HON 。约翰T. DOOLITTLE 加利福尼亚在
美国众院, 星期四, 1999 年4月29 日。
DOOLITTLE 先生。Speaker 先生, 我今天起来尊敬中国美国社区和称颂对它的对美国横贯大陆的铁路的大厦的祖先的贡献。
在5月8 日, Colfax 地区历史协会 在我的集会区域将安置一座纪念碑沿高速公路174 在海角垫铁, 在Colfax, 加利福尼亚附近认可 中国人的努力在放置第一次 连接东部和西海岸的轨道。 以 加利福尼亚淘金热 和西方的开头来了增加的兴趣在修造一条横贯大陆的铁路上。到最后, Central Pacific Railroad Company 建立了, 1863 年并且路线的建筑东部从萨加门多开始了。虽然努力的起点发生了在相对地平的土地, 辛苦和财政问题是坚持, 造成只50 英哩轨道被放置在第一二年。虽然公司需要5,000 名工作者, 它只有600 在工资单在1864 年以前。
中国人劳方 被建议了, 因为他们已经帮助修造加利福尼亚中央铁路、铁路从萨加门多对Marysville 和圣约瑟铁路。最初认为太小以至于不能完成这样一项重大任务, 查尔斯·Crocker 中央太平洋被指出, "中国人被做长城, 没有他们?"
1865 年第一 中国人 雇用 [ sic ] 在大约$28 每月完成炸开和放置领带非常危险工作在高的山脉的诡谲地形。他们简单地居住在住宅和烹调了他们自己的饭食, 经常包括鱼、干牡蛎和果子、蘑菇和海草。
工作在起点是慢和困难的。在第一23 英哩以后, 中央太平洋面对了放置轨道艰巨的任务在上升7,000 英尺在100 英哩的地形。征服许多纯粹堤防, 他们学会在中国完成相似的任务的中国工作者曾经技术。 他们由绳索降下了从峭壁上面在 篮子[ sic ], 并且当暂停, 他们慢慢缩小了在花岗岩和种植了被使用炸开隧道的炸药。许多工作者冒险他们的生活和 消灭了 在严冬和危险条件。
在夏天1868 年前, 4,000 名工作者, 三分之二是 汉语, 修造了横贯大陆的铁路在山脉和入内部平原。在1869 年5月10 日, 二条铁路将见面在海角, 犹他在欢呼的人群和带前面。中国[ 和 爱尔兰语] 乘员组被选择放置最后的 十英哩 轨道, 并且它被完成了在只十二个小时。
没有中国工作者的努力在美国的铁路大厦, 我们的发展和进展作为国家在几年以前会延迟。他们的劳碌在恶劣的天气, 残暴的工作环境和为微薄的薪水无法是在赞赏之下。我的情绪和感谢出去对整个 中国美国社区 为它的对这个巨大国家大厦的祖先的贡献。
中国工作者的图象在CPRR 隧道第8, 上述, 是牡鹿stereoview 细节# 204, 从 史蒂夫·Heselton 汇集。
档案名字: gov/us/fed/congress/record/1999/apr/29/1999CRE822.A [ 国会纪录: 1999 年4月29 日(引伸); 页E822 ]
从国会纪录在网上通过GPO 通入[ wais.access.gpo.gov ] [ DOCID:cr29ap99-49 ]
礼貌Go2Net 和Deja 新闻。
汽车(1867) 几乎现在运行到山脉的山顶。 ... 四千个民工是在work—one 第十爱尔兰语, 休息中国人。 他们是一支了不起的军队放置围困对自然在她最强的城堡。 坚固性山看起来象特好蚁丘。 他们swarmed 与Celestials, 铲起, 转动, carting, 钻井并且炸开的岩石和地球, 当他们愚钝, 月亮的眼睛凝望了从巨大篮子帽子下面, 象伞。 在几个用餐的阵营我们看上百坐在地面, 一样快速地吃软的煮沸的米与筷子象terrestrials 能与汤杓子。 爱尔兰民工接受了三十美元每月(金子) 并且委员会; 汉语, 三十一美元, 搭□。 在一点经验后者是相当象高效率和较不麻烦之后。 —在密西西比之外 由阿尔伯特·D. Richardson
白色劳动的类的大多数在太平洋海岸发现更加有益和更加投机的就业在采矿和农业追求, 比在铁路工作。民工的更加了不起的部份由我们雇用是汉语, 构成一个大元素在加利福尼亚的人口。没有他们它会是不可能完成这巨大全国enterprrise 的西部部份, 在需时之内由国会法案。
因为类他们是安静, 平和, 耐心, 辛勤和economical—ready 和易于学会所有不同的工作要求在铁路大厦, 他们很快变得一样高效率象白民工。更加慎密和经济, 他们对较少薪水满意。我们发现他们被组织入社会为相互援助和协助。这些社会, 那计数他们的数字由数以万计, 由敏锐, 聪明的商人举办, 及时地劝告他们的下级就业可能被发现以最有利的方式。
系统相似与奴隶制、农奴制或peonage 不战胜在这些民工之中。他们的薪水, 总被支付在硬币, 在□月的结尾, 被划分在他们之中由他们的代理, 出席他们的事务, 以劳方的比例由各个人完成。这些代理一般是美国或中国客商, 装备他们食物他们的供应, 价值的他们从他们的月度薪水扣除。我们有保证从带领中国客商, 那在正义之下并且宽宏政策由公司寻求, 它能获得在明年, 不少于15,000 个民工期间。用这大规模兵力, 公司能推挤在工作至于不仅完成它在需时之内由国会法案, 但以便遇见公开心急。
Pres't C. P. R. R. Co 。
中央和平的铁路声明被做对美国总统, 和内政部长, 在工作的进展。1865 年10月10 日。H.S. Crocker & Co., 打印机, 92 J 街道, 萨加门多。
—E. B. Crocker 1867 年。
