Sun Yat-sen

Sun Yat-sen

Chinese revolutionary, first president and founding father of the Republic of China (1866-1925). Autograph letter signed ("Y-S Sun"). Canton. 4to. 3 pp. on 3 ff.
150.000 € (77636/BN50215)

To the journalist Mrs. Morton, regarding humanitarian relief actions, photos of which he has just encountered and is sending to her along with a document explaining his recent failed Northern Expedition, as well as about their success in raising money for humanitarian aid and for the Kuomintang party by organizing various events, such as theatre performances and a bazaar. He finishes by expressing his regret not being able to meet with her and discuss women's actions in southern China due to his departure two days later: "I have just found some pictures of the Relief work we have been doing, and am sending them to you as I believe they'll be useful.

In each of the packages there contains this enclosed slip which I hope you will get it translated for your article, as it explains the recent expedition. We have swelled our fonds by means of giving theatrical plays, a Tag Day, a bazaar which lasted a week and carried on entirely by women, by the wives & daughters of prominent officials, who hitherto never come out. Altogether our fond reached over $112,000 dollars, not including the different contributions in the line of materials, such as medicines, biscuits, sweets and donuts &c, &c, which amounted to over $30,000 dollars, at least. We are trying to raise another $100,000 dollars by means of a Raffles, the jewelries, curios & valuables being contributed by our own members & friends. They are being displayed at the Sun Co. now. I wish I might see you so that I could talk about the womens work & activities in the south, but as I am leaving on the 1st I shall not have a chance as my packing isn't done yet. Hoping that this will be of interest to you & with kind regards [...] Please pardon hasty scrawl. I hope you can read it". - On headed stationery of "the Republic of China". - With portrait photograph (128 x 179 mm). - Traces of old folding. Minor marginal tears along the creases; a small brownstain on folio 3..

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Sun Yat-sen

Autograph letter signed.
Autograph ist nicht mehr verfügbar

To the Russian revolutionary, journalist and writer Feliks Volkhovsky: "I shall be off at 1st of July, it would be most improbably that I could see you before my departure. But that will be a matter of no important, the only thing I hope is that you will be prospered and succeeded in the work of your national cause. The Chinese officials who have the right to study geography and sciences &c., I think, are those above the sixth grade. But such law or usage is pra[c]tically abolished in the recent years when China open to foreign intercourse. I could not tell you what is the number of members in the secret societies of China. It is very flourishing over all parts of China. But I was told especially in the two central provinces, Hunan and Hupek are more than three quarters of their population are enlistened as members; and the provinces in south east of China are also very numours [recte: numerous] of the same. As regard to what part of them is ready to take up arms in a revolt is a question of very hard to tell. All of them seem to ready but there is always something or other is wanted. And at present the Tartar government is greatly threatened and taking great precaution to prevent any uprising, and at the same time acquire foreign assistance by yielding, unconditionally, any demand of the great powers especially that of Russian French. It is most probably that your government would render any assistance to the Chinese government to put down any uprising in case of need. This would be the most stumbled to our movement. So we have to prepare not only to match with the Tartar but also to avert all the selfish and injustice intervention of the European Powers. I do not know when we could strike a[n] effective blow but we will not be daunted. If the Divine Destiny of the Human Races is liberty and equality we will bound to succeed. At any occasion if anything is happened we hope we will gain your sympathies in our cause [...]". - The critical state of affairs that existed in China between the years 1896 and 1898 was characterized by reform and upheaval, both of which the Tartar (Manchu) government under the conflicting leadership of the young emperor, Kuang-hsü, and the aging empress, Tz'u-his, tried to control. The Chinese had been shockingly defeated in the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-95, and the ensuing peace treaty had called for recognition of Korea's independence, an indemnity of 200,000,000 taels, and the cession of Taiwan, the Pescadores Islands, and the Liao-tung Peninsula. However, six days later, Russia Germany, and France forced Japan to restore the peninsula, which she did at the cost of 30,000,000 taels. "Gaining China's favour by this intervention, the three powers suddenly began to press China with demands, which gave rise to a veritable scramble for concessions. Immediately after the triple intervention, Russia succeeded in 1896 in signing a secret treaty alliance with China against Japan, by which Russia gained the right to construct the Chinese Eastern Railway across northern Manchuria". A second concession - the right to build two railways in Shantung - was granted to Germany in 1897. Others followed, forcing China into various leases and grants to Britain, France and Japan. China was therefore placed on the brink partition, a crisis which set the stage for the Hundred Days of Reform in 1898, followed by a furious and inevitable antiforeign uprising in Shantung - the Boxer Rebellion - in 1900 (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Sun Yat-sen's fears expressed in this letter, regarding the uprising that would hinder the progress of his movement, and the "selfish and [unjust] intervention of the European Powers", were thus not allayed, as one crisis after another followed in quick succession.


Sun Yat-sen

Letter signed ("Sun Wen").
Autograph ist nicht mehr verfügbar

Sun was an avowed anti-monarchist, and played an instrumental role in the overthrow of the centuries-old Qing dynasty (the last imperial dynasty of China) during the years leading up to the Xinhai Revolution (1911). He went on to become the first president of the Republic of China, and later founded the Kuomintang of China (Nationalist Party of China) in 1919. - From 1923 to 1926 Sun and the Kuomintang used Guangdong (his hometown) as a base to challenge the warlords in the north, who controlled much of the nation. In this letter, at the beginning of that effort, Sun identifies the urgent need to reclaim Guangdong, and addresses his army's needs to an apparent supporter: "Our troops have battled across thousands of miles, their food consumption is huge and resources are scarce. If it were not for the joint effort by supporters within the country and overseas and their generous donations, how could we have embarked on this great mission?" He goes on to note: "At this extremely critical moment where success hangs by a thread, we summon up our courage and lead all kindred spirits, each exerting the final effort towards the cause of overcoming the evildoers to settle the chaos". - Some soiling, particularly to margins, multiple small tears, some reinforced and repaired but not affecting text, a few chips to edges. Sun Yat-sen material remains exceedingly rare, only five letters have appeared at auction in the last 30 years.