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Kwong Young Kong


1. Circa 1873-74, Ct. Hist. Soc.? 2. Circa 1880-81 3. 1890 CEM Christmas Reunion, LaFargue Collection


Pinyin & Chinese characters Kuang Rongguang 邝荣光
Variant Spellings & Other Names Kwong Yung Kong
Kwong Yung Kwang
“Yankee Kwong”
Other Chinese Names 邝镜河
Detachment 1
LaFargue No. 8
Date of Birth 3 January 1863
Place of Birth Xinning, (now Taishan) , but raised in Xiangshan District (in present-day Gongbei Beiling 拱北北岭), Guangdong.
Age at Departure for U.S. 10 (Lunar Calendar)
Date of Death c. 19641 (At 102, the longest-lived CEM student)
Place of Death Tianjin
Place(s) of residence in U.S. Northampton, MA.
American Host Family/ies Martha Ely Matthews, Northampton, MA.
School(s), with dates Northampton High School, graduated 1880.1
Notable activities/ awards in school

College/University, with dates Lafayette College, Easton, PA; Class of 1884: civil engineering, 1880-81.
Notable activities/ awards in College

"He was a most diligent student and took one of the highest grades." 2

Member of the Washington Literary Society at Lafayette2

One of the first recipients of the Lyman Coleman Biblical Prizes.3

Degree/Diploma Obtained, with date 1910 Jan.:  the 工科进士 "Jin Shi in Engineering" (Dr. degree) conferred by Min. of Education 学部.
First Assignment in China Tangshan Kaiping Mining School (唐山开平矿务学堂), completed end of 1885.  Kwong planned further study in England or back at Lafayette College.3 
Later Positions

By Aug. 1897: Chief Engineer, Kai Ping (开平) Colliery of the Chinese Engineering & Mining Co. 开平矿务局;

Consulting Engineer with Hunan Province Board of Mines (specialty: the mechanical engineering of collieries)1

Discovered the Xiangtan coal seams 湘潭煤矿 in Hunan 湖南;4

Engineer-in-Chief at Lin-Ching 林城 (aka 临城) Collieries in Chihli Province (直隶) 1905 -1927, when he retired;5

Chief Engineer or Director for the following mines: Zaoyuen Coal Mine 招远煤矿 and Pingdu Coal Mine 平度煤矿 in Shandong 山东 Province; Hai’ning 海宁Gold Mine in Heilongjiang 黑龙江 Province;6

1905: Chihli (now Hebei) Province established a Mining Survey Agency 直隶矿政调查局 and appointed Kwong as Chief Mines Surveyor 总勘矿师 and Consultant 顾问官; appointed Mining Councillor for Chihli by Ministry of Trade 商务部直隶矿务议员;6

Post-1911: Managing Director, Tongbao Coal Mining Co. in Shanxi Province 山西同保煤矿总经理;6

1909-10: Following Russia’s defeat by Japan in 1905, via the Portsmouth Peace Treaty, Japan gained a "sphere of influence" in south Shandong and tried to mine the coal deposits of the Benxi Lake area in Liaoning Province 辽宁省本溪湖煤矿, violating Chinese rights to the territory’s resources. To resolve the long dispute, the Government sent Kwong to survey the coal deposits and propose a scheme for sharing the coal.  In May 1910, as a result of Kwong’s study, China and Japan signed an agreement to equitably share the resource 《中日合办本溪湖煤矿合同》.4

Employment sector(s) Engineering and Mining

Final rank, if in gov't service Not known

Father's name Not known; former worker in a gold mine in Australia 其父为澳洲金矿的矿工4
Mother's name  
Family relations w/ other CEM students

Brother of Kwong Kwok Kong (Kuang Guoguang 邝国光 IV, 92); first cousin of Kwong Pin Kong (Kuang Bingguang 邝炳光 IV, 93).7

Kwong and Tsai Shou Kee (Cai Shaoji 蔡绍基 I, 1); grew up together in  拱北北岭; they later became brothers-in-law : a son of his married a daughter of Tsai 4

Children's Names  
Descendants GS: Roland Kwong  (Kuang Zhengxiang  邝征祥); also, GS of Tsai Shou Kee

