Manuscripts of Documents Selected from the Historical Archives of the Chinese Embassy in Germany

Description

Presented here is the only existing copy of original manuscript documents selected from the historical archives of the Chinese Embassy in Germany during the Qing dynasty. The title is taken from the spine of the book’s case. At the bottom of the pages are four printed characters: Zhu De shi guan (The Embassy in Germany). The documents were obviously selected and compiled by the embassy aides and were expected to be printed after the staff members’ return to China. This work consists of approximately one volume of the files of Liu Xihong, three volumes of files of Li Fengbao (1834‒87), two volumes of Xu Jingcheng (courtesy name Zhuyun, 1845‒1900) and two volumes of Hong Wenqing (also called Hong Jun, 1839‒93). Liu Xihong (died 1891) was appointed the first ambassador from China to Germany in the third year of the Guangxu reign (1877) and was recalled after serving four years. He was succeeded by Li Fengbao, who, in turn, was succeeded in 1884 by Xu Jingcheng, who was succeeded by Hong Wenqing in 1887. In 1890 Xu Jingcheng was appointed as ambassador a second time and was in his post until 1897. Thus volume 1 of his files is called documents of the first appointment and volume 2 contains documents of the second appointment. According to Qing shi gao (Draft history of the Qing dynasty), in May 1897 Lü Haihuan (1840‒1927) was appointed Chinese ambassador to Germany and Holland. However, a document dated August 4 still has the name of Xu Jingcheng. Obviously Lü Haihuan had not yet taken up his position and Xu Jingcheng remained at the embassy at the time. This work does not contain any documents from Lü Haihuan. Presumably the compiler(s) returned to China with the previous ambassador. This work consists of various official instructions and documents relating to each ambassador. Thus it can serve as a complement to Qing ji wai jiao shi liao (Qing diplomatic and historical materials). The handwriting of these documents is mostly in the running and cursive styles. The work is well preserved.

Last updated: January 10, 2018