Angel Island: America’s Korean Immigrants
Grace Jeanmee Yoo, Ph.D.
San Francisco State University
For my Angel Island paper, I was given four different Korean immigrant files to research and study. These people are Cha Pak Woo, Soon Chung Oh, Sung Ok Lee and Lo Geuk Kim. I had the honor of looking into each of these immigrant’s journeys through their physical immigration files at the National Archives in San Bruno, California.
Cha Pak Woo
Cha Pak Woo was one of the most limited files I had to work with. The file was 5 pages, one being a picture of herself. She was 13 years old when she boarded the S.S. China from Shanghai, China. She departed on September 8, 1917 from Shanghai and the stops on the way are unknown. She arrived at Angel Island On October 1, 1917 and was admitted permanently and left on October 2, 1917. No infections were recorded. She was born in Seoul, Korea. She was a citizen of Korea and of Korean nationality. Her level of education is unknown, but I did find that she was a student, so I will presume she was in grammar school.
Cha Pak Woo’s final destination was to be with her father, Abraham Woo. His Korean name was Heung Tai Wooh. His address in the United States was 11-33 East Abriendo Avenue, Pueblo, Colorado, 81004. I have searched Google maps and there is an exact location of 1133 East Abriendo Avenue in Pueblo, Colorado. In a letter dated November 20,1917 from Commissioner Edward White at the U.S. Department of Labor Immigration Service to the Commissioner General of Immigration in Washington, D.C., it is confirmed that Cha Pak Woo was travelling with her brother, Woo Taki. It is also evident in a boarding document from Ancestry.com, titled “List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States”, dated September 8, 1917. The list shows Cha Pak Woo
was 13 years old and Woo Taki was 10 years old. It also shows that their head taxes were paid.