Ira Miller Condit.

The Chinaman as we see him, and fifty years of work for him online

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B M Dfl2 7SD



iNAMAN
AS WE
SEE HIM

ir



IRA M.
CONDIT





REESE LIBRARY

OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.

Deceived ,190 -

^Accession No . J 2 3 1 1 . Class No .






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jfjfrf m



THE CHINAMAN
AS WE SEE HIM



AND



FIFTY YEARS

( : K

WORK FOR HIM



KY



REV. IRA M. CONDIT, D.D.



* i




11(0

VITA nr LUX



Fleming H. Revell Company

Chicago New York Toronto

Publishers of Evangelical Literature



COPYRIGHT, igOO, BY
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY



TO

MY DEAR WIFE

WHO HAS DONE SO MUCH TO AID

ME IN ALL BRANCHES OF

MY MISSION WORK



92311




PREFACE

HIS little sketch brings the Chinaman
before us as we see him on this side of
the great Pacific. He appears to us in
this country at a great disadvantage.
One needs to see him at home to fully
appreciate him. His environment is so different
here from what it is in China, that it is very difficult
to judge him correctly. There are certainly bad
things enough in him, whether at home or abroad,
but alongside of these are many noble and com
mendable qualities. At first glance the Japanese
are usually considered the superior race. The con
trary is, however, the. fact; and this is universally
acknowledged by those who have come to know
both races well. For capability, for reliability, for
most of the sterling qualities which make for strength
of character, the Chinese easily excel. They are
a people who improve upon closer acquaintance.
But China is no hothouse plant, and cannot be
forced to advance as fast as we would wish. In her
intense conservatism, which is really a sign of
strength, she must be given time. Great bodies
move slowly. When the spirit of progress fully
takes hold of the Chinese, as it is already beginning
to do, the world will be astonished at their ability to

7



8 PREFACE

grasp new ideas, and at their capacity for develop
ment along the various lines of national, social and
industrial life. The Chinaman going abroad has
been one of the effective influences which has started
her forward. It has done much already toward
bringing her out of her self-conceit, which has
been working her ruin more than any other one
thing. Some one says, and my experience corrob
orates it, that it is a remarkable and interesting fact
in their favor that the more one knows of this peo
ple the higher is his opinion of them. I say these
things to divest the mind of the reader of that
prejudice against them which so many have formed
from what they have seen and heard of them in this
country.

Now that we have moved our borders across the
Pacific, the Chinese are more than ever coming into
view; and certainly we ought to seek to be better
acquainted with a people who have become our
near neighbors. We are more than ever concerned
in the vast possibilities, the material development,
and moral characteristics of this ancient people,
who are destined to occupy such a prominent place
in the world s life. The corruptions of China, of
which we hear so much, are largely confined to the
ruling classes. The people themselves are a
healthy, vigorous, virile race, who will undoubtedly
grow in power and develop qualities of national life
which the world will be compelled to respect and
admire.

In writing this little book I have sought to avoid



PREFACE 9

tedious, minor details, and to bring out only the
salient points in the picture. In doing this I have
not lost sight of the original intention of the sketch
as a narrative of the mission work in which I have
been engaged for thirty years, and which I believe
ought to have a prominent place in any account
which may be written of the Chinese in our land.

I am satisfied that there is a place for a book con
taining such plain, unvarnished facts, and trust that
it may help a little in furnishing material for a
more just view of this little-known and much-
misunderstood people. I. M. C.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THEY COME 15

II. WHERE THEY COME FROM . . . . 25

HI. WHAT THEY BRING WITH THEM . . . .37

IV. OPIUM SMOKING 55

V. "HATCHET MEN" 65

VI. How THE TREATIES WERE KEPT ... 76

VII. ORIGIN OF CHINESE MISSIONS IN AMERICA . . 90

VIII. STEPS IN ADVANCE . . . . . . 101

IX. EDUCATION 109

X. CHINESE Y. M. C. A 116

XL "ACTS OF THE APOSTLES" IN CHINESE . . 127

XII. "So AS BY FIRE" 136

XIII. P. P. A 144

XIV. CHURCHES AND CHAPELS 156

XV. NATIVE SONS AND DAUGHTERS . . . .170

XVI. "HAND PICKED" 181

XVII. EXPANSION . . . .187

XVIII. SIDE LIGHTS 197

XIX. A CHAPTER OF EVENTS ..... 208

XX. How ONE CHURCH WAS BUILT . . . 217

XXI. REFLEX INFLUENCE ...... 225

ii



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Five Idols in "Holy of Holies" j Frontispiece

