History Café: Untold Stories from the Chinese Exclusion Act Files

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Museum of History & Industry


Museum of History & Industry
860 Terry Avenue
Seattle, WA 98109

For 61 years, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act barred Chinese laborers from entering the United States and prevented those who did from becoming naturalized citizens. Applicants were questioned in detail at US ports of entry about their families and villages in China.

This rich, biographical information is now accessible in Seattle, housed at the local office of the National Archives.

Hear from National Archives’ volunteer Trish Hackett Nicola about the valuable information found in these files, and from Cathy Lee about how the files helped her uncover her great aunt’s story.

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