An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Ping Tai jishi benmo 平臺紀事本末

Jun 20, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Ping Tai jishi benmo 平臺紀事本末 "Historical events of the pacification of Taiwan in their entirety" is a short history on the suppression of Lin Shuangwen's 林爽文 rebellion in Taiwan in the years 1786 to 1788. The author of the book is not known. The book, written in the thematic style of the jishi benmo 紀事本末 "historic events in their entirety", describes the life and provenance of Lin Shuangwen, his foundation of the Heaven-and-Earth society (tiandihui 天地會) in Zhanghua 彰化, and the course of his rebellion against the government of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911) .

Although the rebels were not able to conquer the seat of the governor, governor-general Cangcing 常青 (d. 1793) and commander Chai Daji 柴大紀 (1732-1788) had to fight a hard trench warfare against the rebels' barricades. When success was not immediate, both were stripped off their ranks and were replaced by the experienced high minister Fuk'anggan 福康安 (1754-1796). The latter deployed contingents from the mainland, had them shipped to Taiwan and was then able to put down the rebellion. In the town of Jiayi 嘉義, an altar was erected for Fukanggan, and he was granted a series of portraits of his generals to be stored in the Ziguang Hall 紫光閣 in the Imperial Palace.

The Qianlong Emperor 乾隆帝 (r. 1736-1795) also wrote some laudatory poems which are included in the book. It is only preserved as a manuscript and was first printed in the series Taiwan wenxian kongkan 臺灣文獻叢刊.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 915.