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The other side of the Chinese question in California : or, A reply to the charges against the Chinese… Layres, Augustus 1876

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As Embodied in the Resolutions adopted at the Anti-Chinese
Mass Meeting, held April 5th, 1876, in San Francisco.
-»   ♦   mi
Respectfully   Submitted to  the   Unbiased Judgment of the
American People, President and Congress,
» ♦■ ♦
Being fully aware that the subject in controversy, namely,
Tlie Chinese Irrimigration to this Country, is one of paramount
importance to both State and Nation ;
That it is a debatable question, of which thus far but one
side has had a fall hearing ;
That it is the constitutional right and privilege of ev&ry
citizen in this Free Republic to write, publish and speak can- J   [ 2 ] J
didly his own sentiments on any public subject, whether popular or unpopular ;
And, moreover, believing that several charges against the
Chinese, which are embodied in the Address and Resolutions
of the Citizens' Anti-Chinese Committee, adopted at the Mass
Meeting held in San Francisco April 5th, are untrue, or exaggerated ;
The Friends of Right, Justice and Humanity, While
entertaining the highest respect for said Committee and the
vast assembly which honored their Address and Resolutions
with their approval, they are compelled to dissent from
them, and to accept the challenge contained in the above
mentioned resolutions, " to successfully refute the charges they
have made against the Chinese."
In submitting this Reply to the intelligent and unbiased
judgment of the American people, President and Congress, the
Friends of Right, Justice and Humanity fondly hope that it
will receive the consideration it deserves, notwithstanding it
proceeds from a minority—since a question of a national interest, like this of " Chinese Immigration" should be decided
from reason and fact and by the voice, not of one State alone,
but of the majority of States.
The Committee open their address by declaring their intention to respect the provision of treaties, the decision of courts,
and the higher considerations of humanity, in dealing with the
Chinese who are domiciled in oar midst.
The spirit of fairness and humanity toward a helpless class
of human beings, and of submission to law and authority, thus
shown by the Committee, is very commendable indeed.
Had, however, this fine declaration gone one step further,
and included the Chinese that may come hereafter, and before
the abrogation of the American treaty with China, it would
be unexceptionable.
Why is this unjust discrimination as to treatment made
between the Chinese who are now domiciled in our midst and
those who are not and may come before jbhe abrogation of the
treaty ? [3 |
Have not the latter as well as the former been invited to this
country, § by the policy of our laws, and the sanction of our
highest legislative and judicial tribunals," as^he Committee
very justly remark upon referring to the Chinese in our midst ?
From observation, experience, and contact with the Chinese
for twenty-five years, the Committee consider it " their right to
claim an intelligent opinion on the Chinese question."
No reasonable man will say that their claim is not well
grounded. But it is not exclusively theirs. All persons
who thoroughly acquaint themselves with all the facts in
the .Chinese case, both pro and con, are able to form an intelligent and correct judgment on this subject.....|||
And if the people and Congress", outside of California, are
not competent to adjudicate this subject intelligently, why do
the Committee invoke, with so great fervor, their decision ?
First Charge—•'•' The Chinese will soon outnumber our people."
The Committee estimate the Chinese population in Californi
at 200,000, (about one fourth of the entire population of the
State) of whom 75,000 reside in San Francisco, and constitute
" one fourth part of our people."
This estimate is grossly incorrect. In order to be fair on
this point, we will give the statistics as they have been gathered
from reliable sources, beginning with the statement of Chinese
passengers arrived at and departed from the port of San Francisco since 1852, which was compiled from the Custom House
records and published in the San Francisco Evening Post.
"Year. Arrived., Departed.
1852 20,025 1,768
1853     4,270 4,421
1854 ...,,...,..,. 16,084 2,339
Carried forward ..,.40,378 8,526 [4]
Brought forward , 40,379 8,526
1855   3,329 3,473
1856 jpf|   4,807 3,028
1857  5,925 1,938
1858   5,427 2,542
1859   3,175 2,450
1860    7,341 2,O(»0
. 1861 . .....  8,490 3,580
1862...;   , 8,175 2,792!
1863 .„.,    6,432 2,404
1864  2,682 3,910
1865 r,  3,005 2,-295
1866  2,245 3,111
1867  ,  4,290 4,475
1868 , 11,081 4,210
1869 > 14,091 4,835
1870 ......10,870 4,236
1871 ...   5,540 3,260
1872.... |   9,770 4,800
1873». 17,075 6,805
1874 ; , 16,085 7,710 ;t|
1875 18,021 6,302
j First quarter of 1876  5,063 625
Total 214,126 90,089
| This gives an excess of arrivals over departures of 124,137.
The number of Chinese in California before this record began
to be kept is estimated at 10,000, so that the total of Chinese
now in the country, without deducting the deaths, would be
about 134,000. Deduct 24,000 for deaths, and we have the
round number of 110,000 Mongolians now with us."—S. F.
