Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Shu-ho-tê

SHU-ho-tê 舒赫德 (T. 伯容, H. 明亭) Jan. 20, 1711–1777, May 27, a member of the Šumuru 舒穆魯 clan of Hun-ch'un, Kirin, came from a family which belonged to the Manchu Plain White Banner. His grandfather, Hsü-yüan-mêng 徐元夢 (T. 善長, H. 蝶園, 1655–1741, posthumous name 文定), was a chin-shih of 1673 and a member of the Hanlin Academy. A student of both Manchu and Chinese literature, Hsü-yuan-mêng was for many years a tutor to Emperor Shêng-tsu's sons (1693–c. 1715, 1723–26, 1736). He was well versed in the Classics, could write poems in Chinese, and could render Chinese documents into correct Manchu. Among the important offices he held were the following: governor of Chekiang (January 1715–17), president of the Censorate (1717–18), president of the Board of Works (1718–23), president of the Board of Revenue (1723–26), and an Associate Grand Secretary (1723–26).

The first half of his life Shu-ho-tê spent in comparative tranquillity at the capital, rising from a clerk to a secretary of the Grand Secretariat and of the Grand Council, and later to the senior vice-presidency of the Censorate (1739–40), the senior vice-presidency of the Board of War (1740–47), and the junior vice-presidency of the Board of Revenue (1747–48). Then began a career of almost continuous travel and military activity. In 1749, after serving a few weeks as president of the Board of War, he followed Fu-hêng [q. v.] into Szechwan in an expedition against the aborigines in the Chinch'uan region (see under Chang Kuang-ssŭ and Fu-hêng). This same year (1749) he made investigations into the equipment of the army camps through Yunnan, Hukuang (Hupeh and Hunan), and Honan. In 1751 he made two trips to Chekiang, once in the interests of flood control and once to try a military official for bribery. After a journey to the northern army route, and an almost immediate return, he was sent in 1753 to Kiangnan to take charge of flood prevention. That same year he went to the army camp in the Orkhon 鄂爾昆 region of northern Mongolia, arriving in the spring of the following year (1754), to manage a campaign against the Uriangans. Because of timorousness, however, in executing the Emperor's orders he was nearly cashiered. This soon actually happened (1754) in consequence of his failure to treat the family of Amursana [q. v.] with the deference which Emperor Kao-tsung, for diplomatic reasons, thought advisable. Restored to his post of president of the Board of War in 1757, he was, in less than a month, again degraded to the junior vice-presidency, and the following year (1758), for tactical blundering, insubordination, and carelessness, was removed from all offices and stripped of all ranks and honors. He escaped capital punishment only because the Emperor did not wish to embarrass Cenggun Jabu (see under Tsereng), the Mongol official representative of Chinese authority in northern Mongolia who had been helpful in maintaining peace among the Khalkha tribes.

But before long, Shu-ho-tê was able to redeem himself. Owing to an attempt by two Moslem brothers of the Hodja family (see under Chao-hui) to set up an independent state in Kashgar, Chao-hui led an expedition against them (1758) and for three months was besieged near Yarkand. Fu-tê [q. v.] was sent to his relief, with Shu-ho-tê as his counselor. Owing to his excellent strategical advice, Shu-ho-tê was reinstated as senior vice-president of the Board of Civil Office (1758), and shortly afterwards as president of the Board of Works (1758–61). In 1759 Fu-tê, A-kuei [q. v.], Shu-ho-tê, and others joined forces and released Chao-hui from besiegement. This was one of the last strokes which gave southern Turkestan to the empire. Shu-ho-tê, in recognition of his services in this campaign, was granted the hereditary rank of Yün ch'i yü 雲騎尉. But his services in Kashgar did not cease with military conquest. Stationed at Aksu as imperial agent for two years (1759–60), he memorialized about the economic and political reorganization of the Moslem cities of the region. In 1761 he was assistant military governor at Kashgar.

A few years later, having been recalled to Peking and appointed president of the Board of Punishments (1761–68), Shu-ho-tê went to Amoy (1764) with Ch'iu Yüeh-hsiu [q. v.] to investigate a charge that the governor-general, Yang T'ing-chang 楊廷璋 (T. 奉峨, 1688–1772), had received bribes from the officials who supervised foreign trade. Again in 1767 he traveled to Hunan and Hupeh in the interests of justice. After a short term in 1766 as acting governorgeneral of Shensi and Kansu, he was recalled in 1768 to military service on the border. Emperor Kao-tsung, anxious to wipe out the disgrace of the recent overwhelming defeat of the Chinese army under Ming-jui [q. v.] in Burma, sent Fu-hêng to take charge of a new expedition into that country, with Shu-ho-tê as counselor (see under A-kuei). The latter, however, immediately became involved in difficulties for counseling restraint in dealing with the Burmese. Charged by the Emperor with mismanagement, extravagance, and foolish blunders, he was cashiered for the third time, divested of the Yün ch'i yü and other ranks, and sent as assistant military governor to far-off Ushi (1768–70) in Turkestan.

