History of Wuhan Timeline

(With some broader Hubei events and events of influence nearby)

Last Updated: 3 March, 2020

845BCE Huanggang becomes capital of Huang

191 Battle of Xiangyang - Sun Jian, father of Sun Quan defeated and killed, passing territory to Liu Bei

202 Battle of Xiakou

206 Hanyang walls built

208 Battle of the Red Cliffs near Wuhan

222 Battle of Yiling (Yichang)

223 Wuchang walls built

223 Yellow Crane Tower built in Wuchang by Sun Quan

700s Cui Hao writes famous poem about Yellow Crane Tower

982 Hubei comes mostly under Jinghubei Circuit

1279 Hubei comes under Mongol control

1331 Hubei affected by black death

1371 Wuchang built up by Zhou Dexing

1635 Hankou occupied by rebels under Zhang Dashou

1643 Hankou occupied by rebels under Zhang Xianzhong

1646 Shifang'an 十方庵 Ten Position Temple set up in Hankou

1688 Hankou occupied by rebels under Xia Fenglong

1757 Major flood hits Wuhan area

1788 Major flood hits Wuhan area and central China; bursting of dikes at Jingzhou

1796 Xiangyang was a center in the White Lotus Rebellion, under Wang Cong'er

1798 Failed White Lotus attack on Hankou under Zhang Hanchao

1801 Major flood hits Wuhan area

1801 Food protest in Hankou

1807 Reconstruction of Yangzi and Han river dikes

1807 Reconstruction of Hanyang prefectural school and county schools

1809 Reestablishment of the Qingquan Shuyuan

1810 Major fires hit Hankou

1820 Missionary Francis Regis Clet executed in Wuchang

1845 Uprising in Wuchang, leadership claimed by Green Lotus

1846 Major fires hit Hankou

1848 Major flood hits Wuhan area

1849 Major flood hits Wuhan area; dikes collapse and sections of Hankou collapse

1849 Major fires hit Hankou

1852 Battle of Wuchang, city falls to Taiping forces following January

1852.12.23 Hanyang walls overcome and town occupied

1853.1.12 Taiping forces occupy Wuchang

1853 Full Taiping occupation of Wuhan area

1853.2 Qing general Xiang Rong retakes Wuhan cities

1853 Taiping retake Hanyang and Hankou in the fall during Western expedition, fail to take Wuchang, then chased away by Qing general Jiang Zhonglie

1854.2 Wuhan cities taken by Taiping rebels again

1854.10 Zeng Guofan’s Hunan Army recaptures Wuchang for Qing; Qing commander Guanwen captures Hanyang

1854 Hanyang and Hankou fall to Taiping rebels again

1855.4 Taiping forces recapture Wuchang

1855 Qing summer seige launched; Hankou changes hands several times as least defended

1856.12 Qing recaptures Wuchang and Hanyang

1858 Treaty of Tianjin, Hankou designated as one of new treaty ports.

1858 James Bruce, Lord Elgin in Hankou

1861 Wuhan concession established in Hankou

1861.3.17 Taiping forces capture nearby Huangzhou and threaten Wuhan again

1861.3.22 Harry Parkes arrives in Huangzhou with Hope’s expedition and warns Taiping general Chen Yucheng against any attack on Hankou

