Category Archives: File

Lee Doo – U. S. Naval Reserve

Lee Doo - U.S. Navy Discharge
“Seal of the War Department, United States of America, Lee Doo,” 1922, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Lee Doo case file, Seattle, Box 1391, 41410/13-17.

Lee Doo, born in San Francisco on 11 November 1892, was the only child of Lee Jing and Ng Shee. His father was in the Chinese drug business. His parents went back to China in 1899 and sent Lee Doo to Chicago to live with his grandfather, Lee Sing Yin. Four years later his grandfather went back to China and Lee Doo went to live at Wa Chung Sing Company with his grandfather’s brother, Lee King.
Lee Doo registered for the draft in Chicago on 5 June 1917. He received classification certificate order #4155, serial #4469 and was classified as 1-a. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force as a ward room cook. He did his training at Great Lakes, Illinois then served on the ship Yantic. He went to France twice, once on the ship Lancaster. After he was honorably discharged in 1920 he moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he worked at the Mandarin Café. His father’s brother, Lee Thou (Lee Woon Fat) was living there. In February 1922 he was applying to visit his mother in China. When he returned in May 1923 he was married and had a son.
There is no more information in his file.

Massacre at Hells Canyon documentary – Oregon Public Broadcasting Preview in Portland on January 19

Hells Canyon documentary poster
Massacre at Hells Canyon documentry Preview

A preview of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Experience documentary, Massacre at Hells Canyon will be screened on Thursday, January 19, 6 p.m. at University of Oregon, Portland Campus, White Stag building, 70 NW Couch Street, Portland, OR.
The program will air on OPB TV on Monday, January 23, 2017 at 9 p.m.

It will also be available online at opb.org. Included in the documentary is a short clip about the Chinese Exclusion Act Files at National Archives-Seattle.

Mrs. Charles Tigard’s Witness Statement for Mark T. Lee

Mark T. Lee photo
“Lee Tong Wing, M143 photo” Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Lee Tong Wing (Mark T. Lee) file, Seattle, Box 468, Case 7030/1769.

Lee Tong Wing (Mark T. Lee) was the son of Lee Loy and Chuey June Ho of Tigard. Lee Loy was a well-known Chinese hop grower in Greenburg, Washington County, Oregon. Mrs. Charles Tigard a former neighbor of the Lees testified favorably for them. The Tigards had been living in their home for 55 years, her husband owned a grocery store, and the area was named after them. Mrs. Tigard identified photos of the Lee parents and several of their eight children, including Mark Lee. The Lee children went to school with the Tigard’s daughter. E. A. Dueber, Immigrant Inspector in Portland believed Mrs. Tigard to be reliable and trustworthy.
Lee Tong Wing’s American name was Mark Lee. He was born at Guild’s Lake, Portland on 8 December 1893 before birth certificates were required. He obtained a delayed certificate in 1931. Over the years the family lived in Guild’s Lake, Tigard, and Graham’s Ferry before settling in Portland in 1905. Mark Lee graduated from Portland Trade School in 1915. Mark Lee registered for the draft [for World War I] when the family was living on a farm between Butteville and Champoeg, Oregon.
He went back east several times and worked as a mechanic at Northway Motor and Manufacturing Company in Detroit and was a head waiter at several Chinese restaurants in Chicago. He returned to Portland in 1930. He was applying to leave the U.S. for his first trip to China.
Mark Lee’s parents and his sister, Yettai Lee Young, were interviewed. A family photo was shown to the interrogator but it is not included in the file. The information given by the three family members was compared and it all agreed.

Mark Lee’s father, Lee Loy, marriage name Lee Wun Ung, was 86 in 1931. He was born in Pok Gai Shan village, Sun Ning district, China and came to the U.S. in T.G. 11. He had only been back to China once. Mark Lee’s mother, Chuey June Ho was born in San Francisco about 1858. She and her husband married in Portland in 1879.
Mark Lee application was approved and he received his certificate of identity. By that time he was a restaurant manager in Portland. After he was approved he went to China, married, and returned to Portland alone, as was the tradition, and was admitted on 8 March 1932.

