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Title: My Life in China and America
Author: Wing, Yung
Language: English
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of Toronto - Robarts Library and the Online Distributed


               [Illustration: Portrait; Very truly yours

                              Yung Wing]



                           MY LIFE IN CHINA
                              AND AMERICA

                                  BY

                     YUNG WING, A.B., LL.D. (YALE)

          COMMISSIONER OF THE CHINESE EDUCATIONAL COMMISSION,
               ASSOCIATE CHINESE MINISTER IN WASHINGTON,
                     EXPECTANT TAO-TAI OF KIANG SU

                       [Illustration: colophon]

                               NEW YORK

                        HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY
                                 1909

                            COPYRIGHT, 1909

                                  BY

                        HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

                      _Published November, 1909._



                                  TO

                            MY DEVOTED SONS

                            MORRISON BROWN

                                  AND

                         BARTLETT GOLDEN YUNG

                          THESE REMINISCENCES

                     ARE AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED



PREFACE


The first five chapters of this book give an account of my early
education, previous to going to America, where it was continued, first
at Monson Academy, in Monson, Massachusetts, and later, at Yale College.

The sixth chapter begins with my reëntrance into the Chinese world,
after an absence of eight years. Would it not be strange, if an
Occidental education, continually exemplified by an Occidental
civilization, had not wrought upon an Oriental such a metamorphosis in
his inward nature as to make him feel and act as though he were a being
coming from a different world, when he confronted one so diametrically
different? This was precisely my case, and yet neither my patriotism nor
the love of my fellow-countrymen had been weakened. On the contrary,
they had increased in strength from sympathy. Hence, the succeeding
chapters of my book will be found to be devoted to the working out of my
educational scheme, as an expression of my undying love for China, and
as the most feasible method to my mind, of reformation and regeneration
for her.

With the sudden ending of the Educational Commission, and the recall of
the one hundred and twenty students who formed the vanguard of the
pioneers of modern education in China, my educational work was brought
to a close.

Of the survivors of these students of 1872, a few by dint of hard,
persistent industry, have at last come forth to stand in the front ranks
of the leading statesmen of China, and it is through them that the
original Chinese Educational Commission has been revived, though in a
modified form, so that now, Chinese students are seen flocking to
America and Europe from even the distant shores of Sinim for a
scientific education.

November, 1909,

16 Atwood St., Hartford, Conn.



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

I. BOYHOOD                                                             1

II. SCHOOL DAYS                                                       13

III. JOURNEY TO AMERICA AND FIRST EXPERIENCES THERE                   21

IV. AT MONSON ACADEMY                                                 27

V. MY COLLEGE DAYS                                                    34

VI. RETURN TO CHINA                                                   42

VII. EFFORT TO FIND A POSITION                                        58

VIII. EXPERIENCES IN BUSINESS                                         67

IX. MY FIRST TRIP TO THE TEA DISTRICTS                                79

X. MY VISIT TO THE TAIPINGS                                           96

XI. REFLECTIONS ON THE TAIPING REBELLION                             113

XII. EXPEDITION TO THE TAIPING TEA DISTRICT                          123

XIII. MY INTERVIEWS WITH TSANG KWOH FAN                              137

XIV. MY MISSION TO AMERICA TO BUY MACHINERY                          154

XV. MY SECOND RETURN TO CHINA                                        160

XVI. PROPOSAL OF MY EDUCATIONAL SCHEME                               170

XVII. THE CHINESE EDUCATIONAL MISSION                                180

XVIII. INVESTIGATION OF THE COOLIE TRAFFIC IN PERU                   191

XIX. END OF THE EDUCATIONAL MISSION                                  197

XX. JOURNEY TO PEKING AND DEATH MY WIFE                              216

XXI. MY RECALL TO CHINA                                              224

XXII. THE COUP D’ETAT OF 1898                                        239

APPENDIX                                                             247

INDEX                                                                275



MY LIFE IN CHINA AND AMERICA



CHAPTER I

BOYHOOD


I was born on the 17th of November, 1828, in the village of Nam Ping
(South Screen) which is about four miles southwest of the Portuguese
Colony of Macao, and is situated on Pedro Island lying west of Macao,
from which it is separated by a channel of half a mile wide.

I was one of a family of four children. A brother was the eldest, a
sister came next, I was the third, and another brother was the fourth
and the youngest of the group. I am the only survivor of them all.

As early as 1834, an English lady, Mrs. Gutzlaff, wife of the Rev.
Charles Gutzlaff, a missionary to China, came to Macao and, under the
auspices of the Ladies’ Association in London for the promotion of
female education in India and the East, immediately took up the work of
her mission by starting a girls’ school for Chinese girls, which was
soon followed by the opening of a school for boys also.

Mrs. Gutzlaff’s comprador or factotum happened to come from the village
I did and was, in fact, my father’s friend and neighbor. It was through
him that my parents heard about Mrs. Gutzlaff’s school and it was
doubtless through his influence and means that my father got me admitted
into the school. It has always been a mystery to me why my parents
should take it into their heads to put me into a foreign school, instead
of a regular orthodox Confucian school, where my brother much older than
myself was placed. Most assuredly such a step would have been more in
play with Chinese public sentiment, taste, and the wants of the country
at large, than to allow me to attend an English school; moreover, a
Chinese cult is the only avenue in China that leads to political
preferment, influence, power and wealth. I can only account for the
departure thus taken on the theory that as foreign intercourse with
China was just beginning to grow, my parents, anticipating that it might
soon assume the proportions of a tidal wave, thought it worth while to
take time by the forelock and put one of their sons to learning English
that he might become one of the advanced interpreters and have a more
advantageous position from which to make his way into the business and
diplomatic world. This I take to be the chief aim that influenced my
parents to put me into Mrs. Gutzlaff’s Mission School. As to what other
results or sequences it has eventually brought about in my subsequent
life, they were entirely left to Him who has control of all our devising
and planning, as they are governed by a complete system of divine laws
of antecedents and consequents, or of cause and effect.

In 1835, when I was barely seven years of age, my father took me to
Macao. Upon reaching the school, I was brought before Mrs. Gutzlaff. She
was the first English lady I had ever seen. On my untutored and
unsophisticated mind she made a deep impression. If my memory serves me
right, she was somewhat tall and well-built. She had prominent features
which were strong and assertive; her eyes were of clear blue lustre,
somewhat deep set. She had thin lips, supported by a square chin,--both
indicative of firmness and authority. She had flaxen hair and eyebrows
somewhat heavy. Her features taken collectively indicated great
determination and will power.

As she came forward to welcome me in her long and full flowing white
dress (the interview took place in the summer), surmounted by two large
globe sleeves which were fashionable at the time and which lent her an
exaggerated appearance, I remember most vividly I was no less puzzled
than stunned. I actually trembled all over with fear at her imposing
proportions--having never in my life seen such a peculiar and odd
fashion. I clung to my father in fear. Her kindly expression and
sympathetic smiles found little appreciative response at the outset, as
I stood half dazed at her personality and my new environment. For
really, a new world had dawned on me. After a time, when my homesickness
was over and the novelty of my surroundings began gradually to wear
away, she completely won me over through her kindness and sympathy. I
began to look upon her more like a mother. She seemed to take a special
interest in me; I suppose, because I was young and helpless, and away
from my parents, besides being the youngest pupil in the school. She
kept me among her girl pupils and did not allow me to mingle with what
few boys there were at the time.

There is one escapade that I can never forget! It happened during the
first year in the school, and was an attempt on my part to run away. I
was shut up in the third story of the house, which had a wide open
terrace on the top,--the only place where the girls and myself played
and found recreation. We were not allowed to go out of doors to play in
the streets. The boy pupils had their quarters on the ground floor and
had full liberty to go out for exercise. I used to envy them their
freedom and smuggled down stairs to mingle with them in their sports
after school hours. I felt ill at ease to be shut up with the girls all
alone way up in the third story. I wanted to see something of the
outside world. I occasionally stole down stairs and ventured out to the
wharves around which were clustered a number of small ferry boats which
had a peculiar fascination to my young fancy. To gain my freedom, I
planned to run away. The girls were all much older than I was, and a few
sympathized with me in my wild scheme; doubtless, from the same
restlessness of being too closely cooped up. I told them of my plan. Six
of the older ones fell in with me in the idea. I was to slip out of the
house alone, go down to the wharf and engage a covered boat to take us
all in.

The next morning after our morning meal, and while Mrs. Gutzlaff was
off taking her breakfast, we stole out unbeknown to any one and crowded
into the boat and started off in hot haste for the opposite shore of
Pedro Island. I was to take the whole party to my home and from there
the girls were to disperse to their respective villages. We were half
way across the channel when, to my great consternation, I saw a boat
chasing us, making fast time and gaining on us all the while. No promise
of additional pay was of any avail, because our two oars against their
four made it impossible for us to win out; so our boatmen gave up the
race at the waving of handkerchiefs in the other boat and the whole
party was captured. Then came the punishment. We were marched through
the whole school and placed in a row, standing on a long narrow school
table placed at one end of the school room facing all the pupils in
front of us. I was placed in the center of the row, with a tall foolscap
mounted on my head, having three girls on the right and three on the
left. I had pinned on my breast a large square placard bearing the
inscription, “Head of the Runaways;” there we stood for a whole hour
till school was dismissed. I never felt so humiliated in my life as I
did when I was undergoing that ordeal. I felt completely crestfallen.
Some of the mischievous fellows would extract a little fun out of this
display by taking furtive glances and making wry faces at us. Mrs.
Gutzlaff, in order to aggravate our punishment, had ordered ginger snaps
and oranges to be distributed among the other pupils right before us.

Mrs. Gutzlaff’s school, started in September, 1835, was originally for
girls only. Pending the organization and opening of the so-called
“Morrison Education Society School,” in the interval between 1835 and
1839, a department for boys was temporarily incorporated into her
school, and part of the subscription fund belonging to the M. E. S.
School was devoted to the maintenance of this one.

This accounts for my entrance into Mrs. Gutzlaff’s School, as one of
only two boys first admitted. Her school being thus enlarged and
modified temporarily, Mrs. Gutzlaff’s two nieces--the Misses Parkes,
sisters to Mr. Harry Parkes who was afterwards knighted, by reason of
the conspicuous part he played in the second Opium War, in 1864, of
which he was in fact the originator--came out to China as assistants in
the school. I was fortunately placed under their instruction for a short
time.

Afterwards the boys’ school under Mrs. Gutzlaff and her two nieces, the
Misses Parkes, was broken up; that event parted our ways in life in
divergent directions. Mrs. Gutzlaff went over to the United States with
three blind girls,--Laura, Lucy and Jessie. The Misses Parkes were
married to missionaries, one to Dr. William Lockhart, a medical
missionary; the other to a Rev. Mr. MacClatchy, also a missionary. They
labored long in China, under the auspices of the London Missionary
Society. The three blind girls whom Mrs. Gutzlaff took with her were
taught by me to read on raised letters till they could read from the
Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress.

On my return to my home village I resumed my Chinese studies.

In the fall of 1840, while the Opium War was still going on, my father
died, leaving four children on my mother’s hands without means of
support.

Fortunately, three of us were old enough to lend a helping hand. My
brother was engaged in fishing, my sister helped in housework, and I
took to hawking candy through my own village and the neighboring one. I
took hold of the business in good earnest, rising at three o’clock
every morning, and I did not come home until six o’clock in the
evening. My daily earnings netted twenty-five cents, which I turned over
to my mother, and with the help given by my brother, who was the main
stay of the family, we managed to keep the wolf away from our door. I
was engaged in hawking candy for about five months, and when winter was
over, when no candy was made, I changed my occupation and went into the
rice fields to glean rice after the reapers. My sister usually
accompanied me in such excursions. But unlike Ruth of old, I had no Boaz
to help me out when I was short in my gleaning. But my knowledge of
English came to my rescue. My sister told the head reaper that I could
speak, read and write English. This awakened the curiosity of the
reaper. He beckoned me to him and asked me whether I wouldn’t talk some
“Red Hair Men” talk to him. He said he never heard of such talk in his
life. I felt bashful and diffident at first, but my sister encouraged me
and said “the reaper may give you a large bundle of rice sheaf to take
home.” This was said as a kind of prompter. The reaper was shrewd enough
to take it up, and told me that if I would talk, he would give me a
bundle heavier than I could carry. So I began and repeated the alphabet
to him. All the reapers as well as the gleaners stood in vacant silence,
with mouths wide open, grinning with evident delight. A few minutes
after my maiden speech was delivered in the paddy field with water and
mud almost knee deep, I was rewarded with several sheaves, and I had to
hurry away in order to get two other boys to carry what my sister and I
could not lug. Thus I came home loaded with joy and sheaves of golden
rice to my mother, little dreaming that my smattering knowledge of
English would serve me such a turn so early in my career. I was then
about twelve years old. Even Ruth with her six measures of corn did not
fare any better than I did.

Soon after the gleaning days, all too few, were over, a neighbor of mine
who was a printer in the printing office of a Roman Catholic priest
happened to be home from Macao on a vacation. He spoke to my mother
about the priest wanting to hire a boy in his office who knew enough
English to read the numerals correctly, so as to be able to fold and
prepare the papers for the binders. My mother said I could do the work.
So I was introduced to the priest and a bargain was struck. I returned
home to report myself, and a few days later I was in Macao and entered
upon my duty as a folder on a salary of $4.50 a month. My board and
lodging came to $1.50--the balance of $3.00 was punctually sent to my
mother every month. I did not get rich quickly in this employment, for I
had been there but four months when a call for me to quit work came from
a quarter I least expected. It had more the sound of heaven in it. It
came from a Dr. Benjamin Hobson, a medical missionary in Macao whose
hospital was not more than a mile from the printer’s office. He sent
word that he wanted to see me; that he had been hunting for me for
months. I knew Dr. Hobson well, for I saw him a number of times at Mrs.
Gutzlaff’s. So I called on him. At the outset, I thought he was going to
take me in to make a doctor of me, but no, he said he had a promise to
fulfill. Mrs. Gutzlaff’s last message to him, before she embarked for
America with the three blind girls, was to be sure to find out where I
was and to put me into the Morrison Education Society School as soon as
it was opened for pupils.

“This is what I wanted to see you for,” said Dr. Hobson. “Before you
leave your employment and after you get the consent of your mother to
let you go to the Morrison School, I would like to have you come to the
hospital and stay with me for a short time so that I may become better
acquainted with you, before I take you to the Morrison School, which is
already opened for pupils, and introduce you to the teacher.”

At the end of the interview, I went home to see my mother who, after
some reluctance, gave her consent. I returned to Macao, bade farewell to
the priest who, though reticent and reserved, not having said a word to
me during all the four months I was in his employ, yet did not find
fault with me in my work. I went over to the hospital. Dr. Hobson
immediately set me to work with the mortar and pestle, preparing
materials for ointments and pills. I used to carry a tray and accompany
him in his rounds to visit the patients, in the benevolent work of
alleviating their pains and sufferings. I was with him about a couple of
months in the hospital work, at the end of which time he took me one day
and introduced me to the Rev. Samuel Robins Brown, the teacher of the
Morrison Education Society School.



CHAPTER II

SCHOOL DAYS


The Morrison School was opened on the 1st of November, 1839, under the
charge of the Rev. S. R. Brown who, with his wife, Mrs. Brown, landed at
Macao on the 19th of February, 1839. Brown, who was afterwards made a
D.D., was a graduate of Yale of the class of 1832. From his antecedents,
he was eminently fitted to pioneer the first English school in China. I
entered the school in 1841. I found that five other boys had entered
ahead of me by one year. They were all studying primary arithmetic,
geography, and reading. I had the start of them only in reading and
pronouncing English well. We studied English in the forenoon, and
Chinese in the afternoon. The names of the five boys were: 1. Wong
Shing; 2. Li Kan; 3. Chow Wan; 4. Tong Chik; 5. Wong Foon. I made the
sixth one and was the youngest of all. We formed the first class of the
school, and became Brown’s oldest pupils throughout, from first to last,
till he left China in December, 1846, on account of poor health. Half of
our original number accompanied him to this country, on his return.

The Morrison Education Society School came about in this way: Not long
after the death of Dr. Robert Morrison, which occurred on the 1st of
August, 1834, a circular was issued among the foreign residents on the
26th of January, 1835, calling for the formation of an Association to be
named the “Morrison Education Society.” Its object was to “improve and
promote English education in China by schools and other means.” It was
called “Morrison” to commemorate the labors and works of that
distinguished man who was sent out by the London Missionary Society as
the first missionary to China in 1807. He crossed the Atlantic from
London to New York where he embarked for China in the sailing vessel
“Trident” on the 31st of January, 1807. He tried to land in Macao, but
the jealousy of the Jesuits thwarted his purpose. He was obliged to go
up to Canton. Finally, on account of the unsettled relations between the
Chinese government and the foreign merchants there, he repaired to
Malacca, and made that place the basis of his labors. He was the author
of the first Anglo-Chinese dictionary, of three quarto volumes. He
translated the Bible into Chinese; Leang Afah was his first Chinese
convert and trained by him to preach. Leang afterwards became a powerful
preacher. The importance and bearing of his dictionary and the
translation of the Bible into Chinese, on subsequent missionary work in
China, were fundamental and paramount. The preaching of his convert,
Leang Afah, likewise contributed in no small degree towards opening up a
new era in the religious life of China. His memory, therefore, is worthy
of being kept alive by the establishment of a school named after him.
Indeed, a university ought to have been permanently founded for that
purpose instead of a school, whose existence was solely dependent upon
the precarious and ephemeral subscriptions of transient foreign
merchants in China.

At the close of the Opium War in 1840, and after the Island of Hong Kong
had been ceded to the British government, the Morrison school was
removed to Hong Kong in 1842. The site chosen for it was on the top of a
hill about six hundred feet above the level of the sea. The hill is
situated on the eastern end of Victoria Colony and was called “Morrison
Hill” after the name of the school. It commands a fine view of the
harbor, as that stretches from east to west. The harbor alone made Hong
Kong the most coveted concession in Southern China. It is spacious and
deep enough to hold the Navy of Great Britain, and it is that
distinguishing feature and its strategic location that have made it what
it is.

On the 12th of March, 1845, Mr. Wm. Allen Macy arrived in Hong Kong as
an assistant teacher in the school. His arrival was timely, because the
school, since its removal from Macao to Hong Kong, had been much
enlarged. Three more classes of new pupils had been formed and the total
number of pupils all told was more than forty. This was more than one
man could manage. The assistant teacher was much needed. Brown continued
his work in the school till the fall of 1846. Macy had a whole year in
which to be broken into the work.

Between Brown and Macy there was a marked difference in temperament and
character. Brown, on the one hand, showed evidences of a self-made man.
He was cool in temperament, versatile in the adaptation of means to
ends, gentlemanly and agreeable, and somewhat optimistic. He found no
difficulty in endearing himself to his pupils, because he sympathized
with them in their efforts to master their studies, and entered heart
and soul into his work. He had an innate faculty of making things clear
to the pupils and conveying to them his understanding of a subject
without circumlocution, and with great directness and facility. This was
owing in a great measure to his experience as a pedagogue, before coming
out to China, and even before he entered college. He knew how to manage
boys, because he knew boys’ nature well, whether Chinese, Japanese or
American. He impressed his pupils as being a fine teacher and one
eminently fitted from inborn tact and temperament to be a successful
school master, as he proved himself to be in his subsequent career in
Auburn, N. Y., and in Japan.

Macy, the assistant teacher, was likewise a Yale man. He had never
taught school before in his life, and had no occasion to do so. He
possessed no previous experience to guide him in his new work of
pedagogy in China. He was evidently well brought up and was a man of
sensitive nature, and of fine moral sensibilities,--a soul full of
earnestness and lofty ideals.

After the Morrison School was broken up in 1850, he returned to this
country with his mother and took up theology in the Yale Theological
Seminary. In 1854, he went back to China as a missionary under the
American Board. I had graduated from Yale College then and was
returning to China with him. We were the only passengers in that long,
wearisome and most trying passage of 154 days from Sandy Hook to Hong
Kong.

Brown left China in the winter of 1846. Four months before he left, he
one day sprang a surprise upon the whole school. He told of his
contemplated return to America on account of his health and the health
of his family. Before closing his remarks by telling us of his deep
interest in the school, he said he would like to take a few of his old
pupils home with him to finish their education in the United States, and
that those who wished to accompany him would signify it by rising. This
announcement, together with his decision to return to America, cast a
deep gloom over the whole school. A dead silence came over all of us.
And then for several days afterwards the burden of our conversation was
about Brown’s leaving the school for good. The only cheerful ones among
us were those who had decided to accompany him home. These were Wong
Shing, Wong Foon and myself. When he requested those who wished to
accompany him to the States to signify it by rising, I was the first one
on my feet. Wong Foon was the second, followed by Wong Shing. But
before regarding our cases as permanently settled, we were told to go
home and ask the consent of our respective parents. My mother gave her
consent with great reluctance, but after my earnest persuasion she
yielded, though not without tears and sorrow. I consoled her with the
fact that she had two more sons besides myself, and a daughter to look
after her comfort. Besides, she was going to have a daughter-in-law to
take care of her, as my elder brother was engaged to be married.

It may not be out of place to say that if it had depended on our own
resources, we never could have come to America to finish our education,
for we were all poor. Doubtless Brown must have had the project well
discussed among the trustees of the school months before he broached the
subject to his pupils.

It was also through his influence that due provision was made for the
support of our parents for at least two years, during our absence in
America. Our patrons who bore all our expenses did not intend that we
should stay in this country longer than two years. They treated us
nobly. They did a great work for us. Among those who bore a conspicuous
part in defraying our expenses while in America, besides providing for
the support of our aged parents, I can recall the names of Andrew
Shortrede, proprietor and editor of the “Hong Kong China Mail” (he was a
Scotchman, an old bachelor, and a noble and handsome specimen of
humanity), A. A. Ritchie, an American merchant, and A. A. Campbell,
another Scotchman. There were others unknown to me. The Olyphant Sons,
David, Talbot and Robert, three brothers, leading merchants of New York,
gave us a free passage from Hong Kong to New York in their sailing
vessel, the “Huntress,” which brought a cargo of tea at the same time.
Though late in the day for me to mention the names of these benefactors
who from pure motives of Christian philanthropy aided me in my
education, yet it may be a source of satisfaction to their descendants,
if there are any living in different parts of the world, to know that
their sires took a prominent part in the education of the three Chinese
youths,--Wong Shing, Wong Foon and myself.



CHAPTER III

JOURNEY TO AMERICA AND FIRST EXPERIENCES THERE


Being thus generously provided for, we embarked at Whompoa on the 4th of
January, 1847, in the good ship “Huntress” under Captain Gillespie. As
stated above, she belonged to the Olyphant Brothers and was loaded with
a full cargo of tea. We had the northeast trade wind in our favor, which
blew strong and steady all the way from Whompoa to St. Helena. There was
no accident of any kind, excepting a gale as we doubled the Cape of Good
Hope. The tops of the masts and ends of the yards were tipped with balls
of electricity. The strong wind was howling and whistling behind us like
a host of invisible Furies. The night was pitch dark and the electric
balls dancing on the tips of the yards and tops of the masts, back and
forth and from side to side like so many infernal lanterns in the black
night, presented a spectacle never to be forgotten by me. I realized no
danger, although the ship pitched and groaned, but enjoyed the wild and
weird scene hugely. After the Cape was doubled, our vessel ploughed
through the comparatively smooth waters of the Atlantic until we reached
the Island of St. Helena where we were obliged to stop for fresh water
and provisions. Most sailing vessels that were bound from the East for
the Atlantic board were accustomed to make St. Helena their stopping
place. St. Helena, as viewed from the shipboard, presented an outward
appearance of a barren volcanic rock, as though freshly emerged from the
baptism of fire and brimstone. Not a blade of grass could be seen on its
burnt and charred surface. We landed at Jamestown, which is a small
village in the valley of the Island. In this valley there was rich and
beautiful vegetation. We found among the sparse inhabitants a few
Chinese who were brought there by the East India Company’s ships. They
were middle-aged people, and had their families there. While there, we
went over to Longwood where was Napoleon’s empty tomb. A large weeping
willow hung and swept over it. We cut a few twigs, and kept them alive
till we reached this country and they were brought to Auburn, N. Y., by
Mr. Brown, who planted them near his residence when he was teaching in
the Auburn Academy for several years before his departure for Japan.
These willows proved to be fine, handsome trees when I visited Auburn in
1854.

From St. Helena we took a northwesterly course and struck the Gulf
Stream, which, with the wind still fair and favorable, carried us to New
York in a short time. We landed in New York on the 12th of April, 1847,
after a passage of ninety-eight days of unprecedented fair weather. The
New York of 1847 was altogether a different city from the New York of
1909. It was a city of only 250,000 or 300,000 inhabitants; now it is a
metropolis rivaling London in population, wealth and commerce. The whole
of Manhattan Island is turned into a city of skyscrapers, churches and
palatial residences.

Little did I realize when in 1845 I wrote, while in the Morrison School,
a composition on “An Imaginary Voyage to New York and up the Hudson,”
that I was to see New York in reality. This incident leads me to the
reflection that sometimes our imagination foreshadows what lies
uppermost in our minds and brings possibilities within the sphere of
realities. The Chinese Education Scheme is another example of the
realities that came out of my day dreams a year before I graduated. So
was my marrying an American wife. Still there are other day dreams yet
to be realized; whether or no they will ever come to pass the future
will determine.

Our stay in New York was brief. The first friends we had the good
fortune to make in the new world, were Prof. David E. Bartlett and his
wife. He was a professor in the New York Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb,
and was afterwards connected with a like institution in Hartford. The
Professor died in 1879. His wife, Mrs. Fanny P. Bartlett, survived him
for nearly thirty years and passed away in the spring of 1907. She was a
woman highly respected and beloved for her high Christian character and
unceasing activities for good in the community in which she lived. Her
influence was even extended to China by the few students who happened to
enjoy her care and instruction. I count her as one of my most valued
friends in America.

From New York we proceeded by boat to New Haven where we had an
opportunity to see Yale College and were introduced to President Day. I
had not then the remotest idea of becoming a graduate of one of the
finest colleges of the country, as I did a few years afterwards. We went
by rail from New Haven to Warehouse Point and from there to East
Windsor, the home of Mrs. Elizabeth Brown, wife of Dr. Brown. Her
parents were then living. Her father, the Rev. Shubael Bartlett, was the
pastor of the East Windsor Congregational Church. I well remember the
first Sabbath we attended his church. We three Chinese boys sat in the
pastor’s pew which was on the left of the pulpit, having a side view of
the minister, but in full view of the whole congregation. We were the
cynosure of the whole church. I doubt whether much attention was paid to
the sermon that day.

The Rev. Shubael Bartlett was a genuine type of the old New England
Puritan. He was exact and precise in all his manners and ways. He spoke
in a deliberate and solemn tone, but full of sincerity and earnestness.
He conducted himself as though he was treading on thin ice, cautiously
and circumspectly. One would suppose from his appearance that he was
austere and exacting, but he was gentle and thoughtful. He would have
his family Bible and hymn book placed one on top of the other, squared
and in straight lines, on the same spot on the table every morning for
morning prayers. He always sat in the same spot for morning prayers. In
other words, you always knew where to find him. His habits and daily
life were as regular as clock work. I never heard him crack a joke or
burst out in open laughter.

Mrs. Bartlett, Mrs. Brown’s mother, was of a different makeup. She was
always cheerful. A smile lighted up her features nearly all the time and
for everyone she had a kind and cheerful word, while the sweet tone of
her voice always carried with it cheerfulness and good will. Her genial
temperament and her hospitality made the parsonage a favorite resort to
all the friends and relatives of the family, who were quite numerous. It
was always a puzzle to me how the old lady managed to make ends meet
when her husband’s salary was not over $400 a year. To be sure, the farm
annually realized something, but Daniel, the youngest son, who was the
staff of the old couple, had to work hard to keep up the prestige of the
parsonage. It was in this parsonage that I found a temporary home while
at school in Monson, and also in Yale.



CHAPTER IV

AT MONSON ACADEMY


We were in East Windsor for about a week; then we went up to Monson,
Mass., to enter the Academy there. Monson Academy was, at one time,
quite a noted preparatory school in New England, before high schools
sprang into existence. Young men from all parts of the country were
found here, undergoing preparation for colleges. It was its fortune, at
different periods of its history, to have had men of character and
experience for its principals. The Rev. Charles Hammond was one of them.
He was in every sense a self-made man. He was a graduate of Yale; he was
enthusiastically fond of the classics, and a great admirer of English
literature. He was a man of liberal views and broad sympathies. He was
well-known in New England as an educator and a champion of temperance
and New England virtues. His high character gave the Academy a wide
reputation and the school was never in a more prosperous condition than
when he was principal. He took a special interest in us, the three
Chinese students--Wong Shing, Wong Foon and myself--not so much from the
novelty of having Chinese in the school as from his interest in China,
and the possible good that might come out of our education.

In our first year in the Academy, we were placed in the English
department. Greenleaf’s Arithmetic, English Grammar, Physiology, and
Upham’s Mental Philosophy were our studies. In the last two studies we
recited to the new preceptress, Miss Rebekah Brown, a graduate of Mt.
Holyoke, the valedictorian of her class. She afterwards became the wife
of Doctor A. S. McClean, of Springfield, Mass. She was a fine teacher
and a woman of exceptional Christian virtues. She had an even and sweet
temper, and was full of good will and good works. She and her husband,
the good Doctor, took a genuine interest in me; they gave me a home
during some of my college vacations, and helped me in various ways in my
struggle through Yale. I kept up my correspondence with them after my
return to China, and upon my coming back to this country, I was always
cordially invited to their home in Springfield. It was on account of
such a genuine friendship that I made Springfield my headquarters in
1872, when I brought the first installment of Government students to
this country.

Brown placed us under the care of his mother, Mrs. Phoebe H. Brown. We
boarded with her, but had a separate room assigned us in a dwelling
right across the road, opposite to her cottage. Her widowed daughter
with her three boys had taken up all the spare rooms in the cottage,
which accounts for the want of accommodation for us.

In those primitive days, board and lodging in the country were very
reasonable. Indigent students had a fair chance to work their way for an
education. I remember we paid for board and lodging, including fuel,
light and washing, only $1.25 a week for each, but we had to take care
of our own rooms and, in the winter, saw and split our own wood, which
we found to be capital exercise.

Our lodging was about half a mile from the academy. We had to walk three
times a day to school and back, in the dead of winter when the snow was
three feet deep; that gave us plenty of exercise, keen appetites and
kept us in fine condition.

I look back upon my acquaintance with Mrs. Phoebe H. Brown with a
mingled feeling of respect and admiration. She certainly was a
remarkable New England woman--a woman of surpassing strength of moral
and religious character. Those who have had the rare privilege of
reading her stirring biography, will, I am sure, bear me out in this
statement. She went through the crucible of unprecedented adversities
and trials of life and came out one of the rare shining lights that
beautify the New England sky. She is the authoress of the well-known
hymn, “I love to steal awhile away from every cumbering care,” etc.,
which breathes the calm spirit of contentment and resignation wherever
sung.

The Rev. Charles Hammond, the principal of the academy when we joined
it, was a graduate of Yale, as I stated before, and a man of a fine
cultivated taste. He was an enthusiastic admirer of Shakespeare, who was
his favorite poet; among orators, he was partial to Daniel Webster. He
had the faculty of inspiring his pupils with the love of the beautiful,
both in ancient and modern literature. In our daily recitations, he laid
a greater stress on pointing out the beauties of a sentence and its
construction, than he did on grammatical rules, moods and tenses. He
was a fine writer. His addresses and sermons were pointed and full of
life. Like Dr. Arnold of Rugby, he aimed to build character in his
pupils and not to convert them into walking encyclopedias, or
intelligent parrots. It was through him that I was introduced to
Addison, Goldsmith, Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, the Edinburgh Reviews,
Macaulay and Shakespeare, which formed the bulk of my reading while in
Monson.

During my first year in the Monson Academy, I had no idea of taking a
collegiate course. It was well understood that I was to return to China
at the end of 1849, and the appropriation was made to suit such a plan.
In the fall of 1848, after Wong Shing--the eldest of the three of
us--had returned to China on account of his poor health, Wong Foon and
myself, who were left behind to continue our studies for another year,
frequently met to talk over future plans for the end of the prescribed
time. We both decided finally to stay in this country to continue our
studies, but the question arose, who was going to back us financially
after 1849? This was the Gordian Knot. We concluded to consult Mr.
Hammond and Mr. Brown on the subject. They both decided to have the
matter referred to our patrons in Hong Kong. Reply came that if we
wished to prosecute our studies after 1849, they would be willing to
continue their support through a professional course, if we were willing
to go over to Scotland to go through the University of Edinburgh. This
was a generous and noble-hearted proposal.

Wong Foon, on his part, after much deliberation, decided to accept the
offer and go over to Scotland at the end of 1849, while, on my part, I
preferred to remain in this country to continue my studies here with the
view of going to Yale. Wong Foon’s decision had relieved him of all
financial anxieties, while the problem of how I was to pay my education
bills after 1849, still remained to be solved. But I did not allow the
perplexities of the future to disturb my peace of mind. I threw all my
anxieties to the wind, trusting to a wise Providence to care for my
future, as it had done for my past.

Wong Foon and I, having taken our decisive steps, dropped our English
studies at the close of the school year of 1849, and in the fall of the
same year we began the A B C’s of our classical course. In the summer of
1850, we graduated from the academy. Wong Foon, by previous
arrangements, went over to Scotland and entered the University of
Edinburgh. I remained in this country and finally entered Yale. It was
fully a decade since we had met for the first time in the Morrison
School in Macao, in 1840, to become school-mates as well as class-mates.
Now that link was broken.

Wong was in the University seven years. After completing his
professional studies as a doctor, he returned to China in 1857. He was a
fine scholar. He graduated the third man in his medical class. He also
distinguished himself in his profession. His ability and skill secured
for him an enviable reputation as one of the ablest surgeons east of the
Cape of Good Hope at that time. He had a fine practice in Canton, where
the foreign residents retained him as their physician in preference to
European doctors. He was very successful and made quite a fortune before
his death, which took place in 1879. Both the native and foreign
communities felt his loss. He was highly respected and honored by
Chinese and foreigners for his Christian character and the purity of his
life.



CHAPTER V

MY COLLEGE DAYS


Before entering Yale, I had not solved the problem of how I was to be
carried through the collegiate course without financial backing of a
definite and well-assured character. It was an easy matter to talk about
getting an education by working for it, and there is a kind of romance
in it that captivates the imagination, but it is altogether a different
thing to face it in a business and practical way. So it proved to me,
after I had put my foot into it. I had no one except Brown, who had
already done so much for me in bringing me to this country, and Hammond,
who fitted me for college. To them I appealed for advice and counsel. I
was advised to avail myself of the contingent fund provided for indigent
students. It was in the hands of the trustees of the academy and so well
guarded that it could not be appropriated without the recipient’s
signing a written pledge that he would study for the ministry and
afterwards become a missionary. Such being the case, I made up my mind
that it would be utterly useless for me to apply for the fund. However,
a day was appointed for me to meet the trustees in the parsonage, to
talk over the subject. They said they would be too glad to have me avail
myself of the fund, provided I was willing to sign a pledge that after
graduation I should go back to China as a missionary. I gave the
trustees to understand that I would never give such a pledge for the
following reasons: First, it would handicap and circumscribe my
usefulness. I wanted the utmost freedom of action to avail myself of
every opportunity to do the greatest good in China. If necessary, I
might be obliged to create new conditions, if I found old ones were not
favorable to any plan I might have for promoting her highest welfare.

In the second place, the calling of a missionary is not the only sphere
in life where one can do the most good in China or elsewhere. In such a
vast empire, there can be hardly any limit put upon one’s ambition to do
good, if one is possessed of the Christ-spirit; on the other hand, if
one has not such a spirit, no pledge in the world could melt his
ice-bound soul.

In the third place, a pledge of that character would prevent me from
taking advantage of any circumstance or event that might arise in the
life of a nation like China, to do her a great service.

