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Louis (Ah) Store Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Related Materials
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation

  • Language of Material: Chinese
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Ah Louis Store records
    Creator: Louis, Ah, 1840-1936
    Identifier/Call Number: M2072
    Identifier/Call Number: 19422
    Physical Description: 3 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1886-1890
    Language of Material: Predominantly in Chinese with occasional English-language receipt/order request. Receipts on printed forms are in English, most accompanied by a Chinese note on the reverse.
    Abstract: Business records from a general store run by Chinese immigrant Ah Louis in San Luis Obispo, California from 1874 to 1890.

    Biographical / Historical

    Ah Louis (1840-1936), or Wong On (黄安), was a Chinese-American businessman. He moved from Guangdong Province to California between 1856 and 1861. He was a key contractor of Chinese labor during construction of the Pacific Coast Railroad along the Central Coast of California. Ah Louis opened the Ah Louis Store in San Luis Obispo, an East Asian mercantile from which he also provided banking and postal services, in 1874.

    Scope and Contents

    Receipts related to Ah Louis's store in San Luis Obispo (including sales, orders, bank services, and wages, as well as rent, utilities, and freight bills), lotteries, letters as inventories and with notice of payments, and licenses for trades at the store. The materials were produced between the years 1886 and 1890.

    Related Materials

    Louis family papers (1879-2009) housed in Robert E. Kennedy Library at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, containing a more extensive collection of business records, as well as personal papers and photographs.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of the Chinese Historical Society of America, 2015. Accession 2015-048.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.

    Conditions Governing Use

    These materials are believed to be in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use of public domain materials.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], Ah Louis Store records (M02072). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Chinese -- California.
    Chinese American businesspeople
    San Luis Obispo (Calif.) -- History