Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ts'ên Yü-ying

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

TS'ÊN Yü-ying 岑毓英 (T. 彥卿, H. 匡國), June 26, 1829–1889, June 6, official, was a native of Hsi-lin, Kwangsi. One of his ancestors, a military man, was sent in the middle of the eleventh century to command a garrison at Yung-ning 永寧 (present Nanning), Kwangsi. There he settled, and there his descendants became hereditary chieftains of the local aborigines. In the early Ming period another paternal ancestor was appointed hereditary chieftain of the aborigines at Shang-lin t'ung 上林峒, Kwangsi. In 1666 the chieftainship was abolished and the area under the family's control was changed into a district (hsien) with the name, Hsi-lin. Ts'ên Yü-ying's family lived in the district, in a fortress called Na-lao-chai 那勞寨. Although the family lost the chieftainship, it continued to be influential.

Ts'ên's father was a hsiu-ts'ai in the district school, and in 1845 Ts'ên Yü-ying himself became a hsiu-ts'ai. When Hung Hsiu-ch'üan [q. v.] rose in revolt in Kwangsi in 1850, the gentry was ordered to organize local militia to defend their homes. Ts'ên took command of such a force and, with it, quelled several uprisings of local bandits. In 1853 he was rewarded with the rank of an assistant district magistrate.

In 1855 a Mohammedan rebellion broke out in Yunnan; it lasted seventeen years, and provided Ts'ên with the opportunity to display his abilities and to advance in officialdom. The Moslems of Yunnan, a very strong minority, had for many years been dissatisfied with the local government; and in the forty years prior to 1855 they had several times rebelled (1818–19, 1826–28, 1834–40), but after each failure their lot became less endurable. In this year adherents of that religion, aided by miners at Shih-yang-ch'ang 石羊廠 in Ch'u-hsiung, began an armed conflict which soon spread throughout the province, giving the Moslems predominant power, particularly in the western part. Ts'ên led his militia to the capital at Kunming and his offer to help suppress the revolt was promptly accepted.

At this time (1856) the Mohammedans had two leaders in Yunnan. One was Ma Tê-hsin 馬德新 (also known as Ma Fu-ch'u 馬復初, d. 1874), an old Imam of Tali, who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca and had gained the con fidence of his co-religionists. He lived in or near Kunming, helping the rebels, and at the same time accepting official ranks from the government. Apparently his dominant motive was to increase his own influence. The other leader was Tu Wên-hsiu 杜文秀 (T. 雲煥, H. 百香, d. 1872) who was the political head of the rebel government. Known as Sultan Suleiman, he called his kingdom P'ing-nan Kuo 平南國, and made his capital at Tali. At the height of his power he ruled the western half of Yunnan and had adherents in Szechwan and Kansu. His kingdom lasted more than sixteen years (1856–72), roughly corresponding to the other Moslem uprisings in Shensi, Kansu, and Turkestan (see under Tso Tsung-t'ang).

Early in 1857 Ts'ên Yü-ying assisted the government forces in a vain attempt to recover Tali, but by the middle of that year these armies were withdrawn because Kunming was besieged by Mohammedan forces under Ma Ju-lung 馬如龍 (T. 獻之, H. 雲峯, d. 1891), a general who collaborated with Ma Tê-hsin. Ts'ên returned to Kwangsi, raised recruits and, early in 1859, led them to Kunming to reinforce the defense of the capital. Soon after his arrival the siege was raised; then he was sent to recover nearby cities. Later in the year he took I-liang and was named its acting magistrate. The following year he advanced to Lu-an and was made concurrently acting magistrate of that department. Early in 1861 he was promoted to be acting prefect of Ch'êng-chiang-fu. In 1861, when the Moslems again attacked Kunming, Ts'ên was sent by Governor Hsü Chih-ming 徐之銘 (T. 新齋, H. chin-shih of 1836, d. 1864) to the rebel camp to negotiate a truce. He succeeded in persuading the commanding general, the above-mentioned Ma Ju-lung, to render allegiance to the government. Ma was made a brigade-general, and Ts'ên was rewarded with promotion to acting lieutenant-governor of Yunnan.

