Karl Friedrich August Gutzlaff - Encyclopedia

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KARL FRIEDRICH AUGUST GUTZLAFF (1803-1851), German missionary to China, was born at Pyritz in Pomerania on the 8th of July 1803. When still apprenticed to a saddler in Stettin, he made known his missionary inclinations to the king of Prussia, through whom he went to the Padagogium at Halle, and afterwards to the mission institute of Janike in Berlin. In 1826, under the auspices of the Netherlands Missionary Society, he went to Java, where he was able to learn Chinese.

Leaving the society in 1828, he went to Singapore, and in August of the same year removed to Bangkok, where he translated the Bible into Siamese. In 1829 he married an English lady, who aided him in the preparation of a dictionary of Cochin Chinese, but she died in August 1831 before its completion. Shortly after her death he sailed to Macao in China, where, and subsequently at Hong Kong, he worked at a translation of the Bible into Chinese, published a Chinese monthly magazine, and wrote in Chinese various books on subjects of useful knowledge. In 1834 he published at London a Journal of Three Voyages along the Coast of China in 1831, 1832 and 1833. He was appointed in 1835 joint Chinese secretary to the English commission, and during the opium war of 1840-42 and the negotiations connected with the peace that followed he rendered valuable service by his knowledge of the country and people. The Chinese authorities refusing to permit foreigners to penetrate into the interior,, Giitzlaff in 1844 founded an institute for training native missionaries, which was so successful that during the first four years. as many as forty-eight Chinese were sent out from it to work among their fellow-countrymen. He died at Hong Kong on the 9th of August 1851.

Giitzlaff also wrote A Sketch of Chinese History, Ancient and Modern (London, 1834), and a similar work published in German at Stuttgart in 1847; China Opened (1838); and the Life of TaowKwang (1851; German edition published at Leipzig in 1852). A complete collection of his Chinese writings is contained in the library at Munich.

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