Yaqub Beg and the Qing (2)

The following entry (the very last of the whole Tongzhi Sacred Teachings) illustrates quite well how Yaqub Beg tried to show his good will towards the Qing by sending back captured officials or, as is the case here, persons of importance. It also shows how the Court (voluntarily/mistakenly?) took this as a sign of him wanting to submit.

Daicing gurun i Muzung filingga hūwangdi i enduringge tacihiyan (大清穆宗毅皇帝聖訓), debtelin 160, f°44b-46b.
sohon honin inenggi. coohai nashūn i ambasa de dergi hese wasimbuhangge.
wenlin sei baci uju hūsiha hoise be takūrame tomilafi besir i fujin be okdome karmame hami de maribuha babe wesimbuhebi.
besir i fujin. duleke aniya fudaraka ehe hūlha de tabcilabume ciktengmu de isinaha. anjiyan i julergi jugūn i aiman i da pa hiya de duribume tucifi. bugur bade icihiyame tebuhe. harangga fujin i neome samsiha babe tuwaci yala umesi jilame gūnicuka. pa hiya i baime alibuha bithei dangse de. hami i amban i doron gidaha ulhibure bithe be alime gaiha manggi. uthai harangga fujin be amasi benebumbi seme alibuha be tuwaci. tere fudaraka be waliyafi ijishūn i dahanjire babe. murušeme saci ombi. wenlin se ne hoise wang maihamut de takūrafi. hoisei da be sonjome tomilafi harangga bade unggihe be dahame. uthai besir i fujin be sain hūdun i okdome karmafi hami de maribu. banjire ba be ufarabuci ojorakū. harangga pa hiya unenggi julergi jugūn i geren hoton i aiman niyalma be kadalame gaifi gaiharilame dahanjiha bime. geli turfan i hoton be alibume tucibume muteci gurun boo esi urunakū kesi isibuci acambi. erebe wenlin sede afabufi unenggi tucibume ulhibume selgiyefi. arga deribufi elbime jibufi. amba arbun de tusa arakini harangga pa hiya i amasi karu ungginjihe bithe be alime gaiha de uthai hahi hūdun i wesimbu sehe.

[On the 13th year, 11th month,] the day of the yellowish sheep, an edict was sent to the officials of the Great Council:
Wenlin and co. have memorialized about dispatching turban-headed Muslims[1], going to meet Besir’s wife and bringing her back safely to Hami.
Last year[2], Besir’s wife was captured by evil rebels and arrived in Ciktengmu. Having been seized by the Andijan Pasha, the leader of the tribes of the Southern Circuit, she has been taken care of and resettled in Bugur. The said wife’s wanderings are truly something that provokes compassionate thoughts. In the document he presented, Pasha says he will send back the said wife after he has received a letter of instructions bearing the seal of the Hami amban. Considering this, it can more or less be seen that he is abandoning his rebellion and obediently submits. Now, let Wenlin and co. dispatch people to the Muslim wang Maihamut, and Muslim leaders be chosen and sent to the aforementioned place. Then, have Besir’s wife be met with and quickly brought back safely to Hami. We cannot have this opportunity be lost[3].
After having conquered them, the said Pasha truly rules over the people of the towns of the Southern Circuit, and suddenly he has made offers to submit[4]. When he will have given back the town of Turfan, it will be appropriate to bestow great favor upon him.
After you have handed this over to Wenlin and co. and have truly informed him, let him come up with a plan to win over and make [Pasha] come. This will be beneficial to the overal situation.[5]
When the answer of the said Pasha will have been received, memorialize without delay.
[1] Turkic-speaking Muslims (Ch. 纏頭 chantou).
[2] See the entries starting of f°63b (the capture) and 83a (the freeing of Maihamut) for these events.
[3] I don’t find banjire ba easy to translate. Literally “opportunity of living”, meaning the chance of getting the wife back and alive.
[4] Although dahanjiha can mean “he suddenly came to submit”, it should not be taken literally here. It is more akin to “he made offers of submission” (that is, in the eyes of the Qing of course).
[5] The series of -fi…-kini has to be broken down for translation but I hope I haven’t made a mess of it.


