Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Huang Tao-chou

HUANG Tao-chou 黃道周 (T. 參玄, 幼平, 幼元, 細遵, H. 石齋), Mar. 9, 1585–1646, Apr. 20, Ming loyalist, philosopher, and landscape painter, was a native of Chang-p'u, Fukien. He came from a poor family and suffered many privations. His poverty, however, did not hinder his travelling, for as early as 1598 when he was only fourteen (sui) he went to Po-lo, Kwangtung, to study in the library of a certain Han 韓 family. He returned home two years later. In 1605 he made a second journey to Kwangtung, but returned home after a few months. In 1607 his father, Huang Chia-ch'ing 黃嘉卿 (T. 青原), died and the family sank deeper into poverty. In order to support the household he accepted tutorship in several prominent families and at the same time continued his studies on the Book of Changes about which he later produced two works: 易象正 I-hsiang chêng, in 16 chüan, and 三易洞璣 San-i t'ung-chi, in 16 chüan. In 1612 he became a licentiate and six years later passed the examination for the chü-jên degree. Becoming a chin-shih in 1622, he was admitted to the Hanlin Academy as a bachelor. During this period he maintained an intimate friendship with Chêng Man [q. v.] and Wên Chên-mêng (see under Chêng Man), and the three agreed to protest against the misgovernment of their time. Wên Chên-mêng and Chêng Man were dismissed late in 1622, but Huang remained silent, on the ground that he had just invited his mother to Peking. Soon he was made a compiler of the Hanlin Academy (1624), but asked leave to return home in 1625 in order to carry out his protest. In the following year his mother died.

After a period of mourning he proceeded in 1630 to Peking and was immediately sent to Chekiang to supervise the provincial examinations. Returning that same year to the capital, he was promoted to the post of junior secretary in the Supervisorate of Imperial Instruction. Meantime Ch'ien Lung-hsi 錢龍錫 (T. 稚文, 機山, chin-shih of 1607, d. age 68 sui) was involved in the case of Yüan Ch'ung-huan [q. v.] and was sentenced to die. Huang addressed petition after petition to the Emperor pleading for Ch'ien's life. On June 12, 1631 Ch'ien was released, but six months later (December 19) Huang was dismissed from office. Before leaving, Huang presented another memorial in which he severely attacked Wên T'i-jên (see under Chêng Man) and Chou Yen-ju (see under Chang P'u). He left the capital early in 1632 and was welcomed by the scholars of Chekiang at whose wish he founded a school at Ta-ti shan 大滌山 near Yü-hang, Chekiang. In the following year (1633) he returned to his native place where he delivered lectures on philosophy; and finally (1634) selected the Tzŭ-yang Academy 紫陽書院 at Chang-p'u as his lecture hall.

In 1635 he was recalled by the emperor and, late in 1636, went to the capital. Early in 1637 he was re-instated in his former post. Despite his request to resign, he was promoted in the following year to the post of Supervisor of Instruction. As a member of the politico-literary party known as Tung-lin, he stood definitely against the enemies of the party who at that time were led by Grand Secretary, Yang Ssŭ-ch'ang 楊嗣昌 (T. 文弱, 文若, d. 1641, age 54 sui, chin-shih of 1610). In 1638 Huang Tao-chou's opposition to Yang, and his bold defense of Chêng Man, resulted in his being relegated to the position of corresponding secretary for the provincial judge of Kiangsi. Huang declined to accept and returned home. Before he left the capital he presented to the Emperor four works by himself, all on the Classics, namely: 洪範明義 Hung-fan ming-i, in 4 chüan; Yüeh-ling (月令) ming-i, in 4 chüan; 儒行集傳 Ju-hsing chi-chuan, in 2 chüan; and Tzŭ-i (緇衣) chi-chuan, in 4 chüan. Accused in 1640 of a hostile political move, he was summoned to Peking, flogged and put in prison. Finally, early in 1642, he was punished by banishment to Hunan but did not get farther west than Kiukiang where he took ill and pleaded for mercy. Meanwhile the death of Yang Ssŭ-ch'ang changed the situation in Peking, making it favorable to Huang Tao-chou who, in the autumn of 1642, received an invitation to return to the capital. Declining the invitation, he went in the following year to his home in Fukien where he continued his lectures on philosophy.

