Cochin China. I. A province of the kingdom of Anam, occupying a narrow strip of its eastern coast, extending from about lat. 11° 30' to 17° 30' N. Its greatest length is a little more than 400 m.; greatest breadth not more than 70 m.; area, about 27,000 sq. m.; pop. estimated at 1,000,000. The general features of the country and its population are described in the article Anam. This province formerly gave its name to the whole kingdom, but with the wider knowledge gained by Europeans of the Indo-Chinese peninsula, the more correct title of Anam superseded that of Cochin China, which is now, since the capture of Lower Cambodia by the French, almost exclusively applied to that region. The Anamese province is becoming better known under its native name of Dang-Trong. The principal town, Hue, is the capital of the whole kingdom. II. French or Lower Cochin China, a French colony in the southern part of the Indo-Chinese peninsula, bounded N. W. by Cambodia, N. E. by Anam, E., S., and S. W. by the China sea and the gulf of Siam; area, 21,724 sq. m.; pop. in 1808, 1,204,287. It consists of six provinces, Bienhoa, Saigon, Mytho, Vinhlong, Chandoc, and Ilatien, the first three of which were ceded by Cambodia to France by the treaty of June 5, 1802, and the rest were declared French territory by the proclamation of Admiral de la Grandiere, June 25,1807. The physical features of the country, the character of its inhabitants, and the few known events of its history previous to the war which ended in French dominion, are described in the article Cambodia. Its more recent history is briefly as follows.
After repeated instances of persecution on the part of the Anamese, who then ruled Cochin China, against the Christian missionaries, especially those of France and Spain resident in Lower Cambodia, and after repeated attempts on the part of the French to force upon the government the toleration of Christianity, a more serious conflict than had before occurred took place in 1847, originating in the attempt of Thien-tri, the king then reigning, to entrap and capture several French naval officers by treachery. Capt. Lapierre attacked Turon with two ships of war and destroyed its fortifications, about 1,000 Anamese falling in the encounter. For several years after this an unfriendly state of affairs existed between the French and the king Tu-Duc, who scornfully refused in 1856 to make a treaty. This continued till 1857, when the murder of the Spanish bishop Diaz (July 20) was the signal for the outbreak of actual war. Admiral lii-gault de Genouilly, with some aid from Spanish troops sent from Manila, again attacked Turon, took the peninsula of that name, penetrated early in 1859 into the interior of the country, by the river, and on Feb. 17 captured the port of Saigon. The French were preparing to push their conquests further, and Page, Rigault de Genouilly's successor, had already taken possession of several points near the coast, when the war in China called away their forces and determined them to hold only Saigon. It was not till February, 1861, that they were able to again begin operations on an extended scale.
Admiral Charner then arrived with a large force from China, defeated the chief division of the Anamese army on Feb. 25, and within the next year was in possession of three important towns, Mytho, Bienhoa, and Vinhlong, and in a position to compel the submission of all lower Cochin China. Under the pressure of these circumstances, Tu-Duc found himself compelled to abandon a portion of his territory to save the rest, and on June 5, 1802, he made peace by a treaty in which he gave up the three provinces of Bienhoa, Saigon, and Mytho, and the island of Pulo Condore, to the French, promised tolerance toward the Christians, opened the Anamese ports of Turon, Balat, and Quangan, and bound himself to pay an indemnity of 20.000,000 francs. This treaty was concluded with Admiral Bonard, who had succeeded to the command of the French forces in August, 1861, and who was at once made governor of the colony. Vice Admiral de la Grandiere succeeded him on May 1, 1803. On Aug. 11 of that year he concluded a treaty with the kinur of Cambodia, by which that country was placed under the protectorate of France, and by which the king gave up to the French the important river town of Namwang or Panomping, on the Mekong. In 1803 revolts against the French rule broke out in Gocong, south of Saigon, and in the spring of 1804 in Baria, and later in other parts of the country.
Assuming that these disturbances were incited and promoted in the three provinces that still remained under the control of Anam, Admiral de la Grandiere in 1807 declared it necessary to punish their inhabitants and government; and with this transparent cover for a scheme of further conquest, he took possession with a large force of these three provinces also, meeting with little or no resistance from the people. - The colonial government of Cochin China is now under the immediate control of the French ministry of marine, which appoints a governor of the country, who is assisted by a council of which the commander of the French forces and an official corresponding to the American secretary of the interior are the chief members. The affairs of the provinces are managed by inspecteurs des affaires indigenes, under the last named officer; but with the local and municipal governments the French have interfered but little. The governor's residence is at Saigon, which has been greatly improved, and raised to a port and naval station of much importance. - See Aubaret's Histoire de la Basse- Cochinchine (Paris, 1867); Taillefer's La Cochinchine, ce qu'elle est, ce qu'elle sera (Peri-gueux, 1865); Lemire's Cochinchine francaise et royaume de Cambodge (Paris, 1869).