The province of Gocong [Gò Công] is situated on the coast of the East Sea. It is separated from the province of Giadinh [Gia Định] on the north-east by the Vaico [Vàm Cỏ], bordered on the north by the provinces of Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] and Tanan [Tân An], in the east and south by that of Mytho [Mỹ Tho], and on the east by the East Sea.
The province of Gocong [Gò Công] is divided into five cantons: Hoa Dong Ha [Hoà Đông Hạ], Hoa Dong Trung [Hoà Đông Trung], Hoa Dong Thuong [Hoà Đông Thượng], Hoa Lac Ha [Hoà Lac Hạ], Hoa Lac Thuong [Hoà Lac Thượng]. The population comprises 42 Europeans, 101.177 Annamites, 7 Cambodians, 627 Chinese, 304 Minh Huong [Minh Hương], and 29 Indians. Thus the majority of inhabitants is Annamite, who devote themselves to the cultivation of rice. The Chinese, more commercially inclined, are mostly occupied in the chief town. Now and again they are met with in the villages, especially at the markets of Vinh Loi [Vĩnh Lợi], Dong Son [Đông Sơn], Tan Nien Tay [Tân Niên Tây], Tang Hoa [Tăng Hoà], and Binh Luong Dong [Bình Lương Đông], but in limited numbers and mainly as dealers.
The commercially greatest colony is at Canton, that which has acquired the greatest wealth is at Trieu Chau [Triều Châu], and the most active in commerce at Akas. The majority of the Cantonese are shop-keepers and caterers, those of Trieu Chau [Triều Châu] pastry-cooks and dealers in tea, those of Fukien [Phú Kiên] cloth merchants and dealers in pottery. The Minh Huong [Minh Hương] are chiefly descendants of the colonists of Trieu Chau Trieu Chau [Triều Châu], or of Fukien [Phú Kiên], where as the Cantonese send for their wives from their own country. There are also some Indian cloth merchants, tenants of markets and fisheries.
The chief cultivation in the province of Gocong [Gò Công] is rice. It has no special industry. The alluvial soil is flat and marshy, there are no watering places or health resorts. There is a promenade by the sea, and by the communal route No. 4 from Tang Hoa [Tăng Hoà] to Tan Thanh [Tân Thạnh]; the shore is low and choked with mud, and does not lend itself to bathing.
The claims of agriculture and commerce have forced the construction of a number of local and provincial roads, all well kept and available for motor cars. There is no shooting, except perhaps some birds sich as pigeons, snipe, teal, and a kind of heron. There is a fishing centre at Vam Lang [Vàm Lang], at the mouth of the Soirap [Soài Rạp]. There are no hotels. At the chief town there is a bungalow (two available rooms). Price of meals $ 1.20 (not including wine), price of room including light breakfast $ 1.80.
PRINCIPAL PAGODAS AND PLACES OF WORSHIP
In each village is a pagoda erected to the guardian Saint, and almost everywhere there is a pagoda of Buddha.
There are no remarkable sights in the province of Gocong [Gò Công], the only historical monuments are some tombs. Close to the route from Saigon [Sài Gòn] to Gocong [Gò Công], are the tombs of the maternal ancestors of the Emperor Tu Duc [Tự Đức]. These tombs are of historical interest only. They are built in the middle of rice fields, and are not so fine as those of certain rich Annamites of Cochin-China. At the entrance is a pagoda; there are in all 5 tombs.
1 – That of the prince of Quoc Cong [Quốc Công] (1764 – 1825), called Pham Dung Hung [Phạm Dũng Hưng], maternal grandfather of Tu Duc [Tự Đức]. This prince served under Gialong [Gia Long] during the rebellion of the Tay Son [Tây Sơn], was master of ceremonies under Minh Mang [Minh Mạng], and appointed Viceroy by Tu Duc [Tự Đức] in 1849; and was given the posthumous title of Duc Quoc Cong [Đức Quốc Công].
2 – The tomb of the prince Phuoc An Hau [Phước An Hậu] (1741 – 1810) called Pham Dang Long [Phạm Đăng Long], father of the above mentioned, raised to the rank of prince in 1849.
3 – The tomb of prince Binh Thanh Ba [Binh Thanh Bá] (1717 -1811) called Pham Dang Dinh [Phạn Đăng Định], father of the above mentioned, a plain farmer of the province of Quan Ngai [Quảng Ngãi], who settled in the village of Tan Nien Dong [Tân Niên Đông] (province of Gocong [Gò Công]), also enobled, in 1849, by the Emperor Tu Duc [Tự Đức].
4 – The tomb of the wife of the prince of Quoc Cong [Quốc Công].
5 – The tomb of the wife of the prince of Phuoc An Hau [Phước An Hậu].
In conformity with article 5 of the treaty signed at Saigon [Sài Gòn] on March 15 th. 1874 between France and the Kingdom of Annam [An Nam], a portion of land measuring 100 mau (51 hectares, 53 ares, 60 centiares precisely, or about 125 acres), of which about 50 hectares are rice fields, in the village of Tan Nien Dong [Tân Niên Đông], were conceded to the Annamite government. The revenues from this land are used for the upkeep of the tombs, and the maintainanee of their guardians; this land is free of taxes, and the male members of the family of Pham [Phạm] are exempt from personal taxes, military service and forced labour.
Gocong [Gò Công] played an important part at the conquest of Cochin-China. In 1862, in spite gof the orders issued by Phan Thanh Giang [Phan Thanh Giảng], Quanh Dinh [Quang Định] refused to submit. Admiral Bonnard placed General Chaumont and Colonel Palanea in charge of a force destined to overcome the rebel. They overcame all obstacles placed in the way by Quanh Dinh [Quang Định], who however managed to escape and kept up his rebellion until he died in 1805. His body was on view in the public square of Gocong [Gò Công], and afterwards buried in the chief town of the province. To prevent his old followers from exhuming the remains of their chief, and thereby enabling them to deny his death and to continue the rebellion, a strict supervision of the tomb of Quanh Dinh [Quang Định] was maintained.
BAN TU THU