A research and storytelling project about the Chinese who helped build the railroads, mines, and settlements of the American West.

A quarter million Chinese came to California between 1849 and the early 1880s to work on the railroads and in the mines, industries and services of the American frontier. But today there is scant record about them — they have mostly been forgotten as individuals. Chinese WhispersSM looks at this historical amnesia through stories that have been passed down over generations at different sites, and engages communities in the retelling of their local Chinese whispers.

 

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