“For these reasons,” I said, “I must decline to give the pledge and at
the same time decline to accept your kind offer to help me. I thank you,
gentlemen, very much, for your good wishes.”

Both Brown and Hammond afterwards agreed that I took the right view on
the subject and sustained me in my position. To be sure, I was poor, but
I would not allow my poverty to gain the upper hand and compel me to
barter away my inward convictions of duty for a temporary mess of
pottage.

During the summer of 1850, it seems that Brown who had been making a
visit in the South to see his sister, while there had occasion to call
on some of the members of “The Ladies’ Association” in Savannah, Ga., to
whom he mentioned my case. He returned home in the nick of time, just
after I had the interview with the board of trustees of the academy. I
told him of the outcome, when, as stated above, he approved of my
position, and told me what he had done. He said that the members of the
association agreed to help me in college. On the strength of that I
gathered fresh courage, and went down to New Haven to pass my
examination for entrance. How I got in, I do not know, as I had had only
fifteen months of Latin and twelve months of Greek, and ten months of
mathematics. My preparation had been interrupted because the academy had
been broken up by the Palmer & New London R.R. that was being built
close by. As compared with the college preparations of nine-tenths of my
class-mates, I was far behind. However, I passed without condition. But
I was convinced I was not sufficiently prepared, as my recitations in
the class-room clearly proved. Between the struggle of how to make ends
meet financially and how to keep up with the class in my studies, I had
a pretty tough time of it. I used to sweat over my studies till twelve
o’clock every night the whole Freshman year. I took little or no
exercise and my health and strength began to fail and I was obliged to
ask for a leave of absence of a week. I went to East Windsor to get
rested and came back refreshed.

In the Sophomore year, from my utter aversion to mathematics, especially
to differential and integral calculus, which I abhorred and detested,
and which did me little or no good in the way of mental discipline, I
used to fizzle and flunk so often that I really thought I was going to
be dropped from the class, or dismissed from college. But for some
unexplained reasons I was saved from such a catastrophe, and I squeezed
through the second year in college with so low a mark that I was afraid
to ask my division tutor, who happened to be Tutor Blodget, who had me
in Greek, about it. The only redeeming feature that saved me as a
student in the class of 1854, was the fortunate circumstance that I
happened to be a successful competitor on two occasions in English
composition in my division. I was awarded the first prize in the second
term, and the first prize in the third term of the year. These prizes
gave me quite an éclat in the college as well as in the outside world,
but I was not at all elated over them on account of my poor scholarship
which I felt keenly through the whole college course.

Before the close of my second year, I succeeded in securing the
stewardship of a boarding club consisting of sophomores and juniors.
There were altogether twenty members. I did all the marketing and served
at the table. In this way, I earned my board through the latter half of
my college course. In money matters, I was supplied with remittances
from “The Ladies’ Association” in Savannah, and also contributions from
the Olyphant Brothers of New York. In addition to these sources of
supply, I was paid for being an assistant librarian to the “Brothers in
Unity,” which was one of the two college debating societies that owned a
library, and of which I was a member.

In my senior year I was again elected librarian to the same Society and
got $30.00. These combined sums were large enough to meet all my cash
bills, since my wants had to be finely trimmed to suit the cloth. If
most of the country parsons of that period could get along with a salary
of $200 or $300 a year (supplemented, of course, with an annual donation
party, which sometimes carried away more than it donated), having as a
general thing a large family to look after, I certainly ought to have
been able to get through college with gifts of nearly a like amount,
supplemented with donations of shirts and stockings from ladies who took
an interest in my education.

The class of 1854, to which I had the honor and the good fortune to
belong, graduated ninety-eight all told. Being the first Chinaman who
had ever been known to go through a first-class American college, I
naturally attracted considerable attention; and from the fact that I was
librarian for one of the college debating societies (Linonia was the
other) for two years, I was known by members of the three classes above,
and members of the three classes below me. This fact had contributed
toward familiarizing me with the college world at large, and my
nationality, of course, added piquancy to my popularity.

As an undergraduate, I had already acquired a factitious reputation
within the walls of Yale. But that was ephemeral and soon passed out of
existence after graduation.

All through my college course, especially in the closing year, the
lamentable condition of China was before my mind constantly and weighed
on my spirits. In my despondency, I often wished I had never been
educated, as education had unmistakably enlarged my mental and moral
horizon, and revealed to me responsibilities which the sealed eye of
ignorance can never see, and sufferings and wrongs of humanity to which
an uncultivated and callous nature can never be made sensitive. The more
one knows, the more he suffers and is consequently less happy; the less
one knows, the less he suffers, and hence is more happy. But this is a
low view of life, a cowardly feeling and unworthy of a being bearing the
impress of divinity. I had started out to get an education. By dint of
hard work and self-denial I had finally secured the coveted prize and
although it might not be so complete and symmetrical a thing as could be
desired, yet I had come right up to the conventional standard and idea
of a liberal education. I could, therefore, call myself an educated man
and, as such, it behooved me to ask, “What am I going to do with my
education?” Before the close of my last year in college I had already
sketched out what I should do. I was determined that the rising
generation of China should enjoy the same educational advantages that I
had enjoyed; that through western education China might be regenerated,
become enlightened and powerful. To accomplish that object became the
guiding star of my ambition. Towards such a goal, I directed all my
mental resources and energy. Through thick and thin, and the
vicissitudes of a checkered life from 1854 to 1872, I labored and waited
for its consummation.



CHAPTER VI

RETURN TO CHINA


In entering upon my life’s work which to me was so full of meaning and
earnestness, the first episode was a voyage back to the old country,
which I had not seen for nearly ten years, but which had never escaped
my mind’s eye nor my heart’s yearning for her welfare. I wanted very
much to stay a few years longer in order to take a scientific course. I
had taken up surveying in the Sheffield Scientific School just as that
department was starting into existence under Professor Norton. Had I had
the means to prosecute a practical profession, that might have helped to
shorten and facilitate the way to the goal I had in view; but as I was
poor and my friends thought that a longer stay in this country might
keep me here for good, and China would lose me altogether, I was for
this and other reasons induced to return. The scientific course was
accordingly abandoned. The persons who were most interested in my return
to China were Pelatiah Perit of Messrs. Goodhue & Co., merchants in the
China trade, and the Olyphant Brothers, who had taken such a lively
interest eight years before in helping me to come over in their ship,
the “Huntress.” These gentlemen had no other motive in desiring me to
return to China than that of hoping to see me useful in Christianizing
the Chinese, which was in harmony with their well-known broad and
benevolent characters.

On the 13th of November, 1854, the Rev. William Allen Macy, who went out
to Hong Kong to take the place of the Rev. Dr. Brown, as teacher in the
Morrison Education Society School in 1845, went back to China as a
missionary under the American Board, and we were fellow-passengers on
board the sailing clipper ship “Eureka,” under Captain Whipple, of
Messrs. Chamber, Heisser & Co., of New York.

Winter is the worst season of the year to go on an eastern voyage in a
sailing vessel, via the Cape of Good Hope. The northeast trade winds
prevail then and one is sure to have head winds all the way. The
“Eureka,” in which Macy and myself were the only passengers, took that
route to Hong Kong. We embarked on board of her as she rode in midstream
of the East River. The day was bleak and bitingly cold. No
handkerchiefs were fluttering in the air, waving a good voyage; no
sound from the shore cheered us as the anchor was weighed, and as the
tug towed us out as far as Sandy Hook. There we were left to our own
resources. The sails were not furled to their full extent, but were
reefed for tacking, as the wind was nearly dead ahead and quite strong.
We found the “Eureka” to be empty of cargo, and empty even of ballast of
any kind; for that reason she acted like a sailor who had just had his
nip before he went out to sea. She tossed up and down and twisted from
right to left, just as though she had a little too much to keep her
balance. It was in such a fashion that she reeled her way from Sandy
Hook to Hong Kong--a distance of nearly 13,000 nautical miles, which
took her 154 days to accomplish. It was decidedly the most uninteresting
and wearisome voyage I ever took in my life. The skipper was a
Philadelphian. He had the unfortunate habit of stuttering badly, which
tended to irritate a temper naturally quick and fiery. He was certainly
a ludicrous object to look at. It was particularly in the morning that
he might be seen pacing the quarter deck, scanning the sky. This, by the
spectator, was deemed necessary for the skipper to work himself up to
the right pitch, preliminary to his pantomimic performances in his
battle with the head wind. All at once, he halted, stared at the quarter
of the sky from whence the malicious head wind came. With a face all
bloated and reddened by intense excitement, his eyes almost standing out
of their sockets, and all ablaze with uncontrollable rage, with arms
uplifted, he would clutch his hair as if plucking it out by the roots,
gnash his teeth, and simultaneously he would jump up and down, stamping
on the deck, and swear at the Almighty for sending him head winds. The
air for the moment was split with his revolting imprecations and
blasphemous oaths that were ejaculated through the laborious process of
stammering and stuttering, which made him a most pitiable object to
behold. In the early part of the voyage it was a painful sight to see
him working himself up to that pitch of contortion and paroxysm of rage
which made him appear more like an insane than a sane man, but as these
exhibitions were of daily occurrence for the greater part of the voyage,
we came to regard him as no longer deserving of sympathy and pity, but
rather with contempt. After his passion had spent its force, and he
subsided into his calmer and normal mood, he would drop limply into a
cane chair, where he would sit for hours all by himself. For the sake of
diversion, he would rub his hands together, and soliloquize quietly to
himself, an occasional smile breaking over his face, which made him look
like an innocent idiot. Before the voyage was half through, the skipper
had made such a fool of himself through his silly and insane conduct
about the wind, that he became the laughing stock of the whole crew,
who, of course, did not dare to show any outward signs of
insubordination. The sailing of the vessel was entirely in the hands of
the first mate, who was literally a sea-tyrant. The crew was composed of
Swedes and Norwegians. If it had been made up of Americans, the inhuman
treatment by the officers might have driven them to desperate
extremities, because the men were over-worked night and day in incessant
tacking. The only time that they found a resting spell was when the ship
was becalmed in the tropics when not a breath of wind was to be had for
several days at a time. Referring to my diary kept in that memorable
voyage,--it took us nearly two weeks to beat up the Macassar straits.
This event tried our patience sorely. After it was passed, the skipper
made the remark within the hearing of the Rev. Macy that the reason he
had bad luck was because he had a Jonah on board. My friend Macy took
the remark in a good-natured way and gave me a significant smile. We
were just then discussing the feat of going through the Macassar straits
and I remarked in a tone just loud enough to be heard by the old skipper
that if I had charge of the vessel, I could take her through in less
than ten days. This was meant as a direct reflection on the poor
seamanship of the old fellow (for he really was a miserable sailor), as
well as to serve as a retaliation for what he said a few minutes before,
that there was a Jonah on board.

In the dead of winter, the passage to the East should have been taken
around Cape Horn instead of the Cape of Good Hope, in which case we
would no doubt have had strong and fair wind all the way from New York
to Hong Kong, which would not only have shortened the voyage but also
saved the captain a world of swearing and an incalculable amount of wear
and tear on his nervous system. But as a passenger only, I had no idea
of the financial motive back of the move to send the ship off perfectly
empty and unballasted, right in the teeth of the northeast monsoon. I
would have been glad to go around Cape Horn, as that would have added a
new route to my journeying around the world, and furnished me with new
incidents as well.

As we approached Hong Kong, a Chinese pilot boarded us. The captain
wanted me to ask him whether there were any dangerous rocks and shoals
nearby. I could not for the life of me recall my Chinese in order to
interpret for him; the pilot himself understood English, and he was the
first Chinese teacher to give me the terms in Chinese for dangerous
rocks and shoals. So the skipper and Macy, and a few other persons who
were present at the time, had the laugh on me, who, being a Chinese, yet
was not able to speak the language.

My first thought upon landing was to walk up to the office of the “China
Mail,” to pay my respects to Andrew Shortrede, the proprietor and editor
of the paper, and the friend who supported me for over a year, while I
was in Monson Academy. After seeing him and accepting his hospitality by
way of an invitation to take up my quarters in his house, I lost no time
in hastening over to Macao to see my aged and beloved mother, who, I
knew, yearned to see her long-absent boy. Our meeting was arranged a day
beforehand. I was in citizen’s dress and could not conveniently change
the same for my Chinese costume. I had also allowed a pair of mustaches
to grow, which, according to Chinese custom, was not becoming for an
unmarried young man to do. We met with tears of joy, gratitude and
thanksgiving. Our hearts were too full even to speak at first. We gave
way to our emotions. As soon as we were fairly composed, she began to
stroke me all over, as expressive of her maternal endearment which had
been held in patient suspense for at least ten years. As we sat close to
each other, I gave her a brief recital of my life in America, for I knew
she would be deeply interested in the account. I told her that I had
just finished a long and wearisome voyage of five months’ duration, but
had met with no danger of any kind; that during my eight years of
sojourn in the United States, I was very kindly treated by the good
people everywhere; that I had had good health and never been seriously
sick, and that my chief object during the eight years was to study and
prepare myself for my life work in China. I explained to her that I had
to go through a preparatory school before entering college; that the
college I entered was Yale--one of the leading colleges of the United
States, and that the course was four years, which accounted for my long
stay and delayed my return to China. I told her that at the end of four
years I had graduated with the degree of A.B.,--analogous to the Chinese
title of Siu Tsai, which is interpreted “Elegant Talent;” that it was
inscribed on a parchment of sheep skin and that to graduate from Yale
College was considered a great honor, even to a native American, and
much more so to a Chinese. She asked me näively how much money it
conferred. I said it did not confer any money at once, but it enabled
one to make money quicker and easier than one can who has not been
educated; that it gave one greater influence and power among men and if
he built on his college education, he would be more likely to become the
leader of men, especially if he had a well-established character. I told
her my college education was worth more to me than money, and that I was
confident of making plenty of money.

“Knowledge,” I said, “is power, and power is greater than riches. I am
the first Chinese to graduate from Yale College, and that being the
case, you have the honor of being the first and only mother out of the
countless millions of mothers in China at this time, who can claim the
honor of having a son who is the first Chinese graduate of a
first-class American college. Such an honor is a rare thing to possess.”
I also assured her that as long as I lived all her comforts and wants
would be scrupulously and sedulously looked after, and that nothing
would be neglected to make her contented and happy. This interview
seemed to give her great comfort and satisfaction. She seemed very happy
over it. After it was ended, she looked at me with a significant smile
and said, “I see you have already raised your mustaches. You know you
have a brother who is much older than you are; he hasn’t grown his
mustaches yet. You must have yours off.” I promptly obeyed her mandate,
and as I entered the room with a clean face, she smiled with intense
satisfaction, evidently thinking that with all my foreign education, I
had not lost my early training of being obedient to my mother. And if
she could only have read my heart, she would have found how every throb
palpitated with the most tender love for her. During the remaining years
of her life, I had the rare privilege of seeing her often and ministered
to her every comfort that it was in my power to bestow. She passed away
in 1858, at the age of sixty-four, twenty-four years after the death of
my father. I was in Shanghai at the time of her death. I returned to my
native village in time to attend her funeral.

In the summer of 1855, I took up my residence in Canton, with the Rev.
Mr. Vrooman, a missionary under the American Board. His headquarters
were in Ham Ha Lan, in the vicinity of the government execution ground,
which is in the southwestern outskirts of the city, close to the bank of
the Pearl River. While there, I began my Chinese studies and commenced
to regain the dialect of Canton, which I had forgotten during my stay in
the United States. In less than six months, the language came back to me
readily, although I was still a little rusty in it. I was also making
slow progress in recovering the written language, in which I was not
well-grounded before leaving China, in 1846. I had studied it only four
years, which was considered a short time in which to master the written
language. There is a greater difference between the written and the
spoken language of China than there is between the written and spoken
English language. The Chinese written language is stilted and full of
conventional forms. It is understood throughout the whole empire, but
differently pronounced in different provinces and localities. The
spoken language is cut up into endless dialects and in certain provinces
like Fuhkien, Anhui and Kiangsu, the people are as foreigners to each
other in the matter of dialects. Such are the peculiar characteristics
of the ideographic and spoken languages of China.

During the six months of my residence in Canton, while trying to recover
both the written and spoken languages, Kwang Tung province was thrown
into a somewhat disorganized condition. The people of Canton attempted
to raise a provincial insurrection or rebellion entirely distinct from
the Taiping rebellion which was being carried on in the interior of
China with marked success. To suppress and nip it in the bud, drastic
measures were resorted to by Viceroy Yeh Ming Hsin, who, in the summer
of 1855, decapitated seventy-five thousand people, most of whom, I was
told, were innocent. My residence was within half a mile of the
execution ground, as stated above, and one day, out of curiosity, I
ventured to walk over to the place. But, oh! what a sight. The ground
was perfectly drenched with human blood. On both sides of the driveway
were to be seen headless human trunks, piled up in heaps, waiting to be
taken away for burial. But no provision had been made to facilitate
their removal.

The execution was carried on on a larger scale than had been expected,
and no provision had been made to find a place large enough to bury all
the bodies. There they were, left exposed to a burning sun. The
temperature stood from morning to night in midsummer steadily at 90°
Fahrenheit, and sometimes higher. The atmosphere within a radius of two
thousand yards of the execution ground was heavily charged with the
poisonous and pestilential vapor that was reeking from the ground
already over-saturated with blood and from the heaps of corpses which
had been left behind for at least two days, and which showed signs of
rapid decomposition. It was a wonder to me that no virulent epidemic had
sprung up from such an infectious spot to decimate the compact
population of the city of Canton. It was a fortunate circumstance that
at last a deep and extensive ravine, located in the far-off outskirts of
the western part of the city, was found, which was at once converted
into a sepulchral receptacle into which this vast human hecatomb was
dumped. It was said that no earth was needed to be thrown over these
corpses to cover them up; the work was accomplished by countless swarms
of worms of a reddish hue and of an appearance that was perfectly
hideous and revolting.

I was told that during the months of June, July and August, of 1855,
seventy-five thousand people had been decapitated; that more than half
of that number were declared to be innocent of the charge of rebellion,
but that the accusation was made as a pretext to exact money from them.
This wholesale slaughter, unparalleled in the annals of modern
civilization, eclipsing even the enormities and blood-thirstiness of
Caligula and Nero, or even the French Revolution, was perpetrated by Yeh
Ming Hsin, who was appointed viceroy of Kwang Tung and Kwangsi in 1854.

Yeh Ming Hsin was a native of Han-Yang. Han-Yang is a part of the port
of Hankau, and was destroyed with it when the Taiping rebels took
possession of it. It was said that Yeh Ming Hsin had immense estates in
Han-Yang, which were completely destroyed by fire. This circumstance
embittered him towards the Taiping rebels and as the Taiping leaders
hailed from Kwang Tung and Kwangsi, he naturally transferred his hatred
to the people of those two provinces. It was in the lofty position of a
viceroy that he found his opportunity to wreak his private and personal
vengeance upon the Canton people. This accounts for his indiscriminate
slaughter of them, and for the fact that he did not deign to give them
even the semblance of a trial, but hurried them from life to death like
packs of cattle to the shambles.

But this human monster did not dream that his day of reckoning was fast
approaching. Several years after this appalling sacrifice of human life,
in 1855, he got into trouble with the British government. He was
captured by the British forces and banished to some obscure and remote
corner in India where he led a most ignominious life, hated by the whole
Chinese nation, and despised by the world at large.

On my return to headquarters, after my visit to the execution ground, I
felt faint-hearted and depressed in spirit. I had no appetite for food,
and when night came, I was too nervous for sleep. The scene I had looked
upon during the day had stirred me up. I thought then that the Taiping
rebels had ample grounds to justify their attempt to overthrow the
Manchu régime. My sympathies were thoroughly enlisted in their favor and
I thought seriously of making preparations to join the Taiping rebels,
but upon a calmer reflection, I fell back on the original plan of doing
my best to recover the Chinese language as fast as I possibly could and
of following the logical course of things, in order to accomplish the
object I had at heart.



CHAPTER VII

EFFORT TO FIND A POSITION


Having at last succeeded in mastering the spoken language sufficiently
to speak it quite fluently, I at once set to work to find a position in
which I could not only support myself and mother, but also form a plan
for working out my ideas of reform in China.

Doctor Peter Parker, who had been a medical missionary under the
American Board for many years in Canton, was at that time made United
States Commissioner as a temporary expedient, to take the place of an
accredited minister plenipotentiary--a diplomatic appointment not yet
come into existence, because the question of a foreign minister resident
in Peking was still under negotiation, and had not been fully settled as
a permanent diplomatic arrangement between the Peking government and the
Treaty Powers. Dr. Parker was given the appointment of commissioner on
account of his long residence in China and his ability to speak the
Chinese language, but not on account of any special training as a
diplomat, nor for legal knowledge. It was through Mr. M. N. Hitchcock,
an American merchant of the firm of Messrs. King & Co., and a mutual
friend of Dr. Parker and myself, that I became the Doctor’s private
secretary. I knew Dr. Parker while I was at Mrs. Gutzlaff’s School, and
he doubtless knew I had recently graduated from Yale, which was his Alma
Mater also. His headquarters were in Canton, but he spent his summers in
Macao. I was with him only three months. My salary was $15 a month (not
large enough to spoil me at any rate). He had very little for me to do,
but I thought that by being identified with him, I might possibly come
in contact with Chinese officials. However, this was far from being the
case. Seeing that I could neither learn anything from him, nor enlarge
my acquaintance with the Chinese officials, I gave up my position as his
secretary and went over to Hong Kong to try to study law. Through my old
friend, Andrew Shortrede, who generously extended to me the hospitality
of his house, I succeeded in securing the position of the
interpretership in the Hong Kong Supreme Court. The situation paid me
$75 a month. Having this to fall back upon, I felt encouraged to go
ahead in my effort to study law. Accordingly, I was advised to
apprentice myself to an attorney or solicitor-at-law. In the English
court of practice, it seems that there are two distinct classes of
lawyers--attorneys or solicitors, and barristers. The first prepares in
writing all evidences, facts, and proofs of a case, hands them to the
barrister or counsel, who argues the case in court according to law.

I apprenticed myself to an attorney, who was recommended to me by my old
patron and friend, Shortrede. I was not aware that by going into the
British Colony in Hong Kong to become an attorney, I was stepping on the
toes of the British legal fraternity, nor that by apprenticing myself to
an attorney instead of to the new attorney-general of the Colony, who,
without my knowledge, wanted me himself, I had committed another
mistake, which eventually necessitated my leaving Hong Kong altogether.

First of all, all the attorneys banded themselves together against me,
because, as they openly stated in all the local papers except the “China
Mail,” if I were allowed to practice my profession, they might as well
pack up and go back to England, for as I had a complete knowledge of
both English and Chinese I would eventually monopolize all the Chinese
legal business. So they made it too hot for me to continue in my
studies.

In the next place, I was not aware that the attorney-general wanted me
to apprentice myself to him, for he did all he could in his capacity as
attorney-general of the Colony to use his influence to open the way for
me to become an attorney, by draughting a special colonial ordinance to
admit Chinese to practice in the Hong Kong Colony as soon as I could
pass my examinations. This ordinance was sent to the British government
to be sanctioned by Parliament before it became valid and a colonial
law. It was sanctioned and thus became a colonial ordinance.

In the meanwhile, Anstey, the attorney-general, found out that I had
already apprenticed myself to Parson, the attorney. From that time forth
I had no peace. I was between two fires--the batteries operated by the
attorneys opened on me with redoubled energy, and the new battery,
operated by the attorney-general, opened its fire. He found fault with
my interpreting, which he had never done previously. Mr. Parson saw how
things stood. He himself was also under a hot fire from both sides. So
in order to save himself, he told me plainly and candidly that he had to
give me up and made the article of apprenticeship between us null and
void. I, on my part, had to give up my position as interpreter in the
Supreme Court. Parson, himself, not long after I had abandoned my
apprenticeship and my position as interpreter, for reasons satisfactory
to himself, gave up his business in Hong Kong and returned to England.
So master and pupil left their posts at pretty nearly the same time.

A retrospective view of my short experience in Hong Kong convinced me
that it was after all the best thing that I did not succeed in becoming
a lawyer in Hong Kong, as the theatre of action there would have been
too restricted and circumscribed. I could not have come in touch with
the leading minds of China, had I been bound up in that rocky and barren
Colony. Doubtless I might have made a fortune if I had succeeded in my
legal profession, but as circumstances forced me to leave the Colony, my
mind was directed northward to Shanghai, and in August, 1856, I left
Hong Kong in the tea clipper, “Florence,” under Captain Dumaresque, of
Boston. He was altogether a different type of man from the captain of
the “Eureka” which brought me out in 1855. He was kind, intelligent and
gentlemanly. When he found out who I was, he offered me a free passage
from Hong Kong to Shanghai. He was, in fact, the sole owner of the
vessel, which was named after his daughter, Florence. The passage was a
short one--lasting only seven days--but before it was over, we became
great friends.

Not long after my arrival in Shanghai, I found a situation in the
Imperial Customs Translating Department, at a salary of Tls. 75 a month,
equivalent to $100 Mexican. For want of a Chinese silver currency the
Mexican dollar was adopted. This was one point better than the
interpretership in the Hong Kong Supreme Court. The duties were not
arduous and trying. In fact, they were too simple and easy to suit my
taste and ambition. I had plenty of time to read. Before three months of
trial in my new situation, I found that things were not as they should
be, and if I wished to keep a clean and clear record and an untarnished
character, I could not remain long in the service. Between the
interpreters who had been in the service many years and the Chinese
shippers there existed a regular system of graft. After learning this,
and not wishing to be implicated with the others in the division of the
spoils in any way or shape, I made up my mind to resign. So one day I
called upon the Chief Commissioner of Customs, ostensibly to find out
what my future prospects were in connection with the Customs
Service--whether or not there were any prospects of my being promoted to
the position of a commissioner. I was told that no such prospects were
held out to me or to any other Chinese interpreter. I, therefore, at
once decided to throw up my position. So I sent in my resignation, which
was at first not accepted. A few days after my first interview, Lay, the
chief commissioner, strenuously tried to persuade me to change my mind,
and offered as an inducement to raise my salary to Tls. 200 a month,
evidently thinking that I was only bluffing in order to get higher
wages. It did not occur to him that there was at least one Chinaman who
valued a clean reputation and an honest character more than money; that
being an educated man, I saw no reason why I should not be given the
same chances to rise in the service of the Chinese government as an
Englishman, nor why my individuality should not be recognized and
respected in every walk of life. He little thought that I had
aspirations even higher than his, and that I did not care to associate
myself with a pack of Custom-house interpreters and inspectors, who were
known to take bribes; that a man who expects others to respect him, must
first respect himself. Such were my promptings. I did not state the real
cause of my quitting the service, but at the end of four months’ trial I
left the service in order to try my fortune in new fields more
congenial.

My friends at the time looked upon me as a crank in throwing up a
position yielding me Tls. 200 a month for something uncertain and
untried. This in their estimation was the height of folly. They little
realized what I was driving at. I had a clean record and I meant to keep
it clean. I was perfectly aware that in less than a year since my return
to China, I had made three shifts. I myself began to think I was too
mercurial to accomplish anything substantial, or that I was too dreamy
to be practical or too proud to succeed in life. But in a strenuous life
one needs to be a dreamer in order to accomplish possibilities. We are
not called into being simply to drudge for an animal existence. I had
had to work hard for my education, and I felt that I ought to make the
most of what little I had, not so much to benefit myself individually
as to make it a blessing common to my race. By these shifts and changes
I was only trying to find my true bearing, and how I could make myself a
blessing to China.



CHAPTER VIII

EXPERIENCES IN BUSINESS


The next turn I took, after leaving the Imperial Customs, was clerk in
an English house--tea and silk merchants. During the few months that I
was with them, I gained quite an insight into mercantile business, and
the methods of conducting it, which proved to be profitable knowledge
and experience to me later on. Six months after I had entered upon my
new sphere as a make-shift, the firm dissolved partnership, which once
more threw me out of a position, and I was again cast upon the sea of
uncertainty. But during my connection with the firm, two little
incidents occurred which I must not fail to relate.

One Thursday evening, as I was returning home from a prayer meeting held
in the Union Chapel in Shanghai, I saw ahead of me on Szechuen Road in
front of the Episcopal church, a string of men; each had a Chinese
lantern swinging in the air over his head, and they were singing and
shouting as they zigzagged along the road, evidently having a jolly,
good time, while Chinese on both sides of the road were seen dodging and
scampering about in great fright in all directions, and acting as though
they were chased by the Old Nick himself. I was at a distance of about
one hundred yards from the scene. I took in the situation at once. My
servant, who held a lantern ahead of me, to light the way, was so
frightened that he began to come back towards me. I told him not to be
afraid, but walk right straight ahead. Pretty soon we confronted three
or four of the fellows, half tipsy. One of them snatched the lantern
from my servant and another, staggering about, tried to give me a kick.
I walked along coolly and unconcerned till I reached the last batch of
two or three fellows. I found these quite sober and in their senses and
they were lingering behind evidently to enjoy the fun and watch the
crowd in their hilarious antics. I stopped and parleyed with them, and
told them who I was. I asked them for the names of the fellows who
snatched my boy’s lantern and of the fellow who tried to kick me. They
declined at first, but finally with the promise that I would not give
them any trouble, they gave me the name of one of the fellows, his
position on the vessel, and the name of the vessel he belonged to. It
turned out that the man was the first mate of the ship “Eureka,” the
very vessel that brought me out to China, in 1855, and which happened to
be consigned to the firm I was working for. The next morning, I wrote a
note to the captain, asking him to hand the note to his first officer.
The captain, on receiving the note, was quite excited, and handed it to
the first mate, who immediately came ashore and apologized. I made it
very pleasant for him and told him that Americans in China were held in
high esteem by the people, and every American landing in China should be
jealous of the high estimation in which they were held and not do
anything to compromise it. My motive in writing the note was merely to
get him on shore and give him this advice. He was evidently pleased with
my friendly attitude and extended his hand for a shake to thank me for
the advice. He invited me to go on board with him to take a glass of
wine and be good friends. I thanked him for his offer, but declined it,
and we parted in an amicable way.

My second incident, which happened a couple of months after the first,
did not have such a peaceful ending.

After the partnership of the firm, in whose employ I was, dissolved, an
auction sale of the furniture of the firm took place. In the room where
the auction was proceeding, I happened to be standing in a mixed crowd
of Chinese and foreigners. A stalwart six-footer of a Scotchman happened
to be standing behind me. He was not altogether a stranger to me, for I
had met him in the streets several times. He began to tie a bunch of
cotton balls to my queue, simply for a lark. But I caught him at it and
in a pleasant way held it up and asked him to untie it. He folded up his
arms and drew himself straight up with a look of the utmost disdain and
scorn. I at once took in the situation, and as my countenance sobered, I
reiterated my demand to have the appendage taken off. All of a sudden,
he thrust his fist against my mouth, without drawing any blood, however.
Although he stood head and shoulders above me in height, yet I was not
at all abashed or intimidated by his burly and contemptuous appearance.
My dander was up and oblivious to all thoughts of our comparative size
and strength, I struck him back in the identical place where he punched
me, but my blow was a stinger and it went with lightning rapidity to the
spot, without giving him time to think. It drew blood in great
profusion from lip and nose. He caught me by the wrist with both his
hands. As he held my right wrist in his powerful grasp, for he was an
athlete and a sportsman, I was just on the point of raising my right
foot for a kick, which was aimed at a vital point, when the head partner
of the firm, who happened to be near, suddenly stepped in between and
separated us. I then stood off to one side, facing my antagonist, who
was moving off into the crowd. As I moved away, I was asked by a voice
from the crowd:

“Do you want to fight?”

I said, “No, I was only defending myself. Your friend insulted me and
added injury to insult. I took him for a gentleman, but he has proved
himself a blackguard.”

With this stinging remark, which was heard all over the room, I retired
from the scene into an adjoining room, leaving the crowd to comment on
the incident. The British Consul, who happened to be present on the
occasion, made a casual remark on the merits of the case and said, as I
was told afterwards by a friend, that “The young man was a little too
fiery; if he had not taken the law into his own hands, he could have
brought suit for assault and battery in the consular court, but since he
has already retaliated and his last remark before the crowd has
inflicted a deeper cut to his antagonist than the blow itself, he has
lost the advantage of a suit.”

The Scotchman, after the incident, did not appear in public for a whole
week. I was told he had shut himself up in his room to give his wound
time to heal, but the reason he did not care to show himself was more on
account of being whipped by a little Chinaman in a public manner; for
the affair, unpleasant and unfortunate as it was, created quite a
sensation in the settlement. It was the chief topic of conversation for
a short time among foreigners, while among the Chinese I was looked upon
with great respect, for since the foreign settlement on the
extra-territorial basis was established close to the city of Shanghai,
no Chinese within its jurisdiction had ever been known to have the
courage and pluck to defend his rights, point blank, when they had been
violated or trampled upon by a foreigner. Their meek and mild
disposition had allowed personal insults and affronts to pass unresented
and unchallenged, which naturally had the tendency to encourage
arrogance and insolence on the part of ignorant foreigners. The time
will soon come, however, when the people of China will be so educated
and enlightened as to know what their rights are, public and private,
and to have the moral courage to assert and defend them whenever they
are invaded. The triumph of Japan over Russia in the recent war has
opened the eyes of the Chinese world. It will never tolerate injustice
in any way or shape, much less will it put up with foreign aggression
and aggrandizement any longer. They see now in what plight their
national ignorance, conceit and conservatism, in which they had been
fossilized, had placed them. They were on the verge of being partitioned
by the European Powers and were saved from that catastrophe only by the
timely intervention of the United States government. What the future
will bring forth, since the Emperor Kwangsu and Dowager Empress Chi Hsi
have both passed away, no one can predict.

The breaking up of the firm by which I was employed, once more, as
stated before, and for the fourth time, threw me out of a regular
business. But I was not at all disconcerted or discouraged, for I had no
idea of following a mercantile life as a permanent calling. Within the
past two years, my knowledge of the Chinese language had decidedly
improved. I was not in hot haste to seek for a new position. I
immediately took to translating as a means of bridging over the breaks
of a desultory life. This independent avocation, though not a lucrative
one, nevertheless led the way to a wider acquaintance with the educated
and mercantile classes of the Chinese; to widen my acquaintance was my
chief concern. My translating business brought me in contact with the
comprador of one of the leading houses in Shanghai. The senior partner
of this house died in 1857. He was well-known and thought much of by
both the Chinese and the foreign mercantile body. To attest their high
regard for his memory, the prominent Chinese merchants drew up an
elaborate and eulogistic epitaph on the occasion of his death. The
surviving members of the firm selected two translators to translate the
epitaph. One was the interpreter in the British Consulate General, a
brother to the author of “The Chinese and their Rebellions,” and the
other was (through the influence of the comprador) myself. To my great
surprise, my translation was given the preference and accepted by the
manager of the firm. The Chinese committee were quite elated that one
of their countrymen knew enough English to bring out the inner sense of
their epitaph. It was adopted and engraved on the monument. My name
began to be known among the Chinese, not as a fighter this time, but as
a Chinese student educated in America.

Soon after this performance, another event unexpectedly came up in which
I was again called upon to act; that was the inundation of the Yellow
River, which had converted the northern part of Kiangsu province into a
sea, and made homeless and destitute thousands of people of that
locality. A large body of refugees had wandered to and flocked near
Shanghai. A Chinese deputation, consisting of the leading merchants and
gentry, who knew or had heard of me, called and asked me to draw up a
circular appealing to the foreign community for aid and contributions to
relieve the widespread suffering among the refugees. Several copies were
immediately put into circulation and in less than a week, no less than
$20,000 were subscribed and paid. The Chinese Committee were greatly
elated over their success and their joy was unbounded. To give a
finishing touch to this stroke of business, I wrote in the name of the
committee a letter of acknowledgment and thanks to the foreign
community for the prompt and generous contribution it had made. This was
published in the Shanghai local papers--“The Shanghai Mail” and “Friend
of China”--so that inside of three months after I had started my
translating business, I had become widely known among the Chinese as the
Chinese student educated in America. I was indebted to Tsang Kee Foo,
the comprador, for being in this line of business, and for the fact that
I was becoming known in Shanghai. He was a well-educated Chinese--a man
highly respected and trusted for his probity and intelligence. His long
connection with the firm and his literary taste had gathered around him
some of the finest Chinese scholars from all parts of China, while his
business transactions brought him in touch with the leading Chinese
capitalists and business men in Shanghai and elsewhere. It was through
him that both the epitaph and the circular mentioned above were written;
and it was Tsang Kee Foo who introduced me to the celebrated Chinese
mathematician, Li Jen Shu, who years afterwards brought me to the notice
of Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan--the distinguished general and statesman, who,
as will be seen hereafter, took up and promoted the Chinese Education
Scheme. In the great web of human affairs, it is almost impossible to
know who among our friends and acquaintances may prove to be the right
clue to unravel the skein of our destiny. Tsang Kee Foo introduced me to
Li Jen Shu, the latter introduced me to Tsang Kwoh Fan, who finally
through the Chinese Education Scheme grafted Western education to the
Oriental culture, a union destined to weld together the different races
of the world into one brotherhood.

