Excerpts from notes from John Gong, a grandson of Arthur Chin (Chin Suey Tin):
There is information in the article that I had no idea existed or things that happened to him. I am truly amazed; I have never seen that photograph of my grandfather previously. I was very fortunate to have inherited my grandfather’s entire Chinese Air Force and China National Aviation Corporation collection from 1932-1950. I spent many summer in Portland with my grandparents and from a very early age took interest in my grandfather’s military career…so he instructed my grandmother to give me the collection.
After reading the blog, I was so emotional. I had no idea this happened to my grandfather, I shed a few tears and had a difficult time sleeping last night. I shared the blog entry with family members and they were equally surprised. I cannot imagine making such a decision (at a young age) to leave his home/family to go fight a war in a foreign country and then lose your citizenship! On a side note, my grandfather did not graduate high school because he left to fight the Japanese. My grandfather and I graduated high school the same year in 1986!
The Chinese Exclusion Act case file enlightened our family on what happened to my grandfather. He kept this chapter of his life a secret and I can now understand his distrust of the government.
Forever grateful, John Gong
AN ACT OF EXCLUSION –Chinese History in the Pacific Northwest
Helen Ying and Trish Hackett Nicola offer a powerful combination of lectures on Chinese history in the Pacific Northwest in “An Act of Exclusion,” Friday, August 25 at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum, 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, Oregon. Tickets for the 5:30 p.m. dinner and program are $22, the 6:30 p.m. set of programs only are $5. Purchase tickets by August 23. For tickets and information call 541-296-8600 ext. 201, or visit www.gorgediscovery.org
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.
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.
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