A World Trimmed with Fur
Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule
Jonathan Schlesinger



In 1886, H. Evan James discovered pristine nature in Manchuria. As he breathlessly reported to the Royal Geographic Society, “The scenery . . . is marvelously beautiful—woods and flowers and grassy glades—and to the lover of nature it is simply a paradise.” A glimpse of this world was a glimpse before the Fall: “It was like being transported into the Garden of Eden.” Climbing Changbaishan, he recalled,

We came upon rich, open meadows, bright with flowers of every imaginable colour, where sheets of blue iris, great scarlet tiger-lilies, sweet-scented yellow day-lilies, huge orange buttercups, or purple monkshood delighted the eye. And beyond were bits of park-like country, with groups of spruce and fir beautifully dotted about, the soil covered with short mossy grass, and spangled with great masses of deep blue gentian, columbines of every shade of mauve or buff, orchids white and red, and many other flowers.1

The land was a cornucopia of nature. Other European travelers marveled that Manchuria had been “hardly touched by man”; it seemed “uninhabited,” having long been “evacuated.”2 A contemporary Russian explorer “encountered such an abundance of fish as he had never before seen in his life. Salmon, trout, carp, sturgeon, husos,3 shad, sprang out of the water and made a deafening noise; the [Amur] river was like an artificial fish-pond.”4 In the skies, when the salmon and shad made spawning runs, “the swan, the stork, the goose, the duck, [and] the teal” followed them “in numberless flocks.”5 Forests were so thick and untamed one needed a hatchet to cut through them. Gustav Radde, having chopped his way through the Hinggan Mountains, declared after his triumphant assault that “nature in her full virgin strength has produced such a luxuriant vegetation” that it was “penetrated . . . with the greatest trouble.”6 As A. R. Agassiz advertised, “Now that game is rapidly disappearing from most places, except where it is rigidly preserved, few countries offer the sportsman the attractions offered by Manchuria.”7 The forests teemed with wild animals: tigers and bears, elk and boar, foxes and sable. The only order in Manchuria was Nature itself.

Two centuries earlier, in his 1743 Ode to Mukden, the Qianlong emperor (r. 1735–1795) celebrated Manchuria’s bounty with similar language. Like James, Qianlong was taken by the diversity of native life, the “tigers, leopards, bears, black bears, wild horses, wild asses, [four kinds of] deer, wolves, wild camels, foxes, [and] badgers.” He celebrated the lushness of plants (reeds, thatch, water scallion, safflower, knotweed, and so on) and the multitudes of birds (pheasant, grouse, geese, ducks, herons, storks, cranes, pelicans, swallows, and woodpeckers).8 Yet to Qianlong, Manchuria’s generative power did not end with its flora and fauna. Its power touched the human realm: “Established on a grand scale, it promulgates the rule of great kings . . . Such a propitious location will last forever, generation after generation. It surpasses and humbles all [other] places and has united [lands] within and [lands] without.”9 Being himself a “great king” of Manchu descent, Qianlong thus shared something in common with the region’s tigers, leopards, and bears. He surrounded himself accordingly with Manchuria’s finest things: sable- and otter-fur robes, dishes of steppe mushroom, and hats encrusted with freshwater pearls. There was power in Manchuria’s nature.

Both Qianlong and James published their writings because Manchuria seemed unique; its environment and its products stood out in their respective worlds. Both men celebrated the land as a catalogue of resources and a fountain of natural vitality; the land had a creativity unto itself, apparently free from human intervention. And both men understood its nature to be atavistic; the land was uncorrupted by time. Yet where James and his contemporaries saw a land before history, and a landscape divorced from human agency, Qianlong saw Manchuria as a timeless source of sustenance and secular power. For James, Manchuria was another frontier. For Qianlong, it was home: It nurtured civilization like the emperor himself. We may recognize James’s vision from similar accounts of Asian, African, and American wilderness. What, though, do we make of Qianlong’s vision? Did Manchuria produce kings, or did kings produce Manchuria? What constituted pristine nature in the Qing empire, and how did it come to be?

This book uses Manchu and Mongolian sources to rethink the environmental history of China under Qing rule. China’s frontiers, such as Manchuria, occupy an ambiguous position in environmental history: They are a chief topic of research, and yet most sources they produced are utterly ignored. Many have studied frontiers as outlets of agricultural and commercial expansion or as objects of the literary imagination; most have done so from the vantage of the Chinese record and in service of a larger narrative about China. Such approaches miss half the story: The Qing empire’s Manchu and Mongolian archives paint an altogether different picture of the frontier from the ones we find in published Chinese accounts. New histories can emerge from a synoptic perspective. We must learn, then, to see both ways across the frontier: There is more to Chinese history than a story about China.

