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THE PEOPLE OF CHINCH
ByS. T. Dalsheimer
0 THE student of ethnology as well
as to rue most casual observer of na
tional characteristics, that far eastern
country which is our geographical as
well as our political and social anti
pode, has ever presented a field of the
most fascinating study. This, too, even
long before the Chinese question and
its attendant train of political condi-
tions incorporated in the “Exclusion Act” became
active considerations in our national life.
To the people of the South all “exclusion acts”
based on a mere question of race, should be antag
onistic, but to those interested in the wider dissem
ination of the Christian religion and its consequent
influence for spiritual development and social civ
ilization, the Chinese question assumes a vital im
port not to the denied. At the present time, when a
body of distinguished Chiistian Missionaries are
in Washington for the purpose of presenting the
Chinese interests to the president, with a view to
the admission of Chinese students into American
institutions of learning, it is pertinent, therefore,
to give seme consideration to the
Chinese’as a People
and to the place they have won for themselves in
the civilization of the world.
Dr. Young J. Aden, the distinguished mission
ary who has spent fifty years of his life in the
Orient, and who has made a close and exhaustive
study of the Chinese, is a member of the commis
sion now in Washington, and bis word mav be re
lied on when he states that the greatest impress
made on exclusive Chinamen is that which amanates
from the American people. This fad is the more re
markable when it is taken into consideration that
China, as a nation, has existed since pre-historic
times, but so effectually have its people been hidden
in the fastnesses of their country that only the
slow passage of the ages has resulted in any sort
of amiable relation with other nations or other
All sources of information regarding the Chi
nese agTee in the fact that no distinctions can be
drawn between the ancient and modern specimens
of the race, and this fact, coupled with personal
observations of the race, strengthens the belief
that their essential characteristics, as well as their
domestic life and environment remains practically
unchanged from ancient to modern times. It is
a curious trick of Fate that in the chances and
changes of time, it has become possible to study
Native Chinaman on American Soil,
for in San Francisco, or even in New York, the
'Chinaman of Dupont or of Dover streets, is in
every respect the Chinaman of his native heath,
for he literally carries that “native heath” with
him in his travels and imports almost medieval
customs into the active life of American cities.
In San Francisco, however, this element existed
ever since the country was settled by Americans,
and even before, because its geographical position
has tempted the Chinaman in search of adventure,
or more frequently, those in search of increased op
portunities for money making, to seek the western
slope of America, and to establish himself there.
He has been an important factor, too. in the devel
opment and marvelous growth of California, but
not because he has ever, in any way, affiliated with
its commerce, its people or its customs.
It is his ability to imitate and to exactly perform
every act in which he has been instructed that the
supreme usefulness of the Chinese laborer lies.
As a truck-farmer, a domestic servant and as me
chanic, this field of usefulness in the West is
unlimited. In “Chinatown,” San Francisco, one
is impressed with the variety of callings pursued
by the native Chinaman. Not only is every pos
sible branch of Chinese trade developed, but soon
The Golden Age for March 29, 1906.
American needs and wants are met. An instance
of this is in the wonderful shops devoted to the
manufacture of underwear for women and children,
and the skill with which these dainty garments are
fashioned by alien hands.
As a shopkeeper, the manner of the Chinaman
is an unconscious travesty on that of the American
sahtirrn; ti e latter 'will l cccr'sionally dndeavor
to be personally agreeable, but the Chinaman adopts
suavity of manner as a trade asset. So far does he
carry this policy that his personal inquiries as to
yourself, your domestic relations, etc. etc., often
border closely on the impertinent—that is, if his
motive is not understood. It is done merely to show
his interest in yourself and thus, he thinks, to se
cure your patronage I
Despite this attempt to identify himself with
the trade interests of the country in which he lives,
the Chinaman is here to make money; not to spend
it. He will not, himself, patronize a single Ameri
can enterprise, nor will he permit his family, his
friends or his servants to do so, and he even at
tempts to induce the families he serves to give
exclusive patronage to Chinese establishments, and
makes wonderfully alluring propositions toward this
Although in San Francisco the Chinaman is om
nipresent. be is above all else, and before all else a
Chinaman and so rtliis reason he can be studied there
almost as well as behind his own impregnable wall
beyond the sea. Never a single American trait creeps
into his life; his long “pig tail” hangs down his
back in open defiance of the American close-cut hair;
his spotless shirt, loose, long and comfortable; his
heavy padded jacket (made to exclude the bitter
winds of China) his small and hideous cap, all bid
defiance to the fashions of the country where he
makes a living.
