Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Fu-tê
FU-tê 富德, d. 1776, of the Gûalgiya clan garrisoned at Kirin, was a member of the Manchu Plain Yellow Banner. His life was spent in military activity in the far west in the campaigns which extended Chinese sovereignty over Turkestan and Burma. He went on his first expedition in 1748 when, following Fu-hêng [q. v.], he attacked the aborigines in the Chin-ch'uan region (see under Chang Kuang-ssŭ and Fu-hêng). After the conquest of Sungaria in 1755 (see under Amursana) he spent two years as assistant military governor in subduing recalcitrant Tanguts and Kazaks. In 1757, because Amursana had revolted in Sungaria, Fu-tê accompanied Cenggun Jabu (see under Tsereng) to the relief of Chao-hui [q. v.]. The following year (1758), entrusted with the maintenance of order among the Kazaks, he was granted the minor hereditary rank of Yün-ch'i-yü. In 1759 when Chao-hui was besieged near Yarkand by the Moslems, Fu-tê, along with A-kuei, Shu-ho-tê [qq. v.] and others came to his rescue. He also accompanied the army to Badakshan, west of Kashgar, whither the two leaders of the Moslem revolt had fled, and he received their heads from the Sultan (see under Chao-hui). For his services in this campaign he was elevated in rank several times and finally was awarded the title of Marquis Ching-yüan ch'êng-yung 靖遠成勇侯 and was presented the double-eyed peacock feather. In 1760, for his services in this same campaign, his portrait was included among the portraits of the fifty meritorious ministers and generals in the Tzŭ-kuang ko (see under Chao-hui). Moreover he was appointed to serve the Grand Council (1760–62), holding several concurrent offices.
But Fu-tê's success was short-lived. With the discovery that he had accumulated a large fortune at the expense of the army, and that he had exploited his Mongol prince allies to his own benefit, he was cashiered in 1762, imprisoned, and condemned to death. But Emperor Kao-tsung pardoned him in 1763. Five years later (1768) he again became embroiled in difficulties. Ming-jui [q. v.] had just been disastrously defeated in Burma, and Fu-tê had recommended to the emperor the Manchu general who was partly responsible for the failure of succour to in Burma in time to save Mingjui. For this offense Fu-tê was imprisoned a second time, and avoided decapitation only because of imperial pardon in 1771. In 1773 he accompanied A-kuei in Kao-tsung's second campaign against the Chin-ch'uan (see under A-kuei). For two years he did not achieve much distinction, whereas A-kuei gained one victory after another. In 1775 A-kuei accused him of the same grasping propensities of which he had been previously charged. Fu-tê, in a confidential memorial written in Manchu, accused A-kuei of overstepping the proper duties of his station. Being unable to substantiate his charge, Fu-tê was beheaded a few days after the triumphal return of A-kuei, in accordance with the precedent that a man should suffer the penalty to which he renders another liable through false accusation.
[1/320/8b; Tung-hua lu, Ch'ien-lung 41:5.]
Rufus O. Suter