This book reveals the story in particular of the environmental changes Qing Manchuria and Mongolia witnessed in the period from 1760 to 1830, when an unprecedented commercial expansion and rush for natural resources transformed the ecology of China and its borderlands alike. That boom, no less than today’s, had profound institutional, ideological, and environmental causes and consequences. Amid the ensuing turmoil, anxieties about the environment and a sense of crisis mounted. Petitions poured into Beijing: Sables, foxes, and squirrels had vanished from forests; ginseng had disappeared from the wild; mushroom pickers had uprooted the steppe; freshwater mussels no longer yielded pearls. The court did everything in its power to revive the land and return it to its original form. It drafted men, erected guard posts, drew maps, registered populations, punished poachers, investigated the corrupt, and streamlined the bureaucracy. It razed ginseng plantations, raided the camps of mushroom pickers, and created territories where no person could enter, kill, or even “spook” wildlife. “Nurture the mussels and let them grow,” the emperors ordered. “Purify” the Mongol steppe.

The resulting “purity” of Mongolia and Manchuria was not an original state of nature; it reflected the nature of the state. The empire did not preserve nature in its borderlands; it invented it. The book documents the history of this invention and explores the environmental pressures and institutional frameworks that informed it. To illustrate its unfolding, the book focuses on three events that dominate the archival record: the destruction of Manchurian pearl mussels, the rush for wild mushrooms in Mongolia, and the collapse of fur-bearing animal populations in the borderlands with Russia. Each of these events belonged to a broader spectrum of commodity booms that swept from the Qing borderlands to Southeast Asia and the greater Pacific in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. By 1800, that is, fur trappers from Mongolia to California were operating in the same world, facing common problems, and meeting a common demand. Such an environmental history becomes evident, however, only with a multilingual and multiarchival approach.

The China Story on the Frontier: From Empire to Nation

In most Chinese history textbooks, the natural world serves as a setting or an original condition; it is a drumbeat of recurring floods, droughts, and plagues, or it is the loess soil from which civilization emerges.10 In such accounts, China’s frontiers are no different. In some cases, frontiers represent, like loess soil, an environment in which Chinese civilization will take root. In this mode of history, frontiers tend to follow a common trajectory, and their distinctiveness progressively vanishes into the past. In other cases, frontiers are perennial; like floods and plagues, they embody timeless limits and perennial threats.

Most scholarship on Manchuria after 1644 treats the region’s past like loess soil: It becomes Chinese. Today, Manchuria is a bastion not of nature but of industry; homesteaders cleared its forests long ago for farmland. Most historians no longer even use the word Manchuria, and we call the region, more simply, “Northeast China.”11 When and how did Manchuria become Chinese? For most, the answer lies in the historical legitimacy of modern borders: Some argue the Northeast was always Chinese; others that it became so only in modern times. The stakes of the dispute are high—for many they speak to the historical legitimacy of the region’s Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian states—and in studies of the Qing empire’s northern borderlands in particular, conflicting claims to territory have left the field fragmented into competing national schools.12 In terms of China-centered scholarship, scholars make two types of claims. The first is statist: The Qing state, like the Ming and Yuan states before it, was China, and thus its boundaries provide a basis for modern claims. The second is nationalist: Modern claims derive not from the presence of the state, but of people. National histories of Manchuria thus have a strong demographic focus.

Such national histories note, for one, that the Qing dynasty’s Manchu emperors tried to preserve Manchuria as an imperial enclave and so instituted “policies of closing off” (Ch: fengjin zhengce) to restrict Chinese immigration. These policies, however, proved unworkable: Particularly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, land-hungry farmers, pushed by China’s enormous demographic and commercial expansion, overwhelmed the imperial infrastructure. In the final decades before its fall, the court recognized a fait accompli: The frontier had become Chinese and thus had to be governed so. The empire collapsed, and the nation-state was born.13 The story of the Manchurian frontier, in this sense, is similar to that of other frontiers that became part of the modern Chinese nation, including Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan. Its historiography likewise dovetails with accounts of state building in the American West, Australia, the Russian Far East, and other settler frontiers of the same period.14

