Money forms the sinews of scholarship, and many foundations and institutes have supported this book. The Fulbright Program provided two fellowships: for the Netherlands in 1997–8 and for Taiwan in 2004–5. The American Historical Association and the Andrew Mellon Foundation provided a large grant as part of the Gutenberg-e Prize, which allowed me to work in Taiwan in 2002. The Mershon Foundation of The Ohio State University provided a year's leave from teaching duties, during which I reconceptualized this project and began transforming the dissertation into a book. The Emory Institute for International and Area Studies, Emory University's Department of History, and Emory College supported trips to Europe and mainland China and provided funds to purchase microfilms, copies, and books. During its dissertation phase, the project was supported by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Yale Council for Southeast Asia Studies, the Yale Council for International and Area Studies, the Yale Graduate School, and the Yale Department of History.


Many libraries, archives, universities, and institutes also helped make this book possible. The General State Archive of the Netherlands is bright and airy, a lovely place to work and, when one needs a break, drink coffee from little plastic cups. Its staff is unfailingly professional and helpful, but I especially wish to thank Diederick Kortlang, who is working on a cooperative project with the Indonesian National Archives in Jakarta and who has made several important discoveries of sources pertaining to Taiwan, which he has been most generous in sharing with me and others. The Institute for the Study of European Expansion and Reactions Thereto hosted me at Leiden University, and its members helped me to understand the historiography of European expansion and of the Dutch East India Company. In Spain my work was aided by the staffs of the Archive of the Indies (AGI), the General State Archive at Simancas, the National Library in Madrid, and especially the kind Dominican fathers at the Monastery of Santo Tomás in Avila, who generously allowed full access to their collection and even brought a heater to warm the cold cell in which I worked. In Taiwan the scholars of the Institute for Taiwanese History and the Institute of Ethnology at the Academia Sinica provided an opportunity to present various parts of this project at their conferences on the Formosan Plains Austronesians in 1998 and 2000. Pan Inghai (潘英海) and Chan Su-chuan (詹素娟) were especially helpful. Professor José Eugenio Borao of National Taiwan University gave me lodging in Taipei and made available a few early transcripts of materials he has since published in his magisterial collection of Spanish documents concerning the history of Taiwan. The editors of the Journal of World History, Itinerario, and The Journal of Asian Studies gave permission for those portions of this work that had previously been published in their pages to be included herein, and their anonymous reviewers provided much helpful advice. Yale University's Sterling Library, through the offices of librarians Susanne Roberts and Richard Ritchie, acquired microfilm copies of nearly all known Dutch East India Company records concerning seventeenth-century Taiwan, which were an invaluable boon to research, both when the project was in its dissertation stage and afterward, when librarians at Yale arranged to make them available, via interlibrary loan, to SUNY Brockport and to Emory University. Eric Nitschke and Wang Guo-hua of Emory's Woodruff Library helped acquire published sources, and Woodruff's Interlibrary Loan Department made heroic efforts to obtain rare Chinese articles, despite incomplete citations and a morass of different transliteration systems. Emory University's History Department chairs James Melton and Walter Adamson as well as the dean of Emory College, Robert Paul, helped a junior colleague find research funding and arrange leaves vital to this book's completion. Without their help this challenging project might well have taken another decade to finish. My friends and colleagues at Emory, especially Marcus Collins, Matthew Payne, Bianca Premo, Mark Ravina, Phillipe Rosenberg, Susan Socolow, Jennifer Terni, and Leonie Welberg also provided advice, inspiration, food, wine, and the occasional guilty cigarette.


