Topics and Resource Materials

 

This trunk represents a 31-year old Chinese laborer who immigrated to California in search of opportunity, accepting work on the Central Pacific to build the transcontinental railroad. He set explosive charges that cleared the way through the high Sierras and was chosen to be part of the crew that drove the golden spike at Promontory Point, Utah. Central Pacific management issued a crisp, blue jacket for the occasion. A talented calligrapher and artist, he saved enough money from his meager railroad wages to open a small business form which to sell his work.