Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ts'ai Yü-jung

TS'AI Yü-jung 蔡毓榮 (T. 仁庵, H. 顯齋), Apr. 15, 1633–1699, Feb. 21, official, was a native of Chin-chou, Liaotung. His father, Ts'ai Shih-ying 蔡士英 (T. 伯彥, H. 魁吾, posthumous name 襄敏, d. 1674), was a Ming official who surrendered to the Manchus in 1642 with Tsu Ta-shou [q. v.], and later rose to the post of director-general of Grain Transport (1655–57, 1659–61). In the Manchu period the family belonged to the Chinese Plain White Banner. Ts'ai Yü-jung began his official career in 1656 as captain of a company and, after several promotions, was made a vice-president of the Board of Civil Offices (1668–70). In 1670 he became governor-general of Szechwan and Hu-kuang (present Hupeh and Hunan), with headquarters at Ching-chou, Hupeh, on the Yangtze river.

When, late in 1673, Wu San-kuei [q. v.] revolted in Yunnan and Kweichow, Ts'ai Yü-jung was relieved of his duties in Szechwan in order to devote his attention to the defense of Hu-kuang. In a few months, however, all of Hunan was taken by Wu San-kuei. Although Ts'ai succeeded in preventing the march of the insurgents into Hupeh, he was deprived of all ranks and ordered to remain at his post to redeem himself. Yet it seems that he was greatly trusted in the defense of Hupeh, for when his father died he was ordered to remain at his post instead of retiring to observe the customary period of mourning. In 1675 he was given command of two battalions of Chinese recruits, and during the following three years directed the transportation of supplies to near-by armies, in the meantime supervising the construction of naval vessels. In 1678, when the forces of Wu San-kuei were confined to Hunan, Kweichow and Yunnan, an offensive into Hunan was ordered. At the head of five thousand men, Ts'ai assisted in the siege of Yochow, Hunan, and in several naval engagements. Soon Wu died, and the rebels gradually retreated. In 1679 Yochow was taken and most of Hunan was recovered. Ts'ai Yü-jung was given the title, Sui-yüan Chiang-chün 綏遠將軍, and given command of all the Chinese troops in Hunan. In 1680 he assisted the Manchu commander, Jangtai [q. v.], in taking the capital of Kweichow. After the rebellion was crushed in 1681, and Yunnan was recovered, Ts'ai was ordered to resume the post of governor-general of Hu-kuang. In the following year (1682) he was made governor-general of Yunnan and Kweichow, and for four years did much to rehabilitate those war-torn provinces. But when he memorialized the throne that he wished to suppress an uprising of the Miaos at Wei-ning, Kweichow, the Emperor reproved him and directed that only peaceful means should be employed toward the aborigines—for sometimes they were reported as rebellious simply because they refused to comply with the demands of greedy officials. When Ts'ai, in disregard of the warning, attacked the Miaos, he was removed from his post and appointed to a less important position, namely superintendent of the Government Granaries at Peking.

Late in November 1686 Ts'ai Yü-jung was made junior vice-president of the Board of War, but was discharged early in the following year when it was discovered that while in Yunnan he had, through the medium of his son, Ts'ai Lin 蔡琳, given a bribe of nine hundred taels silver to an official investigator; and, after the conquest of Yunnanfu, had taken (1681) a granddaughter of Wu San-kuei to be his concubine, when he should have delivered her up as a captive of war. He was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to decapitation. But during the same year the Emperor commuted his sentence to confiscation of his properties, flogging, and banishment to Heilungkiang. At this time the war against the Russians was suspended to await the arrival of a Russian envoy to conduct peace negotiations, but the project of colonizing the Amur River region which started in 1683 and 1684 continued to be carried on. A military highway was projected in 1685 from Ula (present Yung-chi, Kirin) through Tsitsihar to Aigun, a distance of 1,340 li to be connected by nineteen post stations. It is reported that Ts'ai Yü-jung was ordered to help in both projects and that the expense of equipping the nineteen stations was defrayed by him. A few years later he was pardoned and was allowed to live at his home in Lu-lung, Chihli, where he died.

Ts'ai Yü-jung had eight sons and eight daughters. One of his daughters was the famous poetess, Ts'ai Wan 蔡琬 (T. 季玉, 1695–1755), who left a collection of verse entitled A 蘊眞軒詩劃 Yin-chên hsüan shih-ts'ao, 2 chüan. She married Kao Ch'i-cho 高其倬 (T. 章之, H. 芙沼, 種筠, posthumous name 文良, 1676–1738), a chin-shih of 1694 and a baron of the third class (conferred in 1730) who held from 1723 to 1738 one or another of the governor-generalships or governorships in South China. It is said that many of Kao's memorials and official letters were written in collaboration with his wife, though it is known that he was himself a writer and a poet. He left a collection of poems entitled 味和堂詩集 Wei-ho t'ang shih-chi, 8 chüan, and a collection of memorials in 10 chüan. Unconfirmed stories assert that Ts'ai Wan's mother was a former concubine of Wu San-kuei.

A son of Ts'ai Yü-jung, named Ts'ai Ting 蔡珽 (T. 若璞, H. 禹功, d. 1743), was a chin-shih of 1696 and a Hanlin corrector. After a term as governor of Szechwan (1722–24) he was arrested and tried in Peking on a charge of murder, but because he had turned against a former friend, Nien Kêng-yao [q. v.], and supplied Emperor Shih-tsung with "evidence" leading to Nien's conviction, the charge was dropped. For a time he became the Emperor's favorite, and was concurrently entrusted with heading the Censorate, the Board of War, the Board of Civil Office, and the Chinese Plain White Banner. In 1726, however, he was degraded to the rank of governor of Mukden, and a year later was accused of having received bribes while in Szechwan. In 1728 he was further charged with conspiring against T'ien Wên-ching [q. v.]. He was sentenced to imprisonment awaiting execution, but was released in 1735 by order of Emperor Kao-tsung.

[1/262/1a; 1/513/17b; 2/7/4a; 2/13/17b; 3/65/24a; 3/160/4a; 4/61/2a; 6/59/11b; 20/2/00; 21/2/21b; Shêng-yü [q. v.], Pa-ch'i wên-ching, 57/9a, 17b, 18b; Hsi-ch'ing 西清, 黑龍江外紀 Heilungkiang wai-chi 7/6a; T'ieh-pao [q. v.], Hsi-ch'ao ya-sung chi, yü-chi 1/1a; Lu Mei 陸楣, 鐵莊文集 T'ieh-chuang wên-chi 6/3a; Yung-p'ing fu chih (1879) 57/4b–15a.]

Fang Chao-ying