Thursday, May 12, 2005

Question: Chinese laborers

From: "Stephen Kneeshaw"

I would like to put together some materials on "ordinary people" in American history and include Chinese laborers on the CPRR as one of the groups. I would like to use this information in an American history survey course that I teach at College of the Ozarks. Might you be able to direct me to information on specific individuals – as opposed to the entire group – including names, biographical sketches, and so forth? Thanks.

Stephen Kneeshaw
Professor of History
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

For information about Chinese CPRR workers, see:

In attempting to focus on individual Chinese railroad workers, you have chosen a very difficult task. The Library of Congress states that:  "No first-person memoirs of the Chinese experience in nineteenth-century California are known to survive. There is always hope that further research in the United States and the People's Republic of China will produce such a narrative, but for the time being, readers must content themselves with studies such as Robert McClellan's The Heathen Chinee: A Study of American Attitudes toward China, 1890-1905 (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1971) or Betty Lee Sung's Mountain of Gold: The Story of the Chinese in America (New York: Macmillan, 1967)."

Additionally there is considerable misinformation in the secondary literature. See:

While there is ongoing debate regarding the validity of some calculations, for a book looking at surviving payroll records that might prove helpful, see:

5/12/2005 4:44 PM  

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