Made in San Francisco. > PAGE

Gambling Headquarters 17

Vegetable Peddler .19

Districts in Canton Province. Map . . 23

Merchant s Office 27

Ho Yow, Consul-General at San Francisco ... 29

The Fortune-Teller 32

Neng Yeung Company and Joss House .... 33

Drug Store 3

Altar before Idol 40

Bazaar . . . . . . . . . . 4 1

Funeral Feast ......... 43

Meal Time .... 45

On Guard 49

Bun Sun Low Restaurant .... 50

Kwan Tai God of War . . . . . . . 51

Opium Joint ........ 57

A Quiet Smoke 59

Restaurant 63

Hatchet Men 67

Highbinders Headquarters 69

Actors 77

A Snapshot . . Si
Opium Guest Room ....

The Old Mission House .... 90

Rev. Wm. Speer, D.D. . . 92

Lee Kan 93

Rev. A. W. Loomis, D.D. .... 96



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Chin Shing Sheang 98

Rev. I. M. Condit, D.D 100

Carving of Heaven, Earth and Sea 103

Grocery .......... 105

Bronze Incense Urn no

A Glimpse into the Future 112

A Christian Merchant . . . . . . . .114

An Officer in Y. M. C. A 119

A Christian Family 121

Vegetable and Butcher Shop . . . . . . 125

Shing Chack 128

Rev. Kwan Loy . . . . . . . .129

Rev. Soo Hoo Nam Art . . . . . . .131

Rev. Huie Kin 133

Rev. Ng Poon Chew . . . . . . . .134

Rescue Home 138

Miss Margaret Culbertson 140

Suffer the Little Children 142

Out for a Walk 146

When Rescued 148

When Married . . . . . . . ... 149

Of Such is the Kingdom of Heaven . . . . 151

A Bill of Sale 153

Yip Kim Yow 158

Delegates to C. E. Convention 159

Oakland Chapel and Dwelling ..... 163

Alameda Chapel . . . . . . . . .167

Native Sons and Daughters 171

Henry and His Flag 174

Small Foot and Shoes .176

Occidental School 177

Happy Land . . . . . . . . .183

First Chinese Church 188

Rev. A. J. Kerr 189

Son of an Elder .... .... 190

C. E. Banner 192

Throw Out the Life Line . 195



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Cobbler 198

"It s my Example, you know" ...... 201

"I ve so awful bad temper" ...... 203

Mrs. Condit s Bible Class . . ..... 205

Youngest King s Daughter . . . . . .210

Wu Ting Fang, Chinese Minister, wife and son. . . 214

Sun Neng Church 219

Sun Neng Church Interior ...... 223

Dragon Procession ........ 228



THE CHI NAM AN
AS WE SEE HIM




The Chinaman As We See Him



FIFTY YEARS OF WORK FOR HIM




THEY COME

HE brig- "Eagle" arrived at San Francisco
in February, 1848, with two Chinese men
and one Chinese woman on board. This
was the advance guard of the Chinese to
our coast.

The discovery of gold in California a year later,
opened the way for their immigration in large num
bers. Wild stories soon reached Canton of moun
tains of gold across the Great Eastern Ocean, where
masses of the precious metal were said to be lying
everywhere, and could be freely picked up by any
one. They called California Kum SJian, "Gold
Mountain"; and that is the name by which it is
known among them to this day.

Shipmasters and merchants of Hong Kong, by
false reports and flaming advertisements, spread

I.S



i6 THE CHINAMAN AS WE SEE HIM

the news of the marvelous abundance of gold. The
Chinamen soon began to pour in like a flood. In
the year 1852 there were twenty thousand and
twenty-six arrivals. They continued to increase,
until, twenty-five years later, not fewer than one
hundred and fifty thousand were estimated to be in
our country. Of these, thirty thousand were in San
Francisco; about the same number in other parts of
the State of California; and the remainder scattered
throughout the different States and Territories.

This was a strange meeting of the Occident and
Orient. Four thousand years ago, on the plains of
Western Asia, two brothers parted. One went
east, peopling India, China and Japan. The other
went west to Europe, thence across to America, and
on to our Pacific Slope. When the Chinese came to
our shores, these two brothers met.

