Amy Chin knew her grandfather entered the United States through the Port of Seattle in 1911. While searching for more records on him, she found he had been in northeastern New York state near the Adirondacks by 1903. She found more information about him in a jail ledger at a museum in Port Henry, New York, near the Canadian border. Read about Amy Chin’s discovery of the jail ledgers and her collaboration with the NYSCA Museum Program, Iron Center Museum, Town of Moriah Historical Society, North Star Underground Railroad Museum, and the Museum of Chinese in America, and how they got the jail ledgers digitized and available online. Thank you to Amy Chin and everyone involved in the project for making this information available to families and researchers.
Here’s the story. You can see the 719 images at MoCA’s online archive. The ledgers belong to the Iron Center Museum/Port Henry-Moriah Historical Society in Port Henry, NY. They and the Museum of Chinese in America (MoCA) in New York City jointly own the digitized records.
Lee Quong On’s entry in the jail ledgers
Lee Quong On’s file featured on April 29, 2019 blog post, contains information from 1901 to 1941. After hearing about the jail ledgers from the Port Henry area and that they were digitized, I searched and found an entry for Lee Quong On.
In early 1901 Lee Quong On left China. He arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; then took a train to Montreal, Quebec and made his way to Burke, Franklin County, New York. He was immediately arrested. On 15 March 1901, he was brought before Hon. William V. S. Woodward, U.S. Commissioner of Plattsburgh, N. Y. and charged with unlawfully being in the U.S. A trial was held. He and three witness: Chin Sing, Chin Dan and Tsao Dong, testified in his favor. The evidence was considered, the charges were cleared, and Lee was released. He received his discharge certificate with his photograph attached in August 1901 at Port Henry, New York from Fred W. Dudley, a United States Commissioner, Northern District of New York. For the complete post, see https://chineseexclusionfiles.com/2019/04/29/lee-quong-on-1901-discharge-papers/
Lee Quong (On), the jail ledger at the Iron Center Museum/Port Henry-Moriah Historical Society in Port Henry, NY. He is the top entry on page 49. (These are copies of the same image; the second is darker so you can read all of the words.)
Loui See Fung 雷樹宏 arrived at the Port of Seattle on the s.s.Princess Marguerite on 11 January 1941. He was classified as the son of citizen, Loui Guee (Louie Gwee) (married name: Woon Jing). He was admitted exactly one month later and received his Certificate of Identity on 14 February. His destination was El Paso, Texas. He was nineteen years old, born on 20 September 1921 at Ai Lat Village, Hoy San District, China. According to Dr. Seth, the Medical Examiner of Aliens, the applicant appeared to be younger than he claimed. X-rays might give a more accurate assessment, but the immigration board decides that it was not necessary. The father presented a photo of the applicant when he was about five years old. There was a strong resemblance between the alleged father and the applicant.
Loui See Fung’s father, Loui Guee, originally arrived in the United States in October 1913 and was admitted as the son of a native, Loui Yim, who was subject to San Francisco file 10346/1433.
In Loui See Fung’s interrogation he testified that he spoke the See Yip Hoy San dialect and had never been in the United States before. His family moved to Ping On village when he was four or five years old. He last saw his father when he was about eight years old, but he readily identified him from a photograph because he remembered that his father had a scar on his forehead which showed in the photo. The interrogator asked many questions about his father’s extended family. Loui See Fung answered most of the questions correctly and was asked if he had been coached with the answers. It was a long interrogation with over five pages of testimony. He described his mother as Yee Shee, natural feet, some pock marks on her face, able to read and write, mother of four sons and no daughters. He told the names and ages of his brothers and where they went to school. He described his village and the nearby villages, the streams, a fishpond, markets, and school. Loui See Fung lived in a brick house with two bedrooms, a living room, two kitchens with a room over each kitchen, cement floors in all the rooms, all closed by glass and iron bars, no shutters, and two outside doors. They had a black dog but no pig. He was asked about specific houses in his village—”who lives opposite your door in the 3rd house, 2nd row?” and the names of the occupants, their ages, occupations, children’s names and ages, and where they went to school.
