Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chiang Yüeh-kuang

CHIANG Yüeh-kuang 姜曰廣 (T. 居之, H. 燕及), d. Mar. 1, 1649, Ming statesman, was a native of Hsin-chien, Kiangsi. A chin-shih of 1619, he was appointed to the Hanlin Academy and became a compiler. In 1626 he went on a mission to Korea and established a reputation for uncorrupted service. On his return he was removed from office by the Wei Chung-hsien [q. v.] party because of his affiliation with the Tung-lin party (see under Chang P'u). Reinstated in 1628, he had risen to the post of junior vice-president in the Board of Civil Office (1636) when he was lowered in rank and sent to serve at Nanking. There he was placed in charge (1642) of the Hanlin Academy.

When the Ming court fled south he espoused the cause of the Prince of Fu (see under Chu Yu-sung). After the Court was established at Nanking he became president of the Board of Ceremonies and Grand Secretary. Upright and out-spoken by nature, he opposed the corrupt Ma Shih-ying [q. v.], particularly when Ma advocated the appointment of Juan Ta-ch'êng [q. v.]. After long and vain exhortations on responsible government and disinterested service, he took a final thrust at Ma Shih-ying and withdrew from the Court. Later he joined the cause of Chin Shêng-huan [q. v.] and when the latter was defeated, committed suicide by drowning. He was given the posthumous title, Chung-ch'üeh 忠確.

[M.1/274/15a; M.35/9/5b; M.41/5/22b, 8/4a, 16/3b; M.59/11/3b; 明季南略 Ming-chi nan-lüeh 4/8a; 13/15b.]

Earl Swisher