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Grand Rapids in 1856

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Wong Chin Foo Naturalization Papers (1)
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Wong Chin Foo Naturalization Papers (1)

State of Michigan - 1874

The Declaration of Intent for Wong Chin Foo gives his birthplace, date of birth, age, when he left China and from what port, when he arrived in the United States and at what port, and where he was living. It also includes his renoucement of the Emperor of China. At the lower left corner is the date of his declaration, April 3, 1874, and at the right his signature written in both alphabetical and Chinese characters.


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TitleWong Chin Foo Naturalization Papers (1)
CreatorState of Michigan

Title by cataloger. Because Wong Chin Foo immigrated when he was a minor and had lived in the US for five years, he was allowed to make his declaration of intent and receive his citizenship on the same day. Wong Chin Foo was not a resident of Grand Rapids, but this was one of the cities where he lectured as he toured the US. Perhaps someone in the audience who was knowledgeable of immigration rules suggested he make his application here. He claimed he was the first Chinese in the US to be granted citizenship.

CollectionRG 89-28, Kent Co. Naturalization Records of the Seventeenth Circuit Court 1860-1929, Archives of Michigan
InstitutionArchives of Michigan

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