Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'i Yün-shih

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CH'I Yün-shih 祁韻士 (T. 諧庭, 鶴皋, H. 訪山, 筠淥), 1751–1815, May 5, historian, was a native of Shou-yang, Shansi. He became a pa-kung in 1777 and a chü-jên in the autumn of the same year. In the following year he took his chin-shih degree and was selected a member of the Hanlin Academy. Appointed a compiler in the State Historiographer's Office, he participated for eight years in the compilation of the 外藩蒙古回部王公表傳 Wai-fan Mêng-ku Hui-pu wang kung piao-chuan—a topographical and historical study of the frontiers of Inner and Outer Mongolia, Sinkiang, and Tibet-commissioned in 1779. The work has several supplements by later compilers. From information acquired in this task Ch'i Yün-shih compiled a chronological history of the same region, entitled 皇朝藩部要略 Huang-ch'ao Fan-pu yao-lüeh, 18 chüan, with supplementary tables comprising 4 chüan. This latter work, first printed by his son, Ch'i Chün-tsao [q. v.], in 1845, inspired Chang Mu [q. v.] to write his Mêng-ku yu-mu chi. From 1791 to 1804 Ch'i Yün-shih held various posts in the Board of Revenue. A collection of memorials and reports which he drafted on the problem of grain transport in the years 1799–1800, entitled 己庚編 Chi-Kêng pien, 2 chüan, was printed in 1894 in the Chên-ch'i t'ang ts'ung-shu (see under Wang Hsien). In 1801 Ch'i became overseer of the Coinage Office, but owing to a deficit in the accounts was dismissed (1804). He was tried and banished (1805) to Ili where he stayed until 1809, in which year he was pardoned.

During his exile Ch'i Yün-shih had charge of the compilation of a local history of Sinkiang sponsored by Sung-yün [q. v.] governor-general of Ili. This work was later completed by Hsü Sung [q. v.] and received from the emperor the title Hsin-chiang chih lüeh (see under Sung-yün). As a result of his experience in Sinkiang Ch'i Yün-shih left the following works dealing with that region: 西陲總統事略 Hsi-ch'ui tsung- t'ung shih-lueh, 12 chüan, which is the original draft of the above-mentioned Hsin-chiang chih lüeh; 西陲要略 Hsi-ch'ui yao-lüeh, 4 chüan; 西域釋地 Hsi-yü shih-ti, 1 chüan; and 西陲竹枝詞 Hsi-ch'ui chu-chih tz'ǔ, a collection of 100 poems. The first of the above-mentioned works was printed about 1811 and was later reprinted by his son, Ch'i Chün-tsao, in 1839, together with the 100 poems. The second and the third were included in the Yüeh-ya-t'ang ts'ung-shu (see under Wu Ch'ung-yüeh), though the second had been printed by Ch'i Chün-tsao in 1846. After Ch'i Yün-shih returned from his exile, he joined Sung-Yün's secretarial staff when the latter was governor-general of Kiangsu, Kiangsi and Anhwei (1810–11). He then taught for two years in the Lan-shan Academy (蘭山書院) at Lanchow, Kansu; and still later at Paoting, Chihli, where he died.

Ch'i Yün-shih had six sons, the best known being the fifth and sixth, namely, Ch'i Chün-tsao and Ch'i Su-tsao 祁宿藻 (T. 幼章, H. 1801–1853). The latter, a chin-shih of 1838, died at his post of financial commissioner of Chiang-ning (Nanking) a few days before the fall of that city into the hands of the Taipings. He was canonized as Wên-chieh 文節.

[1/490/14b; 2/72/39b; 3/132/3a; Shou-yang hsien chih (1890) 8/15a; 5/57/18b (for Ch'i Su-tsao).]

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