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Certificates of residence for Chinese laborers, 1894-1897
United States. Internal Revenue Service. First District of California.
Collection consists of 17 certificates of residence for Chinese laborers in California, dated from 1894 to 1897. Each certificate includes the laborer's name, local residence, and occupation; information about his height, eye color, complexion, and physical marks or peculiarities; and a photographic print. Certificates are signed and stamped by O. M. Welburn, Internal Revenue Collector, First District of California.
Under the provisions of the 1892 Geary Act, which amended the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, all Chinese in the United States were required to apply for, obtain, and carry a government-issued certificate of residence proving their legal presence in the United States. Chinese and Chinese Americans discovered without such identification could be arrested and deported.