This Primary source analysis I decided to write about was on Memorial of the Chinese Six Companies to U.S. Grant, President of the United States which was written in 1876 and reprinted in (The Power of Words: Documents in American History, vol. II: 35-37, 1996). The document was a petition addressed to United States President Ulysses S. Grant in attempt to persuade the United states and its people that they were there to live their lives and no other reason than that. The petition was written by The Chinese Six companies or The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association which was formed in the 1850’s. These companies were mainly associated with San Francisco but spoke Chinese Americans all across the nation.
Life during 1876 was difficult for the Chinese people in the United States. The Chinese were beaten, their shops destroyed, burned to the ground or in severe cases bombed. The San Francisco Riot of 1876 was a prime example of how life was hard for the Chinese people. Where several Chinese were terrorized and the National guard had to be called to in quell people’s tempers. The main reason for this was because the Chinese people accepted wages. That of which white people wouldn’t and were considered taking white peoples jobs. A Congressional Investigation was even conducted on the premise that the Chinese ate strange food, didn’t have their wives there and practiced religions unknown to the public.
The beginning statement was as humble as could possibly be and respectful to the nation and stat simply that all people in this country are immigrants “We understand that it has always been the settled policy of your honorable Government to welcome emigration to your shores from all countries, without let or hindrance. The Chinese are not the only people who have crossed the ocean to seek a residence in this land” (Chinese Six Companies, Memorial of the Chinese Six Companies to U.S. Grant, President of the United States, Petition, 1876). This was important because it showed the resemblance to the Chinese and the rest of the country.
After this the petition states just how many Chinese reside in the United states. This is important because it shows how many people this petition stands for and how much weight it carries to be brought to the president. Another important quote from this petition would be the final sentence implying that yes the Chinese bring problems to the country but aren’t the only ones that do and under the charges against them should not be the focus of main concern “The Chinese are not the only people, nor do they bring the only evils that now afflict this country.” (Chinese Six Companies, Memorial of the Chinese Six Companies to U.S. Grant, President of the United States, Petition, 1876).
The evidence that claims the purpose of this petition give prove its own validity. Such as Is it no benefit to this country that the Chinese annually pay over $2,000,000 duties at the Custom house of San Francisco?” (Chinese Six Companies, Memorial of the Chinese Six Companies to U.S. Grant, President of the United States, Petition, 1876). Which addresses the charge against the Chinese people that they are no benefit to the United States. If I had one question to ask the Author of this petition or be it as it may author’s than I would ask, why didn’t you write this petition sooner before living in this country became such a burden so as to eliminate stubborn views and eliminate arrogance before it turned into riots?