This was the beginning of great things. The
intermingling of the races of these divided conti
nents washed by the waters of the one mighty
ocean, and of the great islands with which it is
studded, is destined to make the Pacific the future
scene of immense commercial activity. The far-
seeing William H. Seward, who secured Alaska for
iis, said many years ago of the Pacific Ocean, with
her islands and vast regions beyond, that it "will
become the chief theater of events in the world s
great hereafter." The commingling of this east
ward and westward flow of nations is an event,
which not Sewaid only, but other great minds, long
predicted as momentous in its "influence in helping



THEY COME



to uplift the races which sit in darkness. How
certainly is it coming! The "Far East" is becom
ing" the near West. Like a flash almost, we have
raised our flag within six hundred miles of China;
and entered upon our future destiny of planting
our organized
civilization and
Christianity i n
the Philippine
Islands. This is
a part of the pro
gram which God
meant us to carry
out.

At first the
Chinaman was
welcomed among
us. No one ques
tioned his right
to come. H i s
advent was re
garded as the
opening of rela
tions with the
people of the Ori
ent, which meant

great things for them and for us. From this con
tact of the newest and oldest nations of the world,
came to the latter the reviving touch of our fresh
Western civilization; and the infusing of new life
into their old, stagnant existence; while on our side




GAMBLING HEADQUARTERS



i8 THE CHINAMAN AS WE SEE HIM

came new openings for our growing commercial
and manufacturing enterprises, as well as rare
opportunities to impress upon the people of the
Orient the desirability of possessing our Christian
civilization.

At a large representative gathering of San Fran
cisco s best citizens, held in January, 1853, the Hon.
H. H. Haight, afterwards Governor of the State,
offered the following resolutions, which were unani
mously adopted :

"RESOLVED, That the present position of the
Oriental nations is fraught with the most profound
interest to the Christian world, and that we, as
citizens of California, placed by the wonderful lead
ings of Providence so immediately in contact with
one of the most ancient, intelligent, and populous
of these nations, hail with peculiar satisfaction the
signs of the times ; and that we feel an impera
tive obligation to employ our money, our influence,
and our utmost effort, for the welfare of that vast por
tion of the human family our elder brethren the
people of China.

"RESOLVED, That we regard with pleasure the
presence of great numbers of these people among
us, as affording the best opportunity of doing them
good, and through them of exerting our influence
upon their native land."

But soon antagonism arose. The first outbreak
occurred in the mining regions, where many of the
Chinese were living. It gradually spread to other
places. On account of the scarcity of white labor and



THEY COME 19

of the enormous wages paid, the Chinese were found
indispensable in developing agricultural interests,
and as laborers on our railroads. They became
invaluable as house servants. The laundry business
fell into their hands. They took up cigar and slip
per making. All kinds of sewing machine work
were monopolized in a great measure by them.




VEGETABLE PEDDLER



They were so industrious, so frugal in living, and so
economical in their habits, that they could afford to
work for low wages. They did not have the brawny
muscle of the white laborers, and were not as rapid
in their movements, but they compensated for that
by their constant, patient endurance. They did not
get drunk and fight, and could be depended upon
for steady work. In heavy labor they, in the end,



20 THE CHINAMAN AS WE SEE HIM

accomplished more than their white competitors,
and in more skilled industries, such as cigarmaking
for example, they could turn out work equal to
the best. Their cigars took rank with the finest
imported Havanas. In this way, we can easily see
how antagonisms came about. As white labor
increased, the conflict grew, and prejudice against
the Chinaman deepened.

And yet, while "Chinese cheap labor" has been
the main cry raised against them, it is not a true
charge. Labor in California is not cheap, and never
has been. Labor of all kinds has always been, and
still is, dearer than in the Eastern States. In early
days, when wages were enormously high, the
Chinese were the first to pour in and i educe them
to something like their natural level, and white
men raised the cry of "Chinese cheap labor." Had
the Irish, German, or Italian laborers come instead
of the Chinese, the effect would have been the same;
that is, wages would have fallen; but, instead of
the intense animosity which has been felt against
the Chinaman for bringing about this reduction, the
change would have been regarded as natural.

A careful study of the situation does not lead one
to object logically to the Chinese on economic
grounds. No reasonable person refuses to use
articles because they are produced cheaply. There
seem to be other and deeper reasons which account
for the feelings cherished towards these strangers
within our gates.

Neither will race-prejudice alone account for this



THEY COME 21

antagonism. The feeling against the Chinaman is
more bitter and intolerant than that against the
Negro. The Chinaman certainly has the advantage
of the Negro in very many respects; and yet, how
many feel kindly toward the Negro, who will hardly
look on a Chinaman as human, and as possessed of
an immortal soul!

