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Chin Kin Kwai


Pinyin & Chinese characters Chen Jinkui 陈金揆
Variant Spellings & Other Names Chin Kin Kwei
Chin Wan Kwei

Other Chinese Names 字 度臣3 
Detachment 4
LaFargue No. 110
Date of Birth 1864

Place of Birth Jiangwan village, Baoshan District, Jiangsu Province 江苏宝山县江湾乡3

Age at Departure for U.S. 12 (Lunar Calendar)
Date of Death 17 September 1894

Place of Death At sea (Battle of Yalu River 鸭绿江, northern Korea)

Place(s) of residence in U.S. (1) North Hadley, MA;
(2) Exeter, NH

American Host Family/ies Miss M.E. Lamson
Jacob Chapman, Exeter, NH1
School(s), with dates Phillips Exeter Academy, NH (1877-80)

Notable activities/ awards in school Chin made it to the PEA baseball team. Playing shortstop in the 1881 game against Phillips Andover Academy, he scored 1 run for the home team4
College/University, with dates

Notable activities/ awards in College

Degree/Diploma Obtained, with date  
First Assignment in China Assigned to Beiyang Naval School, Tianjin.  Practical training on the Training Ship Wei Yuen 威远 2 
Later Positions

1883: Second Officer 二副 of the Yang Wei 扬威;

1885 Dec.: promoted to Chief Officer 大副 of the Yang Wei;

1887 Aug.: together with Captain Deng Shichang 邓世昌, Chin travelled to Britain and Germany to take delivery of the warships Chih Yuen 致远, Ch'ing Yuen 靖远, Ch'ing Yuen 经远 and Lai Yuen 来远 and sailed them back to Taku Port, arriving 25 Apr. 1888.  En route, they conducted naval exercises and for his performance in the mission, Chin was promoted to Chief Officer of the cruiser Chih Yuen 致远 and given the rank of qian zong with blue feather 蓝翎千总;3

1889 Oct.: given position of bang dai 帮带, besides Chief Officer, of Chih Yuen;3

1894 Sept 17: during the Sino-Japanese War, 1894-95 (甲午战争), Chin's action on the Chih Yuen damaged four Japanese vessels and he and Deng fought valiantly when outnumbered by enemy forces.  Both perished when their engine boiler received a direct hit from a torpedo and their cruiser sank.  Chin was posthumously decorated: " 赐一等轻车都尉兼一等云骑尉世职".3

Employment sector(s) Navy
Final rank, if in gov't service Chief Officer, Navy.

Father's name  
Mother's name  
Family relations w/ other CEM students

Children's Names



Notes and Sources

1.  U.S. Census, June 1880, Table 9.2 (provided by Prof. Edward Rhoads)

2.  Chin's letter to his American host, Rev. Jacob Chapman, sent from Taku (Fort), dated May 6, 1883.  The letter (held at Phillips Exeter Academy) gave current news of other CEM alumni who had studied at PEA: Kin Ta Ting 金大廷 and Li Yu Kin 李汝金 (who were in the Beiyang Medical School), Kwong Kwok Kong 邝国光, Wong Liang Ting 黄良登 and Tong Wing Chun 唐荣俊, who were on the Wei Yuen, as well as New Shan Chow 牛尚周 who was working at the Great Northern Telegraph Co. in Shanghai.  (Transcript kindly made available by the Academy).

3.  Chin's many naval career details were derived from a Chinese website on the Beiyang Naval Squadron at: http://www.beiyang.org/mrt/cjk.htm.

4.  See the September 2013 "Exeter History Minute" YouTube video presented by Barbara Rimkunas, Curator, Exeter Historical Society, http://www.exeterhistory.org/.