Posts tagged ‘Forbidden Citizens’

Why is the burden of lousy K-12 education up to colleges to remedy?

There have been some slight improvements in the scores of younger children, but they don’t last. By the time students are preparing to enter higher education or the workforce, they are no better prepared academically than they were two generations ago–despite the fact that we have spent three times as much on their K-12 education as we did educating the class of 1970.

New NAEP Scores Extend Dismal Trend in U.S. Education Productivity


Nothing to see here, move along….

Continue reading ‘Why is the burden of lousy K-12 education up to colleges to remedy?’ »

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Video from “Forbidden Citizens” book event – July 24, 2012

From a presentation on July 24, 2012, at the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) in San Francisco.

Frank Wu, Dean & Chancellor of UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, described the beginnings of the movement seeking an apology for the U.S. Chinese exclusionary laws:

Marty Gold, author of Forbidden Citizens, reflects about what made the Senate and House Resolutions possible:

Marty Gold explains why Congress needed to pass these resolutions:

Cover of "Forbidden Citizens," by Martin B. Gold

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Author of “Forbidden Citizens” gives presentations in Los Angeles and San Francisco

Martin Gold, the author of Forbidden Citizens, gave two presentations in California this week.

Martin Gold Visits World Journal, July 23, 2012

Martin Gold Visits World Journal, July 23, 2012

On July 23, 2012, Martin Gold discussed his book at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles.
World Journal article (1-page PDFPDF)
Sing Dao News article by Charles Ding (1-page PDFPDF)

On July 24, 2012, Martin Gold discussed his book at the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco.

Cover of "Forbidden Citizens," by Martin B. Gold

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A “sad story with a happy ending”

“Congress is a busy place and very little happens by accident. The [Chinese-American] community acted, organized and Congress looked at it, and was willing to act. It is a sad story with a happy ending, but nobody would bother to tell the story if it didn’t matter to the community itself.”

Act of honor,” by Tan Yingzi, China Daily, June 20, 2012

Cover of "Forbidden Citizens," by Martin B. Gold

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More praise for “Forbidden Citizens” – from Library Journal

Gold, Martin B. Forbidden Citizens: Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress: A Legislative History. 2012. c.550p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781587332357. $29.95. REF

“This landmark volume on the subject of exclusionary policies against Chinese and Chinese Americans is the culmination of lengthy research conducted while attorney Gold (Senate Procedure and Practice) represented a number of Chinese American groups. Divided into 11 chronologically ordered chapters, the book opens with an exploration of initial Senate debates over exclusionary measures and concludes with details on the repeal of such legislation. Congressional member quotations illuminate period sentiment. An appendix offers primary-source texts, document facsimiles, and discussion questions, and this makes for a valuable teaching tool.

VERDICT Expanding on the views in Erika Lee’s At America’s Gates (2007), this is an exemplary subject reference.”

Library Journal, July 2012

Cover of "Forbidden Citizens," by Martin B. Gold

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Trying to Understand 70 Years of Racist US Law: New Book Chronicles Ugly History of the Chinese Exclusion Acts

ALEXANDRIA, VA – (July 4, 2012)
From 1879-1943, Anti-Chinese Racism Was Official US Policy
In the early years after the Civil War, the United States at first encouraged Chinese laborers to Cover of "Forbidden Citizens," by Martin B. Goldimmigrate—to build the transcontinental railroad and dig mines. But when white settlers began to feel overrun, western politicians forged an alliance with southern Democrats who wanted to restrict the rights of recently emancipated blacks in the south and persuaded Congress to write a series of federal laws excluding Chinese people from citizenship and immigration rights.

It wasn’t until 1943, during America’s alliance with China in World War II, that Congress finally repealed the Chinese Exclusion laws. After seventy years, one of the most offensive policies ever enacted by Congress was erased.

