04/20/s022.  New Book: Chinese Traditional Religion & Temples in North America, 1849-1920: California.  Ca. 530 pages, 351 illustrations, lots of Chinese-language refs and terms.
08/10/2017.  Just released!  Detailed new map of Chinatown in San Francisco just before the Earthquake, with tongs and temples.  The economic and spiritual heart of Chinese America, wiped out in two terrible days.  What it was like before.  Part of the editors' research on Chinese religion in early North America. 

03/24/2017.  Found in the records of San Francisco's Sam Yup [Three Counties] Association: The Chinese Names of the Deep Creek Massacre Victims.  Now Perhaps Their Families Can Be Traced.  

            The records may be the only Chinese-language documents in San Francisco that                              
            survived the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

11/29/2016.  New data on wholesale market prices for opium in the U.S. between the 1850s and 1909, from Chinese-language newspapers.  The prices were surprisingly steady over the years.

11/29/2016.  What the landmark "Chinese Opium Exclusion Act" of 1909 really prohibited.  Most authorities on the subject, including Wikipedia, are wrong.  It dd not prohibit possession or use.

12-7-2015  (Updated 2/29/2016)  Announcing the first-ever HISTORIC CHINESE TEMPLE CONFERENCE.  March 12-13, 2016.  Marysville, CA.  To be held during Marysville's famous Bok Kai Festival and "Bomb Day."  Here are the updated programregistration information, bios of speakers and abstracts of presentations.  As of February 29, 63 people have registered.  The capacity of the venue is 70.  

For July 2016: A major conference on Chinese outside China will take place in Vancouver, organized by ISSCO, the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF CHINESE OVERSEAS, and hosted by the University of British Columbia,  This is only the second time that an ISSCO conference has been held in North America.  The  event will be held in Richmond, a suburb with a large Chinese-speaking population and many excellent Chinese restaurants, at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel from July 6-8, 2016.  Numerous historians and social scientists from Asia and Europe as well as the Americas will attend.  For more information go to the UBC's ISSCO website.

10/27/2015  Yet another iron bell, in San Jose's Ng Shing Gong Temple.  Dated 1889.  We keep thinking we have seen every North American example still in existence, but then someone shows us another one.  A nice bell

10/26/2015  The earliest of all surviving Chinese North American objects!  That is, objects made for and used by Chinese on this continent.  A simple flag rack on the altar of Weaverville's  Won LimTemple.  With a Xian Feng (咸豐 or 咸丰) date: 1861!  It may not look like much, but . . .

10/19/2015  A 1864 date for "Chinese Masons"!  Two years before Gustave Schlegel popularized the idea that Chinese secret societies and the Euro-American Freemasons might be connected, and long before the term began to be used  by the Chee Kung Tong and Bing Kung Tong.  And in, for goodness' sake, Weaverville, way off in the Trinity Alps of Northern California.  Amazing!

9/4/2015  "The Gods of Chinese North America," an illustrated list of the principal deities, almost all of them Daoist, as worshiped by early Chinese in the United States and Canada.  Of the many hundred gods and goddesses featured in the traditional folk and formal religions of China, only a handful made it across the Pacific to the New World.  They are listed here as a convenience to temple fanciers and scholars, some of whom may not be too familiar with Chinese folk beliefs, and as an advertisement for the editors' next books, on (1) the three best-preserved early Chinese temples in North America (in Marysville, Oroville, and Weaverville, not San Francisco) and on (2) historic Chinese temples in the western United States.  

4/15/2015   A new page: historical Chinese land ownership in the U.S. and Canada.  A first article introduces the subject with a fine example of legal boilerplate from the Yuba County deed books in Marysville, California, recording Ah Fee's and Quong Hop's purchase of land from E. W. Sawtelle in 1890.

4/11/2015   Updated list of historic opium brand names, as stamped on the lids of opium cans in historical and archaeological collections, in North America and Australia.  Such cans contained ready-to-smoke opium refined in Hong Kong, Macao, Victoria BC, or Vancouver.

