This page contains describes what little I know of the life of my great-grandfather Yee Jock Leong (1884-1936).
|Scooped by John Jung|
This site containing immigration documents and story of the life of a Chinese laundryman, Yee Jock Leong, compiled by his grandson, David M. Lawrence, provides a detailed case study of the life a Chinese immigrant during the years of CHinese exclusion.
A unique contribution is the scanned set of his three address books containing over 100 names, a searchable database that includes an index in English accompanied with Chinese characters for some entries. Many of the entries were names of individual Chinese names representing Chinese in stores such as restaurants, laundries, merchandise, and groceries located all over the U. S. and Canada and a few in other countries. In addition, there were entries for Chinese associations such as On Leong in several cities. Other entries were business contacts such as laundry supply houses, button sellers, plumbers, etc.
We do not know, and probably will never learn, what the relationship was between Yee Jock Leong and the many individual Chinese in his address books. How often did they correspond, and what did they say? How often did they meet in person? How many were relatives, friends, and casual acquaintances? Despite the lack of such information, the address books are rare evidence that shows that even though he was isolated from a Chinese community in Irwin, PA. and Dayton, Ohio, he managed to build a sizeable and widely dispersed network of Chinese contacts.