(From Ma Jung-heng and Liu Shou-i, 1962, p. 4)
I am 53 years of age, from Old Chang Village, east of Po County and north of Chih-ho-chi, about 100 li from [Meng-]ch'eng. My family includes a brother, Chang Min-hsing, a wife surnamed Ma, a son, and an adopted son.
I farmed the land to make a living, but have also engaged in salt smuggling. In 1851-1852, we fought with the Old Cows in Honan's Yung-ch'eng and Shang-ch'iu.
In 1853, the Taipings attacked the Po area. After the city fell, bandits arose all around. Only then did I, together with Kung-hsia-tzu, Wang Kuan-san, Su T'ien-fu, and Han Lang-tzu, establish banners and take to plunder to make a living. I set up the yellow banner and called myself "Everlasting King of the Han."
In 1855, Magistrate Lu of Ying Prefecture led a local militia to Miao- erh-chi to attack us. Not long after, he retreated. Our numbers increased and we gathered in Honan to attack Ma-mu-chi in Shang-ch'iu. We returned and surrounded Po for thirteen days. But due to the strong defense of the government forces, we were unable to break through. We received word that troops from Honan were attacking our old home near Chih-ho-chi, so we started for home but before we got there the troops had already burned down our village.
In 1857, I led an attack on Huai-yüan, which we held for several months.
In 1858, because provisions were exhausted, we went to Ting-yüan to join the Long Hairs from Kwangsi. They subsequently honored me with the title of "Accomplishing Heavenly Righteousness" and gave me an official seal. I lived with them for several years. But because their treatment was not good, I returned to my old village.
In December 1861, Ma Yung-ho, a subordinate of the Taiping "Brave King" Four-eyed dog [ Ch'en Yü-ch'eng] requested us to help him blockade the city of Ying. I went with Chiang T'ai-lu. In March 1862. the government troops arrived and the blockade was broken. We returned to the Po area.