Harper’s Weekly, April 14, 1888, page 263 (Editorial)
The new treaty with China for the exclusion of Chinese laborers has been signed at Washington. It prohibits immigration, for twenty years, of all Chinese subjects except officials, teachers, students, merchants, or travellers for curiosity or pleasure, and such comers must produce certificates from Chinese authorities, countersigned by American representatives, that they are what they assume to be. But a Chinese laborer who has a family or parents in the United States, or property to the value of $1000, or debts of that amount pending settlement, may returned under very stringent conditions; and all Chinese residents shall enjoy while here all rights accorded to citizens of the most favored nations, except that of naturalization, and the government will do all that it can for their protection.
This is followed by an article which shows the extent of its power in this respect, and which provides an indemnity of $276,619.75 for "the exceptional and deplorable sufferings and losses to which the aforesaid Chinese have been subject." This is merely following the example of the Chinese government in similar cases of loss and injury. No treaty could be simpler or more definite. It provides for the effectual exclusion of Chinese laborers for twenty years.
The principle of the treaty is familiar. Every nation decides whom it will admit to its territories, and under what conditions. It is a principle upon which the United States acted eighty-five years ago, when Congress prohibited the bringing of "any negro, mulatto, or other person of color, not being a native, a citizen, or registered seaman of the United States." It is the principle which leads us to forbid the coming of criminals and paupers, and upon which all persons who may be reasonably held to be dangerous to the commonwealth may be excluded. Certainly those whom we are unable to protect in life and limb and property we do wisely in excluding. Whether opposition will be offered to the treaty because of the indemnity remains to be seen. Otherwise we presume that it will be ratified by the Senate.
Harper’s Weekly, April 14, 1888, page 263 (Editorial)

This site is brought to you by…
Website and all Content © 1998-1999 HarpWeek, LLC
Please report problems to