Category Archives: Chinese interpreter

Tye Leung Schulze – 1912 – 1st Chinese American woman to vote in U.S.

Tye Leung Schulze NAPAWFNational Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

Tye Leung was born in California in 1887 to a family of Chinese immigrants. At 14, she escaped an arranged marriage in Montana by joining a Presbyterian Mission in San Francisco. There, she learned English and became an interpreter, helping the mission rescue trafficked Chinese women from local brothels.

In 1910 she was hired as a translator at Angel Island Immigration Station; Leung was the first Chinese American to pass the civil service exam and become a government employee. Here, she met Charles Schulze, an immigration inspector, and they fell in love.

Charles Schulze was white. At the time, interracial marriages were illegal in California. They went to Washington state to get legally married, knowing that the intense racism and prejudice from their coworkers would force them to lose their jobs.

To support their family of four children, Tye worked as a night shift telephone operator. Charles was a mechanic and repairman until he died in 1935. She was also the first Chinese woman hired to work at Angel Island. Tye continued to be an interpreter, social worker, and an involved community member in San Francisco’s Chinatown until she died in 1972.

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Quan Foy, Chinese Interpreter

Quan Foy photo 1908
Quan Foy, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Quan Foy file, Box 925, Case 7032/1398.

Quan Foy’s uniform cap says ” U.S.I. S. Interpreter” [United States Immigration Service]. He is also wearing a badge.

On 12 September 1908, Quan Foy was advised that on 8 May 1908, the Bureau of Immigration with the approval of the Department of Commerce and Labor he was granted thirty days annual leave of absence and two hundred and twenty days leave without pay to give him the opportunity to visit his former home in China. After his return he would resume his duties as Chinese Interpreter in Sumas, Washington. He left Sumas on 27 October 1908.

A letter dated 11 July 1908, stated that he would be entitled to bring his wife into the U.S. when he returned from China at the expiration of the leave provided his status remained the same.

The letter was signed by H. Edsell, Chinese Inspector in Charge at Sumas.