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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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What's In a Phrase? worksheet

This worksheet helps students analyze a Chinese-English phrasebook by matching phrases to specific historical understandings. This worksheet accompanies the activity "What's In a Phrase? Finding Historical Understandings in an Immigrant Guidebook." [...]

What's In a Phrase? Finding Historical Understandings in an Immigrant Guidebook

In this activity students analyze a Chinese-English phrasebook from the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. Students match phrases from the textbook to specific historical understandings, write their own historical understanding, and then [...]

A Chinese Immigrant Remembers His Arrival in the United States

Huie Kin left his village in Guangdong Province and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 14; in his 20s he entered a seminary and went on to become the first Chinese Christian minister in New York City. He wrote his memoirs in 1932, from which this [...]

The United States Bars Chinese Immigrants

The Chinese Exclusion Act, passed on May 6, 1882, was the first major restriction placed on immigration in the U.S., and the only immigration law that explicitly barred a specific group from entering the country. The Exclusion Act forbade Chinese [...]

A Country within a Country: Understanding San Francisco's Chinatown

In this activity, students use a range of primary and secondary sources about San Francisco's Chinatown (1880s-1920) to explore what the community meant to residents and to outsiders.

A Country Within a Country Activity worksheet

This worksheet helps students analyze evidence from the Country Within a Country activity.

Foreign Miner's License

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 [...]

"Head of Auburn Ravine"

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 [...]

A 49er Writes Home from the Gold Rush

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.

A 49er Writes Home from the Gold Rush (with text supports)

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.