Early Asian immigration to North America

May 2019
10
United States
I've been doing some research on early immigration to North America from Asia, does anyone know of any good resources on this topic? The internet covers some interesting parts of this topic, such as:
  • Luzonians travelling to Morro Bay in modern day California in 1587, Filipino sailors landing near the Bay Area in 1595 on a Spanish ship (not immigration, but nonetheless interesting)
  • I've read claims that there was Filipino settlement in modern day Louisiana created in 1587 by Filipino pirates called Manila Village
  • Filipino smugglers and fisherman serving under General Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans
  • Numerous Asians brought to modern day Mexico as slaves in the 16th century
  • Some immigration to the US from China in the early 19th century due to trade
  • Numerous Japanese sailors being rescued by American ships, some of them later working with Commodore Perry, some of them ending up permanently residing in the US
  • 70 Chinese and Filipino immigrants serving the American Civil War
  • Some Chinese immigration to the US in the mid to late 19th century, primarily to work on railroads, numerous recorded attacks and massacres against Chinese immigrants (Rock Springs massacre, the Chinese massacre of 1871)
  • Numerous Chinese immigrants also coming to Canada in the 19th century to work on railroad work
  • Chinese immigrants being brought to Vancouver island
  • Some immigration to the US from the Philippines after the US annexation in 1898
  • Numerous Korean, Japanese, and Chinese immigrants coming to Mexico for work around the turn of the century
  • The killings of hundreds of Chinese immigrants in the Torreón massacre (happened in 1911, but still notable)
But does anyone know of any good books covering this topic?
 
Sep 2012
1,182
Tarkington, Texas
I can offer that Filipinos were brought into Louisiana and they established the Dried Shrimp Industry. I am not sure when they were brought in, but they were settled in the Barataria Bay area. I remember seeing the little packets of dried shrimp near the cashiers in stores. You just added them to stews, gumbos and other dishes that required shrimp.

Pruitt
 
  • Like
Reactions: W12990 and Futurist

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,178
Portugal
Luzonians travelling to Morro Bay in modern day California in 1587, Filipino sailors landing near the Bay Area in 1595 on a Spanish ship (not immigration, but nonetheless interesting)
  • I've read claims that there was Filipino settlement in modern day Louisiana created in 1587 by Filipino pirates called Manila Village
  • Filipino smugglers and fisherman serving under General Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans
  • Numerous Asians brought to modern day Mexico as slaves in the 16th century

The Spanish colony if the Philippines belonged to the Vice-kingdom of New Spain (the Spanish couldn’t go trough the west link due to the Tordesilhas Treaty with Portugal), and every year there were fleets of ships crossing the Pacific sea, usually called the “Manila Galleon” or the “Manila-Acapulco Galleon”, this lasted from the 16th century, since Andrés de Urdaneta discovered a way to return (tornaviaje), to the 19th century, so it is not surprise that in 1587, when Unamuno crossed the Pacific, he had some members of his crew from the Philippines. The Spanish were always few and always used locals at their service. The Filipinos were often called “indios” so when in the chronicles we see “indios” we often are not sure if they are from America or from the Philippines.

Morga’s “Philippine Islands” is an interesting source that deals with the arrival of the Spanish to the Philippines and the contacts with America. The work is available online, translated to English: History of the Philippine Islands by Antonio de Morga or Full text of "History of the Philippine Islands"
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist and W12990
May 2019
254
Earth
There was Chinese immigration to some of the Caribbean islands, like Cuba. Some came as plantation labour.
Chinese Cubans - Wikipedia

There was also Asian immigration within North America, from one country to another. For example, Pershing's Chinese: Pancho Villa Expedition - Wikipedia

There was also some contact between indigenous Alaskans and Siberians on either side of the Bering Sea. I don't know if there was much of what could be called "immigration" from the Asian side to the North American side, though. I do know that the Yupiks live on both the Asian and American sides of the sea: Siberian Yupik - Wikipedia
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist
Apr 2019
80
U.S.A.
I do recall that a poblador from Los Ángeles in the late 18th century was listed as “chino” but Is speculated to more likely be philipino than chinese.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist
Aug 2018
600
Southern Indiana
An Interesting bit of history is that America has Chinese restaurants everywhere specifically because of it's past immigration policy. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 allowed visas for merchants and was expanded to restaurant owners in 1915 , it became the most feasible way for a Chinese person to get to live and work in the US.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
An Interesting bit of history is that America has Chinese restaurants everywhere specifically because of it's past immigration policy. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 allowed visas for merchants and was expanded to restaurant owners in 1915 , it became the most feasible way for a Chinese person to get to live and work in the US.
Why were exceptions made for them?
 
May 2019
254
Earth
Why were exceptions made for them?
I think one of the main forces driving the Chinese Exclusion Act was the fear by working class Anglo-Americans that their jobs were being taken by lower paid immigrants.
Merchants, on the other hand, were a smaller group of workers and generally dealt in more specialised trade, so they may not have been seen as being as big a threat to the average joe sixpack.

See this court case, which dealt with the issue of Chinese merchants returning from China to the USA: Lau Ow Bew v. United States - Wikipedia