Support provided by:
In the first half of the 20th century, nearly 250,000 Chinese immigrants attempted to enter the United States.
Because of discrimination against Chinese and laws meant to impede their passage, most were detained and interrogated on Angel Island, America's west coast immigration center.
The experience of these immigrants is documented in hundreds of poems that have been carved into the walls of the Angel Island detention center.
Many of these have been translated, but little is known about the authors.
Kathleen Wong, a second-generation Chinese American, believes that her grandfather and great-grandfather spent time on the island and that her great-grandfather may have committed suicide there.
She knows little about her ancestors' experience on Angel Island and their possible connection with the poems.
The History Detectives investigate the story of her family's passage to the United States to find out if any of the poems were written by her ancestors.
- Also with Gwen Wright Unwed Mother's Home Is this small medallion enough information to help a woman find her birth parents?
- Related Investigation "Scottsboro Boys" Stamp Did a penny stamp help save the Scottsboro Boys from the electric chair?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Superman Sketch Is this a WWII sketch from the early days of this comic icon?
- Also in Season 1 Pebble in the Sand Is this rock found on a beach a link to an ancient civilization or just another pebble in the sand?
- Related Investigation Suffrage Pennant What can this pennant tell us about one woman's role at a crucial point in Women's Suffrage movement?
- Also with Wes Cowan Slave Banjo Is this the only surviving banjo carried by former slaves following Emancipation?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.
Anyone wishing to submit an artifact for investigation should do so through Submit a Story.
- Submit your StoryDo you have a Depression or World War II object? Submit your story now.
- Latest CommentWhat is this glorifying the firearm (which is a semi-automatic by the way) of a criminal? (3 days ago)
- Twitterremember this investigation with @TukufuZuberi @elyseluray Tonight they reunite! Let us know your thoughts! @PBS http://t.co/4KMnc27K (7 months ago)
- FacebookSome wisdom as the day draws to a close. Like my page for more conversations. Enjoy your evening. Peace, Tukufu. (1 day ago)