Some of the most productive work on China’s environmental history has operated within this “China-centered” paradigm. The framework has allowed us to connect the histories of the interior and borderlands in new ways, while creating common ground for rethinking the global and comparative dimensions of the past.15 As historians such as Kenneth Pomeranz and Peter Perdue have argued, putting China at the center challenges environmental histories that argue for the stand-alone importance of the Enlightenment, the British economy, or European-centered capitalism in the making of the global environment. We know now, for one, that well before the Opium Wars Qing society was pushing its natural limits.16 Indeed, a combination of peace, prosperity, and (New World) potatoes allowed for unprecedented commercial and demographic expansion under Qing rule. The changes that ensued were immense. After taking over a millennium to double, between 1700 and 1850 alone the population of the Qing empire nearly tripled. At the same time, the acreage of cultivated land doubled, as settlers from the agricultural heartlands migrated into new wetlands, highlands, and borderlands at the edges of the empire.17 To what degree did the Qing state align itself with this frontier expansion? For many historians, that has become the question. The answer requires a thesis about the nature of the state: Did the court support pioneering settlers and attempt to integrate the polity through a “civilizing mission,” as in European colonial empires, or did it back native claims to land and defend internal pluralism? Did China belong to a larger zeitgeist of “developmentalism” in the early modern world?18

Embedded in China-centered histories are key but problematic assumptions that wed national identity to natural environment. Too often, wilderness represents the natural border of the Chinese nation and state; it is the point where the dynamism of the core can no longer support the extension of political control.19 Agriculture accordingly serves as shorthand for Sinicization, wild forests and the steppe as outposts of native life. Even in critiques of these accounts, the alignment of China with agriculture and development usually remains in place. In some nationalist Mongol scholarship, for example, Chinese merchants and farmers are alien minorities, and Mongols are the majority, grounded in the land and its values: The terms of the debate are the same, but the moral framework is reversed. This “antidevelopmentalist” scholarship has repackaged Mongol and minority folk traditions as a type of historical environmentalism; scholars are mining tradition for solutions to environmental crises in much the same way as some American environmentalists, who idealize the Native Americans’ relationship with the land, and prewar German environmentalists, who emphasized the rootedness of the German volk.20 National histories continue to structure environmental ones.

From Nation to Empire: A Closer Look at the Qing

Although useful in some contexts and time scales, the “developmentalist” narrative of Chinese environmental history poses critical problems in others. For one, not all frontiers were equal in the Qing period. State policies represented complex imperial hierarchies. “Native officials” (Ch: tusi) in the southwest, for example, had a relatively limited stature and significance at court, and the court increasingly pursued civilizing missions in the region.21 The context was radically different in Mongolia and Manchuria: Mongol and Manchu bannermen did not need civilization; they defended civilization. Sitting at the apex of the imperial order, their classical ways of life (pastoralism and hunting) were instead promoted and protected, and assimilation was discouraged.22 Pluralism, if not equality, was the norm in Qing Inner Asia: Chinese language and institutions governed the Chinese interior; Mongolian institutions, Mongolia; and Tibetan institutions, Tibet.23

Migration and land reclamation are thus important stories, but they are not the only ones: Each frontier was also a homeland, and each homeland had its own dynamic history. As in accounts of the American West, when we frame Chinese settlers as the sole agents of change, Manchus, Mongols, and other indigenous people of the frontier tend to become undifferentiated. In some accounts, Manchus and Mongols disappear altogether. Their land becomes a “vacuum,” and its environment becomes a wilderness peculiar to settler colonialism: “wilderness in its ideal form . . . free of people,” with territories “empty and wild so that anyone can come to use and claim them.”24 Yet farmers never expanded into a vacuum, and nowhere was the land unclaimed. The Qing court, moreover, cared about local claims. When we misconstrue the nature of Chinese frontier, we thus not only skew aspects of a regional history but also blind ourselves to the nature and structure of imperial power as a whole.