Yaqub Beg and the Qing (1)

The Dungan revolt (1862-1877) in Xinjiang, which had started as a Hui Muslim rebellion against Manchu-Chinese forces in Gansu and Shaanxi, soon spread to Xinjiang where Turkic Muslims cooperated with the Hui. This situation was altered when the insurgents in Xinjiang required help from Kokand’s ruler, who answered their call by sending Yaqub Beg in 1865. After establishing his authority over the Kasghar region, Yaqub Beg declared a jihad against the Dungans, basically turning the revolt into a three-party affair: the Qing dynasty (bent on getting back the whole region), the Dungans (now sandwiched between the Qing and Yaqub Beg), and Yaqub Beg (quickly expending his dominion at the expense of the Dungans).[1]

After defeating the Dungans at Turfan and Urumci, Yaqub Beg was for the first time in direct contact with the Qing and in 1871 he sent a letter explaining the legitimacy of his rule over the region. Wenlin, the Qing official in charge in Hami, was nonplussed and answered with a “Letter of Admonition” in which he thanked Yaqub Beg for defeating the Dungans but also by made it very clear that the territories he now held are part of Qing empire. This exchange has been studied in depth in Onuma, ‘First Contact between Ya’qub Beg and the Qing‘, JAAS 84, 2012, p. 5-37.I thought it would be interesting to see what the Tongzhi Emperor’s Sacred Teachings had to say about Yaqub Beg and gathered a couple of entries that deal in some depth with his actions.

The first one shows the court reaction to the exchange of letters mentioned above between Yaqub Beg and Wenlin. It is interesting in showing that, while Yaqub Beg’s intentions are becoming clear, the court is still very much in the dark about who he is. He is throughout referred to as ‘Pa Hiya’ (from the word ‘Pasha’) but the court apparently still doesn’t know weher it is the title of a ruler or a personal name.

duin biyai niowanggiyan indahūn inenggi coohai nashūn i ambasa de dergi hese wasimbuhangge. welin sei baci. anjiyan i dalaha hoise dangse be alibume benehe. urumci hoton i fudaraka hoise anjiyan de dahanaha. dalaha fudaraka hoise ma jung. urumci hoton ci bithe alibufi bilure de dayanjiki seme baiha babe. hacin hacin i wesimbuhebi.
anjiyan pa hiya turfan i hoton be kame afafi. ehe hoise be gisabume burulaha. harangga pa hiya unenggi gurun i jalin hūsun bume faššaci. ainu alibuha dangse i dolo. umai unenggi i dahanjire hoton be amasi afabure gisun akū ni. ere dade harangga hoton i nikan irgen be leksei uju fusibufi julergi jugūn de unggihe secibe. ya bade icihiyame tebure be sarkū. harangga pa hiya ne hoton i tule kūwaran ilibufi yohoron fetefi uju hūsire hoise be tomilame takūrafi. hoton be tuwašatame tuwakiyabuha be tuwaci. ba na be ejelefi tomoro jalin kicerengge. iletu bime ja i sambi. ede bime urumci hoton i fudaraka hoise be hafirame dahalabuha bime. kemuni ma jung be wen de dahabuha jeo i uheri da obuha. yargiyan i dorgideri ehe mujilen hefeliyehe.
wenlin se. ne arga deribufi sidereme jafatafi. ulhibure bithe bufi. tesebe unenggi i baime dahanjibufi hoton be amasi afabubuki seme toktobuha be tuwaci. inu tooselame gamarakū ome muterakū. damu urunakū olhošoho dade geli olhošome. cira narhūn i seremšeme belhebuci acambi. majige oihorilame gamafi. harangga pa hiya de eiterebure de isibuci ojorakū.
wenlin se. harangga pa hiya de buhe ulhibure bithei dolo. turgun be tucibume baime wesimbufi. kooli ci tulgiyen kesi isibufi. pa hiya be dabali saišame huwekiyebuki. hese be gingguleme alime gaiha manggi. uthai pa hiya de beneme afabufi. gingguleme tuwabuki seme toktobufi wesimbuhe bime. bukdari i dolo ere hacin be adarame icihiyara babe. umai getukeleme tucibuhekū erebe wenlin sede afabufi icihiyara arbun dursun be saikan tulbime bodofi. an i emu derei donjibume wesimbu. su hūwan jang nimeme akū oho sehengge. yargiyan yargiyan akū. pa hiya anjiyan i hoisei da i gebu inuo wakao. eici niyalmai gebu inuo. erebe kemuni suwaliyame wesimbu.

