An Anti-Californian Holiday

Governor George C. Perkins (center) declares Saturday, March 4, 1882 a legal holiday to allow "one universal demonstration" to support passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Saturdays remain part of the standard, six-day work week for decades to come.

The next day, the San Francisco Chronicle reported "Nearly all trade was suspended in this city yesterday to enable the business class to give the day to the grand anti-coolie demonstration. … no sound of party politics [was] heard anywhere. An army of 100,000 foreign armed invaders could not have caused a more complete unanimity of feeling and action..."

Also a ...
... large scale hydraulic miner, land speculator, and owner of railroads, whaling operations, and shipping lines, Governor Perkins goes on to control powerful committees in the U.S. Senate. Perkins’ 1893 Senate speech "Exclusion of the Chinese" is included 1903 anthology, Modern Eloquence.

Governor George C. Perkins
Photo From 1907 volume by James Miller Guinn, courtesy Oakland Public Library Oakland History Room

 

 

 

 

 

    ©Chinese Historical Society of America. Exhibit Microsite Powered by Content Connie. Design by Big Blue Ox.