A White Man's Province: British Columbia Politicians and by Patricia E. Roy

By Patricia E. Roy

A White Man's Province examines how British Columbians replaced their attitudes in the direction of Asian immigrants from certainly one of toleration in colonial instances to full of life hostility through the flip of the century and describes how politicians answered to well known cries to halt Asian immigration and limit Asian actions within the province.

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Additional resources for A White Man's Province: British Columbia Politicians and Chinese and Japanese Immigrants, 1858-1914

Sample text

Unfortunately, the marriage laws in British Columbia are still very lax, so lax indeed that a girl of the age of twelve years can marry whom she wills, with her father's consent, and without her mother's consent. 34 The murder of Mrs. Millard revived agitation for segregated schools, at least in Vancouver, where newspapers repeated almost all the traditional arguments about the harmful effects of the association of oriental and white children in school. Vancouver City Council expressed "grave apprehension" about the presence of children and young Oriental men in the same schools and called for an amendment to the Public School Act to permit the segregation of Oriental children.

Indeed, "the tail," or "the pig-tail," became a common descriptive epithet. To the Chinese male, the queue was a sign of submission to the conquering Manchu Empire; he wore it and defended it as he might uphold a religious emblem. For example, nine prisoners whose hair was cut against their wishes refused to work until a cold water hose was turned on them. To sinophobes, the absence of the queue on a Chinese head was a symbol of white superiority. Thus, Noah Shakespeare celebrated his success in persuading the government to shave the heads of all long-term prisoners by waving a queue before a meeting of the Workingmen's Protective Association.

Yet, even sensational crimes caused only short-lived excitement. " Murders of white women by Chinese aroused more concern. When the press reported that a Chinese student had killed his white female Sunday school teacher in New York, the Vancouver Police Commission asked all white women to stop teaching Chinese students in mission schools. In Victoria, the Local Council of Women was shocked to learn that young white girls gave private English lessons to Chinese men. 4 In April 1914 Jack Kong, a Chinese houseboy, brutally murdered his employer, Mrs.

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