Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chang Ch'üan
CHANG Ch'üan 張銓 ( 宇衡, 見平), 1577–1621, May 13, Ming official, was a native of Ch'in-shui, Shansi. After taking his chin-shih degree in 1604 he began his political career as prefectural judge of Paoting-fu. Several years later he rose to the position of a censor. In 1618 when Yang Hao [q. v.] was preparing his expedition against the Manchus, Chang memorialized the government, warning against the danger of heavy taxation to support a foreign war and urging the adoption of a defensive policy. In 1620 he was sent to Liaotung as inspector of the armies under the governor, Yüan Ying-t'ai [q. v.], who was defending Mukden and Liao-yang against the Manchus. He opposed Yüan's program of enlisting Mongols, and his suspicions were justified when they turned out to be spies for the Manchus. At the fall of Liao-yang in 1621 he was taken captive, but committed suicide rather than enter the service of the Manchus. He was posthumously given the rank of president of the Board of War and was canonized as Chung-lieh 忠烈.
He was the author of a work in 12 chüan, entitled 國史紀聞 Kuo-shih chi-wên, which reviews in chronological form the history of the period 1352–1521. The book was completed in 1610; and the first edition, of which the Library of Congress possesses a copy, was printed by his son in 1624. During the Ch'ien-lung period this work was banned, together with two collections of Chang's memorials to the throne.
[M.1/291/2a; M.3/271/6b; M.30/1/32a; 明季北略 Ming-chi pei-lüeh, 2/2b; Hauer, E., K'ai-kuo fang-lüeh, p. 108; Ssŭ-k'u (see under Chi Yün), 48/5b; Ch'in-shui hsien-chih (1881), 8/12a, 19b; Wang Tsai-chin [q. v.], San-ch'ao Liao-shih shih-lu, 4/12b.]
George A. Kennedy