Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chang P'êng-ko

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CHANG P'êng-ko 張鵬翮 (T. 運青, H. 寬宇, 信陽子), Dec. 20, 1649–1725, March-April, official, expert in river conservancy, was a native of Sui-ning, Szechwan, to which his ancestors had migrated from Ma-ch'êng, Hupeh, during the early Ming period. After taking his chin-shih degree in 1670 he was selected a bachelor in the Hanlin Academy. For ten years (1670–80) he held minor posts in the government—first as a secretary in the Board of Punishments and then as a department director in the Board of Ceremonies. Meanwhile he served as assistant examiner of the Shun-t'ien provincial examination (1675) and of the metropolitan examination (1676). In 1680 he was made prefect of Soochow, but soon returned home on account of the death of his mother. After completing the customary period of mourning (1683) he was made prefect of Yenchow, Shantung, an office he held for two years. During his administration he compiled the gazetteer of that prefecture, entitled 兖州府志 Yen-chou fu-chih, 40 + 1 chüan, printed in 1686. In 1685 he was promoted to the post of salt-controller of Shansi and in the following year (1686) was made secretary in the Transmission Office.

In 1688 an embassy, headed by Songgotu [q. v.], was appointed to confer with the Russian delegates at Selenga concerning a boundary dispute. Upon the recommendation of Maci [q. v.], a member of the embassy, Chang P'êng-ko and Ch'ên Shih-an 陳世安 were added to the staff as Chinese secretaries. Details of the journey (May 30–Sept. 7, 1688) are clearly recorded by Chang P'êng-ko in his diary, entitled 奉使俄羅斯行程錄 Fêng-shih Ê-lo-ssŭ hsing-ch'êng lu, 1 chüan, which is included in the ts'ung-shu, I-hai chu-ch'ên (see under Mei Wên-ting). In other collectanea it appears under the title, Fêng-shih Ê-lo-ssŭ jih-chi (日記), with variations in the text. The embassy was, however, stopped in Outer Mongolia by Galdan's [q. v.] invasion of that territory, and was ordered to return to Peking. Upon his arrival at the capital Chang was made sub-director in the Court of Judicature and Revision. On March 12, 1689 he was appointed governor of Chekiang, an office he held until 1694. Then he was successively made junior-president of the Board of War (1694–97) and concurrently commissioner of education of Kiangnan; president of the Censorate (1697–98); president of the Board of Punishments (1698); and governor-general of Kiangnan and Kiangsi (1698–1700). In 1699 he returned with Emperor Shêng-tsu to the North, and T'ao-tai 陶岱 (clan name 瓜爾佳氏) was made acting governor-general in his stead. In the same year (1699) Chang was repeatedly sent to Shensi to investigate a case of corruption involving a number of officials of that province. Upon his return to Peking in 1700 he submitted his report and was highly praised by the emperor for his impartiality.

On April 28, 1700 Chang P'êng-ko was appointed to succeed Yü Ch'êng-lung [q. v.] as director-general of Yellow River Conservancy. During the ensuing eight years (1700-08) he devoted his entire attention to the problems of river control and distinguished himself as one of the experts on that subject in the Ch'ing period. Realizing the need for administrative reorganization and centralized authority, Chang immediately after his appointment memorialized the throne, recommending (1) the dismissal of Hsü T'ing-hsi 徐廷璽, who had been appointed to assist Chin Fu [q. v.] in 1692 and who had previously held the post of assistant to the director-general of River Conservancy; (2) a wholesale dismissal of the incompetent, and (3) better co-operation between the Board of Works and the Office of River Conservancy. In his methods Chang followed in general the plan laid down by his predecessors, Chin Fu and Yü Ch'êng-lung. He recommended (1) deepening and widening of the lower reaches of the Yellow River by removing the dike, Lan-huang-pa 攔黃壩, in order to accelerate the flow of the current and so facilitate disposal of the silt; (2) construction of a new canal near Chang-fu-k'ou 張福口 to take the water from Lake Hung-tsê 洪澤湖 and so keep the Yellow River from flowing into the lake; and (3) numerous other proposals, such as building dikes, repairing water gates, or deepening riverbeds. He was lauded by the Emperor for his diligence and was considered a model for officials. During a fourth tour to South China (1703) Emperor Shêng-tsu praised Chang's work in one of his poems. In the same year Chang was given the honorary title, Grand Guardian of the Heir Apparent. Relying on the proposal of a subordinate, Chang recommended (1706) the opening of a canal to relieve the floods in Lake Hung-tsê. He and A-shan 阿山 (clan name 伊拉哩氏 d. 1714), who was then governor-general of Kiangnan and Kiangsi, memorialized the throne inviting the Emperor to inspect the projected route. When on a sixth tour of South China (1707) the Emperor examined the route, he found that the canal as planned would occupy a large area of fertile land and destroy many tombs of the people. Consequently he ordered A-shan dismissed and Chang deprived of his honorary title. Chang was, however, reinstated in the following year (1708) when both the Yellow River and the Grand Canal were reported in excellent condition.

