By Sue Fawn Chung
Both a heritage of an ignored group and a well-rounded reassessment of winning assumptions approximately chinese language miners within the American West, In Pursuit of Gold brings to lifestyles in wealthy element the realm of turn-of-the-century mining cities within the Northwest. Sue Fawn Chung meticulously recreates the lives of chinese language immigrants, miners, retailers, and others who populated those cities and interacted amicably with their white and local American buddies, defying the typical notion of nineteenth-century chinese language groups as insular enclaves topic to expanding prejudice and violence.
While such a lot learn has concerned with chinese language miners in California, this publication is the 1st wide learn of chinese language stories within the cities of John Day in Oregon and Tuscarora, Island Mountain, and Gold Creek in Nevada. Chung illustrates the relationships among miners and retailers in the groups and within the higher context of immigration, arguing that the leaders of the chinese language and non-Chinese groups labored jointly to create fiscal interdependence and to short-circuit some of the hostilities and tensions that plagued different mining towns.
Peppered with interesting information about those groups from the intricacies of chinese language playing video games to the concepts of hydraulic mining, In Pursuit of Gold attracts on a wealth of ancient fabrics, together with immigration files, census manuscripts, criminal files, newspapers, memoirs, and manuscript collections. Chung supplementations this historic learn with precious first-hand observations of artifacts that she skilled in archaeological digs and recovery efforts at numerous of the websites of the previous booming mining towns.
In transparent, analytical prose, Chung expertly characterizes the circulate of chinese language miners into Oregon and Nevada, the heyday in their mining efforts within the zone, and the decline of the groups because of alterations within the mining undefined. Highlighting the optimistic reviews and friendships a few of the immigrants had in those quite remoted mining groups, In Pursuit of Gold additionally indicates comparisons with the chinese language diaspora in different destinations similar to British Columbia and South Africa.
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Extra info for In Pursuit of Gold: Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West
The same applies to the Binggongtang (Cantonese Bing Kong Tong), another secret fraternal organization claiming ties to international Masonry. “Chinese American” includes the first generation of Chinese immigrants and “EuroAmerican” designates those of European origins and descent. indd 34 6/24/11 8:35 AM 1 The Coming and Early Challenges Chinese migr ated to the United States for many reasons. Upon arrival, they faced many challenges and established organizations to assist in coping with their new environment while preserving some traditions.
The advantage to this technique was that less manpower was required—especially useful in hydraulic sluicing. indd 8 6/24/11 8:35 AM with nails in the soles for greater traction, and the layout of the architectural features of the dwellings provided additional information about the lifestyle of Chinese miners. • The organizational and wage system used in China probably was modified somewhat in the American West. In China professional miners scouted the sites for mine owners who eventually organized the workers into squads averaging ten men, headed by a foreman.
Indd 9 6/24/11 8:35 AM the Chinese miners often used the same or very similar systems of organization, wage scale, and employment conditions in gold mining. 30 • Placer mining was hard work. 31 Water was a key component of placer mining since it was needed to loosen and wash these deposits, therefore the construction of ditches, dams, and irrigation systems, often very complex and gravity driven, was a specialty of the Chinese farmerturned-miner. Mine owners often first hired the Chinese to dig ditches and irrigation systems.