Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Yung Wing

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YUNG WING, diplomatist, b. in Nan Ping, Province of Kwang Tung, China, 17 Nov., 1828. He became a pupil of Samuel R. Brown, D. D., who was then a teacher in China under the auspices of the Morrison education society, and accompanied Dr. Brown to the United States in April, 1847. He was graduated at Yale in 1854, and was engaged in the tea and silk business until 1864, when he entered the service of the Chinese government, and was commissioned to purchase machinery in the United States for what is now the Kiang Nan arsenal. In 1870, at Tientsin, he submitted four propositions to the high commissioners that had been appointed to settle the affair of the massacre of Christians at that place. The first was the transportation of the tribute rice in steamers by sea, freight to be paid by the government as subsidy to a Chinese stock company to create a fleet of ocean and river steamers,. This company is now the well-known China merchant steam navigation company. Secondly, he proposed the education of Chinese youths abroad, to facilitate intercourse with foreigners, and develop the resources of the empire. The third proposal was the opening of the rivers of China, and the fourth to terminate the pretensions of the Roman Catholic church in her claim to exercise jurisdiction over native proselytes. The first and second propositions were carried out in 1872, and within the next two years 120 youth were sent to the United States in charge of commissioners, one of whom was Yung Wing, who was made a mandarin of the third rank by brevet. In 1874 he went to Peru to investigate the affairs of the Chinese laborers there. In 1878 he was appointed assistant minister resident of China at Washington, with privilege of wearing the button of the second rank by brevet. In 1881 the Chinese students were recalled, and the educational scheme was abandoned. In 1882 he returned to China, and was appointed expectant intendant of Kiang Su province; but on account of the health of his wife he returned to Hartford, Conn. He was made a citizen of the United States on 30 Oct., 1852, and in 1875, married Miss Mary Kellogg, of Avon, Conn., who died on 29 May, 1886.