4/7/2015  Chapter 1 of Coming Home in Gold Brocade, "Through Chinese Eyes," has been added to this website.  It offers what we think is a novel perspective on early Chinese immigration.

4/6/2015  Already in 1855, Chinese "coarse" ceramics were used (and valued) by the U.S. Mint in San Francisco, according to the first issue of The Oriental, the second oldest printed Chinese newspaper in America and one of the oldest anywhere.

3/31/2015  CINARC's first book is in print.  Coming Home in Gold Brocade: Chinese in Early Northwest Americaby Bennet Bronson and Chuimei Ho.  With lots of new data and conclusions about how and why Chinese came to the Northwest between 1788 and 1911.  It is for sale at Amazon.com.  Paperback.  Price:  US$12.75.  Canadian$15.96.  ISBN-13: 978-1505228021, ISBN-10: 1505228026.

8/28/2014.  The Fusang Question: Was this mysterious ancient kingdom (AD 599) located in the Pacific Northwest? Did early Chinese travelers visit it?  No and no.  The idea that Chinese of that period visited North America is based on an 18th century mistranslation.

The purpose of this site and of CINARC is to encourage
collaboration in exploring the history of Chinese in the Pacific Northwest - in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska,with much of California. - between the first known arrival of Chinese in 1788 and the great changes in the regional Chinese population that followed the liberalizing of U.S. immigration laws in 1965
美洲西 华裔早期历史
金山西北角 -华裔研究中心
Chinese in Northwest America Research Committee

Chinese Herbal Medicine in the Early Northwest 早期 
       Comments on a recent news article about the remedies preserved in the Kam Wah Chung Museum 
       plus new information from the account books of a merchant and labor contractor, Chin Gee Hee
          a. An early herbal doctor in John Day, Oregon, ca. 1890-1930
          b. Early herbal remedies for contract laborers in Seattle, ca. 1890
Includes cures for shingles, toothache, swollen feet, and belly button wind
          c. Dr. Lamb in Butte (and Dr. Ah Fong in Boise), ca. 1870-1920  [Updated 03/24/09]

Chop Suey  杂碎  
        This famous food forms an important, though not always admired, part of American culinary history.
        New research shows that it was invented in New York and that it came late to the Northwest.
  a. Origins
  b. Rise of the Chop Suey restaurant in the U.S.
  c. Chinese restaurants and Chop Suey in the Pacific Northwest  西北角早期杂碎餐馆

A Research Aid: Chinese Place Names in the Northwest in 1880-1890 and 1901 中文地名 
        Historians often have trouble identifying American place names in early Chinese-language writings. 
        This section is offered as an aid to researchers, here and in China. [Updated 12/16/09] 

Links with Chinese-American Museums and Historical Organizations  相关网址
        This will eventually include most of the U.S. and Canadian organizations that specialize in Chinese-
        North American history. 

The First Chinese in Northwest America? - on Vancouver Island with Captain Meares in 1788 西北角最早华人在1788年登陆温哥华
        A good many Chinese sailors and skilled craftsmen worked for British traders on the west coast 
        of Vancouver in the late 18th century.  The traders were collecting sea otter furs for sale in China.  
  a. Affee and Aehaw 
  b. Does this picture show them?
  c. The First Chinese in Washington State (also in in 1788) [07/22/09] 
  d: Ashing, Achun and Aceun in Baltimore in 1785
     (Chinese sailors visited the East Coast even earlier, in 1785)
  e. 27 named Chinese seized by the Spanish on Vancouver in 1789 [08/26/09] 

Smuggling Chinese Immigrants   非法入境
        For many decades, the border between British Columbia and Washington State saw intense smuggling
        activity as well as spasmodic efforts to enforce immigration laws.  Here we present outstanding episodes
        in the long, sometimes comic and sometimes tragic war between coast guards and border patrolmen
        on the one hand and smugglers on the other.  While modern immigrant smugglers often belong to the
        ethnic group being smuggled, in the historic Northwest they were mostly European-Americans - sailors,
        fishermen, farmers, police, immigration officials, and just about any other sort of white citizen who had
        access to a boat or lived near a cross-border trail..  
           a. Ralph's trailblazing investigation of immigrant smuggling, 1890 [Updated 03/11/09]
           b. Annals of Northwestern smuggling 1: by sea  [Latest entry: 04/7/09]
           c. Shootout at Sedro-Wooley: customs agents fight over smuggled Chinese (and opium)  [10/28/09]
           d. Joking about the murder of smuggled Chinese at Deception Pass  [02/12/09]

