Ah King’s 1908 trip to China

In preparation for his trip Ah King was given several letters of introduction by various U. S. government officials. Because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Ah King, a prestigious businessman in Seattle, was required to be interrogated by the United States immigration authorities. An interpreter was supplied for the interrogation but was not needed since King spoke English. This is what they found: in December 1908 Ah King was 47 years old. He was a merchant and manager of the Ken Chung Lung Company [sic] (King Chung Lung Co.), 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 forty or fifty thousand dollars. He had been in Seattle more than ten years. He and his wife, Wong She, had three children: Ah Get, age 22; Ah Ging, a daughter, age 15; and Ah Foon age 12. They 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, 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.

Sources: NARA RG85 Case RS2231.

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