I had a massive writing push this week. No time for a full post. 

But I have a link to a wonderful article about famine in North China in 1876-1879. (From DisasterHistoriies.org)

The famine comes up briefly in my next book because 1876-1879 are the years that Dong Haichuan was teaching Baguazhang in Beijing. It is a confused issue. Dong Haichuan was supposed to have died in 1882. According to his tombstone, he only began teaching after he was released from service to the Su Prince--after he had become old.