June 5th, 2018


Chinese Revolution of 1911 in block prints and photographs

These two wonderful woodblock prints at the Princeton University Digital Library depict the events of the 1911 revolution as it reached Shanghai.

1. On 3 November 1911, at the onset of the Xinhai Revolution, the revolutionary army broke into the walled city of Shanghai through the Little East Gate 小东门 (the left side of the image), disarmed the Qing soldiers inside and proceeded to ransack and burn the headquarters of the top military official in the region, the Daotai's Yamen 道署 (the right side of the image):


2. Then they proceeded further south, left the walled city and on the next day succeeded in capturing the Jiangnan Arsenal 江南制造局:


To complete the picture, here are some photos of the places where the events played out:


1. The watchtower 警钟楼 at the Little South Gate 小南门 that sounded the signal for the rebels to attack the walled city:

1. The Little East Gate prior to the events, still with the Qing guard:

2. The street in front of the Daotai's yamen:

3. The garden inside the yamen before the 1911 revolution:

4. Revolutionaries guarding the Daotai's yamen after its sacking:

5. Jiangnan Arsenal after its capture:

Photographed by Francis Stafford (Collection of the Stanford University).

6. Closeup of the arsenal gates:

Photographed by Francis Stafford (Collection of the Stanford University).

7. Blood is seen on the ground after the takeover of the second important city office, the Shanghai county Magistrate's Yamen:

Picture credits are in the PastVu links, unless otherwise noted. Thanks to Arnauld Bordes for the inspiration!