Victorio A. Velasco papers, 1920-1968  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Velasco, Victorio A., d. 1968
Title
Victorio A. Velasco papers
Dates
1920-1968 (inclusive)
Quantity
15.17 cubic feet (15 boxes)
Collection Number
1435 (Accession No. 1435-003)
Summary
Journalist, labor organization leader, civic leader, poet
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

After immigrating in the 1920s, Victorio Velasco became a participant and leader in many facets of Filipino-American life over the next half century. Velasco was perhaps best known as a leader of Seattle’s Filipino community. He published and edited the local Filipino Forum and served as the head of numerous Seattle Filipino community organizations. Because of his leadership in the Filipino community, many local and statewide organizations seeking to improve race relations sought him out to serve on their boards and committees. In addition to his leadership among Seattle’s Filipinos, Velasco also participated in the Filipino American labor movement. Like many other Filipinos during his time, Velasco spent most of his summers working in Alaska canneries and participated in the cannery unions’ turbulent internal politics.

Velasco was born in Asingan, Pangasinan, The Philippines, ca. 1903. After graduating from high school he taught in Manila and worked as a reporter for the Manila Times before emigrating to the U.S. in 1924. There he attended five colleges in Washington State before earning his B.A., M.A., and fulfilling some of the requirements for a Ph.D. at the University of Washington. Velasco had begun writing poetry in high school and early on was successful at finding publishers for his work. By the time of his death Velasco’s poetry had appeared in eleven anthologies and various newspapers and magazines.

After coming to the U.S., Velasco spent his summers working in the canneries alongside other Filipinos, who had begun filling most cannery positions after the loss of Japanese immigrants in the 1920s. Cannery work was known for being particularly strenuous and the employers often tried to take advantage of their Asian immigrant laborers, but the Filipinos developed a strong union to engage in collective bargaining with the employers. The Seattle branch of the Cannery Workers’ and Farm Laborers’ Union was organized in 1933 and represented Filipino-American cannery workers. However, the Filipino workers became frustrated with the AFL because of its stand on racial issues and in 1937 affiliated themselves with the CIO’s United Cannery, Agricultural, Packinghouse and Allied Workers of America, Local 7.

With union representation, the cannery workers were able to win concessions and improve wages and working conditions, but Local 7’s internal politics were often bitter. Many of the union elections featured personal insults and redbaiting. Velasco was involved in many of the elections both as a candidate and as a supporter of others running for office, but until the late 1940s, his attempts at winning a union office were unsuccessful. Velasco also was involved in a major split in Local 7 during the immediate postwar period. Many Local 7 members accused officers of corruption, which led to an investigation by its international union, which suspended or expelled three of Local 7’s top officers. These ousted officers formed a rival organization, the Seafood Workers’ Union (SFWU) and conducted a membership drive to try to displace Local 7. Although Velasco was not implicated in the Local 7 investigation, he joined the SFWU and became its secretary. There are a number of possibilities for why he might have joined.

One factor might have been the persistent regionalism within the Filipino-American community. Many of the people who joined the SFWU were from Velasco’s region of the Philippines. Ideology and politics may also have been a factor in Velasco’s decision, as members of the SFWU used anti-Communist rhetoric to attack Local 7. Velasco’s politics were consistently conservative and he saw Communism as a grave threat.

After merging with the AFL Alaska Fish Cannery Workers’ Union, the SFWU was able to enter a NLRB election that would allow cannery workers to determine which union would represent them. Redbaiting became a weapon in the campaign against Local 7, which affiliated with the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU). In 1950 the ILWU finally won collective bargaining rights and subsequently became Local 37 of the ILWU. Velasco then joined Local 37 and remained a member for the rest of his life, serving frequently as a delegate and as secretary-treasurer.

Newspaper publishing was also a large component of Velasco’s life. In the early 1920s Velasco worked as editor for the Philippine Seattle Colonist and as the Seattle correspondent for the Philippine Republic . In 1928 he became the founder, editor, and publisher of the Filipino Forum , which served as a newspaper for the Seattle Filipino community. In 1937 Velasco had to suspend publication, but resumed printing the Forum after the outbreak of World War II. During the interim he published or wrote for various other Filipino newspapers, including the Seattle Filipino Outlook , Northwest Forum , Philippine Review , and the Philippine Advocate .

