Memorials from Qinghai


Memorials were personal memoranda presented by officials to the emperor, often with proposals for action. They were one of the chief media for communication between the emperor and his officials. The memorials provide insight into the range of views held at the time on various subjects, and are important historical sources. This is a collection of handwritten memorials in ten volumes, written by Yushi (1825–1906) during the reign of Emperor Tongzhi (1862–74) and Emperor Guangxu (1875–1908). Yushi was a Han native whose original family name was Liu, who later became a member of one of the Manchu Eight Banners. He achieved his jin shi (doctoral degree) in 1852 and entered the government, serving in a number of official posts, including one at the Grand Secretariat. In 1859 he became an investigating censor of Shandong and later of Shaanxi. Two years later he became the prefect of Lanzhou and Pingliang. In 1870 he was promoted to grand minister superintendent of Xining, Qinghai, where he assisted Zuo Zongtang (1812–85), the most prominent military leader and statesman of the time, in suppressing the anti-Qing movement of the Muslims in the region. In 1878 he became the military governor of Urumqi. This work contains his memorials written during his years in the Qinghai region. Many of the memorials detail military maneuvers and provide information relating to events that supplement the official histories of the period. Also included are memorials requesting the recruitment of soldiers to protect vital garrisons, the recruitment of civil corps, and correspondence involving penalties for the provincial treasurer for delay in delivering pay and provisions for soldiers. The book has two prefaces, one by the author and another by Li Hongzao (1820–97), a fellow high official who was a tutor at the imperial court and served as grand councilor.  

Last updated: January 3, 2018