My friend Tsang Kee Foo afterwards introduced me to the head or manager
of Messrs. Dent & Co., who kindly offered me a position in his firm as
comprador in Nagasaki, Japan, soon after that country was opened to
foreign trade. I declined the situation, frankly and plainly stating my
reason, which was that the compradorship, though lucrative, is
associated with all that is menial, and that as a graduate of Yale, one
of the leading colleges in America, I could not think of bringing
discredit to my Alma Mater, for which I entertained the most profound
respect and reverence, and was jealous of her proud fame. What would the
college and my class-mates think of me, if they should hear that I was a
comprador--the head servant of servants in an English establishment? I
said there were cases when a man from stress of circumstances may be
compelled to play the part of a menial for a shift, but I was not yet
reduced to that strait, though I was poor financially. I told him I
would prefer to travel for the firm as its agent in the interior and
correspond directly with the head of the firm. In that case, I would not
sacrifice my manhood for the sake of making money in a position which is
commonly held to be servile. I would much prefer to pack tea and buy
silk as an agent--either on a salary or on commission. Such was my
ground for declining. I, however, thanked him for the offer. This
interview took place in the presence of my friend, Tsang Kee Foo, who
without knowing the details of the conversation, knew enough of the
English language to follow the general tenor of the talk. I then retired
and left the manager and my friend to talk over the result. Tsang
afterwards told me that Webb said, “Yung Wing is poor but proud. Poverty
and pride usually go together, hand in hand.” A few days afterwards
Tsang informed me that Webb had decided to send me to the tea districts
to see and learn the business of packing tea.



CHAPTER IX

MY FIRST TRIP TO THE TEA DISTRICTS


On the 11th of March, 1859, I found myself on board of a Woo-Sik-Kwei, a
Chinese boat built in Woo-Sik, a city situated on the borders of the
Grand Canal, within a short distance of the famous city of Suchau--a
rival of the city of Hangchau, for wealth, population, silk manufacture,
and luxury. The word “Kwei” means “fast.” Therefore, Woo-Sik-Kwei means
fast boats of Woo-Sik. These passenger boats which plied between the
principal cities and marts situated near the waters of the canal and
lake system in southern Kianksu, were usually built of various sizes and
nicely fitted up for the comfort and convenience of the public. Those
intended for officials, and the wealthy classes, were built on a larger
scale and fitted up in a more pretentious style. They were all
flat-bottom boats. They sailed fairly well before the wind, but against
it, they were either tracked by lines from the mast to the trackers on
shore, or by sculling, at which the Chinese are adepts. They can give a
boat a great speed by a pair of sculls resting on steel pivots that are
fastened at the stern, one on each side, about the middle of the scull,
with four men on each scull; the blades are made to play in the water
astern, right and left, which pushes and sends the boat forward at a
surprisingly rapid rate. But in recent years, steam has made its way
into China and steam launches have superseded these native craft which
are fast disappearing from the smooth waters of Kiangsu province--very
much as the fast sailing ships, known as Baltimore Clippers, that in the
fifties and sixties were engaged in the East India and China trade, have
been gradually swept from the ocean by steam.

At the end of three days, I was landed in the historic city of Hangchau,
which is the capital of Chêhkiang. It is situated on a plain of uneven
ground, with hills in the southwest and west, and northeast. It covers
an area of about three or four square miles. It is of a rectangular
shape. Its length is from north to south; its breadth, from east to
west. On the west, lies the Si-Hoo or West Lake, a beautiful sheet of
limpid water with a gravelly or sandy bottom, stretching from the foot
of the city wall to the foot of the mountains which appear in the
distance in the rear, rising into the clouds like lofty bulwarks
guarding the city on the north.

The Tsientang River, about two miles distant, flanks the city on the
east. It takes its rise from the high mountain range of Hwui Chow in the
southeast and follows a somewhat irregular course to the bay of the same
name, and rushes down the rocky declivities like a foaming steed and
empties itself into the bay about forty miles east of the city. This is
one of the rivers that have periodical bores in which the tidal waters
in their entrance to the bay create a noise like thunder, and the waves
rise to the height of eight or ten feet.

Hangchau, aside from her historic fame as having been the seat of the
government of the Sung Dynasty of the 12th and 13th centuries, has
always maintained a wide reputation for fine buildings, public and
private, such as temples, pagodas, mosques and bridges, which go to lend
enchantment to the magnificent natural scenery with which she is
singularly endowed. But latterly, age and the degeneration of the times
have done their work of mischief. Her past glory is fast sinking into
obscurity; she will never recover her former prestige, unless a new
power arises to make her once more the capital of a regenerated
government.

On the 15th of March, I left Hangchau to ascend the Tsientang River, at
a station called Kang Kow, or mouth of the river, about two miles east
of the city, where boats were waiting for us. Several hundreds of these
boats of a peculiar and unique type were riding near the estuary of the
river. These boats are called Urh Woo, named after the district where
they were built. They vary from fifty to one hundred feet in length,
from stem to stern, and are ten or fifteen feet broad, and draw not more
than two or three feet of water when fully loaded. They are all
flat-bottom boats, built of the most limber and flexible material that
can be found, as they are expected to meet strong currents and run
against rocks, both in their ascent and descent, on account of the
irregularity and rocky bottom of the river. These boats, when completely
equipped and covered with bamboo matting, look like huge cylinders, and
are shaped like cigars. The interior from stem to stern is divided into
separate compartments, or rooms, in which bunks are built to accommodate
passengers. These compartments and bunks are removed when room is
needed for cargoes. These boats ply between Hangchau and Sheong Shan and
do all the interior transportation by water between these entrepôts in
Chêhkiang and Kiangsi. Sheong Shan is the important station of
Chêhkiang, and Yuh-Shan is that of Kiangsi. The distance between the two
entrepôts is about fifty lis, or about sixteen English miles, connected
by one of the finest macadamized roads in China. The road is about
thirty feet wide, paved with slabs of granite and flanked with
greenish-colored cobbles. A fine stone arch which was erected as a
land-mark of the boundary line separating Chêhkiang and Kiangsi
provinces, spans the whole width of the road. On both sides of the
key-stone of the arch are carved four fine Chinese characters, painted
in bright blue, viz., Leang Hsing Tung Chu:

[Illustration: Chinese characters]

This is one of the most notable arch-ways through which the
inter-provincial trade has been carried on for ages past. At the time
when I crossed from Sheong Shan to Yuh-Shan, the river ports of Hankau,
Kiukiang, Wuhu and Chinkiang were not opened to foreign trade and
steam-boats had not come in to play their part in the carrying trade of
the interior of China. This magnificent thoroughfare was crowded with
thousands of porters bearing merchandise of all kinds to and
fro--exports and imports for distribution. It certainly presented an
interesting sight to the traveller, as well as a profound topic of
contemplation to a Chinese patriot.

The opening of the Yangtze River, which is navigable as far as Kingchau,
on the borders of Szechwan province, commanding the trade of at least
six or seven provinces along its whole course of nearly three thousand
miles to the ocean, presents a spectacle of unbounded possibilities for
the amelioration of nearly a third of the human race, if only the
grasping ambition of the West will let the territorial integrity and the
independent sovereignty of China remain intact. Give the people of China
a fair chance to work out the problems of their own salvation, as for
instance the solution of the labor question, which has been so radically
disorganized and broken up by steam, electricity and machinery. This has
virtually taken the breath and bread away from nine-tenths of the people
of China, and therefore this immovable mass of population should be
given ample time to recover from its demoralization.

To go back to my starting point at Kang Kow, the entrance to the river,
two miles east of Hangchau, we set sail, with a fair wind, at five
o’clock in the morning of the 15th of March, and in the evening at ten
o’clock we anchored at a place named the “Seven Dragons,” after having
made about one hundred miles during the day. The eastern shore in this
part of the Tsientang River is evidently of red sandstone formation, for
we could see part of the strata submerged in the water, and excavations
of the stone may be seen strewn about on the shore. In fact, red
sandstone buildings may be seen scattered about here and there. But the
mountain about the Seven Dragons is picturesque and romantic.

Early the next day, we again started, but the rain poured down in
torrents. We kept on till we reached the town of Lan Chi and came to
anchor in the evening, after having made about forty miles. This is the
favorite entrepôt where the Hupeh and Hunan congou teas were brought all
the way from the tea districts of these provinces, to be housed and
transhipped to Shanghai via Hangchau. Lan Chi is an entrepôt of only
one street, but its entire length is six miles. It is famous for its
nice hams, which are known all over China. On account of the incessant
rain, we stopped half a day at Lan Chi. In the afternoon the sky began
to clear and at twelve o’clock in the night we again started and reached
the walled city of Ku Chow, which was besieged by the Taiping rebels in
March, 1858, just a year before; after four months’ duration the siege
was raised and no great damage was done. We put up in an inn for the
night. Ku Chow is a departmental city of Chêhkiang and is about thirty
miles distant from Sheong Shan, already mentioned in connection with
Yuh-Shan. We were delayed by the Custom House officials, as well as on
account of the scarcity of porters and chair-bearers to take us over to
Sheong Shan. We arrived at Yuh-Shan from Sheong Shan by chair in the
evening. We put up in an inn for the night, having first engaged fishing
boats to take us to the city of Kwangshun, thirty miles from Yuh-Shan,
the next morning. After reaching Yuh-Shan, we were in Kiangsi territory,
and our route now lay in a west by north direction, down stream towards
the Po Yang Lake, whose southern margin we passed, and reached Nan
Cheong, the capital of Kiangsi province. The city presented a fine
outward appearance. We did not stop long enough to go through the city
and see its actual condition since its evacuation by the rebels.

Our route from Nan Cheong was changed in a west by south direction,
making the great entrepôt of Siang Tan our final goal. In this route, we
passed quite a number of large cities that had nothing of special
importance, either commercially or historically, to relate. We passed
Cheong Sha, the capital of Hunan, in the night. We arrived at Siang Tan
on the morning of the 15th of April. Siang Tan is one of the noted
entrepôts in the interior of China and used to be the great distributing
center of imports when foreign trade was confined to the single port of
Canton. It was also the emporium where the tea and silk goods of China
were centered and housed, to be carried down to Canton for exportation
to foreign countries. The overland transport trade between Siang Tan and
Canton was immense. It gave employment to at least one hundred thousand
porters, carrying merchandise over the Nan Fung pass, between the two
cities, and supported a large population along both sides of the
thoroughfare. Steam, wars and treaties of very recent dates have not
only broken up this system of labor and changed the complexion of the
whole labor question throughout China, but will also alter the
economical, industrial and political conditions of the Chinese Empire
during the coming years of her history.

At Siang Tan, our whole party, composed of tea-men, was broken up and
each batch began its journey to the district assigned it, to begin the
work of purchasing raw tea and preparing it to be packed for shipment in
Shanghai.

I stayed in Siang Tan about ten days and then made preparations for a
trip up to the department of Kingchau in Hupeh province, to look into
the yellow silk produced in a district called Ho-Yung.

We left Siang Tan on the 26th of April, and proceeded northward to our
place of destination. Next morning at eight o’clock we reached Cheong
Sha, the capital of Hunan province. As the day was wet and gloomy, we
stopped and tried to make the best of it by going inside of the city to
see whether there was anything worth seeing, but like all Chinese
cities, it presented the same monotonous appearance of age and filth,
the same unchangeable style of architecture and narrow streets. Early
next morning, we resumed our boat journey, crossed the Tung Ting Lake
and the great river Yangtze till we entered the mouth of the King Ho
which carried us to Ho Yung. On this trip to hunt after the yellow
silk--not the golden fleece--we were thirteen days from Siang Tan. The
country on both banks of the King Ho seemed quiet and peaceful and
people were engaged in agricultural pursuits. We saw many buffaloes and
donkeys, and large patches of wheat, interspersed with beans. A novel
sight presented itself which I have never met with elsewhere in China. A
couple of country lassies were riding on a donkey, and were evidently in
a happy mood, laughing and talking as they rode by. Arriving in Ho Yung,
we had some difficulty in finding an inn, but finally succeeded in
securing quarters in a silk hong. No sooner were we safely quartered,
than a couple of native constables called to know who we were; our names
and business were taken down. Our host, the proprietor of the hong, who
knew the reason of our coming, explained things to the satisfaction of
the men, who went away perfectly satisfied that we were honest traders
and no rebel spies. We were left to transact our business unmolested.
As soon as our object was known, numerous samples of yellow silk were
brought for our inspection. We selected quite a number of samples, which
altogether weighed about sixty-five pounds, and had them packed to be
taken to Shanghai.

At the end of a fortnight, we concluded to take our journey back.
Accordingly, on the 26th of May we bade Ho Yung farewell, and started
for the tea district of Nih Kia Shi, in the department of Cheong Sha,
via Hankau. We arrived at Hankau on the 5th of June, and put up in a
native inn. The weather was hot and muggy, and our quarters were narrow
and cut off from fresh air. Three days after our arrival, three deputies
visited us to find out who we were. It did not take long to convince
them that we were not rebel spies. We showed them the package of yellow
silk, which bore marks of a war-tax which we had to pay on it, all along
the route from Ho Yung to Hankau. We were left unmolested.

The port of Hankau had not been opened for foreign trade, though it was
well understood that it was to be opened very soon. Before its capture
by the Taiping rebels, or rather before the Taiping rebels had made
their appearance on the stage of action, Hankau was the most important
entrepôt in China. When the Taiping rebels captured Woochang in 1856,
Hankau and Han Yang fell at the same time, and the port was destroyed by
fire and was reduced to ashes. At the time of my visit, the whole place
was rebuilt and trade began to revive. But the buildings were temporary
shifts. Now the character of the place is completely changed and the
foreign residences and warehouses along the water’s edge have given it
altogether a European aspect, so that the Hankau of today may be
regarded as the Chicago or St. Louis of China, and in no distant day she
is destined to surpass both in trade, population and wealth. I was in
Hankau a few days before I crossed the Yangtze-Kiang to the black tea
district of Nih Kia Shi.

We left Hankau on the 30th of June and went over to the tea packing
houses in Nih Kia Shi and Yang Liu Tung on the 4th of July. I was in
those two places over a month and gained a complete knowledge of the
whole process of preparing the black tea for the foreign market. The
process is very simple and can be easily learned. I do not know through
what preparations the Indian and Assam teas have to go, where machinery
is used, but they cannot be very elaborate. Undoubtedly, since the
fifties, manual labor, the old standby in preparing teas for foreign
consumption, has been much improved with a view of retaining a large
percentage of the tea trade in China. The reason why a large percentage
of the tea business has passed away from China to India is not because
machinery is used in the one case and manual labor is retained in the
other, but chiefly on account of the quality of the tea that is raised
in the different soil of the two countries. The Indian or Assam tea is
much stronger (in proportion to the same quantity) than the Chinese tea.
The Indian tea is 2-1 to Chinese tea, in point of strength, whereas the
Chinese tea is 2-1 to the Indian tea in point of delicacy and flavor.
The Indian is rank and strong, but the Chinese tea is superior in the
quality of its fine aroma. The higher class of tea-drinkers in America,
Europe and Russia prefer China tea to Indian, whereas the laboring and
common class in those countries take to Indian and Assam, from the fact
that they are stronger and cheaper.

In the latter part of August I decided to return to Shanghai, not by way
of Siang Tan, but via Hankau, down the Yangtze River to Kiu Kang and
across the Poh Yang Lake. I arrived at Hankau again the second time on
the 29th of August, having left there two months previous, in July. This
time I came in a Hunan junk loaded with tea for Shanghai. At Ho Kow, the
southern shore of the Poh Yang Lake, I had to follow the same route I
took in March, and on the 21st of September I landed at Hangchau and
from there I took a Woo-Sik-Kwei for Shanghai, where I arrived in the
night of the 30th of September, the time consumed on this journey having
been seven months--from March to October. It was my first journey into
the interior of China, and it gave me a chance to gain an insight into
the actual condition of the people, while a drastic rebellion was going
on in their midst. The zone of the country through which I had passed
had been visited by the rebels and the imperialists, but was, to all
outward appearance, peaceful and quiet. To what extent the people had
suffered both from rebel and imperialist devastations in those sections
of the country, no one can tell. But there was one significant fact that
struck me forcibly and that was the sparseness of population, which was
at variance with my preconceived notions regarding the density of
population in China which I had gathered from books and accounts of
travelers. This was particularly noticeable through that section of
Chêhkiang, Kiangsi, Hunan and Hupeh, which I visited. The time of the
year, when crops of all kinds needed to be planted, should have brought
out the peasantry into the open fields with oxen, mules, donkeys,
buffaloes and horses, as indispensable accessories to farm life. But
comparatively few farmers were met with.

Shortly after my arrival from the interior, in October, an English
friend of mine requested me to go to Shau Hing to buy raw silk for him.
Shau Hing is a city located in a silk district about twenty miles
southwest of Hangchau, and noted for its fine quality of silk. I was
about two months in this business, when I was taken down with fever and
ague and was compelled to give it up. Shau Hing, like most Chinese
cities, was filthy and unhealthy and the water that flowed through it
was as black as ink. The city was built in the lowest depression of a
valley, and the outlet of the river was so blocked that there was hardly
any current to carry off the filth that had been accumulating for ages.
Hence the city was literally located in a cesspool--a breeding place
for fever and ague, and epidemics of all kinds. But I soon recovered
from the attack of the fever and ague and as soon as I could stand on my
legs again, I immediately left the malarial atmosphere, and was, in a
short time, breathing fresher and purer air.



CHAPTER X

MY VISIT TO THE TAIPINGS


In the fall of 1859 a small party of two missionaries, accompanied by
Tsang Laisun, planned a trip to visit the Taiping rebels in Nanking. I
was asked to join them, and I decided to do so. My object in going was
to find out for my own satisfaction the character of the Taipings;
whether or not they were the men fitted to set up a new government in
the place of the Manchu Dynasty. Accordingly, on the 6th of November,
1859, we left Shanghai in a Woo-Sik-Kwei boat, with a stiff northeast
breeze in our favor, though we had to stem an ebb tide for an hour. The
weather was fine and the whole party was in fine spirits. We happened to
have an American flag on board, and on the spur of the moment, it was
flung to the breeze, but on a sober second thought, we had it hauled
down so as not to attract undue attention and have it become the means
of thwarting the purpose of our journey. Instead of taking the
Sung-Kiang route which was the highway to Suchau, we turned off into
another one in order to avoid the possibility of being hauled up by the
imperialists and sent back to Shanghai, as we were told that an imperial
fleet of Chinese gun-boats was at anchor at Sung Kiang. We found the
surrounding country within a radius of thirty miles of Shanghai to be
very quiet and saw no signs of political disturbance. The farmers were
busily engaged in gathering in their rice crops.

It might be well to mention here that during my sojourn in the interior,
the Taiping rebels had captured the city of Suchau, and there was some
apprehension on the part of foreigners in the settlement that they might
swoop down to take possession of the city of Shanghai, as well as the
foreign settlement. That was the reason the Sung Kiang River was
picketed by Chinese gun-boats, and the foreign pickets were extended
miles beyond the boundary line of the foreign concession.

We reached Suchau on the morning of the 9th of November without meeting
with any difficulty or obstacles all the way, nor were we challenged
either by the imperialists or rebels, which went to show how loosely and
negligently even in time of war, things were conducted in China. On
arriving at the Lau Gate of the city, we had to wait at the station
where tickets were issued to those who went into the city and taken from
those who left, for Suchau was then under martial law. As we wished to
go into the city to see the commandant, in order to get letters of
introduction from him to the chiefs of other cities along our route to
Nanking, we had to send two of our party to headquarters to find out
whether we were permitted to enter. At the station, close to the Lau
Gate, we waited over an hour. Finally our party appeared accompanied by
the same messenger who had been deputed by the head of the police to
accompany them to the commandant’s office. Permission was given us, and
all four went in. The civil officer was absent, but we were introduced
to the military commandant, Liu. He was a tall man, dressed in red. His
affected hauteur at the start was too thin to disguise his want of a
solid character. He became very inquisitive and asked the object of our
journey to Nanking. He treated us very kindly, however, and gave us a
letter of introduction to the commandant in Tan Yang, and furnished us
with passports all the way through the cities of Woo Sik and Cheong
Chow. In the audience hall of Commandant Liu, we were introduced to
four foreigners--two Americans, one Englishman, and a French noble. One
of the Americans said he was a doctor, the Englishman was supposed to be
a military officer, and the Frenchman, as stated above, claimed to be a
nobleman. Doubtless they were all adventurers. Each had his own ax to
grind. One of the Americans had a rifle and cartridges for sale. He
asked quite an exorbitant price for them and they were summarily
rejected. The Frenchman said he had lost a fortune and had come out to
China to make it up. Our missionary companions were much pleased after
being entertained by Liu in hearing him recite the doxology, which he
did glibly. Towards evening, when we returned to our boat, he sent us a
number of chickens and a goat to boot. We were thus amply provisioned to
prosecute our journey to Tan Yang. We left Suchau on the morning of the
11th of November. On our arrival at Woo Sik, our passports were examined
and we were very courteously treated by the rebels. We were invited to
dinner by the chief in command. After that he sent us fruits and nuts,
and came on board himself to see us off. We held quite a long
conversation with him, which ended in his repeating the doxology.

November 12th we left Woo Sik and started for Cheong Chow. From Suchau
onward we were on the Grand Canal. The road on the bank of the canal was
in good condition. Most of the people we saw and met were rebels,
traveling between Tan Yang and Suchau, and but few boats were seen
passing each other. All the country surrounding the canal between those
cities seemed to have been abandoned by the peasantry and the cultivated
fields were covered with rank grass and weeds, instead of flourishing
crops. A traveler, not knowing the circumstances, would naturally lay
the blame wholly upon the Taiping rebels, but the imperialists in their
conflicts with the rebels, were as culpable as their enemies. The rebels
whom we met on the public road were generally very civil and tried in
every way to protect the people in order to gain their confidence.
Incendiarism, pillage, robbery and ill-treatment of the people by the
rebels, were punished by death. We reached Cheong Chow in the night. We
found nearly all the houses along the road between Woo Sik and Cheong
Chow to be completely deserted and emptied of all their inmates. There
were occasionally a few of the inhabitants to be seen standing on the
bank with small baskets, peddling eggs, oranges and cakes, vegetables
and pork. They were principally old people, with countenances showing
their suffering and despair. On November 13, at six o’clock in the
morning, we resumed our journey to Tan Yang. As we drew near Tan Yang,
the people seemed to have regained their confidence and the fields
seemed to be cultivated. The conduct of the rebels towards them was
considerate and commendable. During the morning we saw a force of one
thousand men marching towards Tan Yang. We did not quite reach Tan Yang
and came to anchor for the night in plain sight of it.

Early next morning, we went into the city to see the Commandant Liu, to
present to him the letter we received in Suchau, but he was absent from
the city. The man next to Liu, a civilian, came out to meet us. He was
very affable and treated us kindly and with great civility. One of our
party referred to the religious character of the Taipings.

Chin then gave us his views of Christianity, as taught by Hung Siu
Chune--the leader of the rebellion. He said:

“We worship God the Heavenly Father, with whom Jesus and the Holy Spirit
constitute the true God; that Shang Ti is the True Spirit.”

He then repeated the doxology. He said the rebels had two
doxologies--the old and the new; they had discarded the new and adopted
the old. He said, the Tien Wong--the Celestial Emperor--was taken up to
Heaven and received orders from the Heavenly Father to come and
exterminate all evil and rectify all wrong; to destroy idolatry and evil
spirits, and finally to teach the people the knowledge of God. He did
not know whether the Tien Wong was translated to Heaven bodily or in
spirit, or both. He said the Tien Wong himself explained that he could
not hold the same footing with God himself; that the homage paid to God
was an act of religious worship, but that rendered to the Tien Wong was
merely an act of court etiquette, which ministers and officers always
paid to their sovereigns in every dynasty, and could not be construed as
acts of worship. He also said that Tien Wong was a younger brother of
Christ, but that it did not follow that he was born of the same mother.
Tien Wong, he claimed, was a younger brother of Christ in the sense that
he was especially appointed by God to instruct the people. Christ was
also appointed by God to reform and redeem the world. With regard to
the three cups of tea,--he said that they were intended as a
thank-offering, and were not propitiatory in their character.

“Whenever we drink a cup of tea, we offer thanksgiving to the Heavenly
Father. The three cups of tea have no reference to the Trinity whatever.
One cup answers the same purpose. The number three was purposely chosen,
because it is the favorite number with the Chinese,--it is even
mentioned in the Chinese classics.”

As for redemption, he said,--“No sacrificial offering can take away our
sins; the power of redemption is in Christ; he redeems us and it is our
duty to repent of our sins. Even the Tien Wong is very circumspect and
is afraid to sin against God.”

In the matter of the soldiery keeping aloof from the people in time of
war, he said,--“It has been an immemorial custom, adopted by almost
every dynasty, that the people should go to the country, and the
soldiers be quartered in the city. When a city is captured or taken, it
is easy to subjugate the surrounding country.”

The places we saw in ruins, both at Suchau and all the way up the canal,
were partly destroyed by Cheong Yuh Leang’s troops in their retreat,
partly by local predatory parties for the sake of plunder, and partly
by the Taipings themselves. When Chung Wong was in Suchau, he did all he
could to suppress incendiarism by offering rewards of both money and
rank to those who took an active part in suppressing it. He issued three
orders: 1. That soldiers were not allowed to kill or slaughter the
inhabitants. 2. They were prohibited from slaughtering cattle. 3. They
were prohibited from setting fire to houses. A violation of any of these
orders was attended with capital punishment. When he came down to Woo
Sik, he had a country elder decapitated for allowing local bandits to
burn down the houses of the people. This was the information we gathered
from our conversation with Chin. He also said that Ying Wong and Chung
Wong were both talented men--not only in military but also in civil
affairs.

He gave us a long account of the capture of different places by the
rebels, and how they had been defeated before Nanking, when that city
was laid siege to by the imperialists in the early part of 1860. He also
showed us a letter by a chief at Hwui Chow regarding the utter defeat
and rout of Tsang Kwoh Fan, who was hemmed in by an immense force of the
rebels. Tsang was supposed to have been killed in the great battle. He
said that Cheong Yuh Leang, the imperialist general, who laid siege to
Nanking, after his defeat went to Hangchau for medical treatment for
hemorrhage of the lungs; that all the country along the canal, north of
the Yangtze, was in the hands of the rebels, and that Princes Chung and
Ying were marching up the river to take possession of Hupeh, and that
Shih Ta Kai, another chief, was assigned the conquest of Yun Nan, Kwai
Chow and Sze Chune provinces. At that time Chin Kiang was being besieged
by the rebels, and Chi Wong was in command of an army of observation in
Kiang Nan. Such was the rambling statement given us by Chin regarding
the disposition of the rebel forces under different chiefs or princes.

After dining with him in the evening, we repaired to our boat for the
night. The next morning, November 15th, we again went into the city and
called upon Liu, but, failing to see him, we again called upon Chin to
arrange for the conveyance of our luggage and ourselves from Tan Yang to
Nanking. The aide told us to send all our things to Chin’s office and
that our boat, if left in Tan Yang until our return, would be well cared
for and protected during our absence. So next morning, the 16th of
November, we started on foot and walked fifteen miles from Tan Yang to a
village called Po Ying, about six miles from the city of Ku Yung, where
we halted to pass the night. We had some difficulty in securing a
resting place. The people were poor and had no confidence in strangers.
We, however, after some coaxing, were supplied with straws spread out on
the ground, and the next morning we gave the old women a dollar. We had
boiled rice gruel, cold chicken and crackers for our breakfast. When we
reached Ku Yung about nine o’clock on the 17th of November, we found
that every gate of the city was closed against us, as well as all
others, because a rumor was afloat that the rebels before Chin Kiang
were defeated, and that they were flocking towards Ku Yung for shelter.
So we concluded to continue on our journey towards Nanking, though our
missionary friends came near deciding to return to Tan Yang and wend our
way back to Shanghai. We proceeded not far from Ku Yung, when we finally
succeeded in getting chairs and mules to prosecute our journey.

On the 18th of November, after a trying and wearisome journey, we
reached Nanking. I was the first one to reach the South Gate, waiting
for the rest of the party to come up before entering. We were reported
inside of the gate and messengers accompanied us to the headquarters of
the Rev. Mr. Roberts, close by the headquarters of Hung Jin, styled
Prince Kan.

After our preliminary introduction to the Rev. Mr. Roberts, I excused
myself, and leaving the rest of the party to continue their conversation
with him, retired to my quarters to clean up and get rested from the
long and tedious journey. In fact, I had little or nothing to say while
in Mr. Roberts’ presence, nor did I attempt to make myself known to him.
I had seen him often in Macao when in Mrs. Gutzlaff’s school, twenty or
more years before, and I had recognized him at once as soon as I set my
eyes on him. He certainly appeared old to me, being dressed in his
yellow satin robe of state and moving leisurely in his clumsy Chinese
shoes. Exactly in what capacity he was acting in Nanking, I was at a
loss to know; whether still as a religious adviser to Hung Siu Chune, or
playing the part of secretary of state for the Taiping Dynasty, no one
seemed able to tell.

The next day (the 19th of November) I was invited to call on Kan Wong.
He was a nephew of Hung Siu Chune, the rebel chief who was styled Tien
Wong or the Celestial Sovereign. Before Hung Jin came to Nanking, I had
made his acquaintance, in 1856, at Hong Kong. He was then connected with
the London Mission Association as a native preacher and was under Dr.
James Legge, the distinguished translator of the Chinese classics. I saw
considerable of him while in Hong Kong and even then he had expressed a
wish that he might see me some day in Nanking. He was then called Hung
Jin, but since he had joined his uncle in Nanking, he was raised to the
position of a prince. Kan means “Protecting,” and Kan Wong signifies
“Protecting Prince.” He greeted me very cordially and evidently was glad
to see me. After the usual exchange of conventionalities, he wanted to
know what I thought of the Taipings; whether I thought well enough of
their cause to identify myself with it. In reply, I said I had no
intention of casting my lot with them, but came simply to see him and
pay my respects. At the same time, I wanted to find out for my own
satisfaction the actual condition of things in Nanking. I said the
journey from Suchau to Nanking had suggested several things to me,
which I thought might be of interest to him. They were as follows:

     1. To organize an army on scientific principles.

     2. To establish a military school for the training of competent
     military officers.

     3. To establish a naval school for a navy.

     4. To organize a civil government with able and experienced men to
     act as advisers in the different departments of administration.

     5. To establish a banking system, and to determine on a standard of
     weight and measure.

     6. To establish an educational system of graded schools for the
     people, making the Bible one of the text books.

     7. To organize a system of industrial schools.

These were the topics that suggested themselves to me during the
journey. If the Taiping government would be willing, I said, to adopt
these measures and set to work to make suitable appropriations for them,
I would be perfectly willing to offer my services to help carry them
out. It was in that capacity that I felt I could be of the most service
to the Taiping cause. In any other, I would simply be an encumbrance and
a hindrance to them.

Such was the outcome of my first interview. Two days later, I was again
invited to call. In the second interview, we discussed the merits and
the importance of the seven proposals stated in our first interview. Kan
Wong, who had seen more of the outside world than the other princes or
leaders, and even more than Hung Siu Chune himself, knew wherein lay the
secret of the strength and power of the British government and other
European powers, and fully appreciated the paramount importance and
bearing of these proposals. But he was alone and had no one to back him
in advocating them. The other princes, or leaders, were absent from the
city, carrying on their campaign against the imperialists. He said he
was well aware of the importance of these measures, but nothing could be
done until they returned, as it required the consent of the majority to
any measure before it could be carried out.

A few days after this a small parcel was presented to me as coming from
Kan Wong. On opening it, I found to my great surprise a wooden seal
about four inches long and an inch wide, having my name carved with the
title of “E,”

[Illustration: Chinese character]

which means “Righteousness,” and designates the fourth official rank
under that of a prince, which is the first. My title was written out on
a piece of yellow satin stamped with the official seal of the Kan Wong.
I was placed in a quandary and was at a loss to know its
purport,--whether it was intended to detain me in Nanking for good or to
commit me irretrievably to the Taiping cause, _nolens volens_. At all
events, I had not been consulted in the matter and Kan Wong had
evidently acted on his own responsibility and taken it for granted that
by conferring on me such a high rank as the fourth in the official scale
of the Taipings, I might be induced to accept and thus identify myself
with the Taiping cause--of the final success of which I had strong
doubts, judging from the conduct, character and policy of the leading
men connected with it. I talked the matter over with my associates, and
came to the decision that I must forthwith return the seal and decline
the tempting bauble. I went in person to thank Kan Wong for this
distinguished mark of his high consideration, and told him that at any
time when the leaders of the Taipings decided to carry out either one
or all of my suggestions, made in my first interview with him, I should
be most happy to serve them, if my services were needed to help in the
matter. I then asked him as a special favor for a passport that would
guarantee me a safe conduct in traveling through the territory under the
jurisdiction of the Taipings, whether on business or pleasure. The
passport was issued to me the next day, on the 24th of December, and we
were furnished with proper conveyances and provisions to take us back to
the city of Tan Yang, where our boat lay under the protection of Chin,
second in command of the city, waiting our return from Nanking. We
started on our return trip for Shanghai on the 27th of December by the
same route as we came, and arrived safely in Tan Yang in the early part
of January, 1861.

On my way back to Shanghai, I had ample time to form an estimate of the
Taiping Rebellion--its origin, character and significance.



CHAPTER XI

REFLECTIONS ON THE TAIPING REBELLION


Rebellions and revolutions in China are not new and rare historic
occurrences. There have been at least twenty-four dynasties and as many
attendant rebellions or revolutions. But with the exception of the
Feudatory period, revolutions in China (since the consolidation of the
three Kingdoms into one Empire under the Emperor Chin) meant only a
change of hands in the government, without a change either of its form,
or principles. Hence the history of China for at least two thousand
years, like her civilization, bears the national impress of a monotonous
dead level--jejune in character, wanting in versatility of genius, and
almost devoid of historic inspiration.

The Taiping Rebellion differs from its predecessors in that in its
embryo stage it had taken onto itself the religious element, which
became the vital force that carried it from the defiles and wilds of
Kwangsi province in the southwest to the city of Nanking in the
northeast, and made it for a period of fifteen years a constantly
impending danger to the Manchu Dynasty, whose corruption, weakness and
maladministration were the main causes that evoked the existence of this
great rebellion.

The religious element that gave it life and character was a foreign
product, introduced into China by the early Protestant missionaries, of
whom Dr. Robert Morrison was the first English pioneer sent out by the
London Mission, followed a decade later by the Rev. Icabod J. Roberts,
an American missionary. These two missionaries may properly claim the
credit, if there is any, of having contributed (each in his particular
sphere) in imparting to Hung Siu Chune a knowledge of Christianity. Dr.
Morrison, on his part, had translated the Bible into Chinese, and the
Emperor Khang Hsi’s dictionary into English; both these achievements
gave the missionary work in China a basis to go upon in prosecuting the
work of revising and of bringing the Bible to the Chinese standard of
literary taste, so as to commend it to the literary classes, and in
making further improvements in perfecting the Chinese-English
dictionary, which was subsequently done by such men as Dr. Medhurst,
Bishop Boone, Dr. Legge, E. C. Bridgeman, and S. Wells Williams.

