Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Down with the Chinaman!" in 1877

"The rabble vote--the Chinamen do not; therefore, protect the rabble, and down with the Chinaman! The Democratic party of this State is set against the Chinamen and their cheap labor. They always come in at all conventions with a resolution denouncing the Chinese as a dangerous class, whose coming ought to be arrested at once, and means be employed to remove those already here. You are told by the Democracy that they are heathens, and their coming will demoralize this State, and all other sections, whenever they get a footing. Now and then you will find Republicans talking in this same strain. I think some move, as usual for a number of years past, has been made in Congress this winter to arrest the immigration to this country of these Celestials. Now, in my mind, a Chinaman has the same right to come to this country, find a peaceful home, breathe the free air of liberty, and be protected in his person, his family and property, as any one else. We have boasted, for a century past, that this is a land of refuge for the oppressed and down-trodden of all nations; that under our flag the family of man might gather, assured of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' For a century we have accepted the grand announcement as true, that God has made of one flesh all the nations that dwell on the face of the whole earth, and that all have the same inalienable rights. Let us stand by these grand old truths, and bid the Chinaman, the Japanese and all others, welcome."
- David Phillips, Letters from California, 1877

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