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The incomes returned by Chinese in San Francisco for 1867 are as follows:
Imports at the port of San Francisco, from China, for the past four years.
Export of specie to China, from the port of San Francisco, for the same years.
.... $7, 888, 973 1865.
.. 6, 963, 522 ..........................................
.. 6, 527, 287 1867.
9,031, 504 Export of merchandise to China, from San Francisco, for four years.
. $1,895, 940 1865 ...
1, 296, 211 1866..
1, 399, 005
697, 950 The foregoing tables, showing our commerce with China, which has been built up, and is maintained by the Chinese merchants of San Francisco, exhibit some important facts. I will here observe that the importations from China, by other than the Chinese, are inconsiderable. All the opium, tea, rice, and most other articles, being such as silks, medicinal plants, and articles of food used by their countrymen in this State, are imported by them. They supply our own merchants here with these things. The Chinese use all the opium, it being prepared for smoking, and most of the rice, and a large pro portion of the tea imported in this port. During the past four years the Chinese merchants have paid to the United States government the sum of more than $4,000,000 in gold for duties alone. The United States government is therefore so much the richer for their presence. If the Chinese were to leave this State, and return to their own country, our trade with China, being almost wholly maintained by them, would be destroyed, and that source of present and prospective prosperity to this city would be lost to us. The development of that trade must depend upon the action of the Chinese, and that will be largely governed by the manner in which they are treated by our people, the character of our legislation affecting them, and the sufficiency of the protection that is extended to their persons and property. If our resident Chinese merchants and capitalists felt secure in this country, they would greatly increase their business, in a few years double our trade with China, and invest much of their capital in this country in the development of its resources.
The following table, prepared by the officers of the Chinese companies in this city, for the joint select committee of the legislature of this State, in 1862, upon “the Chinese population of the State of California," shows the expenditures made by the Chinese in 1861 for the benefit of our government and people: Amount of duties paid by Chinese importers into the custom-house at this port...........
$500,000 Freight money paid to ships from China........ ............
Passage money paid to ships from China
4,767 370,000 2,164,273
20,393 59,662 360,000 1,046,613 4,953,387
1,925 33,647 50,000 250,000
80,000 2,160,000 1,350,000
This table may be relied upon as substantially correct. From such data as I have already examined, I think the aggregate might be increased for the year 1867 to $18,000,000 in gold, being nearly $45 for each one of our white population, estimating it at 400,000. This is much more than one-half of the total yield of our gold mines in this State for the same period. That the State, in all branches of its government, and all classes of its people, is greatly benefited by this considerable expenditure of money, and that all branches of business and industry are quickened and sustained by it, is too self-evident a truth to need argument for its demonstration. If it was suddenly suspended, all branches of our government-city, county, and State-would lack sufficient revenue to pay their expenses, and would need to resort to greatly increased taxation upon the white population to obtain it. A commercial crisis would be inevitable, many of our merchants and business men would be ruined, and all classes of our citizens would suffer loss and inconvenience.
The effect of the China trade upon our shipping interest is very great. We have a large tonnage engaged in carrying freight and passengers between this city and China. It is sustained by the Chinese immigration and the commerce created by the Chinese merchants. Even the mail-steamship line between this city and China and Japan depends for its support upon Chinese passengers and freights. I think it is hazarding nothing to say that, if the Chinese support were withdrawn from it, it could not be maintained without very great loss to its owners. The estimate made by the Chinese of the amount paid by them in 1861 for freight and passage to ships from China alone is $562,683. It will be at least $700,000 for the present year. I think the amount paid by them during this year to ships engaged in the China trade will equal $1,000,000.
There is a very mistaken impression outside of this State that the Chinese in California are only miners and merchants. In fact, they fill so many employments, and are engaged in so many branches of industry, that it would be almost tedious to enumerate them. The following is a brief statement of their occupations in this city: 1. Wholesale merchants..
19 2. Retail merchants..