Forbidden Citizens: Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress: A Legislative History, by Martin B. Gold (published July 4, 2012 by TheCapitol.Net), tells the inside story of the battle over Chinese exclusion, examining all of the exclusion laws using the words actually spoken in Senate and House debates.

“Brings to life the politics of Chinese exclusion in a way no one has.”
— Judy Chu, United States Representative (D-CA), sponsor of H. Res. 683

“A moving account of a regrettable part of American history.”
— Scott Brown, United States Senator (R-MA), sponsor of S. Res. 201

Chinese Exclusion Laws Hold Lessons for Our Time
The Chinese experience facing legalized racism for 70 years provides an important perspective to examine current debates over immigration reform, labor relations, voting rights, trade relations, and an ineffectual Congress. Gold’s book, the first to look in-depth at all exclusion laws as Congress saw the Chinese issue at the time, should be of particular interest to historians, students of Congress, Chinese-Americans and Asian Americans.

“Exceptional scholarly research on the legislative history of Chinese Exclusion Laws.”
— Michael C. Lin, Chairman, 1882 Project

Author Martin B. Gold is a government affairs attorney with Covington & Burling. As a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, Gold spearheaded official recognition of Feng Shan Ho, a Chinese diplomat who saved thousands of Austrian Jews from the Holocaust. In October 2011, Mr. Gold was instrumental in passing S. Res. 201, an expression of regret for the Chinese Exclusion laws. In 2012, he was awarded the “Champion of Justice Award” by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance for his work on the project.

TheCapitol.Net is a privately held, non-partisan publishing and training company based in Alexandria, VA. For over 30 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been training professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs on the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.

Journalists: to request interviews and/or review copies, contact Stuart Johnson: 202-618-1648, PR -at-

Forbidden Citizens is available from your bookseller or online after July 4, 2012, in print and ebook formats. For more information see

Press release: 2-page PDF; Business Wire.

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George Frisbie Hoar (1826-1904)

The lesson which I have learned in life, which is impressed on me daily, and more deeply as I grow old, is the lesson of Good Will and Good Hope. I believe that to-day is better than yesterday, and that to-morrow will be better than to-day. I believe that in spite of so many errors and wrongs and even crimes, my countrymen of all classes desire what is good, and not what is evil.

Autobiography of Seventy Years,” Vol. 1-2, by George Frisbie Hoar

George Frisbie Hoar was a Republican from Massachusetts: member of the House of Representatives from 1869-1877; United States Senator from 1877-1904.

George Frisbie Hoar (1826-1904), Library of Congress LC-BH826- 511

George Frisbie Hoar (1826-1904), Library of Congress LC-BH826- 511

George Frisbie Hoar: (grandson of Roger Sherman, son of Samuel Hoar, brother of Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, father of Rockwood Hoar, and uncle of Sherman Hoar), a Representative and a Senator from Massachusetts; born in Concord, Mass., August 29, 1826; attended Concord Academy; graduated from Harvard University in 1846 and from the Harvard Law School in 1849; admitted to the bar in 1849 and commenced practice in Worcester, Mass.; elected to the State house of representatives in 1852; elected to the State senate in 1857; elected as a Republican to the Forty-first and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1869-March 3, 1877); was not a candidate for renomination in 1876; one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1876 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against William W. Belknap; appointed a member of the Electoral Commission created by act of Congress to decide the contests in various States in the presidential election of 1876 [Rutherford B. Hayes (R) beat Samuel J. Tilden (D), leading to the Compromise of 1877: in return for the Democrats’ acquiescence in Hayes’ election, the Republicans agreed to withdraw federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction]; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1877; reelected in 1883, 1889, 1895, and 1901 and served from March 4, 1877, until his death in Worcester, Mass., September 30, 1904; chairman, Committee on Privileges and Elections (Forty-seventh through Fifty-second Congresses), Committee on the Judiciary (Fifty-second Congress, Fifty-fourth through Fifty-eighth Congresses), Committee on the Library (Fifty-second Congress); overseer of Harvard University 1874-1880 and from 1896 until his death; Regent of the Smithsonian for many years; interment in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Mass.