Throughout his life in Seattle Velasco was heavily involved in local civic organizations, mostly within the Filipino community. In 1928 he was part of a group of UW Filipino students who founded the Seattle Filipino Clubhouse Fund. The Fund was intended to raise enough money to build a center for Filipino students at the university, but the plans never materialized. However, Velasco later changed the organization’s name to Filipino Community of Seattle, Inc., and set out to build a center for the entire Seattle Filipino community. Decades later, in 1965, the center was finally completed and was open for social events and recreation. Velasco also was a founder, president, and board member of the UW Filipino Alumni Association after World War II and founded both the Pangasinan Association of the Pacific Northwest and the Asinganian Club, which were comprised of people who came from his region of the Philippines.

Velasco also served other civic organizations that were not targeted specifically at Filipinos. Many of these groups were trying to reach out to the city’s and state’s diverse groups to try to improve race relations. He helped found the Jackson Street Community Council in 1946 and served as its first secretary and then as a board member. Other community organizations that Velasco served include the King County Advisory Council of the Washington State Board Against Discrimination, and the Board of Trustees of the Neighborhood House, which served inner-city youth.

Velasco died in Waterfall Alaska in 1968. He had been working at a cannery there when the bunkhouse caught on fire. After escaping safely, Velasco went back to retrieve his typewriter but was unable to escape a second time.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Correspondence, a diary, speeches and writings, ephemera, programs, newsletters, newspapers, minutes, reports, and personal papers and records from Velasco’s civic and labor organizations. The accession is divided into personal papers and subgroups based on the organizations that Velasco served.

The Filipino Forum subgroup consists mainly of materials intended for publication in the newspaper: news releases, speeches, photographs, and letters to the editor. This subgroup also includes records of the Philippine Advocate and other publications that Velasco edited or contributed to, including the Philippine Seattle Colonist (1927), and the Velasco News Service .

Campaign materials from local union elections are in subgroups throughout the accession. Much of the literature is polemical and appears to come from candidates whom Velasco supported, as well as from Velasco himself.

Personal Papers consist of materials that could not be subgrouped. Included are Velasco’s poems, letters to family and friends, schoolwork, date books, and other materials. The remainder of the Personal Papers consists of publications that he collected, speeches and writings, newspapers and ephemera from Filipino community organizations.

Major correspondents include New England Fish Company, Philippines Consulate, and Alaska Salmon Industry.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Some of the newspapers in this accession are available on microfilm in the Microform and Newspaper Collection. Microfilm A4137 has the Filipino Forum and A5612 has other Filipino-American newspapers from Washington State.

