Yung Wing: Difference between revisions

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'''Yung Wing''' ({{zh|t=容閎|s=容闳|p=Róng Hóng|j=Jung4 Wang4}}; November 17, 1828 &ndash; April 21, 1912) was the first Chinese student to graduate from an [[United States|American]] university ([[Yale College]] in 1854). He was involved in business transactions between China and the United States and brought students from China to study in the United States on the [[Chinese Educational Mission]]. He became a naturalized American citizen, but his status was later revoked under the [[Naturalization Act of 1870]].<ref name="Gold2012">{{cite book|last=Gold|first=Martin|title=Forbidden Citizens: Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress : a Legislative History|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=wouYAP1oKDsC&pg=PA31|accessdate=10 May 2013|date=2012-07-04|publisher=The Capitol Net Inc|isbn=9781587332524|pages=31–}}</ref>
 
==BiographyEarly life==
 
[[File:Yung Wing My Life in China and America Holt Co 1909 UTS FRD 4797.jpg|thumb|left|180px|The first edition of ''My Life in China and America'' by Yung Wing (1909)]]
[[File:Yung Wing My Life in China and America Holt Co 1909 NYPL FRD 4782.jpg|thumb|left|150px|Page One]]
 
After receiving his early education at a Mission School in Canton,<ref name=Andrews /> Yung Wing studied at [[Yale College]] to become, in 1854, the first-known Chinese student to graduate from an [[United States|American]] university. He was a member and librarian of [[Brothers in Unity]], a prominent Yale student literary society. His time at Yale was sponsored by [[Samuel Robbins Brown]] (1810–1880).<ref name="nrhpinv_ny">{{cite web|url=http://www.oprhp.state.ny.us/hpimaging/hp_view.asp?GroupView=889|title=National Register of Historic Places Registration: Sand Beach Church| date= January 1975|accessdate=2009-11-10 |author=Cornelia E. Brooke|publisher=[[New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation]]}}</ref> In 1851, at the end of his freshman year, Wing wrote to Albert Booth, a fellow alumnus of Munson Academy and "old Yale, where you have the satisfaction + honor to have gone through." Wing asked for Booth's help in acquiring study materials and stated, "Now you know probably the many disadvantages in which I labor aside from these additional studies."<ref>[http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ru.1081 Ravi D. Goel Collection on Yale (RU 1081)]. Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. (Accession 2008-A-176. Yale letters and memorabilia, Box 1, Folder 10)</ref> He was a member of the Phi chapter of the [[Delta Kappa Epsilon]] Fraternity. After finishing his studies, Yung Wing returned to [[Qing Dynasty]] China and worked with western missionaries as an interpreter. He was thought perhaps the first Chinese person to almost entirely master the English language.<ref name=Andrews>{{cite book|last=Andrews|first=Stephen Pearl|title=Discoveries in Chinese|date=1854|place= New York|page=17}}</ref> In 1859, he accepted an invitation to the [[Taiping Heavenly Kingdom|court of the Taiping rebels]] in [[Nanjing]], but his proposals aimed at increasing the efficiency of the [[Taiping Heavenly Kingdom]] were all eventually refused. In 1863, Yung Wing was dispatched to the United States by [[Zeng Guofan]] to buy machinery necessary for opening an arsenal in China capable of producing heavy weapons comparable with those of the western powers. The arsenal later became [[Jiangnan Shipyard]].
 
After finishing his studies, Yung returned to [[Qing Dynasty]] China and worked with western missionaries as an interpreter. He was thought perhaps the first Chinese person to almost entirely master the English language.<ref name=Andrews>{{cite book|last=Andrews|first=Stephen Pearl|title=Discoveries in Chinese|date=1854|place= New York|page=17}}</ref>
Yung Wing was naturalized as an American citizen on October 30, 1852, and in 1876, he married Mary Kellogg, an American. They had two children: Morrison Brown Yung and Bartlett Golden Yung. At Yale's centennial commencement in 1876, Yung Wing received an honorary Doctor of Laws.<ref>Schiff, Judith Ann, "When East Met West," old Yale, November/December 2004</ref>
 
 
==Republican activism==
In 1859, he accepted an invitation to the [[Taiping Heavenly Kingdom|court of the Taiping rebels]] in [[Nanjing]], but his proposals aimed at increasing the efficiency of the [[Taiping Heavenly Kingdom]] were all eventually refused. In 1863, Yung was dispatched to the United States by [[Zeng Guofan]] to buy machinery necessary for opening an arsenal in China capable of producing heavy weapons comparable with those of the western powers. The arsenal later became [[Jiangnan Shipyard]].
 