George Frisbie Hoar – Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

The true meaning of Republican harmony, Puck, April 11, 1883, Library of Congress 2012645464

The true meaning of Republican harmony, Puck, April 11, 1883, Library of Congress 2012645464

At an early day, when the feelings generated by the Civil War were but little liberalized, he advocated the just and wise policy of paying the damages inflicted by the war in the cases of institutions of charity, education and religion. This was indeed in the House of Representatives, before he came to the Senate, and while his political associates were in but little sympathy with him, and in that body he moved forward on lines of liberalism as far and as fast as he felt a just regard to all considered would permit. The old College of William and Mary, in Virginia, was the first recipient of the benefit of his doctrine, and it was his course on that subject which many years ago made for him a warm place in the respect and the good-will of the people of Virginia.

Many who viewed the Capitol and its rich surroundings conclude that the members of Congress are rich also.

Once a Pennsylvania editor charged that Mr. Hoar lived on terrapin and champagne, had been an inveterate office-seeker all his life, and had never done a stroke of useful work.

Instead of getting mad, Senator Hoar wrote a letter stating his small inheritance and possessions; how often he had refused office and never dishonored one; how he had gotten poorer and poorer year by year in Washington; that he had never been able to hire a house there; but experienced the varying fortune of Washington boarding-houses, and lived a good deal of the time in a fashion which no mechanic earning two dollars a day would subject his household. “The terrapin is all in my eye; fish-balls and coffee on Sunday morning are my chief luxury.” But said he: “I have a dim glimpse of the beatific vision, and in that hour when the week begins, all the terrapin of Philadelphia and Baltimore, and all the soft-shell crabs on the Atlantic shore, may pull at my trousers legs and thrust themselves on my notice in vain.”
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“I believe that if every man of native birth within our borders were to die to-day, the men of foreign birth who have come here to seek homes and liberty under the shadow of the republic, would carry it on in God’s appointed way.”

From “Oration of Senator John W. Daniel of Virginia,” in George Frisbie Hoar, A Memorial, printed by order of the Worcetser (MA) City Council, 1904 (46-page PDF PDF).

George Frisbie Hoar (1826-1904), 1905, Massachusetts Historical Society

George Frisbie Hoar (1826-1904), 1905, Massachusetts Historical Society

Hoar was intimately associated with the planning and early organization of the Republican Party in Massachusetts and continued that work for half a century, presiding over the Republican state conventions in 1871, 1877, 1882, and 1885. In 1852, he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives and, five years later, served a term in the state Senate. In 1869, he was elected as a Republican to Congress and served in the House until 1877, when he was elected to the Senate. Re-elected four times, Hoar represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate until his death.

During his seven years in the House, Hoar served on the Judiciary Committee. He was one of the managers of the House in the impeachment of William Belknap and presented a vigorous argument for conviction, even though Belknap was no longer serving as secretary of war. In 1873, he was chairman of the special committee investigating governmental conditions in Louisiana. He was also a member of the electoral commission that determined the outcome of the Hayes-Tilden controversy in 1877.

In Hoar’s own opinion, his most important service to the country was as a member of the Committee on Claims, where he exercised great influence in determining the Senate’s policies on the Civil War claims of individuals, corporate bodies, and states. For more than 25 years, he served on the committee on privileges and elections, and his opinions are cited as authoritative. For 20 years, he was a member of the committee on the judiciary. He was the author of the 1887 law which repealed a portion of the tenure-in-office act, and of the presidential succession act of 1886, and he had a large part in framing bankruptcy and anti-trust legislation.

Particularly concerned with moral issues, Hoar was the Senate’s chief opposition to lotteries. He also opposed the Republican administration’s policy on the Philippines, but despite disapproval of his position in his home state, he was easily re-elected to a final term in 1901.