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Personal PapersReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Biographical Features
1937-68
1/2
Organizational Features - Various Organizations
1939-65
Incoming Letters
Box/Folder
1/3
Abella, Sebastian
1932
1/4
Acosta, Leonarda
1925-37
1/5
Aldaba, Dalisay
1951-59
1/6
Aquino, Marco A.
1930-36
1/7
Aquino, Sixta V.
1922-25
1/8
Arroyo, Simeon Doria
1931-39
1/9
Avon House Publishers
1937-41
1/10
Baylon, Tel I.
1938-48
1/11
Bryant, Alice Franklin
1951-66
1/12
Filipino Students Christian Movement in America - Manuel Adeva
1932-36
1/13
Garrott, Jane (“Mother”)
1926-27
1/14
Lincoln, Annie
1927-29
1/15
Lincoln, E.H. (“Mother”)
1927-29
1/16
Marsh, Ruth
1925-26
1/17
Martinez, Mercedes
1951
1/18
Mattmueller, Eleanor
1926-29
1/19
Micu, Bernardo
1937-38
1/20
Milanio, M.P.
1931-32
1/21
Panelle, Michael Anthony
1933-34
1/22
parades, Quintin (Resident Commissioner of the Phlippines)
1936
1/23
Pagkalinawan, E.A. (“Carnation”)
1957-59
1/24
Pelly, Thomas M.
1958-59
1/25
Philippines (Government)
1922-58
1/26
Querubin, Josefina
1923-60
1/27
Rueca, Lolita
1949-50
1/28
Sevidal, Benigno S.
1928-38
1/29
Velasco, Auring
1940-51
1/30
Velasco, Gregorio B.
1928-59
1/31
Velasco Leonor
1936-51
1/32
Wechel, Edith Van
1929-30
1/33-52
A-Z
1925-67
Box/Folder
1/53-55
Outgoing Letters
1927-67
1/56-58
General Correspondence - Delphine Brooks
1930-37
1/59
Minutes - Various Organizations
1928-62
Subject Series
Box/Folder
1/60
Legionarios Del Trabajo
1945-65
Maria Louisa Dominguez
Box/Folder
2/1-10
General Correspondence
1950-65
2/11
Divorce Records
1953-55
2/12
Libel Suit
1956
Box/Folder
2/13
United Good Neighbors
1952-59
Box/Folder
2/14,15
Engagement Calendars
1942-66
2/16
Address Books
1942-56
2/17
Account Books
1928, 65
2/18
Diaries
1924-55
2/19-24, 3/1-2
Reports
1940-65
Speeches And Writings
Box/Folder
3/3-9
V.A. Velasco
1920-67
3/10,11
Philippine President
1935-53
3/12
Redadtrini, Ildefonso - “Skid Road Philosopher”
undated
3/13
Rojo, Trinidad
undated
3/14-20
Others
1935-64
Newsletters
Box/Folder
3/21-23
Bataan
1953-62
3/24
The Chomly Spectator (cannery newsletter)
1927
3/25
Filipino Student/Bulletin
1932-41
3/26
The Informer, Pullman, WA
1929
3/27
Larawan
1956-63
3/28
Moral Re-Armament
1959-62
3/29
Mother’s Bulletin (International House, UW)
1926
3/30
Northern Light - Washington Committee For Protection of Foreign Born
1957-58
3/31
Nu’s Letter - Phi Delta Kappa
1945-66
3/32,33
The Philippine Newsletter
1956-61
14/1
Philippine Seattle Colonist
1927
3/34-35,4/1-4
Philippine Weekly Economic Review
1959-67
4/5
Philippines Panorama
1957-58
4/6
Prism
1946-47
4/7
Racial Equality Bulletin
1951-64
4/8
The Sea Gull News (Alaska)
1928
4/9
Seattle Pacific College Bulletin / Alumni Magazine
1948-65
4/10
Seattle Filipino Outlook - University of Washington
1930
4/11
Varsity Filipino Weekly
1926
4/12-21
Miscellaneous
1926-64
Newspapers
Box/Folder
14
Filipino American from Washington State OVERSIZED
1928-55
13
Filipino American from Other States OVERSIZED
1928-55
Programs And Announcements
Box/Folder
4/22
Caballeros De Dimas-Alang
1928-66
4/23
Churches
1928-66
4/24
Concerts and Plays
1942-59
4/25
Filipino and American Community of Puget Sound
1941-63
4/26
Filipino Columbians
1954-62
4/27,28
Filipino Events
1931-65
4/29,30
Filipino Events, Out of State
1939-65
5/1
Filipino Lodges
1949-66
5/2-5
Rizal Days
1920-64
5/6-9
Miscellaneous (Non-Filipino)
1932-65
Ephemera
Box/Folder
5/10
Cards (Identification and Business)
undated
5/11
Filipino Related
1946-60
5/12
Filipino Youth Activities of Seattle
1959-63
5/13
Literary
undated
5/14,15
Philippine Tourist Brochures
undated
5/16
Political
1948-60
5/17
University of Washington
1936-59
5/18,19
Miscellaneous
undated
Box/Folder
5/20
Invitations
1930-64
5/21-27,6/1-5
Pamphlets
1910-64
6/6
Financial Records
1965
6/7,8
Conferences And Conventions
1958-62
6/9
Court Papers
1953-58
6/10
Resolutions
1954-60
6/11
Legislation
1930-59
6/12
Lists
1954-62
6/13
Yearbook - The Shocsonian
1921
6/14,15
Clippings
1930-61
6/16-19
Miscellany
1935-63
6/20
Questionnaires - Filipinos In America Today
undated
6/21
Certificates
1948-70
12
Schoolwork
1935-48