"当铁路被完成了在1869 年5月10 日, 八个人中国乘员组被选择安置路轨的最后部分– 标志尊敬这些民工致力和坚苦工作。一些报告人提及了中国... "— 的无价的贡献 ;国家公园管理局
A. J. Russell Stereoview # 539 。"汉语在放置前路轨UPRR," 在O.C. 史密斯的黄色登上... 也许是中国角色的唯一的摄影纪录在最后路轨仪式的; 看法清楚地显示至少一名中国工作者和一个伙伴与路轨放置的工具看上去调整最后路轨被放置(从CPRR 边), 用一根木轨道测量仪棍子仍然到位当2 其他看; ... 显示最后路轨实际上被放置... 的片刻它真正地证实 目击者的报告 ... 人群站立后面和扇动在双方。UPRR 机车"119" 是突出的在背景中。两三个夫人是在肩膀看一看更好的在场面... 注意纹理在衣物、一个绅士在人群戴相当时髦太阳镜(唯一一个), 和一些工具、铁锹和fishplates 放置在地面。 Stereoview 和菲尔·安徒生汇集的 说明礼貌。
Ging 崔, Wong Fook, 和李·Shao, 带来最后路轨在海角山顶在5月10 日的三八名中国CPRR 工作者, 1869 并且参加Ogden 1919 年第50 次周年纪念庆祝。
一位记者为 旧金山时事通讯, 1869 年5月15 日, 描述了庆祝的最后的片刻在海角:
"J.H 。Strobridge, 当工作到处是, 邀请被带来了从胜利为那个目的中国人, 用餐在他的搭□汽车。当他们进入, 所有客人和官员礼物欢呼了他们作为很大地帮助修造路... 进贡他们涌出该当并且显然地给予他们乐趣种族的选上的代表。"
"马、骡子和无盖货车长的线站立在开放沙漠在阵营火车附近。股票得到干草和大麦它的早餐。火车转轨从西部以供应和材料为天的工作。工头疾驰在马背上各处给的或接收顺序。民工、汉语、欧洲和美国人群赶紧对他们的工作。在轨道的一边站立了smiths 比分修理工具和穿上鞋子马和骡子的可移动的铁匠商店。关闭是大规模兵力修理衣领、踪影和其它皮革设备的充分地被装备的鞔具商店。对西部是通信机杆路轨和线舒展只要眼睛能到达。电报线从最后杆被串起了入担当电报局的汽车。对向东被舒展等级由最近分布的地球线标记。由等级的边抽了能被看见在小组等信号开始工作蓝色穿的民工的阵营火。这些是中国人, 并且这个特殊分遣队工作将清楚一个平实路基为轨道。他们是建筑力量的先锋。英哩后面是跟随轨道帮会、压舱和精整路床后方guard–the 中国人的阵营。系统的工作者这Chinese–competent 和美妙地有效因为不倦和不懈在他们的产业... 路轨、领带和其它材料象可行被投掷了火车对轨道的末端一样近是, 并且空的火车然后是拉长取消方式。这时路轨被装载了在低平车, 和由马拖拉了对路径结束。领带相似被处理了得。后面来了路轨帮会, 采取路轨从平车和放置他们在领带。当他们做着这一个人在各旁边分布的钉, 二对各条领带; 其它分布的接合酒吧; 并且三路轨一起接合的螺栓和坚果。二个另外人被跟随调整和被退还为其它装载... 轨道建造者跟随了帮会与七更栓必要完成基础为各路轨。这些被投入了入位置和尖由其它帮会, 并且成水平轨道和左它准备好ballasters.... " 从报告从路径结束, 1868 年11月9 日, 被引述在 南和平的 Bulletin, 页8月1927 年, 10 。 礼貌G.J 。"克里斯" 坟墓。
"中国民工和中央太平洋的建筑。" 犹他历史Quarterly 1969 年。 "中央和平的铁路和海角垫铁传奇。" 书评 "中国人的历史在加利福尼亚: 铁路。" "中国美国人的历史在加利福尼亚。" "中国人在海角, 犹他, 4月30 日- 1869 年5月10 日。" "中国工作者的罢工" "联合特别委员会的报告调查中国移民。" 美国参议院1877 年。 "加利福尼亚: 一本书为旅行家和移居者。" 由查尔斯·Nordhoff, 1873 年。 "中国民工在西方。" "中国美国商业象征" "Fusang: 建立美国的中国人: 中国铁路人。" 新! "法国黄在Eldorado: 中国人在加利福尼亚。" 纪念品Series 1972 年。 [CPRR] 礼貌 加利福尼亚读书俱乐部。 新! "中国人在美国: 横贯大陆的铁路, "由Iris Chang 2003 年。 新! 中国报纸在19 世纪加利福尼亚。 新书! "汉语由数字," 章节4, 从 横贯大陆的铁路的无名的建造者 由威廉F. Chew © 2004 年, 作者的礼貌。 新! "其他理论或神话在海角垫铁。" 2004 年4月19 日。 新! 中国对象从加利福尼亚, c 。1890 年。
Madeline Hsu 。 "汉语的贡献在19 世纪"
苏Fawn 钟。 "铁路建筑工人"
Bill 嚼。 "找出中央和平的铁路的后裔"
肯·Yeo 。 "存放人县铁路, 然后和现在"
"致力的数以万计记忆服务为查尔斯·Crocker 在中央和平的铁路汉语。 他们被降下了在海角垫铁海角的面孔在柳条bosun 的椅子, 1,332 英尺在峡谷地板之上。壁架被创造为这railbed 被完成了1866 年5月。他们被尊敬为他们的工作概念, 和横贯大陆的路轨的实时性完成结束在海角, 犹他, 5月1869. 里"
[ 克里斯坟墓劝告在对bosun 的椅子的用途的第一参考是在 南部的和平的公报c 。1927 年。]
威廉斯, 约翰·Hoyt 。 一条伟大和发光的路: 横贯大陆的铁路的史诗故事。时期Books 1988 年。页93-118:
