St. Malo: Discussing the first Filipino settlement in Louisiana

St. Malo:

Discussing the first Filipino settlement in Louisiana

By Grant Haas


Historians are often tasked to determine whether narratives are factual. What is possible, isn’t always probable. Myths and legends are often confabulated with fact. Common myths in American Histories, such as when George Washington “could not tell a lie” about chopping down his dad’s cherry tree are taught to American children at a young age.[1]Once a myth is perpetrated to the general public as fact, it can be hard to correct.

The narrative of Filipinos in the New Orleans area during the Early American Republic is marred by half-truths, deception, and historical romanticism. Filipinos did settle in New Orleans and its surrounding areas between the American Revolutionary War and Civil War. The exact dates of arrival and their roles in historical events has been an area of contention for many historians. Participation of Filipinos in the War of 1812 is within the realms of possibility, but the current evidence is not convincing.

Historians who have attributed incorrect settlement dates have altered the narrative of the Louisiana bayous during the Early American Republic. Although primary sources indicate Filipinos most likely settled in New Orleans between 1820-1840, many semi-authoritative sources, such as the U.S. Congress and Department of Defense, have placed the earliest settlement around 1763.[2]The Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) notes that “Filipinos fought alongside his [General Andrew Jackson’s] forces during the famed Battle of New Orleans near the end of the War of 1812.”[3]Unfortunately, none of the government sources can back up their findings with primary sources. I have searched through Jackson’s writings, and it appears to be pure speculation posted on the V.A.’s website.

The best evidence shows that Filipino men first migrated to New Orleans around the 1820s. These men then formed a fishing settlement in St. Malo outside of the city. Filipinos provided exports of dried shrimp and fish to support their families residing in New Orleans and Proctorville. Besides, the ethnic and cultural diversity of New Orleans area before and after the Louisiana Purchase may allow Filipinos to quickly assimilate into society. Through the examination of the Filipino settlements in St. Malo and the Barataria Bay scholars can better understand the journeys of these men.

In the first section of this paper, I will examine the settlement of St. Malo, comparing and contrasting various narratives put forth in newspapers and by historians. I will describe how St. Malo was the first settlement of Filipinos in Louisiana during the Early American Republic. My second section will address possible routes of migration to St. Malo and the possibility of Filipino Barataria pirates. In my final section, I will address the racial diversity in and around New Orleans and how it may have contributed to a Filipino community.

St. Malo

The lives of the Filipino men in the New Orleans territory remained a mystery until 1883 when an article by Lafcadio Hearn appeared in Harper’s Weekly. Hearn described the “strange” community of Malay fisherman known as Tagalas from the Philippine Islands. Tagala is defined by Merriam-Webster as a “subgroup of Austronesian languages of the Philippines.”[4]Yet Hearn appears to be comparing these men to the “Tagala Indians [who] are used by the Spaniards, in Manila, as domestic servants. They are of Malay origin.”[5]This community was isolated and was not a known destination of the United States Postal Service. There was no law enforcement or tax collectors in St. Malo. This “Manila settlement,” as Hearn referred to it, was a saltwater swamp that created a hostile environment for the cultivation of crops. Women and children typically did not inhabit the settlement due to alligators, mosquitos, and poisonous snakes.[6]

Hearn’s accounting of St. Malo became one of the first in-depth accounts of Filipinos in the State of Louisiana. He described these men as “cinnamon-colored men; a few are glossily yellow, like that bronze into which a small proportion of gold is worked by the moulder. Their features are irregular without being actually repulsive; some have the cheek-bones very prominent, and the eyes of several are set slightly aslant.” They are assumed to be from the Philippines because in “Manila there are several varieties of the Malay race, and these Louisiana settlers represent more than one type.”[7]

The men of St. Malo spoke both Spanish and a “Malay” dialect, which was most likely Tagalog. Money was reportedly sent back to Manila to aid in the immigration of family members to New Orleans. Hearn contends that “emigrants usually ship as seamen on board some Spanish vessel bound for American ports, and dessert at the first opportunity.”[8]This understanding of Spanish culture and language undoubtedly allowed these men to mingle with the dwellers of Proctorville and New Orleans easily.

