Saturday, November 16, 2013

Guan Zhong Pu's (众(忠)仆) Book - from Our Great Grandfather Rong's First Wife Chen (陈)

Our great grandfather Rong (1743-1798) had six sons and two daughters from his marriage with two wives, Chen (陈1742-1763) and Tong (童1745-1807). My mother's family is from the second wife Tong's descendants who left and never returned; Guan Zhong Pu's 众(忠)仆 book is about the first wife Chen's descendants who stayed. The story is very similar to our family, which rose and fell with the country. Another great mother held the family together. The only difference is that we call the farm Guan Jia Ba (官家坝) and they call it Chen Jia Ba (陈家坝).  Guan married to Chen and brought the land from Chen family.
     This post is from Laio's youngest son Ju Len's (举能) memoirs, titled "My Suffering Mother" (苦难的母亲), published by his son Guan Zhong Pu's (众仆) who born in 1948, entitled "Finding My Niche". In order to keep his generation name but not break the government new rule, his parents used "众" instead of "忠", the two words sounds similar but are spelled differently. His older brother was 众志.
     The first wife Chen (陈氏) had two children. The first one Huai Lee (怀礼) died young and the second son Lee Ren (立仁) was born in 1763. Lee Ren had three wives Lan (兰), Wu (吴) and Zhu (朱), but only Zhu gave him a son Chen Sheng (成圣1796-1857). Chen Sheng married Wu (吴) and had four sons. The oldest son Zhao Zuo (朝佐1812-1883) married Zhang (张) and had four sons and a daughter. Ting Ji (廷玑1847-1914) was the second son. His courtesy name was Yuan Fa (源发) with a pseudonym or alias (號) was 富有源登仕佐郎. He married Lin (林1849-1886) and had  a daughter and two sons (Xuan Ji 选楫 and Xuan Yi选一).

The older son Xuan Ji (选楫 1872-1929) had three wives. 
The first wife Huang (黄 1892-1902) gave him three sons.
  1. The first son was given as a child to his cousin Xuan Ling (选遴) who did not have son. This son later married to Zhen (曾氏) when he grown up.
  2. The second became the oldest son Ju Qi (举麒 1899-) whose courtesy name Weiming (卫民) means "protect the people." He also married into the Zhen family (曾春莺) who gave him a daughter. China went into chaos; war lords fought and the widespread opium entered the Guan family. The liquor store in Chengdu was managed by Weiming (卫民).  He was not really interested in the liquor business; the family accountant said the amount of money Weiming (卫民) gave out could keep the whole family from hunger for the rest of their lives.  He was a good student. Gongsun Zhangzi (公孙长子), whose father was Weiming's private teacher, was a member of Sun Yat-sen's Tongmenghui (同盟会). He eventually introduced Weiming into the Nationalist party Kuomintang. Weiming left home after closing down the liquor store to join his friend Gongsun Zhangzi (公孙长子) who was the Chief staff of Yuan Deji (袁德基). Weiming was the secretary for awhile, and later went to General Li Ja Yu (李家钰). He came home and showed off his gun to his parents who had never seen a gun before. He taught his father Xuan Ji how to fire it and his father was really scared. He treated his step-mother Liao (廖) well. He later became a warlord over a thousand men in Hubei; some said he was killed by his own because most of his followers were native of Hubei and he was not. He never came back and only some of his poetry is still around. For example, he wrote a memorial of Song Jiaoren (宋教仁), a founder of the Kuomintang who was assassinated in 1913 after leading his Kuomintang party won China's first democratic elections. Yuan Shikai was responsible for his assassination. 鸿门不杀刘, 霸图从此休. 勿将成败论, 气慨负千秋. The poem expressed his anger over Yuan's assassination. Yuan declared himself emperor in 1915 and died in 1916, the country descended into more than a decade of warlords.
  3. Then the second Jiming (济民1901-) married Wang (王) and had a son and daughter. He was addicted to opium, and stole all the valuables from his home, eventually even clothes. His step-mother had to hide valuables in her second floor bedroom. One day, he went up there and tried to steal his mother's clothes to sell them for opium. His step-mother caught him on the stairway; he pointed a spear at his step-mother Liao (廖) and wanted her to move out of his way. His step-mother did not and others came and chased him away. He died among the homeless on the street.
The second wife Li (李1884-1910) gave him a son and a daughter.
  1. Ju Wu (举武1905-1958) married Li (黎氏)whose father was Ju Ren (举人). They had a son and daughter. He was also addicted to opium.
