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Geskiedenis van die Chinatown van San Francisco

Geskiedenis van die Chinatown van San Francisco

Die Chinese diaspora, wat in die 1800's begin het, was so groot dat feitlik elke groot stad ter wêreld - van New York tot Londen, Montreal en Lima - spog met 'n woonbuurt genaamd 'Chinatown'. Chinese immigrasie na die Verenigde State dateer uit die middel van die 19de eeu, maar die nuwe immigrante uit China was nie altyd maklik nie - selfs in die Chinatown van San Francisco, die grootste distrik buite Asië en die oudste Chinese gemeenskap in Noord -Amerika .

Chinese immigrasie na die Verenigde State

Die grootste deel van die vroeë Chinese immigrasie na die Verenigde State kan teruggevoer word na die middel van die 1800's. Hierdie vroeë immigrante - ongeveer 25 000 in die 1850's alleen - het ekonomiese geleenthede in Amerika gesoek.

Die Chinese wat in San Francisco aangekom het, wat hoofsaaklik uit die Taishan- en Zhongshan -streke sowel as die Guangdong -provinsie op die vasteland van China gekom het, het dit gedoen op die hoogtepunt van die California Gold Rush, en baie het gewerk in die myne wat versprei was oor die noordelike deel van die staat.

Ander het werksgeleenthede as plaasbediendes of in die ontluikende kledingbedryf in die “Stad by die baai” aangeneem. Nog meer het arbeiders geword met die Sentraal -Stille Oseaan en die transkontinentale spoorweë, en het 'n belangrike rol gespeel in die bou van die vervoerinfrastruktuur wat gehelp het om die uitbreiding na die westelike rigting voor, tydens en na die burgeroorlog aan te wakker.

Armoede en vooroordeel: die Chinese stryd om aanvaarding

Soos met die meeste immigrante, was die lewe in hul nuwe huis 'n uitdaging vir die honderdduisende nuwe Amerikaners wat uit Asië aankom, selfs toe San Francisco 'n spilpunt van die Chinese kultuur in die Verenigde State geword het.

Die meeste immigrante wat uit China kom, was desperaat om te werk - nie net om te oorleef nie, maar om geld na hul gesinne terug te stuur. Sommige moes ook lenings terugbetaal van Chinese-Amerikaanse handelaars wat hul reis na Amerika geborg het.

Hierdie finansiële druk het beteken dat baie Chinese immigrante werk teen verlaagde lone moes aanvaar en langer ure moes werk met minder vakansiedae. Baie vroue, veral jong, ongetroude vroue, is in die strate van San Francisco gedwing tot prostitusie, hetsy as gevolg van ekonomiese ontbering of as bedreiging van geweld deur Chinese-Amerikaanse kriminele bendes wat 'tang' genoem word.

Hulle lyding eindig nie daar nie: Omdat hulle bereid was om meer vir minder te werk, het Chinese immigrante na die Verenigde State spoedig die woede van die eerste en tweede generasie Amerikaners uit ander etniese groepe getrek, wat geglo het dat hulle uit sekere werk deur die nuwe aankomelinge.

Die staat Kalifornië het aanvanklik probeer om wettige blokkades vir Chinese immigrasie-en integrasie in die Amerikaanse samelewing-te bewerkstellig deur spesiale lisensies te vereis vir ondernemings wat deur Chinese Amerikaners bestuur word.

Baie van hierdie diskriminerende wette is egter deur die federale regering omvergewerp, aangesien dit die Burlingame-Seward-verdrag van 1868 oortree het, wat immigrasiebeperkings en beperkte Amerikaanse invloed op die politieke aangeleenthede van die vasteland van China beperk het.

Die Chinese uitsluitingswet

Ongelukkig het die ywer teen immigrasie gewen-ten minste 'n tyd lank. In 1879 het die Kongres sy eerste wetgewing goedgekeur wat daarop gemik was om die vloei van Chinese immigrasie te beperk. Die destydse president, Rutherford B. Hayes, 'n Republikein, het egter die veto teen die wetsontwerp veto gelê, aangesien dit steeds die Burlingame-Seward-verdrag oortree het.

Aangesien die Demokrate in die westelike state heftig gekant was teen onbeperkte immigrasie, en Republikeine in Washington veg vir oop grense en handel, is 'n kompromie aangegaan: in 1880 het president Hayes diplomaat James B. Angell aangestel om 'n nuwe verdrag met China te onderhandel en as 'n gevolglik is die sogenaamde Angell-verdrag tussen die twee lande onderteken. Die verdrag het die Verenigde State in staat gestel om immigrasie uit China te beperk, maar nie uit te skakel nie.

Aangesien diplomatieke beperkings nie meer van toepassing was nie, het die Kongres die Chinese uitsluitingswet van 1882 goedgekeur, wat die immigrasie van Chinese arbeiders vir 'n tydperk van 10 jaar opgeskort het en vereis dat Chinese mense wat in of uit die Verenigde State reis, 'n sertifikaat moet saambring wat sy of haar identifiseer status as arbeider, geleerde, diplomaat of handelaar. Hierdie wetgewing was die eerste in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis wat aansienlike beperkings op immigrasie en op die regte van nuwe immigrante geplaas het.

Die situasie vir Chinese immigrante na die Amerikaanse weste het egter eers drie jaar later in die Wyoming -gebied sy hoogtepunt bereik, met die slagting van Rock Springs in 1885.

Wit mynwerkers in die hoop om te vakbonde, blameer hul Chinese eweknieë, wat as stakingsbrekers na die myne gebring is, vir hul gesukkel. Op 2 September van daardie jaar het 150 van die wit mynwerkers 'n groep Chinese arbeiders aangeval en minstens 28 mense doodgemaak, 15 of meer gewond en talle ander uit die stad verdryf.

Vir die res van die 19de eeu het die federale regering die immigrasiebeleid aan die individuele state oorgelaat. Met die opening van die federale immigrasiestasie op Ellis Island in 1890, het 'n nuwe toevloei van immigrante - hoofsaaklik uit Europa, maar ook uit Asië - op Amerikaanse oewers aangekom en hulle in stede in die oostelike helfte van die Verenigde State gevestig.

In die geval van nuwe immigrante uit China, het hierdie golf gehelp om die Chinese-Amerikaanse gemeenskappe te vestig in stede soos New York, Boston en Washington, DC wat steeds floreer-hoewel die Chinese uitsluitingswet steeds streng toegepas is in die westelike deel van die land.

Die aardbewing van San Francisco en Chinatown

Die aardbewing in San Francisco in 1906 en die brande wat in die nasleep van die stad ontstaan ​​het, het die Chinese gemeenskap meer skade berokken as wat enige wetgewende optrede kon doen, en duisende huise en besighede in Chinatown vernietig. Baie Chinese-Amerikaners was ook onder die dooies.

Die geboorte- en immigrasie -rekords van die stad het egter ook tydens die ramp verlore gegaan, en baie van die Chinese immigrante van San Francisco het voordeel getrek uit die skuiwergat om Amerikaanse burgerskap te eis. Dit het hulle in staat gestel om vir hul gesinne te stuur om saam met hulle in die Verenigde State te kom.

Aangesien die Chinese uitsluitingswet nog in die boeke was, moes Chinese immigrante egter in die jare na die aardbewing by die immigrasiesentrum op Angel Island verwerk word. Baie immigrante wat na die sentrum kom - nou 'n staatspark in San Francisco Bay - is weke, maande of selfs jare in moeilike omstandighede aangehou voordat hulle goedgekeur is vir toegang of geweier word, gewoonlik op grond van hul antwoorde op vrae oor hul identiteit en hul redes daarvoor na die Verenigde State kom.

Die sentrum is in 1940 gesluit nadat dit deur 'n brand verwoes is, en die Chinese uitsluitingswet is uiteindelik in 1943 omvergewerp, wat die weg gebaan het vir 'n nuwe generasie aankomelinge uit Asië.

San Francisco se Chinatown Vandag

Die Wet op Immigrasie en Naturalisasie van 1965 het die beperkings op immigrasie verder verslap en nog 'n golf van immigrasie bevorder wat gevolg het op die sluiting van Ellis -eiland in 1954. Vir baie Chinese en ander Asiërs bied dit 'n nuwe geleentheid om tuis te ontsnap aan politieke onderdrukking en verder het die bevolking van Chinatowns in die Verenigde State versterk.

