Still sparse, scholarship on Asian American newspapers in the nineteenth century has not focused on the earliest newspapers of the Anglo-Chinese press. This article examines the second Chinese-language newspaper in the United States, the Oriental; or, Tung-Ngai San-Luk, which began in 1855. I survey representative items from the newspaper's print run to offer an overview of the paper. In the process, this article makes the case for the Oriental as a formative site of collaboration between Christianity and racial capitalism that foreruns an emergent ideology of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian national legislation. In its editorials, news items, poems, paratexts, and advertisements, the Oriental racializes the Chinese community within malleable social identities of 1850s California, including laborers, non-Christians, and foreigners. These representations set the stage for exclusionary modes of interacting with the Chinese community in the United States.


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pp. 98-116
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