I’m not sure many researchers have the same problem - You get busy doing so many things and suddenly you have a mess on your hands. I decided I was going to clean up my office today. Of course, I found some interesting information and got side tracked from my plans. I thought it might be interesting to share the policy of the Navy regarding marriages between natives and enlisted men in the early 1900s. How different my own life would have been if this policy was allowed to stand. I might not have even been born! You see, I am the product of an inter-racial marriage and my father retired from the U.S. Air Force.
U.S. NAVAL STATION
Island of Guam, May 6, 1907
Naval Station )
Order #47 )
For the information of the enlisted force at this Station, the following cablegram from the Navy Department is published:
“In reply to your telegram of 3rd, Department opposed marriages between Marines and native except especially meritorious cases which must be referred to Secretary. Authority given to refuse permission pending Department’s approval.
The above cable gram has been construed to mean all enlisted men of the Navy as well as the Marines. Any enlisted man desiring to marry will forward his application through the proper official channels.
Commander, U.S. Navy
The next document I found was for the year 1919 prohibiting inter-racial marriages:
NAVAL GOVERNMENT OF GUAM
Executive General Order #326
29 September 1919
1. It is hereby ordered and decreed that on and after October 1, 1919, any white person residing in the Island of Guam, is forbidden to marry any person whole or part of Chamorro or Filipino extraction, and any marriage of such nature entered into, on or after said date shall be null and void.
2. White persons are those of Caucasian extraction who have no Chamorro, Filipino or Negro blood in them.
3. When a person lives clandestinely, openly, or notoriously with a person of the opposite sex out of wedlock it shall be considered proof of adultery or concubinage, and any person so living will be considered an undesirable, and any such person not a native of Guam may be deported at any time by direction of the Governor. Natives of Guam will be punished in accordance with articles 433 and 437 of the Penal Code in force as mended by Executive General order #172.
4. A white person who marries a person whole or part Chamorro or Filipino at any place other than Guam for the purpose of evading this order shall be denied admittance to Guam.
Governor of Guam.
This prompted a group calling themselves the “Committee representing American Citizens of Guam” to write a letter of protest to the Governor and ask that EGO #326 be amended. I am assuming that the following document was attached to the letter of protest [I did not find the letter] listing inter-racial marriages between natives of Guam and white men.
The Governor responded with a 6 page letter defending his decision and only agreeing to send a copy of the letter of protest, a copy of his reply and the committee's suggestions to the Secretary of the Navy as supreme head because he said, Guam was not "a State of the Union, nor even a Territory of the United States, but only a Naval Station under a Naval Government."
Thankfully Executive Order #326 was revoked by the Secretary of the Navy.
In June 1923 Radioman 2nd class U.S. Navy man A.A. Lucero requests permission from the Navy to marry Miss Amelia Cruz Saccomani. Amelia was the 20 year-old daughter of Remedio de la Cruz and the grand daughter of Jose de la Cruz y Reyes and Maria Crisostomo.
on 22 August 1923 he received a response from the Bureau of Navigation, Navy Department that said in part:
"I find no record of any action by the Bureau of Navigation on a request of this nature and judging from the action taken by the Secretary of the Navy on Executive Order #326 it appears that the Department has no objections to make upon requests of this nature,"
So just to be sure, I looked up Amelia Lucero in the U.S Census and found her in the 1930 Census for San Diego. She was married to Arthur A. Lucero, who was still a radioman in the Navy. The couple had two sons: Arthur (5) and William (4). Amelia's sister and brother from Guam - Ida (21) and Colly(19) also lived in the household.
In 1940, the couple still lived in San Diego and Arthur was still a radioman in the Navy. The couple added a 9 year-old daughter, Patricia to their brood. Ida and Colly no longer lived with them.
In 1953, a newspaper article reports the death of Arthur's mother in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It appears that his mother's family were descendants of a pioneer of Mesilla Valley, her father Don Felipe Lopez held a Spanish land grant when the area was part of Chihuahua, Mexico. According to the article, Arthur's father was a famous Sheriff of southern New Mexico.
I still don't understand why some in power feel the need to dictate to others who they should marry. It is a commitment between two people. Why does ethnicity play a part? The fact that Arthur and several others had to seek permission to marry reminds me that we have come a long way.