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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A California Businessman Contracts for Chinese Immigrant Labor

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 [...]

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.

Antonio Franco Coronel Describes Tensions Among Miners

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 Describes Tensions Among Miners (with text supports)

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 [...]

"Spanish Flat, 1852"

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 [...]

Tags: Gold Rush
Item Type: Photograph
"Colored Men in the Mines"

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 [...]

"Colored Men in the Mines" (with text supports)

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 [...]