In San Francisco, waar inwoners van Chinatown herbou het ná die aardbewing en brande van 1906, het die omgewing nuwe groei beleef en 'n toestroming van mense uit verskillende streke van China.

Vanaf die beroemde hek by die kruising van Grant- en Bush -strate beslaan die distrik ongeveer 30 stadsblokke en is vol restaurante, kroeë, nagklubs en spesialiteitswinkels wat geskenke, materiale, keramiek en Chinese kruie verkoop, onder andere. van die gewildste toeriste -aantreklikhede in San Francisco.


Chinese bloedbad van 1871

Die Chinese bloedbad van 1871 was 'n rassemoord wat op 24 Oktober 1871 in Los Angeles, Kalifornië, plaasgevind het toe 'n skare van ongeveer 500 blanke en Spaanse persone die ou Chinatown binnegekom en Chinese inwoners aangeval, geboelie, beroof en vermoor het. [1] [2] Die slagting het plaasgevind op Calle de los Negros, ook na verwys as "Negro Alley". Die skare het byeengekom nadat hulle gehoor het dat 'n polisieman en 'n boer 'n dood is as gevolg van 'n konflik tussen die mededingende tang, die Nin Yung en Hong Chow. Namate die nuus oor hul dood oor die stad versprei is, wat gerugte aangevuur het dat die Chinese gemeenskap 'blankes in die grootskaal vermoor', het meer mans om die grense van die Negro Alley gekom. 'N Paar bronne uit die 21ste eeu beskryf dit as die grootste massa-lynch in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis. [2] [3]

19 Chinese immigrante is dood, waarvan 15 later tydens die oproer deur die skare gehang is, maar die meeste is reeds doodgeskiet voordat hulle gehang is. [4] Minstens een is vermink toe 'n lid van die skare 'n vinger afsny om die diamantring van die slagoffer te kry. [4] Die wat gedood is, verteenwoordig destyds meer as 10% van die klein Chinese bevolking van Los Angeles, wat 172 voor die slagting was. Tien mans van die skare is vervolg en agt is skuldig bevind aan manslag in hierdie sterftes. Die skuldigbevindings is weens appèl van die hand gewys weens appèl.


San Francisco Chinatown: 'n gids tot sy geskiedenis en argitektuur: 'n uittreksel

Die aankoms van die Chinese in die Verenigde State teen die einde van die 1840's was deel van 'n ingewikkelde politieke en ekonomiese verhouding tussen Asië en Amerika.

Sedert sy geboorte as 'n nasie, wou die Verenigde State homself vestig as 'n nuwe mag onder ou nasies. Baie Amerikaners het geglo in die konsep van 'Manifest Destiny', wat van mening was dat die Verenigde State die reg het om weswaarts oor die vasteland na die Stille Oseaan uit te brei. Die Weskus sou die poort wees waardeur Amerika die magsposisies in Asië sou verkry en beklee.

Aan die Weskus, in Kalifornië, het San Francisco nie net 'n belangrike kommersiële hawe geword nie, maar ook die belangrikste toegangspoort vir Chinese immigrante, wat as bron van massarbeid gewerf is vir die ekonomiese ontwikkeling van die westelike grens. Aanvanklik verwelkom wit Amerikaners Chinese deelname aan die burgerlike geleenthede van San Francisco, soos die viering op Portsmouth Square, van Kalifornië se toelating tot die Unie in 1850. Destyds was die Square die hart van San Francisco. Terwyl die stad uitgebrei het, het die Chinese in die gebied gebly. Meer as 'n anderhalf eeu lank het Chinatown op dieselfde plek gebly.

Die interaksie tussen Chinatown en die gemeenskap in die algemeen was nie altyd onderlinge begrip nie. Gevang in die stryd tussen die blanke arbeidersklas wat veg vir beter werksomstandighede en die industriële kapitaliste wat die status quo wou behou, het die Chinese sondebokke geword vir die groeiende pyne van die Amerikaanse arbeidersbeweging in die Weste. Sinofobie in die 19de eeu weerklink in die 20ste eeu met die kreet "The Chinese must go!" Die kwessie van Chinese arbeidskompetisie het meer as 30 jaar 'n sentrale plek in die politiek van die land beklee, totdat die Wet op Uitsluiting van Mei 1882 aanvaar is, wat in werklikheid die deur vir Chinese immigrasie gesluit het.

Af en toe het San Francisco probeer om Chinatown te vernietig en die Chinese te verwyder deur middel van wettige en buite -wetlike middele. Die Chinese reageer strategies. Toe die raad van toesighouers byvoorbeeld probeer het om Chinatown te verwyder na die aardbewing van 1906, het die Chinese probeer om die welwillendheid van die stad te verdien deur 'n nuwe positiewe beeld te skep en argitekte te behou om die krotbuurte in 'n 'Oosterse stad' te verander. Hierdie nuwe neiging van 'n Sino-argitektoniese omgangstaal, spesifiek geskep as 'n reaksie op die bedreiging van hervestiging na die aardbewing, het die huidige skyline van Chinatown gevorm.

Maar Chinatown was nog altyd 'n toeriste -aantreklikheid. Wat in die 19de eeu sensasioneel was as 'n toevlugsoord vir rasse -eienaardighede en kulturele vreemdhede, word vandag beskou as 'n etniese enklave waar kulturele gewoontes en tradisies bewaar word. In beide gevalle bly die stereotipiese beeld van Chinatown as 'n nie -geassimileerde buitelandse gemeenskap onveranderd. Maar die betekenis van Chinatown lê nie by kulturele eksotika nie. Onder die Oosterse fasade is 'n geskiedenis gewortel in die politieke verlede van die stad, die staat en die nasie.

Die geskiedenis het begin na ons onafhanklikheidsoorlog in 1776. Die bewyse is voor ons oë en onder ons neuse as ons weet waarna ons moet kyk as ons in Chinatown toer. Tee, ginseng en die kerke neem ons terug na toe twee mense van uiteenlopende kulture die eerste keer ontmoet, verhandel en interaksie gehad het. In 1784, toe Samuel Shaw die eerste Amerikaanse skip, die keiserin van China, na Bocca Tigrus seil, verruil hy agt en twintig ton ginseng en 20.000 Spaanse dollar vir tee, sy, porselein en ander skatte. In sy joernaal skryf Shaw: "Die inwoners van Amerika moet tee drink ... dat nuttelose produkte [ginseng] uit haar berge en bos haar hierdie elegante luukse sal bied ... dit is die voordele wat Amerika uit haar ginseng put" (Quincy 1847, 231). Daardie historiese reis het ons belangstelling in die Verre Ooste begin en het gelei tot grensmanne se jag en vang aan die kus van Kalifornië vir die pelle van see -otters vir die Canton -mark. Toe goud ontdek word, het die transparante handel tussen Kalifornië en Kanton (nou "Guangzhou" genoem) voortgegaan, nie net met die invoer van Chinese goedere vir die Gold Rush -bevolking nie, maar ook met die aankoms van Chinese arbeiders uit die Pearl River Delta, gefokus op die stad Kanton in die provinsie Guangdong.

Sedert die eerste ontmoeting in die 16de eeu was Westerse lande vasbeslote om die hawens van China oop te maak vir handel. China was ewe hardkoppig en noem haarself die 'Middelryk' (dit wil sê die middelpunt van die wêreld) en probeer haar deure sluit vir die 'onbeskaafde, inmengende, barbare'. Teen die tyd van Shaw se aankoms is China deur die Mantsjoe uit Mantsjoerije verower, wat van 1644 tot 1911 onder die titel "Ching" (glans) geheers het. die bevolking. Na twee en 'n half eeue was die Mantsjoe opgeneem in die Chinese kultuur, behalwe die Manchu -kleredrag en die geskeerde kop met die tou (varkstaart), wat op die Chinese gedwing is as simbole van onderwerping.

