Ah King’s 1908 Chinese Exclusion Act file
Before Ah King left the U. S. for China, as a matter of routine, he was interrogated by the U. S. immigration authorities. He did not need an interpreter since he spoke fluent English.
This is what they found:
- He was 47 years old
- He was a merchant and manager of the Ken Chung Lung Company, a wholesale and retail business selling Chinese groceries and dry goods at 217 Washington Street in Seattle.
- There were forty members in his firm.
- The annual amount of business transacted was $40,000 to $50,000.
- He had been in Seattle more than ten years.
- He and his wife, Wong She, had three children.
- His children were: Ah Get, age 22; Ah Ging, a daughter, age 15; and Ah Foon age 12.
- The children were all born in Har Ping village, Sun Ning District.
Two witnesses testified in Ah King’s favor—C. I. Lynch, Post Office Superintendent of Delivery in Seattle, and Daniel Landon, an attorney. They confirmed that Ah King was a bona fide merchant and Landon also said that Ah King was probably the most prominent Chinese merchant in the city.
Source: Ah King file, 1908, RG 85, NARA-Seattle, Box 57, Case RS2231