Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

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IMMIGRANT VOICES

 

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Lee, Show Nam : “We were real, so there was no need to be afraid.” Lum Ngow’s Long Stay on Angel Island by Judy Yung
Year of Arrival 1935

On February 5, 1935, fifteen-year-old Lum Ngow and his mother Ow Soak Yong arrived in San Francisco from China on the President Taft.  They had come to join his father Lum Bew, a merchant who ran Lung Kee, a Chinese poultry and deli in Oakland Chinatown.  Family members of the merchant class were exempt from the Chinese Exclusion Act and they should have been admitted into the country.  Instead, mother and son were detained on Angel Island for eighteen months, fighting a legal battle to prove they were in fact the son and wife of Lum Bew. 

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Makishima, George Akira : George Akira Makishima story by Eva Martinez
Year of Arrival 1940

On May 8, 1940, 19-year-old U.S. citizen George Akira Makishima arrived at the Port of San Francisco on the SS Tatuta Maru. He was returning from Japan where he had lived with his paternal grandparents for nearly a decade.

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Ginn, Roy Gway : Roy Gway Ginn's Adventurous and Fulfilling Life by Karen Ginn
Year of Arrival 1930

Roy Gway Ginn was born on November 12, 1912, Toisan (Taishan) region of Kwong Tung (Guangdong) Province, China. He lived in Loong Kai Li, a small village consisting of twelve homes. Life in China had many hardships. As a boy, Roy had big dreams and ambitions. Everyone heard about a better life in America! San Francisco was known as Gold Mountain after gold was first discovered in the state in 1848, and Chinese traveled to California in search of wealth and fortune.

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Jin, Sheung Ngaw : A Paper Daughter's Angel Island Story by Flo Oy Wong
Year of Arrival 1940

Summary Interview by Flo Oy Wong with Lily Wong Chooey on November 23, 1999.

Jin, Sheung Ngaw – 1940 (AIIS Detainee May 30 – June 19, 1940)

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Jew, Richard Jeong : The Tale of Richard Jeong Jew by Kiyoshi Din
Year of Arrival 1937

Richard Jeong Jew’s Angel Island experiences, from his autobiography:

“Story of the Water Buffalo from Hong Kong,” written in 1996.

Richard Jeong Jew was born as Jew Jeong Ngar on September 4, 1924, in Sun Huey Village, Dow Moon, in the Chung Shun District about one hundred miles from Hong Kong.  He made the voyage to America in 1937, he said, as an illegal immigrant.  Later, he became known as Richard Jew when he started school in San Francisco in 1938.

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Din (Gong Bow Gwun), Hew : Not one, not two, but three paper names! by Grant Din
Year of Arrival 1912

Gong Bow Gwun, later known as Hew Din, came over from China as Ow Luen in 1912 on the SS Manchuria, which docked in San Francisco on August 15, 1912. He received his Certificate of Identity on September 7, 1912 after three weeks on Angel Island. Like many Chinese immigrants trying to come over during the Chinese Exclusion Acts, he came over as a son of a native born American citizen, which if true would mean he was immigrating legally. His paper father was from Namhoi, in Guangdong Province; in reality, he was from a village called Lok Cheung in the Fah Yuen district, now known as Huadu or Hua Xian.

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Jung, Frank and Grace : The Only Chinese in Town: An Appreciation of Frank and Grace Jung by John Jung by John Jung
Year of Arrival 1921

Lo Kwok Fui, my father, used false identity papers to immigrate in 1921 from his Hoiping village in Guangdong, China, to the United States at the age of 20.  He had hopes of earning a better living than possible in his impoverished village and sending money back to help his parents and brothers in China. Upon his arrival at the Angel Island Immigration Detention Center in San Francisco bay, his paper father, a Chinese merchant, came from Chinatown with two Caucasian witnesses to testify in support of his application to enter the U. S.

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Gluckman, Harry : Harry Gluckman by Reese Erlich
Year of Arrival 1940

Harry Gluckman's family followed the same path as Eva Schott Berek and Lotte Loebl Frank (see their stories in Immigrant Voices) as they fled Nazi Germany in 1940 and made their way across Russia to China and finally to the United States.  Reese Erlich's account of Harry's journey as an 11-year old boy paints a picture of hardship, perseverance, and survival.  Harry recently translated his father's diary, which offers a detailed look at their perilous journey.

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Wong, Tyrus : A Profile of Tyrus Wong by Rosalind Chang
Year of Arrival 1920

Immigrant Voices is a collection of stories of Angel Island and Pacific immigrant experiences.  We are proud to present a profile of Tyrus Wong, a renowned artist and kitemaker, as he prepares to celebrate his 100th birthday.

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Haskin, Henry and Miriam : Profile of Henry and Miriam Haskin  by Kimberly Jew and edited by Eddie Wong
Year of Arrival 1916

AIISF is very pleased to present the story of Henry and Miriam Haskin, Russian Jewish immigrants, who came to San Francisco in the early part of the 20th century.  We wish to thank Gretchen Haskin and Ernie Haskin for sharing their remembrances of the family and the wonderful photographs that accompany this story.

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Dong, Kingman : Angel Island Memories by Dong Kingman
Year of Arrival 1911

Dong Kingman, the internationally renowned artist, was born in Oakland Chinatown on March 31, 1911. When he was five years old, his father sold his clothing store and moved the family to Hong Kong. When he was 18 years old, his father decided to send the children back to the United States.

The following chapter, “Arrived But Not Landed,” taken from Dong Kingman’s autobiography, Paint the Yellow Tiger, describes his experience at the Angel Island Immigration Station.

We wish to thank Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. for allowing us to use this chapter.

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Choi, Kyung Sik : A Night at the Immigration Station by Grant Din
Year of Arrival 1925

One hundred years after the Immigration Station opened, we are still uncovering bits and pieces of the Angel Island story.  The following poem, “A Night at the Immigration Station” by Choi Kyung Sik was found by researchers Charles Egan, a professor at San Francisco State University, and his assistant Jikyung Hwang as they went through back issues of the San Francisco-based Shinhan Minbo newspaper. Mr. Choi’s poem was published on April 25, 1925, and this English translation is by Jikyung Hwang and Charles Egan.

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Huey, Sam Herbert : Stories from our Father, Sam Herbert Huey (aka Sam Shu Huey), an Angel Island Immigrant by the Huey children
Year of Arrival 1923

Known to family and friends as "Herb," Sam Shu Huey lived an interesting and accomplished life.  Arriving on Angel Island when he was 10 years old, Sam endured two months of questioning before being reunited with his father.  Years later he served in the U.S. Army until 1952 when he was discharged with the rank of Major. A career as a civil engineer followed.  In his retirement years, Herb remained actively engaged in the Asian American community.

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