In 1757 beperk die Manchu-keiser Chien Lung (1736-1796) alle buitelandse handel tot een hawe, die stad Kanton. Die handel tussen die Chinese en Europeërs is beheer en gereguleer deur Chinese handelaars bekend as Hong, gemagtig deur die keiserlike regering. Onbillike praktyke, invoer- en uitvoerbelasting en die vraag na silwer in die betaling van goedere het handelstekorte veroorsaak by buitelandse ondernemings wat in China sake doen. Om die tekorte te vergoed, het hierdie lande in groot hoeveelhede opium na China gesmokkel. Die Britte, wie se handelaars beheer oor die voorraad uit Indië gehad het, het die handel oorheers. Amerikaanse handelaars het hul voorraad by Smyrna, Turkye, gekry. China se pogings om die smokkel te stop, het gelei tot oorlog met Groot-Brittanje (1839-1842). Die Britte het China maklik verslaan en sy regering gedwing om die hawens van Canton, Sjanghai, Ningpo, Amoy en Foochow oop te maak. Boonop is die gebied van Hong Kong 100 jaar aan Engeland afgestaan.

In die laaste kwart van die 18de eeu het gloeiende verslae wat oor die verkenning en avonture in die Suidsee, Indië en Afrika gepubliseer is, nie net die verbeelding en nuuskierigheid van die publiek aangewakker nie, maar ook die evangeliese impuls van Protestantse leiers, wat sendelinge gestig het rade en samelewings om sendelinge na die heidense wêreld te werf en te stuur. Terwyl Britse en Amerikaanse handelaars die deure na die skatte van "Cathay" (China) oopgemaak het, het Europese en Amerikaanse sendelinge beoog om die deur na die koninkryk van God oop te maak vir China se driehonderd miljoen "heidene". Hierdie sendingonderneming was deel van die Christelike herlewingsbeweging, bekend as die 'Tweede Groot Ontwaking'.

Aan die begin van die 19de eeu het hierdie Protestantse godsdienstige beweging gelei tot die stigting van dr. Morrison wat die Bybel vertaal het met Chinese bekeerlinge, 1820.18the London Missionary Society (LMS), gevolg deur die stigting van die Amerikaanse Raad van Kommissies van Buitelandse Sendinge ( ABCFM). In 1807 stuur die LMS eerwaarde Robert Morrison na China en in 1830 stuur die ABCFM eerwaarde David Abeel en dominee Elijah Bridgman. Kanton het die opvoeringsgebied geword vir Protestantse sendingaktiwiteite. Hierdie godsdienstige aktiwiteite, tesame met die lang handelsperiode met China, het kennis van die Weste in China bevorder en het Canton met Kalifornië verbind. Vir die Westerling was die Chinese uit Kanton bekend as 'Kantonees'. Dit was die Chinese wat hul voete in Kalifornië sou sit wanneer goud ontdek word.

Leiers van die evangeliese beweging het vinnig besef dat die strategiese belangrikheid van Kalifornië nie net die feit was dat dit die Stille Oseaan voorlê nie, maar ook die unieke sendinggeleentheid wat duisende Chinese gebied het as hulle tot bekering kom, kan hierdie Kantonees terugkeer huis toe om die evangelie aan die wemelende miljoene in China wat nog nooit die openbaring van God gehoor het nie. Die baie kerke in Chinatown vandag is dus die gevolg van die pogings van die vroeë Christelike pioniers wat in Canton, Macau en Hong Kong begin is. In San Francisco het die eerste amptelike evangeliese poging plaasgevind tydens 'n openbare seremonie op 28 Augustus 1850, toe burgemeester John Geary en eerwaarde Albert Williams die Chinese inwoners na Portsmouth Square genooi het om godsdienstige stukke te ontvang wat in Chinees gedruk is en in Kanton gepubliseer is .

Maar die bekoring waarmee die Weste China in die 18de eeu beskou het, het in die 19de eeu agteruitgegaan tot 'n afwyking van aansien en minagting. Na sy nederlaag in die Opiumoorlog met Engeland, was China onder die heersers van Manchu op die punt om in duie te stort. Omdat die regering nie die strydlustige eise van die Westerse moondhede kon hanteer nie, het die regering 'n buitelandse beleid van versoening aangeneem en toegewing na toegewing toegestaan. Buitelandse uitbuiting, interne rebellie en oorbevolking versnel die agteruitgang van die Chinese ekonomie en die agteruitgang van die sosiale toestande.


Geskiedenis van die Chinatown van San Francisco

In 1848 arriveer die eerste Chinese immigrante, twee mans en een vrou, in San Francisco op die Amerikaanse seilskip, Arend. Die lang geskiedenis van die Chinatown van San Francisco is bedek met rassisme, haat en onderdrukking. Vanaf die Gold Rush tot in die 1870's het 'n groot migrasie van meestal enkel manlike arbeiders na San Francisco en die Amerikaanse Weste gekom, asook na Kanada en Peru. Met die Chinese uitsluitingswet van 1882, die eerste ras -beperkende immigrasiemaatreël van die land, het die Chinese Amerikaanse bevolking gedaal van 26 000 in 1881 tot 11 000 in 1920. Tussen 1852 en 1882 het baie manlike Chinese arbeiders en 'n paar handelaars en arbeidsmakelaars gekom. na San Francisco. Vloede in China het 'n virtuele diaspora van kantonees-dialeksprekende mense oral in die Stille Oseaan-kom veroorsaak. Na raming het tussen 1840 en 1900 2,5 miljoen mense uit China geëmigreer. Van 153 stukke eiendom in Chinatown in 1873 was slegs 10 Chinese. Die res is gehuur van Anglo-Amerikaners, Frans-Amerikaners, Italiaanse Amerikaners en Duitse Amerikaners. In 1882 het Chinatown, wat gewoonlik agterdogtig was, 'n sambreelvereniging wat die belangrikste van die distriksverenigings verenig in wat bekend geword het as die Chinese ses maatskappye, amptelik die Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association genoem. Die vereniging, wat in 1901 in die staat Kalifornië ingelyf is, het die kajuit geword van persoonlike en groepspolitieke, ekonomiese en sosiale twis. In 1904, van 316 pakkies, het die Chinees-Amerikaners slegs 25 besit. Namate die Chinese immigrasie afgeneem het en die individuele assimilasie plaasgevind het, het die parochiale stam en streeksaanhegings verswak. Terwyl die Chinese prakties gesproke in die Chinatown tot in die laat veertigerjare geskei was, het daar egter 'n mate van assimilasie plaasgevind. In 1943, tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog toe die Verenigde State met China verbonde was teen Japan, is die Chinese uitsluitingswet deur die kongres herroep, maar 'n klein kwota van 105 Chinese per jaar het migrasie minimaal gehou. Die post-Tweede Wêreldoorlog-era het die ekonomiese en sosiale vooruitgang van Chinese Amerikaners beleef. Die nietigheid van die Kalifornië se wet op anti -diskriminasie in 1948 en die opskorting van rasbeperkende verbonde in die verkoop van vaste eiendom in Kalifornië in dieselfde jaar, het Chinese Amerikaners en ander Asiatiese Amerikaners geëmansipeer. Toe die nasionalistiese regering in 1949 na Taiwan terugtrek, het 'n toestroming van Mandarynssprekende professionele persone en welgestelde handelaars uit Rooi China na San Francisco gevlug. In 1965 is die Civil Rights Act aangeneem en het die Verenigde State die sielkundige en regsgrense van sy historiese rasse -antipatieë begin deurbreek en 'n positiewe draai in die werklikheid van sy veelrassige samelewing gemaak. In dieselfde jaar is immigrasie -kwotas herkonfigureer om 'n veelrassige werklikheid te weerspieël en meer Asiatiese immigrasie moontlik te maak. Van 105 per jaar het die kwotas vir Chinese gegroei tot 20 000 per jaar teen 1970. Teen daardie tyd was 56 persent van die Chinese Amerikaners in witboordjies. Sedert die laat sewentigerjare het al hoe meer Chinese uit Viëtnam, saam met ander mense in Suidoos -Asië, in San Francisco aangekom. Teen 1970 was 52 persent van alle San Franciskane van Chinese afkoms gebore in die buiteland. Die nuwe immigrasiewette bevoordeel migrante met vaardighede en/of groot bedrae geld. Ramshackle ou Chinatown is heeltemal uitgewis deur die brand van 1906. Toe die distrik tussen 1906 en ongeveer 1929 herbou is deur nie-Chinese afwesige grondeienaars, het 'n nuwer, skoner, indien nog buitengewoon digte, stad van die vroeë 20ste eeu met merkwaardige konsekwentheid ontstaan . Die nuwe geboue het voldoen aan beter munisipale bouwette wat baksteen- of betonbou in die distrik nodig gehad het. In die vroeë sewentigerjare het nuwe Chinese-Amerikaanse argitekte in Chinese styl ontwerpte bygedra. Tans is Chinatown een van die digste woonbuurte in die land met ongeveer 160 mense per hektaar: slegs die tweede na Chinatown in New York. Vyf en sewentig persent van die inwoners is gebore in die buiteland, die vergelykbare deel van die stad is 28 persent. Die mediaan huishoudelike inkomste daar is ongeveer $ 10,000, 'n derde van die mediaan inkomste van die stad as geheel.


