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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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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 January 2020



(p.1) Introduction
Chinese in the Woods

Sue Fawn Chung

University of Illinois Press

This book examines the role of the Chinese in the lumber trade in the American West during the late nineteenth century, with a focus on the Sierra Nevada in the 1870s to 1890s. It looks at Chinese laborers' contribution to the building of the American West by analyzing their migration, their communities and lifestyles, lived experiences, transnationalism, and their work in relationship to mining and railroad construction. It also considers the timber barons and companies that employed Chinese workers, their departure from the Sierra Nevada forests, and the anti-Chinese sentiment that they endured. It shows that Chinese immigrants new to North America were first attracted to mining, but they turned to other work, such as logging, when they met with resistance and opposition from miners. The book also challenges some of the popular stereotypes that developed during this period of emerging unionism, along with the assumption of “cheap Chinese labor” that has been used to interpret the Chinese experience in late-nineteenth-century America.

Keywords:   lumber trade, American West, Sierra Nevada, Chinese laborers, migration, transnationalism, mining, Chinese immigrants, logging, Chinese labor

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