Early in 1863 the Mohammedan soldiers who had surrendered with Ma Ju-lung were incited by Ma Tê-hsin to rebel once more. They took control of Kunming and murdered the governor-general, P'an To 潘鐸 (T. 木君, H. 振之, chin-shih of 1832, d. 1863, posthumous name 忠毅). Ts'ên, in co-operation with Ma Ju-lung, put down the revolt, thus leaving only the forces of Tu Wên-hsiu to be dealt with. Ma Ju-lung was left in charge at Kunming, and Ts'ên led an army against the Moslems of Tali. He took several cities, but in March 1864 his forces were defeated near Tali. Presently the Moslems at Ch'ü-ching, northeast of Kunming, rose in arms. This gave Ts'ên a pretext for withdrawing from Tali in order to suppress the rebels in the east. He recovered Ch'ü-ching late in 1864 and finally stabilized eastern Yunnan. Thereafter he made Ch'ü-ching his headquarters, and gave to the farmers and merchants of eastern Yunnan a sense of security, such as they had not known for years. At the same time he nursed his army until it became the strongest force in the province. Kunming would have been his natural headquarters, but he was unable to establish himself there, owing, it is said, to a misunderstanding with Ma Ju-lung.

After a year's respite Ts'ên was appointed intendant of eastern Yunnan and was ordered by Governor-general Lao Ch'ung-kuang (see under Liang Lun-shu) to suppress rebel bands in the region where Yunnan, Szechwan and Kweichow meet. These bands were especially numerous in Kweichow; some were followers of secret religious sects, some were Mohammedans, but most of them were Miao tribesmen. The trouble in Kweichow began about 1854 and lasted for almost twenty years. By 1865 the rebels in the northwestern part of that province became very active, and Ts'ên was sent to suppress them. In the following year be recovered Chên-hsiung and other cities in northeastern Yunnan which they had seized. In 1867 he took the strongholds of the Miao tribesmen on the Yunnan-Kweichow border. The rebellion elsewhere in Kweichow was not put down until 1873, by the forces of Hsi Pao-t'ien (see under Hung Jên-kan) and those of Governor Tstêng Pi-kuang 曾璧光 (T. 毓東, H. 樞垣, 麗東, d. 1875, posthumous name 文誠).

Late in 1867, soon after Ts'ên had returned to Ch'ü-ching, he was called to defend the capital of the province against a severe onslaught of Moslems led by Tu Wên-hsiu. Early in 1868 the latter laid siege to Kunming, and Ts'ên had to fight step by step to open communications between Ch'ü-ching and the capital. Faced thus by a common enemy, Ts'ên and Ma Ju-lung composed their differences. When Ts'ên reached Kunming he was promoted to be governor of Yunnan. He and a protege, named Yang Yü-k'o 楊玉科 (T. 雲階, d. 1885, posthumous name 武愍), fought bitterly against the rebels, and gradually recovered a number of cities, thus relieving the pressure on the capital. In June 1869 Yang brought about the surrender of the female rebel commander who was a daughter of Tu Wên-hsiu. Three months later another rebel headquarters was taken and the siege was raised. Then the government troops under Yang Yü-k'o advanced westward while Ts'ên maintained order in the east. After three more years of warfare Yang reached the rebel capital in Tali (late in 1872). Tu Wên-hsiu attempted suicide, but before his death his guards brought him to Yang's camp to be beheaded. Those of his followers who continued the revolt in parts of the city were overcome early in 1873. Several months later the whole province was pacified, and Ts'ên and Yang were each rewarded with the hereditary rank of Ch'ing-ch'ê tü-yü (Yang's rank being raised to a baron in 1875). In 1874 Ts'ên ordered the arrest and execution of Ma Tê-hsin, denouncing him as the actual instigator of the Mohammedan Rebellion in Yunnan. Of an estimated eight million people in the province before the revolt only about three million were said then to be left—the rest having perished or moved away. The rehabilitation of the devastated area was a long and tedious task, and for his part in it the people of Yunnan hailed Ts'ên as their saviour and ruler. In recognition of his services the Peking government appointed him governor-general of Yunnan and Kweichow.