Hearn dated the St. Malo community as only fifty years old, possibly formed in the 1840s.[9] A reporter from the Times-Democrat Newspaper of New Orleans also traveled with Hearn to St. Malo. The reporter gave a less romanticized accounting of the same events in St. Malo. The Times-Democrat quoted “El Maestro,” a white man who had been living among the Filipinos, as saying, “St. Malo she be here 40 year ago. All Malay men, deserters, come here and make de place.”[10]These two dates place the founding of St. Malo just a few decades before the Civil War. None of these men were quoted as having fought in any deadly conflict decades earlier.

Scholar Marina Espina, in her book Filipinos in Louisiana, placed the earliest settlement around 1763 in the bayous of the Mississippi River outside the city of New Orleans.[11]She argues that “the first Filipinos to come to Louisiana were sailors who served in the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade, a very lucrative commercial venture between Mexico and the Philippines.”[12]Espina believes that between 1565 and 1815, hundreds of Filipino seamen deserted their ships in Acapulco, Mexico. She is arguing that many of these men made their way by boat to Louisiana from Mexico.[13]

Espina lacks primary sources for her claim that the earliest settlement was in 1763. Unfortunately, much of the work Espina had done into the first settlers of Louisiana was destroyed when her home flooded after Hurricane Katrina. After the destruction of her records, she said:“The story of the Manilamen and their descendants has almost become my entire life.” She began traveling up and down the bayous in 1983 to track down descendants of the “Manilamen” whom she claimed formed the first Asian settlement in 1763. Espina had conducted extensive research to demonstrate that the South was not merely black and white but a myriad of skin tones.[14]

Foreign Service officer Malcolm H. Churchill, in his article “Louisiana History and Early Filipino Settlement,” claims Larry Bartlett had fabricated the 1763 date. Bartlett was a colleague of Espina in 1977.[15]He worked at the University of New Orleans in the public relations department where Espina was employed. He was also a writer for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. While writing the article entitled “The Filipino Cajuns,” Bartlett interviewed Espina about her research on Filipinos. Bartlett then fabricated the opening of the article with “an extensive fanciful account, even providing names for the nonexistent ship and its supposed captain.”[16]

In 1998, a decade after Espina’s book was published, Churchill confronted her about the 1763 date. Espina was “puzzled and upset about Bartlett having created his fictional account.”[17]Although Espina may not have fabricated the information herself, she is still guilty of preserving this faulty narrative. Espina’s book is commonly cited in books and documentaries created well into the 21stcentury.[18]

Churchill argues that St. Malo is sometimes confabulated with an earlier settlement date due to historians “wishfully seeking a connection.” He argues that “while Lafcadio Hearn himself did not suggest a connection with the Spanish galleons, his words ‘deserters’ and ‘desperate refugees from Spanish justice’ could be misconstrued.”[19]The romanticized and nostalgic version of St. Malo neglects that the inhabitants were there primarily for financial gain. Churchill writes, “the inhabitants of St. Malo were not there as fugitives seeking out an isolated location but as trappers and fishermen out to make money through the shipment of smoked fish and alligator skins to commercial markets.”[20]

Hearn typified this aspect of St. Malo life through his interview with Thomas de los Santos, one of the Manilamen. He wrote that Santos “married a white woman, by whom he had two children, this boy [Valentine] and a daughter, Winnie, who is dead.”[21]Santos’s son Valentine was educated in New Orleans and then moved to St. Malo in order to work with his father.[22]By tracing the Santos family tree, it has been discovered that in 1912 both Thomas and Valentine resided at 3488 Esplanade Ave. in New Orleans.[23]His daughter Winnie died on April 23, 1881, in New Orleans.[24]

Death records show that Santos lived to be around 94 years old.[25] The timing of Thomas’s death is unusual because the average life expectancy was around 40 years of age.[26]An article by Samuel A. Cartwright in the New Orleans Daily Delta entitled “The Piraeus of New Orleans – A Safe Retreat from Yellow Fever” argued that the physical location of St. Malo protected the dwellers from yellow fever.[27]In his published letter to Colonel Claiborne, Cartwright noted that “many persons from the city, during the epidemic, fled to the lake [Borgne], and, those that could not get house-room, camped out, on its banks. Constant communication twice a day was kept up with the infected city; yet all those fishermen and other persons, who did not leave the lake, escaped the disease.”[28]Cartwright believed that the presence of guano-rich soil in the area might have protected the inhabitants of St. Malo and Proctorville.

