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Chinese Laborers and the Construction of the Central Pacific

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<center><b><font size=+2>National Golden Spike Centennial Commission Official
Publication</font></b>
<br><b><font size=+3>The Last Spike is Driven</font></b></center>

<p><b><font color="#FF0000"><font size=+3>Chinese Laborers and the Construction
of the Central Pacific</font></font></b>
<p><b><font size=+2>By George Kraus</font></b>
<br><b><font size=-1>Mr. Kraus is with the Public Relations Department,
Southern Pacific Company, San Francisco. He is the author of an account
of the building of the Central Pacific Railroad, [<i><a href="http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?author=Kraus&title=High+Road+Promontory&submit=Begin+Search&new_used=*¤cy=USD&mode=basic&st=sr&ac=qr" target="_blank">High
Road to Promontory</a></i>]...</font></b>
<p><font size=+1><a href="Last_Spike_is_Driven.pdf">Utah Historical Quarterly,
      Winter 1969, Volume  37,
Number 1, pages 41-57.</a></font><a href="Last_Spike_is_Driven.pdf">
</a><a href="Last_Spike_is_Driven.pdf"><strong><img src="images/I_ACCEPT_the_User_Agreement/logos/pdficon_small.gif" alt="PDF" name="" width="15" height="16" hspace="2" vspace="2" border="0" align="absmiddle"></strong></a><a href="Last_Spike_is_Driven.pdf"><br>
<font size=-1>"Copyright Utah State Historical Society, used by permission."</font></a>
<br>
<i><font size=-2>Courtesy Stan Layton, <a href="http://history.utah.org/" target="_blank">Utah
State Historical Society</a>.</font></i>
<center>
<p><a href="http://www.nps.gov/gosp/tour/chinese.html" target="_blank"><img SRC="images/I_ACCEPT_the_User_Agreement/photographs/Chinese_Plaque_NPS.JPG" ALT="Centennial Chinese RR Worker Commemorative Plaque" BORDER=0 height=353 width=400></a>
<br><font size=-2>Centennial Commemorative Plaque at the Golden Spike National
Historic Site</font>
<br><i><font size=-2>Courtesy <a href="http://www.nps.gov/gosp/tour/chinese.html" target="_blank">National
Park Service</a>.</font></i></center>

<p><b><font size=+3>T</font></b>HE STERN TASK FACED by Central Pacific's
"Big Four" in driving the nation's first transcontinental railroad over
the High Sierra and across the Nevada plains and desert to join with Union
Pacific at Promontory Summit, Utah, would have taken much longer were it
not for the Chinese laborers who played such a significant role in building
the railroad. Charles W. Crocker 覧 known as the organizer, construction
genius, and leader of men among the Central Pacific's Big Four 謡as the
man responsible for recruiting the Chinese, first in California, and later
in Canton Province and bringing them to California.
<p>Due to a shortage of money, Central Pacific was able to field only three
hundred workers during the extremely mild Sierra winter of 1864 compared
with the twelve thousand they would have on the payroll two years later[1]
But on January 2, the California Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutionality
of the state legislature's act providing for payment by California of interest
on $1.5 million in bonds for the hard-pressed Central Pacific at the rate
of seven per cent. This made the bonds immediately salable and gave the
railroad instant relief from long and agonizing financial strain.
<br><font size=-2>[1] Erle Heath, "From Trail to Rail," <i>Southern Pacific
Bulletin</i>, XV (1927), Chap. XV, p. 12.</font>
<p>Four days later, the Sacramento Union carried a Central Pacific advertisement
calling for "5,000 laborers for constant and permanent work; also experienced
foremen." Construction, long halted at Newcastle, California, was speeded
immediately. Apparently the need for labor was unduly advertised, for the
Shasta Courier carried this advertisement on January 2.
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>The Central Pacific Railroad Company advertises
for 5,000 laborers to work upon the road between Newcastle and Illinoistown
[Colfax]. It is the intention of the company to employ at once as many
men as can be advantageously worked on the distance between these points
覧 23 miles. The iron for laying this additional amount of track is already
in Sacramento and it is expected that the cars will run to Illinoistown
by August next. The above opportunity affords a chance for those out of
employment.</font></b></blockquote>
Base camp for Superintendent J. H. Strobridge's construction crews was
in Auburn. New men were hired as a result of the fresh money in the treasury
and were put to work completing the unfinished grading of the twelve miles
between Newcastle and Clipper Gap.
<p>It was after passing Auburn early that year that the first Chinese were
employed apparently because Central Pacific was unable to fill its ranks.
The first indication of this appears in a letter written April 12, 1865,
by Central Pacific's legal counsel judge E. B. Crocker to his longtime
friend Cornelius Cole, who was retiring as a California congressman and
returning to his home.
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>Friend Cole,. . . We have now about 2000 men
at work with about 300 wagons and carts and I can assure you they are moving
the earth and rock rapidly. We are now on some of the heaviest work in
the mountains, but so far we have been fortunate in meeting very little
hard rock. You will be astonished when you come back and see the amount
of work we have done.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>A large part of our force are Chinese, and they prove
nearly equal to white men, in the amount of labor they perform, and are
far more reliable. No danger of strikes among them. We are training them
to all kinds of labor, blasting, driving horses, handling rock, as well
as the pick and shovel.... We want to get a body of 2500 trained laborers,
and keep them steadily at work until the road is built clear across the
continent, or until we meet them coming from the other side. . . . [2]</font></b></blockquote>
<font size=-2>[2]  Catherine Coffin Phillips, Cornelius Cole, California
Pioneer and United States Senator ... (San Francisco, 1929), 138.</font>
<p>Charles Crocker, who conceived the plan of employing the Chinese, was
opposed by Strobridge, who gave in only after a series of trials demonstrated
the worth of the Celestial worker. Crocker insisted that the race that
built the Great Wall of China could certainly be useful in building a railroad,
countering Strobridge's claim that they were "not masons."[3]  Strobridge
finally agreed to try fifty Chinese. They did so well, he agreed to fifty
more 覧 and before the road was finished, there were about twelve thousand
on the payroll. As the Chinese increased their numbers and their skills,
the ascent of the railroad toward the summit also increased in speed, despite
ever increasing difficulties.[4]
<br><font size=-2>[3] Edwin L. Sabin, Building the Pacific Railway ...
