KOREANS AT ANGEL ISLAND
LEE BUM YOUNG: A STUDENT
On July 9, 1913, a young Korean by the name of An Chang Da arrived at the port of San Francisco aboard the S.S. Mongolia. His real name was Lee Bum Young. He was traveling with five other Korean men and claimed to be a student, one of the few exempt classes of Asian immigrants that was allowed. However, he did not carry a passport or any other paperwork to prove that he was a bona fide student. As a result, he was transferred to Angel Island to be questioned by US immigration officials. It was quite common for Koreans to arrive without passports during this time as the Japanese were occupying Korea. The Japanese did not issue passports to Koreans easily, so many left the country covertly.
KIM HEY SOO: A BRIDE COMING TO MARRY A PROSPECTIVE HUSBAND
Kim Hey Soo arrived at the port of San Francisco on the S.S. China on October 1, 1917. She had boarded the S.S. China from Shanghai. She was just 17 years old, the daughter of a wealthy yangban (upper-class) couple and a student at the Kijeon Missionary School in Jeonju, Korea. She wanted to continue her education in the US, contrary to her father’s wish for her to become a traditional Korean wife and mother. Hey Soo traveled in “First Class” under an assumed identity, Kim Bok So, perhaps because she left Korea without her father’s blessing. Hey Soo was coming to marry a prospective husband in Dinuba in an arranged yangban marriage. She did not come as a “picture bride.” As the future wife of a US resident, she was admitted easily.
ROSE PAIK: A LITTLE GIRL’S JOURNEY TO JOIN HER FATHER
Rose Paik, age three, arrived at Angel Island on March 12, 1914, with her mother Im So See, her stepsister and her stepbrother, to join her father Park Kyung Soo who was a farmer in Idaho. Even though her mother was traveling with a valid Japanese passport, Rose and her family were detained at Angel Island until their claims could be verified. Her mother and stepbrother were admitted when the immigration officials received confirmation that Park was who they claimed he was and that he was able to support his family. Rose and her stepsister, however, had to remain at the Angel Island hospital to be treated for certain medical conditions. They were admitted on April 6.