"Verily the Road was Built with Chinaman's Bones": An Archaeology of Chinese Line Camps in Montana

Christopher W. Merritt, Gary Weisz, Kelly J. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transcontinental railroads conveyed information and resources that fueled the Gilded Age's quintessential financial and political corporate corruption and related social inequalities. Construction of the transcontinentals required massive numbers of laborers who lived in temporary "line camps" along the railroad grades. A sample of spatially and ethnically segregated Chinese line camps along the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad in the Rocky Mountains of northwestern Montana provide historical and archaeological examples of the Gilded Age's pervasive racist mistreatment of the Chinese, culminating in Chinese exclusion laws.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-695
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Gilded age
  • Northern Pacific railroad
  • Overseas Chinese
  • Railroad camps

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