Minnesota’s first Chinese settlers, fleeing racial violence in California, established scores of small businesses after they arrived in the late 1870s. Newspapers eagerly published reports of the small Chinese community’s activities, including New Year’s festivities, marriages, and restaurant openings—as well as allegations of tong activity and of their political ties to China. Beginning in 1882 federal laws stopping Chinese immigration and denying citizenship put particular pressure on the community, which was also accused of resisting Americanization. By the 1960s, a new wave of immigrants, including students, businessmen, and professionals from both Mainland China and Taiwan, began to bring new energy and issues to the state’s Chinese community.
This concise history of the Chinese in Minnesota, the newest addition to The People of Minnesota series, examines the rich history of this ethnic group including immigration patterns, cultural and social organizations, businesses, politics, education, and family life.
Author Sherri Gebert Fuller relates their story from the early days to the flourishing of ties between Minnesota and China and the professional, educational, and cultural successes of this vital community.