Tributary MemorialGo back
In Qing's system, upon the three major festivals (New year, Summer Solstice, Imperial Birthday), all bureaucrats in the capital, as well as all dispatched generals, Commanders-in-chief, General Commanders, Provincial Commanders, Provincial Military Commanders, Regional Commanders, etc. need to write a Tributary Memorial for celebration. If such a memorial is directed to the Emperor or the Empress Dowager, it is called a Tributary Memorial. If it is directed to the Empress (Queen), then it is called a Note. Such memorials are all standardized and dispatched by the Grand Secretariat, and submitted at corresponding times. Each tributary Memorial or Note has an original copy and a duplicate copy, together forming a Memorial. In 1795 (Year 60 of Qianlong), the Note system is terminated because the Empress' birthday is the New Year and thus the Outer-court has no business to do with the Empress' birthday. Additionally, since General Commanders and Provincial Commanders traditionally do not submit Tributary Memorials or notes, they celebrate the major festivals through routine memorials. The memorials are delivered to the Commission of Transmission, and then transferred to the Grand Secretariat; the Tributary Memorials of generals and Regional Commanders are gathered and delivered by the Commanders-in-chief, and sent to the Grand Secretariat to be archived after the tribute and celebration is over.
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Tribunary Memorial to the Empress Dowager from Emperor-son Wenning, December 15, 1841. (Registration Number: 153979)
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Regional Commander of Guangdong Gaolei Qianluo's Tribunary Memorial for celebration, May 27, 1883. (Registration Number: 065750)