"在上旬Strobridge 9月[ 1865 年], 转动了他的Celestials 宽松在海角垫铁与他们的采撷、钻子、铁锹、微小的独轮车, 和炸开的粉末。"crumping" 炸药如下回荡了通过谷作为中国 — 谁或不是易受恐高症或没拥有单一财富宿命论 — 开始sculpt 山, 伟大的大块被炸开或被撬起宽松到目前为止下面earthshakingly 翻滚入美国河。上百桶黑粉末每日被点燃剪坚硬花岗岩和形成路基能被放置的壁架; 但问题炸药的容量, 进展没有太慢的以至于不能适合Stro[bridge ] 和他的上司。当和一半一样多那工作乘员组参与了楼二巨型的护墙在涌现的壁架(一一百英尺长, 其它二百英尺之上), Montague 建议了对Strobridge 一种新战术, 中国headmen 赞成。开始在下旬10月之中寒冷的风, 当雪打旋了在高山在距离, 汉语比分由绳索降下了从海角垫铁的山顶对几乎垂直的峭壁面孔。那里, 紧贴在脆弱看但强的 被编织的篮子, 工作者, 摇摆和有时摇摆在风喜欢装饰品在某一异常的室外圣诞树, 乏味孔在冷的岩石以他们的小手钻。摇晃, 他们砸紧了在被降下了对他们的炸药, 设置了和点燃了保险丝, 由急拉发信号人上面绳索, 并且, 写了托马斯·W. Chinn [ 编辑, 中国人的历史在加利福尼亚: 教学大纲 (旧金山, 1969), p. 45. ], "然后扰乱了线当火药在底下爆炸了。" [ 詹姆斯·McCague 。 大人物和钢人: 第一横贯大陆的铁路(纽约, 1964), p. 18 的故事。] 这最好是危害事务, 并且一些神圣acrophiles 不是足够敏捷的逃脱疾风或由飞行击中了岩石和如下跟随了花岗岩大块入谷。尽管伤亡那里是没有缺乏志愿者, 和对于所有的意外和安心, 在海角垫铁的基本的工作被完成了在冬天的相当缓慢的愤怒之前迫使4 个月的止步不前对外部工作。轨道会被放置在海角垫铁附近以下5月, 很好在日程表之前。多数海角垫铁中国人运输了回到萨加门多为冬天, 与一些比分有经验的岩石人派遣线到隧道饰面。" [ 威廉斯, p. 114 ]威廉斯教授并且援引以下: "文件和人口调查与中国人相关在加利福尼亚," 加州大学, 伯克利, Bancroft 图书馆, C-B 761, 箱子1 。
Kraus, 乔治。 "中国民工和中央太平洋的建筑。"全国金黄钉百年委员会官员出版物"最后钉被驾驶"(犹他历史季刊、冬天1969 年, 容量37, 第号1, 1969) 。 (这篇文章是 在CPRR 网站以犹他状态历史协会的允许。)
Gillis, 约翰R 。 和平的铁路的隧道。 范·Nostrand 的Eclectic 工程学杂志, 卷II, 1870 页418-423 。
**"横贯大陆的铁路的无名的建造者" 由威廉F. Chew 2004 年。 Chew 先生的书可能将是非常巨大利益, 如同他从最近 可利用的主要来源CPRR 工资单纪录 第一次提取了关于中国工作者的 详细的信息在加利福尼亚状态铁路博物馆。例如, 他发现"中央和平的工资单板料第26 和第34 约会1月和1864 年2月, 是记录第一中国铁路工作者、垂悬的Wah 和安培小时玩具, 监督23 名无提名的工作者的乘员组的文件。" 一个广泛的附录列出名义上所有中国CPRR 工作者被辨认在工资单纪录。Chew 先生将祝贺为这重要贡献。不幸地, 然而, 书并且, 为一些分析, 依靠 疑难 二次文献和试图 看来不是一样精确象被暗示估计的总中国劳工和数字的演算被杀害[相反与书的结论、 工程师的和当代报纸报告是(有一例外) 仅仅少量伤亡。书试图 计算 劳工的大小尽管提出reseach 显示仅仅许多headmen 被列出但留给未被记录和发现的几乎无的名字"无名的" 中国民工更多比月度工资单文件的一半是缺掉。Supt 。Strobridge 的19 世纪证词是, "我们的最大力量... 非常接近了10,000 个人在工作" 当Chew 先生改为试图计算服务为CPRR 在时间期间。] 的那个汉语的总数
以下图表准备了从威廉F. Chew 的数据被发现在他的表1, p.45 (最大值是6,190 名中国工作者, 与160,958 个工日被支付在1866 4月):
Spangenburg, 光芒和Moser, 戴安娜K 。 美国人的铁路故事。 纽约, 事实在File 1991 年, p. 37, 阐明, "在1855 东方 [ 是] 二张中国双语 报纸的当中一个 在加利福尼亚。"
[ 东方人 是可利用的在Huntington 图书馆和被出版了直到c 。1857 年。]
Steiner, Stan 。 Fusang: 建立美国的中国人。 纽约、Harper & Row, Publishers 1979 年。 页128-140 。 (这些铁路页充分被再生产在CPRR 网站以维拉·约翰Steiner 允许, Ph.D 。)
泰勒, B. H 。 一个世界在轮子。 S. C. Griggs 1874 年。
"横跨大陆。" 坦率的Leslie 的被说明的报纸, 1878 年2月9 日, p. 389 。
年轻人, Alida E 。 钢龙- 一本小说的土地关于劳动修造第一横贯大陆的铁路在美国的中国人。 Doubleday 1978 年。 [ 精装书- 213 页; 孩子的]
中国工作者和美国的第一横贯大陆的铁路。 Tzu-Kuei 日元, Ph.D., 圣约翰的大学。Dissertation 1977 年。
