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Chinese Immigration and the Chinese in the United States

    Cover - Chinese Immigration and the Chinese in the United States

Introduction

From 1882 to 1943 the United States Government severely curtailed immigration from China to the United States. This Federal policy resulted from concern over the large numbers of Chinese who had come to the United States in response to the need for inexpensive labor, especially for construction of the transcontinental railroad. Competition with American workers and a growing nativism brought pressure for restrictive action, which began with the Act of May 6, 1882 (22 Stat. 58). Passed by the 47th Congress, this law suspended immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years; permitted those Chinese in the United States as of November 17, 1880, to stay, travel abroad, and return; prohibited the naturalization of Chinese; and created the Section 6 exempt status for teachers, students, merchants, and travelers. These exempt classes would be admitted upon presentation of a certificate from the Chinese government.

The next significant exclusionary legislation was the Act to Prohibit the Coming of Chinese Persons into the United States of May 1892 (27 Stat. 25). Referred to as the Geary Act, it allowed Chinese laborers to travel to China and reenter the United States but its provisions were otherwise more restrictive than preceding immigration laws. This Act required Chinese to register and secure a certificate as proof of their right to be in the United States. Imprisonment or deportation were the penalties for those who failed to have the required papers or witnesses. Other restrictive immigration acts affecting citizens of Chinese ancestry followed. During World War II, when China and the United States were allies, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an Act to Repeal the Chinese Exclusion Acts, to Establish Quotas, and for Other Purposes (57 Stat. 600-1). This Act of December 13, 1943, also lifted restrictions on naturalization. However until the Immigration Act of October 1965 (79 Stat. 911) numerous laws continued to have a restrictive impact on Chinese immigration.

Certain Federal agencies were particularly active in enforcing the exclusion laws. Initially the Customs Service took the lead because of the maritime nature of immigration. In 1900 the Office of the Superintendent of Immigration, which had been established in the Department of the Treasury in 1891, became the chief agency responsible for implementing Federal regulations mandated by the Chinese exclusion laws. This office evolved into the present Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Both the Chinese Bureau within the Customs Service and the Chinese Division of the INS employed "Chinese" inspectors, people designated to enforce the Chinese exclusion laws. Immigration- related decisions made by these Federal officials were sometimes appealed to Federal courts, which also heard criminal cases involving Chinese alleged to be living in the United States illegally. Many of the records created to implement the Chinese exclusion laws are now in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) Regional Archives. The records are a major resource for the study of Chinese immigration and Chinese-American travel, trade, and social history from the late-19th to mid-20th century. Because many documents relate to individual immigrants, they are invaluable for the study of Chinese and Chinese-American family history. These records document the rationale and actions of Federal officials and other persons involved with Chinese exclusion policies and the strategies and activities of Chinese and Chinese Americans who struggled against the prohibitive effects of those policies. Records in NARA's Regional Archives are not arranged according to subject, but are kept in numbered record groups established for the Government agencies that created or received them. Although arrangement by record group (abbreviated RG) makes subject access more difficult at times, it preserves the organizational and contextual integrity of the records, making them more easily understood. Often records in one record group can be linked with those in another. For example, an INS case file in RG 85 may include the case file number of a related district or circuit court case in RG 21 and vice versa. INS case numbers can sometimes be retrieved from information provided on passenger arrival lists in Customs Service (RG 36) files. Records related to the Angel Island Immigration Station can be found in Public Health Service (RG 90) files.

This reference information paper is organized by Federal agency/record group as follows:
  • a brief history of the Federal agency that created or received the records; the Regional Archives that holds the records;
  • the specific source (usually the local office of a Federal agency) of the records;
  • description(s) of the records including, whenever possible, date span, quantity, system of arrangement, availability and explanation of finding aids, reference to related microfilm publications, and other information useful to researchers.

The majority of the records cited in this publication are open to the public for research. In some instances NARA is not able to provide public access due to the Freedom of Information Act, which exempts specific categories of information from public disclosure. Individual immigration case files relating to events more than 75 years old are generally open for research. Documents in case files relating to events less than 75 years old may be subject to privacy restrictions defined in the Freedom of Information Act. To gain access to files restricted because of privacy concerns, researchers, including family members, can act as authorized representatives of the subject of the file by providing NARA with evidence of the subject's consent. If the subject of a file is deceased, protection of privacy is not applicable but researchers are asked to provide documentation of the subject's death. NARA also requires that a researcher provide identification, such as a valid driver's license, before it provides access to original records.

A number of different series of microfilmed records are cited in the text, including National Archives Microfilm Publications (designated by an M or a T), microfilmed regional records available only at one Regional Archives (designated by an I), and microfilm accessioned as a record copy from a Federal agency (unnumbered).

Although only some Regional Archives have identified records from Federal district courts (RG 21), courts of appeals (RG 276), and the Customs Service (RG36), it is likely that information related to Chinese immigration, Chinese exclusion, and Chinese Americans can be located in the 12 Regional Archives holding original records.

The author wishes to thank Nancy Malan, Regional Archives System, and the following regional archives staff members for their contributions to this publication:
Kellee Blake, Eileen Bolger, Michael Brodhead, John Celardo, Suzanne Dewberry, Scott Forsythe, Bill Greene, Margaret Hacker, Don Jackanicz, Susan Karren, Laura McCarthy, Lisa Miller, Robert Morris, Dan Nealand, James Owens, Neil Thomsen, Martin Tuohy, Beverly Watkins, and Paul Wormser.


District Courts of the United States
Record Group 21

Administrative History
U.S. district and circuit courts were created by the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789. The jurisdiction and powers of these Federal courts have varied with subsequent legislation, but district courts have been principally criminal, admiralty, and bankruptcy courts, hearing noncapital criminal proceedings, suits for penalties or seizures under Federal laws, and litigation involving an amount in excess of $100 in which the United States is the plaintiff. The circuit courts heard appeals from the district courts and were given exclusive original jurisdiction over actions involving aliens, suits between citizens of different States, and law and equity suits where the amount in dispute exceeded $500. In 1891 the appellate jurisdiction of the circuit courts was transferred to the newly created courts of appeals (see RG 276). The Judiciary Act of 1911 abolished the circuit courts and provided for the transfer of their records and remaining jurisdiction to the district courts.

