Jia-jing: Year 20, Month 4, Day 4

29 Apr 1541

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Previously, the Xian-ning Marquis Qiu Luan and the Minister of War Mao Bo-wen had received orders and they had proposed:

"In the attack on Annam, when we reach Guang-xi, we should merge together the wild native troops and the government troops from Guang-dong/Guang-xi, Fu-jian and Hu-guang. Also, orders should be sent to the grand defender and the various offices of Yun-nan requiring them to jointly submit proposals. The regular troops should be divided into three forces and the irregular troops divided into two forces, while the soldiers from Mt. Wu-lei and other places should constitute the sea force."

It was further proposed:

"The troops mobilized by Yun-nan should be divided into three forces at Lian-hua Rapids and then the Qian-guo Duke Mu Chao-fu, the An-yuan Marquis Liu Xun, the Military Superintendent and Vice Minister Cai Jing and the Grand Coordinator and Censor-in-chief Wang Wen-sheng should make their own decisions on deployment. Also, urgent orders should be sent to the officials and people of Annam, instructing them in the Court's just duty of reviving and restoring broken lines of succession, noting that the only ones to be punished will be Mo Deng-yong and his son, that those who are able to deliver whole prefectures or counties in surrender will be given those prefectures or counties and that those who capture or behead Deng-yong or his son and come to surrender will be rewarded with 20,000 jin, be given a glorious official rank and their achievements will be repeatedly made known. We should also instruct Deng-yong and his son that if they can control themselves and repent their crimes, detail all their land and people, offer tribute and obey orders, they will be exempted from execution."

Bo-wen and others then stationed the troops near the border and Deng-yong on hearing of this was frightened. He thus sent an envoy to the military headquarters requesting to be allowed to surrender. His words were quite humble and earnest and Bo-wen and the others, having received Imperial orders, gave permission for the surrender, and it was agreed that he would come to surrender on the third day of the 11th month of the 19th year (30 Nov 1540). At that time Deng-yong's son Fang-ying had already died and the defence of the country was in the hands of his grandson Fu-hai. Deng-yong and his nephew Wen-ming as well as 40-plus persons including the chieftain leader Ruan Ru-gui, entered the borders, each with a chi of silk cord tied around the neck. On coming to the palace which had been erected they crawled in with feet bare, kowtowed and presented the memorial of surrender. They then went to the military headquarters and, crawling in, again did obeissance. They provided details of all the land, troops, civilians and officials and asked that arrangements be made for them. They also advised their desire that the territory of the four dong which Qin Subprefecture had advised in a memorial had been occupied, become part of the within. They also requested that they be granted the Court's calendar and be permitted to respectfully protect the formerly-conferred seal until further arrangements were made. Thus, Bo-wen and the others promulgated instructions advising of the Court's majesty and virtuous power and ordered them to return home and await orders. Further, Bo-wen together with the defence officials jointly memorialized, saying:

"Annam stands in awe of the Court's might and has controlled itself and repented its crimes. As to Li Ning claiming to be a descendant of the Lis, the genealogy is not clear and no basis can be found for the claim. It is requested that Deng-yong be pardoned and accepted, that the former titles be abolished and that the conferring of new (Alt: provisional) titles be considered."

They also sent people to escort Wen-ming and the chieftains to the capital. The latter carried the memorial of surrender which read:

"I humbly note that the Lis, the former rulers of the country, were unfortunate and met with successive calamities, dying one after the other. Li Kuang then took control of the affairs of the country. However, not long after, he too was struck by a serious illness and was on the verge of death. In his ill state, he inappropriately followed the yi ways and he provisionally handed control of the affairs of the country to me and I subsequently handed control over them to my son Fang-ying. We did not memorialize requests and indeed our actions were presumptuous. Although the Court is 10,000 li away and it is difficult to memorialize advice, still it is true that our crimes mount up to Heaven. How can such blindness by ourselves be forgiven! In the 17th year of the Jia-jing reign (1538/39) (Alt: 16th year of the Jia-jing reign) we, both father and son, respectfully sent Ruan Wen-tai and others with a memorial requesting permission to surrender, and to request that the Court make arrangements. However, our accumulated loyalty did not reach its destination and could not move the Emperor's heart. We worried about this day and night and were unable to rest. On the 25th day of the first month of the 19th year (3 Mar 1540), my son Fang-ying sadly died prematurely. The people of the country, habituated in their old practices, desired that Fang-ying's eldest son, your minister Fu-hai, replace him in governing the people. I was worried about the previous events in which there was both improper handing over and acceptance of the ruling position, and that things were already not in accord with the principles of right conduct. If we again acceded to the [people's] request, the crimes we would bear would be heavier and it would be impossible to be rid of them. Thus, I and my eldest grandson Fu-hai managed things together and awaited the Court's orders. A short time later, the great generals took command of the expedition and the government troops pressed on our territory. What was I, like a caged pig, to do? I only worried for the people of the country day and night. Then fortunately I read the orders posted by the military headquarters and respectfully received Heaven's words. They flowed with boundless compassion and I was reduced to tears. I humbly noted that it was I, Deng-yong, who committed crimes, and that the people are innocent. It is I alone whom the Court's compassion could not tolerate, and yet punishment was going to extend to the people. How could I find pleasure in extending my few remaining breaths at the expense of the people? Thus, even within my country I looked North towards your Exalted Majesty. Then, leading my insignificant chieftains Ruan Ru-gui, Du Shi-qing, Deng Wen-zhi as well as the Elder Li Quan, and the scholar Ruan Jing-ji, on the third day of the eleventh month of the 19th year (30 Nov 1540), we bound ourselves with cords and, leaving the borders, kowtowed and offered our surrender. Your minister Deng-yong wished to go personally to the capital have an audience with the Son of Heaven and to request death. However, as I am weak and old, I am unable to crawl there. Also, my eldest grandson, your minister Fu-hai, is at present in mourning and cannot travel to the distance. Thus, I am respectfully sending my nephew Mo Wen-ming, and the old ministers Xu San-sheng and Ruan Jian-qing and minor chieftain Ruan Yan-zuo, who served the former rulers, to go to the capital to receive punishment. I humbly hope that the Emperor in his compassion will be sympathetic and forgiving so that I have the opportunity to change my ways. The territory and people all belong to the Court. It is requested that you will graciously accede to the sentiments of the yi and make arrangements as appropriate so that we can be part of the within and long declare ourselves a tributary. There would be nothing more fortunate for us than if, in accordance with the conventions applied to the various tributaries, we are annually given the Great Ming unified calendar so that we can print and distribute it in the country and we can abide by the Court's calendar. Although the previous rulers of our country, the Dings, the Chens and the Lis, as they handed rule from one to the other, had reign titles, I have strictly given orders to the people of the country that such titles are to be abolished and that we are to await new orders. How could we dare to repeat past errors and quickly bring Heaven's punishment upon ourselves?

Recently, I heard that Lin Xi-yuan, the subprefectural magistrate of Qin Subprefecture in Guang-dong has memorialized claiming that the two sectors of Ru-xi and Tie-lang and the four dong of Si-lin, Jin-le, Gu-sen and Liao-ge were formerly the territory of Qin Subprefecture. If this is as claimed, I will obey the orders. The tribute which our country failed to bring in previous years shall be made up in its entirety and in subsequent years the offering of local products in tribute shall continue. I dare not speak hastily as I have committed crimes, am seeking pardon from death, and am still afraid that this will not be granted. Also, I and the people of the country wish, in accordance with the ways of former reigns, to offer gold and silver figures representing ourselves. However, considering that this is abrupt, we are only sending tribute and advice. As to the seal for the king of this country, which the Heavenly Court originally conferred, I Deng-yong am only respectfully protecting it and would not dare use it without authority. It is humbly hoped that the Emperor will deign to examine this matter. I, Deng-yong, am trembling in fear."

The yi chieftain Ruan Ru-gui and others also jointly memorialized, saying:

"Deng-yong truly was given the commission by Kuang, but because the roads were blocked, it was not possible to advise the Court. Now the Li line is ended and there are no descendants. It is requested that Deng-yong's crimes be pardoned so that he can govern the people of the country and thus prevent further disorder."

It was commanded that the memorial be sent to the Court ministers for their joint deliberation. They unanimously said that it was appropriate to act in accordance with the request by Bo-wen and the arrangements he proposed in respect of establishing an official post, issuing the calendar, establishing tribute procedures, providing a seal, recovering the four dong areas, accepting the surrender, issuing Imperial instructions, treating the envoys with courtesy, investigating Li Ning and withdrawing the troops and cavalry. The Emperor said:

"Annam has since ancient times belonged to China. It was only when the king received enfeoffment under the Song that it fell into yi ways. The Chens long passed on the title and they knew how to move towards righteousness and offer tribute. They were praised and commended by our Emperor Tai-zu and he wrote and instructed that future generations were not to attack the country. How great was the Emperor's benevolence in not excluding anyone! It was only because the bandit minister Li Ji-li killed his ruler Ri-kun and also killed Ri-kun's grandson Tian-ping, was rebellious and unprincipled and offended against the superior that our Wen-zu Emperor was greatly angered and ordered the generals to punish and pacify him and to divide the land into prefectures and counties. This allowed the Jiao people to escape from the torments of fire and water. Who would have thought that Li Li would have then engaged in evil and oppression and encouraged the people to engage in rebellion? He also guilefully requested enfeoffment. Our Xuan-zong Emperor noting that the troops had not long been at rest and considering the Imperial ancestral words in respect of the Chens, took pity on the Jiao people and leniently chose not to punish him. The successive reigns followed this pattern. After I ascended the throne there was a long period when the Lis did not come to Court. I was about to issue orders requiring their punishment, but then the memorials of investigation arrived. It was only then that it became known that Mo Deng-yong and his son had usurped authority and occupied areas of the country. As the details of the circumstances of the crime were not clear and I was concerned that the killing might affect the innocent, I sent civil and military ministers to soothe or eliminate in accordance with the situation. Now Deng-yong has personally appeared in bonds at the military headquarters, delivered his territory and requested punishment. This is different from the case of the two Li evil-doers. On examining his memorial of surrender and the representations from the people of the country, I observe that the actions are excusable and thus I am leniently pardoning them. Also, in accordance with a long-held desire of the Jiao people, the title of king is being abolished and Annam is no longer permitted to refer to itself as a country. This is to avoid having refractory bandits continuing to rebel one after another. There is none of the Li family left, and Deng-yong has long been considered proxy ruler by the Jiao people. It is now permitted that he be appointed to a post and that a seal be conferred upon him, so that he can follow the Court's calendar and offer tribute to the Court. It is also permitted for the region to appoint officials to facilitate rule. The Court seeks no benefit from the people or the land. The Ministries of War, Revenue and Rites should, together with the joint Court ministers, deliberate in detail on appropriate arrangements and advise."