56 *3. Manufacturers ....
..26 & 41, 10 1-of cigars, employing about...
1,500 2—of slippers,
400 3-of clothing, 4-of jewelry, 5-of blacking, 6-of tin and copper ware
7-of other things, 4. Distillers ...... 5. Physicians....... 6. Apothecaries.......... 7. Wholesale liquor dealers 8. Retail liquor dealers.... 9. Restaurants....... 10. Butchers .......... 11. Portrait painters...... 12. Engravers and sign painters, about 13. Clerks ....... 14. Mechanics: 1–Carpenters; 2—Tailors; 3—Workers in metals; 4-Shoe
15. Wash-houses, employing about........
16. Intelligence offices..................................................
17. Fishermen, about..... 18. Wood and lumber dealers.... 19. Pawn-brokers...................................................... 20. Hucksters......... 21. House servants: 1-General servants; 2-Cooks; 3—Waiters; 4—Nurses 1,500 22. Laborers, about........
1,000 23. Factory hands......... .................................
200 24. Porters and scrvants in stores, about....
100 25. Cobblers and tinkers.......
100 26. Pedlers:
2-Of vegetables........ 27. Pedlers among themselves, about...
1-Of fruits; 2-Of cooked food and soups, &c. 28. Street scavengers, about.....
(Rag and bone pickers, gatherers of paper, &c.) 29. Employments among themselves :
1,500 (2) OI slippers...............................................
200 Chinese thieves, about.............. This estimate, when taken in connection with the number of female Chinese here, accounts for the Chinese population of 10,000 in this city, and shows their honest and also their disreputable employments, and will enable you to form a judgment of their usefulness to our community.
It is an interesting fact, not generally known, that all the Chinese trades and occnpations, when those engaged in them are in sufficient numbers, have their trades' unions, which are more perfect in their organization and comprehensive in their purposes than those formed by our own people. All engaged, whether it be as employer or employed, belong, and have equal rights. Their purpose is to meet and consult for the general good, and establish uniform rules as to hours of labor, manner of carrying on business, prices paid and charged for certain work, &c. Thus, in this city, the cigarmakers, slipper-makers, manufacturers of clothing, washermen, &c., each have their trades' union.
I have not time to comment upon the different occupations of the Chinese, but must content myself with merely naming them.
The Chinese in this State are, as they have been described by all travelers in their empire, a quiet, law-abiding, industrious people. They are always at work in some way, and earning something, though it may be but little. Unlike many of our laboring class, they never remain idle because they cannot get all they choose to ask for their labor. A Chinaman will live where and when a white man would starve; and for this reason, that he will labor for a small sum which, perhaps, will only provide him with the commonest necessaries of life, while the white man, stickling for what he considers a principle, will not consent to receive less than the full value of his services. It is this fact, among other things, that renders Chinese labor particularly valuable to our State. It is cheap, reliable, and persevering. Their employers are not fearful of strikes and sudden suspensions of work, to their great injury. When Chinese contract to work for a certain term, there is no danger that they will fail to keep their engagements. I know that there are individual exceptions to this, but the rule is true. But for the cheap Chinese labor our cotton and woolen mills upon the Pacific could not be sustained so as to compete with New England. New manufacturing enterprises are agitated, and they all base their calculation of prosperity upon Chinese labor. Chinese laborers are quite as honest, and more patient and persevering, than whites, and by many are preferred to them.
Many persons have speculated about what Chinese labor is capable of doing for this State, and have been very enthusiastic in their predictions of its effects upon our future prosperity. This branch of the subject is interesting, but the limits of this article will not permit me to pursue it. Their labor might, and probably will, make this State blossom like the rose, and turn its desert places into grain fields, tea, rice, sugar, coffee, and cotton plantations, and vineyards and orchards; but I fear that these things are far distant in the future. Many things inust be done; a great change must take place in public opinion, and the Chinese must be encouraged and protected, before it will be safe to make such calculations.
