In 1857, when Daniel Cough left Amoy Island, China, as a stowaway on a sailing ship from Mt. Desert Island he was on his way into history as the first Chinese person to make his home in Maine. He was soon followed by a cigar maker and a tea merchant who settled in Portland and then by many more Chinese men who spread all over Maine working mostly as laundrymen.
Concern about immigrants and their loyalty in the post World War I era led to programs to "Americanize" them -- an effort to help them learn English and otherwise adjust to life in the United States. Clara Soule ran one such program for the Portland Public Schools, hoping it would help the immigrants be accepted.
Crime & Disaster Crime & Disaster A selection of photographs relating to crime & disaster in the Portland Press Herald Glass Plate Negative…
Crime & Disaster This was the fourth school fire in Portland in 1921 and was of unknown origin. It started in the library, which did not have a…
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12, Postsecondary
Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson presents an overview of the history of the Chinese/Chinese Americans in Maine and the U.S. including some of the factors that led to Chinese immigration to the U.S., the history of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a look into the xenophobia, racism, and discrimination many Chinese Americans have experienced and continue to experience, and the contributions of Chinese Americans to community life and culture in Maine.