The Bard of the Bay en The Grant Confucius

In 'n verhelderende kolom van 30 Januarie 1942 wat geheel en al gewy is aan Chinatown, skets Caen sy waarnemings oor die huidige pols van die distrik vanuit 'n kulinêre en sosiale lens:

'Varkvleis is so 'n stapelvoedsel dat Kwon Wo byvoorbeeld net twee groot varke daagliks in 'n ondergrondse put agter sy winkeltjie braai - en ook nooit meer oor het nie ... 'N Spesiale gunsteling is Chinese gruis (bekend as' jook '), soos Sam Wo op sy plek in 'n systraat van Chinatown opgesweep het, en Sam's is die enigste grap in die stad, en hy verkoop byna duisend bakke goed elke aand in sy langbroek , smal uitleg met drie verdiepings ... Op 12 Beckett-plek (die tuiste van die berugte wiegies tydens die Barbarous Coast-dae), vind u 'n vindingryke masjien wat in Amerika vervaardig is en wat Chinese fortuinkoekies maak. Dit wil sê, die koekies blyk uit, en 'n geduldige Chinees steek die stukkie papier met die fortuin in voordat die deeg verhard word. ... Die in Amerika gebore Chinese is nog steeds verstom oor die tradisies van hul oudstes, die Chinese uit die ou land is geskok oor die manewales van die jong geslag ... "

Dit was 'n Chinatown wat herontwerp is deur die spanning tussen die ouer, risiko-afwykende immigrante en die versekerde, waagmoedige Amerikaans-gebore. Caen het geskryf oor hoe Kan te doen gehad het met “ouderlinge in Chinatown [wat] gemor het oor [hom] wat die blanke man vergesel het en die tradisies vergeet het.” In teenstelling met die vorige generasie van versigtige, hardnekkige Chinese arbeiders, was Kan 'n veelsydige kulturele karom-artikulerend, gepoleer, lank, charismaties, vlot in beide Engels en Chinees en gemeenskapsgerig. Hy kon behoorlik die Amerikaanse beroemdhede bekoor wat sy ondernemings sou bevredig terwyl hy bande met Chinese kamerade uit die ou land koester. Kan toon die edgier, risiko-neemende generasie van in Amerika gebore opstartelinge.

Caen ontmoet Johnny Kan vir die eerste keer omstreeks 1938 in The Blue Willow Tea Room, waar Kan as gasheer werk. Caen beskryf sy eerste indruk van Kan so duidelik:

As 'n aantreklike jong man, sny hy 'n treffende figuur in lang, syde gewaad bedek met 'n seremoniële hooftooisel. In opgeleide en stedelike Engels sou hy Kaukasiërs met 'n diepe boog verwelkom en Confucianismes uitstort. En terwyl hulle met sterre-oë in die mooi teekamer verbystap, lag hy vir 'n vriend: "Wit duiwels is verras en hoor hoe 'n jong Chinese seuntjie so goed Engels praat, nè?"

Later in 1963, toe sosioloë Victor en Brett de Bary Nee met 'n ouer Kan 'n onderhoud voer, word hy beskryf as 'n onkonvensionele verwaandheid en ontkenning in vergelyking met sy werkers uit die Chinatown-eweknieë:

'Ons is verbaas oor hoe lank hy is as hy in die kamer instap. In 'n donker formele pak sit Johnny by ons en bestel drankies vir almal. Alhoewel ons weet dat hy sewe-en-vyftig jaar oud is, is hy in kleredrag, manier en spraak heeltemal anders as die ou manne waarmee ons die afgelope paar weke geleer het oor die geskiedenis van Chinatown. "

Caen en Kan sou goeie vriende bly tot Kan se dood in 1972. Oor die dekades was Caen 'n intydse biograaf van Kan. Sy koms en gaan, kosvoorkeure, (Kan het na berig word 'n groot liefde vir Spaanse kos). Professionele prestasies, persoonlike netwerke en politieke verbintenisse kan deur die blaaie van die lewendige rubriek van Caen gesien word. “Kantonese Kooker”, “the Ruby Foo of Chinatown”, “king of the Grant Ave rice fryers”, the “chow mein chopper” en “Chinatown’s goodwill ambassador” was maar enkele van Caen se talle tong-in-die-kies monikers vir die restaurateur . Ondanks Kan se outodidaktiese bemeestering van die Kantonese kookkuns en die bekwame promosie van sy oorsprongseise, het Caen berig dat Kan se eerste reis na Asië merkwaardig gebeur het eers in 1958. Teen die ouderdom van 52 jaar het Kan reeds twee suksesvolle restaurante onder sy gordel gehad.


Geskiedenis van die Chinatown van San Francisco - GESKIEDENIS

-met dank aan Noord-Kalifornië Koalisie vir Immigrantregte, van 'n staptoer met immigrantegeskiedenis wat op 20 September 1997 gehou is.

Stille beeldmateriaal van Chinatown, insluitend 'n paar sekondes telefoonoperateurs wat aan die ou sentrale werk, c. 1920's.

The Bank of Canton in Washingtonstraat 743 was eens die oorspronklike telefoonwisselaar in Chinatown in 1887. Dit was oorspronklik die tuiste van die eerste koerant in die stad, Samual Brannan's California Star.

Washingtonstraat 743

Buitenkant van die Chinatown Telefoonbeurs, c. 1940's.

Foto: San Francisco History Center, SF Openbare Biblioteek


Chinatown het sy eie telefoondiens begin in 1887. Die nuwe Chinese telefooncentrale het in die herfs van 1901 geopen. Destyds het die bestuurder, mnr. Loo Kum Shu, slegs manlike operateurs in diens geneem. Vroue het die hoofoperateurs geword in 1906. 'n Artikel in die San Francisco Eksaminator beweer dat vroue verkies is bo mans vanweë hul goeie humeur Die eienaars wou in 1901 oorskakel na vroulike operateurs, maar het gevind dat hulle te hoog gekom het, aangesien hulle deur 'n peloton gewapende mans en amptelike chaperon bewaak moes word om na die eiendomme om te sien . Beide manlike en vroulike operateurs moes byna 1500 name onthou saam met die eienaars se woonplek. Hulle moes al die tale in Chinatown sowel as die verskillende dialekte ken. Hierdie operateurs ken al die 4-5 000 inwoners van Chinatown. Hulle ken al die uitbreidings vir die besighede en koshuise in die omgewing. Hulle het meer as dertienduisend oproepe per dag hanteer. Die telefoonstelsel was ook 'n metode om arbeid te kontrakteer. Werkgewers bel met werkaanbiedings en die operateurs sal weet aan wie hulle dit moet deurgee.

In 1943 sluit die dertig werkers by die Exchange by die Telephon Traffic Traffic Organization (TTEO) Local 120 aan. Hulle het hul werkskedule van sewe dae per week beveg, insluitend die indiening van klagtes by die War Labor Board, die terugbetaling van $ 5,000 sowel as die oortydbetaling .

Die telefoononderneming het funksioneel gebly tot die koms van die telefoon in die veertigerjare.

In die 1840's was hierdie webwerf die plek van Sam Brannan California Star, die eerste koerant in San Francisco. In Januarie 1847 publiseer die koerant die amptelike naamsverandering van Yerba Buena na San Francisco.


