Sunday, November 03, 2019

"No first-person memoirs of the Chinese experience in nineteenth-century California are known to survive." -Library of Congress

"No first-person memoirs of the Chinese experience in nineteenth-century California are known to survive."
Library of Congress



From: "John Shubert" john@jspe.net
Subject: Gold Mountain Chinese Workers 金山中国铁路工人

You have a wonderful site and I commend your work!

However, I was dumfounded by these quotes:
1. “Alas (and strangely), the events were not recorded by the Chinese at the time, so the details and their perspective consequently are likely long since lost to history
2. “It's too bad that there are no known writings by Chinese memorializing their experiences in building the Central Pacific Railroad.”

May I courteously say: Someone has clearly overlooked that any number of worker’s memories exist in the Chinese language. It’s an elementary mistake to say “none of them wrote a book in English we can read”.

The careful researcher (or historian) would say “the reason we don’t have first-person accounts from Chinese workers is because we haven’t researched original Chinese sources that exist in China”.

These workers surely told everyone back home (in China) and elsewhere (in the USA) about their experiences in their own language: Chinese. A few minutes of research using Google translate confirms there is a whole other world out there of Chinese knowledge about the ‘Gold Mountain Chinese railroad workers’ 金山中国铁路工人‘Jīnshān zhōngguó tiělù gōngrén’.

For instance, this 20min video contains information and some pictures which may surprise you. ...

John Shubert PE, Lake Forest, CA

Photographs of Leland Stanford with railroads

From: "Marc Shaffer" marcashaffer@comcast.net

... I'm making a documentary film on Eadweard Muybridge. I’m wondering ... have you ever encountered a photograph of Leland Stanford with railroads? The only image I've seen is the painting of the last spike.

If you’re interested in keeping up with our film – please visit the website from time to time and check the news tab – www.muybridgethemovie.com. Spread the word.

It's a film about Muybridge and his time – and so of course there’s some discussion of the emergence of steam trains along with other world-changing technologies (including the camera).

Marc Shaffer
Director, Exposing Muybridge




Kyle Wyatt comment attachments:

356 – The Last Rail is Laid – Scene at Promontory Point, May 10th, 1869 – Stanford
356 – The Last Rail is Laid – Scene at Promontory Point, May 10th, 1869 – Stanford

356 Last rail, last tie – Spikes and Hammers marked
356 Last rail, last tie – Spikes and Hammers marked