LE DE-THAM : VIETNAMESE FEUDAL LORD AND INSURRECTIONIST VERSUS THE FRENCH

This vintage postcard features  a portrait of Vietnamese feudal lord, Le De-Tham (1858-1913). His actual name was Hoang Hoa Tham and he was also known as Commander Tham. He was the leader of the “Yen The” insurrection, a 25 year long popular revolt in the “Yen The” district of Vietnam. The insurrectionists were resisting French colonial rule. Interestingly, his parents were also resistance fighters. They both died as members of a resistance group fighting against the Court of Hue. Most of Le De-Tham’s resistance forces were routed by French troops as they swept through the province in 1890-1891. The French troops suffered a significant setback when De Tham attacked the area’s railroad. The French agreed to a peace plan and that gave De-Tham a regional fiefdom. He became a symbol for other anti-French movements. De-Tham was killed in 1913 by one of his own men.

RARE AND HISTORIC TONKIN IMAGE: KHAM-SAI MARCHING AGAINST COLONEL THAM

This vintage real photo postcard reflects a historic time in French Indo-China. The caption of the photograph states “his excellence the Kham-Sai marching against the De-Tham (Summer 1909). De Tham (1858-1913) , also known as Colonel Tham, was the Vietnamese leader of the “Yen The Insurrection”. A photograph of Tham can be seen below. This rebellion opposed French control in Northern Vietnam for a quarter of a century. This postcard is addressed and messaged in French. This photo documents the unsuccessful campaign of His Excellency Kham-Sai (Governor of Tonkin, the man in the center of the image). De-Tham had a price on his head which was ordered by the French Governor-General Klobukowsky. The reward was offered after De-Tham’s unsuccessful attempt to take Hanoi. De_Tham managed to survive until 1913 when he was beheaded in his sleep by one of his own men working for the French. His death ended a conflict which had lasted 25 years. Note the medaled man on the right. It is likely that some of the Governors best and fearless men were sent on the mission. The horse in the photograph is a Vietnamese Hmong, which is known for it’s sure-footedness in mountain terrains such as the location of De-Thams hiding place. In today’s times, Tonkin lies completely in North Vietnam. The message written on this postcard indicates that it was written by Frenchman Louis Toullaine and addressed to his niece in Paris, France.  SOLD

    Portait of De Tham