Yong-le: Year 1, Month 8, Day 12
29 Aug 1403
As, when the envoys from the foreign fan countries came to Court, they also brought goods with which to trade, the Emperor decided that it was necessary to have special offices to be solely engaged in administering them. Thus, he ordered the Ministry of Personnel to set up, in accordance with the system in force at the beginning of the Hong-wu reign, maritime trade superintendencies in Zhe-jiang, Fu-jian and Guang-dong. These superintendencies were to be subordinate to the provincial administration commissions and were to have establishments of one supervisor of the fifth rank, lower class, two deputy supervisors of the sixth rank, lower class and a clerk of the ninth rank, lower class.
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 10, page 0409/10