Race Riot in the City by the Bay

Vanaf 1873 het die Verenigde State die “Long Depression, ”, wat oorspronklik 'The Great Depression' genoem is, gely tot in die dertigerjare toe 'n ander ekonomiese depressie die titel oorgeneem het. Werkloosheidsvlakke in die hele land was verbysterend, en dit was lank voordat die VSA enige beskerming van die regering vir werkloses ingestel het. Die lang depressie het gedurende die 1870's voortgeduur, die tydperk waarin Krygergestel is. In Episode 17 “If You Wait by the River Long Enough ... ” word die Paniek van '73 genoem. Die paniek was die historiese katalisator vir die lang depressie.

San Francisco is swaar getref. Werkloosheid was tot 20% en die Bank of California het misluk. Op 23 Julie 1877 het 'n arbeidsstaking onder leiding van die Workingmen's Party byeengekom in 'n leë perseel-met die bynaam 'sandparty'-naby die nuutgestigte stadsaal van San Francisco. Die Workingmen's Party is in 1877 gestig en word dikwels verwar met die Workingmen's Party van die Verenigde State (WPUS) wat ongeveer dieselfde tyd gestig is. Die WUPS het kort daarna sy naam verander na die Socialist Labour Party en dit is die oudste sosialistiese politieke party in die Verenigde State.

Die Socialist Labour Party is steeds aktief en het tans sy hoofkwartier in Mountain View, Kalifornië, ongeveer 30 kilometer suid van San Francisco. Die San Francisco Workingmen's Party, meer formeel bekend as die Workingmen's Party van Kalifornië, het uiteindelik genoeg krag gekry om die grondwet van die staat te herskryf. Die sandparty-byeenkoms was net die begin.

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Ongeveer 8000 mense het opgedaag vir die noodlottige byeenkomsstaking van sand. Aanvanklik was die beskuldiging van die Chinese nie deel van die platform nie. Maar toe druk 'n anti-coolie-optog hulle in en eis om gehoor te word. Die skare aan die buitewyke van die byeenkoms draai om 'n Chinese wat verbygaan, val hom aan en skree die saamtrekgeroep “Op na Chinatown! ” Dit het die oproer van San Francisco van 1877 geloods.

Die skare het eiendom vernietig, meestal Chinese wasserye. Die ou stereotipe van Chinese wasserye was eintlik gegrond. Wasgoed was moeilik voor industriële wasmasjiene en was onmenslik beskou, maar die Chinese was bereid om dit te doen. In 1880 het San Francisco ongeveer 200 Chinese wasserye gehad. The laundries were obvious targets, along with any challengers or bystanders that crossed the mob’s path.

The next morning, the rioting grew. One of the mob organizers placed an ad in the local newspaper that said “RALLY! RALLY! Great anti-coolie Mass Meeting at the New City Hall, Market street, at 8 o’clock p.m.” On July 24, the Beale Street Wharf was set aflame. From 1872 to 1907, the Beale Street Wharf was the city’s largest coal dock, and arsonists stoked the fire with 100 barrels of whale oil. However, it was a diversion to draw the city’s emergency resources away from downtown and Chinatown, where the riots would continue. That fire caused some $500,000 worth of damage and lost goods.

When the mob marched on Chinatown, the Chinese houses in their path had been listed and were complete sacked. Wooden sidewalks were torn up to be used as battering rams. Homes were robbed. Laundries were burned. People were shot. The rampage lasted for two days until it was finally quelled by the combined forces of the SFPD, the California militia, and a thousand members of the Pick-Axe Brigade, a citizen vigilance committee that armed themselves with hickory pick-axe handles. Special 24-hour badges were issue by the SFPD to civilians willing to help. And the police were eager to break out their newly issued police batons, which according to the San Francisco Bulletin were “more effective than any other instrument in the business of skull-cracking.”


History of San Francisco’s Chinatown - HISTORY

By Commissioner Jesse B. Cook
Former Chief of Police

Chinese at that time were coming in from the Orient at about 1,400 on every steamer. True it is, they had been coming in since 1848, but relatively few at a time. Therefore, there was quite a number of the pioneer Chinese here in the days of the old “gold fever.” These Chinese had come on the old Pacific Mail steamers. The customs house officers would search each Chinaman as well as his baggage, and then chalk-mark him with a cross. After a sufficient number had been marked to fill up a good-sized express wagon, it was the custom to throw all the baggage onto the wagon and place each Chinaman on top of his belongings. It was a common sight to see these express wagons going west on Brannan (the old Pacific Mail docks were located on First and Brannan Streets) to Third Street, along Third Street to Market Street, crossing Market Street to Kearny, and along Kearny to Sacramento Street where they would be discharged to go to the different “companies” to which they belonged. Although all of these Chinese were from the province of Canton, they spoke different languages and dialects.

In way of explanation, there were for instance Hock Kah men they were all barbers. Then again, there were See Yup men they were all laboring men. The Sam Yups were all business men and they invariably controlled the business of Canton as well as the business in San Francisco’s Chinatown. A See Yup man was not allowed to enter into competition with a Sam Yup. It was impossible for the See Yup men to get any goods at all from Canton as the merchants in Canton, China, would sell only to their own people, the Sam Yups.

There were, of course, other provinces represented by the Chinese Six Companies. The Six Companies looked after the Chinese coming from their respective provinces in China. When sick, the Chinese were cared for by and through the Six Companies. This care lasted up to the time of death, when the Chinese Six Companies saw to it that proper burial was given. In due course, the bones of the Chinese were taken up and shipped back to their homes in China. This is a custom that has endured over the past centuries. The Chinese have a peculiar superstition that if they are not buried in China, it will be very unfortunate for the members of their families and for their descendants.

We now come to the starting of the so-called “tongs,” commonly known as the “hi-binders.” The first tong was the Chee Kung Tong. Every man coming from China became a member of this tong. It was never known to have been in any trouble, for the Six Companies looked after the Chinese and saw that they were properly cared for.

In the early days, a Chinaman known as “Little Pete,” whose Chinese name was Fong Jing Tong, was interested in quite a number of slave dens, gambling places and lottery houses. The hoodlum element of Chinatown would make raids on these places and demand tribute money, or blackmail. It became so bad that Little Pete conceived the idea of forming tongs to protect his interests. The first tongs he started were the Bo Sin Sere and the Guy Sin Sere, and they guaranteed him absolute protection.

About this time there was another Chinaman, Chin Ten Sing, known as “Big Jim,” who also had large interests in a great many gambling, lottery and slave houses. He saw the protection that Little Pete was getting, and as he had to turn to his own houses for protection, decided to start some tongs also Among them were the Suey Singsa, the Hop Sings and a number of others.

This proved very successful until the tongs started fighting among themselves over slave girls and gambling games. These wars sometimes lasted for several months.

At one time, I stood at the corner of Grant Avenue (then called Dupont Street) and Clay street with Patrolman Matheson (now Captain Matheson, City Treasurer), and Ed Gibson, then a detective sergeant, talking about two tongs that were holding a meeting to settle their troubles. These tongs began fighting among themselves, and inside of a half-hour there were seven Chinamen lying on the streets wounded one on Waverly Place, one on Clay Street, Two in Spofford Alley, two in Ross Alley, and one on Jackson Street. The one in Waverly Place was shot, the bullet cutting the artery in his arm. Captain Matheson and myself took this Chinaman out of the shop where he fell, and stopped the flow of blood by means of a tourniquet. The physician later told us that if this had not been done the Chinaman would have died.

In regard to the gambling games in Chinatown—my first trip to Chinatown was in 1889 as a patrolman in a squad. At that time there were about 62 lottery agents, 50 fan tan games and eight lottery drawings in Chinatown. In the 50 fan tan gambling houses the tables numbered from one to 24, according to the size of the room.

The game was played around a table about 10 feet long, 4 feet high and 4 feet wide. On this table was a mat covering the whole top. In the center of the mat was a diagram of a 12-inch square, each corner being numbered in Chinese characters, 1, 2, 3 and 4.

At the head of the table sat a lookout or gamekeeper. At the side was the dealer. This man had a Chinese bowl and a long bamboo stick with a curve at the end, like a hook. In front of him, fastened to the table, was a bag containing black and white buttons. He would scoop down into the sack with his bowl and raise it, turning it upside down on the table. The betting would then start.

After the bets were made, the dealer would raise the bowl and start to draw down the buttons, drawing four buttons at a time. The Chinese would make their bets at the drawing down of the buttons. The dealer would draw down until one, two, three or even four buttons would be left. Sometimes the Chinese would bet that the last four buttons would be all white, all black or that there would be a mixture of black and white buttons.

