Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Yekšu

YEKŠU 葉克舒(書), d. 1658, Manchu officer, bore the clan-name Hoiho, though his father was chieftain of the Nimača clan. With his neighbor, Kanggûri [q. v.] and others, Yekšu joined the service of Nurhaci [q. v.] in 1610 and was made captain of a niru in the Plain Red Banner. In 1621 he was promoted for bravery in the attack on Liaoyang, and by 1626 had risen to be assistant commander of his Banner. When the Six Ministries were organized in 1631 he became one of two directors of the Board of War. In the following year he was appointed commander of the Plain Red Banner which he led on campaigns inside the Great Wall during the years 1634 to 1636. On his return from the last expedition he was tried for failure to control his troops and was reduced to the rank of captain. But in the next three years he again won recognition for his services in warfare against the Koreans, and for a successful attack on the Gûwalca clan which dwelt along the Nonni river. His former position in the Board of War was restored to him, and after a successful campaign against the Solon tribe of Manchus on the upper Heilungkiang he was re-appointed commander of his Banner (1640). He took part again in the war with the Ming, serving at the siege of Chin-chou in 1640 and 1641. The next year he accompanied Abatai [q. v.] on his march into China, but when he returned he was deprived of all hereditary titles, and reduced to the rank of captain, after charges of repeated insubordination and carelessness had been preferred against him. After the death of T'ai-tsung in 1643 he was again made assistant commander. In the battle with Li Tzŭ-ch'êng [q. v.], in the following spring, he was severely wounded—losing one eye. Despite this he continued in active service for the next two years, winning special recognition for his extermination of bandits in Shantung. In 1616, after thirty-six years of military activity, he was settled at Shêng-ching (Mukden) as garrison commander. Eleven years later he was accused of concealing the misdeeds of the keeper of the late Emperor T'ai-tsung's mausoleum. He died in 1658 shortly after being deprived, for the third time, of a11 his titles. His three sons, of whom the most prominent was Daola 道喇, acquired hereditary ranks through their own merits. The captaincy of niru 5, as well as its off-shoots, niru 4, 6, and 7, in the third division of the Plain Red Banner, remained in the possession of his descendants.


[2/233/7a; 3/266/41a; 11/4/54b; 34/164/3a.]

George A. Kennedy