For 12 years, Hoar served as overseer of Harvard College. He helped to establish Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Clark University, also in Worcester, and was an influential trustee to both institutions from their organization until his death. He served as a regent of the Smithsonian and president of the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester. He maintained an extensive personal library and took an active interest in the Library of Congress.

Hoar married twice: first to Mary Louisa Spurr in 1853, with whom he had two children, Rockwood and Mary Hoar; and second to Ruth Ann Miller in 1862.

George Frisbie Hoar Papers – Massachusetts Historical Society.

Cover of "Forbidden Citizens," by Martin B. Gold

Senator Hoar was an ardent and courageous opponent of the Chinese exclusion laws, deeming them a violation of basic American doctrines. Elected to the Senate in 1876, Hoar would serve until his death in 1905. His career embraced the entire period of Chinese exclusion legislation, beginning with the 1879 Fifteen Passenger bill (which restricted Chinese immigration by limiting the number of Chinese passengers permitted on any ship coming to the U.S.) and ending with the 1904 permanent extension of the Chinese Exclusion Act, as amended. Throughout the many debates on this issue over those years, Hoar was consistent. He stood firmly against excluding the Chinese and denying them naturalization opportunities and other civil rights. Throughout his long Senate career, Hoar would consistently oppose legislation that discriminated against the Chinese. By 1902, his would be a lone voice. This is how he explained his opposition to the Fifteen Passenger Bill:

“I am opposed to it, first, because it violates without necessity and in the absence of danger the public faith. I am opposed to it because if we had the right to accomplish the result by this method, it overthrows the guaranteed rights of so large a portion of our fellow-citizens, on which so much of their wealth and commerce depends. I am opposed to it for another reason. I am opposed to it because it violates the fundamental principle announced in the Declaration of Independence upon which the whole institutions of this country are founded, and to which by our whole history the American people are pledged.

“Wherever God has placed in a human frame a human soul, that which he so created is the equal of every other like creature on the face of the earth, equal among other things, in the right to go everywhere on this globe that he shall see fit to go, and to seek the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” 8 Cong. Rec. 1312 (1879).

The white supremacy positions his colleagues had expressed dismayed Hoar. He criticized them sternly, dismissing such contentions as “the old argument of the slaveholder and the tyrant over and over again with which the ears of the American people have been deafened and which they have overthrown.” 8 Cong. Rec. 1312 (1879).
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“I do not believe it is necessary for the future of this Republic to prohibit any man who seeks its shores of his own volition the right to enter in the mode and at a time he may choose, and to remain as a citizen or as a laborer or as a resident so long as he may choose.” 8 Cong. Rec. 1314 (1879).

§ 2.23 Senate Debate on the Fifteen Passenger Bill, February 14, 1879: “Wholly unfit to become citizens”, Forbidden Citizens.

Sen. George Frisbie Hoar, 1826-1904, Library of Congress cph.3a31066

Sen. George Frisbie Hoar, 1826-1904, Library of Congress cph.3a31066

In what I have to say this evening I wish to be distinctly understood that I am pleading for no departure from absolute verity anywhere. But I wish to protest against what I deem a prevalent and most pestilent form of historic falsehood to which some writers in this modern time seem to me specially addicted, that of undervaluing, underestimating, falsifying, and belittling the history of their country and the characters of the men who have had a large share in making it.
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I wish to speak to-night of one or two causes of popular discontent with our representative Government. I suppose that the flame of patriotism never burned brighter nor clearer anywhere than it does in the bosom of the youth of America to-day. This is not only true of those who are born and bred on American soil, but, with the exception I am about to state, men of other races and other blood seem to catch the American spirit as soon as they breathe the American air.

