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Chan Pak Kwai, a schoolmaster, is 35 years of age, has been 20 years in this country, and speaks English with surprising correctness of accent and expression, and with remarkable fluency. There are twenty or thirty thousand Chinese in San Francisco, and thousands more in the country, and the race stands greatly in need of a representative lawyer—a fact which has inspired Chan Pak Kwai with the resolution to fit himself for practice in our courts. His black eyes glittered as he spoke with impressive eloquence, in the News Letter sanctum, concerning the many obstacles the Chinese had to contend with in their endeavor to become as much part of this great Republic as other offshoots from foreign lands. Why the Chinese should be debarred the rights of citizenship, being a people industrious, intelligent and progressive, and that same desideratum be extended to people ignorant, indigent and indolent, was a problem Chan Pak Kwai marveled at.

The Hon. Joseph W. Winans was apprised of Chan Pak Kwai’s aspiration to become a member of the San Francisco Bar and the first Chinese lawyer in America. Mr. Winans stated, that although Chan Pak Kwai was not eligible for citizenship under the present law, there might be authority permitting him to become a lawyer, and promised to look into the matter and report. As society is now gravitating, a white judge, a Chinese lawyer and a black Sheriff are possibilities of the near future.

San Francisco News Letter and California Advertiser
November 26, 1881