Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 19, Number 2, Fall, 2007 Page: 18
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old, having begun in 1886 when they first garnered
a majority with fourteen out of twentyone,
or 66 percent, of the local establishments.2
In 1894, however, although there had been a
decline from the 1891 numbers, the presence of
so many Asians handling the clothing and bedding
of many of the local Anglo-American citizenry
provided cause for alarm. Such fears may
have been initially prompted by economics, but
they were simultaneously fueled by decades of
bigotry that had become rampant in the western
territories of the United States. Consequently, in
that year, as had occurred in other cities in the
American West, a propaganda campaign was initiated
against the city's Chinese laundries by
their Anglo and Euro-American competitors.
The Dallas Daily Times Herald printed an
editorial in the spring of 1894, beneath the
headline, "Danger In Inferior Laundries," and
the sub-head, "Dallas Customers Cannot be Too
Careful Where They Send Their Soiled
Clothing." The editorial stated that:
The white laundries of Dallas are complaining
that the patronage of many of the people
who can afford to patronize institutions giving
work to white labor, is sent to the twenty-two
[sic] inferior Chinese laundries of this
city.... It is claimed that the Chinese are
given s11oo a week .... The patrons of laundries
should not keep their money out of the
channel which carries wages to . . . honest
white employes [sic], particularly women and
girls. More than that, the employes of the
inferior laundries referred to, run the risk of
contracting some vile disease .... The people
should give white laundries a chance. They
are perfectly safe in doing this, as all of them
use the best and clearest of artesian water and
the most thorough general system of cleansing,
which is not the fact with the Chinese .
The opinions expressed by the Herald and the
city's other major paper, The Dallas Morning
News, demonstrated the prejudiced views of its
editors as well as the readership at large.
Contemporary coverage of the Chinese during
the period typically included a number of brief
stories and news items. They usually portrayed
the Chinese as "criminal" in such instances as
when, "Lou Saul [sic] and Sam Soy [sic], alias Lee
Young [sic], [were charged with] Aggravated
Assault and Battery ....";15 or as "primitive" and
"uncivilized" when, during a Chinese funeral,
"All the heathenish rites were observed ... ";16
or as "exotic" when,"Tank Kee [sic], the eminent
Chinese lecturer, w[as to] appear in th[e] city
shortly";17 and only on occasion as "progressive"
or "civilized" when, "Five Chinamen embraced
the Christian religion at the Central Christian
Even such banal publications as the local
city directories took up the cause when, in addition
to identifying ethnicity with the parenthetical
insert "(Chinese)" following each listing,
they blatantly proffered anti-Chinese rhetoric on
their pages. One publisher ran an advertisement
for the Eureka Steam Laundry that included caricatures
of a Chinese with a Qing queue being
chased "back to China" by the Anglo-American
owner with clenched fists. The cartoon was captioned
with the dated but infamous slogan
ins n., uiL, . vo , ot. .....
mon (c), lab, r. 678 Main.
(c), bds 248 Alamo.
mnel D., mehst, blacksmith
r Mfg. Co., r. 143 Park.
Michael, harnessmkr G. H.
lkopf, r. 531 Elm.
nh B., rest 306 Main, r. 149
Cr CTT SAIOON, C. E. LOWOpr,
224 Elm. Phone 1483-1r.
(Chinese), waiter Jim Wing,
(Chinese), waiter Jim Wing,
(Chinese), waiter Jim Wing,
Mdam, barber 167 Main, r. 166
Rosa, cook 126 Park av.
Sil C., engr, r. 131 Payne.
W0 r 107 QI A Vrrl
JOHNSON ALBERT S., FRESE
meats and staple groceries. 230 Col
lege av, cor Floyd, r. 261 Gaston av
Johnson Albert S., agt People's Fir
Ins. Co., r. 148 McCoy.
Johnson Alexander (c), lab, r. Maplil
av, 3 s Colby.
Johnson Alexander (c), lab, r. 16(
Johnson Alexander (c), lab, bds 101
Johnson Alexander (c). yardman 76
Johnson Alfred, cabtmkr, rms 11
Johnson Alfred, waiter J. Delgado.
Johnson Allen, grocer 942 Elm, r. 15
Johnson Althea J. (wid Frank L.), r
436 N. Harwood.
Romanized Chinese personal names were sometimes listed in the
Dallas city directory followed by "(Chinese)," which was similar to
the publisher's practice of identifying members of the local AfricanAmerican
community with a "(c)" to denote "Colored."
coined by Denis Kearney in California for rallies
of his Workingman's Party in 1877: "The
Chinese Must Go!"19
Despite the sentiments articulated by the
press in the late 1890s, local Chinese laundries
18 LEGACIES Fall 2007
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Dallas Heritage Village. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 19, Number 2, Fall, 2007, periodical, 2007; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35087/m1/20/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.