Zhang Xianghe's Memorials to the Throne


This work contains memorials written by Zhang Xianghe (1785–1862), dating from January–December 1853, the third year of the Xianfeng reign, with those of the month of January incomplete. According to the biography of Zhang Xianghe in chapter seven of Qing shi gao (History of the Qing dynasty), Zhang achieved his jin shi (doctoral degree) in 1820 and assumed a number of posts, eventually rising to the post of president of the Board of Works in 1859–61. In 1853, when these memorials were written, Zhang was recalled to the capital from Shaanxi Province, where he had been the presiding magistrate. These memorials were probably written while he was still in Shaanxi, but they were not printed at the time, thus parts of them were lost. In one of his memorials, Zhang proposed that due to the increasing military actions in the southeastern region, it was imperative to strengthen the military forces’ training and to raise defenses. He also recommended the bao jia system (an administrative system for organizing the population based on households) to maintain public order. Only eight out of what most likely were 50 or 60 volumes of Zhang’s memorials have been found—these documents written in his last year as magistrate. No information is available on whether other volumes still exist.

Last updated: March 18, 2015