[Charles F. Tigard (1862-1942), for whom the town of Tigard (originally Tigardville), Oregon was named, operated its first store and post office and was later president of its First National Bank.]1

(1) Charles F. Tigard papers, 1888-1926, Finding Aid, 2012, Archives West, Orbis Cascade Alliance, (http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv52230 : accessed 23 December 2016.)

Chu Yong – Reprimand to the Seattle Office from the Bureau of Immigration, Washington, D.C.

Chu Yong Bond in Transit
“Bond for Chinese in Transit, Chu Yong,” 1923, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chu Yong case file, Seattle, Box 1375, Case 41010/3/4.

On 27 April 1923, U. S. Department of Labor, Immigration Service, District No. 16, sent a letter to shipping companies in Seattle and Tacoma: Blue Funnel Line, Admiral Oriental Line, Osaka Shosen Kaisha, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, reminding them that the last paragraph of Section 7 of the 1888 Exclusion Act stated that a “Chinese laborer shall be admitted to the United States only at the port from which he departed…”
For some time the Bureau of Immigration had been having a problem with this on the East Coast until two returning laborers were deported. After the deportations the practice was discontinued. Leo B. Russell, Special Immigrant Inspector, ended his 1923 letter to the Commissioner of Immigration in Seattle with this sentence,
“Each case of this kind should be brought to the Bureau’s attention, and if it appears that the warning given to the steamship companies is not being heeded, the Department will be asked to direct exclusion.”

Chung Yong (Chu Yong), a Chinese laborer, departed for China in 1921 via Boston and was landed at Seattle on 23 February 1923. He had a $500 Transit Bond stating he would proceed across the country to Boston. Chu Yong spent more than a month visiting friends in Seattle, Chicago and New York before proceeding to Boston.
In 1921 Chu Yong was 47 years old, a laundryman, living at 71 Manhattan Street, Stamford Connecticut. He was born in Har Look Village, Sun Wuey District, China.
After being interrogated on 29 March 1923, the Chinese Inspector, W. P. Callahan, recommended that Chu Yong be admitted.

Felix W. McGettrick – U.S. Commissioner for District of Vermont

Felix McGettrick Photo
Photo of U.S. Commissioner Felix W. McGettrick, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,
U.S. Bureau of Immigration, McGettrick certificates [electronic resource] : list of Chinese cases … (Washington : G.P. O., 1906) (https://www.uscis.gov/history-and-genealogy/our-history/historians-mailbox/mcgettrick-certificates : accessed 11 July 2016).
[The USCIS History Office had a webinar on Chinese Exclusion and Certificates of Discharge on June 30, 2016. They will repeat it at a future date. https://www.uscis.gov/HGWebinars. There are many McGettrick files at the Seattle facility of the National Archives.]

The Chinese Exclusion Act went into effect in 1882 and severely restricted the legal immigration of Chinese migrants, specifically laborers. There was an exemption for students, merchants, government officials, and travelers with proper documentation. U.S.-born Chinese laborers could reenter the U.S. after a trip abroad if they could prove their U.S. citizenship.

In the late 1890s and early 1900s many returning Chinese would arrive at a port on the west coast of Canada, travel by train to the east coast and enter the U.S. through the New England area. They tried to slip into the U.S. unnoticed but if they were caught and arrested they would demand a hearing to prove their citizenship so that they could obtain a “Certificate of Discharge” to be use as proof of citizenship. Word got around about which judges were sympathetic to their plight. Arrested Chinese tried to go before Commissioner Felix W. McGettrick at St. Albans, Vermont. McGettrick tried and discharged over 1,100 cases between late 1894 and 1897. Because of his high volume of discharges the Bureau of Immigration started keeping track of his certificates. McGettrick denied any misconduct and was never charged with a crime; he may have just been a poor records keeper. McGettrick stated that over 300 records from discharge cases were stolen from him but this was hard to assess because he didn’t keep a docket of his cases. So many Chinese files included McGettrick’s discharge certificates that by 1905 the Bureau of Immigration decided to keep track of the certificates with his signature. This would make it easier for the Bureau to investigate suspicious files with his signature.

A full text searchable copy of the “McGettrick Certificates” list is available online from the USCIS Historical Library