This game will teach you about the hardships and racial discrimination that a Chinese immigrant faced during the Gold Rush.
[[Click to Begin]]You are a young Chinese man living in poverty who is seeking a better way of life for his family. You have left behind a wife, who is expecting a child, and your mother and father. Your family will not be able to handle the burden of a newborn child with the income you have now in China. So you must find an alternative way to provide for your family.
You have heard news of the booming Gold Rush occuring in California and also the large amounts of opportunity for work available. So you buy your ticket, board the boat, and head to California.
Choose a city you would like to work in:
[[Board boat to San Francisco]]
[[Board boat to Chico]]
As for many men, your intentions are to "strike it rich" and return home to support your family. This dream you have will be very hard to attain and you will face many challenges along the way.
However, once you arrive to America you have fallen victim to racial discrimination and class exploitation.
The white Americans see you as a cultural threat, labor competition, and racial inferiors. You along with the Irish Immigrants, are seen as a seperate class to the white men. This racial divide will create tension thus making it extremely difficult for you to reach your goal of making money and going back home.
[[Get on a new boat and return home]]
[[Stay on boat to San Francisco]]Because of the harsh conditions in China, the Chinese were driven to go to California. In 1850, there were only 92,597 people in California and only 1,135 were Chinese. Slowly, but surely that changed. By 1852 there were about 9,800 Chinese immigrants in California.
During your journey on the boat you befriend another Chinese man that is seeking a similar future for himself. You two share stores from back home and you also share your doubts about what the future will hold for two [[Chinese immigrants]] living in California.
During your journey over seas, the weather conditions were unbearable. The huge storm caused damage to the boat which ultimately led to the boat sinking.
It was a risk that you, alongside other immigrants took to create a better future for you and your family. However, you were unsuccessful.
R.I.P With so many immigrants flowing in, there was a deficiency in housing and sanitation which meant that the competition increased. This lead to violent attacks against the Latinos and Chinese immigrants. The “Americans” thought that the gold belonged to them because they were born here; where as the foreigners were considered trespassers. This lead to the establishment of taxes that targeted them.
[[Foreign Miners Tax]] While you were working one day, some angry 48ers come into the saloon looking trouble. They start a confrontation with you because you "do not belong here". This is not the first time a situation like this has started because of your ethnicity.
Your boss ends up letting you go from this job because you cause too much of issue with the customers and this is not the first time something like this has happened.
With options for work even slimmer, you decide to work in the mines where you know there will be work available.
[[Become a miner]]
You begin working at this restaurant andonly a few days into work you get into a small confrontation with your boss. He never really liked you anyways and he claims that you are a lazy, dirty Chinese. You argue with him because you are not what the stereotype says he is. He was not looking for talk back from you so he fires you right then and there.
You had overheard some other Chinese men talking about their work in the mines so you decide that might be a more successful option for you.
[[Become a miner]]Today is your first day working at a mine. It is extremely dangerous.
src="http://cdn.calisphere.org/data/13030/0w/hb9s20070w/files/hb9s20070w-FID3.jpg" alt="Chinese Miners" height="700" width="700">
One out of twelve forty-niners loses his (or her) life en route to, in, or returning from the mines. Accidents were frequent.
During your work day, you are able to reconnect with the man you met on the boat. You both need to find living arrangements.
[[Leave mine]]You come across a chinese workers camp. You and your friend decide to stay there.
<img src="http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/calheritage/ucb/mackay/figures/I0011461A.jpg" alt="Chinese Workers Camp in California" height="500" width="700">
[[Write a letter home]]
[[Wait to write a letter]]
A couple months have passed by, and you have finally setteled in. You've made enough money to send some home and you finally write a letter for your family since your arrival to America.
<img src="http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/calheritage/ucb/mackay/figures/I0011461A.jpg" alt=Chinese Workers Camp in California" height="500" width="700">
You go to the post office with your friend to send your letter and you both run into some 48ers trying to take advantage of a young woman by the saloon. You both feel very empathetic towards the woman so you step in to help her. The 48ers do not take kindly to you defending the woman so they pull out their pistols ready to shoot. Your friend tries to attack them, and they shoot him instantly. You flee as fast as you can.
The next day you return to the post office to send the letter home. Your heart is very heavy from the incident that happened the day before. That friend was one of the only forms of companionship you had here in California.
While walking back to the camp you stumble across a saloon and you step inside to grab a drink.
[[Start drinking]]You continue on with your work and after a month or so you receive a letter from you wife with news that she experienced a miscarriage. The news makes you feel distraught and depressed. This whole journey was for that child and now you start to question if is was all worth it. You take a walk through the town and pass by a saloon. You immediately enter.
[[Start drinking]]After the unfortunate events that took place you are very weary of the choice you made to travel here. You are so angry about the discrimination you faced while working here in San Francisco that you question if it is all worth it.
