A Short History of the Chinese in Seattle


Photo: IMLS Digital Collections and Content/Flickr

“While most local businesses prepare for the Christmas frenzy, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty and Tiger Oak Publications are getting ready for the Year of the Monkey. The two companies have combined forces to develop Seattle Luxury Living, a real estate magazine targeting affluent, Mandarin-speaking readers. The magazine’s launch date is set to coincide with the February 2016 Chinese New Year celebration in Seattle, a popular time for Chinese tourism in the Pacific Northwest….”

“Although Seattle-based businesses now cater to Chinese immigrants, the City of Seattle did not always offer such a warm reception. In the 1860s, large groups of Chinese men began arriving in Seattle to escape the war, famine and persecution that was killing millions in southern China. They were drawn by the abundant labor market — laying railroad, canning salmon and working in the mines were just a few of the many available opportunities.”

Read the full article here.



One thought on “A Short History of the Chinese in Seattle

  1. Great synopsis! Reading further into the month of February 1886 in the Daily Intelligencer newspaper (on microfilm at the downtown Seattle Public Library) one finds that some Seattle households had Chinese housemen and some of these were able to stay in town. On Febraury 7 Mrs. Yesler’s houseman was sent to the laundry and found that Mr. Yesler’s clothing had already been taken by looters. He hastened back to the Yesler’s house where Mrs. Yesler received him and then locked the door. Mrs. Yesler defied rioters who came to her door and demanded that she give up her Chinese houseman. Her court testimony later in February was printed in the newspaper.

    I chuckled over your comments on the real estate ads — break the piggy bank and buy now! I wondered about the west-facing houses and whether this was a real estate faux pas, would the Chinese buy a west-facing view? Doesn’t west/sunset symbolize death?


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