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Throughout the Ages
A Visual Document Resource

History | Syracuse | Chinese Communities

Image. Stamp from the Syracuse in China Program.
A stamp from the "Syracuse in China" program. Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives.

By the time of the 1900 census, there were 27 Chinese residents in the City of Syracuse, New York. The population remained small over the next two decades, although we know that at least 22 Chinese who entered the U.S. during the period of the Chinese Exclusion laws listed an address in Syracuse. These records indicate that at that time, there were Chinese laundries on South Salinas Street, Onondaga Street, and Oswego Street, and that at least one individual indicated he operated a restaurant. Ten of the Exclusion Records individuals were students and Syracuse University was their sponsor for immigration. All of these students entered the United States in the 1920s, probably as a result of the "Syracuse in Asia" program.

Dr. Gordon Hoople and Dr. Leon Sutton, both Syracuse University graduates, founded the "Syracuse in Asia" program in 1922. They opened a hospital in Chunking, West China, using funds and medical supplies provided for by fundraising efforts on the Syracuse University campus. They also provided a church and a boys' school in China until World War II interrupted their efforts. They returned to Mainland China after the war, only to be forced out in 1951 by the Communist takeover. In 1958, the Syracuse In Asia program was established in Taiwan.

Vocabulary

Chinese Exclusion Laws: Laws enacted in the U.S. between 1882 and 1943 that limited or prevented Chinese immigration into the country.
Sponsor: An individual or a group taking responsibility.
Communism: A system of government where all goods, means of production, etc., should be the property of the community; or one who believes in such a system.

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