Again Shu-ho-tê had an opportunity to redeem himself. In 1770–71 the Torguts, who had migrated to the lower Volga Valley about the year 1616 (see under Tulišen), planned to settle in Ili under the leadership of their Khan, Ubasi 渥巴錫 (d. 1774), a great-grandson of Ayuki (see under Tulišen). In December 1770 some 169,000 of them, comprising more than 33,000 families, set out with all their belongings on the long trek eastward. Pursued by Russian troops, attacked by the Kazaks, and waylaid by the Buruts, they lost more than half of their number and about two thirds of their cattle and other property before they reached the borders of Ili in July 1771. So destitute were they that they threw themselves on the mercy of the local authorities. Shu-ho-tê was one of the officials ordered by Emperor Kao-tsung to receive them and to distribute to them clothing, cattle, grain, and other necessities. Their chiefs were summoned to Jehol where Ubasi was created Jarktu Khan 卓理克圖汗, and some of his assistants were made princes. They were allotted pasture land at Urumtsi and Tarbagatai where their descendants live to this day. Concerning this migration and surrender, Emperor Kao-tsung wrote several accounts in prose and verse. There is a contemporary account in French (see bibliography) written by Father Jean-Joseph-Marie Amiot 錢德明 (1718–1793). The classic account in English is De Quincey's impassioned narrative, Revolt of the Tartars (1837).

For his part in the resettlement of the Torguts, Shu-ho-tê received the praise of the Emperor, and late in 1771 was made military governor of Ili. He served there for the next two years and was concurrently appointed president of the Board of Revenue. In August 1773 he was recalled to Peking, promoted to a Grand Secretary, and given several other concurrent posts. In October 1774 he was made Imperial Commissioner to direct the suppression of the rebellion of Wang Lun 王倫 at Lin-ch'ing, Shantung. Under Wang's leadership the adherents of a secret religious society took the city of Shou-chang, Shantung, on October 3, 1774. After further successes, they attacked the larger of two walled enclosures at Lin-ch'ing but, being repulsed, occupied the smaller and less defensible one. Government troops from Peking, Tientsin, and elsewhere concentrated at Lin-ch'ing and, under Shu-ho-tê's command, the stronghold fell on November 2nd. Wang Lun and his family perished in the flames of their dwelling, and most of the inhabitants were massacred. For more than a month Shu-ho-tê remained at Lin-ch'ing to apprehend other followers of Wang Lun and execute them. The documents relating to this episode were published in 1781, under the title 剿捕臨清逆匪紀略 Chiao-pu Lin-ch'ing ni-fei chi-lüeh, 16 chüan. Shu-ho-tê was rewarded with a minor hereditary rank and with the double-eyed peacock feather. In 1776 his portrait was placed in the Tzŭ-kuang ko (see under Chao-hui).

Shu-ho-tê served on the Grand Council from 1748 to 1754, and from 1773 to 1777. In the absence of the Emperor from the capital he was entrusted with the management of state affairs, and so came into contact with the Jesuit missionaries who sometimes referred to him in their correspondence as "Chou [Shu] Ta-jin." He was accorded various posthumous honors, including the name, Wên-hsiang 文襄, and was celebrated in the Temple of Eminent Statesmen.

In his last years he was harassed by the lawless conduct of a son, Shu-ning 舒寧. This son was, in 1773, banished to Ili for the murder of two servants, and, though later pardoned, was in 1776 given the same sentence for attempting to take a coal-mine by force from the rightful owner. But before setting out, he was sent home in order that his father might inflict on him personally the punishment which was his due. Shu-ho-tê's eldest son, Shu-ch'ang 舒常 (d. January 1799, posthumous name 恪靖), held many important posts. In later years he served as governor of Kweichow (1779–80), as governor-general at Wuchang (1780–84, 1787–88), as governor-general at Canton (1784–85), and as president of the Censorate (1789–99).


[1/319/8b; 3/22/15a; 3/88/45a; 3/12/6a; 4/27/26a; Staunton, Sir George, Narrative of the Chinese Embassy to the Khan of the Tourgouth Tartars; Amiot, "Monument de la transmigration des Tourgouths des bords de la mer Caspienne dans l'empire de la Chine" in Mémoires concernant l'histoire, etc., des Chinois (1776), vol. 1, pp. 400–27; Howorth, History of the Mongols, vol. 1, pp. 534–89; De Mailla, Histoire générale de la Chine (1780), vol. 11, pp. 582–87; Hung-li [q. v.], Ch'ing Kao-tsung yü-chih wên, êr-chi, 11/6b; 1/528/14b; Chiao-pu Lin-ch'ing ni-fei chi-lüeh; Yang Chung-hsi (see under Shêng-yü), Hsüeh-ch'iao shih-hua, yü-chi, 5/46b–50b; Cordier, H., "Les correspondants de Bertin", T'oung Pao, 1917, pp. 311 ff.]

Rufus O. Suter

Fang Chao-ying