Submitted by scott on



One of California's curiosities the people in the States will some day become familiar with through the Pacific Railroad, I mean the Chinamen. California contains 70,000 of them, and every ship brings more There is a Chinese quarter in every city and village in California and Nevada, for Boards of Aldermen will not allow them to live all around town just wherever they to locate. ‘This is not a hardship, for they prefer to herd together.


They are a people who fondly stick to their ancient customs, They dress in the quaint costumes their ancestors wore 500 years ago. They build temples, gaudy with gilding and hideous with staring idols, and there they worship after the fashion of their fathers, A strict record is kept by their chiefs of the name and residence of every Chinaman, and when he dies his body is sent back to China for burial—for they can never get to their Heaven unless they start from China. And besides, Chinamen worship their ancestors, and they all want their share of worship after they are done with this world. Even when the Chinese government sells a shipload of degraded and criminal coolies to a Cuban or Sandwich Island planter, it is strictly stipulated that the body of every one of them must be sent back to China, after death.

The Chinamen being smart, shrewd people, take to some few of our commercial customs and virtues, but somehow we can't make great headway in the matter of civilizing them. We can teach them to gamble a little, but somehow we can’t make them get drunk. It is discouraging —because you can't regenerate a being that won't get drunk.

The Chinamen is the most frugal, industrious and thrifty of all creatures. No matter how slender are the wages you pay him he will manage to lay up money. And Chinamen are the most gifted gardeners in the world. Give one of them a sandbank that would not support a lizard, and he will make it yield generous crops of vegetables. The Chinaman wastes nothing. Every thing has a value in his eyes. He gathers up all the cast-away rags and bones and bits of glass, and makes marketable articles of them. And he picks up all the old fruit cans you throw away and melts them up to get the tin and solder. When a white man discards a gold placer as no longer worth anything, the patient Chinaman, always satistied with small profits, and never in a hurry to get rich, takes possession and works it contentedly for years.

The Chinaman makes a good cook, a good washerwoman, a good chambermaid, a good gardener, a good banker's clerk, a good miner, a good railroad laborer, a good anything you choose to put him at—for these people are all educated, they are all good accountants, they are very quiet and peaceable, they never disturb themselves about politics they are so tractable, quick, smart, and naturally handy and ingenious, that you can teach them anything; they have no jealousies; they never lose a moment, never require watching to keep them at work; they are gifted with a world of patience, endurance and contentment. They are the best laboring class America has ever seen—and they do not care a cent who is President. They are miserably abused by the laws of California, but that sort of thing will cease some day. It was found just about impossible to build the California end of the Pacific Railroad with white men at $3 per day and take care of all the broils and fights and strikes; but they put on Chinamen at a dollar a day and "find” themselves, and they built it without fights or strikes or anything, and saved the bulk of their wages, too. You will have these long-tailed toilers among you in "the States,” some day, but you will find them right easy to get along with—and you will like them, too, because they will stand a heap of abuse. You will find them ever so convenient, because when you get mad you can snatch a club and go out and take satisfaction out of a Chinaman. The native American negro is getting so insolent, now, that the patriot from Ireland cannot take a little recreation out of him without getting into trouble. So the Chinaman will afford a needed relief.


As evidence that Chinamen are satisfied with small gains, I will remark that they drill five holes into the edge of gold coins - drill clear through from edge to edge - and save the gold thus bored out and fill up the hole with some [??] metallic composition that [???]the coin. Their [???] good metal and only one part base metal in their bogus coins and [???] it is very lucrative in [???] next thing to impos-

Buffalo Courier Express 22 Jan 1870, Sat · Page 2

Start Date
Type of Feedback