Angel Island Immigration Station - From 1910 to 1940, it was the primary detention center for predominantly Chinese immigrants, though others awaiting further deliberation of their entry cases were also processed there (e.g. Japanese "Picture Brides", East Indians, gypsies and other immigrants from central and eastern Europe). Located in San Francisco Bay, China Cove on the north end of the island housed wooden barracks, an administrative building, small hospital, and other support facilities. The Station was considered to be inadequate, vermin infested, damp, and a "fire trap". Before Angel Island, Chinese were detained in a 2-story warehouse, operated by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company (a major transportation company) and located on the San Francisco waterfront. Angel Island closed on November 5th of 1940; thereafter, the immigration detention facilities were then relocated to 801 Silver Avenue in San Francisco for the remainder of the Chinese Exclusion era.

"bachelor society" - Term applied to many of America's early Chinese communities during the time of Chinese Exclusion, when the sex ratio among Chinese in the United States was as high as 14 men for every woman. Chinese Exclusion laws only permitted the Chinese wives and children of "merchants" or native-born citizens to join their husbands in America. Additionally, miscegenation laws prohibited American citizens of the Chinese race to marry women of other races in California.

"bound feet" - Refers to the Chinese custom of "beautifying" a young girl's feet by taking cloth to bind them tightly so they grow up with what appears to be "dainty", small feet as a woman. This was a painful and disfiguring process, but one that was traditionally considered to be a status symbol indicating that the woman was not expected to do manual labor. The opposite of "bound feet" is often referred to as "natural feet", the normal state of a person's feet unaltered.

Boycott of 1905 - In the case of Ju Toy, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the fact that entering Chinese would be barred from access to the courts and that the Bureau of Immigration would have decision-making power in all admissions cases. Reaction to this and on-going anti-Chinese U.S. immigration practices resulted in what is known as the Chinese Boycott of 1905. On May 10, 1905, merchant Zeng Shaojing from the city of Shanghai urged treaty ports throughout China to shun American goods and products. This boycott gathered considerable popular support, and was widely reported by both the Chinese and English language press. It eventually even spread to other parts of the world such as the Chinese communities in the Philippines. By 1906 and 1907, the U.S. government eventually responded with concessions and internal orders to treat Chinese with more "courtesy", timely deliberation of their cases, and allowances for legal representation to be present. However, the Chinese Exclusionary Act itself still remained for almost another three decades.

Certificates of Residence - See "Geary Act of 1892".

Chinatown(s) - Enclaves both in urban and rural settings populated by Chinese in America, which served as the residential, commercial, cultural, social and political center of community life. They provided many of the facilities, services and functions necessary to the Chinese in America for reasons that also included the fact that Chinese were often not welcome in or isolated from the White community.

Chinese Exclusion Act - Act passed by U. S. Congress in 1980 and signed into law in 1882, which prohibited Chinese laborers from immigrating to America and allowed only select classifications of Chinese to apply for admission, i.e. merchants, students, teachers, travelers/visitors, and diplomats. It was the first law in U.S. history to specifically bar a race of people from America and their citizenship by naturalization.

Chinese Six Companies - A central coordinating council for the Chinese community that sprang up during the 1860's in America. It is comprised of representatives of six District Associations, commonly translated from its Chinese term into English to "companies". They were developed in the United States to provide accommodations, internal support and arbitration services, and representation especially to outside entities. Chinese Six Companies was later more formerly referred to as the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association.

coolies /coolie labor - A derogatory term applied to Chinese laborers (and on occasion, to other Asians like East Indians) brought as indentured or contract laborers to work in America and other parts of the world (e.g. Southeast Asian, South America). Anti-slavery sentiments during and after the Civil War introduced U.S. legislation to restrict and prohibit "coolie labor" (see "Page Act of 1875").

"coaching" books and/or maps - Documents which served basically as "study guides" to prepare entering immigrants for the extensive interrogations given by U.S. immigration officials during exclusion. They contained facts, figures, and even diagrams regarding such details as family relations, village features, important dates and events (e.g. engagements, weddings, deaths and births).

detention facilities - The Immigration Service provided guarded living, eating, medical examination, interrogation, and other types of quarters needed to process and detain immigrants until their cases were determined in accordance to the laws and policies of the United States. See "Angel Island Immigration Station".

"Fakei" - One Cantonese term for America; the English translation being "Flowery Flag Nation", in reference to the colorful appearance of the flag of the United States. In Mandarin, it is "Huaqui". Another term used by Cantonese for America is "Gum Saan" ("Jinshan" in Mandarin), the English translation being the "Gold Mountain".

"Flowery Flag Nation" - See "Fakei" above.

Geary Act of 1892 - Extended Chinese Exclusion for another 10 years and required all Chinese in America to obtain certificates of residence within a year. Chinese in the U.S. organized not to register, calling the law unconstitutional. However, the Act's registration provisions were upheld at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907 - An agreement entered into by America and Japan whereby Japan would voluntarily stop the immigration of Japanese laborers to the U.S..

"Gold Mountain" - See "Gum Saan" below.

"Gum Saan" - The Cantonese term used by Chinese to refer to America; the English translation being the "Gold Mountain". In Mandarin, this term in the pinyin system is "Jinshan." Chinese also used the Cantonese word "Fakei" (in Mandarin, "Huaqui") for America; the English translation being "Flowery Flag Nation" in reference to the colorful appearance of the flag of the United States.

Immigration Act of 1924 - It was originally conceived and passed by U.S. Congress to limit the immigration of central, eastern, and southern Europeans. Also known as the "national origins quota system", this Act tied the annual quota of each group of immigrants to 2 percent of their composition in America at the time of the 1890 U.S. Census. Because it also barred immigration of those "not eligible for U.S. citizenship", it completely stopped the entry of Japanese. Though the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed in 1943, this Immigration Act of 1924 imposed a quota on Chinese immigration that allowed for only 105 persons per year into America from anywhere in the entire world. There were amendments to the Act of 1924, but not until Pres. Johnson signed into law the Act of October 3, 1965, was the discriminatory national origins quota system abolished. Beginning in July 1, 1968, 20,000 persons from each independent country outside of the Western Hemisphere was permitted to come to the United States.

immigration service - A term broadly applied to that U.S. government agency and/or body given the responsibility at any one time to oversee the entry, processing and/or deportation of immigrants. In the beginning, the protection of America's borders and the enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Act was the responsibility of the U.S. Customs Service. Early in the 20th century, this shifted to the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization under the newly established Dept. of Commerce and Labor. The Bureau of Immigration grew and evolved to what we know today as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (I.N.S.).

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