Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/T'ao Chu

T'AO Chu 陶澍 (T. 子霖, H. 雲汀), Jan. 17, 1779–1839, July 12, official and man of letters, was a native of An-hua, Hunan. For his early education he was indebted to his father, T'ao Pi-ch'üan 陶必銓 (T. 士升, H. 萸江, 1755–1805), a scholar and teacher who left two works, entitled 萸江詩文存 Yü-chiang shih-wên ts'un, 8 chüan; and Yü-chiang chih-i (制義), both printed in 1816. T'ao Chu received his chin-shih degree in 1802. In 1805 he became a compiler in the Hanlin Academy, and in 1810 was assistant examiner in Szechwan. After serving several terms as censor (1814–19) he was appointed successively to the posts of intendant of the Ch'uan-tung Circuit 川東道 in Szechwan (1819–21), provincial judge of Shansi (1821), and financial commissioner of Anhwei (1821–23). Then he rose to the governorship of Anhwei (1823–25) and of Kiangsu (1825–30). In Kiangsu he is best remembered for the measures he took to transport tribute grain by the sea routes, because parts of the Grand Canal had been flooded. In 1826, at the suggestion of Pao Shih-ch'ên and Ying-ho [qq. v.], he delivered by the sea route the quota of rice for that year. It took 1,562 junks to transport 1,633,000 shih 石 (about four and a half million bushels) from Shanghai to Tientsin. But this route was abandoned the following year owing to opposition on the part of officials who profited by the use of the Canal.

In 1830 T'ao was promoted to be governor-general of Kiangsu, Kiangsi, and Anhwei—a post he held for nine years. Early in 1831, the office of the censor supervising the Liang-Huai salt administration was abolished and given concurrently to the governor-general at Nanking. T'ao was the first governor-general to take over this additional charge, and to him are due many improvements in the administration of the salt revenue. Acting on the advice of Wei Yüan [q. v.] and Pao Shih-ch'ên, he adopted in 1832 a plan known as p'iao-yen 票鹽, a way of selling salt by official permits issued to any merchant making full payment in advance. This method proved more efficient and more profitable to the government than the old method of selling salt through a few merchants whose rights to the monopoly were hereditary. The new system was at first practiced in a restricted region and by 1850 was extended to vast areas of central China where salt from northern Kiangsu was sold. In March 1839 Tao Chu resigned from office because of illness and died four months later. He was canonized as Wên-i 文毅, and a special temple was built to him in the salt region in Pan-p'u (present Kuan-yün), Kiangsu (1840).

The literary works of T'ao Chu were published during his lifetime under the following titles: 印心石屋文鈔 Yin-hsin shih-wu wên-ch'ao, 35 chüan; Yin-hsin shih-wu shih (詩), 7 chüan; and 撫吳草 Fu-Wu ts'ao, 4 chüan. His memorials were printed in 1828 in two collections, one entitled 陶雲汀題稿 T'ao Yün-t'ing t'i-kao, 8 chüan, and the other, T'ao Yün-t'ing tsou-kao (奏稿), 24 chüan. The latter was expanded to 76 chüan about 1839–40, with the title altered to T'ao Yün-ting tsou-shu (疏). Some of these memorials are also included in the re-edited collection of his works, published in 1840 by the salt merchants of Huai-pei (淮北, i.e., northern Kiangsu), under the title T'ao Wên-i kung ch'üan-chi (公全集), 64 chüan, plus 2 chüan of epitaphs and biographical sketches dealing with his life. Other works by him are: 蜀輶日記 Shu-yu jih-chi, a diary of his journey to Szechwan, beginning in the summer of 1825 and concluding the following winter; 陶桓公年譜 T'ao Huan-kung nien-p'u, 4 chüan, a chronological biography of T'ao K'an 陶侃 (257–332); 靖節年譜考異 Ching-chieh nien-p'u k'ao-i, 2 chüan, a critical study of the various biographies of his ancestor, T'ao Ch'ien 陶潛 (T. 淵明, 372–427 A.D.); and 陶淵明集輯注 T'ao Yüan-ming chi chi-chu, 10 chüan, annotations on the various commentaries to the works of Tao Ch'ien. In addition, he suggested and initiated the compilation of a general history of Anhwei province, Anhwei t'ung-chih, 266 chüan, which was begun in 1825 and completed in 1829.

T'ao Chu had eight sons and seven daughters. One of his sons, T'ao Kuang 陶恍, married a daughter of Tso Tsung-t'ang; one of his daughters married Hu Lin-i [qq. v.].


[1/385/4a; 3/201/1a, 459/3a; 4/mo-shang/1b; 5/23/1a; 兩淮鹽法志 Liang-Huai yen-fa chih (1905) 52/1a, 138/3a; Wei Yüan [q. v.], Wei Mo-shên wên-chi, 7/21a–28a.]

Li Man-kuei