Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

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IMMIGRANT VOICES

 

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Gee, Stanley and Amy : The American Dream by Judge Delbert Gee
Year of Arrival 1938

Taken from a speech given by the Honorable Delbert C. Gee during the ceremonial administration of his oath of office as Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, in January 2003 at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

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Gee, Wong Quock : Life in America by his grandson David Gee
Year of Arrival 1915

After immigrating to the U.S. in 1915 at age 11, Wong Quock Gee settled in Montgomery, Alabama where he owned a laundry and restaurant.  His grandson describes the hardships of Mr. Gee’s life.

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Gin, Shue : Immigration Story of an American Citizen by Lincoln Chin and May Gin Woon
Year of Arrival 1919

In my earlier story that I posted on “Immigrant Voices” about Gin Soo Dung, I wrote that he was born in San Francisco on January 31, 1881, and taken to China by his parents when he was two years old.  He returned to the U.S. in 1903 at the age of twenty-two.  But seven months later, he returned to China on February 27, 1904.  We have no explanation for his short stay in the U.S.  He may not have liked living in America or he may have wanted to return to China to get married.  We do know from his friends and relatives that he married and had a son named Gin Shue before he died in China in 1906 or 1907.  This story is about how Gin Shue immigrated to the U.S. as a paper son and his repeated encounters with the Immigration Service.

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Gin, Soo Dung : Alice Gin’s Father: The Story of Two Brothers Who Shared the Same Name by Lincoln Chin
Year of Arrival 1907

My wife Alice and her siblings have always addressed Gin Shue as Him Goh (Cousin Him), but she could not tell how he was related to her family.  One day when we were visiting Gin Shue at his restaurant, the Shanghai Café on the corner of Stone Avenue and 17th Street in Tucson, Arizona, we asked him exactly how he was related to Alice’s family.  His first comment was that he and Alice were first cousins.  Alice had no idea that she had such a close relative in Tucson.  Then he continued to explain in detail information concerning his father and Alice’s father that had never been revealed to us before.

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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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Ginsberg (Guensberg), Rosa Sara : Looking for Love…or Just a Better Life by Anne Hawkins
Year of Arrival 1940

On March 7, 1940, 18-year-old, Rosa Sara Ginsberg, arrived in San Francisco, California aboard the Asama Maru.  An Austrian Jew, carrying a German passport, Rosa traveled alone to the United States via Shanghai, China where she left behind her parents, Bernhard and Erna Guensberg, as well as her sister and brother-in-law.

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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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Gong, Edna Ow : From Picture Bride to American Housewife – A daughter’s remembrance by Linda Gong
Year of Arrival 1940

After arriving at Angel Island in 1940 from China, Edna Ow married Tom Gong and settled in California’s Central Valley and worked with her husband in the chicken ranching and grocery business.  Linda Gong, the youngest of four children, paints a loving portrait of a generous and hardworking woman, her mother.

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Gong., Tom L : Life in America by Linda Gong
Year of Arrival 1936

Like many Chinese immigrants, Tom L. Gong arrived at Angel Island in 1936 as a “paper son.”  He came as Kong Leung Quong, a 14 year old boy, but he was actually 16 years old.  After a long life of work, he settled in Watsonville with his wife Edna, raised a family, and became a community leader actively involved in the Fah Yuen Association and the Sam Yick Association.

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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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Hernandez de Policarpo, Reyna : A Journey to Los Angeles for a Better Future by Victoria Gurrola
Year of Arrival 1989

The United States has served as a beacon of hope for immigrants for centuries.  Immigrant populations vary by state and city location. Current political debate has brought attention to high immigration rates to the United States from Mexico, backed by Conservative attacks on illegal immigration specifically.  Like many immigrants to America, Mexican immigrant hopefuls saw, and still see, America as a land of opportunity.

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Hoh, Harry Sai and Woo Shee : Harry Sai Hoh (Hoh Sai Hoo) and Woo Shee Hoh by Laurene Wu McClain
Year of Arrival 1918

This biography is based on a) stories that were told to me by various family members, b) statements from my grandparents’ immigration papers preserved at the United States National Archives in San Bruno, California, c) information from an oral history that I took of my mother Helen Hoh Wu, in 1993, and d) my own remembrances of these grandparents who nurtured me as a young girl and woman growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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