It’s been a bit since the Chan family, so I thought I’d tackle another large family of Chinese Christians. Again, like in my post about the Chan family, I’ll start with the patriarch, who had no university schooling in the United States. However, unlike Rev. S. K. Chan, he did feel very strongly the importance of education for both himself and his children.
Month: April 2016
There are lots ways to categorize the various Indemnity scholars I’ve been profiling here in this blog. I’ve talked about previous students that I’ve profiled in regards to several broad categories; for example, E. J. Chu and W. K. Lam were both students at Albany Law School, the Chan family were not only related but also all Chinese Christians, and so on. But another interesting classification is by what these students did after leaving their US university. Virtually all of them returned to China, and many of them held important jobs in the Republic of China, but after the 40s and 50s, some students came back to the United States while others just . . . stop. Some of them stop because they died, like H. T. Wong and W. K. Lam, but some stop because information from China during wartime and under the Communists is near impossible to get. G. T. Chao is one of the latter cases.
Building off of my post on his wife, Elizabeth Cornish, today I’ll write a little more in depth about Hsing Jen Fei (費興仁, pinyin Fèi Xìngrén). He was born on 15 November 1886 to father Chi Feng and his wife, surnamed Hsü. He was born in North Tung Chow (today Tongzhou, a district of Beijing) and attended North Tung Chow Union College, which was also known as the North China Union College of Tungchow, a missionary school in Peking (Beijing). When H. J. Fei was at N. C. U. College, it had about 50 students in the university department (American Board of Commissioners, 122), so it was not a large school as compared to the mission universities in Shanghai and Canton.
So, a few months ago, I had the opportunity to poke around in the Oberlin College Archives. They keep extensive records of their alumni, and there are a whole bunch of Boxer Indemnity Scholars who once attended Oberlin. And if the Oberlin College Boxer Indemnity Scholars community can be said to have a “power couple”, Elizabeth Cornish and H. J. Fei would be it. Normally I would address a couple in the same post, as I did with Bertie Chan and G. G. Leong, but each of these students have so much information and documents to get through, I have to break them up.