Sun Yat-Sen His Life and Its Meaning: A Critical Biography

By Lyon Sharman | Go to book overview


CHAPTER II Adventurers for Change

1. CONSPIRACY AND EXILE

THE war with Japan was going very badly for China, so badly that a letter followed Sun Yat-sen to Honolulu urging him to return to China and launch a revolution at once. The message came from a Shanghai friend of the would-be revolutionaries, surnamed Soong. Many years earlier, while Sun Yat-sen was still a schoolboy in Honolulu, another adventuring Chinese youth of little more than his own age had turned up at Wilmington, N. C., on board the U. S. cutter Colfax in 1880. The kindly disposed Captain of the ship made an effort to find friends for the boy and, at some one's suggestion, put him in touch with the pastor of a local Methodist church. Shortly afterward the youth was converted in revival meetings and baptized as Charles Jones Soong, taking as a foreign name that of the friendly Captain. Next he was hopefully provided with a financial patron, who sent him as a special student to Trinity College, North Carolina, where he spent a year, easily making friends, and uniting with the college church. Afterwards he was given a three-year course, 1882-85, in the Theological Department at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. On returning to China he located at Shanghai, where, after trying other activities, he found himself in business. He married a talented girl who had been educated by a Christian mission. As the years went by, both he and his wife became more and more prominent in the Christian community, and were highly respected as promoters of many good causes. Charles Soong was already the father of five, when Sun

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