Most States initially had one district and one circuit court with additional districts and subdivisions created as the business of the courts increased. In 1812 circuit courts were authorized to appoint U.S. commissioners to assist in taking bail and affidavits. Commissioners' functions were expanded by subsequent legislation and court rules. Their powers have included authority to issue arrest warrants, examine persons charged with offenses against Federal laws, initiate actions in admiralty matters, and institute proceedings for violation of civil rights legislation.

Territorial district courts generally were established by the organic act that created the territory. They heard Federal civil, criminal, and bankruptcy actions in addition to having civil and criminal jurisdiction similar to that of State courts. Records created by a territorial court acting in its capacity as a Federal court often became the property of the Federal district court upon statehood. Occasionally these records are held by State archives.

Most court records are case files arranged by type of action, such as civil or criminal, and then numerically by case number. They usually include original papers issued by the court or filed by attorneys, such as affidavits, complaints, decrees, depositions, exceptions, findings of fact, indictments, judgments, motions, opinions, and subpoenas. Bankruptcy case files may include schedules of assets and liabilities. Older case files sometimes include exhibits, though after the 1940's exhibits were usually returned to the litigating parties upon conclusion of the proceedings. Transcripts of testimony are occasionally found. Early case files, especially those before 1900, sometimes offer only a fragmentary record of proceedings, though information concerning a case can sometimes be found in other sources such as court record books and published accounts.

Records of a case can usually be located by the name of the court and case number. The number can sometimes be determined from docket, minute, or order books. Docket books provide a summary of proceedings in each case; minute books are a daily, chronological record of court proceedings; and order books provide the text of each order or judgment. These books often have indexes to the names of the parties involved in the proceedings. Such books are not available for all courts. There is no cumulative index by subject, case name, or other access point. Additional information is sometimes available from the clerk of the court where the case was heard.

Of special interest to researchers studying Chinese-American immigration are thousands of case files relating to habeas corpus actions brought in both circuit and district courts during the late 1800's and early 1900's to contest the Chinese exclusion actions of Federal immigration officials. Court cases resulting from implementation of Chinese exclusion laws are interfiled among other court cases from civil, criminal, and admiralty courts and in court commissioners' files. Besides court proceedings, some files contain exhibits such as passports, photographs, transcripts of interrogations by immigration officials, and certificates of identity from Chinese consulates.

Criminal case files document Federal action taken against Chinese who allegedly entered the United States illegally. Case files may contain complaints, decrees, indictments, judgments, opinions, passports, photographs, subpoenas, Section 6 certificates from Chinese consulates, and transcripts of interrogations.

Post-1943 naturalization documents provide information that may prove helpful to researchers of family history and other topics. (The Chinese exclusion laws barred most Chinese immigrants from becoming naturalized United States citizens during the years of exclusion.) Naturalization records kept by the Federal courts may include such documents as declarations of intention, depositions, and certificates of and petitions for naturalization.

Also documented in Federal court files are cases relating to such matters as illegal contract labor and merchants' alleged violations of Federal tax provisions on cigars, liquor, opium, and other goods. Common law, equity, and bankruptcy case files provide information on the operations of businesses, some of which may have been owned by Chinese or Chinese Americans.

The 1905 Supreme Court case United States v. Ju Toy established the Department of Commerce and Labor as the final level of appeal and due process for immigrants and returning travelers claiming United States citizenship. Thereafter immigrants could appeal to Federal courts only on procedural grounds. As a result of this decision the number of Chinese immigration cases heard in Federal court diminished significantly.

District Court Records at
NARA's Northeast Region (Boston) in
Waltham, Massachusetts

  • District of Maine, Southern Division
    • Chinese exclusion (deportation) case files, 1901-1918 (4 inches.) The cases relate to Chinese who appealed deportation orders issued by U.S. commissioners. Arrangement varies. Some cases for the period 1901-1902 are numbered consecutively and are recorded in the general dockets. Later cases are arranged alphabetically by the name of defendant.

District Court Records at
NARA's Mid Atlantic Region in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • Criminal case files, 1882-1942. Finding aids include criminal case file docket books and defendant name indexes in individual docket books.

District Court Records at
NARA's Great Lakes Region in
Chicago, Illinois

  • Western District of Michigan, Northern Division, Marquette
    • Declarations of intention, 1887-1909 (2 volumes, less than 1 cubic foot.) These declarations of intention by about 20 Chinese nationals renouncing allegiance and fidelity to Kuang Hsu, Emperor of China, provide only each individual's name, signature, nationality, and filing date. They are noteworthy because they were filed during the period when the Chinese exclusion laws prohibited the naturalization of Chinese, yet the U.S. district court in Marquette accepted them. They were filed in the rather remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan, suggesting that a certain number of Chinese were residing in the region. Finding aids include a list of declaration numbers, names, and filing dates.
  • Western District of Michigan, Southern Division, Grand Rapids
    • Criminal case files, 1863-1966 (113 cubic feet.) Finding aids include a list of case numbers, each with the name of defendant, name of the Michigan town where the offense was committed, filing date for the earliest document in the case file, and number of pages in the file.

District Court Records at
NARA's Central Plains Region in
Kansas City, Missouri

  • Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa
  • Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri
  • Districts of Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota
    • Criminal case files, 1890-1920 (for all districts above.)
      Finding aids include docket books containing name indexes of defendants.

District Court Records at
NARA's Southwest Region in
Fort Worth, Texas

  • Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans Division
    • General case files, 1806-1932
    • Equity case files related to the deportation of Chinese, 1915-1919. Docket books with indexes are available as finding aids.
  • Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division
    • Index to Chinese residing in Galveston, no date. This bound volume lists Chinese who lived in Galveston and met immigration requirements for residence in the United States. The entries are arranged alphabetically by name.
  • Western District of Texas, El Paso Division
    • Equity case files relating to deportation of Chinese, 1892-1915
    • Equity Case Files from the Western District Court of Texas at El Paso Relating to the Chinese Exclusion Acts, 1892-1915, (M1610). Roll 1 contains an index.