The 1854 article by Cartwright differs somewhat from Hearn’s characterization of St. Malo. Cartwright refers to the inhabitants of St. Malo as “aborigines who were doubtlessly better acquainted with the geography of that part of Louisiana than the moderns.”[29]He also admitted sending his whole family to the lake for protection against the epidemic. St. Malo does not appear to be as mysterious and exotic as Hearn portrayed. Little is mentioned about the interactions between citizens traveling from New Orleans and the Malays. Could this have been where many Malay men met their wives? Did some of the families that fled to St. Malo belong to the Malay fisherman?

St. Malo was less of a “settlement” and more of a means to earn an income. Before St. Malo was destroyed by a Hurricane in 1915, Thomas and Valentine de los Santos had already been recorded as residing in New Orleans for a few years. This record would further support the notion that St. Malo was a way for Filipino men to provide for their families. Churchill argues that St. Malo “lacked two attributes of a permanent, self-contained community: women and children, and agriculture.”[30]Although Cartwright’s letter seemed to indicate that there was fertile soil and it was safe enough to at least house women and children at times of crisis.

An 1866 article entitled Our Present Asiatic Population published in the New Orleans Daily Crescent provides some context to the Filipino population living in New Orleans after the Civil War. The article stated that the “Malay population, which comes almost entirely from the Philippine Islands, of which Manilla [sic] is the principal city” has a population that is estimated to be “as high as two thousand” within the State of Louisiana. The “Manillian,” another term for Filipino, “is sometimes turned to the vending of cigars and tobacco…but generally…fishing is his favorite.” The Manillians are described as an “industrious, hardworking portion of our population” who have “darker complexion than the Chinese, and are never seen above 5 ½ feet high.”[31]

Prior to the Civil War, the Thibodaux Minerva paper referred to Filipinos in a less flattering manner. In the article, “The Races of Men” Malays are characterized as exhibiting “considerable intellectual capacity, but their moral character is very low.”[32]The negative characterization of Filipino morals may be due to newspaper articles that portrayed Manillamen as pirates who would often not only take over ships but murder the captain and crew.[33]Filipinos would often be in conflict with the two countries fighting to enslave most of Asia: Great Britain and Spain.

The Filipino inhabitants of St. Malo would sometimes have conflicts with the Spanish dominated Proctorville. Spanish men of Proctorville held a monopoly on the fishing industry during the late 1850s and early 1860s. This dominance would lead to many conflicts as the Filipino men of St. Malo where their main competition. The first such documented conflict appeared in 1858. The Daily Delta reported the stabbing of John Davis, a fisherman, by a Manillaman named Senerino.[34]

On Friday, July 13, 1860, the Cincinnati Daily Pressreported a bloody fight breaking out between a Manillian, a Spanish barkeeper named Ramon, and multiple Spanish fishermen. It appears that the Manillian struck the barkeeper during a dispute which caused the fishermen to attack. The Filipino drew a long knife and buried it into the first fisherman, killing him. He then wounded the other who later died at the hospital. As the Manillian fled, he wounded two more fishermen before he was shot dead by the pursuers.[35]

TheDaily Delta called it “The War of the Fishermen.” On Wednesday, July 18, 1860, it was reported that the “controversy between the Spanish fishermen and those who are called Manillians, grows out of rivalry of trade, and the attempt of the Spaniards to maintain an odious monopoly, which has long been a great tax upon our people.”[36]Sabotage between the Spanish and Manillians became common as fishing ships are burnt, and nets are destroyed. The Daily Delta then reiterated the accounting of the Cincinnati Daily Pressfrom July 13, 1860.

TheDaily Delta took the side of the Manillians, condemning the Spanish as a “disgrace to Christianity and civilization.”[37]It was reported that not only did the Spanish murder the Filipino, but they desecrated his body, allowing it to float to shore like a dead animal or fish. These attacks appear to be the result of economic frustration with the Spanish fishermen. The Spaniards had set out to intimidate these men, but the men were prepared.

