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História da Chinatown de São Francisco

História da Chinatown de São Francisco

A diáspora chinesa, que começou em 1800, era tão vasta que praticamente todas as grandes cidades do mundo - de Nova York a Londres, Montreal e Lima - ostentavam um bairro chamado “Chinatown”. A imigração chinesa para os Estados Unidos remonta a meados do século 19, mas a vida nem sempre foi fácil para os novos imigrantes da China, mesmo em Chinatown de São Francisco, o maior distrito fora da Ásia e a mais antiga comunidade chinesa na América do Norte .

Imigração chinesa para os Estados Unidos

A maior parte da primeira imigração chinesa para os Estados Unidos remonta a meados do século XIX. Esses primeiros imigrantes - cerca de 25.000 apenas na década de 1850 - vieram em busca de oportunidades econômicas na América.

Os chineses que chegaram a São Francisco, vindos principalmente das regiões de Taishan e Zhongshan, bem como da província de Guangdong, na China continental, o fizeram no auge da Corrida do Ouro da Califórnia, e muitos trabalharam nas minas espalhadas por todo o norte do estado.

Outros trabalharam como lavradores ou na florescente indústria de roupas na "City by the Bay". Outros ainda se tornaram trabalhadores das ferrovias do Pacífico Central e Transcontinental e foram fundamentais na construção da infraestrutura de transporte que ajudou a alimentar a expansão para o oeste dos Estados Unidos antes, durante e depois da Guerra Civil.

Pobreza e preconceito: a luta chinesa pela aceitação

Como é o caso da maioria dos imigrantes, a vida em seu novo lar era um desafio para as centenas de milhares de novos americanos que chegavam da Ásia, mesmo quando São Francisco se tornou um centro da cultura chinesa nos Estados Unidos.

A maioria dos imigrantes vindos da China estava desesperada para trabalhar - não apenas para sobreviver, mas para mandar dinheiro para suas famílias de volta para casa. Alguns também tiveram que pagar empréstimos de comerciantes sino-americanos que haviam patrocinado sua passagem para a América.

Essas pressões financeiras significaram que muitos imigrantes chineses tiveram que aceitar trabalhar com salários reduzidos e trabalhar mais horas com menos dias de folga. Muitas mulheres, especialmente mulheres jovens e solteiras, foram forçadas à prostituição nas ruas de São Francisco, seja como resultado de dificuldades econômicas ou sob ameaça de violência de gangues criminosas sino-americanas chamadas de “tenazes”.

Seu sofrimento não terminou aí: por estarem dispostos a trabalhar mais por menos, os imigrantes chineses nos Estados Unidos logo atraíram a ira de americanos de primeira e segunda gerações de outros grupos étnicos, que acreditavam estar sendo excluídos de certos empregos pelos recém-chegados.

O estado da Califórnia inicialmente tentou criar bloqueios legais à imigração chinesa - e à integração na sociedade americana - exigindo licenças especiais para negócios dirigidos por sino-americanos.

No entanto, muitas dessas leis discriminatórias foram derrubadas pelo governo federal, pois violaram o Tratado Burlingame-Seward de 1868, que amenizou as restrições à imigração e limitou a influência americana nos assuntos políticos da China continental.

A Lei de Exclusão Chinesa

Infelizmente, o fervor anti-imigração venceu - pelo menos por um tempo. Em 1879, o Congresso aprovou sua primeira lei com o objetivo de limitar o fluxo de imigração chinesa. No entanto, o presidente na época, Rutherford B. Hayes, um republicano, vetou o projeto, pois ainda violava o Tratado Burlingame-Seward.

Com os democratas nos estados ocidentais se opondo veementemente à imigração irrestrita e os republicanos em Washington lutando pela abertura das fronteiras e pelo comércio, um acordo foi firmado: em 1880, o presidente Hayes nomeou o diplomata James B. Angell para negociar um novo tratado com a China e, como um resultado, o chamado Tratado de Angell foi assinado entre os dois países. O pacto permitiu aos Estados Unidos limitar - mas não eliminar - a imigração da China.

Sem as restrições diplomáticas, o Congresso aprovou o Ato de Exclusão da China de 1882, que suspendia a imigração de trabalhadores chineses por um período de 10 anos e exigia que os chineses que viajassem para dentro ou fora dos Estados Unidos portassem um certificado de identificação de seus status de trabalhador, acadêmico, diplomata ou comerciante. Essa legislação foi a primeira na história americana a impor limites significativos à imigração e aos direitos dos novos imigrantes.

No entanto, a situação dos imigrantes chineses no oeste americano não atingiu seu nadir até três anos depois, no território de Wyoming, com o massacre de Rock Springs em 1885.

Mineiros brancos que esperavam se sindicalizar culparam seus colegas chineses, que foram trazidos para as minas como fura-greves, por suas lutas. Em 2 de setembro daquele ano, 150 dos mineiros brancos atacaram um grupo de trabalhadores chineses, matando pelo menos 28, ferindo 15 ou mais e expulsando inúmeros outros da cidade.

Pelo resto do século 19, o governo federal deixou a política de imigração para os estados individuais. No entanto, com a abertura da estação federal de imigração em Ellis Island em 1890, um novo influxo de imigrantes - principalmente da Europa, mas também da Ásia - chegou às costas americanas, estabelecendo-se em cidades na metade oriental dos Estados Unidos.

No caso de novos imigrantes da China, essa onda ajudou a estabelecer as comunidades sino-americanas em cidades como Nova York, Boston e Washington, DC, que ainda estão prosperando hoje, embora a Lei de Exclusão Chinesa ainda fosse estritamente aplicada na parte ocidental de o país.

O terremoto de São Francisco e Chinatown

O terremoto de 1906 em San Francisco, e os incêndios que eclodiram em toda a cidade em suas conseqüências, causaram mais danos à comunidade chinesa do que qualquer ação legislativa poderia, destruindo milhares de casas e empresas em Chinatown. Muitos sino-americanos também estavam entre os mortos.

No entanto, os registros de nascimento e imigração da cidade também foram perdidos durante o desastre, e muitos dos imigrantes chineses de São Francisco aproveitaram a brecha para reivindicar a cidadania americana. Isso permitiu que mandassem chamar suas famílias para se juntarem a eles nos Estados Unidos.

Como a Lei de Exclusão Chinesa ainda estava em vigor, os imigrantes chineses que chegaram a São Francisco nos anos após o terremoto tiveram que ser processados ​​no centro de imigração em Angel Island. Muitos imigrantes que chegam ao centro - agora um parque estadual na Baía de São Francisco - foram detidos em condições adversas por semanas, meses ou mesmo anos antes de serem aprovados ou negados a entrada, geralmente com base em suas respostas a perguntas sobre suas identidades e seus motivos para vindo para os Estados Unidos.

O centro foi fechado em 1940 após ter sido destruído por um incêndio, e a Lei de Exclusão Chinesa foi finalmente anulada em 1943, abrindo caminho para uma nova geração de chegadas da Ásia.

Chinatown de São Francisco hoje

A Lei de Imigração e Naturalização de 1965 afrouxou ainda mais as restrições à imigração e fomentou outra onda de imigração que se seguiu ao fechamento da Ilha Ellis em 1954. Para muitos chineses e outros asiáticos, isso representou uma nova oportunidade de escapar da opressão política em casa, e mais reforçou a população de Chinatowns nos Estados Unidos.

Em San Francisco, onde os residentes de Chinatown reconstruíram após o terremoto e incêndios de 1906, o bairro experimentou um novo crescimento e um influxo de pessoas de diferentes regiões da China.

De seu famoso portão no cruzamento das ruas Grant e Bush, o distrito ocupa cerca de 30 quarteirões da cidade e está repleto de restaurantes, bares, boates e lojas especializadas que vendem presentes, tecidos, cerâmicas e ervas chinesas, entre outros produtos, tornando-o um das atrações turísticas mais populares em San Francisco.