(Philadelphia, 1919), 125.</font>
<br><font size=-2>[4]Heath, "Trail to Rail," S.P.B., XV, Chap. XV, p. 12.</font>
<p>Shovel and pick and black powder were the only aids to grading, and
horsepower meant horses pulling small carts. Speedy construction under
such conditions required employment of many men 覧 and nothing was scarcer
in California than labor in 1865. Such Caucasians as were not employed
on ventures of their own found it more profitable to work in the mines
or follow agricultural pursuits than to face the hardships of hand-carving
a railroad right-of-way up the steep slopes and through the granite spires
of the Sierra. At the same time, there were many thousands of Chinese in
California. Drawn here by gold fever, they were eager for employment.[5]
<br><font size=-2>[5] <i>Ibid.</i></font>
<p>S. S. Montague, in his annual report of 1865, said
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>It became apparent early in the season that
the amount of labor likely to be required during the summer could only
be supplied by employment of the Chinese element in our population. Some
distrust was at first felt regarding capacity of this class for the services
required, but the experiment has proved eminently successful. They are
faithful and industrious and, under proper supervision, soon become skillful
in the performance of their duty. Many of them are becoming very expert
in drilling, blasting and other departments of rock work.[6]</font></b></blockquote>
<font size=-2>[6] <i>Ibid.</i> An original copy of this report is in the
California State Library, Sacramento.</font>
<p>The Chinese on the Central Pacific were divided into small groups. Each
group had a cook who not only prepared their meals, but also kept a large
boiler of hot water ready every night so that when the Chinese came off
the road they could fill their tubs made from powder kegs and take a hot
sponge bath. This bath and change of clothes were regular habits every
night before they took their evening meal. Strobridge, who earlier opposed
employing the Chinese, pronounced them the best in the world. "They learn
quickly, do not fight, have no strikes that amount to anything, and are
very cleanly in their habits. They will gamble, and do quarrel among themselves
most noisily 覧 but harmlessly."[7]
<br><font size=-2>[7] Heath, "Trail to Rail," S.P.B., XV, Chap. XV, p.
12. See also John Debo Galloway, <i>The First Transcontinental Railroad:
Central Pacific, Union Pacific</i> (New York, 1950), 144, and Robert F.
G. Spier, "Food Habits of Nineteenth Century California Chinese," <i>California
Historical Society Quarterly</i>, XXXVII (No. 1 and 2, 1958), 79-84, 129-36.</font>
<p>Leland H. Stanford, in a report to Andrew Johnson, had this to say about
the Chinese on October 10, 1865:
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>As a class they are quiet, peaceable, patient,
industrious and economical. Ready and apt to learn all the different kinds
of work required in railroad building, they soon become as efficient as
white laborers. More prudent and economical, they are contented with less
wages. We find them organized into societies for mutual aid and assistance.
These societies can count their numbers by thousands, are conducted by
shrewd, intelligent business men who promptly advise their subordinates
where employment can be found on most favorable terms. No system similar
to slavery, serfdom or peonage prevails among these laborers. Their wages,
which are always paid in coin each month, are divided among them by their
agents who attend to their business according to the labor done by each
person. These agents are generally American or Chinese merchants who furnish
them their supplies of food, the value of which they deduct from their
monthly pay.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>We have assurance from leading Chinese merchants that,
under the just and liberal policy pursued by the company, it will be able
to procure during the next year not less than 15,000 laborers. With this
large force the company will be able to push on the work so as not only
to complete it far within the time required by the Acts of Congress but
so as to meet the public impatience.[8]</font></b></blockquote>
<font size=-2>[8] Heath, "Trail to Rail," S.P.B., XV, Chap. XV, p. 12.</font>
<p>The difference in the eating and drinking habits of the Chinese and
white workers building the Central Pacific was as great as their other
living habits. The Chinese menu included dried oysters, abalone, cuttlefish,
bamboo sprouts, mushrooms, five kinds of vegetables, pork, poultry, vermicelli,
rice, salted cabbage, dried seaweed, sweet rice crackers, sugar, four kinds
of dried fruit, Chinese bacon, peanut oil, and tea. Seemingly, this was
the forerunner of the modem American well-balanced diet. The fare of the
Caucasian laborer consisted of beef, beans, bread, butter, and potatoes.
<p>On the grade the Caucasians relieved their thirst with water 覧 not
always the best and at times, despite all precautions, a source of illness.
The Chinese drank luke-warm tea. It stood beside the grade in thirty and
forty-gallon whiskey barrels, always on tap. Several times daily a Chinese
mess attendant brought fresh tea, pouring it into the big barrel. These
beverage reinforcements were carried to the work site in powder kegs suspended
from each end of a bamboo pole which was balanced on a Celestial shoulder.[9]
<br><font size=-2>[9] <i>Ibid</i>. and Spier, "Food Habits of the Chinese,"
C.H.S.Q., XXXVII, 78, 80, 83, 130.</font>
<p>On October 10, 1865, Governor Stanford again wrote President Andrew
Johnson and Secretary of Interior James Haran:
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>A call was issued for 5,000 laborers and from
that day to the present, every able-bodied laborer that could be procured
has been employed and kept constantly at work in the construction of the
road.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>Labor is, however, scarce and dear in this state. For
several months the number procured was comparatively small, but recently
they have increased more rapidly, until now, 5,000 men are employed, with
over 6,000 teams and the prospect is that the number of laborers will be
increased to 6,000 during this season.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>A large majority of the white laboring class on the
Pacific Coast find more profitable and congenial employment in mining and
agricultural pursuits, than in railroad work. The greater portion of the
laborers employed by us are Chinese who constitute a large element in the
population of California. Without them it would be impossible to complete
the western portion of this great national enterprise within the time required
by the Acts of Congress.</font></b></blockquote>
Governor Stanford held the Chinese workers in such high esteem that he
provided in his will for the permanent employment of a large number. Some
of these were still living and working lands now owned by Stanford University
in the 1930's. [10]
<br><font size=-2>[10] Heath, "Trail to Rail," S.P.B., XV, Chap. XV, p.
12.</font>
<p>Building the Central Pacific road over and through the granite walls
of the Sierra Nevada was done literally by hand. Chinese were <a href="Chinese.html#baskets">lowered
in baskets</a> over cliffs two thousand feet above the base of the American
River Canyon to chisel a roadway through the granite reaches and occasional
shale deposits for the iron rails.[11]  It is easy to understand why
Central Pacific's Chinese became known as "Crocker's Pets," when you consider
their industriousness and steadiness.[12]
<br><font size=-2>[11] <i>Ibid.</i>, Chap. XVI, p. 12.</font>
<br><font size=-2>[12] Sabin, <i>Building the Pacific Railway</i>, 112.</font>
<p>Central Pacific and its Chinese laborers met the biggest problem in
the fight to cross the Sierra after the line was opened to Cisco. This
problem was the summit tunnels-eleven of them numbered three to thirteen
within a twenty-mile stretch between Cisco, located at Mile Post 92 (from
Sacramento), and Lake Ridge at Mile Post 112 just west of Cold Stream Valley
on the eastern slope of the summit. These tunnels were bored while the
mountain slopes were covered with as much as thirty feet of snow.
