Archive Find of the Month: Stranded Filipinos, 1899

Home » Archive Find of the Month: Stranded Filipinos, 1899

66236The following petition, dated December 18, 1899, was sent to the City Council:

Gentlemen: Reciting to you the fact that a band of men women and children, known as “Philippinos,” seventeen in number, consisting of nine men, four women and three children, are stranded in our city, absolutely destitute of funds or means of support, owing to their wearing apparel being held by one of the local hotels for debt, their working paraphernalia, consisting of costumes, juggling tools, trapeze fixtures slack wire and other tools of trade being held in a neighboring city, also for debt, leaving them absolutely powerless to help them selves to a livelihood here or means in which to travel, and from the further fact that they are here, not as criminal, vagrants or paupers, but as innocent victims of mis-placed confidence, having been bilked on every hand by schemers, until now they are utterly helpless.  We your petitioners ask that you appropriate a sufficient amount of money for their maintenance until action can be had on the Federal Government, tending to their deportation.

The document was signed by the president and the secretary of the Charity Organization Society.  A couple of weeks later, on January 2, Council passed an ordinance appropriating $80 “for the payment of the costs of transportation for certain indigent persons natives of the Philippine Islands and now in charge of the Charity Organization of Seattle.”


See this and previous Find of the Month posts on the Seattle Municipal Archives’ website, and don’t forget to check us out on YouTube, Pinterest and flickr