Our farmers and manufacturers have in the Chinese an inexhaustible supply of cheap labor, which, if they choose to take advantage of it, will enable them to extend their operations and enterprises almost without limit. Two thousand Chinese are now employed on our farms, and 1,000 in our factories. Their numbers can be almost indefinitely increased.
If properly protected and encouraged, the Chinese will yet buy farms and establish factories, both on a large and small scale. They have both the capital and enterprise. Many of them possess considerable means, and others great wealth, which hitherto, owing to their sense of insecurity in our State, they have concentrated in China, except so far as it was needed for their business here. Let them feel perfectly secure, and they not only will not send away their surplus capital, but will keep it here, and add to it from China, and use it for the development of our State. They are shrewd, enterprising, well-trained, and successful business men. If they feel secure in establishing tea and rice plantations in our State, they will yet do so. The new branches of business, manufacturing and other, which they have originated, established, and made successful in this city, demonstrate their enterprise and ability better than theorizing can do.
The great objections urged against the Chinese are, that they are pagans, foreigners, and work cheap. It is not necessary to consider these at length. If no man who is not a true Christian was permitted to labor, more than one-half of our white laborers would be debarred from employment; and if they were required to be attendants on Christian churches, not more, probably less, than one-fourth would be eligible. It is absurd to attempt to make such a distinction against the Chinese. The fact that they are foreigners is an objection that, if valid, might be applied against all but native-born Americans; because, in fact, a man born in China is no more of a foreigner than one born in Europe or South America. The cheapness of Chinese labor is one of its strongest recommendations. Men very naturally attempt to obtain as much for their labor as they can compel their employers to pay. It is equally natural that capitalists should endeavor to cheapen labor as much as they can. The one class operates as a salutary check upon the other. The full supremacy of either would bring ruin upon any State.
It is not dear, but cheap labor that develops and enriches a nation. England, France, and Germany do not send us millions of dollars' worth of manufactured goods because those states are older or richer than ours; but because they possess abundance of very cheap labor, which enables them to make and send us goods which, even with the addition of heavy duties, are cheaper than we can make them. If our capita tists could obtain labor for one-half the price paid in those nations, we could make and sell the very articles we now receive, to them. What is true of manufacturing is equally true of all other branches of industry. When this state can command enough cheap Chinese labor, our esports of agricultural products alone-grain, wine, and fruits—will be more than four times as great as the yield of our gold mines.
Before dismissing the subject of Chinese labor, it may be as well to say that there are no “coolies" in this State, and there never have been. Emigrants obtain the money to pay their passage in various ways: some have money, other's sell their property and obtain it; some borrow from friends or relations, some pledge their families as security for the loan. They come of their own option, and when they arrive here are free to go where they please, and engage in any occupation they will. Those who arrive in this city without means are assisted by their countrymen, and loaned money to go to the mines or engage in some other labor, and aided in obtaining employment. They are as much free agents as our own people. A great and wide-spread misapprehension has existed on this subject, which has caused much of the hostility to the Chinese.
I do not think it necessary to say much about the Chinese miners in this State. In the early years of the Chinese immigration they comprised the great body of their people. As already shown, they do not now number one-third of their population in this State. Their numbers have been and are now steadily decreasing. They are engaging in other occupations. Most of them are placer miners. There is very little quartz mining done by them, except as laborers in American mines. Of the 13,084 miners, about 2,000 are working for American mining companies. They are afraid to work under ground, and for that reason confine themselves to surface mining. I only know of one exception to this, in the case of a body of Chinese employed in an American mine in the northern part of this State. The Chinese miners have paid to the counties and State from $4,000 to $8,000 a year for foreign miners' license tax. They pay large sums to Americans for water and mining claims. By reference to the table on page 539, it will be seen that they paid to Americans in 1861, for these two items alone, the large sum of $3,510,000. They rarely work any claims or mines but such as have been abandoned by white men because they were considered too poor to pay for working. The Chinese miners, like all other classes of their people, are contented with a compensation that our race regards as inadequate. It is impossible for me at this time to form a reliable estimate of the amount of gold taken out by them. I greatly doubt if it has ever exceeded $5,000,000 in any one year, or would amount to more than $3,000,000 for the year 1867. It has been estimated by American merchants in the mining counties, and by themselves, that seven-tenths of their earnings find their way into the hands of Americans for taxes, purchase of mining claims, tools and machinery, clothing, food, &c. It is unjust that this useful class of laborers should be specially burdened with an onerous tax, and should be specially discriminated against, denounced, and persecuted; what they take from the mines is not loss, but gain to the State, as but for their labors the gold they obtain would lie hidden in the earth and be of no benefit to any one.