Besides these works of translation, which undoubtedly called for further
revision and improvement, Dr. Morrison also gave China a native
convert--Leang Ahfah--who became afterwards a noted preacher and the
author of some religious tracts.

Hung Siu Chune, in his quest after religious knowledge and truths, got
hold of a copy of Dr. Morrison’s Bible and the tracts of Leang Ahfah. He
read and studied them, but he stood in need of a teacher to explain to
him many points in the Bible, which appeared to him mysterious and
obscure. He finally made the acquaintance of the Rev. Mr. Icabod J.
Roberts, an American missionary from Missouri, who happened to make his
headquarters in Canton. Hung Siu Chune called upon him often, till their
acquaintance ripened into a close and lasting friendship, which was kept
up till Hung Siu Chune succeeded in taking Nanking, when Mr. Roberts was
invited to reside there in the double capacity of a religious teacher
and a state adviser. This was undoubtedly done in recognition of Mr.
Roberts’ services as Hung’s teacher and friend while in Canton. No one
knew what had become of Mr. Roberts when Nanking fell and reverted to
the imperialists in 1864.

It was about this time, when he was sedulously seeking Mr. Roberts’
religious instructions at Canton, that Hung failed to pass his first
competitive examination as a candidate to compete for official
appointment, and he decided to devote himself exclusively to the work of
preaching the Gospel to his own people, the Hakkas of Kwang Tung and
Kwangsi. But as a colporter and native preacher, Hung had not reached
the climax of his religious experience before taking up his stand as the
leader of his people in open rebellion against the Manchu Dynasty.

We must go back to the time when, as a candidate for the literary
competitive examinations, he was disappointed. This threw him into a
fever, and when he was tossing about in delirium, he was supposed to
have been translated to Heaven, where he was commanded by the Almighty
to fill and execute the divine mission of his life, which was to destroy
idolatry, to rectify all wrong, to teach the people a knowledge of the
true God, and to preach redemption through Christ. In view of such a
mission, and being called to the presence of God, he at once assumed
himself to be the son of God, co-equal with Christ, whom he called his
elder brother.

It was in such a state of mental hallucination that Hung Siu Chune
appeared before his little congregation of Hakkas--migrating
strangers--in the defiles and wilds of Kwangsi. Their novel and strange
conduct as worshippers of Shangti--the Supreme Ruler--their daily
religious exercises, their prayers, and their chanting of the doxology
as taught and enjoined by him, had attracted a widespread attention
throughout all the surrounding region of Kwangsi. Every day fresh
accessions of new comers flocked to their fold and swelled their ranks,
till their numerical force grew so that the local mandarins were baffled
and at their wits’ end to know what to do with these believers of
Christianity. Such, in brief, was the origin, growth and character of
the Christian element working among the simple and rustic mountaineers
of Kwangsi and Kwang Tung.

It is true that their knowledge of Christianity, as sifted through the
medium of the early missionaries from the West, and the native converts
and colporters, was at best crude and elementary, but still they were
truths of great power, potential enough to turn simple men and
religiously-inclined women into heroes and heroines who faced dangers
and death with the utmost indifference, as was seen subsequently, when
the government had decided to take the bull by the horns and resorted to
persecution as the final means to break up this religious, fanatical
community. In their conflicts with the imperial forces, they had neither
guns nor ammunition, but fought with broomsticks, flails and pitchforks.
With these rustic and farming implements they drove the imperialist
hordes before them as chaff and stubble before a hurricane. Such was
their pent-up religious enthusiasm and burning ardor.

Now this religious persecution was the side issue that had changed the
resistance of Hung Siu Chune and his followers, in their religious
capacity, into the character of a political rebellion. It is difficult
to say whether or not, if persecution had not been resorted to, Hung Siu
Chune and his followers would have remained peaceably in the heart of
China and developed a religious community. We are inclined to think,
however, that even if there had been no persecution, a rebellion would
have taken place, from the very nature of the political situation.

Neither Christianity nor religious persecution was the immediate and
logical cause of the rebellion of 1850. They might be taken as
incidents or occasions that brought it about, but they were not the real
causes of its existence. These may be found deeply seated in the vitals
of the political constitution of the government. Foremost among them was
the corruption of the administrative government. The whole official
organization, from head to foot, was honeycombed and tainted by a system
of bribery, which passed under the polite and generic term of
“presents,” similar in character to what is now known as “graft.” Next
comes the exploitation of the people by the officials, who found an
inexhaustible field to build up their fortunes. Finally comes the
inevitable and logical corollary to official bribery and exploitation,
namely, that the whole administrative government was founded on a
gigantic system of fraud and falsehood.

This rebellion rose in the arena of China with an enigmatic character
like that of the Sphinx, somewhat puzzling at the start. The Christian
world throughout the whole West, on learning of its Christian
tendencies, such as the worship of the true and living God; Christ the
Savior of the world; the Holy Spirit, the purifier of the soul; the
destruction of temples and idols that was found wherever their
victorious arms carried them; the uncompromising prohibition of the
opium habit; the observance of a Sabbath; the offering of prayers before
and after meals; the invocation of divine aid before a battle--all these
cardinal points of a Christian faith created a world-wide impression
that China, through the instrumentality of the Taipings, was to be
evangelized; that the Manchu Dynasty was to be swept out of existence,
and a “Celestial Empire of Universal Peace,” as it was named by Hung Siu
Chune, was going to be established, and thus China, by this wonderful
intervention of a wise Providence, would be brought within the pale of
Christian nations. But Christendom was a little too credulous and
impulsive in the belief. It did not stop to have the Christianity of the
Taipings pass through the crucible of a searching analysis.

Their first victory over their persecutors undoubtedly gave Hung Siu
Chune and his associates the first intimation of a possible overturning
of the Manchu Dynasty and the establishment of a new one, which he named
in his religious ecstasy “The Celestial Empire of Universal Peace.” To
the accomplishment of this great object, they bent the full force of
their iconoclastic enthusiasm and religious zeal.

En route from Kwang Si, their starting point, to Nanking, victory had
perched on their standard all the way. They had despatched a division of
their army to Peking, and, on its way to the northern capitol, it had
met with a repulse and defeat at Tientsin from whence they had turned
back to Nanking. In their victorious march through Hunan, Hupeh, Kiang
Si and part of An Hwui, their depleted forces were replenished and
reinforced by fresh and new accessions gathered from the people of those
provinces. They were the riffraff and scum of their populations. This
rabble element added no new strength to their fighting force, but proved
to be an encumbrance and caused decided weakness. They knew no
discipline, and had no restraining religious power to keep them from
pillage, plunder and indiscriminate destruction. It was through such new
accessions that the Taiping cause lost its prestige, and was defeated
before Tientsin and forced to retreat to Nanking. After their defeat in
the North, they began to decline in their religious character and their
bravery. Their degeneracy was accelerated by the capture of Yang Chow,
Suchau, and Hangchau, cities noted in Chinese history for their great
wealth as well as for their beautiful women. The capture of these
centers of a materialistic civilization poured into their laps untold
wealth and luxury which tended to hasten their downfall.

The Taiping Rebellion, after fifteen years of incessant and desultory
fighting, collapsed and passed into oblivion, without leaving any traces
of its career worthy of historical commemoration beyond the fact that it
was the outburst of a religious fanaticism which held the Christian
world in doubt and bewilderment, by reason of its Christian origin. It
left no trace of its Christian element behind either in Nanking, where
it sojourned for nearly ten years, or in Kwang Si, where it had its
birth. In China, neither new political ideas nor political theories or
principles were discovered which would have constituted the basal facts
of a new form of government. So that neither in the religious nor yet in
the political world was mankind in China or out of China benefited by
that movement. The only good that resulted from the Taiping Rebellion
was that God made use of it as a dynamic power to break up the stagnancy
of a great nation and wake up its consciousness for a new national life,
as subsequent events in 1894, 1895, 1898, 1900, 1901, and 1904-5 fully
demonstrated.



CHAPTER XII

EXPEDITION TO THE TAIPING TEA DISTRICT


My Nanking visit was utterly barren of any substantial hope of promoting
any scheme of educational or political reform for the general welfare of
China or for the advancement of my personal interest. When I was
thoroughly convinced that neither the reformation nor the regeneration
of China was to come from the Taipings, I at once turned my thoughts to
the idea of making a big fortune as my first duty, and as the first
element in the successful carrying out of other plans for the future.

One day, while sauntering about in the tea garden inside the city of
Shanghai, I came across a few tea-merchants regaling themselves with
that beverage in a booth by themselves, evidently having a very social
time. They beckoned to me to join their party. In the course of the
conversation, we happened to touch on my late journey through the tea
districts of Hunan, Hupeh and Kiang Si and also my trip to Nanking.
Passing from one topic of conversation to another, we lighted upon the
subject of the green tea district of Taiping in An Hwui province. It was
stated that an immense quantity of green tea could be found there, all
packed and boxed ready for shipment, and that the rebels were in
possession of the goods, and that whoever had the hardihood and courage
to risk his life to gain possession of it would become a millionaire. I
listened to the account with deep and absorbing interest, taking in
everything that was said on the subject. It was stated that there were
over 1,000,000 chests of tea there. Finally the party broke up, and I
wended my way to my quarters completely absorbed in deep thought. I
reasoned with myself that this was a chance for me to make a fortune,
but wondered who would be foolhardy enough to furnish the capital,
thinking that no business man of practical experience would risk his
money in such a wild goose adventure, surrounded as it was with more
than ordinary dangers and difficulties, in a country where highway
robbery, lawlessness and murder were of daily occurrence. But with the
glamor of a big fortune confronting me, all privations, dangers and
risks of life seemed small and faded into airy nothing.

My friend, Tsang Mew, who had been instrumental in having me sent
traveling into the interior a year before, was a man of great business
experience. He had a long head and a large circle of business
acquaintances, besides being my warm friend, so I concluded to go to him
and talk over the whole matter, as I knew he would not hesitate to give
me his best advice. I laid the whole subject before him. He said he
would consider the matter fully and in a few days let me know what he
had decided to do about it. After a few days, he told me that he had had
several consultations with the head of the firm, of which he was
comprador, and between them the company had decided to take up my
project.

The plan of operation as mapped out by me was as follows: I was to go to
the district of Taiping by the shortest and safest route possible, to
find out whether the quantity of tea did exist; whether it was safe to
have treasure taken up there to pay the rebels for the tea; and whether
it was possible to have the tea supply taken down by native boats to be
transhipped by steamer to Shanghai. This might be called the preliminary
expedition. Then, I was to determine which of the two routes would be
the more feasible,--there being two, one by way of Wuhu, a treaty port,
and another by way of Ta Tung, not a treaty port, a hundred miles above
Wuhu. Wuhu and the whole country leading to Taiping, including the
district itself, was under the jurisdiction of the rebels, whereas Ta
Tung was still in possession of the imperialists. From Wuhu to Taiping
by river the distance was about two hundred and fifty miles, whereas, by
way of Ta Tung, the way, though shorter, was mostly overland, which made
transportation more difficult and expensive, besides having to pay the
imperialists a heavy war-tax at Ta Tung, while duty and war-tax were
entirely free at Wuhu.

In this expedition of inspection, I chose Wuhu as the basis of my
operation. I started with four Chinese tea-men, natives of Taiping who
had fled to Shanghai as refugees when the whole district was changed
into a theatre of bloody conflicts between the imperialist and rebel
forces for two years. On the way up the Wuhu River, we passed three
cities mostly deserted by their inhabitants, but occupied by rebels.
Paddy fields on both sides of the river were mostly left uncultivated
and deserted, overrun with rank weeds and tall grass. As we ascended
towards Taiping, the whole region presented a heartrending and
depressing scene of wild waste and devastation. Whole villages were
depopulated and left in a dilapidated condition. Out of a population of
500,000 only a few dozen people were seen wandering about in a listless,
hopeless condition, very much emaciated and looking like walking
skeletons.

After a week’s journey we reached the village of San Kow, where we were
met and welcomed by three tea-men who had been in Shanghai about four
years previous. It seemed that they had succeeded in weathering the
storm which had swept away the bulk of the population and left them
among the surviving few. They were mighty glad to see us, and our
appearance in the village seemed to be a God-send. Among the houses that
were left intact, I selected the best of them to be my headquarters for
the transaction of the tea business. The old tea-men were brought in to
co-operate in the business and they showed us where the tea was stored.
I was told that in San Kow there were at least five hundred thousand
boxes, but in the whole district of Taiping there were at least a
million and a half boxes, about sixty pounds of tea to a box.

At the end of another week, I returned to Wuhu and reported all
particulars. I had found that the way up from Wuhu by river to Taiping
was perfectly safe and I did not anticipate any danger to life or
treasure. I had seen a large quantity of the green tea myself and found
out that all that was needed was to ship as much treasure as it was safe
to have housed in Wuhu, and from there to have it transferred in country
tea-boats, well escorted by men in case of any emergency. I also sent
samples of the different kinds of green tea to Shanghai to be inspected
and listed. These proved to be satisfactory, and the order came back to
buy as much of the stock as could be bought.

I was appointed the head of all succeeding expeditions to escort
treasure up the river to San Kow and cargoes of tea from there to Wuhu.
In one of these expeditions, I had a staff of six Europeans and an equal
number of Chinese tea-men. We had eight boxes of treasure containing
altogether Tls. 40,000. A tael, in the sixties, according to the
exchange of that period, was equal to $1.33, making the total amount in
Mexican dollars to be a little over $53,000. We had a fleet of eight
tea-boats, four large ones and four smaller ones. The treasure was
divided into two equal parts and was placed in the two largest and
staunchest boats. The men were also divided into two squads, three
Europeans and three Chinese in one large boat and an equal number in the
other. We were well provided with firearms, revolvers and cutlasses.
Besides the six Europeans, we had about forty men including the boatmen,
but neither the six tea-men nor the boatmen could be relied upon to show
fight in case of emergency. The only reliable men I had to fall back
upon, in case of emergency, were the Europeans; even in these I was not
sure I could place implicit confidence, for they were principally
runaway sailors of an adventurous character picked up in Shanghai by the
company and sent up to Wuhu to escort the treasure up to the interior.
Among them was an Englishman who professed to be a veterinary doctor. He
was over six feet tall in his stocking feet, a man of fine personal
appearance, but he did not prove himself to be of very stout heart, as
may be seen presently. Thus prepared and equipped, we left Wuhu in fine
spirits. We proceeded on our journey a little beyond the city of King
Yuen, which is about half the way to San Kow. We could have gone a
little beyond King Yuen, but thinking it might be safer to be near the
city, where the rebel chief had seen my passport, obtained in Nanking,
and knew that I had influential people in Nanking, we concluded to pass
the night in a safe secluded little cove in the bend of the river just
large enough for our little boats to moor close to each other, taking
due precaution to place the two largest ones in the center, flanked by
the other boats on the right and left of them; the smaller boats
occupied the extreme ends of the line.

Before retiring, I had ordered all our firearms to be examined and
loaded and properly distributed. Watchmen were stationed in each boat to
keep watch all night, for which they were to be paid extra. The
precautionary steps having thus been taken, we all retired for the
night. An old tea-man and myself were the only ones who lay wide awake
while the rest gave unmistakable signs of deep sleep. I felt somewhat
nervous and could not sleep. The new moon had peeked in upon us
occasionally with her cold smile, as heavy and dark clouds were scudding
across her path. Soon she was shut in and disappeared, and all was
shrouded in pitch darkness. The night was nearly half spent, when my
ears caught the distant sound of whooping and yelling which seemed to
increase in volume. I immediately started up to dress myself and
quietly woke up the Europeans and Chinese in both boats. As the yelling
and whooping drew nearer and nearer it seemed to come from a thousand
throats, filling the midnight air with unearthly sounds. In another
instant countless torch lights were seen dancing and whirling in the
dismal darkness right on the opposite bank. Fortunately the river was
between this marauding band and us, while pitch darkness concealed our
boats from their sight. In view of such impending danger, we held a
council of war. None of us were disposed to fight and endanger our lives
in a conflict in which the odds were fearfully against us, there being
about a thousand to one. But the English veterinary doctor was the
foremost and most strenuous of the Europeans to advocate passive
surrender. His countenance actually turned pale and he trembled all
over, whether from fear or the chilly atmosphere of the night I could
not tell. Having heard from each one what he had to say, I could do
nothing but step forward and speak to them, which I did in this wise:
“Well, boys, you have all decided not to fight in case we are attacked,
but to surrender our treasure. The ground for taking such a step is that
we are sure to be outnumbered by a rebel host. So that in such a
dilemma discretion is the better part of valor, and Tls. 40,000 are not
worth sacrificing our lives for. But by surrendering our trust without
making an effort of some kind to save it, we would be branded as
unmitigated cowards, and we could never expect to be trusted with any
responsible commission again. Now, I will tell you what I propose to do.
If the rebel horde should come over and attempt to seize our treasure, I
will spring forward with my yellow silk passport, and demand to see
their chief, while you fellows with your guns and arms must stand by the
treasure. Do not fire and start the fight. By parleying with them, it
will for the moment check their determination to plunder, and they will
have a chance to find out who we are, and where I obtained the passport;
and, even if they should carry off the treasure, I shall tell their
chief that I will surely report the whole proceeding in Nanking and
recover every cent of our loss.”

These remarks seemed to revive the spirit and courage of the men, after
which we all sat on the forward decks of our boats anxiously waiting for
what the next moment would bring forth. While in this state of
expectancy, our hearts palpitating in an audible fashion, our eyes were
watching intently the opposite shore. All the shouting and yelling
seemed to have died away, and nothing could be seen but torches moving
about slowly and leisurely in regular detachments, each detachment
stopping occasionally and then moving on again. This was kept up for
over two hours, while they constantly receded from us. I asked an old
boatman the meaning of such movements and was told that the marauding
horde was embarking in boats along the whole line of the opposite shore
and was moving down stream. It was three o’clock in the morning, and it
began to rain. A few of the advance boats had passed us without
discovering where we were. They were loaded with men and floated by us
in silence. By four o’clock the last boats followed the rest and soon
disappeared from sight. Evidently, from the stillness that characterized
the long line of boats as they floated down stream, the buccaneering
horde was completely used up by their looting expedition, and at once
abandoned themselves to sound sleep when they got on board the boats. We
thanked our stars for such a narrow escape from such an unlooked-for
danger. We owed our safety to the darkness of the night, the rain and
to the fact that we were on the opposite shore in a retired cove. By
five o’clock all our anxieties and fears were laid aside and turned into
joy and thankfulness. We resumed our journey with light hearts and
reached San Kow two days later in peace and safety. In less than two
weeks we sent down to Wuhu, escorted by Europeans and tea-men, the first
installment, consisting of fifteen boatloads of tea to be transhipped by
steamer to Shanghai. The next installment consisted of twelve boatloads.
I escorted that down the river in person. The river, in some places,
especially in the summer, was quite shallow and a way had to be dug to
float the boats down. In one or two instances the boatmen were very
reluctant to jump into the water to do the work of deepening the river,
and on one occasion I had to jump in, with the water up to my waist, in
order to set them an example. When they caught the idea and saw me in
the water, every man followed my example and vied with each other in
clearing a way for the boats, for they saw I meant business and there
was no fooling about it either.

I was engaged in this Taiping tea business for about six months, and
took away about sixty-five thousand boxes of tea, which was hardly a
tenth part of the entire stock found in the district. Then I was taken
down with the fever and ague of the worst type. As I could get no
medical relief at Wuhu, I was obliged to return to Shanghai, where I was
laid up sick for nearly two months. Those two months of sickness had
knocked all ideas of making a big fortune out of my head. I gave up the
Taiping tea enterprise, because it called for a greater sacrifice of
health and wear upon my nervous system than I was able to stand. The
King Yuen midnight incident, which came near proving a disastrous one
for me, with the marauding horde of unscrupulous cut-throats, had been
quite a shock on my nervous system at the time and may have been the
primal cause of my two months’ sickness; it served as a sufficient
warning to me not to tax my nervous system by further encounters and
disputes with the rebel chiefs, whose price on the tea we bought of them
was being increased every day. A dispassionate and calm view of the
enterprise convinced me that I would have to preserve my life, strength
and energy for a higher and worthier object than any fortune I might
make out of this Taiping tea, which, after all, was plundered property.
I am sure that no fortune in the world could be brought in the balance
to weigh against my life, which is of inestimable value to me.

Although I had made nothing out of the Taiping teas, yet the fearless
spirit, the determination to succeed, and the pluck to be able to do
what few would undertake in face of exceptional difficulties and
hazards, that I had exhibited in the enterprise, were in themselves
assets worth more to me than a fortune. I was well-known, both among
foreign merchants and native business men, so that as soon as it was
known that I had given up the Taiping tea enterprise on account of
health, I was offered a tea agency in the port of Kew Keang for packing
teas for another foreign firm. I accepted it as a temporary shift, but
gave it up in less than six months and started a commission business on
my own account. I continued this business for nearly three years and was
doing as well as I had expected to do. It was at this time while in Kew
Keang that I caught the first ray of hope of materializing the
educational scheme I had been weaving during the last year of my college
life.



CHAPTER XIII

MY INTERVIEWS WITH TSANG KWOH FAN


In 1863, I was apparently prospering in my business, when, to my great
surprise, an unexpected letter from the city of Ngan Khing, capital of
An Whui province, was received. The writer was an old friend whose
acquaintance I had made in Shanghai in 1857. He was a native of Ningpo,
and was in charge of the first Chinese gunboat owned by the local
Shanghai guild. He had apparently risen in official rank and had become
one of Tsang Kwoh Fan’s secretaries. His name was Chang Shi Kwei. In
this letter, Chang said he was authorized by Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan to
invite me to come down to Ngan Khing to call, as he (the Viceroy) had
heard of me and wished very much to see me. On the receipt of the letter
I was in a quandary and asked myself many questions: What could such a
distinguished man want of me? Had he got wind of my late visit to
Nanking and of my late enterprise to the district of Taiping for the
green tea that was held there by the rebels? Tsang Kwoh Fan himself had
been in the department of Hwui Chow fighting the rebels a year before
and had been defeated, and he was reported to have been killed in
battle. Could he have been told that I had been near the scene of his
battle and had been in communication with the rebels, and did he want,
under a polite invitation, to trap me and have my head off? But Chang,
his secretary, was an old friend of many years’ standing. I knew his
character well; he wouldn’t be likely to play the cat’s paw to have me
captured. Thus deliberating from one surmise to another, I concluded not
to accept the invitation until I had learned more of the great man’s
purpose in sending for me.

In reply to the letter, I wrote and said I thanked His Excellency for
his great condescension and considered it a great privilege and honor to
be thus invited, but on account of the tea season having set in (which
was in February), I was obliged to attend to the orders for packing tea
that were fast coming in; but that as soon as they were off my hands, I
would manage to go and pay my respects to His Excellency.

Two months after receiving the first letter, a second one came urging me
to come to Ngan Khing as early as possible. This second letter enclosed
a letter written by Li Sien Lan, the distinguished Chinese
mathematician, whose acquaintance I had also made while in Shanghai. He
was the man who assisted a Mr. Wiley, a missionary of the London Board
of Missions, in the translation of several mathematical works into
Chinese, among which was the Integral and Differential Calculus over
which I well remember to have “flunked and fizzled” in my sophomore year
in college; and, in this connection, I might as well frankly own that in
my make-up mathematics was left out. Mr. Li Sien Lan was also an
astronomer. In his letter, he said he had told Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan
who I was and that I had had a foreign education; how I had raised a
handsome subscription to help the famine refugees in 1857; that I had a
strong desire to help China to become prosperous, powerful and strong.
He said the viceroy had some important business for me to do, and that
Chu and Wa, who were interested in machinery of all kinds, were also in
Ngan Khing, having been invited there by the Viceroy. Mr. Li’s letter
completely dispelled all doubts and misgivings on my part as to the
viceroy’s design in wishing to see me, and gave me an insight as to his
purpose for sending for me.

As an answer to these letters, I wrote saying that in a couple of months
I should be more at liberty to take the journey. But my second reply did
not seem to satisfy the strong desire on the part of Tsang Kwoh Fan to
see me. So in July, 1863, I received a third letter from Chang and a
second one from Li. In these letters the object of the viceroy was
clearly and frankly stated. He wanted me to give up my mercantile
business altogether and identify myself under him in the service of the
state government, and asked whether or not I could come down to Ngan
Khing at once. In view of this unexpected offer, which demanded prompt
and explicit decision, I was not slow to see what possibility there was
of carrying out my educational scheme, having such a powerful man as
Tsang Kwoh Fan to back it. I immediately replied that upon learning the
wishes of His Excellency, I had taken the whole situation into
consideration, and had concluded to go to his headquarters at Ngan
Khing, just as soon as I had wound up my business, which would take me a
complete month, and that I would start by August at the latest. Thus
ended the correspondence which was really the initiatory step of my
official career.

Tsang Kwoh Fan was a most remarkable character in Chinese history. He
was regarded by his contemporaries as a great scholar and a learned man.
Soon after the Taiping Rebellion broke out and began to assume vast
proportions, carrying before it province after province, Tsang began to
drill an army of his own compatriots of Hunan who had always had the
reputation of being brave and hardy fighters. In his work of raising a
disciplined army, he secured the co-operation of other Hunan men, who
afterwards took a prominent part in building up a flotilla of river
gun-boats. This played a great and efficient part as an auxiliary force
on the Yangtze River, and contributed in no small measure to check the
rapid and ready concentration of the rebel forces, which had spread over
a vast area on both banks of the great Yangtze River. In the space of a
few years the lost provinces were gradually recovered, till the
rebellion was narrowed down within the single province of Kiang Su, of
which Nanking, the capital of the rebellion, was the only stronghold
left. This finally succumbed to the forces of Tsang Kwoh Fan in 1864.

To crush and end a rebellion of such dimensions as that of the Taipings
was no small task. Tsang Kwoh Fan was made the generalissimo of the
imperialists. To enable him to cope successfully with the Taipings,
Tsang was invested with almost regal power. The revenue of seven or
eight provinces was laid at his feet for disposal, also official ranks
and territorial appointments were at his command. So Tsang Kwoh Fan was
literally and practically the supreme power of China at the time. But
true to his innate greatness, he was never known to abuse the almost
unlimited power that was placed in his hands, nor did he take advantage
of the vast resources that were at his disposal to enrich himself or his
family, relatives or friends. Unlike Li Hung Chang, his protégé and
successor, who bequeathed Tls. 40,000,000 to his descendants after his
death, Tsang died comparatively poor, and kept the escutcheon of his
official career untarnished and left a name and character honored and
revered for probity, patriotism and purity. He had great talents, but he
was modest. He had a liberal mind, but he was conservative. He was a
perfect gentleman and a nobleman of the highest type. It was such a man
that I had the great fortune to come in contact with in the fall of
1863.

After winding up my business in New Keang, I took passage in a native
boat and landed at Ngan Khing in September. There, in the military
headquarters of Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan, I was met by my friends, Chang
Si Kwei, Li Sien Lan, Wha Yuh Ting and Chu Siuh Chune, all old friends
from Shanghai. They were glad to see me, and told me that the viceroy
for the past six months, after hearing them tell that as a boy I had
gone to America to get a Western education, had manifested the utmost
curiosity and interest to see me, which accounted for the three letters
which Chang and Li had written urging me to come. Now, since I had
arrived, their efforts to get me there had not been fruitless, and they
certainly claimed some credit for praising me up to the viceroy. I asked
them if they knew what His Excellency wanted me for, aside from the
curiosity of seeing a native of China made into a veritable Occidental.
They all smiled significantly and told me that I would find out after
one or two interviews. From this, I judged that they knew the object for
which I was wanted by the Viceroy, and perhaps, they were at the bottom
of the whole secret.

The next day I was to make my début, and called. My card was sent in,
and without a moment’s delay or waiting in the ante-room, I was ushered
into the presence of the great man of China. After the usual ceremonies
of greeting, I was pointed to a seat right in front of him. For a few
minutes he sat in silence, smiling all the while as though he were much
pleased to see me, but at the same time his keen eyes scanned me over
from head to foot to see if he could discover anything strange in my
outward appearance. Finally, he took a steady look into my eyes which
seemed to attract his special attention. I must confess I felt quite
uneasy all the while, though I was not abashed. Then came his first
question.

“How long were you abroad?”

“I was absent from China eight years in pursuit of a Western education.”

“Would you like to be a soldier in charge of a company?”

“I should be pleased to head one if I had been fitted for it. I have
never studied military science.”

“I should judge from your looks, you would make a fine soldier, for I
can see from your eyes that you are brave and can command.”

“I thank Your Excellency for the compliment. I may have the courage of a
soldier, but I certainly lack military training and experience, and on
that account I may not be able to meet Your Excellency’s expectations.”

When the question of being a soldier was suggested, I thought he really
meant to have me enrolled as an officer in his army against the rebels;
but in this I was mistaken, as my Shanghai friends told me afterwards.
He simply put it forward to find out whether my mind was at all
martially inclined. But when he found by my response that the bent of my
thought was something else, he dropped the military subject and asked me
my age and whether or not I was married. The last question closed my
first introductory interview, which had lasted only about half an hour.
He began to sip his tea and I did likewise, which according to Chinese
official etiquette means that the interview is ended and the guest is at
liberty to take his departure.

I returned to my room, and my Shanghai friends soon flocked around me to
know what had passed between the viceroy and myself. I told them
everything, and they were highly delighted.

Tsang Kwoh Fan, as he appeared in 1863, was over sixty years of age, in
the very prime of life. He was five feet, eight or nine inches tall,
strongly built and well-knitted together and in fine proportion. He had
a broad chest and square shoulders surmounted by a large symmetrical
head. He had a broad and high forehead; his eyes were set on a straight
line under triangular-shaped eyelids, free from that obliquity so
characteristic of the Mongolian type of countenance usually accompanied
by high cheek bones, which is another feature peculiar to the Chinese
physiognomy. His face was straight and somewhat hairy. He allowed his
side whiskers their full growth; they hung down with his full beard
which swept across a broad chest and added dignity to a commanding
appearance. His eyes though not large were keen and penetrating. They
were of a clear hazel color. His mouth was large but well compressed
with thin lips which showed a strong will and a high purpose. Such was
Tsang Kwoh Fan’s external appearance, when I first met him at Ngan
Khing.

Regarding his character, he was undoubtedly one of the most remarkable
men of his age and time. As a military general, he might be called a
self-made man; by dint of his indomitable persistence and perseverance,
he rose from his high scholarship as a Hanlin (Chinese LL.D.) to be a
generalissimo of all the imperial forces that were levied against the
Taiping rebels, and in less than a decade after he headed his Hunan raw
recruits, he succeeded in reducing the wide devastations of the
rebellion that covered a territorial area of three of the richest
provinces of China to the single one of Kiang Nan, till finally, by the
constriction of his forces, he succeeded in crushing the life out of the
rebellion by the fall and capture of Nanking. The Taiping Rebellion was
of fifteen years’ duration, from 1850 to 1865. It was no small task to
bring it to its extinction. Its rise and progress had cost the Empire
untold treasures, while 25,000,000 human lives were immolated in that
political hecatomb. The close of the great rebellion gave the people a
breathing respite. The Dowager Empress had special reasons to be
grateful to the genius of Tsang Kwoh Fan, who was instrumental in
restoring peace and order to the Manchu Dynasty. She was not slow,
however, to recognize Tsang Kwoh Fan’s merits and moral worth and
created him a duke. But Tsang’s greatness was not to be measured by any
degree of conventional nobility; it did not consist in his victories
over the rebels, much less in his re-capture of Nanking. It rose from
his great virtues: his pure, unselfish patriotism, his deep and
far-sighted statesmanship, and the purity of his official career. He is
known in history as “the man of rectitude.” This was his posthumous
title conferred on him by imperial decree.

To resume the thread of my story, I was nearly two weeks in the
viceroy’s headquarters, occupying a suite of rooms in the same building
assigned to my Shanghai friends--Li, Chang, Wha and Chu. There were
living in his military headquarters at least two hundred officials,
gathered there from all parts of the Empire, for various objects and
purposes. Besides his secretaries, who numbered no less than a hundred,
there were expectant officials, learned scholars, lawyers,
mathematicians, astronomers and machinists; in short, the picked and
noted men of China were all drawn there by the magnetic force of his
character and great name. He always had a great admiration for men of
distinguished learning and talents, and loved to associate and mingle
with them. During the two weeks of my sojourn there, I had ample
opportunity to call upon my Shanghai friends, and in that way
incidentally found out what the object of the Viceroy was in urging me
to be enrolled in the government service. It seemed that my friends had
had frequent interviews with the Viceroy in regard to having a foreign
machine shop established in China, but it had not been determined what
kind of a machine shop should be established. One evening they gave me a
dinner, at which time the subject of the machine shop was brought up and
it became the chief topic. After each man had expressed his views on the
subject excepting myself, they wanted to know what my views were,
intimating that in all likelihood in my next interview with the Viceroy
he would bring up the subject. I said that as I was not an expert in the
matter, my opinions or suggestions might not be worth much, but
nevertheless from my personal observation in the United States and from
a common-sense point of view, I would say that a machine shop in the
present state of China should be of a general and fundamental character
and not one for specific purposes. In other words, I told them they
ought to have a machine shop that would be able to create or reproduce
other machine shops of the same character as itself; each and all of
these should be able to turn out specific machinery for the manufacture
of specific things. In plain words, they would have to have general and
fundamental machinery in order to turn out specific machinery. A machine
shop consisting of lathes of different kinds and sizes, planers and
drills would be able to turn out machinery for making guns, engines,
agricultural implements, clocks, etc. In a large country like China, I
told them, they would need many primary or fundamental machine shops,
but that after they had one (and a first-class one at that) they could
make it the mother shop for reproducing others--perhaps better and more
improved. If they had a number of them, it would enable them to have the
shops co-operate with each other in case of need. It would be cheaper to
have them reproduced and multiplied in China, I said, where labor and
material were cheaper, than in Europe and America. Such was my crude
idea of the subject. After I had finished, they were apparently much
pleased and interested, and expressed the hope that I would state the
same views to the Viceroy if he should ask me about the subject.

Several days after the dinner and conversation, the Viceroy did send for
me. In this interview he asked me what in my opinion was the best thing
to do for China at that time. The question came with such a force of
meaning, that if I had not been forwarned by my friends a few evenings
before, or if their hearts had not been set on the introduction of a
machine shop, and they had not practically won the Viceroy over to
their pet scheme, I might have been strongly tempted to launch forth
upon my educational scheme as a reply to the question as to what was the
best thing to do for China. But in such an event, being a stranger to
the Viceroy, having been brought to his notice simply through the
influence of my friends, I would have run a greater risk of jeopardizing
my pet scheme of education than if I were left to act independently. My
obligations to them were great, and I therefore decided that my
constancy and fidelity to their friendship should be correspondingly
great. So, instead of finding myself embarrassed in answering such a
large and important question, I had a preconceived answer to give, which
seemed to dove-tail into his views already crystallized into definite
form, and which was ready to be carried out at once. So my educational
scheme was put in the background, and the machine shop was allowed to
take precedence. I repeated in substance what I had said to my friends
previously in regard to establishing a mother machine shop, capable of
reproducing other machine shops of like character, etc. I especially
mentioned the manufacture of rifles, which, I said, required for the
manufacture of their component parts separate machinery, but that the
machine shop I would recommend was not one adapted for making the
rifles, but adapted to turn out specific machinery for the making of
rifles, cannons, cartridges, or anything else.

“Well,” said he, “this is a subject quite beyond my knowledge. It would
be well for you to discuss the matter with Wha and Chu, who are more
familiar with it than I am and we will then decide what is best to be
done.”

This ended my interview with the Viceroy. After I left him, I met my
friends, who were anxious to know the result of the interview. I told
them of the outcome. They were highly elated over it. In our last
conference it was decided that the matter of the character of the
machine shop was to be left entirely to my discretion and judgment,
after consulting a professional mechanical engineer. At the end of
another two weeks, Wha was authorized to tell me that the Viceroy, after
having seen all the four men, had decided to empower me to go abroad and
make purchases of such machinery as in the opinion of a professional
engineer would be the best and the right machinery for China to adopt.
It was also left entirely to me to decide where the machinery should be
purchased,--either in England, France or the United States of America.