There was a lengthy interview of Loui’s father, Loui Guee. He stated that for the last ten years, he was a partner in a restaurant at Alamosa, Colorado. He was asked how he could identify his son if he had not seen him in about eleven years. He said, “I recognize him because he is my son. The photograph looks like him.” He chose the correct photo of his son out from more than ten photos. He testified that he had two brothers, Loui Fee in Oxnard, California, and Loui Wing in Ogden, Utah. He gave additional details about the family home. It had a stone court, a shrine on the second floor, and a balcony with a wood floor over each first-floor bedroom. They had three ancestral tablets.
Most of the testimony of the father and son agreed completely. Although Loui See Fung said his destination was El Paso, Texas, and his father lived in Alamosa, Colorado; the interrogator ignored this inconsistency. The other differences were minor. The doctor testified that the applicant appears to be younger than his stated age, but it was not enough to reject the applicant. Loui See Fung was admitted and received his Certificate of Identity.
[The National Archives is still closed because of COVID-19. This file was copied before March 2020. thn]
Woo Quin Lock was born on 3 March 1920 at Kwong Tung, China. He was the son of a U.S. citizen. He arrived at the Port of Seattle on 2 February 1940 on the Princess Charlotte. He was denied admittance on 12 April 1940. His case was appealed on 10 May, and he was admitted on 10 August, more than eight months after his arrival. He received his Certificate of Identity No. 83265 two days later. The exhibits submitted in his case were an affidavit by his father, Woo Yen Tong, three letters written by the applicant to his father and their translations, a sample of the applicant’s handwriting, four Woo Seattle case files and eight San Francisco files for various Woos.
Woo Quin Lock’s father, Woo Yen Tong, swore in an affidavit that he was a United States citizen and that he had proved his citizenship to the Immigration Service after his arrival at the Port of San Francisco on 14 August 1911 and was issued a Certificate of Identity No. 4752. Three photos were attached to his affidavit.
“Woo Yen Tong, affidavit,” 1939, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Woo Quin Lock case file, Seattle Box 805, file 7030/12841.
During his 1940 testimony, Woo Quin Lock testified that his father sent him $1,200 in Hong Kong currency to cover his travel expenses. Chin Thick Gee a member of the Mow Fon Goon store in Hong Kong, purchased his ticket for him. His father owned two houses and a social hall in Wan Jew village. Overnight visitors stayed in the social hall which was the 8th house, 9th row, counting from the north. Gar Theung and Gar Thin, sons of his paternal uncle Get Tong were living in the building while they were guests of the family in 1938. The family owned an old house on the north side and a new house on the south side. The interrogator told Woo Quin Lock that his testimony about some of his uncles and cousins and the location of the houses did not agree with his father’s and brother’s testimony.
The case file contains more than sixty pages of documents and testimony. The following is an excerpt from the summary written by the Immigration Committee Chairman:
The alleged father, Woo Yen Tong, was originally admitted at San Francisco in 1909 as the foreign-born son of a native, Woo Gap.
Woo Yen Tong returned to China in 1919. He married Chen Shee and their son; Woo Quin Lock was born before he returned to the United States. He made several trips to China and four sons were born. Woo Quin Lock’s younger brother, Woo Quin Kwock arrived from China in 1939 and was admitted. He was a witness for Woo Quin Lock.
There were many discrepancies between the testimony of the applicant and his brother about their method and date of travel to Hong Kong, where they stayed on the way, and when they got there. The brothers did not agree on when and where their alleged younger brother attended school.