中国移民到美国, 1851-1900。 国会图书馆: 。
国会图书馆: 声明那: "中国经验的一人专刊在十九世纪加利福尼亚不知道生存。有总希望, 进一步研究在美国和中华人民共和国将导致这样一篇记叙文, 但暂时, 读者必须对研究使满意譬如罗伯特·McClellan 的 异教徒的Chinee: 美国态度的研究对于中国的1890-1905 (哥伦布, 俄亥俄: 俄亥俄州立大学出版社, 1971) 或金子贝蒂李 唱歌的山: 中国人的故事在美国 (纽约: 麦克米伦, 1967) 。"
缺乏中国经验的一个唯一一人专刊是相当惊奇, 如果马克吐温是正确的当他观察了在 粗磨它 (1872)"所有Chinamen 能读, 写和运算以容易的设施" 。
"亚裔和平的美国人辛苦组织: 一个附注的参考书目, 第部分I: 历史奋斗, 1840s – 60 年代"由Glenn Omatsu
中国人和横贯大陆的铁路。 由罗伯特·Chugg 。 布朗季度, 容量1, 第3, 春天1997 年。
Yee Fung Cheung’s Fiddletown, 加利福尼亚中国草药商店(一个博物馆博士在历史的地方人口登记):
"在进来年1850 年的中国人之中是一个二十五岁人从Toisan, 中国命名的Yee Fung Cheung.... 象他的父亲, Yee Fung Cheung 是一名草本医生... Yee Fung Cheung 出席中国矿工的医疗需要, 和以后那些中国民工从事横贯大陆的铁路。 ... 当实践在萨加门多, Yee Fung Cheung 生产了“a 著名cure.” 1862 年, 州长Leland Stanford’s 妻子放置死于严厉肺混乱。 在常规药物治疗没有恢复她的健康之后, Stanford’s 中国人厨夫去萨加门多的中国部分寻找著名中医师和发现Yee Fung Cheung 演奏mahjong 赛在Wah Hing 杂货店。 听力关于Stanford’s 夫人病症, Yee 运行了到他的商店和酿造了最后保存她的不老长寿药。 主要草本在混合以后被辨认了作为“majaung, ” 麻黄精的一个自然来源为肺病共同地规定了。 不知道他的真名, governor’s 职员告诉Yee Fung Cheung, Wah Hing 博士在商店他被发现了之后。 这是非汉语是叫Yee Fung Cheung 在他有生之年的名字。"
教育& 终身学会的KQED 中心: 中国历史& 文化项目课程, 金黄遗产- 铁路大厦
"一个故事从中国犹太人散居地: 钟家庭"由Michelle 钟, 中国美国博物馆在洛杉矶:
"我的父亲了不起, 了不起, 了不起的祖父人肺从香港19 世纪殖民地港口城市离去了... Kwangtung 省... 跳起为美国作为一个民工为内华达山脉段的建筑横贯大陆的铁路。"
祖先在美洲 - 横渡大陆 - 反中国法律 - 时间安排 - 亚洲人学习链接
中国排除行动1882 年; 撤销1943 年
为什么史学家怀疑UPRR 总工程师Grenville M. Dodge 的传说关于CPRR 汉语和UPRR 爱尔兰铁路工作者设法互相炸毁。
美国丹尼尔·帕特里克·Moynihan 参议员(D-NY), 在准备着的评论在参议院辩论期间在2000 年9月5 日在授予永久正常贸易联系向中国, 总结中国移民的历史到美国如下:
"这不是宜人的历史并且它是痛苦详述它。但这是必要的。它象逻辑的开始在加利福尼亚, 运动结束对中国移民开始了在19 世纪50 年代的地方。图森亚利桑那的中国遗产: 修造南部的和平的铁路
通过背景, 移民规划局报道, 只46 汉语移居了到美国在三十年在1820 年和1850 年之间。中国移民爆炸了在19 世纪50 年代, 由加利福尼亚淘金热和横贯大陆的铁路的建筑刺激。从1851 年到1880 年, 228,899 汉语移居了到美国。在1880 年以前, 中国移民在加利福尼亚单独第75,000 号? 大约状态的总人口的百分之9 。
这样是对中国人劳方的需求, 美国加强了它的"开放门" 政策由条约: Burlingame 条约1868 保证了对中国政府它的公民的无限制的移民到美国。加利福尼亚州当时赞许了安排。
但有几乎直接后退从工作者在加利福尼亚, 组织了自己入所谓的"反苦力" 协会开始在中间19 世纪50 年代。
在19 世纪70 年代, 反中国运动获取了动量在经济不景气面前和横贯大陆的铁路的近完成。1876 年, 加利福尼亚州参议院的一个特别委员会审查了问题和发布了报告对美国国会题为"一个地址对人民美国在中国移民罪恶。"
并且在1876 年7月, 美国国会建立联合特别委员会调查中国移民, 由Oliver Morton 参议员主持印第安纳。联合委员会举行了18 天听证会在旧金山在10月和1876 年11月, 和发布了它的总结报告在1877 年2月。声明被提出对联合委员会在1876 年10月26 日代表圣·Jos3e, 加利福尼亚"工会," 是典型的:
他们[ 中国人] 防止白色移民吗? 我们知道, 他们最确定地, 我们知道劳动人的数字在去年走向沿海的我们的个人知识自, 并且必须把沿海留在由于缺乏就业, 在他们的无能的后果与蒙古人竞争, 和因而遭受损失, 通过他们的影响, 当他们回到他们的老家, 由中国人的存在不诅咒。[ 联合特别委员会的报告调查中国移民, S. Rep. 第689, 第44 Cong., 第2 Sess 。在p. 1172 年(1877) ]...