Post, April-20th, 1876.      JM| j      »\ -j|"■ .   A- --'||&r
Next we add the statement regarding the number of Chinese
in America, as- obtained by the Senate Sub-Committee on Chinese investigation from the Presidents of the six Chinese Companies, which is as follows :
Sam Yu-p Company 10,100
Young Wo Company lo,2O0
Kong Chow Company 1 15,000
Wing Young Company .........75,000'
Hap Wo Company...... .   .„ ,.~....v. .v..„..wifc34,000
Yap Wo Company 42,000
Total , 148,600 1
r i •       ttii ■••■ ■?■• ';i
I They estimated that there were 30,000 in San Francisco.
ahd 30,000 in the State, outside of San Francisco."—& F.
Bulletin, April 20th, 1876.                                 ||
Further we append the statistics  furnished to us  by  the
Presidents of the Six Companies, comprising the arrivals to
and departures from this coast by the Chinese, since 1873 to
the present time, which are as follows :
Year. Arrived.    Departed.
If 5873 | 755 52o
1874 ( 1 842 495
1875 ..............878 574
J876, up to April 172 120
1873 :...... j 1,290 88S
1874 1,510 914
1875   , 1,655 712
1876, up to April .......: .^,     680 91
1873....... .       943 694
1874..     760 ,      825
1875 1,430 670
1876, up to April     360 83
1873....   5,621 2,738
1874 ;....... 5,748 2,892   Jj|
1875 1 ..5,520 2,760
1876, up to April 1,700 432
1873 ......2,600 1,100
*874 ....3,100 1,400
1875..... i 3,200 1,500
1876, up to Ap*U.: A...     800 150
540 260
1873 ;.....	
1874 | 560 240
1875....:...  p 480 210
1876, up to April , ; 15& 28 [6]       \
From which we gather, that the arrivals of Chinese in 1873
were 11,749, and the departures G,200. In 1874 the arrivals
were 12,520 and 'the departures 6,766. In 1875, the arrivals
were 13,163 and the departures 6,426. And in 1876, up to and
including a part of April, the arrivals have been 3,862t and the
departures 904, which figures being added together give a
grand total, in three years and a quarter, of arrivals, 41,294,
and of departures, 20,296, leaving an excess of arrivals over
departures of 20,998.
And if we accept the report Of the Senate Sub-Committee
authorized by the six Chinese Companies, which makes a
more liberal estimate of the entire Chinese population in
America than the Custom House statistics do, there are now
148,000 Chinese in the United States, of whom 60,000 reside in
California, and of these 30,000 live in San Francisco and 30,000
in the State at large.
If therefore the population of San Francisco now reaches,
according to the generally accepted estimate, the number of
250,000, and that of the entire State is 800,000, the Chinese
number in this State and City above given is less than one
eighth of the population of the ( it'y and less than one
thirteenth of the population.of the entire State.
Surely, this computation makes a great difference in the
estimate made by the Committee, that "the Chinese in California constitute one-fourth of the population* of the entire
State, and the Chinese in San Francisco are one fourth of its
But the Committee aver that "considering the source from
whence comes the Chinese immigration, viz, China, which contains 400,000,000 of inhabitants as against 40,000,000 who live
in the United States, and considering that this is an age of
cheap and quick transportation by reason of steam, etc., they
feel alarmed at this increasing invasion (i. e. immigration) lest
it may soon outnumber our Pacific Coast population and imperil our best interests."
However, if the rate of Chinese immigration be in the future
as it has been in the last twenty years, the Committee may as ."V
well allay their fears, since there is ho reason why the gauge
should not keep steady in the future as in the past.
If " sold and silver discoveries " on this coast were the cause
of Chinese immigration, as the Committee allege, together with
high wages for labor paid in early times, will any sensible man
believe that said immigration will increase when placer diggings are exhausted and wages have fallen low.
The Committee may rest assured that cheap labor, which is
now so much decried, will prove* in the end an effectual remedy
against Chinese immigration. The Chinese will only stop
coming to America, when it is made no longer profitable.
..The Committee charge that the Chinese do not settle in
this country like the white people, at the same time they do
not want them to remain here, fearing that they may soon outnumber the white population
Pray, do not these contrary demand's show inconsistency of
purpose ?
But you need not, gentlemen, give way to an  unnecessary
alarm.    Compare,  if   you  please,   the  table  of  Chinese  and
white immigration of last year.
The 'Evening Post, a journal  not  suspected of partiality toward the Chinese, gave, last December, the following results;
concerning the white immigration to this State :
Year 1875, eleven months—Arrived, 102,100—Departed,
39,800— Gain, 62,300.   ■   i Jg- ^   ■   ,J|    ' $j$$$t:' = ll      •
The Post concluded the statement thus : " The arrivals for
'the year will reach the estimate made by us some time ago,
110,000, and not less than 65,000 of them'may be set down as>
immigrants who are bound to remain here. This is a gain of
not much less than ten per cent, on the total population. The
figures will overlap those of 1874 by not less than 20,000."
Now, let us turn,to the Chinese statistics of arrivals and de-
partures of last year, as furnished by the six companies, which
are more liberal in the estimates than the Custom House
statistics. Hi 1    • { .;    [8]        :       § '
Year  1875.    Twelve  months.—Arrived,  13,163.    Departed,
6,426,    Gain, 6,737. H
r,*-~* «v^^,     v»,
Thus we had last year a new accession of white population
numbering 65,000, as against an increase of Chinese population
of nearly seven thousand j in other words, the Chinese immigration last year numbereol about one ninth of the White immigration.
