That year the country was in the fourth year of a prolonged economic depression after the panic of Railway work was already poorly paid and dangerous. Moreover, the railroad companies had taken advantage of the economic troubles to largely break the nascent trade unions that had been formed by the workers before and after the American Civil War. Mathews dispatched the militia when police were unable to break up the supportive crowd that had gathered.
House of Representatives, Thursday, April 29, Speaker, today I rise to honor the Chinese-American community and pay tribute to its ancestors' contribution to the building of the American transcontinental railroad.
On May 8th, the Colfax Area Historical Society in my Congressional District will place a monument along Highway at Cape Horn, near Colfax, California to recognize the efforts of the Chinese in laying the tracks that linked the east and west coasts for the first time.
With the California Gold Rush and the opening of the West came an increased interest in building a transcontinental Great railroad strike 1877. To this end, the Central Pacific Railroad Company was established, and construction of the route East from Sacramento began in Although the beginning of the effort took place on relatively flat land, labor and financial problems were persistent, resulting in only 50 miles of track being laid in the first two years.
Although the company needed over 5, workers, it only had on the payroll by Chinese labor was suggested, as they had already helped build the California Central Railroad, the railroad from Sacramento to Marysville and the San Jose Railway.
Originally thought to be too small to complete such a momentous task, Charles Crocker of Central Pacific pointed out, "the Chinese made the Great Wall, didn't they? They lived in simply dwellings and cooked their own meals, often consisting of fish, dried oysters and fruit, mushrooms and seaweed.
Work in the beginning was slow and difficult. After the first 23 miles, Central Pacific faced the daunting task of laying tracks over terrain that rose 7, feet in miles. To conquer the many sheer embankments, the Chinese workers used techniques they had learned in China to complete similar tasks.
They were lowered by ropes from the top of cliffs in baskets [sic]and while suspended, they chipped away at the granite and planted explosives that were used to blast tunnels.
Many workers risked their lives and perished in the harsh winters and dangerous conditions. By the summer of4, workers, two thirds of which were Chinesehad built the transcontinental railroad over the Sierras and into the interior plains.
On May 10,the two railroads were to meet at Promontory, Utah in front of a cheering crowd and a band.
A Chinese [and Irish ] crew was chosen to lay the final ten miles of track, and it was completed in only twelve hours. Without the efforts of the Chinese workers in the building of America's railroads, our development and progress as a nation would have been delayed by years.
Their toil in severe weather, cruel working conditions and for meager wages cannot be under appreciated. My sentiments and thanks go out to the entire Chinese-American community for its ancestors' contribution to the building of this great Nation.
The cars now run nearly to the summit of the Sierras. They were a great army laying siege to Nature in her strongest citadel.
The rugged mountains looked like stupendous ant-hills. They swarmed with Celestials, shoveling, wheeling, carting, drilling and blasting rocks and earth, while their dull, moony eyes stared out from under immense basket-hats, like umbrellas. At several dining camps we saw hundreds sitting on the ground, eating soft boiled rice with chopsticks as fast as terrestrials could with soup-ladles.
Irish laborers received thirty dollars per month gold and board; Chinese, thirty-one dollars, boarding themselves.
After a little experience the latter were quite as efficient and far less troublesome. Richardson "Make Masons out of Chinamen? Did they not build the Chinese wall, the biggest piece of masonry in the world? Many of them are becoming very expert in drilling, blasting and other departments of rock work" — S.
A large majority of the white laboring class on the Pacific Coast find more profitable and congenial employment in mining and agricultural pursuits, than in railroad work.
The greater portion of the laborers employed by us are Chinese, who constitute a large element in the population of California.
Without them it would be impossible to complete the western portion of this great national enterprrise, within the time required by the Acts of Congress. As a class they are quiet, peaceable, patient, industrious and economical—ready and apt to learn all the different kinds of work required in railroad building, they soon become as efficient as white laborers.
More prudent and economical, they are contented with less wages. We find them organized into societies for mutual aid and assistance. These societies, that count their numbers by thousands, are conducted by shrewd, intelligent business men, who promptly advise their subordinates where employment can be found on the most favorable terms.
No system similar to slaveryserfdom or peonage prevails among these laborers.
Their wages, which are always paid in coin, at the end of each month, are divided among them by their agents, who attend to their business, in proportion to the labor done by each person.The Great Railroad Strike of started on July 14 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in response to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) cutting wages of workers for the third time in a year.
Striking workers would not allow any of the trains, mainly freight trains, to roll until this third wage cut was revoked. Wars Placer County Railroad War.
One of the first railroad wars in Old West history was the Placer County Railroad War in ashio-midori.com , the Sacramento Valley Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad began competing for the ownership of a road from Ashland to a point just outside Auburn Station, which was in the process of being abandoned by the Sacramento, Placer and Nevada Railroad.
Pullman Strike: Pullman Strike, in U.S. history, railroad strike and boycott that severely disrupted rail traffic in the Midwest in June and July of The federal government’s response to the unrest marked the first time that an injunction was used to break a strike.
Read more about the strike . 1. History of At-Will Employment According to various legal scholars, the doctrine of at-will employment first appeared as a statement in a legal treatise by Horace C.
Wood, Master and Servant § , at pages (). Wood cited four American cases in support of his statement about at-will employment. Wars Placer County Railroad War. One of the first railroad wars in Old West history was the Placer County Railroad War in ashio-midori.com , the Sacramento Valley Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad began competing for the ownership of a road from Ashland to a point just outside Auburn Station, which was in the process of being abandoned by the Sacramento, Placer and Nevada Railroad.
Chinese labor was suggested, as they had already helped build the California Central Railroad, the railroad from Sacramento to Marysville and the San Jose Railway. Originally thought to be too small to complete such a momentous task, Charles Crocker of Central Pacific pointed out.