Chinese Exclusion Act: Topics in Chronicling America
During the late 1800's, the Chinese Exclusion Act prevented Chinese laborers from immigrating to the U.S. This guide provides access to materials related to the “Chinese Exclusion Act” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Emma Lazarus wrote on the Statue of Liberty, reflecting the importance of immigration in the United States. Yet in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited the immigration of all Chinese laborers. The Act, only repealed in 1943, was one of the most significant restrictions on free immigration in US history. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act and President Chester A. Arthur signs it.
April 30, 1882
Chinese immigrants in Canada poised to cross U.S. border when Exclusion Act expires.