The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 470
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Pershing succeeded Funston in command of the Southern Depart-
ment, following Funston's death on February 2o, 1917, after
which Pershing was able to speak with full authority on behalf
of the Chinese until he left for France about the middle of June.
The solicitation of higher authority for permission to evacuate
the Chinese from Mexico was the first of several subsequent acts
by Pershing on behalf of these people. His interest in them never
declined and he seemed always to feel a keen sense of obligation
for their welfare, while they esteemed him their benefactor.
The situation was becoming steadily worse for Page and his
internees, for only a few of them could be employed at the
constantly diminishing military establishment. The fervor of
war activity had moved away from the sand and thickets of
New Mexico. There was, however, a critical need for labor at new
installations at San Antonio, Texas. With the strong recommenda-
tion of William Tracy Page, and the concurrence of Pershing,
the War Department offered a temporary program that involved
putting the refugees to work under the supervision of the Quar-
termaster, Southern Department, at Fort Sam Houston, until con-
ditions in Mexico became more favorable to the return of the
Chinese. It was stipulated that the internees would be paid a
regular and fair wage, and that they would be quartered and
hospitalized at government expense." This solution proved quite
acceptable to the Department of Labor, Bureau of Immigration,
anxious to terminate its responsibility in the matter, and to Wel-
lington Koo, then the Chinese Republic's minister to the United
States, whose government had helped maintain the internees since
their arrival with the Pershing expedition from Mexico in Feb-
The move to San Antonio determined, each refugee was given
a certificate of identity, which admitted him to temporary resi-
dence in the United States, under the jurisdiction of the War
Department, but only until conditions in Mexico would permit
his return there.' On June 6, 1917, a ten-car special Southern
4F. B. Worley, "Five Hundred Chinese Refugees," The Overland Monthly,
LXXI (April, 1918), 294.
7E. W. Smith to E. J. Henning, October 7, 1921, House Committee on Immigra-
tion and Naturalization, Registration of Refugee Chinese, Hearings on S. J. Res.
33, Permitting Chinese to Register under Certain Provisions and Conditions, No-
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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/m1/567/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.