Recognizing the plurality of Qing rule, and taking the Qing empire seriously as an empire, have been at the heart of much recent Qing history. Historians have uncovered how efforts to define, delimit, and maintain ethnic groups—such as Manchus, Chinese, and Mongols—were woven into the ideological and institutional fabric of the empire.25 Indeed, as Manchus, the emperors considered the maintenance of ethnic and regional difference to be central to the imperial project, both to preserve their position as conquest elite and to consolidate expansion. Questions of identity were inseparable from the institutionalization of the imperial hierarchy: The more privilege lost its distinctive marks, the more the court strove to uphold and define it. The Qing empire, in this sense, was like other empires: Territorially large states engaged in “self-consciously maintaining the diversity of people they conquered and incorporated.”26 It was not, however, the same thing as “China”: Neither the nation nor the civilization map onto an entity ruled by Manchus and simultaneously legitimated with Confucian, Chinggisid, and Tibetan Buddhist ideologies.27

Manchuria and Mongolia in particular held a special place within the imperial order. In part their special stature was strategic. They had value, first, as military buffers between neighboring states, such as Russia and Korea, while also providing seemingly ideal terrain for soldiers to train and hone their skills as warriors and men. For this reason, emperors had cause to maintain a northern “wilderness” (Ma: bigan): The denser the forest, the stronger the defensive deterrent.28 Manchuria and Mongolia also had unique stature as the homelands of the Manchus, the ethnic group to which the emperors belonged, and the Mongols, who had unique historical and personal ties with the court.29 The emperors took pride in their origins in the Manchu homeland.30 Ordinary Manchus celebrated the ancestral homeland too in literature, from popular folktales to poetry, and in their material culture, from fur clothing to distinct foods and medicines, such as elk tail and wild ginseng. The court, in turn, codified and promoted Manchu and Mongol identity through segregation, sumptuary laws, mandatory language instruction, and special schooling. It likewise took steps to militarize, monopolize, and conserve the natural frontier in its image. Movement into, or even through, Manchuria or Mongolia was strictly monitored and regulated, and both frontiers ultimately came under the administration of military institutions: the military governors in Manchuria and the Mongol banner system in Mongolia. Reflecting the multiethnic character of the state, there was never a single governing language.

To understand identity and ideology, then, the field is increasingly turning to not only sources in Chinese but also to materials written in the court language, Manchu, and regional languages like Mongolian.31 Scholars of the Qing empire’s northern frontiers in the PRC already have published significant works using the Manchu and Mongol archives since the 1980s, as have scholars in Mongolia, Taiwan, Japan, the United States, and elsewhere. Yet most studies of Qing frontiers continue to rely on published Chinese-language accounts, such as the Veritable Records, local gazetteers, and the diaries of exiles.32 The results of such studies have proved to be limited, as they only can say so much: In both Mongolia and Manchuria, an extreme minority of archival documents were ever written or translated into Chinese until the second half of the nineteenth century. In the case of Outer Mongolia, for example, only trade registers and travel permits for merchants were consistently in Chinese; local officials wrote in Mongolian, and the region’s highest officials—the military governor in Uliasutai and imperial representative in Khüree (modern Ulaanbaatar)—used Manchu to communicate with Beijing.

Given the structure of the state, Qing rule is thus indecipherable without a multilingual approach. The court intentionally never translated whole genres of state documents on the frontiers, such as confidential military communications.33 When Manchu-language memorials were translated, their nuance and tone was often lost. Qing writers and translators elided or transformed the meanings of Manchu words and phrases in Chinese, as Manchu terms and styles could lack easy analogues. Translation, that is, was a fundamental interface through which the Qing empire was integrated; the unity of its disparate realms was structured around such choices of translation.34 It is only through the study of the extensive non-Chinese materials, however, that the peculiar lens of the Chinese sources is revealed as a historical reflection of empire.35 By recovering such sources, we might also humanize voices once relegated to the realm of “birds and beasts.”

Following this logic, research for this book has relied heavily on Manchu- and Mongolian-language materials held at the Mongolian National Central Archive (MNCA) in Ulaanbaatar, the First Historical Archive (FHA) in Beijing, and the National Palace Museum (NPM) in Taiwan. In Ulaanbaatar, the Manchu and Mongolian records of the office of the imperial representative in Khüree (the “ambans”) and the military governor in Uliasutai served as central pillars of the research (see Figure I.1).36 In Beijing, two additional Manchu-language sources proved invaluable: the Accounts of the Imperial Household Department (Ch: Neiwufu zouxiaodang) and the Copies of Manchu Palace Memorials of the Grand Council (Ch: Junjichu Manwen lufu zouzhe).37 Taken together, the archival record presents a fuller, more detailed, and more complex picture of the frontiers; allows us to triangulate among texts; and challenges us with perspectives lacking from conventional accounts. It is not too much to say that without these documents it would be impossible to reconstruct the story that is told in these pages.

