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A Chronology of Chinese-Americans


California imposes Foreign Miner's Tax, mainly against the Chinese.

There are 25,000 Chinese in California.


Sam Yup and Sze Yup associations are formed in San Francisco.


A group of 195 Chinese laborers arrive in Hawaii.

Chinese theatrical performance in America is offered by the Tong Hook Tong Dramatic Company at the American Theater, Sansome Street in San Francisco on October 18.

A Chinese theater opens in San Francisco on December 23. It has a seating capacity of 1,400

William Speer, a missionary, opens Presbyterian mission for Chinese in San Francisco.

About 27,000 Chinese are in the State of California.


California state law prohibits people of color from testifying against a white person in court.

People v. Hall rules that Chinese can not give testimony in court.

Yung Wing was the first Chinese student to graduate from a U.S. university, Yale College. Yung Wing was naturalized as an American citizen on October 30, 1852, and on March 2, 1875, he married Mary Kellogg, an American.

Some 13,000 Chinese immigrate. Chinese labor immigration is arranged by William Kally of Pittsburgh who helps immigrant 12 Chinese to work in his foundries.

Chinese in Hawaii establish a funeral society, their first community association in the islands.

Chinese six companies are formed in California.


San Francisco opens a school for Chinese children (changed to an evening school two years later). Missionary Augustus Loomis arrives to serve the Chinese in San Francisco.


California passes a law to bar entry of Chinese and "Mongolians."


Chinese are barred from attending public schools in San Francisco.


California enacts a law to tax Chinese engaged in fishing.


An act (February 19) prohibits the "Coolie Trade" by American citizens in American vessels.

Central Pacific imported Chinese laborers.

California imposes a "police tax" of $2.50 a month on every Chinese.


Over 10,000 Chinese work for the Central Pacific.


Two thousand Chinese railroad workers strike for a week.


The Burlingame Treaty between the United States and China is ratified for free immigration of citizens of both countries..


Transcontinental railroad is completed leaving many Chinese laborers out of job.

Chinese Protective Society is established in San Francisco.

Chinese Labor Convention is held on July 13 in Memphis, Tennessee..


California passes a law against the importation of Chinese, Japanese, and "Mongolian" women for prostitution.

Chinese railroad workers in Texas sue company for failing to pay wages.


Chinese are massacred in October in Los Angeles.

The Queue Ordinance of San Francisco requires all prisoners in San Francisco jails to have their hair cut to no more than one inch long.

San Francisco passes an anti-Chinese Cubic Air Ordinance requiring at least 500 cubic feet air space per inhabitant.


California Civil Procedure Code drops law barring Chinese court testimony.

In September, Yung Wing's Chinese Educational Mission 30 students arrived in San Francisco.


San Francisco passes Laundry Ordinance penalizing Chinese laundrymen for not using horses or horse-drawn delivery vehicles.

Kwong Dock Tong is organized about 1870 in San Francisco. The first tong war breaks out as a result of dispute of slave-girl traffic. Six members of the Kwong Dock Tong are wounded, three of whom die and one member of the Suey Sing Tong is killed.


Page Law bars entry of Chinese, Japanese, and "Mongolian" prostitutes, felons, and contract laborers.


Anti-Chinese riots breaks out in Chico, California incited by Denis Kearney as protest at the use of cheap Chinese labor.

Yale University creates Chinese Language and Literature Lectureship with Samuel Wills Williams as the lecturer.


In re Ah Yup rules Chinese not eligible for naturalized citizenship.

Greenback Labor Party, meet in Toledo, Ohio, on February 22, with delegates from 28 states. Platforms advocate among other things limitations in Chinese immigration.

California Constitutional Convention completes a new constitution on February 22, calling for restriction of citizenship to natives or foreigners of Mongolian blood and prohibiting corporations from employing Chinese laborers.

Chen Lan-Pin, first Chinese ambassador, lands at San Francisco on July 25 and on October 4, he presents his paper as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to President Rutherford B. Hayes in Washington D.C. Yung wing is the minister.

In re Ah Yup rules Chinese not eligible for naturalized citizenship.


Congress passes Fifteen Passenger Bill on February 22 which limits ships crossing the Pacific to no more than 15 Chinese passengers. President Rutherford D. Hayes vetoes the bill, because it contradicts the terms of the Burlingame Treaty.

California adopts a new constitution on May 7 forbidding employment of Chinese labor.

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