Allerstain (or Hallerstain)
Allerstain (Or Hallerstain)
a German Jesuit and missionary to China, was born near the commencement of the 18th century. His knowledge of mathematics and astronomy led to his being called to the court of Pekin, where he obtained the esteem of the emperor Khien-loung. He was made mandarin and appointed president of the tribunal of mathematics. We are indebted to him for a census of the inhabitants of each province of China for the twenty- fifth and twenty-sixth years of the reign of Khien-loung (1760 and 1761). He obtained these statistics from Heoupou, and translated them into Chinese. The original and the translation were found in Europe in 1779. The conquering Tartars for a time suppressed this census-taking, fearing that it would reveal the secret of their forces to the Chinese. He confirmed all the calculations of the celebrated missionary Amiot, and gave the proof of the progressive augmentation of the Chinese population. The census obtained by Allerstain is found in the Description Generale de la Chine, 4th ed. p. 283. In the twenty-fifth year of the reign of Khien-loung the population numbered 196,837,977, and the following year 198,214,624. Allerstain died in 1777. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Gen., s.v.