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Yung Shang Kun

Pinyin & Chinese characters Rong Shangqin 容尚勤

Variant Spellings & Other Names Lemuel Yung1
Other Chinese Name(s) Rong Linyou 容臨佑
Rong Helan 容鹤兰
Rong Lianchen (hao) 容廉臣 (号)

Detachment 2

LaFargue No. 47

Date of Birth 18502

Place of Birth Xiangshan, Guangdong

Age at Departure for US 24 (Lunar Calendar)2

Date of Death 19043

Place of Death Canton

Place(s) of Residence in US

Monson, MA.
Hartford, CT.
Wilbraham, MA.

American Host Family/ies Not assigned to an American host family as a student with the 2nd Detachment; he was already conversant in English and had no need for home schooling. During his last 3 years (1866-1868) at Monson Academy, Monson, MA, he boarded with the Academy's Headmaster, Rev. Charles Hammond. The US. Census of June 1870 recorded him living with the family of David E. Bartlett, in Hartford, CT.4

School(s), with dates

Monson Academy, Monson, MA, 1864-1868.
Wesleyan Academy, Wilbraham, MA, 1873-1874.

Notable Activities/Awards in School  
College/University, with dates Early in 1874 Lemuel Yung was reported to be preparing to enter "the Troy polytechnic school" (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY); but in the fall of that year he entered the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, with the Class of 1877.  However, for unknown reasons, Yung left the three-year course during his second year and returned to China in January 1876, without taking a degree.5
Notable Activities/Awards in College  
Degree/Diploma Obtained (date)  
First Assignment in China  
Later Positions

Education: went into private life and took up teaching.6

Translation work:

25 February 1880, Lemuel Yung, identifying himself as a "nephew of Yung Wing, of the Chinese Embassy, at Washington" (and "having for nine years studied in the United States"), posted a paid "Notice" among the "Advertisements" in Honolulu's Hawaiian Gazette, offering his services as translator/interpreter "between the English and Chinese languages" for transactions "affecting Chinese" within the local business community.  (Copy of source courtesy Dr. Yung Ying Yue, email, 2 June 2017.)

In 1898, using his alternate name, Rong Lianchen 容廉臣, Yung's translation of a biography of German Chancellor Bismarck was published as 卑士麦传 (Beishimai Zhuan), in the "Hundred Days Reform Movement" (维新派) periodical Zhixin Bao (知新报), Vol. 68 (15 Oct. 1898), and Vol. 69 (25 Oct. 1898).  (Source courtesy Reed Tang.)

Employment Sector(s) Education

Final Rank, if in Gov't Service  
Father's Name Rong Damiao 容达苗
Mother's Name  
Family Relations w/ other CEM Students Older brother of Young Shang Him (Rong Shangqian 容尚谦 I, 6).  Nephew of Yung Wing.  Close cousin of Young Yew Huan (Rong Yaoyuan 容耀垣 III, 66).  Distant relative of Yung Kwai (Rong Kui 容揆 II, 34).
Children's Names  
Other Yung Shang Kun was the eldest of three sons of Yung Wing's eldest brother, Yung Da Miao.  He was brought to the United States in 1864 by his uncle who had been ordered by Zeng Guofan to purchase machinery in America that would be used to produce military hardware in China (the origin of the Jiangnan Arsenal). Yung Wing's intention in taking Shang Kun with him at this time was evidently to provide his nephew with a private education in the same institution where he had begun his own studies on American soil.  In so doing, Yung Wing was anticipating the more broadly directed efforts of the government-funded Chinese Educational Mission still to come, when Shang Kun's younger brother, Yung Shang Him (Rong Shangqian 容尚谦 I, 6), would be recruited to join the First Detachment.  Shang Kun, already living in the U.S., was added to the Second Detachment's roster in 1873.  In 1874 the third brother, Yung Tcheuk (Rong Jue 容爵, 1867-1887), who had apparently been considered too young to join the CEM with his elder siblings, was also brought to the U.S. to be educated as a self-supported student.7  Despite Shang Kun's twelve years in the U.S., his career is relatively indistinct as compared with that of his younger brother, Shang Him.  Shang Kun's departure from Yale's Sheffield Scientific School in 1876, after only two years of the three-year course leading to the degree of Ph.B., meant that he would not share with his Yale classmate, Tseng Poo (a.k.a. Elijah T. F. Laisun or Zeng Pu 曾溥 II, 46) the distinction of being the first of the CEM students to receive a college degree before returning to China.
Notes and Sources

1. Name while a student at Monson Academy, Monson, MA, 1864-1868. Rhoads (2011), pp. 4; 68. 

2. Genealogical records of the Yung family note birth year of Yung Shang Kun as gengxu 庚戌 or 1850.  Data provided by the late Richard H. Yung, grandson of Young Yew Huan (Rong Yaoyuan 容耀垣 III, 66). Age was 24 sui 岁 by the Lunar Calendar (23 years old by Western reckoning) when the Second Detachment arrived in the U.S. Rhoads (2011), p. 18.

3. Year of death based on Yung family genealogy, as provided by Richard H. Yung.

4. Rhoads (2011), pp. 56; 32-33. David Ely Bartlett (1805-1879) was brother-in-law to Rev. Samuel Robbins Brown (1810-1880), Yung Wing's teacher and mentor; and a first cousin of Yung Wing's mother-in-law, Mary (Bartlett) Kellogg.

5. To enter Rensselaer: "The Chinese Students," Chicago Daily Tribune, 13 June 1874, p. 1:1-2 (from Springfield, MA, Union, n.d.).  Copy of source courtesy Dr. Yung Ying Yue, email, 2 June 2017. Sheffield Scientific School, Yale: Rhoads (2011), p. 116, Table 8.1; premature return to China, p. 135.

6. Yung Shang Him (1939), p. 25.

7. Rhoads (2011), p. 23.