But, let us suppose that the annual Chinese immigration
should reach 90,000 instead of 45,000, as at present, and let us
set down the excess of arrivals over departures at 50,00C
yearly ; how long Would it take for the Chinese to reach five
millions, or one eighth of the present population of the United
States ?    Just one hundred years.
The Chinese, immigration to this coast comes only by sea,
and about three or four times a month. White immigration
comes in every day, both by sea and by land, and in very large
Finally, it must be remembered that. China has been a secluded empire for ages, and the policy of the Imperial Government is sternly opposed to the expatriation of its subjects—
hence it refuses to appoint any consular agent in our State for
their protection, saying that "if they come here they must
take the risk." §|||
The vision, therefore, of 400,000,000 of Chinamen soon overrunning the land, and driving out the white man—notwithstanding the fact that after a period of twenty-five years of
Asiatic immigration, but 148,000 of them are domiciled in our
midst—is either a gross delusion of a diseased imagination, or-
a, wicked imposition, practiced on the credulous by scheming
demagogues. jig
Second Charge—| In the Labor Market the Chinese can undip-
bid the white man or woman."
Our first answer to this accusation is, that if underbidding
in the labor market were an offense punishable with banishment, many White* laborers, both skilled and unskilled, wouAfl [9] _.
be compelled to leave the country. Certainly this offense is
quite common to Europeans, Africans, Americans, as well as
Asiatics. And under a penal statute prohibiting it, the inventors of machines, the builders of railroads, nay all who make
use of steam or horse power on a large scale, should likewise
quit the country, because all of them, like the Chinese, only in
-a. greater measure, can underbid the white man or woman in
the labor market.
But, is the charge true that Chinamen can under-labor the
white man or woman ?
The Committee support their assertion by another, that "the
Chinese can subsist more cheaply, and consequently work for
lower wages than the white laborer, man or woman."
Supposing, for the pnesent, that Chinese labor is cheap—
which is not the fact—we dismiss as not pertinent to this discussion the reason why it is so, whether it be in consequence
of their frugal mode of living, or from any other individual
cause ; holding that the right to live in a most economical
manner was never disputed to individuals even in the most
despotic countries
We therefore ask, in what labor market can the Chinaman
underbid the white laborer ? Is it in the scientific, artistic or
mechanic field of labor ?
The Chinese cannot, evidently, compete with the white race
in scientific labor, such as of law, divinity, physics, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, etc, etc., all of which branches"
furnish employment to a very large multitude. Because the
oriental instruction of the Chinese is vastly different from the
modern western education, and they are not sufficiently versed
in the western languages, both modern and ancient.
For the same reason, they cannot compete with the white
race in most of the liberal, polite or finer arts, perfected by
western civilization ; hence they cannot compete with our
school teachers, professors of belles-letters, musicians, painters,
sculptors* actors and thousand other artists.
In what labor market can then the Chinese underbid the
white man or woman ? r
It is in the market of purely mechanic labor, but only in a
small measure. It" is in that part of the field'which is open
indiscriminately to the European, African, American and Asiatic laborer. As, for instance, in the manual work of factories,
shops, fields or gardens ; in the domestic service particularly of
the menial kind.
However, even in this restricted part of the labor market, it'
is not true that the.Chinese can underbid at pleasure the white
man or woman.    They cannot compete for instance with the
white laborer, when higher wages are offered to the latter than-
to the Chinaman for the same kind of work, as is commonly the
They cannot compete when the work is accomplished by the
white laborer with the aid of machines propelled by steam or
horse power, or other mechanical appliances which the Chinaman, on account of his poverty, cannot have. The effect of
these machines is to increase the production of manufactures
or the amount of work, and thus to reduce the price of labor.
It is in this manner that some laundries in San Francisco, with
the aid of machinery, can reduce the price of washing to less
than half a cent per piece, and thus undersell the Chinaman
who works by hand.
The charge, therefore, that "in the labor market the Chinese
can underbid the white man or woman," is not altogether true,
either in a general or a particular sense.
And, if in consequence of the total lack of capital and the
smaller wages offered to them, the Chinese cannot well compete with white labor, is it likely that they can control the
entire market of labor, or " have a monopoly of it," as the
Committe'e assert ?
The Chinamen have, we concede, entered the field of competition, partly from necessity and partly from desire of gain,
and have engaged in several manufactures ; also, they have
obtained employment in different offices filled likewise by the
White people. But competition is not monopoly, and does not,
like the latter, drive opposition out of the market. .   [11]
Thus we see competition in manufactures, in transportation
' by land and by sea, in agricultural productions, in fact, in every
branch of human industry. Do the competitors on that score
drive each other out of business ? As with capital so with
labor, its field, particularly in California, is large, allowing plenty
of room for laborers of all races, as a witness truly remarked
before the Senate Committee on Chinese investigation.
