Willard G. Jue Papers, 1880-1983  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Jue, Willard G.
Title
Willard G. Jue Papers
Dates
1880-1983 (inclusive)
Quantity
2.65 cubic ft.
Collection Number
5191 (Accession No. 5191-001)
Summary
Seattle Chinese American who created materials on Chinese herbal medicine and collected records of the history and culture of Chinese Americans, notably Chin Gee Hee and Joseph S. Hwang, of Seattle.
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

The items in the Chin Gee Hee papers are fragile, particularly the account/letterpress book. The microfilm copy (Microfilm A13191) in Microforms/Newspapers Collection, Suzzallo Library must be used instead of the original account book.

Languages
English, Chinese
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Willard G. Jue was born in 1906 in Portland, Oregon, where he became interested in plants while working in his Uncle's herb shop. He came to Seattle to attend the University of Washington in 1925 and graduated with a degree in Pharmacy in 1929. Unable to get work in that field, Jue worked as an accountant and grocer until the early 1950s, when he was hired as a clerk in the UW College of Pharmacy. He later rose to the position of Supervisor for the Drug Plant Garden (1959). Jue finished his career at the University as part of the Washington Park Arboretum gardening staff. He retired in 1970.

Following his retirement Jue served the Chinese community in many capacities. He was president of the Board of Trustees for the Wing Luke Museum during the 1970s. He served at various times as president of the Chinese Historical Society of the Pacific Northwest and the Pioneer Association of the State of Washington. He was a founding member of AKCHO, the Association of King County Historical Organizations.

Jue was a member of the First Baptist Church and served as its Scoutmaster for twenty years. He was a popular speaker and youth leader, teaching classes on Northwest plant lore to the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, and other community organizations.

In the last years of his life Jue gave presentations to local community organizations on topics of Chinese herbal medicine, Northwest plant lore, and the early history of the Seattle Chinese community. He married Priscilla Chong, widow of Seattle artist Fay Chong, in December of 1981. Willard Jue died in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 at the age of 79.

Chin Gee Hee was born in southern China in 1844. He was one of the earliest Chinese sojourners in Seattle. He worked in mines and as a railroad construction laborer until he had saved enough money to buy a partnership in the Wa Chong Store with Chin Ching-hock, Seattle's earliest Chinese resident, in 1868. The store was located at 99 South Third Street. Chin Ching-hock was mainly interested in import and export merchandising, Chin Gee Hee, however became very involved in obtaining jobs for his countrymen. He traveled widely to acquire labor contracts in coal mining, railroad construction, farming and domestic labor. This difference in purpose led to the eventual separation of the partners in 1888. Chin Gee Hee formed his own Quong Tuck Lung Co. He continued his labor contracting business as well as general merchandising. Following the fire of 1889 his was the first new, brick building to be built. The building, called the Canton Building, was at 208-210 Washington Street.

Growing animosity toward the influx of Chinese laborers was marked by the passage of the Chinese exclusion laws of 1882. Harassment of Chinese settlers in the Puget Sound area forced many to seek a safer environment in Seattle. Chin Gee Hee tried to aid those who came to Seattle looking for refuge. The influx of so many Chinese workers into the city during a time of economic depression led to the anti-Chinese riots in late 1885 and early 1886. Chin was active in getting help from the Chinese Consul-General in San Francisco to quell the riots and protect the Chinese. During the riots Chin Gee Hee kept careful record of the damage done to Chinese property and businesses. He later forwarded his account to Viceroy Li Hung-chang. Because of Chin's careful accounts, The U.S. government eventually made reparations to China for much of the loss.

When Chin Gee Hee's son, Chin Lem, finished his education, Chin began to turn the business over to him. At this time Chin began work on his long-time desire to build a railroad to his native Chinese village of Look Tun in the district of Toishan. He began by raising funds throughout the United States and Canada and enlisted the aid of railroad magnate James J. Hill. In 1900 Chin turned the Quong Tuck business over to his son and son-in-law. He returned to China in 1905 to form the Sun Ning Railway Co. The railway to his village was completed in about 1908. Chin continued with various plans for expansion of the railroad and establishment of a free port in Southern China until his death in 1930. He was 85.

Joseck S. Hwang and his wife, Cheng Hiang Chin, were both born in Swatow, China, in 1879. Their families were among the early converts to the Baptist religion, and they both attended mission schools. They were married on January 22, 1900. They had six daughters and a son who died in infancy.

Hwang studied medicine at the Baptist Mission Hospital in Swatow and was both student and teacher at several Baptist Chinese missions in both China and Seattle. He became an ordained minister in 1906 and served his first pastorate in the Chinese Baptist Church of Seattle. The family arrived in Seattle during the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exhibition in 1909. Hwang left the pastorate in 1912 and returned to China alone to complete his studies and receive a medical certificate from the American Baptist Mission Hospital at Swatow in 1913. In 1917 Hwang decided to try out life in New York City. His family followed him in 1918 and stayed until 1922, when they returned to Seattle.