Massacre chinês de 1871

o Massacre chinês de 1871 foi um massacre racial que ocorreu em 24 de outubro de 1871, em Los Angeles, Califórnia, quando uma multidão de cerca de 500 brancos e hispânicos entrou em Old Chinatown e atacou, intimidou, roubou e assassinou residentes chineses. [1] [2] O massacre ocorreu na Calle de los Negros, também conhecida como "Beco Negro". A multidão se reuniu depois de ouvir que um policial e um fazendeiro foram mortos em um conflito entre tenazes rivais, os Nin Yung, e Hong Chow. À medida que a notícia de sua morte se espalhava pela cidade, alimentando rumores de que a comunidade chinesa "estava matando brancos no atacado", mais homens se reuniram nos limites do Beco Negro. Algumas fontes do século 21 descreveram este como o maior linchamento em massa da história americana. [2] [3]

19 imigrantes chineses foram mortos, 15 dos quais foram posteriormente enforcados pela multidão no decorrer do motim, mas a maioria dos quais já havia sido morta a tiros antes de ser enforcada. [4] Pelo menos um foi mutilado, quando um membro da turba cortou um dedo para obter o anel de diamante da vítima. [4] Os mortos representavam mais de 10% da pequena população chinesa de Los Angeles na época, que era de 172 antes do massacre. Dez homens da turba foram processados ​​e oito foram condenados por homicídio culposo nessas mortes. As condenações foram revogadas em apelação devido a tecnicalidades.


San Francisco Chinatown: um guia para sua história e arquitetura: um trecho

A chegada dos chineses aos Estados Unidos no final da década de 1840 foi parte de uma intrincada relação política e econômica entre a Ásia e a América.

Desde o seu nascimento como nação, os Estados Unidos procuraram estabelecer-se como uma nova potência entre as velhas nações. Muitos americanos acreditavam no conceito de "Destino Manifesto", que afirmava que os Estados Unidos tinham o direito de se expandir para o oeste através do continente até o Oceano Pacífico. A Costa Oeste seria a porta de entrada pela qual os Estados Unidos adquiririam e manteriam posições de poder na Ásia.

Na Costa Oeste, na Califórnia, São Francisco se tornou não apenas um importante porto comercial, mas também a principal porta de entrada de imigrantes chineses, que foram recrutados como fonte de mão-de-obra em massa para o desenvolvimento econômico da fronteira ocidental. Inicialmente, os americanos brancos deram boas-vindas à participação chinesa nos eventos cívicos de São Francisco, como a celebração, em Portsmouth Square, da admissão da Califórnia na União em 1850. Na época, a Praça era o coração de São Francisco. No entanto, enquanto a cidade se expandia, os chineses permaneceram na área. Por mais de um século e meio, Chinatown permaneceu neste mesmo local.

A interação entre Chinatown e a comunidade em geral nem sempre foi de compreensão mútua. Apanhados na luta entre a classe trabalhadora branca que lutava por melhores condições de trabalho e os capitalistas industriais que buscavam manter o status quo, os chineses tornaram-se bodes expiatórios para as dores crescentes do movimento operário americano no Ocidente. A sinofobia no século 19 ecoou no século 20 com o grito "Os chineses devem ir!" A questão da competição trabalhista chinesa ocupou um lugar central na política da Nação por mais de 30 anos, até a aprovação do Ato de Exclusão de maio de 1882, que de fato fechou as portas para a imigração chinesa.

De vez em quando, São Francisco tentava destruir Chinatown e remover os chineses por meios legais e extralegais. Os chineses responderam estrategicamente. Quando o Conselho de Supervisores tentou remover Chinatown após o Terremoto de 1906, por exemplo, os chineses se esforçaram para ganhar a boa vontade da cidade criando uma nova imagem positiva, mantendo arquitetos para transformar as favelas do bairro em uma "Cidade Oriental". Esta nova tendência de um vernáculo Sino-arquitetônico, criada especificamente como uma resposta à ameaça de realocação após o terremoto, moldou o atual horizonte de Chinatown.

Mas Chinatown sempre foi uma atração turística. O que foi sensacionalizado no século 19 como um refúgio para peculiaridades raciais e esquisitices culturais é percebido hoje como um enclave étnico onde os hábitos e tradições culturais são preservados. Em ambos os casos, a imagem estereotipada de Chinatown como uma comunidade estrangeira não assimilada permanece inalterada. Mas o significado de Chinatown não está nas exóticas culturais. Sob a fachada oriental, há uma história enraizada no passado político da cidade, do estado e da nação.

Essa história começou após nossa Guerra pela Independência em 1776. A evidência está diante de nossos olhos e debaixo de nossos narizes se soubermos o que procurar enquanto passeamos por Chinatown. O chá, o ginseng e as igrejas nos levam de volta à época em que dois povos de diversas culturas se encontraram, trocaram e interagiram pela primeira vez. Em 1784, quando Samuel Shaw navegou o primeiro navio americano, o Imperatriz da China, em Bocca Tigrus, ele trocou 28 toneladas de ginseng e 20.000 dólares espanhóis por chá, seda, porcelana e outros tesouros. Em seu diário, Shaw escreveu: "Os habitantes da América devem tomar chá ... aquele produto inútil [ginseng] de suas montanhas e florestas fornecerá a ela este luxo elegante ... tais são as vantagens que a América obtém de seu ginseng" (Quincy 1847, 231). Essa viagem histórica deu início ao nosso interesse no Extremo Oriente e, subsequentemente, levou à caça e captura de homens da fronteira na costa da Califórnia em busca de peles de lontras marinhas para o mercado de Canton. Quando o ouro foi descoberto, o comércio transpacífico entre a Califórnia e Cantão (agora chamado de "Guangzhou") continuou, não só com a importação de produtos chineses para a população da Corrida do Ouro, mas também com a chegada de trabalhadores chineses do Delta do Rio das Pérolas, centrado em a cidade de Cantão, na província de Guangdong.

Desde o momento de seu primeiro encontro no século 16, as nações ocidentais estavam determinadas a abrir os portos da China para o comércio. Igualmente teimosa, a China se autodenominou o "Reino do Meio" (ou seja, o centro do mundo) e tentou fechar suas portas para os "bárbaros incivilizados e intrometidos". Na época da chegada de Shaw, a China havia sido conquistada pelos Manchus da Manchúria, que governaram sob o título de "Ching" (brilho) de 1644 a 1911. Os Manchus adotaram os costumes chineses e nomearam colaboradores em cargos governamentais para manter o controle sobre a população. Depois de dois séculos e meio, os manchus foram absorvidos pela cultura chinesa, exceto pelo estilo de vestir manchu e pela cabeça raspada com a cauda (rabo de cavalo), que foram impostos aos chineses como símbolos de subjugação.

Em 1757, o imperador manchu Chien Lung (1736-1796) restringiu todo o comércio exterior a um único porto, a cidade de Cantão. O comércio entre chineses e europeus era controlado e regulado por mercadores chineses conhecidos como Hong, autorizados pelo governo imperial. Práticas injustas, impostos de importação e exportação e a demanda por prata no pagamento de mercadorias criaram déficits comerciais entre as nações estrangeiras que fazem negócios na China. Para compensar os déficits, essas nações contrabandearam ópio para a China em grandes quantidades. Os britânicos, cujos mercadores controlavam o abastecimento da Índia, dominavam o comércio. Os mercadores americanos obtinham seu suprimento em Esmirna, na Turquia. As tentativas da China de impedir o contrabando resultaram em guerra com a Grã-Bretanha (1839-1842). Os britânicos derrotaram facilmente a China e forçaram seu governo a abrir os portos de Cantão, Xangai, Ningpo, Amoy e Foochow. Além disso, o território de Hong Kong foi cedido à Inglaterra por 100 anos.

