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Hong Yen Chang papers and addenda
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This collection consists of certificates, correspondence, ephemera, photographs, printed ephemera, and scrapbooks belonging to the Chang and Ah Tye family.
Hong Yen Chang, a Chinese national, came to the United States in the 1870s as a Chinese Educational Mission (CEM) student. He enrolled at Yale College (now Yale University) in 1879. In 1881, the Chinese government recalled all CEM students and Chang returned to China. Chang was one of the few CEM students who did not remain in China and with the financial support of his brother, returned to the United States to complete his education. Chang went to New York in 1883, managing to enter Columbia Law School without his Yale undergraduate degree. He obtained a law degree from Columbia Law School in 1886, graduating with high honors. Initially, Chang was prevented from being admitted to the New York bar due to his lack of U.S. citizenship. The Chinese Exclusion Act, signed into law on May 6, 1882, effectively halted Chinese immigration for ten years and prohibited Chinese from becoming U.S. citizens. With help from a prominent New York judge, Chang campaigned for his license and successfully argued his case in front of New York Governor David Hill in April 1887. Chang was granted a certificate of citizenship in November 1887 and was admitted to the New York bar at Poughkeepsie in May 1888. After moving to California in 1890, Chang made a motion to practice in California by presenting his New York law license and his certificate of naturalization, but the California court denied his request based on the Chinese Exclusion Act. In fear of losing his naturalization, Chang did not appeal the decision and went on to have successful careers as a banker and diplomat. Chang served as First Secretary at the Chinese Legation in Washington, D.C. from March through November 1913 and was Chargé d'affaires from December 1913 through March 1914. In 1913, Yale conferred an undergraduate degree upon him with enrollment in the class of 1883. The California Supreme Court decided unanimously to give a posthumous law license to Chang in 2015. UC Davis School of Law was instrumental in getting the 1890 decision overturned.
7 boxes and 1 oversize folder
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