Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Chinese Empire Reform Association of Marysville, California, 1904

Courtesy of Community Memorial Museum, Yuba City, California

An unusual poster from California's third largest Chinese community, Marysville, illustrates both the unity and the diversity of the Baohuanghui. The poster [here in higher resolution] was printed from a glass plate donated to Yuba City's Community Memorial Museum and brought to our attention by volunteer curator Patricia Justus and historian of Marysville Chinese, Paul Chace.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Baohuanghui Archives

Baohuanghui Archives are publicly available archives either online or in libraries,  not in private collections or on websites with restricted access. This is a Google doc that you may download.

Please comment on additions or corrections to this document at

A Chinese Reformer in Exile: Kang Youwei and the Chinese Empire Reform Association in North America, 1899-1909

A book in progress . . . 
By Robert L. Worden (Library of Congress, ret.) and Jane Leung Larson (independent scholar) With Zhongping Chen (University of Victoria), Chen Xuezhang (independent scholar, Guangzhou), and Evelyn Hu-DeHart (Brown University)

A Chinese Reformer in Exile will be a narrative history of the North American decade (1899 1909) of the radical Qing reformer, Kang Youwei, and his political movement. 

Our book will fill a critical gap in late Qing political history and in the biography of China’s most famous reformer. This will be the first book in English devoted to Kang’s exile and transnational political organization, the Baohuanghui or Chinese Empire Reform Association (CERA). Traversing the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China, this will become an authoritative reference for historians of the Chinese diaspora as well as political scientists studying Chinese dissidents, Chinese political organizations, and the development of Chinese liberalism.

We demonstrate that Kang’s fifteen years in exile—especially the decade spanning his visits to North America—were the most productive in his life. Kang embraced a new persona as politician, statesman, business speculator, and inveterate traveler, while assiduously adding to his already voluminous written legacy of books, essays, letters, and poems. North America inspired Kang’s transformation from a utopian philosopher into a more practical visionary consumed with the material world, which he now believed was the means of national salvation for China.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Kang Tongbi Collection of South Windsor, Connecticut--New England AAS Presentation

American academics previewed the newly-discovered South Windsor collection of Kang Youwei and Baohuanghui documents at the New England conference of the Association of Asian Studies on October 4, 2014. 

Linked here is Jane Leung Larson's PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes. A more detailed exploration of the collection is in Larson's paper.