Cannery Workers’ And Farm Laborers’ Union. Local #7Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6/22
Organization
1940
6/23
Incoming Letters
1938-48
6/24
Outgoing Letters
1940-48
6/25
Intra-organizational Correspondence
1935-48
6/26
Minutes
1946
6/27
Contracts - Alaska Salmon Industry, Inc.
1947-48
6/28
Speeches And Writings
1947
6/29
Clippings
1938
6/30
Membership
1940-41
6/31
Ephemera
1946
6/32
Newsletter- “local 7 News”
1945-49

Seafood Workers’ UnionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Letters
Box/Folder
6/33
Alaska Salmon Industry, Inc.
1948
3/34-36
A-Z
1947-48
Box/Folder
6/37,38
Outgoing Letters
1947-48
6/39
Minutes
1947-48
6/40
Financial Records
1948
6/41,42
Membership
1947-49
6/43
Memoranda
undated
6/44
Requisitions
1948
6/45
Newsletter- “the Truth”
1947

Alaska Fish Cannery Workers’ Union Of The Pacific (SIU-AFL)Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6/46
Organization
undated
6/47
General Correspondence
1949-52
6/48
Minutes
1949
6/49
Ephemera
1949

Longshoremen’s And Warehousemen’s Union, International. Local #37Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
7/1
Organization
1951
7/2
Incoming Letters
1953-68
7/3
Outgoing Letters
1953-59
7/4
Intra-organizational Correspondence
1951-60
7/5
General Correspondence
1953-58
7/6
Minutes
1949-52
7/7
Financial Records
1951-59
7/8
Negotiations
1948-68
7/9,10
Contracts - Alaska Salmon Industry, Inc.
1951-59
7/11
Reports
1953-59
7/12
Crew List
1959
7/13
Speeches And Writings
undated
7/14
Clippings
1953
7/15-17
Ephemera
1940-57
Subject Series - Biennial Convention
Box/Folder
7/18
Minutes
1953, 57
7/19
Resolutions
1953
7/20
Reports/Rules
1953

Civic Unity CommitteeReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
7/21
Organization
1964
7/22
Incoming Letters
1958-63
7/23-26
Outgoing Letters
1950-64
7/27-29
Minutes
1953-64
7/30-34
Reports
1955-63
7/35
Newsletters - Fair Play
1958-59
7/36
Financial Records
1958-60
7/37
Ephemera
1947-59

Council Of Social Agencies, 1947-58Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 7/38

Council On Aging For Seattle And King County, 1957-68Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 7/39

Filipino Alumni Association (UW), 1947-67Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 7/40

Filipino Community Of SeattleReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
7/41
Historical Features
1939-66
7/42
Constitution And Bylaws
1939-52
7/43
Incoming Letters
1933-66
Box/Folder
7/44
Philippine Consulate
1945-65
7/45-48
Philippine Government Embassy
1933-66
7/49
Miscellaneous A-Z
1944-66
7/49
Outgoing Letters
8/1
Minutes
1956-63
Speeches And Writings
Box/Folder
8/2
Velasco, Victorio
1941
8/3
Angeles, Mariano B.
1958
8/4
Philippine Counsul
1952-60
8/5
Rojo, Trinidad
undated
8/6,7
Misc.
1946-58
Box/Folder
8/8
Financial Records
1941-59
8/9
Lists
1956
8/10
Newsletters
1959
8/11
Reports
1958-62
8/12
Clippings
1948-61
8/13
Miscellany
1949-65
8/14
Elections
1947-64
8/15-17
Ephemera
1948-66
8/18
Newsletters- “queen Contest Courier”
1946

