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Yang Sew Nan


Pinyin & Chinese characters Yang Zhaonan 杨兆南

Variant Spellings & Other Names Yang Si Niam
Yang Sin Niam
Yang Sue Nam
Yang Sui Nam
Siu Nam Yang1
Other Chinese Name(s)


Detachment 3

LaFargue No. 85

Date of Birth 1862

Place of Birth Nanhai, Guangdong

Age at Departure for US 13

Date of Death 23 August 1884

Place of Death Fuzhou (Sino-French War, Battle of Pagoda Anchorage)

Place(s) of Residence in US (1) Whately, MA; and from 1878, South Hadley, MA2
(2) Easthampton, MA
(3) Andover, MA

American Host Family/ies

(1) Rev. John W. & Mary (Haynes) Lane, Whately, MA, and, from 1878, South Hadley, MA
(2) Caroline F. Jackson, Andover, MA3

School(s), with dates (1) Williston Seminary (Williston Northampton School), Easthampton, MA. 1877-1879
(2) Phillips Academy (Senior, English Dept.), Andover, MA, 1879-18804
Notable Activities/Awards in School  
College/University, with dates M. I. T., 1880-18815

Notable Activities/Awards in College  
Degree/Diploma Obtained (date)  
First Assignment in China Assigned to Fuzhou Naval School


Later Positions Naval Officer: trained aboard the wooden corvette Yang Wu 杨武 ; killed in action during the “Battle of Pagoda Anchorage.”6

Employment Sector(s) Navy

Final Rank, if in Gov't Service “Sixth Rank of Naval Merit” 练生六品軍功 conferred on passing entrance examination to Fuzhou Naval School.7

Father's Name Yang Yuxing 杨钰馨

Mother's Name  
Family Relations w/ other CEM Students  
Children's Names  
Other Six ex-CEM students served aboard Chinese ships during the French naval bombardment of Mawei 馬尾 Dockyard (“The Pagoda Anchorage”) near Fuzhou, on 23 August, 1884: Young Shang Him (Rong Shangqian 容尚谦 I, 6), Kwong Wing Chung (Kuang Yongzhong 邝咏钟 II, 56), Sit Yau Fu (Xue Youfu 薛有福 III,75), Yang Sew Nan, Wong Kwei Liang (Huang Jiliang 黃季良 III, 86), and Woo Kee Tsao (Wu Qizao吴其藻 IV, 100). Of the six, Young Shang Him and Woo Kee Tsao survived the battle, but four lost their lives: Kwong Wing Chung, Second Detachment, aboard the wooden gunboat Chen Wei 振威8; and three others, all Third Detachment men, aboard the Yang Wu 杨武: Sit Yau Fu, Yang Sew Nan, and Wong Kwei Liang.9

Notes and Sources 1.  Spelling in letters of 9 July 1904 and 2 September 1904 to “A. A. Hills, Esq., The Haydenville Company, Haydenville, Massachusetts” regarding Chinese students who attended Williston Seminary, and were in the Class of 1880; signed by Yung Kwai (Rong Kui 容揆 II, 34), “Secretary, Imperial Chinese Legation, Washington.” (Copies courtesy Edward J. M. Rhoads.)

2. Yang Sew Nan's host, Rev. John W. and Mrs. Mary H. Lane, moved from Whately to South Hadley, MA, in 1878.  The two CEM students living with the Lane family at that time, Tsao Ka Hsiang (Cao Jiaxiang 曹家祥 III, 67) and Yang Sew Nan, went with them. Rhoads (2011), p. 73.

3. Residences and hosts: Rhoads (2011), p. 53, Table 5.1 (Whatley/So. Hadley, Rev. & Mrs. Lane); U.S. Census 1880, Rhoads (2011), p. 141, Table 9.2 (Andover, MA, Caroline F. Jackson).

4. Schools: Rhoads (2011), p. 100, Table 7.3.  Phillips Academy data courtesy David Chase, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA.

5. Rhoads (2011), p. 117, Table 8.1.

6. “…the most impressive ship to be built [at Fuzhou] during the 1870s was Yang-wu, a fully rigged steam corvette of 1393 tons…. Completed at the end of 1872, she was taken over as the Foochow training ship…. Flagship of the Fukien squadron, she was a prime target for the French at Foochow in 1884, where she was quickly destroyed.” Wright (2000), p. 40; Yung Shang Him (1939), p. 44. 

7.   Qian & Hu (2003), p. 167; cf. Yung Shang Him (1939), pp. 43-44.

8. The Chen Wei, built and launched at Fuzhou in 1872, was completely destroyed by a single shell fired from the French cruiser, Triomphante. Wright (2000), pp. 38; 39; 61-63.

9. Qian & Hu (2003), p. 167; Yung Shang Him (1939), p. 44.