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  • Title
    Quong Tart and family - Papers, 1831-1940
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 5094/Boxes 1, 3
    MLMSS 5094/vols. 2X, 4X, 5X
    MLMSS 5094/Item 6X
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
    Microfilm : (MLMSS 5094/1, Items 1-5).
  • Physical Description
    2 boxes, 3 outsize volumes and 1 outsize item - manuscript, typescript, clippings, printed

    Quong Tart, a wealthy tea merchant and restaurateur, was also a highly resepcted figure, philanthropist and community leader for the Chinese community in New South Wales.

    Mei Quong Tart was born in 1850, the son of a merchant, in the provincial town of Hsin-ning, Canton province, China. He migrated to Australia, aged nine, with his uncle and moved to the Braidwood goldfields. Quong Tart quickly assimilated into the Australian way of life becoming a fine cricketer and sportsman, a Freemason and local entrpreneur. He was naturalised in 1871.
    It was 22 years before he returned to China to visit his parents. Returning to Australia, he opened his first teashop in Sydney and met with great success. In 1889 he opened an elaborate restaurant in King Street, and a dining hall in the Queen Victoria Building in 1889 which became one of the most fashionable social centres in Sydney.

    Quong Tart married a young English woman when he was aged 36, and they had six children. In 1892 he built an elegant mansion, Gallop House, in Ashfield.

    A spokesman for the Chinese people in Australia, Quong Tart often acted as a conciliator during times of racial unrest and was active in the campaign against opium. On an official visit to China in 1894 he was awarded the title of Mandarin of the Fourth Rank (or Blue Button) by China's Emperor Kuang Hsu. Quong Tart was the first Chinese public figure to succeed in being fully accepted by the wider community. In 1902, a vicious attack and robbery left him seriously ill. He died on 26 July 1903. -- Curator's notes, Mitchell Library, 2003.
  • Scope and Content
    1877-1901; Letters received by Quong Tart, his family, and `representatives of the Chinese community in NSW', being mainly thanks for addresses presented (Call No.: CY 4554, frames 1-83: MLMSS 5094/1/1)

    1881-1903; Letters of introduction for Quong Tart by i.a. Sir Henry Parkes, Sir William Robinson, Sir George Dibbs, William Kelynack, Royal Miners Refuge Lodge, Braidwood; and addresses to Quong Tart (Call No.: CY 4554, frames 84-104: MLMSS 5094/1/2)

    1883-1884; Petitions to NSW Parliament and a draft of a pamphlet, on the supression of opium in NSW (Call No.: CY 4554, frames 105-138: MLMSS 5094/1/3)

    1902; Letters (in Chinese) received by Quong Tart concerning an assault made on him; the crest of Quong Tart in Chinese characters (Call No.: CY 4554, frames 139-157: MLMSS 5094/1/4)

    Undated, 1903; Greeting cards to the Tart family; condolence cards received by Margaret Tart following the death of Quong Tart (Call No.: CY 4554, frames 158-192: MLMSS 5094/1/5)

    1901-1903; Accounts ledger (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/vol. 2X)


    18 April 1831; Sydney Herald (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/3/1)

    2 January 1901; Sydney Morning Herald (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/3/1)

    1885-1902; Invitations, menus, concert programmes (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/3/2)

    1894?; Visiting cards received in Portuguese Macau (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/3/3)

    1894-1913; Newscuttings from an envelope labelled `Q.T.' (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/3/4)

    1894; `Official report of anti-opium demonstration' (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/3/5)

    1900; Prospectus of the Quong Tart tea company (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/3/6)

    1882-1894; Scrapbook of newscuttings compiled by Margaret Tart (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/vol. 4X)

    1886-1903; Scrapbook of newscuttings compiled by Margaret Tart (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/vol. 5X)

    Undated, 1888; Addresses to i.a. Earl of Hopetoun, Earl of Jersey and Sir Robert Duff, from Quong Tart and `members of the Chinese community in NSW' (Call No.: MLMSS 5094/Item 6X)
  • Language
  • Finding Aids
    Read the transcription of digitised pages here: archival-classic.sl.nsw.gov.au/_transcript/2017/D00007/a565.html
  • General note

    Select items from this collection have been preserved and digitised as part of the Nelson Meers Foundation Benefaction, 2003.
    Digital order no: Album ID : 824046
  • Creator/Author/Artist
  • Name
  • Subject
  • Exhibited in

    Private Lives: Families of N.S.W. - State Library of New South Wales (2001 - 3 February 2002). Applies to: MLMSS 5094/1/5: Condolence cards
    Nelson Meers Foundation Heritage Collection - State Library of New South Wales (Jul 2003 - Jan 2004)
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