No último quarto do século 18, relatos brilhantes publicados sobre a exploração e aventuras nos mares do Sul, Índia e África, não apenas despertaram a imaginação e a curiosidade do público, mas também despertaram o impulso evangélico de líderes protestantes, que fundaram o missionário conselhos e sociedades para recrutar e enviar missionários ao mundo pagão. Enquanto mercadores britânicos e americanos abriam as portas para os tesouros de "Cathay" (China), missionários europeus e americanos imaginavam abrir a porta do Reino de Deus para os trezentos milhões de "pagãos" da China. Este empreendimento missionário fez parte do movimento de reavivamento cristão conhecido como o "Segundo Grande Despertar".

No início do século 19, esse movimento religioso protestante levou à fundação do Dr. Morrison traduzindo a Bíblia com convertidos chineses, em 1820.18 a London Missionary Society (LMS), seguida pela fundação do American Board of Commissions of Foreign Missions ( ABCFM). Em 1807, o LMS enviou o reverendo Robert Morrison para a China e, em 1830, a ABCFM enviou o reverendo David Abeel e o reverendo Elijah Bridgman. Cantão tornou-se o palco das atividades missionárias protestantes. Essas atividades religiosas, junto com o longo período de comércio com a China, promoveram o conhecimento do Ocidente na China e ligaram Cantão à Califórnia. Para o ocidental, os chineses de Cantão eram conhecidos como "cantoneses". Esses eram os chineses que colocariam os pés na Califórnia quando o ouro fosse descoberto.

Os líderes do movimento evangélico rapidamente perceberam a importância estratégica da Califórnia não apenas no fato de que ela ficava de frente para o Pacífico, mas também na oportunidade missionária única que a presença de milhares de chineses proporcionada se convertidos, esses cantoneses poderiam voltar para casa para espalhar o evangelho para milhões de pessoas na China que nunca ouviram a revelação de Deus. Assim, as muitas igrejas em Chinatown hoje são o resultado dos esforços dos primeiros pioneiros cristãos iniciados em Cantão, Macau e Hong Kong. Em San Francisco, o primeiro esforço evangélico oficial ocorreu em uma cerimônia pública em 28 de agosto de 1850, quando o prefeito John Geary e o reverendo Albert Williams convidaram os residentes chineses a Portsmouth Square para receber panfletos religiosos impressos em chinês e publicados em Canton .

Mas o fascínio com que o Ocidente via a China no século 18 se deteriorou até o desrespeito e desdém no século 19. Após sua derrota na Guerra do Ópio com a Inglaterra, a China sob os governantes Manchu estava à beira do colapso. Incapaz de lidar com as demandas beligerantes das potências ocidentais, o governo adotou uma política externa de apaziguamento, concedendo concessão após concessão. A exploração estrangeira, a rebelião interna e a superpopulação aceleraram o declínio da economia chinesa e a deterioração das condições sociais.


História da Chinatown de São Francisco

Em 1848, os primeiros imigrantes chineses, dois homens e uma mulher, chegaram a São Francisco no veleiro americano, Águia. A longa história da Chinatown de São Francisco foi nublada com racismo, ódio e repressão. Da corrida do ouro até a década de 1870, uma grande migração de trabalhadores do sexo masculino, em sua maioria solteiros, veio para São Francisco e o oeste americano, bem como para o Canadá e o Peru. Com a Lei de Exclusão Chinesa de 1882, a primeira medida de imigração racialmente restritiva da nação, a população sino-americana caiu de 26.000 em 1881 para 11.000 em 1920. Entre 1852 e 1882, muitos trabalhadores chineses proeminentemente masculinos e alguns mercadores e corretores de mão de obra compareceram para São Francisco. As inundações na China impulsionaram uma diáspora virtual de pessoas que falam o dialeto cantonês em toda a Bacia do Pacífico. Estima-se que 2,5 milhões de pessoas emigraram da China entre 1840 e 1900. De 153 propriedades em Chinatown em 1873, apenas 10 eram de propriedade de chineses. Todo o resto foi alugado de anglo-americanos, franco-americanos, ítalo-americanos e alemães americanos. Em 1882, as associações-chave habitualmente suspeitas de Chinatown formaram uma associação guarda-chuva, unindo a mais importante das associações distritais no que ficou conhecido como Chinese Six Companies, oficialmente chamado de Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association. A associação, incorporada no estado da Califórnia em 1901, tornou-se o cockpit das contendas políticas, econômicas e sociais pessoais e de grupo. Em 1904, de 316 parcelas, os sino-americanos possuíam apenas 25. À medida que a imigração chinesa diminuía e ocorria a assimilação individual, o clã paroquial e as ligações regionais enfraqueciam. Embora os chineses estivessem, praticamente falando, segregados dentro de Chinatown até o final dos anos 1940, alguma assimilação ocorreu. Em 1943, durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, quando os Estados Unidos se aliaram à China contra o Japão, a Lei de Exclusão Chinesa foi revogada pelo Congresso, mas uma pequena cota de 105 chineses por ano manteve a migração mínima. A era pós-Segunda Guerra Mundial viu o avanço econômico e social dos sino-americanos. A anulação da lei antimiscegnação da Califórnia em 1948 e a derrubada de acordos racialmente restritivos na venda de imóveis na Califórnia no mesmo ano, emancipou os chineses americanos e outros asiático-americanos. Quando o governo nacionalista se retirou para Taiwan em 1949, um influxo de profissionais que falavam mandarim e comerciantes ricos fugiu da China Vermelha para São Francisco. Em 1965, a Lei dos Direitos Civis foi aprovada e os Estados Unidos começaram a romper as barreiras psicológicas e jurídicas de suas históricas antipatias raciais e a dar um toque positivo à realidade de sua sociedade multirracial. No mesmo ano, as cotas de imigração foram reconfiguradas para refletir uma realidade multirracial e permitir mais imigração asiática. De 105 por ano, as cotas para chineses aumentaram para 20.000 por ano em 1970. Naquela época, 56% dos sino-americanos estavam em ocupações de colarinho branco. Desde o final dos anos 1970, cada vez mais chineses do Vietnã, junto com outros povos do sudeste asiático, chegaram a São Francisco. Em 1970, 52 por cento de todos os San Franciscanos de ascendência chinesa eram nascidos no estrangeiro. As novas leis de imigração favorecem os migrantes com habilidades e / ou grandes quantias de dinheiro. A velha Chinatown em ruínas foi completamente destruída pelo incêndio de 1906. Quando o distrito foi reconstruído por proprietários de terras ausentes não chineses, entre 1906 e cerca de 1929, surgiu uma cidade mais nova, mais limpa, embora ainda extraordinariamente densa, do início do século 20, de notável consistência . Esses novos edifícios estavam em conformidade com as melhores leis de construção municipal, que exigiam a construção de tijolos ou concreto no distrito congestionado. 34 Os edifícios eduardianos resultantes são a essência da Chinatown de hoje. No início dos anos 1970, novos arquitetos chinês-americanos de estilo chinês contribuíram com projetos. Hoje, Chinatown é um dos bairros mais densos do país, com cerca de 160 habitantes por acre, perdendo apenas para a cidade de Nova York e a Chinatown. Setenta e cinco por cento dos residentes são estrangeiros - a proporção comparável em toda a cidade é de 28%. A renda familiar média lá é de cerca de US $ 10.000, um terço da renda média da cidade como um todo.