Fishing and Fish Processing 渔业
   a. Chinese fishermen In Washington Territory [11/10/09]
   b. Chinese workers at Columbia River canneries [11/10/09]
   c. Were Chinese fishermen greedy and irresponsible? [11/10/09; updated 02/08/10]

For the latest features, click on What's New.  For info on (1) the CINARC logo and (2) strange rows of boxes in the text, click here]
Why Chinese in the Early Pacific Northwest Died   亡命天涯
Historians agree that there were many deaths among Chinese sojourners in the Northwest during
the 19th and early 20th centuries.  However, we have little aggregated information about how many
died, and why.  The provincial archives preserved in Victoria, B.C., provide more complete data on early
Chinese mortality than do records in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or Alaska.
 The high Chinese suicide rate in Washington State, 1891-1907 [NEW 01/04/10]
   Violent Chinese deaths in British Columbia1879-1893 [Updated 01/04/10]
   Causes of Chinese deaths in Washington State [NEW 01/09/10]

"Does a Chinaman Do Your Washing? 替你洗烫的是中国人吗?
        If so, you're not carrying out the principles of unionism"  This quote from a 1906 union newspaper
        shows that the hostility of organized labor toward Chinese in Seattle even included laundries. [03/11/09]

Secret Societies or Chinese Freemasons
The goal of many secret societies in China was revolution against the Manchu dynasty thast ruled the
country.  In southern China, the most important such society was the Hongmen or Tiandihui.  In the 
Americas, renamed the Chee Kung Tong, the society and its offshoots played central roles in Chinatowns
during the19th century 
>   Should the subject be taboo?  秘密社会可谈不可谈? [10/01/09]
>  Secret society secrets 早期对秘密社会的报道 [09/23/10]
>   A 19th century secret society manual in Clinton, B.C. 加拿大卑斯省天地会会簿 [10/01/09]  
  "Tianyun"--secret dates for a revolutionary cause  '天运' 年号背后的革命意识 [07/22/10]  
  Membership certificates meant for concealment 洪门致公堂腰牌 [08/13/10]
>  A meeting notice you couldn't refuse 见签岂有不到会 [08/15/10]
>  The history of the Chee Kung Tong without the myths 致公堂来龙去脉 [09/22/10]
      >  The mother(s) of all secret societies [09/22/10]
      >  The mother society puts on a new face and changes her name 从洪门到致公堂 [09/22/10]
      >  The glory days of the Chee Kung Tong   1890年代致公堂如日冲天 [09/22/10]
>  Sun Yat-sen and the Chee Kung Tong: as early as 1897?  [09/26/10]
>  Sun Yat-Sen and the "White Lily Society," 1897  [12/17/10]
>  The Chee Kung Tong and the American Masons in Helena, Montana  [12/06/10]

Prince Tsai Comes to Seattle, 1906  晚清出洋大臣:  镇国公戴泽抵西雅图
The visit by an Imperial Commission led by an actual prince, Tsai Tseh (or Tai Ze), improved relations
between European-American and Chinese-American leaders.  The commissioners were the highest-
ranking Chinese to visit Seattle until after World War II. [Updated 07/22/09]

The Chinese crew on the Great Northern's ill-fated super-ship
The Prince arrived on the Great Northern Railroad's steamship Dakota, then one of the two largest ships
on the Pacific.  As with its sister ship, the SS Minnesota, many sailors on the SS Dakota were Chinese.

