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Paun Sze Chi


LaFargue Collection

Pinyin & Chinese characters Pan Sichi 潘斯炽

Variant Spellings & Other Names Pawn Sichi
Pawn Sz Chi
S.C. Pond
Pond Sz-chi
Puan Shih-Chi

Other Chinese Names 潘剑云
Detachment 4
LaFargue No. 97

Date of Birth 1865

Place of Birth Nanhai, Guangdong Province

Age at Departure for U.S. 11 (Lunar Calendar)
Date of Death  
Place of Death Beijing

Place(s) of residence in U.S. (1)South Hadley Falls, MA;
(2)48 Sumner St., Hartford, CT

American Host Family/ies (1) R. Ogden Dwight1;
(2) Mrs. Helen E. Blakeslee2
School(s), with dates  
Notable activities/ awards in school

College/University, with dates

Notable activities/ awards in College

Degree/Diploma Obtained, with date  
First Assignment in China Assigned to Government Cotton Mill in Shanghai.
Later Positions

1897 Oct. - Referred to as interpreter/translator of the Cotton Mill 沙厂翻译 in 1 Oct. entry in 郑孝胥日记, the diary of the government official, Zheng Xiaoxu  (digital copy of pages provided by Reed Tang);

1902 Feb. 26 - Paun, with the rank of 佐贰 "Assistant District Magistrate", was appointed Second Interpreter to the Special Embassy led by Prince Tsai Chen to the coronation of British monarch Edward VII in June.3 The Embassy returned to China via the United States.  Though not an official visit, since this represented the first visit of Chinese royalty to the U.S., they were received by American dignitaries from the Federal and the New York authorities, as well as by the Chinese Minister at Washington and the Chinese Consul General at New York. (NYT, 1902.08.10, p. 3)

1908 July 8 - Paun, an official in the Ministry of Agriculture, Works and Commerce 农工商部, was one of the three Special Commissioners sent to America by the Ministry to study and report on trade conditions between the United States and China.  He was identified as "Mr. S.C. Pond, a returned American student of the Chinese Educational Mission of the seventies."4

Circa 1914 Nov. (period in office unknown) - Director of the Nanjing Mint 财政部南京造币分厂厂长.5

Employment sector(s) Government

Final rank, if in gov't service

Father's name  
Mother's name  
Family relations w/ other CEM students

Children's Names

Descendants GS: K.T. Mao  毛观岱


1909 Jan. 17: during his mission in America, Paun paid a visit to Hartford to call upon Mrs. Helen Blakeslee, his former "house mother" from nearly 30 years ago.  Another former CEM house guest, Special Imperial Envoy Tong Shao Yi, was also visiting.  The news report described Paun, identified as "Ponde Szi Shi," as "now a New York businessman."  Since Paun had been sent in July 1908 by the Chinese Government to study trade matters in the U.S., it is unclear how his role as a government commissioner would be consistent with his alleged new status as a businessman in New York. (Hartford DailyTimes, 1909.01.18).

The teenaged Paun had an unusual passion: "He was greatly interested in chickens and kept a lot of them in coops in our back yard. When the order to recall came Se Chi did not want to leave his chickens behind and finally selecting the best pair. he had a traveling coop made put them in it and actually succeeded in transportlng them safely to his home in distant China."6


Notes and Sources 1. Hartford Daily Courant, 4 December 1875.

2. In the decennial U.S. census in June 1880, Pan was listed as attending school (not college) and boarding with Helen E. Blakeslee in Hartford, CT (information from Edward J.M. Rhoads).

3. "The Special Embassy in London," North China Herald, 1902.2.26, p. 392.

4.  "To Inspect Trade Conditions," NCH, 1908.7.18, p. 168.

5.  Dated from three letters addressed to Paun as Director of Nanjing Mint, dated Nov. 5, 19 and 23, 1914, being kept in Shanghai Public Library; digital copies kindly provided by Paun's grandson, KT Mao.

6.  From an unreferenced and undated news clipping in one of the Social Scrapbooks compiled from local papers by the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford. The internal references would suggest that this anecdote was recalled by a member of the Blakeslee family in Hartford, with whom Paun had boarded until his return to China.