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ETHN 1200N: Introduction to Asian American History


Resource Guide: ETHN 1200N Introduction to Asian American History

Professor Shelley Lee (Fall 2022)    

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Resource Spotlight: Providence's Chinatown

Headshot photos from Sunday School at Beneficent, 1870s–1910s

Beneficent Church on Weybosset Street was on the periphery of the first Chinatown, and welcomed Chinese migrants into the church. Few stayed in Providence long enough to become members, but many took English lessons and attended Sunday school. 

(Source: Courtesy of Beneficent Congregational Church /

Chin Lee Restaurant

The Chin Lee restaurant (1914-1930s) was a social destination. It hosted events for bowling teams, the Rotary Club, and wedding rehearsal dinners, all of which were regularly mentioned in The Providence Journal society pages.


Chong Kee Laundry

The Chong Kee Laundry on Chapel Street was one of many Chinese laundries in Providence.



On Leong Chinese Merchants' Association, 1947

The On Leong Merchants’ Association held its 32nd National Convention Banquet at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence. Delegates attended from all the large cities of the country, including Washington, Baltimore, New York, Boston, Chicago and cities on the Pacific Coast in April 1947.

(Source: The Providence Journal /

Mee Hong Restaurant

Mee Hong Restaurant was operated between 1938 and 1979. The head cook, Fook “Sarge” Chin, learned how to prepare American dishes during his time in the Army, when he was relegated to a non-combat role. Most of his dishes came with sides of French fries and coleslaw.

(Source: Photo by Jay Boersma / 

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