NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, Sheridan/Kalorama, Architecturally Significant, Asian/Pacific Islander, Diplomats, Female, Lawyers, Radicals

Tcheng Yu-hsiu
(1891–1959)

2001 19th St NW, Kalorama neighborhood, DC. Former Chinese Legation (1902-1944).

Also known as Madame Wei Tao-ming and Soumé Tcheng, Tcheng Yu-Hsui (or alternately Zhèng Yùxiù) was the first female lawyer and judge in China. She studied in France where she received her doctoral degree in law at the Sorbonne. She was the first Chinese person, male or female to practice law at the French extraterritorial courts in Shanghai. She advocated women having their own voices and choices in marriage, and successfully had it institued in the Republic of China's constitution.

Tcheng was also the author of My Revolutionary Years: The Autobiography of Madame Wei Tao-ming (1943). First published while she was living in Washington, it is considered one of the best first-hand accounts of modern Chinese history and has been translated into many languages. Her other books include Souvenirs d'enfance et de révolution/Memories of Childhood and Revolution (1920), Le Mouvement constitutionnel en Chine. Étude de droit comparé, etc./The Constitutional Movement in China: A Study of Comparative Law (1925) and A Girl from China (1926).

Tcheng lived in this residence from 1942 to 1946 as the wife of Wei Tao-Ming, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States.


Also home of Yan Huiqing and Mai-Mai Sze.

Architect: Waddy Wood, Edward Donn, Jr. and William I. Deming.
Year: 1902.
A Georgian Revival mansion, built for the Imperial Chinese Legation, this building was divided into 13 condominiums in 1944. The building retains its grand entry foyer, fireplaces, and much of its original wood beams, floors, and trim.