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By Patricia E. Roy

A White Man's Province examines how British Columbians replaced their attitudes in the direction of Asian immigrants from one in all toleration in colonial occasions to energetic hostility through the flip of the century and describes how politicians replied to renowned cries to halt Asian immigration and limit Asian actions within the province.

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

Example text

At the coal mining community of Union (Cumberland), he noted, "John turns his filth into vegetables, which he sells to white neighbours," but he conceded that except for watercress and celery there were few ill effects. He also found the "filthy habit" was practised in the Victoria suburb of Oak Bay where Ah Moh used pig and other excrement as a top dressing and human urine for watering purposes. Moreover, Phillipps-Wolley noted vegetables from such gardens were often eaten raw, causing a grave risk of typhoid.

C. 31 They complained of the cost of educating oriental children, suggested that children who were unfamiliar with English retarded the progress of their classmates, and alleged that the uncleanliness of Chinatowns made Chinese children a danger to public health. The most compelling argument for segregated schools, however, was a moral one. "32 Problems arose from the practice of placing children in classrooms according to their knowledge of English rather than their age and from the disproportionate number of males among recent Asian immigrants.

Dr. CJ. Pagan, the secretary, recommended at least semi-annual medical examinations of all Chinese and Japanese and registration and inspection of their dwellings, which would have to be brought up to standard or destroyed. After visiting San Francisco, Pagan urged the quarantining of all Chinese and Chinese goods entering from the United States. The danger, however, did not seem imminent, perhaps because San Francisco interests attempted to suppress news of the plague. Three months passed between the first "A World of Their Own" 35 reports of the plague in San Francisco and the provincial Board of Health's order that Chinese and Japanese had to report all sickness and deaths to health authorities.

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