1861.3 Vice Admiral Hope's flotilla reaches Hankou, opens treaty port

1861.6 Taiping forces under Li Xiucheng arrive at Wuchang but leave without attacking at end of month

1861 Robert Wilson, Anglican missionary first visit to Hankou with Rev. Griffith John

1860s American Naval Yangzi patrol operates waters off Hankou

1861.11 Wuhan customs established

1861 Griffith John opens mission in Hankou

1861 Hankou Martyrs' Shrine, memorializing Taiping war deaths

1862 English Wesleyan Methodist Mission at Hankou opens with Josiah Cox

1864 Major fires hit Hankou

1864-7 Nian rebels repeatedly raid the areas around Hankou

1864.5 F. Porter Smith, Methodist medical missionary arrives in Hankou with Wesleyan Missionary Society

1864-5 Hankou walls built

1864-8 Walter Medhurst is British consul at Hankow

1864.7 Hankow Medical Mission Hospital of the Wesleyan Missionary Society opens in Hankou

1864 Destructive fires spread in Hankou

1865 David Hill and William Scarborough missionaries arrive in Hankou

1866 Wuchang Wesleyan mission in southern Wuchang opens

1867 London Mission Hospital established in Hankow

1867 F. P. Napier joins D. Hill as missionary in Wuchang

1870 Dr E. P. Hardey arrives to replace F P Smith

1872 Rev. J. W. Brewer arrives to lead Wuchang Wesleyan mission

1873 Russians start a brick-tea factory in Hankou, several more to follow

1873 Zhaowen Xinbao (昭文新報), said to be first Chinese newspaper founded by a Chinese, launches in Hankou

1874 Rev. Joseph Race arrives in Hankou for missionary work

1874 Temperance Hall established by American consul in Hankou

1875 Dr Mackenzie arrives to work in London Mission Hospital

1875 A. W. Nightingale and W. S. Tomlinson arrives in Hankou for missionary work

1876 Yiling opens to foreign trade under Chefoo Convention

1876 Hankou Tract Society founded

1878 Hankow Golf Club founded

1879 John Fordham, methodist missionary sets up clinic in Hankou

1882 Strike of construction workers against British Consulate

1882 Mutiny at Wuchang

1883 New regulations set by tea hongs

1883 First recorded attacks on a foreigner (British doctor) in Hankou

1883.5 Hankou uprising of Buddhist millenarians

1884 Hankow Tract Society becomes Central China Tract Society

1884 Major flood hits Wuhan area

1887 Major fires hit Hankou

1888 Cholera outbreak in the summer

1889 The Margaret Women’s Hospital established with a small medical school

1889 Zhang Zhidong appointed as Huguang (Hunan and Hubei) governor-general based at Wuchang. Holds position on an off until 1907

1890 Zhang Zhidong established the Lianghu Shuyuan (两湖书院) in Wuhan

1891 Hanyang Arsenal established by Zhang Zhidong

1891 "Yangtze riot" in spring and summer

1891 Two Englishmen murdered in Wuxue

1891 Swedish Covenant mission established in Wuchang

1891 Cotton mills built at Wuchang

1892 Major fires hit Hankou

1893 (1896?) Hanbao (汉报) newspaper launched by Hankou Tea Guild (or later by Japanese interests?)

1893 Zhang Zhidong establishes the Self-Strengthening School (自强学堂) in Wuchang; eventually becomes part of the new Wuhan University

1893 Wuchang Textile Bureau established by Zhang Zhidong

1894 Thousands of Hankou stallkeepers clash with militia and destroy government buildings

1894.4 Hanyang Arsenal completed

1894.6 Hanyang Arsenal suffers major damage in fires

1895 Hanyang arsenal rebuilt

1895 German concession in Hankou established

1895 Famine brings flood of refugees into Wuchang

1895 Standard Oil Company opens office in Hankou

1895 Hankou industrial revolution gets underway

1896 Russian lease formally establishes concession.

1896 Beijing to Hankou railway construction authorized by imperial edict

1896.6 French concession leased.

1897 Belgian purchase of land and attempt to establish a concession

1898 Japanese concession in Hankou established

1898 French municipal council created

1898 Missionary boys school, later to become Griffith John College

1899 Cercle Gaulois club for French

1899-1900 British concession expels its Chinese residents

1900 Hanbao newspaper suppressed by Zhang Zhidong

1900 Tang Caichang returns to Hankou from Shanghai and Japan and leads uprising league with Kang Youwei. “Central Army” commanded by Fu Cixiang and Lin Gui

1900.8.18-21 Secret society members flood the city and fires break out in Hankow

1900.2.22 Tang Caichang, Lin Gui, Fu Cixiang and a Japanese accomplice arrested, all but the last executed. The rebellion ends in Hankow

