Gathering: First Book of Reistered Members

Relationship: unknown
First book of registered members of the Asociación China de Mexicali, 1918. Courtesy of Asociación China de Mexicali.
First book of registered members of the Asociación China de Mexicali, 1918. Courtesy of Asociación China de Mexicali.

The book presents a list of founding members and an inventory of the first Chinese businesses, including sixty-three ranches. Historically, it marks the beginning of the economic development and social history of the Chinese community of Mexicali.

Within this history, Wong Wa Foy, a well-known representative of the China Commercial Steamship Company of Hong Kong, arrived in the Northern District of Baja California in 1915. There, he met with the governor of the District in order to negotiate an important agreement to transfer large numbers of Chinese laborers who worked the lands of the Mexicali Valley. Consequently, the great burden of cotton production in the region fell on the Chinese laborers, who agreed to work long hours for very low wages, but higher than those received in their places of origin.

During the first decade of the twentieth century, there was another group of Chinese in the same town that began its economic boom, although their prosperity was not related to agriculture. This group was led by Quong Wing, Ac Toy, Wong Fook Yee, Jin Man Van and Wong Wa Foy. Some of them were founders and presidents of the first Chinese organizations, such as the Masonic Lodge Chee Kung Tong, and the Chinese Association itself, both founded in 1918. Others were representatives of shipping companies, like China Commercial, and were linked to the maritime transportation business for Chinese day laborers. They began the most important Chinese mercantile companies of the Northern District of Mexico.

This object was featured in the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)'s exhibit, "Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History," October 17, 2019 - March 22, 2020.

Place(s): Mexicali, Baja California
Year: 1918

– Asociación China de Mexicali

Relationship:  unknown unknown