  2. Ju Su (举淑1908-1984) had an arranged marriage with the son of Zhang Quenyou (張群友) who was county governor of Sui Ding (绥定 today's Dazhou 达州). The son Zhang Daozhen (张道震) did not want to marry Ju Su because he had his lover in Nanjing (南京), so his powerful father went to Nanjing and captured him and dragged him back to marry her. He left and never came home; ten years later they ended up divorcing. Then she married Shi Xue Yi in Nanjing (南京中华门军人史学义).
The third wife Liao (史家廖氏1876-1948) gave him three more sons.
Xuan Ji's (选楫) 3rd wife Liao (廖)
  1. Zhi Ming (治民1902-1959) married Wan Suling (万淑林 1905-1977) and had a daughter. He was addicted to gambling, and also contracted a sexually transmitted disease. He came back with an expensive suit and a gold ring on his finger; he even had a gold tooth. He wanted his mother to sell the family courtyard, the only thing the whole family had left, and with the money he could start a new business. His mother was scared since her husband had died, unsure yet with no other choice, she went along with him, and sold the house to the Zhang family. It only took a few years for this son to lose everything and run away from home again. The family finally fell apart, lost everything. One thing he did that was great was to transfer his mother's coffin to his own land, which was from the communist land reform. He hired over 20 young men to dig up his mother's coffin, and carry it over 20 miles to rebury her there.  That make it possible for his mother's third move back home next to his father in 1958. Zhi Ming died from a beating punishment for stealing food during the Great Chinese Famine.
  2. Ju Xian(举贤1916-1988) married Zhang LiRong (张丽容 1921-) and had one son and four daughters. He tried to get into Whampoa Military Academy (黄埔军校)14th class, but failed. Mao Kuan (毛坤) suggested that he go to electrical engineering school instead. Ju Xian finished the Electrical Engineering School and went to Sui Ding (绥定 today's Dazhou 达州) to teach high school, because Zhang Quenyou (张群友县长) was in charge of the county. Red Army Xu XiangQian (徐向前) fought his way in and kicked out Zhang Quenyou. Ju Xian lost his teaching job. He went back to Wuhan again; this time he passed Whampoa Military Academy (黄埔军校)17th class. After he graduated, he was in charge of a local artillery unit in Yibin (宜宾). Soon he was sent to Chongqing (重庆经检大队) as a secretary. After Japan surrendered in 1945, he was sent back to his hometown Bei Mu Town as the Police Chef. He locked up his older brother Ju Wu (举武) in jail to break his opium addiction. Later Communists accused him as one of KMT spies (军统特务); he lost everything and depended on his wife's income and lived poorly till the late 1970s. His name was cleared and he was able to go back to work and meet his friends again. He also became an active member of mainland KMT party and alumnus of Whampoa Military Academy (黄埔军校).
  3. Ju Len (举能1920-2001)'s courtesy name was Ji Gizi (楫季子) which means the youngest son of the boat. He went to Zizhong Teacher's College (资中联立师范) and Shu Hua high school (蜀华高中) in Chengdu. Graduated from Sichuan Teacher's College in Chengdu (四川师范大学). He taught Chinese. He was the principal of two grammar schools, chairman of the labor union for number five high school. He was the fifth (5 届)people's representative for the town of White Horse to Beijing. Published many papers and books. He died on May 22, 2001; his ashes were scattered into the mother river Toujing (沱江), then Yangze River eventually flowing into the Pacific
        As noted above, this post is from Laio's youngest son Ju Len's (举能) memoirs, entitled "My Suffering Mother" (苦难的母亲), published by his son Guan Zhong Pu's (众仆) who born in 1948, entitled "Finding My Niche". Zhong Pu is in my generation Zhong (忠). He also graduated from Sichuan teacher's college and taught Chinese. He was assistant principal of the White Horse school and a member of the Sichuan's Author's Club. Married to Liu Wanying, he had one son, who is also a teacher. This son had one daughter whose family name was changed back to Shangguan.
    Zhong Pu's (众仆) book and himself
The younger son Xuan Yi (选一)'s courtesy name was Shao Young (少扬). He had two wives Laio and Lo (廖氏,罗氏). He was always sheltered under his older brother Xuan Ji, living a confortable life till the family bussiness went down. Xuan Ji's wife and children continued taking care of them and their family.
The first wife Laio ( 廖氏) had 4 sons and a daughter.
  1. Ju Fang 举方's his courtesy name was Liming(利民) which means "for the people". He was a good farmer, his two sons too worked on the farm.
  2. Ju Jie 举介's courtesy was Fu Shen(富生); he was a commander under Li Jia Yu (李家钰)in 1925. Later on he was addicted to opium; his wife took their two kids back to her mom's home. He died homeless on the street.
