History of Jiujiang
In ancient times it was told that nine rivers converged near where Jiujiang sprang up to become Jiangxi’s main water port today. During the Xia through the Shang Dynasties Jiujiang was a capital of several states. In the Spring & Autumn Period (770-476 BCE) Jiujiang bordered between the states of Wu (downstream, to the east) and Chu (upstream, to the west). Tao Yuanming (365-429 CE) a famous Chinese philosopher lived at the base of Lushan. He was once appointed magistrate of nearby Pengze County and after 83 days resigned due to the politics involved in administering justice. He retired back to his village to pen an essay called “Peach Blossom Spring”. In 757, Li Bai (701-762 CE) was implicated in An-Shi disturbances and imprisoned at Jiujiang. Bai Juyi (772-846 CE) wrote a poem called “Lute Song”, which is about his sadness and isolation of forced exile as a middle rank official to reside in such a small town. In the 13th century Zhu Xi was a Confucian philosopher who practiced at the White Deer Grotto Academy, on Lushan’s eastern flanks.
Jiujiang has also been known as Jiangzhou and Xunyang in former times. During the Qin Dynasty (265-420 CE) it was known as Sin Yang, the Liang dynasty (502-557 CE) it was called Jiang Zhou. The Sui Dynasty saw its name as Jiujiang and the Song Dynasty (960-1127) called it Ting Jiang. The Ming dynasty (1368–1644), gave it Jiujiang which has retained its name to this day. It was a Taiping rebellion stronghold for five years (1850–64) after they devastated the town to only leave one street with buildings intact. The city served as the capital of the Taiping Jiangxi province during this time.
The Jiujiang waterfront circa 1873.
A member of Lord Elgin’s committee arriving in 1858 to survey Chinese ports for treaty status noted: “We found it to the last degree deplorable.” A single dilapidated street, composed only of a few mean shops, was all that existed of this once thriving populous city. The remainder of the vast area composed within its massive walls 9-10 kilometers in circumference, contained nothing but ruins, weeds and kitchen gardens. After becoming an open treaty port in 1862, it was exporting Jiangxi’s vast rice crop. In 1904, more than 160,000 kilos of opium were moved through its customs house.
It became one of the three centers of the tea trade in China along with Hankou and Fuzhou. The Russians had two brick tea producing factories, but ceased operations after 1917. The British surrendered their concession in 1927 after being robbed and its Chinese workers mutineered their posts to the marauding crowds. An economic recession had set in over the decades as Indian and Chelonian teas made for greater competition. A military advance was being staged upriver in Wuhan by the Guomindang in 1927 and all the remaining expatriate community fled on British and American warships towards safer waters of Shanghai, to never return.
Jiujiang languished as a port and much of its export trade was siphoned off with the connecting Nanchang to coastal rail lines built in 1936-37. Until 1949 Jiujiang had very little industry except for local handicrafts. Manufacturing is Jiujiang’s backbone today with auto, machinery, petrochemical, shipbuilding and textiles as its cornerstones. After the completion of the Yangtze River Bridge in 1992 and the Beijing to Kowloon (Hong Kong) – Wuhan to Shanghai rail system laid, a convenient ground corridor was provided and a regional airport now serves most of China’s capitol cities.
The city suffered only slight damage in the 2005 Ruichang earthquake, but there were several deaths reported in outlying areas.
Source From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiujiang#History