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Luk Wing Chuan


c. 1881/82; from Yale U. Library, MSS. & Archives Digital Images

Pinyin & Chinese characters

Lu Yongquan  陆永泉

Variant Spellings & Other Names Chan Lok Wing
Chuan Lok Wing
Chuan Luk Wing (Dr.)
Chuan Luk Wong
Chuan Sok Gung
Lock Wing
Lok Wing Chuan1

Other Chinese Name(s) 陆盈科

Detachment 1

LaFargue No. 23

Date of Birth 1859

Place of Birth Xiangshan, Guangdong Province

Age at Departure for US 14 (Lunar Calendar)

Date of Death 31 July 1909 (assassinated);2 buried in Washington, CT.3
Place of Death Chinese Consulate, 18 Broadway, New York City

Place(s) of Residence in US

1) Washington, CT;
2) Norwich, CT;
3) New Haven, CT, at Sheffield Scientific School, Yale:
1879-80 Freshman yr: 59 Wall St. [Yale Banner, vol. 36 (1879), p. 39];
1880-81 Junior yr: 44 Elm St. [Yale Banner, vol. 37 (1880), p. 41];
1882-83 Senior yr: 167 Temple St., [Seventeenth Annual Report of the Sheffield Scienific School of Yale College, 1882-83, p. 28; Yale Banner, vol. 41 (1882), p. 42]
4) Post-CEM: New York City

American Host Family/ies 1) Julia Leavitt Richards;4
2) Dr. Charles Jewett5

School(s), with dates The Gunnery School, ?- 1877;6
Norwich Free Academy, CT, 1877-79.

Notable Activities/Awards in School  
College/University, with dates Yale Sheffield Scientific School, 1879-81, 82-837; ?Lehigh College [n.d.];2
Majored in Civil Engineering; graduation thesis: "On the Musconeteong Tunnel" 8
Notable Activities/Awards in College 1879 Member of Alpha Chi, Freshman fraternity in Sheffield Scientific School [The Yale Banner, v. 36 (1879), p. 69].
Degree/Diploma Obtained (date) Ph.B. (Civil Engineering), Yale, 18838

First Assignment in China Assigned to Fuzhou Naval School; did not graduate but went back to the U.S. in 1882 to finish his studies (See Other below, 1st item)

Later Positions

After graduation, he worked briefly as a railroad engineer: Rhoads (2011), p. 204;

1889- ? : Assistant Interpreter at Chinese Consulate, New York City;9

1894 Mar. - Luk was named alongside other consular officials in a protest by 56 NYC Chinese merchants who alleged to their Minister in Washington that the Consuls at NYC and at Havana were swindling them by charging high fees for issuing "worthless" ID cards, such certificates being required by the U.S. Government for Chinese who went on temporary home leave to China upon re-entry to America. Nothing further is known about this petition, but the fact that Luk was promoted to Vice-Consul in 1898 would indicate that his position was not affected, regardless of the merit of the allegations ("Chinamen Make Serious Charges," New York Herald-Tribune, 21 Mar. 1894, p. 4) ;

Chinese Vice-Consul in NY, 1898- 19091

1902 Aug. 9: During the layover of Prince Tsai Chen and his suite at New York, on their return to China from London, "Lock Wing, the Chinese Vice Consul here, was master of ceremonies" for the reception of the Prince in Chinatown (NYT, 1902 10 Aug. 1902, p. 3).

Employment Sector(s) Government: Diplomatic Service

Final Rank, if in Gov't Service Vice-Consul, Chinese Consulate, New York

Father's Name  
Mother's Name  
Wife/wives 1890 married Margaret L. Wing (NYT); Margaret Lock Wing (WP)2

Family Relations w/ other CEM Students  
Children's Names No children2


In his “Recollections of the CEM,” Yung Kwai (Rong Kui 容揆 II, 34) wrote: “L. Wing was the first fellow to come back to America.  He had been placed in the naval school at Foochow in company with a few others.  Having obtained a furlough to go home to see his parents, he, with the aid of Yung Liang [Young Shang Him (Rong Shangqian 容尚谦 I, 6] & Ting Kweitung [Ting Kwai Ting (Deng Guiting 邓桂庭 II, 52], availed himself of this opportunity to make good his escape, and arrived at America in time to join the class of ’83 of Sheffield Scientific School. He graduated the next year with that class.”7

