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Tong Wing Chun

Pinyin & Chinese characters Tang Rongjun 唐荣俊
Variant Spellings & Other Names Tong Yung Chin
Tong Kidson
Wing C. Tong
Wing Chang Tong
Other Chinese Names 字 秀兴, 号 杰臣 
Detachment 4

LaFargue No. 106

Date of Birth 1862

Place of Birth Xiangshan, Guangdong Province

Age at Departure for U.S. 14 (Lunar Calendar)
Date of Death 4 March, 19041 
Place of Death Shanghai
Place(s) of residence in U.S. 1.  Fair Haven, CT;
2.  Belchertown, MA;
3.  Chelsea, MA;
4.  CEM Building, 352 Collins St., Hartford2 
American Host Family/ies 1.  E. Edwin Hall;
2.  Mrs. Maria Longley;
3.  Smith Ar Foon2 
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 Beiyang Naval College, Tianjin (serving on the Wei Yuen "威远")6 
Later Positions

Tong spent almost his whole career in the private sector.  He became prominent in the Shanghai business and social organizations;

1892-93  "Tong Kidson, Assistant" in the Cement Works dept. of the Chinese Engineering and Mining Co. 开平矿务局7 which was founded by his uncle, Tang Tingshu 唐廷枢 (aka Tong King Sing).

1894  Agent for the Chinese Engineering and Mining Co. (Information courtesy CEM descendant, Reed Tang);

1895  Comprador in the Shanghai branch of Jardine, Matheson & Co. 怡和洋行: succeeded his father Tong Ting-chik 唐廷植 in that position after the latter's death;

1896  In Nanking consulting with Viceroy Chang Chi-tung 张之洞 about initiating steamboat service on the Grand Canal between Chinkiang and Ts'ing Huangp'u (NCH, 1896-1-10, p. 31);

1897 Permitted by Shanghai Daotai Liu Linxiang 刘麟祥 to co-found a water supply company in south Shanghai named Neidi Zilaishui Gongsi 内地自来水公司, of which he financed one-third of the shares with 100,000 taels (sourced from 上海通网络: http://www.shtong.gov.cn/);

1902  Shareholder, Central Stores Ltd. (NCH, 1902-3-12, Supplement);

1902  Appointed by Treaty Commissioner Sheng Xuanhuai 盛宣怀 a director of the Chinese Bureau of Commerce 上海商业会议公所 - the first chamber of commerce in the country (from 上海通网络: http://www.shtong.gov.cn/);

1903  Appointed a director of Shanghai Nanking Railway (NCH, 1903-3-12, p. 489);

Employment sector(s) Business

Final rank, if in gov't service

Father's name Tong Ting-chik (Tang Tingzhi) 唐廷植, aka Tong Mow-chee (Tang Maozhi) 唐茂枝, a comprador of Jardine’s in Shanghai.3

Mother's name  
Wife/wives Wife surnamed Zheng 郑; 4 concubines, one named Wu Gonggao 吴恭高; 1  English woman (wife or mistress uncertain, name unknown)
Family relations w/ other CEM students Cousin of Tong Wing Ho (Tang Ronghao 唐荣浩 IV, 105). Related to Tong Kwo On (Tang Guoan 唐国安 II, 49) and Tong Shao Yi (Tang Shaoyi 唐绍仪 III, 61)

Children's Names

No offspring by wife or by concubine Wu; 2 daughters from one concubine: Tang Jianhuan 唐金环 & Tang Jinling 唐金玲; son from English partner: Tang Kangtai 唐康泰

Tong Kidson’s daughter, Alice Yü-hua T’ang 唐钰华 (1886-1974), was married to the eminent diplomat, Sao-Ke Alfred Sze 施肇基 (1877-1958). Cf. Sze (1962), p. 37. 