If the Committee desire to be fair and, candid, they must
acknowledge that even in the branches of industry which they
say " the Chinese have attempted and monopolized—as washing,
cigar making, box' manufacturing, the making of boots, shoes,
slippers, coarse clothing, underwear for men and women, wood
turning, making of woolens, silk, rope, matting, the labor in
all the mechanic arts, in the family service, in attending
offices and stores, in fishing and raising vegetables—in these
and other employments"—the Chinese have neither " entirely"
nor mostly driven out white laborers, but in common with
other laborers they have obtained employment.
And why should not the Asiatic as well as the African,
European and American seek employment to support life ? Is
it not the natural law of self preservation which is as imperative on the Asiatic as.on the Caucasian race ? J "Live and let
live" is the motto of modern humanitarianjsm which is not restricted td place, person, or nationality.
It is claimed, however, by the Committee, that the Chinese
have lowered the standard price of labor in this State, so far
as to cause great injury to white men, women, boys and girls
who being unable to live as they do, " have in many instances
been brought to want and idleness, and in some cases to poverty and crime." *
The charge is certainly grievous and requires investigation.
" In the first place, " Has the Chinese immigration, as a matter of
fact, produced cheap labor in California?"
The S. F. American Free Press, under date of April 21st, 1876'
thus answers this question :
" Chinese boys, twelve to sixteen years of age, fresh from (%:.
[12] *        . ; .
China, unable to speak or to understand our language, and perfectly unacquainted with our methods of labor, are paid $2 and
$3 per week and found.
"Boys from sixteen to twenty years, able to speak a few
words, and partially experienced in our methods of labor, command $3 to $5 per week and found.
1 A Ghinaman, able to cook and wash for a family, readily
commands from $5 to $8 per week. In our Eastern cities^the
same kind and amount of labor can be obtained for less money,
the average price being about $3 to $6 per week for first class
servants ; while in the country and villages the prices range
from $1 50 to $3 per. week * so that, as compared with other
portions of our country, in the matter of domestic servants, we
have no cheap labor as yet on this coast, not even Chinese.
Whatever curses the Chinese may .bring to these shores, cheap
domestic labor is not yet one of them."
Many instances can be adduced,"to show that Chinese labor is
higher than the same kind of white labor in the United States
and Europe.
George W. Swan, orje of the proprietor of the Union Box
Factory, who formerly employed Chinamen, and now employs
50 boys and girls and 20 men, all white, stated to a Chronicle
reporter that *• the boys receive from fifty cents to one dollar
and the girls from fifty to seventy-five cents j>er day, while he
paid no Chinaman-less than seventy-five cents per day.—S. p.
Chronicle, April 14, 1876.
In this instance, Chinese labor did not lower its standard
But how can cheap labor injure the best interests of a State
like California, capable of sustaining a population of ten millions, whose immense resources, both mineral and agricultural,
have not been yet developed for lack of. sufficient capital, but
which with an abundance of cheap labor might be made to
yield an untold/Wealth ?
How can cheap labor injure the interests of our people, when
it is known from the history of all countries, and of ourJState
in particular, that cheap labor like* the Chinese has aided to
establish several branches of manufactures which, as ex-Gov- [13]
ernor Haight avers in his letter to the Secretary of the Com-
initteo upon Chinese Immigration, " could not* exist without
it." ..  ! • . I .        ^:.
" It is argued," continues Haight, " that such labor as that
performed upon swamp and overflowed lands for exnmple, can
only be performed'by this class of laborers, and that it would
be as rational to suppose that the laboring classes would be injured by labor-saving machines as by a kind of labor which
enables industries to thrive' that otherwise could not exist." ,
The argument is not altogether without force, and so far as the
present number of Chinese is concerned, their presence on the
whole may not have injured, but, on the contrary, may have benefited white labor."
An opinion so candid, from a source so high as H. H. Haight,
who was elected Governor'of California in 1867, on the Anti-
Chinese platform,'is an overwhelming rebuttal to the charge of
the Anti-Chinese Committee, that Asiatic labor has worked injury upon the interests of the State.
Other no less eonsprcuous persons have expressed the same
sentiment on the same snbject, before the Senate Committee of
Investigation on the Chinese question. They are Charles W.
Brooks, U. S. Ex-Minister to Japan and long a resident of California ; F. F. Low, formerly Minister to China and Governor
of California ; Mr. Porter, of the firm of Porter, Oppenheimer
& Slessinger, importers of boots and shoes, and many other distinguished persons.
The entire case is thus clearly and forcibly summed up by a
farmer of Santa Clara, in a communication to the Chronicle,
under date of April 18, 1876 :
I It is said that wages are reduced by the Chinamen. This
is a grand mistake. We pay higher wages than are paid in any
other State of the Union. The fact that a great deal of cheap
labor is secured, enables farmers and others to pay white men
more than they could do otherwise.! As well say that horses
do a great deal of work simply for their boarding/-and that
they Uve on what a white man could not live on,' and thus
reduce wages. Why not banish the hprses from the land ?
The farmer could have his ground spaded up.    This would pro-
• ft
vide labor for men who can vote. It wTould cost him five dollars to raise a Sack of wheat, but what of that ? The country
would prosper. White men would get employment. Now,
Mr. Editor, I know this to be a fact :vThat nine out of every
ten men who carry on business in the country, look upon this
anti-Chinese talk and howl as uncalled for They know that
the prosperity of the country depends very.much upon the
labor of these same heathen Chinese."
