Posted tagged ‘Seattle’

Tin Yung Qui – Tour after AYPE

September 12, 2009

W. J. Manion, Former Senate Clerk to Tour with Oriental Magician

William J. Manion, one of the senate clerks in the last regular session of the legislature, and quite well known in Olympia, who a few days ago resigned as assistant clerk in Justice Fred C. Brown’s court, at Seattle, will start today a new career as manager of Tin Yung Kui [sic], a magician, and Wong Guk Sun, a juggler, both of whom are at least locally famous as having performed at the AYP exposition.

Mr. Manion will play the two performers in all of the principal cities in the Canadian provinces. Tin Yung Kui and Wong Guk Sun are now in Vancouver. Mr. Manion will leave today for that city and start on a tour which he expects will circle the globe.

“I have been in China and Japan,” said Mr. Manion, who was formerly secretary of the Young Men’s Republican club of Seattle. “I know Tin Yung Kui and Wong Guk Sun by reputation. Tin Yung Kui was presented with $30,000 in gold for producing from his person 12 bowls of water each bowl containing gold fish. I have seen a great many magicians in this country and abroad, but I have never seen his equal. It is necessary for us to go back to China and pay a certain sum before he can legally come into this country. That is what we propose to do. The regulations of the immigration department will be observed, but we will be back here playing to American audiences.”

Mr. Manion will act as manager for the two Chinese performers throughout their tour of the world.

Source: Olympia Daily Recorder, Olympia, Washington, Dec 31, 1909, p. 4; accessed from

Ah King – Post Card from China

August 28, 2009

Ah King, organizer of the Chinese Village, sent this post card, dated 9 Jan 1909, to W. M. Rice, Special Agent of the Treasury Department in Seattle.

Ah King left for China in December 1908 to purchase curios and scout for actors and laborers for the Chinese Village. He returned in June 1909. See Ah King’s 1908 Trip to China for more information

Post Card from Ah King (Courtesy of Dan Kerlee)

Post Card from Ah King (Courtesy of Dan Kerlee)

Back: Ah King’s post card to W M. Rice, Seattle, Washington
(Photo courtesy of D. Kerlee,

Post card of Victoria Peak Tram, Hong Kong (Courtesy Dan Kerlee)

Front: The Victoria Peak Tram, Hong Kong. (Photo courtesy of D. Kerlee,

Sources: (See for more background and details.)

Ah King’s 1908 Chinese Exclusion Act file

August 22, 2009

 Ah King NARA RG85 Case RS2231

Ah King NARA RG85 Case RS2231

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