In 1644 Peking surrendered to Li Tzŭ-ch'êng [q. v.]. When the Prince of Fu (see under Chu Yu-sung) became Emperor at Nanking he appointed Huang Tao-chou senior vice-president of Civil Office and reader of the Hanlin Academy. On his way to Nanking Huang learned that he had been promoted (October 19, 1644) to the presidency of the Board of Ceremonies, a post which he assumed in the beginning of the following year. But he soon discovered that his position was merely nominal, since the new regime was completely under the sway of Ma Shih-ying [q. v.] and his party. Soon after arriving at Nanking Huang memorialized the new Emperor (March 19, 1645) to send him to sacrifice at the tomb of the Great Yü (大禹) at K'uai-chi (Shaohsing), Chekiang. The request was granted and Huang arrived at Shaohsing on May 3, 1645. Learning, before his return to Nanking, that the city had been taken (June 19, 1645) by the Ch'ing forces, he went to Foochow (July 31, 1645) to join the new court of the Prince of T'ang (see under Chu Yü-chien) who appointed him concurrently president of the Board of Civil Office and a Grand Secretary. These likewise were nominal positions under the control of Chêng Chih-lung [q. v.], the actual leader of the Court. Chêng, as the financial supporter of the Fukien regime, showed no inclination to engage in military activity in Kiangsi—a strategy which the Prince of T'ang, Huang Tao-chou, and other loyalists were, however, most anxious to press in the hope of reviving the defunct dynasty. Although helpless without the financial and military support of Chêng, Huang's decision to raise a loyal army was spurred by manifestations of goodwill on the part of the prefect of Kuang-hsin-fu, Kiangsi, where Huang had previously planned to establish his military base. After a struggle with Chêng Chih-lung for leadership in the court, Huang left Foochow (September 11, 1645) for Yen-p'ing, Fukien, where he summoned more than one thousand loyalist soldiers. According to some accounts his forces increased to five or even ten thousand men before he reached the borders of Fukien and Kiangsi. One week before his arrival at Kuang-hsin the city of Hui-chou, Anhwei, fell (November 10, 1645) to the Ch'ing army. Thus his cherished plan of creating a united front between these two cities was frustrated, and he was forced to rely wholly on his own resources. The attack by his fellow commanders on Fu-chou in Kiangsi, and on Wu-yüan and Hsiu-ning in Anhwei failed, and when Huang marched into Wu-yüan, early in the following year, he had, it is said, only about two thousand men.

On January 22, 1646 he set out from Kuanghsin on the ill-fated expedition which met with disaster at the hands of the Ch'ing forces on February 9 near Wu-yüan, his intended destination. He was taken captive to Nanking where Hung Ch'êng-ch'ou [q. v.], ex-general of the Ming régime, directed the Ch'ing armies against the remnant Ming forces. According to some accounts Hung Ch'êng-ch'ou personally sought an interview with Huang to persuade him to abandon his efforts for the Ming cause, but Huang's only reply was a sarcastic remark about Hung's reported death at the battle of Sung-shan 松山. Nevertheless Hung sent a letter to Dodo [q. v.] pleading for the life of the Ming loyalist, but the appeal was rejected. In the meantime Huang had been trying to starve himself to death, but failed. On April 20, 1646 he and four of his followers and disciples, Lai Chi-chin 賴繼謹 (T. 敬孺), Ts'ai Ch'un-jung 蔡春溶 (T. 時培), Chao Shih-ch'ao 趙士超 (T. 淵卿), and Mao Yü-chieh 毛玉潔 (T. 元水), were executed. The Prince of T'ang, deeply grieved at Huang's death, granted him the posthumous title, Earl Wên-ming (文明伯), and the posthumous name, Chung-lieh 忠烈. Emperor Kao-tsung of the succeeding Ch'ing dynasty gave him in 1776 the posthumous name, Chung-tuan 忠端. In 1825, on the recommendation of Ch'ên Shou-ch'i [q. v.], his name was entered in the Temple of Confucius.