The construction of the gambling rooms was very interesting. There was a large door 2 inches thick, of heavy oak, seasoned and studded with bolts. The door jamb and the outer front were the same, but on the back of the door was a large bar on a swivel with two cleats on each side. When the door was slammed, the Chinese could turn the swivel and lock the door in order to keep the police from entering. Of course, because of the bolts studded on the door, it could not very well be chopped down.

Alongside the door was a little room with a window, where the lookout sat. He held the strings controlling the door, and was there to watch everyone that entered. On entering, you would pass through a hallway about 10 feet long, then through another door, either right or left, into a hall of about the same length, which would lead into the game. Three doors generally had to be passed through before reaching the game. The halls were always arranged so that if the police got through the first door, they had to pass through a second door, which, of course, would be locked. By the time they finally got to the game room, all evidence would be removed.

The lottery drawings: The Chinese have a very large room, with the doors constructed the same as in the case of a fan tan game room. The far end of the room is partitioned off with wire screens to the full width and about 8 feet deep. In back of the screen are two shelves, one of which acts as a counter for four Chinamen. Each Chinaman has a separate window in the screen. On the other shelf are placed Chinese ink pots and brushes, for the purpose of marking Chinese lottery tickets. Every Chinese lottery ticket has 80 characters on it 40 above the line and 40 below. Each company stamps their own name at the head of the ticket. These tickets are really a Chinese poem, written by a Chinaman while in prison, and later adopted as a Chinese lottery ticket. There is not a thing on these tickets to designate their real use, although they are never used for any other purpose.

The agents around town had their offices in back of stores where they sell the tickets. Just before the drawing takes place, they present a triplicate copy of each ticket sold to the Chinaman at the window. The duplicate ticket is given to the purchaser, while the original is retained by the agent.

The clerk back of the window then figures up the amount that the agent should turn in to cover the tickets sold. If they agree, the clerk accepts the tickets. No receipts are given. The actual taking and accepting of the tickets by the clerk is considered an acknowledgment, as his name appears on all the tickets.

As soon as all the money and tickets are in, the tickets are closed and the lottery is held. In a little package, about 2 inches square, are 80 slips of paper. On each of these slips is a character corresponding to one of the characters on the lottery ticket. The Chinaman sets in front of him a large pan, like the old-time milk pans we used to set for milk to raise cream, and four bowls, each bearing a Chinese number—either 1, 2, 3 or 4. The small slips of paper are folded into little pellets, thrown into the pan and shaken up. The drawing then begins. The first pellet drawn is put into bowl No. 1, the next into bowl No. 2, and so on, until there are twenty pellets in each bowl.

The Chinaman then takes another small package, containing four little square pieces of paper. On each of these pieces is a figure in Chinese corresponding with the figures on the bowls. The same procedure is then followed as with the pellets. The slip picked from the pan is handed to the clerk, who in turn hands it to a man standing on the shelf in back of him. It is opened, in the presence of everybody gathered there. Of course, the bowl bearing the same number is considered the winning bowl, the other three are placed under the counter.

The pellets are then taken from the winning bowl and are pasted on a board in full view. These are winning characters. The Chinese mark the tickets by daubing the characters that agree with the ones on the board, with a brush. After this has been done, they present their tickets, and come back at the proper time to get their reward that is, whatever they won.

In 1895, the lotteries and games were controlled by Chin Buck Guy, Chin Kim You, Wong You, Wong Fook, Jim Wong, Mah Lin Get, Chin Chung, Qwong Bin, who were sometimes called the “Big Eight.”

The lottery companies at that time were the Tie Loy, Foo Quoy, Foo Quoy Chung, Fay Kay, Shang High, Fook Tie, Quong Tie, New York and Wing Lay Yuene.

Some years later, around 1905, the Chinese population of Chinatown had increased to 40,000, the district covering from Sacramento to Pacific Avenue, and from Kearny to Stockton Streets.

The Chinese at that time were a peculiar class of people. They did not believe in allowing their daughters to attend school. They thought it was unnecessary for a girl to have an education, as she was meant for a wife to bear children for her husband, and was, therefore, worth a certain price to any Chinaman who wanted to marry her. The Chinese girl had to obey her parents and marry the man picked for her, whether she liked him or not.

The boys were sent to school that is, to the Chinese school they were not allowed to go to the European school. At that time there was one public school of about four rooms, on Clay Street, between Stockton and Powell Streets, those in attendance being mostly Japanese and other races. The Chinese boys went to their own school, from 8 o’clock in the morning until 10:30 at night, with time off for lunch and dinner. In Chinese, each character represents a word, and the only way they had of studying was to memorize these characters, which were placed on a blackboard or hung upon the wall. These were repeated over and over continually all day long until thoroughly imbedded in the minds of the boys. The teachers generally carried a long rattan and were very strict. If a boy made a mistake in reading from a chart, the teacher would hit him over the head with the rattan.

In other words, the characters were beaten into the boy’s head if he could not learn them in any other way.

People, generally, have the idea that Chinese are natural gamblers. Dit is nie waar nie. The old-time Chinese visited gambling houses so much because there were so few places of entertainment. In the first place, very few of them were married men. They could not speak English and, therefore, could not enjoy American dramas, dances or games. The only things left for them to do were either to visit houses of prostitution, gambling houses, lottery houses or the Chinese Theatre. Today, of course, this is all changed. In 1911, when China became a republic, orders were issued by the Chinese government that the Chinese were to adopt the customs of the country in which they were living, attend the schools and cut off their queues, or “bings,” as the Chinese knew them.

The Chinese young men immediately took advantage of this order, and started cutting off their queues. If they found anyone who refused to do so, they would gather together, throw the man or boy down, cut off his queue and tie it around his neck.

Immediately, there was a run on the schools, with the result that a large Oriental school had to be built in that neighborhood. Today, the Chinese boys are graduating from American high schools and universities. They have taken up law, medicine, dentistry and, being wonderful students, have become proficient in many lines. Gambling in Chinatown is now a thing of the past, for these boys and girls go to American shows, dances, baseball games or any other games played by the Americans. This shows that the Chinese are not naturally born gamblers. In old Chinatown there were scarcely 400 Chinamen who could speak good English, and very few women who could talk it at all. Today, it would be almost impossible to find a boy or girl in Chinatown who could not speak as good English as a white boy or girl.

The opium den was another thing that the Chinese resorted to because they had no other place to go. At that time nearly every store in Chinatown had an opium layout in the rear for their customers. All the Chinaman had to do was bring his opium. In those days the Chinese were allowed to smoke opium, provided they did not do so in the presence of a white man. If a white man was present it meant the arrest of all who were in the room at the time.

In the old days, at the corner of Washington Street and Spofford Alley, in a room right off the street, anyone could see Chinamen mixing old opium with new. That is, after opium is smoked the ashes drop down into the pipe in the bowl. This is scraped out with certain instruments and saved. It is then known as “Yen Shee,” and is later mixed with new opium. I have seen as many as 100 Chinamen smoking opium in a den in Chinatown. The opium smoke was sometimes so thick in those dens that the gas jets looked like small matches burning.

Opium has peculiar, sweet smell, not at all distasteful, and many times when coming home from Chinatown after going through dens, people in the cars sitting near me, would be sniffing, smelling the opium in my clothes and wondering what it was. When I got home it would be necessary to undress in an outer room and air my clothes to get the opium fumes out of them.

The Chinese had their own names for the alleys in Chinatown. The main streets, outside of Sacramento Street, were always known to the Chinese by their English names, the other streets, however, were all known by Chinese names. If you asked a Chinaman where an alley was and gave the American name, he would be unable to tell you, for he would not know. But if you gave him the Chinese name, he would know immediately. For instance, Sacramento Street was known as China Street—in Chinese as Tong Yen Guy. Ross Alley was originally settled by the Spanish, but when the Chinese came they crowded the Spaniards out. This alley was, therefore, given the name of Gow Louie Sun Hong, or old Spanish Alley. Spofford Alley was another alley from which the Spaniards were crowded out this was called Sun Louie Sun Hong, or new Spanish Alley. Alongside the old First Baptist Church, on Washington below Stockton, was an alley, at the end of which was a stable for horses. The Chinese named this Mah Fong Hong, “stable alley.” A small alley off of Ross Alley was known as On New Hong, in other words, “urinating alley,” as the Chinese made it a regular urinating place.