Shrines, Temples and Halls 庙宇, 会馆
1852  Found!  The oldest temple inscription in the Americas  [NEW 10/19/10]
1857  The earliest picture of a North (or South) American Chinese temple  [NEW 10/15/10]
1866  The oldest surviving Chinese temple in North America: not in San Fancisco but (perhaps) the
        temple in Marysville! [01/25/10]  
1866-1892  The North God in North America. [10/26/10]
1870s-1904  Suijing Bo in the Northwest: A once-obscure deity makes it big [07/21/10]
1871- now  The North God: Bi Di, Bok Dai, Bok Kai, Beuk Aie
1874-1909  Cast iron bells in North American Chinese temples  西北角寺庙生铁法器 [3/10/2010]
1875-1887  The oldest Chinese temple in the Pacific Northwest: Victoria's Tam Kung temple 
 加拿 大卑斯省域多利谭公庙  A fire damaged much of the temple in the 1990s, but some of its most
                important antique furnishings survived which bear dates (In imperial reign years) that prove the temple
already existed in the 19th century. [11/30/2008]
1885  The CCBA's Shrine in Victoria, BC: Prestige from home-town heroes' calligraphy
        加拿大域多利埠中华会馆大堂 One of the finest shrines in Nortjh America features splendid 
                calligraphy by notable persons back in China [12/14/2009]
1888  Lewiston's Beuk Aie Temple: A memorial to the Deep Creek massacre? [08/01/10]
1909  The Kong Chow Temple in San Francisco: Prestige from diplomats' calligraphy
                 三藩市岡州会馆 - 权贵显赫门楣  Inscriptions by the great Wu Ting Fan and others at an important
                 center of Daoist worship [01/26/10]
1911  An art nouveau landmark: The Hook Sin Tong Building in Victoria [05/24/10]

Detaining Asians at Seattle's "Angel Island," 1907-1916 舍路的天使岛 - 临时移民审查站
It turns out that a once-notorious detention center for Asian immigrants in Seattle still survives -- as a
mini-storage facility about a mile north of the city's central waterfront.  The editors visited it in the
company of historian John R. Litz, who rediscovered it recently through archival detective work. [01/15/09]

Victoria's vile detention facility  加拿大域多利华人拘留所
In the late nineteenth century, Canada ran one of the nastiest prisons on the continent for Chinese 
awaiting deportation and for clarification of immigration status.  Neither the U.S. nor Canada kept 
convicted murderers under worse conditions. [Updated 06/20/09]

Port Townsend's fine but doomed detention house  华盛顿州砵党顺华人拘留所
Compared with the one in Victoria, Port Townsend's facility for housing would-be Chinese immigrants
sounds relatively humane.  Unfortunately, it would soon be closed due to the clout of Seattle and the
Great Northern Railroad. [Updated 04/16/09]

Joking about the Murder of Smuggled Chinese at Deception Pass, 1880s
Ben Ure, famed smuggler and leading citizen of Whidby Island, is reputed to have routinely drowned his
        illegal Chinese passengers to avoid detection by the Customs Service.  Local folklore treats this as
        amusing.  We think it is not. [02/12/09]

A New Discovery -- the Great Parade Dragon from the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Still Exists!  龙头再现 - 西雅图1909 年赛会悠悠百年龙舞
The dragon's well-preserved remains, no longer in working condition, have been found at the Bok Kai 
Temple in Marysville, CA.  It is the largest and most important surviving Asian artifact from the AYPE.[02/16/09]

The CINARC logo consists of  the character for "gold (jin in Mandarin; gum in Cantonese), as written by a famous Tang Dynasty calligrapher, over an image of Mt. Rainier. just south of Seattle.  "Gold Mountain" is what the Chinese still call San Francisco and formerly called the entire west coast of the U.S. 
Rows of small squares like this --               -- in the text are actually Chinese characters in Microsoft's widely used Unicode format.  To see them as readable characters, you might like to activate the Chinese fonts that come with Windows XP, Vista, and Mac OS 9 and higher.      
The Seattle chapter of the Preserve-the-Emperor Association is founded, 1903 
As it turned out, China needed revolution, not reformation.  Before that, however, the Baohuanghui, the
Preserve-the-Emperor Association, offered new status to U.S. and Canadian Chinese [Updated 07/30/09]

