Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"The Lucky Ones "- Mae Ngai

A fascinating new book explores the family story of Jeu Dip. Jeu Dip (same surname as the Jue Family) immigrates to America at the age of 12 . He establishes himself in San Francisco as a "drayman" (horse cart driver ) and later delivering milk. He changes his name to Joseph Tape to sound more American and because in English it sounds like Jeu Dip . He meets and marries Mary ,another Chinese immigrant ,who at age 11 was rescued and raised by the local Ladie's protection society from a life as an indentured servant and prostitute. The story of the family and their success as acculturated middle class Chinese Americans during an era of exclusion and discrimination is fascinating . The family's business primarily revolved around providing settlement and immigration services for immigrating Chinese. Initially family members were involved in transporting property , later in paying bonds for Chinese sailors , and some became interpreters and worked for the immigration service in helping to interrogate and discover illegal aliens. The way that family members worked the middle ground between the Chinese and the Caucasian communities in an era of distrust and discrimination is quite interesting . In many ways the family members were viewed with distrust from both sides. There were ultimately allegations of bribes and extortion of Chinese immigrants . The book is written by Columbia History professor Mae Ngai and relies on newspaper accounts and family documents and pictures to paint a fascinating history of the family from the 19th century to WWII.

Here is a photo of the John Tape (Jeu Dip ) Family

Here is John Tape ( Jeu Dip) with his hunting dogs.

Tape family at the World's Fair

Tape family at the beach at Pacific Grove

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