Descendants GD: Tang Mingzhen 唐明珍
GGS: Liu Andi 刘安弟
Zhao Jiping 赵济平

c. 1894 Assisted in formation of the China Red Cross Society in Shanghai (NCH, 1896-1-17, p. 97);

1898-1902  Subscriber and Member, Honorary Committee of the Chinese Hospital, Shanghai (NCH, 1898-9-19, p. 539; 1902-6-4, p. 1112f);

1901  With two other leading Chinese businessmen in Shanghai, Tong put up 30,000 taels toward the establishment of the Public School For Chinese in the International Settlement, which opened in 1903;4

1902-12-3  A special CEM reunion was hosted by Tong Kidson at his home on Markham Rd in honour of Sir Chentung Liang Cheng (Liang Pe Yuk 梁丕旭) who was recently appointed Minister to the U.S.  Also present were: Chow Wan Pang 周万鹏, Chu Pao Fay 朱宝奎, Fung Bing Chung 馮炳钟, Sun Kwong Ming 孙广明, Tao Ting King 陶廷赓, Ting Sung Kih 丁崇吉, Tong Yuen Chan 唐元湛, Tsai Cum Shang 蔡锦章, S.T. Laisun (Tseng Tuh Kun 曾笃恭), Wong Kai Kah 黄开甲, Yuan Chun Kwon 袁长坤 ("An Interesting Reunion," NCH, 1902-12-10, p. 1232);

Early 1903: possibly in Jan. or Feb., Tong held another party at his home which was attended by 9 CEM alumni.  Present were special guest, H.E. Wu Tingfang, the outgoing Minister to Washington, and Yung Kwai 容揆 (who had accompanied ex-Minister Wu back to China), Sir Chentung Liang Cheng (Liang Pe Yuk 梁丕旭), Chow Wan Pang 周万鹏, Chu Pao Fay 朱宝奎, Tong Yuen Chan 唐元湛, Wong Kai Kah 黄开甲 and Yuan Chun Kwon 袁长坤.  (W.W. Yen, "The Returned Student", East of Asia Magazine, v. 3, 1904, p. 38: photo).  (Yung Kwai later returned to Washington as a member of Sir Chentung's diplomatic suite);

On the Executive Committee of the International Institute for several years (NCH, 1904-4-29, p. 886);

Member, Committee of The Chinese Polytechnic (NCH, 1904-6-17, p. 1279);

A director of the Guang-Zhao Gongsuo 广肇公所 (The Cantonese Guild) -- a guild hall for businessmen who were natives of Guangzhou and Zhaoqing residing in Shanghai; established the School of Western Learning attached to the Guild on Ningpo Rd;

Member of the Tiendao Hui 天道会 

Notes and Sources

1.  "The Late Mr. Tong Kid-son,"  North China Herald, 1904-3-11, p. 492: died of consumption, aged 44 years, at 27 Markham Road, Shanghai.

2.  For Tong's locations and host families, sources vary in their information, all listed here.  It is reasonably certain that he first lived in Fair Haven, CT, and last in Hartford, where he was attending the special class in telegraphy being held at the CEM headquarters prior to the Mission's closure.   

3.  Father was brother of Tang Tingshu 唐廷枢, aka Tong King-sing (Tang Jingxing) 唐景星; both were with Yung Wing in the Morrison Education Society School in Macao. At the School Tingzhi was called “A-chick” (from Cantonese "Ting-chik") and Tingshu was known as "A-kü" (from Cantonese "Ting-chü"). See Smith, chap. 2.

4.  Timothy Richard, Forty-Five Years in China: Reminiscences by Timothy Richard, D.D., Litt.D., New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co. (1916), p. 318 (Reference courtesy Reed Tang).

5.  Family data from article by Tang Mingzhen 唐明珍: "留美学生唐杰臣及其后人概况", 《珠海文史》, 14, p. 60-1.

6.  Stated in a letter from Chin Kin Kwai to his American host, Rev. Jacob Chapman, sent from Taku (Fort), dated May 6, 1883.  The letter is held at Phillips Exeter Academy, where Chin had been a student.  Cf. Shi (2000) p. 202: "军功,后转入商界."

7.  Listed in 1893 Directory and Chronicle for China, Japan, Corea, etc., p. 85.  Copy provided by Peter A. Crush of Hong Kong.