District Court Records at
NARA's Rocky Mountain Region in
Denver, Colorado

  • New Mexico Territory, Third Judicial District
    • Mixed civil case files, 1900-1911
    • Criminal case files, 1890-1911 Docket books with indexes are available as finding aids.

District Court Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (Riverside) in
Riverside, California

  • Arizona Territorial Court, First through Fifth Judicial Districts
    • Dockets and case files, 1882-1912. Most cases were first heard by a U.S. commissioner. A territorial justice sanctioned the decision or heard an appeal. For cases not appealed the commissioners' dockets are the best source of information. Some dockets contain indexes.
  • Arizona District Court, Globe, Phoenix, Prescott, and Tucson Divisions
    • Criminal case files, 1912-. An index is available.
    • U.S. commissioners' dockets, 1912. These dockets contain a summary of the actions taken during a hearing before a U.S. commissioner. They are arranged numerically by case number. Photographs of the defendants are often attached to the docket sheet.
  • Southern District of California, Central Division, Los Angeles
    • General case files, 1887-1907
    • Civil and criminal case files, 1907-. Indexes are available.
  • Southern District of California, Southern Division, San Diego
    • Criminal case files, 1929-. Cases from 1929-1952 are indexed.

District Court Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (San Bruno) in
San Bruno, California

  • U.S. Circuit Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco
    • Records of U.S. commissioners, habeas corpus cases involving Chinese, 1884-1893
    • Civil and appellate case files, 1863-1911. Several case files document actions brought by Chinese Americans to contest alleged discriminatory policies of the City and County of San Francisco. Indexes to the names of the parties involved are available on microfiche.
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco
    • Admiralty (private) case files, 1851-1955. Indexes are available on microfiche. Related records include microfilm number I 19, Memorandum books, habeas corpus cases, 1882-1906. This microfilm reproduces five registers, arranged numerically by case number, of habeas corpus cases in admiralty files. The registers list the name of the petitioner, place of detention, name of the attorney, and final disposition of the petition. They are not indexed.
    • Habeas corpus case record book, 1892-1899.
    • Petition and record of naturalization, 1907-
      Index to Naturalization in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 1852-c. 1989,
      M1744
  • U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii, Honolulu
    Records of the Territorial Court, in existence until 1959, are included.
    • Application for writ of habeas corpus case files, 1900-1952
    • Habeas corpus docket books, 1900-1959
    • Chinese deportation case files, 1927-1940
    • Chinese deportation docket book, 1927-1940
    • Naturalization case files, 1927-1959

District Court Records at
NARA's Pacific Alaska Region (Seattle) in
Seattle, Washington

  • U.S. Circuit and District Courts in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington
    • Civil, criminal, and U.S. commissioner case files, 1860-1942. Habeas corpus cases, appeals of INS rulings, cases relating to the failure to register as a Chinese resident of the United States and receive a certificate of identity and other criminal activity including smuggling, and some civil cases involving Chinese defendants and plaintiffs. Oregon cases are filed under judgment roll number rather than docket number. Finding aids include docket books and plaintiff and defendant indexes.

Bureau of the Census
Record Group 29

The holdings of each Regional Archives include microfilm copies of the U.S. population census for all States from 1790 through 1920. The censuses provide information about residents of organized Chinese communities in the United States as well as Chinese individuals and families living outside these communities. Indexes are available for most census records. Soundex indexes, based on the way a name sounds rather than its spelling, exist for the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses.


U.S. Customs Service
Record Group 36

Administrative History
The Customs Service, created by an act of July 31, 1789, became part of the Department of the Treasury when that department was established in September 1789. The Service enforced numerous laws and regulations pertaining to the import and export of merchandise, collected tonnage taxes, controlled the entrance and clearance of vessels and aircraft, regulated vessels involved in the coastwise and fishing trades, and protected passengers. The Bureau of Customs was established on March 3, 1927, to supervise these activities, and in 1942 it assumed the responsibilities of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation relating to the registering, enrolling, licensing, and admeasurement of merchant vessels. These responsibilities were transferred to the Coast Guard in 1967.

The act that established the Customs Service in 1789 also provided for the creation of collection districts in various coastal, inland, river, and Great Lakes ports. A collector of customs in each district collected customs revenue; enforced customs and neutrality laws; and administered aspects of commerce, immigration, and navigation laws, such as the documentation of vessels and protection of American seamen and passengers

Prior to 1900, when the INS assumed enforcement of the Chinese exclusion laws, the collector of customs was involved in administering the Chinese exclusion policy. Correspondence and policy records document the activities and opinions of customs officials who carried out these duties.

Customs Service Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (Riverside) in
Riverside, California

  • Los Angeles Collection District
    • Letters sent, 1882-1918
    • Incoming letters, 1883-1908.
      These letters relate to a variety of administrative actions. Letters specifically relating to the Chinese reflect concern that aliens were being smuggled from Mexico to California via ships landing near Santa Barbara. They are arranged chronologically in volumes, some of which are indexed by subject or addressee.
  • San Diego Collection District
    • Outgoing letters, 1885-1909. Letters sent regarding the Revenue Cutter Service, 1894-1913
    • Special agents' letters sent, 1885-1909
    • Letters received from the Treasury Department, 1881-1919
    • Special agents' letters received, 1894-1909. Many of these letters concern the enforcement of the Chinese exclusion laws.
  • San Diego Collection District, Calexico (California) Office
    • Outgoing letters, 1904-1916
    • Incoming letters, 1902-1916.
      Calexico was established as an entry point along the border with Mexico. Most of the incoming letters concerning Chinese immigration relate to the capture of individuals who attempted to cross the border illegally. They are arranged chronologically.
  • San Diego Collection District, Campo (California) Office
    • Correspondence of the deputy collector in charge. Situated just north of the border with Mexico, the Campo office's main duty was to regulate traffic crossing the border. The correspondence reflects concern about Chinese entering the United States illegally and discusses an investigation of members of the Campo Chinese community.

