Introduction

Leaving China & the
Journey Across the
Pacific

Cultural Traditions

Women in Early
Chinatowns

Anti-Chinese Violence
& Women's Resistance

Chinese Women at
Work

Educational
Opportunities

Women in Cultural
Work

The Great Depression
and War

Conclusion

Additional Resources


 

 

 

Chinese women and children in a holding room on Angel Island with American missionary Katherine Maurer.
California Historical Society, (Neg#: FN-18240)

“The women’s barracks was one big room with three tiers of beds. We only used the bottom two tiers. Young children generally stayed with the mothers and slept in the bottom bed. Everyone got along… There were very few women then, but there was always someone coming or going.”
--- Helen Hong Wong, who immigrated to the United States as a merchant’s wife in 1928 6

Quok Shee.
Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85, NARA Pacific Region [San Francisco]

Immigrant Quok Shee was the "alleged wife,” as the Immigration Service termed her, of Chew Hoy Quong. Quok Shee was 20 when she arrived and endured nearly two years of detention on Angel Island. “Her ‘investigation case file,’ more than an inch thick, was opened in September 1916 and was not closed until August 1918…She had been repeatedly interrogated, denied access to a lawyer, plagued by depression, subjected to smallpox, isolated from a husband she scarcely knew, yet who was her only contact in America…One hundred and fifty pages of legalistic maneuvering, inquisitorial interrogations, medical evaluations, intrigue, and court orders—all over the attempt of one Chinese woman to enter the United States.” 7

Click here to read Quok Shee's interrogation report.