Life of Hu Shih
Hu  and JZES 
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Hu Chuan (1841-95), alias Hu Tie-hua, father of Hu Shih, was transferred toTaiwan to assist the provincial administration and military affairs in Taitung. He died in Xiamen on his recall to China when Taiwan was ceded to Japan after the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5. The Taitung County Government thus erected a monument in Liyu Lake in Taitung to commemorate Hu Chuan and his merits in Taitung. The monument read, "In memory of Zili Governor Hu Tie-hua of the Qing Dynasty." Hu Shih was born in Shanghai in 1891 and came to Taiwan with his parents when he was about 3. His father died when he was not yet 4 years old. So he was raised by his mother alone. This explains why he was so  filial throughout his life. One of his famous lines read,"Should I learn a little bit of good temper, should I learn how to deal with people nicely, and should I be forgiving and understanding, I must appreciate my mother."

   In 1910 the 19-year-old Hu entered Cornell University in the USA with the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship (庚子賠款) where he was ranked the 55th. He started with agriculture but later changed his major to philosophy.  At Columbia University, he studied under John Dewey, the master of empiricism, and received his doctor of philosophy. A disciple of empiricism, Hu maintained, "Where the evidence goes, where the conclusion is made, nothing more and nothing less."

   Hu successively held important posts in his life. He was the ROC ambassador in USA, president of the Beijing University, professor of leading US universities, and the president of the Academia Sinica in 1958. He was the most important initiator of the New Literature Movement (May 4th Movement) in China. However, he was gentle, kind and helpful. In his late years when he was settled in Nankang District, he spontaneously returned part of the land acquired for the Academia Sinica because he could not bear to see the original settlers there becoming parted and homeless. He even assigned two secretaries to help the illiterate farmers out with related affairs. The Nankang Land Administration Office was then located in a remote area where transportation was very inconvenient. So he asked the Taiwan Motor Bus Company to open a new route traveling between the Taipei Main Station and Academia Sinica to benefit staff of the Academia and locals living in Nankang.

  Hu died of a heart attack in 1962 at age 71. To commemorate his contributions to Nankang, almost all locals set an altar in their homes to mourn this master of philosophy.

Portrait of Hu Shih

**Materials  and quotations of Hu Shih in this page are retrieved from Yang, T.H. & Pang, K.F. eds. (2005) The Road Goes Ever Onward: Photographs of Hu Shih’s Later Years.**

**Pictures in this page are courtesy of the Hu Shih Memorial Hall**