On the fourth month, on the day of the greenish dog, an edict was sent to the members of the Great Council:
Welin and co. have memorialized about the following, “The Muslim ruler of Anjiyan has sent a document. The Muslim rebels of Urumci have surrendered to Anjiyan. Ma Zhong[2], the leader of the Muslim rebels, sent a letter from Urumci and wants to submit.”
The Andijan Pasha besieged the town of Turfan and wiped out the evil Muslims, who fled away. If the said Pasha truly exerted himself on behalf of our country, how come his letter makes no mention of giving us back the town who is submitting to him? Moreover, he had the whole Chinese population of the said town have their head shaved and sent them to the Southern Circuit[3], and nothing is known about their present whereabouts. Now the said Pasha has set up a camp outside of the city and has dug ditches; he has sent turban-headed Muslims[4] and has them keep a close watch on the city. If we consider all this, it is very clear that he is bent on controlling the area and staying there. He has also made Ma Zhong commandant of the Urumci area. This truly shows that his intentions are bad.
Wenlin and co. have now come up with a plan, keeping him in check and sending him a letter, instructing him to give us these towns back after they have genuinely submitted. If we consider these decisions, it is essential to ponder cautiously. Not only should we be prudent but it is also fitting to have a defence prepared very carefully. It won’t do to treat things with even the slightest carelessness and expose us to be deceived by the said Pasha.
Wenlin and co. have memorialized, informing us about the matter contained in the letter of instructions given to the said Pasha and asking [for instructions]. They have memorialized about their decision to bestow exceptional favor upon Pasha and to nurture his zeal by praising him beyond measure. After an edict has been received, they will send it to Pasha and will inform us[5]. They did not bring out clearly at all in the document how these things would be taken care of. After this [edict] has been transmitted to Wenlin and co. and the circumstances have been well pondered, send an ordinary memorial about these. Memorialize also about Suo Huanzhang[2] having died, is it true or not? Is Pasha the name of the chief of the Andijan Muslims or not? Maybe it is a personal name?

[1] This very crude summary does not do justice to the complex situation that existed at the time. For a detailed account of the events, see Kim Hodong, Holy War in China. The Muslim Rebellion and State in Chinese Central Asia, 1864-1877, Stanford University Press, 2004.
[2] A Dungan leader.
[3] Ch. 南路 (nanlu)
[4] That is Turkic Muslims, as opposed to the Dungans/Hui Muslims.
[5] I find the syntax here a bit convoluted and the translation can probably be improved.


Crime at the Russian ecclesiastical mission


Just found and “read” the very nice article by Tatiana A. Pang, entitled Маньчжурские документы о деятельности Пекинской духовной миссии (published in Studia Orientalia 97, 2003). It is in Russian (which I do not read) but the Manchu texts it presents are very interesting. They come from the Manchu manuscripts collection in Saint Petersburg and deal with the Russian ecclesiastical Mission in Beijing.  As such they offer a glimpse on the everyday life of these men.

For more on the Russian Mission see Widmer, The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Peking During the Eighteenth Century (1976), and this post by Gregory Afinogenov on the Manchu Studies Group blog.