· The Chinese cannot be called either ignorant or stupid. It is generally known that all can read and write. It is certain that all have received some degree of education, though, as with us, it differs according to the wealth and social condition of the individual. They are intelligent and quick to learn. The rapid progress of some of the Chinese in schools where they are taught English is astonishing. They are very anxious to acquire our language, and pay large sums to private tutors who teach it to them.
As a class, the Chinese are quiet, peaceable, law-abiding people. They give our authorities comparatively but little trouble. Their offenses are mostly venial, and consist of gambling, opium smoking, and petit larceny. A large portion of the females are professional prostitutes. The officers of the Chinese companies have always exerted themselves zealously, and with much success, to purify the morals of their countrymen, to restrain them from violations of our laws, and to bring the guilty to punishment. They have rendered valuable aid to the officers of the law in the administration of justice.
I will here insert, as evidence strongly corroborative of my views, a few extracts from a report made to the legislature of this State on the 11th of March, 1862, by a joint select committee thereof, “ relative to the Chinese population of the State of California."
“If there is any proof going to establish the fact that any portion of the Chinese are imported into this state as slaves or coolies, your committee has failed to discover it. The present laws in force in regard to this class of our population, in the opinion of your committee, impose upon them quite as heavy burdens as they are able to bear, and in many instances far beyond their ability to stand up under. Your committee trust that no more legislation will be had calculated to oppress and degrade this class of persons in our State.”
"And for this $14,000,000 which we gather from the Chinese population, what do we give them in exchange Mainly, thus far, the privilege to work in the mines, on bars, beds, and gulch claims, which have been abandoned by our countrymen and other white men because, by their intelligence and skill, they could find other diggings where they could do better.
"Such claims to all but the patient, moderate Chinese, would otherwise have remained idle and unproductive. In towns and cities we have washmen and cooks, who to some extent compete with imported servants from Europe, and this is about the only competition which some 50,000 peaceable, patient, and industrious Chinese immigrants have, thus far, produced in California. Surely if this declared evil were doubled, or magnified tenfold, it need not create alarm in the breasts of cautious and fearful citizens.
“We have about 80 Chinamen working in the Mission woollen factory, which by reason of their cheap labor is able to find employment for some 70 white men. With high rates of labor, this valuable enterprise could not be prosecuted in this State."
* “With cheap labor we could supply all our own wines and liquors, besides sending large quantities abroad.”
"It is charged that the Chinese demoralize the whites. We cannot find any ground for the allegation. We adopt none of their habits, form no social relations with them, but keep them separate and apart, a distinct, inferior race. They work for us; they help us build up our State by contributing largely to our taxes, to our shipping, farming, and mechanical interests, without to any extent entering these departments as competitors; they are denied privileges equal with other foreigners; they cannot vote, nor testify in courts of justice, nor have any voice in making our laws, nor mingle with us in social life. Certainly we have nothing to fear from a race so contemned and restricted; on the contrary, those Chinamen who remain here are educated to our standard.”
“ The practice of Chinese prostitution by their women is as abhorrent to their respectable merchants as it is to us. They have made several efforts to send these women