  3. Ju Ming (举岷) opened his own opium den and he was also addicted to opium. His wife had affairs with other men during their marriage. Normally, this woman would have been sunk to the bottom of the river for her adultery, if our family court system was working. But the Guan family had fallen apart. She left right away after his death with another man.
  4. Ju Yue (举钺) was a farmer first, then joined the army and died on the front line. His young and beautiful wife Zhu(祝) was forced to remarry by her in-laws. They asked for so much money from the groom which made her feel like she was sold. Only Xuan Ji's wife Liao (廖) told her that she would always be a member of the Guan family.
The second wife Lo (罗氏) had two sons. She was one of the two whom married into the Guan family on the same day, yet she had a welcome wedding. When she had her son, she hired a milk mother to breastfeed her son and a maid to do all the house work.
  1. Ju Hong 举宏's courtesy name was Wanlin (万伶), he was a spoiled child. Later he was also addicted to opium and gambling. He stole from family and friends, eventually dying from falling into a ditch. 
  2. Ju Zhao 举朝's courtesy name was Ximing(新民). He was a lazy bully spoiled by his mother.
    The older son Xuan Ji (选楫1872-1929) brought his family wealth to the peak. He was a hard worker and brilliant manager with over 100 employees. He ran silk, sugar and candy, food, wine and liquor businesses. His shops were not only in Bei Mo town, but also in Neijing and Chengdu. His net income was over 10 million at the time. He built their grand family courtyard and brought his parents over from the farm. He went to the farms to check on his sugar cane and other crops.
     Xuan Ji's (选楫) third wife was from the Liao (廖) family, whose father was a private teacher. Her first husband died shortly after their marriage. So her second marriage into the Guan family was not welcoming; she was carried in a cold sedan chair through the back door of the courtyard without any celebration. On the same day, his younger brother Xuan Yi (选一) took in his second wife Lo (罗), a virgin from a much larger family in Neijiang. So it was all about her in a grand celebration. Her sedan chair was covered with red satin and fresh flowers proceeded by attendants with lanterns and banners, and musicians. Liao was of the lowest rank of the family, almost like a maid. She was 45 years old when she had her baby son Ju Len.(举能). Xuan Ji's oldest son was over 20-30 years older.
      Then one by one, his business was closed down in the war torn China. Xuan Ji (选楫) was in so much debt and finally ran away from his home from his creditor, abandoning everything. With family friend Zhang's help in Sui Ding (绥定 today's Dazhou 达州), he started a small business. He hoped to save enough money so he could pay back his creditors and go back home. Two of his former store managers showed up to work for him, so did three of his sons, one had an opium addiction, one loved gambling and the second youngest son went to the local school. Instead of letting his son go to opium dens and causing more trouble, he had his useless son smoke opium at his home. His earnings could not even cover his expenses in Sui Ding, leaving nothing to send back home. Xuan Ji (选楫)died May 9, 1929 at age 57. His employees and sons put his body in a coffin on a boat on the Yangtze River, then the Tuo River (沱江) back home. The journey took a little over a month and it was in the summer.
     Back home, Xuan Ji's youngest wife Liao (廖) had been the rock holding his large families together. Xuan Ji's first and second wife had passed away, leaving their troubled children behind. His younger brother Xuan Yi, and his second wife also depended on her since they could not do any house work. She had to do everything inside and outside after her husband left; she had never gone out of the courtyard when her husband was home. She walked all over the town with her bound feet, taking humiliation daily.
      Liao had hoped her husband would come home with money to pay back their creditors so she did not have to beg from the family members, relatives and friends to put food on the table. You could imagine when her husband's body arrived. She was screaming and ran to the coffin while others tried to stop her from opening the coffin. She refused to believe her husband had gone, just left her, his six sons, and all others. No one remembered if she succeeded in opening the coffin. Life after that was terrible, yet she tried her best to hold her large family together till the day she died.
      Ju Len (举能) was only 9 when his father died and he loved to go to school. His mother Liao told him only if he was born ten years earlier, his life would be much better. At least they did not have to beg from others for his tuition. When they had money, his older brothers, except the oldest one Ju Qi (举麒), all lazybones could not get up in the morning or lie about having a headache or tummy ache so they did not have to go to school. One by one, they became spendthrift (败家子). Now depending on his mother's needlework, life was very hard. Ju Len remembered when he and his mother went to Neijiang to visit a relative Zhang (張). His mother was begging for help from the rich family. It was the first time for him to see the splendid displays of a department store. The wife showed off the whole department store and her good son. She said "although I have only one son, my son is better than ten sons of yours". His mother had to be humble and nicely agreed with her, yet cried all the way home.
