Archival Experience #1- Ellora Larsen

           Our first archival experience offered us the opportunity to get a better understanding of the immigration experience that we would not get through secondary sources on their own. Getting the opportunity to read primary sources that most people do not get the chance to read was a great experience. The files I looked at were a mix of transport files of people going through San Francisco through Angel Island to either leave the United States for China or Mexico mainly. The information talks about the person being on angel island or being processed through but that was mainly all that the files said. The second box of files was slightly more helpful. The second box looked at Habeas Corpus proceedings on Angel Island and had actual interviews of people who were detained. All of the cases that I read were either for children coming into the country or women who were coming to meet up with husbands or fiancés. One case that was different than the others was the case of Ing Foo who was a Chinese nurse that came to San Francisco in 1920 with a family as a personal nurse and she was declared an LPC and was not allowed into the country.[1] The family was managed to get the case reviewed and she was later allowed to stay for a two month period with the family and then she would have to leave the country.

            Another interesting case was the 1920 case of Chosei Miyagausuku who was a fourteen-year-old male from Japan.[2] He was considered an LPC because he was brought over to live with his adopted father. He entered Mexico in 1907 and was illegally brought in to the United States in April 1910 at night to evade inspection. His blood parents were still alive and living in Japan. When he arrived on Angel Island on September 25, 1919, on the Persoa Maru, he was promptly questioned and was actually questioned twice about his stories because he had discrepancies between his and his adopted fathers stories. This was later excused because he was a child and was excited and nervous about entering a new country and so Miyagausuku was allowed entry into the united states. It was an interesting case to read due to the concern that they thought he could be being brought into the United States to be a worker since laborers were not allowed in if they brought in able workers through adoption, that would get them into the country.

            Both of these files give us context into what kind of people were being held on Angel Island. They also tell us how people overturn their deportation and be allowed entrance into the country. While these articles do not give us explicit information on the operations of Angel Island, hopefully, they will add to our understanding of Angel Island and further our research.


[1] Ing Foo, Chinese nurse, 1920. File 54686-56, accession E9, subject correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the immigration and naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, D.C).

[2] Chosei Miyagausuku, 1920. File 54686-64, accession E9, subject correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the immigration and naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, D.C).

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