Having spent the last week in Hawaii and meeting many Overseas-born Chinese such as myself, I did a little bit of research and found that the earliest Chinese went to Hawaii with Captain Cook in 1778.
Handfuls of Chinese began living in Hawaii by the 1790s and a larger migrant population in the mid-1800s.
In the earlier years, many Chinese men married Portugese women and had Chinese-Portugese mixed children, and later mixed with other ethnicities such as Spanish, Hawaiian and Caucasians. One can only imagine what the circumstances and environment was like for the early Chinese settlers living in such a beautiful yet foreign environment.
Friends I had met in Hawaii, told me stories that their great-grandfather was on their way from China to the Gold Rush in America, but the journey was so long, they couldn’t make it and ended up in Hawaii.
Here is a photo of an early Chinese migrant family in 1893 and a portrait of a mixed Chinese-Hawaiian boy (Hapa-pake) in 1909.
Photo credit:: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_immigration_to_Hawaii