      Ju Len started homeschooling in his relatives house, after his mom begged them to let her son join private schooling. She did not have money to hire her own private teacher at home. Sometime, Ju Len came home from school and noticed his mother had not started the fire for dinner yet, he did not know they had nothing to cook that day. His older brothers, his uncle and aunt not only stole things in the house to sell; his aunt, second wife of Xuan Yi, even took rice to exchange for some snakes she loved. She was used to have her snakes, sweets or whatever she loved. Ju Len's mother had to hide everything valuable in the house; she also had to fend off warlords pointing guns at her head, demanding money or hidden treasure.
      Ju Len was able to go to a modern school in Neijiang where they were already teaching science and English. Maybe he started with very traditional Chinese home schooling; he preferred Chinese literature over modern science classes. His gym teacher was Guan Weihan (官维翰), native of Luzhou (沪洲), likely Xuan (选) generation since my grandfather's second brother's courtesy name was Guan Weixin (官维新). Weihan graduated from Shanghai Gym Training school (上海东亚体专). He also their boy scout leader taught them survival skills in the woods. They even hiked all the way to Zigong and set up their tents and campfire in a park. Their middle school basketball team won the championship after beating all the teams in Zigong.
Ju Len (举能) with his boy scout uniform
     When Ju Len was 18 years old, he went to Zizhong Teacher's College (资中联立师范). He then transferred to Shu Hua high school (蜀华高中) in Chengdu where he met his wife Wu Dechun (吴德纯) who was the homeschool teacher of Liu Wencai (刘文彩). Her family had already planned her future husband for her, when she was a little girl, to a close family friend. She ended up breaking her arranged marriage so she could marry Ju Len. Her fiancé was cool since he was also a college kid. But when she posted their break up in newspapers, his family would not accept it and they wanted her family to go to Chengdu to take her back, punishing her by their family law. Her family actually went to Chengdu and saw their daughter and backed out from it.
Ju Len (举能) and Wu Dechun (吴德纯) married
     After Zhi Ming, the gambler, lost their family home, His mother moved to Yibin (宜宾) into her second son Ju Xian(举贤)'s home. Ju Len finished school and passed the civic exam and went to the Yibin local department of revenue and finance. His job was to collect gains for the Nationalist Amy and helping get rid of local war lords (征粮剿匪). He married Dechun and lived with his mother. One day in December 1945, after Japan surrendered, the downtown was fully decorated, every door had a flag, security was tight. Around noon, Chiang Kai-Shek (蔣介石), his wife Song May-ling (宋美龄) and Bai Chongxi ( 白崇禧)showed up. They thanked everyone for all their support and the locals celebrated the victory. The small city was filled with cheerful people, with drums and fireworks.
     Ju Len's mother now had something in her tummy as if she was pregnant. First he took her to Zigong to have better doctors for a diagnosis They had to run to shelter right after they checked in to the motel because Japanese planes were dropping bombs. Ju Len saw the planes drop bombs and heard loud explosions. When they finally made it back to the motel, the motel was ruined. They ended up checking into a different motel. They visited a doctor the next day and the doctor told them to come back in the Fall if the bombing stopped. When they finally took her to Chongqing, the doctor told them it was too late. His mother died in 1948 and was buried in Yibin (宜宾), forever a shame for her sons. Ju Len wrote a poem to remember his mother.
 意犹未尽, 情意难尽, 思念亡母, 柔肠寸断.
      Ju Len wanted his mother back home with his father; he was finally able to do it in 1958, ten years after she died. Although it was not allowed by the Communist government, his cousin who knew the procedures for a second burial and they performed the ceremony with the rest of living children. They all knelt at their mother's grave and cried and said sorry to their mother, especially the ones who were addicted to opium and gambling. They gave their mother the most trouble, they felt so bad that they could not get up from the ground. His mother's coffin was moved once before by Zhi Ming (治民)a few years earlier, after he received land from the communist land reform. It was a great comfort to them when they saw their mother's bones were clean, neatly lined inside of the coffin. They each carefully picked up their mother's bones and carefully put them into the jar (葬罐) they had prepared. There was still another problem; how would they transport his mother's bones back home by train, the one route for transportation? Again, one of his cousins decided to use bamboo and made a net to enclosed the jar (葬罐) on the bottom, then made a basket on the top filled up with produce. Ju Len was able to carry his mother's bones back home, and re-bury her next to his father.
     Zhong Pu's (众仆) poem (below), at his mother Wu Dechun's(吴德纯) 90th birthday, summarized her life.  She was born in 1923, with 14 siblings before her.  Her grandparents ran a very good business and also founded local schools. One of her relatives, Wu Yuzhang (吴玉章 1878-1966) was a Chinese politician, educator, and the first president of Renmin University of China from 1950 to 1966.
Wu Yuzhang (吴玉章)

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