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[TIMELINE] Chien Lung - the "Chinese Potato King" / Life in the 1800's

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  • madchinaman
    CHIEN LUNG BIOGRAPHY http://216.239.37.100/search? q=cache:1lrvs1MKBFUJ:www.chcp.org/biochan.html+Chien+Lung,+potato+kin g&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 Gordon Chan s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 19, 2003
      CHIEN LUNG
      BIOGRAPHY
      http://216.239.37.100/search?
      q=cache:1lrvs1MKBFUJ:www.chcp.org/biochan.html+Chien+Lung,+potato+kin
      g&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

      Gordon Chan's grandfather Chien Lung came to America in 1880 as a
      teenager. He learned English at the First Chinese Baptist Church and
      later became one of the most successful farmers in the Sacramento-
      San Joaquin Delta area. In history books, he is referred to as
      the "Chinese Potato King" who made a fortune until the Alien Land
      Laws forced him to sell his land in the 1920s.

      In 1948, Gordon Chan's father, Ted Chan started a flower-growing
      business in East Palo Alto. Gordon Chan, born in Macau, had just
      come to America a year before at the age of twelve to help his
      father. Ted Chan was active in community leadership, serving
      numerous terms as president of the Chinese Wholesale Flower Market
      in San Francisco and of various benevolent associations.

      ---------

      Part of this article

      Early Pioneer Award
      Gordon Chan and Family received the Early Pioneer Award at CHCP's
      Tenth Anniversary Dragon Ball

      As one of the most prominent Chinese American leaders in Santa Clara
      County, Gordon Chan requires little introduction in the Bay Area.
      Coming from a family who has been exemplary in community service for
      three generations, Gordon Chan has distinguished himself as a
      longtime community and political leader in Santa Clara County.

      Gordon Chan's grandfather Chien Lung came to America in 1880 as a
      teenager. He learned English at the First Chinese Baptist Church and
      later became one of the most successful farmers in the Sacramento-
      San Joaquin Delta area. In history books, he is referred to as
      the "Chinese Potato King" who made a fortune until the Alien Land
      Laws forced him to sell his land in the 1920s.

      In 1948, Gordon Chan's father, Ted Chan started a flower-growing
      business in East Palo Alto. Gordon Chan, born in Macau, had just
      come to America a year before at the age of twelve to help his
      father. Ted Chan was active in community leadership, serving
      numerous terms as president of the Chinese Wholesale Flower Market
      in San Francisco and of various benevolent associations.

      While growing up, Gordon Chan worked forty hours a week at the
      family farm while attending school. After graduating from Menlo-
      Atherton High, Gordon Chan earned a B.S. degree in ornamental
      horticulture from Cal Poly in 1959. During the same year he married
      Anita, whom he met in college.

      After serving in the Army for two years, Gordon Chan returned to
      help build the family business. In the 1960s, chrysanthemums became
      the biggest crop in Santa Clara County, and the Chan family's
      greenhouses added up to over 300,000 square feet. In the 1980s, the
      T.S. Chan Nursery became the first Chinese American flower grower to
      enter the commercial growing of roses. In the 1990s, Gordon Chan's
      businesses have branched into real estate development and restaurant
      operation.

      Like his father and grandfather, Gordon has served in many community
      leadership positions, including twelve terms as president of the Bay
      Area Chrysanthemum Growers Association, as chairman and interim
      executive director of Asian Americans for Community Involvement
      (AACI), as Executive Board member of the Chinese Historical and
      Cultural Project (CHCP), and as president of Hee Shen Benevolent
      Association.

      Even more significantly, Gordon has been a pioneer in Chinese
      American political participation in Santa Clara County. Gordon
      served between 1979 and 1981 as the first and only Chinese American
      president of the Santa Clara Farm Bureau, which represents all
      farmers in the County. In the 1980s, Gordon became the first and
      only Chinese American to be appointed to the Santa Clara County
      Planning Commission. In the 1990s he served on the County
      Redistricting Commission and the County Trail Commission. Gordon
      Chan believes that as a minority group, Chinese Americans "need to
      establish rapport and understanding with other Americans, so that we
      are less likely to be scapegoated in times of crisis."

      The Chinese Historical and Cultural Project
      chcp@...
      http://www.chcp.org

      ================

      The west also developed a "Dual Labor System," in which well-paid
      skilled and managerial jobs went to white males and a lower tier of
      low pay jobs went to non-white workers. Chinese laborers worked on
      the Central Pacific Railroad in Nevada and California.

      Chinese entrepreneurs were run out of the fishing business in
      California. The exception of successful entrepreneurs like the
      Chinese Potato King, Chin Lung, were also dependent on the dual
      labor system because this is what drove the wages of Chinese labor
      down so low and allowed him to thrive.

      In the cities, most Chinese worked at laundries, in domestic service
      and in the factories. Racial solidarity along class lines between
      white laborers and Chinese labor was a victim of free labor
      ideology, as whites thought the condition of labor was only
      temporary on their climb up the social ladder.


      "Racial Violence" was also directed against "The Chinese." Anti-
      Chinese sentiment arose from the threat that white "free labor" felt
      from the Chinese laborers whom they claimed depressed wages.
      Workers united against Chinese to form "Anticoolie clubs" in the
      1860s and 70s.

      Chinese laborers became scapegoats for economic downturns in the
      1870s and by 1882, they had convinced congress to ban Chinese
      immigration for ten years -- the measure was regularly renewed
      thereafter. In Seattle, Anticoolie riots of white workers broke out
      and the Chinese were evicted from the city in 1886.
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