O Bardo da Baía e o Grant Confucius

Em uma coluna iluminadora de 30 de janeiro de 1942 dedicada inteiramente a Chinatown, Caen esboçou suas observações sobre o pulso atual do distrito de uma lente culinária e social:

“A carne de porco é tão básica que, só por exemplo, Kwon Wo faz churrasco de dois porcos grandes diariamente em uma cova subterrânea atrás de sua lojinha - e nunca sobra nada, também…. Um favorito em particular é o mingau chinês (conhecido como "jook"), preparado por Sam Wo em seu lugar em uma rua lateral de Chinatown. , layout estreito de três andares… No lugar 12 Beckett (lar dos infames presépios durante os dias da Costa Bárbara), você encontrará uma engenhosa máquina americana que faz biscoitos da sorte chineses. Ou seja, acontece os biscoitos, e um paciente chinês insere o pedaço de papel contendo a fortuna antes que a massa endureça. ... Os chineses nascidos nos Estados Unidos ainda estão perplexos com as tradições de seus mais velhos, os chineses do velho país estão chocados com as travessuras da geração jovem ... ”

Era uma Chinatown sendo remodelada pela tensão entre os imigrantes mais velhos e avessos ao risco e os segurados e aventureiros nascidos nos Estados Unidos. Caen escreveu sobre como Kan teve que lidar com “os anciãos de Chinatown [que] murmuravam sobre [ele] atendendo ao homem branco, esquecendo as tradições”. Contrastando fortemente com a geração anterior de trabalhadores chineses cautelosos e rudes, Kan era uma carambola cultural multifacetada - articulada, polida, alta, carismática, fluente em inglês e chinês e voltada para a comunidade. Ele era capaz de encantar com habilidade as celebridades americanas que enfeitariam seus estabelecimentos, ao mesmo tempo que nutria laços com camaradas de Chinatown do Velho Continente. Kan sintetizou a geração mais ousada e arriscada de novatos nascidos nos Estados Unidos.

Caen conheceu Johnny Kan pela primeira vez por volta de 1938 no The Blue Willow Tea Room, onde Kan estava trabalhando como anfitrião. Caen descreveu vividamente sua primeira impressão de Kan assim:

Um belo jovem, ele tinha uma figura impressionante em longos mantos de seda encimados por um cocar cerimonial. Em um inglês educado e urbano, ele recebia os caucasianos com uma reverência profunda, revelando confucionismos. E quando eles passavam, com os olhos brilhantes, no lindo salão de chá, ele ria para um amigo "Diabos brancos surpresos de ouvir um jovem chinês falar inglês tão bem, hein?"

Mais tarde, em 1963, quando os sociólogos Victor e Brett de Bary Nee entrevistaram um Kan mais velho, ele foi descrito como algo pouco convencional e rude em comparação com seus colegas da classe trabalhadora de Chinatown:

“Ficamos surpresos com a altura que ele tem quando entra na sala. Em um terno escuro formal, Johnny nos acomoda e pede bebidas para todos. Embora saibamos que ele tem 57 anos, no vestir, nos modos e na fala, ele é completamente diferente dos velhos com quem passamos as últimas semanas aprendendo sobre a história de Chinatown. ”

Caen e Kan permaneceriam amigos íntimos até a morte de Kan em 1972. Ao longo das décadas, Caen atuou como um biógrafo em tempo real de Kan. Suas idas e vindas, preferências alimentares (supostamente Kan tinha um grande amor pela comida espanhola) conquistas profissionais, redes pessoais e afiliações políticas podem ser vislumbradas nas páginas da animada coluna de Caen. “Kantonese Kooker”, “o Ruby Foo de Chinatown”, “rei das fritadeiras de arroz Grant Ave”, o “chow mein chopper” e “Chinatown's goodwill embassador” foram alguns dos muitos apelidos irônicos de Caen para o restaurate . Apesar do domínio autodidático de Kan da culinária cantonesa e da promoção inteligente das declarações de proveniência de suas receitas, Caen relatou que a viagem inaugural de Kan para a Ásia notavelmente não aconteceu até 1958. Na época, com 52 anos, Kan já tinha dois restaurantes de sucesso sob seu comando.


História da Chinatown de São Francisco - HISTÓRIA

--cortesia Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights, de um passeio a pé sobre a história do imigrante conduzido em 20 de setembro de 1997.

Filmagem silenciosa de Chinatown, incluindo alguns segundos de operadoras de telefonia trabalhando na antiga central, c. 1920.

O Bank of Canton na 743 Washington Street já foi a central telefônica original de Chinatown em 1887. Foi originalmente o local do primeiro jornal da cidade, Samual Brannan's Estrela californiana.

743 Washington Street

Exterior da Central Telefônica de Chinatown, c. 1940.

Foto: San Francisco History Center, SF Public Library


Chinatown iniciou seu próprio serviço telefônico em 1887. A nova Central Telefônica Chinesa foi inaugurada no outono de 1901. Na época, o gerente, Sr. Loo Kum Shu, empregava apenas operadores do sexo masculino. As mulheres se tornaram as principais operadoras em 1906. Um artigo no San Francisco Examiner afirma que as mulheres eram preferidas aos homens por causa de seu temperamento. Os proprietários queriam mudar para operadoras em 1901, mas descobriram que elas subiam demais, pois teriam de ser vigiadas por um pelotão de homens armados e um acompanhante oficial para cuidar das propriedades . Tanto os operadores masculinos quanto femininos tiveram que lembrar cerca de 1.500 nomes junto com o local de residência do proprietário. Eles tinham que saber todas as línguas faladas em Chinatown, bem como todos os diferentes dialetos. Esses operadores conheciam todos os 4-5.000 residentes de Chinatown. Eles conheciam todas as extensões dos negócios e residências da região. Eles atendiam a mais de treze mil ligações por dia. O sistema telefônico também era um método de contratação de mão de obra. Os empregadores ligavam com ofertas de emprego e as operadoras sabiam a quem encaminhá-las.

Em 1943, os trinta trabalhadores da Bolsa se juntaram à Telephone Traffic Employees Organization (TTEO) Local 120. Eles lutaram em seu horário de trabalho de sete dias por semana, incluindo queixas no War Labour Board, ganhando salários atrasados ​​de $ 5.000, bem como pagamento de horas extras .

A companhia telefônica permaneceu funcional até o advento dos telefones de discagem em 1940.

Na década de 1840, este local foi a localização da casa de Sam Brannan Estrela californiana, o primeiro jornal de San Francisco. Em janeiro de 1847, o jornal publicou a mudança oficial do nome de Yerba Buena para San Francisco.


Motim de corrida na cidade perto da baía

A partir de 1873, os Estados Unidos sofreram a & # 8220Long Depressão & # 8221, que foi originalmente chamada de "A Grande Depressão" até a década de 1930, quando outra depressão econômica usurpou o título. Os níveis de desemprego eram surpreendentes em todo o país e isso foi muito antes de os EUA estabelecerem qualquer proteção governamental para os desempregados. A Longa Depressão continuou ao longo da década de 1870, período em que Guerreiroestá definido. No episódio 17 & # 8220Se você esperar pelo rio muito tempo ... & # 8221, o pânico de 73 é mencionado. Esse pânico foi o catalisador histórico da Longa Depressão.

San Francisco foi duramente atingido. O desemprego era de até 20% e o Banco da Califórnia havia falido. Em 23 de julho de 1877, uma greve trabalhista liderada pelo Partido dos Trabalhadores se reuniu em um terreno baldio - apelidado de "lote de areia" - perto da recém-criada Prefeitura de San Francisco. O Partido dos Trabalhadores foi fundado em 1877 e é frequentemente confundido com o Partido dos Trabalhadores dos Estados Unidos (WPUS), que foi fundado na mesma época. O WUPS mudou seu nome logo depois para Partido Socialista do Trabalho e é o partido político socialista mais antigo dos Estados Unidos.

O Partido Socialista Trabalhista ainda está ativo e atualmente está sediado em Mountain View, Califórnia, cerca de 30 milhas ao sul de San Francisco. O Partido dos Trabalhadores de São Francisco, mais formalmente conhecido como Partido dos Trabalhadores da Califórnia, finalmente alcançou poder suficiente para reescrever a constituição do estado. A reunião do lote de areia foi apenas o começo.