联合委员会的最后的report[ * ] 做痛苦的读书:
到任何一个读我们放置的证词在二个房子它痛苦地将变得显然之前太平洋海岸及时必须成为或美国人或蒙古语。有中国移民也许swarm, 并且情况也许派遣他们在极大的数字到这个国家的一间浩大的蜂房。这两力量, 蒙古语和美国人, 已经是在活跃反对。．美国种族是进步和倾向于一个负责任的代表性政府。蒙古种族不似乎有欲望为进展, 和有代表性和自由机关的构想。．．
进一步不看起来从中国人不渴望成为这个国家的公民的证据, 并且有知识或欣赏为我们的机关。少数他们非常学会讲我们的语言... 承认这些外籍人的浩大的数字公民身份和选票实际会毁坏共和党机关在太平洋海岸, 为中国人不要有任一个政府而是专制的形式领悟, 和有不是词用他们自己的语言intelligibly 描述我们的代表性系统的原则。[ 联合特别委员会的报告调查中国移民, S. Rep. 第689, 第44 Cong., 第2 Sess 。在页v 和vii (1877) ]
联合委员会的报告铺平了道路为中国排除法案1882 年, 暂停移民由Chinese 民工10 年。1888 年行动的范围被扩展了, 1892 年和被更新了另外10 年。1902 年, 国会不确定地更新了中国排除法案。"
*中国移民报告1876 年 (长篇证词的部份):
Gov. Frederick F. 低 页76-77 和 78-79; 并且查尔斯·Crocker 页666-667 和 668-669。 [ 点击看见整页。]
中国美国人& 美国。- 林肯高中: 铁路大厦
中国历史和文化项目 - 链接
加利福尼亚地理调查 - 旧金山湾区的中国人口地图, 1990 年
多少实际上死于修造铁路? – 并且伤亡主要归结于建筑事故或天花流行性吗?
Twelve years after the original construction, the great curved Secret Town trestle (the largest structure of its type on the railroad) was completely buried and the valley filled in with dirt from the mountainside by Chinese laborers! This was done to eliminate the fire hazard and avoid replacement of the aging timbers. The Southern Pacific Bulletin later reported that: "a large force of Chinese laborers [was] kept busy during the summer of 1877 making the fill across the canyon to replace the hastily constructed trestle. The trestle was 1100 feet long and 90 feet high and was constructed over the divide between the American River and Bear River when the original lines of the Central Pacific were being extended over this section of the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the spring of 1865."
(Watkins photograph, 81/16 x 123/8 in.)
C.E. Watkins #1115 (New Series [after 1874]), "Filling in Secret Town Trestle, C.P.R.R."detail.
[For comparison, see the earlier A.A. Hart #48 construction photograph taken in 1865.]
Please honor the memory of these heroic Chinese transcontinental railroad workers by telling their story with historical accuracy.
G.J. "Chris" Graves implores authors writing about the Chinese railroad workers to please avoid the common myths and:
"just GET THE HISTORY RIGHT!!!!!!! ... No Chinese in baskets at Cape Horn; fewer than 100 worker related deaths on the CPRR; ... powder barrels were wooden, and weighted 25 lbs." ...
One of the earliest employers of Chinese was James Harvey Strobridge, later to become the Construction Superintendent on the Central Pacific Rail Road. Mr. Strobridge had 18 Chinese employees in 1852, working on his hay ranch in Sacramento County. One and one half years after ground breaking, on June 6, 1864, scheduled trains were running between NewCastle and Sacramento (31 miles from Sacramento) and on May 15, 1865 (28 months from ground breaking) rails reached Auburn, 35 miles from Sacramento. On May 31, 1865, Mark Hopkins wrote, in a letter to C P Huntington "There are today not above 1,600 men on the work. Two thirds of them are Chinamen...." A thorough searching of the payroll records of the CPRR, now located at the Library of the California State Railroad Museum, reflects at most 9,000 Chinese workers. As the work progressed, and the difficulty increased in supplying these workers with food and materials, Leland Stanford contracted with Brigham Young to bring in Mormon workers. Letters between Hopkins, Stanford and Crocker describe a "pulling back" of at least 5,000 Chinese workers at "Mormon Hill," now known as Toano, Nev., Mile Post 562, in the Spring of 1869. So, fewer than 5,000 Chinese workers were employed by the CPRR when Promontory Summit was reached, on May 10, 1869. When writing of Cape Horn, "The Great Trans-Continental Railroad Guide", published by Geo. Crofutt and Co. in 1869 says in part:" the men who broke the first standing ground were held by ropes." William Minturn in 1877, writing "Travels West", says "...hardy industrious Chinese were held and steadied by the aid of rope securely tied around their bodies." The "Pacific Tourist", again in 1877 "...the narrow ledge was gained by men who were let down by ropes from the summit." Cape Horn is not granite, it is shale — soft, easily broken, shale. The Official Report of the Engineer, dated December 1865, which when writing of Cape Horn, says in part "...The work at Cape Horn has proved less difficult and expensive than was first anticipated." So, who invented the baskets? In 1919, Edwin L. Sabin wrote "Building the Pacific Railway" in which he wrote "...laborers, yellow and white, were suspended by ropes while they hacked, drilled and blasted." But, in 1962. Wesley Griswold got carried away in "Work of Giants: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad" and wrote "...lower Chinese from the top of the cliff in wicker baskets ..."
Chris Graves also reports that following a recent fire in the Pequots that cleared away the brush he has observed black powder cans, bottles, and a number of holes in the ground about 3-5 feet across that the Chinese workers slept in curled up to protect themselves from the elements. In one of these depressions in the ground there was a pile of rocks in the center still holding a vertical stick in place which he believes was used to support a tarp covering the hole. "Mark Zwonitzer wrote, that he too, saw the holes: 'Along the grade, there is evidence of dozens of little dugouts — maybe three feet deep and five feet in diameter — where the Chinese workers took some measure of shelter from the winds. To this day the ground yields artifacts the Chinese workers left behind more than a century before.' "
Graves further explains that the reason few Chinese were at the Promontory Summit ceremony is that the CPRR's Stanford contracted with Brigham Young for Mormon workers in place of the Chinese to complete the construction of the rail line and consequently the Chinese were pulled back once the construction reached "Mormon Hill" at Toano, Nevada, where the Mormon crews took over.