Here is the first of the documents, as transcribed by the author of the article since there is no photo in the article. There are quite a few mistakes (or are they accepted variants, or typos?) in the text (boolari/boolara, alhabi/alahabi) and the language on the whole gives me the feeling of being a bit…akward. Because it was written by a learner? Well, maybe this is just me not being a good enough reader…

Oros da lama Iwakingfu-i bithe / oros kuren-i baita be kadalara hafan Boo looye de aliburengge. / boolari jalin.

ninggûn biyai gûsin de jaci lama Arkadii / minde [alaha] bithe alibuha bade.

bi ilan tacire urse. aisilame nomun / hûlara niyalma Pi halangga-i baru amargi tanggin de genefi / šun dabsiha erinde marifi tuwaci. mini hûlaha fa // deri dosika songko bi. amala kimcime baicame tuwara de / fa neihe bicibe. An-i yaksifi da hadaha jinggeri be / dasame hadaha. dorgi giyalan booi yoose be anakû be baifi yoose be neifi dorgi giyalan boode / sindaha. sithen-i yoose be inu anakû be / baifi yoose be neifi etuku jaka be hûlhame gaifi. da // an-i yooselafi anakû be an-i bade seme alhabi. /

ubabe getukeleme / Boo looye de donjibume boolafi / wesihûn beye meni kuren de jifi kimcime tuwafi. adarame / icihiyaci acara babe fonjime icihiyarao.

erei jalin gingguleme boolaha.//

Letter by the Russian head-priest Iakinf (1). A communication to Mr Bao, official in charge of the Russian establishment. To report.

On the 30th day of the 6th month (2), the vice-priest Arkady reported to me in a letter:

“I and three students went to the northern study of the lector Pi (3). We returned at dusk and saw that there was evidence of my window having been broken into(?) (4). Upon further careful inspection [we saw that], although the window had been opened, it had been closed and the peg put back in place. As for the lock of the inner room, one had looked for the key and opened the lock. As for the lock of the chest placed (5) in the inner room, one had again looked for the key, opened the lock, stolen the clothing items, locked it back and put the key at its usual place.”

Having clearly informed Mr. Bao and asking what should be done, would You please come to our establishment, inspect things and handle the matter? (6)

To this effect we have respectfully reported.

(1) Hyacinth (Bichurin) (1777-1853).

(2) 21 August (1811).

(3) I guess this stands for Peter since in the following document (dated 1830) a spelling Piyeter is found.

(4) Litt. “There was evidence of entering from my having-been-broken-into(?) window”. Not sure about hûlaha, my best guess at this stage is that it stands for hûlhaha (but can the verb hûlhambi be used with this meaning?).

Another, maybe more satisfiying, solution is to consider that the word mini is misplaced. hûlaha mini fa // deri dosika songko bi, “there was evidence of a robber having entered from my window” gives a very satisfying meaning. If so, maybe the author wanted to write mini fa // deri, “decided” then to add hûlaha, but did not correct the sentence.

The spelling hûlaha for hûlha is sometimes found in documents so I’m not sure it can be labelled a mistake (see for instance the memorial by Mamboo, studied by Kim, 2013, “Uncovering a Minor Arcanum”, in which this is the normal spelling) .

(5) Despite the dot after sindaha, I take this word as refering to the chest mentioned afterwards. If not, the sentence seems akward to me: yoose be neifi dorgi giyalan boode / sindaha, “One opened the lock and placed in the inner room”.

(6) The precise syntax of this sentence eludes me and the translation might not be completely accurate.

Kangxi and his son’s clothes

Touching bit from a letter sent by the Kangxi emperor to his son and heir in June 1696.

te urgun-i amasi marire jakade. simbe alimbaharakū kidumbi: te erin halhūn oho sini etuhe. kubun ša. kubun jodon-i sijigiyan duin kurume duin-be (1) unggi. urunakū fe ningge-be unggi. ama bi simbe kidure-de etuki.