Many deceased Chinese were NOT sent back to China 
落叶不归根 : 抓李抓嚹早期华人墓地
At least in Walla Walla, Washington, persons buried in the 1920s and 1930s often stayed there
rather than being exhumed and shipped back to their home towns in southern China [07/02/09]

Furuya House and Trees: The best-preserved early Asian-American home in the Pacific Northwest
The home (on Bainbridge Island) belonged to a wealthy Japanese-American, Masajiro Furuya.  It served as 
a summer resort for many Seattle Japanese and as a private agricultural experiment station.  Some of the
trees he planted survive.  They may be the oldest living Asian-American plants in the region [07/15/09]

 Chinese Women in the Northwest
Historians often depict early woman immigrants to is region as powerless victims of a rigid patriarchy and an
American society that was both racist and sexist.  The historians are right about the patriarchy and the
society but not, necessarily, about the women.  Many were neither slave-girl prostitutes nor submissive

"Retarded mental development" [10/30/10]
Women who were not down-trodden: the saga of Dong Oy and Maggie Chin [11/15/10]
A high-status courtesan flees via Portland [11/21/10]

Opium  鸦片烟
The drug played an important role in the lives and budgets of North American Chinese during the 19th
century.  For some modern Chinese-Americans it is a closed, forbidden subject.  We think it is time 
that the subject be opened up.

   Producing and selling opium 煮烟
   Refining and packaging opium for sale   提煉. 包装 [08/9/09]
   Victoria: the biggest opium "manufacturer" outside Asia [11/16/09]
   Opium brand names [Updated 11/2/09]
   More opium brand names: from gold mining sites in the Cariboo [Updated 1/18/10]
   Opium cans or "tins" [08/14/09]
   Opium cans of the prohibited period [Updated 1/17/11]
   Fake opium brands in San Francisco [09/6/09]
   Opium Retailers in San Francisco, 1900-1904  [12/17/09]
   Triumph of 19th century chemistry: making Middle Eastern opium smokable [12/29/09]
   Direct evidence of a Middle East/Balkans to Pacific Northwest connection [12/29/09]

  Smuggling opium, 1880-1920    走私
   A future Prime Minister is shocked at Canada's opium refining and smuggling trade [09/2/09]
   A current Governor-General's wife is not at all shocked [Posted 11/12/09]
   Smuggling incidents  個案 [Updated 8/14/09]
    "A pretty smuggler and her pathetic story" [Posted 11/01/09]
   A fashionable young lady gets caught with a half-ton of opium [Updated 12/17/09]
   Diving for opium in Puget Sound: a true story   打捞 [Updated 10/1/09]

   Using opium 吸烟
   Opium equipment in the U.S., 1896   煙具 [Posted 8/1/09]
   How opium pipes worked [Posted 10/8/09]
   Opium pipe bowls hint at Chinese immigrants' middle-class values [Posted 10/8/09]   
   Connoisseurs' pipe bowls from Yixing and Shiwan [Updated 10/19/09]
   Brand dominance in the opium pipe bowl trade [Posted 10/27/09]
    North American opium lamps [Posted 11/3/09]
   Commerce in opium lamp chimneys [Posted 12/1/09]
   An addicted white prostitute testifies, 1885   煙友 [Updated 8/17/09]
   How much opium did white Americans use?  The Iowa case  [Posted 12/19/09]
    The opium addicts of Albany, NY [Posted 12/21/09]

  Banning opium and curing addicts 禁烟, 戒烟
   Turning point: the 1909 Shanghai Conference 上海万国禁烟会 [Posted 10/15/09]
   Addiction cures for North American Chinese [Posted 10/15/09]
   Curing addicts and outlawing the opium trade: the missionary connection [Posted 10/19/09]
   British Columbia defends Britain against Opium War slander [Posted 12/28/09]

   See above: opium pipe bowls 烟斗excavated in North America, from the famous 
   kilns of Yixing 宜兴(Jiangsu province), Qinzhou 钦州(Guangxi province), and Shiwan/ 
   Shekwan 石湾 (Guangdong province), as used by Chinese immigrants in the U.S. and
   Canada,  We believe these Shiwan examples to be among the first pipe-bowls from 
   that kiln center ever published, in or outside China.