O conteúdo do anúncio & # 8211 continua abaixo

Cerca de 8.000 pessoas compareceram àquela fatídica greve de coleta de areia. Inicialmente, culpar os chineses não fazia parte da plataforma. Mas então uma procissão anti-coolie abriu caminho, exigindo ser ouvido. A multidão nos arredores da reunião se voltou contra um chinês que passava, atacando-o e gritando o grito de guerra & # 8220On to Chinatown! & # 8221 Que deu início ao motim de São Francisco de 1877.

A multidão destruiu propriedades, principalmente lavanderias chinesas. Esse velho estereótipo de lavanderias chinesas era baseado em fatos. O trabalho na lavanderia era difícil antes das máquinas de lavar industriais e considerado pouco masculino, mas os chineses estavam dispostos a fazê-lo. Em 1880, São Francisco tinha cerca de 200 lavanderias chinesas. The laundries were obvious targets, along with any challengers or bystanders that crossed the mob’s path.

The next morning, the rioting grew. One of the mob organizers placed an ad in the local newspaper that said “RALLY! RALLY! Great anti-coolie Mass Meeting at the New City Hall, Market street, at 8 o’clock p.m.” On July 24, the Beale Street Wharf was set aflame. From 1872 to 1907, the Beale Street Wharf was the city’s largest coal dock, and arsonists stoked the fire with 100 barrels of whale oil. However, it was a diversion to draw the city’s emergency resources away from downtown and Chinatown, where the riots would continue. That fire caused some $500,000 worth of damage and lost goods.

When the mob marched on Chinatown, the Chinese houses in their path had been listed and were complete sacked. Wooden sidewalks were torn up to be used as battering rams. Homes were robbed. Laundries were burned. People were shot. The rampage lasted for two days until it was finally quelled by the combined forces of the SFPD, the California militia, and a thousand members of the Pick-Axe Brigade, a citizen vigilance committee that armed themselves with hickory pick-axe handles. Special 24-hour badges were issue by the SFPD to civilians willing to help. And the police were eager to break out their newly issued police batons, which according to the San Francisco Bulletin were “more effective than any other instrument in the business of skull-cracking.”


History of San Francisco’s Chinatown - HISTORY

By Commissioner Jesse B. Cook
Former Chief of Police

Chinese at that time were coming in from the Orient at about 1,400 on every steamer. True it is, they had been coming in since 1848, but relatively few at a time. Therefore, there was quite a number of the pioneer Chinese here in the days of the old “gold fever.” These Chinese had come on the old Pacific Mail steamers. The customs house officers would search each Chinaman as well as his baggage, and then chalk-mark him with a cross. After a sufficient number had been marked to fill up a good-sized express wagon, it was the custom to throw all the baggage onto the wagon and place each Chinaman on top of his belongings. It was a common sight to see these express wagons going west on Brannan (the old Pacific Mail docks were located on First and Brannan Streets) to Third Street, along Third Street to Market Street, crossing Market Street to Kearny, and along Kearny to Sacramento Street where they would be discharged to go to the different “companies” to which they belonged. Although all of these Chinese were from the province of Canton, they spoke different languages and dialects.

In way of explanation, there were for instance Hock Kah men they were all barbers. Then again, there were See Yup men they were all laboring men. The Sam Yups were all business men and they invariably controlled the business of Canton as well as the business in San Francisco’s Chinatown. A See Yup man was not allowed to enter into competition with a Sam Yup. It was impossible for the See Yup men to get any goods at all from Canton as the merchants in Canton, China, would sell only to their own people, the Sam Yups.

There were, of course, other provinces represented by the Chinese Six Companies. The Six Companies looked after the Chinese coming from their respective provinces in China. When sick, the Chinese were cared for by and through the Six Companies. This care lasted up to the time of death, when the Chinese Six Companies saw to it that proper burial was given. In due course, the bones of the Chinese were taken up and shipped back to their homes in China. This is a custom that has endured over the past centuries. The Chinese have a peculiar superstition that if they are not buried in China, it will be very unfortunate for the members of their families and for their descendants.

We now come to the starting of the so-called “tongs,” commonly known as the “hi-binders.” The first tong was the Chee Kung Tong. Every man coming from China became a member of this tong. It was never known to have been in any trouble, for the Six Companies looked after the Chinese and saw that they were properly cared for.

In the early days, a Chinaman known as “Little Pete,” whose Chinese name was Fong Jing Tong, was interested in quite a number of slave dens, gambling places and lottery houses. The hoodlum element of Chinatown would make raids on these places and demand tribute money, or blackmail. It became so bad that Little Pete conceived the idea of forming tongs to protect his interests. The first tongs he started were the Bo Sin Sere and the Guy Sin Sere, and they guaranteed him absolute protection.

About this time there was another Chinaman, Chin Ten Sing, known as “Big Jim,” who also had large interests in a great many gambling, lottery and slave houses. He saw the protection that Little Pete was getting, and as he had to turn to his own houses for protection, decided to start some tongs also Among them were the Suey Singsa, the Hop Sings and a number of others.

This proved very successful until the tongs started fighting among themselves over slave girls and gambling games. These wars sometimes lasted for several months.

At one time, I stood at the corner of Grant Avenue (then called Dupont Street) and Clay street with Patrolman Matheson (now Captain Matheson, City Treasurer), and Ed Gibson, then a detective sergeant, talking about two tongs that were holding a meeting to settle their troubles. These tongs began fighting among themselves, and inside of a half-hour there were seven Chinamen lying on the streets wounded one on Waverly Place, one on Clay Street, Two in Spofford Alley, two in Ross Alley, and one on Jackson Street. The one in Waverly Place was shot, the bullet cutting the artery in his arm. Captain Matheson and myself took this Chinaman out of the shop where he fell, and stopped the flow of blood by means of a tourniquet. The physician later told us that if this had not been done the Chinaman would have died.

In regard to the gambling games in Chinatown—my first trip to Chinatown was in 1889 as a patrolman in a squad. At that time there were about 62 lottery agents, 50 fan tan games and eight lottery drawings in Chinatown. In the 50 fan tan gambling houses the tables numbered from one to 24, according to the size of the room.

The game was played around a table about 10 feet long, 4 feet high and 4 feet wide. On this table was a mat covering the whole top. In the center of the mat was a diagram of a 12-inch square, each corner being numbered in Chinese characters, 1, 2, 3 and 4.

At the head of the table sat a lookout or gamekeeper. At the side was the dealer. This man had a Chinese bowl and a long bamboo stick with a curve at the end, like a hook. In front of him, fastened to the table, was a bag containing black and white buttons. He would scoop down into the sack with his bowl and raise it, turning it upside down on the table. The betting would then start.

After the bets were made, the dealer would raise the bowl and start to draw down the buttons, drawing four buttons at a time. The Chinese would make their bets at the drawing down of the buttons. The dealer would draw down until one, two, three or even four buttons would be left. Sometimes the Chinese would bet that the last four buttons would be all white, all black or that there would be a mixture of black and white buttons.

The construction of the gambling rooms was very interesting. There was a large door 2 inches thick, of heavy oak, seasoned and studded with bolts. The door jamb and the outer front were the same, but on the back of the door was a large bar on a swivel with two cleats on each side. When the door was slammed, the Chinese could turn the swivel and lock the door in order to keep the police from entering. Of course, because of the bolts studded on the door, it could not very well be chopped down.

Alongside the door was a little room with a window, where the lookout sat. He held the strings controlling the door, and was there to watch everyone that entered. On entering, you would pass through a hallway about 10 feet long, then through another door, either right or left, into a hall of about the same length, which would lead into the game. Three doors generally had to be passed through before reaching the game. The halls were always arranged so that if the police got through the first door, they had to pass through a second door, which, of course, would be locked. By the time they finally got to the game room, all evidence would be removed.

