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Yong-le: Year 5, Month 4, Day 19

26 May 1407

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The Xin-cheng Marquis Zhang Fu, regional commander of the force sent on expedition to punish Annam, and others, memorialized as follows: "The previously-received Imperial instructions were that, when Annam was pacified, we were to seek out a male descendant of the Chen family to inherit the title of king. We attentively respected the sagacious plan and firmly carried out Heaven's punishment. Thereby, the prefectures and counties successively returned to allegiance. We then sent Mo Sui, a person from Nan-ce Subprefecture who has submitted, with a notice of instruction to be made widely known to the the military, civilians and elders in all areas. It required that they seek out a descendant of the Chen line so that he could submit a memorial of request and be enfeoffed. After a long period of time, Sui and 1,120 elders of the country, including Yin Pei and others, came to us to advise of their loyalty. They said that when the Li bandits usurped power and killed the ruler, the had sought out all the male descendants of the Chen line and massacred them. Thus, there is nobody to carry on the line. They also said that in ancient times Annam was Chinese territory, but that later it sank into mean ways and changed and that now they are glad to see the cruel bandits being swept away and happy to gaze on Chinese clothing and headwear. They hoped that Annam's former prefectures and counties would be re-established and that officials would be appointed to govern them like before, so that they will be gradually able to be enriched by the influence of the Sage and they will be cleansed of their yi ways. Sui and the others also wrote a memorial recording the will of the people. I investigated the situation of the people and found that their loyalty was genuine and thus that memorial was forwarded to the Court. On the 29th day of the third month (6 May 1407) I again sent troops to pursue and destroy the bandit followers. In Men Sea-port of Jiao-shui County, innumerable bandits were slain. Li Ji-li and his son just managed to flee. Now the troops are again pursuing them. They are like fish swimming in a cauldron and their death is imminent. I have humbly planned prefectures and counties, as after we have pacified the area, it will need to be governed. The Chen line has come to an end and no Chen descendants can be found. It will be necessary to set up a regional military commission, a provincial administration commission and a provincial surveillance commission to govern the prefectures and counties and to keep the people and troops in peace. I respectfully offer this memorial in advice." When the memorial arrived, the assembled ministers also made the same request as contained in the memorial. The Emperor said, "Wait until the Li bandits, both father and son, are captured, and only then arrange things."

Tai-zong: juan 66.4a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 11, page 0931/32

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Preferred form of citation for this entry:

Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, Singapore: Asia Research Institute and the Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/reign/yong-le/year-5-month-4-day-19, accessed December 06, 2019