Yet when I consider the tone of the press, of men of letters, and even some writers of history when they describe her, I am sometimes astonished that any American youth can love his country at all. Every morning, Sunday and week day, there comes from the press by the million, by the hundred million, what constitutes the staple reading of nearly all of our people who can read at all. These publications are largely the organs of one or another political party. They represent the party to which they are opposed, as base, selfish, intriguing, or at least narrow and wrong headed. Yet it is unquestionably true that nearly all the voting population of the country belongs to one or the other of these political organizations. If those political organizations be base, the American people are base. If the trusted leaders of those political organizations are base and mean, then the country is base and mean.
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The men who despise humanity most, take its worst examples for their heroes. This tone, of the cynic has spread from the newspaper and the poet, to the grave and serious writers of history.
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Did the Pilgrim at Plymouth–did the great-hearted Puritan of Salem and New Haven–did the liberty-loving enthusiast of Rhode Island, the sturdy founders of New York, the Quaker of Pennsylvania, the Catholic of Baltimore, the adventurous cavalier of Jamestown, the woodsmen who, in later generations, struck their axes into the forests of this continent, the sailors who followed their prey in the Arctic and Antarctic seas—did the men of the Revolution, and the men who fought the great sea fights of the war of 1812–did the men who conducted the great debates, in the Senate and in the forum–did the judges who pronounced the great judgments which fixed the limits of constitutional authority and of public liberty–did the splendid youth of 1861 devote themselves–did Washington live–and did Lincoln die–only in order to build and to preserve this noble and stately palace for a den of thieves?

Popular Discontent with Representative Government,” by George Frisbie Hoar, President of the American Historical Association, 1894–95

George Frisbie Hoar Monument - Worcester, MA, by Daderot (Wikimedia Commons)

George Frisbie Hoar Monument - Worcester, MA, by Daderot (Wikimedia Commons)

His ideals ruled not only his faith but his conduct as well. He held them above party, above friends, above success, above renown. When they were drawn in question he was superb in the intensity of conviction and purpose, which he clothed in speech of surpassing vigor and beauty. To worship God in the manner and form their consciences dictated, to be exempt from all government except of their own choice, to be free and equal before the law, these to this Puritan idealist were the fundamental rights of all men. In defending them in his old age he displayed all the fire and enthusiasm of his youth. He would not compromise, he would not qualify, he would not postpone these great rights. He would not keep them for his own country or his own race, he would bestow them upon all mankind. Let them be denied to whatever race or color, whether Chinese, Negroes or Filipinos, he was always their champion, with a multiplied zeal if he thought they were desolate and oppressed. In the battle for such cause he shone supreme.

Defeat did not dismay or delay discourage him. He remained steadfast. The happiness of his last years was clouded by the difference with his party which on an issue like this his convictions forced upon him. There can be no doubt of the pain which this difference brought to him. “God help me,” he said, “I can do no otherwise.”

This day’s work would be sadly incomplete if it left unnoticed this final chapter of his life, which illustrated so many of his highest qualities. The policy of the Government toward the Philipine Islands was abhorrent to him in all its details. In a series of speeches of great power, he opposed their acquisition for the purpose of governing them, even for a time, without the consent of their inhabitants. He thought the Constitution afforded no warrant for an acquisition for such a purpose; he thought that it violated the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, which to him was “the greatest evangel that ever came to mankind since the story of Bethlehem;” he thought that it was a cruel wrong, unworthy of our people, to crush out a rising republic, to impose upon a people a government to which they had not consented, to give to them as a favor even the best of governments, for to his mind there was no good government except self-government. All questions of the material interest, either of the Filipinos or of our own people, he put aside as unworthy of serious consideration. He stood on higher grounds.

He pleaded for the Filipinos as for Hampdens and Washingtons and Adamses and Jeffersons and Henrys, and he lamented the wound which he believed our departure from the fundamental principles of the Republic had inflicted upon our own people. He lost the fight, but he kept the faith. “I know,” said he, in closing one of the speeches to which I have referred, “how feeble is a single voice amid this din and tempest, this delirium of Empire. It may be that the battle for this day is lost. But I have an assured faith in the future. I have an assured faith in justice and the love of liberty of the American people. The stars in their courses fight for freedom. The Ruler of the Heavens is on that side. If the battle today go against it, I appeal to another day, not distant and sure to come.”