Customs Service Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (San Bruno) in
San Bruno, California

  • San Francisco Collection District
    • Letters sent to the Secretary of the Treasury, 1869-1912 (70 volumes, 9 cubic feet.) The records relate to all collection district functions and to local and regional political and economic matters, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. They are arranged chronologically by date sent.
    • Letters received from the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury, 1895-1912 (60 volumes, 13 linear feet.) Arranged chronologically by date sent. Most volumes after 1886 are indexed alphabetically by name of addressee.
    • Letters received, 1894-1928 (250 volumes, 43 linear feet.) Letters received from U.S. and foreign customs offices; other Federal agencies such as the Consular Service and the INS; and merchants, brokers, and steamship companies. Arranged chronologically by date received.
    • Letters sent to other Federal agencies and to the general public, 1895-1915 (38 volumes, 3 linear feet.) Arranged chronologically by date sent and indexed alphabetically by name of addressee.

Customs Service Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (Seattle) in
Seattle, Washington

  • Puget Sound Collection District
    • Letters received from "Chinese" inspectors, 1897-1902.
    • Addressee files of letters sent re: Chinese and immigrants, 1898-1900
    • Register of Chinese laborers departing from the United States, 1882-1888. Arranged chronologically.
    • Records of A.L. Blake pertaining to customs activities in Port Townsend, Washington, 1881-1884 (5 volumes, 3 linear inches.) This series includes a journal with entries dating from August 13, 1881, to December 20, 1884, and a letterpress book containing a 14-page letter dated 1887. The journal, compiled by Blake when he served as deputy collector of customs in Port Townsend, contains brief entries focusing on weather observations, dates and names of ships arriving and departing, reports of opium smuggling, and rumors of illegal entry by Chinese. Blake's 1887 letter alleges corrupt practices by four employees of the Customs Service at Port Townsend.

Immigration and Naturalization Service
Record Group 85

Administrative History The Office of Superintendent of Immigration was established in the Department of the Treasury by an act of March 3, 1891, and was designated a bureau in 1895 with responsibility for administering the alien contract-labor laws. In 1903 it became part of the Department of Commerce and Labor. Functions relating to naturalization were added in 1906 and it was renamed the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization. In 1913 it was transferred to the Department of Labor as two separate Bureaus of Immigration and of Naturalization, which were reunited by Executive Order on June 10, 1933, to form the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The INS, which became part of the Department of Justice in 1940, administers laws relating to admission, exclusion, deportation, and naturalization of foreign nationals; patrols United States borders; and supervises naturalization in designated Federal courts.

Many of NARA's Regional Archives hold INS records created primarily during enforcement of the Chinese exclusion laws, 1882-1943. Although the acts were repealed in 1943, some case files may contain correspondence and other documents dated as late as the 1960's. Most case files relate to Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans departing and reentering the United States, but there are also files for other immigrants who came under the jurisdiction of the Chinese exclusion laws (such as Japanese, Koreans, and Filipinos). Laws and provisions passed after 1943, such as the "Confession Program," which allowed Chinese who had committed fraud to enter the country before September 1957 to confess to the immigration authorities and adjust or correct their status, generated records that may also be contained in these files.

Knowledge of the various exclusion laws fosters an understanding of the types of records generated. Different laws required different forms and documents. Various acts suspended immigration of Chinese laborers, permitted reentry of certain Chinese laborers who left the United States temporarily, created the Section 6 exempt status, and permitted entry of wives and children of "legally domiciled aliens."

The San Francisco earthquake and fire had a major impact on the course of the Chinese exclusion bureaucracy. The events of April 18, 1906, destroyed the Hall of Records, including vital records of births, marriages, and deaths. Because these records were destroyed, a legal Chinese resident who requested permission from the INS to return to China to bring back his family might claim to have more children than he actually did. He would receive the paperwork allowing their immigration, use what he needed for his own family, and use or sell the extra "slots" to bring in nonimmediate family members, other village residents, or strangers. These individuals became known as "paper sons."

As INS officials became aware of the existence of "paper sons," they developed the interrogation process to block their entry into the United States, making it more difficult for legal immigrants to enter the country. The transcripts of these interrogations, found in many Chinese immigration files, add to the documentation for each immigrant and give a broad view of their family and the community left behind in China.

Merchants were exempt from exclusion. A man who could prove his merchant status could obtain a merchant's certificate, allowing him to travel between China and the United States and the Territory of Hawaii. This status also allowed him to bring in his wife and family if he could provide proof of relationship. The records generated by the merchant certificate application process include the merchant's testimony and passport, testimony of Caucasian business colleagues or customers, partnership lists, and photographs.

A 1900 law required all Chinese in Hawaii to register and obtain a certificate of residence. To obtain this certificate the applicant had to submit to an investigation at the INS office. Proof of naturalization by the kingdom of Hawaii or a certificate of Hawaiian birth before the islands came under United States territorial status in 1900, or a special birth certificate for Chinese born in Hawaii after 1900, were used to acquire this certificate of residency and citizenship.

A typical Chinese immigration case file contains information such as the subject's name, place and date of birth, physical appearance, occupation, names and relationships of other family members, and family history. Specific INS proceedings are also documented. Because of the nature of INS investigations, case files provide links to file numbers for related cases, including those for other family members.

The files may contain certificates of identity and residency; correspondence; coaching materials used by "paper sons;" INS findings, recommendations, and decisions; maps of immigrant family residences and villages in China; original marriage certificates; individual and family photographs; transcripts of INS interrogations and special boards of inquiry; and witnesses' statements and affidavits. Prior to 1944 each INS district office developed its own filing systems. Keys exist for only a few of the offices.

To locate a case file a researcher must know the name the immigrant or traveler used on the papers. This may differ from the actual or commonly used name. Having the name in Chinese helps to verify the name on the file. INS officials often did not understand the arrangement of Chinese names and sometimes reversed family and personal names. Forms of address, marital status, or respect such as Ah or Shee were taken to be actual names and listed on the index as such. In some cases officials misheard, misunderstood, or misspelled the actual name. In other cases Chinese names were converted to Hawaiian names for phonetic reasons, such as Chung to Akuna. Case files are unlikely to exist for Chinese who arrived in the United States before 1882 and never left and for Chinese Americans born in the United States who never left.