To conclude this point: If the cheap labor of the Chinese
has not been the cause of the reduction,of wages with respect
to white labor any more than the labor-saving machines,-steam
and horse power, but on the contrary, it has given rise to new
industries which have furnished employment to white laborers,
and would not otherwise exist, it follows":' First—That the
Chinese are not and cannot be made responsible for the want,
idleness and vices of white men, women, boys and gir^s, in consequence of lack of employment. Second—That cheap labor
is the creator of capital and a real source uf wealth; it will
not therefore divide the civil community, as the anti-Chinese
apprehend, into two classes, one of paupers and another of
wealthy aristocrats, in a land, the natural resources of which
are varied and almost boundless.- The patent fact that in this
State, hundreds of individuals, from the humble position of
laborers, have risen by work and industry, to a high state of
wealth, repels with contempt such an absurd idea.
Finally, we advise the opponents of Chinese immigration not
to urge the argument of cheap labor too much, for it may
recoil with terrible force against white immigration. If the
American Government is to exclude all cheap labor, it must
then turn out of the country millions of emancipated negroes,
and must close the doors to hundreds of thousands of poor
emigrants who arrive every j^ear from Ireland, Germany,
Italy, Wales, and other parts of Europe.
Third Charge :—" The Chinese do not here invest their money ;
j do not buy, but import, from China most of the clothes they wear
and the food they consume ; send to China the proceeds of their
labor, and provide for the return of their dead bodies." • '•''-'■'jfii;*'
Supposing these to be facts, what inference,do the Committee
draw from them ?   That the Chinese are not useful to the State ?
However, it has been shown already, that they have aided
and are now aiding to develop the natural resources of the
country, to multiply industries, to widen the field of labor and
to increase our wealth* Jf And is not this a sufficient proof of
their usefulness ?
Was ever the obligation imposed on either capital or labor,
to ppend the money fairly earned in the same place where it is
earned ? Do white capitalists or laborers recognize such a law
anywhere ? If so, then the wealth of the Bonanza mines
would have to remain in Nevada and in Yirginia City, instead
of San Francisco. By universal consent, each individual is free
to invest his own money in the manner and place he* deems
most advantageous to himself. This species of liberty is one of
"the inalienable rights with which all men are endowed
by their Creator," according to the^Declaration of our Inde-
pen den ce.
However, the above charge does not hold good with regard
to the Chinese, some of whom have bought thousands of acres
of land which they* have put under'cultivation, and others
have acquired real estate property in San Franciseo, the yalue
of which, according to Assessor Badlam's statement before the
Senate Committee, last year, was over $100,000.
Nor is it true that " the Chinese do not use or consume our
products, and that they altogether remit to China the proceeds
of their labor. We can do no better than repeat the answer
made on this same point to the Jesuit Buchard, in a lecture
delivered at Piatt's Hall, March 14th, 1873, by the Bev. O.
Gibson, a Protestant missionary for ten years in China, and
long resident of San Francisco, having charge of the Chinese
mission on this coast :
11% is about time that the fallacy was taken out of this kind
of talk. Many Chinameri wear garments made out of our
cloth, they wear our boots and our hats ; they are fond pf
watches, and jewelr*y, and sewing machines ; they ride in our
cars and steamers; they eat our fish, and beef, and potatoes,
and exhaust our pork market.    Take the   one item of pork I
[16]   , V
alone, and the Chinamen of this coast pay to our producers on
this coast half a million of dollars annually. If we would
itemize the various products which they consume, we should
find that they do not send home over ten per cent, of their
earnings." v
To form an idea of the amount of money which the Chinese
pay annually to the people and Government of the State and
Nation, let us make the following modest computation :
If we reckon that each Chinaman pays yearly to the business community of the State for the articles of life he uses and
the food he consumes, such as fresh meat and groceries, and for
his conveyance in street ears, railroads, and steamers, only $20
a year, or less than $2 per month ; upon the estimate we have
before made of only 60,000 Chinese sojourning in California,
the amount of money thus paid here by them amounts to
11,200,000 annually. , # *
Our opponents say that the Chinese have scarcely any real
estate property ; if so, they must, and do, pay high rents for
their dwellings. In San Francisco alone, their rental in the
quarter they inhabit, which comprises about eight blocks, cannot be less than $150,000 per month, which, being added to the
rental paid by the Chinese wash-houses and cigar stores
throuhout the City, it will swell to $200,000 monthly, or
$2,400,000 yearly. Assuming that the 30,000 Chinese in cities
and towns throughout the State, outside of San Francisco, pay
no less than $500,000 for house rent and that the annual insurance paid by Chinese merchants is no less than $100,000, we
have a total of $3,000,000 paid annually by the Chinese to real
estate owners in this State.
Add now the poll tax, which is for them $120,000 ; also the
license tax for mining, washing, etc., which can be no less than
$50,000 a year, and behold a grand total of the amount of
money disbursed annually by the Chinese population rti the
State of California, for the benefit of the Government, merchants, jj
real estate owners, railroad and steamer companies, equal to
$4,370,000.   §|§        •.. > . .|; ||||-
This vast sum, however, does not comprise the Custom duties
which  the Chinese pay for the articles they import to the [17] -
United States. 1 Rev. O. Gibson has estimated the duties on
their imports to be no less than $2,000,000 each year Certainly the figures of Chinese imports for 1874 and 1875, as
gathered from the Custom House, seem to warrant this siate-
imports 1874 and 1875. j
1874. 1875. /
Tea $1,096,400 $   518,926    .
