Long Qirui's Secret Letter to Jiang Da about Affairs of Local Troops


Long Qirui was the zhuangyuan (the Number One Successful Candidate of the highest-level imperial examinations) in the 21st year of the Daoguang reign of the Qing Dynasty (1841). In the 1st year of the Xianfeng reign (1851), Zou Minghe made arrangements for establishing local troops of Guangxi and commanded Long Qirui to take charge of relevant affairs. In the following year, the Taiping Army launched attacks toward Guilin. Long led local troops to guard the city doggedly. This letter was written on May 27th after Guilin was rescued from a besiegement. Long concealed the internal contradictions of the ruling class of Qing and recorded rebellions conducted in various places of Guangxi. Although not many affairs concerning the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom were recorded, all of the recorded are affairs of great importance. Additionally, Long Qirui mentioned Saishang'a, the most trustworthy minister of the Qing imperial court, for numerous times. Long was defeated by the Taiping Army in the 6th year of the Xianfeng reign and committed suicide. He wrote at the end of this letter that "this letter shall be burnt in case of breaching of confidence" and made specific notification beside it. However, Jiang Da failed to burn it as instructed by Long. Instead, he gave it to a collector to preserve it. In 1950, Mr. Luo Ergang purchased this letter in Nanjing and donated it to Guilin Museum in 1981.