See William Chew's Rebuttal
Madeline Hsu wrote:
> You can find information about Chinese American newspapers in Chinese
> Newspapers Published in North America, 1854-1975 by Karl Lo and Him Mark
> Lai. It was published by the Center of Chinese Research Materials. Job
> opportunities on the railroad were well publicized by newspapers in Hong
> Kong and Guangzhou during the 1860s so it is probable that U.S. based
> Chinese-language newspapers also covered the Central Pacific.
Can you assist with the following inquiries?
Mel Brown wrote on July 2, 2002:
> Greetings from Texas.
> I'm writing a book which will detail the history of the Chinese
> community in San Antonio, Tx which is a great story, rich in history.
> Chapter 1 naturally describes the first Celestials to be brought into
> the state for post Civil War RR construction in East Texas, then thru
> El Paso for the EsPee half of the southern transcontinental. I am
> pleased to see your discussion of the actual number of fatalities
> involved on the various rr projects and have questions relating to this
> I'm currently trying to authenticate an incident which is
> occasionally cited here wherein 11 Chinese surveyors were massacred
> by an Apache band of raiders near Eagle Pass, Tx. in Dec. of 1881. This
> account contradicts the record in a couple of significant ways, so I
> would appreciate your comments in regard to it. First, we know from the
> available histories that the Chinese were not normally tasked with
> surveying or any other of the "professional" jobs necessary on the
> projects. Secondly, the Army provided protection for surveyors and
> others when necessary. Where were they?
> I should add that I've spent hours going thru San Antonio newspaper
> microfilms from the period with no luck. There's no mention of this
> event, even though there were regular stories coming out of Eagle Pass
> that time on a weekly basis.
> Another equally apocryphal anecdote from the same time and place
> is that concerning Judge Roy Bean. He supposedly made a finding of
> "innocence" for an Irish railroader in the murder of a Chinaman there
> at his Vinagaroon saloon and court house. The story goes that the
> "Judge" consulted his one and only law book and declared that there was
> "no law against killing a chink" in the state of Texas. Author/ rancher
> Jack Skiles tells us in his neat little book Judge Roy Bean Country,
> that this incident may or may not have happened, even though it is
> regularly mentioned in the literature.
> Any thoughts you might share on these subjects in most welcome as
> I'm committed to setting it right. There are at least two documented
> incidents of Chinese workers killed in the RR projects of the
> trans-Pecos which I am using in my book. Three if you count an apparent
> lynching in El Paso of a Chinese in 1882.
> Lastly, why are there apparently no photos extant of Chinese
> workers anywhere on the southern transcontinental line from LA to
> Langtry? I've looked just about everywhere I can think of with no luck.
> Please advise and thank you for the opportunity to ask questions.
> Cordially, Mel Brown, Austin, Tx.
Phil Hoose wrote:
> What a fabulous website! I'm an author, working on a book about young
> people — children and teens — in US history. I have read in surveys that
> some of the Chinese workers on the [Central Pacific] were quite young — in their
> teens, but I don't have any names or stories. Can you help me find any
> account of a young Chinese railroad worker of the time? Also, any
> photos of Chinese railroad workers that might have depicted youthful
> workers among the crews? All help greatly appreciated!
> ... A question: Who really knows the most about the construction of the Central
> Pacific Spur. I found a section in Maxine Hong Kingston's book, China Men,
> describing her grandfather's work as a "basket man" suspended by ropes over
> sheer cliff faces, planting explosives, lighting fuses and then scrambling up
> the rope before the explosion. He says that many of these workers were 15
> year old boys, chosen because they were light enough to be held by the wicker
> baskets, and because they were agile. How to document this? Where would
> names, ages, of workers, other accounts of these dramatic scenes be? One
> special place they worked was at Cape Horn Passage, in the fall of 1865.
> ... Incidentally, the best account of the "basket men" that I've
> read is in Maxine Hong Kingston's "China Men" in the chapter about her
> grandfather entitled, "The Grandfather of the Sierra Nevada Mountains." The
> event itself — people in wicker baskets being raised and lowered along a cliff
> face — is so dramatic that it's hard to believe someone didn't photograph it.
> If you ever hear of such a photo, I'd be very interested.
> Can you help me?
> Phil Hoose
[The children's book by Phil Hoose about young people in American History, will be titled WE WERE THERE, TOO!]
Rev. Dr. Alvin Louie wrote:
> Greetings! Great website! I just came back from the 150th anniversary of
> the Gold Rush and Celebration of the Chinese Laborers of the CPRR with a
> dedication of a plaque at the Cape Horn area. The railroad festivities
> took place in Colfax on May 7-8.
> I also attended with three friends, the 130th anniversary of the Golden
> Spike in Promontory, Utah on May 10. There were 55 Chinese represented,
> the largest gathering at any Golden Spike anniversary celebration. After
> that, we return to Emeryville from Salt Lake City, taking the California
> Zephyr which was its 50th anniversary. Great trip!
> Another interesting note is that a friend from our church and I were able
> to walk all the way through Summit Tunnel (No. 6) some 1,600 plus feet.
> It was an awesome experience. Union Pacific no longer uses this route and
> the tracks have been taken out and the public is welcome to walk through it
> near Donner Summit. I believe it is located on an elevation of close to
> 7,000 feet. You can also walk to 'Bloomer's Cut' in Auburn. We were also
> able to visit the exact site in Dutch Flat were Theodore Judah and Dr.