<p>Civil Engineer John R. Gillis, who worked on these tunnels, told the
American Society of Civil Engineers, which recently declared the Central
Pacific a National Civil Engineering Landmark, that
<blockquote><b><font size=-1> During the fall of 1866, the track reached
Cisco, and as fast as the gangs of Chinamen were released, they were hurried
to the Summit to be distributed among the tunnels in its vicinity. The
year before [in August, 1865] some gangs had been sent to Summit Tunnel
No. 6, and commenced the cuts at its extremities; winter set in before
the headings were started, and the work had to be abandoned. To avoid a
repetition of such delay, the approaches to all the tunnels were covered
with men ... [who] worked day and night in three shifts of eight hours
each. Thus, time was saved, and the tunnel organization started at once.
As an illustration of the hurry, I may mention walking two miles over the
hills after dark and staking out the east end of Tunnel 12 by the light
of a bonfire. At nine o'clock the men were at work. . . .  [13]</font></b></blockquote>
<font size=-2>[13]  J. G. Gillis Speech Before the American Society
of Civil Engineers, January 5, 1870 (typescript, Southern Pacific Company
Archives, San Francisco), 10.</font>
<p>Gillis went on to describe the weather problem at the summit and said
that "At Tunnel 10, some 15 or 20 Chinese were killed by a slide" that
winter. The year before, in the winter of 1864-65, two wagon road repairers
had been buried and killed by a slide at the same location.[14]
<br><font size=-2>[14]  Ibid., 6. Also, Galloway, <i>First Transcontinental
Railroad</i>, 149.</font>
<p>J. O. Wilder, for many years a Central Pacific-Southern Pacific employee,
in an interview with the late Erle Heath, one-time Southern Pacific historian,
said:
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>The Chinese were as steady, hard-working a
set of men as could be found. With the exception of a few whites at the
west end of Tunnel No. 6, the laboring force was entirely composed of Chinamen
with white foremen. A single foreman with a gang of 30 to 40 men generally
constituted the force at work at each end of a tunnel; of these, 12 to
15 worked on the heading, and the rest on the bottom removing material.
When a gang was small or the men needed elsewhere, the bottoms were worked
with fewer men or stoped so as to keep the headings going.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>The Chinese were paid $30 to $35 in gold a month, finding
[maintaining] themselves, while the whites were paid about the same with
their board thrown in .... [15]</font></b></blockquote>
<font size=-2>[15]  Erle Heath, editor of the <i>Southern Pacific
Bulletin</i>, conducted question and answer interviews with various persons
who had worked on the construction of the Central Pacific. Copies of these
interviews are on file in the archives of the Southern Pacific Company
in San Francisco.</font>
<p>Wilder said that nine-tenths of the force on the road were Chinese.
Using black powder, the Chinese averaged an advance of 1. 18 feet daily.
The first train arrived at Summit Station[16] from Sacramento November
30, 1867. The summit tunnels had been completed in August of that year
and the thousands of workers, mostly Chinese, were turned loose to build
the line that had been graded previously to the Nevada State line. Now
the job of hauling locomotives, cars, and iron over the summit for the
forty miles of roadbed awaiting the rails began.
<br><font size=-2>[16]There is no longer a station by that name, although
at one time trains did stop at Summit.</font>
<p>A. P. Partridge, who also aided in construction, told of the conditions
under which the railroad gangs worked in the winter of 1866. He told Heath
that the snows came early that year
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>and drove the crews out of the mountains.
There were about 4,000 men ... 3,000 of them Chinese. Most ... came to
Truckee and filled up all the old buildings and sheds. An old barn collapsed
and killed four Chinese. A good many were frozen to death. [17]</font></b></blockquote>
<font size=-2>[17] Heath, Interviews.</font>
<p>A construction report by Strobridge indicated crews, that winter, were
at work many miles ahead of the line.
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>It was necessary to have the heavy work in
Palisade Canyon done in advance of the main force, and 3,000 men with 400
horses and carts were sent to that point, a distance of 300 miles in advance
of the track. Hay grain and all supplies for the men and horses had to
be hauled by teams over the deserts for that great distance. Water for
men and animals was hauled at times 40 miles.[18]</font></b></blockquote>
<font size=-2>[18] Heath, "Trail to Rail," <i>S.P.B.</i>, XV, Chap. XX,
p. 9.</font>
<p>On August 1, 1867, C. P. Huntington issued a report from his New York
office as the race to meet Union Pacific gathered storm: "The company hopes
to increase its force of 10,000 men to 15,000 during the present season
when progress over the plains will be very rapid."[19]
<br><font size=-2>[19] Collis P. Huntington, <i>Railroad Communications
with the Pacific with an account of the Central Pacific Railroad of California:
The Character of the Work, its Progress, Resources, Earnings and Future
Prospects</i> (New York, 1867). A copy of this pamphlet is in the archives
of the Southern Pacific Company in San Francisco.</font>
<p>Charles Crocker announced as a New Year's resolution "a mile a day for
every working day in 1868." Apparently, the other associates were of the
same mind as on January 26, 1868, Collis P. Huntington wrote to Crocker,
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>I consider it of the most vital importance
that we build to the Wasatch Mountains.... I would build the road in the
cheapest possible manner then go back and improve it at once, because the
Union Pacific have built the cheapest kind of road.</font></b></blockquote>
On June 20, 1868, the Alta California of San Francisco carried a story
on the first trip between Sacramento and Reno. The reporter who told the
story mentioned that below Cisco "Chinamen are swarming all along the road.
They have nearly finished their work in this vicinity and are packing their
traps preparatory to passing on over the Summit into the great interior
basin . . . ."
<p>He continued his story:
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>As the first through passenger train sweeps
down the eastern slopes of the Sierras, John [meaning the Chinese laborers]
comprehending fully the importance of the event, loses his natural appearance
of stolidity and indifference and welcomes with the swinging of his broad-brimmed
hat and loud, uncouth shouts the iron horse and those that he brings with
him.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>John with his patient toil, directed by American energy
and backed by American capital, has broken down the great barrier at last
and opened over it the greatest highway yet created for the march of commerce
and civilization around the globe ....</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>Central Pacific found it desirable to increase grading
forces considerably, so they brought several hundred Chinamen direct from
China and organized them into construction gangs. The Piute Indians got
among these Chinese and told them some big stories about enormous snakes
out on that desert large enough that they could swallow a Chinaman easily
... four or five hundred took their belongings and struck out to return
directly to Sacramento. Crocker & Co. had spent quite a little money
to secure them and they sent men on horseback after them .... Most of them
came back again, kind of quieted down, and after nothing happened and they
never saw any of the snakes, they forgot about them.</font></b></blockquote>
Despite such diversions, progress was swift. The <i>Alta California</i>
Pictured the pace of Central Pacific construction:
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>Camp equipage, work shops, boarding house,
offices and in fact the big settlement literally took up its bed and walked.
