1906: The Imperial Commission comes to Chicago

Thursday, 23 June 2011 13:50 Amy Gwilliam
Exactly a century ago, between January 19th and 22nd, Chicago hosted a visit by an imperial delegation from China.  The commission was charged with studying foreign institutions and industries in order to make reforms in China.

While here, the commissioners were feted by the Chinese-American community, by local politicians, and by the elite merchants and industrialists of Chicago.  The commission stayed in the Auditorium Annex (now the Congress Hotel) and during their three-day visit had a very active program of touring various Chicago facilities.  They visited the Dunning Institutions—Chicago's famed (and, some said, notorious) insane asylum—Jane Addam's Hull House, the Stockyards, a McCormick Harvester plant, the Central YMCA, and a number of other places.

A commemorative program was organized on January 19, 2006 by Wright College and Mark Schulman of Eli's Cheesecake Company, both located on the grounds of the former Dunning Institutions.  Chuimei Ho of the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago was asked to give a talk presenting some of the historical background of the Commissioners' visit. [slides] 

Research credits go to Andrea Stamm, Elinor Pearlstein, and Chuimei Ho.

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 June 2011 19:25