The lottery drawings: The Chinese have a very large room, with the doors constructed the same as in the case of a fan tan game room. The far end of the room is partitioned off with wire screens to the full width and about 8 feet deep. In back of the screen are two shelves, one of which acts as a counter for four Chinamen. Each Chinaman has a separate window in the screen. On the other shelf are placed Chinese ink pots and brushes, for the purpose of marking Chinese lottery tickets. Every Chinese lottery ticket has 80 characters on it 40 above the line and 40 below. Each company stamps their own name at the head of the ticket. These tickets are really a Chinese poem, written by a Chinaman while in prison, and later adopted as a Chinese lottery ticket. There is not a thing on these tickets to designate their real use, although they are never used for any other purpose.

The agents around town had their offices in back of stores where they sell the tickets. Just before the drawing takes place, they present a triplicate copy of each ticket sold to the Chinaman at the window. The duplicate ticket is given to the purchaser, while the original is retained by the agent.

The clerk back of the window then figures up the amount that the agent should turn in to cover the tickets sold. If they agree, the clerk accepts the tickets. No receipts are given. The actual taking and accepting of the tickets by the clerk is considered an acknowledgment, as his name appears on all the tickets.

As soon as all the money and tickets are in, the tickets are closed and the lottery is held. In a little package, about 2 inches square, are 80 slips of paper. On each of these slips is a character corresponding to one of the characters on the lottery ticket. The Chinaman sets in front of him a large pan, like the old-time milk pans we used to set for milk to raise cream, and four bowls, each bearing a Chinese number—either 1, 2, 3 or 4. The small slips of paper are folded into little pellets, thrown into the pan and shaken up. The drawing then begins. The first pellet drawn is put into bowl No. 1, the next into bowl No. 2, and so on, until there are twenty pellets in each bowl.

The Chinaman then takes another small package, containing four little square pieces of paper. On each of these pieces is a figure in Chinese corresponding with the figures on the bowls. The same procedure is then followed as with the pellets. The slip picked from the pan is handed to the clerk, who in turn hands it to a man standing on the shelf in back of him. It is opened, in the presence of everybody gathered there. Of course, the bowl bearing the same number is considered the winning bowl, the other three are placed under the counter.

The pellets are then taken from the winning bowl and are pasted on a board in full view. These are winning characters. The Chinese mark the tickets by daubing the characters that agree with the ones on the board, with a brush. After this has been done, they present their tickets, and come back at the proper time to get their reward that is, whatever they won.

In 1895, the lotteries and games were controlled by Chin Buck Guy, Chin Kim You, Wong You, Wong Fook, Jim Wong, Mah Lin Get, Chin Chung, Qwong Bin, who were sometimes called the “Big Eight.”

The lottery companies at that time were the Tie Loy, Foo Quoy, Foo Quoy Chung, Fay Kay, Shang High, Fook Tie, Quong Tie, New York and Wing Lay Yuene.

Some years later, around 1905, the Chinese population of Chinatown had increased to 40,000, the district covering from Sacramento to Pacific Avenue, and from Kearny to Stockton Streets.

The Chinese at that time were a peculiar class of people. They did not believe in allowing their daughters to attend school. They thought it was unnecessary for a girl to have an education, as she was meant for a wife to bear children for her husband, and was, therefore, worth a certain price to any Chinaman who wanted to marry her. The Chinese girl had to obey her parents and marry the man picked for her, whether she liked him or not.

The boys were sent to school that is, to the Chinese school they were not allowed to go to the European school. At that time there was one public school of about four rooms, on Clay Street, between Stockton and Powell Streets, those in attendance being mostly Japanese and other races. The Chinese boys went to their own school, from 8 o’clock in the morning until 10:30 at night, with time off for lunch and dinner. In Chinese, each character represents a word, and the only way they had of studying was to memorize these characters, which were placed on a blackboard or hung upon the wall. These were repeated over and over continually all day long until thoroughly imbedded in the minds of the boys. The teachers generally carried a long rattan and were very strict. If a boy made a mistake in reading from a chart, the teacher would hit him over the head with the rattan.

In other words, the characters were beaten into the boy’s head if he could not learn them in any other way.

People, generally, have the idea that Chinese are natural gamblers. Isso não é verdade. The old-time Chinese visited gambling houses so much because there were so few places of entertainment. In the first place, very few of them were married men. They could not speak English and, therefore, could not enjoy American dramas, dances or games. The only things left for them to do were either to visit houses of prostitution, gambling houses, lottery houses or the Chinese Theatre. Today, of course, this is all changed. In 1911, when China became a republic, orders were issued by the Chinese government that the Chinese were to adopt the customs of the country in which they were living, attend the schools and cut off their queues, or “bings,” as the Chinese knew them.

The Chinese young men immediately took advantage of this order, and started cutting off their queues. If they found anyone who refused to do so, they would gather together, throw the man or boy down, cut off his queue and tie it around his neck.

Immediately, there was a run on the schools, with the result that a large Oriental school had to be built in that neighborhood. Today, the Chinese boys are graduating from American high schools and universities. They have taken up law, medicine, dentistry and, being wonderful students, have become proficient in many lines. Gambling in Chinatown is now a thing of the past, for these boys and girls go to American shows, dances, baseball games or any other games played by the Americans. This shows that the Chinese are not naturally born gamblers. In old Chinatown there were scarcely 400 Chinamen who could speak good English, and very few women who could talk it at all. Today, it would be almost impossible to find a boy or girl in Chinatown who could not speak as good English as a white boy or girl.

The opium den was another thing that the Chinese resorted to because they had no other place to go. At that time nearly every store in Chinatown had an opium layout in the rear for their customers. All the Chinaman had to do was bring his opium. In those days the Chinese were allowed to smoke opium, provided they did not do so in the presence of a white man. If a white man was present it meant the arrest of all who were in the room at the time.

In the old days, at the corner of Washington Street and Spofford Alley, in a room right off the street, anyone could see Chinamen mixing old opium with new. That is, after opium is smoked the ashes drop down into the pipe in the bowl. This is scraped out with certain instruments and saved. It is then known as “Yen Shee,” and is later mixed with new opium. I have seen as many as 100 Chinamen smoking opium in a den in Chinatown. The opium smoke was sometimes so thick in those dens that the gas jets looked like small matches burning.

Opium has peculiar, sweet smell, not at all distasteful, and many times when coming home from Chinatown after going through dens, people in the cars sitting near me, would be sniffing, smelling the opium in my clothes and wondering what it was. When I got home it would be necessary to undress in an outer room and air my clothes to get the opium fumes out of them.

The Chinese had their own names for the alleys in Chinatown. The main streets, outside of Sacramento Street, were always known to the Chinese by their English names, the other streets, however, were all known by Chinese names. If you asked a Chinaman where an alley was and gave the American name, he would be unable to tell you, for he would not know. But if you gave him the Chinese name, he would know immediately. For instance, Sacramento Street was known as China Street—in Chinese as Tong Yen Guy. Ross Alley was originally settled by the Spanish, but when the Chinese came they crowded the Spaniards out. This alley was, therefore, given the name of Gow Louie Sun Hong, or old Spanish Alley. Spofford Alley was another alley from which the Spaniards were crowded out this was called Sun Louie Sun Hong, or new Spanish Alley. Alongside the old First Baptist Church, on Washington below Stockton, was an alley, at the end of which was a stable for horses. The Chinese named this Mah Fong Hong, “stable alley.” A small alley off of Ross Alley was known as On New Hong, in other words, “urinating alley,” as the Chinese made it a regular urinating place.

Duncan [Duncombe] Alley is off Jackson Street, below Stockton, and is known as Fay Chie Hong, or “Fat Boy Alley.” This was named after a young boy living on the street who, at fifteen years, weighed about 240 pounds. A little way below, on the opposite side of the street, was St. Louis Alley. In the early days of Chinatown there was a large fire in the alley which burned up quite a number of houses. The Chinese, therefore, called it “fire alley,” or “Fo Sue Hong.”