The place that knew it in the morning knew it no more at night. It was
nearly 10 miles off and where was a busy town of 5,000 inhabitants in the
morning, was a deserted village site at night, while a smooth, well-built,
compact road bed for traveling stretched from the morning site to evening
tarrying place .[20]</font></b></blockquote>
<font size=-2>[20]  <i>Alta California</i> (San Francisco), June 20,
1868.</font>
<p><a name="Indian_workers"></a>Caxton, pen name for <i>San Francisco Chronicle</i> correspondent W.
H. Rhodes, along on an inspection trip by railroad commissioners early
in September 1868, wrote:
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>... we were informed by Mr. Crocker ... he
had just placed upon the work all the Indian tribes living in the great
basin of the Humboldt, consisting chiefly of the Pah-Utahs, Cowchillas
and Washoes. I asked him how many men he had at work? He replied that it
was impossible to tell as no list of <a href="#China_Labour">names</a> was kept and the men worked
by the squad and not as individuals. In explanation, he added that Indians
and Chinese were so much alike personally that no human being could tell
them apart and, therefore, for fear of paying double wages, he devised
the scheme of employing, working and paying them by the wholesale. Thus,
every morning a count is made of those who go to work, a second of those
who eat and a third of those who quit at night. In this way, lengthy bookkeeping
is avoided, time is saved and cheating prevented. At the present time,
there are about 10,000 Chinese, 1,000 whites and "any number" of Indians
employed on the road . . . . [21]</font></b></blockquote>
<font size=-2>[21]  <i>San Francisco Chronicle</i>, September 10,
1868.</font>
<p>At the end of track, 307 miles from Sacramento between Mill City and
Winnemucca, the train trip ended. Caxton reported
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>Here we found a very large number of men at
work 覧 principally Chinese 覧 laying the track.... A horse was furnished
me by Gen. Crocker and I rode on a gallop to the front. The grading is
completed several hundred miles in advance of the track laying, so there
is no delay in placing the rails.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>It would be impossible to describe how rapidly, orderly
and perfectly this is done without seeing the operation itself. There are
just as many employed as can conveniently work, and no more. Vehicles laden
with ties are always in advance, and Chinese with guage and leveling rod
place them across the grade, almost as quick as thought. The car with the
rails is brought up at a gallop and six white men 覧 three at each rail
覧 roll the iron off the car and drop it upon the track with the velocity
of steam. The empty car is lifted off the track, and then one fully loaded
is drawn to the front, and the same operation repeated ad infinitum.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>I found it was no joke ... [when] Gen. Crocker ...
[said] it would be no easy task to overtake the end of the road. Taking
out my watch, I timed the last half mile I saw laid, and it took a little
less than 28 minutes . . . . [22]</font></b></blockquote>
<font size=-2>[22]  <i>Ibid</i>.</font>
<p>On November 9, 1868, the <i>Alta California</i> further pictured the
Chinese forces in action at the rail end:
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>Long lines of horses, mules and wagons are
standing in the open desert near the camp train. The stock is getting its
breakfast of hay and barley. Trains are shunting in from the west with
supplies and materials for the day's work. Foremen are galloping here and
there on horseback giving or receiving orders. Swarms of laborers, Chinese,
Europeans and Americans, are hurrying to their work.... By the side of
the grade smokes the camp fires of the blue clad laborers who could be
seen in groups waiting for the signal to start work. These are the Chinese,
and the job of this particular contingent is to clear a level roadbed for
the track. They are the vanguard of the construction forces. Miles back
is the camp of the rear guard 覧 the Chinese who follow the track gang,
ballasting and finishing the roadbed.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>Systematic workers these Chinese 覧 competent and wonderfully
effective because tireless and unremitting in their industry....</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>The Chinese board themselves. One of their number is
selected in each gang to receive all wages and buy all provisions. They
usually pay an American clerk 覧 $1 a month apiece is usual 覧 to see that
each gets all he earned and is charged no more than his share of the living
expenses. They are paid from $30 to $35 a month, out of which they board
themselves. They are credited with having saved about $20 a month. Their
workday is from sunrise to sunset, six days in the week. They spend Sunday
washing and mending, gambling and smoking, and frequently, old timers will
testify, in shrill-toned quarreling.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>At sunrise a signal to turn to is given from the camp
train. What at first seemed confusion to the visitor soon is the aim of
this third gang to keep pace with the rail gang. At times lack of wagons
make it impossible to keep up the supply of poles and the telegraph gangs,
who pride themselves on never letting the track get ahead of them utilize
sage brush, barrels, ties 覧 surreptitiously taken from the track 覧 or
anything else that would keep the wire off the ground until the supply
of poles again equal the demand.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>Then comes a wagon bearing a reel of wire which unrolls
as the wagon goes ahead. As the wire uncoils it is carried upon the poles
and made fast to the insulators.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>Back of the track builders follows a gang with the
seven or more ties necessary to complete the foundation for each rail.
These are put into position and spiked by another gang, which also level
up the track and leave it ready for the ballasters.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>Meanwhile on board the camp train cooks are preparing
dinner, clerks are busy with accounts and records, and the telegraph wire
is tapping back the needs for tomorrow in the way of material and supplies.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>Twice a day the camp train moves to the end of the
track 預t noon to give all hands the hot dinner that six揺ours of labor
has earned and at night to give supper and sleeping accommodations.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>Immediately on reaching the end of the track at night
a telegraph wire is cut in from the last pole to the telegraph car and
Sacramento is notified of the number of miles of track laid.</font></b></blockquote>
The Vallejo <i>Evening Chronicle</i> of January 11, 1869, told how the
Chinese gangs were paid:
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>Sisson and Crocker Co. had an interpreter
named Sam Thayer and also a Chinese interpreter. When they came up to these
gangs of Chinamen, the money due them would be already counted out and
they would dump the money in one of the Chinese' hats for that gang with
a statement written in Chinese. There would be no time for explanations.
They had to take it whether they liked it or not. This Sam Thayer claimed
he could speak half a dozen Chinese dialects. If there were any claims
about the pay, they would take it up with the Sisson and Crocker Company
later.</font></b></blockquote>
The most intense construction took place in the early months of 1869. One
day Union Pacific's Irish "terriers" laid six miles of track. Crocker's
"pets," paced by Central Pacific's own Irish track builders, followed with
seven. This was bettered by the rival camp and brought the boast from Crocker
that his men could lay ten miles of track in a day. It is, said that his
wager of $ 10,000 was "covered" by Thomas C. Durant, vice-president of
the Union Pacific. Crocker and Strobridge made careful plans. Ties were
laid several miles in advance and materials were hauled ahead to strategic
points. On April 28, 1869, while a number of officers of both companies,
including General G. M. Dodge chief engineer of the Union Pacific, several
newspaper correspondents, and workers from the rival camp looked on, the
Central Pacific forces, working with military precision and organization,
laid ten miles and fifty-six feet of track in a little less than twelve
hours, a feat that has never been equaled. This day's performance brought
the Central Pacific railhead past Camp Victory, later Rozel, a few miles
from Promontory and completion of the Central Pacific.[23]
<br><font size=-2>[23]  Heath, "Trail to Rail," <i>S.P.B.</i>, XV,
Chap. XXII, p. 11.</font>
<p>Although many claims have been made about the Central Pacific and Union
Pacific powder crews blowing up each others forces as the grades began
to parallel in Utah, such activity has not been substantiated by any contemporary
account.
