TAIPING REBEL PASS CIRCA 1870
I am not sure of the exact date of this but I know it was in the mid to late 1800s. This is a pass allowing the bearer to travel into rebel held territory with the rebel seal attached. This was sent by O. B. Bradford to his daughter Josie and is in an official Consulate General of the United States Shanghai, China envelope. O. B. Bradford was appointed to China by President Lincoln.
The Taiping Rebellion was a widespread civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864, led by heterodox Christian convert Hong Xiuquan, against the ruling Qing Dynasty. About 20 million people died, mainly civilians, in one of the deadliest military conflicts in history.
Hong established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, officially the “Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace”, with its capital at Nanjing. The Kingdom’s Army controlled large parts of southern China, at its height containing about 30 million people. The rebels attempted social reforms and the replacement of Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion with a form of Christianity. Troops were nicknamed the Long hair. The Taiping areas were besieged by Qing forces throughout most of the rebellion. The Qing government defeated the rebellion with the eventual aid of French and British forces.
In the 20th century, China’s communist leader Mao Zedong glorified the Taipings as early heroic revolutionaries against a corrupt feudal system. More recently, a total rethinking has occurred in China on the destruction that the rebellion had caused to the Chinese nation, plus the dangers of radical religiosity.