But before long, the murder of a British subject, Augustus Raymond Margary 馬格里 (1846–1875), on the Yunnan-Burmese border, caused Ts'ên to be denounced as an anti-foreign agitator. In the autumn of 1874 Margary made a five months' overland journey from Shanghai to the Burmese border to meet a British trade mission from Burma and to act as guide and interpreter during its travels in China. He met the expedition at Bhamo in January 1875 and then recrossed the border into Yunnan a little in advance of the party, to prepare for its arrival. On February 19, 1875 he reached Manwyn, Yunnan, and two days later was murdered in the jungle not far from the town. When, a day later, the mission was on its way to Manwyn, it was attacked by armed bands and was forced to return to Burma. A report of the incident was sent from India to Shanghai by cablegram and was forwarded to Peking. Sir Thomas Wade (see under Tso Tsung-t'ang) the British minister, received it on March 11, and two days later sent a memorandum to the Chinese government demanding that an investigation be made on the spot in the presence of British officials, Having no swift means of ascertaining the facts, the Chinese government had to wait until Ts'ên's report was delivered by courier, before it could reply to Wade's demands. Wade took advantage of this necessary delay to increase his demands to include the settlement of all outstanding issues, such as the question of granting an audience to foreign diplomats and the exemption of foreign goods from likin taxes—threatening a break in relations, or even war. To show his impatience he left Peking in April 1875. In July Ts'ên's official report reached Peking, stating that Margary had been murdered by native bandits and that the authorities at Momein (Têng-yüeh) had aroused the hostility of the local people against the British expedition. On receipt of the report, the Peking government at once ordered Li Hung-chang and Ting Jih-ch'ang [qq. v.] to negotiate with Wade at Tientsin; and dispatched Li Han-chang (see under Li Hung-chang) and Hsüeh Huan 薛煥 (T. 覲堂, 1815–1880, in charge of foreign affairs at Shanghai from 1857 to 1863) to Yunnan to conduct the investigation (early in 1876) in the presence of British officials. The inquiry confirmed Tsêng's report, and several persons who had confessed to the murder were convicted. Wade, however, had no faith in the investigations, insisting that Ts'ên was really responsible. Since the Peking government was unwilling to summon Ts'ên for trial, Wade was given concessions in other matters, and the case was settled in September 1876 by the Chefoo Convention (see under Li Hung-chang). In addition to the opening of more ports to foreign trade and regulations, likin taxes on foreign goods, one important result of this episode was the appointment of China's first minister to the Court of St. James (see under Kuo Sung-tao).

It is safe to say that Ts'ên did not order an attack on the British expedition. If any such order was given, it could have come only from Li Chên-kuo 李珍國 (T. 聘三, d. 1888), a native of Momein (born of a Burmese mother) who remembered that the British had conquered lower Burma in 1862, and that at the time of the Margary affair they were forcibly extending their influence northward. The city of Momein had been in the hands of Moslem rebels from 1861 to 1873. During that time (1867) a British trade mission came to the city and was well received by the rebels, but was prevented from going farther into Yunnan by government troops and by a native militia led by Li Chên-kuo whose operations blocked the highways. Li helped the government forces to recover Momein in 1873 and was made a colonel. Though by the time Margary came Li's troops had been disbanded, they might well have been summoned on short notice. In such a move he probably had the support of the local merchants who feared the impact of any new trade agreements on their livelihood.

By the time the Chefoo Convention was signed, Ts'ên was no longer at the head of affairs in Yunnan, since several months earlier he had retired to Kweilin, Kwangsi, to observe a twenty-seven months' mourning period for the death of his mother. Early in 1879 he went to Peking where he was granted several audiences, and where he met for the first time the higher officials of the central government. After serving as governor of Kweichow (1879–81) and of Fukien (1881–82), he was promoted in 1882 to be governor-general of Yunnan and Kweichow and was ordered to prepare for a possible conflict with France over Annam. In 1883 he and T'ang Chiung [q. v.] were reprimanded for temporarily withdrawing their troops from the border. Early in 1884 Ts'ên went to Annamese territory to direct supplies to the army under Liu Yung-fu who was then fighting the French (see under Fêng Tzŭ-ts'ai). When war with France was openly declared in August 1884 the Yunnan troops advanced along the Red River to Hsüan-kuang 宣光 (Tuyen-Quan), with the purpose of joining the Kwangsi troops under Governor P'an Ting-hsin 潘鼎新 (T. 琴軒, chü-jên of 1849, d. 1888), but Ts'ên failed to take Hsüan-kuang or to advance any farther. After the armistice was signed in April 1885 he returned to Yunnan—a province whose treasury had been drained and whose border now faced French forces. He had learned the importance of having western arms, and of swift communications. The question of communications was solved by the extension, at this time, of the telegraph to Kunming.

