Butte County California Chinese Immigrants

THE CHINESE COMMUNITIES OF OROVILLE:

A BRIEF SKETCH


CHINESE WOMEN



The shortage of woman among the American Chinese left the men with few available marriage partners (Hsu 2000:101). American born Chinese women were few in number and tended to accept men with wealth for husbands. By 1920 there were 695 Chinese men to every 100 woman. Laws also prohibited Chinese men from looking outside the Chinese community for brides. A California statute prohibiting marriages between whites and blacks had been in place since 1872 and was amended in 1906 to include “Mongolians”. It was not until 1948 that this law was repealed. Additionally, any woman marrying a Chinese man without U.S. citizenship after 1921, would be stripped of her own citizenship, a heavy price for a European-American woman.


Hsu (2000:97, Table 8) shows the number of Chinese Women immigrants admitted to the United States between the years of 1900 and 1932. The numbers admitted in the years between 1900 and 1910 were as follows: 1900 – 9; 1901-39; 1902 – 42; 1903 – 40; 1904 – 118; 1905 – 88; 1906 – 88; 1907 – 64; 1908 – 86; 1909 – 135; and 1910 – 172. Table 9 (Hsu 2000:99) lists the number married men living as bachelors in the United States, 1890-1940. Also listed were the number of married women. The numbers for 1890, 1900 and 1910 were as follows:


YEAR
MARRIED WOMEN
HUSBANDS LIVING AS BACHELORS
1890
1,951
24,769
1900
2,157
29,637
1910
2,016
24,433


Chinese men considered women born in China as better potential wives. They thought them to be more virtuous than woman born in the United States (Hsu 200:102-103) American-born women were assumed to be of uncertain character and moral values.