Labour History

What Is the “Coolie Question”?

Labour History (2017), 113, (1), 1–8.


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1.Persia Crawford Campbell, Chinese Coolie Emigration to Countries within the British Empire(:P. S. King & Son, Ltd., 1923), xvii–xviii, 234. Google Scholar

2. Ibid., 26, 234–35. Google Scholar

3. Ibid., xviii, 91. Google Scholar

4. Ibid., x–xii. Google Scholar

5.Ronald Takaki, Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans(:Little, Brown and Company, 1989), 36. Google Scholar

6.Cedric J. Robinson, Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition(:University of North Carolina Press, 2000), xxxi. Google Scholar

7.Moon-Ho Jung, Coolies and Cane: Race, Labor, and Sugar in the Age of Emancipation(:Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 14–16; quote from Hugh Tinker, A New System of Slavery: The Export of Indian Labour Overseas, 1830–1920(:Oxford University Press, 1974), v. Google Scholar

8.“Gov. Hammond’s Letters on Slavery – No. 3,” De Bow’s Review8 (February1850):128–31;“Asiatic Free Colonists in Cuba,” De Bow’s Review 24(May1858):470–71;“The Coolie Trade, or, The Encomienda System of the Nineteenth Century,” De Bow’s Review 27(September1859):296–321. Google Scholar

9. Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 39th Congress, 2nd Session (14 January1867):169;Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 39th Congress, 2nd Session (16 January1867):103;Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 2nd Session (1867):483;William H. Seward, “Circular Relative to the Coolie Trade,”17 January 1867, Circulars of the Department of State, Record Group 59, National Archives, Google Scholar

10. Congressional Globe, 41st Congress, 2nd Session (1870): 5151;Congressional Record, 47th Congress, 1st session (1881–82):1936;Marilyn Lake andHenry Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Men’s Countries and the International Challenge of Racial Equality(:Cambridge University Press, 2008). Google Scholar

11. Chae Chan Ping v. United States, 130 US 581 (1889). It is otherwise known as theChinese Exclusion Case. Google Scholar

12. Ghadar, 9 September1917. Google Scholar

13.W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, “The African Roots of War,” Atlantic Monthly 115(May1915):707–14. Google Scholar

14.W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America(:Atheneum, 1992[1935]), 15–16. Google Scholar

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Author details

Jung, Moon-Ho