Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Mêng Ch'iao-fang

MÊNG Ch'iao-fang 孟喬芳 (T. 心亭), Mar. 15, 1595–1654, Feb. 17, Ch'ing general, was a native of Yung-p'ing, Chihli, who served for a time as colonel under the Ming régime, but was dismissed from office and was living in retirement when in 1630 the Manchus occupied Yung-p'ing. He offered his services to Abahai [q. v.] and was well received, his first task being to incorporate the Ming defenders of Yung-p'ing into Manchu forces. Later he was made a member of the Chinese Bordered Red Banner, and put in command of a company. In 1631 he became a deputy lieutenant-general and senior vice-president of the Board of Punishments. In 1642 he won distinction in the siege of Chin-chou, and was with the Manchu troops when they entered China proper in 1644, after which he was appointed governor-general of Shensi.

In 1646, the soldiers of Ning-hsia revolted, killing the governor, Chiao An-min 焦安民. Mêng's punitive expedition faced the task of exterminating a score or more of these rebellious units. The most notorious of the insurgent chiefs were the Mohammedan rebels, Mi-la-yin 米喇印 (d. 1648) and Ting Kuo-tung 丁國棟 (d. 1648), who in 1648 besieged Kung-ch'ang and took several cities in Kansu. Mêng and his ablest officer, Chang Yung [q. v.], effected the surrender of the two insurgents in the autumn of 1648. A short time later they again revolted, but Mêng surrounded Mi-la-yin at Kanchow where he held out until food and supplies were exhausted. Mi-la-yin made a sortie under cover of darkness, but was overtaken and killed by Mêng's troops. Later in the same year Ting was captured and executed at Su-chou, Kansu. In 1649 Meng also led his men into Shansi to help subdue Chiang Hsiang [q. v.] at Tatung. The following year he was rewarded with the honorary title of president of the Board of War. He continued in active service as pacifier of the province of Shensi. During nearly ten years as governor-general of that province he is said either to have killed or to have compelled the surrender of more than 176,000 rebels and bandits. In 1652 he was given the hereditary title of baron of the third class and in the following year was made concurrently governor-general of Szechwan. In this capacity he recommended a colonization scheme for his army of occupation in which each man was to be supplied with cattle, horses, seeds, and a helper. Toward the close of 1653 he pleaded ill health and asked for permission to retire. An edict showered further titles upon him and ordered him to proceed at once to Peking, but he died at his post early in 1654, before the edict could reach him. He was canonized as Chung-i 忠毅 and in 1732 his name was entered in the Temple of Eminent Statesmen. Emperor Shêng-tsu once praised Mêng Ch'iao-fang and Chang Ts'un-jên [q. v.] as the two most loyal and useful Chinese officials to aid in the suppression of recalcitrants in different parts of the empire.

[1/243/7a; 2/78/11b; 3/149/14a; 4/5/7a; Yung-p'ing-fu chih (1879) 57/1a.]

E. S. Larsen

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