There seems to be a combination of reasons which
breed and keep alive this animosity against our
Mongolian brothers. Race antagonism has un
doubtedly something to do with it, but the fact that
they do not assimilate with us has more. They
constitute a foreign substance cast into our social
order, which will not mingle, but keeps up a con
stant irritation. The amount of irritation depends
upon the size of the disturbing mass. A few China
men would have no perceptible effect. They could
be easily digested by the national stomach. Even
a hundred thousand, or several times that number,
would have no serious influence. But multiply
units by millions, and the matter becomes exceed
ingly serious. Hence the fear of their pouring in
upon us in overwhelming crowds has had much to
do with our attitude toward them. It never has
been so much the number of Chinese actually among
us which has aroused bitter opposition, as the fear
of what might be. More immigrants have come
from Europe in two months time than have come
from China in the past fifty years. Add to this fear
of an Oriental invasion the fact that the Chinese
bring with them so many of the worst features of



22 THE CHINAMAN AS WE SEE HIM

their old, superannuated civilization. Their debas
ing vices, the importation of slave women, the false
belief that they are coolie slaves, the distinctive
isolation and non-assimilative attitude in which they
stand, and, added to all, the Chinatown in San
Francisco to which they have given birth, and which
forms such a dark blot on the body of our fair city,
account to some extent for the feeling of bitter hos
tility which exists towards them.

Nothing has done so much to counteract all this,
as the direct Christian influence that has been
brought to bear upon them. Aside from any ben
efit that may have come from contact with our
civilization the positive instruction which they have
received, the hundreds who have been converted,
the thousands who have been educated and lifted up
by missionary work, the Christian homes which
have been established with their refining influence,
have clone more for the Chinese than many realize.
This, we hope in some measure to prove.




II

WHERE THEY COME FROM

MIGRATION is, with the Chinese, no
new thing. They have gone into all the
countries bordering on the China sea.
Siam has two and a half millions of them.
Manila, on the Island of Luzon, has forty
thousand pure Chinese and fifty thousand half-castes.
In Singapoie they form a large and influential
portion of the community. Two-thirds of the real
estate is owned by them. Fifty thousand Chinese
arrived in Singapore from China in three months,
from whence they were distributed throughout the
various surrounding settlements. They are found
in Burma, Borneo, Java, Saigon, Korea, and Japan.
In all these regions, they are the merchants and
traders. By their superior enterprise and energy,
they have pushed into the background the indolent
and shiftless natives of most of those lands. But
they have gone further afield than this, and are
found in large numbers in the Hawaiian Islands, in
the West Indies, British Guiana, Australia, Peru,
and the United States.

Nearly all these emigrants are from the one prov-
25



26 THE CHINAMAN AS WE SEE HIM

ince of Canton. The only exceptions are those
found in Siam, and at a few other points. These
are mostly from the Fnhkien province. In all of
my thirty years among this people in California, I
have never met with half a dozen from Northern
or Central China. Not only are they all from the
Canton province, they are from seven or eight
districts or counties of that province; and for the
most part from the four of these districts contiguous
to the sea coast.

This region from which the Chinese have come is
one of the most remarkable to be found in all the
world. The delta, extending from Hong Kong to
Canton, and lying between the Pearl and West
rivers, is ninety miles long and some fifty miles
wide at the sea. It is intersected in every direc
tion by creeks and canals, so there is not a city,
town, or village, which cannot be reached by boat.
Most of this delta is composed of rich, level plains
which produce, twice a year, wonderful crops of
rice. The higher portion- is devoted to the cultiva
tion of the mulberry shrub, and to the raising of
silkworms.

Thickly sown over this fertile region are towns
and villages, varying in population from one thou
sand to several hundred thousand. Among these is
the famous town, Kow Kong, south of Canton, which,
within an area of some six miles square, has a million
of people. Canton has a million and a half. Fatshan,
fifteen miles away, and called "the Birmingham of
China," has half a million. Ch an Tsun, twenty



WHERE THEY COME FROM 27

miles south of Canton, has one hundred thousand.
Several other cities have an equal population.
Coming down into the southern part of the delta, in
the Heung Shan district, its principal city, Siu
Lam, has upwards of three hundred thousand souls.

