The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 473
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Pershing's Chinese Refugees in Texas
workmen. For others, Page found employment in the quarter-
master warehouses at Fort Sam Houston as laborers, and in the
quartermaster laundry as helpers.
The arrival of the Chinese who "spoke Spanish and smiled in
English" was not unnoticed in busy San Antonio, preoccupied
with the necessity of getting the war underway. Pictures showing
the refugees detraining at the railway station appeared in both
the daily newspapers within the first two weeks after their arrival.
Official recognition on the part of the municipal government was
given T. K. Fong and his consular party by Mayor Sam Bell. After
receiving the press at the Menger Hotel, the Chinese official was
asked, along with Page and Lieutenant Ord, to visit City Hall
where, standing with the mayor, they had their pictures made at
the east entrance of the building."
In addition to finding work for the internees in the various
military camps in the vicinity of San Antonio, Page supervised
the management of the camp community, looked after the main-
tenance of camp property, kept the necessary personnel records,
and administered the camp's finances.'1 His prime consideration
in regard to the refugees was to keep them employed, for without
employment they would soon become restless and troublesome,
and expensive to the War Department. All during the course of
the war, Page was able to keep practically every one of the men
constantly at work. It was only after the cessation of hostilities that
Page's efforts to keep the refugees gainfully employed became
It must be borne in mind that the Chinese lived in a foreign
society, and within the bounds of a military reservation as well.
They formed, by necessity and definition, a separate and de-
tached community. Every phase of ordinary community life,
except that of the family, was perforce, the concern of the camp
administrator. In the membership of the camp, Page found
10A headline in one local newspaper referred to T. K. Fong in the style: "Eminent
Chinaman is here." Orientals were quite rare in the city of the Alamo, and the few
residing there were denominated as "Chinamen," or "Japs," the distinction being
obscure. The provincial smack shown in the newspaper headline intended no lack
of friendliness; it merely meant that no matter his official station a Chinese was
still a "Chinaman."-San Antonio Express, June 8, 1917.
lOrd was reassigned soon after the company of Chinese arrived at Camp Wilson,
thus leaving Page in sole charge.
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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/m1/570/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.