My friend sent me a video of a popular video telling the story of Dean Lung or Ding Long using a different romanization. He was a servant living around the time of one hundred years ago, but somehow he managed to save some money and donated to a well known college which can afford to offer its graduate students very low rent in Manhattan–one of my acquaintance took advantage of that for five years at least. What’s even more interesting is that he managed to convince his employer, Mr. Carpentier, to donate substantial amount of money too, which made the beginning and the expansion of East Asia Study program possible.
Is it true? We wondered. Wikipedia provided some clues–not much but a tiny bit of information here and there–and it seems to confirm the story of the video. Then we wondered what kind of service job Dean Lung had–a cook, a chauffeur. It turned out that Mr. Carpentier had a Wikipedia page, which includes information about his political ambition in California. It turned disastrous when the angry citizens of Oakland township ousted him. His manipulation on the lucrative waterfront real estate became known and that ended his tenure as mayor. His more well-known infamy was representing Peralta family–he was a lawyer by trade–and the end result of various legal proceedings was that Mr. Carpentier became the owner of large chunks of land belonging to the family he represented. It suddenly occurred to me that there must be a lot of land ownership dispute going on after the Spanish-American war. Poor Dean Lung had to serve a master so notorious.
Then we wondered how Dean Lung could convince his employer to donate? Mr. Carpentier never married but he had brother and sister who he lived with and was fond of. Is it possible that their relationship was more than what met the eyes?
Then Dean Lung disappeared. This is what really bothers me. What happened to him? He might have lost his life when he went back to Canton. In those days, political instability, riots, bandits were rife in that area and he probably lost his life as an innocent victim to a random senseless violence.