January 21, 2016

EXTRA! Montana Newspaper Stories 1864-1922: Anti-Chinese Discrimination

The 1870 census counted 2400 Chinese living in Montana, but by the 1880s there were an estimated 12,000 Chinese working on railroads in the territory. Nearly all were men, earning money to send to their families. In 1892, Montana labor leaders decry the “despicable competition” presented by the Chinese and warn of contamination from “their habits, their modes of living and by diseases.” A variety of discriminatory laws will remain in effect until 1965.

Key dates

1882—U.S. Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act, preventing Chinese immigrants from becoming U.S. citizens.
1892—The Geary Act prevents further immigration and requires Chinese in the U.S. to carry certificates of residency.
November 4, 1892—The “Eleventh Resolution” is adopted at a Butte labor meeting.

In the newspapers

To find more

Search for these terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases: chinese, chinamen, geary law, chinese exclusion, celestials, yellow peril