“Now that I come back joyfully, I miss you very much. Now the weather has become hot, send me four gowns and four jackets of cotton silk gauze and cotton grass linen that you have worn. Make sure to send old ones. I will wear them when I miss you”.

(Text taken from Cimeddorji, Die Briefe des K’ang-Hsi-Kaisers, 1989, p. 149)
(1) I am not sure wether the specifications about the fabric apply to the gowns only or to the jackets also. Cimeddorji chose the former solution and translates “Schik mir vier Mäntel aus Baumvollgaze und aus Grasleinen, sowie vier kurze Jacken (…)”.

“No different than a Manchu”

 In 1773, during the Jinchuan war, the Qianlong emperor appointed officials for each of the three roads to be taken by the army on its way to attack the Cucin. While doing so, the emperor praises the Chinese official Han Guwe Hing. The way he does it is interesting and shows how much ethnic distinction was a factor to be reckoned with.

Also to be noted is the fact that only in the case of Han Guwe Hing did the emperor feel it was necessary to provide some explanation for his decision. The nomination of the Manchu officials Šucang and Hailanca to the same post is done without any justification.

dzanla cucin i ba be necihiyeme toktobuha bodogon i bithe. dehi sunjaci debtelin: (f° 1a-2b)

jorgon biyai sahahūn coko inenggi. dorgi yamun de dergi hese wasimbuhangge. wargi julergi juwe jugūn i coohai kūwaran. emgeri ishunde mejige hafumbuhabi. ereci cooha acafi uhei dailame dzanla be necihiyeme toktobuha manggi. uthai cucin de cooha guribufi. dalaha hūlha be jafafi jecen i ergi amaga jobolon be enteheme geterembuci ombi. te coohai jeku elgiyen tumin. giyan i ilan jugūn obume dendefi. coohai horon be algimbuci acara be dahame. wenfu be jecen be toktobure jiyanggiyūn sinda. agūi. fengšengge be gemu aisilara jiyanggiyūn sinda. jiyanggiyūn jai aisilara jiyanggiyūn i doron be. ashan i amban fuk’angga be tucibufi. giyamulame benebufi. uthai coohai kūwaran de bibufi meyen i amban de yabukini. wenfu i jugūn de šucang be hebei amban obu. agūi i jugūn de hailanca be hebei amban obu. han guwe hing udu niowanggiyan turun i nikan hafan bicibe. cooha gaifi afara bade dulembuhe bime. daci kiyan cing men i hiya de yabuha bihe. manju amban ci encu akū. fengšengge i jugūn de. uthai han guwe hing be hebei amban obu. jugūn dendefi sasa dosime. abkai dailan isibume. amba gungge be hūdun mutebufi. aiman i jobolon be enteheme geterembume kicekini sehe. (1)

Military annals of the war against the two Jinchuan. 45th fascicle (f°1a-2b)

“(…) Despite being a Chinese official of the Green Standard army, Han Guwe Hing has taken troops, experienced combat, and was formerly on guard at the Kiyan Cing Men (2). He is no different than a Manchu high official. Consequently, appoint Han Guwe Hing as Councillor for Fengšengge’s road. (…)”

It would be interesting to see how this passage is treated in the Chinese version of the text…


(1) To be read here.

(2) I. e. the Gate of Heavenly Purity (乾清门, qiánqīng mén).


Dai Yuwan gurun i suduri (5)

Taken from the Dai yuwan gurun i suduri, the Manchu History of the Yuan dynasty.

sahahūn ulgiyan aniya: wang han i ama juse. taidzu temujin be waki seme hebešeme toktobufi niyalma takūrafi. taidzu temujin i baru hendume: seibeni sadun jafaki sehe weile be te gisun gaiha: sini beye jio: muse sarin sarilame toktobuki: taidzu temujin tere gisun de akdafi juwan moringga niyalma be gaifi generede jugūn de taidzu temujin jing mujilen kenehunjeme ofi emu moringga niyalma be takūrafi. taidzu temujin tereci amasi bederehe: wang han ini arga muterakū ofi. uthai cooha ilifi taidzu temujin be afame jidere be. taidzu temujin i morin tuwakiyara cilisi gebungge niyalma tere mejige be donjifi alanjiha manggi: taidzu temujin uthai nuktei niyalma be gūwa bade guribuhe.