From the vantage of these documents, and with the insights of a multilingual and multiarchival approach, does the history of Qing frontiers appear different? We have discussed two distinct but productive fields of inquiry: The first delves into commercial expansion in the Chinese interior and the problem of resource depletion; the second investigates how the Qing empire institutionalized ethnic and territorial distinctions. Both processes were simultaneous. How, then, were they related? How do we make sense of the economic, environmental, and political geographies of the Qing empire?


1. James, “A Journey in Manchuria,” 539, 542–543.

2. Agassiz, “Our Commercial Relations,” 538.

3. “Husos” are a type of sturgeon.

4. Peschurof et al., “Notes on the River Amur,” 387.

5. Ravenstein, The Russians on the Amur, 96. The quotation comes from a French Catholic missionary, M. de la Brunière, who traveled to the Ussuri region in 1846.

6. Peschurof, 419, 427.

7. Agassiz, 540.

8. Quoted and translated in Elliott, “The Limits of Tartary,” 615.

9. Ibid., 616.

10. Chinese history textbooks accordingly begin either with the first human beings or with the advent of agricultural civilization. For Chinese history beginning with human sapiens, see Roberts, A History of China, and Bai, Outline History of China, 32–34. For recent textbooks that begin with farming, see Huang, China, 6, 23, and Ropp, China in World History, xiv.

11. For a critical discussion of the region’s historical nomenclature, see Elliott, “The Limits of Tartary,” 603–646. On the centrality of Manchuria in modern Chinese nationalism, and the resonance of the claim that it is Northeast China, see Mitter, The Manchurian Myth.

12. Uyama, “Research Trends,” 51. Uyama argues that “the dominant research trend here should be called not only nationalist but also explicitly statist.”

13. For works operating in this paradigm, see Lin, Qingji dongbei yimin shi-bian zhengce zhi yanjiu; Xu, “Qingmo Heilongjiang yimin yu nongye kaifa”; Yang, Qingdai dongbeishi; Zhao, Jinshi dongsansheng yanjiu lunwenji; Guan, Dongbei shaoshu minzu lishi yu wenhua yanjiu; Wei, Qingdai jingqi huitun wenti yanjiu; and Liu, Qian-Guoerluosi jianshi. For examples of works operating in the statist paradigm, see Wang, Dongbei diqu shi shenghuo shi; Yang, Mingdai dongbei jiangyu yanjiu; Isett, State, Peasant, and Merchant; Reardon-Anderson, Reluctant Pioneers; Gottschang and Lary, Swallows and Settlers; and Lee, The Manchurian Frontier. Chinese scholars have more disagreement on the timing of the rise of agriculture in the “Northeast,” with many emphasizing that agriculture has existed in the region since prehistory and thus was always Chinese.

14. For the most recent treatment of Manchuria as a frontier that captures this comparative element, see Richards, The Unending Frontier. For critical appraisals of the frontier paradigm in the historiography of the American West, see Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis; Cronon et al., Under an Open Sky; Worster, An Unsettled Country; White, “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own”; and White, The Middle Ground. See also Tsing, “Natural Resources and Capitalist Frontiers,” 5101.

15. The field of Chinese environmental history has grown quickly over the past two decades. The most up-to-date critical overviews of the field can be found in Marks, China; Wang, Zhongguo lishishang de huanjing yu shehui; and Chao, Shengtai huanjing yu Mingqing shehui jingji, 1–54. For recent environmental histories of northern frontiers in particular, see Zhao, Qingdai xibei shengtai bianqian yanjiu; Zhu, 18-20 shijichu dongbu Neimenggu nongcun luohua yanjiu; and Han, Caoyuan yu tianyuan. For touchstone publications in English, see Elvin and Liu, Sediments of Time; Elvin, The Retreat of the Elephants; Marks, Tigers, Rice, Silt, and Silk; and Perdue, Exhausting the Earth.

16. See Burke and Pomeranz, The Environment and World History.

17. Ho, Studies on the Population of China, 279. Ho Ping-ti estimates that the population of China rose from roughly 150 million in 1700 to 430 million in 1850. For estimated acreage, see Wang, Land Taxation, table 1.1, p. 7.

18. The “developmentalist” framework is laid out in Burke and Pomeranz, 3–32, and Pomeranz, “Empire and ‘Civilizing’ Missions,” 34–45.

