Chinese Immigration to Hawaii
Information about the first Chinese immigrants
in Hawaii including where they came from and
why they moved to Hawaii.
1700's - Chinese Sailors Arrive
Two fur trading ships, the
Iphegenia and the North West America,
stopped in Hawaii in 1788 on their way from
China to the northwest coast of the United States.
The ship's 50 Chinese sailors and tradesmen
remained in Hawaii for several months
while their ship was refueling and waiting for
the rough winter seas to calm. Another 45
Chinese sailors made a stop in Hawaii in 1789,
and more Chinese sailors visited Hawaii on
other ships, but throughout the 1700's there were
few Chinese permanently living in Hawaii.
Mid 1800's - Chinese Plantation Workers Arrive
Hawaii's Chinese population increased significantly
in the 1800's, when many contract workers from
China arrived to work on Hawaii's sugar plantations.
Two hundred Cantonese contract laborers from Amoy,
Fukien, China arrive on January 3, 1852
on a ship called the
Thetis and several ships followed bringing
more labor from Chinese for Hawaii's sugar plantations,
mostly from China's more impoverished southern provinces.
Late 1800's - Chinese Population in Hawaii
By the 1880's more then 25,000 Chinese immigrants
(more then 20% of Hawaii's population)
were working on Hawaii's sugar plantations. Most of them
left the plantations when their five-year labor contracts
expired to work as clerks or domestic servants or to
form their own businesses. There were a growing
anti-Chinese immigration movements in both
California and Hawaii, the two U.S. areas with them
most immigrant workers from China.
Hawaii and U.S. Chinese Exclusion Acts
By the late 1800's the Kingdom of Hawaii was
growing concerned about Hawaii's declining Pacific
Islander population. In 1883 they
limited the number of Chinese immigrants to
600 in any consecutive 3 month period.
Hawaii became a territory of the United States
in July of 1898 and by the early 1900's the United
States Chinese Exclusion Act, prohibiting immigration from
China to the United States, had been extended
to cover the new U.S. Territories of Hawaii and the
Philippines and Chinese immigration to Hawaii
came to a halt.
1943 Repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act
The exclusion acts remained in place until the 1940's
when the United States could not risk continuing
to offend the Chinese people because they needed
China as an ally during World War II. Congress
repealed the United States Chinese exclusion laws
in 1943 and they established a quota of about 105
U.S. visas issued to Chinese citizens per year.
Chinese Culture in Hawaii Today
Where to find Chinese historic sites, tours,
and Chinese cultural associations and events
in Hawaii today plus information about
Chinese restaurants, churches, markets, and
merchant societies in Hawaii.
Immigration to Hawaii by Ethnic Group
Ethnic Groups in Hawaii
Islands of Hawaii
Hawaii for Visitors
Elsewhere on the Web
Pau Hana: Plantation Life and Labor in Hawaii
Chinese Immigration and U.S. Chinese Exclusion Acts
Repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act
Wikipedia Chinese Immigration to Hawaii Article
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