Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ha Yüan-shêng

HA Yüan-shêng 哈元生 (T. 天章), d. 1738 age 58 (sui), soldier, a Mohammedan by birth, was a native of Ho-chien, Chihli. He rose from the ranks through various positions to a captaincy at Fort Chien-ch'ang in Ch‘ien-an, Chihli. Thereupon he was dishonorably discharged (1721) for letting lumber be smuggled past the custom's barrier. Three years later, under the new emperor, Shih-tsung, he was reinstated as second captain. The same year (1724) the brigade-general in charge of Wei-ning, Kweichow, asked that Ha be permitted to accompany him on an expedition against the Miao. Ha made a reputation for himself on this campaign, and was promoted (1725) to the rank of adjutant major at Wei-ning. The following year the native Miao prefects at Wu-mêng and Chên-hsiung, Yunnan, rebelled and invaded Tung-ch'uan, a prefecture newly incorporated into the province of Yunnan. At the command of O-êr-t'ai [q. v.], the governor-general of Yunnan and Kweichow, Ha took charge of the punitive expedition, and with great display of personal courage brought it to a successful conclusion. In consequence his rank was elevated (1727) to that of lieutenant-colonel stationed with the battalion at Hsünchan, Yunnan. While Ha was thus occupied a Miao woman, whose married name was Lu 陸, initiated a revolt (1728). Again at the command of O-êr-t'ai, Ha had charge of the pacification, and was once more successful in penetrating to the lair of the rebels and seizing the whole Lu family. Afterwards he led his army to A-lu-ma near A-lü, Kweichow, tranquilizing the Miao all the while, and thence to Lei-p'o, Szechwan, where a family which had been allied to the Lu family was in revolt (see under Huang T'ing-kuei). The same year (1728) Ha was promoted to the rank of colonel in charge of the regiment stationed at Yüan-chiang, Yunnan, but soon returned to A-lü. There he had one of the Miao chieftains, who was serving in the regiment, flogged, thus causing the entire Miao population to rise in turmoil. Though it required only a few days to subdue them, Ha was somewhat longer in restoring the region to good order.

When O-êr-t'ai reported this affair to Emperor Shih-tsung, his words were not all praise—he charged Ha with lack of tact in having the chieftain flogged. The emperor conceded the point, but believed it best to drop the case since Ha, although uncouth and incapable of much foresight, was extraordinarily valuable as a soldier. In 1729 he was promoted to the rank of colonel at Li-p'ing, Kweichow, and later to that of brigade-general at An-lung, Kweichow. While in this capacity he and his army were detailed to undertake a punitive expedition to Wu-mêng, where another Miao uprising had occurred (1730). Following the success of this campaign Ha was made (1731) provincial commander-in-chief of Yunnan but was later transferred to Kweichow. The following year (1732) he was summoned to Peking to have an audience with Shih-tsung, and served for a few months on the Grand Council. He was also granted permission to visit his mother, but before the end of the year was ordered back to Kweichow to quiet the Miao. When his mother died (1733), Ha's services were so much in demand that he was commanded to remain on duty during the mourning period. As commander-in-chief of Kweichow Ha presented (1734) to the emperor a gazetteer of the newly opened Miao territory. The emperor approved the book but ordered the governor of Kweichow, Yüan Chan-ch'êng 元展成 (d. 1744) to re-edit it. Shortly thereafter (1735) the Miao in the neighbourhood of Ku-chou, Kweichow, made trouble. By imperial order Ha, with the title of General Yang-wei 楊威將軍, and with the assistance of another general, was designated to quell it. But, instead of doing his duty, Ha became involved in a long argument concerning the division of military authority between himself and Chang Chao [q. v.] who had been sent as special emissary in charge of pacifying the Miao. Finally, at the request of Chang Kuang-ssŭ [q. v.], Ha was discharged, arrested, and taken to Peking. There the Grand Council proposed the death penalty, but the new emperor (Kao-tsung) pardoned him (1736) and after conferring the title of colonel, sent him to Hami where he died.

Ha's son, Ha Shang-tê 哈尚德 (d. 1773), was also a soldier. He rose as high as brigade-general (1743) at I-ch'ang, Hupeh; at Liang-chou, Shensi (1744); at Lin-yüan, Yunnan; and at Ku-chou (1748) successively. After serving for a time in fighting against the Chin-ch'uan rebels (see under Fu-hêng) he was accused of harassing the people and oppressing his soldiers. He was discharged, an additional accusation of bribery was brought against him, and it was proposed that he be beaten and sent into exile. But Kao-tsung reinstated him (1757) with the title of colonel, and sent him, like his father, to serve at headquarters at Hami. The same year, unfortunately, Ha Shang-tê was held responsible for the death of a large number of sheep which he was entrusted to transport to the camps. He

was again discharged, forced to wear a cangue, and ordered to make up the loss. He returned home (1766), and remained there until his death.


[1/304/3b; 3/283/34a; Ho-chien hsien chih (1760) 5/18b; Yüan Mei [q. v.], Hsiao-ts'ang shan-fang wên-chi, 9/5a for indication that Ha Yüan-shêng was a Mohammedan; Yunnan t'ung-chih kao (1841) 104/32b, 35b, 44b; 雍正硃批諭旨 Yung-chêng chu-p'i yü-chih, 5/20a, 32a, 67b, 8/9a.]

Rufus O. Suter