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"Gifts of Famine: Invasion of Sikhs from the Punjab" (1907)

An October 1907 article from The International Wood-Worker (Vol. 17, No. 10) that explores the causes behind the "anti-Hindoo riots" in Bellingham, Washington, as well as the riots in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. The Woodworker was the official journal of the Amalgamated Wood-workers Union of America, and was published in Chicago, with content in English and German. The author justifies the Bellingham riot as a result of "the fear that has taken possession of the working classes at the hordes of Hindoos that come over our border from Canada." He also points towards the excessive taxation by the British, which has led to high death rates in Punjab, as a cause for Sikh emigration to North America. The article continues by describing the patterns of movement by Sikhs, who travel to Canada to avoid the rigorous physicals of U.S. immigration ports, migrate south where the inspection is weak, "bringing with them that common aftermath of every famine-produced pestilence, the bubonic plague, the presence of which the San Francisco authorities are so eager to conceal." The article ends with a quote from Ethelbert Stewart contrasting the Sikhs from Japanese laborers in purely racial-anthropological terms.

Early Immigration

Date: October 1907
Subject(s): Bellingham Riot
Type: Text
Language: English
Source: The International Wood-Worker

Item History: 2011-07-13 (created); 2013-05-03 (modified)

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