1900.9 Tang Caichang arrested and beheaded

1901 Terminus hotel established in French concession

1902 French concession expanded by half

1902 Japanese concession expanded from 128m2 to 300m2

1902 Astor House hotel established in French concession

1902 Japanese consulate built

1902 Song Jiaoren comes to Wuchang and attends Boone Memorial School

1903 Russian municipal council created

1903 Hankou station building

1904 the Science Tutoring Institute (科学补习所) founded by Song Jiaoren in Wuchang

1904 Huang Xing passes through Wuchang, plots uprising, but it is exposed.

1904.10.24 Huang Xing’s arrest is ordered and he flees to Shanghai

1904 Song Jiaoren flees for Japan

1905 Hankow Race Club and Recreation Ground opened

1905 Copper and mind employees strike in Hankou

1905 Boycott against American goods in Hankow over immigration restrictions

1905 Beijing to Hankou train line complete

1905.11 Wang Xianqian forms the Canton-Hankow Railway Fundraising and Land-Buying Company

1906 Japanese Cotton Trading Co. opened in Hankou

1906 Society of Daily Improvement, discussion group for political radicals hold weekly meetings

1907 Power station build, providing electricity to German Concession

1907 Association to Prepare for Constitutional Government founded in Hubei

1907 Copper and mind employees strike in Hankou again

1908 Russian Club moves to new location

1908 Griffith John College opens near Hankou

1908 Belgian attempt to establish a concession finally rebuffed

1908.1 Hubei begins preparations for provincial assembly (80 members) elections under viceroy Zhao Erxun

1908.5.12 Departing viceroy Zhao Erxun makes last visit to Hankou, police order streets cleared

1908.5.13 Police station attacked and burned in Hankou

1908.5.14 Shops around Hankou closed in a strike

1909 Election of the provincial assembly in Hubei

1909 Managers of the Hankou benevolence halls form the Hankow Benevolent Association to coordinate charitable efforts

1909 Water tower built near Bund by Cai Fuqing and Liu Xinsheng

1909 Workers attempt to destroy the dyeworks and fight Hankou police

1909.10 Zhang Zhidong dies

1909.12 Home of Liu Renxiang attacked

1909.12 Tea-Brick factory workers strike

1910 Leading bank in Hankou collapses

1910 Deep recession for Hankou

1910.1.24 First petition for national parliament submitted with heavy Hubei participation

1910.4 Tea-Brick factory workers strike again, attack Russian tea-brick factory in British Concession

1910.4 Wuchang Cotton Mill goes on strike

1910.6.16 Second petition for national parliament submitted

1911.1.21-23 Attack on British police after rickshaw driver becomes ill and dies in police custody; customs office attacked

1911.5 Railways nationalized

1911.10.10 Wuchang Uprising

1911.10 Hankou, except the Bund burned down by imperial troops

1911.10-12 Large scale destruction around Wuhan

1911.10.28 Reinforcements come to rebels in Wuhan, including Huang Xing and Song Jiaoren

1911.11.27 Hanyang falls to Qing forces

1911.12.1 Three day truce called, later extended

1912 First census in Hankou

1913 Edward L. Arndt serves as missionary for Evangelical Lutheran Mission in Hankou

1914-15 Hupeh Special Medical College active

1914; 1916-7 Boone University Medical School in Wuchang active

1914-18 Protestant Episcopal Church hospital active at Wuchang

1917 German concession returned to Chinese control, becomes Special Administrative District under provincial control

1918 Wuchang-Changsha railway line completed and eastern wall dismantled

1919 Hongkong & Shanghai Bank building completed

1919-1927 Hankow Conferences, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

1920 Missionary Edward Galvin active in Hanyang to 1952

1920.9 Chinese temporarily assume control of Russian concession

1920 National City Bank of New York building

1921 Yokohama Specie Bank building

1921 Mutiny of warlord Wang Zhanyuan’s troops leads to destruction in Wuchang

1922-38; 1947-9 Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod seminary at Hankow

1922 Custom House building

1923 Apostolic Prefecture of Hanyang established

1924.5.30 Russian concession formally returned to Chinese control; British concession returned?

1925.5.23 Strike at British-American Tobacco factory

1926.10 Northern Expedition reaches the Yangzi valley and Wuhan chosen as provisional capital

1926.12 Mikhail Borodin arrives in Hankou

1927 Wuhan becomes seat of left KMT under Wang Jingwei

1927.1.4-5  British marines clash with crowd, some Chinese killed; concession overrun by Chinese

