Chinese Discrimination: 0050.0068


            I observe with no small apprehension of alarm that the Chinese population of the Kootenays is rapidly increasing, and Nelson is no exception to the rule.  I have seen too much of the evil effects that the presence of these fellows has on a community, not to realize the mischief that is sure to accrue.  It is folly to suppose that a white man or woman can compete successfully with John Chinaman.  Twelve months ago the pig-tails were not much in evidence on the streets of the city, but today they are encountered at every turn, and they appear to be making things hum.  In many of the hotels and restaurants of Nelson the Chinaman has already supplanted the man or woman who used to preside over the culinary department; in private houses, the servant girl or white help has been dispensed with to make place for genial John; the laundries are looking for work which the Chinaman manages to secure, and are not running to their full capacity; the little garden plots about the city are fast falling into the hands of the coolie, and if he continues to progress at the present ratio, it is only a matter of time when he forces the tailors, the shoemakers, the cigar manufacturers and other local branches of industry supporting white labor, out of the market.  He has done this in other sections of British Columbia and he will do it here also, if permitted.  I have got myself into trouble before for the free expression of opinion on this Chinese question, and at the risk of still further incurring the wrath of those who persist in giving a preference to John and the cold shoulder to the honest man or woman of their own race who seek employment at their hands, I will renew my attack as often as I think it necessary to accomplish the end I have in view.  The people of Sandon are wise in their generation in precluding the Chinaman from entering their municipality.  Would that the people of Nelson took a similar stand.  Had they done so our population today would be greater by many hundreds.  But instead of discouraging Chinese immigration they appear to encourage it in every way possible – even going the length of establishing a Sunday School in which dear John is supposed to be taught Christianity and English, that he may be made a more formidable competitor than ever of white labor.  Many who employ the Chinese help argue that they do it from necessity, but this to my mind is censurable sentiment, not argument.  We owe a duty one to the other, and a part of that duty is to encourage our own people in our own country.  The Chinaman is a decided impediment to progress in a country such as ours, and as such he should be avoided as a plague.  I would go the length of favoring a boycott of houses that employ Chinese in preference to white labor.  Nothing short of this will have the desired effect, in absence of a very strong public sentiment being aroused against the Chinaman.


0050.0068: Chinese Discrimination

Newspaper article one mans apprehension of Chinese population in Kootenays rapidly increasing, causing white men and women out of work as they take the jobs with lower pay.

Medium:  Newspaper - Text
Date:  April 13, 1898
Pages:  5
Publisher:  The Nelson Economist
Collection:  Columbia Basin Institute (0050)


Chinese population pig-tails hotels restaurants laundries immigration boycott


Social arrow Ethnic Groups arrow Chinesearrow
Cities arrow Nelsonarrow
Cities arrow Sandonarrow


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