The interrogation committee decided that the relationship between Woo Quin Lock and his father and brother could not be established. They denied Lock admission to the United States, but he had the right to appeal. The case was reopened in April 1940 to reconsider the citizenship of the alleged father. Woo Yen Tong’s brother was called to testify. Woo Fong Tong (marriage name Sik Kew) presented his Certificate of Identity #10738 which was issued to him in San Francisco in 1913. He testified that he was forty-four, born (ca. 1894) in Wan Jew village, Toy San district, China. He was a laborer living in the Chicago Hotel in Spokane, Washington. He made two trips to China in 1921 and 1929 and returned through the port of San Francisco. He identified the photos that were attached to Fook Yen Tong’s affidavit and a photo of their father, Woo Gap, from his 1921 Certificate of Identify that was included in his San Francisco file. He correctly identified all the Woo photos from the Seattle and San Francisco files.
Woo Fong Tong described the burial ceremony for his father Woo Gap (the transcriber made a note that Gap was pronounced NGIP). Woo Gap died in 1929 and Woo Fong Tong took his remains, his whole body, not just his bones, back to China in a regular wooden casket which was placed in a wooden box lined with tin. After their arrival in Wan Jew village the shipping box was removed, and the casket was placed outside the village for a day for visitation by the family. Then the casket was opened briefly to give everyone one last look at the body. They had a regular burial procession with the whole family accompanying the casket to the burial place at Fong Ngow hill, about 2 lis (less than a mile) north of Wan Jew village. After Woo Gap was buried, the family worshipped at his grave.
Woo Gap was married three times and his father was married twice. There was much testimony in the case file about whether the Woo men were stepsons or half-brothers.
In May 1940, P. J. Hansen, wrote a reference letter for Woo Yen Tong, who he called Raymond Woo. Hansen stated that Woo had worked for him for nine years as cannery foreman and he considered him a conscientious and trustworthy employee. He offered his assistance in getting Woo’s son admitted to the United States.
The legal brief for the appeal on behalf of Woo Quin Lock conceded that Woo Quin Lock was a foreign-born son of Woo Yen Tong but left open the question of his father’s citizenship of the United States. Woo Yen Tong derived his citizenship through his father, Woo Gap. Woo Gap and his second wife Lee Shee were the parents of Woo Yen Tong. Woo Gap married Lee Shee before the death of his first wife which was legal under Chinese law and custom. Woo Gap’s first wife, Chow Shee, the mother of his four sons, was ill for many years and required constant care. Woo Gap’s second wife moved into the household and cared for Chow Shee and the children. Woo Yen Ton was the son of Woo Gap and Woo’s second wife, Lee Shee. He was born before Woo’s first wife died.
Woo Quin Lock’s attorney, Edward E. Merges, brought forward a May 1918 letter written by Philip B. Jones, Immigration Officer at San Francisco to the Commissioner of Immigration at Angel Island stating the merits Woo Gap’s status as a merchant (one of the exemptions to the Exclusion Act). Woo Gap was born in the United States, a merchant in Santa Cruz, California, and well-known by the community and the immigration station. He resided with his wife and their son Woo Yen Tong. They provided a home and schooling for their son which Immigration authorities thought was sufficient proof of their relationship. They were also impressed that Woo Gap was honest about his dual marriage. Woo Yen Tong’s case was submitted to the Central Immigration Office in Washington, D.C. and it was determined that Woo Gap was a citizen of the United States. His son, Woo Yen Tong, had been admitted as the son of a citizen. Finally, after an eight-month legal battle, Woo Quin Lock was admitted as the son a citizen on 20 August 1940. His new residence was 725 King Street, Seattle, Washington.
[The National Archives is still closed because of COVID-19. This file was copied before the closure in March 2020. I will let you know when the archives reopens. THN]
Ng Wing Yin arrived at the Port of Seattle on 28 January 1929 was deported after almost two months in detention. He could not prove his relationship to his alleged father, Ng Wah Lai, a U.S. citizen.
