Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ting Jih-ch'ang

3656380Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 2 — Ting Jih-ch'angFang Chao-ying

TING Jih-ch'ang 丁日昌 (T. 持靜, 雨生), 1813–1882, official, was a native of Fêng-shun, Kwangtung. When he was about twenty sui he became a hsiu-ts'ai, and soon thereafter purchased the title of a student of the Imperial Academy. When his talents as a writer became known, he was kept occupied as a secretary to local officials. In the meantime he purchased ie rank of an expectant director of schools. For helping to subdue a band of local bandits, he was rewarded in 1854 with the rank of an expectant magistrate. In 1856 he was appointed sub-director of schools of the prefecture of Ch'iung-chou (Hainan Island), and three years later was made magistrate of Wan-an, Kiangsi. In 1861, while he was serving as acting magistrate of Lu-ling, that city fell to the Taiping Rebels. Although he and his superiors recovered it, he was cashiered for his failure to hold it. He then joined Tsêng Kuo-fan's [q. v.] staff in southern Anhwei; and for his service to Tsêng his earlier rank was restored to him (1862). He was sent to Kwangtung on an errand concerning likin (see under Kuo Sung-tao) and, while there, was asked to help in supervising the manufacture of firearms and ammunition. In 1863 he was repeatedly ordered by Li Hung-chang [q. v.] to return to Kiangsu to help make ammunition there.

At this time Li Hung-chang had two armies, both trained by Westerners: the Ever Victorious Army under Gordon (see under Li Hung-chang) at Kun-shan, and a smaller force under Macartney (see under Kuo Sung-tao) at Sungkiang (1863). Macartney started an arsenal which he and Li Hung-chang moved to Soochow (December 1863) and then to Nanking (June 1865). Ting probably joined Li's staff late in 1863 and began another smaller arsenal at Soochow. There was a third arsenal at Soochow, directed by Colonel Han Tien-chia 韓殿甲. At the same time Ting served on the Military Secretariat under Li Hung-chang. For his services, in a campaign by which Li recovered most of Kiangsu from the Taipings, Ting was rewarded with promotion to expectant prefect. In May 1864 he helped Gordon to disband the Ever Victorious Army, but since Parkes (see under Yeh Ming-ch'ên) and Hart (see under Chang Chih-tung) both opposed the disbandment, he and Gordon worked out a compromise plan to keep nine hundred of the four thousand men as a battalion under foreign officers, with quarters near Shanghai. It was probably owing to his skill in this matter that Ting was appointed acting, and later full, Shanghai taotai (intendant of the Soochow, Sungkiang and T'ai-ts'ang Circuit) to take charge of the customs and other matters relating to foreigners. Whereas Macartney's arsenal remained at Nanking, those of Ting and Han were moved to Shanghai. In 1865 Ting caused the purchase of machinery from a foreign factory at Shanghai, and with this he founded the Kiangnan Arsenal (江南機器製造局) which was located in 1867 on a site south of Shanghai. It progressed rapidly under the direction of Ying Pao-shih 應寶時 (T. 敏齋, b. 1821, chü-jên of 1844), Fêng Chün-kuang 馮焌光 (T. 竹儒, 1830–1878, chü-jên of 1853), and others. Attached to it were a language school (Kuang fang-yen kuan 廣方言館) and a department for translating foreign books (Fan-i kuan 繙譯館). The translation department published in the eighteen seventies and eighties more than two hundred works, mostly on, science, engineering, history, and international law—works which had a powerful influence in the modernization of China.

