"AN UNDESIRABLE ELEMENT IN A REPUBLIC": 1877 CONGRESSIONAL REPORT ON CHINESE IMMIGRATION
(UNITED STATES CONGRESS). Report of the Joint Special Committee to Investigate Chinese Immigration. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1877. Thick octavo, original green cloth. $950.
First edition, Senate issue, of the report of the joint congressional committee on Chinese Immigration, a prelude to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.
The Joint Committee on Chinese Immigration gathered an exceptionally large amount of testimony, gathered here in this almost 1300-page report. With a focus on the American West, particularly California and the Pacific coast, it concluded that while "the Pacific coat has been a great gainer" from the presence of Chinese workers, "laboring men and artisans, perhaps without exception" were opposed to "the influx of Chinese," perceiving them as a threat to their jobs. The Committee deemed that the Chinese immigrants, "an indigestible mass in the community, distinct in language, pagan in religion, inferior in mental and moral qualities, and all peculiarities, [are] an undesirable element in a republic… The Pacific coast must in time become either American or Mongolian." This virulent anti-Chinese sentiment lead to the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act five years later in 1882, effectively barring all Chinese immigration to the United States for over 60 years. Cowan 120.
Faint marginal dampstaining to front free endpapers and first few leaves, with related staining to the front board; minor wear to cloth extremities. A very good copy.