Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Têng T'ing-chên

TÊNG T'ing-chên 鄧廷楨 (T. 維周, H. 嶰筠), Jan. 26, 1776–1846, Apr. 15, official, was a native of Nanking. His family came originally from Shou-chou, Anhwei. The ancestor who first settled in Nanking was Têng Hsü 鄧旭 (T. 元昭, chin-shih of 1647) who rose from a Hanlin corrector to intendant of the T'ao-Min Circuit in Kansu (1656–57). Têng T'ing-chên became a chü-jên in 1798 and a chin-shih in 1801, followed by appointment to the Hanlin Academy. After officiating in various capacities in the capital, he was appointed in 1810 prefect of Taiwan (Formosa). Before he set out for that post however, Chiang Yu-hsien 蔣攸銛 (T. 穎芳, H. 礪堂, 1766–1830, chin-shih of 1781), then governor of Chekiang, asked that Têng be retained for service in that province. Hence, later in the same year, he became prefect of Ningpo. His mother died in 1812. When the customary period of mourning was ended (1814) he was appointed prefect of Sian, Shensi. Though transferred in 1815 to be prefect, first of Yen-an and then of Yü-lin (both in Shensi), he returned to Sian in 1817. As prefect of Sian he made some judicial decisions which won for him high praise as an administrator. In 1820 he was promoted to be judicial commissioner of Hupeh in which capacity he obtained permission to abolish taxes on land that had been devastated by the Yangtze River. In the following year (1821) he was made financial commissioner of Kiangsi, but in 1822, owing to a blunder committed as prefect of Sian, he was dismissed from office. However, in 1823, he was befriended by Chiang Yu-hsien, then viceroy of Chihli, and early in the following year was appointed intendant of the T'ung-Yung Circuit in that province. Late in 1824 he became judicial commissioner of Shensi. After serving as financial commissioner, and then as acting governor of Shensi (1825), he was made governor of Anhwei (1826)—a post he retained for more than nine years. It was during his tenure there that the general history of that province, entitled Anhwei t'ung-chih, was completed. This work, in 260 сhüan, was begun in 1825 under T'ao Chu [q. v.], was presented to the throne in 1829, and soon after was printed. Owing to his good record as governor of Anhwei, Têng was in 1835 promoted to be governor-general of Liang-Kuang (Kwangtung and Kwangsi). Canton being then the trading port with the Western nations, and also the center of pressing foreign problems relating to the opium traffic, his new post was as difficult as it was important.

Upon assuming office in February 1836, Têng T'ing-chên memorialized on the need for strengthening the coast defenses of Kwangtung. After Captain Charles Elliot (see under Lin Tsê-hsü) was appointed Superintendent of Trade he addressed a communication to Têng, late in 1836, notifying him of the appointment and requesting a passport from Macao to Canton. Têng noticed that in the communication Elliot referred to himself, not as taipan 大班 (the term previously used for the responsible head of each nation's mercantile community) but as yüan-chih 遠職, a term more nearly indicating Elliot's new status. In transferring Elliot's request to the throne Têng reported on the alteration in language but, assuming that the change was immaterial, advised that Elliot be permitted to proceed on the terms previously granted to taipans. The request was sanctioned.

In 1838 Lin Tsê-hsü [q. v.] was appointed Imperial Commissioner to Kwangtung with a view to solving the opium problem. Têng and Lin co-operated well on this matter, and the two became close friends. Early in 1840 Têng was made governor-general of Min-Chê (Fukien and Chekiang) at a time when the coast of Fukien was threatened by the British, who on July 5, 1840, took Tinghai on Chusan Island off the coast of Chekiang. About the same time Amoy was bombarded by a British ship. Têng made his headquarters at Ch'üan-chou, Fukien, where he raised new forces to bolster the defense of Amoy. Before long both he and Lin were dismissed from their posts on grounds of incompetency—both being blamed for the unhappy outcome of the opium question which had involved the nation in a war with England (see under Ch'i-shan). In the following year (1841) both Têng and Lin were sentenced to exile in Ili. Though Lin was first detained for river conservancy work in Honan, Têng set out for Chinese Turkestan soon after the sentence. Having gone into exile earlier than Lin, he also returned before the latter. In the summer of 1843 he was pardoned, and early in 1844 was made financial commissioner of Kansu, in special charge of colonization work. Promoted to governor of Shensi in 1845, he died at his post in 1846.

Têng T'ing-chên was a student of phonetics and also a poet. A collection of his works, entitled 雙硯齋集 Shuang-yen chai chi, printed in 1922 by his great-grandson, Têng Pang-shu 鄧邦述 (T. 正闇, H. 孝先, chin-shih in 1898), contains: 6 chüan of miscellaneous notes, entitled Shuang-yen chai pi-chi (筆記); two works on phonetics, entitled 詩雙聲疊韻譜 Shih shuang-shêng tieh-yün p'u, and Hsü-shih Shuo-wên (許氏說文) shuang-shêng tieh-yün p'u; 16 chüan of verse, entitled Shuang-yen chai shih-ch'ao (詩鈔); and 2 chüan of tz'ŭ or poems in irregular meter, entitled Shuang-yen chai tz'ŭ-ch'ao (詞鈔). Appended to it are two collections of verse by two of his grandsons: 晴花暖玉詞 Ch'ing-hua nuan-yü tz'ŭ, by Têng Chia-chên 鄧嘉縝 (T. 季垂, 1845–1916, chü-jên of 1875); and 空一切盦詞 K'ung-i-ch'ieh an tz'ŭ, by Têng Chia-ch'un 鄧嘉純 (T. 笏臣, chin-shih of 1880).

Têng T'ing-chên's ancestor, Têng Hsü (see above), had a large collection of books which seems not to have been well cared for by his descendants—what was left of it was destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion. The abovementioned Têng Pang-shu, who rose from a Hanlin compiler to commissioner of civil affairs of Kirin (1910–11), made a considerable collection of rare books which was purchased by the Academia Sinica (中央研究院) in 1927. In 1929 he published two catalogues of the rare books he had once possessed. These catalogues, entitled 羣碧樓善本書目 Ch'ün-pi lou shan-pên shu-mu, 6 chüan, and Han-sou shan-fang yü-ts'un (寒瘦山房鬻存) shan-pên shu-mu, 7 chüan, contain valuable bibliographical notes.

The eldest son of Têng T'ing-chên, named Têng Êr-hêng 鄧爾恆 (T. 子久, chin-shih of 1833, d. 1861), served as an official in Yunnan from 1848 to 1860. Late in 1860 he was appointed governor of Kweichow and early in 1861 he was transferred to Shensi. He was murdered at Ch'ü-ching on his way back from Yunnan and was canonized as Wên-k'o 文恪. Têng T'ingchên’s fourth Son, Têng Êr-chin 鄧爾晉 (T. 子楚, pa-kung of 1849, d. 1860), lost his life fighting the Taipings while serving on the secretarial staff in the Great Camp of Kiangnan (see under Hsiang Jung).


[1/375/4a; 2/38/11b; 2/44/49b; 3/199/11a; 5/23/23b; 江寧府志 Chiang-ning fu-chih (1881) 14/2/7a; Ch'ou-pan I-wu shih-mo, Tao-kuang ch'ao (see under I-hsin); Morse, H. B., The International Relations of the Chinese Empire, v. I (1910); Chin-ling t'ung-chuan (see bibl. under Ts'ên Yü-ying.]

Tu Lien-chê