Tag Archives: Chin Mon

Chin On family file

Chin Jan Affidavid
“Chin Jan Affidavit with photos of Chin Jan and Chin On,” 1933, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chin On case file, Seattle Box 594, 7030/5510.

Guest blogger –Darby Li Po Price
This week’s blog entry is by Darby Li Po Price. He researched his family in the Chinese Exclusion Act case files at the National Archives-Seattle and found many family files. The following information is from a file on his great aunt, Chin On. It includes an affidavit and testimony by his great grandfather, Chin Jan; Chin On’s application for her certificate of identity and maps of the family home in China.

Chin On Application for Certificate of Identity
“Chin On Application for Certificate of Identity with photo,” 1933, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chin On case file, Seattle Box 594, 7030/5510.

The 1933 immigration application and photos were submitted by Jan Chin (great grandfather) for his daughter On Chin. She was detained three days. There are diagrams of their house in China which both drew as part of their interrogations. Jan had U.S. citizenship by native birth of immigrants.

Such documents of Chinese women are rare compared to those of men. Even though the subject of the file may be a woman most of the interrogations and affidavits are usually by the men of the family. It is also nice to see Chin On and her family together.

1933 photos of Chin Jan, and daughter Chin On, age 22, for On’s application for admission to the US. Jan requested “to have my said daughter, Chin On, come to America, so that I can give her the benefits of an American education.” Chin On had written her father the year before to ask to come to America. On arrived in Seattle via President Taft June 6, 1933, and was placed in detention.

The affidavit and application are accompanied by 30 pages of testimonies of On, Jan, and Jan’s sister Len Toy, drawings of their home in Sun Woy [Sun Wui], and detention release are in Seattle file no. 7030/5510. Interviews include extensive details on family members’ relations, lives, and homes in China and the U.S.
Jan, age 53, resided at 124 Ninth St., Portland, OR, and was a native U.S. citizen by birth from Joe Jew Chin and Dew Shee. Jan described his wife Hom Shee, age 47, and their sons in Sun Woy as Mon, age 30, Kway, 12, Wing, 7, Haw, 5; and Soon, 29, living in Chicago whose wife with their two sons lived in Sun Ning. Mon lived with his wife and two sons in another house. Mon was admitted to the U.S. in 1922; Soon in 1923. Len Toy was born in Portland, and spent a year and a half with the family in Sun Woy.

Interviews were translated between English and Chinese. The Chins spoke See Yip dialect. There were discrepancies regarding existence or placement of: a house number above the front door, ladders, stairways, doors, windows, a mirror, an alarm clock, Jan’s pocket and wrist watches, where two of On’s brother’s slept, and where Len slept. On did not remember a prior house Jan said they moved from when On was 11. On said Jan’s mother’s name was Yee Shee, Jan said Leung Shee.
On June 9, 1933 Roy Matterson, Chair of the Board of Special Inquiry concluded: “while there are a considerable number of discrepancies in the record that have not been cleared up, applicant testifies in a frank, unhesitating manner and seems to be testifying from facts and not from coached testimony and I am of the opinion that she has established her claim to being a daughter of CHIN JAN, and I therefore move to admit her to the United States as a citizen.” Admission was concurred by inspectors John Boyd and Earl Botts.

House diagrams
“Four house diagrams of house in Sun Woy City,” 1933, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chin On case file, Seattle Box 594, 7030/5510.


The Reference Sheet in Chin On’s case file contains the file numbers and names of her father, grandfather, three brothers, five uncles, an aunt, sister-in-law, two nephews, cousin, and a niece.
Darby will be telling us more about his family in the coming weeks.

Advertisements

Chin Mon – Deported in spite of strong support

Chin Mon Photo
“Chin Mon, Description of Person Deported,” 1927, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chin Mon file, Portland, Box 53, Case 5001/88.

Chin Ding, Chin Mon, alias Chin Mon Ding, age 54, was ordered deported by Department of Labor on 25 May 1926. He left on his own accord on 1 February 1927 from Seattle on s.s. President Jefferson. He paid his own expenses.
Before leaving he sold all of his interests in the United States. He stated that if he was not permitted to remain permanently he preferred to depart on his own. He did not want to use all of his money “here in idleness” when he would probably be deported eventually.
The Department of Labor suspected Inspector Charles E. Keagy of accepting and soliciting bribes. They wanted Chin Mon to testify against Keagy because of Chin Mon’s “ingenuous and frank manner.” Although Chin Mon decided not to testify, Keagy was fired by the Bureau of Immigration.

Testimony revealed that Charles Brotchie, a deputy sheriff and John W. L. Fort, a mail carrier, both of Seattle testified that Chin Mon was a merchant in Seattle when he was actually a gardener (a laborer) at Beaverton, Oregon.
A summary of the investigation said that Chin Mon testified that he paid $500 to Inspector Keagy in 1922 to obtain a merchant classification. The amount was transferred at the Kuong Tai Company in Seattle. Chin Mon wanted to get merchant’s papers so he could bring his adopted son to the United States. The son, Chin Woon or Foon (Seattle file 1545/13/15) did accompany his father to the U.S. in 1924 but was denied admission, appealed and was eventually admitted. (Inspector Keagy was not on the board denying admission.) Chin Woon worked with his father in the garden in Beaverton.
Chin Mon, alias Chin Ding, marriage name Mon Ing, was born about 1872 in Foong Nguen village, Sun Ning district and first entered the United States at Portland when he was 18 years old. He had a truck farm in Beaverton, Oregon. He had planned to leave the country as a laborer but was convinced by Inspector Keagy that it would be better for him if he declared that he was a merchant.
After reviewing all the testimony Immigrant Inspector W. F. Watkins stated in his recommendations: “Chin Mon is a Chinaman of high intelligence, is an old-time resident of this district, an exceedingly industrious and hard-working fellow who lives by the sweat of his brow, well-liked and trusted by his neighbors, and so far as known, with the exception of the present instance, is a law-abiding citizen.” “Chin Mon has equipment and investments in his garden which he values at from $3000 to $3500.” He spent $1500 on legal fees to get Chin Woon landed. Inspector Watkins recommended that the warrant proceedings against Chin Mon be cancelled but Chin Woon was deported and Chin Mon decided his case was hopeless and left at his own expense.
In Chin Mon’s testimony he told about his truck farm. He was in business with Lee Kay who was trying to find someone to purchase Chin Mon’s interest. They grew lettuce, beets, carrots, parsnips, spinach, peas, potatoes, horseradish, cabbage and potatoes. His farming equipment consisted of four plows, three horses, two harrows, four cultivators, two dozen hoes, rakes, and small farm implements, two wagons and one 2-1/2 ton truck, between three and four dozen chickens and $800 worth of hay.
1928 affidavits swearing that Chin Mon was reliable, honest, industrious and hardworking were from:
August Rossi, resident of Beaverton for 42 years and has known Chin Ding (Chin Mon) for eight years.

Doy Gray, cashier at State Bank of Beaverton and has known Chin Ding (Chin Mon) for eight years.

Joe F. Keller, Special Agent in Charge of the Pacific Coast Automobile Underwriters Conference and own of a truck garden farm in Beaverton. and has known Chin Ding (Chin Mon) since 1919.

Chin Fong You, and has known Chin Ding (Chin Mon) for thirteen years.