Immigration at the Golden Gate: Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel Island

Immigration at the Golden Gate: Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel Island

by Robert Eric Barde

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Overview

Perhaps 200,000 immigrants passed through the Angel Island Immigration Station during its lifetime, a tiny number compared to the 17 million who entered through New York's Ellis Island. Nonetheless, Angel Island's place in the consciousness of Americans on the West Coast is large, out of all proportion to the numerical record. This place is not conceded fondly or with gratitude. Angel Island's Immigration Station was not, as some have called it, the Ellis Island of the West, built to facilitate the processing and entry of those welcomed as new Americans. Its role was less benign: to facilitate the exclusion of Asians-first the Chinese, then Japanese, Koreans, Indians, and all other Asians.

This was the era when a rampant public hostility to newcomers posed grave threats to the liberties of all immigrants, especially those from Asia. The phrase Angel Island connotes more than a rocky outpost rearing up inside the mouth of San Francisco Bay, more, even, than shorthand for the various government outposts-military, health, and immigration—that guarded the Western Gate. Angel Island reminds us of an important chapter in the history of immigration to the United States, one that was truly a multicultural enterprise long before that expression was even imagined. With the restoration of the Immigration Station and the creation of a suitable museum/learning center, Angel Island may well become as much part of the American collective imagination as Ellis Island-but with its own, quite different, twist. This book shows how natives and newcomers experienced the immigration process on the west coast. Although Angel Island's role in American immigration was greatest at the dawn of the previous century, the process of immigration continues. The voices of a century ago—of exclusion, of bureaucratic and judicial nightmares, of the interwoven interests of migrants and business people of the fear of foreigners and their diseases, of moral ambiguity and uncertainty—all echo to the present day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313347825
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/30/2008
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.51(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.15(d)

About the Author

Robert Eric Barde is Deputy Director and Academic Coordinator of the Institute of Business and Economic Research, University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of nearly three dozen articles in immigration history and the social sciences and has written for numerous award-winning programs on TVOntario.

Table of Contents

Dedication

Table of Contents

Illustrations

Preface

Abbreviations

1. Introduction

2. Exclusion, Detention, and Angel Island

3. An Alleged Wife

4. Before Angel Island

5. Moving Migrants across the Pacific

6. Asiatic Steerage

7. The Life and Death of the China Mail

8. The Nippon Maru: A Career in the Immigration Trade

9. Keepers of the Golden Gate

10. The Great Immigrant Smuggling Scandal

11. Mr. Section 6

12. Epilogue

References/Bibliography

What People are Saying About This

William Kooiman

"With this well-researched work Mr. Barde has filled a void in the history of Asiatic immigration to San Francisco. Covering every aspect of the immigrant experience the book is very readable. His chapter on the Life and Death of the China Mail Steamship Line won the Karl Kortum award for maritime history presented by the Friends of the San Francisco Maritime Library."

Judy Yung

"Robert Barde's Immigration at the Golden Gate is a treasure trove of meticulously researched and dramatically recounted stories of the different players involved in trans-Pacific travel and the immigration industry at the port of San Francisco. It is a valuable resource and must read for anyone interested in the history, economics, and politics of Asian immigration and exclusion at Angel Island."

Judy Yung, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

Alan M. Kraut

"Through the lens of one Chinese female immigrant's twenty month detention on Angel Island scholar Robert Barde allows readers to view the struggle of newcomers for fair treatment after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Barde's skillful unpacking of this moving episode offers readers an invaluable perspective on how restrictive immigration policy was enforced against Chinese in an earlier era. His work is an invaluable companion to accounts of the legislative debates, political machinations, and racism that resulted in Chinese Exclusion. And, his is a cautionary tale chillingly relevant to contemporary policy debates over exclusion and detention."

Alan M. Kraut, Professor of History, American University

William Kooiman

"With this well-researched work Mr. Barde has filled a void in the history of Asiatic immigration to San Francisco. Covering every aspect of the immigrant experience the book is very readable. His chapter on the Life and Death of the China Mail Steamship Line won the Karl Kortum award for maritime history presented by the Friends of the San Francisco Maritime Library."

William Kooiman, Reference Librarian, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Alan M. Kraut

"Through the lens of one Chinese female immigrant's twenty month detention on Angel Island scholar Robert Barde allows readers to view the struggle of newcomers for fair treatment after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Barde's skillful unpacking of this moving episode offers readers an invaluable perspective on how restrictive immigration policy was enforced against Chinese in an earlier era. His work is an invaluable companion to accounts of the legislative debates, political machinations, and racism that resulted in Chinese Exclusion. And, his is a cautionary tale chillingly relevant to contemporary policy debates over exclusion and detention."

Judy Yung

"Robert Barde's Immigration at the Golden Gate is a treasure trove of meticulously researched and dramatically recounted stories of the different players involved in trans-Pacific travel and the immigration industry at the port of San Francisco. It is a valuable resource and must read for anyone interested in the history, economics, and politics of Asian immigration and exclusion at Angel Island."

Customer Reviews