Monday, July 16, 2012

Forbidden Citizens Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress A Legislative History

By Martin B. Gold
Described as "one of the most vulgar forms of barbarism," by Rep. John Kasson (R-IA) in 1882, a series of laws passed by the United States Congress between 1879 and 1943 resulted in prohibiting the Chinese as a people from becoming U.S. citizens. Forbidden Citizens recounts this long and shameful legislative history.
H. Res. 683 Acknowledges Injustice of anti-Chinese Discrimination, June 18, 2012
"In other cases, we admit the people and exclude the individual. In the Chinese case, we admit the individuals and exclude the people."
--Representative Henry Naphen (D-MA) (1899-1903), 35 Cong. Rec. 3695 (1902) (§ 9.30)
Forbidden Citizens: Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress- A Legislative History

Cover Images

Claims of China, by J.A. WalesMain cover image (bottom-left of the cover) is from the cover of Puck magazine, March 17, 1886, one month after Secretary of State Thomas F. Bayard wrote to China's Washington legation that "the violence against Chinese immigrants was precipitated by their resistance to cultural assimilation, and that racism against Chinese was typically found among other immigrants rather than the majority of the populace."
The cartoonist was J.A. (James Albert) Wales.
The cartoon shows the Chinese Minister to the United States Cheng Tsao-ju handing "claims of China" to Secretary of State Thomas F. Bayard. The sign above Bayard reads, "The Chinese have no votes and no rights which this government is bound to respect, 1886."
To Secretary Bayard's right, previous Secretaries of State James G. Blaine and William M. Evarts sit below identically worded signs dated 1881 and 1877.
Cheng Tsao-ju's left hand holds another scroll that says, "The Government of China paid over to that of the United States the sum of [500,000 taels] $735,258.97 in full liquidation of all claims of American citizens in 1858." [Note 1]
On the night of December 14, 1856, the foreign factories at Canton were burned and foreigners were compelled to flee the city; and on the 13th of the next month [January 13, 1857] all foreigners were forced to abandon Whampoa, the port of Canton's Hostilities between China and Great Britain growing out of the controversy concerning the lorcha Arrow -- a controversy which served to inflame the feelings of the Chinese against all foreign residents. "The destruction of the foreign settlements at Canton, although apparently the act of incendiaries," was "known to have been arranged by the authorities of Canton, who made no distinction between enemies and neutrals; and the subsequent proceedings of the Canton government in offering rewards for the heads of all foreigners indiscriminately." [Note 2]
 The caption below the illustration reads:
Chinese Minister: "Therefore, all things whatsover ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
Secretary Bayard: "That's some nonsense of that old Confucius of yours, I suppose?"
The image is from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog,

The ultimate cause, by Frank A. Nankivell

The Ultimate Cause 
is from the cover of Puck magazine, December 19, 1900. In the spring of 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion in China, several Christian churches were burned and Chinese Christians were killed. Hundreds of soldiers from eight foreign countries were then dispatched to protect the foreign legations in Beijing. (§ 9.12)
The cartoonist was Frank Arthur Nankivell.
The cartoon shows shows a Chinese woman with two children talking to an American missionary on a street in front of a market.

The caption below the illustration reads:
The Ultimate Cause
"But why is it," asked the thoughtful Chinese, "that I may go to your heaven, while I may not go to your country?"

The American missionary shrugged his shoulders. "There is no Labor vote in heaven!" said he.
The image is from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog,

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