The First Chinese Newspaper in America
Digital History ID 16
This editorial published in San Francisco’s first Chinese language demands greater respect for the achievements of Chinese culture.
To maximize the area of liberty and minize that of tyranny has become essential the principle of the Times. Every effort, of the really liberal, has professedly for its object the improvement of the moral, religious, and legal code of nations and races, but in doing so it is found, that sacred bigotries must be broken into, and vested prejudices exposed. For instance, a Chinese Mission Chapel, with attached library and school-room, has been opened for the preaching of the gospel to the Chinese race, and for instructing them in the English language in all its branches…. We, too, believing that Civil and Political knowledge is of infinite importance to the Chinese, both in their individual, social, and relative state, have established “The giolden Hills’ News” for that special mission….
And what race of people more deserving of our efforts? They claim a national existence coeval with the most remote antiquity…. The doctrines or philosophy of Confucius have obtained a reputation not only national, but have been long celebrated among the literati of Europe, as evidencing a high state of intellectual and moral progress….
Yet our Conducts of the Press describe them as “Apes,” “Brutes,” “social lice”! lower than the Negro-race. Did ever one of these Conductors or Editors see the Negroes as just imported from Africa! If they ever did, and should then compare them with Chinamen, we should consider than mentality—insanity…. We protest against making targets of the poor Chinese, and say, it is only fair, that Republicans should warmly encourage, cherish and protect every effort to diffuse the spirit of Christianity and Republicanism amongst that interesting race.
Source: Golden Hills’ News (San Francisco, June 10, 1854)
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