His attorney, Hugh C. Todd, wrote to the Bureau of Immigration in Washington, D.C. regarding Ng’s appeal. Ng Wing Yin was first denied admission in January 1927. His 1929 entry was his second attempt to enter the U.S. Todd argued that no one except a father would try to bring his son into the country twice. Anyone else would have given up. This application included a photo taken in 1921 of the father and son when the son was ten years old. Todd pointed out the resemblance between the two—their posture, eyes, nose, ears and chin, even the curl of the mouth. The photograph was not included in the 1927 earlier entry application.
“Ng Wing Yin and Ng Wah Lai photo” 1921 , Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Ng Wing Yin case file, Seattle Box 1118, file 10346/10-12.
[The National Archives is still closed because of COVID-19. This file was copied before the closure in March 2020. I will let you know when the archives reopens. THN]
In 1929 Ng Wing Yin was seventeen years old and a student. He was born in Woy Lung Lee village, Sun Wei Ning District, China. He was attempting to enter the U.S. as the son of a native. His parents were Ng Wah Lai (marriage name Yuk Moon), and Mar Shee. He presented an affidavit with a photo of him with his father stating that his father was a United States citizen.
Ng Wing Yin was questioned about the first time he tried to enter the U.S. in 1926. He was denied, it was appealed, denied again, and he was deported. He was asked why he was trying to enter again since he was debarred the first time. He did not reply. His only witness was his father.
Ng Wah Lai testified that he was born in Riverside, California and that he had lived in Durango, Colorado for four years and planned to go back there. He was currently working at the Kwong Man Yuen store at 701 King Street in Seattle. He showed his certificate of identity #4188 issued at Boston, Massachusetts in 1911. The only proof he had that Ng Wing Yin was his son was the photo of them together. The immigration authorities agreed that the people in the photo were Ng Wah Lai and Ng Wing Yin but that did not prove their relationship. They had no new witnesses or evidence except for the photo taken of them together in 1921. They asked Ng Wah Lai why he was going through this process again when nothing had changed. Ng said, “He is my son and is anxious to come to the U.S.”
Ng Wing Yin was unable to prove that he was the blood son of Ng Wah Lai so he was denied entry into the U.S. Their attorney appealed, it was denied, and Ng Wing Yin was deported, again.
In December 1913 Edward J. Ar Tick/Artick testified that he was the son of Hee Ar Tick (John Ar Tick) and Margaret Sullivan, born on 1 November 1891 at 114 Orleans St., East Boston, Massachusetts. He presented a 1906 certified copy of his birth certificate to the immigration inspector for his review. [The certificate is not in the file.]
When Edward was about three years old, his father left his mother, and they went to live nearby with Robert S. and Lottie Ar Foon and their son Henry S. Ar Foon. Edward was not told exactly when or why his parents separated but when Edward was about eight years old, his father told him that his mother had died recently. Robert Ar Foon died in 1901. Edward and his father continued to live at the Ar Foon home. Edward’s father was a cook on the tugboats, Marguerite Dunbar and Robert S. Bradley.
Edward and his father left Boston for China in August 1906. Edward thought of Henry as his brother and called Henry’s mother “Ma.” They corresponded while Edward was in China. Henry brought a packet of Edward’s letters to his immigration interview as a witness for Edward. The letters were to be returned to Edward when he arrived in the U.S., but they are still in the file.
The file contains seven letters Edward wrote to Henry from Hong Kong from 1908 to 1913.
7 Apr 1908: [Edward’s uncle died; hard up for money; how is mother?]
[Chelsea fire of 1908; Henry and his friends in a yachting club]
“Poor father died last Sunday…”
Excerpts from other letters:
10 October 1911: Edward had job as machinist in the machine shop at Oriental Brewery Ltd.; “fortunate that I owe you for teaching me about gasoline engines;” “talking about getting married;” “There is still another book that I should like and that’s Tulley’s Handbook: On the Care and Management of Machinery…;” ”Please get a Morses Catalogue for me…;” “…take good care of Mother.”
