Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Pengcun

PENGCUN 朋春, d. 1701, general, was a great-grandson of Hohori [q. v.] of the Donggo clan, and a member of the Manchu Plain Red Banner. In 1652 he succeeded to the family hereditary rank which was raised in that year from duke of the third class, granted in 1628 to his grandfather Hošotu (see under Hohori), to duke of the first class. In 1676 he was appointed deputy lieutenant-general of the Mongolian Plain Red Banner, and six years later was transferred to the Manchu Banner. In 1682 he was sent with Langtan [q. v.] to the Amur region to spy on Russian activities at Albazin. Early in 1683 the two made their report, urging the use of force to drive the Russians from the region. Later in the same year Pengcun was promoted to the post of lieutenant-general of his own Banner.

When Emperor Shêng-tsu became impatient with Sabsu [q. v.] who on various pretexts delayed the attack on Albazin, he made Pengcun commander of a group of picked soldiers to promote the object of the expedition. These soldiers were chosen from captives who had formerly been under Chêng Ch'êng-kung [q. v.] in Taiwan but who, after their surrender in 1683 (see under Chêng Ching), had been transferred to the provinces of Shantung, Shansi and Honan. Five hundred of them, chosen on the basis of their ability to use shields, were put under the command nf Pengcun, Lin Hsing-chu 林興珠 and Ho Yü 何佑. Lin formerly had been a general under Wu San-kuei [q. v.], and Ho, under Chêng Ch'êng-kung. Pengeun was specifically instructed to show mercy to the Russians and to try to avoid taking their lives. The combined forces of Pengcun and Sabsu advanced up the Amur River, and in June 1685 reached Albazin. They brought the Russians to terms without much fighting and allowed them to retreat unmolested. After demolishing the fort, Pengcun and Sabsu returned to Mergen. Most of the Chinese soldiers who came with Pengcun were stationed at Aigun to man the ships and to serve as a garrison. They served also in the second expedition to Albazin (see under Sabsu), and their descendants are still living in that region. Pengcun returned to Peking and was applauded for his exploits. In 1690 he served under Fu-ch'üan [q. v.] in the campaign against Galdan [q. v.] in the battle of Ulan-butung he commanded the right wing while Sunu [q. v.] commanded the left. Although they won the battle, they were degraded because the Emperor's uncle, T'ung Kuo-kang [q. v.], was killed and because Galdan escaped. In 1696 Pengcun was again appointed lieutenant-general of the Mongolian Plain Red Banner and was made chief of staff of the western route army on the expedition against Galdan (see under Fiyanggǔ). At the battle of Jao Modo, Galdan was decisively defeated.

Pengcun retired in 1699 on account of illness and died two years later. His son, Tsêng-shou 增壽 (d. 1721), succeeded to the hereditary rank which was reduced to duke of the third class. In 1731 Emperor Shih-tsung posthumously gave Hōhōri the title of Duke Yung-ch'in 勇勤 and this designation was also added to the family hereditary rank which was handed down till the close of the dynasty.


[1/286/2b; 3/277/28a; 34/165/23a; see bibliographies under Sabsu and Fu-ch'üan.]

Fang Chao-ying