described his first book, Adak, The Rescue of Alfa Foxtrot 586, as “an adventure story to rival the best you’ve ever read.” His seventh book from the Naval Institute Press, Embassy to the Eastern Courts, about the secret missions in the 1830s that constituted America’s now forgotten first “pivot toward Asia” during Andrew Jackson’s administration, was published by the Press in November 2015. His most recent book, which is about the short life and sudden destruction of the cruiser USS Memphis a century ago, will be published by the University of Alabama Press in 2022.

    Andy has given illustrated talks on the subjects of his books, articles, and historical research to audiences at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, at the Smithsonian Institution, and other museums in the U.S. and abroad, also at embassies and academic symposia, in book stores, and on board cruise ships sailing the oceans of the world. Some are available on the website of C-SPAN TV.

    Andy Jampoler lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Suzy, a geographer and cartographer. Until recently, Suzy has raised seeing eye dog puppies for New York’s Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind.

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