1927.1.27 O'Malley agrees to Chinese law for British subjects

1927.2.19 Chen-O'Malley Agreement, British concession in Hankou turned over and becomes special administrative district no. 3

1927.3.10 KMT hold CEC Third Plenum, issue program on peasantry

1927.4.3 Hankou Incident, attack on Japanese concession and riots

1927.4.27 Fifth national congress of the communist party in Hankou, including M.N. Roy, Wang Jingwei, and Chen Duxiu

1927.6.1 Stalin’s telegram to M.N. Roy, Borodin and Chen Duxiu asking CCP to make heavy demands on KMT to change its structure, rather than equal cooperation, accelerating CCP and KMT split.

1927.6.3 Open letter KMT from CCP in Wuhan

1927.6.13 Wuhan government leaders return from trip to Hunan

1927.6.15 Chen Duxiu wires Moscow to tell Stalin he will carry out his order at an opportune time

1927.6.23 Central Committee of CCP in Wuhan orders Shanghai committee to prepare to launch a militant anti-imperialist movement.

1927.7.1 Last plenum of Central Comittee of CCP held in Wuhan.

1927.7.6 Wang Jingwei makes proposal for financial planning to deal with costs for eastern expedition.

1927.7.10 Borodin reveals new instructions of Comintern requiring replacement of the leadership of the CCP and that CCP should withdraw from the KMT

1927.7.13 Borodin and Qu Qiubai leave Wuhan for Lushan

1927.7.15 715 Incident Nanjing-Wuhan split

1927 Guangxi warlords establish power in the split by end of year

1928-1949 Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati manage a small hospital in Wuchang, led by Mary Roberta Cahill

1929-37 Wuhan under CC Clique control

1929-49 Notre Dame Mission runs Good Counsel Girls' Middle School in Wuchang

1930 Nationalist party closes two out of three Wuchang based universities, leaving missionary-run university under new leadership.

1931.8 Major flood hits Wuhan and Yangzi

1932 University of Hong Kong buys large book collection from Hankow Club library

1932 Wuhan University completed

1935 Flood around Wuhan

1935 Major student demonstrations in Wuhan against government

1936 Yang Qingshan, Wuhan mob boss assassinated Yang Yongtai in Wuchang

1937.12 Wuhan becomes capital of China

1937.12 Lao She arrives in Wuhan

1938 “Wuhan Spring”

1938.1 Guo Moruo arrives in Wuhan, eventually comes to lead cultural propaganda in the city

1938.1 Wen Yiduo arrives in Wuhan

1938.1.24 Han Fuju executed in Wuhan

1938.2 Japanese air strike on Wuhan

1938.3 People’s Political Council (guomin canshenghui) created with 200 members, half of which have no KMT connections

1938.3 All China Writers Association (wenxie) convenes in Wuchang

1938.3.29 Special Congres of the KMT opens (guomindang linshi quanguo daibiao dahui)

1938.5 Fall of Xuzhou makes Wuhan the next major target

1938.6 Chinese government declares evacuation of government to Chongqing; Much of infrastructure of Wuhan dismantled under scorched earth policy

1938.6-10 Battle of Wuhan ("Battle of Wuchang and Hankow")