In September 1865 Ting Jih-ch'ang was promoted to be salt controller of the Liang-Huai region, and early in 1866 was named financial commissioner of Kiangsu. Early in 1867 he became governor of Kiangsu, owing his rapid promotions in part to the recommendations of Li Hung-chang and Tsêng Kuo-fan, and in part to his fame as an expert on foreign affairs. Thus, in 1870, he was called to help Tsêng settle the case of the Tientsin Massacre (see under Ch'ung-hou). Late in that year, upon his return to Kiangsu, he retired to mourn the death of his mother, and remained at his home in Fêng-shun for more than four years. In 1875 he went to Peking for an audience, and was ordered to proceed to Tientsin to assist Li Hung-chang conclude treaties with Japan and Peru. In September he was made director-general of the Foochow Arsenal (see under Shên Pao-chên), but three months later was made concurrently governor of Fukien. In 1876, at his own request, he was released from his duties in the Arsenal in order to devote his energy to provincial matters. He paid special attention to the development of Formosa, but his plans for building railroads and opening mines were not started, owing to lack of funds. When he tried to root out corrupt practices in Fukien officialdom he incurred the hatred of his subordinates who did all they could to make it difficult for him. Consequently he retired in 1877 on the plea of illness, but during his retirement he was several times called upon to settle cases in which foreigners were involved. He submitted a number of memorials advising the government on foreign affairs, and in 1879 was given the title of governor-general to take charge of the defenses of the south China coast and of foreign affairs. He was also highly praised for his efforts in soliciting contributions for the relief of famine in Shansi. Upon his death, however, the Court accorded him only the usual posthumous honors.

Ting Jih-ch'ang was a celebrated collector of rare books. During the Taiping Rebellion many old families in Kiangsu suffered seriously and could not retain their collections of books and antiques. Ting, as taotai of Shanghai and later as governor of Kiangsu, was thus in a favorable position to collect rare books and manuscripts which he entrusted to Mo Yu-chih [q. v.] to catalogue. In 1867–69, Mo made an annotated catalogue of the important items, entitled 持靜齋藏書紀要 Ch'ih-ching chai ts'ang-shu chi-yao, 2 chüan. Later Ting transferred his library to his home in Fêng-shun and compiled a more complete catalogue, entitled Ch'ih-ching chai shu-mu (書目), 4 chüan, with a supplement. A third catalogue of this collection was edited by Chiang Piao (see under Huang P'ei-lieh) and printed in 1895, under the title Fêng-shun Ting-shih (氏) Ch'ih-ching chai shu-mu. Ting is also credited with a collection of poems, entitled 百蘭山館詩集 Pai-lan-shan-kuan shih-chi, 6 chüan, and a collection of official papers as governor of Kiangsu, entitled 撫吳公牘 Fu-w'u kung-tu, 50 chüan.

While serving as taotai at Shanghai in 1864, Ting Jih-ch'ang founded there the Academy, Lung-mên shu-yūan 龍門書院, which flourished under the sponsorship of his successors until it was reorganized in 1904 as a normal school. Several men of note served as directors of the Academy, among them Sun Ch'iang-ming (see under Sun I-jang) and Wu Ta-ch'êng [q. v.]. Of many able students in the Academy, three may be mentioned: Yüan Ch'ang [q. v.]; Yüan Hsi-t'ao 袁希濤 (T. 觀瀾, 1866–1930), Vice-minister of Education in 1915–19; and Hu Ch'uan 胡傳 (H. 鈍夫, 1841–1895), magistrate of T'ai-tung, Formosa, in 1893–95. Dr. Hu Shih (see under Ts'ui Shu), the son of the last-named, has been since 1917 the prime sponsor of the "Literary Revolution" in China, and served from 1938 to 1942 as Ambassador to the United States. The diary and other writings of Hu Ch'uan, including the note-books which he kept as a student in the Academy, are in existence, but have not been published.

[1/454/1a; 2/55/17a; Chin-shih jên-wu chih (see under Wêng T'ung-ho), p. 213; Li Hung-chang [q. v.], Li Wên-chung kung tsou-kao 4/44a, 6/49a, 6/52a, 7/17a, 9/31a; Shanghai hsien hsü-chih (1918) 13/3a; Kuo-li Chung-shan ta-hsüeh wên-shih-hsüeh yen-chiu-so yüeh-k'an (National Sun Yatsen University Monthly of the Institute of History and Language), vol. 2, no. 5 (1934) pp. 115–128 for extensive biog. of Ting.]

Fang Chao-ying