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A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chang Chih-tung

35Chang Chih-tung 張之洞 (T. 香壽. H. 無競居士 and 廣雅尙書). Born A.D. 1835. A native of the 南皮 Nan-p'i District in Chihli. He graduated as chin shih in 1863, taking the third place on the list. Appointed Literary Chancellor for Ssǔch'uan in 1873, he distinguished himself by his zeal for the encouragement of learning, for which he is still gratefully remembered by the people. He became Sub-Reader of the Han-lin in 1880, and secretary in the Grand Secretariat in 1881. In 1882, on the strength of his valuable memorials relating to the Shansi famine, he was made Governor of Shansi. In 1884, he became Viceroy of the Two Kuang, and in 1889 he was transferred to the Viceroyalty of Hu-Kuang, ostensibly to carry out his own scheme of a railway to unite Wu-ch'ang and Hankow with Peking. There he started iron-works, cotton-spinning factories, and scientific coal-mining on a large scale. In 1894 he was transferred to the Viceroyalty of the Two Kiang, from which he was retransferred to his old post in 1895. A fine scholar, Chang Chih-tung has earned considerable reputation by his brilliantly written State papers, especially by the famous anti-Russian memorial presented secretly to the Throne in 1880. He has of course made many enemies, and in 1893 he was violently impeached by the chief Director of the Grand Court of Revision on many counts, such as squandering public money on mines, causing disturbances in the province of Hunan by an attempt to introduce the telegraph, and generally indulging in wild schemes which were never more than half carried out. The only credit allowed to him was for founding a College and Library for the benefit of poor scholars and the encouragement of literature. By foreigners however he is regarded, if not exactly as a friend, at any rate as an honest and straightforward patriot.