Elsa Shelton Miller was born in 1916,
and lived in China and Japan until the early 1950s. She worked as a stenographer for a
variety of employers, including the U.S. forces in Peiping after World War II, and Time Life
International in Tokyo. The collection contains documents from Miller's life in Asia,
including identification and citizenship documents, a travel visa, Chinese Yuan from the
late 1940s, postcards with pictures of Shanghai, and documents regarding Miller's attempts
to gain a visa to the United States in 1950.
Elsa Shelton Miller was born Elsa Fischer in 1916. She married Jim Shelton, a bar owner in
Shanghai, at around the age of 17, but the marriage was short lived. She worked as a
stenographer for a variety of employers, including the United States Armed Forces in
Peiping, China, and Time Life International in Tokyo. Her brother-in-law, Bob Miller, also
worked for Time Life as a reporter, and in 1950 he tried to help her obtain a visa to the
United States. As the waiting list for U.S. immigration was prohibitively long, they tried
appealing to various contacts, including Senator William F. Knowland, but were unsuccessful.
Ultimately, they decided to marry in order to get Elsa a visa. While the marriage was only
for convenience and therefore did not last long, it did get Elsa into the United States
where she eventually became an American citizen. She passed away in June of 1998.
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