Orey, Bela R. (1870-1913). Proprietor of the Afro American Hotel in Seattle, Washington. ALS on Afro American Hotel letterhead, 1p, 8.5 x 11 in., Seattle, Washington. May 4, 1912. Addressed to Mrs. Agnese Davis of Portland, Oregon.
Orey writes to Davis requesting assistance and instruction with regard to monetary and tax matters. He concludes saying that "Business is very quiet in this city and appears to get worse my business is not as good as it was 30 days ago trusting you are well and successful." The hotel letterhead highlights amenities at the 35 room hotel including "Free Bath / Free Community Kitchens," hailing its facility as the "Finest and Best Equipped Colored Hotel in the City."
Census records indicate that Orey was a Black male born in Missouri. By 1900 he had relocated to Seattle though he was not yet working as proprietor of the Afro American Hotel. He died the year after this letter was written, however, the hotel continued to operate in Seattle under this same name through at least 1921. African American travelers faced widespread discrimination in travel facilities, and hotels like the Afro American Hotel in Seattle offered a safe and hospitable environment for those passing through or in need of long-term accommodations.
Minor wear, toning, folds, and a small ink blot near bottom center not affecting text. Overall good.
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