<p>The Salt Lake City <i>Deseret Evening News</i> of March 25, 1869, reported
that
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>Sharp and Young's blasters are jarring the
earth every few minutes with their glycerine and powder, lifting whole
ledges of limestone rock from their long resting places, hurling them hundreds
of feet in the air and scattering them around for a half mile in every
direction. Mr. T. E. Ticks showed me a boulder of three or four hundred
pounds weight that was thrown over a half mile and completely buried itself
in the ground within twenty yards of his cook room. I ate a hearty breakfast
and left that spot sine dine. At Carlisle's works a few days ago, four
men were preparing a blast by filling a large crevice in a ledge with powder.
After pouring in the powder they undertook to work it down with iron bars,
the bars striking the rocks caused an explosion; one of the men was blown
two or three hundred feet in the air, breaking every bone in his body,
the other three were terribly burnt and wounded with flying stones ....</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>From what I can observe and hear from others, there
is considerable opposition between the two railroad companies, both lines
run near each other, so near that in one place the UP are taking a four
feet cut out of the CP fill to finish their grade, leaving the CP to fill
the cut thus made in the formation of their grade.</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>The two companies' blasters work very near each other
and when Sharp & Young's men first began work, the CP would give them
no warning when they fired their fuse. Jim Livingston, Sharp's able foreman,
said nothing but went to work and loaded a point of rock with nitro-glycerine,
and without saying anything to the CP "let her rip." The explosion was
terrific. The report was heard on the Dry Tortugas, and the foreman of
the CP came down to confer with Mr. Livingston about the necessity of each
party notifying the other when ready for a blast. The matter was speedily
arranged to the satisfaction of both parties.</font></b></blockquote>
Nothing was mentioned of any injury or death resulting from actions of
the other road, however.
<p>On May 6, the San Francisco <i>Evening Bulletin</i> reported a Chinese
Tong war:
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>A battle has occurred between two rival companies
of Chinamen, several hundred in number, laborers of the See Yup and Teng
Wo Companies. They have been idle at [Camp] Victory, eight miles from here,
for a number of days past. The row occurred about $15 due from one camp
to the other. After the usual braggadocio, both parties sailed in, at a
given signal, armed with every conceivable weapon. Spades were handled
and crowbars, spikes, picks and infernal machines were hurled between the
rank of the contestants. Several shots were fired and everything betokened
the outbreak of a riot. At this juncture, Superintendent Strobridge, with
several of his men, rushed into the melee and, with the assistance of the
leading "Chinamen," who were more peaceably disposed, he succeeded in separating
the combatants and restoring order ....</font></b>
<p><b><font size=-1>The casualties include the shooting, fatally, it is
supposed of a Chinaman. The ball penetrated his left side, tearing the
flesh and inflicting a very ugly wound. If this man dies, another encounter
will certainly follow and much bloodshed will doubtless ensue. Dr. Blackwood
has rendered surgical attendance to the wounded man.</font></b></blockquote>
Further fighting was apparently avoided since no other mention appeared
in the newspaper.
<p>On May 8, a dispatch to the San Francisco Evening Bulletin reported
that
<blockquote><b><font size=-1>A large gang of graders attached to the Union
Pacific road, made their appearance here today, announcing their intention
to "clean out" the Chinese who had an encounter here yesterday.... Though
much bluster and menacing language was indulged, still no positive demonstration
has yet been made.... At all events, no collision can occur today and steps
will be taken to prevent such altogether.</font></b></blockquote>
<p>"Crocker's Pets," who had made the road possible, almost disrupted the
  final events that were to celebrate their labor. On the way to Promontory,
  the Stanford special narrowly escaped catastrophy. Chinese, cutting timber
  on the mountains above the entrance to Tunnel No. 14 near the state line
  cast of Truckee, saw the regular train pass. Unaware of the following special,
  they carelessly skidded a log down upon the track below. The log, fifty
  feet long by forty-two inches in circumference, landed in a cut with one
  end
  against the bank and the other on a rail. The engineer, rounding a curve
  there, braked his train but it struck the log, crippling the engine. A
  guest, riding on the cowcatcher, was injured. The log scraped all along
  one side of the car, taking the steps with it. A wire was sent ahead from
  the next station in time to hold the train at Wadsworth until the Stanford
  coach could be attached. Thus, the Chinese were responsible for the use
  of the Central Pacific locomotive "Jupiter" at the ceremonies, rather than
  the "Antelope" which had started to make the trip. </p>
<p align="center"><a name="1919"></a><img src="images/I_ACCEPT_the_User_Agreement/photographs/Chinese_1919_NPS.jpg" alt="Ogden May 10th, 1919. Courtesy National Park Service." name="" width="287" height="367" hspace="5" vspace="5" border="1" align="top"><br>
  <strong><font size="-1">"Golden Spike 50th Anniversary Celebration" Float May
  10th, 1919, Ogden, Utah.<br>
Ging Cui, Wong Fook, Lee Shao
three
of the eight Chinese men who<br>
brought up the last rail fifty years earlier stand on the float.</font></strong><br>
<font size="-2"><em>Courtesy National Park Service.</em></font></p>
<p>The famous Gold Spike ceremony that united the Central Pacific and Union
Pacific railroads at Promontory took place only a few days later, on May
10, 1869. With the completion of the Central Pacific, many Chinese workers
moved to other railroad construction jobs, including some for the Central
Pacific. Others returned with their savings to their families in Canton.
Others still sent to China for wives and settled in various western communities
as laundrymen and restaurateurs. The majority who remained, however, returned
to the Pacific Coast.