Many Filipino men were likely familiar with these Spaniards as Spanish controlled Manila was considered commercially both “extensive and lucrative.”[38]Manila was considered the “seat of the Spanish government in the East.”[39]The Times-Picayune of New Orleans wrote, “our shipping [from Manila] at present in the harbor amounts to twenty unrivaled clippers, with an aggregate tonnage of 19,000 tons, which exceeds by far that of any other nation.”[40]St. Malo may have been a Filipinos chance to escape from the Spanish, who had a long history of keeping these men as navigators and sailors.[41]

The newspaper articles from the 1850s and 1860s show a less romanticized version of living in St. Malo than portrayed in Hearn’s writing. Kale Fajardo, an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota, argues Hearn’s writings go a step further. In his article, Decolonizing Manila-Men and St. Malo, Louisiana: A Queer Postcolonial Asian American Critique, he asserts that Hearn “emphasizes St. Malo’s fishermen’s deviant homosexuality due to the fact St. Malo was an overwhelmingly majority-male village, which does not fit into dominant heteronormative or heterosexual ways of living.”[42]Fajardo believes that Hearn’s description of the men as “‘Well knit and supple as freshwater eels’ suggests a physical admiration of the Manila-men as Hearn’s optics zooms in on the muscularity and softness of Malay bodies, and notably, through a phallic symbol—eels.”[43]

A Times-Democrat author who traveled with Hearn presented an account of Filipino men engaged in heterosexuality. Some of the men not only had photos of their wives, but they also had pornographic materials. He described that the material was the “sole work of art in the place, and the Manila men gathered around it…After many expressions of appreciation had been spoken in the Tagala and Spanish languages, the boat-building folded it gently and laid it away in the little space between two jack-planes in his box.”

Newspaper accounts of confrontations with other fishermen may be a driving reason why the community was composed primarily of men. Fajardo appears to be crafting a remote and homoerotic version of St. Malo. Comparing Filipino men to freshwater eels would be a natural analogy for an author to make on a fishermen’s settlement. Whether Hearn visited St. Malo because he was attracted to Asian men is outside the scope of this paper. The newspaper articles from the Early American Republic period tell a different story about men working on a fishing settlement to provide for their families in New Orleans.

Barataria Bay

The Barataria Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico located in southeastern Louisiana.[44]During the War of 1812, Jean Lafitte’s pirate base was considered to be located in Barataria Bay, hence the name “Barataria pirates.”[45]These pirates “preyed on Spanish and English ships in the Caribbean and brought their prizes to the island of Grand Terre, from where they were smuggled up to New Orleans.”[46]It is possible some Filipino men deserted and joined Lafitte’s crew when their ships were captured. After the United States and Spain severed diplomatic ties in 1809, it was considered patriotic to take the Spaniard’s property.[47]

In January of 1813, the Spanish schooner named the Dorada, alias la Rosalia was taken by the Barataria pirates on its voyage from the Yucatán peninsula to Havana, Cuba.[48]The vessel was taken to Barataria Bay where the seventy-seven slaves who were captured were quickly sold off.[49]Shortly after, the Doradaset sail again and within a few days had captured another Spanish schooner. This unnamed schooner was also taken to Barataria Bay and robbed of $9,418 in silver, gold, and jewels. The sailors and schooner that was captured were allowed to leave the Barataria Bay.[50]

Spanish ships, like the Dorada, were often captured in the Gulf of Mexico. Filipino sailors could make up 50 to 80 percent of the crew during the Spanish Galleon era of 1570-1815.[51]Spain often tasked these crewmen with transporting slaves from Manila to Acapulco. Due to a slave shortage throughout Latin America, the Spaniards would gather slaves for transport from countries surrounding the Philippines. Slaves from India, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Mindanao would be loaded onto the galleons in Manila to be transported to Alcapulco.[52]In addition to the horrors of transporting slaves, high-end luxury goods would also be sent on the galleons.[53]

Floro Mercene, in his book Manila Men in the New World, argues that because the “Spanish king had [placed] orders that Filipinos not be enslaved” it allowed Filipino families to take root throughout the already conquered Yucatán peninsula.[54]Filipino men and their families would have had access to the Gulf of Mexico, and thus access to port cities connecting to North America and Europe.[55]It would have been possible for these men to travel to Veracruz or Campeche and gain employment on a ship. Many of these men could have traveled on Spanish ships, like the Dorada, and been captured by Lafitte’s men; and some just may have docked in the port of New Orleans. It is important to understand that these men considered themselves “a seafaring people…during the galleon times, that is when we proved ourselves as seamen.”[56]

Even if the Filipino men were stationed at Barataria Bay during the War of 1812, they would not have been able to stay for long. In September of 1814, American Forces overtook Barataria Bay, putting an end to Lafitte’s base of operation.[57]Lafitte managed to escape the attack, but many of his men were captured. A Federal district judge, Dominick Augustus Hall, agreed not to prosecute the pirates if they defend the city of New Orleans against the British.[58]If Filipinos were part of this captured group, they might have fought in the War of 1812 to gain their freedom.

