Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Hai-lan-ch'a

HAI-lan-ch'a 海蘭察, d. May, 1793, general, the first Duke Ch'ao-yung (超勇公), was a native of Hu-lun-pei-êr (Hailar), Heilungkiang. He was born in the Dolar Clan 多拉爾族 of the Solun Tribe 索倫部落. The Soluns were descendants of the race which centuries before had provided the rulers of the Liao Dynasty (916-1168), but were conquered early in the seventeenth century by the Manchu armies of Abahai [q. v.]. For a time they were harassed by Russian raiders but after the Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689) they thrived in the western part of Heilungkiang. They were divided into Banners—the family of Hai-lan-ch'a belonging to the Manchu Bordered (Plain?) Yellow Banner. As the Soluns made their living by hunting, they were good soldiers, and many times throughout the dynasty were called upon to take part in the wars in China, Turkestan, Mongolia and elsewhere.

Hai-lan-ch'a was at first a junior in the army and later became an Ukšen or Ma-chia 馬甲 (private of the first class). As such he was sent in 1754–55 with five thousand Solun and Barhu 巴爾虎 soldiers to take part in the war against the Sungars. In 1757 he distinguished himself by capturing alive at Tarbagatai the Khoit chief, Bayar 巴雅爾 who had joined Amursana [q. v.] in rebellion the year before (see under Chao-hui). For this Hai-lan-ch'a was rewarded with promotion to the Imperial Bodyguard, in addition to his two minor hereditary ranks. In 1767–72 he took part as a deputy lieutenant-general in the war with Burma. Transferred to Szechwan (1772) to combat the Chin-ch'uan rebels, he fought bravely under Wên-fu (see under A-kuei) and was soon made a lieutenant-general (1772) and an assistant commander (參贊大臣, early in 1773). At the time of the disastrous defeat at Mu-kuo-mu (1773, see under A-kuei), he was fortunately some distance from the main scene of action, and so was enabled, with fresh men, to assist the routed troops to concentrate and retreat in order. Nevertheless, because he abandoned several cities to the foe, he was degraded from an assistant commander to a commandant (領隊大臣). Had it not been for the commendation of the new commander-in-chief, A-kuei [q. v.], his punishment would have been heavier. Trusted and encouraged by A-kuei, he fought bravely for more than two years until the Chin-ch'uan area was conquered. He won many battles and was once wounded (1774). After the war (1776) he was rewarded with numerous honors and promotions, his hereditary rank being raised to a first class marquis with the designation, Ch'ao-yung. He was appointed a chamberlain of the Imperial Bodyguard and concurrently was entrusted with several other posts. The fourth campaign in which he participated was the suppression of the Mohammedan rebellion in Kansu in 1781. Although this campaign, under the direction of A-kuei, resulted in an easy victory for the government forces, Hai-lan-ch'a was again wounded.

In 1784 a new Mohammedan rebellion took place in Kansu, and Fu-k'ang-an [q. v.] was given the responsibility of suppressing it with Hai-lan-ch'a as his chief assistant. Fu-k'ang-an had served in the Chin-ch'uan war as a subordinate to Hai-lan-ch'a, but later held important posts in the government. Apparently the two cooperated well, for from now on whenever Fuk'ang-an was in command, Hai-lan-ch'a was made his assistant. The Kansu rebellion was suppressed within a few months and Hai-lan-ch'a was given an additional minor hereditary rank. In 1787–88 the two fought in the campaign to suppress rebels in Formosa (see under Ch'ai Ta-chi). For his part Hai-lan-ch'a was, late in 1787, raised in rank to a duke of the second class. From 1791 to 1792 he followed Fu-k'ang-an to Tibet and Nepal and forced the Gurkas to submit. For this exploit he was made a duke of the first class. He died in May 1793, about a month after his return to Peking. He was canonized as Wu-chuang 武壯 and his name was celebrated in the Temple of Zealots of the Dynasty. His dukedom was inherited by his eldest son, An-lu 安祿 (d. 1799), who, while serving under Ê-lê-têng-pao [q. v.] in Szechwan, was killed in action fighting against bandits, and was given the posthumous name Chuang-i 壯毅 and the additional hereditary rank of a third class Ch'ing-ch'ê tu-yü.

Hai-lan-ch'a was one of the ablest generals of the Ch'ing period. He was a brave warrior and a clever strategist, and though he rose from the ranks, he became the equal of others who belonged to noble families. Among contemporary commanders he paid respect only to A-kuei, and worked under Fu-k'ang-an only after the latter gave him due recognition. Yet Fu-k'ang-an's military exploits are believed by many to have been due entirely to Hai-lan-ch'a. In the seven wars in which Hai-lan-ch'a participated he seldom met reverses and was always successful in the end. His portraits were hung in the hall of military heroes (Tzŭ-kuang ko, see under Chao-hui), owing to his share in four conquests, namely of Ili, of the Chin-ch'uan tribes, of the Gurkas, and of the Taiwan rebels. The only other official of the Ch‘ing period who won the same distinction was A-kuei who participated in the same wars.


[1/337/1a; 2/25/27a; 3/294/32a; 4/116/17b; 黑龍江志稿 Hei-lung-chiang chih kao (1933) 11/1b, 52/6a; Wei Yüan [q. v.], Shêng-wu chi.]

Fang Chao-ying