Cao Xuân Dục
Cao Xuân Dục was born in Thịnh Mỹ, Diễn Châu, Nghệ An. In 1876, he entered Vietnamese Imperial examination and was awarded the degree of provincial graduate (舉人 - cử nhân), in same class with the famous anti-French patriot Phan Đình Phùng from Hà Tĩnh.
He served under Nguyễn Emperors Đồng Khánh and Thành Thái and held several important government posts including Governor-General of Hưng Yên (1889) and minister of education (1907). He was one of the four top advisers to the Emperor during the Vietnam-France conflict in early 20th century.
When Trương Như Cương, a pro-French collaborator, coerced his colleagues to sign a petition to Thành Thái to promote him to viceroy, Dục refused to sign - instead he wrote a quick poem on the petition.
|the sky cannot have two suns|
a nation cannot have two kings
your servant Cao Xuân Dục
He was later vilified by Cương's group and demoted to a lowly local post in Hoàng Xá outside of Hanoi. A relief of Cao Xuân Dục was sculptured on a wall in a cave in this local region to commemorate his righteousness.
Cao Xuân Dục retired in 1913 to concentrate on building his library, Long Cương Bảo Tàng Thư Viện (named after his pseudonym), collecting and maintaining Vietnamese literature.
Writings & co-writings
Cao Xuân Dục made significant contribution in maintaining Vietnamese culture and literature in 19th and 20th century. He spent many years writing, collecting, copying, re-writing and preserving valuable books including:
- Annals of Đại Nam
- Quốc triều chính biên toát yếu
- Quốc triều khoa bảng lục - records of biographies of graduates of major Imperial exams.
- Bradley Camp Davis, States of banditry: The Nguyen government, bandit rule, and the culture of power in the post-Taiping China-Vietnam borderlands University of Washington 2008 - Page 104 "Cao Xuân Dục"
- Relief of Cao Xuân Dục in a cave in Hoàng Xá
- map of Cao Xuan Duc street Ho Chi Minh city
- Cao xuân Dục - Nhà văn hoá lớn cận đại - A/Prof. Chương Thâu (history)