Chinese District in Sacramento, California

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Identifier SixMoisChronological.xml
Title 1885 and 1886 : Images from Albert Tissandier's trips to North America during 1885 and 1886, in the approximate order of their creation.
Type Text
Format application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s6bk1cds
Setname uu_umfa_at
Date Created 2004-02-02
Date Modified 2006-12-07
ID 415994
Reference URL

Page Metadata

Identifier 1978_263_chinatownSac.jpg
Title Chinese District in Sacramento, California
Alternate Title Quartier Chinois à Sacramento - Californie
Creator Tissandier, Albert 1839-1906
Subject Buildings--California--Sacramento--1880-1890; Rivers--California--Sacramento--1880-1890; Neighborhoods--California--Sacramento--1880-1890; Chinese--Structures--California--Sacramento--1880-1890; Cities & towns--California--Sacramento--1880-1890; Views--1880-1890
Published Location Reproduced in the exhibition catalog, Albert Tissandier : Drawings of nature and industry in the United States, 1885, by Mary F. Francey ([Salt Lake City, UT] : Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 2001), p. 45.
Short Essay Discovery of gold in California attracted thousands of people to the West in 1849. Sacramento, one of the first major mining cities, mirrored the rapid population growth and served as a trade center for the gold mines with boat service to San Francisco. The large number of Chinese immigrants who came to California during the gold rush provided cheap labor because they willingly worked at any available job, including domestic service, laundry and labor in the mines. The living quarters of the Chinese immigrants caught Tissandier's attention during his visit to Sacramento. The cluster of small wooden structures of the Chinese community was located on the banks of the Dear River and are in sharp contrast with the substantial American buildings in the background. Either knowingly or unconsciously, Tissandier calls attention to the differences in building materials, style and location, all of which point to the alienation and lower social status of the Chinese in California. Nevertheless, the Chinese population experienced steady growth even after the initial feverish search for gold had declined and no longer attracted western prospectors. The white community resented the presence of large numbers of Chinese who were considered little more than savages or animals. Many believed that, because they worked for extremely low wages, they created unfair competition on the job market. Aware of the social and political tensions among Californians, Tissandier wrote: " ... more than 150 workers are employed in recovering the ore and extracting the gold. The owners employ a rather large number of Chinese. They have formed a little colony on the banks of the Dear River, but they are little liked by the American, to be sure. Beginning American employees earn fifteen francs a day. The Chinesse work very well and are content with half this sum." Having noted the discrimination endured by the black community in Washington, D.C., Tissandier was equally conscious of the prevailing attitudes toward the Chinese population in California.
Publisher Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Contributors Mary F. Francey
Date 1885-07-20
Type Image
Format application/pdf
Source Albert Tissandier: Drawings of Nature and Industry in the United States
Language fre
Rights Management Digital image c2001 Utah Museum of Fine Arts, University of Utah
Source Physical Dimensions 34.29 cm High x 35.56 cm Wide
Source Characteristics Graphite on paper
Light Source Kaiser Softlite ProVision 6x55W flourescent 5400K daylight
Archival Resolution TIFF: 4993 x 4223 pixels
Display Resolution JPEG: 900 x 790 pixels
Bit Depth 36-bit color
Scanning Device Leica S1 Pro scanning camera; Hasselblad CFi 50mm F/4 lens; f/11
Exhibit Catalog ISBN: 0-9657215-0-7; Library of Congress Catalog Number: 2001094211
Setname uu_umfa_at
Date Created 2004-07-08
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 415810
Reference URL