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Tsao Ka Hsiang


1. See under 'Other' (LaFargue Collection)  2. 1905 CEM Reunion (LaFargue Collection)


Pinyin & Chinese characters Cao Jiaxiang 曹家祥1

Variant Spellings & Other Names Kai Cheong Tsao
Tsai Kai Cheong
Tsao Ka-hsiang
Tsao Kai Cheong

Other Chinese Name(s) Cao Xilin 曹希麟


Detachment 3

LaFargue No. 67


Date of Birth 1864

Place of Birth Shunde, Guangdong

Age at Departure for US 11 (Lunar Calendar)

Date of Death  
Place of Death Tianjin

Place(s) of Residence in US (1) Whately, MA;
(2) Hartford, CT.

American Host Family/ies (1) Rev. John W. & Mary (Haynes) Lane, Whately, MA;
(2) Julia B. Burbank, Hartford, CT.

School(s), with dates West Middle Public School, Hartford, CT;
Hartford Public High School, Hartford, CT., 1877-81.

Notable Activities/Awards in School Exceptionally skilled translator from Latin.  (See below, “Other.”)

College/University, with dates  
Notable Activities/Awards in College  
Degree/Diploma Obtained (date)  
First Assignment in China Assigned to Tianjin Naval School

Later Positions

Wounded in Battle of the Yalu River (17 September 1894); Deputy Gunnery Officer 枪炮大副 on the Chen Yuen 镇远3; later commanded the cruiser Hai Yung 海容4;

Daotai and Chief of Tianjin City Police Department 天津巡警道: one of the founders of modern police force in China5;

President, Tianjin Municipal Council 天津民政局局长6;

1915: Deputy Minister of Navy; later went into business

Employment Sector(s) Navy/Government/Business

Final Rank, if in Gov't Service  
Father's Name  
Mother's Name  
Family Relations w/ other CEM Students Probably the younger brother or cousin of Tsao Ka Chuck (Cao Jiajue 曹家爵 III, 77). They are said to have been natives of the same village (Hengyu Cun 横圩村) in Shunde District of Guangdong.7

Children's Names  
Other From the Autobiography of William Lyon Phelps (1865-1943): “My most intimate friend at the [Hartford Public] High School was a splendid Chinese boy named Cho—dignified and serious, who even at that time was more a sophisticated man of the world than I shall ever be.  To hear that young gentleman translate Caesar in the classroom was a liberal education.  Every Saturday Cho and I used to go shooting in West Hartford, after meadowlarks and yellowhammers.  He had a huge gun that weighed over twelve pounds, which he would carry uncomplainingly all day long; and bring down birds on the wing at a prodigious rate.  When these boys, to our infinite regret, were recalled to China, Cho gave me his great gun as a pledge of eternal friendship.  In China he entered the Navy, and where he is now I wish I knew.  We kept up a fitful correspondence for some years.”8

Notes and Sources

1. Personal name written 嘉祥 in Shen Bao 申报 (6 August 1874), in Xu (1978), 41, and in student list compiled by Tong Yuen Chan (Tang Yuanzhan 唐元湛 II, 53); written 家祥 in student list compiled by Won Bing Chung (Wen Bingzhong 温秉忠 II, 36), and in Yung Shang Him (1939), 27; Yung Shang Him (10/1939), 251.

2. Phelps (1939), 85.

3.  Chen Yuan: steel battleship built in Germany, launched 1882. Wright (2000), 50.

4. Hai Yung: steel cruiser built in Germany; launched 1897. Wright (2000), 111.

5. Qian & Hu (2003), 100; Qian & Hu (2004), 108.

6. Shi (2000), 202.

7. Rhoads (2011), 25, citing student list compiled by Tong Yuen Chan (Tang Yuanzhan 唐元湛 II, 53).

8. Phelps (1939), loc. cit. A studio photograph of Tsao Ka Hsiang, wearing Western clothing and holding a long-barrelled rifle (perhaps the same "pledge of eternal friendship" of Phelps's anecdote), now in LaFargue (Pullman), has been reproduced in Qian & Hu (2003), 100; Qian & Hu (2004), 108; and in Rhoads (2011), 149