19. The idea of natural borders was first formalized by Friedrich Ratzel in his influential work, Politische Geographie (1897). For contemporaries in agreement, see Brunhes and Vallaux, La Géographie de l’ histoire, 329–364, and Curzon, Frontiers. As August Lösch described the project: “Impressed by the accidental way in which states are created and smashed, we are looking out for a more natural and lasting spatial order of things . . . It is independent economic regions that we here discuss, regions not derived from but equivalent to those political, cultural, geographical units.” Lösch, “The Nature of Economic Regions,” 107. For a critical survey of the idea of “natural borders,” see Fall, “Artificial States,” 140–147.

20. See Boldbaatar, “Mongolchuudyn Baigal,” 80–98; Gagengaowa and Wuyunbatu, Menggu minzu de shengtai wenhua; Ge, Zhidu shiyuxia de caoyuan shengtai huanjing baohu; He, Huanjing yu xiaominzu shengcun; and Wu and Bao, Mengguzu shengtai zhihuilun. For a parallel project on Chinese heritage, see Tucker and Berthrong, Confucianism and Ecology. On the German case, see Lekan, Imagining the Nation in Nature, and Schama, Landscape and Memory.

21. On the southwest, see Giersch, Asian Borderlands, and Herman, Amid the Clouds and Mist. For Ming antecedents, see Shin, The Making of the Chinese State.

22. On the spectrum of state building and identity formation patterns in Qing frontiers, see Crossley et al., Empire at the Margins, 1–24.

23. This is not to claim that Chinese and Mongols, for example, did not share a common governing vocabulary. See Atwood, “Worshipping Grace,” 86–139.

24. Merchant, “Shades of Darkness,” 381. The language of the “vacuum” comes from Fairbank: “In spite of the inevitable overflow of Chinese migrants into the Three Eastern Provinces, Manchuria in effect remained a vacuum down to the late nineteenth century.” Fairbank, Trade and Diplomacy, 41.

25. Major works on this front include Elliott, The Manchu Way; Crossley, A Translucent Mirror; Perdue, China Marches West; and Rawski, The Last Emperors. For a review essay, see Guy, “Who Were the Manchus?” 151–164. For the work that branded this scholarship, see Waley-Cohen, “The New Qing History,” 193–206. For recent scholarship from the PRC, see Liu Fengyun, Qingdai zhengzhi yu guojia renting.

26. Burbank and Cooper, Empires in World History.

27. For a recent examination of Islam and the Qing, see Brophy, “The Junghar Mongol Legacy.” On deconstructing the nation in Chinese history, see Duara, Rescuing History.

28. Nineteenth-century thinkers held the opposite view: Strength lay in mass militias, so densely populated frontiers were ideal.

29. Farquhar, “The Origins of the Manchus’ Mongolian Policy,” 198–205; and Di Cosmo and Bao, Manchu–Mongol Relations.

30. Elliott, “The Limits of Tartary.”

31. For a fascinating new study of Qing environmental history using Manchu-language archives, see Bello, Across Forest, Steppe, and Mountain.

32. For recent publications using Manchu sources to write the history of Manchuria, see Tong, Manyuwen yu Manwen dang’an yanjiu; Wang, Yige dengshang longting de minzu; and Ding et al., Liaodong yiminzhong de qiren shehui. For scholars using Mongol and Manchu to study Inner Mongolia, see Liang, Alashan Menggu yanjiu; Wurenqiqige, 18–20 shijichu Guihuacheng Tumete caizheng yanjiu; and Oyunbilig [Wuyunbilige], Shiqi shiji Menggushi lunkao.

33. Bartlett, “Books of Revelations,” 33; and Crossley and Rawski, “A Profile of the Manchu Language,” 63–102.

34. Historians have tackled this issue from multiple perspectives. See Miyazaki, “Shinchō ni okeru kokugo mondai no ichimen,” 1–56; Mosca, From Frontier Policy to Foreign Policy; and Atwood, “Worshipping Grace,” 86–139.

35. Elliott, “Manwen dang’an yu xin Qingshi,” 1–18.

36. For a brief overview of the archives and M1D1, see Miyawaki, “Mongoru kokuritsu chuō monjokan shozō no Manjugo, Mongorugo shiryō,” 135–141; and Miyawaki, “Report on the Manchu Documents,” 6–13.

37. For a critical description of Manchu language archives, see Elliott, “The Manchu-Language Archives,” 1–70.