Continuing on from last week’s post on Y. O. Huang, I thought I’d do a post on the sister that traveled with him, his wife, and E. J. Chu to America on the ocean liner Siberia in 1912. This is the 17-year-old C. H. Huang, or 黄振華 (pinyin Huáng ZhènHuá), born 15 November 1895 in Changsha, the oldest daughter of General Huang Xing and his first wife.
Basic information about her varies quite a bit. For example, the Siberia’s entry paperwork lists her final destination as Holyoke, MA and intended activity in the US to study (ancestry.com link). Similarly, a newspaper article detailing the steamer’s arrival to San Francisco states, “Miss Wang Jun Wha and her sister, Mrs. Whang Lee Shing, daughters of General Wang of the Chinese army, were passengers on the liner. They are on their way to Holyoke, Mass., to attend school” (31 Dec 1912, San Francisco Call, pg. 17). However, she doesn’t appear in any catalog from Mt. Holyoke College.
In addition, most places list her Chinese name as 黄振華, including her article on Baidu. However, in the 1915 CSA Directory, her name is listed as 王振華 – a different family name entirely. Her English name is also listed as “Miss T. H. Wang”, and I’m struggling to figure out how they got the initial “T” from 振. It is possible that the character in question was not 振, because on her entry paperwork she signs this name:
She is the second up from the bottom, and the middle character looks a lot more like 袁 (yuán) to me, especially compared with E. J. Chu below her – his second character looks nothing like her second character and they are supposedly the same character: zhèn. Complicating matters even further is the fact that my records also have a male student from 1911 named 黄振華 who went to Columbia and earned a BS in Chemistry in 1912.
Speaking of Columbia, it seems possible that Miss C. H. Huang studied there as well. When her father Huang Xing came to America in 1914, she came to visit him in California from studying in New York, not Massachusetts (Xue, 1961). The 1914 and 1915 directories list her address as 204 W. 109th Street, New York City as well; she was living with her brother. There is no school information listed, but Baidu states that she attended Columbia – no confirmation from Columbia’s records either.
She had left the States by 1918, since she does not appear in that year’s directory. She probably returned to China immediately, and she was in Nanjing for the founding of the Legislative Yuan in the late 1920s (Xue, 1961). The next primary source evidence I have places her in Hankow in 1934, at the unveiling of a statue of her father on 31 October. (10 Nov 1934, China Weekly Review, pg. 358). She married Chen Wei-lun and moved to Taiwan with the rest of the KMT government, and she served in the Legislative Yuan from 1947 through 1955 (Xue, 1961). And, of course, she was the primary source for Xue’s book on the personal life of Huang Xing, writing letters to the author to fill in the gaps as to Huang’s family life and his descendants. Baidu states that she was able to return to mainland China in 1989 and passed away in Suzhou 3 years later (Original text: “1989年回到大陆，三年后在苏州病逝”)