Occasionally the Chinaman brings his family to
America, and at once sets up a typical Chinese
home. The children, even if born here, are Chinese
children; the tiny feminine feet are bound as close
ly. and the small Chinese hoy is decorated as gor
geously as though the little lives had begun on
the banks of the China Sea. But the small morsels
of humanity are delicious in their quaintness—and
sometimes they are clean! Strange to say, however,
that the Chinaman himself, though utterly obliv
ious of all conditions of hygenie sanitation in his
domestic life, is personally careful of his appear
ance and scrupulous as to personal cleanliness.
Regarded as a moral proposition, the Chinaman
is usually honest, and though accused of “ways
that are dark,” he is often less “peculiar” in this
direction than his American brother. He is intem
perate with opium; never with alcoholic stimulants;
he is a passionate gambler, and acute though accu
rate tradesman, and above all, is overpoweringly
superstitious. This latter trait is the result, directly
of his religious training; yet he is conscientious in
the observances of his holidays and above all else,
he is devoted to his family. Yet to a Chinaman the
greatest disgrace is to have a family of daughters,
and the advent of a daughter is often so unwelcome
that infanticide is even now openly practiced in
the province of Fuhkeen. “What is the good of
rearing daughters?” the people say, “They
are no use to you when they are little, and when
they grow up and marry, they go to their husband’s
people.” The father is the absolute head of the
family—his word is a law from which there is
no appeal, and his position commands and demands
unlimited respect and reverence.
Marriages are made very early, and by means
of the professional match-maker, while the pros
pective couple seldom see each other before the
The Chinese are frugal and industrious; their
wants are few, and they live cheaply. Large as
China is as a country, it cannot accommodate all
(Continued on page 5.)
News of the Week.
It is reported that Queen Maria Christina will
become a nun after her son’s marriage with Prin
cess Ena of Battenberg.
Advices from Ottowa last week stated that Cana
da was ready for confederation with Newfound
land, but not with the British West Indes.
Manuel Garcia, the world’s famous tenor and
teacher, celebrated his lOlst birthday on the 17th
inst. Jenny Lind and Marchesi were his pupils.
Professor Guillaume Stengel, the husband of
Mme. Sembrich, the piima donna, is in a serious
condition as a result of an automobile accident.
A gigantic plot, aided and supported by the bu
reaucracy, aiming at the expulsion or extermination
of the Jews from Russia, has been brought to light.
Jews are fleeing from Odessa, Kyhineff and other
parts of Bessarabia in large numbers, as they fear
a new anti-Semitic riot will be started at Easter
The world's record in blindfold typewriting con
tents was broken last week by Miss Rose L. Fritz,
of New York, who wrote 4,007 words correctly in
The northwestern and southwestern railroads are
about to suffer a labor famine. Twenty-five thousand
men are needed in those states to build roads al
ready under way.
The condition of Francis Kossuth, leader of the
united opposition in the Hungarian diet, is causing
anxiety. He is suffering from an attack of gout
complicated by heart trouble.
H. H. Hume, state horticulturist of North Caro
lina, has been appointed professor in horticulture for
the Agricultural College, government building, at
Stanne de Bellevue, near Quebec.
Reports from Taihoku (Capital of Formosa),
state that the earthquake on that island, in the pre
fecture of Kagi alone, 1,400 houses were destroyed,
1.014 persons killed and 695 injured.
Six hundred Macedonian emigrants left Belgrade,
Servia, March IS, for the United States bv wav
of Flume. All of them possessed sufficient funds
to permit of their entering the United States.
A citizen of Atlanta, whose name is withheld, has
offered to give $20,000 toward the erection of a
home for the Young Women’s Christian Associa
tion in this city, provided a like amount is donated
The death of Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney, the author,
at her home in Milton, occurred March 21. Mrs.
Whitney’s stories for young people and particu
larly for girls, carried her name all over America.
She was born in Boston in 1842.
I nder provision of the Foraker act which pro
poses to mark the graves of Confederate soldiers
who died in Northern prisons, Colonel William El
liott, of South Carolina, has been appointed as com
missioner in charge of the work.
The first smoking car ever reserved in Enoland
for women, left a terminal station March 21, for
Liverpool. The windows bore a big label “Ladies
Smoking.” The innovation attests the spread of
smoking among Englishwomen in recent years.
Beatrice Sacchi, holder of a doctor’s degree, and
a professor at Mantau, is the first woman to obtain
political rights in Italy. As there are no laws pro
hibiting women from voting, the authorities have
admitted her claim to enter the polling booth.