During its time in New York, the family ran a wholesale business, importing embroidery, lace, and other fine handwork from Swatow and selling it to shops and department stores in New York City. Cheng Hiang Chin also began to sell these fine linens at women's clubs and other gatherings. Chin was raised in a merchandising family and was a successful business woman despite her limited English. Upon the family's return to Seattle, she opened a gift shop downtown. The shop's downtown location changed over the years and later moved to Spokane and, for a time, Yakima. Chin also managed a sales booth at the Western Washington State Fair (Puyallup, Wash.) from 1931 until 1961, when her daughter Priscilla took over. Chin died in 1973.

Joseck Hwang was never happy with a settled life. He continued to move from one enterprise to another, although the family chose to remain in Seattle. He spent his final years in Seattle and died on March 31, 1970, at the age of 91.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Willard Jue Papers include materials he collected as well as papers he created. The collected material includes a small number of photographs concerning the Seattle Chinese community and a few ephemeral items published in San Francisco and in China. The more significant collected material resulted from Jue's interest and active involvement in preserving the history of early Chinese settlers in Seattle. It consists of business records of two early Chinese businessmen in Seattle, Chin Gee Hee and Joseck S. Hwang.

The Chin Gee Hee Papers contain correspondence and business records dated 1880 and 1901 and comprise some of the earliest surviving records of business conducted by Chinese in Seattle The centerpiece of this subgroup is the bound accounts and letterpress book. In this book a wide variety of information is recorded, including names and addresses, business accounts, copies of correspondence regarding sales and purchases of imported goods as well as labor contracts filled. The business accounts are almost invariably written in both Chinese and English. There is also a dictionary of Chinese-English translations for frequently used terms. Especially intriguing are copies of correspondence between Chin Gee Hee and the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco during the anti-Chinese agitation in November of 1885.

The papers of Joseck S. Hwang and Cheng Hiang Chin consist of invoices, customs declarations, and other business records dated from the early 1920s. They document the wholesale business the couple operated to import and distribute Chinese embroidery and other handwork. Also included is a biographical account by their daughters, Priscilla Chong Jue and Louise Yook, as well as an undated photograph of Hwang.

The largest subgroup consists of Jue's own personal papers . It shows his many interests. The correspondence is mostly from the 1980s and primarily refers to speaking engagements with various organizations Jue addressed on the history of the Seattle Chinese community and on Chinese herbal medicine. Various notes, writings, and publications apparently were gathered as resources for the study of Seattle history, and especially Seattle's ethnic Chinese heritage.

The most comprehensive portion of the personal papers is Jue's notes on medicinal plants. Included are: In box 2, a "Glossary of Botanical Terms," which provides a definition of each term in English and the Chinese equivalent for most. Box 4 contains a slip file, arranged alphabetically by Latin name. These appear to be notes taken verbatim from various reference sources, which are clearly identified. Included is information on plant origins, history, legends, and medicinal uses. All plant names have been translated into Chinese. A small portion of the notes is in Chinese. Boxes 5 and 6 hold a card file of medicinal plants and herbs, alphabetical by Latin name. Included for each entry are information about the plant family to which it belongs, the name in Chinese characters, a transliteration of each Chinese name, and an English translation. Many contain additional notes in Chinese and sometimes on historic usage in various parts of the world (in English). This information was apparently gleaned from a variety of sources. An alphabetical bibliography (also in card-file form) follows the list of botanicals. Chinese as well as English titles are included.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Alternative Forms Available

