Text Size S M L
Print E-mail

Wong Yau Chang

Pinyin & Chinese characters Huang Youzhang 黄有章

Variant Spellings & Other Names Chung Wong Gau
Whang Yew Chiang1
Other Chinese Name(s)  
Detachment 2

LaFargue No. 41

Date of Birth 22 March 18582

Place of Birth Shangzha village 上栅村, Xiangshan, Guangdong

Age at Departure for US 16 岁 (Lunar Calendar); 15 years old

Date of Death 11 January 1942
Place of Death  
Place(s) of Residence in US (1) East Windsor, CT;
(2) Norwich, CT;
(3) CEM Headquarters, 352 Collins St., Hartford, CT.3

American Host Family/ies M. W. Hakes, Norwich, CT


School(s), with dates  
Notable Activities/Awards in School  
College/University, with dates  
Notable Activities/Awards in College  
Degree/Diploma Obtained (date)  
First Assignment in China Not known
Later Positions

Private English tutor, mainly in Hong Kong; later engaged as English tutor to the family of 蔡昌 Cai Chang (1877-1953), the Australian Chinese who repatriated to Hong Kong and, in 1912, together with his elder brother Cai Xing 蔡兴 founded the well-known The Sun Department Store 大新百货股份有限公司.

After 1924, was hired as English instructor for the Naval Division of the Huangpu Military Academy 黄埔军校 near Canton.

Later years: returned to help in the management of the The Sun (Da Xin) Company.

Employment Sector(s) Education; commerce
Final Rank, if in Gov't Service  
Father's Name  
Mother's Name  
Wife/wives 郑氏 Miss Zheng
Family Relations w/ other CEM Students  
Children's Names Huang Jichen 黄吉臣 (eldest son)
Huang Zhonglin 黄仲霖 (2nd son)
3rd and 4th sons died early
Huang Daozhi 黄道芝 (5th son)
Huang Huifang 黄惠芳 also named “Susie” (daughter).

All Wong’s sons worked for the The Sun (Da Xin) Company and 2nd son Zhonglin married a daughter of Cai Chang.

Descendants Liang Jianrong 梁建荣  (grandson)
Tang Yue 唐越, Reed (great grandson)

In Yung Shang Him (1939), p. 25, a short summary of Wong’s post-CEM years, “…settled at home and lived the life of a country gentleman”, is inaccurate. 

A recently published reminiscence (cited below, under Notes and Sources), written by Wong Yau Chang's grandson, Liang Jianrong, explains how Wong came to be excluded from government service.  As returned students, Wong and Tong Shao Yi (Tang Shaoyi 唐绍仪 III, 61)―both wearers of spectacles―attended an audience with Cixi 慈僖太后, the Empress Dowager.  While Tong removed his eyeglasses before kowtowing to her, Wong, who suffered from quite severe myopia, unwisely kept his on.  The Empress was irate, taking this behavior to be a sign of Wong’s disrespect, both toward the Manchu regime and her own person.  As punishment for his supposed insolence, she ordered Li Hongzhang to strike Wong Yau Chang off the roll of government employees and send him back to his native village.  The veracity of this tale as recorded by Mr. Liang cannot be confirmed at present, as it appears to have been derived solely from oral narratives that had long circulated privately within the Wong family.

Notes and Sources Information on the career and family of Wong based upon Liang Jianrong, 梁建荣: “近代留美学生黄有章”, 中国人民政治协商会议珠海市委员会文史资料委员会: 《珠海文史》 12 期 (2001 年 12 月), 96-99. Article kindly provided by great grandson, Reed Tang.

1. Springfield Daily Republican, 26 July 1873, 3.

2.  Wong’s date of birth, 22 March 1858, is equivalent to 咸丰八年二月初八, the date in the Chinese lunar calendar as recalled by family members (email from Reed Tang, 22 Dec 2009).

3. U. S. Census June 1880.  Also noted in Robyn (1996), 185.  In July 1880 Wong was dismissed for unknown reasons and was sent back to China. Rhoads (2011), 162; 136, Table 9.1.