This article discusses the role of Daoists in Qing-period City God temples in the Jiangnan area. W hile other types of religious specialists and social groups were involved in the religious life of these temples, Daoists brought in their bureaucratic vision of religion in the way the cult was organized. They played a key role in operating the temple like a yamen, adm inistering justice, and levying symbolical taxes on local families. Moreover, they did so by referring to their hierarchical superior, namely the HeavenlyMaster. The core of the article is devoted to the variousways in which the Daoists in the City God temp les interacted with the adm inistration of Heavenly Master ( through canonizations, exchange of clerics, and judicial rituals). In conclusion, the author suggests that through the City God temples and their bureaucratic organization, the elite Daoists in Jiangnan participated to the construction of the imperial state.