This site serves as a repository of selected archival documents I consulted while writing Race, Nation, and Refuge: The Rhetoric of Race in Asian American Citizenship Cases (SUNY 2017). The book explores the role of rhetoric in the racial classification of Asian American immigrants in US naturalization law during the early twentieth century, specifically debates about the meaning of the phrase "free white persons" in the law. I hope the documents will be helpful to interested readers and to other researchers examining the racial eligibility provisions of early US naturalization law.
The documents are organized in two ways for convenience. First, a handful of cases notable for their importance and for the volume of documents related to them are organized under the dropdown menu labeled Cases. Second, all of the documents are organized by document type under the dropdown menu labeled Documents. The Documents menu includes all of the documents on the site, including duplicates of those separately collected under the Cases menu.
Although Takao Ozawa later retained former Attorney General George Wikersham in his appeal to the United States Supreme Court, when he petitioned for naturalization in the district court he wrote his own briefs and submissions to the court in longhand, which the court transcribed.
Judge Paul McCormick, who would later write an important school desegregation opinion in Mendez v. Westminster School District, 64 F.Supp. 544 (S.D. Cal. 1946), presided in the important naturalization case of United States v. Pandit (1925) and wrote an opinion in In re Shaikhaly (1944) questioning whether the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act abrogated the Supreme Court's opinion in United States v. Thind.
Copyright © 2019 Doug Coulson - All Rights Reserved.