Immigration and Naturalization Service Records at
NARA's Northeast Region (Boston) in
Waltham, Massachusetts

  • Boston District Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1911-1955 (183 cubic feet.) The files are arranged numerically by case number. A name index is available.
    • Certificate of citizenship files, 1944-1954 (11/2 cubic feet.) Arranged numerically by file number.
    • Subport Chinese deportation files, 1947-1955 (41/2 cubic feet.) These files consist of records from suboffices in Gloucester and Springfield, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; and Hartford, Connecticut. They relate mainly to investigations and procedures for deporting Chinese seamen, students, and teachers who had been admitted on temporary visas and had not returned to China when their visas expired, or to people attempting to extend their visas. The files are arranged by subport and thereunder by case number.
  • Montreal District Office
    • Chinese case files, 1900-1952 (13 cubic feet.) The files relate mainly to U.S. citizens of Chinese descent who planned to travel abroad and who applied for preinvestigation of their claimed status as United States citizens so that they could return without problems. Other files relate to Chinese who applied for temporary visas to attend school or teach and businessmen and merchants intending to conduct business. The files are arranged by case number. A name index is available.

Immigration and Naturalization Service Records at
NARA's Northeast Region (New York) in
New York, New York

  • New York District Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1880-1960 (252 cubic feet.) Finding aids include a database listing name, aliases, hometown, occupation, port of entry, and other details. Names are in English and Chinese, the latter using the four corner coding system that translates Chinese characters into four-digit numbers. The files are arranged by case number.

Immigration and Naturalization Service Records at
NARA's Mid Atlantic Region in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Philadelphia District Office (District 4)
    • Case files of Chinese immigrants, 1900-1923 (57 cubic feet.) Files on resident Chinese laborers and merchants of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, West Virginia, and Delaware. Among the files are lists of Chinese seaman on vessels arriving at Philadelphia, a special census of Chinese taken in 1905, and administrative records. The records are arranged numerically by case number, 1 through 3415, with gaps. This series is also available as Case Files of Chinese Immigrants, 1895-1920, From District No. 4 (Philadelphia) of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, M1144 (51 rolls).
    • Letters sent from "Chinese" inspectors, 1895-1903 (6 volumes.) Letterpress copies of letters from "Chinese" inspectors to the Office of the Collector of Customs for Philadelphia. They relate to the administration of the Chinese exclusion laws, particularly the enforcement of the provision of the convention of December 8, 1894, for the reentry of certain classes of Chinese laborers. The records are arranged chronologically.
    • Letters sent concerning Chinese, 1904-1911 (12 volumes.) Letterpress copies of outgoing letters, chiefly to the office of the commissioner general of the Immigration Service, the collector of customs for Philadelphia, "Chinese" inspectors, and individuals of Chinese ancestry. They concern the administration of Chinese exclusion laws and regulations, including matters relating to entry, detention, arrest, and deportation; requests of Chinese for certificates of residence; and instructions to inspectors concerning the handling of Chinese appeal cases. Also included are copies of testimony taken in appeal cases concerning unlawful entry into the United States. The records are arranged chronologically.
    • Register of Chinese cases, 1897-1903 (6 volumes.) The register lists name, occupation, date, case number, and decision rendered by the Immigration Office concerning deportations. The cases are arranged alphabetically by name.
    • Official diary relating to Chinese cases, 1903-1904 (1 volume.) The diary includes entries for letters sent and received relating to Chinese cases; ships boarded that employed Chinese crewmen; visitors, both Chinese and others, such as attorneys and business associates, to the district office; and action taken on Chinese cases. It is arranged chronologically.
    • Reports of boarding officers of vessels with Chinese crews, 1912-1915. The reports show name of vessel; nationality; name of master; where and when the vessel was boarded; port of origin; number of passengers; number of Chinese crewmen; and name of boarding officer. The reports are arranged chronologically.
    • Requests for investigations of Chinese desiring to leave the United States, 1895-1903. Letters from the Office of the Collector of Customs asking that the Chinese inspector investigate Chinese who had applied for permission to leave the United States for a visit abroad. The letters include the names, occupations, and addresses of persons requesting permission to leave, and are arranged chronologically.
    • Daily reports of Chinese cases investigated, 1909-1911. Investigations of evidence submitted by Chinese applicants for admission and of laborers' return certificates, as well as interim determination of status, were reported daily to the Bureau's central office. The reports provide the name of the office and the name, class of exemption, and port of entry of each individual being investigated. They are arranged chronologically.
    • Miscellaneous records relating to Chinese cases, 1900-1911. Regulations governing passage of individuals through the United States; the expense account of the "Chinese" inspector; personal letters confiscated by the Bureau; Chinese seamen's identification cards; drafts of the special census of Chinese (1904) for West Virginia; and uncaptioned photographs.
    • Identification papers of Chinese appearing at the Philadelphia Exposition of 1899, 1899. Identification papers were given to individuals sent by the Chinese Government to participate in its exhibit at the Philadelphia Exposition. The individual's name, age, height, physical description, occupation, and place of residence are listed, and a photograph is attached.
  • Baltimore District Office (District 5)
    • Case files of Chinese immigrants, 1904-1940 (5 cubic feet.) The files typically include correspondence with the central and district offices of the INS, the Customs Service, and private citizens relating to the admission, exclusion, and departure of Chinese laborers, merchants, students, and seamen. They are arranged by file number.

Immigration and Naturalization Service Records at
NARA's Great Lakes Region in
Chicago, Illinois

  • Chicago District Office (including suboffices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Gary, Indiana)
    • Correspondence of the Chinese Division, 1893-1924 (8 cubic feet.) Letters received and letters sent by inspectors engaged in the enforcement of Chinese immigration laws. They are arranged numerically, 1/1 through 27/19, in a subject-numeric system.
    • Chinese case files, 1898-1940 (66 cubic feet.) Arranged numerically by file number.
  • St. Paul District Office
    • Chinese case files, 1906-1942 (10 cubic feet). Arranged consecutively by fiscal year and thereunder numerically.

