Monday, March 10, 2014

Chu Sien-ting 徐善亭 (1880s)

updated March 12, 2014.

Dentist. Father of Empress Dowager Cixi's personal dentist[1].

b. August 22, 1854 – d. July 6, 1912, Hong Kong, bur. Hong Kong Cemetery, Happy Valley. Dentistry degree from Australia. Canton [n.d.], private practitioner. Hong Kong 1880s. Keen supporter of Sun Yat-sen; member, Hsing Chung Hui 興中會 1895.

HONG KONG 1880s. Private practitioner.

H.B. Kingman 1908. Credit: Twentieth Century Impressions of Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Other Treaty Ports of China.
Had issues: 1. Chu Ying-choy 徐翼周 (b.1875-d.1900; dental surgeon; Shanghai, private practice since ca.1896); 2. H.B. Kingman[2] 徐景文 (b.1885, Hong Kong; St. Paul's College 1894-98, Diocesan School 1899-1901; Shanghai, St. John's College, 1902; Philadelphia Dental College 1902-05, DDS 1905[3]; China January, 1906; Imperial Degree of Juren 舉人, Peking 1907 (This particular examination was held at the Forbidden City in the presence of Empress Dowager Cixi 慈禧太后; Kingman was nicknamed "洋舉人" (Foreign Juren) due to his Western education.); Strait Settlements, Kwangtung (Guangdong) Provincial Government Commercial Deputy 廣東省駐馬來半島商務代表 1908; Manager, Hun Ta Insurance Co., Shanghai 1908; Honorary Medical Officer, Peking-Mukden Railway, 1912; Medical Officer, Presidential Medical Unit, ROC ca.1912; Peking (Beijing)[4] and Tientsin(Tianjin), private practice, nlt.1917-1945+).

Publications: 新發明牙科衛生書 (loosely translated as "New Developments in Dental Health") (Hong Kong: 1904).

[1] According to, Don Curto, of Marquette, Michigan, a former US Marine officer based in Tientsin (Tianjin) towards the end of WWII who became acquainted with Kingman and his daughter, Kingman had been the sole dentist caring for Cixi's need in the Forbidden City. Read this part of Curto's memoir "Food & Other Important Things, Playing Around with Time and Chance in Two Worlds" (Marquette Monthly, March 2003). [To me, it doesn't sounds like a good idea for Cixi to have the son of a well-known revolutionist to take care of her teeth.]

[2] The Anglicized name "Kingman" derived from [I believe] the Romanization of his Chinese given names: 景 King and 文 Man.

[3] I found the following from the American Dental Journal, July, 1905, Vol. 4, No. 7, p.444:
Banquet to Chinese Dentist - In honor of his graduation from the Philadelphia Dental College, Dr. H. B. Kingman, a Chinaman, who will sail shortly for his native land, was given a banquet at Philadelphia by Willie Lee York, a Chinatown politician, and Lee Chit, Lee Ding and Lee Hong.
[4] Among Kingman's patients in Peking was Lu Xun 魯迅, a literary giant in Modern China, who wrote the following in his journal of May 3, 1913, and I translated,
"pm, went to Dr. H.B. Kingman at Wangfujing 王府井 for check-up; four teeth needed fillings, made appointment for that; bought a bottle of prescription mouthwash; paid a total sum of $47."

Selected bibliography: Find A Grave [internet]. Marquette Monthly, March 2003 [internet]. Who's Who of American Returned Students, Peking: Tsing Hua College, 1917, p.79. 魯迅日記,人民文學出版社,1976年,第48頁。


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