Russian Passport Application Album

At the beginning of the 20th century Hawaii sugar plantation owners began to recruit laborers of European background. Former Secretary of the Territory of Hawaii and Director of the Bureau of Immigration, Alatau L.C. Atkinson, and a somewhat questionable Russian entrepreneur A. V. Perelestrous, traveled to Harbin, Manchuria to recruit Russian workers, primarily from the area around Vladivostok. Perhaps as many as 2,000 Russians and Ukrainians came to Hawaii.

Black and white photo of family of five

The idea for repatriating Russians living abroad began right after the 1917 February Revolution in Petrograd. Vil’gel’m Vasil’evich Trautshold (1877-1937), a career diplomat who had served as a Vice Consul in Hakodate (1906-12), as a Consul in Dairen and General Consul in Harbin (1914-17), was sent to Hawaii from September 1917 to March of 1918. The costs of repatriation to Bolshevik Russia were borne by the new government.  Trautshold conducted the interviews and prepared the pages in the album.  Auguste Jean Baptiste Marques (1841-1929), who was the last Vice Consul of the Russian Empire in Honolulu from 1911 until his death, assisted.   Marques wrote the name of each person in romanized form, and sometimes made additional notes in red.

The album contains the passport applications for 165 people who wished to return to their native country. Every person was required to submit a photograph, and details on where they were born and when, what work they did in Russia, year and name of ship on which they came to Hawaii, what work they did here, how many children, and their religion.

Black and white photo of mother and two children

The images of the album pages are accompanied by the text transcribed in Russian and an abbreviated English translation. The digital album is organized by page number just as the in the original material. Images of a loose-leaf table inserted in the album are also included. The table is annotated as “Table of Russians Who Want to Repatriate“.

The English transcription of the biographies do not contain all the information in the Russian transcriptions. Some information in the annotations may be from sources other than the album. The annotations are a rough translation by Amir Khisamutdinov, and have not been edited. They provide some ability to search the image collection in English by names and geographic locations.

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