Harper’s Weekly, May 15, 1858, page 306 (Editorial)
Now that Kansas is out of the way, Oregon comes up in due course for admission, and the first point which attracts attention is the clause in the Constitution denying citizenship, under any circumstances or after any term of residence, to negroes and Chinese.
As to the former, the clause is in strict conformity with the Dred Scott decision, which settles the question that negroes can not be United States citizens—though in several Northern States they help to elect the President. But as to the Chinese, the case is different. There never has been any question heretofore of the right of a Chinaman to be naturalized in the same way as an Irishman or a German. Several native Chinese are at the present time citizens of the United States; it is fair to presume that they vote, and it is undeniable that they are useful members of the community in which they reside. In one point of view they remind one of the Jews of the Middle Ages—industrious, orderly, hard-working, money-getting—they are the natural traders of the Pacific shores. Yet it needs no great foresight to perceive that, at no distant day, they will be pariahs throughout our Pacific States.
No one can disguise the dangers which environ the blending of hostile races into one people. Almost every country in the world has been retarded in the great work of development and progress by the struggles of antagonistic races. It is, therefore, easy to understand the opposition of our countrymen on the Pacific to the domicilation of Chinamen among them on equal terms. At the same time, the precedent established by the Oregon Constitution may hereafter prove a very grave affair. We have several races among us as it is; and some of them are not overwhelmingly popular. If hereafter a new State should propose to deny citizenship to this or that European race, how could Congress—having sanctioned the disfranchisement of Chinamen in Oregon-—resume to object? And how could Congress consent to such a principle?
Harper’s Weekly, May 15, 1858, page 306 (Editorial)

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