<p><font size=-1>[Accompanying illustrations not yet available.]</font>
<br>
<hr><hr>
<p align="center"><font color="#CC0000" size="+3"><strong> <a name="China_Labour"></a>"China
      Labour" – CPRR Payroll,
    March, 1865. <font size="-1">(Enlarged below)</font></strong></font><img src="images/I_ACCEPT_the_User_Agreement/ephemera/China_Labour_3-1865_GJG.gif" alt="China Labour, CPRR Payroll, March, 1865" name="" width="100%" hspace="5" vspace="5" border="1"><br>
  "China Labour  C. P. R. R. PAY ROLL, NO. 102, for month of March 1865, Received
  from C. CROCKER, Contractor, Central Pacific Railroad Company, the Sums set
  opposite our respective names, for services performed, during the month of
  March 1865"<br>
  <strong><font size="+1"><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20080312231636/http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/view-item?item=3796&60195813-25974aaa" target="_blank">Early
  Payroll</a> showing Chinese Workers on the Central
  Pacific Railroad. Note the signature in Chinese.</font> <font size="-2"><em>Courtesy
  G.J. "Chris" Graves.</em></font></strong><br>
<img src="images/I_ACCEPT_the_User_Agreement/ephemera/China_Labour_3-1865_GJG.gif" alt="China Labour, CPRR Payroll, March, 1865" name="" width="2926" height="4456" hspace="5" vspace="5" border="1">
<p>William F. Chew, grandson of
                Chew Wing Qui, a worker of the CPRR and whose maternal grandfather,
                Woo Sing Jung, was a worker on the Southern Pacific Railroad,
                has studied the <a href="http://dynaweb.oac.cdlib.org/dynaweb/ead/csrml/csrm79" target="_blank">CPRR
  payroll records at the California State Railroad Museum</a>  dating from 1864
  to 1867 and written a book, <a href="http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/view-item?item=3796&60195813-25974aaa" target="_blank"><em>Nameless
  Builders of the Transcontinental Railroad</em></a>, reporting his discovery
  that one thousand Chinese workers are named and their wages and occupations
  listed.
  He discovered
  
  Payroll
  Sheets
  No.
  26 and No. 34 dated January and February 1864, recording the first Chinese
  CPRR workers, headman Hung Wah and foreman Ah Toy (who supervised a crew of
  23).</p>
<hr>
<p><a href="http://web.stanford.edu/group/chineserailroad/cgi-bin/wordpress/researchmaterials/payroll/" target="_blank">More CPRR Payroll records</a></p>
<hr>
<p>Regarding two of the men named in the above payroll,  see: <a href="http://discussion.cprr.net/2005/03/cprr-ah-henge-jmillard.html#comments">Ah
Henge & J.Millard</a></p>
<hr>
<p><a name="Graves"></a>> Some comments and research from G.J. "Chris" Graves:</p>
<p>The 1852 California Census names Ah Toy as being 31, born in
  China, and
working for James Harvey Strobridge on his ranch in Sacramento ... in the Census,
  while living in what is now Rio Linda, on the land owned by Pitcher and
  Strobridge,  [the Chinese] were listed on the census as miners [but] no
  mines that I a know of in Rio Linda. The film is of poor quality, but Ah Toy
  is easily read. ... in February, 1864
  the Central Pacific Railroad was just going past the Strobridge farm, in Rio
Linda.   That is very near to where "The Sierras began." ... Most Chinese
noted on the 1852 Census were listed as "18 Chinese" and not by name.  In
the case of Pitcher and Strobridge, all the workers are named. ... the 18 Chinese
workers [were] employed by Stobridge on his farm and hotel in 1852 ...</p>
<p><strong><em><a name="census"></a>Eighteen Chinese and James H. Strobridge</em></strong><em> – <strong>The
    California Special Census</strong>, <strong>1852</strong></em><br>
  A brief history of James Harvey Strobridge is necessary to understand the
  following census data: Strobridge, was born in Vermont on April 23, 1827. At
  age 16 he worked for the Boston and Fitchburg Railroad in Massachusetts.  He
  sailed for California from New York on January 30, 1849, and arrived in San
  Francisco on July 8,
  1849. He joined with
  Edward M. Pitcher
  in 1850 in a gold mining venture at Coon Hollow, near Placerville.  Edward
  Pitcher was the <a href="http://genforum.genealogy.com/pitcher/messages/733.html" target="_blank">son</a> of
  the <a href="http://www.famousamericans.net/nathanielpitcher/" target="_blank">Governor
  of New York</a>, <a href="http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=P000367" target="_blank">Nathaniel
  Pitcher</a>. In 1851
  Pitcher and Strobridge obtained land for a hay farm and hotel on the Rancho
  del Paso, near what is today Rio Linda.  (I spent many hours, years
  ago, walking around the area identified as the farm and hotel operation,
  nothing of their occupation remains.  ... the Rio Linda School District, in
  days past, needed a bus barn, and seeing some vacant land nearby, paved over
  the
  lot, and built the bus barn. Edward M. Pitcher, partner of J. H. Strobridge,
  and son of the Governor of New York, happened to have the poor luck to be buried
  in Rio Linda.
You guessed it. Mr. Pitcher is under the Rio Linda School bus barn, along with
7 other unfortunates. His children and grand children and great grand children
are buried in Sylvan Cemetery, in Citrus Heights. His great great grand son
lives in Sacramento, with some furnishings that belonged to Edward M. Pitcher
still in family use.) In August, 1852, a special census was done for the new
State of California, on which is noted Mr. Pitcher, his wife
  and children, James H. Strobridge,
  and 18 <a href="http://www.historichwy49.com/ethnic/chinese.html" target="_blank">Chinese</a> workers, all at the same address. (Please realize that I am
  working from a badly copied census record – kindly do not hold me responsible
  for incorrect
  spellings!) The following is a listing of the Chinese workers, and their ages.  All
  of them are listed as <em>miners</em>, although there are no mines in or near
  Rio Linda.  It
  would be my <em>guess</em> that they worked for Pitcher and Strobridge in Coon
  Hollow, and then, at the time of the census, transferred their homes to the
  Pitcher/Strobridge
property. ... it has been a difficult
  thing to find these names, as the 1852 index was done by the <a href="http://library.dar.org/TLCScripts/interpac.dll?Browse&Direction=0&SearchData=CALIFORNIA%2BCENSUS%2B1852&NotAddToHistory=1&FormId=-392&LimitsId=0&SearchField=4&SearchType=3&ItemsPerPage=10&Config=PAC&Branch=,0," target="_blank">DAR</a>, and page
  numbers
  do not collate with the actual census.  A search had to be done, page
by page, name by name ... It was a long <em>four</em> days.</p>
<blockquote>
  <p><strong><a href="http://www.library.ca.gov/html/genealogy.cfm#B" target="_blank">California
        Special 1852 Census</a>, page 194:</strong><br>
    1. Ah Sing 37<br>
    2. Peter 31<br>
    3. Ah Chinn 33<br>
    4. A.  Zee 31<br>
    5. Ah Poo 41<br>
    6. Sty Hair 39  (this name is nearly illegible, spelling
    most likely is incorrect ... )<br>
    7. Ah Toy 31  (this name is repeated on the
    CPRR payroll file)<br>
    8. Accony 20<br>
    9. Ah Sing 24<br>
    10. Accut 36  (this may be spelled Accup)<br>
    11. Ah  Fropp--- 30<br>
    12. Ah Poot  41<br>
    13. Acchung 21<br>
    14. A. Uog 33<br>
    15. A. Mung 30<br>
    16. A. Much 30<br>
    17. Ah Fines 32<br>
    18. Ah Tu--- 39<br>
  Next named are Pitcher and Strobridge</p>
  <p align="center"><img src="images/I_ACCEPT_the_User_Agreement/ephemera/Census_1852.jpg" alt="1852 California Census, page 194" name="" width="496" height="1367" hspace="5" vspace="5" border="1"><br>
    <font size="-1"><strong>Page 194 of the California 1852 census, that shows the <br>
    18 Chinese workers on
    the farm of Strobridge and Pitcher. <br>
    (Ah Toy, Strobridge, and Pitcher are 'starred')</strong></font><br>
	<font size="-2"><em>Courtesy G.J. "Chris" Graves and Carol Graves.</em></font></p>
</blockquote>
<p>The report by Chief Engineer Montague,
  dated November 25, 1865, says that the total number of workers at work on January
  1, 1865,
  as
  graders
  was
  300.  That
  number increased to 1,200 by April 1, 1865, to 2,000 by June 1, and to 4,000
  by the end of July, most of whom were Chinese and "who, under proper supervision,
  soon became skillful in the performance of their duties, and even expert in
  drilling, blasting and other departments of rock work.  That while at
  <em>first there had been some distrust felt as to their capacity, this no longer
existed</em>." <font size="-3">[emphasis added]</font></p>
<p>The <em>Alta Californian</em> of November 9, 1868 has a long article about
  end of track. "These
  Chinese work on a thorough system, keeping things moving in perfect order.
