1880s, Chinese Presence in Early Idaho

Chinese people made up between one-quarter and one-third of Idaho’s total population. In 1885 through 1886, an Anti- Chinese attitude exploded and was often led by the Knights of Labor, an early labor union. Chinese immigrants first came to Idaho as railroad and mine workers. Many of these workers settled permanently in Idaho and took other jobs. In 1886, a large Anti-Chinese convention was held in Boise and violent expulsion of Chinese people spread through the state.

Black and white photo circa 1852 of four Chinese miners working alongside three white miners. They are all dressed in work clothes, holding tools and facing the camera.

by IFHCIdaho June 30, 2021