The location of the machine shop was to be at a place called Kow Chang
Meu, about four miles northwest of the city of Shanghai. The Kow Chang
Meu machine shop was afterwards known as the Kiang Nan Arsenal, an
establishment that covers several acres of ground and embraces under its
roof all the leading branches of mechanical work. Millions have been
invested in it since I brought the first machinery from Fitchburg,
Mass., in order to make it one of the greatest arsenals east of the Cape
of Good Hope. It may properly be regarded as a lasting monument to
commemorate Tsang Kwoh Fan’s broadmindedness as well as far-sightedness
in establishing Western machinery in China.



CHAPTER XIV

MY MISSION TO AMERICA TO BUY MACHINERY


A week after my last interview with the Viceroy and after I had been
told that I was to be entrusted with the execution of the order, my
commission was made out and issued to me. In addition to the commission,
the fifth official rank was conferred on me. It was a nominal civil
rank, with the privilege of wearing the blue feather, as was customary
only in war time and limited to those connected with the military
service, but discarded in the civil service, where the peacock’s feather
is conferred only by imperial sanction. Two official despatches were
also made out, directing me where to receive the Tls. 68,000, the entire
amount for the purchase of the machinery. One-half of the amount was to
be paid by the Taotai of Shanghai, and the other half by the Treasurer
of Canton. After all the preliminary preparations had been completed, I
bade farewell to the Viceroy and my Shanghai friends and started on my
journey.

On my arrival in Shanghai in October, 1863, I had the good fortune to
meet Mr. John Haskins, an American mechanical engineer, who came out to
China with machinery for Messrs. Russell & Co. He had finished his
business with that firm and was expecting soon to return to the States
with his family--a wife and a little daughter. He was just the man I
wanted. It did not take us long to get acquainted and as the time was
short, we soon came to an understanding. We took the overland route from
Hong Kong to London, via the Isthmus of Suez. Haskins and his family
took passage on the French Messagerie Imperial line, while I engaged
mine on board of one of the Peninsular & Oriental steamers. In my route
to London, I touched at Singapore, crossed the Indian Ocean, and landed
at Ceylon, where I changed steamers for Bengal up the Red Sea and landed
at Cairo, where I had to cross the Isthmus by rail. The Suez Canal was
not finished; the work of excavating was still going on. Arriving at
Alexandria, I took passage from there to Marseilles, the southern port
of France, while Haskins and his family took a steamer direct for
Southampton. From Marseilles I went to Paris by rail. I was there about
ten days, long enough to give me a general idea of the city, its public
buildings, churches, gardens, and of Parisian gaiety. I crossed the
English channel from Calais to Dover and went thence by rail to
London--the first time in my life to touch English soil, and my first
visit to the famous metropolis. While in London, I visited Whitworth’s
machine shop, and had the pleasure of renewing my acquaintance with
Thomas Christy, whom I knew in China in the ’50’s. I was about a month
in England, and then crossed the Atlantic in one of the Cunard steamers
and landed in New York in the early spring of 1864, just ten years after
my graduation from Yale and in ample time to be present at the decennial
meeting of my class in July. Haskins and his family had preceded me in
another steamer for New York, in order that he might get to work on the
drawings and specifications of the shop and machinery and get them
completed as soon as possble. In 1864, the last year of the great Civil
War, nearly all the machine shops in the country, especially in New
England, were preoccupied and busy in executing government orders, and
it was very difficult to have my machinery taken up. Finally Haskins
succeeded in getting the Putnam Machine Co., Fitchburg, Mass., to fill
the order.

While Haskins was given sole charge of superintending the execution of
the order, which required at least six months before the machinery could
be completed for shipment to China, I took advantage of the interim to
run down to New Haven and attend the decennial meeting of my class. It
was to me a joyous event and I congratulated myself that I had the good
luck to be present at our first re-union. Of course, the event that
brought me back to the country was altogether unpretentious and had
attracted little or no public attention at the time, because the whole
country was completely engrossed in the last year of the great Civil
War, yet I personally regarded my commission as an inevitable and
preliminary step that would ultimately lead to the realization of my
educational scheme, which had never for a moment escaped my mind. But at
the meeting of my class, this subject of my life plan was not brought
up. We had a most enjoyable time and parted with nearly the same
fraternal feeling that characterized our parting at graduation. After
the decennial meeting, I returned to Fitchburg and told Haskins that I
was going down to Washington to offer my services to the government as a
volunteer for the short period of six months, and that in case anything
happened to me during the six months so that I could not come back to
attend to the shipping of the machinery to Shanghai, he should attend to
it. I left him all the papers--the cost and description of the
machinery, the bills of lading, insurance, and freight, and directed him
to send everything to the Viceroy’s agent in Shanghai. This
precautionary step having been taken, I slipped down to Washington.

Brigadier-General Barnes of Springfield, Mass., happened to be the
general in charge of the Volunteer Department. His headquarters were at
Willard’s Hotel. I called on him and made known to him my object, that I
felt as a naturalized citizen of the United States, it was my bounden
duty to offer my services as a volunteer courier to carry despatches
between Washington and the nearest Federal camp for at least six months,
simply to show my loyalty and patriotism to my adopted country, and that
I would furnish my own equipments. He said that he remembered me well,
having met me in the Yale Library in New Haven, in 1853, on a visit to
his son, William Barnes, who was in the college at the time I was, and
who afterwards became a prominent lawyer in San Francisco. General
Barnes asked what business I was engaged in. I told him that since my
graduation in 1854 I had been in China and had recently returned with an
order to purchase machinery for a machine shop ordered by Viceroy and
Generalissimo Tsang Kwoh Fan. I told him the machinery was being made to
order in Fitchburg, Mass., under the supervision of an American
mechanical engineer, and as it would take at least six months before the
same could be completed, I was anxious to offer my services to the
government in the meantime as an evidence of my loyalty and patriotism
to my adopted country. He was quite interested and pleased with what I
said.

“Well, my young friend,” said he, “I thank you very much for your offer,
but since you are charged with a responsible trust to execute for the
Chinese government, you had better return to Fitchburg to attend to it.
We have plenty of men to serve, both as couriers and as fighting men to
go to the front.” Against this peremptory decision, I could urge nothing
further, but I felt that I had at least fulfilled my duty to my adopted
country.



CHAPTER XV

MY SECOND RETURN TO CHINA


The machinery was not finished till the early spring of 1865. It was
shipped direct from New York to Shanghai, China; while it was doubling
the Cape of Good Hope on its way to the East, I took passage in another
direction, back to China. I wanted to encircle the globe once in my
life, and this was my opportunity. I could say after that, that I had
circumnavigated the globe. So I planned to go back by way of San
Francisco. In order to do that, I had to take into consideration the
fact that the Union Pacific from Chicago to San Francisco via Omaha was
not completed, nor was any steamship line subsidized by the United
States government to cross the Pacific from San Francisco to any
seaport, either in Japan or China at the time. On that account I was
obliged to take a circuitous route, by taking a coast steamer from New
York to Panama, cross the Isthmus, and from there take passage in
another coast steamer up the Mexican coast to San Francisco, Cal.

At San Francisco, I was detained two weeks where I had to wait for a
vessel to bridge me over the broad Pacific, either to Yokohama or
Shanghai. At that time, as there was no other vessel advertised to sail
for the East, I was compelled to take passage on board the “Ida de
Rogers,” a Nantucket bark. There were six passengers, including myself.
We had to pay $500 each for passage from San Francisco to Yokohama. The
crew consisted of the captain, who had with him his wife, and a little
boy six years old, a mate, three sailors and a cook, a Chinese boy. The
“Ida de Rogers” was owned by Captain Norton who hailed from Nantucket.
She was about one hundred and fifty feet long--an old tub at that. She
carried no cargo and little or no ballast, except bilge-water, which may
have come from Nantucket, for aught I know. The skipper, true to the
point of the country where they produce crops of seamen of microscopic
ideas, was found to be not at all deficient in his close calculations of
how to shave closely in every bargain and, in fact, in everything in
life. In this instance, we had ample opportunity to find out under whom
we were sailing. Before we were fairly out of the “Golden Gate,” we were
treated every day with salted mackerel, which I took to be the daily
and fashionable dish of Nantucket. The cook we had made matters worse,
as he did not seem to know his business and was no doubt picked up in
San Francisco just to fill the vacancy. The mackerel was cooked and
brought on the table without being freshened, and the Indian meal cakes
that were served with it, were but half baked, so that day after day we
practically all left the table disgusted and half starved. Not only was
the food bad and unhealthy, but the skipper’s family was of a very low
type. The skipper himself was a most profane man, and although I never
heard the wife swear, yet she seemed to enjoy her husband’s oaths. Their
little boy who was not more than six years old, seemed to have surpassed
the father in profanity. It may be said that the young scamp had
mastered his shorter and longer catechism of profanity completely, for
he was not wanting in expressions of the most disgusting and repulsive
kind, as taught him by his sire, yet his parents sat listening to him
with evident satisfaction, glancing around at the passengers to catch
their approval. One of the passengers, an Englishman, who stood near
listening and smoking his pipe, only remarked ironically, “You have a
smart boy there.” At this the skipper nodded, while the mother seemed
to gloat over her young hopeful. Such a scene was of daily occurrence,
and one that we could not escape, since we were cooped up in such narrow
quarters on account of the smallness of the vessel. There was not even a
five-foot deck where one could stretch his legs. We were most of the
time shut up in the dining room, as it was the coolest spot we could
find. Before our voyage was half over, we had occasion to land at one of
the most northerly islands of the Hawaiian group for fresh water and
provisions. While the vessel was being victualed, all the passengers
landed and went out to the country to take a stroll, which was a great
relief. We were gone nearly all day. We all re-embarked early in the
evening. It seemed that the captain had filled the forward hold with
chickens and young turkeys. We congratulated ourselves that the skipper
after all had swung round to show a generous streak, which had only
needed an opportunity to show itself, and that for the rest of the
voyage he was no doubt going to feed us on fresh chickens and turkeys to
make up for the salted mackerel, which might have given us the scurvy
had we continued on the same diet. For the first day or so, after we
resumed our voyage, we had chicken and fish for our breakfast and
dinners, but that was the last we saw of the fresh provisions. We saw no
turkey on the table. On making inquiry, the cook told us that both the
chickens and the turkeys were bought, not for our table, but for
speculation, to be sold on arrival in Yokohama. Unfortunately for the
skipper, the chickens and turkeys for want of proper food and fresh air,
had died a few days before our arrival at the port.

Immediately upon reaching Yokohama, I took passage in a P. & O. steamer
for Shanghai.

On my arrival there, I found the machinery had all arrived a month
before; it had all been delivered in good condition and perfect working
order. I had been absent from China a little over a year. During that
time Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan, with the co-operation of his brother, Tsang
Kwoh Chuen, succeeded in the capture of Nanking, which put an end to the
great Taiping Rebellion of 1850.

On my arrival in Shanghai, I found that the Viceroy had gone up to Chu
Chow, the most northerly department of Kiangsu province, close to the
border line of Shan Tung, and situated on the canal. He made that his
headquarters in superintending the subjugation of the Nienfi or Anwhui
rebels, against whom Li Hung Chang had been appointed as his lieutenant
in the field. I was requested to go up to Chu Chow to make a report in
person regarding the purchase of the machinery.

On my journey to Chu Chow, I was accompanied by my old friend Wha Yuh
Ting part of the way. We went by the Grand Canal from Sinu-Mew at the
Yangtze up as far as Yang Chow, the great entrepôt for the Government
Salt Monopoly. There we took mule carts overland to Chu Chow. We were
three days on our journey. Chu Chow is a departmental city and here, as
stated before, Viceroy Tsang made his quarters. I was there three days.
The Viceroy complimented me highly for what I had done. He made my late
commission to the States to purchase machinery the subject of a special
memorial to the government. Such a special memorial on any political
event invariably gives it political prominence and weight, and in order
to lift me at once from a position of no importance to a territorial
civil appointment of the bona fide fifth rank, was a step seldom asked
for or conceded. He made out my case to be an exceptional one, and the
following is the language he used in his memorial:

“Yung Wing is a foreign educated Chinese. He has mastered the English
language. In his journey over thousands of miles of ocean to the extreme
ends of the earth to fulfill the commission I entrusted to him, he was
utterly oblivious to difficulties and dangers that lay in his way. In
this respect even the missions of the Ancients present no parallel equal
to his. Therefore, I would recommend that he be promoted to the
expectancy of one of the Kiangsu subprefects, and he is entitled to fill
the first vacancy presenting itself, in recognition of his valuable
services.”

His secretary, who drew up the memorial at his dictation, gave me a copy
of the memorial before I left Chu Chow for Shanghai, and congratulated
me on the great honor the Viceroy had conferred on me. I thanked the
Viceroy before bidding him good-bye, and expressed the hope that my
actions in the future would justify his high opinion of me.

In less than two months after leaving him, an official document from the
Viceroy reached me in Shanghai, and in October, 1865, I was a
full-fledged mandarin of the fifth rank. While waiting as an expectant
subprefect, I was retained by the provincial authorities as a government
interpreter and translator. My salary was $250 per month. No other
expectant official of the province--not even an expectant Taotai (an
official of the fourth rank)--could command such a salary.

Ting Yih Chang was at the time Taotai of Shanghai. He and I became great
friends. He rose rapidly in official rank and became successively salt
commissioner, provincial treasurer and Taotai or governor of Kiang Nan.
Through him, I also rose in official rank and was decorated with the
peacock’s feather. While Ting Yih Chang was salt commissioner, I
accompanied him to Yang Chow and was engaged in translating Colton’s
geography into Chinese, for about six months. I then returned to
Shanghai to resume my position as government interpreter and translator.
I had plenty of time on my hands. I took to translating “Parsons on
Contracts,” which I thought might be useful to the Chinese. In this work
I was fortunate in securing the services of a Chinese scholar to help
me. I found him well versed in mathematics and in all Chinese official
business, besides being a fine Chinese scholar and writer. He finally
persuaded me not to continue the translation, as there was some doubt as
to whether such a work, even when finished, would be in demand, because
the Chinese courts are seldom troubled with litigations on contracts,
and in all cases of violation of contracts, the Chinese code is used.

In 1867, Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan, with Li Hung Chang’s co-operation,
succeeded in ending the Nienfi rebellion, and came to Nanking to fill
his viceroyalty of the two Kiangs.

Before taking up his position as viceroy of the Kiangs permanently, he
took a tour of inspection through his jurisdiction and one of the
important places he visited was Shanghai and the Kiang Nan Arsenal--an
establishment of his own creation. He went through the arsenal with
undisguised interest. I pointed out to him the machinery which I bought
for him in America. He stood and watched its automatic movement with
unabated delight, for this was the first time he had seen machinery, and
how it worked. It was during this visit that I succeeded in persuading
him to have a mechanical school annexed to the arsenal, in which Chinese
youths might be taught the theory as well as the practice of mechanical
engineering, and thus enable China in time to dispense with the
employment of foreign mechanical engineers and machinists, and to be
perfectly independent. This at once appealed to the practical turn of
the Chinese mind, and the school was finally added to the arsenal. They
are doubtless turning out at the present time both mechanical engineers
and machinists of all descriptions.



CHAPTER XVI

PROPOSAL OF MY EDUCATIONAL SCHEME


Having scored in a small way this educational victory, by inducing the
Viceroy to establish a mechanical training school as a corollary to the
arsenal, I felt quite worked up and encouraged concerning my educational
scheme which had been lying dormant in my mind for the past fifteen
years, awaiting an opportunity to be brought forward.

Besides Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan, whom I counted upon to back me in
furthering the scheme, Ting Yih Chang, an old friend of mine, had become
an important factor to be reckoned with in Chinese politics. He was a
man of progressive tendencies and was alive to all practical measures of
reform. He had been appointed governor of Kiangsu province, and after
his accession to his new office, I had many interviews with him
regarding my educational scheme, in which he was intensely interested.
He told me that he was in correspondence with Wen Seang, the prime
minister of China, who was a Manchu, and that if I were to put my scheme
in writing, he would forward it to Peking, and ask Wen Seang to use his
influence to memorialize the government for its adoption. Such an
unexpected piece of information came like a clap of thunder and fairly
lifted me off my feet. I immediately left Suchau for Shanghai. With the
help of my Nanking friend, who had helped me in the work of translating
“Parsons on Contracts,” I drew up four proposals to be presented to
Governor Ting, to be forwarded by him to Minister Wen Seang, at Peking.
They were as follows:


FIRST PROPOSAL

The first proposal contemplated the organization of a Steamship Company
on a joint stock basis. No foreigner was to be allowed to be a
stockholder in the company. It was to be a purely Chinese company,
managed and worked by Chinese exclusively.

To insure its stability and success, an annual government subsidy was to
be made in the shape of a certain percentage of the tribute rice carried
to Peking from Shanghai and Chinkiang, and elsewhere, where tribute
rice is paid over to the government in lieu of taxes in money. This
tribute rice heretofore had been taken to Peking by flat-bottom boats,
via the Grand Canal. Thousands of these boats were built expressly for
this rice transportation, which supported a large population all along
the whole route of the Grand Canal.

On account of the great evils arising from this mode of transportation,
such as the great length of time it took to take the rice to Peking, the
great percentage of loss from theft, and from fermentation, which made
the rice unfit for food, part of the tribute rice was carried by sea in
Ningpo junks as far as Tiensin, and from thence transhipped again in
flat-bottom boats to Peking. But even the Ningpo junk system was
attended with great loss of time and much damage, almost as great as by
flat-bottom scows. My proposition was to use steam to do the work,
supplanting both the flat-bottomed scows and the Ningpo junk system, so
that the millions who were dependent on rice for subsistence might find
it possible to get good and sound rice. This is one of the great
benefits and blessings which the China Merchant Steamship Co. has
conferred upon China.


SECOND PROPOSAL

The second proposition was for the government to send picked Chinese
youths abroad to be thoroughly educated for the public service. The
scheme contemplated the education of one hundred and twenty students as
an experiment. These one hundred and twenty students were to be divided
into four installments of thirty students each, one installment to be
sent out each year. They were to have fifteen years to finish their
education. Their average age was to be from twelve to fourteen years. If
the first and second installments proved to be a success, the scheme was
to be continued indefinitely. Chinese teachers were to be provided to
keep up their knowledge of Chinese while in the United States. Over the
whole enterprise two commissioners were to be appointed, and the
government was to appropriate a certain percentage of the Shanghai
customs to maintain the mission.


THIRD PROPOSAL

The third proposition was to induce the government to open the mineral
resources of the country and thus in an indirect way lead to the
necessity of introducing railroads to transport the mineral products
from the interior to the ports.

I did not expect this proposition to be adopted and carried out, because
China at that time had no mining engineers who could be depended upon to
develop the mines, nor were the people free from the Fung Shui
superstition.[A] I had no faith whatever in the success of this
proposition, but simply put it in writing to show how ambitious I was to
have the government wake up to the possibilities of the development of
its vast resources.

 [A] The doctrine held by the Chinese in relation to the spirits or
 genii that rule over winds and waters, especially running streams
 and subterranean waters. This doctrine is universal and inveterate
 among the Chinese, and in a great measure prompts their hostility to
 railroads and telegraphs, since they believe that such structures
 anger the spirits of the air and waters and consequently cause floods
 and typhoons.--_Standard Dictionary_.


FOURTH PROPOSAL

The encroachment of foreign powers upon the independent sovereignty of
China has always been watched by me with the most intense interest. No
one who is at all acquainted with Roman Catholicism can fail to be
impressed with the unwarranted pretensions and assumptions of the Romish
church in China. She claims civil jurisdiction over her proselytes, and
takes civil and criminal cases out of Chinese courts. In order to put a
stop to such insidious and crafty workings to gain temporal power in
China, I put forth this proposition: to prohibit missionaries of any
religious sect or denomination from exercising any kind of jurisdiction
over their converts, in either civil or criminal cases. These four
propositions were carefully drawn up, and were presented to Governor
Ting for transmission to Peking.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the four proposals, the first, third and fourth were put in to
chaperone the second, in which my whole heart was enlisted, and which
above all others was the one I wanted to be taken up; but not to give it
too prominent a place, at the suggestion of my Chinese teacher, it was
assigned a second place in the order of the arrangement. Governor Ting
recognized this, and accordingly wrote to Prime Minister Wen Seang and
forwarded the proposals to Peking. Two months later, a letter from Ting,
at Suchau, his headquarters, gave me to understand that news from Peking
had reached him that Wen Seang’s mother had died, and he was obliged,
according to Chinese laws and customs, to retire from office and go
into mourning for a period of twenty-seven months, equivalent to three
years, and to abstain altogether from public affairs of all kinds. This
news threw a cold blanket over my educational scheme for the time being.
No sooner had one misfortune happened than another took its place, worst
than the first--Wen Seang himself, three months afterwards, was
overtaken by death during his retirement. This announcement appeared in
the Peking “Gazette,” which I saw, besides being officially informed of
it by Governor Ting. No one who had a pet scheme to promote or a hobby
to ride could feel more blue than I did, when the cup of joy held so
near to his lips was dashed from him. I was not entirely disheartened by
such circumstances, but had an abiding faith that my educational scheme
would in the end come out all right. There was an interval of at least
three years of suspense and waiting between 1868 and 1870. I kept
pegging at Governor Ting, urging him to keep the subject constantly
before Viceroy Tsang’s mind. But like the fate of all measures of
reform, it had to abide its time and opportunity.

The time and the opportunity for my educational scheme to materialize
finally came. Contrary to all human expectations, the opportunity
appeared in the guise of the Tientsin Massacre. No more did Samson, when
he slew the Timnath lion, expect to extract honey from its carcass than
did I expect to extract from the slaughter of the French nuns and
Sisters of Charity the educational scheme that was destined to make a
new China of the old, and to work out an Oriental civilization on an
Occidental basis.

The Tientsin Massacre took place early in 1870. It arose from the gross
ignorance and superstition of the Tientsin populace regarding the work
of the nuns and Sisters of Charity, part of whose religious duty it was
to rescue foundlings and castaway orphans, who were gathered into
hospitals, cared for and educated for the services of the Roman Catholic
church. This beneficent work was misunderstood and misconstrued by the
ignorant masses, who really believed in the rumors and stories that the
infants and children thus gathered in were taken into the hospitals and
churches to have their eyes gouged out for medical and religious
purposes. Such diabolical reports soon spread like wild-fire till
popular excitement was worked up to its highest pitch of frenzy, and the
infuriated mob, regardless of death and fearless of law, plunged
headlong into the Tientsin Massacre. In that massacre a Protestant
church was burned and destroyed, as was also a Roman Catholic church and
hospital; several nuns or Sisters of Charity were killed.

At the time of this occurrence, Chung Hou was viceroy of the
Metropolitan province. He had been ambassador to Russia previously, but
in this unfortunate affair, according to Chinese law, he was held
responsible, was degraded from office and banished. The whole imbroglio
was finally settled and patched up by the payment of an indemnity to the
relatives and friends of the victims of the massacre and the rebuilding
of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, another Catholic
hospital, besides a suitable official apology made by the government for
the incident. Had the French government not been handicapped by the
impending German War which threatened her at the time, France would
certainly have made the Tientsin Massacre a _casus belli_, and another
slice of the Chinese Empire would have been annexed to the French
possessions in Asia. As it was, Tonquin, a tributary state of China, was
afterwards unscrupulously wrenched from her.

In the settlement of the massacre, the Imperial commissioners appointed
were: Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan, Mow Chung Hsi, Liu * * * and Ting Yih
Chang, Governor of Kiang Su. Li Hung Chang was still in the field
finishing up the Nienfi rebellion, otherwise he, too, would have been
appointed to take part in the proceedings of the settlement. I was
telegraphed for by my friend, Ting Yih Chang, to be present to act as
interpreter on the occasion, but the telegram did not reach me in time
for me to accompany him to Tientsin; but I reached Tientsin in time to
witness the last proceedings. The High Commissioners, after the
settlement with the French, for some reason or other, did not disband,
but remained in Tientsin for several days. They evidently had other
matters of State connected with Chung Hou’s degradation and banishment
to consider.



CHAPTER XVII

THE CHINESE EDUCATIONAL MISSION


Taking advantage of their presence, I seized the opportunity to press my
educational scheme upon the attention of Ting Yih Chang and urged him to
present the subject to the Board of Commissioners of which Tsang Kwoh
Fan was president. I knew Ting sympathized with me in the scheme, and I
knew, too, that Tsang Kwoh Fan had been well informed of it three years
before through Governor Ting. Governor Ting took up the matter in dead
earnest and held many private interviews with Tsang Kwoh Fan as well as
with the other members of the Commission. One evening, returning to his
headquarters very late, he came to my room and awakened me and told me
that Viceroy Tsang and the other Commissioners had unanimously decided
to sign their names conjointly in a memorial to the government to adopt
my four propositions. This piece of news was too much to allow me to
sleep any more that night; while lying on my bed, as wakeful as an owl,
I felt as though I were treading on clouds and walking in air. Two days
after this stirring piece of news, the memorial was jointly signed with
Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan’s name heading the list, and was on its way to
Peking by pony express. Meanwhile, before the Board of Commissioners
disbanded and Viceroy Tsang took his departure for Nanking, it was
decided that Chin Lan Pin, a member of the Hanlin College, who had
served twenty years as a clerk in the Board of Punishment, should be
recommended by Ting to co-operate with me in charge of the Chinese
Educational Commission. The ground upon which Chin Lan Pin was
recommended as a co-commissioner was that he was a Han Lin and a
regularly educated Chinese, and the enterprise would not be so likely to
meet with the opposition it might have if I were to attempt to carry it
out alone, because the scheme in principle and significance was against
the Chinese theory of national education, and it would not have taken
much to create a reaction to defeat the plan on account of the intense
conservatism of the government. The wisdom and the shrewd policy of such
a move appealed to me at once, and I accepted the suggestion with
pleasure and alacrity. So Chin Lan Pin was written to and came to
Tientsin. The next day, after a farewell dinner had been accorded to the
Board of Commissioners before it broke up, Governor Ting introduced me
to Chin Lan Pin, whom I had never met before and who was to be my
associate in the educational scheme. He evidently was pleased to quit
Peking, where he had been cooped up in the Board of Punishment for
twenty years as a clerk. He had never filled a government position in
any other capacity in his life, nor did he show any practical experience
in the world of business and hard facts. In his habits he was very
retiring, but very scholarly. In disposition he was kindly and pleasant,
but very timid and afraid of responsibilities of even a feather’s
weight.

In the winter of 1870, Tsang Kwoh Fan, after having settled the Tientsin
imbroglio, returned to Nanking, his headquarters as the viceroy of the
two Kiangs. There he received the imperial rescript sanctioning his
joint memorial on the four proposals submitted through Ting Yih Chang
for adoption by the government. He notified me on the subject. It was a
glorious piece of news, and the Chinese educational project thus became
a veritable historical fact, marking a new era in the annals of China.
Tsang invited me to repair to Nanking, and during that visit the most
important points connected with the mission were settled, viz.: the
establishment of a preparatory school; the number of students to be
selected to be sent abroad; where the money was to come from to support
the students while there; the number of years they were to be allowed to
remain there for their education.

The educational commission was to consist of two commissioners, Chin Lan
Pin and myself. Chin Lan Pin’s duty was to see that the students should
keep up their knowledge of Chinese while in America; my duty was to look
after their foreign education and to find suitable homes for them. Chin
Lan Pin and myself were to look after their expenses conjointly. Two
Chinese teachers were provided to keep up their studies in Chinese, and
an interpreter was provided for the Commission. Yeh Shu Tung and Yung
Yune Foo were the Chinese teachers and Tsang Lai Sun was the
interpreter. Such was the composition of the Chinese Educational
Commission.

As to the character and selection of the students: the whole number to
be sent abroad for education was one hundred and twenty; they were to
be divided into four installments of thirty members each, one
installment to be sent each year for four successive years at about the
same time. The candidates to be selected were not to be younger than
twelve or older than fifteen years of age. They were to show respectable
parentage or responsible and respectable guardians. They were required
to pass a medical examination, and an examination in their Chinese
studies according to regulation--reading and writing in Chinese--also to
pass an English examination if a candidate had been in an English
school. All successful candidates were required to repair every day to
the preparatory school, where teachers were provided to continue with
their Chinese studies, and to begin the study of English or to continue
with their English studies, for at least one year before they were to
embark for the United States.

Parents and guardians were required to sign a paper which stated that
without recourse, they were perfectly willing to let their sons or
protégés go abroad to be educated for a period of fifteen years, from
the time they began their studies in the United States until they had
finished, and that during the fifteen years, the government was not to
be responsible for death or for any accident that might happen to any
student.

The government guaranteed to pay all their expenses while they were
being educated. It was to provide every installment with a Chinese
teacher to accompany it to the United States, and to give each
installment of students a suitable outfit. Such were the requirements
and the organization of the student corps.

Immediately upon my return to Shanghai from Nanking after my long
interview with the Viceroy, my first step was to have a preparatory
school established in Shanghai for the accommodation of at least thirty
students, which was the full complement for the first installment. Liu
Kai Sing, who was with the Viceroy for a number of years as his first
secretary in the Department on Memorials, was appointed superintendent
of the preparatory school in Shanghai. In him, I found an able coadjutor
as well as a staunch friend who took a deep interest in the educational
scheme. He it was who prepared all the four installments of students to
come to this country.

Thus the China end of the scheme was set afloat in the summer of 1871.
To make up the full complement of the first installment of students, I
had to take a trip down to Hong Kong to visit the English government
schools to select from them a few bright candidates who had had some
instruction both in English and Chinese studies. As the people in the
northern part of China did not know that such an educational scheme had
been projected by the government, there being no Chinese newspapers
published at that time to spread the news among the people, we had, at
first, few applications for entrance into the preparatory school. All
the applications came from the Canton people, especially from the
district of Heang Shan. This accounts for the fact that nine-tenths of
the one hundred and twenty government students were from the south.

In the winter of 1871, a few months after the preparatory school had
begun operations, China suffered an irreparable loss by the death of
Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan, who died in Nanking at the ripe age of
seventy-one years. Had his life been spared even a year longer, he would
have seen the first installment of thirty students started for the
United States,--the first fruit of his own planting. But founders of all
great and good works are not permitted by the nature and order of things
to live beyond their ordained limitations to witness the successful
developments of their own labor in this world; but the consequences of
human action and human character, when once their die is cast, will
reach to eternity. Sufficient for Tsang Kwoh Fan that he had completed
his share in the educational line well. He did a great and glorious work
for China and posterity, and those who were privileged to reap the
benefit of his labor will find ample reason to bless him as China’s
great benefactor. Tsang, as a statesman, a patriot, and as a man,
towered above his contemporaries even as Mount Everest rises above the
surrounding heights of the Himalaya range, forever resting in
undisturbed calmness and crowned with the purity of everlasting snow.
Before he breathed his last, I was told that it was his wish that his
successor and protégé, Li Hung Chang, be requested to take up his mantle
and carry on the work of the Chinese Educational Commission.

Li Hung Chang was of an altogether different make-up from his
distinguished predecessor and patron. He was of an excitable and nervous
temperament, capricious and impulsive, susceptible to flattery and
praise, or, as the Chinese laconically put it, he was fond of wearing
tall hats. His outward manners were brusque, but he was inwardly
kind-hearted. As a statesman he was far inferior to Tsang; as a patriot
and politician, his character could not stand a moment before the
searchlight of cold and impartial history. It was under such a man that
the Chinese Educational Commission was launched forth.

In the latter part of the summer of 1872 the first installment of
Chinese students, thirty in number, were ready to start on the passage
across the Pacific to the United States. In order that they might have
homes to go to on their arrival, it devolved upon me to precede them by
one month, leaving Chin Lan Pin, the two Chinese teachers and their
interpreter to come on a mail later. After reaching New York by the
Baltimore and Ohio, via Washington, I went as far as New Haven on my way
to Springfield, Mass., where I intended to meet the students and other
members of the commission on their way to the East by the Boston and
Albany Railroad. At New Haven, the first person I called upon to
announce my mission was Prof. James Hadley. He was indeed glad to see
me, and was delighted to know that I had come back with such a mission
in my hands. After making my wants known to him, he immediately
recommended me to call upon Mr. B. G. Northrop, which I did. Mr.
Northrop was then Commissioner of Education for Connecticut. I told him
my business and asked his advice. He strongly recommended me to
distribute and locate the students in New England families, either by
twos or fours to each family, where they could be cared for and at the
same time instructed, till they were able to join classes in graded
schools. This advice I followed at once. I went on to Springfield,
Mass., which city I considered was the most central point from which to
distribute the students in New England; for this reason I chose
Springfield for my headquarters. This enabled me to be very near my
friends, Dr. A. S. McClean and his worthy wife, both of whom had been my
steadfast friends since 1854.

But through the advice of Dr. B. G. Northrop and other friends, I made
my permanent headquarters in the city of Hartford, Conn., and for nearly
two years our headquarters were located on Sumner Street. I did not
abandon Springfield, but made it the center of distribution and location
of the students as long as they continued to come over, which was for
three successive years, ending in 1875.

In 1874, Li Hung Chang, at the recommendation of the commission,
authorized me to put up a handsome, substantial building on Collins
Street as the permanent headquarters of the Chinese Educational
Commission in the United States. In January, 1875, we moved into our new
headquarters, which was a large, double three-story house spacious
enough to accommodate the Commissioners, teachers and seventy-five
students at one time. It was provided with a school-room where Chinese
was exclusively taught; a dining room, a double kitchen, dormitories and
bath rooms. The motive which led me to build permanent headquarters of
our own was to have the educational mission as deeply rooted in the
United States as possible, so as not to give the Chinese government any
chance of retrograding in this movement. Such was my proposal, but that
was not God’s disposal as subsequent events plainly proved.



CHAPTER XVIII

INVESTIGATION OF THE COOLIE TRAFFIC IN PERU


In the spring of 1873, I returned to China on a flying visit for the
sole purpose of introducing the Gatling gun--a comparatively new weapon
of warfare of a most destructive character. I had some difficulty in
persuading the Gatling Company to give me the sole agency of the gun in
China, because they did not know who I was, and were unacquainted with
my practical business experience. In fact, they did not know how
successfully I had carried on the Taiping Green Tea Expedition in
1860-1, in the face of dangers and privations which few men dared to
face. However, I prevailed on the president of the company, Dr. Gatling
himself, the inventor of the gun, to entrust me with the agency. Exactly
a month after my arrival in Tientsin, I cabled the company an order for
a battery of fifty guns, which amounted altogether to something over
$100,000, a pretty big order for a man who it was thought could not do
anything. This order was followed by subsequent orders. I was anxious
that China should have the latest modern guns as well as the latest
modern educated men. The Gatling Company was satisfied with my work and
had a different opinion of me afterwards.

While I was in Tientsin, attending to the gun business, the Viceroy told
me that the Peruvian commissioner was there waiting to make a treaty
with China regarding the further importation of coolie labor into Peru.
He wanted me to call on the commissioner and talk with him on the
subject, which I did. In his conversation, he pictured to me in rosy
colors how well the Chinese were treated in Peru; how they were
prospering and doing well there, and said that the Chinese government
ought to conclude a treaty with Peru to encourage the poorer class of
Chinese to emigrate to that country, which offered a fine chance for
them to better themselves. I told him that I knew something about the
coolie traffic as it was carried on in Macao; how the country people
were inveigled and kidnapped, put into barracoons and kept there by
force till they were shipped on board, where they were made to sign
labor contracts either for Cuba or Peru. On landing at their
destination, they were then sold to the highest bidder, and made to
sign another contract with their new masters, who took special care to
have the contract renewed at the end of every term, practically making
slaves of them for life. Then I told him something about the horrors of
the middle passage between Macao and Cuba or Peru; how whole cargoes of
them revolted in mid-ocean, and either committed wholesale suicide by
jumping into the ocean, or else overpowered the captain and the crew,
killed them and threw them overboard, and then took their chances in the
drifting of the vessel.