Kice      812,261 1,141,462
Opium      226,632 757,640 -
Siii?ar      481,273 183,656
Silk      626,424 209,336
Coffee :      151,585 162,823
Other articles   1,374,422 1,741,739
Totals   $4,688,797      $4,715,582
Grand total   $9,404,379
Now do not these figures effectively contradict the statement .
which has so much prejudiced the popular mind against the
Chinese, that they spend no money in this State, but "remit
to China the proceeds of their labor ? "
Fourth  Charge :    " The   majority of  Chinamen have been imported under  servile-labor  contracts, and the women for  lewd
purposes, against the spirit and letter of our law.
This charge is indeed serious ; for it asserts that Chinamen
and Chinawomen are slaves, and.slavery of any kind is prohibited bv the Constitution and lawTs of the United States.
There is no question, therefore, as to the nature of the
offense ; the only question is as to its existence. Therefore we
ask, where is the proof? Have, any considerable number of
Chinamen and Chinawomen been interrogated as they should,
with regard to their condition of life, and whether they have
come to this country of their own free will and accord ? We
have not learned that any considerable body of Chinese
have yet been examined on this particular, and that they have
uniformly sustained the charge.
But who are the parties that have made these contracts and
are holding Chinamen and Chinawomen in bondage? This is
equally unknown..
The Anti-Chinese Committee speak of secret companies that
hold them in servitude and enforce the labor contracts under
severe penalties, which our laws cannot prevent.
Where are the particulars that will corroborate this statement ? None are given by the Committee. Surely if it be
true, that nearly 60,000 Chinese, both men and women, are held
in servitude in California, is it probable that none, or even few
of them, have yet sought to escape, when the opportunity of.
i [18]
regaining their liberty is so great ? And if. j>ersecuted by
secret companies, would they not have recourse to our civil
authorities for protection, make known their complaints,- and
reveal the secret methods of this species of slavery ?
Nevertheless, if we except some isolated case, in which some
Chinaman was unjustly deprived of his liberty and punished
by certain private parties, we have not sufficient evidence on
which to found this accusation. ijgj
Is it likely that labor contractors either here or in China
would engage servile labor, being fully aware  that it is prohibited bv our laws and the contract declared null and void,
and made a penal offense ?
What slave-holder would have imported his slaves to
England, Germany, or France, knowing, for certain, that on
reaching those lands they would have been made free and himself thrown into prison and subjected to a heavy tine ? Is the
case different, here, with regard to masters of Chinese slaves,
peons or coolies, and their agents ?    Certainly not. ?$$.
But since the Anti-Chinese Committee and their friends seem
to think that the so called Six Chinese Companies import both
men and women for service, against their own free will, and*
that they exercise coercive authority over them, we desire to
sum- up the facts relative to the character of said companies
and of the Chinese in general, as elicited by the investigation
lately held by the Senate CommUtee.
1st. Rev. O. Gibson, for ten years missionary in China, testified that "in China there is no slavery of men."—[S. F. Bulletin,
April 12th.
2d. Ching Fung Chow, President of the Yan Wo Co : " China-
men never sell threir wives at home."—[S. F. Attn, April 20th.
3d. Rev. Dr. L oomis, formerly missionary in China : " In social  relations the Chinese are commendable ; man and  wife,
are faithful."— [S. F. Bulletin, April 20th.
4th. Ex-Governor F. F. Low, formerly Minister to China :
" Most of the Chinese women who emigrate are loose in their
morals, but there is not much immorality among the females in
China, as it is punished severely there."—[S. F. Chronicle, April
12th.] "He did not believe any Chinese were brought here
against their wills.—[Chronicle, ib.
5th. Rrv. O. Gibson : " Was of opinion, that a majority of
the Chinese who come to the United States were free and un-
trammeled, bein^ bound by no contract whatever. He did not
think that the Six Companies had any power over their members other than a persuasive power."
" The Six Companies were an association formed for the purpose of pretecting the interests of its members, and there were .;..| ..   ■      [i9].    ,    f;   ;
no contracts, so far as he knew, between the companies and
any Chin a, man who comes to this country."—[3. F. Chronicle,
April 13th.
The Presidents of the Six Chinese Companies supported Dr.
Gibson's statement, adding, that one of their objects is to take
care of the sick ; that they discourage prostitution, gambling,
and Chinese immorality, and do not import either males or
females, nor advance any money for their passage.
•6th. A. Altmayer, a member of the firm of Einstein Bros.,
(manufacturers of boots and shoes, who have, until late, employed Chinamen of the Hop Wo. Co.) testified that "He did
not think that the men were .the slaves* of the Company, for
they threw up their contract when they chose and left without opposition."—[S: F. Chronicle, April 15th.
