Zhang Yilin

Name in Chinese
Name in Wade-Giles
Chang I-lin
Related People

Biography in English

Chang I-lin 張一麐 T. Chung-jen Cheng-chiao H. Kung-fu Min-yung Ta-huan chu-shih

Chang I-lin (1867-24 October 1943), government official, was a trusted secretary to Yuan Shih-k'ai for many years during the late Ch'ing and early republican periods.

A native of Wuhsien, Kiangsu, Chang I-lin was born into a gentry-official family. His father, Chang Shih-i, was a chin-shih of 1880 and a hsien magistrate in Chihli (Hopei). Together with his two brothers, one elder and one younger, Chang I-lin received a traditional Chinese education. After becoming a sheng-yuan at the early age of 12, he obtained a chü-jen degree in 1885. In 1903 he passed the special examination in political economy, administered by the Manchu court. Later that year Chang I-lin joined the secretariat of Yuan Shih-k'ai, then the governor general of Chihli. His ability won him Yuan's confidence, and when Yuan was summoned to Peking in 1907 to become minister of foreign affairs and grand councillor, Chang went with him. When Yuan was forced into retirement in 1908, Chang returned home. For a time in 1910 he served in the secretariat of Tseng-yun, then the governor of Chekiang.

When Yuan Shih-k'ai was recalled to duty after the outbreak of the revolution in 1911, Chang joined him in Peking. After his native province of Kiangsu declared independence from Manchu rule in December 1911, he served briefly as commissioner of civil affairs but when Yuan Shih-k'ai was elected provisional president, Chang returned to Peking to be chief secretary. He then became head of the office of confidential communications, an important section in the reorganized cabinet in Yuan's government. When Yuan embarked upon his monarchical adventure, however, Chang I-lin resigned his position as head of that office. He did, however, serve as minister of education until late 1915. In this position he promoted the development of the newly formulated chu-yin tzu-mu [phonetic alphabet], thus developing what came to be a continuing personal interest in the reform of the written script. Then he left Peking for the south.

In the last days of Yuan Shih-k'ai's rule, he again summoned Chang to his service. The difficult task of drafting the proclamation abolishing the monarchy was entrusted to the skillful hand of Chang I-lin. In 1917, when Feng Kuo-chang (q.v.) became acting president, Chang again became secretary to the president. In 1919, as the schism between north and south widened, Chang, as a prominent private citizen, attempted to find means for a peaceful unification of China. In 1921 he helped persuade Wu P'ei-fu (q.v.) to stop the civil war and was one of the planners of the Lu-shan conference for peace. When the conference failed, he abandoned participation in national politics and remained at home during the years from 1921 to 1931, promoting local welfare projects in the Soochow area.

The Japanese attack at Shanghai in January 1932 turned Chang's attention once more to national problems, and he worked energetically to aid wounded soldiers and war refugees. His efforts were redoubled when Japan again invaded Shanghai in August 1937. Then 70 years old, Chang proposed the formation of an Old Men's Army, to be limited to men 60 years old or more. Though few people took him seriously, he was in earnest, and he actually drafted a set of regulations for the organization. The duties he proposed for the old men were, in general, tasks which involved probable death, but demanded no strenuous physical labor, or tasks which involved leadership in protecting the people against the so-called unjust militarists and local bosses on the home front.

Soon, however, the advancing Japanese forces occupied Shanghai, Nanking, and Soochow. Donning the garb. of a Buddhist monk, Chang evaded the Japanese, made his way to Hong Kong, and thence to Chungking. To mobilize popular support, the Nationalist Government organized the People's Political Council in 1938, and Chang I-lin was appointed to membership. At the council's sessions, Chang, the eldest member of that body, often was outspoken in raising questions critical of and embarrassing to the Kuomintang and the National Government. In 1943, Chang contracted pneumonia; on 24 October he died in Chungking.

