6     Exploring Solutions (1861-1894)                      



Primary Resources 


Document 6.1


Excerpts from letter from Zeng Guofan and Li Hongzhang to Zongli Yamen (the Foreign Relations Bureau) on sending young men abroad to study, March 1871


Document 6.2


Excerpts from the autobiography of Yung Wing, My Life in China and America, describing his efforts to modernize China, 1909

Document 6.3

Excerpt from letter by Zhu Yixin in response to the Self-Strengthening Movement, late 1800s


Document 6.4


Excerpts from the writings of British evangelical Protestant missionary J. Hudson Taylor regarding the foundation and functioning of the China Inland Mission in 1865 


Document 6.5


Letters from Southern Baptist missionary Lottie Moon, published in the Foreign Mission Journal, October 1888 and June 1898


Document 6.6


Excerpts from a report by the commissioner of three northern ports describing the Tianjin Massacre, June 1870


Document 6.7


Excerpts from the “Autobiography of Mr. Kwan Hong Kee,” describing his early years in Australia, January 1938

Document 6.8

A contract of indenture for Chinese emigrants sailing to Guyana, 1873


Document 6.9, a&b


Excerpt from “Our Misery and Despair” by Denis Kearney of the California Workingmen’s Party, and a letter in response by Kwang Chang Ling published in the San Francisco Argonaut, 1878 

Document 6.10

Cartoon in Australia’s Queensland Figaro, April, 1888

Document 6.11

Statistics of Chinese Immigrant Ships to Guyana, 1853–1879

Document 6.12, a-d

Photographs of Chinatowns around the world today



Supplementary Resources


Item 6.A

Student directions for “Text on Text” group activity

Item 6.B

Instructions for activity 4 using Excel



Suggested Resources




Lee, Erika and Judy Yung. Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

A history of the Angel Island Immigration Station.


McCunn, Ruthanne Lum. God of Luck. New York: Soho Press, 2007.

A novel about a young Chinese man kidnapped in southern China, shipped to Peru, and coerced to work there.


McCunn, Ruthanne Lum. Thousand Pieces of Gold. Boston: Beacon Press, 1981.

The true story of Lalu, a rural Chinese girl sold into slavery to a saloon owner in a gold-mining town in the American West.


Min, Anchee. Empress Orchid. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

A fictional account of the last empress of China who begins her journey to power as a teenage concubine in the Chinese Emperor’s court.


Min, Anchee.  The Last Empress. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007.

The sequel to Empress Orchid. This novel tells the story of Empress Dowager Cixi and her control of the Qing Dynasty from 1861–1908.


Sue-A-Quan, Trev. Cane Reapers: Chinese Indentured Immigrants in Guyana. Vancouver, BC: Riftswood, 1999.

This book tells the experiences of the author’s own ancestors as many of the Chinese who were “hired” to work in the Caribbean and South America. Cane Ripples is the sequel to Cane Reapers. Both books contain accounts of the Chinese Diaspora beyond the United States.


Woo, X.L. Empress Dowager Cixi: China’s Last Dynasty and the Long Reign of a Formidable Concubine, Legends and Lives during the Declining Days of the Qing Dynasty. New York: Algora, 2002.


Yep, Laurence. Dragonwings. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.

A Newbery Honor Book, Dragonwings tells the story of a child who leaves his mother and grandmother in China to join his father in San Francisco. The book captures the experiences of Chinese immigrants and the traditions they brought with them to an often hostile new setting.




Ancestors in the Americas, Center for Educational Telecommunications

The companion website to the PBS series Ancestors in the Americas. The site includes documents, video clips, and viewer’s guides.


Angel Island: Poetic Waves, Chinese Immigration History

This site examines Chinese detention at Angel Island and includes poetry carved into the walls of detention cells.


Asia for Educators, Columbia University

Select the 1750–1919 section for essays and primary sources about the Self-Strengthening Movement.


The Chinese in California, 1850–1925, American Memory, The Library of Congress

Primary sources about Chinese immigrants in California. Materials are from the University of California, Berkeley and California Historical Society.


Chinese in Guyana: Their Roots

Trev Sue-A-Quan’s website about the history of Chinese immigrants in Guyana.


Chinese Immigration and the Chinese in the United States, National Archives

Overview and primary sources about Chinese immigration to the United States.


Cixi: The Woman Behind the Throne

An article from Smithsonian Magazine by Amanda Bensen.


Immigration Explorer, The New York Times

An interactive map exploring immigration to the United States from 1880 to 2000.


International Mission Board Archives and Records Services

This site provides a collection of Lottie Moon’s correspondence.


Li Hung Chang’s Scrapbook, University of California

A digitized version of Li Hung Chang’s (Hongzhang) writings on Christianity and missionaries in China.


Origins: History of Immigration from China, Immigration Museum Australia

This site about immigrant communities in Victoria, Australia, includes background information and a photo gallery.


Ruthanne Lum McCunn Author Website

Ruthanne Lum McCunn’s official website. Includes reader’s guides to her books and video interviews.


The Yung Wing Project

A website dedicated to Yung Wing, the first Chinese graduate of an American university.



Ancestors in the Americas (180 mins; 1998)

Part I: Coolies, Sailors, Settlers; Part II: Chinese in the Frontier West; Part III: Crossing a Continent, Crossing the Pacific.





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