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Additional resources for Chinatowns: Towns Within Cities in Canada
The economic recession was aggravated further the following year when the usual spring rush from San Francisco did not materialize, and many merchants with overextended credit and unsaleable merchandise went bankrupt. 34 The adverse economic conditions in British Columbia continued to deteriorate after the second half of the 1860s. Unable to obtain employment in restaurants, laundries, and market-gardens, Chinese labourers began to 28 Chinatowns look for work on ranches, farms, or in coal mines.
About 8 per cent came from Heshan and Zhongshan counties and 6 per cent from the counties of Zengcheng, Dongguan, and Baoan on the eastern side of the Zhujiang (Pearl River). The remaining 4 per cent came from other counties in Guangdong Province. From within Siyi, the Taishan people outnumbered those from all other counties, constituting over one-fifth of the 5,000 people. The 5,000 Chinese can be classified into 129 clans according to their surnames. Classification reveals that eight large clans with 170 persons each accounted for half the total population in British Columbia (Table 1).
51 This approval immediately prompted the British Columbia provincial government to follow suit. Accordingly, on 2 September 1878, the Legislative Assembly passed the bill known as the Chinese Tax Act, by which every Chinese person over twelve years of age would pay ten dollars every three months to take out a licence to reside in British Columbia. In other words, every Chinese in Entry without Restriction 31 the province had to pay forty dollars head tax a year. 52 The following month, Mr. 53 He explained that Queensland legislated solely for itself and was constitutionally on the same footing as the Dominion of Canada in its relative position towards the British Empire.