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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Though discriminated against in California, African-American miners often shared the same prejudices as white Americans towards Chinese immigrants. At other times, immigrants and African Americans found common purpose in work and leisure. This…

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Many African Americans, both free born and enslaved, were part of the wave of migrants who headed toward California during the Gold Rush. While racial tensions existed, many black miners worked side by side with both immigrant and native-born white…

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Antonio Franco Coronel was born in Mexico, came to California as a child in 1834, and settled with his family in Los Angeles. As one of the original miners in the state’s gold fields in 1848, he found success at the Placer Seco in northern…

Antonio Franco Coronel was born in Mexico, came to California as a child in 1834, and settled with his family in Los Angeles. As one of the original miners in the state’s gold fields in 1848, he found success at the Placer Seco in northern…

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Many miners wrote letters home to family and friends describing their experiences in California. In this letter, Robert Pitkin describes the tensions between American-born and Chinese immigrant miners.

Many miners wrote letters home to family and friends describing their experiences in California. In this letter, Robert Pitkin describes the tensions between American-born and Chinese immigrant miners.

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Immigrants from China were among the thousands who streamed into California after the discovery of gold there in 1848. In 1852 alone, 20,000 migrants came from China seeking “Gold Mountain.” Many Chinese immigrants found some success at…

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With the discovery of gold in California in 1848, men seeking to make their fortunes streamed into the area from all over the world. In 1850, the California legislature passed a Foreign Miners' Tax that required miners who were not U.S. citizens to…

This labor contract between a Chinese worker, "Affon," and California businessman Jacob P. Leese, was made in Hong Kong on July 28, 1849, and witnessed by A. Shue, C. H. Brinley, and Henry Anthon, Jr., acting U.S. Vice Consul in Hong Kong. The…
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