Eng Hock Gin

Eng Hock Gin. Wing Luke Museum Collection

My great grandfather first immigrated into Port Townsend in the late 1800s… It was during the Chinese Exclusion Laws, unfortunately. So, a lot of the Chinese, including my grandfather, immigrated to the US probably via Canada as a merchant. This was a very important distinction on your immigration. If you left the country, you had to get affidavits from other local people who could attest that you belonged here. You had to distinguish yourself by class—being a merchant and not a laborer. You know, this country was built on the backs of many laborers. And so, it’s a little distressing that that class distinction is made. Because of that history, it’s very important for me—for my children and for future generations—to know of those struggles and sacrifices. 

Place(s): China, Port Townsend

– Gloria Lung Wakayama

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more