The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 468
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
with a civilian advisor, William Tracy Page, who was in Columbus
at this time and quite probably one of the refugees himself. The
general and Page had been personal friends some fifteen years
earlier, at the time of Pershing's tour of duty in the Philippine
Islands, where Page had served as an immigration agent.2
During the weeks following, one hundred Chinese left the camp
at Columbus. A few returned to China at the instance and at the
expense of the Chinese government; still others remained in the
United States, as admissible members of the exempted classes ac-
cording to the Chinese Registration Act of May, 1892, while a few
more went to Baja California and other parts of the Mexican
Republic where hostility toward the Chinese was not to be ex-
pected. Remaining then, were 427 Chinese men ineligible to stay
in the United States under the immigration laws.3
Prior to Pershing's evacuation of northern Chihuahua, he had
applied for and secured from Funston, at Fort Sam Houston,
permission to bring the Chinese across the border as refugees. The
chain of circumstances which led to this permission began, of
course, in Mexico. During the pursuit and the occupation which
followed, Pershing's troops encountered the Chinese inhabitants
throughout the area of operations, in the spring of 1916. To the
hard-riding cavalrymen, the plodding infantrymen, the grimy
waggoner, and the ever-dusty truckdriver, it seemed that "China-
men" literally grew out of the gravelly soil of Chihuahua. Their
stock in trade was food, tobacco, candy, matches, and fruit. Soap
was a dear commodity to be found nowhere except at the "China-
man's Stand." Mexicans, because of patriotic motives, usually
2The personality of Page is tremendously important to this study. Born about
1872, William Tracy Page was a son of Elizabeth Page and John Henry Page, Sr.,
who was a general officer in the army of the United States. Young Page secured
his education at Cornell University and later went to the Philippine Islands as an
official of the Immigration Bureau some time after 1900oo. His brother, John Henry,
Jr., was, like the father, a general officer in the army. After William Tracy Page
resigned as the civilian supervisor of the Chinese refugee company at Fort Sam
Houston in July, 1919, he became treasurer and an associate in an engineering
enterprise at San Antonio, Texas. He died in Hollywood, California, about 1950.
3F. B. Worley, "Five Hundred Chinese Refugees," The Overland Monthly,
LXXI (April, 1918), g93. See also, House Committee on Immigration and Natural-
ization, Registration of Refugee Chinese, Hearings on S. J. Res. 33, Permitting
Chinese to Register under Certain Provisions and Conditions, November 8, I921;
Statements of A. Warner Parker and E. J. Henning, 67th Cong., 1st Sess. (Serial
No. 8), 948.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/565/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.