Yung Wing was naturalized as an American citizen on October 30, 1852, and in 1876, he married Mary Kellogg, an American. They had two children: Morrison Brown Yung and Bartlett Golden Yung. At Yale's centennial commencement in 1876, Yung Wing received an honorary Doctor of Laws.<ref>Schiff, Judith Ann, "When East Met West," old Yale, November/December 2004</ref>
 
[[File:Yung Wing Grave 2012 FRD 4735.jpg|thumb|right|150px|Yung Wing's family plot at [[Cedar Hill Cemetery (Hartford, Connecticut)|Cedar Hill Cemetery]].]]
He persuaded the Qing Dynasty government to send young Chinese to the United States to study Western [[science]] and [[engineering]]. With the government's eventual approval, he organized what came to be known as the [[Chinese Educational Mission]], which included 120 young Chinese students, to study in the [[New England]] region of the United States beginning in 1872. The Educational Mission was disbanded in 1881, but many of the students later returned to China and made significant contributions to China's civil services, engineering, and the sciences.
 
Yung Wing was a lifelong supporter of reform in China. He had followed the lead of the [[Guangxu Emperor]], whom Yung described as the great pioneer of reform in China.<ref name="My Life">Yung Wing, My Life in China and America, p.83, Henry Holt Co., New York, 1909</ref> The coup d'état of 1898 by the [[Empress Dowager Cixi]] aborted the reforms, and many of the reformers were decapitated.<ref name="My Life" /> A price of $70,000 was placed on Yung's head and he fled [[Shanghai]] to [[Hong Kong]].
 
While in Hong Kong, he applied to the US Consul to return to the US. In a 1902 letter from the [[US Secretary of State]] [[John Sherman (Ohio)|John Sherman]], Yung was informed that his US citizenship, which he had held for 50 years, had been revoked and he would not be allowed to return to the United States. Through the help of friends, he was able to sneak into the United States in time to see his youngest son, Bartlett, graduate from Yale.
After the [[Wuchang Uprising]] in the late fall of 1911, [[Sun Yat Sen]] wrote to Yung Wing requesting help to build the newly-founded [[Republic of China (1912–1949)|Republic of China]], however Yung was unable to go due to old age and illness. He requested his two sons to go in his place.<ref>{{cite book|title=Pioneers of Modern China: Understanding the Inscrutable Chinese|first=Khoon Choy|last= Lee}}</ref> Yung died but a few months later.
 
Yung Wing's grave is located at [[Cedar Hill Cemetery (Hartford, Connecticut)|Cedar Hill Cemetery]] outside Hartford, Connecticut.
 
P.S. 124, a public elementary school at 40 Division St. in Chinatown in [[New York City]], NY, is named after Yung Wing.
Yung Wing had been considered as a possible namesake for one of Yale University's new colleges to be completed in 2017.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2014/10/17/for-yung-college-2/|title=For Wing College| date=October 17, 2014|accessdate=2015-06-05 |author=Peter Perdue|publisher=[[Yale Daily News]]}}</ref>
 
== Notes ==
 
==Further reading==
* For a comparative perspective on Yung Wing's Sino-American Educational Mission of the 1870s and Prosper Giquel's Sino-European Educational Missions of the same period see Steven A. Leibo's The SINO-EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL MISSIONS 1875-86 ''Asia Profile'', vol. 16, no. 5 1988.
* Kaplan, Lawrence M. Homer Lea: American Soldier of Fortune. University Press of Kentucky, 2010. {{ISBN|978-0813126166}}.
* Yung Wing appears as a fictionalized character in Li Bo's ''Beyond the Heavenly Kingdom'' 2017 {{ISBN|1541232216}}
 
== External links ==
{{Portal|Asian Americans|Biography|China}}
* [http://www.ywproject.com The Yung Wing Project] contains the transcribed text of Yung Wing's memoir ''My Life in China and America''.
* [https://archive.org/details/mylifeinchinaand027665mbp ''My Life In China And America''] full text of Yung Wing's memoir at the [[Internet Archive]].
* [http://www.cemconnections.org/ CEM Connections] presents basic data and photos of the 120 students of the Chinese Educational Mission.
* [http://www.homerleasite.com/Site/Blog/287092F4-7B02-11DD-BE22-003065F3F514.html The Red Dragon Scheme ] reveals the last chapter of Yung Wing's life.
* [http://mssa.library.yale.edu/obituary_record/1859_1924/1911-12.pdf Yale Obituary Record]