Opposite Fire Alley was Sullivan Alley, running halfway through from Jackson to Pacific Street. As there was a restaurant in this alley, the Chinese called it “Cum Cook Yen,” the same name as the restaurant. Another alley was named “Min Pow Hong,” or bread alley, because there was a bakery on it. Brenham Place, running from Washington Street to Clay Street, back of the square, was called “Fah Yeun Guy,” or flower street, because of the park. Bartlett Alley, running from Jackson to Pacific Street, just below Grant Avenue, or Dupont Street, was called “Buck Wa John Guy,” or the grocery man who speaks Chinese. Opposite this was Washington Alley, known to the whites as “Fish Alley.” The Chinese, however, called it “Tuck Wo Guy,” after a store on it.

Waverly Place, originally known as Pike Street, ran from Washington Street to Sacramento Street, above Dupont, and was called “Ten How Mue Guy,” after a Chinese Temple in that street.

The State of California was at one time called “Gow Kum Shain,” or Old Gold Mill. Sacramento was known as the “second city,” or Yee Fow, and San Francisco had the Chinese name of Tie Fow, or “the big city.” America, that is the United States of America, was known as May Yee Kwock, or Ah May Yee Kah, also Fah Kay Kwock, meaning the flower flag country. Americans were known as Fah Kay Yen, or flower flag men.

Mongolians, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Siamese and men from Pekin, China, all used the same characters. The Japanese, however, adopted a lot of characters of their own that were not known to the other races. If a Chinese wanted to talk to a Japanese, Korean or Mongolian, all he had to do was write him using the characters, as they have the same meaning although pronounced differently.

Perhaps it will surprise you to know that there is no such thing as the underground in Chinatown. True, you could go from one cellar to another, but that is all. In order to deceive the people, the Chinese guides would take them in on Grant Avenue, between California and Sacramento Streets, going down into a cellar. From this they would go downstairs into the next cellar, and so on, sometimes going into six or seven. These basements, however, were all connected with the stores on Sacramento Street. Should you go from any one of these basements toward Sacramento Street, you would, of course, come to the cellar of some Sacramento Street store, and all you had to do was to go up one flight of stairs to Sacramento Street. The guides naturally would not allow anyone to do this. They would bring the people back the same way that they came and tell them that they had been down six or seven stories. The people of course believed them, but at no time were they ever over one story below the street.

The Chinese Theatre was also a good place to take tourists. The guides would take them in the entrance on Washington Street and from there down into the basement. This basement led down into another cellar where the guides would tell the people that they were now two stories under the ground. At this time they would show them the Chinese actors’ dressing rooms and sleeping quarters. Had the door at the end of the room been opened, the stage of the theatre would have been seen. The people had been told they were two stories under ground, however, and they believed it.

The nearest thing to an underground passage that I ever saw was in 1905 when with Captain Matheson, then a patrolman, I went through a passageway leading from Spofford alley into the basement of Old Tie Loy Lottery Company on Waverly place. There were fourteen doors in this passageway, each door leading into a room so constructed that it appeared as though you were going down into the bowels of the earth. In reality you were only going down into the basement on Waverly place.

During my first term in Chinatown in 1889, the Chinese did not use revolvers in their tong wars, believing they made too much noise. A lather’s hatchet sharpened to a razor edge was their chief weapon. With this they could chop a man all to pieces and generally, when they did leave him, would drive the hatchet into his skull and leave it there. The men using these weapons were known as Poo Tow Choy, or little hatchet men.

One night at the corner of Jackson and Washington Streets, two Chinamen with hatchets chopped another all to pieces. This happened about six feet behind a Chinaman who was selling peanuts on the corner. Although this man was questioned, he insisted that he did not Know anything had happened nor that anyone had been killed, in spite of the fact that the back of his clothes was all spattered with blood. The murderers were later captured, sent to the penitentiary for life but about ten years after were deported to China.

In ending—there is nothing in the world that will make a Chinaman “madder” than for anyone to say to him “Sock Nika Tow,” which translated means “Chop your head off.” San Francisco Police and Peace Officers’ Journal
June 1931

See the San Francisco History Index for more about the Chinese in San Francisco.


Chinatown’s Grant Avenue: A look back at one of San Francisco’s oldest streets

Much ink has been spilled on the history of Chinatown and Grant Avenue, billed as San Francisco’s oldest street, which runs north to south starting at Market Street and ending at Francisco Street in North Beach. While surveying the entirety of Grant is an epic undertaking, a closer look at a few notable spots along Chinatown’s busiest thoroughfare offers a glimpse into this popular yet overlooked neighborhood.

"San Francisco's oldest street" is a major claim. Back in the early 19th century, the city was established as Yerba Buena by William Richardson, the town's first land grantee. He established a trading post settlement in 1835 with today’s Portsmouth Square as the plaza and the first street drawn as Calle de la Fundación (“street of the founding”).

Richardson built his family a hodgepodge tent-shack on the hillside along Grant Avenue between Clay and Washington streets, establishing the first residence in what would later become San Francisco.

William Richardson’s 1835 map of Yerba Buena with Calle de la Fundacion as the only street Image via UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library

In 1839 a survey of Yerba Buena was drawn by Jean Vioget, a surveyor and sea captain, including the current layout of Grant Avenue. While credited as the first surveyor of Yerba Buena, he didn’t name any of the streets.

Jasper O’Farrell’s 1847 survey map with added street names. Image via UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library

When Commander John Montgomery of the USS Portsmouth took possession of Yerba Buena in 1846, his administration hired Jasper O’Farrell, first surveyor for San Francisco and mind behind Market Street, to enlarge the Vioget survey that serves as the early iteration of the downtown area.

O’Farrell, he of the eponymous street in the Tenderloin, named all the streets in his survey, and Calle de la Fundación was renamed Dupont Street in honor of the USS Portsmouth’s admiral.

1839 Jean Voiget plan of Yerba Buena. Image via UC Berkeley, Bancroft

By the late 1800s, the street had become home to Chinese immigrants who were escaping persecution or following the Gold Rush. “Du Pon Gai,” as many Chinese called it, already had a reputation for opium dens, sing-song girls (an English term for the courtesans in 19th-century China), the Tong wars, and criminal organizations.

The street was also flamed by a prejudice that plagued the residents from the earliest days of the city. In an attempt to upgrade the area, downtown merchants renamed a portion the street after President Ulysses S. Grant.

Dupont north from corner of Clay, circa 1880. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

"Dead Wall Bulletin Board" for Tong grievances on Dupont Street at Washington, circa 1889. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

While the area proved to be one of the most thriving in the city, everything changed after the 1906 earthquake and fire. Chinatown was leveled, and reconstruction efforts facilitated a new facade for the historically Chinese neighborhood.

Grant Avenue before the 1906 earthquake and fire. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

California Street between Stockton and Dupont, 1906, post-quake. Photo via California Historical Society

While the previous buildings looked contiguous with the rest of the city, despite their Chinese tenants, the newly constructed Chinatown featured designs reminiscent of China.

One of the first buildings to incorporate this new aesthetic was the Sing Fat Company building at the southwest corner of California and Grant. Built by (non-Chinese) architects Ross and Burgren, the pagoda-roofed building was billed as an “Oriental Bazaar” with additional branches in Los Angeles and New York.

Postcard of Sing Fat Company building, circa 1910. Photo via Palos Verdes Library District, Local History Collection

The building is still standing today with retail shops, but has lost much of its original ornamentation.

Across the street from Sing Fat Company, at the northwest corner, the Sing Chong building (also designed by Ross and Burgren) opened at the same time as another bazaar. It was later converted to the Cathay House Restaurant in 1942.

The Sing Chong building illuminated during the Portola Festival, 1909. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

The Sing Chong building illuminated during the Portola Festival, 1909. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

The Sing Chong building, 1910. Photo via California Historical Society.

Inspired by its standout look, many other buildings on the street started featuring similar architectural treatments. For instance, the Bank of America building at 701 Grant, originally the Nanking Fook Wo Inc., featured traditional dragon motifs.