Late in 1885 Ts'ên was given the additional hereditary rank of Yün-ch'i-yü. In 1888, on his sixtieth birthday, he was presented with many gifts from the Emperor. The gentry of Yunnan presented to him an album of forty paintings depicting the important events of his life, which was lithographically reproduced (1891) under the title, 勖德介福圖 Hsün-tê chieh-fu t'u. On this anniversary year he edited and printed the genealogy of his family, entitled 西林岑氏族譜 Hsi-lin Ts'ên-shih tsu-p'u, 10 chüan. After he died he was canonized as Hsiang-ch'in 襄勤 and was celebrated in the Temple of Eminent Statesmen in Peking, as well as in special temples in Kunming, Kweiyang, and elsewhere. A chronology of his life was compiled by Chao Fan 趙藩 (T. 樾村, 1851–1927), and was printed in 1899 under the title Ts'ên Hsiang-ch'in kung nien-p'u (公年譜). His collected memorials, Ts'ên Hsiang-ch'in kung tsou-i (奏議), 30 + 1 chüan, were printed in 1897. It is said that his hereditary rank was posthumously raised to a second-class baron.

Ts'ên Yü-ying had seven sons. The eldest, Ts'ên Ch'un-jung 岑春榮 (T. 泰階, H. 伯頤, b. 1852), inherited the family hereditary rank and later served as intendant of Northern Honan (1893–?). The second, Ts'ên Ch'un-hsü 岑春煦 (T. 暄庭, H. 旭階, b. 1857), headed a number of prefectures in Honan and Chihli. The fifth, Ts'ên Ch'un-ming 岑春蓂 (T. 堯階, H. 馥莊, b. 1865), served as governor of Kweichow (1905–06) and of Hunan (1906–10). The most famous of his sons was the third, Ts'ên Ch'un-hsüan 岑春煊 (original ming 春澤, T. 雲階 H. 炯堂, b. 1861), a chü-jên of 1885 who filled various posts in Peking, Kwangtung, and Kansu. In the Boxer uprising of 1900 he led some troops to the rescue of Peking, and escorted the Court on its flight through Taiyuan to Sian. He became a favorite of the Empress Dowager (Hsiao-ch'in, q.v.). Later he served as governor of Shensi (1901–02) and as governor-general of Szechwan (1902–03) and of Kwangtung and Kwangsi (1903–06). In 1907 he retired under criticism. Early in the Republican period he opposed Yüan Shih-k'ai (see under Yüan Chia-san) and took part in the civil wars against him, being made in 1916 commander-in-chief of the forces concentrated at Chao-ch'ing, Kwangtung, to oppose Yuan's monarchical schemes. In 1918 he was elected one of the directors of the so-called Military Government at Canton, but two years later he and the other militarists of Kwangsi and Yunnan were driven from Canton. Thereafter he lived in retirement at Shanghai.


[Nien-p'u; 1/425/6a; 5/30/4a; Ts'ao K'un, "The Rebellion of Tu Wên-hsiu in T'êng-yüeh" (in Chinese), printed in 1910 in 曲石叢書 Ch'ü-shih ts'ung-shu; Ho Hui-ch'ing, "Eighteen Years of Tu Wên-hsiu's Rebel Government in Yunnan" (in Chinese), printed in 逸經 I-ching, nos. 12–16 (1936); P'ing-ting Yunnan Hui fei fang-lüeh, Ping-ting Kweichow Miao fei chi-lüeh, and Ch'ing-chi wai-chiao shih-liao (characters for all these in I-hsin); Wên-hsien ts'ung-pien (see bibl. under Li Fu), no. 22; The Journey of Augustus Raymond Margary (1876) ; Anderson, J., Mandalay to Momein (1876); Wang, S. T., The Margary Affair and the Chefoo Convention (1940); Li Kên-yüan 李根源, 雪生年錄 Hsüeh-shêng nien-lu, 1/3a, 2/12a, 3/2a; 金陵通傳 Chin-ling t'ung-chuan, 40/3b; Chin-shih jên-wu chih (see under Wêng T'ung-ho); Broomhall, M., Islam in China, a Neglected Problem (1910); see bibl. under Fêng Tzŭ-ts'ai.]

Fang Chao-ying