Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Angel Island -Immigrant Gateway to America"

The definitive book on the history of Angel Island is Erika Lee and Judy Yung's book. I recently finished the book in preparation for the recent Immigrant History Wall dedication which I attended along with other Jue family members. This book is an excellent and comprehensive exploration of the history of the Angel Island immigration station , the experiences of the detainees there as well as the experiences of the staff. It covers not only Chinese immigrants , but the little known stories of other Asian immigrants, European immigrants, and Mexican immigrants all of whom immigrated through Angel Island from 1910 to 1940 . It is essential reading for those interested in the history of Angel Island .

Here is a picture of the immigration station as it appeared to immigrants stepping off the boat bringing them to the island . The large building in the foreground burned down many years ago but the detention barracks on the hill still stands and is the home to the museum exhibits of the Angel Island Immigration foundation .

Here is a picture of immigrants arriving at Angel Island in 1910 . My grandfather San Tong Jue arrived in 1918 at the age of 13th with his mother Leong Shee and his 15 year old brother San You . The family had been sent for by his father Jue Joe who immigrated to America in 1874 at the age of 14 , long before the Angel Island Immigration station was opened.

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