Chinese in the Old West

Reviewed Resources for Students and Teachers


Americana & American History - 

American Revolutionary War - American Colonial Times - General Resources for American History - Historically Important American Documents - Historic American Maps  

The Western Expansion

American Western Expansion General Resources - Buffalo Soldiers Black Cavalry - Chinese Arrival in America - Gold & Silver Rushes - Lewis & Clark - Orphan TrainsOverland Trails - Pony Express - Coming of the Iron Horses



The Great 19th Century

19th Century American General Resources - 19th Century American Industrialization/The Gilded Age - 19th Century American Immigrants - America's Victorian Age  

The Civil War

American Civil War General resources

American Civil War Lesson Plans



Ancestors in the Americas: Part 2, Chinese in the Frontier West __ "The second part of the ANCESTORS IN THE AMERICAS series unfolds with the arrival of Chinese on the West Coast during the Gold Rush, not as coolies laboring in the bleak outposts of the New World's plantations and mines, but as free men embarking for "Gold Mountain." Pushed by hard times at home, they arrived full of hope for wealth and for an auspicious return to their homeland." You can access parts one and three from this page. - illustrated - From -

The Chinese in California: Topical Overview __ "The Chinese brought with them to the United States traditions and practices that were integral to their daily lives. They had specific religious beliefs and rituals related to those. The Chinese Temple in Oroville, was built in 1863 to serve a community of 10,000 Chinese residents." This website covers numerous aspects of Chinese life and contributions to California from agriculture to to business and politics. - illustrated - From The Library of Congress -  


Chinese Servants in the North American West __ This paper deals with the changing social structure of "servants" and how Chinese arrivals benefited (or suffered) because of them. This is an interesting read where you will find horror stories about the Chinese were treated and also acts of kindness. It was an interesting time in our history. - From University of Idaho -

Gold Rush and Anti-Chinese Race Hatred - 1849 __ You will find a good overview of the Chinese experience in Gold Rush California. "Like every other nation in the world, the Chinese Empire was represented in the great rush for California which took place during the gold excitement. At the beginning of the year 1849 there were in the state only fifty-four Chinamen. At the news of the gold discovery a steady immigration commenced which continued until 1876, at which time the Chinese in the United States numbered 151,000 of whom 116,000 were in the state of California." - illustrated - From - 


Industrialization, Class, and Race: Chinese and the Anti-Chinese Movement in the Late-19th-Century Northwest __ Here is an article in which the Chinese and the early US labor Union movement were at odds. It is not the brightest moment for American Labor. "When white workingmen formed into unions in the American West, they often were organizing not only against capital but also against the non-white worker who, in a variety of ways, was perceived as a threat to whites' economic security. In the Pacific Northwest of the 1880s—the very decade when railroads increased the pace of industrialization in the region—these patterns of labor organization and conflict played out against Chinese communities." It is an interesting read. - illustrated - From University of Washington - 



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