You continue to work in the mines for sometime and you also continue to drink more than usual. You finally have enough money to return sucessfully home, but just like the alcohol, there are other temptations at every corner.
Many of the miners have had some luck gambling and increasing their riches so maybe you should try is as well. Do you want to increase your small fortune or play it safe?
[[Gamble]]go home to your family and you have accumulated some money. You gave in to the temptation of gambling in the streets of San Franscisco.
<img src="http://cdn.calisphere.org/data/13030/bk/hb6h4nb1bk/files/hb6h4nb1bk-FID3.jpg" alt="Chinese Gambling" height="500" width="500">
Choose you luck:
[[C]]It is 1852, the Foreign Miners tax has come into play. You now have to pay a monthly due to be able to work as a Foreign miner. Since you have very little money you have to quickly decide how you will pay for the tax.
[[You must sell your family heirloom that you brought from back home]]
[[Try to steal from someone in the mines]]
This is the last piece of memorabilia that you have that reminds you of your family. You sell it to one of the other miners for close to nothing, but it covers the costs of your miner's tax.
You are now ready to work.
[[Work at mine]] You go to work the next day and you come with a plan to steal someones gear looking for money. The guy you're working next to leaves his stuff unattended and as soon as he is out of sight you take his gear. You end up selling it to another miner. You get the money to pay your Foreign Miners Tax.
[[Work at mine]]You Strike it (somewhat) rich. You have the option to [[Buy a ticket]] for the boat and you still have little money left over to take with you. OR you could [[Continue working]] and hope that one day you can have enough money to bring your family over to San Franscisco.
You lost all your money in gambling. You need to start over and continue to work to regain the very little amount of money you svaed up. Your months of hard work have been lost.
You lose everything and on your way home to the camp, somebody shoots you in the leg. You are left alone in the street for hours and you die a slow painful death.You buy a ticket and board the boat to safely return home. Years have passed by and you fear that life back home has changed drastically but you feel that now is finally the time to come back home.
You continue working in San Francisco and have dreams of opening your own authentic Chinese restaurant in the city. Staying here in San Francisco is not all that you thought it would be and it has been a very draining couple of years for you. You wanted to create a better life for yourself and your family; and through moving to America you have faced many obstacles but doing this allowed a new, brighter future for your family here in California.Primary Sources:
Britton & Rey. “Celestial Empire in California: Miners/Gamblers.” //Calisphere//, UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library, calisphere.org/item/ark:/13030/hb6h4nb1bk/.
Northrop, S.C. “Chinese Camp in California. Chinese in Gold Rush Days of Calif. Acted as Miners, Cooks, Laundry Men. Also Were Chief Laborers in Late Sixties on Central Pacific R.R.” //Calisphere//, UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library, calisphere.org/item/ark:/13030/tf629008m5/.
Clay, Karen, and Randall Jones. “Migrating to Riches? Evidence from the California Gold Rush.” //The Journal of Economic History//, vol. 68, no. 4, 2008, pp. 997–1027., doi:10.1017/S002205070800079X.
Kanazawa, Mark. "Immigration, Exclusion, and Taxation: Anti-Chinese Legislation in Gold Rush California." //The Journal of Economic History//, vol. 65, no. 3, 2005, pp. 779-805. ProQuest, http://csulb.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/216442721?accountid=10351.
Lopez, Raul D. //Racial Intolerance during the California Gold Rush//, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Ann Arbor, 2015. //ProQuest//, http://csulb.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1771508841?accountid=10351.
Metraux, Daniel A. "Ghosts of the Gold Rush: Visiting Chinese Camp, California.(Essay)." //Southeast Review of Asian Studies// 32 (2010): 158. Web.
Randall E. Rohe. “After the Gold Rush: Chinese Mining in the Far West, 1850-1890.” //Montana: The Magazine of Western History//, vol. 32, no. 4, 1982, pp. 2–19. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4518690.
Starr, Kevin. //California: a History//. Modern Library, 2015.
You have used the last of your money to return home. You have no money for food and the trip has just begun. You do not survive the journey.The boat ride from China to California is very long and takes a strain on every traveler.
<img src="http://cdn.calisphere.org/data/13030/r9/hb5q2nb0r9/files/hb5q2nb0r9-FID4.jpg" alt="Chinese Workers on a Boat to San Francisco" height="500" width="700">
[[Get off boat in San Francisco Bay]] Congratulations, you have arrived in San Francisco!!
<img src="http://cdn.calisphere.org/data/13030/cm/hb1489n4cm/files/hb1489n4cm-FID3.jpg" alt="Chinese Workers Camp in California" height="500" width="700">
You survived a very long dangerous journey that many do not survive.
In San Francisco, you are one of the many immigrants looking for work and there are few opportunities to work for an immigrant such as yourself.
What will you choose to partake in?
[[Become a miner]]
[[Work at a saloon]]
[[Become a cook]]