CLowman SCA Paper: Our First Chinese


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Explores archaeological questions related to the first Chinese Americans in the Bay Area.

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CLowman SCA Paper: Our First Chinese

  1. 1. “Our First Chinese” Potential Archaeology of ChineseCommunities at Stanford University Christopher Lowman, UC Berkeley
  2. 2. Research Questions• How was cultural identity negotiated in a hybrid cultural context? – (In what way did members of the community “mash up” cultural practices?)• How did the community relate to other communities in the area? – (Is there evidence of trade, social networks, or responses to material availability?)
  3. 3. Timeline• 1869: Completion of the San José is burned. Transcontinental Railroad. • 1891: Stanford University opens.• 1876: Leland Stanford purchases All cooks are Chinese. land for the Palo Alto Stock Farm. 1/3 of employees are Chinese. • 1892: Second Exclusion Act. Anti- Chinese sentiments published in• 1882: First Exclusion Act severely Palo Alto soon after. limits Chinese immigration. • 1900: Far fewer Chinese employees• 1885: Construction of Stanford are at Stanford than ever before. University begins. A Chinese work force constructs some of the first streets.• 1887: Market Street Chinatown in
  4. 4. Chinese America: History & Perspectives 1998 Doumen County (formerly Huangliang Du Administrative Region)
  5. 5. Working on the Stanford Residence Stanford University Archives Palo Alto Historical ArchivesAh Wing in 1905, Memoir from 1906 Gardener working on carpet flower bed, Stanford Residence 1888
  6. 6. Types of Work - Housekeeping - (private residences, boarding houses, fraternities) - Stock Farm Employees - (horses, barley) - Construction - (roads) - Fruit and Vegetable Growers - (strawberries, lettuce) - CooksStanford University Archives - (residence halls, fraternities) Vegetable Seller on Alvarado Row, c. 1890s - Janitors - (residence halls)
  7. 7. Stock FarmStanford University Archives Vegetable Grounds with Boarding House, “China House,” 1880 Stanford University Archives Detail of Stanford Residence Map featuring a “China Camp”, 1879
  8. 8. Residences and Fraternities History San JoséStanford University Archives Obituary for Lund Bing Moy, c. Faculty and Student 1925 Housing, 1915
  9. 9. Neighboring Communities: Palo Alto and Mayfield Northridge Map Library Mayfield, Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 1884Palo Alto Historical Archives Mok Wo is refused a restaurant license, 1905
  10. 10. Neighboring Communities: Mountain View Mountain View Public LibraryHistory San José Yuen Lung Store on View Street, 1879- Chinese Camp on C.C. Morse Seed Ranch, 1946 photographed 1940s-1960s but likely dating much earlier
  11. 11. Neighboring Communities: San JoséHistory San José Jue Mon Get and Friend, San José c. 1910s History San José “Chinese Sam” at the Quicksilver Mining Company, before 1889
  12. 12. Next Steps - Community Consultation: Contact with Descendants and Stakeholder Community - Sites Need to be Recorded: Digitizing records, Land Survey, and GIS - Follow-up on additional sites: Peter Coutts, Searsville, Jasper RidgeStanford University Archives
  13. 13. Thank you— Barb Voss Laurie Wilkie Laura Jones Jun Sunseri History San José Stanford University Archives Palo Alto Historical Archives Northridge Map Library classmates from Anthro 227