Xuan-de: Year 4, Month 8, Day 16
14 Sep 1429
The posthumous post of Junior Guardian and the posthumous title of "Jie-min" (Principled and Diligent) were conferred upon the Minister of War Chen Qia. Qia had his origins in Wu-jin, Chang-zhou. He was widely read, prudent, skilled and learned. During the Hong-wu reign (1368-98), he was appointed as supervising secretary in the Office of Scrutiny for War. He was subsequently promoted to director in the Ministry of Personnel. Shortly after the Tai-zong Emperor inherited the throne, he was promoted to vice minister in that ministry and then transferred to Chief Minister in the Court of Judicial Review. When the generals were ordered to Jiao-zhi, Qia assisted in military matters and was also general controller of grain rations. When Jiao-zhi was pacified, he received Imperial orders to investigate the achievements and transgressions of the officers and men. He was also made responsible for the appointment of native officials to posts. Decisions had been taken smoothly, but not all appointments were appropriate. At that time, the prefectures and counties had just been established and the Minister Huang Fu was concurrently in control of both the provincial administration commission and the provincial surveillance commission. Fu discussed with Qia the establishment of regulations and systems. Fu's administrative abilities were adequate, he was lenient in dealing with the people and he put great efforts into soothing and pacifying them. However, in the selection of the skilled and the appointment of the able to appropriate posts, much of the success was due to Qia's skills. Thus, of the newly-attached people, there were none who did not happily submit. Qia then returned to the Court and he was promoted to Minister of War. Later, he again went to Jiao-zhi and again assisted the regional commander with military matters. In the first year of the Hong-xi reign (1425/26), Fu was recalled. Qia replaced Fu, concurrently controlling the provincial administration commission and the provincial surveillance commission. He continued to assist in military matters. Day and night he labored and the local people submitted to him. Later, the eunuch Ma Qi acted harshly and cruelly, bringing great suffering to the people. The military commander and Qia were unable to control him. The bandit Li thus rose in opposition and attacked Jiao-zhi City. Our Imperial army defeated him. Qia and the Regional Commander Wang Tong then led the troops along separate routes to attack the bandits. They did battle at Ning Bridge. Qia threw himself into the battle, but the bandit's strength was too much. He was captured but did not submit, and he died while continuing to curse the bandits. The military personnel and civilians all mourned him. When the event was advised, the Emperor was greatly saddened and spoke to his accompanying ministers, saying: "In each generation there are only a few great ministers who, in their loyalty, die for the state.*" The Auxiliary Ministry of Rites was ordered to deliberate on posthumous honours. The post of Junior Guardian, the epithet of Grand Master for Glorious Happiness and the posthumous title of "Jie-min" (Principled and Diligent) were posthumously conferred upon Qia. Further, officials were sent to his family to confer sacrifices and to appoint his son Shu as a supervising secretary in the Office of Scrutiny for Justice. * The Imperial Instructions (寶訓) here add: "... Wang Tong joined with the enemy, while Chen Qia died cursing the bandits. How was it that employing Tong and Qia together led to shame for the country? I am not perspicacious in employing people!"
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 19, page 1362/63