August 23's Fact of the Week: 1852 Foreign Miners Tax

The 1852 Foreign Miners Tax was enacted during the height of the Gold Rush, around when 20,000 Chinese immigrants migrated from China to California. During this time, the anti-Chinese sentiment surfaced in mining camps, and many Chinese miners received increasingly harsh treatment, and culminating when the legislature adopted a new foreign miners' tax of $4 per month. The $4 dollar monthly fee levied against foreign miners who “did not want to become American citizens”, but was a thinly veiled attempt to exclude the Chinese and Mexican miners.