Filipino ForumReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
8/19
Historical Features
1946
Incoming Letters
1928-65
Box/Folder
8/20
Angeles, Mariano B.
1936-59
8/21
Aquino, Marco A.
1929-38
8/22
Christian Friends For Racial Equality
1939
8/23
Dionisio, Johnny R.
1950-51
8/24
Malasarte, Blas D. and Jean. O.
1962-67
8/25
Philippine Government
1943-64
8/26
Rustia, Manuel S.
1926-28
8/27
Yap, Diosdado M.
1935-57
8/28-38
A-Y
1928-65
8/39
Unidentified
1929-66
Box/Folder
8/40-45
Outgoing Letters
1928-67
8/46
Legislation
1944-63
8/47,48
Financial Records
1944-59
8
Ledger
1946-48
9/1,2
Lists
1948-59
News Releases
Box/Folder
9/3
Anti-Tuberculosis League of King County
1958-63
9/4-6
Columbo Conference, Seattle
1958
977
Jackson Street Community Council
1949-66
9/8-10
Philippine Commonwealth
1944
9/11
Philippine Consulates
1948-64
9/12-14
Philippine Government
1942-63
9/15,16
Philippine Embassy
1958-64
9/17
Philippine Resident Commissioner to the United States
1945-46
9/18
Seattle World’s Fair
1962
9/19-25
Miscellaneous
1943-65
Newsletters
Box/Folder
9/26
Philippine Affairs
1948-58
9/27
Philippine News
1948-53
9/28,29
Philippine News Briefs
1948-53
9/30
Phillipine News Digest
1945-49
9/31
Philippines Consulates
1927-58
9/32
Phillipine Government
1943-58
9/33
Miscellaneous
1927-58
Box/Folder
15
Newspapers - Filipino Forum Oversized
1943-69
Speeches And Writings
Box/Folder
9/34
V.A. Velasco
1926-65
9/35
Auburn News
undated
9/36
Bremerton News
1929-30
9/37
Yap, Diosdado M.
1936-44
10/1-9
Others
1930-66
Box/Folder
10/10
Notes
1957-59
10/11
Subject Series - Queen Contest
1954
10/12
Reports - Columbo Plan
1957
10/13-19
Clippings
1925-67
10/20
Miscellany
1958
10/21,22
Ephemera
1934-65

Filipino Inter-Community Council Of The Pacific Northwest, 1953-59Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 10/23

Filipino Nacionalista Party In America, 1949-52Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 10/24

Jackson Street Community CouncilReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
10/25
Organization
1945-59
10/26
Incoming Letters
1943-61
10/27-32
Outgoing Letters
1946-64
10/33,11/1-13
Minutes
1946-65
11/14
News Releases
1952-62
11/15-17
Financial Records
1947-64
11/18
Membership Lists
1946-60
11/19
Legislation
1956-58
11/20,21
Speeches And Writings
1955-60
11/22,23
Newsletters - Jackson Street Community Newsletter
1956-64
11/24-26
Reports
1947-61
11/27
Clippings
1957
11/28
Miscellany
1947-61
11/29
Ephemera
1951-64

Neighborhood House, 1950-61Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 11/30-33

Pangasinan Association 0f The Pacific Northwest. (Asinganian Club), 1939-68Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 11/34

Philippine Commonwealth Council Of Seattle, 1935-36Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 11/35

Washington State Board Against Discrimination, 1957-64Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 11/36-39

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Personal Names :
  • Dominguez, Maria Louisa
  • Velasco, Victorio A., d. 1968--Archives
  • Geographical Names :
  • Philippines--Politics and government
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • Filipino Forum
  • Japanese Exclusion League journal
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Alaska Fish Cannery Workers' Union of the Pacific (SIU-AFL) (creator)
    • Alaska Salmon Industry, Inc (creator)
    • Avon House Publishers (creator)
    • Caballeros De Dimas-Alang (Fraternity) (creator)
    • Cannery Workers' and Farm Laborers' Union. Local 77 (Seattle, Wash.) (creator)
    • Civic Unity Committee (Seattle, Wash.) (creator)
    • Council On Aging For Seattle And King County (creator)
    • Filipino and American Community of Puget Sound (creator)
    • Filipino Nacionalista Party in America (creator)
    • Filipino Students Christian Movement In America (creator)
    • Filipino Youth Activities of Seattle (creator)
    • Filipino-American Intercommunity Council of the Pacific Northwest (creator)
    • International Longshoremen's And Warehousemen's Union. Local 37 (Seattle, Wash.) (creator)
    • Jackson Street Community Council (Seattle, Wash.) (creator)
    • Labor Archives of Washington (University of Washington) (creator)
    • Neighborhood House (Seattle, Wash.) (creator)
    • Pangasinan Association of the Pacific Northwest (creator)
    • Philippine Commonwealth Council Of Seattle (creator)
    • Seafood Workers' Union (creator)
    • Seattle (Wash.). Council of Social Agencies (creator)
    • University of Washington. Filipino Alumni Association (creator)
    • Washington State Board Against Discrimination (creator)