Little Dancie Wong and her mother obtained an affidavit for the purpose of identification. They were applying to the U.S. Immigration authorities at Angel Island, California in 1933 for a Return Certificate, form 430, which would enable them to re-enter the U.S. after a trip to China.
Ng Dancie Yet, her husband, and several white witnesses were interrogated. Some of the information from the interrogation: Henry Wong, also known as H. Wong and Wong Ge Ye, was born in Gilroy, California on 22 Jan 1908. He and Ng Dancie Yet were married in Ft. Worth, Texas on 17 April 1925. He was a merchant at grocery and meat market called Wong Company in Rosedale, Mississippi.
One of their white witnesses was Dr. Charles W. Patterson, a practicing physician in Rosedale and a graduate of Tulane University. He delivered the Wongs’ three children: Pershing, born in 1926; Kellogg, born in 1928 and Little Dancie, born in 1931.
G. W. Heckert, the Immigration Inspector reviewed the Wongs’ marriage certificate and noted that it was recorded in the Ft. Worth, Texas 1925 marriage records, volume 58, page 242, number 59881. Heckert asked if they could keep the certificate in their permanent files. Ng Dancie Wong refused and the certificate was returned to her. She stated that she was born 18 January 1905 at Fort Worth, Texas.
[According to Heckert, they were trying to determine if H. Wong was Ng Dancie Yet’s first and only husband. They wanted to make sure she had not lost her U.S. citizenship by marriage to an alien ineligible to citizenship. ]
During Ng Dancie Wong’s interrogation she was asked if she was “an expectant mother.” She said that she was four or five months pregnant. Ng Dancie Yet was also known as Ng Yook Hong or Mrs. H. Wong.
Ng Dancie Yet provided Little Dancie’s birth certificate. It says the Little Dancie’s father was born in Getlow, California instead of Gilroy. Ng Dancie said that the doctor “put it down Getlow because it sounds like that when we pronounce it.”
More about Little Dancie next week…
Jew Hoo, a merchant, was returning from Hong Kong to Seattle on the S.S. President McKinley in a first-class cabin. He was admitted into the U.S. on 20 October 1923. He paid an Alien Head Tax of $8 when he arrived in Seattle. He had been visited his wife Lee Shee and their two sons.
When he returned from another trip to China in 1931 he stated that he was the assistant manager and treasurer of the Oriental Café in Kansas City, Missouri. According to the Chinese Exclusion Act a restaurant keeper was not usually classified as a merchant. B. A. Hunter, the Immigrant Inspector visited the restaurant and came up with these facts: it had a seating capacity of 136 or more, there was a stand for an orchestra and a platform for dancing, it had modern fixtures and was located in an excellent business neighborhood. Two white creditable men testified in Jew Hoo’s favor. The inspector gave a favorable recommendation for Jew Hoo’s status as a merchant.
Jew Hoo’s 13 September 1918 draft registration card is included in the file.
(Ho) Chong Dink, also known as Ho John Sing, was born at 290 Alder Street, in Portland, Oregon about 1877. His father, Ho Wing Sing, worked for the firm of Gum Wa Yuen on Washington Street. In May 1900 Chong Dink obtained a membership certificate from the American Born Chinese Association using the name Ho John Sing. The certificate was signed by Lam John, secretary and Seid Back Jr., president.
Chong Dink lived in Astoria, Oregon in 1894 and moved to St. Louis, Missouri about 1904. He was a merchant for the Oriental Tea & Mercantile Co. in 1927
Information not included in the file: Seid Back, Jr. graduated from the University of Oregon in 1907 and is the first known Chinese American admitted to practice law in Oregon.
[See 15 December 2015 entry for Yee Yook Poy for background information.]
Immigration Inspector Thomas Thomas, District Director, Immigration Service, Cincinnati, Ohio had found the Yee San Company to be a bona fide mercantile establishment and he was impressed by the reputable and creditable witnesses. He recommended that Yee Yook Poy’s application be granted but in spite of this, Yee Yook Poy was denied admission and sent back to China. Why??
Yee Yook Poy’s file mentions several anonymous letters and cross reference’s Chin Hung’s file. The two young men arrived together in Seattle on 6 June 1927 and were deported 5 December 1827. Yoo Yook Poy’s alleged father was original admitted as a merchant [this was questioned in the testimony] and the father-son relationship was not established to the satisfaction to the Commissioner of Immigration. Chin Hung was the alleged son of Chin Woo, alleged merchant. The credibility of Cleo Barnes and Ben J. Miller as witnesses was in question because they were employees of Yee Jung Sam.
The file contains over 100 pages of pro and con testimony but the most damning information seems to be the controversy regarding the merchant status of Yee Yook Poy’s father and it mentions three anonymous letters. One signed letter written in Chinese was translated is included in the file.
It is not known how this letter affected the career of Immigration Inspector Thomas Thomas.
Other white witnesses were Charles E. Nixon, William W. Wheaton, Emmet Leist, A. L. Dunbar, B. H. Latham, Ensign Gadt, C. F. Croezinger, Mrs. John Frey, Louis Miller, Charles Davis, and Chinese witnesses, Yee San and Yee Jung Sam, all of Columbus, Ohio.