On March 8, 1937, the Anniston Star reported that “tradition says that many of these [Filipino men] were engaged by General Jackson in his hasty preparation against the British attack of 1918” (emphasis added). “Filipino oldtimers in the southern state insisted that Pinoy [another term for Filipino] sailors were right in the thick of the battle” according to historian Carlos Quirino.[59]Whether the folklore is true or not, it could be framed in a greater context of how Filipinos ended up in St. Malo. Having Filipinos spread along the gulf coast of Mexico likely began their journey to the port of New Orleans. Whether they arrived as pillagers or were captured by Barataria pirates is still up for debate. The Filipino participation in the War of 1812 may always just be oral history.

Diversity in New Orleans

One of the driving forces for Filipinos to settle in New Orleans may be the mixture of French, Spanish, and American cultures. Eberhard Faber, in his book Building the Land of Dreams, describes Orleans Territory as a “kaleidoscope of interrelations of multiple races and national groups.”[60]In 1803, Pierre Clément de Laussat wrote in his memoir about a dangerous game that was played with “negroes an mulattoes” called raquette des sauvages. It was an event where spectators could gamble on the winning team. Laussat described a type of lacrosse type contest where “rarely did it happen that there were no accidents, no arms or legs broken.”[61]

Rashauna Johnson, in her book Slavery’s Metropolis, uses this game to show how blacks, whether free or not, would be subjugated to “white power” in New Orleans. Johnson believes that this was an opportunity for white men and women to watch these black men from the safety of the sidelines.[62]Eventually, the game was banned in the 1930s but continued until the Civil War.[63]Filipinos in the Orleans Territory did not appear to have the same racial discrimination as blacks.

One possible reason for the acceptance of Filipinos is that they arrived as free men and women from a Spanish government that recently ruled Louisiana for decades. The tense racial divide between white and black may have aided in Filipinos in avoiding discrimination. As demonstrated by the “The War of the Fishermen,” Filipinos appeared to be more of an economic threat than a racial one to other ethnic groups in New Orleans.[64]The settlement of St. Malo could be portrayed as an economic facet of their lives since many of these men had wives and families in the region.

Very little, if any, descriptions of Filipino discrimination can be found during the Early American Republic. This could also be because they would often create their own communities like St. Malo. The Manilamen would always retain “some form of identification with the Philippines as homeland, no matter how inchoately imagined.”[65]During the late 1800s “Manila Village” was established in Jefferson Parish. The village was established at the same location in Barataria Bay Lafitte used as a base of operations. Some reporters have assumed these Filipino men were the Barataria pirates, creating confusion among scholars. Manila Village flourished as a shrimping and fishing community similar to St. Malo until a hurricane destroyed it in 1965.[66]


Filipinos may have settled in 1763, but it’s highly unlikely. The history of Filipinos in Louisiana can be complicated, and sometimes debatable, historians can use source material from the Early American Republic to better understand the settlement at St. Malo. The primary sources available establish the founding of St. Malo in the 1830s or 1840s. The popularized accounting of St. Malo by Hearn failed to align well with how the local men and women of New Orleans saw the Filipino population. The settlement consisted of men, young and old, yearning to provide for themselves and their families.


Primary Sources:

Cartwright, Samuel A. “The Piraeus of New Orleans – A Safe Retreat from Yellow Fever.” The New Oreans Daily Delta. June 18, 1854.

Laussat, Pierre Clément de. Memoirs of My Life. Edited by Robert D. Bush. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1803.

“Manilla.” The Times-Picayune. July 19, 1857.

“Massacre of the Crews of Two English Ships.” The Rock Island Weekly Argus. May 5, 1852.

“Our Present Asiatic Population.” The New Orleans Daily Crescent. October 23, 1866.

“Polynesian (Honolulu, Hawaii).” Polynesian. February 12, 1848.

“Stabbing at Proctorville.” The Daily Delta. October 19, 1858.

“Terrible Affray Near New Orleans – Three Men Killed and Three Wounded.” Cincinnati Daily Press. July 13, 1860.

