The Hmong used to have a kingdom in China, but as the Mandarin warlords sought to expand their own territory, the Hmong became impediments to progress, and terrible fighting broke out. The Hmong were unable to be subdued through military force, and the Chinese were forced to use other methods. Sonom, the last recorded Hmong king, and his enitire court were asked to surrender with honor in Beijing, the capital city, on the condition that peace would come for both Hmong and Chinese. Upon arriving, they found themselves in the middle of a plot: They were to be killed as part of a Chinese festival. A Hmong general travelling with the delegation beggedthe Chinese Emporer for the life of young King Sonom. He protested that the Hmong could have sold their lives at a high price, yet they surrendered on assurance of the emporer's mercy. He spoke in vain. At the emperor's signal, the delegation was tortured. With gags in their mouths, King Sonom, his advisors, doctors, and his aunt were cut into small pieces. Their heads were exhibited in cages with signs identifying them. On following days, those of lesser rank were executed. Of this delegation, only a few survived and were given to the victorious Chinese officers as slaves.
(From an account by the French Missionary Amiot in 1775)
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