Duncan [Duncombe] Alley is off Jackson Street, below Stockton, and is known as Fay Chie Hong, or “Fat Boy Alley.” This was named after a young boy living on the street who, at fifteen years, weighed about 240 pounds. A little way below, on the opposite side of the street, was St. Louis Alley. In the early days of Chinatown there was a large fire in the alley which burned up quite a number of houses. The Chinese, therefore, called it “fire alley,” or “Fo Sue Hong.”

Opposite Fire Alley was Sullivan Alley, running halfway through from Jackson to Pacific Street. As there was a restaurant in this alley, the Chinese called it “Cum Cook Yen,” the same name as the restaurant. Another alley was named “Min Pow Hong,” or bread alley, because there was a bakery on it. Brenham Place, running from Washington Street to Clay Street, back of the square, was called “Fah Yeun Guy,” or flower street, because of the park. Bartlett Alley, running from Jackson to Pacific Street, just below Grant Avenue, or Dupont Street, was called “Buck Wa John Guy,” or the grocery man who speaks Chinese. Opposite this was Washington Alley, known to the whites as “Fish Alley.” The Chinese, however, called it “Tuck Wo Guy,” after a store on it.

Waverly Place, originally known as Pike Street, ran from Washington Street to Sacramento Street, above Dupont, and was called “Ten How Mue Guy,” after a Chinese Temple in that street.

The State of California was at one time called “Gow Kum Shain,” or Old Gold Mill. Sacramento was known as the “second city,” or Yee Fow, and San Francisco had the Chinese name of Tie Fow, or “the big city.” America, that is the United States of America, was known as May Yee Kwock, or Ah May Yee Kah, also Fah Kay Kwock, meaning the flower flag country. Americans were known as Fah Kay Yen, or flower flag men.

Mongolians, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Siamese and men from Pekin, China, all used the same characters. The Japanese, however, adopted a lot of characters of their own that were not known to the other races. If a Chinese wanted to talk to a Japanese, Korean or Mongolian, all he had to do was write him using the characters, as they have the same meaning although pronounced differently.

Perhaps it will surprise you to know that there is no such thing as the underground in Chinatown. True, you could go from one cellar to another, but that is all. In order to deceive the people, the Chinese guides would take them in on Grant Avenue, between California and Sacramento Streets, going down into a cellar. From this they would go downstairs into the next cellar, and so on, sometimes going into six or seven. These basements, however, were all connected with the stores on Sacramento Street. Should you go from any one of these basements toward Sacramento Street, you would, of course, come to the cellar of some Sacramento Street store, and all you had to do was to go up one flight of stairs to Sacramento Street. The guides naturally would not allow anyone to do this. They would bring the people back the same way that they came and tell them that they had been down six or seven stories. The people of course believed them, but at no time were they ever over one story below the street.

The Chinese Theatre was also a good place to take tourists. The guides would take them in the entrance on Washington Street and from there down into the basement. This basement led down into another cellar where the guides would tell the people that they were now two stories under the ground. At this time they would show them the Chinese actors’ dressing rooms and sleeping quarters. Had the door at the end of the room been opened, the stage of the theatre would have been seen. The people had been told they were two stories under ground, however, and they believed it.

The nearest thing to an underground passage that I ever saw was in 1905 when with Captain Matheson, then a patrolman, I went through a passageway leading from Spofford alley into the basement of Old Tie Loy Lottery Company on Waverly place. There were fourteen doors in this passageway, each door leading into a room so constructed that it appeared as though you were going down into the bowels of the earth. In reality you were only going down into the basement on Waverly place.

During my first term in Chinatown in 1889, the Chinese did not use revolvers in their tong wars, believing they made too much noise. A lather’s hatchet sharpened to a razor edge was their chief weapon. With this they could chop a man all to pieces and generally, when they did leave him, would drive the hatchet into his skull and leave it there. The men using these weapons were known as Poo Tow Choy, or little hatchet men.

One night at the corner of Jackson and Washington Streets, two Chinamen with hatchets chopped another all to pieces. This happened about six feet behind a Chinaman who was selling peanuts on the corner. Although this man was questioned, he insisted that he did not Know anything had happened nor that anyone had been killed, in spite of the fact that the back of his clothes was all spattered with blood. The murderers were later captured, sent to the penitentiary for life but about ten years after were deported to China.

In ending—there is nothing in the world that will make a Chinaman “madder” than for anyone to say to him “Sock Nika Tow,” which translated means “Chop your head off.” San Francisco Police and Peace Officers’ Journal
June 1931

See the San Francisco History Index for more about the Chinese in San Francisco.


Chinatown’s Grant Avenue: A look back at one of San Francisco’s oldest streets

Much ink has been spilled on the history of Chinatown and Grant Avenue, billed as San Francisco’s oldest street, which runs north to south starting at Market Street and ending at Francisco Street in North Beach. While surveying the entirety of Grant is an epic undertaking, a closer look at a few notable spots along Chinatown’s busiest thoroughfare offers a glimpse into this popular yet overlooked neighborhood.

"San Francisco's oldest street" is a major claim. Back in the early 19th century, the city was established as Yerba Buena by William Richardson, the town's first land grantee. He established a trading post settlement in 1835 with today’s Portsmouth Square as the plaza and the first street drawn as Calle de la Fundación (“street of the founding”).

Richardson built his family a hodgepodge tent-shack on the hillside along Grant Avenue between Clay and Washington streets, establishing the first residence in what would later become San Francisco.

William Richardson’s 1835 map of Yerba Buena with Calle de la Fundacion as the only street Image via UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library

In 1839 a survey of Yerba Buena was drawn by Jean Vioget, a surveyor and sea captain, including the current layout of Grant Avenue. While credited as the first surveyor of Yerba Buena, he didn’t name any of the streets.

Jasper O’Farrell’s 1847 survey map with added street names. Image via UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library

When Commander John Montgomery of the USS Portsmouth took possession of Yerba Buena in 1846, his administration hired Jasper O’Farrell, first surveyor for San Francisco and mind behind Market Street, to enlarge the Vioget survey that serves as the early iteration of the downtown area.

O’Farrell, he of the eponymous street in the Tenderloin, named all the streets in his survey, and Calle de la Fundación was renamed Dupont Street in honor of the USS Portsmouth’s admiral.

1839 Jean Voiget plan of Yerba Buena. Image via UC Berkeley, Bancroft

By the late 1800s, the street had become home to Chinese immigrants who were escaping persecution or following the Gold Rush. “Du Pon Gai,” as many Chinese called it, already had a reputation for opium dens, sing-song girls (an English term for the courtesans in 19th-century China), the Tong wars, and criminal organizations.

The street was also flamed by a prejudice that plagued the residents from the earliest days of the city. In an attempt to upgrade the area, downtown merchants renamed a portion the street after President Ulysses S. Grant.

Dupont north from corner of Clay, circa 1880. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

"Dead Wall Bulletin Board" for Tong grievances on Dupont Street at Washington, circa 1889. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

While the area proved to be one of the most thriving in the city, everything changed after the 1906 earthquake and fire. Chinatown was leveled, and reconstruction efforts facilitated a new facade for the historically Chinese neighborhood.

Grant Avenue before the 1906 earthquake and fire. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

California Street between Stockton and Dupont, 1906, post-quake. Photo via California Historical Society

While the previous buildings looked contiguous with the rest of the city, despite their Chinese tenants, the newly constructed Chinatown featured designs reminiscent of China.

One of the first buildings to incorporate this new aesthetic was the Sing Fat Company building at the southwest corner of California and Grant. Built by (non-Chinese) architects Ross and Burgren, the pagoda-roofed building was billed as an “Oriental Bazaar” with additional branches in Los Angeles and New York.

Postcard of Sing Fat Company building, circa 1910. Photo via Palos Verdes Library District, Local History Collection

The building is still standing today with retail shops, but has lost much of its original ornamentation.

Across the street from Sing Fat Company, at the northwest corner, the Sing Chong building (also designed by Ross and Burgren) opened at the same time as another bazaar. It was later converted to the Cathay House Restaurant in 1942.

