Pestiferous Chinese

I’m starting to think that one of the main reasons that whites were against Chinese was that they were being used as slave labor. Ostensibly, it’s a moral argument. But the term Pestiferous Chinese betrays a deep racism that underlies this excuse.

Daily Ledger, Tacoma, WA Territory September 30, 1885

Geronimo’s little band of Apaches appear to have their own sweet will in almost everything. They go where they list in the Mogollon mountain, and even with a dash of that chivalry which dares all for one’s lady love, they steal back by night to the reservation and right under the eyes of the troops, they steal away with their dusky squaws formerly left behind as prisoners, and hie away to resume their picnic of mountain marauding. But then there is some excuse for the failure of our troops to capture these dauntless dare-devils, seeing that our government is just now engaged in employing all its available military force in driving white laborers from the mines at Rock Springs, Wyoming, and supplanting them with the pestiferous Chinese, thus recognizing and enforcing Chinese slavery on American soil. We had once a vague impression that the thirteenth amendment to the constitution was operative, but the mandates of the Six companies and the specacle [sic] of government bayonets prodding white miners convince us of our delusion.

Published by RLMartin

Write, Teach, Farm WTF!

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