Yung Wing

Yung Wing
Detail of Yung Wing from a wood-engraved illustration from Harper’s Weekly, May 18, 1878 – Connecticut Historical Society

Yung Wing (1828-1912)

Educational pioneer Yung Wing worked to bridge cultural gaps between the US and China. He came to America under the sponsorship of a missionary and received his degree from Yale in 1854, making him the first Chinese student to graduate from a US university. He became a naturalized US citizen but maintained ties to China, hoping to modernize its technological infrastructure by educating its future leaders in New England. The Chinese Education Mission, which he established in Hartford in 1872, pursued this goal until deteriorating diplomatic relations led to its demise—and Yung Wing’s removal to China. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 dealt his dream a final blow. US citizenship revoked, Yung Wing returned to Hartford without legal status and died in poverty.


Yung Wing

Avon’s Educational and Cultural Pioneer

Yung Wing was the first Chinese student to graduate from a university in the United States. A former resident of... Read more » …[more]



“Chinese Educational Mission: Connections 1872-1881,” 2013. Link.
“Chinese Exclusion Act (1882).” National Archives - Our Documents, 2013. Link.
“Portrait of Yung Wing.” Connecticut Historical Society, 2015. Link.
“Yung Wing (1828 – 1912).” Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation, 2013. Link.


“Connecticut Historical Society,” 2017. Link.


“Address of Hon. Yung Wing.” The American Missionary 40, no. 12 (1886). Link.
“Guide to the Phyllis Kihn Research Collection, Chinese Educational Mission.” Connecticut Historical Society, 2012. Link.
“Guide to the Yung Wing Papers.” Yale University Library, 2012. Link.
“Yung Wing Diary.” Connecticut State Library, 2012. Link.


Yung Wing. My Life in China and America. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1909. Link.
Railton, Ben. The Chinese Exclusion Act: What It Can Teach Us About America. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Enjoyed reading this? Share it with friends »

Copyright © Connecticut Humanities. Except where otherwise noted, the content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 License.

Privacy Policy  /  Contact Us  /  Support Connecticut Humanities