Monthly Archives: September 2015

Chew Lai – Alien Head Tax

Alien Head Tax Receipt
Alien Head Tax Receipt, 1930, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chew Lai file, Seattle Box 869, Case 7032/26.

Chew Lai, age 38, arrived in Seattle on SS President Jefferson on 28 June 1930. His destination was New York City. He was charged $8 for the Alien Head Tax. [worth about $109 in 2015] He was originally admitted as the minor son of merchant, Chew Sun, in Seattle on the SS Princess Victoria on 6 September 1909.

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More about Shaving Feasts

Photo of Eng Sing
Cropped photo of Eng Sing from family photo, ca. 1914, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Eng Sing file, Box 225, Case 4280/10-15.

[Eng Sing has a standard Chinese haircut for that time period. Traditionally the baby’s head was completely shaved except a little topknot in the crown of his head. A “Shaving Feast” may have been held for Eng Sing when he was one-month old. At the feast an elaborate meal would be served for many guests. An article, from a Caucasian prospective, published on 3 March 1912 in the Dallas Morning News describes a feast with a fourteen-course meal with turtle, bacon, roast duck, eel, bamboo sprouts, pigeon, abalone and other exotic foods.]

See “A Chinese Shaving Feast,” Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX), 3 March 1912, Section 3, page 3; Newspaper. Online at GenealogyBnk.com, http://bit.ly/1Kmmgfw, accessed 9 Sept 2015.

Family Portrait – Eng Moon’s family

Portrait of Eng Moon's family
Portrait of Eng Moon’s family ca. 1914, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Eng Sing file, Box 225, Case4280/10-15.

Eng Sing (on the right) was about three years old when this photograph was taken ca. 1912 with his mother and brother. Eng Sing, age 13, arrived in Seattle on 26 November 1925 on the SS President Jefferson. His father, a merchant, was unable to prove his relationship to his alleged son so Eng Sing was deported on 4 February 1926.

[Fake backgrounds were popular in portraits at this time but this is the first time I have seen a fake dog in a photograph.]
[Note traditional haircuts on the boys.]

Chin Sic (Yip Sue) – translation of letter to his father

Phots of Chin Bic & Chan Mow
Chin Sic & Chan Mow photos on affidavit, 1910, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chin Sic file, Portland, Box 11, Case 2230.

Chan Mow, a Chinese merchant in Portland, Oregon, for about twenty-one years, was requesting that his 19-year old son, Chin Sic, be allowed to come to the United States and join the family business. Chan Mow was a member of the Suey Wo firm.

Chin Sic's letter to his father
Chin Sic (Yip Sue), Translation of a Chinese letter, 1910, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chin Sic file, Portland, Box 11, Case 2230.

This is the translation of a letter written by Chin Sic (Yip Sue is his married name) to his father on 6 March 1910. He was telling his father about the birth of his son, Wing Yum, and the expenses incurred for his “shaving feast” and “opening of a lantern.” The translator explains the meaning of the “opening of a lantern.”
He signs the letter Yip Sue.

Mrs. Lum Sue – lost her American citizenship

photo of Mrs. Lum Sue (Wong Fong How)
Mrs. Lum Sue (Wong Fong How), photo on Form 432, 1926, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Mrs. Lum Sue file, Portland, Box 68, Case 5010/411.
letter regarding Mrs. Lum Sue
Mrs. Lum Sue (Wong Fong How), Letter from U.S. Department of Labor to Commissioner of Immigration, Seattle, 1926, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Mrs. Lum Sue file, Portland, Box 68, Case 5010/411.

Mrs. Lum Sue (Wong Fong How) of Astoria, Oregon was born in Redland, California about 1898. When she married Lum Sue, a Chinese native, on 27 April 1914 in Los Angeles, she lost her American citizenship. In 1926 they were living in Astoria, Oregon with their three children, Anna, 11 years; Flora, 10 years; and John, 8 years. The children were all born in Astoria. Lum Sue was manager of the Lum Quing grocery store.

 

Chin Ben Hung & Fong Chung Hing – Wedding photo 1923

Wedding Photo
Chin Bing Hung and Fong Chung Hing wedding photo, 1926, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chin Ben Hung file, Portland, Box 69, Case 5010/457.

Chin Bing Hung and Fong Chung Hing were married on 1 February 1923 in Hong Kong. The other people in the wedding photo are not identified.