Anti-Asian boycott 1897

Few Chinese immigrants came to the United States before 1850. But after news of gold strikes in California reached China, Chinese men, eager to earn money, sailed for “Gum San,” or “Gold Mountain.” They worked building the Central Pacific Railroad, or as miners, cooks, farmers, launderers, merchants, and restaurant owners. Many white workers feared the Chinese would compete with and lower the wages of American workers. In 1898, labor unions in Butte, Montana, organized a boycott of Chinese-and Japanese-owned businesses and businesses that employed Asians. Many Chinese fled Butte, but others challenged the boycott in Federal court.