8 January 1912: “…hard times;” “see if you cannot raise a passage for me;” “The war in China has not yet affected here but for the last month or so they were down as far as Canton City…;”
24 February 1913: …my birth certificate insufficient…” “…imperative that you obtain affidavits…” “I have still got about $50 to pay up for my father’s burial expenses.”
25 September 1913: “…I purchased two 3rd class tickets cost $300.00 g. [gold] and $631. Mex. These are through tickets. They cover berth & meals on the steamer and only berth on the train, the food being brought out of your own pocket.” Aunt going to live with her daughter; all of the property is sold.
After his father died, Edward started planning his return trip to Boston. In April 1913 Henry S. Ar Toon wrote to the commissioner of Immigration in Boston to try to make Edward reentry into the United States go smoothly. He obtained the signatures from fourteen American citizens who swore they knew Edward J. Ar Tick personally before 1906 and five schoolmates who went to public school with Edward in Chelsea, Massachusetts. [See 9 May 2015 blog entry for Edward J. Ar Tick for details.]
When Edward returned to the U.S, he was accompanied by his wife, Mary Tsang. Edward and Mary were married in the Chinese tradition in 1907. They lived in Kwai Chung, his father’s village. They did not have any children by 1913. They were married again before leaving China at St. Peter’s parish in Hong Kong, China, on 5 November 1913 by D. B. Reynolds, Chaplain Missions to Seamen. Their witnesses were Charles Bradstock and Samuel Arthur Mills. Their marriage certificate was reviewed by Immigration officials; it was decided that it looked genuine, and it was returned to the applicant. Edward swore that he was bringing Mary as his lawful wife and not for immoral purposes.
Edward and Mary were admitted at the Port of Seattle on 13 December 1913, their day of arrival. [There is no more information in the file.]
“Edward J. Ar Tick/Artick Correspondence,” 1908-1913. Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Edward J. Ar Tick case file, Seattle Box 240, file 31,323.
Additional information NOT included in the file:
According to the 1930 U.S. census, 1 Edward Artick, age 38, was living with his wife, Mary, age 35, and their three children, Robert J., age 15, Margaret E., age 14, and Edward, age 9. Edward and the children were all born in Massachusetts; Mary was born in China.
Edward F. Artick died on 22 April 1987 and his wife Mary died 19 December 1987. They are both buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts 2
1. 1930 U.S. census, Suffolk Co., Mass., pop. sch. Chelsea, ED 13-522, p. 10B, dwell. 114, fam. 219, Edward Artick household, NARA microfilm T626, roll 959.
2. Find a Grave, (https://www.findagrave.com), memorial 151137811 & 151137819, digital images, 23 Aug 2015, by Sam Stoddard, gravestone for Edward F Artick and Mary T Artick, (Mount Hope Cemetery, Scituate, Plymouth Co., Mass).
[A special thanks to NARA volunteer, Lily Eng, who urged me to update this blog entry and include some of the letters. THN]
Fred W. Taylor, Controller of Chinese Immigration for the Port of Vancouver, B. C. swore in an affidavit in the case of Loey King, also known as Lew King 雷權 or Loey Koon, that the document he reviewed was a true copy of Lew King’s application for admission to Canada.
[It is really highly unusual that a copy of Loey King (Lew King)’s 22-page Canadian file is included in his Seattle file.]
Lew King’s Canadian record was made in accordance with the laws of the Dominion of Canada, the Chinese Immigration Act of 1906, as amended by acts assented to July 20, 1908, and July 25, 1917. [A copy of the Act was included in the file.]
On 23 August 1920, Wong Wamfong [or Wam Fong] swore in an affidavit that he was manager of the Man Sing Lung Company at 92 Pender Street East, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The business, started in March 1919, was registered as a partnership. They dealt with groceries, general merchandise, and drugs. Lew King was a member of the partnership, a merchant, and was interested in coming to Vancouver from Hong Kong to become an active partner.