Such were some of the facts and horrors of the coolie traffic I pictured
to the Peruvian Commissioner. I told him plainly that he must not expect
me to help him in this diabolical business. On the contrary, I told him
I would dissuade the Viceroy from entering into a treaty with Peru to
carry on such inhuman traffic. How the Peruvian’s countenance changed
when he heard me deliver my mind on the subject! Disappointment,
displeasure and anger were visible in his countenance. I bade him good
morning, for I was myself somewhat excited as I narrated what I had seen
in Macao and what I had read in the papers about the coolie traffic.
Indeed, one of the first scenes I had seen on my arrival in Macao in
1855 was a string of poor Chinese coolies tied to each other by their
cues and led into one of the barracoons like abject slaves. Once, while
in Canton, I had succeeded in having two or three kidnappers arrested,
and had them put into wooden collars weighing forty pounds, which the
culprits had to carry night and day for a couple of months as a
punishment for their kidnapping.

Returning to the Viceroy, I told him I had made the call, and narrated
my interview. The Viceroy, to make my visit short, then said, “You have
come back just in time to save me from cabling you. I wish you to return
to Hartford as quickly as possible and make preparations to proceed to
Peru at once, to look into the condition of the Chinese coolies there.”

On my return to Hartford, I found that Chin Lan Pin had also been
instructed by the government to look after the condition of the Chinese
coolies in Cuba. These collateral or side missions were ordered at Li
Hung Chang’s suggestion. I started on my mission before Chin Lan Pin
did. My friend, the Rev. J. H. Twichell, and Dr. E. W. Kellogg, who
afterwards became my brother-in-law, accompanied me on my trip. I
finished my work inside of three months, and had my report completed
before Chin started on his journey to Cuba. On his return, both of our
reports were forwarded to Viceroy Li, who was in charge of all foreign
diplomatic affairs.

My report was accompanied with two dozen photographs of Chinese coolies,
showing how their backs had been lacerated and torn, scarred and
disfigured by the lash. I had these photographs taken in the night,
unknown to anyone except the victims themselves, who were, at my
request, collected and assembled together for the purpose. I knew that
these photographs would tell a tale of cruelty and inhumanity
perpetrated by the owners of haciendas, which would be beyond cavil and
dispute.

The Peruvian Commissioner, who was sent out to China to negotiate a
treaty with Viceroy Li Hung Chang to continue the coolie traffic to
Peru, was still in Tientsin waiting for the arrival of my report. A
friend of mine wrote me that he had the hardihood to deny the statements
in my report, and said that they could not be supported by facts. I had
written to the Viceroy beforehand that he should hold the photographs in
reserve, and keep them in the background till the Peruvian had exhausted
all his arguments, and then produce them. My correspondent wrote me
that the Viceroy followed my suggestion, and the photographs proved to
be so incontrovertible and palpable that the Peruvian was taken by
surprise and was dumbfounded. He retired completely crestfallen.

Since our reports on the actual conditions of Chinese coolies in Cuba
and Peru were made, no more coolies have been allowed to leave China for
those countries. The traffic had received its death blow.



CHAPTER XIX

END OF THE EDUCATIONAL MISSION


In the fall of 1875 the last installment of students arrived. They came
in charge of a new commissioner, Ou Ngoh Liang, two new Chinese teachers
and a new interpreter, Kwang Kee Cheu. These new men were appointed by
Viceroy Li Hung Chang. I knew them in China, especially the new
commissioner and the interpreter.

These changes were made at the request of Chin Lan Pin, who expected
soon to return to China on a leave of absence. He was going to take with
him the old Chinese teacher, Yeh Shu Tung, who had rendered him great
and signal service in his trip to Cuba on the coolie question the year
before. Tsang Lai Sun, the old interpreter, was also requested to resign
and returned to China. These changes I had anticipated some time before
and they did not surprise me.

Three months after Chin Lan Pin’s arrival in Peking, word came from
China that he and I were appointed joint Chinese ministers to
Washington, and that Yeh Shu Tung, the old Chinese teacher, was
appointed secretary to the Chinese Legation. This was great news to me
to be sure, but I did not feel ecstatic over it; on the contrary, the
more I reflected on it, the more I felt depressed. But my friends who
congratulated me on the honor and promotion did not take in the whole
situation as it loomed up before my mind in all its bearings. As far as
I was concerned, I had every reason to feel grateful and honored, but
how about my life work--the Chinese educational mission that I had in
hand--and which needed in its present stage great watchfulness and care?
If, as I reflected, I were to be removed to Washington, who was there
left behind to look after the welfare of the students with the same
interest that I had manifested? It would be like separating the father
from his children. This would not do, so I sat down and wrote to the
Viceroy a letter, the tenor of which ran somewhat as follows: I thanked
him for the appointment which I considered to be a great honor for any
man to receive from the government; and said that while I appreciated
fully its significance, the obligations and responsibilities
inseparably connected with the position filled me with anxious
solicitude that my abilities and qualifications might not be equal to
their satisfactory fulfilment. In view of such a state of mind, I much
preferred, if I were allowed to have my preference in the matter, to
remain in my present position as a commissioner of the Chinese mission
in Hartford and to continue in it till the Chinese students should have
finished their education and were ready to return to China to serve the
State in their various capacities. In that event I should have
discharged a duty to “Tsang the Upright,” and at the same time fulfilled
a great duty to China. As Chin Lan Pin had been appointed minister at
the same time, he would doubtless be able alone to meet the expectations
of the government in his diplomatic capacity.

The letter was written and engrossed by Yung Yune Foo, one of the old
Chinese teachers who came over with the first installment of students at
the same time Yeh Shu Tung came. In less than four months an answer was
received which partially acceded to my request by making me an assistant
or associate minister, at the same time allowing me to retain my
position as Commissioner of Education, and in that capacity, to
exercise a general supervision over the education of the students.

Ou Ngoh Liang, the new commissioner, was a much younger man than Chin.
He was a fair Chinese scholar, but not a member of the Hanlin College.
He was doubtless recommended by Chin Lan Pin. He brought his family with
him, which consisted of his second wife and two children. He was a man
of a quiet disposition and showed no inclination to meddle with settled
conditions or to create trouble, but took rather a philosophical view of
things; he had the good sense to let well enough alone. He was connected
with the mission but a short time and resigned in 1876.

In 1876 Chin Lan Pin came as minister plenipotentiary and brought with
him among his numerous retinue Woo Tsze Tung, a man whom I knew in
Shanghai even in the ’50’s. He was a member of the Hanlin College, but
for some reason or other, he was never assigned to any government
department, nor was he ever known to hold any kind of government office.
He showed a decided taste for chemistry, but never seemed to have made
any progress in it, and was regarded by all his friends as a crank.

After Ou’s resignation, Chin Lan Pin before proceeding to Washington to
take up his official position as Chinese minister, strongly recommended
Woo Tsze Tung to succeed Ou as commissioner, to which Viceroy Li Hung
Chang acceded without thinking of the consequences to follow. From this
time forth the educational mission found an enemy who was determined to
undermine the work of Tsang Kwoh Fan and Ting Yih Cheong, to both of
whom Woo Tsze Tung was more or less hostile. Woo was a member of the
reactionary party, which looked upon the Chinese Educational Commission
as a move subversive of the principles and theories of Chinese culture.
This was told me by one of Chin’s suite who held the appointment of
_chargé d’affaires_ for Peru. The making of Woo Tsze Tung a commissioner
plainly revealed the fact that Chin Lan Pin himself was at heart an
uncompromising Confucian and practically represented the reactionary
party with all its rigid and uncompromising conservatism that gnashes
its teeth against all and every attempt put forth to reform the
government or to improve the general condition of things in China. This
accounts for the fact that in the early stages of the mission, I had
many and bitter altercations with him on many things which had to be
settled for good, once and for all. Such as the _school_ and _personal_
expenses of the students; their vacation expenses; their change of
costume; their attendance at family worship; their attendance at Sunday
School and church services; their outdoor exercises and athletic games.
These and other questions of a social nature came up for settlement. I
had to stand as a kind of buffer between Chin and the students, and
defended them in all their reasonable claims. It was in this manner that
I must have incurred Chin’s displeasure if not his utter dislike. He had
never been out of China in his life until he came to this country. The
only standard by which he measured things and men (especially students)
was purely Chinese. The gradual but marked transformation of the
students in their behavior and conduct as they grew in knowledge and
stature under New England influence, culture and environment produced a
contrast to their behavior and conduct when they first set foot in New
England that might well be strange and repugnant to the ideas and senses
of a man like Chin Lan Pin, who all his life had been accustomed to see
the springs of life, energy and independence, candor, ingenuity and
open-heartedness all covered up and concealed, and in a great measure
smothered and never allowed their full play. Now in New England the
heavy weight of repression and suppression was lifted from the minds of
these young students; they exulted in their freedom and leaped for joy.
No wonder they took to athletic sports with alacrity and delight!

Doubtless Chin Lan Pin when he left Hartford for good to go to
Washington carried away with him a very poor idea of the work to which
he was singled out and called upon to perform. He must have felt that
his own immaculate Chinese training had been contaminated by coming in
contact with Occidental schooling, which he looked upon with evident
repugnance. At the same time the very work which he seemed to look upon
with disgust had certainly served him the best turn in his life. It
served to lift him out of his obscurity as a head clerk in the office of
the Board of Punishment for twenty years to become a commissioner of the
Chinese Educational Commission, and from that post to be a minister
plenipotentiary in Washington. It was the stepping stone by which he
climbed to political prominence. He should not have kicked away the
ladder under him after he had reached his dizzy elevation. He did all he
could to break up the educational scheme by recommending Woo Tsze Tung
to be the Commissioner of Education, than whom he could not have had a
more pliant and subservient tool for his purpose, as may be seen
hereinafter.

Woo Tsze Tung was installed commissioner in the fall of 1876. No sooner
was he in office than he began to find fault with everything that had
been done. Instead of laying those complaints before me, he
clandestinely started a stream of misrepresentation to Peking about the
students; how they had been mismanaged; how they had been indulged and
petted by Commissioner Yung; how they had been allowed to enjoy more
privileges than was good for them; how they imitated American students
in athletics; that they played more than they studied; that they formed
themselves into secret societies, both religious and political; that
they ignored their teachers and would not listen to the advice of the
new commissioner; that if they were allowed to continue to have their
own way, they would soon lose their love of their own country, and on
their return to China, they would be good for nothing or worse than
nothing; that most of them went to church, attended Sunday Schools and
had become Christians; that the sooner this educational enterprise was
broken up and all the students recalled, the better it would be for
China, etc., etc.

Such malicious misrepresentations and other falsehoods which we knew
nothing of, were kept up in a continuous stream from year to year by Woo
Tsze Tung to his friends in Peking and to Viceroy Li Hung Chang. The
Viceroy called my attention to Woo’s accusations. I wrote back in reply
that they were malicious fabrications of a man who was known to have
been a crank all his life; that it was a grand mistake to put such a man
in a responsible position who had done nothing for himself or for others
in his life; that he was only attempting to destroy the work of Tsang
Kwoh Fan who, by projecting and fathering the educational mission, had
the highest interest of China at heart; whereas Woo should have been
relegated to a cell in an insane asylum or to an institution for
imbeciles. I said further that Chin Lan Pin, who had recommended Woo to
His Excellency as commissioner of Chinese Education, was a timid man by
nature and trembled at the sight of the smallest responsibilities. He
and I had not agreed in our line of policy in our diplomatic
correspondence with the State Department nor had we agreed as
commissioners in regard to the treatment of the Chinese students. To
illustrate his extreme dislike of responsibilities: He was requested by
the Governor to go to Cuba to find out the condition of the coolies in
that island in 1873. He waited three months before he started on his
journey. He sent Yeh Shu Tung and one of the teachers of the Mission
accompanied by a young American lawyer and an interpreter to Cuba, which
party did the burden of the work and thus paved the way for Chin Lan Pin
and made the work easy for him. All he had to do was to take a trip down
to Cuba and return, fulfilling his mission in a perfunctory way. The
heat of the day and the burden of the labor were all borne by Yeh Shu
Tung, but Chin Lan Pin gathered in the laurel and was made a minister
plenipotentiary, while Yeh was given the appointment of a secretary of
the legation. I mention these things not from any invidious motive
towards Chin, but simply to show that often in the official and
political world one man gets more praise and glory than he really
deserves, while another is not rewarded according to his intrinsic
worth. His Excellency was well aware that I had no axe to grind in
making the foregoing statement. I further added that I much preferred
not to accept the appointment of a minister to Washington, but rather
to remain as commissioner of education, for the sole purpose of carrying
it through to its final success. And, one time in the heat of our
altercation over a letter addressed to the State Department, I told Chin
Lan Pin in plain language that I did not care a rap either for the
appointment of an assistant minister, or for that matter, of a full
minister, and that I was ready and would gladly resign at any moment,
leaving him free and independent to do as he pleased.

This letter in answer to the Viceroy’s note calling my attention to
Woo’s accusations gave the Viceroy an insight into Woo’s antecedents, as
well as into the impalpable character of Chin Lan Pin. Li was, of
course, in the dark as to what the Viceroy had written to Chin Lan Pin,
but things both in the legation and the Mission apparently moved on
smoothly for a while, till some of the students were advanced enough in
their studies for me to make application to the State Department for
admittance to the Military Academy at West Point and the Naval Academy
in Annapolis. The answer to my application was: “There is no room
provided for Chinese students.” It was curt and disdainful. It breathed
the spirit of Kearnyism and Sandlotism with which the whole Pacific
atmosphere was impregnated, and which had hypnotized all the departments
of the government, especially Congress, in which Blaine figured most
conspicuously as the champion against the Chinese on the floor of the
Senate. He had the presidential bee buzzing in his bonnet at the time,
and did his best to cater for the electoral votes of the Pacific coast.
The race prejudice against the Chinese was so rampant and rank that not
only my application for the students to gain entrance to Annapolis and
West Point was treated with cold indifference and scornful hauteur, but
the Burlingame Treaty of 1868 was, without the least provocation, and
contrary to all diplomatic precedents and common decency, trampled under
foot unceremoniously and wantonly, and set aside as though no such
treaty had ever existed, in order to make way for those acts of
congressional discrimination against Chinese immigration which were
pressed for immediate enactment.

When I wrote to the Viceroy that I had met with a rebuff in my attempt
to have some of the students admitted to West Point and Annapolis, his
reply at once convinced me that the fate of the Mission was sealed. He
too fell back on the Burlingame Treaty of 1868 to convince me that the
United States government had violated the treaty by shutting out our
students from West Point and Annapolis.

Having given a sketch of the progress of the Chinese Educational Mission
from 1870 to 1877-8, my letter applying for their admittance into the
Military and Naval Academies might be regarded as my last official act
as a commissioner. My duties from 1878 onwards were chiefly confined to
legation work.

When the news that my application for the students to enter the Military
and Naval Academies of the government had proved a failure, and the
displeasure and disappointment of the Viceroy at the rebuff were known,
Commissioner Woo once more renewed his efforts to break up the Mission.
This time he had the secret co-operation of Chin Lan Pin.
Misrepresentations and falsehoods manufactured out of the whole cloth
went forth to Peking in renewed budgets in every mail, till a censor
from the ranks of the reactionary party came forward and took advantage
of the strong anti-Chinese prejudices in America to memorialize the
government to break up the Mission and have all the students recalled.

The government before acceding to the memorial put the question to
Viceroy Li Hung Chang first, who, instead of standing up for the
students, yielded to the opposition of the reactionary party and gave
his assent to have the students recalled. Chin Lan Pin, who from his
personal experience was supposed to know what ought to be done, was the
next man asked to give his opinion. He decided that the students had
been in the United States long enough, and that it was time for them to
return to China. Woo Tsze Tung, the Commissioner, when asked for his
opinion, came out point blank and said that they should be recalled
without delay and should be strictly watched after their return. I was
ruled out of the consultation altogether as being one utterly
incompetent to give an impartial and reliable opinion on the subject.
Thus the fate of the educational mission was sealed, and all students,
about one hundred in all, returned to China in 1881.

The breaking up of the Chinese Educational Commission and the recall of
the young students in 1881, was not brought about without a strenuous
effort on the part of some thoughtful men who had watched steadfastly
over the development of human progress in the East and the West, who
came forward in their quiet and modest ways to enter a protest against
the revocation of the Mission. Chief among them were my lifelong friend,
the Rev. J. H. Twichell, and Rev. John W. Lane, through whose persistent
efforts Presidents Porter and Seelye, Samuel Clemens, T. F.
Frelinghuysen, John Russell Young and others were enlisted and brought
forward to stay the work of retrogression of the part of the Chinese.
The protest was couched in the most dignified, frank and manly language
of President Porter of Yale and read as follows:


                        _To The Tsung Li Yamun_
                                 _or_
                     _Office for Foreign Affairs._

“The undersigned, who have been instructors, guardians and friends of
the students who were sent to this country under the care of the Chinese
Educational Commission, beg leave to represent:

“That they exceedingly regret that these young men have been withdrawn
from the country, and that the Educational Commission has been
dissolved.

“So far as we have had opportunity to observe, and can learn from the
representations of others, the young men have generally made a faithful
use of their opportunities, and have made good progress in the studies
assigned to them, and in the knowledge of the language, ideas, arts and
institutions of the people of this country.

“With scarcely a single exception, their morals have been good; their
manners have been singularly polite and decorous, and their behavior has
been such as to make friends for themselves and their country in the
families, the schools, the cities and villages in which they have
resided.

“In these ways they have proved themselves eminently worthy of the
confidence which has been reposed in them to represent their families
and the great Chinese Empire in a land of strangers. Though children and
youths, they have seemed always to understand that the honor of their
race and their nation was committed to their keeping. As the result of
their good conduct, many of the prejudices of ignorant and wicked men
towards the Chinese have been removed, and more favorable sentiments
have taken their place.

“We deeply regret that the young men have been taken away just at the
time when they were about to reap the most important advantages from
their previous studies, and to gather in the rich harvest which their
painful and laborious industry had been preparing for them to reap. The
studies which most of them have pursued hitherto have been disciplinary
and preparatory. The studies of which they have been deprived by their
removal, would have been the bright flower and the ripened fruit of the
roots and stems which have been slowly reared under patient watering and
tillage. We have given to them the same knowledge and culture that we
give to our own children and citizens.

“As instructors and guardians of these young men, we should have
welcomed to our schools and colleges the Commissioners of Education or
their representatives and have explained to them our system and methods
of instruction. In some cases, they have been invited to visit us, but
have failed to respond to their invitations in person or by their
deputies.

“We would remind your honorable body that these students were originally
received to our homes and our colleges by request of the Chinese
government through the Secretary of State with the express desire that
they might learn our language, our manners, our sciences and our arts.
To remove them permanently and suddenly without formal notice or inquiry
on the ground that as yet they had learned nothing useful to China when
their education in Western institutions, arts and sciences is as yet
incomplete, seems to us as unworthy of the great Empire for which we
wish eminent prosperity and peace, as it is discourteous to the nation
that extended to these young men its friendly hospitality.

“We cannot accept as true the representation that they have derived evil
and not good from our institutions, our principles and our manners. If
they have neglected or forgotten their native language, we never assumed
the duty of instructing them in it, and cannot be held responsible for
this neglect. The Chinese government thought it wise that some of its
own youth should be trained after our methods. We have not finished the
work which we were expected to perform. May we not reasonably be
displeased that the results of our work should be judged unfavorably
before it could possibly be finished?

“In view of these considerations, and especially in view of the injury
and loss which have fallen upon the young men whom we have learned to
respect and love, and the reproach which has implicitly been brought
upon ourselves and the great nation to which we belong,--we would
respectfully urge that the reasons for this sudden decision should be
reconsidered, and the representations which have been made concerning
the intellectual and moral character of our education should be properly
substantiated. We would suggest that to this end, a committee may be
appointed of eminent Chinese citizens whose duty it shall be to examine
into the truth of the statements unfavorable to the young men or their
teachers, which have led to the unexpected abandonment of the
Educational Commission and to the withdrawal of the young men from the
United States before their education could be finished.”



CHAPTER XX

JOURNEY TO PEKING AND DEATH OF MY WIFE


The treatment which the students received at the hands of Chinese
officials in the first years after their return to China as compared
with the treatment they received in America while at school could not
fail to make an impression upon their innermost convictions of the
superiority of Occidental civilization over that of China--an impression
which will always appeal to them as cogent and valid ground for radical
reforms in China, however altered their conditions may be in their
subsequent careers. Quite a number of the survivors of the one hundred
students, I am happy to say, have risen to high official ranks and
positions of great trust and responsibility. The eyes of the government
have been opened to see the grand mistake it made in breaking up the
Mission and having the students recalled. Within only a few years it had
the candor and magnanimity to confess that it wished it had more of just
such men as had been turned out by the Chinese Educational Mission in
Hartford, Conn. This confession, though coming too late, may be taken as
a sure sign that China is really awakening and is making the best use of
what few partially educated men are available. And these few
Occidentally educated men have, in their turn, encouraged and stimulated
both the government and the people. Since the memorable events of the
China and Japan war, and the war between Japan and Russia, several
hundreds of Chinese students have come over to the United States to be
educated. Thus the Chinese educational scheme which Tsang Kwoh Fan
initiated in 1870 at Tientsin and established in Hartford, Conn., in
1872, though rolled back for a period of twenty-five years, has been
practically revived.

Soon after the students’ recall and return to China in 1881, I also took
my departure and arrived in Tientsin in the fall of that year on my way
to Peking to report myself to the government after my term of office as
assistant minister had expired. This was the customary step for all
diplomatic officers of the government to take at the close of their
terms. Chin Lan Pin preceded me by nearly a year, having returned in
1880.

While paying my visit to Li Hung Chang in Tientsin, before going up to
Peking, he brought up the subject of the recall of the students. To my
great astonishment he asked me why I had allowed the students to return
to China. Not knowing exactly the significance of the inquiry, I said
that Chin Lan Pin, who was minister, had received an imperial decree to
break up the Mission; that His Excellency was in favor of the decree, so
was Chin Lan Pin and so was Woo Tsze Tung. If I had stood out alone
against carrying out the imperial mandate, would not I have been
regarded as a rebel, guilty of treason, and lose my head for it? But he
said that at heart he was in favor of their being kept in the States to
continue their studies, and that I ought to have detained them. In reply
I asked how I could have been supposed to read his heart at a distance
of 45,000 lis, especially when it was well known that His Excellency had
said that they might just as well be recalled. If His Excellency had
written to me beforehand not to break up the Mission under any
circumstances, I would then have known what to do; as it was, I could
not have done otherwise than to see the decree carried out. “Well,” said
he, in a somewhat angry and excited tone, “I know the author of this
great mischief.” Woo Tsze Tung happened to be in Tientsin at the time.
He had just been to Peking and sent me word begging me to call and see
him. Out of courtesy, I did call. He told me he had not been well
received in Peking, and that Viceroy Li was bitter towards him when he
had called and had refused to see him a second time. He looked careworn
and cast down. He was never heard of after our last interview.

On my arrival in Peking, one of my first duties was to make my round of
official calls on the leading dignitaries of the government--the Princes
Kung and Ching and the presidents of the six boards. It took me nearly a
month to finish these official calls. Peking may be said to be a city of
great distances, and the high officials live quite far apart from each
other. The only conveyances that were used to go about from place to
place were the mule carts. These were heavy, clumsy vehicles with an
axle-tree running right across under the body of a box, which was the
carriage, and without springs to break the jolting, with two heavy
wheels, one at each end of the axle. They were slow coaches, and with
the Peking roads all cut up and seldom repaired, you can imagine what
traveling in those days meant. The dust and smell of the roads were
something fearful. The dust was nothing but pulverized manure almost as
black as ink. It was ground so fine by the millions of mule carts that
this black stuff would fill one’s eyes and ears and penetrate deep into
the pores of one’s skin, making it impossible to cleanse oneself with
one washing. The neck, head and hands had to have suitable coverings to
keep off the dust. The water is brackish, making it difficult to take
off the dirt, thereby adding to the discomforts of living in Peking.

I was in Peking about three months. While there, I found time to prepare
a plan for the effectual suppression of the Indian opium trade in China
and the extinction of the poppy cultivation in China and India. This
plan was submitted to the Chinese government to be carried out, but I
was told by Whang Wen Shiu, the president of the Tsung Li Yamun (Foreign
Affairs), that for want of suitable men, the plan could not be
entertained, and it was shelved for nearly a quarter of a century until
recently when the subject became an international question.

I left Peking in 1882. After four months’ residence in Shanghai, I
returned to the United States on account of the health of my family.

I reached home in the spring of 1883, and found my wife in a very low
condition. She had lost the use of her voice and greeted me in a hoarse
low whisper. I was thankful that I found her still living though much
emaciated. In less than a month after my return, she began to pick up
and felt more like herself. Doubtless, her declining health and
suffering were brought on partly on account of my absence and her
inexpressible anxiety over the safety of my life. A missionary fresh
from China happened to call on her a few days before my departure for
China and told her that my going back to China was a hazardous step, as
they would probably cut my head off on account of the Chinese
Educational Mission. This piece of gratuitous information tended more to
aggravate a mind already weighed down by poor health, and to have this
gloomy foreboding added to her anxiety was more than she could bear. I
was absent in China from my family this time nearly a year and a half,
and I made up my mind that I would never leave it again under any
conditions whatever. My return in 1883 seemed to act on my wife’s health
and spirit like magic, as she gradually recovered strength enough to go
up to Norfolk for the summer. The air up in Norfolk was comparatively
pure and more wholesome than in the Connecticut valley, and proved
highly salubrious to her condition. At the close of the summer, she came
back a different person from what she was when she went away, and I was
much encouraged by her improved health. I followed up these changes of
climate and air with the view of restoring her to her normal condition,
taking her down to Atlanta, Georgia, one winter and to the Adirondacks
another year. It seemed that these changes brought only temporary relief
without any permanent recovery. In the winter of 1885, she began to show
signs of a loss of appetite and expressed a desire for a change.
Somerville, New Jersey, was recommended to her as a sanitarium. That was
the last resort she went to for her health, for there she caught a cold
which resulted in her death. She lingered there for nearly two months
till she was brought home, and died of Bright’s disease on the 28th of
June, 1886. She was buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in the home lot I
secured for that purpose. Her death made a great void in my after-life,
which was irreparable, but she did not leave me hopelessly deserted and
alone; she left me two sons who are constant reminders of her beautiful
life and character. They have proved to be my greatest comfort and
solace in my declining years. They are most faithful, thoughtful and
affectionate sons, and I am proud of their manly and earnest Christian
characters. My gratitude to God for blessing me with two such sons will
forever rise to heaven, an endless incense.

The two blows that fell upon me one after the other within the short
span of five years from 1880 to 1886 were enough to crush my spirit. The
one had scattered my life work to the four winds; the other had deprived
me of a happy home which had lasted only ten years. The only gleam of
light that broke through the dark clouds which hung over my head came
from my two motherless sons whose tender years appealed to the very
depths of my soul for care and sympathy. They were respectively seven
and nine years old when deprived of their mother. I was both father and
mother to them from 1886 till 1895. My whole soul was wrapped up in
their education and well-being. My mother-in-law, Mrs. Mary B. Kellogg,
assisted me in my work and stood by me in my most trying hours, keeping
house for me for nearly two years.



CHAPTER XXI

MY RECALL TO CHINA


In 1894-5 war broke out between China and Japan on account of Korea. My
sympathies were enlisted on the side of China, not because I am a
Chinese, but because China had the right on her side, and Japan was
simply trumping up a pretext to go to war with China, in order to show
her military and naval prowess. Before the close of the war, it was
impossible for me to be indifferent to the situation--I could not
repress my love for China. I wrote to my former legation interpreter and
secretary, two letters setting forth a plan by which China might
prosecute the war for an indefinite time.

My first plan was to go over to London to negotiate a loan of
$15,000,000, with which sum to purchase three or four ready built
iron-clads, to raise a foreign force of 5,000 men to attack Japan in the
rear from the Pacific coast--thus creating a diversion to draw the
Japanese forces from Korea and give the Chinese government a breathing
spell to recruit a fresh army and a new navy to cope with Japan. While
this plan was being carried out, the government was to empower a
commission to mortgage the Island of Formosa to some Western power for
the sum of $400,000,000 for the purpose of organizing a national army
and navy to carry on the war. These plans were embodied in two letters
to Tsai Sik Yung, at that time secretary to Chang Tsze Tung, viceroy of
Hunan and Hupeh. They were translated into Chinese for the Viceroy. That
was in the winter of 1894. To my great surprise, Viceroy Chang approved
of my first plan. I was authorized by cable to go over to London to
negotiate the loan of $15,000,000. The Chinese minister in London, a Li
Hung Chang man, was advised of my mission, which in itself was a
sufficient credential for me to present myself to the minister. In less
than a month after my arrival in London, I succeeded in negotiating the
loan; but in order to furnish collaterals for it, I had to get the
Chinese minister in London to cable the government for the hypothecation
of the customs’ revenue. I was told that Sir Robert Hart,
inspector-general of customs, and Viceroy Li Hung Chang refused to have
the customs’ revenue hypothecated, on the ground that this revenue was
hardly enough to cover as collateral the loan to meet the heavy
indemnity demanded by Japan. The fact was: Viceroy Li Hung Chang and
Chang Chi Tung were at loggerheads and opposed to each other in the
conduct of the war. The latter was opposed to peace being negotiated by
Li Hung Chang; but the former had the Dowager Empress on his side and
was strenuous in his efforts for peace.

Hence Sir Robert Hart had to side with the Court party, and ignored
Chang Chi Tung’s request for the loan of $15,000,000; on that account
the loan fell through, and came near involving me in a suit with the
London Banking Syndicate.

I returned to New York and cabled for further instructions from Chang
Chi Tung as to what my next step would be. In reply he cabled for me to
come to China at once.

After thirteen years of absence from China, I thought that my
connections with the Chinese government had been severed for good when I
left there in 1883. But it did not appear to be so; another call to
return awaited me, this time from a man whom I had never seen, of whose
character, disposition and views I was altogether ignorant, except from
what I knew from hearsay. But he seemed to know all about me, and in
his memorial to the government inviting me to return, he could not have
spoken of me in higher terms than he did. So I girded myself to go back
once more to see what there was in store for me. By this recall, I
became Chang Chi Tung’s man as opposed to Li Hung Chang.

Before leaving for China this time, I took special pains to see my two
sons well provided for in their education. Dr. E. W. Kellogg, my oldest
brother-in-law, was appointed their guardian. Morrison Brown Yung, the
older son, had just succeeded in entering Yale, Sheffield Scientific,
and was able to look out for himself. Bartlett G. Yung, the younger one,
was still in the Hartford High School preparing for college. I was
anxious to secure a good home for him before leaving the country, as I
did not wish to leave him to shift for himself at his critical age. The
subject was mentioned to my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Twichell. They at once
came forward and proposed to take Bartlett into their family as one of
its members, till he was ready to enter college. This is only a single
instance illustrative of the large-hearted and broad spirit which has
endeared them to their people both in the Asylum Hill church and outside
of it. I was deeply affected by this act of self-denial and magnanimity
in my behalf as well as in the behalf of my son Bartlett, whom I felt
perfectly assured was in first-class hands, adopted as a member of one
of the best families in New England. Knowing that my sons would be well
cared for, and leaving the development of their characters to an
all-wise and ever-ruling Providence, as well as to their innate
qualities, I embarked for China, this time without any definite and
specific object in view beyond looking out for what opening there might
be for me to serve her.

On my arrival in Shanghai, in the early part of the summer of 1895, I
had to go to the expense of furnishing myself with a complete outfit of
all my official dresses, which cost me quite a sum. Viceroy Chang Chi
Tung, a short time previous to my arrival, had been transferred from the
viceroyalty of the two Hoos to the viceroyalty of the two Kiangs
temporarily. Instead of going up to Wu Chang, the capital of Hupeh, I
went up to Nanking, where he was quartered.

In Viceroy Chang Chi Tung, I did not find that magnetic attraction which
at once drew me towards Tsang Kwoh Fan when I first met him at Ngan
Khing in 1863. There was a cold, supercilious air enveloping him, which
at once put me on my guard. After stating in a summary way how the loan
of $15,000,000 fell through, he did not state why the Peking government
had declined to endorse his action in authorizing the loan, though I
knew at the time that Sir Robert Hart, the inspector-general of the
Chinese customs, put forward as an excuse that the custom dues were
hardly enough to serve as collateral for the big loan that was about to
be negotiated to satisfy the war indemnity demanded by the Japanese
government. This was the diplomatic way of coating over a bitter pill
for Chang Chi Tung to swallow, when the Peking government, through the
influence of Li Hung Chang, was induced to ignore the loan. Chang and Li
were not at the time on cordial terms, each having a divergent policy to
follow in regard to the conduct of the war.

Dropping the subject of the loan as a dead issue, our next topic of
conversation was the political state of the country in view of the
humiliating defeat China had suffered through the incompetence and
corruption of Li Hung Chang, whose defeat both on land and sea had
stripped him of all official rank and title and came near costing him
his life. I said that China, in order to recover her prestige and
become a strong and powerful nation, would have to adopt a new policy.
She would have to go to work and engage at least four foreigners to act
as advisers in the Department for Foreign Affairs, in the Military and
Naval Departments and in the Treasury Department. They might be engaged
for a period of ten years, at the end of which time they might be
re-engaged for another term. They would have to be men of practical
experience, of unquestioned ability and character. While these men were
thus engaged to give their best advice in their respective departments,
it should be taken up and acted upon, and young and able Chinese
students should be selected to work under them. In that way, the
government would have been rebuilt upon Western methods, and on
principles and ideas that look to the reformation of the administrative
government of China.

Such was the sum and substance of my talk in the first and only
interview with which Chang Chi Tung favored me. During the whole of it,
he did not express his opinion at all on any of the topics touched upon.
He was as reticent and absorbent as a dry sponge. The interview differed
from that accorded me by Tsang Kwoh Fan in 1863, in that Tsang had
already made up his mind what he wanted to do for China, and I was
pointed out to him to execute it. But in the case of Chang Chi Tung, he
had no plan formed for China at the time, and what I presented to him in
the interview was entirely new and somewhat radical; but the close of
the Japan War justified me in bringing forward such views, as it was on
account of that war that I had been recalled. If he had been as broad a
statesman as his predecessor, Tsang Kwoh Fan, he could have said
something to encourage me to entertain even a glimpse of hope that he
was going to do something to reform the political condition of the
government of the country at the close of the war. Nothing, however, was
said, or even hinted at. In fact, I had no other interview with him
after the first one. Before he left Nanking for Wu Chang, he gave me the
appointment of Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Kiang Nan.

On the arrival of Liu Kwan Yih, the permanent viceroy of the two Kiang
provinces, Chang Chi Tung did not ask me to go up to Wu Chang with him.
This I took to be a pretty broad hint that he did not need my services
any longer, that I was not the man to suit his purposes; and as I had
no axe to grind, I did not make any attempt to run after my grind-stone.
On the contrary, after three months’ stay in Nanking under Viceroy Liu
Kwan Yih, out of regard for official etiquette, I resigned the
secretaryship, which was practically a sinecure--paying about $150 a
month. Such was my brief official experience with Viceroys Chang Chi
Tung and Liu Kwan Yih.

I severed my official connection with the provincial government of Kiang
Nan in 1896, and took up my headquarters in Shanghai--untrammeled and
free to do as I pleased and go where I liked. It was then that I
conceived the plan of inducing the central government to establish in
Peking a government national bank. For this object I set to work
translating into Chinese the National Banking Act and other laws
relating to national banks from the Revised Statutes of the United
States with Amendments and additional Acts of 1875. In prosecuting this
work, I had the aid of a Chinese writer, likewise the co-operation of
the late Wong Kai Keh, one of the Chinese students who was afterwards
the assistant Chinese commissioner in the St. Louis Exposition, who gave
me valuable help. With the translation, I went up to Peking with my
Chinese writer, and, at the invitation of my old friend, Chang Yen Hwan,
who had been Chinese Minister in Washington from 1884 to 1888, I took up
my quarters in his residence and remained there several months. Chang
Yen Hwan at that time held two offices: one as a senior member of the
Tsung Li Yamun (Office for Foreign Affairs); the other, as the first
secretary in the Treasury Department of which Ung Tung Hwo, tutor to the
late Emperor Kwang Su, was the president. Chang Yen Hwan was greatly
interested in the National Banking scheme. He examined the translation
critically and suggested that I should leave out those articles that
were inapplicable to the conditions of China, and retain only such as
were important and practicable. After the translation and selection were
completed, he showed it to Ung Tung Hwo, president of the Treasury. They
were both highly pleased with it, and had all the Treasury officials
look it over carefully and pass their judgment upon it. In a few weeks’
time, the leading officials of the Treasury Department called upon me to
congratulate me upon my work, and said it ought to be made a subject of
a memorial to the government to have the banking scheme adopted and
carried out. Chang Yen Hwan came forward to champion it, backed by Ung
Tung Hwo, the president.

