Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Huang T'i-fang

HUANG T'i-fang 黃體芳 (T. 漱蘭), Sept., 1832–1899, June-July, native of Jui-an, Chekiang, was one of the so-called "Four Admonishing Officials" (see under Chang P'ei-lun) at the close of the Ch'ing period. He graduated as chü-jên in 1851 and studied diligently the history of administrative affairs. In 1860–61, when his native town was threatened by a band of rioters, he organized a volunteer corps which defended it successfully. After becoming a chin-shih (1863) he served for fifteen years in the Hanlin Academy, rising from a bachelor to a readership. It was during this period that he and several other officials, who came to be known as Ch'ing-liu-tang (see under Pao-t'ing), made a point of denouncing high officials. Yet, in 1879, when Wu K'o-tu [q. v.] committed suicide, leaving a memorial in which he protested the illegal accession of Emperor Tê-tsung, Huang sided with the majority in support of the final decision. Once, in 1878, he was tried by the authorities of the Board of Civil Appointments for violent denunciation of the officials connected with famine relief work in Chihli, but he escaped punishment owing to a petition by Pao-t'ing in his behalf. In the autumn of 1880 he left the capital for Kiangsu where he remained five years as educational commissioner. Though promoted in 1882 to the senior vice-presidency of the Board of War, he did not assume the duties of that office until his return to the capital, late in 1885. A few days after his arrival in Peking he severely criticized the naval policy of Li Hung-chang [q. v.] who was powerful enough to degrade him (early in 1886) to a commissionership in the Office of Transmission. Late in 1889 he was made acting vice-president of the Censorate, a position he held until 1891. Thereafter he lived in retirement in Peking where his son, Huang Shao-chi [q. v.], held office.

While in Kiangsu as educational commissioner Huang T'i-fang gathered voluminous biographical data, including the works of scholars and writers of that province, and sent the information to the State Historiographer's Office in Peking. Lists of these works, and memorials concerning them, were recently printed by Huang Ch'ün 黄群 (T. 溯初) in his 敬鄉樓叢書 Ching-hsiang lou ts'ung-shu, third series (1931), under the title 江南徵書文牘 Chiang-nan chêng-shu wên-tu. In 1884 Huang established an Academy known as Nan-ch'ing Shu-yüan 南菁書院 at Chiang-yin, Kiangsu. This Academy became famous for its printing-house where Huang's successor, Wang Hsien-ch'ien (see under Chiang Liang-ch'i), printed the Huang-Ch'ing ching-chieh hsü-pien (see under Juan Yüan) in 1886–88, and the Nan-ch'ing shu-yüan ts'ung-shu in 1888. The latter ts'ung-shu, consisting of 41 works by Ch'ing scholars, was compiled by Wang with the assistance of Miao Ch'üan-sun (see under Chang Chih-tung), then director of the Academy.

Most of Huang T'i-fang's literary works, as well as copies of his memorials, seem to have been lost. Some of his poems were recently edited in 1 chüan by scholars of his native place under the title, 漱蘭詩葺 Shu-lan shih-ch'i, and were printed in the 甌風雜誌彙刊 Ou-fêng tsa-chih hui-k'an, first series (1934), and in the 惜硯樓叢刊 Hsi-yen lou ts'ung-k'an (1934-35).

[1/450/1a; Chin-shih jên-wu chih (see under Wêng T'ung-ho), pp. 280–81; Hsü Shih-ch'ang 徐世昌, 晚晴簃詩匯 Wan-ch'ing i shih-hui (1929) 161/31b; Nien-p'u of Wang Hsien-ch'ien; Chiang-yin hsien-chih (1920) 6/2a; Tung-hua lu, Kuang-hsü, passim.]

Hiromu Momose