Late in 1708 Chang P'êng-ko was recalled to Peking where he served successively as president of the Board of Punishments (1708–09), of the Board of Finance (1709–13), and of the Board of Civil Office (1713–14). In the meantime he served as chief examiner of the Shun-t'ien provincial examination (1713) and was commissioned to investigate several cases (1712), one involving accusations between Chang Po-hsing and Gali [qq. v.]. Upon the death, late in 1714, of his father, Chang Lang 張烺 (T. 仲寰, 1627–1714), Chang was given leave to observe the mourning period in Peking. In 1718 he resumed his duties as president of the Board of Civil Office—a post he held until his death. Meanwhile he served twice (1718, 1721) as chief examiner of the metropolitan examination, and was twice in 1721 commissioned to inspect river conservancy work in Shantung and southern Chihli. When Emperor Shih-tsung was enthroned, Chang P'êng-ko was given (January 30, 1723) the honorary title, Grand Tutor of the Heir Apparent, and soon after (March 8, 1723) was made a Grand Secretary. When he died, early in 1725, he was given the posthumous honorary title, Junior Guardian, and was canonized as Wên-tuan 文端. In 1730 his name was entered into the Temple of Eminent Statesmen at Peking.

During his administration as director-general of Yellow River Conservancy, Chang P'êng-ko was authorized by the Emperor on April 18, 1701 to compile an official work on river conservancy. On June 8, 1703 he submitted to the throne his manuscript contribution consisting of 2 chüan of imperial edicts and 22 chüan of memorials and studies on river conservancy covering the period 1684–1703. This manuscript was later re-edited by a contemporary, Chang Hsi-liang 張希良 (T. 石虹, chin-shih of 1685, died at the age of 82 sui) and published in 1725 under the title 河防志 Ho fang chih, 12 chüan. A similar work, entitled 張公奏議 Chang-kung tsou-i, 24 chüan, is also attributed to Chang, but it was not printed until 1800. Chang's collected works were compiled by Chang Chih-chüan 張知銓, a descendant in the fifth generation, and printed in 1882 under the title, 張文端公全集 Chang Wên-tuan kung ch'üan-chi, 1 + 6 chüan, including his 年譜 nien-p'u. He was considered the first compiler of his native gazetteer, entitled 遂寧縣志 Sui-ning hsien-chih, 6 chüan, printed in 1690. He compiled the complete works of Chu-ko Liang (see under Lu Shih-i) under the title 忠武誌 Chung-wu chih, 8 chüan, which contains a preface by himself dated 1705. This work was printed in 1712 with a local gazetteer, 臥龍岡志 Wo-lung-kang chih, 2 chüan, written by a contemporary, Lo Ching 羅景 (T. 景瞻). The printing blocks of both the above-mentioned works are said to be preserved in the district yamen of Nan-yang, Honan. The Chung-wu chih was reprinted in 1814 by Chou Wan-lan 周畹蘭, but the Wo-lung-kang chih was not included. Two collections of miscellaneous notes, entitled 信陽子卓錄 Hsin-yang-tzŭ cho-lu, 8 chüan, printed in 1716, and 敦行錄 Tun-hsing lu, 2 chüan, are attributed to Chang. His essay on the military defense of the Yangtze, entitled 江防述略 Chiang-fang shu-lüeh, was included in the Hsüeh-hai lei-pien (see under Ts'ao Jung). Another essay on the control of the lower reaches of the Yellow River, entitled 治下河論 Chih hsia-ho lun, appears in the Hsiao fang-hu chai yü-ti ts'ung-ch'ao (see under Hsü Chi-yü). Two collections of poems, entitled 南華山人詩鈔 Nan-hua shan-jên shih-ch'ao, 16 chüan, and 賜詩賡和集 Tz'ŭ-shih kêng-ho chi, 1 + 6 chüan, sometimes erroneously attributed to Chang P'êng-ko, are the writings of a contemporary, Chang P'êng-ch'ung 張鵬翀 (T. 天扉(飛), 抑齋, H. 南華山人), June 23, 1688-1745, May 15.

A number of Chang P'êng-ko's descendants held public office, of whom the most prominent was Chang Wên-t'ao [q. v.] who was both a poet and a painter.

[1/285/12a; 2/11/16a; 3/11/1a, 補錄; 4/22/2a; 4/76/13a; 7/9/14b; 9/13/1a; Sui-ning hsien-chih (1929) 3/11a, 14b, 4/10b; Ho-fang chih passim; 嘉定縣志 Chia-ting hsien chih (1882) 27/30b; Chang Wên-tuan kung nien-p'u.]

J. C. Yang