Chinatown branch of Bank of America at 701 Grant, 1964. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

The ubiquitous red lantern street lamps that line Grant Avenue, a popular attraction today for tourists and local photographers, were installed for the 1939 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Street lamps installed for World’s Fair, 1938.

Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

Local lore has it that chop suey, the popular American-Chinese dish, originated in Gold Rush-era San Francisco when hungry miners barged into an area Chinese restaurant, which was just about to close, demanding food.

The chef scraped leftovers off other plates, slapped some sauce on it, and served it to them as chop suey (a mixed-up version of Cantonese for “odds and ends”). Regardless of its origins, chop suey was a mainstay in mid-20th-century Chinatown.

Grant between Pacific and Broadway, 1944. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

The Shanghai Low sign at 532 Grant once shone bright on the building built in 1908. Though the sign technically still exists, the “Chop Suey” signage has been replaced with “Lotus Garden,” the original marquee was replaced by generic vinyl awnings along the street, and all the cornice ornamentation has been removed.

Chinatown in the 1940s. Photo via the California State Library

Photo via California State Library

The 1913 Western States Importing Company at 400 Grant looks very much the same today as it did in 1951, though its setting has changed with the addition of the Chinatown entrance gates at Grant and Bush.

Shanghai Low building at 532 Grant, 1976. Photo by San Francisco Planning Department

Corner of Grant Avenue and Bush Street, 1951. Photo via San Francisco History Center/SF Public Library

One of the most iconic (and photographed) spots on Grant Avenue is the Dragon Gate entrance at Bush Street. Dedicated in 1970, the gate features Chinese gateway standards using stone throughout.

With a design by Chinese-American architect Clayton Lee, who based it on Chinese ceremonial gates, it features motifs of fish and dragons with two lion statues on each side. Lee’s design won a contest in the late 1960s and includes a wooden plaque with a quote from Dr. Sun Yat-sen, which hangs from the main archway bearing gilded words that read, “All under heaven is for the good for the people.”


Conteúdo

The Chinese arriving in San Francisco, primarily from the Taishan and Zhongshan regions as well as Guangdong province of mainland China, did so at the height of the California Gold Rush, and many worked in the mines scattered throughout the northern part of the state. [3] Chinatown was the one geographical region deeded by the city government and private property owners which allowed Chinese people to inherit and inhabit dwellings. The majority of these Chinese shopkeepers, restaurant owners, and hired workers in San Francisco Chinatown were predominantly Hoisanese and male [ citation needed ] Many Chinese found jobs working for large companies, most famously as part of the Central Pacific [4] on the Transcontinental Railroad. Other early immigrants worked as mine workers or independent prospectors hoping to strike it rich during the California Gold Rush.

Although many of the earlier waves of Chinese immigration were predominantly men searching for jobs, Chinese women also began making the journey towards the United States. The first known Chinese woman to immigrate was Marie Seise who arrived in 1848 and worked in the household of Charles V. Gillespie. [5] Within a matter of months of Seise's arrival to the West Coast, the rush for gold in California commenced which brought a flooding of prospective miners from around the globe. Among this group were Chinese, primarily from the Guangdong Province, most of whom were seafarers who had already established Western contacts. “Few women accompanied these early sojourners, many of whom expected to return from after they made their fortune.” [6]

Although the oceanic voyage to the United States offered new and exciting opportunities, dangers also loomed for women while traveling and many were discouraged from making the trip due to the harsh living conditions. Oceanic voyages with Chinese immigrants boarded the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and Canadian Pacific Steamship Company. Chinese immigrants would have to ride in the steerage where food was stored. Many were given rice bowls to eat during the voyage. In 1892, a federal law passed to ensure immigrants who were on board, needed a certificate. Due to tight arrangements, unhygienic situations and scarcity in food, this led to health degradation. [7] Many immigrants were unable to board these voyages due to the Geary Act of 1892 which blocked the reunion of immigrants in America with their families not with them. [8] Many diseases found through these voyages were Hookworm Yersinia pestis which contributed greatly to the Bubonic Plague. [9]

“During the Gold Rush era, when Chinese men were a common sight in California, Chinese women were an oddity” and in urban spaces were rarely seen in public. Unlike the rural areas, Chinatown afforded few opportunities for women to come into contact with the larger society.” [6] Simultaneously, Chinese women also participated in urban sex work, which resulted in local laws like one passed in April 1854 that sought to shut down "houses of ill-fame," not racialized in name but practically deployed to "[single] out Mexican and Chinese houses of ill fame, starting with Charles Walden's Golden Rule House on Pacific Street and moving on to establishments run by Ah-Choo, C. Lossen, and Ah Yow." [10]

With national unemployment in the wake of the Panic of 1873, racial tensions in the city boiled over into full blown race riots. Like much of San Francisco during these times, a period of criminality ensued in some Chinese gangs known as tongs, which were onto smuggling, gambling and prostitution. In response to the violence, the Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association or the Chinese Six Companies, which evolved out of the labor recruiting organizations for different areas of Guangdong province, was created as a means of providing a unified voice for the community. The heads of these companies were the leaders of the Chinese merchants, who represented the Chinese community in front of the business community as a whole and the city government. Numerous white citizens defended the Chinese community, among them Pastor Franklin Rhoda whose numerous letters appeared in the local press. By the early 1880s, the population had adopted the term Tong war to describe periods of violence in Chinatown, the San Francisco Police Department had established its so-called Chinatown Squad. The anti-immigrant sentiment became law as the United States Government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 – the first immigration restriction law aimed at a single ethnic group. This law, along with other immigration restriction laws such as the Geary Act, greatly reduced the number of Chinese people allowed into the country and the city, and in theory limited Chinese immigration to single men only. Exceptions were granted to the families of wealthy merchants, but the law was still effective enough to reduce the population of the neighborhood to an all-time low in the 1920s. The neighborhood was completely destroyed in the 1906 earthquake that leveled most of the city. One of the more successful sergeants of Chinatown Squad, Jack Manion, was appointed in 1921 and served for two decades. From 1910 to 1940, Chinese immigrants were detained at the Angel Island immigration station in the San Francisco Bay. To be permitted entry to the United States, thousands of mostly Chinese immigrants crossing the Pacific to San Francisco had to enter through the gauntlet of Angel Island, and were detained for months in a purgatory of isolation. Some spent years on the island waiting for entry to the U.S. [11] [12] The exclusion act was repealed during World War II under the Magnuson Act, in recognition of the important role of China as an ally in the war, although tight quotas still applied. The Chinatown Squadwas finally disbanded in August 1955 by police chief George Healey, upon the request of the influential Chinese World newspaper, which had editorialized that the squad was an "affront to Americans of Chinese descent". [13]

Many working-class Hong Kong Chinese immigrants began arriving in Chinatown in large numbers in the 1960s, and despite their status and professions in Hong Kong, had to find low-paying employment in restaurants and garment factories in Chinatown because of limited English fluency. An increase in Cantonese-speaking immigrants from Hong Kong and Guangdong has gradually led to the replacement of the Taishanese (Hoisanese) dialect with the standard Cantonese dialect.

In the Sunset District in western San Francisco, a demographic shift began in the late 1960s and accelerated from the 1980s as Asian immigration to San Francisco increased dramatically. Much of the original, largely Irish American population of the Sunset moved to other neighborhoods and outlying suburban areas, although there is still a significant Irish American and Irish minority in the neighborhood. Informal Chinatowns have emerged on Irving Street between 19th Avenue and 26th Avenue as well as on the commercial sections of Taraval Street and Noriega Street west of 19th Avenue. About half of the Sunset District's residents are Asian American, mostly of Chinese birth and descent. The immigrants in the Sunset District were both Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking.

With the rise of the technology industry in Silicon Valley, many immigrants from Mainland China and Taiwan moved to the San Francisco Area. Many of them (particularly the Mandarin-speaking group) reside in the South Area cities of Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose, and Fremont. [2]


Assista o vídeo: Dona Lucy em Chinatown, San Francisco 2015 (Janeiro 2022).