User:Madalibi/Boxer casualties

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Casualties[edit]

Trying to find sources for casualties because the figures cited in the infobox look very dubious. A few random notes to begin with.

Rummel's China's Bloody Century, citing Roger Pelissier's The Awakening of China (1967, translated from a 1963 French book) gives the possible figure of 250,000 civilians dead. A snippet from Pelissier's book gives the citation as "A friend of mine reckoned that 250,000 persons lost their lives in Peking that summer" (p. 225). This is a quotation from a primary source, but I can't see the analysis. Another source says 32,000, so Rummel gives a "mid" figure of 100,000.

This is the kind of issue we will need a large collection of sources to document, and probably an entire section to discuss. We will probably need to say "have been estimated as going from XXX to ZZZ" and cite the sources that support different figures. We could also integrate the casualties under each section (massacre of Christians, Seymour Expedition, siege of the legations, etc.)

There should be casualty figures for the following events and groups

  1. Seymour Expedition (could be merged with 2)
    62 dead and 228 wounded (Diana Preston, The Boxer Rebellion, p. 104)
  2. Gaselee Expedition (could be merged with 1)
  3. Missionaries: 270 (Perdue lecture), 250 (Pelissier cited in Rummel, p. 47, a table), 236 (136 Protestant missionaries and 53 children, plus 47 foreign priests and nuns; Larry Clinton Thompson, p. 184)
  4. Siege itself:
    • 473 foreign civilians, 409 soldiers (from the 8 nations [how many altogether]), approx. 2,800 Chinese Christians (Perdue lecture)

Missionary deaths[edit]

"Calculations of missionary deaths differ slightly depending upon the source" (Thompson, p. 228, note 32)

  • 270 (Perdue lecture)
  • 250 (Pelissier cited in Rummel, p. 47, a table)
  • 241 (53 Catholics and 188 Protestants; from Ying Bai & Kung, James Kai-sing. Diffusing Knowledge While Spreading God's Message: Protestantism and Economic Prosperity in China, 1840–1920, p. 19, citing Yang Senfu 楊森富, History of Christianity in China, 中國基督教史 [Taipei: Commercial Press, 1968], no page number given)
  • 236 (136 Protestant missionaries and 53 children, plus 47 foreign priests and nuns; Larry Clinton Thompson, p. 184; "most disastrous year in the history of Protestant missionaries" [p. 184])
  • 236 or fewer: 130 in Shanxi (including 44 in Taiyuan by Yuxian; pp. 304-5), 49 in Inner Mongolia (40 Protestant and 9 Catholic); 15 in Baoding (p. 305). With 179 dead, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia accounted for "over three fourths" of the missionary deaths, which would mean a total of fewer than 237 dead (237 representing 100% if 179 is 75%).
  • "At least 220 foreign missionaries" (Robert Bickers, "Chinese Burns: Britain in China, 1842–1900", History Today 50(8).

Chinese Christians[edit]

  • 18,722 (Perdue, who says "maybe 20,000" and they were the main Christian victims of the Boxers)
  • 30,000 Catholics; 2,000 Protestants; 200–400 of the Russian Orthodox Beijing mission's 700 converts (Thompson, p. 184)

Esherick[edit]

  • Missionaries: 130 in Shanxi (including 44 in Taiyuan by Yuxian; pp. 304-5), 49 in Inner Mongolia (40 Protestant and 9 Catholic); 15 in Baoding (p. 305). With 179 dead, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia accounted for "over three fourths" of the missionary deaths, which would mean a total of fewer than 237 dead (237 representing 100% if 179 is 75%).
  • Chinese Christians: 300 in Shandong (p. 304), 2,000 in Shanxi (p. 305), 3,000 in Inner Mongolia (mostly Catholics; p. 305); certainly thousands in Zhili, where the "greatest loss of life" and the "fiercest struggle" took place (p. 305)
  • Seymour Expedition: 62 dead and 212 wounded (p. 288)

Foreign soldiers[edit]

General:

  • More than 1,000 Western and Japanese soldiers (Larry Clinton Thompson, William Scott Ament and the Boxer Rebellion, p. 184: "author's estimate based on totaling casualty estimates for the various battles" [p. 228, note 34])

Seymour Expedition:

  • 62 dead and 228 wounded (Preston, The Boxer Rebellion, p. 104)
  • 62 dead and 212 wounded (Esherick, p. 288)

Gaselee Expedition:

Perdue lecture[edit]

Actually reading someone else's lecture:

  • 2,500 foreign soldiers
  • 526 civilian foreigners
  • several thousand Chinese Christians
  • 20,000 imperial troops
  • "All" Boxers: [100,000 - 300,000?]
  • Civilians:18,952+

Thompson[edit]

Larry Clinton Thompson, William Scott Ament and the Boxer Rebellion, p. 184: "author's estimate based on totaling casualty estimates for the various battles" (explanation from p. 228, note 34)

Hevia English Lessons[edit]

Thanks, Madalibi, for letting us glimpse this backstage work. One addition I would suggest is Hevia, James L. (2003), "A Reign of Terror: Punishment and Retribution in Beijing and its Environs", English Lessons: The Pedagogy of Imperialism in Nineteenth Century China, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, p. 195-240  |first1= missing |last1= in Editors list (help), which is the one account I can think of which focuses on the campaigns. In looking through it, however, I do not see any total figures. Maybe we should just incorporate a little more of his material into the narrative in the article. Or we could give "high range" and "low range," though this prejudices things in favor of the high range. ch (talk) 03:16, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Hi CH! Yes, Hevia is definitely a source to consider. I own the book and will take a new look at it when I get back home in a few days. I now think it would be wiser to discuss casualties in each relevant part of the article rather than in a single "Casualties" section for the whole movement (as I had first planned). The infobox is where all the casualty figures would appear together, and it would be supported by the text. I've been putting this off for a while, not only because I'm busy in real life (two book manuscripts I want to finish by the end of this year, and I'm falling behind schedule), but also because this would require summarizing a lot of conflicting sources, some of which I don't have access to. And there's that chronology... SFriendly.svg Madalibi (talk) 03:54, 18 April 2014 (UTC)