Yong-le: Year 22, Month 9, Day 1
23 Sep 1424
The Rong-chang Earl Chen Zhi, an assistant regional commander of Jiao-zhi, and others memorialized: "The rebellious bandit Li Li fled to the territory of Laos, but was chased out by the Laotians. He then returned to Gui County in Ning-hua Subprefecture. The Imperial army was advanced to pursue and eliminate him. A false chieftain of the bandits Fan Yang has led 1,600 men and women in surrendering. Now, although Li Li has said that he would lead 480 men and women in surrendering, he has remained in E-le County, Qing-hua Prefecture and has not shown himself. It has been heard that he is still manufacturing weapons. As he is nurturing such guile, troops must be sent to punish him." The Emperor sent Imperial orders of instruction to Zhi and the others, saying: "You have gauged the bandits' plans and put forward a strategy for advancing the troops. It is a good plan. However, I have heard that this bandit was originally forced into his plight by pressure from officials and taxation and, in the end, he had no option but to become a bandit. Now, a general amnesty has been announced for all under Heaven. All is to begin anew. Sympathy and clemency are to be especially demonstrated in Jiao-zhi. If perchance this bandit still has a good heart, he should be treated leniently. If the Imperial army has not yet advanced, immediately send persons with instructions proclaiming that all his former crimes have been pardoned, and that he should now return to his original domicile and live peacefully in his occupation. If he blindly holds to his erroneous ways and continues to act as before, memorialize details and other plans will be worked out. If the Imperial army has already been despatched to seek him and cannot be recalled, then the troops must be extremely careful and prudent. The bandit is wily in his plans and skilled at laying ambushes at strategic places. They must send scouts far forward to make observations, so that they do not fall into his traps. When the troops are on the march, ensure that discipline is maintained, so that no harm is inflicted on good people."
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 15, page 40