ZHANG XUELIANG. 1901-2001.
Autograph Manuscript Signed in character 5 times, 8 pp, 16mo, n.p., "night January 6, 26th year of the Republic" (i.e. 1937), housed in a small red leatherette journal, very minor wear.
THE YOUNG MARSHAL'S FAREWELL MESSAGES, WRITTEN ON THE PLANE RIDE BETWEEN XI'AN AND NANJING. After the release of Chiang Kai-shek on December 25, Zhang Xueliang chose to return to the capital with the Generalissimo. Once there, Chiang had Zhang arrested and tried in a military tribunal, where he was convicted and sentenced to ten years (but wound up spending most of the rest of his life in confinement).
This document, a series of messages to the people of China, his family and friends, reveals Zhang's intention to kill himself rather than be subjected to the unknown humiliation that awaited him.
From the first part, translated: "I sincerely have faith in the salvation of the country; however my conduct has been anti-national. Having vowed to be a faithful and trustworthy man, I never expected to let this happen. The most heartbreaking thing is seeing the Japanese find pleasure in their oppression over the Chinese. Rather than witness the fall of our country, I will take my own life. Hopefully this will end some problems. I wish the leaders of our country to be morally conscious with an awareness of their actions. I have repeatedly expressed my thoughts to Mr. Chiang who possesses extraordinary intelligence. If Mr. Chiang would reconsider my opinions, I would greatly appreciate it."
To his family, Zhang writes: "I your brother (father) was straight forwardly reckless. I worked for the salvation of our country, however had no good solutions. The Northwest incident was never planned. Therefore, I came to the capital alone hoping to end the problems. My intention was to save the country from Japanese imperialism and had never expected to let things turn out like this. I do not want to stay alive and let other problems arise because of me. Even though I may not have directly caused their death, I am indirectly responsible. I take total responsibility for all the problems. For our country and our families, all the Zhang descendants will swear to take revenge against Japan and will not forget this in the future." The rest of the document, addressed to T.V. Soong, Jimmy Elder, General Tan Enbo, and two others, gives detailed instructions regarding the dispensation of Zhang's vast estate.