> Strong had their conversation about the best route over the Sierra which came
> to be the 'Dutch Flat' route. There is a small railroad museum in Dutch
> I pastor at the Chinese Independent Baptist Church in Oakland, CA.,
> about two or three blocks from the old terminus of the First
> Transcontinental RR that connected from Sacramento to Oakland via ferry
> to San Francisco.
> I have a question, in fact, several in which you may help me or direct me!
> I hope to write a book on the 10,000 Chinese laborers that help built the
> First Transcontinental Railroad from 1865-1869. Do you have a specific
> bibliography on the Chinese laborers alone? Secondly, according to 'Chris'
> Graves, he does not think that the Chinese laborers hung over Cape Horn in
> baskets to chisel and to blast with black power the mountain side? I am
> trying to trace the historicity of this feat or act. It is recorded in
> secondary sources and there is a drawing picture of it, but are there any
> first hand sources confirming or denying this feat, of the Chinese laborers
> hanging over the cliff at Cape Horn in wicker (bosun) baskets?
> I been researching this topic as a hobby for the past 13 years, and
> started writing the past year. The research has been painstakingly slow!
> Perhaps you can help me in this area. I know that first-hand sources from
> the Chinese laborers themselves are non-existing (They either did not have
> time to write or they did not know how to write being illiterate or the
> materials may be lost in the Chinese language). Most first-hand sources
> would be from Anglo writers: 'The Big Four', newspaper reporters,
> eye-witness accounts, etc.
> Once again, great website! Please include me in in any future development
> or information on the Chinese laborers of the CPRR during the building of
> the First Transcontinental Railroad. Please connect me with those
> interested in this topic!
> Rev. Dr. Alvin Louie, San Leandro, CA.
ADDITIONAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF CHINESE RAILROAD WORKERS:
Rev. Alvin Louie identified an artist's illustration of three Chinese railroad workers in wicker baskets chiseling away at the granite cliffs (it is an illustration only, not a photo). He writes that it is found in Helen Hinckley's book, Rails From The West ... A Biography of Theodore D. Judah (Golden Spike Edition), 1969, p. 184. The description of the illustration has it: 'Chinese laborers were let down in buckets to chisel away at the granite cliffs. - John Garmany Collection.' He also noted that this same artist's depiction appears in the two volume book, Evans, Cerinda W. "Collis Porter Huntington" Newport News, Virginia, The Mariners' Museum, 1954. Volume One, un-numbered page with illustration opposite p. 115 entitled "Chinese Cutting a Path for a Track Around 'Cape Horn'" courtesy of the artist, Richard Houghton.
Another painting (by the artist Jake Lee) produced for Kan's Restaurant in San Francisco, "depicting the wicker baskets used by coolies on the Central Pacific Railroad (Kem Lee Studio, San Francisco)" can be found in a series of un-numbered pages of illustrations between pages 94 and 95 of Howard, Robert West. "The Great Iron Trail: The Story of the First Transcontinental Railroad" New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1962. Opposite the reproduction of this painting is also a photograph of Secrettown trestle with Chinese construction workers (Southern Pacific Historical Collection).
Griswald Wesley S. "A Work of Giants: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad" New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1962 also has yet two more illustrations on an un-numbered page between pages 86 and 87. These show Chinese doing grading, one an engraving from Harper's Weekly (date unspecified), and another a photograph taken at Prospect Hill Cut (Calif. State Library).
Cape Horn: Ropes or Baskets?
No photographs of the Chinese constructing Cape Horn are known to exist, but the detail of A.J. Russell, stereoview #27 at the left shows Mormon workers suspended on ropes at the cliff face at the East portal of UPRR Tunnel No. 3, Weber Canyon. Kyle K. Wyatt, Curator of History & Technology, California State Railroad Museum, comments that "Personally, I do think it possible that the workers may have used ropes to support them in some places.?A nice rope around the waist (or tied to something like a boson's chair) that one can lean back against (with feet planted firmly on the ground) might be a real asset while swinging a double jack hammer, or holding and "shaking" a drill steel."
Several historians have commented that "ropes" are mentioned in multiple 19th century guidebook accounts describing the Chinese workers suspended during the construction of Cape Horn, but state that there is no mention of "baskets" :
"Great Trans-Continental Railroad Guide ..." By Bill Dadd, The Scribe. Chicago, Geo. A. Crofutt & Co., 1869. Section entitled "Cape Horn" p.202:Courtesy Edson T. Strobridge, Charles Sweet, Wendell W. Huffman, and G.J. "Chris" Graves.
" ... When the road was in course of construction, the groups of Chinese laborers on the bluffs looked almost like swarms of ants, when viewed from the river. ... When the road-bed was constructed around this point, the men who broke the first standing ground were held by ropes until firm foot-holds could be excavated in the rocky sides of the precipitous bluffs."
"Morford's Scenery and sensation Handbook of the Pacific Railroads and California," by Henry Morford, c. 1878, beginning on p. 160 relates a story told by a "General" who was a passenger with him on a train trip from Junction to Truckee that Stanford had taken him up the line to show "the General" what they had done. Under the heading "the General's sensation at Cape Horn" (p.163-4) he told how Stanford had shown him "the greatest spectacle that [he] ever expect[ed] to see, until they commence putting up that great tramway to the moon. Down from the face of the very worst peak to be surmounted, they had that day commenced lowering men, with ropes around their waists and pickaxes in their hands; and there, at the point you passed when you came over, now called Cape Horn—there they hung, five hundred feet of rock almost sheer above them, and about twenty-five hundred feet of sharp precipice below, picking away in that solid granite to make places into which to put their feet to begin picking, drilling, and blasting for the road."
"Travels West," by William Minturn. London, Samuel Tinsley, 1877, p. 227:
"The first workmen on this elevated rocky point — hardy industrious Chinese — were held and steadied by the aid of rope securely tied round their bodies. Thus they hammered away at the rock, until they made for themselves standing room, appearing like swarm of ants on a loaf of sugar."
