4/17/2010

Taiwanese in Boise

I've been digging around for information on the history of Boise, Idaho as it relates to Taiwan. As usual, getting early statistics is difficult as they are mingled with Chinese figures. In 1862, the first Chinese (and maybe Taiwanese) arrived in Boise after gold was discovered outside of Idaho City and on Kit and Stacy Waller's farm in Thompson Falls. None of the original Boise Chinese settlement remains. I did, however, unearth this shot on the Internet. It's of 7th Street, which was recently renamed Capitol Street (after Capitol Records): http://ow.ly/1zFia

As it stands, less than 2,000 people in Boise speak of a Chinese heritage. I don't have the figures for what part of this group is Taiwanese. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 curbed Chinese immigration to the United States and restricted growth of this community until the late 1960s.

This is a work in progress. I'll be updating it soon.

2 comments:

CreditWarrior said...

Wow. I rather appreciate your interest in this regard. You might be pleased to know that the Idaho Museum of Natural Science and History in downtown Boise has an entire section on the significance of the Chinese immigrants in the early development of Idaho. They ran restaurants, grocery stores, laundry services and also contributed to the building of the railroad and other civil engineering projects. The museum shows one Chinese immigrant going door-to-door in Boise and selling fresh fruit back in the 1800's. From what I know, the Chinese were respected and warmly welcomed into most communities. Although I'm sure there were the typical ignorant cowboy racists during that time.

C

Anonymous said...

I know who the first Taiwanese foreign student to the States is also to Japan but no idea who is the first Taiwanese to step on the North American continent. I doubt if any Taiwanese were here in the US before 1900, more so to Boise, Idaho. I am waiting for Patrick’s future research.
Cho-San