Immigration and Naturalization Service Records at
NARA's Southwest Region in
Fort Worth, Texas

  • El Paso District Office (District 15)
    • Testimony of Chinese arrested for illegally entering the United States, May-July 1907 (1 inch.) Letterpress copies of transcripts of testimony. Arranged chronologically by date testimony was taken by an immigration inspector. Formerly entry 238, volume 12, field records, INS.
    • Descriptive list of Chinese deported from Arizona, 1907-1908 (2 inches.) Forms entitled Description of Chinese Person Deported that were completed by the Tucson office. Each form gives the name, height, color of eyes, complexion, identification marks, date of deportation order, date actually deported, signature of inspector, and a photograph of the deported person. Arranged numerically by number assigned to form. Indexed alphabetically by name of deportee. Formerly entry 242, field records, INS.
    • Investigative case files on Chinese persons, 1909-1953 (2 cubic feet.)
      The files contain correspondence, applications of American-born Chinese persons to leave the United Sates temporarily (Form 430), and forms describing Chinese persons who were deported (Form 535). They relate to the residential status of Chinese, requests for duplicate residency certificates, and investigations for citizenship, deportation, and smuggling. Arranged numerically. An appendix contains the names of the persons investigated.

Immigration and Naturalization Service Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (Riverside) in
Riverside, California

  • Los Angeles District Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1893-1943 (159 linear feet.) Arranged by various filing codes. An index is available.
  • Bakersfield (California) Local Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1899-1955 (less than 2 linear feet)
  • Calexico (California) Local Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1920-1968 (78 linear feet)
  • Los Angeles Local Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1932-1950 (28 linear feet)
  • Nogales (Arizona) Local Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1922-1944 (less than 1 linear foot)
  • San Diego Local Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1911-1976 (4 linear feet)
  • San Pedro (California) Local Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1894-1965 (78 linear feet.) All local office case files listed above are arranged by case file number. Indexes are available.

Immigration and Naturalization Service Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (San Bruno) in
San Bruno, California

  • San Francisco District Office
    • Arrival investigation case files, 1884-1944 (1,060 cubic feet.) Most early files document the investigation of people arriving from China to determine their eligibility for admission under the Chinese exclusion laws. By the early 20th century the scope of individuals investigated expanded to include people arriving from India, Japan (especially picture brides), Korea, and other Asian countries, and Russia.
    • Chinese partnership case files, 1894-1944 (40 cubic feet.) Maps of some Chinatowns in California, descriptions of business activities, photographs, and lists of business partners. Arranged by file numbers representing cities (mostly California) or, in the case of San Francisco, street names. Indexed on microfilm.
    • Case files of investigations not resulting in warrant proceedings in the San Francisco District and investigations within the San Francisco District at the request of other service offices, 1912-1950 (16 cubic feet.) Case files of individuals investigated for possible immigration fraud.
    • Case files of immigration fraud investigations, 1914-1924 (2 cubic feet.) Materials from the Vauer and Densmore Investigations. Included are village maps, extensive family genealogies, photographic logs of recent deportees, passenger lists, interrogations of immigrants and suspect INS employees, and coaching papers.
    • Passport and travel control files, 1918-1924 (1 cubic foot)
    • Return certificate application case files of Chinese departing, 1912-1944 (275 cubic feet)
    • Return certificate application case files of natives departing, 1903-1912 (7 cubic feet)
    • Return certificate application case files of lawfully domiciled laborers departing, 1903-1912 (2 cubic feet)
    • Return certificate application case files of lawfully domiciled merchants, teachers, and students departing, 1903-1912 (3 cubic feet)
    • Return certificate application case files of Chinese departing, 1894-1912 (18 cubic feet)
    • Case files of investigations resulting in warrant proceedings, 1912-1950 (6 cubic feet.) Case files of individuals arrested and held for deportation.
    • General immigration case files, 1944-1955 (254 cubic feet)
      All San Francisco District Office case files listed above are arranged by case file number. A database to the case files is being compiled.
    • Administrative records (3 cubic feet.) General correspondence, 1915-1941; historical files relating to Angel Island, 1894-1941; boat files, 1911-1941, containing information about vessels used to ferry staff members and immigrants from Angel Island to San Francisco; telephone cable files, 1910-1940; and construction and maintenance files, 1912-1913.
    • Certificate of identity books, 1909-1936 (1/2 cubic foot)