Even if this evidence should conflict with contrary evi-'
dence, and its high authority be disregarded, it will most certainly establish one thing, namely, that the Anti Chinese Committee have not yet found positive proof for sustaining the
sweeping charge which they have,made against the Chinese,
namely, that \ they are slaves imported to this country for
servile labor.or lewd purposes against the spirit and letter of
our Constitution and law."
There may be undoubtedly some persons who make a traffic
of Chinese females for immoral purposes and restrict their lib
erty ; but it gis questionable,, even with regard to them, whether
they have been imported against their wills.
Certainly, the law of Congress provides that our "Consuls in
Chinese ports shall duly investigate both' the object of their
emigration and their voluntary departure, and if they find
that they are taken against their will, or for lewd purposes,
they are required to refuse them the certificate of emigration
which all masters of vessels must require of emigrants bound
to the United States ; and the law of Congress to Regulate
Chinese Immigration, passed in December, 1869, requires, moreover, that no Chinese female shall be permitted to emigrate to
the United States who is not accompanied by either her father
or her husband.
Therefore, if the law has been violated in this respect, not
the Chinese Companies but our Consqfls at the Chinese ports
are to blame, and the appeal to Congress should be on our part
to see that the lawis enforced. Ill
We dismiss as unworthy of consideration the charges that
" The Chinese are pagans; are not a homogeneous race, do not
adopt our manners, our food, our style of dress, etc."-
fs [20]
It will be a sad day, indeed, for this great Republic, when it
shall prescribe personal qualities of this kind as conditions to
immigration. America will again become a wild then, and her
great boast as "The Land of the Free" will be no more.
Such qualifications for simple residents as recommended by the
Anti-Chinese Committee are unknown even in the most despotic
The Chinese are accused of being filthy, diseased, immoral and
vicious people, who fill our prisons and crowd our hospitals.
The Report of the Board of Directors of the California i^tate
Prison, for 1875, gives»the total number of prisoners as 1,083,
of whom only 187 are Chinese, notwithstanding they find bufc
little mercy in our Courts. The County Hospital Report shows
also but a small proportion of Chinese patients. The City.
Record of mortality among them is very small and Dr. Toland
has testified that they are personally clean. '
But if these evils exist, why do not the Municipal Authorities remedy them ? Legislation is not exhausted as it is
alleged, only faithful police officers who do not accept bribes
are required, as shown by the investigation.
Again, if these charges be true, how does it happen that the
Chinese have " monopolized" as you say, a great portion of the
domestic and commercial service, and in the very best houses,
for nearly twenty years ? Can it be that our wealthy and
honored citizens will confide their households to filthy, dis-
eased, immoral and criminal servants ? Either our citizens
are not what they seem or it is not true what you say in
regard to the Chinese.     |g|
But it is enough. This Anti-Chinese Crusade, started by
sectarian fanaticism encouraged by personal prejudice and
ambition for political capital, has already culminated in personal attack, abuse and incendiarism against the inoffensive
Chinese. Anti-Coolie Clubs are now arming and preparing to
follow the late example of the people of Antioch, who have
banished the Chinese and burned their quarters.
It is high time that the Municipal, State and National authorities, in common with law abiding citizens, should awake to the
imminent danger that threatens to break the peace and to disgrace both State and Nation. They must assert their authority
in defense of our treaty obligations with China, for. the protce-
.   tion of Chinese emigrants and in behalf of law and order.    X. APPENDIX.
It may be interesting for the American people, and Congress,
to know why it is that on a question so important as the one
on Chinese immigration, the plaintiff alone, namely, White
Labor, should have had a full hearing in California.
Surely Capital and Commerce cannot be Indifferent to it.
It is well known that most of our manufactories employ
Chinese labor, although not exclusively.
Even the mineral, agricultural, and railroad interests cannot
dispense with it.
All these great agencies aver, that under a high wages system their business will be seriously crippled, if not destroyed
Commerce between China and the United States to the extent of several millions annually, is in a great measure pending
on this question, and the rights and privileges of American citizens, nay the protection of their lives and property in that
country, are all hanging on the balance.
Is it not then strange, that none of the parties so vitally concerned have yet risen in defense. How can such a conduct be
explained ?
Yery easily. The present situation is truly critical. Agricultural producers and manufacturers see before them a most
powerful opposition whose patronage they need and whose disfavor they dread ; they are therefore very much perplexed as
to what course to take. If they favor Chinese immigration
openly, they lose a lange patronage, if they oppose it, they lose
the main spring of their wealth, " cheap labor."
As with the merchant so with the Press. It has become
mum before a frowning multitude, or has loosened its tongue in
an endless tirade against "the heathen Chinee."
It was a different thing with it in time past when it was
really independent, or not under restraint. It could then even
praise the Chinese for their good qualities as domestics. Here
is how The Alta California spoke of white aSd Chinese servants
in an editorial under date of November 16,1869 : "\ ■   i    1  :    E22l ■
| A supply of good servants at moderate wages is one of the
great wants of this coast. Thousands of families have gone to
the Atlantic States, mainly because they could not get along
without servants, and could not afford to pay the wages current
here. Many of those who demand high wages are ignorant of
their business and grossly dishonest, so that there is an extensive
preference for Chinese servants, who generally work for less pay
and are less wasteful and more respectful, and do .not tafrtle at
The same utterances made at this time would cost The Alia
her journalistic life.