Louis Gar On swore in an affidavit in August 1920 that he was managing partner of the Man Sang Lung Company in Victoria, B.C. He claimed that Lew King had been a partner for several years of the company in Victoria and was also registered as a partner of Man Sing Lung Company in Vancouver. He believed that Lew King should be entitled to enter Canada exempt from the $500 capitulation tax.
In Lew King’s interrogation, he testified that he was a merchant for Man Sing Lung Co. in Vancouver, B.C. He arrived in Vancouver on 23 November 1920. This was reported in Vancouver file number 1316/1398. His exemption as a merchant was rejected and he was admitted after paying the $500 head tax. In his statement and declaration for registration he said that he was a salesman. He was born at Ing Gar Hong, Sin Ning district, China about 1892.
Lew King left Vancouver and was admitted at the Port of Seattle in August 1921 as a Section 6 Merchant. When Lew King applied for his laborer’s return certificate in 1935, the Seattle immigration office chose to verify Lew King’s original admission in Vancouver in 1921 even though he had made two trips to China since his admittance. The Vancouver office initially recommended that Lew King not be approved. Seattle asked Vancouver to reexamine their file. Roy M Porter, Immigrant Inspector in Seattle, reviewed their report. Porter did not think there was sufficient evidence to prove that Lew King admission to the Canada or the U.S. in 1921 was fraudulent. He reasoned that if the admittance was disapproved, Lew King’s appeal would probably be sustained so he recommended that his laborer’s return certificate be approved.
At the time of his interview to leave the U.S. on 5 April 1935, Lew King presented treasury bond No. 57451A for $1,000 as proof of his statutory right for a laborer’s return certificate. He left the bond with the Goon Dip Company at 415 7th Avenue South in Seattle. He was reminded by immigration authorities that the bond must be intact in the U.S. at the time of his return to be entitled to legal readmission.
Lew King (married name Doon Hen) was 42 years old and living at 214 Washington Street in Seattle. He left Seattle on 13 April 1935 on the S.S. President McKinley.
According to section 7 of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1888, as amend, Chinese laborers were required to return within one year. 1
There is no more information in Lew King’s file and nothing in the file to indicate why he did not return but in September 1937, Marie A. Proctor, district commissioner of the Seattle District Immigration Office, canceled the certificate of identity #56504 issued to Lew King as a laborer.
1. Green Haywood Hackworth. Digest of International Law: Chapters IX – XI., Volume 3, “Chapter XI, Aliens,” (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1942), 792. (books.google.com: accessed 12 May 2020.)
On board the S.S. President Madison, between San Francisco and Victoria, British Columbia, near the Port of Seattle, a baby girl was born to a Chinese couple. Immigrant officers came on board to interview the father. A statement was taken from Jung Fat, also known as Carlos Chon, on 14 October 1932, His wife, Maria Adelelma Ley was present during the interrogation.
Jung Fat was born about 1901 in Gow Gong City, Nam Hay District, China. In 1914 he sailed from Hong Kong to Mazatlán, Mexico where he was lawfully admitted and eventually became a merchant. He married Maria Adelelma Ley on 28 December 1929 at Comolote, State of Sinaloa, Mexico. Both were “full-blooded Chinese.” Maria was born at Acoponetto, State of Durango, Mexico. Her parents died when she was young, and she was adopted by a Spanish woman. She grew up speaking Spanish and a little Chinese. Jung Fat had never been back to China and Maria had always lived in Mexico. They were not deported from Mexico, but the Mexican government appropriated their grocery and merchandise business. They used all their money to cross the border from Mexico to the United States near Nogales, Arizona. Their daughter, Jung Hong Lin or Auchalina Chon, about age two, was with them. The family was taken into custody by immigration officers, taken to San Diego, and put on a ship to San Francisco. From there, they boarded the S.S. Emma Alexander. Maria gave birth to a baby girl at 10 p.m. on 5 October at Latitude 44° 24’ North, Longitude 124°, 51’ West, on the high seas enroute from San Francisco to Victoria, B.C., Canada.