“The Races of Men.” Thibodaux Minerva. March 15, 1856.

“The War of the Fishermen.” The Daily Delta. June 18, 1860.

Secondary Sources:

Aguilar, Filomeno V. “Manilamen and Seafaring: Engaging the Maritime World beyond the Spanish Realm.” Journal of Global History7, no. 3 (2012): 364–88. “Louisiana, Statewide Death Index, 1819-1964.” Provo, Utah: Operations, Inc., 2002.

———. “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.” Operations, Inc., 2011.

“Barataria Bay.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Accessed July 9, 2018.

Churchill, Malcolm H. “Louisiana History and Early Filipino Settlement: Searching for the Story.” Bulletin of the American Historical Collection FoundationXXVII No., no. April-June (1999): 25–48.

Cordova, Fred. Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans. Demonstration Project for Asian Americans, 1983.

Crisostomo, Isabelo T. Filipino Achievers in the USA & Canada: Profiles in Excellence. Farmington Hills, MI: Bookhaus Publishers, 1996.

Davis, William C. The Pirates Laffite: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf. New York: Harcort, Inc., 2005.

Ding, Loni. Ancestors in the Americas. Part 1, Coolies, Sailors and Settlers : Voyage to the New World. USA: Center for Educational Telecommunications, Inc, 2001.

Espina, Marina. Filipinos in Louisiana. New Orleans, Louisiana: A. F. Laborde & Sons, 1988.

Espiritu, Yen Le. Filipino American Lives. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995.

Faber, Eberhard L.Building the Land of Dreams: New Orleans and the Transformation of Early America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Hacker, David J. “Decennial Life Tables for the White Population of the United States, 1790–1900,” 2010.

Head, David. Privateers of the Americas : Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015.

Hearn, Lafcadio. “Saint Malo. A Lacustrine Village in Louisiana.” Harper’s Weekly27, no. 1371 (March 31, 1883): 198–99.

Johnson, Rashauna.Slavery’s Metropolis: Unfree Labor in New Orleans during the Age of Revolutions. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Larkin, Bob. “The 28 Most Enduring Myths in American History.” BestLife, 2017.

Lum, Lydia. “A Life’s Work Washed Away.” Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 2006.

Manalansan, Martin F editor, and Augusto Fauni editor Espiritu. Filipino Studies : Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora. New York: New York University Press, 2016.

Matsui, Robert T. “National Filipino-American History Week.” Congressional Record Daily Edition, 1986.

Mercene, Floro L. Manila Men In The New World. Diliman, Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 2007.

Remini, Robert V. The Battle of New Orleans. New York: Penguin Group, 1999.

“St. Malo.” The Times-Democrat. March 14, 1883.

State of Louisiana. “Thomas Delos Santos in the New Orleans, Louisiana, Death Records Index, 1804-1949.” Orleans Death Indices 1908-1917. Accessed June 10, 2018.

“Tagala.” Merriam-Webster. Accessed July 4, 2018.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Asian American and Pacific Islander Fact Sheet.” Accessed June 9, 2018.

Williams, Rudi. “DoD’s Personnel Chief Gives Asian-Pacific American History Lesson.” DoD News, 2005.


[1]Bob Larkin, “The 28 Most Enduring Myths in American History,” BestLife, 2017,

[2]Robert T. Matsui, “National Filipino-American History Week,” Congressional Record Daily Edition, 1986; Rudi Williams, “DoD’s Personnel Chief Gives Asian-Pacific American History Lesson,” DoD News, 2005,

[3]U.S. Department of Vetran Affairs, “Asian American and Pacific Islander Fact Sheet,” accessed June 9, 2018,

[4]“Tagala,” Merriam-Webster, accessed July 4, 2018,

[5]“Polynesian ( Honolulu , Hawaii ),” Polynesian, February 12, 1848,

[6]Lafcadio Hearn, “Saint Malo. A Lacustrine Village in Louisiana,” Harper’s Weekly27, no. 1371 (March 31, 1883): 198–99.




[10]“St. Malo,” The Times-Democrat, March 14, 1883,

[11]Floro L. Mercene, Manila Men In The New World(Diliman, Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 2007): 94.

[12]Marina Espina, Filipinos in Louisiana(New Orleans, Louisiana: A. F. Laborde & Sons, 1988): 38.

[13]Espina, 39.