Oration at the dedication of the statue of George Frisbie Hoar in Worcester, MA, by Hon. William H. Moody, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, June 26th, 1908, pages 57-60.

The Wren Building at the College of William and Mary, by Lane 4 Imaging

The Wren Building at the College of William and Mary, by Lane 4 Imaging

What purpose had planted these institutions of learning in the American wilderness? What raised up Harvard, that it might become the teacher of Otis and Hancock and the Adamses? What nourished William and Mary, that it might furnish inspiration to Bland, to Wythe, to Nelson, and to Jefferson? These two seminaries had a common benefactor in the famous Robert Boyle. And when the wanton ravages of war reduced this once flourishing institution that had spoken so boldly in the cause of liberty to a state that left little but the vibrant tones of the college bell and the fervent prayers of a devout President, it was a distinguished son of Harvard, Senator Hoar, who plead her just cause with such eloquence in the Halls of Congress that a dilatory Government at last made restitution for a part of the damage done, that this seat of learning might be restored to take its active place again as a citadel of truth and liberty and righteousness. No one can contemplate these events without a deep realization that those who participated in them were guided by an inspired vision.

Address at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va., by President Calvin Coolidge, May 15, 1926

Books and Speeches by George Frisbie Hoar


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Marion Barry: Echoing the Sandlot Orators from the 1870s

Marion Barry’s statement that Asians “ought to go” is an echo of what American political leaders were saying in the late-1800s. He echoes Denis Kearney, a sandlot orator in California who ended his speeches during the 1870s with the cry of “The Chinese must go!” Forbidden Citizens, § 2.11, Denis Kearney and the Sandlot Orators.

"The Chinese Must Go! But, Who Keeps Them?" Illustration in The Wasp, v. 2, August 1877 - July 1878. From The Bancroft Library The University of California Berkeley.

"The Chinese Must Go! But, Who Keeps Them?" Illustration in The Wasp, v. 2, August 1877 - July 1878. From The Bancroft Library The University of California Berkeley.

In 1882, Congressman John Kasson (R-IA) accurately described this attitude as “one of the most vulgar forms of barbarism.” Forbidden Citizens, § 4.60, House Debate, March 22, 1882: “Who would have them for voters?”. It is still a vulgar form of barbarism in 2012.

"The magic washer, manufactured by Geo. Dee, Dixon, Illinois. The Chinese must go" advertisement ca. 1886

"The magic washer, manufactured by Geo. Dee, Dixon, Illinois. The Chinese must go" advertisement ca. 1886

Starting in 1879, Congress adopted a series of Chinese exclusion laws by majority votes, which did not assure that the laws were sound or just.

The Chinese Exclusion Act (H.R. 5804) passed the House of Representatives April 17, 1882, by an overwhelming majority vote of 201 in favor, 37 opposed, and 53 not voting. The Senate passed the bill, with amendments, on April 28, 1882, on another overwhelming majority vote of 32 in favor, 15 opposed, and 29 senators not voting. The House concurred in the Senate amendments on May 3, 1882 by voice vote and President Chester Alan Arthur approved the measure on May 6, 1882. Forbidden Citizens, Chapter 5. The Ten-Year Exclusion Legislation of 1882.

What’s old is new.

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The Hidden, Shameful History of Legalized US Anti-Chinese Racism

Cover of "Forbidden Citizens," by Martin B. GoldA whole class of people, forbidden from ever becoming citizens. . .forbidden from even entering the country—their rights torn up and trampled on–left with nowhere to turn for political redress. This was the United States of America from 1882 through 1943–if you had the misfortune to be Chinese.

