National Treasure Trip #2 —Anisha DeSilva

One of the files I came across this trip was a case on Tagar Singh. Singh was a 30-year-old Indian laborer and a British subject. Immigration officials found him guilty of violating the Immigration Act of (1907) on August 5th, 1914 in Eastport, Idaho. This act not only raised the immigration head tax to four dollars but also enforced the phrased “likely to become a public charge.” Two things that increased exclusion and furthered immigration official’s abilities to deny entry. According to J. B. Densmore, “that he was a person likely to become a public charge at the time of his entry into the United States; and that he entered without the inspection contemplated and requited by said Act…,”[1] Densmore continues saying that Singh should be returned back to India “at the expense of the appropriation on ‘Expense of Regulating Immigration, 1915.’”[2] These official statements and language demonstrate the growing anti-Indian sentiment nationwide.  In another letter to the commissioner, Densmore states that “the alien is now confined in the Spokane County Jail in default or bond at the expense of this Service.”[3] Densmore gathered all of these conclusions from Inspector Richardson’s interrogation of Tagar Singh.

In this interrogation, Singh admits that he entered the United States unlawfully. He also stated that he got sick a lot and suffers from rheumatism. His admission to this ailment must have been a cause for his indictment as an LPC. In addition to this was his lack of funds and having no friends or relatives in the United States. One thing I found most interesting about this case were the questions the Inspector asked about other Hindu men that Singh came into contact with. For example, Inspector Richardson asked, “Were there lots of Hindus on that boat?”[4] Richardson kept asking questions regarding the number of Hindu men where Singh worked with, lived with, and came with to Canada. This specific introspection might indicate the growing surveillance relationship between Canada and the United States. As wells as an increasing concern for possible Hindu political dissidence.


[1] Densmore, Department of Labor, Acting Secretary of Labor, Seattle, W.A., September 19th, 1914, File 53852/10; Court Transcript, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, (National Archives, Washington, DC.)

[2] Densmore, Department of Labor, Acting Secretary of Labor, Seattle, W.A., September 19th, 1914, File 53852/10; Court Transcript, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, (National Archives, Washington, DC.)

[3] Densmore, Department of Labor, Acting Secretary of Labor, Seattle, W.A., September 19th, 1914, File 53852/10; Court Transcript, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, (National Archives, Washington, DC.)

[4] Richardson, Spokane Immigration Service, Inspector, Seattle, W.A., August 15, 1914, File 53852/10; Court Transcript, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, (National Archives, Washington, DC.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
29 + 8 =