Cao Sheng (late Qing dynasty)

Cao Sheng was a native of Shanghai who lived under the reign-periods of Daoguang (1821-1850) and Xianfeng (1851-1861). When the British forces attacked the port of Wusong on 9 September 1842, Cao decided to stay in Shanghai to guard his ancestral home while many of his relatives left for the safety of the countryside. The British took over the city on 12 September. Cao's account covering thirteen days of this period, in the form of his book, An Ordeal Under the Barbarians, is among the earliest detailed civilian observation of the foreign invaders.