A few days later after interviewing the family, T. W. Lynch from the Seattle Immigration office sent a letter to the office in San Francisco giving them information on the birth and the El Paso file numbers of the parents and their older daughter, Jung Hong Lin.
[Because of the birth at sea near Seattle, I thought there might be a newspaper article on it. This is what I found:]
On Friday, 7 October 1932, page 14, the Seattle Daily Times published a dramatic account of the birth:
“Father Neptune to Guide Destinies of Little China Emma.” “There is an old legend which says that Father Neptune and the guardian spirits of the sea watch over the destinies of those mortals who are born on shipboard, protecting them through storm and tempest and guiding their voyages safely to port…”
Daniel McLellan, M.D., a passenger from Vancouver, B.C. delivered the baby. Mrs. Alice Hooker and Mrs. Grace L. Steward arranged to have Mrs. Chon moved from her third-class cabin on the after deck to a roomy stateroom. It was suggested that the baby be named Emma Alexander Wong [sic] but the document certifying her birth gives her name as Chon Chow Ling.
Back to the file:
“Chon Chow Ling, Certification of birth” 1932, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, [name not listed on case file], Seattle Box 853, file 7031/450.
[It is very unusual to have a file without a name listed.]
On October 15, the family left for China on the S.S. President Madison. Jung Fat left China as a child and Maria had never been there. They were penniless with a toddler and a new-born infant. China was just recovering for the Han–Liu Civil War. They planned to reside with relatives in Gow Gong City.
[NARA volunteer Hao-Jan Chang brought this file to my attention. THN]
David Loo, (Chinese name Lu Min-i), age 21, and his sister, Mimi Loo, age 19, arrived at the Port of Seattle, Washington, on 7 June 1941 and were admitted as U. S. citizens two days later. David and Mimi would temporarily be staying with their sister, Marion Loo, in Hollywood, California. Their father, Teddy Loo-Tin (Loo Ping-Tien or Loo Chit Sam), was born in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, on 16 August 1884. Their mother, Chen Kwan Har, remained in China.
David Loo was born in Tientsin, China on 8 September 1919. Before leaving China, David completed two years of study at the University of St. Johns in Shanghai. During his interrogation, he testified that their home had thirteen or fifteen rooms and they had three servants. (The Japanese tore down two rooms and the garage when they widened the street in front of their house leaving them with two less rooms.) They had owned a 1932 Ford V-8 but sold it about 1938. Whenever they stayed in Peking, they all rode bicycles. David’s father was an agent for a rug company. He smoked Camel cigarettes and currently had a beard and sometimes a mustache. The family traveled a good deal and two on the brothers were born in Australia. David’s witnesses were his sister, Marion, and Mrs. Bessie C. Jordan of Seattle. Jordan was his teacher at the American School in Peking for two years. David’s file includes a photo of him with his six siblings: Susane, Milton, Minto, Michael, Marion, and Mimi. David was the second youngest.
In April in preparing to leave China, Mimi Loo wrote to the Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau in Seattle, Washington, to inform them that she and her brother were planning on traveling to the U.S. with Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Drews, her teacher at the American School in Peking. The American Embassy had advised them to leave for the United States. Their father had registered his children at the American Consulate General in Tientsin and Shanghai and filed their records with the State Department. Their brother, Michael Loo was admitted to the U.S. at San Pedro, California, in September 1935 (file #14036/87-A) and their sister, Marian Loo, was admitted at San Francisco in May 1940 [file # not included].
Marion Loo swore in an affidavit that David Loo and Mimi Loo, the children of Loo Tim, were her siblings,
David was issued Certificate of Identity No. 84834 upon arrival. Once David was settled, he registered for the draft for military service.