My travels were enriched by various Random Meaningful Encounters. I met the tattooed and earringed Reverend J. W. Veltkamp in the Zeeuws Archive in Middelburg, who, during a long train ride back to Leiden, helped me make sense of the structure of the Dutch Reformed Church. (View comment) While waiting for luggage at the Rome airport I met Agostinho da Costa Borges, director of L'Istituto Portoghese di Sant'Antonio. He gave me a ride to my hotel, during which he provided valuable advice about the Jesuit archives. (He also pointed out that my one-day research trip coincided with one of Rome's many holidays, during which the archives would be closed. Fortunately I managed to contact the archive's director, Father Thomas K. Reddy, who obligingly, but none too happily, allowed me inside. I found nothing worth using.) In Xiamen, I met Professor Liao Dake (廖大珂), who showed me around Xiamen University and fed my wife and me Fujianese delicacies. There were dozens of others: rice farmers who had heard about a Dutch cannon dug up near their fields in Tainan County, Taiwanese professors who took me on a spontaneous extended tour of the Tainan region to look for traces of the Dutch presence, an old man on a bicycle in Tainan City who showed us old fortress walls hidden behind a temple and who pointed out the place where once stood a small Dutch fortress—and many more.


In archives in Spain and the Netherlands, I found friends to share woes and discoveries (and, it must be said, beer and sangria): Jovita Baber, Martha Chaiklin, Michiel de Jong, Paula Devos, Emily Kadens, Laura Mitchell, Mia Mochizuki, Kevin Sheehan, John Stapleton, and Frans van der Putten. In graduate school at Yale University, I had pals in numerous fields who sparked ideas that found their way into this work. Among them were Leor Halevy, Andrew Johnston, Rachel Lewis, Elisa Milkes, Larissa Schwartz, Peter Silver, Maria Truglio, and Kevin van Bladel.


Many colleagues, friends, and mentors in Taiwan have also helped with this book. Professor Chen Kuo-tung (陳國棟) of the Academia Sinica's Department of History and Philology helped me find sponsorship at the Academia Sinica in 2004–2005 and also provided extensive comments on the manuscript, helping me avoid some important mistakes. Professor Ts'ao Yung-ho (曹永和) is the doyen of Taiwan studies, and his careful research into Taiwan's early history as well as his efforts in training dozens of Ph.D. students have made this book possible. Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中) translated this book into Chinese and, being an important scholar of colonial Taiwan himself, provided a great deal of advice, which I have gratefully followed. Peter Kang (康培德) is now Taiwan's foremost ethno-geographer, but I met him in an intensive Dutch course in Minnesota while he was still a doctoral student. Since then he has continually provided guidance and friendship, and this book owes much to his help (we also share a penchant for all-you-can eat Japanese restaurants and mango ice). Pol Heyns (韓家寶) and I met at a conference in Taiwan in 1998. His outstanding book and articles have informed and inspired this work, and we have had good times exploring Dutch and Spanish ruins together in Taiwan and drinking rather too much Belgian beer.


I must also, of course, thank my professors, with filial devotion. Jack Wills has watched this project evolve from the germ of an idea, which I shared with him when we met in his hometown, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, through its dissertation stage, through its various article offshoots, and now to the book. One of the few scholars who can read Spanish, French, German, Dutch, modern Chinese, classical Chinese, and Japanese (the list goes on), he gave me much good advice (some of it, as he once said, in the form of "read Wills, dammit!"). His scholarship is a pillar on which this work rests, both in terms of detailed historical work and, more importantly, conceptualization. His article "The Interactive Emergence of European Dominance" in the American Historical Review should be required reading for Asianists and students of imperialism everywhere. Read Wills, dammit!


Then there is the prodigious and inimitable Leonard Blussé. He has overseen the publication of thousands of folios of Dutch East India Company sources pertaining to Taiwan. These publications, based on the transcriptions and annotations of Natalie Everts, form another pillar supporting this work. He too was involved in this project from the beginning, and I thank him for an embarrassing lunch during which he and Femme Gaastra castigated me, the silly American, for thinking about changing my dissertation topic to "colonial ceremonial under Dutch rule." (I believe they made a comment about "hamburger history.") I was mortified, but now I thank him and Femme for steering me toward a more traditional and ultimately far more satisfying topic. Leo's valuable advice deepened my analysis and use of sources, and his scholarship is an inspiration. Indeed, so deeply did I absorb his book Strange Company that its presence can be felt throughout this work.


