Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/267

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THE CHINESE EMPIRE


The province is said to be rich in minerals, which have not yet, however, been worked. Iron, salt of an inferior quality, gold, nickel, and magnesia are found in the province. The industries of the province are few, the most noted being ironwork at Tuugkwan, straw -plaiting at Hwayinmiao, incense sticks and bamboo furniture at Chihshui, and coal at Weinan Hsien.

SHENSI is regarded as the cradle of the Chinese race, from which centre the people spread eastward toward Shantung, south towards the Yangtse, and west towards Szechwan. "While very early history is shrouded in mystery and myth, early reliable records give many facts of interest concerning the province. The city of Sian Fu, which is the largest city in that part of North China, is second to none for historical interest. Not far to the west lived the famous founders of the Chau dynasty. Wen Wang and Wu Wang. Sian Fu itself was founded by Wu Wang, the Martial King, in the twelfth century B.C., or about the time of Samuel. In some respects this city surpasses Peking in historical interest and in its records. At this city the Emperors of the first Han dynasty reigned for about two hundred years, 206-24 B.C. It was also the capital of the great T'ang dynasty, a.d. 618-905.

It was to this city that the Nestorian missionaries made their way in a.d. 635, and it was here they suffered severely under the usurping Empress -Dowager Wu, a woman re- markably like the present Empress -Dowager for power. Sian Fu was also the city of refuge for the Chinese Court during its flight from Peking in 1900. "The southern half of the city is entirely Chinese, but the northern is a mixture, the Tartar city occupying the entire north-east segment and containing a rather large Tartar population, perhaps 50,000. In the north-west is the Mohammedan quarter, which, although not separated by walls from the Chinese, is very distinctly Mohammedan. They have, if I remember rightly, eight mosques in the city, seven of the eight being in the north-west."

" Sian Fu was the starting-point of all those religious