Chang I-lin's collected works, entitled Hsin£' 'ai-p''ing-shih chi [collection of studies with a clear conscience], were published in 1947. His random notes, the Ku-hung-mei-ko pi-chi [notes from the ancient pavilion of red plum blossoms], touch on many aspects of modern Chinese history, including such matters as Sino-Korean relations and the reform movement of 1 898. The marginal notes in the frequently quoted work on Yuan Shih-k'ai, the Yuan Shih-k'ai yü Chung-hua min-kuo [Yuan Shih-k'ai and the republic of China] of Pai Chiao, are also credited to Chang. On the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Shanghai Shun Pao [Shanghai news daily] in 1922, Chang contributed an article, 'Wu-shih-nien lai kuo-shih t'an-wang" [reminiscences of national affairs during the past fifty years].

The French journalist Fernand Farjenel gave an interesting account of a 1913 interview with Yuan Shih-k'ai, at which Chang I-lin was also present. The Frenchman described Chang as a "fussy little man" and a "scholar of the old school." He reported that Yuan depended on the opinions of Chang and of Liang Shih-i (q.v.) in all matters, stating that "these three were for the time being rulers of China." It is difficult to estimate the accuracy of Farjenel's observations, but there is little doubt that Chang I-lin was one of Yuan's most trusted assistants.

Biography in Chinese

张一麐 ——麟 字:仲仁 峥角 号:公 民佣 大圖居士

张一麟(1867——1943,10,24),政府官员,清末民初期间袁世凯的心腹 秘书。

张一麟,江苏吴县人,出身士绅官僚家庭。父亲张世义中1880年进士,曾 在直隶任知县。他和长兄幼弟三人,同受旧式教育,十二岁为生员,1885年中 举人。1903年取录经济特科。不久,入直隶总督袁世凯幕府。他的才能受到袁 的信任。1907年袁去北京任外务部尚书军机大臣,张一麟随同前往。1908年袁 退休,张亦返回原籍,1910年曾入浙江巡抚增韫幕府。

1911年辛亥革命爆发后,清政府召回袁世凯,张亦同去北京。1911年12月 江苏宣告独立,张协助程德全筹办民政。袁任临时大总统,张去北京为总统府 秘书,后又任机要局局长,机要局是袁世凯政府内阁改组后的一个重要部门。 袁谋恢复帝制,张辞去机要局长职而任教育总长至1915年。他在职时推广注音 字母,此后一直关心书写文字的改革。不久离京回南。

袁世凯统治的最后期间,袁信赖张的文笔,又召张去京担负草拟撤销帝制 的命令这一窘困的任务。1917年冯国璋代总统,张重任总统府秘书。 1919年南 北分裂加剧,张以名士身分出面,力图双方和平统一。1921年他劝吴佩孚停止 内战,是召开庐山和平会议的创议者之一。会议失败,他不再参加国家政事, 1921年到1931年退住家乡,在苏州一带创办地方福利事业。

1932年1月,日军袭击上海,他重又关心国家大事,热心救援伤员难民。 1937年8月,日军再次进攻上海,张当时年已七十,更加激愤,建议组成六十 岁以上的老子军,并为此拟订章程,但并没有人认真看待。他所拟定的老人的 工作是照管死伤,并不需要体力劳动,或者保护人民免受不法军人和地方豪强 的欺凌。

不久,日军占领上海、南京、苏州,张一麟穿上和尚的袈裟,避开日本人 的追踪去香港,而后又转往重庆。1938年国民政府为了动员群众,召开国民参 政会,张为代表之一。他是参政会中年龄最长的一员,常常提出责问,放言批 评和责难国民党和国民政府。1943年患急性肺炎,10月24日死于重庆。

张一麟全集《现代兵事集》1947年出版,他的杂著收在《古红梅阁别集》, 其中有不少涉及中国近代历史的材料,例如中朝关系、戊戌变法等。白蕉的 «袁世凯与中华民国》一书中,张一麟还作了不少批注。1922年上海《申报》 五十周年纪念集上,张曾撰《五十年来国事丛谈》一文。

法国新闻记者菲迪南·法容纳在1913年曾会见袁世凯,当时张一麟在座。那个法国人描绘张一麟是一个“精明的矮个子”,是一个“老派学者” ; 法容 纳说,袁世凯在一切问题上都信赖张一麟和梁士诒,称他们是“当时统治中国 的三个人物”。法容纳的观察难以验证,但是张一麟是袁世凯所最信赖的助手 之一是很少异议的。

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