Jonathan Spence and Geoffrey Parker were my dissertation coadvisers, and they helped so much it is hard to find words to express thanks. Jonathan Spence gently prodded me to eschew a graduate student's enthusiasm for "theory" and instead focus on the beauty and resonance of history, the ways that large patterns and small-scale events come together. To bring the manifold messiness of history into narrative form is difficult, and he does so with grace, elegance, humility, and apparent ease. Now that I have written my own book I recognize how much effort goes into that ease. Geoffrey Parker is the guiding light for this project. When I was a first-year master's student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, I knocked on his office door and heard no answer. I paused, then knocked again. This time he answered. Since then I have often lived by a simple dictum: Always knock twice. It was in conversations with Geoffrey that I first conceived this project—indeed, I should say we conceived the project—and it was he who helped me realize it every step of the way. I might say this is his book as much as it is mine, but I won't, because he already has plenty of books.


When I first went to Taiwan in 1989, I lived with a Taiwanese family, who helped a young American in ways too numerous (and sometimes embarrassing) to name. Of all the family members, I became especially close to Jack and Rachel Liu (劉昭 平 and 胡蕊芳). They took me to a doctor after I hitchhiked my way into a head-on collision with a bus in the narrow Taroko Gorge; got me into Shida's Mandarin Training Center after they found that I had arrived without properly applying; and generally babysat a twenty-one-year-old who had no idea what he'd gotten himself into. Since then, we have grown ever closer. Each time I (and, now that I am married, we) come to Taiwan, they provide a home away from home.


Most important of all is my American family, and here words really do fail me. They believed in what I was doing and supported me unstintingly through it all. Jamie Lee and Jonathan Turkanis may have been born into different families than I, but we grew up like brothers, and we have stayed close. They managed to keep track of my annual address changes and listened patiently to my research complaints, always standing by with advice and support. My brother, Aaron, has been my closest friend throughout my life and knows me better than anyone. The first books I wrote I wrote for and with him, although I've come a long way since the space commander Futon. My mother is also a key influence. When I first started graduate school she sent me a copy of my baby book, in which I read:

It was either yesterday or today that I he would come out with a voiced bilabial sputtering, and tonight it developed into true sound play. These 3 things appeared:
  1. sputtering through tight lips
  2. sticking tongue through while /ae/
  3. blowing air out through hole at right side of mouth. Lips tight. Vowel /u/-[bvu]

Suffice to say that my mother loves languages, and she passed that love on to me while I was still sputtering through tight lips. If she had not, I would not have been able to write this book. Originally I thought I would become a scientist, like my father, but after my second year of titration and rat sacrifice I told him I planned to abandon biology for the humanities. He replied that the problems of the world are caused by humans and we need historians now more than ever before. His words have echoed in my ears ever since. This book won't help solve global warming, overfishing, the depletion of water deposits, or mass extinctions, but I do believe, with him, that we scholars and scientists have a duty to choose big topics and try to reach as many people as we possibly can. (This won't be a best-seller, so I'm not obliged to give you and Mom your 10 percent, but whatever royalties I receive I'll put toward your mocha lattes—I calculate that it'll amount to about one each per year.)


Finally, I must thank my wife, Andrea, whose life has been most directly affected by this book. She came with me to live in Taiwan twice, proofreading chapters, taking photographs, and continually reminding me that there is more to life than the seventeenth century. We traveled together throughout Taiwan: exhilarating scooter rides along the east coast, ominous monkeys in the mountains, bumpy flights to and from Penghu, and walks through the old Chinese town near the ruins of the Dutch fortress in Tainan. In fact, it was with and through her that I came really to love Taiwan, and I dedicate this book to her.