    Microfilmed Records

    • General index to immigration case files, c. 1910-1979 (unnumbered microfilm.) Index to the arrival investigation case files, 1884-1944.
    • San Francisco Chinese mortuary records, 1870-1933 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Certificates of identity for Chinese residents, 1909-c. 1946 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Records of war brides with children, 1946-1948 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Register of Chinese departure case files, 1912-1943 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Records of miscellaneous [Chinese] immigration cases from other ports, 1911-1912 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Registers of Chinese departing from and returning to the United States, 1882-1908 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Passenger lists of Chinese, 1897-1905 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Registers of alien students admitted under the Immigration Act of 1924, 1924-1946 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Index of court certificates related to Chinese, c. 1885-1905 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Records of natives [United States-born Chinese Americans] departing,1909-1913 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Alphabetical index of Chinese partnerships in and outside of San Francisco, California, no date (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Daily records of applications [by Chinese laborers] for return certificates, 1903-1912 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Daily records of applications [by Chinese merchants, students, and teachers] for return certificates, 1903-1912 (unnumbered microfilm)
    • Register of "Chinese" partnerships in California, 1894-c.1940 (unnumbered microfilm.) Microfilm of the card file register provides case file numbers of the Chinese partnership case files, 1894-1944. It is arranged by city (mostly in California) and thereunder alphabetically by business name. Entries for San Francisco are arranged by street name and thereunder numerically by business address.
    • Minutes of Boards of Special Inquiry at the San Francisco Immigration Offices, 1899-1909 (M1387)
    • Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1893-1953 (M1410.) These passenger arrival lists are a key to the case files. The case file numbers are composed of the arrival number given to a ship entering the port of San Francisco followed by the ticket number or, after 1910, manifest page number and line number.
    • Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1954-1957 (M1411)
    • Customs Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1903-1918 (M1412)
    • Registers of Chinese Laborers Returning to the United States through the Port of San Francisco, 1882-1888 (M1413)
    • Lists of Chinese Passengers Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1882-1914 (M1414)
    • Admitted Alien Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1896-1921 (M1436)
    • Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, California, from Insular Possessions, 1907-1911 (M1438)
    • Lists of U.S. Citizens Arriving at San Francisco, California, 1930-1949 (M1439)
    • Lists of Chinese Applying for Admission to the United States through the Port of San Francisco, 1903-1947 (M1476)
    • Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, California, from Honolulu, Hawaii, 1902-1907 (M1494)
  • San Francisco District Suboffices at Fresno, Oakland, Sacramento, Salinas, and Stockton, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii (8 cubic feet)
    • General immigration case files, 1944-1955 (for Honolulu, 1944-1949)
  • Honolulu District Office
    The Honolulu Office was part of District 13 (San Francisco) from 1944 to 1949. It became the District 17 headquarters in April 1949. Finding aids include an index to the case files arranged alphabetically by name.
    • Letters sent by the chief immigration officer, 1903-1904 (1 cubic foot)
    • Chinese immigration case files, 1903-1915 (37 cubic feet)
    • Certificates of citizenship, 1926-1955 (28 cubic feet.) Arranged chronologically in two groups, 1926-1928 and 1929-1955, and thereunder arranged by certificate number.
    • Case files of Chinese applicants for admission as U.S. citizens, 1916-1942 (84 cubic feet)
    • Applications for return certificates of lawfully domiciled Chinese laborers, 1916-1938 (54 cubic feet)
    • Case files of U.S. citizens of Chinese ancestry applying for certificates of citizenship Hawaiian Islands, departing to the continental U.S. or foreign destinations, 1924-1942 (59 cubic feet)
    • Case files of Chinese applicants for merchants' return permits, 1912-1934 (8 cubic feet)
    • Landing statements, 1903-1924, 1946-1959 (35 cubic feet.) Transcripts of interrogations during which immigrants were asked about themselves and their relatives. Arranged chronologically by date of entry.
    • General immigration case files, 1944-1948 (26 cubic feet)
    • General immigration case files, 1949-1954 (31 cubic feet)
    • Register of Chinese confession cases, 1957-1968 (1 volume.) The register lists individual names and case file numbers chronologically by date of case.
    • Index to applicants for reissuance of certificates of identity, c. 1903-1910 (1 cubic foot)
    • Case files of arrest warrants and deportation orders, 1913-1942 (2 cubic feet)
    • Applications for certificate of citizenship Hawaiian Islands, 1924-1941 (2 cubic feet)
    • Case files of nonimmigrants admitted as students, teachers, and ministers, 1917-1938 (2 cubic feet)
    • Case files of Chinese applicants for admission as wives of merchants, teachers, and ministers, 1916-1939 (4 cubic feet)
    • Case files of Chinese applicants for admission as wives of native-born U.S. citizens of Chinese ancestry, 1916-1940 (2 cubic feet)
    • Case files of Chinese applicants for admission as children of Chinese merchants, teachers, and ministers, 1913-1938 (3 cubic feet)
    • Case files of Chinese applicants for admission as children of native-born U.S. citizens of Chinese ancestry, 1916-1926 (2 cubic feet)
    • Case files of Chinese applicants for admission as wives and/or children of Chinese naturalized under the Hawaiian Kingdom and pre-examination of status of Chinese claiming such naturalization, 1919-1925 (2 cubic feet)
    • Visa case files of Chinese applicants for admission as Section 6 students, teachers, and travelers, 1916-1942 (7 cubic feet)
    • Visa case files ofSection 6 Chinese applicants to proceed to the continental U.S., 1917-1942 (1 cubic foot)
    • Case files of applicants for duplicate certificates of [Hawaiian] residence, 1921-1938 (1/2 cubic foot)
    • Case files of applicants for duplicate certificates of identity, 1920-1942 (1/2 cubic foot)
    • Case files of Filipino applicants for certificates of citizenship Hawaiian Islands, 1934-1944 (6 cubic feet)

    Microfilmed Records

    • Records of the Chung Shin Tong, Lung Doo Section, c. 1943-1951 (unnumbered microfilm.) Arranged by type of record (membership lists, membership receipts, or minute books), thereunder chronologically by year.
    • Alien crew lists of vessels arriving at Honolulu, 1902-1908 (unnumbered microfilm)

Immigration and Naturalization Service Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (Seattle) in
Seattle, Washington

  • Seattle District Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1895-1943 (650 cubic feet.) Arranged by office or suboffice (including Helena, Montana; Port Townsend, Seattle [two subseries], and Sumas, Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia, where the United States consul maintained some records) and thereunder by case number. The numbering systems are unique to each office or suboffice. A database index is being compiled listing name, aliases, hometown, occupation, port of entry, date and place of birth, and other details. Dates of case files vary with the office.
    • List of Chinese certificates of identity issued, 1911-1938. The list contains the person's name, certificate number, city of residence, and section of the law under which admitted. It is arranged by certificate of identity number, which corresponds roughly to date of issue.
    • Record of arrivals and dispositions of Chinese persons, 1903-1942 (27 cubic feet.) Arranged by office or suboffice (Seattle and Sumas, Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia) and thereunder chronologically. Dates vary with each office. Registers list the name and date of arrival, name of the ship, disposition of the case, legal status of immigrant (for example, merchant, student, minor child of citizen), and place of residence in the U.S. These volumes can be used to identify case numbers.
  • Portland District Office
    • Chinese exclusion acts case files, 1891-1943 (84 cubic feet.) Arranged in two groups, 1891-1914 and 1915-1943. The first group is arranged by type of file (returning, landed, refused, miscellaneous) and thereunder by file number; the second group is arranged by file number. There is a box contents list for the first group of records.
    • Immigration and Naturalization Service Case Files of Chinese Immigrants, Portland, Oregon, 1890-1914, M1638, may be a useful finding aid.
    • Testimony of witnesses, 1893-1894. These volumes contain brief synopses of testimony for "returning merchant Chinese." The testimony usually relates to business associations and confirmation of identity. Marginal comments usually indicate the disposition of the case (admitted or rejected). The records are arranged chronologically with indexes in the front of the volumes.
    • Partnership books, 1890-1901. The volumes vary in content but most contain information about businesses in Oregon and some have information on businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest. Some volumes indicate partners' arrival dates, whether refused or admitted, and their business relationships. The volumes are arranged alphabetically by the name of the company.
    • Arrest book listing Chinese, 1903-1941. This volume was maintained by the "Chinese" inspector and lists those Chinese arrested for various offenses but primarily for alleged violations of the Chinese exclusion acts. The case number for the person arrested is usually provided. The volume is arranged by date of arrest with an index at the front of the volume.
    • Registers of departing merchants and laborers, 1882-1899. These volumes include the certificate of identity number, name, place of last residence, occupation, and vessel and date on which the person departed. Some entries indicate whether the person returned and list the date and vessel. The volumes are arranged chronologically by date of departure. These volumes appear to have been created by the Customs Service in Portland but were then transferred to the INS. Similar volumes exist for Seattle among the records of the U.S. Customs Service (RG 36).
    • List of Chinese landed and refused in Astoria [Oregon] and Portland, 1893-1903. These volumes list arriving Chinese and sometimes include the name of the business with which they were affiliated; the name of the ship on which they arrived; the last place of residence in the United States, if returning from abroad; and certificate of identity number. The records are arranged by date of arrival.