Crossing the
deep, broad West
River, from the
delta, we come to
another wonderful
region. Here we
find the Sun Ui
River, which, with
its branches,
drains the districts
of Sun Ui, Sun
Neng, Hoi Peng,
Ynn Peng and
HokShan. These,
with the exception
of Hok Shan, are
the districts from
which the great
body of our Chi
nese have- come

MERCHANT S OFFICE

Sun Ui, one of

the largest cities of this district, has three hun
dred thousand inhabitants. Kong Mun, a large
commercial center, has one hundred thousand more.
The plains through which the Sun Ui River flows
are covered with cities, villages, and market towns.




28 THE CHINAMAN AS WE SEE HIM

These market towns are the business centers; while
the homes of the people are in the villages that sur
round them. My assistant pastor, whose home is in
a village near the great market town of Chick Horn,
says that at night, when it is still, he can stand, and,
calling with a loud voice, be heard in twenty vil
lages, no one of which contains fewer than a thou
sand people. Dr. Henry tells of a famous hill near
Chick Horn, from whose top can be seen three
hundred and fifty villages, averaging not fewer than
two thousand souls each. This is but one flash-light
picture, showing how innumerable the people are.

The dialect spoken by this vast multitude is, in
general, the Cantonese, with variations of pronunci
ation which grow up among those who, generation
after generation, are born, live and die on the same
spot. Those living a hundred miles from Canton
have a veiy different pronunciation, and yet they
can understand each other. Still the difference is
so marked that one is called the Sam Yup Wa, "the
three district dialect, and the other the Sz Yup Wa,
"the four district dialect." The former embraces
Nam Hoi, Pun Yu, and Shun Tuk, the three dis
tricts in and about Canton; and the latter the four
districts farther away.

The Chinese are not divided into castes, and have
no rigid social order which divides them into fixed
classes. The word "coolie" is a Hindoo word, and
should never have been inflicted upon the Chinese.
Even as used it belongs to them only as laborers, and
not as slaves in any real sense of the word. Chinese




HO YOW, CONSUL GENERAL AT SAN FRANCISCO



WHERE THEY COME FROM 31

women are held and imported as slaves, but no such
thing as slavery is known among men. In all cases
they have come here voluntarily. It is true, that
formerly many were brought by contract, as thou
sands of other people were. Being very poor, their
expenses were paid, and an agreement was entered
into on their part that they would refund the money
by giving a certain per cent of their wages until all
was paid. This being contrary to our existing laws,
none have come for years as contract laborers.

It used to be charged, and is still believed by
some, that the famous Six Companies imported
large numbers of coolie-slaves. Never was charge
more false. What are the Six Companies? They
arose in this way. It is the custom of the Chinese,
when any considerable number of them emigrate,
to unite together as an Ui Kun, guild, or mutual-aid
society, with a tong^ or hall for their headquarters.
As the Chinese came from different districts, each
group formed its own Company, claiming as its
members all who came from a certain district. The
three districts in and about Canton, are, however,
represented by only one Company, as they are but
few in number. This is called the Sam Yup Com
pany. The other districts are represented by five
Companies, the Kong Chow, Neng Yeung, Hop
Wo, Yeung Wo, and Shiu Heng. The Neng Yeung
Company, covering the Sun Neng district, is by far
the largest, including one-third or more of all the
Chinese in this country.

These Six Companies are somewhat of the nature



32 THE CHINAMAN AS WE SEE HIM



of benevolent societies. In the early days of Cali
fornia they were useful. The emigrants, as they
arrived, were taken to the Company houses, and
lodged there until they found work. The helpless
poor were cared for, and the bones of the dead were

sent back to China
for burial. Now
nearly all who
come have per
sonal friends with
whom they stay,
and to whom they
look for needed
help; and their
bones are found
to rest quite com
fortably in this
country, at least
the bones of those
who have be
come freed from
heathen i n f 1 u -
ences. The Com
panies are d i s -
posed to do much
in the way of

defending the rights of their people, standing as
their representatives, and settling differences which
are constantly arising. They are in a large
measure the guardians of the ancestral idol wor
ship. Every Ui Tong has a temple, or joss house,




THE FORTUNE TELLER




NENG YEUNG COMPANY AND JOSS HOUSE



WHERE THEY COME FROM 35

where the people of their respective districts go to
worship.

Since the eastablishment of a Chinese Consulate
at San Francisco, the duties of the Six Companies
have been restricted, and many of them are now
transacted at the Consulate. The present Consul
General is Ha Yow. He is a graduate of the law
department of Oxford College, and is a highly-
educated, polished gentleman. His father was for
many years a prominent Christian in Hong Kong,
and identified himself with every good and pro
gressive movement there. Mr. Ho Yow has been


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