Keep Them Out! -Horace F. Page

Horace F. Page was born on Oct 20th 1833 and he was a US Congressman representing California. One major contribution of congressman Page in changing the course of US history is that he was the author of a bill that restricted female Chinese immigrants.

This was a time when many immigrants from all around the world were gathering in the United States of America. Among the many immigrants, Chinese immigrants seemed quite unwelcomed; James G. Blaine, the leader of Republican, even declared that Chinese immigrants as odious, abominable, dangerous and even revolting.

During a time like this, for congressman Page to write such bill made great changes for Chinese immigrants–female Chinese immigrants. Page has stated that his motivation in doing so was to protect the health of White American citizens as Chinese prostitution was prospering. Yet, this law was further enforced to keep out wives and daughters of arriving Chinese immigrants and also those currently in US territory.

If congressman Page were to show up in our class, here are my two questions for him:

1) I am sure that immigrants from different countries have also caused some social issues, to some extent,  in the US like that of the Chinese immigrants. However, why would you restrict Chinese immigrants and not those from other countries? Is it simply based on their race?

2) The Chinese immigrants have contributed in the gold mines of California; they were also the ones to set up railroads that led to the West. These are all very hard physical labors and they know this too, but why do you think there is an overflow of Chinese immigrants in the US regardless of these hardcore labors?

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