Archives Blog Post #3

A majority of the case files looked at were ones on minor sons coming to the United States to catch up with their fathers and often help in their fathers business. More likely than not, these cases are about paper sons. In the case of Chin Wah Cheow, he was a 16 year old son of a merchant coming in and had a previously landed brother and the translator found multiple discrepancies that lead to the Chinese Consul General recommending denial and protesting against the case going up in the courts instead of just leading to his deportation.[1] Into looking at Cheow’s status, on Ancestry.com there is a draft card that lists a Chin Chew who was born in Canton, China living in San Francisco.[2]  Chew was sixteen when he entered the United States so he would have been born in 1895 which is the same year that Chin Chew listed as his birth year in 1942. The reasoning for the name change could have been to Americanize the original name.

 Contrasting Cheow’s story, Jew Wing Dong who was also a minor of a domiciled merchant, instead of questioning the authenticity of the story Dong had more support. The Chinese Consul General believed that the applicant was eligible for entry and that the relationship between the minor and the alleged father was true and wrote multiple times to Washington D.C. in support of his acceptance.[3] Jew Wing Dong noted in the historical record in an Chinese Arrival list for the Vessel Mongolia. In looking into his father, Jew Him, looking into his documentation in the United States. It is possible his father was noted in the record as Him Young Jew who was documented in the record multiple times coming in and out of the port of San Francisco and was a laborer. With the dates found in the records for Him Young Jew, it is possible that he is the father of Jew Wing Dong due to the times that he is entering and existing the country.[4]

            Out of all of the stories read, there were only two that differentiated from minor’s coming to the United States. In the first one, it was a father and his son coming to the United States but were rejected for medical reasons. This case was particularly interesting because most of the files had been pulled and all that was left in the file was telegrams.[5] The other case that differentiated was the case of Low Soy Chuen. He was a native born citizen born in San Francisco and he went to China for the first time but the INS agents did not believe that he was a U.S. citizen which lead to him fighting the decision in the courts.[6] Chuen’s file was one of the biggest files that I looked at due to the amount of witnesses that were interviewed to prove that Chuen was a native born U.S. citizen.


[1] Chin Wah Cheow. File 53201/42, accession E9, subject correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, D.C).

[2]Chin Chew. Registration Card #99. U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942. (National Archives, Washington D.C.)

[3] Jew Wing Dong. File 53201/41, accession E9, subject correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, D.C).

[4] Him Young Jew. NARA Series M1413 (Roll 03), 1883 Sep 27-1884 Jan 15. (National Archives, Washington, D.C.).

[5] Quon Moon Bo. File 55188/148, accession E9, subject correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, D.C).

[6] Low Soy Chuen. File 55188/161, accession E9, subject correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, D.C).

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