“At the request of Professor Silliman of Lafayette college, Kwong Yung Kwang made a report of the Kai-ping mines which was accepted at the American institute of mining engineers held in Duluth, Minn., in 1887, only six years after his return to his country.”8

“Kuang was invited to the conference of the ASME at Duluth, Minnesota, a celebrated event in China since it was the first Chinese paper presented at an academic conference in the West.”9  It was actually the AIME who invited him.  Kwong did not attend in person. See Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Enginners: Proceedings of the Forty-Ninth Meeting, Duluth - July, 1887: Duluth Paper - "The Kaiping Coal Mine, North China Engineer at the Mine (Revised and Presented by J. M. Silliman)" at http://www.onemine.org/.

1899 May 10: admitted to The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and continued as a member for 65 years.1

1906 Feb.: Gave Jeme Tien Yau (Zhan Tianyou 詹天佑 I, 15) technical advice on tunnelling and drilling methods during latter’s construction of Peking-Kalgan Railway;10

Member, American Institute of Mining Engineers;11

Delegate to the International Mining Congress (year not known) 国际矿务会议员;11

1909 Sept.: Helped in formation of Chinese Geological Society 中国地学会 at Tianjin;11

1910: Published a series of three reports on his geological surveys of Chihli Province in the Chinese Geological Society’s Geology Magazine 《地学杂志》-- "A Geological Map of Chihli" 《直隶地质图》 in No. 1, "A Map of Mining Resources in Chihli" 《直隶矿产图》 in No. 2, and "A Map of Fossils in the Ancient Rocks of Chihli" 《直隶石层古迹(化石)图》 in Nos. 3 & 4.  Surveyed and drawn by Kwong, these maps represented the first geological surveys and fossil records by a Chinese national;11

Kept up correspondence with former teacher Martha Matthews, calling her "dear adopted mother";12

Under the influence of his American host family, Kwong became a devout Christian;4

Long after his return to China, Kwong maintained regular contact with his
College, up to at least Feb. 1932;13

Kwong was a nephew of Kwong Ki Chiu (Kuang Qizhao 邝其照), an interpreter on the staff of the CEM (information courtesy Liang Zanxun).  For further information about Kwong Ki Chiu, see RESOURCES - Additional Articles - "The CEM Staff: Three Notable Figures."

Notes and Sources

1. Mechanical Engineering (March 1965), 116 (copy courtesy Dana Young)

2.  The Lafayette College Journal, Feb. 1882, "Chinese Students", p. 62.

3.  The Lafayette, Jan. 1885, p. 55.

4.  "邝国光" [an obvious error for " 邝荣光"] in Chinese website, Hudong.com: http://www.hudong.com/wiki/%E9%82%9D%E5%9B%BD%E5%85%89  (19-07-2012).

5.  Lincheng Colliery, founded 1882, and China’s 2nd modern coal mine after Kaiping, is now a provincial cultural heritage site 省级文物保护单位. See:“林城煤矿遗址”

6.  See article by 吴凤鸣:“地质史上的闪光足迹- 中国早期区域地质矿产调查人物及成果掠影”at  http://app.chinamining.com.cn/Newspaper/E_Mining_News/2009-04-29/
1240983706d24498.html (21-07-2012).

7. Information courtesy Louise Su Tang, email 6 April 2008.

8.  Springfield Sunday Republican, Mar. 30, 1902, p. 11.

9. Huang (2002).

10.  Jeme’s reply to Kwong’s letter of 27 Feb. 1906 is reprinted in Zhan (2006), Letter #42, p. 17.

11.  Mao Shizhen & Xu Fei 茆诗珍, 徐飞:"留美幼童与中国早期地质学". 《科学技术与辩证法》("The CEM Alumni and China’s Beginnings in Geology"). Science, Technology and Dialectics, V. 22, No. 6, (Dec. 2005), 88-91. Free download:
http://www.sinoss.net/qikan/uploadfile/2010/1130/8088.pdf (22-07-2012).

12.  Rhoads (2011), p. 74, citing Northampton High School Archives.

13.  Cf. "Lafayette Alumni in Far East War; Ten Now in China; Those in War Zone", The Lafayette, 16 Feb. 1932, p. 4.