The Sing Chong building illuminated during the Portola Festival, 1909. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

The Sing Chong building illuminated during the Portola Festival, 1909. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

The Sing Chong building, 1910. Photo via California Historical Society.

Inspired by its standout look, many other buildings on the street started featuring similar architectural treatments. For instance, the Bank of America building at 701 Grant, originally the Nanking Fook Wo Inc., featured traditional dragon motifs.

Chinatown branch of Bank of America at 701 Grant, 1964. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

The ubiquitous red lantern street lamps that line Grant Avenue, a popular attraction today for tourists and local photographers, were installed for the 1939 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Street lamps installed for World’s Fair, 1938.

Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

Local lore has it that chop suey, the popular American-Chinese dish, originated in Gold Rush-era San Francisco when hungry miners barged into an area Chinese restaurant, which was just about to close, demanding food.

The chef scraped leftovers off other plates, slapped some sauce on it, and served it to them as chop suey (a mixed-up version of Cantonese for “odds and ends”). Regardless of its origins, chop suey was a mainstay in mid-20th-century Chinatown.

Grant between Pacific and Broadway, 1944. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

The Shanghai Low sign at 532 Grant once shone bright on the building built in 1908. Though the sign technically still exists, the “Chop Suey” signage has been replaced with “Lotus Garden,” the original marquee was replaced by generic vinyl awnings along the street, and all the cornice ornamentation has been removed.

Chinatown in the 1940s. Photo via the California State Library

Photo via California State Library

The 1913 Western States Importing Company at 400 Grant looks very much the same today as it did in 1951, though its setting has changed with the addition of the Chinatown entrance gates at Grant and Bush.

Shanghai Low building at 532 Grant, 1976. Photo by San Francisco Planning Department

Corner of Grant Avenue and Bush Street, 1951. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

One of the most iconic (and photographed) spots on Grant Avenue is the Dragon Gate entrance at Bush Street. Dedicated in 1970, the gate features Chinese gateway standards using stone throughout.

With a design by Chinese-American architect Clayton Lee, who based it on Chinese ceremonial gates, it features motifs of fish and dragons with two lion statues on each side. Lee’s design won a contest in the late 1960s and includes a wooden plaque with a quote from Dr. Sun Yat-sen, which hangs from the main archway bearing gilded words that read, “All under heaven is for the good for the people.”


Inhoud

The Chinese arriving in San Francisco, primarily from the Taishan and Zhongshan regions as well as Guangdong province of mainland China, did so at the height of the California Gold Rush, and many worked in the mines scattered throughout the northern part of the state. [3] Chinatown was the one geographical region deeded by the city government and private property owners which allowed Chinese people to inherit and inhabit dwellings. The majority of these Chinese shopkeepers, restaurant owners, and hired workers in San Francisco Chinatown were predominantly Hoisanese and male [ aanhaling nodig ]. Many Chinese found jobs working for large companies, most famously as part of the Central Pacific [4] on the Transcontinental Railroad. Other early immigrants worked as mine workers or independent prospectors hoping to strike it rich during the California Gold Rush.

Although many of the earlier waves of Chinese immigration were predominantly men searching for jobs, Chinese women also began making the journey towards the United States. The first known Chinese woman to immigrate was Marie Seise who arrived in 1848 and worked in the household of Charles V. Gillespie. [5] Within a matter of months of Seise's arrival to the West Coast, the rush for gold in California commenced which brought a flooding of prospective miners from around the globe. Among this group were Chinese, primarily from the Guangdong Province, most of whom were seafarers who had already established Western contacts. “Few women accompanied these early sojourners, many of whom expected to return from after they made their fortune.” [6]

Although the oceanic voyage to the United States offered new and exciting opportunities, dangers also loomed for women while traveling and many were discouraged from making the trip due to the harsh living conditions. Oceanic voyages with Chinese immigrants boarded the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and Canadian Pacific Steamship Company. Chinese immigrants would have to ride in the steerage where food was stored. Many were given rice bowls to eat during the voyage. In 1892, a federal law passed to ensure immigrants who were on board, needed a certificate. Due to tight arrangements, unhygienic situations and scarcity in food, this led to health degradation. [7] Many immigrants were unable to board these voyages due to the Geary Act of 1892 which blocked the reunion of immigrants in America with their families not with them. [8] Many diseases found through these voyages were Hookworm Yersinia pestis which contributed greatly to the Bubonic Plague. [9]

“During the Gold Rush era, when Chinese men were a common sight in California, Chinese women were an oddity” and in urban spaces were rarely seen in public. Unlike the rural areas, Chinatown afforded few opportunities for women to come into contact with the larger society.” [6] Simultaneously, Chinese women also participated in urban sex work, which resulted in local laws like one passed in April 1854 that sought to shut down "houses of ill-fame," not racialized in name but practically deployed to "[single] out Mexican and Chinese houses of ill fame, starting with Charles Walden's Golden Rule House on Pacific Street and moving on to establishments run by Ah-Choo, C. Lossen, and Ah Yow." [10]

With national unemployment in the wake of the Panic of 1873, racial tensions in the city boiled over into full blown race riots. Like much of San Francisco during these times, a period of criminality ensued in some Chinese gangs known as tongs, which were onto smuggling, gambling and prostitution. In response to the violence, the Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association or the Chinese Six Companies, which evolved out of the labor recruiting organizations for different areas of Guangdong province, was created as a means of providing a unified voice for the community. The heads of these companies were the leaders of the Chinese merchants, who represented the Chinese community in front of the business community as a whole and the city government. Numerous white citizens defended the Chinese community, among them Pastor Franklin Rhoda whose numerous letters appeared in the local press. By the early 1880s, the population had adopted the term Tong war to describe periods of violence in Chinatown, the San Francisco Police Department had established its so-called Chinatown Squad. The anti-immigrant sentiment became law as the United States Government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 – the first immigration restriction law aimed at a single ethnic group. This law, along with other immigration restriction laws such as the Geary Act, greatly reduced the number of Chinese people allowed into the country and the city, and in theory limited Chinese immigration to single men only. Exceptions were granted to the families of wealthy merchants, but the law was still effective enough to reduce the population of the neighborhood to an all-time low in the 1920s. The neighborhood was completely destroyed in the 1906 earthquake that leveled most of the city. One of the more successful sergeants of Chinatown Squad, Jack Manion, was appointed in 1921 and served for two decades. From 1910 to 1940, Chinese immigrants were detained at the Angel Island immigration station in the San Francisco Bay. To be permitted entry to the United States, thousands of mostly Chinese immigrants crossing the Pacific to San Francisco had to enter through the gauntlet of Angel Island, and were detained for months in a purgatory of isolation. Some spent years on the island waiting for entry to the U.S. [11] [12] The exclusion act was repealed during World War II under the Magnuson Act, in recognition of the important role of China as an ally in the war, although tight quotas still applied. The Chinatown Squadwas finally disbanded in August 1955 by police chief George Healey, upon the request of the influential Chinese World newspaper, which had editorialized that the squad was an "affront to Americans of Chinese descent". [13]

Many working-class Hong Kong Chinese immigrants began arriving in Chinatown in large numbers in the 1960s, and despite their status and professions in Hong Kong, had to find low-paying employment in restaurants and garment factories in Chinatown because of limited English fluency. An increase in Cantonese-speaking immigrants from Hong Kong and Guangdong has gradually led to the replacement of the Taishanese (Hoisanese) dialect with the standard Cantonese dialect.

In the Sunset District in western San Francisco, a demographic shift began in the late 1960s and accelerated from the 1980s as Asian immigration to San Francisco increased dramatically. Much of the original, largely Irish American population of the Sunset moved to other neighborhoods and outlying suburban areas, although there is still a significant Irish American and Irish minority in the neighborhood. Informal Chinatowns have emerged on Irving Street between 19th Avenue and 26th Avenue as well as on the commercial sections of Taraval Street and Noriega Street west of 19th Avenue. About half of the Sunset District's residents are Asian American, mostly of Chinese birth and descent. The immigrants in the Sunset District were both Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking.

With the rise of the technology industry in Silicon Valley, many immigrants from Mainland China and Taiwan moved to the San Francisco Area. Many of them (particularly the Mandarin-speaking group) reside in the South Area cities of Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose, and Fremont. [2]


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