To have a basis upon which to start the National Bank of China, it was
necessary to have the government advance the sum of Tls. 10,000,000; of
this sum, upwards of Tls. 2,000,000 were to be spent on machinery for
printing government bonds and bank-notes of different denominations and
machinery for a mint; Tls. 2,000,000 for the purchase of land and
buildings; and Tls. 6,000,000 were to be held in reserve in the Treasury
for the purchase of gold, silver and copper for minting coins of
different denominations for general circulation. This Tls. 10,000,000
was to be taken as the initiatory sum to start the National Bank with,
and was to be increased every year in proportion to the increase of the
commerce of the Empire.

We had made such progress in our project as to warrant our appointing a
committee to go around to select a site for the Bank, while I was
appointed to come to the United States to consult with the Treasury
Department on the plan and scope of the enterprise and to learn the best
course to take in carrying out the plan of the National Bank. The
Treasury Department, through its president, Ung Tung Hwo, was on the
point of memorializing for an imperial decree to sanction setting aside
the sum of Tls. 10,000,000 for the purpose indicated, when, to the
astonishment of Chang Yen Hwan and other promoters of the enterprise,
Ung Tung Hwo, the president, received a telegraphic message from Shing
Sun Whei, head of the Chinese Telegraphic Co., and manager of the
Shanghai, China Steamship Navigation Co., asking Ung to suspend his
action for a couple of weeks, till his arrival in Peking, Ung and Shing
being intimate friends, besides being compatriots, Ung acceded to
Shing’s request. Shing Taotai, as he was called, was well-known to be a
multimillionaire, and no great enterprise or concession of any kind
could pass through without his finger in the pie. So in this banking
scheme, he was bound to have his say. He had emissaries all over Peking
who kept him well posted about everything going on in the capital as
well as outside of it. He had access to the most powerful and
influential princes in Peking, his system of graft reaching even the
Dowager Empress through her favorite eunuch, the notorious Li Ling Ying.
So Shing was a well-known character in Chinese politics. It was through
his system of graft that the banking enterprise was defeated. It was
reported that he came up to Peking with Tls. 300,000 as presents to two
or three princes and other high and influential dignitaries, and got
away with the Tls. 10,000,000 of appropriation by setting up a bank to
manipulate his own projects.

The defeat of the National Banking project owed its origin to the
thoroughly corrupt condition of the administrative system of China. From
the Dowager Empress down to the lowest and most petty underling in the
Empire, the whole political fabric was honey-combed with what Americans
characterize as graft--a species of political barnacles, if I may be
allowed to call it that, which, when once allowed to fasten their hold
upon the bottom of the ship of State were sure to work havoc and
ruination; in other words, with money one could get anything done in
China. Everything was for barter; the highest bid got the prize. The two
wars--the one with Japan in 1894-5 and the other, the Japan and Russian
War in 1904-5--have in some measure purified the Eastern atmosphere, and
the Chinese have finally awakened to their senses and have come to some
sane consciousness of their actual condition.

After the defeat of the national banking project at the hands of Shing
Taotai, I went right to work to secure a railroad concession from the
government. The railroad I had in mind was one between the two ports of
Tientsin and Chinkiang; one in the north, the other in the south near
the mouth of the Yangtze River. The distance between these ports in a
bee line is about five hundred miles; by a circuitous route going around
the province of Shan Tung and crossing the Yellow River into the
province of Hunan through Anwhui, the distance would be about seven
hundred miles. The German government objected to having this railroad
cross Shan Tung province, as they claimed they had the monopoly of
building railroads throughout the province, and would not allow another
party to build a railroad across Shan Tung. This was a preposterous and
absurd pretension and could not be supported either by the international
laws or the sovereign laws of China. At that time, China was too feeble
and weak to take up the question and assert her own sovereign rights in
the matter, nor had she the men in the Foreign Office to show up the
absurdity of the pretension. So, to avoid any international
complications, the concession was issued to me with the distinct
understanding that the road was to be built by the circuitous route
above described. The road was to be built with Chinese, not with foreign
capital. I was given six months’ time to secure capital. At the end of
six months, if I failed to show capital, I was to surrender the
concession. I knew very well that it would be impossible to get Chinese
capitalists to build any railroad at that time. I tried hard to get
around the sticking point by getting foreign syndicates to take over the
concession, but all my attempts proved abortive, and I was compelled to
give up my railroad scheme also. This ended my last effort to help
China.

I did not dream that in the midst of my work, Khang Yu Wei and his
disciple, Leang Kai Chiu, whom I met often in Peking during the previous
year, were engaged in the great work of reform which was soon to
culminate in the momentous _coup d’état_ of 1898.



CHAPTER XXII

THE COUP D’ETAT OF 1898


The _coup d’état_ of September, 1898, was an event memorable in the
annals of the Manchu Dynasty. In it, the late Emperor Kwang Su was
arbitrarily deposed; treasonably made a prisoner of state; and had his
prerogatives and rights as Emperor of the Chinese Empire wrested from
him and usurped by the late Dowager Empress Chi Hsi.

Kwang Su, though crowned Emperor when he was five years of age, had all
along held the sceptre only nominally. It was Chi Hsi who held the helm
of the government all the time.

As soon as Kwang Su had attained his majority, and began to exercise his
authority as emperor, the lynx eye of Chi Hsi was never lifted away from
him. His acts and movements were watched with the closest scrutiny, and
were looked upon in any light but the right one, because her own stand
in the government had never been the legitimate and straight one since
1864, when her first regency over her own son, Tung Chi, woke in her an
ambition to dominate and rule, which grew to be a passion too morbid and
strong to be curbed.

In the assertion of his true manhood, and the exercise of his sovereign
power, his determination to reform the government made him at once the
cynosure of Peking, inside and outside of the Palace. In the eyes of the
Dowager Empress Chi Hsi, whose retina was darkened by deeds perpetrated
in the interest of usurpation and blinded by jealousy, Kwang Su appeared
in no other light than as a dement, or to use a milder expression, an
imbecile, fit only to be tagged round by an apron string, cared for and
watched. But to the disinterested spectator and unprejudiced judge, Kwan
Su was no imbecile, much less a dement. Impartial history and posterity
will pronounce him not only a patriot emperor, but also a patriot
reformer--as mentally sound and sane as any emperor who ever sat on the
throne of China. He may be looked upon as a most remarkable historical
character of the Manchu Dynasty from the fact that he was singled out by
an all-wise Providence to be the pioneer of the great reform movement in
China at the threshold of the twentieth century.

Just at this juncture of the political condition of China, the tide of
reform had reached Peking. Emperor Kwang Su, under some mysterious
influence, to the astonishment of the world, stood forth as the exponent
of this reform movement. I determined to remain in the city to watch its
progress. My headquarters became the rendez-vous of the leading
reformers of 1898. It was in the fall of that memorable year that the
_coup d’état_ took place, in which the young Emperor Kwang Su was
deposed by the Dowager Empress, and some of the leading reformers
arrested and summarily decapitated.

Being implicated by harboring the reformers, and in deep sympathy with
them, I had to flee for my own life and succeeded in escaping from
Peking. I took up quarters in the foreign settlement of Shanghai. While
there, I organized the “Deliberative Association of China,” of which I
was chosen the first president. The object of the association was to
discuss the leading question of the day, especially those of reform.

In 1899, I was advised for my own personal safety, to change my
residence. I went to Hong Kong and placed myself under the protection of
the British government.

I was in Hong Kong from 1900 till 1902, when I returned to the United
States to see my younger son, Bartlett G. Yung, graduate from Yale
University.

In the spring of 1901, I visited the Island of Formosa, and in that
visit I called upon Viscount Gentaro Kodama, governor of the island,
who, in the Russo-Japan War of 1904-5 was the chief of staff to Marshal
Oyama in Manchuria. In the interview our conversation had to be carried
on through his interpreter, as he, Kodama, could not speak English nor
could I speak Japanese.

He said he was glad to see me, as he had heard a great deal of me, but
never had the pleasure of meeting me. Now that he had the opportunity,
he said he might as well tell me that he had most unpleasant if not
painful information to give me. Being somewhat surprised at such an
announcement, I asked what the information was. He said he had received
from the viceroy of Fuhkein and Chêhkiang an official despatch
requesting him to have me arrested, if found in Formosa, and sent over
to the mainland to be delivered over to the Chinese authorities. Kodama
while giving this information showed neither perturbation of thought nor
feeling, but his whole countenance was wreathed with a calm and even
playful smile.

I was not disturbed by this unexpected news, nor was I at all excited. I
met it calmly and squarely, and said in reply that I was entirely in his
power, that he could deliver me over to my enemies whenever he wished; I
was ready to die for China at any time, provided that the death was an
honorable one.

“Well, Mr. Yung,” said he, “I am not going to play the part of a
constable for China, so you may rest at ease on this point. I shall not
deliver you over to China. But I have another matter to call to your
attention.” I asked what it was. He immediately held up a Chinese
newspaper before me, and asked who was the author of the proposition.
Without the least hesitation. I told him I was the author of it. At the
same time, to give emphasis to this open declaration, I put my opened
right palm on my chest two or three times, which attracted the attention
of everyone in the room, and caused a slight excitement among the
Japanese officials present.

I then said, “With Your Excellency’s permission, I must beg to make one
correction in the amount stated; instead of $800,000,000, the sum stated
in my proposition was only $400,000,000.” At this frank and open
declaration and the corrected sum, Kodama was evidently pleased and
visibly showed his pleasure by smiling at me.

The Chinese newspaper Kodama showed me contained a proposition I drew up
for Viceroy Chang Chi Tung to memorialize the Peking government for
adoption in 1894-5, about six months before the signing of the Treaty of
Shemonashiki by Viceroy Li Hung Chang. The proposal was to have the
Island of Formosa mortgaged to a European Treaty power for a period of
ninety-nine years for the sum of $400,000,000 in gold. With this sum
China was to carry on the war with Japan by raising a new army and a new
navy. This proposition was never carried through, but was made public in
the Chinese newspapers, and a copy of it found its way to Kodama’s
office, where, strange to say, I was confronted with it, and I had the
moral courage not only to avow its authorship but also a correction of
the amount the island was to be mortgaged for.

To bring the interview to a climax, I said, should like circumstances
ever arise, nothing would deter me from repeating the same proposition
in order to fight Japan.

This interview with the Japanese governor of Formosa was one of the
most memorable ones in my life. I thought at first that at the request
of the Chinese viceroy I was going to be surrendered, and that my fate
was sealed; but no sooner had the twinkling smile of Kodama lighted his
countenance than my assurance of life and safety came back with
redoubled strength, and I was emboldened to talk war on Japan with
perfect impunity. The bold and open stand I took on that occasion won
the admiration of the governor who then invited me to accompany him to
Japan where he expected to go soon to be promoted. He said he would
introduce me to the Japanese emperor and other leading men of the
nation. I thanked him heartily for his kindness and invitation and said
I would accept such a generous invitation and consider it a great honor
to accompany him on his contemplated journey, but my health would not
allow me to take advantage of it. I had the asthma badly at the time.

Then, before parting, he said that my life was in danger, and that while
I was in Formosa under his jurisdiction he would see that I was well
protected and said that he would furnish me with a bodyguard to prevent
all possibilities of assassination. So the next day he sent me four
Japanese guards to watch over me at night in my quarters; and in the
daytime whenever I went out, two guards would go in advance of me and
two behind my jinrickisha to see that I was safe. This protection was
continued for the few days I spent in Formosa till I embarked for Hong
Kong. I went in person to thank the governor and to express my great
obligation and gratitude to him for the deep interest he had manifested
towards me.



APPENDIX

An address by the Rev. Joseph H. Twichell, delivered before the Kent
Club of the Yale Law School, April 10, 1878.


A visitor to the City of Hartford, at the present time, will be likely
to meet on the streets groups of Chinese boys, in their native dress,
though somewhat modified, and speaking their native tongue, yet seeming,
withal, to be very much at home. He will also occasionally meet Chinese
men who, by their bearing, will impress him as being gentlemen of their
race.

These gentlemen are officers, and these boys are pupils of the Chinese
Educational Mission, although one of the most remarkable and significant
institutions of the age on the face of the whole earth. The object of
the mission, now of nearly six years’ standing, is the education in this
country, through a term of fifteen years, of a corps of young men for
the Chinese Government service; that Government paying the whole
cost--an annual expense of about $100,000. The number of the officers is
five, viz,--the two Imperial Commissioners in charge, a translator and
interpreter and two teachers. The function of the teachers is to direct
the Chinese education of the pupils, which proceeds _pari passu_ with
their Western education. The number of pupils was originally 120, but
now 112, one having died and seven having, for various reasons, returned
to China. A fine, large house recently erected by the Chinese Government
in the western part of the City, at a cost of fifty thousand dollars, is
the headquarters of the Mission. There are the offices of the officers,
and there is lodged the class that is present for examination and
instruction in Chinese studies. For this purpose the pupils are divided
into classes of about twenty, one coming as another goes, each staying
at the Mission House two weeks at a time. A small part only of the whole
number are permanently located in Hartford. Most of them are in other
places, though not far away, generally two together attending school or
receiving private instruction in families.

They come in yearly companies of thirty, beginning with 1872, and the
last detachment is still chiefly engaged in learning our language.

The plan is to afford these boys the advantages of our best educational
institutions--academies, colleges, and, to some extent, professional
schools--to assign them, by and by, as they shall develop aptitude, to
various special courses of study and training in the physical,
mechanical and military sciences, in political history and economy,
international law, the principles and practice of civil administration
and in all departments and branches of knowledge, skill in which is
useful for public government service in these modern times. And through
the whole process of this education, it is to be impressed upon them
that they belong and are to belong to their nation, for whose sake they
are elected to enjoy these great and peculiar opportunities. The result
will be, if all goes well and the plan is carried out,--and there is
apparently nothing now to prevent it,--that in the year 1887 or
thereabout there will go from this country to China a body of somewhere
near a hundred men who have grown up under exceedingly favorable
conditions from early youth to manhood here among us, destined to hold
places of importance in the government and in the society of their
native land, better equipped in all save experience to do for that land
what most needs to be done, and inspired for their work with a more
enlightened sense of patriotic duty and responsibility than any other
hundred of her sons of their generation. And who can forecast or
estimate the consequences that Divine Providence is thus preparing?


COMMISSIONER YUNG WING

Such in brief outline is the Chinese Educational Mission to the United
States. The head and front of the whole marvellous enterprise, humanly
speaking, is Commissioner Yung Wing. While others whose co-operation was
indispensable, have, as will presently appear, contributed to it and
still stand back of it, and justly share the credit of it with him, to
him more than to any other man beside, probably more than to all other
men beside, its existence is due. Its history, thus far, cannot be
better told except in that connection, so intimately are the two
histories related. But it becomes one who speaks of Yung Wing to observe
the principle that we must be modest for a modest man, for so modest a
man as he is is rare to find. He was born in 1828, of a worthy family in
humble life, near the city of Macao in Southern China. In the year 1839
he became a pupil in a children’s school, opened by Mrs. Gutzlaff, the
wife of an English missionary, his parents consenting to it in the idea
that it would be a profitable thing for him to learn the English
language. Proving a bright scholar, he was in time promoted to the
Morrison School, an institution founded by English merchants in Macao
and named after Robert Morrison, the first English Protestant, but at
this time under charge of the Rev. S. R. Brown, a teacher engaged by the
Morrison Educational Society. When later this school was transferred to
Hong Kong he went with it, and remained in it till he came to this
country. He suffered, however, during this time serious interruption by
the death of his father, which required him to go home and, a boy that
he was, assist in the support of his family. This he did by wages earned
in the printing establishment of a Portuguese Roman Catholic mission in
Macao.

In 1847, Mr. Brown, who had long noted his patient ardor in study, the
marks of ability he showed and a certain original vigor of will and
strength of character that were in him, brought him, at the age of
sixteen, with two other native lads, also his pupils, of about the same
age, to the United States; Andrew Shortrede, a large-hearted Scotchman,
founder, proprietor and editor of _The China Mail_, published at Hong
Kong, engaging to advance the means of their support for two years. The
three boys were entered together at the academy in Monson, Mass., and
were received into the family of Mr. Brown’s mother, who lived at
Monson, a royal woman whose name is memorable in the church of Christ as
that of the author of the hymn, “I love to steal awhile away.” It was
while a member of her godly household that Yung Wing became a Christian
believer.

It will not be out of place to state here, as a fact, the significance
of which will be readily appreciated, that he caused the son who was
born to him in 1876--his first-born--to be named in baptism Morrison
Brown, an eloquent act of recognition and profession. Of Wing’s two
companions one, Wong Shing, was compelled, by want of health, to return
to China the next year. There, in the office of _The China Mail_, he
learned the art of printing. From 1852 or 1853 he was for several years
connected with the press of the _London Mission_ under Dr. Legge, now
the eminent Professor of the Chinese Language and Literature in Oxford
University. In 1873 he accompanied the second detachment of Chinese
students to this country, and is at present under appointment as
interpreter to the Chinese Legation soon to be established at
Washington.

The other, Wong Fun, went to Scotland in 1850, and after two years
general study entered the Medical Department of Edinburgh University, at
which he graduated with very high honor. Returning to China in 1856, he
began the practice of medicine in the city of Canton and is most highly
esteemed on all that coast, both for his private character and for his
professional talents, being held by many foreign residents the ablest
physician in the whole region of the East beyond Calcutta. Wong Fun died
Oct. 15th, 1878.


IN YALE COLLEGE

Yung Wing, after two years and a half spent at Monson, Mass., was, in
1850, though but poorly fitted for want of time, admitted to the
Freshman Class in Yale College. His career in college was, in some
respects, a remarkable one. Owing to his inadequate preparations, he did
not, though he worked hard, take a high stand in general scholarship,
yet he excelled in the departments of writing and metaphysics, and made
a sensation that was felt beyond the college walls by bearing off
repeated prizes for English composition. Throughout his entire course he
contended with poverty, a circumstance the explanation of which
deserves notice. When he became a Christian, at Monson, he heard and at
once accepted his Divine call to devote his life to the Christian
service of his nation. But the form of that service--what should it be?
This question he had to answer, at least in part. The presumption was,
and it was assumed by his friends and by the public so far as his case
was known, that he would be a minister of the Gospel. But right then and
there, after much careful and prayerful thinking, this boy of seventeen,
though by no means doubting the value of Christian missions, fully
recognizing the fact, indeed, that he himself was the direct fruit of
Christian missions,--which, be it ever remembered, he was,--concluded,
with an independence characteristic of him even at that age, that it was
not best for him to be a missionary. He had a suspicion then, though
indistinct, that he was wanted for something else. It was a costly
conclusion and he was quite aware of it. It was against the views and
hopes of the most of those who were around him, and by it, being without
pecuniary means, he cut himself off from the resource of those
charitable foundations that would have aided him as a student for the
ministry. And so he was poor in college; he smiles now to remember how
poor. Yet he received help from persons interested in him at New Haven
and elsewhere, mainly through the medium of Professor Thatcher, whose
care for him in that matter claims his liveliest gratitude to this day.
And he got through. He came to college in his cue and Chinese tunic, but
put off both in the course of his first year.

His nationality made him a good deal of a stranger, and this, together
with his extreme natural reserve and his poverty, kept him from mingling
much with the social life of college. He had not many intimates, yet he
so carried himself from first to last as to merit and win the entire
respect of all his class. It was in certain long walks and talks he had
with his classmate, Carrol Cutler, now president of Western Reserve
College, that he opened and discussed the project then forming in his
mind of this Chinese Educational Mission. The idea was born, the dream
was taking shape, but the way was long to its realization.

His graduation in 1854 was the event of the Commencement of that year.
There were many, at least, who so regarded it, and some of them came to
the Commencement principally for the sake of seeing the Chinese
graduate. Among the latter was Dr. Bushnell of Hartford. He had heard
of him and being strongly interested, according to the size of his great
mind and heart, in the Chinese race, he desired to meet Yung Wing. An
incident of their meeting on that occasion, which the writer has heard
Dr. Bushnell tell, will bear repeating: When they were introduced, the
Doctor gave it as one of his reasons for seeking the introduction that
he desired to ascertain who had written certain newspaper articles on
the Chinese question, as it then stood, which had attracted his
attention as evincing marks of statesmanship. He thought Wing might
know. Whereupon, as the Doctor said, Wing hung his head, and blushing
like a girl, with much confusion of manner, confessed that he was their
author. It is only fair to add that Mr. Wing says that he does not
remember this incident. But it is equally fair to add again that in a
case of this kind Dr. Bushnell’s memory, or anybody else’s, were more
worthy to be trusted than Yung Wing’s.

At the time of his graduation, Wing was as much tempted as it was
possible for him to be, to change the plan of his life. He had been in
this country long enough to become thoroughly naturalized here. He was,
in fact, a citizen. All his tastes and feelings and affinities,
intellectual and moral, made him at home here. Moreover, through the
notice into which his graduation brought him, it came about that a very
inviting opportunity was opened to him to remain and have his career
here if he chose to. On the other hand, China was like a strange land to
him. He had even almost entirely forgotten his native tongue. And there
was nothing in China for him to go to. Except among his humble kindred,
he had no friends there; nothing to give him any standing or
consideration, no place, so to speak, to set his foot on. Not only so,
but considering where he had been and what he had become, and the
purpose he had in view, he could not fail to encounter, among his own
people, prejudice, suspicion, hostility. A cheerless, forbidding
prospect lay before him in that direction. The thought of going back was
the thought of exile. He wanted immensely to stay. But there was one
text of Holy Scripture that, all this while, he says, haunted him and
followed him like the voice of God. It was this: “If any provide not for
his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the
faith, and is worse than an infidel.” And by the words “his own” and
“his own house,” it meant to him the nation of which he was born. The
text carried the day. The benefits which he had been, as it were,
singled out from a whole people to receive, his sense of justice and
gratitude alike would not let him appropriate to his own advantage. And
so, though he knew not what should befall him, he set his face to
return; and he went to do what he has done.

He sailed soon after his graduation for Hong Kong which, after a voyage
of 151 days, he reached in the month of April, 1855. When the Chinese
pilot came on board he found that he could, with some difficulty,
understand what he said, though he could not make the pilot understand
him, which shows the condition of his knowledge of Chinese on his
arrival in the country. It took him all the time he was not otherwise
employed for two years to acquire facility in the use of it.


TAKING FIRST STEPS IN LIFE

As for his grand scheme, he had settled it in his own mind that the
first step to be taken toward carrying it out was to contrive a way of
getting it before some influential public man or men--a thing itself of
infinite difficulty. With this end in view, though, of course, to make
his living also, he sought and obtained the position of private
secretary to the Hon. Peter Parker, then Commissioner of the United
States to China, hoping that it would be the means of affording him the
access he desired. Becoming satisfied upon a sufficient trial that it
was not likely to answer his expectations in this regard, he resigned
the place after a few months. He now attempted another way of compassing
the matter. There was at Hong Kong an English bar consisting of a dozen
or so lawyers doing business for the foreign commercial houses of that
City. Wing bethought him that the standing and acquaintance resulting
from his becoming a member of that bar might not improbably bring him
the opportunity he sought. Accordingly, he entered one of the offices as
a student. But presently it got out among the lawyers who this young man
was, what his education had been, and they saw that his competition with
them for legal practice of a Chinese city was a thing not to be allowed
if it could be prevented. And so his principal, pleading the commands of
his legal brethren, informed him, with many courteous expressions of
regret, that he must find another place to study law in. And as there
was no other place, he had to give it up.

After this followed an interval of nearly two years, during which he
occupied himself with Chinese and other studies, earning his bread by
such commercial translation as he could find to do, and waited for the
right thing to turn up. He then, in the same hope that led him to his
previous experiments, took a place in the Customs Service at Shanghai.
But neither did this, on trial, promise, in his judgment, a _pou sto_
for his operations, and he soon abandoned it.

It was now 1860. Five years and nothing accomplished! To one only
looking on the outside Yung Wing would appear to have thus far pursued
an uncertain and rather thriftless course; but not if he penetrated his
real policy and the purpose that lay ever nearest his heart; most
assuredly not if he knew--what was the fact--that all this time that he
was going from one thing to another and keeping himself poor, he was
refusing offers of employment at rates of remuneration that to him, so
long familiar with a straightened lot, seemed little short of princely.
In 1860, however, overtures were made him by one of the leading silk and
tea houses of Shanghai to enter its service as traveling inland agent,
which, for the reason in part that it would send him touring through a
wide extent of country and possess him, by observation, of a knowledge
that he deemed would be useful to him, he determined to accept. This
business he followed for a year, and then, seeing a good chance for it,
set up in a business for himself which proved so profitable a venture
that, had he continued in it, he would, to all appearances, have
speedily become rich. As it was, he made a very considerable sum of
money.

But in 1862 the door of the opportunity which he had been constantly
feeling after from the day he landed in China, unexpectedly opened to
him.

It was in this wise: While in the city of Shanghai, he made the
acquaintance of a Chinese astronomer--a man of rank and of eminence in
learning. Or rather, the astronomer, who had in some way gained
intelligence of Wing’s antecedents, sought his acquaintance for the sake
of talking astronomy with him. In repeated interviews through which
their acquaintance progressed to the degree of mutual friendly regard,
Wing, who had carried away from college a better knowledge of astronomy
than most graduates do, told him all he knew, which was a long advance
upon his own previous acquisitions in that science. This astronomer was
an officer of the great Tsang Kwoh Fan, viceroy of Kiang Su and Kiang
Nan provinces, generalissimo of the Imperial forces and one of the very
most prominent and leading men in the whole Empire. Through
representations made to him by the astronomer, he soon sent a message to
Yung Wing desiring to see him, and hinting a desire to take him into his
service. Though returning a favorable reply to the message, under all
the circumstances and for reasons that cannot be explained, Wing delayed
responding to it in person for a considerable time. The situation was a
delicate one, requiring extreme caution and circumspection on his part.

But at length he paid Tsang Koh Fan the promised visit. He felt the
occasion to be a critical one, and when ushered into the great man’s
presence found it difficult to retain his composure. Tsang Koh Fan first
bent upon him a long, intense, piercing gaze. As Wing says, he had never
been looked at in his life as he was then. Then causing him to be
seated, he required of him an account of his history, which he gave. He
then questioned him as to his views respecting China,--her needs, her
outlook, her public policy, and so on. A long conversation followed in
which the Viceroy disclosed his views, to which Wing listened with
amazement. For, behold, here was a man such as he had not supposed
existed in that country--a man reared in China, and not a young man
either--who had light in his head; who recognized the causes of many of
the disadvantages China was contending with in taking her place among
the family of nations; a man of marvellously liberal and progressive
sentiments.


MADE A MANDARIN

The result of the interview was that Wing entered his service and was
made a Mandarin of the fifth rank, there being nine degrees of that
dignity in the Chinese official system. At this time the great Taiping
rebellion was at its height and Tsang Koh Fan was in the field. In fact,
the interview had taken place at his camp in Ngankin, on the Yang Tse
River. The Viceroy first tendered Wing a military command which, on the
score of lack of qualification, he asked leave to decline. He was then,
shortly after, 1864, at his own suggestion, despatched abroad to
purchase machinery for the manufacture of arms, for which purpose the
expenditure of a large sum of money was intrusted to him. On this
errand he visited France and England as well as the United States, but
finally gave his orders here. On returning with his purchases to China
in 1865, what he had done was so satisfactory to his chief that he was
advanced to the next higher grade of official rank, viz,--the Fourth.
The machinery he had bought was the foundation of the Kiang Nan Arsenal.
It is curious to remark that the first work of a man whose supreme
ambition it was, from Christian motives, to set his country forward in
civilization, should have been the establishment of an arsenal. But it
quite consisted with Yung Wing’s ideas, which were intensely patriotic.

From 1865 to 1870 he was variously employed in different places, being
under command now of one superior and now of another. Among the work
that he did during this period, that of translation was prominent. He
translated into Chinese Parson’s Law of Contracts, and a book of English
Law. He also translated large portions of Colton’s Geography, deeming
that geographical knowledge was as likely to prove beneficial to his
countrymen as any.

But the thing that lay nearest his heart and that was continually before
him, was the question of how to accomplish the plan he had so many
years held in hope. He now had ample opportunity to expound and advocate
it, and he did so with inexhaustible perseverance. The main argument he
used was this: China, in her international relations, in her commercial
and other intercourse with foreign peoples, suffers disadvantage and
much detriment from want of men capable by education of acting as her
representatives. She is forced to employ in many most important places,
that ought to be occupied by her own citizens, foreigners by whom her
interests are liable to be neglected or betrayed. Her forts, her ships
of war, her military forces, her customs, are largely in charge of
foreigners. How was it proper, he asked, that Anson Burlingame, an
American, should be her chief agent in arranging a treaty with his own
country and other western governments? This was his general line of
reasoning.

The most to whom he brought the matter heard him with indifference, but
there were three men upon whom he made an impression--all men of high
rank and commanding influence. They were the Viceroy, Tsang Koh Fan,
already named; Li Hung Chang, now Viceroy of the capital province of
Chihli and the foremost Chinese statesman; and Ting Yi Tcheang, then
Governor of the Province of Kiang Su. Yet these men, convinced as they
were by Wing’s reasons and avowedly favorable to his project, with all
their eminence of position and their influence, were not ready to
venture the attempt to carry it through with the Imperial Government.
All the forces of conservatism would be opposed to it; the time for it
had not come.

In 1867, however, the Governor Ting, who was the most willing of the
three, had made representations to an Imperial Minister named Wan
Cheang, on the strength of which he was advised to address a memorial on
the subject to the Imperial Council at Peking, Wan Cheang undertaking to
commend it to the attention of the Council. The situation was at this
juncture moderately hopeful, but before the memorial reached the
Council, the mother of Wan Cheang died, by which event he was, under the
law of Chinese high official etiquette, retired from public life three
entire years, and the whole business was set back to where it had been.
These were years of great trial to Yung Wing. He was prospering, indeed,
in one point of view, but the hope to which he was devoted was so long
deferred that his heart was often sick. Understand that he was leading
there in China an essentially solitary life. He had, soon after his
return in 1855, in accordance with his views of what was due to his
purpose, resumed his native dress and identified himself not only thus
externally, but also in large measure in every other respect with his
own people. Especially from the time he became a Chinese Government
official, he had dwelt in Chinese society, and had disappeared almost
wholly from other society. He had his books and kept up diligently with
what was going on in the world of learning and letters outside--it was
his only resource--but he was exceedingly alone and lonely
notwithstanding. The discouragements to his endeavor that faced him were
so numerous and so solid that he was sometimes half disposed to give it
all up; but only half disposed.

One of the things that held him to it was not of a nature of an
encouragement exactly, but it did excellently well as an antidote to the
effect upon his spirits of his discouragements. It began to come to his
ears now and than that his American and English friends in China were
whispering it among themselves that he was a failure, that he had had a
noble chance and had not known how to improve it; that he was
impracticable; and that this scheme of his was utterly visionary and
could never be successful. Whenever Wing heard of this, he set his teeth
and took a new hold. But altogether his faith and manhood were put to an
extreme test.

The end came though, as it always does in such cases, and came in a
manner almost dramatic. In the month of June, 1870, occurred the woeful
tragedy at Tientsin called the Tientsin Massacre, in which a
considerable number of French Roman Catholic missionaries, male and
female, were murdered by a Chinese mob. It followed that a commission
appointed by the foreign powers, diplomatically represented in China,
met that same year at Tientsin to investigate the outrage and determine
the satisfaction that was to be required for it, together with a like
commission appointed by the Chinese Government authorized to bring the
affair to a settlement. The Chinese Commission consisted of five, and
three of these five were the three men of whom mention has been
made,--the viceroys Tsang Koh Fan and Li Hung Chang, and the Governor
Ting Yi Tcheang.


AN OPPORTUNITY SEIZED

Yung Wing was at this time under official control of the last named,
who, on being summoned to Tientsin, sent him word, for he was at a
distance from him, to join the Commission at Tientsin as soon as
possible, for his services would be needed there. Wing, though
hastening, arrived late on the scene and found the business concluded.
But on receiving an account of the difficulties that had attended its
transaction, and observing that the commissioners were conscious of
their disadvantage in it, he perceived an auspicious occasion for making
a stroke in behalf of his scheme, and he made the most of it. He
restated his arguments, enforcing them by the illustration of the case
at hand, and insisted with the utmost earnestness that there ought to be
no delay. And this time he prevailed. The three friends of his idea
being together and countenancing one another, then and there agreed that
they would at once take action to have the thing he proposed done, and
would cast their united influence with the Government in its favor. They
kept their agreement. They set their names to a memorial recommending
the education of a corps of young men abroad for the Government service
and at the Government expense. This memorial they forwarded to Pekin,
where they backed it by all means in their power and to the effect that
in the month of August, 1871, the measure recommended was adopted by the
Imperial Government and a sum equal to $1,500,000 appropriated for its
execution.

Mandarin Yung Wing was scarcely able to support the joy of his triumph.
For two days, as he has told the writer, he could neither eat nor sleep.
He walked on air, and he worshipped God. It was sixteen years after his
return to China and twenty years after he set out for this goal that
heaven had at last granted his prayer. To him the organization of the
enterprise was principally committed. The feature of the long term of
fifteen years resolved upon for the course of study and training to be
pursued, is particularly due to him and reflects the size of the man,
the type of his mind and character.

A school of candidates was at once opened at Shanghai from which the
pupils were to be selected by competitive examination, and, as has been
already stated, the first detachment of thirty arrived in the United
States in 1872. The location of the Mission was also for him to
determine. He might have procured its establishment in England, or
France, or Germany; but as he himself had expressed it, the light that
had enlightened him shone from America and from New England, and to
America and New England he was resolved from the first this Mission
should repair.

He was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Mission, receiving with the
appointment his second promotion in rank, viz,--to the Third or Blue
Button grade. With him was associated, as co-commissioner, a venerable
scholar and dignitary,--Chin Lan Pin by name,--who, however, remained in
this country less than two years, yielding his place to a younger man,
Ngau Ngoh Liang, well-born, distinguished for learning, and a most
agreeable gentleman.

The students of the Mission have thus far, with very few exceptions,
exhibited excellent ability as scholars, and in many instances
extraordinary ability, and with fewer exceptions still have been marked
by their exemplary conduct. They have everywhere been most hospitably
received. They are certainly worthy to be objects of the highest and
most friendly interest to every Christian citizen of the United States.

Yung Wing was appointed, December 11, 1876, Associate Minister with his
former colleague in the Educational Mission, Chin Lan Pin, to the United
States, Peru and Spain. On this occasion he was again promoted in
rank,--that is, to Second or Red Button grade, and invested with the
title of Tao-tai (or Intendant) of the Province of Kiang Su.

He expects, on the now approaching arrival of Chin Lan Pin in the
country, to take up his residence in Washington, yet not to relinquish
the general superintendence of the institution which is so dear to him
and has cost him so much, and in which are bound up his best patriotic
hopes for his native land,--for he is a patriot from head to foot, in
every fiber of his body. He loves the Chinese nation and believes in it,
doubting not that there is before it a grand career worthy of its noble
soil and of its august antiquity.

