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When America's Chinese banded together in 1905 to protect their rights, Jin Kee was chosen to lead the fight.

Jin Mun was a charter member of the General Peace Association, formed in 1913 to mediate conflict among the Chinese triads.

Jin Fuey spent two years in prison after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction for violating the  Harrison Act by dispensing narcotics.


MOY JIN KEE (梅振基; 1847-1914)

He spoke out against the Chinese Exclusion Act and opened a Methodist mission in New York’s Chinatown, but was arrested for larceny only days later. He doggedly pursued naturalization, only to have it granted and then summarily withdrawn. He was elevated to the Chinese titled elite by a Manchu Prince, became a key figure in the American Chinese community’s efforts to lobby for citizenship rights, met President Theodore Roosevelt and was nearly barred from re-entering the U.S. after a trip to China.



MOY JIN MUN (梅振文; 1851-1936)

A protégé of Leland Stanford, he was a gold miner who participated in the construction of the transcontinental railroad. He was almost killed in an anti-Chinese riot and dabbled in the opium trade, earning a price on his head and providing testimony about smuggled opium by smoking the drug in open court. He fathered at least 10 children, was ruined in the 1906 earthquake, took the reins of the powerful Six Companies that ran San Francisco’s Chinatown and helped mediate triad wars in several western cities. He was considered the "sage of San Francisco's Chinatown" when he died.



JIN FUEY MOY (梅振魁; 1862-1924)

One of the first Chinese in America to graduate from medical school, he was arrested five times – for eloping with an underage Caucasian girl, for smuggling Chinese laborers into the U.S. from Jamaica and for writing prescriptions that put heroin and morphine into the hands of drug addicts. He was the respondent in a Supreme Court case that bears his name and the petitioner in another, and spent two years in the penitentiary. He may have been the first Chinese in America ever to apply for U.S. patent protection. He also raised an adopted daughter who became one of the first Chinese actresses to appear in vaudeville and silent films.


 

© 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Scott D. Seligman