1850: Chinatown history
5 Images

San Francisco Chinatown history

1850: California Legislature imposes a $20-a-month tax on foreign miners, later repealed. (Chinese Historical Society of America)
1864: Chinese workers on a railroad hand car. Eager to build a transcontinental rail route, the Central Pacific Railroad starts recruiting Chinese workers. (Chinese Historical Society of America)
1882: U.S. Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act, banning most Chinese laborers from immigrating and barring Chinese from becoming naturalized citizens. A political cartoon of the time criticizes the act and showing Uncle Sam’s boot on an immigrant’s neck. (Chinese Historical Society of America)
Earthquake and fires level Chinatown and much of San Francisco, destroying immigration records and giving immigrants a chance to declare that they’re already citizens and to bring family members from China to California. (Faultline Books; Image from the book “Earthquake Days: The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake & Fire” by David Burkhart.)
1910: Angel Island Immigration Station begins a 30-year stint as an immigrant detention and processing center for arriving Asians. In 1943, the Chinese Exclusion Act is repealed, giving more Chinese Americans a chance at U.S. citizenship. (National Archives)