Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Huang P'êng-nien

HUANG P'êng-nien 黃彭年 (T. 子壽, H. 陶樓, 更生, also used ming 邦鎮), July 18, 1823–1891, Jan. 13, scholar and official, was a native of Kuei-chu, Kweichow, to which place his family migrated from Li-ling, Hunan. His father, Huang Fu-ch'ên 黃輔辰 (T. 琴隖, 1798–1866), was a chin-shih of 1835 who rose in his official career to intendant (1866) of the Fêng-Pin Circuit 鳳邠道, Shensi. His uncle, Huang Fu-hsiang 黃輔相 (T. 斗南, 1793–1856), a chin-shih of 1845, died at his post in Kwangsi in 1856, fighting the Taiping rebels. At thirteen sui (1835) Huang Pêng-nien went to Peking with his parents, and in the following year studied under Hsiao Chin-chung 蕭錦忠 (T. 史樓) who was the chuang-yüan or optimus of 1845. In 1840 he married T'ao Lu 陶祿 (T. 幼雲, 1824–1845). He passed the metropolitan examination in 1845, but did not take the palace examination until two years later when he became a chin-shih and received appointment as bachelor in the Hanlin Academy. Among the Hanlin of that year (1847) were several scholars who became famous in modern Chinese history, such as Li Hung-chang, Shên Pao-chên, Kuo Sung-tao, and Chang Chih-wan [qq. v.], the last-mentioned taking the rank of chuang-yüan. Huang P'êng-nien's second marriage took place in 1848, this time to Liu Yin-yü 劉尹玉 (T. 季瑜, 1827–1862) who was both a painter and a scholar.

During the years 1852–53, owing to the ominous spread of the Taiping Rebellion, the government solicited from qualified officials frank statements. Twice Huang P'êng-nien voiced his sentiment to the throne, and a discourse he wrote on ways to suppress the uprising, entitled 平賊議 P'ing tsê i, was transmitted by Ch'ên Ch'ing-yung 陳慶鏞 (T. 乾翔, H. 頌南, 1795–1858), a well-known censor of the time. In 1853 Huang returned with his father to Kweichow, and there the two organized volunteers to resist the Taipings. By 1860 he and his parents were again in the north, for in that year we find him teaching in the Lien-ch'ih Academy 蓮池書院 at Paoting, Chihli. In 1862 his father joined the secretarial staff of Lo Ping-chang [q. v.], then governor of Szechwan, and Huang accompanied him to that province. From there both later went to Shensi with Liu Jung (see under Lo Ping-chang) who became governor of Shensi in 1863. By 1866 Huang was directing the Kuan-chung Academy 關中書院 at Sian. His father died in that year (1866) and about three years later (late in 1869) he returned to the capital.

In the following year Huang P'êng-nien was engaged by Li Hung-chang as chief editor of the revised 畿輔通志 Chi-fu t'ung-chih, the local history of Chihli province, a work which had appeared with that title in 1682, which was revised in 1735 (see under Li Kung), but had not been revised since. As Paoting, the capital of the province, was the headquarters of this enterprise Huang P'êng-nien was able simultaneously to resume his teaching in the Lien-ch'ih Academy (1878). As chief editor of the Chi-fu t'ung-chih, he remained in Paoting until 1882, the work being published in 1884. Appointed intendant of the Tê-Hsiang-Yün-Ching Circuit 德襄鄖荊道 in Hupeh in 1882, Huang P'êng-nien soon after became judicial commissioner of that province. He was transferred to a similar position in Shensi, but shortly after resumed his original post. In 1888 he was financial commissioner of Kiangsu, and a year later, acting governor of that province. In the winter of 1890 he was again transferred to Hupeh, this time as financial commissioner. He died there in office in the following year.

As a scholar and educator Huang P'êng-nien took a lively interest in the printing of books and in the development of libraries. Many important works were printed under his supervision or with his help, among them the abridged collectanea, Hsüan-ch'ao (選鈔) Ch'ien-k'un chêng-ch'i chi (see under Huang Tao-chou), printed in 1887; a reprint, in 1879, of the Sung-Yüan hsüeh-an by Huang Tsung-hsi [q. v.]; the Shuo-fang pei-shêng by Ho Ch'iu-t'ao [q. v.]; and the literary remains, 蔣侑石遺書 Chiang Yu-shih i-shu, of Chiang Yüeh-yü 蔣曰豫 (T. 侑石, 1830–1875). He added many volumes to the Lien-ch'ih Academy and prepared a catalogue of the collection, entitled 萬卷樓書目 Wan-chüan lou shu-mu, printed in 1878. He likewise founded (1889) the Hsüeh-ku t'ang 學古堂 library at Soochow, which has developed into the present-day Kiangsu Provincial Library (江蘇省立蘇州圖書館) at Soochow. His collected prose writings, 陶樓文鈔 T'ao-lou wên-ch'ao, in 14 chüan, were re-edited by his pupil, Chang Yü (see under Ch'ien Tsêng), and were printed in 1923. He achieved some skill as a painter of plant life.

Huang Peng-nien had three sons: Huang Kuo-chin 黃國瑾 (T. 再同, 1849–1891), a chin-shih of 1876; Huang Kuo-tsao 黃國璪 (T. 恭甫), who died young; and Huang Kuo-hsüan 黃國瑄 (T. 秦生), who held minor official posts in Chihli—being magistrate of Ch'ing-fêng, Chihli, during the Boxer uprising (1900).


[1/440/8b; 2/76/26b; 6/17/28a; 19/辛下/3b; 10/女6/9a (for his second wife); Ch'ên Ting-hsiang 陳定祥, 黃陶樓先生年譜 Huang T'ao-lou hsien-shêng nien-p'u (1932).]

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