Yong-le: Year 3, Month 7, Day 19
13 Aug 1405
The chieftain Lan Xian-si, who had been sent by Dao Xian-da, the pacification superintendent of Che-li, presented a memorial requesting that an army be raised to attack the Ba-bai/Da-dian Pacification Superintendent Dao Zhao-san. The Emperor issued orders of instruction, saying: "I have read your memorial and am aware of your loyalty and righteousness. Those in Ba-bai are rogues who dare to turn their backs on the Court's grace and trust, act rudely and with contempt, and obstruct envoys. Fairness and righteousness will not tolerate such actions. I am the lord of all under Heaven and I manifest the love of the One on High (上帝) for all living things. If even one person has lost his place, I am not at ease. Ba-bai's actions have been bad, but this is due only to a few of their leaders. The soldiers and the people under them are my people. If troops are despatched, many people would inevitably be harmed. Also, the native official is young and without knowledge. These actions have resulted from him being beguiled by evil and villainous people. I have now sent envoys to instruct him to change his ways and return to right and to arrest the evil-doers Meng Nai-peng and so on. You are now to first send people to Bo-le, Mu-bang, Meng-gen and such places to instruct them in my will. If Ba-bai/Da-dian perseveres in its evil and does not repent, or if the evil and villainous people are retained, you are to join forces and proceed against it. However, you are only to capture the native ruler and the evil-doers and then to pacify the people. You are not to engage in mu ch killing. You are also to choose a noble person from a branch of the ruling family and memorialize advice, so that he can be appointed as ruler. If they repent their wrongs and confess their crimes, you are to halt the troops and not advance." In addition, an envoy was sent to instruct Dao Zhao-san and others of the Ba-bai/Da-dian Military and Civilian Pacification Superintendency. The instructions read: "I especially bestowed on the various yi of the borders a red warrant with gold characters bearing Imperial orders of instruction, as an act of faith, so as to prevent the border officials from causing trouble or harming you, and so that your people would remain prosperous in perpetuity. The pacification superintendencies of Che-li, Laos, Mu-bang and Meng-yang and the officials of the prefectures and subprefectures of Meng-ding and Wei-yuan all respectfully received the Court's orders and none violated them. Only you, being a juvenile and without knowledge, and misled by the base persons Meng Nai-peng and Meng Yun-gong, caused troubles and problems. On hearing that the envoy had reached your borders, you refused to meet him and would not receive him. When I sent an envoy to take an Imperial proclamation for the instruction of Gu-la and other places, you also obstructed him. Your crimes and errors cannot all be enumerated in detail. The Court officials have all requested that a force be raised to punish your crimes. I have taken into consideration that not all the Ba-bai people are evil and that when the army arrives, it will certainly affect the innocent, and thus am not for the moment going to despatch an army. Now I am especially sending Tian Mao of the Court of State Ceremonial and the judge Lin Zhen to take Imperial orders and to go back with the Che-li envoys, in order to instruct you. If you are able to change your ways and start anew, you are to arrest the evil and villainous people and send them to the capital. Thereby, your territory will be protected and your people will be secure. If you remain obstinate in your ways and do not repent, troops will be sent to punish you and you will be eliminated without mercy." Imperial orders were also sent to the Xi-ping Marquis Mu Sheng, instructing him in the reasons for Che-li's request for an expedition against Ba-bai. The instructions noted: "An envoy has already been sent to instruct Ba-bai, requiring them to change their ways and start anew. You should prime the troops and wait. If they are able to repent their crimes and show sincerity, you are to restrain the troops and not advance. Have 600 mounted troops and 1,400 infantry troops accompany the eunuchs Yang An and Yu Bin. Also, considering that Laos might take advantage of Che-li's void and may launch a surprise attack or possibly provide support to Ba-bai, you should select 15,000 chieftain-led troops and go and provide defence.
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 10, page 0698/700