Document 7a: Interview with Fong Wong

In the matter of the application of Fong Wong for admission to the United States as a returning native born citizen, 1905-1909. Record Group 85, Box 80, File RS2706, Fong Wong. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Seattle District Office, Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files, c.1882-1920. National Archives and Records Administration -- Pacific Northwest Region (Seattle).

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In the matter of the application of) FONG WONG )
) Seattle, Washington,
for admission to the United States )
as a returning native born citizen ) Dec. 28, 1909.
thereof, son of Fong Mon Huie, for-)
merly of Portland Oregon. Ex SS )
Princess Charlotte December 25,1909)
R. S. 2706. )

Inspector Henry A. Monroe, Examiner. Quan Foy, Interpreter. C. Fairbairn, Stenographer.

Description: Age 31, height 5' 4", scar center forehead and left forehead, small mole left corner mouth. Applicant, sworn, testified:

INSPECTOR: Q What is your name?

APPLICANT: A Fong Wong. Foo Sep is my married name.

Q How old are you?
A 31.

Q Where were you born?
A #142 Second St., Portland, Oregon.

Q What is your father's name?
A Fong Mon Huie.

Q Where is he at the present time?
A In China.

Q When did he go to China?
A K.S. 31, through Seattle by waynof [sic] Port Townsend.

Q Did he have papers prepared at that time upon which he might secure readmission to the United States?
A Yes.

Q How is it that he has not returned?
A He died a year after he returned to China.

Q What was your father's occupation when in this country?
A In the drug business firm of Hong Fook Tong Company, Second St., Portland.

Q What was he doing at the time of your birth?
A With the same firm.

Q Where is your mother at the present time?
A She went to China and died there over 15 years ago.

Q Have you any brothers or sisters?
A I have three younger brothers and four younger sisters.

Q Name your broters[sic], give me their name ages and present whereabouts?
A Fong Gee, 28, now living in China; Fong Fung Bak, 26, went to China on the last steamer; Fong Choy, 10, attending school in China now.

Q Where was Fong Gee born?
A In Portland, Oregon.

Q When did he go to China?
A About five or six years ago.

Q Was that his first trip to China?
A Yes.

Q And he has not returned from that trip?
A No.

Q What is he doing in China?
A He is in some business in Sun Chung Village market, Bun Ning District.

Q Has Fong Tong Bak always lived in Portland until this year?
A Yes.

Q Had he not been back to China at some time?
A No.

Q What boat did he take?
A I do not know but I met him in Hong Kong.

Q Do you know what kind of paper he had with him?
A Native born paper.

Q Is he going to return to the United States?
A Yes.

Q Where was Fong Choy born?
A Born the same place in Portland. He was born to my second mother.

Q Where is your second mother at the present time?
A Went to China with my father in K.S. 31.

Q How old are your four sisters?
A Oldest one is 16, the next 13, the next 10 and the last one 2.

Q Have you a brother and sister the same age, ten years?
A No, younger sister is eleven and the brother 10.

Q How many years is it since your father died?
A K.S. 32.

Q How then can he be the father of a child but two years of age which you state is the age of your youngest
A I mean my younger sister went to China when she was two

Q When did you first go to China?
A In K. S. 24 I left Portland by train to Vancouver at which point I took the steamer for China.

Q How long did you stay in China that time?
A One year.

Q What kind of paper did you have, if any?
A Native born paper.

Q Have you a copy of those papers with you?
A No. I left it at the court house in Portland, Ore.

Q At which port did you apply for admission upon return?
A I landed at Astoria.

Q Did you have any trouble in landing?
A No. Q Who landed you? A Judge Ballinger.

Q And you were then denied admission by the Collector were you, and your friends took your case before the court. Is that what you mean by landing without any trouble?
A Yes.

Q Did you get a paper at the time you were discharged by Judge Ballinger?
A Yes, that is the paper which I present you.

Q I fear you are not telling me the truth as this paper does not purport to be a discharge issued by the court. Did you not have this paper made out just prior to your going to China last year?

Q Did you get a paper from the court at the time you were discharged?
A I think it is on file at the Hong Fook Tong Store at Portland.

Q Have you with you a photograph of yourself as you appeared at the time of your discharge by Judge Ballinger?
A No, the court house has my picture.

Q Is there not a photograph of yourself on this paper which you left with the store in Portland?
A I do not know.

Q What were you doing just prior to leaving for China in K.S. 24?
A I worked for the firm of Hong Fook Tong Company.

Q What did you do on being admitted by the court in 1899?
A I was working in the store and also cook outside.

Q Have you an interest in that store?
A Yes, $600 interest.

Q But you spent most of your time working as a cook, did you?
A Yes.

Q For whom were you cooking just prior to going back to China this last time?
A At a restaurant on Third St. I do not remember the number.

Q For a Chinaman or white person?
A It was a Chinese and American restaurant.

Q Who was running this restaurant?
A A white man ran the restaurant but I have forgotten his name.

Q Have you a family in China?
A I Have a three boys and one daughter.

Q In which village does your family live?
A Seuk Hong Village, Hop Ping District.

Q Give me the names and ages of your boy?
A Fong You, 16; Fong Chuey, 14; and Fong Git, 12.

Q If you never went to China until K.S. 24, 11 or 12 years ago, how can you have children in China 16 and 14 years of age?
A I went to China through San Francisco when 7 years old and I married there.

Q When did you return from that trip made through San Francisco?
A I returned when I was 16 years old, landing at Vancouver and from there to Portland.

Q Did you have any trouble in securing admission at that time?
A Yes, I had trouble at Portland.

Q What trouble did you have?
A I do not know.

Q As a matter of fact you were never in this country until the time you secured admission by the court at Portland in K.S. 25. Now tell the truth. Is that not right?
A Yes, I was in the U.S. before I returned in K.S. 25.

Q That was the first time you had ever been here was it not.
A No. I lived in the U.S. and went to China and returned at that time.

Q Is this your photograph, (Exhibiting photograph on identification paper 2706 which photograph, in the opinion of the examining inspector is that of the applicant, though highly retouched and shows him much fuller faced than he is today).
A Yes.

Q It will be necessary for you to remain here until we send your paper to Portland for verification of the alleged sischarge [sic] set forth therein?
A I understand. (Signed by the applicant, interpreter and inspector) [Fong Wong Signature in Chinese characters] The foregoing is a true transcript of the short hand notes written by the undersigned at the time of this examination. [signed] Charles Fairbairn Stenographer.

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