The Golden Mountain: The Autobiography of a Korean Immigrant, 1895-1960

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University of Illinois Press, 1996 - 315 pages
At the age of ten and unaccompanied by any adult, Easurk Charr came to Hawaii in 1904, a convert to Christianity who hoped to earn enough money to acquire an education and return to his native Korea as a medical missionary. The Golden Mountain is Charr's story of his early years in Korea, his migration to Hawaii and the mainland, and the joys and pain of his life as one of some seven thousand Koreans who migrated to the United States between 1903 and 1905.
Charr tells eloquently of his difficulties in becoming a naturalized citizen, even after serving in the army, of his sergeant's encouragement of his quest for citizenship, his return to San Francisco and a job in a cousin's barbershop during the Depression, and of the American Legion's help when his Korean-born wife was threatened with deportation proceedings after her student visa expired. After becoming a naturalized citizen, Charr took the civil service examination and, for the remainder of his working life, was employed by the U.S. government, first in Nevada and then in Portland, Oregon. The introduction and annotations by Wayne Patterson provide a broader perspective on both Charr and the Korean immigrant experience.

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Contents

Foreword
ix
Introduction
xiii
Preface
9
War Refugees in the Mountains
15
Man of the Soil
23
The Spirit Worshippers
29
The Legend of Prince Jung
36
The Prince of Peace
45
First Days in America
142
Go East Young Man
158
Park College
163
With Uncle Sams Army
178
My Alma Mater
199
To Be or Not to Be a Doctor
220
Lotus Flower
229
The Depression Era
242

The First Church in Pyeng Yang
58
The Dragon Lake
72
My Lifes Ambition
83
The Wonderful Dream
99
Go to America My Boy
103
On the Paradise Island
116
The Land of My Dreams
131
My Big Brother the American Legion
247
A Citizen of the United States
276
Twenty Years in US Civil Service
288
Epilogue
299
Notes
303
Index
309
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