Jeu Dip(Zhao Xia)

Relationship: Im/migrant
The Tapes,1884.(Jack Kim collection)
The Tapes,1884.(Jack Kim collection)

When gold rush just finished in western America, Jeu Dip (Zhao Qia) left South China in 1864 and arrived at San Francisco where Chinese called Jinshan (Gold Mountain) at that time. Unlike thousands of Chinese immigrating to America aiming at working for transcontinental railroad, Jeu Dip survived in the city looking for varied opportunities. His first job was a servant of a White family, at the same time, he began to learn English, adopted customs, adjusted himself into new environment. And then he became a milk deliveryman, which offered him a chance to meet future wife, another Chinese in a missionary institution. After their marriage, they have three children whom grew up as Jeu Dip gradually broke into American middle class as a labor contractor, a government interpreter and a broker. 

Step by step, his family became the earliest middle class of Chinese American from the low-income working class, that is the reason why I choose him as my object of immigration story, he is a special and prototypical Chinese American during the years that Chinese in the United States were called as “Chinaman”, “Chink”, “Yellow Peril”. According the narrative in historian Mae M. Ngai’s fantastic book The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese American (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010 ), Jeu Dip was restricted by and benefited from the exclusion by American Mainstream Society, and finally fulfilled another kind of American Dream. He is worth being known.

Year: 1856

– Jiaxin Wang

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant