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.
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Connecticut Historical Society. “Portrait of Yung Wing,” 2015. Link.
Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation. “Yung Wing (1828 – 1912),” 2013. Link.
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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.