Tag Archives: Shanghai

Mrs. Lai Ziang Bryant – Chinese Wife of Caucasian U.S. Citizen

Photo Lai Ziang Bryant 1919
“Photo of Mrs. Lai Ziang Bryant,” 1919, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Mrs. Lai Ziang Bryant case file, Seattle, Box 1263, 36351/2-1.

Lai Ziang was born in Hankow, Hupeh Province, China on 11 May 1897. In 1919 she was living with her mother and sister in Shanghai; her father was deceased. Her sister, Mrs. Joseph D. Jensen, was a widow with children whose Danish husband died about 1915.
On 6 February 1919 Lai Ziang married Charles Robert Snaith Bryant, a master licensed mariner, at the American Consul. He was 42 years old and she was 21. When they arrived in Seattle in April 1919 their marriage certificate was examined by Immigration officials and returned to them. It stated that Charles R. S. Bryant was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and they were united in marriage by Rev. G. A. Fitch, a duly ordained minister of the American Presbyterian Church.
Immigration also examined Mrs. Bryant’s passport, endorsed by J. B. Sawyer, Vice Consul at Shanghai; and a Declaration of Alien About to Depart for the United States, form 228. The items were approved and returned to Mr. Bryant. Bryant was asked why he was bringing his wife to the United States. He said it was to allow her to have his company and to give her an education. In both 1916 and 1917 he was absent nine months, “and she said that was no home life.”
The witnesses for her 1919 application were Neville Craig, U.S. Court for China, and Walter H. Meyers of Seattle, Washington. Her application was approved.
Their travels between 1919 and 1927 are not mentioned in the file. In 1927 Mr. and Mrs. Bryant arrived in San Francisco from Balboa, Panama Canal Zone. Mrs. Bryant was delayed because she did not have a Certificate of Identity. Bryant complained to Immigration Services in Seattle because they were not given the proper documents when she arrived in 1919. He said they were very embarrassed because their landing was delayed until the paperwork could be verified. [The file does not say how long the delay was but it could have been hours or days.]
The Bryants left Seattle again in 1931. A letter in the file says she was identified by photographs and her Certificate of Identity No. 58341. [They made sure they had the paperwork in order this time.] There is no more information in the file after 1931.


Kwong Wen-Yin – Business woman travelling to U.S.

Photo of Kwong Wen-Yin
“Photo of Kwong Wen-Yin,” 1929, Section Six Precis for Traveler Class, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Kwong Wen-Yin file, Seattle, Box 1145, Case 11348/5-1.

Kwong Wen-Yin was born in Canton, Kwangtung, China. She attended Iowa State University, Iowa city, Iowa form 1920 to 1927 and returned to China. By 1929 Fwong was an Assistant Manager of the Foot Ease Hosiery Mill in Shanghai. The firm was capitalized at $1,000,000 Mexican.
In July 1929 Kwong travelled to the United States to purchase hosiery machinery and investigate the hosiery industry on behalf of her employers. Mr. C. Raiford of Iowa State University and Mr. M. C. Chan, the managing director of her firm vouched for her. Her applicant was approved allowing her to stay in the U.S. for one year. She arrived in Seattle on 13 July 1929 in the s.s. President Jackson.
There is no other information on her in the file.
Other information not included in Kwong’s file:
The Foot Ease Hosiery Manufacturing Company, Ltd. was established in 1917 and registered in 1918. It had 35 knitting machines, 10 sewing machines, 12 reeling machines, 20 machines for adorning hose, one machine for polishing, one machine for cleaning and one for ironing hose, all driven by electric motor of 25 h.p. The company employed 250 workers with an annual output of 120,000 dozen pairs of hosiery. Trademarks for the company were “Five Stars,” “Earth,” “Windmill” and “Double Cross.” The company maintained a club and an evening school for the workers. 1

1. “Foot Ease Hosiery Mfg. Co., Ltd.” Rea’s Far Eastern Manual, China Section-Knitting Mille, Etc. (1922, p. 129); University of Arizona, (https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/articles/fem_knit.pdf, posted 2 May 2004 : accessed 28 March 2016.)