After the Court proposals were advised, the Emperor ordered:

"The country of Annam is to be downgraded to the Annam Commandery and Mo Deng-yong is to be appointed as Commander of the Annam Commandery, an official of the lower second rank, with the post to be inherited by his male descendants. He is also to be provided with a silver seal. All of the former systems which have been established or proposed are to be abolished and they are to be changed to the correct ways. In the 13 circuits (路), including Hai-yang and Shan-nan, pacification commissions are to be established, with each having an establishment of one administrator(同知), a deputy administrator (副使) and an assistant administrator (僉事). Transfers and inheritance as well as promotions and demotions are all to be decided by Deng-yong. The Guang-xi Provincial Administration Commission is to annually provide them with a copy of the Da Tong-li so that they can follow the Imperial calendar. They are to be further instructed to come to offer tribute once every three years. The occupied territory of the four dong is to be returned to the jurisdiction of Qin Subprefecture. The grand coordinators of Guang-dong/Guang-xi are to be instructed to show great sympathy to them. It is not necessary [for Annam] to report on the amount of taxes paid or the number of its armed troops. As to Li Ning, the defence officials are to be sent to investigate and enquire of him. If he is a descendant of the Li family, he should be given the territory of the four prefectures he occupies, so that he can carry on the ancestral sacrifices. Otherwise, he is to be removed. As to Mo Wen-ming and the various yi envoys as well as the attendants who were sent to accompany them, they are all to be given rewards."

Subsequently, the Ministry of War requested that a day be chosen on which all the officials could come to offer their congratulations, and discuss the achievements of the various ministers both within and outside the Court. The Emperor said:

"If the yi in the four directions do not come to Court, righteousness requires that their crimes be punished. From the time of the ancient Emperors, there have been none who have not followed this way. Recently, the punishment of Annam was certainly what I wished. Yet, there were those who feared censure and obstructed national policy. Recently, officials were ordered to investigate whether to engage in an attack or in soothing. Now the Lis have been destroyed and the Mo chieftain has come to surrender with cord around his neck. I have only made arrangements. There is no need for expression of congratulations. The various major and minor officials, both inside and outside the Court, should be rewarded. It should be recorded that the Grand Secretary Xia Yan was instrumental in working out overall policy, and the merit he has achieved is unsurpassed. Zhai Luan has also assisted through praiseworthy efforts. In addition, the Yi-guo Duke Guo Xun and the Minister Yan Song also put forward proposals. Silver and silks as appropriate should be conferred upon all of them. Mao Bo-wen received orders to perform duties and he rapidly ordered the despatch of troops and made known Imperial might on the Southern borders. The Southern man were terrified and suddenly victory was achieved. He is to be promoted to Grand Guardian of the Heir Apparent. Cai Jing is to be promoted to censor-in-chief of the right in the Censorate and concurrently vice minister of the right (Alt: left) in the Ministry of Rites. He is to retain his former position of military superintendent. The Regional Commanders Liu Xun and Mu Chao-fu have continuously demonstrated power and majesty and been diligent in their arrangements. Xun is to be promoted to Grand Mentor of the Heir Apparent and Chao-fu is to be promoted to Grand Guardian of the Heir Apparent. The four officials, including the Administration Vice Commissioner Weng Wan-da, are all to be promoted one grade. The nine officials, including the Censor Hong Yuan, the regional inspector of Guang-dong, are all to be promoted one grade in salary. Further, the 71 officials, including Qiu Luan, Wang Wen-sheng, the Ministers Zhang Zan and Fan Ji-zu, the Vice Ministers Tao Xie and Wang Yi-qi, the Eunuch Director Ma Guang and the Regional Inspecting Censor Peng Shi-ji are all to have silks and silver in appropriate amounts conferred upon them. Mao Bo-wen is to be ordered to return to the capital. The official who memorialized victory, Wang Liang-fu, is to be promoted to assistant regional commissioner, while Yu Wen and Zou Ji-fang are both to be promoted to assistant guard commanders. Shi Ji-zong is to be appointed as battalion vice commander and the housemen Zhang Huai and Sun Zhao-ying (Alt: Sun Shao-ying) are to be provisionally appointed as battalion judges."

Shi-zong: juan 248.1b-5a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 82, page 4966/73

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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/jia-jing/year-20-month-4-day-4, accessed January 22, 2019