Now, for the first time, the complete legislative history of the 9 major pieces of Chinese exclusion legislation that dealt with this oppression has been compiled into a single comprehensive volume. Forbidden Citizens: Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress: A Legislative History tells the story of this shameful history, using the very words spoken on the floor of the U.S. House and Senate chambers during these debates.

Compiled by Martin Gold, the book, to be published July 4, 2012, documents the legislative debates and actual texts of the 9 exclusion measures—giving modern readers a chance to watch this disturbing history come alive in the words of those who created it–quoting both supporters and opponents of the bills in full detail.

Forbidden Citizens should be of great interest to historians, Chinese-Americans, and those who believe in the struggle to achieve a just society.

“Will appeal not only to legal scholars and civil rights activists, but to any American curious about this grim chapter of our history.”
Christopher Corbett, author, The Poker Bride: The First Chinese in the Wild West

“Thorough, thoughtful and highly relevant today. This work presents the best scholarship in a most accessible manner.”
Frank H. Wu, Chancellor & Dean, University of California Hastings College of the Law

Martin B. Gold, partner at Covington & Burling and former Floor Advisor and Counsel to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, is a prominent Washington attorney who was active in the successful effort to get an official expression of regret from the U.S. Senate for the anti-Chinese legislation enacted by prior Congresses. As a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, Gold spearheaded official recognition of Feng Shan Ho, a Chinese diplomat who saved thousands of Austrian Jews from the Holocaust.

For more about Forbidden Citizens, see

Journalists: to request interviews and/or review copies, contact Stuart Johnson: 202-618-1648,

TheCapitol.Net is a privately held, non-partisan publishing and training company based in Alexandria, VA. For over 30 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been training professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs on the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.


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Chinese Restaurants

Restaurants have a very long history in China. At a time when fine food in western Europe was confined to a handful of great monasteries, the Song Dynasty capital, Kaifeng, supported hundreds of commercial food businesses and a rich gourmet culture….

Ju Xiang Yuan Restaurant - 641 Somerset st. W, Ottawa
Creative Commons License photo credit: C John Thompson

Some of the city’s restaurants were so renowned that the emperor himself ordered out for their specialties; they could also cater the most elaborate banquets, in their own halls or at the homes of the wealthy. Kaifeng’s many eateries also included teahouses where men could sip tea, gossip, and order snacks or full meals, as well as wineshops, which were more popular at night….

China’s vibrant restaurant culture continued unabated through the end of the Qing Dynasty. The English clergyman John Henry Gray [in China: A History of the Laws, Manners, and Customs of the People, (London: Macmillan, 1878), Volume II, Chapter 19, page 64], one of the few Europeans with a serious interest in Chinese food, summed up the typical nineteenth-century urban eatery thus:

The restaurants are generally very large establishments, consisting of a public dining-room and several private rooms. Unlike most other buildings, they consist of two or three stories. The kitchen alone occupies the ground floor; the public hall, which is the resort of persons in the humbler walks of life, is on the first floor, and the more select apartments are on the second and third floors. These are, of course, resorted to by the wealthier citizens, but they are open to persons in all classes of society, and it is not unusual to see in them persons of limited means. At the entrance-door there is a table or counter at which the proprietor sits, and where each customer on leaving pays for his repast. The public room is immediately at the head of the first staircase, and is resorted to by all who require a cheap meal. It is furnished, like a cafe, with tables and chairs, a private room having only one table and a few chairs in it.

… All guests, rich and poor, entered the restaurant through the ground-floor kitchen, where they could judge for themselves the skill of the chefs, the quality of the roasted ducks, chickens, and pigs hanging from the ceiling…and the facility’s cleanliness. When the Chinese immigrated to the United States, they carried this style of restaurant intact to their new homeland.

Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States,” by Andrew Coe (Oxford University Press 2009), pages 94-96, ISBN 0195331079.

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