[A copy of Mimi Loo’s interrogation is included in David Loo’s file. Mimi Loo’s Seattle file is #7030/13572. There is no further information in the file.]
“David Loo passport photo, ca. 1941; Loo Chit Sam & Loo Tim, born 1884, copies of Hawaiian birth certificates, 1898 & 1901; Loo family photo, ca. 1926,” Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Loo David case file, Seattle Box 825, file 7030/13566.
“Lee Chung, Form 432 photo,” 1912, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Lee Chung case file, Box RS 215, file RS30227.
In Lee Chung’s December 1912 application for a laborer’s return certificate he testified that he was single, had no other names, and was 46 years old, a cook in Ashland, Oregon for Mr. Wolf, Mr. Hardy and Wah Chung. He was born in China. Lee presented a Chinese memorandum book to R. P. Bonham, the examining inspector, which showed an entry for a loan Lee had made to Wong Gon Szue.
Wong Gon Szue, marriage name Leong Jee, was a witness for Lee Chung. Wong was 60 years old, born in China and a railroad labor contractor in Ashland, Oregon. He arrived in San Francisco in 1871 and had never been back to China. His wife, Jin Shee, age 29, had released feet, and was born in San Francisco. They had a son, Wong Gim Men, born in 1910 in Ashland and a daughter, Wong Loy Hai, born about 1892 at Happy Camp, California. He owed Lee Chung $1,000 in gold coin with an interest rate of 4%. The loan was made at his store, Wah Chung Company, in Ashland and was to be paid to Lee Ching when he returned from China. Wong Sheh Hen and Ng Dock were witnesses to the loan.
[The Scott Act of 1888 “…forbade the immigration of all Chinese laborers for twenty years, including prior residents unless they had parents, wives, or children living in the United States or property or debts worth at least $1,000.”]1
Lee Chung 李昌 arrived at the Port of Seattle on 1 December 1913 on the S.S. Titan and was admitted the same day, as a returning registered laborer of Ashland, Oregon. His certificate of residence was No. 130341. While in China he married a 24-year-old woman from the Ng family with bound feet. His marriage name was Sing Jock. They had a son born four days before he returned to the U.S.
[There is no more information in the file. The interrogation of the witness is longer than the interview of the applicant. THN]
Yung Gung-Jork (Harold Poe) Article, Chicago Daily Journal, 17 March 1921
Chin Fong Wing and his wife Lill Wing adopted Howard Poe, a Caucasian boy, fifteen months old, in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois in March 1921. They gave him the Chinese name of Yung Gung-Jork 翁公爵. Howard’s biological mother, Josephine B. Poe of Buffalo, New York, gave her consent in writing. The file contains a newspaper article about the adoption and a photo of Harold from the 17 March 1921 issue of Chicago Daily Journal.
Also in the file are Harold Poe’s adoption papers and birth certificate. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on 18 December 1919 at 12 o’clock noon. His father was unknown; his mother was 19 years old; German/Chinese. Another document lists his grandfather as George H. Poe. His adoptive mother took him to China in February 1927. They lived in Hong Hen village, Meow Ben, Toy San, Canton, China and Yung attended school there. After his mother died in 1937, Yung applied to returned to Chicago to be with his father, a secretary at the On Leong Merchants’ Society. The file contains another Chicago Daily Times newspaper article from 4 May 1938, titled “Life of Wonder Awaits White Boy Reared in Heart of China,” and includes two photos of Yung Ging-Jork–when he left for China in 1927 and upon his return in 1938.
“Newspaper Articles & Photos of Yung Gung-Jork/Harold Poe,“ 1921, 1927, 1938, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Yung Gung Jork (al. Harold Poe) case file, Seattle Box 756, file 7030/10968.
Yung Ging-Jork was admitted at the Port of Seattle two days after his arrival on 2 May 1938.