By – Justin Moffler
University of Phoenix
I am Wu Chang, a 12 year old girl from Canton in southern China. It is 1882 and my family and I have arrived in California, USA. Many people from my home town in China have spoken about traveling to the United States. My rich uncle whom was a successful merchant in Shanghai decided to move his silk trading business and to take advantage of the new money coming from the West Coast of America. After my family saw his success, heard of the wealth and gold coming from the lands of the West my father decided to move us to the United States of America. My father wanted to become rich with the “gold rush”.
Life was very difficult in Canton when I was a child. There was wide spread poverty and people fought for jobs to make money and feed their families. My family borrowed money and bought passage for us on a boat to California. We paid a huge amount of money to travel to California and start a new life. My father did not think too much of the payment to get here because we would surely earn the money back quickly after finding gold in the mountains.
My family was lucky to arrive in the United States when we did in 1881. The federal government has passed a new law called the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. These new laws forbid the immigration of Chinese families into the United States. It did not let any Chinese men already in the United States send for their families in China and also restricted any more Chinese to come over. My grand mother and cousins were not allowed to join my Uncle once he set up a successful business.
My father hoped to mine for gold in the rich mountains of California, but he was unable to secure rights to his own mine. He briefly worked as a laborer for another mine hoping to make a living finding gold there. It proved unwise for him to take this job. It was back breaking work that nearly wrecked his health and life. My father... [continues]
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