Ng Poon Chew

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Ng Poon Chew, from a 1920 publication.

Ng Poon Chew (Chinese: 伍盤照, Pinyin: Wu Pan Zhao, March 14, 1866 – March 13, 1931) was an author, publisher, and advocate for Chinese American civil rights. He published the first Chinese language daily newspaper to be printed outside of China.[1]

Born in the Toisan district of Guangdong province in Southern China, Ng moved to California in 1881, where he first worked as a domestic servant on a ranch. He became a student of U.S. culture, studying English, adopting Western dress, and converting to Christianity. He joined the seminary[2] and in 1892 became the first Chinese Presbyterian Minister on the American West Coast.[3] He was assigned to a ministry in Los Angeles, but after a fire destroyed his mission, he decided to focus his efforts on establishing a Chinese language newspaper instead. After a year of publishing his L.A.-based weekly, Hua Mei Sun Bo, Ng moved to San Francisco where he wrote the first Chinese language daily outside of China: Chung Sai Yat Pao.[4] His newspaper generally promoted an assimilationist viewpoint, encouraging Chinese American readers to adapt to North American values.[5]

Ng traveled the country speaking out against anti-Chinese legislation,[6] such as the Chinese Exclusion Act. He also published books[7] and pamphlets[8] opposing discrimination against Chinese Americans.

Ng was adviser to the Chinese consulate general in San Francisco from 1906 to 1913 and vice-consul for China from 1913 until 1931.[9]

He was called "an Oriental Mark Twain".[10]

See also[edit]

  • John P. Irish, supported Chinese immigration. Ng Poon Chew was an honorary pallbearer at his funeral.
  • Samantha Knox Condit, Presbyterian missionary in San Francisco. Ng Poon Chew was an assisting pastor at her funeral.


  1. ^ Franklin Ng, "Ng Poon Chew," in Kim, Hyung-chan (1999). Distinguished Asian Americans: A Biographical Dictionary. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313289026. pp. 56-59
  2. ^ San Francisco Genealogy
  3. ^ Ng Poon Chew Biographical Notes
  4. ^ Guide to the Chung Sai Yat Po Newspaper Collection Online Archive of California (
  5. ^ Being Chinese book review
  6. ^ A Historian's Reflections on Chinese American Life in San Francisco
  7. ^ A Statement for Non-Exclusion
  8. ^ The Treatment of the Exempt Classes of Chinese in the United States
  9. ^ Vice-consul
  10. ^ Promotional Flyer