“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Tyler Kent’s Newchwang Origins

Posted: July 22nd, 2015 | 1 Comment »

Tyler Kent (1911 – 1988) was an American diplomat who stole thousands of secret documents for a pro-German organization while working as a cipher clerk at the US Embassy in London during the Second World War. He had a long history of treachery – he’d been suspected of spying for the USSR while in Washington but the US Diplomatic Service couldn’t prove anything and so posted him to….London…..in 1939!!!…Thanks guys! Anyway, if you don’t know Tyler Kent’s story it’s here. He carried on being suspected of working for the USSR, even after he was released and deported back to America after the war and proclaimed himself an ardent anti-communist. He died in poverty in a Texas trailer park in 1988.

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What I didn’t know until recently reading up on Kent was that he was born in the Mission Hospital in Newchwang (now Yingkou) where he was the son of the US Consul to the then most northerly of the China treaty ports, William Patton Kent. His family were part of America’s oldest elite, descendants of English settlers who had come to Virginia in 1760. His father left to be US Consul at Leipzig in 1914 (good timing!) and finished out his career in Belfast (great postings!!). Tyler also left Newchwang early to be schooled in America but anyway….

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Newchwang Railway Station

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A Newchwang Street

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One Comment on “Tyler Kent’s Newchwang Origins”

  1. 1 Mary said at 5:03 am on December 31st, 2018:

    I’m reading the book ‘Dugal Christie of Manchuria’ by his wife. I plan to find her other books. She says Dr Christie was among a group of doctors who developed the hospital in your article here. It was funded by the Red Cross to help injured soldiers in the Chino-Japanese War. Fascinating reading. I plan to return to your blog for more old and new China stories.


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