The Chin Gee Hee papers are also available on microfilm in the Microforms/Newspaper Collection, Suzzallo Library (Microfilm A13191) and through interlibrary borrowing.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Willard G. Jue, CollectorReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Photographs
Box/Folder
1/1
"Looking East from Fifth Avenue up Jackson Street, Academy of Holy Names in Background and Japanese Stores on Left Foreground"
Photocopy.
ca. 1900
1/2
"Boy Scout Leaders and Staff at Camp Parsons, (Judge) Warren Chen Is in Photo"
undated
1/3
Unidentified
undated
Unidentified
Box/Folder
1/4
Chinese Digest, San Francisco, California
1937
1/5
International Carnival Program
1950
1/6
Little Blue Book no. 116, "Proverbs of China"
undated
1/7
[Chiang's speech/sermon given in the U.S.]
On cover: "Printed especially for Evangelistic Tract League, P.O. Box 1227, Shanghai, China"
1937
1/8
Chinese Songbooks
undated
Chin Gee Hee Papers
Box/Folder
1/9
Biographical Sketch by Willard Jue
1983
Incoming Letters
Box/Folder
1/10
Oregon Improvement Company (Watkins, William J.)
1885
box:oversize
7
Thomas, ______ (Mrs.)
1882
Box/Folder
1/11
General Correspondence re: Wa Chong and Co.
1883
VF
VF2809
Account and Letter Book
Due to fragility of the originals, users should use the microfilm copy in Microforms/Newspapers.
Available on microfilm A13191 in the Microforms/Newspaper Collection, Suzzallo Library.
1880-1901
Enclosures From Account and Letter Book
Correspondence
Box/Folder
1/13
Browne, H. R.
1881, undated
1/13
California. Chinese Consulate, (Bee, Col.)
1885
1/13
M____ Standard Soap Co.
1894
1/13
Warrens, Capt. H.
1886
Box/Folder
1/14
License for Quong Tuck Lung Company
Photocopy.
1910
1/15
License for Quong Tuck Lung Company
Photocopy.
undated
1/16
Clippings
undated
Joseck S. Hwang and Cheng Hiang Chin Papers
Box/Folder
1/16B
Biography by Daughters Priscilla Chong Jue and Louise Yook
1970
1/17-18 to 2/1-3
Invoices
1920-1922
2/4
Customs Declarations
1921
box:oversize
7
Customs Declarations
1921
7
Business Records
1922-1923, undated
Box/Folder
2/5
Photograph - Joseck Hwang
undated

Willard G. Jue, Personal PapersReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Letters
Box/Folder
2/6
(Birthday card from Nathaniel, Barbara and Silas)
1982
2/7
Chinese Baptist Church, Seattle
1979
2/8
Chinn, Jim Dan
1978-1979
2/9
Eastside Genealogical Society
undated
2/10
Foster Study Club
1980
2/11
Japanese American Citizens League - Seattle Chapter
1982
2/12
Northwest Cancer Association - Bellevue Chapter
1980
2/13
Queen Anne Baptist Church
1980
2/14
Seattle-King County Division on Aging
1980
2/15
Seattle Public Library - This City, Seattle
1980
2/16
Smith, Elie
undated
2/17
U.S. Department of Commerce. Northwest Administrative Service Office. Equal Employment Opportunity Committee
1980
2/18
U.S. National Park Service. Pacific Northwest Region
1981
2/19
Washington. Commission on Asian American Affairs
1982
2/20
Yung, Judy
1982
Box/Folder
2/21
Incoming Letters to Jue, Priscilla Chong
1982
2/22
General Correspondence re: National Endowment for the Humanities. "Grantsmanship Workshop for Minority Research Organizations"
1981
Writings
Box/Folder
2/23
"Glossary of Botanical Terms"
undated
3/1
Writings in Chinese
undated
Box/Folder
3/2
Course Material
Box/Folder
3/2
"Northwest Heritage - People and Places in Historic Seattle. The International District"
1975
Box
4-6
Note Cards - Medicinal Plants
undated
Box/Folder
3/3
Map
Box/Folder
3/3
"Chinatown Early 20's"
Hand-drawn.
undated
Reports
Box/Folder
3/4
Asian American Drug Abuse Program Proposal, "Background and Description of Service Areas"
undated
3/5
U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. "A Study of Selected Socio-Economic Characteristics of Ethnic Minorities Based on the 1970 Census. Vol. II, Asian Americans"
1974
Directories
Box/Folder
3/6
"Historical and Heritage Resource Guide for King County"
1980
Box/Folder
3/7
Newsletters
1983
3/8
Slide - unidentified plant
undated
Subject Series
Box/Folder
3/9
Chinese Baptist Church
1972-1975, undated
3/10-12
Exhibit: "Chinese Medicine in Washington and the Northwest: Past and Present"
1983
Box/Folder
3/13
Clippings
Photocopies.
1897, 1977-1982
box:oversize
7
Posters
undated
Ephemera
Box/Folder
3/14
Programs
1961, 1973, 1981, undated
3/15
Portage - The Journal of the Historical Society of Seattle and King County
1981
3/16
Brochure: Washington Commission for the Humanities
1983
3/17
Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, "The Chinese American, Inscrutable to Some"
undated
3/18
National Register of Historic Places, Washington Register of Historic Places. "A Nomination Guide"
undated
3/19
Diagrams
undated
3/20
"Chinese Steampot and Wok Cooking"
undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Chinese American businesspeople--Washington (State)--Seattle--History
  • Chinese Americans--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Chinese Americans--Washington (State)--Seattle--History
  • Ethnobotanists--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Herbs--Folklore
  • Herbs--Therapeutic use--China
  • Herbs--Therapeutic use--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Medicinal plants--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personal Names :
  • Chin, Gee Hee, 1844-1930--Archives
  • Hwang, Joseck S.--Archives
  • Jue, Priscilla Chong
  • Jue, Willard G.--Archives
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Chin, Gee Hee, 1844-1930 (creator)
    • Hwang, Joseck S (creator)