I recently got access to a new research database: Shen Bao (申報). This was a newspaper published in Shanghai in the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. It’s a Chinese-language source, which means I can search it for the Chinese names I have and get a bit more information about my students. I thought I’d go back and do a bit of updating of my previous posts with the information I’ve gleaned from Shen Bao.

H. M. Au – This was the private student who studied chemistry, rowed crew for Syracuse, traveled the US studying sugar engineering, studied in several military academies in the US and China, and returned to Canton to run an import-export business. Sadly, he seems to have had a rough go of it in the business world. He did become the president of the Guangzhou Bank, but in July of 1924, there was a run on the bank, and the entire bank folded. H. M. Au tried to escape, but was caught by the municipal police. He was unable to explain how the bank had gotten to such a dire state, and it was assumed he was actively trying to defraud the investors (1 July 1924, Shen Bao, pg. 10).


C. H. Chu – Mr. Eat-A-Snake has a LOT of information in the Shen Bao archives, but the most interesting thing I saw was that the notice of his death was not reported on by Chinese sources, but copied from the Reuters report (14 Dec 1932, Shen Bao, pg. 7). There was also a picture included, which is now of extremely poor quality:



William Z. L. Sung – He was the man married to Lily Soo-Hoo and very involved in China’s international sports teams, even going to several Olympic games as team representative. In 1941 he took over as president of St. John’s University in Shanghai, and I mentioned in his post that he was not a popular figure, and that he was eventually accused of collaboration. In his trial, Z. L. Sung claimed that he had no choice but to cooperate with the Japanese, that he was never a member of an “Anti-British/American” association, and that his participation in local sporting associations (which included teams of foreigners, presumably Japanese) was due to his long experience with the sports world, and not because he was raising money from foreign governments (27 Feb 1947, Shen Bao, pg. 4). Shen Bao also has details of his sentencing:


Translation: Former St. John’s University president Z. L. Sung was charged with suspicion of treason and sentenced yesterday morning at the high court. Sung walked slowly into the court, appearing thin and pallid, the hair at his temples looking whiter than before. He wore a grey Western suit and overcoat. Judge Xiao stood up and read and read the sentencing article out loud: “Z. L. Sung, who schemed to communicate with the enemy and conspired to resist his own country, is sentenced to one year and six months of imprisonment. He is deprived of his public rights for two years, and his property will be confiscated except what his family requires to live.” (11 Apr 1947, Shen Bao, pg. 4)

He was released on 26 December of that year, and was still appealing his case to the Supreme Court, trying to get his record cleared (27 Dec 1947, Shen Bao, pg. 4).


Y. O. Huang – the oldest son of General Huang Xing got into a bit of trouble right before he left for study in the US. In December of 1912, he was speeding down Nanjing Road in Shanghai and was involved in an accident with a cart driver – he survived (4 Dec 1912, Shen Bao, pg. 7).


More to come, I’m sure!


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