Regarding Huang Tao-chou's philosophical ideas, it may be said that like Huang Tsung-hsi and Liu Tsung-chou [qq. v.], he belonged to the school generally known as Lu-Wang which tried to promote the ideas of Lu Chiu-yüan (see under Li Fu) and Wang Shou-jên (see under Chang Li-hsiang), the latter better known as Wang Yang-ming. This is evident from his many works on the classics, nine of which were collected under the title, 黃石齋先生九種 Huang Shih-chai hsien-shêng chiu-chung, and published in 1693. It contains, in addition to the above-mentioned six works, the following three: 孝經集傳 Hsiao-ching chi chuan, 4 chüan; Piao-chi (表記) chi-chuan, 2 chüan; and Fang-chi (坊記) chi-chuan, 2 chüan. A collection of his lectures, compiled by his pupils, was published under the title 榕壇問業 Jung-t'an wên-yeh, 18 chüan. Two other works attributed to Huang are: 駢枝別集 Pien-chih pieh-chi, 20 chüan (Ming edition listed in the catalogues of the Cabinet Library and the Sonkeikaku Bunko, Tokyo); and 石齋行業 Shih-chai hsing-yeh, 4 chüan (Ming edition listed in the catalogue of the Cabinet Library). A collection of his memorials, essays, letters, and poems, several times edited under different titles, was re-edited by Ch'ên Shou-ch'i in 50 chüan, under the title 黃忠端公全集 Huang Chung-tuan kung ch'üan-chi, and published about the year 1830. A part of the last-mentioned was reprinted in the collectanea, 乾坤正氣集 Ch'ien-k'un chêng-ch'i chi, compiled by P'an Hsi-ên 潘錫恩 (T. 芸閣, chin-shih of 1811, d. 1868), and printed in 1848. Four titles attributed to Huang were placed on the list of banned books in the eighteenth century: two encyclopaedias, 博物典彙 Po-wu tien-hui, in 20 chüan (a copy of the original edition, preface dated 1635, in the Library of Congress), and Ch'ün-shu (群書) tien-hui, 14 chüan (a copy reported in the National Library of Peiping); and two works on eminent generals: 廣名將譜 Kuang ming-chiang p'u, 20 chüan (a copy in Columbia University), and 廣百將傳 Kuang pai-chiang chuan. The last two titles possibly refer to the same work. A work entitled Kuang ming-chiang chuan (傳), 20 chüan, attributed to Huang, appears in the Hai-shan hsien-kuan ts'ung-shu (see under P'an Chên-ch'êng). Another encyclopaedia on the classics, attributed to Huang under the title 新鎸六經句解四書理印 Hsin-chien liu-ching chü-chieh ssŭ-shu li-yin, 10 chüan, is listed in the catalogue of the Sonkeikaku Bunko. His nine works on the classics and Jung-t'an wên-yeh were copied into the Ssŭ-k'u Manuscript Library (see under Chi Yün), and two others: 春秋揆 Ch'un-ch'iu k'uei, 1 chüan; and 西曹秋思 Hsi-ts'ao ch'iu-ssŭ; 1 chüan, were merely given notice in the Imperial Catalogue.

His wife, Ts'ai Jun-shih 蔡潤石 (T. 玉卿, d. age 83 sui), was a writer of verse, and achieved some fame in calligraphy, and in the painting of plants.


[M.1/233/20b; M.35/11/13b; M.59/23/1a; 22/1/2b; 27/16/1a; Nien-p'u in Huang Chung-tuan kung ch'üan-chi; 明季北略 Ming-chi pei-lüeh and Ming-chi nan (南) lüeh, passim; 東南紀事 Tung-nan chi-shih 3/1a; 漳州府志 Chang-chou fu-chih (1878) 31/2b, 34/10a; L.T.C.L.H.M., pp. 348, 414; Watters, T., A Guide to the Tablets in a Temple of Confucius, pp. 224–227; Goodrich, L. C., The Literary Inquisition of Ch'ien-lung, pp. 129, 247.]

J. C. Yang

Tomoo Numata