Catalog Information Courtesy University of
California Riverside, California Newspaper Project.
Newspaper Images Above Courtesy Timothy Hughes Rare Newspapers.
San Francisco China News
Volume I, No. 25.
Bogardus & Gordon Proprietors
Saturday, December 26, 1874
Ann Lau of the Chinese
Historical Society of Southern California explains that the
language of this newspaper [complete newspaper issue reproduced below] is quite
literary but it is sprinkled with writing using the colloquial style of the
period, and the terminology is unique to the America of that location.
The entire newspaper was hand written except for the logo at the top of the newspaper. No authors of articles are named.
The following newspaper pages show a boat schedule of an inland boat and ship schedule to Oakland, Salinas, etc. (also including boat schedule for from SF and inland boat schedule).
There is news of local San Francisco - robbery. News of Kwangtung province and other provinces. Sex, rape, robbery. Laments about China being weak with corrupt officials.
Advertisement of foreign liquor for sale. Advertisement of a cure to stop the habit of drinking foreign liquor. Advertisement for free medical treatment. Advertisement for sale of jewelry, diamonds, etc. Advertisement for a circus. Advertisement of an attorney, etc. etc. etc.
Terminology changes with time and locale. The language had no punctuation as is typical of that period. The term for policeman probably did not come into being in the earlier time in China, therefore in San Francisco, the term "green coat" means policeman. For current Chinese, policeman would be "alarm checker."
The Oriental is Tang-Foreign Public News
The China San Francisco News is Old Gold Mountain Tang Person New Heard Paper.
The current term for newspaper is Report Paper. New Heard Paper is the term used (probably by Cantonese only) in earlier time.
Chinese at that time usually refer to themselves as Tang Person. The term Chung-Quo Ren (China Person or Chinaman) was probably not used until the Republic of China was formed in 1911 by Dr. Sun Yat Sen when the Manchu dynasty was overthrown. However, the newspaper referred to China as Chung-Quo or Tang Mountain. Chinese in American now refer to themselves as Hwa Ren (Hwa Person) or Hwa Ye (Hwa descendents) although the word Tang Person is still used by Cantonese speakers who have lived in the US for a long time. The term Chung-Quo Ren has a connotation of nationality. However, many immigrant Chinese, by virtue of habit, even after they have become US citizens still refer to themselves as Chung-Quo Ren although the correct term should be Mei-Quo Ren (US Person).
Also see "Cathay in Eldorado: The Chinese in California" and the National Park Service's "A History of Chinese Americans in California."
Also see Chinese printing office.
San Francisco History – List of Newspapers, 1846-1934.
List of California Chinese Newspapers. U.C. Berkeley.
California Newspapers. U.C. Davis.
"The Chinese in California, 1850-1925" including an image showing a chinese newspaper. Library of Congress and U.C. Berkeley.
View Book Images Courtesy History's Imprints.