[14]Lydia Lum, “A Life’s Work Washed Away,” Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 2006,

[15]Malcolm H Churchill, “Louisiana History and Early Filipino Settlement: Searching for the Story,” Bulletin of the American Historical Collection FoundationXXVII No., no. April-June (1999): 28.



[18]Loni Ding, Ancestors in the Americas. Part 1, Coolies, Sailors and Settlers : Voyage to the New World(USA: Center for Educational Telecommunications, Inc, 2001).

[19]Churchill, “Louisiana History and Early Filipino Settlement: Searching for the Story.”: 37.

[20]Churchill, 36.

[21]Hearn, “Saint Malo. A Lacustrine Village in Louisiana.”


[23], “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Operations, Inc., 2011.

[24], “Louisiana, Statewide Death Index, 1819-1964” (Provo, Utah: Operations, Inc., 2002).

[25]State of Louisiana, “Thomas Delos Santos in the New Orleans, Louisiana, Death Records Index, 1804-1949,” Orleans Death Indices 1908-1917, accessed June 10, 2018,

[26]David J. Hacker, “Decennial Life Tables for the White Population of the United States, 1790–1900,” 2010,

[27]Samuel A. Cartwright, “The Piraeus of New Orleans – A Safe Retreat from Yellow Fever,” The New Oreans Daily Delta, June 18, 1854,



[30]Churchill, “Louisiana History and Early Filipino Settlement: Searching for the Story.”38

[31]“Our Present Asiatic Population,” The New Orleans Daily Crescent, October 23, 1866,

[32]“The Races of Men,” Thibodaux Minerva, March 15, 1856,

[33]“Massacre of the Crews of Two English Ships,” The Rock Island Weekly Argus, May 5, 1852,

[34]“Stabbing at Proctorville,” The Daily Delta, October 19, 1858,

[35]“Terrible Affray Near New Orleans – Three Men Killed and Three Wounded,” Cincinnati Daily Press, July 13, 1860,

[36]“The War of the Fishermen,” The Daily Delta, June 18, 1860,

[37]“The War of the Fishermen.”

[38]“Manilla,” The Times-Picayune, July 19, 1857,



[41]Mercene, Manila Men In The New World.

[42]Martin F editor Manalansan and Augusto Fauni editor Espiritu, Filipino Studies : Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora(New York: New York University Press, 2016): 233.

[43]Manalansan and Espiritu, 237.

[44]“Barataria Bay,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, accessed July 9, 2018,

[45]Robert V. Remini, The Battle of New Orleans(New York: Penguin Group, 1999): 28-9.


[47]William C. Davis, The Pirates Laffite: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf(New York: Harcort, Inc., 2005): 48-9.

[48]Davis, 94-5.

[49]David Head, Privateers of the Americas : Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic(Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015): 46-8.

[50]Davis, The Pirates Laffite: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf, 95-6.

[51]Mercene, Manila Men In The New World, 3.

[52]Mercene, 7.

[53]Yen Le Espiritu, Filipino American Lives(Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995): 1.

[54]Mercene, Manila Men In The New World, 7.

[55]Fred Cordova, Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans(Demonstration Project for Asian Americans, 1983), 2.

[56]Filomeno V. Aguilar, “Manilamen and Seafaring: Engaging the Maritime World beyond the Spanish Realm,” Journal of Global History7, no. 3 (2012): 364–88,

[57]Davis, The Pirates Laffite: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf, 181.

[58]Remini, The Battle of New Orleans, 48-9.

[59]Isabelo T. Crisostomo, Filipino Achievers in the USA & Canada: Profiles in Excellence(Farmington Hills, MI: Bookhaus Publishers, 1996): 5-6.

[60]Eberhard L. Faber, Building the Land of Dreams: New Orleans and the Transformation of Early America(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016): 11.

[61]Pierre Clément de Laussat, Memoirs of My Life, ed. Robert D. Bush (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1803): 54.

[62]Rashauna Johnson, Slavery’s Metropolis: Unfree Labor in New Orleans during the Age of Revolutions(New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016): 114.

[63]Johnson, 115.

[64]“The War of the Fishermen.”

[65]Aguilar, “Manilamen and Seafaring: Engaging the Maritime World beyond the Spanish Realm.”

[66]Cordova, Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans, 4.

Published by


Grant holds a B.A. in History from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Additionally, Grant holds an M.A. in History from Arizona State University.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s