"The Pacific Tourist. Adams & Bishop's Illustrated Trans-Continental Guide." New York, Adams & Bishop, 1884, p.252 (same description in the 1877 edition):
"Around the Cape, the railroad clings to the precipitous bluff at a point nearly 2,000 feet above the river and far below the summit, and where the first foot-hold for the daring workmen on the narrow ledge was gained by men who were let down by ropes from the summit."
A letter, written by Caroline Amelia Clapp Chickering, dated in Oakland, Cal. on Thursday, Nov. 9, 1876 (published in THE CALIFORNIAN, volume 12, No. 1) to her mother, after she came to Calif. in 1876 by train: "At 7:00 we were to to round 'Cape Horn'. Miss Carmony and I were disturbed though, and could not sleep after three, so we rose and dressed, but when we went out on the platform the snow sheds shut out everything. So after a while we concluded to lie down until nearer dawn. Between six and seven we made our way to the last car, notwithstanding the fact that we had to pass through some emigrant cars, and there we had a glorious view. The track is laid around this point, Cape Horn, on the side of a mountain so precipitous that the first workmen had to be lowered from the bluff above by ropes. Away below is the American River, called beautiful in the Guide book, ... "
"A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains" by Isabella Bird, trip over the Sierra Nevada taken in September 1873, text excerpted from her letters to her sister, published in book form in 1879 (Letter I):
"The light of the sinking sun from that time glorified the Sierras, and as the dew fell, aromatic odours made the still air sweet. On a single track, sometimes carried on a narrow ledge excavated from the mountain side by men lowered from the top in baskets, overhanging ravines from 2000 to 3000 feet deep, the monster train snaked its way upwards ... "
"Building The Pacific Railway," by Edwin L. Sabin. J.B. Lippincott, 1919, p.119:
"Early in the Spring, throwing forward one of those high, curving trestles (in this case 1100 feet long) with which the road strode across the deep gorges and ravines, the rails moved out from Colfax for the attack on the gigantic Cape Horn. Here a bed had been literally chiseled from the granite slope so sheer that the laborers, yellow and white, were suspended by ropes while they hacked, drilled and blasted, 2500 feet above the rushing American River."
"From Trail to Rail." by Earl Heath. Southern Pacific Bulletin, May, 1927.
"Collis Potter Huntington" by Cerinda Evans, 1954. Vol. 1, p. 156.
"At a point on the line called "Cape Horn," the road was cut out of almost perpendicular mountain side about fifteen hundred feet above the American River. To enable the Chinese to drill and blast out a foothold, they lowered over the cliff in "Bosun's Chairs supported by ropes to do the preliminary cutting."
[The definition of a Bosun's Chair is "a wooden plank or canvas chair for a worker hung by ropes over the side of a ship, Building or Bridge." But it is also a rope sling made to support ones thighs and rump while hanging from a rope as any sailor can tell you, like those used by rock climbers of today.]
However, Nelson's Pictorial Guide-Book (1871) states that:See: "The Central Pacific Railroad and the Legend of Cape Horn." by Edson T. Strobridge, 2001.
"The line is carried along the edge of declivities stretching downwards for 2000 or 3000 feet, and in some parts on a narrow ledge excavated from the mountain side by men swung from the top in baskets."
[Can you help? Please let us know if you find any 19th century verification of the use of baskets for the construction at Cape Horn.]
Alan R. Hardy, Ph.D. wrote (12/9/2000):
> All one has to do is travel over the Cape Horn route, and it is plain to
> see that the old engravings of "Chinese in Baskets" would never work;
> the angle of the cliffs here are NOT vertical. The origin of this
> legend appears to have come from engravings made of construction of a
> railroad in China and subsequently lifted for american publication (cf.
> Dick Denison, California State Railroad Museum, who has researched the
> subject). ... Denison has not published this, but it is used in the docent training
> program at CSRM. The use of ropes is most likely. Being lowered down a
> slope while fastened above with ropes seems to be the logical means of
> working on a slope of perhaps 60°, as opposed to baskets, which would
> just bounce or roll down the hill.
> As you may know, the CSRM is the repository of a lot of original CPRR
> material, most not on public display. This includes the original
> financial records as kept by Hopkins, many paper items, up to the Gov.
> Stanford locomotive (on loan from Stanford U.) and C. P. Huntington
> I am currently working on attempting to verify the type of hammer used
> to drive spikes on the CPRR during construction (the silver "spike maul"
> of Promontory ceremony fame is a hammer used in shipbuilding!). The
> current type of maul seems to have come into use around the turn of the
> century or slightly earlier.
> Enjoyed your website.
> Alan Hardy
> Roadmaster (track), Sacramento Southern Railroad, and
> Volunteer, California State Railroad Museum
Dana Scanlon wrote (12/15/2000):
> ... [Regarding] Chinese hanging from baskets to
> build the track bed around Cape Horn. I was an invited guest at the
> rededication of Cape Horn, in the company of the retired State
> Archeologist, a specialist in the history of the area, and another well
> known RR history expert. Both stated that there is no known evidence to
> support the fact that the Chinese were hanging from baskets during the
> construction of the RR. Some think it is a fanciful story created by a
> reporter to increase readership.
Peter Crush, author of WOOSUNG ROAD - the Story of China's First Railway wrote (10/25/1999):
> I wish to introduce my privately published book
> "WOOSUNG ROAD - the Story of China's First Railway" which is now available...
> [Click for] details about the book.
> (there was no connection with this railway's workers and the Chinese labourers who
> went to the US to help build railroads)
> Peter Crush
[Mr. Crush is also seeking a U.S. distributor for his new book about China's first railroad.]
Hart Stereoview #90, detail. "Bank and Cut at Sailor's Spur. 80 miles from Sacramento".
Hart Stereoview #88. Horse Ravine Wall, detail. Courtesy Steve Heselton Collection.