Because The San Francisco Chronicle, a journal that has fairly
earned the honor of Champion of the present Anti-Chinese
crusade, did, on the 13th of last April, publish a communication
from "a Farmer" in reply to the allegation that " Chinese
labor is cheap ;" it was chastised and catechised by an indignant subscriber the following day, in this style :
l " Now, allow me to say that in my opinion—and mine is that
of many others—that you should not {i. e. if you are in earnest
and sincere) publish any such malicious, anti-liberal, lying
communications, as they are certainly detrimental to the cause
we seem to espouse."
It cannot be doubted that the large Anti-Chinese Mass Meeting, held at Union Hall, April 5th, also that the inflammatory
speeches made that evening outside of the Hall and in the anti-
Chinese clubs ever since, which, on the 26th of May, resulted
in an anti-Chinese mob in this city, have all had the effect of
inspiring fear for personal injury, and of keeping back many
unimpeachable witnesses who would have gladly testified on
the Chinese side of the question, thus leaving the field clear to
the opposition.
Indeed, what chance would the defense stand before a Legislative Committee of Investigation which is composed wholly of
men opposed to Chinese immigration, and who are the creatures
of anti-Coolie clubs ? fjfc
The Committee seem to be under command not to admit any
other evidence but what will favor the anti-Chinese side of
the case.
A correspondent #H' the Chronicle of April 14th, reprimands
the Committee because they received Rev. O. Gibson's testi- '[23]
mony which favored the Chinese. "I think," says that fair
man, "the Senate Committee made a great mistake in examining witnesses whose salaries depend upon the continuance of
the Chinese among us."
The Investigating Committee would not receive the testimony of a well-known manufacturer in this'citfy, who has had
in his employ thousands of Chinese laborers for over ten years,
because he very properly refused to be bound by questions, but
offered to give full evidence of all he knew about the Chinese
as laborers, and of their good qualities when they are properly
treated, as well as of the great benefits they have conferred
upon the City and State,
And here it is proper to ask, why did not the Committee examine a large number of Chinese, to ascertain whether they
are slaves under contract as charged by the opposition. Surely
it would have been to their advantage to testify on that point
and settled, jjBut the Committee seemed afraid of a
frank confession that might be made by the Celestials.
On the contrary, they interrogated witness in matters about
which they knew nothing, as for instance Dr. Shorb, who candidly acknowledged that he had never visited the Chinese
quarter, as was his duty to do as Health Inspector, and consequently could say nothing of their sanitary habits.—[Bulletin,
April 20.] wm-      /fp "It I
They received as truthful the Assessor's statement, that the
Chinese real estate property in this city amounts to about
8100,000, notwithstanding that that sum scarcely covers the insurance they pay on their buildings.
By their investigation they made it appear that gambling,
prostitution, robbery, are vices exclusively belonging to the
Chinese, when it is a patent fact that their quarter is bordered
by 1 Barbary Coast," so designated from the large number of
vicious of all races and nationalities that have congregated for
twenty-six years there more than in any other part of the city,
where hundreds of ill-fame houses are kept open day and night
by women of all races and nations. |||
The Legislative Committee have gathered a mass of opinions l>       fthSc     £ifi4   Z-5 W   ISPf
"        '     ■ [24j |§gff
from several irresponsible witnesses, conflicting in statement
and unsupported by circumstantial evidence.
Now the question arises, can one-sided testimony taken in the
midst of a popular excitement, by a committee of settled views,
from several exceptionable witnesses, unchallenged by the defense, form a basis for the American people and Congress on
which to form their decision on the Chinese question now
pending ?
The minority have the right to demand in behalf of right
and justice, and for the welfare of our City, State and Nation,
the appointment of an unbiased Committee of Investigation
under the authority of Congress, and a new investigation in
which both sides, pro and con, may have a full hearing on the
Chinese question. Until such an impartial investigation is ho]^
they trust and pray that Congress will suspend action on any
bill or measure tending to impede or restrict Chinese emigration
to t,his country.
It would seem a disgraceful surrender to the majority under
pressure, regardless of the rights of the minority.
It would embolden a lawless element in the ranks of the opposition already bent upon acts of violence, who would compel
by force the helpless Chinese in our midst to leave, the State
and their employers to discharge them.
It would strike a fatal blow at our commercial prosperity, and would
deter capitalists from making further investments in manufactures.
As an instance, three of them who contemplated spending $150,000
in machinery and the enlargement of buildings, have, in consequence
of anonymous notes demanding the discharge of the Chinese under
penalty of death and fire of buildings, abandoned the idea altogether*
It would be, therefore, a retrograde step in the career of liberty
and civilization so happily inaugurated by our forefathers, one hundred years ago.  .v
The party of reaction, intolerance and sectarian  education,   who
compose the majority and the fiercest part of the opposition, would
justly claim such action by Congress on the great anniversary of our
glorious independence as a great triumph over civil and religious
liberty, as an offset to our immortal-declaration, and the turning point
of the great revolution of ideas wrought in this century.
No greater calamity could befall our nation !! X.
a HI s<n t 


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