Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Yin-chi-shan
YIN-chi-shan 尹繼善 ( 元長, 望山), May 8, 1696–1771, June 4?, official, was a member of the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner. He came from the Janggiya 章佳氏 Clan which had settled in Liaotung long before the rise of Nurhaci [q. v.]. His father, Yin-t'ai 尹泰 (d. 1738), rose from a clerkship through various posts—including those in the Hanlin Academy—to a Grand Secretary (1729–38). Yin-t'ai retired in 1713, but was recalled to office in 1723 after Emperor Shih-tsung ascended the throne. It is said that he owed his subsequent rise to prominent posts to the illustrious services of his son, Yin-chi-shan.
Yin-chi-shan became a chin-shih in 1723, was selected a bachelor of the Hanlin Academy, and later was made a compiler. By 1727 he was made first a sub-expositor, and then acting director, of a department in the Board of Revenue. Later in the same year he was sent to Canton to conduct the trial of two corrupt officials, and then was made acting provincial judge of Kwangtung. In 1728 he was ordered to Kiangsu to assist in directing Yellow River conservancy in that province, and in that same year was made acting governor of Kiangsu. Though still in his early thirties, he proved his ability as a good administrator, and in 1729 was raised to full governor. It is said that the local gentry at first regarded the young governor with distrust, but soon discovered that he was not only able but courteous and well versed in Chinese literature. In 1731 he was made acting governor-general of Kiangnan and Anhwei, and early in 1732 acted in eight or nine posts, in all of which he performed his duties well. Early in 1733 he was transferred to be governor-general of Yunnan, Kweichow, and Kwangsi. Yunnan was then afflicted with an uprising which the former governor-general, Kao Ch'i-cho (see under Ts'ai Yü-jung), had not yet suppressed. When Yin-chi-shan arrived at the capital of Yunnan he so won the confidence of Kao that the latter handed over, before leaving the service, all his plans for the campaign. Thus Yinchi-shan was enabled to accomplish a swift victory which greatly enhanced his prestige. Thereafter he set to work to develop those parts of Kweichow that were inhabited by Miao tribesmen (see under O-êr-t'ai). In 1734 he opened to navigation the river, Hsi-yang-chiang 西洋江, which connects Kuang-nan in Yunnan with Poseh (or Paise) in Kwangsi—a distance of more than 740 li. The operation of deepening and widening the stream took some six months. It became a highway for commerce and an outlet for the products of Yunnan.
Early in 1735 Kwangsi was returned to the jurisdiction of the governor-general of Kwangtung and a year later, the governor-generalship of Kweichow was established, leaving Yin-chi-shan in control of Yunnan only. In 1737 he went to Peking for an audience and begged to remain there on account of his father's advanced age. His plea accepted, he was made president of the Board of Punishments and in the following three years (1737–40), except during a few months' mourning for the death of his father in 1738, he was entrusted with many missions and filled a number of posts. From 1740 to 1742 he served as governor-general of Szechwan and Shensi. After mourning for the death of his mother (1747–48) he was appointed acting governor-general of Kiangnan and Kiangsi and was concurrently assistant director of Yellow River Conservancy in Kiangsu—being made full governor-general in 1745. In 1748 he was for about a month elevated to an assistant Grand Secretary with the concurrent post of president of the Board of Revenue. Late in the same year he was appointed a Grand Councilor and governor-general of Shensi and Kansu to look after supplies for the army dispatched under Fu-hêng [q. v.] to pacify the Chin-ch'uan rebels In 1750 he was again given jurisdiction over Szechwan. Thereafter he served as governor-general of Shensi and Kansu (1753), director-general of Yellow River Conservancy in Kiangsu (1753–57), and again governor-general of Liang-Kiang (1754–65), that is to say, of Kiangnan and Kiangsi. In 1760, while serving in this last-mentioned capacity, he memorialized on the increased efficiency that would result if Kiangnan (present Kiangsu and Anhwei) were apportioned among three financial commissioners 布政使: one in charge of the prefecture of Nanking and that part of Kiangsu north of the Yangtze River; another at Soochow in charge of the rest of Kiangsu; and a third at Anking with jurisdiction over Anhwei. The province of Kiangnan had been established in 1645. In 1661–62 the province of Anhwei was set apart under a governor at Anking and a financial commissioner for that part of Kiangnan now known as Kiangsu (a name which came into use in 1667) was stationed at Soochow. Yin-chi-shan's plan was to transfer the financial commissioner of Anhwei to Anking and to apportion Kiangsu between two financial commissioners. His plan was endorsed by the Emperor, and this system was followed during the remainder of the dynasty.
In 1764 Yin-chi-shan was made a Grand Secretary but remained as governor-general of Liang-kiang for one year more before he was recalled to Peking. In 1765, at the age of seventy sui, he began his service as Grand Secretary in Peking and was assigned to many concurrent posts, including that of chief tutor in the Palace School for Princes, and chancellor of the Hanlin Academy. He was given posthumously the title of Grand Guardian, the name, Wên-tuan 文端, and recognition in the Temple of Eminent Statesmen. Emperor Kao-tsung praised him as not only an able administrator but as one who was kind and broad-minded. The people of Kiangsu whom he ruled, intermittently for some twenty years, loved him for his justice and his friendliness.
The fourth son of Yin-chi-shan, named Ch'ing-kuei 慶桂 (樹齋, 1735–1816), served from 1755 to 1813 as an official. He held, among others, the following posts: military governor of Uliasutai (1780–81, 1789–91); president of the Board of War (1784–99); Grand Secretary (1799–1813); and Grand Councilor (1771–73, 1784–93, 1799–1812). During his last years of service he was given the minor hereditary rank of Ch'i tu-yü (1802) and the title of Grand Guardian. He was canonized as Wen-k'o 文恪. Thus from Yin-t'ai to Ch'ing-kuei, each generation of this family produced a Grand Secretary.
Yin-chi-shan was given the garden, Hsün-ch'un yüan 絢春園, which had once belonged to O-êr-t'ai [q. v.] and which was located near the Yüan-ming Yüan (see under Hung-li). He married a niece of O-êr-t'ai, and was often compared to that elder statesman because of the similarity of their official careers, their abilities, and their enjoyment of imperial favor. A daughter of Yin-chi-shan married Yung-hsüan [q. v.], eighth son of Emperor Kao-tsung.
[1/313/1a; 2/18/26b; 3/21/1a; 4/27/9a; 7/16/4b; 3/l2/34a; 3/31/15a; Yin-chên [q. v.], Yung-chêng chu-p'i yü-chih, Yin-chi-shan; Yüan Mei [q. v.], 袁文箋正 Yüan-wên chien-chêng, chüan 9; Tung-hua lu, Ch'ien-lung 36:4; Wang Ch'ang [q. v.], Ch'un-jung t'ang shih chi).]