Public Health Service, 1912-1968
Record Group 90

Administrative History
The Public Health Service, originally called the Marine Hospital Service, had its origins in an act of July 16, 1798, which authorized hospitals for the care of sick and disabled American merchant seamen. The scope of its activities was greatly expanded by subsequent legislation. It was part of the Department of the Treasury from 1798 to 1939, the Federal Security Agency from 1939 to 1953, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1953, and the Department of Health and Human Services in 1979.
The Public Health Service operates marine hospitals, hospitals for specific diseases, medical facilities for Federal penal institutions, quarantine and health stations, and research institutions and laboratories. It disseminates health information and conducts research in the cause, prevention, and control of disease.

Public Health Service Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (San Bruno) in
San Bruno, California

  • San Francisco Quarantine Station, Angel Island, California
    In 1896 a San Francisco Board of Health ruling led to an action remanding all Chinese and Japanese passengers on incoming ships to the station. The records concern primarily general station administration and operations rather than individual immigrants.
    • Correspondence, 1890-1926 (70 volumes, 12 cubic feet.) Several series of letters sent or received, some in letterpress copy books. Arranged chronologically. Folder lists are available, and a few of the letterpress books are indexed by the names of correspondents.
    • General administrative files, 1918-1948 (15 cubic feet.) The records concern Chinese and other ethnic groups and routine operations and administrative matters at the quarantine station and. Included are lists submitted by steamship lines for medical certification of passengers. The files are arranged alphabetically by subject. A folder title list is available.

United States Attorneys
Record Group 118

Administrative History
The Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789, made provision for U.S. attorneys appointed by the president. U.S. attorneys have functioned under the general supervision of the Department of Justice since its creation in 1870. They investigate violations of Federal criminal laws, present evidence to grand juries, prosecute Federal criminal cases, and serve as the Federal Government's attorney in civil litigation in which the United States is a party or has an interest.

U.S. Attorneys Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (San Bruno) in
San Bruno, California

  • Northern District of California, Southern Division (San Francisco)
    • Civil, criminal, and appeals cases concerning immigration, 1905-1942 (4 cubic feet)

U.S. Courts of Appeals
Record Group 276

Administrative History
The courts of appeals are intermediate courts created by an act of March 3, 1891, to relieve the Supreme Court from considering all appeals in cases originally decided by Federal trial courts. They review final and certain interlocutory decisions of district courts (see RG 21) except where the law provides for direct review by the Supreme Court. They also review orders of Federal administrative bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Labor Relations Board.
The records include case files of appeals by defendants charged with violation of the Chinese exclusion laws. Case files may contain copies of complaints, decrees, indictments, judgments, opinions, subpoenas, transcripts of interrogations, and other supporting documents. The files are arranged consecutively by case number, with cases involving Chinese interfiled with other types of cases. There is no separate series of appeals for cases involving Chinese.

Courts of Appeals Records at
NARA's Mid Atlantic Region in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Third Circuit, with jurisdiction over Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    • Criminal appeals, 1882-1942. Docket books, with plaintiff and defendant indexes available in each volume.

Courts of Appeals Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (San Bruno)in
San Bruno, California

  • Ninth Circuit, with jurisdiction over Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, the Mariana Islands, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
    • Appellate case files, 1891-1969

United States Marshals Service
Record Group 527

Administrative History
The Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789, made provision for U.S. marshals appointed by the president. They have functioned under the general supervision of the Department of Justice since its creation in 1870.
U.S. marshals execute and serve writs, processes, and orders issued by U.S. courts, U.S. commissioners or magistrates, and commissions. They also notify the Department of Justice of defiance of Federal authority.

U.S. Marshals Service Records at
NARA's Great Lakes Region in
Chicago, Illinois

  • Indiana, Southern District
    • Correspondence regarding Chinese immigration cases, 1905-1915 (1 volume, less than 1 cubic foot.) Reports summarizing actions taken in Chinese immigration cases, both before and after the issuance of orders for deportation, and correspondence with the Commissioner General of Immigration concerning Chinese immigration matters. The records are arranged in rough chronological order.

U.S. Marshals Service Records at
NARA's Pacific Region (San Bruno)
San Bruno, California

  • Northern District of California, San Francisco
    • Correspondence, 1874-1919 (54 cubic feet.) Various series of letters sent and received, some in letterpress books, arranged by type of document and thereunder roughly chronologically. The records relate to all aspects of U.S. marshal activities, including Chinese immigration and exclusion cases and alleged criminal matters. For example, there are letters regarding care of Chinese deported on ships owned by the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company, Chinese detained as witnesses on Alcatraz Island, Chinese being discharged from prison, and advertisements for sale of opium. These letters are interfiled with all other letters. Indexes by name of correspondent, and a partial list of letters concerning Chinese cases, are available for some records.
Selected Finding Aids for Archival Holdings at NARA's Regional Records Services Facilities

NARA's Regional Records Services Facilities

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