1896 Mar. 3: "Hope Lodge, No. 244, of New York City, made a Master Mason of Lok Wing, a Chinaman, who is Vice-Consul of the Chinese Legation in New York."  ("Our Secret Societies - Masonic," Trenton Evening News, 15 June 1902, p. 11);

1904 (or earlier) - 1909: President of the Oriental Club up to the time of his death. The club was "composed of the wealthiest and most educated of the Chinese residents of New York" (See: "Eat Shark Fins and Be Merry," Denver Post, 16 Apr. 1904, p. 4; "Slain for Revenge, Is Report," Baltimore Sun, 2 Aug. 1909, p. 2).

Notes and Sources

1.  Spelling and dates on grave marker, Washington, CT.  (Photograph of marker courtesy Ms. Alissa Krimsky, email 2 March 2006).  Luk's term as Vice-Consul at New York, 1898-1909, was given on his grave marker.  In Lo (1977), p. 49, foot note 19, in 1903, Luk's post was given as "Interpreter. He is waiting for the appointment of Intendant of Circuit." In "Chinese View of America", New York Times, 10 Mar. 1902, he was reported as "Mr. Lock Wing the Chinese Vice Consul at New York."  This would corroborate the earlier dates and refute Lo's claim that he was only an Interpreter in 1903.

2.  New York Times & Washington Post, 1 Aug. 1909.  On 31 July 1909, after a scuffle in the Consulate, Luk was fatally shot by a Chinese man identified by police as “Wong Bow Cheung”. Wong suffered from mental illness and had been jailed for assault at least twice previously. It was reported that his repeated requests for a job or a loan had been refused by Luk. The murder case caused a sensation and widely different motives were attributed to the killer, whose own testimony to police was cryptic and contradictory. See also: “Police Didn’t Feed Chinese Murderer,” New York Times, 2 Aug. 1909, p. 3; “Chinese Murderer Pleads Guilty,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 Jan. 1910, p. 16; and “Slain for Revenge, Is Report,” Baltimore Sun, 2 Aug. 1909, p. 2.  Wong was sentenced to 20 years for his crime.  (“20 Years for Killing Chinese Consul,” NYT, 15 Jan 1910, p. 6). The 2 major papers reported Luk as having attended Lehigh College, but this has never been verified.

3.  “...buried in Washington Green Cemetery [CT], near Mrs. Richards” who had died in the spring of 1909: Rhoads (2011), p. 205.

4.  Mrs. Richards, childless and recently widowed, was encouraged to take in Luk and Tsai Cum Shang (Cai Jinzhang 蔡锦章 I, 9) to relieve her loneliness and grief. “She devoted herself to their education, and they became as sons to her.” They soon made friends with the 10-year-old George Colton, her minister’s son, and quickly progressed in their English fluency.  Colton later recalled that for up to 8 years, Luk and he shared in typical American outdoor recreation activities and spent holidays together.  Colton also commented “Mrs. Richards was certainly a Mother to him and his love and reverence for her was deep and sincere.” Luk kept close contact with her until her death.  See Rhoads (2011), pp. 66, 70 & 74.

5.  Courtesy Edward J.M. Rhoads, email of 14 Mar. 2006.

6.  See Rhoads (2011), p. 90, Table 7.1, & p. 97, Table 7.2, respectively.  The Gunnery school, which had nothing to do with guns, was named for its founder, Frederick William Gunn. Rhoads (2011) p. 89.

7.  Yung Kwai (2001), penultimate paragraph following 21§.  Though taking the degree of Ph.B. with the Class of 1883, Luk considered himself a member of the Class of 1882, as reported in Statistics of the Class of 'Eighty-Three, Sheffield Scientific School, of Yale College (New Haven, 1883), p. 19. For probable photograph (ca. 1883) of Luk Wing Chuan with others of the SSS Class of 1883, see: Holden (1967), item no. 101 [no pagination].

8.  Yale (1884), p. 21.

9.  As named on the staff list of Chinese Minister, Cui Guoyin 催国因,1889-1893, at Washington: (See Liang (2004), p. 231.