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THE

NEW ENGLANDER.

No. CX.

JANUARY, 187 0.

Article I.—THE CHINESE MIGRATION.

The immigration of the Chinese, now in progress, marks an epoch in the history of the world, as well as of our own conntry. For the first time since the dispersion of the human family, over four thousand years since, the two great streams of migration, one flowing eastward, the other westward, after belting the globe, now meet and mingle. What a history has each to tell to the other? What a freightage of experience has each to bring for common participation and profit? What shall be the hue and current of the united streams, as they now flow on together? If, indeed, it be together; for this is an element of the complex problem which this great providential movement offers for solution to every reflecting mind. The immediate preparations in history for this event, the characteristics of the two peoples that now intermingle, the condition of the country which they now seem destined jointly to occupy, all are most significant and suggestive. They indi

Vol. xxix. 1

cate the event as a culminating stage of human history; they point forward to a new scene in the world's drama.

Scarcely a quarter of a century has passed since the Chinese wall of seclusiveness, self-conceit, and contemptuous hate of foreigners began to be broken down. The iniquitous opium war with Great Britain resulted in the treaty of August 29th, 1842, opening four ports additional to that of Canton to foreign trade, which was followed by another treaty with the United States in 1844, according still greater advantages than had been obtained by the British. This concession extorted from the Chinese by the fear with which the capture of the suburbs of Canton, of Amoy, and of Ningpo, and the irresistible progress of the British force till Nanking was threatened, had inspired them, was but the first effective blow against this self-conceit and seclusiveness; and was followed by the Anglo-French invasion, which, by a formidable demonstration before Peking itself, wrung from the Chinese Emperors the treaties of 1858 with the western powers. This is the epoch of the effectual breaking down of this old barrier to progressive China. It is the epoch of a new impulse in the whole interior life of China. The lesson had been learned that there was a better civilization, more powerful governments, higher intelligence, more advanced arts, higher, richer culture every way among the long despised barbarians; and the desire is awakened not only of a freer commerce with other nations, but of the introduction of the arts, the sciences, the culture generally of the West. The mind of China is revolutionized. A new spirit takes possession. In the city of Peking itself, an imperial college, manned by western scholars and teachers, is established for the instruction of the Chinese in foreign science and arts. The government enters into the circle of nations, and under the lead of an American diplomatist forms commercial treaties of the liberal type of the West with all its leading powers. The change of the last quarter century in Chinese .ideas, and the consequent change in the whole direction of its pursuits and destiny, is most wondrous. It is such a renaissance as can hardly bo paralleled in history. And a most noticeable feature in this wonderful change is, that the people

of the United States seem to have furnished the warmth and the light in which this new life has started. In every movement, even where the British, or the French, or the Russians have been the active instruments of change, the results attained have all borne a strikingly American character and bearing, overshadowing and outreaching all others. All the movements of the last twenty-five years show most clearly that America is selected by providence to be the cynosure of the future destiny of China.

Exactly fitting to this providential preparation in China, is the movement on the western continent. The Mexican war, a worthy parallel of the opium war in China, was terminated by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in February 2d, 1848, and its result was the cession of the Pacific coast to the United States. The discovery of gold immediately after drew into the newly organized territory an immense migration from the eastern coast, as well as turned towards it Chinese cupidity and restlessness. Cities grew up as by magic; wealth accumulated; commerce flourished; and, at last, a continental railway made the communion of life, and interest, and hope, and destiny between the Atlantic and Pacific settlements complete.

But another strange event, more remarkable than all, was most divinely ordered to prepare for the coming era. The civil war originating itself in that same uurighteousness which ever keeps human society restless, resulted in establishing throughout the nation the principle of the equality before the law ot tiie races of men. But for this revolution, it is apparent the yellow race, like the black and the tawny races, could come in to share our political and social destinies with no promise of good to them or to us. Most gratefully do we recognize the full and final establishment of this eminently wise and humane principle, under the orderings of an ever watchful providence, just at this crisis of our history.

Not less suggestive and interesting are the characteristics of the races that now begin to mingle. They are the two most advanced, or, shall we say, least degenerate races of the whole human family. The great Caucasian group is well represented by the American people, predominantly Anglo-Saxon, indeed, but tempered by a wholesome infusion of other Indo-European blood; foremost in enterprise and freshness of life, equally far advanced at least in all human culture, above all most thoroughly and vitally charged with the spirit of the one highest, even Christian civilization. Its characteristic principles, in a word, are personal independence, and freedom, and responsibility; popular sovereignty; the brotherhood of man; and subjection to Christ. It is the best representative of the proper Christian civilization. The Chinese, like the Caucasian group of peoples, has ever in its migration moved along over the same belt of latitude, occupying the milder half of the temperate zone, and has never been subject to the deteriorating influences of severe climatic conditions that have so reduced the brown and the black races. Their physical characteristics—stature, figure, facial features—come far nearer to the Caucasian type than the other branches of the human family. Their mental and moral characterics are also more closely approximated to the higher Indo-European standards. This closer affinity in physical and moral condition makes the mingling of the two races less repulsive and more promising of advantage, while the contrast that still exists is such as to interest more that generous Christian philanthropy which would hy the diffusion of its own spirit elevate others to an equal participation in its blessings. The Chinese are, relatively to the American people, wanting in the spirit of personal freedom and independence; they have not risen to the conception or the desire of that social order which comes from personal elevation and the hearty fraternization of all men, and through those principles from popular sovereignty; they are the faithful depositaries of that primeval social principle, the patriarchal, and the narrow circuit of the family has never with them enlarged into that of the nation, much less that of the race; fathers, ancestors, absorb their regard, their reverence, their esteem, their care, not brothers or neighbors, not children ; and their religious faith and practice is cold, and lifeless, or worse, perhaps, as it leaves the religious nature to waste itself in a low, degrading superstition, and gives no quickening impulse to morality. The Chinese mind needs, if it is too religiously dead to crave, the life and warmth, and saving power of the gospel. These two races, the Caucasian and Mongolian, having had their training from the time of the Dispersion, alike under those favorable climatic conditions which have been so salutary in preventing the degradation that has fallen upon the other races, are now the two leading races in every respect—in spiritual elevation, social condition, in extent and numbers. They, together, number nearly nine tenths of the human family; they occupy the great part of the temperate zone. They are well represented in their best types by the English-speaking branch of the one, and by the Chinese branch of the other. They are the destined heirs of the middle kingdoms of the American and Asiatic continents. There is here, however, a wide contrast to be taken into our account in approaching the problem before us. The population of China has already well nigh reached its maximum of density. It is writhing under the distresses of repletion. Starvation, pestilence, infanticide, are the prominent terrible symptoms of this diseased condition. It must have relief by depletion. Our own land, on the contrary, is craving occupancy. Its vast unoccupied territory, designed for man, waits and desires his coming. It is capacious enough to receive and comfortably maintain even the hundreds of millions that overcrowded Asia may, in the next century, spare for its relief and for our advantage.

Such are the providential preparatives for the great movement which is now beginning. It is at present to be regarded as a merely germinal movement. Not for what it is, but for what it reasonably promises to be, does it attract our interest and invite our study. Less than two hundred thousand Chinese probably are now in the country. They are almost exclusively in the Pacific States. They are migrating to our shores at the rate of over a thousand a month. One-third return to lay their bones in their ancestral soil, or reembark, with family, and kindred, and neighbors, for the new land of hope. The immigrants are nearly all adult males. They come for employment and for gain, with expectation for the most part of returning to enjoy their acquisitions in their native homes. They have been chiefly coolies or laborers, procured in China

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