Seah Eu Chin

佘有进与十九世纪的新加坡

Overview | Contents | How to use this website

Portrait of Seah Eu Chin
The original is a silver albumen print, in the collection of the National Museum, Singapore.

Introduction

Seah Eu Chin 佘有进 (1805-1883) is remembered today as the founder of the Ngee Ann Kongsi, which is the oldest Teochew Chinese community organization and charity in Singapore. He was responsible for much of the early development of gambier and pepper agriculture here; eventually, he and his family were also involved in revenue farming.

He appears in school books as one of Singapore’s early pioneers, whose rags-to-riches story is as much a morality tale as economic history. But how exactly did he make his fortune? His success was due to more than just good business sense and hard work. Business did not exist in isolation from other spheres of activity; it was shaped and motivated in many ways by kinship and other social relationships.

This biography explores Eu Chin’s rise to prominence in the context of the fledgling economy of 19th century Singapore, and how politics, family, and social class were important in his ascent. It was not straightforward, and good fortune was on his side on more than one occasion. Finally, we shall consider his legacy and what his story means for Singapore’s national history.

佘有进(1805-1883)是十九世纪新加坡潮州华侨的早期领袖之一。他与其他姓氏的潮侨领袖在1830年成立了义安群(1845年之后的义安公司)。 他也开辟了本地的甘密农业,被称为新加坡的“甘密王”。佘有进是怎么白手起家的呢?这篇传记于新加坡十九世纪的经济和社会历史为背景,来调查佘有进的故事,以显示他成就的因素,和给予后代的遗产。

Contents

内容

How to use this website

This website is a work in progress. The two parts of the biography tell two sides of his life story, and can be read independently of each other as conventional narratives. Boxes in the text give background information on various topics. Images and visualizations, including maps and timelines, are also embedded to give context to lists of names, places, and dates.

Selected primary sources have also been transcribed and published here to give a window into the past. These are also linked from the main text. References to sources are given in the academic style as numbered citations in the text; hover the mouse pointer over them to see the citation text. A full bibliography is in the Resources section.

Chinese translations can be toggled on and off with the button on the top left corner of each page. However, most content has not been translated yet.

请注意:华语翻译仍然在进行中。


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Original content and web presentation Copyright (c) 2007-2016 Brandon Seah