  Opium and Anti-Chinese Propaganda
   Lurid pictures of opium dens [Posted 05/30/10]
   Exaggerating harm from opium use [Posted 05/30/10]

Anti-Chinese Violence  排华暴力事件
Threats from, and actual violence by, local whites bent on ethnic cleansing were a fact of life for Chinese
immigrants in the Pacific Northwest.   So why did Chinese come, though neither desperate nor poor?   Why
did they stay with such stubborn bravery?  One goal of this website is to seek answers to questions like
   Violence against Chinese in the Pacific Northwest: a new list and map [NEW 08/03/10]
    The Anti-Chinese conspirators 1885-1887 [Posted 1/17/10]
    The Anaconda explosions: Knights of Labor murder or private revenge? 1885 [Posted 02/01/10]
   The Rock Creek Massacre 1885 [Posted 9/1/09, revised 7/6/11]
   The Squak (Issaquah, Washington) Massacre 1885 [Posted 01/14/10]
    Coal and ethnic cleansing: driving Chinese from the Washington mines1885 [Posted 02/11/10]
   Evidence: Squak and Coal Creek were connected 1885 [Posted 02/12/10]
   The infamous "Tacoma Method" 1885 [NEW 06/30/10]
   The Seattle Anti-Chinese Riots 1886 [Updated 01/07/10]
     Portland tries (and fails) to purge all Chinese 1886  [Posted 1/07/10]
   The Deep Creek Massacre 1887 [Updated 10/21/09]
April 21, 2022.  After several years of neglect, this site is being revived.  Please be patient until updating is complete

Copyright  information.  Nonprofit users are free to use text and original or out-of-copyright images from these web pages as long as they credit CINARC and ask subsequent users to do the same.  Images that are credited to other individuals or institutions, however, should not be reproduced without first consulting the owners.  For-profit users should get the permission of CINARC's editors before publication, in print or electronic form.
    Opium  Trade & Use     Anti-ChineseViolence      A-Y-P Exposition         Detention          Fishing           Emperor 
Smuggling Chinese  PlaceNames     First Chinese     Why Chinese Died        Secret Society      Prince Tsai Comes 
    Shrines, Temples         Laundries              Chop Suey         Herbal Medicine       Women               Cemeteries    
         |7|                     |8|                      |9|                        |10|                          |11|                             |12|
           |13|                        |14|                       |15|                        |16|                   |17|                    |18|
                  |1|                                  |2|                                |3|                           |4|                   |5|                     |6| 
( 版权 Copyright is free for non-profit use: : click here for more information.)
Historical note; the fiirst "Chinatown," before 1844, was not in San Francisco 英语“唐人街“一词始自何时
In fact, the term is not even Ameican.  It was being used in Singapore by 1844. well before the Gold Rush
and the immigration of Chinese miners to California [07/2/10]
This page was last updated: April 21, 2022
For a detailed index to Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition features, click here
A Pre-Earthquake San Francisco Paper Record: 

In 1887 Lewiston (ID) Chinese donated $170 in gold dust to help the Deep Creek Massacre victims' families back in China.
New Book!  By the web editors, Chuimei Ho and Bennet Bronson, with 500+ pages. Available from Amazon.com  Click here for details.
San Francisco's Chinatown on the eve of the Earthquake.  Newly redrawn by the editors as part of their research on early North American Chinese temples.  Click here to see the maps.
HomeTopicsRegionsSecret SocietiesTemples-1Temples-2AssociationsHistoryViolence
Violence 2DeathReburialWomenWomen-2IntermarriageOpiumOpium 2Opium-3
About UsLinksBibliographyPropertyArtifactsCINARC Book(s)