Of those, about 7,000 are written in traditional Cantonese Chinese. And of those, only a few hundred are translated to English. Comprising the document collection are personal and business letters, business records, accounts, Chinese and English books and newspapers, calendars, flyers, estate records, Chinese medical encyclopedias, medical books, secret society books, divination records and accounts, gambling records, receipts, Doc Hay’s medical formulas, patient records, cards and postcards, posters, checks, epigrams, prescriptions, and a variety of other miscellaneous items.
Our Translation Project began in 2007. Since then, we have had several translators helping to translate the Chinese documents into English. Volunteers, paid professionals, and even some visitors have taken a crack at translating these documents. We are currently developing an overall plan to systemically translate these materials. The results will deepen our understanding of the inner workings of Kam Wah Chung and the lives of Ing Hay & Lung On.
Though only a small fraction is complete at this time, we have gained valuable insight from these documents. Besides the obvious personal letters from Doc Hay and Lung On, other Chinese have written letters that were found in Kam Wah Chung, providing a treasure trove of information on where they came from, who they were, their daily lives, and whom they were in contact with. The little we know about Chinese business are included in the letters and business accounts, so once they are translated, the historical impact of the Chinese on the United States will become clearer. A few of these documents are in English. Click on the titles below to view samples of these translations. They provide interesting insight into the family and business concerns of both men and the Chinese community in this region and their families in China.