If it were the aim of the writer to magnify Yung Wing,--which it is not,
but only to tell the story of the Chinese Educational Mission to the
United States,--there are many things more that might be related of him,
all going to show him to be of the stuff that heroes are made of, and
one of the most significant characters in modern civilization. But
because to relate them would be aside from the purpose in hand, and
also because it would grievously offend Yung Wing to have them
published, they are passed by. It must be said, for the last word, that
even in attributing to him so much credit of the Educational Mission
itself, the share he allows himself is very far exceeded. He is
accustomed to assign the chief honor of it to those three men of China
who helped it so potently with their influence. Tsang Koh Fan died in
1871. His portrait hangs on the wall of the Mission House in Hartford;
and the portraits of the other two are there also. The boys are taught
to reverence these men as their benefactors. And they are worthy of
reverence. Their names deserve to be remembered, and will be, and not
alone in China. Yet undoubtedly had there been no Yung Wing, that
illustrious good deed of theirs had never been performed.



INDEX


American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 17, 43, 52, 58.

An Hwui, province, 124.

Anglo-Chinese dictionary, First, compiled by Dr. Robert Morrison, 14, 114.

Anhui, province, 53.

Annapolis, Naval Academy at, Chinese students refused admission, 207.

Arch, Stone, marking boundary between Chêhkiang and Kiangsi, 83.

Arnold, Dr. Thomas, of Rugby, 31.

Arsenal, _see_ Kiang Nan Arsenal.

Assam tea, _see_ Tea.

Auburn Academy, Auburn, N. Y., 22.


Baltimore clipper ships, 80.

Barnes, Brigadier-General, of Springfield, Mass., 158.

Bartlett, Daniel, son of Rev. Shubael Bartlett, 26.

Bartlett, Prof. David E., 24.

Bartlett, Mrs. Fanny P., 24.

Bartlett, Rev. Shubael, pastor of East Windsor (Conn.)
  Congregational church, 25, 26.

Bible, The, translated by Dr. Robert Morrison, 14, 114.

Blaine, James G., champion against Chinese, 208.

Blue feather, Wearing of, mark of rank, 154;
  _see also_ Rank.

Boats, Chinese, 79, 82.

Bore of Tsientang River, 81.

Bribery in Chinese government, one cause of Taiping rebellion, 119;
  _see also_ Graft.

Bridgeman, E. C., work on Anglo-Chinese dictionary, 114.

“Brothers in Unity,” debating society at Yale, Yung Wing
  assistant librarian, 39;
  _see also_ “Linonia.”

Brown, Mrs. Elizabeth, home at East Windsor, Conn., 25.

Brown, Mrs. Phœbe H., mother of Dr. S. R. Brown, 29;
  author of hymn, 30, 252.

Brown, Miss Rebekah, preceptress at Munson Academy, 28;
  _also_ 189.

Brown, Dr. Samuel Robins, opens Morrison school (_1839_), 13;
  assisted by W. A. Macy, 16;
  personal qualifications, 17;
  return to U. S. accompanied by three students, 18;
  provides for support of their parents, 19;
  willow trees planted at Auburn, N. Y., 22;
  uses influence in obtaining financial support for Yung Wing, 36;
  _also_ 12, 34, 36, 43.

Burlingame Treaty of _1868_ disregarded, 208.

Bushnell, Dr. Horace, meeting with Yung Wing, 256.


Campbell, A. A., 20.

Canton, city, Wong Foon practices medicine in, 33;
  dialect of, 52;
  revolting conditions attending insurrection (_1855_), 53.

Canton and Siang Tan, overland transport trade between, 87.

“Celestial Empire of Universal Peace,” 120.

“Celestial Sovereign,” Hung Siu Chune called, 108.

Chamber, Heisser and Co., N. Y., 43.

Chang Chi Tung, Viceroy, summons Yung Wing (_1895_), 227;
  temporarily transferred, 228;
  listens to plan to recover prestige, 228;
  compared with Tsang Kwoh Fan, 228, 230;
  appoints Yung Wing Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Kiang Nan, 231;
  _also_ 232.

Chang Shi Kwei, secretary to Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan, 137;
  _also_ 143.

Chang Tsze Tung, viceroy of Hunan and Hupeh (_1894_), 225.

Chang Yen Hwan, minister in Washington (_1884-’88_), 223;
  champions Yung Wing’s banking scheme, 234.

Chêhkiang, province, 83, 86.

Cheong Sha, capital of Hunan, 87, 88.

Cheong Yuh Leang, Imperialist general, 103, 105.

Chi Ksi, _see_ Dowager Empress.

Chin * * *, commandant’s representative at Tan Yang, statement
  concerning disposition of rebel forces, 105.

Chin Lan Pin, co-operates with Yung Wing in Chinese Educational
  Commission, 181;
  personal qualities, 182;
  duties as commissioner, 183;
  sent to investigate coolie traffic in Cuba, 194;
  requests changes in _personnel_ of Educational Commission, 197;
  appointed joint minister to Washington, 198;
  minister plenipotentiary to U. S. (_1876_), 200;
  antagonistic to reform, 201;
  unsympathetic to New England influence on students, 202;
  reputation as official, 206;
  instrumental in recalling students (_1881_), 210;
  reports at Peking upon expiration of term of office (_1880_), 217.

China, characteristics of language, 52;
  Yung Wing’s feeling toward during college course, 40;
  conditions in interior (_1860_), 93.

China and Japan war (_1894-’95_), plans for prosecution by China
  formulated by Yung Wing, 224;
  unsuccessful attempts to negotiate loan, 225;
  influence on China, 236.

_China Mail_, 48, 60.

Chinaman, First, to graduate from American college, 39.

_Chinese and their Rebellions_, 74.

Chinese boats, 79, 82.

Chinese Educational Commission, Chin Lan Pin appointed to
  co-operate with Yung Wing, 181;
  _personnel_ and duties, 183;
  character, selection, and number of students in preparatory
  school, 183;
  support of Chinese government, 185;
  work carried on by Li Hung Chang after death of Tsang Kwoh
  Fan, 187;
  first installment of students leave for U. S. (_1872_), 188;
  headquarters at Hartford, Conn., 189;
  building erected (_1875_), 190;
  last installment (_1875_), 197;
  changes in _personnel_, 197, 200;
  reactionary attitude of Tsze Tung, 201;
  students refused admission to West Point and Annapolis, 207;
  break up of Commission (_1881_), 210;
  text of protest, 211;
  impression made upon Chinese government, 216;
  practical revival, 217;
  annual cost of maintenance, 247;
  details of administration, 248;
  inception, 255;
  _also_ 23, 76, 269.

Chinese government, resorts to persecution to quell religious
  fanaticism, 118;
  corruption of, real cause of Taiping rebellion, 119;
  _see also_ Graft.

Chinese in St. Helena, 22.

Chinkiang, river port, 83.

Christianity, views held by Taiping rebels, 101;
  spread of as led by Hung Siu Chune, 117;
  _see also_ Taiping rebellion.

Christy, Thomas, 156.

Chu Chow, headquarters of Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan, 164.

Chung Hou, viceroy of Metropolitan province, held responsible
  for Tsientsin massacre, 178.

Chung Wong, issues three orders against incendiarism, 104.

Clemens, Samuel, protest against breaking up of Chinese
  Educational Commission, 211.

_Colton’s Geography_, translated by Yung Wing, 167.

Coolie traffic in Cuba, investigated by Chin Lan Pin, 194;
  results, 196.

Coolie traffic in Peru, attempt to form treaty with
  China, 192;
  Yung Wing’s recital of existing cruelties and refusal
  to further treaty, 193;
  investigation by Yung Wing, 194;
  attitude of Commission, 195;
  results, 196.

Cuba, Coolie traffic in, 194, 196.

Cutler, Carrol, president of Western Reserve College, 255.


“Deliberative Association of China,” 241.

Dent and Co., Messrs., 77.

Dialect, of Canton, 52;
  Fuhkien, Anhui, Kiangsee, 53.

Dictionary, First Anglo-Chinese, compiled by Dr. Robert Morrison, 14, 114.

Dictionary of Emperor Khang Hsi, translated, 114.

Doxology, The, repeated by Commandant Liu and Taiping rebels, 99.

Dowager Empress Chi Hsi, Tsang Kwoh Fan created duke by, 147;
  on side of Li Hung Chang in war with Japan (_1894-’95_), 226;
  affected by graft, 235;
  despotic rule over Emperor Kwang Su, 239;
  _also_ 73.

Dumaresque, Captain, of ship _Florence_, 62.

Dynasties in China, Number of, 113.


East India Company, 22.

East Windsor, Conn., 25.

“Elegant talent,” interpretation of Siu Tsai, 50.

_Eureka_, sailing ship, story of voyage from New York
  to Hong Kong (_1854-’55_), 43;
  _also_ 63, 69.

European powers and partitionment of China, 73.

Evangelization of China, False impressions of, caused
  by Christian tendencies of Taiping rebellion, 120.

Exploitation of Chinese by officials, one cause of Taiping rebellion, 119.

Extra-territorial basis, Foreign settlement on, 72.


Feudatory period, 113.

Fitchburg, Mass., supplies first American machinery to China, 53;
  _see also_ Machinery.

_Florence_, sailing ship, 62.

Formosa, Island of, plan to mortgage (_1894_), 225, 244;
  visited by Yung Wing, 242.

Frelinghuysen, T. F., protest against breaking up of
  Chinese Educational Commission, 211.

_Friend of China_, Shanghai local paper, 76.

Fuhkien, province, Dialect of, 53.


Gatling gun introduced into China, 191.

German government claims monopoly of railroads in Shan Tung, 237.

Gillespie, Capt., of ship _Huntress_, 21.

Good Hope, Cape of, 21, 33, 43.

Goodhue and Co., Messrs., 42.

Graft, System of, between interpreters and Chinese shippers, 63;
  as practiced by Shing Sun Whei, 235;
  responsible for corruption in China, 236;
  _see also_ Bribery.

Grand Canal, China, 79, 100.

Gutzlaff, Mrs., starts school, in Macao, 1, 7;
  Yung Wing’s first impression of, 3;
  leaves China for U. S., 8;
  plans for Yung Wing’s education, 11;
  _also_ 59, 107.

Gutzlaff, Rev. Charles, missionary to China, 1.


Hadley, Prof. James, 188.

Ham Ha Lan, headquarters of Rev. Mr. Vrooman, 52.

Hammond, Rev. Charles, principal of Monson Academy, 27;
  graduate of Yale, 27, 30;
  literary tastes, 30;
  likened to Dr. Arnold of Rugby, 31;
  _also_ 34, 36.

Han Yang, port of Hankau, 55;
  destroyed by Taiping rebels, 91.

Hangchau, capital of Chêhkiang, 80;
  historic fame, 81;
  _also_ 83, 85.

Hankau, river port, destroyed by Taiping rebels, 91;
  present-day conditions, 91;
  _also_ 90.

Hanlin, Chinese degree of LL.D., 146.

Hanlin College, 200.

Hart, Sir Robert, inspector-general of customs in London (_1894_), 225;
  refuses loan to China for prosecuting war with Japan (_1894-’95_) 226;
  _also_ 229.

Hartford, Conn., headquarters for Chinese Educational
  Commission (_1873-’75_), 189;
  _see also_ Chinese Educational Commission.

Haskins, John, American mechanical engineer, 155.

Ho Yung, Hupeh province, 88, 89.

Hobson, Dr. Benjamin, employs Yung Wing in hospital, 11.

Hong Kong, Island of, ceded to British government, 15;
  its harbor, 15;
  British colony is opposed to Yung Wing, 60;
  ordinance passed admitting Chinese to practice law in, 61;
  _also_ 43.

_Hong Kong China Mail_, 20.

Horn, Cape, 47.

Hung Jin, called Kan Wong, _which see_.

Hung Siu Chune, leader of Taiping rebellion, 101, 116;
  views of Christianity, 101;
  called Tien Wong, or “Celestial Sovereign,” 108;
  knowledge of Christianity from missionaries, 114;
  failure to pass examination and resulting mental hallucination, 116;
  worshipped as Supreme Ruler, 117;
  Chinese government resorts to persecution to quell fanaticism, 118.

_Huntress_, sailing ship, 20, 21, 43.

Hwui Chow, mountain range, 81.


_Ida de Rogers_, sailing ship, incidents of voyage from
  San Francisco to Yokohama (_1865_), 161.

Imperial commissioners for settlement of Tientsin massacre, 178;
  Yung Wing presses educational scheme, 180.

Imperial forces defeat rebels before Nanking (_1860_), 104;
  other conflicts, 118.

Imperialists, partly responsible
for conditions near Suchau (_1859_), 100.

Incendiarism, Attempts to suppress, 104.

Indian opium trade, Plan for suppression of, 220.

Indian tea, _see_ Tea.

_Integral and Differential Calculus_, translated, 139.


Jamestown, St. Helena, 22.

Japan over Russia, Triumph of, effect on China, 73.

Japan-Russo War (_1904-’05_), influence on China, 236.

Jesuits, their jealousy toward Dr. Robert Morrison, 14.


Kan Wong, Hung Jiu called, native preacher, 108;
  raised to position of prince and meaning of new name, 108;
  interviews with Yung Wing regarding Taiping rebellion, 109;
  offers him seal of high official rank, 110.

Kang Kow, station at entrance of Tsientang River, 82, 85.

Kearneyism, Spirit of, 208.

Kellogg, Dr. E. W., accompanies Yung Wing to Peru, 194;
  guardian to sons of Yung Wing, 227.

Kew Keang, port, 136.

Kiang Nan Arsenal, location and importance, 153;
  visited by Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan (_1867_), 168;
  _see also_ Machinery; Tsang Kwoh Fan.

Kiangsee, province, 53, 75, 79, 80, 83.

King Ho, river, 89.

King Yuen, city, 129.

Kingchau, on Yangtze River, 84, 88.

Kiukiang, river port, 83.

Kodama, Viscount Gentaro, governor of Formosa, 242;
  interview with Yung Wing, 242.

Korea, cause of war between China and Japan (_1894-’95_), 224.

Kow Chang Mere, first machine shop at, 153;
  _see also_ Machinery.

Ku Chow, walled city, 86.

Kwang Kee Cheu, interpreter for Chinese Educational Commission, 197.

Kwang Su, Emperor, deposed, 238, 241;
  controlled by Dowager Empress, 238;
  real character, 239;
  exponent of reform movement, 241;
  _also_ 73.

Kwang Tung, province, drastic measures by Yeh Ming Hsin
  to suppress rebellion in, 53;
  revolting scenes, 53;
  spread of Christianity in, 117.

Kwangshun, city, 86.

Kwangsi, province, spread of Christianity in, 117.


Labor question in China, affected by Western innovations, 84, 88.

Lan Chi, town on Tsientang River, 86, 87.

Lane, Rev. John W., protest against breaking up of Chinese
  Educational Commission, 211.

Language, Chinese, difference between written and spoken, 52.

Lau Gate, city of Suchau, 98.

Leang Ahfah, first convert, 15, 115.

Legge, Dr. James, translator, 108;
  work on dictionary, 114;
  Professor of Chinese language and literature at Oxford, England, 252.

Li Hung Chang, _protégé_ and successor of Yung Wing, 142;
  Nienfi rebellion ended (_1867_), 168;
  succeeds Tsang Kwoh Fan, 187;
  characters contrasted, 187;
  orders investigation of coolie traffic in Peru and Cuba, 194;
  interview with Yung Wing on subject of recall of students (_1881_), 218;
  strenuous for peace in war with Japan (_1894-’95_), 226;
  responsible for defeat, 229;
  Treaty of Shemonashiki signed, 244.

Li Jen Shu, mathematician, 76.

Li Ling Ying, eunuch of Dowager Empress, 235.

Li Sian Lan, mathematician and astronomer, 139;
  assists in translating _Integral and Differential Calculus_, 139.

“Linonia,” debating society at Yale, 40;
  _see also_ “Brothers in Unity.”

Liu * * *, Imperial commissioner for settlement of Tientsin massacre, 179.

Liu Kai Sing, superintendent of preparatory school at Shanghai, 185.

Liu Kwan Yih, viceroy of Kiang provinces, 231, 232.

Lockhart, Dr. William, 8.

London, Ladies’ Association for Promotion of Female Education
  in India and the East, 1.

London Missionary Society, 8, 14, 108, 114, 139.

Longwood, St. Helena, 22.


Macao, coolie traffic in, 192, 194;
  _also_ 1, 3, 10, 11, 12, 14, 33, 48, 59, 107.

Macassar straits, 46, 47.

MacClatchy, Rev. Mr., 8.

McClean, Dr. A. S. of Springfield, Mass., friendliness toward
  Yung Wing, 28, 189.

McClean, Mrs. Rebekah (Brown), 28, 189.

Machinery, American, introduced into China, 149;
  location of first shop, 153;
  Yung Wing commissioned to purchase, 154;
  first order filled at Fitchburg, Mass. (_1865_), 156.

Macy, William Allen, assistant in Morrison school (_1845_), 16, 43;
  personal qualifications, 17;
  student at Yale (_1850_), 17;
  appointed missionary by American Board (_1854_), 17;
  returns to China in company of Yung Wing, 18, 43;
  story of voyage, 43.

Malacca, basis of Dr. Robert Morrison’s labors, 14.

“Man of rectitude,” posthumous title of Tsang Kwoh Fan, 148.

Manchu Dynasty, largely responsible for Taiping rebellion, 114;
  efforts of Hung Siu Chung toward overthrow, 120;
  _also_ 96.

Mandarin, nine degrees of, 263;
  _see also_ Rank.

Medhurst, Dr. Walter Henry, work on dictionary, 114.

Mexican dollar accepted in China, 63.

Missionaries, introduction of Christianity by, 114.

Missionary, First, to China, 14, 114.

Monson academy, Mass., contingent fund and conditions of appropriation, 34;
  Yung Wing’s application for, 35;
  _also_ 27, 48.

Morrison, Dr. Robert, first missionary to China, 14, 114;
  voyage from London via New York, 14;
  compiles first Anglo-Saxon dictionary, 14;
  translates the Bible, 14;
  his first Christian convert, 15;
  influence on subsequent missionary work, 15.

“Morrison hill,” Hong Kong, 15.

Morrison school, opened at Macao (_1839_), 13;
  removed to Hong Kong (_1842_), 15;
  W. A. Macy assistant in, 16;
  _also_ 7, 11, 12, 23, 33.

Mow Chung Hsi, Imperial commissioner for settlement of
  Tsientsin massacre, 179.


Nagasaki, Japan, 77.

Nam Ping, birth-place of Yung Wing, 1.

Nan Cheong, capital of Kiangsi, 87.

Nan Fung pass, 87.

Nanking, fall in _1864_, 115;
  captured by Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan (_1865_), 164;
  _also_ 96.

Napoleon, tomb at St. Helena, 22.

National Bank of China, project and defeat, 234.

National Banking scheme, proposed by Yung Wing, 232.

New England, primitive conditions of life in, 29;
  influence on Chinese students, 202.

New York City, in _1847_, 23;
  Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, 24.

Ngan Khing, capital of An Whui, 137.

Nienfi rebellion, ended (_1867_), 168.

Nih Kia Shi, tea district, 90, 91.

Northrop, B. G., commissioner of education for Connecticut (_1872_), 189.

Norton, Prof. William Augustus, of Sheffield Scientific School, 42.


Occidental civilization, Superiority of, demonstrated, 216.

Olyphant Brothers, contribute toward support of Yung Wing at Yale, 39;
  _also_ 20, 43.

Opium war, First (_1840_), 8, 15;
  Second (_1864_), 7.

Ou Ngoh Liang, member of Chinese Educational Commission, 197, 200.

Oyama, Marshal, 242.


Palmer and New London railroad, 37.

Parker, Dr. Peter, 58, 59.

Parkes, The Misses, 7, 8.

Parkes, Harry, 7.

_Parsons on Contracts_, parts translated by Yung Wing, 167.

Partitionment of China threatened, 73.

Peacock’s feather, conferred only by Imperial sanction, 154;
  given to Yung Wing, 167;
  _see also_ Rank.

Pearl River, Canton, 52.

Pedro Island, 1, 6.

Peking, Paying official calls in (_1882_), 219;
  _also_ 58.

Perit, Pelatiah, of Messrs. Goodhue and Co., 42.

Persecution resorted to by Chinese government to quell
  religious fanaticism, 118.

Peru, Coolie labor in, 192.

Po Yang Lake, Kiangsi, 86.

Poppy cultivation, early plan for extinction, 220.

Population in interior of China, 93.

Porter, Noah, president of Yale, protest against breaking up
  of Chinese Educational Commission, 211.

Putnam Machine Company, Fitchburg, Mass., execute first order
  for machinery for China, 156;
  _see also_ Machinery.


Railroad between Tsientsin and Chinkiang, unsuccessful plan for, 237.

Rank, Second in, Red Button grade, 272;
  third in, Blue Button grade, 271;
  _see also_ Mandarin; Peacock’s feather.

Rebellions, significance in Chinese history, 113;
  _see also_ Kwang Tung rebellion; Taiping rebellion.

“Red Hair Men,” 9.

Revolutions, _see_ Rebellions.

Rights of Chinese, to be more fully recognized in future, 73.

Ritchie, A. A., 20.

Road, Macadamized, between Sheong Shan and Yuh-Shan, 83, 84.

Roberts, Rev. Icabod J., American missionary, 114;
  acquaintance with Hung Siu Chune and its results, 115;
  disappearance at fall of Nanking (_1864_), 115;
  _also_ 107.

Roman Catholic Church, its part in Tsientsin massacre, 177.

Russell and Co., Messrs., 155.


St. Helena, 21, 22.

San Kow, village, 127.

Sandlotism, Spirit of, 208.

Sandy Hook to Hong Kong in _1854_, 18.

Savannah, Ga., Ladies’ Association of, render financial
  assistance to Yung Wing, 36.

School, Mechanical, annexed to Kiang Nan Arsenal, 168.

School, Preparatory, established at Shanghai (_1871_), 185;
  _see also_ Chinese Educational Commission; Gutzlaff, Mrs.; Morrison school.

Seal of official rank offered to Yung Wing by Kan Wong, 110.

Seelye, Leuranus Clarke, president of Smith College, protest
  against breaking up of Chinese Educational Commission, 211.

“Seven Dragons,” on Tsientang River, 85.

Shan Hing, city, 94.

Shanghai, city, 51, 67.

_Shanghai Mail_, 76.

Sheffield Scientific School, 42.

Shemonashiki, Treaty of, 244.

Sheong Shan, city, 83.

Shing Sun Whei, head of Chinese Telegraphic Company, 235;
  responsible for defeat of National Banking project, 235.

Shing Taoti, _see_ Shing Sun Whei.

Shortrede, Andrew, 20, 48, 59.

Si-Hoo, or West Lake, 80.

Siang Tan, city, overland transport trade with Canton, 97.

Silk, Yellow, 88, 90, 94.

Siu Tsai, degree, 50.

Soldiery and the people in time of war, 103.

Springfield, Mass., home of Dr. A. S. McClean, 28;
  Yung Wing’s headquarters (_1872_), 29;
  center of location for students under Chinese Educational Commission, 189.

Students, in preparatory school, Shanghai, 185;
  first installment under Chinese Educational Commission
  leave for U. S. (_1872_), 188;
  distributed through New England, 189;
  last installment (_1875_), 197;
  _see also_ Chinese Educational Commission; School.

Suchau, captured by Taiping rebels, 97;
  under martial law, 98.

Sung Dynasty, 81.

Sung-Kiang route to Suchau, 96.

Szechuen Road, Shanghai, 67.

Szechwan, province, 84.


Ta Tung, non-treaty port, 126.

Tael, value of Chinese, 128.

Taiping government, conditions under which Yung Wing would join, 109.

Taiping Green Tea Expedition (_1860-’61_), 191;
  _see also_ Tea; Yung Wing.

Taiping rebellion (_1850-’65_), religion its vital force, 113;
  led by Hung Siu Chune, 117;
  Chinese government resorts to persecution to quell, 118;
  assumes political character, 118;
  real causes of, 119;
  false impressions concerning evangelization of China, 120;
  first victory, 120;
  causes of loss of prestige, 121;
  collapse, 122;
  indirect results, 122;
  cost and loss of life, 147;
  capture of Nanking (_1850_), 164;
  _also_ 53, 55, 56;
  _see also_ Taiping rebels.

Taiping rebels, capture of Woo Chang (_1856_), 91;
  and of Suchau, 97;
  condition of surrounding country, 100;
  their considerate conduct, 101;
  Doxology, 99, 102;
  views of Christianity, 101;
  and of soldiery, 103;
  defeated before Nanking (_1860_), 104;
  statement by Chin regarding their disposition, 105;
  quantities of green tea held by, 124;
  _also_ 86, 90;
  _see also_ Taiping Green Tea Expedition; Rebellions.

Taotai, official of fourth rank, 167.

Tea, Chinese and Indian compared, 92;
  drank as thank-offering, 103;
  quantities held by Taiping rebels, 124;
  expeditions to purchase, headed by Yung Wing, 125;
  _also_ 85, 90, 191.

Tien Wong, Hung Siu Chune called, 108.

Tientsin massacre (_1870_), cause, 177;
  Chung Hou held responsible for, 178;
  indemnity, 178;
  Imperial commissioners, 178;
  _also_ 268.

Ting Yi Tcheang, _see_ Ting Yih Chang.

Ting Yih Chang, taotai of Shanghai, 167;
  sympathy with educational plans of Yung Wing, 170;
  governor of Kiang Su and Imperial commissioner for
  settlement of Tsientsin massacre, 179.

Tonquin, tributary state, 178.

Treaty Powers, 58.

Trident, sailing ship, 14.

Tsai Sik Yung, secretary to viceroy of Hunan and Hupeh (_1894_), 225.

Tsang Kee Foo, standing, 76;
  introduces Yung Wing to Li Jen Shu, 76.

Tsang Kwoh Fan, viceroy, 137;
  defeated by Taiping rebels (_1862_), 138;
  his plans for Yung Wing, 139;
  drills army and brings to extinction Taiping rebellion, 141, 147;
  supreme power of China, 142;
  personal characteristics, 142, 145, 146;
  interview with Yung Wing, 143;
  created duke by Dowager Empress, 147;
  plans for introducing Western machinery into China, 149, 153;
  commissions Yung Wing to make first purchase, 154;
  capture of Nanking, 164;
  makes Chu Chow headquarters, 164;
  Nienfi rebellion ended (_1867_), 168;
  visits Kiang Nan Arsenal, 168;
  Imperial commissioner for settlement of Tsientsin massacre, 178, 180;
  furthers Yung Wing’s educational scheme, 180, 183;
  returns to headquarters at Nanking (_1870_), 182;
  death (_1871_), 186, 273;
  summing up of character and comparison with Li Hung Chang, 187;
  Chang Chi Tung compared with, 228, 230;
  _also_ 76, 77, 104.

Tsang Tai Sun, interpreter for Chinese Educational Commission, 183, 197;
  _also_ 96.

Tsang Mew, friend of Yung Wing, 125.

Tsientang River, its periodical bore, 81.

Tung Ting Lake, 89.

Twichell, Rev. Joseph H., accompanies Yung Wing to Peru, 194;
  protest against breaking up of Chinese Educational Commission, 211;
  _also_ 227.


Ung Tung Hwo, tutor to Emperor Kwang Su, 233;
  champions Yung Wing’s banking scheme, 234;
  collusion with Shing Sun Whei and system of graft, 235.

Union Chapel, Shanghai, 66.

U. S. government, timely intervention to prevent partitionment, 73.

Urh Woo, Chinese boat, 82.


Victoria Colony, 15.

Vrooman, Rev. ----, headquarters
at Ham Ha Lau, 52.


Wen Seang, prime minister of China, 171;
  death of mother and period of mourning, 175;
  his death (_1868_), 170.

West Lake, or Si-Hoo, Hangchau, 80.

West Point Military Academy, Chinese students refused admission, 207.

Wha Yuh Ting, 143.

Whang Wen Shiu, president of Tsung Li Yamun, (Foreign Affairs), 220.

Whipple, Capt., of ship _Eureka_, 43.

Whitworth’s machine shop, London, 156.

Williams, S. Wells, work on dictionary, 114.

Willow trees at Auburn, N. Y., planted by S. R. Brown, 22.

Wong Foon, decision to pursue further course of study
  referred to patrons in Hong Kong, 31;
  graduates from Monson Academy and enters University of Edinburgh, 32;
  return to China (_1857_), 33;
  death (_1879_), 33;
  _also_ 13, 18, 20, 28, 31.

Wong Kai Keh, assistant commissioner at St. Louis Exposition, 232.

Wong Shing, scholar in Morrison school, 13, 18, 20, 28, 31.

Woo-Sik, Chinese city, 79.

Woo-Sik-Kwei, Chinese boat, 79, 80.

Woo Tsze Tung, comes to U. S. in retinue of Chin Lan Pin (_1876_), 200;
  member of Chinese Educational Commission (_1876_), 201;
  attitude toward work of the Commission, 204;
  instrumental in recalling students (_1881_), 210, 219.

Wuhu, treaty port, 83, 126.

Wuhu River, 126.


Yang Liu Tung, tea district, 91.

Yangtze-Kiang River, 84, 89, 91.

Yeh Ming Hsin, Viceroy, drastic measures to suppress
  rebellion in Kwang Tung province, 53;
  appointed viceroy (_1854_), 55;
  capture and banishment, 56.

Yeh Shu Tung, teacher for Chinese Educational Commission, 183;
  coolie question in Cuba, 197, 206;
  appointed secretary to Chinese Legation, 198.

Yellow River, Inundation of, 75.

Ying Wong, Chin’s opinion of, 104.

Young, John R., protest against breaking up of Chinese
  Educational Commission, 211.

Yuh-Shan, city, 83, 86.

Yung Wing, birth (_1828_), 1;
  early school life, 2;
  death of father (_1840_), 8;
  helps toward family income, 8;
  works in rice fields, 9;
  printing office, 11;
  hospital, 11;
  enters Morrison school (_1841_), 13;
  departure for U. S. (_1847_), 18, 21;
  benefactors, 19, 36;
  incidents of voyage, 22;
  arrival in New York, 23;
  Chinese Education scheme, 23;
  enters Monson Academy, 27;
  studies during first year, 28;
  placed under care of Mrs. Phœbe H. Brown, 29;
  literary taste influenced by Dr. Charles Hammond, 31;
  decision to pursue further course of study referred
  to patrons in Hong Kong, 31;
  refuses Edinburgh offer, 32;
  graduates from Monson Academy, 32;
  enters Yale, 33, 37;
  problem of support, 34;
  applies for assistance from contingent fund, 34;
  grounds for refusal, 35;
  inadequate preparation and hard work, 37;
  prizes, 38;
  stewardship, 38;
  assistant librarian of “Brothers in Unity,” 39;
  first Chinaman to graduate from American college, 18, 39, 49;
  popularity, 40;
  determination to carry Western education into China, 41;
  abandons scientific course and returns to China, 42;
  story of voyage (_1854-’55_), 43;
  meeting with his mother, 48;
  college degree, 50;
  mother’s death (_1858_), 51;
  residence in Canton, regaining the language, 52;
  revolting consequences of Kwang Tung rebellion, 53;
  sympathies stirred, 56;
  private secretary to Dr. Peter Parker, 59;
  interpreter in Hong Kong Supreme Court, 59;
  studies law, 59;
  apprentice to attorney, 60;
  opposition of British colony, 60;
  resignation, 62;
  passage from Shanghai to Hong Kong in ship _Florence_, 62;
  position in Imperial Customs, 63;
  system of graft leading to resignation, 63;
  mercantile life, 67;
  night encounter with men from ship _Eureka_, 67;
  and other personal insults, 70;
  reputation as translator, 74;
  draws up petition for relief of sufferers in Yellow River inundation, 75;
  introduced to Li Jen Shu, 76;
  ground for declining position as comprador, 77;
  packing tea, 78;
  goes to Hangchau, 80;
  ascends Tsientang River, 82, 85;
  takes trip to hunt after yellow silk, 88;
  return to Nih Kia Shi, 90;
  learns process of preparing tea for foreign market, 91;
  first journey in interior of China, 93;
  silk business, 94;
  with missionaries to Nanking (_1859_), 96;
  experiences _en route_, 98;
  arrival at Tan Yang and conversation with Commandant, 101;
  courteous treatment, 105;
  gates of Ku Yung closed against them, 106;
  Nanking reached, 106;
  introduction to I. C. Roberts, 107;
  renews acquaintance with Hung Jin, 108;
  points suggested by journey, 109;
  conditions of joining Taiping government, 109;
  interview with Kan Wong resulting in offer of title of
  fourth official rank, 110;
  refusal, 111;
  passport granted and return journey to Shanghai made, 112;
  attention turned to money-making, 123;
  interview with tea-merchants at Shanghai, 124;
  expedition to Taiping to buy tea, 125;
  routes chosen and particulars of journey, 126;
  escorts treasure on succeeding expeditions, 128;
  midnight adventure with marauding horde, 130;
  ill health and relinquishment of tea business, 135;
  invited to call on Viceroy Tsang Kwoh Fan (_1863_), 137;
  enters service of state government (_1863_), 140;
  arrival at Ngan Khing and interview with Viceroy, 143, 150;
  temporary abode at military headquarters, 148;
  suggestions for establishing machine shop, 149;
  empowered to purchase machinery, 152;
  commission received (_1863_), 154;
  fifth official rank conferred, 154;
  route from Shanghai to New York, 155;
  class re-union at Yale, 156;
  order for machinery executed at Fitchburg, Mass., 156;
  offers himself to U. S. government as volunteer, 157;
  return to China, 160;
  report on purchase of machinery, 165;
  created mandarin (_1865_), 166;
  government interpreter and translator, 166;
  _Colton’s Geography_ and parts of _Parsons on Contracts_ translated, 167;
  school of engineering suggested to Viceroy, 166;
  secures co-operation of Ting Yih Chang in educational scheme, 170;
  proposals drawn up, 171;
  hindrances to their presentation to the government, 175;
  Tsientsin massacre furthers plans, 177;
  memorial for adoption of proposals signed, 180;
  Chin Lan Pin’s co-operation, 181;
  memorial sanctioned, 182;
  invited to Nanking to confer with Viceroy, 183;
  Educational Commission appointed, 183;
  preparatory school established (_1871_), 185;
  English government schools visited, 186;
  precedes first installment of students to U. S. (_1872_), 188;
  headquarters at Hartford, Conn., 189;
  gatling gun introduced into China (_1873_), 191;
  interview with Peruvian commissioner on coolie traffic, 192;
  relates horrors and refuses to further treaty, 193;
  commissioned to investigate conditions in Peru, 194;
  report of mission, 195;
  attitude of Peruvian commissioner, 195;
  results, 196;
  appointed joint Chinese minister to Washington, 198, 207;
  disagreement with Chin Lan Pin, 202, 205;
  letter to Viceroy regarding Woo Tsze Tung, 205;
  violation of Burlingame Treaty, 208;
  last official act as Commissioner (_1877_), 209;
  reports at Peking upon expiration of term of office (_1881_), 217;
  interview with Li Hung Chang on subject of recall of
  students (_1881_), 218;
  paying official calls, 219;
  Indian opium trade and poppy culture, 220;
  return to U. S. (_1883_), 220;
  illness and death of wife (_1886_), 221;
  joy in sons, 223;
  formulates plans for prosecuting war of _1894-’95_, 224;
  partial acceptance of plan and commission to negotiate loan, 224;
  failure caused by personal animosity, 226;
  recalled to China (_1895_), 226;
  provision for sons during absence, 227;
  presents plans to Chang Chi Tung, 228;
  appointed secretary of Foreign Affairs for Kiang Nan, 231;
  resigns, 232;
  begins translation of National Banking Act, 232;
  defeat of plans for National Bank of China, 234;
  unsuccessful attempt to secure railroad concession, 237;
  headquarters at Peking _rendez-vous_ of reformers of _1898_, 241;
  flight to Shanghai and organization of “Deliberative
  Association of China,” 241;
  in Hong Kong (_1900-’02_), 241;
  returns to U. S. (_1902_), 242;
  visit to Formosa and threatened arrest, 242;
  furnished with bodyguard, 245;
  meeting with Dr. Horace Bushnell, 256;
  _for detailed résumé of life see_ Appendix.


       *       *       *       *       *


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