Pearl Y. Hom – Anonymous letter about Portland teacher

Photo of Pearl Y. Hom, 1929
“Photo of Pearl Y. Hom” Form 430, 1929, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Pearl Y. Hom file, Portland, Box 92, Case 5017/501.

[After an anonymous letter was received at the Immigration Office saying that there was a rumor that Pearl Y. Hom had married a Chinese citizen on her recent trip out of the country, an investigation was made and it was determined that the information was incorrect. [Her 1929 trip was to Vancouver, B.C. In 1909 Pearl and her family visited China.]
Transcript of the letter:
Portland, Oregon, April 10th, 1930
Dear Sir,
This is just to let you know that it has been said that Pearl Ham [sic], the woman who teaches Chinese in the Chinese School which is located on Davis street near 3rd street, was married to a Chinese before she returned to this country. She has told people that she is still a girl. She was born in the United States and is a citizen. But I should like to ask you to see if she is still a citizen, if she was married to a Chinese. It is up to you to investigate this matter. As far as I am concerned, I have nothing against such woman. But I just want to let you know if it is lawful for her to stay in our country, if she was married to a Chinese before she came back to the country where she was born. Of course, you know what to do about this case.
Yours very truly
No need to be mentioned

On 23 July 1929 Pearl Y. Hom (Mon Hom Ying) applied for a Native’s Return Certificate. She was born in Portland, was not married, and had been teaching at a Chinese public school in Portland for four years. She was living at the Baptist Mission on Broadway and Couch.

According to Pearl’s application she had four brothers and one sister: Thomas S. Hom (Hom Mon Sing), working in a cannery in Alaska and off-season living in Seattle; Charles C. Hom (Hom Mom Chow), Alice H. Hom (Hom Mom Hong), and Amos G. Hom (Hom Mon Gum) living in China; and George Hom (Hom Xow) living in Portland. [Sometimes “Mon” is spelled “Mom” but “Mon” seems to be correct.]
Pearl’s 1909 application included affidavits from C.R. Levy of Levy Spiegel & Co., Dr. C. E. Cline, Mrs. E. B. Kan, Yee Mow, and Rev. Moy Ling, all of Portland.

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2 thoughts on “Pearl Y. Hom – Anonymous letter about Portland teacher

  1. Thanks for this posting. It’s such an interesting record. An example of how folks would anonymously inform on others in the community – possibly with a vendetta of some sort. Also an example of how women could lose their U.S. citizenship when marrying a non-citizen or someone ineligible for citizenship (as Chinese were during the Exclusion years). Here’s an informative article about the latter. https://www.archives.gov/files/publications/prologue/2014/spring/citizenship.pdf

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