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Chinese in the WoodsLogging and Lumbering in the American West$
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Sue Fawn Chung

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039447

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039447.001.0001

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(p.183) Conclusion
Chinese in the Woods

Sue Fawn Chung

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter discusses the departure of the Chinese from their involvement in lumbering, years after making a significant contribution to the building of the American West. In the 1880s Chinese immigrants constituted the majority of the men employed in the lumber trade in the Sierra Nevada. They undertook a variety of jobs, from wood transportation and mill operation to digging ditches, grading roads, cooking and cleaning, and caring for the animals. The wages they earned were determined by the type of job they did. This chapter shows that Chinese laborers in the logging industry had moved either into other occupations or to work in other forests—some even returned to China—by 1920 due to a variety of factors, such as the emerging forest conservation movement, technological improvements in logging, decreased demand for lumber, and the rise of large corporations that drove the smaller lumber firms out of business.

Keywords:   lumber trade, lumbering, American West, Chinese immigrants, Sierra Nevada, Chinese laborers, logging, forests, forest conservation

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