  Each division is in charge of an American foreman, who keeps the time book
  for each gang under him.  These gangs, consisting of about 30 men ... " and "away
  back behind the track gang and the camp train comes the rear guard ... ballast
and finish the roadbed ... these are also Chinese."</p>
<p>Bloomer Cut work started – <em>Placer
  Herald</em>, Feb. 27, 1864: "On last Monday
  work was commenced by the contractor, with a force of some thirty men, on the
  deep through cut on the Pacific Railroad, one mile south-west of Auburn. The
point is known as Bloomer Gap ... "</p>
<p>Bloomer Cut accident – <em>Placer Herald</em>,
  April 16, 1864: "Horrible accident – Yesterday
  on the deep cut of the of the Pacific 
  Railroad, near town, some of the workmen under the superintendence of Mr. 
  Trowbridge [sic] attempted to set off a blast containing about 50 pounds of
   powder. From some cause it failed, when Mr. T. [sic], and two of the hands,
  – a Portugese and a Frenchman – commenced using a crowbar or drill upon the
  hole, when the blast went off suddenly, mutilating them in a horrible manner,
  
  especially the Portugese who is not expected to recover; but Mr. Trobridge
   [sic] will, with probably the loss of his left eye. The Frenchman was cut
  
  in the chin and his lip slit; he was less hurt than the other two."</p>
<p>Bloomer Cut
  workers – <em>Placer Herald</em>, July 30, 1864: The number of workmen at
  Bloomer Hill "does not exceed 40 ... men ... now at work on the road ...
does not exceed 60." ... Bloomer is only 800 feet or so long.  ...
Having spent time in the Cut, I would agree that 40 would be max, assuming each
man
had a shovel, and every 4 or 5 a wheelbarrow. ...</p>
<p>Bloomer Cut completed – Montague's November, 1864 report
  says: "The cut through
Bloomer Divide, which is the heaviest ... is now fully completed."</p>
<p>May 6, 1865:  Serious Blasting Accident – On Tues. evening last, the hands
working on the Pacific Railroad, in a deep cut below the station, put in a
blast, containing just over a keg of powder, but from some cause it would
not explode.  On Wednesday morning the foreman suggested that a new hole be
drilled but Patrick Maginn and Joseph Good, who had charge of the blasting,
thought the rock was seamy and that the powder had gone into the seams so
far it would prove a dangerous operation, and that it would be safer to pour
water into the old hole and extract the powder.  Accordingly they went to
work at it and succeded in getting out considerable powder, when Maginn put
down his drill into the hole causing an immediate explosion of the balance
of  the powder.  He was badly cut and bruised in both hands, breast, neck
and face.  Fortunataely he had no limbs broken, nor were his eyes injured.
In time he will recover; Good is only injured in the face – more particularly
about the eyes, but it is not yet known whether he will lose his eyesight or
not. Both men have families residing in Grass Valley.
The Foreman was on the opposite side of the cut at the time, and was lifted
up several feet by the explosion, falling upon the edge of the bank.  When
he came to himself he was just balancing on the edge of the brink.
Had the blast been exploded it would have killed 15 or 20 men.</p>
<p>Congressional testimony says that first
  Chinese were hired between
Auburn and Clipper Gap, March 1865.</p>
<p><em>Owyhee Avalance</em>, May 26, 1866, page 3: "Fifty Chinese were on their way
to Idaho City and all but one were murdered by brutal Indians on the 21st.</p>
<p><em>Los Angeles Times</em>, June 18, 1972: " ... Tuscarora was the largest Chinese
  community in ... [Nevada] history ... When the Central Pacific was pushed through
  to Promontory ... 12,000 Chinese laborers were suddenly without work ... a
  third of the labor force wandered into Tuscarora, 52 miles northwest of Elko,
  and stayed on. 4,000 out of work railroad laborers became Tuscarora miners.
  ... Many of the railroad workers turned miners lived out their lives in Tuscarora,
and were buried in a Chinese cemetery ... "</p>
<p>Smallpox – <em>Reese River Reveille</em>: January 8, 1869: "Rumor
  of Small pox in the Chinese quarter.  There was a rumor in the city yesterday
  afternoon that the small pox had made its appearance in the Chinese quarter
  ... There
  is no class in
  the city that would spread the fell disease so rapidly and widely as the Chinese,
for its members do the principal part of the washing for our citizens ... "</p>
<p>...
  I spent some time on the phone with Jay Thornton, of Wells, Nev. this evening
  [1/12/2005], discussing his 75 years of chasing the ghosts of the CPRR, UPRR
  and WPRR. He said that he <em>never</em> saw a grave that was Chinese on the
  old grade.  In
    fact, he said, the only grave he did see was that of an Anglo. He knows of
  one intact Chinese dugout, totally complete and untouched for 135 years.</p>
<p><strong><a href="Rebuttal_William_Chew.html"><img src="images/I_ACCEPT_the_User_Agreement/logos/alert.gif" alt="Errata" width="16" height="16" hspace="2" vspace="2" border="0" align="absmiddle" title="Errata are indicated by this warning symbol. Hover cursor over symbol for explanation, & click warning symbol for documentation." >See
William Chew's Rebuttal</a></strong></p>
<hr>
<p><a name="Died"></a><a name="died"></a>> Some further comments from G.J. "Chris" Graves:</p>
<p>... recall  ... the challenge
  presented by some historians as to the number of Chinese railroad workers that
  died during construction ofthe Transcontinental railroad, with
  the inference being Caucasian cruelty/indifference caused the 'slaughter'.