The year of the blackish pig, Wang Han’s father and his sons discussed the matter and decided to kill Taidzu Temujin. The sent someone to Temujin to say : “Having wanted to become in-laws a long time ago, now is the time! Come yourself, we will have a banquet”. Taidzu Temujin believed them and set out with ten horsemen. While traveling, he started to have doubts and sent a horsemen while he himself came back. As he could not be successful with his plot, Wang Han had his army get ready and went to attack Taidzu Temujin. After Cilisi, a horsekeeper of Taidzu Temujin, heard about this and he reported it, Taidzu Temujin moved the people of his pasture area to another place.

(Klaproth, 1828, Chrestomathie Mandchou, p. 162-163)

The 9th year of the Xuantong emperor

One can often read, at least in benevolent accounts, that Manchu remained in use as an official language until the end of the Qing dynasty, that is 1911-1912. It seems that this could be stretched even a bit further as is exemplified by a stone rubbing found in the 北图中国历代石刻拓本汇编, vol. 90. It is dated gehungge yoso i uyuci aniya ilan biya, i. e. april 1917, a rather unusual date for a Qing document.

GY 9

The Kangxi emperor on his health

 Kangxi’s instructions to Similai, quoted in a memorial by Funingga (KX61.9.21/30.10.1722)

si isinaha manggi. jiyanggiyūn. geren ambasai sain be fonji. bi onggolo aniya ci gala bethe umesi hūsungge. jetere omirengge sain bime. singgerengge inu sain. beye umesi mangga. yamji cimari hono muran i aba de genembi. erebe jiyanggiyūn ambasa de ala.

“After arriving, ask after the general’s and the officials’ health. As for me, arms and legs have been very strong during last year. Eating and drinking go fine, as well as digestion. My body is robust. Tomorrow evening (1), I am going to the Mulan hunt. Tell that to the general and the officials.”


(1) Not sure about that. Hauer (p. 524) has “die ganze Nacht” for yamji cimari but this does not seem to fit very well here. See the Muwa gisun on the Manchu Studies Group website for a translation by “tomorrow night”.


Taken from a manuscript kept at the BNF (Mandchou 149). This manuscript is a collection of short biographies of Mongol individuals, recording mainly when they were promoted to a new rank or bestowed some title.

kalkai jasak i gurun de aisilara gung bahai i da sekiyen.

bahai i dade kalkai taiji bihe. hūwaliyasun tob i uyuci aniya suke aldaho i bade geren ci colgorome faššahangge ambula saišacuka seme cohotoi kesi isibume jasak i uju jergi taiji obuha. amala erdeni joo i bade geli hūlha be ambarame wafi gung ilibuhangge ambula saišacuka seme hūwaliyasun tob i juwanci aniya dabali kesi isibume imbe gurun de aisilara gung obuha:

Origin of Bahai bulwark duke of the Khalkha jasak (1)

Originally Bahai was a Khalkha taiji. Because in the 9th year of Yongzheng (1732) at Suke Aldaho he surpassed everyone and his efforts were highly praiseworthy, special favor was bestowed on him and he was made first rank taiji of the jasak. Because later at Erdeni Joo (2) he killed a great number of rebels and showed great merit, bestowing additional favor he was made bulwark duke in the 10th year of Yongzheng (1733).

(1) jasak is translated in Norman as “chief of a Mongol banner”, but here it seems to mean the banner itself.
(2) Erdeni Zhao/Erdeni Zuu.