Hong-xi: Year 1, Month Intercalary 7, Day 16
29 Aug 1425
The Jiao-zhi regional inspecting censor memorialized: "The Qing-hua Prefecture bandit leader Li Li has massed his forces in rebellion and is besieging Cha-long Subprefecture. The native-official Prefect Qin Peng who is in charge of the subprefecture's affairs has held out for seven months but his grain is exhausted and his troops are in difficulties. It is requested that troops be despatched to assist them." The Emperor was pained and saddened when he read this. Imperial orders were sent to the Rong-chang Earl Chen Zhi, assistant regional commander, and to the three Jiao-zhi offices, as follows: "The Court appointed you to guard and defend Jiao-zhi and expected you to pacify the area. Now, it is advised that the Qing-hua bandit leader Li Li and others are attacking and plundering subprefectures and counties and cutting the roads. You recently memorialized that you have already proclaimed orders to Li Li and that he was waiting for the cool of the Autumn before taking up his post as prefect of Qing-hua. Now, Autumn has come. Is he going to take up his post of not? It seems to me that the wile and guile of this bandit shows that he indeed does not have the heart of one willing to submit. Rather, he is using false words to slow down the Imperial army, so that he has time to gather his forces. This will certainly lead to future border troubles. Have you not considered this? The native-official prefect Qin Peng who is in charge of the affairs of Cha-long Subprefecture has been besieged by Li for seven months. His grain supplies are nearly exhausted and one-third of his troops have been killed in the fighting. Peng has been able to stand firm in his opposition to the enemy. People like this are certainly not easy to find in Jiao-zhi. Have you taken notice of this person's loyalty and despatched troops to assist him or not? When these orders arrive, if on examination it appears that Li Li really does not have a heart inclined to allegiance, you should immediately make plans to eliminate him. Quickly send troops to assist Qin Peng and look after him well, so that he can maintain his firm spirit of loyalty. You are all major ministers of the state. You must combine your efforts in order to fulfil the task I have commissioned you to perform. Thereby, there will be no need to fear unfairness in rewards and punishments.
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 16, page 0148/49