   If one were to read the papers published between 1863 and 1869, a more-than-casual
   reader will discover that 137 deaths of Chinese railroad workers were reported
   on by local newspapers. These 137 workers were just that – <a href="FAQs.html#died">workers – that
   died</a> during their period of employment. Some deaths were from disease, some
   from avalanche, some from gun shot, etc., and a few actually from accidents
   that
occured while the workers were on the job. </p>
<p>The challenge presents itself is
this: January 5, 1870, from the <em>ELKO INDEPENDENT:</em> "Six cars are strung
   along the road between here and Toano, and are being loaded with dead Celestials
   for
  transportation
  to the Flowery Kingdom. We understand the Chinese Companies pay the Railroad
  Company $10 for carrying to San Francisco each dead Chinaman. The remains
  of the the females are left to rot in shallow graves while every defunct male
  is
  carefully preserved for shipment to the Occident."
  To understand the above, you should know that the Chinese workers were largely
  pulled back at Mormon Hill (Toano, Nevada) and were replaced by Mormon workers
under contract to Brigham Young. </p>
<p>Then, on <a href="FAQs.html#died">June 30, 1870, in the <em>SACRAMENTO
  REPORTER:</em> "Bones in Transit</a>  – The accumulated bones of perhaps 1,200 Chinamen came in by the eastern train
  yesterday
  from along
  the line of the Central Pacific Railroad. The lot comprises about 20,000 pounds. Nearly
  all of them are the remains of employes of the company, who were engaged in
  building the road. The religious customs of the Celestial Empire require that,
  wherever possible, the bones of its subjects shall be interred upon its own
  soil, and
  the strictness with which this custom is observed is something remarkable."
  Well, 1200 deceased workers is a heck of a long stretch from the 137 that are
  noted in news reports of the day.</p>
<p>I can account for a few of them:
  June 2, 1866 <em>THE HUMBOLDT REGISTER:</em> "a drove of Chinamen on their
  way to Montana was attacked, just over the line, in the Queen's river country,
  and 40 are
  reported killed."</p>
<p>More: June 18, 1972, <em>THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:</em> " ... Tuscarora was the
  largest Chinese community in the State's (NEVADA) history. When the Central
  Pacific
  was pushed
  through to Promontory, Utah, in 1869, and linked with the Union Pacific to
  form the nation's first transcontinental railroad, 12,000 (sic) Chinese laborers
  were
  suddenly without work.
  Thousands of them spent weeks walking the 800 miles to San Francisco and the
  Pacific Coast.
  But a third of the abandoned labor force never made it that far. They wandered
  into Tuscarora, 52 miles Northwest of Elko, and stayed on. Four thousand out
  of work railroad laborers became Tuscarora miners ... But there's not a
  sign of a single grave (on Tuscarara Cemetery Hill) of the scores of Chinese
  who were
  once buried here.
  Every year or two, a bunch of Chinese would come back to Tuscarora to dig up
  the bones of their ancestors and ship them back to China, says Mrs. Trembath
... " </p>
<p>And, following completion of the Transcontinental, according to the July,
  1869 <em>PLACER HERALD</em> "Corinne, (Utah) June 29 Three car loads
  of Chinamen leave here July 1 to commence work on the Union Pacific Railroad. After
  this gang is distributed the China force on that road will reach from Ogden
  to Bitter
  Creek,
  a distance
  of 250 miles."
  Did any of these workers become deceased, and therefore part of the 1,200 noted
  in July, 1870?</p>
<p>Further, the January 8, 1869 <em>DAILY REVEILLE</em> of Austin, Nev. says
  "Rumor of small-pox in the Chinese Quarter – There was a rumor in the city
  yesterday
  afternoon
  that
  the smallpox had made its appearance in the Chinese quarter, north of Court
  Street and on the West side of Pine Street ... There is no class in the
  city that
  would spread the fell disease so rapidly and widely as the Chinese....Since
  writing the above the Marshall called upon and informed us ... that there
  was no smallpox
  among the inmates."</p>
<p>We know from <em>EMPIRE EXPRESS</em> and other sources that 'pest cars' were
  maintained to treat Chinese and other small pox victims in 1868/69. In fact,
  Mrs. Strobridge contracted the disease while ministering to the workers. (Mrs.
  Strobridge was the wife of James Harvey Strobridge, foreman of the work on
  the CPRR.)
  After
  struggling thru all of the above ... you will see the challenge. What
killed all those 1,200 workers? ... </p>
<hr>
<p align="center"><a href="RR_Gazetteer_1870.html"><img src="images/I_ACCEPT_the_User_Agreement/RR_Gazetteer/RR_Gazetteer_0054.jpg" alt="Advertisement in the Pacific Railroad Gazetteer, 1870." name="" width="353" height="600" border="0"></a><br>
Advertisement in the <em><a href="RR_Gazetteer_1870.html">Pacific Coast Railroad
Gazetteer</a></em>, 1870.</p>
<hr>
<p><a name="Wages"></a>The following is a transcription of CP wage information, and Chinese vs White
employment.<br>
 
<br>
Central Pacific Labor<br>
 
<br>
Testimony of J. H. Strobridge, US Pacific Railway Commission, pp<font face="Courier New, Courier, mono">.</font> 3139-41,
as printed in Stuart Daggett: <em>Chapters in the History of the Southern Pacific</em>,
p.
70n.<br>
 
<br>
<font face="Courier New, Courier, mono">Year    Chinese               Rate
of Pay      White Workers    Rate of
Pay<br>
1864    Very few              -                1,200            $30
a month<br>
1865    7,000                 $30
a month      2,500            $35
a month<br>
1866    11,000                $35
a month      2,500 - 3,000    $35
a month<br>
1867    11,000                $35
a month      2,500 – 3,000    -<br>
1868    5,000 – 6,000         -                2,500 – 3,000    -<br>
1869    5,000                 -                1,500 – 1,600    -</font><br>
Note that across Nevada the Central Pacific also employed the local Indians,
not reflected in the above chart.<br>
 
<br>
Kyle K. Wyatt<br>
Curator of History & Technology<br>
California State Railroad Museum<br>
111 "I" Street<br>
Sacramento, CA 95814<br>
My work address is: kwyatt@parks.ca.gov<br>
My personal address is: kylewyatt@aol.com</p>
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