Listen to the forgotten story of Chinese American experiences in western lumber camps.
One seldom pictures a Chinese man in the American West as a lumberjack (cutting and transporting trees) but in the 1860s-1900s, many Chinese chose that occupation. Some had performed this task in southeastern China, but the Manchu (Qing) government had ordered forests (where bandits and rebels hid) to be burned and converted to tea plantations because of the high value of tea for the western export market. Attracted to the American West for first mining and then railroad construction, several thousand found work in the forests because of the growing need for wood products. This lecture covers their forgotten story of their experiences in the woods, cutting and transporting wood and cooking for the men in the western lumber camps.