Correspondence between Francisco Hermenegildo Fernandes and Sun Yat-Sen


The parents of Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) sheltered in Macau during the very turbulent phase in China following the outbreak of the Taiping movement. Hong Xinquan, the legendary revolutionary of this movement, was admired by the young Sun. It was in Macau that the Director of an American Protestant Mission met Sun's father and offered to teach the child English and religion.

It was from Macau was that Sun embarked for Honolulu where his brother Mei already lived. Sun's first wife, Lu Muzhen, died in Macau.

Sun's great friend, the Macanese Francisco Hermenegildo FernandesClick on the SEARCH icon and enter his number (646) to be taken to his page, owner of the Mercantile Printing Press and the Eco Macaense newspaper, supported him in several crucial times of his life. Sun was unable to perform in Hong Kong but the Kiang Wu Hospital in Macau accepted him as a doctor.

Macau afforded him all the conditions for his political activity. After creating in Japan the United League, of which he became chairman, he organized eight armed insurrections, from 1907 to 1911. The office of the League at No. 21 Volong Street in Macau was a major centre for recruitment of new members and fund-raising.

Three months after resigning from his very short tenure as President of the Republic, he returned to Macau where he was received by Governor Melo Machado, by Lou Lim Ioc (a very wealth Chinese residing in Macau) and by local heads of the Freemasons, obtaining expressions of support from all of them.

He returned to Macau for the last time in May 1913. When he was exiled in Japan after the decisive election of General Yuan Shikai on 6 October 1913, many of his supporters took refuge in Macau, including members of the "White Wolf" faction.

Governor Josť Carlos da Maia took office on 10 June 1914 and refused the extradition of the "White Wolf" members that the Chinese authorities requested.

On the 23 June 1916 Sun Yat-sen wrote a letter of thanks, in French, to Josť Carlos da Maia, whose translation appears below:

Shanghai, 23 June 1916

My dear Governor, it is with real pleasure that I express to you my sincere thanks for the extreme kindness shown in many cases to all my political friends, especially during the recent events that took place not far from Macau. I have no words to express to you the profound appreciation that I have for so many examples of sympathy from you. I am sure that these sentiments faithfully reflect the feelings of all Republican Chinese.

It is my ardent hope, my dear Governor, that order and peace be restored rapidly in China, so that we may, with the help and example of the Portuguese Republic, install in China the principles and foundations of an administration that realises the aspirations of the people.

Accept, my dear Governor, the expression of my greatest respect.

Sun Yat-sen