1938.6.15 Defensive stronghold at Anqing falls

1938.6.29 Japanese gunboats overcome river barriers at Madang

1938.7 People’s Political Council (guomin canshenghui) meets in Wuhan

1938.7.28 Jiuzhang falls

1938.7.13 Wuchang bombed

1938.8 Japanese concession seized

1938.9.29 Japanese capture river fortress Tianjiazhen using poison gas

1938.10.25 Wuhan capitulates

1938.10.26 Japanese entry into Hankou and Wuchang after Chinese withdrawal

1938.10.27 Japanese capture Hanyang

1938.10 Japanese concession in Hankou reestablished

1938 Severe flooding in Wuhan and other areas

1938.11.12 Chiang Kaishek burns Changsha to the ground.

1940 Battle of Zaoyang-Yichang

1941 Hankow Club formally liquidated

1943 Vichy Frances returns French concession in Hankou

1944.12 American bombing of Hankou from Chengdu (Operation Matterhorn) destroyed much of the city’s infrastructure

1946 France returns French concession (again?) in Hankou

1949.5.16 Fall of Wuhan

1950 Xiangyang and Fancheng become Xiangfan

1951 Lutheran Church in China holds council meeting under Yu Jun ending missionary ties.

1954 Yangzi Floods cause mass destruction in Yichang and Wuhan, including plague

1955 Construction of the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge begins

1957 Major flood hits Wuhan area

1957.10 Wuhan river bridge completed

1966.4.25 Cultural Revolution comes to Wuhan when Hubei Provincial Party Committee declares the need for a cultural revolution under Wang Renzhong

1966.6.2 Posters for cultural revolution appear at Wuhan Institute of Topography

1966.6.3 Hubei Prov Party Comm. declares need for ‘unity of students’ thinking’ kicking off rallies

1966.6.11 Big character posters attacking Song Kanju First Secretary of the Wuhan Municipal Party Committee

1966.7.16 Mao Zedong swims in Yangzi near Wuhan

1966.7.18 Mao Zedong denounces the work teams as attempt at controlled mobilization

1966.8.9 Hubei Daily prints the Sixteen Articles but fails to use red ink

1966.8.16 Wuhan’s first Red Guards already marching in streets, day after Mao meets a million red guards in Beijing

1966.8.31 Beijing students in Wuhan demand meeting with governor, refused

1966.8 Violence against the four olds in Wuhan by Red Guards, dozens beaten to death.

1966.8 Beijing students begin to arrive in Wuhan as part of ‘exchange revolutionary experiences’ (chuanlian)

1966.8.17 First secret workers’ radical group formed at No 2 Machine Tool factory

1966.9.4 Hubei Prov. Party Committee meet with students from Beijing in Wuchang stadium

1966.9 Proliferation of minority organizations in colleges in Wuhan, usually called Mao Zedong Thought Red Guards

1966.10 Students, regardless of family origins allowed to join Red Guards in every school in Wuhan; divide into two camps in most schools: original Red Guards and Mao Zedong Thought Red Guards (Thought Guards)

1966.10.26 Wuhan Thought Guard HQ established

1966.11 Network of workers and students in Wuchang proclaim “Bombard the Hubei Prov. Party Comm.”

1966.11.1 Thought Guards disrupt the Hubei Prov. Party Comm. meeting

1966.11.9 Worker Rebel organization establish Worker’s Headquarters

1966.11.9 Second Headquarters occupy offices of Hubei Daily

1966.12.2 Federation of Revolutionary Labourers established, starting with Wuhan Machine factory; conservative to moderate

1966.12.15 Hubei Daily stops publication in submission to rebels

1966.12.18-19 Rebels raid HQ of Red Guards and of Federation of Revolutionary Labourers

1966.12 Party leadership make various self-criticisms

1966.12.25 Wang Renzhong brought back to Wuhan from Guangdong by rebels

1966.12.27 Rebels form United Command Post for Struggling against Wang Renzhong

1966.12.29 Red Guard HQ raided

1966.12.31 Wuhan Evening News closed down

1967.1.1-3 Three mass rallies to denounce Wang Renzhong

1967.1 Wuhan now completely in the hands of rebels

1967.7 Wuhan incident; July 20 incident; armed conflict between factions in cultural revolution

1988 Gezhouba Dam completed

1993 Three Gorges Dam construction begins

1998 Yangzi Floods

2000 Crash of Wuhan Flight 343 in Hanyang

2010 Xianfan becomes Xiangyang

2010 Dragon King Temple rebuilt in Wuhan

These timeline events are assembled from a variety of sources, especially from books and articles found on this Zotero Bibliography.

Please send additions and corrections to both this timeline and to the Zotero bibliography to Konrad M. Lawson (kml at huginn.net, @kmlawson)